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22.

"Samantha, I have a question," Martouf said, when they had gotten upstairs.

"Yes?" Sam opened the door to her room and motioned for him to follow her inside.

"What is 'brunch'? He asked, walking into her room after her.

Sam laughed. "A combination of the words 'breakfast' and 'lunch'. It just means a meal eaten somewhere in between the two, and instead of both. You eat brunch when you get up late and feel that you can just as well combine the two meals."

"Ah. That makes sense." He smiled. "It has been a wonderful holiday, here together with you and your family. I am very grateful to have been allowed to experience this with you."

Sam smiled. "I'm very happy you were here with me." She took his hands. "Really happy. It's been the best Christmas I have had in years."

They looked into each other's eyes for several moments, then both made the decision at the same time to lean towards each other. Their mouths met, and they kissed.

Sam closed her eyes and moaned softly as she leaned into the kiss, letting her tongue slide over his mouth, pushing against it. He parted his lips, and the kiss deepened.

They both jumped when someone knocked on the door.

"Sam?" a voice called from the outside.

"Damn, it's dad!" Sam whispered. "Yes?" she called out.

"I'll go to the bathroom. I will knock on the door here when I am finished. Goodnight." He told her in a low voice and smiled at her.

"Can I enter?" Jacob asked.

Martouf had closed the door to the bathroom silently, and Sam went to open the door to the corridor. "Sure. What's up?"

"Earlier today, Martouf mentioned that he had found something that might mean the Stargate program had been compromised. I didn't have time to ask him, but he said he had discussed it with you, and I just wanted to hear what you think. Also, he didn't answer when I knocked on his door." Jacob looked searchingly at her.

Sam rolled her eyes at him. "Subtle, dad! Yes, he was in here - asking about some things that had puzzled him tonight. As for the leak in the Stargate program... well, yeah, we actually talked about it the day before yesterday. I don't think it's critical at all, especially since the leak must have happened at least a year ago, probably longer, but I suppose it might be something we should check up on."

"Okay, so what is it? Martouf mentioned a book?"

"Yes. Mark has three books, printed between a year and two ago, that I think he probably got from cousin Annie. You know she likes the, ah, unorthodox."

Jacob snorted. "That's an understatement!"

"Well, you can ask Martouf to show the books to you - they're in his room. Anyway, they mention alien conspiracies - in a bit more detail than usual. There's also a picture of an alien that looks very much like an Asgard. And there is mention of Ra ruling Earth."

"I see. Well, there's always been some lunatics who talks about alien conspiracies, and the pyramids being landing platforms..." He grinned. "Of course, now I know better, and it really is true, but you know what I mean,"

"Yeah, no one is going to listen. Not a lot, anyway. Still, we should check it out."

"We should. I'll either bring back the books or write down the authors and titles and talk to George when I return. Okay, since it isn't urgent, I won't bother Martouf tonight," Jacob decided. "Goodnight!"

"'Night, dad," Sam said, closing the door after him.

She found her nightwear and prepared to go to the bathroom, but since she heard Martouf was taking a shower, she decided to take another look at the gifts she had gotten from Martouf and Lantash first.

She held up the dress again, and looked at it, smiling to herself as she thought about how well it had fit her and how much Martouf and Lantash clearly had enjoyed the sight of her in it. She decided she would wear it one of the days while they were visiting.

Putting it down over the back of a chair, she picked up the necklace she had been given. She held it up under the light, and admired it.

She had only just put it down when someone knocked softly on the door between the bathroom and her room.

"Samantha?" Martouf called out. "The bathroom is now available for use."

"Thank you, Martouf. Goodnight," Sam said.

"Goodnight."

She picked up her nightgown and went to take a shower, and prepare for bed.


Sam finished combing through her hair after toweling it dry, and then wiped the steam from the mirror. She looked at herself for a moment, before picking up her toothbrush.

While going through the rest of her evening routine, she considered something she had thought of on and of for the last couple of days.

The question was if she should try and start a relationship with Martouf and Lantash. She felt fairly certain they were interested - to some degree, at least. She was still confused about her own feelings - or rather, if what she felt was really her feelings, and not Jolinar's. She did not know - nor did she think she would ever truly be able to know. Her own feelings and Jolinar's were well and thoroughly mixed. Of course, that also meant it probably did not matter where the feelings came from. They were hers now.

She threw another glance at the door to Martouf/Lantash's room, then sighed and went to her own door. She pushed down the handle and was about to go to her own room to sleep, when she hesitated.

Now was as good a time as any to begin finding out if there was - or could be - something between her and Martouf and Lantash. She could at the very least see if they were open to the idea. Which, after the kisses, she was fairly sure they were.

She looked at herself in the mirror, wishing she had brought something... sexier. Then she smiled, thinking of how Lantash had reacted two nights ago, when he had seen her in the nightgown she now wore.

Her decision made, she rapped gently on the door to Martouf/Lantash's room - not wanting to wake them in case they were asleep.

"Enter," she heard Martouf's voice from inside.

She opened the door. "Hi." She smiled at him. "You weren't asleep?"

He shook his head, sitting up in bed. "No, not quite yet." He smiled, letting his gaze run over her, enjoying the sight of her, as she stood in the light coming from the bathroom.

"You're tired. Sorry. I shouldn't have come." She turned around to leave.

In a very short time, Martouf was out of bed, and had closed the distance to her. "I am not so tired that I cannot spend time with you, Samantha." He took her hand.

She turned around, and he caught her up in his embrace.

"Uh, that's... that's good," she said, finding herself pressed closely against him. She swallowed, and licked her lips, looking at his mouth.

He gave her a charming smile. "You are always very welcome." He kissed her.

Sam closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around him, returning the kiss.

When several minutes later they pulled back slightly, they were both breathing heavily.

Martouf's eyes flashed as Lantash took over. He kissed her again, and with such passion that it felt as if her head was spinning.

"Now, tell me why you came to my room," he murmured, looking at her with an intense expression in his eyes. "Did you come to talk, or..." His expression turned hopeful - and naughty at the same time. "To share my bed, perhaps?"

She flushed, but did not look away. "To... to share your bed," she said, looking into his eyes.

He made a sharp intake of breath, then smiled. "You have no idea how much that pleases us both to hear."

He pulled her in for another kiss, which she returned with equal intensity. Kisses and caresses quickly turned more passionate, and soon Lantash lifted her up and carried her to the bed.

It would be a long and wonderful night for all three of them.



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