Gazing at Sandburg by Patt

Gazing at Sandburg - Patt

Connor walked up to Ellison and said, “I thought you might like this photo of Sandy. I’ve been experimenting with black and white film and I loved how this turned out and thought you might like it too. Isn’t it nice?” She handed the photo to Jim and Jim was speechless.

“It’s a beautiful shot, Connor. You have great taste in shooting pictures,” Jim said kindly.

Connor beamed with happiness at the compliment and said, “Somehow I knew you would enjoy it as much as I did. He’s a wonderful subject to film.”

Jim smiled and put the picture in the pocket of his shirt and walked towards his desk. “Thanks again, Connor.”

“You are most welcome,” Connor answered.

Jim sat down at his desk and wished he could take it out and look at it some more, but Rafe was hanging around his desk and then Brown started bugging him.

That was all right, Jim had the entire evening to look at it, because Blair was in a Christmas play at the University. He was Joseph. Suddenly Jim thought of something and left a talking Rafe behind. He walked over to Connor’s desk and said, “Could you do me a favor?”

“Sure, Jimbo, what do you need?”

“I don’t suppose you could stop calling me Jimbo, right?”

“No, that’s never going to happen. What else can I do for you?” Connor asked sweetly.

“Blair is going to be in a Christmas play. He’s Joseph and he was pretty pumped about them choosing him for Joseph. I wondered if you could go to the University tonight and take pictures of him during the play.”

“Oh Jimbo, that is an excellent idea. He would love that for the scrapbook he has started. It’s for all of the important dates in his life. Thank you for asking me. Now, give me directions so I don’t get lost. I never know one building from the next and I’ll be there with my camera ready.”

Jim was quite happy with this idea of his. He gave directions to Connor and then went back to his desk.

Rafe was still at Jim’s desk and asked him,” So, whose name did you get for the Christmas exchange?”

“Rafe, it’s a secret. We can’t tell each other or it would defeat the entire purpose of a Secret Santa exchange. Now, go to your desk and leave me alone,” Jim ordered.

“I got Sandburg and I don’t have a clue as what to get him,” Rafe said as he was walking away.

Jim grabbed his arm and said, “Would you rather have Rhonda?”

“Oh yeah, there is no question about that. Are we trading?” Rafe asked.

“Yes, but you have to promise to get Rhonda something nice. Not something stupid or sexist. She deserves better then that,” Jim said.

“Thanks, Jim. I’ll do a good job, you just wait and see. I’m so glad to not have to worry about buying something for Sandburg. I had no ideas at all.” Rafe walked over to his desk wearing a big smile, happy to be alive.

Brown asked him what was going on and he said, “Nothing.”

Brown gave an evil look at Jim and went back to his work on his computer. Brown knew he missed something good and that pissed him off big time.

Jim got up and walked back over to Connor’s desk again and said, “I need another favor.”

“Sure, Jimbo, what’s up?”

“I need a picture of Blair and myself for a gift idea I have for the exchange.”

“Is he coming in tomorrow?” Connor asked.

“Yes, he’s off from the university for two weeks as of tomorrow. So he’ll be here doing work. You could take pictures of everyone and then just ask us to stand side by side and he wouldn’t think anything of it,” Jim suggested.

“Good idea, Jimbo. I’ll have everything here tomorrow. See you tonight at the university.”

As Jim walked away he realized he hadn’t even thought about going and seeing the play Blair was in. But it would be nice if he showed Blair some support. Picture gazing would have to wait until he was upstairs in his room. He could look at it all he wanted then.


He got to the university that night and it was packed. That was no problem for Jim, because he could see easily with his Sentinel sight. Every now and then he was very grateful to have those senses. He saw Connor up in the front row, with her camera in hand.

The lights went down and everyone got quiet. Jim watched as Blair and a young woman walked on to the stage, looking for a room at the inn. Jim was struck with how beautiful Blair looked in his costume. He made a perfect Joseph. Then again, Jim thought he would make a perfect anyone.

Jim could see Connor taking pictures right and left during the entire play. Jim was so glad he had thought of this idea. Blair would be pleased with Connor and very thankful. Jim frowned. Wait a moment, what if he wants to thank her in an unusual way? Jim didn’t want Blair asking Connor out on a date. Then Jim realized he had no right to tell Blair who to date and who not to.

Before long the play was over and everyone stood up and clapped and cheered. Jim wasn’t thinking and had forgotten to turn down his sense of hearing and it about exploded in his head. The sounds were unbearable. He quickly slipped into a zone.

Blair was standing on the stage and saw what was happening with Jim. He bowed one more time and then walked back to where Jim was and rubbed his back and talked him out of the zone, quick like. Blair tried to make it less obvious so no one would think Jim was freaking out.

“Sorry, Chief.”

“It’s okay. Thanks for coming to my play. I saw that Connor was here taking pictures, way cool.”

“I asked her to, so that you would have them for your scrap book she told me about,” Jim said.

Blair said, “I’ve got to go and get changed. I could use a ride home. I took the bus today and wasn’t even thinking about getting home.”

“I’ll be back here waiting for you when you’re ready to go. Take your time,” Jim said sweetly.

Blair looked at him like he was someone else and said, “Thanks, man.” Blair wasn’t used to this Jim, quite yet. He was a very nice man.

Jim didn’t like that look that Blair had just given him and vowed to make Blair’s life easier from this day on.


In the dressing room, he was getting changed when Connor walked in.

“Excuse me, Connor. I’m dressing.”

“Nothing I haven’t seen before. Save it for someone that really cares about seeing you partly naked,” Connor teased.

“And who might that be?” Blair asked, honestly wanting to know.

“Jimbo, you doofus.”

“Jim doesn’t have feelings for me,” Blair said quickly.

“Oh yes he does. I gave him a picture tonight that was one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. It was of you and I bet you money he doesn’t show you or tell you anything about the picture. He’ll look at it in private. He’s totally in love, he’s just afraid to tell you about it.”

“Connor, are you pulling my leg?” Blair asked hopefully.

“No, I’m not pulling your leg. Wait two days and see if he talks to you about the picture I gave him. Now get your pants on so we can get out of here. I’ll have all of the pictures from the play done tomorrow night and printed up. I’ll do two sets so you can post the other set on the bulletin board here,” Connor said.

Blair hurried and got dressed, put his shoes on and they walked out to meet Jim.

Connor saw Jim waiting and said, “See you two tomorrow at the station. Oh before I forget, let me get one of the two buddies.”

Jim put his arm over Blair’s shoulder and pulled him close to his own body, Blair putting his arm behind Jim’s back and they both smiled for the picture. Connor took three shots and then said, “Drive safe you two.”

“Only one of us gets to drive, Connor. If we both drove, it would be anarchy,” Blair joked.

Connor burst out laughing and walked out the door. She loved these two guys, but she especially loved Sandy. Too bad, he was totally into Jim or she would have a go at him herself.

Jim walked out with Blair following him and Blair said, “That was really nice of you to think of taking pictures of the play. I didn’t even think you remembered the darn thing.”

“No problem, I know that you like to save pictures of important events and I figured this might be very important. I mean you were Joseph for crying out loud.”

Blair snickered as he got into the truck. Jim seemed to be normal as usual. He figured that Connor was having one over on him.


Half-way home, Jim pulled into Wonder Burger to get them chef salads for dinner. Blair was quite impressed that Jim was at a Wonder Burger and ordered a salad.

Blair couldn’t wait to get home, he was starving.


Once at the loft, they ate their salads and talked of their days. The night flew by and before long it was bedtime. Jim got ready first and said goodnight to Blair.

Blair looked at Jim oddly and told him goodnight, back. He hadn’t mentioned the picture. Could Connor be right?

As Jim walked up the stairs, Blair called out, “Do you have a headache from the zone earlier? I could give you a massage if you needed one.”

“Not tonight, Chief. I feel fine, thank you.”

Blair got ready for bed and went into his room. He left his door open and he could see Jim’s light on for some time. What was Jim doing? Was he looking at the picture as Connor told him he would? Blair could hope. That was his last thought before he fell asleep.


The next few days were busy for everyone as they got their Secret Santa gifts and got ready for the party. Blair had Simon’s name, so that was easy for him. He picked up some expensive coffee for his coffee maker in his office and bought some fancy creamers. His other idea was getting him a small box of expensive cigars, but he didn’t like Simon smoking and didn’t want to encourage the habit.

Connor had given Jim the picture of he and Blair to frame and Jim was set. It turned out great and the frame was the part that was wonderful. It said, ‘Forever Friends’ on the top of the frame. It was in a beautiful pewter finish. Jim knew that Blair would love it, but knowing Blair, he would love anything Jim had gotten for him.

That night Jim was up in his room for the longest time. Blair started up the stairs and Jim said, “There is a surprise up here, so you can’t come up.”

“Oh man, how cool, you got my name. I’m so glad that Rafe didn’t get it again this year. Last year the edible panties weren’t funny at all.”

Jim snorted from his room. “I’ll be down in a few minutes, Chief.”

Blair walked down and realized that Jim still hadn’t told him about the picture that Connor had given him. This made the young man smile even more. Jim did have a thing for him and he was very glad of that. Now one of them had to make the move.

Jim walked down the stairs with a package all wrapped perfectly and set it on the counter in the kitchen. “Chief, help me remember this tomorrow. It’s Secret Santa day.”

Blair went into his room and brought out a much bigger box all wrapped, not quite as nicely as im’s, and put it on the counter. “I don’t want to forget Simon’s either.”

“Brown probably got mine and this year I’ll get edible panties,” Jim joked.

Blair burst out laughing and said, “I know who got your name and you’re getting something good.”

“There is a God.”

Both men laughed and went into the living room to watch the news. This was a nightly routine and Blair looked forward to just hanging out with Jim. It looked like he was going to have to be the one to make the first move, because Jim wasn’t doing it.

“I’m going to get ready for bed,” Jim said.

“Jim, it’s only 9:20,” Blair replied.

“I’m tired, I’m old.”

“Okay, from now on I’ll just call you the old fart,” Blair kidded.

Jim smiled and walked into the bathroom for his nightly ritual. Jim was anxious to go upstairs and have his privacy so he could stare at the gorgeous picture. If Jim had to choose one thing out of the photo that he loved the most it would be Blair’s lips. There were soft and sensual in the picture and in real life. This old fart is falling in love, big time, Jim thought.

Jim walked out and up the stairs while Blair was in his room, so he just shouted out a greeting for the night. “Sleep well, Chief.”

Blair stuck his head out of the bedroom and smiled. “Thanks, you too.”

Blair wondered if he should go upstairs, see what Jim was doing and just tell him that he was interested. He was a little nervous over the thought of outing himself to Jim, but what the hell?

Blair went quietly up the stairs and could see Jim lying on the bed with his back to him. He tiptoed around to the other side of the bed and sure enough, Jim was gazing at a photo. Blair cleared his throat and Jim jumped.

“I thought you would have heard me coming up the stairs,” Blair stated.

“I was looking at something and almost zoned on it. Sorry? What can I do for you?” Jim asked, being the big dumb man that he was.

“What are you looking at, Jim?”

“It’s private, Blair. Now, what can I do for you?”

Blair moved over to the bed and climbed right on and scooted over towards Jim’s warm body. “Am I going to have to do all of the work on this?” Blair asked, stroking Jim’s cheek sensually.

Jim was shocked, to say the least. “What gave me away?” Jim asked.

“Going to bed so early and Connor telling me she gave you a picture of me and you haven’t mentioned it once.”

“I’m going to kill her tomorrow,” Jim growled.

“Am I misunderstanding all of this? Are you not interested in me?” Blair asked.

Jim turned towards Blair and hugged him hard. “I’m very interested. I’d be even more interested if you slept up here tonight. I can’t stand having to stare at the picture all night again. Take pity on me.”

Blair said, “Let me see this picture that she took of me? I’m anxious to see what has turned you on so much.”

“It didn’t turn me on. I was spellbound by your beauty. And your lips are absolutely gorgeous.” Jim took the picture and handed the work of art to Blair. Then he kissed those wonderful lips and they were as soft and sensual as the picture made them look.

“You think this picture makes me look good?” Blair wondered.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been watching you through this photograph for days now. You look perfect,” Jim confessed.

“Jim, I’m wild about you.”

“Good, I’m glad because I’m wild about you too.”

“Let me go get ready for bed and we’ll lie up here and talk and plan our life together. Does that sound good?” Blair asked.

“Sounds perfect, just like you.”

“You are such a mushy guy. I never would have guessed that in a million years. We’re exclusive, right?” Blair asked sounding a little bit nervous.

“I wouldn’t share you with anyone. Ever. You’re mine forever, Blair. I just want you to know that. It’s just me and you forever. If you can’t do forever, leave me now before it’s too late,” Jim said.

“I’m just getting ready for bed and I’ll be right back. I want the rest of my life with you so badly. I can’t believe I’m getting it and all because Connor took a picture of me.”

“Chief, we’re going to have to be out to our friends. I hope you don’t mind,” Jim pointed out.

“Works for me, man. I love you, Jim.”

“I love you, Blair. I can’t wait for the Secret Santa party tomorrow. I got your name and I gave you something nice.”

Blair curled into Jim’s body and kissed him once again. “What about giving me a taste of something nice right now?”

Jim knew at that moment that Blair was going to be keeping him on his toes for the rest of his life and he didn’t mind one bit.

“I would love to make love to you, but I’d rather we wait until tomorrow after the party. Tonight we snuggle and sleep. Does that work for you?” Jim asked.

“It works out just fine. As long as I get to grope and kiss you all night long, I don’t care. But I have to be able to touch that gorgeous body of yours.”

“You think my body is gorgeous?” Jim sounded surprised.

“Duh! You have the best body I’ve ever seen on any guy,” Blair said as he moved in for another kiss.

“I think I really like this being in love, Chief.”

“That’s good, because I plan on staying in that place forever.”

“Go get ready for bed, Chief and I’ll be waiting here for you.”

“Put the picture away, Jim. You have the real thing now.”

“Thank God.”

Blair smiled and walked down the stairs to get ready for bed. He just knew that this was going to be great. Life was really good and he would have to thank Connor with a gift. He would think on something later. Right now, he had Jim upstairs waiting for him. Blair just about ran out of the bathroom and up the stairs. Jim was snickering when he got up there.

“Anxious, much, Chief?”

“I can’t wait for our new life to begin. Merry Christmas, Jim.”

“Merry Christmas, Blair.”

The end.

Back to Index

Acknowledgments: This is a Secret Santa story that I wanted to share here, too. Thank you, Kerensa, for the beta.