Stargate Aschen Sam/Jack
As Sam walked up through the grass towards her tent, she couldn’t help smiling. Her insides quivered at the memory of Jack’s caresses, his kisses, his deep voice. Tingles spread through her stomach, and she resisted the urge to hum.
Her steps slowed when Janet came trudging towards her.
“Hey.” Sam smiled at her and stopped in her tracks. Why was Janet scowling? “What happened?”
The doctor waved towards their tent. “Vala and Daniel happened.”
That had to be a joke. She dropped her arms. Really? In their tent? “Please tell me you’re kidding.”
“Nope. And from the sounds of it, it’s gonna be a while.”
Sam sighed. It was time they got their own tent. “Didn’t she promise us never to do that again? Where am I supposed to sleep?”
“I don’t know. I’m gonna sleep in the medical tent.” Janet passed by her. “Good night.”
The medical tent? Sam’s mood dropped. Sleeping in one of the uncomfortable field beds in the medical tent wasn’t the ending to this evening she’d hoped for. Her sleeping bag was so much more comfortable.
Maybe she should wait until Daniel and Vala were done. She flinched at the thought. Even if she waited, she didn’t wanna sleep in the same tent when they were together. And she could hardly throw them out.
With a frustrated sound, she turned. She’d take a shower first, and afterwards make temporary camp up in her work tent. Maybe she could build a provisional bed there.
When she reached the bathhouse, she found the door locked. Sighing, she sat down on the wooden bench in front of it. With their three-minute limit, it shouldn’t be long until she’d get her shower.
The door squeaked open, and in her haste to jump up, she nearly stumbled into Jack. He froze and raised his eyebrows at her. Apparently he hadn’t expected her. The surprise was mutual.
Her gaze dropped. He was only wearing his pants. His hair dripped, and pearly drops of water ran down his tanned neck and chest, lost themselves in his greying chest hair. His shoulders glistened wet in the soft moonlight.
Magnificent. Sam’s throat went dry. What the hell was wrong with her? And since when did she attribute words like magnificent to men? Her cheeks flared when Jack cleared his throat. Oh damn, she was staring.
She closed her eyes. “S-sorry, sir.” She hurried to step out of his way.
“Car—Sam, don’t you usually shower in the mornings after your swim?” He pulled a fresh uniform shirt over his head, covering his naked chest. Too bad.
He raised his eyebrows again. “But?” When she didn’t answer right away, he smirked. “You weren’t waiting for me, were ya?”
Blood drained from her face. “What? No. Vala and Daniel are, uh, occupying our tent. So I can’t…” She waved toward her tent, hoping the implications of her statement were clear.
“Ah.” He stepped out of the doorway to let her pass. “Where are you gonna sleep?”
Sam stepped up into the makeshift bathhouse, then turned and leaned against the doorframe. “I thought about making a bed up in my work tent. I still have to read a paper by McKay, and besides, I have to start working early anyway.”
“That doesn’t sound very comfortable.” He flinched.
“It’s only for one night. I’ve slept more uncomfortably off-world. Besides, I won’t be able to sleep more than five or six hours anyway.”
He scratched the back of his head. “Look, Sam, you could always sleep with me.”
She could always what? Eyes wide, she stared at him. Had he really offered…?
Blood drained from his face and he released a low groan, his hand raking through his hair. “Wow. Okay, that sounded so much less sexual in my head.” He cleared his throat. “I didn’t mean that. I meant, you could sleep in my tent. In the corner. In a separate sleeping bag. Not…” He waved between them awkwardly with another cough.
She blew out a sigh. “Yeah.” Then she chuckled, trying to sound nonchalant. “I figured that.” Judging by the way his eyebrows climbed, they were both aware of her lie.
He had a point, though. Her science tent was a mess. She’d have to move some boxes to make space to sleep. Jack’s tent, on the other hand, was big and comfortable. It’d offer enough room for both of them. Still… Way too close to him. Her stomach flip-flopped.
“I don’t know.”
“I’ll be awake for a bit. The offer stands, so if you want, just come by after you’re done here.” He smiled, then turned and walked towards his tent. She looked after him, swallowing hard. Sleeping in his tent did sound good. Too good.
She rushed through showering. During this time of year, they didn’t spare a generator to heat the water up to a tepid temperature. Quickly, she took care of her personal hygiene and dried her skin before cold crept into her bones.
She dressed and dried her hair before she left the bathhouse. Having to rearrange her entire work tent would be a nuisance. Besides, McKay would start working around six in the morning, and that would cut her sleep very short. Jack’s tent was a viable alternative.
On the other hand… Recently, her body had begun doing all kinds of strange things as soon as she came near Jack. So maybe she should keep her distance, at least for tonight. Yes, they’d spent a great evening at O’Malley’s together. But she’d wanted to avoid questions regarding their relationship and the contract. The closer she was to him, the likelier those questions would come up.
A few meters away from Jack’s tent, she came to a dead stop. Why the hell had she come here? Hadn’t she just decided it’d be safer to sleep in her work tent? Cold and uncomfortable…
It seemed the most logical choice to take him up on his offer. That way she’d get enough sleep and wouldn’t have to rearrange her science tent. They’d slept in the same tent together before for almost a week. Hell, they’d even shared a sleeping bag. This really wasn’t that big a deal.
She took a deep breath, then froze again. Could she trust herself enough to be this close to him tonight? After all the flirtations between them, the caresses, and the kissing outside O’Malley’s?
Science tent. Determined, she turned and walked a few steps, then stopped again. But she’d have to make space there first. Plus it’d be cold, so she’d have to get a new isolation mat and one—or preferably two—sleeping bags to keep her warm.
Wincing, Sam turned once more and walked back to Jack’s tent. They were both adults, and sleeping in the same tent didn’t mean they had to change the parameters of their relationship.
How was she supposed to announce her presence? Was she just supposed to walk in? Had his offer even been genuine? Maybe he’d only tried to be polite. Oh, this is a stupid idea.
Releasing a frustrated sigh, she dropped her arms. The medical tent was another option. It’d be reasonably warm, she wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning, and she wouldn’t need a sleeping bag. The field beds might work for a night. Or maybe she could take a sleeping bag and just make her bed on the ground there.
Then again, the sterile smell of disinfectant that was always present in the medical tent wasn’t exactly what she wanted to wake up to.
In front of her, the tent flap rustled and Jack’s head poked out. Eyebrows raised, he smirked at her. “You gonna to pace up and down out here all night? Cause it’s kinda distracting.”
Sam closed her eyes. Damn, he’d heard her? Her cheeks warmed. “Sorry, sir.”
“You wanna come in?”
She swallowed and looked at him, then at the medical tent further up the hill.
Jack shrugged. “Of course, if you wanna pace some more…”
She tilted her head and folded her arms. He pulled the flap aside, opening the entrance. “Come on in already.”
“But I don’t want to intrude or—”
“You’re not.” His gaze intensified. When she brushed past him into the tent, her breasts grazed the hard planes of his bare chest. Tingles shot through her. Yeah, this was definitely a bad idea.
Dim light from a petroleum lamp cast the inside of his tent in a warm glow. A few of his personal items lay on a large box in the corner. Some of his civilian clothes were carelessly folded and stacked onto a makeshift shelf. Simple. She liked that.
He’d cleared out one corner and placed a rolled up isolation mat and a sleeping bag there. Had he expected she’d come by? Maybe he’d just wanted to be prepared. Warmth flooded her at his consideration. It hadn’t just been politeness.
She turned to thank him, but her breath hitched when he stood so close suddenly that she had to lift her chin to meet his eyes. Had he always been this tall? The faint scent of soap filled her nose, spicy and male. Her gaze dropped to his broad chest. So muscular. And his skin…
She reached out, grazed her fingers across his upper arms. Heat radiated from him. She held her breath when he tensed. His gaze pierced her, but he didn’t move to stop her.
Entranced, she trailed her fingers up along his biceps, then over to his chest. A shaky breath escaped her. Such silent strength. Such dominance. She wanted more of him. Like a moth drawn to a flame. Oh, what a comparison. And how very alluring to burn in his fire. Her cheeks flushed when she tangled her fingers in his chest hair. Coarse, yet soft. So hot. The texture of his skin felt rougher than her own. A fascinating difference. Her fingers trembled as she grazed them down along his firm stomach. When he caught her wrists in a strong grip, she met his gaze.
“Sam.” He leaned in, his hot breath washing against her forehead. “What are you doing?” Passion mixed with insecurity.
She inched closer. What was she doing? Hadn’t she come here intending to prevent exactly this? How were things supposed to go on after this?
His dark eyes gleamed.
Before she could rationalize again, she rose up on her toes and brushed her lips across his in a gentle touch that sent pleasant shivers down her spine. So warm, just like the rest of his body. Goosebumps danced down her arms. His grip on her wrists loosened and she touched his sides to draw him closer.
She parted her lips and flicked her tongue out, teasing, testing. Now she wished, she’d done this more often with Larek. His mouth softened, then opened. She gave his lower lip a soft nip and released a shaky breath.
Oh God, she was doing it. She was kissing Jack. Her heart pounded. No turning back now. He’d ask questions, the answers to which she didn’t have. Her stomach clenched. She pulled him hard against her with a whimper. He nipped at her lip, then flicked his warm tongue across it. Sam clutched his arms.
What now? Damn, this had been so much easier when she was drunk. Her tongue traced his lips, then darted inside.
Jack let out a deep groan, his hands tightening on her waist. What the hell was she doing? Raw need shot through him when her tongue stroked against his. Inexperienced, but not awkward. His brain short-circuited.
He pressed her against him and deepened the kiss. She whimpered, her hands gripping his shoulders. His hands moved along her waist, then up her sides, exploring every curve of her soft body. God, she was sweet. And she tasted even better than he remembered. What the hell was he doing? This wasn’t right. He tensed.
They’d taken it slow, so they wouldn’t go down the same road as last time, and now she kissed him as though her life depended on it.
He withdrew his mouth from hers, but she followed and captured his lips again. He couldn’t resist and allowed contact for a brief moment. She whimpered low in her throat, a little sob dying in the kiss. Something was off about her behavior. Why was she suddenly kissing him so fervently?
He withdrew again and prevented her from following with a firm hold on her hips.
“Don’t stop…” Her voice came out barely a rasp.
Heat raced through him, and he swallowed hard. “S-sam.” His fingers dug into her hips. What if he made a mistake? What if he drove her away again? It had taken them so long to get to this point. He didn’t wanna screw it all up with a rash decision she’d regret. Maybe not tonight. But what about tomorrow?
Her eyes opened. Had they always been this blue? Her dark pupils dilated as she studied his face. But then something else flashed across her face. Insecurity. Panic. Anxiety. He’d been right.
“Sam…” He held her close without allowing their lips to touch. “What are you doing?”
“I want to kiss you. Just kiss you. Please.”
And why was he debating this again? Hell, if a woman like Carter begs to kiss you, you don’t ask why, fool.
He groaned inwardly. He should just grab her and kiss her into a state of raw and senseless need. And then he should throw her down on his sleeping bag and see if he could shut that sweet little brain of hers off. Maybe even make her scream…
He swallowed hard. That train of thought certainly wasn’t helping.
“Carter.” His voice came out rougher than intended, the use of her last name meant to bring him back to reality where he could think straight.
Her expression changed. Panic flashed across her features. She swallowed visibly, then her cheeks flared and she tried to loosen from him.
Crap. He held her in place and gentled his voice. “I swear, my invitation for you to sleep here didn’t come with any expectations.”
“I know that.” She relaxed in his arms, her gaze dropping to his lips again.
“Maybe we should just…” He cleared his throat and looked at the free space in the corner. “…you know, go to sleep.”
“I like you.” Her breath washed warm and sweet across his chin. Her hands moved down and she fumbled to open her pants. When the garment dropped to the floor, she stepped out of her shoes and pants.
Jack swallowed hard. Black tank top and panties. And lots of skin. Wow.
His brows climbed when she hooked her fingers into the hem of his pants and pulled him toward his sleeping bag. Oh, bad idea, Carter. Very bad. Did she even realize how close he was to losing control?
She pulled him down with her, then scooted backwards. After she’d pushed the additional blanket and a pillow to the side, she looked at him and swallowed visibly. “I want to be with you… I think.”
I think? He groaned. He stared at her in utter fascination. I think wasn’t exactly what he’d expected to hear. Her fingers reached up and trailed along his arm, trembling.
Jack leaned in, brushed his nose against hers, then captured her lips with his. Another soft whimper escaped her as she opened for him. She shifted, leaned back and pulled him on top of her. Her body trembled under his.
He’d been with enough women to recognize the difference between desire and fear—and in her case it was definitely the latter. As much as he might have otherwise appreciated her pace, he couldn’t shake the feeling he really shouldn’t give in to her haste.
He broke the kiss and studied her face. Eyes wide, she looked as though she expected him to eat her alive any moment. He suppressed at smirk, then buried his face in her neck. The soft mounds of her breasts pressed against his chest.
Tension tightened her frame. When his eyes found hers, she bit her lower lip. Her cheeks flushed. “I don’t want my fear standing between us forever. It won’t go away. I just want to get it over with.”
Jack cleared his throat and put on a blank expression. “Get it over with… Really know how to dirty-talk, do we?”
Her eyes widened. “Oh… no, I didn’t mean…” Another swallow, then she closed her eyes and dropped her head to the pillow. “I’m sorry. That sounded horrible.”
“Kinda.” He smirked and brushed his lips against the side of her neck, then sucked her skin tenderly. She groaned and arched against him, her fingers tangling in his hair. Much better.
Her thighs brushed the sides of his waist as she drew him closer, her core hot against his arousal.
He grazed his lips along her jawline until she arched her neck and bit her lower lip. Her fingers trailed along his upper arms, caressing, teasing. Heat shot through him. Hips pressing against hers, he let her feel exactly what effect she had on him. Again, she tensed, her body trembling under his.
Damn, she was seriously frightened. Jack closed his eyes, and tried to get his physical reaction under control.
This was a bad idea. Too many firsts and uncertainties for her. Her brain was probably in overdrive, thinking out all possible worst-case scenarios. Maybe they should work out their relationship before they went this far.
That didn’t mean he couldn’t play with her a bit, though.
“I won’t sleep with you.” He nipped her earlobe, then sucked the skin right over her jugular. Her breath hitched, but she released a sigh and relaxed under him.
“Why?” Disappointment resonated in her voice.
“I’m still not entirely sure you’re sober.” He gave her a teasing smirk. A laugh bubbled up and tension fled from her body. “Besides, when we do this, I don’t want you trembling in fear. We don’t have to rush this. We can just, you know, be together.”
She studied him, then nodded. “Okay.” Breathless.
He smiled against her skin. He couldn’t stop touching her. When he shifted she he lay next to her, her legs hooked around his.
He tipped her head up so he could look into her eyes. Still cautious about her expectations, he became serious for a moment. “You wanna sleep in your own sleeping bag tonight?”
“No. Unless you want me to.”
He tightened his grip on her before she could move out of his bed. “No way.”
“I really like you, you know.” Her gaze locked with his and he brushed her cheek with his thumb.
Without warning, her lips found his again, and she pulled him closer. Jack trailed his hands trailed up the sides of her waist. So soft and warm. He enjoyed the way her breath caught when his palms rested on her ribcage, right under her breasts. The urge to push up her top and feel her naked skin grew almost overwhelming.
When she broke away from his kiss, her breath came fast and hot. He gave a little chuckle, panting. “You gotta stop doing that.”
Damn, he lost control fast with her. Except he couldn’t. Not tonight.
Heart racing, Sam shifted and stretched out next to him. So new… His chest burned against her arm, electricity humming over her skin at the touch. Jack pulled off his pants, then drew the blanket over them.
So close. And so few clothes between them. She swallowed. She wanted him, and yet the thought unsettled her so much. What if she messed up again? She should have had more alcohol to lower her inhibitions.
She cleared her throat and shifted to ease the strange pressure growing inside her.
“You all right?” Jack’s brows scrunched. She suppressed a shiver when his fingers traced along her arm, leaving goosebumps.
A shaky breath left her as he inched closer. Finally his lips took hers, first gently, then more urgent. She sighed into his mouth, and her hand brushed up his arm and ran across his shoulder, tracing a scar there.
He softened the kiss. For an eternity, he teased her without deepening the contact, even when she parted her lips, urging him on. How could he torture her without hardly touching her?
He nipped her lower lip, traced it in a teasing caress. She groaned. At last his mouth seared hers, his tongue taking, demanding. Sam’s insides liquefied. She tangled her fingers in his chest hair, brushed her palms down, along his hard stomach. How come she was suddenly so addicted to the way his tongue tangled with hers? The way he teased, a sensual game of challenge and surrender.
Giving her lower lip a tug, he finally withdrew, and her eyes closed. Not even Larek had ever kissed her like this. Sure, they’d kissed, but it had always been very controlled.
Jack smiled down at her. “Okay?”
She nodded. She cupped his cheek and traced his mouth with her thumb.
“We should do that again.” Smiling, she leaned in and hovered her lips close to his. Jack pulled her closer. This time, his mouth crushed hers. She groaned as painful need flared in her lower abdomen. Trying to ease the mounting pressure between her legs, she writhed her hips against his. He helped her, pressing her core against him.
His hand gently pushed her top up, then caressed her naked skin. In an almost automatic response, her body arched into his caress.
Breathless, she broke the kiss and held his gaze. He moved his hand higher, cupped her breast and flicked her nipple with his thumb.
His hot breath washed warm along her throat, then his lips tickled the side of her neck. “You like this?” His deep rasp sent quivers through her.
“Yes.” Her fingers threaded through his hair. When his thumb grazed her nipple again, Sam bit her lower lip and her eyes fluttered open. She arched into his touch, groaning. “Jack…”
Jack lifted his head at her pleading whisper. It was the first time in months she’d called him Jack. Not sir. Not colonel. Just Jack.
Her fingers curled around his nape. Gaze foggy, she stared at him as if surprised by her own reaction. He withdrew his hand from her breast to brush the short strands of hair away from her ear. Then he ran his tongue across her neck, pushing her onto her back.
He kissed the spot right under her ear, drawing a moan from her. He nuzzled her neck, tickling with his nose, and she fisted his hair with a soft giggle. “Jack.”
God, he wanted her. More than he’d ever wanted any woman before.
He traced the soft curve of her hips and hooked his fingers under the waistband of her panties.
“Jack.” When she tensed, he lifted his head. He could have drowned in those deep blue eyes. And her whispering his name in that longing tone was the sweetest thing he’d ever heard.
Insecurity flashed in her eyes.
“No sex tonight.” He brushed her nose with his. “Don’t be nervous.”
Yeah, right. Smirking, he leaned in and nuzzled her neck. Her arms wrapped around him. Her scent nearly drowned him. Intoxicating. He nipped her earlobe. “Just lie back and let me make you come.”
“Yes.” She clutched his arm.
His fingers grazed her abdomen, and her muscles twitched in response.
“Let me know when I’m taking things too far.”
When he moved his hand inside her panties, she scraped her nails along his skin, raising goosebumps on his arm. His fingers traced along her hot center, and she gripped his wrist.
Maybe he’d have to get her to stop thinking first. He leaned down and captured her lips in a deep kiss, his fingers stroking through her folds at the same time.
She broke away from him with a gasp. “Oh… God.”
Jack leaned in again, tracing the freckles on her neck with his tongue. “Just say the word and I’ll stop, Sam.”
She shook her head. “No, please don’t.”
Taking her mouth with his, he moved his hand down her inner thigh. She giggled softly with a shudder. He smiled against her lips, then slid his hand back between her legs.
Her breath lodged and her eyes widened as the pad of his thumb brushed over her clit. He read total abandon in them. Now we’re getting somewhere.
He repeated the caress, slower, more controlled, before he trailed his finger up along one side and down the other. Her groan was the sexiest sound he’d ever heard from a woman.
He withdrew his hand and moved it up to her lips. Touching his index finger to them, he brushed his nose against hers. Almost instantly, she opened her mouth, her tongue darting out, wetting his finger. Raw need raced through him.
“God, Sam.” He pressed his lips against her temple, struggling for control. Oh yeah, her scientific curiosity definitely extended into the bedroom.
He trailed his hand back down to her folds and found her little bundle of nerves. His fingers, moistened from her tongue, slid over the nub with ease. She gave a breathless whimper, her eyes widening.
Jack chuckled against her hair and did it again, watching the way her lips parted. Her hips writhed against his hand, following his movements. As she stared up at him, her eyes glossed over with need, while her fingers explored his skin aimlessly, touching him wherever she could. He increased the pressure on her clit, and she jerked against him.
“You’re so beautiful.”
No doubt, he was gonna make her come. Her arousal came so easy, so fast. So stunning. He hardened almost painfully.
God, he’d need another cold shower after this.
Sam held his gaze. His chestnut brown eyes darkened until they looked almost black. Pleasure raced through her every fiber, pressure coiling between her legs. She pushed up against him, her fingers digging into his shoulder. So good. She wanted more.
His fingers drifted lower, teasing her entrance. Oh, God. Sam swallowed and went rigid against him.
“I won’t hurt you.” He kissed her deeply, swallowing her desperate moan. “Trust me.”
“I do.” She clutched his wrist, her body trembling as she forced herself to relax. Seriously, why hadn’t she had more beer? This would be so much easier. Her tension eased away when his tongue brushed over hers. She gave a soft yelp when one of his fingers slid into her, his movement slow and tentative.
Her lips parted, her fingers burying in his hair. No man had ever touched her this intimately. And God, when the tension left her limbs and her initial discomfort eased away, sheer pleasure rolled over her like a wave.
She panted, and his body trembled against hers.
“Want me to stop?” He kept his lips so close their breaths mingled.
“No. Oh God… oh… please don’t…”
His finger slid further inside her, while his lips brushed along her throat, his breath hot against her skin. Her body became hyper-aware of him. His palm brushed her clit and shockwaves of ecstasy rocked through her.
Oxygen suddenly became an issue. The tent spun in front of her eyes. Too much. The fire in her belly turned almost painful. This couldn’t be right. Too much heat. Too fast a heart rate. She clutched his wrist, wanting to pull his hand away from her, but her body disobeyed. Instead, she pressed him closer.
“Wait.” She arched her neck.
He eased up ever so slightly. “Don’t think, just feel.”
She fisted her hands against his shoulders. Wasn’t she being too loud? What if the rest of camp heard her? She gritted her teeth against another groan, then turned her head toward his chest. Her nose grazed his collarbone, and she inhaled his scent.
He leaned down and trailed a moist path along her throat, over her jugular and along her shoulders, then down to her breasts. When his lips locked on one of her nipples through the fabric of her top, something in her brain short-circuited. Somewhere in the back of her mind she realized the voice begging him for things entirely beyond understanding was hers, but who cared? Every one of his strokes seemed too much, yet none was nearly enough.
“Let go, Sam. Let me see you come.”
She opened her eyes. When had she even closed them?
Heat boiled through her, and her body shook against him. Her muscles clenched around his finger. She caught her breath. More. She needed more. She buried her face against his shoulder. Pressure built… built some more…
Then hot pleasure exploded in waves through her body, leaving her breathless, dizzy and on the brink of unconsciousness. She clutched his shoulders, held on to him as though he were her lifeline, the only thing in the world that kept her from shattering.
When she came down from the high, he nuzzled her neck. He gave her occasional teasing strokes, and she jerked against him with every touch. The contact suddenly bordered on pain, even though he’d softened his touch.
When he withdrew his hand, he lifted his head. She looked at him through half-closed eyes.
Exhaustion spread through her and made her limbs feel heavy. Like she’d just run a course through the forest. Her heart pounded as though it were about to jump out of her chest. Odd relief and satisfaction spread through her. Never before had she felt like this. Her brain seemed to take a moment to rebuild burnt-out pathways.
Jack leaned down, brushed his mouth against hers. Sighing, she parted her lips for his seeking tongue. His thumb touched her chin, then he withdrew from the kiss to graze his finger against her lips.
Almost on instinct, Sam flicked her tongue out, licking his finger. A weird mixture of salty and sweet. God, she tasted herself. New heat shot through her, and she sucked his finger into her mouth. Then his lips were on hers. Her cheeks warmed. God, he had to taste her on her lips. They groaned in unison.
An eternity passed, then Jack broke the kiss and propped himself up on his elbow next to her. He looked heated.
She turned toward him and caressed his chest with her fingers while she held his gaze. “Wow.”
He smirked. “Anybody ever told you how hot you are?”
She stifled a chuckle against his shoulder.
“For the record.” His deep voice reverberated against her neck. “I really like you, too.”
She buried her face in his neck. “I can’t believe we just did that.”
He teased the shell of her ear with his tongue. “Well, you didn’t lose any clothing. We stayed within the agreed-upon parameters.”
He actually sounded somewhat smug. She opened her eyes and scraped her fingers through his hair. When he buried his face in her hair and inhaled, is chest rose and fell against hers.
She shifted to her side and dropped her gaze to his tanned neck. How often she had fantasized about tasting his skin… She leaned in, and flicked her tongue out.
Spicy and so him—much better than any of her fantasies. She pressed her mouth to his pulse point and sucked. A low growl rumbled from him. Encouraged by his reaction, she draped her leg over his hip, bringing her pelvis into contact with his.
His arousal brushed against her abdomen and he trembled, pulling her closer. Her breath hitched. Pride surged through her, then a thrill. She did this…
She’d never known she could have such an effect on a man.
His warm palm ran down her bare leg, then back up. A low groan reverberated in his throat when her lips trailed down his neck to his collarbone. She dragged her nails along the sides of his body, then over his abdomen.
His eyes shot open and he grabbed her wrist in a steel-like grip. “Sam.” Definitely a warning. Eyes wide, she looked up at him. He shifted out of her embrace, and sat up.
“Jack.” Damn, why did she sound so breathless?
He tangled his hand in her hair and pressed a warm kiss to her forehead, then got up on his feet.
Sam leaned up on her arms and studied him. Grabbing clothes, towels… What the hell was he doing? Her stomach tightened. Had she done something wrong?
“What are you doing?”
“I’ll be right back.” He flinched. “I really need another cold shower.”
Shower? Why? She stared at him. Then her eyes dropped down his body and her cheeks flared. “Oh.” Really? Cold showers helped against that? She attempted a cheeky smile. “You could just, you know… We could…” Okay, so much for her attempt at being sly. She sighed.
“No.” He shook his head. “Not tonight. I promised.”
Sam dropped her hands to her lap.
His gaze intensified. “But God, how much I’d love to. I’ll be right back. Don’t leave. And don’t change. Or move. At all.” His eyes twinkled. She giggled, warmth spreading through her as he left the tent.
When he was gone, she pulled her knees to her chest, and rubbed her palms against her heated cheeks. Had she really just allowed him to touch her so intimately? It hadn’t even been difficult to take that step. And definitely not as scary as she’d expected.
She looked around. If they wanted to sleep together tonight and be halfway comfortable, they’d need more than one sleeping bag. Her gaze stopped at the empty corner. Just what she needed…
Cold air made her shiver when she threw the blanket aside and crawled over to get the second isolation mat and sleeping bag. Technically, she should be able to connect them.
She unfolded the mat and placed it so it was lying seamlessly next to the first. Then she opened the spare sleeping bag and zipped it to Jack’s. Perfect. One large, comfortable bed that held enough room for both of them.
Shivering, she snuggled into the warm coziness of the bed. Then she froze. Was she taking things too far? Maybe she shouldn’t have changed his sleeping place like that without asking him first. Then again, he couldn’t honestly want them to sleep in the tight confinement of just one sleeping bag.
The tent flap rustled and Jack entered. He zipped the entrance shut. After he had turned, his eyebrows rose and a smirk tugged at his lips. “Nice.”
She released a breath she hadn’t even known she’d been holding. When he slid into the sleeping bag next to her and zipped it shut,
she scooted closer and snuggled up against him. Her legs brushed his and a shiver danced down her spine. “You’re cold.”
He wrapped his arms around her and chuckled into her hair. “Shower.”
She glanced up at him. “It wasn’t necessary to lower your body temperature by ten degrees.”
“Oh, believe me, it was.” Then he waved his hand around. “Is this gonna be okay for you?”
“I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t.”
“Okay.” He cleared his throat and pressed a kiss against her forehead. Then she heard him take a deep breath. “Is this gonna be just for tonight?”
There it was. The dreaded moment where they’d have to talk about how to proceed from here. She should have thought about the consequences of her reckless seduction. What now? She wanted him. Longer than just one night. But marriage? Her throat constricted.
Jack pulled back and looked at her, the question still hanging between them.
She bit her lower lip. “I don’t want it to be.”
The tension in his shoulders lessened slighty. “But?”
“I don’t know. There’s the marriage contract, and I really don’t want…I can’t…” How the hell was she supposed to explain this? Why was this even an issue? She wanted to be with him, so why did she hesitate?
Lying here with him felt so right, but as soon as she thought about their relationship… He was her husband by law. Blood rushed in her ears as cold fear gripped her heart. He was a good man. He was considerate, kind… hot. So why couldn’t she just accept this contract? There was nothing to it. It was just a marriage.
Maybe she’d just have to learn to deal with it.
Jack studied her. He could practically see her wheels turn. That damn contract. If only he’d never signed it. He should have insisted on getting to know her first.
She opened her mouth as though to say something, then hesitated and studied him.
No doubt, she wasn’t ready for marriage. Could he blame her, really? Hell, he didn’t know if he was ready. It was a huge jump from kissing for the first time to being married.
Why in the world did that even have to be an issue? They weren’t in an Aschen breeding facility, and they had another year until the Aschen Ministry would expect results. Why not take it slow? She needed time, so what on Earth prevented them from taking just that?
Why had they even spent so much time hurting each other and arguing?
“Sam.” She looked up. He brushed his thumb across her cheek. “Just forget about the contract.”
“What?” She gave him a confused look.
“Forget about the damn thing. Apparently it’s the only thing standing between us. It’s just a signature on a piece of paper.”
She stared at him, eyes wide. “But you wanted… You said you didn’t want it to be just a signature. I don’t understand.”
“What I wanted was to give us a chance, not some stupid contract.” He flinched. Yeah, okay, maybe his wording hadn’t exactly expressed that. “I guess I should have made myself clearer.”
Sam flinched. “Well, I wasn’t exactly receptive to your explanations at the time.”
He gave her a blank look. “You were a bit hot-tempered.”
She leaned up on her forearm, smiling. “Maybe I would have been more inclined to talk about it if you hadn’t behaved like…”
An ass? A jerk? A bastard? Jack flinched.
She cleared her throat, then cupped his cheek with her palm. “We both could have handled the situation better, I guess.”
“Yeah.” Jack tangled his hand in her hair, warmth filling him when she leaned into his touch.
“So what now?” She gave him a cautious look.
His lips tugged into a smile. “Date me. Give me a chance to win you over the way I should’ve done that night in the bar. Correct that, the way I should’ve done before signing any marriage contract. We’ll just take it step by step.”
“And if it doesn’t go well?”
He held her gaze. “I won’t insist on the contract.” His heart melted at the smile that brightened her face.
“I would really like to date you.”
Dating Carter… His heart skipped a beat. Her hand ran through his hair, then she leaned in and kissed him. Her tongue darted out and flicked over his. His breath caught.
He withdrew from the kiss. Now what? He hadn’t had many real relationships. None that had worked out, at least. “I won’t cut you any slack just because we’re dating. I’ll still order you around when we’re on duty and expect you to follow those orders to the letter without discussion.”
He’d never dated a woman under his command. Worse, on his own team. There wasn’t really a rule against it, but he didn’t wanna stir up rumors about Carter receiving preferential treatment. On the other hand, she’d long established her position at camp. People knew she was a brilliant scientist.
There was no doubt she deserved the spot on SG-1. So maybe he worried over nothing. Even if it came down to it, he could still assign her to another team.
“I’m fine with you ordering me around.” The tip of her nose grazed his. “I’ll follow your orders like I did before. But I won’t accept you ordering me around when we’re off duty.” She faltered for a moment, then a blush tinted her cheeks. “Well, maybe with exceptions. You’re sexy when you get into command mode.”
He coughed at her statement. Images of her taking orders in an erotic context flashed through his mind, and it became hard for him to breathe. “Did you just tell me one of your kinks?”
She cleared her throat and her blush intensified. Sweet.
Jack grinned. “Well, I’ll keep that in mind for future reference.”
“Please do.” Smiling, she leaned in to nip his earlobe. “Sir.”
God, that woman. She really liked playing with fire, didn’t she? Groaning, he pushed her to her back and claimed her mouth in a heated, but short kiss. Her hands played at his waist, then her fingers slipped under the waistband of his pants. Fire blazed through him.
Growling, he broke the kiss. “Keep that up, and I’ll be forced to take another cold shower.”
When she gave a soft giggle, he wrapped his arms around her slender waist, and she snuggled up to him.
The lazy circles her fingers drew on his back lulled his mind into sated relaxation. He turned to lie on his back, so Sam could place her head on his shoulder.
Memories of polar night flooded his thoughts. How good she’d felt sleeping against him…her soft curves melting against his body, fitting him perfectly. At last, they were at a point where they could have a future.
Happiness spread through him as his eyes drifted shut. His hand brushed through her hair. She was his.
Eat up. All of it.
Sam blinked twice, then read the note again. So him. Short, efficient, no overly romantic language. Yet the simple gesture spoke for itself.
She glanced at the small tray holding a bowl of fruit and a packed sandwich. Breakfast. Leaning on her forearms, she reached for one of the grapes. It was a double portion of fruit, which meant that he had given her his share. Warmth spread through her.
She savored the fresh taste of the grape, closed her eyes and turned onto her back. Her body tingled at the memory of last night. How he’d seduced her and taken care of her needs without asking anything in return. Instead of taking a cold shower, he could have just taken her. Surely, most other guys would have. She wouldn’t have denied him, and he had to have known that. Yet, he’d kept his word.
He’s a good man. The words her father had once used echoed in her thoughts. He’d been right. Jack was a good man.
She smiled as she turned her head. Her gaze fell on the small clock standing on a wooden box next to the sleeping bag.
“Oh, damn.” The experiment with McKay. They wanted to start at eleven, but it took a while to set it up. McKay wouldn’t be happy he had to do all the work alone. She threw the blanket aside and gathered her clothes from the ground. Why hadn’t anybody come to wake her?
On her way to the bathroom, she greeted some of the soldiers coming towards her. As she turned her head to look down where the forest began, she stopped. Daniel and Vala. Arm in arm, the archeologist whispered something in his girlfriend’s ear that made her giggle.
“Hey, Sammie.” Vala grinned, as they reached her.
“Hey, Vala. Daniel. Did you two sleep well?”
Daniel’s face became serious. Okay, so he had probably heard the accusation in her voice. “Um… yeah, wonderful. You?”
“Very well. Which is the only reason I’m not mad at you for last night.”
“Um.” Vala’s smile weakened. “What happened last night?” She glanced at Daniel. “Did we do something embarrassing?”
The archeologist shook his head. “No, not that I know of. For once.”
“You occupied our tent again. Vala, we talked about this.” As Daniel and Vala stared at each other blankly, Sam faltered. They looked as though they didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. She folded her arms. “Janet and I had to find different sleeping accommodations.”
“Um.” Daniel scratched his head. “Sam, we weren’t even at camp.”
Vala chuckled. “Daniel and I rented a room at O’Malley’s. We only came back this morning after sunrise.”
She stared at them. “But when I wanted to get into our tent to sleep, Janet said…” Janet. A suspicion dawned on her. She narrowed her eyes and turned toward the medical tent. Janet was just stepping outside. Perfect timing.
She marched up to the tent, Daniel and Vala following suit.
The doctor lifted her head, then smiled brightly. “Sam.”
“You wouldn’t believe what I just heard.”
Janet’s eyes gleamed. “Yeah, well, you wouldn’t believe the rumors I just heard. Apparently somebody spent the entire night in the camp commander’s tent.”
Cheeks warming, Sam cleared her throat. Couldn’t anything remain a secret with these people? How did Janet even know? “Yes, well, that only happened because somebody told me Daniel and Vala were in our tent. Which they weren’t…”
Janet smirked. “Whoops.”
“I can’t believe you. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” Sam folded her arms.
“Okay, let me get this straight.” Daniel loosened from Vala and took a step towards her. “You went to sleep in Jack’s tent because Janet told you that Vala and I were…”
“Yes.” A self-satisfied smile played across Janet’s face. Then she looked at Sam and sighed. “All right, I’ll apologize. If nothing happened between you and O’Neill.”
Sam felt her blush deepen. She fidgeted and opened her mouth, then closed it again. Lying wasn’t necessary, but she hated the thought of everybody gossiping about them. Especially when it was all so new.
Janet gave a triumphant laugh. “I knew it. After how you were looking at each other all evening, I figured all you needed was a little push in the right direction.”
“Seriously?” Daniel stared at Sam. “You and Jack?”
“Yes. Will you guys stop already?”
Vala grinned. “Wow. So Janet tricked you into sharing a tent with O’Neill, and it actually worked out? Cunning. I like that.” She eyed Janet with a hint of approval. “I’ve taught you well.”
Janet rolled her eyes. “I just took a chance. I’d hoped you and Jack would run into each other again, which, apparently, you did.” The doctor folded her arms. “Now that this is taken care of, we can all concentrate on our work again. And stop taking bets.” She frowned at Vala.
In disbelief Sam turned to her friend. “Bets?”
Vala flinched and gave her a guilty grin.
“Oh my God. You were making money off my relationship with O’Neill?”
“No. Absolutely not.” Vala shook her head, then swallowed visibly. “I was making money off your lack of a relationship with O’Neill.” She held Sam’s gaze, then sighed. “Fine. We’ll split the gain. You’ll get, let’s say, twenty percent?”
“Okay, Vala.” Daniel placed his hands on Vala’s shoulders and turned her to face him. “Remember what we talked about yesterday? About treating friends with respect? Not stealing artifacts from them? Or making inappropriate bets?”
“Well, what do you expect me to do if you won’t at least let me keep some of the loot we bring back from other planets.”
Daniel gave an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes. “For the last time, it’s not loot. They’re artifacts. Valuable witnesses of another time.”
“Okay, fine.” Vala almost pouted. “I’ll give the money back.”
Daniel cleared his throat, his eyes shifting between Vala and Janet. “You two better hope Jack doesn’t find out about this. You know how he feels about people meddling in his affairs. Or making inappropriate bets.”
“This can stay between us.” Sam folded her arms. “But from now on, if somebody meddles in my business, I’ll walk right up there to McKay’s tent and borrow the lightening gun from him. Understood?”
Janet and Vala nodded.
Later on in her work tent, when Sam remembered their guilty looks, she had to smile. She couldn’t really be mad at either of them. Vala was just being…well, Vala. And Janet had tried to help. Quite successfully. If her friend hadn’t lied about her tent not being available, she’d never have gone to sleep in Jack’s tent. She’d never have kissed him.
Her skin buzzed at the memory of his warm palms trailing over her bare skin, cupping her breasts. Heat shot through her.
She looked up from the report she was supposed to be writing, and picked up the little piece of technology she’d just finished analyzing. Why was it so hard for her to concentrate all of a sudden? Especially when her thoughts returned to his touch, his kisses. His crooked smile.
The tent flap rustled. Sam looked up. There he was, giving her that same crooked smile she’d just fantasized about. Her insides liquefied.
“Hi.” He strolled closer, hands in his pockets.
“Hi…sir.” Did she really sound a hint breathless, or was that just her imagination? She held his gaze.
“How are you?” He looked around her desk, then touched one of the larger artifacts standing on her table.
God, he looked even better this morning. “Good.”
“Yes. Very. Thank you for breakfast.”
“Think nothing of it.” His gaze intensified, then he cleared his throat. “So, if you want, you know… you could sleep in my tent again tonight… You don’t have to, but—”
“I’d like that.” Tingles fluttered in her stomach at the heated expression in his eyes. “A lot.”
For a long moment, they smiled at each other, then Jack shifted.
“Well, I actually have a meeting with SG-4 which starts in—” He looked down at his watch, then tapped it with his fingers as if trying to see if it was working right. “Three minutes ago.”
“Oh.” She straightened and raised her eyebrows. “Shouldn’t you be…?”
“Yeah. I just wanted to see how you’re doing.”
Affection flooded her. He really cared about her. It took a moment before he drew his eyes away from hers.
“Alright then, I’ll see you tonight?”
“Tonight.” She nodded with a smile.
When he’d left the tent, she took a shaky breath. Why did she suddenly feel so self-aware around him? And why did her body do all kinds of weird things now they were officially dating?
Jack tried to be as quiet as possible when he approached the sleeping bag. Damn, going through the mission report from SG-4 and filing everything had taken much longer than he’d wanted. It was past midnight.
Sam lay in his sleeping bag, curled up with her eyes closed and fast asleep. Warmth flooded him and he smiled.
Quickly, he undressed and then slid into their large bed. Her skin burned against his, and need shot through him. He couldn’t remember ever having want a woman as badly as he wanted her.
Her head jerked up, her short hair delightfully tousled as she looked at him, temporarily alert.
“Shh.” Jack placed a warm kiss under her ear. Her self-defense mode was undoubtedly the result of her training. Not to mention she’d probably never shared a bed with someone before.
Foggily, she stared at his face, then gave a satisfied hum and snuggled up to him. Her head on his shoulder, she drew a few lazy circles on his chest with her hand, then sagged back against him. He smirked and zipped up the sleeping bag to keep in the warmth.
Amazing, how fast one adapted to a situation. How had he ever slept without her beside him? After only one night, he was already addicted to falling asleep in her warmth, her scent, her body curling into his.
He wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes, burying his face in her hair. They’d take a bit of time off soon. Maybe a day or two. He wanted to make love to her, but not when they were pressed for time or her mind was busy with one of her experiments.
Once things calmed down a little, he’d take her up to his cabin for a little vacation. Soon.