The Silent Gift

By Britta

He stood motionless staring out into space. He looked so lonely. I did it without thinking. I crept up behind him and put my arms around him and laid my cheek on his shoulder.

He relaxed fractionally in my embrace, and I kissed the side of his neck. At that, he turned around and looked me in the eye. "What was that for?"

"Because you looked like you needed it, Commander." I pulled him closer, hugged him. Held him tight. His arms slowly came up and wrapped themselves around me. He sighed and closed his eyes, resting his head on my shoulder.

We were both tired. He, I think, more so. Too tired to fight about it. Too tired to deny it anymore. Too tired to put up a brave front and pretend the feelings weren't there, weren't real.

It was as if we both conceded the game at the same instant. We stood together silently and just held each other. Words were unnecessary. Words always got in the way. Or maybe it was just that we were too worn out to speak.

After many minutes, we looked into each other's eyes and let the truth be seen. No more secrets. I wanted him. I loved him. I would have him and I wanted him to know it. He must have gotten the message loud and clear because then he kissed me. The finest kiss I have ever been given. There was more power in that kiss than I have ever encountered. More love than I have ever known.

It went on and on. I lost track of where we were or what I was thinking. I just let it flow over me. The feeling of being loved. Gods, it was so incredible. How could he make me feel like that with just a kiss?

It felt like I was being given a gift. He was giving me a glimpse into his very soul. I knew then that his heart, along with his life, was mine.

He pulled back gently and looked at me, no, through me. I felt like he saw the 'me' of me. The me nobody's ever been allowed to see. I had no more defenses, nothing was left. It was as if that one kiss had burned away the outer shell, leaving just the essence of me visible and oh, so raw. I hate feeling exposed, it's scary. But not with him. I felt safe. I knew he wouldn't take advantage of me. He's too honorable for that.

He gently ran a finger down my nose and tapped my lips once. "Bed?"

I nodded, and hand in hand we left the observation lounge. He didn't hesitate at all, just pulled me off in the direction of his quarters. I wasn't too surprised. Once a decision has been made, he goes for it. That's part of what makes him so effective as a commanding officer.

We passed several members of the crew on our way, including B'Elanna. It would have happened sooner or later. I was relieved that it was sooner. We'd broken up, or rather, I'd dumped her, several weeks earlier. I told her the truth. I couldn't lie to myself anymore and it wasn't fair to her either. I told her I loved someone else and that no matter how hard I tried to fool myself, it just wasn't working. I never told her who the someone else was though. But now she knows, and judging by the look on her face, she can't fault my choice. I wanted the best man on the ship and it looks like I finally got him.

We got to his quarters, and suddenly, I felt frightened. Not of him, but of what he might want from me. Was I enough? Could I give him what he needed? Did I have it in me to meet his strength? The man had the emotional stability of a rock. I worried that I couldn't match him in that respect.

He caught my frown and took my face in his hands. "What's wrong, Tom?"

I grabbed his hands and kissed them. I shook my head and said, "I'm just a little nervous, that's all."

He smiled and replied, "Don't think you're the only one. Do you want to talk about it?"

I saw the caring expression, the love shining in his eyes, and all I wanted was to lose myself in him. "No. I want to go to bed. With you. Right now. We can talk later. Agreed?"

"Agreed." He took my hand and led me into the bedroom.

We kissed again. It was just as overwhelming as before. His taste, the texture of his lips and tongue were so *him*. I felt drunk, as if he were a fine wine and I were the connoisseur given the privilege to drink it.

He slowly removed my uniform piece by piece until I stood naked before him. He looked at me and touched me, and I felt the urge to kneel at his feet and worship him. Gods knew how long I had waited for this. He began to unfasten his jacket but my hands were faster. I wanted the pleasure of undressing him as if he were a present for me to unwrap.

Once we were both naked, I didn't know what to do next. I could only stare at him in fascination. He was so beautiful, so perfect. I reached out a hand and just felt that skin, so soft, smooth, tan and inviting. I felt pale and hairy and delicate beside him. His muscles were evident, and again I was impressed by his strength. I wanted it. I wanted to feel it. I wanted to be surrounded and protected by it.

He ran a large brown hand across my chest, letting his fingers entangle themselves in the hair. He smiled and I knew then that he liked the contrasts of our bodies. I pulled him to me and held him. I looked over his shoulder to see my arms glowing whitely against the darkness of his broad back. Gods, that turned me on even more. I couldn't wait any longer and said, "Chakotay, I need you so much. I love you. Would you please make love to me?"

He pulled away far enough to see my eyes and asked, "Are you sure that's what you want?"

"Yes, oh yes! More than anything right now, that's what I want."

He kissed me quickly and moved those hands to my ass squeezing gently. "Then that's what you shall have."

He released me and together we moved to the bed.

"You smell like springtime," he said as he inhaled deeply. His warm, wet tongue licked slowly up my throat and his lips worked the skin under my chin. I shivered. I ran my hand through his hair and felt its velvet softness. Yes, he was real. This was real. It was happening.

He leaned on an elbow and reached for my face. I touched his hand as it wandered over my features. I twined my fingers with his and pulled him down for a kiss. I was just so thirsty for him. I couldn't get enough.

After what seemed like forever, he pulled away from my lips and sighed deeply, contentedly. He stroked my chest and sides absently while his eyes lingered on me for what seemed the longest time. I wondered what he was thinking.

Suddenly, he leaned down and latched onto my closest nipple. He licked and nipped and chewed and sucked until I nearly came right then. His hand wandered down to my nether regions. As he turned his attention to the other side of my chest, his fingers explored me thoroughly. It was all I could do just to bury my hands in his hair.

Gently, he held me in the palm of his hand, and he raised his head to look into my eyes. Squeezing ever so slightly, he murmured, "Tom, I want to taste you."

Stunned, I just gulped and nodded. To my surprise, he started by delving into my navel. It tickled and I squirmed. He laughed softly, warm puffs of his breath igniting my nerve endings. He then lapped his way south until he reached the base of my erection.

His hand grasped me and I could not help but moan. His touch was sure and confident. He knew exactly what he was he doing. He stroked me possessively, then he lowered his head and brought me inside his mouth. He...tasted me...took his time and sampled my wares while my hands clutched the bedsheet in a death grip. He didn't bring me off, in fact, he refused to let me come.

He shifted our positions until we lay on our sides facing each other. He pressed closely against me and moved his leg between mine. I hooked my leg over his hips allowing him access. He kissed me and nibbled on my throat as I caressed his back. Slick fingers opened me gently, preparing the way. We rocked slowly against each other, teasing the twin hardnesses trapped between us. His leg rubbed sinuously between my own and I moaned. He sucked on my neck hard, marking me. I jerked when I felt his teeth and gripped him tighter. I felt like I had to hang on to something, to anchor myself in the here and now.

He kissed me once more, his tongue probing, sliding wetly into my mouth, silently begging to be sucked. He groaned and removed his fingers leaving me bereft. Pulling back and breathing raggedly, he said, "Turn over, it will be easier for you."

I didn't care about easy, but I did it anyway. I'd do anything he said. He wanted it this way and that was enough for me. I rolled over onto a conveniently placed pillow and waited. I felt him kneel by my side. I turned my head and watched him as he made himself ready to take me. I wanted to do it for him, maybe next time he'd let me. This time, though, we'd do it his way. A hand reached out toward me and I felt it rest on the back of my neck. He leaned down and whispered in my ear, "Spread your legs, Tom. Let me in."

Trembling with anticipation and need, I complied. He settled himself between them and stroked my back softly, slowly moving lower to caress my ass. Oh gods, he was driving me crazy! I wiggled a little on the pillow trying to find the best possible position. He just watched and waited until I calmed. Then he spread my cheeks wide and I could feel his gaze on me. The heat rose in my face.

He rubbed teasingly over the entrance to my body, and then suddenly, he pierced me and I cried out. He kept moving, slowly but surely until he was all the way in. I was gasping when he stopped. He lay full length over me, letting me get used to the sensation. I felt his lips moving at the back of my neck and then his tongue licked a path along my shoulders. Hot breath fanned my ear and his voice, low and insistent said, "You're mine."

"Yessss...ooohh yessss...yours." I exhaled and relaxed, only then did he begin to move. He moved his hands under my arms and took some of his weight off of me. I missed it, I wanted it back. His body felt like a living blanket keeping me warm, covering and comforting me. As he moved, I sensed a wave of peace flow over me. I was giving him all I could give, letting him take it as he wished. My complete and utter surrender seemed to make his strength become my own, and I felt renewed in both body and spirit.

He must have felt it, too, because he began to thrust harder, deeper into me. I wanted it, all of it. He leaned down to suck on my neck and nuzzle my ear. "Oh, Tom, I've wanted you...wanted this...for so long...aaahhh...." He sped up even more and pressed me into the pillow again and again. I felt like I was floating even though I was pinned. The friction or lack of it made no difference to me. He was inside me, filling me, joining us into one being. I could feel us merging. The lines delineating us as separate entities were fading away into nothingness.

I was panting and moaning my pleasure at his possession of me. He groaned and thrust hard, and I felt him begin to climax. He held me tightly and I exploded as well. Talk about seeing stars! He collapsed on top of me and reached for my hands, entwining our fingers together. He kissed me gently on the cheek and whispered, "I love you."

I sighed and closed my eyes. It was done. We were one. "Why, oh why, did we wait so long?" Many minutes passed and I didn't realize I'd spoken aloud until Chakotay reluctantly slipped from my body and rolled to my side. He embraced me, making me feel like I was the most precious object in the universe.

"I'm sorry for making you wait. My stubbornness has cost us time. We would have been together long before this if only I had bowed to the inevitable."

"You, of all people, should know that it's useless to fight fate. But I don't want you to take all the blame. I can be as stubborn as you and you know it. Let's not waste time and energy on might have beens. We're together now and that's what counts."

I stroked the side of his face and he turned to kiss my fingers. He just nodded and we drifted off to sleep.