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Working at Christmas sucked, ET thought, kicking the console in front of him. When you worked with your girlfriend and had to be around her all day without touching her, it sucked even more. Not that it was easier to pretend on any other day, but this morning Nav had sent him a photo captioned Merry Christmas . From the sliver of background he could tell it had been taken in her cabin; not that he looked too hard at the background - he was far more entranced by the scraps of red fabric that just barely covered the curves he loved so much.

She had spent the entire day acting perfectly professional, all the while driving him absolutely mental, knowing what she had on under those shapeless grey overalls. Once or twice she’d caught him staring, and had grinned smugly at him. The third time, Swain had seen him before she had, and his knowing smirk had caused ET to turn away and hastily exit the bridge.

When they had finally reached port, he’d eagerly followed Nav and Bomber over the gangway and was just climbing into the taxi behind them, only to be stopped by X.

“ET, I need you to cover Spider’s watch,” she said as she escorted Spider off the ship. “He cut his hand pretty badly, and I’m taking him to the hospital.”

Bomber pushed ET out of the way to peer over the taxi door. “Is he going to be okay?”

“I’m fine, Bomb, just need a few stitches,” Spider replied, his face unnaturally pale.

X tightened the tea towel wrapped around his hand. “Don’t worry Bomber, you and Nav cook dinner. I’ll bring Spider over when we’re done.”

ET had watched forlornly as first X and Spider, then Nav and Bomber left the dock. He wished he’d been able to wish Nav goodbye, but it was too risky on base. They’d only been dating a few months, and though it was as serious a relationship as he’d ever been in, neither was ready to go public. Well, that wasn’t quite true, he reflected as he rubbed his chin; he was perfectly ready to shout his love from the rooftops, consequences be damned. Nav, on the other hand, was more private with her feelings. He understood her reticence - as an officer, she had a lot more to lose than he did.

A clap on his shoulder had caused him to turn around. “Don’t worry mate, we’ll be done in four hours,” Buffer said. “Then we can enjoy our Christmas evening.”

Now, they were nearing the end of their watch. Without Nav in such close proximity, he had been able to get his mind off her for whole stretches at a time, but every time he moved his leg and felt his phone in his pocket, he remembered the picture. Even when he left the ship, he wouldn’t be able to take the action he wanted to; Nav was hosting a Christmas dinner at her place for those who didn’t have family close by and would be surrounded by their crewmates all evening. A sly grin grew over his face as he thought about what he would do when he finally did get her alone; she would know exactly how he’d felt all damn day.

***

When Mike opened Nav’s front door, ET had to fight off a surge of jealousy. Intellectually, he knew she couldn’t open her own door when she was cooking, but it still rankled him to see another man inviting people into her house. Given Mike’s wide smile, his feelings obviously hadn’t shown on his face, so he followed Mike and Buffer inside.

Delicious aromas hit his nose the second he stepped inside; roast potatoes and ham and - he sniffed again - and prawns! He pushed past the others and bounded up the stairs, grinning widely when he saw the huge platter of prawns in the middle of the table. Apparently Bomber had been successful in her trip to the fish market; there had been some doubt as to whether she would be able to secure any seafood at such late notice.

A hand reached out to take a prawn, only to be smacked away by Nav. “No touching until the others get here,” she said, wrapping her arms around him for a welcoming hug. Though it was ostensibly a friendly embrace, he returned it warmly, inhaling her smell and kissing her lightly on the neck.

He could sense the moment she saw Mike and Buffer reaching the top of the stairs; her whole body stiffened and she pulled quickly away. It was inevitable and expected, so he took no offence, instead moving into the kitchen to greet Bomber, who immediately put him to work chopping tomatoes for a salad.  Apparently, he wasn’t to be considered a guest tonight.

Or, he reconsidered as Buffer followed Nav into the kitchen and grabbed a bundle of cutlery from the drawer she pointed out, everyone was going to be expected to pitch in. It made more sense to him this way; he’d never understood the concept of ‘hosting’ guests, especially friends and family. Mike and the newly-arrived RO helped set the table and ready the drinks while ET tore lettuce and watched Nav and Bomber moving around the kitchen. He wondered how often they had cooked together, for they seemed to move in perfect synchronicity, never getting in each other’s way or trying to do a task the other was doing. He was also rather enjoying the sway of Nav’s hips in her festive red dress, and how amazing her legs looked with her in heels. When she caught his eye, she grinned at him, her gaze lingering a few moments longer than she usually did around their crewmates; apparently, the festive mood was making her more relaxed.

Eventually, the X brought Spider, bearing ten stitches and stumbling slightly from morphine, and they could finally sit down to eat. ET was pleasantly surprised to find that Nav seated herself beside him, even if it was the closest chair to the kitchen, so she could hop up when required.

For a while, there was silence except for the occasional clink of cutlery and the low tones of Christmas music from Nav’s stereo. Bomber and Nav had put up an excellent feast in a few short hours, accommodating both the heat of the summer and the hunger of five ravenous men. ET beat out the rest of the table in a prawn shelling contest, earning himself additional prawns over his share. Spider and Bomber got into an argument over his eating; he couldn’t cut his own food with one hand immobilised, she wouldn’t allow him to eat with his fingers, but he didn’t want to “be treated like a baby who needs their food cut for them”.

While the rest of the table laughed at the banter between Spider and Bomber, ET felt Nav’s hand slide into his under the table. Startled at the display of affection, he looked over at her, to see the loving smile she reserved only for him. He couldn’t help but smile back. As much as he had been longing to get her alone all day, he was enjoying hanging out with their friends on such a special occasion.

After dinner, the group slouched in the living room chatting casually while ET and Buffer washed up. They were almost done, Buffer pulling the plug while ET dried the last bowl, when Nav came into the kitchen and began rummaging through the fridge. Without a second glance, Buffer rejoined the others, while ET took advantage of the fridge door hiding them from view, and sidled up to Nav. Crouching beside her, he ran a finger up her bare leg and whispered in her ear, “Join me in the bathroom in five minutes.”

She turned her head just enough to nibble on his ear, breathing into it for a few seconds before speaking. “No, Josh. You’ll have me all to yourself for the next three days, you can survive a few more hours.” She pulled two bottles of beer from the fridge and stood up, leaving him to scowl at the leftover ham while he tried to get his libido under control.

***

Well, he had survived, just barely, ET reflected as he wished goodbye to Buffer, the last of their friends to leave. When they had joined the group, Nav wedged herself on the couch between Buffer and Bomber, leaving ET to sit on the floor next to Spider. It had given him an excellent view of her thigh as her crossed legs lifted her dress, he had to admit.

Nav saw Buffer down to the street, while ET collected the wine glasses from the coffee table and placed them in the sink, bopping his head to the Christmas music emanating from the stereo. It had been a long time since he’d felt this relaxed and happy. He grinned when her arms snaked around his waist from behind, then turned to return the embrace.

“Finally alone,” she said, leaning in to kiss him.

He returned the kiss but didn’t let himself be swept away with passion. “Merry Christmas, Nikki,” he murmured against her lips. A familiar song came on, and he grinned, pulling her into the living room. “Dance with me.”

Though it was an upbeat song, they kept their arms wrapped tightly around one another as they moved, her face tucked into his neck, his cheek pressed into her hair.

Unconsciously, he murmured the words to the song, and felt her smile against his skin when she heard him. So he raised his voice and sang to her, “I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know, make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you.” She raised her head to gaze into his eyes, that intimate grin on her lips, the one she kept only for him. Pulling her slightly closer, he continued singing softly, only loud enough for the two of them to hear.

During the instrumental, he took her hand and twirled her away from him, watching her skirt whirl around her thighs. Automatically, she pointed her toe at the end of the spin, and laughed when he pulled her back.

When the song finished, she pressed a kiss to his jaw. “You have a nice voice. Why haven’t I heard you sing before?”

Embarrassed, he rubbed a hand through his hair. “It’s not that great.” She looked like she was going to comment further, so he kissed her. This time, he poured in all the passion that had been held back all day. The approving noises she made woke his libido once more. He loved how vocal she was during sex, that she gave feedback immediately.

She pulled back to breathe and grinned up at him with lust in her eyes. “You want to unwrap your present now?”

Smirking, he ran his hand down over her arse and pulled her even closer. “It’s about damn time.” Then he raised a hand to her shoulder and slowly traced soft fingers along her collarbone and the neckline of her dress. She reached up to undo the halter-neck tie, but he grabbed her hands, bringing her fingers to his lips to kiss them. “My present, I unwrap it. And I want to go slow. Will you let me do that?” He stared deep into her eyes, ensuring she understood the meaning behind the question. He wasn’t asking her to give up control entirely, and knew she wouldn’t be able to relax enough for what he had in mind if he tried to take it; instead, he was requesting that she allow him to have his fill of her. That it was a request, not a demand made all the difference, he could see in her eyes.

Though he could see the reluctance in her gaze, she smiled and nodded, then leaned up to kiss him softly. He wrapped his arms around as he returned and then deepened the kiss, fingers skimming across the skin exposed by the low back of her dress. She wriggled closer, hands going into the back pockets of his pants to pull his hips against hers.

When lack of air eventually forced him to break the kiss, he immediately moved his lips to place feather-light kisses over her face; cheekbone, jaw, nose. Her eyes fluttered closed, so he kissed her eyelid as well, then moved to her earlobe, sucking until she inhaled shakily. Then he released her and gazed at her face until she opened her eyes to smile at him. His heart swelled at what he saw in her eyes; though he knew she loved him, that intense trust was much more recent.

“I love you,” he said simply, grinning back.

“I know,” she replied, eyes sparkling with amusement. She knew how much he loved when she quoted his favourite movies. His grin widened; he was the luckiest guy in the world. She reached for his hand and entwined their fingers, then brought their fists up to kiss his, whispering, “I love you,” against his skin.

His free hand reached for the zipper of her dress, but he didn’t have the dexterity to unzip with just his left hand. Reluctantly, he pulled his fingers from hers, then slowly unzipped her dress. Once again, she tried to undo the neck tie, but he stopped her. “Oi, my present.”

She huffed impatiently, but dropped her hands, moving to untuck his shirt instead. “I like to rip mine open,” she with a smirk, pulling his shirt open in one motion.

A couple of buttons dropped to the floor, and he gasped theatrically. “This is a good shirt!”

“I’ll fix it later.” Pushing the shirt off his shoulders, she moved her head to scrape teeth over his collarbone.

This time, his gasp was real, and he knew he had to distract her quickly, or he would lose all control. At the best of times, her touch undid him. He’d already been on edge all day - it wouldn’t take much more. He had plans for tonight and didn’t want to end things prematurely. So he gently tugged her head away, then turned her to face away from him. Untying the knot at her neck, he traced a line of kisses along her spine as he slowly pulled down her dress. When it was a puddle at her feet and he on his knees behind her, he encouraged her to lift one foot, then the other, and pulled the fabric away. She tried to turn around to face him, but he held her hips still as he traced her calf muscles with his tongue, then moved up to trail kisses over the back of her thighs.

When he reached her waist he sucked lightly on the small of her back, just where her lingerie began, then finally allowed her to turn around, tracing his fingers along her thigh as she moved. Purposely, he kept his face close to her skin, so he didn’t get distracted by what the fabric failed to conceal. Instead, he scraped his teeth over her pelvis through the lace, causing her to inhale sharply. Grinning against her skin, he moved his mouth to her left hip bone and sucked, hard. Instantly, her legs buckled and she moaned aloud. Anticipating this reaction, he had wrapped his arms around her thighs, so steadied her as she teetered in her heels. He continued sucking until she was shaking in his arms, and his hold was the only thing keeping her upright.

Dragging his lips away from her skin, he got to his feet and pulled her close to whisper in her ear, “That’s how I’ve been feeling all day. That’s what your picture did to me.” When she stopped shaking he drew back to look at her, and couldn’t help the smile that came over his face. “But the real thing is so much better.”

She wore one piece of lingerie - a teddy, he believed it was called, though he wasn’t really worried about the specifics at the moment - all red lace and see through and leaving very little to the imagination. Reaching out, he traced the neckline with a finger, down between her breasts and almost to her belly button before the vee stopped. On the return journey upward, he stopped to cup a breast, feeling the nipple harden under his palm. No longer able to help himself, he swept her back into his arms, and kissed her soundly, swallowing a little gasp when his bare chest came in contact with her erect nipples. He ran his fingers through her hair, twirling the fine strands around his fingers and tugging lightly.

Her fingers wormed between their bodies and her hips pulled away from his so she could undo his belt and pants. A hand slid into his pants and she grinned against his mouth when his cock jumped under her touch. “So you like your present?” she asked, palm pressing against his cock through his boxers.

“God, yes.” His answer was strangled, and he had to fight hard to remember why he couldn’t just rip off the rest of their clothes and take her right here. She had teased him all day; he was owed some teasing right back. “Wait,” he said, taking hold of her wrist to pull her hand out of his pants. “I’m not done with you yet.”

“Oh really?” With a smirk, she returned her hands to his waist and pushed the pants off his hips as she kissed him again. Just as he was getting into the kiss, she pulled away. “You think you’ll ever be done with me?” Without waiting for a response, she turned and walked to the bedroom.

Mouth dry and hanging open, he watched her move, confidence evident in the sway of her hips; she knew exactly what she was doing to him. He tilted his head to stare more closely at her bare arse, and couldn’t resist getting in a parting shot. “Since when do you wear g-strings? Thought you said you hated the permanent wedgie?”

Still moving, she turned her head and shot him a sultry look. “What, you don’t like the view?” Before he could formulate a response, she was at the doorway of the bedroom and about to disappear from his sight.

His feet moved of their own accord, almost tangling in the pants pooled around his ankles in his haste to follow her. He toed off his shoes as he moved, then grabbed her around the waist and tackled her onto the bed when he caught up with her.

Giggles erupted from her throat as their feet left the floor, and he chuckled along with her. Her laugh was his favourite sound in the entire world, and he loved eliciting it. They ended up on their sides on the bed, facing one another, legs tangled together. Immediately, she moved closer to kiss him, winding her arms around his neck as she did so. While their tongues intertwined, she slung a leg over his hip, a move he knew would lead to her straddling him. So before she could move, he slipped a hand down to stroke gently between her legs, grinning when she froze in place.

He broke the kiss and rolled on top of her, removing his hand as soon as he had the upper hand. “You’re right, I’ll never be done with you,” he said, running his palms down her sides. “And tonight, I’m not done unwrapping my present.”

Moving off her to stand at the foot of the bed, he gazed down at her. The white sheets contrasted nicely with her tanned skin and the red lace. Though she huffed at the loss of contact, she lay still and allowed him to look, and he marvelled at her self confidence. He’d dated other women who were confident with a facade of makeup and pretty dress, but she was the only woman he’d ever met who was completely self-assured in just her skin. She took his breath away, but that was nothing new.

“You’re the more gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen,” he breathed, voice cracking with emotion. It was rare that he commented on her physical appearance, both because it reminded him too much of who he was before her, and because he knew of her insecurity surrounding men who wanted her body but not her mind. But now, he couldn’t help himself. It was more than her body, it was the look in her eyes; complete trust and love.

Slipping her heels off, he ran light fingers over her foot, then bent down to kiss her ankle. He slowly worked his way up her legs, alternating kisses and touches and giving both legs the same attention. As he reached her thighs she automatically spread her legs, and he scattered kisses over her skin, eliciting a sigh from her lips. At the juncture of her legs, he placed a kiss over the lace that covered her, sucking and lingering until she gasped and reached down to thread her fingers through his hair. The second she did, he moved to sit next to her on the bed, removing his hands from her entirely.

She scowled. “What, I’m not allowed to touch you?”

He threaded his fingers through hers and leaned down to kiss her lips. “You can touch me. Just don’t direct me, I’ll get there eventually.” Moving his lips to her ear, he traced the shell with his tongue then bit down on the lobe. “I told you I wanted to go slow.”

“I’m going to regret sending you that preview picture, aren’t I?” she said with a wry grin.

He smirked at her. “Maybe.” Lying on his side next to her, he scooted closer to press his body against hers, and stifled a groan as his erection came in contact with her skin. “ I won’t leave you hanging all day and most of the night, though.”

His lips trailed along her jaw and down her neck, sucking gently. Though he would have loved to mark her as his, she would never allow him to do so somewhere so visible. So he kept his kisses and bites soft as he made his way down her body, to where the plunging neckline of her teddy ended. There, a few centimetres above her belly button, was where he latched his mouth, causing a sharp inhalation from her as he bit down, then sucked until the hickey was red and purple.

She rolled her eyes at his satisfied smile, then pulled him back up to kiss her lips. “Yes, yes, I’m yours. Now will you take this thing off, it’s getting uncomfortable.”

Snickering, he reached behind her neck to undo the snap. “Your own fault for wearing it all day.”

“But how would I have tortured you otherwise?”

“Oh, I’m sure you would have thought of something.” He peeled the lace down to her waist then closed his mouth over a breast, flicking his tongue back and forth across her nipple. She arched into his touch, letting out a breathy sigh. His hand drifted downward as he switched his mouth to the other breast, biting gently then soothing with his tongue. Swiping aside the sheer fabric that covered her, he slowly traced circles against her folds, each spiral moving closer and closer to her clit. A fingernail passed by her clit, and she inhaled, then he moved away to tap his fingers on her thigh.

“Josh…” It was a warning, but only a minor one. He grinned against her breast and resumed teasing her nipple with his tongue, then moved his fingers back over her. She was as wet as he was hard, and two fingers easily slipped into her while his thumb pressed against her clit. “Yes… now move,” she breathed, a hand pressing his head against her chest. Turning his hand palm upward, he curled his fingers inside her and began moving slowly.

Apparently, the teasing had done its job, for it didn’t take long to bring her to the edge. Her tell was a small flex of her legs; since he was pressed against one he felt it the second she moved. Immediately, he backed off, moving right away so he wasn’t even touching her.

Propping his head on an elbow, he watched as her breathing slowed and the tightness in her limbs eased. Then her eyes flew open and she glared at him. Unrepentant, he grinned back, then rolled on top of her and kissed her until she was breathless once more.

Before she could regain the breath to speak, he was moving down her body again, this time drawing the fabric down with him. Eagerly, she lifted her hips so he could finish stripping the teddy off, then she closed her legs around his waist and drew him back toward her. “Please, Josh.” A simple request, but her mouth was set in a firm line and she stared intently at his chest, unwilling to meet his eyes. He grinned; she hated when he made her beg.

Normally, this would be the point that he would give in and let her have what she wanted. Normally, she wouldn’t have teased him for 14 hours before so much as a kiss; normally, they had to work the next day and couldn’t stay up messing around all night. He placed a finger on her chin and gently tilted it to look into her eyes, then saw that she wasn’t really that annoyed. She was enjoying it as much as he was, just the simple pleasure of being with him and letting him explore.

Picking up a hand, he kissed her palm, her wrist, then the tip of each finger. Her thumb he drew into his mouth, sucking gently as he stared into her eyes, which were deep jade with lust. He bit down and watched her pupils grow slightly wider, mouth dropping open. Her legs tightened further around his waist, pulling his groin against hers, and they both groaned.

Through the thin cotton of his boxer briefs, he could feel her heat, and couldn’t resist rubbing against her, dropping her thumb from his mouth to capture her lips. She rocked back against him, wrapping her arms around his neck to keep his head next to hers even after he broke the kiss. Her lips trailed down his jaw, to his neck, where she nuzzled into his skin. A smile grew over his face when he felt her teeth nipping at his pulse point; it was her favourite place on his upper body. He threaded his fingers through her hair and tugged gently to bring her mouth back up to his; he loved kissing her, could do so for hours without going any further, just the feel of their bodies so close together, her lips soft against his.

The moist spot against his boxers was growing, and her legs tightened further around him, so he knew she was getting close to the peak again. If he allowed her to go over the edge like this, it would send him spiralling after her and call a premature halt to the evening. He also wasn’t done teasing her. Kissing her again, he ran his hands down her body and grasped her knees, then gently unwound her legs from his waist and pulled his hips away from hers. He ran soothing palms up and down her calves until her breathing slowed once more.

“Dammit, Josh.” It was almost a growl, and he knew she was reaching the limits of her patience. He smirked and nipped at her ankle, willing to risk her wrath for the happiness he felt just being here with her.

Before she opened her eyes, he settled himself between her thighs once more, and licked a stripe along her folds. This time his name was a moan, which became drawn out when he flicked his tongue against her clit. Turning his head, he used his tongue to trace the letters of her name on her thigh.

She reached down to push his head against the other thigh. “Now yours.” He grinned as he obeyed, punctuating his name with an exclamation mark to make 5 letters like hers. Then he returned to her clit, sucking this time, as he thrust two fingers into her. He began a steady rhythm, twisting his fingers on each stroke.

Since he’d been teasing her for so long, she began shaking within minutes. “Please…” She didn’t even try to hide the pleading tone this time, way past any sense of decorum. He had intended to take her all the way this time, but when he looked up into her eyes, seeing them almost black with desire, he suddenly needed to be inside her when she came.

Attempting to pull off his boxers with one hand didn’t work very well, so he had to extract his fingers from her, ignoring the whimper that escaped her lips. Finally naked, he climbed over her and braced an elbow beside her head, then reached over to the bedside table for a condom.

Only she knocked his hand out of the way and thrust her hips up. “Fuck. Me. Now.”

He shot her a questioning look, which she returned with a glare, reaching down to position his cock at her entrance. She then locked a leg around his hip and pulled him forward. It wasn’t until her slickness came in contact with his skin that he finally gave in and pushed into her with a groan. Somehow he touched the precise spot she needed with the first thrust, for she came as soon as his hips pressed against hers.

When he felt her clench around his cock, it took everything in him to not follow her over the edge. He stayed motionless and recited multiplication tables in his head, burying his face in her hair and cradling her in his arms as she shuddered through the orgasm. Before Nav, he’d never gotten so turned on that he was ready to explode just from watching his partner come; whether it was Nav or the feelings he had for her, he had no idea, but he never lasted long after she peaked.

She tangled her fingers through his hair and pulled his head up to look at her, smiling brilliantly when their eyes met. He returned the grin, leaned down to capture her lips, then began to move. Her muscles were still fluttering around him, squeezing his cock in a nonsensical rhythm. She moaned in his ear, tightened her leg around his hips and thrust hers back up toward him. Grinning wider, he leaned closer to nibble on her earlobe, then murmured in her ear, “I love making you moan.”

Her other leg came up, foot flat on the bed, knee bracketing his hip, allowing him to go deeper. He inhaled sharply, knowing he couldn’t last much longer. When he moved a hand down to help her along, he found hers already there, and his eyes flew back to hers. She smirked at him, then used her other hand pull his lips down to meet hers, whispering, “You know I can take care of myself. It’s okay Josh, let go.”

It was like his body had been waiting for her permission; his hips thrust faster a few more times, then sank deep into her as he came. “Nikki,” he groaned into her ear as he collapsed against her.

She bit his ear lobe, then sucked on it. He was vaguely aware of her hand continuing to move between them, but couldn’t muster the energy to even lift his head to kiss her. It felt like his entire body had turned to mush, all his muscles liquified with the strength of his orgasm.

Eventually, he regained rational thought, just in time to feel her legs flex around him. He nipped at her pulse point and felt her stiffen beneath him. Her mouth dropped opened and her eyes glazed over as she came with a low, wordless moan. Propping himself back up on his elbows, he gazed down at her, breathless with how beautiful she looked this way. He loved every expression she made, but there was something about her coming apart like this that made his heart stutter.

Pulling out of her, he rolled to the side and gathered her back in his arms. He pressed light kisses over her face until she stopped shaking and opened her eyes.

“I love you, Josh,” she said, leaning up to kiss him. Then she smirked. “Worth the wait?”

He grinned and traced a finger down her side. “Definitely. Merry Christmas, Nikki.”

 

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