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When Destiny Calls
The snow had stopped, and the snowplows had already been working steadily to clear the streets. Daniel had insisted on stopping to pick up something for lunch after the trip to the Health food store. He'd bought two large canisters of the protein drink, one in chocolate, and one in strawberry, plus the largest bottle of the vitamins he could find.
He'd checked the list of acceptable foods, and found that Chinese food, the non-spicy variety, was on it. Casey bemoaned the fact that she loved General Tsao's chicken, but Daniel overruled her, insisting that the sauce was too hot and spicy. He promised to buy her a bucket of the stuff when Janet said she could have it. Which made Casey giggle, pointing out that it wasn't like KFC.
He was nervous as he unlocked the door, worrying for the first time about the fact that she might not like the apartment he called home. He pushed the door open, dropped her bags and his duffel on the floor beside it. Wished he'd thought about having flowers waiting here for her. "Welcome home, Casey," he said softly.
She looked around. The front door opened onto a hallway. There were three closet doors along the wall to the right, one was a set of double doors. She would later discover a full sized washer and dryer behind those double doors, a closet behind the middle door, and the water heater behind the third. To the left was the kitchen. It was open to the hallway, with the exception of about three feet at each end.
The kitchen itself was u-shaped, and the eight by ten room was, in her eyes, the perfect kitchen. The cabinets were pickled oak, and the counters and back splash were white tile. The appliances: refrigerator/freezer; stove/oven combination, with a microwave above; and dishwasher were all white on white. There was a wide opening above the counter at the far end of the room that went to the ceiling. It opened onto the dining room, which was also open to the foyer, and the hall that led to the bathroom and bedrooms.
The dining room was narrow, and centered beneath a modern brass and clear glass chandelier was a round natural maple table with six high backed chairs. The backs of the chairs were intricately carved with leaves, grapes and vines. The floor, like those of the hallway and entry, was hardwood.
The living room was beyond the dining room, the two rooms separated by the pine sofa table and a long, light brown leather sofa. Along one wall, adjacent to the sofa, were three wide glass-fronted bookcases, the massive teak units stretched halfway into the dining room...the dark patina of the wood a contrast to the lighter wood of the dining table. On the opposite wall, also adjacent to the sofa, were two open-front, oak shelving units. There was a cabinet nestled between them; the doors were closed but she assumed that it held the television. The three pieces had been hand stained, and glistened from the fresh polish that slightly scented the air. The bookcases were filled with books. Hundreds of books. The shelves displayed an impressive array of artifacts. Tapestries and ceremonial masks adorned the walls. The large square coffee table - with its heavy, elaborately curled wrought iron legs - sat between the sofa and two soft, overstuffed chairs in rich brown leather, and held a Malaysian lap desk and a beautiful wooden chess set. A wide set of French doors, flanked by floor to ceiling windows were opposite the sofa, behind the chairs, and opened on to a narrow balcony.
Daniel watched her eyes. They seemed to get wider every minute. "Well?"
"Oh, Daniel! It's beautiful!" She stepped hesitantly into the kitchen, ran her hand over the counter. "It's so big!"
He grinned, pleased that she liked her new home. "I'm glad you like it. Wanna see the rest?" She nodded eagerly. He held out his hand, smiled when she laced her fingers with his.
There was a room-width closet on one wall of the master bedroom, with two sets of double sliding doors. Across the room from the hall door was another set of French doors, flanked by floor to ceiling windows. They also opened onto that narrow balcony. A queen-sized bed was pushed against more shelves, which were crammed with artifacts, and a tall chest of drawers sat on one side of it, a low bedside table on the other. Adjacent to the bed was a wide dresser. Between it and the door to the hallway was another door, which led to the bathroom.
The bathroom boasted a separate bathtub and shower, the glass walls of the shower etched with scenes of swans swimming among tall reeds. The toilet was secluded, something that Casey liked immediately. The white marble counter that topped a pickled oak cabinet boasted twin sinks. She noted that Daniel's toiletries were lined with precision behind one of the sinks. She'd have to try to keep her things orderly, she thought, as she had a tendency to leave her things in a jumbled collection when she was finished using them.
The second bedroom had one window that opened onto the courtyard of the building. A large mahogany desk, with a large leather 'executive' chair, sat beneath the window and seemed to take up most of the space. There were more bookshelves, and several filing cabinets as well.
Casey wandered back into the living room, stared at the city view. She'd seen apartments like this in decorator's magazines. She never thought she'd actually be standing in one. Certainly never believed that she'd be living in one! The surroundings confirmed what she'd begun to suspect. "Daniel, can I ask you a question?"
He stepped up behind her, put his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest. "Always, Angel."
"It's kind of personal," she warned him.
"Honey, after yesterday, I don't think there's anything left to hide."
She giggled. "I know that you have a doctorate and two other degrees. I was just wondering…and you can tell me it's none of my business…but, how much do you make working for the SGC?"
He smiled. "A hundred and thirty a year."
She turned around and looked up at him, her eyes wide. "Thousand? A hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year?"
"I have medical benefits and a retirement plan in that as well," he said.
"Sure beats twenty-two five all to hell and back," she murmured.
"What?" he asked, a slight frown on his face. Even in his untenured teaching days he'd manage to make at least thirty thousand a year!
"I only took home about six hundred and fifty every two weeks. After taxes and what little insurance I could afford, plus the mandatory union dues."
No wonder she was so concerned about finances! She'd been living hand-to-mouth all of her life! His own 'lean' days were behind him now, thanks to the SGC. He pulled her back into his embrace, kissed the side of her head. "No worries, Casey. I'm here. I'm taking care of you."
She snuggled against him, breathed deeply of that wonderful masculine scent that was him. "I like the sound of that. You taking care of me. Me taking care of you."
He smiled again, hugged her tighter. "I like it, too. Take your pill, babe. Let's eat. I’m starving."
When Casey walked into the kitchen, it struck her how empty the room looked…the only thing on the counter was a coffeemaker. "Where are the glasses?"
"Left of the sink."
She opened the door. Four mugs. Six glasses. Nothing else. Opened the next cabinet. Six plates. Six bowls. The next two cabinets were empty. "Daniel, do you cook?"
"Not really," he admitted. He used to throw together simple casseroles in his younger days, something he'd learned from one of his foster-mothers. But he'd found little reason or desire to cook since returning from Abydos.
She searched every cabinet. Almost all of them were empty. Squealed with delight when she found a full set of Circulon cookware. Raised an eyebrow at him when she discovered that the pantry contained a small box of cereal. Two cans of soup. A box of crackers. And two packages of specialty coffee. "Do you have any idea how much you need?"
"We need. This is your home too," he explained patiently. Hoped that it wouldn't take long for her to feel at home here.
She shook her head. "Daniel, it's going to take months to get this kitchen in shape!"
"Why so long?"
She smiled. "Have any paper and a pencil?"
"Be right back."
She shook her head, grabbed two of the plates and a glass. She took her pill, then carried the food and the plates to the table.
Daniel put a legal pad and pen in front of her. "Okay, what all do we need?"
"Everything!" she declared. She began writing furiously, making three columns. On two sheets of paper. She ate absently when Daniel piled the moo goo gai pan on her plate. She sighed and shook her head several times.
He couldn't help but grin as he watched her. When she was finished, the look of determination in her eyes made him want to laugh.
"Okay, I have this divided up into must have, should have, and would like to have. Same for the grocery list. I can't cook if there isn't anything here!"
"It's one of the few things I'm capable of," she replied. "I'm not great, mind you, just an average cook, but I can put a meal together."
Something told him that her idea of 'average cook' and his were two different things. He examined the list. Smiled to see 'waffle iron' on the 'must have' list. He'd told her that waffles were his favorite breakfast food. He had to ask her what several of the items were. "Okay, we'll go to the mall. Then we'll go to the grocery store. It will take two trips, you know," he said.
"Because this is a lot of stuff," he replied pointing at the list.
The 'must have' list isn't that long," she argued.
"Casey, we're getting everything you have on this list."
Her eyes went as wide as saucers. "Do you have any idea how much that will cost?"
She rolled her eyes. Began to explain to him what the average price for each item was. "Now do you see why there are three lists?"
He grinned. Hoped she was about to fight him. It was so damned fun to spoil her when she fought him! "But you need it all," he insisted.
"Not all at once!"
His grin widened. He had every intention of buying every blessed item listed on both sheets of paper. Even the stuff he had no clue about.
She narrowed her eyes. "Don't you even think about it!"
He tried to put on his best innocent face. Couldn't stop grinning long enough to do it. "Think about what?"
"Buying all of this stuff today!"
"Daniel Melburn Jackson! You just dropped nearly ten grand on rings. The most beautiful rings in the world, but still, that's a lot of money! This list alone," she said, waving the list of small appliances, dishes, serving ware, bake ware and other cooking necessities, "is going to run close to five thousand dollars!"
"Hey, there are some pretty good sales going on right now. All that after Christmas stuff," he protested.
She rolled her eyes again. "Daniel, that is too much money!"
He sucked on his lower lip for a minute. If he showed her what was sitting in his savings account, she'd probably let him get what she needed, what she wanted for the kitchen. If he didn't, she'd continue to fight him. He grinned. Okay, he'd show her. Chances were, she'd still fight him. At least a little bit. "C'mere, honey," he said, taking her hand.
He led her to his 'office', turned on the computer. He called up the information for his savings account. "This is what's sitting there," he said softly. He watched those green eyes go wide.
"Oh my god! I really am marrying Daddy Warbucks!"
He chuckled loudly. "Now, are you going to let me take you to the mall and get what you want and need?"
Her eye began to twinkle. "I don't suppose we could stop by Bed&Bath as well," she said.
"Shower curtain and shower curtain rod. That bathroom is way too stark."
"Honey, whatever you want is fine by me."
"Pinch me. Not even in my dreams do things this good happen!"
He stood up, pulled her close. "Only the best for you, Casey. From now on, only the best."
She shivered. Felt tears form in her eyes. Never before, her mind kept saying, never before. Never before had she known such love, such generosity, such kindness. She tightened her arms around his neck. "I love you so much," she whispered.
"I love you too. C'mon. We have a lot of shopping to do."
A A A A A A
It was nearly eight o'clock. Daniel put the fork down, leaned back in his chair. "If that's your idea of average, I'm going to need a rigorous work-out routine!"
She smiled. "I'm glad you liked it," she replied. It was an easy enough meal to prepare. It had been fun having him working with her, doing whatever she requested while she fixed linguine with fresh Alfredo sauce, green beans with ham, and rosemary chicken breasts. A bag of frozen blueberries had become a quick blueberry crumble.
Casey stood, began to gather the dishes. From the new set they'd bought. It had only taken an hour after the trip to the mall to get everything arranged and put away where she wanted it. She still had ample room for her Grandma Rose's things as soon as they arrived. She'd been absolutely thrilled when Daniel had spied a pot rack, and decided that they needed to get one. He'd even let her buy two plants. They flanked the pot rack and the few pots that were there, hanging above the counter, in the opening between the kitchen and dining room. Soon copper pots and baking dishes would join them, and the brightly colored bread baskets her Grandma had been so proud of would sit perfectly on top.
The trip to the grocery store had been the most fun she'd had in a long time. Daniel had been like a little boy, spying something he wanted and tossing it into the cart. They'd argued about chocolate syrup versus the powdered kind. Instant oatmeal versus quick. Fun, silly arguments that had them both laughing. When she'd picked up the extra virgin olive oil, a discussion on the meaning of 'extra virgin' ensued. Several people had stared at them as Daniel laughed hysterically over her explanation.
She was loading the dishwasher when she felt familiar hands moving over her hips. She smiled. "Coffee will be ready in a few minutes."
"That's nice," he murmured. "You really shouldn't do that, babe."
"Bend over like that. It makes me need you so much!" He pushed against that fine rear, let her feel how hard he was for her. He gasped when she pushed back against him, wiggled her hips.
She stood up and turned around, put her arms around his neck. "Is that a pickle in your pocket, or are ya just glad t'see me?" she asked, doing a good impression of the sultry 30s era actress May West. The actress was one of her favorites - simply for daring to be herself in spite of what others might have thought or said about her.
He grinned. "Why don't you check and find out," he whispered.
She moved her hands down his chest, to his thighs, back up to his belt. "I think I'll do just that." Nimble fingers had his belt unfastened, the button of the jeans undone, and the zipper down in no time. She slid to her knees, and took that magnificent erection into her mouth.
"Sweet Jesus!" he hissed, letting his head drop back as that sweet warm mouth moved over his swollen flesh. Her hands were massaging him, caressing him just as carefully, as skillfully as her tongue. He felt as if every sense had been intensified, sharpened. He could hear every drop of coffee hitting the liquid already in the glass pot. The precise ticking of the antique clock that had been a gift from Catherine Langford from its place on the dining room wall. The sounds of traffic on the street four stories below them. He could smell the coffee, the tantalizing, lingering smells of the food she'd cooked, the sweet floral and vanilla scent of her. His hands were full of soft blonde silk, he could feel every strand against his fingers. He could feel every flick, every subtle movement of her tongue as she moved it over him, touching every inch of him, tasting him, teasing him.
She so loved doing this to him…for him! Almost as much as she loved kissing him. She loved how he moaned and sighed as she moved back and forth, up and down on that throbbing male flesh. She loved the taste of him, loved how he filled her hands. She took her time. Wanted to make him feel good…wanted to give him as much pleasure as possible. She'd learned that his balls were only this heavy when he hadn't come for at least a day. They'd made love almost the entire afternoon, well into the evening the day before. But her Stud Muffin hadn't had release since then. Casey discovered in that moment that kneeling in front of the man she loved, pleasuring him, was enough to make her own body quiver with delight. She felt the heat build between her thighs, felt as if she could come just from the taste of him, the feel of him in her hands and mouth.
So much love! Every touch, every caress she made was filled with such love! It seemed to emanate from her, envelop him in its warmth. For so long he'd lived without that gentle warmth, had missed it terribly. Like gentle rain onto parched land, her love fell on him, around him, filled him.
She closed her eyes, savoring every sensation…the way he tasted, the way he smelled, the way he felt. Her heart sang with her love for him, her body trembled for him, her soul alive because of him. For the first time in her life she felt…whole. And that wonderful feeling created such a need in her…the need to show him the love that filled every fiber of her being.
He had his hands on either side of her head, gently rocking his hips back and forth, rushing toward the precipice to that abyss of sweet release. He could feel the tip of his cock tingle as she sucked it, that fire building in his belly. She'd settled to a steady rhythm, after teasing him for what felt like an eternity. He felt her relax her throat, take him as deep as she could. She started swallowing, and suddenly he was there…that incredible feeling was shooting up his spine, tingled in the back of his head, then raced down his cock, sending hot come down her sweet throat. He moaned as waves of pleasure washed over him, grabbed the counter with one hand, needing the support to stay on his feet.
She licked him clean, kissed the tip of his shaft gently, then tucked him back inside his boxers. "Can I finish loading the dishwasher now?"
"Nope." He scooped her into his arms and carried her toward the bedroom. For the next hour he teased her, tasted her, made her cry out before finally allowing himself to sink into that warm, welcoming well. When he finally let her go over the edge the second time, she cried out his name so loudly he was sure that the neighbors above them and below them heard her. A thought that made him grin. Maybe now old Mrs. Trumball would quit trying to fix him up with the dozens of nieces she had!
They'd taken a shower, and she'd finished loading the dishwasher and turned it on. She went into the living room and sat down on the couch beside him. He'd opened the top doors of the cabinet, and there was indeed a television in it. He looked up at her and grinned when she came into the room; lifted his legs and let her sit down beside him. He rested his long limbs across her lap.
The late-night weather report was on, and according to the weatherman, another storm was on the way. He encouraged those who had no need to get out to stay home. Casey watched the lights twinkling outside of the French doors. She didn't even know she was biting on her lip.
She looked at him and smiled. "Nothing is wrong."
She let her hand roam over his legs. "I was just thinking."
"Well, you'll probably laugh at me."
"I won't, I promise."
"It's so cold, and…well, are there shelters here in Silver Springs? I mean, homeless people don't have to be out in this do they?"
He smiled, not at all surprised by her compassion. "There are two very nice shelters. I try to help out at the one near here when I can," he replied softly.
She nodded. "Kelley used to tell me I was trying to bail out a sinking boat with a teaspoon every time I bought a blanket on sale for a shelter not too far from the apartment. I couldn't do it often, but…I figured I had a warm bed, enough to eat, I should give back so that…well, so that The Powers That Be would understand I appreciated what I had."
Daniel shifted, turning to put his head in her lap. "You are an amazing woman. You were barely getting by, yet you worried about others. Typical."
"Yep. You have the most beautiful, caring heart I've ever encountered." Daniel would never realize that her heart was the compliment to his own caring, giving heart. He looped his arm around the back of her neck, pulled her down for a kiss. "You're an incredible woman," he whispered, just before his lips captured hers again.
It was after one a.m. when they snuggled together beneath the warm blankets.
"Oh, crap!" Daniel muttered.
"We were at the mall and I didn't even think about getting you a decent coat. Okay, tomorrow, I get you a coat and some boots. Gloves, too."
She cuddled closer to him. "Weatherman said to stay indoors," she said.
"Mmmhmm. It might be so cold we'll just have to stay here under the blankets to stay warm. Share our body heat."
"Mmmhmm. I don't want any important parts freezing and falling off."
He hooted with laughter. "I don't think that will happen," he replied, kissing her forehead.
"Nope. I know the perfect warm place for it."
She shivered. "I'll do my best to keep it safe."
He laughed again. "Go to sleep, Angel. It's been a long day."
She shifted once again, as close as she could get, and let sleep overtake her. Daniel closed his eyes, grinning into the darkness. Casey was home.
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