The First Taste
Disclaimer: Not owned by me, that honor belongs to Paramount.
Rating: PG-13


There is this feeling I get when flying that I almost can’t put
words to. It’s pure and unhampered: part elation, part ambition,
part drive, part instinct, and entirely consuming – almost what
I would envision freedom would feel like if freedom were a tangible
emotion. When flying there are no boundaries: the freedom of
space, the gentle caress of the controls beneath my fingers,
the complete and utter focus into the activity, yet this exciting,
exhilarating fear of the unknown – about what would happen once
a destination was reached and what potential outcome the imminent
future held. There is nothing I’ve ever experienced that even
remotely compared to it… until recently.

The dream came again last night – that enticing vision that haunted
my thoughts and burned through my blood like liquid fire. B’Elanna
was there, on a bed made of red satin sheets and rose petals,
her golden skin glowing brightly in light of a dozen burning
candles that surrounded us. The dream was so vivid, so real,
I could literally catch the slight scent of sulfur that came
from the candles, intermingled with a spicy, floral scent I couldn’t
readily identify but one I passed off as a klingon aphrodisiac.
The look in B’Elanna’s eyes was indescribably, huge and brown,
sparkling with fire and some kind of unearthly glow. I could
easily drown in those eyes, in that gaze. I could lose myself
in the hurricane that brewed there… if I wasn’t already intoxicated
by what it felt like to be there, frozen in the moment, with

Her body, naked beneath my gaze, was everything I had ever envisioned
it would be: firm yet soft, well developed yet shapely, feminine
and formed. She radiated this heat I longed to feel pressed against
my own skin, like a furnace of unquenchable passion and desire
that lay contained in such a small package. She filled my senses,
to the touch her skin was like silk: smooth, soft, and oh so
inviting. To the scent she filled me with the exotic, tangy mixture
of something uniquely her: part feminine arousal, part perspiration,
part shampoo and soap, and something else I couldn’t place, but
that drove me near insane nonetheless. To my eyes she was everything
and anything: an ageless piece of art, a distant yet brilliant
star set against the back drop of space, the focal point of creation,
the dawning of time itself. It was as if we were removed from
the rest of the universe, placed in a location where only we
existed, locked in a spell that we had somehow miraculously woven.

“Tom,” she would breath, in a way that held me captive. There
were few things that compared to hearing my name on her lips:
soft and breathy, musical and searching - like the distant call
of the siren to a sailor perpetually lost at sea. And I would
release her name in turn from somewhere deep inside me, repeating
it like a mantra, reciting it with the gentle reverence of a
poem. Gods, I was so lost in her, yet so unwilling to be found.

And like flying I wanted the feeling to last, wanted to draw
it out for all it was worth and relish the moment with the intensity
and the power of feeling. But it was not to be, as soon as I
moved to press my lips towards hers, watching with riveted focus
as her silky, pink tongue flittered out to glisten her lips in
anticipation for contact, I was yanked out of the vision and
awoke cruelly in my bed, alone.

Dreams like that were commonplace in my psyche, running endlessly
through my mind from some pinpoint in time I couldn’t readily
identify. I had known for awhile now that I was attracted to
B’Elanna, she had this way of getting under my skin, this contradiction
of spirit that drew me to her like a moth to a flame. She was
stunning, beautiful in both spirit and grace. Exotic, cool, and
collected - betraying this aura of unkempt passion yet so shockingly
unaware of her draw, of her captivating way of being. Her temper
was as fast as it was furious, yet there was also this quiet
vulnerability to her, this faint reflection of a lost child searching
for acceptance. She was almost eccentric in her intelligence,
understanding the concepts behind the math and science of engineering
with a cunning, instinctive, and entirely brilliant flare. Yet
she was also full of doubts, and often times she seemed lost
aboard this starship she had been forced to serve on, as if engineering
were the only concept that made sense to her in a world otherwise
full of chaos.

There were these looks she would get on her face every once in
awhile that made me want to take her in my arms and swear to
protect her against the rest of the world. And then there were
other times that I wanted to reach out and shake the stubborn,
defiant nature out of her, bend her to my will, force her to
see another perspective for once. Or, at the very least, force
her to wake up and realize that there was a man onboard who adored
her - who longed to share the complexity of life and battle any
demons she secretly faced along side her.

It was a new experience for me, this feeling of jumping from
one emotion to another, this lost uncertainty on how to approach
her, how to be near her. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone before
that could make me feel so many things at once, from one extreme
to the other. She is the only woman I’ve met that I simultaneously
wanted to kiss with intense fervor, or choke with pent up impatience.
Yet she is also the only woman I’ve ever met who makes me see
forever when I look at her, who entertains thoughts of love in
my heart in a way that doesn’t make it seem as scary or undesirable
as it used to seem before I met her.

Recognizing that I had fallen in love with her had been a bit
of a shock. It had been a quiet, gentle moment, just B’Elanna,
Harry and I at Sandrine’s. B’Elanna and Harry had been exchanging
quips back and forth, teasing each other in a comfortable, unassuming
manner as I silently looked on, captivated by the way she spoke
and the way she unconsciously used body language to emphasize
her words. B’Elanna’s face had been lit with laughter, her eyes
sparkling, her posture relaxed, her hair and eyes catching the
artificial light of the room as if a spot light shown just on
her, and it hit me, in that moment, that I loved her.

Oh I had already known that I was attracted to her, the dreams
had already started by that point, but far more profound was
the realization that she evoked something in me that was precious
and sacred, this yearning desire to get close to her, both emotionally
and physically. My whole world would change when she walked into
a room; it was as if she brought the universe with her. And that
feeling I get when flying, that complete and utter freedom granted
by the unending vastness of space, was one B’Elanna could duplicate
with a simple, passing glance in my direction.

But despite all of that, being in love was not at all what I
expected to be, although a large portion of that confusion could
stem from the fact that I didn’t really expect to fall in love…
period. The truth of the matter was that I had learned early
on in life that it was a dog eat dog world, that the only person
I could really rely on, who I could really trust, was myself.
So now, for the first time that I could remember in forever,
my thoughts aren’t primarily focused on me: my survival, my fitting
in, my not screwing up, my taking what pleasure out of living
that I could… Now they are shared with this complex, amazing,
exasperating, intense, intelligent, stubborn, contradictory,
outrageously independent woman whose attention, if even for a
moment, is the begin all and end all of my universe, and whose
respect is hard earned.

It seemed that my life did not exist without its own twist of
irony. That I, Tom Paris, the once self proclaimed life-long
bachelor, would fall madly and head over heels in love with the
woman least likely to swoon over such a profession of undying

I wanted her - badly. I wanted to wake with her in my arms, I
wanted to be able to stare at her as she ate or as she spoke
without feeling weird for doing it, I wanted to reach out and
touch her on impulse, just because I could. I wanted to share
in the whirlwind, fiery passion in which she embraced life. But
most of all I wanted her to dream of me, red satin sheets under
candlelight and all, like I did her.

Throughout my life I have made a difficult path for myself, I
have no delusions about that. I have had more than my share of
bumps and scrapes, of rocky roads, and divergent forks. And maybe
that is just me: always taking the nearly impossible road, learning
lessons the hard way and picking up what pieces I could. I like
to think that I have learned something through it all in spite
of my jaded nature, and perhaps that is how I was able to find
B’Elanna when I did - when I was ready for her, or as ready as
I could be. I do know that courting her has been as humbling
as it is exciting. There are times when I’ve wanted to howl in
frustration and other times when a simple smile from her can
fill me with this beautiful peace; this abstract idea that what
she says and how she thinks really matters to me.

With B’Elanna and Harry’s help I had once broke warp ten. At
a price, but I did break it. And, despite my easily adverted
attention, I did manage to graduate Star Fleet academy years
earlier. Yet there has been no greater sense of accomplishment
in my life than when B’Elanna told me she loved me three days
ago. Strange that the love of this woman would ultimately come
to mean the most to me, yet despite the near fatal circumstances
surrounding us during the time of her confession, I couldn’t
help but feel jubilation. I had done it, I had broke through
her barriers and won the heart within. I had achieved something
I had set out to accomplish and had learned some very valuable
knowledge in return. In chasing B’Elanna I had learned about
myself: about hard work, selflessness, and the healing properties
of love. In confronting her about her feelings, as I was about
to do, I knew that I had something to offer her. The Delta Quadrant
would most likely come and go; hardships surfaced, and they could
nearly break even the most stubborn individual, but ultimately
life moved on. Fate was not without humor or irony, it alternated
from hopeful to downright hostile, but the love of B’Elanna Torres
proved that not everything in the universe was conspiring, in
fact, for the first time in a long time, everything was exactly

She is nervous as I look at her now, my eyes no doubt filled
with a combination of love, stars, space, what it felt like to
fly, the lingering, unhampered desire of my dream and the anticipation
that the dream could very well become a reality. It’s hard to
find the words to explain to her that I understand - that I completely
comprehend the fear and uncertainty reflected in her eyes because
I had experienced it all myself. Here we are, two roughened,
weary travelers, about to make a step of monumental proportions…
At least for us, considering who we both are and how far we had
yet to go. But as strange as it may sound, the fear is comforting,
I will not take this moment for granted, and neither will she.
We had come this far.

I can’t say that my mind was completely into to our conversation,
or at least the one that involved words. All I could really concentrate
on was the cute way she fidgeted, or the jumpy edge in her tone,
or the way that I had this no nonsense woman completely nervous
before me. It was somewhat satisfying to know that we were on
equal footing in that department, for I knew that my heart was
beating just as fast as hers appeared to be.

Her lips drew my attention, bright and animated, luscious and
desirable, and I found that I could hold nothing back a moment
longer. It dawned on me that words were very awkward things,
and that neither one of us were very good with them at present.
How do two people who spent a lifetime hiding from expressing
their hearts learn to articulate what it was to feel? My subconscious
told me that touch would convey the message better, and honestly,
my soul was so full, and my desire for her so potent, that my
reaching for her in that moment was more instinctively driven
than anything else.

And as if our coming together had been fated - one journey ended
and a new one began as my lips met hers and it was real this
time. There was no waking up with unrequited longing, no remnants
of a wonderful vision within the desperate hours of morning.
It was simply, and complicatedly… us.

There were really no words to adequately describe what it felt
like to hold her, to feel her, to taste her… what it meant to
kiss B’Elanna Torres: chief engineer, officer, friend, enigma
and brand her as my own. Time ceased, the universe disappeared,
and I was in the piloting chair, seeing everything at once. There
were no boundaries: the freedom of space, the gentle caress of
the woman beneath my fingers, the complete and utter focus into
the activity, yet this exciting, exhilarating fear of the unknown
– about what could happen and what potential outcome the imminent
future could hold. It was real, it was wonderful, it was mine,
hers, the two of ours… together.

The first taste of what it was to truly spread my wings and fly.

The End!