Family by Annie

Family - Annie

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“Many men can make a fortune but few can build a family.”
--JS Bryan

***

“Hey, Chief, how you doing?” Jim Ellison said as he walked in through the door of his apartment.

His partner, Blair Sandburg, looked up from where he was seated cross-legged on the floor of the living room and gave him a tremulous smile. “Okay,” Blair replied softly. “Not great but I’m getting there.”

“I’m going to miss Naomi too,” Jim said. He ruffled Blair’s hair then walked through to the kitchen and pulled out two beers, popping the caps then taking them across to Blair and handing him one.

“I still can’t believe she’s gone,” Blair said, taking the bottle and putting it on the coffee table beside him.

“I know it’s a cliché but at least it was quick, she didn’t suffer…”

“Or have time to be afraid,” Blair added. “That’s the first thing I thought of, when I heard about the car wreck, that she would have been scared…”

Jim sat on the floor and pulled Blair into a sideways hug, kissing the top of his hair. “No, it was quick and she wouldn’t have had time to be afraid.”

“Small mercies, I guess.” Blair sighed then turned and kissed Jim’s mouth gently and sweetly. “Thanks for coming home early today to help me deal with all this.”

“Thank Simon. He insisted on it. As soon as I mentioned your mom’s things were arriving today he practically ordered me home. So,” Jim pulled one of the boxes over closer. “What have we got here?”

“Photos mostly, a few knickknacks she’d collected on her travels, my report cards-“

“Ah, blackmail material!” Jim held up a small photograph album and waved it at Blair. “It says ‘Early Years’ on the cover. Am I going to find some naked baby pics in here?”

“More than likely.” Blair grinned. “Mom told me once I spent most of the first couple of years of my life au naturel. Apparently as soon as she put clothes on me I took them off.”

Jim started flipping through the album then stopped and flicked back to the first page. “Who’s this?” he asked, handing the book across to Blair.

“Well, that’s Mom obviously. She never changed much, did she?”

“Nope, she was always beautiful,” Jim replied. “What about the kids though? I mean, I thought this one was you. Can’t mistake those curls or eyes. Who’s the older boy though? A friend of the family maybe? Or your cousin, Robert?”

Blair shook his head slowly then pulled his glasses off the table and put them on. “Robert’s almost the same age as me… It can’t be…” He looked over at Jim, his expression stricken. “I thought I’d imagined it, imagined him.”

“Who?”

Blair put the book down then turned so he was facing Jim. “When I was younger I had flashes of what I thought were memories of having an older brother. When I told Naomi about it, she said it was just my imagination, a kind of wish fulfilment thing.”

“You think she lied to you?”

Blair shrugged. “Wouldn’t be the only time she used an obfuscation or a redirection to keep me from knowing stuff she didn’t want me to know. Jim, maybe I really do have a brother!”

“I don’t know, Chief.” Jim picked up the album and peered at the photo closely. “It could be a friend’s child, a neighbor-“

“Look at the way she has she has her arm around him. They say a picture paints a thousand words. There’s as much affection in that hug as there is in the way she’s holding me,” Blair pointed out. “What if it’s true? How can I find out now?”

“There’d have to be birth records,” Jim mused. “You sure you want to open up this can of worms?”

Blair nodded firmly. “I’m sure. If I have a brother out there, I want to find him.”

“Okay.” Jim pulled Blair in close for a hug. “Feel like eating something? We can order in.”

“Let’s go out. I need a distraction, something to get my mind off everything.”

“All right, how about Manetti’s?”

~oOo~

Jim made love to Blair tenderly when they went to bed that night, wanting to convey all his love as well as his comfort in the act. When Blair was finally sleeping, Jim crept downstairs again and looked through the boxes of Naomi’s things.

The first box was, as Blair had said, mostly photographs, only one of which showed the other child in the picture. The second box contained mostly small ornaments, things Naomi had collected on her varied travels around the world. The last box held letters and papers, including Blair’s school reports and copies of his early University papers. Jim sorted through them, putting them in separate piles. He bundled the letters together with a rubber band, unread. He’d give them to Blair in the morning.

He found Blair’s birth certificate tucked inside Naomi’s passport and put those aside as well. There was an outside chance that despite Naomi’s penchant for wandering the world, she’d had both children in the same hospital, if indeed Blair’s vague memories were correct and the other boy was his brother. Jim took the letters with him upstairs when he headed back up to bed again.

~oOo~

In the morning Jim left Blair skimming through the letters while he went to have his shower. He was just stepping out and drying off when Blair called his name excitedly. He wrapped the towel around his waist and took the stairs two at a time up to the loft bedroom. “What’s wrong?”

Blair looked over at him, his face pale and held a letter aloft. “I think I just found my father,” he whispered hoarsely as if whatever emotion he was feeling had all but robbed him of his voice.

“You’re kidding?” Jim shook his head at his own trite phrase then walked over and sat next to Blair on the bed. “May I?” he asked, indicating the letter.

Blair shoved it into his hand then sat, almost vibrating with excitement as he read it.

Jim looked across at him when he finished reading. “She’s telling this guy she was pregnant by him,” he said, unnecessarily.

“Yep, and it’s got his name and address on the top of the letter. Jim, we can track him from that, can’t we?”

“If he hasn’t moved too far.” Jim nodded. “Even if he’s moved, as long as he hasn’t changed his name for any reason we should be able to find him.” He picked up the envelope the letter had been in and looked closely at the smudged postmark, focusing his Sentinel vision to pick up the barely decipherable markings. “Chief, she wasn’t writing to him about you,” he said after a long moment. “This was posted three years before you were born.”

“So,” Blair replied excitedly. “She was writing about being pregnant with my brother. It proves he exists and it gives my father’s name.”

“Your brother’s father’s name,” Jim said cautiously.

“What does that mean?” Blair asked. He pushed aside the covers and climbed out of bed, standing next to Jim. “Naomi wasn’t some slut, Jim. Just because she was a single mom doesn’t mean she slept around.”

“I’m sorry.” Jim stood as well and pulled Blair’s slightly resistant body into his arms. “I didn’t mean it that way. I’m a cop and I go by the evidence, that’s all. This evidence says she was telling him about your brother. I swear that’s all I meant.”

Blair pulled back enough to kiss his mouth gently. “I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean to snap at you like that. This has all been a little overwhelming.”

“I know.” Jim released him then walked across to the bureau to start getting dressed. “We’ve got time to go check this out today if you want.”

Blair nodded enthusiastically and trotted downstairs. “I’m going to have a shower and get dressed.”

“I’ll get breakfast organized,” Jim called after him.

“Just toast and coffee for me. I want to get going as soon as possible.”

~oOo~

Blair pulled his desk chair alongside Jim’s and sat down in it as Jim turned on the computer. “It’s okay for us to do this, right? I don’t want you to get in any trouble.”

“It’s fine, Chief. If anyone asks I’ll tell them it’s part of a routine investigation for a missing persons case.” Jim logged on and typed Blair’s father’s name into the search bar and hit enter.

“Well, I guess that’s kind of true,” Blair replied with a nervous smile. “They were missing in my life up till now.”

“Not any more.” Jim pointed at the screen. “Your brother’s got a record.”

“You’re kidding me! What for?” Blair leaned in to get a better look at the monitor.

“Mostly juvie stuff. Hmm, all of the charges except one were dismissed for various reasons. The only one that actually went all the way through was the first one – for shoplifting. He got a good behavior bond for that one.” “Wouldn’t his juvenile records have been sealed or expunged?” Blair asked. He looked closely at the picture on the screen. This was his brother! He could see the similarity to himself in the man’s eyes and curly hair.

“No, because he got arrested as an adult after that. The fact the charges were dismissed doesn’t mean they disappear from his record. He looks a bit like you,” Jim observed.

“Yeah. Sam Baker, it’s nice to finally meet you,” Blair murmured. “What about his father?”

“David Baker, he’s an investment banker. No criminal record.” Jim nodded toward where he’d pulled up a Google search on the computer. “Want to go pay him a visit?” Jim stood up and grabbed his jacket off the hook along with Blair’s, which he tossed to him.

“Um, now?” Blair felt suddenly nervous. What is this man wasn’t his father? Worse yet, what if he was and he wanted nothing to do with him?

“No time like the present, Chief. Come on.”

“I’m just thinking maybe there was a reason Naomi didn’t tell me about them,” Blair said even as he put his jacket on and followed Jim out to the elevator.

“I think back then she was trying to protect you but you’re an adult and entitled to follow this up if you want to.” Jim stopped at the elevator and looked closely at Blair. “Do you?”

Blair took a deep breath then nodded. “Yeah, I do. I’m sure Mom meant well but she’s gone now,” he swallowed against the pain saying that brought on and went on. “These might be the only family I have left.”

“No matter what happens I’ll always be here for you, Blair,” Jim said, pressing the elevator call button.

“Jim, I know that. I didn’t mean-“

“I know,” Jim said quickly. He stepped into the car when it came then pressed the button for the parking garage. “Let’s go meet your folks.”

~oOo~

Blair could literally feel himself shaking as they entered the plush outer office. Jim cast a worried glance over at him then shored him up with a hand on his shoulder.

“We’re here to see Mr. Baker,” Jim said, stepping up to the reception desk when Blair didn’t move forward.

“Which one, senior or junior?” the young blonde woman behind the desk asked.

“Um, senior, I guess,” Blair said, finally walking up to stand at Jim’s side.

“Do you have an appointment?”

“Um, no, sorry. If you could just tell him that Blair Sandburg would like a moment of his time-“ Blair said hesitantly.

“Mr. Baker is a very busy man.” The woman sighed then pressed the intercom button. “Mr. Baker, there’s a Blair Sandburg to see you.”

There was a moment’s silence then a man’s deep voice replied, “Send him in, Melody.”

“You heard the man,” Melody said, pointing towards the heavily panelled door to her left.

“Oh man,” Blair whispered as Jim ushered him along, “maybe we should have called first.”

“Sounds to me like he recognized your name, Chief,” Jim whispered back. He knocked on the door then opened it, shoving Blair in ahead of him.

The man who stepped around the desk to greet them was almost as tall as Jim. He had thick dark curly hair, greying at the sides, neatly trimmed into a short back and sides haircut. He was fit looking and the hand he held out to Blair clasped his in a firm shake.

Blair looked him over slowly. Surely if this man was his father he should remember him. He remembered his brother after all. He shook his head a little. He had a vague memory of a shadowy figure in his past from when he was very young but there was no substance to the figure, no features to tell him if it was this man.

“You look like your mother,” Baker said with a smile. “Well, apart from the hair. You get that from me, I’m afraid.”

“So you are my father?” Blair asked hesitantly.

“Yes. You didn’t know that? I thought that’s why you were here.” Baker looked puzzled as he turned and offered his hand to Jim.

“I’m sorry. Um, this is my partner, Jim Ellison,” Blair added belatedly. “Nice to meet you, sir.”

“Partner?” Baker turned back to Blair. “Business partner or-“

“Jim’s my partner on the police force. We’re detectives. He’s also my domestic partner.” Blair waited for his father’s reaction to that but Baker simply nodded and smiled and indicated two chairs in front of his desk.

Blair sat and Jim sat down in the chair next to him.

“So, how’s Naomi? I haven’t heard from her in some time. Of course, that was our arrangement but still. Each year around Sam’s birthday I expect to get a call or a card or something.” Baker sighed. “It was my fault of course. Not hers. I told her contact wouldn’t be welcome.”

“Um, sir, you’ll have to forgive me but I really don’t know anything about you or about Sam. You see, Mom died a couple of weeks ago in an accident and I got her effects and found some old photos…” Blair stopped as Baker buried his head in his hands, crying openly.

“I’m sorry.” Baker raised his head from his hands and grabbed a handful of tissues out of the box on his desk. “I didn’t expect to hear that. What happened? You said an accident?”

“A car accident on Long Island,” Jim replied quickly. He gave Blair a quick look of empathy then added, “Maybe you could start at the beginning,” Jim suggested. “Tell Blair how you and Naomi met, why you weren’t around when he was growing up.”

Blair looked at his lover and smiled, his own eyes damp with tears. At least his father had loved his mother once no matter what else had happened to drive them apart.

“Okay.” Baker sighed. “Can I offer you coffee or a drink?”

Jim and Blair both shook their heads and Baker stood up, walking across to a small bar in the corner of the room. He poured himself a drink then carried it back to the desk and sat down. “Where to begin?” he mused. “I met Naomi in high school. She was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen in my life.” He smiled shyly at Blair. “She was from the wrong side of the tracks as far as my parents were concerned. It was the old Romeo and Juliet story all over again.”

Blair had to smile at that. His mom had always been a romantic at heart.

“Anyway,” Baker went on, his eyes seeming fixed on a time far in the past that only he could see, “I loved her enough to defy my parents and we started going out together. About two months after we did she told me she was pregnant.” He looked at Blair. “We were young and idealistic. We said we didn’t believe in abortion so we decided to have the baby. We moved into a little place together and we both got jobs outside school hours.”

“What about your families?” Jim asked. “They didn’t help out?”

“No way.” Baker shook his head firmly at that. “Naomi’s parents pretty much disowned her once they found out I wasn’t Jewish.” He looked at Blair again. “Did she ever reconcile with them?”

Blair shook his head sadly. “No, not to my knowledge. In fact she rarely mentioned them to me at all. Until you told me what you just did I’d always assumed they’d died before I was born.”

“Last time I spoke to her they were still alive,” Baker replied. “You never tried contacting them?”

Blair shrugged. “Like I said, she never really talked about them so I thought they were dead. Any time she did speak about them it made her sad so I learned pretty early on to avoid the subject. I didn’t hear from them even when she died.” He gave Baker a direct look. “We managed fine on our own.”

“Yes, I can see that. Anyway, our son Sam was born and Naomi decided to quit school to take care of him. I stayed on, graduated and got a job in a shoe store. We didn’t have much but we managed. A year or so after Sam was born Naomi told me she was pregnant again.” Baker sighed and rubbed a hand through his hair. “I was angry, told her she should have been more careful-“

“It takes two people to make a baby,” Blair said reproachfully.

“I know. You’re right, but at the time I was a nineteen year old kid scared witless about how we going to cope raising two kids when we were just barely getting by raising one.”

“So what happened?” Jim asked quietly.

Baker shook his head ruefully and shot a guilty look at Blair. “We made a deal. I stayed with her until you were a year old then I left and took Sam with me. We agreed not to contact each other-“

“Why?” Blair asked vehemently. “I can understand you splitting up, I can even almost understand you taking my brother and leaving me behind but why on earth would you have wanted no contact with me or wanted her to have no contact with Sam?” He shook his head. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“It does if you know my father,” Baker replied. “Look, he offered to set me up in business, help me get on my feet but only if I left Naomi. He wanted me to have Sam, his first grandson, someone else to carry on the family name. He…” Baker stopped, his face flushing. “He said how did I even know for sure you were mine, that you looked nothing like me.”

“I see.” Blair just shook his head and Jim reached across and took his hand, squeezing it comfortingly.

“You have to realize, my father was raised in a different time. He was bigoted and rich and used to getting his own way.”

“Is he still alive?” Blair asked quietly.

Baker shook his head. “He died ten years ago.”

“So why didn’t you contact us then?” Blair asked.

“I’d been out of your life so long. I felt guilty for all the lost years. Besides, Naomi seemed to be constantly on the move. I’d no sooner tracked her down to one place and she’d be gone by the time I got there.” Baker smiled wistfully. “She always said she wanted to travel the world someday.”

“Well, she definitely did that,” Jim said with a fond grin at Blair.

“Do you think Sam would want to meet me, talk to me?”

“I’m sure of it. I’ll call him tonight and we’ll do lunch.” Baker stood and held out his hand to Jim. “I’m sorry to cut this short,” he said, “ but I really do have a meeting in a few minutes.” He walked around the desk and as Blair stood up and held out his hand, pulled him into a hug. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I did love you. I missed you.”

Blair patted his father’s back awkwardly then brushed away the dampness in his eyes as he pulled away. “Thank you,” he said softly, turning to leave. Turning back he quickly pulled his business card from his pocket and handed it to his father then led the way out of the office.

“Well,” Jim said as they got into the car in the parking lot, “that wasn’t too bad, was it?”

Blair shook his head, his eyes showing his emotion. “Thank you,” he said, leaning forward to kiss Jim’s mouth gently, “I couldn’t have gone through any of this without you.”

~oOo~

Over the next few days Blair jumped up to answer the phone every time it rang only to give Jim a look of disappointment when none of the calls was from his father.

“Why don’t you call him?” Jim suggested eventually. “He’s probably just busy with work, hasn’t had a chance to call.”

“Do you think I should?” Blair asked hesitantly. “I don’t want to push him.”

“Sure, call him, invite him and Sam to lunch or dinner at a time that suits them.”

“Okay, maybe I will.” Blair glanced at his watch. “Crap, I’ve gotta run. I’m late for my firearms proficiency test.”

Jim stood up and gave him a hug. “Want me to come with you?” he offered.

“Nah,” Blair said, hugging him back, “don’t want the guys at the range to think I need you there to hold my hand. Rafe’s got his test at the same time. We thought we’d go out for a celebratory drink after. You could join us then.”

“You two so sure you’re going to pass, are you?” Jim said with a grin as he walked over to the basket by the door and tossed Blair his keys. “Give me a call when you’re finished and I’ll meet you at Murphy’s Bar. First round’s on me.”

“Okay. See ya!” Blair gave a cheerful wave as he left and Jim smiled, glad to see some happiness back on his partner’s face. It had been too long since Blair had smiled like that.

Jim pottered around the loft for the next hour or so, tidying up and reading the paper. He really didn’t doubt Blair would pass his firearms test. He was at least as good a shot with a handgun these days as Jim. Jim had taught him himself, wanting to be sure there was nothing standing between Blair and his detective’s badge but with all Blair had been through lately – his mother’s sudden death and then finding his father and brother, Jim knew it was possible he’d be distracted and not able to focus as well as he should. He was surprised when the phone rang just over an hour after Blair left and hurried over to pick it up.

“Wow, you must have aced it if you’re calling this soon,” he said as he answered it.

“Detective Ellison?” a female voice asked hesitantly.

“Yes, this is he. Who’s this?”

“My name is Rose Anderson. I’m the triage nurse at Cascade General. We have a Blair Sandburg here. I was asked to call-“

“What?” Jim’s mind ran through a hundred awful scenarios in just a few stunned seconds. “What happened?” he asked finally.

“Blair was assaulted. He was found in the parking lot of the Cascade PD firing range. His friend, Detective Rafe, brought him in. He was very adamant that we call you as soon as possible.”

“How bad is he?” Jim asked, reaching out as he spoke to grab his keys, wallet, and cell phone.

“I can’t really tell you anymore till you get here, Detective. I’m sorry. Shall I tell Detective Rafe you’re on your way?”

“Yeah. I’ll be there in twenty.” Jim slammed the phone down and took off out of the apartment at a run.

He made it past the emergency room desk with a minimum of trouble by dint of flashing his badge at the nurse on duty and barking out Blair’s name. She’d quickly replied, “Cubicle 3” and Jim took off down the hallway at a fast walk, his innate sense of professionalism just barely keeping him from breaking into a run. He rattled the curtains back and then stopped, shock rendering him almost numb as he saw Blair lying on the gurney.

Blair’s face was badly bruised, his right eye almost completely closed. There were a myriad small abrasions across the knuckles of his hands and Jim recognized immediately that Blair had hit someone, had at least been able to fight back. The sheet was folded down to his waist and Jim’s sentinel sight could make out the bulkiness of a bandage on Blair’s right side. The faint smell of blood tainted the air and it was that as much as anything else that brought Jim out of his shock-induced almost-zone and sent him over to Blair’s side.

“Chief?” Jim whispered, one hand hovering just above Blair’s forehead as if unsure where he could touch him. He jumped when Blair’s left eye opened and looked up at him.

“Hey,” Blair croaked huskily. He reached a hand up and grabbed Jim’s hovering one, bringing it to his lips for a fleeting kiss with his battered, bloody lips. “You okay, Jim? Sit down before you keel over. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Jim managed a faint smile at that, leaned down to kiss Blair’s forehead then planted himself in a chair at the bedside. Feel up to telling me what happened?”

The curtain behind him rattled again and Jim turned and saw Rafe standing there, looking worried and uncertain. “Hey Rafe, come on in.”

Rafe walked across and looked down at Blair. “You feeling any better, man? The doc said they gave you some morphine.” Jim tamped down the crazy feeling of jealousy he felt that Rafe had been there for Blair, that Rafe had been told what was happening with Blair and instead smiled up at him. “Thanks for bringing him in. What else did the doctor say? What’s the damage?”

“He’ll be in soon to talk to you both in a few minutes.” Rafe flushed lightly. “Um, I hope it’s okay. Um, I explained that you and Blair were domestic partners-“

“It’s fine,” Jim said quickly. “The nurse on the phone wouldn’t tell me anything.”

“They don’t like to tell you stuff on the phone, Jim, you know that. We’ve both been through this enough times before,” Blair put in and Jim could only nod agreement at that.

“So,” Jim said, turning back to Blair, “what the hell happened?”

“I was just getting out of my car in the parking lot and next thing I knew someone grabbed me from behind. He spun me around and I managed to get in a couple of hits,” Blair waggled his hands ruefully and went on, “but he kneed me in the ribs and I hit the deck. Next thing I knew he was on top of me and there was this sudden sharp pain in my side…” Blair stopped, holding up one hand. “Just… just give me a sec, will you?”

Jim gripped his hand gently and waited him out.

“Okay,” Blair said finally, taking a breath, wincing as he did so, “I realized he’d stabbed me and then he dropped the knife and started punching me in the face. I guess I passed out around there.”

Jim turned as he heard footsteps approaching. “Here comes the doctor,” he said even as a man dressed in green scrubs entered through the curtain.

“Gentlemen, I’m Dr. Ellis. How’re you feeling, Blair? Has the morphine helped?”

“Yeah, I’m doing okay,” Blair replied. “Can I go home?”

Dr. Ellis gave a short laugh. “Not just yet. You have a concussion, bruised ribs, and a very nasty laceration in the side of your chest. It penetrated quite deeply and you’re lucky not to have a punctured lung-“

“But I don’t have one so I can go home, right?”

Jim placed a gentle hand over Blair’s mouth. “You’re staying till the doc says you can leave, Chief,” he said firmly, which will be?” he arched an eyebrow at the doctor.

“First thing in the morning if there are no complications. We won’t take you to another room. The nurses here can keep an eye on you overnight. I’ll come by to check you out in the morning and give you a prescription for some antibiotics for that gash.” The doctor nodded and patted Blair’s shoulder and left.

“Rafe, you don’t need to hang around, man,” Blair said. “Shit!” he slapped his hand on his forehead then yelped as it contacted a bruise.

“Easy, Chief, what’s up?” Jim asked, leaning forward and taking Blair’s hand in his again.

“I made Rafe miss his weapons certification,” Blair replied. He gave Rafe an apologetic look. “Sorry, man.”

“We’ll set it up again for when your feeling better, Sandburg. My certification’s good for another couple of weeks at least. I’ll call by when you get home, see how you’re feeling. You want me to write up the report on this, Jim?”

“Just your finding Blair and what you did from there,” Jim said. “Go, get home while you still have some time off left. I’ll do the Q&A.”

Rafe sketched a salute and headed out the door

“So, did the guy say anything?” Jim asked, turning back to his lover.

“No.” Blair shook his head slowly. “That was the worst part. It was eerie. He didn’t say a thing.” He shivered and Jim pulled the covers up around his chest more.

“You couldn’t ID him either-“

“He won’t have to.”

Jim turned to see Rafe standing in the entryway again.

“I just got a call from Forensics,” Rafe said with a grin. “Idiot tossed the knife under Blair’s car. It’s got his prints on it and we got a match. Guy’s name is Samuel John Baker.”

“What?” Blair struggled to sit up, his face pale.

Jim pushed him back against the pillows. “Take it slow, buddy. Let me follow it up before you get all worked up about it.”

“You know this Baker guy?” Rafe asked, sounding surprised.

“He’s my brother,” Blair said flatly. He closed his eyes. “Go talk to him, Jim, before he does something even more stupid and tries to run.”

“Okay.” Jim bent and kissed Blair’s mouth softly. I’ll be back as soon as I’ve interviewed him. You want me to call your father?”

“No, not yet. I want to know what Sam has to say first.”

Jim grabbed a wide-eyed Rafe on his way out of the cubicle and tugged him along with him. “Yeah, you heard right, Rafe. His brother. Long story. I’ll tell you on the way. You got an address on this guy?”

Rafe tore a piece of paper off the notebook in his hand and handed it over then followed Jim down the corridor.

~oOo~

What surprised Jim almost as much as the fact that Sam Baker owned up to his assault on Blair was the reason for it.

“I’m my father’s sole heir,” Sam said. “Then he comes along and Dad tells me how wonderful it is that we’ve found each other, that he’ll go to his lawyer the next day and change his will.”

“So you actually intended to kill Blair, not just assault him.”

“I think I want to call a lawyer now.”

Jim slammed his hand down on the table. “Go ahead, lawyer up but you pretty much just admitted to attempted homicide. That carries a hell of a lot bigger penalty than aggravated assault.”

“Make him a deal,” a quiet voice said from the doorway.

Jim turned and saw Blair standing there, his face white, his hands trembling where they gripped the doorjamb.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he snapped.

“I needed to see him so I got Simon to come get me.”

“Oh for crying out loud!” Jim walked across and guided Blair to a seat at the table. “Simon and I will be having a discussion about that. What the hell was the hospital thinking, letting you leave?”

“I signed myself out AMA,” Blair said wearily. “Hi, Sam. We’ve met but I only remember you very vaguely. Look, I’m not interested in the will. I’m prepared to sign a waiver to that effect.” Sam’s eyes narrowed. “Why? Why would you do that? My father’s very wealthy.”

“Our father may be rich,” Blair said softly, “but our mother wouldn’t want this between us.”

“Our so called mother abandoned me,” Sam spat out. “She never called, never wrote-“

“He didn’t tell you, did he?” Jim interrupted. “Your father never told you about the agreement he made with her.”

“No. But he’s going to now.”

David Baker walked into the room and stopped beside Blair, placing a hand on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry. I never thought Sam would go this far. I knew he was upset when I told him about you but…” He rubbed a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, Sam. I should have told you about Naomi, about what I made her do.” He turned to Jim. “Might I have a few minutes with my son… with Sam,” he amended. “Our lawyer is outside but I’ve asked him to wait till I send for him.”

“I’ll have to stay in the room,” Jim said even as he nodded his agreement. He walked to the door and looked outside, seeing Simon standing a few feet up the hallway, looking worried. “Sir, can you take Blair to your office and get him to lie down for a while?”

Simon sidled past him and levered Blair out of the chair. “This was all your idea, Sandburg,” he muttered. “You make sure your partner knows that.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Blair replied. “Mother hen,” he whispered sentinel-soft as he passed Jim.

Jim shook his head and turned back to the interrogation room.

~oOo~

“You sure you’re okay with all of this?” Jim asked, rolling onto his side in bed and pulling Blair back against him.

“Of course. It’s the best thing for all of us,” Blair said surely. “Sam obviously needs therapy to help with his feelings of abandonment and anger. The insanity defence ensures he’ll get that.”

“Your father’s pretty grateful you went along with it,” Jim said. “You sure you don’t want him to put you into his will. Money like that isn’t to be sneezed at.”

Blair rolled within his arms and placed a hand on Jim’s cheek, cupping it gently. “The one thing I learned from all this was that I already have my family, right here, in this apartment. I’m glad I know who my dad is and I’m glad to know my brother’s going to get the help he needs but I don’t need or want anymore than that. Maybe one day Sam and I can really be brothers. I think Naomi would like that.”

Jim kissed him. “Yes, she would.”

“So, we’re here in this nice big bed. I have no more bruises, my lacerations all healed and I’m raring to go.” Blair snaked a hand under the covers and grasped Jim’s cock possessively. “What do you want to do about that?”

Jim kissed him again, passionately and thrust into his hand. “What do you think?” he asked with a laugh.

End

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Acknowledgments: Prompt and beta by: Lyn. Prompt: A picture tells a thousand words.