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“Captain, they are interesting beads that you are wearing”
“Why, thank you Seven. They’re called pearls, and were given to me by my mother, who in turn was given them by her mother. They’re what’s known as a family heirloom.”
“Pearls?” Seven frowned as she consulted her inner data base. “A pearl is a small round object consisting of calcium carbonate and other organic compounds. They are produced by certain bivalve molluscs, and valued as gemstones.”
“That’s correct, Seven.”
Chakotay moved over to join the conversation. “They form because of an irritant, you know? Something bothersome or irksome that finds its way under the shell of the oyster.” He was looking at Kathryn, his eyes twinkling with suppressed laughter. “They take years to develop, but are virtually indestructible and everlasting.”
Kathryn smiled at him. “They have always been highly prized, but there are many imitation pearls around.”
Seven quirked her brow, a little lost in this conversation. “How does one differentiate between the two?”
Kathryn opened her mouth to reply, but Chakotay was too quick. “Imitation pearls are smooth and slick and lack depth. Real pearls are rough and gritty with a lustre and iridescence all their own. To make certain, you rub them along the edge of your teeth. May I, Kathryn?”
Again Kathryn was too slow and before she knew what was happening Chakotay had bent forward and with his hand on her shoulder had pulled her closer. He lifted the necklace away from her neck and rubbed the beads along his teeth. His breath wafted just under her ear and she could feel the heat of him against her body. The affect was instantaneous. She grabbed his shoulder and her other hand shot out behind her to find something stable to hang on to. Her knees were about to give way.
He pulled away slowly, his cheek brushing hers ever so slightly. He looked into her eyes. “It’s real.”
With her hand still on his shoulder she slid it around behind his head and pulled him towards her, whispering against his lips. “It certainly is, and oh so precious.” Their lips met and they became oblivious to everything and everyone around them.
Seven watched her commanding officers for a moment, and then wandered away.
“Good evening, Doctor.”
“Seven. How are the Captain and Commander?”
“They are kissing again.”
“Ahh! newly weds.”