Author:   Micaela
Series:  TNG
Part:  NEW 1/1
Rating:  R
Codes:   R/f, T, Short Story
Disclaimer:  Paramount owns it all except my story.
Summary:  Will has an erotic encounter with a mysterious stranger.  Will this be the one to take him away from his Imzadi?  But just who is playing the game?    The setting takes place AFTER First Contact.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
masquerade   Masquerade   masquerade
by Micaela


Janerios III hung in the blackness of space as a fitting backdrop for the final events of the day.  Governor Hermoso and Captain Jean-Luc Picard were relaxing in the Enterprises ready room, cleaning up the final details for the planets induction into the United Federation of Planets.  The planetwide celebrations which began after the afternoon’s formal ceremonies were well underway.  Captain Picard pushed the final PADD over to the governor.

"All that is left Governor, is your acceptance here."  Captain Picard indicated the proper place on the PADD.

The Governor placed his thumbprint in the area designated and “signed” the final document with his electronic seal.  "That’s it.  Congratulations, Janerios III is now an official member of the United Federation of Planets with all rights, privileges and obligations . Welcome!"

Governor Hermoso shook Picard's hand firmly as he spoke in a deep resonant voice.  "Now we would like to extend an invitation to you and your entire crew to join us in a great Carnivale celebration to honoring this momentous occasion.  The festivities are well underway but the Governors Ball is scheduled to  begin this evening at 2000 hours.  I’ll have my office send up the beam-down coordinates for the Ball as well as admittance invitations and customary dress information.  It should be a grand evening."

Jean-Luc smiled longingly.  It had been quite a while since he and his officers had had an opportunity for recreation.  Since their travel back in time to fight the Borg, StarFleet had kept them all very busy.  Too busy to keep functioning at peak performance.  They deserved a little fun and he decided to extend this particular mission just a couple of days.

Janerios III’s induction into the UFP was, a simple process compared to other planets.  A space faring race of open and friendly people lead by a small government who’s basic tenants were cordial and peaceable cooperation and trade.  The planet itself was almost Paradisiacal - tropical rainforests and lovely mountain ranges.  This was an invitation that Jean-Luc could not refuse.

"Governor, we would be honored to accept your kind invitation.  I look forward to it."

"Good! We will meet later and you shall be my special honored guest.  Thank you once more for you making this day even memorable."

"My pleasure, sir.  Until this evening."

Picard stood before his gathered senior staff and department heads watching their delight in when he told them of the Carnivale.  "It seems that we are in for quite a party.  Carnivale here is a planet wide holiday patterned after similar celebrations in Europe and South America of 19th and 20th century earth.  For those of you who have decided accept an invitation to the Governor’s Masquerade Ball be aware that all attendees be required to be in full costume of the period.  Mr. Data, has compiled a brief history, customs and dress such festivities    It should be quite interesting and I expect everyone to enjoy themselves fully."

He gave them all the rendezvous coordinates and the time, then dismissed the meeting.

Will turned to Beverly, "I wish this could have happened a couple of days from now."

"I know.  It sounds like something that Deanna would have really enjoyed."

"Enjoy?” Will sputtered,  “She would absolutely LOVE it, Bev.  The costumes, the ball.  Especially the planet.  It is a lot like Betazed."

Beverly giggled.  "That may be true, but after spending two weeks at home with her mother, she may not want to be reminded of Betazed."

Will's eyes danced with laughter.  "Still, I hate that she will miss this.  Unfortunately she isn't due back until later tomorrow."

"Maybe her shuttle will get here sooner.  You never know."

"True, but doubtful.  It is quite a ways from Betazed."

They left the conference lounge with their heads full of ideas for the evening.

Will Riker was assaulted by the noise and music of a party in full swing as he shimmered into existence on the receiving pad.  He was a dashing sight as a blue masked pirate, a mask that only accentuated his dazzling sapphire eyes.  Out of habit, he quickly scanned the crowd picking out an auburn haired beauty in an emerald green gown and white feather mask from the Napoleonic era.  //The good doctor is certainly showing off  her assets in that costume// he thought inwardly.  //And you, you Musketeer -- Jean-Luc you should not hover, you will give yourself away!//  Even with their faces covered he could pick out those familiar to him.

Collecting a drink from a passing server, Will made his to the buffet table and began partaking of some of the tasty morsels wondering why he was here.  He leaned back against one of the gaily decorated trees illuminated with hundreds of tiny lamps and gazed upon the night sky and the wistful beauty of the planets twin full moons.

Without knowing why,  his attention was pulled back to the here and present. Puzzled he looked about.  As he swept across the dance floor he stopped when he reached her.  A woman, no doubt a local,  obviously watching him smiled seductively as their eyes locked.  She was stunning he had to admit.  As she moved gracefully toward him, he drank in her perfect form.  She wore a very tight, very revealing costume of red satin and sheer fleshtone mesh sprinkled with crystals.   She had long light brown hair streaked with gold.   As she neared him, he could see those deep green eyes that were a hallmark of the Janerian race.  Her large eyes, however,  were an even deeper shade of green and tilted upward at the corners.  He could see the fringe of golden lashes framing those mesmerizing eyes.  A red satin mask hid the upper portion of her face, but accented the full red lips of her tantalizing mouth.    Her dress was cut low in the front revealing the creamy swell of ample cleavage and was slit high on the hips showing shapely golden brown legs.  Red stiletto heels punctuated her long limbs.  Will noticed something unique circling her lovely throat.  A butterfly consisting of emeralds and diamonds was strung from an invisible cord around her neck.  It glittered in the moonlight when she moved even slightly.  The gemstone magnified the color of her eyes.  Will Riker was entranced.

The siren , however, did not utter a word.  She simply held out her hand to Will and gestured that he join her on the dance floor.  He had no choice but to follow this beauty.  It was as if she had cast a spell over him.  They danced together silently through a number of songs. Each time he tried to speak or ask her name, she simply put her finger to his lips.  //So, she wants to play a game?  I can do that//  Will thought to himself.  It had been quite a while since he had been with a woman 'just for fun'.  She seemed willing and attracted to him, so ... //why the hell not?//.  It wasn't as if he had anything to hold him back.  Of course, there was always Deanna.  But ever since her tryst with Worf, things had been strained between them.  He knew that she was ready for family life.  Maybe he was, too, but she had made no indication that she wanted a family life with him.  Things had continued between them just like they had been for years now. Will sighed at the thought of Deanna.

He was promptly brought back to the present as a Latin number began.  He started to protest because this was not his style of dancing, but the mystery woman would have none of it.  She wrapped a long leg around his hips and began to gyrate in a very sensual manner.  Before long, he was moving to the beat in a similar fashion.  The floor began to clear as the other dancers stopped to watch the moves of the couple now in center stage. As the driving, sensual music died away, he blushed from both the applause and the fever burning inside him. Will had to admit that was the most erotic moment he had ever experienced while still clothed.

He took his Janerian for a walk to cool down.  Still no words were exchanged.  He decided to play along with her apparent desire for secrecy. It was tantalizing and sexy.  They stopped in a densely wooded area for a moment.  She seized the opportunity and in a smooth, continuous motion, she enveloped him.  She devoured his lips and mouth as she searched hungrily for his tongue.  Her hands explored her willing captive as Will felt his passion rise.  He halted her for a moment and looked deeply into her emerald eyes. He asked quietly, "Would you like to return to my quarters?"  He saw a fire of affirmation in her glowing eyes and sensual desire in her smile.

He tapped his communicator <<Riker to Enterprise ... two to beam directly to my quarters>>.


It was one of the most unusual encounters Will Riker had ever experienced. The silence was not unusual in of itself.  There had been several times when no words were spoken between Deanna and himself during intimacy.  But the difference there being the presence of her in his mind.  This was unique.  The temptress allowed him to slowly remove all of her clothing EXCEPT for the mask and the necklace.  When he tried, she took his hand away and shook her head 'no'.  This was disconcerting to Will because he preferred to give all of himself when he was with a woman.  But this was her game, and he would play along. He would be a fool to let this slip away on such a technicality.

It was also one of the most physically fulfilling nights of his life.  This creature knew every place he loved to be touched.  She knew how to forceful and when to be gentle.  She was an aggressive lover, but was also very responsive to his ministrations as well.  One particular moment would forever be etched into his memory - when she lay atop him with that signature butterfly caressing the hollow of her throat as she tossed her head back in pure pleasure.  This was a woman that the old William Riker would have given his soul for.  But he wasn't the same as he used to be.  Physical gratification alone just wasn't enough anymore.  On the one hand there was something so sexy and mysterious about her.  But at the same time, something was lacking.  When they had finally spent themselves (after several hours!), he fell asleep determined to reveal the mystery the next morning.  Maybe she would be someone he could build a future with.  //Until morning ...//


When Will awoke, his lady was gone.  She had left a message for him on his computer screen.  It read, "Thanks for a beautiful night.  You will forever be in my memory.  Love, Butterfly"
"DAMN!" Will exclaimed. That sounded so final.  He did not even know her name.  He contacted the transportation chief for more information.  He was told that the lady he beamed aboard with the evening prior, had beamed back down to the original coordinates of the festival at 0400 hours.  //And we will be leaving orbit in just two hours.  How am I going to find her?//

Will stared out of the viewport as the ship broke orbit leaving the planet of his  mystery woman behind.  He had such conflicting emotions inside of him. This woman was simply amazing.  She had been so in tune with him during intimacy.  And GODS! was she beautiful.  But then his mind and heart kept coming back to Counselor Troi.  They were IMZADI.  A part of him would always belong to her.  She was his soulmate.  It was because of her that he had come so far in relationships.  She had taught him how to connect on a spiritual level as well as physical.  Maybe that was what was missing last night.

He met Deanna in Shuttlebay Two as she landed from her trip to Betazed. They hugged each other fiercely, but she could sense his dark mood.  "Do we need to talk, Commander?"

Will shrugged.  "It can wait."

Deanna would not hear of it. "No, Will.  I have some time.  Besides, I could REALLY use one of Guinan's chocolate sodas."

Will signaled for the ensign to take Counselor Troi's baggage to her quarters as they headed out the door for Ten-Forward.

They sat at their usual table as Will filled her in on the events of the preceding day including his involvement with the mystery woman.  She listened intently to his dilemma.

"I don't know, Deanna.  Maybe I shouldn't have even mentioned it to you.  God knows I don't want to hurt you ever again."

She put her hand on his.  "Nonsense, Will.  We have always been the best of friends despite everything else.  Haven't we always confided our troubles to each other?  The only way I would be hurt is if you no longer felt that you could come to me."

He smiled at her as he grasped her hand ever more tightly.   "It is just that ... I don't know.  Something is missing in my life.  Maybe I'm having a mid-life crisis."

She laughed softly.  Her smile was so beautiful as it radiated such warmth.

"Commander, you are simply maturing.  It happens to the best of us."

He let his head fall downcast as he raked his hand through his hair.

Deanna continued, "Besides, there is nothing to worry about.  I have always believed that if two people are
meant to be together, destiny will find a way.  If your mystery lady is THE one for you, you will see her again."

Will's mood took on a more serious note.  He looked at Deanna intensely.  "And what if she isn't the one?"

She pulled her hand from his as she glanced at her wrist chronometer. "I really need to get my things unpacked, Will.  Can we continue this over dinner tonight?"

He kissed her hand lightly, "Of course, Counselor.  My quarters ... 1900 hours?"

"I'll be there."  At that she strode across the lounge and out the door, smiling to herself.

At precisely 1900 hours, Will opened the door to his quarters and was greeted with a vision of loveliness.
Deanna wore a red satin dress that was short and strapless.  A sheer silk scarf was about her neck and red stiletto heels completed her ensemble.  //What is it with those shoes?  They make my blood boil every time!//
Will groaned to himself as he tried to control the emotions running rampant throughout his body.

Deanna simply smiled as she strode into the room.  "Something smells heavenly."

"Your favorite, chicken pesto."

"Yummy!"  She said as she licked her lips in a very erotic manner.  Will did not miss the quick flash of her tongue across her shiny red lips.

He swallowed hard and gestured for them to sit on the couch.  Random thoughts were running through his mind.  //Is she trying to seduce me? Maybe she is jealous of my encounter with the Janerian woman.  What is she up to?  What is it with females and their games this week?  Is there a space anomaly fueling hormones?  One could hope.//

Will was snapped out of his revelry as Deanna removed her scarf and he spotted an emerald and diamond butterfly around her neck.  She sensed his confusion, but knew that he would soon put all the pieces together.

She pulled him down next to her and purred, "Remember what I said about people that belong together?  That fate will always find a way?"  He nodded. "Let's just say that sometimes destiny needs a little help."
She pressed her body against his as she brought her mouth to meet his. Will heard in his mind and deep within his heart, <<Yes, Imzadi.  It was me.  I was the mystery woman.>>

He broke away from her.  He knew it was true. <<How? You were on Betazed.>>

She knew he had questions, so she kissed him once more and began her tale of delightful deception.

"...so when I contacted Captain Picard to tell him that I would be returning early, he informed me of the stop over at Janerios III as well as the Carnivale.  I landed my shuttle planetside and donned my costume. Then after I beamed back to the surface, I took my shuttle out to some distance away.  That way it seemed as if all was on schedule when I rendezvoused with the Enterprise later."

Will laughed at her ingenuity.  "But the hair, the eyes?"

"Commander, we have been on enough first contact missions that you should know how easy it is to alter your appearance with optic implants and such."

"So that is why you refused to speak or take off the mask?"

"I couldn't give myself away, now.  I was having too much fun!"

He grinned evilly, "You certainly were!!!!"

"Oh, you!!!"  She continued, "The hardest part was keeping my mental blocks in tact.  I knew that you would sense it was me if I wasn't extremely careful.  There were a couple of times when I almost got too distracted ..."
He pulled her onto his lap.  "So did your little game produce the desired outcome, Mystery Lady?"

"Well... You did" <<miss this!>> as they kissed mentally.

"You think you know me pretty well, don't you, Imzadi?"  he teased her.

"I DO know you inside and out, Will Riker.”  <<Now come here and let me show you just HOW well!!!>>

He knew he wasn't going to refuse that offer.  He had the best of all possible worlds in this woman.  As they made love this time, his mind and heart were filled with her essence.  Her passions and emotions merged with and magnified his own.  THIS was complete fulfillment.  He loved her totally - body, mind and soul.

As he watched his Imzadi sleep, his eyes rested on the signature adornment lying on her throat.  He kissed her lightly as he whispered, "I love you, my beautiful, mysterious butterfly".  He then said a silent prayer to God and Destiny for bringing them back together.

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