FORGIVENESS

 

By Hayley

 

 

 

Despite the late hour, Captain Lee Crane was in a very good mood as he left the submarine Seaview.  Crane had been attending a one week conference to update submarine command staff on several new devices being developed in the Navy labs.  The conference was supposed to end late on Wednesday and Lee had been prepared to make the dash to the nearest airport to get back to Santa Barbara by Thursday morning to arrive in time for Seaview’s sailing.    However, fate had stepped in to change his plans. 

 

First there had been a fire that had destroyed the kitchen at the camp where the conference was being held and then, that same day, the course leader had been struck with appendicitis.  As the conference was more of an information session so Command staff could see what new equipment would soon be available for testing, the Navy had cancelled the last few days and sent everyone home early.  It was now 02:00 on Tuesday morning and Lee was humming happily to himself as he headed through the Santa Barbara night towards the main block of NIMR where the Admiral’s penthouse was located.

 

The Captain’s early arrival home would mean that he could take some of the work off the shoulders of his Exec Chip Morton who was doing both their pre-mission chores.  But better, he would have a few extra nights with his lover, Admiral Harriman Nelson.  Lee had arrived back at NIMR at midnight and had gone directly to Seaview not only to drop off his bags and have a shower, but also to make his ultimate goal a little less obvious.  If anyone from security saw him heading for the main block they would just assume he was heading for his office.  Seaview’s Command crew all worked long and irregular hours so no-one would think much of it.

 


Lee had thought of calling the Admiral but decided if he was going to wake him up it would be more fun to actually wake him by taking Nelson in to his arms to be thoroughly kissed.  Lee had missed Nelson, he always did when demands on their time caused a temporary separation.  Sometimes the Captain worried about the fact that he was so hopelessly in love with the man that separation, even for a few days, was always so painful.  Any day he did not get to at least spend a couple of minutes in Nelson’s arms seemed like a bleak one.  On Seaview, even if they were buried in work, they managed at least a few minutes alone.  When Lee had to go on a Navy or ONI mission, or when Nelson had to go to some scientific conference, all Lee’s spare moments seemed to be taken up with thoughts of his magnetic red haired Admiral.  His nights were definitely taken up by thoughts of Nelson and his soft, freckled skin that was so soothing to kiss.  Just thinking about him now was getting Lee hard, he could feel his groin tightening.  Oh well, a few more minutes and he’d be back where he belonged.

 

Instead of waiting for the elevator, Lee took the steps up to the fifth floor of the NIMR building where Nelson’s penthouse was located and used his key to quietly open the front door.  Although there were no lights on the apartment was well lit by the moonlight as the curtains were rarely closed.  Lee headed for the bedroom, the doors of which were open.  As he walked through the living room he noticed a jacket on the sofa that looked more like something Edith would wear, maybe the Admiral’s sister had been there for dinner and left it behind.

 

Lee quietly entered the bedroom and stopped in his tracks.  In the moonlight shining in from the windows along the one wall he could see very easily that the Admiral was not alone in the bed.  His bedmate was a woman.  An obviously naked woman; and one of her arms was laying possessively across the Admiral’s chest.  Nelson was on his back, fast asleep, with a smile curving his lips.  When Lee had initially taken in the sight before him he had been momentarily numb.  But when he saw that smile on Nelson’s lips he felt like someone had plunged a dagger through his heart.

 

Bile rose in the Captain’s throat and he felt a wave of nausea sweep over him.  Heart hammering in his chest he backed up quietly and headed to the front door.  With shaking hands he removed the penthouse key from his key ring and placed it in the small Chinese plate that decorated the table by the door.  He closed the door quietly behind him and walked back to the stairwell.  Where to go?  His brain felt foggy but he had to find somewhere to sit down, he still felt sick and his legs were wobbly.  His own office of course!

 

Five minutes later he was in the bathroom attached to his office.  He lost the contents of his stomach with several minutes of violent retching and then went and sat at his desk trying to stop shivering.  Maybe he was in shock.  It felt like shock, the part of his brain that was still working told him these were the symptoms of shock.  He carefully stood up and went and put on some coffee.  In his closet he found a foul weather coat and put that on as well.  He had to stop shaking.  In the time it took him to get into the coat and use shaking hands to do up the awkward buttons, the coffee was almost done.  He added sugar to his mug and poured a coffee and managed to get back to his desk without his legs giving way.  For several minutes Crane sat sipping the coffee; the sweet drink along with the hot cup clutched in his hands seemed to help.  He was shaking less.  He took some deep breaths.  Pull yourself together Crane!  He repeated that to himself several times and it did seem to help.  What to do now?

 


Lots of people had affairs, what did one do to handle it?  He didn’t know, Lee only knew that it hurt like hell and he felt his eyes stinging.  He had thought they were so happy together.  Nelson had told Lee repeatedly how much he loved him, and Lee had taken every opportunity to make his own feelings clear by both word and deed. There had been no complaints about their sex life.  A terrible thought struck him.  Maybe Nelson often had someone else in his bed when Lee was away.  Maybe even this woman, whoever she was.  He had always assumed Nelson was faithful to him, committed to him because he had been faithful to the Admiral.  But maybe Nelson had never intended to be faithful and just kept his extra curricular activities to those times Lee was not around.  Lee would never have known and Nelson could meet these other people when he was in Washington.  What if even though the Admiral really loved him he still felt compelled to sleep with others?  Somehow though, that didn’t sound like something Nelson would do.  Lee sighed, it was all so confusing.

 

To his surprise, Lee found that anger wasn’t the primary emotion he felt.  This was a matter of the heart and right now Lee felt that his heart had been broken.  He didn’t have the energy to feel anger.  Nelson had often told him jokingly that he would kill Crane and anyone he found the Captain having an affair with.  Lee wasn’t sure if Nelson meant it but he didn’t doubt that any infidelity on his part would have been met with some sort of violent outburst.  Nelson’s temper was on a much shorter fuse than was his own.  Lee had never given any serious thought to Nelson’s threats because he knew he wasn’t going to cheat on Nelson.  Lee had loved Nelson since he had first seen him on the Nautilus those many years ago and although he might admire certain men and even the occasional woman he had no interest in sleeping with them and betraying the promise he had made to Harry.

 

 

 If he tried to look at this in a detached way it was amazing how your whole world could crumble so quickly.  Lee always knew his life with the Admiral could be torn apart by death because their work was so dangerous, but he had never, ever expected this.  What was he going to do?  He sipped some more coffee.  He looked at the time, it was after 03:00 hundred, he had been sitting here nearly an hour.  Well, he was Lee Crane, Captain of the submarine Seaview.  He could get through this, lots of other people did.  Hell, even members of his crew had gone through this.  The Navy life was tough on marriages and Lee knew of several crew members whose marriages had come apart from the strain.  They hadn’t fallen apart and he wouldn’t either.  He felt warmer, he took off the coat, found a sweater and put that on instead and turned on the lights.  He hadn’t even realized he’d been sitting there in the dark.  There was plenty of work in his ‘in’ basket, time to buckle down.

 

**************

 

Harriman Nelson woke with the early morning sun shining in his eyes.  Something was wrong - then he remembered.  He had slept with Christine Fletcher last night and she was still here asleep beside him.  Nelson had woken earlier, he’d been dreaming about Lee Crane and had woken up with his cock throbbing.  The Admiral had slipped into the bathroom to relieve the ache in his groin and then lain in bed for several hours wondering just how the hell he had been so stupid.  He had finally fallen back asleep but it did not seem to have done him any good.  Nelson rose from his bed and headed for the kitchen.  He turned on the coffee percolator and while it brewed he pulled out a tray.  He poured two orange juices and put the cream and sugar on the tray too.  By the time he had cups out the coffee was ready.  Pouring two coffees he headed back to the bedroom.  He put the tray on his side of the bed and leaned over to gently shake Chris.  She woke up and smiled at him.  “Morning, Harry, this is a very comfortable bed.”

 


“I think so; I brought you some juice and coffee.  I’m not rushing you, take all the time you want, but I have to get showered, I have a meeting with Chip Morton this morning.”

 

“Oh Harry, you are so conscientious.”  Purred Chris, “Can’t you be late once in a while?” Chris raised one arm and languidly stroked his chest.

 

“I think he would be very surprised if I showed up late as I live just upstairs.”  He squeezed her hand as he removed it from his chest and headed to the bathroom.

 

Nelson stood in the shower letting the hot water wash over him.  What the hell had he gone and done?  How had he ended up sleeping with Chris?  He did like her, as a friend.  They had been more than friends once but that had been years ago and it hadn’t been anything serious.  Chris had married and divorced since then.  Had he just wanted to see if he could still have sex with women?  Had he just been too drunk to say no?  Thank God Lee was away.  This would kill him if he knew about it.  Should he tell him?  Probably not.  Harry hated to have secrets between them but it would hurt Lee more to know than if he never heard about it, of that Nelson was sure.  He must have been mad to have done this.  Yes they had both seemed to achieve satisfaction last night but for him it was nothing as compared to sex with his beloved Captain.  Not only was it not as good physically, there was no mental connection between him and Chris, between him and anyone else for that matter.  Oh this was awful, he felt like the lowest sort of scum.  He was always begging Lee to stay faithful and look what he’d gone and done.  Granted he had been lonely with Lee away and he had definitely drunk several glasses of wine and Chris had been quite agressive but that just was not a good excuse.

 

Nelson groaned.  Chris was joining them on Seaview for the first few days of this mission.  Her company was funding the studies they were about to start on underwater seismic activity and although the actual scientists were to be picked up in Hawaii, Chris had been responsible for the financial part of the mission and as a courtesy they were taking her back to Hawaii.  He would have to make it very clear to Chris that it had been a mistake, he was not looking for anything long term.  Hopefully she was not expecting that either.  Hopefully for both of them it was a one night stand.  How was he going to face Lee even if the Captain didn’t know about it?  Thank God for that Navy conference.

 

By 08:00 Nelson and Chris were both ready to leave the penthouse.  Chris had thanked him for a wonderful night but had not said anything about repeating it.  Nelson decided to call Angie to make sure there were no schedule changes and to ask her to arrange for a car to take Chris into down town Santa Barbara as Chris had said she wanted to do a bit of shopping.

 

Angie answered on the first ring, “Oh Admiral, good morning.  Yes, Chip should be here at 08:30, he won’t have any excuses because Captain Crane is back and Chip tells me he’s already taken half the paperwork.”

 

“What do you mean Captain Crane is back?  He wasn’t due until Thursday.” Nelson tried to keep the panic out of his voice.

 


“I know, Sir, but there were some problems at the conference site so apparently he came home last night.  He seems to have been in his office most of the night judging by the paperwork he’s already gone through.  I haven’t seen him but there’s a note on your desk that I think is in his writing .  Chip tells me he’s already back on Seaview.”

 

“Okay Angie, thanks.  I’ll be there shortly.”

 

Nelson had made the call from his kitchen.  As he hung up the phone he had to sit down.  Please God don’t let Lee have been up here last night!!  But an icy fear was creeping up his spine; if Lee had come home he would definitely have headed for Nelson’s place.

 

Chris came in to the kitchen.  “I’m ready Harriman.”

 

“Oh, okay.”  It was a struggle to look normal when he desperately wanted to run and find Lee. Nelson moved quickly to the living room and over to his desk and picked up his briefcase then headed for the door, his mind in a whirl.  As he opened the door for Chris he looked down and spotted the key in the plate.  He froze, his worst fears realized.

 

“Harry?  Everything okay?”

 

Nelson looked up at Christine and pasted a smile on his face.  “Yes of course, let’s go.”  He picked up the key and squeezed it hard.  What was he going to say to Lee?  What did someone say to a person as sensitive and vulnerable as Lee Crane.  The Admiral well knew that the efficient, commanding exterior hid a very soft core and he didn’t know how to explain his actions to himself, let alone to Lee.

 

************

 

An hour later the meeting with Chip was winding up.   As usual everything was running smoothly and they would be well prepared for the upcoming mission.  Any special equipment that was not already aboard was expected that day so all would be well in hand for the Thursday sailing.  As Chip gathered his paperwork Nelson asked as casually as possible, “Have you seen the Captain?  Did he say why they had shortened the course?  He’s all right isn’t he?”

 

“Yes Admiral, I saw him briefly this morning.  He said the instructor took ill and the kitchen blew up so they decided to call it quits.  Fine by me, he must have been here all night, he went through tons of my paperwork.  Still, he didn’t look very well.  I thought maybe he had the flu or a really bad flight but when I asked him he changed the subject and then off he went to Seaview.  I was planning on dropping a hint to Jamie in case it was the flu.”

 

“Thanks Chip, do that.  When you see the Captain tell him I’ll be on Seaview this afternoon and would like to go over a few things with him.”

 

“Aye aye, sir.”

 


Once Chip had left Nelson opened the envelope on his desk.  Angie had been correct, it was Lee’s writing.  He hadn’t felt capable of opening it earlier.  The message inside was simple.  It read, ‘Admiral, my black leather jacket is in your closet; please drop it off at my office at your convenience.  I suggest you send any of my uniforms that are in your apartment to the cleaners with instructions that they be delivered to Seaview or my office, that seems the most unobtrusive way to handle it.  Thank you.  L.’

Nelson read the note through several times.  This sounded like a good bye note, an “it’s over” message.  Nothing saying “Why?”  or “How could you?”   Just a polite and correct note indicating that it was over.

 

It had not occurred to Nelson that Lee might want to end their relationship but as he sat and thought about it he realized that was exactly what his oh so honourable Captain would do.  Where as Nelson in this situation would have yelled and raged, Lee would go quiet and try to hide the hurt. The Captain would see this as betrayal of the worst kind, and it looked like that Nelson had to admit.  What the hell had he been thinking!  The Admiral couldn’t ever remember doing anything so stupid and weak minded in all his years and if it cost him Lee Crane then he didn’t think he could bear it.  The Admiral considered calling Crane or just sending over an order for him to get over to Nelson’s office so he could try to explain but no, that was not going to work.  No, Lee would not appreciate Nelson trying to bully him into listening; he would just clam right up at that approach.  Nelson went through the most urgent items on his desk and then headed over to Seaview. 

 

However, when Nelson asked where the Captain was he was told that Lee had left to take care of some “personal matters” and he had not given a return time.  Nelson decided he had to try something so he called Lee’s number but the line was busy.  He then left Lee a message on his office line, knowing that the Captain checked it frequently.  He asked Lee if they could meet for dinner either at one of their homes or in a restaurant; anywhere - so long as they could talk.

 

************

 

Lee had decided that he needed to speak to someone and the best person he could think of was his mother.  This was not a problem he could discuss with Chip but he felt an overwhelming need to talk to someone.  His mother had been very supportive of his relationship with Nelson and had met the Admiral several times.  Lee didn’t want to over-react to this incident but right now he felt like crawling into a hole and staying there.  He was going to have to face Nelson – and soon; that was the problem with working with the person you loved.  And he did love Nelson, that was what made this so painful, he loved him with all his heart. 

 

Fortunately his mother was home.  “Lee, how are you honey, calling to tell me you’re coming to visit?”

 

“I wish I could mum but we’re leaving on Thursday.  I actually called for a bit of advice.”

 

“Advice?  Are you trying to cook something?  What can I help with my love?”

 

Now that he had to actually ask Lee found it difficult to find the words, there was a long silence as he tried to think of what he wanted to say.

 


“Lee, are you still there?   What’s wrong?  It must be serious and the only thing I can think is that it’s something to do with your Admiral.”

 

“Yes, it is, well, it’s to do with our relationship.  I guess it’s about fidelity.”  It was an effort to spit out the words.

 

“Oh, this is serious” Elena’s tone became sober.  “I take it one of you has shall we say ‘strayed’ and of the two of you I’d guess it must be the Admiral.  What happened, did someone tell you he had been fooling around?”

 

“No, I came home early from a conference and found him in bed with someone else.”

 

“Oh honey, I’m so sorry, oh you poor boy!”  Elena was well aware how devastated her son would be.  “What did you do?  Did you yell at him?  What did he have to say for himself?”

 

“It was the middle of the night, I just left.  I haven’t talked to him yet.  He knows I know, I left my key there and a message asking for my leather jacket.  But mum, am I expecting too much, is fidelity a thing of the past.  I just don’t know what to expect and I’m not sure what to do now.”

 

Elena was smiling to herself.  Her submarine commanding son could be such an innocent.  “You still love him don’t you?”

 

“Yes, that’s what makes it so difficult.”

 

“Well, Lee you’re going to have to talk to him.  Is this a one time lapse or does this go on whenever you’re away?  Either way you have to decide what you can put up with.  If you expect fidelity, and Lee I don’t think that’s an unrealistic expectation, then it’s up to you whether you forgive him this time and make the rules clear from now on.  I haven’t seen the two of you together for almost a year now but last time I did see you, I was convinced that Harriman Nelson adored you.”

 

Lee sighed.  “Well, that’s what I thought but I don’t feel very adored right now.”

 

“Has he tried to speak to you?”

 

“I’ve made myself unavailable today, I needed to think and talk to you - and stop throwing up.  If he’s called he hasn’t been able to reach me.  I can’t avoid him for much longer, not with our jobs.  And mum, the person he was sleeping with was a woman and I think she’ll be on Seaview for a few days.”

 

“Oh Lee, you poor boy.  You must talk to him, if you don’t all sorts of things are going to be running through your mind.  Please don’t let this damage your health, make sure you eat and try to sleep. You don’t exactly have a stress free job, Lee, you don’t need more stress.  Promise me you’ll talk to him and work it out.”

 


“Okay mum, I don’t think it can be today, I still need to think some more, but you’ve helped a lot, thanks.  I don’t think I can share him though.”

 

“Promise you’ll call me and let me know you’re okay.”

 

“Yes okay, we’ll be at Pearl next week.  I’ll give you a call from there.”

 

“Take care my love and good luck.  If you want me to come up there and knock some sense into him just let me know.”

 

Lee chuckled.  “Thanks mum, I love you.  Bye.”

 

Although Lee felt better for having talked to his mother and verbalized his problems, he was still very mixed up.  He wasn’t ready to talk to the Admiral.  He called in to his office phone for messages and heard the one from Nelson.  No, he was not ready to sit and talk one on one.  He called Seaview and checked in with Chip, all was well and he learned that the Admiral was in the lab.  Great.  Lee told Chip he would see him in the morning, then he left a message on Nelson’s home machine to say he wasn’t hungry and he’d see Nelson on Seaview.

 

***********

 

Seaview set sail as scheduled on Thursday morning. On Wednesday Lee had been very busy, and if he did have a spare moment he found something to do ASAP.   He had seen Nelson, but not at a time when they were alone.  They had discussed a couple of matters to do with the mission and Lee thought he had managed to sound fairly normal.   The Captain could tell by the look in the Admiral’s eyes that Nelson wanted to say more but he made sure there was no opportunity for that.  There was an official lunch at which the Captain was supposed to meet Christine Fletcher but Lee had managed to avoid the lunch when they found there was a small problem with some of the special equipment they had brought on board for the seismic testing.  Despite the fact that Chip or even Sharkey could have handled the problem Lee had insisted he would take care of it himself.  Lee had seen Christine Fletcher at a distance while he was on deck over seeing the loading of some stores and had realized she was the woman from Nelson’s bed. Lee had been content to let Chip think he did have a touch of stomach flu and used that to explain his willingness to avoid lunch - and his general loss of appetite. 

 

Lee knew he would not be able to avoid dinner that evening but in the end he met Ms. Fletcher before dinner.    In fact he had almost enjoyed the introduction because he knew the Admiral was distinctly uncomfortable.  Lee had been walking down a corridor heading for his cabin when he turned a corner and met the Admiral and Ms. Fletcher presumably on the way to the lab.  There had been no choice for the Admiral but to make the introductions.

 

“Ah Captain, we missed you at lunch.”

 

“Sorry, sir, but I’m all set for dinner tonight.”

 


“Well, let me make the introductions now, Christine Fletcher, this is Captain Lee Crane.”

 

“Captain, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, I’ve heard so much about you.”  Christine was a very attractive woman, Lee guessed her age at somewhere between 40 and 45.

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. Fletcher, you look familiar - could we have met before?”  He saw Nelson’s cheek twitch at that and almost laughed.

 

“I guess we could have seen each other in Hawaii, you sailors are always hanging around our beaches!  And I have visited Harry before, although that was several years ago and I don’t think you were with Seaview at that time.”  Christine smiled engagingly.

 

“Perhaps it was a photo of you I’ve seen somewhere then.  We’re happy to have you aboard, thank you for all the work you’ve done to get this seismic activity mission made into reality.  I hope you enjoy the cruise over to Pearl.”

 

“Why thank you Captain.  I’ll tell you what; you can ensure I enjoy the cruise by letting me take up some of your Admiral’s time.”  Christine smiled at Nelson and wrapped her hand around his arm possessively.

 

So it wasn’t a one night stand!  Fighting the urge to strangle Ms. Fletcher Lee responded “Mr. Morton and I will do our best to free up the Admiral’s time for you Miss Fletcher.  I’ll see you at dinner.”  He managed to walk all the way to the control room without being sick.

 

Nelson had almost the same struggle.  He felt like he was living a nightmare.  Lee was successfully avoiding him and now Christine had given Lee the very clear impression that not only had the two of them been previously involved but that she wanted that involvement to continue.  He had to do something and he had to do it now.  Leaving Christine at the door to her cabin he went forward looking for Crane.  The Captain was in the control room. 

 

Using a tone that wouldn’t allow for excuses Nelson said, “Captain Crane, can I have a word with you- now.”  And Nelson walked forward to the nose, giving Lee no option but to obey.

 

Nelson stood staring out of the windows, watching not the undersea world in front of him but the reflection of his Captain as he approached.

 

“Yes, sir?”

 

The Admiral decided it would be easier on both of them if he talked to Lee without turning around.  Nelson thought that if he turned and looked into those chameleon eyes he would fall into their depths and into Lee’s arms.  “Lee, I know you don’t want to talk to me yet, I was going to wait til you were ready but I can’t wait any longer...”

 

“Harry, I’m not ready for this...” it was a whisper.           

 

“I can respect that, I will respect that.  But I can’t leave you with the impression that I’m somehow involved with her.  I don’t want to spend any time with her.  Please, promise me that when we get to Pearl we’ll talk.  Please, Lee.”

 


Lee was standing with his hands behind his back, trying to look to any of the crew who glanced their way as though he was totally at ease.  Even reflected in Seaview’s herculite windows he could see the desperation in Nelson’s eyes and hear the restrained emotion in his lover’s voice.  It melted a tiny bit of the ice around his heart.  He gave a small nod.   “Okay, Harry, at Pearl.  May I go back to work, sir?”

 

Nelson still didn’t turn around, but he gave a nod of his own.  “Certainly, Captain.  Thank you.”

 

********

 

Seaview arrived in Pearl early on Sunday morning.  To both the Admiral and the Captain the three day trip had seemed endless. Just before docking Lee was called to the radio shack to take a call.  It was Admiral Roy Park.  Admiral Park informed Lee that he and Nelson were to attend a meeting at the Fairview Hotel at 11:00 hundred hours and they were to bring the paperwork for the upcoming mission because there were some aspects of it he needed to discuss with them.  Lee sighed inwardly but told Admiral Park he and Admiral Nelson would be there.  Park said he would send a driver for them.

 

When he arrived to pick them up the driver handed the Admiral an envelope.  Nelson opened it and told Lee that Admiral Park had sent along the key to the room they would be meeting in and would be meeting them there.  Lee sat back and watched the city go by, wondering what Admiral Park wanted from them, he was grateful that Nelson wasn’t trying to make small talk, he wanted to think.  Thanks to this meeting neither he nor the Admiral were able to see Ms. Fletcher off, that duty had been passed to Chip.  At least one good thing had already come out of this meeting!  Lee decided that if the meeting did not go on too long he would suggest to the Admiral that they go for a walk somewhere quiet.  That seemed a safe route to go.  They had to clear this matter up because he could not continue to operate efficiently while his life was in such turmoil.  His ability to concentrate on the job at hand had always been one of his strengths.  The situation had to be settled and if the outcome was painful then so be it.  At least he would know where he stood.  And so would the Admiral, Lee well knew that Nelson wanted the chance to plead his case!

 

Briefcases in hand the two Seaview men went up to the assigned 10th floor room.  The driver had told them that lunch would be set up and they were to go ahead and eat.  Nelson unlocked the door and ushered Lee in ahead of him, then he turned and put out the do not disturb sign without Lee noticing.

 

Lee put his briefcase on the desk and turned to the Admiral.  “How long do you think Admiral Park is going to be, sir?  Who else are we expecting”

 

“We’re not expecting anyone.  Lee, sit down, and that’s an order.”

 

Enlightenment dawned.  He’d been set up.  Lee sat but he gave Nelson a look that said he did not approve of his lover’s tactics.

 

Nelson ignored the glare sent his way.  He threw his own briefcase onto a chair and walked over to Lee and dropped to his knees in front of him, taking Lee’s hands in his. 

 


“I know you don’t like me setting you up but you promised we could talk in Pearl and I didn’t want anything or anyone to delay us so I asked Roy to help me out.  No, please don’t say anything, Lee, just let me make some attempt to explain my unforgivable behaviour.  I can’t really tell you why I ended up in bed with her.  She and I had dated a few times years ago, we did sleep together back then but it was nothing serious for either of us.  Certainly not for me.  The other night, we had gone out for dinner to discuss the mission, she came back to my place because she was going to stay in one of the guest suites.  Maybe I drank too much, maybe I was interested to see if I could still perform with a woman, I just don’t know.  All I know is I suddenly found myself in bed with her and my brain seemed to have turned itself off. I know she had been coming on to me but hell that’s no excuse.  It was over and I just lay there thinking what have I done?  Lee, please, I am begging you, forgive me.  It is the one and only time I have been unfaithful to you.  I will never do it again.  Please, don’t let my stupidity ruin what we have.  I am so very sorry, I know this must have hurt you enormously.  If there is anything at all I can do to lessen the pain please tell me. But my love, please, please forgive me.”

 

Nelson stopped at this point to see what Lee wanted to say.  He kept Lee’s hands in his and continued to stroke them as he had throughout his speech.

 

Lee stared at their joined hands for several long seconds.  “If you don’t know how and why it happened how do you know it won’t happen again?”

 

“All I can say is that I will be trying a lot harder.  I think I was surprised to find how weak I was, if you had told me I was capable of that kind of betrayal I would have denied it but God forgive me, I did it!”

 

“So this isn’t something that happens every time I’m out of town?”

 

“Good God, Lee, how could you think that?”  Nelson sounded angry.

 

Lee pulled his hands free of Nelson’s and stood up, his eyes flashing.  “Why the hell shouldn’t I think it?”  Lee voice rose.  “You’re awfully righteous for someone who was screwing around.”

 

Nelson rose and sat heavily on the chair Lee had vacated.  “You’re right.”  Nelson laughed bitterly.  “Why shouldn’t you think it happens all the time.  All I can do is tell you that it has never happened before and will never happen again.  I think it’s been a shock to me as well and I still can’t believe it.  Lee, I love you, body and soul.  You’re my life.  You are all that matters to me, more than my career or Seaview.  Please,” Nelson was looking at him with moist eyes, “don’t put me out of your life.  I am begging you for forgiveness.”

 

The Captain was standing in front of the window, the sunlight coming through the sheer curtains made it impossible for Nelson to see his face. But the Admiral could hear the pain in his voice when he spoke.  “I’m sorry, Harry but nothing you can say is going to take away the most painful part.  You can tell me it was a horrible mistake and it didn’t mean anything but when I saw the smile on your face as you lay there asleep, I felt like you had thrust a dagger straight in to my heart. You didn’t look like a man with any regrets at all.  Every time I try to tell myself that it was all just a horrible mistake on your part I see that smile on your face, you looked damned happy, Harry!”

 


For a moment Nelson looked puzzled.  A smile on his face, that wasn’t possible.  Then he remembered.  “Oh, Lee, if there was a smile on my face it was because I was dreaming about you.  In fact the dream was so real that I woke up and found myself about to explode.  I had to move her arm off me to get to the bathroom and finish myself off there.  I can even tell you what time it was, about 02:30.  I went back to bed a lay there for ages wondering what the hell I had done.  I think I did fall asleep again around 05:00 hundred.”

 

There was silence as Lee considered this, he walked over to the table in the room and leaned against it all the time watching the Admiral. “I don’t think you’ve ever lied to me, Harry, you wouldn’t start now would you?”

 

“No, Lee, it’s the truth, in my dream we were on Seaview, in my cabin, and I had you naked on my bed.  I was on top and you were sprawled naked, your skin glowing in the low light, and you were saying my name over and over as I thrust into your tight body.  You can understand why I woke up about to explode!”

 

Again Lee looked like he was considering Nelson’s words very carefully.  “When we were first together, Harry, I promised I’d be faithful to you and you said you didn’t expect that of me.  But I always have been faithful because it was important to me.  I’ve been thinking about us for the last few days I realized that you never did promise to be faithful.  Maybe you didn’t mean it to apply to you.”

 

“Of course I meant it to apply to me!  I just was so complacent about my ability to remain faithful I didn’t think to mention it.  I was so sure it would be you who would want to stray.  After all, Lee, you’re young, you’re gorgeous...”

 

Lee interrupted him, “and as I’ve always told you, you are far more attractive than you seem to realize, obviously Christine Fletcher found you attractive.”

 

“Yes well, eventually I hope we can forget that.  Please, Lee, let me back into your life.  I will use all my will power to stay faithful to you.  Hurting you is like hurting myself, I never want to do it again and I want to do whatever it takes to wipe that look from your eyes and get back the loving glow I usually see there.”  Nelson had followed Lee over to his position by the table and gently caressed his cheek.

 

“I don’t think you can say it will never happen again, Harry.  But I can tell you that I don’t think I can take this kind of pain too often without cracking so it better not happen very much. And telling me to rely on your willpower isn’t a big help, you’ve never managed to stop smoking”

 

“Well, there’s a point.  Sometimes I wish your mind wasn’t so quick!  Then I guess I’m back to asking you to trust me, Lee. Please, what can I do to put a sparkle back in those hazel eyes?”  Nelson continued his caress, not wanting to break the fragile contact.

 


For several moments Lee stood silently, considering Nelson’s words.  The truth was that he still loved the Admiral with every fibre of his being, and Nelson certainly sounded serious when he said it had been some horrible mistake, a one time event that he would make every effort to ensure never happened again. “Maybe if you just hold me, Harry that would be a start.”

 

Nelson felt tears in his eyes, he could not believe how lucky he was.  That this man was willing to forgive him, he wasn’t sure he could be so forgiving had it been he finding Lee in bed with someone else.  Well, that wasn’t true, he loved Lee too much to lose him.  He would have yelled and made a terrible fuss but as long as Lee had been willing to stay with him he would have forgiven him. It was still a shock to Nelson that it had worked out the other way, that he had been the unfaithful one.  Deep down he believed that Lee was more vulnerable than he was, Lee was not the one who should have been put through this experience.

 

Nelson pulled Lee gently towards him.  He wrapped his arms around his Captain’s waist and drew Lee’s head to rest on his shoulder.  He stroked up and down Lee’s back.  “Love, this is good but I can’t hold you properly, can we stretch out on the bed?”

 

“Sure, Harry, I want to feel all of you holding me.”

 

His heart singing, the Admiral led Lee over to the bed and pushed him down so he could remove Lee’s shoes.  Then he removed his own shoes and climbed on the bed to join Lee.  They lay facing each other and Nelson took Lee into his arms and drew him close stroking the back of Lee’s neck and shoulders.  After a few minutes though, Nelson felt the familiar tingle in his groin.

 

“Lee, I want to make love to you, may I?  I want to strip you slowly and slide into you and feel that connection I’ve never felt with anyone else.  Please.”

 

“I’d like that, Harry, I need to feel we belong, if we can do that then I think I’ll be all right again.”

 

“Just lay there, just relax, love.”  Nelson moved Lee on to his back and undid his tie and pulled it off.  Next he slowly unbuttoned the Captain’s shirt with one hand while with the other he gently squeezed Lee’s growing erection.  He could see a look of anticipation in Lee’s eyes.  Once the shirt was undone, instead of removing it Nelson climbed off the bed.  He went to his briefcase and took out a small bottle of oil and put that under the pillow.  Next he slowly took all his own clothes off.  Lee was watching him disrobe with a definite look of interest and Nelson’s heart beat a little faster.  When Lee reached to remove his own shirt Nelson stopped him.

 

“No, Lee, I’ll do that.”  He climbed back on to the bed.  He removed Lee’s socks and massaged his feet for a few minutes.

 

“Hmmmm, feels good.”

 


“You’ve been a little tense, love, I’m sure your whole body could do with a massage. Let’s get that shirt off you.”  Once the shirt was removed Nelson slowly unzipped Lee’s uniform trousers.  “Lift up.”  When Lee raised his butt Harry slid the trousers and shorts off.  He knelt beside Lee for a moment simply looking at him, his long legs, slim hips, muscular chest all covered with the smooth golden skin Nelson loved so much.  Lee was looking at him with an air of expectancy, one of the looks that made him appear so much younger than his years. “You are so beautiful, Lee.”

 

“Harry!”

 

“I know, you don’t like me to say it but it is true my love.”  Nelson lightly stroked Lee’s semi-erect cock causing it to twitch.  “Turn over please.”

 

Lee turned face down on the bed and pillowed his face in his arms.  Harry reached for the oil and poured some onto Lee’s back.  The oil had a slightly spicy scent.  With slow strokes Nelson started massaging Lee’s shoulders.  “I want to get rid of some more of this tension you’re holding onto.”

 

Lee sighed contentedly. “You’re doing a good job, Harry.”

 

For several minutes Nelson continued to massage Lee’s shoulders and back, he could feel how relaxed his Captain was.  But he didn’t want him asleep, not yet, so he moved his hands down to Lee’s thighs and started his gentle massage there.  After just a couple of minutes he moved up to Lee’s perfect ass. He could feel Lee clench his muscles as he rubbed and he was soon sliding one finger down between Lee’s buttocks until he was nudging the entrance to Lee’s body.

 

“Harry, can I turn over please, I’m so hard it’s not comfortable like this and I’m going to burst if you keep doing that.”

 

Nelson smiled. “Hold on while I get a towel, don’t want oil all over their bedspread.”  He was back quickly and spread the towel next to Lee, then he rolled him over and brought his mouth down to the mouth he so loved to lose himself in.  Lee’s lips parted to receive him and for several minutes they kissed gently, their tongues softly licking each others lips, nibbling and sucking each other’s tongues.  Then Nelson reached down with one hand and without releasing Lee’s mouth he started stroking Lee’s erection.  Lee moaned into his mouth and their kissing became more passionate. They were sucking at each other’s tongues now with a frantic urgency.  Lee was pumping his hips into Nelson’s hand. 

 

“Harry,” Lee groaned, “please...suck me.”

 

“Anything you want, love.”  Nelson kissed down Lee’s body, stopping to suck and nibble the hard nipples and drop kisses on his flat stomach.  By the time he reached his goal Lee was writhing on the bed, his head tossing from side to side.

 

Nelson moved so that he was kneeling between Lee’s legs, then he bent licked the rosy tip of Lee’s cock, nibbling lightly.  He heard Lee gasp as his hands gripped Nelson’s head, pushing him closer to his groin.  Nelson knew this was not a time for going slow, in one swift movement he took all of Lee’s cock deep into his mouth.

 

“Ah, Harry!  Faster, please...I’m so close...”  Lee was barely able to gasp out his request.


Nelson complied.  He sucked Lee into his mouth and throat fast and deep and at the same time inserted one still oily finger into Lee’s body angling for his prostate gland.  He wanted Lee’s climax to be shattering - and it was.  When Harry’s finger nudged against his prostate at the same time his mouth was making a popsicle of Lee’s cock, Lee pushed off the bed, trying to thrust even deeper into Harry’s mouth and he came in a crashing wave of sensation that left him feeling like a shattered husk.  He lay gasping for air trying to control his still trembling limbs.

 

Nelson had swallowed all of Lee’s sweet cream and licked and nibbled his way up to Lee’s lips allowing his lover some time to regain his breath.  Reaching his goal he leaned over and kissed Lee deeply.  “Can I come inside you now, love?”

 

Lee was still trying to regain his breath. “Of course, Harry...any time you want. I love you.”

 

Those words brought tears to Nelson’s eyes.  He kissed Lee again, then smoothed some of the oil onto his own throbbing organ and lifted Lee’s legs to wrap them around his waist.  He inserted first one, then two fingers into Lee but he couldn’t wait to get his cock into that tight body.  Harry quickly withdrew his fingers and with a low moan nudged his cock slowly into the Captain’s body.   Lee felt so wonderfully hot, smooth and tight.  Nelson loved it.  It was better than anything he had ever felt. As he thrust slowly back and forth he looked down at Lee lying beneath him, smiling at him, trusting him, and his heart ached with tenderness.

 

“Thank you, Lee.”  They both knew he was thanking Lee for forgiving him.

 

“Enough of the gentle stuff, Harry, do it harder please.   I want to feel you touching my heart.”

 

Nelson didn’t need to be asked twice.  He gripped Lee’s hips and thrust even more deeply.  His own orgasm was building fast; just massaging Lee’s shoulders had been a turn on and every move since had brought him closer to the edge, now he just wanted to explode in the body he loved.  But he wanted Lee to enjoy this as well, he owed his lover so much.  He pulled Lee’s hips a little higher and leaned over his lover knowing the new angle would feel good to both of them.  “Oh, Lee, you’re so hot, so tight…..”  Nelson shuddered as he tried to draw a deep breath, he was so close.

 

Knowing how close Nelson was Lee reached up to scratch and pinch Harry’s already erect nipples.  “Come for me, Harry, let me feel you explode inside me, feels like you’re almost nudging my heart.” Nelson could only grunt in response, he pulled out a bit, trying to make the feeling last, but he knew he was about to come.  He pushed back into Lee as hard and as fast as he could. 

 

“Oh God, you’ve got me hard again!”  It was true, Lee’s cock was again like iron and he was stroking himself, “Are you nearly there, Harry... want to come with you, let me know when you’re there.”  Both men were breathing hard.

 

Nelson could barely speak, “Can’t hold on, Lee... I’m coming, look at me please...want to see your eyes glowing.”

 

Lee was looking at him, and yes, his golden eyes were flashing with the sparkle that Harry loved, in this case it was too much and it put Harry over the edge.  Somehow he managed to thrust even faster and too soon could feel his cock exploding, he let out a roar and saw Lee’s own cock splashing cream which fell between them as Harry collapsed onto Lee’s chest.

 


For several minutes they lay there trying to steady their breathing.  Finally Harry rolled off Lee.  Lee leaned over and kissed him.  “Love you, Harry.  Thank you.  You made me feel special.  A few days ago I wasn’t sure I was ever going to feel that way again, but I love you too much not to have tried to make things the way they were.”

 

“And do you feel that’s how things are, Lee, do you love me as much as you did before last week.”  Nelson smoothed the sweat dampened curls back from Lee’s brow.

 

“At least as much, Harry, and maybe even more.  You’ve faced something ugly in our lives and made it right again and that’s even more wonderful than the sex.  And that’s saying something because that was great sex!” 

 

Nelson laughed, and then laughed again when he realized he could laugh, and continued stroking his love, moving down to run his hands over the smooth skin of Lee’s shoulder “Thank you, for giving me the chance to make it right.  I love you, Lee Crane, I don’t think I’ll ever find the words to tell you properly just how much I love you. For now though, can I just hold you for a while?”

 

“Of course, Harry.  You can hold me forever.”

 

“Well, I think Chip or Roy may come looking for us if we stay here too long but I’m sure we can manage another couple of hours, and we have a lunch to eat later.  But for now, holding you is what I want to do.” 

 

“That sounds fine to me.  I think I’ll sleep for a while.”

 

“Go ahead my love; I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

 

Within a couple of minutes Nelson could tell from the soft sound of Lee’s breathing that the Captain had fallen asleep.  Nelson knew that they would have to return to Seaview in a few hours, but for now, he was going to enjoy holding Lee in his arms.  The Admiral was immensely grateful that he had been blessed with a partner who has such a loving and forgiving nature, he intended to work very hard to be deserving of that forgiveness and to thank Lee properly over the next few weeks.  The Admiral drifted to sleep with a smile on his lips as he thought about all the ways he would say thank you to his beloved Captain.