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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 07:18 pm
Title: Lost Worlds
Author: Tzzzz
Artist: anuminis

. . . the tent flap flew opened and in stepped the most beautiful man Rodney had seen in . . . possibly forever. Maybe it was just the dry spell of being surrounded by sexual harassment lawsuits waiting to happen half the year, or heat stroke or one too many sips of local vodka of suspicious quality, but the man who stood before him absolutely took his breath away: spiky black hair, gorgeous hazel eyes, an almost feminine jawline covered by dark stubble that succeed in making him rakish enough to step off the cover of any swashbuckling romance novel. Not to mention the way his khaki cargo pants hugged his ass when he turned around to secure the tent flap with practiced ease.

"Whatcha drinking? Pour me a glass?" he asked. It was only after he'd made his way right up into Rodney's personal space that Rodney noticed the cane that he shifted from his right hand to his left in order to shake hands with Rodney. The top of it glinted a golden amber color.

"John Sheppard, Sheppard Industries." His handshake was firm and his eyes smiled, looking Rodney over speculatively.

Rodney had no idea who he was, of course, and was wondering how to say 'I don't care who you are, just take me right here' in a tactful way when John's smile faltered. "You know, Sheppard Industries, the company funding your dig?"

Not a helicopter delivered cabana boy, then. "Oh, um, well, yes." Shit, shit, shit. Rodney didn't even know their grant came from a single source. Though Sheppard Industries did sound familiar. Maybe Elizabeth had mentioned it the last time she'd nagged him about raising money for a new natural history building. "Thank you, for that - the, um, the funding. We are doing good work out here. Really necessary funding. I, um, should I give you a tour? Sorry, my secretary didn't tell me you had planned to visit the site. I didn't think that CEOs of utility companies were so interested in their charitable donations." He fumbled a tumbler (which he could only hope was clean) and poured John a very generous drink. "But, here, have some vodka. Only the first sip really burns." 

"Thanks." John shot it back as though it were plain water. Rodney watched his Adam's apple and the delicate line of his neck as he swallowed. "Though I'm not the CEO of Sheppard Industries. That would be my father. I head up research and development and we are actually funding your lab as a research partner, not through a grant. I thought you knew that."

Rodney waved his concern away, pouring himself another vodka. "Details."

"Well, as part of our partnership, I was hoping you'd do me a favor." 

"What kind of favor?"

"A week of your time to come out to look at a little project of mine and give your expert opinion."

"Sure. Just call my office. Miko will set something up."

John chuckled. "See, I don't think that's going to work for me, McKay. I did go to all the trouble of flying out here. I'd like to get more than a glass of vodka out of it."

"We're in the middle of a dig! I can't exactly leave the moron brigade out here unsupervised. Unless you want your precious skeletons to look like a dog's favorite bone when we finally get them out of the ground. Besides, I have my niece out here with me. She just lost her parents. In a very delicate place and all. I couldn't possibly--"

"Bring her along. I'm sure Mr. Woolsey (my bloodsucking lawyer), will appreciate her input. And I could care less about the skeletons. This project goes well and you'll never have to actually dig again. I'll tell you what - I'll even sweeten the deal by funding your research for the next three years."

"Pfft. I'm the foremost expert in virtual paleontology. They're practically tearing down the door to fund me,withoutdropping a helicopter on my dig site to whisk me off to god knows where." 

"So," Sheppard practically purred, taking a limping step forward and looking up at Rodney through impossibly long lashes, "there's absolutely nothing I could do to get you to spend a week on a private island with me? That's too bad." He gave Rodney the very obvious once over. "Because I think if you'd give it a try, it could prove to be mutually satisfying."



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