After the cake was served, the lights dimmed a bit and the music came back up. Riker swooped her onto the dance floor.
“Happy birthday, kid. I’m glad you’re feeling better,” he said.
“Thanks Will. This is all so nice. Did you have a hand in this?”
“No, it appears that it was the Captain and your staff is solely responsible for this. By the way, what is going on with the two of you?”
“With my staff?” she asked jokingly.
“No, no. You and the Captain. It seems like you two have gotten pretty close.”
“You could say that.”
“Aria, I am happy for you, both of you.”
“That means a lot to me to hear that from you. You’ve been such a great friend. I can never thank you enough for that.”
“It has been a pleasure.”
“May I cut it?” Jean Luc asked when he got up to the two friends.
“Certainly, sir,” Riker said. “Take care of her for me.”
“I certainly intend to,” he said as he took Aria into his arms and held her tightly against him. “Having fun?” he asked her.
“Yes, thank you for all of this,” she told him as she kissed him on the cheek. “It’s been the best birthday yet.”
“Let’s hope you have many more to come,” he replied looking deep into her eyes. At that moment, it felt like they were the only two in the room. Aria’s heart was racing as they moved slowly to the music. She finally felt that she could be close to him again and could feel the heat rising inside of her for him, wanting him and for the first time since their rescue without being suffocated by the guilt she had been carrying around.
“Jean Luc?” she whispered into his ear.
“Yes, my love?”
“Will you make love to me tonight?”
“Yes, I have been wanting for you to say that for so long, but are you sure you are ready?”
“I couldn’t be more sure. Please, I need you.”
“I need you too, Aria.” He kissed her full on her lips, right there in front of everyone.
As soon as they could discreetly exit her party, they quickly made their way to his quarters. When the doors opened for them, Aria could see the room was lit with only candles, just like their first night they made love on Malrata.
“I was hoping we would come back here together tonight,” he admitted to her as he kissed her neck. “I need you, Aria.”
“I need you too. Thank you for a wonderful birthday.” And she kissed him back. They stood near the door for a while, their kisses getting hotter and hotter, hands groping and exploring. Aria untucked his shirt and practically ripped it off of him. He picked her up in his arms and carried her into his bedroom, where he lay her down on his bed.
Clothes were quickly discarded. Aria pulled him towards her. He gently touched her nipples and she responded to his touch.
“Please, make love to me,” she whispered to him.
“Certainly. Always,” he replied as he rolled on top of her and gently guided himself into her.
It felt so good to be this close with him again. He began slowly, but his pace soon quickened. She quickly joined each thrust of his, sending her into a world of pleasure, waves washing over her body. Aria could feel his bottom tighten as he climaxed deep inside of her. He rolled over and held her tightly in his arms. They lay there for quite a long time, finally regaining their breaths.
After they recovered, he said, “Aria, I have something I have to discuss with you.”
She turned to see his face; she could see he was nervous. Her heart dropped. He was way to serious for the moment and it scared her.
He looked deep into her eyes and said, “Aria, I have enjoyed all of our time together. These past few months have been amazing for me and I have never felt this way about anyone else. I love you.”
“I love you too. Is there a problem?”
He chuckled, “No, not at all darling.”
“So what do you want to discuss?” She was getting nervous because she had no clue where he was going with all of this.
“I wanted to talk to you about scheduling another party and…”
“You wanted to talk to me about work?”
“No, I was hoping you and I could collaborate on another event, our wedding. Aria Swenson, will you make me the happiest of men and do me the honor of becoming my wife. Aria, will you please marry me?”
She was shocked. It took her a few seconds for her mouth to begin to form words. “Jean Luc, oh yes…oh yes,” she replied with tears in her eyes as she hugged him. He held onto her and she kissed him passionately on his lips. She rolled on top of him. He responded to her immediately and she slowly slid down the entire length of him, moaning as she did this. Aria rode him while he groped and pinched and sucked her nipples. She rode him until she climaxed. It was so much more intense than she had ever had experienced before. When she collapsed onto his chest, he lifted her hips and continued to pump away. She screamed in delight as he brought her to new levels of pleasure and thought she was going to pass out as he finally climaxed as well.
When Aria finally regained control over her limbs, she rolled over and laid next to her lover, her friend, her future husband.
She was about to drift off into a very happy sleep, when Jean Luc said, “Wait, we have to make this official.”
“I thought we just did?”
“No, not that.” He reached over to his bedside table and pulled something from the drawer. “I mean this. I hope you like it.” Jean Luc opened a small box and inside was an antique platinum ring with a large diamond, flanked by smaller stones.”
“Oh, I love it. You really didn’t have to.”
“Yes, I did. It was my mother’s. For some reason, I brought it with me the last time I was home. Before you even put in for your transfer here. At that time I thought it was to remember her, but that was before I met you.” He took the ring out of the box and slid it onto her left ring finger. “A perfect fit, for the perfect woman. I love you, Aria,” he said as he gently touched her face.
“And I love you, Jean Luc.” She kissed him gently as they lay back down in bed. He held her against him, both completely content.