9

She stumbled out of his room, tears streaming down her face as soon as she heard the door shut behind her. She had tried not to flinch when he grabbed her, and she definitely didn't want to scream, but she couldn't help it, her body just betrayed her. She remembered the look in his eyes as she reacted, the pain and self loathing.

She had gone to comfort him and all she had done was bring him more pain. She had spoken with Daniel about him when he went to his room after being released. She did not want to think that she could be responsible for bringing this great man down, but Daniel agreed with her, he thought it was possible that Jack would try something, he told her to make sure that he had no weapon in his quarters, but Sam knew he didn't, they weren't allowed and he did not have time to pre-plan anything, she had to make sure he did not leave the base, if he did she would have to follow him.

Daniel and Carolyn were working on backtracking the perfume, so far they had hit several dummy corporations, and they kept asking for her help when they got stuck.

Eventually the road seemed to end with a multinational that was run by someone they had suspected of being a member of the Trust. She had her answer, now all she had to do was convince him not to give them what they wanted.

She headed back to his quarters, he wasn't there, she contacted the SFs at the ground station and was told he had just left, she rushed to the lifts and followed him out of the base. She did not have her car, so she borrowed a jeep from the motor pool, she sped down the mountain.

He had also kept his house when they had transferred, she headed straight there, hoping she could catch him on the way, when she got there she gasped. Someone had written RAPIST in big red letters over the front of his beautiful house. She called Daniel and told him, there was no sign of the car he had signed out, she went to her own house, no sign.

She worked out that there were only 2 places he would go, she threw some clothes into a bag and headed for the first.

He was not to be seen at the cemetery, she went to Charlie's grave, she had seen him there one day when she visited her dad, and had wandered over to talk to him. There were fresh flowers on the grave and a small space shuttle, that was there before. This time though, there was a catchers mitt, she had seen the mitt in his house several times. When Cassie had asked to play with it once he had gone and bought her one straight away, but he wouldn't allow her to touch it, it was one thing he kept of Charlies and no one could touch it. She had a sinking feeling, if he had gone home and seen the paint, he had then driven to the cemetery and placed the mitt as a final goodbye. She HAD to get to the other place… FAST!

She called Daniel and told him what she thought was happening, he told her to ring General Hammond. She did and was told the address and directions to the place she needed, even though she had travelled there once she had slept almost half the journey.

The General told her to catch a flight and he arranged with Peterson for her to hop in a jet. She was in Minneapolis in 5 hours, 13 quicker than he could get there driving. She grabbed a jeep and headed out, she still had a good 2 hours to go.

She went through the 'local' town, she was 20 miles from where she needed to be and though she knew he could not possibly be there before her she put her foot down.

She was just turning off the highway onto his land when she realised if he saw the jeep he would not enter. She drove a further 5 miles down the road and pulled into a small picnic spot. She grabbed her bag and set off hiking back to the road to the cabin.

She walked up to his door without challenge; she picked the lock and smiled to herself slightly as she did. In town where crime was all around he never locked his door, here where it was almost none existent he did! She entered the building and then opened a window, she exited and locked the huge padlock again and climbed back in. She wanted to see what he intended to do, and hoped she would be quick enough to stop him if she was right, and she could always climb out another window and leave if she was wrong. God she hoped she was wrong, but her gut was telling her that she wasn't.

She lay on his bed, though the sheets were clean she could still detect his scent in the room, for the first time since that night she thought about him properly, not as the man who attacked her, not as the victim in a scheme to destroy them both, but HIM, Jack O'Neill, she still loved him, and though she had flinched and jumped when he grabbed her she still wanted him. She just needed time, and he was determined to steal it away from her.

She must have dozed because the she woke to the sound of an engine. She moved stealthily, into the room she had used the time she came up with the lads, she hoped she had not left any trace of her presence.

He entered the building throwing something onto the floor, she heard him swearing at something and then she opened the door slightly to watch what he was doing. He turned a couple of times while he was writing his letter, she was sure he could feel her eyes on him, but he must have put it down to paranoia. He stood and crossed to the fireplace, he removed a stone from the side of it and reached in. He brought out a rag wrapped around something. She knew exactly what it was.

He sat on the sofa, unwrapped the gun and loaded a single bullet into it. She slipped out the door silently as he raised the gun.

"You need another bullet" she said. He jumped in the air in shock but he was well trained, by the time she finished saying bullet he was facing her and had her targeted "because if you kill yourself over this, I am going to join you" she calmly walked over to him and sat down. She picked the letter up from the table, noticing it was addressed to her.

She opened it, ignoring him totally…

My dearest Samantha

When you read this you should start to heal. Know that I always loved you and never would I have hurt you if I had a choice, it has broken both my heart and my soul, what they did to us, and the fact that you have so bravely tried to overcome it makes me so proud.

You cannot forget what I did to you, though you seem to think you may forgive it, but unlike with Charlie I can neither forgive nor forget what I did. You need freedom to heal, you need space, I offer it to you as my final gift. Remember I love you, always.

Yours,

Jack

She looked at him, he was still stood exactly where he was when she sat down.

The gun was lose in his grip, she reached over and took it off him, he sank to the sofa, and put his head into his hands, he started crying, heartbroken.

She moved next to him and put her arms around him, he leaned into her crying, unable to stop as she comforted him as if he were a child. Eventually he stopped crying and straightened up, he brought his hand to the side of her face and she leaned into it.

"Sam…" he said and stopped, he swallowed and started again "Sam, I… I am so sorry for what happened, I know nothing I can say will help, but you have to know… I have to tell you"

She leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips. He tried to push her away but he was trying not to use his superior strength.

"Shhh" she said, leaning in once more "We are not going to allow those bastards to take away the one thing we have" she kissed his lower lip, and moved to his jaw. She knew she was in no way ready for sex, apart from the fact she still had stitches in, her body needed to learn to trust him again, but for now, she could give him something.

He stood up abruptly she followed, she could see his eyes, he had hope and love and fear all reflected at the same time. She took his hand and placed it on her heart, holding it there.

"Sam" he said again "You aren't ready, you may never be ready to…to…" she nodded

"I know" she said, "but we can sleep together and hold each other until I am" she suddenly realised what she was asking may be too much for him, but he stepped forwards and hugged her tight, his face burying itself in her neck

"God yes! If you are willing to try!" he said, she pushed him off and led him into his room, she turned down the bed and stripped to her underwear, and slipped into bed. He followed suit, and they cuddled together so close it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began.

They still had to sort the Trust out, they had to be on guard against any other plans aimed at them, but if they could do THIS, they could do anything.

She closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.