"Commander, do you like spaghetti?"
The question took me by surprise. It was the last thing I expected Tom Paris to ask me. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Why?"
He leaned casually against the wall of the turbolift and replied, "I wondered if you'd like to have some for dinner. With me."
Oh, this was intriguing. "When?"
"Tonight." He straightened as the lift doors opened. "Are you free?"
I pretended to consult my mental calendar for a moment. "Yes, I am. What time?" We left the lift and headed for the mess hall.
"Why don't you meet me on holodeck two at 2000, OK?" He paused at the door to the mess hall and sniffed the air cautiously.
"2000. Fine with me." I entered the room and then the smell hit me. We both turned around and left without a word.
"So much for lunch," he said as we entered the turbolift again.
"What are you going to do about it?" I asked, wondering if he had the rations to replicate both lunch and dinner.
"Oh, don't worry about me. Harry owes me a meal. I think I'll go and collect." He looked at me and grinned.
I smiled back and then went to my quarters while he went in search of Harry.
I had to wonder about Tom. What was he up to? I replicated a simple meal and pondered his actions over the last several weeks. He'd unceremoniously dumped B'Elanna after catching her in a compromising situation with a fellow engineer and a sonic screwdriver.
He didn't seem too terribly upset at the time. I think he was more relieved than anything else. After a period where all he did was spend evenings running flight sims, he started perking up and I knew the Paris bounce-back mechanism had been engaged.
Lately, it seems that he's turned his sights in my direction. Nothing too overt, but in subtle ways I've noticed a difference in the way he treats me. It's as if he's testing the waters. He looks at me with a different expression on his face, one I've never seen before. I find that I now watch him more closely than ever.
Back on the bridge, I faced a long, dull afternoon shift. I found my eyes resting on Tom more and more often. The Captain noticed and gave me a speculative look, but I just returned my gaze to the screen in front of me.
Unbidden, a certain memory kept popping into my mind. It was a few weeks ago, in Sandrine's. Tom had asked me to dance. He was in fine fettle that night and had made the rounds. I'd been watching him and wondered if he'd ever get tired enough to sit one out.
I'd had a beer or two and was feeling pretty mellow. So when he asked me to dance, I accepted. We danced to a slow, sensuous tune. He danced well. I enjoyed it. He seemed pleased that we were touching. I sensed a certain relaxation in him, like I had passed another test. He made sure we didn't bump into anyone else, after all, he who asks, leads, and I became aware of how good it felt, touching him and being touched by him.
Since that night, he's asked me to join him in various activities such as playing pool or going for a swim. They've all been in public. Tonight would be just the two of us, except for the other--hopefully holographic--patrons. I mean, why go to the holodeck to eat spaghetti unless it was at a restaurant?
Shift change came and we shared the lift again. I noticed a peculiar glint in his eye as he looked at me and I dared a question, "So how fancy is this place that you're taking me? Do I have to wear anything special?"
An enigmatic look crossed his face, then he smiled and said, "You can wear anything you like. Anything at all." He reached for my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "See you in a couple of hours?"
"I'll be there." The doors opened and I stepped out wondering what he'd be doing until dinner.
I spent the time deciding what to wear and contemplating my feelings about the whole situation. I'd been around and knew the score. But things were different out here in the Delta Quadrant. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. You had to face up to your actions every day. If you made a mistake, sooner or later, everyone would know about it.
I had the feeling that tonight would not be a mistake. It could be the start of something very special. At least, I hoped it would be. It was a nice change of pace to be the one being courted, if indeed that's what Tom was doing.
I rifled through the clothes in my closet and decided to wear something innocuous, something so bland no one could possibly object to it. Dark trousers and an off-white shirt, simple shoes. Nothing special.
At 1930 I was commed. "Janeway to Chakotay."
"I wondered if you were free for dinner. A working dinner, I'm afraid. We need to go over Tuvok's latest reports."
"Actually, I already have a dinner engagement. But if you need me, I'll cancel it." I found myself hoping that I wouldn't have to go to her, not tonight.
"I see. If you don't mind my asking, who are you having dinner with?"
"In that case, we'll leave the reports until tomorrow. Goodnight, Commander."
"Goodnight, Captain." Was that a smile I heard in her voice? Did she know something I didn't? With a captain like Janeway, you could never tell. Relieved, I went about my preparations.
At 2000, I strolled up to the doors of holodeck two and announced myself. They obediently slid open and I walked inside. Expecting some version of an Italian restaurant, I was startled to find myself in a small cabin. Make that a small, funky cabin. It was furnished oddly, to say the least.
There was the obligatory fireplace complete with fire, a small sofa and a solitary chair set at unusual angles. In front of the fireplace was a very small table with two stools. Atop the table sat a bottle of wine, two glasses, the lid to a large chafing dish and what looked like a small loaf of bread wrapped in a towel.
Tom greeted me at the door with a kiss on the cheek, "I'm glad you could make it. I hope you're hungry."
"Hi yourself. Thanks for inviting me."
"Would you like a glass of wine?"
At my nod, he took me by the hand and led me over to the table. I looked around some more and wondered why the cabin was made this way. There was a large picture window with a beautiful view, but nothing else was even worth examining.
"So where are we?" I waved a hand to indicate the room.
He handed me a glass of red wine and offered me a place on the sofa. Seating himself in the chair nearby, he said, "It's a place I come to when I need to think. As you can see, it's not finished."
"I guessed that much. Is it a place that really exists?" I took a sip of wine and nearly choked, it was real wine, not synthehol.
He caught me and grinned. "Nothing here is real except the food and the drink." He took a hefty swallow of his own and continued, "This place is made up of a bunch of different memories. All of them happy ones."
"Are you planning on finishing it?"
"I only add on to it when I acquire another happy memory. With any luck, I'll still be working on it when I'm old and bald." He chuckled and tugged on a lock of his hair.
"So why bring me here for dinner?" I asked.
Tom looked serious for a moment and said, "I wanted to share it with you. I know I'm taking a risk, especially when you find out about dinner, but I thought it would be worth it."
Puzzled, I inquired, "Find out what about dinner?"
He smiled again and said, "I'll tell you and then if you want to run out of here screaming, be my guest."
That really got me curious. Run out screaming? What in the galaxy was he planning? I took a big swig of wine and steeled myself for only gods knew what. "OK, Tom, lay it on me. What's the catch?"
"We eat naked."
"Without plates or utensils."
Oh Spirits! I laughed so hard, I almost spilled my wine. "Tom, are you serious? Eat spaghetti like that?"
His face was red and he looked a little uncomfortable, but he gamely went on, "Yes, I'm serious. It won't work if you only eat finger foods."
I struggled to get past the mental picture of the two of us festooned with noodles and asked, "What won't work? Just exactly what is the point of this nude spaghetti dinner?"
"You have to experience it to learn the answer." He emptied his glass and reached for the bottle to refill it. "So, Chakotay, are you up for it?"
For some reason I got the feeling this meant more to him than he let on. I stood and paced a little. Pouring myself more wine, he waited patiently while I thought things over. Hell, there really wasn't much to think about. I'd never done anything like this before and hey, I'd get to see Tom naked. "How many times have you done this?" I asked, thinking that maybe this was a standard Tom Paris seduction technique.
"Once," he answered in all seriousness.
Surprised, I just looked at him for a long moment. "Then yes, I'm up for it. Let's eat."
He visibly relaxed and a huge grin spread across his face. "Really? You'll stay?"
I laughed at the instant transformation, "Yes, I'll stay. It sounds like it will be interesting. How do we do this?"
"It's more than interesting! It's fun! And all you have to do is get undressed and sit at the table. I'll take care of the rest." He sent me an absolutely blinding smile, set down his wine glass and left the room briefly.
I figured what the hell and took off my clothes. Piling them neatly in the nearby chair, I shucked my shoes and socks as well, and sat down at the table. Now I knew why it was close to the fire. That way we wouldn't get cold.
Tom returned with a small tray table and a couple of towels. He looked at me sitting there, mock frowned, and said, "Guess I missed the floor show."
"Sorry about that. I wasn't thinking." I topped off our glasses, and he handed me a towel. "What's this for?"
"Think of it as an oversized napkin."
I draped it over my lap and watched as he undressed. Floor show, indeed. He was beautiful. I wanted to reach out and touch him. I settled for another gulp of wine.
He sat across from me, but the table was so small our knees touched beneath it. He unwrapped the bread and set the little towel on the tray table, then lifted the cover of the chafing dish to reveal a neat pile of noodles covered with a meatless red sauce. Steam wafted up into the air and I smelled the garlic from the bread.
Setting the lid aside, he then tore off a piece of bread and offered me the loaf. "OK, time to dig in. Literally." And with that he scooped two fingers into the middle and drew out several long, slippery noodles.
I watched him bring his fingers to his lips, and then he opened his mouth and sucked the spaghetti inside. Oh Spirits! It was messy. It was funny. It was erotic as all hell.
I copied his actions even as I saw some sauce drip off his chin and land on his chest. My own first attempt left me with sauce smeared over half my face, and I could feel the beginnings of a bout of pure silliness coming on.
Using the bread as an implement helped. Between bites, I remarked, "It seems awfully difficult to get a grip on these noodles."
"That's because they're extra long and completely tangled up. I wanted to make this as much fun as I could." He bit into the bread and then reached for more wine.
"It's very good spaghetti. Bread's nice, too. My compliments to the chef." I grabbed a few more noodles and lifted my hand high to see how long they were when untangled. He was right, they were extra long. I dropped one end into my mouth, then sucked the rest in like it was a flexible straw.
He laughed at me. "Gods, you look ridiculous when you do that!"
"So do you," I retorted.
"Well, it's different."
"I've never seen you look ridiculous before." He blushed. "I like it. You aren't so intimidating."
"Intimidating? Oh, you wound me!" Without thinking I brought a hand to my chest and realized that I'd just added another large blob of sauce to an already sticky area. I laughed, and he joined me. I then felt a sense of freedom that I think was the point of the dinner. Shed your clothes, shed your outer layer of convention and you can see beyond your normal perceptions. It was a heady feeling. In that instant I felt closer to Tom than I have ever felt before. It was as if this way of sharing somehow created a special bond between us. I'm sure the wine had something to do with it, but I felt so high, so happy, my spirit was soaring.
"Well, as covered in sauce as you are, you sure look wounded," he snickered.
I reached across the table and touched his chest. "You don't look any better."
He grabbed my hand and raised it to his lips, then sucked my index finger into his mouth. Oh, gods...what a sensation. My cock got so hard so fast, I couldn't believe it. He lifted some noodles to my lips and I sucked his fingers inside along with them. Trying not to bite and moan at the same time was a problem. He released my hand and I fed him some more noodles. We traded off until the noodles were gone and there was only one piece of bread left. Leisurely, we sucked each other's fingers clean.
I looked down at my lap at the sauce-covered towel now resembling a small, sauce-covered tent and said, "You know these towels aren't going to be of much use for cleaning us up."
"I know. They're only good for catching things before they hit the floor. Don't worry, I have a plan." Smiling at me, he broke the bread in two and we shared it. That done, we finished the wine and he said, "Let me have your towel."
I wadded it up and handed it over, giving my erection a stroke or two in the process. He set them aside and said, "Time to clean up, don't you think?"
"OK. What do you have in mind?" I was wary of standing up while I was in this condition. I wanted to know if he was as hard as I was before possibly embarrassing myself.
He paused, took a deep breath, and stood up. His arousal was plain to see. I looked him up and down and he stood there, unmoving, letting my eyes linger. Naked and unashamed, he was the most enchanting sight I've ever seen. Even slathered with spaghetti sauce, he turned me on.
I thought if he could do it, so could I. I stood slowly, revealing myself to him. His eyes raked over me. His gaze intensified when he saw that I matched him in both the spaghetti-sauce-artwork and raging hard-on departments. Then he smiled and I moved toward him.
He took my face in his hands and brought me in close. I thought he would kiss me but his tongue darted out and he licked my cheek instead. Ah, what an exquisite feeling. Soft, wet, warm, he tongued his way around my face, following the splatters down my neck and onto my chest. He went slowly, thoroughly. I fervently wished I hadn't had a towel over my lap earlier.
His teeth grazed over one of my nipples and I sucked in a sharp breath. He looked up at my face and ran his thumb across my lips. I let the tip of my tongue just touch his skin. He smiled a red-orange smile and I knew he wanted me to repay the kindness he'd just shown me.
I reached out and startled him by beginning with his belly. One small spot there and I licked it clean. Moving upward, I sucked the sauce off his chest hairs and nibbled a little, especially around his nipples. Those extra-long noodles had splattered sauce in many different locations and I took my time finding each and every one, tasting Tom as if he were a piece of cake and I was licking the frosting off of him. As good as the sauce was, he tasted so much better. I finished up by cleaning his face. I licked my lips and he sighed, rested his forehead against mine and put his arms around me.
"This wasn't supposed to turn out this way."
"What do you mean?" I felt my erection touch his, and both of us gasped.
"I mean, I didn't set out to seduce you tonight. Of course, I hoped that maybe.... But, I just wanted to get to know you better...let you get to know me." He looked into my eyes and I saw the truth. This hadn't been planned.
"But what about earlier? When you said it was time to get cleaned up? You said you had a plan."
He sighed, "All I had in mind was that we'd take a shower and get dressed again."
"And now? What do you want to do?" I removed a small spot of sauce under his ear with my tongue.
He trembled in my arms and said, "Chakotay, more than anything, right now, I want to make love with you."
He looked at me again and I was lost. Those beautiful blue eyes were my undoing. He tipped my head back and leaned down to kiss me. It was a small kiss, at first. A light brushing of his lips against mine. Once, twice, the third time he lingered and I felt the tip of his tongue seeking entrance. I relented and let him have what he wanted. He tightened his hold on me as he explored my mouth. The tang of spaghetti sauce faded as my senses were overwhelmed by Tom's taste, his scent, and the feel of his skin rubbing against mine.
We were locked together, hands moving everywhere, searching for all the forbidden places, tongues dancing, breathing each other's breath. I couldn't have stopped myself even if I'd wanted to. He felt so good in my arms. Such soft skin and his kiss, Spirits, I've never been kissed like that. So intense.
Gently, he pulled his lips from mine and softly said, "We'd better move this somewhere else or I'll wind up taking you on the floor."
"Does this place have a bed?" I asked between nips and nibbles.
"Um, hmm. This way."
He guided me into another room, bare with the exception of a bed and small nightstand. Jerking the covers aside, we tumbled down together. He was kissing me again and rational thought dwindled rapidly. He lay on top of me, covering me with his body, letting me feel as much of him as possible. I heard him fumble around in the drawer of the nightstand while he left my lips again and latched onto my neck. Sucking, biting, licking, we were caught up in a sensual frenzy.
I reached between us and stroked his erection. He felt good in my hand. I caressed his back, feeling the muscles ripple under my fingers. He moved lower and kissed his way down my chest. Then he moved lower still and took my cock into his mouth. I arched upward trying to get further inside. So hot, so wet, so good. I became vaguely aware of slick fingers stroking me, slipping inside my body, making me ready. I was so close, just at the edge and he stopped. Both of us breathing hard, flushed, hot, hearts racing. I lifted my legs up over his shoulders and growled, "Now."
He pushed into me slowly, I don't know how he managed to stay in control. I wanted it as much as he did, maybe more by that time. I moaned when he stopped and waited for me to adjust. I thrust back against him and he started to move. He leaned down and kissed me again and again. We were fused together, moving in a rhythm all our own. My cock was sandwiched between us, being rubbed deliciously with every move we made.
It couldn't last, nothing that felt this good ever did. He let go of my lips and raised up, pounding into me harder and faster, hitting that sweet spot inside me until I was moaning non-stop. I squeezed once and he came with a groan. With one hand, he reached for my erection and with two strokes, I followed him into the maelstrom. "Aaaah!"
When clarity of thought became possible again, I found myself holding Tom close, not wanting to let him go. "That was...there are no words to describe it. Thank you," I whispered into his ear.
He looked at me briefly, then closed his eyes, "I never dreamed it would be like that. So good. You are amazing."
"So are you. Not to ruin the mood, but how much time do we have before we have to leave?"
"All the time we want. I booked it for the entire night, just in case." He snuggled against me and pulled the covers over us.
"What did you have planned if I hadn't stayed?" I asked sleepily.
"Well, I would have changed programs and done something else. There's always something to do when you don't want to sit alone in your cabin or socialize with a crowd."
"Oh. Well, if you ever want company again, just let me know."
"I'll do that."
"I'll even spring for dinner next time. Deal?"
"Deal. Now go to sleep."
I closed my eyes and felt him kiss me. He ordered the lights off and we slept.