Chapter Twenty-Two Summary:  After Daniel leaves, the discussion turns to Lantash and how to tell
him what he needs to know.   They discuss what they found out and what it might mean to the mission to
destroy Bastet.  Daniel goes back to his room and he and Kataya spend their evening in each other's arms.

Coeurawyn – My Heart– term of endearment
Igisadonis Animawyn – Beloved of My Soul – a term of endearment and the formal declaration of the
Soulmate.
Aima Coeurawyn – Blood of My Heart – term of endearment and formal declaration of the Soulmate.
Sevesh Lok Twin – Rite of Release of a Binding
Amat - Love  
















The room that Daniel Jackson left behind was silent.  Merdwin passed around the
port and mead, and he noticed that Jacob Carter ended up with a glass of each.  
Selmak had made his own preference known.  Thinking back through the many
times they had been together over the years, Merdwin remembered that the
symbiote usually preferred the mead.  It was odd, he thought, that both the Jaffa
and the Tok’Ra preferred it.  Perhaps the symbiote that Teal’c carried somehow
influenced the choice.  An interesting point to ponder, but not now.  He could see
that Jacob was about to speak, and he was fairly sure he knew what he was going to
say.

Jacob stood and began to pace the close confines of the room.  “I don’t suppose that
anyone here has any suggestions as to how to approach this interview with Lantash
and Martouf?”  He asked.  “I mean, how do you tell someone that their mate killed
their well-loved host?  How do you even begin to say something like that?  I mean,
do you actually tell them flat out that is what they did?  Do you just allude to it
unless they ask a specific question?  I don’t even know where to start, and Selmak
is as word-blind as I am,” he confessed as he continued to pace.  

“Lord Merdwin has had much diplomatic experience, perhaps he would be the best
one to advise you on this,” Teal’c responded, with his opinion.  “This could be a
delicate matter to explain and converse about, at least at first, until he can enclose
the matter with his brain.”  

“He means, wrap his head around it.”  Jack automatically translated Teal’c’s words
into the correct earth vernacular before continuing, “That would be my take on it
too, Jacob.”  Suddenly, Jack grinned despite the seriousness of the topic under
discussion.  “Mer,” Jack sent his friend a wicked look, “has a silver tongue with
almost everyone, although I have to admit it seems to work the best on the ladies.”  
Rumors around the base said that most of the female staff envied Janet, and the
general opinion among the nursing staff was that it was a shame he was never in
need of medical assistance; Jack was as aware of this as anyone else on base was.

Merdwin sent an arched brow, a wry smile, and a mocking bow towards Jack before
turning to address Jacob Carter.  “I can only tell you how I would discuss the
information with him, Jacob.  If I was the one confronting him with these
revelations, I would conduct the interview with him in a very straightforward
manner.  You must give him the facts; all of them, leaving no room for guesswork on
his part.  I would insure that he understands everything that occurred and, perhaps
just as importantly, why they happened the way they did.  If you leave out any of
the pertinent facts, even if it is to shield him from painful memories and thoughts, it
could lead to misunderstandings, which in turn could become problems later on.  
You do not want him coming up with the wrong answer to the questions he would no
doubt pose to himself, if not to you.  Furthermore, he must be brought to realize the
situation he is in is causing harm to not only him, but several others.”  

Pausing as he looked for words to explain his thoughts, he continued hesitantly.  “I
am of the opinion that the small remnant of Dominic’s soul may be partly
responsible for some, or perhaps all, of Lantash’s hesitation.  There is no doubt that
Dominic loved Kataya deeply, in the way of a Soulmate, as Daniel just reminded
us.  It was no secret that he would have done almost anything for her.  That vestige
is tightly weaved and entwined with Lantash’s soul to the point that it is part of the
whole; there can be little doubt but that it is influencing his subconscious mind.  I
believe that if Lantash can be brought to understand this, he may be able to
overcome it.”

“Are you saying that Dominic’s soul is an entity that can influence Lantash?”  
Suddenly, Selmak was in the forefront.  This was a serious thing if true.  They could
not have a separate entity influencing Lantash.  It would be a breach of security and
perhaps a danger to Lantash and other’s safety.

Merdwin shook his head.  “No, Selmak, not at all.  Not in the way that you mean.  I
misspoke.  It is not influencing Lantash’s mind; it is part of Lantash’s mind.  It is
part of Lantash.  Period.  Let us face the facts; although Kataya said very little, the
information Daniel added is very telling.  We can be fairly certain that Dominic’s life
force was almost extinct.  The only threads left alive were the ones that contained
the will to survive for love of Lantash, and the passionate, overwhelming love he
carried for Kataya.  That is what she saved.  The Soul Spinners at Avilion would
have taken those threads, as well as the threads of Lantash’s soul, and spun them
into a whole.”  

Jacob, Selmak,” he said, in a very intense voice, “I believe that this information tells
us a great deal about why Lantash is refusing to go through the rite.  We are asking
his soul, the soul that now contains the overwhelming love of Dominic for Kataya, to
give up the woman he loved so deeply; the woman he felt was his soul's mate.  
Having said that, there is a caveat; it will make it harder for him to agree to go
through
Sevesh Lok Twin, but by no means does it make impossible.  More
complicated, and inconvenient?  Yes, assuredly.  Agonizing and excruciating?  Yes,
undoubtedly.  Unattainable and insurmountable?  No.  Absolutely not.  He will
agree eventually.  The problem being, as you know, that time is very probably the
one thing we do not have.”  

Merdwin appeared to retreat into a brooding silence, and no one attempted to recall
him.  It was obvious to all of them that his thoughts were deep and not particularly
pleasant.  He nodded once, decisively, before glancing around the room before his
gaze settled on Jacob and Selmak.  Returning to the subject at hand, he said, “After
thinking over what I have already advised you to do, I am convinced that my
suggestions are valid and the correct avenue to follow.  I believe you will have to be
as candid and truthful as possible with Lantash and Martouf.  Hiding anything at
this time will only make things worse.  I think you will need to tell him what we
have deduced about Dominic’s soul along with what we know are facts.  I hope you
can manage to keep him from blaming Kataya.  She has suffered enough over this;
she most assuredly does not need reproach, disapproval, or condemnation from
him.”    

Their eyes flared brightly, as Selmak replied, “I will see to it that he accepts that it
was not in any way Kataya’s fault.  She did everything she could, and I will make
sure that Lantash knows and understands that.”  

Merdwin indicated his understanding and then, speaking slowly at first, he added,
“I am also quite sure that he will be angry, at least at first.  I believe that he will go
swiftly from one emotion to another until he reaches acceptance.  This will bring up
many horrible and painful memories as well as his time at Avilion before he
blended with Justin.  I am sure you recall what a terrible time it was, Selmak, and
not only for Lantash, but for all the Tok’Ra.”  Merdwin looked moodily into his port
as he finished speaking.

“Yes, I remember quite clearly what it was like.  I also remember the many
kindnesses shown to the Tok’Ra during our stay at Avilion, and the trouble that you
took to be sure that we found a new place of safety to go to that was suitable in every
way.  I hope the Furling know how much everything you did was appreciated.”

“You are allies of ours, Selmak; it was the least we could do.  Our species have
mated with one another for a very long time.  Moreover, you and the Tau’ri are part
of the prophecy.  More than sufficient reasons to help in any way we can.”  

Selmak nodded his agreement and Jacob assumed control.  He had stopped pacing
shortly after the conversation commenced, but he resumed an abbreviated version
now, pausing long enough to ask, “Would anyone like to say anything about the fact
I have just been informed my daughter is, or is about to become, a—a—well, I am
not sure what?”

General Hammond spoke up, “Jake, I think we have all been given a great deal of
information to process.  As for Major Carter, perhaps it would be best to let Kataya
talk to and explain it to her before we start to speculate on what she is or is not.”  
Sending a look to Merdwin, he continued, “I have a feeling that Sam will be told
even more than we have been, and once she understands it, I feel sure she will
want to tell you herself.”  

Merdwin sent General Hammond an approving look, as he answered the unspoken
question, “As usual, you are correct in your assumption, George.  Kataya and
Samantha must come to terms with one another on every level.  On the other hand,
Jacob, Kataya was correct in her position that Samantha is your daughter, flesh of
your flesh.  She is also a part of your soul, for the Soul Spinners would have taken
threads, from you and your wife, and added them to her soul before she was reborn,
even though you were not aware of it happening.  Please, do not start wondering if
she is a changeling; she is not.”

Jacob looked thoughtful and then nodded, before heaving a sigh, and saying, “I don’
t know how the rest of you are feeling, but I am in information overload.  Selmak
and I have a lot to discuss, and we need to decide on how to, well, we need to
discuss exactly what we will say to Lantash and Martouf.  We have to figure out the
best way to say what needs said without causing a minor explosion.  I think we will
call it a night, unless you are not yet ready to leave, George?”

“I do not think there is much more we can do tonight, and I agree that you have a
lot to think about and plan.  I am ready anytime you are,” General Hammond
reassured him.

A knock on the door announced the arrival of Janet.  As she came into the room, the
men were all getting ready to leave.  

“I do not mean to run you all off.  If you have not finished, I can come back later,”
she offered, with an inquiring look and a smile.

“Nope, not a problem, Doc.  We’re finished as far as I can tell.  I don’t think we will
solve anymore of the universes problems tonight,” Jack spoke up.  

Merdwin stepped to her and placed his arm around her shoulders.  Her physical
daintiness always amazed and enticed him, as much as her strong personality
called to him.  He admired her almost as much as he loved her.  He was looking
forward to spending an evening lost in her.

As the last of the men said their goodnights and left, Janet took his arm and going
up on tiptoes, she whispered in his ear.  He smiled at her and turned out the lights.  
It seemed Cassie was staying with a friend tonight.  Perhaps they would start
something here and now that could be finished later.  Or even repeated.  Thoughts
immediately turned into action.  

His hands reached around her back searching for the clasp of her bra.  He felt
nothing.  Reaching under her blouse, he found that it was not there.  She
murmured something else in his ear, and his hand went to her skirt hem and up
her thigh.  The only thing there was an odd little lacy belt of some type and some
stockings.  

Merdwin groaned.  Perhaps they were wrong, and he really could grow old and die.  
She was doing her best to kill him.

As Janet straddled his leg, and pushed suggestively against him, his lips met hers
in a kiss that should have melted them both.  She laughed softly in her throat as
she pulled away and headed for the door.  Smiling over her shoulder at him, she
winked, and said, “Now you will have something interesting to think about on the
drive home.”  

With that, she was out the door, her sweet laughter wafting back to him.  Merdwin
smiled and followed.  She was in the lead for now, but they did not call him the
greatest Enchanter of the All for nothing.  He might be the one aching now.  She
would soon join him.  He smiled and laughed softly too.  He was looking forward to
this.  Very much indeed.




When he opened his door, Daniel was relieved to find Kataya there, yet surprised to
see her sitting in a circle of candles, her circlet glowing with amethyst light.  She
opened her eyes as he entered the room.  “I told you it was not necessary that you
follow me, Daniel.  I have had over a hundred years to learn to thrust the feelings
aside,” She assured him quietly.  

“Perhaps," he murmured softly, "It was not so much that you needed me, Kataya
Amat, as that I needed to be with you.  I do need you very much.  Always.  Come to
me,
Aima Coeurawyn.  I wish you to make love to me tonight, and I wish to make
sweet love to you.”

She bent and put out all of the candles, except for two.  Those she took over to the
dresser and set them in front of the mirror.  He watched as she turned to him and
slowly began to remove the gown she had put on after returning from Merdwin’s
quarters.  It was a beautiful creation made of delicate chiffon, silk, and lace, in
every shade of violet and lavender you could imagine.  The long flowing sleeves
ended in a deep vee at the floor, and the squared neckline showed the tops of her
breasts.  In the light of the candles behind her, it shimmered and became
breathtakingly diaphanous.  Daniel closed his eyes for a short second and reminded
himself to breathe.  

Occasionally, the stones of her circlet glowed softly.  She stood in the light cast by
those candles and slipped first one shoulder off and down, and then the other.  As it
fell to her waist, leaving her naked from the waist up, she reached for the fastening
that would allow her to disrobe completely, only to have Daniel stop her by placing
his hands on her naked waist.  

Pulling her toward him, he ran his hands from her waist around her back, and then
he slowly began to caress her.  She stood wordlessly in front of him.  He wanted
her.  That was enough for now.  She absorbed the love she could feel coming to her
through his hands.  

Her world narrowed and becoming focused on him and his hands, until he leaned
down and took the nipple of one of her bared breasts into his mouth.  The shock of
desire that shot through her surprised her, but she welcomed it and urged him to
take more of her.  This was what she desired, what she needed.  Throwing her head
back, she silently invited him to ravish her neck.  He did not need a second
invitation.  Soon, they were both breathing hard.  She wanted him; she needed him
and his love for her, now.  

She pulled from his arms and stepped to the chair sitting close by.  She did not
want to walk even as far as the bed.  Her need to feel him, to know he still wanted
her as desperately as she wanted him, was overwhelming.  As she reached for him
to push him into the chair, he grabbed her and turned her back to him.  He found
the fastening of her gown and let it fall to the floor.  He released his shaft and let it
nestle against the soft warmth of her buttocks.  

His lips ravished her neck and shoulders, as one hand found her breasts and the
other one found the nub between her legs.  With his knee, he indicated he wanted
her to spread her legs to give him better access to her.  She moaned his name as he
held her captive, her back to him, as she complied.  He caught her in a limbo of
need and desire.  She could not return the caresses as she wished; all she could do
was accept them, as she leaned against his chest.  

Daniel realized he had been thinking of this since last night, when she sat between
his legs with her back to him as he pressed against her so sweetly.  Now, he would
take her this way, be able to feel the lushness of her, and have access to her in
many ways.  He turned her slightly so they could see and watch themselves in the
mirror, as they made love.  It was an extremely erotic sight.  She naked and captive
of his kisses and caresses and him clothed, yet obviously full of desire.  

She whimpered her desire for him, as he brought her to the edge and back again
and again, all the while keeping up a rhythm of his own against her buttocks.  
When the urge for release became too much for him, he hooked the chair, bringing
it to them so that the mirror was still reflecting them.  He leaned her over the back
of it and took her swiftly.  Their mating was short, fast, and intense.  

Watching the wanton look on her face threw him over the edge much to fast, but he
could not control the climax that came so quickly.  It did not matter; she was
already there and met him stroke for stroke.  When it was over, and he finally stood
and eased her up, he turned her in his arms and kissed her, as if he would never
stop.  When he finally came up for air, he told her tenderly, “I love you,
Aima
Coeurawyn
.  I hope I did not hurt you.  I think I was a little rough toward the end.  
If I did, then I am sorry.”  

She laughed softly and shook her head, assuring him.  “No, you did not hurt me.  As
always, you were quite wonderful.  I love you,
Igisadonis Animawyn.  You will be My
Beloved, Daniel, always and forever.  Please, if you remember nothing else I have
ever said to you, remember that.”  She searched his face and seeing what she so
earnestly yearned to see, she smiled at him, contented.   

He smiled back at her, the love he felt for her flowing from his eyes to hers.  Taking
another deep breathe, he rested his forehead against hers, and tried to calm his
breathing.  His desire was to make tonight different.  He wanted to treat her more
softly, sweetly, more loving and less desperate.  Well, that did not happen.  Yet.

He picked her up, carried her to the bed, and set her down beside it.  When she
reached for him to undress him, he shook his head.  “I will do it,
Coeurawyn, you
climb into bed.”  His bed.  This was something he needed.  He needed memories of
this woman in his arms, in his bed.  He craved memories of her eyes looking at him
with a sultry desire and her voice calling his name with wild abandon.  

After stripping himself, he reached out, placed the pillows against the headboard,
and then joined her on the bed.  Leaning back, he pulled her into his arms and
placed a soft sweet kiss on her temple, as he breathed in her scent.  He loved the
feel of her; he loved her scent, and the sound of her voice.  He silently laughed at
himself.  Hell, he might as well say it; he loved everything about her.  He allowed
his head to fall back against the headboard.  Now that their initial hunger was
satiated, and they were feeling languid and quiescent, he thought of the question he
wanted to ask her earlier before he was, ah, distracted by his libido.   

He stroked her arm, enjoying the feel of her skin against him.  If he was going to get
answer to his question he would have to ask it.  So he did, murmuring, “Kataya?”

“Yes, Daniel?  What is it, Beloved?”  She couched her answer in a tender and loving
tone accompanied by a soft kiss to the shoulder where her head rested.  

“Can I ask you something about your retrieval of Lantash?”  He figured all she could
do was say no.  

“You may ask me anything you wish,
Coeurawyn, and if it is within my power to give
you an answer, then I will do so, that I promise you,” she was solemn in her answer,
and it was undeniable that she was telling him the truth.  

“Did you give Lantash part of your soul at that time?  When you reached Avilion, I
mean.”  Daniel asked the question quietly and gently.  The idea of Dominic’s soul
within Lantash encouraged him to wonder if Kataya, too, gave some of hers to him,
to help make his complete again.  From there the trip to whether or not that would
affect Lantash’s answer to her request to go through
Sevesh Lok Twin was a short
one.  

Kataya looked at him quizzically, before saying, “No, but I gave him as much of my
life force as I could before we went through the Chaappa’ai.  He was so near death,
Daniel.  I was afraid that he would not survive going through the portal in his
condition.  One of the Katteri with us contacted Avilion that we were on our way and
Justin, the Wiccadian Warrior that was with us in the torture chamber, picked us
up, and carried us into the Chaappa’ai.  He was a strong seer, a priest of the
Goddess, and a nature Mage; therefore, he had more stamina and life energy than
the others with us did.  His extra abilities helped him.  Still, all of us were terribly
depleted and swiftly weakening, but he was not quite as bad as the remainder of
us.  I suspect he was tapping into the universe as I was.  Justin was…different.  
There was a strong strain of Katteri within him, no doubt from matings with the
Furling somewhere in his lineage.”  

“Nonetheless, the priests and priestesses were waiting when we emerged.  I was
extremely weak, but I would not release my link to him.  I was afraid if I did, he
would die, and I could not let that happen.  The Soul Spinners spun the portion of
Dominic that I was sustaining, Lantash’s soul, and some new threads that belonged
to no one yet, into a new soul; well, a mended and darned soul, and the priestesses
infused it with my life force.  It was then that I do not remember much of what
happened.  I know there were several times they thought his life force would not be
strong enough to survive, and by then, they were worried about me.  It might have
been better had they let me go, although, after thinking about it that might not be
true.  It would no doubt have affected Lantash adversely had I died.  However, that
did not come to pass as they did not give up on either of us.  There was someone
with us constantly.”  

“My father and Merdwin were attempting to track Bastet down, but she had hidden
herself well.  By the time they returned to Cadwaellon and came to Avilion, I was
beginning to get better.  I was lucid for longer periods, and those caring for me could
leave for short periods.  They were no longer afraid they would lose me, if they did
not stay in contact with my life force and soul at all times, which was what they had
to do prior to that.  Compared to his condition upon our arrival at Avilion, Lantash
was also gaining in strength.  Once Merdwin and my father returned, they
reminded me that I had a purpose, which I had to fulfill.”  

“It took several months for Lantash to become well enough to blend with Justin.  As
I mentioned, Justin was the Wiccadian that went into the stronghold with us.  I was
very fond of Justin, Daniel, and I came to love him for himself, but he was not
Dominic, and though, as I said, I came to love him, it was never as much as I loved
Dom.”  

She paused thoughtfully, “I am not sure that Justin ever made love to me; it was
always Lantash.  How strange that I only now realized that, and how selfless of
Justin, for I know he loved me; he shared Lantash’s emotions.”  Her voice hardened,
“Just one more mark against Bastet.  She took his chance of finding his own mate
during that lifetime away.  I will dispose of Bastet, Daniel.  Make no mistake of that.  
She is a scourge on the universe, as well as being my own personal crusade of
vengeance.”

Daniel hugged her and caressed the side of her face before he asserted, “I know.  I
know you will, and I will be here to give you whatever you need from me.  You are
the light in my life, Kataya.  I lived in darkness before you came into my life, and I
did not even realize it.  Since you have come, it is as if everything in the world is
more vibrant and clear.”  He laid his cheek on the top of her head, and they sat
quietly, each lost in their own thoughts.  

Since his thoughts insisted on returning to it, Daniel reverted to the original
subject, asking, “So using your life force would not make it harder for Lantash to go
through the
Sevesh Lok Twin?”

Kataya shook her head, replying, “No, not that I know of, but I have been thinking
about it, and I am beginning to wonder if the part of Dominic’s soul, which they
weaved into Lantash’s, is causing the problem.  I suppose it is possible and, in fact,
I am beginning to suspect that may be at least part of our problem.  I thought I
would talk to Merdwin tomorrow to see what his opinion is and if he believes it
possible, then what, if anything, we can do about it.”

Kissing her lightly again on the temple, he said, “Actually,
Amat, that is Merdwin’s
theory, too, so you can skip asking him that, and go straight to the what do we do
about it part.”  Daniel turned more fully toward her, and pulled her closer into his
arms, before telling her, “I hope my questions have not upset you any more than
you already were.  I think we should both stop worrying about it for now.  I should
not have brought it up; it is just that I wondered if you had given him any of your
soul, and whether either one of them could be having an affect on him.”

“I do not believe what I gave him would, Daniel, as they used only my energy life
force not my spirit life force.  Dominic’s, though, is an entirely different proposition,
and I believe that it could very well be interfering with Lantash’s ability to think
clearly about this.”  

Suddenly, Daniel sat up straight and asked her, “What happens to the spirit life
force when you kill as Katteri-enti?”

“It goes wherever their soul should go, Daniel.  I am not walking around with all the
souls of those I have killed inside me if that is what you are asking.  We take the
energy life force.  Their soul is free to go wherever it needs to go.”

He relaxed back against the pillows.  “Good.  The other thought was rather bizarre.”  

“Daniel,
Carusawyn, I am not sure that “bizarre” is a strong enough word to
describe what you have now caused me to envision.  The entire idea is…squicky,”
Kataya informed him, as she fought a smile that was trying to claim her lips and
eyes.  

“Squicky?”  

“Yes, squicky.  You know…it is sickening, it makes you qualmish, and it is
icky…squicky.”  She kept her face down, as she could not look up at him without
laughing.  

“Of course, squicky.  Nice word.  Very descriptive.  Let’s lie down for a while,” Daniel
let go of the bridge of his nose and shook his head.  

She glanced up and he caught her gaze.  Starting to smile, he repeated, “Let’s lie
down and forget being squicky, or anything else, what do you say?”  

Winding her arms around his neck and lifting her face for his kiss, she murmured
as he lowered her to the bed, “I say that it sounds like a very good idea to me.  Let
us try it and see if it is…comfortable.”  

As they lay quietly, they both became aware of the tension that was building again
between them.  Daniel ran his hand up her arm and cradled the back of her head,
as his lips descended to take hers.  Soon she was moaning as his lips began to find
the sensitive spots on her neck and shoulders.  As he teased and tantalized, she
began her own exploration of his body and, before long, their moans and sighs
blended in a song as old as man.  

Where their love making before had been almost desperate, this was a slow
evocative tour of each other’s bodies.  Each kiss, each nip, each butterfly light touch
of a tongue, or a fingertip, brought a new sense of knowing and discovery.  As each
learned the other inch-by-inch, they were both storing memories.

Both knew that the time with a Soulmate could be short.  After five hundred years,
it was hard to believe that they would only have these eight weeks, but both knew
that chances were very good that this time was all they would have.  Neither of them
doubted that Kataya and Sam would kill Bastet; what neither of them admitted, nor
mentioned, was that, although Bastet would be dead, there was the distinct
possibility that Kataya, Sam, or both, would be, too.

Daniel’s hand stroked from her throat down, until he found her breasts.  As he
stroked her, he leaned back and watched the emotions play across her face.  As she
opened her beautiful violet eyes with their amethyst lights, he realized how
beautiful she seemed to him.  

Yet, he recognized that she was not a traditionally beautiful woman in the way that
Sam was beautiful, nor yet was she merely pretty.  Her body was slender and
strong, enticingly built, and well proportioned.  Her breasts were neither large nor
small, but were high and firm.  He loved the golden tone of her skin, and the
softness of it.  She was often called strikingly attractive, elegant, stunning, always
lovely, even exquisite in some ways, and there was something about her that drew
the eye.  Perhaps it was her gracefulness, the sensuous way she moved, or the
fascination of her amazing amethyst eyes with their mysterious tilt, shape, and
color.  Maybe it was simply the unconscious allure of a woman who was confident
and comfortable with who and what she was, and who truly believed that she was
ordinary, with nothing at all special about the way she looked.

To him, she was beautiful and desirable, and he wanted nothing more right now
than to lose himself in her.  He wanted to immerse himself in her softness, in her
scent, in her body.  To think was to do, and Daniel found himself lowering his lips to
hers again and again.  Drinking of the sweetness there, he finally forced himself to
leave them to explore other areas of the golden lushness.  He breathed in her scent
over and over.  Never again would he smell roses, or musk, and not think of her.

His mouth found her breasts and loved them until she was moaning for him to give
her something more.  He loved his way down her body and back again, and when
his hand found the soft warm center of her, he brought her to the edge of release,
only to start over again.  

As her frustration grew, so did her aggression.  Suddenly, she became the hunter,
and he the prey.  Catching him off-guard, she rolled him onto his back and became
the one who taunts rather than the taunted.  She loved him in every way she had
learned in her many livings.  She used the techniques she had learned that drove
him to the edge over their many lives together.  As she teased and taunted his shaft,
it was soon his turn to be moaning her name and begging for release.  Then, when
he finally convinced her to let him have his way with her, she opened gladly to him,
and he entered her, making her his, softly and lovingly.

Kataya listened to Daniel as he spoke of his love for her, his need, his desire; she
realized that he was speaking almost entirely in Furling.  He probably did not
realize it himself, and she was too lost in a sensual haze to point it out, but hearing
his voice speak to her in that way, took her ever higher.  As they lay tangled
together in the aftermath of their lovemaking, she realized again, how very much
she needed and loved him.  For tonight, she would be just a woman in love with a
man; she would lose herself in her love of this gentle, scholarly man.  This one
night, perhaps, she would forget she was a Dragon Slayer.

They fell asleep in each other’s arms knowing that tomorrow would be a long and
busy day.




Daniel did not know what woke him; all he knew was that she was not beside him,
and she had been gone for a while.  There was no warmth where her body should
have been.

Fumbling on the nightstand, he found his glasses and saw that there was a crack of
light coming from under the bathroom door.  He realized it was after two a.m.
Reassured, he lay down and dozed, while waiting for her to come back to bed.

It was at least a half an hour before he awoke again.  She was not there beside him,
and the light in the bathroom was out.  Worried now, he got out of bed and went
into the bathroom.  She definitely was not there.  The sink had been cleaned out
thoroughly though, which was an odd thing for her to do at this time of night.  
Becoming more worried with each passing moment, he turned to leave the room,
and something on the floor caught his attention.  Bending down, he realized it
looked like a drop of blood.  

Throwing on some BDU’s, Daniel headed down the hall to Kataya’s quarters.  They
were empty.  He went to her closet, but not being familiar with all of her clothes, he
could not tell if anything was missing.  

He decided to check in some other places before he let the panic building in him
have its way.  Rushing down the hall, he checked the cafeteria, the control and gate
room, the briefing room, and although he could not think of any reason for her to go
there, he checked the chapel.  Nothing.  Taking a seat there, he attempted to link
with her.  

She was not answering, or he had suddenly lost his ability to initiate a link, which
was not likely.  After he had initiated one that very first time when they were with
the Heyerians, he'd had no problem doing it.  Now he was getting nothing.  As he
stood up, it occurred to him that perhaps she had left the base complex.  Except,
where would she have gone?  He had been in the control room, and they had not
seen her, so she had not left by the gate.

Perhaps she had gone to see Teal’c for some reason?  Yeah, right, Daniel, in the
middle of the night she leaves blood on the bathroom floor, then just goes, and visits
Teal’c, at what, three a.m.?  

He headed back to his room thinking that he should check there for her one more
time in case she had returned.  She was not there.  All right, it was time to try the
long shot, and if she was not there, then he would have to contact Merdwin and
hope he was not disturbing everyone for nothing.  As he turned and headed for the
door, it opened and Kataya quietly entered.  She looked surprised to see Daniel
completely dressed and standing in the middle of the room.  

She realized at once that he must have awoken and been coming to look for her.  
“Daniel.  You have been worried.  I am sorry; I never intended that to happen.  You
were sleeping so peacefully; I did not want to awaken you.”  She walked to him and
kissed him lightly.  As she placed her hands on his shoulders, she could feel the
tension emanating from him.  Looking up into his face, she saw the strain around
his eyes and mouth.  He was both angry and upset.

“What happened, Kataya?  I found blood on the bathroom floor.  I have looked
everywhere for you.  I was worried.  I am still worried.  Moreover, please, do not try
to make up some story.  That would not help either of us,” Daniel spoke quietly, but
firmly, his voice controlled, as if he was afraid to let his emotions take over.

“I will not make up a story, Daniel.  I went for a walk on the surface.  I needed to be
closer to the sources of my energy, and I thought it would be best to go outside.  It
did not occur to me that you might awaken.  I am sorry I frightened and worried
you, my beloved.”

Still looking him in the eyes, she continued.  “I will tell you what you wish to know,
but first I would like to get back into bed, if you do not mind?”

Daniel nodded, as he turned, proceeded to undress, and get back into bed himself.  
Now that she was here, safe, and so obviously willing to tell him what was wrong, he
felt his anger melting.  She came out of the bathroom, walked to the bed, lie down
beside him, and put her head on his chest.  She stroked him slowly and calmly
before finally saying, “The bleeding is getting worse faster than I expected.  If
Lantash does not agree to the
Sevesh Lok Twin soon, Daniel, I will have to go to
Avilion or become progressively more weakened.”

“Is it serious now?  I mean, do I need to take you to Avilion?  Please, do not wait
until it is too late to go, Kataya.”

“It is not yet serious.  I will try to go before it becomes so, if we cannot get Lantash to
agree to the
Sevesh look Twin.”  

“How will I know if it is getting to that point?  What will happen?”

“You will know if it is serious.  The most prominent sign will be that it will begin to
seep from my fingertips, and if I cry, it will be tears of blood.  We can only hope that
Lantash will be reasonable before that happens.”

Putting her head back, she looked at him in the dim light thrown by the nightlight
he had left burning.  “I do not believe Lantash is really responsible.  I believe he
may be as confused as I am by his refusal.  I expected his original reluctance, but
once he thought about our relationship, his and Samantha’s relationship, and what
we all mean to each other, I truly expected him to realize that we must go through
Sevesh Lok Twin.  I gave it a lot of thought while I walked.”  She laid her head back
onto his shoulder before continuing, “I believe he is refusing because of Dominic’s
soul pieces, as Merdwin and I both conjectured.  If that is true, we should be able to
overcome them.”  Her voice was becoming softer and more indistinct.  Soon her
breathing was slow and even.  Daniel kissed her softly, and she cuddled closer to
him.  Wrapped in each other’s arms, they slept.  


TBC    




                   Chapter 21                      Home                    Chapter 23
                                  
                                            
Table of Contents
Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul

Chapter Twenty-two

Answers to a Puzzle