Fate by Patt

Fate - Patt

Jim Ellison was in court all day long and Blair was just about sick to death of doing paperwork by the time Simon called out his name. Blair almost flew into his office, hoping that Simon would want him to do something that involved leaving the bullpen.

Blair knocked and entered the office saying, “What can I do for you, sir?”

“Knock off the sir business, you know when it’s just us you can call me Captain.” Simon smiled at his little joke when Blair laughed out loud. “I need someone to take these papers over to Captain Mitchell at the Police Academy and you looked bored. Are you game?”

Blair was almost bouncing in place as he answered, “Sure, I’ll go. I was bored. There is only so much paperwork you can do without getting sick of it. What do I need to take to Captain Mitchell?”

Simon handed three thick manila envelopes to Blair and smiled at his newest detective, who was always willing to go the extra mile to help out. “Stop for lunch on your way, since you’ve been here all day long. I’ll see you when you get back.”

“Thanks, man.” Blair grabbed the envelopes and started for the elevator. He knew that he would just have to finish all of those reports when he got back, but right now, it was a slice of freedom that he didn’t want to trade for anything. The only thing he was missing right now was his lover. He and Jim usually went to lunch together and going alone made Blair all the more aware that he was by himself for the day. Sighing, he headed for the parking garage and got into his car for the drive across town.

<<<>>>

When Blair arrived at the Academy, he parked and walked up to the front door carrying his packages. When he got done, he decided he would go to Quizno’s for a hot sandwich and see if they were as good as everyone was talking about.

Blair walked up to the front desk and asked, “Where would I find Captain Mitchell?”

The receptionist smiled, fluttered her eyelashes and said, “He’s in room 207 with some of the cadets. Just follow the hallway down to the first right hand turn and three doors down is 207. Do you think you can find it?”

Blair liked this woman. She must have been 55 at least, and she was still flirting with him. You have to admire a woman like that. “I can find it just fine, I’ve been here before. Thank you for your help.”

Blair walked down the hallway, took the first right turn and looked for 207. When he found it, he knocked and entered quietly, not wanting to interfere with any classes that were going on.

“Detective Sandburg, it’s good to see you again,” Captain Mitchell called out from across the room.

Blair walked over to him and held out his hand. Mitchell grasped it, shook it firmly and said, “It’s very good to see you again, too. How are you sir?” Blair said.

“I’m fine, I’ve been waiting on these papers, I appreciate you bringing them to me.”

Blair handed over the envelopes. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Captain Mitchell started to go through the first envelope and said, “Let me check these really quickly and then I can let you get out of here.”

So as Captain Mitchell checked each package, Blair looked around the room at the cadets. Suddenly his gaze froze on one particular young man. He looked just like a young Jim Ellison. Curious, he walked over to the small group and said, “Hi, I’m Detective Blair Sandburg.” He held his hand out to shake with each of them.

The first one said, “I’m Michael Miller, it’s good to meet you.”

The second one said, “I’m Brad Johnson, and it’s nice to see a face to match the stories.” Everyone smiled at that comment.

The one that Blair was really interested in said, “I’m Josh Bennett and it really is good to meet you. We’ve heard a lot about you and your partner. Seems you have the best arrest record in the state.”

Blair just stood there with his mouth agape. Not only did this young man look like a young Jim, but he sounded just like him too. Blair finally got his wits about him and said, “It’s been really nice meeting all three of you. I had better get back to the Captain now.” He tried not to hurry back to Captain Mitchell, but he was suddenly eager to get back to the station and see if he could find out more about Josh Bennett.. “Is everything in order, sir?” sir?” he asked the captain.

Mitchell nodded. and said, “All in order. I appreciate you bringing these down, Detective.”

My pleasure.” Blair turned and headed for the door at a trot, anxious to get back to the PD. He couldn’t get over the resemblance to Jim. How weird would it be if Josh was actually related to Jim. He decided not to say anything to Jim until he knew more. Lots of people had look-alikes. It might just all be an amazing coincidence.

<<<>>>

The drive back to the station barely registered, because Blair’s mind was on one thing, and one thing only. Could Josh be Jim’s son? What would Jim do or say if he found out he had a son this late in his life. After all, Jim was almost 40. Josh looked to be about 22, so that would put Jim at 18 when Josh had been born. And who was Josh’s mother? Blair could see Jim now, saying it was just a coincidence and nothing else. That would be his lover all right, the ostrich burying his head in the sand. Then again, it could just be a coincidence. It was no good jumping to conclusions.

Blair did think enough about his stomach to stop for his sandwich and picked one up for Jim for later. When he walked into the bullpen, it was with one thing in mind and he hoped that Simon would leave him to do it.

Simon was in his office, chewing on an unlit cigar. Blair sat down at his desk and began typing quickly, hoping that no one would come over and check out what he was doing. He typed in Josh’s name and waited for his record to come up. When it did, Blair hit the print button so he would have it to look at later and could check it out at home. Once it was done printing, he put it all into his backpack and zipped it closed. He didn’t want anyone to see what he was doing.

Blair turned back to the computer to quickly scan Josh’s personal details. His mother was Mary Bennett. It said that Josh’s father was listed as deceased. Blair couldn’t help but wonder about this woman who had kept something like this from Jim. Stop thinking about him like he is Jim’s son. He might just look like Jim. Blair read a little more and then closed the file. He went back to doing the paperwork that he had sitting on his desk and got it almost all done before Jim walked into the bullpen.

Jim had a smile on his face that lit up the room when he saw Blair sitting at the desk working. Blair couldn’t help but smile back and got up to get him his sandwich, because he just knew that Jim hadn’t had anything to eat yet.

Jim sat down and looked at all of the work done and smiled again. I don’t know what I would do without him as my partner. Blair walked over and handed Jim the sandwich and Jim said, “Thanks, Chief. I was starving.”

“I figured as much so I picked one up when I got mine. Have you ever eaten at Quizno’s?” Blair asked, purposely trying to keep his mind on something other than Josh Bennett.

“You know I never have. We go everywhere together, Chief. Thanks for thinking of me; this is a really good sandwich. Did you heat it up in the microwave?”

Blair smiled at his obtuse partner and said, “No, it stays hot all day long. Of course I heated it up, you doofus.”

Jim swatted at his partner as he continued to eat. “Very funny, Sandburg. If I wanted bad treatment, I would have stayed in the courtroom.”

“How was court, anyhow?” Blair asked his partner, knowing full well he couldn’t answer with his mouth so full.

Jim swallowed and said, “Why do you always do that? You ask me things when I’m eating all the time. Give me a break, why don’t you? Could you grab me a soda from the machine?”

“Yes, master,” Blair said and almost ran to the soda machine to dodge the sandwich wrapper that was tossed in his direction. The people in the bullpen were watching and laughing along with Blair. Everyone knew about Jim and Blair’s relationship and seemed fine with it. In fact, so far they had not lost any friends.

Blair got Jim’s Dr. Pepper and headed back to the desk. He opened it and put it on Jim’s desk and sat down at his own.

Blair knew he was never going to be able to pull this off without asking some questions. As far as he was concerned, there was no time like the present. “Hey, Jim, I ran into someone today who said she knew you.” Okay, it was a small obfuscation but still…

Jim finished up his sandwich and asked, “Who?”

“I think she said her name was Mary Bennett, do you know anyone by that name?” Blair asked innocently.

Jim frowned and finally said, “Yeah, she was my girlfriend in high school. I haven’t seen her since I left to go to the military. I was 18. I would have thought she would have been married by now. She dumped me while I was in the service and said she never wanted to see me again.”

Blair never expected Jim to say all of this at one time, so he just sat there for a moment before he said, “Maybe she had a good reason.”

“A good reason to dump me while I was in the service? I didn’t do anything.” Jim sounded annoyed now and Blair could tell he was going to be pissed off in a few moments. “Why are you asking me all of these questions about Mary Bennett? Are you jealous or something?”

“No, I’m not jealous or anything. Just curious,” Blair replied.

“Let’s change the subject, all right?” Jim threw his bag in the trash and got up, striding over to Simon’s office, leaving a bewildered Blair behind.

<<<>>>

Jim knocked on the office door and heard Simon say, “Come in.”

“Hey, Simon, I’m beat from sitting on my ass all day in the courtroom. Could I get out of here?” Jim hoped that his boss would be understanding.

Simon smiled and said, “What did he say to piss you off this time?”

“Just the usual stuff. Can we go?” Jim inquired again.

“Sure, we’ll see you tomorrow,” Simon said as he put the gross cigar back into his mouth.

“We’re off tomorrow, remember?” Jim reminded his forgetful boss.

“Okay, see you when you come back. Have a good day off.” Simon walked him to the doorway and then shut it as soon as Jim walked out.

Normally, Jim loved his day off because he and Blair usually did something fun, but he was in a bad mood right now and wasn’t even sure why.

He walked over to Blair and said, “We’re sprung.”

Blair beamed with happiness and got up to get his jacket. He grabbed Jim’s too. “What are we going to do for dinner tonight, man?”

Jim took his jacket from Blair and answered shortly, “I have no idea.”

Blair suddenly realized that Mary Bennett was a part of Jim’s life that still meant something to him. This might have been one of the dumbest things he had ever done.

<<<>>>

The drive home had been very quiet indeed and Blair was getting worried. His usually smiling lover hadn’t smiled once since Mary’s name had been brought up. Thankfully they arrived home and Blair figured he could try and fix this somehow.

“Would you like me to make stir-fry for dinner?” Blair asked hopefully.

“Whatever you want is good for me. I don’t really care.” Jim hung up his jacket and went and sat down on the sofa.

“All right, enough is enough. What is going on with you?” Blair demanded.

Jim looked over at his lover and finally smiled. He said, “It’s nothing that won’t leave when I get it worked out in my head. Stop worrying so much, okay?”

Blair wasn’t going to leave it like that, so he finally said, “You’ve been grumpy ever since I mentioned Mary Bennett. Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Jim ran a hand across his face slowly and sighed, very loudly. “You’re not going to let this drop, are you? Well, as a matter of fact, I was going to ask her to marry me when I came home on leave. I was in love with her, big time. But she dumped me before I had a chance and then she moved from Cascade, or at least that’s what I heard anyhow.”

Blair was suddenly a little bit worried and asked, “So do you think you still have feelings for her?”

Jim looked at him like he was insane and answered, “I haven’t seen her since I was 18, I think I’m over her. But it doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt a little hearing her name. And where did you see her exactly?”

Now Blair didn’t know what to do. So he did the best he could. “I just saw her on the street and we were talking and she found out you were my partner and that’s all.”

Jim glared at him. “Why are you lying?”

“I’m not lying.” Blair said quickly, hoping Jim would let it drop.

“You’ve never met her, have you? Why did you bring her name up out of the blue?”

Blair got up and began to pace. This wasn’t working out the way it was supposed to. It was supposed to be a lot easier than this. Now he was going to have to tell Jim the truth and he wasn’t ready for that.

Jim stood up and said, “You’re worrying me here, Chief. What’s going on?”

Blair walked over to his backpack and pulled out the papers. He showed Jim a picture of Josh and said, “Do you recognize this picture?” Blair kept the name covered as he did so.

“Yeah, it’s my academy photo, why? Actually I don’t remember that shot, but they might have changed it without my knowledge.” Jim was still paying close attention to Blair instead of the picture.

“What would you say if I told you this isn’t you?” Blair asked.

Jim looked down at the picture and said, “It’s me. You can see it’s me, Chief. Just look at it.”

“This is a cadet named Josh Bennett. Son of Mary Bennett and I met him today. He looks just like a young you, don't you agree? Not only that, but he sounded just like you too. He has your voice.” Blair studied Jim’s face to see if he was putting two and two together.

“Wow, it really looked like me for a second, but the guy has a lot more hair than I have.” Jim tried laughing it off but Blair glared at him, determined not to let it drop. “What do you want me to say, Blair? You want me to say he looks like me and could be mine? Well, if he is, he sure as hell didn’t know about me, did he? And why would he want someone popping into his life now, when he’s grown up?”

“Jim, she probably cheated you out of being a parent. This could very well be your son. You can’t just forget about it now. You need to talk to her and find out why she did this.”

“Did he look happy and healthy, Chief?”

“What has that got to do with it?” Blair asked, getting irritated.

“Just answer my question; did he look happy and healthy?”

Blair quietly said, “Yes.”

“Then, I say we leave the poor kid alone. He doesn’t know about me and I shouldn’t know about him. His mother must have had some reason for keeping him from me. And I don’t want to dredge up the past. So let’s let it go.” Jim walked over to the fridge and got two beers out.

“Oh no, you don’t,” Blair bellowed. “This is not over by a long shot. You’re going to find Mary Bennett and ask her why she cheated you out of your life. Do you understand me?”

“Blair, I know you mean well, but I have to think about the boy. He’s used to being on his own now, he doesn’t have room for a father who wasn’t around when he needed him. No matter what the excuse is, it won’t be good enough. So, it is finished. Drop the subject.”

Jim sat down and opened his beer and took a long swallow. Blair couldn’t believe that Jim was just brushing it off like this. This was important! This could be his son! Blair had never known his own father. He couldn’t understand why a man would not want to get to know his child, no matter how long it had been.

Blair opened his beer and said, “I’m not going to drop the subject. I can’t believe you don’t want to know for sure whether or not this guy is your son!”

“Oh for god’s sake, Sandburg, give it a rest.”

“Don’t you Sandburg me. I want to hear what you’re feeling right now. And I mean it.”

“Fine, it’s making my heart hurt to think that she dumped me and might have been pregnant with our child and didn’t even want me in her life or his. I don’t still love her, but I have feelings for her. I just don’t know what they are. I can’t explain, Blair. I can’t make you understand what I don’t understand.” The distraught expression on Jim’s face brought a lump to Blair’s throat.

“If you talked to her and found out she had wanted you in her life, would you consider it?” Blair asked with some trepidation.

It was obvious Jim was picking up on Blair’s nervousness. He looked up at him and said, “Calm down, Blair. First of all, you are my life. I’m not giving you up for anyone. But I do wonder why she dumped me and raised a child on her own when we could have done it together. It’s just plain weird.”

“Do you think maybe you should ask her why?”

“Blair, I can’t go up to her 22 years later and say, how’s it going? Oh and by the way, why didn’t you tell me I had a son?”

“Yes, you can, Jim. And I think you should. You need to find out why you were cheated out of fatherhood.”

“Okay, here is the next problem, Blair. What if I find out he is mine and she’s willing to tell him, what do we tell him about us?”

Blair looked confused and asked, “What about us?”

“The whole gay thing, Blair. Do you honestly think that a cadet at the academy wants to find out about his father and then finds out he’s gay? I don’t think so. I just can’t see this being anything but hurtful. He’ll hate us and we might be seeing him at our station house every day. I couldn’t do that. Could you?”

“So you’re ashamed of us?” Blair was stunned by Jim’s admission.

“Not ashamed; we’re out at the station and I’m fine with that, but I don’t want to tell someone who might be my son that I’m gay.”

“That’s ashamed in my eyes, mister.” Blair got up and threw his beer bottle in the garbage. He then stormed up the stairs to think.

“Oh, that’s right, this is going to piss you off so you leave me to think about it all by myself. This is so you,” Jim yelled up the stairs.

“Shut up, you asshole,” Blair yelled back down the stairs.

“You’re still the comeback kid to me,” Jim said, still yelling.

Blair marched down the stairs and stood in front of Jim. “I don’t like your attitude. Children accept their parents, look at how much shit your dad did, yet you accepted him in the long run. You’re not even giving Josh a chance.”

Jim leaned in and gave Blair a kiss, so soft it was barely there and that pissed Blair off even more. “You think you can make sex help us forget about all of this?”

“No, I wanted to kiss you to let you know how much I love you,” Jim said and kissed Blair again. This time Blair leaned into Jim and he was more responsive.

“You do love me. I know that,” Blair admitted.

“Yes, I do,” Jim agreed. “I don’t want to fight anymore. Can we sleep on it and discuss what we’ll do tomorrow?”

“That works for me. Come upstairs and let me show you how much I love you right this moment.” Blair wiggled his eyebrows making Jim laugh and happily follow him up the stairs.

“Then can we have dinner?” Jim asked as he was stripping.

“Then we can do whatever you want,” Blair said as he pulled Jim on to the bed. Blair was intent on proving to Jim what a good lover he was. And he did just that.

<<<>>>

Jim woke up smelling stir-fry, and smiled. He was very lucky to have Blair as a lover. Not only was he a considerate and talented lover, but he let him sleep afterwards and then made him dinner. Jim couldn’t be happier. At least for the moment anyhow, but that might all change soon enough.

Jim walked down the stairs, sniffing the air appreciatively. “Smells good, Blair.”

Blair smiled up at his lover and said, “I’m glad. I’d feel pretty bad if you came down and said it smelled awful.”

Jim sat down at the already set table and waited for Blair to say something. It was no surprise when he did.

“I looked up Mary Bennett in the phone book and she lives over on the east side of town. Would you consider going to see her?”

Jim thought a moment and then said, “I think this needs some more thought before I go to see Mary. I have to get up enough courage to say hello to her after 22 years. Give me a little while, okay?”

Blair sighed, but answered, “Whatever works for you. We’ll play it by ear. Don’t worry about it now, Jim.”

They had a nice quiet dinner because Blair didn’t want to start any trouble again, even though he wanted to say plenty. Blair hoped that if Jim at least saw Josh, it might encourage him to want to meet him. Maybe Blair could find out where the cadets went for lunch and take Jim there too. It was a good thought. Probably wouldn’t work, but he could try it out.

Jim helped Blair do the dishes and then said, “I’m going to take a shower, care to join me?”

Blair shook his head. “No, I have some things to do before morning. You go and have a nice relaxing shower.”

Jim looked over at Blair to see if he really meant it, and it looked like he did. “Are you angry with me, Chief?”

“No, just have some work to do from the station. I brought it home. Now go and relax and don’t worry about things.” Blair gave Jim a big kiss before he went into the shower to let him know that things would work out all right to reassure him.

While Jim showered, he thought over what Blair had said. It was true he and his father had mended their relationship somewhat, though they still had issues that would probably never be resolved. He knew Blair’s feelings regarding family ran deep. He’d never known his own father and often talked about how much he’d missed not having a father figure in his life. Maybe it was time to at least consider what Blair was suggesting.

He finished his shower and dried off, then detoured upstairs to get dressed. When he came down, Blair was still seated on the couch, poring over files. Jim sat down next to him and waited until he looked up before speaking. “Carolyn and I talked about having children. I always wanted one, but she said that I worked too much and would never help her out, so it was just as well that we didn’t. But I always wished we would have tried. I love children and wanted to have that with Carolyn. Now I’m with you and I can’t give you a child either. So, it just hit me hard that I missed out on my child’s life.”

“Slow down, Jim. We don’t even know that he is yours yet. Although the evidence points in that direction, doesn’t it?” Blair asked quietly.

Jim tried to smile as he said, “I thought the picture was of me. That’s how much he fucking looks like me. He’s mine and she took that away from me. Why would she do that?”

“It’s something we need to find out as soon as possible. We need to talk to her, babe, and not in a week or month. I’m talking soon,” Blair replied firmly, knowing full well Jim was in a state to listen for a change.

“Okay, we’ll go tomorrow. I’m sorry I didn’t want to talk about it earlier. It’s all come out of left field. Took me by surprise.”

“I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve always wondered what kind of reaction my father would have if I ever tracked him down.”

“Is that why you haven’t?” Jim asked.

Blair shrugged. “It’s part of it. Probably a big part, but you’ve got the opportunity to meet your son, get to know him, let him get to know you. That’s great!” Blair stood, stretching. “I’m going to get ready for bed. Back in a minute.”

When Blair came back down, dressed in his robe, Jim announced, “We’re off tomorrow, so it would be a perfect day to go and see her. What do you say about that?”

“It’s a plan. I know where she works and where she lives, so we can catch her at either place. Now, let’s get to bed. We need to sleep.”

The two men walked up the stairs with nothing on their minds but sleep. Jim couldn’t wait to have Blair hold him in his arms, because that’s what he needed. But Blair had other plans. Jim ended up holding Blair all night long while they slept.

<<<<<<>>>>>>

The aroma of coffee woke the sleepy Sentinel the next morning. Oh, how he loved it when Blair made the morning coffee before Jim had to even get up. Jim looked at the clock and saw it was 8:00. It was time for him to be up, that was for sure. Jim could now smell bacon and eggs cooking and put his robe on quickly. As he walked down the stairs, he was reminded of how good he had things now. Not like it was when he was with Carolyn. He seldom smiled then and they had little in common. Or at least when they needed to. Now he almost always smiled and he and Blair did almost everything together. They were truly a matched pair.

“Good morning, Chief.” Jim said as he came down the stairs.

Blair hurried over to Jim and gave him a big kiss. “I love it when you wake up to me cooking breakfast. It shows that your senses are online even while sleeping.”

“Always the Guide, eh?” Jim said as he kissed him back, once more.

“Always, man.” Blair got Jim sitting at the table and then began to wait on him hand and foot.

“Blair, I’m not broken, just a little upset. Sit and join me for breakfast.”

So Blair did. They ate in peace until Blair couldn’t hold it in any longer. “I went online and got your Police Academy pictures so Mary could see how much Josh looks like you. I can see her denying the entire thing, already, so we’re going to be ready. Okay?”

“Sounds good to me, Chief. When do we go?”

“As soon as you get ready. I don’t want to take you in your robe.” Blair smiled all the way to the sink to put their dishes in the soapy water.

Jim laughed and said, “I’ll be ready in a minute. It won’t take me long. It’ll take me even less to have the nervous breakdown in the truck.”

Blair smiled and said, “Well, I’m driving today, so I don’t want to hear about a thing. Got it?”

Jim got up to get dressed and said, “Got it. I love you.”

“And I love you. Now go and get ready.” Blair finished doing the dishes and got everything put away by the time Jim came walking out of the bathroom. He was dressed in blue jeans and a flannel shirt. Blair thought he looked incredibly handsome. But he knew what had to come first, and that would be talking to Mary.

Blair smiled fondly at his mate and asked, “Ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” Jim grabbed both of their jackets and handed Blair’s to him and put his own on as he walked out the door.

Both men knew that this day was going to be stressful, but it was just something that had to be.

<<<>>>

When they arrived at Mary Bennett’s house, they were still very nervous and quiet. Jim finally broke the silence. “What if she lives with someone? This could be really awkward for her.”

Blair looked over at Jim as he parked and said, “We’re not there to make trouble, we’re there to see why she did what she did. Let’s not borrow trouble.”

Both men got out of the truck and walked up to the doorway. Jim knocked, even though he wanted to run. After the second time he knocked, a woman opened the door and said, “Can I help you?”

Jim couldn’t believe it. She didn’t recognize him at all. Jim recognized Mary right away. She was still a beautiful woman. “Mary, it’s me, Jim Ellison.”

“Why, Jim Ellison, whatever are you doing here? Do you live and work in Cascade?” Mary asked nervously.

“I’m a Detective with Major Crimes Division.” Jim started and before he could get any more out, she cried, “Oh my god, something happened to Josh?”

“Nothing happened to Josh, we just came to talk to you about him,” Blair said as quickly as he could.

“Who are you?” Mary asked.

“I’m Detective Blair Sandburg and I’m Detective Ellison’s partner, we wondered if we could come in and ask you some questions.”

“But of course, I’m sorry, Jim. I’m just so surprised to see you after all these years.” Mary opened her door wide and both men walked into the very tidy home.

They stood in the living room and waited to be asked to sit down. Mary hesitated a moment then said, “Have a seat, please.”

Jim smiled at her and sat down, saying, “Thank you. We have some things to ask you.”

Mary sat down across from them and said, “So what do you want, Jim?”

Jim stared at her for a moment before speaking. “I don’t really know how to ask this, so I guess I should just say it. You have a son, Josh?”

Mary nodded.

“Is he my son, Mary? And if he is, why didn’t you tell me about him all those years ago?”

“What are you talking about?” Mary said.

Blair decided to get into the conversation. “Are you going to tell us that Josh Bennett at the Police Academy isn’t Jim’s son?”

“Why would you think he was your son, Jim?” Mary asked, looking nervous.

“Because he looks just like me and my partner said he sounds just like me too. Blair, show her those two pictures of us,” Jim suggested as calmly as he could.

Blair pulled the pictures of Jim and Josh out of his backpack and showed them to Mary. “Now you can’t deny that this is his son, can you, Ms. Bennett?” Blair said.

Mary put her face in her hands and began to cry. “He told me you would never find out and I promised that I would never bother you.”

Jim looked confused and asked, “Who? Who told you this?”

“Your father told me that he would ruin my dad’s business if I didn’t go elsewhere and have the child. And then if I told anyone about you and Josh, he would see to it that my reputation was ruined also.”

Jim stood up and began to pace. “I’m going to kill my dad for this. Mary, I can’t believe you dumped me while I was in the service when I was really a father to be. I would have loved raising him.”

“He was going to ruin my father's business and see to it that our family would know nothing but shame about the baby. So I left for ten years. My family missed out on Josh too. I didn’t have anything to do with them for ten long years, Jim. I would love to take it all back but you weren’t here to help me. You were gone and your dad said he would see to it that something happened to you too. He was a very angry man.”

“I’ll take care of my dad, Mary. Now what do you suggest we do with Josh? What do we tell him? I’m not going to go on like he doesn’t exist.”

Blair sat next to Mary and said, “Don’t cry, we’ll get this all straightened out and you won’t have to worry about taking all the blame. Jim will be certain that his father pays for this. Believe me.”

“What did you tell him about his father, Mary?” Jim asked suddenly.

“I told him you died in the service and we never had a chance to get married. Your name isn’t on the birth certificate, and he’s never asked about it. I told him your name was Jim and that was enough for him. I told him how much I loved you and that when you died, a part of me died with you.”

“Now what are you going to tell him?” Blair asked.

“Jim, I think we should leave things as they are. He’ll hate me when he finds out that I lied all of these years. But I did it to protect my family. I was alone with Josh for all of those years because of your dad, not me.”

“I’d like to meet him,” Jim said. Get to know him a little then we can decide how much to tell him.

“Oh god, you can’t mean this? He’ll hate me. He’ll probably move out and never talk to me again.” Mary sobbed.

Blair said, “Let’s all take a deep breath and talk this out like adults. There is no reason that it won’t work out for all of us. We’ll tell Josh the truth about his grandfather being a jerk and I’m sure he’ll understand why you did it.”

“Give me a couple of days to think about what I’m going to say to him,” Mary begged.

“That’s only fair. This has been tough on you. I’m so sorry for what my dad put you through.”

“Your father promised that you would never know. He promised. God, I don’t know what to do.” The woman before them was a broken woman. Jim swallowed past the lump in his throat. He could only imagine how hard it must have been for her, and knowing she felt unable to come to him for any help at all made the whole situation doubly sad.

“Try to understand how I feel, Mary, that’s all I ask. Can I call you later? Find out your decision?” Jim felt like things were completely out of his control and he didn’t like that feeling at all.

Mary was still crying but went over to Jim and said, “I’ll tell him as soon as he comes home this afternoon. I’m so sorry, Jim. I wanted us to be a family, but your dad made that impossible. Please say you’ll forgive me.” Then she went into Jim’s arms and cried for the loss of their family life.

“There's nothing to forgive, Mary. You were doing what you thought was best and it’s not your fault. The fault lies with my father and I plan on taking that up with him as soon as I can,” Jim explained.

Blair stood back and didn’t know what to do or say. He felt out of place for the first time in his life and he didn’t like the feeling at all. Did Jim want him here or did Jim want to be alone for this decision?

“Jim, would you stay and help me tell him?” Mary asked.

Jim smiled at her and said, “If you want me to, I’d like that. It might look better if we’re both here to tell him and I can explain about my dad being such an ass. Blair, do you mind leaving me here and I’ll take a cab home tonight?”

Blair had to trust that his lover knew what he was doing and decided that would probably be the best action. Jim needed time to figure things out and he would call for Blair’s help if he needed it. Blair would always be there for Jim and Jim knew that.

“That’s fine. I’ll see you at the loft tonight,” Blair said walking to the door. He had wanted to hug Jim before he left, but didn’t know if he should do it in front of Mary or not. Blair knew that Jim wasn’t embarrassed of their relationship and would tell Mary in time, but this certainly wasn’t the right time. And until he did tell her, Blair felt it best to keep his distance.

After Blair left, Jim stood feeling a little awkward with just Mary; he knew that without Sandburg, he was out of his element most of the time.

“Can I ask you something, Jim?” She blushed a little. “Feel free to tell me that it’s none of my business. Are you… Are you and Blair together. I mean…” She waved a hand in the air and looked discomfited.

“It’s okay. Yes, we’re together.” Jim answered. We’ve been a couple for some time now and we share everything. It was Blair’s idea that I seek you out and talk to you in the first place. Without his advice, I might have gone off doing or saying things I shouldn’t have said. He keeps me sane. He’s a very good man and an excellent police officer. I’m anxious for Josh to meet him too.”

Jim was amazed at how easily he admitted his relationship to Mary. Blair had taught him to be more open and he guessed it was finally working.

Mary said, “Then why don’t you call Blair back here and he can be part of this? He should be in Josh’s life too, and it’s important that you tell him that.”

So Jim did just that. He called Blair on his cell and Blair answered, “Sandburg.”

“Chief, why not come back here and do this with me? I’ve told Mary about us and she agreed that we should all do it together and I know I might need your help. I’m not quite certain of what I want to say or do yet. You’re my voice of reason.”

“Are you sure, Jim?”

Jim smiled. “I’m sure, Chief.”

“Okay, I’ll be there in a flash.” Blair said before he closed his cell phone.

Mary smiled and said, “He seems really nice. I’m glad you found someone you really like to be with. I never did. I was too bitter to let myself live.”

It was Jim’s turn to smile and say, “It’s never too late, Mary. Go for it, if someone asks you out, then go for it. Stop thinking about Josh and think about yourself for a change. Josh will be gone soon and then what will you have? Believe me, I know from experience. Have you ever met anyone that you wished you’d given a second chance?”

“As a matter of fact, I dated someone about four months ago, but I told him that my son was my life. He was so nice, he said he understood and everything. I hated to see him go. He was very nice to Josh, too.” Mary felt good talking to Jim like this. This is the way it should have been years ago.

“Well, it’s never too late. Call him up tomorrow. Hell, call him up tonight and tell him that you’ve had a change of heart.” Jim suggested.

“I will. I’ll call him tomorrow. Josh will be happy, he liked him a lot. Jim, I’m so sorry about your son. He’s such a good boy and you would have been so proud of him. I wish your father would have had second thoughts about what he did because he missed out on a wonderful grandson. It’s just too bad.”

The doorbell rang and Mary teased, “Gee, I wonder who that could be?”

Jim got up and opened the door himself and took Blair into his arms and hugged him hard. “I love you, Blair. More than you’ll ever know.”

“Good… Now let’s discuss things with Mary about what we’re going to say to Josh. This is going to shock the shit out of him and we don’t want to scare him.” Blair led Jim over to the sofa and sat down, pulling his partner alongside him.

For the next two hours, they discussed what would be best for Josh, not Jim or Mary. And they decided that it would be best for Mary to tell him alone and let Josh decide if he wanted to see Jim or not.

Jim wasn’t happy with that decision, but he also knew that it was Josh who mattered, not himself.

The men got up to leave and Mary gave both of them a hug. “We’ll see you both soon, don’t worry.”

“I hope so, Mary,” Jim said, hugging her back.

“If he just wants to think, let him think. It’s his life, and we have to abide by his decision. Come on, Jim, let’s get out of here before Josh gets home,” Blair said, pulling Jim physically from the house.

When they got in the truck, Jim wasted no time at all in asking questions. “Do you think he’ll want to meet me or will he be too upset about my dad to ever want to see me?”

“Jim, do I look like Josh?” Blair rolled his eyes, then became serious. ”Only Josh knows what he feels. And when he’s ready, he’ll call you and set up a meeting. I know I would want to meet my dad.”

“Would you, Chief?”

“Oh yeah, big time. I would be so grateful to meet him for only one day. It would be worth everything to me.”

Jim looked over at Blair seeing the thoughtful look on his face. He took Blair’s hand and then pulled it up to his lips and kissed it. “I’m sorry that you never got to meet your dad, Chief. I truly am. I would do anything to find him for you.”

“This is about Josh, not me. So let’s focus.”

“Are you thinking about how much you like driving my truck?” Jim asked, seeing the grin on Blair’s face.

“As a matter of fact, I was. I love it when you give me some control.”

“Chief, do I need to remind you of the control you had in the bedroom last night?” Jim was still smiling.

“Nope, I like that control too. But I just like it when you let loose and let someone else take charge now and then.

“Let’s get home and order pizza. I feel like something fattening tonight and then we can go for a nice walk afterwards.” Jim liked being in charge too.

“Sounds good to me.” Blair agreed and they drove to the loft.

<<<>>>

When they got into the loft, Jim couldn’t keep his hands off Blair and wanted to show him how much he loved him. “Can we order the pizza after we make love? I don’t want to order and then rush the lovemaking. I want tonight to be slow and gentle.”

“I don’t care if we ever eat. I’ll meet you upstairs. Let me go and get cleaned up.” Blair rushed to the bathroom and slammed the door in his excitement.

Jim laughed all the way up the stairs of the loft. He stripped quickly and lay back on the bed waiting for Blair.

Blair came walking up the stairs naked and very ready for this game of love. He crawled onto the bed and Jim got down to business. He crawled onto the bed and Jim took him in his arms, making slow, gentle love to him, thanking him for what he had done that day.

Their lovemaking lasted into the afternoon, slow and lazy, and both knew that this would also help pass some of the time before Josh got home from the academy.

Finally after two hours of loving, Jim said, “Okay, I give… I have to eat.”

Blair laughed and helped his lover get cleaned up before they dressed and walked down the stairs together, holding hands.

They ordered pizza and waited in silence. Jim was very nervous because he knew that Mary would be talking to Josh right about then and he wanted the phone call to come so badly.

After the pizza came, they ate, again in silence, both men trying not to make the other one nervous.

An hour later, there was still no phone call and Jim went to the fridge and got beers for himself and Blair. They clinked their beer bottles together and then kissed before they took the first drink. They were about half way done with them when there was a knock at the door.

Blair got up to answer it, thinking it would be Simon. Jim was too busy worrying to think about who it was. Blair opened the door and found Josh and Mary standing there.

“Oh my god, come on in. Josh, it’s so nice meeting you again,” Blair said, shaking Josh’s hand.

Jim stood up and saw his son for the first time and just stood there, mesmerized. Blair went over to him and pushed him toward Mary and Josh. “Josh, this is Jim Ellison.”

Jim held out his hand and Josh took it and they shook and then Jim pulled him in for a huge Ellison hug. They were the same height, same hair coloring and same build. It was weird, Jim thought, seeing himself in someone else.

Josh got his voice first and said, “So do I call you Jim?”

Jim smiled and said, “That would be fine. If someday you want to actually call me dad, that would be great. But Jim works for now.” He pulled Blair to him and smiled at him before asking a little nervously, ”Did your mom tell you about me and Blair?”

“Yes, she did. That doesn’t bother me in the least, Jim. I’m so glad to meet you. And now I know what I’ll look like 22 years from now and it’s not bad, not bad at all.”

Blair smiled and said, “I couldn’t agree with you more.”

“Come on in and sit down,” Jim said. “Mary, would you like some iced tea? Or would you prefer a beer? We were just having one? And how about you, Josh? Would you like one?” It was obvious that Jim was nervous and rambling a little.

Mary sat down on the sofa next to her son and said, “We’d both love a beer. That won’t hurt us with driving. Josh wanted to meet you right away, so I hope you don’t mind that I brought him to you.”

Jim sat down next to Blair. “We’re thrilled that you came over. We were so hoping that you would want to meet us. And I wanted a chance to tell Josh, that I’m going to take care of things with your Grampa. He’ll never bother either of you again.”

Josh shook his head and said, “I’d rather just forget about all of that and start fresh. We can have a wonderful life, right? And you’ll be friends with my mom too?”

“That’s a good idea. We’ll always be friends with your Mom. In the meantime, do you mind if we have a party this weekend and invite everyone from our station to meet you and your mom?” Jim asked nervously.

“That would be really nice. So I can tell people at the academy that you’re my dad?” Josh asked anxiously.

“You can tell anyone that you want to. I’m open to it and I’m happy to hear you are too. You’re taking this really well,” Jim suddenly stated.

“I’ve always wanted a dad. I always wondered if I’d ever have a dad.” He nudged his mother. “Mom was always too choosy when it came to serious guys. But I’m not choosy, I’ll take one at 22. I’m proud to be called your son.” Josh looked on the verge of tears and his mom hugged him. Jim wished he was sitting by him, so he could do that.

Blair shoved him and whispered, “Go over there and hug him.”

So Jim did. He needed to hug his son again. As far as Jim was concerned, they would never get enough hugs into this lifetime.

<<<>>>

Blair was so glad he’d had the courage to take charge of this entire thing because it was indeed fate that brought them all together and fate that would keep them close.

The end

Back to Index

Acknowledgments: Thank you so much to Mary and Kelly for the beta.