By Carol Sandford


Chapter 06


Deanna paced across the parlour for the umpteenth time that day. Her thoughts were furious, but her heart thumped painfully in her chest. And for the umpteenth time she muttered, "Where is he. Why hasn’t he come?"

It had been three days, three long days since she had pulled herself together and waited.

And waited.

"Oh, for heavens sake child! Go for a walk! Go and see a friend!Ggo and get a job! Do something before you drive us all crazy!"

Deanna pouted sulkily before flouncing out of the door, glaring at her mother over her shoulder who stood behind her, one hand on her hip, the other pointing towards the door.

"Okay, OKAY! I’m going!"

Lwaxana winced as the door slammed, she audibly sighed and spoke to thin air.

"Thank you. Now, William T. Riker, don't you dare let me down."

By the time Deanna had walked off her seething anger, she had found herself at the museum entrance.

Deanna let out a long, cleansing breath, smiling as she did so. Every time she came here, it had the same affect. Just seeing the door put her mind back on its even keel.

Stepping inside she made her way through the maze of corridors, everyone leading eventually to the sanctuary that she sought, like a homing beacon.

She came to a halt in front of the large picture, feeling better as soon as it had come into view. sitting down on the back-less bench, she emptied her mind and let the picture take her far away from her troubles, her pain, her insecurities and hopefully Will.

Closing her eyes, Deanna fell captive to the tranquillity that surrounded and embraced her. A flute quietly played in the background, its throaty sound matched her mood to perfection, and within moments she was in a trance-like stupor.

Her head fell forward putting her chin almost upon her chest, her wavy hair fell over her face, hiding her from view.


When she first felt the feather light kiss on the back of her neck, Deanna ignored it, but inside she burned.

When she felt the gentle warm breeze as he blew lightly on the slender exposed skin, she chuckled huskily, sending a ripple of anticipation racing throughout her body.

When she felt the gentle tug of her hair forcing her head up and her face to look at the ornate ceiling, she was smiling, the love shone in her eyes.

When she felt his lips upon hers, she sighed inside and out with an inner relief that washed over her soul, bringing it slowly back to life.

And when Will teased her mouth with his tongue, her entire body came alive, opening like a flower gasping for the first rain drops to quench its raging thirst.

Her hand snaked up clasping the back of his head to deepen the intimate gesture. Her fingers hung on to the hair that caressed his collar and she knew without even seeing him that the wayward curl that fell across his face when he was in need of a haircut would be there, making him look even more rakish than usual.

Deanna whimpered when Will pulled his lips away from hers and sat down beside her, his back to the picture.

"Hello, Deanna."

"Hello, Will."

"I’ve missed you."

"And I you. Why have you come?"

"Because I think its time to face up to a few things."

"What things?"

"Us. Where we’ve been, where we're going, what we’re going to do."

"Oh, what made you change your mind?"

"I haven’t changed my mind, Imzadi. My feelings for you are as strong as the first day that I met you, but I wasn't sure until you left that I realized just how strong those feelings were."

"So how come it took three weeks to get here?"

"I had to go through some intense counselling before I felt ready to face you and open my heart enough for you come in and take it over completely."

"But I don’t want to take it over completely, Will."

"You already have, Deanna, and I’m ready to accept that. It’s taken a long time for me to finally understand, to grow enough to accept that this is what I wanted, and needed. I can't live without you, Imzadi, I no longer want to live without you, and at last, at long last, I can see that our union will give me everything that my heart desires, and most of all, it gives me you. Only you. I love you so very much Deanna, please, come home."

Will held his breath as he poured out his very soul to the woman who sat barely a breath away. So close that he could see his own reflection in the tears that pooled in her beautiful eyes.

But moments later, his heart plummeted into hell, as those same teardrops fell as she shook her head.

"No. No, Imzadi, it's going to take more than that to convince me. You have shown me only words, I need to see beneath the surface. I need to see more than words. You know what you have to do. Goodbye Will...for now. Don’t take to long. I’ll be waiting."

She rose and walked away from Will, leaving him silently, staring blindly after her. His own heartbeat pounded in his ears as he struggled to take the painful breath that threatened to suffocate him.

So certain that his words would be enough. So certain that she would fall into his arms as though the last three weeks would become a long distant nightmare, Will felt his confidence take a downward spiral, knocking him into a place that he did not ever think he would visit, and he was devastated.

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