By Carol Sandford


Chapter 41


The resounding clunk of a door closing brought the couple apart with a puzzled frown. Dropping his arms down, Will linked his fingers with Deanna?s and moved nearer to the window so that he could see the street below. Deanna followed his line of sight, her eyes settling on the retreating back of her mother and her trusted valet, Homn.

Fully aware that she?d been spotted, Lwaxana glanced over her shoulder, throwing a wave and a smile their way. Her noisy exit had been deliberate and she thought, very necessary. No one was more conscious of the decisions being made between her daughter and the man that she had chosen than she was. Destiny had to choose it?s road, one way or the other, and she was going to help in any way that she could. Leaving them in peace seemed a good place to start, not that she thought that the young Starfleet officer would be bothered about her hearing things that were not for a mother?s ears, or mind.

I?m going to the hospital to visit, Jeb, my dears. I may be some time she added glibly, her eyes lighting up with mischief before continuing on her way, the swish of her dress fading along with her footsteps, leaving Will and Deanna staring after her, bemusement and awareness taking over from where sorrow left off until she turned the corner, out of sight, and now completely out of mind. Will took a deep breath and steeled himself to face the woman beside him, knowing that things were about to take a different corner.

Shyly, their eyes met briefly, longing and doubt swam in their depths, creating a silent moment that neither seemed able to fill. Breaking their linked hands, Deanna found herself wandering aimlessly away from Will, moving cautiously and slowly as she endeavoured to fight against the magnetism that constantly hauled her towards him.

They were going to make love, of that she was sure. Her body and soul vibrated with the knowledge that they were going to be joined, in every nuance of the word once more. It was just a matter of when they would both give up the fight and succumb to her mother?s more than blatant suggestion.

If only life was that simple.

Sighing, Deanna slowly sat down upon the small chair in front of her dressing table, her gaze never leaving the man opposite, who, after a moment, followed suit and sat himself down, upon her bed. It was the only logical place for him to sit and he did so with some reluctance. Not because it was her bed, and it was pink and frilly and he felt incredibly silly, but because he simply wanted her on it with him, doing the natural thing that lovers do on it, frills and all.

Deanna watched Will, ignoring his unease as she tried to find the words to break the uncomfortable silence. She took a deep, unsteady breath as she boldly faced Will and finally spoke. "You shouldn?t have come."

Her decidedly brave but stupid words released the stiffness that kept Will?s body rigid, inwardly smiling as he realized that she was going to keep up the futile fight. He liked fighting with her. It meant the making-up would require very ounce of his masculine skills to subdue whatever it was that kept her coming back for more.

Most of the time. There had been a couple of occasions when her arguing had torn him to pieces as he battled against her, leaving him mentally battered and bleeding. But not this time. This time he welcomed the argument because he?d been given Lwaxana?s blessing to prove himself, and he wasn?t going to waste the opportunity, even though it would probably be his last encounter with her daughter.

He took and even deeper breath than she. "Yes I should have. We?re not finished yet, Deanna. You can?t push me away this time." he said, with conviction.

Deanna swallowed, her dark eyes rising to meet his in defiance. "I will not let you destroy my life any further, Will. I don?t want to see you anymore."

Will smiled, but the smile didn?t quite reach his eyes. "Too bad. I?m not going anywhere until we resolve this." he promised.

Deanna blinked, fear creeping up her spine. "Resolve what?" she asked, bewildered, her slender shoulders rising. "You are destined for the stars, I am beholden to my planet, my people. One day, I will become an ambassador like my mother. I belong here, Will, and you will not stay with me."

Will stood and made his way slowly towards her. "You haven?t actually asked me what my plans are, Deanna. You?re being a little presumptuous about my future, aren?t you?" he asked, reaching her chair and spreading his hands upon it?s back so that he could look down onto her face.

Courage filled her again as she searched his azure eyes which now glittered with malice. "No," she told him. "You?re a Starfleet officer. You would not have joined if your intention was to remain on land." *Here with me* she silently added.

"But things have changed, haven?t they, Deanna?" he asked. "I made love to you and you changed my entire existence. I?m still not sure if I should be pissed about it or overjoyed." He pushed himself away from her, disgust and despair surging through him as he fought against the frustration that consumed him and her pull, a pull that seemed to constantly be there. He moved across to the window and stared unseeing out at the street below, trying to make sense of it all, and failing. When he spoke again, his heart hurt with the all the confusing chaos that it was trying to decipher. He gave up on that quickly too. "Frankly, lady, I don?t know whether I?m coming or going, and I don?t like the feeling."

His words hurt them both because they were each torn with the same excruciating dilemma, and for a long moment, Deanna couldn?t answer him, simply because she didn?t know what to say. But her silence unnerved Will; made him feel lost, desperate even, because he was conscious that silence usually meant the answer would not be the one he wanted to hear.

He spun on his heels, his palm reaching towards her, beseechingly. "Deanna." He paused, hesitant to ask the obvious. "Imzadi, what are we going to do about us?"

Deanna held the breath that caught in her throat when Will spoke the one word that meant more than live itself to her. "What do you want to do, Will?"

His answering anger made Deanna jump even though, deep down, she expected nothing less. She couldn?t help it, it was the Betazoid within her; analysing, soothing, questioning. But Will?s response quickly told her that this wasn?t somebody else?s life she was trying to aid, it was her own, and Will?s.

"Damn it, Deanna, don?t do that!" He roared, sorrow forcing his voice to crack under the strain of keeping himself from losing it all together. "Don?t keep treating me like one of your cases. I deserve more than that. I deserve an answer, Dee. An honest answer."

The fire in his words left as quickly as they came and Will dropped to his knees onto the floor before her and took her icy fingers within his warmer ones, his eyes reaching into her heart for an answer for their desperate situation.

But she couldn?t give him what he sought. "Will," she wept with the wretchedness that they both felt, her face twisted and tortured with indecision. "I don?t know. I just don?t know."

Will couldn?t take anymore. It was over and done with with. They?d reached stalemate. Neither wanted to let go of something that they both realized was beyond their ability and comprehension. They simply were not ready to give every inch of their hearts, bodies and souls, and their separate lives to become what Imzadi required them to be.


Nor were they prepared just walk away from each other without, *something.* And that something was there, now, right between them waiting. Will answered the plea by pulling Deanna from her chair and up into his arms, carrying her the few steps to her bed.

As he lay her down amongst the tumbled array of bedding and clothes, all got discounted as Deanna laced her arms around his neck, pulling him down with her, settling her lips upon his as her head touched the soft pillow.

Gently, Will gathered her within his arms and kissed her as deeply as he could, stealing her breath away to keep it for his own, for another time, another place. For tomorrow, when he left Betazed, and Deanna, his Imzadi, for good.

The tears began to flow as they tenderly, reverently began to divest each other of their clothing. It was done in silence, a silence that was as accepted as the decision that had mutually passed between them as Will had picked Deanna up to carry her to the bed. To their last intimate bonding before he left.

To their final unspeakable goodbye.

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