"Oh god, you feel so good," Tom groaned, pistoning his hips so that he slid
deeper into the velvet heat of the firm ass beneath him.
"Oh yeah, baby," he added, as he felt his cock squeezed by the muscular
contractions of his lover's own orgasm. "Milk me, baby, come on, oh god that
's good, that's soooooooo nice, oh yeah, oh, oh, god, YES!"
He wailed as his balls tightened. His cum was violently ripped out of him by
the undulating muscles that greedily squeezed the length of his shaft so
tightly that the pleasure was almost agonising in its intensity.
"Shit. That was great," he gasped as he crashed down on top of the muscular
back, burying his face into the other man's black hair. "You have a
seriously talented ass, you know?"
A mumbled, "Don't you EVER stop talking, Tom?" emerged from the depths of
Tom chuckled happily. "Nah, it just adds to the oral pleasure, doesn't it?
All part of the Paris service."
"If you say so," the muffled voice griped. "You gonna get off me now and let
Tom ran his fingers affectionately through the thick dark hair and bent down
to kiss the darker skin of the now boneless muscular shoulders.
"You're not as tense now, are you?" he sniggered and was rewarded by a low
chuckle of agreement.
"It was wonderful, Tom. You were wonderful, as always. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Tom smirked, rolling off and heading for the bathroom.
"Aren't you going to stay? Maybe just hold me for a while? Please, Tom?"
"No time, I need a shower. I don't want to turn up for my date stinking like
a cat on heat, Harry."
Harry paused in his act of turning over and instead buried his face back
into the pillow, biting into the material to stop himself from replying.
He knew he had no right to complain. It wasn't like he and Tom were an item.
Tom had never pretended he was anything other than a mercy fuck, after all.
Why the hell would it be any different? It wasn't like he had anything to
offer Tom himself. He understood that life had hardened Tom, that he had
been taught from an early age that everything, and everyone, had a price.
Yet, underneath Tom's layers of self-protection, Harry had seen enough of
the Tom who might have existed, given a different upbringing, without the
layers of armor from his experiences at Caldik Prime and Auckland, to have
hoped that one day he might have broken through Tom's outer defences and
found the key to his heart.
He had given up on that hope years ago. Tom was willing to be his friend, a
damned good friend, and occasionally was willing to fuck him, and he was a
damned good lover. Harry had no right to complain. Tom had never pretended
they were any more than fuck buddies, and Harry had realised that they never
Maybe Chakotay would succeed where he had failed.
He hoped so. He wanted Tom to be happy. Even if it meant losing what little
of Tom that he himself possessed.
Knowing Tom, though, he doubted it.
If anyone would have stood a chance with Tom, it was B'Elanna, in his
opinion. He had actually thought that Tom was really serious about the
engineer. When Tom had dated B'Elanna it had been the first time since they
arrived in the Delta Quadrant that Tom had relegated Harry to the sidelines.
For the first time in Harry's memory, Tom hadn't tried to fit Harry around
the edges of his relationship, and that had proven to Harry that Tom was
He had been almost disappointed on the night that Tom had walked him home
from Sandrines, followed him into his quarters and casually said "Wanna
His heart had contracted painfully at the lost look in Tom's eyes, and he
had known, instantly, that for whatever reason, Tom and B'Elanna were over.
In retrospect, he probably should have refused, should have had some pride.
But he had felt so damned sorry for Tom, and besides, his body had screamed
out for Tom's touch.
In the months since then, although Tom had dated the occassional person, he
had never again suggested that their own relationship should end, and
despite his sorrow that Tom was lonely, Harry was selfish enough to treasure
the reprieve that he had been awarded himself.
Three weeks ago, however, he had seen danger beginning to lurk on the
horizon from a completely unexpected direction.
Of course, he had always suspected that the Commander's problem with Tom
stemmed from sexual attraction, but he had put his own suspicions down to
the undeniable fact that he couldn't imagine anyone *not* finding Tom
And when Tom's own radar had picked up on Chakotay's interest and had
confirmed his suspicions, by hatching his plot to get his rank back,
Harry had tried desperately to be sure that his own words of warning weren't
tainted by his own fear.
Because Chakotay was another B'Elanna. Someone he instinctively knew had the
power to crash through Tom's barriers, someone who had the potential to
achieve what he himself had never managed.
As much as Tom was denying it to himself, Harry had the horrible feeling
that Chakotay was someone who Tom might actually fall in love with.
Not that he was jealous of the big Maquis, well not uncontrollably so
anyway. Since he wasn't even in the running himself, since he understood
that Tom only ever offered him the booby prize, he admittedly envied
Chakotay but didn't wish him to fail.
The problem was, that Harry was pretty damned sure that Tom would only get
Self-destructive. That was Tom Paris. He had no respect for people like
Harry who threw themselves at him and let him walk all over them, which was
hardly surprising, after all.
No, Tom was attracted to people stronger than him, people who would try to
control him, who wouldn't put up with his behaviour. He only felt love was
worth having if people forced him to chase *them*.
Yet, like a wild creature, Tom battled against the very restraints he
yearned for until he shattered them irrevocably by some senseless act of
Like he had with B'Elanna.
Like he inevitably would with Chakotay.
And good old Harry would have to be here to pick up the pieces again and
glue Tom's ego back together until he felt strong enough to do it to himself
all over again.
A blanket of oppressive helplessness smothered Harry as he lay in bed and
listened to Tom cheerfully whistling to himself in the shower.
He could see his own future mapped out in all its stark misery. A lifetime
as Tom's emotional crutch. Endless years of waiting for Tom to come back to
him, and then waiting for him to leave again.
He should put his foot down, should grow a backbone, should learn some
But he wouldn't.
He'd be here always, as faithful and unquestioning as ever, to stop Tom from
floundering in the storms of his own creation.
He was Tom's anchor.
It was enough.
Chakotay looked in the mirror again and sighed. Maybe he should wear the
black shirt after all. He had thought that this russet would match his eyes
and would compliment his skin tones, but somehow it just seemed to emphasize
the lines on his face.
He was getting older. It was inescapable. No matter how fit he kept his
body, the years of laughter and sorrow had etched his face.
"You're mature," he told his reflection firmly. "That's all. You're not
*that* much older than him. Hell, at least *your* hair isn't thinning."
Then he winced at his own cruel thought. As if *anything* could make Tom
less attractive. Spirits, Tom could be bald and he'd still be a walking sex
Which was another thing.
Tom had put himself on the line, had been brave enough to approach him in
Sandrines, and he himself had reduced their date into something sordid by
that stupid "dessert" comment.
Hell, Tom probably thought that he only saw him as a sex object now.
He was a stupid, insensitive idiot. It would serve him right if Tom had
second thoughts about turning up at all.
Unless sex was all that Tom was interested in.
It was possible. Tom wasn't known for being particularly choosey about his
bed-partners. The rumor was he had cut quite a swathe through the unattached
crewmembers, and more than a couple of the attached ones.
So maybe Tom had been honest with his "same old, same old" comment. Perhaps
he was simply looking for a different "taste".
He shuddered at the thought of being just another notch on Tom's bedpost.
Hell, he knew he didn't deserve any more than that and he should probably be
grateful for the opportunity to finally taste Tom's forbidden fruit, even if
it was only once.
Yet the idea made him feel suddenly ill.
For the first time, he hoped Tom wouldn't turn up.
This had been a seriously bad idea, he realised. He had fantasised about
Tom Paris for so many years that the reality would probably turn out to be a
disappointment anyway, he told himself.
The alternative was worse. What if Tom really was all he had dreamt him to
be? What if one taste addicted him and he spent the rest of his life
yearning for something that he would never experience again?
He looked in disgust at the table that he had spent all afternoon preparing.
The candles and flowers had seemed such a good idea before. Now he saw them
as Tom would undoubtedly see them, the pathetic attempts of a middle-aged
fool to turn the offer of a quick fuck into a romantic date.
Angrily he swept them off the table and into the recycler until nothing
remained but a plainly set table. He turned off the low music selection that
he had spent an hour agonising over, and changed back into an old shirt and
When Tom arrived, *if* he arrived, he would feed him, share some pleasant
conversation and then would firmly escort him to the door.
The best way to avoid being burnt by fire was not to strike the match in the
first place, he decided.
As the door to Chakotay's cabin opened, Tom nearly dropped the bottle of
Chardonay that he was carrying. Chakotay had obviously made no effort to
dress up and instead of the low-lit ambience of the romantic dinner Tom had
been expecting, Chakotay's quarters were spartan and uninviting.
Completely confused, Tom shuffled nervously from foot to foot before
brandishing the bottle at the older man.
"I know you said don't bring anything," he said awkwardly. "But since it's a
date, I thought, ummm, it *is* a date, isn't it?"
As an embarrassed flush spread across Tom's face and his fingers whitened
around the neck of the bottle, Chakotay felt like the most insensitive
bastard of all time.
He had invited Tom to dinner and then, because of his own cowardice, Tom now
looked so humiliated that he wanted to turn tail and run.
"Come in," he urged. "I'm sorry I'm not dressed, something came up and I
just got home," he lied. "Sit down and pour yourself a drink while I get
Tom gave him a beaming smile of relief.
"Sure, I know how busy you are, Chakotay," he agreed cheerfully. "I don't
He waited until Chakotay disappeared into the bedroom before he let a frown
descend over his features. He knew damn well Chakotay had just lied to him.
He had checked Chakotay's whereabouts before visiting Harry.
Chakotay had been in his quarters all afternoon and evening, so why the hell
hadn't he bothered to change?
Besides, he wasn't a stupid man, he knew full well that Tom would easily be
able to disprove his lie. So why had he done it?
A slow smile began to creep across Tom's features and he cocked his glass
towards the closed door in a salute.
It was a message, obviously. Chakotay was warning him not to take him for
granted. He was playing hard to get.
Tom took a deep draught of his wine and considered how he felt about that.
Sure, it would slow things down, Tom realised. He would probably have to
amend his own mental timescale for the seduction of Chakotay. Obviously a
quick fuck wasn't going to do it, after all.
On the other hand, it had been a long time since someone had truly surprised
him like this. He had expected Chakotay to fall on him like a ravaging beast
and then be so grateful afterwards that Tom could twist him easily around
his little finger.
Chakotay's "Mr Cool" act was unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome.
The game had just become a hell of a lot more interesting, he decided.
"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well written, or badly written. That is all." - Oscar Wilde