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When Two Hearts Collide
What they found was Victoria's Secrets. And a sign proclaiming a two for one sale. She tugged her lip between her teeth. She really did need a bottle of lotion…she glanced around, trying to see if there was anything nearby that he might be interested in while she made her purchase.
"Hey, check it out," he said softly, stopping in front of the lingerie store. "Come on."
She blushed brightly as he led her inside. "Daniel, what are we doing here?"
He 'd seen the display of lotions and perfumes in the window, and had recognized the bottle that she used. "Me? I'm gonna get you the perfume that goes with that lotion. Just so you can drive me completely out of my mind. Why? Something you need…something you want?"
Casey stopped and looked up at him. She most certainly would not even entertain the thought that she did need some new panties and bras. She wouldn't even think about the fact that going to work at SGC would allow her to buy the things she wanted…that she could put a purchase on her card today and be able to pay it off at the end of the month, or at least by the end of January. Nope, not even going to think about it. Even though she really did need them…
The look that flashed through her eyes brought a grin to his face. He'd never before been in a position where he could spoil the woman he loved the way he wanted to. Oh, he supposed that in some ways, he'd managed to spoil Sha're. But this…this was different. And Casey's stubbornness about allowing him to do so made it so damned much fun! Especially when he won and she gave in. "Let's look around," he suggested. And headed straight for the rack of teddies.
She couldn't help it. Wearing the green lingerie the night before had made her feel…alluring…seductive; and the way his eyes had moved over her, as if he couldn't get enough of her…She began to sort through the sexy lace and silk garments.
His breath caught in his throat when she pulled out a tiny white scrap of lace and silk. Sweet Jesus, he'd keel over seeing her in that!
Her eyes went back to that sign…'Two for One'. She put the teddy back. She needed bras and panties more than she needed a teddy. "I'm going to look over there," she said softly, pointing to the rack of bras.
"Okay," he said amiably. And waited until her attention was on those tiny little bras before taking the white teddy, and the very sexy blue one next to it. He picked up a bottle of the perfume, carried them to the cash register.
"Will this be all sir?" the young woman asked.
"Nope. Waiting on my Wife," he replied, with a smile. Never noticed the look of disappointment on the clerk's face.
Casey didn't pay any attention to the items on the counter when she returned from the dressing room with six bras. She picked out four pairs of panties and two thongs to match, then hurried over to get her bottle of lotion. She put the items on the counter.
Daniel pushed all of the things together. "American Express," he said when the clerk walked back to the cash register.
She looked up at him. "I've got this," she said softly. Even though it was going to put her very close to the limit on her Mastercard. Before she could find her wallet, he'd already handed his card to the clerk. "Daniel!" she protested.
"What's wrong? Did you want another teddy?" he asked innocently. Almost laughed out loud when she glared at him.
"No I do not want another teddy! You've already-"
"I know, I picked them out…don't you like them?" he interrupted, knowing what she was going to say.
"Good," he said, before she could get out the 'but' that he heard coming. He signed the sales slip, took the bag, smiled at the clerk, and dropped his arm around her shoulders once again. "Now where?"
She could only gape at him. He was without a doubt the most generous man she'd ever met in her life. Okay, so she didn't know that many men…but still! And he was not going to get away with this! There was no way she was going to let him keep spending money on her the way he was! Absolutely no way!
He glanced down at her. Put a finger under her jaw and closed her mouth. Continued to do a jig inside. "Is there a Sam Goodies around here?"
"Not here," she replied.
"Too bad. There's a new Jewel CD I'd like to get. I'll pick it up when I get home, I guess," he said.
"I have it," she replied.
"Then I guess I don't have to buy it, right?"
"I guess not," she smiled. "I have a rather eclectic collection," she admitted. They wandered the wide halls of the mall, discussing their musical tastes, finding that they liked much of the same music.
Daniel glanced at his watch. Turned back toward the jewelry store. What they had talked about earlier, the 'vows' they had 'taken' laying in the afterglow of their lovemaking played through his head. He was going to propose to her, and he knew just where…and how…he was going to do it. The sun was shining, even though it was cold. Yep. He'd been there once before, and remembered a lovely little spot that would be perfect. And they were going there anyway, so it all worked out.
She glanced sideways at him. He was up to something. She could feel it. She wasn't sure what it was…she frowned slightly. She wasn't going to get to wear that beautiful ring right away…he was going to…he was going to propose! The frown melted to a smile. Yep. The perfect man. She tightened her arm around his waist, tugged him just a bit closer to her as they walked.
He looked down at her. What was that about? Not that he minded when she pulled him close like that…he watched her face, the frown…and then the happy little smile. Damn it! The little minx knew! Well, hopefully she hadn't seen all of the details! He sighed mentally. Being married to a seer was definitely going to be challenging. But damned fun!
A A A A A A
"Do you think you should call your friend?" Casey asked when they settled back into the car.
"That would probably be a good idea," he agreed. He pulled his cell phone from his jacket pocket. Hoped he had remembered the number correctly as he dialed. Just when he was about to give up, thinking that Mike wasn't at his office after all, the man picked up.
"Doctor Loughlin," the voice said breathlessly.
"Doctor Jackson," Daniel grinned.
"Danny! What's up, my man?"
"Just wondering if you're going to be busy for the next couple of hours."
"Don't tell me you're in Seattle!"
"Okay, I won't tell you I'm in Seattle."
Mike laughed. "You are such a wiseass! Hell, yes, I'm going to be busy! But come on over anyway."
"Stay on campus. I'll meet you in your office," Daniel said.
"You got it. Why do I have the feeling there's a reason for this meeting?"
"Because there is," Daniel admitted. He looked over at Casey. "A very…important one."
"I'll be here, Danny. Both ears to listen, two shoulders to cry on."
Daniel smiled. "Don't think I'll need the latter."
"Well that's good news!"
"I'll talk to you in about an hour or so."
"I'll be here."
Daniel cut the connection. "I know you still need to pack, and get your things from storage…"
"We'll get everything done," Casey smiled. "Let's go see your friend. Before he bursts a blood vessel trying to figure out what you're up to."
With a grin, Daniel started the car, and pointed them in the direction of the University.
A A A A A A
It had been awhile since he'd last visited this particular campus. But he remembered enough. He found a place to park in one of the parking lots. Held her hand as he led her over the brick sidewalk to that little path, and the bench…yep, there it was.
He stopped, turned her to face him, gently kissed her, then motioned toward the bench. "Sit down, Casey," he said softly.
Her heart began to pound in her chest. This was it! He was going to propose! Right here! It was a lovely spot. Several students, at least she assumed they were students, were walking by. When Daniel got down on one knee, they all stopped to look, point, giggle, smile…watch.
He took her left hand in both of his. "I fought it. I didn't want to love you, because I was scared to death that by letting your life get messed up with mine, something…horrible…would happen to you. In all honesty, I still am terrified that something will happen. But you're my Destiny, Casey, and I can't live without you. In just a little over two days you've turned my world upside down, filled it with laughter and sunshine. I know this is happening quickly, very quickly. But it's Destiny. I love you. Please, marry me."
She was shaking by the time he'd finished. "Destiny," she said softly. "Oh, yes, I'll marry you. Yours forever," she whispered, smiling at him.
Daniel grinned, reached into his pocket and pulled out the velvet box that held her engagement ring. He slipped it onto her finger, leaned up and kissed her. Chuckled when he heard the hoots of approval and applause of those who had stopped to observe them.
Casey blushed prettily, then looked down at the ring. It was official now! Thank you, Miss Eloise! Thank you for making me drive all day and all night, for making me break into Cheyenne mountain. For putting me in place to meet my Destiny. "I love you," she said softly.
"Love you, too. Come on, Mike's waiting."
She stood up, smiled when he tucked her hand into his pocket, and let him lead her toward a tall, old brick building.
A A A A A A
Mike was six years older than Daniel, his black hair showing just a bit of gray at the temples. He was getting a little paunchy as well, he hadn't been quite as active the past three years. A motorcycle accident had left him with a metal rod in his back, a permanent limp, and a great deal of pain. He stood to his feet, grinning broadly when his friend walked into the office. "Well, if it isn't the little geek," he teased.
"Yeah, and look at the sad old nerd," Daniel teased back.
The professor stepped forward, hugged Daniel, slapped him on the back, and then turned his attention to the captivating blonde standing just inside the door. "And who is this enchanting creature?"
"Back off, bozo, she's mine," Daniel said with a grin. "Casey, I'd like for you to meet Doctor Mike Loughlin. He was my senior advisor when I started grad school. Mike, this is my fiancée, Casey Webster."
Mike had already stepped forward, was shaking Casey's hand. He turned to stare at Daniel. "Did you just say fiancée? As in you're getting married?"
"See, I told you he wasn't as dumb as he looks," Daniel chuckled.
"You really should reconsider," Mike said, looking at Casey and grinning. "He's a real dweeb. Gets lost in his work for days at a time. Now, if you were to move in with me, I'd never leave your side. Peel grapes and feed them to you. Fan you with a big old palm frond…"
Casey giggled. "That's a tempting offer," she said.
Mike tucked her hand into the crook of his arm, led her toward the sofa on the other side of the room. "We'll vacation in Tahiti. Do a world tour…the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Greece, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Canals of Venice, the Pyramids in Giza…"
Daniel watched, his hands in his pockets, a wide grin on his face.
When she was settled on the leather couch, Mike beside her, sitting so that he was facing her, the older man gave her a genuine smile. "So tell me how this jerk really managed to catch the attention of a woman as beautiful as you," he said.
She glanced up at Daniel. Then smiled at his friend. "Well, I could tell you," she said softly, slowly. "But then Daniel would have to kill you."
For just a moment the man stared at her. Then threw back his head and laughed. He knew that Daniel did classified work for the Air Force. He'd always assumed it had something to do with the linguistics degree that his friend had. Apparently the two had met because of his work. "So do you work for the Air Force as well?"
She nodded. "I'm…I do intelligence work. Very hush-hush. Classified. James Bond sort of stuff."
It was all he could do to keep from laughing out loud. Daniel just shrugged when Mike looked up at him.
"Well, I'll bet dinner conversations about work are short at your place," Mike teased.
"We've never really discussed work over dinner," Daniel replied truthfully.
"Smart man," Mike nodded. "I can see you're happy, my friend," he said quietly, looking at the young archaeologist. "I don't think I've seen you this happy in…hell, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen you this happy!"
Daniel smiled. "I've never been this happy before," he admitted.
Mike turned back to Casey. "And, I suppose that bright, beautiful light shining in those gorgeous green eyes of yours is love."
"I suppose so," she agreed. She looked over at Daniel. Felt her heart pound against her ribs. Was any man as good looking as he was? She certainly didn’t think so! "I adore him…love him with all that I am," she said softly.
His heart was thudding in his chest. Her words were mere echoes of the love that flowed out of those amazing green eyes. It wrapped around him, warmed him to the core. The part of him that had been empty…missing…all of his life had snapped into place the minute he'd let her into his heart. And it felt so damned good!
The older man nodded. There was no missing the sparks that flew between the two. "Well, you sure as hell look a lot better than you did last year when I saw you," he said to Daniel. "I take it that you two met soon after that?"
"Not exactly," Daniel replied. "We haven't known each other long. But long enough to recognize Destiny."
"Well, you know I never put stock in how long two people know each other. Hell, you said that you and Sha're…" he stopped, glanced at the woman beside him.
"She knows," Daniel said quietly.
"He was torn up when he lost her," Mike said. "I was beginning to think I'd never see him get over her. I’m glad that you came along, Casey. Daniel is a good man. He's suffered a lot in his life. He deserves some happiness."
"Thank you," she said softly. "I'll do my best to make him happy."
"I'd say you're already doing a great job," Mike smiled, patting her hand. "So, other than to shock the shit out of me, why are you here?"
"Just to shock the shit out of you," Daniel grinned.
"If you can give me thirty minutes, we could have dinner," Mike suggested.
"We're gonna have to take a rain check, Mike," Daniel said apologetically. "We have a few things to do, and not much time to do them in. I just wanted to stop by for a few minutes so you could meet Case."
Mike stood up, offered his hand to Casey, helped her to her feet. "Well, I won't say I'm not disappointed. But I'm glad you at least dropped by."
"You'll get an invitation," Daniel promised.
"I'll be there with bells on," Mike said.
Daniel wrapped his fingers around Casey's. "Let me know if you're going to be lecturing anywhere near Denver," he said.
"I will do that, absolutely," Mike replied. He shook Daniel's hand, and then Casey's. "I'm thrilled for you, Danny, really I am. Good luck to both of you."
"Thanks, Mike," Daniel said. "See you later."
"You bet you will. Have a safe trip back."
"Thanks." With a wave, Daniel led her back down the hallway, and toward the exit.
She glanced over her shoulder. Smiled at Mike as he stood at his office door watching them. The man had been deeply concerned for his young friend. And the relief he felt to know that Daniel was no longer grieving had been tangible. She suspected that Mike cared more about him than Daniel realized.
A A A A A A
Ricky's pickup was in the parking lot when they arrived back at the apartment. She knew that the tall redhead loved her. She wasn't sure if he was in love with her. She was sure that meeting Daniel would not be easy for him. She gave a mental sigh. She and Ricky had talked all night, soon after she'd 'graduated' from the business school. She'd told him then that he was as much her big brother as he was Kelley's. She had been too young, too inexperienced to understand how much that had hurt him. But it was how she felt. And, if anything, the revelation seemed to draw them closer. It wasn't until she'd suffered her own heartbreak that she understood the look that sometimes flashed in his brown eyes.
Daniel wasn't surprised to see Kevin and Jared sitting in the living room. Kelley was standing by the refrigerator, and a man who looked a lot like her was sitting at the table.
"Hey, Case," he said quietly. Sizing up the man who was standing beside her. Jared and Kevin liked the guy. But he had determined to check him out first, before making up his mind. There was something about the guy…this man had seen action…lots of it. There was a…wariness…that only another soldier would see, would recognize. Kelley had told him that this Dr. Jackson was an archaeologist, and worked for the Air Force. Something screamed 'special forces' to him. Which meant that something…nasty…could happen, and leave Casey a widow. He watched her eyes as she looked at the tall, dark blond-haired man. He'd never seen that light in her eyes before. Never seen that look of…love…before. If she loved him, well, guess there wasn't anything he could do about that, was there? He shook the man's hand when Casey made the introductions. Firm grip. His glance went back to the slender blonde. Yep, she loves him. All he could do was be there if…and when, she needed him.
"Kells, look!" Casey said excitedly, rushing across the room. She held up her hand for the other woman's inspection
"Holy cow! You can lift your hand with that thing on?"
Jared looked up at Daniel and grinned. "Weisfield's?"
"Yep," Daniel replied. "Had to threaten her to keep her from looking at the price tags," he chuckled.
Kevin snorted. "I would love to know what you used as leverage."
"You say one word, and you'll be alone for six months, if you get my drift," Casey said, raising one eye brow in Daniel's direction. The two men on the couch began to laugh.
"I'm not saying a thing," Daniel protested.
"That just spoke volumes," Jared said snickered.
Casey blushed. It was then that she noticed the boxes sitting beside the television. "Those are my boxes!"
Ricky grinned. "Kells said you didn't have access to a pickup. I told her that was bullshit, I have one. So she dropped off the key to the storage shed, and I brought the stuff over."
"We're just going to leave them here," Kevin explained. "I'll be home all day tomorrow and Friday, so when that truck shows up, I'll let them in."
"Thanks, Kevin." She smiled when he winked at her. Casey leaned over and hugged the lanky redhead. "Thank you, Bubba," she said softly.
"You're welcome, Mouse," he replied, hugging her in return.
"Mouse?" Daniel asked, curiosity in his eyes, and voice.
"She's like a mouse...she can get into the damnedest places," Ricky replied. He'd seen the ring. Must have cost a fortune. Jared had told him a few of the things this Daniel had said. Just watching him watch Casey was all it took to know he was totally, head-over-heels, crazy in love with the slender blonde.
Kevin and Jared stood up, moved to the table. Daniel sat down as well. "You'll love this story," Kevin chuckled.
Casey rolled her eyes. "You don't have to tell him every stupid thing I've done," she said.
"Sure we do," Ricky teased.
She shook her head. Grabbed the empty box from the middle of the table, making sure to bounce it off of Ricky's head.
"Sorry," she replied smugly.
"You are not."
"Sure I am."
"Just for that…" he turned to Daniel. "Case and I play…played laser tag…and paintball. We were up against some fierce competition one Saturday. What we needed was a way to get behind the number one team without traipsing back through the woods to do it. I mentioned that if we could get them to pass us, we could get them from behind. Casey pointed out that they'd get suspicious if our trail suddenly went cold."
Daniel nodded his understanding. These men would never know that he'd been in similar situations. Only it hadn't been a game. It had literally been life and death. How many times had he and Sam led pursuing Jaffa on, leaving Jack and Teal'c to slip up behind them?
"Well, there was a rotted tree stump. About four, maybe four and a half feet tall. Two, two and a half feet around. Case looks it over, and then I'll be damned if she didn't crawl inside it!"
Jared chuckled. "This is the same woman who can walk on air if she sees a little tiny spider in the bathroom."
"It was not a little tiny spider, it was the size of a house cat, and I wasn't walking on air, I was standing on the bathroom counter," Casey retorted.
"Yeah, screaming your head off," Kevin laughed. "We thought she was being murdered! We grabbed our baseball bats and nearly broke down the door to save her. Little bitty spider. Didn't even take a whole toe to squish it."
"Ewwwwww!" Casey objected. "No squishing!"
Daniel laughed, then looked back at Ricky. "I take it the plan worked?"
"Yep. I went on for about two hundred yards, then circled a bit. Case waited until they walked by her, and I do mean walked right by her. She crawled out of the stump, gave a little whistle, and when the guys turned around, she nailed 'em. Two kill shots before they could even register that she was standing there," he said proudly.
He filed that information away as well. He had no doubt that Friday on the shooting range she was going to surprise the crap out of Jack. He looked over at her, sitting cross-legged on the floor, carefully wrapping her CD's and putting them into a box. His fiancée was an amazing woman. And he knew there was a lot about her he still didn't know. What a delight it would be to learn about every facet of the enchanting woman he loved.
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