Title: Second Glances
Author: Jrgnfly Rating: NC-17
Timeline: One week after Second Chances episode ended. Archive: With author's permission Disclaimer: Characters belong to Paramount, as annoying as that is for all of us

She shouldn’t have run away but she couldn’t help herself. She’d never thought she’d react that way. Deanna Troi had counseled hundreds of patients over the years on why they continued repeating the same mistakes over and over in their lives but there was no single case study she’d be able to reference in order to help herself. She’d almost fallen in love with a memory. A living, breathing memory to be sure, but still just a reminder of all the wrong choices she’d made in her life. And worst of all she felt as though by doing so she’d not only betrayed the promises she’d made to herself… she’d also betrayed her best friend. She’d hurt him terribly… and with a replica of himself! Or at least who he used to be.

She’d told Tom that she wasn’t ready to leave the Enterprise with him then she’d put in for long neglected shore leave and taken off less than three full days after he’d left for the posting on the Gandhi. She’d hadn’t told Will she was leaving; she couldn’t face him right now.

Troi sighed and tucked her knees under her chin, settling deeper into the oversized swing on the back porch of her house on Lake El-Nar. The Betazed sky was awash with the hues of twilight; indigos, violets and corals all blended together seamlessly; a clear sign that a storm was on the way.

Eight years ago she’d come here to sort out a broken heart and the restless turmoil that resulted from an attempt at a relationship with Will Riker. Now, here she was again. Her mother would never bother her here; she rarely came to this house. The only personal contact she’d had since she arrived three days ago had been a brief message from Chandra after she’d heard about her arrival. She’d said something that Troi had been unable to get out of her mind. <Maybe it’s time to move on for good, Deanna. You’ve tried it twice now and each time you’ve wound up miserable. Imzadi may mean ‘the first’ but it doesn’t mean the only.>

Though she had meant well, it was a bit too easy for Chandra to give that advice. She’d been with Teb since they’d all been children; a classic case of genetic bonding gone perfectly right. Troi’s own experience had been less than ideal. Perhaps she would have been able to love Wyatt eventually if things had gone differently. But even the prospect of going through with the bonding had hurt Will, though not as badly as what she’d just done to him. Still, he gave as good as he got.

He’d told her he was flattered. Flattered. And it had stung. She wasn’t one of the ensigns who fawned over him all of the time, hoping he’d look her way and maybe toss that damn grin in her direction but with that one word he sure as hell made her feel that way. That was part of the problem. No one else could ever make her feel the way he did… not even Tom.

Sure he’d tried; clumsy attempts to reconnect with her through their bond. She’d tried to shrug it off due to the amount of time that had passed and the distance between them but she knew that wasn’t the reason. When he’d called her Imzadi… it was Will’s voice but for the first time ….it felt wrong. She couldn’t bring herself to address him at all; it made her too uncomfortable.

Lightning crackled far off in the distance, briefly illuminating the sky. The wind kicked up a furious dance of leaves and Troi gathered her lightweight shawl around her shoulders, desperately hoping the rain would arrive soon to help clear her head and wash away the last eight years. She knew she was feeling morose but she didn’t care. Right now she’d give anything and everything to do It all over- to never have met him, never have him change her life in so many irrevocable ways, never hear him say…



She jumped; not sensing his approach though he was standing less than ten feet away. He was wearing casual beige pants and a navy polo shirt, looking utterly defeated as he shifted his weight uncomfortably from one foot to the other. She refused to meet his eyes.

She'd never thought he'd actually come after her; if she had she would have fled somewhere farther away… like the Delta Quadrant. But now that he was here she'd have to say something; she couldn't keep staring at her hands until he left.

"You know," she began in a tone so low he had to strain his ears to hear it, "My life was complicated enough with only one Will Riker in it. I couldn't handle another one." She continued to stare at the grey floor of the porch below her so she wouldn't have to look at him.

"Would you smack me if I said that made two of us?" His attempt at humor brought a faint smile to her face. It disappeared almost instantly. Watching her carefully, he took a hesitant step forward. Deanna shifted slightly in the swing, moving all the way towards one side. He sat down at the other end, careful not touch her in any way. The humid air nearly smothered them in the heady scent of muktoks and a sea of chimes sounded almost as loud as the thunder in their ears.

Troi still wouldn't look directly at him though she felt his emotions as clearly and deeply as though they were her own. His sadness and bitterness edged in fear tugged at her heart but she steeled herself against it. His shoes scraped against the ground as he unconsciously braced his feet and pushed off, setting the swing in motion. As long minutes went by without her speaking he stared off into the heavens, watching the shifting clouds occasionally illuminate from the random vicious strikes of lightning above them.

"Deanna," he began again, unable to wait her out any longer. He forced his hands through his hair as they rocked back and forth in the swing. The seamless motion was silent, not at all like the creaking sounds he'd expected to hear. "I'm not sure what to say to you right now. It's hard to apologize for something you've done but weren't really responsible for. But when I discovered that you'd left, it scared the hell out of me."

"You thought I went after him." She spoke quietly and without judgment. His unease at having this conversation and the truth of his words radiated from him but she pushed it all aside. She kept her eyes firmly fixed on the once glass-like midnight surface of the lake, steadily watching each increasing gusts of wind ripple over the no longer smooth reflection.

"Yes. And part of me understood, in a way, and was happy for you."

She pulled her legs in closer to her chest; the hem of her simple white dress fluttering madly in the breeze.

"And part of me was jealous," he continued, watching her trying to disappear before his eyes. "Imagine that, jealous of myself." He laughed. A harsh and discordant sound, nothing at all like his usual bubbling mirth.

Deanna braced her chin atop her knees and turned her head to face him directly for the first time since he'd arrived. He looked like he always looked. She sighed. He looked like Will, just as Tom had. But he felt… like Imzadi.

"He's not you, Will. He probably hasn't been for a long time."

He stared fixedly at the bereft expression on her beautiful face before she hid it from him. Had she been hoping differently? It was all Riker could do to not pull her up against him but he resisted the impulse; respecting her obvious wish for distance right now.

Riker shook his head. "Consciously I know that, Deanna. But deep down…" He trailed off and kicked at the ground again, sending the swing so high that Troi had to grip the side in order to maintain her balance. "It's hard to look into a mirror of who I used to be… what I used to want."

Used to… His words stabbed into her and she struggled to keep her voice neutral as the swing began to sway in a normal manner again.

"I imagine it would be." She glanced away from him; her tone deceptively mild and hiding the way she truly felt. But he knew… he always knew. A loud roar of thunder seemed to agree with her thoughts, startling them both as the rumbling intensified. Deanna's hair flew wildly in the wind; forming a dark halo of curls around her head.

"Don't do that, Deanna. I didn't come here for a counseling session." He reached across the physical distance between them and placed his hands on her shoulders, forcing her to see him. Troi jerked away as though she'd been burned, leaving Riker holding onto her shawl instead of her arms.

"Then why are you here, Will?" She huddled at the edge of the swing, as far from him as she could possibly get without getting up and walking away.

He kept his gaze locked on her, darkened blue eyes reflecting the flash of the lightning above. Over the next burst of thunder he spoke, his voice quiet. "I've come to take you home."

Troi lifted her now bare arms to the sky and gestured around. A fine mist from above began to kiss her skin, sparkling in the night as the droplets settled in her hair. She was ethereally lovely that way and Riker's breath caught in his throat at the vision she created.

"In case you failed to notice, I am home."

"No, you're not. Your home is on the Enterprise." With me, he added silently, rocking the swing backwards again. The motion caused her to pitch forward and he reached out to stop her from falling. His arms wound around her slender waist in an iron grip and he ruthlessly pulled her sideways against the unyielding wall of his chest, desperate to hang on to her.

"Will, let go of me." Her voice was calm, belying the frantic racing of her heart. The heat from his hands scorched through the thin fabric of her dress; seeping into her skin. She could almost feel the steam rising off the garment, damp and cold now from the rain. When he didn't immediately release her, Deanna's hands curled into fists and she ineffectively pummeled his wrists; not willing to actually hurt him in her quest to get away.

He tightened his grasp on her instead and lowered his mouth to the top of her head.

"Don't you get it yet, Deanna? I can't. I never could." He closed his eyes, inhaled the fragrant scent of her hair and cleared his mind of everything but her. <Imzadi> he sent, focusing all of his concentration on making her hear him. Though he hadn't tried to send to her in years, he knew he'd succeeded when Deanna shuddered against him and stopped fighting.

"Will…please…" she sobbed, falling tears mixing with the raindrops on her face and causing her vision to blur.

"Please what, Deanna?" His voice was raw, as though he'd been shouting for hours. "You want me to say it? Fine, I will. I couldn't stand to see you or even think of you with him. Just the thought that you could share our bond with him made me sick. The thought that he could do this…" He lowered the shield she'd taught him how to build all those years ago and flooded her mind with images of the two of them together from the past. "It nearly killed me."

Troi gasped, her head falling backwards; unable to guard against the barrage of his thoughts and feelings. His anguish washed over her as surely as the driving rain now cascading furiously from the sky. She anchored herself against him to keep from drowning in it and turned her head to see him more clearly. His face was wet and she couldn't tell if it was all from the rain. Reaching out one small hand she brushed the rivulets of moisture from his face, resting her hand on his cheek as she searched his eyes. Something hard and dark buried deep inside of her cracked at the torment she found there.

He thought it was his fault. If he hadn't pushed her to cut short their time at Janaran Falls in order to join the away team on Nervala IV eight years ago, the transporter accident wouldn't have occurred and there never would have been a Thomas Riker. He didn't care about the number of people whose lives he'd saved during the evacuation of the research station, only that by doing so he'd managed to hurt her again, this time in ways he'd never imagined.

His thoughts danced through her mind; she'd never guessed that he'd blame himself like that. And he was still terrified; though he now knew that she hadn't gone to join Tom on the Gandhi she'd still left the Enterprise… left him. He'd thought he'd lost her for good this time, not knowing that she'd left the ship out of a sense of embarrassment and to give them both some space. She couldn't let him go on thinking like that; she needed to find some way to let him know that she didn't blame him for Thomas. There was no way he could have known about the repercussions of the mission, no way to predict that his resulting promotion would mean the end for them as lovers.

Deanna placed her other hand over his heart, trying to infuse the rapid thudding she felt through his shirt with the solid reassurance of her touch.

<Imzadi. RaBeem, Imzadi.> She broke another promise to herself and sent to him, anything to assuage his false sense of guilt and make him whole again.

Too long sought and longer withheld, those few words filled the void in his spirit that was her absence and sent him over the edge. Sometimes he felt as though he'd been waiting his whole life for her; that gentle brush of her mind against his…

Unable to hold back, he seized her mouth, swallowed her moan and went back for more; crushing his lips against hers savagely. Deanna's hands clutched reflexively at his shoulders, grabbing at damp fistfuls of his wet shirt and drawing him closer.

Gods, when she'd kissed Thomas in the gym it had been nothing at all like this. It was a spectacular kiss for sure, more than worthy of his reputation, but only Will Riker had retained the ability to reach deep inside and stroke at her soul. He overwhelmed her completely though he physically loosened his hold on her in order to turn her more fully into his embrace.

She grasped his bottom lip between her teeth and sucked on it lightly. Her eyes were glowing; absorbing the essence of the lightning still shooting from above and sending it through to every nerve ending in his body. Her tongue slid over his lip, soothing away the sting from the nip she'd inflicted. Will answered her with a low groan, encouraging her to continue.

There was nothing in his universe but her. The Enterprise and the prospect of a Captain's chair down the road… it could all get sucked into a wormhole bound for nowhere as long as she kept on kissing him like that. She was everywhere inside of his soul and everything that mattered or ever would.

They stayed that way indefinitely, swaying back and forth in the swing. The motion of their hands and lips unceasing, heedless of the nearing thunder and the wild torrents of rain. Will tangled his fingers into her wet curls and angled her mouth closer to his for another searing kiss. As their lips met again the last of Deanna's shields vanished into the kiss and suddenly she was as open to him as he was to her. He saw it all; everything she'd been holding back and hiding from him since the last time they'd been together like this. All of it rushed through him as though the thoughts and memories were his own. He knew she didn't blame for Thomas' existence and he saw her fear that he'd never forgive for attempting a relationship with his transporter double. She'd honestly thought that he wouldn't want anything to do with her because of the hurt she'd caused him.

He silently assuaged her feelings of guilt with each successive press of his lips against hers. For mere seconds Will remembered that she didn't want them to be together while they were serving on the same ship but he banished the thought almost as rapidly as it appeared. As far as he was concerned the arrival and departure of Thomas meant that all bets were off and right now they weren't on any ship…

Deanna shivered against him; the heat created by their increasing passion no match for the bone-chilling cold overcoming her Betazoid body temperature from the lashing rain. Her teeth clattered and Will felt her lips begin to tremble uncontrollably against his. He drew his hands down her neck to her shoulders, breaking the kiss.

"Let's get you inside," he whispered, his voice gone husky.

Troi nodded and attempted to stand on shaky legs, her knees knocking together. Will got to his feet and kept his arms draped over her shoulders instead of the now sodden shawl, reluctant to let go of her even for a minute as she led him in through the back door of the house.

Will looked around at his surroundings in surprise. There was none of the clutter that filled every inch of available space at the Troi mansion. The interior was sparsely furnished, the walls painted a calming shade of green. Here and there small shelves held tiny pieces of sculpture and meditation candles. The space oozed tranquility, a sharp contrast to the raging storm occurring outside its walls.

Noting Will's expression, Deanna remembered that he had never been here before.

"Mother never comes here so I've redecorated over the years. Streamlined at bit." She walked further into the darkened sitting area where a large fireplace dominated the space and frowned. "I know I left the light on in here, the power must have gone out again."

Will stood behind her, close enough that she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. "Deanna, you're soaked through. We can worry about the power later."

She turned around, stood on the tips of her bare toes and brought his mouth to hers. When they broke apart she smiled at him impishly. "I'm warmer already."

"You're dripping on the floor," he responded dryly. "If you come home with pneumonia, Beverly will have my head."

"And we can't have that now, can we?"

The room lit up from another flash outside and Will swallowed hard at the look in her eyes as she took him by the hand and led him up the winding staircase.

At the top of the stairs Will hesitated. He didn’t want her to compare him with Tom. It’d be damn difficult to compete with someone who’d spent the past eight years solely fixated on her without access to anything but memories… and fantasies. Tom hadn’t had sex in eight years and Will knew that if the situation had been reversed, he sure as hell would have greeted Deanna with a night she’d never forget.

She tugged at his hand slightly and pulled him forward. Catching sight of her with the single moon beam streaming through the skylight above, Riker almost lost his nerve altogether. A shimmering glow lit up her silhouette in the darkness and turned the sopping wet material of her simple white dress transparent against her skin. Her soaking curls lay enticingly about her shoulders, perfectly framing the enticing outline of her full breasts, barely concealed by the thin fabric. He’d never seen a more beautiful sight in his life as Deanna standing there, looking back at him expectantly; waiting for him to follow her. He had no choice, never had a choice where she was concerned. He followed.

She silently led him down the hallway and into a cozy bedroom, pausing at the entrance to a large closet just behind the door. She dropped his hand and disappeared into its depths, emerging to toss a large towel in his direction before she grabbed one for herself.

“Here, take this. Now Beverly won’t get mad at either of us.” She cocked her head to the side as a thought occurred to her. “Did she tell you I was here?”

Riker nodded but the motion was lost in the vigorous drying his hair. “Yes. But she only sped things along. I wasn’t going to stop looking until I found you, Deanna.” He pulled his shirt off over his head and continued wiping the rain from his skin.

She smiled tentatively at him, her eyes drawn to the play of muscles rippling beneath the skin of his shoulders and back. “I know, Will. You made that perfectly clear a little while ago.”

Deanna felt Will’s reticence hovering over them both. As soon as they entered the house his whole demeanor had changed. Instead of moving closer to him, she turned away to give him some spaceand began lighting the candles scattered about the room. Instantly the scent of midnight orchids began to fill the room, enveloping them in a perfumed haze as the flames leapt to life.

Before she had an opportunity to suggest that they go back downstairs to wait out the storm, a crash of thunder overhead startled her and propelled her forward, directly into his arms.

She dropped her still unused towel at their feet , trying to keep her balance and Will placed his hands on her shoulders to steady her. "Easy. It'll blow over soon enough."

She reached up and threaded her fingers into his hair, slowly bringing his mouth down to hers while giving him ample opportunity to back away.

Instead, he teased her mouth with the sweetest of kisses and a different kind of shiver swept over her. Her spine tingled at the gentle brush of his beard against her skin and she sighed into his mouth, their breath mingling for the first time in ages. At the barest touch, memory reignited and Troi's senses filled with him. Longing surged through her and she couldn't tell if it was his or her own. The house was utterly silent except for the punishing rain pounding at the roof above them.

Craving him closer, her nipples grew tight and thrust against the delicate fabric of her dress, the friction maddening against the sensitive peaks. She wanted him to crush her against him; to sweep her up in his strong arms and make love to her until the world went away. She'd thought she'd left those silly romantic fantasies behind when she left for the Academy but being so close to Will Riker again brought them all back again. She whispered his name, urged him on with a soulful look he'd never been able to resist.

As if sensing her rampant need he drew her closer to him and with a gesture so slow as to drive her insane, his long fingers teased the thin straps down each arm. The heat from his hands against her still damp skin spread throughout her body until she ached for more. Will bent his head and kissed her again; his emotions a jumble of hesitation and hunger crashing over her. Fire licked at her skin; she yearned for his touch, anywhere, everywhere… now. Not willing to hold back any longer, she nudged her tongue past the barrier of his lips, slowly tasting him. Watching Will's eyes begin to close, she deepened the kiss and with a smooth motion shrugged her shoulders, sending her dress tumbling to the floor.

Will's eyes flew open at the rush of air that followed and turned almost as black as her own, chasing its path to the ground before ever so slowly travelling upwards again. His trousers grew tight with the force of arousal and his eyes locked on hers again before they briefly closed, unable to absorb that she was standing in front him just like the first time he'd seen her. He was afraid to touch her… what if she disappeared?

<Imzadi, come to me.>

Will's legs began to shake. Was this actually happening for them?


The sound of his name was magic to his frantic mind.

"Deanna…" he breathed. Words ceased when he felt her loosening the fastener on his pants and he automatically helped her, kicking off his shoes before stepping out of the unnecessary garments.

With his heart in his throat, Riker approached; standing like an uncertain god in the flickering light of the room. "When I came here to bring you home, this wasn't what I intended." His darkened eyes slid over her again, pausing on the rise and fall of her breast as she attempted cleansing breaths. The sense of her in his mind tingled and the scent of her mingled with the fragrant air and intoxicated him the same way it had all those years ago.

Something akin to trepidation flashed over his face and she recognized it before it faded away. He was still fearful of hurting her again, despite her reassurances. She bathed him in soothing calm, struggling to control her own rising need.

"It's okay, Will." Troi's eyes were endless as she gazed at him, waiting for him to make the next move. She clearly saw and felt his love and passion for her and sensed that more than anything he wanted them to take this next step slowly together.

She glided a bit closer and jumped slightly again at the next crash from above. The motion caused her breasts to collide with his chest and Riker stifled a groan at the silken press of her softness against him. Without further thought or hesitation his arms rose and clasped her to him, lifting her off her feet and carrying her the few short feet towards the surprisingly large sleigh bed that dominated the room.

He set her down gently on the sea green comforter then joined her there, gazing at her hungrily in the dim light. When another burst of lighting provided the opportunity, his eyes roamed endlessly over her flawless perfection. Slowly taking in the long legs, slender waist and full, high breasts with their beckoning crowns; imprinting her beauty in his memory for all time. Deanna flushed becomingly; overwhelmed by the depth of desire he was projecting. He was finally beginning to feel like himself again.

"Will, you're staring," she admonished, reaching out for him.

"God you're gorgeous," Riker said in a low voice, moving willingly into her arms. His hands delved into her hair, arranging the shining mass so it streamed behind her shoulders. "Even better," he stated, keeping his fingers entwined in the midnight strands. Deanna relaxed and rolled her eyes at him; she'd never known anyone as constantly fascinated by her hair as Will Riker. She stretched out beside him and propped herself up on an elbow while Riker admired her profile with a broad grin though he still hadn't moved to touch her.

"I'm glad you approve," she replied dryly, trying to set aside her impatience and be content to lie next to him. It wasn't easy, not when she was close enough to see her breath stir the hair at the back of his neck. She couldn't stop herself… her fingers itched to touch him.

"Mmmmm," he responded, delighting in the feel of her hands as they slid around his back to clasp themselves against his chest. She curved perfectly into him, her chin resting on his shoulder with her body draped against his back. They stayed that way for a while, sweetly nestled and listening to the rain as they reacquainted themselves with each other. Her skin was incredibly warm and it brought back memories…

"This feels familiar… any psychological theory you'd like to discuss, Ms. Troi?" He reached behind him for her arms and drew them tighter about his chest, looking down to see her small fingers embedded in his chest chair.

"Not at the moment." She lifted her chin from his shoulder and brushed a kiss over the back of his neck, loving the way he shuddered against her at the press of her lips on his skin.

"You had me going with that one. I didn't find out until much later that you`d made it all up. I never knew you were quite so devious, Dee."

She laughed joyfully at the use of a nickname he hadn't called her by since before they'd been posted to the Enterprise. "In my defense," she hugged him tighter, "it worked."

Will flipped over and pulled her completely against him so that her legs tangled with his. "Yes, it did," he agreed. His hands glided down the smooth skin of her thigh, gooseflesh breaking out in tiny bumps over her skin at the light pressure of his sensuous touch.

Deanna sighed and stretched languorously against his body, silently praying he'd continue. He let his hands wander where they would, enjoying the soft sounds she made as he touched her.

"What's this?" He asked, gazing at the little shadow at the small of her back. It certainly hadn't been there the last time they'd been together.

Deanna trembled as his fingers traced over the marking; after all these years the skin was still exquisitely sensitive. She closed her eyes and attempted to center herself, not an easy feat at all when Will Riker was running his expert hands over her body.

"That was the result of one too many Saurian brandies at my twenty-fifth birthday party. Blame Chandra if you don't like it. She was playing bartender."

"You got a tattoo? How did you manage to get it past Starfleet regulations?" His eyes widened and he rolled her off of him and lowered his head for a closer look, trying hard to focus on the image instead of the luscious curve of her bottom.

"Look closely, Imzadi." She laughed. Since the lightning was no longer obliging them, Troi reached above her head for one of the scented pillar candles. She handed it down to him and lay down on her stomach again as he passed the flame over her body. "Recognize anything?"

Her skin glowed deliciously in the golden light of the bedroom. "Is that what I think that is?" He peered at the iridescent purple triangle containing a diminutive cup and a tiny pair of rings. "The crest of the Fifth House?"

"Uhuh. I claimed a cultural exemption to avoid a reprimand." She laughed then inhaled sharply and grabbed at the pillows when she felt him lazily run his tongue up and down her spine; nearly jumping out of her skin with pleasure as his tongue slid lower, licking sensuously at the edges of the tattoo.

"Well, it's damned sexy," he whispered against her back, wondering what other surprises she had in store for him.

She wriggled against him eagerly and rolled onto her back, pulling him down on top of her.

Will groaned as his arousal pressed against the satiny skin of her inner thigh.

"I think we've talked long enough, Will." She arched against the bed and cupped her breasts in her hands. "I've got something better for your mouth to do." The look she held him with left no room for denial.

Riker licked his lips and willingly obliged, replacing her hands with his own even as he bent his head and nuzzled against the creamy mounds begging for his attention. He rained heated kisses over each, pausing to savor the moan of pleasure that slipped from her throat before drawing a hardened nipple into his mouth and tormenting the rosy peak with his tongue.

Deanna's eyes drifted shut at the scrape of his beard and insistent tug of his teeth and flung her arms above her head in abandon, even as she stroked at his spirit with waves of unbridled lust.

Will chuckled against her chest; he'd somehow forgotten how impatient she could be. He trailed wet kisses across her ribs and down the taut plane of her stomach, claiming every inch of her as his own.

Not one to be idle, Deanna's small hands forged a loving path across his skin, her nails gently scratching down his back as he grew impossibly harder, sighed her name and continued on his way.

She trembled, legs moving restlessly against the bed, sensing his intentions. Will met her eyes with a wicked grin then roughly parted her thighs, inclined his head and flicked his tongue over and over her swollen bud, delighting in the silent scream that accompanied her flushed face and shaking legs.

Unable to hold back any longer, he slid into her and immediately stilled at the soft cry that escaped from her throat. Her eyes were glazed with passion but she was biting her lip; a sure sign that she was holding something back.

"Deanna?" He noted the pale pink blush that blossomed in her cheeks in direct contrast to their intimate embrace. "What?" he asked tenderly, resting her back against the multitudes of decorative pillows that lay on the bed. He'd never known Deanna Troi to be shy in any way.

She shook her head, sending those wild curls tumbling onto his chest. He hissed under his breath at tease of her hair against his skin and locked onto her eyes. "It's nothing, Will. It's just… been awhile, that's all." She blushed a deeper shade of rose when she saw recognition light up his face.

"You mean…?" His eyes widened. "You and Tom never…?"

She wrapped her legs around his hips and drew him deeper with one swift movement, eyes closing briefly at the adjustment to his size. With sweat beading on his brow, Will inhaled sharply and lost the ability to focus; completely overcome by her silken heat gripping at him. When her eyes opened again, they were luminous in the darkness.

"He wasn't you, Imzadi." She ran her hands over the breadth of his shoulders, unable to keep still.

Riker withdrew slightly then surged forward again. "Thank god for that."

This time Troi's cry had nothing at all to do with discomfort.

"Oh, gods, Will… please." Her face and chest were flushed in her passion. She rocked against him frantically, slamming her hips upwards towards him, setting a fierce rhythm and clenching at him so tightly that he was sure to explode.

They quickened together, beginning the steady climb to paradise with each thrust, each press of their lips, coming together with an exultant shout and a mental gasp of <Imzadi> as the storm broke outside, clutching at each other; their souls melded together again.

As their bodies cooled, Deanna sighed and laid her head against the broad expanse of his chest, listening to his heartbeat mingled with the rain still battering the roof above them. It felt wonderful… so right to be in his arms like this again. Deanna sensed he felt the same. They'd fought against them being together like this for so long that she'd never imagined that giving in would feel so blissful. She knew know that she'd never get enough of him or be able to let go again. She sought his lips again; it'd already been too long since the last time she'd kissed him. Will groaned into her mouth and the sound caused Deanna to push her hand hard against his chest, forcing him onto his back before she climbed on top of him.

He touched her hair again, brushing it back over her shoulders and grinned at her with a raised eyebrow. "Don't expect too much. I'm not as young as I used to be."

She rocked her hips against him suggestively and mirrored his expression at the instantaneous response she received. "Really? I hadn't noticed."

"Deanna…" he grasped her bottom in his hands. The warmth of her skin against his was almost as enticing as her sultry laughter. He hadn't heard her laugh like that in a very long time and he never wanted it to stop.

<Rabeem, Imzadi> Her smile called to him, soft and inviting, and he couldn't resist the pull of those lush lips, meeting them gently with his own.

His voice was rough and brimming with barely suppressed longing when the kiss ended between them. "I guess there's something to be said for delayed gratification after all. But do me a favor, Deanna. Don't make me wait another eight years to love you again next time."

Her smile slipped and the vulnerability in his crystal blue eyes stole her breath. She nodded at him shyly and tried to lighten the moment. "Next time? I'm not nearly finished with this time yet, Will." To prove her point she nimbly slid down his chest and before Will knew what was happening swiftly took him into her mouth. He jerked off the bed at the velvet kiss of her mouth enveloping him. He sucked in his breath and forgot how to speak, how to move… forgot everything but her.

Deanna slid his long length deeper down her throat and Will groaned at the silky pressure of her tongue gently licking and swirling around his sensitive flesh.

<Like that, Imzadi?>

He clenched handfuls of her soft hair in his fists in response. Tingles flashed down his spine and he bucked upwards again, the ability to speak completely gone. The pleasure she was inducing with her mouth was almost unbearable… sharp bolts of intense sensation overtook his body and the sight of Deanna's glistening red lips as they avidly suckled nearly did him in.

"Dee…" he whispered with a mouth gone drier than the Yadozi desert; warning her to move away.

Deanna glanced up into his glassy stare, reveling in his feelings of mindless pleasure, feeling his control about slip. She caught his eye briefly and Will groaned at the fiery triumph in her onyx eyes before her head bent back down. She wouldn't cease; the stroking motion of her tongue quickened again and the sigh from the back of her throat echoed in his soul. He dimly heard thunder roaring in his ears before his head filled with her silent laughter; she sensed he was nearing the edge and was loving every second of it.

Will's hands slipped out of her hair and clutched at the sheets, his knuckles gone white as she took him higher than the stars. The heavens exploded around him and he cried out harshly as he came, hot jets flooding her mouth as she eagerly swallowed every drop; undeniably aroused by the ability to cause him to cede control and submit to her.

When his soul came back to his body, Will found Deanna looking directly into his still unfocused eyes. She licked her swollen lips and his heart nearly stopped beating at her wantonly lustful expression.

"Good god, Imzadi," he whispered, trying to catch his breath.

"I've been waiting for years to do that for you again, Will."

"Sorry to make you wait." Still dazed, he drew her on top of him again, not ever wanting to let her go.

Will awoke to the golden brilliance of the Betazed sun streaming through the window and the chirping of birds as they splashed gleefully in the lake below. They'd finally fallen asleep in the hour before dawn. His arms immediately reached out to pull her closer; he hadn't known they'd done so until he saw her head on his chest and his hands in her hair. The dark ringlets tangled wildly around his fingers; he'd never felt anything softer except for her skin.

Begrudgingly, he let one hand slide down to draw the velvet blanket up over her shoulders. Deanna shifted restlessly against him in her sleep, forcing the covers right back down again and Will chuckled to himself as she snuggled closer. She used to tell him that he was all the warmth she needed at night but he knew she'd change her mind as soon as he convinced her to come with him to Alaska.

For now, there were still a few hours of leave remaining before he had to be back on the ship; hours he'd love to spend wandering around with Deanna. Considering that their last visit to Betazed together had ended with them being kidnapped by the Ferengi almost as soon as they'd beamed to the surface, he wanted to take full advantage of this time with her. If he could get her to wake up before they had to leave.

He nudged her gently then inclined his head to whisper in her ear.


She didn't wake so he slowly kissed his way from her ear to the curve of her shoulder. Then he whispered again.

Deanna sighed his name but still didn't open her eyes.

A teasing light sparkled in his eyes and he firmly caught her shoulder in his grasp, whispering again, this time in her mind as he shook her insistently.

<Deanna, wake up. Your mother's downstairs and she'll be up here any minute now.>

Troi's eyes flew open in disbelief and she jolted upright in the bed, oblivious to the groan emanating from Riker when her elbow slammed into his ribcage. Instantly sensing that they were still the only occupants of the house her eyes narrowed as she regarded Will's smiling face, even as he pulled himself up and rubbed at his ribs. She folded her arms across her chest and huffed at him.

"That was not at all funny, Will!"

"Maybe not, but it was worth it to see you jump like that." He hooked an arm over her shoulders and drew her back against him. "And at least you're awake now." He placed a kiss on top of her head.

"You'll get yours one day." Still, she couldn't help but smile.

"I'm looking forward to it," he promised, kissing her forehead. "But right now, I'd rather have breakfast with you before we head back to the ship."

Troi's smile faded.

"I'm not going back just yet, Will. I still have four days of approved leave left and I was planning on spending them here."

"Plans change, Deanna." He clasped her fingers in his own. "Come home with me. You can still stay off duty."

"For four days?"

"Why not? You can catch up on all the sleep you've been missing out on and stock pile a few more hours for the future. You'll be needing it." He lowered his voice and teasingly tugged on the sensitive lobe of her ear with his teeth.

"Come home with me, Imzadi," he said again. The warm breath on her skin and the pleading tone in his voice loosened her resolve, though she shook her head in need of further convincing.

"I'm not leaving here without you. You wouldn't want to be responsible for my court martial if I go AWOL…" he cajoled, sliding his hands down under the blanket and over her hips.

"You keep that up and you can forget about breakfast, Commander. I'll keep you here through lunch." Her eyes drifted shut, moaning at the gentle strokes of his fingers. She flipped onto her side, bringing him with her.

"Don't change the subject, Deanna." He ceased the motion of his hands and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Why don't you want to go back to the ship with me?"

Deanna sighed and rested her head against his arm. Things seemed a lot more complicated in the blinding glare of the morning than they had in the gentle glow of the moonlight.

"You really want to explain this to the Captain?" She gestured to their naked bodies, curled together in her bed. "I thought we agreed years ago that this wasn't a good idea."

"You said that, Deanna. I never did."

"You agreed to it," she interjected.

"Well, I shouldn't have." He kept one arm around her and raked a hand from the other through his hair, forcing it into crazy spikes atop his head. "And I don't give a damn what the Captain thinks about us. I won't let anyone else take you away from me again." The vehemence in his voice rang in her ears.

Deanna felt the anxiety streaming off of him and tilted her head upwards; sensing he wasn't referring to Picard. She kissed the underside of his bearded chin, reassuring him again.

Though he knew he had no reason to feel threatened by Tom, he still couldn't help it or keep it hidden from her. Not after last night.

"Will…I'm not going anywhere."

"Good. Then come back to the ship and move in with me, Deanna. Everything else will work itself out in time, you'll see. If we could handle the last few weeks, we can deal with anything."

A boyish smile burst across his face at her hesitant nod and he pulled her tight against him, kissing her until both were breathless.

<I think I'll have dessert before breakfast, Imzadi.> She reached down for the covers and pulled them over their heads.

Will just groaned into her mouth and nodded. He'd agree to anything as long she kept touching him… right there.

< And since you said you don't care, I'll let you talk to the Captain when we get home. >

"Wait… what?"

The End