Disclaimer: Paramount owns them.
Summary: C/P. Part Eight: Epilogue.
Copyright September 2001 Cassatt
The Wild Stallion
"I've never ridden bareback before," Tom said. He looked at Chakotay askance.
"Here I thought you were an accomplished horseman," Chakotay answered with a grin.
"I'm from a more sophisticated branch of the sport, Chak."
Chakotay laughed. "Oh, yes, excuse me," he said with a small bow, "the blue-blood Paris clan, who never get their hands dirty or ride their horses without a saddle. That's such a base pleasure...."
"A base pleasure?" Tom's eyes lit up.
"It is, but if you'd prefer, you can use the saddle, and I'll just walk beside you, or we can take a moment and create another horse," Chakotay said seriously. He loved teasing Tom. He just loved it. He just loved him. "Well? What'll it be?"
Tom's eyes narrowed. "I can do it, you know."
"I'm sure you can, Tom, there's really nothing to it. It's all in the thighs."
Tom smiled. "So that's where you get those sexy legs...," he said, sidling up to his lover, running his hands up and down the man's hips, leaning in and giving him a slow, deep kiss.
The movement of their mouths threatened to turn into something that would keep them from riding, so Chakotay stopped it, catching his breath. He caressed Tom's flushed face. "You... are too tempting by half."
"And you're the other half, Chakotay," Tom said seriously.
Their eyes locked together. Sky blue and dark chocolate. Chakotay broke the gaze. "Come on, let's ride," he said, grinning broadly. He took Tom's hand and the bridle of their friend and led them both to a stump. Sweeping his hand from there up to the stallion's back he looked at Tom pointedly. The younger man returned the grin and nodded. "Okay, good. I'll get on first, and you sit behind me," Chakotay said. He slid onto the horse's body with ease, picked up the reins and turned to Tom.
"You've programmed him to hold both of us, I assume?"
"Yes, Tom, he'll be fine. Remember, he likes you, he won't buck you off. I promise."
"Are the safety protocols on or off?"
"And you're over that revenge thing, right?"
"One second. Then I'm telling him to move."
"Okay, okay..." Tom took a breath and climbed up, using Chakotay's waist for anchorage. He wrapped his arms around Chakotay, his legs pushing both against the horse and against his lover. Tom kissed the back of Chakotay's neck, unable to resist the temptation right in front of him. "This is cozy, Chak."
Chakotay had to agree. He smiled. "Ready?" The horse whinnied softly and moved his head slightly up and down, anxious to move.
"I guess if he is, then I am," Tom said, laughing slightly. This could be fun, he thought. He definitely liked the position he found himself in.
Chakotay turned his white, wild stallion and headed out of the pen, toward the fields and the hills beyond.
They moved at a slow pace, not more than a leisurely trot for most of the way. It was getting on to the end of the 'day' in Chakotay's program and he had a clear destination in mind. He sighed to himself with happiness. Even in this hell hole of a quadrant, he'd found the one thing that made his heart soar, his palms tingle, and his mind quiet. The man that he'd been attracted to for so many years had become the man whom he loved with his whole heart. A part of him still could not believe it. As if on cue, Tom pulled himself incrementally closer and sighed in his ear.
"This is a beautiful program, Chak," he said quietly.
"Thank you. I take that as a high compliment coming from you."
"Well, thank you for sharing it with me."
Chakotay let go of the rein and picked up Tom's hand, bringing to his mouth. He kissed the fingers, taking a moment to look at this strong hand that brought him so much pleasure. That moved with ease across a Starfleet helm, that caressed and cajoled their ship into doing things no engineer had ever planned. He wondered if Tom had ever had his palm read. It would be an interesting read, no doubt. Chakotay kissed Tom's fingers one more time before putting his hand back in it's rightful place. On Chakotay's chest. Tom hugged him gently.
Tom was feeling overwhelmed. He tried, in vain, to think of another way to categorize his emotional state. There wasn't any other way to think about it. He was overwhelmed. And whereas, in the past, he'd have run from that feeling with every ounce of his strength - he was relaxing into it. Letting it infuse every part of him. Enjoying it even.
He'd never expected to find this. Not here. Not now. He sat behind the man that he loved with every fiber of his being, taking in his scent, feeling the strength he exuded, and allowed himself to believe that this was real. And true. Maybe even constant.
Thought not a religious person, or even a spiritual one, he thanked the God he'd prayed to the day before. Thanked that God for giving him another chance. For delivering Chakotay from another brush with death. For not leaving Tom in his time of need. He wondered if this was what Chakotay got from his spiritual practice. This feeling of overwhelm, this knowledge of something greater than either of them, working with grace on their behalf.
He promised that God he would tell Chakotay. That night. As soon as he could. He hugged his lover and kissed him softly on the back of his neck. Yes, he could get used to this. Hell, he thought, he already was used to this.
Chakotay brought the horse to a stop on the rise of a hillside, overlooking a lush valley. The sky was beginning to transform, the blue getting a tinge of pink added to it. He was most proud of this part of the program, but quickly let that thought slide to the back of his brain, allowing himself to believe this was a real hillside on a real planet with a real sunset just beginning. Motioning Tom to dismount, he watched the man get off the horse with elegance, as though he'd been riding bareback all his life. He followed.
Tom was staring at the scene before him, in awe. "God, Chak, this is amazing. Is this someplace you know?"
"It's reminiscent of my home planet. There were places like this around." He called out in a louder voice, "Computer, program addition Chakotay one five."
A thin mattress appeared on the ground, along with two bottles of beer. Tom laughed gently. "You think of everything," he said, grinning.
"I learned quickly that an old body like mine doesn't like to sit on the hard ground for long periods of time, not to mention lying down on it."
Tom wrapped his arms around Chakotay and nuzzled him under his ear. "There's no way anyone is going to convince me you are old. No way."
Chakotay pulled Tom's head off his neck and kissed him, letting the kiss deepen, giving in to everything he wanted just then. Falling into the sweetness that was Tom's mouth. They were beginning to move against each other and though this, too, was what he wanted, he stopped it.
"Come on, Tom, let's lie down, have a beer, watch the sunset together," he said, tugging Tom down. Unsurprisingly, Tom followed.
They propped themselves on elbows, drank beer, and looked at the sky show in between kisses, some light, some deep. The colors were getting brighter and more intense. The beer was finished. Traveling hands joined the kissing. Boots were removed. Shirts were pulled out of waistbands for better access to skin. They began to roll together, joining chests as well as hips and legs as the kisses intensified.
Tom pulled back suddenly. In the orange and pink glow of what light remained, he looked deeply into Chakotay's eyes. His heart began to thud against his ribcage. "Chakotay," he said quietly. He faltered.
Tom looked again and saw everything with astounding clarity. "I love you."
Chakotay's heart took a leap against his chest. The words were more beautiful than he'd imagined, just like this man in his arms. The wait had been worth it. "I love you, Tom," he said, watching the blue eyes sparkle and a smile spread across the features in front of him.
"I love you," Tom repeated, still smiling.
"I know, I heard," Chakotay answered, smiling too.
"I love you, I love you, I love you," Tom continued, falling on Chakotay's neck and kissing it in between the words.
Chakotay laughed, his heart flying. "I love you, too, Tom."
"Let's make love, right here," Tom said against Chakotay's skin.
"Well, that was what I had in mind..."
"I got that," Tom said, pulling Chakotay's shirt up his back. "You'd better engage the privacy lock, though..."
"Already done." Chakotay began to work on the spot on Tom's neck that soon had his lover writhing.
"That's what makes you a good First Officer, always planning ahead," Tom said, panting.
It was Chakotay's turn to pull back and stare into Tom's eyes. The sun was almost set, the moons were rising, giving everything a cool glow. "I could never in a million years have planned this, Tom. Never. Being here, with you, loving you, hearing you say you love me. Thank you. You've given me the most wonderful thing..."
"I've given you? What?"
"Yourself. That first night we were together, I knew it was the most important night of my life. All the pieces had finally fallen into place," Chakotay said softly, trailing his finger across Tom's cheek.
The overwhelm was back, and Tom couldn't speak, for fear he'd break down and cry. He pulled Chakotay close and hugged him tightly, letting the strong arms of the man he loved calm him, soothe him, push the tears away. He made another vow to his new God. He would love this man until he died. He would protect him if necessary, stand by his side if possible and hold him each and every night that he could. "Thank you, Chakotay," he said. "I love you." He smiled. And he'd say those three words as many times as he could, too. He rolled Chakotay onto his back and kissed him thoroughly, running his hand under the shirt, caressing his chest. "That was the most important night of my life, too," he said quietly.
Chakotay pulled Tom back down to his mouth. "I love you, Tom," he whispered, any further words cut off as he kissed him, feeling the weight of the man fall onto him gently. He reached in between them and began to unfasten Tom's jeans, the hard bulge he encountered thickening his own erection. They grappled with buttons and zippers and layers of fabric in between deep kisses and long strokes from strong hands on newly exposed skin. Their breaths were becoming pants, their voices turning into low noises from deep in their throats.
Tom stopped one more time, his brain barely coherent. "Hey, mister preparedness, one thing I think you forgot..."
"Lube." Tom's breath caught as Chakotay's hand descended on his erection. "Lube, Chak...."
Chakotay removed his hand and clapped it over his mouth in mock consternation. "Spirits, lube, why didn't I think of that?" He groped for his pants with his one free hand, found them, got into the pocket just as Tom returned the favor, grasping Chakotay's erection to stroke it teasingly. Trying to concentrate, bringing his hand back, he attacked Tom's mouth with relish, stopped, and before Tom could close his mouth placed the small bottle between Tom's lips. "Lube, Tom," he said with a laugh.
Tom grinned and pulled the bottle out. "See, that's why I love you...."
They came together completely in full body contact, mouths merging, erections rubbing together and arms and legs wrapping around as much as possible.
The two full moons had risen, filling the starry sky with an almost ethereal light. Outside the room there were people walking the corridors, going in and out of the mess hall, playing cards, talking, reading and working. Those that walked by the holodeck and glanced at the screen saw only a series of numbers following their First Officer's name, along with the privacy lock interface blinking. For the few who understood what that meant they felt a twinge of jealousy, followed by affection for the two men whom they knew were enjoying themselves at that moment. Inside the room, produced by the gray grid and the skills of the holoprogrammer, a white horse folded his legs and lay down next to the thin mattress and the two writhing lovers. He gazed at them with large, half-lidded eyes, then turned and looked out over the valley bathed in moonlight as he waited to be ridden again.
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