It was over dessert that Jean-Luc made a confession to her.
"I'm sorry Beverly, but I lied."
"Lied? About what?"
"Deanna didn't set me up on a blind date. I knew it was you the whole time."
The forkful of French Silk pie stopped halfway to her mouth. "What do you mean you knew?"
He cleared his throat and took a sip of wine. "Well, you see, about a week after I returned, Deanna and Will decided to visit LaBarre for the weekend. After spending a few hours wandering the grounds with Will, he pointed out that I was…how did he put it…stomping around like a male Klingon targ looking for a mate."
She chuckled at the thought of Jean-Luc running up and down the vineyards, yelling at the top of his lungs.
"A lovely image to ponder, isn't it? Well, anyway, to make a long story short; Deanna cornered me that very same evening and told me to…get my head out of my arse and do something."
"I told her I had no idea what she was talking about and she just gave me this look…"
"You mean the one where you know that she knows exactly what you're thinking."
"That's the one. She told me she'd call you and set up everything, I'd just have to do the rest."
She propped her chin on a fist. "And what exactly is the rest?"
"I'm not entirely sure. All she said was that I knew what I had to do."
"Mm. I know the feeling. Come on. It's a nice night and you can walk me home. Maybe you'll figure out what you have to do on the way."
"An excellent idea if I've ever heard."
After arguing over the bill he proffered an arm and they slowly strolled down the street. It was only five blocks to her flat, so they took the scenic route, enjoying the sights of San Francisco.
As they walked by the Bay, Beverly realized what she had to do.
"I lied to you too Jean-Luc."
He stopped in his tracks. "What? When?"
"A long time ago."
"Why does anyone lie? Because we're scared or crazy or just mean. There are a million reasons to lie. Sometimes you tell a lie so big it changes your whole life."
She began to slowly pace back and forth, anxiety tingeing her voice. "A lie so big it makes you think…I'd do anything if I could just have one chance to set it strait. Just one chance to change it. Oh, what am I doing babbling on, you don't know what I'm talking about."
He grabbed her arm and stopped her senseless chattering. "Actually, Beverly, I do."
She gave him a questioning look but he merely linked her arm through his and gently led her back to her apartment.
Standing outside her door he pulled her jacket close about her and she thought he was going to bid her goodnight.
"It's too late isn't it, Jean-Luc?"
"To late? For what?"
"I lied to you when you asked me if I thought we should take our relationship to the next level and I said no…remember?"
"I lied. It wasn't true. I wanted it so badly. I just…I lied because I thought you deserved something better."
"Something better than you? Merde! There isn't anything better than you, Beverly."
She gently brought her palm to his cheek. "Then why didn't you come after me?"
"Femme fichu. I thought…I thought that…"
"That I truly didn't love you? That all those dreams you saw rushing through my head were nothing but a by-product of some lust filled fantasy? You should know me better than that Jean-Luc."
His hands gripped her shoulders. "Ma chere femme, qu'essayez-vous de nous faire? Ce n'est pas la foire de vous. Pas juste du tout. You are going to drive me mad one of these days, chere."
She smiled even though she had no idea what half of what he said was. On a deeper level the frustrated mixing of French and Standard told her that what she'd felt for him and from him all those years ago on Kes-Prytt had never really disappeared.
Suddenly realizing exactly what she'd told him, how her feelings had come flying out in that one emotion-fueled statement, she began to cry.
A soft smile touched Jean-Luc's lips and he gently wiped the wetness from her face.
Feeling his hands on her cheeks, her mind exploded in a war of contradictory thoughts. I want him to kiss me; I don't want him to kiss me. I want to kiss him; I can't kiss him. I want to apologize, run inside, and hide under the covers. I want him to stay until the sun comes up and even later still.
As he raised her chin with a finger the battle between her head and her heart was finally over and she felt a wave of emotion run off of him and over her. She only had seconds to register the fluctuating colors of his eyes before she met his lips.
The warm pressure of his lips on hers was a small, almost infinitesimally tiny feeling that completely overwhelmed her. As she kissed him, everything the surrounded them, even the calm-inducing stars that now twinkled brightly above them seemed to disappear and all that was left was them, and only them.
And she began to cry again as his arms held her close. Only this time, they weren't tears of sorrow, but of immense joy.
Femme fichu-Damn woman
Ma chere femme, qu'essayez-vous de nous faire? Ce n'est pas la foire de vous. Pas juste du tout.-My dear woman, what are you trying to do to me? It's not fair. Not fair at all.