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Quiet Time

Posted on Wed May 19th, 2021 @ 9:37am by Lieutenant Commander Estella Stratton & Commander Jonathan Grayson

Mission: A Dark Looking Glass
Location: Jon's quarters
Timeline: After Aftermath

Jon puttered around his quarters, setting the table, getting the wine glasses out. Soft music playing in the background. He was still good and sore from his wound but was healing but that was secondary tonight. Tonight he wanted perfect. Essie was coming over for dinner and he had an important question to ask her. So everything had to be perfect.

He knew he had scared her with his latest trip to Sickbay especially after also being in Sickbay the previous two away missions and he never wanted that. Essie was his better half, she completed him made him whole.

Standing outside the door to Jon's quarters, Estella tucked a loose curl of blonde hair behind her ear and closed her eyes as she took a steadying breath. Her hand shook visibly when she chimed for admittance and the inside of her stomach felt as though someone had taken a pile of paper and scattered it about, sending pages fluttering to the ground.

Hearing the chime, Jon hurried to the door. Opening it he greeted Essie happily. "Essie!, Please come in, dinner isn't quite ready yet would you care for a glass of wine?" He stopped and looked at her, "Are you alright?"

A smile touched her lips when Jon opened the door to admit her in. "Yes, please." Her voice was soft, practically a whisper even as she nodded. "Of course, you just gave me quite the scare with that last mission, Jon."

He kissed her cheek as he led her over to the sofa. "I'm sorry Essie. I truly am. The last thing I want is to scare you." He replied quietly as he walked over to the table where the wine and glasses were. Pouring two glasses, he returned to Essie and handed her one. "Here you are Essie, it doesn't have the punch of Romulan ale but It's a lot smoother. I hope you like it."

Her hand rose to cup his face as he pressed a kiss to her cheek, which lowered to lace in his while he led her to the sofa. "No need for an apology, Jon. We both know the risks of each mission," she reassured him in a soothing tone. "Thank you." Hand extending, she took the stem of the wine glass between her thumb and index finger before raising it to her lips. There was a slight moment's faltering at his mentioning of Romulan ale, but after a pause, she took a sip. "Hmm, not bad."

"Happy you approve," Jon answered with a smile as he sat down next to her, placing his own wine glass on the coffee table in front of them. That done, he turned to face Essie, "Essie, I love you with every breath I take. I never want to cause you to worry or see you unhappy because of something I said or did."

Wine sampled and the taste still lingering on her lips, she set her glass down next to his. Her free hand moving to take his other hand into hers. Fingers lacing as the other had and she leaned in to press her forehead against his. "I love you too, Jon." A weak and somewhat teasing smile touched her mouth. "The only way you'd hurt me is by going out there and not coming back." Her voice soft, almost muted with the admission. He'd scared her. More so than she'd likely ever say.

Jon's forehead remained pressed to Essie's. He basked in her love. No words were spoken, none needed to be. He and Essie were soulmates. He loved her so much! Her goodness, her compassion, and caring. her quiet strength and of course the love she gave to him. He fervently wished he had the skill, the talent, the words to express how much he loved her and how important she was to him. that he would be lost without her being by his side. He gave a quick glance to the kitchen where a small velvet box, lay hidden in one of the cabinets. It contained a ring, a very special ring for a very special woman. The woman he loved with every fiber of his being.

He pulled back just a bit to look into her expressive eyes, "Essie Stratton, I love you." He said simply as he hugged her tightly.

Her eyes closed and she took in the quiet and the calm of the moment. No red alerts. No away mission. Just the two of them sitting alone enjoying one another's company, stealing moments here and there. Arms crawling up to drape over his shoulders, her fingers toyed with the hair right above the nape of his neck. Estella's blue eyes opening when he pulled back to meet her gaze with his darker ones. "I love you too, Jon." Her hands left his hair to cup his face. "I always have, and I always will."

He turned his head to kiss her hand, then her lips. His love for Essie was a burning fire. She was the best thing that had ever happened to him and he never wanted to lose her. He wanted her in his life forever. "Thank you for being you and being in my life. You are my better half, Essie. I would be lost without you." Before she could answer he kissed her again, closing his eyes and feeling her soft lips against his.

Almost instinctively, her lips parted under his. Jon was the dearest person to her heart. There wasn't anyone she loved, trusted, or respected more. She wanted to tell him that he was her rock, her very foundation, that he was her center, and what kept her grounded when things got to be rough, but the words were lost the moment his lips found hers.

Jon held the kiss. Savoring each precious second he had with Essie. Just drinking her and her goodness in. When the kiss broke, he leaned back and took her hand. "Get your wine glass and come into the kitchen, I'm cooking shrimp scampi with garlic toast." He told her plus it would get him closer to a certain little velvet box.

Shrimp scampi and garlic toast? Wine? Estella arched an eyebrow at Jon and gave him a pensive look. However, she made no comment just yet and grabbed her wine glass from the table to follow him into the kitchen. "Any reason in particular that you are making one of my favorites?" she mused.

"What? Oh no. I just know you like it, Essie." Jon smiled at her brilliantly but had the nagging thought that Essie knew just what was going on. "Now have a seat and dinner will be ready shortly." He promised as he waited until she had turned away and he quickly and deftly got the velvet box and shoved it into his pants pocket. Now just had to get the timing right.

Hand cupping the bowl of her wine glass, she swirled the contents and let an almost teasing smile creep to her lips. Was she suspicious? Maybe a little. The two of them hadn't had many minutes like these to truly be alone or talk, and in typical Jon fashion, he was going above and beyond. Raising her glass to her lips, she peered over her glass, smiling still, but said nothing as she took her seat at the table. After a few minutes, and a slow sip of her wine, she looked up at him. "You cooking like this reminds me of old times."

Jon turned from his preparations to face Essie, a knowing smile on his face and a twinkle of merriment in his eyes. "I know Essie and I'm hoping we can do more of this. We need this Essie, to just relax and unwind and have time to ourselves." The box in his pocket growing heavier with each passing moment. He reached for his wine glass and took a sip partially to quench his thirst and partially to quell his nervousness. Then he silently admonished himself, why should he be nervous? This was Essie! His best friend, lover, and confidant but he was as nervous as a boy on his first date, hoping to make a good impression and he just knew Essie could see it.

"Dinner is almost done, I hope you are hungry." He teased her.

A chuckle slipped from her lips. "We can from time to time, between missions?" she suggested, "Maybe even pick up some of our favorite books and sit together and read a chapter or two?" Realistically, time likely wouldn't allow them much of a chance for those things, but there was nothing wrong with entertaining the thought, was there? They'd lost so many of these kinds of moments due to hesitation and facing past fears. She'd already come real close to losing him more than once, and that was always a possibility with every mission. However long they had, she wasn't about to squander any more time and would cherish each and every moment. No matter how simple or silly it might be. "For your shrimp scampi? I'm famished."

He stood silently as Essie spoke and offered a suggestion of how to spend some together time. He knew with every beat of his heart, he wanted her by his side, Her love, her compassion made him a better man. He also knew he wanted to spend every second with her but that was impossible so the next best thing was to spend as much time as possible with her when the opportunities arose and to make the most of those opportunities. He smiled at her when she mentioned the shrimp scampi, "Glad to hear it, Essie. Take a seat, dinner will be served presently." As he turned back to the counter and prepared to plates of shrimp scampi and garlic toast. Returning to the table, he placed one in front of her. "Hope it's good." He teased.

"Have a surprise for dessert." He announced as he sat down.

What time they had between missions was special. The quiet moments they could steal alone, even more so, as they weren't many. They didn't really get much of an opportunity to truly talk much and they both had a lot to sort out, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Or maybe it was just her. Things had changed so much between them since her becoming a member of the crew on board the Washington. Everything they'd been through had really put a lot into perspective for her, and she didn't question the depth of her feelings for Jon. Fingers pinching her fork gently between them, she brought a forkful of their dinner up to her lips and took a bite. "Mmm, this is delicious," she said as she closed her eyes, allowing them to flutter open a few minutes later at the mention of dessert. "Oh?"

He grinned brilliantly at her, "Yes indeed." He told her but didn't offer any more information. he wanted Essie to wonder about it. His hand drifted to his pant pocket and felt the small box nestled inside it. He so wanted this to go smoothly, he just had to wait for the right moment.

Flashing big smiles now? He must have planned something extra special. As to what it was, she had no idea, but knowing Jon as she did, it was going to be wonderful. Why go to all the trouble though? This seemed a bit much for a simple dinner together. What was he up to? With the way he was tossing her boyish grins and vague answers, she couldn't help but shake her head and laugh. "Alright, what are you up to?"

He sighed and put down his silverware. he couldn't lie to lie her. Essie already suspected something was going on. He could however misdirect her. "He raised his arm and pointed "What' in the world!" As Essie turned her head he was up and at her side on bended knee. velvet box in his hand. He began talking. "Our lives together is a beautiful story in progress; there are many chapters yet unwritten and I want you by my side as we write these chapters together. I'm incomplete without you Essie. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I want the rest of my life to begin as soon as possible." He opened the box so she could see the diamond solitaire in an oval cut. "Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Misdirection. A classic move, but one that never failed. No sooner did Jon lift his arm to point, than did her curiosity get the best of her and she looked the other way only to find that he was down on bended knee when she turned her head back. Her lips parted and she was about to speak, but anything she might have said was lost as he spoke. Blinking, her eyes watered as she glanced between the man she loved and the velvet box laying open in his hand, revealing a single gold band with a gorgeous oval cut diamond. "Jon... I..." she breathed out and nodded as she held out a trembling hand. "Yes," she whispered and got up from her chair to wrap her arms around him to press a soft kiss to his lips. "Yes."

Jon smiled at her like she was the greatest Christmas present in the world which she was. He took her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. That done, he rose and kissed her gently on the lips. "I love you, Essie." As he hugged her tightly.

Her hand trembled as Jon slid the ring onto her finger and she looked at him through blurry eyes. Arms raising, Estella draped them about his neck to pull him close to her. As she released a breath, her fingers curled in the hair above the nape of his neck, and her eyes closed. "I love you too, Jon."

He continued to hug her, never wanting to let her go. peppering her lips and throat with soft kisses. Oh, how he loved her! Essie was his soulmate. They knew each other's moods and thoughts. Even when angry with another, they still talked. He had absolute trust in Essie. She was the one person who could always reach him when he got in one of his moods where he tried too hard and in his eyes failed. He looked at her and smiled. "I will love you until the end of time, Essie Stratton. I promise you." As he kissed her again.


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Comments (1)

By Captain Shran dh'Klar on Thu May 20th, 2021 @ 10:46am

Excellent work by both you, as always.