THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACK

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 06

 
 

After an excruciating visit to the bathroom, a dressing check, a medication top up, and a brief top and tail wash, The nurse tucked Will back into bed and generally fussed about him before finally straightening up to watch him intently.

Will knew what she was going to say, but he couldn’t bring his eyes to meet hers. Her quiet voice broke the heavy silence that fell between them. "Are you ready to talk to her, Mr. Riker?"

Will’s eyes locked with hers as his heartbeat began to pulse harder. He felt the rush of tension wash over his body, the adrenalin kick into overdrive, and he knew it was time to face her. He had thought about nothing else since dawn had broke. He took a shaky breath before giving her a stiff nod and one even shakier, solitary word, "Yes."

The nurse tapped Will’s hand gently, her smile gentle. "Okay, I’ll send her in and make sure your not disturbed, but I’m only a buzz away okay?"

Will nodded his thanks, and took a huge breath as he watched her disappear through the squeaky-hinged door.

Will had made up his mind what he was going to say to her. He had thought about nothing else as he had lay in the semi-darkness, but as soon as her slight figure stepped cautiously into the room, all this thoughts, his plans, his words and his dreams flew out of the window.

Despite looking desperately dishevelled, dirty and tired, the woman that stood barely three feet away from him never looked so utterly gorgeous. Her big scared, almost black eyes stared at him, waiting...waiting for a sign, any sign. He gave it moments later by holding out his hand to her as his eyes pleaded for understanding, and forgiveness.

Dee’s heart melted as she took that last final step forward and slipped her shaking fingers into his large comforting hand that immediately enveloped her tiny fingers, pulling her nearer until he’d manoeuvred her to sit on the edge of the bed, close to him. Close enough to reach across and tuck a straggly strand of ebony hair away from her cheek. Dee’s eyes slowly fell shut as the warmth of his finger briefly touched her jaw line, and she missed it instantly when he let his hand recapture her hand. Her eyes sprung open when he spoke.

"I shouldn’t have agreed to this, you shouldn’t be here, I will only cause you more pain."

Dee’s heart thumped against her chest as she began to panic. Surely he wasn’t going to send her away again, not now. "But..why, why won’t you let me in. Why can’t you accept that there is something between us?"

"There is no point. I’m not who you think I am. I’m a bum, I live on the road, I live my life trying to reach the stars. I live with with my fingernails permanently stained black from the oil that I love to wallow around in. I love my life, Dee, I don’t want to settle down in some pretty little town, with a pretty little wife, having babies, and a yard with a dog in it. I don’t want that, Dee and I know that you do."

Dee studied those dirty fingernails and she found herself unconsciously trying to scrub off some of the grime with her fingertips. But when it didn’t budge, she knew that he was right.

"How do you know what I want, Will. Don’t you think I have dreams of my own? Don’t you think I want to travel, see the world, maybe even see the stars with you one day? What makes you so special, Will?"

Fiery eyes met his slightly startled ones. It was the last thing he expected. He expected her to beg him to stay and become the perfect partner...father...lover. He didn’t expect her to have a dream similar to his own.

"I don’t have a home, Dee. I don’t have any money. I sleep under the stars, and if its raining, I sleep under my trailer. Don’t you understand, Dee, I have nothing. Nothing."

"You have a dream, Will."

Will dimly realised that she did understand. She did know what his driving force was, and how important it was to him, and what he had sacrificed to get him to this point. His mind flicked back to the wreck that he had left behind. There lay his dream; a large mangled unrepairable wreck. He was going to have to start again, from scratch. Or maybe it was time to accept the offer of a scholarship that his uncle James had tried his hardest to entice him with.

Maybe he could have both. After his run in with the ground, maybe it was time to go to college, learn engineering, learn how to build a plane properly. Maybe he could get a part time job at the airfield that was not too far from the campus. After all, he had his motorcycle, he had a sponsorship...if he wanted it. He had the chance. It was up to him.

Maybe it was time to live in the real world, even if it was only for a little while. But he didn’t tell her any of this. It had been a long time since he had lived with people, he wasn’t even sure if he could. But if he couldn’t, he needed to escape and leave it all behind. Including her.

Dee watched as the various emotions flickered over his face, but before he had even opened his mouth, she’d known what his answer was going to be. Before she had a chance to back down and before he had a chance to refuse her, Dee quickly leaned forward and settled her lips against his.

If there was anything that she would later regret, she didn’t want it to be this moment. Breaking away long enough to better position herself, she kissed him again. Dee felt his resistance, felt his inner struggle, so she emptied her mind and filled it with him, only him. Her pleasure, her need, her desperate need to show him how much she wanted him. How much she loved him.

Will couldn’t deny himself any longer, he soaked up everything she was offering and gave back more in return. He allowed the kiss to deepen by gently nudging her lips apart with his tongue. With a sigh, Dee gladly let him in. Will moved his one good arm so that he could hold her head tenderly while he devoured the sweetness of her mouth. This vision had been a long awaited moment since he had spotted her across that crowded church, and with a sigh, Will realised that one of his dreams had just come true.

Dee stayed with Will a while longer, until the nurse popped her head around the door and told them that the doctor was doing his rounds. Will finally got her to go home and get some rest, and so with one last, lingering kiss, Dee left the hospital.

Moments after she had left, the red-headed nurse came back into his room and stood beside Will’s bed and studied him gently, "Does this mean that you have resolved your differences, Mr. Riker?"

Will looked long and hard at the woman that had quickly become his friend in the space of a few short hours and spoke with a final clarity that shook him as much as her. "Yes, we have and I’m checking out of here, right now."

Within the hour, Will was dressed, checked out and in a taxi on his way to his uncle James where he made final arrangements to pick up the relevant information he needed to begin his new life as a student and part time mechanic in San Francisco, California.

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