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Shadows of the Heart
He was aware that she was keeping her distance. She had kissed him, set him on Fire. But that was more than likely nothing more than a response to what she…they…had experienced together, her way of thanking him for his part in the entire episode. For saving her from the darkness. "As I was saying, I want you working with me on translations, repairs, whatever needs to be done. I-" He broke off. Would what he wanted to say, needed for her to know, only sound condescending?
"You…" she encouraged softly, pulling her tee shirt back and forth through her hands. Anything to keep from reaching out to him, for him.
"I love to watch your eyes light up when you understand what a tablet, or a scroll, says. I love how excited you get over the artifacts, the tablets, the scrolls, every piece of the past that we work with. I've always loved archaeology, and I love that you enjoy it, too. I like having you to talk to about translations that are giving me problems, or being there for you. I like working together to put the pieces together like a puzzle, finding the answers to our questions."
Her eyes widened. "You really do? I've always enjoyed working with you, too. When I get frustrated, your beautiful, brilliant mind can make sense out the things I can't. You never give me the answer, and I appreciate that. You'll put me on the right path to find that answer, and you're there every step of the way."
His heart was beating a tattoo against his ribs to hear that she felt the same as he did. "Do you realize that in the past two years, we haven't worked on one thing together?"
"I know," she said softly.
"I miss that, Case. I miss you…I miss…us. Duncan suggested hiring a secretary months ago, when I told him how frustrating it was to have my best…my closest…assistant stuck in the mountain dealing with inventories, and emails. I realize that there are things that we'll have to take care of. But most of that stuff can be done by someone who…someone who isn't interested in learning more about the Cardorians," he said, grinning at her.
She smiled at him. "She is very beautiful."
"I think you've mentioned that before. I don't think she's anywhere near as beautiful as you are," he said softly.
"I mean it. You're gorgeous, Angel." He wanted to hold her, needed to hold her! It was a struggle to keep from reaching for her, pulling her into his arms. "You're the better part of me, Casey. You're my heart, my soul. Everything I am belongs to you, I exist for you."
Her heart was flying, her soul rejoicing at his words. "It's so difficult," she whispered after a few minutes of silence, admitting to the fear that the dark haired woman would come between them.
"I know, Angel. And that's my fault. I'm the one who shattered your trust in me, not once, but twice. I'm the one who hurt you so deeply that I'm afraid you'll never heal." He studied his fingers as he locked them together. "I guess it doesn't help that I keep ripping that wound open."
"I shouldn't be this way…so…so damned jealous…so insecure." She stared out the window, watching as the twin moons rose higher in the night sky.
"You weren't, not until I…until that mission." How many years ago had that damned mission been, and still she battled with the scars, the wounds he'd left on her heart and soul. Only to compound the problem when he and Jack insisted on meeting with Seleconne, so damned flattered that they had been asked for by name.
"I've hurt you, caused you more pain than I have ever suffered," she said softly.
"Only what was done to you, Casey. Never you," he replied firmly. He saw her shiver as the temperature continued to drop. "C'mere. Let me keep you warm."
"I could just put my shirt back on."
"If that's what you want to do. I'll keep you warmer than that little piece of cloth will," he said teasingly.
"I'm sorry you had to go through all of…that," she said, waving her hand in the air, then tapping her temple gently. The darkness that had been in the back of her mind for so long was conspicuous now in its absence. She searched carefully, quickly. There were still fears, deep haunting fears; she would deal with those for many years to come. But the shadows that had filled her with such dread were gone. She could still find them, if she dug deep enough. The darkest of the fears, the blackest of the shadows were blessedly missing, locked away once again.
"I'm not!" he declared. "Angel, I'll protect you, I'll fight for you, I'll move heaven and earth if that's what it takes to keep you safe, make you happy, keep the light shining in those beautiful green eyes. I nearly lost you tonight!" The need to hold her was nearly overwhelming. He knew that if he asked her, she would let him hold her. He also knew that when she came into his arms, it had to be because she wanted it, because it's where she wanted to be.
"I knew the shadows…the darkness, was there…and I could feel it getting…stronger. I just didn't understand why," she admitted. She wanted so badly to be in his arms! Needed to feel as well as hear his declarations of love. She looked shyly at him. "I'm getting kind of cold."
"C'mere, Angel," he whispered, holding his arms open. He nearly cried out loud with relief…with joy…with love…when she moved closer to him, settled against him, her back pressed firmly against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight, smiled against her hair when she rested her arms on top of his, pulling them tighter still around her slender frame.
"Much warmer," she said softly.
"So do you want me to get rid of Julie?" He breathed deeply of her sweet scent, his body raging with Fire.
She thought about this for a moment. Realized, in that instant, that if she said yes, he would do exactly that. "No. At least, not yet. I guess we could see how it all works out."
"I suppose I should tell you that I talked to Teal'c. You'll only be teaching two aerobics classes a week," he said quietly.
"I know. He told me yesterday. I was really only teaching that many classes anyway. Becca and Carrie have more time than I do, they're just as qualified to teach aerobics, maybe more so. Usually when I was in the gym, I was having Teal'c give me lessons in Mastaba."
"So he said. He also said that you're becoming quite proficient at it."
"He really said that?" she asked incredulously.
"He really said that." Her sweet scent, the warmth of her body, were driving him insane with ever growing, consuming need. "Are we okay, Angel?"
"We're very okay, My Heart," she replied. She turned slightly in his arms. "You do realize we haven't broken the Blazer in yet."
"I didn't get my fix of my sweet Angel this morning," he said.
She pulled her lip between her teeth. "I was wondering about that," she said softly.
"I guess I was more tired than I realized. When the alarm went off, I only had thirty minutes to get to the base. I had three interviews set up, and I didn't think it would look good if I were late. It took a lot of effort to crawl out of the bed, when what I really wanted to do was crawl on top of you," he admitted softly.
"I think we're going to have to limit our trips Around the World to Saturday nights," she giggled.
"Especially when we make a couple of stops more than once," he added, chuckling. He nuzzled the side of her face. "I need you, Angel."
"I need you, Stud Muffin." She looked around her. "Okay, this is a bit…cramped."
"Trust me," he whispered. He pushed her forward slightly, took his tee shirt off, tossed it onto the carpeted floor beside him, took hers from her hands, dropped it on top of his. He pulled her back against him, nuzzled her shoulder while his hands moved up and down her arms. He pushed her hair out of the way, felt it fall down over one arm, and began to kiss and lick that part of her neck exposed to him. He nipped playfully at the muscle that connected her elegant neck to her slender shoulder. His hands had stopped on her breasts, his fingers kneading the firm flesh gently. One quick twist and the clasp of her bra was undone. He felt her gasp when he wrapped his hands around her naked flesh. Her hard nipples pressed against his palms, sending the flames, and his cock, higher. "You smell so good…so sweet; taste so sweet," he whispered.
She pulled away from him, only to turn and straddle his legs. She kneeled up, offered her breasts to his mouth. Moaned softly when he began to suckle, his touch causing flames to shoot up and down her spine. Every gentle tug he made on her nipples resonated between her thighs, intensified the ache that was building there. Her hands were clenched in his hair. She was already licking her lips in the anticipation of tasting him. She sighed when she felt his fingers working the snap and zipper of her jeans. Gasped when his searching fingers found that swelling nub at the top of her folds.
He loved the way she held him close as he made love to her beautiful breasts. He licked and kissed his way from one sweet nipple to the other and back again. She was hot and wet and slick beneath his fingers, and he could smell that sweet, musky scent rise up as he suckled. If he didn't taste her soon he was going to lose his mind. He pulled his hand from between her thighs, the other from her breast, and tugged at her jeans. She sat back, helped him get them and her panties off. "Lean back, Angel," he instructed. He got up on his knees, rested his ass on his feet, wrapped his hands around her slender thighs and spread them apart, then lowered his head to that sweet pink flesh that glistened in the moonlight, worshipping her with all the love that he felt.
She leaned back in the corner of the cargo area, glad that the hatch was up. There was no way they would be able to move around if it wasn't. It would be much easier when they didn't have car seats that required that the back seats remain upright. That errant thought almost made her giggle out loud. She closed her eyes as he began to lap at her, thrusting his tongue inside her, then around her sensitive folds. Every touch, every intimate kiss was full of love, she could feel it with every pass of his tongue. Her hands were in his hair again, she wasn't even aware of tugging at it as he increased the pressure with which his tongue caressed her. His fingers slid inside her, and within seconds he had her on the cusp of climax. "Mmm…oh…!"
Her thighs were quivering, and that beautiful whimper filled the air around him. He lapped at the honey that flowed from her, taking every precious drop, searched for more even as her body continued to tremble around him. His own body was shaking with need, with desire…with relief. Her fingers moved through his hair, her hips still moving slightly against his face as he licked her clean. He was so damned hard he hurt. In just a few minutes, however, that sweet mouth would be wrapped around him, those soft hands would be working him, and he'd be taking a flight of his own.
Every time he loved her, every time he pleasured her, he sent her…took her…to that place where only his touch, his love could send her, that place where color and light exploded into waves of pleasure that surrounded her, washed over her. Her body was still trembling as she slowly came down from the heavens. "Why don't you step out of here, and let me sit up," she said, smiling suggestively at him.
"I think you're up to something," he teased.
"Um, actually you're the one who's up," she giggled. She waited until he was standing just outside of the vehicle. She slid to the edge of the cargo compartment, and unsnapped and unzipped his jeans. She pushed them to his knees, freeing the raging hard-on that had been waiting impatiently for her attention. She wrapped one hand around him, with the other she began caressing his hip. She began to gobble that magnificent specimen of manhood with such enthusiasm that Daniel nearly passed out.
"Oh, god babe, that's it, just like that," he moaned. He grabbed onto the sides of the car, held tightly as she moved her head up and down on his swollen shaft. Sweet Jesus, she's gonna kill me! She had started sucking him so energetically that his eyes had rolled back in his head and bounced up the other side. His hips were moving…no way could he stand still for this! He moved one hand to the back of her head, holding her steady as he shoved more of his cock down her throat. He had been more than ready for a bit of relief, and she was working him with such relish that he knew she was going to send him rocketing into space any second now.
He was throbbing hard and fast, his hips pushing him deeper, then pulling him back slightly. She put both hands on that firm ass, kneaded the muscular cheeks, held him still, and relaxed her throat. She moved forward as much as she could. She looked up at him, reached for the hand that was on her head, and put it on the base of his cock. Her hand went back to his ass. When he started moving his hand, she could feel her entire body respond. She matched her movements to his, the groan that he gave sending shivers of delight down her spine. It didn't take long until his hand was moving hard and fast, and she could feel the head swell. He was about to blow. She swallowed, and felt him coming. She reveled in the low moan that accompanied his climax, and she continued to softly lick him until he gently pulled away from her.
"Sweet Jesus," he murmured. He ran his hand over her silky hair, then sat down beside her before his legs gave out completely.
Casey ran her hand up and down his arm. Pleasing him had started the Fire in her all over again. She wanted…needed to feel him inside her. "Um…would you…um…" she ducked her head, wishing for the millionth and however many times that she could just once have a simple conversation about sex with her husband.
"Show me, Angel," He said softly.
With a shy smile, she took him by the hand, and stood up. She waited for him to pull his jeans up far enough to be able to walk. She led him to the front of the Blazer, put her hands on the hood, and leaned forward slightly.
"Sexiest damned hood ornament I've ever seen," he whispered in her ear as he settled against her. He took his swollen cock in hand, rubbed it against those sweet nether lips to cover himself with her honey, then pushed his hips forward, slid into paradise.
She giggled, arched her back slightly, thrust her hips back toward him. "Oh, god, that feels good," she moaned softly.
"Oh, yeah," he agreed. He began to move in and out of her, the moonlight dancing off her naked body…the sight so sensual, so arousing, that he gave a soft moan of his own. He watched one of her hands disappear between her thighs. He put both of his hands on her hips and began to move just a bit faster.
She hadn't realized how accustomed she had become to making love every morning, and having missed his tender attention this morning, her body was demanding that he make up for it now. Her fingers found and caressed her swollen nub, the sensations in concert with his thrusts sending the flames shooting into the sky around her. "Hard…fast…please," she begged in soft gasps.
He pushed one leg against hers, waited until she had shifted slightly, giving him that deep access he wanted, before granting her wish. He held her against the Blazer with his body, and began to pound into her, feeling her warm well grasp and hold him with every down stroke. She had just emptied him, but his need for her, his love for her, had him primed and ready to blow again. It never ceased to amaze him that he could make love to her for hours, come again and again, and still be ready for her.
She loved the way he filled her. The way his body seemed to be made for hers. Or hers for his, however one wanted to look at it. Two parts of the whole, she thought happily. This afternoon she had been so certain that she had lost his love, that her entire life was about to be turned upside down and left empty. Now…she couldn't help but grin. Now she was standing in the middle of nowhere, leaning against the hood of the Blazer while he nailed her down. She couldn't help it, she started giggling.
Giggles? Now? What the hell is so damned funny at a time like this? "What are you laughing about?" he asked, slowing his pace, pushing into her, trailing kisses over her shoulder.
"I was just thinking."
"Uh huh. I must be doing something wrong if you can still think when we're making love," he complained.
She giggled again. "That's not true! I was feeling so good, and so glad that we're making love, and I started thinking about how sure I was this afternoon that our marriage was over…yet here I am, getting nailed on the hood of the Blazer."
He snickered. He chuckled. He laughed out loud. "Yeah, when you put it that way, I guess it is kind of funny."
She pushed her hips back, and wiggled them. "You're not finished yet."
"Nope, not yet," he replied, kissing her neck. Grinned against her skin when she shivered. He pushed her hand away and began caressing that hard, swollen nub; moving once again, thrusting deep and slow, matching the movements of his fingers and hips. Her hips were in motion now, back and forth, pushing against his hand, then back against his aching cock. Every shift her body made sent fingers of pleasure up and down that throbbing shaft.
Oh, what the man could do to her! He had her on the edge in only a matter of seconds. She knew, from experience, that he could keep her there as long as he wanted to. Her hips were moving on their own accord, the sensations so powerful that she was pushing back against him as hard as she could, nearly slapping against him as he thrust into her. She wanted more… needed more…"Unnggh…hard, fast, oh god, Daniel, ride me!"
Her words were enough to set his brain on Fire. She was pushing back against him so hard now that he needed both hands on her hips to keep her where he wanted her. Her hand went back between her thighs, and once again he was pounding into that beautiful body. He could feel that fire, the heat, building in his belly. Her body was shivering beneath him, turning him on even more, sending flames up and down his spine.
"Oh, god…!" She tossed back her head and cried out her release, her body shaking as she raced over the edge of the cliff and took flight.
Her song of love filled his ears, his heart, and he followed her over the abyss, his cock throbbing against the still pulsing walls of her sweet, warm well. He flew beside her, danced among the stars with her in his arms. He dropped onto her back, panting, satisfied, and so damned thankful that she was still his, still with him, still loved him. "I love you," he whispered.
"I love you," she replied. Her cheeks turned red when her stomach chose that moment to start growling.
"Guess this means we have to get dressed and go find something to eat?" he asked, grinning against her hair.
"I guess so," she agreed. She shivered when he pulled out of her, and moved away. She stopped at the front passenger seat long enough to grab her purse, she had Wet Ones they could use to clean up with.
"How about we go to the drive through at Tyrone's, and then go home and watch a movie or something?" He found her clothes, helped her sort through them, held her steady when she pulled on those sexy little panties and her jeans.
"Sounds like a plan to me," she said. She glanced at her watch. It was nearly eight thirty. Without a doubt, before they went to sleep, they would make love again.
A A A A A A
The stop at Tyrone's didn't take long, and while Daniel set the food out on the coffee table, Casey called her mother to let her know that all was well. She promised to explain the next day, said goodnight to her babies, and then sat down with her husband to eat.
Daniel found a program on the History Channel, and was watching it when he realized that somewhere between the first group of commercials and the next she had fallen asleep. He pulled her closer, kissed the top of her head, and returned his attention to the military genius of Alexander the Great.
He looked down a few minutes later when he felt something wet on the front of his tee shirt. She was crying. And she was crying hard enough that she was soaking his shirt. He took her hand. "Let me see, Angel," he whispered.
He looked around quickly, trying to assess the situation. He was in the courtyard of a large castle, the perimeter of which was lined with jeering, shouting people. Casey was standing between two guards; he could see the red marks their hands had left on her arms. Her slender body was covered in a silk gown that hugged her like a second skin. From his vantage point, he could see the dark outline of her areoles, her nipples standing proudly against the material, and the hint of that soft hair at the apex of her thighs. His body responded ardently at the sight. He shook his head. He had to concentrate on what was happening!
"You poor pathetic excuse for a woman! Do you dare to believe that you are worthy of that to which you lay claim? Do you really believe you will be saved?" Elta'an was saying. He laughed, his belly dancing beneath the silk robe he wore.
"Daniel will save me!" She declared defiantly. She held her chin high, although she was visibly trembling like a leaf in a windstorm.
"We shall see," Elta'an replied. He settled his impressive bulk onto the cushion-covered chair. "Let us begin. If a champion does not come forth to rescue you, I shall allow them to have you, as is only fitting." He pointed toward one end of a long, strange looking machine. The machine reached from one end of the courtyard to the other.
Clustered together, their faces menacing and full of anger and hate, stood the men who had abused her over the course of the years…He watched her; she swallowed, her eyes wide with terror. He didn't recognize all of the men who waited at the end of the contraption, but he knew enough of them to understand that they were the men who had abused her, and brought so much pain into her life. He marveled briefly that he wasn't among them.
The guards tossed her onto the machine, a conveyor belt, it seemed. It began to move slowly. One by one men were brought in and given the challenge to save her. None of them were able to make it through the fire that leapt between her and them; as each of them failed, they were taken and chained to the wall; Jack…Teal'c…Duncan…Tony…Trenton…Texas…Major Parker…Turk…Baker…Haberman…Franklin…Methos…Wade…her father. They all looked at her with sad eyes…there was nothing that they could do. All the while she moved ever closer to those angry, hateful men.
Daniel frowned. Why couldn't they help her? He knew that any of them would sacrifice their lives in a second for her. He watched as her father tried desperately to reach her. Friends! Family! This was something they couldn’t save her from! Only he could save her! Just when he was ready to step forward, to be the next man to try, loud murmuring from the crowd on one side of the courtyard caught the attention of all. He watched his dream self push through the gathered villagers, his hands in his pants pockets, blue eyes focused on her.
She smiled with relief, held her arms out to him. Her face reflected her confusion when he stopped to watch her move ever closer to the men who wished her harm. Several more bodies pushed through the crowd to stand behind him. "My lord?" she asked. The hurt that she felt was mirrored in her wide green eyes and on her beautiful face.
Beside him stood Sha're. The dark haired woman put her arm around his waist possessively. Neferteri stood on the other side, her head on his shoulder. Sarah Gardner stood behind him, and Ishtar pushed to stand in front of him. Another woman, tall, with long dark hair and dark eyes moved to stand with him. She held out her hand, he took it and kissed it, taking the time to taste each finger.
Daniel recognized her in an instant. Julie Harwood. He looked again at the women who surrounded the dream Daniel. 'His women', was how Casey had referred to them in the dream…the nightmare…he'd had.
"My Lord Daniel, this woman is not worthy of you," Julie said quietly. "Come with us, let us give you hours of pleasure."
"Yes, My Lord Daniel, let us serve you," Neferteri whispered loudly, her hand running up and down his chest, stopping briefly at his crotch.
"Come with us, my Husband," Sha're said softly.
Tears flowing down her cheeks, Casey watched him turn away from her. "My Lord Daniel, I love you! Only you, always you, forever!"
Without speaking a word, the dream Daniel put his arms around the two women at his sides, and turned away from her.
Sobs tore from her throat as she watched his back disappear into the throng of people.
Elta'an began to laugh ever louder. "He does not wish to save you, my dear. You can see that he wearies of doing so. He is quite happy with his women, why should he need you? He has a dark-haired beauty to see to his every need, his every desire. One who is much more worthy of his love and affection."
Daniel stepped forward. "No! No, that's not true! I'm the one who is unworthy!" He looked up at her. "Angel, I would never turn my back on you, never walk away! I love you, Casey!"
The dream Daniel stopped, turned to face him. So did the women. Suddenly the dream Daniel was gone, and the women were hurrying to his side, their arms open, reaching for him. He stepped back, away from them. He took Sha're's hand. "I loved you, very much, my love. But your time is over. You don't belong here. You know that. I'll always remember you, always a part of me will love you, Sha're. A part of my heart will always belong to you."
"Is she worthy, Dan'yel?" Sha're asked, caressing his cheek gently.
"I'm the one unworthy. I'm not worthy of her," he replied, holding her hand against his face.
With a nod and a sad smile, Sha're nodded, and disappeared into the throng of onlookers.
He turned to Sarah. She had her arms crossed in front of her, a familiar stance. "I'm sorry I hurt you."
"We were good together."
"When we were together. It wouldn't have lasted, even if I had remembered that anniversary," he said softly.
She nodded, looked around as she tried to hold back the tears. "Did you ever love me?"
He shook his head. "I'm sorry Sarah. I cared for you. Very much. But I never loved you, not the way you wanted…needed…me to."
Another nod, and then she too turned and made her way through the crowd of spectators.
He totally ignored Neferteri, shoved his hands into his pockets and looked at Ishtar. "I'm sorry for what happened. I…I was drugged. You were aware of that fact. You knew I didn't want you touching me. If it hadn't been for the drugs in that wine, I never would have…never would have touched you. I never…there were never any feelings attached to…what happened."
Tears in her eyes, spilling onto her cheeks, Ishtar silently turned away.
"What of me, my love," the Goa'uld asked, reaching for him.
"You cruel, heartless bitch," he hissed, knocking her hand aside, stepping further away from her. "You are the reason my sweet Angel has suffered! You're the cause of all of her heartache! I should kill you where you stand!"
Eyes wide, the dark haired woman backed away, before turning to flee.
Julie stepped forward, and he took a step back. "You feel nothing for me?"
"Friendship maybe, in time. Nothing more," he replied honestly.
With a smile, she nodded, then turned and walked away.
He looked around. The flames seemed to be higher than they had been before, and Casey was getting dangerously close to the bastards who wanted nothing more than to hurt her. Kenny and Zinder were already reaching for her, trying to shove one another out of the way. He put one arm up in front of him to protect his eyes, and ran forward. As soon as his body came in contact with the flames, they disappeared. The conveyor belt stopped moving.
With a sob of relief, Casey stood to her feet.
He reached up for her. "Come to me, Beloved," he said softly.
She jumped into his outstretched arms, clung to him as he carried her to safety.
"It's okay, Angel. I'll always be there. I'll always protect you. I will always rescue you, whenever you need it. You see, I can't live without you. Without your sweet love. I need you, Angel. I love you, Casey. Don't you ever forget that. Don't you ever doubt it."
She sat up, her cheeks wet. She looked up into smiling blue eyes.
"That was one hell of a dream," he said, smiling at her. He wiped her tears away, kissed the tip of her nose. He had the feeling that her dream had afforded him some closure as well.
"Nightmare," she replied shakily. She reached for the Coke that sat on the coffee table, drank some of it.
"Are you okay?" He was rubbing her back and shoulders gently.
She snuggled against his chest. "I am now. Thank you," she whispered.
"Anytime, Angel," he whispered in return.
"Gonna let me show you how grateful I am?" she asked, smiling up at him.
The TV went off. He waited until she was on her feet, then stood up. He scooped her into his arms and carried her to their bed. Where she thanked him, and he accepted her gratitude...three times.
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