By Carol Sandford


Chapter 04


The twosome were still entangled around each other hours later, only waking when Will's communicator indicated an incoming call. Will reached over to tap the offending pin, drowsily moaning, "Riker here."

Data's brusque, almost chirpy voice came back, "Good morning, Commander. The Enterprise is within transporting range. May I inform Chief O'Brien to lock on to your co-ordinates, Sir?"

Will sat up abruptly, causing Carleena to slip from his grasp, almost making her fall off the edge of the bed. Will managed to catch her as he bellowed, "NO! No, Mr. Data. I need one hour, o.k.?"

"Very well, Commander, one hour it is, Data out."

Carleena had turned herself around to a kneeling position so that she was facing him. Her tousled long hair almost covered her naked body, just as Will had imagined it, and neither knew what to say to each other.

Eventually it was Will that spoke first, "I need you with me. Come with me to the Enterprise. This is too good to give up."

Carleena looked at him questioningly, "This...what?" she asked.

"What we have"

"What's that?"

"Something good."

"Something good in bed?"

"That too."

She watched him closely trying to weigh up the alternatives, but there were no alternatives to consider. "O.k."

She wondered at Will's sudden apprehension, and for the first time she began to question if there was someone else on board he was close to. He hadn't mentioned anyone other than the ship's counselor, Deanna Troi. When he had first mentioned her name, something had pricked at the back of her mind, because the name had sounded familiar. Perhaps she was the Betazoid he knew, or maybe it was Beverly, or Guinan.

She started as Will went to get up to get dressed and her hand reached out to stop him as she gently asked, "Will, is there anything I should know before I go on board?"

She caught his guilty look as he weighed up how to explain to her, "I am... very close to someone. We had a relationship once, but we're just close friends now."

She eyed him speculatively, "Are you sure?"

He nodded, giving her a long stare as he tried to make her understand, "I'm sure."

Before she had a chance to say anymore, he turned away and started to prepare to leave. Carleena rose and told him she was going to pack up her own belongings and would be back within half an hour.

As soon as she'd left the room, Will stopped what he was doing and sat down heavily on the edge of the bed, his mind racing at what he was going to say to Deanna. He even toyed with calling her up to tell her before hand, but he balked at how it would sound. Hey Dee, guess what, I've fallen in love with someone and I'm bringing her on board. Do make her welcome, won't you?

He cringed at his own attempt at humour, at about the same time that he chickened out of that particular scenario. Maybe he could get Beverly to tell her. Yes, that's what he'd do, but as he stood to do just that, Carleena came back through the door, dragging behind her a large holdall. Grinning at him, she dropped the bad and made her way over to him, slipping her arms around his waist. "Hi! haven't you packed yet? What have you been doing?"

Once more, Will managed to look guilty. Standing, he began to rapidly stuff his clothing into his own holdall, telling her, "Um...nothing, just trying to wake myself up."

Ten minutes later, they were both ready to go. Carleena wrapped her arm around his waist as he summoned the Enterprise. "Riker to Enterprise."

He heard the answering bleep, and as he looked down onto Carleena's smiling face, his head said, Well, here goes

His mouth said, "Two to beam up."

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