HOLDING ON TO HOPE

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 03

 
 

There, he had said it. Those words had bounced around his head for five, whole years and now he’d found her, he wanted to know the answer; he needed to know the answer, even if it was only so that he could move on, hopefully with her, but if not, then it would have to be without. It would be a cold day in hell before gave up that easily again. But at least he would have got an answer to something that had eaten him alive for so long.

Will briefly glanced at the silent woman beside him, taking in her sudden pallor. It was obviously not what she was expecting to hear. He guessed she wanted to know if he was going to take her away from her betrothed. The statement had shocked her, but not as much as it had him five years ago when she had walked out of his life without so much as a goodbye. And now he wanted to know why.

The silence that fell between them as Will continued moving out of town and up higher into the forested landscape told its own story; they were both remembering...

**//**

It had been a miracle when they had been reunited on the Enterprise D, even if they hadn’t renewed their once torrid love affair on her home planet. They had grown, time had passed, and they had moved on until they had visited a planet called Baku. Will remembered those times with a tender smile; it had been like old times, only better. They were both older and so Will had thought, wiser. That was until the day that Deanna had told him about the baby.

He still remembered the animation in her eyes as she’d kissed him, took his hand and placed it on her still flat tummy whispering that they had created a new life together. He also remembered how his shock had destroyed the magical moment and that they had never recovered from it. When she had lost the baby two months later it had been the last nail in the coffin for them both.

Believing that Will had been secretly relieved that she had lost their child, as soon as she’d been physically cleared by the hospital, Deanna had left. No goodbye, no note, nothing. Will didn’t know where she had gone, or when she had gone. She’d left him while he’d been away on a mission; a mission that he should never have gone on, but at the time he’d thought it was the best thing to do, for both of them. Now he’d known it was the worst.

It had been true, Will had been shocked at the news of the baby. They had only just got used to being together at last, and Will wasn’t ready to share her with a child just yet. It wasn’t so long before he came around to the idea, but the damage had been done. Deanna had never forgiven him for those negative thoughts, even when he had mourned along side her as they’d watched their baby leave her body prematurely.

Will understood now that it was depression that caused the woman he loved to flee. But back then, it had been different; He was bitter and angry and wallowing in his own misery. He suffered as much as Deanna, locking himself away in his own desolate world whilst Deanna struggled alone in hers. Two souls torn apart and unable to join forces and battle together.

Will couldn’t understand why Deanna hadn’t sought professional help. She was a counselor, for God’s sake. Counselor’s didn’t get depressed or so he stupidly thought. It hadn’t taken him long to realise that doctors were their own worst patients. Never in a million years had he thought that she’d admit to having a problem.

He’d been wrong on that count too, and it was why she had run; escaped him and the stalemate situation they had become locked in, and escaped all the eyes and minds of those close enough to care but not understanding enough to help. It was the worst of times, a time when neither could find solace with anyone but themselves.

Along side the pain of losing the baby, and Will, Deanna acknowledged to herself that she needed help, and she needed to leave the ship to find it. Leaving Will, her soul, and every other bad memory far behind, Deanna made her way to Earth, found herself an excellent counselor and had begun her life again, slowly, painfully, guiltily, but necessary.

Meantime, Will had made some major life-changing decisions himself. Leaving Starfleet and the Enterprise, he returned to Earth and went home, only to find when he arrived, his father in poor health, so poor that Will only got to spend barely four weeks with him before he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Then he discovered that Kyle Riker had signed away Will’s family home and the surrounding land to a property developer. Despite his grief, Will had pulled out every ounce of energy he’d possessed and fought the developers all the way, until at last, they all reached a compromise. Yes, the developers were going to build on his land, but homes that Will helped design; Homes that fitted in with the surrounding landscape. Specialised log cabins created with the less fortunate’s in mind. Kids that couldn’t afford the kind of holiday that Will’s dream envisioned; Fishing, pony treks, tobogganing and fun. Lots of fun.

Even though Will had earned a good sum from the sale of his home and the land, he had channelled a lot of it back into the project, and managed to build a new home for himself in the next county. He’d found the location of his dreams; Moose Pass. He’d seen it and instantly fell in love with the area. It seemed a galaxy away from where he’d been born and raised, but it hadn’t been, not really. It was still the same country and it was still the same beautiful vista. The only difference was the memories. Will had left those far behind in Valdez. Now he needed to start making new memories and a new life. All he needed was one woman to complete the transformation. Deanna.

**//**

It had been a labour of love as he watched his home being built, log by log. He finally actually felt like he had come home, and now he was taking Deanna to see it. He wanted her to fall in love with it. He wanted her to walk in the door and never want to leave it, or him, ever again. He wanted it so bad he was almost prepared to sell his soul to the devil to see it happen. And that was how he’d found himself in Antony Carstair’s office. He needed money and he needed it fast. Carstairs had the ways and the means. All he needed to do was persuade the rich business man that he could become even richer, if he invested in Will’s dream.

That was until he’d walked into her fiance’s office some two weeks ago and discovered that the woman he was selling his soul for, was alive and kicking, so much so, she’d gotten herself engaged. The timing, the moment had been so uncanny, and Will still had to kick himself to believe it. He still wasn’t sure if it was luck stepping in again or if it was fate. Will chose to believe it was fate. He and Deanna were destined to spend their lives together and he had been given yet another chance to prove it. Only this time there would be no mistakes.

 
     
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