Through A Glass Darkly II

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Jack stretched; every muscle and sinew zinged with tension as he elongated his body, reaching above him to grab the headboard attempting to pull every last inch from his sleep-dulled muscles. He hated traveling on commercial airliners. The seats were too small, too close to each other and to the one in front. He always ended up achy and grouchy.

The journey to Mexico had been longer and more fraught than usual. Jack had battled a queasy stomach all the way there which had pissed him off mightily. Daniel had snorted as the hostess had suggested he might be airsick. That was the ultimate insult to a career fighter pilot. He was trained not to get sick even when pulling mega g’s. Jack’s glare had sent the poor woman scurrying for cover but hadn’t helped the symptoms. Only Daniel’s warm hand on his neck had eased the constant certainty that he was going to embarrass himself by hurling all over the seat in front.

The transfer to the beach house by panga boat hadn’t been much better.

“Seasick and airsick, Jack,” Daniel had whispered teasingly as they bounced across the waves towards the private beach. “All you need is Gate sick and then you’ll have the full set.”

Jack’s full force glare had no effect on Daniel at all and he’d grinned before turning his face to the approaching shore, drinking in the beauty of the Puerto Vallarta coastline.

That was yesterday, and it had been all that Jack could do to just fall into bed and lie as still as possible, hoping to will away the heaving and rolling of his belly whilst praying for sleep.

Twelve hours later, feeling more like himself, and nearer to his usual six feet two in height, Jack rubbed at his sleep blurred eyes. A movement out of the corner of his eye brought him immediately on alert until he recognized the tiny body of a gecko flitting across the wall next to him. He shook his head as he watched the lizard scurry into the thatch above.

“Relax, Jack,” he told himself, grimacing as he shook off the faint buzz of adrenalin. He’d been more jumpy than usual lately and he had no idea why. Daniel had made a good recovery from his mystery fever and there had been no other emergencies. Hammond had willingly granted both men three weeks leave and everything had fallen into place bringing them here; the nearest to paradise Jack had ever been – on Earth anyway. So he had no idea why he felt so antsy. He was hoping this vacation would help put him back on track.

A tap at the door was quickly followed by a woman’s voice. “Coffee and pastries are in the dining room Mr. Jack. Mr. Daniel says he will be back soon from swimming.”

“Thanks Izel,” Jack called back.

“De nada.”

Jack listened to the receding footsteps of the maid before sliding his naked body out from under the light cotton sheet. He padded over to stand at the open front of the loft, looking out to sea.

The view was glorious. Bright cobalt sky met aquamarine sea at the horizon. La Troza Beach House sat nestled between a swathe of golden sand to the front and rich verdant rainforest behind. Under a palapa thatch the whitewashed adobe house had every modern convenience. A simple but elegant great room, dining room and modern kitchen made up the ground floor that flowed beautifully from one area to the next. There was a fresh water soaking pool outside the dining area, its sapphire blue mosaic mirroring the huge expanse of sky above it. There were a couple of internal, air-conditioned bedrooms, but it was this room that both men had decided would be their sleeping quarters for the duration of their stay.

The loft was open to the air on two sides and contained three double beds which were dwarfed in proportion to the space around them. A double hammock hung from the rafters giving an ideal place for viewing the beach below. Jack was already making plans for that hammock just as soon as Daniel got back from his swim.

As if Jack had called him up from the deep, Daniel chose that moment to breach the waves on his way back to shore. Jack took a gasping breath as his lover began climbing the slight incline onto the sand. Wearing skin tight blue Speedo’s, Daniel’s body was displayed in its utmost perfection. Water sheered from his pale skin in rivulets that tracked every contour of his toned frame. Jack reached down unconsciously, taking his cock in hand as it let him know just how sexy the sight was. He wanted to touch Danny so badly he ached from the anticipation.

As Daniel began to climb the few steps to the patio he looked up catching sight of Jack in all his rampant glory. Jack saw the expression on his face turn from happiness to one of pure lust and he shivered under the intensity of those blue eyes.

“Mr. Daniel,” the maid called from the dining room. Daniel started, her voice pulling his mind away from the plans it was making. He quickly grabbed a towel from the low wall where he had left it before his swim and tied it around his waist trying, not completely successfully, to hide his arousal.

“Breakfast is laid out when you are ready. Lunch and dinner are in the refrigerator and the instructions are on the counter. The boat is on its way. If there is nothing else you need I will see you tomorrow morning.” The small, middle-aged woman gave him a soft, knowing smile, her deep brown eyes twinkling with amusement.

“No…No,” Daniel stammered out, embarrassed by his indiscretion, “that’s fine. We have everything we need. Gracias por todo, Izel. Hasta mañana.” He gave her his most brilliant smile and she pinked with pleasure.

“De nada, Mr. Daniel. Hasta mañana.”

He watched as she picked up her large leather bag and slipped on beach shoes before giving him a little wave and stepping down onto the golden sand. The panga was bouncing its way across the breakers towards the shore and Daniel flicked a glance up at the loft to make sure Jack had seen it, too. The last thing they needed on their first day in paradise was Jack indecently exposing himself to Izel and the panga boatman.

There was no sign of his lover, so Daniel pulled the towel from around his waist and stepped inside, making a detour at the dining table to collect the tray containing an insulated carafe of coffee, condiments, cups and fresh baked pan dulce; little bread pastries topped with a baked sugar icing. Bare feet padding up the terracotta tiled steps on the outside of the building he turned into the loft and almost dropped the tray as he caught sight of Jack, laying spread-eagled on one of the beds. Cushioned against the headboard on a mound of pillows, Jack had one hand lazily stroking his straining cock while the other twisted the brown nub of a nipple. God! He looked like sex incarnate. The heat of his gaze burned into Daniel’s gut, turning the slow smolder that had started downstairs into a full-blown blaze of want.

Shakily making his way to the coffee table, Daniel managed to put the tray down without any major spillage, but he wasn’t sure how. He turned, pulling in a calming breath. If he wasn’t careful just the sight of Jack touching himself was likely to make him come in his Speedos. Well, two could play that game. Keeping his eyes trained on Jack’s he slid the tight, damp trunks slowly down his hips then turned and hooked them under the curve of his ass. He was gratified to hear a moan from the bed. Giving a little shimmy to help the wet spandex roll over his damp skin he leaned right forward, biting his lip as his mini-striptease pulled a groan from Jack that went straight to his balls.

Daniel looked over his shoulder to see Jack panting, one hand clawed in the sheets next to him whilst his other was clamped around the base of his leaking cock, obviously fighting for control.

“Like what you see, Flyboy?”

“Guhhh,” Jack replied inarticulately. There was a slight look of desperation in his eyes as Daniel began to stalk towards him, his fully engorged dick leading the way.

“You started without me, Jack. That’s just plain rude.” Daniel stood at the end of the bed and mirrored Jack’s earlier actions, running a finger up his length whilst rubbing his palm across his pink nipple.

“Danny,” Jack choked out, his eyes suddenly wide with need. “I want…I want…”

“What, Jack?” Daniel purred as he knelt on the foot of the bed. “What do you want?”

“Y…Your m…m…mouth, hands, cock,” Jack gasped, desperate for release. “Anything…anything you want. Just do me, Daniel…Please, please,” he begged unashamedly.

Jack didn’t get this needy often, but when he did Daniel knew just what he wanted. Jack was an alpha through and through, but sometimes he just wanted to turn his pleasure over to Daniel’s tender ministrations. Without another word Daniel leaned forward, pulled Jack’s hand away from his straining hard-on and engulfed him right to the root.

“Dannnnnnnniiiiieeeee,” Jack howled as he emptied himself into his lovers mouth; every shattering pulse of his orgasm drawing an inarticulate cry from his throat. Daniel worked his cock with constantly moving lips and tongue, prolonging the pleasure until Jack was boneless and panting.

Giving him a few minutes to recoup Daniel moved over Jack, covering his relaxed body; chest to chest; belly to belly; their long legs entwined. Taking Jack’s face between his hands he pressed soft-mouthed kisses all over his sweat-slicked skin, relishing the salt tang. Taking his lips with passionate fervor he danced his tongue over and around Jack’s mouth demanding entry. Jack opened to him, allowing him to plunder his mouth mercilessly. Cracking open heavy eyes Jack saw the startling truth of Daniel’s love for him shining back at him; pupils so dilated with need that only a sliver of blue showed around the edges. His lips red and lust plumped.

Daniel was truly beautiful.

“Gonna fuck you, Jack,” the young man growled as he slid slowly off his body and walked to their, as yet, unpacked cases. Fishing out his wash bag Daniel pulled a bottle of Astroglide from a side pocket. “Gonna make you come again, screaming.”

Jack shook his head, still too far gone to form a coherent sentence. It would be a while before he would get even half-hard. He needed an hour or more to recoup. There was no way in Netu Danny would get his wish, but it would be fun trying.

Daniel just grinned at him wolfishly and nodded slowly and with such surety that, impossible as it seemed, and despite his disbelief, Jack felt a warm tendril of desire float through his gut.

“I want you to lay very still, Jack.” Daniel demanded quietly as he moved back over to the bed while his lover watched his every move. “Keep your hands down or I stop. Understand?”

Jack nodded, his breathing picking up as once again his senses were overwhelmed by a rampant, in-charge archaeologist.

Throwing the little bottle down on the bed beside Jack’s legs, Daniel began a slow, hot progress down his lover’s body. Gentle kisses to his jaw and cheeks mutated into nips and soft mouthed bites as he made his way onto Jack’s chest. Running his tongue around the areola of his left nipple Danny flicked and twisted the right nub to a hard point, pulling a throaty growl from Jack. Without thinking Jack began to reach for him, wanting to feel soft hair running through his fingers; the silky smoothness of his broad chest; the movement of solid muscle beneath the smooth skin on his back. But the younger man simply moved aside, holding his hands away from Jack’s body.

“You weren’t listening, Colonel.” Daniel’s voice was low and commanding. “I.Said,” he breathed into Jack’s ear, punctuating each word with a flick of his tongue, “Be.Still.And.Hands.Down.” Moving quickly over his mouth he bit down on Jack’s lower lip and gave it a little shake. “Have I made myself clear, Flyboy?”

“Uh-huh,” Jack swallowed, his heart thundering in his chest. This alpha Danny was incendiary and the flames of lust he was projecting were licking Jack’s libido into a slow but definite burn.

Without another word Daniel went back to work, starting where he had left off, trailing down Jack’s body; taking in the flat landscape of his belly with its trail of silver hair leading to the darker mat surrounding his thick cock.

Daniel loved Jack’s penis. It was thicker, longer and heavier than any he’d had before. He loved to watch the changes as it filled and lengthened. He loved to taste the salt/tart flavor of his pre-come. He especially loved to feel him moving and stroking inside him, touching him so intimately; joining them together in the ultimate expression of their passion for one another. Jack didn’t bottom very often, although when he was in the mood for it he relished the opportunity. When the hunger to top grabbed Daniel, however, he was very difficult to deny. Luckily for both of them their drives tended to mesh very well and it was rare that they both wanted to be the dominant partner at the same time.

Daniel looked up along Jack’s body, meeting a pair of desire-drugged brown eyes staring back at him. Keeping his gaze on his lover’s face, Daniel flipped the lid on the lube and let the cool liquid trickle over Jack’s balls and down into his cleft. He chuckled evilly at the shocked gasp that huffed from Jack’s lips as the cold gel dribbled on his overheated flesh.

“Geez, Danny, give a guy some warning won’tcha.” Jack’s wheezed complaint was quickly swallowed by a moan as his lover drew the long calloused fingertips of one hand through the viscous fluid, and then pressed down between his ass cheeks while the other hand massaged and tugged gently at his balls. Drawing long lines from the front of his cleft to the back, Daniel paid more and more attention to Jack’s tight pucker, pressing more firmly on each pass until his fingertip began to breach the little hole. Moving slowly and gently at first he progressed to longer, more invasive penetration until his digit was buried right inside Jack’s body.

Jack began to pant and rocked his pelvis, encouraging Danny deeper and deeper. Daniel’s long cock was hard and jutting, clear drops of pre-come beading and then rolling across the rosy head, making it glisten invitingly. Jack was desperate to touch it, taste it but daredn’t make a move, knowing that if nothing else Daniel would be true to his word and stop if he tried. To his utter amazement he could feel himself hardening; pulsing in time to the hammering of his heart. He wanted to feel Danny fill him; to surrender himself to the sensation overload that came with being fucked by the man who knew him best. Jack had never been willing to allow himself to be so needy in any other relationship. But this man, this fucking god of a man, could reduce him to a thread of need so fine, then dangle him there until he thought he would literally die from wanting.

The intrusion of a second and then a third finger reduced Jack to a shivering, panting mass of nerve endings. As his lover crooked his finger and began to massage his prostate on every pass Jack felt as though he was going to fly apart. Only the touch of Danny’s fingers in his ass and on his balls was tying him to this plane of existence.

“Danny, Danny, please baby. Pleeeaase. Do it, Do me now,” he pleaded, his head thrashing on the pillow. “Fuck me, Fuuuuu…”

He was so fixated on Daniel’s fingers that he hadn’t seen him slick up his cock with the other hand. In one smooth glide his lover was inside him, balls deep and Jack screamed in ecstasy, the fullness and ache of pleasure combined with pain almost more than he could stand. It was too much; too much stimulation; too much sensation; too much love; too much intimacy and it felt to Jack as if he were losing himself. Too overwhelmed to care about the rules of their game anymore he reached for Daniel; needing his reassuring weight and heat on top of him; to be anchored before he flew so far apart that he couldn’t find his way back.

Daniel came to him willingly. He was almost at the end of his control. All rational thought gone he was only able to feel and smell and taste. He stretched out on the quivering body beneath him, Jack’s thick, impossibly hard cock pressed between their bellies, his knees drawn up to allow Daniel deeper and deeper access. Jack was silky heat and pressure as Daniel rocked relentlessly into him; claiming him, owning him, adoring him. Every stroke was a reverential expression of his ardor for this man who had demanded so much from him and had given him everything in return. Their love, like their passion for one another was uncompromising and real.

Daniel had never felt so alive.

Jack was beyond words. All he could do was cry out as he felt his orgasm racing through his body. His eyes flew open as the tsunami of sensation Daniel was creating began to crest. One final scrape of Daniel’s cock over his prostate and he was soaring and screaming as ribbons of come pulsed from his cock coating them both with hot viscous fluid.

Daniel was right behind him. Jack’s clutching heat wrapped around him in a grip that wrenched his orgasm from him and he yelled his beloved’s name over and over as each spasm drew a fiery blade of ecstasy through his gut and his balls and out, out, out until he had no idea where he ended and Jack began. He was vaguely aware of Jack trembling and twitching beneath him as his vision grayed and there was nothing but white noise in his ears.

*****

Alpha Charlie four-niner have you acquired the target?”

“Four-niner receiving; target acquired; missiles locked.”

God, I can hardly breathe. I love this! The surge of adrenaline as my finger hovers over the firing button on the joystick. But what am I firing at? In fact where am I?

Ohhhh! This is getting weird. The controls of this bird look very familiar and…Yes…If I stretch to look back I can see the very distinctive wing formation out of the cockpit window. F-117 Night Hawk: My baby. I fucking loved this plane. I flew this stealth bomber in the Gulf. But that was so very long ago now. Why am I dreaming about this?

Ah, of course. I was flying one of these babies when I met Simon. So I suppose this dream is not a real surprise. I seem to be walking awake through my dreams all the time – if that’s not an oxymoron. Bet you wish you’d heard that one, Jackson. But of course, he’s not here ‘cause you’re dreaming, dickwad!

Gahhhh! Proximity sensors…that noise always makes my gut turn. Need to find…Yep, there they are…Two of the fuckers: Infrared air-to-air missiles. Have to do some fancy flying to get away from these crafty SOB’s. What I need to know is where’s the bogie that sent them my way?

“Alpha Charlie four-niner: Is target acquired? Repeat: Is target acquired?”

“Four-niner receiving: I have two bandits on my tail. Unable to acquire target at this time.”

“O’Neill, stop pissing about up there and get that target acquired: Do your fucking job, man. He’s depending on you. Over.”

Yeah right, I’ll do that and stop for McDonalds, too, shall I? What the fuck do they think I’m doing up here? Playing hopscotch? And who’s depending on me…I don’t even remember this mission let alone who we might have been assisting.

Luckily for me I’ve just seen the bastard who threw these stingers my way peel off to the North. Looks like he’s all out of ordnance so there’s nothing else to worry about but these two coming up behind me. Why the fuck can’t I get rid of these ass-sniffers. I’m using every maneuver I know, but they are stuck on my tail and getting closer. Flares are away but haven’t had any effect. Looks like I’m heading for real trouble. I could do with Teal’c and Carter in a couple of F 302’s right about now to come save my flabby old ass.

Okay, this is getting hot. I’ve used every trick in the ‘J. Jack O’Neill Big Book of Avoiding Missiles’ but they’re still…Ahh! YES! At last a bit of luck. Seems like one of them has malfunctioned; Wave bye-bye. Wow! That was bright. What the hell are they using for warheads on these things?

Shit…Shit…SHIT. Took my eye off the other one for a fraction of a second and it’s right on my tail. If I can just…Yes…NO! Bastard clipped a wing.

Everything’s spinning…Have to get…Aargh…Can’t blackout now. Keep it together, O’Neill. Ejector controls engaged and ungh…That is the worst feeling in the world as my baby and I part company. She’s already just a smoking speck below me as the ejector chutes engage and I’m yanked up and away.

This is where all that G-training comes in. I wanna throw, but upchucking into my oxygen mask will not only be messy but seriously detrimental to my health. Gotta hold on to my breakfast until I can pull the mask off…Gahhhhh…Gotta just hold on…

*****

“Jack. Jack, hey, lover, you okay?”

Jack opened his heavy lids to look straight into the dazzling blue of Daniel’s eyes.

“Think you passed out,” he gloated proudly as Jack struggled to sit up, the roiling nausea of his dream still lingering.

“Uhuh,” he replied groggily. His body ached as if he had really been ejected from a plane and not just fucked within an inch of his life. Jack wiped his hand across his eyes and was surprised to find wetness there.

“Hey,” Daniel murmured into his ear, “it’s okay. You were amazing. I’m still shaking myself.” The younger man drew a long finger down Jack’s cheek, across his neck and finally stilled with his hand pressed across Jack’s thudding heart.

Jack couldn’t find the energy to tell Daniel about his dream. It had left him feeling disorientated and strangely unnerved. He rolled onto his side and grabbed the other man around his shoulders, pulling him to rest partially on top of him, needing to feel his reassuring weight grounding him in reality.

“Think the coffee’s still hot?” he croaked, his throat sore and dry as much from the residual fear of the dream as from the yelling he had done in the midst of his orgasm.

“Doubt it,” Daniel mumbled against his chest, dropping little kisses along his collarbone. With a small sigh Danny stretched and slipped out of the bed, padding across the wood floor to the tray he had left over an hour earlier. He opened the top of the carafe and took a look at the contents.

“Ugh, barely lukewarm,” he grumbled. “And I suppose, it’s up to me to make some more, being as I’ve worn you out, old man.” Daniel leaned back over Jack, pressing a long slow kiss to his very willing lips.

“Oy, watch it,” Jack snorted. “Get me some coffee and a couple of those pastries and then I’ll show you who’s old.”

Daniel skipped to the side to miss the slap that Jack aimed at his backside and, picking up the carafe, walked towards the loft door. “Get your motor running Grampa, I won’t be long,” he grinned as he left the room.

Jack smirked at his retreating back and was about to flop back on the bed when he saw a movement in the doorway. Thinking Daniel had come back he turned to look straight into the eyes of a small child, only five or six years old. His heart did a thump in his chest as the boy disappeared around the doorway. Where had a kid come from? He’d looked sort of familiar. Jack swung his legs off the bed and walked quickly to the doorway, not caring about his nakedness just wanting to get another look at the child walking around their supposedly inaccessible house.

There was no one around as Jack rounded the door and looked over the balcony down into the rear garden of the house. The kid must have moved quickly to no longer be in sight, although the jungle that swept down to the back of the house was dense enough to hide a whole battalion of Jaffa. He was about to make his way down the terracotta steps when he heard Daniel’s voice float up to him.

He walked back across the loft and leaned over to see his naked lover looking up at him.

“Do you want to eat lunch yet? Looks like Izel left a shrimp salad…”

“Danny, did any kids come over with Izel or the panga today?” Jack asked, still feeling unsettled by the appearance and disappearance of the strangely familiar child.

“No.” Daniel looked puzzled. “Why?”

Jack shook his head, feeling the prickle of shock wearing off. What had he seen? Was it really a kid? The encounter had taken on a dream-like quality and he was starting to feel a bit silly.

“Nah, it’s nothing,” he assured Daniel, scrubbing his hand across his hair. “Think I’m having anoxic hallucinations. Must be you…taking my breath away.”

Jack smirked as Daniel made gagging noises while at the same time flushing a very pleased pink. They may both be capable of macho posturing, but their sap levels were definitely rising during this vacation.

“Let’s just have coffee for now. We can eat later – unless you’re trying to get out of letting this old man prove his staying power.

Even from the loft Jack saw Daniel’s cock give a lurch at the implication and he smiled to himself as he stretched out on the hammock and began slowly swaying as he waited for Daniel to bring up the coffee.

He didn’t have to wait long as Daniel was soon joining him with two mugs of fragrant black brew. There was a little dangerous dance with the hot beverages as he slid onto the hammock next to Jack, but they were soon settled with Jack’s arm around Daniel’s shoulders, both of them sipping at the coffee.

“What was all that about a kid?” Daniel looked at Jack quizzically.

“Ah, take no notice of me,” Jack replied sheepishly. “Had some really weird dreams lately. I probably just dozed off for a second or two.”

“Weird dreams? Anything you want to talk about?” Daniel gazed at Jack his eyes soft with concern.

“Nah. Anyhow, I can think of better things to do with my mouth than yack.”

Dropping his hand to the side he placed his empty coffee cup on the floor and Daniel took his lead, doing the same. Jack ran his hands through Daniel’s hair and around to the back of his neck. Pulling his head gently towards him he pressed a soft-mouthed kiss to his lovers willing lips. They stayed melded for long minutes, tasting and exploring each other’s mouths, tongues, teeth and palates only stopping intermittently to come up for air.

“I meant it you know,” Jack murmured, stroking his crooked thumb across Daniel’s cheekbone. “You do take my breath away.”

Daniel blushed again, his eyes sparkling as he looked up into Jack’s loving gaze. They fell back onto each other’s mouths, the heady press and taste stoking a quiet burn that left them enjoyably aroused but not needing to go any further quite yet. They lay together on the gently swinging hammock, enjoying the freedom to simply be together without looking over their shoulders.

Daniel was the first to speak after almost an hour of this simple pleasure. “Not wishing to look a gift horse in the mouth but a house as beautiful as this must cost a fortune to rent and we have it for three weeks.” He shifted to look at Jack. “I know we get paid good money at the SGC; me more than you as it happens.” Daniel batted away Jack’s fingers that were threatening to poke him for that little dig. “Come on, Jack, spill. Who did you have to threaten to get this place?”

Jack raised his eyebrows and gave Daniel a withering look. “I didn’t threaten anyone,” he qualified haughtily. “In fact it belongs to a friend of mine…A very good friend of mine.”

That comment made Daniel sit up and take notice. He found himself bristling a little at the implication. “How good a friend, Jack? We talking school friend? Air Force buddy?”

“Well,” Jack drawled, “we were friends to begin with and we met through the Air Force.” He stopped speaking as he realized this might not be a story that either he wanted to tell or Daniel would want to hear, but he’d started now so there was no going back; Danny wouldn’t allow that.

A quirked eyebrow was all he got, but he heard the order loud and clear; ‘spill it, O’Neill.’

“Okay,” Jack started, “but don’t blame me if you don’t like what you’ll hear.”

Daniel’s face was a picture of studied calm, but Jack could see the little sparks of interest and jealousy flickering in his eyes.

“As you know I flew Night Hawks during the Gulf War.”

Daniel nodded and made a go on motion with his hand.

“Well, during that time I also did some covert ops, mainly gathering intel, recovering prisoners; especially if one of our own was captured. It was all sanctioned, no black ops stuff; not then anyway.” Jack gave a little sigh and Daniel placed a hand in his, interlinking their fingers. He knew Jack found it difficult to talk about that time and while he wanted the answers to the mystery owner of La Troza he didn’t want to make Jack relive something he would rather not.

Jack turned his head and smiled gratefully at his partner. “It’s okay, Danny, there was nothing too heavy. I nearly got captured a couple of times but always seemed to have the luck o’ the Irish.” Jack shifted and pulled Daniel closer. He wasn’t sure how the younger man was going to respond to this story, but he knew it was going to be told whether he liked it or not.

“On one of those missions I recovered a young English pilot who had been shot down almost six months earlier. He wasn’t my target, in fact the guy they sent me in for turned up a week later in another part of the country entirely.” Jack chuckled. “Simon always said I was his knight in shining cammo.”

“Simon?” Daniel couldn’t help blurt out. Something about Jack’s expression told him that this was more than just a war story and he wasn’t sure he was ready for what Jack was going to tell him.

“Yeah…Well, actually Lord Simon Tristram Launcelot de’Vere, Third Earl of Granville, although he wasn’t the Earl when I met him. His dad – the second Earl – died soon after he got home from Kuwait.” Jack grinned at the look of amazement on Daniel’s face at this disclosure. “Hey, I may be a back-woods boy from Minnesota but I know people,” he crowed polishing his knuckles on his chest.

He was rewarded with a light slap from Daniel for his bragging. “Okay, Flyboy, so you know an Earl. I take it there is even more to this story?”

Jack nodded. “He was really banged up. He’d been imprisoned after being shot down. His injuries were really bad and the bastards had only given him minimal medical attention.” He held tighter onto Danny’s hand, his anger at the treatment of a prisoner obvious. “He was two inches taller than me, but he’d dropped so much weight that I carried him outta there with no problem. We got in a firefight and it took nearly four hours for me to get him to a safe place where we could be extracted. I took a bullet to the thigh that through and through, but I was so hyped I didn’t realize until we got to the medical unit.” Unaware of his actions Jack’s hand moved down to press a small depression in his upper thigh. Daniel moved his hand away and traced the scar with a gentle fingertip.

“Well, we were both kept with the same med unit for the next three weeks,” Jack continued. “Simon was in a lot of pain and his hip was fused where it had been broken and reset badly, so he was in traction and bored out of his mind. We got talking and it turned out we had a lot in common.” Jack looked across at Daniel expecting to see some skepticism from the younger man, but Daniel just looked intrigued by the story.

“We both liked planes and flying obviously but we also had a passion for fishing and hunting, although mine was in my Grampa’s pond in Minnesota and his was in the thirty five mile stretch of salmon river on his families Scottish estate.” Jack shook his head as the memories came thick and fast. “He made me laugh so much and he never made me feel any less than him although his family could probably have bought the State of Minnesota twice over.”

Daniel had been watching Jack’s face and saw something he had only ever seen in relation to him before. “You fell in love with him,” he said quietly, a sudden stab of jealousy and what felt, ridiculously, like fear running through him.

“Yeah,” Jack sighed. “I knew I was bi right from puberty. I already told you that. In fact the first time I had sex was with a guy, although Casey O’Malley gave me my first orgasm – but that’s another story.” Jack couldn’t stop a blush creeping over his face as he remembered, once again, that embarrassing moment.

“One I think I’d like to hear,” Daniel retorted. “But we were talking about Simon,” he finished, a mite snippy. Jack looked over at him, trying to gauge how he was taking his revelations. Daniel had known there had been other men before him, but now Jack was wondering if he’d assumed they were just buddy fucks.

“Well, he was invalided out of the RAF and sent back to England. We kept in touch by letter and the odd phone call but as far as I was concerned it was all over before it started.” Jack’s thumb was rubbing across the back of Daniel’s hand, the steady to and fro of his calloused skin over the bumpy knuckles keeping him connected to the here and now. “Then out of the blue nearly two years later I got a phone call to say he was flying in to Holloman AFB where I was based. He’d been recalled for a mission that required his particular talents and he needed to train on Night Hawks. So he was seconded to my squadron and ended up staying for almost twelve months.” Jack shifted uncomfortably. Although he knew Daniel wanted to hear this story he really didn’t want to go into intimate detail about a love affair with another man. He wasn’t sure just how little telling he could get away with but he was sure if his lover was not satisfied with his explanation then he would question him till he was.

“To cut a long story short, we were together for nearly nine months. Then I was redeployed into Special Op’s full time and we had to finish it.” Jack didn’t want to look at Daniel too afraid of what he might see in the younger man’s face. “I thought I’d never see him again, but then the last time I was in DC there he was, fucking Air Vice-Marshall de’Vere, DFC.”

“So you saw him only six months ago.” There was an indefinable expression on Daniel’s face which made Jack feel ill at ease. He decided to bluff it out. After all he hadn’t done anything wrong. He was with Danny then and the idea of taking up where he had left off with Simon hadn’t even crossed his mind.

“Yeah. He was there on NATO business. He had no idea how to get in touch with me and it was only by sheer luck that we ended up in the same place at the same time,” Jack shrugged.

“Yeah, real lucky for both of you,” Daniel mumbled. Jack turned to look at him, but Daniel’s eyes were firmly fixed to Jack’s chest.

‘Digging a hole here Jack,’ he thought to himself but knew he had to carry on and get this over with. Perhaps then he could persuade Danny there was nothing for him to worry about. “Anyhow, he told me about this place: Apparently his family has owned it for nearly forty years. He said if I ever needed to get away with you, to somewhere isolated and beautiful, then I should give him a call.

The fact that Jack had obviously mentioned him to Simon made Daniel look up sharply. “So you told him about us?”

Jack nodded. “Whadda you think? He asked me what I was doing yadda, yadda, but of course I couldn’t tell him. He told me about his job and his partner – who’s a male model, by the way, and twenty plus years younger than him – and then asked me who I was with.” Jack grinned at Daniel but didn’t get a smile back. Shit, perhaps this was going to backfire after all. He decided to tell the truth. “I gushed about you for forty five minutes before Si told me to shut up already. I think he’d like to meet you to see how a beat up old codger like me managed to get such a shining star.”

“You never told me you’d met ‘Si’ in DC, Jack: Why not?” There was anger in Daniel’s voice and he was struggling to get up from the hammock. Jack knew he wanted to stomp out of the room, but he wasn’t willing to let this story end like that. Desperate to stop them both being dumped on the floor he gently pulled Daniel back towards him and planted a soft kiss on his forehead.

“Danny, when I got home all I wanted was to be with you, kiss you, love you within an inch of your life. I didn’t want to talk about ex-lovers. That’s water under the bridge. If you hadn’t nearly died on me again I might never have taken him up on his offer.” Jack gave him a little shake, trying to make him let go of the tension he could feel. “As it is we are in the middle of paradise, you and me, Danny. He gave us the run of the place for free, for old time’s sake. I could never have afforded to bring you here otherwise.” Jack breathed a small sigh of relief as he felt Daniel begin to relax into him again.

“He would like to meet you though. When I told him you were an archaeologist he got very excited. Apparently there’s a Viking burial mound on his land that he has been dying to excavate…” Daniel’s head shot up from Jack’s shoulder, his eyes blazing with bright interest.

“Viking! Jack, why didn’t you tell me…We could have gone there this vacation instead of…”Daniel was breathless with anticipation.

Jack gusted out a loud laugh and then shook his head, pouting his lower lip outrageously. “Here I was thinking that being in paradise with me was the ultimate way to tell you I love you and you’re so easily seduced by the Scottish Laird and his dusty old rocks.”

Daniel looked up at him, his mouth a shocked ‘o’. He looked positively mortified at his insensitivity. “Oh, no Jack,” he apologized, covering Jack’s face with little kisses. “I’d much rather be here with my own precious artifact. In fact there are some really quite urgent investigations of this particular site I need to go down on…Ahem…I mean get down to as soon as possible.”

Before Jack had a chance to make another comment Daniel squirmed down his body and took up residence between Jack’s thighs. All rational thought fled from his mind as Danny’s hot, wet mouth engulfed his rather interested cock and he gave himself up to the wonderful sensation of his lover’s clever tongue and mobile lips, knowing that, while the subject would no doubt re-emerge, for now, Simon de’Vere was forgotten.

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