By Carol Sandford


Chapter 12


But he had t

His angry pounding shattered the silence of the still sleeping community, but Will didn’t care. Scrunched up tight inside his cab, cold, lonely and miserable, Will had watched each slow hour pass by, and with every hour, Will’s festering mood escalated. Until at last, the blackness began to lift and the first glimmer of dawn begun to show itself above the treetops.

Uncurling his long body from the cramped confines of his jeep, groaning in agony at the unaccustomed restrictions of his joints, Will almost fell out of his door as he stepped out onto the rough tarmac. Shuddering against the morning’s chill, he took a long leisurely moment to stretch and work out the kinks, but even that didn’t simmer the bubbling storm within his mind.

Walking over to the club house, his footsteps resounding in the quietness, he made his way to the club. Will stared long and hard at the door before him, stopping him from strangling the woman inside, and the same door that had stopped him from barging his way in and dragging that same woman off by her beautiful long neck.

Until now.

He rapped the door hard with his knuckles, evoking a pain that he welcomed, allowing it soak up some of the anger boiling inside him. "Open up, Grey Owl, I know you’re in there, you drunken son of a mother..."

It was a far as he got. Mid thump, the door swung open leaving Will staring in startled surprise at the landlord, looking even worse than he did; hair standing on end, stubble that was so long it showed his true age, and worse, he stank to high heaven of beer.

Will recoiled in disgust as Grey Owl stuck his head through the door, breathing the breath of a drunken bear into Will’s face, "Whaddaya want, Riker, besides a punch in the mouth?"

One second later Grey Owl found himself on his ass as Will, non-too-gently, pushed the man aside and stepped into the gloomy room. The club still held a haze of cigarette smoke, and the air reeked with the stench of beer and bodies. Will had to take a deep breath to stop the bile from rising.

Even in the dimness, Will spotted Deanna, her shadowy shapely form clearly outlined by the haze in the room. Other temporary residents of the club began to stir, the commotion of Will’s entrance filtering through their drunken stupor. But neither Will nor Deanna took any notice of the figures looming in the fog around her as they all rallied around to support her, reminding Will of zombies gathering for a foray.

It took Will a moment to comprehend what was happening. These people were supposed to be his friends. They were supposed to be rallying around him, giving him support, and not a woman who they’d barely met.

But then he realised what he must have looked like. He had barged his way in, spitting fire and brimstone. He knew he must have looked a fright. He could only imagine what his hair was doing, it didn’t behave itself at the best of times, but a night of him ramming his fingers through it in frustration would have created the perfect scarecrow look.

Running shaky fingers through it, Will tried to flatten his hair along with trying to flatten his intense irritation at being treated like the bad guy, when all he wanted to do was pull the darned woman into his arms and say he was sorry.

And he was, more than he ever knew. His eyes softened with sorrow and understanding. His friends having every right to protect Deanna, and eventually even they managed to see his penitence and they stepped back away from Deanna, just far enough to allow him, and her, the choice to take a step towards each other, if they wanted to.

The air was alive with tension, the silence deafening until Will spoke two words; Two words that heralded the start of another day and another excuse to be with the woman he loved, come what may. Swallowing noisily, Will put his heart on his sleeve and whispered,

"It's dawn."

Deanna stepped out of the shadows with fear in her heart. Not because of what Will was going to do to her, but because of the impending conversation. Talking about their baby had been bad enough. Talking about them had been excruciating enough too, but now she was going to have to talk about herself and that scared her most of all.

And Will knew it.

All night long he had gone over and over her words in the alley. Nothing seemed logical. If anyone should have felt guilty it should have been him. He was the one who let her down about the baby, and he was the one who had run out on her.

He had been the one that was unfaithful to their Imzadi bond, but not with another woman. He had been unfaithful to them; himself and Deanna. It wasn’t her fault, it was his and he had to make her see, he just had to. Will was in danger of losing his Imzadi again and he was going to do everything in his power to not let it happen. o get her home first.


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