Blair rummaged around under the kitchen sink, adjusting the new bins he had placed there, each neatly labeled for the recycling of glass, plastics, and paper products. He lifted his head as he heard the front door open in time to see Jim walk in.
“What are you up to, Chief?” Jim asked, loosening his tie and shedding his suit coat. After a long day in court, he was ready for a beer and some quiet time with his new Guide.
“Just adding some recycling bins to the kitchen,” Blair replied, gesturing to the three marked receptacles.
Jim sauntered into the kitchen, peering at the bins and watching Blair’s nervous hands adjust each one ‘just so’. “What’s the matter?” he asked after noting Blair’s racing heartbeat and the tang of salt in the air.
“Hmmm?” Blair looked up, confusion and a hint of panic on his face. “Nothing. Nothing’s up, Jim. I just thought that maybe we could do something for the environment, you know? Global warming and all that. We need to do our part.”
Now that Blair was looking up at him, Jim realized the reason he had smelled the salt... tears brimmed under swollen eyelids, threatening to spill over. “Hey, hey,” he soothed, reaching down to take Blair’s shoulders and bring him to his feet. “It’s all right, whatever it is. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but I’m here.”
“I-I just thought... We need to do something...”
“Yes, yes of course we do,” Jim agreed, loosening his hold but not letting go. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of the recycling bins a long time ago.” As he talked, he moved Blair over to the couch, pulling his Guide down beside him as he sat. “But what brought this on now? You spend your day watching the Discovery Channel or something?” Jim gently teased.
“It... it was something that Daniel believed in strongly,” Blair explained. “Something we both believed in, something we shared.”
“I see.” Jim wiped at a falling tear with his thumb, never dropping his gaze from Blair’s haunted eyes. Daniel had been Blair’s first Sentinel and Blair had been bereft ever since his death five years ago. It was only because of the loss of his own Guide, Spencer, that Jim had found and bonded with Blair. However, the young Guide still harbored a deep anguish despite his overwhelming love for Jim. “But why now?”
Blair was silent for several minutes, gathering the reserves of his strength to pull himself out of his depression. “It would have been Daniel’s thirty-second birthday today.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, Jim. You don’t deserve this; you deserve far better than me right now.”
“No!” Jim let his anger fire the passion he felt for Blair. “I’ve got everything I need, right here, right now. You’re the best thing to ever happen in my life, Blair; better even than Spencer.”
A slight gasp escaped Blair’s throat at what the Guide perceived of as almost a blasphemous statement.
Jim pulled Blair into a fierce hug, their lips meeting with bruising pressure, Jim’s tongue forcing its way past the barrier of Blair’s teeth to taste deeply of his Guide. Blair struggled weakly but the strong scent of arousal wafting his sense of smell told Jim that his lover was not trying so much to escape as to gain some control over the situation. Allowing Blair to place his hands flat against Jim’s chest, Jim felt smug as the buttons on his shirt popped and Blair’s capable fingers caressed his nipples, sending bolts of excitement to his own swelling cock.
Moments later, both men were naked on the couch, torn clothing littering the floor and cushions. Rigid cocks rubbed together, tearing a cry from Blair’s throat as he panted with the exertion of the physical melding with his Sentinel. Thoughts of Daniel temporarily fled to the farthest corners of his mind as the love he felt for Jim filled him.
Jim rose up and lowered himself onto Blair’s cock, feeling the pulse of Blair’s heart thrum through his penis, filling Jim’s body with the sweet rhythm. No other, not even Spencer, had completed Jim so fully.
Blair reached up to wrap strong fingers around Jim’s bobbing dick, stroking the long shaft firmly as sweat trickled enticingly down Jim’s chest, forming rivulets that streamed into the dense mat of curly hair at the base of the organ. Jim moaned as Blair’s hand slid up and down his shaft, lubricated by his own perspiration. He could feel the thrumming of Blair’s cock increase until his Guide was thrusting up against Jim’s ass, forcing himself deeper into Jim’s body as his orgasm flowed over him, wrenching a strangled cry from Blair’s throat. Jim came almost immediately after, spurred on by his Guide filling him with warm seed.
They collapsed upon one another and for a few moments, nothing was heard in the loft except the sound of heavy breathing as Sentinel and Guide recovered their strength.
Slowly, Jim pushed off and, bracing his arms to either side of Blair’s head, looked down upon his Guide. “You all right?” Blair could only nod.
After a shower, the two men settled back on the couch in their bathrobes, beer bottles in hand. Jim wrapped a casual arm around Blair’s shoulders, pulling the shorter man into his chest. Relaxed now, Blair laid his head against Jim’s shoulder and sighed.
“If you want, we can do something special to remember Daniel... and Spencer,” Jim suggested. “Something in their honor that would serve as a reminder so that no matter what else happens, they will never be forgotten.”
“Like what?” Blair wondered, tilting his head to look up at Jim.
“Oh, I don’t know... Maybe we could plant a tree in their honor? Something like that?”
Blair nodded, thoughtful. “Trees use carbon dioxide to produce oxygen,” he mused. “It would be a ‘green’ way to remember them.”
“Let me look into it,” Jim suggested. “I have an idea.”
“Just let me think on it first, Chief. I’ll let you know when I know something, okay?”
Blair pressed his lips together in frustration, but instead of arguing, took a last sip of his beer. “Here, let me take the bottles,” he offered, carrying them to the sink to rinse and then carefully depositing them in the bottle bin beneath the sink. He turned back to Jim and said sternly, “Just don’t take too long.”
Jim had to pull some strings, including biting the bullet and talking with his father, but he managed to pull off his plan for Blair.
Two weeks later, Blair found himself with Jim in front of his favorite arboretum in Crystal Springs Park, down near the beach. Two trees, one a flowering weeping cherry, the other a delicate Japanese maple, sat with their roots firmly wrapped in burlap near the entrance to the arboretum. Jim had brought two shovels and pointed out to his Guide the marked areas where the arboretum’s curator had said they could plant their trees.
The two men set to work digging the holes, preparing the soil, unwrapping and carefully planting the two trees. The job took most of the morning, and Blair was dripping with sweat by the time they had finished. Jim pulled him aside and, wrapping an arm around his exhausted Guide’s waist, pointed to the two young trees.
“In a few years, these trees will be strong and well-established, like us,” Jim said. “Their roots will grow deep, their branches will reach high....”
“Jim,” Blair interrupted, “you’re talking about a weeping cherry and a Japanese maple. Their branches don’t reach up.” Jim snorted, flustered by Blair’s logic. “But I get the point, man. You and I, we’re going to grow strong together as the years go by.”
“There’s one more thing, Chief,” Jim said, guiding Blair over to where a brass plaque adorned the wall next to the arboretum’s entrance.
Inscribed in the gleaming metal were the words:
“Aw, Jim,” Blair nearly choked on the words as they tumbled out of his mouth. “That’s the most awesome memorial you could have thought of. Thanks.” He had to rub at his eyes with the back of his hand to keep the tears from spilling over and flowing down his cheeks. “You know,” he added when he’d recovered his composure, “I think it may even be possible to recycle love.” He reached up to wrap his arms around Jim’s neck and pulled him into searing kiss, proving his point to all who stood and watched.
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Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Alex, Marion, and PattRose, for the beta of this story. All remaining errors are my own.