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"You're telling me...never?" Tom tried to do the math as he spoke. Two years at the Academy, so that was 19 maybe 20. Damn, he didn't even know how old she was or her birthday. That was embarrassing. She is a private person, maybe it passed and she didn't let anyone know? How old is she? Could he ask now?

She turned away, picking up a stray uniform, setting it down after fidgeting with the seams. Defensive. He can't ask, at least that was the advice his mother would give him. "Not so far that I count it."

"Right. The Academy boyfriend?"

"Mmhmm."

He should drop it. But he's so curious. She hardly talks about the Academy. And the boyfriend? Once, fleetingly, when Harry mentioned he met Libby at the Academy. He remembered she blushed and made an excuse to leave. She never brought it up again. B'Elanna's sigh drew Tom's attention.

She tossed the discarded uniform inside the recycler. "We were taking it slow I guess." She shook her head. "I think mostly I was just busy. There was never the time or the privacy."

"As a senior you get a single," he blurted without thinking. "Not that I— I mean I did, but not—." He closed his mouth with a click. Probably better that he didn't elaborate. "What about when you were with the Maquis?"

She shook her head as she strode to the dining table, "No. People never stayed anywhere for long and half the time you didn't know if that was because they were killed, captured, or left the fight." The table looked pretty tidy to Tom without B'Elanna rearranging the flowers he got her. "Plus the ship was small and we all worked together."

"Oh."

She seemed to realize at the same time. "That's not, um, not why..." She trailed off as she gestured between the two of them. In the back of his mind he found it strange that she couldn't say the word sex. Weren't Klingons supposed to be very happy to discuss it?

He didn't want to push her. "It's okay, we're taking it slow. And we're busy people." Geez, he could be her first time. Talk about responsibility.

"Do you want to?" She faced away from him, hands flat on the table. Tom read the body language as uncomfortable, maybe even a little anxious.

He discarded the first response that came to mind of "hell, yes," for a tempered, "If you want to."

"I want to."

Again he discarded the "Shit, really?" response for a, "Whenever you're ready." Who knew keeping his foot out of his mouth was so hard?

"Now seems like a good time," she turned to face him. "Actually, I was thinking about it earlier. I have beta tomorrow and you have gamma and I'm curious and— Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he managed to croak. "Yeah," he repeated after swallowing. "I'm fine." Was inviting him over all part of her plan? If so, he should probably be careful. That was good planning. "You want to do this now?"

"We already ate dinner." She did have a point. "Unless you don't—"

"No, I want to." He left the couch to walk closer without invading her bubble. They kissed countless times before but to kiss her now would imply a lot. "I don't want to ruin your first time."

"And that's how I know you won't." She smiled. "Kiss me, Tom." He stepped forward, her head rose to follow him. He smiled as he watched his right hand brush her cheek towards the back of her head. He drew her close enough to kiss with a hand around her waist. She felt warm, welcoming. Her fingers dragged through his hair lightly and he heard her moan softly between their lips. She opened for him and he carefully explored as if this was new territory all over again. The hand at her waist flipped under her shirt. He ran his hand along the uninterrupted skin there.

Tom broke the kiss to press his lips under her ear. "What were you hoping for?" He felt her lean into him.

"The caves."

He grinned as he wondered just how often she thought about Sakari. Tom kissed down her neck. With the hand that once held her head, he moved the collar of her blouse aside. He rested his lips on the warm curve of her neck and shoulder. While nibbling he asked, "The caves like this?" She quivered—easy to miss if he wasn't looking (hoping) for it.

"Yes," she breathed. He leaned away to unbutton her blouse. When finished, he pushed it aside, running his fingers lightly down her torso to where his hands could rest at her waist.

"Lace? I like it."

"I thought you might." B'Elanna shed her top and reached for his. She waisted no time to take it off him.

Tom grinned as she rose to kiss him. She stopped to look at him questioningly. Tom asked, "In a hurry?"

"Does excited count?"

He took her up on her offered kiss. Supporting her with his left hand, he used his right to run over her skin, across her hip, down her thigh, then up and over her breast. Her breath caught. Tom bit her lip and rolled his thumb over her nipple. She arched into him, breathing quickly. Where to? The bed? The floor? The wall? She wanted caves but he wanted not to frighten her. As he tried to decide, he let his hand wander to the juncture of her legs. She gasped on the first cursory pass. She moaned on the second lingering perusal, clinging to his shoulders.

B'Elanna broke the kiss and leaned heavily on him. She laughed. "I'm going to fall over."

"Where do you want to fall over?"

"My bed," she responded. Tom led her to her bed. She stared at the bed.

"You still want to do this?" Tom asked, placing a hand on her back.

She laughed again, "I'm deciding if I should take the rest of my clothes off now or wait."

Tom kissed down the back of her neck. "Whatever you want." She shuddered when he kissed the base of her neck. He filed that away for later. B'Elanna reached behind herself and undid her bra, letting it fall to her right. Tom stepped back to undress while keeping an eye on her. Seeing all of her skin gave him a rush. Watching her lay down on the bed nestled in the pillows nearly hurt.

He pecked her lips from the side of the bed. Her head rose to follow him but not by enough to maintain the kiss. "You're beautiful."

"I'm cold."

"And beautiful," he amended as he held himself on the bed over her. He pressed kisses along her collarbone leading to the warm curve of her shoulder again thinking: All roads lead...

When he bit playfully, she squirmed, rising off the bed enough to rub her pubic bone against his. It seemed accidental to have caused her breath to catch and release in a long sigh. Tom let his lower half settle against hers, keeping his legs on the outside. She rolled against him a few times. Her legs pushed against his and he shifted so her legs could be on either side of him.

She felt warm—if he didn't know better—nearly feverish. He groaned when her slick heat rose up his shaft. Without remembering how he got there, he found his mouth around her nipple and his fingers teasing the other. She ground against him rhythmically. He swirled his tongue around her nipple in tandem. He switched sides, trying hard to remember the moves that she particularly liked but having trouble doing so with the steady slide of her against him. He nibbled her. She uttered a high-pitched moan. Her rhythm picked up. As much as he wanted to, he didn't dare move to enter her. Her breathing came in the tell-tale gulps of a woman on the edge. Her voice rose higher above him as he focused on providing her breasts with stimulation.

B'Elanna stiffened, clutching him to her. He eased back on her breasts when her satisfied moan petered off. He was still hard, not painfully, but longingly. He wanted her; wanted to give her another orgasm; wanted to orgasm with her. Tom rose his head and stared. If she was beautiful before. She was stunning basking in the afterglow. Her clumsy hand as it flopped at the elbow to touch his hair spoke to her satisfaction brilliantly.

"Hey," she said.

"Hey," he answered.

"Kiss me?"

"Gladly." He shifted up to kiss her. It didn't take long to start round two. After round three, when she curled against his side, Tom basked in the moment. He ran his arm along her bare upper back where he could reach. The blanket at their waists would get in the way if it rested any higher, but he didn't want her to get cold. With his free hand he pulled it up higher. She hummed. He looked down to his shoulder at her face: closed eyes, small smile, warm glow.

"When's your birthday?"

She opened her eyes, looking surprised. "Why?" He'd jumped a few steps there. He wanted to know her birthday because...because...she's special to him and he doesn't know her birthday and he'd like to maybe be her first and only and somehow that all connected in his brain without his realizing.

He felt his face warm under the scrutiny. "I just don't know it."

"August 30th." She tilted her head up to kiss him. "Should I expect a present?"

"Absolutely."