Chapter Ten Summary: Before the party, Lantash brings to them, the circlet worn by Egeria. He places it on their head and it looks very right on them. They make their rounds and after having greeted everyone, they leave and return to their chambers where they make some promises to one another.
Rating this Chapter – PG-13 NC-17 version is on Symbiotica
1**Pairing - Jacob/Selmak/Jocasta/Daur'rin – This is the pairing used for the first time in Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul, Book I. It is used in all four Books in the Tok'Ra Legacy Series.
Pro`n Ma'tae re Et'aevek – Our Love is Forever/Eternal.
Pro`n Ma'tae – Our Love
Pro`n Cor – Our Heart
Pro`n Ma'tae'takh Kea – Our Cherished One
Pro`n Ann'wyld – Our Beloved
Ni ma'tae qua – We Love You
"Italics" – Symbiote-Host Communication
To Make a Queen
For All Time
Sam looked at herself in the mirror and smiled. Jolinar was correct. This dress 'did things for them'. Such as make them look sexy and, well, sexy. She smiled again. The dress was black. It was her standard 'little black dress'. Except that, there was nothing standard about it. It was—'eye-catching', Jolinar suggested. Looking again, Sam grinned. She was right again; it was certainly eye-catching.
Black velvet with a daring plunge both front and back, it was covered by the sheerest chiffon that Sam had ever seen. The chiffon also had threads woven through it that looked like tiny little diamonds, when the light caught them. The kerchief hem was actually panels that were only attached to one another for about fifteen inches, so the slits were basically to about the tops of their thighs. Every step they took parted them for a long glimpse of leg, except that the layers of chiffon kept you wondering if you were really seeing that far up, or if it was just wishful thinking. The long tight sleeves were chiffon and ended in such a way that they swept halfway to the floor. The dress was both sexy and feminine. She almost refused to buy it, but was now glad that she had allowed Jolinar to have her way. She had fallen in love with it, as soon as they tried it on. Sam grinned. Her Prinekh had very good taste in clothes. They would go shopping and buy themselves an entire new wardrobe.
They turned as Martouf and Lantash walked into the room. They were looking at something in a box, so did not see them until they had taken a few steps into the room. When they looked up, they stopped dead in their tracks, and simply stared at her. Lantash came fore and took control so that they could move again. Walking up to her, he gently clasped her head, in such a way that he could caress her face with his thumbs. "You are so very beautiful, my Samantha. When the Archoreans set out To Make a Queen, they could not have anticipated what a truly lovely one they would bring into being for us. We have truly been blessed by the Goddess, Samantha, for you and Jolinar are everything that a Queen should be. Tell me, my Queen, will you allow your lips to 'make love' to mine?"
Sam sent him a heated look, as she answered him, her voice sultry, "Yes, my consort, your Queen will gladly bring her lips to mate with yours." When they came up for air, after what seemed like ages, Sam looked truly flustered and then she sighed, before telling him, "I almost wish that there was no party tonight. However, there is one and we do have to be there. So, are we about ready to go?"
After giving her one more very quick kiss, he told her, "Yes, as soon as we finish dressing you. You are missing a rather important part of your evening wear."
Sam frowned. "I am?" She glanced in the mirror. She had a black velvet choker around her throat, and diamond studs in her ears. She wore no rings, as they had not yet had time to get her one. That was an Earth custom that Lantash wished to follow. Turning back to him she gave him another puzzled look, before commenting, "Lantash I can't wear a bracelet with these sleeves, I have on my dress, my shoes are by the door, and I'm wearing my jewelry. What am I missing?"
Reaching into the small box that he had carried in with him, he brought out a very delicate gold circlet. She gasped. "What is that for? I mean, it's beautiful and everything, but I can't wear something like that, Lantash. It's sort of like a—a crown."
Giving her another light kiss, he then told her, "Yes, It is. And you are a Queen, Samantha. The Tok'Ra will be very happy to see you wearing the only head piece that Egeria ever wore. While many of the System Lords had elaborate headwear made to wear when they all met in summits, Egeria wore only this. Now it is yours and Jolinar's." And then he placed it in exactly the right position, so that the sapphire in the point was setting perfectly in the center of her forehead. Then he turned her to the reflective surface, and she saw herself again. It was lovely. Delicate, tasteful, definitely not something a Goa'uld would be caught dead in. She nodded. She would wear it to honor Egeria's good taste…and her for giving the universe her children. She hoped that hers and Jolinar's would turn out as well.
Smiling, she turned to him. "I believe that we're ready to go."
"Very well, my Queen. Shall I escort you?"
"I would like that very much."
"Jolinar, you have got to do something about my feet. They are beginning to throb in time to the music. Next, they'll go numb. If I have to dance one more dance, without getting something to drink, and to sit down for a time, I promise you that I will end up in a heap on the floor."
Jolinar laughed at her, but she took care of the throbbing that was beginning in her very tired feet.
"I believe that the party is a success, do not you, Samantha? The Tau'ri and the Tok'Ra appear to be spending some time with one another rather than huddling in groups of their own people."
"Yes, and we can thank the men in our lives, as well as the Council, for that. Teal'c, Daniel, Colonel O'Neill, the General, and Martouf and Lantash have been unrelenting in introducing people to one another. The Council has been just as diligent. And it seems to be paying off. I've seen several Tok'Ra and Tau'ri wandering around together or sitting and talking in corners. I've even seen a few mixed groups that appear to be having a very good time." She paused for a moment before adding, "Even my dad and Selmak are making the rounds. They," she paused for a moment before finishing, "They do seem happy together, don't they Jolinar? I mean, I didn't make a mistake in suggesting their blending, did I?"
"No, my Samantha, you did not make a mistake. Although Selmak loved Saroosh dearly, and will mourn her, I believe, from what I have seen of your father that the two of them are meant for one another. They share a sense of humor, something that is important to both of them. They share the same goals, the same beliefs, the same commitment to their values, and their sense of honor. Just as you and I are so very well attuned, I firmly believe that the two of them will be as firmly happy as the two of us are. I believe that they will choose to do a deep blending. You will see. And they are definitely helping to see to it that the Tau'ri and Tok'Ra are mingling."
Sam smiled at her, before nodding in agreement. "Yeah, I think you're right. I have to admit that I was surprised when he took so little time to think about the offer of a symbiote. I guess he told Selmak that he had cancer and was dying. He hadn't even told me. Selmak told him that it was all the more reason for him to consider becoming a host. Both of them were dying. They could save each other. I'm glad they did. And, I'm glad that they seem to be having a good time, too. Who are they dancing with?"
Jolinar smiled slightly, telling her, "That is Jocasta, the host, and Daur'rin1**, the symbiote. They are a very nice pair, and they would suit your father and Selmak very well. There is no doubt that they are interested in them, and I believe that your father and Selmak reciprocate that interest. Your mother has been gone a long time, Samantha, in human time. He deserves to find happiness with a woman. He will always love your mother, but he needs to find a new mate and some happiness."
Sam watched the four of them interact for a brief time, before nodding her agreement with Jolinar's statement, and then telling her, "You know, I never gave any thought to it before, but I think you're correct. He does deserve some happiness, and mom has been gone a long time. We'll have to do what we can to see to it that Jocasta and Daur'rin are given some assignments that will put them together."
"An excellent idea, my Sam."
They stayed in the shadow of the wall, until they neared a table of drinks and sidled up to it. Sam grabbed two glasses of punch and a bottle of water, before searching and finding a lonely little table set off in a corner. Making her way to it, she collapsed into the seat and moaned. Surely, no one could find them in this rather dimly lit sat quietly and sipped her punch interspersed with sips of water. They both tasted good, and it felt wonderful just to sit quietly, not having to make small talk with anyone, except Jolinar, if she really would rather not. She closed her eyes and simply drifted. Then she frowned. "Well, that figures, Jolinar. Now, I'm hungry. As soon as I leave this little table, someone will grab us and pull us onto the dance floor…again. We haven't even danced with Martouf and Lantash, and I'm almost too tired to dance with anyone. Do you suppose anyone would notice if the Queen curled up in a corner or on a table and went to sleep? Or if she just disappeared?"
Jolinar laughed softly, telling her, "I am sorry, my Sam, but I am very much afraid that should we disappear, without a word, eventually there would be a panic. It would be followed shortly by a base-wide search for us, no one having thought to first check our chambers, or the corners of the room, if we just went to sleep somewhere in here. It would make a bad impression on our newest allies, if they saw the entirety of the Tok'Ra in a flat-out panicked frenzy, as they all became hysterical over our disappearance."
Sam did her best to imagine Per'sus…or better yet, Garshaw…running around screaming hysterically. Nope not so much as a flicker of an image would come to mind. That scenario simply would not happen. "You are incorrect, Cariad Kea. I actually have seen Garshaw and Per'sus both not only panic stricken, but almost inconsolable and hysterical. It has been almost two thousand years, but it did happen." Jolinar's voice was sad at the memory of their loss of control.
Sam caressed her gently, murmuring, "I'm sorry, Jolinar. I didn't mean to bring up such horrible and sorrowful memories. It must have been terrible, and we will not cause that to happen. The entirety of the Tok'Ra mourned so deeply, and some became so despondent you thought that they would take their own lives. That none did is something of a miracle, you know. I agree. We will not do anything that would cause them that kind of panic and fear."
Jolinar sent her a sad smile, declaring, "No, we will not. I will confess that I have never wished so deeply that I was a Queen, as I did at that time. Not only was her loss devastating, but they also realized that, since Egeria was never able to produce a Queen that they were now a dying race. So, they have lived with that knowledge for a very long time."
Jolinar shook off her melancholy and smiled at her Lifemate. "We will not dwell on the horror that was felt when we lost Egeria. The Tok'Ra overcame their desolation, carried on in her name, and now they have us. They began to work on turning one of us into a Queen centuries ago, as well. We are getting close to being able to succeed at that. I want them to finish their research so that if anything ever happens to the sarcophagus, and us, they will have an alternative."
Sam nodded, asserting, "We will spawn soon, now." She paused and sipped her punch, before replacing it. Her question was tentative, but she really wanted the answer, and she wanted Jolinar to explain it.
Everyone assumed that you immediately had all of this information at your fingertips, when you blended. Well, you did and you didn't. It was there and much of it was simply suddenly "known" to you. However, much of the knowledge was there and available, but you had to actively look for it. If two thousand years of knowledge and memories suddenly came flooding into a host's mind they probably wouldn't be able to survive it. So, the symbiote was careful to see to it that much of that knowledge was 'filed' in the brain for access, but was not consciously 'there' without a short hunt. Or, as in this case, she could simply ask Jolinar. Even as she answered her, the memories and knowledge that pertained to it would suddenly appear. This slower gaining of information was much easier on the host, and Sam could understand it completely; however, it was somewhat frustrating when she wanted some piece of information 'right now' and she had to either ask or go find it.
And, sometimes that took time, if she had to look for it. Not everything was put nicely and neatly in a reasonable practical system for ease of access. No, it was more like someone opened a file drawer and just dumped in miscellaneous file folders, some of which were titled things like, 'language'. What it didn't tell you was which language, or if it was the actual language or just a list of languages you should know, and which were all filed 'someplace else' with the location of that folder 'unknown'. Of course, that was an exaggeration; however, it could take a bit to find things. So, instead of spending that five or ten minutes tracking it down, she asked her Lifemate, "Jolinar, how is a Queen spawned? It is a rare occurrence isn't it? I mean isn't that why there are so few of them? I mean, Egeria never succeeded in having one, so I assume it's not easy to do."
Jolinar sent her hug and a smile. Her Sam was leading up to suggesting that they try to conceive a Queen…which they would…after they had spawned a great many young, so that they could begin to mature. Sam already knew that was the plan, though, so she turned her attention to her host's question. She picked up the water and drained the bottle. Sam was correct, they had needed both the respite from dancing, as well as a replenishment of a few things, of which liquid was one, and food was another. Well, the food would wait for now. She needed to answer her.
"Actually, Samantha, it is probably not as difficult as you suspect it to be. The main reason there are so few Queens is because Goa'uld Queens do not want the competition. Only when they mate with a male System Lord, do they usually spawn a Queen, since most of the male System Lords want the power that it gives them, if they can control her. Keeping control of them is not always easy. Once they mature, they must be implanted or put into stasis and stasis is not a choice that many take. While stasis is an option, it is not one that they prefer. Stasis chambers are not always reliable. The seals can give out. They can be dropped and damaged, or someone can steal them. Normally, the stasis chamber mysteriously loses its seal. No one knows why this happens or why it happens so often to young Queens."
She shrugged. "I am sure that you have figured out why by now. At any rate, the System Lord in question will rarely use that method because of the dangers involved. They would rather attempt to control a blended one than take the chance of losing them altogether. Once they blend, many of them simply acquire the help needed to find a way to leave. Normally the reigning Queen is only too happy to render them assistance. But that is not really answering your question. As for Egeria not producing one, she was never able to stay in one place long enough to produce one. While it is not terribly difficult to do, it does take time, diligence, and some concentration."
She paused once more, this time to gather her thoughts on the process. "First, the Queen must concentrate on ripening only one egg, while suppressing the others and keeping them from responding to the encouragement the 'one' is receiving. It takes concentration, and the Queen will sometimes have to stay completely focused on the process. She should not be interrupted if at all possible. Once it is released, it must be kept bathed in certain hormones and substances until the change to a Queen is complete. It can take up to a month. Egeria never had a time long enough to concentrate and accomplish it. She tried, but something always seemed to interfere, to take her away from her focus, and thus ruin the changeover. The symbiote was fine; it simply was not a Queen."
Sam nodded her understanding, and replied, "There should be no reason that we cannot produce a Queen or two then, right?"
"That is very true, my Sam, and after we have spawned a few times, we may attempt it, if you feel it is something that you would be comfortable doing."
Sam frowned. "Why wouldn't I feel comfortable doing it?"
She felt Jolinar hesitate for a brief time and then attempt to explain, "I do not know how you will feel about this, Samantha. You will be spawning, giving birth to symbiotes. I believe that many humans would find just the thought of doing so unacceptable. To actually be required to do it would, I believe, be even more unacceptable. I have meant to ask you, if you wish for me to cut you off from the actual process."
Sam realized that she had yet to truly face what she would be doing. Giving it thought, now, she decided that it was rather freaky and bizarre, but hadn't her life become that way quite some time ago, anyway? How did she really feel about giving birth to symbiotes rather than human children? She frowned. She had to admit to being a bit squeamish about it. The idea was more freaky and bizarre than anything else she had run into during her time on SG-1. She closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. So, how did she really feel about it? Suddenly her eyes flew open and she smiled. "Jolinar, let's forget about my feelings for the moment, okay? I'll admit that I'm going to have to give this some thought, and then make a decision. So, fine, I'll do that, but I'll do it sometime when I can just relax and let my emotions flow, while I think about it."
"I'd like to know how you feel about it. How do you feel about becoming a—mother—to thousands of children? Do you have any feelings about doing it? What will they mean to you, and how will you feel about birthing them? I mean, I assume we share that task, so you have to have some feelings about it." She frowned, before shrugging that question off for the moment. "So, I want to know how you feel about it. Tell me. Let me see and feel your thoughts on it."
It was Jolinar's turn to frown. She had not actually given it much thought, either. She had thought about it in a rather abstract way. She would be giving children to the Tok'Ra. However, how did she feel about it, about them? Well, she felt pride in being the one that would stop the Tok'Ra from being a dying race. But that was not what Samantha was asking her.
So, she switched her mind to the actual birth. They would come forth in groups, not singly, as that would take a very long time. They would be very small and helpless. That would not last long, though. They would grow rapidly. How did she feel as she imagined them swimming to her? Wrapping around her. Nudging her. She felt—warm and—something more. Something alien to her was unfolding and coming to rest within her. Love? She frowned again. Yes, that is what it was. So, she felt love for them. She felt this before they were even spawned. What would she feel afterwards, when she knew them? It was certainly becoming an overwhelming feeling. Was this what the humans meant when they said 'mother love'? This all-encompassing feeling about them? She would protect them. She would worry about them. She sighed as she allowed it to flow through her. Finally pushing it aside, she turned her attention back to Sam, only to find her smiling.
"I think I can answer your question, now, Jolinar. No, it won't bother me to spawn. I've accepted your feelings and allowed my own doubts to be pushed away and yours to take precedence."
Jolinar shook her head. "That is why you wanted me to think about and experience them. You wanted my emotions about them to overwhelm your own. Does it not bother you that they are not your own?"
It was Sam's turn to shake her head at her Lifemate. "But, Jolinar, I've accepted them, so they are my own."
Jolinar smiled at the truth of her Sam's statement. Her Lifemate was correct. They were now their feelings.
With that pretty much settled, Sam turned her thoughts in another direction. You would have thought that they would have discussed these things already, but so far, they'd had almost no time alone that wasn't spent with Martouf and Lantash, so again, not alone to talk about things. So, now was perfect the time, since, so far, no one had spotted her. Turning her attention to Jolinar, she asked her, "So, have you talked to anyone about the sarcophagus and its abilities, while I wasn't aware of it, Jolinar?"
Jolinar frowned. "Other than when they gave us the report on their findings? No. It is something that we will have to address fairly soon, though. I am not sure how to do it."
"I suggest that we send someone to each base at the same time, so that there won't be rumors floating around. Make sure that everyone knows, including our operatives who are on long-term missions and our scouts. I have to wonder how the news will be greeted."
Jolinar nodded. "I imagine that there will be those who decide on complete joining, as we have done, and those that will choose to use the sarcophagus to simply extend their host's lives. It is a rather big step to join completely, as we have. After all, we will be together for a very long time."
"Yes, thousands of years. It boggles the mind. So, are we going to be using the sarcophagus, too? The information did say that it was safe, since it won't activate, unless it is needed for an injury or maintenance. It did say that fully joined pairs should use it periodically to keep them at their optimum and insure that nothing needs repaired. It really is amazing what the Archoreans managed to do."
"To answer your question, yes, I am fairly sure that we will use it, as they suggested. And to answer your comment about the Archoreans, while I believe that they did a great deal of it, I still believe that, even though they are not mentioned, the Furling had something to do with it. While the Archoreans are a clan world of the Furling, I do not believe that they had the knowledge to do all of this. In fact, the only race I am aware of that might have done it is the Furling. At least, I believe that the sarcophagus's ability to both bind a symbiote and host and to make a Queen could only have been done by them. Whoever did it; though, I am grateful to them. A sarcophagus that does not cause addiction or personality changes is a blessing to us, for we do mourn our lost hosts deeply."
"I agree, Jolinar. It is a blessing, and one that I am very thankful for; I hated the idea that the Tok'Ra were a dying race." Sam paused, before asking her, "Are you going to allow the Council to vote on whether or not to 'allow' the others to make their own choices about it?"
There was a long pause, before Jolinar answered, her voice tight, "No, I am not. This is not a Council decision to make. It is a personal one between symbiote and host. Some will prefer to die, since it cannot reverse aging. The older hosts will want their symbiotes to find younger hosts that are more viable. I believe that is reasonable. However, if they choose to stay together, regardless of what their age, I will not stop them. Nor will the Council." She paused, and then sighed deeply, before continuing, "We will be making a lot of waves, Samantha. There will be some toes stepped on, as you would say."
"Yeah, I know. Still, I think that you're right to do it this way. It is a personal decision, and I think that the sooner we announce the sarcophagus's other attributes, besides making a Queen, the better. We just have to decide exactly what we will tell everyone; so that it will be very clear what the choices are."
Jolinar frowned. "What you say is true, Samantha. How will we present this information?"
"Well, we could start out by saying that 'You have all no doubt heard how we were made into Queens. What we have not yet released, but are doing so now, is that the sarcophagus has other, and just as important, abilities. Please listen carefully. Then, if you need to, we have set up certain individuals who will go over the information at any time, and it will be sent to your datapads as well."
"You are doing very well, Samantha. Please continue, I am being sure that I remember it so that we can recall it later."
"Um, okay, ah…where was I? Oh, yeah, it will be sent to their datapads. Before you read that information, we felt that we should personally give you this information. The sarcophagus, as you are all aware, can change a symbiote within a female host and make them a Queen. It was not exactly pleasant; in fact, it was somewhat painful, but not excessively so. That is just for your information."
"What you don't know, and what our scientists and linguists have only now translated and learned about it is that it will do some other things. First, I have to tell you the bad news about it. It will not reverse aging. It will stop it, but it will not reverse it. So, it will maintain, it will still cure disease and injury, but it will not reverse the aging that has already taken place. I believe that there were plans to attempt to try to make it do so, but those plans were abandoned. From what we have so far discovered, if they allowed it to reverse aging, it had to be used more often, and eventually, it would corrupt the user. When they realized that they could not allow it to reverse aging and still achieve their goals, they chose to work on the abilities that they felt were more important, and those are the things they achieved instead."
"I am sure you are curious about what it will do, rather than what it will not, so I will move ahead to that. I am quite sure that you have heard rumors about this, so I will lay those to rest, and tell you what the true situation is, as far as Samantha and I are concerned. You know that it changed us into Queens. However, it also did some other things. We thought at first that it was because we were Queens, but we now know differently."
"When it changed us, it changed us a great deal. It connected us so deeply that to try to remove us from one another would kill us both. Now, you are all thinking that I will age and die as Samantha does. That is incorrect. Samantha will age and die, as I will. She will now have the same lifespan as I do. The afternoon of the Tau'ri-Tok'Ra Alliance Party, Martouf and Lantash chose to change, and they are now permanently bound to one another. They cannot be separated without the death of both. Martouf will be Lantash's host until they both die."
"That is one choice that any of you can have. Permanent unbreakable joining. However, there is another option. If you and your host prefer not to join so completely for whatever reason, then you can choose one of two other options. The first is that you can remain as you are now. Your host will age, die, and you will need a new host. The second is the one that will no doubt appeal to many of you, but will also concern many of you. The sarcophagus has been altered so that it will no longer leach the good from your hearts, as long as it is used only as it is prescribed to do. And what is prescribed is that it would only be used for injuries, deaths, and maintenance. The suggested time for maintenance is every two to three weeks."
"You are also no doubt saying that it is not safe to use because you will become addicted and will end up using it more often. Well, that is something about which you no longer have to worry. If there is no need for it, this sarcophagus will not operate. Unless there is a reason for a person to use it, it will simply be a large box that you can lay in all day and it will do nothing. The Archoreans left nothing to chance, as you can see. So, those are the choices you will each have to make. Permanent joining, in which it is suggested that you use the sarcophagus every two to three weeks also, as it will extend both of your lives significantly. Remaining simply a blended pair and not using it at all. Or remaining simply a blended pair, but using it for maintenance in which case the host will continue to age, but at a very decreased rate. You could probably be together, depending on the host's age when you start using it, two thousand years or more."
"This is not a choice you must make today. The information is on your datapad. The scientists and linguists that worked on it are available to discuss all aspects of the information they have. Make an appointment to see one or all of them."
"In fact, Anise, Daniel Jackson of the Tau'ri, who helped on the translations, Malek, Arwanna, Daimesh, Gava, and Calise are all here now and will answer questions."
"Two more things. First, the data has detailed instructions on what we need to do to change any sarcophagus we happen to find, and we know where several were simply left, after a System Lord was killed. We will be retrieving and altering them, so that each base has one available. We also, have detailed instructions on how to build one. Whether or not we will ever do that, we do not yet know. Second, A sarcophagus will be available to SGC personnel and their family members should it be needed. This is part of our Alliance. Eventually, they may have one at the SGC, but only time will tell us that. For now, you simply need to know that should they need one it is to be made available. And now that I've given you this information, I will turn this over to Anise."
"Yadda, Yadda, and we give the floor to whomever, and we get out of there. How's that sound? Clear as mud?"
Jolinar chuckled. "I believe that it gives the information well, it repeats it, so that they will hear it more than once, and I have it memorized and will use it, as soon as we set up the meetings."
"Sounds great to me, Jolinar." Sam started to lean back, just as an arm came over her shoulder, startling her into almost spilling her glass. Lantash's other hand shot out and grabbed the glass she jostled, when he startled her. Sending her a heated look, he leaned in and kissed her, slowly, seductively. She sighed, as his lips left hers.
"Why are you and Jolinar over here in this rather dark and lonely corner, Samantha?"
"Because, Lantash, if I had to dance one more dance, my feet were going to fall off, and I was going to collapse from dehydration. You would think that at least one of those men would have considered that I might want to rest or get something to drink, wouldn't you?" She laughed up at him and he sat down beside her. "Now, I find that I'm starving, but I'm afraid that, if I leave my dark and lonely corner, someone will see me, and I'll end up out on the dance floor yet again. I am not eager to do that."
"I will retrieve something for you to eat, Samantha. I am sorry that it did not occur to me sooner that you were getting no respite from the many men who wish to dance with you. I will return shortly. Do you also need something to drink?"
"Oh, yes, please, Lantash. More water and more, ah, punch or whatever this stuff is. It's actually pretty good."
"It is a blend of fruit juices and liquors. Since alcoholic beverages can be filtered by us, it is very potent. That way, we can only filter most of it, and the small amount left over affects us. Or we can simply not filter most of it and allow a large amount through, if we wish to, as well. Therefore, Tok'Ra do and can become quite, ah, tipsy, if they allow themselves to. Because it is so very potent, all of your people were steered toward a lighter and less heavily mixed one."
"That's probably a very good idea. Now, go before I pass out from hunger."
Giving her a brief 'salute', a look of amusement on his face, he left to get her some food.
She was definitely feeling better and wondered how much of that was caused by the 'punch', and how much was simply getting off her feet. Then, too, no doubt, Jolinar was working on her aching feet and legs.
"I am also not filtering as well as I could. And before you can say it, Samantha, I promise that I will not allow you to become so 'tipsy' that you will forget all decorum and attempt to do something either stupid or embarrassing. We 'are' after all, the Queen, and therefore, probably should not get too inebriated."
"I think you're right, Jol. Oh, here comes Lantash, and I think he has Malek, Anise, and Daniel with him."
"Yes, you are correct, my Sam. That is who it is."
Daniel swung himself down into the chair next to them, asking, "How's it going Sam? How are your feet? They should be pretty sore by now. You've sure been dancing a lot. I don't think I saw you sit down, until you suddenly disappeared. I got worried, but didn't want to alarm anyone, so I found Lantash, and we started searching. Then Malek and Anise happened to see us rushing around and obviously looking for something and got involved." He grinned at her, as he continued, "It was Anise that said that, if she was in your place, the first chance she got, she would be finding a dark and empty corner. And here you are. You look great, by the way. That dress is, um, eye-catching."
Sam laughed, but just shook her head, when he wanted to know why. She wasn't about to tell them that Jolinar said the same thing. Once she stopped, she looked at him, and asked, "So, why was everyone looking for me? It's not liked I dropped off the face of the earth. I mean, you didn't really get worried did you?"
Lantash sat in the other chair that flanked Sam and Jolinar, and then laid his arm lightly around her. She started eating, as soon as he handed her the utensils.
Daniel looked away, for a minute, before glancing back and telling her, "Well, yeah, I mean, one minute you were there, and the next you were gone. It was kind of disconcerting."
Malek looked at her, and his voice was serious, as he told her, "Samantha, you and Jolinar are now the Queen of the Tok'Ra. We will always look for you, if we cannot find you. We will not allow anything to happen to you. Not as it happened to—to Egeria. We will never know if we would have found her, if we had begun to look for her earlier or not. We all are aware of the fact that we are probably overreacting, however, we do not seem to be able to stop ourselves."
Sam sighed. "I understand, Malek, and so does Jolinar. We'll try not to worry you, but there are going to be times that, we simply forget to tell someone where we are going. You have to curb at least some of your panic. Just like now—had Jolinar and I tried to find one of you, to tell you we were going to find a place to hide, someone else would have found us, and we would have been back on the dance floor. I needed the respite; I wasn't going to jeopardize the fact that I was finally without a partner, just to come find someone to tell them where I was going. You are all going to have to realize that I'm not five years old and neither is Jolinar."
Malek sighed and ran his hand through his hair brushing the curl on his forehead off it, even though it sprang back immediately. He finally nodded. "I understand. We will probably continue to look for you, but we will attempt to remain calm, while we do so, knowing that you have simply forgotten." Then he brightened, as he added, "Of course, at any other time, your guards would have been with you, so one of them would have notified us of your safety."
Sam sighed and Jolinar moaned. This was what they were afraid would happen. Well, for now it couldn't be helped. Once there were young, and a new Queen, they would probably let up. Well, they had finished their food and felt much better. "We'd better go back out there; however, Lantash, I want you and Malek to stay with me. No more dancing, unless it is one of you or my team. That's it. My feet don't hurt now, thanks to Jolinar, but I still see no reason to put myself through any more torture. Daniel you are more than welcome to accompany us. You, too, Anise. I didn't mean to leave you out."
Daniel shook his head, "That's okay, Sam. I know you and Jolinar are safe, so I'm going to take Anise and dance with her. Every other man in the place has danced with her but me. Now, it's my turn." He took her arm and left.
With a very handsome man on either side of them, Sam and Jolinar began to make the rounds of the room, stopping by each group, and either being introduced or introducing, depending on who knew who. She was very happy, as she looked around and saw the many groups that were made up of both human and Tok'Ra. Her eyebrows rose when she saw General Hammond and Garshaw dancing to a very slow song, talking, and laughing together. Whoa. When had that happened? She looked to Lantash and he shrugged. He had been incarcerated, so how would he know?
Nodding to the couple, Sam turned to Malek, asking, "Do you happen to know when that took place? How did I miss it?"
He grinned at her. "Well, from what Dev and I were told, they kept sneaking glances at one another anytime they were in the same room. Then yesterday, I believe he asked her to lunch, and she said yes. This appears to be an extension of that. Do you object, Samantha?"
Sam smiled, as she shook her head. "No, not at all. I think it's wonderful. His wife died several years ago."
Malek nodded, saying, "I agree, Samantha. Her mate too, has been gone for a very long time."
As they came to the place where they'd started, their circuit complete, Sam yawned. "Sorry. I'm just getting really tired. How much longer will this go on?"
Malek shrugged. "We rarely have parties, so when we do, they can last a very long time. This one will probably continue for several more hours." Seeing the fatigue on her face, he looked over at Lantash and nodded toward the doorway. It was time she was at least in her own chambers and relaxing, even if she was not ready to sleep just yet.
Lantash nodded. "My love, what do you say we sneak away? I am sure that Malek would make our excuses. After all, the formalities were taken care of earlier, so there is no reason we would have to stay."
Malek nodded his agreement. "Yes, I will let everyone know that you have retired for the night, and give them all your farewells."
Sam smiled at him. "Well, if you insist. How can I turn you down?"
He leaned over and kissed her cheek, saying, "Go, before someone else decides they have to talk to you."
As Malek turned to reenter the main room, Lantash took her arm, and they strolled, unmolested, out into the tunnels. A short time later, they entered their own chambers.
They entered their bedchamber and in the soft muted light, Lantash and Martouf turned to them. "Samantha and Jolinar, we want you to know that we love you more than life itself." Reaching out they removed her earrings, and placed them on the dresser top. Their choker was next. It, too found its way to the dresser. Next, the sleeves were examined and unhooked so that they could remove this 'eye-catching' piece of material without ripping it. As it left her body, Martouf drew his breath in sharply. They were so exquisite; seeing them thus always took their breath away for a short time. He was so entranced and enthralled by her that, he didn't even notice, as she undid each button on his shirt and then swept it from his shoulders, before turning her attention to their pants, swiftly undoing them and stripping him down so that she and Jolinar could take in the male beauty of them.
Before she could do anything else, he reached out and gently laid his hand on the side of her face, his thumb caressing her lips softly. "Samantha, Jolinar, I know that Lantash told you earlier, however I wish to tell you myself, so that you will know that we both feel this way. The Archoreans had no way of knowing when they set out To Make a Queen what they would do. They have given us such a great gift, by making that possible, and yet, for Lantash and I, there is something that we cherish even more than our Queen. We cherish our lover, our mate, our other half." He stepped toward her and brought their bodies together, but his gaze never left her face. "Even if you were not the Queens of the Tok'Ra, you would still be our Queens. We love you; we love both of you more than we can ever put into words. We offer that love to you, for today, for tomorrow, and for every day yet to come. Ni ma'tae qua, Pro`n Cor. Will you love us and be ours, as we promise to love you and be yours? Not just for a night, but for all time, as we vow to be yours for all time? Pro`n Ma'tae re Et'aevek, Pro`n Ann'wylds."
Sam cradled his face between her hands much as he was doing to hers. "Jolinar and I would belong to and love no one else. You and Lantash are our everything. You are our reason for being, for living. Ni ma'tae qua, Pro`n Cor. Yes, we promise we will love you and be yours, as you have promised to love us and be ours. Not just for a night, we vow to be yours for all time, as you vowed to be ours. Pro`n Ma'tae re Et'aevek, Pro`n Ma'tae'takh Keas."
At last, he lowered his lips to theirs; the kiss they shared became more than just a kiss. It was a promise and a vow both given and accepted. They would belong to each to the other…for all time.