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Dance of the Heart
The O’Neills, the MacLeods, and Teal'c and Carly were over for a barbecue the following Saturday. By now they all knew that something had transpired, but weren’t sure what. Carly was the only one who knew for sure, and she wasn’t talking.
The men stood near the grill, beer in hand. "So, Daniel, I hear that you had an interesting night. Something about a scavenger hunt?" Jack grinned.
Daniel grinned. "No, it wasn’t a scavenger hunt."
"Come on, don’t keep us in suspense," Duncan said.
The younger man shrugged. "She did a strip routine for me."
Jack and Duncan exchanged glances. "Come again?" Jack said.
"You know. Music. She danced. She stripped."
"Damn! A harem dance for your birthday…now she strips…what’s the special occasion for this one?"
Again Daniel shrugged. "Guess she thought I was working too hard."
Casey was grinning. "Yep, totally blew his mind. I mean, he was shaking when I uncuffed him!" The women all laughed softly.
"So what songs did you dance to?" Sam asked.
"AC/DC…'Hard As A Rock' and 'Cover Me with Oil'. I guarantee he’ll never be able to hear those songs again without thinking about that night," the young woman giggled.
"Casey, you are quite a woman. Learning all those dances…just to please him," Tessa said, a smile on her face.
"Oh, it’s not just to please him…when I do something for him…he’s just so…" she broke off.
"Grateful?" Sam offered.
"Well, yes, but not just that, it’s like he…treasures…everything I do for him. Like it’s a special gift that I’ve given him. I don’t know, maybe I’m weird, but when I do something for him, please him…it’s like…I don’t know…I get a real thrill out of it. It’s as if I’ve done something very special, or very important. Pleasing him pleases me." She shrugged. "Guess I’m weird, huh?"
Tessa shook her head. "No, my sweet young friend, you’re not weird. You’re a woman very much in love. And I think perhaps I should learn a lesson from you. If you derive as much pleasure from the giving as he does the receiving, then you truly understand what it is to give." She looked at Carly for a moment. "Do you think I could learn that harem dance?"
Carly smiled. "Of course you can."
Sam was looking at Jack. "Maybe I should sign up for lessons, too."
"So you’re saying she just did this…because?" Duncan asked.
"Yeah. I guess so," Daniel replied.
"I’m not buying it, Space Monkey. You had to have done something really right. So what was it?" Jack insisted.
Daniel shook his head. "I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary. Except work late all those nights."
"So what do you consider ordinary?"
"I don’t know. Just…ordinary stuff."
"Come on, Daniel, help us out here!" Jack said.
"I honestly don’t know, Jack. I toss a load of clothes I the washer when she asks me to…or move a load from the washer to the dryer. We cook together and clean up the kitchen together. We share the responsibility of taking care of Emmie. I help her put clean sheets on the bed." He shrugged again.
Jack and Duncan exchanged a glance. "Can’t be any of that…although you’re giving the rest of us a bad name, pal," Duncan complained.
"Come on, Daniel. Think! You had to have done something to have deserved this."
"Hey, she learned the strip routine before she learned the harem dance. Carly talked her into it, said it was more sensual."
Daniel cocked his head to one side. "Yeah. I think it is. The strip routine was like…raw sex. The harem dance was like…seduction."
Once again Jack and Duncan exchanged glances. Both men shuddered from the thoughts that accompanied that statement.
Duncan glanced over at Casey. He knew her body intimately. He had seen a harem dance, performed by real harem girls. He could envision her lovely, slender body making those moves. He’d been to a strip club or two also. Again, images of her dancing, stripping, flashed through his head. He shuddered again. If Tessa could read his mind right now she’d knock him upside the head. He looked at his lovely wife. What would Tessa look like, moving across the floor, taking those scarves off one at a time?
Jack shook his head. "I don’t get it, Space Monkey. How did you get so damned lucky?"
"I have no idea, Jack. I just thank every god I can think of everyday for bringing her into my life," Daniel replied.
"I was only curious…I mean, I know that Daniel loves me, but I kept wondering, what if another brunette crossed his path, how would he react," Casey was saying. "So Carly asked me if he knew Julie Harwood. He doesn’t, so she had Julie show up at the bar while he was waiting for our food."
Carly smiled. "She said that Doctor Jackson was polite, but cool, and definitely not interested in conversation with her; or anything else for that matter."
The women smiled. "I don’t think Daniel’s ever been a real big flirt," Sam said. "I mean, if he was attracted to a woman, he knew what to do, but to just go in and pick up a woman in a bar, it just wasn’t his style."
Casey nodded. "He can talk forever about his work to anybody who will listen. But when it comes to making just regular conversation, he’s shy. I was so thrilled when he would talk to me, because I knew how shy he was. It…gave me hope."
Sam laughed. "Yeah, he was sending a lot of mixed messages, wasn’t he?"
"Probably as many as I was. I mean, I never thought I was good enough for him. He’s so good looking…he's brilliant; and I’m just…average…ya know?"
"Angel, that has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard," Daniel said softly. He was standing with Jack, Teal'c and Duncan just behind where the women were sitting, holding a platter of chicken. "You’re the most beautiful, sweet, funny, woman I’ve ever known. I know about archaeology…you know how to make people laugh. I can speak thirty-five different languages, but I can’t write a poem like you can. I study ancient cultures, know about them; you live life for today, you know and understand people. If there's anybody undeserving here, it’s me. You’re so full of life, and love…" he put the platter on the picnic table and pulled her into his embrace. "Love you, Angel," he whispered in her ear.
She hugged him tightly, tears standing in her green eyes. "Love you, Sweetheart," she whispered in reply.
"Babe, Jack and Duncan were asking me why you danced for me…either time, what I did to deserve it. What did I do to deserve so much?" he asked.
She smiled. "You love me, Daniel. I danced for you because it was something I could do to show my love for you, to you. I guess dancing was the only way I could think of to…show you my heart. To please you…pleases me. I just…wanted to please you."
He pulled her closer. "Oh, Angel, you please me. More than you’ll ever know," he whispered.
"Just as you please me, my heart." She looked into his eyes. The love shining there made her heart dance within her chest.
Jack and Duncan exchanged a look. Lucky little SOB. They missed the looks their wives were exchanging. Lucky little SOB.
Carlotta was smiling. "Casey offered the dance of the heart. You’re a very lucky man, Daniel."
Daniel smiled. "I know."
Casey kissed his chin, turned to their friends. "Hey, let’s eat! I’m starving!"
Laughter filled the air, and the group sat down to share a meal, and more laughter.
A A A A A A
Daniel watched her sitting on the bed, brushing her hair. He sat down behind her, took the brush, moved it through the long, soft blonde silk. "I wish I could find the words to let you know how much I love you, Angel."
She smiled, her eyes closed, reveling in what his touch did to her. She felt his lips on her neck.
"I can’t find the words, Angel, so let me show you," he whispered.
There, in the dark, wrapped in her arms, he did his own dance of the heart.
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