Time Out Of Mind

Daughter of the Gods: Time Out Of Mind
Lisa Beth Darling

Chapter One

Lovers appear in your room each night
and they whirl you across the floor.
But they always seem to fade away
when your daddy taps on your door.
Angie girl, are you all right?
Tell the radio good-night.
All alone once more, Angie Baby.

Angie Baby
Helen Reddy

Assimilating back into Every Day Normal Mortal Life proved to be a much more daunting task than Calla imagined. The children were a wonderful and constant source of joy and activity and for that she was most grateful. When she first returned home from her extensive stay with Kanan it was April and now it was almost mid-June. Together she and the children dug in the dirt and went to the nursery where they picked out plants. Their new yard had three new flower beds and a new vegetable garden which Nicholas thought of as his own personal property and was very diligent in its care. Colleen was more partial to the wildflower patch they sewed in last spring. It wasn’t a fancy bordered garden like the other four but just a patch of sunny dirt that needed a little cheer.

Last weekend they had a small party in the yard for the twin’s birthday. They turned the big 5. In the fall they were going to start going to school. Her days would not be so full then. The party was nice, Ares, Jack, Sam, Teal’c and a few of the children’s friends from the community center came and played games and ate cake with ice cream. Presents in every conceivable shape and size were torn up and played with. Children laughed and ran around while the adults made conversation and grilled the first burgers and dogs of the season. It was noisy and it was hectic and Calla was glad when it was over and the mess cleaned up. The children and guests had a good time so that made the small aggravation worth the effort.

Yes, she thought as she gazed out the kitchen window, it’s almost Summer. In a few days they would celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Calla felt like a hypocrite celebrating such an event since she hadn’t returned to her husband’s bed. Daniel wanted to go to dinner and then perhaps a movie or dancing. In order to get his way he quietly reminded her that she’d only been away from the house to purchase plants or groceries over the last month and a half; an evening out would do her good. Like a good wife, Calla gave in to her husband’s request.

Since her return Daniel had been nothing but warm and genuine. Having taken an less active role with SGC—sort of a work-from-home position, he’d go in a few times a week, see what was going on, pick up work and come home. Daniel spent a lot of time in his new home office with his computer, his books and his artifacts but he was always there whenever she needed him. He never failed to be patient or considerate or loving, even when it was obvious he was frustrated he never raised his voice, not once not even when he was getting her to go O’Malley’s for dinner. When he wanted to, Daniel had a very pleasant and persuasive way about him.

Sometimes she wished he’d get angry. Sometimes she wished he’d go away. Most of the time she just tried to get from one day to the next without any major hurdles, accidents or events to speak of. She did laundry, cleaned the big house, made meals, tended the gardens and played with the children with the constant drone of the radio in the background. Any activity to pass the time would do. Anything at all just so she did not have to sit and think.

The thinking was unavoidable on days when she had to go in and see Dr. O’Gara. The good doctor had done what he could for poor Mrs. Jackson, which wasn’t much. He couldn’t stitch her because the wounds were too old and she had no broken bones to set. O’Gara had suggested the idea of some reconstructive surgery on and in her more tender areas. Omar’s little silver ball and Kanan’s knife had done considerable damage and O’Gara feared it could only be repaired—or at least eased—with surgery. Unless she did so, well, a ‘normal sex life’ would probably not be something she would enjoy in the future.

Calla loathed the idea of a knife coming anywhere near those parts of her again and dismissed his recommendation. Besides, right now, she didn’t really care if she ever engaged in sexual intercourse again. Just having him slide his greased gloved finger into was enough to bring tears. She couldn’t imagine having a……doing……that…..ever again.

While she continued to go to O’Gara and he continued to examine her and monitor her progress, the most he was really able to do was to keep giving her that nice prescription for pain killers. If Janet Frasier had noted Calla’s particular past habit he might have prescribed something milder than the Roxicette he gave her. It was an agreeable little white pill as far as she was concerned and she took them at least as often as the bottle said to and doubled the dose at night. If Daniel were ever to realize that she did not have the one bottle he knew of and often saw her with but that she had two more stashed around the house, he might lose that easy-going tone in his pleasant voice.

“Come on, momma,” Nicky coaxed from the kitchen doorway. “It’s time to water the veggies.”

Calla glanced up at the clock, was it four already? Sure enough it was 4 o’clock right on the dot. “Ok, where’s Coley?” Calla stood up and shook herself out of her daze.

“She’s comin’” Nicky grumbled, “lookin’ for her clippas.”

“Clippers,” Calla said in a soft corrective voice. Nicky sometimes had problems with the hard ‘r’ sound.

Nicky cleared his throat. “Clip-ERs” he said and smiled that winning little-boy grin.

“Ready.” Colleen uttered as she came dashing around the corner.

“Don’t run with those in your hand.” Calla reminded her daughter. “You could slip and get hurt.” She began looking around. “Now where’s my…..”

“Here,” Nicky said and pulled Calla’s ‘ugly garden shirt’ out from behind his back while Coley handed over the wide-brimmed straw hat she wore in the garden.

“Why thank you two.” She said with a smile and took them from her hand. Calla slipped the light cotton shirt on over her pull over, it was a blue paisley straight out of the 60’s and even though it was always referred to as ‘the ugly garden shirt’ she loved the stupid thing. “Well, the plants are waiting, let’s go.” The three of them headed off to the gardens.

Daniel was sitting at his big desk in his big new home office when he saw them pass by the window. Colleen had a watering can in one hand and her mother’s hand in the other, in her back pocket was a set of small clippers. Nicky was dragging the garden hose and holding onto his mother’s other hand. Daniel stopped fooling around with the computer to sit back and watch them.

The three of them stopped short of the sprouting vegetable garden and kicked off their shoes before entering the bed. The only time Calla allowed shoes in the garden was when there was tilling to be done. Holding his finger tips to his lip, he watched through the glass while Calla pointed to the sky and the twins looked up. Off in the distance thunderheads were rolling in off the mountains. From the looks of it she was telling them that Mother Nature was about to water the little sprouts. Nicky planted a fist on his hip and tugged at the hose. Calla gave in and he walked into the garden to give the tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peas, spinach and assorted other goodies a little drink before Mother Nature got there. Colleen followed her mother over to the new rose bushes and checked them for early signs of blight or bugs. At the first sight of such the offending branch was either sprayed with a mustard and water mixture—if it were a bug—or a soap and water mixture—if it were a fungus. If that didn’t work the branch had to be removed and Calla was guiding Coley’s hand carefully to do just that. Snip. The little branch fell to the greening ground. Off in the vegetable garden Nicky was carefully using the fine-spray setting on the hose to mist his new plants.

They really loved her. If she wasn’t in the garden with them, they were playing music on the radio and singing or she was teaching them to play an instrument. Colleen liked the guitar but Nicky was getting pretty good on the ivory keys. Sometimes she’d take them up to the attic and they would paint pictures in oils. Other times they’d fill the house with the wonderful aromas of fresh baked bread and chocolate chip cookies. She was the first thing they wanted to see in the morning and they last thing they saw at night when Calla tucked them into bed and read each their own story.

Sometimes Daniel felt like an outsider, as he did right now. Looking at his family through a pane of glass rather than being part of it. He could attempt to change that, he could get up right now and go outside and help in the gardens. But he wouldn’t. No, sometimes, like now, not only did he feel like an outsider but as though he would be intruding if he tried to join in.

Nicholas and Colleen hugged Calla all the time, they kissed her, sat on her lap and held her hand. Other than Dr. O’Gara, they were the only people who actually touched her since she came home, not even Ares was allowed within arms reach of her. If he tried to reach out for her sometimes she’d just cringe a little bit and pull away but if he moved too soon or said something off she’d skitter away from him.

Sitting in the living room after dinner with coffee seemed all right with her. They would sit and talk so long as they were not in too close proximity. The evening would pass sweetly almost the way it had once been but then she was off to bed and he was left alone. Calla moved most of her clothes into the small guest bedroom down the hall soon after she came home and she didn’t show any signs of wanting to move back in with him. Not even just to sleep next to each other.

A dim flash of light caught his attention, lightning was flashing off in the distance. Calla stopped fiddling with the rose bushes and turned toward it. A smile crossed her face as she tilted her head back and welcomed the coming rain. For the first time in a very long time she looked peaceful almost happy as the sprinkle of water sprayed down. The thunder crashed and the children ran toward her. Nicky dropped his hose in the dirt to go to her side. Daniel wished he could hear what she was saying to his frightened children but whatever it was it washed away those frowns and looks of despair like the rain washed away the soil from their feet. The three of them formed a circle and danced around in the soft rain before gathering their gardening tools and dashing back to the house.

The kitchen was on the other side of the wall and he could hear them laughing as they came inside, Calla told them to find towels and dry off. A moment later, looking out through the open door he saw the two of them pass by on their way to the stairs and their rooms. Nicky charged ahead but Coley turned to him as she went on her way and gave her Daddy a little wave and a smile before ascending the stairs.

With the garden chores done for the day, Calla would be in the kitchen starting dinner. Daniel put the computer on stand-by and walked out of his office. “Hi,” he said in a meek voice as he entered the kitchen.

“Hi,” Calla returned as she looked up at him and then went back to seasoning the steak she was preparing for dinner.

Daniel ventured a few steps into the kitchen. “I saw you out there with them.”

“You were spying on us?”

He wasn’t sure whether or not it was an accusation, he couldn’t tell from her tone of voice. “No,” Daniel said lightly. “Just watching you through my window.”

“Is this something you do often, Daniel?” Calla flipped the London Broil and began to spread garlic, salt and pepper on the other side. She already knew this was something he liked to do, it didn’t matter where he was in the house if he could see her then she could feel the weight of his eyes on her.

“I suppose.” Daniel admitted. “You looked really happy and content out there.”

“The children like the gardens.” She remarked and then looked up at him. “You can join us whenever you want. This is your house, you don’t have to watch.”

“This is our house and thanks for the invitation.” Daniel smiled. That Connection was still there. She could still read him like a book and poke around in his head whenever she wanted to. If he gave it a shot maybe he could do the same.

“Dinner will be ready in about half an hour, is there anything I can do for you?”

That was Calla-Code for you’re in the way, buddy, what do you want? “No.” He said slowly. “How about you?” She looked up at him with a quizzical expression. “Can I help you with dinner?”

“If you wish, yes. Are you hungry, Daniel?”

“I just want to help. What can I do?”

Calla pointed him toward the fridge and asked him if he could make a salad to go with dinner, Daniel said he thought he could handle that. They spent the next half an hour making small but very nice conversation while they made dinner. Maybe she had a good point, maybe if he wanted to be more a part of her life (and the lives of his children) he should stop waiting for her to come to him and take a more active role.

Nicky and Coley dashed down the stairs and into the kitchen to show their mother their newly washed hands. Calla pronounced them clean and asked them to go and set the table for dinner. Nicky grabbed plates and Colleen grabbed the silverware and off they went to do as their mother asked.

As usual, dinner was delicious. The family sat around the dinning table eating steak, salad, French fries with some of Calla’s home made bread. Chocolate chip cookies—also fresh made—and coffee were had in the living room when the dishes were cleared and the mess dealt with. Nicky and Coley wanted to watch a movie in the basement—the real estate agent had been right about that basement, it was a perfect rec room for the kids. Calla wanted them to practice their music lessons first. Nicky quickly ran through a rendition of “The Entertainer” on the piano and Coley went through one of Gordon Lightfoots’ “If You Could Read My Mind” on the guitar. Daniel thought about his daughter’s selection while she sang and played the tune and felt it possible that she was trying to tell him something. Yes, if he used his own ability to poke around in Calla’s mind, he was sure the tale her thoughts would tell would be more than your average dime-store paperback allowed.

With hugs, kisses and smiles, Calla said they could go and watch “Shrek 2” in the basement until bedtime. They grabbed two handfuls of cookies and dashed off toward the door.

“You look tired,” Daniel commented from his chair across from her. “The bulk of the storm is still a ways off, why don’t you go upstairs and have a bath?” He stopped for a second and then added, “in the big tub. I’m sure your back would appreciate it.” Not only did Calla not sleep with him she didn’t step foot into the bedroom they once shared unless she was picking up or dropping off his laundry. If she wanted to shower or bathe she used the bathroom in Coley’s room. Looking over at her, her eyes seemed to suggest that the idea appealed to her. “Do you remember how to work it?” Calla sipped from the last of the coffee in her cup and nodded. “So go on,” he prodded, “if it gets late I’ll put the kids to bed.” She just sat there waiting. Waiting for something just a wee bit more from him. “I won’t come up and bother you, you can lock the bedroom and bathroom doors if you want.”

“Are you sure you don’t mind putting them to bed?”

More Calla-Speak. Translation; Are you really going to leave me alone? “I don’t mind. You can go and kiss them when you’re done.”

“Maybe I will.” Calla stood up and stretched her back a little way. “Thank you, Daniel.”

Translation; I’m going to trust you on this so don’t blow it. “Sure.” He watched her take the coffee mug into the kitchen and heard her put it in the sink. She crossed through the living room again a few seconds later, smiled over her shoulder at him and made her way up the stairs. Daniel wandered into his office and turned on the computer. Overhead he heard her footsteps as she walked down the hall to their bedroom and then the sound of water. More footsteps going back the other way back to her room. A little way down the hall and he couldn’t hear her anymore, she’d reached the other side of the house. The computer came out of hibernation and he opened the DSL line. He searched aimlessly through government and public databases for information on his latest project. Getting lost in the images on the screen he didn’t hear it when she came back to the bedroom above him.

Chapter Two

Calla undressed in the dark in her room and slipped into her tattered but comfortable white robe. She grabbed an oversized T-shirt from the drawer and fresh pair of panties. From under the mattress she uncovered her night-time stash of pain killers and put two into her pocket then put the amber bottle back in its hiding spot. When she started the water she noticed Daniel still had her candles in the bathroom and the incense box was still on the vanity so she took a pack of matches from the night stand and put them into the pocket with the pills. From her own little vanity she took a small bottle of essential oil marked as MOONFIRE, one more little trinket for the pocket. From under the bed she produced a fifth of Jack Daniel, uncapped it and took down a very long swallow before putting the cap back on sliding it back under the bed.

Closing the robe up tight she poked her head through the bedroom door and watched and listened. The house was silent. Closing the door behind her, she trotted down the hall back to Daniel’s bedroom and the luxury of the hot tub waiting for her.

It was Daniel’s bedroom and as such she felt he should be able to walk into it if he wanted so she didn’t lock the bedroom door. However, the bath was another story and once inside she locked the door. The tub was half full and the room was steamy, Calla liked her baths very hot. She slowed the hot water and turned on the cold before drawing a cup of cold water from the sink and popping the pain killers down her throat. After that she lit the candles and incense. Daniel hadn’t moved her sea salt from the vanity either, she picked up the red bottle and sprinkled a healthy dose into the hot water. Along with the salt she added seven drops of the MOONFIRE oil and said a little prayer to make the water in the tub into a ritual cleansing bath. One to clean her soul and her mind as well as her body.

Turning off the light as she turned on the power to the jets the room glowed with the small flames of the many scented candles. The aroma mixed with the sandalwood incense and oil in the tub to create an exotic unseen garden. Calla flicked on the radio and turned to her favorite station. Taking a big swig of Listerine to clear the alcohol smell and taste from her mouth she rinsed it around and then spit into the sink. In the background Kansas was belting out “Carryon My Wayward Son” and she hummed along to the tune. Raising the hem of the rob she dipped her barefoot into the water and found it agreeable. Taking one last look around the steam filled room she removed the robe and draped it across the closed toilet before submerging herself in the sultry water.

The heat and bubbles felt heavenly on the soles of her feet and on her back but the tender area between her legs wasn’t so thrilled with the idea. It took a little while but Calla coaxed that part of her into getting accustomed to the warmth and gentle flow of the water around her. The radio played, the incense and candles burned and the room filled with more steam. Slipping down into the water’s embrace she let it wash over her head to toe as she sank below the surface. Somewhere off in the distance the thunder rolled.

In the dim light she was able to look at her naked body as she washed her hair. The marks on her legs were gone and so were those that had once been on her arms and face. Even the dark bruises left by the collar and Kanan’s hands had faded away. If you looked at her from the front you might not think anything was wrong with her. If you didn’t look too closely, didn’t stare at that area between her thighs, you might still think her beautiful. She didn’t need a mirror to tell her that the scars on her back, her feet, and the ones she didn’t like to think about, weren’t going anywhere. Her skin mended and the patches filled in but the ugly welts of flesh would never be flush again. Feeling her bath had been cooled enough, Calla turned off the cold water but left the hot running low as she slid under to rinse her hair. When she surfaced she noticed her head was feeling light. It tingled when she put the conditioned in her hair.

The pills must be kicking in, she thought and the small but potent swig of alcohol was happily speeding them on their way. Calla leaned back against the tub to stretch out in the steaming water and indulge in the euphoric feeling that was coming to her. The candles’ glow was magnified by the heavy water droplets hanging in the air giving the bathroom an ethereal glow. A heavy exhale released from her lungs and she drew in a breath of the leaden air to compensate for its loss. Looking around in an easy daze she noticed she’d forgotten her puff in her room, she didn’t feel like going back to get it, she’d just have to make do without. A groping hand searched for the soap, found it and began rubbing it across her body until she was covered in a thick lather. The radio played and she sang along; “Seasons don’t fear the reaper nor do the wind the sun and the rain. We can be like they are. Come on baby. Don’t fear the reaper.”

Daniel had had a good idea, the bath was very nice. It was peaceful and relaxing. Calla eased the soap between her legs to clean the tender area there, feeling she wasn’t doing a good job since the offending part was under water she rose to her knees, bent her head to keep her eyes on her business and promptly passed out. The side of her head smashed against the tile as she fell forward into the water.

********************

Voices. Voices everywhere yelling in the dark.

Cha’Dech.

Little Bitch.

You Were Born A Whore Like Your Mother Before You.

She could find no faces to match the voices though she knew who their owners were. She could feel no presence other than herself as they continued to berate her from the safety of their invisible haven. Spinning round and round trying to find anything other than herself in this dark and dank place she searched the direction of the voices but found they only droned on and on from a place unknown.

Your Mother Never Wanted You.

“It’s not true, my mother loved me.”

I Am Your Father, It Is My Right To Have You First.

“You were my brother you had no right.” She called to the darkness. It was so hot in this small room she was sweating and panicking as she tried to find a way out. The more she searched the hotter it became and the more difficult to breathe. Her lungs felt as though they were trying to suck down water. Her legs grew heavy and so did her head.

Daniel Always Knew My Identity

Calla collapsed to the ground below her and began to crawl around on her hands and knees.

Gots Ta Teach Yew Sum Mannas Missy

“Stop it!” She cried out in a little girls’ frightened whisper.

You’ve Had More Pricks Than A Pin Cushion

She shares his bed, your children call her Mother now.

Finding her way to a corner of the room, Calla huddled in it with her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms wrapped firmly around them. She rocked back and forth in the corner while the voices continued to taunt her.

Yew shouldda seen yow face, Callie. It was . . . priceless. I dun thought yew was gonna scream or pass out or sum’thin.

Just Tonight.

*********************

Daniel hadn’t noticed when she went back into the bedroom.

Drip.

“What the?” He looked around in front of him for a moment.

Drip.

Daniel looked up, the ceiling above him was leaking. Wasn’t that nice, he’d had the plumbing inspected and they said………. The sound of running water came to him. She hadn’t turned off the bath. Daniel looked down at his watch, she’d gone up around 7:30 and it was now quarter past 8. “Calla?” He called out and made his way up the stairs. The bedroom door was unlocked and turned easily in his hand. Trying the bathroom door he found it locked tight and he could hear the water running on the other side. “I know I said I wouldn’t bother you,” he said as he knocked on the door, “but we’ve got some kind of leak, I need to get inside.” She didn’t answer him. There were no shuffling sounds from within the bathroom just the radio and the running water. “Calla?” Daniel knocked harder and turned the knob in his hand. The door was hot. “Calla?” He demanded. “All right, I’m coming in.” Daniel warned and tossed his shoulder against the door to pop it open. He was met with a burst of steam so thick and the room was so hot that at first he thought it was on first. The haze was so heavy he couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t see. His glasses fogged over and he took them off. Waving a hand in front of his face he called out her name again and still she didn’t answer him. The floor beneath his feet was wet and slippery. Soon the steam cleared to a degree where he could see his hand in front of his face and the mass of red hair floating in the tub. “Shit!” Daniel reached in and pulled her out. “Calla!” He shook her while he laid her out on the cold wet bathroom floor. “Come on, Kitty, wake up!” Don’t panic. Take a breath. Leaving her on the floor for a moment, Daniel shut off the running water, grabbed and towel and then grabbed his wife up in his arms. He ran her out to the bedroom.

In the bedroom the light was much brighter and Daniel could clearly see that from top to bottom her skin was roughly the color of a fresh cooked lobster. “What the hell were you trying to do?” He laid her down on the bed and called out her name again. Her chest was rising and falling in a slow but normal pattern and when he put his head between her breasts he could hear her heart beating. “Kitty!” As she lay motionless on the bed tendrils of steam wafted from her burned body and a trickle of blood oozed from the new wound at her temple. Finally her eyelids lolled open. She didn’t say anything she just looked at him for a brief moment before they grew so heavy that they closed again. “Come on, Calla, stay with me, wake up.” Daniel snapped his fingers and shook her lightly. Her eyes rolled open with a more life. “Are you ok? What happened?”

Calla managed to move her neck up and down on her shoulders indicating she thought she was all right. “Heavy.” She whispered. “Tired.”

“You want me to call a doctor?” The answer to his question was slight but there was movement from side to side indicating ‘no’. Without taking his eyes off of her he picked up the towel from the floor and began to dry her. “What happened?” Daniel asked again. She didn’t pull away from him when his skin touched hers in fact she hardly seemed to notice it at all. The towel swabbed her neck, shoulders, arms. It slid down her torso and over her hips and thighs down to her legs and toes. He tried to stay away from any areas that she might normally consider to be off limits. Gazing down at her she actually looked heavy. She looked like her body might so dense as to weigh five or six hundred pounds. Either gravity had pulled a nasty little trick or the weight of the world was pushing down on her. He wanted to ask his question again but realized it was possible she didn’t have the capacity to answer him right now.

Pulling her up from the pillow he wrapped the damp towel around her head and squeezed the water from her hair. Rising from her side Daniel crossed the room to the bureau and took out her favorite flannel shirt. It was a blue and gold plaid and it was old and frayed but it was still soft and warm and she used to love to sleep in it. With much caring he lifted her from the bed again and dressed her in the work shirt. When he was done buttoning the shirt he tucked her in under the warm comforter. “OK, we’ll talk about this later.” Daniel brushed the wet hair away from her forehead. “Right now you sleep. I’m going to go check on the kids and then I’ll be back in to see you.”

A light went on in those distant eyes and she moved as though she were about to try and get up. “Just sleep here.” He encouraged and patted the mattress. “It’s warm, isn’t it? You look comfortable. Stay here and I’ll be back in a while…..to check on you.” He tried to say his last words in a very reassuring tone. Speaking in Calla-Speak was one of the toughest languages he ever had to learn and he hoped he was conveying the message that he wasn’t going to come back and take advantage of her while she was out of it. Her eyes closed and he sat there with her for a while watching her dose. It was nice to have her in his bed again even if the circumstances were suspicious. If he was lucky, later on, maybe, he could slip in beside her and hold her through the night. Kissing her cheek and sure she was sleeping, Daniel rose from the bed.

There were a few chores to be done. Daniel was soaked through to his skin from hauling her out of the tub and carrying her to the bed. He stripped off the wet shirt and blue jeans and slipped into a pair of sweat pants before turning his attentions to the bathroom. He mopped up the bathroom floor, turned off the radio and blew out the candles. On the double sink he noticed he sea salts and essential oil and half full glass of water. Calla didn’t drink water, she hated it. In fact Calla so avoided water that he often wondered why. He sometimes he thought he should buy stock in Coca-Cola, at least that way he’d make his money back for all she put in Coke’s pocket. Calla drank coffee, tea, she liked iced green tea and lemonade but never just plain old water unless she were taking her pills.

If she’d taken one of her pain killers before getting into the overly hot tub and breathing in the hot heavy air, she might have had a sudden drop in blood pressure which caused her to pass out in the tub. He didn’t see a bottle of pills anywhere. However, he did see the blood smear on the tile where head hit as she fell. Good God she could have killed herself.

She could have been trying to kill herself. A nasty little voice rose inside to say.

No, Calla wouldn’t do that. It was selfish and one thing she was not was selfish. Such an act would harm the children beyond all possible belief and he was certain she would never be responsible for such. It was an accident. Whatever happened it was an accident. Daniel picked up her tattered robe and the T-shirt and panties and brought them out into the bedroom. He thought about the underwear and the fact that she wasn’t wearing any right now. If she woke that way she would think he had taken advantage of her in her sleep. He peeled back the covered and looped the panties around her ankles, quietly sliding them up her legs and thighs. Daniel didn’t mean to invade her privacy and to look where she did not want him to but he had to get the damn things around her waist and in order to do that he had to get them between her thighs. Gently he pushed them apart just a little bit.

To say the chastity belt had been unkind would be doing a disservice. The rough and raw edges of metal sliced through the milky smooth flesh there leaving behind long jagged scars. Other marks looked as though they were made with the blade of knife, perhaps she had not been cooperating as Kanan wanted her to. Daniel saw the belt and he knew about the jagged pricks which surrounded the two holes. Having been forced to sit on her knees most of the time the pricks constantly bit into her and made the soft inner flesh of that sweet area look like hamburger that had healed over. The silky material of the white panties slid home and Daniel didn’t have to look at her scars anymore tonight.

“My poor Kitty.” Daniel whispered and brushed his hand across her cheek and held his open palm to the wound at the side of her head that lovely blue light appeared and took the mark away. “I wish you’d let me do that for you months ago. I love you, baby.” Daniel left the door ajar before going down to the basement.

Nicholas and Colleen insisted on stopping in Daddy’s Room to kiss their mother good night and promised they wouldn’t wake her. To him it seemed he wasn’t the only who was happy about where Calla was sleeping tonight. As promised they hugged and kissed their sleeping mother in gentle embraces before scampering off to their rooms for bed. Daniel read them one bedtime story in Nicholas’ room before tucking them in for the night.

Making his way down to the basement of the quiet house he began shutting off lights and DVD players and making sure the doors were locked. He topped to inspect his office; the damage didn’t seem too bad. It was just a bit of water which had seeped through the tiles and then through the ceiling below. Thank God it had or he might not have found her. Daniel didn’t know if he should go up to her right away it was early and if he waited until she were deeply asleep maybe she wouldn’t notice when he tried to sleep next to her. Not wanting to wait and risk letting his chance slip through his hands he gave the house one last go-over and made his way to his bedroom where his wife was still soundly sleeping.

Lightning flashed outside the glass doors as Daniel peered into the bedroom door way to see Calla lying just where he’d left her. He thought about that more active role and made his way down the hall to the room she’d been staying in. It didn’t take long to find what she’d hidden there under the mattress and under the bed. A bottle of booze and a bottle of pills. With a sinking heart he took the pills down stairs to the kitchen and opened the spice cabinet where he knew she kept a bottle of pain killers. There it sat looking back at him. One amber bottle on the shelf and one in his hand. The one he was holding was half empty just like the one on the shelf.

One last trip up the stairs for the night but not to the second floor this time to the third. Calla had set up an artist studio in the attic and she spent a lot of time up there both with and without the kids. Sometimes at night while he was awake with one book or another for company he would hear her walking around up there. In the big wide space he saw his grandmother’s dining room set. The big pieces of furniture sat under assorted dust cloths off the far left. Paintings done by the children hung from the rafters, sunflowers, gardens, people, houses, cars and more stared back at him. The twins weren’t Rembrandt, not yet anyway. They did show promise and a good eye for color one day they could be come very accomplished painters.

The attic had a strange and stale smell to it. Under the stronger scents of paint thinner and oils lingered something familiar. If he were her where he would hide something up here? He turned back to the covered furniture and lifted the dust cover from the hutch. Opening the cabinet he found two more bottles of Jack & Danny, one as yet unopened and the other with less than a full shot left in it. Next to that bottle was a bottle of 100 proof Southern Comfort. Behind that another little amber bottle of pain killers, this one a quarter full. The strange but familiar scent of skunk mixed with pine grew stronger. Daniel pushed the bottles aside and a found the remainder of a quarter ounce of weed hidden there next to was a small glass pipe, Bic lighter and a pack of sandalwood incense.

Sometimes at night when he thought he heard her moving around he also thought he smelled the faint aroma or marijuana and once he even got up and stuck his head out the bedroom door only be met with the stronger scent of burning sandalwood. Calla had been burning the incense to cover the pot smoke. She’d been getting drunk and strung out up here in her little quite space. He looked through the hutch and then the silent butler but didn’t find anything more. Where did she get all this stuff? Calla didn’t drive anymore, he took her everywhere she wanted to go and he certainly hadn’t taken her on a drug buy recently nor to the liquor store.

The answer was pretty simple, the Internet. Daniel left the house two days a week for a few hours each time. And she used that time to her advantage. She re-contacted the liquor store that delivered—probably paid a good service fee for coming out so far in the boonies and made a drug contact online. The bottles were not from the local pharmacy the writing was in Spanish. She’d used her prescription to order more pills from one of those Fly-By-Night Open Pharmacies online. Probably got pointed in the right direction for the quarter ounce as well.

Daniel walked across the room to the easel where one of Calla’s paintings was sitting and noticed a stack of them on the floor all neatly lined up by the window. The painting on the easel was a depiction of Kanan’s Courtyard at night. Not just any night, from the looks of it the painting depicted the Yehwe celebration he’d and the rest of SG-1 stumbled upon when they first went to Tiberia. A crowd was gathered under a night sky, several torches and bonfires burned. Kanan stood on a raised platform, his hand high in the air and the braids at his back waving out behind him. Though Daniel looked for it, he couldn’t find an image of Calla in the picture.

Quietly he rummaged through the stack of quarter and half-size canvases. First up was a rather peaceful image, or someone else might have thought it so, of two cascading water fountains in a beautiful flower garden. One fountain white and the other black, two small hands reached and clung to the side of the black fountain from inside. In another painting an aged hand holding a silver ball there were lightning bolts surrounding the ball. On another canvas were the chains Kanan used to hold her…all of them. Hephaestus’ Chains, the leather strap he’d used to bind her, the chains he’d hung her from and the silken ropes that had been tied to his bed on the ship. Daniel was only able to immediately recognize two of them, the full set of arm and leg shackles and silk ties he didn’t pick up on right away. Calla had yet to tell him much of what happened during her last stay with Naganti Kanan. The pictures were speaking loud and clear on her behalf.

He flipped past the image of the chains and stumbled upon Calla’s portrait gallery as he was met with a portrait of the man himself. While Naganti Kanan looked menacing with the knotted smile on his face, he also looked very handsome in her rendition of the man who held her captive, abused and tortured her.

Daniel flipped past that and found what he thought was another portrait of Kanan but upon closer inspection it turned out to be the young man with him, Naveen was his name. He had lighter skin than Kanan and green eyes. He was the one who’d been able to free her of the collar around her neck. Daniel never asked her why that was but figured somewhere along the line, Kanan had hidden a son from her. The portrait of the younger man was bright and glowed with an inner light. Daniel assumed he must have been kind to her at some point, but he was wrong. The only outright kindness Naveen had ever shown his mother was his dying effort to give her freedom. That was enough for her to immortalize him in the oils with a regal shine in his eyes.

Next in the gallery was a painting of Omar’s eyes, nothing more, just his eyes and the bridge of his nose. Rowan/Psyche came after him, her face was open and bleeding from the blow to the head and behind her was a lake of clear blue water just waiting to envelope her.

So this is what she did at night. She sat up here getting smashed out of her mind and trying to paint the images out of her head. Yeah, well, from what he’d seen of her body tonight, the gnarled and knotted scars at her back and those between her legs, if he were her he’d want to spend as much as time as possible absolutely blotto. Completely and totally numb and out of his mind. He flipped past the portrait of The Bitch—which was how he’d come to refer to her. The Portrait Gallery ended and for a moment Daniel thought it odd that he had not seen a depiction of himself or Ares or Eros in any of the paintings.

Two white hands in a dual set of chains met his eyes. One set was made of gold each with a sapphire in the middle and the other were the same silken ropes he’d seen in an earlier painting, Daniel pulled that one out and put it next to this one to be sure. Those were Calla’s hands in the chains. They were gnarled up tight and pulling against the silken ropes which were tied to a headboard. There was nothing else in the painting just the hands and the ties that bound them. The picture sent a chill down his spine.

Next image in the stack was that of a free standing mirror. Daniel stared at it for a few minutes because it looked familiar and then it finally came to him. There had been a mirror just like this one in their room in the Finest Hotel in Uray. However the reflection in this mirror showed him and Jack and Sam. They were standing in front of the Stargate and the wormhole was open. Omar was standing there seeing them off. In the painting Daniel had the most pained expression on his face. This was the moment he’d left her behind. She’d seen it through the mirror.

Next up a depiction of the corner she sat in. It was dark and narrow and on the wall were three photographs. In each he could clearly see himself and in two he was kissing Rowan. The dark green carpet on the floor had worn marks in it, two deep divots where her knees wore down the rug and two narrowed ones behind where her toes had done the same.

The stack was getting smaller and the paintings larger, they’d gone from quarter sized to half sized canvases. The first half size was an image of their bedroom but the lovers on the bed were not Daniel and Calla but he and Rowan. Her thick wavy brunette hair covered the pillows behind her head and her firm full breasts pushed up against his bare chest while she embraced him. “It never happened.” Daniel muttered and put the image aside. As he did he noticed the richness in the details of this painting. The way the curtain billowed inward with an unseen light breeze and the purple/red haze to the sun setting behind the mountain tops beyond the glass doors. The deep but soft contours to the two entwined bodies on the very soft bed. She’d thought about this one a lot before she put it to canvas. Thought out every last shadow and detail of how the room would have been when he was making love to her mortal enemy.

Finally taking his eyes away from it he turned to the last painting in the stack. At first he didn’t know what he was looking at and thought maybe it was some type of Abstract she was working on. It certainly didn’t look finished. On the canvas was a room lit by torches in the far off corners. On the dark and damp looking floor were a small but very sharp knife and a bullwhip. In the foreground was a pair of shackles. Two pair actually. One heavy iron pair hung from some place above and another equally heavy pair was anchored to the ground. Two small pools of crimson lay below the ankle cuffs.

The chains on the floor pulled upward as though there were feet in them and the ones suspended from above pulled inward as though there were arms in their grasp but no one was hanging there. More crimson, this time in slashes across what probably should have been someone’s back but, again, there was no one hanging, no one depicted in the chains. Very neatly drawn crimson lines trickled down from an area which should have been the soft flesh of someone’s inner thighs.

Outside the thunder boomed and inside the light overhead flickered. The skies opened and the storm which had been so long in its approach poured rain down on the roof.

Pushing the small stack of painting aside he came back to the one with the chains and matched these up to the last unknown pair. The last painting in the stack was nothing more than a blank canvas. Daniel went through them once more before putting them back exactly the way he’d found them. Leaving the illicit contents of the hutch where they were he shut out the light and made his way back to the second floor.

Quietly easing the bedroom door open he saw her still sleeping where he left her and walked inside. He wasn’t tired, he had too much on his mind for sleep, but he wanted to be with her and he wanted to be able to look at her. Daniel took some of the candles from the bathroom, placed them on the night stand and lit them. The soft glow illuminating her sleeping tranquil face and he smiled as he pulled back the blanket and slipped in beside her. What if she really did try to kill herself? What then? The paintings were disturbing but at least it was a way for her to get some of it out. The pot. The pills. The booze. She never once looked strung out to him, never acted particularly out of it. That was probably because she wasn’t using them for recreation purposes, wasn’t particularly going with the flow on that one. To her it was self-medication and she used them to get day to day or hour to hour rather than to get high.

If he hadn’t found them he wouldn’t know and then how much longer would she have gotten away this and how much worse would things have gotten before she hit bottom? Or was this it?

Oh, God, what if she really did try to kill herself?

Chapter Three

Damn it was cold and dark in this place. He couldn’t see anything at all. Blindly he groped out in front of himself searching for obstacles or a wall or anything. Nothing but open space. No furniture to bump his leg against, nothing on the floor to trip over, the space just seemed to go on and on and on empty and dark and cold.

In his bed Daniel Jackson woke up and looked around. The air in his lungs was frigid; it felt as though he’d just spent twenty minutes in sub-zero temperatures with no coat or even shirt to cover his lungs. A harsh clap of thunder boomed over head and then rolled endlessly into the distance making him jump in the bed. The sound coming to his ears was not rain but the steady tink-tink-tink of hail stones hitting the glass door by the bed. Lightning ignited the room in glowing purple tossing shadows across the wall in front of him.

Around him the small candles still glowed and he saw Calla sleeping next to him. She was sweating and shivering in her sleep. Daniel brought the covers around to bring her warmth. Her skin was clammy and cold like ice and without thinking about it he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in close to his body heat. Weeks worth of toxins built up by Jack & Danny along with the pills and pot were working their way out of her pores. She smelled like an old bar filled with baskets of fresh flowers.

Suddenly there he was, no longer in his bed with his wife in his arms, but sitting in that ancient movie theatre, alone in the last balcony row. The theatre was darkened but he saw and heard the old heavy red drapes pull back and reveal the silver screen below. It was cold in the cinema today, as though someone had forgotten to turn on the heat altogether, and he pulled the collar of his shirt closer to his skin while he waited for the movie to begin.

The screen was dark but somewhere the speakers came on. “Hey! Guys and Gals, Ladies and Gents, here we are the all new MIX 95.7! All Oldies All The Time! We Got Our First Caller On The Line, Hey There Little Lady, What’s Your Name?” The line was silent and the last thing any DJ wants is dead air. “Well, There, We Must Have Lost Her! Anyway I Know The Little Lady Was Calling Her Favorite Station MIX 95.7 With A Special Request.” The DJ was, as DJ’s usually are, over excited and bubbling as though he were a pot of beef stew ready to be served. “This One’s For You Little Lady.”

Over the speakers Helen Reddy began to sing;

“You live your life in the songs you hear
on the rock and roll radio.
And when a young girl doesn’t have any friends
that’s a really nice place to go.
Folks hoping you’d turn out cool
but they had to take you outta school.
You’re a little touched you know, Angie Baby.”

The lights over head dimmed further and the Silver Screen came to life. It was dark in the theatre and it was dark on the screen. Mixed with the sound of Ms. Reddy singing her tune, far off in the background, he thought he heard someone crying. Gradually the darkness on the screen faded and something resembling light began to appear. Daniel leaned forward trying to catch a glimpse of what was on the screen.
“Lovers appear in your room each night
and they whirl you across the floor.
But they always seem to fade away
when your daddy taps on your door.
Angie girl, are you all right?
Tell the radio good-night.
All alone once more, Angie Baby.”

Just enough light to make out the shape huddling in the corner. Cascades of auburn hair flowed over the small body with its knees pressed up under its chin and covered her head to toe in red silken fire. She was shaking and muttering something he couldn’t understand, he wished the DJ would turn the damn music off!

“Angie Baby, you’re a special lady.
Living in a world of make-believe.
Well, maybe.”

Calla rocked back and forth in the corner, her face like the rest of her body was hidden by her hair. But her hair wasn’t that long anymore; it only came to the middle of her back now. It wouldn’t be covering her this much. There was enough light on the screen that Daniel could make out the shadow when it loomed over her.

“Stopping at her house is a neighbor boy
with evil on his mind.
‘Cause he’s been peeking in Angie’s room
at night through the window blind.
I see your folks have gone away.
Would you dance with me today?
I’ll show you how to have a good time, Angie Baby.”

The camera in Calla’s mind pulled back and Daniel saw himself standing there next to her. Calla cried and rocked and tried to console herself while he just stood there. In the balcony Daniel watched and waited for him to do something but he did nothing. He just stood there watching her misery. Sitting up above he thought about that more active, more aggressive role he should be playing and got up from his seat. Daniel dashed out of the balcony and down the steps to emerge in the main theatre once more. The music coming through the speakers was so loud down here his ear drums reverberated in his head and the powerful sound waves made his stomach turn.

“When he walks in the room, he feels confused
like he’s walked into a play.
And the music’s so loud it spins him around
’til his soul has lost its way.”

With his hands over his ears and his eyes swimming in his head, Daniel stumbled down the main aisle toward the Silver Screen where Calla was sitting huddled against a corner and rocking back and forth. Still the Daniel Jackson on the screen just stood there looking down at her. It was an old theatre and he had to climb up onto the stage before he could get to the Silver Screen. Daniel took his hands away from his ears to hoist himself up. If the man on the screen wasn’t going to do anything then he would.

“And as she turns the volume down
he’s getting smaller with the sound.
It seems to pull him off the ground.
Toward the radio he’s bound never to be found.”

Daniel jumped into the movie.

The music stopped. Everything stopped. Calla wasn’t rocking, she wasn’t moaning and crying. The man next to him just stood there looking back at him, he didn’t breathe and he didn’t blink. Two of them was no good and since he didn’t know how to make the other one go away, Daniel stepped into the body of the man who looked like him but wasn’t making any move to help Calla.

Everything started up again. The music was soft and dim, he couldn’t really make out the words anymore but the sound was still there. Calla began rocking and crying again. Very softly and trying to be as non-threatening as humanly possible he walked over to where she was hunched in the corner. “Calla?” She didn’t turn to him in fact she didn’t seem to notice his presence in the slightest. Daniel knelt beside her and said her name again. Still no response. A shaky hand reached out to pull the mass of hair away from her face and body. Well, no wonder she didn’t answer, he’d been calling her by the wrong name. “Callestah?” Dirty cheeks with clear tear tracks turned to look in his direction. “Hi,” he said softly, “do you know who I am?” The mass of auburn hair cascading around her was just as dirt riddled as her face it as swept the ground at her sides. The arms encircling her were also encrusted with layers of dirt and dried blood. Moving in closer to her the heated aroma of old sex came to him. The patches in her hair were not clumps of dirt or sweat but dried cum.

“I want Danny,” she muttered and turned away from him to begin rocking and crying again.

“I am Danny. I’m all grown up now but it’s me.” He reached out to turn her grimy face to look at him but she cringed away and banged her head against the wall. “Look in my eyes you’ll see it’s me. It’s Danny. I’m right here.” Pushing the hair further away from her face and over her shoulder it was clear that she was not only battered and abused but naked as well. Her little arms holding her little knees tightly under her chin for warmth and cover. All over her encrusted dirt and grime stuck to every part of her body, the heat of the bath was a little easier to for him to understand now. She’d been trying to wash it all away but it wasn’t her body that was dirty and in need of a good cleansing. It was her mind.

Cha’Dech. Kanan’s voice was deep and booming and completely unseen.

Calla pulled in closer to herself and rocked harder. “They’re going to start again, you should go.” She whispered without looking at him. “You shouldn’t listen.”

Little Bitch. Eros’ voice.

Daniel looked around but could find no owners for the voices or direction they were coming from.

You Were Born A Whore Like Your Mother Before You. That particular phrase was uttered by so many voices he couldn’t decipher them. It echoed through the empty darkness. Calla clamped her hands to her head in a futile attempt to block out the voices as he’d tried to block out the music.

Your Mother Never Wanted You. Psyches’ voice hissed at her from the black.

I Am Your Father; It Is My Right To Have You First. That was Ares’ voice but Daniel was certain it was Eros who’d said it.

Daniel Always Knew My Identity Psyche again. He Never Loved You, He Only Pitied You. What a lying bitch. If he had known he never would have gone near her, he would have told Ares where to find her and let him deal with her.

Gots Ta Teach Yew Sum Mannas Missy That one sent a burst of cold shivers down Daniel’s spine, it was David.

You’ve Had More Pricks Than A Pin Cushion That particular sentiment seemed to be sent from Psyche and Eros. Psyche was just having a grand old time in here tearing Calla to shreds.

She shares his bed; your children call her Mother now. Kanan’s voice.

Yew shouldda seen yow face, Callie. It was . . . priceless. I dun thought yew was gonna scream or pass out or sum’thin. A harsh blast from the past if there ever was one. That was David’s voice coming out of Daniel’s throat.

Just Tonight. If he thought David’s voice sent a cold shiver down his spine, that one stopped his heart cold. It was his voice. He remembered saying it to her that night in the cabin.

As though it were all on tape the berating started over again but the voices were louder this time, coarser, and angrier.

Cha’Dech

Calla pressed further and further against the wall while she rocked faster and faster, tears spilling down her cheeks and mumbling something he couldn’t hear over the growing din. The music in the background changed and Helen Reddy was replaced by The Boss;

“Hey little girl is
your daddy home?
Did he go and leave you all alone?
Um-hum
I got a bad desire
Oh, whoa, whoa I’m on fire”

Until just now, Daniel never realized how threatening those lyrics were. The voices surrounding them continued to berate and snipe at the girl on the floor. The things they said changed from time to time or perhaps the person who said them changed, he really couldn’t tell. All in all it was the same thing anyway. Over and over they yelled at her and made her feel small. They frightened her and ate away at her inner soul. The voices fed upon them as though they were at a banquet fit for a king. The more they berated and the more they yelled the more frightened she became and the more they had to eat.

If he were her he probably wouldn’t be able to down enough pot, pills and booze to drown them out and come to think of it, neither could she. Not matter how much she medicated herself and tried to deal through her paintings they never shut up and they never went away and the best she could ever hope for was just to drown them out for a little while with the music in the background. The Boss and his dark lyrics faded away as “Casey Jones” began to play and the Grateful Dead began to sing.

“Driving that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you better
Watch your speed.
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
And you know that notion
Just crossed my mind.”

Daniel knelt down next to her again she was humming to the tune her head was projecting to keep the voices at bay. He wanted to tell her that he could take her away from this place but he wasn’t sure that was the truth. Looking around in the dim light he didn’t notice a door or a window anywhere. Even the Silver Screen he’d jumped through to get here was gone.

“Casey Jones you better watch your speed,” she sang under her breath and rocked in the corner.

Good advice. “Callestah can you look at me please?” Daniel asked in a hushed voice. “I know you don’t believe me but, if you look at me you’ll see, I really am Danny.”

The tune changed without warning. “Bases are loaded and Casey’s at bat…playin’ it play by play time to change the batter. Da dun da-dant. And we don’t need the ladies cryin’ ‘cause the story’s sad….ah-ha,” her voice trailed off and she looked up at him through a peep hole in her hair. His eyes were soft and blue. They could be Danny’s they reminded her of his eyes. It was his hands that drew her attention and those long slender fingers; yes they were just as she remembered. They were a little longer and a little bigger now but they were the same ones which had helped bring her up from the mall floor. The ones that touched her and didn’t bring pain.

“I wasn’t big enough or strong enough to help you before but I am now.” That one green eye peeping through that mass of auburn hair was driving him nuts, Daniel pushed her hair aside and she didn’t move away from him. “I want to help you.”

Daniel Doesn’t Love You, He Only Pities You. Psyche screeched and then let out a high pitched laugh. Stupid Little Bitch.

Daniel pointed over his shoulder at the faceless voice. “Now that’s not true,” he said in a soft voice, “I’ve always loved you and I never pitied you.” His hand ran across the top of her head again. “You’re strong; you don’t want or need me to pity you. You’re far from stupid. You’re very intelligent, very smart and crafty sometimes.” He smiled a little hoping she would too but she didn’t look up.

The tune she was humming changed as she stared up at him. “It’s a God awful small affair to the girl with the mousey hair,” she sang lowly, “but her mummy is yelling ‘no’ and her daddy has told her to go.”

He Knew Who I Was.

“No, I didn’t.” Daniel answered the charge so obviously leveled against him. “I would never do that to you. I would never hurt you like that. Sleeping with her is unforgivable but I swear to you I didn’t know who Rowan really was and she was never in our house. Our children never called her ‘mother’ and I didn’t take her as a lover after you were gone. Or anyone else.” He reached for her dirty hand and she let him take it. “I never forgot about you and no one will ever replace you. Ever.”

“Sweet, sweet Connie doin’ her act, she had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.” Calla sang in a sad but on-key voice.

You Were Born A Whore Like Your Mother Before You. You’ve Had More Pricks Than A Pin Cushion. Not just Psyche this time, no it was a whole chorus of voices which echoed throughout the darkness bringing the phrases ringing endlessly to the listener’s ear.

Once again he took the defensive. “Aphrodite wasn’t a whore and neither are you.” His thumb rubbed across the cold grimy flesh at the back of her hand. “What they did to you, Eros, Kanan…” he started to stumble but forced himself forward, “David…” another falter before he could finish the list, “me. It’s not your fault, none of it. It’s….It’s…Our…fault.” Having claimed a bit of responsibility Daniel found himself feeling a little better. “It doesn’t make you bad or dirty,” his free hand reached out trace the outline of her face. “It doesn’t mean you have to let people mistreat you and get away with it. You don’t deserve what happened to you. You’re not being punished for whatever Mother might have done. We’re the bad guys, we were wrong and we never should have done those things to you.” Daniel started to cry. Each time he said ‘we’ he felt his heart sink a little deeper in his chest. He had to keep claiming his own culpability and responsibility now that it was out in the open. She never made him do that, not once did she make him say he was sorry for the night in the cabin or for letting David take him over. Never held him accountable for it until now. While it hurt like hell there was also a release that came with and he felt as though a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders.

The tune changed again. This time it was very short and not very sweet. “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home to stay.”

I Am Your Father It Is My Right To Have You First.

How did he answer that charge when it wasn’t leveled against him? He found himself telling her the only thing he could; “It wasn’t Ares who hurt you, it was Eros. He said that to you.” Her eyes lit up for a second as though that were news to her. “Neither your brother or your father had any right, Callestah. No right at all.”

“No I would not give you false hopes on this strange and mournful day but the mother and child reunion is only a moment away.”

Your Mother Never Wanted You

Another charge not leveled against him and one he really had no business in answering. Some time ago while David was still part of him and Calla threatened to leave him she said she wouldn’t take the children with her and that she was sorry for the inconvenience. Looking back on it now he knew she hadn’t meant it, she was just angry and trying to get his attention. But at the time, he accused of her doing to her own children what Aphrodite had done to her and been slapped for it. No, Daniel, couldn’t speak for the Goddess of Love on this one, She hadn’t been much help while Calla lay dying in that mental hospital. She hadn’t done much to help after Eros was dead and her daughter sought her forgiveness. Aphrodite simply told Callestah that it had been an accident. “I’m sure your Mother loved you very much.” The half-lie half-truth slipped easily from his lips as he brought her a bit closer to him. “We can ask Ares about it if you want.” Daniel offered.

“A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life. Somewhere a Queen is weeping; somewhere a King has no wife.”

Gots Ta Teach Yew Sum Mannas Missy Although it was David who spoke, Kanan’s voice echoed the sentiment in the background.

It was the perfectly hollow tune for that nastily hollow place David took her. Not knowing what to say, Daniel was silent for a very long moment and so was the dark room around him. Telling her that she had good manners and etiquette didn’t seem to be the right way to go. What type of reassurance was she looking for here? Suddenly the answer came to him and he sat next to her. “You’re very good.” Daniel told her and she peeked out at him through her hair. “There are no more lessons to learn. You’re a very good girl.” Calla didn’t pull away when he wrapped an arm around her cold shoulders. “Very good.”

This time Calla didn’t sing, rather the music came from through the unseen speakers on an old ’45 replete with pops, scratches and hisses, The Eagles sang to him.

“And the hours go by like minutes
and the shadows come to stay
So you take a little something to
make them go away
And I could have done so many things, baby
If I could only stop my mind from wonderin’ what
I left behind and from worrying ’bout this wasted time”

Yew shouldda seen yow face, Callie. It was . . . priceless. I dun thought yew was gonna scream or pass out or sum’thin. Using Daniel’s throat, David spoke the words while Kanan laughed at the inside joke in the background.

“I should have done something, you’re right.” Daniel said softly. “I never should have let David treat you like that and I don’t know how it got that far, I swear, Kitty, I don’t know. You took him away and he won’t hurt you anymore. You were there when I needed you, you didn’t walk away, you helped me, I want to help you. I know about that little something you take, I found them.” The arm around her shoulder gave a short squeeze. “It’s ok, I understand why.”

“OK, guys & Gals, This Is Our Last Request Of The Evening And It’s Going Out To The Little Lady Who Started Us Off Tonight.” Said the overly enthusiastic DJ. Janis Joplin began to sing.

“Didn’t I make you feel like you were the only man?
Didn’t I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can?
Honey, you know I did!
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I’ve had enough,
But I’m gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.”

Just Tonight. Daniel’s lone voice echoed over the music.

It wasn’t just that night. No, soon after that David came and turned her into a prostitute. David woke up that night in the cabin and some part of Daniel had been willing to let him do that to her and Rowan. It had to have been that way or else why didn’t he notice? Why didn’t he stop David when he had the chance? “I know how tough you are.” He said in a strong voice. “You don’t have to be tough anymore. You don’t have to hide anymore. I broke your trust me in that night, it shattered like glass, didn’t it? You tried so hard to be tough…” Daniel’s voice trailed off.

“I want cha ta c ‘mon, c’mon, c’mon,” Calla sang in a low voice, “and take it. Take another little piece of my heart now baby. You know you got it…”

“If it makes you feel good.” Daniel finished. “Is that what you were doin’, huh? You were gonna ‘show me’. Yeah. So what’d you do, huh, Cal? You just stuffed it all down and told yourself it didn’t matter. That it was just sex and it didn’t mean anything? You never really trusted me again after that, did you?” That opened the door for David even wider now didn’t it? David liked to create mis-trust between them after all it was how he had gotten her to go with him in the first place. There were close to four years between then and now and in that time Daniel could have sworn they made love a thousand times. Maybe not, at least not for her, maybe it never really went beyond fucking. All those times couldn’t have been a lie; she had felt it and she wanted it back. He had to believe that was the root of all this. She wanted to love him again and didn’t know how or even if it was right or if he was really in love with her. “When we make love it means everything.” Daniel whispered. “I can feel the power of the whole universe in your touch and the way it washes over us. Everything else is lost and it’s just you and me. Nothing has ever come close to making me feel the way I do when I’m making love with you.”

The voices stopped. The music didn’t play. There they were on the dirty floor huddled close together, his arm wrapped around her shoulder and her head leaning against his. She wasn’t shaking anymore and she’d stopped crying. He was warm and strong and he smelled so good. “Danny?” Her filthy face turned to look at him. Though she wasn’t any bigger and she was still dirty, Daniel saw that her eyes and her face were older now. “Is it really you?”

“It’s really me.” Arms encrusted with every type of dirt imaginable wrapped around him and she pulled her naked body closer to him. “We’re all grown up now and we can be together there’s no one left to stand in our way.” A pained look crossed her face and she turned away from him but he turned her face back. “I don’t want to take anymore pieces of your heart or your soul. I want to fill up those missing pieces and make them whole again. David’s gone, Kanan’s gone, Eros is gone. The only one standing in our way is you. You have to be strong enough…tough enough….to believe in me and our love.” Daniel couldn’t hold back the sadness any longer he started to weep and he kissed the top of her head. “I believe, Kitty, I believe together we can do anything. We can overcome anything. I know we can.”

Chapter Four

Some time during the night the storm moved off giving way to a bright new day. Sunlight streaming in through the glass doors awoke Daniel Jackson, he raised his forearm to shield his eyes from the light. That was strange, they usually watched the sun set from here. Looking over at the clock by the bed it saw it was two in the afternoon. Calla was snuggled next to him sleeping peacefully and showed no signs of wanting to wake. They slept the entire day away and the kids let them. Not wanting to leave her side but given the hour he knew he should at least inspect the house before she woke. Daniel stuffed his pillows next to her as he got out of the bed.

She looked a little better today. Her skin wasn’t that lobster red but had returned to its porcelain veneer. The dream, vision, whatever it was, was not fading away and he had no intention of letting it do so until he had time to digest it and go over every last detail. Right now she was sleeping and that was good. Daniel drew the curtains and kissed her cheek before leaving the bedroom.

Sleeping next to her again was heavenly. Dreams and visions or not, just holding her next to him all night long was more than enough for him. When he’d pulled her out of the tub last night that was the first time his skin touched upon hers in almost six months. Being able to hold her again, even under dire circumstances, filled him with hope.

“Hi Daddy.” Colleen said as he came into the kitchen. “Sleep well?” She gave him a devilish little grin.

“I see someone’s made…breakfast?” He asked as he picked the cast iron skillet out of the sink. It was covered in burnt egg. “And what’s this? Lunch?” He picked up a bowl half-full of mushy tuna.

“We were hungry.” She said and finished making the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she was working on. “We didn’t want to bother you.”

“Hum.” He turned to look at the little girl. “I know what you’re thinking but all mommy and I did was sleep, ok?”

At the news Colleen frowned. She was hoping her parents were doing more than just sleeping. Mommy was having one of her visions all night long and Daddy was there, both she and Nicky had seen it though they tried to peek in too long. “Are you getting divorced?” She asked finally.

“No,” he told her. “You don’t have to worry about things like that. But I’ll tell you do have to worry about….this mess. Clean up this kitchen before your mother wakes up.” Daniel put on a pot of coffee. “Where’s your brother?”

“Downstairs watching TV.” Colleen huffed and walked off with her sandwich.

When the coffee was finished brewing he poured two cups and brought them up to the bedroom where his wife was still sleeping. Carefully waving one steaming cup under her nose he watched her face twitch and smiled. “Come on, it’s time to wake up.” As her eyes rolled open and she began to move on the bed, Daniel took a step back to prevent the hot coffee from spilling on her. When she smiled up at him with that special look in her eye he was taken aback but not as much as when she spoke.

“Good morning, Beautiful.” Calla cooed and reached out for the cup. She sat up with ease and took a long sip of the Colombian brew.

“Good afternoon.” He sat next to her on the bed. “Sleep well?”

Calla was putting the cup down on the night stand. “I think I must have.” She stretched her arms all the way over her head and yawned a little. There was no pull and no pain at her back. “I feel wonderful this morning.”

“That’s good.” Daniel sipped off of the coffee waiting for her to say something more but she didn’t. She only sat next to him stretching in a ways he hadn’t seen her move in a very long time. Indeed she looked wonderful in fact she was almost glowing this morning. “Do you remember last night?” He asked. From the blank expression on her face he didn’t think she knew what he was talking about. “Do you remember taking a bath last night?” He prodded.

“Um-hum,” she murmured as she took another drink of coffee. “You were right about that, those jets must have really helped my back.” Another drink and she looked at him from over the rim of the cup. “What’s wrong?”

“Do you remember anything else about your bath, Cal?”

Calla felt a coldness strike her heart. “What are you talking about? What happened?” She searched her memory and tried to find what he was looking for. “I don’t belong here do I?” She asked as she gazed around the room and realized she had not awakened in this room and in this bed in quite some time. The lightness and release she felt a moment ago faded away replaced by lead weighted uncertainty.

“You’ll always belong here.” Daniel reassured her. With a great deal of effort and in as soft a voice as possible he said; “I found you floating in the tub last night, face down. The water was very hot and you were red as a lobster when I pulled you out.” Before him her face turned ashen. “I want you to tell me something, Kitty and I want you to tell me the truth, no matter what it is. Do you understand?” She nodded. “Were you trying to hurt yourself last night?” She didn’t answer him. “I found these in your room,” he tossed one amber bottle onto the bed, “this one in the kitchen,” another bottle down, “this one…and a lot of other things…in the attic.” The last bottle hit the bed. “You took these and had a drink before you got in the tub, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” she confessed quietly.

“Were you trying to hurt yourself?” Daniel asked again. “You gotta tell me, Kitty.” Yes, she did have to tell him. If the answer was ‘yes’ then he had to get her help.

“No,” she said absently.

“No, you weren’t trying to hurt yourself or no you’re not going to tell me?”

Calla looked down at the pill bottles and knew he’d discovered the pot and the booze. “No, I didn’t want to hurt myself,” she mumbled and wrapped her arms around her shoulders. “I just want to make the voices stop. I just want the pictures to stop.” She took in a deep breath and started to rock back and forth. “I’m sorry, Daniel. I know you don’t approve of such things. I’m sorry.”

“No, I don’t.” He stuttered carefully. “But, if you’d have told me you wanted the pot I would have gotten it for you.” Her eyes widened in surprise and smiled and shrugged his shoulders in return. “I kinda like you when you’re stoned. You’re funny.” Daniel confessed. “You have to get rid of the pills.”

“I know,” she told him.

“The liquor? The nectar casks haven’t been touched, so why the booze?” Daniel asked.

“It’s better.” Was the only thing she had to say as she drew her knees up under her chin. “Do you want me to leave?” Surely he thought her to be a bad influence on the children if nothing else. “I’ll go away.”

“No, I want you to stay with me. I’ll always want you to stay here with me.” Daniel brushed the hair away from her body so he could see her face. “I want you to get better. Here.” He pointed to his head. “The pills and the pot, the booze, they don’t help Calla, in the end they’re just making it worse.” She neither agreed nor disagreed with him, Calla just sat silent. “Promise me you’ll stop.” It was against his better judgment but looking at her right now he just couldn’t take every crutch away from her. “I’ll let you keep the pot if you want, but you have to get rid of the pills and the booze.”

“I need the pills,” she protested in a small voice. “My back and my…..” she shook her head as her voice trailed off for a moment. “They always ache.”

“You said your back felt better today.” Daniel reminded her.

Resting her chin on her knees she looked over at him. “It does.” She agreed absently as she tried to make sense of the whole thing. Waking in this bed felt so right but now looking around she understood it was wrong, she didn’t belong here she never had and she never would. Daniel deserved better than her and certainly he’d already had better women than she in his lifetime. She should go away. Stop trying to make this fantasy a reality and give up. Ares would always take her in. He wouldn’t care about pot pills or booze. It all just came down to the same thing over and over again; I don’t belong here.

“Will you do something for me?” Daniel asked. “Will you lift up your shirt and let me see your back?”

Calla mulled it over for a moment and while she didn’t lift the shirt for him, she did turn so he could do it for himself if he wanted. Daniel lifted the tail of the shirt just a little ways at first and then a little higher and a little higher. “Kitty,” the soft palm of his hand ran down her spine, “they’re gone.” When he woke this afternoon her back had been pressed up against his front and his arms were completely wrapped around her. During the night that lovely blue light worked its magick and took her scars away. “You don’t need those pills anymore.”

Having to look for herself because she didn’t believe him, Calla got up from the bed and turned her back to the mirror. Indeed the marks and scars Kanan laid on her were gone and her back was flawless once more. “Thank you, Daniel. You didn’t have to do that for me.” Calla lowered the shirt and reached for her robe which was lying over the chair, she wrapped it around herself and cinched it tight. “I should go.” Without looking back or saying anything more she left the bedroom.

It was very nice of Daniel to heal her during the night but then again Daniel was a very nice man. What else would he do? Calla peeled off his flannel shirt and put on a pair of blue jeans and pink short sleeved shirt. She tossed the flannel into the laundry pile to wash later. Pity made people do all sorts of things including telling other people that they were not being pitied. It was in one of those situations that Calla figured she now found herself. Daniel was just being Daniel, sweet, patient, kind, loving, fairly dependable Daniel. What did it matter? The dream last night pointed out to her that she never did belong here and it was time to put an end to this little fantasy.

Maybe she had been trying to hurt herself last night and just didn’t know it. Again, what difference did it make? Daniel was a wonderful father and seemed totally in love with his children, she didn’t have to worry about them. Ares had Enya to keep him company in the day and warm at night, no worries for her there. Calla reached under the bed and pulled out the bottle of Jack & Danny. Daniel may have confiscated the pills, she’d go upstairs and find out about the pot in minute, but he’d been kind enough to leave the booze and that was good by her. Calla downed a very long swig straight from the bottle and meandered up the stairs to her attic.

Daniel was waiting for her up there he was sitting on the worn old couch she’d picked up at a thrift store. “I knew you’d come up here.” His open palm patted against the cushion as his other hand held up the pipe for her to see. “Come here and sit with me.”

“I should tend to the children.” Calla hid the bottle of JD behind her back.

“I already saw it and they’re fine.” Daniel told her. “You know we need to talk you can’t run away from this, Kitty.” Calla came forward and sat on the floor at his feet. Not exactly where he wanted her but it would do for now. “I looked at your paintings last night while you were sleeping.” Daniel lit the pipe and handed it to her. “You’re very talented.” He said slowly and exhaled the smoke. “You’ve put a lot….detail….into them.”

“Painting gives me something to do.” She explained and took a long toke before handing the pipe back to him. “It’s hard to sleep on most nights.”

“Did you sleep well last night?”

“Yes.”

“You can sleep with me whenever you want.” He took another toke and handed the glass bowl over to Calla. “Just sleep, that’s ok with me.” The old attic was filling up with pot smoke quickly and he lit a stick of incense to help cover the aroma.

“I haven’t been much of a wife, have I Daniel?” She asked and held the hit she’d just drawn into her lungs.

“You have your reasons I’m not trying to push you.”

“What are you trying to do?”

“Talk to my wife.” Daniel refused the pipe when she tried to hand it back but motioned that she should finish it if she wanted. “Colleen asked me if we were getting divorced.”

Calla exhaled a large lungful of smoke in a harsh cough. “What did you tell her?”

“I said we weren’t.” His eyes like his voice turned sad. “Was I lying?”

“Are you giving me an ultimatum, Daniel? Sleep with you or leave?” Calla used the bottom of the Bic to squash the glowing ember and then held the flat of the light over the top of the bowl to extinguish it further.

“No. I just want to know where we stand. I saw your dreams and your paintings, I know you blame me for a lot of things and I’m not saying you’re wrong. But, Cal,” Daniel reached for her hands. They were warm and soft inside his. “You have to tell me; did we ever make love? Did you ever feel what I feel when I’m with you?”

“After David it was difficult,” she said quietly, “David…” her voice trailed off for a moment, “he makes my head hurt.” She confessed with soft sad eyes and then forced herself forward. “But, somewhere along the line, yes, I believe we got back to making love.” Calla rested her head against his knee. “In your arms I am strong and I am weak, vulnerable to you and only you.” She looked up at him. “I used to love it when you were inside me.”

“Now? You don’t want that anymore?”

“Other than to stop hurting I don’t know what I want, Daniel.” Holding up the pipe and giving a little grin she lit it and took another toke. “Or what I can have.”

“Maybe it’s not much,” Daniel began and smiled a little for her, “but you can have me, the kids, our life together. We can get back to where we were where it was good.” He cupped the side of her face. “You don’t have to hide from me. I love you, I always have and I always will.”

Her eyes widened. “Why?”

Daniel didn’t know how to answer her question. There were a million things he loved about her and he could spend the day listing them for her but they weren’t what made him love her. “Because my heart won’t let me do anything else.”

“I’m not an obligation?” Calla rose up on her knees and moved in closer to him. “You really want me here with you?”

“Of course I do. You were never an obligation or a chain around my neck.”

“You chose Rowan.” She said. “You didn’t choose me; I made you take me with you.”

“Listen to me, Rowan….Psyche, whoever….and David are the biggest mistakes of my life and I will regret them until the day I die and the way I hurt you.” Daniel took the bowl out of her hand and settled it on the floor. He picked her up by the elbows and put her down on his lap. Calla rested her head against his shoulder. “I will never, ever, regret you. I am very grateful that you chose me. Every day I thank God that you’re in my life and that we’re still together.”

“What do you want from me?”

“I want you to talk to me, I want you to tell me when you’re scared or hurt or afraid. I want you to tell me when something’s wrong and let me help. I want you to let me love you.” Daniel’s arms encircled her tighter. “We both know you’re not human,” she cringed a little, “that’s ok. You don’t have to pretend to be. You can use your powers here. If you wanna blink and change the paint on the walls go ahead or…I don’t know…whatever…. I don’t care. You should use them, you know. You shouldn’t hide them. They’re part of you, a very wondrous and incredible part of you the woman I love.”

Calla nuzzled her face against the warmth at the nape of his neck. “Say it again.” She whispered.

“I love you.” Daniel ran his hands through her hair and felt the softness of her lips against his skin.

“Again.”

“I love you.”

“Kiss?” She whispered in his ear.

“You say it.”

Calla pulled away from him so she could look at those beautiful blue eyes. “I love you.” Tilting her head and closing her eyes, she bent forward and brushed her lips over his. “I always want to be where you are. I’ve never wanted anything else.” This time her lips did not merely brush over his they closed down gently and danced back and forth while the warmth and weight of his body enveloped her.

Not taking his lips from hers, Daniel scooped her up in his arms and then laid her down on her back on the couch. Rather than lay on top of her he took the submissive position and knelt at her side. The heat of desire long held back rose swiftly in him but he didn’t want to rush this moment. The kids were in the basement busy with a stack of DVDs and bags of chips. Besides, Colleen would see to it that Nicky didn’t disturb them just now. They were locked away up here in the attic far away from the rest of the world. When his lips descended to the nape of her neck, Calla’s back arched and she let out a yearning sigh as she held his head in place. At the sound his mouth watered and his body filled with fire. He found himself hoping that during the night that lovely blue energy worked its magick on more than just her back. More than anything else he wanted to make love with her right here right now but he didn’t want her to hurt.

Nervous hands slid the cotton shirt up and then off of her. She didn’t pull away she didn’t cringe or try to hide. Instead she reached out and stripped him of his shirt so that they lay together skin to skin. His chest over her pert perfect breasts and her nipples were hard below him. His heart beat wildly over hers while they kissed and touched and groped and their bodies begged for more. Daniel’s cock was hard inside the restraint of the blue jeans and when he slid his hand between her legs the space there was hot and moist waiting for him to strip off her jeans and have a taste. “I love you, Kitty. You know that, don’t you?” He whispered and reached for the button at her waist.

“Yes, I know.” She offered up no resistance when he slid them off of her. “I love you too, Daniel.”

“You’re sure about this?” Daniel leaned over, one hand in her hair and the other gently massaging the tender area below her panties. “You want to make love with me?” He did more than just check in and pick up work when he went to the SGC, he talked with O’Gara…a lot. O’Gara said she wasn’t ready for this and he didn’t know if she ever would be. Laying there staring up at him as though he were the only man on the face of the Earth she looked ready or at least as though she wanted to try. “Do you trust me?”

The scars down there were ugly and she didn’t really want him to see them but she wanted to try. Every bit of her ached to feel him inside of her again. “Yes.” She brought herself to kiss him once more. “I want to make love with you. You’re still the only man I’ve ever wanted, Daniel and the only one I’ll ever want.” Another brush of her lips over his. “Take.”

“No,” he said. “I’m not going to take from you anymore. But I’ll Give if you want.” He wished he could make the same proclamation, to say that she was the only woman he ever wanted but she wasn’t but he was pretty sure that, “I’ll never want another woman.” The panties slid down her slender legs, over her petite ankles and dropped to the floor. She lay naked and vulnerable before him. There was fear in her eyes and perhaps there would be for a while to come but the desire he saw there was stronger than the fear she felt.

Hesitantly her legs parted while his body descended over hers and she looked away from him not wanting to see whatever flashed across his face when he saw her.

Daniels’ prayers were answered. Soft, smooth, unblemished milky thighs met his gaze. The pink area between was waiting and unmarred. The flat of his tongue ran across the sensitive outer area of that sweet pink flesh. Calla jumped and his hands clamped down on her hips. So long since he’d had a taste of her. So worth the wait. A wave of sudden zealousness washed over him but he held it back. Just because her body healed didn’t mean her mind had done the same. Calla was reaching down to him trying to pull him up to where she was. “Don’t push me away, Kitty.” He said quietly from between her legs. “It’s ok, they’re gone. It won’t hurt. I want to do this, let me.”

Gone? Did he say the scars were gone? She did not have to be embarrassed by them any longer? Calla lay back, dropped her hands to her side and let him continue. When the heat between her legs became so intense that his finger slid into her there was no pain at all. Her hips gyrated and rocked on him while Daniel buried his face between her legs. Calla’s hips rose and fell rose and fell and her breathing became heavy and intense. One hand gripped the short hair at his head and the other the cushion at her side.

“Hei ey Co?” She asked him and fought to hold back the rush coming over her. “Hei ey Co?” She insisted.

“Hei.” Her eyes opened and she looked at him with uncertainty. “Hei,” he said again. A long low moan accompanied the passionate orgasm rushing forth from her. “Daniel,” she moaned and tried to stop it, tried to sit up. “Daniel,” she said again in a heated whisper.

Another finger worked its way into her and she couldn’t say ‘no’ anymore. “I love you, cum for me. I want you too.”

Her eyes closed tightly and she surrendered to the pleasure he was giving her. “Ummm, Danny.” She cooed. “I love you. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.”

The wonderfully exotic juice washed over his face, down his chin and over his chest like a sweet summer rain.

Chapter Five

The small auburn haired woman woke as she always did, on the cold stone floor of Naganti Kanan’s chamber by his bed. Her back cried out from years of abuse as she rose to her feet. In the soft comfortable bed the Master’s frame sprawled over the entire mattress as he snored.

She’d had the dream again. It was a very nice little fantasy, something to help her escape and deal with life here in Naganti Kanan’s castle keep. Staring out at the sunlight of a new day she knew she couldn’t face the dream again or another night with the Master. The dream gave her hope and that was something she could not afford. Besides that it lied. There was no man named Daniel. No one was ever coming for and it was time she turned around and faced that hard cold and ugly fact. Not even her Father would come back for her. She’d been terribly, terribly bad and she would spend the rest of her days paying for it.

The only thing she could do about it was to shorten those days. Looking over her shoulder at the man sleeping on the bed she knew she couldn’t spend another night with him and before the sun set today she had to find a way to end this misery or go completely mad.

“Cha’Dech?” Naganti Kanan said as he rolled over in his bed and reached for on the floor finding it empty.

The Cha’Dech came to her Master’s side at his command. Naganti Kanan tossed back the covers to reveal his muscular naked body and the hard on that was waiting for her. Still wet and wanting from her dream but without any fuss or fanfare she slipped into the bed, mounted him and took him into her until he came. It was her job, the only thing she ever did anymore. She was nothing more than a receptacle for his spew but that would end soon. Tonight was Yehwe and she was damned if she was going to walk the gauntlet one more time. She would not be put up on display like some stupid prized dog for the townspeople to gawk at. No, not again.

Done with her Kanan tossed her off of him and rose for the day, stretching his massive naked frame the braids which extended from the top of his head to the small of his considerable back swayed side to side. He went to the balcony and looked out at his people below who were busy making ready for tonight’s celebration.

********

On Planet Earth in a town called Colorado Springs and a place known as the SGC, Daniel Jackson awoke on his tortuous cot. He’d had just the strangest and most erotic dream he would remember in some time. A woman with honey blonde hair and blue eyes kissed him and gave him….something. He didn’t know what it was but he could feel it worming around inside him.

Today was the day they tried to get SG-3 back from Tiberia, Daniel was certain the device he’d created would work and the team would arrive home without any problems at all. That was not to be the case.

Upon contacting SG-3 they discovered a member of the team had gone missing and SG-1 was sent on a search and rescue mission to Tiberia. It was almost night when they arrived and Carlisle was telling them all about the inhabitants of this planet and wanting Daniel to get a look at a woman by the name of Dorothy. They walked down the hillside toward the castle keep and enclosed court yard. Among torches and bon fires people were gathering in the court yard. It looked like some type of celebration to Daniel.

**********

“Shall I pleasure before the festivities, my Lord?” The Cha’Dech asked coyly and licked her tongue across her lips.

Naganti Kanan was not one for turning the offer of a free blow job, especially not one of hers. “Hei.” He said and took down his pants revealing the large black penis she had come to know and fear so well over the years.

Smiling sweetly the small woman obligingly came forward and settled herself at his feet. There is no Daniel and I will not stand on that platform again. With practiced skill she worked the shaft of the hard cock and then wrapped her lips around it. Sucking harder and harder at the shaft, she looked up to see Naganti Kanan’s eyes rolling closed as he began to let the sensation over take him. Just a little more. She took him down further and sucked a little harder until his cock began to pulsate in her mouth. His eyes were closed, his body relaxed and he never saw it coming when Calla’s teeth clamped down upon him.

The heavy hand knocked her backward away from him and his sore bleeding cock. “I hate you,” she spat, “I never want you to touch me again. You’re a monster.” Naganti Kanan’s wide hand closed down around her throat and pushed her up against the wall. The other closed fist pounded into her face. Many times over the years he had threatened to kill her and tonight she was going to hold him to that. “You’re not a man, you can’t even fuck right.” She taunted through the pain. Another blow and another landed across her face. The bones in her cheek shattered and she swallowed two teeth. Blood spurt from her split lip and oozed down the flesh by her left eye. “I hate you! You’re not a man, you’re a monster!” She cried as loudly as she could through pain and tears.

Naganti Kanan became lost in his rage. He dragged her by the throat through the open balcony doors.

*********

Still making his way down the hillside Daniel Jackson peered through the long range glasses and saw the big ebony skinned man pummeling the ever-loving crap out of the small alabaster woman. “Jesus Christ!” He exclaimed. “He’s going to kill her!”

Carlisle and O’Neill raised their own glasses both gave out exclamations of surprise. “Shit, man, sir….that’s Dorothy.” Carlisle said to SG-1. Through the long range glasses the three of them watched while the ebony fist connected with the side of her head again and again and how her head just bobbed around with the blows. She was still yelling at him but she wasn’t fighting him and something about her even seemed to smile as the light began to fade from her eyes.

Daniel dropped the binoculars and began to run. “She’ll be dead by the time you get there!” Jack called out after him. “Daniel!”

“I’m not gonna just stand here and watch!” He yelled back while he sprinted down the hillside. The rest of them followed close behind.

***************

From his corner of the courtyard Michael Blood—and everyone else in the area–looked up at the scene playing itself out on the balcony across the way. He’d never seen anyone so pissed off and able to carry it out in his whole life. The way the big man laid into her over and over was relentless and ruthless. She was covered in blood, her hair was soaked with it but still she yelled something at him that Blood couldn’t understand. Either from the blows he was dealing out and the pain or from sheer time spent with him, Blood didn’t know, but he did know she was absolutely raving and completely insane. She just kept goading him onward. Kept taunting him, teasing him. The muscles in his face and neck were stretched beyond belief as was his bicep as his fist came forward one more time.

*************

His heart racing in his chest and lungs hitching for air, Daniel Jackson ran through the gates of Oz toward the balcony. As much as he tried he couldn’t take his eyes from the brutal site. Blood, teeth, flesh, hair flew ever where from the balcony above. The woman didn’t cry and she didn’t back down. Her voice was growing weaker but her resolve just grew stronger.

***********

“Gin answanz ginan Naveen re.” (I’d rather die now than live with you any more.) The Cha’Dech said to her Master.

“Hei.” Naganti Kanan agreed. One large ebony hand cupped the back of her head and the other her jaw. With a look of hatred and determination he closed those hands down hard and gave her neck a rough twist.

*********

“No!” Daniel cried out from under the balcony.

The woman’s body went limp in the big man’s arms. She didn’t cry anymore and she didn’t goad him into hurting her anymore. Taking her up in his grasp the man with the endless braids held her body high over his head and then cast her down to the courtyard. Broken and battered she landed at Daniel’s feet. Looking down at that beautiful but beaten face he realized he knew her and felt a pull to her that was undeniable. She was part of him somehow she was some deep and meaningful part of him. Pushing the hair and blood away from that pretty face he took her up in his arms. Emerald eyes opened for a moment and stared up at him.

“You’re too late.” She whispered with her last breath and died in his arms.

No he didn’t know her, didn’t even know her name but Daniel wept just the same. Something he was supposed to know and never would was lost to him now. Something big and grand and wonderful and he’d lost it without ever knowing it had been waiting for him.

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