"Free to Love"

Somewhere in our galaxy, on a day that had started out as a simple meet and greet...

"If you need to beat a woman to feel like a man, then beat me!"

The sound of flesh hitting flesh sounded like the crack of rifle fire. And before Sam had time to recover from the slap, he had grabbed her hair in his fist and pulled her head toward him. Turghan sneered at Captain Samantha Carter, his almond-shaped eyes blazing, his face mere inches from hers.

He had never seen a woman like this pale, yellow-haired stranger. She was lovelier than anything he had ever imagined, but she also had the mouth of a viper! He hoped she would be worth what he had paid the boy for her. He decided not to waste anymore time before finding out.

And then the Mongol war lord kissed her, the smell of his rancid breath making her sick to her stomach. But she would not flinch or show any sign of revulsion or fear. For she could see something besides hatred in his eyes...she could see lust, and that scared her more than she thought possible. Sam was well-trained and a confident soldier; she wasn't afraid to face any man in a fight, even in hand-to-hand combat. But a man who used sexual aggression to punish and control was every woman's worst nightmare.

"Get out," he yelled, throwing an arm out to gesture toward the exit.

His wives ran, afraid of what he would do to them if they disobeyed. And then he was on her, his strong hands tearing open the bodice of the blue dress. In one quick duck of her head, Sam was able to sink her teeth into the fleshy part of his right hand. Turghan howled in pain and struck her so hard she passed out from the blow.

Sometime later...Sam couldn't be certain how much time had passed...she was being revived by gentle hands lifting her head and offering her a drink of water. To her disappointment she found that her hands were tied again, but this time behind her back, and she was still inside Turghan's tent.

"Drink. He will come back, but not until the sun sets. You would be wise to do as he says," the dark-haired woman told her.

Sam lay on her side on a bed of fur pelts to one side of the chair where the Mongol leader had sat earlier when she and Abu had first arrived. Feeling her strength returning she lifted her head a bit and took a few sips of the cool water. Sam recognized the woman who was holding the wooden cup to her lips. She was the girl Nya's mother. She was also the woman Sam had saved from being whipped. Sam hoped the woman would repay a kindness.

"I really need to get back to my people. Will you help me? Untie me?"

"No, I cannot! Do not speak of such things," she warned hastily as she rose and hurried out of the tent.

A shadow filled the doorway and Sam looked up. It was Turghan, and she knew she would have to make a quick decision; either she would submit to him and survive long enough to be rescued by the rest of her team, or she would try to fight him off and probably be killed.

Well, she had suspected that gate travel would be the death of her one day. She just hadn't expected that day would come quite this soon.

In the nearby hills Sam's teammates were watching the activity in the encampment below. The sun had set just a little while ago, and the open area between the tents was illuminated by several large campfires. Men, women and children were gathered around the fires eating and drinking, their quiet chatter interrupted every now and then by a loud peel of laughter or the barking of a dog.

After much cajoling Abu had agreed to lead them here, but he would go no further into enemy territory, particularly after the warning he had received from Turghan earlier that day. That was fine with Jack; he didn't really want the boy along anyway. He reminded Jack too much of another boy...a boy named Skaara...who Jack had been unable to save from the Goa'uld. And even though Jack understood why Abu was hurting, Jack couldn't feel too sorry for him.

Because of the boy, Captain Carter, the woman Jack had lusted after and loved...heaven help him...since the moment he'd first met her just three months ago, was in big trouble and needed their help. And so the leader of SG-1 had sent Abu home. The boy had departed without looking back, his head down as he rode quietly away.

"What are we gonna do, Jack," Daniel hissed, keeping his voice low.

All three remaining members of SG-1 were laying stretched out on their bellies, watching the scene below through their field glasses. This was their first time out together as a team, and they hadn't expected trouble on this seemingly innocuous planet. And yet here they were, finding it necessary to rescue of one of their own from some pretty primitive, yet dangerous people.

"We need to scout the area and figure out where they're keeping her. Teal'c, you go around to the left and take a look. I'll go around to the right. Meet me back here in fifteen minutes," Jack told the big Jaffa. "Daniel, you wait here and keep your eyes open."

"But..."

"Do as I say, Dr. Jackson."

Jack slowly and carefully made his way closer to the camp. He crept quietly to a copse of trees about fifty feet of the nearest tent and crouched down to listen. He could see the man Abu had pointed out earlier as the leader of this tribe, and the guy was walking away from his position and toward a large tent at the far side of the clearing. Jack figured that was probably where Teal'c was right now.

Jack kept low, chewing is bottom lip as he tried to decide what to do. He figured that if he were the Mongol chief, he'd have Carter where he could keep an eye on her. Jack also thought the man would keep her close by at night to warm his bed, and that thought sent Jack's temperature soaring, even in the cold night air. With thoughts of the woman he loved in the arms of that filthy bastard, Jack hurried back to Daniel's position. Teal'c was already there.

"T, I think that's Turghan's tent...right there! And I'm betting she's in there," Jack stated, and Teal'c nodded.

"I concur, O'Neill. He would keep his newest possession close at hand."

"My God, Jack, do you suppose he's..."

Jack didn't let the younger man continue. He didn't know what Sam's captor had done to her by now, and he wouldn't allow himself time to think about the possibilities.

"I don't know, Daniel. Okay, here's what we're gonna do," Jack began, and the two men listened intently.

Jack had decided that a distraction might be the only thing that would give them time to get to Carter and get her out of there. And to that end he told Daniel what he wanted him to do. Jack instructed the archaeologist to creep around behind the tent on the opposite side of the camp from the largest one. It was also next to where the horses were tied up. He told Dr. Jackson to gather together some dry wood and stack it up against the back of the tent.

"You want me to start a fire," Daniel asked in horror.

"Yes, Daniel! We need a distraction. Here, use this," he said, handing Daniel his cigarette lighter. "And for God's sake, don't let anyone hear you! Light her up in exactly five minutes from now, and then get the hell back here! Go! Teal'c, come with me," Jack said, and they hurried off to the right.

In three minutes Jack and Teal'c were in place behind the big tent. They hunkered down behind some bushes, approximately twenty feet from the back wall of the tent and waited for all hell to break loose.

"Do you trust Dr. Jackson to do as you say," the big Jaffa asked him in a whisper.

"He'd better, or I'll break his scrawny neck," Jack answered.

Jack had to admit he didn't always trust Daniel, but he certainly didn't want the man involved in the combat part of this mission...if it came to that. Dr. Jackson was a great scientist, linguist, whatever, but when it came to fighting, the man was still a cadet or worse!

They waited three minutes...four minutes and then finally they heard screams erupting from the far side of the encampment. Shouts could be heard coming from all around the camp, but Jack couldn't understand anything that was being said. He could only hope that the leader would come outside to see what was happening, giving them time to rescue Carter.

"Let's do this," he hissed, and both he and Teal'c ran up to the back of the big tent. Teal'c had his staff weapon at the ready, and Jack carried his knife in his hand. Without hesitation he plunged it into the sturdy material that made up the tent wall and sliced downward, silently making a large rent in the fabric. He knew that if the Mongol leader was standing there watching him, his chance of succeeding would be slim. And that's why he had told the Jaffa warrior to stand ready to shoot anything that moved.

But Jack could see no one inside the tent when he stuck his upper body through the tear. He pushed inside, turning sideways to slip into the tent. Teal'c followed with less ease.

Jack stopped and looked around at the apparently empty tent. But then suddenly he heard it...a low moan coming from somewhere near the chair that sat directly in front of him. And there, on a mound of skins, he saw his Captain, her blonde hair sticking up from under a covering of dark fur.

Jack kept his body low as he stepped forward, coming down on one knee next to her. Sam's body was covered by a large fur pelt, and at first Jack didn't realize that she was totally nude under it. But then he touched her through the pelt and she jerked, reaching out one bare arm to fend him off, her palm flat against his chest.

"No, please...no more," she said, her voice begging.

The fur blanket slipped down as her back came up off the makeshift bed, revealing the tops of her bare creamy breasts.

"Carter, it's me," he hissed, shoving his knife back into the sheath on his leg.

Her eyes met his in a split second of recognition, and she gasped. His hand found hers and squeezed, her fingers gripping his tightly.

"Can you walk," he asked, not sure what injuries she might have received at the hands of this animal.

He suspected some of what may have happened to her, but now was not the time or the place to discuss it. In fact, Jack wasn't certain he ever wanted to know the truth about her experiences in this place.

"Yes! But I'm...I don't have anything on," she said, pulling her fingers from his grip and using them to grab hold of the fur pelt, in an effort to keep herself covered. She succeeded, but not before Jack caught a glimpse of one firm breast.

It was all he could do to keep his mind on exactly why he was there.

He quickly picked her and the fur covering up in his arms and headed back the way he had come. Teal'c was there at his side, holding the fabric open so that Jack could carry his prize through the opening. And then they were hurrying, as fast as Jack could run carrying a one-hundred-and-ten-pound Captain in his arms, toward the nearby hill.

Jack laid her down on the ground and quickly rummaged around in her pack for her clothes. He handed them to her, and then he and the other men turned their back so she could get dressed. They could hear screams and shouts coming from the camp, but nothing they heard told them whether or not their deception had been discovered.

She knew they didn't have much time before Turghan would know she was missing, and so Sam got dressed in record time, even for her.

Jack seemed to sense when she was fully clothed, and just at that moment he turned around, picking up his pack and heading off in the direction from which they had first come. The rest of his team followed.

TBC