Stars Get In My Eyes - Silk

Blair looked both ways before crossing the street to enter the theater. It wasn't in a particularly nice neighborhood. But that was a small price to pay for his secret vice.

As a graduate student in anthropology, his free time was severely limited. When he wasn't researching his dissertation, which had taken on a life of its own of late, he was teaching classes or grading papers or doing any one of a myriad of things. None of which led to very much money.

While he was hardly poverty-stricken, he was definitely not living in the lap of luxury. But that didn't matter. He was happy enough. He had clothes, of a sort, and he had food on the table more than occasionally. But he would gladly give up eating to support his addiction.

Oh, he didn't do drugs. He drank, but nothing fancy. Beer was fine. But he was partial to things like green tea or algae shakes. However, none of those things explained his secret craving.

On the outside, perfectly normal, albeit in a hippy-dippy kind of way. On the inside, a shaking, quaking marshmallow in the hands of the right man.

All his spare change, all his spare time was devoted to one thing and one thing only: Gay porno movies. But his passion had a name. Jim.

***

Jim Ellison was one of the best in the business. He could fuck or be fucked with the best of them, and he had been, according to him. Blair had a copy of his latest magazine interview. He was that hot. Porno stars were hardly Hollywood material, but Jim's assets transcended the films he made. He was in demand at all the trendy parties. As a guest, as an escort…and sometimes as a part of the in-house entertainment.

Blair fantasized about going to one of those parties someday. To meet Jim in person would be the realization of a dream.

Blair stared at the poster outside the theater. Jim Ellison, life-size, looking good enough to eat. He could have any guy he wanted. Blair frowned and rubbed his eyes. Jim would never look twice at someone like him.

Mentally cataloguing what he considered his own meager physical attributes, he sighed. Long, curly dark brown hair. Smoky blue eyes. A solid but unprepossessing body.

"I have a nice smile," he murmured to himself. Catching another patron eyeing him with fat intent, he quickly reappraised his body. Obviously, he had something other men reacted favorably to. But the type of man he attracted was never someone he would risk life and career for.

That was what he was looking for. In all the wrong places. So contrary to his open, giving nature, he hid his sexuality behind a series of ill-fated dates with women. Dates that were automatically doomed to failure.

It wasn't fair to them. Hell, it wasn't fair to him. He promised himself that he would stop. And he would. More easily than he cared to admit.

But he couldn't resist feeding his hunger for Jim Ellison. That was the one thing he refused to give up. How could he? He had no life to speak of. All his energy went into his career. Once that might have been enough. But ambition was a lonely thing to share a bed with.

***

Blair ignored the interested look that the ticket-seller gave him from beneath heavily mascara'd lashes.

"Are you here by yourself again, sweetie?" the ticket-seller asked.

He glared at her and turned away, missing the appreciative glance she gave his buttocks. So firm, she thought, stroking a diabolically long fingernail over her left nipple. Too bad he was gay.

Blair approached the candy counter, hoping to get through the encounter without being noticed. "Large buttered popcorn, please," he said, just loud enough to be heard.

The boy behind the counter looked barely old enough to shave, much less be working in an X-rated theater. His eyes flickered greedily over Blair's supposedly unremarkable physique. "I go on break in a few minutes," he whispered. "Want an appetizer before the show?"

"Huh?" Blair asked dumbly, backing away.

"I'd go down on my knees for you in a heartbeat," the boy continued.

"Um, um, no, thanks. That's okay. Keep the change," Blair said, throwing three dollars on the counter. He snatched up his popcorn with his other hand and almost ran to the door that led to the main auditorium.

The darkness was welcome. It felt cool and anonymous against his fevered skin. He wasn't even sure why he bought the popcorn. This wasn't a date. There was no one to impress here but his hand. And his hand was already well-acquainted with his dick.

He sank down into his seat, reluctantly placing the popcorn in his lap. His hand was entirely too well-acquainted with his dick, if you asked him, and you know what they say about familiarity breeding contempt….

Just like everyone else, he waited for the God-awful soundtrack to start, the better to cover the sounds of flesh slapping against flesh. Almost breathless with desire from the moment that Jim's name appeared on the screen, Blair sank even lower in his seat, dislodging the popcorn. It was all over the floor before he could grab it. But he didn't care. His hand was unzipping his jeans and that was all that mattered right now.

By the time the plot of the movie began to unfurl, Blair had two fingers inside his jeans, gently playing with himself, massaging the bead of lubrication from the tip down the length of his dick. He was afraid to take it out. Even in the darkness of the movie theater. What if someone saw him? What if he was arrested for indecent exposure?

When Jim Ellison strode onto the screen, ten times bigger than life, however, all of Blair's "What if's" ceased to exist. He never lasted beyond the first fuck scene. He'd tried. But when Jim Ellison groaned and came, so did Blair. It was the closest he would ever get to fucking him. Thank God he had a vivid imagination. Thank God his imagination got quite a bit of help from his hand.

After he came, Blair found a handkerchief in his pocket and wiped himself off. His breathing was still harsh and erratic. Sometimes he thought he would never calm down, that he would just drift along in this endless state of arousal for the entire length of the movie. But eventually he regained control.

That's when he noticed it. Jim was looking at him.

Heh, he chuckled to himself, that's either good acting or special effects. Jim looking at me? That'd be pretty fucking surrealistic, wouldn't it?

***

On his next visit to the theater, Blair went through his usual routine. But after he came, he studied Jim's face, expecting to see the same level of rapt interest as before. After all, it was a movie, right? It couldn't change showing to showing. This wasn't live theater.

Jim was scowling at him. Fuck, that was one scary ass special effect. How did that happen? It was the same movie.

***

The next time he went to the theater, Blair didn't wrap his fist around his dick right away. He could hardly believe it, but he was actually watching the fucking movie. Not the fucking itself. But Jim's acting.

To his complete surprise, Jim's reactions were different from the previous showing. He was lying on his back, his long muscular legs wrapped around some buff guy's shoulders while said buff guy pounded Jim's ass. And Jim looked bored. In fact, he looked straight at Blair and yawned.

Blair blinked and slunk down into his seat. Maybe he was a little too addicted. Maybe he was becoming delusional.

Or maybe he was even…hallucinating.

That was what you called it when you heard voices coming from the TV, wasn't it? Well, this wasn't TV, but it was a movie and movies didn't talk back to you.

***

"I'm bored," said Jim.

Never mind the fact that there was fucking going on. That was the problem. Too much fucking. Jeez, Jim imagined that he had probably fucked every living thing in the universe by now. But he still wasn't happy.

After the first six movies, not to mention his first million dollars, Jim realized that every man's dream was a nightmare. Fucking 24/7 didn't make you happy. It increased the chances of your dick falling off. But it didn't make you happy.

"Aren't you bored, Chief?"

At Blair's confused and somewhat panic-stricken look, Jim smiled. "I've been watching you. Watching me."

"Oh, no, this is too weird. Even for me, man," Blair muttered, desperately afraid that someone would hear him. Then he'd be off to visit the nice young men in the clean white coats cause they'd be coming to take him away, ha-ha.

"Don't worry, Chief, no one else can hear you. Or me."

"H-how is that p-possible?"

"Magic?" Jim grinned. He had a very nice smile. How come Blair had never noticed that?

"You were too busy whacking off." The fact that Jim answered Blair's unspoken thought never impacted Blair's brain.

"You could see that?" Blair felt simultaneously ashamed and aroused.

"I like to watch." All at once Jim left the screen.

Blair was bereft. Okay, it was a hallucination, but it was his hallucination, dammit, and a mighty fine one at that. The least it could do was-

"Gratify your every impulse, Chief?" Blair gasped. The voice was much closer than the screen now. It was right next to him. If he turned his head, he would see-

"You can call me Jim. But then you already do. I hear you scream out my name when you come. "

Blair sat there, transfixed by the sight of a living, breathing Jim Ellison sitting next to him, seemingly unnoticed by anyone else. "I-I don't scream. Someone would notice."

"You do in your head, Chief. Didn't you figure out yet that I can read your innermost thoughts?"

"No way, man."

Jim nodded earnestly. "Oh, yes, and you do have the most interesting thoughts."

"Me? Fuck no, I'm as boring as shit."

"Not to me, you're not."

"But you're, you're, you."

Jim sighed. "I'm so damn tired of fucking and being fucked, Chief. You have no idea what it feels like when no one sees the real you. It's like being invisible."

"Yeah, I do," Blair whispered, hanging his head. He finally had a chance to meet his idol, and his idol was tired of fucking. Well, didn't that beat all?

"What's your name?"

"If you're such a mind reader, why don't you tell me?"

"You don't call yourself by name, Chief. Help me out here."

"Blair. Blair Sandburg."

"How old are you, Blair?"

"Almost thirty."

"I'm almost forty. What's a nice looking guy like you doing in a movie theater every other day jerking off?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Blair snapped defensively. Then he realized what a ridiculous thing that was to say.

"There's nobody special?"

Blair shook his head and whispered, "No."

"Me neither."

"You? But you could have your pick of any guy you wanted, man."

"For fucking, sure. But all that fucking's left me feeling empty, Blair. There has to be something else."

"Like what?"

"Oh, I don't know. True love?"

Blair's heart felt like it would beat out of his chest. "True love? You believe in true love?"

"Haven't found it yet, but yeah, I definitely feel it's out there."

"Oh."

At Blair's disappointed look, Jim leaned forward and cupped his chin. "Hey, that should make you feel better. It gives me hope. Doesn't it give you hope?"

"No, man, why should it? You're not talking about me. This search for true love has nothing to do with me." The bitterness in Blair's voice leaked out of him slowly, deliberately.

"It could," Jim whispered before he kissed him.

***

Blair woke up with a start. He was in his seat. The lights were on, but whatever audience there had been was long gone. His jeans were spattered with butter and errant kernels of popcorn. The rest was on the floor. Before he could say, "What the fuck?", he realized that his right hand was clenched in a fist.

He opened his fist very, very tentatively to reveal a crumpled business card. On closer examination, it had the name of a theatrical producer on one side, a handwritten phone number on the other.

"555-5212. Call me already. J."

"Oh, my God."

***

That was the trouble with achieving your heart's desire. It had repercussions for the rest of your life. It led to all kinds of complications. Like wanting things that you knew you couldn't have. A real home. A relationship. Even, dare he think the words, a commitment.

Jim Ellison was interested in him. It didn't matter how it came about. It was real. As fucking real as the card in his hand.

But what if he followed his instincts and called Jim? What if they could be something special together? What if it all fell apart, as his attempts at building a relationship inevitably did? Where would that leave him then? Heartbroken, that's where. He didn't have to think about it very long to know that much.

Jim was way different from anyone else he'd ever met. But Blair couldn't begin to guess just how different.

***

852 Prospect. Take the elevator. Get off on the third floor and turn right. It's the loft at the end of the hallway.

Blair followed Jim's directions and stood nervously outside #307. He was afraid to knock on the door. In another few minutes, his whole life could change. For better or for worse. Shit, that sounded like a wedding vow. Talk about performance anxiety.

Suddenly the door opened.

Jim stood there, his large frame blocking what view Blair had of the loft beyond the doorway. "Come in, Chief."

"How-how did you know I was here?"

Jim tapped a finger to his temple. "Must be psychic. Come in, please."

Blair slowly crossed the threshold, wincing when he thought that word because it too reminded him of weddings. Jim smiled at him. Damn, he forgot that Jim had some way of getting into his head. Now he'd know. Blair started to hyperventilate.

Jim leaned over and captured Blair's mouth, inadvertently preventing the panic attack from escalating. "Mmm, you taste good."

Blair unconsciously licked his lips, never noticing the way Jim's glacier-blue eyes grew hot. "I thought you weren't looking for another fuck partner, man."

"I'm not." Jim brushed by the younger man en route to the kitchen. His skin tingled where their bodies touched. Oh, yes, Blair was the one. The one who completed him. The one who didn't know his own power yet.

Pouring a cup of coffee, Jim glanced over his shoulder at the now-thoughtful anthropologist. "You think kissing is akin to fucking?" Jim let his own skepticism show on his face. Considering the way he normally hid away his feelings, he knew it was significant that he already trusted Blair.

"Well, no," Blair admitted. "It's just that-"

"I don't seem the type?"

"Well, yeah, I guess so, man." Or maybe it's just your choice of partners that's suspect, Blair thought.

Jim shook his head. "You don't know me well enough to say that."

"Sorry. I never meant to be judgmental. I'm-I'm not usually like that."

"Would you like some coffee?" Jim offered.

Blair nodded.

Before long the coffee was on the low table in front of the couch where the two men sat in companionable silence. Eventually Blair laughed softly, breaking that silence.

"What?" Jim queried.

Blair surreptitiously glanced at the older man. "I was just thinking that I've never been this quiet for this long."

Jim smiled. "Maybe you try to fill up the silences because you're afraid of someone else seeing too deep inside of you."

"You're scaring me, man," Blair confessed.

"Why?"

"Cause you're so different from what I expected and I don't know if I can handle that."

Blair felt impossibly young and all too shaky to take that first step, but once again Jim came to his rescue. With the gentlest of sighs, Jim stroked Blair's cheek with the back of his hand. "You're so different from all the others and you can't even see how important you're going to be," Jim whispered.

"Me? Not me, man. I'm nobody."

"Ssh." Jim kissed him as tenderly as could be. He could sense Blair's arousal. His heart rate was elevated. His hands and lips were cool to the touch, but warming rapidly where Jim's skin came in contact with Blair's. And then there were the pheromones.

"Please."

"What do you want, Blair?"

"You. I want you."

"What do you want from me?"

"Whatever you can give me. I need you."

"I need you, too." Jim punctuated the last word with a fervent kiss.

"Then you'll fuck me?" Blair's voice and face were so hopeful, Jim hated to disillusion him. But he had to know the way things were.

"No, Blair. I'd do anything for you right now. Anything but that."

"Why? You do it with everyone else! Why not me? Why not? I'm not good enough? I could be. If you'd only let me." Blair couldn't believe he was begging this virtual stranger to fuck him. And yet Jim was not a stranger to him. Or to his feelings.

"It's got nothing to do with that."

"Then why? Why, Jim?" The tragedy and near-tears in Blair's voice cut Jim to the quick. But he refused to compromise.

"I can't fuck you, Blair. I made a promise. The next time I take someone, it has to be more than fucking. It has to be making love."

Possessing a mind sharp enough to discern the difference between the two, Blair privately agreed. But he wanted to be the one that Jim made an exception.

It wasn't like Blair to give up so easily. Persistence and tenacity were his bywords. But he was so convinced that Jim would never see him as anything but an obsessed fan that he could not continue.

Choking back a sound, Blair abruptly stood up. "I'd better go."

"I thought you were staying for dinner."

"This isn't a fucking date, Jim. You know why I came here."

"I thought we wanted the same things, Chief."

"I don't think so."

"Are you sure?"

"Goodbye, Jim." Blair started to move away, but his feelings got the better of him. With a cry and a leap that would do a panther proud, Blair surrounded Jim, his solid frame fitting perfectly into the space between Jim's legs.

"I fit, dammit. I hope you have a hard time forgetting me," Blair whispered angrily. He framed Jim's face with his strong, well-shaped hands and kissed him, his tongue nudging Jim's lips apart.

Jim grabbed him by the arms and pushed him away. His nostrils flaring as he panted, Jim demanded, "If you're so determined to fuck and nothing else, why do you care if I forget you?"

Blair's eyes opened impossibly wide before closing on a wave of realization. "Oh, God, I think I'm in love with you."

Jim wrapped his arms around Blair, vowing that he would never let him go. Pressing his mouth to Blair's forehead, he kissed him again and again, in between anxious mutterings of his own. "I love you, too, Blair."

"Y-you do?"

"Yes."

"But-"

"Did you think I would let you go there on your own, all by yourself? I just had to be sure. Do you understand?"

"You won't forget me?"

"I won't fucking let you go."

Blair pushed his head into Jim's impossibly hard chest. He was determined not to cry. Even if it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

***

Jim seemed to revel in kissing Blair. It was as if he were tasting him. Savoring him like a favorite dessert.

"You don't know-", Jim murmured against his ear.

"What, Jim? What don't I know?"

Jim drew back from where he had been pressing Blair most ardently against the couch. His eyes looked dazed. "It's like I haven't been able to feel anything for such a long time…and now I can."

Blair smiled. "Are you trying to say I turn you on?"

"In every possible way, Chief."

Blair threw back his head and laughed. God, he felt free of the past. Hell, he felt curiously free of the present, too. And he wasn't even about to worry about the future.

"Are you laughing at me?" Jim sounded hurt and Blair hastened to reassure him.

"No, no, Jim. I just feel good. Like Doris Day."

Jim blinked. "Run that by me again?"

"You know. Que sera, sera." At Jim's blank look, Blair continued, "What will be, will be?"

Jim broke into a smile that transformed his entire face. "You were thinking about being with me…in the future?"

"Yeah."

Jim swooped down on him like a giant bird of prey, his lips seizing their prize, the tender skin between Blair's neck and shoulder. Blair giggled. "Jim, that tickles, man."

"I know something that'll tickle a whole lot more."

"I never pictured you being such a tease, man. You have such a pure intensity about you. I just never thought of you being so playful."

"I don't think I've ever been this relaxed before, Chief. Must be you."

As Jim proceeded to suck on the side of his neck, apparently in an effort to mark Blair as his, Blair gasped as a wave of desire flooded his entire being, culminating in the tip of his dick, which was suddenly interested in the conversation.

"Um, Jim? That feels…fucking fantastic, man, but if you don't feed me soon, I'm going to pass out."

"You'd rather eat?" Jim asked, managing to keep his amusement off his face for a few brief seconds before exploding into serious laughter.

"It's just-I don't-I mean-oh, shit."

Jim pulled the younger man even closer and buried his face in the silky dark brown curls. "It's okay, Blair. I know you don't have my control. If I'm making you uncomfortable, I can help. I want us to be so good together."

"Jesus, Jim, if you help me any more, I'm going to come in my pants like a kid," Blair whispered against Jim's neck, unable to resist nuzzling him with his lips.

Jim felt at peace in a way that he hadn't in a long time. His senses had quieted, almost as if they too responded to Blair. "Okay."

***

Dinner was a surprise. While Jim was clearly not a housewife, he was a homebody of sorts, dabbling in cooking that was neither spicy nor bland, but a curious mixture in between.

"How did you get interested in this, Jim?"

"Had to, Chief. Self-preservation."

"Huh?"

"You must have noticed by now, Chief. There's something special about me."

"I'll say."

"No, there really is."

"I know." Blair all but bounced on the balls of his feet. As far as he was concerned, he was bonded to Jim for life. Just let him try to get rid of him. Nothing could come between them. Nothing.

On the other hand….

"Chief…Blair…I have enhanced senses."

Blair nearly fell over. Whatever he'd been expecting Jim to say, that wasn't it. "You do?"

"Yeah. What you took for me being psychic is just long-distance vision and hearing."

"Are your other senses this well-developed, Jim?"

"You mean taste, smell, touch, like that?" At Blair's nod, Jim said, "Yes. It's a curse."

"No, it's not, Jim. It's a blessing. You are incredible. Here I was thinking you were the living embodiment of sex on a stick when the reality is even better!"

To Blair's dismay, Jim's expression closed down, his eyes growing frosty. "What reality is that?"

Jim's face said it all. He thought he had found a soulmate. But it was beginning to look like Blair was interested in something else.

"My dissertation, man! You're the living embodiment of my thesis! A real live Sentinel!"

"A what?"

"A Sentinel. A guardian, a watchman, if you will. Every tribe had one. To keep track of the movement of game, the weather, and anything else that might impact the tribe."

Blair reached for his backpack and moments later, he was pushing a thick book under Jim's nose. "See? Sir Richard Burton, the explorer, not the actor, had this theory and-"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, sunshine. I have had just about enough of this."

"But Jim! There's more!"

"I don't give a shit! I thought being taken for a sex object everywhere I go was bad, but you take the cake, Sandburg! You want me to trade what I've got for an entirely different kind of notoriety, that's all. So everybody can come point at the missing link you found. Just come look for me at the fucking Zoo. Thanks, but no thanks, kid! "

"But Jim, you don't understand!"

"No, Blair, you don't. I'm in love with you. I'd do just about anything to be with you. But I'll be damned before I become anyone's pet lab rat!"

"Then you'll never know who you really are, man. Or what you can do."

Jim's pale blue eyes gleamed suspiciously. "Then I guess we know where that leaves us," he said hoarsely.

"I guess we do."

***

It was the most miserable two weeks of Jim's life. Not a day went by that he didn't think of Blair. He was sad, but he was angry, too. At himself.

How could he have handled things so badly? Was he right? Yes. But at what cost?

He lay on the couch, staring up at the ceiling, counting tile after tile. Finally he picked up a cushion and threw it at the ceiling, but of course, it fell far short of its target. When it landed, rather predictably, on the floor next to him, Jim thrust his arm over his face and closed his eyes.

He didn't feel like sleeping. He didn't feel like doing anything. It was as if when Blair left, he took all the colors of the world with him, leaving Jim to suffer in black and white.

"Oh, God, Blair, I'm sorry."

Call him.

"Huh?"

Jim sat bolt upright and looked in all directions. There was no one there. So whose voice was that?

Who do you think? Elvis? Brrrrringgggg. Wrong. Elvis has left the building. But you can call me Cupid.

"I must be dreaming."

No, if you were dreaming, I'd be Blair, wouldn't I? Instead of getting stuck doing this second-rate impression of you.

"You're me?"

Yeah, boggles the mind, doesn't it? That you, of all people, might have good advice to give you?

"Get to the point."

Tsk, tsk, testy, aren't we? Call him. That should be simple enough even for you to understand.

"Are you saying I'm stupid?"

Stupid, no. Less than enlightened, yes.

"What does that mean?"

It means it's nice to be right, but that's small comfort if you're sleeping alone, isn't it?

"I could snap my fingers and Blair would be right back here, begging to be in my bed."

Riiight. That's why you're lying here talking to yourself instead of dialing the fucking phone.

"Oh, go away."

Sorry, but you can't run away from yourself, Jimbo. Repress all you want. You're good at that. But it won't get Blair back.

"Are you telling me to beg him?"

Whatever it takes. He's the best thing that ever happened to you.

"I hate you."

Feeling's mutual, babe. C-A-L-L H-I-M.

"Maybe later."

Christ, you're a stubborn son-of-a-bitch.

"This is a waste of time."

Jim brushed at his eyes, surprised to find that they were wet. It was going to be another long night.

***

Blair picked up the phone in what looked like a storage closet but claimed to be his office. He listened to the dial tone for a few seconds before carefully replacing the receiver.

"Yep. Still working. That's good to know. Never know when you might get an emergency phone call."

The phone rang. Blair was so startled that he nearly forgot to answer it.

"Sandburg."

"Hi, it's me."

"Oh."

Blair stared down at the blotter on his desk. It was cluttered by paper clips and parts of papers that were still ungraded and bits of broken pencils. Pencils that Blair had broken, one after the other, when he had been trying to decide what to do.

Two weeks was a long time for a person to be miserable. For Blair, who was relatively used to being in good spirits, it was an eternity.

"Um…" Jim cleared his throat. "How are you?"

"Okay. You?"

"Okay."

Jim's alter ego returned with a vengeance. Liar, liar. This is okay? You live on the fucking couch. How is that okay?

"No, I-I'm not okay, Chief. Truth is, I'm-I'm fucking pathetic. I can't eat. I can't sleep. And, uh, I-I miss you."

"You miss me?" Blair's heart jumped hopefully. He was the one who screwed up. Not Jim. But Jim was blaming himself. Jim wanted him back. Jim…deserved groveling to end all groveling. On your knees, Sandburg.

They both tried to talk at once, but Blair persisted, struggling to get out the words he needed to say. "Jim, I never saw you as a science project, man. I mean, yeah, finding out what you were was like, bam, Holy Grail time. But the moment I met you, I knew that you were going to mean something pretty fucking special to me." Blair's voice broke as his throat clogged with unexpressed emotion. All that love that had no place to go. "But nothing, not even my fucking diss, is worth making you feel like shit, man."

"Oh, Blair."

"I need you to forgive me, Jim."

"I do. Do you?"

"Do I what?" Blair held onto the phone with shaky hands, feeling as if his entire future depended on the answers to the questions that followed.

"Do you forgive me?"

"Yeah." Blair sniffled.

"Can we start over?"

Blair tried to smile, but the effort was too much. He covered his face with one hand, his lower lip trembling visibly.

"Yeah," he whispered.

"Can you come over for dinner, Chief?"

Blair made a strangled noise somewhere between tears and laughter. "Sure, but it's almost midnight, man."

"Oh. I knew that."

"Sure you did, Jim."

"Can you come over anyway? And…sleep with me?" Jim whispered.

"I don't know if we should, Jim. Maybe we should just talk."

"Fuck talking. Look where it got us last time. I can't sleep, Chief. Can you come over and do some witch doctor mumbo jumbo voodoo crap on me so I can sleep?"

"Are you asking for my help, Jim?"

"Yeah, Chief. I am. I need you, okay?"

"Okay."

"Then you'll come?"

"Jeez, when did you get so fucking insecure, Ellison?"

"When you left me." The words left his mouth and he wanted to call them back. But he couldn't. And suddenly he was glad.

"Oh, Jim."

"Yeah."

"I'm on my way."

"Great."

"Oh, and Jim?"

"What, Chief?"

"I love you."

Blair hung up the phone and rubbed his eyes. Just a little eyestrain. That's all.

Jim held onto the phone for the longest time before hanging it up. "I love you, too, Chief," he whispered, hoping his alter ego approved.

***

Blair had the strangest sensation of déjà vu when he stood outside Jim's loft again. His hand poised to knock, he was no longer shocked to see Jim answer the door before he could knock.

"Hi," he breathed.

"Hi," said Jim. Relieved beyond words merely by Blair's presence, Jim beckoned him inside.

Once Blair was safely within the confines of the loft, Jim said, "I hope you can stay."

"Sorta depends, man."

"On what?"

"On what you have in mind."

Jim's face mirrored his internal conflict. Maybe he had to give a little to get a little. "Maybe I'll be able to sleep, just knowing that you're here."

He pointed in the direction of a set of French doors. "There's a bed in there where you can sleep, Chief. You must be tired. We can start in the morning, if that's better for you."

Blair smiled mischievously. "Hey, man, what'd you do with the real Jim? You're way too agreeable to be the real thing."

Jim dropped his gaze. "I meant what I said about not pushing, Chief. I want you to be comfortable-"

"Jim?"

Jim looked up to see a warm light kindling Blair's smoky blue eyes. "Yeah?"

"I missed you, man. Come here." Blair held out his arms and just like that, Jim walked into his embrace.

After a moment, it was hard to tell who was hugging who. Their arms wrapped around each other, they traded fervent kisses that denied nothing and promised everything.

His lips moist and swollen, Blair ran a finger across them in amazement. Now he felt well and truly kissed. Now he felt well and truly loved. His mouth curving into a tentative smile, he shrugged out of his shirts, which were layered lovingly around his upper body to keep him warm.

Unable to do anything but watch, Jim asked, "What are you doing?"

"Giving myself to you."

Jim closed his eyes. He really should thank his alter ego. But then again, he thought he should thank Blair. For getting stars in his eyes.

Bare-chested, Blair knelt on the carpet directly in front of Jim. After placing his hands initially on Jim's thighs, he ran them up and under the edge of Jim's black silk boxers.

"Do these come off?" Blair asked with a lilt in his voice.

"Not fast enough, Chief."

With a shimmy of his hips, Jim aided their descent down his legs, stepping out of them when they puddled around his feet. As many times as he'd dreamed this, Blair thought it really should have been easier. But it wasn't.

All those times he'd been concentrating on his own pleasure. Now he wanted only to please Jim.

Blair ignored the preliminaries and swallowed Jim's cock to the root. Jim barely had time to brace himself before he was thrusting into Blair's mouth. He reached out to steady himself, caught a glimpse of his cock disappearing into Blair's mouth, and grabbed onto Blair's shoulders. "Blair!" he shouted exultantly as he came, pouring himself down the throat of his lover.

In the aftermath, Blair rocked gently back and forth, sucking every drop of come from Jim's cock, licking the tip playfully before releasing him.

"Come up here," Jim commanded hoarsely.

Blair slowly stood, his half-naked body quivering dangerously close to the edge of certain pleasure. Jim kissed him, his strong arms winding around his neck to cross behind his head. Breaking away only to lean his forehead on the younger man's, Jim whispered, "I love you. With all my heart. Will you stay?"

Blair ran his fingers up and down Jim's bare upper arms. "Are you asking about tonight, Jim? Or do you want more?"

Jim buried his face in Blair's dark brown curls and whispered, "Christ, is that what they teach you in graduate school? How to ask the hard questions?"

"My specialty, Jim. Do you give good answers?"

"I hope so."

Jim stretched out a hand and led the way upstairs, unwilling to relinquish his hold on the younger man for more than a moment. When Jim got into bed, he held out both arms to Blair, inviting him to join him.

When Blair settled finally, Jim wrapped his arms around his lover again. "Blair, are you listening?"

"Yeah," Blair replied sleepily.

"Don't fall asleep on me, Chief. This is important."

"Yeah," Blair repeated.

"I want you to stay with me for as long as you want to be here."

"Mmm. Izzat cause you can't sleep? Wouldn't it be easier to take a sleeping pill?"

"Chief…Blair…I'm serious."

"So'm I, man."

Jim lowered his head to the pillow, facing his lover. His enhanced vision allowed him to see the expression in Blair's eyes, even in the dark. "I love you, Blair. I want you to stay with me."

"Forever?"

"If we can."

"Okay."

"Okay? Just like that, okay?"

"Jim, I had two miserable weeks to think about what I wanted. My priorities were all fucked up. The only thing that matters is us. You and me. Nothing else."

It was a shame to fall asleep so quickly after getting his life in order, but there it was. Jim smiled in his sleep. They had the rest of their lives.

End

Feedback to Author

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Lisa, for making all this possible, to Patt, for being our resident cheerleader, to Amy and Audrey for creating magnificent artwork that is nothing short of magical, to Mary for her splendid eye and beta, and last but never least, to Tinnean, for playing beta, for channeling the Muse, and for just plain being there no matter what.

Back to Index