By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


Chandra is angry with me. Furious really.

"You shouldn't be doing this, Deanna." She attacks her salad as though there is something still alive within it and I wonder if she's subconsciously imagining that it's Will in there. Chandra tries to catch my eye and I try to stop grinning like the cat that got the cream. I obviously fail because she 'hrumps' and goes at the salad again. "You are living a lie, Dee. You could at least have the decency to be unhappy. In fact, your conscience should be tortured. And, damn it, Deanna, when did you suddenly become so gorgeous!?"

I'm not sure what's bothering her most - my apparently declining morals or improving midriff - which wasn't that bad in the first place. I think seeing me naked at her wedding was a bit of a shock for her. So, I'd lost a bit of weight.

"You shouldn't be doing this," She says again, with a sigh this time and a troubled shake of her head. Then, as though it's suddenly the first time that she's thought about it, she says, "Why 'are' you doing it, Dee?"

"I can't not, Chan." I say honestly as I pick up my fork and push a lettuce leaf around the plate.

"But what about Wyatt?"

"He doesn't know. Why should he?" I snap bitterly, giving up all pretence of hunger now that my buddy has really laid down the gauntlet. "Look, I know I'm betraying Wyatt, although I don't know why, Chan. It's not like we're even married. I've never felt more alive and I really haven't got a choice in the matter. If you knew Will better you'd understand. Do you fancy some wine?"

"At lunchtime, Dee?"

I ignore her.

I hear the sigh and wonder what she's going to say next.

"Go on, then, convince me."

I have no problem with that question, no problem at all. "Oh, he's just so totally amazing." I grin.

I hear the heavy sigh again. "Yes, so you've said. Every man I've ever met that's hung like a donkey is amazing. Try to be more specific."

My gaze sweeps around the intimate restaurant as I try to find the words that sum up Will Riker. Damn it, how can you explain him? He is the sole reason I was born a woman.

Eventually my eyes settle back upon my friend who's patiently waiting for the reason why I'm behaving like a horny teenager. Okay, I AM a horny teenager, but this time, I have a good excuse to behave like that.

"Well," I begin slowly. "He's different from the men we are used to."

"Really?" she says rather flatly, her boredom now rather evident.

I ignore her. "Really! He has dreams and passion. He has a heart, Chan." Would that cut it?


"More heart than Wyatt?"

"Just different. He didn't have the advantage of a loving home after his mom passed away. He's really had to work for every thing he's achieved."

"Wyatt works hard too, Dee." She whined, getting cross with me.

"But we're not talking about Wyatt, Chandra!" I'm exasperated as I try to make her see my hero from my point of view. "Will came here on a mission and he's excelled. He's gone beyond what he started at." I stared pointedly at each and every stuffed shirt that sat at the tables. Same suit, same menu. Same boring haircut, same monotonous, droning voice. I wave my hand vaguely at them all and my own voice turns wobbly as I try to make her understand. "He's better than every man here, Chan."

"So I've heard." She said sarcastically.

"It doesn't bother me, Chandra."

"Well, it should." She retorted, complete with a pout.

We both sulk, but I'm better at sulking than her so I'm not surprised when she reluctantly mutters, "So what's his family like?"

"Dead beat father that was never there and considers him to be a failure. That's it." I shrug, suddenly feeling sorry for him. "I'm crazy about him, Chan. I don't know why." I stop and shake myself. Who am I kidding? I know exactly why.

I find myself shrugging again as I look at her sheepishly, begging her to understand my compulsion to throw away everything I've ever know and take on a man who is possibly the worst choice for me, ever! But I can't help it. He is special. He is hot. He is sex on legs. He is...

My saviour.

My life has changed beyond recognition. My life is mysteriously tied to Will now, whether I want it to be, or not. I don't know if it is going to be a good thing, or bad. I'm sure my mother will have more than something to say on the matter. But then again, maybe she won't. She's been here. She's been in love.

Love!? Where did that come from? I've only just met the man. I've not even...


But I will. I know I will.

And I can't wait.

I can feel my insides - my womb grow warmer just thinking about what is going to happen between us. Would it be 'normal'? I wonder. Would his performance in bed be as phenomenal for me as it was - is for the few women he's already been seen with?

I don't honestly know. I've never done 'it' before. But I can't wait to try, with Will.

God, I can't wait.

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