By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


He looked a pathetic sight. Slumped so low in the armchair, it could almost be classed as laying down. One fist propped his head as his eyes, heavy with brooding, stared at the hologram on the low table before him.

The room was silent. Will Riker wanted the solitude to accompany his mood. He was miserable. The miserabilist he had been in his life, and it was all down to her. It was all her fault. If she hadn't have stepped into his life and fallen in love with him, made HIM fall in love with her, and made him feel the way that he did today, he wouldn't be suffering like this; Feeling totally and utterly miserable.

He sighed dramatically, his huge chest puffing up with the exertion his breath had just enforced on it along with the pain that hurt his heart more than he would have ever admitted to anyone, least of all to himself, and certainly not to her.

The curse that slipped from his tortured lips as he pushed himself up out of the chair was barely an inkling of how he truly felt; frustrated, tormented, downright angry, and God, so, so sorry. His eyes fell to the hologram again; to the image of him and her. His arms are wrapped around her from behind fitting her so close to his body, and he remembered the giggle as his hardness had made sensual circles on her lower back. She fitted against him like a well worn glove. Perfect.

Then there was her smile. Deanna's special, private smile for him alone. Breath-takingly beautiful, sensual, happy and ready to break into laughter any moment.

And then there was her eyes. Everything Deanna felt for him, for the happiness she felt and for the love that she had for him, all shone from those eyes that stared back at him, and he felt sick.

Will's fingers dug into the back of the seat, the dark shadow's under his eyes mirrored his misery as he stared up at the ceiling groaning with pain, his voice low with the wretchedness that he felt. "God, Deanna, what the hell am I going to do?"


Deanna Troi had snubbed his advances, again. After nearly nine years of working together, building an incredible friendship together, being there for each other through thick and thin, Will was ready to take the next, and what he'd thought, natural step. He remembered visibly recoiling with shock as his last conversation with her some two days ago now sent him into the downward spiral that had led him to this point; to this state. To the edge of hell. One step more and he was sure that's where he would be because he figured that even hell was better than here right at this moment.


"Don't you think it's time, Deanna, time for us to be together, as a couple, as lovers? I want that now, Deanna, more than anything. I want to marry you, soon, and I want us to have a family. I want you so much Deanna. I love you."

Will had laid his heart on his sleeve in his quarters just two days ago. As she'd sat on his sofa and he'd knelt at her feet, his body between her knees as he clutched her hands, holding them close to his heart. He wanted her to feel his heartbeat; feel its excitement and know it was for her.

The silence had lingered between them like a heavy rain cloud overhead; ready to burst forth with whatever nasty secret it had hidden. Will watched the woman he adored stare at him as though he had grown another head, and in an instant her thoughts effectively blocked him out. She hadn't done that for a long time.

A full minute past before Deanna finally spoke. "I love you, Will, more than you'll ever know, but I can't be your wife, not now, not ever."

As she moved to a stand, Will Automatically moved aside to let her do so, but remained seated on the floor. In truth her statement had knocked him sideways and he didn't think he could have stood if he;d tried. Deanna didn't need to see how much her words had hurt him, she'd felt his pain rip right through to her very soul.

Teary sapphire eyes met equally teary onyx ones and Will's voice broke on the one word, the only word he could summon up to utter. "Why?"

He watched Deanna turn a full complete circle in the middle of his quarters before slowly coming to a stop in almost the same place as she had started. Only this time when she faced him, the tears that had filled her eyes, now slipped effortlessly down her porcelain cheeks.

Her voice cracked with emotion as she attempted to make him see, make him understand. " first mistake was to fall for you." She stopped her words as his audible gasp rocked her to the core, but not as much as the man's who's heart she had just shattered in one fell swoop.

Going to his side once more, Deanna sat down on the edge of the seat, her eyes never once leaving the man before her. His own were locked with hers, and nothing, nothing could have torn his disbelieving gaze away from her. His hand reached for hers and held it tightly, holding on for dear life as he implored,

"Don't say that, Deanna, don't ever say that. I love you more than life itself. How could you not love me? How could you throw away everything that we had, everything we've got? Deanna, you can't deny us! We were always meant to be. How can you say we were a mistake?"

Deanna's anguished look as she battled with her own demons gave Will an ounce of hope as he'd realised that she was looking for a reason to believe what her head wanted to tell her, but her heart was screaming something else.

"Don't you see, Will, we were a mistake. What we had was born out of a need to be together at a moment in time that was right for us. Our time in the jungle was the most intense, most passionate and the most beautiful thing either of us had ever experienced. But we should have left it there. We should never have become, Imzadi."

Will swallowed painfully as he tried to absorb what she was saying, but his mind was still swirling from her very first statement, until he finally registered her last, We should never have become Imzadi.

"You can't mean that?"

"Yes, Will, I do." Deanna was very certain, and very final.

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