Unlocked Doors von Merkaba

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Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate or any of the characters you recognize. I'm just borrowing them for entertainment. There is no monetary gain and no copyright infringement intended. The lines of dialog you recognize are from the show, the rest you don't recognize are from me.

AN: Thank you for reading! And thank you for all of the comments and reviews! I enjoy hearing what everyone thinks. Of Course thank you Gategirl7 for being an awesome beta! Any mistakes are mine and mine alone, probably added after I got the edited version back.

Chapter 4

"No Carter, don't apologize," he said, the anger gone as quickly as it had appeared. He looked sort of deflated. "It's OK," he assured her. "Strange day and all, I should leave you alone."

Seeing him unsure, it suddenly occurred to her that maybe he was as unsettled with things as she was. Maybe if they got the weirdness out of the way now, going back to work wouldn't seem so hard, awkward.

"Don't leave, Sir," she said, stepping aside. "Please come in." He studied her face for a second before seeming to come to some decision. He nodded once, stepping by her, but didn't go very far into the house. The Colonel looked less at ease than she could every remember seeing him. Sam shut the door and turned to where he stood in her front entry. The space suddenly felt very small with his 6' plus frame hovering. Jack was a big man. She didn't think about it much considering all of the guys on her team were big men, but having him taking up the space of her small hall while she stood with only a robe on, Sam couldn't help but feel the power radiate off of him. She suddenly felt small and vulnerable. Her body reacted instantly to the new thoughts. Warmth pooled in her belly. She fought the urge to pull the robe tighter around her.

"Back to Sir?" Jack questioned, rocking back on his heels and jamming his hands in his pockets. Sam's heart picked up. She wasn't sure how to answer that. She'd been the one to tell him that it was ok to leave things in the room, but he certainly hadn't argued about it. He'd seemed almost relieved. She had sort of assumed that's what he wanted. If it wasn't, he would have said something, approached her in some way. Either he didn't think things would work enough to try or the regulations kept him at bay, either way, leaving their newly admitted emotions hidden had obviously been what he wanted, so she'd taken the easy way out and assured him it was what she wanted too.

"Colonel?" her voice rose as his question caught her off guard. She didn't know what he was getting at or how to take what he'd just said. Was he holding against her that she had used his name to get him to turn around? Was he going to call her on it? Sam dismissed that thought. He wouldn't do that to her. It was her own jumbled emotions reading too much into the man's words.

"I don't know what you're asking me, Sir," she finally answered honestly. Sam watched him for a moment, trying to read him. She'd never been very good at it when he didn't want to be read, but today was different. He was intense. His body language was uncertain and tense. His emotions were swirling close to the surface and that was not the Colonel O'Neill she knew. She could see them in him as much as she could feel them in her. That intensity in him was making her nervous and her state of undress wasn't helping any. She needed to move, not stand so close.

"Would you like a beer, Colonel?" she asked. She didn't wait for his answer. Sliding carefully past him, Sam headed for her kitchen. He was right behind her. She reached the refrigerator and pulled two bottles from the shelf.

"Thanks," Jack took the beer she offered him and parked himself behind her breakfast island, leaning his arms on the counter. He rolled the bottle in his hands a few times before finally taking a swig.

He obviously wanted something or he wouldn't be standing in her kitchen, but Sam wasn't sure what to think. She'd learned to wait him out when he was thinking through something and besides she really had no idea what to say. God, had he decided he couldn't work with her considering what they had admitted? Had General Hammond reviewed the transcripts of Anise's interview and the team was being broken up? There were a lot of reasons for him to be coming to her house alone and most of them were not very good.

Sam put her beer down without drinking. The Colonel had his head down, intently studying his bottle. It gave her time to study him. He was a good looking man. He made her heart skip a beat sometimes, especially times where they were away from work. The words he'd said during the Za'tarc testing flashed through her mind. He cared for her way more than he should. Jack O'Neill had feelings for her. Sam closed her eyes. She had to stop thinking about him like that. Colonel Jack O'Neill was her commanding officer. That was all that it was ever going to be. He might harbor a few feelings, but that was a far cry from wanting to take a chance on being court marshaled by doing something about the feelings.

"I'm sorry you had to shoot Martouf, Carter." Jack finally met her eyes as he spoke. "It shouldn't have gone down that way. I should have stopped him." Sam's head popped up in surprise. She'd never have guessed he'd go there. Disappointment spiked through her, but she fought to not let it show. If she was being truthful with herself, she'd been hoping that he might be there for a more personal conversation.

"Not your fault, Colonel, we all did what we had to do. I was in the right position. I did what I had to do," she repeated, still not sure what he was getting at. "He wasn't the first person I've had to shoot in the line of duty, Sir," she pointed out, keeping her voice as normal as she could.

"Damn it, Carter," he sounded frustrated, and she could feel anger in him, see his body tight with tension. Unsure what she'd said or how to react to his mood, Sam couldn't help jumping when he slammed his beer down and rounded the corner of the kitchen bar. His movements were stalking, like a sleek jungle cat. Her body tightened in response.

When he stopped only inches from her, her heart sped up and bits of electric current fired down her spine to pool in her belly. She sucked in her breath at the reaction of her body to his. This is your commanding officer, she reminded herself, fighting to keep her thoughts professional. She'd never seen him like this before. He's your commanding officer, she reminded herself again. She was having a lot of trouble remembering all the reasons why she shouldn't touch him.

"Colonel, Sir..." he repeated harshly. "Is this how you want to see me?" He seemed to take a breath and pull back. She searched his face, but the emotion she'd glimpsed for a second was replaced with the mask she was used to seeing when he was protecting his thoughts. "That's not how you saw Martouf. Were you in love with the Tok'ra?"

"Jolinar was." Sam knew that was not exactly the answer he was looking for, but she was at a loss as to what he wanted or where he was going with all of this. Too many emotions were churning around inside her and she wasn't prepared for how strongly she was reacting to Jack O'Neill.

"That's not what I asked you." He wasn't going to let her get out of answering the question. Since when had her commanding officer pushed anyone when it came to feelings?

"I liked him," she started, considering her words and trying to explain how she felt to herself as well as to him. "I could feel Jolinar's love for him and at first it confused me, but no, I wasn't in love with him. But he didn't deserve to die like that." Jack seemed to accept her words. He nodded slightly before stepping closer to her. She didn't take a step backward, but she wanted to.

"What about me, Carter?" Jack's voice was low, but he was focused on her so intently that she couldn't have missed his words even if they'd only been a whisper.


The words were out of his mouth before Jack could stop them. Sam's face was the picture of confusion, but her eyes were dilated and her breathing had sped up the moment he'd stepped into her space. He registered her reactions automatically and they gave him hope. He wasn't sure what he was doing here or what he was going to say, but he knew he wasn't ok with leaving their newly confessed feelings locked away in some room. He needed to know why she wanted to do that. Was it because she didn't want him, his age, just the regulations, or another reason? He'd just ruled out Martouf.

"Sir," damn, there was that title again, her way of keeping him at a distance. He was beginning to hate that word, but he wasn't sure what to say. He wasn't really a man of words and less so when it came to feelings.

If the confusion in Sam's voice was any indication, she was as bad at this as he was. He searched his mind for something to say, anything. "Ah hell," Jack muttered, deciding words just weren't going to work. He needed to do something before Sam could finish her sentence and say something that might lead them in some direction he didn't want to go. Jack reached a hand to her cheek and brushed his thumb across her lips to silence her. The little half moan she made at his touch made him smile and his body tighten but more importantly, it gave him hope. He was in love with this woman. He'd realized that full force while watching her hold Martouf.

Following his instinct, Jack leaned in and settled his lips on hers. He intended to take things slowly, let her make the decision if she wanted the kiss to become more. At first, Sam didn't react like he'd hoped. She didn't move, just allowed him to kiss her. Disappointment hit him like a brick wall. Maybe he'd been wrong, maybe she was asking that they leave their feelings in that room because she didn't want him.

When Sam moaned low in her throat and stepped a little closer to him, Jack felt a weight lift off of him. He should have known she'd take a moment for her brain to hit neutral and her body to take over. The feel of her hands sliding tentatively around the back of his neck made his pulse jump.

Jack slid one arm behind Sam and flattened his hand at the small of her back, encouraging her against him as he deepened the kiss. It was Jack's turn to moan as Sam came willingly. She pressed her soft curves against him and opened her mouth to him in the same moment. All of his thoughts of being gentle and keeping things light flew out the window. Suddenly he felt like a man caught in the desert suddenly finding water. She felt so good in his arms and tasted like heaven. He slid a hand into her hair and angled her head to allow him better access.

The robe she was wearing was soft under his other hand and made him wonder at just how much she had on beneath it. Jack moaned and dropped his hand to her butt to pull her center closer against him as an image of them on top of her furry pink robe, naked, him buried to the hilt in her soft body assailed his senses.

Stop it O'Neill, he chided himself. God, if he didn't get hold of himself he was going to bend her over her kitchen counter and... Damn, he needed to get control of himself. As amazing as she felt in his arms, he couldn't just take her to bed. There was way too much at stake for them both. Reaching deep, Jack summoned all of his self discipline and pulled back from the intensity of their kiss. It had answered questions for him. It gave him the encouragement. They needed to talk.

Stepping back, Jack's heart skipped a beat at the dazed look on Sam's face. "Jack," her voice was as shaky as his insides felt.

"Better than Sir," he told her, unable to take his hands off of her completely. He liked the feel of her hair in his fingers almost as much as he liked hearing her call him by his name. At least they'd progressed that far. "I don't think keeping this in that room's going to work for me, Sam. I need to know if you really want us to leave this thing between us buried. It's up to you, but I thought you needed the facts."

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