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Whispers From the Past

Chapter 7

He held her hand tightly as they walked through the cold of the late afternoon. With his free hand, his finger pressed against the remote for the Jeep, the lights flashed invitingly in the twilight. "Hungry?"

"Yes, I am," she admitted with a smile.

"Me, too. I didn’t have breakfast this morning. Don’t remember lunch, either." Not, he thought fleetingly, that he could have actually eaten, considering what had been going on around him, and his concerns regarding his Wife.

"It’s been one of those days." One that she would prefer to forget as quickly as possible. Although she had the feeling she wouldn’t be so lucky.

"I hear you had a bit of cookie dough."

Her smile faltered the tiniest bit. "I needed it."

"Heard that, too," Daniel said softly. "So how about heading to O’Malley’s?"

She glanced sideways. "There are plenty of casseroles to choose from."

"I know. Would you rather eat at Red Lobster? Or Olive Garden?"

"To be honest, a steak does sound good," she admitted.

"O’Malley’s it is," he grinned. He held the door open for her. Reached in and fastened her seatbelt. Stole a quick kiss before closing the door and jogging around the front of the Jeep.

"You don’t need to take me out to dinner," she said quietly, watching as he settled behind the wheel, adjusted his own seatbelt.

"Oh, yes I do," he responded adamantly.

She sat back in her seat, couldn’t help but smile at the conviction in his voice. "Would you say it again, please? I just...I want to hear it."

"I love you," he said, taking her hand in his again. Lifted her fingers to his lips. "I love you."

She sighed contentedly. "I love you."

He smiled. Started the engine, adjusted the heat, made certain that the vents were aimed in her direction. She was already beginning to shiver.



"I realized something...about my tattoos."

"And that would be what?"

"Well, if I decide to make them permanent...when I’m wearing my bikini...well, technically they will be visible. I mean, it’s not like I go around spreading my legs or anything, but I just wanted you to know that...well, they’ll be visible, especially if I sit cross-legged, and I do that sometimes when we’re at the lake."

He couldn’t help but chuckle. "And that’s a problem because...?"

"You don’t mind?"

"Angel, anyone who gets close enough to read those tattoos will need the warning."

She stared at him for a second. Then burst into giggles. "You’re gloating!"

"I am not!"

"Oh yes you are! You’re just pleased as punch that I’m putting up ‘no trespassing’ signs!"

It was his turn to laugh out loud. "Okay, so maybe I’m gloating a little bit. After all it’s my name you’ve put on that luscious thigh."

"Yes it is," she replied primly, inwardly pleased by his description. "You staked a claim, and I’m just making certain that the signs prove that."

He laughed harder. "I’m just thrilled that you want to post those signs."

"So, if I decided to make the tattoos permanent, you wouldn’t mind?"

"No, Angel. I wouldn’t mind."

She smiled into the darkness. If she could just figure out a way to deal with the whole needle thing...

He glanced at her, could tell she was planning...something. Probably thinking about making her tattoos permanent. He felt a smile tugging at his lips. Decided in that moment that he wanted her name inscribed on his skin as well. Hoped that she would feel just as...honored...as he did. He frowned slightly. Why in the hell couldn’t he have seen the tattoos for what they were this morning? Why had he reacted so negatively? Because, his brain informed him, this morning you were overreacting to the fact that you hadn’t been able to spend time with your Wife during the day like you’re accustomed to doing...a week without being with her for lunch or at least a coffee break. Overreacting. Right, he thought. Definitely overreacting. Furious at the thought that someone other than him had been so close to the most private part of that beautiful body. Letting that anger and his jealousy of Jonas Quinn color everything she said and did. Had he actually thought that Jonas was a threat to him...to them? He shook his head mentally, hoped to never again screw up as badly as he had today!

She reached out, entwined her fingers with his. "I saw the way that Sha’re looked at Annika’s Daniel."

"Hopefully he’ll handle things better than I did," Daniel replied, his comment a direct reflection of his thoughts.

Casey smiled. "I could have avoided a bit of heartburn if I had just looked for you...and talked to you."

"True. But my actions this morning didn't really make that an easy option, did they?"

She shook her head, her only admission of agreement. "I was afraid to talk to you," she confessed pensively.

That simple statement cut him to the quick. "Why?"

"I didn’t want to hear you say goodbye," she said softly. "I should have just marched up, decked her, and then told you to choose."

"Which would have resulted in Sha’re getting the message a hell of a lot sooner," he smiled. "Because I would have told you then that I made my choice two years ago. Well, almost two years ago."

She sighed.


"Think we should just avoid the confusion and look up Carrie Weaver now?"

"Carrie Weaver?"

"Daniel, every woman you’ve ever been involved with, except for Carrie, has waltzed into your life in the past two years. Two of them in the past three months..."

He frowned. Damn, that was true, wasn’t it? Sarah...Bernie...Amelia...Sha’re...For the first time in his life Daniel was glad that he’d never had a multitude of relationships. Wondered briefly if any of the women he had been...involved with...as a result of trips through the Stargate would come knocking. God, please don’t do that to me, he begged silently.

There was Shyla...a princess determined to make him her king, at the expense of Jack's, Sam's, and Teal’c’s lives. She hadn’t even been able to look at him after he had returned to her planet...his addiction to the sarcophagus defeated, thanks to the help from and the love of his friends. Her feelings for him had been real enough...at least, he thought they had been. Her embarrassment, her shame for what she had done to him, however, had been stronger. She hadn’t accompanied the team to the ‘gate, hadn’t even bid them farewell, when they had left the final time. Nope, no chance of a visit from her.

Ke’ra had been the ‘leader’ of a people who had suffered through an event they called ‘Vorlix’, the mass retrograde amnesia of the entire population. The incident had been triggered by The Destroyer of Worlds...no one was certain how many young men, women and children had died...or at least vanished, as a result. Ke’ra didn’t remember what had happened between them...one night of taking comfort from one another...something he'd felt guilty for almost immediately. No, she had no recollection of that night. That, he thought, was a damned good thing, considering who she really was...or rather, had been. He had no doubt that Ke’ra would never become what she had once been. That was an oddity he wouldn’t dwell on. And as long as she didn’t remember him, she’d have no reason to search him out.

Kegan...he shook his head mentally. There had been one brief encounter...fast, hard...she hadn’t wanted his love, just his body. He doubted she remembered him, either. After all, the slaves in that underground power facility had been ‘memory stamped’ in order to keep them under control. All of those workers had been settled onto a very nice tropical planet. He wondered idly how they had adapted to being free; free to do what they wanted, rather than what was demanded of them. No doubt they had no desire to interact with any other societies...at least, not yet. He could scratch Kegan’s name off of the list.

He gave a mental sigh of relief. No worries, he thought.

"...Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Carrie is happily married, with half a dozen kids, and nothing more than sweet memories of her time with you," Casey was saying.

"I don’t know, she was pretty focused on her career," Daniel replied. "She left me, Angel. And I think we both knew that what we had wasn’t a ‘forever’ thing."

"Well, I think I’ve been pretty damned understanding. If Carrie Weaver shows up, I’m knocking her on her ass, and dragging you home!"

Daniel chuckled. "I’ll hold you to that!"


A  A  A  A  A  A


The parking lot was filling up quickly...it was the dinner hour, and O’Malley’s had the best steaks in the Colorado Springs area. Gina greeted the two with a smile, led them to a quiet booth in the corner, away from the noise coming from the lounge.

Daniel ordered a bottle of wine, settled onto the bench seat beside his wife. "So...are we okay?"

Casey leaned against him, looked into his eyes. "We’re very okay."

"After a day like today, I think we should relax in the tub, and turn the jets on." He made the comment casually. Watched her surreptitiously, hoping that she would agree...hoping that she would see the gesture as part of his apology to her.

"That's a marvelous idea. Your shoulders are a bit tense," she replied, her hand moving over his back and shoulders gently, rhythmically.

The tender touch was enough to set him on fire; and to let him know that, in spite of all his transgressions, she had forgiven him. That their love was as strong, their marriage as secure, as ever.

"It was just too much," she said after a few minutes of peaceful silence between them, their bodies touching naturally, reassuringly.

He understood what she was talking about immediately. This was the way it always was between them...except for today. Because you were an idiot, his brain tossed out. "I know."

"I don’t think I'd have been as freaked out if I hadn’t still be so..."

"Emotionally raw?" he provided, when she waved her hand in small circles in the air.

"Exactly. It’s been a very long month."

"It’s actually only been two and a half weeks," he pointed out.

"Hmmph! Feels like a month to me!"

Gina came back with the wine; filled each glass, then sat the bottle on the table. "So, what will it be tonight?"

"Case?" Daniel asked, slipping his arm around her shoulders.

"I’ll have the rib-eye, medium rare. Baked potato with the works, and extra sour cream. And a salad. Ranch dressing."

"Make that two," Daniel said, smiling up at the waitress.

"You got it." Her heart gave a sigh. She was still battling herself, and her feelings for Daniel. Even though she liked seeing him with a smile, liked seeing him so happy, it still hurt that he hadn’t found happiness with her. Gina still wanted to be the one to stand beside the handsome man, wanted him to look at her the way he looked at the bi...the blonde, she thought, quickly reprimanding herself. "Salads will be right out."

True to her word, the salads appeared almost as soon as Gina had left the room to take the order to the kitchen.

"Did you eat at all today? Other than cookie dough?" Daniel asked, concern in his voice.

Casey shook her head. "Jonas and I went to the commissary for coffee, Major Ferretti joined us, and then we sat down with the guys from SG-7 and 13 and three of the techs from photo lab."

He silently berated himself. When he should have been taking care of Casey, making certain that she ate, he had been dealing with Sha’re instead. He pushed aside the obvious fact that Casey was an adult, and perfectly capable of seeing to her own health and well being. Besides, he knew his Wife well enough to know that when she was upset, she didn’t eat. Unless he prodded...begged...pleaded with her to do so. "Tiesha as well?"

"No, 16 is out on a mission," she replied. She was halfway through her salad before she spoke again. "Annika said that she found one reality where you and Sam are married."

Daniel grinned. Sam was one of his best friends, like his older sister and younger sister, all rolled into one. There had been one very brief kiss between them...a response to the extreme circumstances in which they had found themselves, trapped on a Goa’uld ship, certain that they were going to die. It had lasted about three seconds, and they'd both known instantly that there would never be anything ‘romantic’ between them. Which had led to a most interesting shift in their friendship...they were more relaxed around one another than they had ever been. When Jack had mentioned that the two seemed to have ‘changed’ when they were around one another, something the ever observant colonel had picked up on immediately, he had confessed to what had happened. Told his best friend that there was no doubt in his mind that Sam would never be anything other than a sister to him. After his initial shock, and the resulting flare of jealousy, Jack had grinned, and told him that the new ‘family line up’ was fine with him. As long as they didn’t start squabbling like siblings, the older man had teased.

She wouldn’t mention the other reality, the one that Annika had been so quick to move past. Daniel didn’t need to know that there was a reality where he and Jack were an ‘item’. From what Annika had told her, it was the only reality where something so...uncharacteristic...was occurring. She wondered briefly what other things were ‘wrong’ with that particular universe. "I wonder if there’s a reality where she’s with Teal’c?"

"No doubt. I think just about every...variation...can be found. Every reality has moments...points in time...when significant decisions are made. That’s when a ‘split’ happens. Or so the theory goes," Daniel said.

"The only reality I’m concerned about is this one," Casey said, taking a sip of wine.

"You know, that’s the same thing Jack said when he was trying to talk me into looking for you," he mused quietly. It had been awhile since he'd thought about that day...the day he had flown to Tacoma to find this beautiful, incredible woman. The day that had changed his life forever...the day he had started living again.

Her head turned sharply. "He had to talk you into it? You didn’t want to fly to Tacoma?"

"I was afraid you wouldn’t like me...wouldn’t want to get to know me," he said quietly. "I’d had enough rejection in my life...I wasn’t anxious to add another one."

Her eyes went wide. She knew Daniel as a strong, self-confident man. He was handsome, brilliant, kind, gentle...everything that a woman could want in a man. To learn that he feared that she would turn him away was almost more than she could believe. "You were afraid I’d reject you?"

He nodded. "I’d met your counterpart. The thought of being...turned away...by the woman who was supposed to be my Destiny, an incredibly beautiful woman, scared me to death."

"I can relate," she whispered. "I’m glad you listened to Jack."

"I didn’t listen to Jack. I listened to Casey. Well, mostly Casey," Daniel smiled.

"Smart man," she replied, returning his smile.

"I’ve been told that, by a very beautiful, very biased woman." He wrapped his fingers around hers, lifted them to his lips. Gina appeared at that moment, two platters in her hands. "Gina," he said, grinning broadly, "I am a very lucky man."

"If you say so." She spoke before thinking...cringed mentally as the words hit the air. It wasn’t easy, but the waitress managed to arrange her face in a matching smile.

"I do. I was lucky enough to find my Destiny. Even luckier to have her fall in love with me," Daniel said, his eyes on Casey’s face. "I’m the luckiest man alive."

It was as if he knew that she had harbored secret hopes; wishes that something would happen that would leave him single...available...once again. That she dreamed of having a chance to put a smile on his face. She shook her head mentally. No, Daniel wasn’t a man who played games. If he knew, if he suspected, he’d talk to her about it - quietly, privately. And he’d tell you how much he loves his wife, she thought. Again she spoke without intending to do so. "She’s a very lucky woman."

Casey understood that the waitress had had no intention of uttering those words. And she could sense the feelings that the woman harbored for Daniel. "Yes, I am," she said, smiling at him. Hoping that he wouldn’t realize how much Gina had just revealed.

She wanted to bite her tongue off! Damn it, that had not been what she had intended to say! Fortunately, the beautiful Mrs. Daniel Jackson had diverted his attention almost immediately. How ironic to know that she owed the woman she viewed as her...if not nemesis, then certainly competition...for the fact that her dignity was still intact. Although, she sighed inwardly, there really was no competition. Daniel had decided who he loved, who he wanted, when he had proposed to this woman. "You just keep remembering how lucky you are, Daniel," she said out loud, hoping her voice sounded lighter than her heart felt at the moment.

"Every day of my life," he said quietly, raising Casey’s fingers to his lips once again.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Dinner had been wonderful...Daniel had been attentive, and romantic, and loving. As soon as they had arrived home he had filled the tub and turned on the Jacuzzi, the water bubbling softly as they gently undressed each other. She knew that he was doing his best to make up for the feelings of insecurity she had battled all day...feelings exacerbated by his behavior...even though it had been unintentional.

She sighed contentedly as she stepped into the tub. Leaned back against the warm, firm body behind her. Closed her eyes as the water swirled around them. They held one another, for how long neither could say; content to simply be together, alone, with all misunderstandings between them completely cleared away. Letting go of the tension that had filled the day, bodies relaxed...

When Daniel began to kiss her shoulders, the nape of her neck, it was a signal that the time had arrived to take the next step in their night of love. Slowly, languidly, they bathed one another; each touch a caress, each caress soothing away the worries and fears their hearts had battled during their very...strange...and trying day.

"Feeling better, Angel?" He cupped his hands, lifted water and poured it over her breasts, watching the droplets that formed on her nipples.

"I feel much better." She turned around, straddled his legs, put her arms around his neck, pressed her lips to his throat. "But I think we’re both going to feel even...better..."

He closed his eyes, tilted his head back as her lips continued to move over his skin. "I like the way you think," he murmured, running both hands up and down the silky expanse of her back.

It wasn’t a conscious thought. It wasn’t actually a thought at all. But she needed to re-establish her position as the only woman in his life. The only woman who could please him in bed. The only woman he wanted in his bed. She nipped at his throat, bit his shoulder, then pressed kisses against the skin.

He shivered slightly. Opened his eyes when he felt her move away from him. Watched her for a moment, her eyes were moving over his face, down to watch her fingers as they blazed a trail across his chest. When he pushed a lock of hair back, she reached up and adjusted the clip that held the long tresses out of the water.

"Daniel Jackson, you are my Husband, and I refuse to let you go," she whispered. Saying out loud what her heart had been proclaiming all day long.

The smile that lit his face was a reflexive response to her words. "Casey Jackson, you are my Wife and I refuse to let you go," he replied.

Her eyes searched the blue depths of his, seeking to find the affirmation of his words there, in his soul. Sighed audibly at the love that blazed there, the hint of possessiveness, even a touch of amusement. She held his face between her hands, leaned forward and softly licked his lips, then pressed hers against them.

His tongue worked the combination that opened her sweet mouth to his, dove in to satisfy himself...to reclaim her...to make certain that any fears that might linger, any doubts of his love were banished forever. One hand went to the back of her neck, holding her steady, the other began a tender assault on her breasts, caressing and massaging each firm orb in turn, tugging at pink nipples that hardened at his touch.

Time meant nothing as they kissed; as they took and gave and comforted and aroused one another. Her heart was pounding with desire, her body burning with need. "Bed," she murmured against his lips.

"Right," he replied, unwilling to let go of her...not yet. He deepened the kiss, felt her respond in kind, acquiesced when she demanded her turn at tasting him; the sensations of sharing his mouth with her - feeling her tongue moving against his, exploring him fully - bringing a moan of satisfaction to his throat.

Tempering the kiss, gently easing away from him, Casey reached over to flip off the motor that controlled the jets of water. The sudden silence was punctuated by their ragged breathing. She stood to her feet, crawled out of the tub and grabbed the towels she had placed on the towel bar.

Daniel flipped the lever to open the drain, allowing the still warm water to empty out. He rubbed his towel over his wet skin briskly, busy watching her as she dried herself. Felt his breath catch when she pulled the clip from her hair, the locks cascading down over her shoulders, covering his beauties just enough to make him want to reach out and expose them once again.

When he scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom, she understood that his need was as great as hers. She wondered at the flash in his blue eyes, the twitch of his cheek...just seconds before she felt herself flying through the air, landing in the middle of the bed. He jumped onto the mattress beside her. Totally unprepared for the actions, she stared at him for a second, then burst into giggles. "What was that about?"

He settled himself on his back, hands behind his head. Things had been so damned tense all day...he wanted just a bit of levity...wanted to make her smile...hear that sweet giggle. Break that tension once and for all. "Just seemed like the thing to do at the moment. You know...jumping into bed."

"You’re weird," she said, still giggling.

"You love me anyway."

"With all of my heart," she whispered, running her hand over his chest. His body was warm, his skin glowed beneath the dim light from the small lamp beside the bed. In spite of the kissing they had been doing, he wasn’t fully aroused...she supposed that the time to dry off and get into bed was partially responsible. One touch, and he would be hard as a rock. Her heart sped up at the thought that the touch from her hand could affect him so, that the caress of her hand could give him such pleasure. "Mine!" she whispered fiercely before lowering her head to kiss him once again.

He filled his hands with her hair, held her steady once again as he took what she offered, gave back all that she demanded. Tonight they were doing more than just making love, tonight he would reassure her of his love, of his commitment to her, remind her that she was the only woman he wanted, that she was his Destiny. And she would reclaim him...letting him know with her touch that he belonged to her, and no one else. A fact that made his body shiver with delight, his heart dance with happiness, and his soul soar with joy.

Her lips moved from his, over his jaw to his throat, each kiss branding him, in her mind if not in reality. She left her mark on his shoulder, taking her time to make the bruise dark, guaranteeing that it would be there for awhile, long enough to satisfy her need to see that visible proof that he belonged to her. When she moved on to his chest, licking her way from one nipple to the other, she wrapped his oft spoken words around her heart, her very soul. She was the only one to make love to him like this, he had told her. The only one who had ever been more concerned about his pleasure than her own.

Greeting each flat nipple as if it had been longer than the twenty-four or so hours since she had last done so, she nipped and suckled until his chest was rising and falling faster, harder. One hand slid down, over his belly, through the wiry hair that surrounded his now fully engorged manhood. She trailed her fingers up the shaft, barely touching him; felt his body shiver, the throbbing that told her the caress was welcome.

She took the time to tease his belly...knowing full well that he would torment hers when it was his turn to take her on that journey of love. She looked up at him, held his gaze with hers. Sha’re had never done for him what she was about to do...what she had done so many times...what she loved doing for him. "Mine!"

The combination of love and lust in her eyes made his heart flutter in his chest. Her whispered declaration made his very soul quiver. He watched as she took him into her mouth, moving down as far as she could, one soft hand caressing what she couldn’t take, the other gently massaging his aching balls. "Yours," he whispered breathlessly, his body responding instantly to her touch with a shiver that moved him from head to foot. "No one else, Casey. No one ever did this for me. No one can do it like you."

Pride, love, possessiveness, desire, need...all rushed through her, over her. She moved up, swirled her tongue around the swollen tip of his shaft, teased that sensitive underside, sucked gently on that thin ridge of skin, making his hips jerk sharply. Tossing a wicked smile at him, she repeated the caresses, then took him fully into her mouth again, his sigh echoing in the near silence of the room. She didn’t understand how any woman who knew Daniel - loved him, was close enough to him to be intimate with him, could resist tasting him...touching him...holding him. All she knew was that it gave her as much pleasure as it did him.

Licking up and down, around the girth of him, she continued to stimulate him...continued to make love to him. The love that burned in his eyes, just as visible as the desire that filled them, made her heart do flip-flops. Their gazes locked, she began to move up and down on him, setting up a steady rhythm certain to drive him out of his mind. Her hands never stopped moving, never stopped touching and caressing.

He'd never known, never been intimate with a woman as giving...as loving...as enthusiastic about making love as Casey. Nor had he ever been with a woman who could accommodate him as completely as she could, as she'd been able to do from the first time he'd held her. He still found himself surprised when coming down from an incredible orgasm, to realize he'd been like a wild animal, out of control with need...pounding into her without regard for her well-being...those worries unnecessary...his actions driven by her own passion as she demanded more from him. Watching her bob up and down on him was enough to blow his mind. Add the incredible physical stimulation that flooded his senses, and his brain was damned near overloaded. Sweet, pure pleasure danced up and down his spine, tingled in his fingers and toes, pulsed in his throbbing cock. "That’s it, babe, just like that," he whispered unevenly, giving a low moan when she began to suck on just the tip once again.

She watched his face...the slight smile, the way his eyelids drooped, then closed completely, the way his head fell back as she continued to make love to him. One hand was clenched in a fist on the bed beside his hip, the other was tangled in her hair, his fingers alternately massaging her scalp, then closing and tugging gently. She increased the rhythm of her movements slightly, her hand gripping him just a bit tighter.

"Oh, god," he moaned, his hips rising to meet her every time she moved down.

Her heart fluttered again as she listened to his moans and sighs; knowing that she, and only she, could bring those sounds from him. A thought...a fact...that brought equal amounts of satisfaction, joy, and awe to her heart.

"Please, babe...gotta come now," he panted, trying to increase the speed with his hips.

Certain that she had taken him to the limits of his endurance, she shifted to her knees, relaxed her throat and took him as deeply as possible. Her hands worked in earnest now, never leaving his shaft untouched, moving in concert with her mouth. She swallowed, did her best to continue sucking him, swallowed again...and again...and again.

"Sweet Jesus!" His shoulders were off of the bed, his toes curled, his hands around her head as he exploded; lights flashing behind his closed eyelids, his chest heaving and his belly rolling as he flew over the edge of the cliff, soared to the stars on wings of absolute bliss.

And still the champ! she declared silently...proudly, taking down every drop of his precious white love. She let him fall from her mouth, licked him clean, then kissed her way up his chest, to his lips. He was hers, and they both knew it.

His arms locked around her slender frame as she settled on top of him, waiting for him to catch his breath. No doubt in his mind but what she had just staked her claim on him once again. There had been so much love in every caress she'd given that it was almost impossible to comprehend. No woman had ever loved him as much, as deeply, as unconditionally as Casey. It awed him. It honored him. It made him the luckiest man in the universe.

"How was that?" she asked softly.

"Incredible," he murmured in reply. "It’s always incredible."

She smiled contentedly. Crossed her arms on his chest, rested her chin on them. "It seems so silly, now."

"What seems silly?" he asked, a slight frown tarnishing the look of relaxation that had settled on his face.

"Worrying that you were going to leave me."

"Well, glad you realize that it was never going to happen."

"No, it wouldn’t have. I’d have bounced her ass through the mirror to the first reality I could find," Casey replied.

He grinned. "A bit jealous, were you?"

"A bit."

His grin faded. He’d been a bit jealous himself. He debated for a moment. Decided that she should know the truth. "Yeah, well, so was I," he admitted quietly.


"Yeah. You’ve been working with Jonas all week...we didn’t have lunch together once...and every night all you could talk about was what he'd said."

"You were jealous? Of Jonas? Over me?"

He looked into her eyes; saw her absolute, honest, open-mouthed astonishment. Felt a moment of frustration that she couldn’t see what a beautiful, desirable woman she was. That she wasn’t aware of the sexiness that was just her, just as much as her vulnerability and innocence, a combination that would knock any man to his knees. That she could doubt her power over him. "Yes, over you!"

"Daniel, I was telling you about the myths he had told me! King Kong could have told them to me and I’d have still shared them with you! It was the similarities to some of our own myths that excited me! And, for your information, it’s your own damned fault for not having lunch with me."

"I suppose it is," he allowed. "I guess I was burying myself in my work, trying to hide from the fact that you were attracted to him."

Casey burst into laughter. "Attracted to Jonas? He’s a sweet young man, but he’s hardly my type!"

"Now you tell me," he teased, rolling his eyes dramatically. "I guess...um...I guess that’s why I was in such a pissy mood this morning."

"Oh, Daniel," she sighed. "That is the sweetest thing you’ve ever admitted to...and I love you for it."

"For being jealous?"


"I hated feeling so...insecure."

"I can relate," she said softly.

He looked into her eyes. "I know, Angel."

"Never doubt my love for you, Daniel. You’re the only man in my world, in my universe."

He didn’t reply. He did roll them over, however, putting her on her back beside him. "You’re mine," he whispered.

"All yours, forever," she whispered in reply.

"Forever." He dipped his head, captured her lips in a kiss. The second journey was about to begin, one that would send her soaring among the stars where he had been spinning only moments earlier. He was determined to coax a low moan from her before moving on, before taking the next step on the path to paradise. He thrust his tongue deeper into her mouth, taking control of the kiss, stroking her, tasting her. Taking everything she offered, knowing that it was his, and only his.

He was kissing her as if he were starving for her, as if he were staking his claim on her, letting her know that she belonged to him, and to him alone. Her heart soared as she wrapped her arms around him, held him tightly, following where he led, waiting for him to begin composing the symphony that would have her singing her love to him.

The way she was clinging to him, responding to him, had his heart hammering against his ribs. They had made love every night during the past week...each time he'd secretly feared it would be the last, even as he'd tried to assure himself that he was wrong. The fear that had lurked deep in his soul, the fear that a woman as beautiful as Casey could never be completely happy with a man like him, had moved forward, plagued him at every turn. He was haunted by the knowledge that every woman he'd ever loved had abandoned him, in some way or other...and he was terrified that Casey would do the same...that at some point in time she would grow bored, grow tired of him...or lose patience with his ability to forget everything and everyone when he lost himself in his work...work that he loved.

As he kissed her, and she so enthusiastically kissed him back, every fear, every worry, every thought that somehow she was drifting away from him...losing interest in him...were all dispelled. Her love filled him, wrapped around him in a blanket of all-encompassing warmth. He could feel that love, from the top of his head to the soles of his feet...and he rejoiced in it. When he deepened the kiss yet again, a soft moan of complete surrender filled her throat. He congratulated himself on his success at getting what he wanted as her body shivered beneath his, her hands in his hair, fingers clenched tightly. Tempering the kiss little by little, he let her know by the movement of his lips against hers, the way his tongue stroked hers, that he was about to move on.

The skin of her throat was soft and fragrant...he nipped at that sensitive spot behind her ear, that little shiver moving her from head to foot. She'd left her mark on him, he left his on her, matching love-bites on each slender shoulder. When he slid down in order to greet his beauties, she gave a soft sigh that went straight to his heart...and his rigid manhood. She had sucked his balls dry. Kissing her, holding her, making love to her had him at full mast and aching for her once again.

She wasn’t even aware of the fact that her body arched toward him as he flicked his tongue over her nipples, first one, then the other...teasing, tormenting...leaving little kisses that hinted at what was yet to come. His hands gently caressed the curves of her breasts, the sensations more than enough to have her breathing hard. Sha’re had been an inch or two shorter than she, but in spite of the robes she wore it hadn’t been difficult to see that the Abydonian woman had been more ‘blessed’ in the breast department. Yet Daniel had declared, from the first time he'd seen her naked, continued to tell her, that ‘his beauties’ were perfect. She could only whisper silent prayers of gratitude that he loved her, that he found pleasure in and from her body. She knew she was far from sexy...but in Daniel’s eyes she was the sexiest woman breathing. In his eyes, she was beautiful. In his arms, none of the wounds on her soul, none of the scars on her heart could hurt her; she was whole...in his arms.

Another little moan filled the air when he began to suckle, the sound making him smile against her skin. She continued to arch toward him, offering more of her body to him, trying to force more of that succulent flesh into his mouth. Round and firm and perfect, he thought, moving his lips from one breast to the other. A flash of memory...the large dark nipples of the full mounds on Sha’re’s small frame. As much as he had loved his Abydonian bride, she couldn’t compare to his Destiny. He had never felt as free...as able to enjoy Sha’re’s body...as he felt with Casey. He could take what he wanted, and Casey only offered more. She never lay beneath him, silently waiting for him to finish...for him to take what pleasure he could, and then roll over to sleep. She made love to him and with him. Held him, clung to him, wrapped around him completely, body and heart. In a way that no other woman had ever done.

When he realized that her breasts were showing the effects of his extended attention, faint bruises that were noticeable now, but would fade quickly; and that her breath was coming harder and faster, that sweet little cleft of womanhood pushing up against him, he knew it was time to move on. Hands around her waist, holding her in place, he bathed her belly with his tongue. Teased her sexy little bellybutton...thrusting his tongue inside, wiggling it slightly, grinning when she giggled softly. He tugged gently on that platinum ring, felt her entire body quiver as a result.

As he settled himself between her thighs, the sweet, musky floral scent of her arousal went straight to his brain...and made his aching shaft throb. He took a moment to admire the tattoos that adorned her creamy skin. ‘Daniel’s Property’. Damned straight, he thought happily. Planted gentle kisses on the ink that marked her as his.

Her nether lips were puffy, and glistened in the dim light with the sweet honey that had escaped that sexy honeypot. He began to kiss that delectable specimen of womanhood, from top to bottom and back again. Her clit was beginning to peek out at him, waiting for his attention. Shaking with anticipation, with need, his fingers gently opened her...he looked up at her...held her gaze as he licked her again...and again...and again. Shoved his tongue inside her and watched her eyelids flutter closed as she bequeathed a flood of honey to his hungry mouth. He lapped at her until not a single drop remained, and her shivering body alerted him to the fact that she was on the edge.

One poem, he thought. Just one short poem. He began to write his love against her skin with the tip of his tongue, punctuating each stanza with the flat of his tongue against that hard little nub.


Triumphant, he finished the verse. Flicked that swollen nub once...twice...three times. Took it into his mouth and flickered his tongue back and forth over it. Slid his fingers into her and began to stroke her, hard and deep.

"Oh, yes!"

Her whispers were turning him on. Letting him know that she was feeling good. Pleasing him. She was ready to fly. He began to alternate suckling that tender flesh and flickering his tongue over it. She was panting...soft sighs became one long, low moan. Which built into that sweet, special whimper. Her hips were moving up and down against his face, her fingers clenched in his hair. Sing for me, Angel...

Colors were beginning to spin, lights were flashing as that most incredible of feelings zipped up and down her spine, spun on butterfly wings in her belly, to settle in that aching heat between her thighs. Suddenly she was there, jumping off the cliff to the sound of crashing symbols as the crescendo reached its peak; riding pristine waves of pleasure that pushed her higher and higher, until she was spiraling among the stars. She cried out his name as her body shuddered beneath his masterful touch.

He licked her as clean as she had left him, worked his way back to his beauties, where he gave them tender, loving kisses. Slid up to kiss her, felt her arms and legs lock around him. He reached between them, rubbed the tip of his throbbing member against her, found the opening and gently eased himself into paradise.

"Oh, yes," she sighed. "I love that!"

Every time, he thought, smiling. Every time he entered her, she said the same thing. "I love it too, Angel," he replied softly.

Their hips began to meet, thrust after thrust after thrust. Slow. Gentle. Easy. Lips sought and found lips, hands caressed. As their bodies continued the ancient dance of love, their hearts and souls met in the place that was meant for only them...entwining until it was impossible to know where one started and the other ended. Two people. One entity. Completely encompassed by the love that they shared...the love that filled them...consumed them...gave them strength.

"I love you," he whispered in her ear.

"I love you, too," she replied breathlessly.

"Always, Casey, I’ll love you always."

"Always," she whispered.

Bodies demanded more. Need took over, and he rose up on his outstretched arms, her legs locked around his hips as he began to drive into her...deeper and harder, her hips meeting his every step of the way, grinding against him each time he plunged into her...taking all that he had, begging for more.

Her beautiful aria of love filled the air as he shouted out her name, filling her...marking her as his own. Breathless, exhausted, he dropped onto her. Her arms and legs wrapped around him, held him closely as they both struggled to gain control of their breathing, coming down from the heights where they had flown together.

With a groan that was filled with utter contentment, Daniel rolled over, holding her body close to his. "You’re amazing," he said softly.

"I was just thinking the same thing about you," she smiled drowsily.

He reached up to turn off the lamp. "Sure hope tomorrow is nice and boring."

"Me, too! We deserve boring!"

He chuckled. "Yes, we do. Love you, Angel."

She would never hear those three beautiful words often enough. Lucky for her Daniel seemed more than willing to say them at every opportunity. "I love you, too, Stud Muffin."

"You and me, Angel. You and me."

"Forever," she sighed.

Sleep crept in gently, stole over them before they were aware of its presence. Their dreams were quiet...the love they had shared enough to ward off the nightmares that would undoubtedly haunt them again. For the moment, however, all was right in their world, and nightmares had no place in it.

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