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No Matter the Time, II...an Alternate Love Story
She handed the ads, cut from the magazines she had purchased the previous weekend, to Daniel. "This is my favorite, try to find it. If not, this is okay. This one is all right if you can’t find the other two," she explained. "Do not let them talk you into any other color. Black or nothing. Okay?"
Jack was looking at the pictures over the young archaeologist’s shoulder. The tuxedoes all looked the same to him.
They looked the same to Daniel as well. "Okay. So what makes this one better than this one?" he asked, frowning, looking from one picture to the next and back.
"The lapels on this one are narrower, I prefer that. Remember, cummerbunds, no vests, black bow ties for all of you, so when they start in about the groom needing to ‘stand out’, tell them no. Definitely get the button covers. I think those always come with a tux, but I’m not positive. Shoes are your choice," she said.
Daniel nodded. "Okay. Good luck, babe." He turned to Sam. "Make sure she uses our card when she finds her dress," he said. He had been upset to learn that the purchases made with Sam had gone onto her credit card. He had told her that when the bill arrived, she was to give it to him so he could pay it. Something told him it wouldn’t happen, unless he managed to check the mail first and found it.
"Thanks, Sweetheart. We’ll meet you guys at O’Malley’s at one," she reminded him. After lunch, the two of them would be making decisions on flowers, the reception and invitations. They had an appointment with a local wedding planner, having decided that they didn’t want to drive all over Silver Springs and Colorado Springs looking for what they needed.
"Right. Love you." He gave her a quick kiss.
"Love you, too." She crawled into Sam’s car, waved as they pulled away from the curb in front of their apartment building. "If he loses those pictures, I’m sunk," she said, leaning her head back.
Sam giggled. "Oh, yeah."
Ten minutes later they walked into the bridal shop. Casey hesitated at the door, a feeling of complete and utter panic sweeping over her.
"Case?" Sam asked, a frown on her lovely face.
"Oh, god, it’s for real," she whispered.
Sam grinned, put her arm around the younger woman’s shoulders and grinned. "Yep. It’s for real. Let’s find that dress and get you married to that archaeologist before he loses it and carries you over his shoulder to the court house and the JP!"
The mental image made her laugh. The laughter helped her relax. She stepped into the shop.
"Welcome to Special Occasions," a well-dressed woman said, a smile on her face. "How may I assist you?"
"I’m Casey Webster, I have an appointment," she said softly.
"Oh, yes! Welcome, Ms. Webster." The woman shook her hand. "I’m Anna, and I’ll be helping you find that perfect wedding gown today." She led the two women toward the back of the store. In a small alcove was a loveseat and two chairs, lovely antique looking pieces with white satin brocade upholstery. She waved a manicured hand at the love seat, indicating that the two women should be seated. "Now, I know that you said you wanted to look at strapless sheaths. I have five of those. I’ve also pulled three of our best sellers, and well as four others I thought you might like to try on. After hearing your measurements, I was certain that you would look ravishing in them."
Casey looked at Sam. "I really have my heart set on a strapless sheath."
"Try them all, Case, you never know," Sam replied.
So she did. Two made her feel like she should have a wand to wave at the Wicked Witch of the East. One made her look as if she were in a white mechanical pumpkin. Finally Anna began taking the protective covers off of the sheaths. Three were lovely, with beads and embroidery along the neckline. The fourth was very…plain.
Her breath caught in her throat when Anna held out the last dress. It was covered with lace and beads, had an empire neckline and a ‘sweep’ train. It was beautiful. When she came out to look in the mirror, she almost cried. It was beautiful. It was her dress. "How much?" she asked, turning slightly to see how the train lay out behind her.
"Seven-fifty," Anna replied, smiling.
"Seven hundred and fifty dollars?" It was expensive!
Sam saw the look that flashed in her eyes. "Casey, I have my cell phone. Daniel has his. Do not make me call him!"
Casey stared at herself in the mirror. "It’s so beautiful," she whispered.
"You look breathtaking, my dear," Anna beamed.
"Casey, it’s…it’s perfect," Sam said, nodding. She was standing behind Casey, holding her hair up, like it would be on ‘that’ day.
Anna stepped up beside Casey, adjusted the dress, held part of it in her hand, making it fit better against her slender frame. "This is what it will look like once it’s tailored to fit you," the older woman explained.
She looked in the mirror again and was lost. It was the most beautiful dress she had ever seen. "I’ll take it," she said softly, her green eyes dancing with joy.
Another forty minutes, and Sam and Kelley had dresses as well. Kelley would be fitted as soon as she arrived in Silver Springs. It would cost a bit more to do a "rush job", but it was the only way that things could be done under the circumstances. When Casey climbed into the car beside Sam, she was shaking. But it was a good this time…this was excitement.
A A A A A A
Daniel was staring at himself in the mirror as the salesman tugged on the jacket. Here he was, being fitted for a tux…picture number one, thank you very much. A tux to be worn at his wedding. He started grinning.
Jack looked at him. "Like it that much, huh?" the older man teased.
He shook his dark blonde head. "She’s marrying me. She’s really gonna marry me. Me! She’s marrying me!"
The salesman chuckled. "She must be something if you’re this excited," he said.
Jack grinned. "Yeah, long blonde hair, big green eyes, about this tall," he said, holding his hand about 5’7" from the floor, "about this big around," again his hands demonstrating, "and curves that could make a man forget his name."
"Damn!" the salesman said.
Daniel was frowning at him.
"Hey, I’m not dead, I have eyes. Don’t worry, Danny. The only man her eyes see is you. She looks at you like you’re the best thing since sliced bread," Jack said.
"The way she looks isn’t the only reason I love her," Daniel said stiffly.
Jack nodded. "I know, Daniel. She’s sweet and funny, charming is a good word for her."
"Sounds like a lethal package," the salesman said, tugging once again on the jacket.
"Yeah, she’s lethal all right," Jack grinned. "Especially to Danny-boy’s sanity," he teased.
Daniel rolled his eyes. "So you can have all three of these ready for the fourth of September?"
"Absolutely. All of the necessary accessories as well," he was told.
With a nod, he signed the rental agreement, and all three of them were carefully measured.
A A A A A A
Casey noticed that Jack’s Bronco and Daniel’s…their…Jeep were already in the parking lot. Her eyes were still full of stars, the dress…that perfect dress…still dancing in her mind.
Daniel took one look at her and smiled. She had found it. "Hi, babe," he said softly, standing up as she and Sam approached the table. Jack and Teal'c had risen as well. "Did you find a dress?"
She nodded. "It’s beautiful," she sighed.
Sam agreed. "She’s gonna knock your socks of when she walks down that aisle."
Daniel smiled. "I have no doubt about that," he said quietly.
"Did you find your tux?" Casey asked.
"Yep. Picture number one. Black cummerbunds and ties. Got slip-on shoes…they were more comfortable."
She nodded. Shoes! She looked at Sam, who had had the same thought at the same moment.
"We’ll look next weekend, girlfriend," Sam promised.
"For?…" Daniel asked.
"Shoes," the women said in unison.
All three of the men grinned.
A A A A A A
They were sitting at a large table, five books spread out around them. Her mind was reeling from all of the decisions that were being required. It had taken them an hour to agree on the invitations. They had spent two evenings during the week making out the list. It was painfully short. She had wanted a small, intimate wedding…that was exactly what she was getting. The base chaplain was pleased that the wedding would be held in the little chapel, which Casey had declared ‘perfect’ for such a small group of guests.
The reception had been fairly easy to plan so far, except for the cake, the chef at the base cafeteria was going to provide the food; he and Casey had spent nearly an entire afternoon going over the menu. The reception would be a full sit down dinner in the officer’s mess. But the cake…ah…the cake. There was an entire book dedicated just to cakes. She had found one, the way the frosting was applied reminded her of the lace and beads on her dress. But just two tiers in that particular ‘style’ was three hundred dollars, although she could understand why, decorating that cake would be labor intensive.
"Babe, if that’s the one you want, then we’ll get it," Daniel said softly.
Casey was doing math in her head. She couldn’t help it, she had pinched pennies all of her life, and it wouldn’t be easy to stop. Seven hundred and fifty dollars for the dress. Daniel had informed her that his tux was going to be another two hundred. Eighty-five dollars for one hundred invitations with inner envelopes and protective tissue. Three hundred dollars for a cake. So far this wedding was costing over thirteen hundred dollars, and they hadn’t even gotten to the flowers yet!
Daniel was already aware that he was getting quite a bargain. When the daughter of a colleague had married several years earlier, that man had put out over thirty-five thousand dollars for the wedding. Granted, there had been over five hundred guests, a formal dinner reception, complete with an orchestra. He watched her pulling her lip between her teeth, her eyes on the picture of the cake. "Casey?"
Before she could get out the ‘but’ he heard coming, he nodded at Louise, the woman helping them. "That’s the one. Chocolate, right babe?"
She would spend the rest of her life being thankful for this man! She nodded. "That’s right, chocolate," she said softly.
"Now, do you plan to have a band or an orchestra?" Louise asked.
She pulled her lip between her teeth. This wedding was very…formal…a band just wouldn’t ‘fit’. But…"I was thinking, maybe a chamber quartet…they can play something other than Beethoven and Mozart, right? Not that there’s anything wrong with Beethoven and Mozart," she added quickly. "If they could play a song by Yanni, it’s what I’d like have playing as I walk down the aisle."
Louise smiled. "I think that would be perfect. I must say, Ms. Webster, you have excellent taste. This is shaping up to be a very elegant affair."
Casey blushed. Daniel squeezed her fingers.
"I know of a group of musicians who would be perfect. They mix contemporary music with classics, for a lovely group of sets."
A glance at Daniel, his smiling approval, and she nodded. And added the cost of the quartet to the running tab in her head.
"Well, now we come to the flowers," Louise said, pulling another book forward. "Do you have any ideas of what you would like?" So far, this young woman knew exactly what she wanted, she just didn’t know that she knew exactly what she wanted until it was put in front of her. If only all of her clients were this easy to work with, she thought with a sigh.
"Well, my girlfriend and I thought lilies, and maybe roses. Simple white rose boutonnieres for the men."
Louise nodded. Once again, simple, but elegant. "That sounds perfect. Let’s take a look at some of the various arrangements available. Then you’ll want at least two standing arrangements for the room where the wedding will be held, which can then be moved into the reception room, and an arrangement for the cake table, and separate arrangements for each table where guests will be sitting.
Daniel glanced over at her. That lower lip was between her teeth. "Relax, babe. This is your big day…our big day. I want you to have exactly what you want. Exactly. So that when we’re celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary, you’ll still be talking about how beautiful your wedding was."
She smiled. "You are an amazing man, Daniel Jackson," she said softly.
He returned her smile, leaned over and gave her a kiss. Just to calm her down. Ground her, as she had said. Right, his brain taunted him. You kiss her whenever you can because you’re addicted to the taste of her. What’s so wrong with that, he asked. Not a darned thing, his brain admitted. Kiss her again, just to be sure she’s okay, it urged him. He did.
Louise smiled. Not only was this couple so in love that it was tangible, they were so in sync with one another that he knew exactly when and what she needed to help her deal with the myriad of details for this wedding. She sighed. What must it be like to have a man like this one?
Casey sat back in her chair, stunned at the amount they had just spent on flowers. She looked up at Daniel, almost afraid to ask him the next question.
"What, babe?" he asked, seeing the look in her eyes.
"I…well, I always thought that I’d like to have the unity candle thing," she said softly.
"Then we’ll have it," he replied.
"We have some lovely candelabras that you can rent," Louise said. Yet another book came out.
It was almost six-thirty before they left, but when they did, every last detail had been planned. Louise would even be on hand to make sure everything went well. Now all they had to do was wait for Sept. 4th to arrive.
A A A A A A
Casey was sitting cross-legged on the sofa, her eyes closed, rubbing her temples.
She nodded. She felt him sit down beside her. He reached a hand behind her, began to massage her neck.
"You’re all tense," he said.
"Yeah, I noticed," she replied. It had been a long, overwhelming day, even if it was exciting.
"I know a great way to ease tension," he said softly.
Her lips turned up in a smile. "Do tell. Do you think it will help me?"
He was leaning close, nuzzling her cheek. "I’m almost positive. But you have to do exactly what I say, or it won’t work," he whispered.
"I think I can do that," she whispered in return.
"Kiss me," he said, still whispering.
She turned to face him on the sofa, put her hands on either side of his face and began to kiss him. His hands were moving slowly, gently up and down her back. She lost herself in the taste of him, the way his mouth felt against hers, against her tongue, the way he smelled.
His hands moved, one hand was on her throat, fingers caressing her jaw as she kissed him with all the love and passion she possessed. The other had moved to the front of her body. The top two buttons of her shirt were already unbuttoned. He slid his fingers under the fabric, touching her skin lightly. He dragged them down until they ran into the resistance of the third button. Slowly it came out of the buttonhole, again his fingers caressed her skin. The fourth button was directly over her breasts, and again it was undone slowly. He let his fingers drift up and down the valley between those perfect orbs, then he moved his hand to the fifth button. He teased her navel with his fingertips. By the time he had the shirt completely unbuttoned she was breathing rapidly.
His touch was so light, so teasing, so arousing. Her body was responding to each caress, her breath was coming quicker now. Now his long, strong, warm fingers were trailing against her skin just above the waistband of her low cut jeans. She moved her hands to his hair, held him as she took from him, gave back to him with her mouth, her lips, her tongue. He was beginning to push against her, she shifted so that she could lie back on the sofa, never breaking the kiss. She was arching toward his hand as he continued to caress her.
He unhooked her bra, grateful that she always seemed to wear the ones with the clasp in the front. He pushed the material aside, let his hands caress, touch, massage, tease her breasts. The need to taste her was driving him crazy, and he began to trail tiny kisses down her jaw, her throat, stopping to nip at her collarbones before he took a hard, pink nipple into his mouth.
She sighed as his mouth closed over an aching nipple. She knew that he would take his time in making love to her breasts, he always did. Not that she minded at all. She loved the feelings, the sensations that his mouth and hands gave her. She slid one hand inside of his pullover, running her hand up and down his back as far as she could reach, the other hand still in his hair. She loved the weight of his body on her legs and abdomen, it made him real, added to the pleasure she felt.
He was so hard, so ready for her. But she wasn’t completely ready for him…not yet. He slid one hand down to her jeans, unfastened them, unzipped them, moved his hand down until he felt those soft curls. His fingers continued to move until they found that warm sweet flesh. She was wet, and hot, but not enough. He wanted her panting for him. He pulled away from her long enough to divest her of her pants, and pull his own clothes from his body. He settled himself back where he had been, his mouth moving from nipple to nipple.
She closed her eyes as he drove her slowly mad, waiting for him to touch her the way she craved for him to. She could feel his rigid shaft pushing against her thigh, taunting her with its presence. Without warning he was sliding down her body, the flat of his tongue moving over her skin. When he settled himself between her thighs she shivered with anticipation.
So sweet. She always smelled so sweet. His tongue moved over that slick pink flesh. She always tasted sweet, too. Her hips were moving, pushing up against his mouth. When he slipped his fingers inside her hot well, she sighed, her hips pushing against them. His need was growing by the second. He made love to her until she was making tiny sounds in the back of her throat. Unable to wait any longer, he moved up, positioned himself over her, waited for her to wrap her legs around him, then with a satisfied sigh of his own, he buried himself in her waiting body.
It was always so wonderful, having him between her legs, feeling him deep inside her. Her hips were meeting his with every thrust he made. He had taken his time making her ready for him, as a result he slid easily to the very depths of her body. "Oh, Daniel," she breathed, her arms around him, holding him close.
"I know, babe…I feel it, too" he replied softly. He thought he would lose his mind from the sheer pleasure of being inside her. He was moving slowly, pushing deep and hard, trying to make this incredible ride last.
She was grinding her hips against him, finding the stimulation she needed, bringing her ever closer to her release.
"That’s it babe, take what you need…do it, Casey…make it good," he whispered in her ear. He reached down and put an arm under her leg, bringing it up, letting her rest it on the back of the sofa, opening her wider to his thrusts.
He was moving faster now, had changed their position enough that she felt him deeper inside. It was a bit more difficult to move her hips, but she managed to continue. Oh, god, it feels so good, he feels so good! She could feel her climax building, embraced the sensations that were filling her. Her back was arching, pushing her breasts against his chest, the added stimulation making her want to cry out with pleasure.
Her thighs were beginning to quiver, he slowed his thrusts, wanting to prolong these incredible feelings. When that beautiful whimper filled her throat, he drove into her, making her cry out his name, causing her entire body to tremble beneath him. Her eyes were closed, a smile on her lips as she crested the height of her pleasure. He was moving faster, harder, deeper, her hips still moving against him, the action as pleasing to him as it was to her. Just as he cried out her name, he felt the sudden rush of heat and moisture that signaled she had come again. Her well was again convulsing around him, making his own release intense, and last longer than he thought possible. When he had finally stopped pulsing, he dropped down on her just long enough to catch his breath. He smiled against the skin of her shoulder as her hands moved gently up and down his back.
"How’s your headache?" he asked, once he had caught his breath.
She searched for the pain that had been tormenting her earlier. "It’s gone," she said softly.
"We broke in the sofa."
He chuckled. "Yeah, we did, didn’t we."
He chuckled again. "Me, too."
"Let me up, and I’ll see what I can find for dinner," she said. He kissed her, then obliged. Once they were dressed, she led him to the kitchen and a home cooked meal.
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