Encounters III:
Catch as Catch Can

Orithain

September 2000

Disclaimer: Nothing here belongs to me, unfortunately, but I have a whole lot more fun with them than their legal owners did.

Max followed Dureena down the hall, wondering how he'd gotten himself into this. He'd have been perfectly happy with a nice game of bridge or, better still, going back to his quarters and getting hot and sweaty with Trace. Now he had to play this idiotic, juvenile game and pretend to hide from the man he wanted to drag off to his lair.

"Something wrong, Max?" Dureena asked, tiring of his subvocal grumbling.

Max glared at her, blaming her for his present discomfort since she was the only person around. "Nothing that acting like adults wouldn't fix."

Dureena shrugged. "You want to tell the captain that?"

Max grumbled some more, but he wasn't irritated enough to prod Gideon's chancy temper. Still, he had no desire to follow the thief as she scampered around the ship trying to hide from the good doctor. "Splitting up would increase our chances of not being found," he pointed out. "Twice as many places to look."

Dureena looked askance at that logic, but she was no more eager to spend time in Eilerson's company than he in hers. Nodding, she set off down another hallway at a trot, rapidly disappearing from Max's sight. He smiled smugly, then looked around, trying to decide where he'd be most comfortable as he waited out this absurd game. As he strolled along, he realized that he wasn't far from Trace's quarters, and an idea occurred to him.

A few minutes later, Max was comfortably ensconced on Trace's bed, book in hand and a glass of the wine he'd left there in his hand. It really had been a very good idea when he convinced Trace to give him access to his quarters. He stretched out luxuriously, secure in the knowledge that no one knew where he was. Deciding to really make himself at home, he stripped off his shirt, shoes and socks, leaving the pants in case the captain managed to track him down.

After a few minutes, Max stopped trying to pretend an interest in the book, and admitted to himself that he was here for one reason and one reason only. It had been some time since he'd been able to manage an encounter with Trace, and he actually missed the man. Shaking his head in disbelief, he turned the lights down low and arranged himself artfully on the bed in a position designed to attract the younger man's attention the instant he stepped through the door.

Once Max's annoyed comment faded away, Trace turned to Dr. Chambers with a sheepish expression. "I didn't mean for the captain to take my suggestion of Hide and Seek seriously, you know."

Sarah sighed in resignation. "Which should teach you never to assume anything about Matthew Gideon. You never know what he might do. Come on, let's go find our partners." Without waiting for a reply, the doctor headed out after Dureena, assuming Trace would follow.

As Trace trailed along behind Dr. Chambers, he wondered wistfully what it would be like if Max were really his partner. Though he'd been sharing the archeologist's bed sporadically since they'd first met, he felt he was nothing more than a convenience to Eilerson. He sighed morosely, wishing he'd had the sense to stay away from the self-centered man, but it was too late now. Max really was "it" for him. Lost in his thoughts, Trace nearly ran right over Sarah when she paused unexpectedly at the intersection of two corridors.

"Watch where you're going, Trace," she said sharply. Childish the game might be, but her competitive instincts had been roused, and she was determined to track down her partner. Seeing her concentration, Trace shrugged and suggested they split up.

As soon as the doctor agreed, Trace headed away in another direction, once again lost in his thoughts of Max. Feeling far from playful and wondering just why the captain had paired them off the way he had, Trace decided to call it quits and go back to his room.

He walked through the door and stopped dead in his tracks.

"Ma-ax?" His voice cracked embarrassingly, betraying his surprise at the sight that met him.

Eilerson was lying on his bed, wearing nothing but his slacks, one leg slightly bent at the knee, one finger lazily trailing over his chest, drawing attention to the erect nipples. Trace swallowed hard as he saw the bulge at Max's groin, his mouth watering to taste the other man again.

"What took you so long?" Max asked, his voice husky with arousal.

Trace gaped at him. "I... You... The captain..." He had no idea where to start or what he wanted to say.

Max shifted up onto his knees, his erection straining at the fabric of his pants. "Gideon's not here, Trace. Just you and I. For the first time in far too long," he admitted. "I've missed this, missed being with you."

Trace was left speechless, staring into Max's eyes. "All you had to do was ask," he finally pointed out, watching the other man carefully.

"That would have meant admitting I wanted you," Max replied. "I wasn't ready for that. I'm not quite sure what we're doing, Trace, but I... like being with you. If you're willing to continue on that basis..."

The pilot sighed. For the sake of his pride, his self-respect, he should say no. He knew that. He was worth more than being a convenience to Max Eilerson. The only problem was he wanted Max, and if he said no now, he'd lose any chance at him. Almost to his own surprise, he heard himself agreeing to Max's terms. "As long as you fuck me now," he added.

Max chuckled. "I think I can handle that. Come here." He crooked a finger at the other man, legs spread wide and hips thrust forward to display himself. When Trace did as ordered and stood directly in front of him, he pulled the other man's head down for a hungry kiss, relearning every inch of the pilot's mouth before he released him. "Take your clothes off, Trace."

The husky command made Trace shudder with increasing arousal. He undressed with shaking hands, eyes never straying from the face of the man watching him so avidly, then stood beside the bed, naked under Max's gaze, waiting for the next instruction.

"Now me."

Trace bit his lip as he reached for the fastening on Max's pants, unfastening them and slowly easing them and the briefs beneath down to his thighs. Max squirmed a little, pushing them lower and shifting first one leg then the other to get them past his knees while he remained kneeling on the bed. Once he'd done that, Trace pulled them off the rest the way. He dropped the garments on top of his own clothes on the floor, his eyes running hungrily over the other man's body. Not waiting for the next command, he crawled onto the bed, coming close enough to lick at the head of Max's straining cock.

Max groaned, then the room whirled around Trace as he found himself tossed onto his back with Max on top of him, kissing him avidly. He moaned, rubbing eagerly against the other man, sticky strands of precum linking them together. Max groaned again, wondering again why he'd waited so long to come back. He fumbled in the drawer of the bedside table, finding what he was looking for and drawing it to him. He squeezed out some of the slick gel onto his hand, then spread it around an inside Trace's opening, working quickly, too eager to prepare him for long.

Trace squirmed anxiously, wanting to feel Max inside him again, his legs parting. He cooperated eagerly when Max rose off him and urged him to roll over, settling onto his hands and knees in front of the archeologist. "Please," he gasped, and he didn't have long to wait. He felt the pressure of the blunt head against him, then inside him, and he tensed at the slight burning as he stretched. When Max paused, however, he bucked back, trying to force him to keep moving, to come deep inside him.

Nothing loath, Max pressed in to the root, then began pumping into him, slowly at first until Trace relaxed and met his rhythm, then with increasing speed. It had been long enough between encounters that it didn't long for the pleasure to overwhelm him, and hot fluid spurted inside the other man. After a moment to recover, Max withdrew carefully and turned Trace onto his back, hungrily swallowing the head of his cock. As the younger man moaned, Max sucked on him, and his talented tongue played over the sensitive tip and along the first couple of inches of his shaft.

Trace moaned Max's name as he came, then lay limp and drained against the pillows while Max licked him clean like a cat. When he was done, Max lay still against him, his head pillowed on Trace's hip.

"So what do we tell the captain if he asks who won the game?"

"Tell him you caught me," Max replied just before he dozed off.

END

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