“We have nothing to talk about, Daniel,” Jack spat out. “You have nothing I want to hear. So leave, Daniel. Get the FUCK outta here… GO. HOME.”
Jack clawed his hands into the sheets beneath him. Everything in him itched to grab Daniel and hold him fiercely to Jack’s aching body. His arms had felt empty and cold every second he had been away from his lover. But the nasty nagging voice in his head wouldn’t let him forget what had happened in Mexico and his stubborn head would not let his tender heart have the upper hand.
“What in hell’s name are ye shouting at, Jonny?” Mac strode into the room, his face set in a hard scowl. The Jonathon O’Neill Gordon had known for so many years did not speak to others that way, particularly not in this house which was Mac’s domain.
“Get him outta here, Mac.” Jack demanded loudly.
“Jack, please,” Daniel started, only to be shouted down by Jack’s angry voice.
“Fuck you, Daniel. I told you we have nothing to say to one another. You have no right to be here.”
Every word hit Daniel like a body blow and Mac watched as the young man began to crumble in front of him. “I just wanted…Please, Jack. Just talk to me. I came all the way here from Mexico…”
“You fucking followed me from Mexico,” Jack drawled sarcastically. “And is that supposed to impress me, you stupid shit?” He was beside himself, his anger fuelled by the certain knowledge that he had lost the love of his life to another man. Not caring that he was naked he moved off the bed and stood, facing Daniel head on. “Go tell it to Russ ‘cause ya know what, Daniel? I really couldn’t give a damn.”
Feeling as though his chest would cave from the pain in his heart Daniel took one last look at the hateful expression on Jack’s face and turned to leave.
Jack watched his retreating form go through the door and then yelled out in frustration at Mac. “Listen, old man. Just keep him away from me. In fact, get his cheating ass out of this house before I go and land him on it.”
The next moment Jack found himself sprawled back on the bed, his face stinging from the full force, open-handed slap Mac had delivered to his right cheek. His instinct to protect himself kicked in and he scrambled to his feet again, raising a fist as if to punch Mac. Only the steely glint in the old man’s eye told Jack it would be a serious mistake that he would certainly regret.
“Sit yersel down, NOW!” Mac’s voice was cold and deadly calm.
Jack had used that tone himself many times, and knew that the old man would brook no argument. He subsided back onto the bed, pulling the covers up over his naked body, his hands clasped tightly in his lap, his anger churning away in his belly. He stared at his twisted fingers, not daring to look up at the man whose steely gaze he could feel burning into him.
“Firstly, Master Jonny,” Mac began, “ye are a guest in this house and ye will treat me and the other guests here with respect. Ye’r a grown man; a colonel in the Air Force, not some hoodlum off the streets. Do I mak mesel’ clear?” Mac took a step towards the bed and stared until Jack raised his hard eyes to meet the old man’s and gave a terse nod.
“Secondly, I dinnae know what slight ye think that young man has done ye, but he did follow ye here from Mexico. I think that means he must want ta talk ta ye; in fact he must want ta really badly, although the way ye’ve been carryin’ on I wud’nae blame him if he just turned right around and went back the way he came.” Mac took a final step, bringing him right to the edge of the bed, and glowered down at Jack; his eyes icy gimlets under beetling gray eyebrows.
“Who’d’ya think you are, Mac – my Da?” Jack spat, his face grim with tension.
“Well, I’m sure I’d do a damn better job than the waste of breath who left ye all those years ago, aye.” Mac shook his head wearily. “I’ve known all ma life that I would’nae be a fayther but, God help me, Jonny, ye are the nearest thing an old queer like me can have to a son. Ye know as well as anyone what my history is. If ye let that beautiful creature leave this house, Jonny, then you deserve to suffer just as I have all these years.” Gordon’s voice gentled and cracked a little as he continued. “He loves ye, despite yer bad temper and yer stupid mouth.” Mac took Jack by the shoulder and shook him roughly. “If ye care about him; if you love him half as much as he loves ye then ye owe it ta yerself ta stop this acting out and give him chance ta explain.”
Mac could see his words hitting home and watched as the angry glare became a repentant one. Jack looked up at the old man. “Mac, I’m sor…”
“Don’t ye waste yer breath apologizing ta me, Jack,” Mac growled. “Yon man down the way needs that more than I do.”
Jack’s face crumpled into a pained grimace. “You don’t know what he’s done, Mac,” he explained brokenly.
“Do you, laddie?” Mac questioned. “Do ye really know?”
Jack pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes, wanting to push away the sick dread that was settling on his heart. Jack knew, deep down, that this was make or break for their relationship. If he wasn’t willing to listen to Daniel, then it would be over and perhaps that would be his fault. Before he could sink any deeper into the mire of guilt the heavy slam of the front door reverberated through the house and pulled Jack from his reverie. His shocked eyes met Mac’s raised eyebrows and expectant gaze. Without another word Jack scrambled across the bed as if to follow his fleeing lover.
It was only as he reached the door that a sharp “Ach!” from his old friend reminded him that he was still undressed. Jack turned and looked beseechingly at the man. Without another word Mac grabbed a heavy wool jumper and a pair of sweats from the back of one of the chairs and threw them at Jack.
“There are gumboots by the kitchen door,” Mac said gruffly as he watched Jack struggle into the slightly over-sized clothing. “And don’t ye come back in here without yon man.” A glance of understanding passed between the colonel and the butler and then Jack was flying down the stairs and through the kitchen to the back door.
The rain was heavy and the cold wind biting, but Daniel felt nothing. He ran, not knowing where he was going; only that he had to get away from the Castle and Jack’s vicious tongue. Within a minute the fine cotton shirt was saturated and clinging to his skin. The sharp edges of the driveway stones dug into Daniel’s bare soles and he stumbled and fell onto the rough surface, tearing a bigger hole in his jeans and skinning his knee. But still the pain and discomfort did not make an impact. Daniel was beside himself, torn apart by the end of his relationship with Jack. An ugly knot of self-loathing and jealousy was forming in his stomach and he gave voice to it as he yelled his agony to the stormy night.
“Fuck, Fuck, FUCK!” Bitter, angry tears coursed down his cheeks, joining the heavy raindrops plastering his hair to his head, running freely down his neck, soaking his clothes and chilling his flesh.
Only five minutes after Daniel had left him in the bedroom Jack was running full tilt around the side of the Castle and onto the driveway, clutching a padded jacket that he’d had the forethought to grab from the mud room outside the kitchen. He had pulled on a waxed hunting jacket over the borrowed clothes, aware that there would be very little between him and the elements otherwise. The night was inky dark, the sky filled with lowering clouds and only the spill from the floodlights allowed him to see Daniel crouched on the roadway, the rain now bouncing off his kneeling form.
Running clumsily in his borrowed rubber boots Jack quickly approached his fallen lover. Sliding the warm jacket around Daniel’s shoulders the older man pulled him up to stand in front of him. Jack could feel tremors running over Daniel’s skin. He pulled Daniel into his arms, feeling a rush of relief at the familiar feel of his lover’s body against his own.
“Danny, please come inside. You’re gonna catch your death out here,” Jack crooned, trying to get Daniel to move back to the house. But the young man stood firm, unwilling to believe that Jack was going to listen to him.
“S’all right, Jack,” he slurred through chattering teeth. “Tam’ll take me back to the airport. I’ll be outta your hair before you know it.” He lifted his face to look at Jack and the cold emptiness of his eyes, when the pale light from the house reflected in them, made Jack gasp.
“No, no, babe, you don’t have to go. I’m a fucking idiot. You were right, we do need to talk.” Jack rubbed his hands up and down Daniel’s arms, trying and failing to stop the more violent shudders wracking his body.
“I just wanted to explain,” Daniel murmured. “Wanted to ask you not to throw us away. We hafta fight, Jack.”
Jack felt his heart stutter at the loss in Daniel’s voice. He knew the younger man was right. If what they had was real – and Jack really wanted to believe it was – then it had to be worth fighting for.
“I’m so stupid, Danny. I don’t want to throw us away.” Jack tightened his arms around the soaked and freezing man. “Let’s get back inside and ask Mac to find you some dry clothes and then we’ll talk.”
Daniel’s head snapped up and Jack was gratified to see a spark of life flickering in the tear soaked eyes. “We can talk?” he stammered haltingly.
“Yeah,” Jack promised. “And I’ll listen, too.”
Daniel nodded once and leaned into Jack’s body, still unaware of the stinging rain assaulting his body. “I love you, Jack. That’s the truth.” Haltingly he continued. “Russ was…I was…God, Jack…”
Jack shook his head against the sudden surge of jealousy that struck him. “Let’s get inside before you get hypothermia.”
Daniel nodded again and let Jack lead him back to the house across the gravel driveway. He stumbled and Jack looked down, realizing that Daniel was barefoot. “Fuck, Danny. What are you doing to yourself?” He felt a stab of guilt as he remembered it had been his harsh words that had sent his young lover fleeing out into the night. With a grunt Jack hoisted Daniel into a fireman’s carry, ignoring the complaints of knees and back as he carried his love back towards the warm light spilling out of the open front door. He could see the tall, straight form of Mac waiting at the top of the steps for them and wondered if the old man would be willing to forgive him his rude behavior.
Just as Jack and his worryingly quiet burden were halfway to the house the yellow flash of headlights rounded the arc of the drive and drew up at the doorway. Continuing on towards the house, Jack watched as a tall figure unfolded from the driver’s door of the long, low sports car. The light from the house caught the handsome features of the visitor and for a moment Jack was transported back in time to a long hot summer here in Scotland. The young man in front of him could have been Simon from over twenty-five years earlier. Jack was only a couple of strides away from him when he realized that this must be Davin Garvin, Simon’s twenty something lover. Scowling at the unwelcome intrusion Jack didn’t bother to acknowledge the slickly dressed man, simply stamping past him and on up the stone steps to gently place Daniel on his feet in front of Mac.
“Who the fuck are you?” Davin demanded, slamming the car door shut. Jack would have thought the warm baritone of the new arrival was sexy if he hadn’t been so worried about Daniel, whose lips were turning blue against the alabaster white of his skin. Ignoring the slightly haughty tone of the question Jack turned to Mac while holding most of Daniel’s weight against him.
“Mac, we need to get him outta these wet things and into a warm bath,” he barked, forgetting who he was talking to.
“Aye, Colonel, sir,” Mac answered wryly, his mouth quirking at the orders he was being given.
Jack had the sense to blush. “Sorry, Mac. I’m just worried. He’s freezing and I bet he hasn’t eaten anything for hours, if not days.”
“Och, well let’s get ye upstairs, Master Danny, and see if we can’t save ye from the big bad colonel and his nasty mouth.” Mac slung one of Daniel’s arms around his shoulders while sheepish looking Jack took the other. Between them they managed to get the almost comatose Daniel up the stairs and into the Blue room.
Jack quickly and efficiently stripped the soaked clothing off his lover’s chilled body while Mac started to run a warm bath and then called down to the kitchen for some warm tea and soup.
“So tired,” Daniel murmured.
“I know, baby, I know.” Jack crooned as he pulled the pale silk coverlet off the bed and snuggled it around his lover’s trembling body. “You never were any good at being cold. Suppose that’s what comes of being a desert baby.” Jack pulled Daniel’s unresisting body into his and soaked in the feeling of having his man back in his arms.
“Jack, we need to talk,” Daniel started, his teeth still chattering. Icy streams of water cascaded off his dripping hair down his neck, causing him to shudder uncontrollably. Jack was about to answer him when the new arrival at the house made an entrance worthy of academy award winner.
Dressed in a designer tux, white wing shirt and a loose silk bowtie, Davin made an arresting sight as he stood in the bedroom doorway. His dark hair curled attractively over his collar. He held his shiny brogues in his left hand and a cut glass tumbler of whiskey in his right. Leaning artfully against the doorjamb Davin looked every inch the international model that he was. Jack wouldn’t have been surprised if there’d have been a photographer in the room. But despite the young man’s insouciance Jack could see the calculating gaze in his eyes.
“I’m guessing you’re friends of Si’s,” he drawled with a wry twist of his mouth approximating a smile. “Otherwise one of you must be Brad and the other Janet.” He snorted at his own Rocky Horror reference and took a long pull of his whiskey.
“Yeah,” Jack replied, giving nothing away. “I’m Jack O’Neill and this is Daniel…Daniel Jackson.” Jack looked back at his lover to see the younger man regarding the model in the doorway with assessing eyes.
A look of surprise flitted over the standing man’s face before he recovered a little. “Jack?” he questioned, a little sharply.
“Aye.” Mac’s reply from behind him made the young man start in surprise and drop his shoes on the floor, the loud thump making Daniel jump a little. “This, Mr Davin, is Master Jonny. I’m sure you’ve heard his Lordship tell many a tale about this young man and his exploits.”
Jack was smirking a little at Mac’s comments, but Daniel watched Davin carefully and saw a flicker of pain cross his handsome face before he schooled his expression back to one of studied nonchalance.
“Yeah…” the young man drawled, “he may have mentioned you.” Davin shrugged and made to leave the room. “Simon’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to see you after all these years. It’s always good to see old friends” he commented pointedly. “And by the way,” he threw over his shoulder, “Those are my clothes you’re wearing; Dolce and Gabbana, actually. They may look like sweats and a sweater to you, but that outfit you’re wearing cost over a thousand pounds.” Davin gave one last haughty look and stepped out into the corridor.
“Shoes, Mr. Davin,” Mac called out after the retreating figure and Jack had to stifle a chuckle of glee as the young man huffily returned and picked up his fallen brogues from the doorway.
Daniel quickly pushed down a little stab of jealousy. Although the young model looked almost exactly like the pictures of Simon when he and Jack had been together, Daniel tried to remind himself that Davin wasn’t Simon and the Lord would have aged, just as Jack had. Trouble was Daniel thought Jack had grown more handsome and desirable with age. The pictures of Jack as a young man, all smooth skin and dark chestnut hair, did nothing at all for Daniel. His older, more mature Jack was far more handsome. The scars, the silver gray hair, bum knees, the whole package made Daniel’s heart race. Being in Jack’s arms like this was such a physical relief; it was all he could do not to cling. Daniel tried not to imagine how the years had treated Simon. If he had grown more desirable could Daniel ever hope to compete against Jack’s first love?
Mac walked over to the bed and placed his hand under Daniel’s chin. “Och, laddie. Will ye look at yon circles under yer eyes. Have ye slept at all since yon glaekit numpty left paradise fray ma neck o’ the woods?”
Daniel snorted and Mac gave a sharp bark of laughter as Jack looked totally nonplussed by the incomprehensible but obvious insult.
“Come awa’, laddie. Let’s get ye in yon tub and warm those bones,” Mac continued kindly. “Maddy has some of her lamb and pearl barley broth with yer name on it and then ye can decide whether ye want to talk to yer man here or send him oot the wa tay the stables fer the night.”
Jack was about to complain when Mac took Daniel firmly by the shoulders and hoisted him to his feet.
“Hey,” Jack shouted indignantly when he realized Mac’s intentions. “Get your hands off my man, you old fruit. If anyone is going to help my naked archaeologist get into the bath it’s gonna be me!”
“Oh, is that what he is then, Master Jonny,” Mac asked pointedly. “Is he your man? Perhaps ye should ask him if that’s what he still wants.” The old man winked pointedly at Daniel, out of sight of Jack and was pleased to see the corners of the younger man’s mouth quirk in a little smile. There was still way too much sadness in those eyes for Mac’s liking, but he was feeling hopeful that it wouldn’t take too long for that to go away.
“Is it, Master Daniel? Is that what you want?”
Daniel looked down at his feet just peeking out from under the watermarked silk that wrapped him from head to toe. Part of him wanted to shake his head. He had no inclination to feel any more pain at the end of Jack’s sharp tongue and despite the gentle words out in the rain he still doubted Jack’s ability to listen to what he had to say. Hell, even Daniel had a hard time believing it. Whether Jack was psychic or whether there was something alien at play here, there was definitely more going on than just the breakdown of their relationship. However, if things didn’t go well, their relationship could be the final casualty. As he glanced up and looked into his Jack’s face he couldn’t help but melt at the concern and fear he saw there. Jack was really scared that this was the end between them and that knowledge made Daniel want to fight all the harder, if only to take that unusual look from his lovers eyes.
“Jack can help me,” he said quietly with a little sweet smile aimed at Mac. The old man felt his heart give an extra strong beat. ‘Och, but ye are a beautiful creature,’ he thought to himself.
“Well, if the colonel gives ye any bother at all then just shout oot. I’ll be happy tay bring my greater experience ta yer aid. After all,” he continued archly, “tis obvious ye like yer men older.” Without another word Mac turned and left the room, leaving a red faced and spluttering Jack looking after him.
Daniel began to shuffle towards the bathroom, still clinging to the now damp bedspread. The movement shocked Jack out of his funk and he was soon beside the younger man.
“Here, let me get this off you before you fall over it,” he said gruffly, his emotions running far too close to the surface for his liking. Daniel nodded and let go of the cover before Jack could grab it. It slithered to the floor, landing in a heap behind Daniel as he carried on into the bathroom. Jack was rendered speechless by the vision of Daniel’s naked back moving away from him into the steamy room. He swallowed and felt the blood rush to his cock. He wanted nothing more than to run his tongue down Daniel’s spine, feeling every vertebra on the way. His mouth watered for the taste of the younger man’s skin and his arms physically ached for the feel of his solid, muscled body. Feeling more than a little afraid Jack followed Daniel into the bathroom only to find him leaning shakily against the washbasin.
“Daniel?” Jack quickly moved to his lover and placed a hand on his forehead. “Well, you don’t seem to have a fever so that’s something.”
“I’m not ill, Jack,” Daniel snapped, a little pissed at Jack’s over solicitous manner. “I’m cold, jet lagged, upset and hungry. I can’t remember when I last ate something warm.”
Careful not to make Daniel any pissier, Jack placed a warm hand on his back and encouraged him to step into the steaming bathtub. Daniel sank up to his shoulders into the deep tub with a gusty sigh and closed his eyes in enjoyment. Jack plonked himself down on the closed lid of the toilet and watched quietly as Daniel visibly relaxed in the hot scented water.
“So…” he drawled tentatively, “…no hot meal on the plane?”
Daniel shook his head and sloshed water over the edge of the bath. “Nah, I couldn’t eat anything,” he began quietly, “I was too…” Upset, emotional? Jack could hear the unspoken words and knew that he was the cause of them. Resting his forearms on his thighs Jack looked down at the marble tile on the floor. He wanted to look at Daniel; to be sure he was really there, but also dreaded seeing the sadness he could hear in the soaking man’s voice. It had been just less than three days since they had been together in paradise and now here they were, a lifetime later, in the cold wet Highlands and Jack had no idea what to say and how to make it right.
As usual Daniel had the words that Jack didn’t. “I am not and I have never cheated on you, Jack,” he began, his voice a little shaky both from the cold and fatigue and from the emotions coursing through him.
“You said someone else’s name,” Jack began tightly and then stopped, angry with how accusing that had sounded. Only moments after asserting to himself that he wanted to make things right between them his stupid mouth seemed to be going out of its way to mess things up.
Daniel opened his eyes and turned his head to look at Jack. “You heard someone else’s name, Jack, but I didn’t say it.”
Jack frowned as he tried to unravel what Daniel meant. “Danny?”
Daniel felt a knot in his heart give way as the affectionate diminutive of his name dropped out of Jack’s mouth. Only Jack could say it like that, with such charm and love and not make him feel like a little boy. “Will you let me explain something? Will you listen, Jack, ‘cause I’m not sure you’re going to believe me unless you hear everything I have to say?”
Jack took a deep breath. Something in Daniel’s tone told him there was a part of this he wasn’t going to like. “Yeah, Danny. I can do that,” he agreed, unconsciously folding his arms across his chest as if to protect himself from some unseen danger.
With a nod Daniel turned around in the tub, moving so that his shoulders were still under the water, but his chin was resting on his hands on the edge of the deep bath. “Russ was my first boyfriend,” he began. “I’d noticed boys when I was very young, even been tempted to try for one or two of them, but I was the ‘geek’, the ‘book boy’ and no one noticed me.”
Jack flinched a little as he heard his own pejorative words used by Daniel. He had always thought that Daniel knew they were affectionate nicknames, but the way he said them told Jack that sometime in the past they had held a real sting.
“When I was 21 I went to Oxford to get my second doctorate. I was the youngest in the class as usual.”
“Which one?” Jack interrupted quietly.
“Which one what?” Daniel looked puzzled at Jack’s non sequitur.
Jack sounded genuinely interest and Daniel gave him an appraising look. Perhaps he was going to listen after all. “Linguistics – well, philology, actually.”
“So I suppose you knew more languages than the rest of them too, huh?” Jack sounded proud and Daniel gave a little pleased smile.
“Yeah. I think I probably could speak about 18 languages fluently by then plus a few dialects and I had a working knowledge of several dead languages, although back then I didn’t know how they really sounded.”
“Hadn’t been through the ‘gate.” Jack chipped in quietly. “Got to know how they sounded then, eh, Danny?”
“Yes,” Daniel agreed, his love for Jack making his heart swell. He knew Jack was proud of his accomplishments, particularly his academic ones, but Jack’s tone was almost one of awe and Daniel felt pride that a man of Jack’s skills had some appreciation for his linguistic abilities
“Well, Russ was in several of my classes. He was a couple of years ahead, but they were fast tracking me so I got to take seminars and tutorials with students in their third year. He was nearly 25 and I thought he was amazing. He spoke Danish and Swedish and also Finnish and Icelandic which are probably both the hardest to learn of all languages spoken on Earth. He taught me to speak them all.” Daniel smiled softly and Jack felt a dagger of jealousy stab his gut. He moved agitatedly on the hard toilet seat cover, pressing his hands together between his knees to stop himself from walking out. He had the idea that getting up and leaving the bathroom would give Daniel the wrong message. No. He had promised he would listen so, no matter how difficult, he would keep his promise.
“Anyway, he and I were asked to give a presentation on the Rosetta stone to some undergrads and while we were working on the project we began to realize we had more than languages in common.” Daniel smiled again and Jack could see he was lost somewhere in remembrance. It took a moment for him to shake out of it; a moment that seemed like hours to Jack.
“He was a real gentleman.” Daniel finally continued. “As soon as he found out I was a virgin he decided to woo me.”
“Yeah, a real gentleman,” Jack grumbled.
“He took me out; dinners, theatre, exhibits.” Daniel sighed, “It all seemed so romantic.”
“I can do romantic.” Jack interjected, wanting to remind Daniel that he was right there.
Daniel smiled and remembered the magic cave. “Oh yes, Jack. You definitely can do romantic,” he agreed softly.
Jack gave a pleased grin that made Daniel chuckle.
“Well, it was romantic until…”
“Let me guess,” Jack growled, “Until he got in your pants.” Jack felt a ripple of anger for the man who had taken his Danny’s virginity and then dumped him.
“No!” Daniel frowned at Jack and slapped his hand on the side of the tub. “No, it wasn’t like that at all.”
A noise from the bedroom heralded the arrival of Daniel’s supper and Mac came to the doorway of the bathroom. “Come on, laddie. Broth’ll get cold if ye don’t come and sup now.” Mac had a large fluffy robe in his hands and he held it out for Daniel. Without thinking the young man pushed to his feet, water streaming from his body, his skin pink from the heat. Steam rose in little wisps and the slick wetness only seemed to delineate Daniel’s muscles and smooth creamy skin.
“Oh, Daniel,” Mac sighed as the vision of the young man’s body took his breath away. Not since his own dear Gordon had any man affected Mac this way. Dragging his eyes away from his lover Jack noticed the look on Mac’s face and quickly snatched the robe from the old man’s unresisting fingertips. “My man,” Jack growled. “Mine.”
Mac glowered back at Jack and then shrugged. “That remains tay be seen, Master Jonny. Mind ye don’t do anything to prevent it.”
By this time Daniel had yanked the robe from Jack’s fists. Putting it on he pulled the belt tightly around himself and tied it. He left the bathroom with the two older men in his wake and slid onto the bed, arranging pillows behind him so that he could sit comfortably to eat his food. Both Mac and Jack took a step toward the tray that was on the table, but Mac got there first and made a big show of settling the tray onto Daniel’s lap, fussing about the napkin and cutlery. Once again he gave Daniel a private wink and the young man was hard pressed not to laugh out loud. Oh, Mac knew Jack alright; knew how to press all his buttons. Daniel was relieved to have the old man on his side because he was sure Mac would make a formidable enemy.
“If you two have quite finished,” Daniel said airily. “I still have things to say.”
Mac gave a final pointed look at Jack that clearly said he should behave himself and then left after extracting a promise from Daniel that he would call if he needed anything.
“Dirty old man,” Jack grumbled as he planted himself on the end of the bed, facing his lover whilst leaning against one of the turned bedposts, his legs outstretched in front of him crossed at the ankles.
Daniel covered a smile by dunking a large hunk of fresh bread in his broth and cramming it into his mouth. He really was very hungry and, although he was still apprehensive, the fear that Jack wouldn’t listen had receded a little. He took several more mouthfuls while Jack sat quietly watching him. A kind of peace settled on Daniel and he found himself beginning to believe that things would be okay.
Finally he felt able to continue. “Where was I?” he asked distractedly.
“You were telling me how Russ was not just after popping your cherry,” Jack answered sarcastically.
Daniel gave a little shake of his head at Jack’s turn of phrase. “No, he wasn’t just after my virginity, in fact we were together for the whole of that year.”
Daniel looked so sad that Jack realized that whatever had split his lover and Russ had been difficult.
“I fell in love with him and wanted him to be exclusive,” Daniel explained with a sigh. “Russ liked to play the field; in fact I found out later that every night he wasn’t with me he was with someone else – well, a lot of someone else’s, actually.”
“Bastard,” Jack spat out, genuinely angry at the man who had hurt Daniel all those years ago.
“Yeah,” the young man sighed deeply. “He broke my fucking heart.” Daniel shrugged. “Well, you live and learn. I didn’t get involved with anyone like that again. Never let myself fall in love, with a man anyway, until…”
“Until?” Jack asked, almost wishing not to hear about another great love. Jack wanted to be that for Daniel and felt a small stab of regret that he hadn’t been Daniel’s first male lover.
Daniel looked across at Jack, his sincerity and love blazing out from his bright blue eyes. “Until you, Jack,” he whispered. “I fell in love with you, though I tried really hard not to.” Daniel moved the tray from his lap and placed it on the floor by the side of the bed. Pushing up from his position at the headboard he moved to kneel in front of Jack. “Was I wrong, Jack? Was I wrong to let myself fall for you?”
Raising a shaking hand up to caress his love’s cheek Jack shook his head. “No, baby, you weren’t wrong.” Reaching around to cup the back of Daniel’s head Jack pulled the unresisting man towards him until their foreheads touched. “I love you, Daniel,” Jack breathed.
Their kiss was soft and reverent, both men needing to reaffirm their deep love of one another. The first was followed by another and then another which was more heated, speaking of the passion that was building in both of them. Jack stroked his tongue across Daniel’s lower lip, asking for admittance and Daniel opened up, their tongues meeting and dancing together, finally tasting the flavors both had been afraid were lost to them.
After several very heated minutes Daniel pulled away with a groan.
“Wha?” Jack complained, his brain a little shut down from the loss of blood that was beginning to fill his cock.
“Jack, I have to finish this. You have to know what happened at the beach house.”
“I know I was an idiot, isn’t that enough?” Jack pouted.
Daniel gave a little huff of laughter before continuing. This was the part he was dreading; the part that his skeptical colonel would find the most difficult to believe.
“When I was with Russ…” he began, “…when I was 21 I had long hair; hair right down my back, Jack.” Daniel looked at Jack expectantly.
The older man frowned and shook his head. What relevance did that have to anything. “So you had long hair. What does that have to do…?”
Daniel saw the exact moment when Jack put all the pieces together. Jack’s face paled and his eyes grew wide with recognition.
“I…I saw…Daniel! What the fuck is going on.” Jack scrubbed his hands across his face.
“Tell me what you saw.” Daniel took Jack’s trembling hand and squeezed it reassuringly. “It’s okay, Jack. I think there’s an explanation…well, that is I’m sure we can work it out. Tell me what you saw.”
Jack closed his eyes, needing to block out everything to make sure he gave clear account. “We were on the bed. You had your back to me. We were…” The sense memory of Daniel, hot and tight around his cock made Jack’s throat go dry and arousal sweep through him. “…making love,” he completed huskily.
Daniel smiled softly and stroked Jack’s cheek with his free hand, encouraging him. “And then?”
“I had my eyes closed and I heard you moaning and it was so hot, until I realized you were saying someone else’s name.” Jacks voice caught slightly as the memory of how that single word had burned him pressed against his heart. “I looked up and it wasn’t you sitting on me, it was a young man with long hair, right down his back.” Jack’s eyes flew open. “But how did you know what I saw, Danny? I thought I was going crazy. What with the kid and the teen and those whacked out dreams.”
“Kid and teen?” Daniel mused quietly. Something was niggling in the back of his mind. He needed more information about everything that Jack had kept quiet in their week in paradise. But first he had to reassure Jack that he wasn’t going mad. “Izel saw him, too,” he explained.
At the shock on Jack’s face Daniel realized that his lover though she had seen them having sex. “No, not then, not when you saw him, me…erm him.” Daniel closed his eyes for a second, trying to find his bearings as ideas began to race around his mind. “She saw the long haired man on the beach when you left in the panga and that wasn’t the first time she had noticed someone or something while we were there.”
“Danny, this is crazy. How could she see…what I saw…what I thought I…” Jack was getting a little anxious as he realized Izel had probably been aware of the ghostly kids he had seen at la Troza. “Is she psychic or something?”
“Or something,” Daniel agreed, still not sure what to call the visions Izel had.
“So,” Jack began quietly. “It was him I heard calling out for Russ, not you…well not you-you.”
Daniel saw the realization hit Jack and then he saw the guilt begin to settle on the older man. “Jack. Stop right there. The only thing you are guilty of is not fucking telling me about the dreams and visions. I would have listened. Don’t you think I would have believed you?”
“Thought I was losing it,” Jack admitted. “I tried to make myself believe it was just the fever and sickness, but it kept coming and going. And when I…” Suddenly a thought struck Jack. “When I got here I was so ill. I threw up everywhere, Danny. But since you arrived…”
“You’ve not been sick at all,” Daniel finished.
“Haven’t even felt queasy. Do you think…?” Jack raised his eyebrows, looking for Daniel to think his way through Jack’s confusion.
“I think there is more going on here than some illness and I know you’re not crazy, Jack.” Daniel said firmly.
“How do you know?” Jack asked, feeling weak for asking, but really needing the reassurance.
“Because I know you, my Jack. I feel you right here,” Daniel asserted, pressing against his heart. “And I believe in you.”
Jack felt relief flooding him. That was all he needed, to know that Daniel believed. He wasn’t crazy and together they would be able to work it out. Having no more words for how he felt Jack pressed Daniel back onto the bed and covered his lover’s body with his own. Daniel gave a moan that thrilled Jack and he dived into his mouth, pressing hot kisses to his lips. Jack knew he might not be able to tell him how much he loved him, but he was damn sure he could show him.
glaekit numpty: Stupid idiot