• Keith Birdsong

Picard slowly opened his eyes with that sense of disorientation one always has when one awakens someplace new. But then he heard the soft snoring near the crook of his elbow, and it came rushing back to him in a gentle, glowing haze.

"Ohhh... dear," he said softly.

He flexed his fingers and came to the slow realization that he had lost circulation in his right hand. Gently, gingerly, he pulled the arm out from under Beverly's head. She twitched briefly in her sleep as he accidentally tugged at a hank of her hair, and then his arm was free of her head. She settled back down onto the pillow, her eyes still closed, as Picard raised his arm straight up and shook the hand out briskly. He felt a quick tingling and tried making a fist.

"Want me to kiss it and make it better?" came the tender voice from next to him.

He looked over at her, and her eyes were still closed. There was, however, the trace of a smile on her lips.

"Go back to sleep," said Picard.

"Like hell. I go on duty in fifteen minutes."

He frowned and checked the chronometer in the darkened room. She was right.

"I have an internal clock that's as punctual as anything on this ship," she said with a touch of pride. "I set it, I wake up to it, I go to sleep by it."

"Do you make love by it?" he asked.

"Today's Random Passage from Q-Squared, a 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Novel by Peter David" will continue on Blogtown throughout the week. Can't wait until tomorrow's installment? Q-Squared, a 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation novel by Peter David, is available at Powell's.