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The Power of Love
The events of the night before continued to play out in her mind. The only reason she had survived was because Duncan had been there with her. She stared at the phone on the desk, then, hesitantly picked it up. She needed to talk to another Immortal. One who had taken Quickenings, who would understand. One who had taught her how to defend herself. She picked up the phone, dialing the number that she knew so well, listened to it ringing, remembering how the sound echoed in the large cedar A-frame house in the hills north of Vancouver.
It was him. She closed her eyes at the sound of his voice. Something stirred unnoticed in the back of her brain. "Hello, Duncan."
"Casey." He whispered her name, she could hear the emotion attached to it.
"Duncan…I…" Her thoughts were in such a jumble that she couldn’t seem to put them into words.
"Take your time, lass," he said, instinctively knowing that something was wrong.
"I fought last night. I was challenged," she finally said. She heard his sharp intake of breath. "It was you…you saved me…you were with me every step of the way," she told him, her voice dropping.
Duncan felt his heart pounding in his chest. He squeezed his eyes shut. How close had she come to death? "I’m glad, lass," was all he could say.
"I…it…does it always feel like that? So horrible…yet so…wonderful?"
"Aye, it does."
"Afterward, Daniel touched me…and…" she could say no more, not willing to share the details with the man she knew still loved her.
"Did he hurt you?" Duncan asked, fury rising at the thought of her suffering bruises, or worse, from Daniel’s hands.
"No…well…a little…at first. But…I…" she hesitated.
"You needed him to be…aggressive," Duncan finished for her, fighting down the anger.
"Yes." She wrapped the cord from the phone around her finger. "I guess that’s all…I just wanted to let you know…and to thank you."
"Thank me for what?"
"For teaching me…for being there in my hear…uh…mind," she stammered.
He felt his heart constrict. He hadn’t missed what she started to say. His blood was pounding in his veins. "You’re welcome, Casey. I’ll be here for you, always."
She paused. She could hear him breathing. The sound filled her head. "I…uh…I have to go."
"Alright. I’m glad you called," he said, his voice a husky whisper.
She closed her eyes. "Me, too," she replied, and meant it.
It had taken some time, but Casey had finally figured out what about her first encounter with Simmons had bothered her. It was the "buzz". She didn’t feel it with Daniel, nor Jack, nor Sam, nor Teal'c. The fact that Daniel hadn’t reacted to the other Immortal let her know that they weren't feeling it either. They were Immortal, they possessed enough Quickening to heal quickly when wounded, but it seemed that they lacked the...power...associated with Immortality. For some reason Oma had not been able to give that power to them. Or had chosen not to. Casey kept her thoughts to herself, but she was beginning to feel as if Oma had kept a great deal from them. She wanted them to do battle for her. But she had been vague about whom she wished them to fight. Reggie had told Daniel that the Ancients had created the Immortals. The Immortal Council had become powerful enough to bring forth a plan to create a new Immortal race. Something about that thought made her very nervous. And kept poking at that nameless something in the back of her brain.
A A A A A A
It had been a long day, and Daniel had spent it uncrating numerous artifacts brought back by the SG teams. He was covered with dust and grime, and as soon as he and Casey got home, informed her that he wanted a shower to rid himself of it.
Casey had started preparations for their dinner, but the sound of the water running in the shower, thinking of him there, brought a need that she could not deny. She slipped into the bathroom. She watched him for a moment, his lean, powerful body slick from the water. She stripped her clothes off, and opened the etched glass door. Her body was cooler than his, as she pressed herself against him.
He smiled, reached back and caressed her hip. "I was just wishing you would join me," he said softly.
"My heart heard your wish," she replied. Casey took the soap from his hand and began washing his back, kneading the muscles lovingly. She worked until there was no tension left. Then her hands slid to his buttocks, her fingers massaging them gently.
With a groan, Daniel turned around, his erection magnificent. He lowered his head and kissed her, his hands already moving against her body. He pushed her gently against the white tiled wall. He kissed a trail to her breasts, stopping to suckle each stiff nipple, down her belly to that center of her being. He pulled one of her legs over his shoulder, opening her wider to his kisses.
She closed her eyes as his mouth made love to her body, her hands moving through his hair. Which was thick and long. Her eyes flew open. Gone were the etched glass and white tile, in their place glass block and blue and gray slate. She had instigated this lovemaking. It had been the only time that she had. His smile had been so wide, his brown eyes so bright with love when she had reached out to touch him so timidly. The pain crashed down on her. "Daniel," she whispered as a tear stole down her cheek.
The mouth stopped moving against her body. A hand gently put her foot down on the floor. "Put your arms around my neck, lass," he said softly. She obeyed. He kissed her, she could taste her honey on his lips. His large hands were on her hips, her bum. "I’m going to lift you up, wrap your legs around me," was his whispered instruction. She obeyed. And felt herself eased down onto his rigid shaft.
"I need a little help, babe," he whispered in her ear, his hands firmly gripping her well-formed derriere. She reached down with one hand, clinging to his neck with the other, her fingers opening her body for his entrance, felt him enter her, the tile cold against her back as he began to move in her.
Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked into his deep blue ones, so filled with love, and that darkening of lust. She nearly wept with relief. A memory. That’s all it had been. She gave herself up to Daniel’s touch, his love, her release gentle and fulfilling. Something again stirred in the far reaches of her mind.
A A A A A A
Just as the weatherman had predicted, the Fourth of July was sunny and warm. Casey was still making the potato salad when Jack, Teal'c, and Sam arrived. The three men at once disappeared out onto the deck, beer in hand, where Daniel was already grilling several chickens.
Sam was unwrapping paper plates and cups, when she turned to Casey and grinned. "He kissed me," she said, her eyes bright.
Casey grinned. No need to ask who 'he' was. "’Bout damn time, I’d say," she replied.
"I was worried that it might change our friendship. But it hasn’t. It’s made it…" Sam stopped, searching for the right word.
"Complete," Casey said softly.
Sam nodded. "Now I know why you and Daniel are always smiling. When you feel this good, it has to get out somehow!" They laughed together. Sam looked over at Casey, a grin on her face. "I heard about your little…altercation…with Doctor Harris."
Casey groaned. "Is there anybody who hasn’t heard about it?"
"At the SGC? No. Best rumor mill in the military," Sam quipped. "Casey, were you exaggerating a little, you know, just to get back at Harris?"
Casey blushed, and shook her head. "Nope. Every word was true. Granted, I said way too much, but everything was true. I swear Sam, if Daniel walked in here right now, kissed me, and touched me just so, I’d be…" she hesitated, and dropped her eyes.
"Testing out the double paned windows?" Sam suggested.
"At the very least," Casey grinned. She shook her head, sending her long braid, the one Daniel had woven that morning, into motion. "He knows my body better than I do. You know, he likes to watch me when he’s-" she broke off, another blush coloring her cheeks.
Sam leaned against the counter. "It’s just us girls. You can tell me."
"Well, when he’s…pleasuring me…with his mouth, I mean…you know…"
Sam was intrigued. This was a side of the quiet, studious, at one time geeky Doctor Jackson that she'd never been exposed to. She certainly never would have guessed it about him. "He watches you?"
Casey nodded. "He says it’s a turn on to watch my face when he’s making love to me like that."
"To quote a certain general I know, Daniel, you dog," Sam replied.
"I have no complaints," Casey said, just as the men re-entered the house.
"No complaints about what, babe?" Daniel asked innocently.
Teal'c’s eyebrow went up.
"Just girl talk, honey," Casey replied. "I don’t have any complaints about the brand of maxi-pads I use."
"Ewww! To much information, Jackson!" Jack declared, even as Sam burst into laughter.
"But you don’t-" Daniel started, then realization hit him. He flushed brightly. "Casey Jackson, you are such a wanton hussy!"
"But you love me anyway," she smiled.
Daniel put his arms around her. "I damn well do love you," he whispered in her ear.
"Very damn well," she whispered back. She was rewarded with a laugh.
Within a half-hour of Teal'c, Jack, and Sam’s arrival, the house was filled with friends and those whom they considered family. Laughter could be heard coming from every part of the yard as they all mingled, talked, and ate.
"Yoo-hoo! Casey, dear!"
Casey turned around and saw that Emma Hanks was standing at the back fence. "Emma! How are you? Would you come and join us?"
Emma shook her white head, the huge flowered hat on her head swaying precariously. "Thank you so much for asking dear, but I’m on my way out to see my boyfriend."
Biting back a smile, Casey nodded.
"I just wanted to tell you and Daniel congratulations on your anniversary. Where is that young stud muffin, any way?"
Sam, who had been standing beside Casey, spit the mouthful of beer she had just taken across the yard. Daniel? Stud muffin? She turned to look at him. He was wearing a sleeveless blue tee shirt, and she noticed how well defined his biceps had become. She could see his pecs outlined by the shirt, and he was definitely working on a six-pack. All the result of working out at least four days a week with Jack and Teal'c. The jeans he wore hugged his butt, which she noticed for the first time was tight and perfectly shaped, and as he laughed at something one of the guys from SG-3 was saying, she could see how his smile transformed his face from merely handsome to downright gorgeous. She glanced over at Casey, saw that the young woman had been aware of her assessment of Daniel. They grinned at one another.
"Hey, Stud Muffin!" Casey called out.
Daniel turned, responding to the sound of her voice, not particularly what she said. Laughter ensued. "What, you wanton hussy?"
"Emma would like to say hello."
With a grin, Daniel bounded off the deck and came to the back fence. "Hi, Emma. Are you coming over?"
Emma reached across the fence and patted him on the arm. "Nope. Off to see my boyfriend. Just wanted to give my best to you and Casey on your anniversary."
"Thanks, Emma," Daniel said.
The old woman winked at Daniel. "He’s not the stud muffin you are, but at my age, I can’t be picky."
Casey let out a tiny squeak as she tried to hold in her laughter. Daniel stood, his cheeks ruddy, a smile on his face.
"Well, all you young folks have a good time. And if old man Wilson over there gives you any shit, tell him I said he could bite my skinny ass, and that I told you kids you can party ‘til you drop."
Daniel and Casey both laughed. "I’ll be sure to tell him exactly that, Emma," Casey replied.
"Well, I’m off now. Have fun. And tell that beefy hunk over there in the green tee shirt that I said hello."
Sam, Daniel, and Casey turned to look at the man, who just happened to be Jack. The laughter that erupted from them caused everyone in the yard to turn and look at them.
The rest of the afternoon Daniel was called Stud Muffin. He was a bit embarrassed, but endured the teasing good-naturedly. He would never know how many of the women at the party agreed with Emma’s assessment of him, and envied Casey her marriage to him.
"Well, Daniel Jackson! How are you? It’s been just years and years since I’ve seen you!"
Casey turned to see Dr. Harris walking into the yard, her arm wrapped around the waist of a young lieutenant. Her hands curled into fists as she made her way to stand at Daniel’s side.
Daniel stared at the woman, trying to figure out from where he knew her. It came to him in a flash. Betsy Harris. One of the young women who had done their best to make his life in college a living nightmare.
Betsy Harris was looking at Daniel in return, wondering if he'd always been so handsome…forgetting that he'd been sixteen his first year of college. He's certainly sporting one heck of a build, that’s for sure, she thought to herself. She glanced at the younger man beside her. Nothing like this skinny little twerp, she thought; but he'd been the only one who had been invited to this party willing to bring her along.
Casey had moved next to Daniel. "Give me the word, and I’ll rip her face off," she whispered.
Daniel laughed. "Down girl, heel!" he whispered back, which brought a giggle from his wife.
Betsy Harris stood watching, her face burning, knowing that they were talking and laughing about her. She looked around at a sea of unfriendly faces. Several of the men from various SG teams made it a point to turn their backs to her. Most of the women did as well. She had wanted to come here to get back at Daniel’s wife for humiliating her in front of her co-workers. Now it was looking as if that had not been such a good idea. Perhaps Doctor Fischer had been correct; Daniel was well liked and respected by those he worked with in the SGC.
"Betsy. Nice to see you again," Daniel said in his most charming voice. "I believe you’ve met my Wife?"
There was a loud snicker from behind them that sounded suspiciously like Jack.
"Uh, yes, we’ve…met."
"Casey, this is Betsy Harris. She went to the same college that I did."
"How do you do?" Casey said politely, the picture of the perfect hostess. "Welcome to our home."
"Uh…well, thank you," Betsy stammered. Their greeting had left her with nothing else to say.
"There’s a lot of food up on the table, and beer and wine coolers in the ice chests. Help yourselves," Daniel said, smiling at the young lieutenant. Without another word, he put his arm around Casey’s waist, and headed for the deck.
He went inside for a moment, and when he came back out, he pulled Casey into his arms. Michael Bolton’s voice filled the night air as he began to sing 'When a Man Loves a Woman'.
Casey rested her head on Daniel’s shoulder. She loved this man so very much. He was constantly surprising her with such unexpected, romantic gestures. As they moved, dancing slowly, she caught sight of Betsy Harris. The look on the woman’s face was priceless. You had your chance and blew it, lady, Casey thought smugly. She snuggled deeper into Daniel’s embrace.
Daniel and Casey weren’t the only ones lost in the music. A certain general and colonel were dancing, also, their eyes locked on each other. The fireworks that lit the night sky weren’t the only ones going off.
Jack, Sam, and Teal'c had stayed long after the others had left. They had worked as a team and restored order to the house and yard in record time. When the phone rang, Casey went to the den to answer it, so that the others could continue their conversation.
"Happy anniversary, Casey."
Duncan. She had suspected he would call. "Thank you."
"I miss you, lass."
Casey closed her eyes. Memories of their time together danced in her mind. She wouldn’t lie to herself, she'd had good times with Duncan. Walks on the beach. Picnics in the park. Plays, operas, ballets…even a cruise, that one up the inner passage to Alaska. But he was not the one her heart had yearned for, beat for. "Duncan-"
"Don’t say anything. I shouldn’t have said that."
There was a pause before he answered. "Unhappy. Confused. Hurt."
"Duncan, do you love her?"
"I used to. I used to dream of her being back with me."
"Search your heart, Duncan. The love for her is still there."
The Scot didn’t answer. His heart was filled with nothing but Casey, and had been since he had first seen her.
"Duncan, I have guests…"
"I’ll let you go then. I just wanted to say…" he paused. I want to tell you how much I love you, he thought. "congratulations."
"Thanks. Goodbye, Duncan."
"Bon jour, my love." The last was said so softly that she never heard it.
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