Chapter Eleven Summary: Sam arranges her revenge.  It is very simple, but also very appropriate…at least to
her.  Marta is thrilled that Sam has requested this part of the ceremony.  After they enter the clearing, her
attendants challenge the men to prove their sincerity by submitting to the Chains and Rings of Gold.  Tension
reigns as Martouf and Daniel consider whether or not to agree.  When they finally agree, they are immediately
taken and adorned.

Hordhet - rodent-like creature, similar to a mouse or a hamster.  
Kerast - a large cat/ferret type creature that hunts rodents
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communications


















Sam looked around and realized that the women were gathering near the doorway and
that one left the room.  Shortly afterward soft music started, and Marta came over to her.  
She patted her hair and her arm, before giving her a hug and another kiss.  Sam was
surprised to see tears well in the other woman’s eyes.  Since she had no idea whatsoever
what was causing them, she patted the woman’s hand in response.  

Marta reached out and lightly touched one of the rings through the material, and Sam
realized that she was afraid she had gone to far again and caused her to be angry.  
Thinking calmly about it, Sam knew that while it wasn’t a choice she would have made for
herself, it wasn’t the end of the world either.  Instead of frowning, as she probably should
have, she smiled and shook her head, hugging the older woman and giving her a kiss on
the cheek in return.

She had also remembered the time she found some really old statuettes in Daniel’s study.  
It had been a Dan and Sam day of just lazing around and she had asked him about
them.  She remembered that he had blushed at first and then started talking about
them.  Eventually the nipple and labia rings that graced the statuettes found their way
into the conversation.  Since Sam had not been embarrassed about the subject Daniel
had grown rather eloquent about them.  He found the idea of them extremely erotic.  She
had watched as his fingers had traced them over and over.  

Before she had known what was happening, she was wishing she was that statuette.  That
was one of the first times she had thoughts of Daniel outside the bounds of their
friendship.  Oh, yeah, Daniel was going to love these, and she was going to enjoy giving
him that pleasure.  It wouldn’t surprise her to find out that many men found them erotic.  
Martouf and Lantash were probably no different.  Maybe Marta and the girls had actually
done her a favor.  She would never have had the nerve to do this for the guys on her own.  
This way, hey, they made her do it.  Guilt free erotica.  Cool.

She wondered if one could place a ring on a man in an unobtrusive though erotic place.  
She frowned, thinking about it.  Taking Marta by the hand and going to the fruit that she
used in her sex education lecture, she held it up to her.  There was an area of loose skin
at the top of the family jewels that would be hidden when the rest of the equipment wasn’t
in sexual use.  

She wondered how her two mates would feel about some new jewelry?  She didn’t want
anything large, of course.  Something small would work just fine…just enough to remind
them of the bizarre custom, they subjected her to and that she endured for them.  They
could all remove them later, if they chose to.  It wasn’t as if any of them were permanent
fixtures.  

She turned to Marta, showed her the area, and then pointed to her rings.  Marta’s eyes lit
up, and she pointed to Sam’s rings and to the fruit, to be sure she understood.  Sam
nodded yes again.  Then remembering her thoughts on the idea, she indicated that she
wanted them to be small.  Marta nodded an emphatic yes, indicated a size to show that
she understood the request, and then left no doubt to make the arrangements for
performing another ceremony after their joining.  Sam smiled.  She had her revenge, and
she didn’t even have to do anything.  In fact, she could go down and enjoy the ceremony
and feast.  

Marta came back in, her eyes shining and her body aquiver with excitement.  She smiled
widely at Sam nodding and gesturing, indicating that they would see to her requests.  She
motioned Sam forward and, as soon as she was in place, Marta began to place other
women around her.  

Her two attendants from earlier had changed into robes that complemented hers, and
Sam realized that the “game” they played to become her “attendants” during the bath had
actually been a way of choosing her “bridesmaids” for her, since she did not know any of
them and, therefore, could not realistically be expected to choose.  This way, there was no
favoritism shown.  Eliminations were through the game, and now they held what Sam was
beginning to realize were places of stature and consequence.  No wonder they had acted so
excited.  It was probably a very big deal to stand with a bride from another world.  Then,
in addition, their leader’s mate was sponsoring her, which no doubt made it even more of
an honor.  At the moment, they stood beside her, each holding one side of a mantle of
spider’s web shear cloth that fell from a tiara to reach the floor.  Diamond-like jewels
caught the slowly lowering sun and cast a golden glow that matched and enhanced the
colors of her robe and the rose and alabaster perfection of her face.  The blue of her eyes
shimmered, as if they were deep clear pools in a wooded glen.  Perhaps she was an
enchanted creature come to the woodland setting, or a golden statue come to life, whirling
with iridescent colors.  Whether Fae or not, there was nothing to compare to her this night.

The women around her lifted pennants proclaiming her to be a daughter of the royal
house, for Marta had claimed the right of gifting her.  Coming to stand behind her, Marta
herself was impressive in her courtly finery, so very rarely used.  Finally, after looking
closely at the pennants, Sam began to wonder if there was something about Marta’s
position of which she was not aware.  It certainly seemed to proclaim her some sort of high-
placed personage.  Hmm.  She would have to remember to ask Lantash to explain what all
of this meant.  If so, he should have told her, however, with everything that was taking
place, it was no wonder he did not think to do so.  Then, she noticed that Marta was
wearing what would pass, on Earth, as a crown.  Well, that pretty much stamped an end
on that speculation.  Marta was evidently the Queen.  She groaned to herself.  Great, it
appeared that she’d more or less been adopted as a…something to the royal house.  That’s
no doubt why she was wearing the tiara.  It wasn’t just a pretty bauble; it gave her a
status.  She really, really wished she’d been informed of all of the ramifications before
now.  She sighed and then smiled at her, as Marta patted her shoulder and hand yet
again.  

Hearing the music begin to swell and become slightly louder, Sam took a deep breath.  
Marta hugged her this time.  Well, this must be it then.  Time for the evening’s major
attraction to begin.  She just hoped the stars of the show didn’t do anything to mess it up.  
Looking out the window’s, Sam realized something else she should have known and how
she missed it she didn’t know.  There would be no complete night.  Evidently, at least in
this time of their year, their sun did not completely set.  It would eventually become
twilight, for a while, but that was all.  No wonder no one was worried about running out of
daylight, and this day had gone on forever.  They were still keeping to a kind of schedule,
but if time passed and things were a little late, what did it matter?  The sun still shone.  
Her wedding day was indeed a truly
golden space out of time.




Sam hadn’t made her entrance, yet.  Daniel hoped it was soon and this was over as
quickly as possible.  He glanced back up at Jore.  The sex lecture had finally ended.  This
sounded much more like the traditional speech about happiness and all the more normal
“before you’re married” things that they usually say.  He also noticed that the women were
beginning to come in now.  He was pretty sure that was a sign that Sam was probably on
her way.

Daniel had seen Jack’s face earlier.  He really didn’t want to look at him again this
evening.  Jack might not be able to speak the language, but he could understand show
and tell.  Teal’c had been his usual stoic self, even if the muscle in his jaw was jerking a
little more than usual.  

Some really soft music started up above them and Jore’s eyes widened, before he started
to smile and motioned them to turn around and look up.  Sam was walking, or floating, he
couldn’t tell which, down the stairs of the huge central tree, coming straight to them.  She
looked lovelier than he had ever seen her look and that was saying a lot.  She smiled
almost sweetly at them, so she must not be planning on immediate beheading; she would
probably be happy with castration later in the privacy of their cottage.  As far as he could
tell, both he and Martouf responded and smiled back.

Then he perked up.  Wait a minute.  Maybe nothing terrible happened to her, and it was
only the men that were tortured for hours with detailed explanations, as well as visual
demonstrations from the Berinnese version of the Kama Sutra.  He stood up as straight as
he could.  You couldn’t greet your bride imitating Quasimodo, even if standing straight did
make your clothes look like you were holding a tent pole between your legs.  Between
them, he and Martouf could joust and never have to pick up a lance.  

Martouf looked over at Daniel and saw several emotions cross his face.  Love won out, but
he wondered what had caused the self-derision, or possibly derision at both of them.  He
looked back at Samantha.  She certainly was beautiful, more beautiful than he had ever
seen her, although, she was always beautiful to them.  

She smiled at them, and he smiled back, or at least he thought he did.  He wished he had
the comfort of the long-standing friendship that Daniel had to help him, but he did not,
and he was so tense he thought he would shatter at the lightest touch.  

What would Daniel be thinking right now that would cause him to look so serene and
calm?  Had he not realized that Samantha would be extremely upset over what she must
have endured at the women’s hands?  A few minutes ago, he would have sworn that he
had.  Martouf looked at her again and seeing a small smile still curving her lips, he
changed the direction of his thoughts.  Perhaps that is what Daniel had seen and given
some thought.  She must not be going to kill them after all, if she was smiling at them
now.  He could relax a little.  

He glanced over at Daniel once more and realized that his soon to be mate-brother was
standing straight now, and that Daniel did have the same problem as he did, after all.  He
had just hidden it for a time.  He sighed.  They would have to be sure that they did not
stand to close to Samantha when they turned, or they would leave her with some nasty
bruises.  

Lantash chuckled to himself, as he read Martouf’s thoughts and Daniel’s face.  So young
and so naïve.  Samantha was smiling at them, but it was the smile of a
Kerast following a
very tasty
hordhet, knowing she now had it cornered and would soon be licking its warm,
sweet blood from her claws and fangs.  They were dead men, (well, perhaps not literally,
but purgatory could last a very long time) unless they did as Jore had instructed and
made her very, very happy.  He took a closer look at her and sighed.  

He realized that it would not matter what they did because even he had misread the look.  
Whatever she planned for them had already been set in motion; it was too late to plead
ignorance, or that they had been subjected to the same things, but theirs was in a
crowded
“hall”.  They had to stand in front of everyone with raging, er, stiffened male
members, while listening to their lecture.  He sighed.  That, of course, was assuming that
a lecture was all they did to her.  Well, it was too late to worry about it now, and he might
as well allow Martouf and Daniel their few minutes of peace.  It would no doubt be gone
soon enough.

The procession of Sam, Marta and their attendants made their way slowly toward the
“altar room” for lack of a better description of the century’s old clearing amidst the giant
trees.  They stopped several feet from the two men, and the two attendants carrying the
pennants came forward and walked around Daniel and Martouf three times, studying
them critically.  Daniel, very much aware of his tent pole turned a lovely shade of
crimson.  

After the third time they conversed with Marta and Sam, well if Sam had spoken the
language, they would have spoken to her.  As it was, Marta shook her head, indicated that
Sam should shake hers, and when she did, the attendants turned around and made their
way back toward Daniel and Martouf.  The music stopped.  A hush fell.  Not a breeze
moved.

Daniel watched as Sam’s attendants came forward and violently threw the sharp javelin
end of the lances the pennants decorated, into the ground in front of him and Martouf,
where they imbedded themselves deeply into the ground.  That was not a friendly
gesture.  It was, indeed, a challenge.  

Two other pennants were handed off to the attendants, and they once again stood on
either side of Samantha.  The music began again, and her attendants accompanied her to
a comfortable throne type chair and seated her.  Returning, they then escorted Marta to
the larger more ornate chair beside her.  Jore walked up and knelt on one knee before his
mate, asking how her warriors could be of service.   

She must have told him to come to her because he got up and she began to talk rapidly
pointing to them, Sam, and back again, many times.  Finally, Marta shook her head
emphatically and waved her hand at Sam.  

Jore had gone to Sam and in his few painful words of English managed to ask her, “You,”
he pointed to Sam, and then to his own chest ring, at which Sam nodded she understood,
“want, Danee’el, Maartouf, have?  Sure?”  And again, he pointed to his body, in all four
places this time.  His back was to Daniel and Martouf, so they had no idea what he as
doing.  

Sam took his hand and patted it.  She touched his chest rings, his middle ring and
pointed at the last one, saying, as she nodded yes emphatically, “Yes, Daniel, and
Martouf.”  

Finally, Jore nodded.  He was convinced.  He would take them the challenge.  However, he
still was not happy about it.  He was challenging a Tok’Ra.  Well, Samantha was
challenging them.  He would do it, but he almost expected an explosion.  He sighed
deeply.  They would do it, he was sure, but the Tok’Ra might not be happy.    

Daniel looked at Martouf who was rather pale.  He would have inside information.  
Lantash was no doubt talking to him.  He took a step to his right and under cover of the
sudden commencement of chattering men and women, asked, “Martouf, what is going on,
now?”  

“It appears that Marta has claimed the right and privilege of gifting,” Martouf murmured,
obviously not wanting to bring attention to the two of them having a conversation.

“Just what is gifting and why the obvious challenge if they are giving us a gift?”  Daniel
whispered back, not much caring who saw them talking because he wanted answers.  

“According to Lantash, Marta has claimed the right to declare Samantha a daughter of her
house.  This means she has royal protection.  They use it so very rarely that even Jore is
shocked.  They long ago abandoned the ways of the court and aristocracy.  However, it
seems that Samantha has indeed been dressed in the gown of the royal daughters.  Marta
herself wore it to join with Jore.  Her mother wore it, her mother before her wore it, and
her mother before her wore it, as did Marta’s daughters.  Though they no longer live by
the old ways, on occasions like this, it seems they sometimes enjoy dressing up.  Except
that this time, there are some old and unused laws being activated.”  

“What is the law, and what does it have to do with us and Sam?”  Daniel demanded,
suddenly quite sure that he was not going to like where this was heading.  He wondered if
Sam had agreed to something, as they had asked her to, not realizing what she had done.  
If so, they had only themselves to blame.  Knowing Sam, after they left, she felt guilty
about her attitude and talked herself into trying really hard to go along with stuff.  When
nothing bad happened, she probably went along with whatever they asked of her.  

Daniel turned back to Martouf, “We’d better go talk to Sam before this gets out of hand,
Martouf.  She probably has no idea what she agreed to do, or rather, what she agreed to
allow them to do.”  

Daniel took two steps toward Sam only to be surrounded by anxious townsmen with Jore
in the lead, clasping him tightly around the chest and murmuring, “It will be alright, my
son, it will not hurt much, or for long, and then you will truly belong to the mate of your
choice.”  Jore did his best to reassure him as he pushed him inexorably backwards
towards Martouf.

Martouf said in an undertone, “Lantash says that in all probability it is too late to change
things now, Daniel.  They already performed the challenge.  Now we must answer it.”  

Lantash came forward, and the men released Daniel, stepping back to allow the symbiote
to take Daniel by the arm and lead him in the other direction.  Coming to a halt several
feet away, but not removing his hand, he said quietly, “The only reason that I can see that
a challenge would be made is if something has happened to arouse Marta’s suspicion.  For
some reason, she must suspect that this is not a true joining, and we intend to repudiate
the vows when we return to our homeworld.  I do not know what would have made her
suspicious, but I cannot believe that she would do this, if she was not.  The only other way
she would have issued a challenge would be if Samantha directed her to and, since
Samantha does not speak the language, it leaves only the one explanation.”  

He sighed, as he saw Jore coming toward him, hesitation, and deep trepidation on his
face.  He stepped up to them and began to speak almost more rapidly than Daniel could
follow.  All he really got out of it was something about chains of gold and four more rings.  
He watched as Lantash’s mouth first hardened, then twitched.  He couldn’t tell if he was
subduing anger or laughter.  When Jore left, it was obvious that it was laughter.  

He looked at Daniel, and asked quietly, “Did you understand any of that?  I am afraid he
was somewhat, ah, overwrought.  It has been many years since this, er, ceremony was
performed in quite this way.  They
do perform it often, so there is no need to worry about
that part, it is just that they rarely perform it as part of a challenge.  That in itself makes
it noteworthy.  He is assuming that Samantha ordered it done, which we know is not
possible, since she does not speak the language.  He is also assuming that the two of you
will agree to it because it is her wish.  He is so sure of it, that he is already having the
healers ready the chamber, and the implements with which to do it.”  

“All I understand is that you, for some reason, find the entire situation amusing and that
it involves chains and rings of gold.  So what was in the middle of the discussion that I
missed?  Is Martouf, ah, upset?  Is that why you are explaining it?”  

“If you consider screaming hysterically, being upset, then I suppose he is very close to it.  
When he is not doing that he is sobbing, refusing, and calling me every foul name one can
think of, or staring at the inside of his brain as if he is dead.”  Lantash gave a short bark
of laughter at the look on Daniel’s face, before becoming sober once again.  

“I am…what is it that you say?  Ah, yes, I am giving you a hard time.  He is, in fact,
somewhat stunned by what they expect of the two of you, but he is not screaming,
hysterically or otherwise, nor is he sobbing, refusing, or calling me names.  His first
reaction was to refuse outright, until I pointed out that if he does so, we lose the chance to
bind Samantha to our side, at least by Tok’Ra law.  Now, at least, he is considering it.”  

He sighed again, but looked bleak, “It really does not matter what he decides.  For the first
time in a hundred years, I will take control against his wishes, if he refuses to do this.  It
is our shared body, and I will agree to it, whether he does or not.  It is my hope that we
will come to a compromise after I do it to us.  I do not wish to do that Daniel, for I have
never gone against Martouf’s wishes for his body unless it was because he was affected by
something and not rational.  I have never done it for personal gain and merely the
thought if it makes me ill.”  The obvious agony in Lantash’s voice made Daniel reach out a
hand and first push his hair back, a gesture he had often seen women use, and then
grasp his shoulder in a firm grip before moving it to his back and then around to his other
shoulder to rub there as well.  

“He may yet change his mind when he thinks of losing Sam, Lantash, so don’t give up
hope.”  

“I only hope the damage is not already done.  I have said I will do it, and he may never
trust me again.  Trust between us is paramount.  I might have ruined our relationship.  I
should simply give Samantha up.  I am allowing her to come between us.  Perhaps it
would be best to leave her now, before our blending is completely destroyed.”

“Lantash, stop it.  You are not thinking clearly.  You know, you have only today been up
after a very long illness.  It wouldn’t surprise me, if your decision to go against Martouf’s
wishes wasn’t because of that, as much as anything.  All three of us are under a lot of
stress right now.  He will understand that.  Do you think you need to rest for a while?  

Lantash shook his head.  “No, I do not.  I am sorry, Daniel, and you are correct.  I was
being quite ridiculous.  I must admit that my moods do occasionally swing widely, for no
apparent reason, and Martouf is aware of it.  He says he understands, and he assures me
that he is seriously considering their request.”  

“I really think it’s time someone told me what’s going on, Lantash, so I can decide for
myself.  I can’t make a decision, if I don’t know what’s happening.  Maybe Martouf can tell
me what I need to know.”  

“As for what is going on, I am quite capable of continuing.  The challenge is an act
performed by us to prove our love and trust in Samantha.  As the Gifter of Samantha to
us, Marta has chosen to challenge the three of us.  What it means is that she is not
satisfied that we truly love Samantha enough to give up our will to hers; to truly allow our
will, our wishes, and our needs to become second to her will, her wishes, and her needs.  
She is asking that we prove that we truly will sublimate our desires for hers.”  

“What do we have to do?”  

“We are to accept her golden rings and the Chains of Gold.”  

“Excuse me?  They want us to accept rings from her?  What is the big deal about that?  We
exchange rings on Earth, too.  What’s with Martouf getting bent out of shape with that?  
It's not like they want to put them in our nose or something,” Daniel stopped and looked
into Lantash’s eyes, and then he pinched the bridge of his nose.  “Why doesn’t she just
castrate us now, and get it over with?”  His eyes flew open and he looked at Lantash.  “Do
not tell me they put one there.  Do you suppose that Sam even knows about it?”  

“I fail to know how she would, and I believe you have some misconceptions of the
placement of the rings.”  

“I do?  Where do they go then?”  Daniel asked gruffly, feeling a little lightheaded, but it
wasn’t yet from relief.  

“Two go on the chest.”  

“Great, nipple rings, just what I always wanted to wear while bathing with the Marines at
the SGC,” Daniel groaned.  

“One goes in the center of the body, in the indentation.”  Lantash pushed on toward the
last, and the one that he knew might cause Daniel to have a complete nervous
breakdown, as it almost had in Martouf.  He was actually surprised they had not guessed
themselves where they went since many men here wore them.  Some wore many more
than what they would be getting.  

Daniel looked so forlorn and yet so resolute and determined, as he stood, staring stoically
at the ground.  He managed to grind out through gritted teeth, “So help me, Lantash, if
you tell me the last one goes anywhere near the—the tip, I am so out of here,” that it was
all Lantash could do to keep his own countenance solemn, for just a moment.  However,
then he felt the mate-brother bond beginning to grow stronger and he felt compassion and
love instead.  

This was not easy on these humans, especially the Tau’ri.  Daniel would undergo a great
deal of “teasing” from the other men over it and that was not a good thing.  Well, there was
nothing he could do to help with that, but he could help Daniel at this moment.

“And the last one goes on the underneath side between the top of the…”

“I’ve got it, I’ve got it, I saw some of them earlier.  At least you can hide those.  Could you
please explain to me again, why we have to do this?  Because right now, I’m not sure this
plant is worth it.”  He turned his head, looked at Sam, golden and sparkling, as the low
riding sun turned her to a molten golden and iridescent being, glittering with a hundred
tiny pinpoints of light, and moaned.  However, Sam might be.  Crap.  

“We are being challenged to prove that we are willing to give up our will to Samantha’s.  
By allowing them to attach the joining rings, we are joining to her and acknowledging that
her will is first within our joining.  I do not think it is the actual rings that are the guiding
factor here, Daniel.  They consider them ornamental.  I believe it is the agreement to have
it done before joining with her.  That is the point of the ceremony.  It is what it signifies,
not what it shows.  Also, as you pointed out, there is the plant.”  Lantash smiled wryly,
acknowledging that the plant was the last reason they would be going through this now,
but in the end, it would weigh in, if all other reasons were gone.  

Daniel nodded.  “I think I understand it now.  This is a test of our sincerity.  If we truly
love and respect Sam, then we will give her a way to control us.”  He smiled at Lantash’s
surprised look.  “You didn’t seriously think I would overlook that did you?  It’s all right.  
It's for show as far as I can tell, and I doubt very much that use would even cross Sam’s
mind, and if it did she’d probably be appalled by it.  Which is something that we should
probably be grateful for.”      

Lantash nodded his head, saying,” I will be back if the two of you need me again,” before
he gave control to Martouf.  

“Martouf?  Are you; are you all right with this?”  

“Not really, but as Lantash pointed out, if we wish to claim Samantha, in any way, this is
the way we must do it.  And” he sighed, “there is this plant.”  Martouf looked at his mate-
brother.  “What are you going to do, Daniel?  Is the decision hard for you to make?”  

“No, actually it is very easy, Martouf.  I look up there, and I see Sam smiling with the
women and communicating as best she can.  She doesn’t know a word of their language,
but she is doing her best to go along with whatever they tell her to do.  Stand here, walk
there, sit here, stand up, sit down, walk this way, put this on, take this off.  If she can do
it without a whimper, I should be able to, too.  Of course, I’ll do it for her.  Look at the
prize I’ll end up with.  Isn’t it worth it to you, too?”  

Martouf looked thankfully at Daniel, “You can always take things to their most basic
common denominator.  The beautiful wonderful woman we end up with is all that really
matters.  Not the fact that we will both be wearing more jewelry than the two of us together
ever wear at any given time.  Shall I call Jore over and give him our answer?”

Daniel grimaced, but nodded, adding, “There is also the promise we made before we left
the cottage.  This may very well fall under that, you know.”  

Martouf stared at him for a moment, and then nodded.  They had promised to do anything
to have her.  Well, this was “anything”.  “Yes, you are correct.  I will give him our answer
now, so that this will be done as quickly as possible.”  

Daniel agreed.  They might as well get this over; the sooner it took place the better, as far
as he, and he was sure Martouf, as well, was concerned.  He wondered if they had
anesthetic.  He also wondered where they did it.  Well at least he had some questions to
ask when Jore got here, and here he was.  Martouf told him there decision.  Jore signaled
their consent.  Much bustling ensued.  Daniel tapped Jore’s hand to get his attention.  

“Jore, do your people use an anesthetic when they make the holes?  Are you awake when
it’s done?  Where is it that this takes place?  I have to tell you that I am not having it done
here.”  Daniel managed to bring up one last thought about something that he would put
his foot down on much as Sam had earlier.  

Jore smiled widely.  “Follow me, and I will take you to the ceremony room.  It will be just
you, me, the men who hold you down, and the healers.”  He glanced at Daniel and then
laughed.  “I am lying about the men to hold you down, Daniel, there are none needed.  I
promise you will not feel a thing.  Come this way.”  

“If they aren’t needed, why are they following us?”  Daniel really thought he would like to
know that.  

“Those are your attendants.  You have not yet joined with Samantha.  They will un-wrap
the robe, and then rewrap it for the ceremony, once the bleeding stops which will be
almost immediately.  After the joining ceremony and the meal is over, they will escort you
to the cottage that is especially for the newly joined couples.  You will not be disturbed
there, until you wish to be.  Food will be delivered, and it has its own cleansing pools.”  

“I see.  Well, thank you, Jore, but you know we’re on a mission here, and I really don’t
think our government is going to allow us much of a honeymoon, that’s, um, time away
from work to be with the bride, after the joining.”  

Jore beamed at them, “We have arrived at the ceremony room.  Your government will be
most happy for you; I am sure.  Now come,” he swept them into the large room that held
several altar like raised stones.  Before Martouf and Daniel could stop them, they divested
them of their robes and gave them something to drink.  They also gave them some nut-
like snacks to eat. They wolfed them down, since both of them felt as though they were
starving.  Several glasses of punch and a couple of trips to the bathroom later, and neither
one was particularly aware of just who it was that was giving them the wonderful massage
with the heated lotion but it certainly felt good.  Moreover, Sam kept running through
their thoughts in very erotic ways.  

They could have done without the burning sensations, but that was okay, it didn’t last
long.  Jore was holding a furious conversation with the healers.  They were insisting their
only instructions were for the four rings, no golden balls.  That was because he was giving
it to them, as a gift.  He wanted them to have the kind that would not come off, so there
was no chance of them being lost during copulation.  No, not on top, underneath, just
behind the head, of course, where they would stimulate the wearer and his mate during
the act.  Well then, ask them.  So, the healers asked Daniel, if he wanted golden balls.  
The idea struck him as very funny, but he agreed at once that golden balls sounded great
to him, but only if Martouf agreed to get some, too.  

The healers looked at the two of them and sighed.  Occasionally, the anesthetic would
cause this reaction in people.  Unfortunately, it appeared that it was affecting both Daniel
and Martouf in the same way.  They were having periods where they were disassociated
from themselves and their surroundings, as they should be, interspersed with periods of
awareness.  They would have to wait for this to leave before they could continue, but at
least they could ask their permission during the aware state.

Unfortunately, for Martouf, Lantash had become dormant, so as not to interfere with the
anesthetic and he was not awake to stop the two of them.  Both of them were extremely
susceptible to drugs and alcohol, and the anesthetic worked on them as alcohol might
have.  They had reached a level of stupidity and hilarity that can only be followed by folly.  
Martouf at once agreed that, of course, if his mate-brother wanted golden balls then,
indeed, they would both have some.  Bring them at once.  They then fell back into the
disassociated phase and from there to a light doze only to awaken when the healers were
finished.  The wounds made for their new jewelry were completely healed, and they were
ready to be joined.  

They rewrapped them in their joining robes, gave them several glasses of another liquid,
which brought them quickly to complete sobriety, and they were ready to go.  After, that
is, they made one last trip to the restroom.  

First, Daniel found his Chain of Gold.  He couldn’t figure out what the warm thing on his
chest was.  Pulling the front of his robe out, he looked in and found a beautifully worked
chain of gold running from one nipple ring to the other.  He closed his eyes, but swiftly
reopened them and, after checking, was glad to see that they could be easily removed.  He
breathed easier and thanked whoever was listening for not attaching them to any other
body part.  He did wonder why it felt so warm against his skin, though.  It was a very
pleasant feeling.  He ran his fingers across them, enjoying the feel of them and wondering
if Sam would enjoy the feel, too.  Time would tell.

Second, Daniel found his golden balls.  He almost let out a bellow of rage.  Then his mind
kicked into gear, and he remembered hearing Jore ask him if he wanted golden balls, and
himself replying, why not?  He left the stall that was very like those on earth, washed,
then leaned against the wall and waited on Martouf to make his own discovery and come
for his blood.  He heard him coming and simply waited for death to claim him.  

He closed his eyes, but nothing happened.  Opening them, he looked at Martouf.  “Aren’t
you going to kill me?  Or at least beat me up?”  

Martouf shook his head.  “No.  I agreed, Daniel.  Moreover, I agreed quite cheerfully
according to my memories, which I have no reason to doubt.  My exact words, if I
remember them correctly were that we
would both have some and to bring them at once.  
Their anesthetic appears to render one quite happy, content, numb, and completely
capable of remembering things once the memory is jogged a little.  I agreed to this
abomination.  I do not exactly remember agreeing to the chains of gold; however, what are
two more pieces of adornment at this point?”  

He frowned, “Lantash reminds me that he did tell us of the chains of gold, and he is
correct, he did mention them; I remember that now.  However that may be, do you realize
what the little golden balls do, Daniel?  Do you?  Lantash is laughing so hard I think he is
going to cause me to have a brain hemorrhage.  If, that is, I allow him to live long enough
to do so.”  

“Um, what it does?  As in, um, what it does to, er,
us?”  

“Yes, I mean to us.  Who do think I am talking about, General Hammond?  Of course, I
meant us you, you, book.”  

Daniel opened his eyes wide.  That was sarcasm from Martouf.  English sarcasm.  Wow!  
He must really be upset.  Of course, if he had Lantash screaming with laughter in his
head, he’d be upset too.  “Well,” Daniel cleared his throat, “if you mean the odd little
tingling sensation it causes, then, yes, I can truthfully say that I have, um, noticed. It.”  

“Arousal, Daniel.  It causes arousal.  It is not enough that we cannot keep from having a
stiffness problem whenever we are around Samantha.  Now we will have even more
encouragement to become stiff and once we reach that state, to remain in it,” He bit off
sharply.

“I don’t think we should talk about this anymore, Martouf,” Daniel said, glancing down
between them, “in fact I don’t think we should even be thinking about it.  I think we
should go get joined, and maybe that will help to take care of it.”

Martouf closed his eyes.  “Yes.  Yes, I agree.  Let us go.”  He didn’t have to look down to
know what was happening.  He had been this way for the better part of the last several
hours; there was no need to think it would change now.

Would this day never end?  Furthermore, if it did, would it end up with Samantha in it
somewhere even close to where he wanted her to be?  Would they survive the next several
hours?  He turned and followed Daniel out the door.  The two Chains of Gold felt oddly
warm against his skin.  He hoped it was a good omen.  They could use one.  

TBC





                      Chapter 10                    Home                    Chapter 12                   

                                            
Table of Contents
Chains of Gold

Chapter Eleven

A Challenge is Given