Colonel Jack O'Neill narrowed his eyes at the team's linguist, grabbing him by his tac vest and leaning in close. "What the hell do you mean, 'it doesn't matter to them', Daniel?"
"Well, I tried explaining to them that Sam wasn't something to be auctioned off, but they don't really care about our ways. Basically, they said we're on their world and thus have to abide by their laws."
"You could not change their minds, Daniel Jackson?"
Daniel shrugged off Jack's grip and turned towards their Jaffa teammate. "I'm afraid not, Teal'c. Their unusual language makes it even more difficult. You see, they have this strange…"
Jack sighed and ran his fingers through his hair as he tried to come up with a solution. Putting his cap back on, he let his eyes scan the crowd. The auction house was a large building, as much as it could be called a building. There were four walls and something resembling a straw roof covering their heads, but there were holes – either meant as windows or damaged and never replaced, he couldn't tell – and no doors, so they might as well have been standing outside. No furniture either, just an empty room with a raised platform for the auction. There was a wall behind it with an opening functioning as a door, which probably lead to where they were holding the women who would be auctioned off this evening.
This was SG-1's first day on this planet and Jack estimated it would take another hour or so before the auction would start. Then again, one could never tell for sure on planets with different rotation periods from Earth's 24-hour days. Not without additional data, as Carter would say. Daniel had been in talks with the elders, chieftains, leaders or whatever the hell they were called around here. And apparently it had all been for nothing! Now, there wasn't a lot of time left to free Carter before one of the sleazy-looking men in the crowd would try to claim her as his once the auctioning started.
"So," he said, interrupting Daniel's explanation about the native language, "what else did they tell you?"
"Um, well, like I said, communication was difficult. The auction will start at sundown and whoever has the best bid will get ownership of the, um, woman, they were bidding on."
Teal'c's facial expression broadcast his opinion on the whole thing loud and clear. "Do you not mean the highest bid?"
Daniel shook his head and gestured at the gathered two hundred or so men. "No, actually. With so many different people from different planets, they don't use the local currency. Or, not just the local currency. I'm not sure on how they determine the value of other currency, because I doubt they'd have a universal exchange rate like we do on Earth. However, from what I understood, it's also possible to trade items, like weapons, food or even fabrics and clothes instead of just currency. But, again, I'm not sure how they determine the value of such things."
"Well, that's just great."
"O'Neill, what plan have you formulated to liberate Major Carter?"
Jack grimaced, his mind still going over all kinds of scenarios. So far, it wasn't looking good. "At this point, I'd be more than happy to suggest shooting our way out of here but someone," he glared at Daniel, "suggested we hand over our weapons when we first encountered these lovely people. So, that's not going to happen."
"Sure, blame it on me," Daniel said, looking peeved. "It's not like you're the one who agreed to hand them over, is it? You could have just ignored my advice."
"Yes, because that always goes over so well. As team leader, I should be able to trust my cultural expert's advice," he snapped back.
Teal'c placed a hand on both their shoulders and waited until they stopped glaring at each other. "I do not believe this in any way benefits Major Carter in her current situation."
Jack scrubbed a hand over his face, silently admitting the Jaffa made a good point. Considering Carter's situation, he wouldn't object to using his knife to fight their way out of this. He was pretty sure T agreed and he even had his staff weapon to aid them. Daniel, though, would probably object. Why he wasn't sure, because it wasn't like there were any honorable or innocent people among the visitors of this slave market, except for the victims, of course. No, he had no trouble cutting his way through these seedy men who wanted to get themselves a sex slave or pimp these women out to others.
"Why does Carter always have to stand out off-world?" He muttered to himself, even though he was well aware none of this was her fault.
"Actually," Daniel said, trying to make himself audible over the sudden buzz in conversation around them due to a couple of guards, the auctioneer and some cuffed women walking onto the platform, "I don't think her looks were all that important."
Jack followed his gaze and noticed the five terrified women on the stage, none of whom were terribly attractive. Still, he could tell the crowd's excitement was building and figured the kind of men who visited such auctions probably only cared about the women being, well, women. The crowd quieted when the auctioneer started talking, presumably to open the auction. A few minutes later, the first woman was pushed forward by a guard and bids were being made. From what he could tell, the auctioneer opened with a low price in the local currency but like Daniel had said, some were shouting or showing items instead to pay with.
"I believe it is prudent we come up with a strategy to liberate Major Carter soon."
"Teal'c is right," Daniel said. "I don't know what kind of order they're using and for all we know, she'll be one of the next five brought on stage."
He gestured towards the stage. "If we can get closer, maybe we'll be able to grab her and make a run for it."
Daniel frowned and stepped closer. "What? There are only two exits in this room, not counting the door from where the women are coming. They'll have guards there the moment someone tries to snatch one of the women. We'd never get out."
"Sure we can," Jack said darkly.
"We can't fight our way out of here!"
Jack exchanged looks with T, who nodded almost imperceptibly. "Why not? We still have our knives and Teal'c's got his staff weapon. Carter has a mean right hook if needed, too."
"And that might take care of the guards, but what about all the other people?"
"There is not an honorable man among them, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel gaped for a moment, before coming up with a reply. "That might be true, but what if they decide to help the guards and jump us? They might not be happy with us for taking Sam. Or they might decide to take the women they want too and trample us to get to them!"
"Well, unless you have any other ideas, that's just the risk we're going to have to take," Jack said, shrugging.
"Um, how about bidding?"
"I don't know, Daniel, they might not take a credit card."
A loud cheering erupted in the room, interrupting the glaring match between Jack and Daniel. A glance to the stage showed a couple of men taking the women by the cuffs and leading them off the stage, towards the door from where the victims had come from. As soon as they disappeared, another handful of women were led onto the stage.
"There is not much time left to find a solution," Teal'c said after the crowd calmed down. "O'Neill is correct that we do not have sufficient resources to outbid other interested parties."
And 'interested parties' there would be, Jack thought grimly. The women they'd seen so far weren't the most attractive ones and most were frail, terrified and probably had way too much experience in this scene. The scumbags bidding to obtain 'ownership' over the sex slaves would probably jump at the chance of getting some fresh meat in the form of a pretty, well-fed and non-jaded Carter.
"Maybe we can trade with our weapons," Daniel offered.
"And arm these people when we're trying to make a quick getaway? I don't think so."
Teal'c turned back to the stage and remarked four out of five women were already claimed. "We may not have a choice."
Daniel gestured off to the side, where a group of the auctioneer's men were sitting at a table. "He's right; anything we'd want to trade for will have to be evaluated by them, I think."
"No, I'm not giving them our weapons. What's to stop them from coming after us to reclaim Carter and kill us with our own guns?"
"What's to stop them from going after anyone to do the same thing?" Daniel asked.
Jack rolled his eyes at him. "Well, this is clearly a popular thing around here so I'm guessing they have repeat customers. If they kill any of them, who's to say the others will return? Killing us, on the other hand, wouldn't make a whole lot of difference since we're outsiders and it would give some of these creeps a new chance at buying Carter. Not to mention right now, it'd be like chasing a couple of people down with pitchforks; if we give them our weapons, they can mow us down with our P90s."
"But they're basically businessmen."
"Maybe, but I doubt they sign any legally binding contracts. They're human sex traffickers, I doubt honor and keeping your word is very important to them. I don't trust them with one P90, let alone all of our weapons. Which is why I was reluctant to hand them over in the first place, if you recall," Jack added.
Daniel huffed and cast a worried glance at the stage, where the five women were being led away to make room for a new batch. "Well, fighting our way out of here isn't going to work either, in my opinion. Don't forget they have our homing device and GDOs, too. So, even if we manage to free Sam and get out of here, we won't know in which direction the gate is or how to circumvent the iris."
"I concur," Teal'c said, a flicker of disappointment on his face. "We traveled to this location via ship from the meeting place at the stargate; without a homing device it would be impossible to find our way back with hostiles tracking us."
"Crap," Jack said, realizing they were right. "Well, is there anything else we can trade them with?"
Jack firmly pressed his hand against the small of Carter's back as he escorted her off the stage and towards the door leading to the back. It had been close, but his bid had been the best and he was now the proud 'owner' of a Major Doctor Samantha Carter from Earth. Yeah, right. He rolled his eyes at the image his brain conjured up: Carter kicking his ass after he proclaimed himself her owner.
The guard who'd escorted the women on and off the stage called over the ringleader when they entered the room at the back. The aliens had what he presumed was a conversation in their weird language as he scanned their new surroundings. It was larger than he'd expected but only the center was spacious; along the walls there were cells of some sort with a female occupant per cell, except for the ones with the sheets in front of them – it was pretty clear what was going on in them even without the accompanying sounds.
Disgusted, Jack looked away from human outlines clearly visible through the sheet and gave Carter a quick once-over. She didn't look injured or anything, just pissed with a tad of grateful for having been 'saved'. Her BDUs were gone and instead she was wearing some kind of off-white dress thingy. There was probably a word for it, but he didn't really care. Her arms were bare but aside from the cuffs nothing alarming was visible on them – no bruises or cuts. Boots were gone too and some kind of funky slippers were on her feet.
He turned to Daniel and the ringleader who was looking at them expectantly. "Hm? Look, we went along with their little auction, paid a hefty price for one of our own and now we just want to leave – with our weapons and other gear they confiscated yesterday."
"Yes," Carter said, exasperation coloring her tone, "can we finally leave?"
Jack thought she was taking this remarkably well, but then this wasn't her first time being kidnapped and sold. Plus, she was unharmed and hadn't given him any indication that she'd been mistreated aside from the obvious. "Yep, time to skedaddle. Get us our things and we're out of here."
"Um," Daniel said, after listening intently to the ringleader's reply. "He, uh, says the female has to wait in her cell."
"Yeah," Jack said, "excuse him?"
Daniel put a placating hand on Carter's arm but she shrugged it off – and rightly so, in Jack's opinion. After all, Daniel wasn't the one who'd just been abducted and auctioned off. "It's just for the duration of the conversation, Sam. They don't, um, speak with women. I think it's got to do with their view of women being property and avoiding any misunderstandings with the woman's, um, owner."
Carter rolled her eyes and sighed loudly. "Oh, hasn't he heard? Apparently the Colonel is my owner now, so chat away."
"It's okay, Sir," she said, interrupting him. "That cell door better stay open, though."
The ringleader looked pleased as she gave in and signaled a guard to escort her the whole ten feet to her assigned cell before removing her cuffs. Jack followed him and apparently this planet's warped sense of etiquette meant the group had to move with him, so they all ended up at Carter's cell door.
"Daniel, tell him we're leaving and want our stuff." Jack let Daniel do his thing while Teal'c watched their surroundings for any threats. He himself sought out Carter's gaze, silently inquiring if she was alright. She nodded and even gave him a tiny smile to indicate she was fine from her spot on the bed in the cell.
"Perhaps Major Carter would like some water," Teal'c said in a lowered voice, handing him a flask.
Jack took it and passed it along to Carter, who gratefully accepted. He watched her as she took a long swig and worried about how well she'd been fed and hydrated during her captivity. She had been taken before dawn, but it had been well over twenty-four hours since the team had eaten.
"Okay," Daniel said, turning to him. "One of the guards is going to retrieve our stuff now. I think they also offered to escort us to the gate, but I'm not sure on that one."
"Tell him thanks but no thanks," Jack huffed. "Wouldn't want them to get any ideas on our way over there. We'll find it ourselves once we have the homing device."
He ignored the look Daniel sent him before he replied to the ringleader and Jack in turn scanned the surrounding cells. There were over half a dozen on this wall and even more on the other two walls. Almost all of them were filled with a prisoner and over a quarter had their bars covered by a sheet which left nothing to the imagination. As he looked away in disgust, he noticed a staircase in the corner of the opposite wall and looked up; there were three more floors just like this one and each had at least a handful of guards patrolling them. There was no way SG-1 could have escaped with Carter, not even with their guns. On one hand, he was relieved he'd followed Daniel's advice – which had been sound this time – but on the other, he was disappointed that even with their P90s they wouldn't have the firepower to free all the women…
Jack's attention was drawn to Daniel's conversation with the ringleader as their voices got louder and, judging by Daniel's body language, the exchange more heated. Wary that the aliens wouldn't keep their end of the deal, he started looking for that guard who was supposed to return their gear to them. He couldn't locate him and Teal'c also shook his head to indicate he had lost track of the guy. "Hey, what's going on? What's taking so long?"
Daniel kept talking to the ringleader for another moment before turning to him, shoulders sagging in defeat. "Uh, there's a slight complication."
"What do you speak of, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked before Jack could utter a word. "Did we not uphold our part of the agreement?"
Jack narrowed his eyes at the alien and his linguist, whose face had suddenly turned pale. "Yeah, what's up with these backstabbing aliens?"
"Uh, apparently you have to… er, well, partake in your purchase," Daniel stammered.
He gestured at the cells with sheets in front of them and shrugged. "From what I can tell, it's some form of insurance. To prevent those with other motives to buy the women."
"What?!" Jack said again, glaring at his friend. "That makes no sense at all! They're sex traffickers, what could their clients possibly do that's worse than making these women their sex slaves? Are they afraid I might treat my new 'purchase' like she's human?"
"I don't know," Daniel said, helplessly. "I think they mean like brothers saving their sisters or something. We know this area is pretty desolated but maybe there really is a more civilized culture elsewhere, far away from the gate, where they have laws against this or something. By demanding buyers to, um, you know, they can probably evade prosecution or something."
"I have heard of similar conditions in other black markets off-world," Teal'c said, looking troubled.
"That's insane! They're bonkers," Jack exclaimed, gesturing wildly.
Daniel grabbed his wrists and leaned closer. "Calm down, or they might take Sam away again. He's already suspicious."
"Oh sure, just let me count to ten and then I'll walk into that cell to tell Carter the good news."
"For crying out loud, Daniel! You can't seriously be considering this!"
He took a step backwards and held up his hands. "Well, not me. You're Sam's owner, now."
"O'Neill, the guard has returned with our weaponry," Teal'c announced.
Jack followed the Jaffa's line of sight and was surprised to see that he was correct. "That's… weird."
"I'm telling you, they'll let us walk out of here with our things after you and Sam… you know."
Jack swiveled around to Carter's voice, realizing she'd probably heard the whole conversation. "Look, you probably overheard some of what Daniel was saying…"
She raised her eyebrows. "Well, this cell isn't exactly soundproof and the door is open…"
"Right," he grimaced. "They're nuts, Carter."
She looked beyond him and indicated the surrounding cells, all covered with a sheet in the front. "Maybe, but it does look like they're telling the truth. That it's SOP for a newly acquired slave."
"Not gonna happen, trust me."
"Sir," she beckoned him over and waited until he was leaning into the cell. "What if we just-"
Shocked, he pulled back and looked at her as if she'd lost her mind. "Major!"
Getting up, Carter grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into the cell with her. "I'm not saying you actually 'partake in the purchase'," she said, "but what if we just… fake it?"
She shrugged, as if it wasn't a completely outrageous suggestion. "Yes."
"You do get that those sheets are pretty much see-through, right? Those lanterns here ensure anyone on that side of the cell can see everything we're doing in here."
Carter nodded in understanding, her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. "I know, Sir. But from what I could tell, underwear isn't really something these aliens are familiar with. So, if I take off this thing and you your BDUs, then we could just… simulate, it."
"In our underwear?"
"Major, have you completely lost it?! That's insane!"
She barely flinched at his response and sighed. "Do you have any other suggestions to get us – all of us – out of here, unharmed?"
"Christ, Carter," Jack said, racking his brain. "What, you want me to tell the guys we'll go ahead with this insane plan?"
Suddenly, she looked horrified. "No! We have to tell them we'll fake our way through it. It's not like the aliens will be in the cell with us; they won't be able to see our underwear from the silhouettes on the sheet."
"Right, of course. How could I possibly misunderstand? Of course, we have to tell the guys! That way, when Hammond gets outraged during the debrief I can just tell him, 'Oh no, General, Carter and I faked our way through it and only simulated having sex while still wearing our underwear' and the guys can back us up."
"No, the more I think about it, the more brilliant your plan becomes, Major," Jack said, sarcastically. "We should probably add it to the standard training all SGC recruits get: How to Fake Your Way through Having Simulated Sex for the Strange Alien Cultures You May Encounter Off-World."
"Oh, for fuck's sake," Carter said, an angry glint in her eyes. "If you have any better ideas, I'm more than willing to listen to them, Colonel."
She glared at him with her arms crossed over her chest. "Daniel pretty much told us they won't let us go if we don't do this. Or, let me go. I'm sure you guys are free to leave at any moment. But I'll be the one stuck here for God knows what! And I'm sorry, but I really wasn't planning on spending the rest of my life as someone's sex slave! So, get over yourself already and either come up with an idea or get on board with mine! Sir."
Jack was stunned and, frankly, a bit aroused over the whole thing. He'd never imagined there'd be a day Carter would yell at him to make him have sex with her. Well, fake having sex. Still, the idea was outrageous… and seriously testing his self-restraint. Carter was pretty hot on a normal day, but an angry and demanding Carter made his blood pump and the alpha in him just wanted to take her right there.
Shaking himself, he tried to clear his head. It was inappropriate to think of her in that way, especially while on a mission. And hell, it was even more inappropriate of her to even suggest what she just did. "Do you hear yourself, Major?" He asked, trying the defensive. "That is… beyond inappropriate!"
"Well, so is buying a sex slave off-world!"
"I did it to save you, not own you!"
She stepped closer, eyes narrowed at him. "You try explaining that to them," she said, jerking her head in the direction of the aliens standing with Daniel. "Or, I suppose you could always just leave and report to General Hammond that you left me here. As a sex slave."
"Christ, Carter! I would never do that," Jack hissed, angered that she would even think it. Never leave a man – or woman – behind was the SGC's motto and there was no way he'd leave anyone, but especially not Carter, to be used as a sex slave. Over his dead body.
She looked away and some of the tension left her frame. "You'd be forced to if we don't pretend to do it. Unless you have a better idea, Sir?"
"No, damn it," he said, scrubbing a hand over his face. "I don't have a better idea."
Nodding slowly, she bit her lip and seemed to pale at the implication of his statement. "So, we'll just fake it. Right?"
The tension that had seeped from her at his earlier reassurance seemed to come back in full now that she had 'convinced' him that playing along was the best idea. Now that they'd have to fake having sex together was becoming a reality. Jack had to admit to himself that he was tense too. Most likely for a whole different reason than Carter, though. Damn, but just the idea of getting that close to her while half-naked was affecting him way more than it should. God, was it possible that his brain couldn't come up with any other ideas because all his blood was rushing south?
"We should probably let the guys know. Sir."
"Right, yes. Good idea." The stammering was ruining his playing it cool act, so he quickly turned on his heel to inform the others about the really, really bad plan.
Daniel wrapped up whatever it was he was talking to the ringleader about and turned to Jack when he approached, an expectant look on his face. "What's taking so long, Jack? They're getting suspicious with the whole situation because of you and Sam arguing. I told them it's because on our planet voyeurism is forbidden and sex in public is reason for, uh, execution."
"We'll do it," he said reluctantly.
"You'll do it?!" Daniel cried out, his eyebrows shooting up. "Um, I mean, you'll do it." He nodded to himself, obviously not trying to alert the aliens.
Jack rolled his eyes and leaned closer to him and Teal'c, speaking in a low voice. "Carter and I couldn't come up with a different plan that would ensure our safe return to Earth, so she suggested we would just… pretend."
Teal'c looked perplexed for a moment. "She wishes for you to simulate sexual intercourse?"
"Hey, they do it all the time in the movies." He shrugged, aiming for nonchalance. Faking sex with Carter didn't affect him at all. Not one iota. "And those guys don't even have a sheet between them and the camera."
"That depends, I guess. Are you referring to Hollywood or-"
"Yes, Daniel," Jack said through gritted teeth. "Just go tell the natives what they want to hear and make sure that damn sheets stays in its place once it's up."
Teal'c clasped a hand over his shoulder. "You and Major Carter should not concern yourselves, O'Neill; I will guard the door to your cell to ensure no one will realize your true intentions."
"Okay, I'll tell them and wait outside until you're coming. Uh, done. Oh, and don't forget Sam is supposed to be your slave. Good luck," Daniel said, smirking and quickly turning to the alien ringleader to inform him.
Great, now Daniel was giving him advice on how to have sex? Well, fake sex. Jack groaned, shaking his head. This was gonna be hell, he thought as he made his way back to Carter.
She immediately got up when he entered the cell and closed the door behind him. Nervous, probably. Well, at least he wasn't the only one. Without a word, he moved over to the bed she'd been sitting on a few seconds ago and picked up the folded sheet. Carter's face was closed off when she moved to him, wordlessly taking a corner and moving to the opposite side of the cell to attach it to the bars. Jack watched her as she stretched out to reach as high as possible and tie the sheet, to block anyone's view from outside the cell from floor to ceiling. His eyes lingered on her body for a moment, before reminding himself he had to put his side of the sheet up too.
"Maybe we should make some ground rules," Carter said.
She shrugged, looking as uncomfortable as he'd ever seen her. "If we're going to do this, there should be rules. To make sure it doesn't get…"
"I was going to say complicated, but that too."
He smirked in reply before moving closer. There was no way in hell this whole situation wasn't going to make things between them more complicated, but he didn't voice his opinion. Considering they couldn't really pretend having sex without getting rather close, he was pretty sure awkwardness was unavoidable as well. For him, at least. Maybe Carter could play it cool and remain unaffected on the outside, but that was pretty much impossible for him. "So, rules."
"Underwear stays on."
Like he was even considering getting completely naked with her. This thing was going to be embarrassing enough with the way he felt about her.
"No touching anything covered by said underwear."
Carter bit her lip, thinking. "I don't think we should kiss," she said, looking up at him.
Oh. No, kissing was bad. "Don't you think they'd be able to tell?"
"Well, I'm supposed to be your sex slave. Kissing is probably too intimate. Prostitutes don't kiss their clients either, right?"
Surprised, Jack stared at her for a moment. "Excuse me? Why do you think I would know such a thing, Carter? Wait, don't answer that. How the heck do you know?"
She blushed furiously, belatedly realizing the implication of her question. "Um, Pretty Woman."
"It's a movie, Sir."
Okay, time to get back to the issue at hand here, he told himself. "No removing of underwear, no touching anything covered by underwear and no kissing. Gotcha."
She nodded and took another step closer. "We probably shouldn't undress each other, either."
Without warning, Carter took a deep breath and started taking off the dress she'd been forced to wear.
Jack froze, unable to look away from her stripping. So much Carter skin all at once was threatening to overload his brain. Sure, he'd caught glimpses of her before in the five years they'd been in the field together, but this was different. For one, he wasn't supposed to look away considering the roles they were playing.
"Sir? Aren't you going to take off your clothes?"
"Um," he blinked, reminded of the situation. Clearing his throat, he started on his boots before moving to his tac vest. "Yeah." His gaze didn't leave her body though, taking all of her in from her long legs up to her firm, round breasts. She was wearing standard issue white briefs and a simple white sports bra but that didn't seem to matter to his libido. "Um, maybe you should wear my shirt. To cover up."
Carter frowned at him and jerked her head towards the sheet. "I think they'd notice, Sir."
"Should I get on the bed?"
Jack tossed his shirt aside and was glad to realize she was as uncertain as he was. Her arms were wrapped around her torso and she looked as if she was hoping for the Asgard to drop by and beam them up or something. "Sure. I'd tell you to relax, but…"
She grimaced as she sat down, scooting farther up the bed and lying down. "That wouldn't work anyway, Sir."
"Look," he said as he undid his belt, "I don't know how much you overheard earlier but Daniel pointed out that-"
"I know," Carter said, leaning up on her elbows and letting her gaze linger on his bare chest. "You're supposed to be rough with your new purchase."
Jack knew she was being sarcastic but hated it when she referred to herself as his property. Hell, he hated this whole mission and those damn aliens for putting them in this situation. Even if this was just pretend sex, it still wasn't how he'd ever imagined getting together with her. "Sorry."
She licked her lips as he took off his pants and gave him a onceover when he stood up straight, wearing only his briefs. "It's not your fault we're in this situation," she said, her voice a bit hoarse.
"Guess it's a good thing I don't go commando when we go off-world, eh?" Mission accomplished, he thought when she smiled.
"We should probably stop talking or they might get suspicious."
Approaching the bed, Jack nodded in agreement. Not that he was in any state to say something remotely appropriate when seeing her lying there on the bed, dressed only in white cotton underwear and waiting for him to make a move. He wasn't the only one letting his eyes roam and he could almost feel hers like a caress over his body. From the way her gaze lingered, he knew she'd noticed he was turned on already and got even harder as her eyes darkened from arousal. He let her get her fill of him – he'd checked her out too, after all – before leaning over and grabbing her by the ankle.
She gasped when he yanked her towards the foot of the bed with one hard pull. Her fingers balled into fists, holding onto the bedding underneath her body but she didn't protest. A moment passed in which she waited for his next move, her breathing loud and uneven. Her muscles tensed when his free hand grabbed the calf of her other leg, but she didn't resist his hold. Sliding his hands up her legs, he silently admired the softness of her skin and had to stop himself from pressing his lips against her ankle to kiss his way up. As a slave owner, that wouldn't be expected of him and after all this, he wasn't going to blow it and get his team killed.
About a year ago, when he and Carter thought they were Jona and Therra, they'd managed to find each other and there had been a bit of kissing, heavy petting and perhaps some groping too. This was different though; back then, they'd been fully clothed and not in their right minds, but now they were themselves and wearing nothing but underwear. Jack tried to curb his desire because he knew the circumstances were wrong but at the same time he wanted her and wasn't embarrassed about it either. Not when she was looking at him like that, anyway. It would have been a whole different story if she'd appeared terrified or repulsed. The heat in her gaze was unmistakable and fed his own.
Carter tensed up again when his hands reached the back of her knees, but after caressing them with his thumbs she relaxed. Her breathing was still uneven though, her chest rising and falling as she waited expectantly for his next move. Jack tried to keep his gaze on her instead of looking at her body, but he couldn't help it when he lowered her feet to the bed and she just lay there; her knees still bent, legs opened before him and a deep blush going all the way down to her chest. His eyes darted up and down before he locked onto her gaze again.
Jack knelt down onto the bed, between her legs and let his hands slide up the outside of her thighs until he moved over her white briefs and rested them on her hips. Carter's breathing hitched and her abs tensed at his proximity, but she didn't move. Being this close to her turned him on even more, especially with the way she responded. His fingers explored the curves he'd caught glimpses of over the years and he marveled at the warmth and smoothness of her skin.
Without warning, he grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head to the mattress. Being stretched over her, he could feel her body heat against his bare chest and fought hard not to press himself against her. This close, he could feel her breath hit his neck and a shiver ran down his spine in response – his neck had always been sensitive. Using one hand to keep her wrists in place, he used the other to caress her cheek, before sliding down to her neck. He could feel her pulse racing under his finger and smirked.
Breathing in deeply, he could smell her pure Carter scent and leaned in more, dipping his head to her neck. He nuzzled the soft skin there while his fingers traced her collarbone and drew imaginary shapes on her chest just above the swell of her breasts.
Carter moaned when his tongue darted out to taste her skin, her head moving to the side to give him better access. Jack took advantage of that, licking, sucking and nipping his way down her shoulder while relishing tasting her on his tongue after so many years. He moved his fingers lower too, trailing them along the tops of her breasts until she started wiggling on the bed.
He grabbed her knee again and nestled himself more comfortably between her legs, pressing his hip against her inner thigh. The sensation of her soft skin against him electrified him and he struggled with his self-control, because all he wanted was to be even more intimate with her and make her his. Jack had to remind himself they were only doing this, pretending to have sex, so he could get her home safely. That thought reined in his libido for a bit…
Right up until Carter let out a needy sigh and arched, her upper body flush against him. He responded immediately by tightening his grip on her wrists and knee, and pressed his hard-on into the mattress for a small measure of relief. It didn't help much, but he refused to cross the imaginary lines they'd drawn.
One look at her flushed face told him she was struggling with this, too. Determined to get this over with, he indicated she had to keep her leg in place with a soft squeeze, before moving his hand up her side until it skimmed her ribcage and went back to nuzzling her neck. His fingers trailed up the fabric of her sports bra and he groaned against her skin when he felt the side of her breast.
"Sir," Carter moaned, both her legs clamping around his waist as she turned into his touch.
With the unexpected twist of her upper body, his hand was suddenly covering her breast. Carter's very firm yet soft breast. Her taut nipple was pressing against his palm and damn, it felt good. Going on instinct, he circled the little bud with his thumb until it grew even harder and her breathing hitched. Jack couldn't resist cupping her breast and kneading it gently, before forcing his attention back to something safer, like her neck – it was dangerous and wrong to enjoy the situation, let alone get used to touching her in this way.
The scent and warmth of her skin, along with the slight sheen of sweat he could taste on his lips weren't as harmless as he'd hoped though. His mind immediately filed them away in his Carter box but he was pretty sure he still wouldn't be able to forget the sensations. Or the little hiss that escaped her lips when he scraped his teeth over a particularly sensitive spot. Carter's hips rose unexpectedly and he had to stop himself from thrusting back when she came dangerously close to his hard-on.
Sweat broke out over his back over all the sensations and suppressing his desires. Her nearness and the friction between their bodies were driving him insane. His erection was becoming painful, his body screaming for release.
"Sir," Carter whispered suddenly. "Sir!"
"Ow!" Jack pushed her knee away from where it had impacted painfully with his rib and glared at her. Had she read his mind or something? Or had he somehow crossed the line? Well, there had been that rule about parts covered by underwear… "What the hell was that for?"
She jerked her head to the side, indicating the sheet covering their cell. "We've got company."
There were three silhouettes he could make out, but more importantly he heard voices and they sounded like they were aimed in their direction. How had missed that? Clearly, he'd been preoccupied with other… things. "You think they're watching us?"
"Afraid so, Sir."
"Great, just what we need," he muttered, returning to his previous position to resume faking it, "an audience."
Carter let out a shaky breath and lay back on the mattress, clearly waiting for his next move. "Guess it was too much to hope they'd stay away," she whispered.
Jack nodded silently and released her wrists, letting both of his hands run down the sides of her body. It was like his fingertips were extra sensitive when they explored the curves of her hips, but he tried to ignore it. He had a job to do, damn it. Might as well get it over with as soon as possible. How long had they been at it already, anyway? He'd lost track of time, all caught up in not making love to Carter…
Her stomach muscles quivered when he caressed the skin on his way down and she looked at him questioningly when he let his hand rest on the waistband of her briefs. "Sir?"
"Trust me," he said as he settled himself between her legs, keeping her left one wrapped around his waist. "I'm not gonna… just roll with me, okay?"
Carter nodded slowly, her teeth worrying her lower lip. She made a visible effort to relax her body when he ran his fingers down the fabric, but her leg muscles still tensed when he stopped at the seam of the crotch of her briefs.
"Just pretending." Jack's whisper seemed to help her relax, so he tried to ignore her heat and the position of his hand and continued their charade by tilting his hips. His eyes darted from her face down to where she lay open for him and back again, determined not to embarrass her further as he positioned himself and thrust forward.
"Oh God," she gasped, her head thrown back as he pretended to take her.
Jack groaned, his eyes nearly rolling back in his head at the intimate contact. She was warm, soft and her underwear oh so wet. They weren't skin on skin, separated by two thin layers of cotton but Christ, he could feel everything. He knew his briefs probably had a little wet spot from his precum but the fabric of hers was thoroughly soaked.
With his eyes closed, his other senses seemed to take over and he could smell her arousal. Even worse, he felt it all when the tip of his cock accidentally dipped into her opening despite the cotton separating them – her flesh giving way, the gush of wetness, her instinctive thrust and the immediate tightening when he pulled back. Startled, he opened his eyes to look at her and stilled his hips despite his natural urge to keep going. "Christ, Carter. I'm sorry."
"Sorry, Sir," she said simultaneously, cheeks flaming.
Damn but this was so unfair, uncomfortable and incredibly embarrassing! But deep down, Jack had to admit he was grateful that he'd been the one to place the winning bid on her and not either of his teammates – or worse, one of the aliens actually looking for a sex slave.
He and Carter just had to get through this, he kept telling himself. It was almost over because, really, how long could these sadistic bastards expect him to last? Gritting his teeth, he steeled himself and after a quick exchange of glances with her, he repositioned himself and gave an experimental thrust.
From the way she shuddered and bit her lip, he knew he'd hit her clit and was about to move when she wrapped her legs tightly around his hips, effectively keeping him in place. "Let's just get this over with. Sir."
The tagged on use of his honorific while intimately pressed against her went straight to his cock, which Jack was sure confirmed he'd go straight to hell when his time had come but he figured he'd follow her lead – this had all been her idea, after all. Ignoring the tendrils of pleasure clawing at his spine and her hitched breathing, he moved with her until he was lying atop of her. Her breasts were crushed against his chest and her arms wrapped around his shoulders to keep him there, all of which increased the friction between them when he continued thrusting against her as his mouth sought out his favorite spot on her neck again.
"Maybe if we… if you," she started breathlessly after a couple of thrusts. She was licking her lips and bared her neck further when he looked up. "If we just-"
Jack resumed kissing and nipping his way up to her jawline, resting his forehead against her temple. "Carter?" Her labored breathing was hitting his face when she turned to look at him and it made his lips tingle. God, he wanted to kiss her…
"Shut up," he said, moving his lips against her cheek. Her skin was softer than Jack had expected and he had to force himself not to turn his face the few millimeters necessary to find her mouth. Instead, he moved one hand down her side to support her lower back and thrust a little harder in the hopes of getting this over sooner.
Carter's nails dug into his shoulders and she made the hottest little sound as she pressed herself against him. "Oh, god… almost."
Her whispered exclamation spurred him on and two more thrusts later she came apart in his arms, her cheek resting against his and arms and legs clutching at him.
Jack was holding on to the last bit of self-restraint by a thread as he waited for her to come down, suddenly becoming aware of the world around them again. The voices of the aliens sounded nearer, the conversation in their native tongue more excited and he realized they weren't leaving anytime soon. Not unless he finished this first.
"Carter?" He asked, turning his attention back to her. Considering the natives were most likely watching them, he couldn't be too affectionate so he simply turned his face fully towards her; her lips were wet and swollen, cheeks still flushed and her eyes darker than he was used to. "You okay?"
"Sorry." She let out a shaky sigh and nodded minutely. "Just give me a sec, Sir."
When she returned her attention to him, he indicated their audience with a jerk of his head. "They're still here."
"Oh." Suddenly, she looked embarrassed again, as if the idea of a couple of aliens watching them simulate sex from behind a sheet was much worse than her CO dry humping her until she got off.
"Carter," he groaned, realizing she didn't understand what he'd meant. "I can't just get up with them watching."
For a moment, she looked confused before the flush came back in full. "Oh. Oh! Of course. Um, do you need to, er, continue to reach your climax?"
Well, at least she'd left off the honorific, he thought. Wait, was she offering to help him get off?! "I just… I really need to come," Jack finally admitted, the pressure becoming too much.
He'd hardly finished his sentence or her hands were back on his shoulders and her legs wrapped around his hips. She arched into him, her breasts pressing against him and from the look in her eyes, he was pretty sure she'd-
Christ! Oh yeah, she'd definitely tilted her hips like that on purpose. Jack groaned at the welcoming wetness that had soaked through both their underwear by now. Using his hand on the small of her back, he kept her in place as he thrust back, hard. Carter made a small noise in the back of her throat but seamlessly moved with him, fueling his desires even more. God, how he wanted her – for real, not like this.
He turned his face away from her and hid in the crook of her neck again when he started picking up the pace, changing the angle of his thrusts slightly to get even more satisfaction out of the intimate friction. His teeth bit down on her skin when he finally climaxed, the pressure easing as he got off and came against her.
Carter's breath ruffled his hair and then her lips brushed against his temple, while one hand rubbed his back and the other held onto the back of his neck. "It's okay."
Jack pulled his cap down and waited as Daniel filled their canteens with water and dropped a purification tablet in them. "Hurry it up, I wanna be back home by dinner time."
"Do you have special plans, O'Neill."
He looked at Teal'c and shrugged. "No, I'm just starving."
"Tell me about it," Carter said as she scratched at her neck.
Jack tried not to think about the cause of her itch, remembering all too well how he'd used his lips, teeth and tongue on that sensitive skin just hours ago. As a matter of fact, he was trying not to think of any of it, at all. No good could come from that. Just act normal, he told himself.
Carter had pretended none of it had been a big deal and if that was what she wanted, then that's what he'd do for her. Of course, it didn't help that she'd started talking like that while getting dressed a few feet away, after cleaning herself up. Nor did the fact that he was walking around this damn planet while going commando, because he'd come in his underwear like some sixteen-year-old boy. He could only hope this awkwardness between them would disappear once they were back at the SGC…
"I could eat a horse," Daniel said, interrupting his musings.
"Can't we take a break to eat something, Sir?" Carter suggested, looking his way – but looking over his shoulder and not at him. She'd removed her hat and was running a hand through her hair, which only reminded him of what she'd looked like underneath him, when it had been his hands in her hair.
"No can do, Major. I don't want to stay on this rock any longer than we have to. For all we know, those aliens will change their minds and come after us."
Teal'c took a large swallow of water from a canteen Daniel had given him and nodded. "I concur."
"Um, yeah. We should keep going," Daniel said.
"Sir, it would only take a few minutes. I'm willing to take the risk."
He shook his head and tried to ignore it when she turned her blue gaze at him. "Well, I'm not."
"Please, Sir," she said, looking genuinely miserable. "I haven't eaten in over thirty-six hours."
Jack placed a hand on Daniel's shoulder to stop him and stepped closer to Carter. "I know and I'm sorry, Major. The truth is, we don't have any food left."
"But we packed enough to last us over a week," she said.
"I'm afraid we're all out, Sam."
She shook her head and moved to remove her pack. "No, that can't be. I'm sure we have something left. There should be at least three MREs left in my pack."
"No, there aren't," Jack said, wincing. "Let's head out."
He ignored her and, taking point, started leading his team farther away from the slave market and towards the gate. Teal'c was on his heels but he could hear Daniel talking to Carter in hushed tones and when he looked over his shoulder, he saw them still standing by the water.
"Daniel! You got me back for what?!"