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[2007: MAR-APR] Forsaken

Julia Harden

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She'd summoned him to meet her in the Counselor's office, her office. No--summoned wasn't the right descriptive term for her request. They were lovers, after all.

She'd been afraid of horses, months ago, when they'd first met at the post-mission party in Ten Forward. He didn't know about the horses then, though. He didn't know anything, except that she was beautiful, with eyes as bright and blue as diamonds. Diamond eyes. They filled him with pleasure, and a kind of longing, which was good, as he was unable to fill himself with hors d'oeuvres, fumbling them off his fork in mid-bite. His breathing was uneasy, but excited.

The party's orbits shifted enough, finally, for them to meet. "Lieutenant Eamon Flaherty," he'd said, by way of introduction. Her smile was dazzling as she took his hand, her eyes expressive and merry, twinkling in the light. Electric, with gravimetric qualities. "Alexandra Jax, Counselor." Their hands lingered together.

He looked at her more closely. Slender she was, her skin flawless, her eyes clear and curious. Slender, and yet full, a complete woman, a woman of grace and charm and wit, her eyes bright with intelligence, circles of blue, innocent and knowing. She was warm and funny, and she enchanted him completely.

Dinner followed in the coming days. There were kisses, too, sweet at first, hesitant, textured attending to lips with lips, growing hungry and passionate, filled with longing. And there were revelations. "I'm afraid of horses," she'd whispered on the bridge during one late gamma shift. This in response to Eamon's plan for a holodeck date, a picnic in the eighteenth century Welsh countryside. Costumes, with knee-breeches and tunic shirt for him, stomacher, farthingale and red ribbons for her. A picnic by the great river, emptying into the sea, a place of sidh and merrow and the sparkling gems of the Sea King's wealth. There were going to be horses, for the ride to the river.

Holding hands, laughing, they came to the stable of an old inn. The horses pranced in recognition of him. They were old friends from long ago, Princess the White, and Donald Bean. She approached the horses warily, her diamond eyes wide with fear. Laughing, he'd placed one hand on her slender waist, the other taking hers to stroke the horse's neck. She'd jolted in surprise, then relaxed, leaning into him, her bright eyes shining. He felt her breathing, through her body, as she stroked the neck and flank of the white horse. He produced an apple and gave it to her, holding her hand from beneath as the horse nuzzled and then ate it. Alexandra laughed with pleasure. The horse pranced and nuzzled her hand and neck.

Lieutenant Eamon Flaherty loved her, and more as the afternoon deepened toward evening. Deeply and without hesitation. They shared a simple meal together, cheeses and wines and fruits. They gazed in fascinated wonder at the merrows as they came to play, frolicking in the great river that emptied into the sea. They kissed, and kissed deeply, lingering hot kisses. She knotted one of her ribbons for him, a love-knot, and gazed into his eyes, hers clear and blue and bright. "I love you," she whispered. She rose from her seat on the blanket in the grass, taking an apple, tending to the white horse again, marveling in her own happiness. She'd never felt this before, this combining of freedom and love and happiness.

The wild fire of being Gaelic and in love raced hot in Flaherty's veins, his heart like a giant hot burning star, reaching in a graceful heated arc to hers, enfolding, melding, melting with hers, bright like diamonds, fusing their hearts as surely as a single electron fuses with a hydrogen nucleus, surely in that same heat reciprocating orbits with hers, making the life of the one the life of the other.

Circles they were, a perfection of circles, like suns and rings and bubbles and mathematical proofs and all perfection of the universe, all hearts arcing and reaching like bright stars, self-igniting and sustaining, luminous and white-hot.

They spoke of love after, he eager and all earnestness, she shyly, oblique and halting. "I love you," he whispered. And then there was the proposal of marriage, the family circle complete, all orbits in a single home, hydrogen fused. "We'll marry," she promised. "I want to have children." She'd smiled a knowing smile, and kissed him, shy but full of meaning.

They planned the wedding together. She went to the Captain to secure an arrangement. "We must wait until after the wedding," she said, "before we can be together. She blushed. "You know," she said. They exchanged knowing smiles.

A heart that is in love is like a burning sun. Flaherty's burned like ten thousand suns. He loved Alaexandra with ten thousand hearts, each a star flaming out into the universe, a cauldron in the blackness. The wedding drew nearer.

She summoned him to the office. No--not summoned. They were lovers, after all.

"I should have spoken to you sooner," she was saying as Flaherty seated himself in her office. The Captain was there, smiling. She sat next to him, erect. "I am sorry that I did not speak to you sooner. I love you, Eamon Flaherty. This you know. But I love the Captain, too. This you don't."

Flaherty looked from Jax--Alexandra--to the Captain. She was clasping the Captain's hand as she spoke. "The Captain and I will marry soon. I am carrying his child. I want to have children."

A singularity is a circle, a perfect circle like suns and rings and mathematical proofs, a point of infinite everything and nothingness. There was a singularity in the center of him, the tidal forces of infinite everything and nothingness tearing at him, ripping electron from nucleus, detonating him, the shock waves traveling out in circles, trembling him, convulsing him in a moment, a lifetime of deep and permanent shame white-hot, spreading outward in blush and open jaw and bulging disbelieving eyes, the circle distorted, torn into an uneven jagged triangle, the hypotenuse bizarre and naked and outside of the figure it defined and supported.

The Captain kept smiling. She only had eyes for the Captain. Her eyes, like diamonds.

The Captain spoke, once. "Oh, and by the way, Lieutenant, you've been reassigned. To the Forsaken."

Edited by Stephen
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