By Carol Sandford


Chapter 03


"I won't ease your conscience, Deanna." he shouted.

Wyatt really couldn't explain why he had reacted with so much vehemence, particularly as he watched the only woman he had ever loved crumple before him. She had hurt him and he hurt her straight back. Deep down inside, Wyatt had known that he was trying to hang onto an elusive butterfly, even if the butterfly in question hadn't know which way it wanted to fly. All he'd known was that Deanna, his betrothed, had some yearnings inside of her that kept her from coming completely to him.

And today, she had finally told him that he wasn't going to be a part of his future. She had no explanations for her decision only that she had known that she could not and would not marry him.

But he wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel yet. "I wanted to marry you, Deanna."

Deanna sighed, hanging her head with shame and a reluctance to drag the futile conversation on for any longer. "I know you did, Wyatt, and I'm sorry."

She turned away from him but his next words halted her steps. "You're going to leave here, aren't you?"

Deanna slowly turned back to him as she pondered over his strange question. Was that in her plans? Would she follow Will when he eventually left Betazed. Where would she go? Her answer was honest when she finally responded with a shrug. "I don't know Wyatt." Her murmured, 'Goodbye.' was barely heard as she turned and walked away, her mind a turmoil of troubles once more as she struggled to find the next path that she needed to take.


"So is it on, then?" Chandra asked excitedly.

"Is what on, Chandra?"

Chandra sighed dramatically. "A date with William T Riker, of course! He's young, dishy, works for the best company in the universe, loves cooking and appears to be completely smitten with you." she added for effect.

Deanna had, 'seen' Will a total of four times since they'd met. Every, 'date' had been under the guise of tutor and pupil, Deanna being the tutor. Will had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and wanted to learn just about everything to do with Betazoid culture and even though Deanna was reluctant to take things beyond friendship, they got on famously. He was easy to be with, and quite the opposite of Wyatt.

Where Wyatt was quiet, Will was dynamic and assertive. Where Wyatt preferred to frequent places that he knew and was comfortable with, Will wanted to meet her friends and new people. Wyatt was quickly being pushed further and further back into the memory pockets of her mind.

But now Will had asked her for a date. A proper date. A date that would probably end with...more. Whilst the idea thrilled and excited her, the very idea of being held and loved by Will terrified her. It was another step towards finding out if he was, 'the one', but even Deanna knew that it would take more than a kiss to find that out. It would take giving her soul away, her heart, and God help her, her body.

Once again, Deanna met Chandra's eyes across the table until, eventually, Deanna released the shaky breath that she'd been unconsciously holding and murmured. "Yes, it's on."

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