Not in so many words.

By Alia

Not in so many words

Disclaimer: Paramount owns them.

Summary: First time.

Warning: Slight Angst. Rated R

Author's Notes: Prelude to the give and take series.

Thanks: To Mareel for picking up my typos and for always listening. Any mistakes you find are mine.

Comments: Are welcome and can be sent to



I honestly don't know why I didn't send him away as soon as he had delivered his report and before he had launched into what he tells me is the real reason for his visit tonight. A year ago I wouldn't have thought twice about what I should do. I would have cited regulations; being mindful to reassure him that what he had disclosed would not change our professional relationship in the slightest, or have any impact whatsoever on his chances for advancement. He was a good man, is a good man, and I would not use anything about what had been said between us against him. I would make no report and if agreed, this conversation had never taken place.

I hadn't sent him away though.

I had listened patiently to his proposal and the rationale behind it. A little surprised, but pleased also to finally see a somewhat human side to my very rigid armoury officer - a very real part of me impressed with the level of courage and conviction it must have taken for him to come to me tonight.

For my part I have tried to explain, to let him know that I have the utmost respect for him, for the entire crew, but clearly I don't have Malcolm's level of courage or capacity for honesty when it comes to what I want it seems, and I know I have failed miserable. More importantly, at no time during our conversation have I refused his offer.

It is very quiet now, as if we have both run out of words.

I probably shouldn't be, but I am a little taken back when the silence between us becomes uncomfortable and Malcolm finally stands up, towering over me within the confines of my cabin. I suspect I know where this is leading and mirror his movement as he steps forward, moving into my personal space. In another time and place maybe it would be easy to just reach out and take what he is offering. Nothing about this is easy though and I feel myself tense to the point that I know my discomfort must be obvious to the man watching me.

He says that he understands I don't return his feelings, that I can't for various reasons and this will just be a mutual exchange for as long as I want it. I haven't even said yes yet and after a life time of conditioning and an ingrained belief that my sexual encounters only included women, I am not even convinced that I can. His close proximity is hard to ignore though, as is my bodies reaction to it.

Malcolm appears very intent as he settles in front of me, in fact his gaze is almost penetrating now, as if in the space of an hour he has suddenly developed a way to see inside my head and he knows exactly what I want, even before I do. I wonder briefly at my own expression, wonder if I look as confused as I feel as he brings both hands up to frame the sides of my face, holding me in place. I know he is going to kiss me, but I am not sure I am ready for that and I close my eyes, my breathe catching as his fingers caress my cheeks and he thumbs gently at the corner of my closed eyes.

"I won't hurt you Jonathan, or do anything you don't want," he breathes against me. "But I need your permission, your consent to go any further."

I can feel the warmth of each word, expelled across my face with such care and concern that I don't know what to say, how I am suppose to feel. I am meant to be the one giving reassurance, the one in control here, not the other way around. Malcolm seems to think otherwise though. My mouth has gone dry and heart is beating so fast that it's hard to think. I know he is waiting for answer. I can feel his hands and the faint echo of a promise, smell his cologne, and hear his steady breathing. It was simple, I tell myself. My choice. I could say no and nothing more would be said on the subject, or I could say yes, and receive the release being offered - allow myself respite once and a while.

I have no words, I realise, because there are none. I have no idea how to accept what I have never wanted before, not from any man, let alone one under my command. With that thought in mind I open my eyes, refusing my fear to get the better of me. Malcolm appears no less serious than before, a little curious now perhaps, his fingers moving ever so slightly against the side of my face, but he is not pressing, just waiting for me to say something. I open my mouth, but as expected nothing comes out.

I am growing increasingly annoyed by my own ineptness and with no immediate alternative I choose another tactic, one I hope will be clearer than I have been tonight and move further into Malcolm's embrace. He compensates quickly for the alteration in our position, but doesn't seem put-off in anyway. Moistening dry lips I lean in, lifting one unsteady hand to his shoulder and using the other to guide him forward, I cover his mouth with my own.


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