Chapter 4 summary: Arnora and Jolinar are getting to know each other better and starting to get along. As their relationship changes towards that of a Tok'ra, they discover some things are becoming different.
[ Chapter 1: Getting the first host | Chapter 2: Getting Acquainted | Chapter 3: Realizations | Chapter 4: Life and Discoveries | Chapter 5: Choices | Chapter 6: Daily Life? | Chapter 7: Ra's World | Chapter 8: A meeting | Chapter 9: Decisions | Chapter 10: Treason | Chapter 11: War | Chapter 12: On the Run | Chapter 13: A New Life | Chapter 14: Development | Chapter 15: Return | Chapter 16: Home ]
Two days later, early evening.
Everyone of importance were invited to Jolinar's party. The majority of the neighboring, minor Goa'uld System Lords, as well as a number of other, lesser Goa'uld - merchants, non-aligned nobles, and others arrived to celebrate Jolinar's take over of power.
Jolinar sat in her throne chair, wearing her most extravagant clothing. It was a flowing blue and golden dress, with a very deep cleavage and cut just as deep in the back. Arnora had needed much convincing before she had agreed to them wearing it - she still considered it indecent. Sitting there, Jolinar received her guests as they arrived and greeted her. Absentmindedly she petted the small puppy - a basenji - that Arnora had convinced her to get. It snuggled happily in her lap.
"I see you have chosen a traditional pet, why, it would have been fashionable, say, 2000 years ago..."
Jolinar looked up to see an attractive man stand in front of her. He was quite tall, and had short brown hair. His pretty eyes sparkled cheerfully and he smiled jovially at Jolinar. She smiled back, despite the light insult - which actually seemed to have been made mostly in jest.
He bowed. "I am Travik, my Lord Jolinar. Should you need any exotic or unusual goods, I am the man to talk to."
*He is...interesting...* Jolinar commented to her host.
*He is a Goa'uld!*
*Of course...* Jolinar turned her attention back to the man before her.
"Welcome Travik. I am pleased to meet you - despite your remark about my poor Kepi." She petted the dog.
"Interesting name...'tempest'...tell me, is it hyperactive?" He walked closer than what was normally acceptable for a guest, and reached out to pet the dog on the head. Sensing Jolinar's slight unease, it immediately - and without any warning - sank its fangs into his hand. Travik gave a small yelp of pain and quickly withdrew his hand. With a small effort he healed the puncture wounds. "Well...I guess I sort of asked for that..." he grinned.
Jolinar snickered. "Yes, she is very clever...and a good judge of character." She sobered. "You told me you could procure almost anything. I think I may have need of your talents. This place really need some redecorating. My father has sorely neglected his palace and something needs to be done."
"I am sure something can be arranged. Are you looking for anything in particular?"
"Hmm...I could certainly use some new tapestries...perhaps with heroic battle scenes...I also need some assorted pottery and perhaps a few nice statues to create a better mood. Even more, I need modern light fixtures - remote controlled, preferably. This place is ancient! My father must have deliberately kept it that way. I presume he liked it - strange taste."
"Yeah, well....your father was something of a traditionalist...I am sure I can find you something you will like."
"Good...I was also thinking that I need some new clothing - tell me, do you have anything in the style that is fashionable at Ra's court? I saw some really nice dresses in 'Goa'uld News'...oh, and perhaps some matching jewelry. Yes, definitively jewelry!"
"Of course. I will bring you an assortment...I have a number of very capable slaves as well. Would you like me to bring some for you to evaluate?"
"What a splendid idea! Please do!"
"Excellent. Now, it happens that I actually brought a small selection of goods with me in my Alkesh. Perhaps you would like to take a look at them later? Tomorrow, perhaps?"
"Perhaps. Enough of this business talk. This is a party! I believe it is time to join my guests." Jolinar rose.
"Of course." He bowed deeply, then looked around for a slave. He snapped his fingers. "Slave, bring us two glasses of good wine." He smiled a bit naughtily at Jolinar, and tried to peek down her very deep cleavage.
Jolinar actually blushed slightly, and did not quite know how to react. She quickly smiled back. Her host mentally rolled her eyes.
*I can't believe it! He is...staring at our breasts! I didn't think a Goa'uld would do that. He is no different than a human male!*
*Why would he be different? Besides, I don't mind - I find him attractive as well. Do you not?*
*Yes, I suppose I do - if I can just disregard the fact that he is a Goa'uld!*
*So am I - does it matter? I am not considering marrying him - if that is what you are worrying about...merely having a bit of fun.*
*Isn't he supposed to be below you? You're a System Lord, albeit a somewhat minor one - and he is just a trader.*
*I suppose...but he is fun and friendly - and good looking. Nothing wrong with flirting a little. Besides, he will be very attentive, knowing well his place compared to mine.*
*...and trying to seduce you into buying any number of gadgets, no doubt...*
*Perhaps. I will be careful...now, shut up so I can concentrate!*
Jolinar returned her attention to Travik, who had by now gotten the glasses of wine from the slave.
"Here you are...Jolinar...may I call you that? 'My Lord' is such a formal way of addressing you, and seeing that we are friends..."
Jolinar giggled and accepted the glass. "You are a very forward kind of person..." She took a sip of the wine, then smiled at him, "I like that. You may call me Jolinar...but only in private, of course."
They walked over to her other guests, and Jolinar then had to divide her time between them. She still returned to talk to Travik far more often than his position merited, and her host pointed out that the others had noticed. Jolinar did not care too much, and enjoyed the rest of the party.
Jolinar had spent the first half of the day dealing with important matters of state, and were now relaxing over a light meal. In a short time Travik would arrive, bringing some of his goods. She was looking forward to it - to looking at the merchandise, but especially to talk to Travik again. He had been very funny and charming at the party yesterday, and even Arnora was starting to be won over.
*It is...odd. While I found Travik attractive and charming yesterday, I did not feel any...infatuation - like you did...*
*Infatuation! I am not infatuated with him, merely...fascinated...* Jolinar immediately retorted, slightly flustered.
*Come on! Admit it! You're in love! You've fallen for him whether you say so or not. I could feel it from you yesterday...anyway, that is not what I meant by something being odd...today...today I feel it.*
*You just took a little longer to realise it, obviously.*
*I wonder...or is it maybe something else? This...bond...blending of some thoughts....memories...our conversations. We know more about each other all the time - share more...*
*You're thinking our emotions might be...um...merging? Really?*
*Synchronizing might be a better word- but yes. Jolinar, you and I did spend a lot of time talking together - not just talking, exchanging...everything. Yesterday and the day before that - after we survived the attack - we started sharing thoughts and memories. What if...this is a consequence?*
*Well...I suppose...it might be a side effect. Thinking about it I would say it is not a bad one. Having feelings for different persons would be...unfortunate. Since I have accepted that you are a true person, just like a Goa'uld...and that you - that the host - retains their personality...their self, I do not wish to do something that would truly go against your wishes. It...it...seems wrong, I guess. This is very strange for me, but I must admit that I feel myself wishing for you to be my friend. That we are together in this - you are someone I could actually truly trust. It is not something that is common for a Goa'uld. And if we are to ever take a mate, it should be someone we both love...anything else would be unfair. I realise that now. This discovery...if our emotions truly become the same - if we do 'love as one' - then we can both be happy.*
*Or both be unhappy, as it may be - if we have to enter into a political marriage, but I digress. At least we would be together in it...Jolinar? Did you say you want me to be...your friend?*
She hesitated. *Yes...yes, I said that...and I do. I do actually consider you...a friend, I guess...as weird as that sounds. If any other Goa'uld heard me say that, he or she would think me mad. It would be very dangerous...I wonder if I am...strange in some way...*
*You are not strange! And...and I suppose I think of you as a friend now as well. I don't care what the others think - we just make sure no one learns about it.* Arnora sent a warm feeling towards her symbiote.
*That...was nice!* Jolinar returned the feeling and added a hug.
*Wow - it actually felt like an embrace!*
Before they could explore this new aspect further, someone knocked on the door.
"Yes? Enter!" Jolinar called out. The door opened and her lo'tar appeared. When he was just inside the door, he bowed deeply.
"My Lord Jolinar. Master Travik has arrived and is asking for an audience."
"Show him in."
Her lo'tar bowed once more, then moved aside to allow Travik to enter. He was followed by a thin man who stayed next to the door. Travik walked over to Jolinar and gave a small bow - not quite deep enough, considering their respective positions.
"Greetings, Lord Jolinar. I have brought some things for you to look at."
Greetings, Taurik. I look forward to seeing what you have to offer."
He nodded and turned towards the door. "Silet...have the goods brought in!"
The thin man bowed and left. Moments later, a rather long line of slaves entered, carrying various crates which they set on the floor in front of Jolinar. They then bowed and left, without saying anything.
When they had all gone, Travik went over to the first of the boxes and started taking several pots and vases out of it. Interested, Jolinar began looking at them one at a time, while Travik continued producing all sorts of items from the boxes - clothing, jewelry, small statues, and figurines...
Jolinar enjoyed herself immensely. She spent a long time looking at all the stuff, and Travik was fun and entertaining the whole time.
After finally picking those items she wanted - which were the vast majority of what was there - they settled on a price. After that they celebrated the deal with a lavish dinner. It was quite late when Travik finally left. He would be returning in just under a month, bringing the tapestries Jolinar wanted, as well as some extra dresses and matching jewelry.
*Wow - that was excessive! Do we really need all those different types of shoes, boots, and clothing? As well as jewelry - more than I have ever imagined seeing in one place! We can fill several closets - and you want even more?* Arnora wondered.
*As a System Lord it is necessary to dress the part. You know that.*
Arnora merely rolled her eyes, but relented. Jolinar was right. She would have to play the part if she were to remain a System Lord.