By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


The end of the shift beckoned the weary crew of the Starship Enterprise D. Deanna Troi had been relieved when the away team reported back on board. More importantly, her very precious Will was also back and safe and sound once more.

Deanna's level of anxiety rose tenfold when Will was away from the safety of the ship. No one knew the perils that lay beyond its metal hull, and no one knew who was friend or foe, until it was usually too late.

So far, life had been "kind" to them, but they all knew that one day, someone or something would not be kind enough to spare their lives. Deanna fretted with these thoughts every time her Imzadi went on a mission.

Will wearily sat back in his chair as he relaxed after the mission which, for a pleasant change, went without any hitches. However, he also felt it was one boring trip out and a waste of time. William T. Riker lived for the promise of adventure. Secretly, it was one of the main reasons he did not really push for promotion. Once he was Captain, he would be stuck on board with his executive officer getting all the juicy assignments, and, most of the time, having all the fun.

Will's eyes briefly glanced over to Deanna, who was staring off into space. As he yet again sat and admired her, he felt himself grow warm with the glow that existed even if they were not strictly a "couple".

But as much as Will loved her, and as much as he would like to become as intimate as they were on Betazed, he wanted things to stay just as they were. The concept of Deanna becoming his wife made him break out into a cold sweat.

The very thought of him not returning to her one day from an away mission was more than he could bear to think about. No matter how much he loved her, Will was determined that on board, friends was how they were going to stay.

Deanna caught Will's glance and threw a teasing smile his way. His eyes sparkled in response, no doubt with his own brand of mischief, and she knew that he was thinking about her, and them.

Will Riker had become her closest buddy, and he was there for her...always. Sometimes, they came so close to crossing over the barrier from friends to lovers, but they both always managed to stop themselves, mindless of their bodies screaming out for the loving they both wanted so much.

Deanna hated it when Will went on away missions. Not knowing if he was coming back alive left an ache that reached down to her very soul, whilst her relief was just as intense when he shimmered back into existence on his return. For this reason alone, she refused to contemplate taking the relationship any further than it already had.

~*~*~*~*~ Deanna watched him as he walked along the edge of the shoreline, the frothy surf washing away his footsteps almost before he had left them. She admired his tall, lean body, bare except for the shorts that hugged his never-ending long legs and she ached for him before he had even reached her.

"Hello Will, you took your time tonight, I was beginning to think you had stood me up."

Her eyes teased him as she watched him walk up to her and soon she found herself gathered within his arms. As Will swung her around, Deanna's laughter was swallowed in their deep kiss. Deanna clung to his body as she slowly slid her down his length, enveloped totally within his embrace. Will's hunger for her echoed in the groan that found its way up from deep within him. He brought his hands up to gently cup her face, placing tiny kisses all over her face as he whispered urgently.

"I love you, Deanna, I need you. Let me love you, Imzadi."

By the time they had both sank to their knees onto the soft, damp sand, they were free of the few scraps of clothings that had seperated them. And as the moonlight shadows danced over the now re-united lovers bound together in that intimate dance, the gentle waves washed over their bodies, trying it's best to tug apart the two spirits that had melted into each other but failed to cool the hot desires that poured from deep inside their very souls. The roar of the distant surf drowned their cries as they exalted in the ecstasy of their secret love...~*~*~*~*~

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