By Carol Sandford


Chapter 12


Slowly, quietly, Will closed the door, shutting out the rest of the world. Before she could open her mouth and bombard him with the questions that he knew were racing around in her pretty head, Will quickly pulled Deanna flush against his heated body. Enveloping her within his long arms, he rested his cheek upon the top of her head, and let a sigh escape him as he drank in her essence, effectively silencing her.

For a long moment Deanna allowed him his silence. Will's promise had surprised her. Thrilled her, but surprised her more. They had fought hard against this union. They had battled against the bond that still entwined them; linking them together, no matter what. And now, a few bare scant hours away, they were going to be torn asunder again.

But this time, they were ready for it. Nothing had hurt more than the first time this moment had occurred. Oh, it was going to cause them pain, deep, deep down inside, but this time...this time, it was going to be different. Knowing that sometime, that someday, this moment was never going to have to happen to them again. The next time they met, there would be nothing and no one to stop them fulfilling their destiny.

Drinking in his unique scent, Deanna finally turned her head, reminding Will that they had very little time. Drugged with longing, Will met her eyes. Gently kissing her forehead, Will whispered hoarsely and with promise, "I meant what I said, Deanna, we *will* find each other again. I'm not letting you go."

Deanna snaked her hand up around to the nape of his neck and pulled his head down, his lips hovering just above hers, their breaths making love together. "I know, Imzadi," She murmured, her eyes filling with moisture at his pledge. "and I'll be waiting for you."

Tenderly, their lips met but the kiss had barely begun before when Will broke away, hovering as before. "Thank you for giving me the time. I know it is me that needs it. I'm sorry."

Deanna's finger tip quickly reached up to silence him. "Hush, don't be. I'm giving you this time, Will, because I need it, too, and I will wait for you, no matter for how long, because Imzadi won't let us go. You do know that, don't you?" She asked him, her brow furrowing with worry that the other half of her soul might not have understood the complexity of the ancient bonding.

But she need not have. His guilt finally liquefied with her question and Will felt free to quench other thirsts that competed against that one sinister one. She had forgiven him, and she had let him go...for now. But Will knew that, one day, deep down, they would come together again. His all-too-short time on Betazed with an incredible woman had promised him that. Their Imzadi bond had promised him that, too. He knew he was tied to Deanna on a level that went far deeper than any other human being could understand.

"I do," he murmured huskily, his love for her shining in the magic of his blue gaze, melting the last of her reserve, filling her own eyes with tears that relayed her happiness. Just two simple words to set them free.

"I do." He repeated with promise as he pulled her gently but hard up against his eager and wanting body and swept her away with a kiss that defied everything that had or would stand in their way. Swinging her up into his big burly arms a few moments later, Will hastily made his way to his bed. He'd chosen his quarters purely because he'd known that there would be no interruptions, and, because it was nearer. The couple needed to be alone, and fast. But even so, the tender words spoken had been needed. Had been said. Had been heeded. And then all forgotten as physical overtook everything.

Fevered fingers tugged at his mustard tunic. "Hurry," Deanna gasped, "I want to feel your skin against mine."

Chuckling quietly, Will gladly aided her frantic removal of his clothes. As soon as he was bare, she started on her own. Grinning as he watched her awkwardly manoeuvre her own body to shuck her shoes, her pants and her own tunic top, Will finally snatched her racing hands, pushed her down, moved over her and pinned her palms beside her head.

"Whoa, Deanna, there's no need to hurry. We've got all night, and besides, I want to remove these last few scraps, myself. I've dreamt about this too often. Hell," he muttered with humour as he deftly reached behind her and snapped open her bra, "I've had nightmares about this."

As he exposed her breasts Will's fevered fingers slowed to a halt as he feasted his eyes on the vista that lie beneath him. Deanna's chest rose and fell with excitement and exertion and the rosy tips grew with desire as she saw and felt the desire that they evoked.

Slowly as he removed the tiny panties, discarding them along side the rest of their clothing, Will's eyes rose to hers, suddenly choked to find her own steadily waiting for him. Waiting for him to make this moment right. "God, Deanna, I have been such a fool. I'm sorry. I'd forgotten."

Even though Deanna knew exactly what Will was referring to, she wanted him to tell her how he felt. What he felt. "Forgotten what, Will?" She whispered, her hand freeing from his, reaching up to trace a gentle path along his jawline as she waited in anticipation for his reply.

"The power of us." He answered honestly. "I'd forgotten how this felt. This..." He hesitated, struggled to find the right words to convey how and what he was feeling. In the end, he simply shrugged. The hand that she had released, now free to trace a tender path across her chest, circling the perfect globes of her breasts down to her trembling flat tummy and then back up to her face, cupping it with tenderness. "Us. I'd forgotten us."

Shifting him so that he lay cocooned between her thighs, his heat, hard against her, waited patiently while he revered her heart body and soul. His answer would do. In the end she was glad that he hadn't been able to put it into words, because there were none. Taking his hand back within hers, lacing her fingers through his as she placed it back beside her head, Deanna gently moved her lower body, allowing his hot, pulsing length to drag against her own sensitive, wanting folds, finally succumbing to the begging throb that haunted her body and mind.

Rising above her like an Adonis, Will locked his eyes with hers and eased himself into her waiting heat. Tiny beads of perspiration formed along his upper lip and his fingers involuntarily gripped hers harder as he allowed the sensation of being bonded, locked and loved by the woman beneath him soar throughout his entire being.

Slowly, steadily Will began to move, his eyes never breaking away from hers. Her throat, her cheeks, high with fevered colour made her obsidian sultry eyes seem brighter, darker, more wild as they watched him watching her.

Like a well tuned machine, Will's tempo never slowed, never faltered even when eventually, Deanna's legs snaked up to settle around his waist. The only sign that he'd acknowledged her movement was a deep-throated groan that slipped past his lips as he felt himself go deeper still, touching the very heart of her.

The slowness was as erotic as hell, building to a point that meant that they could fall from the higher pinnacle of ecstasy together. Deanna felt it coming; felt it deep inside of her as Will continuously touched parts of her that had lay dormant since Will's visit to Betazed. The brush of the rough hair against her highly sensitized skin as he steadily loved her was beyond comprehension. Beyond feeling. Beyond anything she'd ever felt before was to be her undoing as she climbed higher and higher, reaching for oblivion, reaching for, Lord knows what else. She only knew that she had been waiting for it, she was ready for it, and it came.

With shocked widened eyes Deanna gasped, "Will!" It was the only thing that Will saw and sensed as she fell apart before his very eyes. Arching her back off the bed, Will roughly gathered her to his sweat-slicked body and let her fly. The feel of her pulsing around him set free his own purposely controlled climax. Her strangled gasps mingled with his own filling the charged air around them, bouncing back and caressed their senses. The sensation was magical. Unforgettable. Will would not forget a second time, Deanna had made sure of that.

Twice more Deanna made memories for Will to remember. Twice more after that, she made some for herself.
A crimson dawn met them before they were ready. There was still so much to say. Too much to do. More memories to make, but they had run out of time.

Goodbye had come, even though neither one of them could say it.


Deanna watched the shuttle bank high into the San Franciscan sky. She didn't bother to even try and hide the tears that scorched her cheeks. Unable to tear her eyes away from the retreating ship, Deanna sniffed hard. Damn it, she knew she should have brought a tissue with her.

Suddenly something touched her shoulder and out of the side of her eye she caught the flutter of just the very thing that she needed. Gratefully taking the proffered tissue she dabbed her eyes and delicately blew her nose. The hand that had touched her shoulder remained there, it's gentle squeeze reassuring, comforting.

"My name is Deanna," She croaked without taking her eyes away from the blue skies above.

"Hmm," The high pitched girlie voice pondered. "I heard that that man I was hankering for was in love with a woman called Deanna. Would that be you, by any chance?"

Choking back the sob that threatened, Deanna whispered hoarsely. "Yeah, it' s me, Jan. I'm sorry I lied to you - about a lot of things."

Jan squeezed her shoulder again, this time moving so that she could face her friend and see the devastation of losing the man that she loved upon her face. "He'll be back, Deanna, you do know that, don't you?"

Deanna's watery smile wobbled as she looked into the caring, sympathetic eyes of her closest buddy. "Yes, I do. He will be back, of that I am certain."

Dropping her hand, Jan slid it under Deanna's arm and steered her away from the window. With a deliberate cheerfulness, it's sole purpose designed to pull Deanna back to the present and away from the past, and the unfathomable future, Jan said brightly, "Good, I can wait a little longer for my psycho-analysis session with him."

Jan steered her out of the room and headed along the corridor. Breakfast beckoned. The two women joined the queue in the cafeteria. Jan had gone quiet but Deanna knew she was mulling over something in her mind. As she poured herself a glass of pink grapefruit juice and placed it on her tray, the question that Deanna hoped she wouldn't ask, finally came out. "How long do you think he'll be, Ev...I mean, Deanna? Sheesh, that's gonna take some getting used to, isn't it?" She babbled on. "How long, a week, month, what? 'cause I can't wait forever, y'know?"

Deanna suddenly laughed at her buddy's predicament. Jan had wanted so badly to get into Will's head - and probably his pants, she surmised with a smirk, even though she knew that Jan would not do that to her, not now that she knew the score.

Deanna's thoughts drifted off. How long would it be before she came face to face with her Imzadi again?

How long?

Looking around at her fellow cadets as they went about their own business, Deanna suddenly felt very lucky. Her life had a purpose now. Her future was mapped out for her and part of that future included William Riker, where ever he was. They just had to find each other again.


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