By Carol Sandford


Chapter 19


Because I was afraid you’d turn me away.

Her devastating words shocked Will into silence for a long, tense moment. He stared into her damp eyes as though he’d never really done so before, stunned that the thought of him doing what she’d feared, had actually ran through her crazy mind.

And even though Deanna had spoken her excuse out loud, Will still didn’t believe it, or comprehend it and his voice was tinged with puzzlement when he finally spoke.Deanna, do you really, honestly think I would have done that to you?

Deanna’s heart hurt with the pain that flickered through it as she looked deep into his soul and sought the truth and then found it there.

Yes.she replied,the whisper falling from her mouth, sure and true.

Will swallowed the gasp that left his lungs as he continued to study her in the dimness, suddenly wishing that there was more light so that he could see her, and more importantly, so that she could see what her one simple word had done to him.

You can’t mean that?he muttered breathlessly, forcing the words out as his pulse began to thump throughout his body.

Deanna feebly pushed at Will’s chest and Will, suddenly needing to put some space between them, gladly moved away from her naked body. Pulling himself to an unsteady stand, he reached for his pants and yanked them on, the sound of the zipper closing was deafening in the taut silence.

Dragging the sheet around her body to cover herself, Deanna unsteadily swung her feet to the floor, bitterness and regret etching her words when she told him,You seem to keep forgetting that I’m an empath, Will.

With his hands on his hips, Will looked down upon Deanna, and for a moment, he was seeing her with different eyes. He loved her, there was absolutely no question about that, but sometimes - sometimes she just totally and utterly baffled him.

Deanna, the one thing that I never forget is that you ~are~ an empath.And then, as though something occurred to him, a deep, troubled frown appeared upon his forehead and he asked,What did you see when you delved into my psyche, hmm?

Will stood upright and began to pace the floor before her before continuing, the remembered agony evident in his tortured voice.Did you see the pain that was crushing me from within because you were marrying a man that you didn’t really love, well,not in the same way that I loved you, anyway?Relentlessly he carried on.Did you hear me crying into my pillow the night you got married, because that day, you had completely broken my heart?

Coming back to a halt in front of her, Will bent at the waist, leaning down closer to her, locking her eyes with his as he continued emotionally,Deanna, didn’t it occur to you that the reason I was deliberately shutting you out was because it hurt too much to keep you there?He said, tapping his chest lightly to highlight his point.

But then Will reached out the same unsteady hand and touched her face, brushing away a tear that hadgathered and fallen.Imzadi,he said, huskily,I love you. I wanted what you wanted, and you seemed to want Jal. Sweetheart,if you’d have come to me, I would never have turned you away, never, unless you truly wanted me to do so. All you had to do was say, or ask, or let me know. You could have hit me, yelled at me, or even kissed me! Any one of those things, Deanna. Any one would have told me what you really felt and wanted.

Will dropped his hand to her fingers and pulled her to her feet and added,You could have just said that you loved me. It would have been enough for me to have come to you. It would have been enough for me to know you were sure.

By the time he had finished his heart-felt declaration, Deanna was within Will’s arms, holding him close and her hands were sliding up his bare back, settling on his shoulder blades.Oh, Will,she cried against his throat,I didn’t know! All I saw when I looked into your heart was emptiness. I was certain that you didn’t want me. I’d convinced myself that Jal could replace you because you didn’t care enough for me.

Reaching her face up so that she could touch her lips to his, she whispered,But I was wrong, wasn’t I? You caredso much for me that I left you no choice but to let me go.

I was a fool, Deanna, a damned fool. But I won’t make the same mistake again.he growled as he devoured her mouth briefly, plunging his tongue inside, desperate to feel the connection between them once more, before suddenly tearing his lips away. Cupping her face within his large palms, he murmured urgently, as he rained tiny kisses about her stunned, upturned face.Marry me, Deanna. Now, today.

Unable to remove her face from Will’s grip, Deanna could only offer a garbled, strangled,What!? Are you serious!?

Halting his ministrations, Will looked deep into her eyes and whispered,Deadly. I want us to be married, today. Here, in this room, with just the captain, Beverly and Danya to witness it. No one else, Deanna, no one, and I’m not going to take no for an answer.

Feeling as though she was floating on a cloud, Deanna stared at Will with bemused wonder. Laughing nervously into his handsome face, it suddenly dawned on her that this was exactly what she wanted; things to be taken out of her hands, things that she secretly had wanted and craved to happen, just like that.

Yes,she whispered, deciding there and then before sense could intervene and snatch her dream away. A fresh wave of tears threatened, but her smile revealed how she honestly felt.let’s do it, now, today.

Releasing the breath that he hadn’t realized he was holding, Will crushed Deanna to his body, fiercely holding her against him as he became overcome with emotion.I know I should have done this a long time ago, Imzadi, but I swear to you, now that I’ve got you, I am never going to let you go.

Deanna’s heart soared.I love you, Will.

And I love you, Deanna.Will responded back, feeling happier than he’d felt for eons, excitement zipping through him as the implications of what she was telling him filtered through his befuddled mind. Determined to not chance anything else going wrong, hedropped a quick kiss upon her mouth and said urgently,Let’s go find the captain, okay?

Grinning, she nodded and reached for his hand, tugging him towards the doorway. Frowning when she felt resistance, she followed Will’s gaze to her lower body.Ooops,she giggled when she remembered what she was not wearing.I guess I’d better put some clothes on.

Yanking on her arm, Will grinned devilishly as he pulled her backtowards him, tugging away the sheet as he did so, not finding any resistance to his bold move.In a minute, my love. I think we’ve got some making up to do first, don’t you?

As she followed him down on to the bed, Deanna laughed as she reached for his zipper, tugging it down as quickly as he’d previously pulled it up, tucking her palm inside and embracing him briefly within her hand before pushing the material down his lengthy thighs.I think I can spare you a few minutes, and then I want us married. I want us legal.

And as Will’s mouth found her large and luscious nipple, taking it between his lips and suckling it gently, he growled passionately as he moved his face up to meet hers, hurriedly pushing his pants down the rest of the waywith his toes and eventually off his feet, kicking them away with relief and settling his long and hard length between her legs, nudging himself into the welcoming, hot, blossoming cradle of her body,Fancy making it a shotgun wedding, Imzadi?


  Book index   Previous chapter