saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 5 (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.

So it was him in the garden, Jack’s mind reeled as she gazed up at the massive, forbidding figure who was Riddick.

He was dressed as a New Meccan, in flowing robes that ran the spectrum of browns. He even wore a turban on his bald head, but he had let his dark beard grow in just enough to soften the stark contours of his face. His eyes, however, were still the same: that enigmatic silver that had first captivated her thirteen-year-old mind. Those eyes she had spent a long time forgetting about.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded, incensed at his presence in Imam’s safe, comfortable sitting room.

Riddick’s full lips curled into a lazy smile. “I came for you.”

Jack turned horrified eyes on Imam, as if she had suddenly found herself in her worst nightmare. “Imam,” she gasped, “he’s not, it can’t—“

“—it can and he is,” came the unhappy reply.

“That can’t be! He’s a criminal, for Allah’s sake!”

For some reason, her outburst amused Riddick. “That’s not a nice thing to say about a man you haven’t even met yet.”

Jack opened her mouth, a hot retort on her tongue, but a wave of his hand somehow stole her voice.

“Name’s Richardson, Owen Parker Richardson, but my friends call me Rick. That’s in my file. That, my DNA and my fingerprints. Even my ret prints, such as they are. Plus, a nice little history. Where I was born, about my family--who all died in a tragic accident--school records, all that good stuff. Everything you could want to know about me, all in plain sight.”

It would take an awful lot of money to buy cover that good. Why would he risk blowing it on the only two people who knew he survived the crash of the Hunter-Gratzner?

“Why are you here?” she asked, not sure she wanted the answer.

“I already told you,” he repeated, voice softening. “I came for you, Jack.”

Jack folded her arms tightly across her chest and took a few paces away from him, collecting her emotions.

“There’s nobody here by that name, Mr. Richardson. My name is Akila al-Walid. Everyone here can tell you that. Nobody knows a Jack.”

Riddick grew solemn, and then jerked his head towards Imam. “He does.”

“He knows a Riddick, too,” she countered, darkly.

“He knew a Riddick once. So did a little bald girl dressed as a boy. Richard B. Riddick died in the crash of the Hunter-Gratzner over seven years ago. He’s been declared legally dead. It’s in his file.”

Jack compressed her lips, thoughtfully, and added a third pace. “Interesting. I’d think the system might flag something as curious as duplicate DNA and prints.”

The corner of Riddick’s mouth ticked. “If there were duplicates, I’m sure it would.”

“How did you do it?” she burst out, unable to maintain the charade a moment longer.

“A kind man once gave me a little sack full of diamonds. Two kind people managed not to mention me to the wrong people at the wrong time. I invested those diamonds. Made them worth many times their original value. All of it above board and strictly legal. If you have enough money, you can buy anything, including a new life.”

“But can you buy silence?” she probed.

Riddick fixed her with his feral silver eyes. “No,” he said, a death knell.

She felt a cold dread in the pit of her stomach. He killed whoever fixed the records for him.

“Riddick—“ she began, but he cut her off immediately.

“—name’s Rick. There’s only one place I won’t mind hearing that other.” His lascivious grin left no doubt as to where that would be.

At one point in her life, she would have been thrilled at the prospect of sharing Riddick’s bed, but that had been a long time ago. Before she had made a life here, surrounded by people who cared about her, in a place where she belonged.

“Why do you think I’d even be interested? Allah ya-Saaidna, Rick, but you’re old.”

A muscle in his jaw popped but that was all the displeasure he allowed to display. “You didn’t think so seven years ago.”

“Seven years ago, I was a silly kid who thought you were some kind of tough guy hero. I have my pick of suitors here, young men from good families.”

Riddick’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Don’t think I didn’t do my homework on this place. You’ve had suitors for four years, yes, but none of them has taken your fancy. Besides, how many of them would want you if word got out that you weren’t a virgin?”

Jack stared resolutely at a tapestry beyond his right shoulder, refusing to look at him. “Why would you ruin my life like that?”

“Doesn’t it bother you that it matters so much to men here? You know I don’t care about that. In fact, I’d rather not have a virgin. No pain or fear and they have some idea what to do.”

She snorted bitterly at that. “The joke’s on you, then. All I learned was pain and fear. I have no idea what to do.”

“Look, this is pointless,” he declared, turning towards a riveted Imam, who had curled into a large wicker chair to watch what unfolded. “How much?”

His brow creased, dark eyes confused. “How much for what, Mr. Richardson?”

“How much for her?”

“She is not for sale,” he snapped, somehow managing to sound dismayed and angry, all at once.

Riddick was clearly losing patience with the whole situation. “I know that. I’m just trying to close the deal. You’re her father. What do I have to do to make you agree that she goes with me?”

“There is nothing you can do. Akila made me promise I would not force her to marry against her will. I swore before Allah and cannot break my sacred oath. If you want her to go with you, it is she you must convince.”

Finally, Jack felt a degree of control return to her that had been missing since she walked into the room. “Yes,” she agreed, examining him with revulsion. “I think we’re done now.”

Sweeping disdainfully out of the room, Jack nearly ran over Sahar, who had evidently been eavesdropping just outside the door. Sahar grabbed her arm purposefully, dragging her down the hall and into the nearest room with a door she could close.

Once there, she fixed Jack with a moue of displeasure. “That was harsh, ‘Kila,” she scolded. “And he is right about what would happen if it got out that you aren’t a—, you know.”

Is the whole world against me? Jack was dumbfounded. “What did you expect me to do?”

Sahar’s expressive eyes grew mischievous. “You never told me your Riddick was gorgeous. And I’ll bet he’s got a big zibb, too.”

“Sahar! He’s not my Riddick!” she squeaked, her face burning in mortification at the thought of his male dimensions. “Besides, he’s an old man.”

“Abu is at least a dozen years older than he is and do you see me complaining? Older men have money, and they can take better care of you and your children than young men. Plus, they know what they’re doing in bed.”

She stared at Sahar in exasperated disbelief. “Is that all you think about?”

“It is the best part,” she confided, but then grew uncomfortably curious. “Tell me, Akila, have you refused to take a husband because you don’t want to be with a man?”

“I don’t intend to spend my life alone, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Jack assured her. “I just haven’t met a man who interests me.”

“It’s not nice to lie to your mother,” Sahar chided, touching on their running joke. “Not since coming here, but you knew that man in the sitting room before that. Don’t tell me he doesn’t interest you. He was all you thought about when you first got here.”

“I was a kid. He saved my life, more than once. That was hero worship, not love. Now I’m old enough to see him for what he really is.”

“Some things die hard,” Sahar noted, sagely. “You have spent these many years in a culture where a love match is not required—or even expected—for marriage, yet still you insist on love. All right then—Riddick is a good looking man, he’s worth a fortune and he comes back after seven years for you, who looked like a little bald boy when you got here, so perhaps there is love in this match.”

That suggestion was so preposterous that Jack simply exploded. “Love? What’s love got to do with it? He doesn’t love me and he isn’t interested in marrying me. He just wants to fuck me. He thought he could buy me from Imam, like I’m some piece of property. He wants a sex slave, not a wife. He thought he could get me because I’m damaged goods here if he starts talking.”

Now it was Sahar’s turn for disbelief. “Akila, you are so naïve sometimes. If this man had truly wanted a sex slave, he could afford to purchase one from any of the finest markets in the universe. He could choose one of indescribable beauty who has been trained up to pleasure a man since birth. Why would he come all this way to waste his money on you?”

She clutched Jack’s arm for emphasis, leaning in close. “He came here seven years later to find you. Give him a chance.”

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