By Carol Sandford


Chapter 02


"That was rotten of you, Chandra. You knew I wasn't ready to have another man complicating my decision yet."

"He still walked you home, though, didn't he? Did he kiss you?" She asked gleefully, clearly unrelentless as she endeavoured to capture another forkful of her prawn cocktail.

"Chandra!" Deanna gasped indignantly.

Chandra waved her fork delicately mid air at her after devouring the tasty morsel. "Oh, stuff it, Deanna. You were crying out for help. I'm helping."

"You call that helping?" She cried. "Chandra! he...he..." Deanna melted when Will's gently smiling face swam before her."

"Yes?" Chandra asked, her face alive with joy at her successful entrapment.

Deanna realized the futility of her outrageous outburst as she caught the laughter in her friends eyes. Shaking her head with bemusement, Deanna finally acceded. "He was...nice."

"Nice!!?" she cried. "Nice!!? Deanna, the man is adorrrrrrable. The man is a hunk. The man is a sex god. The man is...."

"Okay, okay, I get the picture!" Deanna laughed and then quickly sobered. "How do you know if he's a sex god?"

Chandra grinned knowingly at her closest friend. "He's nice, huh?" effectively bypassing the question.

Deanna laughed. "Stuff it, Chandra."

Chandra managed to suppress the knowing grin and concentrated on her lunch again, steeling herself for the serious talk that she knew was coming. Deanna had decisions to make and needed her opinion. But in Chandra's mind, the decision was already made. The fact that Deanna had technically pushed Wyatt Miller aside and searched for something more was the bulk of the problem solved. Meeting Will was another one solved, too, as far as Chandra was concerned. Will was perfect for her. The final problem was slightly more awkward.

Chandra had always known that Deanna had itchy feet and longed to explore, even if she hadn't actually realized it yet. Marrying Wyatt would have chained her to Betazed, and to her mother. As much as she loved her best friend, Chandra had to encourage her to let go. Letting go of Wyatt and Betazed's pull would set her free to find her true self, and her true love, and Chandra truly believed that William Riker from Planet Earth was that man.

"Help me, Chan. I don't know what to do." Deanna's quiet plea inched its way into Chandra's musings.

"About what?" She asked, knowing full well what her buddy was requesting.

"About...." she struggled with which item perplexed her more and gave up. "Everything!" she said with exasperation.

Just for clarification, she asked, "You want me to map out your life for you, tell you what to do, where to go, who to marry?"


Chandra laughed out loud.

"Don't laugh at me, Chan, this is killing me." Deanna said sadly, her eyes instantly misting.

Chandra instantly sobered. "Talk to Wyatt."

"Why would I want to talk to Wyatt, Chandra, he's the problem - well, one of them, anyhow."

"He's your tie here, Deanna. You need to be free of him before you can decide on anything else. Talk to him."

"And then?"

Chandra sighed. "Talk to Will."

Deanna's eyes widened. "Why on Earth would I want to talk to him, I hardly know him." She protested.

"Because he's the key - to everything." She explained, hoping fervently that the darker woman would gleen some kind of understanding as to why the Starfleet officer was to be important to her.

She did. "You think he's the one, don't you?"

"The one?" Chandra asked innocently, silently holding her breath as she waited for her answer.

"My Imzadi." Deanna murmured with sadness, suddenly realizing the importance for her discovery.

Chandra held her breath. "I don't know, Dee. Do you think he is?

Deanna's eyes met and locked with Chandra's as the two women took stock of the question until eventually Deanna whispered, "I don't know."

Chandra reached over and touched her arm with tenderness and whispered, "Then I think it is time you found out, for once and for all." Then squeezing her arm playfully she said with laughter, "And put us all out of our misery."

The girls laughter rang around the small bistro, hiding a myriad of chaotic emotions that bubbled beneath the funny moment. Chandra was right; she did have to confront Wyatt and put her past behind her, sort out her future and discover if Will was indeed the key to everything that was keeping her heart and soul hostage.

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