Chakotay shifted restlessly in his sleep. The sound of distant thunder rumbled through his dreams, the pounding rain of a summer storm beating against the windows in his mind.

The fire had begun to die down long ago, allowing a damp chill to permeate the room. A lingering fragrance of burning wood mingled with the clean fresh scent of the woman tucked against him. She shivered in the cold, and Chakotay wrapped himself more closely around her, his warm hands covering the smooth skin of her bare shoulders. She sighed her contentment in her sleep and moved closer to him, seeking out his warmth.

Try as he might, it was beyond his power to remain still. Burying his nose in her hair, he trailed soft kisses along the back of her neck, his tongue tracing the curve of her hairline. His one free hand smoothed its way down her arm, to her thigh and came back again to rest on the curve of her hip. A stirring in his groin served as a not-so- gentle reminder that she would not be allowed to sleep much longer.

She felt it, too. Humming softly with sleepy delight, she pressed her bottom against him. Catching his breath, he rocked himself slowly against her, his hands reaching for her soft breasts. Holding the firm weight of them, his thumbs teased her nipples to aching peaks as she arched herself forward into his hands. Reaching her slender fingers over her shoulder, she stroked his face, his hair and trailed her fingernails over the pattern etched onto his forehead.

Chakotay grasped her hips with his hands, pushing himself against the soft pads of her bottom. Moving his fingers to the juncture at her thighs, he was gratified to find her as aroused as himself. Teasing her soft wetness, he held steady against the movement of her hips, holding her close as she cried out her release. In one fluid motion, he rolled her beneath him, parted her thighs with his own, and joined his aching body with hers.

They fit together perfectly, as if designed for each other by the ancients in their wisdom. Chakotay held her tightly to him, her back to his front, as he played out the ritual as old as time itself. Thrusting steadily against her counterrhythm, he felt her body begin to contract around him. Slowing the pace, making a conscious effort to prolong their release, he felt the tremors rack her body as she spasmed around him.

No more. He could take no more. Calling out her name, holding himself within her, he flooded her body in joyous relief.

They sank into the covers in a tangled heap of arms and legs, their breathing struggling for normalcy, their hearts pounding with their efforts. Smoothing her tangled hair away from her face, Chakotay pressed a soft kiss to her lips. Together, they drifted into an easy, sated rest.

The sound of the ship's engines changing course woke the Commander, so attuned was he to their feel. Just as he was attuned to the woman sleeping softly beside him, her hair uncharacteristically loose, hairpins everywhere. Smiling gently, he pulled her closer, plucked an errant hairpin from beneath him and settled back against the pillows.

To sleep...perchance to dream....



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