Fine (Written All Over You)
Summary: Kathryn Janeway has left a big city career and a longstanding, tumultuous relationship to manage the Paris family library in sleepy Maplebrook, NY. Chakotay is a part time history professor, part time novelist who's struggling to write his latest book. When he turns up at the library to research its renowned Mayan collection for his novel, the last thing he expects is to discover a fascinating new object of study: Kathryn Janeway.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay, Paris, Torres, Tighe, Neelix, Tuvok
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the library, but fanfiction writers stack the bookshelves.
Notes: Co-written with the wonderful traccigaryn.
“You know, you really shouldn’t wear such sexy skirts when you’re six steps up a ladder like that.”
Kathryn’s eyes went wide and her body froze. Carefully, she turned her head toward the man who’d addressed her. He leaned against the bookshelf to her left, hands in the pockets of his tailored suit pants. A laconic smile flirted with the corners of his mouth.
“What are you doing here, Justin?” she demanded.
“Enjoying the local sights.” He dragged his gaze deliberately along the length of her body.
She glared at him, then puffed an errant strand of hair from her eyes and began to climb back down the ladder. As she turned to step down to the floor, Justin caught hold of her hand and used his leverage to pull her tight against him.
“Let go of me.”
“Not even a kiss?” He grinned, then released her.
“I’ll ask you again,” Kathryn said, hands finding her hips, “why are you here?”
The smirk faded from his face, leaving him looking serious. “Can we talk?”
Justin glanced pointedly toward Tom, who was leaning on the counter preparing a package for interlibrary loan. “I mean, in private.”
“Don’t mind me,” Tom interjected. “I’m just sitting here, doing my job.”
“Fine.” Kathryn turned for the little office at the opposite end of the main library floor. When Justin had followed her inside, she turned back to him. “What did you want to talk about?”
To her surprise, he shifted on his feet in an uncharacteristic display of hesitance. “About us, actually. You and me.”
“There is no us,” Kathryn reminded him, though she made sure to keep her tone calm and conciliatory. “You know as well as I do that it’s over.”
“Is it?” His eyes were very solemn and very blue. “Kathryn, when I saw you the day before yesterday at the lawyers’, I couldn’t help thinking that maybe we made a mistake.”
Her eyebrows arched.
“Think about what we used to have,” he urged her, his voice soft. “We have history, Kathryn. We were so good together, and we know each other inside out. Don’t you miss that?”
“Sometimes,” she admitted.
He reached for her hand, and this time she didn’t object. “Then let’s give it another try,” he implored.
“Justin, we fought so much at the end,” she reminded him gently.
“Let me make it up to you.” Justin’s other hand was on her shoulder now, his thumb rubbing softly across her collarbone. “I miss you, Kathryn. I didn’t even realize how much until I saw you again.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, looking up at him with sympathy. “But I don’t feel the same way.”
“Hi,” said Chakotay as he approached the long counter where Kathryn’s assistant slouched, surrounded by books. “Tom, isn’t it?”
“That’s right.” Tom stood straight. “Hey, I didn’t realize you wrote that Threshold book until Kathryn told me. That book is awesome, man.”
Chakotay grinned. “Thanks. You and Kathryn are probably the only two people who think so.”
“People don’t appreciate a good story these days,” Tom said, shaking his head. “I’m going to give it to my friend Tuvok when I’m done. He runs that coffee shop on the corner, you know? I have a feeling he’ll get a kick out of your book. Now, how can I help you?”
“I came to return this diary,” Chakotay held it up, “and try to track down a couple of photographs that are mentioned in it.” He glanced around, trying for casual, and saw from Tom’s knowing expression that he’d fallen far short of it. Giving up the pretence, he asked, “Is Kathryn here?”
“Yeah, she’s in the back office.” Tom jerked his head in that direction.
“Maybe you should wait for her here,” Tom called as Chakotay strode away. “She has a visitor.”
Too late. Chakotay had rounded the last of the stacks and caught sight of Kathryn through the open office door. His steps halted.
There was a man with her - tall, dark, and intimidatingly handsome - who held her hand in one of his own. His other hand was on her shoulder. As Chakotay watched, the man slid his hand to cup Kathryn’s chin, tilting her face up to his, and bent toward her.
He turned away before he could see any more and walked out of the library without even a goodbye to Tom.
“You have to be kidding me.” Kathryn dodged Justin’s kiss, ducking out from under his arm. “Justin, I just told you I’m not interested. Did you think I was playing hard to get?”
Her former boyfriend stepped back, looking chagrined. “I’m sorry, Kathryn. I was out of line.”
“Yes, you were. And I’d like you to leave.”
“All right.” He raised his hands, palms out in surrender. “Look, I know I’ve gone about this all wrong, but I really do want to talk to you. I have a room at the local bed and breakfast tonight. Could we go somewhere for dinner?”
“I have plans.” She didn’t - yet. But she was hoping that would change as soon as she saw Chakotay.
She hesitated, then gave in. “Okay. Meet me at eight a.m. at Nebula Coffee.”
He smiled at her. “Sounds great.”
Justin talked her into giving him a tour of the library after that, and although Kathryn hurried through it as much as she could, he was still there by the time Tom tracked her down to let her know he was leaving to do his mandatory community service. She blew out an exasperated breath when Justin finally left, and ducked quickly into the bathroom to tidy her hair and freshen her makeup.
Checking her watch, she realized it was already past four p.m. and frowned. Surely Chakotay should have come to the library by now?
Maybe he was on a roll with his writing, she reasoned. In the meantime, she’d been wanting to dig into the collection where she’d found the Bendera diary. There might be something in there that Chakotay would find useful.
But by six-fifteen, she forced herself to admit that he wasn’t coming.
Dejected, she locked up the library, climbed the stairs to the family wing and opened the refrigerator in her little kitchen, realizing she hadn’t eaten all day. There was nothing in there, nor in the pantry — not that whipping up a nutritious meal from random ingredients had ever been her forté.
Kathryn kicked off her heels and slumped back on her bed. All she wanted to do was curl up under the covers and nurse her bruised ego, but she was too hungry for that.
Before she could talk herself out of it, she’d picked up her phone and dialed Justin’s cell.
“Hey,” came his voice, warm and familiar.
“Hi,” she said. “I’ll take you up on that dinner invitation after all. Give me the address where you’re staying. I’ll bring pizza.”
Chakotay wiped the perspiration from his forehead with a towel, picked up his gloves and locked the gym door behind him, as Neil had requested. He’d worked out so hard he felt like a limp noodle, and it was going to take the last of his energy to drag himself upstairs to his room.
He hoped he’d worn himself out enough to sleep, but he suspected he’d be lying awake for some time, replaying the memory of Kathryn in the arms of that dark-haired man. Her ex, he assumed, unless she was in the habit of running from one man to the next with barely space for a breath in between.
That wasn’t fair. He’d only met Kathryn three days ago; he really had no idea what her personal life was like, aside from the information she’d divulged about Justin. And although he was already feeling that he couldn’t imagine his life without her, it would be presumptuous in the extreme to assume she felt the same way.
He reached the top of the short staircase that separated the gym from the foyer in time to see that dark-haired man from earlier opening the main entrance to let in a woman. He greeted her with a kiss to her cheek, took a pizza box from her hands and stepped back, giving Chakotay an unobstructed view of her.
Chestnut hair piled atop her head, a short, tight skirt, a slinky blouse, and heels.
She looked past the dark-haired man, right at him, and the smile drained away from her face.
The man turned around too, frowning when he saw Chakotay.
“You know this guy, Kathryn?” he asked.
Kathryn cleared her throat. “Justin, this is Chakotay,” she said in a monotone. “He’s doing a research project at the library. Chakotay, this is Justin, my …” She trailed off.
Chakotay stepped forward cautiously. “Nice to meet you,” he lied. “I didn’t know you were in town.”
Justin’s eyebrows rose, and Chakotay read the unspoken question easily: why the hell would you? “It was a spur of the moment decision,” Justin answered.
“It was?” Kathryn frowned at him. “I thought you said -” She broke off again.
Justin’s hand found the small of her back, and when she stiffened infinitesimally he slid his arm around her waist instead, pulling her close to his side. “I’m here to see Kathryn,” he told Chakotay, and though his tone was casual there was challenge in his eyes.
Chakotay’s gaze strayed to her. Her cheeks were flushed, the way they had been last night when he’d touched her, and she was chewing her lower lip. He swallowed.
“Well,” he muttered, “enjoy your night,” and he moved past them as quickly as he could, jogging up the stairs and closing his door firmly behind him.
A minute or two later he heard a door shut across the hall.
He showered, threw together a sandwich in his tiny kitchenette, and forced himself to sit down at the little writing desk and work until his eyes burned, but nothing could stop him from watching the clock and straining for the sound of that door closing again. So before he could give into impulse and start peeking through the spyhole, he took himself to bed and pulled a pillow over his ears.
At ten a.m., Kathryn sent Tom out for the largest coffee he could find in the hope that it would kill the last dregs of her headache. Last night, Justin had brought out a bottle of Ranger Creek single malt, and she’d ended up drinking far too much.
Chakotay turned up a little after eleven, while she was upstairs in her room hunting for Tylenol; as soon as she returned to the library, Tom pulled her aside to let her know that her ‘tattooed hero’ was in a surly mood, so he’d pointed him in the direction of the Telfas section and left him well alone. Kathryn’s eyes strayed to the second floor, but she thought better of going up there. If he wanted to talk to her, she wasn’t hard to find.
Around noon, just as her headache finally receded, Justin showed up at the library carrying a small bag she recognized immediately. He’d stuffed it with some of the belongings she’d left at their apartment when she moved out, and had given it to her at some point during the evening before.
“You forgot to take this when you left last night,” he told her, sidling into the row where she was rearranging shelves, “or was it this morning?”
Tom, who was in the next row over, poked his head out to give Kathryn a wide-eyed stare, then pulled it back in again.
“Oh,” she muttered, taking it from him ungraciously and looking around in the hope that Chakotay was too far away to overhear them. “You didn’t have to bring it all the way over here.”
“I brought it all the way to Maplebrook for you,” he pointed out. “Kathryn, about last night -”
“Do we have to do this now?” she cut him off. “I’m sure you have to get back to the city.”
“I do, but -”
“You’d better go if you want to miss traffic.” Kathryn edged past him, but he followed her over to the main counter.
“We didn’t finish our conversation -”
“It sounds like you did, actually.”
Both Kathryn and Justin turned in surprise at Chakotay’s even tone.
“Who the hell are you?” Justin asked rudely.
Kathryn laid a quelling hand on his arm. “He’s the writer you met last night,” she reminded him. “He’s here researching material for his book. And I need to do my job and help him.”
“I think I should stick around,” Justin answered, eyes on Chakotay.
“Justin, please -”
“She’s asked you politely,” Chakotay interrupted as Justin took a step forward, arm outstretched to keep Kathryn behind him. “I suggest you do as she asks.”
Justin took a larger step, bringing him within arm’s length of Chakotay, who stood his ground. Out of the corner of her eye, Kathryn caught sight of Tom emerging from the stacks several rows down and moving in their direction.
“Does this guy speak for you, Kathryn?” Justin demanded.
“No, he absolutely does not,” she retorted, pushing his arm aside. “I’m quite capable of telling you to get out all by myself.”
Ignoring her, Justin moved in closer.
The two men were almost nose to nose now. They were roughly matched in height, but Chakotay was broader; Kathryn guessed he’d outweigh Justin by a good thirty pounds. She glanced between their faces - Justin’s jaw was clenched, while Chakotay was completely still and expressionless - and suddenly she knew exactly what was about to happen.
And then it all happened at once.
Justin’s fist shot up from waist height in an uppercut that snapped Chakotay’s head back, making him stumble back a step or two. But he was poised on his toes in an instant, and when Justin swung a slightly wild left hook he blocked it easily. The next moment, Justin was face-down on the floor with his arm twisted at an awkward angle across his back and Chakotay’s knee pinning his hips to the ground. Blood welled from a split in Chakotay’s lower lip, but he was otherwise unruffled. Justin, helpless, squirmed and grunted in pain.
Tom ambled over and cocked his head, looking down at them. “Slick move, Chakotay. Think you could teach me that one someday?”
“Sure.” Chakotay wasn’t even breathing hard. “It’s come in handy for me a few times.”
He twisted his attacker’s arm a fraction harder.
“Get the fuck off me,” yelped Justin, as Kathryn gasped, “Chakotay, let him up!”
Immediately, Chakotay rose gracefully to his feet and extended a hand to help Justin stand. Justin ignored it, clambering upright and rubbing his shoulder with a mutinous glare.
“You okay, sport?” Tom addressed Justin, not bothering to hide his grin.
“That’s enough, Tom,” Kathryn growled. “I think you should escort Justin to his car. No,” she snapped as Justin opened his mouth to argue, “you need to go. Now. Goodbye, Justin.”
She turned back to Chakotay, who was touching a fingertip to his bleeding lip.
“As for you,” her voice was deadly quiet, “come with me. There’s a first aid kit in the office bathroom.”
Without waiting for him, she stalked off, every line of her body rigid with fury.
Damn, she was beautiful when she was angry.
Chakotay sat on a sturdy metal chair, holding as still as he could while she dabbed at his cut with a damp cotton swab. He couldn’t take his eyes off her: her pretty mouth pressed into a line and her blue eyes dark with ire. She stood between his knees, her outer thighs brushing the insides of his as she twisted and moved, and when she bent forward to clean the wound on his lip, her blouse gaped open and afforded him the most intriguing view. He had to sit on his hands to stop himself from reaching for her.
Then she poured iodine on the swab, and he winced as she swiped it over his damaged lip.
She met his eyes. “Serves you right.”
“I know.” He felt compelled to add, “He did throw the first punch. In fact, I didn’t throw any.”
“Which is the only reason I’m not kicking you out on your ass right this second,” she said tartly. “Besides, don’t try to tell me you didn’t enjoy that hammerlock you used on him.”
“You know about hammerlocks?” Chakotay eyed her with new admiration.
She shrugged. “I like watching MMA. And I’ve done some training. When you’re a woman in a city like New York, it’s smart to know how to defend yourself.”
She put the cotton swab down and fixed him with a glare.
“Which is how I know you could have taken him down without hurting him quite so much. I saw your gear last night - I know you’re a fighter.”
“Not a fighter,” he corrected. “Just a boxer.”
“Whatever. You can’t tell me you didn’t enjoy causing him pain.”
“Actually, I was enjoying the humiliation more than the pain,” he muttered.
Kathryn made a sound of frustration.
“Speaking of which,” he went on, “I can’t help noticing you’re taking care of me, rather than him…”
She avoided his eyes. “So?”
“So I guess I’m wondering,” Chakotay risked catching her hand where it rested on his thigh, apparently without her having noticed, “what’s going on, Kathryn? Are you with him, or are you with me?”
She looked suddenly vulnerable. “You tell me.”
“I don’t understand,” he admitted.
Kathryn fidgeted. “The night before last, I really thought we were starting something,” she said softly. “You told me you’d come to see me the next day - you made a point of letting me know when to expect you. And then,” she swallowed, “you never showed up.”
“But your ex-boyfriend did, so you spent the night with him?” he couldn’t stop himself from accusing.
“No!” She stared at him, shocked. “Justin showed up out of the blue, and yes, he did want to talk about getting back together. So I agreed to have dinner with him. But I didn’t sleep with him, and we’re not together. Because,” she hesitated, linking her fingers with his, “there’s you.”
Chakotay was unable to stop the smile spreading across his face, even though it hurt his split lip. He lifted his other hand to her hip, guiding her closer.
“I did come yesterday,” he said. “But you were in your office with him, and I didn’t know what to think. I’m sorry I didn’t stick around to ask you.”
Kathryn lowered her lashes. “You’re here now.”
“Yeah,” he said roughly, pulling her close and tight between his legs and tilting his head back to gaze up at her. “What should we do about it?”
A wicked smile danced in her eyes. “Oh, I have a few ideas,” she whispered as she dipped her head to fit her lips to his.
The warmth of Chakotay’s big hands on her hips, even through the double layers of silk blouse and linen skirt, was making Kathryn’s skin flush. She pressed closer, wishing he was standing up instead of sitting in that chair so she could rub the entire length of her body along his.
That thought made her shiver, and Chakotay responded by sliding one hand around to the small of her back and the other up to cup her breast. His thumb rubbed her nipple through the silk. Kathryn groaned and sucked his bottom lip between her teeth.
He flinched, and she tasted blood, remembering his cut. Pulling away, she started to blurt out an apology, but he shook his head. He was grinning, breathing faster than when he’d taken Justin down, and he looked a little dazed.
“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” he rasped. “Come back here.”
Her eyes widened. He urged her toward him with the hand on her back, and as soon as she was within reach his lips found her neck. He sucked gently at her pulse point, traced his tongue from the hollow of her throat to just below her ear. She moaned and buried her hands in his hair, guiding his mouth where she wanted it, tilting her head to encourage him.
Chakotay kissed his way along the line of her collar until he reached her top button. Taking it between his teeth, he slipped it dexterously from its buttonhole, then repeated the action with the next fastening down. He nudged at the edges of her blouse with his nose until he’d revealed the soft inner curves of her breasts.
He glanced up at her, a question in his eyes, and Kathryn nodded, her lips parted and breath caught in anticipation. With a quick smile, he returned to nuzzling her collarbone. She felt his fingers slide up under her blouse to trace across her back, and realized he was looking for her bra strap so he could unhook the catch. She smirked to herself as his questing fingers found nothing but her.
She heard Chakotay groan softly, then felt him press a kiss to her sternum. Suddenly impatient, she leaned back and unbuttoned her blouse with shaking fingers, leaving the ends tucked into her skirt. The silk edges of the blouse, open to her waist, still covered most of her breasts, but she knew by the way his eyes were riveted to her that her nipples were hard and pushing at the soft fabric.
Then she took his hand and pulled it onto her torso, so that his palm was flat against the bare skin between her breasts.
“Touch me,” she whispered.
His eyes were darker than she’d ever seen them as he slipped his hand under one side of her blouse, baring her breast, and skimmed the tips of his fingers across her nipple. Kathryn shuddered and let her head tip back, let him anchor his other arm around her waist as he bent forward to brush his lips from the center of her chest, across the curve of her breast until he could take her nipple in his mouth.
Her moan was so loud she startled them both. Chakotay pulled back and Kathryn covered her mouth with one hand, stifling a sudden giggle.
“Kathryn, should we -”
“Come with me,” she cut him off, stepping back so she could catch his hand. She urged him to his feet, then, still holding his hand, towed him out of the bathroom, across the main library floor and up the staircase, wending through the stacks until they reached the darkest and most remote corner of the upper level.
She turned to him, dragging her lower lip between her teeth before she husked, “You remember how I told you that making out in the stacks is practically a library tradition?”
“I do,” he swallowed.
Kathryn hooked a forefinger into his belt and tugged him closer, so close that she could feel the heat of his body. “Let me show you why.”
She stood on tiptoe to kiss him, winding the fingers of both her hands into his and pulling his arms around her. With her hands trapped behind her back, her spine arched, pushing her breasts against his chest. Chakotay freed one of his hands, capturing her wrists in the other, and slid her blouse from one shoulder, then the other, until it slipped off and left her naked to the waist. With his free hand he explored her body, tracing each curve, cupping and pinching, while his tongue slid into her mouth and twined with hers.
Kathryn worked her hands free of his grip so she could tug off his tie and unbutton his shirt. She caught her breath at the sight of him, her gaze roaming over his broad, muscled chest and smooth brown skin. His arms came around her and she had a few delicious moments to enjoy how her body was pressed against all that warmth, and then he was lifting her, moving backwards, until her back hit the narrow lancet window at the end of the row and her behind rested on the little ledge below it. The ledge that was the perfect height, she almost immediately discovered, to align her hips with Chakotay’s.
His hand alighted on her knee, his thumb stroking inside and along her thigh.
“Are you wearing stockings again today?” His voice was low and smoky.
“Why don’t you find out for yourself?”
Slowly, holding her gaze, he pushed her knees apart, moving into the space between them as one hand slid down the back of her skirt and the other slipped up, up, along her thigh until his fingers traced the silky edge where her stockings met her skin.
“You have no idea what these do to me,” he growled in her ear.
Kathryn brought one hand in to cup the hot bulge in his pants and gave a breathless laugh. “I might have some idea.”
He pressed into her touch as his own hand slid inward, his thumb tracing the outline of her folds through her silk panties. Leaning back far enough to catch her eye, Chakotay smirked, “You seem to be somewhat affected yourself, Ms. Janeway.”
She watched him through half-lidded eyes, her lips parting on an indrawn breath as he brushed aside the inner seam of her panties and slid his thumb over hot, sodden flesh. “God,” she said raggedly, eyes closing.
A moment later Chakotay stepped away from her and Kathryn opened her eyes on a mew of complaint, but it tailed off into a moan when he sank to his knees before her. He slid his hands all the way up under her skirt until he reached the waistband of her panties. He looked up from between her legs, and the black heat in his eyes sent a spear of want arrowing directly to Kathryn’s clit.
“Can I?” he asked her, fingering the elastic of her panties. She nodded jerkily, and he eased them over her hips, down her thighs, and dropped them to the floor.
Then he leaned back in, his broad shoulders pressing her thighs wide apart, and swirled his tongue around her clitoris and along the length of her slit, finishing deep inside her.
Kathryn grabbed the edge of the window ledge, arched her back and choked back a cry, gasping, "Chakotay!”
“Better be quiet,” he murmured, with a quick nip to her thigh for emphasis.
And although she didn’t see how that was possible, she gritted her teeth against the sounds that tried to escape her as he dipped his head again, his lips and tongue and teeth working her skilfully to a climax that took her breath away.
Her husky whine as she came was nearly his undoing.
Chakotay concentrated on easing her down to a state of quivering bliss with slow, soft licks. Then, because he couldn’t resist, he slipped a finger inside her and curled it until he found the little patch of rough flesh. He rubbed it gently, added a second finger, and felt her clench hard around him, her body shaking as she spasmed again.
Eventually he shifted back to sit on his heels, resting his hands on Kathryn’s wide-apart knees. The sight of her took his breath away. Her skirt was rucked up around her hips, her head tilted back against the window, thick strands of her coppery hair tumbling around her face. It occurred to him that he’d never seen her hair down, and suddenly he wanted to, more than anything.
Almost anything, he amended as Kathryn’s eyes slitted half-open and she licked her lips. Chakotay’s cock swelled even further in response. Rising, he moved in close to her again and bent to kiss her softly.
She gave a quiet moan and licked the taste of herself from his lips, then reached for him, using the tips of her fingers to explore the shape of him under his jeans. Chakotay shuddered as she unbuckled his belt, opened his fly and slid her hand inside.
He let her stroke him on the outside of his shorts, then inside for a moment or two, then put his hand on her wrist to still her. “Kathryn,” he murmured, nuzzling her cheekbone, “I want to fuck you. Is that what you want?”
“Yes,” she rasped back immediately. “Right here. Right now.”
If she kept talking in that throaty voice of hers while her long fingers wrapped so deliciously around him, Chakotay really was going to lose it. He put some space between them so he could think clearly, yanked his wallet out of his back pocket and fished a foil packet out of it.
Looking at Kathryn once again to be absolutely certain, he saw that her lips were parted and her gaze fixed on his face. She hooked her stockinged toes into the elastic of his shorts on both sides and dragged downwards until his cock sprang free.
“Do it,” she said breathlessly.
He wasted no more time in ripping open the packet and rolling the condom on. Then he grasped himself with one hand and guided his cock to her, rubbing the head in her wetness until he was coated with her and she was writhing, her hands on his hips, trying to pull him inside of her.
The sensation of easing his way into her hot, slick channel was heaven. Chakotay pressed forward until he was all the way in, listening to her helpless little moans, feeling her fingernails digging into his lower back. He felt as though he might come that very second without even one more stroke, so he dipped his forehead to hers and recited verb conjugations in his head until he was certain he wouldn’t embarrass himself.
At last, urged by her hands on his ass and her thighs squeezing his hips, he pulled out with excruciating slowness, then drove back in with a corkscrewing twist, making sure he ground his pelvis directly onto her clit.
Kathryn’s eyes opened wide and her jaw dropped, but before she could speak he clamped a hand over her mouth. “Shh,” he hissed in her ear, and followed it up with another roll of his hips into her.
She nodded, leaning back on her hands for leverage as he pulled back and thrust into her again. The way her breasts bounced as he jolted her nearly blew his mind. Chakotay bent to suck at one nipple, then the other, feeling her hand come up to twist into his hair.
He wrapped one hand around her thigh so he could feel the silk of her stocking and moved the other to press his thumb against her clit, enjoying the rosy flush on her bare upper body. She was so wet around him, so tight. Chakotay settled into a hard rhythm that made her bite her lip to hold back her whimpers, a rhythm he was pretty sure he could keep up all night.
At least, until she reached down between them, cupped his balls, and pressed the tip of her finger to the spot just behind them.
He made a sound that could have been the beginning of a word or maybe a strangled shout as incandescence burst behind his eyes, and then he was lunging into her as far as he could go, emptying himself as she squeezed and rippled around him, his arms wrapping around her and his face buried in the damp curve of her neck.
“Wow,” he gasped, when he could speak. “That was …”
She was looking at him, head tilted, a soft smile on her lips.
“Did you come?”
Kathryn laughed, a delighted, unfettered sound. “Several times.”
Chakotay bent to kiss her, but with both of them smiling it wasn’t an easy task. “If you hadn’t half killed me, Ms. Janeway, I’d brag that there’s plenty more where that came from.”
Kathryn wrapped her arms around his neck and rubbed her bare breasts against his chest. “That raincheck had better come with an early cash-in, Mr. Chakotay.”
He was tempted to slide down between her legs to taste her again, but his head was starting to clear and he figured they’d pushed their luck far enough already. He stepped back, careful to grasp the base of his cock as he pulled the condom off and tied it securely, concealing it in the palm of his hand. Kathryn tugged her blouse up onto her shoulders and buttoned it, and Chakotay tucked himself back into his jeans, then scooped her panties up from the floor and into his pocket.
Her eyes went wide, and he gave her his cheekiest dimpled grin. “Consider it a down payment.”
She was still giggling as he helped her into her shoes and smoothed down her skirt, and he held her hand as they made their way back down the stairs.
Tom was sitting at the main counter, the tips of his ears unmistakably rosy.
“Well, hello, you two,” he said in that smooth, knowing tone. “I see you’ve been busy with some private research. Hope you both found what you were looking for.”
Kathryn’s cheeks blazed as red as Tom’s ears, and she turned to Chakotay, muttering, “I’ll walk you out.”
She was silent until they got to where he’d parked his Jeep, and then she stood there digging her toe into the gravel on the drive.
Chakotay tipped her chin up. “Hey. Kathryn. Are you okay?”
“That was …”
“Unprofessional. In the extreme.” She shook her head, turning away, and he couldn’t read the tone of her voice as she continued: “And completely unlike me. I would never have behaved that way when I worked at NYPL. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
“I happen to like who you are,” Chakotay said.
The sun was behind her, and even squinting, he couldn’t make out her expression. “I think,” she hesitated, “I’m a little scared of it … and this. Us. Maybe we should –”
“- take some time to cool off?” he finished for her, even though it was difficult to maintain his even tone. “It’s probably a good idea.”
“Okay,” she said, sounding conflicted and unhappy.
Chakotay bent to kiss her cheek, quickly, and turned to climb into his car. “I’ll see you soon,” he said as he started the engine.
When she didn’t reply, he nodded and shut the car door. He could still see her in the rear-view mirror as he drove away, her shoulders slumped, one hand rubbing at her temple as though she regretted every single moment of the best hour he’d ever spent in his life.