Captain’s Personal Log:
I was exhausted, as usual, and edgy. My shift seemed to last for ten days instead of ten hours. Concentration on the data flow before me was difficult. My dear ones, Paris and Kim were fluttering on the perimeter of my orbit. They were trying to be helpful; trying to let me know that they were available for my needs. I did not want their attentions. No matter how they tried to please me, they required my attention to complete the equation. I didn’t have the energy to even allow them to serve.
When Tuvok relieved Chakotay and me, I retreated to my Ready Room. There were reports to review and a new course to consider. Rest was not what I considered a legitimate consideration for many hours to come despite the burning in my eyes.
Chakotay requested admittance an hour later. I was surprised. He seemed as tired as I was at shift’s end. He stared at me until I looked up at him.
Chakotay said nothing. His eyes warmed me like a well stoked hearth fire. He was appraising me, alert for any apprehension. I fell into his gaze. He crossed the room swiftly, came around my desk and pulled me into his arms.
"Enough... Kathryn..." he whispered in my ear. "Come with me."
"I can’t," I replied. For some reason I wanted to cry.
"Yes you can. There is nothing pressing now," he said. "Come with me."
I felt so safe pressed against him. Being in his arms was a warm cocoon. My eyes were so heavy. My limbs were leaden. The resistance left my body.
"Paradise," he murmured. I looked up at him. The questions were in my eyes. I was not articulate enough to voice them. He kissed me briefly. "Come with me."
I nodded mostly because I couldn’t fight him. Instinct told me to stop resisting. We left my Ready Room, and I was led to Holodeck One. My apprehension rose slightly. I wasn’t up to dealing with my Circle. I certainly did not have the strength to take on Barrows unless it was to curl up in a ball at her feet and sob.
"Chakotay program Alpha Prime," he said.
When the doors opened, I saw the shelter we used on New Earth. My feet moved of their own accord toward it. Chakotay followed me inside. The tub was where we’d left it. Steam was rising from the water. My legs felt weak at the sight of it all. I looked at Chakotay.
"Why don’t you have a long soak while I make dinner," he said. "I’ve saved enough rations for a pretty good meal."
I was moved. My hands went up on their own accord to caress his face. I kissed him on his cheek then walked to the tub.
"I’ll bring you a towel," he said.
The hot scented water made me sleepy almost as soon as my spine settled against the back of the tub. Chakotay’s program was perfect down to the blossom scented breeze floating over my face. I felt like I was there in the stillness outside on New Earth. The only noise was from Chakotay rattling the pots and pans inside the shelter. I let myself drift to sleep.
"Kathryn..." his voice beckoned. "Stand up for me."
I complied somehow. The chill of the night air awakened me as Chakotay quickly dried my skin. When I stepped out of the water entirely, he wrapped me in a thick robe then swept me into his arms. I lazily draped my arms around his neck wishing that the distance to the shelter wasn’t quite so short.
The aroma of the food roused my senses. I was set down and went to the table where he had prepared a hearty meal of rice and beans with savory seasonings, a beautiful salad, and a flat bread made from corn meal. Chakotay dished a modest portion for me. My appetite returned. I finished all that he had laid out and had a second helping.
"For a farm girl, you rarely have this kind of appetite," he commented.
"If I had, I would have a lot of problems fitting in my uniform," I replied. "I eat mostly Neelix’s cuisine. He is responsible for me keeping my slender physique. Paris does not hold the record for replicator rations."
"Why eat there so often?"
I sighed. "Leading by example."
"Can I sub for you?" Chakotay asked.
I shook my head with a smile. "It has to be me. Neelix gets so happy, and the crew does seem more willing to eat when I’m there."
I let out a sigh. The endless weight of responsibility intruded upon the moment.
"Oh, no you don’t," Chakotay said quietly. He reached out for my hand. "Let me ease your stress. Let me make you rest."
I took his hand despite the protests forming in the back of my mind. Involuntarily, I was ticking off a list of tasks that were not complete. That stopped abruptly when my robe was slipped off my shoulders.
I climbed onto the bed and stretched out on my stomach. Chakotay had lit candles about the room. My mind slowly emptied as I listened to the Commander undress.
"What do you have in mind?" I mumbled.
He ran a hand down my spine. "Any number of things that will delight the flesh -- especially mine."
He patted my butt lightly. "But for now, I want you to relax."
I felt his hands on my feet. He began to work moisturizer into my soles and my toes and my heels.
"This is bad," he whispered with concern.
"Something wrong with my feet?"
"Even your toes are tense," he said. "It’s a wonder they don’t break off when you walk."
I smiled then sighed as he kneaded more strongly. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how tightly clenched my muscles were. It was as though my whole body was a fist. Slowly, slowly Chakotay made me relax, then let go. Lists and priorities slid from my mind as his hands moved across my muscles spreading warmth and strength throughout my being. I adored that man’s hands. They were so strong in day to day life, but so gentle when they touched me. He could knead my muscles into pudding and not leave a bruise. He could go blow for blow with any man, yet wash my hair without ever pulling a strand. By the time he reached my neck, I was floating blissfully.
Chakotay turned over and pulled me onto his body then covered us both. I was resting my face on his shoulder near his neck. He was stroking my hair.
"It’s so still," he said. "I’d forgotten how quiet the nights were."
"You don’t think about this place?" I asked.
"I’ve learned not to. Do you?"
"From time to time."
I smiled and looked up at him. "When I catch you in quiet moments, especially if you’re working with your hands. I wondered how many buildings you would have built over time."
"If you’ll recall, my obsession with carpentry diminished once other pursuits were available," he replied squeezing me. "Besides, I needed a place to raise all of our fine sons."
"You’re lucky you had the monkey," I replied. "I do miss this place sometimes. The quiet and the lack of responsibilities was lovely. Just us."
Chakotay rolled me onto my back. "Were you content with me?"
I smiled but refused to answer. Chakotay rained kisses on my face. I started to laugh.
"Fishing for compliments?"
"I’ll take them anyway I can," he said. His lips lowered over mine.
My eyes welled up. "I was happy there. Once I accepted it, I even found peace."
He smiled at me. "So did I."
I slid my hands up his bare chest then wrapped my arms around his neck. "I thought we were going to paradise."
He laughed softly. "I cook and slave for you and all you want from me is sex."
"And the problem with that is..." I said with a witchy smile. He was gazing down at my face. His eyes had a golden glint from the candlelight. His expression had an element of wonder that always made me curious. What did he see when he looked in my eyes? My heart fluttered. I nervously licked my lips then felt the flick of his tongue against mine then the thick crush of his mouth over mine. The Commander was in no hurry. He was intent on slowly exploring my mouth. His tongue delved and danced against mine. Softly arousing me.
I felt so safe and peaceful with the weight and heat of his body covering mine. I was floating unmoored in the comfort of his leisurely kisses. He was hardening and lengthening against my thigh, but making no move to take me. I shifted my body over so slightly arching my leg around his hip opening myself to him. The kiss took a greater intensity as he pushed slowly inside me.
Again, I was one with Chakotay. He was part of me, merging with my flesh breathing in rhythm with me. My body took over. I was open receiving him as he pumped into my hot, wet sheath. Chakotay broke the kiss. He pulled back to look at my face.
I loved how Chakotay looked at me especially when he was moving inside me stroking my passion. His own satisfaction was delayed watching me reach mine. I fell into his gaze.
"Let go, Kathryn...let go for me..." he whispered.
I did. My eyes remained fixed on his as the pleasure shimmered through me making me moan out loud and bringing me to tears.
"Let go...for me...Chakotay, please," I moaned.
He rested his forehead on mine growing rigid then releasing with a great roar. His mouth covered mine again gently and sweetly for a moment. I felt languid. It was more than being sated. There was peace.
We dressed after a short nap. He held my hand as we walked toward the door. He would have to let go as soon as we stepped into the corridor, but I needed the contact with him.
"Exit," Chakotay said.
"End program," he said.
We tried our com badges. There was no response.
I sighed. "Perhaps there is a gremlin in the machinery... Janeway to Barrows."
There was no reply.
"Mistress, please respond," I said. "You have to let us go"
Chakotay was checking on an access panel. He pushed a few buttons, then fiddled with a few more.
"Something has locked us in with the program running," he said. "I don’t think that even Barrows can hear you. We’re stuck."
"We can’t be!"
"We are," he said. "It could be anything. Torres may be running something that could lock up the program. Who knows with holodecks."
"What will we do?" I asked.
"Let’s get some sleep. It’s not like we haven’t been in here together before," he said with an annoying calm. "No one will think anything of it provided we get an early warning."
He smiled sheepishly.
I was tired and he was smiling at me. It all sounded reasonable. Or I wanted it to.
"Set up something, carpenter boy," I said. "I’m going to bed."
I stripped once inside the shelter and climbed into bed and buried myself in the covers. I felt the bed sag a few moments later. The Commander enveloped me in his limbs then pressed me against his naked body.
"Goodnight, Kathryn," he whispered in my ear. How I adored that. He had no idea how much I wanted to hear that every night before I drifted to sleep. It tore at me every day when my shift ended to walk away from that man after sitting beside him for hours on end.
Being back in that shelter brought it all home once more. I would have been his mate in every sense if we remained on that world. I would have borne his children. It was so easy to choose that when there was only me to consider.
"Goodnight, Chakotay," I replied quietly.
I slept heavily for hours beyond my normal working time. Chakotay was still wrapped around me when I finally opened my eyes.
"Good morning," he smiled at me. "Your eyes are very bright."
"Is my nose wet, too?" I asked. "How long have I been asleep?"
"Ten hours," he said. "You and I are late and I’m certain we’re being sought. So, let’s have breakfast."
I nodded and received a gentle kiss.
"Is the garden as we left it?"
"Plants are bearing fruit," he said.
"I’ll get some tomatoes and peppers, then," I replied. "Then I can watch you cook."
I pulled on a dress, put on slippers then dashed outside. The garden was blooming and near overgrow with weeds. Nice touch, Commander. I picked some tomatoes and peppers then dashed inside. Chakotay was in a towel preparing to make an omelet. My heart lurched at the sight of him.
"Can I help?"
"Make the coffee," he said. "Food will be up in a moment."
"I suppose I could weed that garden," I said.
"There is a lot that could use fixing," Chakotay said.
"A little physical therapy?"
"It takes a lot to keep a forest at bay."
I looked at him. "Our own little corner?"
"We could keep it alive," he said meeting my gaze. "Until we can find another one."
Another one. The thought made me nearly spill the coffee. I felt heat rise to my cheeks as I sat across from Chakotay. The food was beautiful, and I ate it with relish.
"I’ll get rid of the dishes. Why don’t you see to your garden?"
"You left me coveralls?"
"Everything that we had there is here," he said. "Enjoy,"
I left him fussing with the pans in that delightfully inadequate towel to change.
The day was too warm for the coveralls. I picked a lightweight sundress. I had a pad that I could kneel on while I was working. Naturally, I didn’t wear underwear. A causal search revealed that he hadn’t provided any in that very thoughtful and detailed program.
After an hour I was feeling my lower back and elbows. There was a pile of very ripe holo-tomatoes nearby that I had pruned from the plants. I was looking at a really large one when I felt a cool shadow over me.
"Everything’s in shape there," Chakotay said. He was wearing a loose fitting tunic and plants. I stood up and stretched.
"While you were straightening up, you didn’t happen to notice any underwear?"
He smirked at me. "Well, I can’t remember everything."
I was still holding the tomato when a thought popped into my head. "How many of your rations have you used for this little adventure?"
He shrugged. "Let’s just say I’ll be keeping you company at Neelix’s for quite a while."
He pulled me against him. Aside from feeling his lovely hard chest, I felt the squish of the tomato seeping through my dress.
"I didn’t know you were into this. I thought it was just champagne," he said with a smile.
I was flabbergasted. "You must know this was an accident."
He was already moving to the tomato pile.
"Don’t you dare," I said. A split second later I was hit with an overripe one square in the chest. This meant war.
We each dived for the pile and came up throwing. I was thoroughly buffeted, but managed to get in several salvos of my own while running for cover. Chakotay chased me to a grassy, shady area. I was trying to reach the trees. He caught me around the waist pulling me to the ground on top of him, then rolling me onto my back.
Chakotay licked the juice and pulp from my neck. He opened my dress to tongue his way down my torso. I had no pulp below my waist, but I just didn’t care. I was wet there anyway. He lapped and sucked at my rigid, sensitive nub. I moaned loudly. I sobbed his name, the pleasure was so amazing.
"You have some on you, too," I whispered.
I licked his shoulders as he moved upward to kiss me. I licked off the pulp from his chin before tasting myself against my mouth. I wasn’t deterred from reciprocating. I broke from his kiss then pushed him on his back. I lapped the tart juice from his flesh as I ripped the fabric away from his body. Chakotay stilled for me completely when I ripped his pants apart. I petted his erection for awhile marveling anew at the silky feel and incredible hardness. He gasped as I took him as far back into my mouth as possible. I adored his salty taste as I worked my mouth over him. He wanted to bring me to him to impale me, but I wouldn’t let go. I continued until he released into my mouth. Then, I collapsed alongside of him.
I stayed motionless afterward. Chakotay left me prone and naked there which confused me. I wanted to be held. The minutes drifted by -- how many was unclear. Chakotay loomed above me extending his hand. Once on my feet, I was swept off them again. He carried me to the tub then set me down in the water.
"We both need to get cleaned up," he said quietly. I watched him strip then join me.
Somehow, we did get clean. Though eventually I ended up impaled on his erection while he tortured my damp nipples. Most of the water was sloshed out of the tub in the ensuing lovemaking, but I didn’t care.
We were actually dressed in the clothes we’d arrived in when Tuvok called. He said the phenomenon with the Holodeck had ceased, and we could end the program at anytime.
I was holding Chakotay when I responded that we would be leaving.
"Was there really a problem with the Holodeck?" I asked.
"Tuvok doesn’t lie," Chakotay said.
"And he never said there was a difficulty," I replied. "He said phenomenon. Barrows is a phenomenon. So are you."
I kissed him gently. "Sometimes your mothering isn’t so bad."
"We have to go back."
I nodded. "It’s easier knowing that this is here waiting."