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NOTE: This story is unfinished and is never going to be finished. Do not read if that's a problem for you, and please don't ask me to finish itthis is just all she wrote.

A Model Of Decorum

by the lady of shalott

A sequel to "Model Behavior", published in the previous issue.

Summary of previous events

In this Alternate Universe, Jim is James, the CEO of a profitable corporation with a well-known taste for beautiful cars(and a secret one for beautiful men. Blair, in pressing need of funds, auditions for a modelling job with James' company, and attracts the CEO's very non-platonic attentions along with the contract. James wines and dines him, then seduces him(or is seduced himself. Despite Blair's ambivalence over the power dynamics between them, he agrees to see James again...

At a quarter past the hour, Blair held up his hands. "Guys, I'm sorry, but I've got to get out of here, I'm already late. My office hours are from 9 to 11 on Monday if you have any more questions, okay? If you can't make it then, send me e-mail and I'll get back to you."

A clamor of protest arose from the assembled undergrads, but Blair closed his ears and packed up his things quickly, then made a dash for the door and ran across campus as quickly as he could. What am I doing? I must be totally out of my mind, he thought as he panted over the green towards the campus gates. And WHY did I tell him I'd be there by ten after? I know I can never get away from them the week before an exam.

The limousine wasn't there, but a sleek black Jaguar waited in the agreed-on place, gleaming with a fresh coat of wax. The smoky windows hid the occupant, but Blair had no doubt that this was James' car. "I don't believe I'm not-dating a yuppie," Blair muttered as he jogged up to the car and opened the door.

His eyes hidden behind black shades, James turned to glare at the young man folding himself into the car. "You're late," he said cuttingly as Blair pulled the door shut.

"Sorry, man," Bliar said, shrugging his backpack off and dumping it on the floor. "It's the week before an exam, there are always tons of people asking questions." He stretched out as well as he could in the small sportscar, then belted in as James drove out of the parking lot. "You're not wearing a seatbelt," he pointed out.

"I can afford the fine," James responded coolly.

"I'm sure you can afford the best plastic surgery when you go through the windshield, too," Blair said. "Come on, man, it just takes a second."

"Are you always this naggy?" James grumbled, even as he pulled the belt across his chest.

"Only with someone who's doing something stupid and self-destructive," Blair retorted cheerfully, refusing to let anything ruin his mood. The contracts had been signed that morning, and after a few weeks of modelling he'd be totally free.

James muttered something under his breath as he turned onto the highway, but left the seatbelt on, idly trying to remember the last time anyone had told him to put on his seatbelt, or prodded him into doing anything healthy, for that matter.

"So where are we going?" Blair asked, peering out of the windows curiously.

"My place," James said firmly, cutting into the left lane ahead of an eighteen-wheeler. "Do you have anything planned for the weekend?"

"The weekend? Man, you move faster than you drive," Blair shook his head in disbelief.

"Why waste time?" James reached over and slid a hand over Blair's thigh from knee to groin, squeezing gently when he reached the juncture of Blair's legs.

Blair gulped. "Both hands on the wheel, okay?" he asked breathlessly. James smiled wickedly and took away his hand. "'Why waste time?' Right," Blair muttered. "Well, I don't have 'plans', but I've got a pile of work to do for school..."

"That's fine," James interrupted. "You can do it at my place."

"Look, man, I'd need to pick up all my books, and I don't think this is such a great idea..."

James unceremoniously pulled over onto the shoulder, ignoring the blaring horns that greeted the maneuver, and shoved the car into park with a careless gesture before burying his hands in Blair's hair and leaning over(until he reached the limit of the belt and was yanked back into his seat, inches short of Blair's lips. "Ow! Dammit!"

Blair couldn't help it. He laughed his ass off, even though one of James' hands had been tugged painfully out of his hair, until the other man managed to get his belt unfastened and silenced him with a kiss. They spent the next ten minutes wrestling over the gear shift, groping each other feverishly before Blair managed to find the lever for the seat back and tugged on it.

As Blair's seat fell back, James half-toppled onto him, struggling over the hand brake until he was lying atop Blair, the younger man's thighs gripping his hips as they started rubbing against each other, cocks pushing restlessly against the fabric of their pants. Groaning, he braced himself against the leather seat and raised his hips so Blair could slide his trousers and briefs off, then get rid of his own jeans and boxers.

Clamping his legs around James' thighs, Blair tugged him back down and started thrusting up against him, licking and nibbling at every inch of skin he could reach—throat, chin, lips, shoulders, all devoured and savored while James pushed back against him eagerly. "I can't believe we're making out in the middle of the highway," Blair gasped out as his throat was attacked with hot lips, his hands gripping James' ass and kneading the firm buttocks. "Oh man, harder," he urged, pulling James tight against him.

"I can't believe we're making out in my Jaguar," James panted. "This is going to ruin the seats... oh god, yeah, that's good," he groaned as Blair pushed a spit-slick finger into him. Reaching down to grip Blair's shaft, he stroked his thumb over the leaking head and managed to roll them half over, sliding his hand around Blair's back and rubbed his slicked thumb over the tight pucker.

"Oh yeah, that's it, right there," Blair approved, trying to spread his legs a little so the thumb could sink in deeper, pressing his own finger further into James' tight ass. Then the other man's broad hand wrapped around their cocks, enveloping the two shafts in a hot, slick grip, pumping them together. Blair moaned and arched against the rock-hard chest, pushing into the hand wildly. "Yes... oh... oh... yes!"

They fell over the edge together, their mingled come pulsing through James' fist, pale and creamy against the sleek black leather. Collapsing into a messy, tangled heap, they gulped for air as their bodies slowly relaxed. James let his eyes drift shut as Blair lazily nuzzled his throat, his hand mindlessly stroking through the dark hair dusting the younger man's chest.

"We probably should(oh shit!" The horror in Blair's voice startled James into a sitting position. He turned to the window just as a tapping came on it(from the policeman outside.

The two of them stared at the cop with panic-wide eyes, until James suddenly relaxed, "Damn, he can't see inside, the windows are smoked." He dragged himself back up to his knees and half-climbed, half-fell back into the driver's seat, still breathing hard as he reached over and grabbed his pants and started squirming into them.

Blair fumbled with the lever and got his own seat back upright, swabbing at the fluids with his discarded boxers while he pulled his jeans back on. "Man, this has got to rank high up there on most embarrassing moments of my life," he muttered. "One second!" he yelled loudly as the policeman rapped on the glass yet again.

"Quiet!" James snapped sharply. "I'll handle this."

"What do you mean, handle it? What's to handle? We'll get our clothes on, apologize for taking up the shoulder, and we'll get out of here."

"You think he's going to let it slide?" James snorted cynically. "This is a brand-new Jag, Chief, and they're not cheap. He's going to be expecting a handout. I'll give him a fifty and get him off our backs."

"Oh man, you've got to be kidding me," Blair groaned. "You're going to be arrested for bribing a cop, and I'm going to be stuck on the middle of the highway with no boxers. Not happening." And before James could say anything, Blair had jumped out of the car.

James swallowed a yelp of protest and tried to finish stuffing his shirt into his pants as quickly as possible. Outside, he could faintly hear Blair chattering at the police officer. "I'm going to have to spot the guy at least two hundred for listening to the kid," he muttered. Just as he managed to get his tie wrapped back around his neck and was about to get out, Blair came sliding back into the seat.

"See? No problem. Let's go, man," Blair said.

"Huh?" James stared. "What did you tell that cop?" he asked suspiciously.

Blair looked at him as if he were a bit dim. "I told him we were making out and said we were sorry about the trouble, he said no problem and left."

"You what?!" James smacked his forehead. "Sandburg, do you have some exhibitionist tendencies, or is it just a coincidence that you tell everyone we meet when we've just had sex?"

"What's the big deal? It's sex, most people do it as often as they can get away with it," Blair pointed out. "Besides, it wasn't my idea to stop in the middle of traffic and start doing the wild thing."

"I didn't notice you complaining!" James shot back.

"Of course I wasn't complaining, it was great." Blair leaned over and caught James' mouth with his, tongue dipping inside for a quick taste. "Mmmm..."

"Mmmm..." After a minute, James pulled back, breathing a little fast. "Don't change the subject."

Blair just sighed with an air of patience. "Look, if you want to make out in restaurants and on the side of the highway, you can't get too uptight about people finding out, you know?"

James thought about his father and stepmother's likely reaction to 'finding out' and shuddered mentally. Not that he really cared what the old man thought anymore, but it would be embarrassing as hell, and he didn't need the aggravation. "Look, just do me a favor and try to be a little more discreet, all right?" he demanded irritably as he started the car back up and peered into the mirror, waiting for an opening in the traffic.

"Whatever!" Blair tossed his hands up in the air and stared out the window, tamping down annoyance. Just relax, he told himself. This isn't a real relationship, it's just a little casual sex, and when the job's over, so will this. No sense getting worked up over his attitude. "Hey, wait a sec, I really do need to go back to my place," he said, noticing that James was headed out of the city limits. "I mean, forget books, I need underwear now."

"I'll have one of my staff get you some new clothes," James said absently, watching the rearview mirror for any sign of the police officer before speeding up.

"Uh, thanks, but no thanks," Blair refused sharply. "I'm really not into the sugar daddy thing, okay? I've got plenty of clothes that I like." When James ignored him and kept driving, Blair felt his temper begin to flare. "Man, you are really pushing it now, okay? Look, either we go to my place and I pick up some stuff, or you can keep driving, and the second the car stops I'm outta here."

"Just settle down, Chief," James said, amused and unconvinced. "It's only a short way to my place, and if you don't want clothes, I won't send out for them." He sent a quick leer over Blair's disheveled body. "I don't see any reason why you need clothes over the weekend, anyway."

Blair just sat, stiff and angry, until James pulled off the highway and stopped at a red light. The instant the car came to a halt, he popped open the door and jumped out, swinging the backpack to his shoulder with a practiced gesture. He slammed the door after him and started walking to the service road going in the opposite direction. Hope I can still hitch a ride this time of night.

James watched this performance open-mouthed, then furious. "Sandburg(!" He peeled the car around the intersection and pulled up to the curb before jumping out to confront the young man. "Get back in the car," he ordered.

"Go to hell," Blair suggested, pushing past him.

"What is your problem, anyway?" James grabbed Blair by the arm and pulled him around.

Yanking his arm free, Blair looked at James almost incredulously. "My problem? Look pal, I'm not the one with the problem here. I told you I had work to do, I told you I needed to go back to my place, I even told you that if you didn't stop the control-freak routine that I was going to leave. You're the one who just totally ignored everything I said!" He shook his head, trying to shed the anger, and continued more quietly. "I'm not an accessory or toy, okay? I've got my own life and my own stuff to do, and either you respect that or you find someone else to play with."

James stood there, silently, and wondered why he felt reluctant to do just that. There were plenty of other fish in the sea, and most of them would be more than happy to cater to his schedule and his desires. He's not special, he told himself unconvincingly. I'm just not tired of him yet. It really wouldn't be that much trouble to go along with Sandburg's moods, he reasoned, and when it got to be too much trouble, well, then he'd dump the guy. Having convinced himself, he looked Blair straight in the eye and asked, "So how do we get to your place from here?

James stared out the window. "This is a warehouse."

"Your powers of observation are truly amazing, man," Blair teased. "You want to come in and get washed up? If you park between the dumpsters over there no one will be able to see your car from the street."

"Come in where?" James demanded, even as he parked. "Where do you live, some shack around here?"

"I told you, the warehouse," Blair said, gingerly collecting his dirty boxers. "Come on."

James followed Blair up the stairs and into the cavernous building. Tall wooden screens blocked off one corner on the second floor, sheltering a large bed littered with riotous pillows and embroidered coverlets. A department-store clothing rack held an odd assortment of garments, and a few other assorted pieces that had clearly seen better days made up the rest of the furnishings. "How can you live like this?"

"Hey, it's great! I have the whole place to myself. Well, except for the rats," Blair admitted, tossing garments around as he searched for something clean.

"Rats?" James edged a little closer to the bed and looked around warily.

"Relax, man, they don't bite. Not unless they're really hungry, anyway." Blair finished stuffing clothes into a backpack and started piling books into the bag as well. "The bathroom's behind the white screen, if you want to clean up."

James ventured beyond to find an enormous claw-footed tub that came higher than his waist sitting in the middle of the bathroom area. "Where did you find this?" he called out, surveying the monster.

"Hmm?" Blair peeked in. "Oh, it was thrown away, can you believe it? Some idiot was turning an old Victorian into studios, and the bathrooms were all totally redone to just have shower stalls. I just grabbed it and hauled it back here."

"Hmm." He licked his lips, thinking of Blair between his legs in that enormous tub, the silky hair tangled around his fingers. Reaching out to turn on the water, he started stripping off his clothes. A thought struck him. "Do you have enough hot water for this thing?"

"Yeah," the voice floated over the screen. "This place has an industrial water supply. You could probably fill the ground floor of the building with hot water before it ran out. Another good feature."

"Another? What was the first one?" James asked dryly, keeping his socks and pants on while the tub filled.

"The rent. Where else could I get this much space for eight-fifty a month?"

"For eight-fifty a month you could have a one-bedroom near the campus!" James came back into the main room to watch Blair sort through his things.

"No no no. Not eight-hundred-fifty. Eight-fifty," Blair said. "The guy who owns the place wanted someone here to make sure squatters didn't take over, so he just charged me $100 in rent for the year, which comes out to about $8.50 a month."

James stared at him. "You're going to get $20 grand for this modelling contract," he pointed out. "Ever consider moving into a new place?"

Blair looked around. "Why? I like this place. Besides, ten percent goes to my agent, another forty or so percent goes to the IRS, that leaves me with about ten grand, then eight grand of that goes to the University, then the rest... well, I'll probably use it for some books."

"Ranier charges eight thousand for tuition? It's a state school," James protested.

"No, I owe the money to the U's anthropology museum," Blair admitted, flushing darkly.

James lifted an inquisitive eyebrow and waited.

Blair slumped down onto the bed and reluctantly explained, "I was working on an exhibit at the museum a couple of months ago, and I wanted this pal of mine—he's studying design—to take a look at what I was putting together, maybe give me some ideas on how to make it really cool." He sighed. "Anyway, he said he'd come by one Friday evening. So he showed up, an hour late, with two buddies of his, who were pretty drunk. Well, to make a long story short, by the time I got them out of there, I had two broken artifacts on my hands." He looked down at his hands. "I still owe about eight grand on the replacement cost."

"Why you?" James demanded. "Sounds like your pal and his friends are the ones who should be paying for them."

"Yeah, well, it was my responsibility, you know? I shouldn't have had him come over in the first place(after hours the museum's off-limits to anyone who's not working for the department," Blair said disconsolately. "I'm just lucky they didn't break anything irreplaceable. And I'm lucky that my advisor and the Dean both love me, or else I could have been kicked out of the U."

"Still sounds like a raw deal to me. Did you talk to a lawyer?"

Blair laughed. "Right, a lawyer? Like I've got money for a lawyer." He bounced up and shrugged. "Anyway, it doesn't matter(just this one modelling gig, then I can pay everything off and everything will be cool. And I'll even have a little extra left over. It all works out in the end." He looked into the bathroom. "Tub's pretty much full(you want some bath salts?"

"Bath salts?" James smirked. "I thought only women used those."

"I'm not talking floral scents, here, man," Blair said, exasperated. He rummaged around in a battered cabinet and pulled out an industrial-sized jar of greenish crystals. He dumped a handful in the steaming tub. "The water out here is kind of hard, this makes it a lot nicer."

"Fine," James purred, stripping off the rest of his clothes and slipping up behind Blair to unfasten his jeans. "Join me."

Blair shivered a little with anticipation, unbuttoning his shirt and letting James help him out of his pants. The two of them climbed into the bathtub, sighing in unison as the hot water swirled around them. "Aaahhhhh." Blair snuggled back against James' body, enjoying his new bath pillow. "We could just stay here," he said drowsily.

"I'm not sleeping in a rat-infested warehouse," James said firmly, reaching for the shampoo and squirting some onto Blair's hair. The silky curls twined around his fingers as he massaged the shampoo into a lather, and he restrained a sigh of pure pleasure at the sensation. He idly wondered how it would feel to have those curls wrapped around his cock, tickling and teasing while Blair's mouth wandered even lower... he groaned as he felt his shaft harden, nudging forward against the firm ass snug between his thighs.

Blair just lay back, giving himself over to sensual enjoyment as James' fingers stroked through his hair and the hardening cock slid up and down his cleft. He sighed comfortably and reached down to stroke his own cock a little, not really trying to arouse himself again, just enjoying the warm, pleasurable sensation. "You can just keep doing that forever."

With a soft chuckle, James bent Blair's head forward, letting his mouth drift over the smooth back of the younger man's neck. He reached for the removable shower head and turned the water back on to rinse the dark mass of hair thoroughly clean. Blair all but purred as the hot water streamed down his back, carrying suds away. James picked up a bottle of aloe shower gel and squeezed a generous amount onto his fingers.

Blair sighed as James reached forward, between his legs, and slid one slick finger into him. Closing his eyes and leaning back against the other man's chest, he bent his knees and pulled his legs forward to give James better access, hips moving slowly back and forth against the probing finger.

James tilted Blair's head to the side and lowered his mouth to the sweet slope where the sturdy neck joined the shoulders, licking and sucking on the faintly salty patch of skin while he worked a second finger into Blair's ass. His cock was rigid now, bumping eagerly up against the firm cheeks in anticipation of taking his fingers' place in the lusciously tight hole. "Ready?" he purred into Blair's ear, licking around the rim.

"Yeah," Blair sighed dreamily. "Here, I'll turn around..." James slid his fingers out, and Blair squirmed around in the tub and climbed onto his lap, wrapping his legs around James' waist. They both groaned as James positioned his cock and Blair slowly sank down onto it, their arms wrapping tightly around each other's bodies.

James buried his face in the hollow of Blair's throat as the younger man started moving up and down, his own hips rising and falling to match Blair's pace. Blair's hands gripped his shoulders, clenching tight with every downward stroke that slid his cock over Blair's prostate. The warm water surrounded them, a full-body caress in itself, buoying their bodies up as they moved together. James groaned into Blair's throat and clutched tightly at him as he fell over the precipice, his cock pulsing satisfyingly into the welcoming channel. Gasping, he let his head fall back as his climax slowly completed, reaching down to wrap his hand around Blair's cock.

Blair just held onto James' shoulders, eyes half-closed with pleasure as James pumped him to climax, panting wordlessly as he came into the broad hand. "Oh, man," he finally muttered, slumping weakly into the other man's arms, pillowing his head on one broad shoulder. "Wow."

James just sighed appreciatively and stroked the sleek mass of wet hair. Blair finally moved, easing off James' softening cock, and turned the hot water back on to replenish the tub while the cooled water drained away. They bathed leisurely, soaping each other up and rinsing off repeatedly just for the pleasure of stroking each other's bodies, investigating little hollows and curves. Only when the refreshed water began to cool noticably did they reluctantly get out and drain the tub.

Dry, they sprawled lazily over Blair's bed, Blair resting his head on top of James' broad shoulder, idly caressing the other man's flat stomach and abdomen. "If we're leaving, we should get dressed," he pointed out, making no move to get up.

"Yeah," James said, carding his fingers through Blair's still-damp hair. He felt warm and sleepy and oddly content, despite the industrial-style frosted glass and bare metal of the ceiling above them, and getting up wasn't a very appealing option. I should take him back to my place. I said that's what we were going to do, and...

Between one thought and the next, he fell asleep.

Morning spilled too-brightly down through the giant windows in the roof. James yawned and looked around, slowly remembering where he was. Blair lay curled up against and over him, a warm and snuggly weight. He let his head flop back down onto the pillows and stretched gradually, unconsciously careful not to disturb the sleeping body tumbled over his own. He considered getting up, but the desire for breakfast didn't quite outweigh the desire for more sleep, and he let his eyes close once again.

When he opened them once more, he was alone in bed, the rich smell of frying sausage reaching his nose. Blair was humming quietly as he worked over a stove. "Smells good," James called out.

Blair glanced back at him, a brilliant smile glowing over his face once again. "Pancakes or eggs?" he asked.

"Pancakes." James pushed back the covers, pausing to wonder when they'd been carefully draped over him, and joined Blair at the stove to snatch a tiny curl of sausage. "Hmm. Tastes different. What kind is this?"

"Like it?" Blair waited for a nod before explaining enthusiastically, "It's vegetarian. Tofu and beans and potatoes and carrots, and some other stuff, with herbs and spices. Isn't that cool? It tastes just as good, but it's about ten times as good for you."

"You're kidding. There's no meat in this?" James reached for another piece incredulously.

Blair rapped his fingers with a wooden spoon. "Hey, wait for the pancakes to be done. Here, why don't you set the table while I finish frying these up. Plates and stuff are in the cabinet over there, next to the fridge."

Hunting around in the cabinet, James found plates and utensils and started setting them out haphazardly. Never thought I'd be grateful for all those damn etiquette lessons Grace made me go to, he thought wryly as he arranged the cutlery.

Then Blair piled a stack of golden-brown pancakes onto his plate, dripping maple syrup and butter, and topped the whole thing with a nicely browned sausage patty. "Dig in," he announced, dumping the pan into the sink with casual disregard for whatever was already in there.

The two of them were silent for a while after that, concentrating on shoveling away the fresh food. James finally pushed away his empty plate and sighed with pleasure. "I thought you were skimping on food," he said idly.

"Yeah, but after the contracts were signed I made a celebratory run to the gourmet supermarket," Blair said cheerfully as he devoured the last morsel of pancake. "I am stocked now." He stretched out, letting his back muscles crackle away tension, then slouched in the chair. "So do you still want to go out to your place?" he asked.

"Yes," James said firmly. "I've gone this far without seeing a rat, I don't want to push my luck."

Blair grinned as he got up and started collecting the plates. "Man, don't ever go camping in the jungle. If you're scared of seeing a little rat, I don't want to know how you'd react to seeing a warthog running past your tent."

"I've successfully managed to go thirty-two years without ever spending one night in a tent," James said dryly. "I'm counting on extending that record."

"You've never gone camping?" Blair said incredulously. "Man, you are missing out. It's great, sleeping under the stars, feeling nature all around you... we should go sometime." He bit his lip even as the words slipped out. What are you thinking? he asked himself, annoyed. You're not going to be with this guy long enough to do anything like go camping.

James was shaking his head, apparently missing the implications of the invitation. "I like my nature on the Discovery channel, watched from a nice suite in a four-star hotel."

Blair made a face at that. "Ugh," he said definitely, loading the dirty dishes into the sink. He reached over and nudged James. "How about some help here?"

James got up and stared at the sink. "Doing what?"

"Washing the... let me guess. You've also gone thirty-two years without ever washing a dish, right?"

"I've got maids and a housekeeper. Why would I wash dishes?" James said defensively.

"Right. Okay... here." Blair handed him a dishtowel. "I'll hand you clean, wet dishes. You rub the towel over them until they're dry("

James snatched the rag. "I can figure out how to dry dishes," he snapped.

Blair just grinned at him and started washing.

They didn't reach James' home until early afternoon, thanks to another round of playful sex that developed from Blair's sneak attack with soap suds after the dishes were done. Handing the car off to his chauffeur, James steered Blair into the house and up to his bedroom with a proprietary arm around his back, ignoring his servants' curious looks.

Blair looked around the opulent room curiously, studying the tastefully framed pieces of artwork, the smooth mahogony furniture, the dark blue of the coverlet. "Let me guess(you had an interior decorator do this, right?"

James tossed his tie over a chair and stripped off his suit jacket. "Yeah, why?" Taking off the rest of his clothes, he pulled on a velvet robe, belting it loosely around the waist, and sprawled over the bed.

Shrugging, Blair ran a finger over the edge of one frame. "It's nice, but do you really like Manet?"


"Yeah, that's what I thought," Blair responded, eyeing the undoubtedly valuable Impressionist work sitting over the marble fireplace. "Is there one piece of art here that you picked out yourself?"

"I approved all of them," James said, feeling oddly defensive.

"I didn't say approved—one that you picked. A piece that you really liked and thought was nice."

Unbidden, James remembered the sculpture he'd bought on a whim. The designer had looked askance at the piece and tactfully suggested an out-of-the-way spot. He'd taken the hint and left the rest of the buying to her. "I'm not an art critic."

Blair joined him on the bed, bouncing experimentally. "Not even one?"

He sounded so incredulous that James sighed and gave in. "I bought the one in the corner, next to the... the..." he struggled to remember what the large plant was called, "the tree-thing over there," he finished.

Blair promptly headed over there and parted the wide leaves to look through. He tilted his head, studying the sculpture. "Can I move it out here?"

"Sure, why not," James stretched out casually, despite the tension that knotted uneasily across his shoulders. Somehow, he didn't want to hear Blair make a critical remark about the piece(didn't want to be told that it was clichéd, that it was boring.

Pushing the plant to one side, Blair dragged the heavy obsidian statue out into the middle of the carpet and stood back for a better look. A panther stood atop a jagged cliff, forelegs braced against the stone, while at the base a wolf raised its head in a howl. "Wow," he murmured, reaching out a hand to stroke the smooth stone. "Why are you hiding this behind a potted plant?" He frowned at the sculpture.

Involuntarily relaxing, James gave an insouciant wave of his hand. "It's nothing special. Just something I picked up at a gallery downtown on a whim."

"It is special," Blair overrode him. "I get... I don't know. I get this weird feeling, looking at it. Sort of like déja vu." He shook his head, puzzled. "You got this in a gallery? Any idea who made it?"

"It came from a reservation," James said, sitting up and giving Blair a hard look. "The gallery owner sells things made by Indian craftsmen. But I don't know who made this one, specifically. Why?"

"I was just wondering whether maybe I'd seen something else the artist had done... It's really strange. Almost like a picture I had in my head before I'd even seen it." Blair sat down on the bed and studied the piece.

James studied Blair in turn, confused by the way the younger man had put words to the exact sensation that the statue evoked in him. Without quite deciding to, he blurted, "I feel the same way about it."

"Really?" Blair frowned at the piece some more in puzzlement. "I wonder what the symbolism means... if it's from the Indians in the local region, then it's probably by the Skokomish tribe(they live near Tacoma. I should look into it." He hopped off the bed and went to his bag, rummaging around until he pulled out one of the old books.

James watched Blair flip through the book for a few moments until it dawned on him that Blair meant to 'look into it' right now. "You can't think of anything you'd rather be doing right now?" he asked pointedly, stretching out on the bed.

"Hmm? No..." Blair said absently, without looking up from the text. He settled into a cross-legged position on the carpet and started reading seriously.

James sat up and glared at the oblivious younger man in some annoyance, then did a double-take. "Wait a second. You just happen to have a book on the symbolism of the Skokoko-whatsit tribe with you?" he demanded incredulously.

"Nah, it's a general book on tribal myths and legends of the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest region," Blair answered, still in that vague tone. "I'm covering this in class next week."

James watched Blair dig himself deeper into the book and shook his head in exasperation. "Why don't you put the book away until next week, then?" he suggested firmly.

"I'd be kind of unprepared if I waited for the class to actually do the reading," Blair pointed out, looking up briefly. His eyes immediately widened as he took in James' pose and the half-open robe just barely shadowing the other man's muscular body, and he suddenly grinned. "Oh, am I neglecting you?" The book was tossed aside with a thump.

James licked his lips and watched Blair strip with smoky eyes. Shifting against the silk sheets, he slid a hand between his own thighs, running fingers lightly over his slowly-hardening cock in a promise of pleasure to come. He grinned to himself suddenly, pleased by the effect Blair had on his stamina. It had been a while since he'd been up for two rounds in one day. He watched Blair prowl onto the bed, his breath quickening a little, and then suddenly he was flat against the mattress, his shoulders pinned to the bed.

Blair nudged between his legs, the hard evidence that he wasn't the only one getting it up twice in a day rubbing against his own erection. James shuddered a little with pleasure and pushed up a little, enjoying the weight of the younger man blanketing his body. Then Blair's mouth was latching onto the side of his neck, licking and biting gently, and a strong hand was wrapping around his cock as James arched up into that firm, rhythmic stroke.

"God," Blair panted, lifting up a little to send his heated gaze wandering over James' flushed skin, "You are so far beyond hot... Oh man, I could come just from watching you move." He squeezed again, watching the hips rise into his grip, lifting the tight curves of James' ass from the bed. He bit down a moan at the sight and grabbed a pillow. "Turn over," he demanded, voice thick with passion, his cock throbbing eagerly.

Although his own cock went rock hard at the command, James propped himself defiantly up on his elbows and grinned wolfishly. "Make me," he challenged. By way of response, Blair's hand slid between his thighs and stroked over the tight pucker of his anus, probing lightly. He sighed deeply, throwing his head back as the finger slid into him.

Blair slid forward, curling around the hard body, murmuring in one ear, "Are you sure don't want to turn over?" He thrust in deeper for emphasis, fingertip rubbing firmly over the yielding walls. He reached out to the nightstand with his other hand, digging a package of lube out of the drawer.

James panted, "Haven't convinced me yet," despite a deep groan that wrenched from him as the questing finger found his prostate.

"Well," Blair whispered, squeezing lube onto his hand, "how about you turn over so I can spend the next hour stretching you..." he thrust with the finger again, "licking you..." and his tongue slipped out to trace the whorls of James' ear, "and fucking you until you can't see straight."

"Well," James managed, as Blair slid a second finger into his ass, "you talked me into it." When Blair removed the fingers, he rolled over onto his stomach, letting the younger man slide the large pillow beneath his hips to prop him up. He'd barely settled himself when Blair slid the tips of his fingers back inside. He squirmed over the sheets, waiting for the fingers to move deeper. "Come on, push," he demanded.

"My, aren't we impatient," Blair murmured, moving his fingertips around in a gentle circle just inside the clenching ring of muscle. He leaned over and nibbled along James' spine.

"Yes, we are!" James ground out, pushing himself back onto the fingers with a groan. "Oh, yeah..." he sighed in pleasure as he shoved his prostate against the tips. "Move!"

"I don't know, I'm not sure you really want me to," Blair teased, pulling the fingers nearly all the way out, reaching between James' legs to cup the heavy sac and roll the balls in his fingers.

"Fuck you," James panted, pushing back yet again until the luscious, maddening fingers were deep inside him. Blair just grinned and lightly bit one firm buttock. "Hey!" James yelped in protest, subsiding as Blair started to thrust in and out, the other hand stroking lightly over his thighs, tracing patterns over his clenching muscles. The combination of butterfly-soft touches on his cock and balls with the hard pressure inside him glowed through him, so intensely sensual that his mouth watered in sympathy. He closed his eyes and let his body start rocking with the thrusts, feeling his muscles loosen into jelly.

He groaned when Blair pulled out, then groaned even louder as Blair pulled his hips up a little further and drove into him with one smooth stroke, the hot cock sliding easily into his loosened opening. He ducked his head down, bracing his arms against the mattress, and pushed back, encouraging Blair to pound into him. Blair didn't need much encouragement, driving him into the mattress with every hard thrust, the head stroking over his prostate and sparking pleasure along all his nerve endings. They both groaned when James' climax hit, his channel convulsing, and Blair pressed his cock in deeply and hung on while they both shook with orgasm.

They collapsed limply to the sheets after carefully disentangling from one another, breathing hard. After several minutes went by, they finally managed to take turns dragging themselves into the bathroom for a quick shower. James came out, toweling his hair dry, to find Blair stuffing the books back into the bag.

"What are you doing?"

"Hey," Blair said, looking up. "I looked out the window—you've got a pool!"

"You want to go swimming?" James said incredulously. His own legs still felt a little wobbly.

"No, but it's beautiful outside. Let's go sit around the pool," Blair coaxed.

James shortly found himself lazing on one of the chaise lounges while Blair set up shop on an umbrella-shaded table, spreading papers and books out on the surface. Idly watching the young man flip through books, studying pages intently and scribbling in his notebook, James finally propped himself up on one arm and asked, "Why are you wasting your time?"

"Wasting my time?" Blair looked at him, puzzled.

"This campaign is probably going to be your big break. If your agent can't get you a few hundred-grand deals down in L.A. after this, she's not worth her commission. Why waste your time on college? You can always go back after modelling pans out."

Blair set down his pen and blew air out in a noisy sigh. "Is it always dollars and cents with you, man?" He shook his head. "Look, I don't want to be a model. I have zero desire to spend the best years of my life in front of hot lights in the land of the plastic people, no matter how much I'd get paid for it. This," he gestured to the papers, "is what I want to do."

"What is 'this', anyway?" James leaned over to glance at the papers. "Tribal rituals?"

"It's anthropology."

"Anthropology?" James gave a short laugh of disbelief. "What kind of a job can you get with an anthropology degree?"

"Being an anthropologist," Blair retorted.

"And just what is that going to involve?" James asked unwisely.

"It's great," Blair enthused. "You get to travel all over the world, see different cultures and their experiences. I was on an expedition to a tribe of Australian aborigines last year, and you would be amazed at the kind of..." he trailed off as he noticed James' eyes glazing over. "I guess not, since you're not listening."

James grinned unapologetically and leaned over to run his finger over Blair's lower lip. "Sorry, Chief, but nothing's going to convince me that spending a few weeks out in the middle of nowhere, hanging out with some illiterate tribe, is even remotely fun."

"A few weeks? I was there for five months, and it was great—mmph!" Blair nearly fell off his chair as James tugged him down for a long, hot kiss. "Okay, I get the hint," Blair said stiffly as they broke apart, pulling back. "No anthro-speak."

James watched as Blair turned back to the papers, the young man's normally relaxed, full-lipped mouth unsmiling and tight, and shifted uncomfortably under a twinge of guilt. "Look, Sandburg, I'm sorry, all right?" When no reply came immediately, he added, "Come on, would you really like to hear me go on and on about P/E ratios and fundamentals?"

An involuntary grin twitched the corners of Blair's mouth, and he glanced up to look at James with warmer eyes. "You enjoy talking about that kind of stuff?" he asked, the tone implying that he found that hard to believe.

"That's not what I asked," James grinned, reaching out to stroke Blair's thigh beneath the table.

"Okay, point taken. But," he firmly picked James' hand up and set it down on the chaise, "I can *not* think while you're doing that, so behave until I've got this paper done."

Pretending to pout, James lay back and closed his eyes, smiling unconsciously as he heard the scritching of pen on paper and the soft sound of Blair muttering to himself as he worked.

James sighed and ran a finger around the inside of his collar, wondering idly where Blair was tonight while he was suffering through this awards dinner. He slid a surreptitiously resentful glare towards his stepmother, who was sitting at his father's side. He supposed he shouldn't be annoyed with her for suggesting he come; he could have avoided the ceremony. But the fact was that Grace had good instincts for places-to-be-seen, and the packed slate of local personalities bore that out.

Unbidden, Blair's words came back to his mind... what had he said? Not wanting to spend the best years of his life in the "land of the plastic people"? James glanced around the table, his lips twisting into a wry smile. This definitely qualified. He wondered suddenly why he was bothering with this(he could send a vice president of some sort to these functions instead of coming himself.

A burst of laughter from across the room caught his attention. The lower table of people from Rainier University seemed to be having a good time, he noticed a little sourly, although the president was sitting three chairs down from him and seemed as boring as anyone else at the 'celebrity' table. He'd never thought much of academics, but knowing Blair was starting to change his mind(not that Blair was one of the hard-core academics, of course, but he wasn't just in school to get a degree and get out. He sighed again at the thought of Blair, willing to bet that at least the conversation over there was more interesting than the scintillating display going on at his own table(a comparison of golf courses at the moment. He'd actually be glad when the speeches started.

As if his thoughts had been a trigger, the president rose from the table, sending a practiced smile around to them all. "If you'll excuse me," the man said conspiratorially, "I'd better get the professors started. The sooner they finish, the sooner we can have dessert."

James silently snorted at the comment, even as a soft titter went around the rest of the table. If he ever undercut his VPs that way, they'd probably quit(at least the good ones would. He sat back, prepared to at least try giving his attention to the speeches just out of distaste for the president.

The first speaker was a dean of something or other, who went through the usual polite thank-yous and accolades to various contributors(James' corporation among them(and then moved on to introduce the main speaker. "Tonight's speaker is one of our brightest young doctoral students, who spent most of last year on an expedition to the Chopec people, one of the last remaining primitive tribes in the world. He's going to be sharing his experiences with us tonight. Please welcome Fulbright Scholar Blair Sandburg."

James politely applauded for a good thirty seconds before the name registered. His hands froze in mid-air and he stared at the podium in stunned fascination as Blair, hair neatly pulled back and eyes owlish behind wire-rimmed glasses, stepped up.

"Hi there," Blair said cheerfully, sending that brilliant smile out across the room. "I know most of you are probably tired and waiting for dessert, so I promise not to take too long(in fact, the dean has a big 'HURRY IT UP' sign waiting under her chair to wave at me in case I get carried away and take too long." A wave of laughter rippled around the room. "As Dean Lorentz said, I had the opportunity to spend several months in the Amazon last year, living with the Chopec..."

The words slid over him, drowned out by shock. Slowly regaining control of himself, he glanced around surreptitiously to see if anyone had noticed, and discovered that Blair seemed to be doing the impossible—keeping the audience's attention. Even Grace had her eyes fixed on the young anthropologist with every appearance of actually being interested.

Unable to think of anything else to do, he finally sat back and listened, unwillingly drawn in by the vivid description of tribal customs. Blair spoke enthusiastically, wandering away from the podium and back, emphasizing unique features of the tribe's history with eager gestures. And when the speech was over, the applause was more than simply polite.

James clapped mechanically, confused and unsure how to feel. He'd known Blair was more than a pretty face since their second night together, and he'd slowly been getting used to the idea of seeing someone who wasn't either a convenient sexual companion or a social deb. Even having an interesting conversation with a date was a new experience for him, and he had to admit that it was growing on him—even when those conversations turned into arguments.

But it was a bit of a leap to go from gradually accepting that your lover was actually another human being with ideas that just might be valid to discovering that he was a doctoral candidate and a Fulbright Scholar. James winced as he thought of the dismissive attitude he'd had towards Blair's studies.

He halfheartedly turned his attention to the uninteresting slab of cake on his plate, picking at it with his fork, slowly getting used to the idea. Then he heard Blair's voice close by and looked up to find the president introducing the young man around the table. His eyes widened, and for a moment he actually looked at the exit, but then it was too late and Blair was brought around to his chair.

"James?" Blair said before they could be introduced. "I didn't know you were going to be here. How'd you find out about this?"

Catching the puzzled looks on his father and stepmother's faces out of the corner of his eyes, James rose from his chair with a polished smile. "Actually, I didn't know you were going to be here either. It was a hell of a surprise to see you going up to the podium." He saw Blair's pleased expression waver and slip away, and belatedly realized that Blair had hoped he had come on purpose. Trying to make up for the disappointment, he hurriedly added, "But it was a great speech. I'm glad I was here for it—you should have told me you were going to be doing this." Only after the words had tumbled from his mouth did he realize how intimate they sounded.

But Blair was beaming again, taking his arm with casual assurance. "Cool, glad you liked it. And as long as you're here, let me introduce you to my Dean—she's great."

And despite the sharp look his father was sending his way, James let Blair pull him away from the table and over to his circle of friends.

James pillowed his head on his arm and stared up at the stars. Although his body felt deliciously heavy and relaxed, everything else seemed clearer, sharper. Instead of a few scattered glowing pinpricks, the stars were a spray of brilliant lights. The air tasted clean, redolent of pine and the crushed grass beneath their sleeping bags, and he could hear so much(the reedy scrape of crickets, an owl ruffing up its feathers in the nearby tree, the pulsing rhythm of his own heartbeat... He stopped and put his hand over his heart. It thumped steadily.

- end -

NOTE: This story is unfinished and is never going to be finished. Do not read if that's a problem for you, and please don't ask me to finish itthis is just all she wrote. <g>