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The Gift

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As it turned out, he never should have drunk the water. He groaned as Daniel explained that the water provided to him – and him alone – had been laced with a parasite. "What the hell?"

"It's meant to be a gift."

"I've had waterborne parasites before. They're no gift."

"This one isn't likely to give you dysentery," Daniel hedged. 

"Thank god."

"But..." And then Daniel gave Carter an uncomfortable look and grabbed Jack by the upper arm, steering him away from her and Teal'c. "You're not going to like this."

"What?" Jack snapped. He was tired of having this drawn out.

"The parasite is going to make arousal uncontrollable."

Jack raised an eyebrow at him. "I left my teenage years behind a long time ago."

"Think of this like that. On steroids. There's more." Daniel cast a glance at the other half of the team. "The only way to rid your body of the parasite is to..."

Jack made a rolling motion with his hand, hoping Daniel would get on with it.

"Ejaculate." Daniel looked as uncomfortable as Jack felt.

He rolled his eyes in an attempt to distract from the blush that stole across his cheeks. Jack took a moment to consider the options. He raised his voice. "Okay guys, round it up. We're heading back to the SGC."

"What? Why?" Jack saw Daniel see the opportunity to explore the ruins on the planet slip through his fingers and he was clearly unhappy about it.

"Because apparently I need to see the doc."

"Jack, wait." Daniel lowered his voice again. "There's no guarantee Janet will be able to help you. Our drugs may not work against alien parasites."

"But they might, right?"

"Well, yeah."

"And even if they don't, I can... take care of things."

Daniel huffed. "You can do that here." He looked a little worried, though.

"Why do I get the feeling you're not telling me everything?"

He bit his lip. "It's just that... well... you might have some trouble."

Jack didn't want to admit that he wasn't having any trouble at all in the arousal department. He'd begun feeling the familiar pull inside that preceded a hard-on while Daniel had still been attempting to communicate with the head... guy. So far, he'd managed to keep things G-rated but he wasn't going to be in control of that much longer. So, he wanted to get back to Earth and get some drugs – or privacy. "Isn't that an even better reason to get back to the SGC?"

"I meant, you might have some trouble climaxing," Daniel said with exasperation. "You might require some extra encouragement."

"Encouragement?" Jack asked, nonplussed.

"Like, maybe some visual aids."

"Yet another reason to head back home. Got access to all the visual aids a guy could possibly want."

"But, this is an excellent opportunity to study the ancient Sanxingdui culture. And they really do think they've given you a gift. We couldn't come back if we insult them by not properly accepting that gift."

"Daniel," Jack tried to appeal to the man, "what the hell am I supposed to do?" Daniel opened his mouth to speak but Jack cut him off. "I mean, I know what to do about the immediate problem. But what if I do need that extra encouragement?"

"Surely they've got something that provides that."

"Great," Jack groused. "Alien porn. Exciting." He cast a glance at Carter to find her watching him, likely calculating his body language. Maybe overhearing the word porn.

"Please, just, do what you need to do. I can take a look at the ruins and then, when we go back to the SGC – as scheduled – you can have Janet check you out. Make sure you've really expelled the parasite."

Jack could feel himself waffling. If it really was as easy as rubbing one out, was it worth compromising the entire mission? Their directive included the academic study of cultures. "We're not extending this mission by so much as a single hour," he warned, one finger in the air.

"Fine," Daniel said quickly. He started to move off in the direction of the ruins in the quarter second it took Jack to blink.

"Take Teal'c with you."

"Sure." It was fairly common practice for Teal'c to babysit Daniel on these missions.

Jack noticed Daniel's very deliberate look between him and Carter. "Not extending the mission," Jack growled.

"Going." Daniel held his hands up in supplication.

Jack watched as half his team walked off. He needed to get camp set up. He and Carter could do that. So, they did. It took a half hour, maybe, to get the tent put up and a fire pit put together. The days were cool on the planet, they could only assume the nights would be cooler. He was doing fine, he really was. Until he wasn't.

The arousal didn't creep over him, it slammed into him. He went from mostly unaware of his dick to knowing that Carter was going to notice the state of his pants if he didn't do something soon. He needed the tent and he had to tell her something. "Uh... how much of the conversation I had with Daniel did you overhear?"

She quirked an eyebrow at him. "Enough."

Damn it. The woman was far too observant and had ears like a bat. He hooked a thumb over his shoulder. "I'm gonna go in the tent now."


"Okay." So, she knew exactly what he was going to be doing in there. It wasn't his fault, so it wasn't embarrassing. He figured if he thought it about a hundred more times he might believe it.

In the tent he hesitated. He knew what he had to do. And knowing Carter was just outside the flimsy fabric was sort of working for him. What had Daniel said about extra stimulation? He pressed one hand to the fly of his pants letting the pressure take the edge off.

He looked out towards where Carter would be, as if he could see her through the tent – or as if she could see him – before he started unbuttoning his fly. It felt really wrong to be doing this when she knew what was happening. He thought about asking her to find something else to do. Away from camp. But, again, her proximity was really working for him. And maybe that would be enough extra stimulation.

He pushed his pants and shorts down around his thighs, the best he could do while on his knees in the tent without having to wriggle around to get them off completely. He was hard... incredibly hard. He just knew what it was going to feel like when he wrapped his hand around his cock.

But he was wrong.

It was much, much better.

He stroked himself, softly at first, trying to ready his body. And it felt good, but it felt like a tease. So, he increased the pressure he was applying. That felt good, too. The touch wasn't teasing at all, but it wasn't satisfying. He used some tried and true tricks, but he never felt himself nearing the edge of restraint. If anything, he could feel his arousal building, but it felt like it was building to nowhere.

He tried fantasy. A nondescript woman – he carefully constructed her with brunette hair – with her mouth wrapped around him. When that didn't seem to work he tried for the fantasy image and feeling of sinking into her wet heat. Usually, that worked for him. He liked blow jobs, what guy didn't? But there was nothing like the feeling of pushing into a hot, wet, tight woman.

But that didn't do it for him either. Against his better judgement – and years of training and self-denial – the woman under him transformed into Carter. Short, blonde hair messy against the bottom of the tent. Her hands grasping her naked breasts to increase her own pleasure. Her walls clutching him tightly.

The visual made his mouth water with want. But it brought him no nearer to release. He looked down at his cock with dismay. "What the hell is wrong with you?" he muttered.

He changed his technique, reverting to the unpracticed style of his youth, before he knew exactly what he needed to do to bring himself off, hoping that maybe a different touch would be the ticket.

It wasn't. It went on long enough that pleasure began to turn to pain and not because he wasn't coming but because he was chafing. He groaned. Daniel had warned him about the extra stimulation. And he'd truly thought knowing that Carter was out there, listening, just being aware of what he was doing would be enough. Hell, the fantasy of her should have done it – it always had before... when he'd let himself go there.

He soldiered on for a while until it became increasingly clear that he was going to need some help. Or at least some  lotion. He struggled with the idea for a few moments. And then he cleared his throat. "Uh, Carter?"

"Yes, sir?" Her response was so immediate he wondered if she'd been waiting for him to need her in some way.

"Can I, uh, borrow your lotion?"

He could have sworn he heard both a smirk and a tinge of worry in her voice. "Yeah, sure." A moment later she pressed something in a tube against the flap of the tent. "Here, sir."

He unzipped the tent enough to stick his hand out, but not enough that she'd be able to see in. She pressed the tube to his palm. As soon as he had a hold of it he yanked his hand back in and zipped things up.

Everything was fine for a few seconds. He was flipping open the top of the lotion when she spoke again. "Um... is everything okay?"

"Yes," he snapped. Then felt immediately contrite. He softened his tone. This wasn't her fault. "It's fine. I just... I need..."

"Yes, sir," she said in a rush of breath, saving him from having to explain further.

The breathy quality of her voice did things to the inside of him. It allowed him the fantasy of believing she was as affected by the idea of his sexuality as he was by hers.

The lotion felt good between his hand and overheated cock. The slip-slide was infinitely preferable to the friction he'd been feeling before. It didn't help. He was still building up to, but never approaching, the precipice of pleasure. He groaned with irritation.


How long had he been in the tent? At least twenty minutes. However, he wasn't ready to admit defeat. "I'm fine, Carter."

"Okay," she said, but she didn't sound too sure.

He gave it another five minutes. No dice. He was going to have to ask for a little help. Maybe if he could just get her to talk to him. Sometimes the sound of her voice set him on a pleasurable edge. It would be embarrassing, but he could ask her for this... right?

"Carter?" He didn't like the timidity in his voice.


"Could you..."

"What, sir?"

"Tell me about..." And damn if he could come up with anything at all.

She seemed to understand his predicament, though. She started talking immediately. Technobabble. Which, he wasn't gonna lie, totally did it for him. Under normal circumstances. But after a good six or seven minutes he realized he wasn't getting anywhere at all. He huffed.

She stopped talking. "Not doing it for you, sir?"

He grumbled under his breath. It would figure that she understood exactly what was happening.

"What if I talked about something else?"

"If a lesson on the thermodynamics of high polymer solutions isn't going to work, I'm pretty sure one on quarks won't either."

She didn't say anything for a moment and he pictured her impressed face since he'd actually been listening. "I was thinking something geared a little more towards the problem at hand."

Was she offering to talk dirty to him?

"There's no one else around, sir."

Well, good to know, but that wasn’t his only concern. The biggest one was, namely, how was he supposed to look her in the eye ever again?

“Do you want me to—”

“I’m thinking about it.”

She chuckled a little. But then she sobered. “It’s been a half hour.” A beat of silence. “Does it usually take this long to—”

“No!” he yelped. Then he realized that might make him sound like a quick draw. “I mean… It’s not like I…” He huffed. “I can hold my own, Carter.”

“Good to know, sir. But that doesn’t help right now. As a matter of fact, it would probably be better if you were quicker about—”

“Ack!” He shot a glare at her through the tent. Too bad she couldn’t see it. “This isn’t for a lack of trying.”

“I didn’t mean to imply that, sir. So… do you want me to…”

He sighed so loudly he knew she heard it. There was no use denying that he needed help. And he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t curious exactly what Samantha Carter classified as dirty talk. “Yeah,” he ground out, hoping he didn’t sound as excited about the prospect as he felt.

“Okay.” It took her a moment, he could feel her hesitation, could practically see the uncertainty on her face, but she started strong. “I love your body,” she said with a dreamy quality to her voice. 

He raised his eyebrow, honestly shocked she did.

"You," she paused and he wondered if she was hesitating or searching for words. The idea of her blushing as she shared her innermost thoughts about him, to talk dirty for his pleasure, turned him on even more. "You look so good in your uniform," she said, her voice a little unsure. "I know I'm not supposed to look but it's hard to miss your tight ass when you're right in front of me."

He let his eyes slip closed, hanging on her bold, next words.

"Hmm," she was sounding more confident and like maybe she was biting her lip, "the way the fabric stretches over your muscles and earlier, before you went into the tent... God, I couldn't resist and saw how hard you were."

He smiled to himself, she’d checked him out. Knowing she’d looked once would fuel the fantasies in the time to come with the idea that she would look again.

"When I close my eyes, I can picture you in there. Alone, with your pants down and," she sighed, "stroking your cock, using my lotion to get yourself off."

 It was like she was in the tent with him. He increased the pace of his hand.

“God,” she sighed, “I bet you feel so good. Hot and hard, slick, silky.”

“What do you like? Hard, sure strokes? Teasing touches? Your hand rubbing over the head of your cock?” Hearing that word come out of the mouth he’d rarely heard even utter a curse word made his blood sing through his veins. The speculation in her voice was strong and he couldn't help but notice how her natural self-confidence bled through even in this situation. It was difficult to remain in control when Samantha Carter was fantasizing about the feeling of his cock, but he would – he wanted to hear what came next too badly.

 He groaned, he couldn’t help it.

"So that's what you like, rubbing your hand over the head of your cock. Maybe circle your slit, or teasing the head with your nails, letting your precum ease the way your hand moves over hard, hot shaft?" He could tell from the way her voice went up a little that she was pleased and maybe even a little aroused by the having figured out what he liked... She sounded jealous of his own right hand. That turned him on more than anything had so far.

"I don't think you're a porn man, sir, despite mentioning it earlier. No, I bet you like to fantasize... about getting head? Or do you like to imagine fucking a woman?"

His gnashed his teeth together. He wanted to say, Yes and sometimes, when I can’t fight it anymore, it’s you, spread out under me, hot and wet and pink. She was saying all the right things and hearing those words in her mouth was the stuff of fantasies. But still, he struggled to find his way past the gates of arousal into something more immediate and elemental. He wanted more. But he didn’t want her to stop.

“C’mon, sir,” she nearly purred, “which is it?”

He didn’t have the brainpower to run back over what she’s said. He caught himself on a particularly nice stroke and, “Fuck,” flew out of his mouth.

"Of course you do," she said, her voice soft but confident. Maybe this was affecting her more than he thought? "How, sir?  Have her ride you? Letting her set the pace while you hold her hips, see her flush with arousal and exertion, watching her breasts bounce and getting to touch everything from her nipples to her clit, use your hands, tongue and teeth to mark my skin... "

He moaned, her words, they were too much. Despite how far gone he was, he didn't miss the interjection of herself as the fantasy. He enjoyed the knowledge that she was investing as much in the fantasy for herself as she was for him.

“No,” she said, sounding thoughtful like when she was solving one of her equations. “You’d want to be on top. In charge. Watch her write beneath you as you fill her, your hard cock dripping with her juices as you pull out a little. You'd want her to be slick and warm and tight, her inner muscles clenching around you as you drive into her. You'd set the pace and wait for her to arch underneath you in response..."

“Jesus Christ,” he gasped.

“Are you gonna come, sir?” Her voice was breathy but business-like. Like she wanted him to come. Like it was something she'd be proud to have made happen.

He wanted to, god he wanted to. But the sound of her voice, the vivid images conjured up inside his mind… it wasn’t enough. He could still feel himself climbing the ramp of pleasure, nowhere near cresting the hill. He cursed. “Shit. No. It’s not… Carter, you’re doing great. I just can’t…”

“You need more,” she said it matter of factly, not taking it personally in the slightest. He heard the rasp of her fingers on the material of the tent. “Let me in, sir.”

“Carter, you can’t… We can’t…”

“And we’re not going to,” she reassured him. “I promise, I’m not going to touch you.”

Well, that was both damn disappointing and oddly reassuring. “What do you want to—”

“Remember those visual aids you mentioned, sir?"

He hesitated only long enough to make her think that he was weighing propriety against necessity. “Get in here.” He unzipped the door of the tent and waited one long moment for her to appear.

He watched her eyes sweep from one side of the tent to the other, watched them catch on his hand, still wrapped around his cock. Watched her gaze skitter away, pink on her cheeks. Was she embarrassed to see him like this? Aroused?

She crossed to the vacant side of the tent, turned toward him and knelt. She looked unsure of herself for a moment before she took a deep breath and attempted to shore herself up. He could see the resolve in her eyes. Without ceremony, she reached for the hem of her t-shirt. She stopped just before raising it over her head. “Do you… are you a breast man?”

After a few years serving with her, he could easily say he was a Carter man. Any part of her she wanted to show him would do. Hell, just her face was getting him closer than anything had so far. He nodded.

She whipped her shirt over her head in one smooth move. She was still covered by a sports bra – he’d seen her in one before. That didn’t mean he wasn’t appreciating the view anyway. He moved his hand on his dick, her eyes fell to his lap, he twitched under her gaze, her eyes slid away. Then she tucked her fingers under the band of her bra. As she raised it, he devoured the sight of her breasts by degrees: the pale, pale skin; the cup of weight at the bottom; a scar on the inside of her left breast he knew she’d gotten when an overzealous local had gotten her with the tip of his blade; her pink nipples, the shade of her lips; the swells of her breasts; then the way they relaxed on her chest a little – she wasn't twenty anymore and it showed in the most arousing ways – as she removed the support garment entirely.

He knew he licked his lips and her eyes were startled, either by the look in his or the ferocity with which he grasped his cock in the wake of her slow reveal.

Her skin was luminous all the way down to the flare of her waist where her trousers began. He could see the scars she’d accumulated over the years. The reality of her – of seeing her flaws and all – was a boon to his arousal. It was one thing to picture her, perfect, in his mind’s eye. It was another to see the scars that peppered her torso and to bask in the knowledge that he knew how she got most of them. That he’d been a part of her story long enough – though not long enough all at – that he could tell it.

Her eyes were studying him, as if she wasn’t sure if the revelation of her breasts was good for him. He had to say something to chase that uncertain look off her face. “Christ,” he panted, his hand working over his hot flesh, “you’re beautiful.”

She flushed pink all the way down to the swells of her breasts. He could see the change in her coloring despite the filtered light coming through the tent. And it was good, seeing her was good, and he could feel the increase in pressure, pleasure, in his groin. But he knew it wasn’t enough.

“Touch yourself,” he implored her, boldly. She didn’t hesitate. She lifted her hands to her breasts, cupped their weight, swiped her thumbs over beaded nipples. Her head fell back as she gasped. He felt a bolt of new arousal whip through him at the realization that she was taking her own pleasure in this, that she couldn’t fight the pull the situation created. He loved that she was turned on by being in front of him like this.

Her hands played over her skin, cupping, squeezing, pinching, scratching, bringing sensation to herself – he could see it in the way she moved, sensuous and sexy, as she found pleasure in her own touch.

He pumped his cock, not hindered in the slightest by the fact that she wasn’t watching him. He loved watching her fold in on herself.

After long minutes she looked at him – his eyes first, his erection second. “Still not enough?”

“You’re enough, Carter, I swear to god—” he didn’t want her to think for a moment that she wasn’t the most beautiful women he’d ever seen in the flesh.

“There can be more,” she said, reaching for the top button of her pants.

Holy shit. His brain short circuited at the thought of her taking off her pants, of seeing her in her panties, imagining there was the wetness of arousal soaking through them. She wrestled the heavy material off her body, pushed it to the side with one hand, and sat back, spreading her legs slightly and planting her feet flat on the slick floor of the tent. Her legs just went on and on. Her underwear was black, leaving the extent of her arousal to his imagination.

His imagination was freaking excellent.

He could see the tension of her core as she kept herself slightly reclined, leaving the space between her legs more visible to him and keeping her hands free to caress her body. Which she did. Her hands slid over her belly and up to her breast, long, teasing strokes against her silken skin. Watching the way she touched herself, imagining it was so he knew how to touch her next, was the most incredible turn on.

He fixed his eyes between her legs, let himself wonder what she looked like there, let his brain wander into what she might smell like... taste like. He could feel the way seeing her like this was affecting his arousal. He finally felt like the might be light at the end of the tunnel, some relief. He reached for the lotion and squeezed more into his palm, slathering it over his cock. The new rush of her scent walloped him up side the nose and made the whole thing – with her right in front of him – that much more real.

One of her hands drifted down to finger the seam of her panties that was near her clit. Her breath hitched as her thumbnail scratched over the material. He wondered if she was really aroused or if this was a show for him. He had to choose to believe this was turning her on – it affected his overall pleasure.

As she stroked the fabric between her legs, she let the hand that was on her breast drop down behind her to prop herself up. She widened her legs and with more room to work, her movements became more defined, more sensuous and much more visible to him.

He groaned. Her eyes fixed on him, he could tell because despite the hand that was between her legs, he was scouring her face for pleasure. Their heated gazes clashed and he felt a rush of excitement flow through his body and out his cock. He swiped his thumb over the smooth skin of the head and came away with precum. He sighed with relief – it was a sure sign his arousal was strong and true.

Her eyes dropped to his cock. He watched her look her fill. Let his eyes drift down to her fingers and found them slipping underneath the fabric so she could touch her skin.

"Shit," he breathed, overcome with the knowledge that watching him was actually affecting her, that she had to go beyond what she was doing for him to alleviate some of her own pressures. His eyes were torn between watching her hand disappear into her underwear and watching the way her teeth worried her bottom lip. She was feeling real arousal now, it was obvious that the show, while it might be for him, was definitely a two-person party.

"Mmm" she hummed in the back of her throat, a rich sound that spoke of desire. If he weren't a gentleman it would have taken everything he had not to cross the space between them and touch her for himself. But he was a gentleman, despite the intervening years between his mother's instruction and this moment, despite the years of darkness, boldness, and the necessity of taking rather than asking.

She licked her lips. Her mouth fell open. And it wasn't a leap to imagine her mouth on him. Where the imaginary woman before did nothing for him, the visual of Carter in front of him, mouth open, breasts bare, hand between her legs, fingers getting wet... he could feel the tingle inside that indicated he was on the right track.

But as the minutes wore on, she began to shoot him more glances and a worried line appeared between her eyes. When apparently enough time had passed she stopped everything and looked at him like one of her science projects. "More?"

Hell yeah, he wanted more. Did he need it? Maybe not. Maybe if he went on like this long enough he'd eventually come. But it had been a while now... he didn't even last this long during penetrative sex, as a general rule – thank god there were many, many other ways to give and experience pleasure. He shot her an apologetic look and nodded.

"It's okay," she said, her voice soft, her tone soothing. She lifted her hips and pushed her underwear down. At first he couldn't see anything at all. And then she spread her legs again. His mouth went dry. Her sex was flushed with the arousal he'd been loath to assign to her. Even in the low light of the tent, he could see wetness shimmering in the pink between the flushed skin of her folds.

She propped herself back up and dropped a hand between her legs again. She drew her fingers up through the wetness, from her entrance to her clit. She sighed as she circled the little nub.

He wasn't sure he'd ever felt arousal like this before. It wasn't the first time he'd watched a woman pleasure herself – not even the first time he'd seen it in person. But to watch this woman... the smartest, strongest, most staunchly military woman he'd ever met, touch herself not just for just his pleasure, but her own... it felt like a gift. And he started to see how and why the local leaders might classify the experience that way. Because had his orgasm been swift and simple, this never, ever would have happened.

He really wanted to know what did it for her. What turned her on. What, exactly, about this situation made her glisten with her arousal. Because, while he knew there was nothing wrong with his cock, and while he knew that he was good with it, he couldn't fathom how just the mere presence of it might do this to her. So it couldn't just be the sight of it. Besides, she didn't strike him as the kind of woman who really got off on the image of a naked – albeit hard – dick.

She was silent, her breaths harsh, as she stroked the cleft between her legs, slipping through the slickness of her desire. She was watching his hand pump and squeeze and fondle. But if it wasn't the visual, what was it? He swiped at the tip of his cock once more, felt the sticky, wet evidence of his desire. She licked her lips, her eyes zeroed in on the motion. His cock jumped in his hand. The mere suggestion of her desire to taste him was enough to send him seriously careening towards the steep cliff of satisfaction.

She didn't appear to be knifing her way towards the edge of anything, though. While her movements were deliberate, they weren't frenzied. He wondered if she was coming close, if she had what she needed to come.

"What do you need?" he ground out, the pleasure in his body like gravel in his mouth.

A confused look gathered her brow together.

"To come, what do you need?"

Even with the flush of arousal on her skin, he could see the deep blush of embarrassment stain her cheeks. "I'm not going to... this isn't about... what do you need?"

It hit him then, she wasn't frenzied because she wasn't chasing her pleasure. She was doing this for him. She'd never taken herself into account. But, he could see the way her thighs trembled and her belly rippled, and her neck was tense. He could easily tell that she'd tip over into her own pleasure with only the slightest push.

In truth, he was tantalizingly close himself. Finally.

"I want to watch you come."

Her fingers stilled against her clit. "I... don't have to--"

"Damn it," he growled, "what kind of man would I be if I wanted to watch you building yourself up and then stop before you finished?"

She sighed gently, but the sound went straight to his dick. There was a moment when she seemed to consider herself and then, it became clear, that she was focusing on her own pleasure rather than his.

"Besides," he shot her a grin, "there's nothing quite as hot as watching a beautiful woman come on her own fingers."

At that, her pace quickened and he could hear under the harshness of their breaths, the wet sound of her fingers moving over her flesh. That did more for him than anything had so far. The idea of her being wet and sloppy over him was the kind of stimulation that would do him in. He took a deep breath in an attempt to stave off the orgasm he could feel building. Yes, at this point, he desperately needed to come. But he didn't want to rush this moment with her, either. What he got, though, was a nose full of the musky scent of her. His mouth watered and he groaned. She looked at him sharply, a question on her lips.

"You smell so fucking good." She deserved to know.

She made a small sound in the back of her throat that he interpreted as surprised pleasure and her head dropped back. It severed their eye contact, but in truth he wanted to focus on the hand between her legs anyway.

"So, Sam," he said, drawing out her name. "What do you need?"

"Nothing," she breathed. "Just knowing you're watching..."

He understood. Her eyes on him had a particular effect as well. "Come first. I don't want to miss anything."

She whimpered. Then moaned, "God." She must have touched herself just right because then her breath hitched and she whispered, "Oh, sir."

His honorific on her lips like that was a gift he never thought he'd get. "Come on," he urged, his hand working harder over his nearly abused flesh.

She began to pant with the effort of bringing herself to the edge. "Are you--"

He didn't need to hear the question to know the answer. "Yes."

Little sounds began to escape her. Nothing that would even be audible outside the tent, but it was music to his ears. He watched as she abandoned her propped up position so she could circle her clit with the fingers of one hand and insert two fingers of the other into her empty channel. The relieved sound she made was the stuff of fantasies.

It didn't take long before her hips were lifting off the ground, helping her hands do the work. She was racing to the finish line and taking him with her. He recognized the signs of his impending orgasm and he knew he wouldn't be able to hold it off much longer. But damn if he was going to miss the sight of her coming at the behest of her hands.

She exhaled sharply, her body stilled save for the lightning quick work of the fingers on her clit. Then she made a sound that he'd have to fight not to hear every time she opened her mouth in the future. She came. Hard. Her hips bucked, her toes curled, she contracted in on herself and then arched. Her pleasure was apparent and it sparked his own.

"Fuck," he groaned.

It was enough to pull her out of the after-effects of her own pleasure. She planted one damp hand on the floor behind her and pushed herself back up. She watched his come spill down around his hand. Knowing her eyes were on him made his orgasm more intense than he remembered feeling in a long, long time.

He wasn't sure how long he'd struggled through the manufactured arousal but he knew it was a long time. She'd been in the tent long enough to completely perfume the air with her scent.

In the aftermath of their climaxes he thought maybe things would get awkward. But instead of moving towards her clothing she flopped back down, rested a hand against her belly, and laughed. It was a pleased sound full of relief. "I can't believe we just..."

"I'm not sure how to thank you," he said, humor in his own voice.

"Oh, you don't have to thank me."

He sobered as he thought back to the conversation they'd had, as little as there had been. He wasn't sure how to broach the topic they probably didn't need to discuss given their working relationship. But he had to know – she had to know...

"Carter... did you really think for a moment that I wasn't attracted to you."

The satisfied chuckles stopped. "I didn't want to assume, so I tried to leave it ambiguous. But..."

"You do it for me," he reassured her. "You've done it for me since the beginning. And more now that I know you."

Her head lifted and she looked down her naked body at him. "Yeah?"

"God, yeah."

She gave him a warm smile and then lay back down. "Good."

He raised an eyebrow, unprepared for that response.

"Because you do it for me, too. And I know this can't happen again, that it probably shouldn't have even happened this time. But... well... yeah."

He swelled with male pride. This woman. This crazy intelligent, incredibly gorgeous, hard driven woman was attracted to him.

He thought that knowledge was probably worth a parasite or two. Definitely a gift.