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The next day they could find no trace of their visitors. The pyramid proved to be completely empty, although there were numerous sections of glyphs. By late afternoon Daniel announced that he had all that he could get from the site. Jack ordered camp broken down, and by nightfall the team was at the gate.
Sam was just about to dial when Daniel called their attention to a group of people standing at the edge of the jungle watching them. Again, using the night vision goggles revealed that no one was there. He walked towards the group of…people.
"This is just too freaking bizarre," Casey whispered. She slipped to Daniel’s side, comforted when he wrapped his fingers around hers.
The old woman who had been in the camp the night before walked slowly to where the couple stood. She reached out her hands, put one on Daniel’s chest, the other on Casey’s.
Instinctively Casey moved closer to Daniel. Her heart was beating against her ribs. The old woman’s hand felt like ice against her body, even through the shirt and tee shirt she was wearing.
"Easy, babe, just relax," Daniel said soothingly to his Wife. He smiled at the old woman.
She tried to do as he said, but her body remained tense. The old woman looked at her, and she forced a smile. Daniel’s fingers tightened around hers.
The old woman nodded, then turned to walk away. The others followed her into the blackness of the jungle.
"Let’s get out of here," Sam whispered.
"Good idea. Dial us home, colonel," Jack replied.
"Well that’s one to be added to the ‘how weird was that’ list," Casey said as they walked down the ramp. She followed Sam to the women’s shower room. She was undressing when she felt a burning on her chest, at the same location where the old woman’s hand had been, just above her left breast. She screamed when she looked in the mirror. In blue-black ink, was a Mayan hieroglyph. Sam stared for a minute, then grabbed the young woman’s robe and helped her get it on. She paged Duncan and the rest of the team to the infirmary.
"Casey?" Dr. Montigue said when he hurried through the door. "What’s wrong?"
By now the team was standing beside her, Duncan as well. She opened her robe enough to expose the tattoo.
"Sweet," Jack teased.
Daniel, who had been scratching his chest, ran his finger over it. "I’ll have to do some research, I’ve never seen those two glyphs together before…but it looks like just two words."
"Daniel, take off your shirt," the doctor ordered, having noticed that the man had been scratching or rubbing his chest the entire time he had been in the infirmary. Daniel also had a blue-black tattoo.
"Casey, I need for you to draw this exactly as it looks," Daniel said, looking down at his chest.
Casey found a pen and a piece of paper and began to copy the mark. When she was finished, Daniel looked at it, held the paper next to her mark. "One word," he finally said.
"And that one word is…" Jack coaxed.
"Chosen. Casey’s is Chosen Heart, or translated, Heart of the Chosen."
The team exchanged glances all around.
"Well, I always wanted a tattoo," Casey said, her voice a bit unsteady.
"You have one now," Duncan grinned. "Although I don’t know how long it will stay there. The Quickening may have it gone by tomorrow."
"I don’t know, Duncan. This isn’t an ordinary tattoo," Daniel said. "The woman who…gave them to us…she wasn’t exactly there."
"When we put on the night vision goggles, nothing there," Jack explained. "Without the goggles, we could see them as plain as you’re seeing us right now."
"I’m putting that planet on the dangerous list. I’d rather be safe than sorry," Duncan said. Later during the debriefing, he reiterated that the planet was now on the ‘do-not-call’ list.
A A A A A A
Casey was standing in the bathroom, staring at the tattoo on her chest. The more she looked at it, the more she liked it. She giggled. It definitely marked her as belonging to Daniel.
He was in the den researching everything he could find on Mayan’s and their after-life beliefs. Whoever those people had been, they weren’t among the living. He heard Casey giggle; the sound brought a smile to his face. He went in search of her, found her admiring her new body art in the mirror.
"I’m marked," she said, smiling up at him. "I am branded as yours."
He grinned. She sounded absolutely delighted. "Yep, you’re mine," he whispered. He lowered his head and kissed her neck, made her shiver. "All mine. Forever."
Her body was on fire from his touch. "Take me?" she begged softly.
He began to undress her, kissing her back and shoulders as he did so. When she was naked, he leaned her against the dresser, lowered his jeans and eased his swollen shaft into her warm, wet well.
"Oh, Daniel," she whispered, reveling in the sensations his body gave her. She arched her back as he began to move inside her.
"You feel so good, Angel," he moaned, trying to maintain control. He reached around her slender hips, slid his hand between her thighs and began to caress her, the other hand began moving over her breasts. Within minutes she was beginning to whimper, then cried out as her orgasm overtook her. She was pushing her hips back against him with every thrust he made, the movements driving him over the edge. He cried out her name as he filled her with his love. He pulled her back against him, nuzzled her neck. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, sweetheart," she replied. She laid her head back against his shoulder, willing to stand there as long as he was.
After several minutes he let her go, and they took a shower before they finally crawled into bed for the night.
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