She’s a Wonderful Wife

Daughter of the Gods: She’s a Wonderful Wife
(A Christmas Story)
By
Lisa Beth Darling
a/k/a
Moon Mistress

Chapter One

Did you say she was pretty?
Did you say she loves you?
Baby, I don’t wanna know.

Silver Springs
Stevie Nicks

When you stopped and thought about it, six months wasn’t a long period of time. Yet, within that small space of time, so many things could change. The heat of long summer days gave way to the increasingly cold and shortening days of winter. Over at the SGC, Dr. Janet Frasier was killed in action. General Hammond took a job with the pentagon and moved away. Colonel O’Neill was now General O’Neill. Major Samantha Carter was now Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter. Dr. Daniel Jackson, former stellar member of SG-1 was now Head of Cultural, Archeological and Linguists Research, along with that rather heavy title came a bigger paycheck, a spacious office, a lab and a staff of five assistants.

Back at home, the twins were growing by leaps and bounds. Although they were two months premature for normal babies, they were actually four months ahead of schedule for the same. At six months of age, they were babbling away, not just nonsense, sometimes, quite often in fact, real words with real meaning spilled from their chubby little lips. They were toddling around the house and Calla had gone down to Toys R Us not more than two weeks ago and purchased a slew of baby gates to keep the corralled up in whichever room she needed them to stay at the time. The gates were useful but they wouldn’t serve for long, soon the twins would discover how to climb over them or knock them down out of their way. Calla spent much of her days chasing after them and making sure they didn’t get into trouble. Everything breakable or valuable in the house was either three feet from the floor or had temporarily been packed away and stored in the attic.

It was Thursday, which meant tomorrow was Friday. On Fridays, Calla brought the twins across the street and left with Mrs. Anderson, a very pleasant grandmotherly type of woman, for two to three hours while she did the grocery shopping and ran the household errands. In anticipation of such, Calla sat on the couch making a list while the twins took their morning nap. Although they were more active and growing faster than most children, they were also more tired. It took a lot of energy to keep them going at that rate, two Energizer Bunnies running around the house. They took a morning and an afternoon nap, which was fortunate for Calla as it allowed her to catch her breath and collect her thoughts. Sipping from a fresh cup of coffee while she jotted down the items she would pick up at the grocery store, the phone began to ring. Quick as she could, she rose to answer it before the clanging woke the babies.

“Hello,” she said into the transmitter. No one replied. “Hello.” She repeated. “Is anyone there?” Calla waited and listened, someone was breathing on the other end of the line, so why didn’t they say anything? “Hello.” The caller did not answer, Calla hung up the phone and dismissed it as what Daniel called a prank phone call. Before she could resume her seat, Nicholas began to cry in his crib. “Well, that’s that.” She grumbled as she picked up the notepad and pencil. Making her way into the kitchen, she put them down on the table and took a bottle from the refrigerator. Her son was making a hell of a racket; he was bound to wake up his sister. She reached in and pulled out another one, took the tops off and popped them into the microwave to heat. Calla always dreaded feeding them like this; it made her feel less of a mother, as though she’d done something wrong.

When the twins were a month and half old, they began to wail throughout the day and night. Their little hands would ball up into tiny fists that would shake in the air while their faces reddened and they screamed beyond belief. Nothing she or Daniel did consoled them, not even driving them around in the car, which was something that almost always put them to sleep. Finally, she had given in and allowed Daniel to make an appointment for them with Dr. O’Gara who was placed in charge of the Medical Department of the SGC upon the event of Dr. Janet Frasier’s death. Calla was loathe to allow him near her children, not after the day she had spent in The Lab with him and Daniel. It was obvious to her that her children were in pain and they needed help, so she allowed Dr. O’Gara to examine them.

According to Dr. O’Gara, the twins suffered from colic. This wasn’t life threatening and it was not anything out of the ordinary, in fact it was quite common among human babies. His answer to the problem was to try Soy Formula, it was his belief they were either allergic to or not properly digesting Calla’s breast milk. The idea that she was somehow harming her children infuriated Calla. This was not something that was “common” among Olympian Babies, which her children were half. Olympian Babies did not drink some concoction that came out of a can nor did they nurse from plastic bottles. Nonetheless, on the way home, Daniel and Calla stopped at the local Shop & Save and picked up two canisters of Similac Soy Formula. Daniel convinced her to do this by appealing to the Mother inside of her and telling her that even the chance was totally minuscule that this was the problem, she owed it to them to find out.

Much to her dismay, the formula worked like some Magick Charm. They drank, they slept, they no longer cried and balled up their little fists.

The microwave dinged, Calla reached in and took the bottles out, capped them and then made her up the stairs to the nursery. During the day, she missed Daniel, especially at feeding time. Their mid-morning snack consisted only of the bottles of formula, in another hour to hour and a half they would have a lunch of oatmeal and peaches. Upon entering the nursery, she saw Nicholas standing up in his crib, his arms reached out not to her but to the bottle as she walked through the door. His little legs began to do what she called the “I Want It Dance”, they jogged up and down faster and faster the closer she came, making the dark ringlets on his head bounce, he smiled a wide one-tooth grin at her, his onyx eyes lighting up as an excited ‘oooooo, ooooo’ came from his little lips. “Do you want this?” She asked her son and held the bottle out to him, he leaned in and reached for it but she did not give it to him. “Nah, you don’t want this yucky old stuff.” She teased and then chuckled as legs pumped harder and his little arms stretched out to it. “Oh, fine, here ya go.” Calla capitulated and handed her son the warm bottle. Nicholas popped it in his mouth and promptly threw himself down on his back in the crib. Raising the bottle high with both his hands and feet, he drank greedily of the foul smelling stuff.

Turning around to the other side of the room, Colleen was peeking at her through the bars of her own crib. She smiled a coy grin at her mother when she realized that mom was looking back. Like her brother, Colleen’s hair was in ringlets but they were a dark auburn and her eyes the clearest blue, like her father. Leaning over the top of the crib and smiling back at her daughter, Colleen began to laugh and then hold her arms out. Calla picked her up, settled in the rocking chair and began to feed her. Colleen was perfectly capable of holding the bottle but she preferred not to. Rather, Colleen liked to be held while she ate and to allow her mother to do whatever work was involved with the process. “Little Princess,” Calla cooed as she held her daughter in her arms and rocked the chair.

Never in her wildest dreams did she believe that one-day she would hold a child of her own, a living breathing healthy baby that she bore. Kanan had seen to that. No, not that long ago, Calla felt certain that she would spend all the rest of her days on Tiberia as Naganti Kanan’s Cha’Dech. Now, everything was different. Everything had changed. She had a husband who loved her and would go to the ends of the Earth for her; he had proven that twice already. Calla had these two little bundles of joy to fill her days with joy and happiness, not to mention a nice house, warm food on the table and a hot bath every night. As far as she was concerned, so long as everything remained the way it was, she could not ask for more and, one day in the distant future, she could die a happy woman.

Emerald eyes turned their stare to the window snow was falling outside again. There was a pleasant dusting of it on the ground already and the weatherman said he expected to see a few more inches by tomorrow morning. The big storm, the one everyone was talking about and gearing up for, was due to come in on Sunday and blanket the entire area with up to a foot of the cold white stuff. That reminded her, she needed to check the oil in the tank and bring in some wood for the weekend, she’d do that after the children were fed and in their playpen in the living room.

Coming from the living room, kitchen, downstairs den and her bedroom, the phone began to ring again. Colleen was happy and content in her lap, let the answering machine pick it up. Five rings and Daniel’s voice was heard coming from the machine downstairs telling the caller that no one could get to the phone at the moment and to please leave a message.

No message followed his voice. Must have been that caller calling back and realizing they were dialing the wrong number.

Plop.

Calla looked up to see Nicholas had tossed his empty bottle onto the nursery floor and was now jumping up and down in place smiling and holding his arms out to her. “Just a minute, Little Prince, your sister isn’t finished.”

Seeming to understand her, a little pout crossed his face and he ceased his jumping.

Within a few moments, one full child in each arm, Calla made her way down the steps and back to the living room where she placed the twins in the playpen on her way to check the oil. She looked quickly at the answering machine to see that its little red light was blinking, indicating there was a message. That was strange; she had not heard the caller’s voice at all. Pressing the button she waited, and waited and waited. All that greeted her ears was 30 seconds of dead tape. Not dead, breathing was heard and it seemed to her that the caller even shifted the phone from one ear to the other while they sat silent.

A cold shiver ran down her delicate spine and she shut the machine off.

“Now, you two behave yourself and momma will be right back.” She told the twins as she quickly dashed the basement steps and checked the level in the tank, 1/3 it said. Well, that meant a call to the oil company. Calla liked to keep the tank as full as possible. Coming back through the kitchen she heard the children laughing and cooing but something did not sound quite right about it, she was certain they were no longer in their playpen. “How did they get out?” She asked herself as she emerged from the doorway and stopped short at the sight before her. “Father!” She cried and, like her children a few moments ago, excitedly held her arms out to Ares who was sitting on the couch with one child on each knee.

Looking up and smiling that devastatingly handsome and devilish grin at her he said, “He looks like me.”

“I know.” She agreed and wrapped her arms around his neck while she planted a hearty kiss upon his cheek. “And you need a shave.”

“Oh, well I’ll get right on that.” Ares teased his daughter as he gazed up into her gleaming eyes. “Well, I was going to ask but I can already see; mortal married life seems to agree with you. Yes,” he reached a long thick finger out and placed it under her chin, “yes it does, very much.”

“Disappointed, Father?” Calla sat on the couch next to him. “Did you hope to find me pulling my hair out and saying that I’d had enough of Daniel and the children?”

Ares placed Colleen on her mother’s lap so that he could wrap his strong arm around his daughter and pull her in close to hug her tight. “I can dream, can’t I?”

“Oh, Father!” Calla playfully slapped him on the shoulder and then settled back against his warm. “Honestly, you’re such a tease. What are you doing here? Why didn’t you tell me you were coming, I would have made the house a bit more presentable to you.” She looked around and took note of the toys scattered across the living room floor and the fact that she hadn’t dusted in a few days.

“Well, you know, I’ve heard about this thing that’s popular among mortals at this time of year and I wanted to come and see if you were taking part in it.” Lord Ares explained while he bounced a squirming Nicholas on his lap.

“What is that?” Calla asked and sat up.

“Christmas.” Ares said flatly. “I thought if you were going to….”

“Christmas!?” Calla explained. “What’s today?” She asked hurriedly.

“That’s usually my questions, with you among the mortals now I should think that you always knew what day and date it was.” Although his tone was dry, he smiled at her. “For your information it’s Thursday, December the thirteenth.” Ares rose and placed the baby on the floor; he took Colleen from Calla’s arms and placed her down next to her brother. “And I thought if you were going to take part that I might like to be part of it as well. That is if you think your husband won’t mind my presence too much.”

“I will ask Daniel.”

“If I can come??” Now his tone was dry and his lips tight.

“No, if he wants to celebrate the holiday.” Last Christmas had not been much of a holiday for poor Daniel, not with her in the infirmary still recovering from David. Although, when she was released he had given her the most beautiful Guild guitar and said it was a Christmas present. Almost daily, she played it for the children hoping to instill in them the same love of music she had but it seemed they were born with that particular appreciation. Nicholas would clap his little hands together while Colleen toddled around in circles, her version of dancing. “You’re welcome here anytime, Father, you know that, Daniel told you so.”

“Hum, as if he meant it.”

“He did!”

“If you say so, let’s not argue over it, my dear.” Lord Ares settled his large frame on the couch once more and took his daughter’s hands in his own.

“Are you serious about this, Father? This Christmas thing?” She turned to look up at his battle-etched face. “Why? What do you care about it? For that matter, what do you care for any mortals’ celebration, lest it be in your own name?”

Lord Ares, ever the consummate chess player, eluded her query. “Tell me, what time does Daniel usually return home? I imagine he’s working, yes?”

“Of course he is, he got a big promotion and an office, a staff.” She leaned in close to her father, “It’s a very big deal, you know.”

“Good for him. Now, about the time….”

Calla thought about it for a moment, “He usually returns home around six or six-thirty. Why?”

“Is that the same time that Samantha returns to her home?”

“Oh,” she pulled her hands away from his, “I get it. You didn’t come to see us, you came to see her.” Although she didn’t mean it, her tone was very accusatory. “Is that what this Christmas thing is really about? Honestly, Father! You‘re incorrigible!”

“Do not speak to me that way, Callestah; I am still your Father.”

“A fact which will never escape me, no matter how hard I try.” She bemoaned.

“Wha….” Lord Ares stopped as his daughter smiled, “Making fun at my expense, are you? My, how things have changed.” He remarked. “Very good.”

“If you’re going to see her Father,” she held up her hand as she saw the look crossing his face, “I don’t mind if you do. I do mind if you pretend that this family is your priority when it is not. “

“Message received, “ he said in a dry voice and then leaned in to plant a rough kiss upon his daughters’ tender cheek. “You are always my priority. “

Looking deep into those depthless onyx orbs, she believed him. Calla kissed him back and relaxed. She hadn’t meant to be angry and wasn’t really sure why she should be. Still, the fact remained, that at least a little bit, she did not like the idea of her father with Samantha Carter. “I don’t know what time Samantha returns home, she may be off world at the moment.” Calla explained about Sam’s big promotion and how she was now the head of SG-1 and Jack was now a General. “However, you should call her first or something, don’t just go popping into her home, it’s rude.”

“Hum, so I should have knocked upon the door of my own daughters’ house, should I?”

“Yes,” she teased. “You don’t know, Daniel and I could have been making love in this very couch as we did last night.” If only that were true, we have not made love in almost three weeks.

Lord Ares was quick to his feet. “You what? And you let me sit there??”

At his tone and the expression on her Fathers’ face, Calla broke out in a fit of laughter that she could not contain. After a few minutes of looking at him, his face becoming more and more narrow with each burst of laughter coming from her she finally calmed down and broke the news to him. “I think she has a boyfriend, Father, Pete somebody. I’m not really sure.”

“Oh really?” Lord Ares inquired in a dark longing voice.

“I’m afraid so. You have not been around in six months, did you expect her to just sit on her hands and wait for you?”

“No, I suppose not.” Samantha was a beautiful, strong and vibrant woman; she probably had a whole slew of gentlemen callers knocking upon her door at any given time. “Well, you know, the least you could do is offer your Old Man something to drink, a small morsel of food perhaps. Where’s that Nectar I sent you here with? Break it out. Let’s get smashed.”

Calla rolled her eyes and groaned. “It’s still in the casks in the basement, you bring one up if you like.”

“You haven’t touched it, have you?” Now his tone was no longer playful but deadly serious. “Callestah! What am I to do with you? How do you intend to keep up your strength if you do not feed properly? And my grandchildren have they not had any? Any at all?” With each word, his voice boomed louder and grew more forceful. “Look at you!” He hauled her to feet by her elbows. “You’re wasting away to nothing.” Lord Ares put one of his hands on each side of her waist; they had no trouble meeting in front and back. “Don’t make me chastise you further, I’m going down to the basement and bring up a cask, you and I will have a good long drink and I am going to make sure that they get some as well.” Ares disappeared from the living room, not through the door, but through the air.

“I hate that stuff!” She called after him. “I won’t drink it!”

“You will and so will they.” The tone of his deep voice certainly did not entertain the thought of forth coming argument. “You require this, especially now and so do they. I don’t care if it makes you feel different or uncomfortable, you will drink it.” Ares thrust a large golden chalice of the liquid before her. “Now, don’t argue with me daughter, you will lose.”

Without looking up at him, Calla took the chalice from his hand and raised it to her lips. The sickeningly sweet and thick liquid slid down her gullet. “Can I at least have some ice?”

“No, you will not water it down.” With his catcher’s mitt sized hands, he reached down and picked up little Nicholas. “Here you go, my boy, have a good sip of this.” The God of War dipped his finger into the liquid and let the baby suckle it from his skin. “That’s good, isn’t it?” His cross-eyes raised to take in his daughter, “No matter what your mother says.” Repeatedly the baby boy licked his grandfathers’ fingertip clean, until Ares raised the cup to his lip and allowed him to drink from it. The weight of Callas’ stare did not escape him. “Very good.” Ares settled the baby back onto the floor. “Your turn.” He said happily, as he settled Colleen on his lap.

“Don’t you give that to her.”

“Don’t threaten me.” Ares raised the cup to the baby’s lip and kept his eyes fixed on his daughter while she drank. “Finish it.”

Tossing him an angry glare, she threw the last of the nectar down her throat and settled the chalice on the coffee table with a forceful thud. “There. Happy?” She did not wait for a reply but grabbed her daughter from Ares’ lap and settled her down next to her brother.

“You never did know what was good for you.” Ares said as he rose. “You don’t want to drink it, that’s up to you, don’t deny it to them.” The pitch black eyes softened as he knelt at the floor by his grandchildren. “I’ll be back soon, take care of your mother while I’m gone.” He kissed each upon the top of the head before rising once more. “I will be back for Christmas and I expect a big party with all the trimmings.” Lord Ares took two large strides toward Calla and raised her from the couch to her feet. “I love you, daughter. You are different.” He looked down at the children playing happily on the carpet. “They are different. You will never be like them, the mortals you live among and try so hard to emulate and neither will your children. Nothing will ever change that.” With one last kiss of his soft lips, Calla’s father disappeared from the living room and house altogether.

Chapter Two

By 6:30, Daniel was pulling into the driveway. Opening the kitchen door, he was greeted by two enormously happy faces covered with chocolate pudding. “Da, Da, Da, Da, Da,” Nicholas repeated excitedly as he held his sticky hands out. Colleen bobbed up and down in her high chair also reaching out to him. “Well, look at this!” He cried. “Where is your mother?”

“Right here,” Calla said as she emerged from the doorway with a warm wet rag in her hand, “I had to go find something to clean them up with.” She strode over to him on legs that were a bit unsteady due to the Nectar she had imbibed earlier in the day. Not only did she hate the taste of it, she hated the way it made her feel afterward. For hours she would feel as though she were on the verge of intoxication, just hanging her toes right over that line, and it would simply stay that way. Her head, nose, and fingertips all tingled and her ears felt prickly. “How was your day?” Calla leaned in to kiss him and caught the fresh floral scent of an unknown perfume.

“Long,” he mumbled and brushed past her on his way to the children. “Let me help,” he held his out for the towel. Daniel cleaned them up while Calla removed the plastic plates and spoons which were caked with pudding from the trays of the high chairs. “So, I can see you’ve already had desert, so that must mean it’s… bath time,” Daniel said happily as he removed the last of the goo from Colleens’ hand.

Bath time, it was both the children and Daniel’s favorite time of day by far. The babies bounced happily in their chairs as just the mention of the coming event. “Why don’t you finish up down here, and I’ll get them ready.” Daniel told her as he hoisted them free.

“Sure, I’ll be up in a few minutes.” Calla stood silently in the kitchen while she listened to them go up the stairs and thought of what her father had said. Yes, she was different, why should have to clean this mess up like scullery maid? Any other night she would have spent twenty minutes cleaning up the high chairs, washing down the table and doing the dishes. Perhaps, not tonight. Tossing the dirty rag into the kitchen sink, Calla closed her eyes while gently waving her hand through the air. When she opened them not a trace of the former mess remained. The kitchen was spotless once more. “Much better.”

The next hour was taken up watching the babies splash around in the bath, washing them, drying them, and getting them ready for bed. Daniel held Colleen and fed her the bottle while Nicholas happily drifted off to sleep holding his own to his lips. Taking advantage of the quiet, Calla stole a few moments for a hot shower after which she slipped into her nightgown and robe for the evening.

Sitting by a roaring fire, the twins blissfully asleep upstairs, Calla broached the coming subject as Daniel sat across the room making notes on his ever-present yellow pad. “Daniel, Father came by today.” She began.

Daniel stopped making notes and looked up at her silently for a moment, a puzzled look on his face and finally he said; “And how is he?”

“Nice recovery,” she complimented with a smile. “He’s fine.” Calla scooted forward on the couch cushion and leaned toward her husband. “He would like it if we would celebrate Christmas. What do you think?”

Thinking took a few moments as Daniel mulled the idea over in his mind. “Christmas?” He stuttered. “Ares?”

“Yes,” Calla replied with a patient sigh. “I know it seems strange and I really can’t tell you why, but he did request it. Christmas with all the trimmings.”

“Lights, tree, presents, food?” Daniel began to shake his head while the image of the God of War tried to find a resting place in his brain. “Ares?”

“For the last time, yes.” Calla stood and warmed herself by the fire. “Well?” He did not answer her. “You think it’s a terrible idea, don’t you?” Rubbing her hands together before the flames, she stared deep into the fire. “I know, we’re not Christian and we probably shouldn’t celebrate….”

“No,” Daniel found himself saying, “I think it’s a great idea.”

Calla turned to look at him, this time she had the quizzical expression. “You don’t think it’s sacrilegious? Blasphemous?”

“No,” he stood up and walked over to her. “Christmas as we celebrate it today didn’t begin until the 19th century, Calla. Santa Claus, reindeer, elves, cards, gifts, the whole thing.” Daniel wrapped his arms around his wife’s shoulders. “If you want to do it, then we’ll do it.” She still looked at him, unappeased at his explanation. “I think, whether you’re Christian or not, Jesus Christ likes a party, and the more people who come to celebrate with Him, no matter who they are or what they believe, the more He likes it.” At that, she smiled.

Daniel had expected to spend the rest of the night working on his translation but instead found himself making Christmas lists. It was decided that they would buy as many presents as they liked for the children but only one each for their friends and two for each other. Daniel was very much against what he called “the commercialization of Christmas” and did not want to buy into it, even it if was the family’s first Christmas. A list was made for gifts. One for cards only. One for those to invite for Christmas dinner. Jack, Teal’c, Sam, Ares and the four members of the Jackson family would make up the table. The mention of Sam’s new boyfriend Pete was not heard. “It’s a lot of work, you know?” He cautioned as he glanced at the lists they had made. “I want you to bundle up when you go out shopping, the stores are mobbed and the traffic will be awful.”

Calla frowned and held tighter to his hand. Bundling up she could do, if she remembered. Often she forgot her gloves or scarf; occasionally she even forgot the coat. It was the thought of a mob of people, which made her draw back the most; she hated to be lost in a crowd. “Will you help me…with the shopping?”

“Yeah,” Daniel smoothed the palm of his hand across the top of her head and down the length of her tresses to her waist. “I’ll come early a few nights and drive you.”

“Thank you.” It was getting late, she looked deep into the eyes she loved so much and saw no desire there. Concern was present. Understanding was present. Warmth was present. Lust, Longing and Desire were absent. “I’m going to bed.” Calla kissed his cheek and rose to her feet. “Come up whenever you’re ready.” She took the lists up in her hand and disappeared through the doorway to the kitchen.

Daniel sat up another two hours working in the La-Z-Boy, by the time he turned into bed, unshowered, his wife was fast asleep. Reaching out his hand under the covers, he felt the silken warmth of her skin, the soft round curve of her naked thigh. Slowly he reached round her, there was no nightgown. Calla was completely naked beside him. She never slept that way until after they made love, especially now that the nights were cold; she always had one of those pretty floor length nightgowns on when he came to bed. In her sleep, she began to sigh as she rolled her body toward his touch.

How long had it been? He did not know. So busy with work, the new position was a lot of extra responsibility and even though he wasn’t going out in the field any longer, that did not make his hours any shorter. The workload was incredible; he had new things flying at him every day from every SGC team that returned home. Staff always coming in and out of his office asking him questions! It seemed there was hardly ever a quiet moment any more and he had expected the new job would make things easier on both of them. What a joke.

However long it had been since he last made love with her, certainly it had been too long for her liking if she were laying naked here and now. The Desire Calla had not seen in his eyes before she went to sleep began to sparkle as Daniel leaned in close to kiss the wanting lips which were turning toward him.

In the sweet dream she had been having, the sun was bright and warm. Daniel was naked by her side and they were making love in a field of wild flowers. As he leaned in to kiss her, she caught the scent of something familiar and unwanted.

In the bed, she turned away from his touch, settled on her side and rested once more. Daniel turned out the light and went to sleep.

Chapter Three

Soon after Daniel left for work, Calla gathered the children up in her arms and traveled the Astral to her Father’s cave.

Rising in surprise and delight as she appeared before him Ares held out his arms to all three of them. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company today?” He asked.

“Daniel has agreed to celebrate Christmas.” She told him and looked around at the new harem. “I see you’ve wasted no time, Father.”

“You know how I hate to be alone.” Ares whispered.

“Hump,” Calla sighed and then proceeded to fill her Father in on the details of the upcoming Christmas event.

“Must I get a gift for each of them?” Ares asked.

“Do as you like, Father, so long as you behave yourself.” She warned in a playful tone. “How did things go with Samantha?”

“Very well,” he said with a sly smile. “Will she be joining us?”

“Yes.” Calla huffed. “Behave yourself.” She warned in a slow voice. “I like Samantha, Father and I don’t wish to see her get hurt.”

“Is that what’s bothering you, daughter?” Lord Ares asked with a raised eyebrow and then shook his head. “ Why you seem so…uptight?“ Ares asked with a pout and then stroked the beard at his chin; he looked over at her from the top of his dark eyes. “I don’t think it is.” He circled around her in long strides while his eyes took her in. “I think you lied to me, daughter.” Hot steamy breath danced across her ear as he leaned in close to her. “You know something else? I think something is…missing….” Ares inhaled a large breath through flared nostrils and held it in his billowed chest; slowly he let it out again. “I don’t smell the slightest whiff of….”

“I’ll see you on the 25th, Father.” Calla interjected and then disappeared before he could finish his thought.

Chapter Four

By December 20th he house was full of gifts! They were crammed into every nook and cranny that Calla could possibly fit them in. She bought loads of toys for the children, books, dolls, and learning DVDs by the cartful. Although she tried hard to stick to the one present apiece rule, there were just a few little things she wanted to get for each of their friends and so she did.

True to his word, Daniel came home early almost all the next week and they battled the Christmas Shoppers together. The stores were crowded, the roads were mobbed and bad now that the snow had become so deep, and overall, while she liked buying things for the people she loved, Calla hated Christmas Shopping. Worst of all it was so cold these days, the sun was gone by four in the afternoon and if she didn’t wear the big heavy mittens Daniel had given her last year, her fingers were frozen within moments. The blanket was in the backseat of the car once more, she would bundle it over her knees while they drove around. Last night, on their way home, they stopped and purchased a large Christmas tree at a roadside stand. It took a good deal of the night to move the living room furniture around and wrangle the thing through the front door but they finally managed it and now it stood in a stand by the picture window waiting for her to decorate it.

Calla now stood at the dining room table wrapping the last of the gifts while Nicholas and Colleen happily munched on ArrowRoot cookies in their swings being entertained by Thomas the Tank Engine.

The telephone began to ring. Calla looked into the kitchen to see the clock on the stove; 11:43. Glancing back at the phone she decided to let the machine pick it up. Daniel’s cheery message flicked on and then was followed by dead silence while the caller held the line and their tongue. She wished whoever it was would stop calling, it was obvious that they had the wrong number. Why did they have to sit there like that? Why couldn’t they at least say something or just hang up? The caller held the line until she shut the machine off.

With a small annoying shiver running down her spine and pile of brightly wrapped gifts behind her. “Well, whoever it is, we don’t want to know them either, now do we?” She asked of her son who was looking up at her with a quizzical expression, half-mauled cookie in his hand. Colleen held her arms out to her mother, Calla planted a peck on her cookie-strewn cheek and was happily surprised when the baby put her arms around her mother’s neck and gave her a much-needed hug. “My two troopers,” Calla remarked and turned her attention to that barren tree in the living room.

Earlier in the day she had gone up to the attic and pulled some old photographs from a trunk she had stored up there, along with a few boxes of what she now knew were Christmas decorations. Once she had the lights on the tree, she plugged them in.

“Oooooooo” Nicholas shouted with delight and balled his little fists while he shook them in the air.

“Ury,” Colleen agreed.

“Pret-ty”, Calla corrected. “Pret-ty, just like you.”

“Put-ty, eee!” She mimicked back with glee.

With one eye on the faded color Polaroid and one on the tree, she began to hang the ornaments very carefully, one by one, until her work was almost finished.

The ornaments were old; some were brightly colored glass balls while others were most treasured decorations made by children long grown into men. She looked each one over and handled it with loving care while putting it in its proper place. Calla was not so enwrapped in her work that she did not notice the time or hear the front door open.

“Hi, hon….” Daniel stopped short at the sight of the tree and his living room. Everything around him seemed to echo and swirl, as though he were going through the Gate but not to another World but another Time. Suddenly he was nine years old again and awaiting the arrival of Santa Clause with great anticipation. Just the way that his children were now holding their cookie encrusted arms out to him.

“Daniel?” Calla asked with concern as she saw the look on his face; she hid the photograph behind her back. She watched her husband swallow hard and sniff back what she thought was a tear. “Are you all right?”

“You did all of this?” Standing very still, he looked around the room. There on the mantle was the nativity set which once sat above a different fireplace in a town called Chicago. On the table was a familiar set of ceramic carolers. On the door to the den hung a very familiar cloth cut out of Old Saint Nick himself. “Where did you get this stuff?” Any moment now his mother was going to come through the kitchen door with a tray of cookies in her hand, Davy would come rushing in the front door and throw his books on the table. Yes, any moment now…

Quietly Calla began to explain how she came to be in possession of the items he was so in awe. Unsure if he would be angry or not she carefully proceeded forward. The first thing Daniel had done once he got his hands on David’s death certificate was contact a lawyer in Illinois and start things in gear for selling the old family house. “All of this was in the house in Chicago,” she said quietly, “after you…died…I had people go through it, they found somethings in the attic, the decorations were among them.” Carefully she looked up at him and could not tell if he was pleased or on the verge of being angry. “ I’ve upset you, haven’t I? I’ll take it down.”

For the first time since he walked in the door he looked down at his wife and saw the hand behind her back. Daniel took her forearm and brought the old photograph around to the front of her body where he took it from her hand. Yes, he was nine. This was the best Christmas ever! It was the year his parents bought them the big Lionel train set! There it was in the photograph of him and David; they each had their conductor’s caps on and were wildly excited at watching the train go around the track set at the base of the Christmas tree. Daniel gazed from the tree in the picture to the one in his living room and back again. “It’s perfect.” He muttered joyfully and wrapped his arms around her in a big hug. “God I love you. It’s perfect, Calla.” Daniel planted a kiss on her cheek. “I can’t believe you did this for me.” Looking down at the picture in his hand he asked; “Where did you get this?” Daniel brushed a tear away from his eye.

The soft emotion in his voice brought a tear to her own eyes. This was the first time that he’d told her he loved her in weeks. “I can’t tell you.”

“Why not?”

“It’s supposed to be one of your Christmas gifts.” She stumbled with a wide-eyed look. “If you want it now, I guess you can have it.” Calla gave each baby a fresh cookie, reset their swings and then lead him up the stairs to the attic. “Follow me,” she went up the steps and Daniel followed. “Over there, it was in the house.” She pointed to a large trunk in the corner of the attic. “I was wondering how I was going to get it downstairs, now you can do it.” She joked as she lead him to it. Calla stopped in front of it. “Now, I haven’t looked through it very much, just what was on the top.” She explained. “I felt like I was intruding.” Calla began to mumble her words. “I didn’t even know if you’d want this, you must have packed it away for a reason….”

“I didn’t know it was there, move away.” Daniel told her as he walked over to inspect the old steamer trunk, the initials NVB boldly emblazoned upon it. Nicholas Victor Ballard. “This was my grandfather’s.” He marveled as he bent to his knees and opened it. Inside was a treasure trove of old family photographs and memorabilia. Faces of his parents when they were young, his grandfather, great-grandparents and people he did not know stared back at him. There were cards and letters from people he didn’t know to relatives long dead. Pressed flowers. A family genealogy chart. A lock box. An old mink stole and pair of long white gloves. The archeologist was absolutely enthralled with the Time Capsule he had found.

“I take it that it’s a good gift?” She chided from behind him.

“Yes, come down here, look with me.” Daniel invited. “Where’s the key for that?”

“I don’t know.” Calla told him as she knelt down and picked up the box, she hadn’t dug that far and didn’t know the lock box was in there. She shook it a bit and heard the items rattle around, it was fairly heavy. “What do you suppose is in it?”

“No idea.” Daniel dug through the trunk further.

Downstairs in the living room, Colleen began to cry. Nicholas probably stole her cookie. He was always doing things like that to his sister. “I’ll get her, you stay here.” Calla rose and went to the stairs, she glanced back at Daniel who was busily going through the items and listened as he began to hum a little tune to himself. Yes, it was a good gift. Happy with herself, Calla tended the twins and began dinner. If he was that happy with the old trunk, she was positive he would be over the moon with the other gift she was going to give him.

After dinner, Calla gratefully announced that she was finished with the Christmas shopping and only had a little bit of wrapping left to do. He volunteered to give the twins a bath and get them ready for bed while she finished up the last of her Christmas chores. Drying Nicholas with a soft towel and getting him into his pj’s Daniel stared down at his son and asked; “What does mommy want for Christmas?” Nicholas laughed and Colleen echoed it. Daniel looked over at her in the swing and back at his son. “What does mommy want for Christmas?” He asked again and swore that he saw recognition in both of their eyes.

“Da…Da…Da….Da….” Nicholas began to coo excitedly.

“Dada” Colleen echoed.

Chapter Five
Christmas Eve

Once the Christmas shopping was done, Daniel Jackson spent several nights working very late in his office, and he did not return home until way past ten or eleven in the evening, usually to find that Calla had fallen asleep on the couch but last night she had gone to bed without him. What could he do? There were reports to prepare before the end of the year and accountings to be made. Artifacts from off world were starting to pile up and not being cataloged as quickly as they should. Usually was there a dull aching thud behind his temple. So much shit to do here and he should be at home. He had spent so many nights sitting here that he hadn’t even gotten his wife a Christmas present!

Rowan MacNeal sauntered into the lab just after lunch to find Dr. Jackson staring blankly at his computer screen. At first she thought he was deep in thought, trying to figure out some thing or another but as she got closer to him, she could see that was not the case.

“Dr. Jackson?” She asked as she neared him. “Hello, Dr. Jackson?” Rowan smiled a devastatingly stunning grin at him as she waved her hand between his eyes and the computer screen. “Earth to Daniel Jackson, come in please.”

Slowly Daniel’s head turned in her direction and the light began to come on again behind his beautiful blue eyes. “Sorry,” he said lightly and then absently scratched behind his ear. “Did you say something?”

“Yeah, where were you just now?” Rowan, a tall Irish/Scottish drink of whisky, settled herself in the chair next to him. The skirt and blouse beneath the white lab coat were not what one would call ‘regulation’. The black linen skirt rose three inches above her knee and even higher when she sat. The blouse, white linen, unbuttoned just one too many buttons revealing a large mound of inviting cleavage. She crossed her long legs and stared at him through dark doe eyes.

“Ah, I dunno, doesn’t matter.”

“Did you get any lunch?”

“Lunch? What time is it?”

“A little after one.” She said glancing down at the diamond-encrusted watch on her slender wrist. “You were going to head down to the cafe the last time I saw you, didn’t get there, huh?” She didn’t wait for him to answer. “You really do work too hard, Daniel.” Rowan said softly from behind him and laid her hands on his shoulders, she began to massage the knotted muscles there. The soft scent of her lightly floral perfume lingering around him. “So hard,” she cooed in his ear sending a tingle down his spine.

“Hey, what’s new?” Jack asked as he strolled into the office and stopped short as he gazed at the scene that greeted him. “Hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

“No.” Daniel grumbled. “Thank you for your help, Rowan.“ He said to his head assistant in a dismissive tone and then turned his attention back to Jack. “What do you get a Goddess for Christmas?” He asked in a half-joking but half-hopeful tone. Maybe Jack would spout off something good.

“I dunno, what’d ya get her for her birthday?”

“Birthday? Birthday!?” Daniel threw his hands up in the air. “Oh fuck! It was in October, I missed it and she never said anything about it.” It was small wonder that she had not mentioned the day to him, good old Naganti Kanan probably never even knew which day his favored Cha’Dech was born on, let alone celebrate it.

“Hum, better make it a hell of a present.” Jack suggested. “You got about, oh; I’d say eight hours left.”

“I’m screwed.” Daniel complained and tossed the pen onto the desk. He told Jack about the tree and the trunk she’d kept in the attic. “What’d you get her?”

“I’m not tellin’. You’ll have to wait until Christmas.” Jack looked at his watch again. “Seven hours and fifty-two minutes…”

“I’m going.” On his way off the base, Daniel ran into Sam and he asked her the same question. Unlike Jack, Sam had a great idea for a Christmas present, in fact, it was just what Nicholas and Colleen had in mind for their mother. Best of all, Sam was very willing to help him pull it off. In less than an hour, Daniel was almost all set for the big event. He called Calla from his cell phone to tell her that he was on his way home and not to make any dinner, they were going out tonight. All four of them.

Bundling the children up in their snowsuits and getting them settled in their car seats Daniel explained to Calla that when he was a child it was a tradition in his family that on Christmas Eve they all piled in the car and drove around the streets of Chicago looking at the Christmas lights on the houses and buildings. During this ride, they would find an open pizza parlor and have a bite to eat. This was a tradition he wanted to share and pass down to his children.

For the next few hours, they drove the streets of Silver Springs and the surrounding towns gazing at the lights and listening to Christmas carols on the radio. As Daniel and Calla pointed out large light diplays to each other from the backseat could be heard’ ‘Ights, ‘ights” from Nicholas and “Purdy” from Colleen. At her word, just for a brief moment, Daniel felt Callas hand tighten inside his and knew why; she sounded just like David in that second. “Pret-ty”, Calla said quickly and quietly as she let go of his hand, she turned around in the seat to look at the two snow bunnies. “The lights are pretty.” Although slow and clear her tone was not the unconscious condescending or patronizing tone one sometimes took with small children, it was patient and loving.

Soon the children were mimicking their parents more clearly. “ay schide,” Colleen said when Christmas lights appeared before her, on her side of the car.

Driving across the snow covered streets, Daniel couldn’t help but be reminded of he and David as they used to ride in the backseat, each one yelling out ‘my side!’ my side!’ as the lights came up into view. In their travels they came upon an open pizza parlor, the sign outside said “Chicago Style”, Calla insisted they stop. Over a large pepperoni and green pepper pizza, they held hands and chatted while the twins gummed on slices of crust, each one now having three teeth with more coming in.

The hour was getting late and the night cold, he tossed the blanket over her as they left the parking lot. There was one place he wanted to take her before they went home for the evening. Last year, while she was still in the infirmary and he was alone at home, he had taken a round about way to get home after visiting with her and happened upon this Winter Wonderland. “Close your eyes,” he said as they took a sharp right hand turn.

“What?” She asked looking over at him.

“Just do it.” Calla sighed at his command but closed her eyes. “Don’t open them until I tell you too, ok?” He reached over to her, under the blanket, and took her chilly hand. “Ok?”

“Ok.” She huffed and in a playful tone. Sitting with her eyes closed the she felt the car take a left and then slow down, Daniel was pulling over and shutting off the engine. Still she sat there and waited, the passenger door opened and she felt the seat belt being released. Daniel was pulling her out and up. From behind closed lids, there was a very bright light.

“Open,” Daniel stood back and watched as she gazed in utter amazement at the sight before her.

Every house on this street was lit up with displays of Santa Claus, Reindeer, Elves, Manger Scenes, angels, Winnie the Pooh and Frosty the Snowman and a thousand other characters and blinking tiny red, green, blue and white lights. Everything here glowed as the snow reflected the colored lights to the dark night. White light igloos and gazebos were done up for the occasion in lights and garland. At their feet, hundreds of candles in bags lined the street. It truly was like something straight out of a Fairy Tale. Last Christmas Eve he swore that if she made it through, he would bring her here on the next Christmas Eve. In fact, it was the very first thought that skipped through his mind when she said she wanted to celebrate the holiday.

With the wide eyes of an awe-struck child, Calla turned to him and smiled. “It’s so beautiful,“ she said quietly and wanted to take the children from the car so they could see it. Looking through the window into the backseat, she saw the children were fast asleep. Although the warmly lit houses with their bright Christmas color displays must be full of people, there was no one else around. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.”

For a few moments, they strolled the street, arm in arm looking at the hard work the people had put into their decorations. They the most elaborately worked on displays, especially when she stopped to consider all this work was only for a few days of sheer enjoyment. It served no purpose other than to make the people who saw it happy. Walking on the silent street with her head leaning against his shoulder she was very happy. “It’s a contest,“ he told her, “in an hour or so people will start coming by the judge the displays and pick a winner.“

“Oooh, what do they get?“ She asked as she stopped walking and looked up at him.

“I dunno,“ Daniel smiled, “probably a bottle of wine or something.“

“Sounds like fun.“

Yeah, she would think it sounded like fun. Next year she would want to hang lights on their house. The snow began to fall again and the wind to pick up, Calla shivered and Daniel started walking them back to the car. Calla took one last look around her, “It’s my first Christmas too, you know.” She said absently and then slid into the car.

“How do you like it so far?” Daniel asked as they headed for home.

“Very much,” she squeezed his hand and covered with her other one. “Thank you, Daniel.”

Just as he was about to say the standard ‘you’re welcome’, the tone of her statement caught him. He looked over at her, she seemed just the slightest bit lost. “I love you, Calla.” Yeah, well, so he hadn’t acted very much like it lately. That was about to change. Tomorrow it would all be different.

It was Christmas after all.

Chapter Six
Christmas Day

The twins did not understand Christmas any better than any other six month old would have, however they did seem to enjoy the brightly wrapped packages and tossing the shredded paper around the living room! The guests arrived early and in good cheer, Daniel took lots of pictures.

Calla’s Father made his grand entrance with a great flourish and wished everyone a happy holiday before plopping down on the floor to play with his grandchildren and their new toys. Once the twins were done opening their presents, Jack, Sam and Teal’c had exchanged and opened theirs. Calla brought out a brightly wrapped box and handed it to her Father. “Merry Christmas,” she said with a kiss.

Ares put down the Elmo doll and took the box with delight in his eyes. “Something for me? From the mortal world?” He shook it. “Let’s see.” Ares dove into the paper, ripping it off with a joyous smile. He took in the car and the image on the box and then held it up. “What does it do?”

Calla took it out of the box and handed him the remote control. “Push a button, Father.”

Ares pointed the black box toward the red and black racing car and pushed forward on one lever, the car rolled forward quickly and he let out a laugh. “Very good!” Within seconds, he had it going this way and that, doing flips, wheelies and running circles around the coffee table. The children were toddling after it as fast as they could, jumping up and down and screaming with happiness. She should have gotten them an RC car as well, oh well, maybe next Christmas.

Assuming, of course, that there was a next Christmas.

Bottles of wine were emptied, fresh homemade cookies were eaten, and laughter filled the house while babies were smooched, bounced and pass around. Feeling that the meal was just about ready, Calla rose to her feet and went into the kitchen to check on things. Ares followed her.

“I have a gift for you, daughter.”

Calla settled the steaming beef roast on the kitchen counter to set and wiped her hands with the dishcloth. “For me?” She asked in a small voice. “What is it?”

“Open it,” he held out a small rectangular shaped box. “I notice your dear husband hasn’t given you anything.” Lord Ares chided as she took the box from his hand.

“I haven’t given Daniel his gift either, Father. Perhaps he’s waiting for something.” Calla suggested as she turned the box around in her hand.

“Oh, for heaven sakes, girl!” He thundered. “Would you just open it?”

Calla laughed and took the bright purple ribbon from the top and opened the box. Inside was Aphrodite’s anklet, the one she wore constantly and said that it gave her Loves’ Strength. It was shimmering gold with layers of rubies, amethyst and pink diamonds. Calla did not take it out of the box; she closed the lid and handed it back to her Father. “Thank you,” she muttered, “you should give this to Samantha.”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because I know the story of this anklet, you made it for Mother, for a woman you loved with all your heart. You dug the jewels from the Earth with your own hands. Cut and faceted each stone.” Calla shook her head. “I don’t deserve this, Father. Please take it back.”

“I will do no such thing.” Lord Ares told her in a stern voice. “Your Mother would want you to have this.”

“No,” she sighed with tears in her eyes, “She wouldn’t.”

Hearing the raised voice of his father in-law, Daniel entered the kitchen. “What’s going on?” He asked lightly. “Dinner smells delicious, doesn’t it, Ares?”

“Yes,” Ares agreed without taking his eyes from Calla.

“What have you got?” Daniel asked as he stared at the small box in her hand.

“A Christmas present from Father.” She explained weakly. “He won’t take it back.”

Daniel took the box from her hand without asking and opened it. His trained eyes knew what it was the moment he saw it. “Put it on.” He told her.

“Not you too.” Calla chided.

He did not have to ask why she didn’t want it because he knew that she did want it. Calla simply felt that she was unworthy and could not accept it. “Sit down.” He motioned toward one of the kitchen chairs. At his request Calla sat, Daniel pulled up a length of the long black skirt and placed the jewel-encrusted anklet around her right ankle. “It’s beautiful,”

“Just like you,” Ares finished Daniel’s sentence.

“Are you sure, Father? Don’t want to give it to….”

“No, I don’t want to give it to Samantha. I have something else for her.” Behind Daniel’s back, Ares winked at his daughter.

“Hum, I bet you do.” Feeling suddenly shy and unsure of herself, Calla rose again and announced that dinner was ready.

“Good,” Ares agreed, “break out the casks.” Calla shot him a nasty look but said nothing. “Not to worry, Daniel,” Ares said cheerily. “I have something for you as well.” Lord Ares, God of War, closed his eyes and in his hand appeared a spear. It was the length of the War God himself, a large finely honed triangle of jagged metal was fitted to the tip. Ares held it out to Daniel. “I used this during the Trojan War; I thought you might appreciate it. I’ve little use for it anymore.”

“Thank you,” Daniel said as he took the object that was being offered to him. God it was heavy! “Trojan War, did you say?” Calla brought many wonderful things to him, whether she did it herself or through someone else, it didn’t matter. Once again, the archeologist in him was just thrilled with the item in his hand.

“Yes. I’d tell you to use it in good health, but I doubt you can throw it.” With that Ares turned his back and went, not back into the living room where Samantha and the other guests were waiting, but down to the basement and brought up a full cask of Nectar to have with his dinner.

Full bellies all around and two children so over-excited at the days’ events they fell asleep, the house began to quiet down once more.

“You know,” Sam began, “I see that you two haven’t exchanged gifts yet.” She strained her neck to peer under the tree. “I think there’s still something under there.”

At her prodding Calla picked up the brightly wrapped package and presented it to her husband. “I hope you like it.” She kissed him on the cheek and waited for him to open it.

Tearing off the paper in much the same way Ares had done and found himself flabbergasted once more. It was an old book, not much to look at really. “Was this in that trunk?” He asked as he began to thumb through the pages.

“No, I tracked it down over the Internet.”

“You what?”

“Well, don’t keep us in suspense, Daniel, what is it?” Jack asked.

“It’s one of Nick’s…my grandfather’s, old note books.” Flipping through the pages, his grandfather’s handwriting stared back at him in ancient Greek and Egyptian. There was something about Zeus and Hera but the pages went by too quickly. “How did you get this?”

Calla explained that she had become interested in the subject of Nicholas Ballard when Daniel decided to name their son after him. She had done a lot of research on him and eventually encountered someone who was the grandson of a friend of Nicholas Ballard. The man was in possession of the note book/manuscript and didn’t know what to do with it. “He was very happy to know that it would be finding its way back to a family member.”

Looking down at her with the same expression as when he saw the tree, “You never fail to amaze me, did you know that? Once again, it’s perfect. Thank you.” Daniel reached out and brought his wife close to his body. “Ok, it’s your turn now.”

“You’ve something for me?” Calla seemed genuinely surprised.

“Well, you can’t unwrap it…not yet anyway. Sam?”

Samantha stood up. “I’m going to be taking care of your kids this weekend.”

“Why?” She was suddenly alarmed as she looked up at Daniel.

“Because there are a few traditions we left out of our wedding,” he began to explain. “Like a honeymoon.”

“What’s a honeymoon?” She asked.

Nope, she never failed to amaze him. All the knowledge of the Olympian Gods locked away in that pretty head of hers and there was still so much she did not know. “It’s a trip, a vacation that couples take after they get married.”

“Where are we going?”

“Not far, I promise but it’s a surprise and we’re ready to go any minute now.”

“I have to pack,” she protested.

“I already have your bag in the car.”

“But….”

“No buts, Sam will watch the kids….”

“I’ll help.” Ares volunteered and looked over into Samantha’s blue eyes. “What? They’re a lot of work.” He explained quickly.

“They’ll be fine, Calla, I promise.” Sam said.

“Just you and me?”

“Yeah, honey, just you and me for the next two days.” There was peculiar look in her eyes. “That doesn’t sound good to you? Some time away from the kids and the house, a little time to rest and relax.”

Calla raised herself on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear; “Will we make love?”

“I hope so.” Daniel whispered back.

“I’m ready to go.” She announced as she pulled away from him and Daniel smiled a big grin at her.

“Get your coat; give your Father and your children a kiss.” Daniel encouraged.

“Oh,” she moaned suddenly, “the house is such a mess! I’ll just…”

“I’ll clean it up.” Sam said happily. “Just go. Have a good time.”

“Yes, go, have a good time.” Ares agreed. “You don’t mind if I stick around do you, daughter?”

Calla took him by the hand and lead him into the den off the living room. “Not in my bed, Father.” She warned. “I don’t mind if you stay, but not in my bed.”

“Fine, I’ll do her on the couch.” He shot back.

“Father!” Calla stomped her foot on the floor and listened to her Father’s laughter.

“If we get bored here, I’ll just take them all back to the island.”

“Father, don’t you dare!” She hissed. “If I call this house and no one answers I’ll be quite angry.”

“I’m teasing you,” Ares leaned in and brushed the hair away from her face. “Where has your sense of humor gone? You used to love to laugh and play little jokes on me. Go with your husband, find your smile again.” Ares held her close for a brief moment and kissed the top of her head. “Go on, go.” He whispered. “Everything will be fine here.”

Chapter Seven

Yes, Dr. Jackson had been very busy since he left the base on Christmas Eve. Driving off in the new Ford Explorer, Daniel pulled the blanket from the back and tossed it over her lap. “It’s chilly and it’s a long ride,” he explained. “I promise, you’re going to like where we’re going.”

“I like being with you, where we are doesn’t matter.” She reached out for his hand as they headed toward the highway. Calla talked about the event which had just passed, said she hoped everyone had a nice time and then complained that her roast was over-cooked. Daniel told her everyone had a great time and that it was all a very big success. Family was not something the former members of SG-1 were accustomed to in their lives. Sam saw her father rarely and her brother almost never. Jack did not keep in touch with his ex-wife or any other family members as far as anyone could tell. Teal’c left everyone behind on Chu’lak and Daniel, well. Well, Daniel never had much family to begin with, at least, if you had asked him yesterday that is what he would have said. Calla reminded him that he did come from somewhere and that not all the past had been bad. In his mind there were many happy memories of his parents and even David, he probably should not try to pretend that they didn’t exist. No, he should take those memories out every now and then, dust them off and savor them before putting them away again.

With the winter sun sinking below the mountains bathing the snow below in a soft purple haze, Daniel pulled the 4×4 of the highway and onto a dirt road. They followed it deep into the woods until a cabin emerged in the snow, smoking puffing from the rooftop chimney. Parked by the door was an odd vehicle, the like of which Calla had never seen. It looked like a motorcycle but it was far too low to the ground and where tires should be was some type of track instead. The engine died off and Daniel was opening the door. “Stay in the car until I get the bags inside,” he insisted as he made his way around to the back and pulled two overnight bags from the hatch. From the passenger seat, she watched while he slid a small key into the lock and opened the front door of the cozy cabin.

Inside, Daniel stopped for a moment to inspect his surroundings. The fire was burning in the living room and the bedroom, just as he requested. The liquor cabinet was full, there was champagne on ice. Feeling satisfied, he went to get Calla. “There’s another tradition we sort of forgot about,” he said as they neared the door.

“What?” Suddenly she was being lifted off her feet and he was carrying her through the snow.

“Carrying the bride across the threshold.” Daniel crossed the entryway, kicked the door shut behind them and settled her in the middle of the warmly lit living area. “Like it?”

Calla looked around and smiled. “It’s lovely.” Dropping the coat onto the couch, she went and stood by the hearth. “We are here for the weekend?”

“Yeah, you’re stuck with me until Sunday afternoon.”

“I can think of worse places to be.” Slowly she began to wander around the small one floor cabin. The front door opened onto the largest room, the living room, which had a couch and two sitting chairs and coffee table, along with a desk and chair in the corner. A large golden framed mirror stood over the fieldstone hearth. Throw rugs covered the hardwood floor. Straight through the living area one was presented with two options, the kitchen in front and to the right or the bedroom off to the left which also held the only bathroom. The kitchen was barren but had all the necessities, gas stove, two tub sink, small refrigerator and toaster oven. The bedroom held another fireplace which was also burning, a king sized canopy bed and dark wood dresser. All in all the cabin was very cozy and a little on the masculine side, except for the canopy on the bed. “Are you hungry? Shall I make us something to eat?”

“Are you kidding? You stuffed me.” Daniel patted his stomach. “Besides I didn’t bring you here so you could cook for me. The kitchen and frig are full of things to pick off of when we get hungry.” He held out a glass of champagne to her. “Come and sit down with me.” In fire light she moved like a graceful Goddess, taking the glass daintily from his hand and brushing her hair back across her shoulder. Her eyes were still looking around, looking for things that were missing. “Nope,” he said as though reading her mind, “No television, telephone, I think there’s a radio.” A worried look crossed her eyes. “I’ve got my cell, don’t worry, if anything’s wrong at home, Sam knows how to reach us.” The worried look dissipated from her sparkling eyes as she settled into the chair closest to the fire.

“Thank you for bringing me here,” she said quietly as the bubbly liquid tickled her nose on its way down her throat.

“Well, I thought you deserved it. You’re always chasing after the kids, doing stuff for me. You need some downtime.”

“You too.” Calla held out the empty glass, she waited for him to refill it before she began again. “You’re always working, so late sometimes.” Her voice dropped a notched as her eyes raised to his. “The new position is…a lot of…stress.”

“Yeah,” Daniel agreed and refilled his own glass. “Sometimes I think I got to see more of you when I was in the field.”

“You miss it? The Gate and your adventures?” Calla inquired carefully. “David and Eros are gone, we are not bound the way we once were, and you have no need to stay with me.”

Looking at her over the top of his glasses he asked; “So, what are you saying?”

From her place by the fire, she smiled a shy sweet smile; the sparkle in her eyes belied the innocence in her grin. “As you said, sometimes we saw more of each other.” The sigh that followed sounded almost rehearsed.

“You’d like it better if I returned to SG-1? You know I can’t do that.”

“I’m sure General O’Neill would be happy to make an exception for you, Daniel and that Lt. Colonel Carter would be grateful to have you.” Calla drank down the last of her second glass. “Don’t you want to go back? Get out of that stuffy old office and away from your desk.”

Everything about her demeanor said she was not doing anything more than having a polite conversation with her husband. Except those eyes. That tone of voice. She was playing with him. Suddenly, Daniel Jackson felt as though he were shrinking. “I want to be where you are and the children.” Oh, wrong answer, Jack! Not only did he hear that ringing endorsement in his head but also he saw it flash in those eyes. If he wanted to be home with them, he should…

“Perhaps then you should return home earlier in the evening, you know, leave the office earlier.” She suggested lightly.

With the utmost clarity, he became aware of the fact that she was herding him somewhere. “What are you getting at?”

“Perhaps there is something at the office which captures your attention more than the things you have at home?”

“Calla,” Daniel rose and stood by the fire, “are you accusing me of something?”

“Should I?” It was her turn to rise and refill her own glass; she drank it down in one long gulp. “I don’t know. I just think that perhaps, if I….” she shook her waist length fiery hair, it shortened before his eyes to the length of her shoulders and turned black, “changed my hair. And, if I…” she pushed the air beside her with the flat of her hands as though she were raising herself up on some unseen table. She grew four inches. “…were a little taller. If, perhaps, my eyes were….” she blinked and the emeralds disappeared, replaced by deep doe eyes, “darker.” Her voice grew huskier and more hushed with each word. “Oh, yes, of course and if my….” Calla looked down at her 34B’s and they quietly grew into a heavy pair of 38D’s. “…breasts were bigger,” Calla lingered near him, “if I smelled, like this…” the air was filled with the light floral scent of…

“Stop it!” Daniel demanded through gritted teeth. “Right now! Just stop it!” She was almost an exact replica of Rowan MacNeal. “I want my wife, I want you. Change back.”

Calla held the shape while she stared at him. “When you come home at night, you reek of her.” She hissed. “When you finally fall asleep in my bed, when the dreams come, you moan her name like a lover. Why is this not what you want of me?”

“Change back!” Daniel turned his back on her; he would not look at her while she looked like that. “How the hell did you do that? I thought Eros was the Shape Shifter.” Now his tone held the accusation. Daniel stooped and tossed a large log into the fire, when he turned back to look at her, it was his own wife that he saw looking back at him. “How do I know this is you?”

“When you came across me, I had neither the strength nor the will to change my appearance, Daniel. What you have seen has always been…just me. It’s not much, I know. If you want something different…”

“I don’t.”

“Then why don’t you come to me as a husband any more? Why do you always smell of her?” Her voice was raised but her eyes started to mist over. “I hate it. If you want you own Cha’Dech, Daniel I am here.” Calla reached out for his hand. “I can do many things,” she whispered, “things you have not availed yourself to. Why?” Daniel did not answer her; he was staring into the fire. “So, you want her. Fine. Take her as your Cha’Dech.” She roughly let go of his hand. “Don’t you ever come to my bed from hers and if you ever put that slut before your children, I will strike both of you down. Am I understood?”

“I’m really bad at relationships, Calla. I probably should have told you that before now.” Now he did turn to look at his wife. “I’m not having an affair with her.” That was true; he hadn’t actually fucked her…yet. “You smell her on me because she wears that damn perfume all the time. That is all. I know I’ve been very inattentive lately, that’s why I brought you here.”

“You are a man, Daniel that is a fact that I never lose sight of.“ She admonished, she was not going to stand here with her husband and have him talk to her as though she knew nothing of the world. “If you’re not getting your desires met in my bed, you must be getting them indulged elsewhere. I don’t want to judge you. I just want to know. Kanan, Eros, Ares, they all had many women, even Grandfather! I understand…”

“No, you don’t.” This time it was he who did the reaching. “You can’t because I don’t understand it.”

“You do want her,” Calla’s hand closed around his. “You have been with her.”

Time for True Confessions. “I haven’t ‘been with’ her. I swear, Calla, I wouldn’t do that to you, to us, our family.” Daniel stopped and drew in a hard breath. “I pay too much attention to her,” he watched Calla bite her lower lip; the mist in her eyes began to swell. “I kissed her.” The first tear spilled down her cheek. He could not stop now, even though he wanted to. “She, ah, she,” Daniel’s eyes glanced down at his own belt and then up again at her. Rowan gave him head under his desk last week, while he shuffled papers around and worked on a few new things. The blow job had been less than spectacular but she had gotten job done.

“She tasted you, you taste her?”

“No.” He reached out and she skittered away from his touch. “It was only once, honestly, Calla, just the one time.” There was fear and disappointment in her eyes. Daniel wanted to stop now but it was too late, he had to confess it all, no matter how much it hurt either of them. Rowan did have those big jugs, so bouncy and full. Very slowly confessed to how he put his hot throbbing cock between those two big titties and given Rowan, his lovely head assistant, a pearl necklace. “I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know what’s happening to me.” His voice began to rise. “I love you, I don’t want her! I don’t know why I’m doing this!” Her words about moaning Rowan’s name in his sleep kept ringing in his head. Jesus Christ! How it must have hurt her to have to sit there and listen to that! Just as it killed her to stand there and listen to this now. “I’m so sorry, Calla.”

Calla wiped her hand across her face and the tears with it. “Your job is a lot of stress, a lot of pressure,”

“Don’t make excuses for me.” Daniel interjected. “Don’t you dare be understanding, get mad at me. Yell at me! Damn it, Calla, get angry!” Just a few moments ago, she was the predator, hunting him down and squeezing these secrets out of him and now she was turning timid once more.

“And you have many regrets.” She continued without heeding him.

“What?” Daniel shook his head in disbelief. “What in gods name would I regret?”

“Me.” The answer was simple, plain and quiet. “I have put you through many things, you have chased after me twice. You saved my life both times, the lives of our children as well. I have done many things to you which are unforgivable, Daniel.” Calla nodded her head and tried to hold back another wave of tears.

Slowly he walked over to where she was standing. “I bought you a house, you gave me a home. I took you from a horrible man, from a place you never should have been and give you a place to start over. You gave me a new life and you filled with so much joy. You gave me children. How could I regret any of that? Not being on SG-1 anymore is a very small price to pay for all of that.” This time when he reached, she let him take her hand. “I don’t know why I did this, that’s the truth. I am so sorry; I will never do it again. ”

“I know why, so do you.” Calla lowered herself to sit on the hardwood floor by the fire, Daniel sat next to her. “You know, when I was still with Kanan there many nights that I prayed to Hades, I begged him to let me cross the River Styx and be done with all that he put me through. Hades never granted that request.” Calla reached around and split the last of the champagne between their two glasses. “On other nights, I would pray to Father for his strength, for just the merest opportunity to do what to Kanan what he had done to me.” Calla downed the last of the alcohol and turned her entire body toward her husband. “I never got either chance but I had to lay with him anyway.”

“What are you telling me?” Daniel didn’t get the sense that she was playing with him again but she was going somewhere with this and he did not think it was going to be a place he was going to enjoy.

“It is hard to lay in the same bed with someone who has hurt you, used you.” she said softly. “I hurt you.” Her voice cracked. “I didn’t mean to, you know that, don’t you? It‘s no excuse, I know.”

“Calla, don’t….” his voice trailed off at the look in her eyes. They had never talked about the time she kept him in the basement. It wasn’t a subject that was open for discussion.

Taking in a shallow breath, she leaned in close to him with the sweet smell of champagne on her breath. “I raped you,” she whispered. “I held you prisoner and took what did not belong to me. I abused you. Did to you what Kanan did to me. Does finding your way into her arms help you with this?”

“No,” Daniel whispered back. “I’m trying to find my way back to you. To how it used to be, I’ll do anything to get that back, Calla.”

“Anything?” She asked as she moved away from him so that she could gaze into his eyes.

“Yes, anything. I don’t want her, Calla. I don’t love her.” Daniel agreed and felt her small hands unbuckling his belt. Before he knew it, she was holding the leather strap and her wrists up to him. Calla hadn’t offered herself as a whore in over a year.

“You need her, to bend, yes? To make you feel strong again.” She was not passing judgment on him; her tone was soft and full of love. “You can bend me, Daniel.”

“No. I love you.”

“You said you would do anything.”

“Not this.”

“Why? Because of Kanan? Eros?” Her voice dropped low. “David? Do you fear that he will come out of you?”

“Yes,” he felt the leather being pressed into the palm of his hand. “Because I love you, I want you, I need you. Don’t do this, Calla.” Almost helpless he watched while she stripped off the sweater and then shimmied out of the flowing skirt. His wife lay by the fire in black lace bra and panties, black thigh high stockings and her high-heeled shoes. Calla sprawled out by the flames on her back, her hair spreading out on the floor behind her and held up her wrists once more. “I didn’t bring you up here for this.”

The rational part of his mind told him that this was a mistake. Calla had not known it was him and not David that she had in the basement. If she had known, she would have been overjoyed to see him alive again and not strapped him down to that bed. She hadn’t done it to be viscous or vengeful, in fact throughout the entire ordeal she had been very kind to him, she was only trying to stay alive long enough to have her children.

Still, he hadn’t liked being tied to that bed. So many nights that he reached out to make love to her, it was that very thought which stayed his hand and made him roll over and away from her.

“I trust you.” Calla whispered in encouragement.

“That scares me even more.” Daniel admitted as he looked down at the bounty that was being offered to him and found he could not turn away from it. More than that, he didn’t want to turn away. “Not here.” He picked her up from the floor and brought her into the bedroom. “Not with this.” Daniel tossed the cold leather belt onto the floor. Laying her down, he turned away and rummaged through one of the overnight bags, he brought out her robe and something hidden behind his back. Daniel took the sash from the robe. A few days ago while he was looking for a pair of sock, Daniel came face to face with just how inattentive a husband he had become. Upon opening her lingerie drawer, he found a big blue dildo, which was hidden all the way at the bottom of her unmentionables. He had this item behind his back. “I found this.” He held it up for her to see and then laid it on the bed next to her. “When did you get it?”

Feeling ashamed and embarrassed at the sight of the object she muttered; “Last week.” It sounded more like a question than an answer to him as he made two slipknot loops with the sash of her robe.

Daniel’s mind calculated the conversion chart in his mind from Calla Time to Real Time and came up with about a month. “That long, huh?” Well, it had been about a month since the last time he made love with and before their lovemaking was sporadic at best. Finishing the knots, he laid the sash down. “Well, you must have had some practice with it then, why don’t you show me how you use it.” Daniel invited.

“Daniel,” Calla protested in a soft voice.

“My Cha’Dech tonight, that’s what you said.” He reminded her. “Show me.” He put the big dildo made of ‘space age’ material into her hand. Not plastic or metal, it wasn’t an extremely hard object but soft and pliable. “Wait,” he left the side of the bed and came back with a small bottle. “Found this too.” It was cocoa-butter oil. “Show me.” Calla put her fingertips into the waistband of the French-cut panties. “Leave ‘em on.” Daniel commanded and was suddenly aware that it was getting hot in the room. A small popping sound was heard as she opened the cap and began to drizzle a small amount of the amber liquid onto the toy, she rubbed the shaft and head up and down, up and down, twisting her small grip around it, working the oil making the fake cock glisten in the firelight. Daniel swallowed hard as he sat beside her as he caught the familiar scent. It was faintly reminiscent of chocolate and he had smelled it on her hands and on their sheets over the last month or more. Of course, at the time, he hadn’t thought anything of it but now that he knew what it was, he would never associate the scent with anything else for as long as he lived. “Where did you get it?” Daniel asked as he leaned in close and began to touch her softly, anticipating the moment when it would enter her.

Calla moaned at the touch of his hand. “Don’t you know? It’s you.” She whispered with darkened delight. “I had it made to order. I never want anyone but you.”

Daniel smiled while he unconsciously wiped the drool away from his mouth. “Really? What did you do, measure me in my sleep?” He looked down at her and the object she was holding. The gleam in her eye told him that was exactly what she had done. He found himself wondering what company made such an item. Whoever it was, leave it to her to find them. You could leave it to her to find (or find out) anything for that matter. “Why is it blue?”

Calla tossed her head to the side and smiled wider. “They had blue, yellow and black. I didn’t like the yellow” She explained.

He did not have to ask about the black, it would have reminded her of Kanan. Never having had the opportunity to look at his own hard cock in quite this fashion before he said, “I never knew I was so well endowed.”

“You are,” she moaned and reached her hand to his face. “You fill me. Watch and I will show you.” Calla laid back, spread her legs, with one hand she moved the underwear aside and with the other began to insert the big blue cock into her tight little pink cunt. She was slightly afraid and not ready for the intrusion, even with the oil to slick it, the fit was a hard one. It took a few strokes before it sunk all the way into her with ease. Graceful hips began to rise and fall in a gentle sway.

With the scent of her rising around him, he looked down and in a heavy voice whispered, “It’s my turn now.” Leaving the toy inside her, Daniel took both of her hands and placed the loops around them, he secured the other end to one of the posts at the top of the bed. “Feel that?” He slipped his finger into the loops. “You can get out of that, but if you pull down….”

“It will tighten.” She finished. “And I won’t be able to escape.” A touch of fear came to her eyes.

“Just tonight,” Daniel reassured her before making sure the tether was secure. Rising to stand over his prize, Daniel stripped himself of his shirt and slacks before making his way to the end of the bed and relieving his wife of the silk panties. Standing over her, seeing her helpless before him and knowing that she would come willingly, filled him with a dark wave of power and control. He could make her do anything tonight and something told him he just might. “I swear, Calla, just tonight.”

“Every night if you desire it, my husband.”

Daniel gave in to the endorphins and hormones running wildly through his blood stream. Diving between her legs, his tongue exploring her hairless lips, he worked the dildo inside of her with gusto. The taste of cocoa-butter oil was swiftly swept away as the softly tangy mildly sweet liquid that she produced and he loved so much began to rain down his tongue. Calla sucked in a whispered breath while her hips rose to meet the thrusting toy.

“Daniel, Daniel,” she began to moan, “Daniel,” the urgency in her voice made him look up. Calla was coming, in her habitual attempt to stop it from happening this way, she reached down for him, pulling upon the sash and now her wrists were cinched tight. She was still reaching for him, trying to pull him away.

Not tonight. He ignored her and doubled his work effort. Calla tried to move her body away from him and the object inside her, Daniel would not let her. He held her thighs down and kept her in place. Calla’s body stiffened, her hips frozen in mid-air and she called out his name. The rain of sweet juice became a torrent. He could feel the strong muscles inside of her pulling on the dildo as she came. More and more of the sweet nectar crossed his lips and Daniel drank down every drop he could get from her and wanted more. He milked her with the dildo and lapped up the juice that came forth.

“Daniel,” her voice was small and full of passion. He looked up at her again. “Stop,” she begged quietly. He shook his head. “Please,” she whispered as she continued cumming. “I can’t stop.” It was true, the more he worked it the more she came and the feeling would not cease. “I’m sorry.” She whispered. “Please,” he pushed the dildo in deeper, until it was fully inside of her, with the flat round base of it pressed tightly against her flesh. Her hips fell against the bed and she was cumming again. Daniel kept her going like that until he couldn’t drink anymore. When he stopped, she laid still and breathless on the mattress before him. Slithering up her half-naked body, she whispered to him; “I’m sorry. Please Daniel….”

Looking down at her, the fear was clear in her eyes. “I’m not.” He said back. That was the first time she’d cum like that for him and he was damned if it was going to be the last. It was only fair, he could not count the times she’s buried her head between his legs while he was strapped to that bed and made him cum just like that, as though he couldn’t stop until she let him. Deft fingers undid the clasp at the front of her bra, Calla’s small breasts exposed to him, Daniel’s mouth descended over her right nipple, and it hardened instantly. He tweaked the left one with his other hand; she jumped under him and tried to move away. Daniel moved up her body and pressed the soft flesh of his hard cock against her lips. He couldn’t fucking her tits the way he did Rowan’s, but well, her knob job sucked (no pun intended) anyway it was time he had a good one.

Calla’s lips parts and she took him inside without hesitation as he straddled her head just as David had once done. “Oh, god,” he moaned. “You are so good at that. Take it all the way down.” He encouraged and felt the heat rise inside him; sweat broke out all over his body. Thrusting himself in and out of her waiting mouth, her tongue sliding around his hard shaft while she sucked him off, Daniel reached down between her legs and began to work the dildo again. Slowly, very slowly he worked it in a rhythm to match his hips. When she began to cum again, her body rose from the bed, she took every last inch of his hardness down her slender throat. Losing himself and giving over to the feeling, Daniel’s weight settled on her chest and suddenly she could not breathe. Calla’s fingers gnarled inside their loops as she tried to pull away from him. Daniel’s knees locked to her sides and he thrust harder with both tools. The feeling like a bonfire rose in the pit of his belly, Daniel’s eyes rolled back in his head, his cock pulsated and throbbed in her mouth, and Calla sucked the juice from his cock just as Daniel had done, she took down every last drop. Removing himself from her mouth and taking his weight from her temporarily, Calla drew in a large breath to fill her empty lungs.

Daniel pulled the dildo out of her. “Do you know what this base is for?” He asked while his fingers slid around the slick object. It really did feel like his own cock after he had been inside of her. Calla nodded at him, her eyes wide. “Good. Show me.” Daniel demanded and then tried to pull her up to a half sitting position. Calla’s long tresses caught beneath her and her head jerked back harshly. “I’m sorry,” he muttered as he took her head from the mattress and pulled her waist length hair out from under her. Daniel finished sitting her up, giving her a good length of tether with which to work. He began to salivate again while she turned her back to him, his hand reached out to caress the smooth round curve of her ass.

Turning to look at him over her shoulder, Calla placed the wide flat base of the dildo on the bed beneath her and slid down on it as though she were riding him. With the toy inside her, she reached out and grabbed hold of the headboard with her bound hands. Slender hips ground down upon it, slowly at first, her beat built up to a heated pagan rhythm. “I like that,” he said from behind her, hypnotized by the movement of her hips and the way her ass stuck out, as though it were just waiting for him, as she masturbated upon the cast of his cock.

Daniel took the bottle of oil from the sheet, opened it and spread it over his own throbbing member. “Don’t stop,” he whispered from behind his wife as he crept up on her. “No matter what, don’t you stop.”

Calla felt the soft tip of his greased cock pressing against the entrance to her ass. “Daniel?” She asked quietly as she gazed over her shoulder behind him. His hand pushed her forward to face the headboard and bow before him.

“Just tonight,” he whispered for the last time. Sliding into her hot little pucker hole was everything David ever told him it was. Hot, tight, so fucking tight, Daniel had to force his way into it. Calla cried out, her back arched upward and he caught her throat from behind. “Not long,” he whispered darkly, “it’ll be over soon.” He mocked. “Be quiet.”

“Esta, naganti Daniel, byan. Esta.” She whispered back.

(Easy, Master Daniel, I won’t argue. Easy.)

“He’sho, gin, Cha’Dech.”

(You tell me what to do, whore?)

“Co,” she cried softly as he pressed further into her, both holes filled almost to capacity. “Naganti Daniel, gin waytak.”

(No, Master Daniel, I will be good.)

Daniel’s hand closed around her throat as he thrust himself fully into her ass. Calla flinched; she jumped and tried to get away from him. Tried to wriggle her way off the dildo protruding from her cunt. Daniel held her firmly in place, one hand around her throat, the other around her small waist, pumping her up and down.

If the whore in her was what he wanted, then that was he would receive. Calla drew as much breath as she could and then ground her hips down upon his hard and hungry cock.

David was right; she was a fine fucking fuck. Why hadn’t he done this to her before? Why he wasted so much time being gentle with her when she was obviously deceptively delicate? The bitch could take a good ramming, she was loving it, look at the way her hips moved on him! He should do this to her more often. The toy thrust beneath him, separated from his own hot hard cock by only the slightest membrane of flesh, as he worked both of them he wondered what it would be like to have another man under her while he put it to her like this? Yes, she had been made for this. Long ago, she told him so herself and he hadn’t listened. But she, like David, was right; she was a whore, made for fucking like a whore. The more he thrust into her sobbing ass, the more it accepted him, took him in and swallowed him down with its own hunger. Daniel began to slap the side of her ass.

At the loud cracking sound, Call jumped below him, she pulled at the restraint and tried to buck away from him. Her reaction only served to stiffen his resolve; he slapped her again, harder this time. She flinched and jumped in the most delightful ways as she tried to get away. Another slap, the sound cracked and echoed throughout the bedroom while the snow picked up and the wind began to howl outside the cabin.

“Naganti Daniel, najate nin.” She cried out softly as he pushed her forward into the pillow.

(Master Daniel, please don’t hurt me.)

“Nasana, Cha’Dech, gin saktok.”

(Careful, whore, I’ll do what I want)

“Be quite,” he demanded in English. “Or I will do things you never dreamed of before.” The heat rising inside of him once more, though his cock was buried to the hilt in her throbbing ass Daniel wanted to be deeper inside of her. He scooted her over to the edge of the bed and rose from the mattress.

“Co!” Calla screamed. “Co! Naganti Daniel, gin uteal, gin uteal, gin uteal, co Naganti Daniel, co, co’hestar inuway!”

(No, No, Master Daniel, I beg, I beg, I beg, No Master Daniel, no, do not stand!)

Calla clawed at the air in front of her as she fought for some type of balance beneath him. The balance she found was his hand wrapped around her throat once more. “Bok tah hesta, Cha’Dech, gin saktok.” Daniel hissed from behind her. “Shut up!” Standing on both feet with both tools embedded deeply in her, Daniel began to cum. Calla pitched forward, against the weight of his hand and he pushed her face back into the mattress. Her body was still, so very still, she did not fight and she did not cry out anymore. She shuddered beneath him at the deepness of his thrusts but offered up no further resistance, she only lay there quietly enduring the piercing pain that he was delivering to her.

Fighting his way back up to the surface, Daniel reached out and cast aside the hair that hid her face from him. Her eyes were closed tight, she was crying, and while her lips were moving, he could hear no sound coming from them. This is wrong, this is so wrong! She’s your wife for gods sake! Not some Tijuana Donkey Whore! Daniel tried to stop himself; he tried to desperately to pull out of her and could not. His cock had taken over. There was that damn Point of No Return again. He was cumming and it was going to be a Mother Lode, he was not giving it up, no matter how much she begged him, he was not going to stop. “Not long, Calla. Almost over.” Daniel mumbled through gritted teeth. His cock began to spew; he pushed her body down onto the mattress as he did. It was only a rush of air, nothing more than that escaping her lips, bringing himself down closer, sinking deeper into her, he saw the shape her lips made and it combined with the rush of air as his cock spilled its hot contents into her aching ass.

“Danny,” she was whispering. “Danny, please.”

Feeling dirty and completely ashamed of himself, Daniel began to pull out of her. Calla jumped again and let out a small cry for mercy. “No more, I promise.” Daniel stroked her now flawless back. “Slow, ok.” With a gentleness he had not shown before, Daniel began to back out of her, the movement and muscles surrounding his failing cock made it stiffen once more before he could fully exit. Wanting her again and telling himself he was not going to give in to that again, Daniel took the restraints from her wrists. Calla rolled over beneath him, reached down and took the dildo out of herself. Unable to look down into those wide distrusting eyes any longer, he rolled off her. Without a word, he watched as she rose from the bed, put the robe around her shoulders and went into the bathroom. Soon he heard water running and moment it shut off and she returned to him with a towel, one end had warm soapy water, the middle warm rinse water, the other end dry. Crawling onto the bed and kneeling between his legs, Calla washed and dried him of her. She cleaned the toy and put it back in the overnight bag with the bottle of oil before climbing back into the bed and curling up at his side beneath the blankets.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” Daniel asked as he felt the warmth of her weight in his arms.

“Good night, Daniel.” Was her answer and it appeared final.

Chapter Eight

For the most part, Calla slept through the night and Daniel knew that because he did not sleep a fucking wink. Sleep, it was her biggest and probably most effective Defensive Mechanism. When all else failed, she just shut off and went to sleep, hoping everything would be better when she woke. He got up twice to tend the fire in the bedroom and in the living room, the two fireplaces being the main heat source for the cabin. The second time he left her side, he sat by the fire in the bedroom watching her sleep, in her dream she reached out for him and found his side of the bed empty. Her eyes rolled open and she soon sat up in the bed.

“I’m right here.” He said in the dark and watched with sheer amazement as she held her arms out for him. How do you do that? Still naked, his skin warm from the fire, Daniel slid back under the covers and held her. “Do you still trust me?” He asked she nuzzled against him once more.

“With my life and those of my children.”

It was a nice answer and he should be very happy with it, however it was not the one he was looking for. “How about with the rest of you? Still trust me there?” God knew he did not and he saw no reason why she should either.

“Why do you torture yourself, Daniel?” She reached up the palm of her hand to caress the outline of his face. “You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“I hurt you, don’t even attempt to tell me that I didn’t.”

“I am fine.” She returned and raised herself on one elbow to look at him in the firelight. “I am unharmed, see?”

To him she looked brave and scared to death. “Unharmed?” He reached up and took her hand in his; even in the dim light of the fire, the purple bruise on her wrist was plainly evident.

“I did that.” She explained quietly. “You told me not to pull and I did, that is my fault.”

“I could have let you go and I didn’t, that is my fault.”

Calla pulled away from him and sat up in frustration, there was a twinge of resistance on her hip as her weight settled upon it. There would be more bruising where he slapped her. “I don’t know what you want from me. If you didn’t bring me here for this, then why?”

“Not for this.” Although now that he thought about it, it certainly was an ideal place for such a thing. They were completely alone here, there wasn’t another soul around for miles and with the snow piling up outside they could be here, alone, for a few days. In those few days, he could do whatever he wanted with her…couldn’t he? Yes, far away from the children, they would never know what their father did to their mother. “I wanted to be alone with you, to reconnect with you. I didn’t want to tell you about Rowan,” he looked deep into her eyes, “I never wanted you to know about her. I certainly never wanted to treat you like that.”

“Lie to yourself if you want, Daniel, don’t lie to me. You wanted all of those things.” Calla gathered the sheet around her. “And more. I heard your thoughts. Which one shall it be next time, Daniel? Whose face to you want to look down and see below me? Jack or Teal’c? Perhaps you would like to watch me with your new Cha’Dech?” Her eyes glared green fire at him. “Shall I ready her for your entry?”

“Stop it, Calla.” Daniel warned.

“Perhaps Samantha? Although,” she waved her hand in the air as her voice grew haughty, “Father fancies her so he might want to come along for the ride and you do so hate it when I fuck my relatives.”

There was a loud cracking sound and the side of her face stung from where he’d slapped her. “I said stop it.” A long second passed, a moment when he wondered why he struck her and if she was going make him do it again. Calla sat quietly with her hands folded in her lap. Daniel looked down at his own hand, the knuckles were tingling, the wedding band bit a little too tightly into his flesh, as it had done to her cheek. She was bleeding. “Jesus,” he mumbled and got up. Daniel Jackson had never struck a woman in his life, not out of anger anyway. “I’m sorry; I hate it when you talk like that.”

“And you warned me.” She agreed in a subtle tone. “I don’t know why it should anger you.” Now she did look up at him. “The truth should not make you angry. I am a whore, Daniel, like my Mother before me. It is what they made me.”

“Aphrodite was not a whore.” He interjected. “Neither are you.”

“She fucked everything that ever crossed her path,” Calla hissed, “is that not the very definition of a whore? You raised me to the level of wife and mother, but you still want the whore. The problem is, you don’t think you can have both in one package.”

“I don’t ever want to treat you like this. It’s wrong.”

“So you will treat her this way? Rowan? Does she know she is nothing more than an easy fuck to you? Or do you tell her sweet lies? Does she think you are going to leave me for her?”

Leave it to Calla; she never backed away from the hard questions or the hard truths when push came to shove. It was his turn to go into the bathroom, just a for a break, he came back with a wet towel that he held to her face. “I’m not ever going to see her again.” Calla turned her eyes away from him. “Look at me,” Daniel tilted her chin upward and she opened her eyes. “I don’t want her. I don’t love her. I swear to God, I haven’t fucked her. I never told her that I would leave you for her.” He dropped the towel from her wounded cheek and brought her in close to himself. “I love you; I don’t ever want to do this to you again. I want things to be the way they were.”

“I fear we have not done much toward that end.”

Something shoot past in the sky caught his eye. “Hey, look!” Daniel said excitedly. “Get your robe and your slippers, come with me.”

Calla did as she was told and found herself standing outside the cabin in the snow; Daniel wrapped a blanket over her shoulders. “Look up,” he said quietly.

Calla turned her attention to the night sky. At first, she did not see anything other than the stars and the moon and then she noticed one of them falling. “Oh, make a wish.” She said at the sight of what she thought as a single falling star. The one falling star turned into ten and then twenty. Soon they were all around.

“It’s a meteor storm.” He explained. “Don’t worry, we’re not in any danger.”

“Then I guess tonight, you get to make a thousand wishes.”

“I only want one thing.” The wind began to blow again and he stood behind her with his arms around her. “So, I’ll just have to wish for it a thousand times tonight.” The bloody bruise stood out on her alabaster cheek. Daniel covered it with the palm of his hand in a sweet caress. The blue energy that he had not seen in over a year came to him as naturally as it had before, the wound on her face healed at his touch. Maybe tonight had not been for nothing. “Come back inside with me, I have something for you.”

Turning back inside he poked at the fire in the living room hearth until it burned bright and hot once more. Daniel disappeared into the bedroom before coming back and opening a bottle of wine and settled on the couch with her, he handed her a glass. “There’s another wedding tradition that we forgot about…”

“Another one? How many did I miss?” She cried. No wonder her marriage was in such disarray.

Daniel smiled, “Just this last one.” He reassured her as he gazed down upon the dazzling jewels gracing her ankle. “You should always be dripping in diamonds.” Daniel complimented, he brought a small box out from behind his back. “It’s not much, I found it in that old trunk.”

“In the lock box?” She asked with anticipation.

“Yes. Open it.” Calla took the lid off the small box and her eyes were met with an emerald and diamond ring. “I think it belonged to my great-grandmother, now I’m not sure she used it as an engagement ring, but I thought the emeralds matched your eyes.” He took the ring from the box and slid it onto the third finger of her left hand to join the wedding band. The rings band was too big for her finger. Daniel pulled at the wedding band and she took her hand away from him. Last year he couldn’t get her to put it on, now he couldn’t get her to take it off. “Give it to me.” He said quietly and then removed the wedding band from her finger; he slid the emerald ring onto the finger and the wedding band on top of it. “We’ll have it sized for you later, but that should keep it on.”

“Promise you won’t see her anymore?” Calla asked as she gazed into the eyes of her husband. The eyes that she loved so much.

“I swear I’ll have her stationed in Alaska first thing Monday morning. I don‘t ever want anything or anyone to come between us, I don‘t want to go through this again. I am so sorry that I hurt you.”

“And SG-1?”

“You really want me to go back, don’t you?” He asked as he held her small hands in his own larger ones.

“Yes.” Calla did not take her eyes from the ring he had given to her. “You are very important, Daniel. Not just to me or out children,” now she did look up at him, “to this entire world. It’s time; you must go back out among the stars.”

“And you? What are you going to do, Calla? How do I make this up to you?”

“You could make it like it was.”

Yes, he could. Now, he could do that. He wasn’t angry with her any more not that he’d had a right to be in the first place. Not angry with her for not being able to tell the difference between him and his brother when David had sex with her (of course if he’d told he had a brother….). Not angry with her for letting Blood have her while he was away. Again, he didn’t have a right to be angry. At the time, she thought he was dead. Most of all, looking down at her now she gazing up at with so much love in her eyes, he realized that Calla had not kept him prisoner in their basement for herself or even for the lives of her children, not directly. Daniel understood that now. She had done it for him. Because as far as she knew at the time, at least one of those children was his and she wanted him to go on even after his death. She wanted him to have a legacy.

How things had gotten so mixed up and turned around he’d never know.

Calla lay back on the couch, the robe fell open inviting him to come closer and to touch her. She looked up at him with eyes, which were not as trusting as they had once been, but he would take care of that. She shivered as he came closer. Aphrodite had told him that there was nothing in this world that could take her love from him, and Eros (as Ares) had told him that not even death was strong enough to part her from his side. But those things weren’t true. He could lose her, he could lose everything they had worked for. He had come so close to just that. It wasn’t the sex, Daniel understood that if he wanted to, he could bend her anyway he liked, use her to indulge his darkest sexual desires and she would accept that. If he did it right, she’d even enjoy it. (Oh, what a lucky bastard he was!) Hell, she would accept him taking another lover and bringing one into their bed. No, the way to lose her was simple. All he had to do was fall in love with someone else. She would be gone.

“I do love you. I don’t regret marrying you or our children. I never will.” Daniel bent closer and brushed his lips over hers. “I could never ask for anything more than what you’ve already given me.” How he had lost sight of that, even for a millisecond, was beyond his capability to understand.

“Show me this is over.” Calla reached her arms up to him; the sleeves of the robe fell back revealing the bruises on her wrists. “Please, I love you Daniel, more than anything in this world, I love you.”

Daniel felt a harsh twinge of guilt grab his heart at the sight. “I’ll never raise my hand to you again.“ Taking one of her wrists in each of his own hands, he prayed that blue light would appear again and it did, he slid the palm of his hand over the large bruised area at her hip and made it disappear. That didn’t make things right but it was a step in the right direction. “Come into the bedroom with me,” he said softly, “let me make love to you. Show you can trust me.”

Hoping his words were true but expecting them not to be, Calla rose from the couch and followed him to the bed. Dropping the robe and laying herself down on the bed, she readied herself for another vigorous round of sex. When he touched her again, his hand was soft against her skin. His lips gentle as he parted hers with the tip of his tongue and whispered sweet confessions of love to her. Their lovemaking returned to the way it had been, two bodies belonging to two souls, which were irretrievably intertwined melded together and became one.

Late the next morning when she woke in his arms, they discovered there was a foot and half of fresh snow on the ground. The explorer was covered and the dirt path back to the main road blocked. Calla was never happier to be surrounded by the deep cold snow while they made love inside the warm cabin.

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