A Binding Agreement by Patt

A Binding Agreement - Patt

Jim couldn’t wait for the table to be ready at Claim Jumper. He had asked Blair out for dinner and had a surprise to ask him when they were finished eating. Blair smiled over at his nervous lover and wondered what was up. Something was on Jim’s mind, Blair could tell. He could only hope it wasn’t something bad.

The waiter came and took the two men to their table and Jim kept smiling and gazing into Blair’s eyes.

Finally Blair couldn’t take it any more. “All right, what’s going on? Tell me what’s wrong.”

Jim smiled but also almost growled at his love. “It’s a surprise.”

“Well, we’re past the surprise part now, Jim. Tell me what it is,” Blair ordered.

Jim looked around and said softly, “Would you marry me? I would like to take you to Hawaii and make it legal.”

Blair leaned across the table, kissed Jim very happily and said, “Yes, I will marry you. I would love to go to Hawaii.”

The waiter came and took their orders and as soon as he left Jim said, “We’re going dancing tonight. I want to show you off. There is that new gay bar in town and I’d like to take you there after dinner.”

“Wow, dinner and dancing? You do know that there is a Jags game playing, right?” Blair teased.

Jim laughed. “You’re the most important person in my world, so you always come first.”

“Okay, now I have a dinner date, dancing date and sweet talk. I couldn’t ask for more then that. I love you, man.”

“I love you, Blair.”

&&&&&&&&&&

Walking into the bar, later on that night, Jim was almost sorry that he suggested this. There was a lot of smoke, noise and too many people. Jim had hoped for something a little less crowded. They sat at the bar to have one drink each and then they decided they would leave. Jim ordered them both a beer.

A very stupid man walked up to Blair and touched his leg and said, “How about a dance, pretty boy?”

Blair shoved his hand off of his leg and said, “I’m with someone.”

“I didn’t ask you to fuck, I asked you to dance, now come on-play nice,” the stupid man continued. He was about 6 feet tall, had red hair, and was dressed in a way Blair would make fun of later.

“I said, I’m here with someone, now get lost and don’t touch me again,” Blair said loudly this time.

Jim just sat back knowing that Blair could handle this himself and didn’t want to piss his love off on their special night.

The man shoved Blair hard into the bar and walked off. Jim stood up as if to grab him, but Blair stopped him. “Come on, man. This is supposed to be a fun night. I say we forget the beer and just take off.”

Jim smiled at Blair and said, “Thank you. The smoke is getting to me, big time.”

“Me too, I hate bars, what were we thinking?” Blair asked, laughing.

“I was thinking how nice it would be to dance with you but I can do that at home. In fact there are a lot of things we can do at home. I can’t wait to get there and show you what I mean,” Jim said.

“Oh goody, I have a horny old man on my hands. It’s just the way I like you, babe.”

“Who you calling old?” Jim asked as he led Blair to the front door and out into the parking lot. It was full, so they had parked clear in the back and over in a dark corner.

“I don’t want to freak you out, but your friend is following us and he might have brought reinforcements,” Jim stated as calmly as he could.

Blair turned around and saw the stupid red head following them. “Let’s hurry, I really don’t feel like a bar fight tonight.”

Jim went to unlock the door of the truck, and three men jumped him. They were all as big if not bigger then Jim and were holding on to him.

“What the fuck? Who do you think you are?” Blair shouted as the red head grabbed him and pulled him up close to his body that reeked of alcohol and tobacco.

“You’re not so tough now, are you?” The red head asked.

“What do you want? And you three had better let go of my friend or we’ll arrest you,” Blair shouted.

One of the three men said, “You never said they were cops, damn it.”

The red head said, “Who gives a shit. It’s our word against theirs. Now just hold on to him.” He then leaned down and took Blair’s mouth and pushed his tongue in. Blair bit the red head’s tongue and hoped that would be the end of it. But he should have known better.

The red head then began to rub Blair’s cock through his jeans with Blair fighting him every step of the way. Jim began to fight his bonds and was starting to get loose. He punched one of them and he was down for the count. He slugged the second one in the stomach and he fell to the ground. The third one let go of him, before Jim had to do anything to him. He was a smart man.

As soon as Jim started towards the red head moron, the three men rushed from the parking lot. They didn’t want to be near Jim or Blair.

Blair was fighting the red head like crazy. Kicking, biting and slugging every chance he got. The red head was far too big for Blair to overcome by himself, but that was all right because Jim was now there to help him.

Jim pulled Blair away from the idiot and said, “Get lost and get lost right now.”

The red head then pulled out a switchblade knife and stabbed Blair with it. It barely broke the skin, but Jim didn’t care. In his eyes, this man was going to pay. He started for him and he was quicker then Jim was and he stabbed Jim twice in the stomach. Then Jim was pissed. It wasn’t a matter of being quick then, it was a matter of just being pissed off. He grabbed the dude and tried to subdue him, but it wasn’t working. He started stabbing Jim in the arms with the knife. Blair was kicking the guy trying to help Jim. The red head once again went for Blair and Jim had taken as much as he could. He grabbed him, and twisted his neck, breaking it easily. No one tried to get Sandburg more than once. This guy had tried more than once that night.

Jim slid down to the ground, because he was losing a lot of blood. Blair called 911 and got the paramedics on their way and then called Simon. Simon said to not say anything to anyone and he would be there soon.

&&&&&&&&&&

The paramedics got Jim on a gurney and started stopping the blood flow from his stomach and the ones on his arms.

The cops arrived and asked if Blair needed to be seen. Blair looked at the scratch on his arm and said, “No, I’m fine. It’s my partner, Detective Ellison that needs help.”

“I’m Officer Malloy and I’ll be taking your statement.”

“Well, Captain Banks said not to say anything until he got here. So we better wait,” Blair said.

Jim looked as white as a sheet lying on the gurney and Blair walked over to him and said, “Partner, you all right?”

“I’m sorry, Chief.”

“Don’t be sorry, just be fine, okay?” Blair asked.

Simon Banks walked up at that moment with Joel Taggart. “Simon, I need to go to the hospital with Jim.”

“Sandburg, you’re going to stay here and answer my questions. The paramedics can take Jim to the hospital.”

The paramedics loaded Jim in the back and shut the door. “We’ll meet you at Cascade General,” one of the medics said.

“Thank you for everything,” Blair called out as Simon pulled him over towards Joel.

“Now tell me in as few words as you can, what happened here tonight,” Simon barked.

“I don’t like your fucking attitude, man. Jim has been stabbed numerous times and you’re yelling at me?” Blair asked.

Simon got close to Blair and quietly said, “There is a man dead lying on the ground that one of you has to tell me about. Do you want to tell me or not?”

Blair was a bit confused. Why was Simon so irritated at him? It wasn’t like they asked for it.

“Simon, is this because we’re gay?” Blair asked.

“Just tell me what happened, Sandburg,” Simon growled.

“It is because we’re gay. Jesus, I thought you would be more understanding.”

Taggart walked over and said, “Blair, this is because Jim is trained in self-defense and he snapped someone’s neck tonight. They’re not going to let him walk away from that. They might throw the book at him.”

“They’re going to charge Jim with something?” Blair asked, totally thrown off.

“I would guess, involuntary manslaughter would be the charge. We need to get all of the questions answered and now,” Simon said.

Officer Malloy walked up and said, “I need to question Detective Sandburg about the death of this man.”

“He’ll be with you in just a moment,” Simon snarled.

Malloy walked back over to his car and seemed to be taking notes.

“Sandburg you’re going to have to come up with a really good reason that Jim did this,” Simon stated.

“Simon, there is a really good reason for this. The man was going to rape me and his friends were holding Jim down so he couldn’t help me at first. But Jim got loose and the guy went nuts. He started stabbing Jim right and left. Jim had like six puncture wounds. Is that a good enough reason, sir?”

Joel and Simon could tell that Blair was really pissed off.

Officer Malloy said, “Detective Sandburg, you have to answer my questions, now.”

Blair walked away from Joel and Simon, not saying a word to either of them and went and gave his report to Officer Malloy. Two hours later he was finally told he could leave.

Blair was tired of telling everyone that he couldn’t remember what the three men looked like that had a hold of Jim. It was too dark and Blair was much too busy. He doubted that Jim would remember anymore than he did.

Blair didn’t even say goodbye to Simon or Joel. Instead he dug Jim’s keys out of his pocket and started Jim’s truck up. He was so pissed off he couldn’t see straight. As he was backing up, he almost hit Simon.

“Going somewhere, Sandburg?” Simon yelled through the closed window.

Blair rolled down the window and said, “I’m going to the hospital to see how Jim is doing.”

“You have to come to the station first,” Simon added.

“For what? I already gave my report to Malloy. I don’t need to go to the station,” Blair said.

“This isn’t a request, “Simon growled again, “they arrested Jim up at the hospital for involuntary manslaughter.”

“You’re kidding? Simon, is he going to have to do prison time?” Blair asked, scared for the tenth time that night.

“That’s up to a jury, Sandburg. It all depends on how they make it look. What were you doing here anyhow?”

“We were here to celebrate. Jim asked me to go to Hawaii and marry him. We should be able to celebrate like other people, right?” Blair asked pitifully.

Joel said, “Of course, Blair. Come back to the station, talk to IA and get that out of the way. Then you can go to the hospital. We’re not mad at you, we’re just mad that this had to happen.”

“I’ll follow you down to the station,” Blair said.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim was lying in a bed, stitches all over his body when a cop came walking in with handcuffs. “Detective James Ellison? You’re under arrest for the murder of Ben King.”

“I’d like to see an attorney,” Jim said quickly.

“Let me read you your rights and then you can have your phone call.”

Jim listened as the cop read off the card. Jim rolled his eyes at the cop still using the card, instead of knowing it by heart. Once he was done, he handed his cell phone and told Jim to make it count.

Jim dialed his dad’s number and woke the poor man from a deep sleep. He told him exactly what had happened and asked him to get him a lawyer as quickly as possible. Once he was off, he handed the phone back to the cop and said, “Thank you.”

“No need to thank me, it’s my job. Now I have to cuff you to the bedrail.” The cop cuffed him quickly and didn’t look Jim in the eye once. Jim knew he probably either hated gay cops, or he hated that Jim was being charged. Either way, it was pissing Jim off to no end.

“The doctors said you’ll be released in about six or seven hours. So I’ll wait out in the hall. If you need me, yell.” He walked out the door and Jim said, “What is your name?”

“Officer Morgan. If you need anything, just yell.”

“Thank you, Officer Morgan,” Jim said.

The man walked out of the room and shut the door.

Jim reached across the bed and got the phone off the night stand. He dialed the bullpen and got Rafe.

“Detective Rafe, may I help you?”

“Rafe, its Ellison. I just got charged with murder and I need to know what the fuck is going on. I was defending myself. I can’t help it if the fucker had a weak neck.”

“Jim, just a minute, let me get Simon.”

Jim heard a lot of talking, but couldn’t make out what anyone was saying. Finally he heard, “Ellison, what are you doing calling after you’ve been arrested?”

“The cop went out into the hall and left me with the phone. He didn’t say I couldn’t use it,” Jim explained, “what’s going on, sir?”

“Jim, you killed a man. You were a soldier trained in Special Forces, so they’re going to charge you with involuntary manslaughter.”

“So basically, it would have been fine if I’d have shot him, but not had a fight with him and won?” Jim asked.

“Yes, you know better then to break someone’s neck. You’ve never done that before, why would you start now?” Simon wondered.

“Because I was losing a lot of blood, I was growing weaker by the moment and knew he would start on Blair when he got done with me. I didn’t think I did anything wrong, Simon.”

“Well, you did. You were at a gay bar, which will be brought up at the trial. They’ll hold it against you that you were defending Blair as your lover, not just a partner.”

“Sir, fuck you. I would have done the same thing for you.” Jim slammed the phone down and took deep breaths trying to get the pain under control.

Officer Morgan walked into the room and said, “No using the phone, Ellison. Your partner is being questioned by Internal Affairs right now, so there is no need to try and get a hold of him.”

Jim lay back on his bed and just tried to think of something good that reminded him of Blair. He needed Blair right now. Blair would know how to get the pain down to nothing. Jim realized if he went to prison, Blair wouldn’t be there for him. He would have to deal with everything himself. “Fuck.”

“You need something, Ellison?” Morgan asked.

“No, I just want to sleep. Could you shut the door and shut the lights out please?” Jim asked.

Morgan walked over and shut the blinds first, then he shut the lights out and walked out into the hall. “Just yell if you need anything.”

Again, Jim noticed he left the phone within Jim’s reach if he really needed it. But he was going to have to wait for Blair to get here.

&&&&&&&&&&

Internal Affairs was questioning Blair and raking him over the coals. They weren’t happy with Jim breaking a civilian’s neck. They tried to blame it on Blair numerous times, but Blair wasn’t falling for their tricks. He answered just what he needed to and finally they let him go.

Blair couldn’t wait to get up to the hospital and see Jim. He knew that was going to be a fiasco. Blair was still in shock over the charges being made against Jim. And he wasn’t sure how Simon felt about him and Jim being a couple and was certain it might make a difference.

Blair didn’t tell Simon he was leaving. After all, he was off the clock. This was his time and he could do whatever he wanted to. Blair got into Jim’s truck and drove as quickly as he could to the hospital.

&&&&&&&&&&

“What do you mean, he’s gone? Where in the fuck did he go?” Simon bellowed.

Joel tried to calm him with a soothing tone, but it wasn’t working. “Simon, he’s probably up at the hospital. He’s not on the clock; he can go and check on Jim if he wanted to.”

“Let’s get up there now before more damage is done,” Simon shouted as he walked out of the office.

“What do you mean by that, Simon?” Joel asked.

“I don’t want them hanging around together-that will make things worse. The papers are going to be all over this as it is. If Blair is hanging around Jim too much, they’re going to say he planned it because someone touched Sandburg.”

“But Simon, someone did touch Sandburg. That’s exactly what happened,” Joel said.

“Let’s get up to the hospital and get them separated as soon as possible. In fact, call the officer that’s on Ellison and don’t let Sandburg in.”

“Sir, I think that’s taking it too far. Jim is going to be pissed off enough as it is,” Joel reminded him.

“What’s he going to do, break our necks?” Simon asked very sarcastically.

“Let’s just head up there and try and talk some sense into both of them,” Joel suggested.

“You drive,” Simon ordered.

Joel took his keys and started out of the parking lot. Simon dialed the hospital and asked to talk to the policeman that was guarding Jim Ellison. In a matter of minutes, Officer Morgan came on the line.

“This is Officer Morgan, can I help you?”

“This is Captain Simon Banks from Major Crimes. Detective Blair Sandburg is on his way up to see Detective Jim Ellison, I want you to be sure that he isn’t allowed entrance into the room. I want no one to talk to Ellison but myself and Captain Joel Taggart. We’ll both be there in twenty minutes or so.”

“Yes, sir. I won’t let Sandburg in. Although this might get ugly,” Morgan said.

“You trained for ugly, officer, so do it.” Simon closed his cell and looked at Joel. “What?”

“I think that’s crazy. Blair is going to go nuts wanting to see Jim. I think you went too far, Simon.”

“Keep the thinking to yourself, Joel. We have a man being charged with murder. Now, drive.”

Joel did indeed drive as quickly as he could, but that didn’t mean he agreed with Simon Banks. He in fact, disagreed a great deal with what Simon was thinking and saying.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair got out of the truck, in the hospital parking lot and walked into the lobby. He asked where Jim Ellison was and showed his badge. Sometimes they came in handy. The girl told him right off where Jim was.

Blair walked down the hallway and saw Officer Morgan and said, “Hello, Dave, how is Jim doing?”

“You have to stop right there, Blair. I’m sorry I can’t let you in. Banks called and said no one sees Ellison but him or Joel Taggart.”

“What the fuck is going on? He’s my partner! I can see if he’s all right can’t I?”

“Blair, Captain Banks made it very clear that you weren’t to see Ellison at all.”

Blair sat down in the chair opposite Dave’s and started talking to himself. Morgan couldn’t hear what he was saying, but he knew that Blair was pissed.

Blair whispered, “Jim, Simon won’t let me see you, so we have to talk through the door. I don’t know why Simon would be doing this, but I’m going to find out as soon as they get here. Just hang in there, babe and I’ll see you soon.”

Jim yelled from his bed, “Morgan!”

Morgan walked in and said, “Yes?”

“Is my partner out there?”

“Yes, Ellison, he is.”

“Does he seem okay? We were in a knife fight earlier and I just want to be sure he’s all right.”

“I’ll go check,” Morgan said.

He walked out into the hallway and said, “Blair, he doesn’t know how you’re doing after the knife fight and wants to be sure you’re all right. Are you okay?”

“I’m good. Tell him I got no stitches and I feel great. Thank you for asking, Dave,” Blair said.

Morgan walked back into the room, closed the door and said, “I’ll let him in for a minute. But that’s it. If Banks comes, you’re on your own.”

“Thank you, Morgan,” Jim said, happily.

Morgan walked out and said, “I’m going to the bathroom and I hope you don’t get in there while I’m out of the hall.” Morgan walked into the bathroom and shut the door.

Blair rushed into the room and hugged Jim immediately. “God, you’re so pale. You must have lost a lot of blood to be hooked up to two bags now. Are you all right?”

“Give me a kiss before they all get here.”

Blair leaned in and kissed Jim gently. Jim pulled him back down for more.

“Chief, I’m scared to death. I don’t want to go to prison. You know what happens to cops in prison, right?”

“Yeah, I know. We’ll get a good lawyer and get you off, Jim. Don’t worry okay? Just rest and let the blood go back into your body.”

Blair kissed his forehead and sat in the chair next to him. Jim was sleeping within moments. Blair always calmed him right down.

&&&&&&&&&&

The door opened and Morgan said, “Blair, Banks is on the way up. I just saw him parking in the lot. Come sit out in the hallway. It’ll make for less trouble.”

“Okay,” Blair answered and followed Dave Morgan back out of the room.

They both sat down on the chairs and waited for Simon to get there. Within a few minutes, Simon walked up and said, “Good job, Morgan. I wanted to talk to Sandburg alone first.”

“He’s all yours. I’ll wait in the waiting room. Just call me when you need me to guard the room again,” Officer Morgan said with a smile.

“I can’t believe you weren’t fighting him on this,” Joel said.

“I did fight him, he won. I knew I had to wait for the two of you to get here. Now what’s the problem?” Blair asked.

“I think you need to get as far away from Jim as you can, so that they won’t focus on the gay part and will only focus on the part where he was defending you.”

“Simon, he wasn’t defending me, he was defending himself. That asshole stabbed him numerous times. Have you even talked to Jim yet?” Blair asked.

“No, we haven’t had a chance to talk to him since he has seen the doctor. I don’t know what happened to him or anything,” Simon stated.

“I bet he was hurt, Simon. Go in and talk to him. But don’t be an ass,” Blair snarled.

“Don’t call me an ass, Sandburg. You’re being an ass,” Simon grumbled.

Joel stood between them and said, “Let’s focus here, gentlemen.”

“Sorry, Joel,” Blair said, looking embarrassed.

“Sit out here and we’ll call you if we need you,” Simon suggested as he walked into the room.

&&&&&&&&&&

Officer Morgan walked up and sat down on his chair. “Did they give you much grief?”

“Not really, they don’t know I was in there.”

Both men laughed. Blair leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes, wishing he could sleep and make this entire night go away.

&&&&&&&&&&

“Ellison,” Simon whispered, shaking Jim as he spoke.

“I’m right here Simon. You don’t have to shout,” Jim said.

“Jim, we need you to stay as far away from Blair as you can until after the trial. We don’t want them focusing on you being lovers, but instead just partners. Am I understood?”

“Simon, I’m not staying away from Blair. Fuck understanding. I want him here in the room for this discussion. I’ll tell my lawyer that you refused to let him in here. It won’t look good to anyone.”

“Fine, Joel, will you get Sandburg and bring him in?”

Joel went to the door and said, “Blair, Simon wants you to be in on this.”

Blair jumped up and rushed into the room. He went to the side that Simon wasn’t on and said, “How are you doing, partner?”

“Well, I’ve got 120 stitches, a lump on my head and bruises to prove I put up quite a fight. Although, then to be charged with murder, I gotta tell ya, that took me off guard. I called my dad about a lawyer, so he should be here soon.”

Joel was the first to speak. “That guy really did a number on you. I think you were within your rights to defend yourself. Don’t you, Simon?”

Simon glared at Joel. “Of course he was within his rights, but he’s also a trained Black Ops Officer, so that makes things different. He snapped that guy’s neck awfully easily.”

“So basically you’re saying I’m going to go on trial for the murder of a man that stabbed me seven times? “ Jim asked.

“I think that’s what Simon is saying,” Blair answered.

“It’s the law, Jim. You know the law more then anyone else. So, are you going to cop a plea and hope for fewer years?” Simon asked.

“No, I’m not copping a plea bargain. I want this to go to trial and I think I have a chance.”

“Jim, you’re going to lose,” Simon insisted.

“Then I’ll lose knowing that I at least put up a fight.”

Officer Morgan stuck his head in the door and said, “Detective Ellison’s lawyer is here along with his dad. They wish to see him alone.”

Simon, Joel and Blair walked out of the room and William and Mr. Sean Spenser walked into Jim’s room. No one said a word to each other as they passed one another.

&&&&&&&&&&

“Is that Sean Spenser? He’s the most expensive lawyer in town,” Simon asked.

“That’s who it was,” Blair replied.

“Holy shit, maybe he’ll have a chance,” Joel said.

“I sure hope so,” Blair agreed.

Simon just frowned and still didn’t express much of an opinion.

&&&&&&&&&&

“Hi Jimmy, this is Sean Spenser. He’s going to be taking care of you from now on. You talk to him before you talk to anyone and that includes Blair. You have to be careful of what you say and do, so as of now, he’s in charge,” William stated.

“Hello Mr. Spenser. I wish we were meeting under different circumstances,” Jim said.

“Call me Sean and let’s get started. I want you to start at the beginning of the evening and walk me through it all the way to the end. Don’t leave anything out.”

Jim started talking and told him everything from the time they were at Claim Jumper to the time he killed that man. When he was done, he asked, “So what do you think?”

“Truthfully, you might have to do a year or two. They’re not going to like it that you were in the Special Forces and used that to kill the man. If you had stabbed him, it would have been easier to get you off. But breaking his neck is never easy to walk away from. Do you think you can do a year in prison?” Sean asked.

“I could do a year, yes. As long as I knew I wouldn’t be in general population. Would that be stipulated?” Jim asked.

“They would never put a cop in general population. Well, if they offer us a plea, I think you should take it. We have no idea what the jury would think of it or if they might feel sorry for Ben King’s family. Put all of your assets into your partner’s name, because they might come after you for a personal law suit. I just want you to be prepared. I can get everything put into his name, if you want me to do it. All you have to do is sign this paper,” Sean said, as he handed the paper to Jim.

“I can’t believe I’m going to prison for defending myself.”

“If you want to go the long haul, that’s fine. But if the jury finds you guilty they might give you ten years. I would hate to think about you locked away for that long,” Sean said.

“No, if they offer us a deal, I’ll consider it. I can’t do that long in prison, I know that much, so hopefully the deal they offer will be shorter then ten years,” Jim guessed.

“I’ll get working on the DA and see what we can come up with. In the mean time, we’ll try to get you out on bail.”

“Thank you so much Sean and thank you, dad for hiring him for me. Here is that paper all signed for you. I want my bank account, savings account and the deed to the loft put in Blair’s name.”

“Just try and relax if you can, Jim. There is nothing to do now but wait. I think the judge will let you out on bail. Your father already set up the money for any amount the judge sets. We’ll talk soon,” Sean started getting his things ready to go.

William walked over to Jim and said, “Jimmy, I’ll see to it that someone is taking care of you in prison. Sean thinks it will be easy to find one or two men to handle things. I don’t want you hurt. Here is something you might want to think about and let me know.” William handed a piece of paper to Jim.

“Thanks, dad, for everything.”

William and Sean said their goodbyes and walked out the door leaving an exhausted, but nervous patient in the room.

As soon as they walked out, Jim opened up the letter and read.

Jimmy,

If you want to leave the country, all you have to say is the word. I’ll set it up, so that you and Blair can both leave. You won’t have to worry about going to prison or anything. It’s up to you, what you want to do. I love you either way. If you do go to prison, you will have a Private Investigation and Security Management Company when you get out. You won’t have to worry about money at all. Just let me know what you want to do. I love you, son.

Dad

Jim never wanted to cry so much in his life. He had a lot of thinking to do. He would definitely have to talk to Blair about all of this. This would be something that they both needed to decide on.

&&&&&&&&&&

Judge Harrison held the hearing for Jim’s bail. He let him out on his own recognizance because Jim Ellison was such a fine upstanding policeman. Jim couldn’t wait to go home-but then he had to wait for the nightmare to begin.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair drove them home from court. Neither of them talked all the way. Blair knew that Jim had a lot on his mind and didn’t need his blabbering in his ear.

Once they got into the loft, Jim said, “Did Sean set up everything in your name?”

Blair walked up to Jim and slid his arms around Jim’s waist. He needed to be as close to Jim as possible. “Yes, he put everything in my account and the deed is in my name. So is the truck. The only thing they could go after is your pension from the department. I’m so sorry this is happening, Jim.”

Jim hugged Blair very tight and said, “Me too, Chief. I’m not sure I can make it in there for however long they decide to send me away. I went in undercover that time for Simon and I never thought I would get out and that was only a week.”

“The time will go fast, Jim. I’ll come and see you as often as I can. I don’t know how many times you can visit in a week. We’ve never ever had to deal with this before. You’ll make it, babe, because I can’t make it out here without you by my side.”

“My dad is going to open up a Private Investigation and Security Company for us, for when I get out. It’s not like I’ll ever be a cop again. He also offered to send us away, so I wouldn’t have to do the whole prison thing. What do you think of that?” Jim asked.

“I think that it wouldn’t be a good idea. You don’t run well. You’re more of an in-your-face kind of guy. So I think you’re strong enough to handle anything. But ultimately, it’s up to you.”

“I don’t want to run and look over my shoulder all of the time. So I’ll stay and see what happens. Thank you,” Jim said quietly.

“Thank me for what? I’ve been of no help what-so-ever,” Blair ranted.

“Being by my side helps me with everything. So thank you for sticking by me.”

They began to kiss although Blair felt like his life was shattering into a million little pieces. But instead of sharing that feeling with Jim, he let Jim lead him upstairs to have Jim make love to him. They both needed it.

&&&&&&&&&&

William didn’t receive a call from Jimmy, so he knew that he had decided to stay and fight the battle. William somehow knew that he would, but he would liked it better if he had chosen to leave. He would be safe that way. But Jimmy never did anything the easy way. That was for sure. Now William had to get busy finding the protectors for prison. Sean was telling him that even out of the general population, he could be hurt easily. Sean was looking into the biggest, meanest and poorest men in the prison system. Then William would make his decision on who to offer the jobs to and how much to pay them. His son would not be hurt, it was as simple as that. And as a little extra insurance, he was going to have food brought in every single day while Jim was there.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair went to work every day like nothing was happening. They were still waiting to see if the DA would make Jim an offer. But so far, there was nothing on the table. Blair was getting frustrated and a little depressed thinking that Jim might have to go through the entire trial and get more than what they had talked about.

Simon opened up his door and said, “Sandburg, my office.”

Blair got up and walked in, knocking on his way through the doorway. “Did you need to see me, sir?”

“Shut the door and sit down,” Simon said as calmly as he could.

“They made Jim an offer?” Blair asked.

“Yes, they offered him a plea bargain for one year and to pay Ben King’s mother three hundred thousand dollars. With good behavior he could out in eight months. What do you think?”

“I think this is the saddest day of my life. I still think we should have taken it to court. I think he could have won. If they saw his scars from Ben King’s knife, I think it would have helped,” Blair said.

“What if the jury sympathized with the mother of the victim and given him 10 years, if not more?” Simon asked.

“Can I go home for the day, Simon?”

“Go home for the rest of the week. He goes into custody in four days. Spend as much time with him as you can. Make it count, Sandburg.”

“Thank you, Simon. I’ll tell him you send your best, even if I know you’re still disappointed in him.”

“He didn’t have to kill him, Blair. And he knows that too. That’s why he’s taking the plea bargain. Now go and spend the next four days with him,” Simon ordered as he opened up the door and watched a sad Blair Sandburg walk out of the bullpen.

Joel saw what was happening and went to Simon and asked what was going on. Simon decided to fill everyone in, in the bullpen. He explained every little detail. They were all saddened. There was nothing else to do, but finish their work and hope Jim Ellison did okay in prison.

&&&&&&&&&&

Connor walked into the break room for a cup of sludge and Brown followed her in.

“Connor, are you going to visit Jim in prison?”

“Henri, I can’t believe you’re even asking that. Of course I am. I’m off on Saturdays, so that will be my day for visiting Jimbo.”

“I think we’re all going to go and visit him on our days off. He’s going to need all the morale boosting he can get to make it each day, don’t you think?” Brown asked.

“Yes, I agree. But we’ll help in our own little way. I wish we could see him before he has to go away, but I know he wants to be alone for now. We’ll see him starting next week,” Connor said.

Brown gave Megan Connor a hug, because she looked on the verge of tears. Connor accepted that hug gratefully and then they both took their coffee and went back to work.

&&&&&&&&&&

William had the report in front of him and decided on one man from the protected population. He got everything ready and took a long drive to the prison to see this man. He was going to offer him ten thousand dollars, plus he would put funds in his prison account for the next ten years. He had everything written up and ready for him to sign. Not that it did any good. It only made William feel better about his son’s fate.

Once he got to the prison, he met the man and was happy with him. He signed the paper and asked when the money would go on his books. He didn’t care about Jim Ellison, but he did care about having spending money on his books. William took care of it right then. When Jimmy got to this prison, he was going to be safe.

William talked to the Prison Warden and asked about sending special food into the entire wing with the cop cons. Along with this, William would be willing to give a generous amount of money to the Prison and its upkeep. When he was done with this, he felt somewhat better about the food anyway.

Then William asked to see one of the guards of the specialized section where cops went. His name was Charles Manning. William had a check for him, if he made sure and kept William apprised of what was going on in the prison with his son. Charles Manning gladly took it and told William that he needed someone on the evening shift. William asked if he knew of anyone and of course he did. His brother, Chad, was going to be in charge of Jim at night. William felt like things might work out all right. But when he left the prison he looked like an old, beaten and defeated man. No father should have to plan his son’s life in prison. William wondered for the millionth time if Jimmy shouldn’t have taken it to trial. It would always be a-what-if scenario.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair arrived home and called out, “Honey, I’m home.”

Jim came out of the bathroom with red rimmed eyes and went right into Blair’s arms.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you for a year,” Jim said unhappily.

“Jim, we have four days to make up for the next year. Let’s make it count. We’re going to order food to be delivered to the house every day and night. We’re not going out at all and we’re not having anyone over. This is just time for you and me.”

“Blair, I love you so much. What are we going to do?”

Blair kissed Jim softly and said, “We’re going to make the best of a horrible situation. I will be coming to the prison twice a week on my days off to see you and I’ll write you every single night. Does that sound fair? I’ll be sure to put plenty of money in your account so you’ll have money to buy stamps with, because I expect to get some letters from you too.”

“My dad said that I’m going to be taken care of at the prison, so I shouldn’t have to worry at all, but yet, I am. Prison is not a fun place to be.”

“I have to remember to have your dad over for a thank you dinner. The reason I’m going to do all right at all, is because he’s taken care of the inside men. Your dad wasn’t always there for you when you were young, Jim, but he’s making up for it now. Did I tell you that we’re going to get the business going in the next few months?”

“No, you failed to mention that. Are you going to give up being a cop?” Jim asked, somewhat stunned.

“Not right away, but as soon as I can manage. I don’t believe in the system anymore, Jim. I think you were wronged and I intend to stay away from the police from now on.”

“Blair, would you make love to me?”

“I thought you would never ask,” Blair said as he pulled Jim up the stairs to their bedroom.

Blair knew that every time they made love, was going to have to be the best, because it was going to have to last a year. Never to fall down on the job, Blair made love to Jim like it was the last time he would ever see him. Both men were so moved they were on the verge of tears by the time they’d finished. Blair cleaned Jim up, lovingly, and said, “How about we just lie in each others arms and not think or talk?”

“It sounds perfect, babe,” Jim replied and moved into Blair’s loving arms. They slept for two hours and then dressed and went downstairs to order something for dinner and watch some television.

&&&&&&&&&&

Sean Spenser was at William’s house having dinner and said, “You think we should have gone to court, don’t you?”

“Yes, I think so,” William answered.

“What if he lost and had to serve eight to ten years for it instead?”

“Sean, what if something happens to him in prison? It would kill me to have to tell my son-in-law anything bad. Jimmy is such a good man and was such a good cop-it’s a shame that he’ll never get to be that again. Blair is giving up his badge soon and we’re opening up the new Security Company. Blair is good with the books, so he’ll take care of that, then we just need to find some clients and some help.”

“William, I hope nothing happens to Jim while he’s away. I pray that things will go quickly and smoothly for him. I think it’s great that you and Blair will have a business all set up for when he gets out of prison. Eight months will go by rather quickly. You wait and see.”

“I hope you’re right, Sean. Thank you for everything. You’ve helped Jimmy a great deal. Thank you once again for coming to dinner and filling me in on what’s happening next,” William said.

The two men talked about prison life and Jim for another couple of hours and then Sean left the tired older Ellison to rest.

&&&&&&&&&&

On Sunday, Simon called.

“Ellison,” Jim answered.

“Jim, it’s me. I wanted to let you know that Brown and Rafe are going to be picking you up in two hours. Just giving you a heads up,” Simon warned.

“Thanks, Simon. I’ll be ready. Thank you for giving Blair the time off, so he could spend it with me.”

“No problem, Jim. I’ll see you up at the prison, once a week. You’re not going to get rid of any of us that easily,” Simon teased.

“Just promise me that you’ll all look out for Blair,” Jim pleaded.

“Consider it done,” Simon replied.

“Thanks for everything, Simon,” Jim said quietly.

“I’ll see you in a week, Jim. Take care,” Simon said quickly before he closed the line.

Blair saw Jim standing there looking lost and went into his arms. They just stood there quietly soaking up love from the other one. Finally Jim said, “They’re coming in two hours for me, babe.”

“Jesus Christ, this is going to be like being in hell,” Blair said, holding Jim even tighter.

“We’ll write to each other every day, correct?” Jim asked hopefully. He was trying to make the best out of the situation.

“Yeah, we’re going to write every single day and I’ll be up to see your sweet ass twice a week. So don’t think you’re rid of me,” Blair teased.

They walked over to the sofa and just sat together, holding on for dear life. Jim knew he was going to miss this more then anything in the world. He had never loved anyone like he loved Blair. And he knew that Blair loved him right back.

“I left some money for you, with my dad, if anything happens to me in prison. Just something to help you get by. It’s my money from the service. I never did spend it. I love you more than anyone and I’m going to miss you like you wouldn’t believe,” Jim said.

Blair hugged Jim as tight as he could and said, “Jim, we’ll be fine. Stop with the if-anything-happen stories. I refuse to believe that anything bad will happen. We belong together. Sentinel and Guide forever. Remember that, okay?”

“I’ll remember, Chief. I’m sorry this is all coming down on you. God, I love you.”

“I love you too, Jim. Now just hold me until you can’t any longer.”

&&&&&&&&&&

“Why is Simon making us pick Jim up?” Brown asked, nervously.

“It’s not like he’s going to blame us, Henri,” Rafe answered.

“How do you know? He might hate our guts for turning him in on this horrible day. I really like Jim and I hate to think about him being in prison all by himself with no backup.”

“Henri, he’s going to be all right. Just you wait and see. With any luck, he’ll be out in eight months and we’ll be picking him up to take him home to Sandburg,” Rafe said, smiling.

Henri parked in the lot and the two men just sat there. “Let’s wait until the very last moment before we have to go up and get him, okay?”

Rafe patted Browns arm and said, “That’s fine. We’ll wait about 40 minutes, but then we have to go up and get him.”

The two of them sat there in silence feeling helpless.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim stood looking out the balcony door out to the parking lot and said, “Brown and Rafe are here. They’re worried about what I’m going to think of them if they pick me up.”

Blair looked over at his lover and said, “What do you think of them?”

“They’re great guys and they are only doing their jobs. It’s not like they have any choice in this. I’ve got to go, Chief.” Jim pulled Blair into his arms once again and held on tight. “I love you so much. Never forget that, okay?”

Blair was starting to lose it. “I’ll walk you downstairs, Jim.”

“No, Blair. I don’t want to lose it in front of them. Kiss me goodbye, my love.”

Blair did just that about three times and had tears rolling down his face as he watched Jim walk out the door. Blair just leaned into the closed door and began to sob. Blair missed him already and Jim was only in the elevator.

&&&&&&&&&&

Rafe and Brown were still sitting in silence when there was a knock on Rafe’s window, making both guys almost jump out of their skin.

“Hey Jim,” Rafe said as he opened the back door for Jim.

“Hey Rafe, hey Henri. Thanks for picking me up down here. It would have been bad upstairs. Blair was really upset.”

“We didn’t know what to do, Jim,” Henri said.

“This is a hard time for all of us, Henri. I’m not the only one upset and confused. But I want you two to promise me that you’ll watch out for Blair. If he seems down, ask him to dinner or something. Would you do that for me?”

“It’s the least we could do, Jim,” Rafe answered.

“Thank you both, now we better get to the station. I have to be there in twenty minutes,” Jim said as casually as he could.

There was no more talk. None of the men said a word to each other. Rafe felt like his heart was breaking. Brown kept cracking his knuckles to help ease his stress.

When they arrived, they took Jim right to holding and they had him change his clothing and they got him ready to go. Rafe and Brown hated leaving him like that, but they knew if they stayed it might make Jim weaker and they didn’t want to worry about making him cry.

&&&&&&&&&&

Simon saw a sad looking Rafe and Brown come into the bullpen and knew that their job was done. Simon sat down at his desk and wondered what would become of Jim Ellison. He hoped and prayed that everything would be all right and he knew that the entire bullpen was thinking the very same thing.

Rhonda and Megan Connor were both blowing their noses off and on all afternoon long. These women couldn’t stand what was happening to Jim Ellison.

&&&&&&&&&&

The bus ride to the prison was fairly quick and painless. There was a young black guy sitting next to Jim trying to make conversation. Finally he whispered, “I’ll do anything for you, if you watch out for me.”

Jim felt so bad for him. He looked to be about 21 years old at the most and he was scared to death. Jim leaned into him and whispered back, “I’m in a special holding cell for cops, so I won’t be going to general population. See that man right there?” Jim pointed to a big black dude that looked very mean and rough. But Jim knew him and knew he was a gentle soul to the young and stupid. “Ask him the same thing you asked me. He might go for it. He’s a nice guy.”

So the young dude moved over and quietly asked the black man the same question and the black dude said that the young guy could clean his cell and do his wash in exchange for being taken care of. Jim felt instantly better about the young man. Jim could tell he was going to hate this life. But the big man taking care of him might just save his life.

Jim leaned his head back and tried not to picture what his new life was going to be like, but it didn’t matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get Blair out of his head. This was going to be the longest year of his life. He knew that Blair would be just as devastated as Jim was.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair was very upset, but wanted to call William and let him know that Jim was on his way to the prison.

“Ellison,” William answered.

“William, I wanted to let you know that Jim is on his way to the prison. His new life has started,” Blair said dejectedly.

“Blair, how would you like to go out to dinner with me tonight? It might make us both feel better.”

“Sounds good to me. The idea of staying home alone is going to kill me,” Blair admitted.

“Why don’t you move into Jimmy’s room while he’s gone? That way we’ll both have company and be there for each other,” William asked.

“I’m sure I would be in your way and I would upset you unnecessarily,” Blair decided.

“I would love to have you there. That way we could go up and see Jimmy whenever you want to. I insist that you move into Jimmy’s room. How about tonight?” William asked.

“If you insist, then I’m going to agree to it. I think we might be able to help each other get through this, William.”

“Good, start packing now and when you come over bring a truck load of your things.”

“Thank you, William. I really appreciate this. I was going to go nuts in the loft by myself. You’re a life saver.”

“I’ll see you in a few hours, Blair.” William said his goodbyes and hung up the phone. He had to get busy and get Jimmy’s room ready for Blair. William walked with a new bounce in his step. This was going to be good for both of them.

&&&&&&&&&&

At six that night, Blair showed up at William’s house with five boxes and a lot of clothing to hang up in the closet. William helped him get it all moved upstairs and before long the two of them had it all unpacked and everything hung up where it was supposed to be. Blair realized that William was a lot like Jim, so this was going to be easier then he realized.

“The room looks great, William. I love it that you have pictures of Jim in all stages of his life. It’s like being surrounded by him. This is terrific. Thank you again for asking me to move in.”

“I’m glad I didn’t take the pictures down then. I almost did. I was afraid they would make you sad.”

“I’m going to be sad anyhow, so that makes no difference, but I love the idea of having pictures of him surrounding me at all time. I love him so much, William.”

“I know you do, Blair. I couldn’t ask for a better son-in-law. Now where are we going to dinner?”

“I love Claim Jumper, if you don’t mind that,” Blair suggested.

“I like Claim Jumper too. That’s where we’ll go,” William agreed and they got ready to go.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim got assigned to a cell after they checked to be sure he had no drugs on him. Jim wasn’t happy with the procedure, but knew they had to do it. He was going to be in a cell all by himself. He would have meals delivered to him in his cell three times a day and he would be taken out for fresh air three times a day to the main yard. It would be during times that no one in the general population should be out. Jim didn’t realize he was going to be so isolated. He wasn’t as worried about things as he was before.

A huge guy walked up to Jim’s cell and said, “Better watch your back, Ellison. Not everyone is happy to have you in this area, either. You aren’t wanted in either place.”

“Who are you and why would you hate me so much? I don’t even know you.”

“My name is Mark Nelson and you were in charge of a bust that went down and took me with it. No one gave me any type of break, so don’t think you’re safe here, little man. I’m going to be watching for a slip up every single day,” Nelson said.

“I didn’t have anything to do with your arrest,” Jim pointed out.

“You had to go and be a goody two shoes and took some really good cops down at the same time,” Nelson said angrily.

“Well, if you were doing something illegal then you had it coming,” Jim said quickly.

“What’s the harm in turning a blind eye to minor offenses that don’t hurt anyone?”

Nelson moved fast and very quietly. He punched Jim’s face, knocking Jim’s head back into the wall. Just as quickly as he did it, Nelson called the guard, “Manning, this new guy just hit his head on the wall.”

Nelson walked away as Manning walked up to the doorway. He looked at Jim and saw the busted lip, bloody nose and black eye. “Ellison, what happened?”

“Nothing, I fell and then hit my head on the wall. I got dizzy,” Jim said.

“Protecting them isn’t going to help a thing. You think they’re going to leave you alone because you kept your mouth shut? Think again. They’re going to be on your ass day and night. I can’t watch them all of the time,” Charles Manning said.

“I’ll be fine, stop worrying,” Jim said quickly.

Manning walked away and Jim lay down on his bunk. He used a pillow case to wipe the blood off of his face. Fuck, this is going to be the longest year of my life.

At that moment another big dude came walking into Jim’s cell, bold as you please and said, “My name is Marshall Tibbs and I’m your protector. So from now on, you don’t even talk to anyone without me. Understood?”

“Who are you?” Jim asked sitting up on his bunk, wearily.

“Your dad is paying me quite well to take care of you. I’m as guilty as the next man, but I want to make some money on this deal. You’ll be taken care of as long as you learn the rules. Don’t sit in your cell alone. Stay out in the hallway where the guards can see you at all times. Don’t take a shower without me in the room. I’m telling you, they will gang bang you like you have never dreamed of. Wait until I come into your room for meals. We will become best friends, whether you like it or not. If for some reason I’m not around, you don’t go anywhere. They want to hurt you, Ellison, so keep that in mind. We will have our retreats outside in the yard together. We’ll play basketball with a couple of my friends. You will not talk to them. They hate you too. And whatever you do, stay away from the workout room, because they will have the general population in there at the same time. Do you think you can follow these rules?”

“I would guess I have no choice. Dinner is almost here, so do you want to eat with me tonight?” Jim asked.

“How do you know the food is almost here?” Tibbs asked.

“I have a really keen sense of smell,” Jim told him.

“I’ll just sit here and wait since it’s almost time to eat anyhow.”

As soon as Tibbs sat down, Manning walked in carrying a tray of food. He set everything down on Jim’s small table. Then he brought in the other tray of food.

“Do you need anything else, Ellison?” Manning asked.

“No thank you.”

As both men started to eat, Jim realized that this was going to be the hardest year of his life. He hoped Blair was all right. He didn’t want Blair to suffer because of him.

As they ate, Jim said, “Can we go to the workout room together? I think I need to keep in shape.”

Tibbs glared at Jim and said, “Didn’t I just tell you that the general population is in the workout room? You don’t want to be in with the GP. In fact, sometimes when they take us outside to the yard, the GP are still out there and we are not popular with them at all. One of the cops here died last month playing basketball. Now, do you understand the rules yet?”

“Yes, I’ll do sit ups and push ups in my cell every morning,” Jim answered.

“You’ll do them in the hallway, where Manning can see you. Don’t stay in your cell alone, unless you have to. Are you getting it yet?” Tibbs was losing patience with Jim.

“You know what? I can take care of myself, don’t worry about me,” Jim said angrily.

“Oh yeah, your dad is going to be really happy with the new look you’re sporting, Ellison. You’ll look like that all the time. Is that what you really want?” Tibbs asked.

“I’m sorry. This is all new to me and I don’t like losing control to someone else,” Jim explained.

“Things will get easier as time goes on. Each month will become better and they will lose interest in you, hopefully,” Tibbs said.

“What do we do after dinner?” Jim wondered.

“We’re going to play cards with the guards. We do it almost every night. It’s 5000 Rummy, have you ever played?”

“I play it every week end with my roommate,” Jim admitted.

“Don’t win all the time. The guards don’t lose well,” Tibbs said wearing his first smile.

“Thank you for watching out for my ass,” Jim said.

“Don’t thank me until you’re done with your stretch. Then send me money. Now follow me and I’ll show you where you put your dishes and tray and then we’ll play cards.”

Jim did just that and thought maybe his life could be bearable, as long as he knew the rules and followed them.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair and William were eating dinner and both men were quiet. Finally William said, “Are you wondering how he’s doing his first night there?”

“William, I’m wondering how he’s going to do the entire stay there. He’s not one to be cooped up inside. He’s not going to take it well. He’ll probably be in trouble all of the time and have to stay his full year. Jim always has to do things the hard way.”

“Yes, that’s our Jim. But I think he’s going to learn quickly how he has to adapt, or he won’t make it there. I’m thinking he’s going to be just fine.”

“I hope you’re right, William. I really do. Thank you again for letting me move into Jim’s room. It’s going to make my life bearable. You’re a good man.”

“When are we going up to the prison?” William asked.

“In two days. I’m off on Tuesdays and Sundays. I’m going to write to Jim when I get home. I can’t wait to tell him where I’m living now,” Blair teased.

“I think I’ll try and write to him once a week, whether I want to or not. Sally said she’s writing to him weekly, too. If nothing else, he’s going to get a lot of mail. That will help the time go by more quickly. We don’t have his address and number yet, so we can’t write to him until we see him and get it,” William said.

“Shit, I didn’t even think of that. Well, I’ll take some mail up for him when we go,” Blair said.

Seeing the way Blair was playing with his food, hardly eating anything, William said, “Isn’t your dinner good, Blair?”

“It’s excellent, William. I’m just not really hungry tonight. I noticed you’re not eating your food either.”

“I’m worried about my son. Jimmy is tough, but he’s not prison tough. It’s a whole different type of life, I’ve heard and seen on the television. I hope he’s all right tonight.”

“I hope so too. Let’s talk about some happy things and make this night less dreary,” Blair suggested.

William smiled. “Good thinking.”

William decided to tell some young Jim stories that Blair had never heard. It was making Blair smile, even if it was a sad smile. Blair loved the one where Jim started William’s car, backed it up and into a tree and then tried to get out of it. His door was stuck, or he would have been long gone. There was no way he could get out of that trouble. The two men laughed at the Jim stories and William felt like they might be helping both of them.

&&&&&&&&&&

The following morning, Jim woke up after sleeping all of two hours and got dressed. He wasn’t sure how it worked yet. Did he eat breakfast first and then shower? He was going to have to see Tibbs and take it from there. Jim walked out of his cell and leaned against the wall, not looking at anything in particular.

Tibbs walked up and said, “Breakfast in your cell first and then shower.”

“Okay,” Jim answered.

They walked into Jim’s cell and Jim said, “Smells like we’re having scrambled eggs and bacon this morning. Do you have that very often?”

“We never have that. Your sniffer must be off duty today,” Tibbs said laughing.

Jim just shut up-he didn’t want to make a big deal about it. They brought their breakfast to the two men and Tibbs was shocked. It was indeed eggs and bacon. He hadn’t had that since he had been there. How did Ellison’s dad work that out? Tibbs stood up and said, “I’ll be right back.”

Tibbs looked into the other cells and saw they were all having eggs and bacon. What the fuck? Tibbs walked back and sat down and started eating.

“I don’t know how your dad did this, but we all have eggs and bacon. They might warm up to you yet,” Tibbs joked.

They finished their breakfast and then he showed Jim where they would go to take their showers.

In the shower four cons, one of them Nelson, walked in and Nelson said, “How did your family arrange to have good meals brought in for all of us? And how long will they keep coming?”

Jim continued showering while he talked. “I have no idea how they did it. I’m as surprised as you.”

“Well, if this continues, you will become the most popular man in our lock-up. I mean that, seriously,” Nelson said.

Jim finished his shower, dried off and got dressed while the others were still showering. “I’ll ask them when I see them this week.”

A small dude walked up to Jim and said, “Ask if we can suggest things that we need to have.”

Jim almost smiled, keyword, being almost and said, “I will ask them.”

Jim and Tibbs walked out of the shower room and both men were wearing smiles on their faces.

Tibbs looked at Jim and said, “It isn’t going to be like this everyday. But this was a nice way to start the week. Now you can go and ask if you can make a call. You get to call once a day. It has to be somewhere that they can accept charges for the call.”

Jim was suddenly thrilled. He had no idea he could make calls every day. That was so great. He headed for the guards’ desk and asked, “Can I make a call to my father?”

“Yes, the phone is right there. Just remember to sign in and sign out when you’re finished with your call. Tell your dad thank you for breakfast. That was a very nice change of pace,” Manning said.

Jim went over and signed the sheet with his name and time. Then he dialed his dad’s number and the prison saw if William would accept charges for the call. Once he okayed that, Jim said, “Dad?”

“Jimmy, I can’t believe you’re calling me already. How did you do last night?”

“I did just fine dad. Don’t worry, okay? Everyone here told me to thank you for breakfast. How did you do that?” Jim asked.

“I donated a little money to the prison and hired some cooking company. It’s cooked somewhere else, so it’s probably not hot by the time you get it. But it should work for awhile. You will have three good meals a day and I couldn’t do it without giving it to everyone else.”

“It was a big hit dad. Things are going to be a little easier, I think. So thank you, again. When are you and Blair coming?”

“Speaking of Blair, guess who moved into your old room while you’re gone?”

“Blair moved into your house?” Jim asked, somewhat surprised.

“He was lonely already and jumped on my suggestion.”

“Thanks, dad.”

“We’re going to be there tomorrow to see you. We need your booking number for sending mail to you. Do you happen to know it?” William inquired.

“It’s 100426073 and my unit number is A-28. I hope that’s all you need, because I don’t know anything else,” Jim said.

“So everything is going well?” William was hoping to hear good things.

“Tell Blair, I have a black eye, because I opened my big mouth to the wrong person. But I now know who to talk with and who not to. I wasn’t sure of the rules then, I know them now. So don’t worry. I’m doing fine.”

“Good. Blair misses you so much. This morning before work he looked lost. I just gave him a big hug and that seemed to help him somewhat.”

“Thank you, dad. I’ll never be able to pay you back for all of this. I better go, there is a line waiting for the phone. Talk to you tomorrow,” Jim said before he hung up.

Jim went over to the desk and signed out and then looked to see where Tibbs was. He found him doing jumping jacks in front of Jim’s cell. Jim almost smiled at that, but stopped himself. He was in prison after all; there was nothing to smile about.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair decided to eat at his desk at work and that way he could write to Jim.

Dear Jim,

I miss you so much already and you’ve only been gone one day. I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I promise I’ll try really hard. I moved into your old room at your dad’s house. We decided that we could keep each other company and also drive to the prison twice a week. Your dad doesn’t like to drive that much anymore, so he can ride with me. I hope you don’t mind having him there when I’m there.

I hope you made it through the night all right. I can only hope and pray that things will go well.

Everyone is asking for your address and Henri asked for your phone number. Yes, he really asked that. We all had a good laugh about that and Simon even smiled. I don’t think he would care to admit it, but he misses you already. I will get your address when I see you and then you’ll get mail all the time.

I’m going to get back to work because everyone is looking over my shoulder. I’ll do these at home from now on. See you tomorrow.

I love you,

Blair

The phone rang and Blair picked it up, “Sandburg.”

“Blair, I have Jimmy’s address if you want it for anyone,” William said.

“Yeah, let me get this written down. Everyone is asking about it today, so they’ll be glad to see that we have it already. Shoot…”

William gave him the address and Blair wrote everything down. “Thank you, William. I had better get back to work before they start telling me I’m slacking off.”

“Goodbye, Blair. See you tonight,” William said before hanging up the phone.

Blair typed the address on the word document and put Jim’s name and everything on it, then printed out twenty copies for the people that had asked for it in the bullpen and other places in the station. Then Blair took his copies and started passing them out. Everyone was thrilled to death that they could write to Jim as of now. Blair was happy to see so many people interested.

&&&&&&&&&&

That night at the prison, Tibbs and Jim were sitting in his cell waiting for dinner when Jim said, “How do you feel about pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy? And I swear I smell tapioca for dessert.”

Tibbs said, “Shit, I hope you’re right. That sounds so good. I’m starving. I did a lot of working out today. It’s hard keeping up with you.”

“I need to stay in shape just in case I’m alone sometimes,” Jim reminded him.

“Well, I think jogging two miles out in the yard today was a little much. I hate running,” Tibbs grumbled.

Jim smiled at his cell mate and then dinner arrived. It was everything Jim had said. Down the hallway, he could hear everyone calling out, “Thanks, Ellison.”

“I’m in actual heaven. I could die happy now. This is my favorite meal,” Tibbs said.

They ate dinner in silence, as everyone else did too. No one wanted to waste any time talking when there was all of this good food to eat.

Jim was just happy knowing that tomorrow, he would see Blair. He didn’t care if he ever ate again, as long as he had Blair in his life, that’s all that mattered. Jim realized he was getting sappy in his old age, but he didn’t even mind that. He was a man in love and he was going to make this prison stay work, so that he could get out and be in Blair’s life again.

&&&&&&&&&&

Tuesday morning, Blair was up at 5:00. He was so excited about seeing Jim, he couldn’t think straight. Then he heard William getting up and felt bad for waking the poor man up. He needed his sleep.

“Blair let’s go out to breakfast, and then we’ll get on the road to see Jimmy. Visiting hours start at 8:00, so we have plenty of time to get there.”

“I’ll just jump in the shower and get ready to go. We’ll leave here around 6:00 and then have plenty of time for breakfast and the drive there.”

William walked back into his room to get ready to go, also. Both men were excited. They both didn’t know what to expect, but hoped for the best.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim got up and waited for Tibbs to head in for his shower. While they were in there, everyone talked to everyone else about how good dinner had been. They said they wanted to keep Ellison in for the next ten years. They all laughed, but Jim got the feeling they weren’t kidding.

Jim was a little nervous about seeing Blair. He had never had to see Blair while in prison before, at least when he was really in prison. It didn’t make him feel good. But Jim knew that Blair would calm him down first thing and they would be fine.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim had written a letter for Blair and his dad and took them to the visiting room when they called his name. Jim couldn’t believe how great Blair looked, but he knew immediately that his dad hadn’t told him about the black eye. Jim sat down across from them and Blair looked quite upset.

“Hi Chief. Hi dad.”

“Hi Jimmy. I forgot to tell Blair about the black eye. I’m sorry. I’ll tell him all about it on the way home, all right? Blair don’t be upset. Jimmy is just fine.”

Hi Jim,” Blair said softly.

Jim pulled his letter out and handed it to Blair. “They’re keeping me pretty busy, Chief, so you only got one letter from me. I’m sorry. I wanted to write more, but the time goes by really fast.”

“Well, that’s good, Jim. I’m glad it’s going by quickly for you. Let’s hope the entire year goes by that fast.”

Jim pulled out another envelope and handed it to his dad. “I wrote to you too. Thank you for taking Blair in and making him feel at home. I thanked you for many things, but if I forgot anything, I’m sorry. You’re great, dad.”

“Thank you, Jimmy. I didn’t expect a letter too. Now tell us about how it’s going,” William said.

Jim filled them in on how things were going and both men ended up smiling by the end of the story.

“So you’re popular, now?” Blair asked.

“For the time being anyhow,” Jim answered. “Now tell me what’s going on in the outside world.”

William told him everything that was going on at the Senior Meal Site where he worked three days a week and told him how Sally was doing. Then Blair told him how everyone was going in Major Crimes and anything and everything that was new.

Before long, Jim’s time was up. Blair couldn’t believe they had already used up the hour for visiting. Blair wanted to kiss him so badly, but the signs said to stay clear of them. Blair knew he had to follow rules, too.

They said goodbye and Jim looked like he wanted to cry. Blair said, “See you on Sunday, big guy.”

Jim smiled and walked off with the guard. Blair and William went out to the truck and got in.

William hugged Blair and said, “It’ll get easier as time goes on.”

“I’m not sure this is a good thing, William.”

“I know what you mean,” William replied.

They talked about all things that weren’t important going home, but neither of them talked of Jim. Blair didn’t feel that he was strong enough to mention him yet. His heart felt too broken. Little did he know, William felt the same way.

&&&&&&&&&&

Each week the visits got easier to handle, but Blair still found himself lonely and depressed after he saw Jim. Jim was doing well, so Blair should have been happy, but he didn’t think Jim missed him as much as he missed Jim. He knew that was an infantile feeling, but he still felt it.

Jim was in the best shape he’d ever been in his life. He might be eating well, but he was getting exercise somewhere. Blair on the other hand, has lost ten pounds and wasn’t in good shape at all. Everyone at the station house was worried about Blair and how much different he looked without his partner being by his side. Each of them hoped the year would go by really quickly.

Blair sometimes hated how well Jim was doing. It bothered him to a point that Jim was able to cope with his senses inside without any help from Blair. Blair actually was quite proud of how well Jim was handling everything but he just missed Jim needing his help from time to time. He would have given anything to have Jim ask for some help in coping with something. But Jim was doing fine, so there was nothing to ask for.

Blair had decided to stay at the Cascade Police Department until Jim got out. But in the meantime, Blair and William got an office and got the business all set up. Henri and Rafe were going to join the crew once things got started. Megan had even talked about joining them. Simon told Blair he felt like everyone was jumping ship but Blair didn’t feel that way at all. Simon had not backed Jim when he needed him to, so Blair didn’t want to hear about it. Blair had a lot of mixed feelings about Simon. In fact a lot of people had mixed feelings about Simon.

At the loft, Blair had gotten many new things to spruce it up. He got a new bedspread, sheets and toss pillows for the bed and when he was done, the room looked marvelous. Downstairs, he invested in some new (used) furniture and got the living room looking like a million bucks, and all of it had been bought on ‘Craig’s List’. The place was looking wonderful. Now all Blair needed was Jim. When Jim finally walked through the front door, Blair’s heart would once again be whole.

&&&&&&&&&&

Simon ate lunch alone almost every day. No one seemed to want to include him in their plans. He knew it was because they felt he had treated Jim unfairly, and he was sorry about that – but what choice had he had? Jim had acted, not like a cop, but like a street hooligan. Granted, attacked the way he had been, knifed the way he had been, he hadn’t had the opportunity to draw his gun and try to arrest the man – but he should have been able to knock him out, rather than break his neck!

It wasn’t like he didn’t go see him at the prison. Simon never missed a week. He hoped someday Jim would be able to forgive him. Time would tell.

&&&&&&&&&&

As the months went on, Jim fell into a routine, as did everyone around him. They got used to good food in exchange for treating Jim as nicely as they could and not making his life miserable. What was sort of funny was they realized they liked Jim Ellison.

He didn’t have a lot to use his senses on, so he focused on guessing the meals every single day. It had gotten to be a joke around there and they were all betting on him being right or not. Tibbs never bet against Jim, because he knew Jim was that good. He also knew that Jim was special. He had noticed that Jim could hear things no one else did and he could smell things no one else did, so Tibbs wondered if he could use all of his senses like that. Tibbs was a very smart man. The other inmates decided that Jim was getting outside help in knowing what was coming in every day, but Jim showed them his mail almost every day. All of the other men were at a complete loss. Tibbs was the only one that figured out what was up with Jim and he wasn’t sharing the news with anyone else.

Jim never zoned anymore, he had learned to focus and keep focused, making him very happy but, at the same time, he missed the closeness he and Blair used to have working on the Sentinel issues. When he thought of the tests that Blair used to run on his senses, he would be saddened and blue. He missed Blair more then he ever imagined he would.

Every day he played basketball in the yard with all of the cop cons. He was in the best shape of his life, because he worked out four times a day and it showed. He had become good friends with Tibbs, which Jim didn’t ever believe he would do, but they had a lot in common. Jim would actually have to admit that Tibbs was a good friend by this time and wasn’t at all embarrassed to admit to it. And Tibbs liked Jim a lot too. They liked a lot of the same things. They both liked brunettes with curly hair. No, Tibbs didn’t have a thing for Blair; he had his eyes on someone else.

The rest of the guys weren’t that close to Jim, but they did like him and respect him a great deal. Whoever said that you can’t buy happiness is wrong. William bought these guys and Jim was happy as he could be, separated from Blair.

Almost every day Jim had a visitor. Megan Connor came twice a week and stayed and visited Tibbs when she was done seeing Jim. Tibbs loved the attention. Tibbs was falling for her big time and she was falling for Tibbs. They didn’t discuss when he would be out, because Connor was afraid it would be a long time.

Simon, Joel, Henri and Rafe all came once a week and of course Blair and his dad came twice a week too. Jim stayed busy, between working out and visiting with everyone and writing to Blair almost every day. Some days he found too little time to get everything done, but Blair seemed to understand. Jim noticed that Blair was looking lonelier and sadder each time he came to visit. Jim thought this might be the hardest on him. Not even Jim was suffering like Blair seemed to be. Jim was hoping for his review board soon, so he could find out how much longer he would have to be inside. Then Blair would have a date to plan on and something to look forward to.

Manning walked up to Jim while he was doing sit-ups and said, “Your review hearing is tomorrow. Good luck, Jim.”

“Thank you very much. It’s been a long eight months, but I have a good feeling about this review,” Jim answered.

Tibbs walked up and said, “You have your review?”

“Tomorrow. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that you’ll be rid of me soon,” Jim answered.

Tibbs laughed and said, “How funny, my review is tomorrow also.”

“You didn’t even tell me yours was coming up,” Jim said.

“Well, I’ve been waiting a long, long while for this and I hated to jinx it by talking about it. But now I have an actual date, so I can mention it.”

Tibbs bent down, put his hand out and helped Jim off the floor.

“Thanks, man,” Jim said, smiling.

“No problem. Do you know what you’re going to say at your hearing?” Tibbs asked.

“I haven’t a clue. I think I’m just going to go in there and play it by ear,” Jim stated.

“I am too. It’s the best we can do, eh?” Tibbs teased. “Could you do me a favor Jim? Could you listen to the room before I have to go in and see if they say anything about me?”

Jim smiled. “Sure, I can listen-although I doubt that we’ll be on the same floor, outside the same room. That would be too much of a coincidence.”

“All the reviews are in the same room and they take us all down to the waiting room. So will you listen for me?”

“Yes, I will. But it has to be something important and something legal.”

“I’ve been here a long while. I want to get out in the worst way,” Tibbs said.

Jim spoke softly as he asked him, “What did you do anyhow?”

“I shot my partner when I found him in bed with my wife. He pulled his gun on me, that asshole, and I shot him. I was always a good shot. I know it was wrong and stupid, but I couldn’t think straight. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my wife took his gun and shot me. I almost didn’t make it.”

“Well, if you do get out, you could always come and work for us. We’re opening up a PI Service and a Security Company. The pay wouldn’t be great to start with, but it wouldn’t be bad either. Think about it.”

“Don’t you think you should ask Pretty Man about it first?” Tibbs teased.

“He hates that you call him that. It’s my company too. I do have some say in it. Besides I’ll sweet talk him into it,” Jim teased.

“What’s the name of the company?”

“The first place is Guardian Private Investigation and the other is Guide Security. He came up with the names. I sort of like them. I think the cards say G&G.”

“I’d like to be included in this company when I get out. But like I said, we’re going to ask Pretty Man, first,” Tibbs laughed as he slapped Jim on the back.

Jim decided at the last minute to not tell Blair about the review, in case something didn’t go as planned. There would be nothing worse to Blair, than to find out something went wrong and Jim had to stay longer in prison.

&&&&&&&&&&

The following day, both Tibbs and Jim were ready and waiting for their review. Both men were very nervous, with good reason.

They were led to the hallway with a bench sitting along the wall. Manning said, “Sit right here, they will come out these doors and call your name when they are ready for you. These two guards will stay with you at all times.”

“Thanks for everything, Manning,” Jim said nicely.

“Good luck to both of you,” Manning said as he turned and walked down the same hallway they had just entered.

Jim turned to Tibbs and said, “They’re talking about you.”

Tibbs sat down on the bench and pulled Jim down beside him. “What are they saying?”

“They’re saying that if you don’t show remorse, they’ll keep you here for another three years,” Jim whispered.

“I’ll show them remorse. No, seriously, I will. I’ll win them over Jim, you wait and see and if I get out, I’d like that job at G&G.”

“You’re hired,” Jim said smiling.

A man opened up the door and said, “Tibbs, we’re ready for you.”

Tibbs stood up and walked into the room, head hanging looking somewhat remorseful. Jim almost laughed about that. Tibbs was a good actor.

Jim listened to the entire proceedings and found out that Tibbs was going to get out in a week. Jim was very happy for him. Tibbs came walking out wearing a huge smile and whispered, “It worked-I get out.”

Jim shook his hand and then hugged him hard. “Congratulations, Tibbs. I knew you could do it.”

Tibbs sat back down and the man said, “Ellison, we’re ready for you.”

Jim walked in the same way, looking like he knew who was in charge. He was going to say just the right things and show just the right amount of respect to get out of this place. Jim knew he could do more time, but he wanted to be out. Who wouldn’t?

Jim walked in and Tibbs watched the door shut. The guard came over and said, “So you get out, next week?”

“Yes,” Tibbs said.

“I hope nothing happens to you in the mean time. You and that Ellison are sure chummy and we don’t like that kind of stuff going on in this prison,” the guard named Madison said.

“There is nothing going on between me and Ellison. Believe me, I don’t get into that type of thing at all,” Tibbs answered without looking at them.

Just like that, Madison hit Tibbs in the face with his baton, making Tibbs’ face bleed like crazy. Tibbs just sat there-he wasn’t going to cause any trouble. He could easily kill both of the guards, but then he would still be in there. Now he was getting out, he had a job already and he wasn’t falling for this shit.

Jim came walking out of the review room smiling until he saw the blood on Tibbs’ face. “What the hell happened?” Jim asked.

Tibbs smiled. “I’m fine Jim, I tripped on my shoelace and hit my face. No biggy.”

Jim glared at the guards and said, “Are we heading back now?”

“We’ll tell you when it’s time to go back or not. Sit down and shut your face,” Madison said.

Jim sat down next to Tibbs and didn’t say a word to anyone. He just looked at the wall ahead of him and minded his own business.

About ten minutes later, Madison said, “Come on jerk-offs, it’s time to go back to your baby cells.”

Jim knew that Tibbs wanted to hit him, because he could feel Tibbs’ blood pressure rising, just as Jim’s was too. Jim hated this guard. He was such an asshole.

Once they were back safely, Jim felt better. Tibbs pushed Jim into his cell and said, “So what happened?”

“I leave in a week. I have a feeling Madison is going to make our life miserable. Can you handle it, Tibbs?”

“Do you leave on Monday, also?” Tibbs asked.

“Yup.”

“Cool… We’ll be on the same bus. I have heard that Madison takes us, so this isn’t going to be enjoyable at all,” Tibbs said.

“We won’t care. I have a place for you to stay when you get out. Not very big, but it’s cheap.”

“Ellison, I don’t think they’ll let us live in the same apartment. They frown on cons hanging out with cons.”

“We’ll figure out something, don’t worry about it. The drive is only an hour and a half from Cascade, so we can put up with Madison for that short of time,” Jim said.

“I’m looking forward to hearing how Pretty Man takes the news,” Tibbs teased.

“Pretty Man won’t even mind that you called him that now. Are you anxious to tell Megan you’re getting out? I’m not going to tell him, it’s a surprise.”

“Yeah, I’m hoping that she wasn’t just being nice to me because of you. I hope she really does like me and we’ll start dating. I haven’t dated in a long, long while. I could really use a good date, if you know what I mean. I’m not going to tell her either,” Tibbs admitted.

“Just be good to her. She’s a good friend of ours and we don’t want to see her hurt in any way,” Jim warned.

“Smell any meals coming our way?” Tibbs wondered.

“As a matter of fact, we have turkey sandwiches coming. And if I got my nose working right, we have bread pudding for dessert,” Jim said happily.

They sat and waited for their lunch and talked about life on the outside. It was the best day in a long while for both of them.

They knew that life wasn’t always going to be great. They would have to meet with their parole officers each month and check in. They would be making them both jump through hoops trying to get them to make a mistake. Some parole officers were good guys, but most of them were the scum of the earth. They didn’t care about any of the cons. They only cared if they could catch them doing something illegal.

&&&&&&&&&&

Blair went to the prison on Tuesday and couldn’t wait to see Jim by himself for a change. William was busy on a project for the Meal Site, so he had to beg off. Blair tried to act disappointed, but he really was thrilled. This would be the first time in eight months that Blair would see Jim alone.

Blair had four letters to give to Jim and couldn’t wait to see him. Supposedly he was going to have a meeting with the review board. Simon had told him that much. Blair was so looking forward to Jim getting out. He couldn’t wait.

When he walked in and sat down at their usual table, he was antsy waiting for Jim to get there. Finally the guard walked up to him and said, “Jim Ellison is no longer with us.”

“What do you mean? Where is he?” Blair stood up and showed the guard his badge.

“Detective Sandburg, I hate to be the one that tells you this, but he escaped from the prison yesterday and we haven’t found him yet.”

Blair’s mouth went agape and he found it hard to breathe right. “How did he get out?”

“He was let out by the review board, but for some reason, he and another prisoner killed four people on the bus that they were in and are holding two guards hostage,” The man tried to stay calm, so he didn’t have a panicked partner on his hands.

“But if he was being released, why try to escape? There was no need! So where were they last seen?” Blair asked, thinking like a cop.

“Here, and then we found four bodies on the highway and one of the guards was able to put a note in the pocket of one of the dead men. Madison said that Ellison and Tibbs went crazy and were on drugs or something.”

“I would like to be in on the detail that is looking for them. Do you need the help?” Blair asked.

Mission sighed. “We need you to go home and see if he calls you or something like that. Try and keep him calm and talk him into turning himself in.”

“I’ll do exactly that. Thank you for filling me in on what’s going on,” Blair said as he walked out of the building.

Blair was finding it harder and harder to breathe. He knew that Jim and Tibbs didn’t have anything to do with this. What was going on?

Blair drove like a bat out of hell to get back to Cascade. When he arrived there he stopped at the station so he could fill everyone in on what was going on. As for their friends, they all knew it wasn’t Jim that was behind it. Megan swore that Tibbs wouldn’t do it either. Simon decided since they were all off in two hours, they would begin looking for the men. Simon hoped Jim was still alive.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim and Tibbs were sitting in the back of the bus, locked up like animals, and the guards were high on something.

Tibbs whispered, “Jim, I think they’re going to kill us next and say we did it all.”

Jim whispered back, “I know that’s the plan. They’re up there talking about it. They have no idea that I can hear them. We’ve got to come up with a plan.”

“Do you think they would go for the ransom demand idea?” Tibbs asked.

“It might have to do. When they find out how rich my dad is, they might consider it before they kill us.” Jim stood up and said, “Madison, I have a plan for all of us.”

“Why would I be interested in anything you have to say?” Madison spat out and his friend Booth laughed.

“I don’t know if you know about it, but my dad is a millionaire. He would pay gladly to have his son back. Think how far you could run with that money,” Jim suggested.

“He’ll never pay it without the cops being involved,” Madison said.

“You could at least try and then we could both win,” Jim reminded him.

They pulled up into a wooded area with a big garage and cabin on the lot. Jim knew right then that this is where he and Tibbs would die.

Booth and Madison went back to get Jim and Tibbs after they parked the bus in the garage. Booth said, “Don’t do anything stupid or you’ll die right this moment.”

Both men stayed calm knowing that Madison would go for the money trail. Jim could see it in his eyes.

They pushed both men into the cabin and shoved them onto the sofa. Jim hated that his hands were bound and so were his feet. So even if they had a chance to make a break for it, they couldn’t. They couldn’t run with ankle chains on.

“What is your dad’s number?” Madison asked.

Jim rattled off William’s number and waited as the phone rang. Finally the phone was picked up. “Ellison.”

“Mr. Ellison, we have your son. If you call the police, he will die today. If you deal with us without the police, you will get them back in one piece. We have to set up a meeting place. Can I count on you to deal with us without the police?”

William said, “Of course, I will do anything to get my son back.”

“We want one million dollars for each of them. If you don’t pay for Tibbs, also, I’ll kill them both anyhow,” Madison said.

“Set up the meeting place and I’ll have the money for you tomorrow,” William said anxiously.

“Good, your son said you would be easy to deal with. He was right. Did you know that he’s a pansy?”

“Does it make a difference?” William asked.

“Not as long as I get my two million dollars,” Madison answered.

“Call me back in an hour and tell me where you want me to meet you,” William said.

“I will and you’d better not call the police or he’s as good as dead.” Madison slammed his phone shut and cursed into the air. He seemed to be mad at someone for whatever reason.

“Who is going to pick up the ransom money?” Booth asked, Madison.

“Tibbs. If he takes off, Jimmy boy dies,” Madison answered.

They ate dinner and didn’t offer a thing to Tibbs or Jim. Both men were very hungry and thirsty.

Jim finally gave in and asked, “Do you think we could have a glass of water. We’re both dry as a bone.”

“Do I look like I care?” Madison shouted.

The two men sat on the sofa, waiting for their death sentence. There was nothing they could do.

Booth walked up with two bottles of water and said, “It’s not going to kill us to give them a drink. Besides we have to have them in good shape for the pick-up.”

Madison laughed and said, “You’re a pansy too, Booth. I’d let them rot in hell before I would give them anything.”

“I want my two million dollars, Madison and we won’t get it if they’re dead,” Booth said as he handed the drinks to Tibbs.

Tibbs grabbed Booth and put him in front of his own body and Madison shot Booth trying to get Tibbs. Then using Booth as his shield, Tibbs got off the sofa and was in pursuit of Madison. Madison knew he was in deep shit. He kept shooting at Booth, missing Tibbs the entire time and ran out the front door. Jim jumped up and locked the front door and went through Booth’s pockets looking for a cell phone. He found one and called Simon. Simon put a lock on the position right away and they said they would be there soon to pick them up.

“I don’t understand why they didn’t kill us along with everyone else,” Jim said.

“I think Madison had money in mind the entire time. He was just glad when you brought it up. Speaking of that, maybe you should call your dad and tell him you’re all right. And Pretty Man will want to know too,” Tibbs teased.

“We can’t call anyone, because they are using the signal for finding us. Just sit back and try and relax as much as you can. They should be here in about an hour. I just hope Madison doesn’t come back with more ammo and kill us quickly.“

“Jim, we’ve got a gun now, so we’ll be able to hold him off if he comes back. I know how to shoot a gun. I know you know how to shoot a gun, so we’re set. Now I don’t know about you, but I have to get something to eat.”

“I’m starving too. How about this bag over here? They were guarding it with their lives-maybe there is some good food in it.” Jim hobbled over to the bag and opened it up and saw it was filled with money. “Tibbs, come and look at this.”

Tibbs looked into the bag and said, “What in the hell are they doing with that much money? Did someone pay them for this?”

Jim started looking for the keys to their chains and found them in the bag. He opened the chains on both of their ankles and then did the cuffs on their wrists. “Looks like someone didn’t like us and wanted to get rid of us, I would say, but Madison got greedy when I mentioned my dad and wanted more.”

“Did you make any enemies while you were in there, Jim?”

“Not that I know of. Really, the time went quickly and without any bad things happening. How about you? Did you make any enemies while you were inside?”

“I only had the family of the man I killed on my back all the time. That’s why it took me so long to get out. They said I planned it all along and meant to kill him that night. I just ignored them, but they are rich enough to pay someone money to kill me… and anyone else with me.”

“We’ll have the money traced when we finally get out of this,” Jim said.

“That’s if it’s traceable. We might never be able to charge them with anything.”

Jim listened closely and said, “He’s coming back and he’s really angry. I hear him pumping a shot gun. Get behind the refrigerator and sit on the floor. We won’t shoot back unless he gets in the house.”

Jim and Tibbs went over and sat down on the floor on the other side of the refrigerator and waited for the bullets to start flying. They didn’t have long to wait.

Madison shot the door and blew a big hole in it. Then he just kept shooting and shooting and before long, he was able to get in the front door. Jim had the gun and had it pointed right at Madison’s head, but then decided to not kill him. He pulled the trigger, shot Madison in the leg and waited for Madison to get back at him again. All they heard was the sound of a wounded animal. Madison acted like he was dying. Then Madison started loading his shot gun again and shooting towards the refrigerator. Jim waited for him to reload and shot Madison in the other leg. Again, the howl of anguish was heard in the cabin by both of the men. Madison then cried out, “I’m going to kill you two if it takes me all day.”

“It might take a little longer then that,” Simon Banks said, gun drawn on Madison and ready to shoot.

“These are the cons wanted from the prison. They killed four other cons and then they killed my partner. I’m not putting the gun down until you do,” Madison said.

In walked Brown, Rafe, Connor, Taggart and Sandburg all with guns drawn. Blair said, “Give me a reason, Madison.”

“I can’t believe they let fags work at the station house. Your boyfriend is a lousy shot. He missed me both times and hit me in the legs,” Madison growled.

“He didn’t miss you idiot. He was just making sure you couldn’t run anywhere. He’s always been a smart man. You on the other hand are really dumb,” Blair said as he walked over and jerked the shotgun away from Madison.

Rafe and Brown kept their guns aimed at him at all times as Taggart and Connor got him cuffed and dragged him out to the car.

Simon dialed his phone and asked for a paramedic to meet them a half-hour from there.

Blair walked over to Jim and hugged him like crazy. “Hey, Chief. Thanks for bringing the Calvary.”

“Hey Pretty Man, don’t I get a hug too?” Tibbs said laughing softly.

Blair went and hugged him and said, “Thank you for keeping him safe.”

“If it wasn’t for his super hearing, we’d be dead long ago,” Tibbs admitted.

Simon walked over to the two men and said, “While they take Madison to the ambulance, I’ll go ahead and take your statement and get that taken care of.”

The two men sat down at the table and began to give their statement, one at a time and Simon and Joel were taking everything down as fast as they could. Connor on the other hand was recording the statement, so it would be easier to type up for her. Before long, they were all set to go.

“Simon, do we have to go to the station house?” Jim asked.

“No, we’re done. You get to go home and be with Blair. As for Tibbs, I can get you a hotel for a couple of nights until you find somewhere to stay,” Simon stated.

Blair’s phone went off and it was William. Blair filled William in on what was going on and when they were coming home. He mentioned that Tibbs had no where to go and William said, “I got him one of the condos in your building. It’s furnished, so it’s all set for him. It’s across the hall from yours. His is 306 and I have the key for him when I see you.”

“I’ll tell him,” Blair answered.

“Talk to you soon, Blair. I’ll be waiting at the loft for you,” William said.

“Bye, William.” Blair closed his cell and smiled at Tibbs and Jim.

“What?” Tibbs asked.

“Tibbs you won’t need a place to stay tonight. My dad bought you one of the condos in our building. It’s furnished and ready to go. If I know my dad, he probably even stocked the place with groceries,” Jim said.

Tibbs looked shocked, but happy as he said, “I can’t believe he did that for me. He didn’t have to do anything for me.”

“We’re all grateful that you took good care of Jim in prison. We’ll never be able to pay you back for that. So just consider this a thank you gift,” Blair said.

“In that case, you are most welcome,” Tibbs replied.

Simon looked over at Connor and said, “Would you like to take Tibbs to his new home?”

“Yes, that would be good sir. I think we should stop somewhere, get him some clothes and take him out to dinner, too,” Connor said.

“Yeah, I don’t want to go anywhere in my prison garb. Maybe I could borrow something from Ellison,” Tibbs said.

Blair burst out laughing and said, “Oh yeah, that would be perfect. You could wear Capris. You’re so tall; his would come up to your knees.”

Then Jim started laughing too. “I’m sure that someone could pick us up something before we get back. Let me call my dad,” Jim said.

Jim called his dad and heard, “Ellison.”

“Hi dad. I wonder if you could do Tibbs a favor?”

“I would do anything for him,” William said.

Jim asked Tibbs, “What size do you wear?”

Tibbs said, “36 waist and 38 inseam.”

“Dad, he takes a 36 waist and a 38 inseam. Just one pair would be good, we’ll get him some more jeans tomorrow. Tee shirts, extra tall, would be good and boxers in a 36 also. I really appreciate this, dad.”

“No problem, I’ll go and get it done right now. What size shoe does he wear?”

“What size shoe do you wear?” Jim asked.

Tibbs said, “Size 14 and the socks have to be the extra large ones.”

Jim repeated all of that to William and William got off the phone to go shopping.

“I can’t believe you’re dad is going to go shopping for me. He’s a really nice dude,” Tibbs said.

“Let’s all meet at Tibbs’ new place and we’ll order pizza,” Jim suggested.

Connor smiled and said, “That sounds good. We just have to make a quick run to my house for sleepover wear.”

Simon glared and her and said, “TMI, Connor.”

They all laughed as they started to leave. The state patrol was outside getting everything taken care of for the picture shots. They would be in charge of the crime scene. They all looked serious for a moment, because after all, someone was dead in that cabin. They had almost all forgotten about the bad guy.

&&&&&&&&&&

Connor and Tibbs drove slowly to Cascade so they could talk about her spending the night. Tibbs said, “Megan, I’m a little nervous about spending time with you since it’s been so long.”

“Relax Marshall, things are going to work out just fine. I’ve fallen in love with you over the last eight months. If you need more time, we don’t have to rush into anything. I’m not leaving you for any reason. Do you think it’s too soon to tell you that I love you?” Megan Connor asked, hopefully.

Marshall Tibbs had the biggest grin on his face as he answered, “I love you too. I thought you felt the same way, but it’s been a while and I wasn’t sure.”

“So do I get to sleep over at your new condo tonight?” Megan asked.

“Yes, let’s stop by your place and get your sleepwear-unless of course you’d like to sleep in the nude. That works for me, too,” Tibbs said, grinning from ear to ear.

“I can’t wait to tell Ellison about this. He told me I have to treat you just right, so I have to do this correctly. Megan, would you like to get married?” Tibbs asked, blushing somewhat.

“You are divorced, right?” Megan asked.

“Yes, my wife couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. I’m a free man.”

“You and Jimbo became good friends while you served time together, didn’t you?” Megan wondered.

“Yes, I was paid to take care of him, but found out I really liked him and his Pretty Man. Sandburg hates when I call him that, but he is a Pretty Man, isn’t he?”

Megan smiled over at Tibbs and said, “Everyone thinks Sandy is a Pretty Man.”

Megan continued the drive home and talked until Tibbs fell asleep. Then she just turned on the radio and let the ‘music continue to lull’.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim was holding on to Blair’s hand the entire drive home. “Chief, I’m so glad that I lived through this. You were the only thing that helped me get by.”

“I’m glad you lived through it too, because I would have had to hunt you down and bring you back,” Blair joked.

“You still look sad, are you?” Jim asked.

“Yes, that was a long eight months and I didn’t like that no one talked you into fighting for what you believed in. It was only you and me that believed that the jury might have gone your way,” Blair said softly.

“Are you still mad at Simon?”

“You betcha. I’m so pissed off at him most of the time that I never talk to him unless it has to do with work. He’s asked me numerous times to go out for a beer or for dinner and I’ve turned him down every single time. He wasn’t a good enough friend to you, Jim. And he was disappointed in the two of us that we were an item. Some day I might get over it, but not today,” Blair explained.

“I don’t blame you, Chief. I agree with everything you said. He held it against us for sleeping together and being at that gay bar. He made it clear how he felt about us at that time. I don’t think he’s changed his mind any since then. So I’m glad you and I won’t be working for him anymore.”

“Speaking of that, I’m giving my two weeks notice tomorrow. You’ll have to miss me until I get done doing that,” Blair kidded.

“How was it living with my dad for the last eight months?”

“Jim, sometimes he was the only person that kept me sane. He was the strongest person I ever could have asked to have around me. I felt like it was unfair, because I wasn’t as strong and he needed some comforting too. But he never complained about anything. He loves you totally, man. I’ve seen few fathers that would do all he did for you. He’s a good man and I’m proud to know him and be part of his life.”

Jim held Blair’s hand harder. Jim was very moved by what Blair had said and didn’t even know how to respond.

“Do you love your dad, Jim?”

“Yeah, Chief, I do. And one of these days I’m going to tell him as much,” Jim promised.

&&&&&&&&&&

The State Patrol took the money into the station to see if it could be traced. Sure enough, it was from a bank in Cascade. It was from the family of the man that Tibbs killed. The men all got busy calling Cascade to put a watch out for Tibbs. He would need protection until they got the family in question, in custody.

Captain Mitchell called Simon Banks.

“Banks,” Simon answered his phone.

“Captain Banks, this is Captain Mitchell of the State Patrol. We need to find out where Marshall Tibbs is staying and put a guard on him. The money we found on the Guards was from the Samson family. That’s the parents of the man Tibbs killed. We’ve alerted all of the stations in Cascade to be on the look-out for these people, but until we find them, we need to make sure he’s safe.”

“He’s staying at 852 Prospect, number 306 as of tonight. You’ll be able to find him there. I’ll send some men over right now to start the watch,” Simon stated.

“Thank you, Captain Banks. I’ll see you in a short while,” Mitchell said as he hung up and ordered everyone to head for Cascade.

&&&&&&&&&&

When Tibbs and Connor got to the loft at 306 they knocked and William opened up the door. William didn’t hold back at all. He hugged the man that might have saved his son’s life. “Thank you for everything you did for my son.”

“You are most welcome, Mr. Ellison,” Tibbs answered and then realized he wasn’t alone and asked, “Have you met Megan Connor before?”

“Oh yes, many times. She was at the last Thanksgiving dinner Jim and Blair had. How are you, Megan?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” Connor answered.

“Up in your bedroom, is some clothing for you. Make yourself at home and relax. Jim and Blair said they’ll be over to eat pizza in a little while,” William said.

There was a knock at the door about that time and Rafe and Brown walked in. Rafe said, “Tibbs, we’re here to protect you. Supposedly there is a hit out on you and that’s where all the money came from. The family won’t like it that you lived and they’re going to have to go to trial for this now. So we’re your new best friends.”

“Do you mind if I take a shower?” Tibbs asked.

“Do what you would, normally,” Brown replied.

Tibbs kissed Megan Connor and said, “I won’t be long.”

He then went upstairs and picked out what he was going to wear. He noticed that William had bought things from the Big and Tall shop that he could never afford to shop in before. He grabbed everything and walked down to the bathroom.

As soon as the door shut, Brown said, “So he’s the man you were talking about at poker last week?”

“Yeah, you have a problem with that?” she asked.

Brown smiled. “Not at all. We like Tibbs and we’re grateful he was there for Ellison, too.”

William said, “Well, I better get home.”

“Oh no you’re not. You’re staying for pizza with the rest of us. That’s settled,” Connor ordered.

“Are you sure I won’t be in the way?” William wondered.

“You will never be in the way, William. Now go sit down and watch some CNN until it’s time for Jim and Blair to get here,” Connor bossed.

William kissed her cheek and walked into the living room and sat down and watched the TV that was already going.

“Connor, could you call Ellison and Sandburg? They should have been here a long time ago,” Rafe asked nicely.

Connor took her phone out and called Sandy’s number.

“Sandburg.”

“Sandy, we’re waiting for you over here. Rafe and Brown are over here guarding Tibbs and they would feel better if you were here too. Could you come now?”

“Connor we’re sort of in the middle of something, if you catch my drift,” Blair said.

“Get out of it and get over here as soon as possible. Now, get off the phone and get ready,” Connor almost shouted.

“We’re coming. Geeze, what a grump,” Blair teased.

Connor got off the phone and waited for her man to come walking out of the bathroom. He finally walked out and she couldn’t believe how great he looked in civilian clothes. She walked over to him and kissed him gently.

“Don’t go and get my motor running, missy,” Tibbs joked.

“Missy?” Connor laughed.

There was a knock at the door and both Rafe and Brown pushed everyone away from the door so Rafe could see who it was. When they saw it was Jim and Blair they opened the door and let them in.

“Wow, you guys got to pull your guns out and everything?” Blair kidded.

“You’re not the only good shot, you know?” Brown answered.

Jim walked in to see his dad and they started talking until another knock was at the door. Again, Rafe and Brown got everyone away from the door. This time it was Simon. They let him in after asking for a code word and Simon saying he would shove that code word up their asses.

Simon looked around and said, “You can all go home. They got the Samson’s and they are all under lock and key. They’ve been charged and put in holding. So you can all relax now.”

“This is the best news I’ve ever heard,” Jim said.

“See ya,” Blair said as he grabbed Jim’s hand and pulled him out the door.

William started laughing and said, “You would think they hadn’t seen each other in eight months or something. Now I think I’m going to take my leave, I’m tired. This has been a long day.”

“Are you sure you won’t stay for dinner?” Tibbs asked.

“I’m sure, besides Megan has some other things in mind,” William said laughing, as he walked out the door.

Then Rafe, Brown and Simon left and Tibbs was alone with Connor.

They began kissing and before long they walked up the stairs together. Tibbs hadn’t had sex in a long while, and even though he was nervous, he still wanted to be with Megan in every possible way. And he was going to do just that.

&&&&&&&&&&

Jim and Blair were naked on the bed, with Jim’s breathing sounding like a freight train. Jim had indeed forgotten how good it was to fuck one Blair Sandburg. But he quickly remembered as he did it. Then he remembered how great it was to be fucked by Blair. Now that both of their memories were sharp and clear, they would be able to sleep.

It had been a long eight months, but things would get better. Business would be good and Jim and Blair both knew that Tibbs would be an excellent worker.

Jim was almost asleep when he heard Blair whisper, “So are we still going to Hawaii?”

Jim pulled him even closer and said, “You make the plans, I’ll be on the plane.”

“I love you, Jim.”

“I love you, Blair.”

Then all that could be heard in the loft were soft snores coming from the bedroom. Life was once again back to normal.

The end.

Back to Index

Notes: Betaed by Bluewolf. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.