Her father, my ex-husband, she thought sadly. Ktarian law held that if a husband and wife were seperated for more then five years, their marriage automatically dissolved. At first after the five years has passed she had held out, hoping that by some miracle, they might get home in time for it to not marry, even putting together a second wedding ceremony in her head. But it had now been nearly seven months since the official dissolution, and Samantha knew that when Ktarians were divorced, they did not take much time to remarry; it just wasn't in them to go it alone. By now Greskrendtregk almost surely had a new wife, perhaps even with a new child on the way.
"Enjoying yourself?" came a voice.
Samantha looked up. It was Joe Carey. The two of them had become friends of late, since now they had both lost their spouses; when they'd made contact through the communication array; he'd learned his wife had remarried. When Voyager had offered part of its crew shore leave here, Samantha had in fact been pleased to learn Joe and she had taken the same timeslot.
"Somewhat," she replied as he sat down next to her. He wasn't pressed against her or anything, but still she felt his presence there, more than she would've expected to.
"There's rain on the way," he said.
"Naomi told me that already," said Samantha. "Ktarians can sense an approaching shower."
"She's really grown now, isn't she? She looks and acts like an eight year old."
"Full-blooded Ktarians grow even faster. I don't know how their parents deal with it." That enabled her to smile, and Joe too. She couldn't help but notice how handsome he was when he smiled/
A wind began to blow. They looked up. It was very clouded over.
"According to our readings it'll be a thunderstorm." said Joe. "Maybe we should get back to the city. If we hurry we can get there before the downpour." As if on cue, they heard the sound of a thunderbolt.
"Actually," Samantha told him. "I came out here because of the coming thunderstorm."
"Why would you want to come here for a thunderstorm?" he asked, understandably surprised.
"You've never heard of Ktarian Raindance, have you?"
"No, I haven't."
"Ktarians grow more active in the rain. When it rains on Ktaria VII, Ktarians will often come out and dance. I wanted Naomi to get the chance to try that."
They heard an even louder clap of thunder, and lightening had become visible as well. "But in a lightening and thunder storm?" her companion pointed out.
"A Raindance is always better when there's lightening and thunder," she grinned. She couldn't say the risk didn't bother her at all, but she was willing for deal with it.
"You'll get soaked yourself," Joe warned.
"I'll dance as well. I've done so before. I quite enjoy it." It would be a chance to claim it for herself too; before, she had always done it with Greskrendtregk, and felt she couldn't do it without him. But now even if she didn't have him anymore, she wanted to keep this.
They heard another clap of thunder, and several drops splattered them. "Dance with us?" she asked.
"Well," sighed Joe, "since it's too late to go back to the city..."
"Wonderful!" she yelled, and she yanked him up just as the rain came pouring down on them.
They whirled around each other in a way not unlike a Square Dance. The rain got so thick it was harder to see Joe, they could hear each other shout and laugh, and hear Naomi too as she danced on her own. It didn't take Joe long to realize that half the dance was in shouting, and she heard his enthusiasm increase.
Round and round they dance, their feet skimming the ground, their arms flying through the falling rain, their voices traveling over the sound of the rain and thunder to each other. Pretty soon they were both out of breath, but still they danced, whirling into the stream, over the rocks, across the field.
And then, as the rain started to abate and the thunder started to lessen, some instinct pulled them to each other, and the sun came out to see them wrapped up in a wild kiss.
When the separated, the rain had stopped entirely, and they looked at each other in awe.
Samantha had just about accustomed herself enough to this idea to kiss him again she Naomi say, "I'm cold."
His grin completely undisturbed, Joe said, "I'm cold too." So was she The water had soaked through the civilian clothes they were wearing, leaving them all wet to the bone. "Now will you come back to the city?"
"Yes." she replied, turning and picking her poor shivering daughter up. "Come on." Go back, take some good hot showers, then probably beam back up, since it had been eventful enough a day, and Naomi might even do well with a nap. During which she had the feeling she and Joe would have enough to do.