By Shayenne

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything, but manage to pretend they don't have feelings.

Rated PG-13

Season 2, post-Resolutions

I compose myself and summon Chakotay into my ready room to take delivery of his report. Predictably, he invites me to lunch with him, but I turn him down with a smile and an excuse.

"You work too hard, Kathryn." His soft look is gently caring. Letting me know he's there for me. Saying my name, not my rank.

"I have to read Neelix's proposal for-"

He cuts across my words. "It's just another party to boost morale. Put your thumbprint on it. Trust me on this."

He's too close, and as he takes the PADD from me, I feel his light touch. It lingers, an instant too long. I swallow hard.

He must hear my quick indrawn breath. He must hear my hesitation as his fingers pause. He'd already withdrawn that gentle pressure—he knows the rules as well as I—but now it returns. It's still just a touch. Only his fingers on mine.

His fingers shiver on my skin, and his hand slides over mine. It's not just a touch anymore; it's bordering on a caress. I can feel his fingers closing around mine. His thumb moves, hypnotically to and fro, and I remember the feel of those hands on other parts of my body. I remember his breath on my skin. I remember his tongue and its wet, hot, glide.

I remember many things that are best forgotten.

My breathing is fast and shallow; I can barely feel its tidal rhythm. The lack of oxygen makes my head spin—or is it his closeness?

His breathing is loud in the sudden tension of my ready room. We're supposed to be exchanging reports, talking command, maintaining the frontiers of our accepted relationship. Instead, we're drifting closer, our bodies aligning, slowly, like leaves blown into a corner by the draft.

His fingers stroke up my palm and close around my wrist. The gentlest of tugs, but I topple against him. The lightness in my head fills my body and I've no substance to stop him. His fingers rise to settle on my cheek. I can't meet his eyes, so I watch his lips, and remember how they felt on mine. On my face, on my skin, on my breasts, between my legs.

Did he say my name, or did I only dream he did? My eyes close, but not before I've seen the look on his face. He wants this, and the will to stop him evaporates into the recycled air. My head tilts slightly and I feel his uneven breath on my cheek. My body remembers the pattern we weave together, how best we fit. I can't stop him, I won't stop him, and...


We've pulled back once more. Both of us, simultaneously realizing the impossibility of it all. Both of us, reaffirming the decision we made together, those months ago.

My lips tingle and I'm wet with wanting him. His eyes are sad. Without a word, he turns and leaves the ready room.

That's twice this month, we've been so close to giving in. The spaces between times are closing, bleeding into each other like milk into coffee.

I could weep with the wanting, but the waiting is all I have left.


Feedback? Please. Shayenne

Brianna Thomas has written a wonderful sequel to this story. Read All the Wonders of the World, rated PG13, here.
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© Shayenne, October 2004 Please email me to post/distribute elsewhere.