HOLDING ON TO HOPE

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 11

 
 

"I can’t."

If there was ever a time when Will wished he didn’t live in the middle of nowhere without a road, it was right now. The way Deanna was looking up at him, her eyes so huge and damp with barely contained tears tore through him. Expectancy and desire throbbed around them both and he couldn’t do a darned thing about it.

Will repeated his revelation again, moaning with frustration and pulling her into his arms as he did so, "I can’t, baby."

Deanna breathed out her disappointed, her eyes closing as she drank in his renewed pain. Sliding her arms around his waist and resting her head against his broad chest, she groaned, "I’m sorry."

Surprised, Will chuckled, kissing the top of her curls, "You’re sorry! For what?"

Deanna pulled back a little to look up into his handsome features, "I’m sorry for assuming you’d be okay with taking our relationship further. I should have realised that you probably aren’t ready to become more intimate. I’m sorry for being insensitive."

Will was stunned briefly into silence as her words sent a surge of something that he’d not felt for a long time. Dropping one arm, Will not so gently cupped one soft cheek of her tiny derriere and pulled her even closer. So close Deanna couldn’t mistake his intentions towards her.

As she rose her surprised face up to his smiling one, Will seized the moment, threw caution to the wind, wound his free hand into the soft tangle of her curls, and forced her head to turn. Deanna couldn’t, nor did she want to stop Will as his lips captured hers in a heart-stopping kiss that left her trembling so violently that Will had to support her jellified limbs.

Her own arms lifted to circle his neck, to not only to hang on for dear life, but also to deepen the intimate onslaught, welcoming its power, welcoming the love that poured into her soul, filling it back up to capacity after being empty for so long.

Will struggled, and failed not to choke with emotion as he kissed the woman in his arms as though he was offering her his last breath. So long. It had been so long since that he had felt so at peace, and whole. Oh God, she was back in his arms again and he couldn’t believe it. On and on he plundered her unresisting mouth, too scared to break away and miss another second of heaven.

But sensibility had a habit of rearing its ugly head and Will slowly came back down to Earth long enough to remember where they were and that there was probably a crowd watching them.

Unable to sever himself from her completely, imprisoning her face within his hands, Will continued to rain tiny kisses over Deanna’s face, unsure of who’s salty tears he was tasting, until at last they were simply holding each other once more, letting their heartbeats and desire-saturated emotions sober enough to pull apart.

Swallowing convulsively, Will lifted his head from the sanctuary of Deanna’s hair and looked about the room. Unsurprising, everyone had moved away. Some had gone, some had retreated back to their seats, contentedly listening and losing themselves in the ballad being played, the song somehow fitting the situation and the romantic mood that floated around the club.

Taking Deanna’s hand, Will gently steered Deanna to a quiet part of the club, its previous residents long gone. Sitting himself down, Will eased Deanna down onto his lap and she automatically snuggled in close, laying her head upon his shoulder.

He felt the whisper of her breath against his throat and wondered where they went from here. Past visits to the club usually ended with Will in a drunken stupor, and the club’s owner throwing an old horse blanket over him and letting him sleep the night away.

But tonight, Will was stone cold sober and desperate to get the woman in his arms home and into his bed. Will silently cursed his road - or the lack of it. It was far too dangerous to negotiate the track in the dead of night. As much as he loved the fact that the local natives had resisted moving on into the future, there were times when Will could have killed for a transporter, or even a shuttle pad, the other thing on Will’s agenda, and another reason for grovelling to Carstair.

He inwardly groaned, alerting Deanna of his discomfort, "What’s wrong, Imzadi?"

He shamefacedly looked away from her, his unhappiness pouring from every pore, "I wish I hadn’t brought you here tonight."

Taking his bearded chin within her hands, Deanna brought his face back to hers. Will could see nothing but love in the inky depths, and understanding in her heart, "I’m glad we came here, Will. I’m glad. It won’t be long before daylight comes, and then we can go."

Lifting her hand to his mouth, Will growled against her palm, setting off an ache so deep inside her, she shifted uncomfortably, showing him just what he was doing to her. But he was in agony too, and he too shifted her body, moving it against his own obvious plight, "I want to make love to you, Deanna, and I don’t think I can wait until dawn."

Deanna chuckled seductively, nuzzling against his ear, making his blood roar with hunger, "Nor can I. Let's go for a walk."

They didn’t walk very far.

Stepping out into the sleepy community, the small town bore the signs of desolation. Street lights were muted, curtains were drawn. People were in bed asleep and even the dogs were quiet.

There was no one to hear the couple sneaking into the alley hand in hand. No one to hear the sounds of rapture that soon rose from the darkness, and no one to see love being reborn.

With feet crunching on the sandy ground, the couple disappeared into the shadows. Suddenly Will swung Deanna around, swiftly putting her soft body against the cold timber wall, the muted sounds of music seeping through its seams, the beat dancing in time to the throb of desire emanating from the heated forms as their hips fused rapidly followed by lips.

Deanna offered no protest, her whimper of submission was quickly swallowed by Will’s mouth as he hungrily recaptured hers, forcing it wide open with his hot tongue. She let him in willingly, absorbing his groan along with her own.

Fingers fumbled with buttons, and hands swept over every heated piece of flesh exposed. Urgent, desperate touches accompanied sighs and whispered words of yearning. Scorching kisses, burning hot, set their souls on fire with their intensity. Loins, starved of contact for five long years, searched one another out, frantic with the need of release from being imprisoned for so long.

Sliding a trembling hand inside her clothing, Will found what he’d been searching for his whole life; Red hot. Deanna was ablaze with desire for him. It was there, in his hands, in her eyes, and in her heart. Will found her tiny aroused bud, instinct guiding him, knowing that that was what she ached for; his touch. Both moaned as the intimate contact set off a cascade of feelings that left them both weak with longing.

But Deanna wanted more. She surprised him by suddenly pivoting on the spot, putting one hand upon the rough wall, the other guiding his hand back to its previous position, she shifted her feet apart, waiting. Will needed no further invitation.

Liquid heat. Her desire seeped wantonly against his palm and Will stroked her until she was whimpering for mercy and more into the moonlight. His other hand found its way to her exposed breast, the nights chill engorging the dusky nipple and he twisted it roughly between his finger and thumb until she could no longer stand the torment, grabbing his hand, helping him knead the swollen mound, moving in unison against the invasion of her sex-infused body.

Will could stand no more. Unzipping his own pants he set free his own aching desire, allowing it to create its own homage against her still clad backside. But Will was holding back, Deanna could sense it. It wasn’t what she wanted, she was as desperate as he and she wasn’t going to let him go on a guilt trip. Not now.

The devil invaded her being, making her become a creature possessed. A creature that was going to stop at nothing to claim her mate. Will was surprised when Deanna stood tall against him again, her hands moving to her hips. He was even more stunned when she brazenly pushed down her own clothes.

Large hands suddenly stopped hers, Will’s voice was husky and tormented, "No, sweetheart, you deserve more, it has been too long for me, I wouldn’t last a second."

Large determined eyes met his as she looked up at him over her shoulder, but even in the darkness, Will could see that they were infused with a passion that was not going to be denied. Forcibly removing his hands from her hips and up to her waist, Deanna shoved down her panties in one swift movement, her voice, hard, urgent and begging, as she leant over, the wall becoming her support once more,

"It's been a long time for me too, Imzadi. Do it."

He gave up the fight. Grabbing hold of her tiny waist, Will embedded himself into her, both unable to stop the seemingly over-loud grunt that slipped from their lips, its intensity echoing throughout the alley from the couple, intimately locked at the hip, their shadows imprinted into the darkness for eternity.

But Will didn’t move. Holding her tight against him, he could feel her inner heat pulsating around his own arousal. This was not how he wanted it to be on their first night, but God help him, he’d needed her so badly. He had dreamed of this night, this moment, but now that it was here, he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t make love to the woman he had wanted and worshipped for so long.

Deanna held still for dear life even though she wanted to nothing more than to gyrate against the man loving her, but she could feel his inner battle and she realised that it was another hurdle that Will needed to climb over to move on. But God, she’d needed him inside her. She’d needed to feel that connection, a connection that had been missing for five whole years.

Deanna knew it was up to her to free Will from his ghosts. Licking her dry lips, she whispered into the darkness, her last chance to break through and let Will see past the past, "Make love to me, Will...please."

But instead of him beginning to move, Deanna found herself being pulled upright and Will’s manhood slipping from her depths. He pulled her still highly aroused body tight against his, wrapping his arms completely around her, the heavy throb of their ardour pounding between them, loins, hearts and minds.

Turning her around within his arms, Will gently lifted her chin and gave her the most tender of kisses, his apology written in his blue eyes, "I’m so sorry, Deanna. I haven’t made love to a woman since we...since we..." But he couldn’t say it, he wouldn’t conjure up the last time they had made love, it still hurt too much. Still too raw.

Deanna looked tenderly into his handsome face, wanting him to see her, wanting him to believe her own confession, "It has been that long for me too, Will."

Unspoken questions filled the silence, and hope surged through Will’s veins, "You and Carstair’s have never...?"

Pulling up her lower clothes to cover her nudity, Deanna shook her head, a sad smile flitted across her features, "No. It wasn’t a part of our relationship. I thought I was being loyal to Antony, and the opportunity never really arose. It took a while to realise that I wasn’t able to, nor did I want to. I assumed that once Antony and I were married that it would happen then." Deanna looked away, sadness invading her soul, "But I don’t think it ever would have."

"I’m sorry." Will said simply.

Deanna looked back into Will’s face, puzzlement etched across her own, "Why?"

Will’s shrug was troubled, "For leaving you in limbo. I knew that I was not likely to have another relationship as intense as ours had been, but you clearly wanted to, and that was unfair of me."

Deanna gasped, "No! no, Will. Of all people, I should have known that there could never be another. I stupidly thought that moving away from Betazed, and settling here would somehow free me from my Betazoid heritage and its traditions. I should have realised the bond would keep us linked. I tried to ignore it, for so long, but in the end, as soon as I saw you again, I knew I couldn’t ignore my destiny.

Stepping away from Will, her head hung low, Will barely heard her murmur, "I’m the one who should be ashamed of myself, Will. I’m the one who has not been faithful to our bond."

Deanna started to walk away from Will, but Will grabbed her arm, swinging her back around to him. He was furious, "Hey! Imzadi! Don’t do this to us, not now! Not after everything we’ve been through! I love you!"

Deanna shook her arm free of his hold, but it was too late, Will watched the woman before him put up a wall so high between them that it might just as well have been that same fateful night so long ago. Her words cut him to the core,

"I’m sorry Will, but I don’t deserve your loyalty, or your love. I’ve let you down. I’ve ignored our Imzadi bond, and I’m not worthy of anything you are offering me."

Shocked and dismayed, Will watched her walk away from him, What the hell had just happened!? Within ten minutes, he’d gone from been ecstatic with joy to feeling like he was swimming in the bowels of hell. What had gone wrong?

Then it smacked Will beside the head. Guilt! Deanna was beside herself with guilt. She was feeling guilty for being unfaithful to her fiance, guilty for still having an attraction for him, guilty for not being true to her heritage, and their bond, and guilty for treating him as though nothing was wrong between them. And now on top of that, she felt guilt and embarrassment for seducing him.

Will cursed into the darkness before finally moving his feet to go after her. Searching up and down the dusky street, Will deduced that she’d gone back into the club. Swinging open the door, Will slowly went back inside. He spotted her as soon as he’d entered. She was sitting between Juanita and Gary.

All eyes turned to him, but his eyes were fixed on Deanna. She was scared, and humiliated, he could tell that by the way her eyes wouldn’t quite meet him, and by the way that Juanita was looking at him.

It was there; Guilt.

"Damn!" the word slipped from his lips, Deanna saw it and recoiled with alarm. Will was livid, and he had every right to be. What had come over her!? She had behaved like a whore, and to the man that she was supposed to love. A man that had spent a lifetime looking for her. A man who had given up everything; his life, and his career just to look for her, and build a future for her.

A man that was still so fragile that he cried like a baby at the mere hint of being without her, and in one mad moment, she was bowing down to him like a professional whore. She’d wanted him to make love to her so badly she’d ignored just about everything else. Of course Will wasn’t able to perform - even if he’d had made a superb effort. Deanna moaned inwardly at the memory. How could she ever face him again?

"Damn!" Will spun on his heels and stormed out of the club. What the hell was he supposed to do now? He couldn’t go home and he couldn’t go back into the club. He only had one option left; the jeep.

He sighed disgustedly. It was going to be a long night.

 
     
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