By Carol Sandford


Chapter 13


The shuttle touched down on the ground and as the door opened, a cold, wintry blast assaulted its occupants. Deanna gasped with shock as the frost bit at her lungs, causing her to clasp her chest as she tried to acclimatize herself to the sensation. Will on the other hand, stood in the doorway and took a huge, healing breath. Deanna observed with wonder as she watched Will transform in front of her. Gone was the haunted look, even if it was only briefly, Will came alive in front of her very eyes, and it was then that she saw her first glimmer of hope.

As the hovercar took them to their destination, Deanna looked around at her surroundings. It was plain to see why Will loved this country so much, despite the freezing cold. The entire countryside was blanketed with snow that made everything sparkle. The sun caught the individual crystals making them twinkle like millions of tiny diamonds. Deanna had never seen real snow before, only what Will had shown her on the holodeck. This was much, much better, and much, much colder, but by the time they had reached the Riker homestead, Deanna was beginning to thaw, both inside and out. Her eyes began to see what Will could see, and once she had got past the freezing cold, she could see the beauty.

Looking around what was going to be her new home for the next few weeks, maybe months, Deanna began to question her agreement to come here. A feeling of overwhelming loneliness washed over her. Never, ever in her entire life had she felt like she did right now. She sought out Will who had disappeared from view, finding him quietly opening his holdall on top of his bed. His sideways glance found her nervously standing in the doorway. Arms crossed defensively across her chest, the dark eyes shone with uncertainty. Deanna watched as Will made his way slowly to stand before her. Deanna looked up into the melancholy eyes that not so long ago would have sparkled with merriment at her predicament. Would have laughed to see her standing there, shivering from the unaccustomed cold. Would have wrapped his huge arms around her and swung her off her feet, probably would have slung her on the bed and ravished her senseless. But all that was gone, Deanna often wondered how long it would be before they were doing those things again.

Deanna looked away guiltily as the rampaging thoughts threatened to bring on tears that were never far away these days.

She started as she felt Will's finger reach for her chin and bring her face around to look at him head on once more. As azure met onyx, time froze, but as she felt Will penetrate her mind, she fought back the choke that rose within her. It had seemed a lifetime ago that Will had sent to her. Deanna's heart soared as his words filled her with every dream that she could ever wish for.

*I'm glad your here with me Imzadi.*

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