Unraveling by Patt

Unraveling - Patt

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Warning: Rape story, full of hurt, but a lot more comfort.

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Blair Sandburg had been in court all day long, leaving his long suffering partner on his own for the entire day. Jim Ellison was going crazy with just doing paperwork when the phone rang.

“Ellison.”

“Yeah, this is Mike. I have something for you. Meet me at loading dock 4, at the deserted loading docks on Maple and St. Peter’s.”

Mike was a snitch for Jim and he usually brought him really good things, so Jim figured he would go through with it.

“I’ll be there in a half-hour,” Jim said right before he hung up the phone. Mike had sounded a little strange, so Jim figured he had better be careful. Not that he wasn’t usually careful, but he looked around the bullpen and saw no one that could go with him as backup. Everyone seemed to be out on calls, so Jim decided to take the call himself. Even Simon was missing in action. Jim wrote a quick note to Simon and left it on his desk and went to the parking garage to get his truck.

<<<>>>

When he drove up to the deserted loading docks, they were indeed deserted. He listened and heard some heartbeats, but figured they were probably homeless people. He saw Mike standing in front of one of the open warehouse doors and he got out of his truck to follow him.

What the hell was this cat and mouse game he was playing? Jim walked into the building and found it quite dark. He dialed up his sense of sight and saw Mike going into a room in the back, so he followed him. Even with his dialed up sense of sight he couldn’t see shit in the warehouse. He could hear voices ahead and knew that Mike wasn’t alone. He pulled his gun out and walked through the doorway.

A light was shined in his eyes, almost blinding him, and he raised his gun to fire, but someone grabbed him from behind before he could do anything. In the scuffle he was knocked unconscious and woke to several heartbeats and something around his eyes. He was tied up and he was naked, he knew that much.

“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. How many times did I tell you to stay out of my business?” Troy Thompson asked coldly.

Jim started fighting his bonds and yelled, “What in the hell do you want, Thompson?”

“I’ve got some men here that are interested in your sweet ass, so you’re going to be a good boy, or I’ll gag you. It’s your choice,” Thompson said.

“I’m going to kill you when you’re done, Thompson. I just want you to know that,” Jim threatened and meant every word. He knew he was in big trouble, but there was nothing he could do right now. Hopefully Simon would get his note and send someone soon. Otherwise, they would probably kill him first.

Oh Jesus Christ, please let them kill me afterwards. Please don’t let me live through this. I can’t do it. I fucking can’t do it…

“Gentlemen, do you want him gagged?” Thompson asked as he ran a hand across Jim’s ass, making Jim struggle all the more.

“No, we want him loud. We like it like that,” someone said softly.

“You’re a bunch of chicken shits, you have to blind-fold me to attack me? You’re afraid for me to see your faces.” And just like that the blindfold came off and Jim looked around. He knew two of the men that were there and it wasn’t good. They were lowlifes from his vice days. He knew his vice days would come back and bite him in the ass. Today was evidentially the day. As he focused on the third man, he remembered him also.

Jim saw Sterling undo his jeans and start to stroke his cock and Jim decided he had to do something, so he went into a zone. He zoned on their heartbeats and he was out like a light.

“What’s wrong with him?” Sterling asked.

“I don’t know, he’s fainted or something. I swear he’s hardly breathing. Maybe he had a fucking heart attack. Do you boys still want him or not?” Thompson said.

One by one, each of the three, out of the four men, took their turn abusing Jim Ellison’s body. He might have been out of it mentally, but physically he was getting ripped apart. There was blood everywhere. When they were done, they all stood around staring at him, deciding what to do with his body.

In the meantime, the snitch, couldn’t stand that he had sold Jim out and dialed Simon Banks number.

“Banks.”

“Banks, this is Ellison’s snitch, Mike. Four men have him at the loading dock at Maple and St. Peter’s. They’re hurting him,” Mike said hurriedly.

“We’ll be right there,” Simon said as he Joel, Rafe, Brown and Conner all sped over to the docks.

<<<>>>

When the men that had brutalized Jim heard the sirens, they all took off out the back way where their cars were parked. They had at least a ten minute head start on Simon and the other cops. Troy Thompson didn’t want any loose ends so he shot Jim and then he found Mike and shot him too, killing the snitch dead. He thought that he had killed Jim too, but he should have checked first. Jim wasn’t going to die so easily.

<<<>>>

Major Crime drove up and everyone piled out of the car and took off running for the dock with the door open. When they walked in Conner said, “Oh my god…”

Simon shouted, “Someone cut him loose and call an ambulance right away.”

Rafe and Henri cut him loose and laid him on the cold cement. Rafe took off his jacket and put it over Jim’s body so that not everyone would see what they had seen. All of Major Crime was working to keep the bleeding to a minimum and save Jim’s life. Little did they know that Jim would rather have bled to death.

The ambulance got there and started working on Jim right away. One EMT said, “Captain Banks, we need to transport him right this moment. He might not make it if we wait any longer, so we’re leaving.”

“By all means, get him to the hospital then. I’ll follow you in my car. I’ll fill out all of the necessary paperwork at the hospital.” They all watched as the now covered officer was put in the back of the ambulance and they started off.

“Joel, could you call Blair and tell him to get to the hospital? I need you all to see if you can find the snitch,” Simon ordered.

Brown walked out and said, “We found the snitch, but he isn’t going to tell us anything.”

“God damn-it,” Simon cursed as he walked to his car and got in. “Conner make sure that Joel has everything he needs to get this investigation under way. I’ll be at the hospital.”

“Yes sir,” She answered and almost ran to the dock to help Joel.

<<<>>>

Blair’s cell phone vibrated in his pocket and he wondered why Jim would be calling him now. He knew he was in court and couldn’t answer it. Blair pulled it out of his suit jacket and saw the 911 code on it and told the lawyer, “I have to go, there’s an emergency.”

As soon as Blair was out of the court room, he called the number and Joel answered, “Taggart.”

“Joel, what happened to Jim?”

“I haven’t got time to go into it, Blair. You need to get up to Cascade General right away. Simon needs you now.”

“Is he alive?” Blair asked frantically as he ran for his car.

“Yes, but barely. He needs you. Now get to the hospital,” Joel said anxiously.

“I’m on my way…” Blair ran all the way to his car and got in and sped off, he didn’t care if he got a speeding ticket, he could ask for a police escort. He drove like a mad man, wondering if Jim would be all right and why couldn’t they tell him what happened to him?

<<<>>>

At the hospital, Simon was pacing the hallway when the doctor came out and said, “Whoever shot him, was a lousy shot, thankfully. It went right through his shoulder and didn’t hit anything major, but the rest of his body is terribly abused. We had to stitch up his anus from all of the tears, but they were wearing condoms. There was no semen inside of him, so that’s good, they cut his back and legs in numerous places and we had to stitch all of those up. He’s lost a lot of blood and he’s getting refueled as we speak. All in all, he’d doing pretty well considering, but something like this would be hard to come back from, especially for a police officer. Would you like to see him now?”

“I’m waiting for his partner, who should be here any minute and then we’ll go in together,” Simon explained.

The doctor asked, “His work partner, Blair Sandburg?”

“Yes, his work partner and his life partner,” Simon said as casually as he could.

“This is going to be devastating for both of them. I’m going to call for some help for them now. Is there anyone else we should call for Detective Ellison or for Detective Sandburg?”

“Jim’s father. Do you have his number in the file?” Simon asked.

The doctor looked and said, “Yes, it’s here. I’ll call him right now and tell him what’s happened. Good luck with talking to Blair. I’ll be down the hall if you need me.”

“Thank you, Doctor Mason. Jim has always liked you, and I thank you for being so good with him.”

“I need to go, Captain Banks. I’m down the hall. Jim is in room 211.” And like that Doctor Mason had to get back to his daily routine, even though he wanted to stay and talk to Blair.

<<<>>>

A crazed Blair Sandburg came flying into the emergency room and asked where they had taken Detective Ellison.

“I’ll have to call and see if I can give out that information, Detective Sandburg. You must understand we can’t give this out to just anyone.”

“Would you do me a favor? Would you please page Simon Banks?” Blair pleaded with her.

She picked up the phone and did just that and in a few short minutes Simon walked up to him and said, “Follow me.”

Blair was almost running to keep up with Simon. “Can you fill me in, Simon?”

“As soon as we get to his room, I’ll tell you everything,” Simon said shortly.

“Is he going to be all right?” Blair asked, sounding every bit as scared as he was.

“It all depends on what Jim will think is all right,” Simon answered. “Something like this is hard to get over.”

“Oh fuck… He was raped? Who did this?”

“We don’t know anything yet. We have to question Jim, but he’s zoned.”

“Where is his fucking room, in the next building?” Blair said frantically.

“Its right here, Blair. I’ll tell you everything, but I need you to pull him out of the zone first.”

Blair glared at his boss and friend and said, “I’m not an idiot. I know how to pull him out of a zone by this time. Just let me get to his side.”

Simon stopped Blair and said, “Sandburg, he might not want to follow you out of the zone.”

“Well that’s tough, isn’t it? He doesn’t have any choice. He promised me he would be here for me and I intend on collecting.” Blair walked into the room and saw his lover and wanted to scream. His face and torso were all bruised and swollen.

“Jim… Babe, it’s me. I need you to come out of the zone now. Follow my voice and join me here. I can’t do this alone, Jim. Please?” Blair began his long litany.

For the next two hours, Blair did nothing but try and coax Jim out of the zone. Finally Blair got tired of talking about that and said, “Jim, I’m going to find out whoever did this and I’m going to kill them.”

“Sandburg,” Simon bellowed.

“I mean it, Jim. I’ll find out from the good old fashioned police work and I’ll take care of them one by one. I don’t care what happens to me and I care even less if you’re not here.”

This time Simon saw some rapid eye movement and so did Blair. “That’s right, Jim, follow my voice back and we’ll take care of everything. Don’t you worry.”

Jim opened his eyes and looked sadly at Blair and then the wall. Blair kissed his hand, the only place that wasn’t bruised, scraped or broken. “I love you, man.”

Jim still hadn’t said anything and he looked over at Simon and then back at the wall again. Both men knew how hard this was going to be for Jim and they would have to be very careful with him.

Jim was in so much pain, it wasn’t even funny. He felt like he was ripped apart. He knew they had raped him without being told, because of the throbbing pain he was experiencing. His shoulder hurt like hell, and he wasn’t sure of why he had that particular pain. The rest of his body just felt beat up and bruised. He wished everyone would just get out of the room and leave him alone. He wanted to die.

How can I ever be with Blair again? I can’t stand the idea of anyone doing that to me. How can Blair stand to be around me, knowing that four men had their way with me? I can’t stand this. Therapy is never going to help; I’m going to have to end things a different way, perhaps. I don’t feel strong enough to do this. I can’t do this.

Simon walked up to the bed and said, “Jim, I know you don’t want to answer any questions, but I have to ask them. We need to find out who did this to you and the sooner the better.”

Jim whispered, “I didn’t know anyone’s voice and they had me blindfolded.”

Simon looked disappointed as he said, “Jim, you need to tell us everything they said.”

“They didn’t say anything…” Jim was quiet once again.

“Babe, think and see if you remember anything before you zoned.”

“There were four of them, I was gagged, blindfolded and I decided that I would rather not remember this, so I zoned on purpose. I zoned before they hurt me.”

“That’s good, Jim. That’s very good,” Blair said softly, and Simon said, “What do you mean, that’s good? We don’t have a clue to go on.”

Blair turned around and said, “You’ll have to do old fashioned police work. Jim can’t help you.”

Jim fell asleep and Blair just took up guard at his bed. “I think we should keep someone on him until we find out who did what.”

“I figured as much too, everyone will have a shift. But you can’t stay up here all the time, Sandburg, you have cases you’re working on,” Simon said as calmly as he could.

“Fuck the cases, Simon. I don’t care about anything but Jim right now.”

Simon knew better than to argue with the Guide. “I’ll talk to both of you later. See if you can’t get him to remember something, anything that will help,” Simon suggested. He would let Sandburg win this one for now, but he was going to get him to leave the hospital now and then if it was the last thing he did.

“I’ll do what I can,” Blair agreed.

“Take care of him,” Simon said sadly as he walked out the door. Like he needs to be told to take care of him. You need some rest yourself, old man.

<<<>>>

Simon got to the warehouse on the loading dock and found everyone there already, doing anything they could to help.

Forensics had dusted the entire place and got a lot of prints, so they were hoping some of them would be good leads.

Conner walked up and said, “We’d like to know about Jim, sir.”

So, Simon gathered everyone from the bullpen and told them what was going on. He told them that Jim didn’t know who it was and they all looked surprised.

Joel said, “What are the chances of Jim not knowing the attackers?”

Simon looked just as serious as he answered, “Slim to none.”

Then Conner got into the conversation, “Do you mean he knows and he’s not saying?”

“That’s exactly what we’re saying,” Joel said sadly.

“He’s going to do something stupid isn’t he?” Rafe asked.

Brown said, “Not if we help him. He just needs his friends and family around him.”

Simon said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think that’s going to do the trick this time, Henri. I’m sorry.”

“You’re giving up on him?” Rafe asked.

“I’ll never give up on him, but I can’t see him ever giving us any information that will help. Did someone take prints off the blindfold already?”

“Yes, there were four sets.” Joel said.

Conner asked, “Surely they weren’t dumb enough to leave their prints were they?”

“Who knows? When will we hear from Forensics?” Simon asked.

Joel said, “In about four hours, they’ll have everything processed. Why don’t we all go up to the hospital and see Jim.”

Simon said, “As much as you want to see him, think about how much he doesn’t want to see you. He won’t even look at me or Sandburg. It’s a classic reaction and he’s going to need a lot of therapy.”

Joel said, “So we just stay away from him?”

“Until Blair says it’s safe. But I need to get the shift changes ready to stand guard on his room day and night.” Simon said getting back into the boss swing.

“Count us all in,” Conner said. “I can start now. I’m off for the next two days.”

“Okay, I’ll make up a schedule and we’ll see if we can’t get him on the road to recovery. Now, everyone keep up the good work,” Simon said as he walked to his car once again.

<<<>>>

Jim was having a nightmare, one where he just had to wake up soon, because it starred the animals that did this to him. He couldn’t stand the idea of the four of them fucking him. They had ruined something that was just he and Blair’s.

Jim finally woke up sweating and shaking and Blair was standing there ready to help, but didn’t touch him in case Jim didn’t want to be touched. Jim looked at the wall again and asked, “Is Mike dead?”

“Yes, they killed him and left you for dead. They probably thought the zone was some type of heart attack or something. We’re going to have to watch you like a hawk until we get the guys that did this.”

“I told you, I don’t know who did it,” Jim said impatiently.

The door opened and in walked William Ellison. Jim didn’t even look at his dad as he asked Blair, “Please make him leave, Blair.”

So Blair had the job of taking William out in the hall, telling him everything that had happened to Jim and why Jim didn’t want to see anyone. William insisted on going back in the room and wouldn’t listen to Blair. It wasn’t really news to him. Simon had already talked to him and so had the doctor.

“Jimmy, let me talk to you. This wasn’t your fault, it was the police department’s fault and I’ll be sure that they pay for letting you go all alone.” William was very upset and angry.

“Dad, could you come back in a few days, I really don’t want to talk about any of this right now,” Jim pleaded.

“Jimmy, Simon told me about everything earlier and I have a specialist coming in to see you today. And I want you to talk to her,” William almost ordered.

Jim still didn’t look at his dad as he answered, “Okay…”

“Good, now I’ll let you get your bearings for the next few days, but after that, I expect you to talk to me.”

“Okay, Dad.” Jim was lying, but it would make his Dad feel better, so he had to do it.

“Blair, could I talk to Jimmy alone for a moment?” William asked.

“I don’t know, sir,” Blair started…

“Its okay, Chief. I’ll talk to you in a few minutes,” Jim said calmly.

As soon as Blair walked out, William said, “Jimmy, I know you know who did this and I want to know how I can help you deal with them.”

“I don’t want any of that eye for an eye bullshit. I just want them all dead,” Jim said very quietly and deadly.

“We can arrange that, Jimmy. Let me take care of it for you.” William touched his son’s shoulder and Jim jumped.

“I want to kill them myself,” Jim said very casually.

“Okay, I’ll help when the time comes. Don’t worry about a thing.” William walked over to the door and turned back to Jim. “I love you, son.”

“I love you too, dad. Thanks.” Jim went back to looking at the wall and listened to his Dad telling Blair that he had told him nothing that would help.

Blair came into the room and was very angry. “You told your dad something didn’t you?”

“No…”

“Your dad almost looked peaceful when he left. You’re going to do something stupid aren’t you? And you planned on doing it alone? I won’t allow it, if one of us goes to prison, we both go.”

Jim looked over at Blair and said, “Blair, I don’t know who it was. I told my Dad I might talk to him in a few days, but I was just saying it to make him feel better.”

Blair knew it was a lost cause. He also knew that Jim was lying like a rug.

<<<>>>

Doctor Mason was talking to Simon and Blair about Jim. “He’s very uncooperative; I expected more from him to tell you the truth. But he’s acting just like any other victim, it doesn’t matter that he’s a cop. He’s a victim first. The specialist is coming in today and she’ll have her hands full, let me tell you. He’s going to fight this, I can tell already. Does anyone have any ideas of how to help this situation?”

Blair just shook his head no and turned to Simon. Simon said, “I don’t know if he’s lying or not. He might not have seen them. There was a blindfold, it wasn’t on him when we got there but they might have been trying to wake him up by then.”

“I think he knows more than he’s telling us,” Blair said cautiously.

Doctor Mason said, “Well, we’ll just have to keep a firm hand on him won’t we? He’s not going to be out of the hospital for at least two weeks, so that’ll give you some time to find someone that might know something, right?”

“Right…”Simon said, not meaning it one bit. He agreed with Blair, Jim knew who it was and planned on getting his revenge when the time came.

“I’ll talk to you both later on today after the therapist has a chance to talk with him,” Mason said.

“See you later, Doctor,” Blair called out over his shoulder as he walked slowly down the hall.

<<<>>>

Jim was sleeping when a hand touched him and he yelled out, “Nooooooo!”

“Detective Ellison, my name is Nancy Lee, and I’m going to be helping you work through some of your troubles.”

“What in the hell do you know about my troubles?” Jim asked.

“I specialize in sexual abuse cases. I’ve been there, so I do understand, even though you think it can’t be the same, it is the same. We were both raped against our wills and now we have to learn to live with it.”

“How do you ever learn to live with it?” Jim asked softly.

“I never really got over it, I just moved on and keep it in my memory so that I’m extra cautious now and I’m very careful who I trust,” Nancy said.

“Nancy, did you have more than one attacker?” Jim needed to know that much about her.

“Yes, Jim, five men attacked me. I was in the hospital for two months afterwards, they had literally left me for dead, much like your attackers left you. See, they never expect us to live, because they think that they have broken us. Well, they might have for a short time, but we’ll get over that break and move on.”

Jim and Nancy talked for some time before Nancy brought up Blair. “So, how do you feel about your lover now?”

“I’m not sure. I know I’m not ready for him to be close to me, but I don’t hate him or anything, I just don’t want him sexually,” Jim replied. “Could you tell him that for me?”

Nancy said very calmly, “Sure, I can talk to him today and then do you think we could have Blair in one of our sessions?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ll end up telling him what you said anyhow. When do I see you next?” Jim found out he didn’t dread it at all. She was easy to talk to, plus Jim had to make them believe that he was trying. Or he would never get out of that hospital.

“I’m coming three times a week for the two weeks you’ll be in the hospital. So we should make some progress,” Nancy said smiling.

They said their goodbyes and Nancy walked out into the hallway where a nervous Blair was standing and waiting for the outcome.

“Relax, Blair. He’s doing very well. Him being out of it, helped him get through it a lot more. He doesn’t want to think about sex with you, but he still loves you,” Nancy said finding herself drawn to these two men. “He wants you to be in on the next session, so how about Wednesday?”

“That’s fine with me. That’s great for me.” Blair looked like a weight was lifted.

“We’ll see you in two days,” Nancy said as she walked off.

Blair liked her and felt like she might be able to get through to Jim before he did something very foolish.

<<<>>>

Simon just sat down at his desk in his office when Joel came in. “We’ve got the four men in the interrogation rooms.”

“What four men?” Simon asked.

“From the prints on the blindfold. They all say the same thing that they used it at a sex shop, but I figured you might want to check it out.”

“That was fast, Joel. I expected to catch my bearings before we talked to them.”

“You’ll be surprised to hear who one of the men is,” Joel said.

“Who?”

“Troy Thompson, the one that Jim used to have trouble with in Vice. So this is rather interesting. I think we might have the men that did it. Now we just need Jim to admit to it,” Joel said.

“Surely he would recognize Thompson’s voice, wouldn’t he?” Simon asked no one in particular.

“You would think so. But Simon, he would have to admit that he knew who did this to him and it’s probably easier to say he doesn’t know.”

Simon thought that over and said, “So you think he does know?”

Joel said, “Yes, I think he knows and plans on taking care of him on his own.”

Simon stood up and said, “Let’s go talk to these sleezebags and get it over with.”

<<<>>>

The four men were split up into the different interrogation rooms and they each had a lawyer.

Joel went with Simon to see Thompson first.

Simon asked, “Guess whose prints we found on the site of a rape and attempted murder?”

The lawyer, Hal Clinger said, “Don’t say a word.”

So Thompson didn’t say one fucking word.

“Well, it really doesn’t matter considering we have a witness and once he’s out of the woods, we’re going to get his statement.”

“What witness?” Thompson asked.

“Detective Jim Ellison, he’s not dead. He’s very much alive,” Simon said almost smiling at the man that looked worried for a brief moment.

“We need to know where you were from 1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m yesterday.” Simon saw him squirming.

“I was with my lawyer, working out the new will I had him draw up. So, I have an alibi,” Thompson said quickly. “Ask him about it.”

“Do you know where he was during that time?”

“Yes, he was with me. I knew of his actions all afternoon. Now if you’ll excuse us.” Clinger said quickly as he got up to leave.

“Mr. Clinger, I know you know what trouble you could be in if you gave him a false alibi. We’re going to be checking and as I said, we have a witness, so if this witness puts him there, you’re goose is cooked too.”

“If you have a witness you would be arresting my client. You aren’t, so your witness isn’t talking and even if he did talk, it’s his word against ours. It’s as simple as that. Now please leave my client alone or I’ll bring charges against all of you.”

Clinger and Thompson walked out of the room and Simon wanted to kill them himself.

Joel turned to Simon and said, “I know he’s the one. I can feel it. But there is nothing we can do about it. I think you should let me talk to Jim.”

“Joel, he’s not going to talk. I’m telling you, Jim plans on killing Thompson himself, so we’re not going to get any help what-so-ever from Jim.” Simon was as defeated as Joel was.

“Surely Blair can talk him out of it, right?” Joel asked.

“Blair is probably begging him to let him help him, if I know him as well as I think I do. No, Blair isn’t going to be any help on this I don’t think,” Simon said.

“Let’s go and see what they got from the other guys now.” Simon walked out of the room and waited to talk to Conner, Rafe, Brown and Samuels. Once they all came out of the interrogation rooms, they met in the briefing room for a conference.

“So, did anyone get anything?” Simon asked hopefully.

Conner was the first to speak. “Mr. Sterling has an alibi and we are checking on it right now.”

Rafe said, “Mr. Chang has an air tight alibi. We’ve already checked it, so unless Jim gives us something we don’t have anything on him either.”

Samuels said, “Mr. Parkins has an alibi too, and I checked it out, but he’s very nervous. I think we could talk him into telling us something.”

Simon stood up and said, “This is going to be by the book. Nothing underhanded will go on in my division. We don’t want it thrown out of court because of something we did. Now I want you all to check and see if they have any prior sexual activity on their records. Then we’ll all meet here tonight and talk some more. I have to go and see Ellison again.”

“Tell him that we all wish him well,” Conner said sadly. She wanted to see him so badly.

“Actually, Conner, you might be a good person to go and talk to him. You’re friendly with him, and you might not scare him at this point. Why don’t you stop by the hospital this afternoon and see if he’ll talk to you,” Simon suggested.

“I’ll do that, as soon as I check for priors.” Conner walked out of the room and Simon said, “We’ve got to find something on these guys, because Jim Ellison will kill them.”

Brown looked shocked and said, “Jim wouldn’t take the law into his own hands, Simon.”

“Yes, he would. You didn’t see the way he wouldn’t look at Sandburg and me while at the hospital. He’s not going to get over this easily,” Simon said.

“We’ll meet later today and hopefully Conner will have some news for us,” Joel said calmly.

“Okay, see you all back here at four,” Simon said.

<<<>>>

Blair was sitting next to Jim’s bed, almost falling asleep, with Jim looking at the wall when Conner walked in.

“Hi, mate. It’s my turn to be on duty for protection. We think we found the guys, Jim,” Conner said quickly.

Jim looked at her for a second and said, “Did they admit to it, because I didn’t see a fucking thing. You might have found them, but you won’t get them for it,” Jim said coldly.

“Sandy, would you go and get me some coffee, I would kill for a cup.”

Blair stood up and said, “Jim, is it all right that I leave?” Blair asked, hoping that Jim would say no.

“Go ahead; I’ll just talk to Conner while you’re gone. Don’t worry so much,” Jim assured him.

As soon as Blair was gone, Conner said, “Look, I know this is difficult, but you can’t leave him behind when you kill them. I know you’re going to kill them.”

“Conner, I don’t’ know who did it. How many times do I have to tell everyone? I’m not going to be killing anyone,” Jim assured her.

“I don’t believe you and I think that we should all help you. We could all go down for it, I don’t care. They hurt a fellow officer and now they’re going to get away with it. I’ll take Sterling out. He’s a weasel, a low life and someone I would gladly kill for my mate,” Conner said this all very calmly.

“Conner, I don’t need anyone killed because I don’t remember. What if it wasn’t them?” Jim asked.

“It was, Jim. I saw them, they don’t feel anything. They know they’re going to get away with it and they were thrilled. I want Sterling myself.”

“Conner, no more talk about killing. I’m trying to go through therapy and get this behind me, not trying to kill someone,” Jim said.

“Oh, you are so full of shit. And I know Sandy well enough to know that he’s not going to let you go to prison by yourself, so he’ll have to be in on it too. Then why not all of us?” Conner yelled.

“Because I want them myself. Don’t get in my way, Conner and I mean it. I’ll tell Simon I never said this, so just get out of my way.”

“And what about Sandy?

“What about him?” Jim asked.

“He’ll be all alone when you go to prison. It would kill him. I’m not sure he could make it alone without you. He loves you that much. Do you love him that much in return?”

“Fuck you, Conner. Fuck you…” Jim spat out and couldn’t believe she was doing this.

“You have two choices, Jim. You let us help you kill them or you come clean and tell us everything about that afternoon. It’s up to you.” Conner stood with her arms across her chest and wasn’t budging.

“Tell Simon I’ll give my statement. But I’m only doing it for Blair. If it wasn’t for him, I would be quiet about all of it and take care of things my way.”

Conner opened up her cell and called Simon.

“Banks.”

“Simon, Jim is ready to give a statement and you can get the arrest warrants ready for the four men,” Conner said happily.

“I don’t know how you did it, but thank you. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” Simon hung up and went and told everyone the news. They knew it was going to be a busy afternoon arresting everyone and getting the search warrants, after all they still needed to find the gun.

<<<>>>

Blair walked back into the room and saw a disgusted looking man lying on the bed. “Conner what did you do to him?”

“He’s going to give his statement,” Conner stated simply.

“Jim, why?”

“Because it’s time,” Jim said.

“It’s because of me isn’t it?” Blair asked. “You would never give up this easily in a normal circumstance.”

“These aren’t normal circumstances, Chief. So I’m giving my statement and that’s all there is to it.” Jim turned his back to both of them and decided to rest.

“Conner, I want to see you outside,” Blair said as casually as he could.

They walked into the hall and sat down on the chairs outside his room. “What are you doing? He wasn’t ready yet. He would have come around to it, with therapy, but you’re pushing him. What if he can’t live with this?”

Conner hadn’t thought about that. “I’m sure he’ll be fine with you by his side, Sandy.”

“No, he’s not going to be fine. Someone fucking raped him and left him for dead. You think a person just gets over that?” Blair was almost shouting by this time.

“Sandy, are you pissed off that it wasn’t you that talked him into it?” Conner asked.

“Oh fuck you.” Blair walked back into the room and could see that Jim was under the covers and hiding from him.

Oh man, I’m fucking this up big time.

Conner left the two men alone and sat in the hallway. Blair walked over to the bed and said, “Jim, I’m sorry I was yelling out there.”

“Its okay, Chief. You have a right to be upset too,” Jim said softly.

“Jim, do you think you could look at me when we talk. I miss you so much. I miss seeing your eyes. I just miss you,” Blair pleaded.

Jim turned around and said, “I love you, Blair.”

“Can I hug you?” Blair asked hopefully.

“Yes.” Jim opened up his arms and Blair went into them gladly. They stayed that way for quite some time until there was a knock at the door.

Blair pulled away and said, “Damn it, to hell.” He went and opened the door and found Simon standing there.

“I need to talk to Jim alone,” Simon said.

“Whatever…” Blair said as he left the room.

“What’s wrong with him?” Simon asked.

“He’s upset with me. I’ll give you my statement now.”

Simon got his tape recorder out and he said, “We don’t know how we’re going to work the zone into it at all. Do you have any ideas?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Jim assured him and began to tell Simon the entire story from beginning to end. “I was knocked unconscious and when I awoke, I was naked and tied up. Thompson and the others all told me what they were going to do to me and I just hoped I wouldn’t have to remember any of it. Troy Thompson was the worst, he raped me three times. He also cut me with his knife. Then Sterling raped me twice and used a baseball bat on my arm and leg, Chang raped me once and Parkins raped me twice and used a knife on me afterwards. When they were done and heard the cops coming, Thompson shot me but missed his target and I lived. I then heard them shoot Mike in the back room, and heard Mike die.”

Jim knew that Parkins and Thompson both loved to use knives, so he was fairly certain the knives were used by them. He wasn’t sure about Chang at all, but he had to put him there anyhow. It was the only way to work his story.

Simon just stood and watched Jim and turned the machine off and said, “Jim, you said you were in a zone.”

“I lied,” Jim said.

“Jim, this will nail their coffins shut. Thank you.” Simon stood up to open the door for Sandburg to come back in.

He looked around and said, “What happened to Sandburg?”

Conner said, “He went to get Jim some hot chocolate to calm his nerves.”

Blair walked up at that moment and asked, “Are you done already?”

“Yes, it went well. Talk to your partner, he needs you now.” Simon walked down the hall and went down in the elevator.

<<<>>>

Jim had his back turned to Blair again when Blair walked in. “Jim, I brought you some hot cocoa, I thought you might like something.”

“Thanks, Chief,” Jim said as he turned around. Blair saw the watery eyes and knew that Jim was close to crying before he came in.

“Simon said you need to talk to me,” Blair said as calmly as he could, being as how he was a nervous wreck.

“I lied about the zone. I knew what each of those monsters did to me and I gave my statement to Simon.”

“So you knew all of them?” Blair asked.

“Yes, from my vice days.”

“I wish I could say something to help you get through this, but I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so sorry this happened to you and wish I could take all your pain and heartache away.”

Jim acted like he didn’t even hear what Blair said and said, “So anyhow, they’re all going to be arrested and I’ll have to go on trial.”

“They’ll have to go on trial, Jim. Not you,” Blair corrected.

“It’s the same difference. The jury is going to see a damaged man and not think to highly of my testimony. I would be surprised if they get anything,” Jim said coldly. He sounded like he’d already given up.

“They’re not getting off Jim. They aren’t,” Blair made that promise to him and then leaned down and kissed his lips. Jim let him.

<<<>>>

The four men were brought in again and charged with rape and attempted murder on a police officer. They had found two knives that might have been used in the attack and a gun that might have been used.

Simon was talking to Chang and said, “We have Ellison’s statement now and know who did what.”

Chang freaked out and said, “Then he must have told you that I didn’t do anything. I didn’t stop it, but I didn’t touch him. I was just there and I tried to stop Thompson from doing all of this, but he wouldn’t listen, he was a mad man. So I’m sure my charges aren’t going to be the same as the others.”

“Sorry, his statement says that you raped him and stood by while everyone else raped him and let them cut him and shoot him. So, yes, you’re charges are the same as the others,” Simon said with a certain degree of satisfaction.

“He’s a fucking liar. I didn’t rape him. I was the only one that didn’t. He’s lying. He wasn’t even awake. He was unconscious. Why would he lie about this?”

“I’m sure that the other men will say the same thing about you, Mr. Chang,” Simon said, questioning Jim’s statement in the back of his mind. “You’ll be charged and brought before a judge for the bail hearing, but since it was a police officer, I doubt that they’ll give you bail.”

“He’s lying! Ask him again,” Chang yelled as they took him from the room.

Sterling was the next one up and Simon and Joel weren’t looking forward to him either.

Simon said basically the same things to Sterling and watched his face fall. When he heard what Jim Ellison had given as his statement, his face paled.

“This can’t be right, he was unconscious. He doesn’t know about anything, he didn’t feel anything. He doesn’t remember anything. And besides, I raped him more than twice, so you know he’s fucking lying. And I wasn’t the one that used the bat on him either.” When Sterling realized what he said, he paled even more. “I didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”

“You’re being charged and held for a hearing. Tell it to the judge,” Simon said with disgust.

Joel and Simon went into the next room with Parkins and sat down. Simon told him the whole story with Jim’s statement and Parkins just sat there saying nothing at first.

Simon said, “So you’ll be charged with rape, battery and attempted murder of a police officer.”

“I didn’t cut him. The only one that cut him was Thompson. So Ellison is lying.”

“Why would he lie about that and nothing else?” Joel asked.

“I raped him more than twice. But I never cut him.” Parkins lawyer was having a fit over him talking.

“These nice officers are going to take you over to be charged with everything and you’ll see a judge about bail,” Simon said as the cops came in and took him out screaming and yelling, “Ellison is a liar”.

The last one they had to see was Thompson and they didn’t figure that he would be that easy.

Simon and Joel walked in and he said, “Whatever they said, isn’t true.”

“Really? Well we have a sworn statement from the victim and we have statements from your partners in crime and they all say the same thing. You raped Jim Ellison numerous times and used a knife on him,” Simon said very casually, even though it was turning his stomach.

“Jim Ellison is a flat out liar. He was unconscious the whole time we were there. I only raped him once. I can’t believe you fell for this.” Thompson started laughing.

Joel started laughing coldly and said, “I can’t believe you just admitted what you did. Your goose is cooked now, Thompson, what do you have to say to that? And your so called buddies all said you did these things too. Who do you think the Judge and jury are going to believe?”

Simon stood up and said, “These nice officers will take you down and have you processed for your hearing.”

Thompson fought all the way out of the room and said, “He’s a fucking dead man.”

Simon looked at his lawyer and said, “If something happens to Detective Ellison, we’ll have new charges for your client.”

“Understood,” Mr. Clinger said and left the room.

<<<>>>

They all got together in the briefing room and Simon said, “Well, this was a good day’s work. Thank you to everyone for your help. Detective Ellison will appreciate it too. When will ballistics have the results back?”

Conner said, “In the next two hours, we should have everything.”

“Thank you all for your hard work,” Simon said.

They all left the room except for Joel and he said, “Why did Jim lie?”

“I don’t know. I’m thinking that he was just speculating what happened and he was fairly close,” Simon deduced. “But now he’s going to have to keep the lie up if he wants them to stay in jail. Unless they’re the ones lying and in that case, we don’t have to worry about it.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t even say anything to him then,” Joel reasoned.

“His secret is safe with me,” Simon said.

Joel thought about that for a moment and said, “I believe that it might be that. They lied, not Jim.”

“Goodnight, Joel,” Simon said as he left the room.

“Goodnight, I’ll be up at the hospital to take over for Conner at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow,” Joel said as he left too.

Both men felt better about Jim Ellison.

<<<>>>

William Ellison showed up at the hospital to see Jim and Conner let him in the room.

“Hi Dad, what are you doing up here tonight?”

“I just heard that four men were arrested for what they did to you. You decided to go with the judge and jury approach?” William sounded disappointed. He knew exactly what his poor son would have to go through and didn’t wish that on anyone.

“I’m sorry, Dad, but it was the only way to go without hurting everyone I know,” Jim explained.

“Blair, may I speak to Jim alone?” William asked.

“No… Anything you have to say to him can be said in front of me,” Blair said sitting closer to Jim. Jim took Blair’s hand in his to let him know he was all right.

“Jimmy, you know they’re going to get off and our name will be ruined,” William almost shouted.

Blair pulled away from Jim and said, “Get out. Get out and stay out. He doesn’t need this type of help. It didn’t happen to you or to me. It happened to him. The damage was done to him. Don’t you get it?”

“I’ll be back, Jimmy,” William growled.

“Not if I’m alive and well,” Blair said. “Stay away from him unless you can say something comforting.”

“I’m sorry, Jimmy. I’ll be back and I’ll do what Blair asks.” William left the room and Blair could tell that Jim was on the verge of losing it.

“Hey, you feel like playing some cards with Conner?” Blair asked taking his mind off of his dad.

“No… Not tonight. I don’t feel like doing anything and I really feel like sleeping,” Jim admitted.

“Do you want me to leave or stay?” Blair decided to ask.

“You can stay, but don’t expect me to talk. I’m tired.”

“Go to sleep, babe. I’ll be here when you wake up,” Blair said sweetly.

Within minutes, Jim was snoring softly and seemed to be in a good sleep. Blair decided that he would do the same thing. He lay down in the bed next to Jim’s bed and slept. It was the first time he had slept in ages and he was exhausted.

Conner checked on them once and found them both sleeping, so anyone that came close to the door, she told them they were not to be disturbed.

<<<>>>

When Jim woke up at 5:00 a.m. he watched Blair in the next bed. I wonder what I am now that I don’t want to be his lover anymore…He still liked watching Blair. Jim had slept the entire night without too many major nightmares and evidentially he didn’t wake Blair with noises. He was glad of that.

The door opened and Joel poked his head in to check on them and Jim smiled and said, “You can come in Joel.”

“Morning, Jim. How did you sleep?” Joel asked as he handed him a large cup of coffee.

“I slept all night long and it feels great. I’m going to ask the doctor if I can get out of here sooner.” Jim looked as bored as Joel figured he was.

Blair woke up and said, “You’ll go home when the doctor says and no sooner.”

Joel laughed and said, “Your boss has spoken.”

Jim laughed too and found it hard to believe that he was laughing or smiling after what he’d been through. Then the smile left when he thought about it and Joel must have sensed the change because Joel said, “Do you want me to wait outside?”

“For a while Joel, I’ve got some things to talk to Blair about,” Jim said.

Joel walked out the door and took up residence in the chair in the hall. Blair looked worried and said, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing is actually wrong, I just feel like I’d like to have some time alone now and then. I was hoping that you would go back to work,” Jim reasoned.

“Man, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I need to be here if your Dad comes back with his negative remarks,” Blair commented.

“Blair, I’ll be fine. Now, I want you to go home, take a shower, change your clothing and go to work. Come and see me in the evenings and stop treating me like I’m completely broken. That’s how I feel around you. You have to start treating me like you used to, so I can feel like I have a chance at getting back to normalcy.”

Blair got up and said, “Okay, I’ll do it if that’s the way you really feel, but you have to promise me that nothing will happen to you while I’m gone.”

“I promise. Joel is right outside the door and I’m sure someone else is coming tonight. Now go do what I ask.” Jim looked sad, but yet determined.

“I love you, Jim.”

“I know you do. I’m a little confused right now, Blair, so give me some time to get back on track.”

Blair walked out of the room sadly and Jim felt bad about making him leave, but he couldn’t think with Blair there. He had a lot on his mind.

Jim knew he was going to have to be grilled on the stand about the animals and he wasn’t looking forward to that at all, plus he had to get used to saying what happened for the trial. Jim couldn’t practice with Blair still there.

<<<>>>

Blair sat in his car in the parking lot and called Simon. “Banks.”

“Simon, is it all right that I come to work today?” Blair asked sadly.

“Did he kick you out, kid?”

“Yes, he said he needs me to go to work and visit him at night to feel normal. I don’t agree, but it’s him that has to make the decisions.”

“I’ll see you at the station at 8:00. Glad to have you back, Sandburg.” Simon hung up and Blair felt a little bit better.

He did love his job and he had a lot of work to do getting this case ready for trial, but then he realized that Simon would never let him work on the case, he was too close to it.

As he drove off he thought of how much he would miss Jim by his side, but smiled knowing he’d see him that night.

<<<>>>

The four sleazebags went before the judge that morning at 8:00 and the judge denied them bail. All of them were handed over to the jail and the judge told them they would remain there until sentencing after the trial. This was the first good news that Major Crimes would have for the day.

Everyone was happy to see Blair come into the bullpen. They all hugged him and slapped him on the back.

“So how is Jim doing?” Rafe asked first.

“He’s doing amazingly well. But he has a long way to go yet,” Blair explained.

The news came up about the men denied bail and they all hooped and hollered in the bullpen.

Blair was sitting at his desk catching up with some old case files when a nice looking man walked up and said, “I’m Mr. Miller, the attorney for Mr. Chang, he would like to talk to you.”

Blair looked at the man and answered, “Why in the hell would I want to talk to Mr. Chang?”

“He really wants to talk to you and then after he does, he wants to plea bargain so Detective Ellison won’t have to testify.”

“Fine, where to?” Blair asked as he got up.

“He’s in interrogation room one,” Mr. Miller said.

“Lead the way,” Blair said coldly.

Blair walked in and saw a man that looked like he was ready to break in two.

“Detective Sandburg, I want to tell you what happened and ask you to talk to Detective Ellison for me.”

Blair sat down and said, “So talk.”

“Thompson was the one that was waiting for him with the baseball bat. He hit his arm with his gun first and then hit him behind his head and knocked him out. Then Sterling and Parkins were told to take his clothing off and tie him up, which they did. I didn’t stop anything, but I also didn’t contribute to anything. Then when Ellison woke up, he fought the restraints like a mad man, but they were too tight and he was already hurting and he said something odd about going away and then he was totally out of it. Thompson was the first one to rape him, then Sterling and then Parkins, but I swear to you, I didn’t rape him at all. I never would have done that to him. Then Thompson cut him with the knife on his legs and arms and Parkins cut him on his buttocks and back. They were totally enjoying themselves and it scared the crap out of me. But I knew if I tried to leave, Thompson would shoot me right then and there. I want to make a deal with the DA to tell them everything and how Thompson killed Mike too in turn for letting me off on probation.”

Blair looked at him for a short while and then got up. “I have to talk to my partner about this first. I can’t make the decision.”

“Could you talk to him today and get back to me? I want to make a deal before one of them does.”

Mr. Miller said, “A deal is in the works right now for Thompson in exchange for his testimony. So you had better call Ellison right now and make up your mind, because if they let Thompson out, it’s a whole new ball game.”

“I’ll call Ellison right now,” Blair said. “Wait here.” Blair really didn’t think they would ever let Thompson out, but he was taking no chances.

Blair hated to call, but he went into interrogation room two and used his cell phone to call Jim.

“Hello?”

“Jim, it’s me, I have some news and I need to discuss it with you.”

“About my case?” Jim asked.

“Yes, your case.” Blair went on to tell him everything Mr. Chang had said and waited for Jim’s answer. Then he told him that Thompson was trying to cut a deal before Chang.

Jim thought a moment and said, “Tell the DA to cut Chang a deal.”

“Are you sure, Jim?”

“Yes, it would be one part of the mess over with. I wouldn’t have to go to trial and I would prefer that.”

“I’ll talk to you later on,” Blair said before he hung up.

Blair walked into the room again and said, “He’ll accept that deal to be made. Call the DA and have them contact me.”

Mr. Chang stood up and said, “Thank you, Detective Sandburg, thank you very much.”

“Don’t thank me, if it was left to me, I’d make you all fry.” Blair turned on his heels and walked off just as quickly as he’d come in.

<<<>>>

He was already bored out of his mind, so he called Nancy Lee to see if he could see her that day.

“Doctor Lee, may I help you?”

“This is Jim Ellison; I wasn’t expecting you to answer your own phone.”

“Is something wrong, Jim?” She asked gently.

“I need to speak with you about something and it’s important,” Jim said.

“I’ll be there in about ten minutes. Hang in there.” Nancy hung up her phone and got ready to go to the hospital.

Joel opened the door and said, “Is there anything I can do for you Jim?”

“You can keep watch for my doctor, her name is Doctor Lee. She’s should be here in about ten minutes.”

“Okay, I’ll watch for her. Would you like a soft drink before she gets here?” Joel offered.

“A Dr. Pepper would be great. Thank you.”

The soda machine was right across the hall from where Joel had to stand watch, so he could still keep watch. He retrieved the soda for Jim and took it to him at once.

“Thanks, Joel.”

“You’re welcome, Jim. Have a good visit with your doctor.” And Joel went back to his watch.

Joel noticed that Jim was nervous when he was in the room and he also didn’t look him in the eyes when he talked. Joel hoped that this new doctor would help him get over this.

<<<>>>

The DA’s office called Blair at about 10 and Beverly said, “We’ve got a good enough case to charge all of them with rape and attempted murder with Jim’s testimony, they don’t have a chance.”

“But Beverly, Jim was hoping he didn’t have to testify.” Blair said quickly.

“Well, he doesn’t have a choice now. It’s been filed and they’re all getting charged with it,” Beverly said.

“What about the plea bargain that Chang was trying for?” Blair asked.

“We turned it down. It was a bad call from the start. Tell Jim I hope he’s better soon,” Beverly said before she hung up.

I hope he’s better soon too. Blair thought.

Blair called Jim’s room right away and heard, “Hello?”

“Jim, Beverly was put in charge of the case and she’s not giving them the deal. She said they’re all being charged and they’ll all serve good time for it. I’m sorry.”

Blair heard Jim sigh loudly before he said, “Well at least you tried, Blair.”

“What are you doing today?”

“I have physical therapy and an appointment with Nancy in about five minutes,” Jim said.

“Do you need me there?” Blair hoped.

“No, I wanted to talk to her about some private things. So this will be perfect. We’ll see you tonight.”

“Talk to you then, Jim. I love you.” And Blair hung up without even waiting to see if Jim said anything back. It’s going to take time. Have patience, Sandburg.

<<<>>>

When Nancy Lee walked up to Jim’s door there was a large officer standing there waiting to check her ID. He had a tag on that said, Captain Joel Taggart. “It’s good to meet you, Captain Taggart. You must work with Jim?”

“Yes, ma’am, I sure do. Go ahead in, he’s waiting for you.”

She walked in and Jim was sitting up in bed which was a better sign than him lying down. “Good morning, Jim.”

“Good morning, Nancy.”

“So what’s going on?”

“If I tell you some things, it’s just between us, right?” Jim asked.

“Yes, just between us. Now what do you have to tell me?”

“I’m going to disappoint you, but you probably already knew that,” Jim admitted.

“Jim, why in the world would you disappoint me?”

“I lied.”

“What do you mean, you lied.”

“When this happened I was totally out of it and I don’t remember anything and I found out they would get off, so I lied. At first, I wanted revenge, I wanted them to be out on the street so I could kill them, but then some friends talked to me about what it would do to Blair and I decided to give my testimony, but it was a lie.”

Nancy just sat there for a while and finally said, “I was under the impression that the men already told their stories, so why would you have had to lie?”

Jim looked outside as he answered, “I wanted them all dead. I wanted to do it. I planned on doing it. I didn’t care about anything else, but then someone mentioned something about Blair, and even if I don’t love him this second, I might in the future, right?”

“Jim, look at me when you’re talking. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Those men admitted to raping and almost killing you, am I right?”

“Yes, they admitted, but they’re saying I lied because I was unconscious. So I don’t know what to do now. If I tell the truth, they go free and I’ll have to kill them.”

“Jim, they admitted what they did, so let’s focus on that.”

“But what about me lying?”

“Sometimes we have to lie to get what we need. You need them to be in prison, am I right?” Nancy asked.

“Yes, I need them to be there.”

“Then we focus on your testimony and make it as clear as you can. They’re going to try and make it sound like you’re a liar, so we need to get you ready for the stand when the time comes. And by the way, I’m not disappointed in you at all. You did what I would have wanted to do too. We do what we can when we are forced to be with animals.”

“I don’t like the idea of going home and sleeping in the same bed as Blair. When will that stop?” Jim switched gears so fast Nancy’s head was spinning.

“Talk about switching gears, Jim. You’re not ready to sleep in the same bed as Blair yet. You don’t really trust anyone yet. It will come with therapy and time. I promise you, it does get better.”

The two of them talked for about two hours and Nancy felt like she was really getting to know Jim Ellison. The real Jim Ellison. The one that was afraid right now. She liked this Jim Ellison.

When she left, he looked better and sounded better. She knew he felt bad about lying to his boss and he would have to live with that.

<<<>>>

Rafe came walking up to Blair and said, “Chang is asking to see you.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake.” Blair sighed loudly.

“He’s in room one or do you want me to tell him to take a hike?”

Blair got up and walked towards the room slowly. What could he want this time?

Blair walked into the room and said, “What do you want, Chang?”

“I was wondering if you could talk to Ellison about recanting his testimony to say that I was the only one that didn’t rape him. It’s the truth. My new lawyer, Mr. Clinger is going to grill Ellison on the stand about lying and I just felt we could take care of it now.”

Blair looked at Chang and realized that Chang might be telling the truth. What if Jim had lied? Holy shit… “I don’t think so, Chang. My partner gave his statement and he seemed really sure about the details. I’m sorry about that,” Blair said softly.

“I’m going to go to prison for the rest of my life for something I didn’t do,” Chang said.

“Well, if what you say is true, then you should have done something before he gave his statement. I don’t know what to tell you,” Blair said as he stood to leave.

“Would you at least talk to him?” Chang pleaded.

“No…” And Blair left the room just like that.

What if Jim had lied? Why would he have lied? What in the hell is going on?

<<<>>>

At seven o’clock that night, Jim wondered where Blair was. He hadn’t called him and he hadn’t shown up with something to eat like Jim hoped he would.

The door opened and Jim started to smile until he realized it was Simon, not Blair. “Where’s Sandburg?” Jim demanded to know right away.

“I have no idea. He left at about five I think. He hasn’t been by?” Simon asked.

“No, I haven’t seen him all day or night. I wondered if he was all right.”

“He’s fine, Jim. Maybe he needed some time away. You never know with him. He told me that he told you about Beverly calling him, right?”

“Yes, he called and told me that. But he hasn’t really called me much today.”

“Jim, not to change the subject but you look much better today. What’s up?” Simon wondered aloud.

“I had physical therapy today, my shrink came to visit and I showered and put clean scrubs on. I feel much better.”

“Well good. I’m glad to see you improving.”

“The doctor said I could go home in three days if I continue to do as well as I have today,” Jim said.

“Well congratulations, Jim. This is going to be a tough row for you, I hope you can do it all right.”

“Don’t worry, Simon. I’m going to be all ready for the trial. My therapist said with her help, I’ll be able to handle all of their accusations and questions.”

“Why don’t you call Blair and tell him to bring you a Wonderburger?” Simon suggested.

“That’s a good idea. I think I will.” Jim got his cell phone off the charger and called Blair.

“Sandburg.”

“Hey, how do you feel about getting your partner a Wonderburger for dinner?”

“Jim, I have some things on my mind and I have to think them through.”

“About us?” Jim asked scared immediately.

“In a round about way. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

“Chief, I need to see you tonight.”

“Why? You don’t even notice I’m there anyhow. You don’t love me anymore, you don’t need me anymore, why?”

“I do love you. I need some time to get my brain settled, but I do love you and I need you. I always need you. Please come and see me?” Jim pleaded.

“Fine, I’ll be there in an hour and you’re not getting a Wonderburger.”

“That’s fine, Chief, I just want to see you.” Jim was so glad he was going to come and visit him.

He hung up the cell and Simon said, “Trouble in paradise?”

“There’s going to be trouble for a long while, Simon. Let’s not kid each other. I might seem better today, but I’m still a fucking mess when it comes to me and Blair.”

“Things will get easier, Jim. Now, before he gets here I need to ask you something.”

“What?”

“Did you give us an honest statement? Because we have conflicting stories and this is going to look bad at the trial.”

“I told you what I remembered. That’s what I remembered. I swear.” Jim wanted Simon to believe him.

“Okay, that’s good enough for me. We’re talking about low life’s telling their stories anyhow, we should always believe our friends.”

“Do you think Blair is questioning my statement?”

“I don’t know, he didn’t say anything to me,” Simon assured him.

“Well, we’ll get everything straightened out tonight. He should be here soon, right?” Jim asked.

“I have no idea, Jim. You’re the one that talked to him.”

“He must still love me because he said, no Wonderburger. Would you go and get me one?” Jim begged.

“I’ll get you something to eat downstairs, but no Wonderburger, I have to work with your partner.” Simon laughed. “I’ll be back in a bit. I’ll find you something that looks edible.”

“Thanks, Simon.”

<<<>>>

What if Jim is lying? Will he tell me the truth? Will I be able to keep his secret if he is lying? What should I do about all of this?

Blair was on his way to the hospital and was terribly mixed up. This was going to be a long process.

But he also knew he needed to treat Jim with kid gloves and not act like he had earlier on the phone. He had upset Jim terribly and he couldn’t do that again.

<<<>>>

The door opened and in walked Blair. He didn’t look real happy, so Jim knew something was up.

“Hey Chief, guess what?”

“What?”

“I had a shower today, I did physical therapy and saw Nancy for almost two hours and felt good about it.”

“You look much better, I’m glad you’re starting to feel better,” Blair said.

“Doctor Mason said if I keep up the good work, I can go home in three days.” Jim was hoping for a smile but got nothing.

“And what are we going to do once you’re home, Jim? Do I go back to sleeping in the office? Do I need to go get an air mattress or something? What do I need to do? Where in the fuck do I belong?” Blair knew that he was being whiney and had no right to be. What is wrong with me?

“We can sleep in the same bed, Chief. I realized today that I’m just not ready for sex, but you don’t have to have sex to sleep with me, right?”

“Jim, what if you wake up with me hard against you? Won’t it upset you?” Blair asked.

“Jesus, what is wrong? You’re mad about something. Tell me.”

“You lied. You fucking lied on your statement didn’t you?”

Jim looked at Blair and lied again, “No, I didn’t lie. I told Simon everything that I remembered and believe me I didn’t want to remember any of it. So why do you think I lied?”

“Because I talked to one of the men today and he doesn’t seem to be lying.”

“Fuck… You believe one of the monsters over me?” Jim screamed out.

Simon walked in and said, “Hey, I heard you down the hall. What’s going on?”

“You all believe the monsters don’t you? You believe them over me,” Jim asked sadly.

Simon was the first to recover, “No… I never said I believed them, I just wondered if you remembered correctly.

“Same here, Jim. I don’t think you’re lying, I don’t want you to be lying, but I had to ask.”

“I’m giving my notice, Simon. I don’t want to work where I’m not trusted and Blair, I want you to move out of the loft.”

And just like that, he rolled over and turned his back to both of them.

Blair could tell Jim was ready to lose it, so he tried to calm him quickly. “Jim, I didn’t mean anything, and I’m not moving out. I’m going to be at the loft when you come home, you’re stuck with me.”

“And as far as your notice, Jim, that’s not going to fly. I don’t want to hear another word about it,” Simon remarked.

Jim still hadn’t turned around. Blair walked over, didn’t touch him but said, “Jim look at me.”

Jim turned around and said, “I’m sorry, Chief. I don’t mean to keep fucking up.”

“You didn’t fuck anything up, Jim, stop worrying.” Blair leaned down and kissed Jim’s bruised cheek.

“You can kiss my lips, you know?”

“Well, I don’t want to push myself on you,” Blair explained.

Jim whispered, “I love you.”

Blair got big tears in his eyes and answered, “I love you.”

“I think tomorrow night he deserves a big fat Wonderburger,” Simon observed.

All three men started to laugh. Simon and Blair were glad to hear the sound come out of Jim.

Jim started getting tired at about 9:00, so Blair and Simon both left him so he could get some sleep.

<<<>>>

Nancy showed up first thing in the morning and asked, “How are you today, Jim?”

“I lied to Blair and I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

“Was it to control the arrest and the aftermath?” Nancy asked.

“Yes, but I still lied and got mad at him when he accused me of lying.”

“Jim, it’s up to you, but you don’t have to tell anyone what you’ve told me. It’s strictly confidential and won’t ever be spoken of again. I think that you would feel better if you told the truth, but I stand behind whatever you decide on,” She assured Jim.

“Thank you, Nancy, you’ve been very good for me.”

“Are we ready to work out some of your anger issues?” Nancy inquired.

The two of them spent the next two hours talking about things and Jim did indeed feel a lot better after he talked with her. He had a long way to go, but he felt like he was on the right track today.

<<<>>>

Two days later, Simon walked to his doorway and said, “Sandburg, could I see you a moment?”

Blair almost flew in there and Simon said, “Stop… nothing is wrong. I want to talk to you.”

“Thank god, I thought something might have happened at the hospital,” Blair said nervously.

“Sit down… So, do you feel like Jim was telling us the truth?”

“Simon, why would he lie?”

“Well, two nights ago you thought he might have.”

“That was then, after a very long day. I’ve come to my senses since then. I think there are things he’s never going to tell us, but I think he told us all we need to know.”

“And do you think he’ll ever be able to be close to you again?” Simon asked.

“Geeze, Simon, that’s sort of personal. I have no idea.”

“It’s not uncommon for the victim to leave his significant other. I just want you to be ready for it if it happens,” Simon commented.

“Well we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. I need to get back to work. I’ll talk to you later,” Blair said leaving Simon’s office.

<<<>>>

Jim took his shower after physical therapy and they told him he could walk down the halls that day for 20 minutes, so he put clean scrubs on and combed his hair and got ready to get out of the room. He was going stir crazy.

He walked out into the hallway and found Brown sitting there.

“Good morning, Henri. I think we can call off the watch dog patrol, what do you think?”

“Where are you going?” Henri asked, ignoring Jim’s question all together.

“I get to walk the halls for 20 minutes, so join me.” Jim started walking and it was very slow, but he was walking none-the-less. He and Henri discussed work issues and how funny, Hairboy was. Before long, the 20 minutes was up.

Jim was sweating from the workout, he wasn’t used to being so out of shape, but he was also in a lot of pain.

“We’ll see you when my shift ends,” Henri said.

“I’m going to talk to Simon about taking you all off of it. I think I’ll be fine.”

“Whatever you think is better,” Henri answered and sat down on his hard chair.

Jim walked in and washed his face to get all of the sweat off and then went to lie down on the bed. He was definitely out of shape.

He lay down on the bed and thought about his life thus far. I can’t believe this is already day five after the attack. He felt like he was actually going to make it. With Nancy’s help he would get past all of this. That was his last thought as he fell into a sound sleep.

<<<>>>

At four that afternoon, William came for a visit. He was surprised to find Blair gone. He didn’t think that Blair would leave Jim’s side for anything.

Brown let him in because no one told him otherwise. He walked over to the bed and touched Jim’s face.

Jim let out a scream that brought Henri running into the room.

“I’m sorry, Jimmy, I didn’t mean to startle you,” William said.

“It’s okay, Dad, I just don’t like anyone touching me right now. Sorry,” Jim explained.

Brown walked back out of the room and left the two men together.

“So, why did you give the police your statement? Now everyone will know the truth about you.”

“Gee, dad, I hope it’s not going to be too big of an embarrassment,” Jim stated flatly.

“I thought you and I agreed to take care of them our way,” William questioned.

“Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t want to go to prison and they would have known it was me,” Jim construed.

“Jimmy, I would have preferred to keep this out of the paper, now everyone knows about you.” William sounded disgusted.

“You know what Dad? I don’t give a flying fuck. It was me that it happened to, not you, and I’m the one that should care about my reputation.”

“Jimmy, don’t talk like that,” William warned.

“I can talk however I want to talk. Now I would appreciate it if you left me alone. I don’t have time for your negativity. Please leave.”

William sighed and said, “If you need me for anything, just call.”

Jim shook his head to show he acknowledged him and laid his head back for a quick nap.

<<<>>>

Beverly called Simon and said, “They want to get this case over and done with, so the date for trial has been set for two weeks from now. Do you think Jim will be ready for it by then?”

“Well, it sounds like he doesn’t have much choice. I think everyone should have asked him first, but that’s just my fucking opinion,” Simon said.

“Well it’s going to be in two weeks and I hope he can stand up to the trial.”

“I do too,” Simon agreed.

“When does he get out of the hospital?” she asked.

“In two more days, he’s doing extremely well, but that might have something to do with him not having to deal with the trial yet. Once that starts, I see him going downhill fast.”

“Well, I just wanted to talk to you and tell you what was going on. Tell Jim, I wish him well.”

“Why don’t you go up and wish him well?” Simon asked.

Beverly said, “I know it’s horrible, but I can’t stand the idea of seeing him after those men did that to him. I’m having to work through my problems with that before the trial starts.”

Simon said sarcastically, “That would probably be good. It’s still Jim.”

“I’m working on it, Simon. Give me time,” Beverly said.

“I’ll talk to you later, Beverly.” And just like that, Simon hung up the phone before he said something he would regret.

<<<>>>

At 7:00, Jim smelled Wonderburger and was instantly in a good mood. He didn’t even care about his dad being negative for a change. All he could think of was Blair. He loved his Guide and hoped that Blair would hang in there until Jim got better.

Blair opened the door, smiling and walked in and set the bag down on the tray table. “Dinner for two, coming up.”

Blair sat down on the other side of the tray table and put their food out to eat. “I brought Henri something too, so he wouldn’t have to starve.”

“You’re a very good man, Blair,” Jim professed.

They ate their dinner in silence and once Jim was done chewing everything, he asked, “So, how was the bullpen today?”

“It was good. Beverly called Simon and told him the trial is set for two weeks from today. So, I just thought I would tell you.”

“Blair, are you going to think less of me when you hear all of that?”

“I would never think less of you because of that. I love you, man.”

“I love you back.”

“What did you talk to Nancy about today?” Blair asked.

“We discussed you and I sleeping together. No… not sex, but in the same bed, I mean.”

“And did you decide that we could do that?” Blair was hopeful.

“Yes, she thinks I’m ready to have you touch me, as in rubbing up against me during the night and so forth. I love you so much, I wish I could do more.”

“Jim, that’s more than enough, stop worrying. We’ll be just fine.” Blair leaned down and kissed his lover.

They talked some more and then it was time for Blair to leave. He always hated leaving, it made him sad. “Two more days and then I don’t have to go home.”

“I’m looking forward to it too, babe,” Jim said truthfully.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night.” Blair kissed him goodbye and left.

Jim pulled out his cell and called Simon. “Banks.”

“Simon, I want you to pull the guys off of my room. I really feel like we don’t need the protection. The guys are in jail and I’m not worried.”

“The Commissioner told me the same thing tonight and I was going to discuss it with you tomorrow. Did Blair tell you that the trial is going to be in two weeks?”

“Yes, I’m a little scared about it, but I think I’ll do pretty well,” Jim admitted.

“So how do you feel, Jim?”

“Like a man, slowly unraveling. Some days its better, but mostly, I feel like I’ve suffered a big fucking loss in my life.”

<<<>>>

The following morning, Nancy came in with coffee and donuts and asked, “How is my favorite patient?”

“The trial is in two weeks, Nancy and I have to tell you, I’m scared to death.”

“Eat your breakfast and drink your coffee, it’ll help. Then we’ll go over your testimony again. They might call some of your old lovers to the stand, will that bother you?”

“Yes, that would bother me a great deal. Why would they question, Blair?” Jim still wasn’t thinking straight.

“He’s probably going to be a character witness, but I was talking about other lovers. Who was your lover before Blair?”

Jim thought a second and said, “Marsha I guess. I can’t remember.”

“They’ll question old male lovers and see if you liked things like that,” Nancy said quietly.

“Fuck… Blair is my only male lover. My first and only.”

“Actually that works out well for you. Then you don’t have too many people giving their opinion about how you’re doing. They will ask me some questions, but I won’t tell them anything they can’t hear. “

They went over the statement three times until Jim felt comfortable saying the things he had to say and then it was time for her to go.

“See you tomorrow?” Jim asked.

“Yes, I sure will. Jim, I have a quick question. How do you feel about those men now?”

“I hate them more than anyone could ever know. They took something away from me that I hope I get back or I’ll lose Blair.”

“You won’t lose Blair, I’m telling you, he’s stuck to you like glue. Things do get better. Have a good day, Jim.”

“Bye, Nancy, “Jim called out as she walked out the door.

<<<>>>

Beverly came to the station and asked Simon if she could borrow Blair for about an hour. Simon called Blair into his office.

“Yes, sir?”

“Beverly has some questions and I want to be here for them,” Simon said.

Beverly said, “Sit down, Blair and stay calm during all of the questions. These are things they’re going to ask you about you and Jim.”

“Okay…”

“Have you ever handcuffed Jim Ellison to the bed for sex?”

Blair just sat there with his mouth open and said, “They’re going to ask that?”

“So I take that as a yes.”

“Yes.”

“Does he ask you to do it often?” She continued.

“No, we’ve only done it once; Jim didn’t like not being in control,” Blair explained.

“Does he cuff you up?” Beverly asked.

“No…”

“Never?”

“No…”

“You might want to give a reason.”

“He doesn’t like loss of control and he didn’t want me feeling it either,” Blair said quickly.

“Have you ever had a threesome or more?”

“No.” Blair almost laughed.

“Has Jim ever wanted anyone else in the relationship?”

“No…”

“Has Jim ever slept with anyone else while with you?”

“No…”

“Are you sure of this answer?”

“Yes…”

“Has Jim ever asked you to spank him?”

“No…”

“Has Jim ever asked you to abuse him in any way?”

“No…”

“Have you ever been jealous of anyone being around Jim?”

“Perhaps.”

“Perhaps won’t do. You have to say yes or no.”

“Yes, I’ve been jealous of a few people in his life.”

“Did you think he would sleep with them?”

“No…”

“Have you and Jim started to have sex again?”

“No…”

“Do you plan on it?”

“I have no idea.”

“Is Jim trustworthy?”

“Yes…”

“Do you believe him unconditionally?”

“No…”

“So, there are times you haven’t believed him?”

“There are times where I asked him if he knew what was right.”

“Why do you think he didn’t give his statement right away?”

Blair thought a minute and said, “Because he was embarrassed. He was hoping that we would be able to do it without his testimony.”

“Does Jim want to return to work?”

“I have no idea.”

“Is Jim seeing friends like he should be?”

“Somewhat.”

“If there was one word to describe Jim Ellison today, what would it be?”

“Unraveled.”

“Blair, I think that might be a poor word that makes him sound like he’s not totally with it. Almost like he’s falling apart.”

“Beverly, he isn’t totally with it. He is seeing a shrink to stop him from falling apart.”

“I think that’s about all they might ask you. You did very well, Blair. I think you’ll do fine on the stand. They’re calling Carolyn in to testify about her relationship with Jim.”

“Why? He wasn’t with a man then.”

“Carolyn told me that she wondered more than once if Jim was seeing someone else.”

“Oh, give me a fucking break. She’s a moron.” Blair stood up to leave, he couldn’t stand it anymore.

“They’ll be calling everyone in Major Crimes to testify about his character. Do you think there is anyone that could hurt him?”

“Not that I know of anyway. Jim doesn’t tell me everything, you know?”

“Okay, that’s all for today. I’ve got to get Jim ready in the next few days. His questions are going to be very tough,” Beverly said.

“I want to be there when you question him.” Blair said.

“When is Jim getting home?” she asked.

“In a day or two,” Blair answered.

“Okay, we’ll set up a day for questions and he might not like them, but he has to answer them.”

“Okay, are we done?” Blair asked.

“Yes,” Beverly said.

Blair left Simons office pissed off. Why was Jim the one on trial? What was wrong with this picture?

<<<>>>

Doctor Mason came into the room and said, “I hear someone wants to go home.”

Jim perked right up and said, “That would be me.”

“Well, you’re healing amazingly well and your therapy can be done at home, so I’m going to let you go home today. How does that sound?” Doctor Mason said to the very happy patient in front of him.

Jim said, “Can I call Blair right now?”

“Jim, first of all, I want you to continue seeing Nancy Lee, it’s important. She’s making progress, but she needs more time with you. I talked to her this morning and she said she would come right to your house three times a week or more, depending on how often you need her,” Mason said.

“Do I just call her and set it up and tell her where I live?”

“Yes, do that now. Then call Blair,” Doctor Mason said as he started to walk out the door. “I’ll have everything ready by 2:00.”

“Thank you for everything, Doctor Mason,” Jim said.

Doctor Mason walked back towards Jim and said, “You’re anus is healed, but you have to be very careful if you decide on intercourse. Please think about it before you do anything. I don’t want any tearing to have to stitch up. Am I understood?”

Jim smiled at the concern his doctor had for him. “I’ll be good, I promise. And I’ll be careful too.”

“All right, I’ll let you get to your phone calls, then.” He left the room wearing a smile. Things could have been so much worse, he was surprised they were going as well as they were.

Jim called Nancy’s office and talked to her for about thirty minutes and set up appointments at the loft for every day until the trial. Jim knew that he was going to need them.

When he got done talking to her, he called Blair and heard, “Sandburg.”

“Hi Chief.”

“Hi, what’s going on?” Blair asked.

“Guess who gets out this afternoon? As of 2:00 I’m ready to be sprung,” Jim said with a smile in his voice.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at 2:00. I have to run it by Simon first, but I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Blair believed.

“I’ll see you at 2:00 then. I love you,” Jim said softly.

“I love you,” Blair answered and then hung up the phone.

<<<>>>

Blair knocked on Simon’s door and said, “Simon do you have a moment?”

“I have lots of moments, what do you need?” Simon teased.

“Jim gets out at 2:00 and I’d like to go home first and get the loft ready for him. I haven’t done much by way of cleaning up during this whole ordeal. I don’t want him to come home to a dirty loft,” Blair reasoned.

“Take off now. I’m glad he’ll be home. Also ask him if he’s ready for company yet. Everyone is asking about him and it would be nice if we had a poker night.”

“Simon, I’m not sure he’s up to a poker night yet.”

“Well, at least talk to him about it. And let us know,” Simon ordered.

“Okay, I’m off,” Blair said as he walked to the door.

“Yeah and you’re leaving too,” Simon teased again.

Blair laughed and walked out of the room. He smiled all the way down to the parking garage until he thought about Jim and then he sobered right up. Why was he laughing while Jim was going through the hardest thing in his life? Blair felt so guilty and wondered if he should see someone too.

<<<>>>

Nancy Lee came for her daily visit and Jim was happy to see her. She brought hope every day that she came. Hope that he would be a normal person again.

“So Jim, I thought we could go over some of the things that they’ll ask you during the trial,” Nancy said.

“Okay, ask away,” Jim almost whispered.

“They’re going to have your ex-wife on the stand, do you know why?”

“I have no idea why. She has nothing to do with my life now. I’ve been divorced from her for many years,” Jim said.

“Did Carolyn ever think you were cheating on her?”

“Yes.”

“Did you want to say any more than that?” Nancy asked.

“You’re supposed to keep the answers to yes and no.”

“Why did she think you cheated on her?”

“I worked a lot of hours, I was gone almost all the time and she thought I had someone on the side,” Jim explained.

“But you didn’t?”

“No…”

“Were you ever seeing a man while you were married?” Nancy asked.

“No…”

“Were you ever interested in a man while you were married?”

This time, Jim didn’t answer and finally asked, “Why would they ask that?”

“They will Jim. So what is the answer?”

“Yes…”

“But you never acted on it?” Nancy continued the questions.

“No…”

“Do you like being with Blair Sandburg?”

“Yes…”

“Do you like to have sex with him?”

“Not now.”

“Did you like to have sex with him?”

“Yes…”

“Did you ever ask him for rough sex?”

“I don’t understand, explain.”

“Did you ever ask him for anything odd that someone else might think was overboard?” Nancy asked.

“No…”

“So you never asked him to do it harder than you normally liked it?”

“Yes, I’ve done that.” Jim didn’t like these questions.

“Okay, I think we’re done for today. I just wanted to get a feel for how it’s going to go with you answering questions. As long as you hold your temper, I think we’ll be all right,” she said.

“I don’t understand why they have to know everything about my sex life. That has nothing to do with being raped,” Jim said.

“Yes, you’re right, but they ask these things anyhow. They’re hoping that you’ll drop the charges and give up.”

“I’m not.”

“Good. Now I’ll see you tomorrow at the loft.” Nancy walked out and left Jim worried about the questions and answers.

Jim got ready to take a shower and get ready to go home.

<<<>>>

Blair arrived at the hospital at 2:00 sharp and found Jim ready to go with clean scrubs on. “I brought you your own clothes, would you like that better?”

“I would love them, thank you.” Jim grabbed the bag and walked into the bathroom to change.

Blair wondered about that. Would Jim never let him see him anymore? How was this going to affect their lives at home?

When Jim came walking out of the bathroom, he looked wonderful. He looked like the old Jim, only a little tired. “You look great, Jim.”

“Thanks, it’s nice to have my own clothing on again. Thank you.” Jim kissed Blair quickly and then grabbed his things to go.

The nurse walked in and said, “I’ve got to have you sit in a wheelchair to leave the hospital.”

“I’m not sitting in a chair to leave,” Jim responded.

“You have to leave in a chair,” The nurse said.

“I can leave just like this…” And Jim walked out of the room and left them both standing there.

“It’s all right, I’ll take care of him,” Blair said as he hurried along behind Jim.

Once on the elevator, he said, “Jim, you could have sat in the fucking chair.”

“They already made me feel like I was useless, I wasn’t letting them do that too. If you don’t like it, leave me here and I’ll take a cab,” Jim retorted.

“I’ll go and get the truck. You wait right at the front door,” Blair said as they got off the elevator.

“No, I’ll walk with you. I’m in pretty good shape these days.”

“Jim, I don’t want you to over do. Please wait at the front for me,” Blair tried to reason with his lover.

“Fine, go and get the truck…”

Blair could see walls coming up around Jim as he walked away to get the truck. When he got back, Jim was still standing in the same position. Blair opened up the passenger side and said, “Ready to go?”

“Yeah.” Jim got into the truck with a little help from Blair. Jim still couldn’t move as well as he once had. His shoulder was much better where he had been shot, but still somewhat sore. The physical therapy was helping a great deal.

<<<>>>

Joel knocked on Simon’s door and said, “Do you have a moment?”

“Wow, Sandburg just asked me the very same thing about two hours ago,” Simon teased.

“Speaking of Sandburg, have you noticed how quiet he’s been?”

“Well, he’s tired. He’s working and taking care of Jim. It’s to be expected. Do you see a problem?” Simon was suddenly worried.

“I’m afraid that they’ll grill Blair on the stand and he’ll break in two. He’s not ready for this. Neither is Jim. We’ve all seen what they do with sexual abuse trials and it’s not pretty,” Joel said.

Simon responded by saying, “I think he’ll do just fine. He doesn’t have a temper like Jim does.”

“That we know of. How do we know how he really feels?” Joel asked.

“Well, I asked Blair to ask Jim if we could play poker this weekend, maybe we’ll be able to see how they react to everyone then,” Simon stated.

“I don’t think he’s up to poker yet, Simon.”

“Well, why don’t we let him be the judge of that? Sandburg is going to ask him when they get home.”

“It would be nice seeing them at home instead of at the hospital,” Joel realized out loud.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Simon said to the retreating form of Joel Taggart.

<<<>>>

Blair pulled up to Prospect Place and parked. “Ready, Jim?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” Jim got out of the truck and went to get his bag, but Blair had already grabbed it.

They walked up the stairs just as quietly as it had been in the truck all the way home. Jim didn’t know what to say and Blair didn’t have a clue either.

Blair opened up the door and they walked in. Jim got tears in his eyes when he saw his home again.

“Chief, I worried that I would never see this place again. I missed it.”

“I’m glad you’re home, man.”

“I’m sort of hungry, are you?” Jim asked.

“Let me run and get some Thai food, how does that sound?” Blair offered.

“Sure…” Jim walked into the bathroom and shut the door.

“Would you like to ride along, Jim?” Blair decided to ask.

“No, I’ll wait here. Just hurry back, all right?” Jim almost sounded like he didn’t want to be alone.

Jim came walking out of the bathroom and said, “I thought you were going for lunch.”

Blair smiled and said, “I thought it would be nice if we had it delivered instead. That way we can sit and watch television until it gets here.”

“Sounds good,” Jim said as he sat on the sofa. Blair sat next to him and found the remote for the tv.

“Blair, could I ask you a question that they’re going to ask you on the stand?”

“Jim, you can ask me anything, anytime.”

“Did you ever think that I fucked around on you?”

Blair laughed and said, “No… just no.”

“I’m thinking that Carolyn thinks I did,” Jim said as calmly as he could.

“Well did you?” Blair asked.

“No, I never fooled around on her, ever. I take my relationships very seriously.”

“I know you do. Don’t worry about the questions so much, Jim. It’s going to be hard, but once it’s done and the jury has their say we won’t have to deal with it anymore. Before I forget, Simon wanted to know if we could have a poker game at the house this weekend.”

Jim looked at Blair strangely and said, “I don’t know that I’m up to having everyone here looking at me.” Am I up to a poker game with the guys? I don’t know if I can be around all of them and try and pretend that I’m normal, like I was before. It would all have to be playacting and I don’t know how good I am at that. I understand that they miss me, but I’m not the same Jim Ellison and I don’t know if they miss this one. They don’t even know this one. I’m not sure I want them to know this one.

“Jim, everyone is going to be looking at you in two weeks. Maybe this would help.”

“Fine, Simon, Joel, Conner, Rafe, Brown and us. That’s it,” Jim replied.

“They’ll be thrilled. That gives you two days to get ready for them,” Blair warned.

Lunch came and they ate in silence. Blair noticed that they had a lot more silence these days and wasn’t sure he liked it.

That night, he could tell that Jim was nervous about sleeping in the same bed.

“Jim, would you like me to sleep on the sofa for a few days until you get used to being with me again?”

“No, Chief, I want to sleep in the same bed, I’m just scared,” Jim admitted.

“No need to be scared, I would never hurt you and you know it.”

“Yes, I do know that. Thank you. Let’s go to bed.”

When they got in bed Blair asked, “Do you want me to sleep over on this side away from you?”

“I’d like to hold you if that would be all right,” Jim said shyly.

“That would be more than all right.” Blair got snuggled up with Jim and before long both men were sleeping. No longer worrying about who was going to sleep where and just sleeping.

<<<>>>

Conner was sitting at her desk smiling when Rafe walked by. “What’s going on, Conner?”

“We all just got invited to Jim and Blair’s for Poker Night on Saturday. I’m just excited to see Jim acting like the old Jim. Sandy was very excited about it when he invited me this morning,” Megan observed.

“Well, sometimes Jim wants you to see things that aren’t there. Chances are, he’s not even ready for company, I don’t know what Blair is thinking of,” Rafe said.

“Maybe he wants to be surrounded by his friends,” Conner shot back.

Rafe got very close to Conner and whispered, “You tell me that something like that could happen to you and you’d want to be surrounded by your friends. Huh? Cat got your tongue?”

“Why are you being so negative? What if Sandy hears this? That would be horrible, he’s around here somewhere. ”

“Because I’m looking at life like it should be. There is no fucking way he’s going to enjoy himself on Saturday night. He’s going to be a mess and you wait and see. Sandburg is in the break room, I would never say anything in front of him.” Rafe was still being very quiet as they discussed this.

“What would you do if this happened to you, Rafe?”

“I’d eat my gun.” And like that, Rafe walked away from her.

Conner started to cry at her desk and Henri came over and sat down next to her. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“Rafe said if that happened to him, he would eat his gun. Do you think Ellison would do the same thing?” Conner asked, wiping her tears off her face.

“No, I don’t think he would do that. He’s got Hairboy to help him through it. Rafe has no one to speak of. Don’t worry so much and don’t listen to him anymore.” Brown patted her on the back and walked over to Rafe and smacked him on the back of his head.

“What?” Rafe asked.

“Shut your mouth about Ellison around Conner. You upset her.”

“She asked me what I would do, and I told her.”

“Some of us are stronger and get help and can go on, Rafe.”

“Fine… We’ll see on Saturday.”

“Yes, we will.” Brown walked off to do some of his paperwork and hoped that Saturday would be a good night for Jim.

<<<>>>

That day while Blair was at work, Jim talked with Nancy. He felt stronger every time they talked.

“I wanted to kiss Blair last night, for a long while, not just a peck.”

“So why didn’t you?” Nancy asked.

“Because it would lead to other things and I’m not ready for that yet.”

“You could tell him that you’re ready for kissing. And see what he says,” Nancy suggested.

“I guess so. I’m just a little scared.”

“To be expected, Jim. Anything planned for the weekend? Going anywhere?” Nancy asked.

“We’re having poker night and I don’t know how I feel about it yet,” Jim explained.

“Are you worried about how they see you now?”

Jim sadly said, “Yes…”

“Well, you’re much stronger than anyone knows, so show them how strong you are. And if you have a few weak spots, you can show those too. They’re your friends and won’t judge you at all.”

“I’ll try.”

“Blair and I slept in the same bed last night and I didn’t have any night terrors. It was very nice.”

“I’m so glad to hear this. I bet Blair was thrilled.”

“He was whistling while he showered today, so I guess he was happy.” Jim smiled at the thought.

“Each day will get easier, Jim and before long you’ll want to have sex with him. It’s going to take longer for him to be able to be with you. But it’s coming, I can tell.”

“Good… I’d hate to keep making him wait,” Jim said seriously.

“He doesn’t mind, Jim. Stop worrying.”

“Okay, on to other things, eh?” Jim asked.

“Should we try some more questions for the stand? Mind you, these are just questions I’m thinking of, I don’t know that they would use them,” Nancy asked.

“Sure, let’s have a go at them.”

“Do you ever have fights at work with co-workers or anyone?” Nancy asked.

“I’ve had disagreements with co-workers, but never a true fight.”

“Do you argue with Blair to get sexual favors?”

“No.”

“Think about that one, Jim.”

“Maybe.”

“Do you look at other men? Just looking.”

“No.”

“Never?”

“No.”

“Okay, let me ask this. When you see a nice looking man now and then, don’t you ever say to yourself, wow, that guy is good looking?”

“No.”

“Do you have any kinks with Blair?”

“I don’t know what you mean by that.”

“Kinks? Odd sexual things that you like to do.”

“I don’t think so. I’m pretty vanilla or as some would say, boring.”

“Do you find yourself getting jealous about Blair being with another man?”

“Blair would never screw around on me.”

“No, I mean, if he’s working with another male or talking to another male.”

“Yes, I get jealous sometimes.”

“Do you say anything to the person he was talking with?”

“No…”

“Do you think you’re a good cop?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think that your fellow officers think you’re a good cop?”

“Yes.”

“When do you want to return to work?”

“Not for a while.”

“How long of a while, Jim?”

“Do you think I’m ready? I can hardly walk,” Jim said surprisingly.

“No, I don’t think you’re ready yet, but I do believe that you’ll be before long. I’d say two weeks at the most and you’ll be ready to get back in the saddle again.”

“Thank you…That makes me feel like I’m less broken,” Jim admitted.

“Well, I’m going to stop for today. You take care of yourself and we’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Why are my sessions getting shorter?” Jim asked.

“Because you don’t need me as much now.”

“I think you might be wrong,” Jim said.

“You’re doing wonderfully, Jim. Stop worrying.”

“Okay, see you tomorrow.” Jim showed her to the door and said goodbye.

He went to get clean clothes to take another shower. He took two a day these days and still felt like he was dirty. Nancy had told him that this was a normal reaction, he sure hoped she was right.

He stood in the shower spray and felt his cock get hard. He was thinking about Blair. He wondered if he could tell Blair or Nancy about this, or would he just keep it to himself? He ignored the hard on and finished his shower. He would feel like it was cheating on Blair to do something without him. And besides, he really didn’t want to do anything.

<<<>>>

Thompson sat in the waiting room to talk to his lawyer, Mr. Clinger. He finally walked in and said, “We need to go over your testimony.”

“It’s about time,” Thompson said.

“Did you know Detective Ellison when he was in Vice?”

“Yes.”

“Did you KNOW him when he was in vice?”

“Yes.”

“So you had had sexual relations with Detective Ellison when he was in vice?”

“This is getting boring. Yes.”

“They’re going to object and want some proof.”

“Well, I don’t have pictures of him if that’s what you mean. But I can at least make the jury realize he’s a liar.”

“That’s true. Let’s go over some more of your testimony.” Clinger went on to ask Thompson more and more questions and just smiled the entire time.

<<<>>>

The days were going by quickly and uneventfully. Everyone was glad of that. Saturday night Simon stopped to get beer and pretzels before he went to Jim and Blair’s house.

When he arrived Blair looked frazzled. “What’s wrong, Sandburg?”

“Jim’s having an anxiety attack upstairs; he doesn’t want to come down,” Blair said.

Simon handed everything to Blair and walked up the stairs to the loft bedroom. “Hi, Jim.”

“Hi, Simon. How are you doing?”

“Stop the small talk, what’s wrong?” Simon asked outright.

“I don’t know if I can do this with everyone staring at me, knowing what happened to me. You all found me naked and abused and I don’t know that I can face all of you,” Jim tried to explain.

“Jim, we think you’re one of the strongest people we know. We want to have Poker Night, but not if you’re going to be a mess over it. We can call it off.”

“Simon, do you think they think less of me?”

“I think they think you’re very strong. So no, I don’t think they think less of you,” Simon said.

“Okay, I think I might be able to do this.” Jim got up and Simon was never so proud of anyone in his life. He knew how scared Jim was, but yet he was meeting that fear and beating it.

The two men walked down the stairs and there was a knock at the door. Blair let Joel in and Joel hugged both Jim and Blair.

Maybe this won’t be so bad. Both men thought.

As soon as Rafe, Brown and Conner got there, they got the poker chips out and began the game. Everyone seemed to be acting normally; no one was treating Jim any differently. Things were going really well.

Rafe said out of the blue, “Jim they’ve called me to testify at your hearing.”

Jim just looked at him oddly and said, “Okay.”

“Well I just wanted you to know that they did call me. Did anyone else get called in?” Rafe asked.

Conner said, “Yes, I’m going to testify how we argue all the time at work. Someone told them that we don’t get along, so they think they have someone to help their case. How wrong they are. Don’t worry, Jimbo.”

Jim started laughing at the normality of her calling him Jimbo. “I hate that name.”

“Tough,” Conner said laughing along with him.

Brown said, “I’m going to testify too, for what I don’t know.”

“It doesn’t matter, Henri, just tell the truth,” Simon advised.

Joel finally said, “I’m going to testify too. And no one had better mess with you when they question me. Jim, I heard that they’re calling your dad in.”

“Why?” Jim asked no one in particular.

“They probably want his take on it.”

“He hates that I’m gay, so he might be a help to their cause,” Jim said hatefully.

Blair looked at Jim and said, “He’s not going to help them, Jim. He’s your dad.”

Simon said, “Why don’t you call him over and ask him some questions before they do. That way you can tell him your answers.”

“I already know what they’ll ask him and he’ll tell the truth and answer,” Jim sounded almost despondent.

“What are you talking about, Jim?” Conner wanted to know.

“You know how I didn’t say anything at first? Well, my dad asked me how I felt and I told him that I didn’t want any of that eye for and eye bullshit, I just wanted them dead. And he said he would help me.”

Everyone was quiet for some time and Simon said, “Why would he tell them this?”

“He’s angry at me because I’m pressing charges. I’m dragging his spiffy clean name in the mud,” Jim said very hatefully.

Joel said, “Enough of this. Let’s get back to the game. We’ll have enough time to discuss this when the trial starts. Let’s get some of our money back from Blair.”

Everyone laughed and they continued the game. Jim was a little quieter, but he still had fun. Everyone left at about 2 a.m. and the Jim and Blair cleaned up the loft before they went to bed.

Once in bed, Blair scooted back into Jim’s arms and let him hold him like he did the night before and Blair could feel Jim’s cock hardening. Blair didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to scare Jim off, but it was the first ray of sunshine in Blair’s life since this had all happened. Blair fell asleep with a smile on his face.

<<<>>>

The next two weeks went flying by. Jim continued to see Nancy every day but Sunday and he was getting stronger every day. He and Blair had made out on the sofa one night and Jim found out that life would go on. Blair didn’t expect anything past the kissing, he just loved being close to Jim.

At the end of the two weeks, Jim became more nervous and short with Blair.

“How do I look?” Jim asked straightening his tie for the third time.

“You look terrific. How do I look?” Blair asked back.

“You look very good.” Jim leaned down and kissed Blair. “I just want to apologize now for anything shitty I’m going to say today.”

“What are you talking about?” Blair asked.

“They’re going to be asking me questions I don’t want to answer and I’ll no doubt take it out on you.”

“Well, try not to, cuz I’m not really strong today. This is as nerve wracking for me as it is for you.”

Jim thought to himself, not hardly, but didn’t say a word.

<<<>>>

When they got to the court house, it was a mad house. They finally got in with cameras stuck in their faces all the way to the door. Jim said no comment to everything they asked.

Once inside the court house, they found Beverly and she said, “The Judge ruled that you don’t have to stay in the court room except to be questioned if you don’t want to.”

“I want to be there for the entire thing,” Jim said bravely, even though he really didn’t want to.

“Okay, then let’s get in there, it’s almost time.” They all followed Beverly into the court room and found it fairly quiet and empty.

“Only people that are witnesses are allowed to be in the court room. This is a good thing,” Beverly explained.

She took Jim to the front desk and told him where to sit. Blair sat next to him.

Jim didn’t look at the men when they brought them in. The defense attorney for all of them was Mr. Hal Clinger.

Before long, they all had to stand for the Judge to come in. She looked nice enough to Jim, but what did he know?

The attorney’s gave their opening arguments and of course it was full of slander on Jim’s part. He was already having a hard time coping and they had just started.

The Defense attorney called his first witness. “We call Blair Sandburg to the stand.”

Blair was shocked to be the first one they called.

Blair walked up and got sworn in and sat down.

Clinger: Are you friends with Jim Ellison?

Sandburg: Yes.

Clinger: Are you more than friends with Jim Ellison.

Sandburg: Yes.

Clinger: What did you think when he told you he had been lovers with Mr. Thompson?

Beverly objected and the Judge overruled.

Sandburg: That’s all right; I can answer this one easily. It’s not true; it’s the oldest trick in the book to say that he was lovers before he attacked Jim Ellison. But I’m sitting here looking at the judge and jury and I don’t see any fools, so this was a dumb move as far as I’m concerned.

Clinger: I want that statement stricken from the record.

Judge Cass: Over ruled, you asked him and he answered.

Clinger: So, you believe your lover never slept with anyone else.

Blair: Of course he’s slept with other people. I’m not an idiot.

The jury snickered, which pissed Clinger off big time.

Clinger: Did you know that Jim Ellison used to like sex really rough?

Blair: No.

Clinger was expecting more than that, so he had to dig further.

Clinger: Do you know of your partner’s love affairs while in Vice?

Blair: No.

Clinger: What do you mean, no?

Sandburg: I mean, I didn’t ask him how many women or men he slept with before we got together. He did tell me later, there were no men.

Clinger: And you believed that he changed his lifestyle just for you?

Sandburg: I think that he wanted something different his entire life but didn’t know for sure until we got together.

Clinger: Does he like rough sex?

Sandburg: No.

Clinger: Never likes rough sex?

Sandburg: No.

Clinger: Would you be surprised to find out he had an affair with Mr. Sterling about two months ago.

Blair burst out laughing. This in turn made the jury laugh and Clinger was getting pissed off.

Judge Cass: Answer the question, Mr. Sandburg.

Sandburg: Yes, I would be very surprised.

Clinger: Why?

Sandburg: He’s not his type.

Clinger: Do you and your partner fight a lot?

Sandburg: We argue now and then, but not a lot.

Clinger: Has he ever hit you?

Blair laughed again.

Judge Cass: Mr. Sandburg, please keep the laughing to yourself and answer the questions.

Sandburg: Jim would never hurt me.

Clinger: Not for any reason?

Sandburg: Not for any reason.

Clinger: Does your partner like to be spanked.

Sandburg: No.

Clinger: Does your partner like fisting?

Sandburg: No.

Clinger: Are you telling me that your partner who is a homosexual doesn’t like to be spanked or fisting?

Sandburg: That’s what I’m saying. It’s not written anywhere that says you have to like something to be a homosexual.

Judge Cass: Please just answer the question.

Clinger: Is your partner a bottom all the time?

Sandburg: No.

Clinger: So you switch?

Sandburg: Yes.

Clinger: Does he like being a bottom?

Sandburg: He liked anything that had to do with sex.

The jury laughed quietly and the judge banged her gavel on the desk.

Clinger: So, he is sex starved?

Sandburg: No, I gave it to him whenever he wanted it, so he wasn’t sex starved.

Clinger: Do you think your partner is trustworthy?

Sandburg: I do.

Clinger: So you would be surprised to know he made up the statement he gave after the attack?

Sandburg: Yes.

Clinger: Why do you think he made it up?

Sandburg: Better question, is why do you think he made it up. I trust him and he doesn’t lie.

Clinger: So, he has never lied to you before?

Sandburg: Yes, he has.

Clinger: Name the occasions.

Sandburg: I ask him where he had lunch and he knows I don’t like him eating at Wonderburger, so he tells me he went to Subway. I know he’s lying then.

Clinger: If he lies about that, he could be lying about anything.

Sandburg: Except that I know when he’s lying.

Clinger: That you know of anyhow.

Sandburg: Yes.

Clinger knew he was getting nowhere, so he decided to call someone else.

Clinger: No more questions at this time for this witness.

Judge Cass: DA Sanchez, do you have any questions for this witness?

Beverly: Yes.

Beverly: Does Jim Ellison get into bondage.

Sandburg: No.

Beverly: So, you’ve tried it?

Sandburg: Yes, I cuffed him to the bed and he didn’t like the lack of control. He made me let him loose. We never tried it again.

Beverly: Do you think he’s ever gotten into an argument with you to get sexual favors?

Sandburg: Yes.

Beverly: And have you?

Sandburg: Yes.

Beverly: That’s all I have for this witness at this time.

Judge Cass: Mr. Sandburg, you may step down.

Blair got up and left the box. He felt like a weight had been lifted.

Jim felt like shit already and Blair was the only one they had called. They’re discussing me like I’m not even here. Like I’m some lousy piece of meat or something. Don’t they all understand what I’ve been through? Do they have to ask all of those personal questions? God, help me stay strong.

Clinger: The defense calls Simon Banks.

Simon walked up and got sworn in. Then he sat down and expected the worst.

Clinger: Do you trust Detective Ellison?

Banks: Yes

Clinger: So you would be surprised to find out he lied on his statement?

Banks: Yes.

Clinger: I have four men that say he lied on that statement, what do you have?

Banks: One good cop.

Jim felt like a part of him was dying as he listened to Simon give his testimony. I’m making them lie for me. They all have to lie and say that I was telling the truth. Can I live with this lie?

Clinger: Does he get along with the other cops at the station?

Banks: I only know about the ones in Major Crimes. He gets along with them fine.

Clinger: Has he ever had a fist fight with anyone?

Banks: Not that I recall.

Clinger: But he could have?

Banks: I don’t think so.

Clinger: What do you think of his relationship with Blair Sandburg?

Banks: They make a good couple.

Clinger: How do you really feel?

Banks: That is how I really feel.

Clinger: You never objected.

Banks: Sure, I objected until I saw how good they were together.

Clinger: I have no more questions for this witness at this time.

Judge Cass: DA Sanchez, do you have any questions for this witness?

Beverly: Yes. (Stands up.)

Beverly: Do you think Jim Ellison is a good cop?

Banks: One of the best.

Beverly: Do you believe his story?

Banks: Yes.

Beverly: Has he ever lied to you before?

Banks: Not that I know of.

Beverly: No more questions for this witness.

Judge Cass: The witness may step down.

Defense calls Megan Conner to the stand.

Megan walked up and stood to get sworn in and then sat down in the box.

Clinger: Do you often fight with Jim Ellison?

Conner: Yes.

Clinger: So, you two are not good friends.

Conner: Yes, we’re good friends.

Clinger: But you argue?

Conner: Yes, we argue.

Clinger: How could you be good friends with someone you argue with all the time?

Conner: Very easily. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we end up on the same page at the end of the day anyhow.

Clinger: Do you ever see eye to eye on things?

Conner: Sometimes.

Clinger: What do you think of Jim Ellison being gay?

Conner: Honestly, I don’t have a clue as to why this interests anyone else. Who cares that he’s gay? He’s a good cop and a good man, so it doesn’t matter.

Clinger: Do you believe that he is telling the truth?

Conner: Why would he lie about a thing like that?

Judge Cass: Just answer yes or no.

Conner: Yes.

Clinger: Does he strike you as a person that would like rough sex?

Conner: He’s one of the gentlest people that I know.

Clinger: And we’re talking about the same Jim Ellison that is in this courtroom today?

Conner: Yes.

Clinger: Maybe you don’t know him that well.

Conner: Maybe you don’t know him that well.

Clinger: Objection…

Judge Cass: Overruled.

Clinger: Remember you are under oath. Has Detective Ellison ever lied to you in the workplace?

Conner: No.

Clinger: Don’t you want to think that over?

Conner: I don’t have to think it over, he’s not a liar.

Clinger: Do you know him outside of work?

Conner: Yes, we’re friends.

Clinger: Do you know if he has ever lied to anyone else?

Conner: Why would he lie? He’s a very up front type of person. He wouldn’t lie. He just wouldn’t.

Clinger: You act like you have a thing for Jim Ellison.

Conner: I do have a thing, you idiot. It’s called friendship. Do you know what that means?

Judge Cass: Strike that from the record. Ms. Conner, please keep your answers simple and to the point. Don’t antagonize Mr. Clinger.

Clinger: So again, I ask you, do you have a thing for Jim Ellison?

Conner: No.

Clinger: That’s all you have to say about it?

Conner: Yes.

Clinger: Do you think less of Jim Ellison since this happened?

Conner: I think more of him now.

Clinger: Why?

Conner: Because he has to deal with all of your bullshit…

Judge Cass tapped her gavel and said, “That will be stricken from the record. Ms. Conner, please don’t push Mr. Clinger.”

Clinger: Why do you think more of him?

Conner: Because your clients tried to ruin him and with therapy, he’s coming back. He’s almost the old Jim Ellison again. They weren’t able to stop him.

Clinger: That’s all the questions I have for this witness.

Judge Cass: DA Sanchez, do you have any questions?

Beverly: No, not at this time.

Conner was disappointed as she stepped down.

Clinger called Henri Brown to the stand. Henri was sworn in and sat down in the box.

Clinger: Mr. Brown, what do you think of Jim Ellison?

Brown: He’s a great cop and friend.

Clinger: So he’s your friend?

Brown: Yes.

Clinger: So, you might be tempted to cover up a lie if he told one?

Brown: Jim doesn’t lie.

Clinger: How do you know? Do you know everything about him?

Brown: I know he’s a good cop and I know that he doesn’t lie.

Clinger: What did you think when you found out about him having sex with four men?

Brown: He wasn’t having sex with four men. Four men raped him. There is a big difference.

Clinger was getting frustrated.

Clinger: Have you ever witnessed him lying to his superior?

Brown: No.

Clinger: Have you ever witnessed him lying to his partner?

Brown: Yes.

Clinger: So, he does lie.

Brown: Yes, when it comes to Wonderburger, he lies like a rug. His partner doesn’t want him to eat there, so he says he eats somewhere else.

Clinger: And you’re telling me this is the only time he’s ever lied in the bullpen?

Brown: Yes…

Clinger: Do you still like him?

Brown: Yes.

Clinger: How can you face him after this?

Brown: How can you?

Judge Cass: Answer the question, Detective Brown.

Brown: I did.

Clinger: I want that stricken from the record.

Judge Cass: Please keep your opinions to yourself.

Brown: (Mumbling)

Clinger: What was that you said?

Brown: I said, I’m trying.

Clinger: Does Detective Ellison look the same to you anymore?

Brown: That’s a stupid question…

Clinger: Just answer it.

Brown: Of course he doesn’t look the same. He’s been cut, beat up and raped. What would you have him look like, Mr. Clinger?

Clinger: Do not keep asking me questions. I’m the one asking questions.

Brown: Ask me some good ones and I’ll answer.

Clinger: Did you know that Ellison was into rough sex?

Brown: (Sighing) I wouldn’t know about that.

Clinger: So you do know about him being a liar, but you don’t know if he’s into rough sex? Am I right?

Brown: Correct.

Clinger: How can you know just one of them?

Brown: I don’t know if you like rough sex, but yet I know you’re an animal to witnesses.

The jury all wrote things down in their notebooks and Clinger was ready to lose it.

Clinger: That’s all the questions I have for this witness.

Judge Cass: DA Sanchez, do you have any questions?

Beverly: Not at this time, your honor.

Judge Cass: You may step down, Detective Brown.

This is how the morning and afternoon went. Clinger tried to get something from the witnesses but no one was budging. Even Carolyn ended up being a good witness for Jim. The only person left to question was Jim. Everyone was worried, because he had been so quiet up until now. A quiet Ellison isn’t always a good thing.

At three o’clock they called Jim up to the stand. After he was sworn in, he sat down and waited for the questions.

Am I going to be able to keep myself together for this trial? Do I think I can do it without falling apart? God, I hope so. I can’t stand the idea of falling apart in front of everyone, both strangers and friends a like.

Clinger: Do you like rough sex, Mr. Ellison?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: You’ve never asked your partner to do something harder?

Ellison: I don’t consider that rough sex.

Clinger: So, you have asked for that?

Ellison: Yes.

Clinger: Have you ever had more than one partner at a time?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: What about the night you say this happened, wouldn’t that have been considered, more than one partner?

Ellison: I consider that rape, not making love.

Clinger: Have you ever cheated on your partner?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: Have you ever lied to him?

Ellison: Yes

Clinger: When?

Ellison: When he asked me this morning how I was doing, I said all right. I wasn’t all right, I’m falling apart.

Clinger was clearly flustered.

Clinger: Do you think people like you anymore?

Ellison: I think so.

Clinger: Would you be surprised to hear that the men you’ve accused of this crime like you very much. They always held you in high regard.

Ellison: Yes, I would be surprised. I could care less if they like me.

Clinger: have you ever been jealous of any one that your partner spent time with?

Ellison: Yes.

Clinger: Who?

Ellison: Mostly Conner, Sandburg and Conner do a lot of things together and sometimes it bothers me.

Clinger: So you are jealous of Conner?

Ellison: To a point, yes.

Clinger: Did you lie about your statement to the police?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: Did you just have second thoughts about rough sex?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: So, you are trustworthy?

Ellison: Yes.

Clinger: Did you ever wish harm on these men?

Ellison: Yes.

Clinger: If you had the chance, would you take the law into your own hands.

Ellison: I don’t know. I would want to.

Clinger: When did you wish harm on them?

Ellison: From the moment they all touched me.

Clinger: So, you planned on getting back at them from that moment on.

Ellison: Yes.

Clinger: So, you don’t admit to liking rough sex?

Ellison: I don’t like rough sex.

Clinger: So, you never asked my clients for it?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: You never lied two days after the effect to cover up your bad feelings about lying to your roommate?

Ellison: No. (Jim felt like he was going to fall apart any moment.)

Clinger: You never wanted to have sex with my clients?

Ellison: No.

Clinger: That’s all of the questions for this witness at this time.

Judge Cass: DA Sanchez, do you have any questions at this time?

Beverly: No, I would like a recess until tomorrow.

Judge Cass instructed the jury to talk to know one about the case and excused everyone until 9:00 the next morning.

<<<>>>

Jim was very quiet on the drive home. Blair didn’t know what to say to him because he was quiet too. There really wasn’t much to say.

“What do you think of the case so far, Jim?”

“I think it’s going rather well. They haven’t even showed the jury the pictures of how I looked four weeks ago. Once they see them, they’ll change their tune,” Jim said hopefully.

“The jury looks like they sympathize with you. That’s a good thing, right?” Blair asked.

“Yes, that’s a good thing, but you never know about a jury. You never know what they’ll say tomorrow.” Jim looked worried and tired.

“Jim, do you think about me sexually anymore?”

Jim looked over at Blair like he was insane. What a question while he’s driving home from his court hearing. “Yeah, I did the other day in the shower.”

“Did it scare you or did you feel good?”

“It did both. But mostly I felt good. And I’ve had a couple of morning hard-on’s when you’re sleeping so close to me,” Jim said.

“It’s only been four weeks Jim and I think you’re doing really well. I love you.”

“And I love you, Chief.”

<<<>>>

Mr. Clinger sat in the waiting room at the jail with his clients and said, “This is backfiring big time. We thought one of them would mess up and say something, but they’re all lying to protect Ellison. There is no way around it, the jury buys his story, I can tell. So this is your choice. You either offer them a plea bargain or you’ll go to prison for the rest of your life.”

Thompson said, “I don’t want to give in to that slut.”

“Then you’ll be the only one not doing it. I’m advising all of you to cop a plea and hope they go for it.” Clinger sat down and got the paperwork started.

Thompson finally said, “Fine, just tell me what you want us to get from this.”

“We’re going to ask for 15 years, ten years probation.”

Thompson said, “You’ve got to be kidding? That’s too many years, I can’t do that many. “

“Tough, you should have thought about that before you attacked a police officer. For Christ’s sake you left fingerprints all over the place. You didn’t get rid of the weapons. What did you think you’d get?” Clinger asked.

“Fine, make the plea for us. We can do 15, how soon would they let us out?” Thompson said.

“There is no early parole, this is straight 15 years. And if they accept it, you’ll be damn lucky.” Clinger got all of the paper work done and faxed it over to Beverly Sanchez.

<<<>>>

Jim and Blair were in bed that night when the phone rang. Jim picked it up and said, “Ellison.”

“Jim, this is Beverly Sanchez, I hate to bother you at this time of night, but I needed to talk to you.”

Jim knew that she would probably prefer doing it over the phone then in person. Beverly never did come and talk to me about the trial, so I take it for granted that she feels uncomfortable with me. Wouldn’t you think she would be more understanding in her line of work? I already know that she’s doesn’t look me in the eyes. It’s just another one of those things that I have to learn to live with.

“Clinger has sent us a plea bargain and it’s up to you about how you want to do it,” she said.

“What do they want?” Jim asked putting the phone on speaker. Blair sat up next to him, listening.

“Fifteen years, no parole and ten years probation once they are released,” Beverly said quietly.

Blair said, “No… No fucking way. They almost killed you.”

“Beverly, how long do we have to answer?” Jim asked.

“You have one hour,” Beverly replied.

“I’ll call you right back, I need to talk to Blair.”

“Okay, don’t mess around with this, Jim. It’s a good offer. It would save you all of the hassle of showing pictures and dragging you through the mud. Think hard about this.” She hung up hoping that Jim and Blair would see how right it was.

Jim hung up the phone and Blair said, “No.”

“Blair, I don’t want to go through with the trial. I want to settle it like this. But I need you to agree with me.”

“They should get life,” Blair shouted.

“They might have gotten 25 years, with ten years off for good behavior, so it’s the same thing. Babe, I want this done with,” Jim begged.

“Fine, call her back,” Blair said regretfully.

Jim called her and said, “We’ll take it. Could you call Simon and everyone else and tell them? We just want to sleep.”

“You got it, Jim. You’re doing the right thing. Sleep well.” They both hung up the phone and Jim pulled Blair down into his arms and held him tight.

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” Blair said.

“Something is wrong, what is it?” Jim asked.

“I lied on the stand today,” Blair admitted.

“What are you talking about? I listened to everything you said and it was true.”

“They asked me if you ever lied to me and I told them no.”

“Blair, I don’t lie to you.”

“You lied about not being in a zone. I know that. Don’t you think I know you lied?”

Jim started to close himself off. Blair wasn’t expecting that, he expected more lies or Jim to argue with him. But a closed off Jim Ellison wasn’t a good thing. Blair held him in his arms and said, “Tell me why you did it.”

“I did it for you. Conner said you’d never make it with me in prison, after I killed them, so I did it for you,” the stoic man said.

“It’s all right, Jim. It’s all right.” Blair kissed the top of Jim’s head and rubbed his temples until Jim was sleeping.

Blair didn’t know what to do with this new knowledge. He had done everything for Blair. He was going to kill them and wouldn’t have had to go through all of this, but Blair had insisted on making a big thing out of it. Now he would have to live with that too. Just like Jim.

The phone rang and Blair answered, “Sandburg.”

“Yeah, it’s me,” Simon said, “don’t worry about coming in tomorrow, just stay home with Jim. You two celebrate, this is very good news.”

“Thanks, Simon. Jim is sleeping already and I’ll tell him in the morning that I get to stay home. Goodnight,” Blair said and hung up the phone.

Tomorrow, just might turn out to be a very long day.

Blair called Nancy and asked her if she could come over in the morning for a chat with both of them. She said she’d be there at nine. He set the alarm in case they overslept since Nancy was coming. Maybe he could talk to Nancy too.

<<<>>>

Blair let Jim sleep in the morning and got up and made coffee and took his shower. When he was done, Jim was sitting at the table drinking his coffee.

“Coffee’s good, Chief.”

“I’m glad. Better get your shower done, Nancy is coming today,” Blair said.

“She thinks we’re in court, she won’t be coming today,” Jim replied.

Blair admitted, “I called her last night and asked her to come over. I never meant to upset you, Jim. I haven’t seen you close yourself off that much since this whole thing happened, so upsetting you last night broke my heart.”

“Chief, I’ve been upset, just not in front of you. I’m as weak as they come.”

“You think because you get upset, you’re weak?”

“Yeah,” Jim answered.

“You’re not. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met and I’m glad that we did meet. I love you so much.” Blair kissed Jim passionately.

Jim kissed him back with just as much passion and before long they were both panting and rubbing up against each other. Blair stopped them and said, “This might be too soon.”

“Nancy told me I would know when the time was right. Maybe this is the time,” Jim suggested.

“Jim, she’s going to be here in 20 minutes. I’d like more than 15, if you don’t mind,” Blair teased.

“Okay, when she leaves, then.” Jim went and got his clothing for his shower.

“We’re not going to discuss anything heavy with her today. I don’t want to ruin anything. We’ll save the hard stuff for a later date.”

Jim said, “Works for me.” Jim kissed Blair on the way to the bathroom.

Blair could hear Jim singing in the shower. Something he hadn’t heard in a very long time. And it was a wonderful sound. When Jim came out all ready, Blair just smiled at him.

There was a knock at the door and Blair got up to go answer it. He opened it to Nancy and invited her in.

“Come in, Nancy.”

“Good morning, Blair. How are you today?”

“I’m great; things are looking up for us. Finally.”

Jim came walking down the stairs and smiled at Nancy. “Good morning, Nancy.”

“My, aren’t you in a good mood? What did I miss, besides not having to go through a court hearing?

“I think I’m ready to make love to Blair,” Jim said outright, shocking both Blair and Nancy.

“I guess you are, if you just blurt it out like that. Are you sure you’re ready?”

“I want him. I know he wants me. What more could I ask for?” Jim asked.

“Let’s sit down and discuss some things first and then I’ll leave.” She was smiling.

“How do you feel about going back to work?”

“I think I might be ready. At first I was embarrassed, but this hearing really taught me that not everyone is like Thompson and the other guys. I think the station house might be a safe place for me,” Jim said.

“And if it’s not yet?” she asked

“Then, I wait until it is,” Jim said, sounding so grown up.

She couldn’t help but smile. “Then I’m going to write the release for you for desk duty for the first two weeks and then full duty after that. Are you glad to have your partner back, Blair?”

“Yes.”

“Blair, you seem to have something on your mind, what is it?” Nancy asked.

“Do we still get to visit you and talk to you, because we’re not healed yet.”

“Chief, I’m doing much better, I swear,” Jim said quickly.

“I want to know when we’ll be able to make love both ways,” Blair said.

Jim lost the smile and sat down. “I don’t know when we can do that, Blair.”

“Exactly, that’s why I want to keep seeing Nancy. Then we can stay on top of it,” Blair reasoned.

Nancy smiled and said, “How about if I see you boys once a week for the next six months? We’ll hope for some progress by that time.”

“What day works for you?” Blair asked.

Jim laughed and said, “And I have no say in this?”

Nancy laughed too and said, “What day would you like, Jim?”

“We’re off on Monday’s, so how about Monday’s?” Jim asked.

“Monday at 9:00 it is. We’ll start seeing you from next Monday on. Now go back to what you were doing and enjoy your week.” Nancy walked to the door and Jim and Blair said goodbye to her.

As soon as the door was shut, Jim pushed Blair against the door and began to kiss him with great passion. “I missed you so much, Chief.”

“I missed you too.”

“Upstairs, I’m still pretty stiff, I don’t want to have to do it on the floor,” Jim said.

“Geeze, Jim, we don’t do it on the floor usually, anyway. So get up there.” Blair pushed him up the stairs.

Once they were at the top of the stairs, Blair started undressing Jim and Jim got over his shyness after a few kisses from Blair. They were both naked, lying on the bed when Blair said, “I would love to ride you.”

“Oh god, what you do to me,” Jim said getting the lube out of the drawer. “I love when you ride me, babe.”

Blair said, “Loosen me up, big guy.”

Jim did. He kissed, stretched and loved his man until Blair was right on the edge. Then Blair sat on Jim’s cock and both of them enjoyed themselves for about ten minutes. By that time, Blair was getting too horny and needed to come. Jim took a hold of Blair’s hips and brought him up and down harder and harder until Blair came, throwing back his head in ecstasy, yelling Jim’s name. Jim slammed into Blair about four more times and came into Blair’s hot channel.

Blair looked down and saw Jim look like he might lose it. Blair got off of Jim, cleaned them both off and took Jim into his arms.

Blair just held him while Jim calmed down. Blair knew that Jim was upset because he was happy, not sad.

When Jim calmed down, Blair said, “Wow!”

“Yeah, what you said,” Jim agreed.

“Jim you’ll always be faithful to me, right?”

Jim looked at Blair and said, “What brought that on? Of course I’ll always be faithful.”

“I was thinking about all of the questions they asked and I wondered them from time to time. I’ve never asked you.”

“Did you think we weren’t exclusive?” Jim asked.

“No, I knew I was, I just didn’t know if you were.”

“Blair, do you think I have feelings for someone else?”

“If Carolyn came back to the loft today, you can’t say you wouldn’t want her.”

Jim disagreed strongly as he said, “That’s not true. I love you more than I ever loved Carolyn, so never feel like I would give you up for her. She would lose, big time.”

Blair kissed Jim.

“Ask me more questions and I’ll answer them,” Jim suggested.

“Do you think people like you?” Blair asked.

Jim thought a moment and said, “I think they do, once they get to know me. I’m not the easiest person to know.”

“They love you, babe,” Blair said.

“You’re prejudiced,” Jim said, smiling.

“Do you try to start arguments for sexual favors?”

“Yes,” Jim replied.

Blair kissed Jim again.

“Do you find other men attractive?” Blair asked.

“Yes, I do. I think Rafe is handsome in his own way. Same with Henri and Joel and I think Simon is very nice looking.”

“No, I mean, do you look at other men and wish you had them too?”

“Babe… I’ve got you; they could never be as good as you.”

“Have you ever wanted to be spanked?” Blair asked, almost laughing at the face Jim was making.

“No, it’s not my cup of tea.”

“Do you mind being a bottom?”

“Not usually,” Jim replied.

“When do you mind?” Blair asked.

“Right now, because of the circumstances.”

“Oh…”

“But normally, I love being a bottom, babe. Only for you.”

“I think that’s all of the questions I have for you right now. Should we sleep for awhile?” Blair asked.

“Yes, let’s,” Jim said.

All that could be heard from the loft were soft snores from both men.

<<<>>>

“Isn’t it great news about Sandy and Jim?” Conner asked.

“Stop calling him Sandy, you make him sound like a different person,” Rafe said.

“Yeah, stop calling Hairboy names,” Brown said laughing.

“I bet Jim is thrilled to not have to go through all of that with pictures and questions about the rape itself. I’m glad they got 15 years with no parole,” Rafe said.

“They asked so many personal questions, I felt really bad for them both,” Conner said.

“Well, they opened themselves up to it with the life they lead,” Rafe said.

“Excuse me??” Conner said, just knowing she didn’t hear him say what he just said.

“Well, when you’re gay you open yourself up to the gay lifestyle and everyone thinks you’re that way,” Rafe said.

Brown looked confused and asked, “What way is that?”

“A lot of people think that gay people ask for it. It’s different than us,” Rafe continued his nonsense.

Brown said, “I’ve never thought you were an idiot until right now. You are a fucking idiot.”

“Well said, Henri. Gay people don’t ask for it. They do this same thing to het couples in trials. So you’re just against gay lifestyle, admit it?”

“Fine, I don’t agree with them. I think that they leave themselves open for more ridicule and everything else. I wish they had girlfriends,” Rafe said as he broke out laughing.

“Oh, you asshole,” Conner said when she realized she had been had by both of the men.

“Is everyone looking for something to do out here?” Simon asked from his doorway.”

“Yes, Brown and Rafe are.” Conner said laughing all the way back to her desk.

“We got her good, didn’t we?” Rafe was still laughing.

“We sure did, and she won’t mess with us anytime soon,” Brown said laughing his ass off.

Simon walked up to the two men and said, “I have an assignment for two happy-go-lucky guys like you. And the next time you start talking trash in the bullpen, you better make sure no one else is listening.”

“Why? Who was listening?” Brown asked. “No one is here.”

“Samuels was listening and he left in a big hurry, so the rumor mill will be flying by tomorrow when Jim and Blair come in,” Simon answered.

“I’ve got to warn Jim and Blair before they come in tomorrow,” Rafe said.

Simon said, “First, you’ll do this case and then you can stop by Jim and Blair’s house.”

Brown and Rafe looked at the case and frowned. “You’re kidding me. A run-away? We hate run-away’s,” Rafe said.

“Just get to work, Rafe. The sooner you get it started the sooner you can go to talk to Ellison,” Simon ordered. He then walked back into his office and shut the door.

“If you sweet talk Jim into helping you, it might be a big leg up,” Brown suggested.

Rafe looked at the file again and said, “You know what? 12 is sort of young for run-away’s so let’s get this checked out. We’ll stop by and get Ellison first. He picks up on those things. “

<<<>>>

Jim and Blair took a shower together and then got dressed. They were just getting ready to go out for a day of nothing when Rafe and Brown walked up to the door.

“What’s going on, Rafe?” Jim asked.

“Well, I have a funny story to tell you, but you have to remember it’s a joke. We were teasing Conner in the bullpen.” Rafe went on to tell the whole conversation with Blair and Jim laughing at the right times and then Rafe said, “Well Samuels was in the bullpen when I said it and he might not have known that I was kidding. So, we’re afraid of the rumor mill.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s the least of my worries these days,” Jim said calmly.

“Now we have to ask you to go somewhere with us? It’s a 12 year old run-away and we might need help with it,” Brown said.

Blair asked, “Don’t we have two other 12 year old run-away’s?”

“We didn’t even check that before we left. We need to talk to the parents,” Rafe said, “and find out for sure what happened.”

“I don’t need to go with you guys. I think you’re capable of finding out if a 12 year old left home by her own means or not,” Jim said.

“Come on, man, we don’t have anything else to do today,” Blair said.

“We’ll follow you over there, but you’re doing the talking, we’re just there to look,” Jim said.

“Okay, will do,” Rafe said as they all walked out the door.

Jim followed them over and said to Blair, “Why did you want to do this?”

“Because I think it might have something to do with the other two run-away’s that we have on file. We’ll check when we get to the station,” Blair said.

“Oh, now we’re going to the station house too? Geeze, what happened to my last day off?” Jim teased.

“You’re spending it with your favorite person, right?”

“You’re right. Here we are. This is a nice neighborhood; you wouldn’t think someone would get snatched from this area. But I’ve been wrong before,” Jim said.

“If I remember right, the other two came from the same type of neighborhoods,” Blair said.

They met Rafe and Brown at the door and waited for someone to answer. The door opened and Rafe said, “Mrs. Chambers, I’m Detective Rafe, this is Detectives, Brown, Ellison and Sandburg and we’re here to investigate your daughter’s disappearance.”

“Oh, someone’s actually going to look? I can’t believe it; I just figured you would all think she had just run away. But not my Shelly. She’s special. Oh, where are my manners? Come in and sit down.”

All four men followed her into her living room and they all sat down when she did. Jim said, “Could two of us look at her bedroom?”

“Why certainly, it’s at the top of the stairs, and it says her name on the door.”

Jim and Blair took off up the stairs to see the bedroom. Her entire room was done like someone that was very much into ballet. Jim looked through her closet and Blair looked through her drawers and the found nothing suspicious, but they had just started. She had a computer and they really needed to check and see if she had any emails and things like that.

Blair sat down at her computer and within moments got her emails brought up. She had left her computer on and it was still signed in. Blair checked out the chat room she had been in and wrote down some information that he could look up later.

“The chat room is for girls that take ballet and are very seriously into it. I don’t see anything out of the ordinary, but then again, I didn’t see her ballet shoes or her bag, did you?” Blair asked.

Jim said, “I’ll call Mrs. Chambers up here and ask her to look around for it and see if she finds it. Why do you think it’s important, Blair?”

“Because if she’s that into it, where are they? She wouldn’t have taken them somewhere strange; she would have left them here at her home. You don’t take ballet shoes when you’re on the run,” Blair assumed.

“You could be right, partner.” Jim went to the head of the stairs and called out, “Mrs. Chambers” and she answered, “What can I do for you Detective?”

“Could you come up here for a few minutes and tell me where she keeps certain things?” Jim asked.

Mrs. Chambers joined them in the bedroom and Blair asked, “Where does she keep her ballet slippers?”

“In her ballet bag, in the closet. She wouldn’t have taken that with her if she was running away would she?”

“You wouldn’t believe so, no. So, where is it? We’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it,” Jim said.

Mrs. Chambers said, “It’s usually right here on this hook. She loves her new bag and shoes, she wouldn’t have just taken them on the street. I know her better than that.”

“Mrs. Chambers, she hangs out in a ballet chat room and I need to get her screen name, password and all of that information from you. We need to check out the chat rooms to be sure it wasn’t someone trying to coax someone who is into ballet into trying out for something. Is she good enough to try out for something?” Blair asked.

“She’s better than good enough, Detective. She’s gotten the lead role in the dance recital at school three years in a row. She’s wonderful. I’ve got all of her computer access id’s right here.“ She pulled them out of the dresser drawer and handed them to Blair.

“Well, we have to take her computer with us and we’ll get busy on this right away,” Blair said.

“I thank you all so much for all of the time and man power you’re putting into this. I can’t tell you how much she means to me. She’s all I have left.”

“Your husband is gone?” Jim asked.

“Yes, he died three years ago. He got to see her dance once before he died. So, she dances for him.” Mrs. Chambers was one of the saddest women they had ever seen.

“We’ll do all we can, ma’am,” Rafe said helping Blair carry the equipment downstairs.

“We’ll get back to you as soon as we have some news or need more information,” Brown said as they walked out the door.

<<<>>>

Once they were all back at the station, they looked up the other two girls that were missing and Blair said, “They were into ballet too. What are the odds of that?”

Brown said, “I think we should call the FBI in on this. It’s almost like a serial type problem.”

Rafe said, “We need to check those houses out again and see if their ballet bags are missing also.”

Jim said, “You and Brown do that, while Sandburg and I try to find something on the computer.”

Rafe and Brown did just that, while Jim and Blair checked out the computer. Blair found an email that had a person’s name asking Shelly to meet her or him at 3:30 on Monday. She had disappeared that same day. Blair wrote down the address and the screen name but didn’t have much hope in finding out anything on the screen name.

When Rafe and Brown got back, Brown said, “Their ballet bags are missing too. And the parents didn’t know that their girls were talking to anyone online or they would have stopped it.”

“Blair got an address that we can watch and see if someone shows up waiting for another little girl. I don’t know what else we could do,” Jim said feeling lost without being able to help.

Rafe said, “How about we take today and you guys take tomorrow for surveillance. Does that sound fair?”

“Sure. These girls have disappeared three days in a row, so it might be today. Are you sure you don’t want help in the surveillance today?” Blair asked.

“We got it. Thanks, guys. We’re glad you’re both back with us,” Brown said as they walked out of the bullpen.

<<<>>>

At 5:30 Blair said, “How about we go have dinner somewhere? Would you like that?”

“I was hoping that the guys would get something, but I guess not,” Jim said.

Just then Rafe and Brown walked in with a man and four little girls. The man was handcuffed and the little girls were all crying for their parents. “We got him, guys, we got him,” Brown said with pure joy in his voice. “Could you call the parents of the little girls and tell them they can come and pick their daughter’s up after questioning and examinations?”

“Sure thing,” Jim said.

He and Blair got busy right away letting the girls call their mom’s and dad’s and telling them where to find the girls. It was indeed a happy day. But they didn’t know all of the circumstances yet, and these girls would probably need some special help. Jim decided he would give out Nancy’s number for any type of help.

While Jim and Blair waited for the parents, Rafe and Brown did indeed find out that the man who had them had been sexually abusing them, so Rafe came out and told Jim.

The parents were going to have to be told. It was a sad time, but also a happy time. These girls were lucky to be alive.

<<<>>>

Once the girls had all been questioned and picked up by their concerned and caring parents, Jim and Blair were sitting at Claim Jumper having a drink and dinner.

“How did it feel to be back at work, big guy?”

“It felt great. I liked working with Rafe and Brown too. I like the guys we work with,” Jim said easily. “Even Conner.” Jim and Blair both laughed at that.

“Enjoying dinner and that drink, man?”

“Yeah, but back to work, it was great being back there with you. This had been the longest month of my life and I knew it was for you too.”

They talked back and forth, ate all of their food and then paid their bill and left for the evening.

The drive home was quiet. Blair finally said, “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, just thinking.”

“Anything important?” Blair asked.

“Just how much I love you and I’d like to show you tonight,” Jim said as casually as he could.

“Sounds good to me, man.” Blair didn’t know what Jim was really saying.

“I mean, I want you to show me how much you love me,” Jim explained

“Jim, I think we’re jumping the gun a little. We haven’t talked to Nancy about it yet.” A nervous Blair was a very cute Blair in Jim’s eyes.

“We don’t have to discuss everything with her do we? I want you inside of me tonight. If I don’t like it for some reason, you can stop. I promise I’ll tell you if I don’t like it.”

“Okay…”

“That’s it? Okay?” Jim asked with a smile.

“I’m having a slight nervous breakdown here. I think I’d like to wait another month. For healing purposes,” Blair said quickly.

“Blair, Doctor Mason told me I was completely healed and that as soon as I was psychologically ready, I could do whatever I wanted to.”

“Are you sure?” Blair asked.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Then, I guess we’re on,” a nervous Blair answered.

<<<>>>

Jim was in the shower getting ready for a nice night of loving when Blair came in and asked, “Can I join you?”

“I was going to clean up,” Jim said shyly.

“I’ll help.” Blair cleaned Jim all up and said, “Now can we go have fun?”

They walked upstairs naked and ready. Both men were hard as nails. They started kissing and it led to Jim getting a blowjob that was the best he’d ever had and Blair started stretching Jim’s anus while he was sucking him.

Jim finally said, “I’m so close babe. Stop sucking, because I want to come with you inside of me.”

“Am I hurting you at all?” Blair asked about the stretching.

“No, now do it,” Jim ordered and Blair followed orders. He started to push into Jim and Jim grunted in pain. “Give me a second, Blair.”

Blair was starting to lose his hard on and Jim knew it. “Baby, make me feel like I’m yours again.”

That was all it took and Blair pushed in as far as he could without hurting Jim. He pulled out and pushed in a few more times and Jim was making the right sort of noises, so Blair began to speed up. Before long, Blair was fisting Jim’s cock and they came at exactly the same time.

Blair laid on top of Jim for awhile and said, “Am I too heavy?”

“No, I like it,” Jim said sweetly.

As Blair started to slide out of Jim, he grabbed the wipes and got he and Jim both cleaned off. He made sure there was no blood and thanked the gods privately that there wasn’t.

They cuddled up together and went to sleep for the night. At about 3 a.m. Jim woke Blair saying, “Blair help me. Blair help me. Blairrrrrrrrrr!.” The scream that came out of Jim scared the crap out of Blair.

“Jim, babe, it’s me. Wake up now. You’re with me and you’re fine. Wake up for me.”

Jim woke up and was wild with fear. “They had me and they were getting ready to do things. I remember I screamed inside my head. I wanted you to help me so bad.”

“I’m sorry, Jim. I’m sorry I wasn’t with you,” Blair said as he held on to Jim for dear life.

“I’m sorry, Blair. I’m sorry for being like this.”

“Babe, you can be like this whenever you want to be. Now, just calm down and go back to sleep. We have to work in the morning, remember?” Blair hoped that it was still on.

“Okay.” Jim curled into Blair’s arms and went back to sleep. There were no further screams in the night, which Blair was happy about.

When Blair woke up, Jim was up and downstairs making breakfast. Blair walked down the stairs, naked, and saw Simon sitting at the table. He ran back upstairs to change into clothing. Thank goddess Simon had been turned the other way. Once he had his boxers on and his robe, he went back down the stairs.

“Simon, what brings you here so early in the morning?” Blair asked point blank.

“I was just telling Jim that he wasn’t following orders yesterday when you all worked with Rafe and Brown. Jim is supposed to be on desk duty for two more weeks and he wasn’t, so I told him he’s got to stay at his desk, no matter what or he has to stay home.”

“We were at our desks almost the whole time, Simon,” Blair tried to explain.

“Sandburg, I’m not mad, but I have to follow doctor’s orders and she said desk duty for two more weeks.”

“We’re sorry, Simon,” Jim said.

“Well, I’m not. I think we did a good job yesterday,” Blair was grouchy.

Jim worried that his nightmare had upset Blair. Now he was concerned about Blair.

“You’re missing the whole point. You weren’t supposed to be out in the field, only desk duty, got me?” Simon yelled, making Jim jump.

“Oh I got it, you big ole grump.” Blair said sitting down at the table. “Did you make breakfast, Jim?”

“I made you pancakes and eggs,” Jim said quietly.

Both Blair and Simon looked at him to see what was wrong, but he went into the bathroom.

“Now you upset Jim,” Simon said.

“I didn’t upset him, he was already upset, he had a friggin nightmare from hell last night. I was going to call you and tell you I thought we might be pushing things too fast.”

Jim came storming out of the bathroom and said, “I’m not a child. You can talk to me about these things.”

“Well, you went and hid in the bathroom, mister grumpy pants,” Blair snarled and Simon started to laugh.

Then Jim started to laugh and before long they were all laughing. “I’m sorry. I just had a lousy nights sleep,” Blair said.

Jim kissed him and said, “Do you want me to make an appointment with Nancy for today?”

“No, we’re okay, big guy. We’ll be into the office as soon as we get showered and dressed. I doubt that you want us in our robe and underwear,” Blair teased and Simon laughed again.

“It’s very good to have you both back together again. I’ll see you in about an hour.” Simon walked out the door, still laughing.

“We’ve got an appointment on Monday, so we’ll keep that one, all right?” Blair said with a smile.

“Okay, but I want you to tell me if you can’t handle it,” Jim whispered. “I love you.”

“And I love you. Now let’s eat.”

<<<>>>

The next four days of desk duty about drove Jim nuts. He got tired of Conner’s sense of humor the first day, he was tired of Brown and Rafe making jokes about Jim being tied to the desk and he was tired of not sleeping at night. He didn’t want to wake Blair up like he had, so he was barely sleeping. He was a big grouch that day and no one was messing with him. Not even Blair.

Finally Blair couldn’t stand it anymore and he said, “Simon, can I take the bear home?”

“Yes, and I suggest you get him the proper sleep or he won’t be back tomorrow. I don’t want him like this in the bullpen,” Simon growled.

“See you tomorrow,” Blair called out and grabbed Jim by the arm. “Come on, we’re sprung from here.”

“Excuse me; I was in the middle of finishing up my paperwork on the Belini file. I’d like to get that done with, if you don’t mind,” Jim snapped.

“Simon said we can go home, can’t you finish that tomorrow?” Blair asked.

“No, I’ve got it almost all done, I’m going to finish it. Just keep Conner away from me with her Australian jokes,” Jim pleaded.

Blair went to the restroom and Conner saw her chance to bug Jimbo. “Hey Jimbo, I have a joke to tell you.”

“Oh please, not another Australian joke. I can’t take any more.”

“This one’s good, it’s going to make you laugh.

A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large".

Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan immediately says, "We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows".

The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asked, "And what are those"?

The Aussie replies with an incredulous look, "Don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas"?

“What do you think, Jimbo?”

Jim tried like hell not to laugh, but he couldn’t help it. “Get out of my work space. I don’t want any more jokes.”

Blair came walking out of the bathroom and said, “She watched for her chance to get ya. Sorry about that, partner.”

Conner said, “One more and I’m done for the day. This one will get you laughing for sure.”

Three Aussie guys were working on a high-rise building project - Steve, Bruce and Kevin.

Steve falls off and is killed instantly.

As the ambulance takes the body away, Bruce says, "Someone should go and tell his wife."

Kevin says, "OK, I'm pretty good at that sensitive stuff, I'll do it."

Two hours later, he comes back carrying a case of Fosters.

Bruce says, "Where did you get that, Kev?"

"Steve's wife gave it to me,"

Bruce replies. "That's unbelievable, you told the lady her husband was dead and she gave you the beer?"

"Well not exactly," Kevin said. "When she answered the door, I said to her, 'You must be Steve's widow'.

She said, 'No, I'm not a widow.'

And I said, 'I'll bet you a case of Fosters you are'."

Brown and Rafe started laughing and then so did Jim and Blair. Simon looked out the window of his office and saw them all laughing and wanted to kiss Conner for finally getting Jim Ellison to smile.

Simon was going to give him one more day to shape up.

“Come on, man. Are you done yet?” Blair whined.

“Yes, I’m now done. See, if Conner leaves me alone for a while, I’m able to do things and get them done.

Blair just frowned and followed Jim out of the bullpen. Once they got off of the elevator and into the truck, Jim said, “Don’t ever do that again.”

Blair asked, “Do what?” He didn’t like Jim’s tone at all.

“Don’t treat me like a child in the bullpen,” Jim snapped.

“Then stop acting like one. You’re the one that’s being a butthead,” Blair snapped back.

“I think I might stay home from work tomorrow, I can’t face another day of you and the clowns that we work with.” Jim shoved the truck into gear and took off without even looking. He almost hit Officer Mitchell’s motorcycle and Blair’s heart was beating triple time.

“Calm down, Chief. I’m done being mad. I’ll drive like a normal person now.” This was Jim’s way of apologizing, but Blair wasn’t having any of it. He leaned against the window and closed his eyes. He would just ignore the big man.

Jim saw him ignoring him, trying to take a cat nap, so he let him be. He’s probably tired too. He knew that Blair wasn’t sleeping like he usually did either. Something was going to have to give.

“Want to stop somewhere and get dinner?” Jim asked.

“Fuck you…” Blair said and went back to his cat nap.

Jim sighed and said, “I’m sorry I’ve been so grouchy. I’m sorry.”

“Too late…” Blair said quietly.

“Let’s stop and get Mexican. All right?” Jim was still trying.

“I said, no,” Blair snapped.

“What are we going to have for dinner?” Jim asked out of curiosity.

“Who cares? I’m not hungry anymore.”

Jim stopped trying and just drove home in silence it was better than fighting. Blair jumped out of the truck before Jim could say a word and almost ran up to the loft.

When Jim got up there, Blair was lying on the sofa watching tv. “What are you watching?” Jim asked.

“Who the fuck cares?” Blair answered.

“Blair, stop yelling at me,” Jim pleaded.

“Oh that’s rich. That’s really rich. You’ve been like a bear for four days and everyone is walking on eggshells so that we don’t upset you. Well fuck you, Jim Ellison, everything isn’t about you,” Blair ranted and then rushed into the bathroom and slammed the door.

Jim sat down and wondered where in the hell he had gone wrong.

The phone rang and Jim answered it, “Ellison.”

“Do you miss us, Ellison?” Came the cold question and Jim slammed down the phone. It had been Thompson. How did he get Jim’s number? One of the guards must have given it to him. Jim didn’t know what to do, so he walked over to the door and said, “Chief, that was Thompson on the phone.”

The door opened immediately and Blair said, “Did you keep the line open?”

“No, I hung up, I freaked out and hung up.” Jim seemed ashamed about being afraid, but that’s what he was. He was afraid.

Blair pulled him into his arms and said, “Its okay Jim. We’ll take care of this now.” Blair pulled his cell out and called Simon and told him what happened. He talked awhile to Simon and then got off the phone.

Blair sat Jim down at the table and said, “Simon is putting a trace on the phone right now, so if he calls back, we need to keep the line open, because we can charge him with more to keep him in longer if we catch him.”

“I’m sorry, I freaked out. I haven’t been myself the last few days.”

“Jim, are you even sleeping at night?” Blair asked.

“Not much, I don’t want to scare you again with one of those night terrors,” Jim tried to explain.

“We’re both sleeping tonight, if I have to get someone over here to watch us. Do you understand me? We’re sleeping, together, at the same time. If you’re still tired in the morning, then we’ll take the day off. It’s only work, Jim.”

“I think I’d like to stay home for a couple of days. I’m tired and I want to talk to Nancy,” Jim said those words that cut right into Blair’s heart. He really felt like he could help Jim with anything, but it turned out that Jim asked for Nancy.

“I’ll call Simon right now,” Blair said as he dialed his cell phone, he was thinking about how shitty he’d been to Jim today. He wasn’t helping Jim at all.

“Banks.”

“Simon, we’re going to need a couple of days off. Come to find out, we both aren’t ready,” Blair said.

“Okay, we’ll see you on Tuesday, because Monday you have a meeting with Nancy, right?” Simon asked.

“Right. So we’ll see you on Tuesday, tell every one that Jim has the flu.”

The phone rang at the house and Jim picked it up. “Ellison.”

“Hi, Ellison, did you miss us yet?”

“No, not really.” Jim was back and he was pissed off.

“That’s too bad, because we sure miss your sweet ass. There is no one here with an ass as nice as yours.” Thompson was trying to provoke something, but what? Jim was trying to figure it out.

“Maybe you haven’t tried enough. Or better yet, maybe someone will try you, you lousy fuck.” Jim was sweating he was so upset.

“That’s the best you could come up with, Ellison?” Thompson started to laugh.

Blair rubbed his back while he talked. “You’ll be on their menu soon. Believe me, they’ll see your kind coming and you’ll belong to them. And then we’ll see who’s laughing.” Jim was almost ready to throw up.

“We’ll talk to you later on, Ellison. We miss you, baby. We miss that tight ass too.” Thompson hung the phone up.

Jim rushed into the bathroom and threw up. The man made him sick, that’s all there was to it. He washed his face and brushed his teeth and went back out to see if there was another call coming.

The phone rang again a few minutes later and Jim said, “Ellison.”

“It’s from the prison and we got voice analyses, so we can get this taken care of. Don’t worry about a thing.”

“Thanks, Simon.” Jim hung up the phone and turned to Blair and said, “I’m going to visit someone tomorrow. I want to be alone.”

“Oh no, you don’t. You’re not going anywhere alone, and then if something happens to anyone, they’ll go after you. I’m your alibi.”

“Fine, but we better get some sleep because I’m leaving early,” Jim said quickly as he climbed the stairs.

“You had better not even think about leaving me here alone, because I’ll never talk to you again. Although that sounds good right this moment, it won’t when you miss me.”

Jim turned to him and smiled. “I won’t leave without you. I’m going to the prison to see Thompson and I’ve got something for him. I want to be sure everyone sees me with him.”

“What? What do you have for him?” Blair asked, going crazy.

“Me… I’m going to kiss him in the meeting room in front of all of those guys and make sure they all know I’m a cop.”

“Jim, do you trust me?” Blair asked.

“Of course I trust you,” Jim answered.

“Well, you’re staying out in the truck and I get to do the kissing part.”

Blair thinks that I can’t handle Thompson at the prison. He wants to do it for me. I’ll let him to make him feel better, but I feel like he doesn’t think I’m man enough to do it myself. Another thing, I’m just going to have to get used to, I guess.

“We need to be sure they know I’m a cop. How do we do that?” Blair asked.

“You get a special clip on badge when you check in, that’s how they know.” Jim said.

“So they would know by looking at the badge?” Blair asked.

“Yes…” Jim answered.

“We have a couple of snitches in there, should we call them out too?”

“Okay, we need at least one more person to go in, if you really don’t want me in there.”

“They can’t be cops. Oh wait, Conner doesn’t count. They won’t know her. She can visit one of them. Let me call her and ask her about it.” Blair opened up his cell phone and dialed Megan’s number. When she answered, he told her what they planned on doing and she said she was in for the gold. She was off for the day anyhow and wouldn’t answer any calls from Simon, to keep her from doing this for Jim and Blair.

So the following morning after sleeping almost not at all, they picked up Conner and went to the prison. It was quite a ways, so they were forced to try and talk to each other the entire way. The man that Conner was going to visit was a snitch from way back and Conner had a note for him from Jim. In the note, Jim explained what he wanted done and would in turn give him 100 dollars on the books for whatever he wanted.

Conner sat and waited at the table until she saw the guy that Ellison had told her about and she waved. He couldn’t figure out what was going on, but he figured, it was nice to see a woman for a change. As soon as he sat down, she gave him the note. The guard was looking over at Sandburg, so he didn’t see what was passed to the other inmate.

While they were doing their thing, Jim had gone to the front desk and put the 100 dollars on his snitch’s books. Now that it was done, he went back to sitting in the truck to wait for Blair and Conner.

<<<>>>

Thompson came out and said, “He had to send you to do his dirty work, right?”

“No, I came on my own; he doesn’t know I’m here,” Blair said.

Then four other inmates came into the room and Blair started his routine. “You said you would wait for me.”

Thompson looked at him strangely and said, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

All of the inmates were watching Blair by this time and they knew he was a cop because he had on a special badge. Blair leaned across the table and locked lips with Thompson big time and didn’t let him go for anything. When he was done, he said, “You can’t forget about me so soon.” Then he slapped him and said, “How dare you have your way with another man.”

The snitch said, “I’ve got to spread the word. Nice meeting you, Megan.” He kissed her cheek and left.

Thompson got up and said, “What do you think you’re doing? Do you think you have anyone fooled? Ha…”

“We’ll see who’s laughing next time.” Blair got up and left.

Megan was waiting outside the door with her Dr. Pepper and said, “Wash your mouth out with this.”

Blair did just that. He gargled and rinsed with Dr. Pepper in hopes that Jim wouldn’t be able to smell that lousy fuck on him.

When they got to the truck, Jim said,” Did it work?”

“Yeah, it worked, everything went well. There were a lot of guys in there, so everyone saw him,” Blair said.

Jim said, “Are you all right?” He was asking both of them, but Conner knew he meant Blair.

“We’re just fine. Conner got a kiss on the cheek from her snitch and I got a kiss.”

Jim smelled Blair and he said, “I don’t smell him on you.” Jim was never so grateful in his life. “But why do you smell like Dr. Pepper?”

“Because that’s what you like and I gargled with it. It was Megan’s idea.”

“Thank you, Conner,” Jim said.

“You’re very welcome, Jimbo.”

“Even when I say thank you, she calls me Jimbo.”

Blair started laughing and said, “Let me drive, you sleep going home.”

So Jim let Blair drive and he leaned against Conner and fell asleep five minutes into the drive.

“Thank you for helping us, Conner,” Blair said.

“No problem, Sandy.” And the rest of the drive was quiet. They just listened to the music on the radio and Jim snoring the entire way home.

When they arrived Conner woke Jim up and said, “Time to go to bed, sunshine.”

“Thanks, again, Conner,” Jim said as he climbed the stairs to his loft.

Blair talked to Conner for a short time and then walked into the loft. He didn’t see Jim so figured he was upstairs already. He walked into the bathroom and he was standing there looking at himself in the mirror.

“Babe, what are you doing?”

“I wanted to see if I looked different. I should feel better shouldn’t I?”

“He’s an asshole, you’re never going to feel better about someone like that. Stop worrying about it and let’s get to bed,” Blair said pulling Jim along behind him.

“Would you brush your teeth?” Jim asked.

“I planned on it after I got you settled in bed. You go up ahead of me and I’ll be up there in a few minutes.”

Blair brushed his teeth three times, gargled with Listerine three times and then finally washed off his face and hands so there would be no smell of Thompson around. He walked upstairs and Jim was already in bed as Blair figured.

Blair stripped and got into bed and Jim moved him over to his side and said, “I’ve been warming this spot for you.”

“Thank you,” Blair said smiling.

Jim started to kiss Blair and Blair said, “Let’s get some sleep tonight and tomorrow morning we can do this. I’m exhausted and we’re going to sleep tonight.”

“Okay,” Jim said sadly.

“Jim, I want you, but I want you when I’m wide awake. I’m half dead from exhaustion.”

“Okay, that works for me,” Jim said as he kissed his lover goodnight.

<<<>>>

At 3 a.m. the phone rang. Blair picked it up and said, “Sandburg.”

“Tell Megan that the gift she gave me was passed on and things are taken care of. Tell her to come and see me some time.” Then the phone line went dead.

“Who was that?” Jim said, half-asleep.

“The gift was passed on and things are taken care of,” Blair said quietly.

Jim snuggled up to Blair and said, “Do you suppose this will be the end of it?”

“We can only hope so. Goodnight, babe.”

“Goodnight, Blair.”

<<<>>>

The next morning, Jim woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs frying and realized he had slept the entire night without any dreams. He put his robe on and walked down the stairs.

“Good morning,” Jim said to Blair.

“Ready for breakfast, big guy?”

“Yes, I’m starving, I slept all night long, did you?”

“Yes, I did too. We needed it,” Blair said as he leaned down to kiss Jim at the table.

“This is nice, Blair. Thank you.”

“Eat up, big guy. We have to get ready right after breakfast.”

“For what?” Jim was confused.

“Nancy is coming over and we’re going to tell her some things about us.”

“What things?” Jim asked.

“Your nightmares, my lack of patience with you, things like that,” Blair explained.

“Okay, better eat up then.” Jim started eating and it tasted wonderful. He was surprised he was even hungry after yesterday and last night. But things would look up, he just knew it.

<<<>>>

Blair opened the door to Nancy and welcomed her in. “Hi, Nancy.”

“Hi, Blair. Where is Jim?”

“Right here.” Jim said as he walked into the room from the office. “I was paying bills.”

Jim sat down on the sofa and Blair sat next to him. Nancy sat on the sofa across from them. “So, who wants to start?”

Jim said, “I’ve been having horrible night terrors and they keep me awake all night long. They started after we had sex, so I’m thinking that I rushed into sex too soon.”

“Not necessarily Jim, sometimes they come for different reasons. Did you enjoy sex with Blair? And by sex you mean you were the bottom?”

Jim blushed and said, “Yeah, that’s what we mean. And yes, I totally enjoyed it. It was fun, like it always was with Blair.”

“You were bound to have a night terror from time to time, something like this doesn’t go away that quickly. We’ll work on it each week and it’ll get better, you’ll see.

“What else did you have to discuss with me?” Nancy asked.

“It’s me, Nancy, I have no patience with Jim. I’m rude and cut him off all the time and am just mean. How do I learn patience?”

“Well, that’s going to take time, because lack of patience was learned through your life and you think everyone is on the same schedule as you. That isn’t how life is. So we’re going to work on it in the next few months. All right?”

“All right,” Blair said, smiling.

“We returned to work but we think we rushed it,” Jim said.

“First of all, it’s only you that had to return to work, Blair was already there. And if you rushed it, then by all means, we’ll talk about staying home for a while longer, but Blair needs to leave you alone so you can think about things all by yourself.”

“So, you think I should go back to work tomorrow, but not Jim?” Blair asked.

“I think that Jim needs a week or two to think about things by himself. And you need a week or two to work alone and be able to miss him without feeling like you’re in charge of him. As of tomorrow, you go back to work and Jim stays home for two more weeks.” Nancy looked at both of them to see what their reaction would be.

“But Nancy, I want to go back to work. I was just tired,” Jim explained.

“Then go back to work. See, this is what happens a lot with therapy. You expect me to make all of your decisions. You didn’t like me doing it, did you? I was proving a point. We need to have sessions, but you boys can live without my help.”

“We can go back to work tomorrow?” Jim asked.

“Jim, don’t ask me, tell me what you’re planning on doing. Make some decisions on your own,” Nancy said.

“I’m going back to work tomorrow and Blair is too. We’ll do fine and if I get too tired, I’ll tell Blair I’m going home,” Jim assured Nancy.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that you’re making decisions on your own. Good luck at work tomorrow and we’ll set up a meeting next week,” Nancy commented.

Jim walked her to the door and shut it behind her. He turned to Blair and said, “Feel like making love?”

“I always feel like making love with you, man.”

They walked upstairs, hand in hand and stripped naked before the bed. But before they got on the bed, Jim said, “I have to tell you, you are the most beautiful man, I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“You’re so romantic when you’re horny,” Blair teased.

“I’m serious. I do think you’re the most beautiful person in the world.” Jim kissed Blair and they were off.

They both hit the bed and were rolling around until Jim got a hold of Blair and asked, “Top or bottom?”

“I want you to top for now. Until we talk some more to Nancy, I’d rather have you driving.”

Jim said, “How about we compromise? I like driving, but I love when you ride me.”

“Oh, I love to ride you, baby.” Blair got the lube and gave it to Jim to loosen him up.

Jim gave Blair a blow job that was like no other and loosened him up at the same time. Then he pulled Blair over on top of him and had him start to sit down. Jim loved to watch Blair’s face as he took Jim’s cock inside of him. It was one of the most erotic things Blair could do for Jim.

Blair began to move, making Jim moan with need and desire, in turn making Blair hard once again. “I love you, Jim.”

“I love you, Blair.” Jim started pushing Blair up and down for the ride of his life and before long Blair made his little noises before he came and both men came at the same time. Jim loved to come at the same time as Blair, so this was perfect.

Jim cleaned them both off and they cuddled together. Before long they were both sound asleep. At about 6 p.m. they were woken up by a knock on the door.

Jim said, “Its Simon and Conner.”

They both got dressed quickly and went down the stairs. Blair opened the door and said, “Sorry, we were sleeping.”

“I should have called first. We were just checking on you and wondered if you two wanted to go to dinner with us,” Simon asked.

“Are you two on a date?” Blair asked jokingly.

“As a matter of fact, we are on a date. So we thought we’d pick you guys up to go with us,” Conner said sweetly.

“Where are we going for dinner?” Blair asked as he started putting his shoes and socks on.

“We were thinking about Claim Jumper, have you ever been there?” Simon asked.

Jim laughed and said, “We love Claim Jumper. It’s one of the best places in town. Yes, we’ll go with you.”

“Want us to drive?” Blair asked.

“No, I’m driving my SUV, you can ride with us,” Simon said.

Conner walked into the office and said to Jim, “Have you heard anything from the prison?”

“We got a call saying the package was delivered, or something like that and everything was taken care of. So, I don’t know what that meant, but I take it, it went well.”

“Good, I’m glad we don’t have to worry about that asshole again,” Conner whispered.

“We better get out there or they’re going to think something funny is going on in here.” They both walked out and Blair and Simon were just staring at them.

Simon asked, “We interrupting?”

“Very funny, Simon,” Conner said.

“What do you usually get at the restaurant?” Simon asked Blair.

“I get some type of shrimp or seafood. But I love their steaks too. The filet mignon is to die for,” Blair assured.

“Are you coming back to work tomorrow, or the next day?” Simon asked.

“I’m coming back tomorrow and so is Blair. If I get too tired, I’ll let you know, but I still have to stay on desk duty.”

“We love when you two are back on the force. Things seem to go smoother when we’re all together,” Conner said.

“I agree,” Blair said smiling.

Simon asked, “Can I ask something personal?”

“It’s never stopped you before,” Jim said.

“We were wondering if you guys have been able to be close again. Like you used to be, you know what I mean?” Simon was flustered.

“Yes, we’re able to be close again and things are just fine,” Jim answered.

Blair said, “Since we’re asking personal questions, does anyone know about the two of you besides us?”

“No, and we hope you’ll keep it to yourselves,” Simon answered Blair.

“Why?” Jim asked.

“Because we don’t want anyone thinking I’m giving her special treatment. But I also want to be able to go out with our friends now and then. So we’ll just call it double dating,” Simon laughed.

“How exciting, we’re on a double date, Sandy.”

“That is exciting,” Blair teased her.

“I want to thank you for being our friends,” Jim said suddenly, making both Megan and Simon look at him strangely.

“We’re glad to be your friends,” Simon said.

“This has been a tough period for us, and you all helped us through it. Thank you for everything and hopefully we’ll be friends forever,” Jim finished saying.

And that night was going to be special because it was good friends and great lovers alike.

<<<>>>

When Jim and Blair returned from Claim Jumper, they were both in a good mood. They walked up the stairs, hand in hand and smiled when they got to their doorstep.

“It was neat that Simon and Conner let us know about them wasn’t it?” Blair asked.

“Yeah, Simon’s had a thing for her for a long while, so I’m glad he acted on it,” Jim agreed.

“So are you going to actually admit to liking Conner?” Blair teased.

“I like Conner just fine. I don’t like when she calls me Jimbo, and I don’t like when she teases me about different things, but usually I do like her.”

“Do you see her and Simon getting serious?” Blair wondered.

“Simon looks pretty serious about her now. So, yeah,” Jim said.

“Don’t you love getting home and into our loft? I love it here. Safe, homey and comfortable,” Blair said without really thinking.

“You don’t feel safe away from home?” Jim asked casually.

“Not as safe as here. I like it here,” Blair said quietly.

Does Blair harbor bad feelings about me not fighting hard enough with those animals? Does Blair forgive me? Can I even ask him? I don’t think so. Does he not see me as a strong man anymore? Is that why he’s unsafe away from the loft?

“Blair, if you feel unsafe around me, I would understand,” Jim almost whispered.

“Jim, it has nothing to do with you, it has to do with circumstances in our lives. I feel very safe with you,” Blair explained.

“Do you forgive me?” Jim asked.

“Forgive you for what?” Blair inquired.

“For not fighting them off enough. For slipping into a zone so I wouldn’t have to remember it and for not telling you the truth in the beginning.”

“Jim, I don’t blame you. I blame those animals. They took this from you, you didn’t give it to them. So, there is nothing to forgive. I think you’re one of the strongest people I know and I don’t want to ever hear you say anything like this again,” Blair said as calmly as he could.

How could he not blame me? How could he forgive me?

“Okay, I won’t bring it up again,” Jim said. But it doesn’t mean I won’t think about these things. Because he’d be abnormal to think anything else.

“But do you mean it? Because I do mean it, Jim. I adore you and I will never look at you like you’ve done something wrong. They did it. Not you.” This time Blair was almost angry as he talked.

“Yes, I mean it, Blair. I’m sorry for bringing it up. I didn’t mean to upset you,” Jim said softly. Welcome to my world.

The light on the phone was blinking so Blair pushed it as he walked by.

“Hi Jimmy, it’s your dad. I wanted to stop by tomorrow and see how you’re doing. Call me and tell me if that’s all right.”

“What do you think he wants?” Jim asked Blair. Why couldn’t my dad be more understanding? I needed him and instead he worried about how people would see me. I’m worried about how I see me and I don’t like it. It would have been nice to talk about some of this with him. Maybe he’s having second thoughts about being here for me. Maybe he’s going to be the dad I really need.

“I have no idea. Why don’t you call him?” Blair suggested.

Jim picked up the phone and called his dad and heard, “William Ellison.”

“Hi, Dad. It’s Jim.”

“Jimmy, I’m so glad you called me. I wanted to see you tomorrow if you have time.”

“I’m going to be at work and won’t be home until after 6:00, I would guess. Would you like to come for dinner?” Jim thought he would ask.

“I’ll bring dinner. You and Blair just take it easy and I’ll see you tomorrow night. I’m proud of you son. I know how hard the trial was for you,” William said.

“Thank you, Dad. It means a lot to hear you say that. We’ll see you tomorrow night.” Jim hung up the phone after William said goodbye.

Jim turned to Blair and said, “It looks like he’s going to come around after all.”

“Good, it’s about time he did. I’m so glad to hear that, Jim.” Blair then hugged Jim to let him know he knew how much it meant to him.

The phone rang and Jim answered, “Ellison.”

“Hi Jimmy, its Carolyn. I wondered if I could come by and see you tonight.”

“It’s sort of late Carolyn and I have to work in the morning” Jim argued.

“It’ll just take a few minutes to see you. I’m leaving tomorrow to go back to San Francisco, so I needed to see you.”

Jim felt like he had no choice, so he said, “We’ll see you in a little while then.”

“Jimmy, I was hoping I could talk to you alone.”

“Blair is here, Carolyn.” Jim was getting pissed off.

“Okay, I’ll see both of you. I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”

Jim hung up the phone and said, “Carolyn is coming to see us.”

“I’ll make myself scarce in the office. Don’t worry about me. She probably wants to be alone with you,” Blair said.

“For what? What would she have to say that couldn’t be said in front of you?” Jim wondered aloud.

“Jim, calm down and just relax. She’ll be here soon and you’ll find out what she wants. I’m going to play pogo in the office. I’ll be there if you need me.” Blair walked into the office and shut the door.

What could Carolyn want? She’s probably coming over to tell me how sorry she is and pity me. I’m sick of everyone’s pity. I just wish she’d treat me like she used to.

Jim watched out the balcony doors until he saw her pull up into the parking lot and get out. She wasn’t alone. She had a man with her. What the hell is going on?

When she got to the door, Jim opened before she knocked. She used to hate that when he used to do that, and she still did. “Hi Jimmy, I want you to meet Brad Mitchell. He’s my fiancé from San Francisco. We’re getting married in two months and I thought I should tell you.”

Jim grabbed Carolyn and hugged her and said, “I’m so glad to hear this news. It’s wonderful. You have to let us know when the big day is, all right?”

“So you’ll come?” Carolyn asked.

“We would love to come,” Jim answered.

“Good, I was hoping that it would be all right with you. I had a feeling that you’d be happy for me and I was right. Thank you, Jimmy. Where is Blair?” Carolyn asked sweetly.

Jim walked to the office door and said, “Come out and meet Carolyn’s fiancé, Brad Mitchell.”

Blair came right out of the office and hugged Carolyn and said, “Congratulations, Carolyn and its good to meet you, Brad.” Blair was very pleased with the news and knew that Jim was too. “Would you like to sit down and have a drink?”

“No, thank you, Blair. We still have to pack. We’re leaving in the morning and need to get some things done. I just wanted to stop by and tell you our news.”

Jim hugged Carolyn again and said, “Its great news, Caro. Thanks for stopping by and letting us know.”

“Goodnight, Jim. Goodnight, Blair,” Carolyn said as they walked out the door.

“Goodnight…” Both Jim and Blair said together.

Jim shut the door and took a huge breath.

“Were you worried about why they were here?” Blair asked.

“Yes, I thought she came over to pity me and I didn’t want that from her” Jim admitted.

“See, things aren’t always bad, Jim.”

“I’m going to take a shower before bed,” Jim said as he walked upstairs to get his boxers and robe.

<<<>>>

Blair wondered when Jim would have to stop taking all of the showers he did in a day. It was usually two or three and it wasn’t like he was working hard. Blair worried about that, but didn’t say anything.

<<<>>>

Jim stood in the shower, letting the warm water flow over his sore muscles. Yes, he was still sore after all of these weeks. He often wondered if it was in his head. But Nancy had promised him that it takes a long while to come back physically and emotionally.

I had been so fucking worried about Carolyn that I tensed up and made my shoulder hurt. Too bad I don’t like Blair to touch my back, because he would give me a wonderful massage. When am I going to allow Blair to touch the back of me? When am I going to be able to turn on my side so that he can spoon me for a change, instead of only me doing it to him? When am I going to get back to normal?

When Jim came out, all of the lights were out except for the lamp on their bedside table. He knew that Blair was probably reading.

He made sure the door was locked and then checked again, then he made sure all of the windows downstairs were closed and locked, then he walked up the stairs.

Blair was sound asleep with a book lying on top of him. Jim thought it was one of the cutest things he had seen in a long while. For a moment, Jim felt a feeling of normalcy and it felt good.

Jim slipped out of his robe and got into bed and pulled Blair over to his side, taking the book and putting it on the end table beside him.

He shut the lamp off and soon he was sleeping just like Blair was.

<<<>>>

Jim woke up from a nightmare and heard the shower running. He had time to call Nancy before Blair was out of the bathroom. He dialed her number and heard, “Doctor Lee, can I help you?”

“Nancy, it’s Jim Ellison, I feel like I can’t go on sometimes. Is this normal?” Jim asked.

“Of course, it’s normal. I felt the same way, Jim. It’s going to take a long time to get over this. Some days you’re going to feel better and think you’re on the road to recovery and other days, you’ll have major setbacks. You’ll feel like we’re starting from square one again. Just remember that it’s normal to do this and we’ll work on things, no matter if they’re going well, or going down-hill. I’m always here for you, Jim,“ Nancy said calmly.

“I worry about how the people I work with are going to see me. Is that normal?” Jim asked.

“Of course, that’s normal. That’s more than normal in your case because your friends and co-workers found you. So, now you think they’re going to be thinking of that day all the time. Every time they look at you, you’ll think they think less of you for finding you that way. But it’s not true. I’m going to insist that they all see the department psychiatrist and work out some of their feelings, just like you’re doing.” Nancy hoped that she was helping Jim. It was hard to tell. Jim was still pretty closed off.

“Am I ever going to feel like I’m the old Jim Ellison again?”

“In time you will. Right now, you’re in between and we have to work on that. But don’t give up, Jim. We’re going to find you, heal you and bring you back to face these demons. You’re going to be stronger for it, you wait and see,” Nancy explained.

“I’m very glad that my dad called you in to help me. I don’t know that I could have made it on my own,” Jim said.

“I’m glad to be working with you, Jim. We’ll get things back on track sooner than you believe,” Nancy promised. “Now are you feeling better?”

“Yes, I feel much better after talking with you. I’ll see you for my next appointment,” Jim said calmly.

“Goodbye, Jim.”

“Goodbye, Nancy.” Jim hung up the phone and got his clothing together for the day. He didn’t know if he was going to tell Blair he had called Nancy or not. He would have to see how he felt about it.

Therapy seems to be helping a little bit, but how can Blair ever really love me the way he used to? He’s not seeing anyone, so it makes me wonder. I have to talk to him about it.

<<<>>>

Blair walked out of the bathroom and Jim was standing there waiting for him. “I called Nancy this morning, I had a nightmare and I needed to ask her some questions. And after I talked to her, I wondered about you… You aren’t seeing anyone for therapy and I think you should. This can’t be fun for you.”

Blair was taken totally off guard. “As a matter of fact, I’ve been seeing the department shrink twice a week, when I can get away. It’s been helping a lot. I think I might stop losing my patience with you so much.”

“I’m glad to hear you’re seeing someone and that you feel its helping. Thank you for hanging in here with me.”

“Jim, what was the nightmare about?”

“Same ole thing,” Jim said shortly.

“Tell me about it,” Blair suggested.

Every time I talk with Nancy, I can feel myself getting stronger. She’s right, it does help talking about things and I do feel like I’m getting better every week. I know that Blair feels like he should be able to help me through most of this, but it’s not that easy. I’m more comfortable talking to Nancy than Blair about these things. She says that’s normal. I just hope he understands that.

“Blair, I don’t feel that comfortable telling you certain things that I’m thinking about. That’s why it’s easier with Nancy. I hope you understand, do you?”

“Sure, I might not like it that much, but I do understand that you need someone else along side of me. It’s okay,” Blair assured Jim.

“I better get my shower taken or I’m never going to make it to work,” Jim said as he walked into the bathroom.

<<<>>>

I need to call my therapist and set up a meeting for today. I’m feeling weird about Jim talking to someone else instead of me every time he has a nightmare. I wonder if I’ll be able to get away today, I could use some time off. I know he’s the one that suffered, but I’m suffering too. Every time he pulls away from me, it hurts me physically. I need more help than I’m getting, I think.

Blair picked up the phone and called the therapist’s office and got the receptionist.

“This is Blair Sandburg, I wondered if I could see the doctor sometime today.”

“He has an opening at 1:00, you could make it your lunch time, if that would help,” she suggested.

“Thank you, go ahead and write me in. I’ll be there at 1:00.” Blair hung up the phone and felt better already.

<<<>>>

Jim heard Blair while he was in the bathroom and knew that Blair had made an appointment, so he was going to be extra busy so Blair could get away this afternoon to see him. Jim was grateful that Blair was seeing someone and hoped he was helping as much as Nancy did him.

He walked out of the bathroom all dressed and ready for work. “Ready, Blair?”

“Aren’t you going to eat anything for breakfast?” Blair asked.

“I thought I would have a Danish at work with my coffee. That’s good enough for me,” Jim said smiling.

Blair said, “Oh man, come on, haven’t you learned anything living with me? You have to have breakfast and that doesn’t include a Danish.”

The two men went down the elevator to the parking lot and took off in the truck. Both men were glad to be going back to work. They both needed it.

<<<>>>

“Good morning, Sandburg and Ellison,” Simon said not looking at either them. The night before he hadn’t really looked at them either. He talked to them, he just didn’t make eye contact.

Simon doesn’t quite look me in the eye yet. Does it embarrass him that he found me like he did? Does it embarrass him that it happened to a friend of his? Does he blame me for having it happen to me?

Jim was actually quite worried about it when Simon said, “Jim could I talk to you alone, please?”

“Sure,” Jim said and followed him into his office.

“Jim, I need to tell you something.” Simon actually looked him in the eye this time.

“Okay…”

“I’m having a hard time dealing with what happened to you and how it affects all of us, so I’m having everyone see the department shrink this week and we’ll see if anyone needs some extra help with it. I know I do. I know it wasn’t your fault, yet, I keep thinking it somehow was. I’m sorry,” Simon admitted.

“Then you need to talk to someone, Simon. It really does help to have someone to talk to,” Jim said understanding Simon completely. “Simon, thank you for caring enough to do this.”

“Thank you, for understanding, Jim.” Simon patted him on the shoulder that wasn’t sore and opened the door for him. “I’ll talk to you later on. Get to work,” Simon teasingly ordered.

Jim smiled all the way to his desk and Blair said, “I take it he didn’t say anything bad to you.”

“Actually, he sort of did, but he’s getting help for it and that’s what’s important. He’s seeing a shrink today,” Jim said very quietly.

“So am I,” Blair told Jim.

“Good for you,” Jim said supportively. “I’m so glad that we’re both getting help, babe. Thank you for hanging in here with me.”

Blair smiled and said, “Let’s get some of this paperwork out of our way, what do you say?”

“I say, couldn’t you do it?” Jim teased and Blair threw a pencil at him, making everyone in the bullpen laugh.

<<<>>>

At 1:00 Blair left for his appointment and didn’t even tell Jim where he was going, but he however did tell Simon. Jim knew anyhow, so it wasn’t important that Blair share it with him.

<<<>>>

Blair got to the therapist’s office and told them his name.

“He’ll be right with you, Detective Sandburg.”

Blair sat down and waited for his name to be called.

The therapist’s name was Mike Bilson and Blair liked him very much.

The receptionist called out, “Blair Sandburg.” Blair got up and followed her into the office of Mike Bilson.

“Shut the door on the way out, Stephanie,” Bilson suggested to his receptionist.

“So, Blair, how are you doing today?”

“I’m a mess. I’m jealous of the time Jim spends with his therapist and can’t understand why he talks to her instead of me. I know this is wrong, but this is how I feel,” Blair admitted.

“Blair, do you really want to hear Jim talk about what those animals did to him? Do you want that forever imprinted in your mind? Because that’s what he would be talking about,” Bilson said calmly.

“Mike, I just feel like I don’t know where I belong anymore. He doesn’t need me like I thought he would,” Blair whined.

“Get over it, Blair. He’s getting help and he’s going to be stronger for it, so we have to allow him to move on to the next step.”

“And what about me? What about my next step?” Blair wondered.

“Blair, he loves you, he wants you there, but he needs extra help in getting past this. You have to allow him that.”

Blair started to cry. “I can’t stand that someone hurt him like they did.”

“I know you can’t stand it. He can’t stand it either, but you have to stay strong when you’re with him because he is always wondering if you think less of him because of it.” Mike said.

Blair blew his nose and said, “I would never think less of Jim. I think less of a lot of people, but not Jim.”

“So you’re having sex with Jim again?” Mike asked.

“Yes, but I feel like I might break him. He’s so different than he used to be,” Blair tried to explain.

“Well, he is different. Because of those animals, he has to start a new type of life. One where he gets control of himself all over again. We have to give him time,” Mike said.

“He has all the time he needs from me. I’ll never push him, but I need to be more patient about yelling at him. I’ve been losing my temper,” Blair told Mike.

“Why?”

“He was tired and took it out on everyone in the bullpen and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t think it was a good enough excuse to treat us all like shit.”

“Blair, it isn’t a good enough excuse to treat others like shit. He needs to realize that he has to answer for all of the horrible things he does or says. I’m sure his therapist is working with him on it too.”

“So it’s all right if I yell at him. I said ‘fuck you’ to him once,” Blair asked.

“Blair, you have to keep the negativity at bay. You need to stay strong, try to reason with him without saying ‘fuck you’, “Bilson said.

“Do you think I could come in more than once a week?” Blair asked.

“Of course, you can. I think it might prove helpful in the long run,” Mike said smiling.

They talked for the rest of the hour and Blair felt a lot better about himself and Jim. He walked out with less on his shoulders. He got into the elevator and went back up to Major Crime.

<<<>>>

Rafe walked up to Jim and said, “Can I talk to you for a little while?”

Jim smiled and said, “Pull up a chair.”

“No, I mean privately,” Rafe said looking around the room.

“Let’s use Interrogation room 2, it’s open,” Jim said leading the way.

They walked in and Rafe stood there looking at the floor. “I wanted to tell you that I am seeing someone about what happened to you. I was having a hard time dealing with it and decided I didn’t want to lose a friend over it, so I’m seeing someone. So please hang in there with me and be patient.”

“Rafe, look at my eyes when you talk to me. Please don’t stare at the floor.”

Rafe looked up and saw tears in Jim’s eyes and said, “I’m sorry, Jim. I’m sorry that all of this happened to you and now you have to deal with the consequences.”

“I don’t mind as much if everyone just looked me in the eyes. Thank you for being a good friend, Rafe,” Jim said kindly.

“Well, we better get back out there before Simon sends the squad looking for us,” Rafe smiled as he talked.

The two men walked back out into the bullpen and Simon smiled at both men walking side by side talking and discussing work. Things were almost back to normal. Almost.

<<<>>>

Blair got off of the elevator and said, “Hey partner.”

Jim smiled and said, “Good session?”

“Great session. I feel really good. Have I mentioned lately how much you mean to me?” Blair asked.

“Not lately, and I’m glad you did. I feel that way too.” Jim smiled at his partner and felt like things were going to be all right.

“Now, give me those files that I just know you didn’t do while I was gone,” Blair ordered.

Jim laughed and handed the files to Blair and they both started working. It almost seemed like an old day. Jim felt the same as he had two months ago and he felt good about that.

<<<>>>

As they drove home that night, Blair couldn’t believe how quickly the day had gone and now it was time to deal with William Ellison. He prayed that William was going to be a good man about it all and surprise both of them.

Jim parked the truck and they got out and walked up to the loft. Jim said, “I’m going to take a shower before my dad gets here. Okay?”

Blair noticed that Jim didn’t really like being naked in front of Blair anymore, so it was one of those things, they would have to work on.

“Sure, I’ll make some iced tea and some coffee for when he gets here. I don’t know what he prefers,” Blair said.

“Strong… black… coffee…” Jim said with a smile.

“Coffee it is, now you go take your shower,” Blair said as he started to put the grounds in the basket.

“Would you like to shower with me? Just a shower, but I thought you might like to join me,” Jim said almost shyly.

Blair jumped at it and said, “I’ll join you as soon as I get this started. Get the water nice and warm for me, babe.”

<<<>>>

Jim whistled all the way into the bathroom and Blair couldn’t believe they were going to do this. He had showered with Jim one other time since this all happened. They used to shower together all the time, so maybe they would start again. Blair could only hope.

<<<>>>

Blair walked naked into the bathroom and saw Jim look at him with hunger in his eyes, making Blair get hard instantly. They shampooed each other’s hair and then soaped each other’s bodies down until they were clean. Then Jim and Blair took the soap and began to fist each other’s cock. They kissed under the flowing stream of water until they both came moaning into each other’s mouths.

<<<>>>

At six o’clock there was a knock at the door and Jim smelled Chinese food, so he knew his dad was there. He opened the door and said, “Come on in, Dad.”

“Hello Jimmy, you look very good.” William walked into the room and saw Blair. “Hello Blair, how are you?”

Blair smiled and said, “I’m doing well, thank you. How are you doing?”

“Actually I’m seeing a therapist and I’m doing much better than I was while you were in the hospital, Jimmy. I wanted to apologize for the way I treated you. I never should have said the things I did. Please say you’ll forgive me,” William said as quickly as he could.

Jim said, “Thank you for saying that, Dad. I’m glad you’re here and we’re going to talk.”

“But can you forgive me, son?”

“Yes, I can forgive you, Dad. You’re my dad.” Jim said it like that explained everything.

“I hope you both like Chinese food. I brought six different orders hoping to get something you would like.” William said.

Blair answered, “We love Chinese food, William. Thank you for being so thoughtful. How would you like a cup of hot, strong, black coffee?”

“I would love one, Blair. Thank you. Why don’t we all sit at the table and have dinner first and then we’ll talk about things later.”

Jim walked into the kitchen with the bags and said, “Sounds good to me, Dad.”

Blair got the dishes and silverware and they all sat down for dinner. William had spared no expense and there was much to choose from.

They discussed both men working all day and loving it and William said he had spent most of the day getting something special for the department.

Both men were intrigued. They couldn’t wait until they were done to hear what William was talking about.

<<<>>>

William had also brought dessert, so Blair was putting the Key Lime Pie on plates and taking it into the living room with fresh, hot, coffee.

As they ate their dessert Jim asked, “So what did you do for the department, Dad?”

“They only have a part time therapist to work with all of you, so I hired a therapist full time and paid the city for five years worth of services. So now there will be two therapists for all of you officers. Keep in mind, she isn’t a psychiatrist, she’s just a therapist, but she’s very good. I’ve been seeing her.”

Jim was the first one to speak. “Dad, that’s so great. We needed it, big time. Everyone was talking about getting appointments to see someone, now there will be more time and therapists to go around. Thank you so much.” Jim put his dessert down and went over and sat down next to his dad and hugged him.

“It was the least I could do for my son, Jimmy.”

Blair said, “Thank you, William, we really needed another one at the station.”

“Blair, are you seeing someone now?” William asked.

“Yes, I just saw him today in fact and he’s pretty good. I like him a lot,” Blair added.

Jim said, “And I love Nancy Lee, Dad. She’s great.”

“I’m so glad she was able to help you, I know that I wasn’t a big help at all. In fact, I don’t even know how you could forgive me,” William said shamefully.

“You’re my Dad, that’s enough of a reason,” Jim stated very clearly.

Blair just smiled at the two Ellison’s talking and couldn’t get over how different they were now. Everyone was changing, thankfully so.

<<<>>>

The following morning, Jim woke up in an excellent mood, but Blair wasn’t.

“What’s wrong, babe?” Jim asked.

“I just had a lousy night’s sleep and wish we didn’t have to go to work, and could lay in bed all day long. That would make me much happier,” Blair said wistfully.

Jim picked up the phone and called Simon. “Banks.”

“Yeah, Simon, could we come in late this morning?” Jim asked hopefully.

“Sure, is anything wrong?” Simon asked.

“No, everything is fine. We just need some alone time,” Jim admitted.

“Come in at noon and we’ll see you then,” Simon said before he hung up the phone.

“We’re off until noon,” Jim stated.

Blair went into Jim’s arms and said, “Thank you.”

They both stripped and got back into bed. Blair said, “I’d love to just hold you for a while, can I do that?”

Jim looked at Blair oddly and said, “You don’t want to fool around?”

“No, I just want to hold you. I want you to be in my arms for a change,” Blair suggested.

Jim didn’t know what to say, he wasn’t too keen on turning his back to Blair, so instead he went into Blair’s arms so they were facing each other.

“Turn around, Jim. Please?” Blair pleaded.

Jim started to pull away but then realized that he was going to have to do this eventually, so why not now? He turned on his side and slid back into Blair’s arms.

Blair started kissing Jim’s back and neck, making Jim grow hard. “I love you, man.”

“And I love you,” Jim replied.

Blair scooted up closer to Jim’s back until his cock was right up against Jim’s ass. Jim was truly uncomfortable at this time, but he didn’t say anything. The hard on he had started with had now left. He couldn’t get hard now if his life depended on it.

Blair began to massage Jim’s tight muscles in his shoulders, neck and back. Blair knew that this wasn’t that much fun for Jim, but he wanted him to get used to it again.

As Blair kept working on Jim’s muscles, Jim found himself dosing off, which he never thought he would do. Finally all Blair could hear was soft little snores coming out of Jim.

Blair slept with his lover in his arms until 10:00 and then he woke him up to get ready for work.

While they were getting dressed, Blair asked, “Was that so bad, Jim?”

“No, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’m still not comfortable doing that, but I’m willing to keep trying,” Jim said.

“Thank you, for that,” Blair said.

The two men were dressed and ready to go by 11:00 and had plenty of time to get to the bullpen.

<<<>>>

In the truck, Jim turned to Blair and said, “Is something wrong, that you didn’t want sex with me today?”

“No, nothing is wrong; I just wanted to hold you. It was important to me,” Blair explained.

“So you still do want sex with me, right?” Jim asked nervously.

“Yes, Jim, I want you all the time.”

“Good,” Jim said with a smile.

The rest of the drive to work was quiet. Both men had things on their minds. Blair wondered how soon he’d be able to hold Jim however he wanted to and Jim wondered why Blair didn’t seem to want him that day. Confusion was running amuck.

<<<>>>

When Jim and Blair arrived at the bullpen at noon, everyone seemed glad to see them. They all seemed very busy, too.

Conner walked by and said, “There is no rest for the wicked today, believe me.”

“What’s going on?” Jim asked.

“We might have a break in the Nelson case that you and Sandy were working on,” Conner said.

“Good, I’ll be glad to get to work on that,” Jim said casually and Blair just stared at him.

“Jim, we’re desk bound for two weeks, remember?” Blair asked.

“Fuck… At least you can go and work on it. Then you can fill me in when you get back. I’ll do all of the paperwork on our desks while you’re gone,” Jim suggested.

“Deal… I’ll go with Conner, Rafe and Brown right now. Talk to you later.” Blair left very quickly and Jim was sad to see him go, but knew he couldn’t fuck with the rules of the doctor’s.

Jim sat at his desk for the next three hours, doing paperwork, non-stop. He was bored out of his mind. Simon walked through with a cold Dr. Pepper and said, “How about a short break?”

Jim accepted the soft drink and opened it. He drank almost all of it in one gulp. “Have you heard anything from the guys yet?” Jim asked.

“Nope, we’ll hear when we see them, I guess. I hope they were able to get Nelson on something this time,“ Simon said.

“Well, I better get back to work, I told Blair, I would have all of these done by the time he got back,” Jim commented.

Simon got up and said, “Don’t work so hard, Jim, you’re making the rest of us look really bad.”

Jim smiled and got back to work. He must have thought Simon was joking, little did he know that Simon was very serious.

<<<>>>

At 5:30 in walked Rafe, Brown, Taggart, Conner and Sandburg. They seemed happy, so Jim was instantly happy about that.

“Hey partner, how did it go?” Jim asked.

“We got him, big time. He’s not going to walk away from these charges. Those tips you had for us were all good ones, Jim. It helped a great deal. And I see you’ve got all of the paperwork done. Sweet,” Blair said.

“Yeah, I had a very productive day. I’m tired, are you just about ready to go, or do you have to stay and finish up paperwork?” Jim asked.

“I have to stay and finish paperwork. Why don’t you go home and I’ll meet you there in a few hours,” Blair suggested.

“Okay…” Jim said as he grabbed his jacket and went to tell Simon he was leaving. He knocked on his doorway and said, “Simon, I’m leaving for the day. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“You did an excellent job with the paperwork today, Jim. I know how much you hate it, but yet you still did it. I’m sure you’re partner is happy about that. Is he going or staying?”

“He’s staying to finish paperwork. I’ll see him at home. Goodnight, Simon.”

“Goodnight, Jim.” Simon figured it was in his head, but Jim almost seemed sad about leaving by himself.

As Jim walked by Blair’s desk he said, “Goodnight, Chief.”

“Goodnight, Jim. See you in three hours or so. Drive careful.” Blair wanted to get up and kiss him, but knew the rules. No PDA’s in the bullpen or at the station.

Jim took the elevator downstairs and got into his truck. He saw two motorcycle cops staring at him and then laughing and it bothered him for a short period of time, but then he got over it. They could have been telling a joke for all he knew. It didn’t have to be him they were laughing at.

The drive home was uneventful. Traffic was slower than it usually was and Jim stopped at Wonderburger and got something to eat. He was starving. He didn’t care if Blair yelled at him about it later tonight. He picked up a great chicken strip salad for Blair, for when he got home. But Jim got a double cheeseburger, fries and a Dr. Pepper. He sat in his truck and ate the wonderful meal. Then he put all of the trash in his bag and took off for home.

By the time he arrived home, it was already going on 7:00. Jim knew that Blair wouldn’t be home anytime soon, so he figured he would pick out a movie and watch it in bed. Blair had bought him a DVD player and a tv for the bedroom. It was going to come in handy that night.

<<<>>>

“So did Jim hate leaving you here?” Conner asked.

“No, he seemed all right with it, why?” Blair inquired.

“Because he looked lost when he left. He’s used to the two of you leaving together. I figured he would find something to do here until you were ready to go home. Color me surprised when I saw him leaving,” Conner said.

“Color you surprised?” Blair teased. “Jim is doing fine, Conner. Stop worrying about him.”

“Why don’t you just call and ask him what he’s doing?” Conner suggested.

“Fine…” Blair picked up his cell and hit Jim’s number.

“Ellison.”

“Hey, what are you doing?” Blair asked.

“I just finished having a Wonderburger and fries, and I’m getting ready to watch a movie in bed. You going to be home soon?” Jim asked hopefully.

“Not for awhile, Jim. What movie are you watching?” Blair couldn’t help but ask.

“The brand new one you just bought me. I’ve never seen it. It’s called The Game Plan. You said that you and Conner saw it and it was good.”

“Oh yeah, you’re going to love it. Get comfy in bed and I’ll join you as soon as I get home,” Blair said.

“I got you a chicken strip salad from Wonderburger, because I know you like them,” Jim said.

“Thank you, Jim. Hopefully we won’t be here too much longer. Take care and I’ll talk to you later.” Blair closed his cell and said, “See, he was fine.”

“Let’s get this paperwork all done, so that the DA has everything for the hearing in the morning. You might be a little later than you thought,” Conner believed.

“Yeah, I might be. He’ll probably be sleeping by the time I get home,” Blair supposed.

“Sandy, has he ever been alone at night yet?” Conner wondered.

“No, but I’m sure he’s fine. I can’t stop doing my job just because I’m worried about Jim,” Blair stated.

“He would do it for you,” Conner spat out, getting somewhat angry.

“Conner, go away, so I can get my work done.” Blair went back to doing his paperwork and hoped he wouldn’t be too much later.

<<<>>>

Jim double checked the windows and locks on the door before he took his shower. Once he was done he put sweats on, a tee shirt and slipped into bed with the remote control. He was anxious to see this movie that Blair raved about. Hopefully it would be good. All Blair said was it was a football movie. So he started the movie and began to get into it. That was at 8:00. At 9:30, the movie was over and he thoroughly enjoyed it, but he missed Blair. He didn’t like sleeping alone. So, Jim turned on both bedside lamps and decided he would sit up and read a book.

He got out the newest Janet Evanovich novel and began laughing almost immediately. She was one of the funniest writers around and both he and Blair loved her work. This one was called, Plum Lucky. At 11:00, he wanted to call Blair, but stopped himself. Instead he continued reading.

<<<>>>

At midnight, he decided that he was going to call him. He got his cell out and pushed speed dial for Blair and heard, “Sandburg.”

“Hi, you still working?” Jim asked.

“Yes, we’re still working; we have to have everything ready by morning, so it might be a couple of hours yet. Go to sleep, Jim. I’ll wake you up when I get home.” Blair sounded a little off.

“Blair, is something wrong?”

“I’m fucking tired Jim and I just want to get done. So, the sooner I get off the phone, the sooner I can get it done. I’ll talk to you when I get home,” Blair said.

“Bye, Chief.” And like that, Jim hung up the phone.

Conner looked over at Sandburg and said, “Sandy, I can’t believe how you just talked to him. This is his first night alone after what happened and you’re treating him like shit. I’m so disappointed in you.”

“I’m never going to finish this shit…” Blair said as he pulled out his cell to call Jim back.

“Ellison.”

“Hey, I wanted to say I’m sorry for being so abrupt. I’m just tired and cranky. Do you understand?” Blair asked.

“Yeah, I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight, Chief.” And Jim closed his cell.

Blair looked at the phone and said, “Fuck… He’s mad.”

Conner walked over and said, “He’s not mad, he’s probably got his feelings hurt. He was alone all day today while you got to go out and do big boy work and then you sent him home.”

“I can’t fucking win,” Blair said as he started back on his paperwork.

<<<>>>

Jim got dressed and decided he would go to McDonalds and get a hot fudge Sundae. He loved them, he would pick something up for Blair, too. When he drove up to the drive thru, they asked what he wanted and he said, “Four hot fudge Sundae’s and three shakes, one vanilla, one chocolate and one strawberry.”

They told him how much it would be and he drove to the first window. He paid and couldn’t wait to taste the ice cream and hot fudge. He loved them. Then he moved to the second window and picked everything up when it was ready. Driving home, he couldn’t help but smile about all the bad things he was eating that night. He didn’t really care right that moment.

When he got home, he picked out another movie and took his four hot fudge sundae’s upstairs to eat. He was going to watch The Kingdom and pig out. So that’s exactly what he did.

He threw all of his containers in the trash and continued to watch the movie, but he knew he was fading fast. For some reason, he didn’t like the idea of being all alone. He wasn’t sure about that feeling. He wished he had Blair to talk to.

He fell asleep watching the movie but did hear Blair come in at 3:00, shutting all of the equipment off and sliding into bed. He didn’t let Blair know that he was awake, because he really didn’t want to talk right then.

<<<>>>

Jim got up the next day at 7:00 and took a shower and got dressed. He then called Nancy.

“Doctor Lee, can I help you?” Nancy said.

“Hi, it’s Jim Ellison. I wondered if you had any openings to see me today. I would come to you for a change,” Jim offered.

“Jim, what’s wrong?”

“I had to be at home last night all by myself until 3:00 a.m. and I was very uncomfortable with it. I figure I need some help because I can’t expect Blair to keep taking care of me all the time,” Jim said, sounding totally annoyed with himself.

“Can you come in this morning at 9:00, I have an opening,” Nancy said.

“I’ll be there in two hours, thank you so much.” Jim hung up feeling better about the entire thing.

Jim finished getting ready for work and left the loft, but not before he left a note for Blair.

Blair,

I needed to see Nancy this morning, so I’ve got an appointment at 9:00. Other than that, I’ll be in the bullpen all day long. Call me and tell me if you’re working today or not. I missed you last night.

I love you,

Jim

<<<>>>

Jim arrived at the bullpen early so he could get some work done before he had to take some time off. He walked to Simon’s office and said, “Simon, I have an appointment at 9:00, so I’ll probably be gone an hour.”

“Sure, we’ll see you when you get done,” Simon said, not asking where he was going. He figured there were certain things that Jim needed to keep to himself. Some things were just private and should remain that way.

Jim left to go to his appointment and had all of the paperwork from last night put into the computer. Blair was going to be impressed.

<<<>>>

Blair woke up to an empty loft and didn’t like that feeling at all. He went downstairs to find coffee waiting for him and a note from Jim. He read the note and frowned. Why did Jim feel the need to rush off to talk to Nancy? Was it because I worked all night? Does he want me to stay home with him? I can’t do that. I have to work. And why does he have to keep going to Nancy? Couldn’t he talk to me about it, first?

Blair took his shower, got dressed, drank the coffee and got ready to go. He didn’t call the bullpen because he knew that Jim would be at the appointment at that time.

<<<>>>

Nancy opened up the door and said, “Come on in, Jim. How are you today?”

“I’m feeling a little fragile and I have to tell you, I don’t like it at all.”

“What happened?”

“I was alone until 3:00 this morning, and I found myself unable to relax and sleep well without Blair there. I don’t want to say I’m afraid, because I don’t think I am, but at the same time, I didn’t like being there alone. So I’m not sure what I’m feeling.”

“Jim, you might be a little afraid of being alone at this time, it’s expected and it’s all right to feel that way. You should have called Blair and asked him to come home.”

“Nancy, I can’t call Blair every time I need him to be around me. He has to work. He can’t just give it up for me. Right?”

“Well, you are right about that, but you could have at least called and told him you felt funny being in the loft alone,” Nancy said.

“I don’t know if I want to admit to him that I’m afraid. You think that I’m afraid?” Jim asked.

“I don’t know what you feel, Jim. You said you aren’t afraid, you just didn’t feel good being alone. You might just need to have someone around you for safety’s sake. Like, Simon could have come over or something. He would have understood.”

“There again, Nancy, I can’t ask my boss to babysit me every time my lover has to work late. How would that look?”

“Jim, that only leaves one thing and that means you have to get used to being alone. Try doing things without Blair for the next week, as often as you can, and see how you feel about being without him.”

“I already know, I’m going to hate it. I love being with him and I don’t mean sexually,” Jim admitted.

“Jim, speaking of sex, are things going well for the two of you?”

“We haven’t made love in three days, but he asked if he could hold me the other day and I let him. But he said he didn’t want sex. Do you suppose he’s getting tired of the same old problems all the time?”

“Three days isn’t a long time, Jim. Calm down and just enjoy your time with him. Do you start things, or do you wait for him to start advances?”

“I sort of wait for him,” Jim said.

“Well, take that first step from now on. You make the advances and see if that helps a little bit. Blair might feel like he’s taking advantage of you. Try it and see how that works. I think you’re going to be all right, Jim. Why don’t you go back to work and have a good day?”

“Thank you for seeing me. I feel better,” Jim said freely.

“Remember that you can talk to Blair, too. It doesn’t have to be me,” Nancy instructed.

“Yes, doctor,” Jim teased and walked out of her office feeling much better.

<<<>>>

When Jim arrived at Major Crime, Blair was sitting as his desk typing away. Jim walked in and said, “Good morning, Chief.”

“Good morning, Jim. You look happy,” Blair said, as much as he hated to admit it.

“Can I talk to you alone for a minute?” Jim asked.

“Yeah, let’s go to interrogation room 3, it’s empty.” Blair led the way and Jim followed, liking the view of his lover’s ass. Keep your mind on work, Ellison.

They walked into the room and Blair shut the door. “So what’s up?”

“Blair, I need to tell you something about last night. I was a little bit afraid of being alone. That’s why I kept calling you and bothering you during the night. It was my first time alone and it was freaking me out. Nancy said I need to talk to you about things and not just her.”

“Well, good for Nancy. I’m glad she said that. I wish you would have told me this last night and I would have gotten someone to do the paperwork for me, so that I could have gone home to be with you.”

“Chief, you can’t stop working because of me. I just wanted you to know that, that’s why I called you.”

“Jim, can I tell you something?”

Jim looked at him oddly and answered, “You can tell me anything.”

“I didn’t like that you went to Nancy’s today and didn’t wake me up first. I don’t like you leaving a note. It’s not the same and I would have preferred hearing it from your lips, not on a piece of paper,” Blair explained.

“Okay, no more notes. I think I can handle that. I’ll try to share things with you more as time goes on, Blair. And speaking of sharing, do you still like having sex with me?” Jim asked fearfully.

Blair almost laughed. “Yeah, as a matter of fact, I wanted you this morning and you weren’t there. It ruined all of my morning plans. I love you and I love making love to you. I also love when you make love to me. So never think I don’t like being with you anymore. Okay?”

“Blair, I promise I’ll never call you at work again and bother you. I know you were tired last night and I was whiney.”

Blair moved into Jim’s personal space and said, “I don’t mind you being whiney now and then. I love you.”

“Every day will get easier, right?” Jim asked hopefully.

“Yup, every day will get easier,” Blair said with a smile on his face.

“Let’s get back out there and get our work done so we can go back home tonight and make love,” Jim said as casually as he could.

“And you expect me to be able to work now?” Blair asked.

They laughed and walked out of the room, shoulders touching and nothing more, but feeling like a million bucks.

They both knew they had some tough months ahead of them, but they also knew that they would be helping each other more each day.

Things were going to be fine.

Jim was feeling less unraveled with every passing moment.

The end

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Acknowledgments: Thank you to Mary and Kerensa for the beta and to Lisa for wanting the story for the ezine. Thank you to Suse for the artwork.