Stewing

by The Grrrl

Title: Stewing

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/thegrrrl/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Date: May 2, 2003

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Rating: NC-17

Sequel to: "Simmering"

Summary: Malcolm and Trip return to Enterprise and deal with the consequences of their actions.

Author's notes: Thank you to Kylie and Kim, my darling betas, for catching all my goofy mistakes, and for their suggestions and encouragement. And special thanks to Juli, for coming up with a great title. Her thoughtful feedback always inspires me.

PART 1

I didn't need a Vulcan mind meld to figure out that the captain was still really pissed at us. I had hoped the shuttle trip back to Enterprise would give him some time to cool down, but I was wrong. He was visibly steaming as Malcolm and I stood at attention, still wearing our sweat-stained robes, while Malcolm gave him the short version of our report.

"We decided to remain in the temple for the night, sir," Malcolm told him. "And then—that was when—"

Malcolm paused, clearly uncomfortable. I did the gentlemanly thing and jumped in.

"That was when I kissed Malcolm, and—you know—one thing led to another." I could still feel him kissing me, could still feel the way he held my head in his hands. "It was my fault, Captain. I know I should have waited for a better time and place."

Malcolm turned to face me. "Oh, don't be so bloody noble. I'm no shrinking violet, I kissed you back and then some. Captain, we are equally at fault."

"Gentlemen—please," Jonathan warned.

I ignored the captain. "I started it, and you know it."

"I flirted with you long before you began flirting with me," Malcolm informed me tartly.

"Commander? Lieutenant?" The tone of voice indicated that we had better cut it out right now.

"Sir," we acknowledged simultaneously. We faced our incredulous captain.

"I hold you both equally at fault. The fact is that you two—, " he gave us an odd look, "that you two both behaved irresponsibly and you both conducted yourselves in a manner that is unflattering as a Starfleet officer." He clasped his hands behind his back, and announced our sentence. "Two weeks, gentlemen. Outside of your regular duties, you two are confined to your quarters for two weeks." He paused, head cocked. "Separately."

"Does this mean no conjugal visits?" I blurted out.

Sometimes I just don't know what gets into me.

Our captain abruptly rubbed his nose and turned his back to us. He was either trying not to laugh or trying to resist the urge to toss me out the nearest airlock.

At last Jonathan took a deep breath and turned to face us. "In addition," he continued, choosing to ignore my comment, "I'm assigning you both to inventory the main stockroom."

Inventory? That huge stockroom?

"Cap'n—" I protested.

"There have been some discrepancies noted between the automated database and the actual items on the shelves. Either people aren't properly logging in what they take, or there's a bug in the system. Either way, we need to know what is on those shelves."

"Yes, sir," we said in unison. He was right, of course, the job needed to be done. And as a punishment, it wasn't too bad. Tedious, but not hard.

"Lieutenant, I've also approved the proposal for the security alert system. I want those upgrades to be in place as soon as possible."

Malcolm and I nodded.

"Captain," Malcolm said, his voice hesitant, "What about the report to Starfleet? Do they really need to know—" He looked at me, then back at the captain. "Do they need to know the details?"

Jonathan contemplated Malcolm, his face softening. "Yes, that." He sighed. "I suppose we could be vague in a few areas in the report."

"Thank you, sir." Malcolm's relief was clear.

"Don't thank me. I'm very disappointed in both of you. You were careless, and used poor judgment. That kind of—" Jonathan paused, looking a little flustered. "That sort of activity should only occur when—" He stopped again, looking a little lost. He finished, "—only when it's acceptable."

Despite feeling as guilty as all heck at disappointing the man, I nearly grinned at his discomfort. I did my best to look serious.

"My senior officers should be setting an example to the rest of the crew," Jonathan concluded.

"Of course, sir," Malcolm murmured. I stared straight ahead, wondering if Malcolm was looking at me. Reproachfully.

I figured he had every right to. I had let both Malcolm and the captain down. I shouldn't have let our flirting escalate like that, not there in that temple, where we were facing so many unknowns. It was inappropriate. At least I could have waited until we were back on the shuttle. But Malcolm, well, Malcolm was right there, warm and welcoming. He let me kiss him, let me touch him. He wanted me as much as I wanted him.

"Two weeks, gentlemen," Jonathan reminded us. "Understood?" He looked directly at me."

"Yes, sir."

Our eyes met, and he nodded, satisfied I had gotten the message. "Dismissed."

We skulked out of the captain's ready room and headed back to our respective quarters, each lost in his own thoughts. I was tired, dirty, and hungry. I told myself I wanted a shower, and then some food. But what I really wanted was Malcolm. I could smell him as he walked beside me, a sweaty, musky scent rising off him. I wanted a shower with Malcolm, food with Malcolm (maybe eaten off Malcolm), and then Malcolm again. Malcolm, in my arms, teasing me, kissing me, loving me.

But all that would have to wait. I was responsible for what had happened. We had nearly been killed—sacrificed for despoiling a temple. So I fully intended to behave like a model officer. For example, there would be no sneaking off for a quickie while on duty. I owed that much to Malcolm, and to the captain.

In the back of my mind, though, there was that little voice that said Malcolm might somehow come to his senses, that our getting together was somehow inspired by the sleepy heat of that planet. And now, with things back to normal on the ship, he'd realize what a mistake he'd made. That he had, as he even admitted, made an error in his good judgment. Or maybe he had just been curious about what it was like to be with a man, and I had been the nearest available opportunity. I didn't want that. I wanted Malcolm. Two weeks of waiting, of enforced celibacy—what if Malcolm decided he didn't want to do that ever again with me?

"Two weeks," Malcolm said, at last, interrupting my increasingly dark thoughts.

"Yeah, two weeks." I sighed. That should be just enough time for Malcolm to realize his little planetside fling was just that—a fling.

We reached his door and Malcolm's eyes met mine. "I expect you to make this wait worth my while."

There was nothing I'd rather do. "I promise, darlin', I'll make it up to you," I assured him. "Over and over again. As long as you still want me to."

Malcolm put his hand on my shoulder. "Yes, Trip, I'll still want you." He scrutinized my face, and with a small, disbelieving smile said, "What, do you think this was just some mindless fling for me? That I was just curious to know what it was like to make love to a man?"

"No," I lied, startled that Malcolm could read me so well. Malcolm rolled his eyes. I'm a terrible liar. I hurried on, "I was just so sure I had lost you before I ever really had you. I thought that you were so mad at me you'd never—"

Malcolm interrupted me with a kiss. It was swift but tender and sweet, and it spoke volumes.

"I was angry with myself for not having better sense than to do it in that temple. For getting lost in you so easily. You know that," he scolded gently.

I put my hand over the one he was resting on my shoulder. The back of his hand was warm and sticky with dried sweat. "We'll be sensible from now on," I promised him.

I got a sly smile in response. "Not too sensible, I hope."

I liked the sound of that.

At the sound of a nearby door opening Malcolm dropped his hand from my shoulder. "But right now, I'm starving," he said casually. "Meet you in the mess in 20 minutes?"

After he went inside I stood staring at his door, grinning like a damn fool. Maybe I was going to get to keep him, after all.

***

Two weeks.

I knew I could handle it. Because I was a Starfleet officer, accustomed to adversity. I wasn't some insecure, hormone-crazed teenager. Even though I felt like one at times.

After dinner with Malcolm, I puttered around my room, not knowing what to do with myself. My roomed suddenly felt so big and empty. And even though I was exhausted, not to mention groggy from eating nearly everything in sight during dinner, I wasn't ready for sleep yet. The teasing from our fellow crewmen during dinner wasn't as bad as I had expected. Funny, though, it seemed like all of it had been directed at me. I reassured myself by thinking that it wasn't because folks respected Malcolm more than they respected me, but because he handled all the weapons on the ship.

Finally, I stopped wandering around my room and sat at my desk to put together a schedule for the security upgrades. Remembering Malcolm snide comment on my original proposal, I crafted my sentences carefully, managing to end every damn one in a preposition. I divided up the tasks, assigning some personnel from Engineering and leaving the rest up to Malcolm and his team. I sent it off to Malcolm to approve with the satisfaction of a job well done.

By then, I thought I was ready to sleep. But instead, I just lay in bed in the dark, visions of Malcolm dancing through my head. Malcolm touching me. Malcolm clutching at my clothes as he shuddered against me, his face a mixture of delight and astonishment. How comforting it was to fall asleep with that slender, wiry body wrapped around me.

I imagined our future together, night after night of having that sexy, unpredictable man in my bed and in my arms, waking up next to him every day. Two weeks was nothing, I decided. After all, I had spent well over a year longing for the man. What was two weeks after all that time spent wondering if he wanted me, trying to interpret those mixed signals?

I became confident, almost cocky about the situation. I could wait, I told myself. That was before I realized the amount of heat Malcolm had concealed under that cool exterior.

***

Engineering was quiet the following morning. My team treated me the same as always, although I saw folks who seemed to smiling an awful lot. I went about my business and was reading over the logs from the past day when Malcolm came in, just like he's done a million times before. And my heart leapt when I saw him, just like it had done a million times before. But this time, as I watched him approach, I thought to myself that things were different. He was my lover now, and damn, if that wasn't just the finest thing in the whole entire universe.

"Hey there, Malcolm. Did you get my implementation plan?" I asked.

"Yes, and now that I've translated it into English," he gave me a pained look, "I fully approve."

I knew immediately that my efforts were appreciated. "Should only take a few days," I acknowledged. "Let's get everyone together in, say, a half-hour, and we'll get started?"

"Very good, sir." He leaned toward me. "Sleep well last night?" he asked, his voice intimate.

I shook my head. "No."

"Neither did I." He gazed up at me from under those long eyelashes.

"Stop it," I told him.

"Stop what?"

"You've got that sexy flirty thing going on, and it's makin' me crazy. I won't be able to concentrate on anything all day."

"Really?" Malcolm looked as if he just discovered a new form of explosive. "You find me that distracting?"

That look in his eye worried me.

***

He started it that evening, in the stockroom.

"Trip, may I ask you a question?" Malcolm's voice came from behind me. We were working opposite sides of the aisle in the huge cavern of a space.

"Of course." I was up on the small stepladder, scanning the containers on the top shelf. Who knew Enterprise stocked so many different kinds of shampoo?

"About sex," he clarified.

I scanned what I was sure was the fortieth case of that nasty strawberry-scented shampoo, the stuff that smelled nothing like real strawberries. I twisted around to face the other man. "Malcolm, you can ask me damn well anything."

He stared down at his scanner, then looked up at me. "You've done it with other men—you've gone all the way, right?"

I grinned. All the way. It was a cute way to put it. "Yeah, Malcolm, I have."

"And do you have a preference? I mean, do you prefer to be on top or bottom?"

I shrugged. "It depends on my mood, and the person. I like both. I like just about anything, when it's the right person."

"Huh," was Malcolm's only reply.

I went back to work and we were quiet for a time, with only the beeping of our scanners filling the room. I pushed aside the last case of coconut-scented shampoo and turned again to watch Malcolm's back as he opened a container and examined it's contents. "Malcolm, you know, we can take this slow—we don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with," I told him, still under the mistaken impression he was a little shy about such things. "I like—"

He faced me now, cocked his head one side, and asked, "Who said I wanted to take things slowly?"

"I. Um, oh." I collected my scattered wits and was about speak again when I was interrupted by the sound of the stockroom door. "Uh, hello, Lieutenant," I called out, embarrassed to hear my voice was higher pitched than usual.

"Hello, gentlemen," Lieutenant Hess sang out to us as she headed for the next aisle. We went back to scanning cases as she rummaged around.

"Now you be sure to log that item out, whatever it is," I said with mock severity.

She appeared in our aisle, holding up toothpaste and new toothbrush. "Absolutely, Commander. Wouldn't want to bring down the ship's entire computer system by absconding with the toiletries."

Malcolm and I both laughed as she logged in her items and then left with a cheery goodbye.

I reached for the next container, pausing to read the label—woman's sanitary items. Huh. I thought there were pills for that sort of thing now. The container was just out of reach. I figured maybe some women went the natural route—couldn't see it myself, sort of a monthly nuisance if you ask me. When I balanced on the edge of the stepladder, my fingertips only brushed the surface. Damn. I thought that maybe if I rested one foot on the shelf I could reach it without having to climb down and move the darn ladder. I was swinging my leg out when I heard Malcolm's voice again.

"I've used toys before, you know. I know what I like. And I want it."

"What?" I lost my balance as I realized what he was talking about. Scrambling for a handhold, I caught myself just in time.

Malcolm was at the ladder in an instant. "Trip, you should be more careful. Move the bloody ladder if you need to, don't dangle off the side," he admonished.

I pulled myself back onto the ladder, managed to descend, and sat with a thud. "Don't go talkin' about stuff like when I'm reachin' for something," I snapped back. I took a deep breath and grinned. "Like to play with toys, huh?" Now there was a visual I was never going to get out of my head. Not that I wanted to.

Malcolm smirked. "Oh, yes." He came closer and rested his hands on my knees. "But I'm sure it's nothing like the real thing."

The real thing perked up considerably during this conversation, especially with Malcolm's hot little hands in sight. And Malcolm knew it. He worked his hands up slowly toward my crotch and I felt a flush rising up through my body, like my blood was about to boil over. Just before he reached his destination, I snatched his hands and held them tightly in mine. "Malcolm," I growled, "you're not making this any easier."

"I have no intention of making this easy for you," he said. "I like you all hot and bothered. You will fuck me when this is all over, won't you?"

I was still holding his hands in mine. "Oh, yeah. I'll do it any way you want, darlin'."

"Good. Now let's deal with this bloody inventory."

As I climbed back up the ladder, all I could think about was Malcolm squirming beneath me as I sank my cock into him.

It was going to be a long two weeks.

***

The days fell into a routine: my regular duties in the morning, the tactical upgrades in the afternoon, and stockroom inventory in the evening. And through it all, there was Malcolm. I was acutely aware of his presence. It was as if my senses were especially attuned to him. When I wasn't looking at him, I could hear him breathing, hear his uniform rustle as he moved. I could hear his soft murmur of, "What have we here?" whenever he came across something interesting.

And if I looked over at him, I would get that look in return, the one that said he knew exactly what I did alone in bed every night after I turned out the lights. He was all too aware of the way he made me feel. I was constantly horny, all restless and needing, feeling like I had an itch deep inside of me that I couldn't scratch.

Being with Malcolm in the stockroom was sheer torture, and I loved every minute of it. He was smug, he was charming, and he was irresistible. He stood way too close when he spoke to me. Whenever he handed me something his fingers lingered on mine. He kissed me when nobody was around. I kissed him back. Brief, affectionate kisses, and that was all I allowed myself. Because I made a promise to the captain.

***

For a few days, I was still embarrassed enough about the whole incident that I avoided the captain as much as possible. I made excuses for missing dinner with him, saying we were working hard on getting those upgrades in place, which was the literal truth.

Jonathan probably suspected my true reasons—you don't get to be captain by being stupid about folks. Plus he knows me pretty well. So, after five days of my avoidance behavior, he cornered me in the mess.

"Trip! Taking a break, I see? Don't bother with that sandwich. Chef has cooked up a couple of steaks for us." He actually removed the sandwich from my hand, took my by the elbow, and steered me to the captain's mess.

When he sat me down in my chair, I realized there were only two places set. "T'Pol isn't joining us?" I asked, hoping I didn't sound as panicked as I felt.

"No, she has a conference with Ambassador Soval. Something to do with parallels between the movie Shane and a few of our earlier mission reports." He poured me a glass of iced tea. "Trip—"

Just then the steward came in with our meals, granting me a short reprieve. When he finally left, I jumped in with both feet. "Cap'n, you know I'm really sorry about all that. That you had to come to our rescue."

He put his fork down and looked me over thoughtfully. "I know you're sorry. So am I. But don't be too hard on yourself, we're all still learning our way around out here." He grinned and continued, "I'm sure you remember an incident with a certain canine member of this crew?"

We both laughed a little, and I felt a good deal better. "We've sure fumbled a few out here," I said, "but overall I think that we're not handling ourselves too badly. I promise you, Cap'n, I'll keep it in my pants during away missions from now on."

He pointed his fork at me. "See that you do. And how is Malcolm taking all this?" he asked as he cut his steak. "I have to admit, I'm rather surprised that he was involved."

"Oh, you were, were you?" I snorted. "Actually, so was I. He's doing okay. More pissed at himself than anything else right now."

"Things okay between you two?"

"Yeah," I said. I didn't add that they could be much better if we could be alone together. "We're good."

"Good. You two make an interesting pair. So different from each other."

"What do you mean?" I couldn't resist asking, even though I knew I'd regret it. "In what way?"

"Malcolm," he thought for a moment, "Malcolm is the ideal officer. And he has this quiet sort of dignity…" Jon trailed off, a devilish look on his face.

"Oh, I get it. My dignity ain't so quiet?" Jonathan gave me a look that clearly indicated that that wasn't it at all. Which I didn't mind one bit. Who needed dignity? I had Malcolm. And it was good to have my friend back. I dug into dinner with gusto.

***

Frisbees. I'll be damned. We had three cases of neon orange Frisbees on the ship. I laughed and threw one to Malcolm, who was scanning away at the far end of the isle. "Hey, Malcolm, heads up."

"What—Christ, Trip—" Despite his surprise, he caught it expertly. "This color makes my eyes hurt," he said, examining it with a frown. "What else is down there, lawn darts? A badminton set? Croquet?"

I rummaged around. "Nope, but look—a boccie ball set. We're all set for a Fourth of July picnic." I had fond memories of family picnics—beer, hot dogs and hamburgers, mosquitoes and fireworks. Good times.

"Oh yes, Independence Day."

"Call me a Yank and I'll come over there and spank you," I threatened.

"I'd like to see you try," Malcolm immediately responded, getting all haughty on me, then added deliberately, "Yank."

After a silent, electric moment, I began stalking toward him. He watched me approach, licking his lips. I got hard. I wanted him. He wanted me. There were big boxes in the stockroom, ones we could easily hide behind. It wouldn't take long, not at this point.

The stockroom door opened and I froze. Hoshi strolled in. I couldn't decide if she had the best timing in the world or the worst.

I gave her a little wave, and Malcolm chatted casually with her while she poked around. I logged in the existence of the boccie ball set and moved onto the next row. Hoshi eventually left with a basketful of items, including one brightly colored Frisbee, all carefully logged into the master inventory.

We worked in silence for a time. Then I heard him give a little grunt of interest.

"Whatcha got?" I asked as I wandered over to him. He was looking over cases filled with small plastic bottles.

"It appears we have a healthy supply of massage oil," Malcolm answered.

His tone was suggestive, and I got that twisty feeling in my gut. "Good," I said. "Let's grab a case."

He raised his brows. "These are unscented," he gestured to a case on left, "but these are labeled 'Forest Sky'. What the bloody hell does a forest sky smell like?"

I had always been puzzled by the names of these things myself. "Open it and smell it," I said.

"No, wait, here's 'Winter Spice'. That sounds a bit better, doesn't it?"

"A lot better than 'English Garden'," I mused, looking over the stacked cases. At the annoyed sniff from Malcolm, I hurriedly added, "I mean, I figure it's a little too flowery for me. Us. Unless you like flowery—I mean—" I stumbled over my words.

"Do you really think I want your cock smelling like roses when you are fucking me?"

My cock jumped. It obviously didn't care what it smelled like.

"By the way," he continued, heedless of my discomfort. "I truly enjoy a good foot massage after a long day. Just so you know. So, could we use this as a lubricant for sex?" He examined the bottle he was holding, then turned it upside down, watching the air bubble flow up. "Do you think it would be effective?

I stared at the bottle, trying to breathe evenly and to stop the room from spinning. I was pretty sure there wasn't any blood at all left in my brain.

"Could be too thin," he continued. He was in research mode. "Let's see—" He picked up a bottle of the unscented oil, unsealed it, took my hand in his, and poured a few drops onto my upturned palm.

I just stood there stupidly, watching him. I watched as he put the bottle down and ran his fingers over my palm, testing the slickness of the liquid.

"What do you think?" he asked. He was being so cool, he could have been at his station on the bridge, asking me whether a new power relay was working properly. As cool as can be, holding my hand, his fingers lazily stroking my palm. I was on fire.

"I think you just discovered a new erogenous zone," I heard a breathy voice that couldn't possibly be mine say.

"Trip, your entire body is one big erogenous zone," he said.

I bent forward and kissed him, then pulled my hand from his. "I'm gonna go work on the other side of the room now," I told him.

PART 2

With the way Malcolm kept pushing, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he was the one that stumbled. It had been ten days, and we were both more than a little on edge.

We were both working right up front, near the door. I didn't hear him coming up behind me until he was whispering in my ear.

"I think about it every night, you know," he said, breathing into my ear. "I never held another man's cock in my hands before. It felt so right. The way you moved—the sounds you made—"

"Malcolm, please," I groaned.

He kissed the back of my neck and put his arms around my waist, spooning up behind me. His hips touched my ass and I could feel the hardness of his arousal. My scanner slipped from my grasp, hitting the shelf with a quiet thump.

"That I could touch you like that, feel you in my hands, you were so hot, so hard—it was incredible." His hands were in my front pockets now, only the thin lining of the coverall was between his hands and my inner thighs.

"Please—" I wasn't sure what I was asking for any more. He felt so good. Like rain in the desert.

"Tell me what we're going to do when this is over." His voice was ragged.

I rubbed my ass against his groin and heard him gasp. My hands were flat against the metal shelf, my palms slick with sweat.

His hands reached further into my pockets and touched my cock. And I remembered how we stumbled out of that temple, and the look on Jonathan's face.

"No, Malcolm—" I untangled myself from his body. "Malcolm, this isn't right—we can't—I don't want—"

He let go of me suddenly and I stumbled against the shelving unit.

"No?" he repeated. I suspected that wasn't a word Malcolm liked to hear.

The stockroom door pinged and slid open. We sprung apart even further, and I moved to see who it was that had the lousiest fucking timing in the universe. Or the best.

"Good evening, Commander, Lieutenant," Rostov said, as he headed for aisle four.

I forced myself to call out a cheery greeting in return, while I watched Malcolm turn his back to me and begin working again, his movements stiff and precise. I felt bad that I had rejected him, but what else could I have done? He knew how I felt. I had promised the captain.

I listened for Rostov's exit, then went to Malcolm's side the second the door slid shut. "Malcolm, you've got to know—" I began, and then the goddamn door opened again and two crewmen entered. I wondered what the hell was with these people—did they think there was a fucking sale going on in here or what?

"I believe I will call it a night, sir." Malcolm said, heading for the door. He wouldn't look at me. "I'm getting rather tired." He spoke deliberately.

The crewmen were still wandering the room, casually looking over various toiletry items, and I got mad. This wasn't just about Malcolm. There were reasons why I wanted to wait. Good reasons, although I couldn't think of a damn one at the moment. But we were both frustrated and horny, and I wasn't going to let Lieutenant Leave-in-a-Huff get away with this. I went out into the corridor after him. He was halfway to the lift. I ran to catch up with him, then walked beside him.

At first he didn't acknowledge my presence, just stared straight ahead. Then finally he looked at me with those icy blue eyes and spat out, "Sir?"

I wasn't going to take any of that crap. And I certainly didn't want to have our little discussion in the corridor. Our private life was public enough already. So I grabbed his arm and dragged him, protesting, into a nearby restroom.

I was still naive enough about Malcolm to think we were just going to talk.

"Trip, stop it, damn you—" Malcolm growled as he struggled to free his arm.

I shut the door and pushed him up against the wall right next to it, my hand flat against his chest. "Now you listen to me. I don't need you goin' stompin' off in a huff. I'm just as frustrated and pissed off as you. But that ain't no excuse for you bein' rude. You know I just want to do it right. No quick gropes in a stockroom, because you deserve better than that. When we make love again we're going to be naked, we're gonna take our time and do it right, and we're gonna go be slow and hot and romantic—mmmph."

Malcolm's tongue plunged into my mouth, cutting off my flow of words. And I kissed him right back, in a damn bathroom this time. I couldn't stop. I couldn't think anymore, couldn't remember anything about promises I had made. Everything I had just said flew out of my head as I sucked on his tongue just like I wanted to suck on his cock. All the while, he made these incredible noises while grabbing at me and shoving his body up against mine, fingers digging into my hips. "Quiet dignity," my ass. He was hot and dirty and rough, and I loved it.

He unzipped his coverall and I pushed it off his shoulders. I looked down to see him reaching inside his coverall and taking his own cock into his hands. "Trip," he gasped, leaned back against the door, "I have to—I need to—"

His cock was swollen and red and as beautiful as I remembered. I went down on my knees before him, wondering when the hell I had lost control of the situation. As if I ever had any control over it in the first place.

His cock was hot and delicious, satin and steel against my tongue. I sucked him, I swiped my tongue over the tip, rubbing across the slit, tasting him. I could hear him moaning as I pulled back and licked his shaft, ran my teeth along it, then sucked him in again and again. I couldn't get enough of him. I felt the blood rushing through, the head swelling even larger in my mouth as Malcolm shook and desperately moaned my name, his voice deep and hoarse. His hips bucked, and with one hand digging into his hip, I encouraged him to fuck my mouth, and with the other I fumbled with my own zipper, reaching for my own throbbing erection. His body started to shake and when he seized up and went silent, I sucked hard and he came, still silent, and I swallowed everything he gave me while I jerked myself off.

I came so fast and hard that everything faded out around me.

When I opened my eyes again, we were both sitting on the floor, my head was resting against Malcolm's heaving chest, and my dripping cock was still clutched in my hand. He had his arms around me, hugging me tightly. And I felt like a million bucks.

"I'm sorry, Trip. I just couldn't stand it anymore," he said into my hair.

I kissed his cheek, then his lips. "Yeah, well, I was right there with you."

He looked sheepish. "I practically assaulted you just as you were saying something so very lovely about taking our time and doing it right."

"And I meant that. No foolin' around until we finish out our sentence," I told him, nudging his nose with mine.

I was rewarded with a little laugh, and then we heard voices in the hall, reminding us that we were in a public place. Or at least a semipublic place. We stood, unsteady and silent, and made our way to the sinks as we tucked and zipped and made ourselves decent again. I was walking on air, even though I was shaken by how overcome I had been by my own need for Malcolm. And I knew then what Malcolm meant back on the planet, when he told me I made his common sense vanish. Seems like he did the same for me. We made a hell of a pair.

Our eyes met in the mirror and saw Malcolm watching me with such warmth and affection in his eyes that I didn't care if I ever found my common sense again.

***

Even though I chastised myself for losing control in the bathroom with Malcolm, I had to admit it made the last three days easier to take. I slept soundly each night. We had finished revamping the tactical alert, and Malcolm was in his glory, running drills for two days straight, until the captain gently pointed out that everything seemed to be in working order, and perhaps there were other projects Malcolm could work on?

And then the two weeks were up. We met up at my quarters as soon as we were off duty.

The door shut behind him and we stared at each other. The moment had finally come. My heart was racing, and I could barely breathe, as if all the air had been vented from the room.

"Finally," Malcolm said, arms folded across his chest.

"Finally." I nodded, then admitted, "Feeling a little nervous now. Ain't that stupid?"

Malcolm laughed a little, looking sheepish. "No. So am I."

"I mean, after all we've done—what if—you know—" I stammered. A magical, romantic tryst in a temple, a heart-stopping quickie in the bathroom—I was starting to feel the pressure.

"What if what?" Malcolm asked, uncrossing his arms. He didn't seem to know what to with his hands.

"Well," I said, hesitating. Finally I continued, "I want this to be good. Real good."

"Trip," he said, laughing a little in disbelief. "This isn't going to be perfect. But it's us, and that's all it needs to be."

"Yeah?" I asked, "you think so?"

"Let me say this. I'd rather have clumsy, awkward sex with you than be swept off my feet and seduced by anyone else."

I scratched my head, frowning. "Was that a compliment?"

"Yes, it was. And you may kiss me, now," he said, answering my question from long ago.

I realized he didn't want or expect anything magical. He just wanted me. Like I wanted him. I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. I was unburdened, and I was completely besotted. I gazed at the man before me, wondering how many other beautiful aspects of Malcolm were hidden in that neat little package.

So I kissed him. It was nothing like our first fumbling kiss. Or maybe it was just like it, because it felt new and exciting, full of promises. Malcolm made sure I was thoroughly kissed, his tongue on my lips and then into my mouth. I let him taste me and then I was in his mouth. Things heated up, and the awkwardness I had felt earlier vanished. My hands went into his hair, and he clung to my neck.

"Mmm. I have an idea," I said as I trailed wet kisses along his fine cheekbone. "Let's get naked." Back on that planet, his naked body had looked good as the novices led him to the pool to be washed. I had wished I could touch him.

Malcolm stepped away from me. "Naked," he said, as if he could taste the word. He unzipped his coverall.

"Naked," I answered. "We can do that now, you know."

We shed our uniforms, watching each other as we did. Malcolm undressed quickly and gracefully. I loved watching him move. I managed not to lose my balance and soon enough there was a pile of discarded clothes on the floor and we were naked in front of each other—naked and aroused. We moved closer and I could feel the heat coming off his body. He was so beautiful, all lean muscle and power, and I couldn't take my eyes off his cock.

He wasn't shy and I knew better now. I no longer expected him to be. He looked me in the eye and then his eyes swept downward, looking me over.

"You're lovely, do you know that?" he asked, as he put his hands on my shoulders. "Absolutely lovely." He stroked my chest, spreading his fingers, pushing his palms against me.

"You sweet-talker, you." I put my arms around him and hugged him close. He moaned into my neck as our bodies touched. I could feel a damp spot where his cock pressed against my thigh. His body was hot and alive and rubbing against mine, all that skin touching me.

He sucked on my earlobe, and said, "I plan on getting fucked tonight. You'll do that for me, won't you?" His voice was smooth and silky, like a shot of fine whiskey.

As if I could refuse him anything. "I think you know the answer to that one, darlin'. I smiled at him and he tugged me toward the bed.

We tumbled onto the blankets. Malcolm pushed me flat, kissing and licking me within an inch of my life. I stretched luxuriously as his mouth traveled everywhere—my neck, my shoulders, my hips. I was in heaven. "I still feel like someone's going to come in and stop us," Malcolm admitted as he licked my navel. "Perhaps Hoshi will come in for some shampoo. Or Lieutenant Hess will ask for some massage oil."

"Ugh," I grunted. It was the best I could do as Malcolm fondled my balls and nibbled on my thigh. I propped myself on my elbows and watched him, my mouth open as I tried to breathe as he contemplated my twitching cock for a moment, then ran his lips along the length of it before taking it into his mouth.

I watched my dick slide into Malcolm's mouth, and it was a sight to behold. He sucked on it, pulled some more of it into his mouth, and then released it, wrapping his long fingers around it. He licked the head, making me twitch and buck with pleasure.

"You make this look easier than it is." Malcolm's voice floated through my dazed arousal.

"Yeah," I grunted, licking my dry lips, "That's me—natural-born cocksucker."

He snorted, squeezed me, and I had to sit up. I reached for his arms, pulling him up with me.

"Trip," he protested, "I want to—"

"Yeah, and I'm about to," I told him.

"Oh." He kissed me, crawling into my lap, straddling my legs. I pulled his legs around me, until he clasped them around my waist, his heels pressing against the small of my back, his weight on my thighs. "There now," I said against his mouth. His heat surrounded me. Our cocks bumped happily together as I caressed his ass.

"This is good," he groaned, pushing his cock against me.

"Mmm. You're good." I was riding that sweet wave of arousal, not desperate like in the bathroom, just high and happy and feeling fucking good.

"Now who's—oh—who's the sweet talker—" Malcolm was panting and rubbing against me, so hot and horny and mine.

"Behind me—the oil—" I suggested.

Malcolm pressed his chest against mine as he stretched to get the bottle of massage oil from the bedside table. I took advantage of situation, hugging him hard, crushing his chest against mine.

"Uh—Trip—can't breathe—ribs—"

I loosened my hold reluctantly. "Gimme the stuff," I said.

"Wait—it's not that rose-scented one, is it?" Malcolm asked, holding it out of my reach as he read the label.

It was the unscented stuff, but I snatched it from his hand before he could figure it out. "And if it was?" I asked, flipping the lid open and pouring it onto my other hand, splashing drops onto the bed.

"You would, wouldn't you—" But Malcolm sniffed the air and caught on, grinning.

Then he stopped grinning and his mouth opened as I slid an oiled finger down between his cheeks. I spread my legs apart so that his ass was resting between them, and then rubbed my finger against his opening. He groaned and pushed back against my finger as he rested his head on my shoulder.

I took the bottle and dripped the oil directly onto the small of his back, letting it pour down between his cheeks. I was making a mess, but I also knew that there was no such thing as too much lubricant. I wanted this to be good.

Malcolm sighed with pleasure now, one hand on the back on my neck, as he squirmed in my lap. I dropped the bottle and cupped his cheeks. That gorgeous ass was mine at last. I circled his opening with my fingertip, then breached it, penetrating him easily, sinking my finger in to the knuckle. He was tight and his muscles clenched powerfully as I whispered words of encouragement to him.

"Got you now, darlin', you just relax, this is gonna feel so good," I crooned. Soon he relaxed enough for another finger. I found his lips and kissed him, thrusting my tongue into his mouth as I slid my fingers in and out of his ass. He was into it, rocking in my lap, moaning around my tongue.

"If your fingers feel this good," he sighed, "I'm not sure I'm going to survive the rest." He twisted in my lap, looking behind him, trying to see what I was doing to him. "Mirrors. We need mirrors." He reached behind and touched my slick hand, feeling where my fingers entered him.

"You want to watch it? You want to watch us fuck?" I asked, wondering why I was surprised. "That's so, so—dirty, Malcolm." My cock throbbed. I loved him. I'd line the damn walls and ceiling with mirrors just for him.

His finger joined mine inside of him. "I want to see it. See our bodies joined together." He tightened his legs around my waist, his balls and the wet tip of his cock pressing against my body. He bit my neck.

I spent plenty of time getting him ready, because we didn't have to rush, because I was getting off on his pleasure, because the inside of his body was red hot and silky smooth and I could feel every shudder and quiver of his muscles. I was in no hurry, but the ache in my cock was getting fierce, and at last I removed my fingers and encouraged him to lie down, on his stomach.

"Let's keep this simple," I explained to him, getting myself slicked up. I didn't have a whole lot of working brain cells left at that point.

I got between his legs and stretched above him, propping myself up on one elbow. My cock settled between his checks, and I rubbed against him.

"Please," he said.

"Hold your horses," I murmured as I grabbed hold of my oiled cock, lining it up against his hole. When I pushed against it he tensed up only a little. "Let me in, darlin'," I told him. "Just relax and let me in."

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, and then I was gliding into him, nice and easy. It was a snug fit and I was afraid of hurting him, but he didn't tense up again. He just clutched the pillow and then turned his head to the side. I could see the dark shadow of his lashes move as he closed his eyes, the play of muscles in his face as he smiled, then bit his lip.

"Oh, Trip," he sighed.

And I knew it was all right. I eased further into him, hanging my head down and watching until I came to rest against his ass, my balls brushing against his furred sacs. His breath hitched and he moaned my name again, and I watched his back arch beneath me. He had a beautiful back, with long, lean muscles, defined shoulder blades moving under his skin, his graceful neck. The more I looked at him the more beautiful he was, every detail like the dark curls against his neck and the curve of his jaw astonished me. I kissed wherever I could—his neck, his shoulders, his cheek, before laying flat on top of him, running my hands along the length of his arms, my hands coming to rest in his.

"This okay for you?" I asked, suddenly worried because he was so quiet.

"Oh, yes," he breathed.

"Feel comfortable?"

"Feels incredible."

His fingers intertwined with mine, and then he asked, "How does it feel to you?"

"Feels like ice cream on a hot summer day." I ran my tongue along the edge his ear. "Feels like going to warp five for the first time."

He laughed a little at that but it did bother me at all, because he sounded so happy. And because I could feel his laughter with my body, pressed hard against his.

"Well, don't worry, darlin', we're not gonna hit warp five now." I rubbed my face against his neck. "We're takin' it nice and slow." I liked that I was taller than him. I was able to cover his body from top to bottom. My feet pressed against the soles of his, my knees rested against his inner thighs, my hips on his ass, my chest on his back, my arms on top of his. His hands were in mine. My cock penetrated him, pinning him to the bed. Lying on top of him like this, I felt every breath he took, felt every muscle tense and relax as he rocked his ass back against me.

"Are you going to move at all?" he asked, sounding amused and more than a little breathless.

"When I feel like it, smartass," I answered. "That's what being the top is all about."

He clenched his muscles around my cock and I involuntarily thrust deeper into his body. I wasn't kidding anyone. Malcolm was calling the shots, and I loved it. I pushed into him again. I loved the whimper that followed. I loved that I could do this to him, that he would let me fuck him, that he would trust me so much.

We moved slow and easy, just our hips, in counterrhythm, tensing and releasing. We let the pleasure build gradually because we had all the time in the world. Because being inside of Malcolm was like nothing I had ever experienced. Because I couldn't get enough of the way he was whimpering.

"This better than some damn toy?" I eventually asked him.

"Mmmm."

We were beginning to sweat, the smooth skin of his back growing moist against my chest, the oil making us slick.

"Can't hear you." That feeling was coiling up from my groin, sharp and sweet, and I knew I wouldn't last much longer.

"What did—what did you—oh—ask?"

Just hearing that control slipping away inflamed me. "I said," thrusting harder, "is my cock better than your toys?"

"Oh, yes. Your cock is amazing. It's bleedin' wonderful. I—I—"

He breathing was ragged, words catching in his throat, and it was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. "Lift up a little, here—" I wedged my hand under him and he cried out when my hand touched his cock. "I've got you, baby." I nudged his legs with my knees and he spread them further apart for me, offering himself to me completely.

That set me off. I just lost my head. I plunged my dick into him over and over, pumping his cock frantically. He jerked beneath me and my hand grew wet. His cry of pleasure sounded as if it came from a great distance. Everything inside me just broke apart and I came, shoving deep inside him as the waves swept through me.

I came down gradually, aftershocks still shaking my body, my cock pulsing inside of Malcolm. I licked his sweat-slicked back, and he clenched his muscles around me, chuckling when I twitched and groaned. So I bit him and gave his softening penis a little squeeze of my own.

He wiggled out from under me, laughing. We lay facing each other, nose to nose. Then we were kissing. We didn't say anything. I guess that we had done enough talking already. I was happy and content and deliriously in love. I think he was, too. We got tangled up in each other, sticky in some places, slick in others, and kissed until we fell asleep.

We woke up a few hours later to the sound of a tactical alert. Startled, we sat up and stared at each other, blinking stupidly.

"This isn't some god damned drill, is it, Malcolm?" I asked.

He shook his head and got up, heading for the pile of discarded clothing.

As we dressed hurriedly, I couldn't help but grin. "This didn't have anything to do with us fucking, you think?" I joked.

"I knew you were nothing but trouble," Malcolm told me, but he was smiling too.

So we left together, heading to the bridge, ready to handle whatever it was that the universe decided to throw at us this time.

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