By Carol Sandford


Chapter 42


The sunset?s shadows crept across the naked couple, heating their skin as it said good night to the day, but neither Will or Deanna noticed as they lay upon the bed. The only sound to be heard was the seductive rustle of linen as slow, exploring fingers swept along each others bodies and the heady, desperate strangulated gasps of longing as they kissed. Unable to stop them, Deanna?s tears trailed down her temple, through her hair to leave an ever growing damp patch upon her pillow but neither acknowledged them. Neither wanted to.

Will lay nestled between her thighs, his thick length nestled against her, comfortable to be there as though it belonged and had done for many years, the small movements along her heated and damp softness, delicious and totally torturous, familiar and wanted. The desire to plunge himself deep into her body consumed everything but his mind, but his heart refused to give in to the physical need. He was going to take it slow, even if it killed him, despite Deanna?s futile attempts otherwise.

Eventually, Deanna began to squirm against him, trying frantically to move just so, so that Will would slip inside her, but he wasn?t having any of it and evaded her every effort until, with a groan of agony, he tore his mouth from hers and captured her head within the palm of his hands and searched her face, pleading for mercy.

"Sweetheart," he moaned, "Baby, stop. I?m trying to go slow but you?re making it impossible for me." But even as he said it, he couldn?t stop himself from gyrating gently against her welcoming body.

But she was a novice, and right at that moment, Will was relieved that she was. A more experienced woman would have known how to manipulate him into getting what she wanted. A more experienced woman wouldn?t be laying there with tears streaming from her eyes, the dark, glistening orbs begging him to make love to her. She would have flipped him over and impaled herself upon him. She would have reached in between their bodies and guided him into her. She would have...

In a heartbeat Will found himself flat on his back, the air leaving his lungs on a whoosh with the surprise and ferocity of her sudden and aggressive manoeuvre. Even though her eyes still shone with spent, and unspent tears, Deanna had that determined, ?I?m in control now, buster? upon her face.

Will stared at her, shocked at her boldness, his eyes widening even more as she shimmied her lower body down his stomach, her moist heat burning a trail all the way down to his burgeoning and waiting hardness and he couldn?t stop himself from dropping his hands to her hips and guiding her to him, her dampness re-lubricating him, preparing him for that final union.

Dropping her palms to his hair-roughened chest, Deanna spread her fingers wide, balancing herself above him, tormenting him with her body, enticing him with her eyes and her smile. "So you think I?m not experienced, Lieutenant Riker, hmm?" she drawled, her voice husky with the tears that still threatened to fall. "You think that just because you?ve only made love to me twice that I know nothing about the act of having sex?"

Will inwardly groaned, realizing in an instant that the witch had invaded his mind. "That?s not fair, Deanna. You have the advantage" But his choice of words had a strange effect on him and he found himself growing still, his hands, his body, even his heartbeat for a moment.

Deanna grew still along with him, watching his face with dismay at her untimely admission, mentally berating herself for using her gift to better the man beneath her, a gift that was scorned amongst her own kind.

"I don?t think I like you invading my mind, Deanna. It kind of makes a relationship pointless, doesn?t it?" he asked sadly, feeling his body and ardour cool considerably. He shifted her from his lap and sat up, swinging his legs over the edge leaving her kneeling behind him. He felt her slump onto her heels, her sorrow sweeping over him in a wave that crashed against his own feeling of loss.

"I?m sorry," she murmured, and Will?s shoulders drooped along with his futile attempt to argue against her. Time was too short, for them both, but he wasn?t going to let up, not yet. He liked it when they sparked together, and they were both itching to re-ignite. But it still stung.

Surrendering to the inevitable, Will sighed as she shifted towards him and wilted when her hands settled upon his shoulders. He dug his fingers into the mattress? edge, shifting his frustration and longing into the bed?s softness rather than aim it at Deanna.

"Then why did you do it?" he growled quietly, his attempt at inflicting some annoyance into his voice failing as she dug her fingers into the a tight knot between his shoulder blades that he hadn?t even noticed was there. "Do you have any idea how it makes me feel knowing that whatever I?m thinking about, or who I?m thinking about, you know about it, intimately? It?s trespassing on my privacy, Deanna. It?s not fair."

But Will melted even more when he felt Deanna?s mouth touch the top of his spine, her moist lips leaving behind an imprint that cooled as soon as her mouth left his skin,

"I said, I?m sorry, Will." her voice grew husky and slightly sulky, but it only lasted for a second or two. Will felt a different shift in her and he stiffened in anticipation as he felt her breath against his nape as she trailed her tongue along it?s length.

"Do you want to see what I?m thinking about?" she asked innocently, but the words were laced with mischief and Will soon garnered the idea that it was anything but when she pressed her naked breasts against his back and slid her palms down his chest, leaving feint welts as she raked them back up to his shoulders. One palm continued higher, pulling his chin around so that she could settle her open mouth upon his. The apologetic kiss barely began before she felt his tongue beg for admission against his stubborness.

But he couldn?t deny her one thing as he twisted his torso and slipped one hand around her waist, pulling her around onto his lap, finding himself right back to where he was just a few moments ago. Gravity and Deanna?s insistence pulled him back flat on his back. She hovered a scant few inches away from his face, looking deep into his eyes, and he was sure, right into his very soul.

Will drowned in the chocolate pools and he felt himself harden purely on what he saw before him. He laced his fingers with hers and silently they both studied the tender and innocent joining, so simple but so overwhelmingly powerful.

Will?s gaze left their entwined fingers and he studied Deanna?s face, his thoughts tumbling through his mind at what tomorrow would bring. He would leave her, he had to, and he wasn?t looking coward to the fall-out that was going to happen.

But that was tomorrow. Today... today was different. Today he needed her. And today he wasn?t going to let her go. Nor was he going to let go of her hands. She was so beautiful and Will mentally pinched himself to re-assure himself that he was indeed here, with her, in her bed and about to make love, both mentally and physically.

Why us? Why did have to go so wrong for us? he mused, a lump forming in his throat at the bittersweet gift that destiny had accorded him, a gift that was going to be the ultimate cost of something that would never, ever be fulfilled and his gut began to churn with a mixture of sorrow, and a strange sense of gratitude.

Deanna watched Will silently as she hovered above him and watched the conflicting play of emotions flicker, not only across his face, but through his entire being. Feeling slightly ridiculous, leaning over him, stark naked, hovering on the brink of taking him into her body, taking them both onto that next level of ecstasy, she gently lowered her form against his, the movement so subtle, so slow that anything sexual that could be garnered from the motion became diluted in the tender action.

Instinctively, Will?s arms moved to hold her close, and he sensed the change in Deanna?s mind and body again as they switched mode, both unable to hold onto the constant ebb and flow of their slowly crumbling relationship.

God, what are we going to do? he sighed, melting against her, tucking his face into the soft curve of her throat, drinking her scent, the sense of peace that always seeped through, calmed him, cherished him, and he wondered if it felt exactly the same for her.

Will?s warmth flowed through Deanna, physically and spiritually, drowning her in the river of turbulent emotion that poured from each of their souls. *What can we do?* Deanna wondered sadly to herself, feeling the tears prick at her eyes again. She?d heard his silent question and her heart ached for not only him, but for them. For the loss of never knowing what their future was going to be like. For the children that they were never going to bear. For everything.

Deanna answered him silently. You?re not staying, so I?ve got to let you go. But he didn?t hear her, the thought to deep within her, too painful.

Deanna turned her face and buried it deeper into Will?s shoulder as she tried to hold on to her crushed emotions, feeling a cascade of pure agony ripple through her, setting off a tremor that threatened to engulf her. But her guttural silent thought created a breath from Will that was so painful that it was hoarse, Deanna realised that she had not only said it silently, she had whispered it aloud.

"I?m going to let you go, Imzadi. That?s what I?m going to do. I?m going to let you go."

Time stopped, until unsteadily, Will pushed her up by her shoulders until he met her eyes head on. Lifting her face to his, Deanna hovered just above his, close enough for her to see herself within his blue eyes. Close enough for him to know that what she was telling him was important, even though it was breaking her heart. Moving his hands to gently cup her face, Will searched their depths for the truth and saw it there along with acceptance, sorrow, loss, pity, bravery, and her own tearful farewell.

"I?m sorry, Imzadi, I never meant for this to happen to us." He whispered thickly.

Deanna?s eyes slipped shut as she tried in vain to shut out everything that was so desperately wrong, the small shake of her head defying her shattered heart. Will pulled her lips to his and gently kissed her. But one kiss wasn?t enough to remove the searing pain that bubbled up from deep inside and he kissed her again. And again. And again until pain become a bruising ardour, determined to seek justice for being denied.

As the kisses deepened, their bodies responded to the gentle coaxing, and like two lost souls searching for home, they joined on every level. Will edged himself inside Deanna without the carnal need that had consumed him earlier. He didn?t need it now; that all consuming need to take and possess her. He had gone beyond that.

This was about Imzadi, pure and simple. It wasn?t about love, and it wasn?t about desire. It was about being whole. Complete.


A oneness that was soon to be ripped apart, forever.

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