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Some Kind of Wonderful

"...My baby, she’s alright,
My baby, she’s clean out-of-sight.
Don’t you know that she is ... she’s some kind of wonderful.
She’s some kind of wonderful ... yes she is,
She’s some kind of wonderful, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeahhh ..."
"Some Kind of Wonderful"
Grand Funk Railroad 


Chapter 9

She glanced at the bottle of body oil and the vibrators that sat waiting on the hearth. Making love that way was how they always ended their 'marathon love making sessions', as she called them. This night had been…was…magical, she wasn't ready for it to be over. Not yet. She glanced at Daniel, felt the weight of those blue eyes on her.

He was watching her. Like he had since she had come home. If he wasn't touching her, he was watching her. It was as if his senses couldn't get enough of her, would never be satisfied again. He shook his head mentally. It hadn't been a full week yet. When she'd been back for awhile, he wouldn't feel the need to touch her, watch her, reassure himself that she was real, and not just a beautiful dream. Something flashed in her eyes, something he didn’t recognize. That worried him. After ten years of marriage, he could usually tell exactly what she was thinking by looking into those mesmerizing green depths. He opened his mouth, ready to ask her about it, closed it again. The more he thought about the past few days, the more he realized he'd not given her a chance to breathe, a chance to deal with all of the emotional upheaval around her. He was holding her, touching her, kissing her, loving her…but never leaving her alone, never giving her a minute's peace to sort through what had to be an overwhelming deluge of emotions.

Casey's frown matched the one on Daniel's face. She had felt him watching her. He did that all of the time now, as if he couldn't get enough of looking at her. He was always touching her as well. She didn't mind, she needed the reassurance as much as he did. Something…odd…had happened to her, and Teal'c. They had been dead, she was sure of it…wasn't she? She searched her mind, her memory…again. Nothing. Just like every other time this feeling came over her. She unconsciously shifted closer to him, and when he didn't automatically put his arm around her, for the first time…ever…she looked up at himconfusion, and a bit of fear in her eyes. She slipped her arm around his waist and put her head on his shoulder. She breathed deep of his scent, took comfort from the warmth of his skin, the strong muscle beneath it. The only thing that she knew for certain was that only Daniel could protect her from…whatever it was that was haunting her. That thought had her moving nearer still, sent a shiver over her frame as she pushed her hip tightly against his.

He put his arm around her, pulled her tightly against him, felt the tremors in her slender body. When she had moved closer, he had wondered if she did it simply because she thought he wanted it, expected it. When her arm had wrapped around him, her head finding its place on his shoulder, he then wondered if she was indeed as…needy…as he was. The look in her eyes, as if she were afraid he was pulling away from her, cut him like a knife. He tightened his arm around her. Again he thought about the need that seemed to fill her as much as his did him. And that thought concerned him. She had been dead. For six long, agonizing weeks. Maybe, given her gift… gifts…she was just picking up his needs, feeling them as her own. Somehow that explanation rang hollow in his own mind. "Casey? Babe, are you all right?"

She pulled her lip between her teeth. If she confessed her fears to him, would it only add to the worry, the guilt that she knew he felt over what had happened? Would it drive him away from her, would he be too concerned about what might have been done to her to risk being near her? "I don't know, Daniel. There's something…I just can't put my finger on it…" She looked up at him. "Please, let's not talk anymore. Just hold me…love me," she begged softly.

His frown deepened, even as his arms pulled her into his lap. "Whatever you want, Angel," he replied quietly. He held her tightly, she wrapped her arm around his neck, snuggled against him.

"I don't want tonight to end," she whispered.

He smiled. "We've got the rest of our lives, all of eternity. We'll have many more nights just as beautiful, just as wonderful. And we're not finished yet," he teased gently.

"No, not yet," she sighed. She turned her face toward his, nuzzled against him, her lips seeking his. Sighed into his mouth when she opened to him, felt his tongue move against hers. Definitely the best kisser in the universe, her mind told her. She pushed the worries, the questions to the back of her mind, embraced the pleasure that surrounded her, the Fire that was burning once again. She shyly moved her tongue against his lips, tracing them again and again, tasting him, nibbling that lower lip that always begged her to pay attention to it. He had pulled back, was letting her take control of the kiss. She slipped her tongue past his teeth, caressed his, ran it lightly over the inside of his mouth, felt him shiver in response. She shifted her body closer, wreathed his face with her hands, holding him tenderly, pushing just a bit deeper. She tickled the roof of his mouth, then began dancing with his tongue, touching, teasing, moving deeper, pulling away, until he moaned and took control.

He cupped the back of her head with one hand, the other holding her jaw as he drank from those sweet lips. She had tormented, teased, aroused him until he could take no more. Just as she had done, he let his tongue glide into her mouth, determined to discover it anew. He slanted his mouth slightly over hers, traced her lips repeatedly, then pushed back into the warm depths. He coaxed a moan from her as his tongue caressed hers, danced with it, just before he sought to reach the back of her throat. Unlike the first kiss earlier in the evening, the passion that lay just beneath the surface was subdued, willing to wait, willing to build slowly. Her touch was shy, then bold, then shy again. He had always loved kissing her; her kisses brought out the Protector in him, the Pursuer, the Teacher, the Lover. He could be as wild, as daring, as uninhibited with her as he wanted; each kiss told him so. Her kisses told him that any fantasy he had, she would fulfill. Told him that she loved him from the very depths of her soul. Made him so damned needy!

She moved her mouth slightly away from his, began kissing his cheek, his jaw. He was doing the same thing to her. Her hands caressed his neck, then moved up to fill themselves with his hair. She pulled herself to her knees, holding him close as she continued to kiss and lick and nibble his jaw. Her lips went back to his, her tongue danced with his for a few moments, then she kissed the other side of his face. Whatever had been in the back of her mind turned loose, let go, floated away. Home! She was home! She was safe and warm and in his arms, and that's all she needed to know. Tears filled her eyes, rolled down her cheeks as she moved her mouth back to his. "Daniel!" she breathed, her lips against his as she whispered his name.

He could feel the change. The…relief…the excitement…he had no idea what had just happened. Whatever it was, she was… free…now. He reached out to touch her, felt her joy, her happiness. He caressed her, smiled mentally at her gentle caress in return. He moved slightly, kissed her cheeks, tasted the salt of tears, pulled away from her, took her chin back in his hand. "Case?"

"It's okay," she whispered, dazzling him with a smile. "I'm home. I'm home! We're going to be fine."

The linguist in him took notice. She had used the word 'home' only when telling him that's where she wanted to go…to be. She hadn't used the words 'I'm home' since the day she had arrived back through the 'gate. Certainly not in the past two days. He looked into her eyes. Whatever it was he had seen earlier was gone. He could see the love, the Fire, the need that burned in her eyes. But nothing haunting her. He nodded slightly, smiled, then claimed her lips with his once again. She was home.

The relief, the excitement of being home, was rushing through her as quickly as the Fire that raced up and down her spine. For the first time since her return, she understood, felt it in her heart. She was home! She filled her hands with his hair once more, held him close, slanted her mouth against his, her tongue and lips relaying her emotions. She moaned into his mouth when his hands moved to her breasts, caressing them, holding them, his fingers tugging on nipples so hard they hurt. He had sent her senses reeling a total of six times, had taken her three times so far, yet her body still craved him, still needed him. She was still on her knees in front of him, he was sitting with his legs bent around her. She pulled away from him, her gaze locked on his. "Sit cross-legged," she whispered, moving away from him so that he could comply.

He grinned. He had an idea of what was coming. She'd found that old copy of the Kama Sutra in a box of his stuff that had been stored away for years when they had moved into this house. She'd read it cover to cover. And was convinced that most of it was physically impossible, much of the rest just silly. There were a few positions, however, that had caught her eye…and her fancy. This was one of them. He crossed his legs. Watched as she lowered herself onto his rigid shaft, her legs folded behind him.

This was a far as she ever wanted to follow that mostly ridiculous book. She had heard about it for years, had actually been quite disappointed when she had finally read it. She was positive that half of the weird stuff in the book wasn't even possible. This was one position that was doable, although they didn't wrap their arms around each other. She hadn't figured out just how they were supposed to do anything that way. Daniel's hands were already on her ass, hers were on his shoulders. She began to move up and down, those strong, warm hands gripping her tightly, the muscles of his arms bulging and flexing as he helped her. Her fingers dug into his shoulders as she used them for leverage. Oh, yeah, this is nice! She knew, from experience, that a few minutes of this would end with her on her back beneath him.

They had made love like this several times over the years, mimicking one of the couples on the tape they had. Occasionally they went all the way like this. Usually the need to drive into her became too much, and he'd wind up putting her on her back. She never seemed to mind. He watched her body moving in front of him, up and down, her sweet well grasping and massaging and taking him in all the way to his balls with each downward thrust. "Give me your hand," he whispered.

She smiled, slipped her fingers past his lips, let him suck on them, sending flames and sensations of pleasure to her aching center.

"Make it good, Case," he said softly, when her hand was wet with his saliva.

Her fingers moved between them, and she began to caress that nub at the top of her folds, sending messages to her brain and her warm, wet well. She sighed as she moved down, Daniel filling her once again. She would never, never get tired of that feeling…never cease to appreciate how well endowed her husband was. Once again the thought that he had 'ruined' her for any other man flittered across her brain. His physical prowess, however, was only part of what made him the only man she would ever love. His tenderness, his generosity, the way he treated her as if she were the most precious thing in his life, all were things that sent her heart and soul into flight, filled her with such love that she was sure she would burst trying to contain it all. He loved her, and to her that was the most amazing thing of all. Her Adonis…her god…her hero…her Husband. He was all to her, everything she wanted, needed. His blue eyes held her entire universe. His strong hands held her heart, her soul, her very life, and those intimate parts of her being could not be safer anywhere else.

He watched the emotions that played over the delicate features of her face, filled the green eyes that mesmerized him. The love that he saw there took his breath away. Love for her surged in his veins, filled his heart. For most of his life it was studies, and then work, that had filled his thoughts, his lonely hours. He had used them to fill the empty places in his heart, his soul. Places that she filled now. A life once full of dark emptiness now radiated with sunshine, with love. For Daniel, home was where she was, it was never the place…just her. If she was there, he was home. Her body was taking him to that place that he could reach only with her, and he followed willingly…eagerly.

Once again the pleasure was overtaking her, leaving her clinging tightly as her body took that incredible ride. Her eyes were focused on his mouth again. Kisses. She wanted more kisses. Tonight each kiss had been so special…so much more than just an ordinary kiss. She leaned forward, caught his lower lip gently between her teeth, sucked it into her mouth. When she released it and traced her tongue over his lips again and again, he moaned softly. She could feel him throbbing deep inside her, the spine-tingling sensations it created made her toes curl. Her tongue met his, they caressed one another, took from and gave back to each other.

Daniel unfolded his legs, wrapped his arms around her and moved to his knees. He remained buried inside her as he put her on her back. This was it. He could feel it. He knew that she felt it as well, he could see it in her eyes. In a very short time he was going to take that sweet ass, the first time since she had returned. He shivered thinking about it. He loved making love to her in that very special way. The trust involved made it an act of faith. The love involved made it an incredible way to show that love to one another. That she enjoyed that particular activity thrilled him to no end.

She saw it in his eyes. This was it. The beautiful crescendo of the evening…this incredible night of love. He was right, there would be many more such nights for them. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, holding him tightly as he drove into her, taking them higher…ever higher.

He lowered his mouth to her neck, marked her again as he moved, his body claiming her with every thrust he made, branding her as his own with the Fire that danced along his spine, heated his skin. Too close. He slowed his movements, until he was doing nothing more than gently rocking his hips against hers. She was holding him close, he could feel the love in the gentle embrace. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you," she murmured in his ear, just before her tongue invaded it.

Shivers shot down his spine to the backs of his legs and straight back up into his throbbing cock as she nibbled on his ear. It was time. "Ready, Angel?"

She nodded. She caught his face with both hands, held him and kissed him before he could move off of her. There was no need in this kiss, only love, happiness…promises of more, vows that these feelings of love would never fade.

He moved away from her slowly, lowered his head to suckle at those beautiful breasts one last time before the evening came to a mind-blowing conclusion. Her breath was coming in small gasps when he finally moved away from her completely, allowing her to get on her hands and knees.

She sat back on her heels, took the bottle of oil and gently anointed him. He loved it when she prepared him for this activity. She looked into his eyes as she touched him, caressed him, his cock slick with the oil and her honey. His face…she wanted to see his face while they made love for the last time tonight. "Let me ride you," she begged softly.

His eyes flared with desire…love…happiness. "Anyway you want it, Angel," he agreed in a whisper. He reached down and grabbed Barney, attached the vibrator ring, and slowly, gently inserted the toy into her waiting well. He smiled when she gasped, her eyes going wide, her lips parting slightly as he moved it in and out of her body. He continued to move it as he stretched out beside her.

She put her fingers over the vibrator, held it in place as she straddled him. "You do it," she whispered.

His hand moved to his oiled cock, held it in position as she settled back against him. He sighed, then groaned when her body took him in…one tantalizing inch at a time. By the time her ass was against his hips, a sheen of perspiration had broken out over his chest and upper lip. It had taken nearly every ounce of restraint he could muster to keep from grabbing her and shoving himself into her. So damned long! his mind cried out. So long since he had experienced her this way.

It had been forever since he had taken her this way. It had been moments since he had taken her this way. She wasn't sure which. She only knew that taking him in felt incredible. She rose up, then pushed back down. Again, and again. Slowly. Gently. She heard the clock on the entertainment cabinet chime two. Maybe after they took their bath, they would sit on the deck and watch the sun come up. She was sure her parents would understand if they didn't make it over for lunch just this once.

His body was beginning to shake with anticipation. He said nothing as he watched her eyes. Tonight she had filled every need, temporarily quenched the nearly insatiable craving that he felt for her. He was as anxious to make this final ride last as she was. He offered her his hands, smiled back when her face lit up, and a bright smile curved her sweet lips upward. He gave her fingers a quick squeeze when she laced them with his.

It seemed that he had enjoyed doing this as much as she had. The extra leverage was wonderful, and he liked it, she thought happily. She leaned down, brushed her lips against his, then sat back up. She continued to ride him, pushing down harder with each thrust.

"Now, babe," he whispered, his words ending with a soft moan.

She pulled her fingers from his long enough to turn on the vibrators. And immediately cried out as the stimulation set her on the path toward the stars. She rode him faster now, the vibrations sending fingers of intense pleasure throughout her body.

Oh, god, so hot…so tight…the echoes from the vibrations in her well were driving him out of his mind! He pulled his hands from hers, filled them with her breasts, toyed with them, played with them, drove them both a bit closer to the edge, as she continued to ride him.

"I'm gonna come," she whispered, just as her thighs began to quiver against his hips.

"Give it to me, Angel," he whispered in return. He slid his hands to her hips.

That sweet whimper filled her throat, she tossed her head back, and cried out as she crested the peak and flew over the edge. Oh, god, it always felt so good! With him it always felt so incredibly good! Her body soared toward the stars, her soul sailing along side, as love so deep, so strong flooded her mind, her very being, that it made her cry out again.

Her body was pulsing, shivering above him. Sweet Jesus it can't feel any better than this! He could go insane from such intense pleasure! He held her hips, thrust up into her until he exploded inside her, every pulse that sent his creamy love deep into her making his entire frame shake. He felt her turn off the vibrators just before she collapsed onto his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, their bodies trembling together. "Love you, Angel," he whispered.

"Love you, Sweetheart," she replied, her voice muffled against his chest.

"I…uh…I have the bath set up," he said softly, after several peaceful minutes just spent holding each other.

"I noticed, when we took our shower. Afterwards…could we look at the stars…watch the sun come up?"

"That sounds nice. Yeah, we'll do that."

They slowly disentangled themselves, and headed for the bathroom. Once there, when the candles were lit, Daniel insisted on filling the tub, adding the bath salts that he knew she loved. For one second he was alone again, staring at all of the lotions and shampoos and bath oils and salts, the clutter of jewelry from the box that sat open beside her sink, the makeup that lay where she had dropped it the last time she had used it. Every morning that jumble of feminine products had left him breathless with pain. He shook himself mentally, looked over to see her watching him, her lip between her teeth, guilt written plainly on her face. "Don't."

"Don't what?"

"Don't you dare blame yourself," he replied.

She shrugged, the movement of her slender shoulders barely noticeable. "You were hurt, Daniel. Devastated, I can see that in your eyes when you talk about it, think about it. If I had paid closer attention to my feelings, I would have figured out sooner that something was wrong. I just…" She shrugged again, folding her arms around her body protectively.

"You just what?" he asked gently.

"I don't know if I can explain it," she admitted. "I couldn't feel anything…specific…just sort of a general…fuzzy feeling. It wasn't until that lever broke off in my hand that I knew we had a problem. No need to be psychic to figure that out. Then…when we had to get back to that room when the wall in the corridor started collapsing, I knew. I knew that Teal'c and I weren't walking away."

Daniel frowned. He walked to the tub, stepped in, offered his hand to her and held her steady as she got in beside him. He settled into the warm water, pulled her close when she sat down. "You didn't have any kind of…warning…before that?"

"Just…just that something wasn't right…but not even a hint on how bad it was…or was going to be," she said.

"Has that ever happened before?"

She shook her head. "I might not get specific details until just before something happens…but usually I can tell if it's bad, good or otherwise…and almost always I have some idea of how…intense things are going to be."

He grabbed the loofa, gently moved it over her shoulders, across her chest, just above the breasts he so adored. "Do you suppose that whatever they used to knock us out might have…muted…your 'senses'?"

She frowned, her own hands lifting water and gently letting it trickle down his pectoral muscles. "I suppose it could have. I didn't feel…muted…but then, I wasn't really doing any kind of searching or reaching out either. It didn't seem to interfere with our ability to 'talk' to one another," she added.

Whatever had happened, the result had been her death. For six long, heart-wrenching weeks he had been forced to live without her, believing that she would never be with him again. He shook his head. She was here. She was alive. She loved him. He didn't care about anything else. Not right now. "Let it go, Angel. It's over. Don't blame yourself for something you had absolutely no control over."

"But you were-"

He put a finger to her lips. "Don't. You have no reason to feel guilty."

"I might not have a reason to, but I do," she mumbled under her breath.

He sighed. Anytime there was guilt to be assigned for something, Casey was at the front of the line. If there was no where to lay blame, she'd pick it up and claim it anyway. "Didn't we have a discussion about this tonight? A couple of them if memory serves me right."

She shook her head. "I can't help it. It just feels like my fault that you and the kids suffered."

"Well, it's not! Life happens, Case. Sometimes really shitty things happen. And they aren't anyone's fault. You have to understand that. Now, let it go."

"I'm trying…but…"

"Let. It. Go."

"You're sure bossy," she complained, a hint of light in her eyes once again.

"That's because I'm the Master."

She rolled her eyes. "Give a man an inch, he'll take the whole damned ruler," she teased.

He grinned, kissed the tip of her nose. "We're the masters of our domains."

Casey began to giggle hysterically. "Oh, Daniel, only because we women let you think that!"

"No, it's more like we let you think that you're letting us think that."

"Very convoluted. And so not true," she argued.



"Kiss me."

"Is that a request, a demand, or an order?"

"All three. Kiss me."

She giggled again, and pressed her lips primly against his.

"Ha ha. Very amusing. Now do it right. Kiss me."

"You'll just get all worked up again," she warned him, as she wreathed his face with her hands.

"If so, we'll just make love again," he replied nonchalantly.

"You asked for it!" She put her lips against his, waited until he made her gasp, felt him move into her mouth, then took complete control of the kiss; tasting him, touching him, stroking him. She felt his response. She pulled away, looked into his eyes, noted that the Fire was back, and burning. "Just what does this have to do with proving who's in charge around here?"

"Doesn't have anything to do with it. I just wanted to kiss you again," he admitted, a wide grin on his face. "Although, I have to admit that you obeyed very well, my Little Slave."

Her own eyes flashed with Fire. "I'm glad I please you, my sweet Master," she replied softly. Her hands moved over his body. "Let me help you out," she whispered, her hand closing around his rising member.

He closed his eyes, let his head rest against the tiled wall behind him. "Do it," he whispered in return. Just when he thought that the Fire had finally been satisfied, his body was aflame all over again. Just a kiss from her…no, just a touch from her, an innocent touch, could set him ablaze. He moaned as her soft hand brought him to aching hardness.

She leaned forward and kissed his neck. Nibbled at his jaw. Suckled the muscle behind his ear just before she teased his earlobe with her teeth. Every touch, every caress her tongue made against his skin she felt in the throbbing organ in her hand. She was in control, she would please him, send him soaring above the clouds, into space. And she would do it when she was ready to. His Little Slave was in complete, absolute, unyielding control. A thought that put a very satisfied smile on her face. "Sit up on the edge of the tub," she instructed softly.

He didn’t argue. He lifted himself to the wide ledge, pushed a plant out of the way, let his legs fall open. He watched her settle between them, her hands moving up from his ankles, slowly, her mouth already locked around the tip of his aching shaft. Her fingers caressed him, lightly touching his skin as they approached his hips. She was looking up at him, her eyes full of love, full of happiness…full of glee. He smiled. She was letting him know that she was calling the shots this time. One soft hand wrapped around the base of his cock, the other began to hold, caress his balls. He watched her move her head up and down, watched her take him in, let him slide out, then take him in again. What a freaking turn on! It always aroused him to watch her make love to him like this.

She watched his eyes, saw them darken with lust as he became even more turned on. She could taste the sudden flow of precum, licked it up, sought more. She ran her tongue around and around the swollen head, then sucked at that sensitive spot, felt his entire body jerk when she did so. Her eyes smiled at him when she did it again. She didn't think he could get much harder. She returned to the rhythm she had started, pushing her tongue against him, moving up and down. His balls tightened in her hand. He was almost there, and this time she wanted to watch him come. "Please…" she whispered, taking his hand and putting it between her breasts.

He smiled. She couldn't put into words what she wanted. But she had learned how to ask him in other ways. "Kneel up, Angel," he instructed.

She obeyed, placed herself in front of him. Watched as his hands caressed her breasts, massaging the firm orbs as he pressed them against his swollen flesh. She put her hands over his; he pulled his hands away, put them on the edge of the tub for support as he began to move his hips.

"Like that?"

"Yes," she whispered. "It's such a freaking turn on!"

He grinned. It was for him, as well. Watching his cock slide between those beautiful breasts, the soft skin caressing him, moving him toward sweet release made him throb harder, faster. He moaned when she put her chin against her chest, her tongue darting out and licking him every time he came close enough. "What you do to me, woman," he whispered.

"Just trying to please you," she whispered in return.

Watching that pink tongue tease the head of his cock as he moved between those beautiful breasts was too much. "Get ready," he gasped. When he started coming, she was trying to catch as much as possible, as she always did. Which made him come all the harder. Sweet Jesus what a feeling!

It was always so incredible to see that creamy white love erupt like a fountain, to feel its warmth against her skin. She ran her fingers through it, brought it to her lips, licked them clean, her eyes locked with his. She loved they way they always widened just the tiniest bit, always darkened, always filled with love every time she did that.

Daniel reached for one of the washcloths, gently cleaned the remains of his climax from her neck and shoulders. "Now, what about you?"

"What about me?" she asked playfully.

He slid back into the warm water. There was enough room for her to stretch out beside him. "C'mere." He settled her beside him, his arm around her shoulders, holding her close. He shifted until he was on his side. He lowered his head and caught a hard nipple between his teeth, his fingers already stroking her.

She leaned her head back against his arm, sighed when he found that nub at the top of her folds, already swollen and hard and aching. One hand was in his hair as he suckled, his mouth moving in time with his hand. How amazing was it that he could bring her such pleasure with just one hand? That thought brought a slight smile to her face. Talented man, her Husband. Oh, how this man can please me, she thought, just before coherent thought was no longer an option.

Her eyes were glazed, half closed, her lips parted slightly as she began to breathe harder. She was so beautiful, he thought, but even more so when she was on the cusp of orgasm. He trailed kisses from her breast to her neck, then back down again. Her hips were moving against his hand, pushing against him. Whenever he gave her a pearl necklace, it didn't take her long find release. When she said it turned her on, she wasn't kidding. How amazing she was fluttered across his mind just before he returned his thoughts to pleasing her.

Every thought, every sensation was centered between her thighs. She felt him slide his fingers inside her, he was using his thumb to continue stimulating her clitty, and as he began to push deeper, she felt her thighs begin to quiver. He moved his hand just a bit faster, not much, but enough to set off sparks behind her eyes. The whimper that always filled her throat as she came turned into a low moan of completion. Her body quivered, grabbing at and holding his fingers, her thighs locking around his wrist to hold him in place until the spasms stopped.

He moved his mouth to hers, kissed her gently. "Better?"

"Mmmhmm. The water is starting to get cold."

"I noticed. Let's finish up, then we'll sit on the deck and watch the sun rise."

"Good plan," she smiled.

"Thought you'd like it," he grinned.

"I do. Especially since it's mine."

His grin widened. "Well, you know what they say, what's yours is mine."

She giggled. "Dream on! Ooo…cold," she complained, as he dripped water from the loofa on her shoulders.

He flipped the lever to let water out of the tub, then turned on the faucet to add more hot water. It only took a minute to add a sufficient amount to make the bathwater warm enough to finish washing in. When they were rinsed and dried, she pulled on a teddy; he pulled on a pair of boxers, then grabbed a blanket from the bed. She sat on the deck in front of him, his legs and arms around her, holding her close, both of them wrapped in the warmth of the blanket.

Casey leaned her head back against his shoulder. "I love how bright the stars are," she said softly.

"Yeah, they are pretty, aren't they?"

"Did tonight help you?" she asked, almost shyly.

He pulled her closer. "Yeah, it did. You know I always like it when we can have time alone together like this."

"Tonight was special," she said.

"Very special," he replied. He kissed her cheek.

"I'm home," she whispered. She snuggled back against him. She was back with her family, in the arms of her Beloved. Where she belonged, where she always wanted, needed to be. Nothing else mattered.

"Welcome home, Angel," he whispered in reply. She was home. Safe. Alive. In his arms. His heart was whole and pounding out his love for her with every beat. He could face whatever he had to, as long as she was with him.

The sun rose over the mountains, the fingers of pink and red and gold pushing away the purples and blacks and blues of the night. A new day dawned for Gamma, for Hope. And for two special people, whose love could never be measured, could never be denied.


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