I want to reach out and pull you to me, who said I should let a wild one go free...

Will Riker had just made his declaration of love, and he waited with eager anticipation for Soren's response.

"I love you too, Will," Soren replied. "And yes, I will come with you."

Leaving Noor and Krite standing in stunned silence, Soren, with Will by her side and flanked by Worf and several armed guards, quietly walked to the waiting Starship Enterprise and boarded her.

Once they were safely on board Will embraced her tightly. "Oh, Soren," he said. "I can't believe we are finally together." He felt like he never wanted to let her go.

Soren had just walked away from the only life she had ever known to be with the man she loved. Noor and Krite had attempted to force her to undergo psychotectric treatment, which would have removed her feminine identity and, therefore, her romantic love for Will Riker. Soren had never before felt the feelings she had for Will, and she couldn't bear the thought of being forced to go back to the life she had led before.

Now, in the comforting shelter of Will's arms, Soren was flooded with relief. She felt that she had just barely escaped an awful fate. As for Will, he was simply overjoyed that Soren had chosen to come with him, leaving behind the only life she had ever known on the planet J'naii. Will had been in love before, but he had never known a woman like Soren. Her childlike innocence and curiosity charmed him, and he admired her high level of intelligence as well as her courage and adventurous spirit.

While Deanna Troi was happy for Will, she still felt twinges of regret that their long-ago relationship had not worked out. Wistfully, she remembered those romantic times on her native Betazed when she had been his 'Imzadi'. She had been young and very career focused at the time, and he had been as well. Now that they were both older, relationships had become more of a priority to both of them. Deanna sometimes wondered whether things would have gone differently if the two of them had met five or ten years later than they had. Although they both had moved on with their lives and still shared a close friendship, thoughts of what might have been still sometimes intruded on her present serenity.

Soren was in her room putting away her belongings when she heard a knock on the door. It was Deanna Troi.

"Soren, I must speak to you," Deanna said. "Although I realize that you don't know me very well, I hope that you will listen to what I have to say. I know that your love for Will must be great for you to be willing to leave the only life you have ever known for his sake. I know that he loves you too, Soren, very deeply. Will and I have known each other for many years so I know him very well. He is a very serious and intense man, and when he loves it is with his whole heart. Please handle that heart with care, Soren. I couldn't bear to see it broken again."

After she had gone Soren was left to ponder her words. From what Deanna had told her, it was obvious that Will had had his heart broken before. What did it mean to have a broken heart? Soren understood that it was just a figure of speech, but she could infer from the expression itself that it must be an incredibly painful experience. An experience Soren would never in a million years want to inflict on anyone, least of all Will Riker.

That night Will came to her room to say good-night to her. "I hope that everything is to your liking," he said.

"Everything is fine," she replied.

"If you need anything you know how to reach me," he told her. He hesitated as if he expected a reply from her, and it occurred to Soren that perhaps he wanted to spend the night with her in her room. Just the thought of that made her heart pound so hard it felt like it was going to jump right out of her chest. Soren had never felt that way before, and it truly frightened her.

"I am very happy here, Will. But it is all so very new to me. I just need some time to get used to my new life. I hope you understand." Suddenly she was afraid that she might have angered him.

But he smiled. "Of course, Soren. I understand very well. I would never ask you to do anything that you don't feel ready for. Good night and I wish you happy dreams."

"The same to you," she said.

"Thank you." He kissed her gently on the lips. As he walked away Soren felt half an urge to ask him to stay after all.

As she turned to get ready for bed Soren suddenly felt the impact of all the events of the day hitting her all at once. She was asleep almost before her head hit the pillow.