Tides of the Heart- Part Eight: Genesis
I am sitting in a patch of the long pampas grass that is scattered over the rocky shoreline, dangling my legs in the pleasantly cool water of a calm rock pool that has been left behind as the tide receded. My shoes and socks are discarded at my side, and my jeans are rolled up to my knees.
They are a little uncomfortable, to be honest. My jeans, I mean. I have gotten out of the habit of wearing civvies since I work and I sleep and that's the extent of my life. Because Starfleet Uniforms have a lot of give in them, I hadn't noticed putting on weight. It's not much weight, otherwise the jeans wouldn't have done up at all, and at least my ass is firm and looks good with the tight denim, but the button in the waistband is digging into my navel and it hurts.
I don't dare unfasten it though, in case I give the wrong impression.
Not that I'm a fat bastard, because at my age I deserve to be able to carry a couple of extra pounds so stuff him if he's got a problem with it, but I don't want him to think that I'm easy or something.
Chakotay hasn't arrived yet, but that's okay. He's not late, I'm early. I asked Tuvok to let me into the holodec an hour early so that I could try to calm down and prepare myself.
Tuvok is a strange person.
He would rather cut his head off than admit to emotion, but underneath the cool exterior, he's surprisingly romantic. Why the hell else would he agree to this mad idea when Voyager has so little energy?
Tuvok *said* it was because the ship is so understaffed that he would do anything to avoid losing her only half-decent Engineer. Maybe that's the long and short of it, but I've slept with the guy so I *know* he isn't as cold as he pretends to be.
I wonder how he's explaining this to the rest of the crew? He hates lying, but I suspect he'll pretend the holodec is off line. Since holodec 2 was destroyed during our battle with the Tunai, the idea of letting Chakotay and I hog holodec one for the next week is completely outrageous.
It's also the only chance we have of ever possibly working anything out.
We need neutral territory for this.
We can't possibly even try to make it work otherwise.
I cannot look him in the eyes while the ghosts of our mistakes haunt us from the very walls of our cabins. I cannot begin to pretend the last 20 years never happened when just seeing the faces of Charis and Anika slap me with reality.
For this masquerade to work, we need a virgin beginning, and then maybe, just maybe, we can begin to slowly stitch up our wounds.
It won't work, of course. How can it? How can I possibly put aside all these years of hurt and want and need? I want to. I wasn't lying when I told Chakotay that I wished that I *could* forget. From the moment of Seven's death, I have thought of nothing else.
I admit it. My very first thought, on hearing that the witch was dead, was this really pathetic, "He'll come back to me now."
For twenty years I thought of nothing but the moment when he realised his mistake and came back to me. But you know something? She took even *that* hope away from me. In dying she stole any chance I had of him choosing to come back to me. I guess that sounds crazy, but it's true. I'm no longer Chakotay's *choice*, I'm merely the fall-back position. I'm just all that is left on the playing field. And for me, that's not enough.
Which begs the question of why I am here at all, doesn't it?
The answer is nothing for me to be proud of.
I'm here because I'm too fucking pathetic to spend the rest of my life with my last memory of Chakotay being the back of his uniform as he walked out of our bedroom, each step of his boots carelessly crushing my heart underfoot.
I know twenty years have passed. I have seen him countless times, on the bridge, in his quarters, in the mess, on the holodec. Hell, I have seen him *thousands* of times since that night.
But like a broken recording, my mind is forever trapped in that one moment when he left me.
I have a sordid, bitter secret.
On this same holodec that I am now sitting in, I have replayed that moment countless times with an illegal simulation of Chakotay. I wrote a program where he didn't leave. Where the comm badge never sounded. Where he stayed the night through. I even programmed it once that the comm badge *did* sound but that he made me dress and accompany him, and then afterwards we returned to our quarters together.
I only played that scene once though, because the realisation that I should have followed him instead of sobbing in my bed like a selfish child, told me that everything was my own fault, after all, and I couldn't face the realisation.
My pain was only bearable if it wasn't my own fault, if I could call myself a victim and wallow in my self-pity. I only tortured myself with the simulation for two years. The day I erased that program, was the day I first held Charis in my arms in the observation lounge.
So, in a way, this is just like replaying that long erased program.
If I can bear it, if I can see it through, I will at least have a new, less bitter memory of Chakotay to take away with me when I leave. It will be sex this time, not lovemaking, but still the memory will be better.
I will leave, of course, and Chakotay won't follow me, because, when all is said and done, his responsibility to the ship will keep him here. The fact that he *thinks* he will follow me, though, is at least proof that he has enough love for me to make this bizarre goodbye ritual worth trying.
Chakotay called this a new beginning, a genesis.
It's just a goodbye.
As I walk across the sand, weaving through jagged rocks and patches of long grass, towards where he is sitting by the water with the sunlight playing over his silver-gold hair, I am so nervous that I can barely swallow.
I know he doesn't think this will work, that he is putting himself on the line like this just for some form of closure. Why else would he have agreed?
He owes me nothing.
He has already given me twenty years to correct my mistake and I have no right to ask for even one more second of his attention, let alone seven whole days.
His bravery astounds me.
I am, however, realistic enough to know that at any moment it may become too much for him and he will run from this holodec, and from this ship.
So I have already packed my bags and said my goodbyes to my children, just in case. Before I came here this morning, I visited the shuttle bay and discovered that the Delta Flyer has been fuelled and prepped for take off. I overrode Tom's locks and entered the tiny shuttle where I discovered that he has already transferred his few belongings.
My own bags are now stashed in the Flyer's hold, next to his, and I have arranged with Tuvok that as soon as the tiny shuttle makes a break out of the hold that I am to be beamed onboard it. Then Tom will either have to fly me back into Voyager, or space me. Otherwise, I will shadow him across the galaxy until he either gives in or kills me.
Anika cried a little, but she is her mother's daughter and surprisingly self-contained for her age. She does not have Charis's grasp on the situation, but she is generous enough to agree that my duty to Tom is greater now than my duty to her.
Charis, on the other hand, was so disgustingly smug that I didn't know whether to hug him or hit him for what he had done.
He confused me completely by ranting on that some ancient astronomer had been the reason he had locked Tom and I in the turbolift, but finally I understood. You have to remember that my children had a Borg for a mother, and their thought patterns are sometimes a little "odd" as a consequence. The bottom line is that Charis is the only person who has *any* chance of knowing what is really going on between Tom and I, since he is the only person who really knows us both.
I have told him how I feel, perhaps not so much with words, but certainly by behaviour and so has Tom. He tried "telling" me that Tom still needed me. He tried "telling" Tom that I needed *him*, but neither of us wanted to listen.
We knew what we *wanted* to believe and we weren't prepared to listen to any other opinions.
So Charis decided to prove it to us.
He certainly managed to prove his theory to me, but Tom has always been a hell of a lot more cynical, and he has good reason to be.
But there is fire between us. It burns and it scars and it scalds. It hurts more than anything you can begin to imagine. The flames between us rage with more heat than lies at the heart of a star. If I can capture that heat, turn it, control it, perhaps I can temper Tom's hatred back into love.
There is too much passion between us for it to fade away.
We will either come together and merge our flames, or we will explode in a fury that will destroy us both.
Either way, this will end in a bang, not a whimper.
I do not hear his footsteps.
It is only when his shadow cuts across the sunlight that I am aware that he has arrived, and I stiffen in tension and sudden fear.
"Hello," he says politely. "It's a hot day. Do you mind if I share the water with you?"
I can't do this.
I can't sit here and play this game.
I start to scramble to my feet in panic, preparing to run from the holodec, only to be trapped by the misery in his eyes at my decision.
"Please," he whispers. "Please try."
I owe him *nothing*, I remind myself. He has no right to ask this of me. Yet I cannot bear to look at the pain in those deep brown eyes and know that I am the cause of it. *I* am the one who is supposed to look like that, not him. How dare he make *me* feel guilty?
But I do.
"Sure," I find myself agreeing. "There's plenty of room," and I sink back down into the long grass once more.
He sits beside me, keeping the polite distance of strangers between us, and begins to unlace his boots.
"Are you staying here long?" he asks casually.
I jump, as though he is demanding to know whether I intend to run again, only to realise he is simply getting on with the plot.
"I've got a week's leave. I arrived today," I answer, with a shrug.
"Me too," he says.
I try skimming a pebble over the water so that it skips once, twice, a third time and then descends with a dull plopping sound.
He repeats my action, but his pebble simply hits the water and sinks.
I show off, choosing a slim flat stone that glides over the water, barely kissing the surface each time before continuing it's smooth flight path.
He copies my choice of pebble, but still his next attempt only skips once before crashing.
I rub the point home, with a third perfect flight.
"You're good at this," he comments easily.
"It's aerodynamics," I shrug.
"You a pilot then?" he asks, still looking over the water rather than at me.
"Used to be," I say, a little sadly.
"Me too," he replies. "A long time ago."
I look at him in surprise. I had forgotten that. I've forgotten a lot of things, perhaps.
We sit there in a companionable silence, broken only by the occasional bird cry and the skipping of my stones until I can no longer find any pebbles worthy of launching.
"Are you here on your own," he asks, out of the blue.
"Yeah," I answer, non-committally.
"So?" I challenge, suddenly feeling a little aggressive.
"So, I thought maybe you'd join me for lunch," he replies easily. Then, as I give him a suspicious glance, he shrugs casually. "I thought maybe we could talk about flying. It's better than being alone."
"Yeah," I mumble. Anything's better than being alone.
"My name's Chakotay. My friends call me Tay," he offers.
It's a lie, of course. I'm the only one who ever called him Tay. Which is probably why I am a little snide with my reply.
"Nice to meet you *Chakotay*," I say, with icy politeness. "Name's Tom Paris. I don't have any friends."
Before he can reply, I jump to my feet and lead the way back to the resort.
It's going both better and worse than I expected.
Tom hasn't left yet, although there was a moment when it was touch and go. He also is trying to get into the spirit of things, but the "I don't have any friends" comment was a definite barb. It's hardly the thing you say to a complete stranger who just invited you to lunch.
His refusal to call me Tay is a little disappointing too. I shouldn't have offered him an alternative, of course. It just gave him a barrier to hide behind.
The restaurant is nice though. The interior is clean but a little dark and mysterious. It has wood paneled walls, and real cloth on the tables which are all set in deep, private booths. It's one of the reasons that I chose this program. Wuarha is not as blatant a vacation world as Risa. Although everything here is designed to facilitate romance, from its twin moons, cosy restaurants and secluded beaches, there is nothing cheap or obvious here.
Wuarha is a world to find love, rather than a lover, and the difference shows.
We are eating our first course. Tom is being perverse. He has ordered snails, just to see me squirm as he eats. The smell of the garlic butter that drenches their shells is so overwhelming that I have ordered myself a side dish of garlic bread since the only way to deal with garlic is to eat it yourself too.
My action at least wiped a little of the smugness off his face. He's trying to control the situation, and I understand that, but I can't let him do it.
"Want one?" he asks suddenly, waving a snail under my nose.
My stomach recoils, but I force myself to smile apologetically as I shrug and explain that I am a vegetarian.
"Weird," he replies crushingly, then makes a performance of enjoying the little corpses on his plate.
It is not until our main courses have been cleared and we are drinking coffee that he speaks again.
"You married?" he asks, so abruptly that I am too surprised to answer at first.
"I was," I admit cautiously. "I'm not now. You?"
"I was once," he replies. "The fucker left me though."
I choke a little on my coffee, and when I look up there is a satisfied grin playing around his lips in an otherwise expressionless face.
And suddenly I realise, believe it or not, that I am almost enjoying this.
My already tight jeans strain a little under the weight of my lunch. I wasn't even particularly hungry. I only ordered the starter so that I could horrify Tay with the snails *and* stink my breath with garlic in case he thought he was going to try for a quick grope in the booth.
Once he ordered his own garlic, it put paid to *that* cunning plan, of course, and after coffee and a couple of brandies, I wouldn't have made *too* much of a fuss if he'd made a move on me.
Instead, he asked me if I had ever ridden a horse.
I blushed, choked a little on my brandy, and looked up into deeply amused brown eyes. He did it deliberately, I think. He obviously still remembers how crude my mind is, and my first thought had been that he was referring to his own impressive cock and I swear he read my mind.
"I thought we could take a ride down to the next beach," he added quickly, before I said something stupid.
I was so embarrassed at my misunderstanding that I found myself agreeing, so that's why we are cantering down the sand on a couple of holographic horses.
He's showing off, of course. Riding bareback like he thinks he's a *real* Indian, and I am quickly realising why cowboys always walked bow legged. My denim caged crotch is pressed between hard leather and by own body weight, and the movement of the horse beneath me is making me so hard I could explode.
Or maybe its just the sight of Chakotay's muscular back, and the way his strong legs are clamped to his horse's sides so that he is more secure without a saddle than I am with one.
From behind, I cannot see his horse's head, and he has removed his t-shirt so that all I can see is his black hair, and tanned skin as he blends into his bay steed so seamlessly that it is as though I am following in the wake of a centaur.
"TAY!" I yell into the wind, and he reins back to come alongside me.
"I wanna stop now," I tell him.
For a moment fear flashes over his face as he misunderstands me.
"My ass is killing me," I clarify.
He gives a relieved grin and slows his horse down to a walk so that we can meander towards a small bay, where we dismount and tie the horses up.
Well, he ties his up. When a low flying bird suddenly spooks the animals, my mount rears up and tears off back towards the resort in a flurry of hooves.
"Shit," I mutter.
"Never mind," Chakotay says casually. "We can ride back on mine, he can carry us both."
My face flushes at the thought.
"I'd rather walk," I hiss.
Chakotay just shrugs and begins to peel his trousers off.
"What the fuck are you doing?" I screech.
"Going for a swim," he replies casually. "Want to join me?"
"NO!" I practically scream at him.
He just shrugs again and continues to strip until he is bare-ass naked in front of me.
"Something wrong, Tom?" he mocks, as my face flushes and I look anywhere but at the evidence of his interest.
His tone forces me to look up. This isn't the Tay, I know. This is a stranger. Tay would never just strip off on a public beach and then laugh at my discomfort. That's the sort of thing I used to do. Not him.
As I stand there, drowning in the flashing darkness of his eyes, he is suddenly dangerous, unpredictable and as sexy as hell. I don't know him suddenly. He *is* a stranger to me. For the first time in years I don't look at him and think about love. I just think about lust.
And, in that awareness, I find freedom, and begin to unfasten my jeans.
I suddenly realise that I'm not going to take my swim, but that's okay because I never wanted to swim anyway, I just wanted an excuse to take my clothes off.
I see something change in Tom's eyes as I mock him with my nakedness and it isn't necessarily an improvement to see his sad, blue eyes flame with sudden lust. There is no pretence at emotion. This is not about us learning love and trust. It is just basic animal desire.
The kind you feel for a stranger when you have a one-night stand.
Although the sudden heat in his eyes makes my cock begin to bleed tears of excitement, another part of me mourns that we will play this game of nothing more than raw, violent sex. Yet this was the game we had agreed to play and all I can do is try to use my body to once again enslave his heart.
Spirits, he is so beautiful as he strips, as his pale flesh is revealed with its light dusting of hair and his proud cock that is angry red as it escapes its denim prison.
Then he moves towards me, wordlessly, and there is so much aggression in his face that I don't know whether he is planning to fuck me or hit me, or maybe both.
He takes advantage of his extra height, pressing his body into mine and grabbing the back of my head so that he can force my mouth against his, and as he did in the turbolift, he uses his tongue to force my lips apart and then thrusts it violently against my own.
Our cocks are being ground and crushed between our stomachs, and I can feel trickles of wetness although I am uncertain whether it is the snail's trail of my excitement or his, that is being smeared between our firm bellies.
His hands release my head and drop to grasp my ass cheeks instead, and I moan as his fingers dig and knead at my flesh with bruising force.
I find my own hands on *his* ass, squeezing with equal brutality as my fingers creep towards his crack and push against his pucker. It is tight, and unwelcoming, and rather than his resistance putting me off, it makes me more determined to break it down.
I had imagined, when coming here this morning, that I would offer him my ass first. When we were married, we would often swap and change positions, and in view of how I had left him, I thought he would hardly trust me with his ass too soon. Now, as he is in my arms, I realise I am wrong. He already knows that I am his, if he wants me. That I want to belong to him once more.
What he needs to learn is that he wants to belong to me again too. I have to take him, possess him, force him to accept that he needs me, in his life, in his heart, in his ass.
I am going to fuck him until he can't walk, and then I'm going to fuck him some more. In seven days I'm going to give him twenty years of loving until he is so dazed and confused and needy that he can't imagine life without me.
I can feel our hearts thundering together as he grinds his need into me. I can taste the garlic in our breaths but instead of being unpleasant, it is heavy and musky and somehow arousing, and then his hands release my ass as he sinks downwards to his knees.
He ignores my cock, licking instead at the precum on my stomach, his tongue laving into my belly-button so that I jump in surprise, and then he licks down to my pubic hair and chews on it. The sensation is strange, but pleasant, until he snaps his teeth shut and rips a mouthful of hair out by the root.
"FUCK!" I scream, clouting him across the head.
He grabs me by the back of the knees and wrestles me to the floor, where we roll and struggle against each other's embrace, somewhere between violence and passion.
I finally force him onto his back and straddle him, pinning his arms and trapping them against his sides with my thighs as I rain a series of kisses on his lips. He alternates between returning my kisses and trying to bite me, his eyes wild but his cock digging into the insides of my thighs proves that this is still foreplay not fighting.
It is only when I reach over into my discarded pants to retrieve a vial of lube, that his eyes flash with uncertainly rather than wild lust, and a little hurt perhaps that my preparation suggests that it is I who planned this assault rather than he.
I don't give him a chance to change his mind. I bite down into his neck, so savagely that I almost break the skin, and he bucks and threshes under me.
Its never been like this between us. We have shared passion many times, but we have never hurt each other in the process. But somehow, this is what we both need now, this violence, this pure basic sex.
He thrusts suddenly, rolling us over once more, so that now he is on top, he is the aggressor, and he bends down and bites sharply at my left nipple. Instead of releasing me as I howl, he bites harder, drawing blood and I smack the side of his head again.
Then all hell breaks loose between us.
We are rolling, punching and kicking at each other until we are both blinded by the sand in our eyes, and then we are kissing again, our mouths grinding in passion, even as our teeth gouge rips in each other's lips.
I wrestle him over, so that he is face down in the sand, my left hand pinning the small of his back so that despite his threshing he cannot rise again. I use my teeth to rip the lid off the lube and I coat my right fingers and rather than teasing him open, I find myself simply thrusting my fingers brutally inside him.
He screams in rage, then chokes a little on the sand, and I freeze in horror at the violence of what I have done, only for him to force himself up onto his hands and knees and then push backwards, inviting my fingers deeper inside.
He rocks as I speed the rhythm of my hand, his whole body shuddering as I punch my fingers in and out of him, then he cries out as I withdraw my fingers long enough to find the cockring that is in the back pocket on my pants. I slide it carefully over my engorged cock and heavy balls. I have waited too long for this moment to allow my balls to dictate the longevity of our pleasure.
I coat myself with lube, realising belatedly that there is as much sand on my cock now as gel. Shit. We'll both be rubbed raw, I realise. Before I can complete the thought, Tom howls at me, "Fuck me, Tay," and it's too late to stop.
I plunge into him, ramming in with no more consideration than a rapist. He punishes me by slamming backwards, taking me so deeply inside that I howl as his balls slap savagely against my own.
There is nothing tender here, there is only heat, and need, and the feel of my flesh sliding in and out of his, and I thrust harder and deeper with each stroke, until no matter how he tries to brace himself against the sand, each time I slam into him he is knocked back onto his face, and between each howl of pleasure, he whimpers as the friction of the sand burns against his cock.
I grab his hips, sit back on my own ankles and lift him so that my thighs become a cushion for his ass as I move him up and down on my shaft. He is trying to rub his own cock in rhythm to my deep strokes, but there is too much sand on his hands and he is sobbing in frustrated desire.
Instead of taking pity of his helplessness, I abuse it, continuing to pound him up and down until my own cock feels raw and my balls are straining against their restraint as though they could rip through the metal hoop.
He is screaming and howling in abandonment, his head threshing so wildly that several times it connects with my forehead and the mutual pain only drives us to continue until he is so sweat-slicked that I can no longer hold him without digging my fingers in so hard that I can see bruises forming on his hips.
Then, although it takes all of my strength to do it, I push up from the floor, dragging him with me until we are on our feet and I make him walk towards the sea. He is sagging in my arms, his ass so deeply impaled by my cock that he can barely take each step as we move down the beach. I move him like a marionette, rewarding each tentative step with a twist of my own hips so that my shaft slides over his prostate, sending a frisson of electricity through his ass and dragging a moaning keen out of his exhausted throat.
Only when we are knee-deep in the waves do I allow him to sink slowly back to his knees, controlling his body so that our precious link is not severed and then as the waves wash over us, I resume my rhythm into his ass, while reaching under him to pull and tease at his own cock now that the water has washed the stinging sand off its sensitive skin.
He is revitalized by the feel of my fingers on his shaft, humping into my hand, as I hump into his ass, having to gulp breath between waves as the incoming tide crashes over our heads, and I am careful to time his release so that that his scream of ecstasy doesn't award him a mouthful of brine. Then as he bucks under me, his ass muscles ripping and squeezing my cock, it is only the tight ring around my balls that prevents me from exploding inside him.
I kneel back once more so that he can rest on my thighs, his head clear of the water as he slowly tries to wake up from the fever of our lovemaking, and I hold him tightly, my lips nuzzling at the back of his neck as above our heads the Wuarthan sun begins to set, as though we have exhausted it.
It is a long time before he manages to speak, and when he does, his voice sounds lazy and amused.
"Are you ever going to get out of my ass, Tay?"
"Not if I can help it," I reply with a chuckle.
"I hate to burst your bubble, big guy, but it's getting late, it's starting to get cold and I'm beginning to wrinkle like a prune."
He's right. The sun is starting to dip behind the headland, the water is getting chilly and his cock is dangling miserably between his thighs.
I ease us both to our feet, still keeping myself buried in his ass for as long as possible and then withdrawing.
We both sigh at the sensation of loss, and Tom shivers suddenly and shakes his head as though he is coming to his senses. I can't allow it. I can't lose this temporary truce between us.
I quickly march us up the beach, so that he is stumbling with fatigue, and then as he sways there uncertainly, I undo my horse's reins and vault on, still naked, and offer Tom my hand.
He blinks at the sight of me sitting astride the horse, my rigid cock thrust up from his flanks.
"Climb on," I whisper.
His eyes widen as he realises what I am suggesting.
"We can't ride back to town like that," he stutters.
I'm uncertain whether he means naked, or with him impaled on my cock, and I can hardly say the other residents are only holograms without breaking the spell.
"It'll be dark by the time we get to town. No one will see us," I reply.
"There's no saddle," he whimpers.
"You don't need one," I reply, and rub my thumb over my glans suggestively.
"This is crazy," he whispers.
"Yeah," I agree with a broad grin.
The horse spooks a little as he scrambles up in front of me, and I have to take his bruised waist carefully in my hands to maneuver him until he can sink down onto my cock.
As I glide back into his hot, welcoming warmth I gasp with pleasure and he leans back against my chest so that my right arm can caress his newly reawakened groin.
He clings to the horse's mane with his fingers for balance, and as the twin moons rise so that we are bathed in cool blue light, the raging heat where we are joined dispels the chill of the night air.
It is sheer devilry on my part that I make the horse trot all the way back to the resort.
It's a fucking good job its a holoprogram.
How the hell we would have explained a *real* horse returning to its stable with cum dripping down its mane and withers doesn't bear thinking about.
I've decided it isn't Tay at all. I've been suckered.
It's an alien impersonator.
A sadistic bastard of an alien impersonator.
A sex-crazed deviant sadistic bastard of an alien impersonator.
Or maybe he's just decided that if he permanently stretches my asshole so wide that I spend the rest of my life shitting as I walk, I won't be able to stand up long enough to run away.
I don't know what hurts more, my ass or my balls.
He made that fucking horse *trot* all the way home. Can you even begin to imagine how that felt? I'm bouncing up and down on every pace, sliding up and down his cock, my balls exploding so many times that the horse looked like it had been slimed by the time I got off it and all the time Tay is chuckling like a madman while I call him every dirty name I can think of in five different languages.
He had to carry me into the hotel, took me to *his* room, cheeky fucking bastard, put me in his bed where I just passed out and then I was woken up this morning because he was inside my fucking ass again.
I called him a couple of names, and he asked did I want him to stop, so I called him a couple *more* names, and so he fucked me senseless again, and now I've woken up and he wants to know whether I want to take a hover up to the mountains and go skiing.
Skiing? I can't even fucking walk!
I don't think I am ever going to be able to walk again and I've still got six more days of this to go.
Not that I'm really complaining.
I should feel cheap, giving in to him like I did yesterday.
Instead, this stranger with Chakotay's face has somehow, in less than 24 hours, made me at least feel like I'm desirable.
I haven't felt that way for 20 years.