Following By Example by Jane Davitt

Following by Example - Jane Davitt

"Do you think Simon's hot?" Blair asked casually, timing the question so precisely with the about to be swallowed mouthful of juice that was sloshing around Jim's mouth (clashing badly with the toothpaste) that Jim was already on guard before he finished speaking.

Nice try, Chief.

He swallowed, licked his lips thoughtfully, and gave Blair a pensive stare. "Simon."

"Yes."

"Simon Banks."

"Yes."

"Hot."

"Yes!"

Jim smiled. "No."

Blair's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "No?"

"What did you expect me to say?" Jim asked reasonably.

"The truth."

"You think that wasn't it?"

"I know it wasn't." Blair sounded entirely too confident. "Face it, Jim, you have to say that; I get it, I do, but deep down, you've got to appreciate Simon's --"

"Hotness?"

"Yes."

Jim chewed on his lip. "Still not seeing it, Chief."

"You're not trying."

"True."

"So try."

Jim shook his head. "Simon is many things, most of them good, but he's got one fatal flaw."

Blair raised his eyebrows and waited. Jim dragged it out to the perfect length, anticipating the reaction he was going to get, and said calmly, "He's taller than me. I only go for short guys, Chief. It's a weakness of mine."

One last sip of juice in the glass, and now, watching Blair gape at him speechlessly, it tasted just right, sweet and silky as it slid down his throat.

***

He was kidding, right? Playing with me. Fucking with my head because I was yanking his chain. Should've saved it for later; Jim's just not a morning person. Should have waited a week and done it on April Fool's Day so I could pretend -- but I'm done with pretending, right? That was the whole point of asking --

Jim's knuckles tapped lightly on the top of Blair's head. "Anyone in there, Sandburg? I'm going to grab a coffee; want me to bring you one back?"

Break room coffee tended to cull the weak members of the herd and send them in search of a Starbucks, or, if you bought into the stereotypes and God knows, no buttermilk donut was safe around Jim, a Dunkin Donuts. Blair's first taste of it had left him convinced that he'd removed a layer of skin from his mouth, not because of the temperature -- lukewarm -- but the acrid, corrosive nature of the beast.

He'd assumed getting him to drink it was the civilian version of a rookie hazing ritual until Henri had walked past him and poured himself a large mug, sipping it casually and without comment. Since then, he'd come to realize that the break room coffee had only one virtue and that was consistency. Winter or summer, night or day, freshly brewed or long stewed, it was always lukewarm, stale, and bitter.

Blair avoided drinking it by bringing in coffee from outside or skipping it altogether. Jim was stimulating enough, all by himself. One laser-blue stare and a lip-lick as Jim pondered something and Blair's body was jittering and his mouth wanted to run, not walk, babbling out offers to do things that Jim would probably have to arrest him for.

"Coffee? Sure."

Jim gave him a mildly surprised look, having clearly expected a refusal or a lecture on the dangers of excess caffeine intake. Blair met it with a smile as serene as he could make it, his heart hammering hard, ruining the nonchalant act.

"You feeling okay, Chief?"

"Couldn't be better," Blair said, faking chirpiness. "Honestly. Fine. Just sleepy. Need coffee."

Jim nodded, took two steps away, and then turned and crooked his finger, beckoning Blair up with a curt authority that left Blair breathless with an arousal as sudden as spring. "On second thoughts, you can come with me."

When it came to Jim as sentinel and subject, Blair considered, rather smugly, he knew, that he had Jim pretty well trained. Jim did what Blair told him to when it came to the senses; he jumped through hoops in the tests Blair devised and recited symptoms when things went wrong; looked to Blair for solutions with a touching faith. The obedience and compliance were accompanied by grumbling, complaints, rolled eyes, and disgusted looks, but Blair had no trouble ignoring them. Compared with his students, Jim was a model of good behavior.

Then Jim did something like the finger crooking and it was rammed home (oh, God, poor choice of words) that if he ever got into Jim's bed, there'd be one person calling the shots, and it wouldn't be Blair Sandburg, no indeed it wouldn't. And that was fine, that suited his dick perfectly, judging by the way it was currently drum skin taut and tight, ready to burst, and no way could he stand up and follow Jim, not like this, but Jim's lips were twitching impatiently, a frown creasing his forehead, and Blair grabbed for self-control, reached down surreptitiously to adjust himself in his blessedly loose khakis, and stood.

It might work for him on one level, that dominant side of Jim, luring him with the certainty of sex so intense and satisfying that he'd actually whimpered aloud once picturing Jim over him, eyes glittering with pleasurable anticipation, caging Blair with his arms and legs, cat to Blair's mouse, but could he switch from that utter surrender back to being in charge when they weren't both hard and horny?

Blair wasn't sure he could. Incredible sex at the cost of control over his dissertation subject…it wasn't so much that it was a far from simple decision; it was the way his choice kept changing according to his mood. With a buzz on from a few beers and Jim lounging around the loft in plaid shorts clinging damply to his smoothly muscled ass, Blair wanted the sex with an aching hunger that left him feeling hollow and in need of filling, a task that Jim could handle with no problem at all based on the visual evidence provided by the shorts. But suffused with the joy of finishing a section of his dissertation, words marching, dancing, fitting onto the page with compelling incisiveness, he didn't need anything else to satisfy him. And then there was the whole side issue of what would it do to his friendship with Jim -- a relationship he kept in another box entirely -- and did Jim even go for gathering rosebuds while he may with men? Sometimes, Blair thought that Jim did, might, would; then a leggy redhead would wander through Jim's life and he'd watch Jim metaphorically snort, paw the ground with a mighty hoof, and charge eagerly, and second guess himself.

The white socks were a factor that Blair moved from one side of the Is-Jim-Gay-Or-Maybe-Bi-Please-God-Let-Him-Be list to the other with a frowning deliberation. The flowered apron was at the top of the 'so straight he can pull it off' sub-section.

In short, he was dithering and his half-serious question to Jim at breakfast had been born of a teeth-gritted impatience directed mostly at himself.

He took a deep breath and followed Jim out of the bullpen, followed as he always did, unbidden and even unwelcome sometimes, but this was where he belonged; with Jim, with his Sentinel, with his friend.

That was something he didn't have a single doubt about.

***

By the time Jim got to the break room, he was wishing he'd given way to his first impulse and led Blair to the garage, into his truck, and taken him home. He didn't think that Blair would have objected. Hell, if Jim was reading Blair's breathy gasps, wide eyes, pounding pulse, and rock-hard erection correctly, Blair would have been happy to have been dragged there by his hair, like the heroine in a silent movie. Jim could play it that way if Blair wanted it, though it wasn't really his fantasy. There were times when he regretted the cathartic moment during their second meeting when, frustration and confusion overwhelming him, he'd picked Blair up by his thin cotton shirt, stitches tearing, pop, pop, pop as his hands formed fists. He'd pushed Blair up against a wall and gotten in so close that the air separating their mouths had been warm with Blair's exhaled breath. Blair had been hard then, but Jim hadn't put it down to his chest-beating display of dominance; Blair had been that way from the moment that Jim had walked in, a rush of arousal beating at Jim along with Blair's hurried, stumbling words.

He turned Blair on because he was a sentinel. He got it. And once they'd moved in together, he knew, without much vanity, that he could do it with his body, too -- but the power balance between them was too uneven for Jim to ever consider seducing Blair. If a move was made, Blair had to make it, and even then, Jim wasn't sure he'd play along.

Blair relied on him for so much; he gave the kid a bed to sleep on, food to eat; took care of him in a dozen different ways. He'd given Blair's life stability. Okay, he'd put him in way too many life or death situations, as well, but still. Blair was younger, too, and, for all Jim knew, inexperienced when it came to doing more than drool over men. He'd picked up enough to guess that Blair's butterfly flitting from woman to woman was based on a certain amount of insecurity about his sexual identity, but Blair's reaction to a pretty woman was genuinely appreciative. It wasn't too much of a stretch to see Naomi's son as flexible, but Blair hadn't shown any signs of bending that way other than the buzz of lust Jim sometimes provoked deliberately, and that didn't say as much as Jim would like it to.

This morning, though, Blair had crossed the line. Finally, thankfully, jumped over it, and Jim had spent the morning contemplating his next move, sure, now that the moment had come, that he wanted this. Wanted Blair.

The break room was empty for once, and Jim placed them where they could see the door, his hands feeling the minute shivers going through Blair's body even through several layers of clothing as he maneuvered Blair, turning him, positioning him, just right, just there.

"You're spooked as hell, aren't you?" he asked, with a protective gentleness that was rare in his dealings with Blair. Blair, demonstrably, could take care of himself. He reluctantly let go of Blair's arms after a final squeeze and stroke.

Blair licked his lips, which almost got them kissed, except Jim couldn't bring himself to do anything quite that unprofessional at work. Holding Blair's arms was pushing it; both hands on Blair felt like completing a circuit and it was increasingly hard to break it.

"Spooked? Why would I be --" He faltered to silence under the steady regard of Jim's eyes and gave him an appealing look. "You think that I'm spooked?"

Too used to Blair's habit of making a question that he didn't want to answer into an excuse to grill his questioner, Jim ignored that ploy and waited.

"I guess I am, a little," Blair said slowly and even that small and guarded an admission was enough to make Jim's heart leap.

"About earlier? About what you said?"

Blair blinked. "Me? No! You. What you said, Jim."

Heartbeat at normal again and a gray wash of disappointment dulling his vision, Jim raised his eyebrows inquiringly. "I said something?"

"You said," Blair drawled, visibly taking strength from Jim's lack of courage as he leaned back against the table in the middle of the room, his ass close to a smear of ketchup that Jim knew wouldn't transfer itself to Blair's pants because Blair was a lucky son of a bitch at times. "You said that you went for short men." He paused, his gaze flickering from Jim's eyes to his mouth until Jim felt his lips part in an unthinking invitation. As if that was all that he'd been waiting for, Blair finished with a body blow. "So am I too tall for the first time in my life? Or is there another reason you haven't --"

"You're just right, Goldilocks," Jim said, interrupting Blair because he couldn't let that plaintive question go unanswered even for long enough for Blair to finish speaking. "And you know that's not why."

Even that flip a compliment put a pleased expression on Blair's face, subtle, but clear enough to Jim. "It's complicated," Blair agreed, abandoning years of evasion in a few moments with an ease that left Jim feeling vaguely envious. "I guess we've both gotten to the point where we've figured part of it out, though."

"What part would that be?"

Blair slid off the table, missing the ketchup, just as Jim had known he would. "The part where we get naked and fuck real soon for the sake of our sanity."

Jim turned away, unable to look at Blair without seeing that play out in his head, too vividly to be bearable in this bright, open, public place. He reached for the coffee pot and gripped the handle hard, needing it to hurt enough to distract him from the sweet, grinding ache in his balls.

"Yeah…" Blair said. "Real soon. Because I don't think I can wait -- you know, I think I'll just --"

"If you go somewhere to jerk off, I'll be listening," Jim said without turning. "I'll know."

A thwarted, anticipated Blair was a pissy Blair. "So enjoy the show, man!"

"You can't do it," Jim said and now he looked at Blair, needing Blair to see how serious he was. "Not here. Go home, if you really can't wait, but if you do…that, and I tune in, I'll come when you do and that's just not gonna be pretty."

"Find somewhere quiet and we can both get off together."

"No," Jim said before Blair could fill his head with more images; the lewd slap of palm and skid of fingers over hard, slippery flesh, the acrid sting of come spicing his gasped, grunted breaths. "Call me a romantic, but I want better than that for us the first time."

Blair's face contorted in a grimace, "Hey, me, too, but Jim…hurting here."

Jim had a feeling that if he gave into Blair when he was horny, it would be setting a dangerous precedent, but on the other hand, any work he did with his body a solid ache of longing was going to need redoing at a later date.

"I'll take a half day." He watched Blair's relieved, grateful smile blossom and tried to will his arousal away -- or the visible evidence of it, anyway. He couldn't walk into Simon's office rock-hard like this, every inch on display. Simon wasn't the kind to stare, but he wasn't blind, either. "You need to go away," he told Blair, desperation rising as he heard two men approach, talking about grabbing a coffee. "Go where I can't see you, or, or smell you."

"Huh?"

"Get the fuck out of here," Jim said in a hoarse whisper. "Get our coats and go down to the truck. I'll -- I'll be there in a minute."

Blair gave him a comprehensive look that dipped low and lingered there. "How about I bring you your coat and you call Simon when we get home?"

"That works," Jim said, feeling naked and exposed. The door opened and he whirled around to face the coffee maker, his face flushed and his ears tingling.

This was a nightmare.

***

By the time they got home, Blair had given up talking to Jim, who would only answer in icy, chopped-off monosyllables, and was staring out of the window because Jim's profile, unsmiling, his lips pressed tightly together, was depressingly hostile.

It hadn't been his fault. None of it. And they'd made it to the garage without more than a few mildly curious looks, and no one had been close to the truck when he'd bumped into Jim and grabbed at him to steady himself, their bodies aligning, touching.

Jim had shuddered, moaned, and climaxed, standing rigidly still, with an expression of utter horror on his face, humiliation burning patches of red into his cheeks as his body, over-stressed beyond endurance found a temporary relief. Blair had yelped with surprise --not loudly enough to turn heads, thank God -- and then shielded Jim from view automatically.

No one had noticed. No one. And Jim's pants were dark brown; you really couldn't tell that they were damp in places, though it had to feel a little…moist down there. Yeah. Well.

"Jim?" he ventured to say as they pulled up outside the loft. "I'm really --"

"Do not say another fucking word," Jim snarled at him and succeeded in finally pissing Blair off.

Because this? Not his fault.

"Hey, newsflash, asshole; I tripped and grabbed your arm. Arm. Not dick."

Jim turned his head enough to be able to glare at him. "Yeah, and the way I was feeling right then, you could have breathed on me, or smiled at me, or just licked your fucking lips and I'd have -- oh, the hell with it."

"If you felt like that, why didn't you control it?" Blair demanded. "It's your body, Jim; you're in charge of what it does way more than I am of mine."

"No, I'm not," Jim said. "Not when it comes to this. Not when it's you."

The truck door slammed behind him and Blair was left to stare after Jim as he walked away, head down, shoulders hunched over.

Not a happy man.

Shit.

***

"I can help," Blair said for what had to be the tenth time in as many minutes. "We can work through this. I can give you some exercises --"

Jim's eyes widened. "Tell me that you didn't just suggest turning sex into a test of my senses. Even for you, that's bizarre."

"'Even for --'? Well, thanks, Jim. Thanks a lot." Blair took a deep breath to calm himself. Getting worked up along with Jim wasn't going to help the situation. Breathing…meditation… He eyed Jim, who, after calling Simon, had hit the shower. After spending a long time in there and a complete change of clothes, he was looking clean, scrubbed, and tense enough to bounce quarters off. No, he wasn't going to suggest breathing slowly with some chanting as a way to calm down. Jim would probably hit him.

"Tell me what would make you feel better. Tell me what you want me to do," he said instead, and made his voice as casual as if he was offering Jim a choice of dressing on his salad. "Want me to come in my pants too? I bet you could make me, because this thing between us isn't one-way, you know."

"I know," Jim muttered, and thank God, his voice had lost its edge. "And no, of course I don't. Bad enough that I did."

And that was why Blair loved him; Jim wasn't petty. He held grudges, yes, and he had unexpected triggers, as difficult to predict as the weather, but he would get no comfort from company in his misery.

"No one --"

"Saw. I know." Jim sighed. "I listened and no one said anything. No one noticed, no one knew --"

"So what difference does it make?" Blair stepped closer. "You're not telling me that you can't get it up again for me, because we both know that you can."

Jim stared at him directly. "You saw. You know. God, Blair, how the fuck do you think that makes me feel?"

Oh. Comprehension struck him like a slap of salty water from a wave, shocking the world into clarity.

"Before…you were…the way you looked at me --" Jim groaned openly, his face twisted with remembered appreciation. He shook his head. "God, you'd have crawled to me if I'd told you to, wouldn't you?"

"No," Blair said, practicality surfacing. "Not there in front of people. Never gonna happen. But I wanted to. I was in the moment, you know?"

"You wouldn't do it now," Jim said with a gloomy certainty. "Not after that. And I didn't really want -- but you did and I fucked it up for you before we even did anything."

"You didn't fuck anything up," Blair said, the reassurance automatic. "You picked up on something you got off me and yeah, you weren't wrong, but what happened by the truck doesn't change anything and it wasn't that big a deal. I might fantasize about you being big, buff and in charge, but I'm not sure how I'd handle it for real. Might piss me off."

Jim looked him over. "Not if I did it right."

Blair swallowed hard. "Yeah, see? You're getting to me just fine, so can we move past the insecurities and onto the reason we took the afternoon off?"

"I don't think I…" Jim crossed his arms over his chest defensively. "Look, we're on the same page here, so there's no rush, huh? Let's leave it for now and --"

"No," Blair said with as much emphasis as he could load onto a single word, a lone syllable. He took three steps and fell to his knees in front of Jim, his hands tight on Jim's hips to hold him in place.

"Blair --" Jim tried to step back, but there was a wall in the way and Blair was nuzzling with a fierce intensity into the clean denim, searching for Jim's taste and finding only the shape of him. He bit at the swell of Jim's cock, mouthing it without shame or self-consciousness, breathing onto the spit-damp fabric, and knew that Jim could feel it all; his teeth, his exhaled air, the wetness of his tongue, even through two layers of clothing.

"See?" he mumbled between licks. His tongue was furring up from licking denim, not skin, but he wanted Jim to be the one to tug his zipper down, Jim to get his cock out and feed it to him, inch by inch, filling Blair's mouth. "You're fine. You can do this because if you come it ends, and where's the fun in that? Hold off and think of all the things you can do to me. Anything, Jim, anything you fucking want."

"You have no fucking idea what I want to do to you," Jim told him.

"So show me."

Jim's hand, long fingers, curved palm, hooked under Blair's armpit and brought him to his feet with a smooth, powerful tug. "Get your ass upstairs, get naked, and I will."

Blair didn't stumble because Jim was still holding onto him, but he did feel breathless now that he was about to get what he'd asked for. "Just like that? What happened to the performance anxiety and the insecurities?"

Jim smiled, the slow, sweet smile that Blair got unreasonably jealous over when it was directed at anyone but him. "Still there. Still a problem."

"And yet?"

Jim guided him over to the stairs, his hand a warm promise at the small of Blair's back. "You just convinced me that you didn't care if I go off too soon as long as I don't stop."

"I don't."

"So why should I?"

Part of Blair was suspicious. Jim had become opaque in places and he was used to Jim being a window, but he was losing doubts along with his clothing as Jim went to work, stripping Blair with deft, appreciation, not rushing, not lingering, just taking Blair down to naked with a calm deliberation. He paused now and then to taste a piece of revealed skin; the cap of Blair's shoulder; the once-pierced nipple, the hollow behind his left knee, until the rest of Blair's body, was one tingling itch, envious of the places that had been kissed, bitten, or licked.

"Lie on the bed," Jim said quietly, when he was done. "On your back. Watch me."

He waited and Blair gave him what he was waiting for; a nod of acquiescence. (Yes, I'll play. Yes, I want it like this, today at least. Yes, I get that it'll make you feel better to be in charge. Yes, Jim, yes.)

The sheets were cool against his back and ass and he shivered, pulled a pillow under his neck, and watched Jim Ellison's version of a striptease, which didn't involve any teasing at all as Jim hid nothing from him. Bare to the waist, he turned and Blair was treated to the sight of Jim's back, a triangle of bone and muscle covered in skin that, from here, looked flawless. Blair wanted to get closer and find every freckle, every scar, scratch it up, but for now, he just stared.

Pants, shorts, socks, and the tight, elegant lines of Jim's ass and legs. Touching Jim's ass with greedy, shaking hands, splitting it wide for Blair's tongue and cock to pierce -- that had to be as much a fantasy as getting Jim to keep him in collar and cuffs for a day, a disobedient puppy being trained.

"Jim?" Jim glanced back and turned, his cock rigid, quivering. Blair fought to concentrate, his gaze homing in on the view. "Would you ever let me rim you?"

"If you brushed your teeth first."

"Ha. How about fucking you? Would you go for that?"

Jim shrugged. "Sure."

"Just like that?" Blair felt unreasonably cheated of a rant about how bottoming wasn't a passive act.

"You'd make it good for me," Jim said with a certainty that warmed Blair, head to toes. Or maybe it was the way Jim was jacking himself, idly stroking an erection that was making Blair's mouth water.

"Yeah, I'd do my best." Blair squirmed on the bed. "Okay, I watched you get naked, but you're not going to make me watch you jerk off, are you? Let me suck you? Let me touch? Please?"

There was a look of intense concentration on Jim's face as he got onto the bed and Blair sighed. "Are you feeling anything right now?"

"Not much," Jim admitted. "And that's not going to change until you've come."

"Me?" Blair looked down and gave his cock a fond, light slap. "I can wait."

"Yeah, and maybe I'll enjoy making you do that," Jim said, "but not today." He ran the tips of his fingers over Blair's cock, three lines of fire, and bent over to kiss Blair at the same time, taking advantage of the way his fingers had made Blair's lips part on a moan to slide his tongue inside Blair's mouth.

If Jim had had a plan of action, like most plans, it didn't survive the first encounter because all that Blair remembered after that kiss was a complete loss of inhibition and coordination. They wrapped around each other, arms and legs tight and mouths sliding and grinding. Blair thought with an instant's clarity that he'd never tasted anything as good as Jim's mouth; he couldn't get enough of it. He was eating Jim's fucking face here, making ecstatic, embarrassingly fervent noises, spit slippery and warm on his cheeks and chin, soothing the scrape of stubble. Pressed against his belly, Jim's erection felt alive, sentient, burrowing and digging, seeking entrance.

They weren't going to be able to handle anything as complex as suiting up and lubing; not this time. Blair reached down, swiped clumsily at his cock, and got it riding the groove of Jim's hip, then went back to playing with Jim's ass. It fit his hand so well that he wasn't sure he was ever going to be able to let Jim walk past him without copping a feel. The sweat-damp crack, the hole his fingers were teasing, the complex jiggle of Jim's balls that, from this angle, he could only brush at --

He broke the kiss, panting, staring into Jim's eyes. "Want you," he said thickly, his voice strange to him, fierce and shaking. Jim looked gone, his eyes glazed, his lips scuffed red. He slapped the meat of Blair's ass, once, then again; an imploring question, not a blow, frowning in perplexity.

"Turn it all up," Blair said recklessly, realizing belatedly what the problem was. "Let go, Jim. Let go of everything."

"Not of you," Jim said, which had to be the most romantic thing anyone had ever said to Blair. He wanted it on cards, sky-written, tattooed on him.

"Not me," he said back to Jim and made it as close as he could get to the 'I love you' it was both too late and too soon to say.

Jim surged against him a moment later, cried out hoarsely, and with a splatter of come gluing him to Jim's skin, Blair followed him, his climax leaving him dazed, circuits blown. They reeked of sweat and come and Blair, limp and plastered to Jim, was dimly aware that he was drooling onto Jim's chest, but it didn't seem to matter. The sex had been as polished as a chunk of granite, a frenzied disaster; Blair was used to never being quite as carried away as his partner, detached, courteous, his mind already wandering, because for him it was the chase not the capture, but not with Jim.

"That was terrible," he said, his voice a rasp. "We were all over the fucking place."

He heard the smile in Jim's voice. "Yeah, but it was still good."

"I can make it better."

Jim gathered him closer, his lips gentle against Blair's forehead. "It was good, Chief."

"Yes, but --"

"Blair," Jim said with conviction. "It was perfect."

Jim was wrong, but he was kissing Blair again, drowsy, calm kisses, the all passion spent kind, and Blair didn't want to ruin the mood.

He had all afternoon and the rest of the night to show Jim what perfect sex was like, after all.

The end

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Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Drkcherry for her helpful beta reading. Thank you to Patt for the lovely cover.