By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


'sometimes I see you watching me and I wonder what is running through your mind. Is it the past, or is the future? Our past is something straight out of a romance novel, a decidedly twisted romance novel. One full of more twists than a roller coaster ride.

Hell, it 'was' a roller coaster ride. So much pain. So much attraction. I refuse to use the word love. It doesn't fit.

It didn't fit, 'us'.

You rode the waves along side fighting for your life. But your life was consumed by love. Odan and I's love. You were torn. I could see it in your eyes every time you came to me - every time Odan wanted to come to me. And you did, time and time again. It must have been agonizing for you.

I'm sorry.

I watch you from across the room and I see a man that I have known since joining the Enterprise. But as soon as I look into your eyes, I see more. I see lovers. I see an ache that shouldn't belong there. But the ache is mirrored by my own eyes. I know it.

And so do you.

And that scares the hell out of me.

Day by day, I feel your pull. It's strong, as strong as the love I felt for Odan. But surely it can't be. I don't want it to be. I don't want to sacrifice what I had for Odan, and I had everything. Everything. And then he left me. He ripped me apart, shredded my soul and expected me to survive without him.

I thought I never would. I thought I would never climb up from that darkest void that no living being should ever visit.

But I did and it was with the help of the man that silently studied me from across the other side of the room. I felt my cheeks begin to pink with the spark of hunger that flared in my womb and hoped to God that no one else was taking any notice of us.

His lips touched mine and I felt my eyes drift shut, remembering. Longing. He had been bigger than Odan, but no less gentler. When he had slid into me I hadn't noticed who was above me. He was loving me as though he was Odan. He gave me the same deep, soul-drenching kisses. He thrilled me with the same needy, heady words that helped me find heaven, over and over again.

Did I want that again? Did I want Will Riker stepping into Odan's shoes, my affections and my heart? Could I take the chance and love again. Did I want Will more than I wanted a recollection?

Is what I feel for Will hiding away in some misty corner somewhere, shrouded in doubts, and questions, and a little shame? Can I blow away the mist and let my soul decide my fate?

I think my soul has already decided as I search his eyes for an answer for he is searching mine, too. I see hope there, I see laughter, and I see love, undisputable love.

I think there could be an 'Us' after all.'

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