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When Destiny Calls
The mall was relatively empty, being a Tuesday. It was a little after one when they walked into Weisfield's. It was the first jewelry story they saw. Casey's fingers trembled in his hand. He squeezed them gently, reassuringly.
The woman behind the counter looked up at them and smiled. "How can I help you today?" she asked.
"We need to look at your wedding sets. Platinum. At least two carats for the engagement ring," Daniel said calmly. Grateful that he'd paid attention when one of the SFs on SG-8 was talking about the wedding set he'd purchased for his fiancée...that had been a couple of months back. The lieutenant had been full of information regarding the best metal and carat sizes for an 'impressive' engagement ring. He gently squeezed Casey's fingers once again when he felt them tremble harder against his.
"We have a lovely selection of platinum sets," the sales clerk said, leading them to the end of the counter.
There were two chairs in front of it. Daniel ran his hand over Casey's slender shoulders when she sat down. He sat down beside her.
The woman, Mindy, according to her nametag, was placing several sets on top of the glass counter. "Do you have a particular cut in mind?" she asked.
Daniel looked over at Casey. "It's up to you, Angel. Whatever you want."
Casey looked over the selection. Took note of the price tags. She leaned over to whisper in his ear. "Um…these are really expensive! Do you want to go somewhere else, see if we can't find rings that are cheaper?"
He understood her hesitancy. Was positive that she'd done without nice things all of her life. Had probably done without too damned much that she needed! Knew for certain that she'd struggled financially all of her adult life. He remembered that the SF who had become engaged had bemoaned the fact that if you were going to get a 'nice' ring, the selection and the price were roughly the same no matter the jewelry store. That had been a lesson learned, the SF had said, after an afternoon spent going from store to store. "No," he whispered back. "We'll stay here, unless there isn't anything that you like. Don't worry about it, Casey. I have the money for this. I don't want you to even think about the price. Okay?"
She nodded. Smiled when he pressed his lips against her temple. She looked at the rings again. Took note of a set with an emerald cut diamond, two full carats according to the tag. Two half-caret baguette diamonds were nestled on either side of it. It was absolutely breathtaking! The wedding band had four baguette diamonds, adding another two carats to the total carat weight. The man's wedding band had two baguette diamonds, one-half carat each, placed on one side of the wide band. The entire set was stunning. And well it should be, considering that the three-piece set was priced at almost eight thousand dollars! And that was supposedly thirty percent off! She gasped slightly, tore her gaze away from the set and looked at the others.
Daniel had been watching those green eyes. He took the emerald cut diamond ring from the small box, took her finger and slid it onto her hand. "Like it?"
She was trembling again. "It's beautiful." She carefully pulled the ring from her finger and placed it back beside the matching band. And continued looking at the other rings. There, that princess cut diamond, plain band, wedding band with four small princess cut diamonds. The solitaire diamond was considerably smaller, and the man's band was plain. But the set was only thirty-five hundred dollars. Only! Yeah, it's still expensive! She took it from the velvet-lined box and slid it on her finger. Couldn't help but look back at that emerald cut diamond. She slid the ring from her finger, put it back, and looked at the other rings displayed. Two round-cut diamonds, she didn't really care for either of them, although she did try them on, nor was she overly fond of the oval or heart shaped diamonds. Her eyes went back to that emerald cut diamond. She had to force herself to look away from it. She examined another princess cut solitaire.
He shook his head. "Excuse us for just a moment," he said to Mindy. He tugged Casey's hand, pulled her to the side of the store. He put his hands on either side of her face. "Angel, stop looking at the price tag. I have a savings account, I had a…sizable…check put in there. I've dumped a little more in a couple of times, it's just been sitting and collecting interest. I…we… can afford whatever you want. If you like that first set, say so."
She felt tears well up in her eyes. She'd never met anyone, let alone a man, as generous as Daniel. "It's so much money! I never…it's just…"
"Shh…it's okay, Case. That's all over. I'm taking care of you now. You never have to worry about anything again. Okay?" He kissed her forehead. "Now, let's see that ring on your finger again. I didn't even get a chance to look at it, you took it off so fast!"
She smiled. "Okay. But I want to see the man's wedding band on you."
He grinned, led her back to the counter. He pulled the emerald cut diamond ring from the box once again, and slipped it onto her finger. He held her hand this time. Perfect. It looked absolutely perfect on her. He glanced up at her eyes. They were sparkling brighter than the diamond on her finger.
Casey took the man's band and slipped it onto his finger. Yep. That looked good. Very good. It looked great. She reached for the woman's wedding band, slipped it onto her finger, then put her hand next to his. Oh, yeah!
"Looks good, huh?" he asked, grinning at her.
Her smile widened, and she nodded shyly.
Mindy was beaming. This set had been in the showcase for almost ten months. She'd get a bonus for selling it. "We can have them sized for you, no extra charge."
Casey looked at the woman, raised one eyebrow slightly. For almost eight thousand dollars, they'd better be willing to size it for free!
"How long to do the engagement ring? We can wait a day or so for the wedding bands, but I'd like to have the engagement ring today. As soon as possible," Daniel said.
"Let me check." The woman hurried to a side door, opened it and spoke briefly with the man sitting at a worktable in the small room. She came back, a smile on her face. "Joel says he can have it ready in about an hour."
Daniel smiled. "That will work."
Mindy grabbed a receipt book, and began writing up the sale. "And how will you be paying for this today?"
"American Express," Daniel replied. He reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled his wallet out. He'd have to remember to get a card for Casey, he thought as he laid it on the counter.
Her stomach was tied in knots. She was so excited that she could barely stand it. As soon as Daniel had signed the sales contract and the receipt, she put her fingers against his jaw, turned his face towards her, and kissed him gently on the lips. "Thank you just doesn't seem good enough for a ring like that," she whispered. "But, thank you."
He kissed her, and then put his forehead against hers. "You're welcome, Angel."
Mindy took a keyring with what looked like a dozen of metal rings on it. She carefully tried several of them on Casey's finger. Found one that she declared perfect, then wrote the size information on the receipt. She then did the same for Daniel. She took the velvet box to the tiny workroom at the side of the store, gave it to the jeweler who would work on the rings it contained. "The engagement ring will be ready in an hour," she said upon returning to the counter. "The wedding bands will be ready by noon tomorrow."
Daniel nodded, led Casey out of the store. With the plan of taking her to the food court. Maybe he could get her to eat something. At least a shake of some sort. He rested his arm around her shoulders. "So, how do you want me to propose?"
She wrapped her arm around his waist. "I thought that's what you did in your own sweet way at Denny's."
He looked down at her. "All I did there was insist that technically you're already my Wife."
She giggled. "Okay, so why propose at all?"
"Because that's the way things are done." Space Needle! He'd do it on top of the Space Needle! Up there above the city, almost in the clouds, where her sweet love had sent his heart, his soul, and his body soaring.
"I'm sure you'll think of something," she said. She knew that until he proposed, she wouldn't get to wear that dazzling ring. Which left her feeling the slightest bit disappointed. She wanted to wear it right away! She glanced up at him. He was up to something. She could 'feel' it.
He grinned. A little slow there, Angel, he thought gleefully. He wondered how often he'd actually be one step ahead of her. He looked down at her again. Saw the little smile at the corners of her sweet lips. The little minx knew! He was sure of it! Yep, living with a seer was going to be damned interesting!
They wandered the wide hallways of the mall, window shopping, sometimes going inside a store just to look at the merchandise, slowly making their way to that food court. Daniel came to an abrupt stop in front of Victoria's Secrets. Two-for-one sale, the signs advertised. He grinned down at her. "Come on," he said, leading her inside.
Casey blushed. "Daniel," she whispered, "what are we doing here?"
He'd seen the name on the bottle of the lotion she used. The scent was intoxicating, it surrounded her, and made him so needy! The display of lotions and perfumes was right beside the window, and he'd noticed the same bottle. And that there was perfume that went with it. "Getting the perfume to go with that lotion you're wearing. It's making me crazy," he replied. "And whatever else you want to get to drive me out of my mind."
She shook her head. Tried not to think about the fact that she really could use a few new bras and some new panties. She did a few quick calculations in her head. She'd already paid her share of the rent and utilities for this month. The check she'd get next week, which would be her last, would be about a hundred dollars more than usual. Okay, she could put this purchase on her credit card, and use that extra money to pay it. With that thought in mind, she began to browse.
"May I help you?" a young woman asked.
"Um…yes, actually," Casey replied. She glanced over at Daniel. He was preoccupied with the perfumes and lotions. "Is it true that these bras fit a bit…differently?"
The clerk smiled. "We can measure you and make sure you get the perfect fit. Come with me."
Daniel grinned when he watched her select half a dozen bras, and disappear into the fitting room. His attention was caught by the selection of teddies. He looked at a couple of them, shivered when he imagined them on her slender, sexy body.
When she came back out, Casey selected panties, and two thongs, to go with the bras. She saw him standing by the door, his hands in his pants pockets, waiting for her.
"Check out the teddies, babe," he instructed her.
She frowned slightly. With six new bras and the panties to match - even at two-for-one she was already well over that hundred-dollar limit.
He noticed the frown. "I'm paying, Angel."
She shook her head stubbornly. "Anything I buy in here today, I pay for."
Daniel blew out a breath, came up with the perfect solution. "I'll make a deal with you. I'll pay for the lotion and the perfume," he said, nodding at the counter where the two items waited. "And a couple of teddies. You can pay for the rest."
That lip went between her teeth again. That was a tempting offer, and the big rat knew it! She sighed. It would be nice to have more than one teddy, she did need new underwear, and as for the lotion, her bottle was low. The perfume she'd never been able to afford, she'd always had to choose between the two. And she'd decided long ago that she needed the lotion more. "Deal," she said at last.
He grinned. Yep, it was going to be fun spoiling this woman. He did so hope she'd fight him like this every time. It made it so damned...fun! He watched her put the pile of sexy bras and panties on the counter, and walk toward the rack with the teddies. The blue one, his mind chanted, the blue one. No, not that one…yeah, that's the one! Hey, that white number was pretty damned sexy too! "Get both, Angel," he called softly.
She turned around and looked at him. "Both?"
Damned if she didn't look a tiny bit ticked off. Oh, goodie! If she was mad at him he could make it up to her! He grinned. "Yep."
He was looking just too darned pleased with himself. She held up both teddies. They were pretty, and sexy, and wearing that one last night had made her feel so…desirable. Not to mention the way his eyes had looked ready to pop out of his head when he'd watched her walk out of the bathroom. Okay, if Daddy Warbucks was paying, he could have both! She walked over to the counter, laid the teddies with the two bottles.
Daniel stepped up beside her.
"Will this be all?" the clerk asked.
He pushed the entire pile of silk and lace and satin together, put the two bottles on top and grinned. "Yep."
"Daniel!" Casey objected, trying to sort the things out.
"Easier this way," he said smugly, as he tossed his American Express card onto the pile.
She glared at him for a minute. He was breaking the deal! Yet…she could sense no ulterior motives. No, all she could feel from him was love…deep, strong love. There were no strings attached to this gift, she could sense it…feel it. And it awed her. "Fine. I'm buying lunch!"
He had to laugh. Only his Casey would argue over being given gifts. My Casey. That has such a nice sound to it! "We'll see."
The clerk looked from the lovely blonde to the gorgeous hunk and back again. How lucky could a woman get? And she was upset because the hunk wanted to buy her things? She must be nuts!
He put his arm around her shoulders as they left the store, the bag in his hand. "So, which one are you going to wear tonight?"
She looked up into his blue eyes. He looked like a little boy, eagerly waiting to find out what he was getting for Christmas. "I don't know why I should bother wearing either of them. You didn't let me keep on the one I wore last night long enough to see me it!" she complained, although her eyes were twinkling.
"Oh, I saw it, Angel. Drove me crazy seeing you in it," he replied.
"Okay, smarty, what color was it?"
"Green. Matched your eyes. Let me see just enough of your incredible, sexy body to drive me insane wanting you."
Her eyes widened. "Wow. I guess you were looking."
He grinned. "So which one?"
"If I tell you, you'll just spend the rest of the day trying to imagine me in it. Let it be a surprise," she said, the tone of her voice, and her eyes, teasing him.
"Oh, that's just mean," he teased in return.
She giggled. "Yep."
He saw the sign for the Food Court, headed her in that direction. "Hungry?"
Casey looked up at him, the casualness of the question making her heart pitter-patter against her ribs. "Maybe a little bit."
"Good." He pulled the bottle of pills from his pocket, opened it. "Here, Angel," he said softly.
They stopped in the middle of the aisle, she dug for and found the bottle of water, and took the pill. "I can take care of myself, you know."
"You're not going to let me."
"Any particular reason why?"
She stopped again, turned him to face her. "For a linguist you can be annoyingly uncommunicative!"
He laughed at the look of frustration in her beautiful green eyes. He reached out and pushed a long strand of blonde silk behind her shoulder. "I love you, Casey. I want to take care of you, more than I've ever wanted to do anything else in my life. You are so…precious. So…amazing. I want to protect you…I want to make you happy."
Tears filled her eyes. "I love you, Daniel Jackson," she whispered, just before she leaned up on tiptoe and pressed her lips against his. She pulled away hurriedly, glanced around, then down at the floor, her cheeks blazing with color.
He grinned again. Dropped the bag to the floor by his feet. Wrapped his hands around her beautiful face, pulled her close, and kissed her deeply. When he finally let her go, her eyes were wide with surprise, and filled with desire. "Let's go see what they have to eat," he said, grabbing the bag, putting his arm back around her shoulders, and leading her forward.
Her heart was racing so fast that she thought she was going to pass out. Never had she thought a man would be so...demonstrative...in public; so willing to let people know that she belonged to him! So...open...about his feelings for her. She was so surprised that she couldn't even think straight! Oh, please Goddess, don't let this be just a dream!
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