The Invitation - LilyK

Detective James Ellison switched off his computer monitor on his desk, and leaned back heavily in his chair. That last report was now done. He rubbed his face with both hands, and then laced his fingers together behind his neck, sighing deeply. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, only to be interrupted by a quiet voice.

"Good night, Jim. See you and Blair on Monday." Joel Taggart smiled at his friend.

Jim opened his eyes, and smiled as he sat up. "Joel, good night, and thanks again for your help."

"Any time, Jim. You know that." Joel waved a final goodbye at Jim's smiling nod, and left the bullpen for the evening.

Friday night. Finally. Jim sighed again. Finally. Finally. Finally. He smiled. Finally, thank God. He added for good measure.

Finally, after too many long months, Blair Sandburg would be sworn in on Monday as Jim's official partner, and a Detective in Major Crime. It had been a long haul for both of them. Jim was mentally and physically exhausted after enduring these months without Blair at his side. On Monday, things would be back to normal. Well, as normal as things usually are for Cascade, at least. He leaned back in the chair and once again closed his eyes, thinking about the past few months.

Jim had been working alone and functioning quite well until a particularly unsettling case involving several young women who were raped and beaten. Jim had gone to the scene to investigate and zoned badly searching for clues. Simon had arrived shortly thereafter, and managed to wrestle Jim physically back to his car. It took Simon a good thirty minutes to finally bring Jim out of the zone out. After that, Simon had insisted that he work with Joel, so that Joel could at least keep an eye on him. Jim had objected, not because he didn't like Joel, but he didn't want to put Joel in the position of having to baby-sit him. But Simon informed Jim that unless he wanted to be put on administrative leave, he and Joel were partners until Sandburg returned. Jim reluctantly agreed.

Things ended up being workable for the new partnership, especially after Joel was with Jim when he zoned again. Joel, being the smart man that he is, understood from watching Jim and Blair work together for many years, what was what, especially after the dissertation debacle. He did his best imitation of Blair talking Jim down, and after ten minutes, finally succeeded. Blair's gentle touch and quiet voice were enough to ground Jim, and keep him from zoning. With Joel, it required a firm grip on Jim's arms with a lot of coaxing and cajoling, but he was at least able to reach Jim in a reasonable amount of time.

Luckily, Joel found that he was able to keep Jim from zoning when he recognized the signs beforehand. But it was tiring work, keeping an eye on Jim at all times while performing his own duties. He wondered how Blair had the energy to do it 24/7. It also helped that Jim was willing to accept Joel's guidance until his Guide was back in action. Jim and Joel liked each other, but both were glad that Monday was finally approaching.

When he had left for work this morning, Blair was still asleep. He had informed Jim last evening he was spending the "entire day" asleep. Blair was exhausted from the rigorous schedule he had put himself on from his first day of police training. Blair devoted himself to the Police Academy 120%. He worked himself ragged, managing to fall asleep many evenings at the dinner table, leaving Jim the job of manhandling him into his room, and into bed.

It was after one of those evenings when Jim practically carried Blair to bed, and stripped off his clothes, that he had sat beside his friend for a long while, watching him sleep. Then Jim made an admission to himself that he thought he would never make about anyone ever again, especially another man. He was in love with Blair Sandburg. The thought didn't send him screaming from the room in fright, as it would have years ago when Blair and he first met. But it did give him many long hours to contemplate the ramifications of being in love with his partner.

Then, one evening before Blair had graduated, when they had managed to find a few previous quiet hours alone, Blair had been telling Jim a funny story about an experience he had that day at training. Jim sat at one end of the sofa, and Blair sat cross-legged at the other end. They were each drinking a beer, and enjoying each other's company. Jim watched Blair's shining blue eyes, and listened to his animated voice telling the story. Jim laughed as he looked at his friend.

"Love you, Sandburg." He blurted out before he even knew what he was saying.

Blair just laughed as he stretched and yawned. "Love you, too, man. I'm hitting the shower, and then the bed. "Night, Jim.

What Jim said was, "Good night, Chief." What he thought was, Ellison, you are such an idiot. Love you, Sandburg? What did you want to say, you wuss? Blair, I'm in love with you. A hell of a lot different than what you said. Of course he loves you. Like a brother. Like a friend. Not like what you want. Like a lover.

Jim groaned as he thought back on that evening. But this weekend, it was going to be different. He and Blair had the whole weekend free and clear. They were spending it together. Jim needed to reconnect with his Guide after the long separation. And Jim hoped to be reconnected both mentally as well as physically by Monday.

He had sensed what he perceived as Sandburg's interest in him a few times over the past months. But Jim didn't feel it was fair to approach Blair and put another burden on him while he was in training. Besides, they were both tired a lot lately, and Jim wanted things to be brought out in the open when they were able to discuss the issue calmly and rationally.

Jim was lost in his reverie when a man's voice startled him. He sat up quickly, shaking his head to clear it. He must have been really out of it not to hear the man's footsteps as he approached Jim's desk, and stood quietly in front of him.

"Excuse me, sir?"

Jim eyed the young man closely. He was college-aged, clean cut, handsome, and dressed in a tuxedo. He had a pass clipped to his jacket that read "Visitor." The man was smiling.

"Yes, may I help you?"

"Are you Detective James Ellison?"

"Yes."

"I have an extremely important personal delivery for you." He held out a rolled cylinder of paper tied with a black satin ribbon with both hands reverently. Jim rose and reached out, taking the item from the man, looking closely at it. Along the side of the cylinder, in a beautiful script, his name was written in calligraphy. James J. Ellison.

He looked at the tuxedoed delivery person. "Who sent this?"

"The information you seek is inside." He quipped. Then he added. "I was told to say that." He grinned at Jim.

Jim nodded. Strange, but his sensory sweep of the item disclosed no danger. He was now becoming panther-curious. He set the paper down, and reached into his back pocket, intending to tip the deliveryman.

"No, sir. It's all been taken care of. Good evening, Detective." The delivery fellow elegantly turned and departed the premises.

Jim sat down and picked up the tube of paper, once again looking at his name. He ran a finger over the parchment. It was of fine quality with a pleasing swirl of light browns, tans, and cremes. He untied the black satin ribbon, and gently unrolled the paper.

It read --

Mr. James J. Ellison
The honor of your presence is requested this evening
promptly at 8:00 o'clock P.M. at the private residence located
at 852 Prospect Street, Apartment 307, Cascade, Washington.
Black tie is optional.

Blair J. Sandburg

Jim frowned. What the hell was Sandburg up to now? They had already celebrated his graduation from the Academy. Jim lips curved in a small smile. Leave it to Blair to not only plunge into the Academy full speed ahead, but to also go and graduate at the top of his class. Jim was so proud of him, he almost cried at the ceremony. So this had to be something else. Jim had no idea. But he was now over-the-top panther-curious. A quick check of his watch indicated 6:48 p.m. He would have just enough time to run by the mall and rent a tuxedo on his way home.

***

Jim arrived at the loft at 7:57 p.m. The door was slightly ajar. Blair had attached a note to it. Please come in, and follow your heart, it read. Jim pushed the door open, and walked into a room lit with at least a hundred candles. The candles were arranged in a path from the front door to the stairs leading up to Jim's bedroom. All along the stairs more candles were placed. The fragrance of the candles was light and airy, a bit woodsy. It tickled his nose pleasantly. He looked up and could see the flickering of the candles across the high ceiling of the loft.

He shrugged off his coat, and hung it up, closing the door. He sent his sense of smell and hearing up to his room. He was rewarded with the musky scent of his friend, and the sound of his heartbeat. It was a bit fast, but not unduly so. Jim smiled. He knew enough to follow a path when it was laid out for him. As he crossed the room, he called out Blair's name. While Blair did not respond, Jim noted that Blair's heart rate and breathing escalated a bit more as Jim climbed each step.

Jim reached the top of the stairs, and walked a few feet from his bed. He stopped, and his mouth dropped open. Blair was lounging in Jim's bed like he belonged there. He does belong there. The thought flashed across Jim's befuddled mind. Blair was naked from the waist up, except for a shiny black satin cummerbund on his waist and a black bow tie around his neck. His hair was so clean, the reflections of the candles danced from it. Jim's nose picked up the wonderful Blair fragrance of shaving cream, vanilla shampoo and soap, and underneath it all, his favorite fragrance. Blair, himself.

Jim's eyes scanned his friend again. Jim didn't know if Blair was naked from the waist down, because he had a sheet discreetly drawn up to just under the cummerbund, but he did know that Blair was aroused. While his lower body was covered, his dick was standing straight up, tenting the sheet.

Blair grinned at Jim. "Man, you look fantastic. You were born to wear formal clothes."

Jim nodded and finally managed to speak. "Thanks. I received your invitation."

"Yeah, I figured. Glad you could make it. Champagne?" Blair sat up, and reached to the nightstand, grabbing two glasses filled with the bubbly liquid.

Jim nodded again, and made his feet move towards the bed. He reached out, taking the glass from Blair's hand.

"Shall we have a toast?" Blair inquired, his dusky blue eyes touching Jim's clear blue ones.

"Yes. What shall we toast to?"

"To us."

Jim swallowed. "Is there going to be an ‘us’?” Jim asked hopefully.

Blair laughed deeply. Jim's dick twitched at the sound. "I sure as hell hope so, man, or I am a total fool here."

"To us, Blair." Jim smiled.

Blair's grin widened. "To us, Jim."

Blair raised his glass as Jim lowered his. The crystal chinked lightly as they touched, and each took a sip. Blair took the glass from Jim's hand, and he placed both glasses back on the nightstand.

Jim's senses smelled Blair's sexual arousal. The scent traveled from his brain, through his body, and right to his groin. He was hard in seconds. He groaned quietly, and closed his eyes. Blair watched him closely. When Jim opened his eyes, Blair was staring directly at him. Only after Jim's eyes opened, and he saw Blair watching him, did Blair rake his eyes over Jim's body from head to foot. Jim finally knew what the expression, to be undressed with someone's eyes, meant. Even though Jim was fully clothed in the tuxedo, Blair's eyes managed to make him feel totally nude.

Jim licked his dry lips as Blair reached out his hand, pulling Jim to sit beside him.

"Jim, I notice that you seem a bit interested in me."

Jim smiled. "What gave it away?"

Blair reached out and ran the palm of his hand across Jim's erection. Even though the material, Jim could feel the heat from Blair's hand. Jim moaned again, and pressed his hand over Blair's.

"I've wanted this for so long." Jim's tone was quiet. Blair leaned closer to hear his words. "I've wanted to say something to you for so long."

Blair leaned inches from Jim's face. "Tell me now." He whispered invitingly.

"I'm in love with you, Blair Sandburg."

"And I'm in love with you, James Ellison."

Only inches apart now, Jim tilted his head to finally kiss his lover. He shifted his position to face Blair, unintentionally pulling the sheet from Blair's body enough to release Blair's hard shaft from its confines. Blair's dick sprung to full attention, catching Jim's eyes. His eyes traveled down the length of Blair's erection. He chuckled, and then started to laugh out loud. Blair looked down at himself. He started laughing, also. Within seconds, they were laughing so hard, both men had tears running down their faces. Jim held his side, and fell back onto the bed. Blair threw himself on his back next to Jim as they both tried to contain their merriment.

When Jim accidentally pulled back the sheet, he saw what Blair had done to himself. Being an inventive fellow, Blair had tied a satin black ribbon around the base of his dick, and topped it with a big bow.

Jim finally managed to speak after several minutes of unbridled laughter. "Chief, you are insane. I do love you, you crazy moron."

Blair turned to his side, gloriously naked, except for the cummerbund, bow tie at his neck, and, of course, the bow on his dick. Jim matched his actions, and they were lying face to face. Their breaths mingled. Jim sniffed Blair's minty fragrance into his memory.

"Jim, ah, can I, ah, kiss you?"

"I'm here at your invitation. You lead, I'll follow, just like always, Blair. Just like always."

"Really? Oh, good, I have some specific ideas in mind?"

Jim reached out his hand, and ran it through Blair's hair, luxuriating in the silky texture.

"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" Jim chuckled deeply.

Blair laughed as he slid his hand behind Jim's head, stroking the short, soft hair, and running his fingers lightly over the warm skin on the back of Jim's neck. Blair pulled Jim's face an inch from his, and ran his tongue lightly across Jim's lips. Jim sighed with pleasure, and shivered just a bit. Then Blair pulled him that last half an inch, finally, finally, their lips touching for that gentle, marvelous, warm and oh-so memorable first kiss.

The End.

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