Cally stood in the drinks dispensary bay fixing herself a Kainnessian mint tea.
"I've made you a triple espresso . . . definitely no sugar before you ask," she said, glancing up at him.
Even though it was still early morning, Cally was dressed in a long silk evening gown. Unusual fashion choices could often be observed aboard the Liberator . . . a ship with a seemingly endless supply of clothes.
Avon pretended not to notice how beautiful Cally looked as he drank.
Cally liked what Avon was wearing . . .
//That colour really suits you Avon,\\ telepathed Cally.
"If you insist." Avon didn't care much what people thought about his clothes.
But nevertheless you still seem to visit the wardrobe room a lot, thought Cally with a wry smile.
Avon put down the empty cup.
//Have you forgotten what day this is Avon?\\
"Oh, Avon! It's Vila's birthday. How could you forget?"
"Because my mind is usually on a variety of things."
"Of course," said Cally with another wry smile. "Anyway, Jenna and I have discussed it and decided to throw him a surprise party."
"And you're telling me this because?"
"Well, because he is a fellow crew member of course . . . and I think we should all be involved."
Avon sighed. "How do I have to be involved?"
"I thought you could set up the party lights perhaps, and maybe help me with organising the drinks?"
Avon sighed. "Oh, very well."
"Thank you, Avon. Now, I suggest that as it's a special occasion we have the full variety of cocktails . . ."
"So that would be the blue, the pink . . . Am I missing any?"
"I can't think of any."
"Oh Avon, you must remember, we have them often enough . . . the orange, the red and . . ."
"Yes! We couldn't do without the green of course."
"Have you thought about what gift you're going to give him?"
"What a very original idea!"
"It is the best choice for him."
"Now remember Avon, we must keep it a secret."
"That's easy, don't mention anything to him."
"What about the music?"
"I have no idea, what about background music? It would, after all, be an entirely appropriate choice for somebody who really should remain in the background."
"Now, Avon!" said Cally, giving him a look. "Do at least try to be civil to him today of all days. Anyway, my particular favourite is classical Auron folk, as you know . . .
But I don't think that would go down too well at a party."
"Background music it is then," said Avon with a customary smirk.
Cally came in carrying a box of multicoloured cocktails.
"Do you think we should have a quick taste, just to make sure they're not out of date?" asked Cally.
Avon reluctantly nodded.
"I was just trying to get into the party mood, we have so few on this ship," said Cally noticing his reluctance.
"I rarely drink alcohol."
"Well, I only really have it at parties, or when we're gathered on the flight deck in the evening . . . just socially really," said Cally taking a quick sip of Blue Cocktail.
"Anyway, what about the disco lights?"
"I'll get Orac to sort those out."
As they were alone, Cally ventured to ask him: "Well, we could have a little practice now. Do you like to dance, Avon?"
"I never really got a chance to find out."
Cally put on some music and motioned a slightly hesitant looking Avon to come closer and follow her dance steps.
Avon followed her dance steps.
"Mmm well, it's a start . . ."
Avon continued to dance.
"Yes, you are getting better, Avon! Shall we have a little dance together now, as we won't be able to at the actual party?"
Cally and Avon moved closer.
Avon leaned in towards Cally.
Cally glanced up at him.
They continued to dance together.
Avon opened his mouth and slowly approached Cally's lips.
Cally enjoyed the sensation.
Avon leaned in closer to Cally's mouth.
Cally could feel his warm breath on her lips.
Avon kissed her.
Cally kissed him back. //Avon! I can hear somebody coming. Quick . . . act normal.\\
Avon acted normal.
It was Jenna and Blake. The four of them continued to prepare for the party.
Avon could not forget the kiss and wanted to do it again.
Cally felt the same.
Eventually, the party was in full swing.
Vila was merrily drunk and even Blake and Jenna seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Avon went into a secluded corner.
Avon opened his arms.
Cally folded herself against him.
Avon kissed her.
Cally drew him even closer to herself.
Avon moaned with pleasure.
Cally could feel him pressed against her.
Avon pulled back and whispered: "Perhaps we should take this somewhere more private?"
//Yes, we could Avon. It is a party after all and I don't think the others will notice that we've slipped out.\\
Avon nodded and went to his cabin.
They reached the cabin.
Cally had a quick glance down the corridor in case anyone was around and followed Avon inside.
Avon locked the door behind them.
Inside, Avon and Cally could hear the sound of music and laughter coming from the flight deck.
Avon thought the atmosphere was appropriate as he started to remove his clothes.
Cally agreed and slowly slipped out of her long silky evening gown.
Cally stopped. //Listen, Avon . . that tune, I seem to recognise it from somewhere. But I can't remember where . . //
And he held her close through all that endless, distant night.