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At The Closing Of The Day

By Julia Stamford
Page 2 of 6

"Why Blake, I didn't know you cared." Only gentle teasing in Avon's tone, a glint of mischief in his eyes, not the viciousness Blake had feared. He was relieved that Avon wasn't offended, but obscurely disappointed too.

He looked at the laughing eyes, and suddenly wanted to provoke some other response. Some mad imp prompted him, and he replied, "Oh, but I do," not bothering to suppress the lust in his voice. As he spoke, he moved towards Avon, not quite touching him, but hemming him in against the console behind, reversing the trick Avon so often pulled on him. And then he did touch Avon, running a hand down the side of a buttock. Lightly, for all his desire, since he wasn't that far lost to common-sense, but even that felt very good. He had to clamp down hard on the urge to go further.

The laughter vanished from Avon's eyes. He stared at Blake, not making any reply. It was Blake's turn to tease, and he grinned at Avon. "What, at a loss for words, Avon? I thought you had a witty reply for every occasion."

Avon finally found his tongue. "Are you quite mad?"

His face was almost expressionless, but there was something that might have been a hunted look. The suggestion of fear lurking behind that mask produced a response in Blake that Blake didn't really want to think about, but didn't try to control.

"Now why should you think I'm mad? Because I can't help but respond to the way you flaunt your body about the flight deck?" He knew perfectly well that wasn't fair, flaunting implied something done deliberately, but he was beyond being reasonable. "I think I've shown remarkable self-restraint, considering your habit of dressing in skin-tight leather." Purring at Avon, "Or do you really not know what sort of symbolism that involves?"

That had fired Avon's anger. "I do not flaunt my body at you, unlike some. In case it has somehow escaped your attention, my attire is far from the most blatantly sexual on board this ship. And I am hardly the only one to wear leather."

The last few weeks of frustration made themselves felt, providing Blake with an answer to that. "Yes, but Jenna doesn't wear it while constantly invading my personal space." Then he leaned over Avon, demonstrating exactly what he meant, and snarled, "The way you do, you bloody little cocktease."

Avon went still, his face expressionless. He examined Blake's own expression, and Blake had the distinct impression that there was some sort of calculation going on behind the shuttered eyes. It was chilling, and he realised that he need no longer worry about controlling his desire to throw Avon to the floor and mount him without regard for the consequences. The desire was still there, but distinctly lower than it had been. The idea that you might be given marks out of ten tended to have that sort of dampening effect.

Even if that hadn't been enough to quell his ardour, what happened next would have been. Avon's eyes slid away from his, to look over his shoulder. Blake turned, to find Vila standing in the entrance to the flight deck, regarding them with some interest.

Blake realised that he had no idea how long Vila had been there, what he'd seen and heard. But he must have heard enough, and Blake felt his cheeks flame with embarrassment rather than desire. He stepped away from Avon, releasing him, and Avon gave him an enigmatic stare before going to join Vila. There was a brief conversation conducted in tones too low for Blake to make out, but with glances in his direction making the topic all too clear. Then Vila looked at him with an odd smile, put an arm around Avon and murmured something to him, and they left the flight deck, leaving Blake to his own devices.

Blake was left fuming, frustrated, and horribly embarrassed. He could imagine only too well what the pair would be talking about in the dead of this night, at least. No doubt they'd have a good laugh at his expense. If he was lucky, they'd have the decency not to share the joke with anyone else, but you never knew with Avon's rather whimsical sense of humour. If he did decide to come out with it, it would be at the worst possible time.

Even that thought wasn't enough to calm his over-excited cock, so he was further humiliated by the need to leave the flight deck and find some privacy long enough to deal with it. He got it over with as quickly as possible by imagining what he'd been dreaming of a few minutes earlier. Ripping Avon's armour away as he knelt in front of Blake, then stretching him wide, impaling him, battering into him as he thrashed and whimpered and pleaded for more. It was a very satisfying fantasy, and Blake didn't have to neglect his watch for long.

Night watch gave him plenty of time to brood, but he was no nearer knowing what to do when Cally arrived to relieve him. Of the watch, at least. No relief there for either his anxiety or his desire. What did Auronar think about sex, anyway? Could he talk to Cally about it? Not now, not when he didn't know quite what it was he wanted to say.

He returned to his room for a shower and change, then contemplating skipping his meal. No, he'd have to face them sooner or later, might as well get it over with. Time to join the others for their breakfast and his lunch.

It was still early, but Jenna and the three men were already eating when he arrived. Nobody looked at him oddly or laughed. Good or bad sign? Had they decided it was a private matter, or were one or both just waiting for the most entertaining opportunity? There was no point in winding himself up fretting about it, and he collected his meal and sat down at the table.

"How did it go last night?" Jenna asked casually.

"Pretty quiet on my watch, at least until just before Blake took over." Vila was equally casual, but Blake winced inwardly, wondering if this was when he was publicly humiliated.

Jenna raised an eyebrow at them. Pilot to her bones, she was never quite off-duty.

"What happened?"

"Blake being Blake. Walked in early, scolded us for playing cards on watch, then found an equipment fault two minutes before the end of my watch that he expected us to fix."

"Us, Vila? I seem to recall that I was alone under that console."

Avon hadn't been quite alone. Was either of them going to say it?

He was rescued by Jenna.

"I suppose I might have known it would be you he was playing cards with."

"But we weren't playing cards, Jenna," Vila defended himself. "I was practising card-sharping - useful thing to know, card-sharping."

"Oh, I believe you, Vila, don't start whining. Poker's no fun with only two."

Avon gave her his best feral grin.

"Care for a threesome with us, Jenna?"

He could feel his cock starting to give its own answer to that. He willed it to subside before anyone noticed, and nearly missed Jenna's answer.

"Play poker with you two? No thanks." She laughed at them. "You think that half the fun is cheating on each other without getting caught."

Blake decided he wasn't that hungry after all. At least not for what he could get here. He picked up his plate and walked towards the door.

"Where are you going?" Avon called after him.

"I'm still not comfortable about that fault in the circuitry last night. I want another look at it."

"Don't be an idiot, Blake. You're tired and you haven't finished eating. " Avon had risen from the table and walked up behind him. He held him by the arm to get his attention, then pointed back at the table. "Sit down and finish. I'll look at it."

Well, that at least would ensure that he didn't have be in the same room as both Avon and Vila at the same time. Not as good as being well away from both of them, not having to listen to conversation that he couldn't help reacting to even when it was meant innocently enough, but it would at least be bearable.

"Thank you." He sat down again. "Since when have you been so considerate?"

"Since I cared whether the person doing repairs was too tired and hungry to concentrate properly. I don't want to find that I have to do them over for you, and I especially don't want to find out at an inconvenient moment."

"Such as when you're about to thrash Vila at cards." He shouldn't have said that, but it was out before he could think. He just couldn't get last night away from the front of his mind. He flinched inside, and waited for the retaliation.

"Such as when half a dozen pursuit ships show up." Avon stalked from the room.

Jenna watched Avon go, then turned to him.

"What is it between you two? I know there are times when I'd like to invite him to do an external inspection without a suit, but he was actually being vaguely civil this morning. Did you have to set him off again?"

There was nothing between them, and that was the problem, but he could hardly tell Jenna that. At least Vila showed no interest in explaining in detail.

"Sorry, Jenna. I'm so used to him being rude to me that I'm rude back even when he isn't."

Jenna grinned at him. "I sympathise. I really do feel like sending him outside without a suit sometimes. He and Orac are alike in more ways than one - just too useful to get rid of, no matter how irritating he is."

"Do you find him that bad?"

"What I find most annoying is that he can be very pleasant company when he chooses to be. I don't see why he has to be so damned unpleasant to everyone most of the time." She paused, and looked at Vila.

"Maybe I'll take you up on that offer of a threesome. It's one way to pass a night watch."

Vila grinned cheekily at her. "It certainly is. Um... you were talking about cards, weren't you?" He scampered from the room as Jenna blinked in surprise, laughed and made for a piece of fruit to throw at him.

Gan rose and followed. "I think I'll just go and make sure he doesn't annoy Avon. They were both in an odd mood this morning. I'm sure Cally can do without an escalation of pranks on the flight deck."

Left with only Jenna for company, Blake was able to steer the conversation to less dangerous topics, and managed to finish his meal in peace.

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