A Taste Of Honey
by Karen

The smirk on the woman's face appeared far wider on the screen than it did on the floppy hard copy Dylan Hunt held in his hand. It could be the fact that those smoky brown eyes were telling him something was fishy with the request extended by the Sabra-Jaguar pride. They were asking that a neutral third party transport a bride to be to her prospective husband. Harmless enough on the surface, Dylan thought, but it would be a dangerous mistake to take the offer at face value.

He had already heard, at some length and detail, the considered opinion of his acting first officer, Captain Beka Valentine. She didn't like the woman, mainly because of the Nietzchean's female piloting habits and the run-in she had had with Valentine's ship, the Eureka Maru. If Dylan had to be honest about the situation, he would have side with Beka.

Dylan leaned back in the cushions of the leather wrap around sofa in his private quarters and debated with himself the sincerity of the offer proposed by the representative of the Sabra-Jaguar Pride. Nietzcheans were one thing, and despite his lifelong professional and personal friendship with his former first officer Gaheris Rade, Dylan would be honest with himself even if this was something he would never admit even to his wife, Sarah, or to his AI, Rommie.

If anything set him apart from his current crew, it would have to be his innate belief to believe he best of everyone he met until proved otherwise. However, Dylan wouldn't put it past any member of the Nietzchean race, under the right circumstances to respond to nature and nurturing and serve their own best interests first.

"It's what they're programmed for, after all," he muttered under his breath and in a small corner compartment of his mind. Dylan thought back to the old days:

Those had been good times and even right before the Commonwealth had been betrayed and The Commonwealth had fallen; when those prides loyal to either the High Guard officers, the Commonwealth, or both had sworn and delivered on their oaths of loyalty and dedication. He considered his options, setting down the hard copy on the desk, and made a decision, he would agree to escort the bride to her destination, but he would keep an close watch on her at all times. He considered briefly assigning Tyr to watch her, then discarded the notion. "Not a good idea," he said aloud, and took off for the command deck.


Elisabet, the Nietzhcean was an extremely striking woman, tall, regal and oozing with the arrogance typical of her race, her light brown- bronze skin contrasting nicely with a tight fitting outfit that hugged in all the right places and left very little to the imagination. Dylan entered the room, his prepared welcome space on his lips, but it got lost somewhere in the shuffle because the woman kept talking nonstop and from he got on the tail end of the conversation, she was too busy ordering his acting engineer around to pay attention to him. Harper, his dignity marred was giving her lip in return, much to Beka's amusement. yr, trying for stoic disapproval allowed his mask to slip a notch and small smirk to twist the bottom of his lips.

"Captain Hunt," she purred, and Dylan stepped forward to take her hand and firmly shake it. "Welcome aboard, the Andromeda Ascendant. I am Captain Dylan Hunt."

"Yes, I am well aware of your identity, sir." She smiled. "Why else would the elders have acceded to my demands of asking for your services in the way of transportation."

"Your reputation proceeds you," Beka interrupted.

"Didn't think anyone would remember a reputation established plus or minus three hundred years ago," Tyr said.

"We're making new reputations," Harper added.

"Dylan, far be it for me to instruct anyone on the deportment of their human slaves, but you really must teach this one to stand up straight. He slouches, and also slaves should be seen and not heard." Elisabet turned to address Harper. "Carry me bags to my quarters."

"Are you kidding, lady!" Harper couldn't believe his ears. She thought he was a human slave. "Where did she think this was? A slave market?

"Harper, do as she says, for now." Dylan cocked his head and indicated the luggage stacked up on the floor of the command deck. "Just do it, we really can't afford an argument right now."

Harper's look of indignation was priceless, but unfortunately Dylan didn't have the luxury of appreciating it. The smaller man slouched over to the bags and yanked at the carry straps, grunting at the wait, "What does she carry in her, her makeup and her toys?"

"It is the dowry for my future husband."

"I just hope this is all worth it," Harper muttered as he marched in the direction of the crew and guest quarters. The infuriating and irritating women was following along at his heels. With his back turned, he wondered if she would stoop to trip him up just for the sheer hell of it. Orders or no orders he would happy to tell her exactly what he thought of her. Harper made it to the assigned quarters, keying open the door and heaved the luggage onto the bed, and eased his way out, "I've got work to do, so if anyone needs me I''ll be in the Infocore. See ya, wouldn't want to be ya."


Hours later, Dylan woke to the alarm siren going off through general quarters, which was fine, he was accustomed to that, what made the sweat on his body go cold was the presence of another warm body in his bed beside him. "Good morning, Captain Hunt."

"Elisabet, you shouldn't be here. In case you've forgotten, you are getting married."

"I apologize for the indelicacy of our present surroundings, but I wanted to inquire about a matter of some importance," she smirked. Dylan found himself disliking it even more than the first time he had seen on it screen, "Also, I wanted to be sure we were alone when I asked you."

"You have my attention."

"Your undivided attention."

"Just ask"

"You see," Elisabet cocked her head to one side, thinking the matter through, and then her hands came up to rest on his chest. "The alarm sirens your hear are the ship's long range sensors responding to the presence of the Sabra-Jaguar ships in the area."

"Do not be alarmed, small joke."

"Very small."

"They are merely an honor guard that Pride provided. Also, should the rare situation arise, where my future husband plans a betrayal or an ambush, they will provide additional protection."

"Should I feel insulted or flattered, that you went to all this trouble to arrange a honor guard for yourself and the Andromeda?" Dylan demanded, removing her from the bed and, setting her down in a nearby chair. He then wrapped a blanket around her gauze-draped form, and wrapped a sheet around himself, slapping his communication tap, he ordered Rommie's AI system to shut off the alarms. "I understand that this marriage contract is more than just a union of two prides, it's also a political alliance." Elisabet nodded, "In order to complete the exchange, and the delivery of the dowry, I will need to borrow your Captain Valentine's ship."

"It seems to me that you have a surplus of ships."

"Indeed, but I need one that they won't recognize on sight."

"Why am I suddenly getting the sinking feeling that I will regret this?"

"Then you'll agree to help me?"



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