Author: D. Destiny

Paring: T/R

Rating: R/NC-17

Timeframe: Post-Insurrection, pre-Nemesis.

Disclaimer: They're mine! Really, they are...I'm talking about the twists in the plot, but you knew that right?

Note: Time and meds do strange things to a person, please keep that in mind: I will not be held responsible for what I did/said or wrote, unless of course it's actually good *grin*. Another try at a more 'mature' story.

Feedback: I wouldn't miss it for the world! Especially not regarding this story.

The Day Before

"How could you do that? How could you Will?" She couldn't look at him, she couldn't bear to see his blue eyes. Tears streamed from her eyes freely and for the first time she didn't try to hide them. She had never thought she could be hurt worse then when he'd stood her up on Risa; she had been terribly wrong. "Dea, I'm sorry but..."

"Do you have any idea what you did? How deeply you hurt me?" He thought he knew, he really thought he did but when he looked at her tear-stricken face he knew he had been terribly wrong. "Do you have any idea how empty I feel inside now?" Words wouldn't come out his throat, he couldn't tell her how guilty he felt about what he had done, all he could see was her face. Her so beautiful face now covered by a mask of sadness and pain. "You've taken away the one thing that offered me solace for the last couple of years. My sanctuary."

Riker could only swallow as he listened to her voice drenched in sorrow. "I thought you understood how much it meant to me. I thought you understood." She was trembling now, not yet crying, but very close to release the first sob. His hands itched to reach out to her, but he was aware that would be a very bad mood. "Why Will? Why did you have to take away my chance at happiness? Do you hate me that much?" He would've given everything to see her smile, or to see her angry. Everything for not seeing her this sad and defeated.

She raised her eyes now and looked up at him, the black orbs pleading and questioning. She needed an answer, an explanation for the reason he'd severed the connection between them. Will averted his gaze; his heart broke by seeing her this way. Until now he had never realized how large the influence of Imzadi was on her life, but since the bond had been broken twelve hours ago she had first fallen in a brief comatose state and had actually been physically disorientated.

"I can't do this Will." Her voice had dropped to a whisper and her eyes looked bigger than ever before. She picked up a shiny object from the table next to her, keeping her eyes locked with his. "I just can't." The next thing he knew her wrist and hands were covered with blood, the item she'd been holding hit the floor second before she sank to her knees. Her blood now streamed from her wrist onto her dress and onto the floor. And all Riker could do was watch in horror...


"DEANNA, NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Will Riker flew upright in bed, his body trembling with horror and drenched in sweat. His heart was beating in his throat and blood and adrenaline were racing through his veins. Frantically he looked around him, his eyes searching for her.

"Will?" He sighed of relief at the sound of her sweet voice and relaxed visibly when he was able to lock his eyes on hers. "Are you all right?"

"Yes," he breathed, "yes I'm all right." His breathing began to slow as Deanna wrapped herself empathically and physically around him. "Are you?"

"Yes, what you saw wasn't real." For several moments they just stared in each other's eyes, assuring one another of their presence and health. "I'm sorry you had to go through that", she whispered finally. Her soft voice breaking the silence around them. "We knew it would happen, it's not like you did it by choice." She smiled gratefully and tenderly kissed him. "I'm still sorry Will. No one has ever figured out why it happens, nor found a way to prevent it."

He initiated another kiss trying to convey to her that he really didn't blame her one bit. She sighed contently against his lips, but the guilt hadn't yet left her eyes. Riker held her face between his hands and send his love and acceptance to her through the bond they shared. "Deanna, it's a ritual. It's out of your hands. And I'd go through it a thousands times over if that's what it takes to marry you. I love you." Her eyes smiled back at him as she pushed him onto his back and moved to straddle his waist.

"Why don't we start our honeymoon a day early, Imzadi?"

"Hey! That was supposed to be--" She silenced him effectively with a passionate kiss. One he deepened within seconds. Deanna gently nibbled the tender skin at the base of his throat and then licked her way back up to his lips as she slid her hands underneath his shirt, scratching the skin of his chest through the soft hairs that covered it. The raking of her fingernails on his torso caused shivers of pleasure to travel up his spine. Automatically his hands moved to her sides and began to caress her body through the thin, silk nightgown she was wearing.

As she sensed herself becoming aroused by the friction of the silk on her skin Deanna unfastened Will's shirt and threw it on the floor. Having free access now she tore her mouth away from his and descended upon one of his nipples, teasing it with just the tip of her tongue until his hands had found their way under her nightgown and up to her breasts.

With a single finger he traced the under curves of her breasts, smiling as he heard her soft sighs. She looked glorious to him, the light of love shining in her eyes and her wild mane of curls framing her beautiful face. She also looked damn sexy and irresistible as she leaned in for another heated kiss. With his hands on her breasts he supported her upper body as she pushed his briefs down his hips until she was sitting on his bare skin.

His fingers trailed their way up to her hardened nipples and began flicking and pinching the tight nubs, eliciting soft moans from her. Deanna trailed her hands down his stomach, perfectly aware of his arousal mentally and physically by the press of his erection against her belly. The feel of her nightgown slithering over his skin became too much and just when he was about to unclothe the beauty on top of him she moved off him and climbed out their bed. Confused and surprised Will watched her as she slid into her robe and walked away.

"Dea? Where are you going?" Slowly she turned around and batted her lashes at him. "Well, you've been graceful enough to live up to the Betazoid traditions, I thought it would only be fair if I'd keep at least one of yours. I'll see you at the ceremony tomorrow. Sweet dream Imzadi." Dumbfounded he watched her as she left the room, wiggling her hips to tease him. "Terrific," he groaned, looking down at his still erect member, "just terrific." Frustrated Will pulled up the sheets, grabbed her pillow and put it on his face, trying to get the image of a very sexy looking Deanna Troi out his mind. His attempt failed miserably as Deanna's presence entered his mind and she mentally wrapped soft fingers around his erection. ~Deanna!~ through the bond her heard her giggle and mentally pointed a finger at her.

Tomorrow they'd be joined in marriage,

that was, if he survived tonight.