By Carol Sandford


Chapter 08


Will skidded to a halt just as the lift doors closed shut. Deanna's eyes held fear as she watched Will approach her at break-neck speed and she frantically willed the doors to close before he reached her. She heaved a wobbly sigh of relief as her prayers were answered. She knew that Will wouldn't come to her suite where Homm was waiting for her.

He wouldn't dare.

Even though she knew who was on the other side, Deanna jumped with shock as Will pounded his fist twice on the wood. Glancing uneasily at the tall man nearby, Deanna whispered frantically, "Don't let him in, Homm. If you do, I swear, I'll tell Mother."

And through the door came, "And if you don't, Homm, I won't give you that promised bottle of scotch for keeping your mouth shut."

Homm grinned apologetically at Deanna's stunned, open-mouthed features as he moved towards the door and swung it wide, leaving it open as he stepped through it, nodding enigmatically at Will as he ambled off down the corridor leaving the two of them alone.

Quietly, Will stepped into the room, his eyes never leaving Deanna's as he closed the door behind him. "Why has he got to keep his mouth shut. Are you mad?!" She cried, her own eyes staring into his with disbelief.

Slowly Will stepped up to her and stopped, his gaze serious as he stared at her outraged features, savouring the fire that lit up her dark eyes. "Because both he and I knew that this day would eventually happen. THIS would eventually happen and I don't want Ambassador Troi - your snooping mother - knowing about it. We need to talk, Deanna. We MUST talk."

Deanna spun away from him in a valiant effort to hold onto control of the situation, her voice dripping ice as her heart began to freeze against the pain she knew that was coming. "I don't want to, Will. It serves no purpose."

Angrily, Will reached for her arm and spun her around to face him, taking in the angry tears that pooled in her eyes, threatening to dissolve the moment into something that weren't up to handling, not without talking first.

"Damn it, Deanna, don't you dare cry on me. That's not fair." But even as Will spoke, he was slowly pulling her into his arms. "Don't, Deanna. Please don't." he brokenly crooned as he placed a long kiss on top of her soft hair. "For Christ's sake - our sake, please send me away. Cry rape, scream the place down, do anything, anything to stop me."

Deanna balled her fists against his solid chest and willed herself not to fall to pieces, but it was damned hard. It was the one place she wanted to be, the one place that she was, and she shouldn't have been there. She sniffed against his shirt in an attempt to rein in her tumultuous emotions, the trembles rippling throughout her entire body as she whispered brokenly, "I can't. I can't." and Will pull her even closer to him.

"Don't cry, Deanna." he quietly pleaded, carefully lifting her chin so that he could see her face and let her see that he was hurting too and suddenly, at that very moment and with clear clarity, his career meant nothing to him, only the woman before him.

And Deanna felt it. "Why not?" she barely whispered, mesmerized by his handsome face, a face that she loved beyond reason.

Without thinking, Will cupped his hands around her neck. "Why not?" he whispered back, bemused by her strange question.

"Why not?" she repeated, her eyes falling to his mouth, willing it to lower further still, forcing him to acknowledge the obvious.

Will saw her swallow, felt it against the heels of his hands. Her lips were much too soft, too close, too tempting. He brushed them lightly with his and answered her just before the brief touch of lips turned into a full, passionate kiss. "Because of this."

The invisible sigh that took the couple over as they recaptured the love that had teased and tormented them for the past two weeks sizzled into much longed for need. The coldness that had invaded Deanna's heart to keep her away from Will finally thawed as he let go of his words and she clung to him as she let herself let go of everything else that had held her hostage.

BECAUSE OF THIS, he'd said.

So simple. So true. They were both here, because of this. Because of everything that had happened before, because of their connection, because they still loved each other, and, because of Imzadi, they were together again.

Because of this.

All too soon Will pulled his lips from hers. It was then, she realized, they were both gasping for breath. Will groaned and buried his face in the soft spot between shoulder and neck. "God, Deanna, what are we going to do about this?"

He raised his head to search face for an answer and saw only bewilderment and longing written upon it. The intended touch to the lips soared into a shuddering, earth-shattering kiss once more. For many long moments they kissed until Will forcibly tore his mouth away again.

Her eyes were glazed with hungry passion, her lips, wet and swollen from the pressure of his and Will revelled with the fact that she was in his arms and let his hands blaze a familiar path down her slender body. He rained kisses upon every inch of her face, unable to let her go, not even wanting to, even though he knew he would eventually have to.

But not yet.

Smiling Deanna held her face away from his and traced a loving path around his own face with the tip of her finger. Will kissed it's tip as it dragged across his lips, letting go the moan that the intoxicating move created. "Deanna?" he asked again.

She took a deep steadying breath. "I think," she whispered, "because of this..." She touched her mouth to his again. "you should stay."

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