“Lieutenant Swenson, here,” she said as she touched her communicator.
“Aria, this is Captain Picard. Are you okay?”
“Oh, yes Captain. Commander McKinney and I just went for a bit of a walk,” she responded as Scott continued to get her feet barely wet, which made her laugh while the communicator was still on. “Stop it Scott. I’m sorry. Is there something you need, Sir?” Scott walked them out of the surf and onto dry land, where he put her down and let her go.
“Yes, I have been alerted to some changes before the conference begins tomorrow morning. I will need to meet with you before then,” Picard said, sounding all business.
“Yes, sir. Tonight or tomorrow?”
“Early tomorrow will be fine. Shall we meet for breakfast in the hotel restaurant at zero-seven hundred hours?”
“Yes, Sir. That will be fine. Thank you for alerting me of the changes and I will see you tomorrow morning. Is there anything else, sir?”
“No, that will be all. Picard out.” Her communicator clicked off. The two young officers looked at each other and began to laugh.
“Picard really seems all business,” Scott told her.
“Yes, he can be. We were having a lovely night before and he seemed to be having fun. It is probably important meeting. He doesn’t let anything get by him and promised that he try not to change the schedule around on me too much.”
“He also seemed to be checking up on you.”
“We did disappear and was probably just making sure I was okay. We worked together on a few projects became friends.”
“That’s really nice. I wish I were close like that with my Captain. Peterson can be a bit uptight.”
“It also might have to do with the fact that I am not directly in the chain of command. I am the interpreter and protocol officer and really don’t want command. I am getting my own staff when we get back to the Enterprise.”
“Yes, I was stretched pretty thin while I was preparing the Enterprise’s anniversary party and doing my interpretation work. I only had a week to prepare myself for the conference. I learned several languages just for this.”
“Three, it took me all week to learn them. On my way here I found out that my duties were being broadened and that is why I am getting a staff.”
“Wow, you did all that? You are amazing.”
“I’m so tired of talking about work. We are here on this beautiful planet. Work is the last thing I want to talk about.”
“You are so right.” He leaned down and kissed her again.
The two made out under the stars for hours, when Aria realized that it was late and she had the early meeting with Picard. Scott walked her back to her suite and said a long good night to her in the doorway. He gave her his room number and told her he would see her at the conference. She went inside and opened the doors to the balcony. There was a light breeze coming in off the water and it felt good on her skin. It reminded her of the evening she had just had. She wondered if she was willing to throw away all of the emotions she had spent on the Captain or the man in gold for a sure thing on Malrata with Scott. They were all very attractive men and she would be lucky to have any of them. Her head was swimming with all the ‘what ifs’ as she stepped inside, away from the doors and began to undress. The cool night’s breeze felt good on her naked body. She climbed into bed, imagining how it would be to share it with the men on her mind. She restlessly drifted off to sleep thinking of them.