Summary: Memory tampering yet again, but not quite what you might expect.

Pairing: Jack/Sam ish

A/N: We all know the drill; I don't own them and am not making any money off this. It's just for entertainment. Please don't forget to review: we writers need our sustenance. :o)

Not Again! by Oz Lovi

Chapter One

It had started like most of their missions, pretty planet, no Goa'uld activity for some time, plenty of hieroglyphs for Daniel to record, and friendly natives. They had only been on the planet for a couple of days when, of course, things went from sweet to weird. The Local Ruler on the continent had disappeared. Not two days later they were drug into the mines and separated. They were all brought back together a few hours later, except for Colonel O'Neill. He had been 'detained', according to their captors. For days Sam, Teal'c, and Daniel had been forced to work while trying to find out anything they could about their still 'detained' friend. "Sam! Sam." Daniel said as he ran up to her.

She sat down the bucket she was carrying and waited. When he didn't continue immediately she said, more harshly than intended, "What, Daniel?!"

"Sheesh. Get up on the wrong side of the mine this morning?" At her chagrined expression he said, "It's all right, Sam. I heard rumors about a new ruler being instated."

"And? What does it have to do with us?"

Teal'c joined them. "I believe the new ruler is Colonel O'Neill."

"Excuse me? What makes you think that?" She stared at him as if he had lost his mind.

"The description is consistent with his physical appearance."

"That's what I was going to tell you, Sam. It sure sounds like him."

"Daniel, that's nuts. He wouldn't agree to something like that, especially not without getting us out too," she said.

"I don't think it's like that. From what some of the others were saying, I have the distinct impression his mind or memories have been altered." His expression was bleak.

She grabbed the bucket and threw it across the mine entrance. "Just great! Son of a …."

"Whoa, Sam! You're starting to sound like him."

"Daniel, no offense, but…. Shut up." She grabbed the slightly dented bucket and carried it to the small well near the entrance. "The last time something like this happened it was done to all of us."

"And, we beat it, by latching on to the memories we still had. If we can get to him and…." He stopped when he saw her expression. "What?"

"I think I have an idea, Daniel. If it works, you and Teal'c are going to be here alone for a bit."

Teal'c regarded her with concern. "What do you intend to do?"

She tossed the bucket to another 'miner' and turned toward her friends. "I'm going to see if I can get an audience with him. If it's him, I'll try to find out what they did, and hopefully get through to him."

"Sam, you're taking a big chance. He was Special Ops trained to resist mind control, which means if they did do something it was high tech. It might not be as easy to get through to him."

She looked from one to the other. They were both concerned. "I know. But if it is Colonel O'Neill, we have to try."

"You're not talking about we here, Sam. You're talking about you dealing with him alone. What if the identity they gave him is violent? I mean ok so it's not wise to create a ruler who is mean to you, but it does happen. We just don't want you to get hurt."

"I know how to handle the bad guys, Daniel. Even if they're friends." She strode to the nearest sentry. "You, Sentry, I want to talk to you."

"I really hope she knows what she's doing, Teal'c."

"I have no doubt, Daniel Jackson." They watched as she spoke with the sentry.

"I want to request an audience with the new ruler, to discuss the possible release of my friends. We did nothing wrong and therefore shouldn't be here. I think he should know that." She grinned as he walked to his superior and gave him her request. To her surprise the Head Sentry walked over to her. She heard the quiet footsteps of Teal'c and Daniel behind her. She put her hand up and they stopped. She wanted to deal with this man alone.

"You have guts woman. No one from the mines has ever requested an audience." He eyed her for a moment then said, "Very well. The new ruler may find this amusing." He motioned for her to follow him.

She glanced at her friends as she walked out of the mining camp. She really hoped she knew what she was doing.

SGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSG

She was escorted to a large room that made her think of a throne room. It was very open and sparsely decorated. The 'throne' sat on a raised area with long steps stretching for many feet along the width of the room, leading to it. The sentry had simply left her there, apparently to wait for the new ruler to say whether he would agree to an audience with her. Her eyes widened in disbelief when indeed the sentry opened the doors and Colonel O'Neill walked through in the traditional garb of the local rulers. She was disappointed, but not surprised, when he walked to the throne without the slightest hint of recognition as he glanced at her. The sentry roughly shoved her to her knees. A small grunt escaped as she landed on her already sore joints. To the apparent surprise of the sentry, the Colonel stood up with an angry look. "What are you doing?"

The sentry stammered for words. "I..she..She wasn't showing you the proper respect, Highness."

"Did I say she had to be on her knees to display respect?" At the sentry's loss of words he added, "She's obviously in pain, get her up. Now."

"Yes, Highness. I apologize." He motioned for her to stand up.

She stood and watched him closely as he continued. "Out, please." It dawned on her that he was talking to the sentry who seemed very disapproving.

"Yes, Highness." The sentry pulled the large doors closed as he walked out.

She watched him as he walked down the steps toward her. He stopped some feet away, surveying her appearance. "Sorry about that. It seems that my sentry thinks that if you're not plastered to the floor uttering acquiescence then you're not showing respect."

She grinned. He hated how the Goa'uld always had the Jaffa shoving people down in front of them; apparently some of his personality was showing through.

"The sentry from the mine said that you wanted to talk to me about releasing you and your friends. He seemed to think I might find you amusing" He stepped toward her. "You wanted to talk to me, so talk."

"My friends and I are explorers from Earth. We came here through the Stargate. The local ruler before you was very friendly to us. Then for no reason we were drugged and sent to the mines." His eyebrows rose as she spoke. The fact that he seemed concerned about that was encouraging. "Will you release us?"

"Why should I?"

There was something about the way he asked the question, not taunting. The thought that he would actually want her to give him reasons hadn't really occurred to her. "Well….We didn't do anything. We were learning about the culture and trying to make friends. Everybody was very friendly, and then the local ruler disappeared and suddenly we were being thrown into the mines. Not to mention the fact that our team leader was detained with no explanation."

He looked her over again, "You look like you would appreciate a hot bath."

"Excuse me?" she was taken a bit by surprise.

"You said you and your friends have been in the mines for days. You look a bit grimy, no offense." He watched her patiently as she tried to decide how to answer him.

"No offense taken, but I am a bit confused." She said honestly.

"If you're worried about ulterior motives, don't be. You want to talk about releasing your friends; I'm willing to discuss it. I thought you might want to clean up and have something to eat." He stepped toward her smiling slightly.

"Thank you. And I'm not worried about ulterior motives, I can handle most men, no offense." She watched the amused look in his eyes at her comment.

"I'll bet you can." he said grinning. He motioned toward the large doors he had walked through earlier. He followed her closely watching how she carried herself. She was obviously tired from working in the mines, but she never let it show. Some people would be immediately suspicious of his offer, but she acted as if she trusted him unquestioningly.

She stopped in her tracks as she realized this was apparently his personal quarters. The huge bed along the wall was on a slightly raised platform. In front of the bed on the platform were dozens of huge fluffy pillows. The bed itself was covered with beautiful satin with corresponding satin drapes hanging in ribbon effect from the ceiling along its length. There was an ornate dressing screen near the far wall, as well as a huge bathtub inset in the floor. There were large satiny drapes hanging on the far wall covering what she guessed were enormous windows apparently going from floor to ceiling along a large section of the wall. She jumped when he spoke directly behind her.

"What?" he said, seeming surprised by her silence.

"It's, uh, beautiful." She watched as he moved from behind her to the dressing screen.

"You can leave your clothes here. I'll have some clean clothing brought to you. Feel free to use the robe. When you've bathed and dressed, please meet me in the royal hall."

"The royal hall?" she asked as he walked by her to the doors. He simply motioned to what she had dubbed as the throne room. "All right." She watched as he walked out of the room, closing the doors behind him. She walked around the room to get a better feel for her surroundings. "This should be interesting." She glanced at the bathtub. Finding the controls to turn on the water, she started it, testing to see if the water was too hot.

SGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSG

Half an hour later, she wrapped herself in the robe he'd shown her. She couldn't deny that the hot bath had felt good after spending days in the grimy bowels of the mines. After deciding that it was silly to sit there and wait to have the clothes he mentioned brought to her, she ventured to the door. Quietly she opened it enough to peek out. "It figures," she said. There didn't seem to be anybody around. She had no more than turned around when a young man stepped up to the door. She turned quickly.

He held out a small bundle of fabric. "From his highness, Miss."

"Thank you," she said as she took the clothes. She waited until he had walked out of the room and closed the doors. Carefully unfolding the cloth she held it up. She shook her head as she held it up to herself. After she changed into what turned out to be a dress, she headed to the door. Catching a glimpse of her herself in the mirror she stopped. What is it with alien cultures putting me in these outfits, she thought. Though, she had to admit it was very pretty and nowhere near as restrictive as the dress she'd worn on Abu's planet, less fabric than the other dress, a lot less. Squaring her shoulders she walked into the Royal Hall. He was sitting on the steps instead of on the throne, which she found amusing. She quietly walked toward the steps, stopping several feet in front of them.

When she stopped in front of the steps he stood up and walked toward her. The dress fit her like it was made for her. "Much better." He said as he slowly circled her.

She didn't like feeling like she was being appraised like some object. "Might I ask what you're doing?"

"Sorry, I wanted to make sure it fit correctly." He said as he stopped in front of her. "I meant no disrespect, and I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. You're not an object to be surveyed."

She though her jaw was going to hit the floor. His personality was definitely peeking through, that or he could read her thoughts and feelings better than she had thought. "It's all right, I've just encountered enough off world cultures that viewed women as possessions and wanted to inspect me like I was going to be some sex slave."

"I wondered as much." He motioned for her to follow him up the steps. There was a small table covered with a variety of food. "Please sit." As they sat down he said, "If you don't mind my saying so, you do look very beautiful."

She debated for a split second on how to take his comment. The look of appreciation he gave her when she walked in wearing the dress didn't go unnoticed. She had also realized that it wasn't something sexual. It was simply an honest appreciation of her appearance, not an attempt to make a pass at her. "Thank you." She decided that a simple answer was best.

He gave her a genuine smile. "Well, I hope you like what we have. There's fruit, vegetables, uh…. To be honest, I have no idea what the red stuff is, but there is some very delicious bread." He handed her a platter and let her select what she wanted.

"I appreciate this, but you didn't have to do this for me," she said, as she handed the platter back to him. "I feel very guilty getting to eat like this when my friends are in the mine eating gruel."

"You really do care about them, don't you?"

"We're like family. Would you want to leave your family like that while you're living it up?" She regretted her words as soon as she saw the haunted look in his eyes.

He avoided her gaze as he said, "I have no family. I think that's why I was made the new ruler. I have nobody to sway my decisions with emotions."

"I'm sorry. What happened to them, if I may ask?" She thought if they used some of his own memories it would make it easier for her to get to the real him.

"I….They're gone. How's your dinner?" he asked as he took a sip of his drink.

She stared down at the table as she took a small bite. "It's fine," she said quietly. "I apologize if I brought up bad memories."

He smiled sadly. "It's all right. I don't really remember them. I've been by myself for most of my life. Some friends in the military when I was younger; but not anybody I was really close to."

"That's sad. You seem very friendly and caring. Why wouldn't you want friends?"

"I didn't say I didn't want friends I said I don't really have any. Most people get close to you when you're in power because they want something." He watched her as she ate gauging her reaction to what he said.

"I came to see you because I want to get my friends home. I made no secret of that."

"That's what I like about you. You're honest. Do you have any other agenda, something else you want?" He asked quizzically.

"I simply want for me and my friends to go home the way we were." She gauged his reaction. He seemed to think about it for a moment before shaking his head.

"I'm sorry, but I can't let them go." He saw the sickened look on her face and the sadness in her eyes. "Before you start asking me all sorts of questions, let me say that it's not completely my decision. I'm the new ruler, I can't officially start releasing the prisoners from the mines without getting myself ousted and some General put in my place. Believe me, from what I know of some of the Generals, you do not want them in charge with nobody to temper them. I do have to confer with them, but the ultimate decisions are mine, but if I start undoing the military decisions that they already made before I became ruler they'll boot me out pretty quick."

"So what about me and my friends, then? Is there anyway you can let us go later?"

"Maybe, but I doubt it." He stood and started to walk away. "I'm sorry."

There was hope. She knew she had to keep working on him, trying to get through to the real him and try to get the others free. She followed him to the throne where he sat down rather roughly. "I should get my uniform, if it's ready, before they return me to the mines."

"You don't have to go yet. Please, sit down. I'd like to learn a bit more about you." He watched as she sat down on the steps.

"What do you want to know?"

He said, "How about your name? And what these are." He pointed to her dog tags, which she had left on.

She said, "They're called dog tags, they're military identification on my world. I'm Major…."

He interrupted her. "I don't want your military rank, I want to know your name. Impressive rank, by the way."

"Thank you. My name is Samantha Carter, my friends call me Sam." She watched for some kind of recognition from him at the mention of her name, but there wasn't any.

"Samantha. Pretty name."

She didn't miss the appreciative look he was giving her. "Thank you. What about you, your name?"

"Collin Jonath." He bowed slightly. Her curious grin piqued his interest. "What?"

"Interesting name. It has a slightly familiar ring to it." Her mind was already processing the fact that they had taken his rank and given name to make his new name. She eyed him thoughtfully as he moved to sit next to her on the steps.

"I would like your company for the day. If you don't mind." He added quickly.

She thought for a moment that maybe she should turn him down, but the opportunity to spend time with him and possibly get through to him persuaded her into it, that, and the charming and open smile. "All right." She took the hand he offered as he stood. "So where are we off to?" she asked as they walked toward the door.

"I'm supposed to go look over a new school slash orphanage that was built before the change over from the previous ruler to me. I honestly didn't want to go alone and that would mean taking some of my advisors with me. No offense to them, but they aren't much fun. Much too businesslike at these type of things where you interact with the public."

She watched him as he motioned to the sentry in the adjoining hallway. He definitely wanted to get outside and do something, another of the Colonel's traits. Inaction was something that bugged him; he liked to be doing something, anything, other than sitting with nothing to do. He spoke to the sentry quietly. "Bring the transport. We're going to look over the orphanage."

The sentry nodded and eyed her curiously as he walked by them. Another disapproving glare from the other sentry near the door didn't go unnoticed by either of them. "Do you have something to say?" The young sentry looked like he was ready to run out the door.

"Uh, no, Highness. I was not expecting your 'visitor' to go with you."

"Why not. She's good company." They walked toward the doors as the sentry quietly said something he apparently didn't want them to hear. The Colonel quickly spun on the young sentry, anger in his eyes. He had heard what the young man had said she guessed. It would seem he didn't like it.

"Uh, nothing, Highness." The sentry stepped away as the Colonel walked toward him. "I meant no disrespect to you or your visitor." He apologized quickly as he caught sight of the other slightly older sentry walking in.

"What has transpired here, Highness? Has our newest recruit displeased you?" The older man seemed genuinely concerned. After seeing the raw anger in the Colonel's eyes she could tell why. The younger man was in danger of getting his hide beat.

"Your newest recruit needs to learn to keep inappropriate comments quiet. If he intends to stay in the palace instead of the mines." He added as he stalked toward her and the door.

She overheard the older man question the young sentry. "What did you say? Answer me or I'll transfer you to the mines myself, son or not."

"I told him I wasn't expecting his visitor to go with him." The young man hedged slightly.

"And?"

"He said why not, she's good company. I might have said something under my breath. I didn't think he could hear it, I really didn't, father."

"What did you say, son? You will learn to keep thoughts in your head when you deal with rulers. Sometimes they listen to suggestions, but other inappropriate comments should be kept quiet. Now what was it?"

The young man ducked his head. "I said, I'll bet."

"I would have confronted you too had you said something like that toward any woman."

They walked out the door and down the huge steps to the waiting hovercraft. As they stepped inside she said, "Impressive vehicle. I wonder how much power output it takes to keep hovering and how it does it so quietly. It could be turbines underneath, maybe anti gravity engines that…." She stopped when she realized he was starring at her and shaking his head. "What?"

"You're quite brilliant, and inquisitive too."

"Thank you, I think." He was still watching her until something behind her grabbed his attention. "What is it?" she asked as she turned in her seat.

"Trees. I'm amazed at how many trees there are this close to the desert." He turned his gaze to her again. "You really are beautiful."

She blushed. She could tell even without seeing her reflection, because of how warm her face was. It disappeared quickly at his next comment, though.

"I bet this Colonel of yours doesn't tell you that, does he?"

It wasn't sarcastic; he was honestly asking her about, what, her relationship with the Colonel? "Not usually, but he's not suppose to."

"Why not?" he asked as he leaned into the seat.

"Uh….well." She wasn't sure what to tell him. She decided to change the topic somewhat. "You didn't have to defend me to that young sentry, but I appreciate that you think that much of me when you only met me hours ago."

"I wouldn't put up with comments like that about any woman." He said seriously. His demeanor seemed to visibly lighten as he motioned toward the window behind her again. "There it is."

She turned to see dozens of children running through a large open field. They headed toward the building he had motioned to. The orphanage, she assumed. "I'm surprised that there are so many of them," she said as she turned toward him again.

His attention was focused on the children as he waved to them. "The war with the neighboring continent left many of them without any family whatsoever."

She looked at the little faces as they crowded around the hovercraft. "Will they be adopted?"

"Some of them," he said sadly. "The others will likely grow up here. That's why they built the new orphanage. They wanted to make it as much of a home for them as they could. They'll get classroom lessons as well as job training when they're older."

"You really do care about them, don't you." She saw the determined look in his eyes.

"They're children. They deserve the best chance they can have, whether they have parents to provide those chances shouldn't matter." He opened the door and climbed out. When she moved toward the door he offered his hand. She took it and watched as he reached behind the seat after she exited. To her surprise, and the delight of the children, he pulled out a large box. They walked toward the door of the building and greeted the teacher/head mistress. "I see they're taking well to the new building."

The woman bowed slightly. "They are, Highness." She motioned toward the doors. "Would you like to tour the facility now?"

"That would be fine," he turned toward the children. "And when we're done I can show the children what's in the box. I'll leave it here," he said as he set in down. "No peeking though."

The children eyed the box, then they eyed the head mistress. "No peeking." She reminded them.

He grinned as he saw the older children steer the younger children away from the box to the field to play.

SGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSGSG

The facility was amazing. The children's rooms were like small apartments. Some of the younger children had roommates, but apparently they were their siblings. "What do you think?" she asked.

"I like it." He said smiling. "Head mistress, I think you're doing a fabulous job. It's not easy to take care of your own children let alone dozens of others."

"Thank you, Highness. Would you and your companion like to see if the box you brought is still there?" she asked smiling.

He nodded. "I think they waited long enough for their surprise."

She followed him outside to see the children surrounding the front steps to the building. She said, "You'd think they wanted to see in the box, wouldn't you."

"I think so." He said as he picked it up. The children followed him quietly as he walked partly into the play area and set the box down. "Come on. I won't bite. Who wants to get their surprise from the box?" The younger children jumped up and down. "All right. Who's the oldest here?"

To the adults' amusement a little girl piped up. "You are." She said matter of factly.

Trying not to laugh he said, "Who's the oldest of you children?" The little girl pointed to a young boy in his early teens. "All right, son. You're first." He reached into the box and pulled out a cloth bag and handed it to him. He watched the boys eyes twinkle as he looked inside.

"Thank you." He said as he showed the others his new trinket of carved wood, and his new yoyo.

"You're welcome. Now, who's next?" Again the little girl pointed toward an older child, this time, a young girl, possibly in her early teens. "This is for you, young lady."

She took the cloth sack and smiled widely as she held up her new jewelry box and necklace.

"Let's see," he looked at the little girl. "You seem to have a good idea how old everybody is so why don't you sit with me and tell me whose turn it is." The little girl was sitting next to him in seconds, pointing out the next child in age. They continued distributing the bags until there were children playing with new toys and trying on new jewelry everywhere. "We have a blue bag and a red bag still, so that means that…." The little girl pointed to the little boy in front of them.

His eyes were dancing with unconcealed glee as he took the bag and pulled out his new skates and helmet. After he showed them to the head mistress he joined the other children playing in the field.

The little girl looked at him with big eyes as he held out the bag to her. "You've been a good assistant. You're the youngest which means this is your bag." He handed it to her as she hopped up. She pulled out the bubbles and her new toy dog, grinned and took off. "You're welcome."

The head mistress and Sam walked to him. "That was very kind of you, Highness."

"I like kids. If I can give them something that makes them smile then I will." He said as he tossed the empty box behind the seat in the hovercraft again. He turned and saw the smiles and the twinkle in Sam's eyes as he looked down at the little girl who was tugging on his shirt. "Hello, again." He leaned over as the Head mistress whispered to him. He grinned and nodded. "Your name is Kaeley, isn't it?" At her nod he said, "What can I do for you, Miss Kaeley?"

"I forgot to say thank you."

"That's all right, Kaeley. I thought you were thinking about playing with your new toy." He patted her head as she hugged his legs. "Would you like to blow some bubbles?"

She nodded happily as he picked her up and took the bubbles. She blew on the ring sending dozens of little bubbles flying. She looked at him and waited, smiling. When he didn't do anything she said, "It's your turn to blow them."

"Oh, right." He blew the biggest bubble he could and slowly let it go near her. "How's that?"

"How did you do that?" she asked.

"Here, I'll show you." He held the ring up in front of her. "Now, when you blow this time do it very slowly." He watched her as she tried to make a bubble like he had. "There you go, Kaeley." He said as she blew a huge bubble. He glanced over to Sam and saw that she was watching them with keen interest. He set the little girl down and said, "All right, now you can do bubble magic. I have to go, but I'll come see you and the others again in a little while." She hugged him again and ran to play with the other children.

Sam smiled as he walked toward her. "That was sweet. She really likes you." She said as they entered the hovercraft. The ride to the palace was quiet. She watched him as he stared out of the window, seeming lost in thought. When they arrived he gave her his hand as she stepped out of the vehicle. As soon as the hovercraft had left he motioned for her to follow him into the royal hall.

He stopped at the edge of the steps leading to the throne area. As he turned toward her he spoke. "Do you have any children?"

She stopped in her tracks. The question was unexpected. "No."

"You seem to really like them, I'm surprised you don't have any of your own." He regarded her for a second. "Do you want children?"

"I, uh." She paused. It was unusual for her to be at a loss for words, but it wasn't everyday he asked her these questions. "I do," she answered quietly.

"Let me guess." He said as he sat on the steps ignore the cushy throne behind him. "You're not married." At her acknowledgement he continued. "And you have very intense feelings for a man you can't be with."

She grinned slightly. "What makes you think that?" she asked as she sat down on a nearby step.

"Something about the way you talked about your Colonel. He's a lucky man."

"Humph." Her eyes widened when she realized he'd heard her.

"He's not?"

"Uh, I." She decided that maybe being open about some of their feelings for each other might bring his memories forward. "He cares for me and I care for him, but, as I told you earlier, we're not allowed to be together."

"That sounds unfair and annoying." He said sincerely.

"You're not kidding. I mean we work side by side off world and we see each other nearly everyday, even when we're not on duty, because our team is like a family. Even when it's us with nobody else around we can't be close. We don't want to mess up the team or ruin our careers, but it's so depressing sometimes, especially when either of us is hurt or sick. We can't be too concerned and caring because we could get in trouble if somebody mistakes it for a romantic relationship instead of just friendship." She stopped her rant seeming out of things to say.

He looked at the very thin line of tears in her eyes. Staring at her for a second he decided to ask a question that wasn't really his business, but he wanted to know. "Do you love him, Samantha?"

Her eyes widened and she looked away from him. Realization suddenly hitting her that she had basically ranted about her and the Colonel's situation to the Colonel. Now he wanted her to tell him if she loved him. Even though he wasn't himself at the moment it didn't make it any easier.

"You do, don't you?" He watched as she tried to avoid looking him in the eyes. Gently putting his finger under her chin, he lifted her chin to make her look him in the eyes. "Why don't you want to answer the question?"

"I can't." She stared him in the eyes feeling very unnerved by the caring look in them. "The rules don't allow us to be together, but that means that we don't tell each other things like that either. We could get the team split apart, even be forced out of the Air Force. We don't want to risk the team. We need each other."

"Have you ever told anybody, even yourself, out loud that you love him or that he loves you?"

"It's not something that's discussed." She gave him a pointed look.

"You don't think that there is anybody in your SGC that would try to find a way around those rules for you?"

She stared at him, dumbfounded that she hadn't thought of that. "I don't know. The General might, but if he made the effort to and it didn't work, we'd be busted."

"Tell me. Do you love him?" Patiently, he watched as she seemed to debate whether she should answer. Letting go of her chin he leaned against the step behind him. "Nevermind. If you don't answer that means I have a chance."

"Excuse me?" she asked, stunned.

He chuckled. "I'm kidding." The grin on his face made her believe him.

Relieved, she leaned against the step. After observing his for a moment she said, "I should be going."

"Nonsense. You don't have to leave yet. I enjoy your company."

"I could stay, if you like. I could be your companion if you agree."

He leaned forward intrigued by her offer. "And what does a companion do?"

"It means I would be someone that you can talk to, that isn't political, simply a friend. I can keep you company. And you don't have to worry that I have another agenda."

"Other than getting you and your friends set free." He said with a grin. "Someone I can talk to and be me with, who doesn't have to agree with me. Someone who'll be honest and be herself with me."

"Sounds like what I was talking about. And you already knew about my friends."

"I did and I consider the fact that you still want to free them a true sign of loyalty and honor."

"Deal?" She asked.

sgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsgsg

So here we have chapter one. What do you all think?