saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 1 (Pitch Black/Riddick)

author: Shalimar

rating/genre: (NC-17) - het, angst, drama

warnings: het, sexual content, adult content, drug use, criminal activity, religious fusion

summary: What if Jack had stayed on New Mecca with Imam? What if Riddick had come back for her? (Riddick/Jack, Imam/OFC)

comments/disclaimers: General disclaimers apply.

The stars hung in the night sky, diamonds wedded to the black fabric of the universe. The mild breeze smelled faintly of hot cinnamon. It was late; Jack knew she should go to bed, but an impassioned conversation with Imam earlier that evening had so disturbed her that she needed time outside with her own thoughts. After slipping soundlessly across the threshold and onto the veranda, Jack pulled the door closed gently behind her. Taking a chair, she plopped down, folded her long legs up and put her heels on the edge of her seat, snugged against her ass. She grinned faintly as she mentally heard Fatima chiding her for her unladylike posture.

Jack had lived on New Mecca for almost seven years now, and it had been a long time since Fatima had felt the need to correct her brutish ways. The only thing Imamís stout sister worried about now was her lack of a husband. She was almost out of her teens and unmarried, with no clear career path. This was not the proper way for a woman to behave on New Mecca, as Fatima clucked at her frequently.

ďIs it because of Riddick?Ē Imam had demanded in frustration, after she had rejected yet another potential suitor earlier that evening.

Jack had openly scoffed at him. She could hear the scene replay itself in her mind. ďRiddick? Praise Allah, Imam, I was thirteen years old! It was a childís crush, thatís all. How much time did we spend with him? Two weeks? And you seriously believe that is what is keeping me from choosing a husband?Ē

The sheer ludicrousness of it had made Imam relent, but the seed, once planted in her brain, had taken root and grown into an uneasiness that threatened to deny her sleep.

Could Imam perhaps be right? Was it the memory of Riddick that stood in her way? There had yet to be a young man among those who came to call on her who had ignited in her the passion she had felt for him during that handful of days. However, she knew she had met enigmatic Riddick at the same time she had felt her first sexual awakening, in the midst of the most traumatic event of her young life. It was unfair to compare that situation to meeting nervous young men in Imamís civilized sitting room, most of whom she had first known as barefoot boys of fourteen or fifteen, as a grown woman searching for a husband.

She gazed again at the stars, imagining Riddick winging his way on some exciting adventure that she had no desire to be a part of. He couldnít be the reason for her current indecision. Until Imam had mentioned his name, Jack hadnít thought about Riddick in months, no, years. He was a fantasy figure who had kept her company on many a night for the first few years she was on New Mecca, nothing more.

After that rocky start, Jack had become accustomed to the calm, slow pace of life in her new home. Imam had legally adopted her, giving her the name, Akila al-Walid. No one ever called her Jack with the exception of Imam, who did so affectionately and only in private. Her shaved head had grown lengthy chestnut locks that were always bound chastely away from male eyes. Her boy clothes had been replaced by the modest flowing robes befitting a young New Meccan woman. She had gravitated towards Chrislam and, much to her adopted fatherís delight, taken Allah as her personal savior, enjoying the increased sense of belonging her new faith afforded her. She had become close friends with Imamís young wife, who was now pregnant with their fourth child, and his many nieces and cousins, as well as friends she had made at school and at mosque.

Jack thrived in the close-knit al-Walid family, relishing the safety and structure of a true home life for the first time since the death of her mother when she was very young. Completely caught up in the rhythms of home and hearth, she eagerly learned all the skills that would one day make her a fine wife. She could prepare and serve a several course meal. She kept an immaculate room and was a competent seamstress. She was a great favorite with the numerous small children who were part of the big al-Walid family. While she enjoyed household duties, she was not a demure creature who feared dirt and hard labor. She could cheerfully spend a day planting seeds or fence posts. Fluent in both English and Arabic, Jack was well-read and unafraid to express her opinions, a trait especially favored by men her own age.

She was also, if she believed what she was told, a beautiful woman. With luminous green eyes and brown hair shot through with too much red to be typically Arabic, her coloring caught most of the male attention to be had, even when she was in a group of her female family or friends. Her exotic appearance, coupled with her domestic skills and bold personality, made her very desirable as a potential wife. She was courted heavily.

When they had first arrived on New Mecca, Imam immediately took as wife a young woman only a handful of years older than Jack. The woman, Sahar, had been betrothed to him a few years earlier and had gone to her marriage bed with him the day after she had met him. Jack had been so appalled that she had agreed to stay on New Mecca with Imam only after she had made him promise that he would never try to marry her to anyone against her will. Men could ask Imam for her hand all they wished, but the final decision must be hers. Reluctantly, Imam had agreed.

In the last few years, Jack had often thanked Allah that she had exacted that promise from Imam. Suitors had started asking after her when she was barely sixteen and interest in her never seemed to wane after that. For the first few years, Imam had helped her deflect them, content to let her finish her basic education and become legally an adult. However, once Jack finished school, turned eighteen and still showed little interest in finding a husband, Imam had started to lose patience with her.

Truth be told, the abuse she had suffered at the hands of her father, before fleeing Scorpio 1 on the ill-fated Hunter Gratzner, filled her with dread at the prospect of sharing her bed with a man. Riddick had been the only man who had ever aroused her, but that had been long ago. She was never going to see him again, and it was pointless to dwell on the past.

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