Chapter Twelve Summary: Daniel, Martouf and Lantash return and Sam watches them to see if they are upset. They do not appear to be and soon they show her that they are not. Now the ceremony to join the three of them begins, and Sam wonders what in the world else could happen. As it turns out, that is an excellent question and, as the ceremony continues, they find out.
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host communications
Sam sat calmly among the women. She looked calm anyway, but inside she was a mass of roiling nerves. She didn’t need to know the language to understand that the request to have the rings added to Martouf and Daniel had resulted in some kind of ritual challenge being made. Her revenge was certainly going to be beyond what she had expected.
Evidently, they informed them before hand what the challenge was and gave them the choice of whether or not to accept it. She was surprised. No one had given her a choice. Then she realized that was all right. Where before, she had been hoping that they would someday forgive her, now, she smiled to herself. When they were angry and embarrassed about the rings she would simply point out that they, at least, had been given a choice in the matter, something she had not been given.
She was even more surprised when they immediately took them away. Were they doing it now? Before the ceremony? She had looked at Marta and by looks and gestures, she had asked and been answered. Yes, they would do it now, before the joining. Of course.
Yeah, right, of course. She hoped they used the same anesthetic they used on her. They wouldn’t know what happened until it was over, and they were dressed and in the bathroom. That wasn’t quite accurate. They would in their case, but they wouldn’t really either. Yes, quite the shared experience.
However, she couldn’t keep her eyes off the doorway they should come through. Would they be angry? Merely upset? Resigned? Ready to commit murder? How long did it take to go through that? It hadn’t seemed to take her long at all. In fact, it had taken very little time, as far as she could tell. She waited what seemed to be a lifetime.
Then they were there, walking side by side, and talking quietly together. They didn’t seem to be either upset or happy. They just appeared neutral, and Sam knew better than that.
She watched as they positioned them about two feet apart in front of some benches that were obviously for kneeling. Sam’s two attendants came forward and stood on either side of her lifting their pennants, before escorting her to her place between the two men. Once she was in place, they returned to Marta and escorted her to stand in front of the three that they would now join to one another.
As Marta began to speak, Daniel stepped closer to Sam and began to translate what they were saying as closely as he could.
“Martouf of the Tok’Ra, have you chained your will and your heart to beat as Samantha of the Tau’ri wills it to?”
“Lantash of the Tok’Ra, have you chained your will and your heart to beat as Samantha of the Tau’ri wills it to?”
“Have the two of you brought us proof that you have placed your will under hers? Are you willing to let us bear witness to this proof?”
“We have and we are,” Lantash answered as two of his attendants stepped forward and loosened only one side of his robe to allow it to fall just far enough that a glimpse of the ring and two chains of gold could be seen.
Marta nodded to the attendants. Sam bit her tongue to keep the gasp back and sent an unhappy glance at Marta, who looked somewhat bewildered. Sam took a breath, and reached out to touch her hand and shake her head as she smiled slightly.
This, Sam had not authorized, but in Marta’s mind she supposed she had. To her, if Sam wanted them to have the rings, she probably wanted them to have all of the bizarre ceremony. She knew that whether she laughed, or cried, it would be hysterical in nature, so she could not allow herself to do either. With each added layer, this entire event became ever more weird and peculiar.
She chanced a glance at Martouf, and it was almost too much, for staring back at her was not Martouf, but Lantash with laughter in his eyes as he watched her shock, and then her interaction with Marta. He realized, at once, that Sam had somehow agreed to them doing this not realizing what it was. He had only himself to blame for that. He was the one that had pleaded with her to just agree with them. She had.
He felt them refasten the robe and when it was finished, he stepped closer to his Samantha so the he could translate for her.
“I will translate for you when they speak to Daniel, my Samantha, or Martouf will.” He saw her nod her head, as if she was afraid to speak aloud. He touched her hand briefly, letting her know he was fine with what had happened.
Then Marta began to speak to Daniel.
“Daniel of the Tau’ri, have you chained your will and your heart to beat as Samantha of the Tau’ri wills it to?”
“Have you brought us proof that you have placed your will under hers? Are you willing to let us bear witness to this proof?”
“I have and I am,” Daniel answered as two of his attendants stepped forward and loosened only one side of his robe to allow it to fall just far enough that a glimpse of the ring and the chain of gold could be seen.
Sam began to shake. She didn’t know if it was nerves, anger, or laughter, but she was right on the edge. If one more thing came along that wasn’t supposed to happen, she would do something drastic. Then she felt Daniel’s hand, warm and strong, wrap around her trembling one and raise it to his mouth for a soft kiss. “It’s okay, Sam. We agreed to let them do this, and you are worth every bit of it and more, I promise you. Please, don’t give up on us now. I don’t want to listen to the Marines for nothing, you know.” She heard the note of teasing in his voice and relaxed slightly.
“He is correct, my Samantha. None of the three of us did anything that we did not wish to do. We were informed and as such, we made an informed decision. You are worth this to us. As Daniel says, do not abandon us now.”
She shook her head, “No. No, I won’t. I couldn’t give any of you up. You should all know that by now. We have a joining to get through, so let’s move on with it.” Looking up at Marta and Jore, she nodded. They were ready.
To have the mates talking at the altar was a little unusual, but then they didn’t usually have a queen-mate that did not know what was happening. They allowed them both to talk to her before proceeding when she indicated they were ready.
They invited them to kneel and Sam found that a little odd as well. Her kneeling place was higher than theirs was and therefore, she was slightly taller than they were. Marta had retreated to her chair, which the attendants set back behind Jore, but to one side.
One of the attendants brought a goblet to Jore, which he offered to Martouf. Daniel leaned in telling her, “You are to drink all of it, Sam. There should be very little in it, but the thing is, we have to give it to you.”
Sam pulled back before Martouf could reach her. “Daniel, there is no way at this awkward an angle that either of you will get whatever is in that thing down my throat without spilling it. No, I’m not going to do it. You can serve me, but you are not force- feeding me. No, Daniel. You tell them that I consider that an insult to my abilities to care for myself, and that I will not be humiliated at my own joining. You may serve me; you will not pour a drink down my throat.” Lantash was already talking to Marta and Jore. Marta smiled. This one was very strong willed. She would keep her mates in line. Fine. However, they wished to proceed.
Sam moved back into place and received the goblet from Martouf’s hands. She drank the fruit juice and handed the goblet back as he dabbed at her mouth with a cloth, an indignity she bore with patience.
Next, it was given to Lantash with a repeat of Martouf’s and from there to Daniel where the entire scene was repeated again. Again Jore spoke a few words while she drank the liquid she had been given.
She looked at Daniel with raised brows and waited. At last, he said, very quickly, “He said that as the wine flows down your throat and into your stomach may our seed flow from our cocks into your womb. Sam are you really sure you want me to be translating this stuff?”
A small amount of the juice was poured into the goblet and Sam gave it first to Martouf as Jore said something. Lantash came forward for the second one. Daniel for the third. She looked at Daniel. He closed his eyes. Taking a breath, he said, just as fast as before, “May your seed slip over your mate’s tongue as easily as the wine passes down your throat. Sam, do you really want to know how all of these translate?”
Wide-eyed Sam could only nod yes. The first time she’d been capable of no response at all.
Next, the attendants brought out some bread and gave it to Jore. First, he gave some to Samantha and bid her to eat as he said and Daniel translated, “While the wine is the passion of life, so the bread is the everyday life. One without the other will never live. May your lives be filled with days of sameness and contentment for only then will you appreciate the days of happiness and joy.”
Each of them were given the bread and listened to the short speech, in turn, starting with Sam and ending with Daniel. Well, at least it hadn’t had a sexual connotation this time and no one had to feed anyone else.
Then the attendants brought out a fruit. Martouf translated for Samantha this time as Jore beamed at them, “This is the fruit of the cotperap tree. It is delicious, nourishing, thirst-quenching, fertile, and slightly aphrodisiacal. The trees that produce this fruit live for many years and produce until they die when they are well over two hundred years old. On this, your joining day, you eat the fruit of the cotperap to ensure that your joining is long and fruitful, growing many strong bonds around you and holding you closely and firmly in its clasp through the years.”
Samantha was given an entire fruit and one half to eat. It was a good thing that she liked it, they were small, and she was still starving. Lantash offered her the first half and held the plate while she ate it, Martouf held the plate holding the second half, and Daniel held the plate with the third.
The next step was a reversal with Sam feeding each of her mates the fruit. Each received the requisite one and a half with Sam holding their plates as they ate the fruit.
After they finished them, there was another goblet of juice or “wine” as they called it, for each of them. One “from” each of her mates "for" Sam and one “for” each of her mates “from” Sam. At last, the step was accomplished. When complete silence fell, Sam looked up in alarm.
The hush continued as what they hoped was the last part of the ritual arrived. The next food brought out looked very much like cake. Sam groaned. Even on an alien world, they did the cake bit. Why? Why? She gave up. This was a test. She just knew it. If she didn’t let them feed her the cake the entire thing was bogus or something.
Lantash translated this time as Jore spoke. “The last of this part of the joining ritual is about to be completed.”
This part? Sam groaned to herself.
Turning to the three of them he said, “This is a delicacy called Chains of Gold. It is not always given to couples because it is very difficult to make and often, though the bakers try, it simply will not form. This time, they tell me, it went together as if by magic. Your bond, they feel, must be deep, and true among all of you. Although most chose to have the chains added before the ceremony, even that does not ensure that the cake will form. You did not have yours attached until right before the ceremony, yet the Chains of Gold was made earlier. As you can see, it formed perfectly. So, we shall see, do you not agree?”
He turned, and Marta came forward with what was obviously a ceremonial blade and sliced off the first piece of the golden cake that looked as if it was made from hundreds of golden chains forged together. What appeared to be some kind of icing resembled the rings on the collars they were wearing.
Daniel translated for her as Marta said, Chain unto Chain, Gold unto gold, Will unto will, One unto one. If this bond is deep and true, Bring for them a chain from you, If light, it was not meant to see, Then cold and silent you will be.”
“Martouf, I believe I should do this first, if you do not mind.”
“You have only to ask, Lantash. Of course, you may have the pleasure of being the first this time.”
“That is not why. It is just…I cannot explain this feeling I have. Please trust me.”
“As always, Lantash.”
Lantash took the first piece of the Chains of Gold from Jore and offered it to his Samantha. He was not sure what was going to happen, but he had seen many strange things in his two thousand years. If they were meant to be Ketra’kesh’cor, four bound by the heart, if they were meant to join as one, then somehow they would know. Somehow.
His hand was shaking. He must get himself under control. Samantha was looking at him strangely. Taking their eating implement in his hand, he forced himself to a calmness he did not feel and offered Sam a bite of the cake.
As soon as she took the bite and began to chew, an extra attendant removed the plate, and he felt one of the chains on his chest become hot to the point that he gasped and bent over moving away from them, only to be pulled upright by the attendants, and forced into place. Gritting his teeth, he felt sweat appear on his face, but before it began to drip, the area became ice cold, pulled the heat from his skin and stopped the pain, leaving him feeling as if it had never been touched by heated metal. He had not been able to do anything about the pain and that was not a normal circumstance. He should have been able to block at least some of it. Something told him that they would be going through it again shortly.
It had been a strange heat. Extremely hot, and yet not so hot as to burn into his skin. He had felt the chain melt though, that he would swear to, and it was much lighter, he could tell. Heat hot enough to melt gold should have burned him badly, but it had not. He had been correct to suspect things beyond the physical plane at work in this. He had seen it before, and he still made no effort to understand it in a scientific way. He simply accepted that it was real, and it happened.
Sam was staring at her left wrist. A beautiful gold chain had appeared there. It was neither so delicate that it would break at the first pull, nor so heavy that it was more masculine than feminine. The odd thing about it was that it looked as if it was only half finished. She shook her head. She had not felt Jore putting that on her, she’d been to busy watching Lantash. She looked over at him now and glanced at his arm. On his left wrist was a half formed bracelet, just like hers. It was fairly heavy and had it finished forming it would have been intricately twisted and beautifully made, just like hers, except that hers would have been more delicately wrought. Reaching out to him she asked, “Lantash are you all right? What happened?”
“I will explain later, my Samantha. For now, we must complete this ceremony, so that we can continue on to the food and festivities. I do not know how you are, but Martouf and I are beginning to get very hungry.”
Sam nodded, but she still looked concerned and somewhat dazed.
“Lantash what just happened to us? Is that about to happen again?”
“To be completely honest with you, Martouf, I do not know. I hope that it will, and I assume that it will. It seems that the Berinnese are somewhat more skilled in certain arts than we knew after all. The chains we wear are able to know, not only if we are true in our intent as to Samantha and her well-being, which I suspected when it warmed to our skin, but they can also tell if the joining is meant to be. If you listened to the words that Marta chanted, as Samantha ate the cake, they basically told the chains to forge new chains of themselves, for both of us, if we were meant to join and if not, to simply lie there cold and silent. They were not silent. My bracelet is only half finished. I am guessing that one of you must complete it.”
“I see. Well, I suppose I should see if I am that one. If not, Lantash what are we to do?”
“We stay the way we are Martouf. We are blended and we will stay blended. There is no question of that. I believe you will be the one to finish it. Let us see”
“Yes, we should.”
Martouf raised his head to indicate that he had finished his internal conversation with Lantash. Jore handed him the cake and he turned to Sam.
She almost refused to take the bite from it, but he offered it and whatever had happened he and Lantash had discussed it and decided to go on. Marta repeated her speech, and once again, as soon as she accepted the bite from them, Martouf doubled over, attempting to remove himself from the pain. Again, his attendants pulled him back, and the pain became intense, the sweat starting again. Before it could begin to run, the pain stopped and the pain and heat were pulled from the injury. Looking at Sam’s wrist, he breathed a sigh of relief. There was another strand there. His eyebrows rose though, because the bracelet was obviously not finished. He quickly looked at his. It was not finished either.
“Lantash? What does this mean?”
“I suggest we look at Daniel’s left wrist, Martouf. I believe we will find a third bracelet there.”
“Then his will be the third section of it?”
“Yes, and that means that we are all meant to be with our Samantha. That is a relief.” Lantash’s voice did seem to hold relief. Martouf was not used to hearing that from him.
“Let us check Daniel’s wrist at once, Lantash. I wish to be sure it is him and, and not O’ Neill, or someone else.”
Lantash laughed, but agreed.
“Samantha, does Daniel have a bracelet as well?” Martouf asked gently, not wanting to startle her out of her seemingly deep concentration on the bracelet.
“Daniel. Does Daniel have a bracelet?”
“Oh. Oh, I don’t know.” She shifted to look down at Daniel. On his left wrist, there was a bracelet that matched theirs. She turned back to Martouf. “Yes, he does. Does it mean something? What is it, anyway?”
“Samantha, we should attempt to complete this step of the ceremony. Once we have accomplished that, we will be in a better position to know exactly what is happening. It is, however, my considered opinion that we do need to finalize the ceremony, so that we will not have quite so large a curious gathering when we discuss it, do you not agree?
Glancing around quickly, she nodded. “Yes, let’s do it. But, Martouf, is this going to hurt Daniel, too? I don’t want to do it, if it is. I thought you would be all right, or I wouldn’t have let you give it to me, either.”
Martouf rubbed his forehead, before saying, “Samantha, I am aware that you do not want to hurt Daniel, but I believe you should question him on how he feels about it. I believe he will tell you that it is absolutely imperative that you complete this part of the ceremony. Please, Samantha. Simply, ask him.”
Sam sighed, and turned to Daniel. She opened her mouth and before she could get the first word out, Daniel said, “You have to do it, Sam. It is absolutely imperative that you let me feed you that cake. Don’t do this to me now.”
“Daniel, did you see how much pain Martouf and Lantash were in? Are you crazy? What is so important that you want to go through with it? True it doesn’t last a long time, but from the looks of it, while it does it must be pretty darn bad.”
“Sam, do you trust me? I mean, really, really trust me? Trust me to know what I want for myself?”
“Yes, of course, Daniel. You would know what you really want better than anyone else does. Why would you not?”
“Then listen to me, please. Trust me. I know what happened to them. I know what it means, and I want it. I need this as much, or more, than I have ever wanted, or needed, anything in my entire life. Please do this for me, Sam. I want this. I need this.”
Sam looked into Daniel’s eyes. Daniel’s eyes had trouble lying to her. They could do it once in a while, but they could never look absolutely rock bottom serious and true to the bone. Daniel was serious and true in his need and want. She nodded. If it was that important to him, she would do it.
“All right. I’ll do it for you because I love you.”
“Thank you, Sam. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
She smiled slightly as he turned to Jore and reached for the plate with the cake on it. Whether or not she would regret it was debatable, but if Daniel said, she wouldn’t, then she’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
Daniel’s attendants were already by him. It had already been proven to everyone there that this was a true and tightly bound joining. This was one that had been made in the beforetime and the Coras, the fates, were telling them that this was meant to be. So be it, then. It would be.
Jack O’Neill had watched first Lantash and then Martouf feed Carter that cake and then collapse in pain. It hadn’t lasted long, but while it had, it was intense.
The problem was they had no idea what was going on. What ever it was, no one seemed at all concerned. The first time Jack had been too shocked to move, and by the time he’d collected himself to start forward, Teal’c had stopped him. It was over after a fairly short time. Fairly being the operative word, and no doubt, depending on which side of the pain you were on. Teal’c still had a hand on him, and he was keeping their eyes locked on one another, as they heard Martouf talking lowly and Carter finally agreeing. He knew when it happened, by the tension in the room, and when it was over, by the relief.
Then he heard Daniels voice talking to Sam. Moreover, he knew that voice. Oh, god, it was his I-am-going-to–do-this-whatever-you-say-so-help–me–or–get–out-of-my-way voice, sort of. However, there was a note of pleading in it. Then he realized that Daniel was talking Sam into letting him give her the cake. And, she would do it for him because he wanted her to. So now, his mind was running in circles and his eyes were still locked on Teal’c’s. The room tensed.
The refrain in his head said, “Don’t cry out, Danny, please, please don’t cry out. I don’t understand what’s happening, but I know you’re being hurt, and I know that you know what you’re doing, so I can’t help you, even though I want to. So, whatever you do, just don’t cry out cause even Teal’c won’t be able to hold me back then, Daniel. Damn it, Daniel…”
And, Daniel Jackson didn’t cry out. Sam ate the cake and watched as Daniel went through the same agonizing pain that her other mates had. Then she couldn’t look anymore. She closed her eyes.
“Sam, it’s over and I’m fine. Come on. Open your eyes. We need to see what is going on. It looks like Lantash is arguing with Jore.”
And Teal’c’s hand relaxed and Jack O’Neill looked as stoic as ever.
Turning toward them, Daniel asked, “Lantash, what’s going on?”
“They want Samantha to feed both of us that cake.”
“And that is a problem because you think she will go through what we did? Did you ask him?”
Lantash blinked at him. “No. I did not. I assumed it would be the same. It is the same cake.”
Daniel turned to Jore and asked about the pain. Jore looked horrified that they would even consider that they would do something like that to their women. No, the men would bear the pain for them; he beamed.
He stopped smiling when he realized they were not smiling back. Well, actually, there was no pain involved, well, actually, it was at least a minimal amount, and he was sorry, but it must be done to finish this step of the joining. Then only one more step, with no pain involved, and finished. Martouf and Daniel looked at one another, and down at the bracelets that looked completed to them. Finally, they agreed. They were to kneel in front of her, and she must feed both of them at the same time. They nodded.
Sam frowned and looked at them. They nodded to her, so she sighed and fed them. Their attendants grabbed them, the pain was shorter in duration, and when it was over all three of them wore gold bands that matched the bracelets on the ring fingers of their left hands.
The Tok’Ra often gave this kind of bracelet as a bonding or joining gift.
The Tau’ri gave a ring, many times of gold. Both cultures had been seen to. They were married and they were bonded.
The question was how had the Berinnese known what each culture needed to complete their bonding? Better yet, how had the chains known what had been needed? Somehow, they didn’t think they would ever really know.
Now for the Berinnese joining. They would come back to the original positions, please. Jore beamed.
Three small chains were brought. Marta first asked Lantash, “Are you willing to re-chain your will and your heart to Samantha of the Tau’ri?”
So, first Lantash and Martouf had the chains that had disappeared from their chests replaced. They had looked at the empty space rather numbly. On Martouf’s chest were faint gold links imprinted onto his skin where the gold melted. Two golden chains etched into his skin as a constant reminder to them of their promise to Samantha. It would always be there in front of them. They both smiled at the thought of a permanent reminder of this day.
Daniel’s question, answer and replacement was, of course, next. He, too, looked at his chainless chest and saw the golden chain etched into his skin and felt an odd sensation. It had been there, and no one had taken it off. There are stranger things in heaven and…the new chain covered those etched there now exactly. However, he would always have the reminder there. He, too, smiled at that thought. Then their robes were replaced on their shoulders.
Two chains of gold were brought forward next. They were about six feet long. Daniel looked at them and groaned. Martouf did the same, and Lantash saw the humor of it and drove him crazy with his laughing every time he thought about it.
Then everyone sobered completely because suddenly Jore and Marta both somehow appeared to become more serious, though they had been so all along.
Martouf and Daniel each kneeling close to Sam, one on either side, switched back and forth translating for her.
“It has been proven by the chains of gold that these four are meant to be mates. Their life- bond will be fruitful and happy, each of them loving and giving to the other within their union.”
He paused for a moment and then began again. “We have all been witness to the depth of the bond between them. Only rarely do the chains show so plainly that the bond is so deep and true. To have completely used all of the chain is…” he moved his hands unable to come up with a word strong enough. Finally, he managed, “It has not been seen in many, many years now.”
“It is our pleasure to announce that they have joined their spirits together, from the signs, long before they came to us. Therefore we will delay no longer in attaching the joining chains.”
“Martouf of the Tok’Ra, as your will is unto your mate’s, is it also your desire to protect and honor her, with love always in your heart for her and desire in your body for her, until the day you shall live no more?”
“And you willingly accept this bond and her will?”
“Have you anything to say to her? If so, then you may.”
“I do.” Turning to face her Martouf reached out and touched her face, smiling a little half smile, before saying, “Samantha, I give my heart to you, with all my love of you in it. It will rest there, today, tomorrow and always. You are my love, my heart. I will always love you. This I promise you.” He nodded to Jore.
He lost no time in starting the next set of questions, “Lantash of the Tok’Ra, as your will is unto your mate’s, is it also your desire to protect and honor her, with love always in your heart for her, and desire in your body for her, until the day you shall live no more?”
“And you willingly accept this bond and her will?”
“Have you anything to say to her? If so, then you may.”
“I do.” Lantash looked at her from Martouf’s eyes and yet she knew at once that they were not. This was Lantash. “My Samantha,” he kissed the palm of one of the hands that he held and breathed in her scent. “You are a passion in my blood, but you also have my love, the very heart of me, and you will have it always. I will care for you, honor you, and cherish you as long as we both shall live. That I vow to you. You will always be my beloved, my Samantha.”
Lantash indicated that he had finished and Jore turned to Samantha, but she shook her head and turned to Lantash, whispering to him. He turned to Jore and whispered to him. He thought for a moment and then nodded. He turned next to Daniel.
“Daniel of the Tau’ri, as your will is unto your mate’s, is it also your desire to protect and honor her, with love always in your heart for her and desire in your body for her, until the day you shall live no more?”
“And you willingly accept this bond and her will?”
“Have you anything to say to her? If so, then you may.”
“Yes, I do.” Daniel turned to Sam, taking her hands in his, before lacing their fingers together between them. “I love you, Sam. I believe that we have a bond that will never die. You complete me in ways that no one, no one else, ever has, or ever will. You are my mate, my other half.”
“Martouf and Lantash, they are the mates of your heart first and then your soul and mind. You and I, we are mates of the mind, and the soul, first and the heart last. But, all three of us feel great passion for you. I will adore you, test you, and challenge you, until the day we die. I hope you will do the same for me. I love you, Sam. Forever and a Day” He nodded to Jore that he was finished.
"Samantha of the Tau’ri, these beings Martouf and Lantash of the Tok’Ra, and Daniel of the Tau’ri have come to you, and pledged to you that they will relinquish unto you their first will. Do you accept them as your mates, and offer them your second will freely? Is it your desire to protect and honor them with love always in your heart and desire in your body, until the day you shall live no more?”
“I do and it is.”
“Have you anything to say to them? If so, then you may.”
“I do.” She looked at Daniel and he nodded, understanding that he should translate, if he felt it was appropriate.
Taking a deep breathe, Sam looked at Martouf and knew that Lantash was there as well, listening to her and watching her from behind Martouf. She clasped one of their hands and one of Daniel’s, rubbing them with her thumbs as she gathered her thoughts. “I love you all. However, there are things I want to say to each of you.”
She turned first to Lantash, saying, “My Lantash. You are my Lantash now. I desire you, and I love you. The passion between us is wild and burning, but the love is a heart-love that is as full, ripe, and true as it is for Daniel and Martouf. Never doubt that. You have had my heart from the first moment we met, and I have no doubt that you will have my heart until the day I die. I look forward to our life together. You have my heart.”
“I love you today, I will love you tomorrow, forever and ever, perhaps, until the end of time, Always. You are my beloved, my Lantash, forever my beloved.”
She kissed Lantash briefly and watched as her other heart-mate came forward. “Martouf, my heart calls to yours. Your smile lights the dark for me. You are my stars and my rainbows. Just by being in my world, by existing, you make me happy. I will also rest my heart in you for you will never break it or abuse it. I honor, love, and cherish you but, I love you with a passion that runs every bit as deeply as does my passion for Daniel and Lantash. Don’t ever doubt that. Ever. You hold my heart.
“I love you now, and I will love you always, until death parts us and perhaps, beyond. You are my love, Martouf, always my love.”
She stepped back and nodded to Jore.
At his signal, the attendants brought one of the six foot lengths forward. They were not heavy by any means but neither would they break easily.
Daniel translated for her, “To show that your will is under that of your lady, you will shackle yourself to her.” They showed him where and after he attached the chain to his collar they showed him where to put it on hers.
Then they activated something on his and he realized that Samantha could undo hers but he could not. Then they activated something on hers. Now neither could be unlocked without the control.
Lantash spoke sharply to Jore. The releasing control was handed over immediately when certain scenarios were painted.
Moreover, it started Jore thinking of all the times they had endangered couples with this old custom. He would speak to Marta. This should not continue without precautions such as this being taken. He was glad that Lantash had said something.
For now though, the question must be asked of Samantha. Martouf began to translate.
Samantha of the Tau’ri, Daniel Jackson of the Tau’ri has come to you, and pledged to you that he will relinquish unto you his first will. Do you accept him as your mate and offer him your second will freely? Is it your desire to protect and honor him with love always in your heart and desire in your body, until the day you shall live no more?”
“I do and it is.”
“Have you anything to say to him? If so, then you may.”
“I do.” Sam looked at Daniel and at their hands still clasped together, before she looked into his eyes. “I love you, Daniel. I want you to be my lover, my husband, my friend and my mate. You have been my shoulder and my staff. I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished. You are the most extraordinary person I have ever met. I love you completely and deeply, and I will until the day we die and, perhaps, even beyond. You are a very, very special man, Daniel Jackson; You keep my heart.
I will never be able to tell you exactly what you mean to me. My Daniel. Mine. I will love you into eternity, my Daniel. Into eternity.”
Sam looked at them and pulled their hands together. Knowing what she wanted they joined with hers. “I will never be able to tell any of you what I feel for you. The emotions just run too deep. I just know that somehow, I love all of you, and if I try to section it out, to decide if I love one, or the other, “more”, I can’t do it. You are all equal in my eyes and in my heart. You always will be. I love you all, for always, forever, and into eternity.”
She nodded to Jore and he called the attendants over with the chain. Martouf translated for her, “To show that your will is under that of your lady, you will shackle yourself to her.” They showed Daniel where to fasten it and after he attached the chain to his collar they showed him where to put it on hers. First, they activated his and then hers. Now neither could be unlocked with out the control. He and Samantha looked at him in surprise when he gave it to them.
Daniel explained to Sam, “I guess Lantash pointed out that if the Goa’uld, or some other enemy turned up that their new mated pair were at a distinct disadvantage in escape, protecting themselves, or aiding each other. He insisted on having a control. After speaking to Marta, they agreed that it was time for a change. What Lantash said was true and an attack was not impossible, as they knew from experience. They would not take the chance with their young people. So, they’ve given us the controls. If we get tired of being tied together all we have to do is unlock it.”
Daniel, Martouf, and Sam looked at each other. The joining was over. What happened next? Marta and Jore smiled and motioned their attendants to surround them. They would now be escorted to the “feast”. They would finally get something to eat besides fruit, bread, and cake. That sure hadn’t held them long. They were all hungry.
None of them mentioned the other thing they had all been noticing as time had passed. Evidently, Jore had not been kidding when he said the cotperap fruit was an aphrodisiac. It was working. Oh, yeah, was it ever working.