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"…So now I come to you, with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with open arms
Hoping you'll see what your love means to me
The heat of the jungle was oppressive. They trudged along, following their guide, a young man…a teenager really…on a narrow path. Birds and animals cried and chattered and called from the trees that surrounded them; insects buzzed near their heads.
Casey swatted at a large mosquito, wiped her brow, and huffed a sigh. "Tell me again why we’re here, Doctor Jackson," she asked, resettling her straw Stetson over her sweat-dampened blonde hair.
Daniel, who was walking just in front of her, turned and smiled, his excitement visible in every feature of his handsome face. "Because you wanted to go on a safari, Mrs. Jackson."
"Yes, a safari. In Africa. Take pictures of big animals like rhinos and hippos and elephants. I did not say one word about stomping around in the friggin’ Amazon!" She pushed yet another stem of leaves from in front of her face.
Daniel stopped and took her hands in his, lifted her fingers to his lips. "It’s not much farther. Trust me, babe?"
She looked up into his pleading blue eyes. When he looked at her that way, she could deny him nothing. She shifted the pack on her back and nodded. "This better be good. And you promised me three days in a resort."
"If you still want to go to a resort," he said, a smug look on his face.
Their young guide ran back to where they stood, his hands moving as quickly as his mouth as he talked to Daniel. Who grinned broadly, grabbed Casey’s hand and took off at a run. She let out a surprised yelp and struggled to keep up with the longer strides of her husband.
As if by magic, the jungle around them suddenly ended, right at the edge of a shallow valley. Three waterfalls fed a pristine lake, two of them from a considerable height. Flowers in every color carpeted the ground. Casey stood gaping around her. Never in her wildest dreams would she have believed such a place still existed on Earth. It was paradise. She turned and looked at Daniel. He was watching her, a smile on his face.
"How did you know about this place?" she asked, her eyes sweeping around the valley again.
"I was on a dig with a friend several years ago. He’s an expert on the Mayans. We happened across this valley while looking for some ancient tombs."
"Did you find them?"
He shook his head. "Nope. But this more than made up for it." He put his arm around her shoulders. "So, is this better than a safari?"
She bit back a grin. "Ask me in a couple of days."
Daniel grinned, then turned to their young guide. He spoke with the young man for about five minutes, then paid him. With a wide grin, their guide waved, and Casey heard something about 'tres noches'. Three nights, if her high school Spanish was correct. The young man disappeared back into the jungle.
"He is coming back, right?" Casey asked, pulling her lower lip between her teeth, watching the path where the guide had disappeared.
"Yep. We’ll spend three nights here. He’ll be back in three days." Daniel was already working his way down a steep path. He looked back, held his hand out.
Casey shook her head. "I hope you didn’t pay him in full. If you did, we’re stuck out here." She took his hand, slid to where he stood.
"Oh, ye of little faith," he replied, shaking his head. "I paid him half," he added, with a grin.
It was a short hike to the lake, and there were several spots suitable for camping. After deciding on one near the north bank, Daniel dropped his pack, and began looking around. It was just like he remembered. He was amazed that the valley still existed, that it hadn’t been discovered and turned into a resort. Maybe the fact that it took a full day by jeep through rugged mountain terrain, and a long morning of hiking to get there had something to do with it. He shrugged. The villagers a half a day away didn’t seem too impressed with the place. He wondered if there were taboos about it. No, if that were so, they never would have been allowed here. More than likely the villagers simply had no time for ‘vacations’.
"There aren’t piranha or some other equally disgusting and dangerous creatures in this lake are there?" Casey asked, standing near the water, looking down into the cool, clear depths.
"Nope. Too cold for them. This is a mountain lake. We didn’t even get leeches swimming here.
She shuddered, then watched as a school of small iridescent fish swam just a few feet from where she stood. She glanced up, the sun still high in the afternoon sky. With a grin, she dropped her pack and stripped, the sun warm on her naked back. She stuck her toes into the water, gasping at how cool it was. She bent over, filled her hands and splashed it against her sweaty body. She waded out until the water was waist deep, then she dove under, swimming out toward the middle. The lake was so clear she could see the plants and fish around her. When she surfaced, she pushed her blonde hair back, treading water. She relaxed and floated on her back for a few minutes, closing her eyes. She heard a loud splash and smiled.
Daniel surfaced beside her. "So, Mrs. Jackson, what do you think of this place?"
She took a deep breath, the scent of flowers nearby filling the air with their sweet perfume. "It looks like paradise, sounds like paradise, smells like paradise, and the best looking, sexiest, smartest man in the universe is here, so I guess it must be paradise." She began to tread water beside him. "It’s okay, I guess," she said with a grin, then swam toward the shore.
She hadn’t made it very far when strong hands pulled her under the water. She came up, sputtering, looked around for her husband. She finally saw him, not five feet away from her. She dove down, and when she reached him, she surfaced, putting her hands, and her weight, on his shoulders. He went under, then came up, a wide grin on his face. They continued to swim and play in the water until the sun began its downward arc towards the earth.
Daniel made it to shore before she did; he turned and watched her walking out of the water. Ancient texts he had studied about Venus flashed through his mind, as did images of paintings, ‘Venus Rising From the Sea’. It wasn’t a sea, but the woman before him could certainly have been Venus. Her lithe body shimmered from the water, droplets formed on her creamy skin. Her nipples were hard and pointed, the air chilling her as she left the lake. She smiled at him, and he knew in that instant that he was totally under her spell. She could have demanded anything from him, and he would have been unable to refuse her. When she reached him, she took his hand, the contact sending flames shooting through his body. He raised her hand to his lips, bringing another mind-altering smile to her lips. Her eyes danced, and when he looked into them, he could see her love shining from the depths. His heart leapt in his chest to know that this incredible, beautiful woman loved him. He didn’t know why she did, but he thanked every god he could think of for that precious love.
Casey watched as Daniel gathered wood from near a group of trees. His naked body moved with agility and grace, the rippling of his muscles made her heart hammer against her ribs. This could be the Garden of Eden, she thought; he was her Adam, she was his Eve, and though they were both well aware of the Serpents that slithered in the shadows, for now paradise was theirs, and theirs alone. She shivered, not from the cooling air, but from the love that thrummed in her veins. They were totally alone in this secret garden, surrounded by Amazon jungle, yet she had no fear. As long as he was here, nothing could harm her. He looked up and caught her watching him, he grinned and winked at her. Just a look from him made her ready for him, she could feel the tingling between her legs, the moisture that gathered there. What power this man has over me, she thought. She could not, would not deny him anything that was within her means to grant him. He dropped a kiss on her cheek as he walked by, and his blue eyes were filled with love. She sighed. That he loved her was a mystery to her, one that she would never understand. It was enough that he did, and she would forever be thankful for the miracle that brought her that love.
He was building a fire while she spread out a plastic tarp, then arranged their sleeping bags on it. She had just zipped them together when she felt his hands around her waist.
"So, really, Case, what do you think of this place?"
She turned around, looked into his eyes. He looked like a little boy, so eager to please, so desperate to know that he had done well. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "It’s amazing, Daniel."
"Better than a safari?"
"Much better. No chance of being stampeded by angry rhinos."
He grinned. "I knew you’d like it here!" He settled himself on the top of the sleeping bags, the fire already warming the night air that cooled around them. He pulled her close, his body heat keeping her warm.
She snuggled back against him, resting her head against his shoulder. "It’s so peaceful here," she said softly.
"What are you thinking?"
"I’m thinking that I’m a very lucky man. I’m sitting in paradise with a naked goddess in my arms," he said, his voice husky with emotion.
Casey smiled, turned her head and kissed his collarbone. "As lucky as I am, sitting in the arms of a god," she whispered.
Daniel chuckled. "Me, a god?"
She twisted slightly so that she could look at him. "Have you taken a look in the mirror lately? Definitely a god! Adonis has nothing on you, my love!"
He blushed. Even after all these years, her compliments still did that to him. He jumped when her lips touched his chest. She had turned around, was kneeling in front of him, and she was shifting her body lower. He gasped when she took him into her mouth. He was hard in an instant as her tongue moved over the sensitive skin. When her hand gently pushed against him, he obeyed her unspoken command and laid back. "Move over here, babe," he whispered, pulling her hips towards him, positioning her over his face. He could smell her, the need to taste her overwhelming as she continued to fan the flames in his body. He pulled her hips lower, until she was settled with her very center where he could reach her with his tongue. He began to give her body as much attention as she was giving his.
"I want you inside me," she whispered, pulling away from his kisses and caresses. He moved his hands from her hips, grabbed her waist as she moved over him, slowly settling down on his engorged shaft. His fingers moved up, gently pinched her already hard nipples, caressed the soft curves of her breasts. She leaned forward to kiss him, his lips still coated with her honey. Moving slowly, she began to ride him.
Casey marveled in the sensations that washed over her. No matter how often they made love, it was as good as the first time their bodies had come together. Daniel could play her body like a finely tuned instrument, knew exactly where to touch her to elicit the responses he sought, knew exactly when to touch her to bring forth the orgasms he orchestrated in her body. She knew his body as well, knew what it took to make him moan, what it took to make him lose all control, how to build the fire in him, and how to quench it.
Daniel put his arms around her and reversed their positions, burying his face in the valley between her firm, round breasts. He pulled his hips away from her, until he was barely inside her body. He smiled when she began to whimper, thrusting her hips up towards him. He plunged into her body, her gasp his reward. She was grinding against him, using the friction of their bodies to stimulate that sensitive little nub at the top of her folds. They continued to move together, their dance of love becoming more intense with each step.
"Oh…oh…Daniel, I’m gonna come," she whispered, her words coming in gasps.
"Give it to me," he whispered in her ear. "Come for me, now babe."
With a cry, Casey obeyed, her body vibrating with sensations. He could feel her warm well squeeze him. He thrust deeper, harder, faster. "Make it good, Daniel. Come for me, my love, throb inside me," she whispered, her hands on his shoulders, pulling him closer.
Her words were like a fire in his brain, her fingers like flames against his skin. With a moan he emptied himself into her welcoming body.
"So good," she whispered. "So good."
When at last he could breathe again, Daniel rolled to his back, taking her with him. She relaxed against his chest, her head on his shoulder, her legs curled beside his hips. "Love you, My Star," he said softly, his hands moving in lazy circles up and down her back.
"Love you, My Heart," she replied, snuggling deeper into his embrace.
A A A A A A
The fire was beginning to die when they finally stirred. While he fed more wood into the embers, she opened her pack and pulled out two MREs.
"It would be more like paradise if we could just pluck fruit off of trees and eat it, but this will have to do," she said with a grin.
Daniel accepted the packet from her, and opened it. "Better than starving, I guess."
"Not by much," she giggled. She nearly jumped out of her skin when Daniel’s cell phone began to ring.
They looked at each other and groaned. They had only been away from the SGC for four days. They were supposed to get ten. With a sigh, Daniel grabbed the offensive object and answered it. "What?"
"Hello to you too," Jack’s voice said. "We have a problem."
"And you can’t deal with it without us?"
"Prometheus just picked up a ship entering the solar system," Jack said.
"It’s Goa’uld. Very, very old Goa’uld," Jack replied.
Daniel felt his heart plummet to his feet. "Framone?" He saw Casey’s face go pale at the mention of the Immortal Goa’uld.
"That’s what we’re guessing. It’s the same signature that the Tok’ra reported near PX3-695 when he arrived there with Casey."
"Jack, we’re kinda in the middle of nowhere here," Daniel said, trying to keep his voice calm.
"Your phone has a GPS chip in it. We’ve got a chopper on the way now. Get dressed, buddy, and be ready. It should be there in less than thirty minutes."
"Gotcha…hey, wait, how did you know…" Daniel asked with a frown.
Jack laughed. "You’re in the middle of nowhere with Casey. It’s a no-brainer, Space Monkey."
Daniel grinned. "Yeah, okay. We’re on the north end of the lake."
"Roger that. See you in awhile."
He reached out and pulled her into his arms. She was trembling. "It’s okay, babe. We know he’s coming. We’ll get him this time."
She nodded numbly, her heart twisted with fear. They pulled on their clothes and broke camp. They could hear the sounds of the approaching helicopter just as they finished with their packs. Daniel kicked dirt and sand over the fire until he was satisfied that it was out. He tacked a hastily written note and the second half of the money they owed their young guide onto a tree near the extinguished fire. Hopefully he would find it. Under the circumstances, it was the best that they could do.
When the helicopter was just above them, a ladder was lowered, and they climbed up, the helicopter moving before they were completely nside.
A A A A A A
"Sorry to cut your vacation short, Jacksons," Jack said when they finally walked into his office, several hours later.
"We have got to get this creep," Casey said, her voice shaking. "Or we’ll never have another vacation."
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