Highland Heat - Angelee
“I’m telling you that you’re not going to find anything about Sentinels in that tome.”
A slightly accented voice spoke. “I’m telling you that it is.”
“Well, it’s not going to be in it.”
“Want to bet?”
“Seafood dinner for all of us?”
Dark eyebrows rose in shock. “All four of us? Do you know how much seafood costs?”
Hazel eyes looked at the curly haired man sitting across from him. “Yes, that why I’m making the bet. I’m that sure.”
“Methos, that’s so uncool. You know that I don’t have that kind of money and I’d have to borrow from Jim. Do you know what it’s like borrowing from my Sentinel? I’d have a better chance of asking you for money. He’s more of a tightwad than you are.”
“Ouch, now that hurt. Yes or no?”
Blair sighed. “Alright,” he replied, unhappily. “But you suck, you know that, right?”
Those same hazel eyes twinkled merrily at him. “Oh, yes and I do enjoy it a great deal.” He chuckled softly when Blair turned a bright pink.
“I hate you.”
Methos wiggled his eyebrows at him. “No you don’t.”
Blair glared at him for a second, before the glare disappeared and Methos was given a look of awed wonder. “No, not really. I just don’t like you too much at times. I don’t care how old you are.”
“What? Don’t you want to know the things I’ve seen? The things I’ve done. Or know about the way civilizations have risen and fallen during my lifetime?”
Blair frowned at him. “You know I fucking do. But you hold it in front of me like a carrot in front of a horse, every now and then dishing out little bitty teeny, tiny tidbits, just to keep me interested. No more, no less. I swear you do it to see if I’ll follow you to get more carrot.”
“Well, what can I say? I do enjoy my groupies. Even if they have a face only a truly loving mother could love.”
Blair glared at him again, this time in outrage. “Are you calling me ugly?”
“If the shoe fits.”
“Hey, my mom loves me. All of me. And besides even if you had a mother, which you don’t, because you just poofed in, she wouldn’t love that big old honker of yours. Much less you’re sucky attitude.”
Methos placed a hand over his heart. “Oh, now that really wounds me. Ow! Really ouch,” he said dramatically, making Blair giggle softly.
“Ha, I bet. Besides even if my mom didn’t love me, my Sentinel does. Huh, Jim? You love me. Huh? Huh?”
The Sentinel watching the always entertaining byplay between the world’s oldest immortal and his smart, lovable Guide, smiled. “Oh, course I do, my cute, little guppy,” he replied, gently tugging on one of Blair’s soft curls. “Very much.”
“See,” Blair told Methos, crinkling his pert little nose at the immortal.
“Well, Duncan MacLeod, of the Clan MacLeod, likes me, don’t you Mac?”
The stunningly beautiful, yet very masculine Highlander gave Methos a warm, affectionate smile. “More than like, my friend. More than like.”
Hazel eyes blinked at him, not quite sure what to make of that comment, but decided not to question it too deeply. It might take him to a place he didn’t want to go, at least not yet.
“Hmm, okay. See?” Methos replied, crinkling his nose back at the curly-haired man. It didn’t quite have the same effect, because, truth be told, it really was a very big nose.
“Whatever,” Blair told him dismissively. He looked up at his Sentinel. “If I lose the bet, can you lend me money?”
“Yeah, I’ll lend you money, Chief,” Jim told him softly. Loving the happy smile his Guide gave him.
“Great,” Methos replied, quickly getting up from his chair and pulling Blair unceremoniously from his. “Let’s go. I know exactly where the tome is. You are about to owe me a steak and lobster meal, my friend. Or rather Jim is. Let’s go.”
Duncan MacLeod and Jim Ellison: one Immortal, strong, powerful, brave; the other a Sentinel with those same admirable qualities, both very much protectors to those they loved and cared for, watched Methos and Blair leave, the two still amicably arguing.
When they’d disappeared through the door toward the huge library housed at Rainier University in Cascade, where they all lived and worked, Mac turned toward Jim.
“They love to fight,” he told him, chuckling.
The Sentinel smiled. “More like, they live to fight.”
“That too.” Mac turned toward the Sentinel, taking in the buff body and pale, angular face, with the startling blue eyes. Those eyes could freeze you to the bone or scare the living hell out of you. Yet behind those chilling blue eyes lay a truly gentle and caring man, one who would die to protect the innocent. A man after his own heart, if it didn’t already belong to another. “Why haven’t you told him?” he asked quietly.
The smile on Jim’s face vanished. Not even bothering to pretend he didn’t understand. “It’s too complicated.”
“Loving someone is never complicated.”
“It is when you’re a Sentinel.”
Mac sat in the chair Methos had just vacated. “How?”
Jim sighed softly. “I can’t get involved with anyone. If I’m not paying attention because I have my mind on something else, a tornado could wipe out a city in Kansas. Or a hurricane could destroy valuable drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico. People could die. Millions in revenue could be lost. I can’t. I just can’t.”
Mac saw the lost, wistful look in the Sentinel’s eyes. “Have you asked him to help you come up with a way? A way for you to be together.”
“So you plan on spending the rest of your life alone, lonely and miserable?”
Jim threw himself into what had been Blair’s chair. “If I have to. At least that won’t be as long as your life,” he said with a wan smile. “Can you imagine being a Sentinel and Immortal and in love with someone you could never have? I’d offer my head to the nearest immortal just to end my misery.”
“You don’t have to be miserable. He loves you. You can see it in his eyes every time he looks at you.”
Jim dropped his head onto his chest. “I know,” he said, unhappily. “That’s what makes it all that much more painful.”
“Then do something about it.”
Jim looked up, meeting the soft brown eyes of the immortal. “Like you’ve done with Methos?”
Mac startled slightly, not expecting the conversation to be turned on him. “Methos is on a completely different plane of existence.”
“Because he’s older than the proverbial hills, literally? Hell, he may have been around when the hills were no more than ant mounds.”
Mac chuckled. “True. Methos is…” he stuttered lightly. “Methos! He can be annoying one moment, the next his eyes light up with life, mischief and laughter. Looking so young, you forget how truly old he is.”
“His green eyes can change colors with his emotions. Kind of like a mood ring. You always know what he’s feeling by the color of his eyes.”
Jim chased a piece of scrap paper around the table. “Why haven’t you let him feel your Highland heat? I bet he’d love it. He’d fall all over himself even to get more.”
Mac’s eyebrows drew together in amusement. “Highland heat?”
“You know. Highland heat. You burn brighter, warmer because of all those cold, winter nights in Scotland. I bet he could take the heat and then some,” Jim told him, batting the scrap of paper toward Mac.
The Immortal batted it back. “He probably could and then show me a few tricks of the ages.”
“I wouldn’t mind finding out about some of them either. But with my Sentinel senses, he’d send me into a zone Blair would never be able to get me out of.”
Mac chuckled softly. “Yeah, he probably would. I’m glad you chose us as your Champions. It made Methos’ century. I thought he was about to bust a seam, he was so excited. The world’s oldest Immortal paired with the world’s most gifted Sentinel and his just as gifted Guide. Who would have thought?”
Jim batted the piece of paper again. “I don’t think he was as happy as the World Council. Joe Dawson was so happy that two his most treasured pairings hooked up. Now he could watch them a lot more easily, as they now live, eat and sleep in the same place.”
Mac swatted the paper with his forefinger. “Yeah and it’s on holy ground. Now that the Game is understood, immortals no longer have to fight to be ‘the only one,’ so we can come out of hiding without fear, which is a major plus.”
“I never did understand that.”
“Immortals had always believed that they had to fight each other for the mythical prize. A prize that exists, but not what Immortals throughout the ages thought it was. It’s a relief to no longer have to look over your shoulder to be able to keep your head.”
Jim frowned as he swatted the tiny, abused piece of paper. “There are still diehard Immortals who fight, who’ll go after you without a qualm.”
“I know.” Mac replied quietly. “But I will no longer take the Challenge as readily as I once did. The Quickening from the fight would kill you. I won’t risk it. I took an oath to protect you and Blair. As did Methos. You are the best hope for the well-being of our world. Mortal and immortal. I won’t risk you. The three of you are my Clan and I will not see you come to harm. Especially since you and Blair chose Methos and I, when you called the Gathering to choose which of the world’s eligible Immortals would be your Champions.”
Jim’s frowned deepened. “I don’t like the fact that the Council thinks that Immortals are expendable. I don’t like it. Not one fucking bit.”
“Don’t frown, my friend. We’re not expendable. We just heal quickly. And with the high bounty on rare Sentinels, you need that. I can give it my all, protecting you and Blair, and I will.”
Jim sighed unhappily as Mac swatted the paper back. “I still don’t like it.”
“I know, perhaps once more Sentinels are born. It will ease. You, my friend- have a bounty on you no other has ever had.”
“What is it at now? Haven’t checked lately.”
“One billion and climbing.”
Jim whistled in appreciation. “Wow. Never thought I’d be worth that, just because my senses are extra sensitive.”
“The world’s people count on Sentinels for planting, finding oil, and predicting the weather. So it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Most especially since there are only five like you and you, my friend, surpass them by miles when it comes to skill and sensitivity.”
“But all they have to do is ask. I’ll help if I can.”
Mac picked up the paper and looked at it before swatting it toward the Sentinel. “You know that. I know that. The Council knows that. But you know how greedy some governments are. They would love nothing better than to hoard the rarer things or, in your case, persons, thinking it will give them an edge up.” Mac’s eyes clouded.
“All the lives that have been lost throughout the centuries, only to have Methos find the truth through his love of books. The truth about the Prize, about the purpose of the Champion and the Gathering. Long ago there was a Keep deep in the Highland mountains where a Sentinel and his Guide lived and worked for the benefit of all. A neighboring Keep wanted them for their very own, even knowing the Sentinel and his Guide would willingly do all they could to help them if the need arose.
"They trained legions of Immortals to go after the Prize. They lay siege to the Keep and were met by the Keep’s own Champions, who had vowed with their life’s blood to keep the pair safe.” Mac’s brown eyes filled with tears, his voice deepening with emotion. “The night sky filled with the flashes of Quickening power, devastating the land and destroying the Keep. By the night’s end, Immortals and mortals lay dead, including the prized Sentinel and his beloved Guide. All was truly lost.”
Jim listened enthralled, hearing the complete story for the first time. “And you wonder why I haven’t done anything with Blair. Where did Methos find the tome?”
Mac sighed softly. “In a buried city, forgotten for millenniums until, oddly enough, a Sentinel and his Guide found the city. The tome was taken to Methos, who is an expert on ancient languages, for obvious reasons. It was written by a hermit by the name of Darius, who watched the battle high atop a hill, far enough away to not get caught in the devastation, but close enough to observe. Tis said that by night’s end, his once raven black hair was white as snow and he suffered terrible nightmares till the end of his days.”
“So I am the Prize?”
Mac nodded, rubbing the tears from his eyes. “Aye. You and Blair. His bounty is higher than yours. Talented Guides are even a rarer find than Sentinels. There is only one other with skills similar to Blair’s. Immortals will die to protect you and Blair. Immortals will also die to get you into the hands of those that will use your power for wrong. The Prize to be taken from the Champion who has earned the right to be by your side. Or, in this case, Champions.” He gave a small smile. “The two, instead of the ‘one’. In the hundred years since Methos found the old tome, there has never been two Champions for a Sentinel and Guide. It has been unheard of.” His beautiful brown eyes turned reflective. “Methos was beside himself with worry, unable to eat or sleep, filled with dread that you would not choose him. Being your champion was something he wanted with his whole old heart. He was terrified you would not find him worthy.”
Jim smiled at him. “Not worthy. A five thousand year old Immortal and one of the best players in the Game. Not fucking likely. If you thought Methos was worried, you should have seen Blair. We’re all lucky he isn’t bald right now. He just about pulled all his curly hair out thinking you and Methos weren’t going to want us. By the way, how much is his bounty?”
“Two and a half billion dollars.”
Jim whistled. “Wow. Don’t tell the little shit or he’ll get even more obnoxious than he already is. Know what I’ve been thinking?”
“We need a vacation. Blair’s getting circles under those big, beautiful blue eyes of his.”
Mac grabbed another piece of paper, rolling it into a tight little ball, the other one having died an untimely death and no longer swatable. “I have noticed his happy, puppy dog bounce isn’t so bouncy.”
“That’s a sign that he needs a break. Maybe we could go fishing.”
“We could. I still have my island. Fishing is good there and it is holy ground. When did you want to go?”
Jim examined the new paper ball. Finding it to his liking, he batted it to the Immortal. “This weekend?”
Mac nodded. “That’s fine with me. What’s the weather going to be like? And don’t zone on me checking. It would be so undignified for me to scream for Blair like a teen-age girl.”
Jim smiled at the Immortal. “I won’t zone. Have a little faith.”
“Faith, I got. The ability to bring you out of a zone is way beyond my skills.”
Jim snickered at him. “Woose.”
“When it comes to you and zones, all I’ve got to say is ‘hell yeah’.”
Mac watched as the Sentinel closed his eyes, knowing he was sending out his senses. It never failed to amaze him. It awed him almost as much as knowing that Methos, the world’s oldest immortal, was his friend and had been for five years.
When Jim’s eyes reopened, he said. “There’s a storm coming. Bad one. It’s bringing lots of snow and freezing temperatures. If your cabin is storm ready, we can still go, no problem. We can ask the Council for a few extra days. I need the break as much as Blair.”
Mac nodded. “It’s ready. I was out there during the summer. Did some repairs and chopped wood.”
“Okay, we got a date. We can go to the store before we head out to the island. Get food and stuff to make s’mores, or Blair will never forgive us.”
“Good idea. We need to stock up on beer for Methos as well. He complains less if he’s lightly lit.”
You’re just a sore loser.”
“Am not. You cheated. I know you did.”
Methos, sitting at the front of the small boat taking them to MacLeod’s island, rolled his eyes. “How the fuck do you cheat? It was a three thousand year old tome.”
Blair glared at him from his spot next to his Sentinel. “I wouldn’t put it past you to have been standing next to the author, telling him what to write. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past you to be the author.” Methos gave him a hurt look, which Blair didn’t buy for a second. “Oh, and don’t give me the hurt puppy dog look. I don’t buy it. You cheated, just admit it.”
“I’ll admit thoroughly enjoying the steak and lobster Jim paid for in your stead. Because you lost the bet, fair and square.”
Mac looked at Jim, sharing a smile with the Sentinel. Blair and Methos had been fighting since finding the tome, exactly where Methos said it was, saying exactly what the Immortal had said it would, much to the curly-haired Guide’s annoyance.
Blair huffed. “You cheated. I know you did,” he replied, shivering and moving closer to his Sentinel. “Is it getting colder?”
Jim wrapped an arm around his shivering Guide. “Yeah. Temperature dropped five degrees.”
Blair looked up at Jim. “Are you sure we should even be out here? You don’t react well to extreme temperatures.”
Jim tucked a loose curl behind a delicate ear. “I’ll be fine.”
“Stop worrying, my little guppy. Mac said the cabin is fine. We can weather out the storm there. Besides, we can’t go back. The roads are now closed due to ice.”
“I hate when you do that.”
Jim smiled at him. “I am a Sentinel. It’s what earns our bread and butter.”
“I know, but it still bugs me. I can’t even balance my checkbook and here you are, forecasting the weather with no help from satellites or computers, using just your unique human abilities. It awes and bugs the crap out of me at the same time.”
“You can always trade me for a less accurate model.”
“Not on your life.” His Guide’s response was so quick it warmed Jim’s heart. Blair turned, giving Methos a mischievous look. “Now him, well, that’s a whole other thing.”
Methos gave him a wounded look. “Ow!”
Blair crinkled his nose at him. “Heh.”
The Immortal was saved from having to comment by their arrival at the island. Removing the foodstuff, they walked the short way to the cabin.
What met them stunned all four men. Jim turned to Mac. “I thought you said the cabin was okay.”
The Scot blinked a few times, as if clearing his eyes, hoping that when he reopened them, what he was seeing wasn’t true. But it didn’t help, his cabin was still devastated. The windows were broken, railing and steps smashed to pieces. Graffiti covered just about every inch of the damaged building.
“It was fine last I checked.” He said weakly. “Damn.”
Methos gently touched his arm. “If the inside…”
“I know. We can’t stay here. We’ll have to go back. There’s a hotel across the street from the grocery store where we brought our food. We can wait out the storm there.”
Blair frowned, noticing his Sentinel was being quiet, too quiet. “Jim?”
The Sentinel raised a hand for silence. “A minute. I need a minute.”
Before the minute was up, he took off into the wooded area nearby. They all followed, but by the time they reached him, he already had what had caught his attention wiggling happily in his hands.
Blair rested his head against a muscled shoulder, looking over. “Whatcha got there?”
“A puppy. Who ever messed up the cabin left him behind.”
Blair’s blue eyes widened in shock. “A puppy? Is it alright?”
Jim held the beagle puppy for them to see. It couldn’t have been more that eight weeks old. It didn’t struggle, as it regarded the Sentinel curiously. “He seems fine. He was living on whatever he could catch. Smart little fellow, but it wasn’t enough. I can hear his tummy growling. If he was left out here much longer, he would have died, especially with the storm coming in.”
Blair reached out to gently touch the puppy’s head. “Damn. How can people be so cruel?”
Methos sighed softly. “Easily. Humans are cruel to one another; what chance does an animal have? Nothing changes in any century. Any millennium. ”
Blair smiled when the puppy licked his hand. “Poor baby. We’ll take care of you, sweetheart. You’ll never be alone again. Right, Jim?” When the Sentinel didn’t answer, he looked up, meeting Jim’s blank stare. “Hmm, right-Jim? We can keep him, right? Jim? Jim?” He still didn’t get an answer, so he brought out the big guns and gave the Sentinel his best puppy dog look, guaranteed to soften a mother’s anger at a son’s misdeeds, or bring a stubborn Sentinel down hard. “Please, Jim?” he asked, big blue eyes pleading.
Mac chuckled softly. “Give in now, my friend. Before the look Blair’s giving you, turns you into a babbling fool.”
“Fine. You’re responsibility. You train, you feed, you walk, take to the vet. All of it.”
Blair nodded enthusiastically. “Alright. Methos will help,” he added as he gathered the puppy to him.
“Hey,” Methos protested halfheartedly, knowing he’s already lost, without a volley ever being fired.
Blair showed him the puppy. “See the big brown eyes? You’re a sucker for big brown eyes, admit it.”
Methos looked over at Mac, who batted his insanely long lashes over, yes, big, beautiful, brown eyes. “Alright. Fine.” He grumbled, knowing he didn’t stand a chance. “Whatever. But I pick up poo for no one. Not even for big, brown eyes. Got it?”
Blair nodded, smiling at him. “Got it. This is so cool.” He held his new puppy in the air, examining him critically. “I shall name you…Sammy,” he said dramatically.
“Sammy? Why Sammy,” Mac asked, reaching over to gently tickle a warm, puppy belly.
“He looks like a Sammy. Sammy Sandburg. Has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think?”
Mac smiled. “Yes, it does.” Just then he was hit by a big, fat snowflake. “We better get out of here. It’s starting to snow.”
By the time they made it back to the mainland, it was snowing heavily. After stopping at the store for supplies for Sammy, by the time they reached the hotel, nothing could be seen, but a white haze. Not to mention the rapidly dropping temperature.
Jim opened the door to their room. “Only one room left. At least the bed is big and none of you smell too bad. Except for Sammy and his puppy breath.”
Blair placed the puppy on the floor and quickly opened the bag of puppy food. “Don’t listen to him, Sammy. He just jealous ‘cause you’re cuter than he is.” The puppy looked up at him before attacking the food. “Wow! You really were hungry.”
Mac sat next to him on the floor, noticing how Blair backed away slightly. “Are you still afraid of me, after all this time?” he asked softly, hurt.
Blair looked at him from under his lashes. “I’m sorry, but you’re really big and you carry a really big sword inside your clothing. That’s kinda scary,” He said shyly.
“I have a big sword inside of my clothing? How would you know this, pray tell?”
“Hmm… I’ve…ah, seen it?”
“Yup...” Blair bit his lip, feeling the blush burn even hotter as it deepened. “Damn. Jim, help,” he called helplessly, looking over toward his Sentinel, who was sitting at the small table that all hotel rooms seemed to have, doing the crossword puzzle from today’s newspaper.
“Don’t look at me, my cute guppy, who has once again put his little fin in his very big mouth,” Jim told him, not even bother to look up. “You’re on your own.”
Blair gave a long suffering sigh. He then looked over at Methos, who was sprawled all over the bed, reading. Knowing better than to bother the Immortal when he had a book in his hands unless it was a life or death situation, he didn’t even bother.
He turned back to the waiting Scot. “Nice weather, we’re having, huh?” he asked weakly.
Mac smiled at him. “I like it.”
“Oh, hmm, Scotland, huh? Long, cold winter nights.” Blair’s eyes glazed over. “Cuddling in front of the fire with some cocoa and warm kisses…”
Mac nodded. “Aye.”
Blair shook himself free of the very nice image. “Hmm, I should stop before I get in any deeper, huh?”
“Yes,” Mac, told him, reaching out to run his hand over the Guide’s flaming cheek. If only his heart didn’t belong to another. Blair was funny, almost always happy and cheerful, even when sick. He was also loving, and extremely affectionate. Especially with his Sentinel, who seemed to thrive under the love his Guide felt and readily shared.
Mac sighed inwardly as he stole a glance at his heart, who was currently flipping through his book at a rate that to this day astounded him. Methos actually remembered everything he read while flipping through the books he consumed at lighting fast speed.
He looked back at Blair, who was currently cuddling into his hand like an affectionate kitten. If only…
“I like your new puppy,” he said, softly.
Blair gave him a brilliant smile, face still cupped by a big and really warm hand. “He’s great. I’m glad we found him before the storm.” The smile faded. “He would have died.”
“I know. Once the storm is over, I’ll find out who left Sammy and vandalized the cabin. They will be punished. More so for the puppy, than the cabin.”
Mac didn’t have a chance to respond as the lights in the hotel room suddenly flickered and went off.
Blair bounced to his feet. “Jim?”
“I’m fine, chief. Don’t worry so much.”
“You’re my Sentinel. And you don’t handle extreme temperatures very well and without heat...”
“I’m fine, don’t fuss.”
Blair didn’t have a choice, but to fuss. The lights didn’t come back, much less the heat. He watched worriedly as Jim began to fidget uncomfortably as time passed and the temperature plummeted. Puzzle forgotten, he tried to get warm without being too obvious, a ploy that had never worked on his ever vigilant Guide.
“Okay, that does it,” Blair finally said, going to his shivering Sentinel. “I can’t watch you go through this any more,” he said, starting to unbutton Jim’s coat. “It’s making me crazy.”
Jim tried batting the hands away. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“Taking care of my Sentinel,” Blair turned to Methos and Mac, who were curiously watching. “I need your help. I don’t want my Sentinel going into hypothermia. We need to keep him warm. Take your clothes off.”
“What? Why?” Mac asked, stunned. Yet his hands reached for the buttons of his coat. Methos was already flinging his over the chair and reaching for his sweater, suddenly remembering, “Skin to skin contact is warmer than clothing.”
“Yes. I just hope we’re not too late to stop the looming zone. Come on, Jim, get in the bed.” Blair bit his lip as he thought. “Okay, how to do this so my Sentinel gets maximum warmth? I’ll get on top. Mac and Methos, pick a side.”
They all quickly found spots, even Sammy, who’d been helped onto the bed by Methos. The puppy turned around and around in a circle until he found a spot near Jim’s feet and settled.
Pulling the blankets up, Blair scooted closer. “Open your legs, Jim, so I can go between.”
The Sentinel, shivering violently, complied with no fuss. Being this cold really hurt and he really, really wanted to get warm. After a few minutes of figuring out where everyone’s legs and arms went, they settled into a comfortable sort of silence.
The Guide looked up from his comfortable spot on Jim’s shoulder. “Yeah?” He asked his Sentinel.
“Your nipple ring is poking me.”
“Are you sure it’s my nipple ring?”
Jim sighed softly as his arms stretched wide to pull the Immortals closer. “Yeah. Unless it’s your sword. If it is, it’s a mighty small sword and would explain why you haven’t been dating that much lately.”
Blair ignored the snickers from Methos and Mac. “Wise guy. Get warm and keep quiet.”
Jim buried his face in Blair’s sweet smelling hair. “Yes, sir,” he replied meekly. After another prolonged silence. “Mac?”
“Hmm?” The Highlander replied, from somewhere near Blair’s shoulder blades.
“You’re giving off a lot of heat. You’re a regular furnace. I can feel it spreading to cover Blair and Methos. Even Sammy’s benefiting from the heat you’re giving off.”
“Well, you did want me to share my Highland heat.”
Jim sighed happily. “It feels so good to be warm. It’s nice. Really, really nice.”
Blair looked up at him. “Well if you hadn’t been so stubborn.”
Jim nibbled on his lower lip, missing how Blair followed the action hungrily. “Well, because….I’m a Sentinel and we’re stubborn and…”
“And because he didn’t want to get in bed with a bunch of guys,” Methos finished for him. “Wuss.”
Blair rolled his eyes. “You’re in bed with a bunch of guys trying to keep their Sentinel from zoning on the cold. We’re your heaters. “Nothing more,” he added sadly. Wishing with all his heart it was different.
Jim sighed again softly, sleepily. “Oh, yeah. Especially Mac. He’s really warm.”
Blair smiled up at him affectionately. “My Sentinel. Big, buff, stubborn as all get out and very, very sleepy, now that’s he acquired heat.”
Jim returned the smile goofily. Now that he was warm and comfortable, he couldn’t keep his eyes open, no matter how hard he fought it. They blinked a couple of times before finally staying closed as the Sentinel slipped gently into sleep.
Blair chuckled softly. Turning, he got an eye full of Methos. “Damn, up close you’ve got a major nose-attitude.”
Methos rubbed the offended appendage. “Hey, quit with the nose. Besides you’ve got…hmm…” he was having a really hard time coming up with something as Blair stared at him patiently, patiently waiting for a comeback. “Hmm, really curly hair.”
“Curly hair? That’s the best you could do? Five thousand years old and all he can come up with is ‘curly hair’? That’s really lame.”
Methos smiled at him sheepishly. “Truth be told, you’re really pretty. Even close up.”
Blair blushed. “Thank you. Did I ever tell you that you’ve got the most beautiful green eyes I’ve ever seen?”
“No, I don’t believe you have.”
Blair nodded slowly. “Yup, they’re really pretty. They change colors with your emotions, too. Can’t really lie, cause those beautiful peepers of your give you away.”
Methos’ eyebrows went up in surprise. “Really? I didn’t know that.”
“Yup. They sure are pretty, when they go from hazel to emerald.”
“Oh,” Methos replied weakly. “Damn.”
Blair smiled at him. “Not to worry. I don’t think too many people have noticed.”
“I have,” Mac replied, from the other side of Blair.
“Well, okay. Mac has, and I’m pretty sure Jim has. Kinda surprised you haven’t made him zone when they all of a sudden change color. Regular human mood ring/person you are.”
“Shit. I think I need to disappear for a while.”
“Can’t,” Blair told him smugly. “Can’t ever do that again.”
“Because you and Mac are our Champions. You have to protect your Sentinel and Guide.”
“I haven’t played the Game or sought the Prize in thousands of years. Haven’t really wanted to.”
Blair moved his head closer to Methos. This sure was an intimate setting, and not only for the fact they were all sharing a bed, or the fact they were all naked. It was the fact they were sharing a closeness they hadn’t before. It was so cool.
“That was, up until you found the Darius tome and discovered the truth. Up till then, you thought other Immortals wanted you just for your Quickening. And a Prize no one knew anything about, until now. You, my friend, have changed and saved the lives of countless Immortals the world over. Not to mention enriching the lives of Sentinels and Guides who would never have known about their Champions.”
Methos blushed. “Ah shucks, t’wasn’t nothing.”
Blair smiled at him. “Pull the other one. You single handedly changed the lives of thousands of people. In my book, that makes you very special and not only for the fact that you’re five thousand years old, which, by itself, is way cool.”
“It’s a secret I never thought to reveal. Not even to my closest friends,” Methos admitted softly.
“You admitted it to me,” Mac replied, who was now resting his head against Blair’s warm back.
“Yeah, but you wanted me to find out.” Mac rubbed his face against warm skin. “Will we wake Jim, if we talk?”
“Hmm, that feels good. No. He’s sound asleep. He’ll be aware of the conversation. Kind of, like his brain is recording it. But for now, he’s warm and very comfortable. I don’t know why he fought it for so long. I thought he was going to shiver his way back to Cascade. He’s way too stubborn to ask for help. Until it’s shoved under his nose,” Blair said peevishly. “Or, rather forced on him.”
“That’s why he’s got you,” Mac told him softly. “To make it all better.”
“Yup. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure my Sentinel’s happy and stays zone free.”
“But he’s not happy right now, is he?” Methos asked, bringing up a subject everyone had been avoiding. But now, as they were all naked in the same bed, seemed like the best place at the right time.
Blair sighed forlornly. “I know. But I don’t know how to tell him I want more.”
Methos smiled at him mischievously. “I may be wrong, but I think you just did.”
Blair reached over and gently ran the knuckle of his forefinger over Methos nose, smiling when it made him go slightly cross-eyed. “I think you may be right. Now, how do I get him to accept what’s on offer?”
“You could just shove him on the bed and jump his sensitive Sentinel bones,” Methos replied, sighing happily when the hand caressing his nose cupped his face.
"Oh, that’s subtle,” Mac snickered.
Blair nibbled on his lower lip, noticing how Methos avidly followed the act. “I could. But what if he shoves me over the railing in his bedroom for being forward?”
Mac started nibbling on a soft shoulder, feeling Blair shiver at the gentle caress. “We’ll be at the bottom level ready to catch you.”
“Really?” Blair asked, smiling when Methos nodded with Mac in agreement.
“Yes. Might be painful, but after a couple of hours we’ll be right as rain. Mac?”
“Hmm?” The Scot mumbled quietly.
“Should you be doing that? You know, considering that Blair belongs to another?”
Mac wiggled his eyebrows at Methos as he licked a wide patch of skin. “Doesn’t say anythin’ in the rulebook about kissin’ and lickin’,” he replied wickedly.
Methos chuckled. “Oh, you’re so bad.”
“Oh, I know,” was the seductive response he got, as even, white teeth came out to nibble pale flesh.
Methos watched, fascinated, as Mac delicately nibbled and licked any flesh within touching distance. “In that case, I want a kiss. Can I have a kiss, Blair?”
Blair moved closer, offering his lips. “Oh, yeah. You most certainly can.” The kiss was gentle, affectionate and loving. When they separated, Blair murmured. “Hmm, that was nice and your nose didn’t get in the way or anything.” He lightened the insult by giving the tip of Methos’ nose a little peck of a kiss.
“Why, thank you. I think.” Methos said and smiled as he reached for another kiss. It was readily and happily accepted.
Mac watched from his spot, chin resting on Blair’s shoulder. Once the kiss ended, Blair and Methos nuzzled each other like a pair of snuggling kittens. It went on for some time, with Methos reaching over now and then to nuzzle Mac’s face as well.
No one knew or really cared when, one by one, they all followed Jim into sleep, too contented and happy to even fight it. Mac tried, but not very hard, as he lay thinking he’d never felt anything like this in his life and wanting to enjoy it for a little while longer. He felt content, loved and truly happy for what felt like the first time in his four hundred plus years of life. Funny thing was, he mused to himself, he wasn’t even aroused. He should be, but he wasn’t and that didn’t even bother him as he snuggled close to his Sentinel and Guide, reaching over to twine his fingers with Methos. He gave up his fight with the sandman and drifted off to sleep.
“Why aren’t you reading one of your precious books?” Mac asked, as he sat next to Methos, who was sprawled on the couch, staring off into space or, in this case, toward the skylight in the loft they all share. Sammy was sleeping peacefully by his feet.
Methos sighed. “Because of what’s happening upstairs.”
Mac looked up toward where Jim’s bed lay. “What’s happening up there?”
“Well, as soon as we got back, Blair led Jim upstairs and proceeded to seduce him. The Sentinel didn’t struggle too hard, I must admit. But right now, they’re having their first experience of the most intimate kind.”
Mac smiled. “Cool. It’s about time.”
“I guess,” Methos replied, glumly.
“Why so unhappy? It’s something that should have happened months ago. Wishing it was you up there?”
“Well, yeah,” Methos said, as if that were the dumbest question MacLeod had ever asked. “I wouldn’t mind it, to be sure.”
Mac heard soft whispers and moans waft down toward them. “Me neither.” He turned to look at the slightly dazed Immortal next to him. “Know what?” he asked, staring into Methos’ eyes, now a beautiful shade of emerald.
Mac straddled the prone man. “Let’s have a first encounter of the most intimate kind of our own.”
Methos placed his hands on Mac’s hips. “Gonna let me feel the heat Jim keeps going on about, Highlander?”
Mac smiled at him. “Oh, yeah.”
Methos returned it cheekily. “Bring it on.”
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Acknowledgement: To Bobby Turnbeauh for beta, with my forever thanks. All remaining errors are my own. Thank you to Patt for the artwork.