saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 24 (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.

Jack was amazed at what a person could adjust to. She now felt completely comfortable wearing no undergarments, fully appreciating how easy this made it for her husband to reach the parts of her they both wanted him to reach. She also realized how short-sighted she had been to assume that the only place they would make love would be in their bedroom and, perhaps, the shower. She had felt somewhat self-conscious the first time he had bared her nether parts in the middle of the dining room, licking and sucking her to an incredible orgasm, and then fucked her on the table next to their lunch. However, the feeling that what they were doing was somehow sinful only heightened the experience.

After that first lunch, no place in the house was off limits. Each time Jack cleaned a new room, Riddick would survey the room when he came home for lunch or dinner. He would smile, pick some surface in it and fuck her on it. Or on the floor. Or up against the wall. She got so she looked forward to meals, and it had nothing to do with the food. All she had to do was think about what he was going to do to her the next time he was home and cleaning became effortless. She would never have imagined that marriage would be quite like this.

But when Riddick was not home, and Jack had cleaned all she could stand to, she wished there was another female in the house for her to talk to. She missed the daily sharing of little confidences she was used to having with her female relatives and was just dying to talk to somebody else who was married to see if this was how it was for everybody. No matter how she tried, she simply couldn’t picture Baba and Sahar all over their house. She was certain that they were never anywhere but their own private room.

And if that’s true, Sahar is missing out.

It wasn’t only sex Jack wanted to compare notes about. She wanted another female’s advice on her house. Since Riddick had given her leave to decorate, she needed another female’s support to do it right. It boiled down to a simple need for some company with whom she was not sexually involved. It was hard to make conversation with Riddick because one of them would inevitably start touching the other one, ultimately giving them something better to do with their mouths than talk. She found it hard to even think straight around Riddick. She knew it was because the two of them were really working through seven years’ worth of wanting each other. That was a lot of wanting.

Finally, after she had lived in Riddick’s starting to be livable house for two weeks, there came a day when nothing could motivate her to clean anymore, not even the promise of delicious lovemaking. Other than when she was at mosque or market, she had seen no one other than Riddick. She felt a yawning empty loneliness for her family that sapped all her energy. She missed every one of them, from Baba and Fatima, through Sahar and her children, to even Tahirah and Nahlah. She had to go home, at least to visit. For the first time since their wedding night, she was apprehensive about seeing Riddick.

When Riddick came in and found her curled up in a ball in a chair, having done nothing all morning, including prepare lunch, he studied her curiously. Jack tensed, waiting for she knew not what. She had never defied him before and had no idea how he would react.

“You okay?” he rumbled at last.

“I need to go home,” she admitted.

His brow knit. “I thought you were home.”

“I need to see my family. I miss them all so. It’s hard to be here, day after day, with no one to talk to.”

Riddick frowned. “I’m no one?”

Jack backtracked. “No, I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that I spent my life around a lot of women and here there is just me. When you’re gone, there’s no one. And when you’re here, well, it’s not like we talk much.”

He nodded, thoughtfully. “Yeah. The other is easier.”

“Than talking?”

She was surprised at his discomfort. “You didn’t have trouble talking to me when you were trying to convince me to marry you.”

“I had a simple goal. It’s not so simple now.”

For some reason, his words stung Jack. “Are you sorry you married me?”

Riddick reacted almost as if she had struck him. “Sorry? Why would I be sorry? I don’t think I’ve ever had this much regular sex.”

“That’s all I am to you is sex?”

“No,” he demurred, shaking his head vigorously, seeming upset with himself. “It’s that you’re here. That I come home and you smile. That I wake up and watch you sleep in my arms, and I can tell you feel safe. It’s that you want me to touch you. It’s that you want me at all.

“I don’t know how to be married, Jack. Other than in bed, I don’t know what women want. I don’t know what you want.”

“I want you to understand me,” Jack explained. “I’m not like you. I’m not used to being alone all the time. I like having a lot go on around me. Children will come eventually but it will be quiet here for a long while first.”

Riddick compressed his lips and nodded. “Imam said this might happen. He offered to let Fatima move in with us, so you would have some help. I guess it’s traditional here for new brides to have other support. I didn’t think you’d need it.”

Jack balked. “Fatima? But Sahar needs Fatima.”

“Not according to Imam. He said that Sahar has been a wife for seven years. She’s no longer a new bride. He thinks it’s about time she become the chief woman in her home. He says she relies far too much on Fatima.”

“I would love to have Fatima,” Jack assured him, thinking fondly of Imam’s widowed sister. “But then Sahar will have lost me and Fatima. Who will help her?”

“Tahirah. She’s getting married in a few years and would learn a lot being Sahar’s primary support until then.”

Jack had forgotten about Fatima’s daughter, who had gotten away with being a little on the lazy side in Imam’s house because Sahar already had such strong support in Fatima and Jack. “It would be good for Tahirah.”

“We can go over there after lunch and make the arrangements,” Riddick suggested.

Jack hurled herself out of the chair and wrapped her arms around him, bursting into tears.

Riddick was mystified. “I thought you’d be happy.”

“I am happy,” she sniffed.

He did not reply, but she felt his embrace tighten around her. She had never felt more loved.

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