By Carol Sandford


Chapter 09


The older woman looked from one to another again as she tried to weigh up the situation that she had unwittingly created. She didn't like being accused of keeping the young couple apart, but, could not deny the allegation either. She 'had' wanted them to separate back then. Then they had been too young to be devoting their entire lives to each other. No matter that she and Ian had barely been the same age. Things had been...different... back then.

She knew the youth of today were an entirely different race. Sex had never been on the agenda back when she was courting, like it was in todays society, no matter what culture you came from. It also somewhat disturbed her to find out that it seemed to be her own daughter that had initiated the couplings between herself and Will, and that forced her to look at Deanna in a completely different light.

Was she wrong to hold onto her; Make her be the woman that she clearly did not want to be? But then again, how did she know whether Will's intentions were entirely honourable towards Deanna? He seemed like the kind of man that, given a responsibility, he would do his utmost to uphold it.

But this wasn't any ordinary romance they were talking about. This was the love of all lovers.

This was Imzadi.

So what now?

A year ago will had left Deanna behind. And this time it seemed that he was going to leave her behind again. What she couldn't figure out was, why, when he obviously didn't want to?

And Deanna, where did she stand in all this? She seemed to be the one doing all the chasing, but didn't seem to be making any headway with her pursuit. Lwaxana had no doubt of Will's feelings towards her daughter, so why wasn't he putting his foot down where Deanna was concerned? What was he waiting for?

The age of Terran consent? Ha! A bit late for that! It was just as well that the Betazoid age of adulthood was considerably younger, otherwise Will Riker would be rotting away in a prison somewhere not so nice!

Or was he waiting for herself to up and die so that he could marry Deanna who would become her natural successor? She would inherit somewhat more than the title of Ambassador. Deanna would become the Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.

But maybe, just maybe, Will just wasn't ready to settle down yet, no matter how much he obviously wanted her. He was running scared.

And now Deanna was running after him. No matter how much he wanted Deanna, he was fighting it all the way. And, in some ways, Lwaxana couldn't blame him. But then, he should never have made love to her daughter. In doing so, he had sealed his fate, and his future. And perhaps he'd realised and was trying to do the only thing he could do; run.

And as Lwaxana watched the couple slip into each others arms, her own eyes filled with tears from not just seeing the touching scene, but feeling first hand the torment that was washing over her in waves, she decided she had to do the only thing that she could do.

Help him run.

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