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More from "Served with Daniel on the Side"

"Blueberry Hill "

I love blueberries.

I'm in Machias for their annual blueberry festival. It's not too far a drive from Brunswick for me to come up for the three-day weekend; I follow the costal road, through Rockland and Belfast, past Bar Harbor and right into Machias. It only takes half an hour to check into The Blue Butterfly, then I'm off to pick berries. I frequent a field normally passed over by all the tourists and most of the locals because, to be frank, it's a bear to get to. But, in my humble opinion, they grow the sweetest berries Down East.

As I said, usually I'm the only one picking, even in the height of berry season, so I'm taken aback some to see a car in what passes for the parking lot. It has Maine plates, but I can tell it's a rental. Darn tourists. I'm feeling put out, annoyed that my patch has been invaded, most likely by a family from Massachusetts with a bevy of loud obnoxious kids -- I stop, and smother a laugh. I've been spoiled these past few years, and forcibly remind myself that this is not my patch, and technically I'm a tourist too.

Shielding my eyes against the late morning sun, I scan the field and finally find the 'intruder'. It's a lone man, and while I can't make out much from here I can see the faint blond highlights in his hair, and the way his shirt and jeans fit almost indecently tight.

I tear my eyes away from him, muttering 'No time for love, Dr. Jones' to a whimbrel perched nearby who cocks its head at me before flying off. Forgetting about my fellow berry picker, I open the trunk, getting out my father's old tin berry bucket and heading into the patch.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Umm... hi."

Totally wrapped up in my picking, I glance up, startled, to see a pair of the bluest eyes I've ever seen, the clear color of half ripe blueberries.

"Uhh, hi." Coherency has flown, dark and handsome being the only two things running through my mind. I stand up automatically, adding tall to the litany.

"Daniel. Daniel Jackson." He sticks out his hand and I shake it, managing to get my name out in some lucid manner.

"I was wondering if you wanted to join me for lunch. You could share mine if you didn't bring yours."

Blinking, I finally notice the large, old fashioned domed topped lunch pail he has in his hand.

"I brought mine," I say, waving a hand in the general vicinity of the cars. "But I'd love to join you."

Daniel smiles, and my stomach flips. Pretending to brush dirt off my leg, I sneak a peek at his left hand. No ring. I smile back.

I catch him looking around, and I point him to an outcropping of granite that I usually sit and eat on. It's shaded and cool this time of day, making a nice contrast to the sun drenched field.

Grabbing the lunch Liz always has ready for me when I check in, I join Daniel. The slab of rock is smaller than I remembered; we're pressed together, hip-to-hip as not to fall off.

"So where are you from?" I shoot him a glance from under my lashes, watching, almost mesmerized, as he takes a bite from a salami sandwich and chews before swallowing.

"I'm living in Colorado right now."

"Long way to come just to pick blueberries." We grin at each other before he speaks again.

"I'm here doing research into the Native Americans that used to live here. Their gods in particular."

"Neat. Will you have time to take in the festival?" I try to keep my voice casual, but I'm sure he can hear the quiver in it.

Daniel nods, having taken the last bite of his sandwich. "All though being new in town, I'm not quite sure what's on the 'not to be missed' list."

I bat his hand away from the Fifth Avenue bar he's reaching for, and pop a blueberry into his mouth. "Fine, I'll be your guide." My smile takes any sting out of the words, and he gives me an answering smirk, reaching into my pail for a blueberry.

Suddenly frowning, he looks down at his hand; my eyes follow to see a crushed berry, juice smeared over his fingers.

"You need a gentle touch with blueberries," I tell him, lifting his hand to my mouth and licking the fruit off. I'm captured by those blue, blue eyes, and I barely notice as he reaches in the pail once more, pulling out another berry.

"Oops. Did it again." Daniel's voice is rough, sending a shiver down my spine. I lick the berries off again, still staring into those incredible eyes.

We never did make it to the festival.

Josephine
******

"Excuse me, miss," I look up into a sour face, full of disapproval. "The library is closed now, it's almost 7 o'clock."

The face departs, taking a ramrod stiff, skinny body with it. Roused from my books I give a big sigh, then stretch and yawn, finally taking in my surroundings. Wow! When I arrived here at 1 this table had been full of annoying undergraduates and I had been forced to take the last seat, opposite the earnest looking guy with the paperwork, spread, I might add, over much more that his half of the table. Now the place is deserted and almost in darkness except for this table and the office.

Seeing the prune faced librarian go back into her office, I take the chance to get in 5 more minutes before I am forcibly ejected. I turn back to my books when I unexpectedly trade glances with earnest guy. I hadn't realised there was anyone else here. And his eyes...

"Blue" I think to myself as I drop my head back to the table. I try to get back to my thought process, but "Blue" seems to be all I can think of right now. Before I know it my gaze has drifted back to earnest guy with the intelligent, blue eyes... and short brown hair, glasses, high cheekbones and soft smiling lips that you just want to run your tongue...

OK! Back to the books. Keep staring at this same word and it will eventually come to you what it means. Like a magnetic fields though, I find my gaze attracted by his movements. He is reverently smoothing the pages of his book with long, slender but strong looking hands, which must feel like warm, soft...

Right! OK! Re-read the last thing in my notes, "Blue", oh, that's perfect. I hear prune woman coming, tippy tappy across the wooden floor and prepare for the worst. But earnest guy is up on his feet, giving me my first glance at the full package and... Damn!

"Mrs. Davies," he begins before she can " This student has kindly offered to help me with my research. We're almost done. Could we possibly ask security to lock up after us, so we don't have to inconvenience you any further"

"Well Dr. Jackson, strictly speaking, I shouldn't leave....". Her voice is getting fainter as earnest guy...Dr. Jackson is walking her to the doors of the library, full of praise for her attention to detail, her sense of duty and the accuracy of her indexing.

I hear the door creak shut after the old prune and redouble my efforts to concentrate on my notes. He sits back down, but I don't look up.

" Thanks, " I say quietly, still scribbling "blue, blue, blue" in my notebook.

"No problem," he replies "Have you gotta hand that in tomorrow?" I can hear the amusement in his voice. I look up with a snarky comeback on my lips, but I am totally undone by that smile and my clever remarks are ashes on my tongue.

"Whu..?" I manage smoothly. That smile, it's like the sun breaking through rain clouds; totally uplifting.

"Your essay", he gestures at my work with one of those long, elegant fingers. "Does it need to be in tomorrow?"

"Erm, no," I admit "I was just kind of caught up in it."

We fall quiet as he goes back to his books and I attempt to regain some perspective behind mine. After a few minutes he leans back in his chair and closes his laptop. I cast furtive glances over my propped up copy of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare", unfortunately, I now notice it's propped upside down.
"So if it doesn't need to be handed in tomorrow, does that mean you are free tonight?" he asks unexpectedly. He reaches across the table and gently turns by book the right way up, smiling that smile again!

"Well..." I bluster, covering my mortification by gathering up my gear.

"I'm starving and I've had no coffee for..." he looks at his watch"...eight hours!" His Eyebrows do a little wiggle at this revelation.

" I suppose we could..." I manage to get out

"Good," he cuts me off, which is just as well as I have no idea what I was going to say.

" I'm Daniel, " he smiles, piling the last of his papers into his briefcase. He flips closed my Shakespeare and gives it to me, than picks up his stuff. He nods towards the door "Shall we?"

Snic

******

I couldn't believe what Joe and Sandra had done. They had volunteered me to host their guest speaker this evening. I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but I found myself agreeing to fix dinner for someone I had never met. Their friend, the archeologist was coming to give a seminar that weekend at the university, but he had arrived early and Joe and Sandra had plans for the evening they couldn't break. So...

I'd flown through the store after work looking for quick and easily prepared foods for dinner. I'd settled on steak, salad and broccoli with cheese sauce, and berries and whipped cream for dessert. Now I just had to straighten up the house, shower, change and fix the meal. He was supposed to be here around 7:30. I was going to be cutting it close...

The house ready, the table set and the the grill started, I hurried into the shower, still trying to decide what to wear. It had been years since I'd been out on a date, let alone a blind date. I certainly didn't know what to wear to meet an archeologist. Checking the clock as I got out of the shower I decided I still had time to choose my outfit later and just threw on some shorts and a shirt to finish preparing the meal in. It was only 6:30. That would give me half an hour to prepare the vegtables, start the steaks and then I could change and do any last minute things before he came over.

The cheese sauce made, the broccoli prepared and waiting to cook, the steaks on the grill, I started on the salad. Just then the doorbell rang. Frantically checking the clock I saw that it only said 6:55. Still plently of time, but who could be at the door. I never had unanounced visitors. Wiping my hands on my apron I opened the door and found myself looking into bluest of blue eyes I had ever seen. There before me was the most striking young man. He was smiling sheepishly and had something in his hands, but I could hardly look away from those eyes.

"Hi. I'm Daniel. I know I'm early, but I just couldn't stand looking at the walls in the hotel room any longer. I thought I could help you fix dinner." As he entered the house I noticed how good he looked in his slacks and a blue sweater. And suddenly became aware that I was still in shorts and a t-shirt. My face reddening, I started to escort him into the living room, but he just headed straight into the kitchen. He handed me a bottle of wine as he looked around. "Looks like you were making a salad. Let me help. I'm great at chopping things up."

Somehow we got the salad put together and I sent him out to oversee the steaks. While he was doing that I fled into the bedroom to dress. Scanning through the clothes I grabbed a skirt and a twin sweater set to put on. Feeling much more at ease, now that I was apprporiately dressed, I went back into the kitchen to whip the cream for the dessert. I heard Daniel coming back in from the deck and I could smell the steaks as he entered the kitchen. I startled as I felt a hand on my shoulder and then Daniel was raching around me, his hand on mine as he stopped me from putting down the carton of cream.

"That's not nearly enough for two" he exclaimed as he poured the rest of the cream into the bowl. He released my hand after returning the carton to the counter.

I expected him to step back now that he had released my hand. But he didn't. One hand on my shoulder and the other on my waist he stood behind me and watched as I added the DaVinci White Chocolate flavoring and then whipped the cream. As I finished he reached around me for a strawberry.

Dipping it into the cream he brought it to my mouth saying "I think we should start with dessert".

He placed the bowl of whipped cream into my hands, grabbed the bowl of berries himself and then gently led me into the living room. Settling on the couch he picked up a raspberry, dipped it into the cream and slowly brought it to his mouth. I couldn't seem to take my eyes off his face. He patted the couch next to him and then reached for my hand, a soft tug brought got me seated next to him. His eyes sparkling, he asked, "So what should I feed you now?" ...

You all take it from here.

Tzgaine

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