It had been a long day for Admiral Rodney and he showed the signs of
strain on his face. The meetings had seemed to go on forever as was the
case when he was assigned to manage five rebelling planets rather than
guard an uneventful sector of space. He was tired, but more than that he
was hungry, and was filled with the hope that Htaere had waited before
having the droids serve dinner until his late arrival. He did not want
to eat reheated food. Not tonight.
The table had, in fact, been set, yet per Claudius' request, nothing
had been laid out yet. Htaere sat in front of a monitor, surfing through
the unending datastreams available. Occasionally she'd throw a glance
towards the droids, toiling in the kitchen with preparations before
shuffling back through the holovids that had her attentions transfixed.
The various news reels she poured over abounded from everywhere, ample
data that she'd never had the desire or need to seek out. At long last,
she sat back, closing all of the running media streams and sitting back
in her chair, waiting patiently as her eyes darted about for a
"I am home," Claudius said, stating the obvious. He moved deeper into
the living area and glanced nervously to the dining area. "I've not
missed dinner, have I?" he asked slowly as he moved towards Htaere. He
strode towards her slowly, bending at the waist to her as he leaned down
to place a soft kiss upon her cheek. "I missed you throughout the day,"
he sheepishly confessed to her.
"You have not missed dinner. We have waited for your return" she
answered. "How was your first day back?"
"Long. Tiring," Claudius stated plainly as he walked towards the
dining area to check on the progress. "Would it be all right if we ate
now?" he asked her, turning back to look at her. "I am quite famished,"
he admitted to her as he moved towards the head of the table.
"Of course. The children should be around" she said, getting up as
well and following him to the table. She called towards the droids to
bring the dinner, taking a seat opposite Claudius at the other end of
the table. "The meal and a long shower will relax you" she affirmed.
"Did I hear dinner?" Drusilla asked as she emerged from the
daughter's bedroom in quite the hurry. "I am absolutely starving," the
announced as she took her seat at the dinner table. "The food they serve
on this ship is dreadful," she commented as she waited to be served. "I
cannot wait until we are back on an actual planet with actual food..."
she continued, the complaints seemingly endless with this spoiled brat.
"Yummy" the cheerful voice of Ewwiekewwieikkie chirped as a bolt of
blue fur hurried across the living room and moved towards the dining
room. The young Squib would be happy with anything she was served, even
garbage. Taking a fork and knife into her hand she held them in
anticipation, her tongue hanging from her mouth as she waited for
Speechless, the dejected form of Jelena Rodney emerged from the same
room as Drusilla and Ewwiekewwieikkie, still wrapped in the same light
blanket that she had carried around most of the day. With a huff, she
seated herself at the table, without much of an appetite, with the
thought of starving herself to death lingering in the back of her mind.
The bulbous eyes of Pilaq Tohan immediately focused on young Jelena,
looking upon her with grave concern. "Are you unwell, Jelena," he asked
as he took his seat at the table. Claudius had been kind enough to
arrange for custom Ithorian furniture to accommodate his larger, complex
frame. "The recycled air on this vessel has never done anyone a lick of
good," his stereophonic voice continued. "The fresh of air of Esseles
will do wonders for everyone here," he explained, his large stomach
It was just then that the turbolift door opened, revealing Major
Kiley. She did not understand why the Admiral had invited her to dinner
tonight. It had been one of the worst days of her life and her mind was
still fresh with the crime she had committed. If she excused herself
from tonight, she knew that it would draw suspicion, and that was
something she could not afford right now. Making her situation more
difficult, her assigned seat at the table placed her directly across
from Jelena, and each time she looked at her she felt as if she would
vomit. "Sorry I'm late, Milord," she explained, a nervously trembling in
Htaere kept her eyes from Jelena as well, in fact she kept them down
for the most part. Occasionally she would glance around the table and
smile. The serving droids moved around everyone, serving the salad, the
soup, the glazed meats, steamed vegetables, rich sauces, fresh sweet
rolls and all the splendor of the higher end meal that was the
privileged of senior level office. "It is good of everyone to be here
for this meal" she stated, making idle chatter.
"Indeed, Htaere," Claudius said happily, agreeing with her sentiments
as he smiled across the table at her. "Who knows how often we will be
able to do this?" he commented as he looked over those assembled at the
table, smiling to each one. "Soon it will be time to marry off young
Jelena," he added as he smiled towards her. "If you ever remove yourself
from that blanket you would make quite the young man happy," he said as
he reached out his hand to attempt to tug it away.
"Oh good grief," Jelena said, exasperated as she sunk deeper into the
chair. She had yet to take even a bite of her meal and her father's jabs
were doing little to encourage her appetite.
"For shame Claudius. As I recall, there are two people at this table
that objected to being nudged towards marriage at the hands of others"
she chided, a light-hearted comment to be sure.
"True enough, my love," Claudius said as he stopped torturing his
eldest daughter for the time being. The food was delicious, but more
than that it was nourishing after a long day at a hard job. "Does this
mean you are not ready to be a grandmother?" he asked Htaere, a sly grin
curling upon his lips.
Jelena nearly choked on her glass of water, spitting it back into the
glass and coughing loudly at her father's latest comment.
Htaere blinked large grey eyes. "I should not think so" she answered
slowly. The thought was paralyzing, despite the fact that Hapans aged
exceptionally well. Htaere's grandmother had nary so much as a deep line
on her face.
"I did not see you today, Major," Claudius said, interjecting some
business at the dinner table. "Did you have a date?" he asked jokingly,
followed by a soft laugh at her expense.
Kerrie's hand shook, nearly knocking over her glass of water. She
looked to the Admiral and smiled politely at his direction. "Oh you know
me, Admiral," she said as she took a sip of her water. "Sometimes I get
so caught up in my work I lose track of the time," she explained as she
began to fill her mouth with food, looking for any excuse not to speak.
Htaere offered a soft smile to Kerrie, assuming her usual amount of
anxiety in the Admiral's presence was to blame. "It is good of you to
join us" she added, hoping the encouragement would put her at ease, if
only a little.
"It is my honor to be here, Milady," Kerrie said softly to her. This
was the only family she had, and in fact they were more of a family to
her than her biological family had ever been. That, more than anything,
was the reason she did what she did. The hand she used to pull the
trigger just would not stop shaking.
Doctor Tohan noticed Kerrie's involuntarily hand movement and grew
deeply concerned. He did not want to draw attention to it, so he said
nothing, instead making a note to speak with her about it later.
The Ithorian was not the only one. Htaere's eyes settled on Kerrie's
tremor before reminding herself that it was rude to stare. Her eyes
lifted to Kerrie's face to try and get a reading, offering a polite
smile if she'd been caught staring, and lowered her eyes back to her own
Jelena looked back at Kerrie, wondering what the woman wanted. She
was not aware that she was really a reptilian creature from a far off
world. To her, she was merely a glorified babysitter ... a babysitter
with a rifle. Still, it was the least of her problems at the moment.
"What about you, Drusilla?" Claudius inquired, smiling over towards
his youngest daughter. "When should we start planning your betrothal?"
he joked as he took a hearty bite of his meal. His youngest daughter
would be the far easier match, as the second born of the family she was
free to marry a member of almost any persuasion.
"I have already planned my wedding, father," the still-not-thirteen
Drusilla announced as she sampled just a dainty portion of her meal. "It
will be quite lavish of course and put yours to shame. Whomever I marry
I assure you he will be quite rich..." she continued to ramble to no
one's amusement. "A Prince perhaps... or even a King..." she continued,
verbalizing her delusions of grandeur.
"Such aspirations. Why is a child your age already anticipating her
wedding? You do not consider such lofty preoccupations to be unnecessary
at your age?" Htaere looked at the youngest quizzically.
"I want to be a Princess," Drusilla explained matter-a-factly to
Htaere, speaking the words as if it were common place. "Since
grandfather is only a Duke the only way I can become a Princess is by
marriage," she explained to her, quite confused herself at what she was
finding so hard to explain. "It's really quite simple," she said as she
took another small bite of food.
"Major Kiley," Claudius said in a tone of voice that was quite
obviously meant to be humorous. "Begin contacting Princes at once.
Preferably Human, but at least Humanoid," he added, unable to keep a
straight face and beginning to laugh.
"I will do so at once, Milord," Kerrie snapped back in quick military
precision. She was far too distracted by what had happened earlier to
find anything anyone said even the slightest bit funny.
Htaere's gaze again shifted to Kerrie as the conversation drifted
back towards her. She finished what was on her plate, even the act of
eating dinner was as perfectly choreographed as a dance. Sitting back
slightly she ventured another glance across the table to gauge the crowd
this evening. It seemed absorption and anxiety were widespread across
"I was joking, Major," Claudius said as he rolled his eyes at her
playfully. "You really need to loosen up," he added as he finished the
last of his meal. He considered reaching onto Jelena's plate and
scooping up some of the food she had not touched, but assumed it would
only further agitate her.
"Oh. Of course, Milord," Kerrie stated, shifting uncomfortably in the
chair as she also finished her meal. She had hoped she would be excused
soon, rather than later.
As the droids began clearing the plates of those who were done, there
was an offer for dessert, the pastries and cakes set on the table as
well. Htaere opted to pass, instead nudging her chair back. She set her
napkin wide open on her lap and plucked a few select fruits and
vegetables into it, folding it up and putting it to the side.
It was then that the turbolift door opened, heralding the unexpected
arrival of Lieutenant Allegra Ames. As she walked through the
Admiral's living area she was horrified to see that the family was
sitting down to dinner. This was most assuredly not the impression she
had wished to make, but she was following orders. "I apologize for the
intrusion, Milord," she uttered meekly, not setting foot in the dining
room. "Captain Anson has ordered me to report to you at once to deliver
a private message," she explained, taking several steps back.
Claudius listened to the Lieutenant and nodded his head, and then
looked disappointedly towards his family. "It will just be a moment. I'm
sorry," he said, not just to Htaere, but to everyone as he moved swiftly
The nauseous feeling Kerrie had experienced all day seemed to come to
a head when Allegra arrived. She knew why she was there. It would only
be a matter of time, but she did not lose her composure, instead helping
herself to a tart as she continued to make an excuse to be there. She
planned to eavesdrop on their conversation.
To Htaere it could have been anything. She simply carried on with
whatever polite conversation existed at the table, occasionally
selecting another piece of produce to tuck away for her pet.
"All right, Lieutenant," Claudius said quietly as he stood
directly in front of Allegra, throwing an occasional glance back towards
the dinner party, with a reassuring smile.
"Sir," Allegra began in a near whisper, not wanting to interrupt
anyone's dinner. "Major Traebor has reported that one of her junior
officers was not present at the shift change. Captain Anson has begun
conducting a ship-wide search, but as of yet we have been unable to turn
up anything," she explained grimly. "Because the man was an Intelligence
officer with access to certain classified materials," she continued in
the same hushed tone, "the Captain felt I should alert you immediately."
Jelena sighed as she watched yet another meal be interrupted by work.
"All he does is work," she bemoaned to no one in particular, shifting in
the chair dejectedly as she looked towards him.
"Your father works very hard at keeping you safe, Milady," Kerrie
said to Jelena in a serious tone. "Not just you," she continued, "but
the millions of people he is tasked with safeguarding." The emotions she
felt were genuine and she had hoped to change Jelena's opinion. "It is a
burden and it would be easier for him to bare if he had the support of
his family," she added, quite clearly crossing the line with that
"You know, perhaps if it is some quality time for just the two of
you, you could approach him on it. I am certain he would alleviate time
in his schedule at your request. It would mean very much to him" she
offered in a very quiet voice, nodding with encouragement.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Jelena shot back angrily at Kerrie.
The blanket fell from her body as she sat up right in the chair, looking
across the table at her with fire in her eyes. "He's my father," she
said bluntly, "Not yours."
"Very well, Lieutenant," Claudius said with a nod of his head.
"Do not take any chances. Seal off the hangar bay. Allow no craft on our
off the Warspite until further notice." He turned as he heard the
tone of voice change in the dining room. "If you'll excuse me..." he
said to Allegra, looking past her as he moved back towards the dining
"At once, Milord," Allegra responded with a sharp nod before she
moved back towards the turbolift to inform the Captain of the Admiral's
orders. They had not yet returned to the combat zone, yet already things
seemed to be heating up.
"I never said that he was..." Kerrie said sadly, deeply wounded by
Jelena's statement. In truth she had come to think of Claudius as a
surrogate father, and Jelena as a surrogate sister, but she had
certainly never voiced such thoughts. She would protect Jelena with her
life ... and she very nearly had, but she would never tell her. "I just
meant that you should appreciate what he does," she continued, a but
flummoxed, as she looked towards Htaere. "Htaere is right. You should
try and spend some private time with your father," she continued, her
voice wavering a bit. "I wish that I could have spent more time with
mine," she concluded sadly, struggling to take a sip of her water.
Htaere joined the front line in Kerrie's defense. "Jelena, the major
meant no offense. You are privileged in that there is very little that
you do not have or do not have the means to obtain. Major Kiley is
simply suggesting that some humility and gratitude may be in order."
"Ladies," Claudius said in a concerned voice as he re-entered the
room, finding it a much more chaotic state than when he left it. "What
is going on here?" He should have expected such an event with this much
unchecked estrogen in the room. He sighed and placed his hands upon
Jelena's shoulders affectionately as he stood behind her chair.
"Nothing," Jelena sighed, covering for Kerrie as she looked up at her
father and offered a false smile. "Nothing at all. We were just
discussing me and you maybe spending time together is all," she said,
telling a half-truth as she looked up at him. He was her father after
all, and she did love him very deeply.
Kerrie said nothing, choosing not to make it into something larger
than it really was. After all, it was she that was out of place and the
Admiral would most assuredly side with his flesh and blood at her
With the mood in shambles, Htaere got to her feet. "For the sake of
keeping peace at the supper table, perhaps I shall take a stroll about
and keep a promise" she smiled artificially, taking up the napkin full
of produce for the guarlara. Her eyes moved to Kerrie, offering the poor
soul a bailout. "If you are finished, I would enjoy the company if you
would like to come."
Kerrie had been waiting for just such an excuse to move away from the
table and her face lit up with a glowing smile at the prospect of time
alone with Htaere. "Yes. Of course, Milady," she said as she stood from
the table and walked towards Htaere.
"That sounds like a lovely idea," Claudius said in a relieved tone.
The idea of Htaere roaming the ship alone with an officer missing was
not one that sat right with him, so knowing that Major Kiley would be
close reassured him considerably.
Htaere was eager as well, having seen little of her, even before the
vacation she and Claudius took. As the door slid shut behind them, she
exhaled audibly, a wave of noticeable relaxation moving over her with
the evening's tensions separated by a pneumatically sealed door. She
walked quietly for a few steps before breaking the silence ruefully. "I
hope you did not allow that to offend you" she said at last. "The Rodney
children are cold as ice to outsiders." She thought on it for a moment
before adding. "They are somewhat ungrateful and mindless of the
sacrifices that are made in the name of their comfort and luxury."
"I would not go quite that far, Milady," Kerrie said to her with a
kind smile as they moved up the lift. "Ewwiekewwieikkie is not all bad,"
she said uttering a small laugh. She felt immediately at ease when with
Htaere and she missed the time they spent together. It was her hope that
the busier the Admiral became, the more time they would be able to spend
"Excluding poor Ewwie was a given" Htaere replied with a tired smile
of her own. The smile was short lived to say the least. It melted away
to reveal the brooding confusion that had haunted her all day. "May I
ask you something in the strictest confidence?"
"Of course, Milady," Kerrie replied in a quieter tone, moving closer
towards her. "Anything you tell me will be kept with utmost secrecy,"
she said to her in a hushed tone as the lift arrived on the deck where
the Guarlara was kept. The barnyard scent that permeated throughout this
level was something that she just could not get used to no matter how
much she tried.
"What is the rebellion's 'idea?' " she asked curiously, her voice
mere decibels above a whisper.
Ironically, Kerrie of all people should be serving the Rebellion. Her
people are kept as prisoners on their own world, quarantined as if they
would spread some disease. This was done simply because they were
'different' and the Emperor had no place for anything 'different' that
did not benefit him. "I..." she began, stammering over the words. It was
a question she was not expecting, and one she was not sure she had an
answer to. "They are terrorists, Milady," she explained very bluntly.
"They have already tried to murder you not once, but twice," she was
quick to remind her, referring to both the attack in the market and the
bombing of the shuttle.
Htaere's mouth opened as she began to speak, but thought the better
of it. At a loss for a "proper" response, she simply said nothing,
steering the conversation into a different direction. "So are you
looking forward to returning to Esseles?"
"Please don't..." Kerrie said, breaking all protocol. For the first
time since they had met she failed to utter her standard 'milady' at the
end of her statement as she turned to her. "Please don't change the
subject on me. Say what you want to say. I will listen," she pleased
with her now, her words coming out faster than she normally spoke.
Htaere was taken back by Kerrie's gumption. When she recovered from
the surprise, she seemed to take on a grave expression. "I...I do not
know if I can" she admitted quietly, eyes drifting off towards the
Kerrie's lip began to quiver and she looked as if she was going to
cry as she turned around slightly. "If you do not trust me I should ask
for a reassignment..." she admitted, dejectedly. It had been a long day
and she felt as if her heart was breaking at Htaere's lack of confidence
"It is not a trust issue Kerrie. It is that I do not know how or
where to start. I also do not want to put you at risk for a conflict of
interests" she began. She started to speak again, stopped, let it go for
a moment, then added "I have confusions."
"Like most things in life, Milady," Kerrie said, returning to her
customary form as she turned to her, attempting to regain her composure.
"...it is easiest to start at the beginning," she continued as she
extended a hand towards Htaere's shoulder.
"Is it true that the things you and Claudius tell me
are...false...or one-sided...or inaccurate? Missing details?"
"Uh..." Kerrie murmured as she listened to Htaere's question. She did
not expect this and she trembled. It took a moment, but she finally
decided that she would not lie to Htaere. "It is true that we spare you
some of the unpleasant details, Milady," she confessed to her with some
reluctance. "...but not because we do not trust you, nor because we
think you cannot handle it," she added quickly as she tried to reason it
out, not just to Htaere, but also to herself. "It is a war, Milady," she
said simply, as if that justified everything.
"How do you know you are on the right side?" she asked plainly,
blinking large insatiable eyes.
Kerrie paused staring back at Htaere with a blank expression as she
processed the question. She had never been asked it before, nor had she
asked it of herself. "The Empire is not perfect, milady," she admitted,
never breaking eye contact as she spoke, believing strongly in what she
was saying. "It is made up of imperfect beings. Some good. Some bad,"
she spoke very earnestly, her voice very calm and gentle, "...but I know
in every fiber of my being that your husband is a good man." Finally the
eye contact broke and she looked down, reflecting on her life, "I only
wish I could say the same thing of myself."
"I know that you are a good person" she answered. "And I know that he
is." She mulled over what she was going to say. "Do...do you think it is
possible that he tries to convince himself of things as well that he
knows may be exaggerations or inaccuracies?"
Kerrie hoped to whatever higher power there was in the universe that
no one had established any sort of monitoring devices in here or should
we find herself having to perpetrate a massacre to cover this
conversation up. "It is war, Milady," she again repeated as if that
would explain it all away. "There are things we all do to convince
ourselves what we do is right so that we survive it," she said, doing
her best to explain how the mind of a combatant worked.
Htaere's gaze lingered on Kerrie's face. She nodded absently, but it
was a trained reaction. "Yes, of course..." she agreed.
Kerrie's trigger hand shook as her mind lingered on what she had
done, the conversation with Htaere bringing it to the forefront. "We all
do things we regret, Milady," she admitted, turning slightly to avoid
having to look at her. "...but they're done to keep the ones we love and
care about safe," she added, as she slowly turned around to face her
with renewed determination. "...and that is why we do not tell you
everything, Milady," she said confidently as she looked at her directly
in the eyes, "You are one of the innocents. One of the true pure souls
in this galaxy and if we let this war taint you, corrupt you ... then we
have done it all for nothing."
Pure soul? Htaere repeated the term in her head. To most, that
"purity" was her candor, the veil of delusion she lived behind, safe and
sound and heavily protected. "I...am grateful for the preservation" she
conceded. For a while it was quiet again. Htaere's grey eyes gleamed
beyond the ports to the stars beyond, millions of light years away for a
handful of moments. She looked back to Kerrie, paling a little bit.
"I...have something to tell you."
"Yes, Milady?" Kerrie asked as she hoped that the mood would lessen
somewhat. It felt as if the conversations she had with Htaere were
taking years off her life.
Htaere's eyes panned the immediate area for anyone within earshot.
"You must speak of this to no one. Especially Claudius" she said rather
"Feat not, Milady," Kerrie said as she took another step towards
Htaere, her voice once again growing quiet. "I will speak of this with
no one," she explained as she waited for her response.
Htaere leaned close to Kerrie's ear, her own voice a bit shaky, her
body trembling at the surge of nerves. Htaere had not yet decided if
this was good or bad, and thus for now would remain a guarded secret. "I
am with child" she whispered gravely, her normally fair features near
white as she still struggled with the idea.
Kerrie was floored. This had been perhaps one of the most dramatic
days of her life and it seemed the biggest development was left for
last. She took a step backwards, feeling a bit feint, unable to
immediately process all of the information at once. For an instant her
face flashed to that of her natural Clawdite state as she tried to cope
with it all. "That is..." was all she could manage.
Perhaps there should have been mirth, but there was not. Htaere's
expression was despondent, embattled with a turmoil that encompassed all
the sentiment conjured by the current events, as well as fear and
uncertainty. At Kerrie's recoil, she withdrew a step as well, fully
expecting the same dejection and contempt from Claudius. She managed a
crestfallen grin but it was fleeting. "I...have to feed..." she let it
trail off, turning away from Kerrie in shame and making a hasty retreat
towards the stall at the far end of the bay to hide.
"No... No..." Kerrie said as she moved towards Htaere, extending her
arms wide as she embraced her lovingly in a hug. "I am just surprised
given the Admiral's age," she confessed with a feminine giggle as she
continued the hug. "I just hope for your sake it is not a daughter," she
said with another laugh as she began to appreciate the situation. "The
Rodney daughters do not set a good precedent," she elaborated.
Htaere did not follow suite with the good humor. "It
is...unexpected" she granted. "It does not seem like a good time to
make such an announcement. There is much going on."
Kerrie pulled away from the hug and moved her face in front of
Htaere's, a warm and loving smile unflinching on her face. "This is a
blessing, Milady," she explained as her arms moved to each of her sides.
"Things like this happen for a reason and I believe you shall make an
excellent mother," she stated confidently.
The Hapan heiress's mouth lifted at one corner into a half grin.
"Thank you" she mouthed the words silently.
"...but I do hope that it is a boy," Kerrie added once again with a
soft giggle, unable to help herself. She was relieved for once to have
some good news.
"Perhaps" she replied. She pulled her thoughts from whatever distant
horizon they'd been lost on and looked Kerrie in the face. "I hope I
have not kept you from other obligations."
"My obligation, first and foremost, is to you, Milady," Kerrie
informed her with a kind smile, taking pride in each of the words she
spoke. Her hand move from Htaere's side, running across her stomach for
just a moment as she again considered the news.
For the first time, Htaere's smile was genuine, yet when it came to
words she seemed at a loss. Her eyes seemed to glisten ever so slightly.
Perhaps the makings of tears but the hidden iron will of the woman kept
them from materializing. "I know Claudius worries, but I do not intend
to keep you out to baby-sit me while I muck about with the guarlara."
"I took an oath to protect you, Milady," Kerrie said genuinely as she
stood proud before her. "I go where you go," she continued, her voice
deathly serious, "There are no exceptions."
Something akin to an exhausted chuckle escaped Htaere's perfect lips
as she shuffled towards the stall. "I promise not to be long. If you are
half as tired as I am, then you are ready to retire." Her pet detected
their approach, massive arched face appearing in anticipation. Htaere
unwrapped the selected morsels she'd liberated from dinner, offering
them one by one to the large ruminant.
Kerrie moved to brace herself against the wall, watching in earnest
as Htaere tended to the Guarlara. "It is no bother to me, Milady," she
stated sincerely, watching her each movement intently. "I do hope,
however, that I never have to watch the Admiral feed his Worrt," she
confessed in another playful joke.
Htaere finished with the treats, stroking the animal's neck before
turning. "It certainly is an odd creature" she agreed. When she was
done, she turned to face Kerrie. "Shall we depart?"
"Of course, Milady," Kerrie said as she began to move towards the
turbolift, opening the door for Htaere and stepping inside. Once they
were secure she activated the controls that would return them to her
By the time they reached the door, Htaere was grateful to call it a
day. She smiled back to her friend serenely and bent slightly at the
waist in a reverent bow to her closest confidant and caretaker. "I am
going to retire for the evening. Good night Major."
Out of the corner of her eye Kerrie spotted Jelena fast asleep on the
chaise lounge, the blanket no longer covering her. "Just a moment,
Milady," she said softly as she crept towards Jelena. Careful not to
disturb her she positioned the blanket over her, comforting the young
girl. She knew just how could it could get in space. "Don't be so hard
on her, Htaere," she said, using the first name very seldom, "Afterall
she is young." With that, she excused herself and stepped back into the
turbolift to see if she might be able to find rest as well.
Htaere looked after Kerrie as she disappeared beyond the closing
door. With that, she sighed, turning to the bedroom for a nice long
shower. When she was done, she slipped into a sateen nightgown and
climbed into the large bed, staring off at the wall and losing herself