“The Time Is Now”
Author: Pia Pedersen

The last in the story arc that started with “Run To You.” Enjoy. Oh, and
the POV’s change with every *. Disclaimers are in force. I forgot that on
the last story ...


If someone were to pass me at this moment, making their way inside the
busy mess hall, I know they would see the contentment on my face, and most
likely they would follow my gaze across the room as it settles on her
form, and then, undoubtedly, they would come to their own conclusions.

But there is no way that they would know. There is no way they could know
just how profoundly she touches me and just how important it is that she
is sitting there waiting for me.

She doesn’t speak as I take my place at the table. There are silent
gestures, quiet acknowledgements. But there are no words. We have no need
for them.

She is smiling now, it is just a shadow on the face I know so well, and I
return it. There is nothing else I can do. She draws me in so completely,
so effortlessly, and there is a hint of relief in her eyes.

The time of hiding and denial is finally over.


It was inevitable, really. Everything we’ve ever done since crossing paths
again has led up to this moment. Every step I’ve taken has been leading me
to him, even when I fought with all I had for it not to happen.

I fought in vain; we both did, and now he is sitting across from me
wearing a look so content, and I can’t help feeling a little relieved. How
quickly things change. The time between then and now seems to have melted
away, to have simply vanished.

He is looking at me now, those blue eyes as clear and honest as ever.
Unguarded. Welcoming.

I remember, briefly, the previous night when I put into words the feeling
of happiness this gives me. He just looked at me then, a shimmer of
surprise floating into my mind from his.

“Don’t you know I could never hide from you? Don’t you know I never wanted

I suppose I did know; I know I did, as surely as I knew that we would be
here, eventually. But he is right. I didn’t trust myself with him, and I’m
not sure I do now, either. Not yet. These things take time, and I know he
knows that, too. I smile, a little, and when he returns it, a sense of
calm flows through me. We have time; all the time we could ever need to
rekindle old memories and create new ones.

Suddenly and unexpectedly there is a flirtatious look in his eyes, and I
turn slightly, expecting to see the face of whatever woman he has singled
out this time. It is an automatic reaction, rehearsed to painful
perfection over the years.

But then his hands close over mine, and my eyes settle on his face again.
The contentment I saw just there moments ago has vanished and been
replaced with a pain so strong that it assaults my senses, which are now
more receptive to his emotions than ever before.

“It will take some time,” I just say, and he nods, a note of sadness in
his eyes as he accepts my words silently. Our hands remain entwined, and
he recovers quickly. I want to kiss him, and this time I don’t repress the
need. This time I give in to it.

There’s that flirtatious look again, and this time I relax as I feel his
love flow across the distance, embracing me from within.

“Whatever I gave of myself, Deanna, none of them ever had this; none of
them truly had me …”

Understanding dawns suddenly as his words repeats themselves in my mind,
bringing back snippets of last night’s conversation. Honesty, he’d said.
It was time for honesty. And I answer him by deepening the kiss slightly.
Words can be so insufficient.

The time has come to let go … to finally let go.


She’s looking over her shoulder, and as she changes right in front of me I
realize what she’s thinking …

Someone else. She’s so used to me flirting with someone else that she
reacts on instinct. The realization makes me shake, physically as well as
mentally, and the power of my reaction rattles her slightly.

Time. She points out the obvious, and I must concede and accept. I
promised her as much, and I will honor that promise. There is no rush.

The feeling of her lips against mine is always exhilarating, as if it is
the first time all over again but at the same time well known. Cherished.
And I follow her lead, as she deepens the intimate contact.

It’s the truth, it always has been. I cherish her.

We part slowly, and I see tears in her eyes, sparkling, just before she
blinks them away. I know they aren’t of pain or sorrow but simply because
she is taking in both her emotions and mine, but it stings even so.

I wince at the sight of her tears, no matter what caused them. There has
been too much pain, too much hurt, and I know I have been the cause of
most of it, but that is in the past, and I will not repeat old mistakes.
There are no more secrets, nothing is held back or hidden anymore. She
needs me. And I will be here. I realize that I cannot really make that
kind of promise. Not without running the risk of breaking it with every
new assignment. But I dare it, nonetheless, because I need it to be true
as much as she does.

And she isn’t the only one who wants to stop running.

I missed you

Three such simple words, and when she said them it felt like I’d been
given everything I’ve ever wanted in this life. She has said them before,
of course, as have I. But never like she did last night.

It was so earnest, so much like a confession that I could only echo the
statement with equal honesty.

I did miss her; more than I ever thought possible. Until I held her again.
Until I finally let myself feel again … wholeheartedly and unashamed.

The time to hide is over. The time to live is now.


Intimacy is so much more than touch.

No one knows that better than Will and I, and we have proven the point
over and over again through years of friendship and caring. There have
been others, not only in his life but in mine as well. And yet, none of
them could ever hope to touch or move me the way he does. Not even in the
most passionate of moments did I connect with any of them the way I do
with Will in this moment. And all he has to do is look at me.

He stiffens slightly as I blink the tears away, and I touch his cheek
softly, the way I did last night, to reassure him of what he already

He settles back in his seat, his mind and heart open to me in a way I have
always hoped for it to be again. And as we both become aware of the depth
of our renewed intimacy I breathe deeply and feel safe enough to believe
and to trust. This is our time. Finally.

The time of regret is over. The time to love is now.