I smiled at Sire Brana and got him another glass of ambrosia. If I had to smile at this idiot once more, I was going to do something seriously detrimental to his libido. While I tuned him out, I wondered why Father was having this little series of gatherings. All the movers and shakers in the Fleet had been, were or were coming in the next few days to a little gathering of the political elite.
There was a lot of power in the room right this moment and my eyes narrowed at the sight of Sheba being demure while old Sire Grannit told her another of his endless stories about the 'good old days'. Father had a plan, he always had a plan but this time I had no idea what it was about. I only knew that the conversations he was having were multilayered and not everything appeared on the surface.
"Nice idea, this. We haven't gotten together in ages. We need to do this more often." Sire Brana nodded and finished his ambrosia. "Clear away some of the odd rumors that run around the Fleet and catch up on the real news."
I stiffened and began paying attention. Widening my eyes, I fluttered my eyelashes at him. "Why what kind of rumors, Sire Brana? I never hear the good ones."
"Of course not, little girl," he patted my shoulder avuncularly and I kept my smile with an effort. "Just rumors, you know. About all kinds of perversions among some of the unenlightened. Nothing for you to worry about. Although I was amazed to see that Adama allowed his son to marry that pilot."
I tightened my jaw and forced a laugh. "Starbuck grew up with us and has always been a part of our family. I'm very lucky to have someone with his good nature and sunny disposition for a brother-in-law. I think Father was just relieved to finally have another son that he can lean on. Not to mention, Starbuck is such a help with Apollo's little boy. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they decided to adopt another child. There are so many children without parents to care for them."
He perked right up and I was glad I had remembered that his ship had a rather high percentage of orphaned children. "Now, that's what I like to hear. Plans to keep a family growing the way it should be. Although, not quite a normal family, still and all that's the right feeling for a young man to have. Why at this moment, the Agamemnon has over forty children between the ages of two to twelve who have no parents."
Nodding to keep him talking, I finally realized what Father was doing. Bringing all the Powers-That-Be together and moving the conversation beyond the rumors to the reality of Apollo's Sealing, kept the boys safe from adverse reaction when they returned. I approved heartily since I was determined to have a ceremony of my own one of these days with the woman who held my heart. But thinking of Cassie made me restless and I needed to pay attention to the conversation around me.
The next two centars passed rather quickly now that I knew what was going on. Why Father couldn't just be up front with Cassie and me from the beginning, I didn't know. But we were going to have a little chat over dinner since Boxey was having a sleep over with his friend, Dillon.
Cassie came back into my arms the moment the last guest left. "I'm all talked out, love. Let's be silent tonight." She kissed that spot on my throat that is hard wired to my groin. "Except for groans. Groans would be good."
I rested my cheek against her soft hair. "Moans would be good, too."
She giggled a little and I caught Father's eye. "Father, were you ever going to tell us what was going on?"
He smiled and shook his head. "I knew you'd figure it out. Some of the pilots were spreading some very interesting rumors about the shake up in the squadrons. I'm going to announce the new Captains tomorrow. Boomer and Sheba will take over the squadrons while the Council promotes Starbuck to Captain and flight academy instructor. Then Apollo will be promoted to Major and join the Command Staff."
"Lots of changes, Father. Too many all at once?" I left my arm around Cassie, urging her close while we moved from the room on the Rising Star.
"I don't think so. We'll play up the new leadership in the squadrons and maybe have the press do some stories on some of the other pilots. Soon the speculation and rumor will come down to manageable levels and we can get on with our lives. Let's go eat, girls. My treat."
"Never pass up free food, 'The." Cassie smiled up at me and I chuckled.
"You've got a deal, Father. Did you know that Sire Brana says there are forty orphan children on the Agamemnon?"
He shook his head and while we ate, we exchanged tidbits of news from the last two sessions. It's the most relaxed meal we'd had in a very long time. And it was especially nice to be treated as an adult and capable of having my own opinions. Father had always seemed larger than life to me, perhaps because he'd been a pretty absent parent. He'd missed so many of our firsts but then so had Mother so maybe I wasn't the best judge.
I didn't know much about Cassie's family and I realized that I had a real need to know more about her background. I knew what some of her wishes and dreams were now but nothing about what her childhood dreams had been. The war changed everyone's wishes and hopes but I know I still had a few of the old daydreams tucked inside my psyche.
When we walked Father back to his quarters, he kissed both of us goodnight and thanked us for our help. The long halls from his quarters to mine were full of people and we got nods and greetings from almost every one. I pondered the change in how I viewed some of the people on the Galactica. Since Cassie came into my life, I'd grown more open with those I worked with every day.
Being the Commander's daughter could be a very lonely occupation. So many saw me as just another way to get to my father, someone to open the door to his authority. Someone to use. I hated that aspect of my job so in self-defense, I'd grown a thick skin that was just as heavy to carry around as a suit of armor.
"What's wrong, love?" Cassie's question brought me out of my thoughts to find us at my door.
I wanted it to be 'our' door. Forever ours.
"Just deep thoughts." I tried to smile but she can read me like a book.
The door shut behind us and I hugged her to me. She hugged me right back and her hands stroked my neck, reminding me of the tension that I'd been carrying around.
"Let's wash up and have an early night. I'll massage away those worry lines for you." Her blue eyes looked up into mine and I felt again that surge of disbelief that she was really here with me.
"Yes, please. I love you, Cassie." I didn't tell her that enough.
"I love you, too. And you will tell me what has you so tense." She smiled and pulled me into the bedroom, undressing me with practiced hands. Steering me into the turbowash, she cleaned us both with the gentle sure touch that I adored. It always made me feel so safe.
Once we were in bed with me on my front and her astride my hips, she began her massage with heated oil and the strong sure hands of a professional. "Athena, you have your back all in knots. I know it wasn't like this earlier so what in the world happened today to get you into this state?"
"I was just ... oh ... yeow!" She hit a big knot and kneaded it into submission. "Oh, yes. That feels so good. I was just thinking about the past and some of the dreams that died with the war."
I felt a soft kiss right between my shoulder blades. "I know, sweetheart. A lot of people lost all their dreams in that moment."
"Did you lose any?" I turned my head, cradled on my hands so I could see her.
"Dreams?" Her hands never faltered. "Lots of them, I suppose. I always wanted to have a big family with lots of kids. I wanted to go back to school and get an advanced degree in physical therapy. I wanted to stop being a Socialator. I wanted to love and be loved."
"Oh, those are big dreams. You could apprentice with the Life Center and still get a degree." I faltered. I certainly couldn't give her kids. "And you haven't been a Socialator in over a yahren. And ... and I love you more than anything in the Fleet."
"Sweet silly. I know you love me and I love you too so there's one dream that's already come true. And if we decide to stay together, there's a dozen ways for us to have children if that's what we both want." She smoothed out my lower back with firm strokes that relaxed all those muscles. "Roll over and let me make sure I got those neck muscles."
I was so busy thinking that I rolled automatically. She was so beautiful above me, like one of the angels that High Priestess Hestia believed in. The light haloed her long golden hair and her ivory skin gleamed. Her breasts were pert, begging to be touched and tasted. Her hands kneaded my shoulder muscles and I felt all the tension slide out of me. Then her touch lightened and her fingers delicately stroked my breasts into aching fullness.
"What did I say that has you thinking so hard?" She traced small circles around my nipples with just the tips of her nails and I shivered.
"Kids. I never really wanted children. I love Boxey but ... I get to send him home to Apollo or Father. Full time responsibility for a child scares me." It was the hardest thing I ever did, confessing that to her.
"Silly, 'The. It's not something that we have to decide right now. You made two of my best dreams come true already. I'm not looking for a full sweep. Then I wouldn't have anything to wish for." She smiled down at me and I took a deep breath, letting some of the anxiety go.
Sliding my hands up her arms, I tugged her down for a kiss. She never lied to me so I had to believe that she meant what she said. Not all dreams had to come true. She tasted of the ambrosia from dinner and I feasted on her lips. Our breasts rubbed against each other, teasing the nipples to rigid peaks. She'd been know to come from just that stimulus alone and I made sure that I ran my nails lightly down her back.
Cassie arched like the Capri-cat I'd compared her to and I slipped a hand between us so I could slide two fingers inside her. She moaned and almost bit my tongue. I kept my thumb on her clitoris, rubbing and stroking it in counter rhythm to her pelvic thrusts. Her breath was getting short and I knew I'd tease her later about her 'panting'. She swore she never did but one of these days I was going to record her on our audio player so she could hear herself.
But not today. Today was for her, a thank you for making one of my dreams come true. Our shared dream was one of love and when she moved in with me, she'd fulfilled one of my favorite fantasies. To love and be loved. That's exactly what I'd always wanted to be. And for the first time since the Cylons had attacked and destroyed our home, I'd found my new home with her.
"Oh." She's beautiful when she comes. Her head flung back, her eyes closed tight and her mouth a perfect 'o' of pleasure. I love watching the full body shiver that flushes over her skin from head to toe. Once the initial convulsion is over, tiny little ripples flood through her and she always goes boneless.
I was there to catch her and I rolled us so we were side by side. My arms held her safe until she could come back to me. The times we come together are wonderful but I have to admit to enjoying these times more. It's a heady feeling to know that her pleasure came from me. Me, Athena. Friend and lover.
"Thank you, love. I felt like I was flying." Her gentle murmur sighed into my ear. The tongue that licked my ear lobe made me shiver and the tiny nip at the soft flesh told me that she was recovering in record time. "And now that I've got you all relaxed, I promise to wind you up so tight that you'll fly too."
"Do your worst, Cassie. I'm so tough that I doubt I can." I pretended to be stoic.
"Hm-m-m, a challenge. I love a challenge. What shall I do first?" She raised up on one elbow and looked at me with a speculative gleam in her eye. "Close your eyes, Athena. And keep them closed."
So, I closed my eyes and gave up control to my wicked lover. The first touch was gentle fingers stroking across my nipples, then her silken hair teasing the nipples to peaks. The sound of the drawer opening on her side told me that the toys were coming out. But which ones would she tease me with tonight?
"I want you to spread your legs apart, 'The. Now, hold onto the railing at the head of the bed and don't let go. Don't move an inch. All right?" The bed dipped between my legs and I wondered which of the dildos she was going to insert.
But the smell of cannaberries wafted up to me and when the touch of cool cream on my mons came, I wondered what in the Fleet she was up to. She massaged more of the cream all through my pubic hair, even down to the cleft of my buttocks. It was icy cold and I shivered a little but she stroked my inner thigh gently and I relaxed again. Whatever game we were playing would probably turn out to be just what I needed. She specialized in loving me.
A damp cloth touched me tenderly and she stroked it back and forth across my mons. Something felt different, as if I suddenly had more skin layers to expose to the air in our bedroom. A slight pop of sound told me that another container had opened and I smelled the fresh powder that she sometimes smoothed on right after a wash. It was an odd combination of oil and powder that moisturized dry skin.
And living on a battlestar was an exercise in dry air. It was worse than living in a desert some days. Her fingers stroked the powder across my suddenly too sensitive skin and I shivered at the sensations. "You can look now, love."
I opened my eyes to see my entire genital area bare of hair. She'd depilatated me completely. It felt like a thousand new nerve endings all met at the juncture of my legs. "Wow, that feels . . . wow."
She chortled out loud and ran a gentle finger over the newly sensitive skin. I would have jumped a foot but she was sitting on my legs. "It gets better. Hold on to the rail and don't let go."
I kept my eyes open until she bent down to taste me and that first caress of warm tongue about sent me off. After that, I held onto the railing, shut my eyes and tried not to release too quickly. But not even thinking about duty rosters saved me from one of the most explosive climaxes I'd ever had. Her tongue should be declared a lethal weapon.
Secret weapon of the Fleet, Cassie's wicked tongue and oh so, clever fingers.
I shook to pieces but she put them all together again and I came back to find myself safe in her arms. "That was ... I don't know what to call that."
She chuckled. "Tomorrow night, you can depilatate me."
Just the thought of that would have aroused me again except I was too wrung out. "I promise to make it good for you, love."
"Just love me, Athena. That makes our lovemaking the best of all. Now go to sleep and dream of me." She cradled me and pulled up the blanket.
"Always love you, Cassie." I managed before falling asleep. "Always."
End of part 15