By Maquis Leader
“So, what did you get me?”
“Greedy.” Chakotay laughed. “And after I went to all this trouble.”
Kathryn looked around at the flowers and candles scattered around his quarters. “Very nice.”
He smiled at her, admiring the glow of the candle’s flame on her auburn hair and the way the green dress clung to her figure.
“Now, where’s my present?”
Rolling his eyes, he handed her a red rose.
“Oh, Chakotay...” She held it up to inhale the soft scent. “It’s beautiful.”
“Now where’s my present?” He teased.
“I know you, there’s something more.” A smile crooked up the corner of her mouth.
“There is, but I couldn’t figure out how to wrap it.”
Her eyebrows arched up. “That sounds interesting.”
“Go sit down, I’ll get the wine.” Chakotay watched the graceful sway of her hips as she moved to the sofa.
“How about a hint?”
“It’s smaller than a breadbox.” Sitting next to her, he handed her a glass of wine.
“You’re going to make me guess?”
“Chakotay.” Kathryn laid a hand on his chest. “You know I hate to wait.”
“Say please.” His body tightened at the light touch.
Mischief glimmered in her eyes and her voice dropped to a husky purr. “Please, Chakotay…”
Desire rushed through him and his hands moved to her shoulders before he could stop himself. Slowly, old man, slowly! Pulling back, he took a small box from where he’d hidden it inside his jacket pocket.
Kathryn’s eyes lit up. Chakotay’s gifts were always exactly what she wanted. Somehow, he always knew her heart’s fondest wish. Ripping off the shiny paper, she opened the box. Inside was… nothing. “I don’t… it’s empty.”
“Look closer.” His heart pounded painfully. This was one gift that could blow up in his face.
Moving aside the tissue paper, she found a small key on a delicate silver chain. “Oh, Chakotay, it’s beautiful!” Impulsively, she wrapped her arms around him.
The hug was quick, much quicker than he would have liked. “Do you like it?”
“Yes! Here, put it on for me.” She turned her back to him and lifted her hair out of the way.
Draping the chain around her neck, he fastened the catch. “There, now you have the key.” Chakotay let his fingers linger on the silky skin of her neck in a gentle caress.
“The key to what?” There were small letters engraved on the key in flowing script.
Slowly, she turned to face him once more. “Your heart?” She looked at the key again. Chakotay.
“You’ve always had it.” Love and devotion was shining in his black velvet eyes. “I love you, Kathryn.”
“Oh, Chakotay…” She raised a trembling hand to his face.
“I know.” He sighed. “It’s against protocol. Can we settle on it being a birthday present from your loyal first officer?”
“Oh, no, I don’t think so.” Kathryn lifted her lips to his in a hot wet kiss. “I don’t think so at all.”