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The teams stood at the bottom of the ramp, geared up and ready to go. They watched as each chevron locked, watched the ring spin to the next…took that breath of wonder when the event horizon opened up.
"Okay, SG-1, SG-6, Marine Two, you have a go. Godspeed," Duncan said.
Daniel wrapped his fingers around hers as they walked up the ramp and through the 'gate. He was still holding her hand when they emerged on the other side. He looked around, took his glasses off and clipped on the sunglasses that he always carried. "Looks like an area near the Nile, not too far from the Valley of the Kings," he mused out loud.
Sam was sending the MALP and the UAV back through the 'gate, both had been waiting undisturbed at the foot of the steps. They were walking through the open gate of the walled city less than thirty minutes later.
The city had been a large one. The ruins were extensive. No doubt it had been an impressive center of commerce during its peak. The archaeologist led them down what had once been the main avenue of the city. Several obelisks stood tall, the hieroglyphs on their sides still bright. Casey counted seven temples, three appeared to be to the same god.
"Well, Danny, you call it. Should we go introduce ourselves to the locals first, or just set up and get started?" Jack asked.
Daniel hesitated, glanced down at his Wife, her face upturned and waiting for his reply. If not for Zinder, there would be no question but that they approach the locals first. But knowing that the Immortal that they had thought dead was among those people…It was still the 'right' thing to do. "I guess we should probably introduce ourselves."
Jack nodded. "Turk, keep the guys here, find a defensible area to set up base camp." The Marine nodded, called to his men, and they separated from the group, walking carefully among the fallen stone walls.
Casey shivered slightly. Felt his fingers tighten around hers.
'I'm fine, Beloved. You're here, beside me. As long as you are, I'm safe.'
He smiled, squeezed her fingers gently. 'Together, always, my Beloved.'
He led the way through the city, toward the small lake beside which the nomads were living.
There were about a dozen tents set up, large, family sized dwellings. Four small enclosures made of quickly gathered sticks and brush served to pen goats and what appeared to be sheep. At least twenty camels waited patiently in a large corral.
Six armed men rose from in front of one of the tents, frowns on their faces, and walked to greet the newcomers.
"Hello. We're peaceful explorers. We'd like permission to examine the city," Daniel said, using one of the oldest dialects of Egyptian that he knew, the same one used on Alteria.
The leader of the men, an older man with deeply wrinkled skin, looked them over carefully, took note that all of these 'peaceful explorers' were well armed. "Why would you care about our dead city?"
"It is possible that the people of this city were from our…uh…home, one of the… countries…uh…areas… of our home, and that they are…were, related to us, to our ancestors," Daniel explained. "Only by examining the ruins will we be able to determine this."
"I am Jarha. If you are the children of our ancestors, then you are welcome here."
"I am Daniel, and I thank you for your greeting and hospitality. We will set up our own camp, where we will not disturb you or your families."
Jarha shook his head, smiled broadly. "You must join us here. It is much safer here than among the ruins."
Daniel nodded, then turned to Jack and translated. The general radioed Turk, and the Marines would join them shortly. "I have told my friend, our leader, Jack O'Neill, what you have said. He has called the ones that we left behind, to search for a place to camp. They will join us."
The man smiled again. "Come, it is a hot day. Sit with us, take refreshment with us." He motioned toward the nearest tent. The teams cautiously followed the man inside, watched warily as several more of Jarha's men entered behind them.
When Jarha noticed Sam and Casey, he frowned slightly. "You allow your women to sit with you?"
Daniel smiled, lifted Casey's fingers to his lips. "Our women are considered equal to us."
The frown deepened. "It is not allowed that women drink with men. It would be better for them to go to the tent of the women."
Daniel bowed his head slightly. "We do not wish to offend. It will be as you say." He turned to Casey. "Babe, you and Sam are going to be taken to the tent of the women."
Her eyes widened. "I don't want to be away from you," she whispered fiercely. She hadn't felt the 'buzz' of an Immortal, but that didn’t mean that Zinder couldn't appear at any time. That thought worried her.
"I’m right here, babe. All you have to do is reach for me, I'll be there if you need me." He reached out and touched her, calmed her, caressed her. Smiled when her gentle touch moved against his mind.
"I'm only doing this because you think it's a good idea," she complained.
"Thanks, babe. It will make it easier to get permission to do some excavating if we need to."
She nodded again. She gave a quick glance at Jarha, then leaned up to kiss her husband's lips. The old man smiled slightly, then motioned that the women should follow the little boy who had been called.
"I never did like this second class citizen crap," Sam grumped as they followed the little boy to a tent closer to the lake.
"Me, either. But look at the bright side," Casey said, nodding at the water. "We're closer to where it's cool. And when we set our camp up, we can show them just how it's done!"
"Okay, so what do we do while we wait for the men to negotiate?"
A A A A A A
They were greeted shyly by several women and young girls. Once led inside, the women began to point at their clothes. The veil-covered heads went down, they whispered among themselves, looked at the strangers, then whispered more. One of the women, her dark hair streaked with gray, opened a large trunk, then began to pull several items from its wooden interior. She brought the bundle to where the blondes stood.
"Uh, I think they want us to change," Casey said.
"I picked that up," Sam nodded.
She sighed, and dropped her pack and P90. When she started to unfasten her vest, the woman smiled broadly and nodded. There was a screen behind which they took turns stripping off their BDUs and pulling on the soft dresses that went beneath the robes. Casey wound the colorful scarf that had been handed to her around her slender waist. Again the women nodded with approval. "These people don't dress exactly like the Ancient Egyptians," she murmured. "Those people wore light, linen skirts, the women wore a long flowing linen dress, but nothing else."
"Thank goodness they've strayed from their roots," Sam replied softly. She too had tied a scarf around her own slim waist. She pulled on her robe.
One of the women motioned for Casey to sit down on a small stool. With at shrug, she obeyed. Her hair was unbraided, brushed, and then carefully covered with a soft veil. A sheer length of fabric was brought up to cover her face, leaving her eyes exposed. The same thing was done to Sam, and when the women finished, laughing and nodding with approval, the two blonde SG-1 team members looked like the rest of the village women. The women returned to interrupted tasks, most of them seemed to be spinning thread. Casey and Sam started that game of gin.
A A A A A A
The sun was low in the sky when they were led from the tent, and toward the area where food was prepared. Four older women that they hadn't 'met' seemed to be in charge. Both women were given a tray, and a large, stemmed cup, which was immediately filled with wine. They watched the other women, then began to put various pieces of fruit, vegetables, bread, and some of the meat that had been cooking over a large fire, onto the tray. Larger trays were filled by older women. When the trays were full, they were led to the tent where the men waited.
"Oh, I am so going to get him for this," Casey whispered.
Sam smiled. "I hear you. If Jack says one word I'll drop him!"
"I think we're supposed to serve our husbands," Casey whispered. "Wait a minute, and we'll know for sure."
The older women took the large trays to the men of SG-6 and Marine 2, then scampered back out for the smaller trays they had filled. Three young teens carried trays to a group of men sitting on the floor near Jarha, then left the tent. These young women would see to it that the children were fed this night. The other women approached individual men, who were all sitting on small stools. The tray was placed on the man's lap, and the woman sat down at his feet. Casey followed suit, putting the tray on Daniel's lap, and sitting at his feet. Sam did the same, although Casey didn't miss the jab that Sam gave Jack's leg when he started grinning.
"You look beautiful, Angel," Daniel said softly. He glanced around. It seemed that the men were allowed to remove the veils that their wives were wearing so that they could eat. He unfastened one side of the sheer silk that covered her face, let it drop, then held a piece of fruit to her lips.
She took the fruit, then smiled. "You always like 'going native'."
"Yeah, I guess I do," he chuckled. He ate some fruit, took a strip of the meat and put it in his mouth. Not bad. He held out a piece for her, his heart skipping a beat when her tongue flickered against his fingers as she pulled the morsel from his hand. He gave another cautious look around the tent. It seemed that the others were exchanging softly spoken words as well. "These people may be descended from Egyptians, and Bedouins, but they seem to have adapted a lot of their own customs."
"They certainly don't dress like Egyptians," Casey replied. She accepted a drink from the cup, watched as he took a deep drink of the sweet wine.
"They dress like the Bedouins. I don't know that their ancestors ever lived in that city. I think they camp here because there's no one to tell them that they can't."
She nodded. "Makes sense. So, do we get to dig?"
"Yep." He fed her more of the fruit.
"Have you seen him?" She still hadn't the 'buzz'.
He shook his head. "Jarha said there is a group of men out hunting right now. I'm betting he's with them."
She nodded. "From the photos, they looked frightened of the UAV. Did you explain that to them?"
"No, I didn't bring it up. Apparently they don't wander into the ruins at all. I'm thinking that their people weren't welcome here."
"Then at some point in time, the people who lived here split into groups," she mused.
"Not necessarily. It could be that the Bedouins arrived later, or the Egyptians who built this city did so with no consideration of the nomads who already lived here. If I had to make a guess, I'd say it was the latter."
"You're the expert, Daniel. If you see it that way, then I have no doubt that is the way it happened," she said confidently.
He smiled at her. She had a way of making him feel like he was infallible. Even when he knew damned good and well that he wasn't. He offered her more of the meat. She shook her head. "Babe, you've hardly eaten anything. Would you like more of the bread?"
"I'm full, Daniel."
He shook his head. "I doubt that."
"Daniel, really, I am. If I eat any more, I'll get sick."
She never eats enough, he thought to himself. His mind flashed to what he knew of her childhood, the missed meals, the fact that before they met she had lived hand to mouth for so long, that she often skipped meals in an attempt to save money for some bill, such as electricity or insurance. She was so accustomed to eating so little, that even now she couldn't eat more than a few bites at a time. "I worry about you, Angel."
She smiled. "I know. I’m fine. Besides, if I eat too much, I'll wind up big and fat like her."
Well, this was a new wrinkle! "I don't think that could ever happen, Casey. You're too active. You exercise more than anybody I've ever met!"
She shook her head. "I'm an aerobics instructor, of course I exercise a lot."
He wiped his hand on his pants, reached out for her chin. "Babe, there is no way that you'll ever be like her. Eating a decent meal isn't going to make you fat."
"I'm full, Daniel, and I really don't want to talk about this anymore."
He frowned. Would he ever stop finding scars that Helen Webster had left on Casey's mind, her heart, her soul?
The women around them were rising to their feet, gathering trays, and making their way back to the cooking area.
"I do get to sleep with you tonight, don't I?"
He smiled. "Absolutely."
She nodded, stood to her feet and took the tray. She gave a quick look around the tent, bent down and brushed her lips against his, then reattached the veil before hurrying out of the tent behind Sam.
Jarha smiled. "Your bride is quite eager to please you."
Daniel bit back his smile. It seemed that the people around him believed him newly married. He had no idea why they would believe that, unless it was the way that they looked at one another, the constant need to touch each other. "She pleases me very much."
The man nodded. "This I can see. Come, let us share more wine, and good tobacco, and talk of great hunts, and great battles."
A A A A A A
Once again the oldest of the women were in charge of the 'kitchen', with the help of several of the older girls. The rest of the women returned to the tent where they had spent the afternoon. Casey watched as the woman who had given them the clothes they were wearing pulled the biggest water pipe she had ever seen to the center of the floor. It was beautiful, with a brass base, beautiful glass center, where the water and the smoke could be seen, and a delicately decorated brass top. There were two stems, and the bowls were packed full. A brass tube was attached to the mouthpiece, which split into three long, thin tubes, making it easy to pass around. The older woman watched carefully, keeping the bowls lit. The women all gathered around the bong, getting comfortable on pillows, and she willingly took her turn. Sam hesitated.
"It's okay, Sam. More than likely the guys are over in their tent getting stoned as we speak," Casey said softly. She took another hit, then handed the tube to her friend. Before long all of the women, including the two blondes, were giggling uncontrollably, the tubes passed and accepted eagerly.
A A A A A A
Night had fallen, the stars were twinkling, and the moon was rising in the sky, when the women once again entered the tent where the men sat talking. The men, satiated with good food, good wine, and some of the best pot Daniel had ever experienced, watched as the women began to dance, accompanied by several of the old men who had brought out instruments; finger and hand cymbals, mizmars - which were reed flutes, the tall tabla drums, the oud - a four string instrument, and the rababa - a type of "fiddle".
When Sam and Casey were pulled into the line of dancing women, Daniel began to grin. His Wife was sure to prove to be the best dancer. As the beat of the music began to move faster, the hips of the women followed. Casey stood in front of him, her hips a blur as the musicians grinned and called out their approval.
"Dayum!" Texas whispered. The Marines watched in awe, Tony groaned and rolled his eyes, knowing that once again she would invade his dreams, Major Parker was laughing, and Trenton was frowning, trying to determine just exactly how she did that. Jack and Teal'c watched her with amused and slightly stoned smiles.
Jarha watched Daniel's face, could see that he was pleased indeed by the dance his bride was performing for him. He could also see the need to be alone with her, in the blue eyes, and the rise in his pants. The older man chuckled. He could remember when his need overtook him at the site of his wife dancing for him. "Dan'yel, if you wish to be alone with your bride, you need only take her away," the man said quietly.
Daniel was grateful that Jack had insisted on setting up camp as soon as the agreement for them to do their investigation of the city had been reached. He was too stoned, too drunk, and too damned horny to deal with trying to pitch a tent now. He nodded his thanks, stood to his feet…a bit unsteadily…and took Casey's hand. Good-natured laughter and hoots, from the teams as well as Jarha's men, as well as the loud 'chirping' sounds the women made, followed the two as they left the tent. It took him a few seconds to get his bearings before he could remember just exactly where he had set up their tent.
"I need to get my pack, I'll be right there," Casey whispered, once she knew where they were camped.
"Hurry, Angel, I need you," he whispered in reply.
She smiled, glanced at his crotch. Yep, he was at full mast and hard as a rock. "I promise." She ran to the tent where she had spent an interesting evening, getting high with the women of this settlement, grabbed her backpack and P90, and ran back to the small tent she shared with her husband. He was already naked, laying on top of the sleeping bags, waiting for her.
"You are so damn beautiful," he said. His hand went to his aching cock, stroked it slowly while he watched her undress.
She watched him, knowing that her dance had aroused him, and that she could make him even needier by stripping slowly, making him wait to see each inch of skin. The robe was already on the tent floor. She unwound the sash slowly, flipped it out so that it touched him, covered his hips, his hand and his erection, then pulled it back slowly. He shivered. She turned around, untied the small bows that held the dress together at her back, held it against her chest as she turned once more to face him. Slowly she let the linen drop from her body.
He sighed when at last she was standing naked in front of him.
"Tell me what you wish, Master," she whispered, kneeling down beside him.
"Help me out, my Little Slave," he whispered in return, gently pushing her head toward his raging hard-on.
She brushed his hand away, licked around the swollen, throbbing flesh. One hand was already cupping his balls, her fingers so carefully massaging them. The other was wrapped as far around the base of his magnificent manhood as it could get, moving slowly up and down.
"Oh, god, babe…suck me," he moaned.
With a glance at his face, she opened her mouth and took him in, sucking hard and fast.
"Sweet Jesus!" he hissed, his hips rising up to meet her.
She pulled away, licked around and around the head, sucking at the ridge, flicking her tongue back and forth. Once again her lips wrapped around him, and she took him in, pushing her tongue against him as she began to bob up and down on him.
His eyes were closed, his hands in her hair as she took him higher and higher, his body screaming for the release that only she could give him.
When she increased the pressure of her tongue, sped up her movements, she could feel his balls tighten. He was almost there. She moved over him, relaxed her throat and took him in as far as she could, and allowed her natural need to swallow as she sucked to further stimulate him.
"Oh, god! Casey!" he cried out, just as he climaxed.
She couldn't help but smile as she took everything he gave her. She licked him clean, then moved up to lay beside him. "Feel better?"
"Oh, yeah. Now, I want to taste you," he whispered, just before his lips closed over hers. He moved his tongue over her sweet lips, unlocked them and thrust into her mouth. So damned sweet, his mind told him yet again. Her love, her devotion, all that she was came through to him, her lips told him again and again that she loved him. He sent all his love in return, every movement of his mouth, every stroke of his tongue telling her that she was the only one. The need to taste her skin drove him on; he moved his mouth over her jaw, to her throat, over her collarbones.
His touch was driving her wild with desire. She ran her fingers through his hair when he settled himself over her and began making love to her breasts. She closed her eyes, let her head fall back as he kissed…suckled…licked…nipped the tender, sensitive flesh, every tug on her nipples sending flames shooting through her body, and centering between her thighs.
As always, he took his time, driving them both out of their minds. She tasted so damned good, smelled so damned good, felt so damned good! He moved his mouth from one perfect breast to the other, back and forth, until both nipples were pointed and hard and she was gasping for breath. With a smile he slid down, teased her belly, then situated himself between her slender thighs. Oh, god, yes! If he was addicted to her, to the sweet honey that flowed from her warm well, then so be it. It was an addiction he embraced gladly…willingly, one that he rejoiced in. He took his first taste of her, and moaned with delight. Always, always, always so sweet! He teased her, tormented her, made love to her. When those soft thighs began to quiver, and that beautiful whimper filled her throat, he slid his fingers into her, began to stroke her, sucked that hard, swollen nub into his mouth, and sent her soaring into oblivion. Her hands were clenched in his hair, her back arched off of the sleeping bags, and she moaned softly.
As soon as she began to moan he moved up and buried himself in her warm, still pulsing body. She wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms around his shoulders, pulled him close. Her heart was hammering against her ribs, as much from the love that coursed through her veins as from the physical love they were making. His hips were moving slowly, pushing deep with each thrust. Her hips met his each step of the way, grinding against him before he pulled away again. There was nowhere in the universe she would rather be than in his arms. His arms offered safety, and warmth, and love, and contentment. She would live wrapped in his arms if it were possible. He smelled good…tasted good…felt good! She licked the tattoo that drove her crazy, the one that moved so provocatively when he flexed the strong pectoral muscles of his chest. She closed her eyes again, every sensation making the fire burn hotter, taking her closer to the edge, closer to that climax that was dancing just in front of her. I love him, I love him, I love him, she thought, holding him tighter. She could feel that incredible, wonderful feeling building again; her thighs began to quiver. "I'm gonna come," she whispered in his ear.
"Give it to me, Angel, come for me," he whispered in return, his mouth closing on that sensitive spot behind her ear.
She cried out, arched against him, pushing her breasts against his chest, her fingers digging into the muscles of his shoulders. "Daniel!"
He smiled as she cried out his name. He began to move harder, faster, pushing deeper. He could feel that sweet release moving up, one…two…three more thrusts and he was crying out her name, throbbing inside her, filling her with his love. He collapsed on her just long enough to catch his breath. He rolled them over, held her tightly. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, Sweetheart." She cuddled closer. "I have the munchies."
He chuckled. "You smoked some, too, huh?"
"I have some MREs in my pack."
"I have some candy bars in mine."
"I don't know, what do I get if I do?" she teased.
"Want more of my anaconda?"
She giggled. "I always want your anaconda, Stud Muffin."
"Give me a candy bar, and I'll make love to you all night," he promised, his hands tracing lazy circles on her back and hips.
"Daniel, we have to start a dig in the morning. Later this morning."
"So? I can make love to you all night, and still dig."
"And collapse by noon," she giggled again. She sat up, straddling his hips, still holding him inside…reached for her pack and pulled it closer. She pulled out her flashlight, and searched for the candy bars she had packed. "Okay, I have one Three Musketeer, one Snicker's Bar, and a 5th Avenue."
"Which one do you want?"
She handed him the 5th Avenue. "Honey, I bring these for you. I like the Snickers better." When she would have pulled away from him, his arm tightened around her.
"Stay where you are. I like having you on me."
She tore the wrapping from the candy, settled back down and laid her head on his chest and took a bite. "Hmmm…this isn't nearly as good as you," she said softly. His arm tightened even more around her slender frame.
When they had finished their snack, they pulled on their underclothes and slipped into the sleeping bags. Cuddled together, they fell into peaceful sleep.
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