Invisible Chains (PG)
by Carol Sandford
Her stomach rolled with a familiar wave that she had experienced at least a dozen times since he'd come on board, but no more than then when she had caught his profile in the padd before her. The butterflies swirled around inside of her, capturing her breath in her lungs, unable to let it go until it had no choice.
He was so much like Will, but nothing like the man she had left behind years before. His face, etched with hardship and longing swept over her, his thoughts revealed his feelings even more than his eyes. And it was then, right then, that she knew that this meeting, this deliberate liaison, was going to end in something more.
And she wanted it. She wanted him. A long buried ache poured out from the very depths of her heart as Deanna finally set free the hurt that she had buried when her soul-mate had abandoned her on Betazed.
But looking at the man that stole the place beside her, hurt turned to breathless hope.
This Will, she was sure, would not have left her with a broken heart, had he been given a choice, and a chance. Today, earlier, she'd seen it in his eyes, and she had felt it first in the silence and then in his words as they swept over her soul with an honesty that had taken her breath away.
The other Will, her friend, her comrade and saviour was as equal with his honesty. But their love had diminished with the passage of time, despite their Imzadi bond, and despite deep, deep, cherished feelings for each other.
This Will still wanted her heart and she wanted to give it back to him, free of it's invisible chains, and as he moved to be beside her, replacing her usual work-out buddy, Deanna allowed him to reach across and touch her soul and show him that he was welcome to come home; To open her heart, her mind, and her body, and start all over again.
Would he trail his hot breath upon her skin, leave her crying out for more and beg for his lips to burn her with a heat that only he could provide? Would he make love to her like before and make her believe that nothing could ever go wrong between them again and then whisper his promises to the breeze?
And afterwards, would he hold her within his embrace to cherish her when she knew her tears would fall with joy. Would he wipe them away with his own as they each come to reveal that they were still in love, always had been, and, always would be.
Oh, God, yes.