By Britta

He caught up with me in the turbolift. For the first time in days we were actually alone together. He took my hand and kissed me quickly.

"Hi. Are you free later?" Tom whispered in my ear as he pressed up against me.

"I'm not sure. I have a dinner meeting with the Captain. I don't know how late we'll go."

A fast hug and a then shake of his head, "A Commander's work is never done."

I grinned and said, "When I'm finished I'll let you know. Or did you have something specific planned?"

"I just wanted to spend some time with you. I've missed you."

I held him tight for a minute, just to remind myself how good he felt. "I've missed you, too. Where will I find you later?"

"Sandrine's. I'll go socialize for awhile. Com me if you can't make it?"

"Will do." One more quick kiss and he was gone. I sighed with the loss of him from my arms. Spirits, I wanted dinner to be already over. I was surprised at the depth of feeling Tom evoked in me. Lust, yes, that I understood. But all the rest? Well, time would tell.


Captain Janeway patted her lips with a napkin and stated, "Computer, time."

"It is 2043," the mechanical voice responded.

"Well, that's not too bad. You still have time to do something not work-related tonight." She smiled at me and I wondered what she was thinking.

I sipped more wine and replied, "Yes, I do and I will."

She got that thoughtful look and said, "You never did tell me how your dinner with Tom went. Did you manage to keep your temper?"

I smiled and thought back to a few days ago to that very special meal. "Yes, I kept my temper. Dinner was fine. We had spaghetti." My smile widened as I recalled how we ate it.

She noticed and inquired, "So I take it you two got along, resolved your differences, so to speak?"

"You could say that, yes." I finished my wine and we cleared the table. "As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend some time with him tonight. Once we're finished here."

"In that case, Chakotay, we're finished. We covered all the critical issues, the rest can wait. I know how busy you've been the last few days, take a break and enjoy yourself." She patted me on the shoulder.

"Are you sure?" I didn't want to leave her going through reports by herself for the rest of the evening. She worked too much as it was.

"Go ahead." She pushed me gently toward the door.

"Would you like to come with me?"

"Not tonight. I'm planning on a long, hot soak in the tub, then bed. I'll see you tomorrow, Commander. Good night."

And with that, the door opened and I found myself outside in the corridor. I turned to look back at her and she winked at me as the door closed. Well, what do you know? It seemed the Captain had just given us her approval in a subtle way.


Tom was shooting pool when I entered Sandrine's. He didn't see me at first and I was treated to the sight of him bending over the pool table trying to make a tricky shot. He actually had to use a bridge for this one, so I didn't want to disturb his concentration. There were few people about. I wondered where everyone was.

Shot made, he straightened and turned towards me. Tossing the cue and the bridge onto the table, he walked over to me and took my hand. "Glad you could make it. I was beginning to wonder." He led me over to a table and signalled the waitron.

"I got here as soon as I could. Well, after a pit stop to shower and lose the uniform."

The waitron approached us and Tom inquired, "What'll you have?"

"We had wine with dinner, so I'd better stick with that," I replied.

"Good idea, never mix the grape and the grain. Sounds good to me, make it two." The waitron nodded and left. "So how did the meeting go?"

"Fine. Just the usual things to go over, you know, how long until we need to stop for supplies, stuff like that."

"Gods, Chakotay, don't you ever get tired of it?" Tom asked.

"Sometimes I do. It's hard to be on call all the time. But we don't have a choice." Our wine arrived and I took a sip. Not bad for 'house white'. Work was over, for a little while anyway, so I changed the subject. "The Captain asked me how our dinner date went."

"She did?"

I nodded and took another sip.

"How did she find out about it and what did you tell her?" His face reflected both surprise and amusement, in that order.

"She found out because she wanted to go over Tuvok's reports with me that night and I said I had a prior engagement. As to what I told her, all I said was that it went well. She seems to think that we've buried the hatchet...ironed out our differences."

He frowned a little, "And have we?"

I clasped his hand in mine and said, "I worked out my 'differences' with you awhile back. You're not the same guy you were when we started out. You've grown and changed. All that potential I saw unexpressed then is now being developed. I like what I see. A lot."

He smiled, squeezed my hand and said, "Ever the First Officer, aren't you?"

I shrugged. "Comes with the job. I can't *not* be aware. The crew is my responsibility."

"Hey, I wasn't complaining. It's just that it's one of the reasons I admire you so much." He sipped his wine with his free hand and entwined his fingers with mine. "I respect you. Hell, I care about you." Shyly, he looked down into his wine. "I can't believe that you're here, right now, with me. I've wanted this for so long."

"Really? Then why--"

He looked up suddenly, "B'Elanna?"

I nodded and drank more wine.

"That was a mistake. The loneliness got to me."

"I understand. You don't have to explain." I thought about the crushing sense of isolation most of us felt at being stuck out here in the Delta Quadrant. After four years, I was amazed that we hadn't had more people pairing off out of sheer desperation.

"So, did the Captain say anything else I should know about?" He grinned to lighten the mood.

"Actually, not in so many words, but I think she approves of us."

His eyebrows rose, "Oh?"

"Yeah, well, she winked at me when I left her quarters, after I'd told her that I'd be seeing you later tonight."

"She did?" The grin threatened to split his face in two. "I'll be damned. That's a nice surprise." He paused, took another drink, and queried, "So tell me, Commander, where do we go from here?"

Thinking about earlier, when Tom was in my arms, I swirled the last of my wine around the glass and then finished it. "How about bed?" Like I said, lust I understood.

Apparently so did Tom. He emptied his glass with a large gulp. "Sounds good to me. Your place or mine?"


"OK. Let's go."

We stood up and I put my arm around his waist. He seemed startled. I tightened my grip and smiled at him. His hand came to rest on my nearest butt cheek. I laughed out loud as we exited Sandrine's.

His hand never left my ass until we got to my quarters. Once inside, he said, "I can't believe you let me do that!"

"Do what?" I feigned innocence, but he saw through me in an instant.

"You know what! Gods, you''re--oh hell! Does this mean I can kiss you in staff meetings?"

The look on his face was priceless. "No," I answered. "In public, yes, on duty, no." I smiled to take the sting from my words.

"OK, I get the picture. Are you sure you don't mind the crew knowing about us?"

"No, not at all. If they can't handle it, it's their problem. Remember, the Captain is on *our* side." I moved closer to him and started nuzzling his neck.

"Ohhh, that's right...she is...." He trailed off into insensibility as I continued my actions.

I nipped and licked until I found a spot that turned him to mush. We peeled off our clothes and stopped to catch our breaths. Spirits, he was wonderful! My senses were overloaded but I didn't care. I kissed him, hard. Repeatedly.

My hands were everywhere, stroking his soft skin, feeling his muscles move as he gripped my ass. He tasted so good, I doubted I'd ever get enough of him. I maneuvered us into the bedroom and called for quarter lights.

He plopped down onto the bed and groaned, "Oh, the things you do to me. Gods, I don't know how much more I can take." I moved my hand to his erection and he moaned.

I loved his response to my touch. It was going to be a lot of fun finding all of his hot spots. "You'll take whatever I dish out and love every minute of it. I guarantee it." I cupped his balls in my hand and moved down to take his cock in my mouth. I needed to know what he tasted like there.

He jerked when my lips made contact. "If I'd known what the result of that dinner would be, I'd have invited you much sooner.... Oh, more! Don't stop!"

I moved even lower. Before sucking on his balls, I said, "I never figured spaghetti would be such a turn on either. You know, you taste pretty good for being carnivorous."

"Oh yeah? Umm...oohhh.... Well, it looks like you found yourself some meatballs...aaahhhh." His fingers ran through my hair as I sucked him.

I had to laugh. "Meatballs? Hmm, I guess you're right." I ran a finger around the wrinkled skin and slipped the head of his cock back into my mouth.

"Oh, aahhhh, yeah. I guess you could say...ahhh...that the only eat...aahhhh...ain't dead.... Oh! Yes! Yessss!"

Shaking with laughter, I looked up at him and asked, "Tom, do you intend to always make me laugh when I'm going down on you? Do you have any idea how close you came to being bitten?" I was still chuckling and thought I'd really have to practice staying in control if we were going to continue seeing each other.

"I'm sorry, Big Guy. I didn't realize...." Chest heaving, face flushed, he was gorgeous, I moved up and over him for a kiss.

Pulling away, I stated, "You would have been the one paying the price. But I think I have a solution."

"Oh yeah?" he smirked.

I reached under the pillow for the tube of lube that had been living there for the past several days just awaiting this opportunity. "Yeah, this." I showed him the lube I'd fished out and wormed my other hand between his legs to run a fingertip around the opening to his body.

He looked at me with a curious expression, then answered my unspoken question by rolling over and lifting his ass in the air. "Do it. I want to feel you inside me."

I didn't hesitate for an instant. I was glad he was so willing. I'd been a little worried that he wouldn't want this, that he'd always want to be on top. I admired the view of his ass just waiting for me claim it while preparing us both. It was difficult to go slowly, but I wasn't about to risk anything happening to spoil this first time. I started by slowly inserting a single, wet digit deep inside inside him and progressed from there. He moaned his pleasure at the intrusion. As I added more fingers, his moaning grew louder, more insistent.

He wriggled impatiently around my fingers and panted, "Now! Do it now! I can't wait any longer. Chaaa!"

"OK, OK. Calm down. Here goes...." I eased my cock inside, felt him grip it over and over as he grew used to the sensation. Oh, he felt so good. So tight, MINE. I waited until he moved first before countering with a long, slow withdrawal followed immediately by a hard, fast thrust.

He moaned again, long and low, "Oh, yes, that feels soooo goood...."

I felt him relax further and continued moving, ever so slightly picking up the pace. He was really getting into it. For that matter, so was I. It had been so long for me. Too long since I'd last had this pleasure. I'd forgotten how addictive the sensation was. So overwhelming in its intensity.

Sex was sex, but this was something more. Soon I was pounding into him, hearing his passionate response as he groaned, feeling the rightness of it all. The connection was there. No doubt about it, no man or woman had ever touched my spirit like this.

It wasn't long before he reached the point of no return. I reached around and grasped Tom's cock in my hand. A few more thrusts coupled with a stroke or two and he was gone. He went limp beneath me and I held his hips tightly while I slammed into him again and again, until a few minutes later, I exploded.

Too out of breath for words, I just hugged him from behind while trying not to collapse and flatten him beneath me. Slowly, I started to pull out, but he panted, "Don't go. Not yet...stay inside me, please?" He moved gently to lie flat. I followed him down and let my weight settle on top of him.

"Is this what you want?" I asked.

"Yes. Just stay here like this for as long as you can."

"All right. But tell me if you get uncomfortable."

"Don't worry about that." He sighed and blindly reached for my hands.

I found his fingers and kissed the back of his neck. Even though my hard-on was gone, I wanted to keep the connection, too. "You felt it, didn't you?" I inquired.

"Felt what?" he mumbled.

"That certain something, the thing you can't quite put into words? You know what I mean," I whispered. I kept kissing him, anywhere my lips could reach without breaking our other contact.

"Yeah, I know. And, yeah, I felt it, too." He sounded uncertain, confused. He gripped my hands harder and went on, "It scares me."

"Me, too. I didn't expect it." I admitted, sighing, and without wanting to, slipped out of him. Damn.

"So I'm not the only one blown away by this?" He turned to look at me after I rolled off him.

"No, you're not."

"Good. That makes me feel better." He settled into my arms as if he belonged there and I shifted slightly to hold him more tightly.

I yawned and kissed him, ordered the lights out in both rooms and we drifted off to sleep, knowing things had changed, yet again.


The Beginning of the Middle

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