By Carol Sandford


Chapter 03


It took a humongous effort not to grill Deanna when she returned a little later. But even so, I didn't miss the melancholy way that she glanced away when she said his name, nor did I miss the feint tinge of pink that sat high upon her magnificent cheek bones. Nor did I miss the swollen, now lipstick free lips that struggled not to tremble in front of me.

I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to know. I had to ask and my heart thumped as I gently and quietly pulled her into my arms and searched for her eyes. It wasn't until she eventually and reluctantly rose them to meet mine, and when I was certain that she was back with me, that I asked with unwarranted dread, "Are we okay, Deanna?"

After a moment her beautiful obsidian eyes looked at me with puzzlement. "That's a strange thing to ask, Will. Why did you say we and not you? Of course 'we're okay'," She hesitated before reluctantly admitting, "I'm just not too sure about me, though."

Somewhat contrite, I swept my lips gently across hers, feeling a bit of an ass for being so melodramatic. Her response to my kiss was automatic which I somehow found a tad unsettling, so I kissed her again, this time sweeping my tongue into her mouth, wanting - needing her to come back to me. I felt her shudder against my body and I recognised from her inner turmoil that I was pushing her too hard, too soon as she was silently struggling to replace him with me, her pity for him overshadowing everything.

She'd spent almost an hour in his room and it had driven me to distraction. Crazily, I had imagined all kinds happening within those four walls. I had imagined them locked together in the mother all embraces. I had imagined... Oh, God, I was going crazy imagining. Utter madness on my part, but I did have good reason, after all.

And now a very subdued Deanna had come back to me and I felt as though I'd lost her all over again.

I knew she needed time so I made to let her go, but suddenly she thrust her body against mine, slipped her slender arms around my waist and hugged me tight. Her tortured, "Hold me, Will." broke my heart and as hugged her harder still, I appreciated right then just how much this meeting had cost her. And maybe us. I had to find out where I - we stood, for my own sanity.

"What happened, Deanna? Can you tell me, or is it too... personal?" I asked gingerly.

She shivered as she remembered how he'd taken the news that she and Will were an item. "He had hoped for another chance, Will and it killed me to tell him that there wasn't one. God," she moaned, "I don't ever want to go through another moment like that again."

Suddenly I didn't want to hear anymore as my perverse curiosity had been somewhat appeased by her heart-rendering confession and as I lifted her lips to mine, I bleakly wondered if that would be the end of it. I didn't doubt for one minute that Deanna would betray me, but I did doubt though that the other me would, if he got the chance, especially now he knew who his competition was.

Our subsequent love-making was strange, even by my standards, and when her breathy sighs eventually cried out my name, I couldn't help but wonder who was really in her arms. Was it me, or was it him? And as I kissed away the trail of tears that ran down her face, the disturbing image of us climbing to the stars together suddenly turned foggy as it deliberately obliterated my mind, leaving me in no doubt that the woman still entwined around me had just made love to someone else, of that I was certain.

The only thing I needed to find out now was whether it was from a memory of long ago or a meeting that I really probably should have gone to.

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