Title: Bad for Business

Author: Dragonland

Email: Perhaps, PG…-13? I think so.

Summary: Sam makes it up to the cabin! Hooray!

Classifications: I don't know what this means.

Spoilers: Umm, erm. None. But I like the thought of Jack being a General. It's pretty hot, so I'll say late season 8.

Archive: SJD, yes anywhere else, not yet… I'm not ready for that kind of commitment.

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me and either does the show, which is okay because I couldn't afford it anyway. But I get to play with them for free.

Bad for Business

By Dragonland

The weekend. Freedom at last! Jack grabbed his coat and walked toward the elevator. His mind was set on one thing. Get out of the mountain and get to his sanctuary. As he was walking, he bumped into Carter.

"Sir," she said.

"Carter," he replied.

"Where are you going?"

"Well, it's the weekend and I plan to enjoy it,"

"Of course," she smiled. "What do you plan on doing?"

"A little of this and that. Maybe some fishing."

"Well, enjoy your weekend Sir," she said, turning to walk back to her lab.

"Carter… you could join me. You and I and the fish."

The elevator opened and Jack stepped out, fully expecting her to continue her way down. She watched him walk out of the elevator, and she followed him out.

"Sir, I…" Sam said, trailing off.

"Well?" he asked expectantly.

She didn't have a good reason to keep him here. So she made up a reason to stall him.

"Sir, I don't plan on leaving the base this weekend. If you could, I would love it if you would pick me up some dark Dove chocolate. I would really appreciate it. I'll, uh, pay you back when you get home," she said, slightly blushing.

"Carter. You haven't left the mountain for a weekend since our last off-world. Two MONTHS ago."

"Sir, I've been very busy analyzing data from the last trip," she countered.

Jack grabbed her shoulders and gently shook her.

"Carter, you have to get away from here. I will buy you 10 pounds of chocolate if you come fishing this weekend."

She just smiled at him.

"Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me."

Smiling, he walked to his truck, preparing himself for the long drive to the cabin.

Carter walked back inside and headed toward the elevator. She knew that she would have to focus on one of her doohickeys before her mind would wander to forbidden things. Hot forbidden things. Hours at the SGC seemed to fly. Sam finally took a look at the clock. 11:30 pm. She sighed. There wouldn't be enough time for her to leave tonight. Shutting down her experiments, she closed the door to her office and went down her sleeping quarters.

Jack looked at the clock. It was a little before midnight. Sam wouldn't be coming. He wasn't surprised. She didn't usually accept his offers to go to his cabin anyway. But he did think that maybe the chocolate bribe would work to his advantage. He took the blanket that was on the couch and wrapped himself in it. In a matter of minutes, he was overcome with sleep.

Sam woke up early the next morning. She wanted to make it to the cabin by mid afternoon. She quickly showered, packed an overnight bag and went on her way to the cabin. She arrived at Jack's cabin hours later, ready for a weekend of relaxation. Looking in the mirror, she smiled. Standing in the doorway was Jack, grinning like a fool.

"Welcome to my paradise!"

Sam embraced his excited facial expressions and smiled. She hoped that this would be a weekend that she would soon never forget.

"Well, come on in! I'm just about to make some lunch. You hungry?" he asked.

"I'm starving, Sir," she replied.

Sam watched Jack walk into the kitchen to finish up with the lunch preparations. He was whistling a happy tune while making the meal. Sam glimpsed around the room. It was a rustic cabin, simply decorated with no sign of Jack O'Neill being an intergalactic space hero.

"Carter, where are you wandering off to in that big brain of yours?" he asked.

"I was just observing how nice of a place you have," she said.

Jack beamed. He knew that Sam would love this place. It was so naturalistic, something they both enjoyed. He served up two plates and they began to eat. At first, they both sat in a peaceful silence. Jack looked up from his breakfast, then over at Sam.

"Ever wonder what it would be like to raise a family?"

She stopped chewing and glanced over at him. She swallowed and said,

"Sir?"

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe because I saw how close you and Pete were…" he trailed off.

"I wouldn't have started a family with Pete. Our relationship was never in a position for that to ever happen. I'm not ready for that kind of commitment," she replied coolly.

"Oh."

"Anyway, I'm very dedicated to the work at the SGC. I'm at a place in my life that I could never imagine being at. I don't know if I would be willing to let that go."

"But you would if you found the right man, wouldn't you?" he said, puffing out his chest.

"Yes, I suppose so. It's not like I don't want to. But it seems that everyone I get close to either dies or betrays me," she said distractedly.

"I would never do that," he said in a barely audible whisper.

"Say again, Sir?"

"I'm sure your knight in shining armor is just around the corner."

"Well if he is, he better not make me wait much longer. I'm not getting any younger," she said.

He smiled and offered her another cup of coffee. Getting up, he began to clear away the mess that breakfast left.

"Let me help you," Sam offered.

"No, it's okay. Just let me finish up so we can go fishing," he said.

Carter fought off the urge to wrap her arms around O'Neill's swaying hips as he finished cleaning the dishes.

"You ever been fishing before, Sam?"

"Yes, when I was a kid. I wasn't very good at it, though," she replied.

"Hmm. Well, I'll have to give you a fishing lesson today. $50 an hour. But since you're a special visitor, I'll cut the price in half," he said in a thick southern drawl.

"What a deal! I'll take it," she said smiling.

They went into his garage and picked up the fishing poles and bait. As they walked down to the lake Jack asked her, "This isn't going to be like last time when you showed me up at pool?" he asked hesitantly.

Sam snickered light-heartily. She remembered that night at O'Malley's, playing game after game of pool, her beating Jack every single time. "No, I don't believe so, Sir," she said with a smile.

"Sam, while we're here, you can call me Jack. It has a nicer ring to it," he encouraged.

"I don't know about that, Sir. I wouldn't want to slip up at the SGC and be thrown into the Brig."

"Come on, I'll even start calling you Sam instead of Carter. Whaddya say?"

"Okay, Jack."

His face lit up as she said his name.

"See, that wasn't to hard, Sam."

It wasn't that she didn't want to call him Jack. She had programmed her brain not to. He had two names she was safe calling him. Sir and General. Anything else was skating on thin ice. It was hard enough to keep him in the box labeled "Superior Officer" rather than, incredibly handsome, wonderfully witty, sarcastic, charming, and kind hearted. She could go on forever listing the qualities about him she loved. All of the qualities that made him a rugged handsome man. It was just enough for her to keep calling him Sir during the day, but at night when she was alone was a completely different story.

"Sir. I mean, Jack. What is your middle name?"

"Jack."

"Jack?"

"Yes."

"Why don't you go by Jonathan?"

"Jack is short, and sweet and right to the point. I like it better anyway," he said. "How about you? I've never asked you. Which do you like better, Sam or Samantha?"

"Depends on who it is. I've been used to being called Sam my entire life," she said.

"That wasn't the question," he said

"It makes the most sense to call me Sam. But, when I'm not on base, and I'm out in the dating scene, I like to be called Samantha. I think it sounds a little more feminine. It really makes no difference to me. I'm usually not in that scene anyway."

"What about Sammy?" he smiled. "I like that."

She made a face. "Sammy? Uhh…" she trailed off.

"I'm guessing no, right?"

She nodded. She explained that when she was a child, her brother's friends would call her that and it implied to her that she was still ickle baby Sammy. It still haunted her when she went to visit him.

"Were you ever called JJ when you were young?" she asked.

Jack groaned. "All the time growing up. I vowed that when I grew up, I would never let anyone call me that. I guess I don't like it for the same reasons as you," he said.

Sam swished her feet around in the water. The water was cold, but that was to be expected. She leaned back and began to soak in all of the sun's rays. They both slipped back into a peaceful silence. An hour passed. Sam glanced over at Jack. His eyes were staring at the lake, but she couldn't tell if they were open. His sunglasses covered his eyes. She gazed around at the scenery. The trees were swaying ever so slightly in the breeze. She looked one last time at Jack. There was no sign of movement. She quickly stripped down to her underclothes and jumped into the lake.

Jack's eyes sprung open. He tore his hat and sunglasses off. She came to the surface of the water with a playful grin. She laughed when she saw the priceless expression of shock that lay on his face. He looked at her, and then the pile of clothing that was left on the dock.

"Cold, Sam?"

"No! Why don't you come in here and join me?"

"Well, since you scared all the fish away by jumping in," he said, pulling his t-shirt over his head. He stripped down in the same fashion that Sam did. Jack was a little disappointed that he missed her in the process.

Sam watched intently as the articles of clothing came off of Jack's lean body. "Who in their right mind wouldn't be?" she thought to herself. He unbuckled his pants and they slid down his well-defined legs. She finally broke her stare as he glanced over to her, bobbing silently in the water, waiting for him.

"Here I come!" he said.

(HERE IS WHEN YOU CAN CHOOSE TO READ THE ALT ENDING, BUT READ BOTH PLEASE)

He ran from the beginning of the short dock and landed in the water with a huge splash. She stayed in place, waiting for him to resurface. Suddenly, she felt two hands on her waist. Before she realized what was going on, he pulled her under the water. She struggled to get away from his grasp. He held onto her and pulled her to the surface. He was the one laughing now, with the shocked expression now on her face.

"Sam, we'd better get out of the water. It's a bit cold."

"You're right Sir- she said laughing and then cut herself off. "I mean, Jack."

"I'm gonna go into the house and get you a towel. I'll be right back."

He went into the house to retrieve a towel for the two of them. When he came back outside, he saw Sam sitting on his chair, wearing his sunglasses and hat. He stood behind her quietly, watching chest rise and fall with each breath, her skin covered in goosebumps. She held her breath. He had been caught watching her, but he was going to play it off.

"Are you wearing my sunglasses, Sam?" he playfully accused her.

She gazed over to him, and then back out at the water.

"Wanted to see the world through Jack O'Neill's eyes and my head was getting cold. You don't want me getting sick now, would you?" she said.

She took off the hat and sunglasses and set them on the opposite chair. He set his towel down and began to pick up and fold the previously discarded clothing. Sam wrapped the towel around her and picked up her folded clothing.

"Sam, uh, we should probably get something to eat," he said.

"Good idea. What are you in the mood for?" she asked.

"I'm always in the mood for pizza or Chinese… you?"

"Sweet and sour chicken," she replied.

"Sounds good to me. Let's go inside and get dressed."

Sam followed behind Jack into the house. When inside, Jack pointed out the bathroom.

"Feel free to shower. I know the lake isn't exactly the cleanest water," he said.

"Well, I should go and grab my bag out of the car," she said walking back towards the front door.

"Say no more. I'll go ahead and get it. Jump into the shower,"

"Thanks."

"Yasure," he replied in his thickening Irish accent.

When she got out of the shower, she saw a note attached to her bag. It read:

Sam:

I'm going into town for some breakfast items. I left some money for the take-out. Let them keep the change. It's a long drive out here.

-Jack

Sam finished toweling off and got dressed. Walking out into the living room, she saw a large array of The Simpsons on DVD. She figured she would watch some while she waited for the food and Jack. After about 3 episodes, the food arrived. She handed him the money and sent him away. A couple of episodes later, she heard Jack come in. His arms were full of groceries.

"There's more in the truck. I'll be right back," he said heading out the door.

Sam walked into the into the kitchen to find a few bags filled with dove chocolate.

She laughed at the sight.

"Sam, a little help?" he said as bags started slipping out of his hands.

She ran over to him and seized the bag before it fell to the ground. They sat the bags on the floor and went to sit down and enjoy some dinner.

"The food is starting to get cold," he said. "We'd better start eating. We can deal with the kitchen later."

"Mmmkay," she said, settling down on the couch.

"I see that you found my prized collection of DVDs. Sure you want to watch them?"

"Yes. I never realized the satirical humor that this show possessed. They also allude to some pretty deep pieces of literature and who can resist poking fun at politics?" she said.

Jack grinned. Contrary to popular belief, he enjoyed the show for those reasons. But mostly it was the humor that Bart Simpson had. It reminded him somewhat of his childhood. He was glad they could watch it together. Not many would sit with him through this show.

Dinner slipped by quickly. They laughed and joked during the whole meal. As they finished their meal, Jack handed Sam her fortune cookie.

"You have to read it out loud, Sam and end it with 'in bed'," he said.

"Okay." She read over it quickly and let out a small gasp.

"What? What does it say?" he asked excitingly.

"Oh. Umm… I'll soon have great financial gain."

"Sam."

"Okay. It says: A long awaited relationship will soon come to pass. In bed."

"That's interesting. I have the same one as you. I think the restaurant needs to stir up their cookie bin."

She looked over at him and gave him a weak smile. They sat for a while in an awkward silence. Finally, Jack cleared his throat and offered to get Sam another drink. Glad to change the subject, she agreed. She watched him get up. His body seemed to be tense and rigid.

"Jack?"

"Hmm?"

"You look stiff."

Jack grinned broadly. Sam groaned inwardly and blushed slightly. She didn't realize what she said until it came out of her mouth.

"And? Natural aging process at its finest."

"Well, let me give you a back massage. It's the least I can do for dragging you into the lake."

Jack smiled at her, but inside he was screaming.

'Imagine for one second her hands on your body, Jack,' he scolded himself. 'This isn't a necessary medical act, like the time we 'cuddled' in Antarctica. Your black ops training won't be able to save you from this one, buddy.' He knew if she were to touch him, he would get a loud and noticeable reply from his friend downstairs. And he wasn't firmly committed to embarrassing himself in front of Carter.

"I don't know about that," he said.

"Come on Jack. Don't you trust me?"

"With my life," he whispered.

She smiled sweetly to him.

"Okay… what do I have to do?"

"Take your shirt off. Lay face down on the couch. Relax. I know this may be a hard concept for you, but at least try. Clear your mind of any unnecessary thoughts."

He took off his shirt and watched Sam self-consciously. She ignored his crooked grin and began to work diligently at making the General relax.

He turned his back to her and laid down on the couch. As soon as she put her hands on him, chills ran down his spine and he shivered.

"You're thinking too much. You are getting all tense again," she said.

He turned his head to say something, then thought better of it. Jack finally commanded his body to relax. Sam could immediately see his whole demeanor change after a few minutes. Her soft hands kneaded his lower back all the way up to his neck. She pulled her hands away and looked over at his peaceful face. When he realized that her hands had left his back, his eyes snapped open.

"Sam," he whined, "Don't stop."

"Jack, we've… I've been at it for an hour. I need a drink," she said.

"Mmmph," he said as he rolled over.

"Jack?"

"Would you grab me one of those too?"

"Yeah."

Sam walked over to the refrigerator and picked up a couple of bottles. She took a look at the clock. It was beginning to get late. Turning around, she saw Jack standing in the doorway. Startled, she jumped a little. He peered into her eyes, reaching inside of her until he touched her soul. He broke the hypnotic gaze to grab the beer that was in her hand.

"Thanks," he said. "I'm really glad you're here Sam."

She smiled at him and turned her eyes away from him. When she looked up again, he had her in that mesmerizing gaze again. He didn't want to break away from it.

"Do you like to dance?" he questioned. He wasn't one to say silent for long.

She flashed him a huge smile.

"Yes. I would love to," she said.

He sat his drink down and turned his stereo on. Contemporary romantic music swelled throughout the cabin. Walking toward her, he held out his hand. He bowed to her and looked her square in the eye.

"May I have this dance?" he asked.

Sam giggled and intertwined her fingers with his outstretched hand. He led her to the main floor of the cabin. She put her arms around his neck, as Jack placed his around her waist. They both swayed silently to the music.

"I didn't know you listened to this type of music," she said.

"What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic," was his reply.

Sam laughed at the comment. He had been full of surprises today. She nuzzled up in the crook of his neck and laid her head on his shoulder. She knew that she was stepping over the line. But she was so comfortable in his warm and safe embrace. They danced together well after the CD was finished. Sam was the first to realize how late it actually was.

"Jack, we really should be getting to bed. It's really late."

Jack groaned inwardly. He looked over at the clock and yawned. Sam was the first to break away from the intimate embrace.

"Here, let me show you to your bedroom," Jack said.

Sam suppressed a yawn and followed him to the bedroom. He opened the door and turned on the light. When she entered the room, she collapsed on the bed. She opened her eyes to look at Jack one last time before she fell asleep.

"Good Night, Sam."

"'Night," came the reply from the slightly exhausted Colonel.

Jack shut the door quietly behind him and walked to his room. He sighed as he pulled off his t-shirt and jeans. He climbed into bed and closed his drooping eyelids.

Sam rolled around in her bed. Suddenly she let out a blood-curdling scream. Jack's eyes snapped open. He leapt out of his bed and sprinted over to her room. He opened the door to see Sam curled up into a ball on the bed, sobbing and shivering involuntary.

"Sam?" he called out.

She continued to cry, totally dismissing his presence entirely. He climbed into bed with her and pulled her close to his chest. He was scared. He had demons of his own and had his own way of dealing with them. He had no idea how he could help her or what she was experiencing. He did know that if he wanted her to calm down, he was going to have to calm down himself.

"Sam, I'm here. Shh… I'm not going to leave," he said, softly stroking her blonde hair. He held her close to his body. She wanted to say something, but she couldn't get the words out. Jack continued to quietly reassure her that everything would be okay. Slowly, her breathing began to steady. She took deeper breaths and started to relax her body. Jack brushed a piece of hair away from her forehead and gently kissed it. She closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh. "Sam, if you ever needed anything, you know all's you would have to do was ask, right?"

Sam slightly nodded her head and closed her eyes again. She fell asleep in the comfort of Jack's safe arms.

Jack awoke suddenly to a sharp knock. Sam began to stir in his arms.

"I'll be right back," he said slipping away from her embrace.

He climbed out of bed and put a robe on. He opened the door to see one of his neighbors wanting to go fishing. With little explaining to his friend, he was able to send him on his way. He shut the door behind him and heard the shower running. He decided to make a pot of coffee and went back to his room to put some clothes on. The shower shut off. Jack poured a cup for the both of them. She walked out of the bathroom glowing.

"You ready for a cup of coffee?" he asked.

"I'm always ready," she said smiling.

Jack handed her a cup and began to make breakfast. She noticed the newspaper on the table. She picked it up and read. Jack went into the living room and turned on some classical music for the background. Every so often, she would see him wave the spatula around like a baton.

"Scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns, cooked to perfection," he said with a thick Irish accent.

"Thank you. Why don't we sit out on the deck?"

"Sure. I'll get the coffee."

"It sure is a beautiful morning," she said.

"Mmm," she replied, swallowing her coffee.

Sitting across from her, his face scrunched up into confusion, then resolved into a soft smile.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked.

"Sam, I don't want to upset… ah, but," he said stuttering.

She pursed her lips and nodded.

"You don't have to say anything. I'm sorry that I brought it up. I sometimes talk without thinking," he said slowly.

"It's okay. Umm…" She looked into his brown eyes. She could see the fear and compassion all over his face. So she decided to continue. "The experience with Fifth. It was hard for me to deal with. Not only the torture, but knowing that I betrayed him. I've had difficulty sleeping since. I know that it couldn't have happened any other way, but sometimes…" she swallowed and shut her eyes to regain control of her faltering voice.

Jack got up from his chair and wrapped his arms around her shoulder.

"I'm sorry Sam," he whispered into her hair.

"I'm sorry too. I can usually keep it under control. I'm glad you brought chocolate. It is a good cure for anything," she said, gaining her smile back.

"Hmm. Well, let me clean up this breakfast mess and then we can decide what we want to do today," he said, picking up their dishes.

"That's right. We only have one more day left," she smiled sadly.

"Whaddya think we should do?" he asked.

"I want to pick up where we left off last night."

"Dancing?"

"Yes. I don't know when I'll ever be able to do it with you again with you. So, that's what I want to do."

"Do you know how to swing dance?"

"I haven't done that in years."

"Maybe we'll stick to traditional dancing instead, eh?"

Jack finished washing the dishes and put them away. Sam stood by his stereo and looked over his CD collection.

"You have an incredible taste in music," she said admiring his collection

"Well, when you're here alone, you need good music to fill the place up."

"I can't imagine you being alone often…" she cut herself short, realizing she had stepped way over the line with that comment. She cleared her throat. She fumbled with the CD changer. Normally she wouldn't have a bit of trouble with technical stuff, but she was a bit flustered at the moment. Jack came up behind her, brushing his cheek against hers.

"Here, let me help you with that," he said, guiding her hands to the right buttons. When the music started, he spun her gracefully into his arms.

"Let's dance, baby," he said seductively.

Sam collapsed onto his chest in giggles.

"What?" he said smiling.

"Oh, Jack. You're such a Don Juan," she said in spurts through her giggles.

"Me?" he said in mock voice of hurt and disbelief.

"Jack," she said sobering up quickly.

"Yeah?" he replied gently.

"I hope you can forgive me for this…" She closed her eyes, pulling his neck close to her face, she kissed him tenderly on the lips. He opened his mouth willingly, allowing her to explore the warmness of his mouth. She pulled away first, looking to him to see if he felt the same way she did. His face was clouded with emotion. The strongest she could felt was regret. She closed her eyes and digested the information harshly.

"I understand, Sir." She was quickly losing her grip on reality. "I never meant to put you in such a compromising situation," she said, her voice faltering. "I'm so sorry. I…" She broke away from his embrace and went towards the guest bedroom. She began gathering the small amount of belongings she had and put them in her bag.

Jack stood in the center of the room, speechless. This was a momentous thing, seeing he usually had a response for everything. 'Did the woman of his dreams just kiss me?' He put his fingertips on his lips, and sighed. His eyes widened when he realized that he had denied Sam something that he could only wish for in his most intimate dreams.

"Shit," he cursed as he ran to her room.

He found her perfectly poised, putting everything back in the room where it belonged. She turned to see him standing there watching her. She stiffened slightly but the smile stayed put.

"I'm just about done here. You should probably get some rest, with me keeping you up all night," she chuckled softly. 'Not exactly the way she wanted to keep him awake,' she thought to herself. "Thank you for a wonderful weekend. I will see you on Monday, Sir."

"Where are you going? He murmured.

"Sir?"

"Don't go."

She looked at him with a puzzled look on her face.

"I really should. I've broken enough rules for a weekend," she said picking up her bag.

"Samantha, please," he pleaded.

"Whatever you need, I obviously don't have."

"I don't deserve you. But I need you. Sam…"he said, his words leaving him.

"Sir, I… We should talk about this when we're emotionally stable. I don't trust myself right now."

"I'll retire. Right now."

"What are you talking about?"

"I haven't been as happy as I am with you, ever. I can't just drop that."

"No."

"No?"

"I will not be the one who ruins your military career. I am not worth giving up something you've worked at your entire life."

Tears streamed down his stoic face. He stuck his hands in his pockets and watched her walk to the door. Yet again, he was struck speechless.

"I should have just stayed at the base," she said as she opened the door. She shut it quietly. Her hands trembled as she unlocked her car. Sitting down, she attempted to clear her mind before she left. She put the key in the ignition. The car wouldn't turn over. She tried again. She looked at her dash and cried out in frustration. In her haste, she had left her lights on and it drained her battery. She smacked her steering wheel in anger. She sat in her car for 20 minutes, to proud to ask him for help. A few moments later, Jack came outside. Jumper cables in one hand and the keys to his truck in the other. She popped the hood. Jack put the cables on the battery and went back to his truck. 15 minutes of silence stood between them. He took the cables off and shut the hood. Sam turned it over and it started up. Jack turned his truck off and went back into his house. She sat in his driveway, unable to move. She shut off her car. Walking up to his house, she opened the door and let herself in. He sat on the couch as stiff as a statue, staring at the muted television. He didn't flinch when she shut the door behind her.

"We can't leave this unfixed. Sir, we…" she said, watching his silent defiance. "Jack," she said, her voice betraying more emotion than she really wanted to. "I'm scared. Please don't tell me that I've lost your friendship."

He flinched at the use of his name.

"This isn't a game," he said, patting the cushion next to him. "Sam, I care about you deeply. Sometimes it is hard for me to say it. Like you said, our emotions are in overdrive. I'm not used to it."

She slipped her fingers through his and put her head on his shoulder.

"We're hopeless," she sighed.

"You're the smart one. How can I fix this?" he asked.

"Well I don't know. But being here with you is enough for now."

"I wanted to kiss you back, you know. It just took a while for my body to realize that you pulled away."

"You're a good kisser."

"Only good?"

"Well…"

"I was taken by surprise. Hell, the woman of my dreams kissed me!"

"Do you really mean that?"

"Of course," he said, placing small kisses on her neck.

She whimpered slightly as he continued to her collarbone.

"Jack," she moaned.

"Hmm?"

"You're going to be bad for business."

FIN

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