By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


Will watched the couple move around the small dance floor and the man's sheer size almost filled the area originally designed for dining tables and seating. The woman clung to his arms. Not his body, but his arms and Will felt the first glimmer of hope. If it had been himself dancing with her, her hands would have been linked behind his head, creating sensuous circles on the nape of his neck and driving him insane with her dark eyes as they teased him with promise.

But she wasn't. Deanna, his Deanna, was dancing with Worf, and it was killing him to watch.

But she wasn't his, not really. It was only in his wildest dreams, his wildest fantasies that knew he had her heart. Hell, he knew he had her soul, but right now the massive Klingon had her body and it was driving him insane.

Crew members carefully stepped around him, warily watching their commander's face as it purely radiated nasty thoughts, and it was obvious where those nasty thoughts were aimed at. The Klingon dancing with the Counselor.

That was until the song finished and another one started and the commander's eyes turned pained as he sought out the woman he clearly wanted to dance with.

'That' song came on, and that old cliche about eyes meeting across a crowded room happened within moments. Even though Worf's back had been facing him, as soon as the first strains of that song came on, Deanna's eyes sought his from around the massive bulk of the Klingon's arm.

Will thought Deanna would make her excuses to leave the floor, but instead, he felt the pull of her eyes compelling him to approach her. And he did, as he found that he couldn't help himself. Neither of them knew what was happening, only that they felt the compulsion to be together; to dance to that song.

Before he knew it, and before Worf had known it, Deanna had extradited herself from one man's arms into another's without missing a heartbeat, and the couple melted into each other as though they had been dancing together forever.

In those few moments something happened on that floor. Eyes met, souls touched, hearts began to beat as though they were one.

This was 'their song'. Nothing in this universe could have stopped them from uniting for this moment. This one special moment that was solely theirs. Around and around they slowly turned. A tiny feather-light kiss there, a sigh here, a caress only meant for lovers, oblivious to all those who stood by and watched, including Worf who was forced to witness it from barely a meter away.

Fury etched his already austere features. His knuckles were white with rage, and for the life of him, Worf didn't know how he managed to contain himself.

The couple moved around slowly on the dance floor as the music promised much more. Slow, sensuous, throbbing like the two heartbeats that filtered into one once again. Years disappeared as they swayed in tune, locked in their reunited embrace.

Deanna hardly noticed as Will's movements came to a halt, and it wasn't until she almost stood on his foot that she realised that he was no longer dancing. Looking up to face, she expected his eyes to be searching hers with that special smile that was for her, and her alone. What she saw

instead was Will staring over her head at something, or someone behind her.

With a sense of dread, she slowly turned around within the circle of Will's arms, needing his support for what she knew was going to happen. Will held her tightly against his rigid body, a body ready for battle. For before them stood Worf, his face like thunder, his eyes wounded, and his mouth was twisted into a bitter snarl.

The room fell to silence as the air radiated fraught tension. Heartbeats pounded as the two giant men faced each other, the tiny woman between them, captured by the intensity of the steely gaze that simultaneously flicked from hers to Will's.

Worf stepped forward but halted with Will's low warning growl that reverberated through Deanna's body. "Lieutenant."

The big man hesitated, his stance rigid with barely suppressed anger. But it was to her that he spoke in a voice that showed his hurt, even if he didn't want it to appear that way. "If you wanted to be with him, then you should have said so. You have humiliated me before all our friends, our

colleagues. Did I not deserve a little more respect than that?"

Deanna released the solid grip that Will had on her arms and Will's reaction was instant as he realised her intent. But her hushed, 'It's okay, Will." gave him enough peace to let her step away from him and come within whispering distance of the Klingon before them.

Will stayed back as this was not his moment to crow about winning his woman back, nor in the way that he had done it. Nor was this the place as he threw a quick glance around the room at the many avid eyes that watched the interaction between the known rivals.

Will barely caught Deanna's hushed voice as looked up into Worf's face, her hand reaching up to lightly touch his arm, a sign that she was desperate for his understanding. "Worf, you know we only ever got close because of Alexander as he was our common ground. You asked me to be his surrogate mother, and I was happy to do so. I also found a friend in you, a good friend, and I will always treasure that, always. But now Alexander has left the ship, it's time for us to move on. My path has always been with Commander Riker and I want to be with him. But you are special to me, Worf, and I'm sorry if I hurt you."

Worf studied the woman before him as she lay her heart on her sleeve for all the universe to see. He had wanted a relationship with her, as well as a permanent mother for his son, but even he knew he was fighting against a relationship that defied all reasoning. A relationship that saw the two forming other liaisons for a short while, but then always, irrefutably ended up with them back within each others arms. He envied them.

And that's how he felt; envious. The big green monster flared within his eyes as he realised he had been taken for a fool, again. He should have known that he was just a mere toy, a toy to be discarded after the novelty had worn off. Sooner or later he would have been unceremoniously dumped for the man that watched the interaction between them with interest, and caution.

And rightly so. Even Worf could feel the tautness building within him. He needed to get out of there, now. Spinning on his heel, he clenched his fists tightly and walked out of the Ten Forward lounge. The time for revenge was later.

Deanna began to follow him as the Counselor within her recognised that Worf needed to talk before he did something drastic, but Will's firm hand touching her shoulder halted her footsteps, his words making sense, "Let him be, this is not the time, Deanna."

As their closest friends closed ranks around the pair, it took Data's innocence to break the heavy silence that claimed all their tongues as they thought about how different the last few minutes could have been. "Commander, does this mean that tomorrow's poker game is cancelled?"

As Will took Deanna's hand and pulled her towards the table that housed their drinks, his glance towards the lounge's entrance spoke volumes. "We'll see what happens tomorrow, Data."

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