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Setting Up Things To Come Later

Setting up things to come later.
D'Alaire — 15 Sep 1998, 1:28 PM

Certain, it was hot that day, hot and dusty. Even, riding her favorite mount proved very displeasing. But when the wagon creeked and wobbled to a stop, Madame D'Alaireux smiled upon the scene. People, lots of them, here for the horserace...and other various forms of entertainment.

She turned a smile and nod to her men, and dismounted her fine Arabian to take her horse to water. Leading it through, ignoring the odd stares she was accustomed to, she saw a dark man in tight jeans and a oddly fitting shirt by there, and straightened a little.

Ropes...not ropes, that's elsewhere...mounts...gadflies...grasshoppers...the spice...

"Pardon," Madame D'Alaireux said, leading her horse around to the water troth.

The dark man looked her up and down, his eyes widening a little, then tipped his hat. "Ma'am."

"Madame D'Alaireux," she replied, holding her free hand to him, "seer and seller of medicimals. I will be selling snake oil here today."

"Chakotay Torres," he returned, grinning as he shook her soft, well-manicured hand. "And what's the snake oil for?"

"Oh just about anything, boils, drospy, headaches--but I like it for a massage. Timmy, my manservant, he's the best at them."

"Oh." He seemed uninterested, and she noted his eyes perusing the scene around them, finally fixing on the stable. His eyes then squinted, his jaw tightened, at what came next.

Madame D'Alaireux looked, and saw a young couple heading in with two horses, talking with much animation--if not a little teasing--as they went inside. She felt her breath catch, licked her lips. "So tell me," she said, attracting the man's attention again, "do you think my time is well served here with my wares?"

"I'd say so, Ma'am," Chakotay answered. "Nothing like a little snake oil to soothe the muscles at the end of a hard day on the range."

Madame D'Alaireux smiled. "Well, perhaps I might use you for a demonstration?" She placed her hand on his arm. "You have faced injury, and overcome it. But you are not at your top form. Let me assist you."

"But, really, Ma'am, I don't need--"

"You are racing today, no? Let me help you, and your services help me advertise. It will only take a moment."

She tied off her horse and gave his arm a tiny tug. "Please, Chakotay Torres. It is for the best, you know. I know you desire, but you just don't know how to ask a lady for what secretly boils in your blood, in your warrior's dark soul. I see in you a seething beast of passion, unfufilled. Do not take that out on your body. Let me help you, and you help me." She winked. "I know you would like it."

Chakotay had stared in her dark eyes at her truth, but at her last wry comment, grinned and relented. "I guess a little massage wouldn't hurt, Ma'am. Much obliged."

Madame D'Alaireux took a long satified breath. "Thank you. I know this will not be regretted."

Leading him back to the wagon, where a croud had already begun to form, where Timmy had already begin his pitch and sell, the lady looked back on pretense of checking out her Arabian. Instead, she stifled a giggle as her eye caught the stable.

"Yes, this is a fine day for a horserace," she said, "...and perhaps a hayride, too."