By: An Old Friend

Hearing the faint rustle of bed sheets behind me, I can only guess her petite form is rising from our bed. Within moments I expect no less than to see my beautiful wife at my side, with those brown eyes of hers full of concern, focusing in on me with all the questions she knows I am not yet ready to answer.
I feel the faint brush of fingertips along my back first.
Cowardly, I continue to look out at the stars.
"Will, we came a lot--"
Without saying anything, my hand rises, silently pleading for her to let the words go unspoken.
I hate how much this hurts her.
I hate that I hurt her.
But tonight, unlike last night, and the night before, I feel no willingness from her to graciously bow out. I
sense seconds before she continues that she feels she has given me enough time.
"We came a lot closer."
She grasp my large hand in her tiny ones to bring it to her lips. I squeeze my eyes close as she commences the action. I want so badly to envision my beautiful bride, but all I can see is that damn leering face.
His face.
And I just think of everything that thing has caused us. The loss of Data, the loss of our honeymoon, the
postponement of our Betazed nuptials and worse, the loss of Deanna's innocence.
Yes, Deanna's mind had been entered before, yes Deanna had been violated before, but something in this event had changed her for the worse. The light in her eye is different, duller, and although she has proven to me over
and over her willingness to fulfill her wifely obligations, her excitement is lessened.
Like tonight, when I held her, her eyes were closed.
Something that was unheard of before him.
When I asked her to open her eyes, the sight I was met with made my blood boil. Still makes my blood boil.
Her once soft curved body, which melded to me like a second skin in the midst of passion, now feels ill fitted, as I sense her reluctance to give to me completely. Her new heightened alert leaves her rigid, ready to throw me off at a moments notice.
All of which causes my performance to take an early curtain call. . .I can't take what doesn't want to be. As much as I love her, desire her, I can't force myself upon a half-Deanna, after knowing what's its like to be with the full Deanna.
And what's the absolute worse about this all, is her utter lack of knowledge. My beautiful wife, intune with everyone and everything around her, has no idea of her actions.
I sense her better than I sense myself, and from her I get nothing but concern for me. She has no idea she scared of being touched.
When she blocks my mental caresses, she blames me for the oversight. Seeing instead herself as the giver and I as the blocker.
She has decided Shizon's violation has turned me off and nothing I can do, say or think will convince her otherwise. Turning my head, I give her a half smile and let my arm drape behind her.
"I'm sorry."
What I don't say is I'm sorry I didn't protect you. I'm sorry I let him violate you. I'm sorry you can't look at
me like you once did. Specifics aren't important right now.
And I watch those brown eyes, still concerned, and that brown head of hair tumble as she sadly nods back at me. "It will take time Will. We just have to be patient."
Which I know is correct. Time for me to show her again how much I love her, time to show her that the evil that touched her is truly dead and time for her to again realize that touch, both physical and mental, can be just as good as it can be bad.
That's why I think the Titan will be good for us. . .in time. A fresh start - with nothing but time.