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The instant Daniel's lips touched hers, Sam's whole body froze.  She didn't move, she didn't breathe, it even felt like her heart stopped as the sensation of Daniel's mouth on hers sent electricity surging through her body.  She was too stunned and far too overwhelmed to even think of responding to the kiss.

The kiss had lasted for about three seconds when Daniel's inner voice yelled at the top of its lungs.  With a gasp, he jerked back and leapt to his feet, stumbling away.  "Oh, God!  I'm sorry, Sam.  I'm so sorry!  I shouldn't have done that!"  He strode away across the room and wrapped his arms around himself.

Sam said nothing, still in shock.

"I should have known this would be a bad idea, staying here with you," Daniel continued in a low, agonized voice, his back to Sam.

Sam finally found her voice.  "Daniel, what are you saying?  What's going on here?"

The archeologist shook his head.  "Nothing.  Just forget I said anything.  Forget that happened."

"Daniel, you can't honestly expect me to just forget it and pretend that it didn't happen.  What is this all about?"

Daniel let out a long, shaky sigh and finally turned around.  He met her eyes.  "Don't you know, Sam?  Haven't you figured it out?  I'm in love with you.  I have been for a very long time."

For the second time, Sam went utterly still as her lungs ceased functioning for several seconds, her mind whirling crazily.  Rendered speechless for the second time, she stared in shock at Daniel.

Seeing the look on Sam's face, listening to her silence, Daniel felt his heart take a long, agonizing drop into his shoes.  Realizing that he'd made a horrible mistake, he took a step backwards toward the door.

"I'm so sorry," he whispered.  Then he escaped out the door.  Seconds later, he was in his car and peeling away from the curb.  He had no idea where he was going or what he was going to do.  He just knew that he had to get away from Sam and that look on her face . . . and the knowledge that he had probably just ruined one of the best friendships he'd ever had.

Sam was still sitting on the couch, unmoving, several minutes after the linguist had left.  Daniel was in love with her.  The thought was still making her head spin.  It was unbelievable, earthshaking.

"Daniel is in love with me," she repeated aloud.

Finally, the initial shock wore off, and Sam attempted to get her brain working.  What was she going to do about this?  How did she feel about it?  She had no clue about the first question.  As for the second . . . how did she feel?  Sam thought about it, analyzed her feelings, and discovered that she was not upset, not even a little bit.  In fact, there was this tight, trembling feeling inside her, sort of like what you feel when you're keyed up with anticipation over something you are really looking forward to.  But what did that mean?

Sam got to thinking about the things that had taken place over these past seven days, things Daniel had said, and not said, the way he had acted at times, and it all suddenly made sense.  This is what had been bothering him.

All at once, the full impact of what just happened hit Sam, the look on Daniel's face, the anguish in his eyes and voice.  What must he be thinking?  He probably believed that he had just destroyed everything.

Sam grabbed the phone and was about to dial Daniel's cell when she noticed it sitting on the coffee table.  She dialed his home number instead.  The answering machine picked up.

"Daniel?  Daniel, it's Sam.  If you're there, please pick up.  We need to talk."  When only silence answered her, she sighed.  "Please call me, Daniel.  Please."  Sam hung up the phone, terribly worried about her best friend and wishing that he was there with her now.

Daniel wandered aimlessly around Colorado Springs, his mind bombarded with thoughts of what had just happened, each thought sending more pain through his heart.

'Stupid, stupid, stupid!' he berated himself.  'What possessed you to do that?  What were you thinking?'  The problem was that his brain had not been in control.  He'd let his emotions take over and run away with every shred of common sense he possessed.  She was just so beautiful, so desirable.  And that kiss.  Even though Sam had not responded, the kiss had filled Daniel with wonder and sent energy zipping through his whole body.  It had felt so good.  But the price of that kiss was far too high.  She knew now, knew that he loved her.  And she didn't love him back.  How were they going to get past this?  How could it possibly not affect their friendship and their ability to work together?  Every time she looked at him from now on it would be with the knowledge that he had these unrequited feelings for her.

"What am I going to do?" Daniel asked the emptiness of his car.

Suddenly feeling so very tired, Daniel made his way home.  He couldn't go back to Sam's place.  Sometime before he was due back at work he'd have to get his stuff from her, but he simply could not bear the thought of seeing her right now.  Maybe it would be better tomorrow . . . or maybe he'd just send her an email and ask her to bring the stuff with her when she came to work on Monday.

Daniel was filled with dread over what the end of the weekend would bring.  How was he ever going to face her at work?  Did he have any leave available?  Maybe he could take it now.  SG-1 would be on stand-down until Sam was well enough to go back on active duty.  Maybe in a couple of weeks, he'd have the courage to face her.

The light on Daniel's answering machine was blinking, but he didn't feel up to listening to any messages.  Instead, he sat heavily on his couch, bowed head resting in his hands.  The minutes ticked by as he sat there, his eyes burning with tears that he refused to allow freedom.  Somehow, he was going to have to fix things with Sam and try to get them back to the way they were before.  He could not lose her friendship.  They had to work this out somehow.  Right now, he just didn't know how.

Sam took what was left of her ice cream into the kitchen and poured it down the sink.  She mechanically rinsed out the dish, not really thinking about what she was doing.  Her mind was on the kiss.  She could lie to herself until she was blue in the face, but the truth was that kiss had affected her in a big way, and not just with shock.  She'd felt charged with electricity, and it had been a very good feeling.  What would it have felt like if she had actually responded to the kiss?  What would it feel like to have his tongue inside her mouth, to have his hands on her body, to make love with him?  Would the reality be anything like the dream?  Sam felt herself starting to grow warm at that thought.

What the hell was happening to her?  A week ago, she'd never have imagined that she would be having these kinds of thoughts about Daniel.  A week ago, her fantasies all starred Pete.  That thought made her think of her boyfriend, which, in turn, made her feel guilty.  Here she was, in a romantic relationship with one man, and she was thinking about making love with another.  She shouldn't be doing this, yet she couldn't stop herself.  All she could think about was Daniel and how much she wished he was there right now so that they could talk and . . . and what?  She didn't know.  All she did know was that they needed to get this straightened out.

Sam went to the phone and called Daniel's number again.  There was still no answer.

"Daniel, it's Sam again.  I hope you're all right.  I'm worried about you.  Please talk to me.  I'm not mad at you.  It's going to be okay.  We just need to talk."

Still receiving no answer, Sam hung up.  Too wired to sit still, she paced around the room, barely noticing the ache in her leg.  She began to berate herself for the way she reacted to the kiss.  If she had said something instead of just sitting there, gaping at him like a landed fish, Daniel would still be here, and they could have talked everything out.  Now, he was out there alone somewhere, probably thinking that he'd ruined their friendship.  He could be driving around, distracted, not paying attention to what he was doing.  What if he got into an accident because he wasn't thinking clearly?

The more Sam thought about it, the more upset and worried she got.  Another half-hour passed and, desperate, she called again.

"Daniel, please pick up.  Please let me know you're all right," she begged, nearly crying.  "I'm still your friend, Daniel.  Please don't think otherwise.  You didn't do anything wrong."  Silence.  "Please, Daniel!  I need to talk to you."  Sam's voice caught on a sob.  She was just getting ready to hang up when she heard a click.  "Daniel?"

When the phone rang, Daniel made no move to pick it up.  He was not really surprised when he heard Sam's voice over the speaker, but the tone in that voice did surprise him.  She sounded frantic, on the verge of tears.

"Daniel, please pick up.  Please let me know you're all right."

Daniel stood and went to the phone, listening to her talk.

"I'm still your friend, Daniel.  Please don't think otherwise.  You didn't do anything wrong," she told him, which sent a wave of relief through him.  At least he hadn't destroyed their friendship completely.

There was a brief silence, then, in an agonized voice, Sam cried, "Please, Daniel!  I need to talk to you."

It was the pain in Sam's voice and the little sob she gave afterwards that made Daniel pick up the receiver.

"Daniel?" Sam inquired shakily.

"Sam," Daniel said, his voice low and thick with unshed tears.

"Oh, thank God you're safe.  I was worried about you.  Daniel, we need to talk about what happened."

"I'm so sorry, Sam.  I never intended to . . . to do that.  I never meant for you to find out how I felt."

"Daniel, please come back.  We need to talk face to face.  We have to get this worked out."

"I can't, Sam, not tonight."

"Daniel, this can't wait.  We need to talk about this.  Please.  If you don't want to come here, I'll go over there."

Daniel fell silent.  The thought of seeing Sam tonight was almost more than he could bear, but it was clear that she was not going to leave him alone.  "All right," he sighed.  "I'll be over in a while."

"Okay.  And, Daniel?  It really is all right.  I promise."

After he hung up the phone, Daniel sat on the nearest chair for several minutes, trying to calm himself.  Then he went to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face, standing bowed over the sink for several more minutes.

Knowing that he was as ready as he'd ever be, he headed for Sam's.  The closer he got, the tighter the knot in his stomach grew until, by the time he pulled up in front of her place, he was feeling physically ill.  He went up to the door and knocked, too ill-at-ease to just walk in.  Sam answered the door a few seconds later.  She tried to meet his eyes, but he kept his gaze on the floor.  Without a word, she stepped back and allowed him to pass.  He walked over to the fireplace and stood staring at it, arms wrapped tightly around himself.

"Daniel, I. . . ."  Sam's voice petered off, and she gave a short laugh.  "Now that you're here, I don't know where to start."  She took a deep breath.  "Daniel, about what happened.  I understand.  Really I do.  I'm not upset, and I'm not angry.  It just surprised me.  I had no idea you felt that way.  No clue.  You hid it really well."

"That was the whole idea," Daniel admitted quietly.  He took his glasses off and laid them on the mantle.  Rubbing a trembling hand across his eyes, he drew in a deep, unsteady breath.

"Because you thought it would ruin our friendship if I knew," Sam guessed.  Daniel did not reply to that.  "It wouldn't have, Daniel.  We'll always be friends.  Nothing would change."

Daniel turned to her.  "How can you say that, Sam?  How can you stand there and claim that nothing would change?  You know that's not true.  From now on, every time you look at me, you'll think about the fact that I am in love with you and you don't feel the same way.  You'll never feel comfortable being alone with me again.  Every time I touch you or you touch me, it'll be the first thought that comes to your mind.  You'll never be able to be just my friend, because always in the back of your mind you'll be thinking about the fact that I want to . . . to be with you."  Daniel turned away again.  "It'll never be the same."

Sam gazed at Daniel, feeling his pain like it was hers, wanting more than anything in the universe to take that pain away.

It was then that, in a single moment of blinding brilliance, everything suddenly became so very clear.  All the pieces of her life seemed to fall into place as the truth of her feelings hit her.  How could she have been so blind?  How could she not have known this, not have realized that, somewhere along the way, she had fallen completely in love with her best friend?

'You are such a fool, Sam,' she told herself.

Sam walked up to him.  "Daniel, please look at me."

For a very long time, he did not comply, then, finally, he turned to her.  She gazed deeply into his anguish-filled eyes for a long moment.

And then she kissed him.

Daniel stiffened, a sharp gasp escaping him, too stunned to move.  As Sam drew away, he stared unbelievingly into her eyes, searching desperately for what her actions seemed to imply.  And then he saw it.

"Oh, God, Sam," he whispered.

Click here to go to PG-13 version of the remainder of this chapter.

An instant later, his hand curled into the hair at the back of her head, and he crushed her to him, his mouth taking hers.  Whereas their first kisses had been gentle, this one was hot, hungry and demanding.  Daniel plunged into Sam's mouth with an almost pained moan.  She let loose with her own moan and returned the kiss with equal fervor.  Their tongues tangled frantically, delving deeply into each other's mouths.

The kiss went on forever, neither one of them willing to break it.  Lost in the sensations surging throughout his body, Daniel tilted Sam's head at a greater angle and delved into her mouth even more deeply, eliciting a groan from her.  She dug her fingers into his hair and held him to her, high on the taste of his mouth and the feelings that were thrumming through her.

Feeling like they were on fire, their hands soon joined the impassioned search, moving across each other's bodies with ever increasing boldness.  Daniel's hand slid down and cupped Sam's bottom firmly, pulling her against him.  She lifted her leg and wrapped it around his thigh.  A moment later, Daniel's other hand joined the first and lifted her up.  Her legs went around his waist.  In the next instant, she was up against the wall.  She pressed herself against him, feeling his need for her, which was equaled by her own.

Daniel's lips left hers and inscribed a fiery trail down Sam's neck.  She threw her head back, glorying in the feeling.  She knew she shouldn't be letting this happen.  They were going way too fast.  But, God, it felt so good, so right.

When one of Daniel's hands cupped Sam's breast she let out a low groan and arched her back, pressing herself into his palm.  Her breath was coming in sharp pants, heat flashing through her body like little nuclear detonations.  She was totally out of control, her desire burning away all thoughts of stopping what they were doing.  She wanted this.  She wanted it so badly that there was no question of putting a halt to it.

Daniel had lost all hope of controlling himself.  The feeling of Sam's body against his, the taste of her mouth and skin, had driven him over the edge of reason.  He wanted her, needed her so badly that it was all he could think about.  In fact, he'd pretty much stopped thinking and was just feeling . . . and it felt so very amazing, so very, very right.

Letting his need control his actions, Daniel slipped his hands beneath Sam's top, touching the smooth softness of her skin.  Moments later, his questing fingers found the catch of her bra and released it.  He pushed the material aside, fingers caressing and stroking, learning the contours of the soft mounds of flesh beneath.  Suddenly needing to see them, he braced her against the wall with his hips and legs and pulled her top up over her head, taking the bra with it.  He filled his eyes with the sight.

"You are so beautiful," he said low in his throat, lovingly cupping his hands under her breasts, his thumbs stroking the tips.  He then lowered his mouth to consume her right nipple.  Sam cried out, fisting her hands in his hair as he suckled upon her.

Assailed by the need to feel his skin against hers, Sam somehow managed to yank Daniel's sweater off.  The distance between them closed, and they were skin upon skin, their mouths once again feeding off each other.

Not breaking the kiss, Daniel wrapped his arms around Sam and moved away from the door.  He carried her to the bedroom, somehow avoiding all the furniture, and fell with her upon the bed, wrapped in the cradle of her thighs.  They caressed each other's bodies, fanning the flame of their passion still higher.  Sam reached down and fumbled Daniel's pants open at the same time as he did the same to hers.  They struggled out of their remaining clothing, the need to join their bodies taking over their senses.

With nothing left between them, Daniel lay down upon Sam and took her mouth again.  She wrapped her legs around him, encouraging him to take the final step.  Their movements stopped, and their eyes met, communicating all their thoughts and emotions to each other in that single look.  Then Daniel slowly slid into her, at last joining his body with Sam's.  A tremor of exquisite ecstasy shuddered through them at the incomparable feeling of becoming one.

Buried deep within her, Daniel felt as if his heart would burst from the overwhelming feeling.  All the dreams, all the fantasies he'd had of this moment could not compare to the reality he was now experiencing.  He felt like he was truly alive for the first time in seven long years.

And then another dream came true.

"I love you," Sam murmured, her brilliant blue eyes echoing the spoken words.

Daniel took her face between his hands.  "I love you, Sam."  Their lips met in a kiss full of the love they had just declared.  "I love you."

Gently, Daniel began to move, his body rocking with Sam's in the ancient rhythm of male and female.  For long minutes they made love slowly, absorbed in the rapturous feeling of the union of their bodies, low moans and the increasing tempo of their respiration the only sounds they made.  With each advance and retreat, the fire within them rose until, suddenly, the inferno flared brightly again, and the power of their lovemaking ignited wildly.  Crying out each other's names, they let themselves be consumed by the flames.

With amazing swiftness, Sam began climbing the peak to her climax, the feeling of Daniel's body moving inside hers so perfect that it was almost unreal.  And then, suddenly, she was there.  Crying out with the rapture of it, Sam threw back her head and felt her very being explode in joyful culmination.  An instant later, Daniel joined her, ecstasy beyond description filling his body and soul as he gave himself to her, his body shuddering from the power of it.

For seconds that bordered on eternity, they rose on the powerful wave.  Then, slowly, it receded, leaving in its wake a profound feeling of joy and utter fulfillment.  The lovers lay still in each other's arms, lungs gasping for air, small aftershocks trembling through their bodies.  Daniel's forehead was pressed against Sam's, the warm puffs of their breath wafting across each other's lips.  After a long moment, Daniel lifted his head and met the eyes of the woman he loved.

"Sam," he whispered, unable to find words to adequately describe his thoughts and feelings.  So, instead, he told her with his eyes.  Sam gave him the most beautiful smile and cupped his cheek.

"I know," she said simply.  "Me too."

With a happy sigh, Daniel laid his head down and just held her.  Sam ran her hands slowly up and down his back, loving the feeling of having him there, his body still within hers.  So, this is what it was like to be truly in love, this feeling that heaven could not be better than what she had right here in Daniel's arms.  Without warning, Sam's eyes filled with tears at the unparalleled joy of it.  She had never cried after making love before, not even her first time.  But never before had it felt so exquisitely perfect.  Never before had she felt like she'd just given away her soul to the man in her arms.

As if sensing something, Daniel lifted his head and looked at her.  She was surprised to see that there were also tears in his eyes.

"I love you, Sam, so very much," he murmured.

Sam's thumb wiped away a tear that had slipped down Daniel's face.  "I love you, too, more than I would ever have believed possible."

Their lips came together in a slow, tender kiss.  Daniel then lifted off her.  They crawled under the covers and went back into each other's arms.  Her head pillowed on Daniel's chest, Sam sighed contentedly, feeling his hand caress her back and shoulders.  She closed her eyes and let his soothing touch lull her to sleep.  Minutes later, Daniel's hand slowed and then stilled as he followed her into slumber.

It was still dark when Sam awoke.  The memories of what happened flooded into her mind, and she lifted her head to look at Daniel's sleeping face.  What happened between them was beyond words.  She'd never felt anything like it in her life.  And it was Daniel who gave that to her, her best friend and teammate . . . the man she now knew, without a doubt, was her soul mate.

'I have been such an idiot.  All this time he was right there before me, and I just didn't see.  I've been in love with him right from the start, and I didn't see it.'  But she saw it now, and it was way past time for them to make up for the years they'd wasted.

With that thought in mind, Sam began to place kisses across Daniel's chest.  It didn't take long for the archeologist to awaken.  His eyes fluttered open, and he gazed down at her.

"Hi," he murmured huskily, giving her the most beautiful smile she had ever seen, the smile of a man in love.  It was a smile she wanted to see on his face every day for the rest of her life.  Daniel's fingers caressed her cheek.  "You have no idea how much I have wanted this, how many times I've dreamed of it."

"For how long have you known?" she asked.

"You remember after you guys found me on Vis Uban, and I asked you if there was anything between us?  That was the first moment I became aware that I felt something like that for you.  I had no memory of Sha're, no memories of our friendship, my life on SG-1, nothing, yet the feelings were there.  I think that, for all these years, those feelings were inside me, but I didn't see them because all of my memories and my grief over Sha're blinded me.  It took having everything wiped from my mind to uncover the truth."  He cupped her cheek, stroking her lips with his thumb.  "Even as the memories returned, I couldn't forget what I felt when you were there in my tent, and I looked at your face."

Sam brought her lips down upon his.  They explored each other's mouths with slow intensity, searching deeply.  Their hands then took up the intimate search, seeking places they had not taken the time to find before.  Soon, they felt their passion rise again.  Sam straddled Daniel's body and resumed kissing his chest.  She came to one of his nipples and wrapped her mouth around it, teasing with her tongue.  Daniel groaned deeply, his body bucking upward as his arousal flared.  He grabbed hold of her and pulled her upward, taking her mouth in a kiss of wild passion.  Sam began rubbing her body against his, feeling his response as he jerked up against her.

With a sound halfway between a growl and a groan, Daniel pulled her further up his body and took one of her nipples into his mouth.  Sam gasped, trembling at the exquisite pleasure.  He spent long minutes with his lips and tongue upon her breasts, while his hands were busy with other parts of her body.  Then he rolled over until he was above her, his mouth beginning a slow descent that was both delight and torture.  Soon, Sam was writhing beneath him, her respiration coming in breathy moans.  With his hands and mouth, Daniel took her to the peak of ecstasy and beyond, hearing her cry out his name as he brought her to completion.

Daniel slid up Sam's body and sealed his mouth over hers.  He held her as she calmed, happy beyond measure that he could bring her such pleasure.

"Wow," Sam finally breathed.  "I should have known you'd be good with your mouth and hands."

Daniel grinned.  "This is a lot more fun than examining artifacts."

"Glad to hear it."

In the next instant, Daniel found himself on his back, Sam straddling him again.

"My turn," she said.  She then proceeded to make love to his body as he had done to hers.  Before she could complete her mission, however, he pulled her back up and consumed her mouth with voracious hunger.

"Lay on your stomach," he murmured huskily.  The heat in his passion-darkened eyes made Sam quiver.

Sam did as he asked and lay down on her stomach.  Slowly and patiently, Daniel then began placing kisses all the way down her spine, from the base of her skull to the swell of her buttocks.  He stroked the length of her thighs with his fingertips, the whisper-soft touch making her tremble.

Sam's heart began thundering wildly as Daniel gently pulled her up onto her knees, then backwards to sit astride his thighs.  He peppered her shoulders and neck with more kisses as one of his hands went between her legs to touch her intimately.  Desperate to feel him within her again, Sam pushed back against him.

Daniel took hold of her hips and lifted them slightly.  "I love you," he said as he entered her for the second time.  They both moaned deeply from the pleasure of the union.

There was no thought of going slow this time.  Holding onto her tightly, Daniel made love to Sam with wild abandon, feeling like the very cells of his body were catching fire.  It was not long before they both went over the edge, crying each other's names.

The lovers collapsed on the bed, hearts pounding, lungs struggling to bring in enough air.  Daniel spooned his body behind Sam, resting his cheek on her hair.

"I never thought I'd be this happy ever again," he murmured.

Sam pulled his arms tighter around her.  "I never knew I could be this happy."

Daniel nuzzled the back of her neck, raining kisses upon it.  "I could stay like this with you forever."

"Mmm.  That does sound wonderful, but I think we'd get hungry after a while."

"Food is highly overated."  Daniel's hands slid up and began doing wonderful things to her breasts.  Sam's breath hitched in her throat.

"I have to agree that some people do place too much importance on eating," she said, her voice wavering as Daniel continued to use upon her body skills gain through years of handling artifacts.  "However, without the proper sustenance—  Ohhhh!"  Sam's voice broke off with a loud moan as one of Daniel's hands went south.

"You were saying?" Daniel whispered in her ear.

"We'll have Janet hook up IVs tomorrow," Sam said as she turned over and yanked Daniel's mouth down to hers.

It was a long time later when, exhausted, satiated and deliriously happy, Daniel and Sam finally succumbed to sleep.

Next Chapter

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