Star Trek: Defiant

Pilot Episode 5B

Written by Laine Rael

Thinking of Jeffrey brought her courage and strength. And anger. The anger filled her body, coursing hotly through her veins. She stood now, eyes more green than blue as they always seemed to turn when she was angry, and faced the door.

"Enter," she said coldly.

* * *

The doors whooshed open, and before her stood Lieutenant Commander Rick Tozier of the U.S.S. Angelou. He was dressed in the Starfleet crimson of command division, and his Bajoran ear cuff shone under the dim lights of Rael's quarters. His dark hair was in an unruly mop, as always, and his bright blue eyes sparkled as he took her in. Those eyes. They had drawn her in from the start, seduced her. -Just as they had seduced HER-, she thought, a stab of pain going through her.

He smiled, broadly, showing perfect teeth as he walked in, arms outstretched. Rael took two steps back, bumping into the edge of her bed. She edged around it, looking almost like a frightened animal as she kept her eyes fixed on Rick's tall, broad, muscular figure. His smile slipped for a moment, and he stopped moving toward her. Undaunted, the smile grew once more. He began to speak, soothingly.

"Sweetie, what's the matter? You shouldn't be unhappy, look, I'm back. I'm not going anywhere ever again. Where's my beautiful princess, my little flower?"

She backed away, another step. Her voice was in an enraged whisper. "What? After what you did to me? After I saw you--" Tears threatened and she forced them back. She would not let this man see her cry. He had seen her tears once--and it was both the first and last time he would ever see them, she had sworn. But the last picture of him she had in her mind refused to fade...

In a hotel at the Academy...they had both been on Earth for a few months, going through boring field testing procedures before being assigned and had run into each other constantly--and Rael had thought coincidentally, foolish and young that she was--the first week they were both there. They dated for about a month before becoming very serious, very quickly. Rick was her senior by six years, and Rael had never been in a real relationship so she had been thrilled with the wonder of new love. She hadn't known he had singled her out, chosen her, known all along what he was doing and what he planned to do. He had wanted her, and pursued her. And he had gotten her.

She had trusted him completely, hiding nothing, giving all of herself that she could...and more than she should have, she thought now with a dull bitterness as she gazed upon the man who had shattered her soul...she had entered his hotel room unexpectedly and seen them...

The worst of it was, they hadn't noticed her. Not right away. Rick lying over a beautiful young ensign, cascading waves of dark hair spilling over the pillow as they moved together and she gasped under him.

Rael stepped closer, as if she were in a dream...she heard him then clearly, murmuring to her softly..."I love're so beautiful... you're mine, forever, always, my sweet flower, my princess..."

And then she realized what a mistake she had made. It had all been a lie. A beautiful, vicious lie. Those names he had called her, she had thought they were just for her...-I thought I was special to him-, she thought.

Rael had sat down on the floor, feeling numb. They hadn't seen her until they were finished, and Rick just looked at her there on the floor, curled up with her knees to her chest, rocking softly, color devoid from her face. He hadn't said a word. Neither did the woman in his bed, lying there with her arms around him. She could see her face clearly now. It was Chandra. Her old friend from the Academy.

So they had both known, had both been hiding this from her. She had looked up at him with her haunted eyes, now more blue than green, and she stood quickly, and ran out of the room.

The next day, she had been assigned to the Defiant, and had put Rick and Chandra behind her. In her mind, she had buried him. He had no longer existed after that day. Months later, she had started her relationship with the Captain, after the nightmares of discovering Rick and Chandra had finally subsided. Twice, she had awoken, bathed in perspiration and trembling next to Jeffrey, and as he rocked and soothed her, he asked her what she had dreamt about, what it was that was so terrible. She had not responded, even in the morning, when he always asked her again, and watched her pale. Later, she would say she could not remember, forcing a smile, even though he knew her too well to believe that. But he had not pressured her, knowing that in time she would come forward. She hadn't as of yet.

And here he was again.

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