"SAM!! Youíve ruined EVERYTHING!!"
The protesting voice rang out shrill and sharp, and Samantha Carter figuratively jumped out of her skin at the sound of it. Sheíd been lost in thought and not expecting an attack Ė even of the verbal variety. Surprised, her fingers turned to jelly and she promptly dropped the bag of cranberries sheíd been holding. And Ė of course Ė sheíd just opened the bag, so the little frozen berries jumped out of the constraints of the plastic to roll merrily across the kitchen floor. Truly, it was definitive evidence that the universe has a twisted sense of humor.
Sam took a deep breath, firmly ordering her heart rate to drop back down to something vaguely approaching normal. Completely confused, she looked over to the owner of the voice Ė a distinctly un-amused Cassandra. Storm clouds were definitely drifting across the girlís face. And Carter didnít have the foggiest idea what she could possibly have done to invoke the girlís wrath.
"Whatís wrong, Cass?" she asked, almost wincing at the helplessness all too evident in her own tone.
The teenager was nothing if not dramatic. Oddly enough, it seemed to be a nearly universal age trait Ė one of the most obvious and un-provable proofs that life forms throughout the galaxy had some very basic things in common. Cassandra nearly snorted, so great was her indignation. "Youíve totally ruined Thanksgiving!"
Nonplussed by such a serious accusation, Sam stared down at the cranberry covered floor, frowned, and then looked back up into angry eyes. Obviously forgetting that the initial outburst was the reason that there were tiny frozen berries all over the place, Sam offered, "Iím sorry, Cassie." She gestured obliquely at the mess. "It was just an accident."
Cassie rolled her eyes, set her hands on her hips, and assumed her best lecture stance. She actually looked like a responsible adult reprimanding a miscreant child, though the illusion was shattered the moment she opened her mouth. "Adults are like totally dense. Thatís SO not what I meant."
Sam waited patiently for further enlightenment. Her patience was not rewarded. When no explanation appeared to be forthcoming, she chewed her lower lip in thought, as though it would somehow help her grey cells function more efficiently. It didnít. She still had absolutely no idea why the girl was so worked up. They hadnít even celebrated the holiday yet, so she wasnít quite sure how she could have ruined it. Maybe Cass had wanted pumpkin pie for breakfast and was mad that she had to wait for it. Or maybe Ė in honor of the holidayís origins Ė sheíd wanted them to dress up as turkeys or pilgrims or something.
Thankfully, she was saved from further Ė even sillier Ė speculation when Janet Fraiser walked into the kitchen. The brunette took up a position behind her adopted daughter, placing her hands on Cassandraís shoulders. It wasnít immediately clear to Sam whether the gesture was intended to support the girl Ö or to restrain her.
"Cassandra, you know perfectly well thatís not fair. You know itís not Samís fault."
The words didnít seem to mollify the teen, but Sam at least felt vindicated. She still didnít understand the charges against her, but she felt better about her relative guilt to innocence ratio. She flashed Janet a grateful smile, then set about satisfying her curiosity, suddenly understanding the old saying about cats all too well. "So Ö whatís going on? What did I do?"
Cassie squirmed away from Janetís restraining hands and pulled away from her foster mother. Still in lecture mode, the girl elaborated, "Jack and Daniel and Tealíc arenít coming over for dinner."
Well, it certainly wasnít the best news Sam had ever heard, but it was light-years away from the worst. And it still didnít quite explain Cassandraís mood. But Carter decided to focus on the immediacy of the revelation Ö and its implications. She spared a glance at the counter, piled high with enough food to feed all of Luxembourg, and asked clumsily, "They arenít?"
Cassandra flashed her a glare, tinged with a touch of triumph at proving her point. "No, theyíre not. Theyíre having their own dinner, without us. Youíve ruined the holiday." A pout settled resolutely on the youthful face.
Several seconds later, Janet interjected a warning "Cassandra," by which time the point had been made, the damage done. It was another victory for the forces of delayed reactions.
Sam knit her brows, still quite thoroughly confused. Other than learning that she was to blame for current events, she still had no idea why it was all her fault. Deciding that maybe a direct approach might be the best, she shot off a series of questions, saving the best for last. "Why arenít they coming over? Donít we usually spend holidays together when we arenít working? And why is it my fault?"
Cassie rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed that Sam had yet to read her mind. Answering the last question first, she snapped, "Because you told them you were cooking dinner and they know you canít cook."
At the same time, Janet Ė who was clearly getting annoyed with the teen Ė caught Samís eye and countered emphatically, "Itís not your fault."
Sam shook her head in bewilderment. Sheíd clung to the hope that hearing the charges would clarify why she was to blame, but unfortunately, it hadnít done anything other than further confuse her. It really wasnít shaping up to be her day. She blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was, "Why is everyone so convinced that Iím a bad cook?"
Once again, the teenís mouth was in motion before Janet could voice a protest. Clearly, what the young lacked in experience, they made up for in speed. Cass sighed with long-suffering patience, "Because you told that warlord Turban guy that you were a lousy cook. Thatís what Jack said you told him." Left unsaid, but echoing clearly through the room nonetheless, was the insinuation that OíNeillís word was gospel. Never mind the fact that Sam had actually been a first hand witness to the referenced event.
Sam offered her own long-suffering sigh. Exchanging a glance with Janet, she noted the furrowed auburn brows, a definite sign that the other woman shared her feelings. Carter managed to let only the faintest trace of exasperation escape as she said, "First of all, it was Turghan, not Turban. A turban is a type of headdress, not a flea-ridden, obnoxious warlord. And secondly, has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe I was just saying that to convince him that I wasnít a good Ö um Ö Ďtradeí?" She could not hide the utter disgust in her tone at the way it felt to be treated like property. Even years after the incident, it still had the power to raise her blood pressure to alarmingly high levels.
Janet moved closer to Sam, laying a hand on the taller womanís arm in a gesture of support. Nodding vigorously, the doctor added, "I still canít believe anyone took that statement at face value." Granted, it had been a while since sheíd been in the field rather than the infirmary. But she distinctly remembered the concept of not giving your enemy anything that he, she, or it could use against you.
The look on Cassí face was the opposite of convinced. In fact, it took skepticism to whole new levels. Always quick with a retort, a charming trait sheíd picked up from many of the significant adults in her life, she shot back, "Then why do you always buy take-out? And why does Janet always cook whenever you come over here?"
Surprised by the vehement argument over such a minor issue, Sam stood dumbfounded, half wishing she was in the middle of something simple like a Goaíuld attack. At least there sheíd have some idea what she should be doing. But dealing with the many moods of Cassandra Fraiser was way out of her league.
Janet moved away from Sam and stepped closer to her daughter, the look on her face showing clearly that she just wasnít seeing the point of the pointless bickering. She didnít actually raise her voice, but her tone was sharp as aged cheddar. "Maybe she buys take-out because sheís too tired to cook after working 18 hours a day. And maybe she doesnít cook when she comes over because itís my kitchen and Iím the one who knows where everything is." She accentuated her next words with a pointing finger. "And you know perfectly well why they arenít coming over Ö and you know perfectly well it has nothing to do with Samís ability to cook Ö or lack thereof." She glanced at Sam again, finally giving the blonde the explanation that had so far eluded her. "The colonel wrenched his knee and is in a fair amount of pain. So Daniel and Tealíc decided it would be for the best if they went over to his house and spent the day with him there."
Sam murmured an understanding "Ah." Then it suddenly occurred to her that that still didnít explain why they werenít spending the holiday together. After all, while it would be a bit of an inconvenience to load all the food into the car and then have to unpack it all and reheat it and all that sort of thing, it certainly wouldnít be impossible. Actually, given the types of things the team usually found itself doing, it would be the height of simplicity.
Before Carter could inquire about that, Janet continued to lecture her daughter, fond exasperation in her tone. "Besides, young lady, Sam hasnít exactly been doing all the cooking. Just what do you think Iíve been doing all morning?" A suitably chastised look crossed the girlís face.
Janetís tone gentled at the obvious repentance and she turned back to face Sam as she continued the explanation. "The fact is that the guys just really want to spend the whole day watching football. They know from experience that I donít care for sports, and would rather spend the time together Ö well Ö together, rather than with half of the group staring at a screen. They were looking for a way to gracefully get out of coming over here; the colonel hurting himself was simply the best excuse they could come up with on short notice."
Sam couldnít hold back a snicker at that. As dearly as she loved her teammates, she knew all too well that they were not the most imaginative in the excuse department. The colonel could think fast under pressure when he was in the field, but the skill eluded him if it didnít involve guns and enemies and the threat of imminent death. Daniel had the imagination, but was an even worse liar than she herself was. And while Tealíc could lie with a straight face, he didnít see the necessity of it in a situation like this, so basically refused to do it.
The explanation did nothing to help Cassieís mood. She continued to mope, casting a dark glower across the room. "But I NEVER get to see them. Samís always here so I see her lots, but they hardly ever come to see me. And I like football too!" There was a definite whine in the last words, and both Sam and Janet winced at the grating sound of it. They conveniently forgot to mention moments like these in the "So You Want To Be A Parent" manual. Of course if they did, it might significantly help decrease the worldwide population, surpassing even the goals of the Zero Population Growth advocates.
Janet, politely ignoring the fact that her daughter had actually seen all three men three times in the past three weeks, spoke in a calm, measured tone. Only the faintest crease of her brows showed what an effort she was making to keep up the faÁade. "Well, Cassandra, if it simply ruins your holiday to have to stay here with me and Sam, why donít you call the colonel and ask him if you can go over and watch football with them." She heard the faint touch of sarcasm in her words, and looked up at Sam to see that the other woman had picked up on it as well. Ah well, she had a reputation to uphold Ö namely that her retorts were as sharp as her ubiquitous needles.
The teen seemed oblivious to the sarcastic undertones, or else she was so used to them that they didnít even register any more. Cassieís response came in the form of racing out of the kitchen, presumably on a direct path to the phone.
Sam sighed and shot an apologetic glance at Janet, then knelt down with a roll of paper towels in hand. She started herding the mushy little berries into a slimy pile, and said softly, "Iím sorry about the mess, Janet. Cass completely startled me." That was an understatement if sheíd ever heard one, but it was about the only statement she could come up with that didnít include an expletive. Not that she was shy about swearing; you couldnít work with Colonel OíNeill for long and not acquire a more-than-adequate supply of swear words. She just was trying to wean herself from the habit.
Janet knelt next to her friend and lover, lending her own hands to the cleanup process. She absolved Sam from guilt with the suitably dry, "Itís really not a problem. Her Highness has a knack these days for creating excitement." She paused, reflecting that maybe she should have substituted "drama" for "excitement, but then decided it didnít matter. After all, Carter was a highly trained astrophysicist, not a semanticist.
And as expected, Sam didnít even notice the perhaps imperfect phrasing. Instead, the blonde sputtered with laughter. Janet raised an eyebrow, though she wasnít surprised at the reaction. When she continued speaking, her tone remained dry as unbuttered toast. "The only thing I find remotely encouraging about her newly discovered sense of melodrama is that it shows sheís recovered remarkably well from her past traumas." That was certainly true enough; when Cassandra first arrived on Earth, the girl had been so polite and withdrawn and deferential that it had almost been impossible to deal with her.
And as if she sensed theyíd been talking about her, Cass flew through the kitchen doorway. Ok, so she didnít exactly fly, but she moved quickly enough to maintain that optical illusion. The girl skidded to a stop, cordless phone in hand, and somehow managed to avoid actually treading on any of the far-reaching cranberries. That last showed either her remarkable luck or her remarkable hand-eye-foot coordination.
Cass Ė apparently under the impression that the two women had somehow suffered profound hearing loss during the brief time sheíd been out of their presence Ė announced loudly, "Jack says that Iím welcome to come over and that I can spend the whole four day weekend with them. But he says he needs to check with you first." The barely disguised irritation in her voice made her feelings quite clear on the need to get permission aspect of things.
Janet reached out a red-stained hand for the phone, chastising quietly, "Thereís no need to yell; Iím only three inches away from you." An expressive teenage eye roll greeted that statement and the doctor squashed the urge to mimic the gesture. Somehow, she doubted that such an obvious display of sarcasm would do anything to help her parental situation.
Sam continued cleaning up the floor as Janet had a brief conversation with OíNeill. At least it was brief on her part, consisting mainly of her repeating "yes, sir", "uh-huh", and "if itís no trouble". It almost sounded like a broken record was playing. Cassie, meanwhile, seemed oblivious to the exchange, dancing around in her sock feet as if going over to the colonelís was already a fait accompli. Amazingly, she still didnít step on any of the few lingering berries.
Janet offered a barely audible sigh as she hung up the phone. Still kneeling on the floor as she looked up at her daughter, she mused that the position wasnít the most conducive to showing her parental control. Then again, considering that Cassandra towered over her by a few inches, looking up at the girl wasnít anything particularly new. She stifled a martyred sigh and said, "Itís ok, Cass; you can spend the weekend over at the colonelís. He said you could stay in the guest bedroom Ö heíll just make Daniel and Tealíc sleep on the floor."
Janet glanced down at her watch then looked back up at her daughter. "Daniel will be over in forty minutes to pick you up, so youíd better get your things packed." In an attempt to be a good mother, she didnít add the sarcastic reminder that it routinely took the girl an hour to just get ready to go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. On the spur of the moment, she decided to send her own mother a bouquet of flowers; she suddenly appreciated just how hard sheíd made things for her own parents when she was that age. It truly was a good thing that parents loved their children, otherwise there would be few who survived into adulthood.
The human whirlwind barely seemed to register the words as she blew out of the kitchen. Sam, who had been industriously cleaning throughout the entire conversation, pushed to her feet as the last of the berries were finally present and accounted for. She threw the lumpy, soggy mess of cranberried paper towels into the trash, washed her hands, and inquired eloquently of Janet, "So?"
The brunette shouldered Sam out of the way, shoving her own stained hands under the warm running water. Janet didnít even try to disguise her exasperation. "The colonel is smirking at me again." A martyred sigh came up from her chest, and this time she didnít try to hide it. "He and Daniel think itís HYSTERICAL that Cassandraís turned into the teen from hell. As far as theyíre concerned, sheís a DELIGHT to be around. Sheís always so helpful and obedient Ö polite and cheerful. Of course the guys never have ANY trouble with her."
Sam actually winced at the sharp edge in her loverís voice. Unfortunately, she knew the choice of word emphasis in Janetís sentences wasnít just exasperation at work Ö she could clearly imagine Jack OíNeill saying those exact things. Subtlety was not something the man had a talent for. Smirking, however, was a category in which he could win a gold medal.
Circling around behind Janet, Sam settled her hands lightly on tense shoulders and began a very gentle massage. Knowing that the other woman wasnít in the mood for empty platitudes (actually, she was never in the mood for meaningless reassurances, come to think of it), she said softly, "You know sheís still got a serious case of hero worship with those three. Thatís why she hangs on every word they say. Because youíre her foster mom and I play parent when Iím around, sheís past the point of thinking weíve hung the stars. She tunes us out because sheís gotten used to us." She couldnít help her automatic instinct to provide reassurance Ė empty or not Ė as she murmured, "Sheíll grow out of it, Janet. Itíll all be fine."
Janet felt safe to roll her eyes at the last phrase, since she knew perfectly well Sam couldnít see the gesture. In spite of herself, the words did make her feel better, and she mustered up a smile. Leaning back against Sam, she said softly, "I know. Itís just that the colonel is so Ö so Ö damn smug about it. They all are, even Tealíc." She tried and failed to keep the hurt out of her voice. "They think itís great that sheíd rather spend time with them than with us." Her hurt wasnít at Cassandraís choice of companions; it was with the companions who acted like they were competing for Cassandra. After all, it wasnít the guys who were there at three in the morning when the girl had stomach flu, or who had to rearrange their entire lives to fit in the needs of an emotionally scarred alien child. They just dropped by when they felt like it and missed all the hard parts.
Sam felt the tension flooding the woman in her arms, and searched for something Ė anything Ė to lighten the mood. She was all too aware of what dark alleyways Janetís thoughts could be going down. She pressed a light kiss to a soft earlobe and lowered her voice, trying to sound as conspiratorial as possible. Not that she had an innate knack for that, since she couldnít even lie with a straight face, but she tried nonetheless. "Well, this will be the longest period of time theyíve spent with her since her initial arrival on Earth. Weíll let them deal with her all weekend and see how smug they are by Sunday night."
The tone of voice fell completely short of suggesting a conspiracy, malicious thoughts, or even a simple childish prank. Instead, Sam sounded as innocent as a newborn lamb Ö though whether lambs were inherently any more innocent than other varieties of baby farm animals was a question best left unasked. Janet managed an evil laugh anyhow, knowing what the other woman had been trying to do, and letting her own tendency towards fiendishness balance out her loverís absolute ineptitude in that department. It would be an interesting test, since in the past two years none of the men had spent more than four hours with the teen. Four days ought to prove interesting.
Sam, hearing the laugh and assuming sheíd actually managed her goal of being conspiratorial, turned her attention to something that came far more naturally. She kissed Janetís ear again and whispered gently, "Besides, I have to admit that I like the idea of actually having some time alone. Itís been far too long."
Now that was something with which Janet agreed wholeheartedly. She couldnít even remember the last time she and her lover had actually had more than an hour completely to themselves. It was enough to make her wonder if sheíd done something particularly heinous in one of her past lives, since her luck in the romance department seemed tainted by some kind of Murphyís Law. Then again, maybe it was Samís bad karma. At any rate, the idea sounded incredibly good. "Mmmm," she managed to murmur, "you have no idea how much Iíd enjoy that."
A soft laugh greeted that declaration. "Oh, I donít know about that, Janet. I think I might have some idea how much youíd enjoy that."
Janet pulled neatly out of her loverís embrace and swatted her playfully on the arm, ignoring Samís mock yelp of pain. At least she thought it was a fake cry; she didnít hit that hard. At least not usually. Putting on her best stern face, she threatened, "Hmm Ö youíre going to pay for making fun of me like that." She lowered her voice to a soft whisper. "I might even need to spank you."
The blue eyes widened and Sam felt a sudden rush of warmth run through her body at the seductive statement. Ok, so it wasnít exactly the dictionary definition of seductive. But then again, Sam wasnít exactly a dictionary type of woman. She spent so much time with her head up above the clouds that she needed some intensity in lovemaking to bring her fully into the present moment. That need hadnít been met with any of her past lovers; they made the mistake of thinking that intensity and domination were the same thing. Janet, however, didnít.
Janet smiled as she drank in her loverís reaction. There were incredible layers of passion hidden under Samantha Carterís task-oriented, science-oriented, fact-oriented persona. And she thoroughly enjoyed finding each and every one of those layers. It was like her very own private treasure hunt.
Sam returned the smile, vaguely aware that she must be blushing because her cheeks felt warm. She was rapidly becoming very glad that the team wasnít going to be spending the holiday together. That thought suddenly kick-started her momentarily lust-stalled brain and she was reminded that Cass hadnít exactly left the house yet. The reminder caused her to pull her attention back to the very immediate, and she gestured obliquely at the counter behind them. "Well, if the guys arenít coming over for dinner, what in the world are we going to do with all this food? I donít think thereís enough space in the fridge to even store half of it."
The shift in mood wasnít too surprising to the doctor, since a sudden, loud burst of Sublimeís "Doing Time" made it all too clear that Cassandra was still in the house. It was the teenís unique way of ensuring that people never forgot her presence, as if being out of sight automatically made her out of mind as well. Janet shook her head and rolled her eyes, wondering for the millionth time why some people in the world insisted on playing mediocre music at high volume. She stepped towards the doorway, planning to go remind the teen that not everyone within a ten-mile radius enjoyed that particular type of music Ė her foster mother included. Right as she moved, the music dropped down to a more bearable level.
Sam couldnít resist a chuckle. "I wish I knew how you did that," she murmured softly.
Janet smiled up at her friend. "Canít tell you," she teased, "itís a trade secret." She stepped away from Sam and surveyed the food-laden counter, frowning as she realized for the first time just how much food they had. Apparently in the midst of their menu planning, the concept of moderation had been lost in translation. Either that, or theyíd thought they were feeding the entire air force. "Well," she said slowly, "my vote would be that we take a little bit for ourselves and ship the rest over to the colonelís." She laughed suddenly. "The colonel was even hinting about that, saying that there wasnít a lot of food at his house so they were going to have to order a pizza later." She sighed dramatically in imitation of the man. "Assuming, of course, that they can find a place thatís open on the holiday."
Sam snorted with laughter. "I can just hear him now, doing his best Ďwoe is meí impersonation."
Janet rolled her eyes, not bothering to confirm the all-too-accurate description. OíNeill had been taking lessons from Daniel in how to appear puppy-doggish. It was actually kinda cute, though she would never admit that to anyone. Well, maybe to Sam.
A loud crash and Cassandraís shouted, "Nothing broke!" shook Janet out of her musing. "I suppose I should go see how Her Highness is doing," she said. Sam nodded in understanding and moved towards the counter, mathematically working out the best formula for packing the food in the most efficient manner possible. Another crash made both women wince.
"Were we ever really that young?" Sam asked rhetorically as Janet raced out the door in search of her daughter.
"Would you stop that?" Sam swatted Janetís hands away and concentrated on not dropping her wine glass. Her entreaty went unheeded and she was forced to set her glass on the carpet and defend herself. "I mean it, Janet; stop tickling me!"
The woman in question just offered her best Cheshire cat grin and continued running her fingers lightly over the ticklish spots on her loverís abdomen. Since Sam was sitting on the floor in front of the fire and Janet was essentially sitting in her lap, the blonde was basically trapped. And the doctor wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation. She had no intention of pushing it too far, knowing that Sam was one of those people for whom tickling could turn into torture. She just was enjoying the way her lover was giggling and squirming beneath her.
Janet batted her loverís defending hands away with one hand, using the other to gently attack a newly exposed vulnerable area. As a doctor, she knew clinically which areas of the human body were particularly responsive. As Samís lover, she knew intimately which areas of the other womanís body were extremely sensitive. She had an unfair advantage, and she knew it. She just didnít happen to care.
Sam panted for breath through her giggles, writhing almost helplessly under her loverís attack. She couldnít quite manage to grab hold of the tormenting hands, too busy trying to fend them off. Finally, she managed to trap Janetís hands and rolled over, taking the brunette with her. She placed the other woman gently on her back and straddled her, trapping her hands above her head. Oddly, Janet didnít seem too bothered by her unaccustomed position.
"Now Ö will you stop?" Sam asked, her breath coming hard. It had been a long time since theyíd ended up in an impromptu wrestling match and she was surprised at how much energy it took. Good thing the Goaíuld had never heard of the concept of tickle fights. "Do you give up?" she asked, not willing to release her grip on the fiendish hands until she was sure Janet was going to stop molesting her. Well, molesting her in a bad way, she amended to herself.
Janet offered a dramatic sigh. She had no intention of continuing the tickle match, but she absolutely hated giving in. Stubbornness tended to run in her family. She sighed again and the melodrama in her tone showed that Cassieís proficiency with that particular trait was partly an acquired skill. "I donít exactly have a lot of choice. I have to acquiesce if I want to extricate myself from this situation." She sighed yet again, showing that she subscribed to the "third timeís the charm" school of thought.
Sam laughed and released her hold on her loverís wrists, though she didnít bother to move off of the other woman. She leaned down and captured Janetís lips in a slow, sweet kiss. Sighing in contentment, she pulled away and said softly, "This is one of the many reasons I love you, Janet Fraiser. Iíve always been attracted to women with big vocabularies."
Moving almost as quickly as the speed of thought (which, of course, varies from person to person), Janet arched up and pushed back. Due to the element of surprise, she managed to throw her lover off of her and roll her over onto her back. She straddled the taller woman, pinning her hands above in her head, holding Sam in the position sheíd been in just moments before. Sheíd had the blonde in this position many times before and knew just how to balance her weight to keep the woman held securely.
There was a wicked gleam in brown eyes as Janet commented thoughtfully, "Youíll notice I never actually surrendered."
Sam shivered slightly at the erotic promises glimmering in her loverís eyes. "Semantics," she murmured softly. Was it getting hot in here, or was she just imagining things? "Um," she managed eloquently. There was a snicker from the woman above her and she felt Janetís sock-clad foot caressing her outer thigh. It was definitely getting hot Ö apparently global warming had come all at once to Janet Fraiserís living room. She tried again. "Um Ö" Success in speaking seemed to be a suddenly elusive goal.
Janet leaned down, her hands tightening on her loverís trapped wrists, her lips brushing softly against the blondeís. She felt Samís mouth open under her touch and she gently traced the outline of full lips with the tip of her tongue. "Mmmm," she exhaled before deepening the kiss, her tongue slowly Ė luxuriously Ė exploring the warm wetness of her loverís mouth. She only pulled away when the need for oxygen became imperative. Using her thumbs to caress her loverís trapped wrists, Janet whispered, "Do you surrender to me?"
Sam still couldnít master the simple art of language; she simply inhaled sharply and nodded.
"I want you to lie still and let me undress you," Janet commanded gently. She felt her heart beat faster at the absolute trust and love shining in Samís expressive eyes. Releasing her hold on her loverís wrists, she trailed her hands down the curve of the womanís arms, then down the sides of her body. It didnít surprise her that the other woman left her hands above her head. Despite her occasional moments of insubordination, Sam could be very obedient when the mood struck her.
Sam felt herself shiver slightly as Janetís hands traced the contours of her body. It had been far too long since theyíd had the time to themselves to just play and explore each other. She felt her lover slowly and deliberately removing her clothing, and a blush rose to her cheeks. Even after all this time, she felt embarrassed about being naked in front of Janet. She was all too conscious of her scars, of her various imperfections.
When she saw the flush of pink rise in the blondeís face, Janet knew exactly where her loverís thoughts had gone. She finished unclasping Samís bra, moving the fabric away from the womanís body, and then lightly traced over the newly revealed flesh. Leaning down, she gently kissed the warm skin. "Youíre beautiful to me, Sam. I donít want you to be perfect. Perfection is boring."
That earned a soft, nervous laugh from the blonde. Unable to resist the opening sheíd been given, Sam actually managed to formulate a complete sentence. "Well then, youíve definitely come to the right person. Iím pretty flawed."
Janet raised a wry eyebrow at that, unbuttoning her loverís jeans as she commented. "Itís a miracle. She speaks." She heard a gasp as she tucked her fingers in the edges of the denim fabric and the softer cotton of the womanís underwear and tugged the garments down over narrow hips. But she ignored it in favor of continuing the conversation. As far as she was concerned, words were one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs on the planet. "I know Iíve come to the right person." She pressed a kiss to Samís newly bared hip, her fingers working the jeans down her loverís long legs. "Thereís no one in the world Iíd rather be with, Sam."
Sam shivered hard with arousal as the dexterous fingers slid down her body. Within moments, she was completely bared to the hungry eyes of her lover. It made her feel uncomfortably vulnerable, considering that Janet was somewhat overdressed for the occasion, but it was also arousing as hell to have her fully clothed lover caressing her. She was pretty sure she didnít want to know what a Freudian would make of that.
She still didnít move, letting Janet set the pace, knowing that it thoroughly aroused her lover to be in control during their lovemaking. Sam groaned, feeling heat and need building in her veins as sharp teeth bit down on an extremely sensitive spot on her breast. "God, Janet," she breathed sharply. "Youíre amazing." She groaned again as a harder, longer bite in the same spot sent a surge of warmth flooding through her body. It never ceased to amaze her that Janet could give her the type of intensity she craved without trying to demean her in the process. That had been the problem in past relationships; theyíd wanted to control her outside of the bedroom.
Sam gasped slightly as she felt Janetís slick tongue glide across her stomach and she was suddenly aware of just how much she loved this amazing, intelligent, talented woman. "Do you have any idea," she said softly, "how grateful I am that youíre a part of my life? Youíre everything Iíve ever wanted in a partner."
Janet felt her heart melting at the love and sincerity threaded through the softly spoken words. She still couldnít believe the luck that had caused her path to cross with Samantha Carterís. She whispered against soft skin, "Well, sweetheart, you arenít the only one. Iím pretty damn thankful to have you in my life. Youíre a wonderful person Ö and everything I could have wanted." She reached up, caressing Samís cheek with her fingertips, smiling softly as she felt the blush-warmed skin. The blondeís reaction to compliments was incredibly cute.
Squirming slightly in embarrassment at the kind comments, Sam tried to find a way to divert the attention off of her. "Well," she started, her voice husky with the arousal burning in her blood, "I guess weíve found an appropriate way to celebrate the holiday Ö our own little ritual of giving thanks."
Janet shook her head at the forced pun. While it was true that she adored wordplay as a form of foreplay, this was a bit beyond the pale. She stretched up and dropped a kiss in the hollow of Samís throat, murmuring, "Oh, that was bad. Quick, but bad."
The blonde chuckled. "Do I get any points for being quick?"
A sharp nip in a sensitive spot answered that question. It was an affirmative answer. Janet grinned as her lover arched up in response, her breathing heavy. "All the points you can handle," she promised in a low, sensual growl. She let her hand slide down to caress the smooth skin of Samís stomach, just barely dusting low enough to make the woman whimper with need. "In fact," she continued, her hand teasing her lover, "you deserve to be rewarded."
She saw the questioning look in the lust glazed blue eyes and laughed softly. "Well, mídear, I know Cassandra thinks youíve ruined the holiday, but I happen to think youíve made it perfect. You deserve a reward for ruining things for everyone else."
Sam groaned, but this time it wasnít from arousal. "I think that was worse than what I said," she complained softly. Given that Janet was the queen of sarcasm and repartee at the SGC, it wasnít often that she said something quite so Ö so Ö bad. Seeing the wicked gleam in her loverís chocolate brown eyes, she hastily added, "Not that I mind the idea of some accolades."
A quick slap against her buttock made Sam quiver. She felt a surge of warmth rush through her, and whimpered softly as Janetís hand rubbed lightly over the red mark sheíd made. It hadnít been hard enough to really hurt, but there was something incredibly erotic about feeling the sting and having a gentle hand soothing away the discomfort. It was definitely intense.
Janet pressed a kiss to the underside of Samís breast and then kissed her way up to capture her loverís lips. "I love it when you use those big words Ö makes me feel all fizzy and carbonated inside," the brunette murmured, nipping lightly at the blondeís lower lip. "And donít worry, youíll definitely get your reward," she whispered, her voice throbbing with arousal. "Happy Thanksgiving, love."
Sam managed to reciprocate with a "Happy Thanksgiving" before Janetís lips, teeth, and hands once again made coherent speech impossible.
Really, itís the end.
Sorry, thatís about as explicit as I get <g>.