"JACK!" the sound tore out of her throat as she sat up suddenly, her eyes were wide and tears were streaming down her face, but it was obvious she was not properly awake. "JACK!" she screamed again.

He grabbed hold of her and held her tight, soothing her, trying to get her to lay back down. She struggled to rise, panic came off her in waves as he tightened his grip.

"Sam! Shhh, it's OK, it's just a dream" he told her, she looked at him, and a puzzled look came into her eyes, he hated that, every time she had a nightmare, as she woke up, she looked at him as if to say he shouldn't be there, or even… 'who are you?'

He dragged her down under the covers again, she was shaking "want to tell me about it?" he asked, she shook her head "you sure?" she burrowed her face into his chest and gave him her usual answer.

"Sorry, I'm tired, let's just go back to sleep" he could do that, time enough to sort it out tomorrow.


She woke first, she usually did, he only woke up when he heard the door bell. He had a quick shower and got dressed, maybe he could find out what was wrong at last.

She was sat in the kitchen when he came out, a young girl of about 16 or 17 with her, he nodded at the child, who looked like she had been crying a lot, and got himself a coffee.

"Any plans for today?" he asked "thought we could go for a picnic at the Garden of the Gods"

"Pete…" she hesitated "this is Cassie, she's going to be living here from now on" he put his cup down before he could drop it. THIS could put a cramp on his plans, he hadn't planned on company, especially a 16 year old chaperone.

"Living here?" he asked rather stupidly "why?"

"You didn't tell him?" Cassie asked Sam

"Didn't get the chance love," she said stroking the hair away from the teens face. She turned to Pete and gave him a steady look "Janet Fraiser died on Thursday, that's why I was so upset, Cassie is…was her daughter and now she will be living with me until she starts school again"

He slightly knew Janet, when he had been shot by Daniels girlfriend Janet had been the doctor who had patched him up. The way the two of them spoke when in the same room it was obvious they were good friends, and now he could understand why Sam had been so upset when he had arrived the night before. However it did not explain why she shouted 'Jack' or even who Jack was!

"Why isn't she going to her father?" he asked, he wasn't trying to be unkind, but usually when one parent died the other took over, not a friend of the family.

"Cassie was adopted, her parents are both dead, Janets husband has nothing to do with Cass, they had been divorced over 5 years before Janet adopted her"

"Oh… well… sorry to hear that Cassie, I'm sure Sam will look after you well" it looked like the child was about to burst into tears again, damn he hated women crying, he felt so helpless, and what can you say to a child that has lost not one but 2 sets of parents?

"Is Dominic coming over?" Sam asked, Cassie nodded, obviously trying to hold back the tears. "Well when he arrives Pete and I will go into the garden so you can have some space"

"We could go for a picnic, let them have the house" he said, as soon as he did he knew it was the wrong thing to say, though he had no idea WHY it was.

"I need to be here in case she needs me" Sam snapped. Pete was saved by the door bell and when he got there he saw a young lad, obviously Dominic, he stood back and waved him in.

"They are in the kitchen" Pete said, he was surprised when the lad headed to the correct door without prompting, but then he probably had been there before.

Pete walked into the room as Cassie and Dominic were stood clasping each other, she had started crying again, Sam stood and motioned for them both to leave.

Once seated in their chairs in the garden Sam filled him in a bit on Cassies background. He was surprised to hear she was not from 'around here' she was so… normal.

Sam read a book and Pete sat watching her the majority of the time, he didn't want to say he was bored, but really, there must be more to do!

He decided to use the bathroom and made his way inside, as he was passing through the kitchen he could overhear the teens in the living room talking

"He's Sams boyfriend, I don't know a lot about him, just what my uncles have said"

"You don't seem happy about it" Dominic said

"It's just… Sam should be with Jack, no one else, and I know that none of them like him" Gee they were right when they said evesdroppers hear nothing good about themselves… he wondered who these uncles were, and what right did they have to judge him? And who the hell was this JACK? An Ex that Cassie was trying to get Sam back out with?

"Why don't they like him?"

"Don't tell Sam, I've been told she hasn't to know… but he not only stalked her to Daniels house, he tried running background checks on her, now does that sound like something a boyfriend would do?" Pete squirmed uncomfortably, when you put it like that it did sound kind of creepy, and his following her, well OK it could be classed as stalking, but he hadn't meant it like that. Thank God whoever told Cassie wasn't going to tell Sam, whoever it was must be on his side, no one else was by the looks.

"So, if he's such a psycho, why haven't they done something about him?" Dominic asked

"Supposedly it's 'Sams life and she has to make her own mistakes'" it was obvious Cassie was quoting someone. He wanted to know more, more about whoever told Cassie this stuff, who her uncles were… more!

He slipped into the bathroom and rang Dave Farrity again, well in for a penny, in for a pound as they say…

"Farrity" his friend answered.

"Hiya Dave, need another favour from you, owe you a steak if you come through" Pete said in his best wheedling voice.

"Anything like the last one Shandy and you can forget it, I have an official reprimand on my folder because of the check I did for you last month" ah! Well that put paid to that line of enquiry.

"Jeez sorry Dave, what the hell happened? You do checks on people all the time!"

"Yeah well, evidently someone up where the air is very VERY thin was not pleased at Major Carter being investigated, if you need background from now on you will have to pass it through your Captain and have proper paperwork for it. I didn't tell them I was doing you a favour but it didn't stop the very pissed off Colonel from letting me know they knew who it was. Sorry bud, even if it wasn't official, that guy scared the crap out of me"

"Forget I asked then Dave, I still owe you that steak, and sorry for getting you into bother"

"I take it that the check wasn't official business then?" he asked, Pete grunted, it was answer enough "Look Shandy, whatever it is, keep out of it man, I mean it! These guys play for keeps"

Pete spoke for a minute or so more and then hung up… if he couldn't get an official line on these people, that left the street, but he wasn't sure he knew enough about the area to go looking for people who would know. The only way he could do that was if he moved down here permanently… which he could do, he had been thinking about it. Sam was definitely worth it, and the closer he was, the more time they could spend together… the more he thought about it the better it sounded. He would look into a transfer when he got back to the station on Monday.

He washed his hands and was about to exit the room when he heard the phone ring and Cassie shouted "Sam it's Jack!"

He made his way into the kitchen after she had gone into the living room and stood beside the fridge, he could always say he wanted a beer if someone came in.

"Carter" she said as she took the phone "Yes sir" SIR? Was Jack the Colonel or the General at the base? She wasn't allowed to go out with superior officers in the same command was she? So what was Cassie going on about? "Sir… yes sir. You want to talk to her now?" evidently she handed the phone over to the girl.

"Uncle Jack?… no don't worry, no it's fine, I know you're in pain, I was staying at Sams anyway… oh yeah please, I'll ask her later, after Dominic goes home… yes I am still seeing Dominic" Sam giggled "Take care…remember what mu… what the doctor said… bye"

Sam must have taken the phone back "Sir, yes sir, is there anything you need? We can pick some stuff up… yes sir, see you later" he heard the receiver drop onto the base

"How is he… really Sam" Cassie asked, her voice showing worry that had been hidden when she spoke to the man in question.

"You know him Cassie, he would say he was fine if he lost both his legs and half his internal organs… he has a very bad burn and a couple of cracked ribs, probably a concussion too, you DO want to go see him don't you?"

"God yes!" she said "does he need anything?"

"Just some bits from home, we can pick them up when we go"

"Oh I left my keys at home" she said

"I have a set for his house" Sam said. Pete was starting to get a bad feeling about all this, why the hell would she have keys to her COs house if there wasn't something going on?