431: Quality Time

by Commander Salvek
Concurrent with Seeing the Light

-=Room 612 at the Inn=-

Salvek applied his ultraviolet protection with precision over the whole of his body, as he waited for Kellyn to change into her suit. Arie was already busy in the corner of their room at the Inn, inflating what she referred to as a "novelty plastic sphere"; better known as a beach ball.

He worked the cream up and down his arms and legs with classic Vulcan accuracy, applying a perfectly consistent film that would protect him during the family afternoon at the pool. He referred to the quick calculation he had run at the terminal in their room. The numbers took into account the UV protection of the cream, the anticipated UV exposure based on his knowledge of the Betazed sun, the exposed surface area of his body, and the exact amount of cream required to cover it in the thickness sufficient to provide protection over his anticipated time in the pool. It was a sloppy calculation in that he decided not to measure the exact chlorination level of the pool, which would effect the staying power of the cream. However, he was on vacation, and some things could be allowed to slide.

Satisfied that the application of protection was complete, he slipped on a white tank top to complement his blue swim trunks.

"Finally." A breathless Arie said from the corner, as she closed the plug on her beach ball. "Next time we come on vacation Osa-mekh we should be better prepared with a pump for inflation of the toys."

She tossed the ball across the room and Salvek caught it. "Please explain the rules of this sport." He asked.

Arie shrugged. "There are no rules, we just hit the ball back and forth to each other."

"How do we obtain points?"

"There's no points either Osa-mekh. It's not a sport, it's just fun."

Salvek tossed the ball up in the air and batted it gently towards Arie. She grunted as she balled her hand up into a fist and swatted the ball back at him as hard as she could. Her aim was off however, and the ball slammed into the table lamp. Salvek dove and intercepted its fall, a few inches from the floor.

"Perhaps the pool ball is best saved for the pool." He observed.

"How do I look?" Lair Kellyn now stood in the bathroom doorway, wearing a black single piece swimsuit with matching skirt that pooled around her legs above her knees.

"The suit's ability to accentuate your form is agreeable." Salvek said, glancing at her then away, not wanting to stare with Arie present.

"He means your look beautiful." Arie said, with roll of her eyes. "Go on, be mushy, you know you want to." Arie trotted into the bathroom and shut the door to allow them a moment alone.

"She doesn't miss anything anymore, does she?" Kellyn asked. Salvek elected to use the time Arie had granted them to kiss her, rather than reply to Kellyn's question.

As they pulled away, he looked at her, his face seemingly expressionless for a moment. "What?" She asked, her face breaking into a nervous smile.

"It is just that I only love you more with every passing year my wife. Every day together you become more a part of my life that I know I could never be without." She embraced him, making it clear her feeling were the same. The door to the bathroom opened and Arie came back out into the room, finding them holding each other. "Come on, you had your minute, now its pool time!" Kellyn laughed and swatted Arie playfully.

"He's my husband and I'll kiss him whenever I feel like it, young lady."

Arie skipped out of the room with her parents in tow, and lead the way directly to the outdoor pool, taking the shortest path possible. It was as if she had planned the route ahead of time. Probably because she had.

As soon as Arie saw the crystal blue water, an instinct inside her was triggered, and she bolted straight to the edge of the pool, and dove directly in with no regard for even checking the temperature. She disappeared under the water and reappeared a few moments later clear on the far side of the pool. She waved at her parents in the distance.

Salvek approached the edge more cautiously, and dipped a toe in the water. Satisfied the water was warm enough to avoid hypothermia, he walked down the zero entry ramp into the water. "It is comfortable my wife." Salvek swam to the edge where Kellyn stood. She sat down and dangled her feet in the water.

"I don't want to get my hair wet."

"I do not believe that is possible." Salvek replied.

He supported her as she slid off the edge into the water. Salvek held her, letting her float on his chest as he pushed away from the wall and carried them both towards the center of the pool. A moment later the beach ball landed with a plop in the water beside them, sending a spray of water into Kellyn's hair.

"Aww, hell." She said, rolling to the side away from Salvek, closing her eyes, and dunking herself under the water.

As she resurfaced, she heard the delightful squeal of a young female somewhere in the distance. The squeal grew louder, as Kellyn retrieved the ball, and sent it hurling through the air towards Arie. The girl looked up at the ball, but out of the corner of her eyes saw the child that the squeal was coming from. Arie turned to see another young girl zip down a small tube and fly out into the water. The color drained from Arie's face, and Kellyn tried to warn her to look out, but the ball came down and bounced right off the young girl's head. Arie, however, did not even budge.

"There's a SLIDE?"

"It appears Arie has experienced love at first site." Salvek noted.

She picked up the ball, sent it hurtling towards her father, and was gone up the stairs to the slide in and instant. A minute later they heard screams loud enough to wake the Katra of every lost soul on Vulcan as Arie flew out of the slide and into the water.

She swam over to the ball and served it up to her father, he swatted it back towards her. The warmth of the sun felt wonderful as they just forgot about everything for the time being, other than each other. There were no ships, no orders, no computers and no missions, just time spent together.

"I'm going on the slide again!" Arie declared after a while.

"I will join you." Salvek said.

"Wow, this is a moment that will reverberate through the corridors of Serendipity." Kellyn noted.

"I merely wish to inspect the safety of the slide, for Arie's sake." Salvek said.

"Oh," Kellyn said. "I can do that, and you can just relax here in the pool."

"That will not be necessary, but you are welcome to join us."

"Yeah, I didn't think you'd want me to stop you. I would join you but I'd much rather be here at the bottom for this." Kellyn said. She gave him a push underwater towards the stairs, where Arie waited patiently.

Kellyn watched as they disappeared up towards the slide top. Arie appeared first, of course, swimming to the side away from the exit. There was silence for a few moments, before a tangled mess of limbs and pointed ears appeared, splashing into the water. Salvek recovered and swam to join Arie and Kellyn.

"Well?" Kellyn asked. "Was it fun?"

Salvek gathered up Kellyn and Arie, and the three of them treaded water in the center of the pool. "The slide is safe." Salvek noted.

"But was it fun Osa-mekh?"

"The experience was, exhilarating. I have felt an increase in heart rate, associated with the instinctual response to moving at a high rate of speed without knowledge of where exactly you are going."

"And did you enjoy this?" Kellyn asked.

"I would not be opposed to experiencing it again." Salvek replied.

"Then let's go again!" Arie asked.

"In a few moments, Arie. You go ahead." Arie hurried up out of the water. Once she disappeared, Salvek drew Kellyn closer, leaning back to float on the water with her beside him. "Are you relaxed, my love?"

"More than ever," she replied. As they awaited Arie's return, they shared a kiss in the water.

Commander Salvek
Arie's father and Kellyn's husband
Currently on Betazed