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 The Colonel's New Toys

Chapter 7

Colonel Ronson grinned when the message came through. Yep, SG-1 had the best luck of any group he'd ever run across. According to his orders, he was to pick up that team, plus SG-3, and the MALP robot that was located by the Stargate on a planet designated P5R 105. The ship's computer had the coordinates for all of the planets listed in the SGC database. Inputting all of that data had been challenging for the people assigned to that task, to say the least. After days of checking and double checking, there was no doubt that they could get anywhere they needed to go, with nothing more than the assigned designation.

"Lay in a course, best time," he said, sitting down in the captain's chair.

"Yes, sir," replied Major Delouise. He couldn't help but smile as well. Everyone on the ship knew about SG-1's latest mission. Which had actually started from the Prometheus. Scuttlebutt had it that the ship would still be in dock if the team hadn't arrived, and 'outed' the NID operative who'd been responsible for the delays. That man was still in the brig, although the guard said he'd stopped demanding an attorney as soon as he realized they'd left Earth.

From what he'd been told of the situation, Ronson assumed that the team would be hungry, cold, and weary. He'd already ordered that their quarters be made ready for them, and that the galley have hot food and coffee ready and waiting. The coffee had been the suggestion of Master Sergeant Harriman. It seemed that Dr. Jackson and his wife were rather addicted to the caffeinated beverage. Major Carter as well, from what he had heard.

The tension that had filled the bridge, trying to locate the trail of Tieel Mogba's ship, waiting for word either from the SGC, or SG-1 themselves, had dissipated. Once again, SG-1 had pulled the proverbial rabbit out of a hat. More or less.

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

Mehen sat quietly, watching the lights and colors of the stars that shimmered around the ship as they moved through hyperspace. When he'd been unable to locate Tem at Menes, he'd assumed that the Goa'uld had run back to the First World. According to the memories of his host, Tem had quite the business empire there. One that would no doubt provide him with the resources he needed.

Ares had ordered Tem killed. Mehen was obeying only because the task was one that suited him. To know that Tem was behind his banishment, being locked in a canopic jar for thousands of years, was more than enough reason to want the mik'ta-ha dead.

He poked almost absently, trying to nudge the host into revealing any tidbits of information...memories of things that had occurred before Tem and the ker'nish'ta. Mehen shook his head mentally. Tem used that damned drug as if it were water. It was a well known fact that Ba'al used the drug to produce mindless drones to carry out the simple tasks that were required by a System Lord. He did not, however, use it on every slave, or every captive. A lesson Tem had never learned, it seemed.

 

Kinsey could feel the Goa'uld looking for him, trying to find what he'd so carefully hidden. He still didn't understand most of what he'd found. Didn't recognized the names or the faces. Had no clue exactly how he was able to take the images, and sounds, and feelings he'd gathered and hide them from his captor. He only knew that he could...and had. And that it enraged the creature that was controlling his body. He took pleasure in that knowledge.

 

The ship slowed, dropping out of hyperspace. So long...so very long, Mehen thought, as the al'kesh passed the first of outer planets. He'd traveled extensively for Ra, making certain that the planets he held, and the slaves therein, remembered just who their god was, and the power which he controlled. Arriving in the massive mother ship never failed to awe the slaves who lived simply, supplying whatever the planet offered for their god. His life had been good, serving as the High Priest of Ra.

As the ship moved closer to the blue and white planet, Mehen began to contemplate his options. Searched what memories of his host that he'd been able to locate. Earth was not prepared to defend itself against the Goa'uld. It wouldn't take much to capture it. The loss of a few major cities was quite acceptable. He would take what belonged to Tem, such as it was. And the armies of the First World. With the Tau'ri to fight for him, he'd be able to secure Jaffa from the Goa'uld he destroyed. With the First World under his rule, he could quickly build a fleet, and a Jaffa army.

A smile lifted the corners of his lips. He silently thanked Ares for handing him the means of becoming a System Lord. One who would quickly rise to domination.

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

The radio on Ferretti's shoulder crackled to life, just as he was collecting his fourth consecutive pot. "SG-1, this is the Prometheus. Do you copy?"

"You were so cheating!" Casey grumped. She was out three dollars and eleven cents. She was certain that the major had been cheating. She just didn't know how he'd managed to do so.

Ferretti grinned, and handed the radio to Jack.

"This is O'Neill. Nice of you to stop by, Colonel."

On the bridge of the ship that settled into orbit above the planet, Ronson grinned from ear to ear. "Thought you might like a lift."

"That's an offer we just can't refuse," Jack replied.

"We've located the Stargate. Can you get to it?"

"We're on our way. Be there in about thirty minutes."

"Copy that. We'll bring up the MALP, and then wait for your signal."

"Let's go, campers," Jack said quietly. Lanterns and two heaters were shut off, wrapped carefully in their protective, heatproof covers, and packed into the plastic crate. The emergency blankets were folded and shoved into the packs that the team had liberated from Ba'al's ship.

"Leave the fire burning," Daniel said quietly.

"Why?"

"Never can tell, maybe Big Foot and his friends will use it."

"Won't that be interfering...or something?" Jack asked, one eyebrow raised.

Daniel grinned. "We don't have a 'Prime Directive' that forbids helping the people we find, Jack. And if it's going to get colder, even with their fur, they could use the warmth."

Jack studied his best friend. The request was typical of Daniel. Anything to help others. Even if they were little more than animals. It wasn't like there was any chance of the fire spreading. If anything, it would be out completely within an hour, if the remainder of the wood wasn't fed to it. He didn't honestly care one way or another...if the creatures hadn't discovered fire on their own, maybe they weren't ready for it. If they could figure out how to keep it going, then power to 'em. "Right. Okay, leave the fire."

The wind was bitingly cold, even with the parkas and wool hats and gloves to protect them. Flashlight beams danced over the path, leading the way to the Stargate, and rescue.

 

 

 

Several of the creatures watched silently from the shadows. They couldn't comprehend what they witnessed as the strangers disappeared amid circles of bright light. Stories would be told for generations to come, of the strange beings who had appeared at the cave of the Old Ones. Who had stayed there for two winter days, and then left as suddenly as they'd arrived. Strangers who had left behind the secrets of controlling fire.

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

Each berthing level of the Prometheus had two locker rooms, one for the men, and one for the women. Casey stood beneath the water of the shower in the narrow confines of the women's locker room. After three days, it felt wonderful to be clean again.

Water consumption was limited, and she could well understand the need for the rules allowing only three minutes per shower. The lieutenant who had escorted her and Sam had explained that the three minutes wasn't so much about the time, but the amount of water that passed through the shower nozzle in those minutes. The trick, the lieutenant told them, was to wet their hair, then turn the water until it was nothing more than a fast drip. Turning it off meant that their access cards wouldn't work in the key lock for twenty-four hours. The next step, she'd said, was getting as wet as possible with those few drips, and washing quickly. Rinsing, they were informed, was the tricky part. Turn the water on too fast, and you ran the risk of not having enough water to finish the job. So turning the water on to a trickle allowed enough time to get all of the soap and shampoo rinsed away. Casey finished, and shut the water off, just before the buzzer sounded. Which would have resulted in the automatic shutoff of the flow. She grinned, feeling contentedly smug about having managed to beat the timer.

Dried, she pulled on the clean government issue underwear, and BDU. She used the hair dryer and brush offered to her by one of the crewmembers, grateful for the woman's generosity. The team would have a real meal, Colonel Ronson told them, and as he'd already reported to General Hammond that the team was safe on board, they could then get some much needed rest. She was all for that. Although there would be a bit of lovin' before she and Daniel went to sleep. With a smile for Sam, which was quickly returned, Casey left the now slightly steamy room. Daniel was waiting, leaning against the wall opposite of the door, hands in his pockets.

"Hey, gorgeous," he said, noting that her skin was still slightly pink. She must have used hot water, rather than the normal warm she usually showered in. That thought poked at him. Probably trying to wash away Ba'al's touch, he thought sourly. His stomach still turned at the images in his mind, of Ba'al reaching out and caressing his Wife's cheek.

"Hey, handsome."

"Feel better?"

"Much better."

Sam emerged from the locker room, gave her friends a wide grin. "I don't know about you, but I feel human again."

Jack strolled up, Teal'c at his side. "Ronson says the galley has a hot meal for us. And coffee."

Daniel, Casey, and Sam were off like a shot, heading in the direction of the elevator that would take them down one level, where the galley and crew dining room were located.

The older man shook his head. "One of these days, we're gonna have to break them of that addiction."

"I admire your courage, O'Neill." Teal'c's cheek twitched. "I wish you much luck." There was the slightest of pauses. "And shall send flowers to your funeral."

He looked up at the large man beside him, not at all sure he'd heard correctly, then grinned. Teal'c's sense of humor was every bit as wicked as Casey claimed. "Yeah, well you know me. I love a challenge!"

The Jaffa smiled, and walked beside his friend, joining the three who waited impatiently for them.

 

 

 

Part of the training for the crew of the new ship had been to study the mission files created by the SG teams who ventured through the Stargate on a regular basis. They needed to know just what they would be facing. Many of the crew had toured the SGC facility, and several had taken courses on the Goa'uld language and hand-to-hand combat at the SGC. The premier team had a legendary reputation. Word had spread among the crew that those five people were on board. And that the late meal that had been prepared was for them. Thus it was that the dining room was almost full when the team walked in.

"Whoa," Jack said softly, when every head in the room swung in their direction. Smiles lit every face.

"You're heroes," Colonel Ronson said, stepping up to join them. "These people know that."

Every member of SG-1 was modest at heart. No matter that Jack often proclaimed that a little recognition for their achievements would be nice, he never expected, nor really desired, any special attention. The four original team members had all been awarded various medals of honor, presented at quiet ceremonies in the 'gate room, with all available personnel in attendance. That was all the recognition that Jack O'Neill actually wanted.

Sam was accustomed to standing in front of a group of people, giving a report, or teaching a class. She felt herself blushing. Even receiving commendations in front of her co-workers in the 'gate room tended to make her a bit uncomfortable. After all, she hadn't done anything more than what the others who worked in the SGC did. She failed to understand how deep her involvement in the program truly went: from the code on the dialing computer, to every adaptation that had been added since the program had gone into full operation; to discovering a way to use an alien device to power the secret, underground facility; answering the call of duty above and beyond what was expected of her. She did what she thought was right, fulfilling her duty to the best of her ability.

Daniel shifted from one foot to the other. It was one thing to want the academicians of the archaeological world to know that his theories were correct. Being able to publish the dozen or so papers he'd written, all praised highly by Sam, would've been sufficient. He thoroughly enjoyed the times when he was called upon to teach a class at the SGC, usually focusing on the Goa'uld, both the language and the machinations of the Goa'uld empire. He'd always enjoyed teaching, sharing what he'd learned, especially with those as eager for the knowledge as he'd been. He held three doctorates, all earned before he was twenty-five...a fact that had caused not a little jealousy among others of his field; had published half a dozen papers written on the Hyksos ruling dynasty - they'd been met with skepticism. His theories about the pyramids, their origins and function had earned outright hostility from nearly every archaeologist in the community. Thus he wasn't accustomed to having his work praised, or even recognized. He glanced around at the room, at the faces that looked at him and his teammates, almost...expectantly.

Casey stepped closer to Daniel, her hands going around his arm automatically, reassuring herself that he was there. Several memories competed in her mind, walking into class late, arriving after the final bell because of some rant that Helen had been on, refusing to let the child leave until she'd finished screaming. All of the students looking at her...some sneering, some laughing, some angry that she'd interrupted what the teacher had been saying. Every time it had happened, she'd willed the floor to open up and swallow her whole. These faces were smiling, and hinted at friendship, but it was still unnerving to be the center of attention as they were. She didn't realize she'd moved just behind Daniel's shoulder, using him as a gauntlet between her and that roomful of people.

Teal'c raised an eyebrow. As First Prime of Apophis, his presence had always been noted, and proper respect shown. When he'd arrived on Earth with O'Neill, he became accustomed to the stares and the whispers. His time on SG-1 had changed that, the stares had become welcoming smiles, the whispers turned to greetings of friendship. Still, to have strangers looking at him in such a manner was most...uncomfortable.

Ronson clapped Jack on the shoulder. "Come on. I'll buy you a cup of coffee."

When the team took another step into the room, following the ship's commander, a lone voice called out. "Attention on deck!"

Every military member of the crew jumped to their feet and saluted smartly. Not one dropped that salute until both Jack and Sam had returned the gesture. One of the civilians, an archaeologist who'd spent the past year studying everything he could find that had been written by the one man who'd managed to uncover the truth about ancient history, and Ancient Egypt especially, stood to his feet, and began to clap. Within seconds those still sitting had risen to their feet, and the room echoed with applause.

Red-faced and obviously ill-at-ease with the sudden, unexpected attention, the members of SG-1 filed silently behind Ronson; returning smiles shyly, totally unprepared for the welcome they had received. Their obvious modesty only added to their reputation, unbeknownst to them.

The Prometheus boasted a full galley, as large and well equipped and stocked as was possible. The man in charge, an Air Force major with a culinary degree and the full title of Executive Chef, was determined that while the crew might be living on a space ship, their meals would be reminiscent of a good, if not fine, restaurant on Earth. Major Appleton was very 'hands on', and had prepared most of the main dishes that had been served in the various mess halls on the bases where he had served duty. Knowing the reputation of the 'guests' who were on board, and having done a bit of quick research, he was certain that the meal he'd prepared for SG-1 would meet with their approval.

Casey wrapped her hands around the mug of coffee that Ronson handed her. "Oh, yeah, sanity in a cup," she murmured. She took a sip, closed her eyes and smiled as the caffeine hit her system. Stepping closer to the window that opened onto the galley, she sniffed appreciatively. "That smells so good. Smells like...smells like...hey, those are nachos!"

"Yes, ma'am," Major Appleton smiled. "A little birdy told me you and the colonel were particularly fond of Tex-mex food."

Casey glanced at Daniel. "Remind me to thank Major Whitmore when we get home," she said softly.

Daniel smiled. "I promise."

Plates loaded with enchiladas, burritos, and nachos; and bowls of refried beans, rice, guacamole, and sour cream were carried out and set out on the head table. Colonel Ronson motioned, and the team sat down.

"Sweet!" Jack grinned, grabbing a dinner plate, and helping himself to a burrito and a heap of nachos.

Within minutes the team was eating...oohing and aahing and sending their compliments to the chef and his assistants time and again.

Casey wiped her mouth with the linen napkin, sat back and smiled. "Now that was a meal worth writing home about!"

Jack finished off the lone remaining enchilada, declaring that it was just a waste to leave it. "Best Mexican food I've had in a long time!" He turned to Ronson, who had joined them for their meal. "We appreciate all of this, Colonel."

"Hey, it's the least we could do. If not for you folks, we'd either be dead, be Goa'uld slaves, or have snakes in our heads."

"We didn't do it alone," Sam murmured.

"No, Major, you didn't," Ronson agreed. "But you took on the most dangerous missions. Pulled off the most miracles. You've personally taken out more snakes than any of the other teams in the SGC. You're heroes," he repeated.

With sigh, Jack pushed his plate away. "Well, I think that's debatable. But right now, I'm too tired to debate the issue. I don't suppose you have somewhere that we could bunk down for a couple of hours?"

"As a matter of fact, SG-1 have been assigned quarters. General Hammond felt it was a good idea, seeing that you'll probably be on the ship more than any other SG team."

"Yeah, when we're getting our butts pulled out of a sling." Casey muttered.

Ferretti, who was sitting across from her, his team beside him, snickered loudly.

Ronson grinned. "Or being tossed into the lion's den from the Prometheus."

"We appreciate it," Jack said sincerely. "Don't mean to be rude, but I think all of us are about asleep on our feet."

"No worries," Ronson said, rising to his feet. "I'm ready to turn in myself. You're on the executive deck. If you'll come this way."

The team rose, each of them thanking the cooks again, and followed Colonel Ronson out of the dining room.

Daniel didn't care how big, or small, the bed in their quarters was. He had to have Casey. Had to get a fix of her. He could already feel the beginning tremors that always preceded the shakes that he suffered if deprived of her sweet nectar for too long.

Casey had felt the tremble in his hand as he wrapped his fingers around hers. He was quickly moving toward withdrawal. Truth be told, even though her addiction wasn't physical, she was in dire need of his touch as well.

With quiet thanks, the team members entered the small rooms to which they had been assigned. All they wanted was a bed. And a bit of peace and quiet. Not that the lack of either would forestall the sleep they all craved.

 

 

 

He closed the door, locked it carefully. The room was compact, but not as small as he'd envisioned. There was actually a full-size bed tucked into the corner of the room. Beside it was a low, three-drawer dresser. To his immediate left, and at the foot of the bed, was a tiny desk and chair. The only way to sit in the chair was slide into it, the back of it was actually bolted to the wall. The back of the desk was the footboard for the bed.

Casey sat down on the edge of the mattress, began to pull her boots off. "It's nice and warm in here."

"Yes, it is," he agreed. He sat down beside her, removed his own boots. Tossed his shirt over the desk. "C'mere, you," he whispered, running his hand over the back of her head, wrapping his fingers around those silky tresses.

She leaned toward him. Other than trying to stay warm, they'd limited their physical contact, knowing that the simplest of caresses, the most innocent of kisses would ignite their passion, leaving them burning out of control with desire...with need.

As always, his mind registered how sweet she tasted. The satiny feel of her skin beneath his fingertips. Her hands were wrapped around his face, holding him...scorching him, while she poured her love into the kiss they shared. He struggled to regain the lead he'd lost nearly as soon as his tongue opened her sweet lips. She was tasting him, battling with him, her tongue dancing with his, then darting back into his mouth before he could do the same to her. It thrilled him to know that she was just as needy, wanted him just as much as he wanted her.

Her body was on fire. When his hands cupped her breasts, she pushed forward, begging silently for more than just the gentle touch. Knew that he understood when he began to gently massage the curves that ached for his touch.

"Haven't been able to greet my beauties properly," he murmured against her lips.

She smiled. Shrugged off the shirt his hands pushed from her shoulders. Raised her arms when he tugged the bottom of the tee shirt up. Watched from the corner of her eye as it hit the floor, seconds before his own did.

"What the hell?"

Casey giggled when his fingers fumbled with the front of the bra. Very few of her bras fastened in the back. The staid, white government issue bras hooked in the back. She reached behind her, unfastened the tiny hooks, then slid the straps down her arms. It hit the floor as well.

"My sweet beauties," Daniel sighed, bestowing a kiss on each pink tip. His hands continued to caress her. "So beautiful. So perfect."

"In your eyes," she replied softly. Her hands were moving over him, from his shoulders to his wrists, then over his chest from his throat to the band of the pants he wore. "Naked. Now," she whispered.

"Good idea," he whispered in reply. He kissed her breasts once again, then stood up, unfastening his pants as he did. He grinned when hers landed on top of his own as he kicked them free. The plain white panties, government issue, landed beside his white boxers. His breath caught in his throat as he watched her slide back on the bed, position herself in the middle. Gladly lowered himself onto her when she held her arms out to him, beckoning to him.

"I need you so much," she whispered.

He shivered as her breath warmed his ear; her words warmed his heart, fanned the flames already burning in his body. "I need you, too, Angel," he whispered in reply. He lowered his head to kiss her again. Her arms were around his shoulders, her legs wrapped around his hips, holding him close. Her body was warm and soft, and he gave in to her gentle demand, pressed against her.

Oh, goddess, yes! She'd been deprived of his kisses for two days - it felt like so much longer. The weight of his body was a precious burden; a balm to her heart, soothed nerves frayed by the situation the team had been thrust into. It was difficult not to object when he moved his lips toward her jaw, ready to begin his journey of discovery. She was aware, however, of his increasing need, of the fact that his addiction was making itself known, she could feel the tremors that moved over him.

Slow, Danny, take it slow, he thought. Don't deprive her of pleasure just because you need that fix of sweet honey. It wasn't easy. Her throat was soft, warm, sweet. He barely resisted leaving his mark on her. His mouth was watering, his hands shaking as he kissed and licked and nipped his way from her shoulders, to her collarbones. Slid down to give a proper greeting to his beauties. He moaned softly when he took a hard, pink nipple into his mouth. The soft moan that echoed his own made his heart pound faster, his aching cock twitch in response.

Back and forth, his mouth moved from one nipple to the other, his tongue marked passages on her skin, sending fingers of pleasure up and down her spine. Her back was arched off of the bed, although she wasn't cognizant of that fact. All she knew was the touch of his hands, his mouth, as he made love to her so gently, so tenderly. When he slid down, trailing kisses along her belly, nipping at her hips, her own desires refused to remain unheeded. "Let me taste you, please," she whispered.

Dear god in heaven, there wasn't a luckier man alive that he! With a groan of passion, of need, of gratitude, Daniel rose up, turned around, swung his leg over her, then slowly lowered his hips. Gasped out loud when her hands began to move over him. Now, he thought, now. He lowered himself, resting his arms between her open legs. When he dipped his head to give her that first intimate kiss, her hips moved up to greet him. His tongue moved over those puffy little nether lips, swollen with need, glistening with the honey that had managed to escape that sweet honeypot. Another groan left his throat when the first of her nectar touched his tongue. He held out as long as he was able, writing his love against her skin, until his need was excruciating.

She felt the shiver in his body, one that matched her own when he shoved his tongue into her. Oh, that always felt so good! Every kiss, every caress brought such pleasure that she was certain that her toes were going to break right off as they curled. The soft cry that left her lips when he began to lavish his attention on her clit was muffled by the hard, throbbing flesh that she suckled so ardently. His hips jerked each time she teased him with her tongue. One hand caressed his hip, the other moved up and down on his shaft in concert with her mouth, as she strove to give him as much pleasure as he was giving her.

Oh, god that feels so good! There wasn't another woman alive who could do that...could make love to him with such devotion...such joy. He'd watched her often enough to know that she derived as much pleasure from going down on him as he did. Well, almost as much, he thought, smiling mentally. He could feel the 'high' that her pheromones caused, felt his heart speed up, beat a bit harder. Felt as if he could spread his arms, take off and fly.

It had only been two days. No, it had been three days, she thought, taking into account that they hadn't had time to make love before arriving at the SGC. Then, within a matter of hours, they were on their way to Nevada...to Area 51. To the subterranean hanger where the first human-built spaceship sat waiting to slip free of the bonds of Earth. It felt as if it had been forever since she had been in his arms. Since she'd tasted him. Since they'd made love.

Her hips were moving up and down against his face. He'd found her rhythm as he moved his tongue over her delectable flesh, teasing that hard nub with the tip of his tongue. He closed his eyes when she began to move with long, steady strokes up and down his throbbing erection. She was going to send him right over the edge. Determined not to fall before she did, he captured that tender button, flickered his tongue back and forth. Delighted when she moaned softly, and her hips jerked slightly. He slid two fingers into her warm well, began to stroke hard and deep...just the way she liked it.

Oh, that was it...she was going to fall! Lights were flashing, colors swirling when she closed her eyes. Her body began to tremble...she renewed her efforts to please him...felt him swell more, felt the throbbing intensify. She relaxed her throat, took him as deeply as possible, and began to swallow. His low, guttural moan accompanied the flow of precious white love that began to flow down her throat.

Her hips were jerking, and that sweet whimper...seemingly unhampered by the fact that his cock was halfway down her throat...filled the air. Her well began to convulse around his fingers, honey poured from her, and he lapped at it, wasting not a drop. Collapsing onto his side, breathing hard, he rested his head on her hip. Smiled when her hand began to move gently through his hair.

"So, my handsome junkie, think that will hold you for a few hours?"

The smile widened to a grin. Wondered for the umpteenth time if he should be more concerned about the fact that he was physically addicted to his wife. To her sweet nectar, more precisely. Couldn't help but find the entire situation surprisingly agreeable. "I suppose so."

What she needed, what she wanted, was to feel him inside of her. Being one with him. Wanted him to push away those terrifying moments on Ba'al's ship, as the Goa'uld threatened to make her Husband a host. While she sat in his quarters, rape looming over her like a sword held by a spider's thread. Those memories crashed down on her...she'd had no time to deal with the feelings associated with what had happened, what had almost happened.

There was something in her eyes, something deep in those pools of emerald green...something that bothered her. Daniel sat up, ran his hand from her throat to her hip and back again. "What's wrong, Case?"

She shook her head slightly. "I'm okay."

Uh huh. Okay. She wasn't even aware of the fact that whenever she uttered those words, it was a signal that she was about as far from 'okay' as she could get. They hadn't had time to process all that had happened to them. No time to discuss what they'd experienced. No chance to hold one another after the terrors of being held prisoner by a Goa'uld...by Ba'al. He stretched out beside her. "C'mere. Tell me what's bothering you."

Casey allowed him to tug until she was settled on top of him, her arms crossed on his shoulders, his hands moving up and down her back in a gentle, repetitive motion. "I was terrified."

"I know."

"I couldn't let him do that to you."

"I know that, too."

Tears filled her eyes. "I felt like I was in a lose-lose situation. I'd do anything...anything at all...to protect you, to keep you from...from that. But if I had to...to...had to...you never would've been able to touch me again."

The pain in her eyes cut him to the quick. "That's not true, Casey. No matter what might have happened, I would...and will...always love you; I'll always want to make love to you, with you. Nothing that he could've done would have changed that. I love you, Angel, and nothing can or will ever change that."

"I love you so very much."

He hugged her tightly, kissed the side of her face when she snuggled closer to him. The warmth of her body, the tantalizing sensation of those soft curls rubbing against his shaft turned him on...aroused him completely. He rolled them over, then helped her shift toward the center of the bed once again. Her arms and legs were around him, pulling him close.

She sighed when she felt him enter, lifted her hips to meet him as he pushed deeper. Oh, how she loved that feeling!

He sank into her warm body, felt the little shiver that she gave. Smiled at the sparkle that lit her eyes. So good...she always feels so damned good!

The dance of love began slowly, gently...hips rocking together in an easy rhythm. Their lips met, the kiss as sweet as the love they were making. Comfort was given and received, fears assuaged; love wrapped around them in a blanket of protective warmth. Filled the room as softly as the scent of their love.

For a time, the gentle love was all that was required, all that was asked for. Slowly the pace increased as bodies burning with desire...with raw need...began to demand more. Hips pushed and ground together, seeking that still elusive climax that was beginning to glitter above them, just out of reach.

More...she needed more! Her legs slid down, locked behind his thighs, her hands grabbed at his ass, held tightly as she began to ride him, trying to take him deeper inside, desperate to feel his body rub against hers, offer her the stimulation she needed.

She was incredible...when she was out of control, demanding from him, taking what she needed, it excited him, drove him crazy. Those slender hips were meeting his, grinding against him, damned near lifting them both off the bed. Her need set fire to his own. He rose up on outstretched arms, began to pound into the willing, eager body beneath him.

Oh, yeah! This was what she wanted. Her hands fluttered over his chest, fingers toyed with his nipples, then moved up and down his arms. The slapping sound that filled the air as their bodies came together made her pulse race, her breath quicken. It was primal and raw and oh, goddess that felt so good!

He loved watching her face, the soft smile...the way her eyes fluttered closed...the way she tilted her head back just a bit, raising her chin, exposing that elegant neck. Loved the slight flush that colored her from her cheeks to her navel as they moved closer to the edge of the cliff.

She could feel it in her belly...white hot and incredible...sensations of ultimate pleasure raced up and down her spine and ended between her thighs, building into a tingle that would soon explode into the most wonderful feeling of all.

He was close...it wouldn't take much to push him over the edge and into sweet oblivion...dancing among the stars as his body quivered with pleasure. "Give it to me, babe," he panted softly.

When one strong, warm hand moved between them, found that hard nub and began to caress it, her fingers went instinctively to his nipples, tugging and rubbing, needing to drive him as crazy as he was driving her. The whimper she was never able to control filled her throat.

He cried out her name at the same moment she began to sing her love to him, their bodies pulsing and throbbing together, he filling her with his love as her honey washed over his cock and ran down over his balls and thighs.

Her arms held him tightly when he collapsed on top of her, totally spent, his breath coming in gasps. She kissed his shoulder. Whispered her love as she struggled to catch her own breath.

With a groan, he rolled them over. They'd eventually have to crawl under the blankets. But for the moment, he just wanted to hold her in the warm afterglow of their love.

In his arms. The safest place in the universe for her was in his arms. Satiated, her heart as soothed as her body had been calmed, she snuggled closer. Felt his arms tighten around her. Nothing could ever hurt her when she was in his arms. The horror of what had almost happened took on a surreal feeling...as if it'd been a nightmare, dreamed in the dark of night, fed by the fears that lurked in the shadows. There was no need to worry about Ba'al demanding her as his Consort. Not now. The next time their paths crossed, she'd find herself on that web again, her fate that of a mindless slave. The best thing, she determined, was to make certain that their paths never crossed.

For the first time since the moment he'd watched her step closer to the Goa'uld, put her fingers into Ba'al's outstretched hand, Daniel allowed himself to think about what had almost happened. He would admit, and gladly, that the thought of becoming a host was terrifying. He'd been scared, angry, frustrated...but mostly scared, when the Jaffa had begun dragging him toward that door, and a fate worse than death. Knowing what Ba'al had planned for Casey, however, made him furious. That was the emotion he had grabbed, had held onto. It was that fury that had made the determination that he'd see Ba'al dead, one way or another. And this time, the bastard wasn't getting out of it. That magical SG-1 good luck had been with them. He was snake free, and she hadn't been touched by that bastard. But the anger was still there. It would be until the moment when the creature known as Ba'al took its last breath.

"We should get some sleep," she said softly.

"Yep."

They crawled off the bed long enough for Casey to pull the blankets back, while he turned off the light. The lamp on the wall above the narrow desk had a three position switch, allowing it to be used as a nightlight, and keeping the room from being plunged into total darkness. Daniel adjusted it, made certain that it wouldn't shine on them, then slid into the bed, stretching out beside her. He held her closely, felt her breath warm and soft against his skin as she settled with her head on his shoulder.

Within seconds they were safe in the arms of Morpheus.


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