Title: B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour
Author: Julie Evans (Juli17@aol.com)
Disclaimer: Star Trek and its characters are the property of Viacom/Paramount. I am just borrowing them for fun, not profit.
Synopsis: B‘Elanna has shown a preference for enjoying certain locales and activities on the holodeck after a long, hard day in Engineering. Tom has taken to refering to her recurring "theme" by a particular name... Rated NC17 for sexual situations. Set shortly before the beginning of the 5th season.
"B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour"
by Julie Evans (Juli17@aol.com)
It was early evening by Voyager‘s clock, but where Tom stood was definitely mid afternoon. The sky was a bright azure blue, and the sea spread out before him was a vivid deeper blue, the cobalt blue of the Aegean. The sun was high in the sky, white with heat, and it baked the bare brown rocks of the hills that surrounded the small beach, baked the dazzling black sand that carpeted the beach, and Tom could feel it already baking him. He knew B‘Elanna had decreased the ultraviolet intensity to protect his paler skin, but he was still glad he‘d worn a t-shirt. He looked down at it, the one he‘d replicated a few weeks ago, white, with a string of bright blue crescents—waves—chasing each other across his chest, and below that the words "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour" emblazoned in bright orange. Then he looked at the woman standing by his side, who had inspired his creation.
"A Greek island?" Tom asked, recognizing the arid sharply defined landscape that had appeared around them. He had learned of B‘Elanna‘s preference for beach locales soon after they had started "dating". Whereas he generally opted for a program of physical activity, like snow skiing or mountain climbing, B‘Elanna opted for relaxation, perhaps because her job was often so much more physically demanding than his. And she invariably picked beaches, usually tropical ones, where she could also soak up the warmth that she coveted. He‘d begun to appreciate her choices also, after he‘d realized that combination of sun and relaxation invariably did lead to one physical activity, one that he enjoyed tremendously...
"Santorini," B‘Elanna said, answering his question. "Kamari Beach." She scanned at the beach appreciatively for a moment longer, than turned to Tom. Her gaze fell on his shirt and she frowned.
Tom saw her expression and the corner of his mouth quirked up. He‘d "surprised" her by wearing this in her last beach program, the one on Aruba, that he‘d designated Beach Program #9 of the newly christened "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour". He‘d come up the term a couple of beaches earlier, Martinique as he recalled. He‘d told her that he felt like he was getting a complete tour of the great beaches of Earth with her—Fiji, Tahiti, Bermuda, Madeira, Maui, even the slightly differently inspired evening at Tulum—so he figured they might as well give the tour a name, hence "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour". B‘Elanna hadn‘t been particularly amused by the name, and much less so by the t-shirt, even after he‘d explained that you can‘t have a tour without a t-shirt to promote it.
"I know, if anyone but you ever sees me wearing this, you‘ll rip my heart out," Tom said, grinning. He‘d changed in the Holodeck dressing rooms just to make sure no one saw the t-shirt. He actually thought she was secretly amused, maybe even flattered, by the name, but with B‘Elanna he could never be absolutely sure.
"It was your liver," B‘Elanna corrected, giving him a glowering look.
"Ah, right." The grin stayed on Tom‘s face as he
looked at the bright green and yellow sundress
B‘Elanna was wearing, that for the moment was
covering her bathing suit. Not that he didn‘t
appreciate the way the short, close fitting dress
displayed the smoothly tanned length of her arms
and legs, but he had to say it. "I can still
replicate you a t-shirt that-"
"Don‘t say it, Tom," B‘Elanna warned, her eyes narrowed. "I am not wearing anything that says "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour" on it!"
"Not even if I replicate an extra large and wear it first?" Tom asked slyly. She‘d worn his t-shirts a couple of times when she‘d ended up staying in his quarters overnight, and once she "borrowed" them, he never saw them again. When he asked her what had happened to his t-shirts, he got evasive answers, assurances that she would look around for them, as if they had simply been misplaced somewhere in her quarters. He had a different theory, one that he was fond of but never voice, but he couldn‘t resist hinting once in a while.
B‘Elanna gave him a narrow look, then pressed herself up against him and patted his chest once, rather hard. "Not even then, Tom," she said, before she walked past him along the sidewalk that ran nearly the length of the beach.
Tom followed her and glanced to the right at the string of whitewashed tavernas with dim interiors, the smell of olive oil and roasting meat drifted out. It wafted onto the sidewalk patios that overlooked the beach and sea, and among the small wooden tables there with their brightly painted blue and aquamarine chairs shaded by equally brightly colored umbrellas. A few people sat at the tables enjoying wine and Greek salads, and several waiters drifted in and out of the tavernas. As they passed by the tables he looked at the beach. Several dozen sunbathers reclined on the sand, stretched out on towels soaking up the hot sun, or lounging under large shady umbrellas. B‘Elanna had obviously set the parameters to include a typical population, a departure from many of her other, often deserted, beach programs.
B‘Elanna stopped in front of him, where a few small whitewashed steps led from the concrete sidewalk to the beach. "Have you ever seen sand like this, Tom?" she asked curiously, looking out over the beach where the sun created bright diamond glints all along the stretch of black sand.
"Similar beaches, a few times," Tom said, stopping next to her. "There are some other beaches on Earth with black sand, and I can think of a couple of other planets that have black sand beaches, including Vulcan." B‘Elanna arched an eyebrow at him, and he grinned, knowing what she was thinking. "Though I don‘t imagine this is a typical Vulcan beach scene," he said, glancing again at the brightly trimmed tavernas and at the scattered groups of carefree bathers on the beach. And he wasn‘t sure B‘Elanna understood just how carefree the bathers on Greek beaches could be...
"It‘s beautiful." B‘Elanna walked down the short set of stairs. "This feels really strange, Tom," she said, as she took several cautious steps across the sand. "It‘s not really sand, it‘s mostly tiny rocks. Pebbles. And it‘s a little hot..."
"Ahhh! That hurts!"
B‘Elanna turned to see Tom hopping around from one foot to the other like some out of control puppet, in a vain effort to keep both feet out of contact with sand. She stifled a giggle at the sight and grasped his arm to assist him back to safety as he quickly retraced his steps back to the whitewashed concrete. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah." Tom winced a little, curling his toes. He looked at B‘Elanna as she stepped lightly back onto the concrete. "Didn‘t that hurt your feet?"
B‘Elanna looked down at her toes and shook her head. "No. It was a little hot..."
"A little!" Tom groaned. At least his feet didn‘t feel like they were on fire anymore.
Tom shook his head. "No, I‘m fine. I just can‘t believe that you can walk on that."
B‘Elanna shrugged. "My Klingon genes. My skin can stand heat better because of that , I suppose."
Tom guessed so. Though her skin wasn‘t any tougher for it, which he well knew, because he‘d touched every single soft centimeter of her.
"Computer, lower the temperature of the sand by ten degrees centigrade."
Tom flashed B‘Elanna a grateful look, but when she reached out a hand to him, he looked at the sand suspiciously.
"Come on, Tom," B‘Elanna cajoled, gripping his hand tightly, an encouraging smile on her face. "I won‘t let it hurt you."
"Thanks, sweetheart," Tom drawled. She yanked his hand, and he stumbled a couple of steps, then righted himself, pleasantly relieved to feel that the sand—pebbles—beneath his feet were warm, but not burning hot. "This does feel different," he said, burying his toes into the expanse of little pebbles. Unlike sand they rolled right off as he moved his feet. "My mother would have loved this beach. No sand in our clothes, or our food, or our hair..."
"And I suppose you were the kind of kid who got sand everywhere," B‘Elanna said. She stopped abruptly and dropped his hand, then crossed her arms over her stomach, gripping the edges of her dress at the waist.
"That was me," Tom admitted. He watched B‘Elanna pull the dress up and over her head. And he caught his breath appreciatively. B‘Elanna was basically very modest, and in the resort program that the crew frequented she‘d never wear anything but a one piece maillot. But in their private programs she‘d slowly gotten more daring. And this was definitely daring. Her breasts thrust out slightly as she stretched her arms over her head and behind her. They were covered—barely—by two bright yellow triangles of material, held together by narrow yellow strings. The third triangle of material that covered her groin was likewise held in place by little more than string. The dress had slipped slowly down the back of her legs and fell in a small bright heap behind her feet. She turned to snatch it up, and Tom saw that indeed that was all that held the scraps of material together, narrow yellow strings. He‘d never expected to see B‘Elanna willingly wearing a thong bikini.
"You like?" B‘Elanna asked, her eyebrows raised provocatively.
"Oh, yeah." He loved surprises, especially when they were this pleasant.
But he wasn‘t too fond of unpleasant surprises and when a soft, low wolf whistle sounded from behind him he jerked around. One of the waiters from the taverna nearest them was lounging against the sidewalk railing a couple of meters away, looking at B‘Elanna with undisguised appreciation, white shirt and white teeth gleaming against his deeply tanned skin. Tom felt his teeth clench. "What are you looking at?"
The waiter just grinned a little wider, his eyes still glued to B‘Elanna, though he happily answered Tom‘s question. "A very beautiful woman."
Tom looked at B‘Elanna, who was staring at the waiter, nonplused. "Don‘t you have some drinks to serve or something?" he asked the waiter irritably.
The waiter shrugged. "No, unless the lovely lady would like me to bring her something cool to drink." He still hadn‘t looked at Tom yet, and his eyes remained on B‘Elanna as he spoke, all but devouring her in Tom‘s opinion. And belatedly Tom noticed that a couple of the other waiters had drifted closer to smile at B‘Elanna appreciatively also.
And B‘Elanna was simply staring at them, bemused.
Tom moved in front of B‘Elanna, deliberately blocking the waiter‘s view, and glared at him. "Get lost."
Tom turned to B‘Elanna. "He‘s ogling you like some piece of meat, B‘Elanna. They all are!"
B‘Elanna stared again nonplused, this time at Tom. Then a smile slowly spread across her face. "Tom, are you jealous?"
"No!" Even to himself his voice sounded sullen.
She shook her head, as if he was being foolish, though the rather delighted smile stayed on her face. "They‘re just holocharacters. And I‘m sure they‘d do that to any woman."
Tom looked at her and very much doubted it. "No, they wouldn‘t."
"Oh, no, little lady." The waiter leaned a little further over the railing, agreeing with Tom, much to his annoyance. "Your loveliness is beyond compare on this beach, or any other."
B‘Elanna rolled her eyes. "See. What an outrageous line. They‘re holopigs, like..."
"Gaunt Gary," Tom finished for her, smiling sheepishly. Gaunt Gary, whom he‘d deleted from the Sandrine‘s program long ago, and who would never be seen again.
"Come up here, little lady, and grace my humble establishment with your ravishing presence."
B‘Elanna gave the waiter a disgusted look, addressing him for the first time. "Oh, please. And after calling me "little lady" twice you‘d better be glad you‘re a hologram. Computer, make all the waiters very busy inside their establishments." She smiled at Tom. "There, no more ridiculous comments from him."
Tom knew it his comments hadn‘t been ridiculous at all, which made him doubly glad to see that the waiter and his compatriots were nowhere in sight when he glanced back up at the sidewalk tables.
"Okay?" B‘Elanna asked, patting Tom‘s cheek as he turned back toward her. "I‘m only interested in one slightly reformed pig," she added, with a soft teasing smile. Then she grabbed his hand. "Let‘s check out the water."
B‘Elanna dragged Tom right up to the edge of the surf, where the water swirled over their feet. The water was cool, but not cold, the perfect temperature as far as Tom was concerned.
"It‘s a little cold," B‘Elanna observed. She took a couple of steps backward. "I think I‘ll just lie in the sun for a while."
"You mean broil in the sun," Tom commented. He was already sweating.
B‘Elanna caught both Tom‘s hands in hers. "I deleted the ultraviolet rays, so your sensitive skin won‘t get burned." She planted a quick kiss on his chin. "It was a long day in Engineering, crawling around in Jeffries tubes for the most part. I just want to relax a little, like everyone else on this beach is doing."
"Okay," Tom said amicably, squeezing her fingers lightly. "But I should mention one thing..." He paused purposely at B‘Elanna‘s questioning look, then he leaned over and spoke in a low voice near her ear, "You‘re overdressed."
B‘Elanna stared at him, uncomprehending, then finally choked out, "Overdressed?"
Tom nodded, a small smile playing around his lips. A smug smile. "Take a closer look at the people on this beach, B‘Elanna."
B‘Elanna glanced around. Though she‘d programmed in a typical beach population she hadn‘t really paid any attention to them. Now she looked closely at the people gathered in couples or groups on the sand, or on towels, or under brightly colored beach umbrellas. Her eyes narrowed as she saw what Tom was talking about.
"Bathing suit tops are optional on Greek beaches," Tom said, as if she couldn‘t now see that for herself. "A very old, and charming, tradition, I think."
B‘Elanna heard the hint of laughter bubbling up in Tom‘s voice and gave him a sharp look. Then her gaze scanned the sunbathers again. Most of the women were indeed...topless, no matter their age. Or size. B‘Elanna‘s gaze collided with a woman lounging under a bright green umbrella, a well endowed redhead who was resting on her elbows, the better to display her attributes, and who was looking in their direction. Then B‘Elanna realized that the woman was in fact looking directly at Tom, with a seductive smile curving her overpainted red lips. The rather obvious woman raised her eyebrows once and moved her head in a "come hither" gesture. B‘Elanna‘s head whipped around and she looked at Tom, who was watching the woman with a bemused smile on his face. He managed a slight shake of his head at the woman‘s open invitation before B‘Elanna‘s hand gripped his chin and forced his gaze back to her.
"B‘Elanna..." Tom instinctively closed a hand over her wrist, then he grinned at her ferocious frown, remembering how he‘d felt a few minutes ago. Payback could be such fun. "Are you...jealous?" he asked, his voice tinged with mock disbelief.
Her forbidding expression didn‘t alter. "I would suggest that you don‘t look in that direction again."
Damn, was she jealous! "It would be hard to, since you‘ve got my face in a death grip," Tom pointed out, then mimicked her earlier words again. "Besides, it‘s only a holocharacter."
B‘Elanna stared at him for a long moment, visibly annoyed with his logic, then let her hand drop. Tom kept a light grip on her wrist. "B‘Elanna, I don‘t like watching other guys ogling you, and I‘m not interested any woman ogling me except you. Holocharacters or not. So do we really need all these people on this beach?"
B‘Elanna considered that. "I was just trying to keep the program authentic," she said. Then she smiled wickedly. "Screw authenticity. Computer, clear this beach of people."
They both watched as everyone on the beach winked out of existence, leaving just the two of them.
"You‘re right," B‘Elanna said with satisfaction.
"That is better."
Much better, Tom agreed. He gave her a meaningful look. "Now, about that dress code..."
B‘Elanna eyes widened, then narrowed, her eyes boring into his. He fully expected her to tell him where to stuff it, but instead she reached up and yanked the yellow strings around her neck and back, and a moment later the yellow scrap of material fell on the sand at her feet. She arched an eyebrow at him. "Am I in compliance now?"
Tom licked his suddenly dry lips and smiled wolfishly. "Yes, I believe the Beach Patrol won‘t have to haul you in after all..."
B‘Elanna flicked a finger at his chest and pouted slightly. "Too bad." She slipped past him and walked several meters away from the surf, then dropped in one fluidly graceful movement into a prone position on the glittering black beach. Tom smiled as he watched her appreciatively, knowing she was all but unaware of the way her natural grace commanded notice, especially his.
"No towel?" he asked as she stretched languorously, an action that definitely stirred him.
She shook her head, and flung her arms out, running her fingers along the pebbly surface, and wiggling her body slightly. "This feels kind of...stimulating."
He had to agree. He was definitely feeling stimulated.
"I can feel all these tiny little pokes in my skin when I move," B‘Elanna said, twisting her hips and shoulders slowly, experimentally. "It‘s not really painful, more like a forceful massage."
Normally Tom had no problem simply enjoying the settings of B‘Elanna‘s beach programs—for a while—before he began to want to engage in an activity, and not just any activity. But if she was going to roll around on the beach seductively, all but naked and practically purring with delight, he was going to have a serious problem. In fact, he already did.
"Come on, Tom," she said looking up at him, then patting the spot next to her. "Take off some of those clothes and get down here."
Tom pulled his t-shirt over his head. He was aware that she was watching him closely so he flexed a little for her benefit. Then he dropped the t-shirt on her stomach. "At least put that under your head."
B‘Elanna wadded it up and put it between her head and the bed of pebbles beneath her. "Thanks."
She was still staring at his chest, which was damp with moisture from the heat. Tom reached down and slid his loose shorts off and watched B‘Elanna‘s eyes follow his movements. Beneath the shorts he wore only a very snug pair of swim briefs. And their snugness magnified the state he was in at the moment. B‘Elanna‘s gaze was riveted there for several long seconds, before climbing slowly back up his body, until their eyes met. Her tongue darted out to moisten her upper lip, and she smiled appreciatively. "Nice strip, flyboy." Then she settled her head more comfortably on his wadded up t-shirt and closed her eyes.
Tom frowned and sat down next to her, folding his shorts and dropping them behind him to use as a pillow for his head. Sitting on hundreds of pebbles did feel a little strange, but not exactly unpleasant. The edges of the pebbles poked at his skin with each small shift in position. But he barely noticed because something else was interesting him far more at the moment. He stared intently at B‘Elanna. He knew that she knew that he was watching her.
"Ah, it‘s nice to just lay here and soak up the sun for a few minutes," B‘Elanna said contentedly, eyes still closed, and a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. Her hand reached over and patted his lightly.
Tom‘s eyes narrowed. So she planned on torturing him for a while. He pushed the pebbles between them around a little, and looked at the smooth inviting expanse of her bronzed skin, from the soft swell of her breasts, along the flat lines of her stomach and the gentle flare of her hips, past the remaining small triangle of material and down the length of her slender legs, all of her glistening just slightly with perspiration. His fist closed over a handful of pebbles. He held his hand a centimeter above her right breast and let the small pebbles trickle out between his fingers. And watched as they landed lightly on that firm and gently rounded small mound of soft flesh and rolled down into the smooth valley of her sternum and abdomen, or slipped down the other silken side losing purchase altogether and landing on their fellow pebbles at her side. Tom smiled as her dusky nipple contracted in reaction to the small cascade of attention from above. He looked at her face then. Her eyes were slitted, half open, and she was intently watching his actions.
"Tom, what are you doing?" she finally asked softly.
"Giving these little pebbles a thrill."
B‘Elanna snorted, then let out a small, surprised gasp as Tom opened his hand, then closed it over her breast. She‘d found out long ago, back in their first heated moments together, how perfectly his hands fit over her breasts, as if they had been made just for that purpose. Now his hand squeezed and massaged her breast firmly, and the dozen pebbles that had still been in his palm scraped along her sensitive skin, sending lightning jolts of sensation through her. He was leaning over her now and he reached over her and scooped up a small handful of pebbles with his other hand. Then he slapped his hand lightly on her left breast and dragged his fingers down, bringing most of the pebbles with him, grazing them roughly over her sensitive skin. She jerked upward slightly against his hand with a small moan.
"Your right, the feel of these pebbles against your skin is kind of...stimulating," Tom said, a small smug smile playing on his lips as he looked into her passion darkened eyes. He scooped up some more pebbles and dropped them in the hollow between her breasts, this time dragging his hand and the pebbles roughly over her damp skin until the heel of his palm rested against the yellow triangle of material between her legs. He fisted his hand and his fingers insinuated themselves just under the top edge of that material...
Then he straightened and pulled his hand away.
B‘Elanna stared up at him speechlessly, her lips slightly parted, as he moved away.
"I‘m sorry, B‘Elanna, I forgot. You just wanted to lie here and soak up the sun. I didn‘t mean to interrupt you." Tom reclined back against the bed of pebbles, feeling her gaze burning into him. He‘d barely arranged the folded shorts comfortably under his head and closed his eyes, when she was suddenly flush on top of him, her breasts crushed against his chest, her thighs wrapped around his hips.. The pebbles that he‘d felt pressing lightly beneath him now dug little indentations into his skin with her added weight on him. And some of the pebbles that he‘d scattered on her skin had kept their precarious perch during her quick movement, mired in the light sheen of sweat on her, and now burrowed themselves in the tight confines between their molded bodies.
"It‘s not very smart to tease a half Klingon, Tom," she said, pressing his shoulders down. He groaned as she licked the sweat along the base of his throat then sank her teeth lightly into his collarbone. Then he groaned louder as she pushed harder against him.
B‘Elanna raised up at that and straddled him just above the line of his briefs. "Does it hurt?" she asked as he rolled his shoulders once her weight was off him.
"A little," he admitted softly, brushing his fingers across her breasts. "But I‘m not complaining."
B‘Elanna smiled. She scooped two handfuls of pebbles from either side of him and dropped them on his chest, as he‘d done to her. Some of them rolled down to his flat stomach or over his pecs and back to the ground where they‘d started. Many of them lay trapped with in the soft, damp tangle of red gold chest hair. B‘Elanna rubbed her hands briskly over his pecs, and across his tight nipples, much as he was doing to her. Then she pushed his hands aside and fell on him again, wrapping her arms around his neck, her breasts crushed against the tangle of chest hair, the pebbles again caught between them. She pressed her mouth hard to his and they kissed deeply, a battle of teeth and tongues, as they moved rhythmically against each other, trying to get closer.
Tom suddenly found himself being pulled sideways as B‘Elanna with her considerable strength pulled him on top of her. They were still locked in a deep kiss. Though she had one arm wound tightly around his neck, keeping his mouth glued to hers, he felt her other hand grasp the top edge his briefs and jerk downward. He moaned as her fingers closed around freed erection, and he ground against her as she wrapped her legs around him.
Tom pulled back against her strong grip around his neck. She hesitated but let him go, their lips parting as they both gasped for breath. "B‘Elanna..." Her other hand released him also, as he pulled his briefs off awkwardly from his position on his hands and knees over her prone body. The feel of the pebbles beneath them biting into his knees reminded him of where they were. And of the fact that his weight had just been fully on her, pressing her against that uneven surface much harder than she‘d been pressing him.
"It‘s fine, Tom," B‘Elanna said softly, reading the concerned expression in his eyes. Her own eyes were dark pools of passion. "It‘s...invigorating. It makes me feel aroused.." Her voice was husky with desire as her hands snaked up his thighs again.
Tom nodded. They‘d drifted close to mild S&M on occasion, and god knew they‘d marked each other with plenty of love bites, and once or twice endured bruised—or in his case, broken—ribs in their enthusiastic lovemaking, but somehow they automatically drew a line before causing real, intentional pain, neither finding any pleasure in the idea of seriously hurting the other. He moved back, just out of the reach of her eager hands. "Not yet."
"Tom..." B‘Elanna protested, then sucked in a breath as Tom slid a hand under the small of her back, his fingers skimming along her sweat dampened spine, dislodging the intrusive pebbles along the way, until they found the top string of her bikini thong. She arched her pelvis upward automatically, invitingly, as his fingers gripped the string and pulled it down, trailing erotically between the firmly rounded skin of her buttocks. Then his fingers continued their progress from behind, caressing her folds, slick with her juices, in one long slow stroke, before they gripped the triangle of material covering her and pulled it half way down her thighs. B‘Elanna arched further and he moved back again, just far enough for her to bring her knees up. He pulled the thong off and tossed it aside. From his position he took full advantage, wrapping his arms around her bent knees and using his hands to press her legs apart, exposing her more fully to him. He leaned down and ran his tongue once along the full length of her folds, soaking up the taste and the wet heat of her, then caught the small nub of her clitoris in his teeth, tugging gently before releasing it. At that action B‘Elanna bucked against him, letting out a long broken moan.
"Tom, now." Her strangled words were punctuated by the fact that she‘d gripped his hair tightly, pulling his head up.
Tom‘s hands grasped her hips and lifted her upward, and he positioned himself to enter her. Her hands released his hair, and she wrapped her legs around his waist, trying to pull him into her. But Tom held her back, his erection resting full and aching against the welcoming wet center of her he had just tasted, while their eyes locked and their breathing stilled for one long sweetly anticipatory moment. Then he entered her slowly, filling her, sheathing himself completely within her. His arms slid around her, and hers closed tightly around him, and their mouths met and clung, swallowing the gasps and moans as they began to thrust against each other in a long even strokes.
As their rhythm intensified Tom rolled over, carrying B‘Elanna with him until she was on top of him. Even though the increasingly punishing scraping of the pebbles against her had only increased her now overwhelming arousal, she didn‘t protest. She knew Tom‘s innate and incurable chivalrous streak wouldn‘t allow him to bear his weight down heavily on her as their thrusting became harder. She accepted his occasional if unnecessary over protectiveness, deep down she even cherished it at times, though this wasn‘t one of those times. But she forgave him as he released her mouth and caught her arms, lifting her so he could sink his teeth into her shoulder, in a sharp, exhilarating love bite that made her gasp. She threw her head back as his teeth nipped their way along her collarbone, and her hands curled tightly around his shoulders, her nails digging into his skin She could only hold on against the waves that were rocking her as their thrusts reached a crescendo. The muted sound of the sea disappeared, replaced by the rush of blood that was roaring in her ears.
"Tom..." B‘Elanna keened his name as he drove hard into her one final time, and her pelvic muscles contracted, pulling him as deeply inside her as she could and holding him there as they both exploded over the crest together, their cries echoing along the now deserted beach. A moment later she collapsed against him, her face buried in his throat, as the waves of pleasure continued to wash over their bodies, slowly diminishing into sweet, gentle pulses, and finally into a soft lull of utter sated contentment.
Tom‘s arms tightened around B‘Elanna as she lay draped over him, her legs wrapped around him, still holding him inside of her, her arms cradling his shoulders, her head tucked under his chin. He felt a sense of well being creep over him, as always happened in the waning moments of their lovemaking. No matter how intense, how rough, their coming together—and he could feel the pinpoint stings of the pebbles that had dug into his back and his rear end—there was always this sense of peace that enveloped him as they held each other afterwards, and he‘d come to realize that she felt it too. He didn‘t know why, even during the tumultuous periods when they were at odds and could barely talk to each other without getting into an argument, this was what always restored them again. Not the sex, wonderful as it was, but the aftermath. If there was an explanation for it, for how two restless souls found peace in each other‘s arms, even for brief moments, he didn‘t know and didn‘t ponder it much. He simply and gratefully accepted it.
B‘Elanna lifted her head and looked at Tom. He looked back at her through half closed eyes, and he smiled at her slowly, dreamily. She brushed her fingers across his damp cheek, and he closed his hand lightly over her wrist, tracing the soft underside with his thumb.
"I think I need to cool off a little after all that...exertion under this hot sun," Tom said softly.
B‘Elanna trailed her fingers down his throat, where a fine sheen of perspiration glistened. "You are a little sweaty." Her own body was damp and overheated from their very enjoyable exertion also. She raised up on her knees, reluctantly letting him slide slowly out of her. "Shall we try out the water?"
"A dip sounds good to me." Tom took B‘Elanna‘s hand as she stood up, and let her pull him to his feet. Then he brushed his hands once down her body, from her shoulders, over her breasts and stomach and down the length of her legs. He grinned slyly at her questioning look. "You had a couple of little pebbles still stuck to you. I was just dislodging them." He pressed up close to her and looked over her shoulder, virtually hugging her while he brushed off the few pebbles still clinging to her back. And he saw the small marks the pebbles had left when he‘d been on top of her. He traced a small scratch on her shoulder lightly. "Hurt?"
"It‘s just a bit of a tingling sensation," B‘Elanna said. And she could feel that tingling all over her body, not just from the tiny scratches the pebbles had left on her during their lovemaking, but from her invariable reaction to Tom‘s physical nearness. He stepped back at that moment, and she pressed her own hands against his chest. "And you have a few errant pebbles, too." Her fingers ruffled his damp chest hair and she smiled as a few pebbles dropped out. "Turn around."
Tom turned around and B‘Elanna brushed him off, noting as she did that he had a myriad of red scratches on his back, where the sharper edges of the pebbles had pierced his skin toward the end, when their motions had become intense. She pressed her lips into the shadowy curve of his left shoulder blade, against one of the deeper scratches. "How about you?"
He sucked in his breath at the soft touch of her lips on his skin, then turned around. "Just stings a little, mingled with all my sweat." He quickly dropped a kiss on her forehead. "And it was more than worth it."
They looked at each other for a long quiet moment, then B‘Elanna took Tom‘s hand and pulled him toward the sea. She stopped abruptly where the surf just lapped at their feet and looked back at him. "The water might make those scratches sting a little more."
"Just for a minute," Tom said. "And the best way to deal with that is to dive right in." He pulled her then, into the water at a half run, and when they were waist deep he let go of her hand and they both dove into the crystal clear blue depths. The sharp sting of his scratches faded quickly and he basked in the blessedly cool feel of the water washing over him. When he resurfaced a minute later, B‘Elanna was right next to him.
She shook her head, spraying water in his face.
"This feels pretty good, doesn‘t it?"
Tom blinked the water out of his eyes, then reached out and pulled her body flush against his. "You bet."
"I meant the water, Tom," she said, draping her wrists over his shoulders. She wiggled a little in his arms, enjoying the feel of the cool water swirling in-between their naked bodies. She looked over his shoulder, then smiled at him beguilingly. "Want to race to the end of the beach and back?"
Tom stared at her, then in the direction she was looking, where the strip of black pebble beach tapered to an end several hundred meters distant, giving way to the rocky hills that dropped straight into the sea. He looked back again at the woman resting in his arms. "Race? You still have that much energy left?"
"Sure." B‘Elanna shrugged. "What, did I wear you out, Tom?" she asked softly, noting his skeptical look.
"No," Tom denied, seeing the challenge in her dark eyes. He looked down the beach again, then back at her. Swimming had always been something to which his long lithe body was well suited. "I‘ll win, you know."
B‘Elanna raised an eyebrow at his self assurance, well aware of his natural advantages. But she knew how to make her own advantages too. She patted his cheek. "There and back, mermaid boy," she reminded him. She looked at the spot directly up on the beach where the bright yellow scraps of her bikini were plainly visible on the black pebbles. "That will be the sight for the finish point.
Tom let his arms drop from around her. "Ready."
They both dove into the blue water and swam at a furious pace parallel to the shore, as if their lives depended on it, both unable to do anything less than fully attack a challenge. Tom‘s long and smoothly practiced stroke allowed him to take the lead quickly, and by the time they reached the end of the beach he was several lengths ahead of her. She saw him glance at her as he turned and headed back, as if gauging how good his lead was and whether he should slow down a little and let her catch up. To his credit, he knew she wouldn‘t appreciate it, so he just grinned at her and kept up his mean stroke. Half way back he knew he was starting to flag a little. Suddenly it seemed a much further stretch of beach than he‘d first thought. He pressed on, but she steadily gained on him until they were virtually head to head twenty meters before the finish. He forced one last burst of strength out of his aching arms but it didn‘t match hers, and she beat him by half a length.
Tom followed B‘Elanna as she strode out of the water, trying not to stumble onto the beach. When they reached the shallows he allowed himself to collapse, lying on his back and letting the water swirl around him. He looked up at her as she stood gazing down at him. "My god, you have a hell of a lot of stamina, woman," he managed to gasp out between labored breaths.
B‘Elanna dropped to her knees next to him, and gave him a wicked smile. "And here I thought you appreciated that about me."
At least she was a little winded, evidenced by the rapid rise and fall of her breasts, and the husky catch in her voice as she spoke. He grinned. "Oh, it is. One of the many things I appreciate about you." And he‘d love to appreciate it some more, if he could get his own stamina back.
She stood up then and moved away, gathering their clothes. When she returned a few moments later, she held out a hand to him. "Recovered?"
"More or less." He took her hand.
"Good." She hauled him to his feet and handed him his clothes. "All of a sudden I‘m hungry."
"Hungry?" Tom chuckled. He had become familiar with B‘Elanna‘s irregular appetite, not eating for hours on end if she was deeply involved in something, then deciding out of the blue that she was ravenous. Her appetite in other areas was far more predictable... "Hungry for me?" he asked sanguinely.
She gave him a considering look. "Maybe for dessert." She grinned at him as she pulled on her tiny barely there bikini thong. "Right now I‘m thinking of a snack."
"Neelix‘s dinner casserole didn‘t do the trick?" Tom asked, mentioning the meal served earlier in the evening right after shift. As he now recalled, she‘d eaten very little.
B‘Elanna wrinkled her nose. "It wasn‘t one of his better efforts." She adjusted the thin strings of her bikini over her hips and glanced at the tavernas lined up behind the beach.
Tom saw the direction of her gaze and groaned.
"Oh, no not those waiters again."
"I could program them to be nice to you, tell you that you‘re beautiful, too," B‘Elanna said sweetly, then laughed at his appalled look. "Actually, my holodeck time‘s almost up anyway. "Maybe we can just go back to your quarters and replicate something."
Tom pulled on his loose shorts and stuck his swim briefs in the pocket. No way was he going to try and get that tight thing on over his still damp skin. "We don‘t have to do that. It just so happens I reserved the holodeck for the hour right after yours this evening."
B‘Elanna gave him an appraising look as she positioned her bathing suit top and tied the thin straps around her neck. "My, you do think ahead, flyboy."
"And I know just where we can enjoy a little snack, a good bottle of wine, and a stunning sunset," he said as B‘Elanna turned around. He tied the lower strings of her bathing suit snugly around her back, avoiding crossing any of the small scrapes on her skin. When he didn‘t speak she turned and looked at him expectantly. "Right here on Santorini. It‘s one of the most beautiful sunsets on Earth, maybe the galaxy."
"Really?" B‘Elanna‘s eyes narrowed, as a thought occurred to her. "Have you been here before, Tom?"
"Not to this beach, but I was on Santorini once," Tom said, as he pulled his t-shirt over his head. "When I was at the Academy I took an Ancient Earth Civilization class as one of my history electives. Our field study consisted of a week transporting around the Aegean looking at ruins. We stopped here to visit the site at Akrotiri. Did you know this is probably the site of Plato‘s lost civilization of Atlantis, before a massive volcano sank half the island."
B‘Elanna didn‘t know that, she was only vaguely aware of the legend of Atlantis. History hadn‘t been her best subject at the Academy, though she‘d become more interested in the subject since she‘d joined Voyager and had begun to absorb some of the intriguing bits of history that Tom, and Harry, loved to relate at a moment‘s notice. Still, she was trying to picture Tom as a cadet, traveling around the Aegean, focused solely on the fascination of ancient archeological sites. "So you didn‘t spend any time on these Greek beaches, that as I now recall, you seem to know a lot about. The "dress code" for instance."
Tom gave B‘Elanna a sheepish smile. "Well, we did have one free afternoon to spend on the beach, but we spent it on Mykonos." He decided to avoid mention of the hedonistic reputation of that island, well deserved as it was. He placed his hands on her shoulders and skimmed his thumbs along her collarbone. "But, believe me, B‘Elanna, I‘d much rather be on this beach, with no one here but you and me. What made you think of it anyway?"
"Marisa....a friend mentioned this place to me once and said I had to see it sometime."
Tom noticed the brief moment of hesitation in B‘Elanna‘s voice, and felt her shoulders tense a little under his hands. "Marisa?" He asked lightly. "Someone from the Academy who took the famous archeological tour of the Aegean also?"
B‘Elanna shook her head. "No. Marisa was in..." She took a step back, and Tom‘s hands dropped to his sides. "She was just a friend. I‘ll be right back."
Tom watched B‘Elanna stride over to where she‘d left her dress, not far from where they‘d first stepped down onto the beach. He knew she‘d been about to say her friend Marisa had been in the Maquis. He didn‘t remember a Marisa, but then his stint in the Maquis had been cut very short. But he‘d seen the shadow cross B‘Elanna‘s eyes just now. When she‘d first found out about the fate of the Maquis back in the Alpha Quadrant- so many dead, and the few others who‘d survived now in prison- she‘d been very upset. But later she‘d said that what was done was done, that she was resolved to their fate. He‘d doubted that was completely true, but he hadn‘t pressed her to talk about it, because the Maquis was a subject which often made him uncomfortable, given his own fate there and the choices he‘d made later because of it. He looked at her closely as she approached him again, dress in hand. "B‘Elanna..."
"About this wonderful sunset, Tom," she interrupted him, her voice slightly muffled as she slipped the dress over her head. She wriggled her body so that the dress fell down into place over her hips, then she draped her arms around his neck and smiled brightly at him. "Tell me about this place where this incredible spectacle is going to occur?"
Tom looked down at her for a long moment, recognizing her diversionary tactic, debating quickly whether to accept it. His hesitation was brief, then he rested his hands on her arms, stroking her smooth warm skin lightly. "It‘s on the other side of the island, a small town called Oia. We ate dinner there one night during our Aegean tour and it turns out it‘s practically a crime to be there and not to find a spot along the rim and watch the sun set."
Tom nodded. "The rim of the ancient caldera, the volcano that blew up in 1628 BC and destroyed most of the island. What‘s left of Santorini is shaped like a crescent, and on the other side, the inner part of the crescent, it‘s mostly sheer cliff face dropping straight into the sea. There are a couple of small islands in the harbor that were also once part of a much larger island, and one of them is the volcanic crater itself, which still smokes and even has a mild eruption on occasion."
"It sounds fascinating," B‘Elanna said softly, her hands absently kneading his shoulders.
"It is," Tom agreed. He squeezed B‘Elanna‘s arms gently. "It should just take a minute for the computer to call up the files on Oia, and I think my replicator rations will stretch to a bottle of retsina and a plate of Greek specialties."
"A resinated white wine, very strong."
"Ah." That sounded fine to B‘Elanna who preferred strong wine, generally red. "But I‘ll use my replicator credits for that."
"I lost the race."
"We weren‘t betting on it," B‘Elanna reminded him. She slid her hands off his shoulder and down his chest. "Besides, you should save your rations until later. I might need you to replicate something for me to sleep in if I...stay over tonight."
Tom looked down where her hands were lightly rubbing his cotton t-shirt. He raised his eyebrows. "One that says "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour" on it?" he asked hopefully.
B‘Elanna looked at the t-shirt consideringly. "Maybe," she conceded. Deep down she was actually flattered by Tom‘s creation, even if she‘d been giving him a hard time about it. Then she looked up and caught the smug grin on his face. "Tom..." Her hands closed into fists, gripping his shirt tightly. "Again, no one else will ever know about this."
Tom nodded quickly. "Okay. I swear I‘ll cancel the order for the two dozen "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour" t-shirts I was going to pass out at the resort-"
B‘Elanna jerked him toward her by his shirt. "Not funny," she said darkly, though her mouth quirked just a bit.
Tom grinned. "I was just kidding." He pressed his hands over hers, before she ripped his shirt all the way off, though that thought did have some appeal. "No one else will ever see this." Which was fine with him. He didn‘t really want anyone else to see B‘Elanna the way he saw her when she was wearing his oversized t-shirts that swallowed her and hung to her knees, because to him she looked deliciously, unaccountably sexy... "It‘s just between you and me."
B‘Elanna smiled at his fervid affirmation.
"And now that you‘re in an agreeable mood, maybe I should mention my new program again-"
B‘Elanna snorted. She knew about the new program he‘d been working on, some 20th century idea of a futuristic hero, Captain Neutron or something like that. He and Harry couldn‘t wait to get into it. But when she found out the 20th century idea of the role of a futuristic woman was a secretary... "Don‘t try and push your luck on that one, Tom.
Let‘s just get back to that sunset."
"Okay," Tom agreed easily. He‘d work on the other, whatever it took to get her to eventually come around, either his amazing power of persuasion or his incredible persistence. In the meantime... "Computer call up the file on the town of Oia, on the island of Santorini, Earth."
B‘Elanna waited while Tom specified the season for early summer, and the time 30 minutes before sunset, and then asked the computer to place them on the main street of Nicholas Nomikos.
"Program parameters set," the computer replied after several seconds.
The computer complied with Tom‘s order, and the black pebble beach disappeared, immediately replaced by a narrow street of pale flat cobblestones, lined with square whitewashed buildings. Vivid spots of color peeked out everywhere, especially the favored shade of pure bright blue, often called Cycladic blue, but also salmon, yellow, sea green, turquoise, and cornflower; in the painted doorways, the wooden backs of the straw seated chairs around small cafe tables, the windowsill trims and shutters, even the balcony railings. Tom took B‘Elanna‘s hand in his warm grasp and they walked past the people milling in front of the shops and seated at the tavernas and cafes, following the street that wound slightly upward, intersected by other narrow cobblestone streets, until it opened up into the cliffside. They walked to the low whitewashed wall along the edge that connected several buildings and stood guard over the sloping cliff, and looked down at the deep blue waters of the harbor formed by the ancient sunken caldera. In the middle of the harbor were the two small islands, one the cone of the still active volcano, and beyond that the narrower leftover islands that formed an incomplete circle around the harbor.
B‘Elanna looked at the narrow paths that wound down along the cliffside, on several different levels. Small white washed houses, and churches with bright blue domes, hugged the slope, and dotted among them were terraces and balconies with tiny tables and bright colored wooden chairs, and low short whitewashed walls connecting the small houses and paths. Everywhere she looked, people were standing, or sitting, on the chairs, the low walls, even on the flat whitewashed roofs of the houses, engaged in quiet conversation or looking in silent expectation out toward the sea, which was already showing streaks of deep orange as the sun sank lower toward the horizon. Her mouth curved at the sight of two cats perched agilely on the top of a blue church dome, sitting in perfect stillness, regarding the sea as if they were deriving some wisdom from it.
B‘Elanna turned to see Tom standing beside her holding a bottle of wine and a plate of fruit and cheese. She hadn‘t even realized that he‘d stepped away while she was staring, rapt, at the scene before her. Tom set the items he was carrying on the whitewashed wall, then took the three steps to where the wall joined seamlessly into the building jutting from it. He straddled the wall and sat down, leaning his back against the whitewashed concrete side of the building for support. Then, smiling, he held his arms out to B‘Elanna.
B‘Elanna slipped her leg over the wall between Tom and their culinary repast and straddled the wall also as Tom‘s arms came around her waist and pulled her back against his chest. "This is pretty amazing, Tom," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder, and clasping her hands over his where they were linked around her waist. She looked toward the sea, her head comfortably nestled in the crook of Tom‘s neck.
"It‘s pretty remarkable," Tom whispered against her ear. "For hundreds of years, every evening, people from all over the Earth would gather here to watch the sunset It was like a microcosmic representation of the cultures of Earth. Even when those cultures weren‘t always getting along, this was one of the places where that didn‘t really matter. And it remains the same, only now it‘s a microcosm of the Federation. This may be only a simulation, but half the galaxy away, right now perhaps, there are people gathered in the real town of Oia on Earth watching the sun set over the Aegean."
B‘Elanna was studying those gathered around them, all waiting to see the sunset. Among the many humans she saw two Vulcans standing in a turquoise painted doorway, their intent meditative gazes locked on the sea, several Bolians and an Andorian gathered with a group on a terrace below, two Bajorans sitting with some humans around a small table on one of the cafe patios, and amazingly, two Klingons, a male and female, standing close together on a rocky slope, ignoring the safer perch of a terrace right next to them.
"The colors will begin to change soon," Tom said, and she glanced again toward the sea. The setting sun was quite near the horizon now and taking on a deeper orange hue. The blue sky was already fading to a pale orange.
"Hungry?" Tom asked softly. He reached around her and pulled the plate nearer so he could pick out a plump grape. Then he held it to her lips. She opened her mouth and took the offering, sucking the tips of his fingers lightly as he deposited the grape on her tongue. She savored the tart taste for a moment, then plucked one of the grapes and offered it to him.
They fed each other, grapes, figs, and melon, licking each other‘s fingers, as the sun sank even lower toward the sea. Occasionally they kissed each other lingeringly, B‘Elanna‘s head tipped back against Tom‘s shoulder, both tasting the juices that lingered and mingled on their tongues. They moved on to the cheese and the wine as the sky turned a deep orange, and the sea a dark fathomless indigo.
Eventually they abandoned the food and wine altogether, their attention riveted by the sunset. They sat, Tom‘s arms around B‘Elanna, and B‘Elanna‘s arms possessively over his, her head tucked carefully under his chin, watching the fiery ball of the sun set into the sea, and salmon and orange streaks fingers of color across the sky metamorphosize to pink and purple streaks, spreading a rose glow over the whitewashed buildings, terraces and cobblestones of Oia.
Whatever thoughts drifted through their minds in their quiet contemplation—of words said or not said, of friends gained or lost, of lives changed and changing—they were fleeting and unheeded in the face of the contentment of the moment. Whatever had happened before in their lives, both joys and sadness, and what was still to come, good or bad, together or apart, this moment was set. And, long after the moment had passed, no matter where their lives would eventually take them, it would continue to remain part of them.
The sky darkened to mauve, then deep purple and finally black, and the sea disappeared into that darkness, and the stars came out, surrounding them, shining down on them until they finally rose, and hand in hand, walked out of the holodeck.
Later, in Tom‘s quarters, after they had made love once again, B‘Elanna decided to stay. Well into the third shift by Voyager‘s artificial clock, they fell asleep on Tom‘s bed, entangled in each other and in the sheets. B‘Elanna lay slightly to her right side, and Tom was cocooned around her, one leg slung over hers, and one arm draped across her waist. Tom wore only boxers, though sometimes he didn‘t even bother with that, and B‘Elanna, who was colder natured, wore a large oversized t shirt, one that would easily fit Tom, and that covered much of her that wasn‘t covered by Tom‘s extremities. The t-shirt was white with a flash of bright blue crescent shaped waves racing over her breasts, and below that, just above where Tom‘s arm cradled her and her own arm lay possessively across his, were the words "B‘Elanna‘s Beach Tour" emblazoned in bright orange. Another, exact duplicate t-shirt, the one Tom had in fact replicated a couple of hours earlier, lay folded on his bedside table. The one B‘Elanna wore was the one that Tom had worn on the holodeck, and that she had hastily put on in her sudden state of chill before Tom could replicate another, the one that, to the particularly discerning nose, was marked with his scent.
The next day B‘Elanna would stuff that t-shirt she‘d slept in in her top drawer, with his other t-shirts she‘d "forgotten" to return, next to the several pairs of pajamas she rarely wore anymore. On the nights when their shifts didn‘t coincide, or for some other reason they didn‘t have the opportunity to be together, or even when they‘d elected to take a night‘s breathing space from each other when tempers were getting high, she invariably pulled out one of his t-shirts. For no matter how often they were washed, her finely tuned olfactory sense could still detect his scent. And she slept blanketed in the smell of him, feeling his presence, comforted until the next moment, never long away, when she could also touch and taste and see him. Perhaps it was pure sentimentality, the one human trait she ironically depreciated in herself, but she didn‘t care. If it was a sentimental indulgence, it was a private one, and no one else would ever know, except perhaps one person, and she had slowly learned that she could trust him implicitly.
Tom knew. He‘d guessed some time ago, and he understood her need to keep some parts of herself secret and protected, parts of her, both human and Klingon, that she was just learning to value. He understood because he was still learning to believe in the parts of himself he‘d never thought existed, or had thought hopelessly lost, still separating who he could be, and who he was slowly becoming, from the person others had told him he was for so many years. And sometimes still struggling to believe that he was truly deserving of B‘Elanna‘s devotion. So, flattered and a little awed by that devotion, he let her keep her secret, content to know that she knew it was not so secure, and that she trusted him. And if she‘d left an item or two of clothing in his quarters on occasion, that he‘d forgotten to return, and if sometimes he indulged himself in the satiny touch and lush scent that reminded him of her, well, no one else knew, except perhaps one person, and he trusted her implicitly.