Daniel woke one sense at a time.
The heady scent of Rosita de Cacao pervaded the room as the breeze rustled through the soft white petals surrounding the balcony window and filled his nose with their sweetness. Next the unmistakable touch of hot, wet suction on his already erect cock let him know at least one part of his body was fully awake.
“Jack,” he gasped.
His own voice, moaning deeply as if from a long way off, was joined by the dark, liquid sound of Jack chuckling, interrupting the delicious movement of his mouth, to Daniel’s dismay.
“Decided to finally wake up, huh,” he mumbled as he moved his roving mouth back to its place in Daniel’s groin. “Thought I was losing my touch.”
Daniel moaned again as the wonder of Jack’s mouth was joined by the slick hot touch of fingertips against his opening. He tried to shift into the gentle pressure, wanting it there, now! But Jack’s body lay heavy and unmoving across his hips not allowing any participation.
It was so hot to be pinned like this, helpless and trusting Jack to get Daniel where he wanted him to be in the older man’s own sweet time. He couldn’t quite open his eyes; still was a little sleep-drugged and heavy with the sullen heat of being woken this way. A broad fingertip slicked something warm across his lips and his tongue flicked out in response, tasting the rich dark bitterness of coffee; really good coffee. He moaned again, the stimulus of all his waking senses making him dizzy with sensation. When the fingertip returned he sucked it between his lips and licked around it with a questing tongue. This time it was Jack who moaned and the resulting vibrations around Daniel’s cock made his skin tremble and his nipples pucker almost painfully.
“Oh, Fuuuuuuckk…” he cried out as the tip of Jack’s tongue traced along his slit, gathering the pre-cum starting to well there. The easy slide of Jack’s finger into his relaxed body brought him perilously close to coming. Daniel wasn’t sure how long Jack had been working on him, but the push and slide of his fingers seemed to be easy and, as one finger was joined by another, Daniel’s moans became louder and louder. A clever crook of Jack’s longest finger against his prostate caused a spangle of fireworks to go off behind Daniel’s closed lids and sent a bolt of static along his nerve endings to the base of his spine. He could feel his orgasm pooling there, present but not urgent, just coiled and heated. The rasp of morning stubble across the sensitive skin of his inner thigh added another layer to the senses orgy he was being treated to and he felt like his body was on fire with reaction.
Another sensation hit his lips, this time cool and soft and he opened his mouth without thinking, his trust in Jack absolute. Sweetness burst over his tongue as a sliver of mango slid into his mouth and Daniel barely had enough brainpower to marvel at the dexterity of his lover. It was as if Jack had hands everywhere, as a thumb brushing across his sensitized balls had him keening around the mouthful of fruit.
He wanted to open his eyes, to see everything, but an unseen force kept them closed, the darkness behind his eyelids adding to the aura of sensuality that Jack was weaving around him. Another morsel of fruit was wiped across his lips and he accepted it with a hum of ecstasy.
Daniel’s fingers clutched at the cool sheets beneath him as Jack began to bob his head slightly, adding a wet slide to the suction on his iron hard cock. The warm pre-orgasmic coil in his lower back was beginning to get more urgent now, with nerve runs making their way through his groin and into his belly, his abs quivering as his body began to prepare itself for overwhelming pleasure. He reached out blindly with one hand, needing to be a participant in this heady act of love, wanting to ground himself on Jack’s body. His questing hand was caught by Jack’s slightly sticky fingers. His strong thumb pressed against Daniel’s palm, softening the tight claw of his fist and pulling him down to feel the point at which they were joined. Deftly, Jack pulled Daniel’s thumb and last two fingers into his palm and then pushed the other two into his mouth alongside Daniel’s cock.
The sensation overload was overwhelming as the moist heat of Jack’s mouth joined with the tense throbbing of Daniel’s cock against his own fingers. The limber rasp of Jack’s tongue against the pads of his fingertips and the deeper, more insistent suction, alongside the sullen scrape of Jack’s calloused fingers over Daniel’s prostate, all combined to make a pinpoint of bright light bloom behind his eyes as the unstoppable sensation of his orgasm moved through his body like a tsunami. He could hear himself crying out; long streams of unintelligible syllables that, if he’d had any brain cells left to think with, would have put his poor linguistic heart to shame.
He came hard; the straining of his cock and spurt of his come telegraphed to his body through the fingers still pressed hard against Jack’s tongue. The feedback loop of sensory stimulus made his orgasm feel never-ending. Jack gave a startled cry as he tensed into a full body shudder and then thrust once and then twice more against Daniel’s lower leg. The realization that his lover had come, just from sucking him off, made another sharp stab of arousal scream through Daniel’s body, tightening his balls and making him ejaculate again in another thick stream across Jack’s tongue. Jack was moaning, too, and the sound seemed like a living thing against the soft, damp skin of Daniel’s fingers.
By the time Jack’s mouth moved away from his groin and up to his lips, Daniel’s body was trembling with over-stimulation and his breath was coming out in short pants. Jack’s tongue slid gently into his mouth and mixed the flavor of his own release with the lingering sweetness of the fruit. The tenderness of the kiss grounded Daniel again and he gave a last lingering shudder as his lover gently pulled his fingers from Daniel’s body. With an effort of will Daniel opened his eyes to see Jack smiling back at him with a look of unrepentant sappiness.
“You OK?” Jack asked, with more than a hint of smugness.
“Yeah,” Daniel replied, allowing Jack his moment. After all, as their lovemaking went that had been truly spectacular, easily making its way into the top five ‘great Jack/Daniel orgasms of all time’. Not that he would be telling Jack that – not immediately anyway. He settled back onto the pillow and sighed contentedly. The aftershocks were settling, leaving him pleasantly sated and lethargic and his eyelids felt heavy. Daniel drifted for several minutes before the luscious smell of coffee – that really good coffee – dragged him from his doze.
“Gimme,” he demanded as he opened his eyes to see Jack sipping from a large white cup.
“What, this?” Jack teased, peering into his cup as if it were nothing to be excited about.
Daniel growled warningly and shifted on the bed, moving his heavy, over-pleasured limbs with difficulty, until he was sitting up against the headboard. Jack grinned and turned back to the tray on the floor beside the bed. After a moment he placed a second cup in front of Daniel’s face, and with one sniff Daniel was moaning loudly again.
“God, Danny. I go to all this effort to make you moan and all it takes is one measly cup of joe.”
Daniel gave him a scandalized look. “Joe? JOE! This is some of the best coffee money can buy,” he exclaimed huffily. “Simon may have many faults, but his coffee purchases are not one of them.”
“You are such a snob, Dr. Jackson. What’s wrong with a cuppa plain old Nescafe?”
Daniel made the sign of the cross and Jack dissolved into laughter.
“You’re so easy,” he gurgled as he fought to get his giggles under control. He was a Colonel in the Air Force after all and they definitely didn’t giggle.
“We’ll see how much you laugh when I cut you off for the rest of our leave,” Daniel threatened. But the twinkle in his eyes and the latent heat in his expression gave no weight to his threat and Jack knew it.
Jack rose to sit on the edge of the bed and stretched out his back which was aching slightly from the cramped position he had got himself in while he’d been pleasuring his lover.
“What do you want to do today; snorkelling, hiking up the jungle trail?”
“Ja-ack,” Daniel whined. “We only got back last night and although I know it was an easy journey, courtesy of Thor, it’s been a stressful and emotional few days.” He winced at the memory. “Can we just take it easy, chill out here?”
Jack nodded but his expression darkened.
“What?” Daniel had a feeling he knew but hoped Jack would give him some space.
“We need to get to the bottom of this whole thing,” Jack said hesitantly, “and there are still some things we need to talk about.”
Daniel felt all the feel-good emotions flying out of him and a feeling of dread settled in its place.
“There was the third vision, the other kid I saw…he was a teen, thirteen at a guess, and, well…” Jack didn’t know how to breech the discussion of how damaged the kid he’d seen had been. “Things were bad for him…you…because we both know it was you.”
“Nothing happened when I was thirteen, Jack. Nothing bad enough to put that look on your face. Whatever this thing was; it was messing with your mind.” Daniel’s face was set now and Jack knew that look. If he pushed too hard his lover would shut down and it would be impossible to get him to talk. “You’ve been fine for days now and everything is sorted out between us. Can’t we just forget it?”
Jack huffed out a sigh. “Yeah, we could, but what if you need to remember…”
Before he could finish there was a call from the patio below. “Mr. Jack. There is a phone call from Master Simon. I told him you were sleeping, but he said he could do the mathematics for the time difference and it was high time you get…” Izel cleared her throat and Jack could hear the embarrassment. “…el culo gordo de la cama.”
Daniel snorted coffee over the bed clothes and curled in a giggling ball around his coffee cup as Jack leapt up in outrage.
“My… fat… ass…MY FAT ASS!” He ranted as he searched around the bed for the clothes he had thrown around the room the night before. “I’ll give him a fucking fat ass. I’m not the one who’s gained fifty pounds sitting behind a goddamn desk.”
Daniel squealed in a most unmanly way as Jack looked behind him, trying to check out the relative plumpness of his ass, whilst fighting to get on a pair of loose shorts he had plucked bad–temperedly from his duffle. Tears were rolling down the younger man’s cheeks, all the bad mood of minutes before flushed away by the antics of his disgruntled lover.
“Jack, you should shower,” he choked out between bouts of giggles. “We only just…”
Jack glowered back at him. “Oh, no. I’m not letting him get away with that. He just insulted me. He can talk to me with spunk on my leg.” Jack stomped off out of the room and down the outside stairs.
“Yes, Jack,” Daniel shouted after him, “that’ll teach him.”
Snorting with laughter he decided this was all too entertaining to miss so he quickly stepped into the bathroom and gave himself a cursory wipe down with a wet face cloth. He found a pair of the tight swim trunks he knew Jack loved so much and shimmied into them, hoping that once the fun of the phone call was over he could persuade Jack there were much more interesting things to do than talk.
Jack was in full flow by the time Daniel got down to the open plan dining-kitchen. He stretched over his lover and pressed the speaker-phone button so he could hear both sides of the conversation. He was gratified by the intake of breath as the firm flesh of his chest made contact with Jack’s shoulder and arm. It took a moment for Jack to get back into the conversation and by that time Simon was in full flow about his visit with General Hammond.
“Jack, the man is a legend. I’ve never met a CO like him. And the things he had to tell me. Fuuuck, Jonny. You saved the planet.” Simon sounded seriously impressed.
“Once or twice,” Jack said nonchalantly.
Daniel just shook his head at his lover’s modesty. George had obviously read Simon in on the whole program. Daniel wasn’t really surprised. Once you’d met the Asgard it wasn’t much of a leap to believe in snakes in people’s heads and life on other planets.
“Erm, just so you know we’re in the main room at the moment and Izel is prepping lunch,” Jack warned quietly.
“Ah, understood,” Simon agreed.
“So what’s next,” Jack continued. “You can’t tell me he let you in on all the juicy stuff and then left it at that?”
“Well…” Simon began warily.
“Come on Si,” Jack wheedled. “My security clearance is as high if not higher than yours.”
“Maybe in the US. I have my own government to answer to, Jonny, you know that.”
“Spit it out, de’Vere otherwise I’m coming back there and beat it out of you. You know I already owe you for the ‘fat ass’ crack.” Jack was grinning even as he made the threat, shaking his head at Daniel who looked a little concerned at the talk of returning to Scotland. He wasn’t ready for that yet, even though he knew Simon was no threat to him.
“OK, OK,” Simon laughed. “I’m to be made British liaison to the program which means I’ll be spending time in DC and quite a bit in Colorado Springs.” Simon sounded excited at the prospect. “Dav can work from anywhere so we’re thinking about buying a property. I’m coming out there in a few weeks so I thought I could meet up with you both and get some ideas about places to look.”
Jack snorted. “We don’t have many castles in Colorado Springs. Although, I suppose you’re probably rich enough to buy the whole goddamn state.”
Simon huffed out a snort. “I’ll have you know the Granville’s owned half of America before the lot of you got all uppity, wanting Independence.”
Daniel grinned at Jack’s open-mouthed amazement and then sauntered over to the kitchen area where Izel was splitting her concentration between slicing carrots into julienne and listening in on the banter between her employer and Jack. She gave him a broad smile and a little nod of the head as he slipped a few of the finished slivers of carrot into his hand and started munching happily.
“If you let us know what you’re looking for Danny and me will do a trawl of the real estate agents and find you some properties to look at. And at a pinch there’s always Danny’s loft.” Jack looked over at Daniel who nodded agreeably. “You’d feel right at home there, Si,” Jack continued, his eyes twinkling. “It’s full of dusty old antiques, just like the castle.”
Half a carrot flew across the room and landed with a slight ‘thwap’ on Jack’s bare chest. He glared at Daniel who looked back with an air of studied innocence before looking over at Izel, who lifted her hands in mock surrender and shook her head. Jack snagged the vegetable and crunched into it with a flourish. “But, really,” he continued through his mouthful, “it would be somewhere to crash while you’re looking and it’s not too far from the base.”
“Well, as long as Daniel doesn’t mind giving up his bed and sleeping on the couch, although…” Daniel could hear the mischief in the Englishman’s voice, “…I’m happy to share, especially if Dav is away on a shoot. Could be I’ll need someone to keep me company.”
The sound that came from Jack could only be called a growl and Daniel almost choked on his mouthful of carrot. Izel giggled and hid her mouth behind her hand as her eyes sparkled with merriment.
“You’ll keep your fucking hands to yourself de’Vere. I have access to some very interesting weaponry.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know you’re a one-man man now. How is our beautiful malo kopač?”
Jack frowned. That phrase sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. Then a look of recognition flittered across his face as he recognized and placed it in the dim distant past. “Shit, Simon…”
“Lisjack.” They both crowed together.
“Fuck, I haven’t thought about that SOB for years…” Jack shook his head as he began to reminisce.
Izel and Jack were so intent on the conversation with Simon that neither of them noticed the color drain from Daniel’s face. The slices of carrot fell from his hand as it began to shake and Daniel brought one hand up to rub the opposite wrist. Without another word he took a step back and then another until he found himself outside on the patio. Without pausing he turned and made his way quickly down the steps and onto the beach, picking up speed until he hit the sand at full pelt, his feet slamming down on the wet sand at the edge of the surf. He ran blindly, driven by a growing terror that crawled up his back; the kind of sixth sense he had learned in the field that told him his worst nightmare was coming up behind and that he should run, Run, RUN!
The beach house was soon way back, across the bay, and still Daniel felt he could not slow down, that he should not stop. Stillness was dangerous and only by moving away could he be sure the unnamed terror was not catching him up. Years of running for pleasure and fitness and then for his life meant he was fit and a strong athlete, but the fear that had made him run came laced with the adrenaline of fight or flight and he felt himself getting dragged into the kind of panic he had not felt for decades. His limbs became leaden and his muscles started to lock until his knees gave out underneath him and he fell heavily, his whole body shaking. He dropped forward and balanced precariously on his arms, his head lolling between his shoulders, as he emptied what little was in his stomach into the rolling waves
Jack rubbed his hand over his face and chortled. “Dikan Lisjack. I haven’t thought about that Croatian asshole for thirty years.”
“That was a great TDY,” Simon reminisced. “We had a lot of fun and the mission was an easy one. Just that quick in and out.”
“Was that the one where you were supposed to photograph the drug baron’s lair and ended up in the local brothel,” Jack wondered, rubbing his chin. “You never explained how that particular mistake happened.”
“Hey, I was concentrating on taking the pictures.”
“And you weren’t surprised that the base of operations of a drug gang was full of beds and scantily clad ladies of the night?”
“Hey, gay man here. I thought it was some kind of front.”
“So, yeah, that explains the roll of film full of snaps of a particularly buff guy wearing very little – you’re going to tell me next you thought he was the brains of the operation.”
Simon snorted out a laugh. “Well, it wasn’t his brains that caught my attention.”
Jack shook his head. “No, I remember what it was that caught your attention – there were 36 shots of it. I don’t know how you kept getting away with all that shit.”
“Good looks, charm and charisma.”
Jack blew a raspberry at the handset. “Yeah, right. More like good luck, and a partner who covered your back.”
“That you did Jonny-boy, that’s true. I can’t even remember why I know that dumb bit of Croatian. I just remember what it meant and that Dikan used to say it all the time.”
“’Little Digger’. That old bastard used to rag Henderson with that stupid nickname, just because he always got landed with latrine duty. Although I must admit it was all the useless bastard was good for. He used to hate it when Dikan shouted it across camp though. Not that Henderson knew what it meant until you decided to tell him.”
“Hey, Henderson asked me – what was I going to do, lie to him? Name fits our Danny though, really well, wouldn’t you say.” Simon commented.
“Our Danny?” Jack growled.
“Yeah, yeah, OK. So…How is your ‘little digger’?”
Jack looked back to where Daniel had been standing and was a little surprised to find he was no longer there. He glanced over at Izel who also looked shocked to find that Daniel had disappeared from the kitchen. She shrugged and shook her head. Wiping her hands on a dishtowel she walked over to the open doors and looked out into the patio and plunge pool. Lifting her hand to her eyes she shaded them as she looked across the patio and up the beach towards the head of the bay.
“I’d ask him but he’s done a disappearing act,” Jack grumbled. He hoped that Daniel wasn’t still feeling disgruntled about his past relationship with Simon. In fact, he was still feeling a little concerned that they had not yet dealt with the issue of the last dream Jack’d had. That kid was in real physical and emotional pain and yet Daniel was denying all knowledge. The other two visions- dreams, whatever- had proved to have direct links with Daniel’s younger life so Jack was pretty sure this one did, too. Jack gave a shudder that had nothing to do with the temperature in the room and remembered the empty despair he had seen in the dream-kid’s eyes. Then, with a sudden wave of nausea Jack got a flashback of that exact last dream and the kid’s voice telling him,
“Tell him it’s time for malo kopač to be put to rest. He has to remember me…Make him remember me…”
“Jack…Jack, what’s wrong?”
Jack heard Simon’s voice as if from a long way off. Shit, he had to find Daniel.
“Si, I’ll have to call you back,” he managed to spit out before he dropped the handset on the sofa and swung out of the room at a dead run, hearing the tinny sound of Simon shouting his name. As he passed Izel she pointed to the far side of the bay where he could make out the small figure of Daniel, folded in half in the surf. Without another word Jack set off across the beach at a dead run, ignoring the jarring of his ankles and knees on the soft sand before he hit the hard pack on the edge of the surf and ran like the devil himself was chasing behind. As he got closer to his lover he could see the younger man was heaving and throwing up into the surf and he felt a hard lump of ice form in his belly. Thirty seconds later he was skidding to a halt on his knees in the sand next to Daniel’s trembling body. He reached out to draw his lover to him and was shocked to see abject fear pouring from his eyes.
“Danny, baby, it’s just me, just Jack.” He reached for Daniel with one hand, but his lover just scooted back into the sea, the gentle waves breaking over his thighs as he sat down heavily in the water.
Jack sat very still, watching as Daniel’s eyes darted from left to right, looking for a way out. Jack was sure that Daniel wasn’t seeing him or the beach around him and his worst fears were confirmed when the young man stretched his hands out towards Jack. He was holding them pressed together at the wrist; as if they were bound and Jack swallowed hard as he recognized that pose from his vision of the thirteen year old.
“Please,” Daniel croaked, his voice hoarse from vomiting. “Please…”
Jack felt useless, not knowing how to help his lover, who was obviously caught in the memory of an awful time. He had no idea what to do and no access to anyone to ask. He was kicking himself for not insisting they go back to the mountain. This was some kind of alien influence and he had allowed Daniel to get caught up in it. It was bad enough when Jack himself was dealing with the dreams and the horrible nausea, but Daniel seemed to be caught up in whatever this was and Jack knew enough psychology to realize he was probably in a very dangerous place right now.
A movement to his right caught his eye and in his peripheral vision he saw Izel hurrying along the beach towards them. He put out his hand slowly, wanting to prevent her from coming too close. He didn’t want Daniel to be spooked into running again; Jack thought having to tackle him to the ground would not be the best action right now. But rather than stopping she passed right by him and moved slightly further up the beach. Moving slowly so as not to startle Daniel, Jack moved his head to watch her, wondering what she was going to do.
That’s when he saw him, just as he had been in the dream; thin and gaunt and tied tightly at the wrists. Jack’s heart began to hammer hard in his chest as he watched Izel approach the phantom child. She stopped a few feet from the boy and, bending slowly at the waist, began to speak to him in low, soothing tones. At first the boy didn’t seem to even realize she was there, his focus totally on the trembling figure of Daniel. But after a few moments he turned away and began to look over at Izel. She murmured to him for a few seconds more before he nodded his head solemnly and stood shakily, his bound hands held stiffly against his chest.
Jack wanted him to stop moving, didn’t want him to come anywhere near Daniel. He was afraid of what it would mean; scared of what he would find out. But deep down he knew this had to happen. Whatever horrors Daniel had gone through as a boy, he needed to remember them and then this could all be over. But what that actually meant for Daniel Jack could only guess. All he could hope was that they could find their way through it without it causing Daniel serious psychological damage. There was no time to get expert help. Jack and Izel were all the help there was. He just hoped it would be enough.
“Mr. Daniel,” Izel spoke softly, her voice a caress against the soft susurration of the surf. Daniel slowly turned to look at her, his eyes wide and brimming with tears. “No more running away,” she whispered gently. “It is time. He is here to help you remember. It is time.”