Physical Fascination - Rogue

"Jim...? Whoa!"

Blair watched as Ellison and Laura broke apart from their kiss and looked at him. Laura remained wrapped around the detective, staring at him in an altogether predatory fashion. Jim looked shocked and mildly embarrassed as he attempted to pull her dress back together, cover her up, protect her.

Embarrassed for his friend and that he had walked in on something private - if not smart, location- and timing-wise - Blair gave them a wry grin as he averted his gaze and turned and left.

Later, much later, the young man sat on the sofa in the loft apartment, scribbling in his notebook as he hypothesized about the possible reason for Jim's sudden and uncontrollable reaction to the woman. His gaze drifted to the wrapped object he had on the coffee table and for a moment, he found himself picturing Jim and Laura twined around each other in the coatroom, and his mind's eye focused in on Jim's soft, tender lips as they kissed with hungry passion.

Shaking his mind free of those thoughts, he then went back to scribbling in the notebook. The next morning, when he tested his hypothesis and found it verified, Blair didn't feel any of the elation he might have otherwise felt when he saw the look on Jim's face as his friend realized that it wasn't love on his part and most probably not on Laura's, either, and that she was the criminal they were searching for from the diamond heists.

"I'm sorry, man," he said, and he was.

They caught the bad guys and Laura and her accomplice went to prison and Jim retreated into a cynical shell for a while concerning women. When Blair attempted to draw him out of it, the sentinel shot him a scathing look and said, "No thanks, Sandburg. Look what happened the last time you tried to get me to pick up women."

Blair ignored the slight hurt that caused and simply backed down. He needn't have worried, however. Jim apologized, in his own roundabout way, by going out on a few dates within the next week and admitting quietly that Blair had been right; that it was a good idea.

The guide grinned at his sentinel and went back to studying him, putting images of Jim having sex out of his mind, telling himself it was too early in their friendship and partnership for him to delve into that area of the sentinel's sensitivity.


Blair knew he must be dreaming, but ohmygod, it was so difficult to find the will to wake up. For months now, he'd been getting more and more curious about what sex was like for his sensitive friend. Images would flash through his mind of Jim twined around some hot, wet, willing woman; stroking his fingertips over sleek, silky skin; kissing her and tasting her with those hyperactive taste buds; smelling the delicious scent of arousal and listening to her gasp, watching her as she reacted to his actions.

He was curious what it felt like to the sentinel, but for some odd reason, he could never clearly picture the imaginary woman, although Jim came through loud and clear.

And now, here he was, dreaming that same dream again, only he was on the receiving end of Jim's passion.

He moaned as Ellison used those sensitive fingertips to stroke over his skin; sighed with pleasure as soft, tender lips nipped and kissed his mouth, neck, nipples; groaned when that long, muscular body pressed firmly against his groin to groin; whimpered as Jim whispered into his ear how the sounds he was making was driving the sentinel wild and shivered as Jim locked gazes with him, staring intently as he began to move, thrusting against his guide and making Blair cry out with the utmost enjoyment.

And he was by no means passive in his pleasure. Blair ran his hands down that strong, smooth back, glorying in the feel of hot, damp skin and male muscle under his fingers. He craned his neck and traced with his lips the scar that crossed the cords of Jim's neck at the hollow of his throat, where a perp had tried to slice him open with a knife during his time in Vice. He thrilled to the sound of Ellison's passionate growl and lifted his head to claim that hot, willing mouth, tasting and stroking with his tongue. He wrapped his arms and legs tightly around Jim's body and begged for more as they thrashed and writhed together, straining to reach the shattering climax that they could feel building.

And Blair woke up just as he climaxed and he choked back what began as a cry of Jim's name so that it merely emerged as a gurgle, transmuting into a groan of relief as his seed spurted out of his penis, easing the tension in his balls.

He lay in the dark, panting, waiting for his body to calm down. Just as he was about to get up and go to the bathroom to get cleaned up, he heard a sound directly outside his door. Freezing momentarily, he then looked up and over in time to see his door soundlessly swing shut, although it had been open a few centimeters when he'd gone to bed. Listening hard, he heard the almost totally silent sound of footfalls walking away from his bedroom and then the creak of the third stair from the top that always got noisy when anyone walked on it. A moment later, he heard the faint squeak of bedsprings as Jim returned to bed, shifting to get comfortable, and then all was silent.

My God, Blair thought as he slowly sat up and looked at the now-closed door. How long was he standing there? Did I say anything? Did he hear it?

It was obvious that the sentinel had discerned that he was having a wet dream, but whether it was after the fact or during it that Blair was curious about.

He probably heard my heart racing and came down to see if I was having a nightmare again. I still don't understand why he finds it unbelievable that I'd have nightmares of his kidnapping by Oliver. I was scared to death that he was dead or dying! Oh, well.

Entering the bathroom, he quickly cleaned himself up, used the toilet, and then headed back to bed. Thankfully, he hadn't dampened his sheets, so he didn't have to bother with stripping them from the bed. Climbing in, he snuggled down beneath the sheet and comforters and yawned once as he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.


Upstairs, laying in the dark and staring at the skylight, Jim found himself unable to get the image out of his mind of a still-asleep Blair arching and gasping as his body reached climax.


Late summer segued into early autumn, leaving the air mildly warm with a soft, cool breeze most of the time. When it wasn't raining, the weather was perfect.

Blair's mood, however, was anything but.

For months now, he had been dreaming almost continually about having sex with Jim. He had never confronted Jim about the first time he'd realized Jim had been standing outside his doors during one of those dreams, and he never called him on the next few times it happened when he'd woken up from an erotic cinema in his mind. He didn't understand why Jim did it, but then again, he wasn't sure he wanted to know. It was bad enough that he had to struggle hard to keep from showing any signs of the incredibly lecherous daydreams he was now having involving his roommate.

In order to assuage the high levels of horniness all this was causing him, he went out with girls, girls, and more girls, fucking most of them, but unable to give them anything else. For some, this was alright, but more than a few were angry and hurt when they realized that they couldn't have his heart, which only made him angry and hurt in return, which was when the Jim-dreams usually happened en masse and full force. It was a vicious cycle, he knew, but he couldn't see anyway to stop it, except for maybe confiding in Jim, but he didn't think that would be a good idea. The detective seemed to be having an unusually long lucky streak regarding women and had a few successive, but semi-steady girlfriends, which meant he was getting nooky on a regular basis and apparently enjoying the hell out of it, if the self-satisfied expressions he brought to the breakfast table most mornings meant anything.

Blair sighed as he arrived home from an all-nighter at Rainier. He'd been helping out on a round-robin project in the Anthro-department and he'd found the idea of working hard all night more agreeable than either fucking his brains out with some woman he wouldn't love or dreaming all night about Jim, whom he couldn't have.

Man, I am seriously fucked up, he thought glumly. And I think I'm fucked, too. Well, I wish I could be, but that's not likely to happen. But, I am seriously fucked where Jim's concerned. Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish....

Then he unlocked the door and walked into the loft only to find Jim and his latest girlfriend already up and awake, and his wishes went up in smoke with a muted BAMF as he felt his heart break silently.

They were at the dining table and she was wearing one of Jim's T-shirts as she sat in his lap, his hand stroking one long, smooth bare thigh as they smiled at each other while they traded soft kisses back and forth.

When Jim's eyes narrowed and focused on him, specifically his chest, Blair knew his heart was pounding way harder than it should have been. He only hoped that jealousy didn't have a smell that the sentinel could pick up on. He only prayed that Jim would attribute the scent of desire he knew was emitting to the sight of them wrapped around each other.

"Sandburg," Jim said coolly as Bethany blushed and tugged the hem of the T-shirt lower down her legs.

Blair swallowed hard. "Uh. Yeah. Sorry. I'm just ... gonna... See you later!" And with that, he turned and left the apartment, shutting the door firmly behind him and headed down the hallway for the stairs, not really thinking. It wasn't until he got to the street outside that he realized he didn't have a plan of where to go.

I don't want to go back to Rainier. I just spent the last sixteen hours there! he thought frantically. Uh ... breakfast! Yeah, that's it. Go to that bakery across town that he likes but doesn't get to often. Bring him home some buttermilk donuts. Make up that blunder. Uh ... and some of those berries at that stand a few miles outside of town....

With that thought, he practically ran to the Corvair, hopped in quickly as he flung his backpack onto the seat beside him, and started the vehicle. He was so preoccupied with his thoughts and needing to get away that he never heard Jim yelling at him from the balcony as he drove out of the parking lot and headed up the street towards his chosen destinations, visions of all that glorious Jim-skin covered only by a pair of skimpy black silk boxers.


Ellison growled in frustration as he watched his friend and roommate drive quickly away. So focused was he on the rapidly fading sound of Blair's heartbeat that he jumped, startled, when Bethany appeared next to him, tapping his shoulder.

"Sorry," the beautiful blonde woman replied, her expression slightly worried. "Is he okay? Why'd he run out like that?"

"I have no idea. It's not like he's any stranger to the idea of a man and woman being half-naked together," Jim grumbled as he turned and led the way back inside, shutting the balcony doors behind them.

"Huh. Weird. Then again, he is a-" she began, but stopped abruptly.

Jim went utterly still for a moment, then turned and looked down at her, his expression becoming chill. "He's a what, Beth?"

"Well ... you know," she hedged.

"No, I don't know," he growled. "Just what is he, Beth? And think carefully about how you answer that, because I do know that he's my friend."

She scowled at him. "Well, of course he is! But ... that's part of it, Jim."

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, come on. Everyone at the station wonders about it. Why you, a confirmed loner, would let that ... total hippie flake stay with you long enough to move in. I mean, it's not like he's your type."

"My type?"

"Yeah. A lot of the people in the station thought you and Sandburg were lovers, but it became obvious soon enough that you guys weren't. So, we're all kind of wondering why you let someone like him stay with you."

"Someone like him? What's that supposed to mean?!" Jim demanded.

Bethany rolled her eyes. "It's obvious as all get out that he's been underfoot too long if you have to ask that question, Jim. Come on! He's weird, he's loud, he's a flake, he's a hippie, he's just a student and it looks like he's getting a free ride on lots of things from you. I'm afraid he's taking advantage of you and-"

"And that's exactly what you would expect from a hippie? Someone like Sandburg?" Jim asked in a chill tone.

"Yes, exactly," she said, smiling, pleased that he'd seen her point of view.

Ellison was silent for a long moment; long enough for her to lose her smile and peer up at him in confusion.

Finally, he said, "I think it would be a good idea for you to leave, Bethany. You can keep the shirt. But I really think it's time for you to go."

She glared at him. "You can't mean you're dumping me because of what I said about Sandburg!"

"Why not?" he growled back. "It's become clear as a bell, Beth, that you're a bigot. You don't have the faintest idea about Blair Sandburg and what he really is. I live with the guy, remember? I know him pretty well by now. I know that he can be a slob about his personal habits, but he takes care of damn near everything else! Sure, he dresses weird. Sure, he acts like a flake. Sure, he's a throwback to hippie culture. But he does not take advantage of me or anyone else. If anything, he's too generous for his own good. Very frequently, he has little or no money because he insists on paying me rent and sometimes buying groceries or paying one of the other utilities. Or, possibly, he's bought me something that I wanted and couldn't get for myself at the moment. And he is extremely hard working. He has a job over at Rainier teaching kids as well as taking classes himself. Then he has his work at the PD with me and the rest of Major Crime. And when he's not doing that, he's helping his friends on tons of other projects or problems. Then he goes on dates and if he's not doing all that, then he's grading papers or proctoring exams! I have to practically force him to take time off for himself so he doesn't make himself sick! He refuses to let me buy him things because he's never sure if he'll have enough money to pay me back! Blair Sandburg is a generous, hard-working, salt of the earth guy, Bethany, and it makes me sick to hear you talk about him as if he were less than a slug. And all because of the few glimpses you get of him in the hallways and the rumors you hear spreading around the station. Now it's really time for you to leave."

She opened her mouth and shut it a few times, but nothing emerged. Finally, she turned on her heel and went back upstairs, embarrassment and anger and hurt roiling through her. She stripped off the T-shirt and flung it away, then climbed into her clothing. When she was done, she grabbed up her purse and glasses and went back downstairs, only to find that Jim was not in sight. He was in the bathroom. Angry all over again that she'd been cheated of a big dramatic exit, she settled for slamming the door shut as hard and as loud as she could.

In the bathroom, Jim winced, glad that he'd dialed down his hearing, and climbed into the shower so he could scrub off the smell of her.

An hour and a half later, Jim had finished his shower, brushed his teeth, climbed into a worn, faded pair of denim shorts and his favorite tank-top, then stripped the sheets and pillowcases from the bed and taken them down the hall to be washed in the communal washing machine, and replaced them with a set of green and cream that Blair had given him for Christmas, knowing the restful colors would soothe him. Replacing the lightweight blue blanket on top with a lightweight forest green throw, Jim bundled up the blue blanket and took it down the hall to the washroom. He found his other sheets were done, so he put them in the dryer and started the washing machine again, adding the blanket and soap, then went back to the loft.

He had just pulled eggs out of the refrigerator when the jingle of keys in the lock announced Blair's return. He turned with a small grin and called out, "Hey, Chief! Glad you're back; I was getting worried."

Sandburg walked slowly into the apartment, looking around as if he expected Bethany to leap out of a corner at any moment and force him to leave again.

The idea of it, that Blair would be nervous and thinking he was unwelcome in his own home, made Jim cringe.

"She's gone, Chief. And she won't be coming back. Take off your jacket and sit down for a while, buddy," he said quietly.

Blair nodded and set his packages down on the dining room table, then hung up his jacket and backpack before retrieving the boxes and taking them into the kitchen. He swallowed hard, nervously, letting his eyes flick over Jim's clothing approvingly before he glanced away again. "So, uh, why ... I mean, I'm sorry if I caused any problems. I didn't mean to bust in on you guys like that. I'll be more careful about that; she doesn't have to worry, if she wants to come back..."

Jim shook his head as he lifted open the top box to see two dozen buttermilk donuts waiting inside. Pleasure lit his nerve endings and the smell made his mouth water, but he managed to resist the lure of fresh pastry and instead looked at his friend.

"No, Chief, it's not you. Well, not entirely. You did start it, but I'm glad it happened."

"Jim?" Blair's confusion was evident.

"Yeah. Seems she thinks you're a flake and that you're not worthy to be my partner and that she's a bigot. She can't understand why I'm your friend. Beth wasn't especially nice about it, so I gave her the boot after I set her straight on the subject. She won't be coming back anymore, Sandburg."

"Jim, you didn't have to do that-" the younger man began.

The sentinel frowned. "No? So, what - I was supposed to let her get away with thinking you're a disgraceful, irresponsible hippie moocher? Sandburg, you know you're not!"

Blair shrugged and turned away.

Jim grabbed his arm and hauled him back around, glaring down into his friend's blue eyes.

The air was charged with heavy tension as the two men stared intently at one another.

Before they could say anything, however, the phone rang.

Snarling, Jim let go of his guide and stomped over to the cordless phone. He snatched it up and barked, "Ellison!"

"Jim, it's me. I'm sorry to call so early on your day off, but I have a good reason. One of the DAs is here, needs to go over something concerning the Chastain case with you. I figure an hour, two at the most, and then the rest of the day is yours, I swear," Simon Banks said on the other end of the line.

The detective felt like swearing. Instead, he locked his jaw, counted to ten, then sighed. "Fine, Simon. I'm on my way as soon as I throw on some decent clothing."

"Gotcha. See you in half an hour."

The two of them hung up and Jim turned to head towards the stairs, but stopped when he saw Blair sneaking towards his own bedroom.


Blair jumped and spun to face his sentinel. "What, Jim?"

"We are going to discuss this when I get back, Junior," the older man growled. "I've got anywhere from one hour to two, and then I'm coming back here and you are going to tell me why you disagreed with me about why I kicked Bethany out and you are going to tell me why you're so restless when you sleep lately and you're going to tell me why you're acting so weird, got it?"

He didn't wait for an answer, merely turned and stomped up the stairs to his bedroom. He quickly threw on a pair of old but decent looking jeans and his green short-sleeve shirt, then put his sneakers back on, and was ready to go. He trotted down the stairs and cast a glance at the French doors that were now closed, with his guide hiding behind them.

"When I get home, Sandburg!" he called out as a reminder, then grabbed up his keys and wallet and left the apartment.


He didn't have a destination in mind; he simply kept driving.

Blair listened absently to the tunes playing on the radio in the Corvair as he drove and drove and drove. Away from the loft, away from Cascade, away from Washington State, even. The last sign he had noticed that really registered said WELCOME TO MONTANA. He couldn't remember entering the northern part of Idaho, but for some reason, he noticed the Montana border sign.

As he traveled along the Montana Interstate Highway, he found himself thinking about why he was doing this. He knew what he was doing was a fear-based response, but he couldn't help it. Ever since Jim had left, issuing the declaration that Blair would tell him what was going on, the younger man had been in a panic. All he could think was that Jim would find out that Blair was in lust with him - in love with him - and that would be that. He'd find himself out on his ass on the street. No way would Jim keep him around if he knew that. And he didn't want to lose his friendship with the other man.

But why I'm running away ... well, that I don't know, Blair mused quietly.

Although he thought he might. He knew Jim would be angry at coming home to find his friend and guide so obviously gone. Calling the university wouldn't get the sentinel too much. Blair had called in not long after Jim had gone to the station, asking for a leave of absence to go traveling in the name of research for his dissertation. A tiny white lie, but a necessary one. He'd been granted an indefinite leave of absence and had packed and gone very quickly. He'd stopped by the bank to close out his account, gathering all the cash he had. He knew better than to use a credit card along the way. Jim would be able to track him that much easier by it and he wasn't at all ready to talk to the sentinel about what was bothering him.

It was many, many hours later that he finally rolled into a small, quiet town. With the last of the gas in his tank, he pulled into the driveway of a quaint looking Bed'n'Breakfast and decided that there was as good a place to stay as any.

Gathering his backpack and a duffel bag with clothing in it, he got out of the car and pocketed the keys after locking up, and headed inside.


"Okay, Sandburg," Jim growled as he stepped into the loft, then fell silent. Opening his ears, he listened hard, and found that his roommate was nowhere in the loft.

An icy feeling settling like a bowling ball in his gut, Jim forced himself to move towards the French doors that led to Blair's room.

When he saw the drawers pulled open and the closet doors thrown wide, and clothing and books and Blair's favorite knick-knacks as well as his favorite photo of them together, gone, Jim threw back his head and gave voice to his rage and pain.


It was a while before he could force his mind to think rationally again. When he did, he thought hard. He'd only been gone four hours. Blair couldn't have gotten too far in that time. And if he was lucky, his guide had left a trail for him to follow.

Whirling around, he flung himself back out the door, wallet in pocket and keys in hand, the door slamming and locking behind him as he took the stairs down to street level. Racing outside, he flung himself into the F-150 and soon he was on the road, back to the station.

He saw Simon's jaw drop open when he strode back into the bullpen. Judging from the way people scrambled to get out of his way, he assumed his face looked a thundercloud.

Instantly, Banks was out of his office and joining Ellison at his desk. "Jim? What's wrong? The kid...?"


"Oh, shit. How? Kidnapped?"

Jim shook his head sharply and heard sighs of relief. Glancing around, he realized that people had been listening in and had moved closer when they heard that Blair was missing. Coupling that with Jim's anger, they had assumed the worst, but could now relax. The younger man had made quite an impact on the Major Crime unit since he'd joined them and now most of the people in the squad tended to react with concern if it seemed that trouble had once again struck the younger member of the unorthodox team. Oh, sure, they worried about Jim if he got into trouble, too, but Blair wasn't a cop like the rest of them were.

Seeing the anger filling the detective and realizing that, for the moment, Sandburg wasn't in any trouble, Simon took hold of his friend's elbow and said, "Come on, Jim. My office."

Gritting his teeth, Ellison turned and strode impatiently for his captain's office, the taller man directly on his heels.

Once the door was shut, Simon asked, "Want coffee?"


Not letting the flat growl deter him, Banks sat on a corner of his desk while he watched Jim pace restlessly around the medium-sized room. "Okay, Jim, spill it. What happened?"

"Blair's run away from home; from me. As to why he's done it, I'm not sure. I've noticed him getting increasingly agitated for the last few months around me, but I couldn't figure out why. I mean, everything seemed fine. No visible or invisible threats to either of us; nothing illegal going on; no troubles with girls or school and so far as I know, things were fine between us. Then this morning, he walks in on me and Bethany, goes white as a sheet, stutters something about leaving, and goes out the door like greased lightning."

"And you haven't seen him since? Jim, maybe he's just embarrassed and hiding-"

Ellison shook his head quickly. "No, he came home. When he did, I told him I'd broken up with Bethany and thrown her out."

"That hot blonde from Records? What for?"

"She trashed Sandburg. I mean, really trashed him. Told me that she, like a lot of other people around here, couldn't figure out why I would hang out with an irresponsible, loser hippie moocher like Sandburg. At first I was incredulous, and when I got the point, she smiled at me! Actually smiled at me! As if I had gotten her point and was agreeing with her!"

Simon sighed. "Oh, dear God. Jim, please, as a favor to a close friend and your captain, do not tell me where you hid the body."

Jim shot an incendiary glare at his boss. "I told you, I broke up with her and threw her out."

"Sorry. I thought you were sugar-coating it for me."

Now the sentinel was surprised. "You actually thought I'd ... why?"

"Jim, get real. I know how much that kid means to you. And I remember the last time somebody said something within your hearing about Sandburg. We had to plaster over the dent you left in the wall with his body, remember? Philips is still walking funny from that incident, too."

Ellison sighed. "Yeah, yeah. But that pansy dick should've known better."

"Just get on with the story, Jim."

"Right. Anyway, Blair came home, apologized, and I told him what had happened. He ... Simon, he acted as though Bethany had only been stating the truth! Didn't really confirm or deny it, but his whole attitude said he thought he deserved that treatment! Anyway, I lost my temper and was going to call him on it, and that's when you called. After I hung up, I told him that when I got home we were going to discuss that whole thing as well as why he's been getting so jumpy around me. Then I left. I got home about an hour ago and discovered that he'd packed a few bags, grabbed a few things, and left. So, I came here with the intent of putting out an APB on the Corvair and trying to trace any ATM withdrawals or phone calls he might have made. Check in with the University. Something!"

"Right, got it. Jim, do you really think it's necessary to put out an APB on Sandburg?" At the wild, desperate look the sentinel gave him, Simon sighed and shook his head. "Never mind, look who I'm asking. Jim, I regret that I have to say this, but no, I can't let you APB Blair. I'm sorry, I just can't. That is reserved for citywide emergency situations, not just personal Ellison-Sandburg spats. However, you are free to do all the tracing you like. Now get out of here and go do it. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."

Jim bristled for a moment, then deflated. Nodding, he opened the door and went stalking back to his desk, other office personnel carefully keeping out of his way. They knew that to approach him now would be tantamount to poking at a wounded wolverine with a stick.

Settling in at his desk, Jim turned on his computer and set to work with a grim expression, determined to track down his missing guide and bring him back home where he belonged.


Blair sighed as he returned from his walk in a nearby forest area and fished the key to his room out of his pocket. He wasn't going to be able to stay there much longer. Not only was he running out of money after three months of hiding out, but Mrs. Birchcomb's Bed'n'Breakfast wasn't a boarding house. She was probably going to want the room free soon for tourists coming into town. Besides, he had to decide what he was going to do: go home to Cascade and possibly try to get in contact with Jim, or keep running in the opposite direction?

He unlocked the door and pushed it open, ready to step through.

The sight of Jim standing in his living room, arms folded and feet planted firmly on the floor, stopped him in his tracks.

The sentinel stood quietly, facing him, his arms folded tightly over his broad, muscular chest, his feet shoulder-width apart and his legs locked. Anyone who didn't know him would have assumed he was calm because of the emotionless mask of his features.

To Blair, who knew the older man better than anyone, the absolute pain and fury glittering in the cold blue eyes were unmistakable.

A stuttered whimper escaped him and then he attempted to flee. Whirling around, he managed to take one step before a powerful hand clamped over the back of his neck and squeezed tight; a silent warning that he had better not move if he knew what was good for him.

God, so fast, so silent...! Never heard him move! Blair thought wildly just before he was yanked back into the room, the door shut firmly and locked behind him.


"Shut. The. Fuck. Up." The words, though growled, were enunciated clearly.

Blair did as he was told and shut up.

The hand holding his neck tightened further and Blair winced as Jim then shook him roughly.

"Do you have any idea what your running away did to me?"

Blair recognized it as a rhetorical question and wisely stayed silent as Jim continued.

"Do you know how angry and worried and hurt I've been because of your disappearing act? Well, you're about to."

The younger man trembled hard. "Jim...?"

"What." Voice very flat, Ellison sounded utterly uncompromising.

"You ... please, you're not gonna hit me...?"

"Don't tempt me, Sandburg!" Jim let him go only to spin him around, grab him by the upper arms, and shake him hard. His face was contorted with visible rage as he yelled, "Why?! Why did you run from me, goddammit?! Why did you run from me?!"

Blair let out a soft cry of distress in response to the pain he heard in his friend's voice.

"Am I so terrible, Sandburg, that you'd rather run from me - from me - than talk to me about what's bothering you?"

"Jim - no!"

"Then why...? I thought I could trust you, Blair. I thought I could believe that you would be the one person in my life who wouldn't leave me flat like that. That you wouldn't run away from me and leave me alone. So why did you do it?"

Tears had gathered in Blair's eyes and he said softly, "Jim ... I can't tell you. I just ... can't. I'm sorry."

"What is it, Chief? Are you in some kind of trouble?" Instantly, Ellison shifted from angry to concerned, his grip moving from threatening to comforting as it loosened and shifted to cup his shoulders.

The younger man let out a short, harsh bark of laughter. "Possibly. But it's personal."

"I'm your friend, Blair. You ought to at least feel like you can come to me and let me help..."

"Unless you're the cause of it," Blair muttered, his head hanging.

Jim's hands leapt from his shoulders as though scorched.

"What?" came the horrified whisper.

His face reflecting his misery, Sandburg said, "Jim ... it's not what you think. It's not a bad thing - at least, not for you - but I'm afraid. I'm so afraid that I'll lose you as a friend..."

Once again, Jim settled his hands on his guide's shoulders. "Blair, it is a bad thing, if it frightens you like this. For both of us. C'mon, buddy. Tell me what has you so frightened that you run from me rather than talk so that I spend the last three months worried out of my mind about you?"

"Jim, I'm sorry. I never meant to make you worry..."

"But you had to know that I would. You had to know, Blair," said Jim quietly, his hands moving up to frame Blair's face. "You're my best friend; you mean the world to me. You had to know that I would spend every free moment I had searching for you. And when I finally tracked you down here...when I pulled into the yard and saw the Corvair, my God, Blair! I suddenly felt like I could breathe again. You weren't there, but when I explained that you were my work partner and that I needed to talk to you, she let me into your room so I could wait there, explaining that you'd gone out for a walk, but that you'd be back. And so I waited and waited, and I let my anger get the better of me, but I swear, Chief, I swear I never would have hit you! And when I heard your heartbeat, heard you coming closer, I felt like crying. It was the sweetest sound I'd heard in months, Blair; the sound of your heartbeat. Suddenly, everything was fine, nothing hurt, all my senses on-line and working perfectly."

"What? Jim!" Sandburg gasped.

Jim nodded. "I should have told you earlier, but the sound of your heartbeat is my anchor, Chief. Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I latch onto your heartbeat and things settle down. I've driven out to the university a few times just to stand outside your office and let your heartbeat work its magic."

"Oh, Jim..." Blair whispered. "I didn't know..."

"I know. I thought about telling you, but I was afraid it would freak you out and make you leave or something." A short, harsh laugh escaped and Jim's hands tightened on him. "But you left anyway. And it almost destroyed me."

"I never meant it to."

"Why did you leave?"

"Jim, please..."

"Tell me."


"Tell me."

"I can't-"

"Tell me."


"Say it again, slower, more clearly, and a little bit louder."

Blair took a deep breath, then looked right into his sentinel's eyes. "I. Love. You."

Jim trembled hard and his fingers tightened on Blair's face. "Please tell me that means in love with me."

Wide eyed, the guide nodded.

"Oh, thank God!"

Before Blair could voice a question, Jim's mouth was on his.

Ellison kissed the younger man in his arms almost frantically for a few moments before he found himself roughly pushed away. He gasped and gazed, narrow-eyed, upon his guide. "What?!"

"What do you mean 'what'?" Blair snapped back, his face a puzzled frown. "What do you mean 'thank God' and now you're suddenly kissing the hell out of me?! Jim, please, tell me what's going through your head."

"Well, I can tell you it's not a great deal of blood. It's all down here." Taking one of Blair's hands, he placed it on the bulge between his legs where his iron hard cock was encased in his favorite pair of jeans.

Blair trembled and gulped.

"Not a whole lot of thoughts going through my head, either. Well, actually, I have a few, but they're almost all of them mental images of what I want to do to you."


"For instance, there's kissing you until your mouth is so swollen and red and hot that I could come from looking at it. Then, too, there's finally getting you naked, seeing what's under your clothes all at once. I've never seen you completely naked before. Gonna have to fix that. I see me touching you everywhere, Sandburg," Jim murmured as he peeled out of his suede jacket, throwing it away from him, then reaching for the buckle on his belt. "I see me naked and adoring at your feet, on my knees, while I suck you off so hard and fast that you almost pass out. But I don't want you to actually pass out, no. Because then I want to be inside you, so bad, I might explode with the wanting."


"I want to shove my dick so far up your ass you'll feel me in the back of your throat. You might actually feel me there later, anyway, because let me tell you something, Chief: your mouth ought to be declared illegal. Isn't a day that goes by that my dick doesn't get hard whenever I think of this mouth."

So saying, he kissed Blair hard, sucking that lush lower lip into his mouth and nipping it lightly with his teeth even as he opened his belt and undid his jeans, pulling the zipper down roughly. He continued kissing the younger man, their tongues dueling fiercely as he began quickly unbuttoning Blair's black and white flannel shirt, then unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans, yanking the gray T-shirt and flannel shirt hems from the waistband of the snug jeans.

As he thrust his hands down the back of Blair's jeans to cup his buttocks, squeezing through the material of the boxer shorts the younger man was wearing, he broke off the kiss and panted fiercely for a moment before resting his forehead against his mate's. His blue eyes burning intently into Blair's rather stunned gaze, he growled, "I wanna make you come so hard, Chief. I want you to come because of me. I want you to come with my name on your lips. I want you to beg me to make you come."

"Jim!" the guide howled, and launched himself up against the big muscular body. He wrapped his arms around Jim's neck, gripping his head and letting his fingers stroke through the seal-fur-soft short hair as he kissed Jim lustily. Pressing short, singeing kisses to that sensual mouth, he whispered between kisses, "Love you ... love you so much ... thought I could never tell you ... wanted you so much...."

"Blair, baby..." Ellison groaned, and he grabbed hold of the younger man's hips, pulled him groin to groin, and began ‘dirty dancing’, grinding and bucking his hips against Blair in quick, short, wonderfully nasty moves.

Blair's head dropped back with a shuddering sigh, and then he cried out softly when Jim's mouth, tongue, and teeth attacked his bared neck.

Finally, the guide pushed away so that he was at least half a foot away from his lover. He held up a hand to halt Jim's forward movement when the sentinel growled and started towards him. Then he pointed at the dark blue ribbed turtleneck the older man wore and said simply, "Off."

With a heated glower, Jim reached down and took the hem of the turtleneck and began stripping it up his torso even as Blair quickly shucked out of his shirts, then toed out of his sneakers.

When Jim flung the turtleneck away, his chest rising and falling with every deep breath he took, Blair shuddered hard as lust burned through his body.

"Stay," he said as he moved closer. "Stay just like that."

Sinking to his knees before the older man, he lifted one foot and placed it in his lap as he undid the laces on Jim's boot, then tugged it off, admiring the way the bigger man kept his balance as the sock was stripped off as well. The process was repeated with the other boot and sock, and then Jim was standing bare foot, bare-chested, with his jeans open in front of him, looking down at him with burning blue eyes.

Like water, Blair wrapped his arms around Jim's hips and flowed up until his face was level with the other man's groin.

"Blair..." Jim choked out, shivering. "Have you ever been with a man before?"

Sandburg shook his head. "No. But I want you. So badly that I think I might die if I can't have you."

"Don't say that."

"Sorry. What can I do to make it better? Hmmm. Let's try ... this."

And with that, he leaned over and put his mouth on the denim-covered cock, breathing hotly on the bulge as he mouthed it gently.

Jim threw back his head with a strangled cry, shuddering hard as he fought to keep from orgasming right then and there.

"Oh, yeah, you like that, don't you, big guy?" Blair purred, then nipped lightly. "Think how much better it'll feel when you're actually in my mouth."

"Shut up before I make that happen," Ellison growled.

"Maybe I want it to," the younger man said softly, looking up at his mate. "I want you in my mouth, Jim. I want to love you, to give you pleasure. I might not be very good at it, but I want to give you what I can."

Trembling, Jim tenderly trailed his fingers over Blair's face as he said quietly, "Blair, if all I ever have is your love, I will believe myself blessed with all that heaven can allow and be content with that to my dying day."

"Which had damned well better be a long time off," Sandburg growled, then his voice softened again. "Take your dick out, Jim. Let me have it."

Ellison chuckled and pushed his jeans low around his hips, the belt buckle clanking delicately, and then his briefs followed suit until his erect penis and heavy testicles were free of confinement.

Blair gulped when he saw the size of his mate's dick. Muttering aloud, he said, "I have a feeling I'm about to bite off more than I can chew."

Jim gave a single bark of laughter, but he admonished, "You'd better not, Chief. If you do, that'll ruin most of those other plans."

Blair grinned. "Right."

Taking hold of himself, he stroked slowly, then held his cock out for Blair to take. Staring intently, he whispered, "Go ahead. Take it. As much or as little of it as you want."

"Little is so not a word I'd use in conjunction with your penis, man," Blair sassed back.

Before the other man could say anything, Sandburg leaned forward and licked the slightly wet end of Jim's dick with a quick swipe of his tongue.

A soft gasp escaped the sentinel, but otherwise, he didn't move or make a sound.

A grin spread across the guide's face. "I like it." Looking up, he winked and said, "Tasty fucking cock."

Then he opened his mouth wide and took only the head into his mouth and sucked gently.

"Ohhhhh, gawwwwd," Jim drawled in a long, low moan.

Blair took his time and suckled the tip, then finally drew back and began dancing his tongue down along the sides of the shaft; over, under and around, wetting it thoroughly, Jim's hand sliding back to give him more and more of it until finally his nose was nuzzling wiry brown curls as he licked around the base of it. Then he dipped lower and licked and suckled at the testicles that were hanging like ripe, heavy fruit below that thick cock.

"Oh, Blair, oh Blair, oh Blair, ohblairohblairohblair..."

Grinning at the mantra his name had become, Blair shifted a bit higher and began taking Jim's dick into his mouth again, going further and further until he stopped at what he was comfortable with, at least three inches of it in his mouth, and began to suck before sliding back ... then down again. Back ... and down. Back. Down. Back. Down. Backdown. Backdown. Backdownback. Downbackdown. Backdownbackdownbackdownbackdownbackdown-


That was his only warning. Quickly, the guide pulled back and caught some of it in his mouth, the rest of it painting his face and hair as Jim shuddered and bucked, his hands gripping Blair's hair tightly. Reaching up, Blair wrapped one fist around Jim's cock and finished him off, pumping quickly to wring the last of his come out.

As soon as Jim's orgasm was finished, he fell to his knees before Blair, the younger man catching him around the shoulders and pulling him to lean against his own body.

Jim stayed there for a minute, panting and shivering, until he finally got control of himself. He lifted his head so he could look at the younger man and smiled a sated smile.

"Thank you, baby. That was wonderful," he murmured. Then he took a close look at the trails of sticky white come on Blair's face, pearling in his hair, and grinned wickedly.

Leaning close, he sniffed deeply and sighed pleasurably. "Mmm. My scent on you. Love it. Marked as mine, now. No one else can have you. No one else had better even try." Leaning closer in, he began licking his come from Blair's face and practically purred. "Oh, yeah. My semen and your skin ... they taste so good together, baby..."

"Is that the only thing...?" Blair asked breathlessly.

"Let's see."

Licking up a tart, salty droplet, Jim then kissed Blair, stroking his tongue into his mouth to tangle lovingly with Blair's.

Both men moaned hungrily as they ate each other's mouths.

Finally, they parted slowly, lips clinging tenderly, and Jim looked silently into his love's eyes.

Suddenly shy, Blair blushed and bent to tuck his head against Jim's shoulder, scooting closer in a need to cuddle and be held.

Instantly, the older man responded to that need and wrapped his arms around his mate, rolling back to sit with his legs crossed loosely and cuddled the smaller man on his lap.

"You okay, Chief?" he asked softly as he nuzzled into the damp, curly hair.

"Yeah. Just kind of ... overwhelmed. I've never done that before."

"It was okay? Didn't frighten you?"

Blair shook his head. "No. I liked it a lot. And that surprises me. Even knowing that it was you that made it pleasurable, the fact that I liked it surprises me. I was worried that since I hadn't ever been with a man, even though it was you, I might not like it. But I did. How could I not know that about myself? How could I not know that I like to suck cock?"

Jim was silent a moment, then said, "The first time I ever sucked a man's cock, I did it as a favor for him. He'd done me, so I thought the least I could do was return the favor. So I did, but I wasn't thrilled with it. It tasted weird to me, my jaw ached by the time I was halfway done, and I felt almost ashamed because I'd just had a man in my mouth."

"I can almost understand that part, except that it was you, so I'm not ashamed," said the younger man. "Does that make any sense?"

"Perfectly. Does your jaw hurt?"

Jim could feel the heat of Blair's blush against his skin and smiled when his mate nodded. Shifting the other man so that he sat back-to-chest with him, Jim tilted Blair's head so it lay draped against his shoulder, then lifted his thumbs to his guide's jaws and began to lightly massage.

Smiling at the contented hum as he eased sore muscles, he murmured, "It can hurt the first few times you do this - if you choose to do it again – if you're not used to it. If you get regular practice at it, then you can get accustomed to it, or so I hear. I haven't done it often enough to test that theory, but I plan to in the future."

"Only one you're practicing on is me," Blair growled, though he kept his jaw lax.

"You better believe it, baby. I'll kill anyone who dares try to take you away from me. And I don't even want to know what you'd do to someone going after me. With all the tribal rituals you've witnessed, you've probably picked up a few gruesome vivisection details by now."

"And don't you forget it, either."

"I won't. But, if push comes to shove, I'll help you hide the body. I'm good at that."


"Sure thing. Anyway, the next few times I had the chance to suck cock, I had gotten over my squeamishness about it being a man. Of course, by then, I'd realized I'm bisexual, but since women were far safer targets, I stuck mainly with them. But there were times I needed someone stronger than me to hold me, love me, make me come."

Blair shivered and his hips flexed minutely. He hadn't come yet, so the idea of all this was making him a little bit more horny. "You're shit out of luck there, then. I'm not stronger than you. But if you're willing to take the bad with the good...."

"It's all good from where I'm sitting, honey," Jim said quietly. Easing his hands down, he pushed Blair's jeans and underwear down as the younger man lifted his hips, then, when Blair had settled again, he quietly and unobtrusively licked his palm a few times, getting it wet, and then reached down to begin masturbating his lover.

"Ohhhh..." Blair whispered, his hips beginning to move gently with the rhythm Jim set.

"You might not physically be bigger or stronger than me, love, but you have endurance where it counts. So much endurance, so much strength of means a lot to me. Know why? You stuck with me, for as long as you could. And even then, you didn't run because you couldn't stand me, but because you loved me too much. I understand, baby. You were only trying to protect yourself, your heart. I understand that all too well. Just so it's clear, honey, I forgive you, okay?"

"Yes ... thank you ... love you," Blair gurgled as his hips and Jim's hand began speeding up.

"Mmm. Like that, don't you? It'll be so much better when you're inside me. I'll be so tight and hot, you'll wonder why you even bothered doing anything else with your dick."

Blair's hips jittered as he tried to double-time that particular thrust, his fingers digging into Jim's thighs.

"I suppose I should get to the point of why I mentioned my past experience with blowjobs," the older man said softly in Blair's ear. "What I'm trying to say is that eventually, I got used to it, but it wasn't anything spectacular. Nothing I enjoyed to the point I would crave it. But you, baby...I want everything you have to give me so badly that I'll be the most shameless slut you've ever seen. I'll beg you for it. I'll beg to take you in my mouth because I wanna taste you so bad. I wanna have you in every part of me you can go. You've been in my heart for so long, baby, I want you in other places, now, too."

Blair began gasping as he moved voluptuously, his cock sliding slickly with his own natural lubrication in the tight tunnel of Jim's fist.

"You can just picture it, can't you? Pounding into me, taking my ass like it's your own personal toy. Sliding into my mouth, so hot and wet, and letting me do the most incredible things to you with my tongue until you can't take it anymore, and you fuck my mouth as you come, creaming down my throat and making me crazy for more, more, more...." Jim growled into the earringed ear by his mouth.

With a harsh, shuddering cry, Blair's hips jacked quickly and furiously as he came hard, come spurting into the air and over Jim's hand as he writhed and moaned, wanting to come forever as the ecstasy of the sensation swept up his spine and exploded into his brain, melting his gray clay into half-baked sludge.

Grinning, Jim milked the throbbing cock for all he was worth, and then slowed as Blair's hips did, finally stopping altogether.

Lifting his hand, he began licking the semen from his fingers daintily, fastidiously cleaning himself with great enjoyment. When he was done, he leaned down and purred into Blair's ear, "You taste great, honey. I can't wait for you to do that directly into my mouth."

When he received no reply, he shifted a bit so he could look at Blair's face, and snickered.

His mate was out like a light. Apparently the anxiety of the last hour or so, and then coming hard, had taken its toll on the usually inexhaustible young man.

Still chuckling - okay, downright giggling - from relief from his anxieties as any other kind, Jim carefully propped Blair up as he gathered his own legs under him so that he was settled in a crouch. Then he slid his arms around Blair's shoulders and under his knees and lifted in one smooth, fluid motion and carried the younger man to the bed.

Thanking all his lucky stars that the bed was more than big enough for the both of them, Jim settled Blair on one side and pulled the sheets and covers back on the other. Then he transferred his lover over to that side of the bed, stripped off the remainder of his clothing, and then got naked himself.

He paused to admire the naked, hairy beauty of his mate, smiling contentedly as he got a good look at the cock he'd just been handling.

Not bad, he thought. He's going to feel good inside me. And he's so beautiful. Everywhere. Inside and out. God, I love him. Thank you for letting me find him, at last. I couldn't have lived much longer without him. He's my entire life. I love him. I love him. Thank God I found him.

Not caring a damn about the fact that clothing was lying everywhere in a very untidy sprawl, he crawled under the covers on the other side of the bed, wanting very much to sleep with his love in his arms.

Pulling Blair into his arms so that they spooned chest to back, he draped most of the covers on his side of the bed on top of Blair, knowing that the younger man would be chilled without them while he himself would be too hot with them.

Then, exceedingly happy and more relaxed than he had been in months, Jim dropped off to a restful, deep sleep.


"So, what do you smell?"

"Well, as always, I smell you-"

"Whaddya mean, 'always'? I bathe!"

"Not a bad smell, doofus! I just smell you. Your natural scent, the one that identifies you as you. I happen to like that smell, Sandburg. And not just because it makes me horny."

"Jim, in the last three days, I've discovered that just about everything makes you horny."

"Only when it's connected to you. Or gives me thoughts about you."

"Like I said, everything. Now, tell me, what else do you smell?"

Jim and Blair were walking along the hiking trail nearby the bed and breakfast that Blair had told him he'd walked almost every day since he'd been there. The sentinel could understand why. The trail was wide enough for several hikers, but lined on every side by thick, ancient trees whose foliage was every color of red, orange, yellow, gold, brown and green available. Afternoon sunshine filtered in through the wind-rustled canopy, providing a beautifully bucolic landscape. Crisp fall air surrounded them, making it delicious to bundle up in sweaters and jeans and light thermals and jackets as they crunched along the already fallen leaves.

Taking a deep breath, Jim reported, "There must be an orchard nearby. I smell apples; some pressed, some still fresh on the trees waiting to be picked, and some on the ground and starting to spoil."

Blair grinned and bounced along at his lover's side. "Yup. Ethel's Orchard is nearby; maybe another half mile down the trail. We can pick some fresh apples if you want, or get some cider."

Ellison grinned at his mate, drawing the smaller man closer by an arm around Blair's shoulders. "Picking up some cider sounds good. I love fresh pressed cider. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Not so biting cold that it makes being outdoors miserable, but cool enough that the bugs are gone and you don't sweat just because you're breathing. And the colors, and the smells...mmm! Wonderful. For instance, I can smell the hickory wood from someone's chimney fire. I can hear birds singing to one another, and the sun is shining through the leaves and turning them into this dancing, glowing rainbow. And then, when I look at you, I can see the sunshine doing the same thing to your hair, and it's just as beautiful as the leaves."

"Me? My hair?" said Blair incredulously.

Jim nodded and stopped, holding his mate still. Lifting a handful of the silky tresses, he pressed his nose to them and sniffed appreciatively, then smiled into wide blue eyes. "Uh-huh. You. Your hair. I'm looking at you, and I'm picking up thousands of shades of reds and golds and browns in your hair. It's shimmering and trembling and moving about you, so...this is going to sound so cliché, but it looks almost like a halo. Even if I do know you're the most mischievous imp this side of the heavenly border that I know of."

Blair grinned, stuck out his tongue, and crossed his eyes.

Jim leaned down and took the tip of Blair's tongue lightly between his teeth, but firmly enough so that his mate couldn't free himself without injury.

The guide's eyes widened. "Yim!" came the muffled shout.

Ellison snickered.

"W'leeze 'e!"


"Yim! Le' 'o!"


"Oo e'il b'st'r'!"

"'ake un oo n' un!"

"Oo j'rk. 'iss 'e."

"Mmm," Jim purred as he opened his jaw, releasing Blair's tongue only to follow it back into his lover's mouth with his own. He lightly stroked the tip to soothe away any hurt that he might have caused as he wound his arms around his guide, holding the shorter body against his.

The two men kissed lovingly for a long, long while before pulling back breathlessly to look at each other.

"You should see what the sunlight does with your eyes," Jim finally said softly. "So deep and dark a blue, I could zone on them and never want to come out. Except that I know I'd be missing so much else with you, so I won't."

"I'm glad," Blair replied, equally softly. He smiled a lighthearted, joyful smile; his eyes so full of love they made Jim's heart ache and took his breath away.

"I didn't know I could love like this, love this much, until I met you," he confessed.

"I didn't know, either," said the younger man. "I thought I knew what love was, but I hadn't met you yet."

Jim smiled, that huge, bright smile that people so rarely got to see and never failed to make Blair happy to see it.

"You know all the right things to say," Ellison rumbled. "Then again, as talkative as you are, I suppose I should've known." He was silent for half a second, then amended, "Or maybe it's because you've always spoken from your heart so easily; so much more easily than I ever can."

"Aw, Jim. You've always spoken from your heart to me. You simply don't always use words. I mean, look at facts. When we met, even though you were annoyed by me, you took care of me. Tried to keep me out of danger. When Kincaid stormed the precinct, you admitted that you took off after the chopper to get to me, to get me back, than to stop Kincaid. That was just a bonus, according to you. When Juno was shooting at me after he'd...after Danny was dead, you warned me in time to keep me from getting killed to. Also, you were trying to get me to take weapons training so I could have a bigger chance in case I met up with trouble. You weren't worried about needing armed backup; you wanted me to be safe. When my warehouse blew up, you let me stay for a week. One that has been over for a long, long time now, I might add."

"No. It'll never be over," Jim interrupted, stealing a quick kiss. "Never, ever. It's been one long week for the past two years, Chief, and I hope it never ends."

Blair laughed and snuggled into the hug Jim wrapped him up in.

"Fine by me. But see, that's what I mean. When my home blew up, you took me in. Even when Larry trashed the loft, when I mentioned he tried to bite me, you were concerned and checked me for bite marks. You didn't throw me out when you realized I had no money to move anywhere else. You found out and stopped me from moving out, in fact!"

"Chief, you confessed that you were going to go back to the warehouse and try to fix it up so that some sections of it were livable again!" Jim snapped.

"Yeah, but you didn't have to keep me from doing it. It wouldn't have been illegal. You could have let me go. You didn't. You kept me where you could keep an eye on my well-being. When the Lash case happened, you ignored Simon's suggestions to cut me loose. And when he took me-"

The sentinel shuddered and hugged his guide tightly to him. He could never, ever hear it or think about it without needing to have the younger man as close to him as possible without causing an indecent public disgrace.

"When Lash took me, you came after me with a vengeance and actually cuddled me when you got me free. I adored you for that, man. I had hero-worshipped you before; but from that moment on, you had my heart. I just didn't know it. When the whole train thing happened, you gave me your gun. You know how against the rules that is and you bent them so I could keep Isabel and me safe. When Brackett kidnapped us, you only surrendered whenever he threatened harm to me. When Maya broke my heart, you offered me noodles to cheer me up. When I told you, offered you proof, that it was Laura's pheromones more than it was Laura and that she was clearly connected to the diamond thieves, you didn't beat me into a bloody pulp for breaking your heart."

"I never would. I never could," Jim said desperately as he pressed kisses to Blair's hair. "It hurt, but I would never hurt you with my body. I'm always ashamed when I hurt you with my words, but I don't know how to stop it-"

"I know, Jim. I won't deny that you hurt me sometimes, but I know I do the same thing occasionally. It's human nature and your particular nature has taken some nasty bumps and bruises over the course of your life, big guy. I'm prepared to overlook a lot in light of that fact. But if you ever raise a hand to me on purpose, I'm gonna kick your ass up between your tailbone before I have Simon arrest you," Blair threatened playfully.

"Good," said Jim with utter sincerity. "Because if I ever sink that low, I pray someone will take me out."

Blair shuddered and hugged Jim hard. "I don't. Not ever. Even when you're a jerk, you're precious to me, Ellison. I love you, Jim. I'm so glad you're a sentinel because it's what led me to you, so I could get to know you, not just your senses."

"Me too, baby. Me, too."

"But do you get what I'm trying to say, here? You do speak from your heart, Jim, with actions more than words. That's why I know you don't really mean it when you get snarky; your true feelings, you show those to me everyday. When you get verbal is when the truth gets clouded."

Ellison smiled. "I love your way with words, honey. You say things so well."

"For you, I'll be the most eloquent, loquacious speaker on the planet," Blair promised.

"You already are. And you're all mine," Jim purred.

They kissed again, then finally drew apart.

"Come on. Let's keep going. I want to get some cider and then I want to get ack to Mrs. Birchcomb's and then I want us to get naked and then I want you to make love to me," the sentinel declared.

"I thought I already had," Blair replied as they walked, hand in hand, down the trail.

"Oh, well, you have. But ... at the risk of sounding crass, baby, what I mean is that I want you to fuck me."

"Oh!" said Blair as he stopped dead in the trail, looking up at his lover with wide eyes.

"Unless you're not ready for that," Jim amended. "If you're not comfortable with the idea, Chief, we can-"

"No-o-o-o," Blair drawled with a grin. He stepped close for a moment so Jim could feel the heat and hardness of his suddenly erect cock, then stepped away. "That's not it. I'm just...surprised, that's all. You really want me to?"

Jim nodded with a wide, gleeful smile, and tugged on Blair's hand as he turned to begin walking again. As they strolled along, he said, "Oh, yes, I want you. I've wanted you to do that for a long, long time. And I thought, you know, if you could see how much I enjoy it, that it can be good, then maybe it might make you less afraid to try it with me someday."

"Jim, if you want to, I'll do it for you," Sandburg offered immediately.

"I know you would, baby. That's why I won't until I'm sure you actually want to. That's the good part about being in love and being together forever. We have time to figure out what we like, don't like, and can tell each other and experiment without fear. Blair, it's all right if you don't ever want to. You've already proven that there are other places where my cock can go. Your hands, between your thighs, between our stomachs, against your cock, in your mouth...see? We have variety. I'm not going to get mad and refuse to be with you if I can't ever penetrate you anally. If you can't handle the idea, then fine. I like it, so I won't mind if you want me to bend over for you on a regular basis."

Blair stumbled to a halt. "Jeez. Way to distract a guy, Jim," he muttered, and reached down to adjust his cock in his pants.

Ellison stopped and looked down at his lover, then grinned. "Decision time, Chief. Want me to pull you behind a tree and take the edge off here and now, or let you wait until we get back to the B&B and let you ride me hard?"

The younger man shivered. "Talk about your rock and a hard place," he gasped, then settled to thinking as Jim laughed. Finally, he said, "But we don't have any supplies and I refuse to take you without aid of some kind. So, I guess-"

"Actually, I took care of that this morning."

"Huh?" Blair said intelligently.

"While you were still sleeping this morning, I took the truck and drove into town to the drugstore. I picked up lube and condoms. And handi-wipes, too. So, we're all set. Although, I did get a funny look from the guy behind the counter, but since I probably won't be seeing him again after this trip, I don't care."

Blair gaped at his lover. "You're amazing!" he burst out.

"Well, I knew that," Jim drawled, grinning.

The younger man huffed, then smiled. "Fine. I'll wait until we get back. Let's go get the cider."

And they began walking again, never letting go of each other's hand.


They tumbled back into their room, kissing each other almost frantically as they shut the door behind them.

A jug of cider was set on the floor and then the two men fell on each other, tugging away clothing as they kissed each other's mouths, or any other available body part as it was bared.

"Mmm, taste so good!" Blair sighed as he trailed a line of kisses from Jim's mouth down his chin and throat, down his bared chest to latch onto one nipple and start suckling hungrily.

"Ahhh," the older man groaned, holding Blair's head in place. "Yeah, baby. Oh, yeah...."

"Want me, lover?" the guide asked softly as he transferred his mouth to the other nipple and nipped it lightly before licking it. "Want me to take you, fuck you, love you?"

"Yes!" Jim whimpered, shaking hands undoing his pants and pushing them off his hips and letting them slide down his legs to bunch around his ankles.

"Fine by me, honey," Blair whispered, crouching down to untie Jim's boots and pull them off, then his jeans, then his socks one by one. He would have pulled off underwear, too, but Jim was going commando, his underwear currently in the wash with some of Blair's things. The sentinel hadn't packed a bag, not knowing he'd be staying an extra few days, courtesy of Simon when he had called to let his captain know he'd found his guide, alive and unharmed and had straightened everything out.

Blair had muffled his giggles in a pillow as he lay sprawled next to Jim in bed, both of them buck-naked.

Now, Jim stood gloriously nude and erect before Blair and the younger man groaned as he let his eyes drink their fill.

"God, you're gorgeous," he said in hushed tones. "So magnificent; like some sort of divine statue come to life."

"Well, that's in keeping, then, because there have been times these past few days I would have sworn you'd make a statue come alive. Or, possibly, just come," Jim gritted out with a harsh, silly laugh.

Sandburg laughed. "Who would have thought that Jim, anal-retentive badass, secretly a marshmallow, would have a sense of humor? Especially during sex?"

"I have plenty of humor!" Jim protested. "I just choose to ignore it when I'm working."

"Your humor, or your common sense?" Blair teased, then laughed and leaped up and away when Jim growled and lunged at him.

He didn't get far. The sentinel caught him and flung him on his back on the bed, then swiftly moved to cover his mate with his body. He grinned down at Blair like some feral god and said huskily, "Now, if you're done making a fool out of yourself, how about getting naked and making me into a puddle of well-fucked goo?"

"I dunno, man," Blair said thoughtfully. "I've never fucked goo before. And I'm no warlock, so I'm not sure I can turn you into anything-"

Then he began shrieking with laughter as Jim started tickling him, sentinel fingers unerringly finding all of his most ticklish spots.

Long minutes later, however, Blair was naked - thanks to Jim stripping him down while tickling him - and the two men were making noises that sounded more like moans than laughter as they grappled and rolled together on the bed, rubbing and stroking and licking and kissing as they built up each other's arousal.

Finally, Jim broke away to retrieve the drugstore bag he'd hidden under a pile of clothing and brought it back to the bed. He upended it, causing a box containing a tube of lubricant and a box containing condoms to fall out, bouncing on the bed before lying still.

"Extra-lubricated condoms?" Blair asked, picking up the box to read.

"It's been a while since I've had anything in there," Jim responded with a nonchalant shrug. "I thought it couldn't hurt. Might make you more at ease to realize there's plenty of slickness to ease the way. Or there will be, after you open me up. Of course, if you don't want to, I'll do it myself."

"That ... that might be a good idea," Blair said, blushing slightly as he set the box down. "I don't know what I'm doing, here, and if I have a visual aid, so to speak...."

Jim grinned and kissed his blushing guide. "Sure, baby. I'll help you anyway you need so you can fuck me with all due pleasure."

Blair's answering grin was blinding.

"Okay, get at the foot of the bed and roll a condom on, baby. Stroke yourself if you want to, but don't come if you can help it. Watch while I stretch for you," Jim purred as he opened the box containing the lube and took the tube out.

Blair hurriedly opened the box of condoms and took one out, tearing open the foil packet and rolling one on his very hard, very eager cock. Then he settled on the end of the bed, lightly stroking himself as he waited to see what Jim would do.

Ellison paused in climbing up on the bed after clearing away the boxes and debris. He watched Blair's hand moving slowly on his penis, and shivered. "You're so hot," he stated quietly.

"I'll be even hotter when I'm inside you," Sandburg replied in a murmur.

"I hope so," the older man growled, then settled on his back and spread his legs, then slowly brought them up so that his knees were above his chest.

"Can you see me, baby?" he asked softly.

"Yes," the younger man whispered, stroking a little harder on his cock.

"Good. Now, pay attention. I'm not going to talk much. It should be fairly obvious what I'm doing. Only thing I'm going to say right now is that inside me, like most other men, is my prostate. It feels very, very good to have it stroked during foreplay and lovemaking and fucking. Just a handy tip for you."

"Got it. Please, Jim, hurry. I'm not sure how much longer I can wait, and I wanna be in you."

"Okay. Here goes."

And Blair watched as Jim brought slick, lubricated fingers down to the rosy hole waiting for him. One finger lightly stroked over the opening and it quivered a bit. Then Jim deepened the massage, not trying to enter yet, simply petting himself and getting accustomed to the sensation, even enjoying it. Then, as Blair watched, he slipped a single finger in carefully, rotating gently to stretch the pucker before slowly sliding deeper. When Jim moaned, he looked up to see if it was pain or pleasure, and was reassured to see definite pleasure on Jim's face. Then he dropped his gaze back to watch as Jim fucked himself with a single finger, pushing in and out smoothly, rhythmically.

Long moments later, he removed his finger and lifted his hand to lubricate his fingers again and this time, pushed two inside, scissoring them gently to stretch his opening even further before sliding in to fuck a little harder, a little faster than he had previously. By now, his hips were moving in time with his ministrations and soft whimpers of pleasure were escaping.

Blair shuddered and gripped the base of his cock hard to keep from coming at the sight.

After a while, the fingers were removed, lubricated again, and three fingers pushed in. It was a stretch, not only for Jim's asshole, but for his arm as he struggled to reach down there well enough to do what he needed and wanted to do.

Blair shivered as he looked at the three fingers Jim had buried deep inside himself, and found himself gripped with an urge to taste. He gave in to the urge and he shifted forward to kneel in front of Jim.

"Baby? What are you - oh! Oh, my God!" Jim yelled as he felt Blair's tongue lightly touch the stretched and sensitive skin surrounding his fingers.

Humming, pleased with the taste, Blair flicked his tongue again and again over the flesh, tracing the contours where fingers met the ridge of Jim's pucker, and tried his best to wiggle his tongue between them, wanting to penetrate.

"Blair! Stop, baby, stop, please!" Jim called out desperately.

Instantly Blair skittered backwards away from his lover, anxiety on his face. "I'm sorry," he babbled. "I'm sorry, I didn't ask, didn't think, oh god, I'm sorry-"

Removing his fingers, Jim lowered his legs and sat up, reaching for his mate. He smiled gently as he attempted to calm the younger man. "Blair, listen to me. It's okay, honey. I enjoyed it; that was the problem. I liked it too much. Another second of that, and I would have come so hard, I wouldn't wake up until sometime tomorrow afternoon! And I'm pretty sure you want me awake for what happens next."

Sandburg breathed a sigh of relief. "I didn't hurt you? Do anything wrong?"

"Not at all, baby. In fact, if you ever get the urge to try that again, I promise I'll let you tongue-fuck me to climax all you want. It will be a privilege for me, I guarantee. Now, I'm desperate to get your cock inside me. Do you want to be face to face, or front to back?"

"Which is better for you? Which do you like better?"

"I admit, I prefer front to back. It makes me feel even more decadent. Makes me hotter."

Blair grinned, a trifle wild. "Fine. Get into position."

Eagerly, Jim scrambled up and over, going to hands and knees before dropping down to rest his head on his crossed arms, spreading his legs wide and dropping his hips for easy access.

"Lube yourself up, Chief, and get in here," he murmured throatily. "I want you. I want you to ride me hard. I wanna be able to feel you next week."

Blair shuddered and grabbed for the lube hastily. Quickly, he slathered on a goodly amount, making darn certain he was very slick, and finally he scooted close, his knees between Jim's, and positioned himself.

"Jim? You let me know if I hurt you, okay? I'll hate myself forever if I hurt you when all I want to do is make you feel good."

"I promise! Now, Blair, please, baby! I'm stretched enough, I swear. Just push. There'll be some resistance, but ignore it. That's natural. Please, please I need you...."

"All right, Jim. Hang on, lover. I'm going to give you what you're begging so prettily for..."

Gripping the other man's hips, Blair pressed his cock head against the slick pucker and pushed. There was some resistance, as Jim had said, but he ignored it and pushed steadily.

With a faint sound, he slid inside, his jaw dropping open as he found his dick gripped by the hottest, tightest channel it had ever been in.

"Oh," he whimpered in a tiny voice. "Jim ... you feel..."

"Yeah, baby," the other man whispered. "I feel it; I feel it!"

"Think ... you can take more...?"

"I say if I don't get more soon, there's gonna be problems. Please, baby!"

Grinning, lust taking over the logical portion of his brain, Blair pulled back slightly, then thrust deeper. He did it again, and again, and again, until finally, he was all the way in, balls to the wall, as was said.

"Oh, thank you," Jim whimpered, and then he tightened reflexively around Blair's hot, throbbing cock.

The younger man let out a strangled yelp and then he muttered, " time...gotta do this...oh, man!"

With no other warning than that, Blair suddenly began thrusting, moving in and out quickly, anxiously, as if his life depended on it. He pulled back, slammed in, and ground against Jim over and over again frantically, eyes closed as he relished the sensation.

Jim was experiencing his own personal Nirvana.

Small moans and soft cries of pleasure escaped him as he was ridden hard and fast. This was pleasure, this was bliss, this intense fucking. It was everything he'd wanted from Blair for so long and had been afraid would be denied him forever, especially when Blair ran away from him. But now, oh now, he was getting everything he wanted. Except, just a bit, needed to shift...there!

As Blair thrust in, thanks to the new angle Jim had tilted his hips, his dick scraped over Jim's prostate, causing the other man to muffle his yowl of pleasure in a pillow as he bucked back against his lover desperately.

"Jim?!" the startled young man gasped, pausing.

"No! Don't stop! Not now, don't stop, don't stop! It was good, just my prostate, you stroked it, oh god, so good, don't stop, please, I'm begging, fuck me!!" Jim yelled through the pillow.

"Oh. Oh! Right!" Blair agreed, and again began thrusting. Only the pause had allowed him to get some sort of brain control back and now he thought of what else he could do to give his lover pleasure. Making certain he continued to brush across Jim's prostate, eliciting a happy moan or whimper every time, Blair began pressing sucking kisses along Jim's shoulders and neck and then he got the bright idea to reach around front and grip his mate's penis and begin pumping.

The effect was instantaneous and wild. Jim kept his shouts muffled by the pillow, but Blair could still hear him as he begged to be fucked harder, faster, stroked and loved. Setting his teeth on the ridge between shoulder and neck, feeling more primal and frantic to come than he ever had before in his life, Blair pumped Jim's dick quicker as he thrust in and out, in and out, harder and faster and giving Jim what he wanted.

Gasping harshly, listening to Jim coming up for air, Blair lay his head on one of his lover's shoulders and panted, "So good, so fucking you, man, I love it! So hot, so tight...oh god, you're such a slut! You love this, don't you? Love me fucking you like this. I love giving this to you. I love making you feel like this. I love you...!"

That was it. Jim couldn't take anymore. Tears streaming from his eyes, he again buried his face in the pillow and allowed himself to scream joyously as his orgasm crashed through him, his seed shooting from his dick in short, sharp bursts, his penis throbbing almost harshly as he gained relief.

Blair was unprepared for the sheer power of Jim's inner muscles as they clamped around him rhythmically. Stuttering out a choked groan, he closed his eyes and fucked hard into Jim once, twice, again, and a fourth time before he began crying as he spasmed and erupted into the latex covering his cock, his semen spilling out frantically as he humped and writhed, wanting to prolong the pleasure.

"Jim ... love you..." he cried out softly, and then he blacked out.


Blair awoke sometime later to find himself being cuddled against a drowsing Jim. Feeling oddly disoriented, he struggled to remember what happened. Finally, he did.

He sat up, startled, and looked down at his lover as Jim blinked sleepily up at him.

"Jim! Oh, my God, are you okay, man?! I can't believe I just passed out like that! Are you all right? Please tell me I didn't hurt you! Oh, my God-"

Ellison reached up and gathered his panicking guide into his arms and pulled him back down into a cuddle. "Shhh. Relax, Blair. Everything's fine, honey, I promise. I know how intense it is, remember? I passed out the first time I did that, too. Damn near passed out this time, it was that good! Anyway, I managed to get you off me once I got some strength back and I cleaned us both up. Then I settled in for a nap once I had you snuggled up against me. We've been out for a while. It's almost nine o'clock."

Sandburg blinked, incredulous. "It is? Really? We were that zonked?"

"We sure were. Well-earned, I'd say. Anytime you wanna do it again, baby, let me know," Jim teased with a sleepy grin.

"Mmm. Not right now, but soon. And next time, I want to know what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Yes, I really do. You looked like you were experiencing total ecstasy on three different dimensions, man! Anything that good, I wanna know what it's like," the younger man said with a grin.

"Sure, Chief. Don't worry, I'll be careful with you."

"Okay, then." Snuggling against his lover, he sighed wistfully and asked, "Do we really have to go home tomorrow?"

"Yes, unfortunately. But y'know, I can't wait to christen our bed."

"Our bed. That sounds so...wonderful."

"Doesn't it? Just think: making love in that nice big bed together; cuddling and talking and loving and touching each other. Kisses and sleepy smiles and the pure luxury of being together."

Blair grinned and kissed the patch of skin nearest his lips. "And you say you have no way with words. That picture you just painted sounds divine."

"Uh-huh. I can't help it, Chief. I have a physical fascination thing going on with you. Now that I'm allowed to touch, I'm going to make an absolute glutton of myself."

"Don't hear me complaining, do you?" Blair sassed, then yawned.

Jim smiled and tucked him closer, then pulled the blankets up around them. "Go back to sleep, baby. I'll hold you all night and kiss you awake in the morning. And then we can go home, you can get your hide chewed out by Simon for worrying him, me, and everyone else by running away, and then we can go home and I can soothe that tongue-lashing with one of a different kind."

"He says he wants me to sleep, and then he tells me he's going to lick me thoroughly. Contradictory orders there, Jim."

The older man laughed. "Sorry, honey. I'll be good. I'm tired, too. It'll be nice to sleep in my own bed with you there, finally."

"Mmm," Blair agreed. He closed his eyes and wallowed in the sensation of being surrounded by strong muscle and silky warmth. "Love you."

"Love you, too. Sleep well."

"No problem there. Going to sleep now."

Jim chuckled and then closed his eyes. He was asleep not long after Blair, content and ready to begin the rest of his life with his beloved guide, soulmate, partner and friend, grateful for a second chance - that he had found Blair after three long months - to love the younger man and be loved in return.

The End

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Author's Acknowledgements: I acknowledge that I am not a terribly original writer, that I like hot sex between two gorgeous men, and that I'm grateful for my friends and the Readers who tell me I still do good work. Thanks to all of you!