A Victorian Life
by Judy

                                             Part II

Summary and Warnings: See Part I.

Part 9

Arthur reached his sanctuary undetected. It was an unnamed, unmarked cave he occasionally used as a base of
operations when he wanted to move about the estate without having to travel great distances. Located in the side of
the cliff above the sea, the cave's entrance was hidden by a thicket. He'd found it as a boy, had kept it a secret, and,
over the years, had furnished it with some necessities, including a small pot-bellied stove that vented out over the
sea, the smoke blending with the ocean's mist. 

With his back to the cave wall, a lantern nearby, a blanket around him, Arthur smirked to himself at how easy it
had been to gain access to his brother's lover. He replayed the events in his mind, happy at the fear he'd induced
and the damage he'd begun to inflict. He delighted in the images of his hand gripping that pale, white skin, of the
hard blows he'd delivered. He couldn't wait to do that, and more, all over again. 

Eventually, he'd get around to killing the slut. But before that, he'd take everything that body could give him. He'd
turn his brother's lover into his own plaything. First, Arthur plotted, there would be a little campaign of terror.
Random attacks and random violence would soften up the little slut for the games Arthur planned to play when he
had the boy under his control. What a delicious revenge on his brother, Arthur thought, holding his grudges as close
to him as the stove held its heat. 


Chak guided Tom to the bath chamber, helped him out of his dressing gown, and watched him step into the tub
filled with hot water. Chak added some bath oil as Tom lowered himself. It was all he could do to keep his eyes from
staring at the flat stomach, the light curly hairs, and the long legs folding into the water. Smiling reassuringly at
Tom, Chak let his palm fall briefly on Tom's thigh. A wide blue eye followed the movement and a shaky smile played
across Tom's face. After Chak gathered the soap and cloth, he caressed the soft hair on the fair head. Tom's good
eye followed his every move even as he wore a mixed look of fear and trust. 

Chak smiled, "It will be all right. Just relax."

Tom closed his eyes and let Chakotay go to work, enjoying the soothing mix of hot water and slick soap on his skin. 

"Lean forward," Chak urged.

When Tom did so he felt the cloth move up and down his back, then all the way under him as he lifted up slightly.
As Tom gave in to the sensations, he realized he was no longer experiencing only a soothing rub. Something more
sensual was at work, setting up a tingling that countered the hurt inflicted by Arthur. He found himself somewhat

Then Chak's fingers lightly pushed him back against the tub wall. Eyes closed, he followed the soft track of the cloth
as Chak swept it over him from his neck to his knees. Each pass created an answering excitement in Tom's body.
At some point, Chak stopped and spoke quietly.

"Now, Tom, I want to do something that may startle you. It will feel very, very good. Do you understand?"

Tom nodded, one eye lazily regarding the man on the other side of the tub, speech not quite possible in his aroused
state. But Chak seemed to notice how his fingers tightened on the edge of the tub and Tom received a smile of
reassurance. Chak coached him in placing his legs, feet braced against the far end of the tub. 

With only his fingers, Chak spent a long time introducing Tom to the delights found within his body. Chak felt the
power of his control over the young man. Tom was so responsive and so willing. He could probably take the youth
now and Tom would welcome him. No, no. Not yet. He knew that such action on his part now would surely cause
unneeded hurt. 

Eventually, he would bring Tom to the point where taking the younger man would be easy and pleasurable. But now
was not that time. Now he focused on providing Tom pleasure as he brought his other hand into play until Tom

Feet that had been braced against the end of the tub dropped into the cooling water. Tom's hand fell bonelessly to a
panting chest. 

"Sit up, Tom." Dazed, Tom struggled to a sitting position. "Open your eyes." 

As might be expected, the puffy eye barely opened, but its unharmed mate proved almost no better at opening. The
young man was nearly insensate from the intense stimulation of his body.

Chak wished he could begin again, regretted for the moment that he had talked himself out of taking pleasure for
himself in that warm body. Instead of giving in to these longings, Chak helped the rubbery youth from the tub. Tom
groaned in pleasure and loss as he slumped into Chak's encircling arms and body. He held Tom's limp body for a
long while as his wide hands roamed up and down Tom's silky skin. 

At the same time, Chak was grateful that he'd so recently experienced the relief found at his club. Otherwise, he
might not have been able to exercise this control. He still wanted to take Tom, to experience the joy he knew he
would find there. Yet he held back, deferring to his young lover's inexperience.

To his surprise, Chak felt an exploration of his own body. He shifted his weight so that he could encourage Tom's
initiative. One unharmed blue eye sought permission and then Tom moved back, kneeling on the bathroom rug. In
the ensuing moments, he created an intense pleasure for Chak.

Chak appreciated that this was the first time Tom had taken the initiative. And although he didn't want to frighten
his young lover, Chak had reached a point of no return. When he sensed that Tom was going to pull away, Chak
encouraged Tom to continue. "Tom, oh, please." 

Tom obeyed his plea with no sign of reluctance. Chak encouraged him, "Yes, yes." 

Despite Tom's inexperience, this felt so good, so incredible. When Chak felt himself on the verge of climaxing, he
turned his body away, having no desire to alarm Tom. 

Recovering, Chak gave Tom an outrageous grin and helped him to his feet. "Thank you."

"Did I...did I do it right?"

"Oh, yes."


CHAKOTAY: Throughout this whole scene, Tom's responses were so much like the inexperienced boy I'd imagined when I
wrote the holonovel. It was a very heady time to introduce him to such pleasures for the first time. It was as if he'd never
known what surprises were contained within his body. Chak felt thrilled thinking that there would be other first times as
well in the future. It was a wonderful moment and I'm grateful to Tom that he gave me that.


The room was warm both from the fireplace in the corner and from the exertions of the two men. They stood in
silence for a moment. "Tom, I like that you trust me."

"What you did. That was...I still can't believe it. Do you know more things like that?"

Chak saw the shy tutor transform almost before his eyes into a sultry, sexual being. "Yes, Tom, I do. Now tell me,
and be truthful, do you need anything more tonight?"

Tom thought about the question seriously. He knew he had experienced the most extraordinary excitement of his
life and somehow the incredible pleasure had wiped away his need for anything else. Certainly, he'd been cleansed
enough. A little uncertainly, Tom smiled, "I am fine."

"Good. Then let's dry you off." Chak took a large towel, wrapped it around Tom's back and began moving it up and
down along the slender frame. Almost swaying from the motions of the towel on his back, Tom became lost in the
soft sensations. He wished it could go on forever, but at some point he realized the towel had dropped away. When he
opened his good eye, he saw Chak holding a nightshirt over his head. Somehow he didn't mind that the older man
guided his arms into the sleeves or that Chak smoothed the cloth down his sides. In that moment, he realized that
Chak could ask almost anything of him and he would surrender.

Sir Charles Jackson, of Havenwood, West Devon, had provided him with the missing piece of his life. It was as if a
stained glass window that lacked one jagged, colored piece of glass had been completed just as the sun cast it into a
prism of brilliant light. Tom stood stunned, utterly motionless, by the revelation until Chak's voice caught his

"My dear, Tom."

"Yes?" he asked dreamily.


"Oh, yes."

"I plan to clean up a little," Chak informed him. Then he seemed to remember something. "My saddlebags."

Tom asked, "Your saddlebags?" 

"Yes. They're on the chair. Bring them to the bed?"

As Tom left to carry out the chore, Chak removed his damp shirt and trousers and dressed in his own nightshirt. He
tidied up and walked slowly into the bed chamber, mentally trying to change modes. He wondered if Tom would like
the gift he'd brought back for him.

Tom stood by the bed with the saddlebags in his hands. Chak motioned for Tom to place them on the bed. Curious,
Tom watched as Chak rummaged through the bags. He pulled out a soft package wrapped in paper and handed it to
Tom. "Take it. It's for you."

Puzzled, Tom opened the wrapping and looked at the cloth inside. He rubbed his hand over it. "It's very soft."

"Finest wool. Hold it up."

Tom complied and found himself looking at a kilt. "It's a filleadh beag, a little kilt."

Chak smiled. The young man's education included the Scottish pronunciation and correct name for the gift. "Yes.
It's for you. I want you to wear it on special occasions when we're here at home."

"It's beautiful," Tom admired. "It looks like my maternal grandmother's clan."

"I know. Green, with triple stripes of red, yellow and red. It will look good on you."


TOM PARIS: You know a kilt like that one looks an awful lot like a skirt. And it's worn without underwear, not even a jock.
I really wasn't sure about going around wearing it. Suppose there was a red alert and we had to rush to the bridge? And
then there was the meaning Chak wanted to give it. But hell, I like having Chakotay's hands on me. I guess this was one
way to have that happen. So, it was a good gift after all.


"I don't know what to say."

"Say you will wear it. That when you do you will allow me to touch you whenever I ask."

Tom realized how much of a commitment he was being asked to make. Yet he also realized how much he wanted of
Chak. "Um. What do you mean by 'touch'?"

The dimples deepened to dangerous depths. "For the present, I merely wish to caress your soft skin. Eventually, I
want to do more, I want to take you. That's what I want."

Those images made Tom tremble with expectation. He felt a shiver of sheer excitement go through him at the
thought that Chak would encounter him out on the grounds or perhaps in the study and ask to place his hands on
him. "And when I wear this, I'm saying that I'm yours, that you have my permission to do these things?"


"I look forward to wearing it. And thank you."

End Part 9

Part 10

Chak took the package and placed it on Tom's dresser. When he returned to Tom's side, he pulled Tom into his
arms, hugging and showering him with kisses. Tom shuddered in the embrace. Without warning, he felt his feet
leave the floor as Chak brought them both down on the bed and stroked his back. It was sometime later before they
fell asleep.

Chak knew with certainty that they belonged to each other.


TOM PARIS: I have to admit, being bathed as an adult was a new experience for me. Not that I didn't like it. Yeah, I know,
that's a nervous laugh on my part. I guess I just like sensations. But I wasn't sure I'd really like the reality of it. Truth? It
exceeded my fantasies. The heat of it. Chak doing it. Even the submission it required of me. I'll probably flunk the next
routine psych evaluation on Voyager. But, hell, I liked it.


Sleeping on his side, Tom slowly woke up. Simultaneously, he became aware of several things. A warm body lined
up at his back and strong arms wrapped around him. Hands stroked his chest, fingers played with his nipples. As he
snuggled back against Chak, he pulled his knee up, inviting further exploration of his body. Chak complied with
Tom's nonverbal request, stroking down his side and over his hip.

Most of the bedclothes were swept off them, only a sheet remained to ward off the morning chill. But the heat from
their bodies seemed to more than compensate for the loss of blankets. Tom groaned, felt a heavy leg swing over his
hips trapping him underneath.

As Chak's hands roamed, Tom tried to signal with his movements that he wanted Chak to repeat the experience of
last night. He wanted to be certain that it had been real.

"Please, please," he begged turning his head so that his mouth wasn't in the pillow, while his thoughts remained
nearly incoherent with searing want.

"You want this?" came a breathy voice.

"Yes, yes. Do what...please do it again. What you did last night."

Chak spoke words that commanded Tom into position, however, the tone was more like a hushed invocation.
Regardless of the true intent, Tom obeyed instantly.


CHAKOTAY: I have to admit I loved giving him such satisfaction. Tom asked me to do this. He trusted me. He gave me all
this power over his body. Of course, it was a power that he could snatch back with a single word. Yes, I could get used to
doing this, having that beautiful pale body submitting to me. I liked it so much that I hoped we would continue this activity
off the holodeck.


Once the room stopped spinning, Tom saw Chak sitting up beside him, a huge grin on the man's face, his dimples
deep statements of satisfaction, his body testimony to unfinished business. The soft voice asked, "Like that?"

"I never knew it could be like this."

"Eventually you will be able to accommodate me. I think you'll like that."

Tom closed his eyes trying to imagine the promised intimacy. "When?"

Chak's hand brushed at his face and Tom opened his eyes, both eyes able to open today. "It may be awhile before we
take such a step."

Tom groaned.

"I'm sure we can find ways to make the time pass in a mutually gratifying manner."

"In that case, perhaps there is something I can do for you." Tom grinned at him.

Chak looked down and gave Tom a matching grin. "Yes."

Taking a cue from Chak's directness, Tom said, "Say it. Tell me what you want."

And Chak told him just what it was that Tom could do and then coached him in what to do and how to do it. 

Tom's grin faded. Swallow? He gulped and wondered whether he could do that when the time came. Well, he would
try. With more confidence than he felt he set to his task.

Chak touched his forehead to Tom's and whispered to him, "I know you will do your best."

When Tom finished, Chak couldn't have been more pleased. Not only was Tom a quick study, but he had given so
much enjoyment, Chak felt as if his muscles might remain useless for quite some time.

Chak's felt Tom's fingers trace light pathways across his forehead and face and over his lips. When Chak opened
his eyes, he found an expression of wonder on the young man's face. He smiled and pulled Tom over on top of him,
kissing the lovely mouth. 

Breaking off the kiss, he reached for the blankets. Tom protested, "You don't need those, I believe we've warmed
this whole room all by ourselves."

Chak laughed. "I know we have. And now we must consider beginning our day."

Tom pouted and Chak kissed the out-thrust lips. "But I've noticed that you are deft at learning new concepts. In the
coming months, I promise you will have experiences that you cannot even imagine today. That's all I'm going to

"Not fair," Tom informed him.

"This is love, Tom. Everything's fair." He kissed him once again. "Let's talk about today."

Impulsively, Tom announced, "I want to wear the kilt today." At Chak's broad grin, Tom added, "And tomorrow and...."

Chak bent down to kiss him before he could say anything more. "Good. However, I suggest you wear it primarily on
special occasions." He moved off of the bed, a full-blown, dimple-revealing grin on his face as he regarded the
beautiful youth still lying there.

Despite the sore muscles from the attack, Tom felt so good he scarcely noticed them. But, Chak was right. It was
time to begin the day. He beat a hasty retreat to the sanctuary of the water closet. It was a good thing he didn't see
Chak's laugh as he went.


A little self-consciously, Tom retrieved his new clothes from the dresser. After Tom struggled a bit with the
fastenings, Chak gave him some assistance, and finished by running his hands over that still warm flesh. Shoes
and knee socks on, Tom stood up and turned around for Chak's inspection. 

The kilt came to just above his knees. Its rich green color fit right into the decor of the room. Chak thought the
color looked good against Tom's fair skin. Chak invited Tom to leave their chambers together as the palm of his
hand slid under the kilt and gently patted Tom's rear.

End Part 10

Part 11

As they stood there, oddly, Tom thought, he felt more exposed like this than he had last night when Chak had
bathed him. Perhaps it was the fact that this truly harmless pat had happened to him while he was clothed, about to
go to work as the children's tutor. 

Whatever created the problem, his face flamed with embarrassment.

Chak stepped back as Tom turned to face him. He couldn't read Tom's expression other than the obvious
embarrassment. "What is it, Tom?"

"It feels different this way."

"I know. You're about to go out into the household, in a strange costume, in circumstances that have changed
between us a great deal. I do understand. Perhaps you would prefer your usual attire?"

He wanted to please Chak. As if understanding his desire, Chak told him, "Don't do this for me. If you feel uneasy,
we'll try tomorrow or the next day. There is no hurry. Understand?"

He kissed Tom's lips and smoothed his hair. 

Tom nodded. "I wish to try."

"Good. And if it is all too much, you must come back up here to our rooms and change."

"Yes." Tom took a deep breath and regarded the heavy doors that protected him inside these rooms. "Could I...?"

"What is it?"

"I'd like to take a walk before breakfast. Just a short one. To clear my head."

"You want company?"

"No. I just...I believe I need to see if the world is out there today the same as it was yesterday."

"I understand. And Tom? You don't need my permission for such things."

"Thank you, kind sir," Tom grinned.

"Shall we?"

"Indeed," Tom agreed and gave Chak a warm look of affection.

Chak opened the doors and they stepped into the hallway. Tom felt the heavy wool against his back, felt the kilt
swirl a bit about his thighs. He felt the strange bareness of his legs without trousers around them.

Downstairs, he headed outside to the now barren rose garden and up the trail to the cliff side. He was unaware that
Chak watched him as he strode up the hill. At the overlook to the ocean he stopped and took in deep gulps of the
heavy sea air. He walked along the top of the cliff, lost in his own thoughts. 

Here he was, the son of an admiral, his destiny once the sea and a naval career, now a tutor. But more importantly,
now he was the lover of a man more than ten years his senior, he was recovering from a glorious, albeit intimate,
discovery within his own body, he wore a kilt without under garments, and the first meal of the day had been a
mouthful of his partner's essence. 

It was a lot to occupy his thoughts. As a breeze lifted up the hem of his kilt, he thought ruefully, when I wear this
kilt my lover can *touch* me if I give my permission. 

Tom knew he entertained no regrets at the new state of affairs. But he wondered how he had so quickly
transformed himself from a virtual virgin into this seemingly wanton creature who could beg his partner to
pleasure him in a way that appeared to separate him from his right senses. 

Yet he never felt more alive. The sadness at giving up his naval dreams was now all but banished by the nearly
constant state of stimulation occasioned by his activities with Sir Charles Jackson. 

Suddenly, his feet went out from under him and he fell face first to the hard ground, his dignity lost, his feet briefly
held together. He managed to get to his knees, then felt something hard knock him over, heard his breath vacate
his body in a whoosh, and had his consciousness momentarily leave him. When he was able to assess the
situation, Tom found himself face down in the brittle grasses, his face dirty, his knees bruised, his kilt hiked to his

Whatever had tripped him no longer trapped his feet and he managed to stand up, albeit a little shakily. Locating
his glasses, he bent down to pick them up, then, with trembling hands, placed them on his nose. He smoothed his
clothes down, but realized something was missing. The pin holding together the lower parts of the kilt was gone.
Looking around both for it and for whatever it was that had tripped him, Tom could find neither. He shook his head,
still a little dazed. 

Tom found himself so close to the edge of the cliff, he wondered if the pin had come unfastened when he went down
and if it had gone over the ledge. With a shudder, Tom realized that whatever had knocked him over had been big,
maybe a wild boar. In fact, it was fortunate he had not gone over the cliff himself.


Arthur waited until he was safely inside his cave before he took the metal treasure from his pocket. He fondled the
pin and laughed to himself. The catamite may have been tall, but he was also slender and light boned. It had been
so easy to trip and knock him down. But never had he expected such a bonus! He'd lost no time roughly yanking the
object from that skimpy kilt. Oh, Charles certainly knew how to start training them. But it would be he, Arthur, who
finished this job. He could almost hear the lad's cries for a mercy that would never come. 

With visions of caning the smooth bottom and having himself a poke, Arthur cruelly anticipated the torment he
would inflict. And it would show his brother who was the real man in the family. When Charles saw the corpse of his
lover, he would know what Arthur had done. 


Halfway down the hill, Tom met Chak and Scott who both carried shotguns. 


"Sir Charles," he responded mindful that Mr. Scott stood nearby. His knees were skinned, his palms cut, and his
head hurt. "I was knocked down, maybe a wild boar?"

Scott and Chak exchanged a brief look. Then Chak gripped his arm and looked him up and down, turning him once
he'd inspected Tom's front and then turning him back again. Chak's gaze stopped somewhere around Tom's knees.
Looking down, Tom asked, "What?"

"You're bleeding."

Tom knew his knees were bleeding. He squirmed when he felt Chak lift the hem of the kilt. After all, Mr. Scott was
standing right there. Deciding to vocalize his discomfort, he managed, "Um, Sir Charles?"

"Mr. Scott, kindly proceed up the hill. See what's there." Wordlessly, with just a faint nod, Scott resumed the trek up
the hill.

It was possible that anyone in the house looking this way would see that Chak was pressing a handkerchief to his
bare knees. Tom hoped they were far enough away that such detail would not be seen.

"Be still, Tom, I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to stop the bleeding."

Obediently, Tom resisted the strong urge to bolt down the hill to the safety of their rooms. It might be better if he
approached the house with some dignity intact. If blood wasn't running down his legs, so much the better. He was
acutely aware of Chak's ministrations.

"Are you able to walk to the house?"

Attempting a little humor, he replied, "I'll do my best, but it is rather unseemly to show bleeding knees."

Teasing him back, Chak asserted, "My dear, Tom, those are no doubt the finest knees at Havenwood." With a last
wipe of the cloth, Chak murmured. "There."

"Did you see what happened?" Tom asked anxiously.

"Yes," came the clipped reply, the slight humor that had been there just a moment ago now totally gone.

"It was a boar?"

"We'll talk about it later, Tom. I want you to go inside and go up to our rooms. Will you do that for me?"

A little confused, Tom agreed but gave a token protest anyway. "I think I shall be safe from it now."

"Please, Tom, this is important."

"Yes, sir." When Chak started up the hill after Mr. Scott, Tom asked, "What was it?"

The face Chak turned back to him was pinched and angry. "Arthur."

For a moment Tom thought his knees would give way. Chak took the few paces needed to close the gap between
them. "Tom?"

"Nothing to be concerned about. But I want to come with you."

"No. You've been injured and I think you should go inside and wait for me. It could be Arthur wants to get you out in
the open where he can hurt you again. Go into the house, Tom. Please."

Chak appeared white-faced with anger. Tom realized that the word *please* had been used more as a social nicety
than as a qualifier of his demand that Tom go inside. It had not been a request. "I'll be upstairs."


With that terse word, Chak turned and resumed his march up the hill. Tom watched for a moment, then headed to
the house. Hilly Simpson, one of the maids, followed him upstairs with a kettle of hot water that she set on the bath
chamber hearth. She pointed it out to him and exited, closing the door behind herself. 

In the bath chamber, Tom removed his clothes and assessed his injuries. Scrapes to his face, hands, and knees
were superficial but, nonetheless, they stung as he wiped a warm cloth over them. He wasn't sure how effective
he'd been at getting out the grit and loose skin. But if stinging pain was any indicator, then he'd been very

Sensing fresh bleeding, Tom wet a clean cloth and poked around hoping to stop the blood. As long as the cloth
remained pressed against the lacerated skin, no blood dripped down his legs. With a sigh, Tom carried a towel in
one hand and kept the cloth in place with the other as he awkwardly made his way over to the bed. He put the towel
on top of the sheets and then lay down on his side, his knees on the towel. 

Shivers ran through him and Tom pulled up as many blankets as there were on the bed to spread over him. He
couldn't believe that Arthur had attacked him again. The man was daring. It had been out in the open in daylight.
Blaming himself, Tom bitterly acknowledged that it had been his idea to walk along that ridge in the kilt. Arthur
must have taken the pin right off his garment. 


TOM PARIS: The suddenness of the attack on the cliff stunned me. Once again, I'd been made to look like some first-year
cadet. If it had been Arthur, then he was very good, like some well-trained terrorist. He was someone to fear. Yeah, this
from Tom Paris. I wondered what Chakotay had been thinking when he'd created Arthur. Was I supposed to be the damsel
in distress here? Yeah, you could say I was angry.


Neither Scott nor Charles found any trace of Arthur but both were certain they had seen a man attack Tom.
Whether it had been Arthur or not neither could tell. However, Chak was positive that it could have been no one
else. On the way back to the house, they discussed new security measures that would need to be taken to keep
Tom and the rest of the household safe. It was the best they could do. 

Still angry at what had happened virtually in front of his own eyes, Chak calmed himself enough to have a quiet
word with the children's nurse, assuring himself that she would keep them inside today. Then he returned to the
rooms he shared with Tom. 

He found the young man huddled under the blankets shivering. After soft caresses to Tom's face, he poured a finger
of brandy into a glass and helped Tom to sit up enough to drink it. Shudders ran through the slender body as the
heat of the alcohol spread through Tom. 

"Did you find him?" Tom was able to ask when the shivering stopped enough for him to speak. 


"But it wasn't a boar."

"No. I saw a man. It was a considerable distance but I believe it had to be Arthur." 

"He took the pin from my kilt."

"That bloody...!" The anger came through clearly. Calming, Chak offered, "Let me see how badly you were hurt."

Without a word, Tom let the blankets fall off his shoulders. Chak took his chin in hand and scrutinized the abraded
skin he saw there. Gently, he lifted each hand and gazed at the palms. He looked up at Tom whose eyes seemed
glassy with shock. Sweeping the blankets down, Chak inspected the damage to the knees. None of the injuries
were serious, each had stopped bleeding, although bruises and scabbing would appear soon. 

Tom's skin began to goosebump and Chak pulled the blankets up over Tom's shoulders. He knew his brother, knew
Arthur would be relentless in coming after Tom. And seeing Tom's condition through Arthur's eyes made him
slightly sick. He felt terribly guilty for what Tom had been through and feared for Tom if Arthur ever got his hands
on him. 

He sent his hand down Tom's back under the covers and rubbed the still cold skin. Tom curled his body up and
murmured something about more and lower. Chak broadened his strokes, eventually reaching the warmer
backside. With Tom's movements under his hand so responsive, so appreciative of the touch, Chak understood that,
at a very deep level, he couldn't up give this, nor could Tom. But he also realized that he would have to go much
more slowly with this young man. Tom was not some experienced and jaded boy from the club.

He bent down and, with his hand softly gliding over the smooth flesh of his lover, kissed Tom's forehead. "Try to rest,
my love."

Tom mumbled something that sounded like acquiescence and Chak reluctantly withdrew his hand. He fussed a
little with the blankets, then left. He vowed to get the dogs out if he had to, but he would find Arthur and he would
stop him. 


CHAKOTAY: The violence of Arthur's attack made Chak reassess his relationship with the tutor. I think he became scared
that there was more of Arthur's insanity in him than he had ever acknowledged. It reminded me of when I had to face the
truth of the *craziness* gene carried in my family. Not a comfortable situation for him or me.


Tom had little sense of how long he slept. But he woke up with sore muscles and a mouth that felt furry from the
brandy. He had a headache and was also hungry. A quick mental inventory of his body parts told him that the
scabbed-over skin on his knees and palms made for a little stiffness, but nothing serious. And he no longer felt cold.

With a groan that acknowledged the stiffness in his muscles, Tom sat up, rubbed his face, and remembered that
he'd dropped most of his clothes in the bath chamber. He needed to relieve himself and swung to his feet swaying
somewhat. A bout of dizziness passed and he made his way to the water closet without problems. 

Dressed in his more usual trousers, shirt, and tie, wire rims in place, Tom headed downstairs for some food. The
large grandfather clock in the vestibule told him it was nearly noon. He wondered what had become of John and
Edward and felt contrite for neglecting them because of these minor attacks on himself. Maybe he could make up
for it this afternoon.



Although life on the estate was tense for the next week there was no trace of Arthur to be found and there were no
further attacks. Tom resumed his tutoring of the two young boys even as he knew that Chak and the staff spent
much of their time during the day searching for some sign of Arthur. 

At night, Tom found he missed the playful games he and Chak had begun before the attacks. Chak would allow little
physical contact between them. It seemed that kissing was all he consented to. After the humiliation of twice
asking Chak for more only to be turned down both times, Tom no longer asked. Even though he wore the kilt
infrequently, Chak never ran his hands over Tom's bare skin. 

Tom didn't understand what had changed their nights from ones of such excitement to times of such awkwardness.
The old concerns he'd had after the first attack resurfaced. He wondered if Arthur's ambushes had somehow made
him soiled goods and, if so, he worried that Chak might want to turn him out of the estate. 

Despite Chak's coolness toward him, Tom still looked forward to the warmth of the man's body in their bed. He didn't
want to leave Havenwood, rather, he wanted to recapture what they'd had before this Arthur had appeared in their
lives. But he wondered for how long Chak would find him a desirable companion. And how soon it would be before
Chak needed to go to his club. Alone. 

Tom felt sure the time had come when, sitting in bed, Chak told him that he would be leaving the estate in the
morning. He planned to be gone for two days on business. Without thinking, with bitterness on his tongue, Tom
accused, "You're going to the club without me."

Chak looked stunned. "No. There's business I have to deal with. I've put it off, but I must go."

"Let me go with you."

Tom watched Chak's emotions pursue each other for several moments. "All right."

"Are you going to the club?"

"I wasn't planning on it, Tom."

"When can we get back to normal?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You hardly touch me. It's as if you find yourself disgusted with me. Have I been contaminated by Arthur? What's
wrong? Please tell me. If...if you don't want me anymore? I can't stand this not knowing."

Chak stared at Tom. "I don't understand."

"Everything. This." Tom waved at the room and bed. 


"I know I've done something to disappoint you or to provoke your anger. However, I am at a loss to know what I've
done. And I fear there is no way to make it up to you."

"You're not making any sense. Tom, Arthur has hurt you because of me. He is trying to get to me through you. I
don't want you hurt. I love you."

"That's the first time you've said that since the first attack," Tom pointed out, fighting back threatening tears. "You
act like you no longer love me. All I can think of is that you hate me for letting Arthur touch me."

Chak thought back over the past several weeks. He realized that his decision to go slower with Tom hadn't included
Tom's opinions on the subject. He had turned down Tom's entreaties to recreate some of their more satisfying
practices because he wanted to protect him. But obviously Tom had only the attacks to go by and had wrongly added
things together. "No. Those are not your fault. I am to blame. Arthur is to blame. None of these attacks were your

"Then why?"

End Part 11

Part 12

Clouded blue eyes tore at Chak's heart. He wanted to hug and kiss Tom but he knew that would not be giving the
tutor the answers he sought. How to explain this? "Tell me truthfully. What were you thinking about that morning
you went for the walk along the cliff?"

Tom frowned. "I don't remember."

Chak recalled how Tom had seemed to need a little distance that morning. "Were you not a little frightened by what
we'd been doing? Think back, Tom."

"I don't remember experiencing fright."

"Then, you were...?"

Tom worried on his lower lip and tried to bring back that morning. "I have no recollection. Perhaps I was thinking
that I was changed."

Not realizing he might be putting words in Tom's mouth, Chak suggested, "And had not those changes come about
very quickly?"

Tom laughed hollowly. "Yes. Yes, I remember thinking that. But I liked what had happened."

"Well, I liked what we were doing, too. But I thought we were moving too swiftly for you. And there's another thing. I
found myself acting toward you at times as if you were a boy at the club. But that's not the kind of person I want to
be with you."

Tom shook his head. "What do you mean?"

"What I have done at the club, what I began to promise to do to you, I'm not proud of that. I dislike that side of
myself. I have no wish to treat you that way."

"You mean you don't want to take me even if I want you to?" Tom asked, his face flaming with embarrassment. 

"The answer is no, not if it makes me the man I was at the club."

"What is so wrong with that?"

"Oh, Tom, you are so young, so innocent. I would be corrupting you."

"That is completely wrong," Tom sputtered.

"So I've already corrupted you?"

"Not enough," Tom muttered.

"Did you say 'not enough'?" Chak demanded with a mock indignant tone, his dimples belying his words. 

Jutting out his chin, Tom noted Chak's playful demeanor and repeated, "Not nearly enough."

"Come here, my love." Chak gathered him in his arms and held him tightly, placing kisses on the blond head. "We
will work this out, my dear Tom, we will."

"Starting now?"

"Beginning shortly. First, I would like to ask you something."


"I won't insist on an answer."

"Chak," Tom explained with exasperation, "I want to answer."

"What about your future?"

"What about it?"

"Suppose this: suppose both John and Edward are off to school. Would you desire to leave here? Would you care to

"If you were acting in this mythical future like you have been this past week, I would no doubt give serious thought
to leaving."

"You would?" Chak tried to keep his tone neutral. He'd been afraid the younger man would give him up.

"No. I shan't leave you. Not ever. I...I told you that I'm not sure what love is and I'm...." Tom's voice fell off when he
couldn't find the words he needed. He recalled his moments of misgivings about the direction he was moving in his
private life. But this period of deprivation had allowed him to understand that this man was what he wanted. This
was his future, notwithstanding his family's likely disapproval, society's certain condemnation.

"You want to feel loved."

"Yes. And I want to love you. I don't know yet if that's what I feel, but I want it to be. I have considered my situation
and I know that I wish to be with you. I want all that that means."

"So, our pleasuring each other was a sign that I loved you?"

"Of course. But, I've been sure that I was soiled goods to you, that you refrain because of what Arthur's done to me."

"No, Tom." But Chak understood then what Tom was trying to say. His holding back on what Tom needed was not
helping. "Tell me this: are you upset to find yourself receiving such pleasures from a man?"

A frown of incomprehension crossed the fair features. Then Tom said, "No. Not anymore."

"Do you see me as your father, perhaps?"

And Tom recognized some of what Chak was afraid of. "Because you're older than me, you think I might have
trouble distinguishing you from my father? No. I fear to even think of you and my father in the same...I don't
know...you two simply cannot be in my thoughts at the same time."

"That helps," and it did help. "But do you not think me some kind of brute to take advantage of your inexperience? I
showed you practices that could have frightened you."

"And you promised me something more. Don't you know how much I've wanted you to do that? I want to experience
all of this. Everything you do at your club, I want you to do with me. Even if I don't have any notion of what I'm
talking about."


CHAKOTAY: Sometimes we think we're acting so nobly and all we've done is fuck things up. Self-deception is not confined
to a particular time or social class. It can even strike writers of holonovels.


Tom's rueful expression touched Chak in a way that allowed the words to sink in. There was a yearning in this
young man that Chak had awakened. Maybe it was not too late to go back. If Tom didn't get what he wanted from
Chak he might set out on a disastrous course of trying to find it from someone else. But no one else would care for
Tom as he did, no one else would be able to help the youth find his way safely through the dangers. 

Tom continued, "There is so much I have never experienced. What you've already shown me has made me want to
do it all again and more. I want to know about my body and what it likes and wants. I can have that with you. I want
that! If I didn't, do you truly believe I would fail to tell you?"

Tom spoke with such vehemence that Chak was forced to believe him. Tom's argument made sense. He'd had a
taste and he wanted more. Tom didn't plan to leave him once his tutoring days were concluded. They would recover
from this seeming set-back. Possibly it was all to the good that they had so frankly exchanged views. "Anything

"How did Arthur find out about us? He must have heard that we were with each other from someone and that makes
me wonder who else is talking about us. Does the whole village believe we're having sexual intercourse? And I
worry if my father should find out."

The last was said so quietly Chak wasn't sure he heard Tom right. But Tom's father was still an important presence
in his life. Tom should be concerned that his father would find out about the relationship. Such bonds between men
were not rare, but they were not spoken about. Tom's family would be disgraced if the Admiral's social circle were to
find out about his son's liaison with a man.

"I don't know, Tom, but it is something I should be looking into. Arthur must have received information from
someone in this household, someone on my staff. It's time I found out who has been betraying me. As far as the
outside world is concerned, you're my sons' tutor and nothing more."

Tom kissed him. "Thank you."


Arthur made his preparations carefully. According to his information, Charles would be leaving the estate in the
morning. Thomas had been so carefully guarded this week but now the boy would be at his mercy. He took out the
pin and played with it, imagining what he would be doing to that lovely body when it belonged to him.

As it happened, Arthur's plans were foiled when the youthful tutor left Havenwood with Charles. They returned the
next day, but once again the increased security on the estate prevented Arthur from gaining access to the boy he
thought of as his brother's slut.


Over the next several weeks, Chak made up to Tom for his earlier distance. In sensual sessions, he reintroduced
Tom to the pleasures of his body and the excitement of mutual gratification. It seemed to Chak that Tom was very
close to being able to take the next step that would find their bodies joined together.

Chak's encouragement seemed to cheer the young man. But at times Chak picked up on a sense of regret or loss.
He attributed Tom's quietness on those occasions to memories of Arthur's attacks. But Tom seemed unwilling to
discuss matters when these moods occurred so Chak remained uncertain concerning their origins.

With no attacks in the past month, and with a beautiful, unseasonably warm day on the horizon, Chak proposed to
Tom that they go on a picnic. Mrs. Martin prepared a picnic basket while one of the groomsmen hitched up a horse
and buggy. Chak elected to drive the buggy himself.

They set out to one of Chak's favorite secluded locations on the Havenwood estate. Along the way they drove past
rolling, green hills dotted with round, white sheep. They came to a wooded grove where Tom saw a small meadow
bounded by hedges, fir trees, and a lilly pad covered pond. Chak stopped the buggy and watched Tom's face as he took
in the idyllic setting.

"This is like some oil painting by a master," Tom enthused.

"It's one of my favorite places. I'm glad you like it."

They secured the horse and unloaded the picnic basket onto a blanket they spread over a grassy area that was
more or less free of rocks. Out of the basket Chak pulled two bottles of French chateau wine and set them down.
Tom located the glasses and the corkscrew and held them up.

"Let's start off with a little wine," Chak suggested, pleased that Tom had imbued himself with the spirit of the

"Mrs. Martin outdid herself," Tom commented as he looked at the labels.

"I believe we have Mr. Scott to thank for that little raid on the wine cellar."

Chak uncorked the first bottle and poured the dark red liquid into the glasses Tom held. He set the bottle safely
upright in its place in the basket and accepted his glass. The clinking together of glasses brought out bright gleams
in the eyes of both men.

"This is excellent," Tom grinned.

"The wine? The location? Perhaps the company?"

"Everything. Especially the company."

Chak leaned over to kiss Tom on the forehead. "I should get you out more often."

"Absolutely. Anytime. At your...."

Tom broke off at the look of amusement on his lover's face. "Tom."

The bottle went quickly but Chak was careful to see that the younger man had the larger share. He hoped Tom
would become fully at ease as the alcohol challenged those inhibitions he'd seen of late. Not only did he hope to
learn what was troubling Tom, but he also hoped to take a few consenting liberties with Tom's very beautiful body.

Chak lay down on the blanket, an arm under his head, and pulled Tom close. Blue eyes darted above his face. "You
look happy," Chak observed.

"I am. I find it a strange feeling for me."

"What about when you were a child? Any happy memories then?"

Tom thought back. "I was seven or eight. My family lived in India for a few years while my father was posted there."

"What do you remember?" Chak asked casually.

"Many, many people. Nice people. Hot weather. Going to a day school with other naval fleet children. My sisters
looking after me. I think that was the best part."

"And you liked it."


"Ever want to go back there?"

"Not really," Tom answered honestly. "You've got to remember I was only a child then."

Thinking that Tom's childhood had not been so long ago, Chak had to keep himself from smiling. "You wanted to
join the navy. Any place special you hoped to go?"

"Canada, maybe. I remember some boys at school from Halifax. They made it sound like paradise."

"What about the States?" Chak asked idly.

"Last I heard they were no longer part of the British Empire."

Chak laughed. "You have a smart mouth, Thomas Payne."

"And it likes pleasing you," Tom announced, his eyes half-closed, his voice soft with desire.

"You've learned a lot, hmm?" The grin remained.

"Taught by a good teacher," Tom replied diplomatically, his eyes dancing with mischief.

Chak considered that the time might be right to broach the topic of Tom's recent spells of moodiness. "Maybe I
haven't been such a good teacher. Something's been bothering you. When I ask, you tell me everything is fine."

The blue eyes lost their sparkle. "But you don't believe me?"

"Should I?" Chak wondered. "Talk to me, my dear."

Tom blushed. Here he lay on a blanket in a setting so beautiful it nearly took his breath away. He felt a little
lightheaded from the wine, maybe more than a little tight. He lay next to the man he loved, a man who'd provided
him with so much.

Based on Tom's reaction, Chak guessed, "It has to do with something well-bred gentlemen do not discuss, hmm?
Have I pushed you too quickly?" He let his hand slide under Tom's kilt, across the bare buttocks down to the thighs.
"Is this what's wrong?"

"No," Tom rushed to assure him. "No. Not at all."

Chak waited the young man out.

Tom took a deep breath. They had talked about so many intimate things, Chak had explored his body thoroughly,
inside and outside. Because Chak had given him so much, Tom found it hard to bring up a complaint, particularly
this one. They had already discussed it and nothing had changed. Perhaps the wine allowed him to let the words
blurt out. "You have as yet to take me!"

"That's right."

"But I thought you agreed that it would...it would...."

Chak remembered the conversation. "I've refrained, that is true." Chak thought back over the past several weeks.
"You haven't asked."

"I was afraid you would say no again."


Tom's fair skin turned pink with embarrassment. "When I asked before -- before we talked? You said no both times.
I felt so...so.... I thought I'd said something wrong. That I should have known better. It was hard to tell you."

Chak sat up and hugged Tom tightly. "I'm sorry, Tom. I didn't really listen to you very well, did I? I'm very sorry." He
petted Tom's hair and held his young lover close to his shoulder. "How can I make it up to you?"

"Ask me sometimes if that's what I want. And if it is...don't turn me down."

"Of course, I can do that," Chak murmured. "It appears that you desire this. Am I right?"

Tom nodded his very red face into Chak's chest.

"Say it, Tom. Use the words."

"Yes," he agreed, pulling back and looking Chak full in the face. "I want you to take me."

"Good." Chak gave Tom a kiss but noticed that a puzzled expression remained. "What is it?"

Tom's voice was hesitant, his expression speculative. "Do you...do you ever have wishes to be taken?"

Chak wondered if Tom wanted to do this with him. "It is...not unknown to me."

"But not to your liking?"

"Not as much as the reverse, no."

"When you take me...will I like it?"

"I shall ensure your pleasure," Chak spoke sincerely. Then he gave the serious young tutor a wide grin. "Is
everything out in the open now?"

Tom touched a finger-tip to Chak's trouser-covered groin. "This isn't out in the open."

The endearing shyness Chak loved about his partner was present full force. Under it was also that hint of humor
that he liked so much about Tom. Chak promised, "That's dessert. Now, lie down next to me."

"Is this where you take advantage of me?" Tom asked lightly, the brightness back in his eyes.

"You can be assured that it is," Chak replied with a large grin.

Tom nuzzled his lover and loved the way Chak's hands, in return, roamed the bare skin under his kilt. He knew he
was ready. If not today, then very shortly. He wanted Chak to make love to him, fully and completely. Chak's arms
around him made him feel loved.


Hidden under the thick limbs of a fir, Arthur used a spy glass to watch his brother as the elder Jackson entertained
the so obviously slutty boy Arthur just knew he'd been buggering for all these months. He saw Charles pull the boy
onto his lap and lift the kilt. Good Christ, his brother was caressing that white skin.

He was too far away to hear distinct words, but he could make out moans of pleasure. Charles kept the boy on his
lap and played with the boy's long body. As he watched, the boy rose up on hands and knees. His brother reached for
the wine bottle, dribbled some onto his whore's bare flesh.

Arthur took delight in the way the slut yelped when the cold wine hit him. The skin turned red from the wine. Chak
leaned forward and Arthur clearly saw his brother's tongue lick up all the wine that hadn't already dripped onto the
blanket. Bloody hell. The boy's moans of pleasure could be heard in Arthur's hiding place.

Standing there, hidden by the fir tree's branches, Arthur needed to gain release from the excitement that had built
up in him. He heard more moans from the shameless lovers. He saw his brother pleasure his slut. Charles soon
had his whore crying out and collapsing on the blanket. 

Arthur handled himself in one-handed, quick, hard strokes. His spying showed the slut had his head in his
brother's lap. And that golden halo stayed down long after his brother shouted out his own release.

Arthur climaxed into the fir branches and stifled his natural reaction to cry out. 


TOM PARIS: Making love, having needs met, in the sunshine in such a beautiful setting was one of the highlights of the
holonovel. But, now that I know that Arthur saw Tom and Chak.... Hell, it just kind of makes everything seem so different,
kind of spoiled. Damn.


End Part 12

Part 13

"You know, I liked our picnic," Tom told his dark-haired partner as they lay unclothed with legs entwined on the
large bed in their chambers. Tom's chest more or less covered Chak's, their skin tones a contrast of ivory on

"And what does that mean?" Chak asked as he nuzzled Tom's ear.

"It means we should do that again. And did you notice?"

"Mmm? What should I have noticed?" Chak was busy nibbling on Tom's throat to the extent that Tom found it a little
difficult to talk.

Tom pushed upwards, holding himself up on his hands. "I'm ready."

Chak knew what Tom meant. And he acted upon those words. He would see to a consummation of their love, a
joining of their bodies. Chak eagerly set about his task to bring Tom a new kind of joy, a new expression of the love
between them.

Some time later, they lay together, sweat cooling on their bodies until Tom began to stir beneath his lover. Chak
slowly grasped the younger man's need to be able to breathe and rolled to his side. His arm rested heavily on Tom's
heaving chest. He didn't want this moment to end. But eventually he began to become aware of his surroundings
again. The cold on his back, the warmth at his side, the delicious lassitude of his muscles, the sense of
peacefulness that permeated his entire being. 

"Tom?" he murmured.


"How do you fare, my love?"

A lazy answer drifted to his ear. "Very well. Thank you."

Chak laughed. "Did you like that?"

"Oh, yes, I liked that a lot."

"Do you think you would want to do that again some time?" 

"As soon as possible," came the sleepy reply.

Reassured, Chak gave him a light kiss, then reluctantly got up and went to the bath chamber. He brought a warm,
wet cloth and a dry towel to the bed, knelt beside the slack form of his lover and gently cleaned him up, moving
relaxed limbs at will.

Finished, he turned his attention to himself. Relieved that Tom had not only enjoyed their coupling but that he
hadn't been hurt by it, Chak placed a lingering kiss to the slightly parted lips. Tom smiled, his eyes still closed, the
happiness clear on his face. 


TOM PARIS: That was -- um -- incredible. Beautiful. Fulfilling. Every first time should be like that. Gods, is that a tear in my
eye? Let's leave it at that, then.


In the morning, they repeated the experience. It was as if Tom could not have enough of the new sensations. For
his part, Chak was relieved that the long wait was over and that his young lover was pleased with the results of
their new activities.

Chak lay beside his spent lover and wondered if all sense had left him. He was to go away again on business and
he'd promised that Tom could come with him. Yet now he'd taken the youth twice in less than twelve hours.
Whether it was the unrelenting wooden seat of a buggy or the hard leather of a saddle, he doubted that Tom would
be comfortable. Lust was such a poor companion of common sense.


CHAKOTAY: Now that they had finally accomplished this last venture initiating Tom into a loving, sexual relationship,
Chak almost became carried away For me, it was like being a voyeur. I watched. I was fascinated, turned on, and
somewhat ashamed of my reactions. What happened between them was beautiful, exciting, and yet it seemed so selfish on
Chak's part. He hadn't considered the business trip which would eventually result in so much trauma for Tom. For all of


End part 13

Part 14

Arthur watched in dismay as both Charles and Tom mounted horses and headed away from the estate. His
information had been correct. Both his brother and his brother's slut left together for Sir Morton's. Not only was
Thomas leaving, but he wore riding pants instead of the kilt Arthur had grown fond of seeing on him. A
disappointing morning all round. Arthur faded back into the evergreens and gave some thought as to what he would
do next.


Tom had been so sure he could ride this morning. He'd turned down Chak's offer of padding the seat and taking the
buggy. But that was before he felt the leather of the saddle smack into his very sore posterior with every step of the
horse he rode. He felt grateful that Chak didn't try to talk to him much this morning. The effort to find some kind of
comfortable seating on the saddle kept him preoccupied with his physical discomfort. Not only that, he had many
things on his mind. 

He could scarcely believe the events of the past several days and nights. Although he'd wanted all of the intimacy
Chak had given him, the cost was considerable. If musical instruments were involved, then when he sat he heard
a screeching clarinet landing on an off-key, French horn. 

Based on the frequent glances Chak cast his way, Tom was sure the other man knew just how uncomfortable he
was. Even so, Tom was happy to be with him. It meant Chak trusted him, saw him as an equal.

As he became a little more accustomed to the horse's pace, Tom found himself remembering the excitement of last
night and this morning. Chak had fulfilled Tom's fantasies of being together in that most intimate of ways. And he'd
been so solicitous of Tom, always asking if he was comfortable and making sure Tom received pleasure in equal
amounts, if not more. 

The memory made Tom shiver. To his chagrin, these thoughts made him want more. It was almost enough to
make him forget his soreness. Almost.

"Tom?" Chak asked.

Tom looked at his companion.

"We're going to take a short break up ahead."

A narrow trail led through the woods to a ravine of large boulders and shrubs. Chak dismounted and motioned for
Tom to do likewise. Tom couldn't stop the wince when his feet hit the ground. The shock went straight up his legs.
Chak's arm reached out to Tom's shoulder and Tom allowed himself to lean into the hand that braced him. In a tone
that brooked no argument, Chak said, "Tom. I'm sorry, but you can't make this trip. It's my fault, I shouldn't have
pressed sex on you."

"No. Chak, I wanted what we did. Remember? Please? I don't regret it."

"I believe you, Tom." Chak's smile was gentle, remorseful. "But we should turn back."

Tom was emotionally torn. He knew Chak was right but he wanted to make this trip, prove that he was not a
liability. Their love making had meant so much to him, how could he let Chak down now?

"I had best go home with you, have a telegram sent to Sir Morton, and begin again tomorrow."

"You shouldn't have to do that," Tom protested. Even if he couldn't continue, Chak should not have to change his
plans. "That's a great deal of unnecessary riding."

Chak kissed him on the lips. "I don't mind."

"But we haven't seen or heard of Arthur for over a month. I'm safe, Chak."

"No, Tom, Arthur is...."

"You riding back with me...it's.... Please, do not treat me as if was a child. For I am not."

Tom's words hit Chak hard. They reminded him very painfully of the age difference between them. "Very well. But
be careful, Tom."

"You, too. Arthur could have changed his mind by now and decided to go after you."

"You're beginning to sound like me." Chak realized that Tom needed to be on his way. "Go on, then. You'll be there
in time for your luncheon."

Tom wanted to stay with Chak and wished that was possible, but not if it meant the older man had to ride back to
Havenwood with him and then ride out again the next day. As if sensing his conflict, Chak embraced him in a big
hug. "I'll miss you, Tom."

Before he could think about what he wanted to say, Tom blurted out, "I love you."

Chak's hug tightened as he kissed Tom deeply and thoroughly. "I love you, too." The declaration from Tom marked
the first time Tom had said those words. The moment lingered between them, until Chak finally reminded him,
"But you need to go back."

Tom stared at Chak's face, his longing undisguised. "I don't want to be away from you."

"I know, and I feel the same way." Chak's kiss was one of good-bye. "Now, when you return, ask Miss Simpson to
prepare you a warm bath."

Disappointed, Tom mounted his horse. He settled very gingerly on the saddle, the act of sitting reawakening the
pain. This reminder told him that returning to Havenwood was the right thing to do. At the main road they went
their separate ways.


An hour or so later, Tom didn't know what frightened his horse. For a moment he thought he saw a coiled snake,
but that seemed far-fetched. Nonetheless, something sent his horse rearing up and side winding until he lost his
balance and fell. Later, he found out that Arthur was the cause of his fall.

When he came to, Tom's head felt as if it should be separated from his shoulders if only to give it a quiet burial. The
pain was blinding, throbbing, nauseating. Disoriented, Tom groaned. It was dark, he couldn't move, not that he
really wanted to. But somehow he was upside down, his head hanging down. Under his belly he felt a leather saddle.
He detected the gait of a horse. 

Finally, it made sense. He lay across the saddle of a horse, under some kind of tarp or blanket, his eyes covered, his
wire rims gone, his feet and hands bound. Someone was leading the horse but he couldn't tell where the person was
nor where he was being led.

Another groan brought the horse to a stop. Someone came to his side and lifted the tarp. He couldn't see through
the blindfold but he heard a voice much like Chak's only rougher, harsher. "So. You're awake. Be a good little slut
and nothing bad will happen to you. Cross me and you'll regret it immediately. Nod your head if you understand."

Tom nodded his head and moaned at the pain the movement caused. "Let me go," he ordered.

An evil chuckle greeted that gambit. The tarp came back down and the horse began to move again. With his body
draped over the horse's back, there was little Tom could do to free himself. His bound hands had been brought under
the horse's belly and tied to his feet. He surmised that no passerby would be able to discern a human being under
the tarp. But, in case someone was around, he should try yelling for help.

"Help! Help!" His loud plea hurt his aching head and only brought him more pain. The horse stopped, the tarp raised
up and something briefly knocked him senseless. When he came to, he was vomiting into the gag that had been
newly placed across his mouth. Rough hands tore the gag off. 

"If you say another word, I will kill Charles and the children. I will do it. Do you understand?"

Arthur's tone had Tom believing him. His mouth tasted terrible and he wanted water. Instead of asking for some, he
mumbled, "Yes, sir."

"We'll be there soon."

Tom didn't know where *there* was, probably the place Arthur had been hiding these past months. Successfully
hiding. Tom also realized no one would miss him until the next night when Chak came back and found he'd never
returned. That gave Arthur a good 36 hour or more head start on any possible rescue. 


TOM PARIS: I've asked myself a million times why I didn't just tell the computer to halt the program. Our doctor diagnosed a
moderate concussion. However, he tells me he's healed me with his brilliant medical techniques. At any rate, he believes I
simply forgot about the reality of being Tom Paris, that I was immersed so deeply in Thomas Payne's life that I couldn't
remember who I really was. It's all kind of hazy to me, but I guess the doc's right. I was hurt, sick, and confused. So, I lived
Tom Payne's life for awhile. Not exactly great timing, was it?


It was an ingenious device, a rope hammock that made his prison. The sling supported his naked back even as his
hands and feet were tied so that he lay spreadeagled on it. Leather straps ran over his forehead, chest and legs. The
hammock hung suspended at waist height from metal hooks in the cave ceiling. When Arthur inverted the ropes,
Tom didn't fall out, so tightly was he bound. Turned over, the ropes burned and chafed his skin. Fortunately, Arthur
didn't keep him that way for long. It had been a demonstration.

The damp cold of the cave sapped his strength as did the persistent headache. Although the chill had him
shivering, Arthur wouldn't cover him. He said the stove would soon provide enough warmth. Tom doubted that
anything could successfully heat the cave, but kept his opinion to himself. He'd been cuffed around enough by
Arthur for his sarcastic remarks when they reached the cave. He didn't need more of the same treatment.

One at a time, Arthur retied his ankles so that his legs were bent at the knees. When the second ankle was free,
Tom tried to kick out at his captor but only succeeded in being turned upside down for a while, his ankle quickly
tied once more. Arthur left him turned over, and Tom wondered what the man was planning. 

He had his answer as he felt a knife carefully cut through some of the ropes over his buttocks. With mounting
dismay, he realized his bottom was a defenseless target. He screamed when he felt the sharp end of a whip cut
across the exposed area. It welted him three more times until Arthur righted the hammock. 

He desperately tried to control his reaction to Arthur's whipping him. The thin leather of the whip left him in
searing pain and fear.

"Do not disobey me again, whore. That, too, was a demonstration. It will be far, far worse if there is a next time."

Tom managed to keep himself rigidly under control, but the fear remained as did the smarting pain. Tom knew he
was completely at Arthur's mercy.

"I understand you're my brother's personal young whore, aren't you?"

Tom's mouth went dry with fear. He couldn't answer.

Arthur's hand darted down and smacked his face. "Answer me."

"Yes, sir. No, sir."

An insane laugh echoed in the cave. "That's better. I am certain that I can give you far more than my brother has."

Tom didn't want to beg, but his voice sounded as if it was pleading. "Don't."

Arthur's eyes danced in the lamp light, a kind of craziness firing from within. "You have no say here, slut. But first,
I have a few matters to attend to. Do not misbehave."

"I won't. I promise."

A cynical laugh answered him. "Of course you won't. If I find you've disobeyed me then there'll be more of the whip.
And this time I won't be gentle."

If the first time had been gentle, Tom hadn't understood that. Fearfully, he watched as Arthur became a blur in the
deeper recesses of the cave. He wished he had his glasses so that he could discern, at a distance, Arthur's return. 

At the same time, Tom wished it was safe to close his eyes. He was so cold, so very, very tired. He tried to curl up in
the ropes, but they were drawn too tightly around him. Dear God, it was cold. The chill felt as if it was icing him
over. His teeth chattered nonstop.

When Arthur returned, he ordered Tom to quit the noise. But Tom was unable to control it, not when he was chilled
through and through. In the face of Tom's disobedience, without a word, Arthur turned the hammock over and
applied the whip a half dozen times or more. 

Each blow left a fiery trail across Tom's tender flesh. The heat and fear imposed on the deep chill forced a break in
his control. He simply could hold out no longer against the strength of Arthur's torture. Mortified, Tom found himself
sobbing, stuttering out his apologies for not obeying. No matter that it had been impossible to do so.

Arthur returned the hammock right side up and slapped Tom's face.

When Arthur placed cold hands between Tom's legs, Tom was terrified and had to battle against his tears. "Please
don't. Please," he begged.

"Slut, you don't even know what I'm going to do. Remain quiet." With those words, a hand smacked Tom's face
harder this time and Tom cried out in shock and pain. 

The cut of a ragged nail on his cheek brought a sharp, extra pain over and above the misery from his back and face.
Tom was stunned and failed to hear some of Arthur's taunting words. When he didn't respond, Arthur struck him
again. Without the ability to halt it, darkness closed in on Tom.

When he revived, he realized he had lost track of time. The cave felt warmed, nonetheless, shock had him
thoroughly chilled. He felt dazed, not fully cognizant of his circumstances. Then he encountered the ropes on his
body, remembered being hit and whipped. With a surge of sheer terror he remembered that he was Arthur's

Almost fully awake, Tom could neither see nor hear Arthur. Thinking Arthur must have gone away for awhile, Tom
struggled with his bonds trying to use his fingernails to loosen the rope around his wrists. But he was too securely
tied up to make any kind of difference at all. 

Weak and sick, he gave up. He wished for clothes. He wished to have his dignity back. He wanted Chak. He was
alone and his control wavered, as if he had stored a bottomless well of tears. 

Arthur's angry voice startled him. "You sniveling again? Who taught you how to be a man? Keep it up and I'll give
you something to cry about."


CHAKOTAY: Once Chak learned Tom had not returned to the house, I should have stepped in and called a halt to the
program. When I saw how Tom had been tortured with no safeties on.... I've been struggling with what was wrong with me
that even then I let the program continue. Was it arrogance on my part? Blindness? Some need for revenge against Arthur?
Arthur was a hologram! Tom had suffered a concussion. But what the hell was my excuse?


End Part 14

Part 15

Tom choked on his sobs and tried to obey Arthur as best he could. Some of his training reasserted itself and he
brought himself under control. He felt as if he'd swallowed a brandy snifter full of unshed tears. They collected far
down in his throat until Tom thought he might choke on them. 

Arthur approached with, as best Tom could tell without his glasses, a sneer on his face. He raised the hammock's
top half to a near sitting position and tied it in place. Briefly, he went away and then returned with a bowl and
spoon. "Well, let's see if you'll eat your meal."

With no choice in the matter, Tom submitted to being hand fed by the man. The food barely counted as sustenance,
consisting of a bowl of lukewarm cereal, tasteless and thin. The beverage of the evening was a small glass of water.
Arthur acted as if it was perfectly normal for Tom to be his prisoner. 

Shivering from the hopelessness of his situation, Tom tried to think of something, anything, he could do. Because
he was in a sitting position, Tom thought he might be able to swing against Arthur. But he feared Arthur's wrath if
he did succeed. Obediently, he ate his cereal and drank his water.

He couldn't hold onto his cereal for long. Nausea welled up and he frantically called for Arthur who was busy eating
his own meal. "I'm going to be sick."

Arthur laughed. "Good try, boy."

"I am."

Although he tried to keep the food down, his stomach began to heave and he started to retch. At those telltale
sounds, he realized that Arthur had gotten up and run for a bucket. It appeared just in time. His two meals of the
day tumbled out his raw throat and into the bucket. 

Arthur disappeared for awhile with the bucket as Tom sat shivering in the hammock, his headache fierce, his
stomach roiled, his mouth nasty and vile. When Arthur returned he wore a calculating look.

"So. My brother's little whore. What should I do with you?"

Despite his misery, Tom recognized a rhetorical question when he heard one. He remained silent even as tears
coursed unchecked down his cheeks. 

"Well, well. I thought I told you to stop that."

Arthur turned the hammock over so that Tom was still in a sitting position, but upside down, his welted rear and
thighs higher than the rest of him. Tom desperately wanted to cry out a protest, but he was helpless to change
anything except for the worse.

Arthur showed him a riding crop. "Slut, you force me to beat you until you learn to do what I demand. And then I'm
going to take you as mine. You'll find I can do so much more for you than my sanctimonious, hypocritical brother. I
shall be your new master. Do you understand?"

The touch of Arthur's hand on his skin caused Tom to shake. He knew this was going to be very bad. He heard, then
felt the crop as it whistled down on his unprotected body. Without being able to stop himself, Tom screamed in pain,
his resources nonexistent, the blackness finding him before he knew if Arthur had stopped beating him.

When he came to, it was to find one kind of nightmare had ended, but another kind had begun.


Loud noises, confusion, pain, all of these made impressions on Tom as he came to. He opened his eyes and thought
he saw his father standing over him. He closed his eyes and tried again. It was his father. He was horrified that his
father had to see him like this. Never mind how the admiral got here. When he looked up, an angry, disgusted,
agitated man looked down on him. Tom looked away, his heart sinking. 

"Let's get you out of this," his father growled. 

To his great shame, Tom found himself still bound in the hammock. At least he was facing upwards and his father
couldn't see the welts on his back. He gasped when the admiral tugged at the ropes.

Once he was free, the admiral threw the whip against the cave wall where it lacerated the rock before it fell
harmlessly to the ground. The elder Payne tore the hammock off its bolts. 

On his feet, but swaying in mortification, Tom could feel blood on his back. He wanted to say something, anything,
but no words came.

Having expended his rage on Arthur's objects of torture, the admiral acted as if Tom was a total stranger. His father
completely avoided the searching gaze Tom gave him and ignored the pleading on Tom's tear streaked face. Tom
could understand the man's reaction at finding his son had weakened so badly, had disgraced himself so thoroughly.

As his father had worked to unstrap and untie him, Tom had heard sounds of fighting in another part of the cave.
He recognized Chak and Arthur's voices swearing at each other. When curiosity finally enabled Tom to speak, the
question was not about the noises but about this rescue. His voice was raw from his ordeal. "What...how did you find

"Sir Charles and I heard screams," the admiral told him shortly.

There was a larger question, but Tom was too spent to follow up with another query. Despite the debilitation of his
tribulations, too many matters tore at Tom to let the strain claim him. That his father had seen his humiliation,
that Chak must now be fighting his torturer, all of this swept away his fatigue and made his pain recede to
manageable levels. Mounting fury surfaced to supplant weariness.

Once freed of the restraints, he traveled through the cave toward the sounds he heard. Tom paid no heed to his
state of undress, or to the cold, or to the fact that his father would see the whip marks. His muscles were stiff from
being bound so tightly in one place for so long, his head hurt, his whole body was sore, but he ignored all of this. Tom
had to find out if Chak was all right. And he had to obliterate Arthur, no matter what it cost him.

When Tom rounded the corner of the cave, a cold blast of wet air hit him but his attention turned to the fight
between Chak and Arthur. Fuzzily, he saw that Arthur sat on Chak, pounding at his pinned brother. Bellowing, Tom
charged at Arthur driving him away. With rage fueling him, Tom head butted Arthur in the stomach and sent the
man sprawling. Tom followed up, pummeling at Arthur and shaking off Chak's efforts to restrain him. 

Arthur scrambled to his feet and backed away from Tom's furious onslaught. After Arthur tripped, Tom kept after
him. Arthur scuttled backwards. Tom's persecutor tripped again against the thorny bushes at the cave entrance,
made a grab for them, then screamed as Tom swung on him again. Arthur went flying backwards right off the face
of the cliff into the dark night, the shadowy rocks, and the inky waves below.

Tom skidded to a stop just in time, Chak's hand steadying him, keeping him from going over on momentum alone.
Breathing heavily, his face streaked with tears, Tom stood stunned. What had he done? "Oh, dear God." Not
realizing he was repeating himself, Tom said it again.

"Tom? Tom? Look at me," Chak commanded, pulling him back into the safety of the cave. 

"I killed him? Did I kill him?"

"That's not important right now. You are. We need to take care of you."

But Tom persisted, "I killed him?"

"We'll look when it's light out. See if he's there. Come inside, you're freezing."

"I'm cold," Tom told him.

"I know you are. Come inside. We'll find you some clothes. Come on. Here you go."

Chak's quiet words coaxed him back into the cave's interior where he came face to face with his father. "Father?"

He looked from Chak to the admiral and then looked down. Tom trembled violently, shaking so hard he thought he
could come apart with the slightest breath on his wavering frame. Each man reached to hold him up and he allowed
them to take him deeper into the cave but even the warmth from the stove couldn't reach the cold at his core. 

Tom didn't remember much of the details. But he knew that he was dressed, taken from the cave with Chak
holding one arm and his father holding the other. The coachman and a buggy waited in the dark on the land above
the cliff face. He was bundled into a warm blanket and taken to the house. Some brandy, some hot tea, more
blankets, a warm bed followed. His father was furious, Chak was upset. A doctor was sent for. 

Dazed, he was put to bed, but he wouldn't let Chak leave him. He couldn't let Chak go. Tom hurt all over. He feared
the pain would kill him. Curling up in the bed, he filled that brandy snifter in his gorge with more and more unshed
tears until he felt he would drown from the overflow. All the while Chak remained beside him and warmed him
when nothing else could. Chak promised that he was safe now, that he would heal. 

Tom worried that he wasn't safe yet. Not with his father staying in the same house demanding answers. Chak
reassured him that his father would be taken care of. 


Early in the afternoon of the next day, Charles found Tom's father in the library. Both the doctor and the retainers
had gone. Tom finally slept.

Owen Payne reminded Chak of Tom as the admiral stood before one of the tall windows looking out at a grey, fall
day. The man was almost as tall as Tom, just as ramrod straight in his posture, his hair a silver-shot blond, his
eyes a wintery blue. 


"Sir Charles."

"How is my son?"

"The doctor says that he will heal."

"His body will heal," the admiral corrected.


"You know I don't approve at all of this...this...what you're doing with my son."

Chak tried to think of something to say to help the other man. Finally, he simply told the truth. "I love him."

"He's a child for God's sake. He's -- what -- ten or fifteen years younger than you?"

"Twelve. Tom may be young but he knows what he wants. When Tom feels better, you can ask him," Chak offered.

"I don't care what he wants. It's not done. I won't have it," Payne announced harshly.

"I don't think you have any say in the matter."

"He'll do what I tell him."

Throughout the exchange, Chak remained outwardly calm even as the admiral became more and more demanding.
At the man's latest assertion of power, Chak spoke very clearly and let Payne see his own anger. "Tom is an adult
and will do what he wants to do."

"We'll just see about that."

"What do you mean?"

"Tom killed that man!"

"It was an accident. And *that man* was my brother. Arthur was at the edge of the cliff, but Tom didn't know that."

"So you say," the admiral shot back, a shrewd look on his face. "Suppose I tell the authorities otherwise? After all, I
was there as well."

"You'd send your son to prison just to keep him away from me?" Chak was incredulous.

"Sir, I would do whatever it took to keep him from ruining the family name."

Pressing a point, Chak informed him, "Admiral, I dare say Tom would not go to prison for killing a man who tortured
him. But the scandal of a trial, all the details of Tom's injuries coming to light, Tom's having to testify under oath
about his relationship with me, that would very probably sully your precious family name."

Chak was pleased to watch the admiral back down. But it disturbed him to see Payne change from an angry dictator
to a confused father. "I came here, all the way out here from London by train and horse, to find out the truth behind
the rumors I'd heard. And what do I encounter? Your family melodrama. My son abused, nearly killed."

"My brother was deranged. My father knew it, I knew it," Chak said wearily. 

"Then why didn't you do something before he assaulted my son! He kidnaped my boy from a public road, for God's

Seeing the man's anguish, Chak understood that Owen Payne's rage at what had happened to Tom rivaled Chak's
own. He wished he knew what to say. "I tried," Chak confessed. 

Despite the early hour he poured a drink from the decanter that sat on a table in the corner. He offered the admiral
a glass. At least Payne accepted the offered hospitality. Both sat down and seemed to welcome the diminution in

"I tried to do what I could, but there are things that get beyond your control." Chak hoped Tom's father heard the
determination in his voice, "I never wanted Tom to be hurt. Never."

"I believe you." After a pause to gaze into the contents of his glass, Payne spoke again with some combination of
hurt and quarrelsomeness, "I just don't understand this. Men don't...don't...with other men."

"I'm afraid they do, Admiral. You don't even know it, but you have friends who have male lovers."

"It's not done."

"I know it comes as a shock to you. This is your only son and you have great hopes for him. Hopes that don't include

"You grasp that concept very well, sir." The admiral swirled the liquid around and raised the glass to his lips. "What
if it were one of your sons? You can't tell me you don't have hopes for them."

"Of course, I do. But my boys will make their own choices when they're of age. I plan to support them and love

"Easy for you to say when they're mere lads."

They each took a sip from their drinks. Chak reached a decision. "When you found me on the road, I was heading to
a business meeting. Lord Morton and I disagree on the details of a railroad spur to this part of Devon. Our
disagreement has kept me at Havenwood and prevented travels abroad for me, my children, my children's tutor."

Tom's father cocked his head, apparently not sure where Charles was going with this line of thought.

"But I will settle the matter quickly. I think my doing so and taking my children and their tutor on an extended tour
would be a good solution for all of us. Your family name would be unsullied by gossip about us. Tom would have a
chance to get away from the painful memories that he'll have if he were to remain on the estate, and my
children...I think my children would benefit from seeing new places. Family legacies can have their negative sides.
This scandal with their Uncle Arthur is not something they need to hear about while it is so fresh."

"So, Sir Charles, you propose to take my son away?"

"Admiral, with all respect, sir, if Tom had a naval career, he would be gone from England's shores for long periods of
time. We will return eventually, both for visits and longer stays. And you and your family would always be welcome
to visit us."

Although Chak realized that the man's prejudices would make it unlikely that he would come for a visit, the offer
was sincere. Chak didn't want to cut Tom off from his family. 

"You would allow this dispute with Lord Morton to be resolved on less than favorable terms?"

As Chak looked around the library, he saw one of his favorite rooms. Nothing compared to the near loss of Tom.
"Tom and my children mean more to me."

Chak watched as the admiral looked him over carefully. After all, Chak thought, he'd basically asked the admiral for
his son's hand in marriage without actually having said the words. Not surprisingly, Payne continued to look

Offering what he hoped would be the final payment in the negotiation of the dowry, Chak said, "As for Arthur, I
think any talk about Tom and me can be laid to rest on his sad, mistaken soul. He did kidnap Tom and hurt him.
The doctor saw the injuries. You can return to London and confidently tell whoever told you these rumors that they
were created by a deranged man. Inquiries would back you up."

Forcing himself not to look at the emotionally struggling admiral, Chak swirled the drink in his glass and took
another sip. Perhaps it wasn't fair to Arthur, but Chak harbored a deep seated anger at his brother. He had no doubt
that his brother would have killed Tom after he finished torturing him. If additional dishonor came Arthur's way,
that would not bother Chak unduly. 

"Sir Charles, what would happen to my son when your children no longer require a tutor? Would he just be *kept* by
you?" There was distinct bitterness in the admiral's words.

"Your son has a university education. That's a rare asset in England. There will be many opportunities for him."

Owen Payne sat motionless, his face not giving away what he was thinking. It came as a surprise when Payne
announced, "Very well, Sir Charles."

Chak breathed a sigh of relief. 

"I need to see Tom before I leave."

"I don't want Tom to be upset. He's suffered enough."

The admiral gave Chak a tight smile. "He's my son. I care about him, too."

"I'd like to talk to him first. Let Tom know what we talked about, sound him out about traveling abroad. Then I'll
leave you two to talk privately."


"Travel?" Tom asked for what had to be the third time. He touched a finger to his wire rims as if checking to see
that they had survived the experiences of the last day. Pillows plumped up behind his head and shoulders, Tom lay
in the middle of the bed while Chak sat beside him, holding one hand. He'd slept for hours and now realized a great
deal had transpired during that time. "Leave here?"

"Yes. Yesterday I was on my way to tell Lord Morton that I wouldn't agree to his plans for the railroad, but I've
changed my mind. I think it would be best to settle this conflict. After all, any rail travel to this area is better than
none at all."

"Because of me?"

"My boys need not hear about their deranged Uncle Arthur, the man who kidnaped their tutor and fell to his death
into the sea."

Chak's argument mollified Tom somewhat. Perhaps a new start would help them all. But Tom realized that his
father was here, and that fact raised his suspicions. "Did my father threaten you?"

"Me? No," Chak responded with a slightly edited version of the truth and gave Tom's hand a pat. "He doesn't
understand, and he's upset."

"He's not going to drag me back to London, is he? I won't go."

"I think he wants to. Every father wants to keep his child safe. But he can't make you go against your will. And I
won't let him."

Tom blinked at the steely tone in Chak's voice. It was clear that his father wasn't alone. Chak also wanted him to
be safe. When Tom recalled that he'd made a wild rush at Arthur to protect Chak, Tom recognized the same drive in
himself. "I love you."

Chak leaned down and kissed his forehead. "I love you, Tom. And nothing has to come between us. Nothing."

Tom flung his arms around Chak as if the solid weight of the other would keep him anchored. 

"Your father wants to see you alone," Chak told him after hugging Tom closely.

Tom didn't think he was ready, knew he'd never be ready. Adjusting his glasses to give himself a little time, Tom
realized he had a question before he would let Chak leave the room. "How did you find me? I thought Arthur would
have so much more time before you would miss me."

Chak's smile was grim. "Your father came to the estate. He'd heard Arthur's rumors in London and was upset
enough to come out here unannounced to see for himself. I think he was prepared to take you straight back with
him. When he got here, Mr. Scott told him he'd just missed us by an hour or so and how to find us.

"Your father did catch up to me. But when we compared notes, we realized he had not passed you on the road and he
should have. I never should have let you return alone. Tom, I am so sorry, I should have gone with you."

"I was the one who...."

"No. You're not to blame, Tom. Hear me? I understand that you feel guilty, but Arthur is the one who endangered
you, he's the one who hurt you. Whatever your level of guilt, don't you think he punished you enough?"

Chak's dark eyes reflected worry and concern and Tom understood just how much his lover cared for him. "Thank
you. Thank you for finding me."

Chak pulled him up a little and embraced Tom in an unwavering hug. Letting go at last, Chak asked, "Do you think
you could see your father now?"

Tom had no wish to deal with the man he'd let down so badly, but realized he had to face him sooner or later. "Yes.
Send him in."

Chak let the admiral into the room and escorted him over to Tom's bedside. "I'll leave you now."

When Chak had closed the door behind him, Owen Payne stared for long moments at his son. Tom felt as if those
blue eyes could see everything but he tried not to squirm. Hoping his voice sounded even, Tom offered, "Father.
Please sit down? There's a chair over there."

His father brought the chair over and sat on it, his posture militarily rigid. "Thomas, what happened to you?"

Tom knew his father wasn't asking about the incarceration in the cave. "I am sorry. I tried so hard to grow up to be
everything you wanted. I know I failed you at everything."

"Thomas," the admiral began, then his voice faltered. Tom was thoroughly shocked to see tears cloud his father's
eyes. The moment of vulnerability passed quickly, but it was a sight Tom would never forget. "Thomas. Yes, there is
a lot I expected of you. I cannot deny how disappointed I am. I disapprove of your choices. I am unable to support you
in this."

At these words, Tom found himself struggling to retain control. "Father...."

"No. Wait. I need to say this. I strongly doubt that we shall see each other after this. You will travel, return from
time to time, begin a new life." Tom feared his father's next words. "But neither those facts nor my strong
disapproval change this. Your mother and I love you. We always will." The admiral stood up. "Good-bye, son."

His voice cracking, Tom managed to say, "I love you, too."

Then his father was gone and Tom yanked off his glasses, turned over on his side and wept into his pillow. The
storm of unwanted emotion had passed in merciful privacy before Chak joined him, held him, and told him over and
over again how much he was loved.

End part 15

Part 16 Epilogue

The fair-haired senior pilot of Voyager and the dark-haired first officer cuddled together on the couch in the first
officer's quarters.

"What'd you think?" Chakotay asked.

"About which part? The inexperienced virgin? The tortured kidnap victim?" Tom threw back. "And what about you?"

"It was an intense experience."

"You could say that again," Tom drawled.

"I liked the inexperienced virgin part myself."

"You mean you liked deflowering the inexperienced virgin."

Chakotay grinned. "I stand corrected. I *loved* the deflowering part."

"I thought you did," Tom commented dryly. "What about that kilt?"

"The kilt? Loved it, too."

"You know you have a very kinky side," Tom accused.

"Hey, it wasn't me who had all that stiff upper lip stuff."

"That's how boys were raised back then."

With a self-satisfied smirk, Chakotay agreed, "You played Tom Payne to perfection."

"Thank you," Tom gave him. "But that kidnaping? I didn't like that at all. You know me well enough to know I like a
little commanding presence in my play, but Arthur was not what I had in mind. I mean, I totally forgot we were on
the holodeck. I thought Arthur was going to torture me to death."

Reflecting, Chakotay nodded his head. "I think that was his plan. Listen, Tom, I got caught up in it, too. The doc
says you had a concussion. At least you had an excuse. There I was fighting Arthur in the cave and all I had to do
was tell the computer to end the program." Chakotay's voice trailed off as he thought about the implications. 

He put those thoughts aside to address Tom's reactions to Arthur. "I should have realized. Maybe what happened in
the cave was too intense, too horrific. But's it's probably true what they say about holocharacters. You can invent
them, but then they take on lives of their own. I guess I thought Arthur would demonstrate, in not so painful a way,
that you couldn't trust everyone."

"Believe me, Chak, that's one lesson I already knew."

"I'm sorry, Tommy."


CHAKOTAY: I was so relieved Tom came out of that experience all right. His memories of what Arthur did to him were
uncertain. The doc didn't rule out that he might have clearer memories someday, but thought it unlikely when Tom couldn't
describe what happened after the doc finished working on him. The doc fixed up the concussion and the damage to his
back, but Tom just gave vague descriptions of Arthur's torture. He didn't remember sending Arthur off the cliff. It didn't
relieve me of my guilt for not stopping the program, but it helped a little. I guess.


Chakotay picked up another thread. "And by the way, Thomas Payne wasn't exactly how I set up the character


"He was supposed to be this sweet, innocent virgin."

Tom gave him a look of mock horror. "You mean he wasn't?"

"He was. But he did turn out to be a rather wanton fellow."

"Well, perhaps the person playing Thomas wanted that," Tom smirked, "had all these things he wanted to try."

"He certainly did."

"I think you're going to have to make it up to me for Arthur." Tom gave Chakotay an uncertain smile.

With a tight hug that brought the pilot practically into his lap, Chakotay whispered, "Of course, I'll make it up to you.
I have big plans for tonight."

Tom brightened. "Yeah?" Chakotay's kiss was his reply. "All right," Tom smiled when his lips were finally released.

"Glad I could help."

Tom's curiosity prompted the next question. "Who was giving Arthur all that inside information?"

"Hilly Simpson, the upstairs maid. Her brother was a gardener who gave Arthur the information she passed on. She
was Arthur's secret lover. Knowing Arthur she was simply someone he used."

"I hope Chak fired their asses clear into the Atlantic."

"A little upset, are we?"

"Damn right. They caused me a lot of trouble. But at least Arthur's body was found. We know he didn't follow Tom or
the family on their travels."

"Actually, I think Arthur's ghost remained behind to haunt the West Devon coast forever."

"You are mean," Tom admired with a laugh. Satisfied concerning the status of Arthur, Tom asked, "So, what do you
think happened to Chak and Tom?"

"They lived happily ever after," Chakotay deadpanned.

"Chakotay! Seriously."

"Well, they were affluent."

"Where did they live?"

"All over. Havenwood would always remain as home base. But I'd like to think they traveled extensively. Visited
places tolerant of their affection for each other."

"I like that," Tom mused. Turning serious, he asked, "What about Tom's father, his family?"

Chakotay gave him a look that wondered if Tom really wanted to go into that. But wide blue eyes innocently gazed
back at him. "I doubt if Tom ever saw his parents or sisters again."

"A little like Voyager," Tom muttered.

"But this was a holodeck fantasy," Chakotay continued as if he didn't hear Tom. "What would you like to see

"The admiral and Tom's mother visit them at Havenwood, see that he's successful and happy. And they give him
their blessing."

"Then that's what happened," Chakotay promised.

"With my luck, the train they're on is in a wreck with one of those new internal combustion carriages and they all
die first."

"Stay with the fantasy," Chakotay encouraged, stroking the side of Tom's face with a light touch.

"Maybe that's best," Tom agreed. 


TOM PARIS: The story of Tom Payne and his father got to me. Wonder why, huh? I know Chakotay didn't script all of that,
so it's kind of interesting, I guess, that both me and my alter ego had these father issues. When Tom Payne's father said he
loved his son, that really got to me. Yeah, he couldn't approve of his son's choice of a male lover, and I figure that was just
part of the times. But he said he still loved his son. That counts -- no matter what century you're in.


Tom asked, "Speaking of family, what about John and Edward?"

"John grows up, travels, and nearly dies in some disaster. That experience sends him to the seminary and he
becomes a minister," Chakotay invented.

After a moment of silence in remembrance of the young John Jackson, Chakotay asked Tom, "And Edward?"

"Goes into business manufacturing kinky sex devices. Gets his father and his father's lover to test them out."

Both of them laughed at that. Then Chakotay grew serious. "In terms of the larger plan, the trust issues...."

"You mean, do you think I'm ready? Yeah. I think this *virgin* can handle anything you can throw at him."

"I like the sound of all that bravado," Chakotay grinned. "The way Chak and Tom did it?" Chakotay pressed while
Tom squirmed against him. "Well, Tommy?"

"And when do we do this, oh, great holoprogrammer?" Tom teased.

"Not yet," Chakotay grinned. "But there was something else that should have been in that program."

"What did you forget?" Tom grinned uneasily.

"A manual tickling device," Chakotay announced and pounced on his lover, tickling him onto the floor. Tom giggled
and protested and tried to block Chakotay's quickly darting fingers. 

Then Tom managed to get the upper hand and flipped Chakotay onto his back. He rubbed his way backwards until
he hovered just above Chakotay's thigh.

Chakotay's grasping hands smoothed over the bare flesh under the kilt. "I love you in this sexy outfit," Chakotay
told him.

In husky tones, Tom replied, "I love wearing it. Now, take advantage of me while I'm still an inexperienced virgin."

When he stopped laughing, Chakotay began to do just that. 

Feeling Tom go still above him, Chakotay asked, "Do you still want this?"

Tom closed his eyes. They were on the brink of overcoming the last barrier in the total intimacy he longer for yet
had feared. He knew Chakotay wouldn't let him be hurt, would instead give him pleasure that would take him
sexually where he had never been willingly. An aching need that had smoldered unsatisfied for so long asserted
itself. Despite all of his experience, no lover had ever pledged to put Tom's needs first. And if it meant Chakotay's
desires were fulfilled as well, then they were truly a match for the ages. 

The sexual tension in the room had Tom taut with need.

When Tom opened his eyes he saw Chakotay's own urges flare up in the intense, dark eyes. He pressed a quick
kiss on those chiseled lips and then gave himself over to his lover for the duration. His voice thick and needy, Tom
offered, "I'm yours now, Chak. All yours."

Chakotay checked Tom's face, looking for any signs of doubt. When he found none, only a sexual hunger that took
his breath away, Chakotay kissed Tom in a long, tongue-filled effort that left them both gasping. With the kiss
completed, the sternness and dominance that he knew Tom craved asserted itself.

Chakotay demanded, "Stand up."

Those command tones of Chakotay's settled into Tom's bones and muscles. Emotions churning with a combination
of craving and compliance, he sprang to his feet in obedience to Chakotay's order. "Yes, sir."

Tom stood in front of Chakotay, watched the man watching him as he stripped off his clothes. Tom enjoyed the
commanding conduct of his lover. Anyone who knew him slightly would have thought Tom would rebel at such an
approach, but Chakotay knew him well. Tom had confided in him his deepest needs for a loving authority in the
bedroom. He craved the way Chakotay set boundaries for him, kept him safe from himself. 

Outside of the sexual arena Tom could be as contrary and rebellious as an outsider might expect. But inside of it, he
could get off merely hearing Chakotay's strongly spoken demands for his body's acquiescence. In this setting,
obeying Chakotay was his greatest turn-on. And Chakotay let him know that it was the same for him to have Tom
submit so willingly.

Chakotay ordered, "Go over to the bed."

There was more of the command voice in Chakotay's demand and, eyes hooded, Tom obeyed. He felt his breathing
speed up as he waited for Chakotay to take his body any way the commander chose.

Chakotay took in Tom's flushed look, Tom's chest rising and falling in ragged breaths, his uncovered, tall frame.
Tom's posture told Chakotay that Tom remained completely and utterly open to the submission Chakotay asked of
him. That Tom could do this now meant something had indeed changed on the holodeck. 

"You look so beautiful. I love seeing you this way."

Tom bit back the humorous comeback. It wasn't time to remind Chakotay that the man loved seeing him submit
regardless of the circumstances.

The erotic energy that charged Tom's brain also heightened his arousal. He wondered how long he would be able to
withstand the awesome tension that was accumulating in him. There was just the beginning of the kind of
throbbing that preceded pain. 

Tom knew he couldn't give in just yet to the excitement that electrified him. They would take their time. They'd
been leading up to it before the holonovel, but back then Tom hadn't found the level of trust he needed to go through
with it. Now, with the total trust he placed in his partner, Tom knew he was ready. "Now," he urged softly.

Despite Tom's plea, Chakotay took his time. As if reading his mind, Chakotay asked, "Are you ready, Tom?"


"Do you want it, Tommy?"

"Yes," Tom managed to say between deep gulps of air.

Long, charged, active moments passed. The sexual dance began, crescendoed, and bowed only to exhaustion. Finally
spent, Chakotay fell to the side of Tom and continued his possession with an arm across Tom's sweaty back. 

It took awhile before either of them knew where they were or recognized the bed beneath them, the solidity of the
other's body, the pungent smells of sex and sweat. Finally, Tom made a sound. "Oh, gods," he whimpered. 

"Was it okay?" Chakotay asked. "Are you all right?"

"Oh, gods," Tom repeated as if he'd latched onto only one phrase and hadn't the ability to locate another. 

"So you liked that?" Chakotay asked after several minutes had gone by with only their breathing to indicate that
the slack and sweaty men on the bed were still alive. 

"Uh-huh. I think you would, too," Tom managed to tease, his breathing still not totally under his control.

"That's all right."

"You mean it's the thought that counts?"


"Chakotay, you have no idea what that was like."

"Tell me. I kind of missed your perspective on that."

"That's because you were keeping me so busy. I couldn't damn well speak."

Chakotay brought Tom closer to kiss him soundly. "Tell me, Tommy. What was it like?"

A dreamy expression played across Tom's face. His mouth moved several times to try to explain, then he gave up. "I
can't. I'll have to show you."

"I'll take your word for it?"

"No, Chakotay," Tom told him, "You have to experience this for yourself. I mean you've told me that you have and it's
not for you. But what we did just now. It was just unbelievable." At last he found words to use to describe what
happened. "It's like when I crossed the threshold at warp 10. I was everywhere at once. That's what it was like. Like
I was outside of my body, watching you, and at the same time I was inside my body feeling you. Oh, gods, Chak."

Chakotay smiled at the image. 

Tom returned little by little to himself. "Are we going to have to work on your trust issues?"

"Maybe we could go back to the holodeck," Chakotay considered.

"What about Chak and Tom? You think Tom ever took Chak like that?"

Chakotay gave it some thought. "Only after Tom gives Chak too much brandy some night."

Tom made a face.

"I love you, Tom."

"Love you, too."

Feeling reflective, Chakotay mused,"Guess the vacation's over in the morning."

"Yeah," Tom sighed and snuggled closer to Chakotay. "Do you think you'd like to go back to that holoprogram?"

"Only as Tom's kilt," Chakotay joked.

"You're kidding," Tom said doubtfully.

"No, I'm not," Chakotay said with a straight face, then was surprised at Tom's reply.

"Okay. But we are going to work on *your* trust issues. We've pretty well taken care of mine." Exhaustion was
beginning to claim Tom and he almost didn't hear Chakotay's response.

"So you say," Chakotay grinned at that presumption on the part of his lover. However, he realized there was
something he needed to say. "I trust you with my life. So I guess that includes everything. Sign me up for next

With a happy grin on his face, Tom fell asleep. He didn't tell Chakotay that it was an affirmative answer that he
wanted, but not necessarily the deed.


CHAKOTAY: Was this holonovel just so I could have sex with Tom? Of course not. That was something we both talked
about as a symbol of something more important: complete trust between us as partners. Tom had to trust that I wouldn't
hurt him. And I had to trust that he would tell me before I did. If we'd asked for all that holodeck time so we could just have
sex, Kathryn would have rightly said no. But it was about issues of trust for Tom that went so deep that he was sure he
might go his entire life unable to give himself to another in a way that included his soul as well as his body. Well, he might
not describe it that way. But I think this was about Tom placing his soul, however briefly, in the care of another. I'm
privileged that he chose me.



TOM PARIS: My soul, huh? That's part of what I like about Chakotay. He can see things in spiritual terms. And when he
does, it shows me a way to see it, too. Was that a spiritual experience? I don't want to get carried away here. Let's just say
all of the experiences, they all add up, you know? Spiritual? Yeah, okay.


The end