DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and is copyright (c) 2001 by Djinn. This story is Rated R-no one under 17.

Dark Corners

by Djinn

Jean Luc Picard studied the woman who lay next to him. She never failed to fascinate him. But now, after sex, she seemed to glow from within. "So."

She smiled. A mysterious expression he loved to watch. "So."

"Here we are again."

"Here we are."

She shifted a bit, moved away.

"Don't," he whispered.

"Jean-Luc," she chided.

"I know." His hand reached out, touched her smooth skin, her breasts, moved lower.

"There isn't time."

"Yes there is," he argued as he bent to kiss her.

She resisted for a moment, then her lips softened against his, even as her arms pulled him in more tightly.

He lost himself inside her. Reveling in the sensations she was capable of making him feel. He saw her face, knew he was affecting her just as deeply. She tried to keep her cries quiet. That only excited him more. It was over too soon. As always.

"Can't get enough of you," he murmured.

"Not for lack of trying," she teased, as she allowed her body to curl against his.

He wanted to hold her against him forever.

She shifted once more. "I should go."

"Don't."

"I have to. I can't stay too long. It's risky."

"I'll risk it."

"I know. It's what scares me. I don't like it. And I do." Her eyes grew sad. She leaned over, kissed him gently. "It's why I love you."

His breath caught. She hadn't said it before. Not even in reply to his own endearments. She loved him. He was about to reach for her when the door chimed.

"Damn." His voice was harsh. He looked at her in concern.

"Answer it. I'm fine here."

"I'll be right back."

She nodded easily, but her eyes were hooded.

Too many secrets, he thought.

The door chimed again as he neared it. He belted his robe and fixed a smile on his face before answering. When he saw who it was, the smile grew more genuine.

"Beverly. What can I do for you?"

She held up a bottle of champagne. "I liberated this from the reception. Thought you might like to share it?" She took in his state of undress. "Or maybe not. You look really tired. Are you coming down with something?"

"No. I'm fine. It's just been a long week." He had not moved from his place in front of the door. He saw her look into the room behind him. He prayed there was nothing to see. "I'll take a rain check on the champagne, if you don't mind?"

She pretended to pout. "You're getting old. Or maybe you're not old enough. I think I'll go find Guinan. That's one old woman that knows how to party."

"I believe she went off with that Telsoran diplomat. Didn't you see the way they were eyeing each other?" He laughed.

She chuckled. "He did seem to be smitten. I wonder how much fun she actually does have? We know so little about her really, even after all this time."

"Yes, she is quite the mystery."

Beverly leaned in, a wicked expression on her face. "Do you think she's good? I mean, in bed?"

He felt himself blush. Hated that after all these years he still did that. "I'm sure I wouldn't know."

She smiled at him ruefully. "I'm sure you wouldn't, Jean-Luc."

He mustered what dignity he could. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Sleep well."

The door closed. He stood for a moment, then punched in the lock code.

"So. Am I good?" a deeper and less gentle voice sounded behind him. He felt a shiver as Guinan's breath touched his neck. He didn't answer. Waited for the reaction. Was not disappointed.

"I asked you a question." Harsh, strong hands spun him around. Guinan's face stared at him. Her features on a male face. Her skin on a male body. The change had come.

Beverly's voice echoed in his mind, "We know so little about her."

He didn't resist as his lover roughly pushed him down. Only answered, "Oh god, yes," before he turned to pleasuring him, and being pleasured. It was over too soon. As always.

Hours later, he woke in his bed to find Guinan had changed again. Her voice was again peaceful and smoothly feminine. "So." She smiled mysteriously.

"So," he answered, fighting exhaustion.

"Here we are again."

"Mmmm," he pulled her in close. "Here we are."

She tried to pull away.

"Don't," he whispered.

"Jean-Luc," she scolded.

"Just sleep, love."

"Can't keep doing this," she said, even as she settled in next to him.

"No. Mustn't. Not ever."

She said nothing.

He knew she'd be back again soon.

FIN