By Carol Sandford


Chapter 32


Shock rippled through her as Deanna stepped into sickbay and made her way to her husbands side. Feeling her beside him, Will took her hand and pulled her closer to him, preparing her for what she was about to see.

Steeling herself, Deanna finally dared to look at the body that lay on the gurney in front of her. Before her lay a mass of tangled flesh and prosthetics. The blood loss that Worf had endured made it impossible to see what was Worf and what was not.

Thankfully the Klingon warrior was semi-unconscious but even so, his body jerked with the painful spasms that ripped throughout his body making the medical teams job of making sense of what they were touching doubly hard.

Deanna nudged herself forward and gently lay her hand on Worf's battered forehead in an attempt to quieten him. Will watched with fascination as his wife's tender ministrations gradually soothed Worf's troubled mind, her thoughts clearly getting through to him. A quick pang of envy rose within him but he just as quickly squashed it down again, knowing that she would have done the same for anyone who was suffering as much as Worf evidently was.

Now that the Klingon was somewhat calmer, Beverly quickly administered the necessary drug so that she could get him into theatre. Her grateful eyes met Deanna's as she thanked her. "Thank you, counselor. I don't know what you did to him but whatever it was seems to have calmed him down. He was going crazy when we first found him."

"I only told him that he was home and that he was safe, that's all." Deanna replied, stepping back into Will's arms as they made to move him towards the surgical section. "Is he going to be okay?" She suddenly asked, worry clouding her features.

"He'll be okay," She promised. "I'll make sure he's even prettier than he was before. See you all later. I promise I'll let you know when we're done." She addressed Will. "Take her home, commander. That's an order." And with a sweep of her blue med coat, she was gone leaving them all to wait and worry in the silent aftermath of chaos, the answers about Worf's mission hovering unanswered in the now still air surrounding them.

"I wish Alexander were here. Worf needs someone with him." Deanna quietly murmured as Will turned her towards the doors to lead her away from sickbay.

Will squeezed his wife with tenderness. "Alex is a long way from here, Deanna. He can't help him right now, but I know you can. You're closer to him than anyone else on board. Are you going to be able to get him through this on your own?"

As they entered the turbolift to take them to their quarters Deanna snaked her arms around Will's waist and rested her cheek upon his large chest with a grateful sigh. "Of course. He's done the impossible, for us and the Lanaarians. We're all his friends, Will. He's going to need each and everyone of us."

Will's hand continued to stroke Deanna's hair as he held her close to him, suddenly wishing they were in their quarters where he could give her the comfort that she was clearly crying out for. Feeling her against him reminded him how fragile his wife was, what with the Lanaarians plight and how it had affected her mentally. Then there was her pregnancy along side the added pressure of her mother arriving on board. He had heard through the grapevine that there had been several heated words spoken between them and he silently wondered what they had been about. But more importantly, he knew that whatever had happened between Deanna and her mother needed to be resolved, for their baby's sake.

Their baby.

As he watched Deanna move about the room once they'd stepped inside the sanctuary of their home Will couldn't help but watch her looking for the signs that he had so obviously missed before he went away. And then as she stood straight from bending down to pick a pad up from the table he saw the outline of her figure; the gentle swell of her tummy, the breasts, large enough before, now larger still, and as she turned to smile at him, Will saw the radiance in her beautiful face. Deanna positively glowed with health, despite the fatigue that had plagued her recently leaving dark shadows beneath her eyes. But even so, there was no mistaking the obvious.

How could he have missed such obvious signs?

And with a jolt, he realised that it had been because she'd deliberately wanted him to miss them.

She hadn't wanted him to know.

But why?

Slowly he made his way to the couch and sat down. Patting the seat beside him Will beckoned his wife to sit. "Sit down, Deanna. Come and talk to me."

Deanna sighed with relief as she sank onto the couch and snuggled against Will as he pulled her up against him. He kissed the top of her head tenderly and then asked. "Tell me about our baby."

Dreamily Deanna sighed automatically moving her hand to her stomach, rubbing it gently. "He's..."

"It's a boy?" Will asked with wonder.

"It's a boy. " She confirmed with a chuckle. "And he's going to be born mid August."

Will swelled with masculine pride. "Round about my birthday."

"Well, yes," she grinned. I thought it would save on the parties. You know? Combine the two."

"Not a chance in hell." He retorted. "This kid is special enough to have one all of his own."

Deanna chuckled and snuggled closer. Will dropped his head back upon the couch's edge as an elated weariness crept over him. **August** he silently mused. **Damn, so soon. God, it's already Feb...**

Deanna instantly felt his mind and body shift and she warily pushed herself away so that she could see his face. Confused azure eyes met hers. "You're already four months along, Deanna?"

She nodded slowly.

"Can I ask why you didn't tell me sooner?"

Deanna squirmed in her seat. "I already told you the reason why, Will. I didn't want to worry you while you were on Lanaare."

"I was only gone for four weeks. We didn't know anything about the Lanaars until a few days before that. You would have been almost two months along by then. What was the reason for not telling me before then?"

"I...I don't know, Will. There was something inside of me telling me not to tell you. I don't know what it was or the reason why. All I know is that I knew someone's life depended on me keeping it from you."

Exasperated, Will asked, the hint of sarcasm revealing his growing unease. "So...who died?"

Deanna pushed herself to her feet only to have Will pull her back down to his side. "Enough running, Deanna. Tell me. Who died?"

"No one."

"So you could have told me about my son after all?" He grilled relentlessly.

"No. I couldn't take the risk, Will. I had to wait until the danger had passed."

"What makes you think it has? You've still got six whole months to go, Deanna. Anything could happen between now and then."

"It doesn't matter anymore. You would have guessed that I was pregnant before much longer so the secrecy wasn't warranted."

"You're not making any sense, Deanna." And then a horrifying thought zipped through his mind. "Is my son safe? Is that what you're telling me. That my son is in danger?"

Deanna was quick to reassure him. "No, no, he's okay, Imzadi. The danger has passed. He's fine. We're fine. It was just the Lanaarian situation. It was scary, for all of us. Me especially. The Lanaarians terror tore me apart so much that Dr. Selar had to keep me mildly sedated otherwise I would have probably lost our son from the stress levels that I was experiencing."

As Will studied his wife intently trying to determine if she was telling him the truth - the whole truth, Deanna held his gaze with defiance. She hated deceiving him, especially about something as important as the welfare of their child. But what had needed to be done had been done and now it was all over with. She was safe. Her baby was safe and her husband was home, safe. She couldn't ask for anything more other than forgiveness.

"I love you, Will, and I'm sorry for not telling you."

Will pulled her back to his side and cuddled her close, his voice hoarse with tenderness. "I love you, too. No more secrets, though, promise?"

Deanna reached up and met his lips with her own. "I promise. Are you going to take me to bed?"

Will traced her lips with his tongue, dipping inside to taste her sweetness. "Do you want to go?"

"Yes," She purred. "Guess what I found when I was tidying up?"

"Not the handcuffs?" he growled.

"Uh huh. You did threaten to use them if I disobeyed your orders."

Will stood and swept his wife up into his arms and headed for the sanctuary of their bedroom, and sure enough, on the side was the silver cuffs. "You disobeyed me? Damn, woman, you really do try my patience at times."

Deanna was laughing as Will gently threw her onto the bed and followed her down, but within moments, the laughter was gone as the love that had been put on the back burner for what seemed to be eons poured forth from their souls. As Will stripped away Deanna's clothes he deliberately halted his crazed ardour and allowed himself a moment or two to study his wife's body.

Gentle hands and eyes traced a path from her cheek and down over swollen and darkened breasts. His large hand came to rest upon the small swollen mound of her tummy. When his eyes raised to meet hers they were misty with tenderness.

He croaked, his emotions suddenly catching him unawares "Oh, God, Deanna, how could I have missed this? You're exquisite."

Deanna couldn't answer her husband, nor wanted to. Reaching up, she tenderly pulled his face down to hers, the need to have him take her in the only way that she knew would hush his fears for good as he settled his large body atop of hers and reverently loved her as though she were a fragile butterfly. But within moments Deanna realised that the tender loving that he was showering upon her was nothing to do with how he felt about her, but his fear of harming their baby.

She quickly remedied that by suddenly reversing the role and reaching for the cuffs she dangled them before his startled face. "What are you doing?" he asked, expectant curiosity lighting his eyes as he studied her in the starlit room.

"Reminding you that I'm a woman with needs, Will, and not something that is going to shatter into a million pieces just because I'm pregnant with your baby. Now," She demanded, linking her fingers with his and pressing them into the pillow beside his head letting her hair swing to hide them away. "Make love to me before I go crazy."

The gasp that left their lungs took their breath away as she slowly lowered herself onto him. "My God!" Will groaned. "You feel like..."

Deanna chuckled seductively against his throat as she licked a trail along it's length. "Like you're making love to a virgin again. You like?"

And as Will released her hands and gripped her thickening waist and thrusted harder into her, forgetting for an instant that she was carrying his son, he growled unable to keep the feral, possessive tone from his voice. "Are you kidding? Is it going to be like this all the time?"

Before she could answer him, Deanna found herself rolled beneath him, the position and power suddenly reversed. Not that she minded. She'd achieved what she'd set out to do and now that Will's qualms about making love to his pregnant wife had been unfounded. Instead of answering him, Deanna pulled his head to hers and kissed him deeply.

*Damn!* Will thought with wonder. *She even tastes better than she did before* It was the last coherent thought as his wife took him to paradise and then further still.

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