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18.

"See what I said?" Mark remarked to Jacob as soon as both Sam and Martouf/Lantash were out of the room.

"What?" Jacob asked.

"Sam and Martouf. They're obviously interested in each other! Look at what he bought for her! I mean, that dress..."

"Not to mention the necklace and earrings - gold and a huge sapphire!" Marian remarked. "And she bought him clothes too!"

"And then there's the kiss they shared yesterday," Mark reminded them.

"Under the mistletoe," Jacob said. "It's traditional."

"Really, dad? That kiss had passion!" He shook his head. "I think my little sister is in love. He definitely is."

"Okay, maybe you're right," Jacob said. "I'll talk to him about it later."

"Dad! That's not what I meant!" Mark exclaimed. He shook his head. "There's still a gift here for you - from Sam and Martouf. Feels like a sweater or something!" He handed it to Jacob.


"It's really beautiful!" Sam said, looking in the mirror in her room. She touched the necklace. "The sapphire is huge, did you really find it?"

Lantash nodded. "I did. When we use our tunnel crystals, we will regularly find gold, silver, and other minerals - and also often gemstones. Often the gemstones will lie on the floor in the tunnel after it has been constructed, but we also have special tunnel crystals to dig for valuables, since we need them to pay for anything from food and clothes, to setting up an operative as a minor Goa'uld."

"Nice - and it makes sense, actually." She smiled at him. "Thank you, Lantash - and Martouf. It was really sweet of you." She held the dress up in front of her. "I think it really does go well with the necklace and the earrings."

"Try it on?" Lantash suggested. He went and closed the door. "No one else sees you now." He gave her a cheeky smile.

Sam rolled her eyes at him, but smiled. "Okay - turn around, and I'll try it on. Scoundrel!"

"Scoundrel?" He grinned, but did as she asked.

Sam quickly took off her sweater, shirt, and jeans, and pulled the dress over her head. It slipped on easily, and when she had closed the belt, it fit her perfectly.

She looked at herself in the mirror, and let her hands slide down over the dress. "Wow, it's really beautiful - and very soft."

"You are beautiful," Lantash murmured, looking at her with a rapt expression

"Thanks." She smiled at him, and went to give him a warm hug. His arms came up to embrace her too, and they held each other closely.

He looked at her with a very intense expression. She kissed him, and he immediately responded, moving his lips against hers. He pushed his tongue against her mouth, and she parted her lips, very willing to deepen the kiss.

When Sam eventually pulled back, she looked into his pale blue-grey eyes, which had become dark from obvious arousal.

"Samantha..." he began, his voice a little hoarse. However, whatever he was going to say was interrupted when someone knocked on the door.

"Sam? Martouf? Are you in there?" Mark's voice asked from outside.

Lantash swore something in Goa'uld, in a low voice, and Sam smiled at him, and gave him a quick kiss.

"Yes, we're in here!" Sam called out. "I'm trying on my new dress!"

"Ah. Can I come see?" Mark asked.

Sam hesitated for a moment, not sure she wanted anyone else to come in right then, or to look at her in the dress. However, Mark was her brother. "Yeah, sure." She stepped out from Lantash's embrace.

*Do something about the bulge in our pants before her brother enters!* Martouf warned.

*Why would I care that he sees I desire his sister?* Lantash sighed, but took a quick step to the side, hiding partially behind a chair, just as Mark entered.

Mark looked immediately at Sam, smiling. "Wow, nice dress, sis!" He looked to Lantash. "I can understand why you gave it to her!"

"The colour suits her very well, yes," Lantash said, remembering to hide the distortion in his voice again.

"Thanks, guys!" Sam smiled. "I think I'll get back into more, ah, ordinary clothes, though. This is for a... different occasion."

"Or perhaps an occasion with fewer guests," Mark said, giving Lantash a suggestive look. "Anyway, Marian feels it's time for lunch, and I agree. She's preparing it right now."

"We will join her, so she does not have to cook for all of us herself," Lantash said.

Sam nodded. "Yeah, we'll be back down in a moment."

"Okay. See you." Mark left.


After eating lunch, they had all helped doing the dishes, so there would be enough space in the kitchen for making dinner.

They would be having roast turkey for dinner, with several side dishes, but Marian had prepared ahead of time and much of it just needed reheating.

"I just put the turkey in the oven now. It's a pretty big one, almost 18 pounds, so it'll take about 4 ½ hours to cook," Marian said.

Jacob whistled. "That's a big bird! There'll be plenty of leftovers!" He smiled happily.

Marian smiled. "Exactly!"

"Can we play a game?" William asked. "All of us?"

"Yes, a game!" Lisa squealed. "Please?"

"Okay, sure. We can play a game," Jacob said, smiling. "What would you like to play?"

William and Lisa looked at each other, and then at Jacob.

"Pictionary!" William exclaimed.

"Uno!" Lisa insisted. "Or Snakes and Ladders!"

"Or memory game. Memory game is good!" William said.

"Maybe we can play all of them?" Lisa asked, hopefully.

"I... think that'll be a bit too much," Mark said.

"Especially if you want me to participate. I've got to go check on the turkey now and then, and in a few hours I have to start getting everything ready for the dinner," Marian said.

"We'll help you," Sam promised. "Then it won't take so long."

"Besides, I have seen how many different dishes you are preparing. It would not be fair if you had to do all that on your own," Martouf added.

Marian smiled. "That's really nice of both of you."

"Mom, you get to pick the game then!" William said. "Since you've got stuff to do."

"The first game at least," Lisa added. She smiled sweetly at her mother. "Mom, can we please have some of the Christmas candy? The caramel corn maybe?"

Marian laughed. "You're a little rascal! Okay, let's do Pictionary then. It's always fun. Run and find the game, then I'll get some oranges, nuts, and figs we can nibble on... and maybe some of the peppermint bark and the caramel corn."

"It sounds delicious - and extremely sweet. I'm going to go and get some water to drink to it," Jacob said.

"That's actually a good idea. You want some too, Martouf?" Sam asked.

"Yes, please."



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