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Title: World Burning Down
Author/pseudonym: the lady of shalott

Notes: This is the first time I've written a story entirely from first-person/thought perspectives. I'd appreciate criticism of how it works and whether it's clear who is thinking what, especially in the last section. Also, in tune with the recent discussion on SENAD, I think it's only fair to warn y'all that I don't generally respond personally to feedback, due mainly to lack of time and a predilection to work on more stories instead. :)

Summary: Someone on SENAD (minotaur, was it you?) said that Jim's behavior this season was that of a man experiencing the terror and wonder of coming out at a late age. That's what inspired this story.


"Later, big guy!"

"Don't--!" Too late, again. I hate it when he slams the door. At least he's gone and I don't have to deal with his bubbling anymore. Off on another hot date. How anyone can get so damned excited over every single flirt that bats her eyes at him is beyond me. Especially when there are so many of them. His black book is going to hit encyclopedic proportions if he doesn't start getting more picky, even if this one's lasted a while.

I can just hear Simon lecturing me -- 'Taking the big brother thing too far.' Right. He doesn't need a big brother, he needs a keeper. One that'll keep him locked up and only let him out to play after his dates have gone through a full security check. I swear, no one in the world can attract trouble better than Sandburg. If she's not a crook herself, she's related to one, being chased by one, or just treats him like crap. I wish he'd just take a vacation from dating for a while. Then maybe I could take a vacation from being his 'blessed protector'.

Sure, Jim. Keep telling yourself that.

It's not that I don't want him to do his thing, have fun, whatever. But he's just too trusting sometimes. Acts like the whole world is looking for an excuse to be nice to him. He's taken so many hits and somehow he keeps on believing people are good. I just don't want to see him lose that. Don't want to see him hurt.

So maybe a physics grad student who's got almost as much energy as him isn't the most likely candidate to destroy his faith in humanity. What is this, five weeks now? New record for him. Five weeks. Next thing I know he'll be checking out rings. Blair Sandburg, caught at last.

What the hell am I going to do?

I'm not going down this road again. I'm not.

Maybe there's a game on TV. Where's the remote... not on the table, no, now why would I expect it to be where it's supposed to be. Maybe behind the couch pillows... How did this stuff get over here? Takes a minute to stick a book on a shelf, thirty seconds to toss his socks into his room. But does he do it? Of course not. When he gets home tonight, I'm going to chew him out for this.

If he gets home tonight.

Where is that bottle? Fuck the glass.

I can feel it burning all the way down into my gut. Almost hurts, but then it makes everything nice and numb. Works for me. Only thing that works, lately.

God, why is this happening to me?

Time for some more. Hate the taste of this stuff. Lucky I can dial it down. Bet he'd like to know that. 'Yeah, Chief, I can dial down my taste buds so far I can chug vodka like it's water.' Useful little piece of info for his fucking dissertation. Not that he needs any more info. Nothing new going on with my senses lately. Too bad. Maybe he'd do some tests. Stay home a few nights for them.

I don't believe I even thought that. I am so fucking pitiful. Ready to play lab rat just to keep him around. Maybe I should just roll over and beg for him.

Where do I get these images from?

There's plenty left in the bottle. Thank You for small mercies, God, you son of a bitch. So, how many nights this week does this make? Three? And twice the week before? I'm going to need a liver transplant in a month at this rate.

I should have said yes when what's-her-name asked me out. Anything would be better than this. Sure. I could be out somewhere with some woman whose name I can't remember, without a nice bottle to help me forget that Blair's out there fucking some beautiful young thing instead of...

What? Come on, Ellison, what was your brain going for there? Come on, you can be honest with yourself. When you've got half a bottle of vodka under your belt. Fucking some beautiful young thing instead of fucking me. Fucking. Me. There, I said it. I want Blair Sandburg to fuck me. I want him upstairs, in my bed, screaming my name when he comes. Just one time, I'd like to see him looking up at me with those 'kiss me' eyes and actually be able to kiss him.

Hey, Jim, you can have your wish. 'Just one time.' Then he'd be out the door so fast you'd be lucky if he bothered to pack his stuff.

Nah, what am I thinking? Not Blair. No, he'd probably back off real quick, look a little surprised like he does when something weird is going on with my senses, then get all sympathetic. Supportive. Probably apologize for not feeling the same way. Wouldn't that be nice. Maybe he'd start wondering if this is something to do with the Sentinel thing.

Maybe it is. Maybe it's perfectly normal for the Sentinel to want to fuck his guide senseless. Maybe he's wanting me the same way.

Why does my brain keep doing this? Why do I let myself even think this kind of bullshit? He's not wanting me, I'm not even on his sexual map. He practically set me up with Elaine and packed me off after her. Not that that didn't help a little. Nothing like a nice weekend of senseless screwing to push the hormones down. Took me a week of hot showers to feel clean again, but it worked. Well, for a little while. At least it let me know I can still get it up for a woman.

Not that I really want to anymore. I can't believe I actually asked Cassie out to try and keep Blair away from her. He never poaches on what he thinks is my territory. He's more likely to wave pom-poms and cheer me on whenever I so much as glance twice at some woman. Not exactly the reaction I'd like to see. At least I got a 'date' with him out of it. So what if I had to put up with some conversation with her, too. He looked good enough to eat in that suit. Too bad he wasn't on the menu.

OK, I've know I've almost had enough to drink when I start snorting vodka through my nose at that kind of thought.

Not that Cassie is a problem anymore now that 'Katherine with a K' is on the scene. I think it was better when he was chasing Nancy Drew. She wouldn't have lasted long, and maybe he wouldn't have met 'Kate'. Serves me right for trying to screw up his love life.

I've got to get this under control. He's a bright guy, he's going to notice something's wrong with me if I don't get a handle on this. And once he notices, God help me. The Agency should hire him as an interrogator. He'd get top secret information out of the best-trained agent quicker than torture.

Not that I'm doing all that well at keeping this top secret. What the hell was I thinking? Asking him to demonstrate those 'sensual rhythms' for me some more. Calling him 'baby.' Why don't I just skywrite it? 'Jim Ellison loves Blair Sandburg.' Only a little less subtle. I keep that kind of thing up, he's going to catch on real quick.

But it was hard not to give it away after that damned undercover assignment. If I hadn't made tracks out of that sick arena before he came back to comfort me, I know I'd have done something crazy, even if Simon and half the CPD were on the scene to see the whole thing. All that adrenaline pumping through me...

Christ, it was hell being in that prison, even before he waltzed into that classroom. I thought my heart was going to stop. Any one of those bastards would have had him bent over his desk in a hot minute if they thought they could get away with it. Not that I'm much better. Scared to sleep because I knew I'd have wet dreams about doing just that to him. If any of those assholes had even gotten a hint that I was gay, I'd have been the one bent over.

Gay. So I'm gay now? Or is 'queer' the politically-correct term these days? I can think of plenty of less-polite names that some of my old Army buddies would throw at me if they knew what kind of sex I dream about these days. Hell, they'd probably think I'd gone off the deep end for falling in love with a flower-child liberal feminist even if he *wasn't* a guy.

Why now? I'm pushing forty and now I figure out, oh, whoops, I've been chasing after the wrong gender all my life? Why the fuck does this happen to me? Some kind of mid-life crisis hits me and all I want to do is whack my partner over the head and drag him into bed?

Not that I'd know what to do if by some miracle I actually got him into bed.

But damn, that's a nice thought. Blair, spread out on my sheets, all that hair dark against my pillows... oh yeah. Oh... yeah... Mmmm...

No! I am not going to jerk off over him. No, no, no! Move the hand, Ellison. Go for the bottle instead.

Shit! That was too close. Nearly had the whole couch smelling like vodka.

I wonder if he likes blow jobs. I bet I could figure those out... wonder how he'd taste... what the hell am I thinking?!?

<shattering glass>

Fuck the couch, fuck the carpet, fuck the goddamn fucking WALLS!

What difference does it make? He's not coming home tonight.

I'll clean it up later. Right now, all I want to do is sleep and forget about the whole fucking mess that is my life.

Please, God, let this stop.


Wow! What a night! Man, I am so pumped. Just wish Kate didn't have that exam tomorrow morning, or she could help me work off some of this energy she helped me build up. She is just so awesome. I don't think I've ever felt this way about anyone. Well, I was kind of starting to feel it for Maya, I guess, but there was just way too much negative stuff going on there for that to work.

And now it's all cool, because if I had gotten together with Maya, I'd never have met Kate! I guess it's just one of those fate things. Life is just so amazing sometimes. I mean, I just click with her. It's almost like being with Jim -- it's like, whatever I say is right, and she says the right thing back. Or does the right thing. Though she definitely talks more than Jim.

Better be quiet or I'll wake Jim up. He has been so touchy lately thanks to that insomnia -- if he's finally gotten to sleep I don't want to be the one to wake him up. I wish he'd try some of that herbal remedy I found at the organic foods store.

Hope he didn't put the chain on. I haven't exactly been making a habit of coming home after I go out with Kate. Where are my keys... OK, here we go... Man! What is that smell? I can't believe Jim's sleeping in here with... oh shit. What did I just step on? Glass? Broken glass? What the -- Ohmigod, where's Jim?

"Jim? Jim!!!"

What's that noise-- upstairs! Shit! He's got to be hurt! Oh god. Please be OK. Please be OK. Come on, buddy, wake up. Wake up. You need to tell me what's wrong. Where the hell is the phone? Why aren't you waking up? Goddamnit, wake up! Can't find any injuries, no blood... there's that smell again... wait a second. That's vodka.

No way.

Whoa. Never mind. Yes way. That is definitely vodka on his breath.

OK, there's got to be an explanation for why Jim is passed-out drunk. Jeez, he didn't even take his shoes off? Something has got to be seriously wrong.

No shit, Blair. Of course something is seriously wrong. Jim, what is going on with you? You barely ever drink anything more than a glass of wine or a cold one, and all of a sudden you're doing a serious binge alone? Oof. You are way too heavy to move around when you're dead weight, big guy. Still not waking up? No, of course not. That would make my life easy. I could say, 'Hi Jim, why did you go on a drunk?' and you could say, 'Leave it alone, Sandburg' and then after a few hours of pestering you'd spill your guts.

Well, if you weren't spilling your guts non-metaphorically.

There, at least your shoes are off and you're covered. Wish I could get some water into you, you're going to be seriously hung-over tomorrow.

Now I just need to figure out what the hell is going on with you. And clean up the mess downstairs. I think I'd have to get drunk too before I could sleep with that smell all over the loft.

Dustbin... small broom... sponge... OK, here we go. Yep, it's some cheap stuff. Why was Jim drinking this instead of the Stoli? Only cheap booze for a drunken binge?

Why do I have the feeling I am not going to like what I see when I open this cabinet?

No. Oh no. No no no no no. I am not seeing this. Stoli's gone. So's the scotch. And the whiskey. And the Wild Turkey?! He totally hates that stuff!

OK, OK, Blair. Think, man. Last time I opened the cabinet was... after that psycho Travers came after us. Jim and I both needed a good stiff one when we got home that time. So that's what, three weeks? Jim's gone through five bottles of liquor in THREE WEEKS?

How could I have missed this? How could I have missed whatever started this? My god. Some friend I am. I get high as a cloud over a relationship that's actually working for once and never notice that my best friend is falling apart. Insomnia. Right. And I actually BOUGHT that? I am such an idiot. No way would I have fallen for that for a second if I wasn't so fucking preoccupied with my own happy little life.

I am relaxed. I am relaxed. I am relaxed. I am relaxed.

All right. I'm letting it go. I am not going to be able to help Jim if I'm busy kicking myself. First I help him, THEN I kick myself. Down a flight of stairs. Maybe if I hit my head hard enough I'll make my skull less thick.

Letting it go, letting it go.

All right. Let's approach this methodically. First, we have the evidence. Five bottles of booze gone, one in a violent and destructive-to-loft manner. Not a sign of calm and stability in one James Ellison. So now let's look for motive.

Jim would have told me if somebody close to him died. And anyway, the guy has dealt with a lot of crap like that before -- he wouldn't be suddenly off on a tear if that was it. I know he'd have told me if it was something bad that happened on the job, and anyway I've pretty much been with him the whole time. In fact, he's got to have been doing this only on the nights that I've been going out with Kate.

OK. Let me think about this. Whatever it is, it's something he obviously doesn't want to confide in me about.

Yeah, Sandburg, unless maybe he just figured you were so busy with your new playmate that you wouldn't have time for him and his problems.

Lately the only time we've spent together outside of his job has been the nights when Kate was busy. I have totally been neglecting him. How could I be such a jerk? I mean, we do just about everything together, practically breathe together, and then I get involved in a relationship and all of a sudden I disappear out of his life. Just when he needs me, too.

I can't believe I was so incredibly selfish. I've got to make this right. I've got to find out what's wrong and help him. I have no idea how, but I am going to find a way.

Well, that's a nice dramatic vow, but that doesn't get me anywhere. After the way I've been treating him, I'll be lucky if Jim talks to me at all.

I'll just have to stick to him like glue. Not let him have any time to himself where he can go off and drink like this. He's using it as a safety valve -- if I make him keep everything closed up long enough, he'll have to blow.

So much for my trip out to the rainforest this weekend with Kate. I'll have to cancel all our evening plans too, unless Jim's on stakeout... no. No, I'll have to cancel all of them. He's likely to do something crazy and get himself killed.

I'd better call her now. She was going to make the rental arrangements in the morning, and if she gives them a deposit before I get in touch with her, it will majorly suck.

Great. She's pissed. Not that I can blame her for wanting to know why I'm cancelling on her less than an hour after we made the plans. But I can't tell her about this whole mess. Better steel myself for the reaction when I cancel the rest...

Ouch. Should have held the receiver further away from my ear.

Wonderful. Now, how do I explain this? OK, I'll explain that Jim needs me, but I'll keep it general.

What is so hard to understand about my wanting to be there for Jim? I mean, Jim is practically family. More than family, really. He's not just my roommate. She's got to understand that.

No, no. Come on, Kate. Come on. Don't do this to me. I can't deal with this guilt trip and deal with Jim's problems at the same time. Why are you making this into some kind of competition? Right now, you are doing just fine! You don't need me, and he does! What is so hard about that?

I don't believe I'm hearing this. I guess she was more annoyed than she let on about all those times I had to cancel because of late-night stakeouts or piled-up paperwork down at the department.

Kate, you are not doing this. This is not cool. NOT COOL. Don't give me some kind of ultimatum... I don't believe this. Put her first? When Jim needs me?

What does she expect from me? That I'm going to say, 'Sure, you're more important to me than Jim'? Yeah, I guess that is what she expects. It's not like I haven't been treating her like the most important person in the world to me lately. I have the feeling she's not going to like my answer, but if she wants to turn this into a choice between her and Jim, there really isn't much of a contest.

Maybe if I just let her rant for a while she'll stop being so angry... Whoa. Using her? As cover? Cover for what?!?

Oh man. Oh MAN. She is so way out there it's even funny. She even met Jim a few times! I have no clue where she's getting this from. I have got to straighten her out.

She hung up on me. She hung up.

I guess maybe I could have conveyed my conviction of her total insanity a little more tactfully.

Well, so much for that relationship. Why is it that every time a halfway decent one happens in my life, the fates conspire to screw it up for me?

I've got to keep it together. I'm not going to lose it over this. I can't afford to right now. Jim is seriously screwed up, and I've got to keep it together for him. The last thing he needs is to deal with me being whiny over my own problems. I've been enough of a selfish jerk the last few weeks.

Maybe it's for the best. This way I can just concentrate on Jim for as long as he needs me. I can't believe Kate was expecting me to practically ditch him after a few weeks of dating. I mean, if we were married and Jim needed me, you could still bet your life I would be there for him.

Hang in there, buddy. I'll find some way to make this right. Whatever it is, I'll find some way to make it better.


Damn! Why didn't I turn the alarm off last night?

Because you were so damn drunk you could barely walk straight, that's why, Ellison. Where is that pounding coming from? God, my head hurts. I need some water...

"Here, you better drink some of this."

Wonderful. Sandburg would pick last night to come home for once. At least I don't have to go downstairs for water.

"Wha're you doin' here?" Ugh. I sound like I'm still drunk. Mouth's full of cotton.

"I live here, Jim." He's blushing a little. Wonder why. He's got nothing to be embarrassed about, I'm the one who's hung-over.

Water tastes so good. Like I've been thirsty for days. Can almost feel my body soaking it up. Yeah. Think about the water, and not about Blair sitting on my bed, wearing nothing but boxers, bouncing a little. Even when he looks like he's holding still I can see him bouncing like that, just a little bit... I could pull him down on top of me in half a second... No, dammit, don't think that.

"Want something to eat?"

He's way too quiet. Oh damn. I left that bottle smashed all over the floor last night. Come on, Ellison, time to think fast. Play it cool.

"With this head? Are you kidding?" There, a nice theatrical groan. "Do me a favor and don't talk so loud."

"Sure, big guy." Well, to be fair, he is being pretty quiet. For him. "You don't need to go into work today, so you can go back to sleep for a while."

Sounds wonderful, but-- "I'm scheduled to be at the Moretti bust today."

He's looking guilty. "I called you in sick."

"You what?" Can't believe he-- No, don't lean over, don't touch me-- Hand on my forearm, so warm... please keep touching me... please stop touching me... what's he saying?

"--you really are not in any shape to be in on a bust. Even if you think you can protect yourself, you've got to see that you couldn't protect other officers at the scene right now, right? And I know you wouldn't risk anyone else's life by going in even when you're not in shape to do it, right?"

Son of a bitch! Worst of it is, he's right. My senses are out of whack, my skull feels like there are evil gnomes working on it with jackhammers, and I doubt I could walk a straight line at the moment.

I don't believe I did this again. I really am going to get someone killed, and there's a halfway decent chance it won't be me. Halfway decent chance it will be him. I have to stop this. I have to stop it right now.

"Jim? Come on, you need to rest, not get up--"

Just keep moving around the room. Get fresh clothes. Don't stop to think about what I'm saying. "Look, Sandburg... There's no easy way to say this. But I need my space back." He just looks all confused and puzzled. So beautiful... How can I do this? How can I ask him to leave? Where will he go? Fuck, anywhere would be better than hanging around me until I get him killed.

"OK, Jim, you want to be alone, that's fine, but you need to--"

"You're not hearing me here, Chief." That shut him up. Breathe, Ellison. Just keep breathing. "I need you to move out." What a crock. What I need is to pull you into my arms and never let you go. Not say words that make your heart speed up, make you catch your breath. Don't look, Jim. Don't look. No way can I look at his face now. I'll do something crazy if I do.


Huh? "What?"

"I'm not leaving."

"Last time I looked, my name was still on the deed to the loft, Sandburg."

"I don't care. You'll have to throw me out, and I mean physically. And if you do, I'll press charges for assault."

I know I've just got the most idiotic expression on my face right now, but I can't believe I'm hearing this.

"I looked in the liquor cabinet. I noticed the four missing bottles of booze, not to mention the mess downstairs last night."



Damn, I hate it when his voice gets all soft and pleading.

"Jim, after the way I've been acting these last few weeks, I can't blame you for being pissed off at me--"

What is he talking about?

"--but I'm not going to let you shove me out until we work this drinking problem out. Once you're back on track, if you want me gone, I swear I'll get out of your hair. But I'm not leaving now, because you're not asking me to leave because you want space. You're doing it because you don't want me to know what's going on."

You've got that part right.

"Well, I'm not letting that happen, if I have to handcuff myself to the bed."

I don't believe he said that. God, what an image. If my jaw wasn't clamped shut, I'd be drooling onto the floor. I can't believe I'm this fucking sick. He's calling me a drunk, and I'm still lusting after him. At least he's stopped talking for a minute. Time to straighten him out.

"You know, Sandburg, when you get an idea in your teeth, you're like a bulldog. You're way out of line here. What fucking business is it of yours if I've been drinking? I'll tell you -- it's none of your business. It hasn't been in your face." Damn, he looks like I just slapped him.

"OK, I deserve that."

His voice is so quiet. No. Dammit, I am NOT going to cave in to him on this. I have got to get him out of here right now. "I'm sick and tired of your little habit of thinking that you always know what's going on with me and always know the right thing to say or do to 'fix' it. You don't. You don't have a single fucking clue. Why don't you do us both a favor and go stay over at Kate's place until you find something?"

"I'm not leaving--"

Maybe I am going to have to throw him out.

"--and Kate and I broke up."


My jaw is killing me now, but I can't let this grin show. From hell to heaven in five short words. 'Kate and I broke up.'

I can't believe I'm standing here using every ounce of willpower I've got to keep myself from cheering because Sandburg's telling me he just broke up with his girlfriend.

"Sorry." I sound about as sincere as Joe Isuzu. Can't resist asking... "Why?"

He's shrugging. Acting casual, like it's no big deal. "Oh, you know, things just didn't work out. She was looking for too much committment too soon, and I wasn't interested in that."

"You were seeing her for five weeks. That's a pretty big committment for you." Why am I pushing this?

"Oh, come on, man. Just because I don't usually stick with a woman for more than a few dates doesn't mean I'm looking at china patterns on the occasions when I do. I'm totally not interested in that kind of thing."

"Sandburg, you're not that far from thirty. Sooner or later you're going to want to settle down." How did I get started on this? But I've got to know where he's going with his life. I can't go through this again.

"Naomi's pushing fifty, and she's never settled down. And let me tell you, she's a hell of a lot happier than just about every person I've ever met who went for the 'American Dream' of a nice little house in the suburbs and 2.4 kids. Besides... I am settled down. Here."

My heart feels like it's trying to pound its way right out of my chest. How can he not hear it? Settled down, with me?

"Well, when you're not trying to throw me out, that is."

Did I really do that? Yes, I did. How do I apologize for that? I can't let him leave... Oh no. He's getting a funny look on his face now, like he's suddenly getting it. Please don't let him figure it out...

"Jim... Jim, if I'm way off base here, feel free to laugh your head off at me... but... have you been pissed off because I was away so much? Because you thought I was getting really serious with Kate?"

My face is frozen. I couldn't get a word out if I wanted to. He just looks at me all thoughtful, those eyes going right through me... then he's going on.

"You know, I haven't ever said anything about this before... but that's kind of because I thought you already knew. I mean, I know it about you, and I thought I sort of explained it after I passed up Borneo. But... you've got to know that I'm here for the duration, big guy. As long as you want me around, as long as you need me around. No matter what girlfriends or expeditions or other opportunities come along."

"Blair..." I can't get anything else out. That grin is beyond my control now. And he sees it. He's grinning back at me now. God, his eyes are beautiful.

"Jim, this went beyond friendship for me a long time ago. I don't want to weird you out or anything, and I totally don't mean this in the way that Western society interprets declarations of love outside the family circle, but I do. I mean, I love you."

I'm going to die. No, I am dead, and I must have done something right in my life, because this is paradise.

"You're more important to me than anyone else in the world, and that includes Naomi. There's no way anyone or anything else is going to make me walk out on you."

I guess there are levels of paradise, because I just went to the next higher one. He's hugging me. So warm and alive in my arms. So perfect. It's so hard not to crush him, pull him so tight his body melts into mine. Thank god I didn't take off my T-shirt. I can feel his chest pressed against mine even with it on. His nipples feel like tiny mountains -- they're peaked. Keep it down, Jim, keep it down. How can I be thinking about sex at a time like this. "Blair... that... I..."

Oh God. He's touching my lips. One finger. Everything in me wants to pull that finger into my mouth, taste every line of his fingerprint.

"It's OK, big guy. I know."

I practically need to turn down my sight to avoid being blinded by his smile. So beautiful. I know I should say something, let him know he shouldn't spend the rest of his life tied to me, but I can't. I'm a selfish S.O.B., but I can't do it. This is so close to everything I want that it makes no difference. I can live with fantasies and the occasional semi-anonymous screw to handle the lust. Easily. But I can't live without him. And now he promised I won't ever have to.

Sorry about the attitude I've been giving You lately, God. If I had to go through these last five weeks to get this, well, it was more than worth it.

More than I ever hoped for.

"OK, you've got three hours, starting now. If you've got any questions, just come up and ask me."

There, the exam is started. Now I can have a little peace and quiet to read this new journal. I'm so psyched to have found this information. Though it's kind of hard to concentrate on this. All my brain wants to do is think about the last few days.

Man, I cannot believe I was so totally clueless. Here I am, running along, blissfully sure that Jim is on the same wavelength, and instead he's practically self-destructing, all for the want of a little communication. And I'm the one who's always talking about the importance of talking things out! Real swift, Blair.

I have to admit, I didn't realize I was that important to him. It's... it's nice to know. But not at that kind of price. I have to remember not to buy into that 'indestructible' image he's got everyone else sold on. He's not, and I should know better.

At least he's fine now. All it took was my laying my cards out on the table instead of expecting him to pick up on my tells. Lucky he's in such good shape that even a few solid weeks of hard drinking couldn't do any real damage. But I wouldn't even have thought he was at risk for something like that. You'd think that with his life, if he was going to turn to alcohol or any other drugs for help with stress, he'd have done it before now.

When I think about it, it makes some sense. He's dependent on me in this relationship. I mean, I could theoretically waltz off and stop being his guide, not that I actually could. He can't switch off the sentinel thing. There can't be much scarier than being dependent on someone for your life and your sanity, and not knowing where you stand with them. I mean, if I didn't know that Jim was totally there for me, I know it would freak me out, and I'm not at risk for catatonia if he decided to ditch me.

Still, it's weird.

"Nope, there's nothing wrong with that question. Just answer it as best you can." You'd think that after the entire semester they'd have figured out that I don't let hints slip when they ask me to check over an exam question.

I can't shake this feeling, like there's something more going on with him. Jim just isn't that closed-off to me anymore. Why didn't he just talk to me about this to begin with?

Gah! I keep going around and around in circles about this. I'd better get back to this journal. Who'd have thought that Cook had information about sentinels in his travel journals.

Yes! Oh, this is awesome! He actually traveled with a sentinel and his guide for a while! Hmm. I wonder what these 'bizarre acts' he's talking about are. Maybe he'll go into more detail...


Yeow. He went into more detail, all right.

O-kay. This is definitely going under the heading of 'information not to mention to Jim.' Oh. Great. I already told him about finding this journal. He's going to want to know what I found out. Bleah. I hate fudging the truth to him, but I don't think he'd appreciate learning that the sentinel and guide were doing the wild thing on a regular basis.

Oh man. I've got to think of something else or I'm going to start giggling like a nutcase right in front of my entire class. Sure, I can see Jim and me boffing away. NOT! If I mentioned this to him, he'd probably take me up on that offer to handcuff me to the bed -- only he'd be handcuffing me to my bed, and it would be for every night for the rest of our lives, just in case I got any crazy ideas.

Might be fun to try, though. OK, I'm not going to bust out laughing in front of my class. Some of them would probably take it to the Dean as an excuse. 'Our prof freaked out in the middle of the final, can we have a retest?' Deep breaths.

Actually, it does make sense from the perspective of tribal survival, now that I think about it. The sentinel has to spend a lot of time out on his own, patrolling the territory, and he's got to be focused on the tribe, not his own family. Perfect sense to have a non-procreative relationship with the single person he's already dependent on. And that would explain why sentinel-guide pairs all have both partners of the same gender. I thought it was to keep sex from being a part of it, but that doesn't make much sense. No reason to keep sex from being a part of it, that's just a recent Western concept of partnership.

Still, I don't think I'll mention that to Jim, seeing as he IS both recent and Western. I can just see his reaction. 'Oh, hey, Jim, guess what? I discovered that there's a homoerotic component to the sentinel-Guide relationship! Wanna do some tests?' 'THUD.' I wonder if you can be arrested for inducing heart failure in someone. His expression would be priceless, though.

Maybe I should mention it to him just for the comedic value. For maximum effect, some night when Simon's over for dinner. 'Pass the salt. By the way, Jim...' Oh man. I am truly evil. He would murder me. Painfully. And I'd deserve it. But it would almost be worth it.

Hmm. Now that I think about it... Jim has been pretty much batting zero in the romance department since the whole sentinel thing started up, other than a few one-night stands. I know he wasn't exactly swinging with the women of the tribe back in Peru, either. I've been chalking it up to just bad luck, but three years of bad luck? He hasn't had a single relationship that lasted longer than a week the whole time, and I can count the number of times he hasn't come home for reasons other than work-related on one hand. It's not like he's scared of committment, either...

I wonder if maybe he's actually suffering some kind of repression of his sexuality... or maybe impotence.


Maybe I should talk to him about this. I'm sure he wouldn't volunteer that kind of information, even if he did suspect it had something to do with the sentinel stuff. Although I don't have a clue as to what to do if he is, and it might just embarrass the hell out of him if I brought it up.

I guess I've been being kind of insensitive, pushing him at women so much when we're hanging out. Oh, man. I nearly rammed Elaine down his throat, didn't I? He was definitely kind of quiet when he came back from that weekend, and he didn't return her calls.

"No, I can't tell you how to spell the name of 'that tribe in the Amazon region'. Nice try, though." Not. I don't think I've seen that guy in lecture more than twice all semester.

I'm not thinking this through completely. If this sexual behavior Cook describes is really genetically-linked to the sentinel thing, and Jim's really being affected by it, then he'd probably also be getting attracted to me. And, I mean, I think I'd notice that.

I think.

OK, it's official. I am a certifiable idiot.

I can't believe I've totally been missing all of these signals from Jim. If anyone else had been doing this stuff, I'd have gotten it ages ago. Talk about letting preconceptions govern your thinking. I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice if I hadn't found that journal Cook kept. Hell, I doubt I'd ever have figured it out.

So. I did find that journal, and I did spend a week actually paying objective attention to all of Jim's behavior, and I did figure it out.

Now what?

Do I let him know that I know? Do I just pretend that I still don't have a clue? What if he says something? Yeah, like that would ever happen.

I'm still being an idiot. There's no way I can keep him from finding out that I know, unless he goes into major denial. I am not going to be able to keep from reacting when he touches me, even if it's just my heartbeat going up. Not now that I know that there's a subtext to the behavior.

Great, now I sound like a semiotics textbook. 'Subtext.' Bleah. What you mean, Blair, is that you're not going to be able to ignore Jim's perfectly casual physical contact now that you know he'd like it to be a lot less casual.

Perfectly casual. Right. Man, I don't know how I missed it. Jim's a very hands-on kind of guy, sure, but he doesn't touch anyone the way he does me. I mean, part of that is protective... hey, I wonder if maybe that's part of the attraction? His sentinel instincts definitely emphasize protectiveness... anyway, I know that a lot of the time it's sort of sheltering and protective, which he wouldn't do if I weren't the magnet for trouble I am, but there's plenty of just random petting and stroking that he just does NOT do with Simon or anyone else.

And even when it is protective... like that whole thing with Yuri. He was right on top of me in that cabin. I mean, he was so close he could have kissed me just by accident, his thigh was between my legs, practically rubbing my groin...

Whoa. I'm getting... turned on. Weird.

Ha. With my luck, I'll psyche myself into lusting for Jim and then find out that I'm totally wrong and he's not really attracted to me at all.

Oh, I know I'm not wrong. Jim is definitely feeling something for me beyond brotherly love. But that sure as hell doesn't mean he actually wants to get into a homosexual relationship. I mean, the guy spent his sexually-formative years in the military. From what little he's said, his dad sounds like an authoritarian jerk, pure man-of-the-house-and-don't-you-forget-it type. And now he's a cop, which is another nice little patriarchal world. He's got to be freaking out about this internally.

No wonder he was drinking. I mean, hard enough to find yourself questioning your sexuality at all, much less from a background like his, and top it off with jealousy and major uncertainty about the status of your relationship with the person you're not only dependent on but are in love with...

That's what this is, isn't it? Love. Jim loves me. Jim is in love with me.

That sounds... kind of... nice.

OK, so it sounds a lot better than 'nice.'


That didn't help much. What am I thinking, anyway? I've never been in a relationship with a guy. Hell, I've barely even been in a 'relationship' with a woman.

Not that I don't already have a serious relationship with Jim. I already know I love him. I just... I just didn't mean this kind of love.

Maybe I'm thinking about this too hard. An intimate relationship might just make things easier. Well, yeah, it would make them complicated as hell in pretty much every other aspect of our lives, society being what it is, but it would make the whole sentinel-guide thing easier. No worrying about how to balance other relationships with our partnership. No more questions about committment. And it's not like we'd have to come out to the world or anything.

Actually, I guess we couldn't come out. Not and keep working together. They'd boot my ass out the door of the PD so fast I'd break the sound barrier. I don't think Jim would be comfortable holding hands in public or anything like that, anyway.

I'm already in so deep that this last step shouldn't be that big a deal. Staying here instead of going to Borneo, taking a major hit to my career, that was big. But now? I'm already committed to him as much as one person can be to another. We love each other. We live together, work together... why not sleep together, if it's what we both want?

Is that what I want?

Oh, hell. I don't know. I can definitely admire his body from an aesthetic point of view. And I bet he'd be great in bed. But... I've never really turned on to a guy before.

Talk about role reversal. For once, it's not the emotion that's a problem here. I mean, there's no question about whether I love him. But my libido is usually way ahead of the rest of me in a relationship.

Not that that's worked so well for me before, of course.

One thing I know -- I can't go into this in some half-assed way. Jim is not a candidate for a 'let's experiment' kind of relationship. I've got to be sure.

Okay... let's try a little mental exercise. Jim's not going to be home for a while. Let me get comfortable here. Okay.

This isn't going to work. I can't masturbate over Jim! He would die if he knew I was even thinking about doing this. It just feels way too weird.

No, no. This is a good idea. I can do this. Doesn't hurt anyone. Springing this on Jim without being sure about it and fucking things up, that would hurt someone. Two someones. Him and me.

Hmm, let's see. I need some inspiration here... Okay, I got it-- that morning the TV crew snuck up here. Now, there was a surprise.

Waking up with a half-naked Jim Ellison two inches away from your lips. That sure woke me up. Man, his chest is something else. So built... Anyway. He's not here to warn me this time, though. He's here because... he wants me.

I have, like, no future in writing Harlequins if this anthro thing doesn't pan out.

Okay, come on, Blair, stop distancing yourself. Back to the fantasy.

He's right there, almost kissing me -- I can taste his breath, he's panting just a little, but he won't take that last step. He's not going to push this on me, he needs me to make that last move. And I'm going to do it. I don't even need to strain to lift my head, it's just a tiny little distance. There... I'm kissing him. His lips are dry, so I lick them gently, want to get them nice and soft. He's moaning a little, in the back of his throat. I can feel the vibrations through the kiss. Moving in deeper... my tongue is slipping inside his mouth, now. A little minty, like he just finished brushing his teeth. Mmm... tastes good. Wet, hot -- oh yeah.

Don't want to stop, but I have to, just for a second, so I can get my tank top off. He stays in the same position, bending over me, his eyes closed, lips open just a little. His lips are all wet from our kiss, and I can see that perfect chest moving -- he's breathing so hard I can hear it. I toss the shirt to the side, then reach over to him. Pull him down onto the bed.

My bed's kind of small, but we don't need too much room right now. He's lying pressed up against my side, got one arm around me, under my shoulders. He's still acting kind of tentative, like he's not sure what he can do. No, he's worried about what I'll let him do. We'll work that out in a second. Right now, I want another one of those kisses. I move in for it, and he meets me halfway. It's even better this time. He's kissing me back, going deep into my mouth. Our tongues are all tangled up together, lips sliding over each other. He's sucking on my lower lip now, kind of hard, closing his teeth on it just a little. Oh man, what a turn-on.

God. I'm so hard right now I could practically come already. But I want more. Want a taste of that gorgeous body. I push him until he's sprawled out on his back, looking up at me with those intense blue eyes. He's shaking a little... he wants this so bad, I can tell, but he's letting me take the lead. That's okay, because I am going to make this fantastic for him. Not going to tease him, not this time, it's just too close right now.

I don't take it slow, going down his throat. He knows where I'm headed right from the start, and he's almost begging for it, arching his back just a little until I hit that first nipple. Then he's arching his back a lot, shoulders coming off the sheets. Oh yeah, he's got the most sensitive nipples. Not like that's a big surprise, but still nice. It is going to be so fabulous, just exploring his body, finding all the little hotspots that drive him wild with just a little petting. Maybe I'll turn him on at work sometime, make him hot at that desk, then make him carry it until we get home... Oh, man! But right now, it's definitely time to go for the jackpot.

I keep one hand on a nipple, rolling it gently, occasionally pinching the nub, but my mouth is cruising on downwards. He's almost whimpering now, my name gasping out like a prayer every time I stop to suck on some nice patch of skin. There it is, nice and hard and waiting for me. His cock. I grip it very gently -- I can find out if he likes it a little hard or rough some other time. Oh yeah, forget words -- he's down to quiet noises now. Let's see if I can make them not-so-quiet.

Never done this before, but hey, it can't be that different from a popsicle. Let's see... I'll move my hand down a little, keep it wrapped around the base. Nice and warm... heh heh heh, maybe I can stop bringing mittens to stakeouts... okay, back to business. Take a nice, easy lick over the top of the head. Whoa, that got his attention. Guess he can't see what I'm doing because of the hair. Mmm... bet he's tuning into his sense of touch right now. Another lick, this time really slow, doing a little spiral from just below the head, all the way over the top... yes! He's getting noisy -- man, it is so hot to hear him moaning like that.

Ooh, getting a little hip action going there, big guy. Oh man! He's almost out of control. Talk about turn-ons. I squeeze the base, just a little, then move my other hand down to cup his balls. Straddle one of his thighs. Can't help humping it a little, my own cock is so hard right now I'm ready to go sky-high at any second. So is he, by the look of it. God, his cock is practically purple. I go down for a few more licks -- he is loving that -- but I want a little more than his thigh, here.

Need some lube... fortunately, I've got some right here, fantasies being what they are. Squeeze plenty of it onto my hand, now I'm moving up, straddling across his hips. He yells out my name when our cocks touch each other, practically flies up off the bed when I wrap my hand around them both. The lube's still a little cold, but that's okay -- it's warming up nice and fast now... oh, I am so close to losing it! Can't hold on any more, I need both my hands to keep myself from collapsing on top of him. His hips are working under me, he's thrusting up, our cocks are gliding over each other... Oh... yes. Yes. Almost... I'm... yes!!!


WOW! Oh, baby!

I think I'll just lie here for a week until I catch my breath. So much for not being turned on by a guy. I don't think I've come that hard in years. Libido of mine, you do one hell of a catch-up job. Wow! I am so pumped right now I could go another round if he walked in the door this second!

Whoa! Down, boy, down! Jumping Jim's bones with no warning is probably guaranteed to give him a heart attack, which would put quite a damper on any prospects of having fun like this in the future.

Well, at least I won't need to worry about how to break the news to him about my suddenly getting a clue. My cock is going to go straight to attention the next time I see him. 'Hi Jim!' 'Hi Blair. Is that an oversized laser pointer in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?'

But, wow!!!

Okay, okay. I'm calm. I'm relaxed. Wow!

All right. I seriously have got to wind down before Jim gets home, because if I talk to him in this state I'm going to be all over him before I finish my first sentence. First, a nice hot shower. Then, I'll make a nice dinner. Maybe some candles or something... nah, that would freak him out. I know, I'll set out a dish of vanilla for a little bit, make something with cinnamon in it. Some low-key music... Nice relaxing little touches for his senses, and nothing too overt that might make him uncomfortable or weird him out before we even start talking. I'd better get started, he'll be home pretty soon.

And maybe, if I'm lucky, I won't be sleeping down here tonight.

Mmm. I can practically taste dinner from in here. Is that apple pie? Sandburg must sure be in a good mood. Not that I'm complaining. Things have been great the last couple of weeks. They couldn't be better unless... dammit, Ellison, stop thinking about it! I'm not going to ruin a nice night by getting into a bad mood. Couple of deep breaths... mmm. Sandburg's cooking is definitely a good cure for any bad mood. "Hey, Chief. Smells great." He would be wearing the tight jeans. Damn, he looks good tonight. Fuck! That's it. I give up. I'm not even going to bother trying not to want him. It's hopeless.

Oh, man. Showtime! Okay, Sandburg, keep it under control. No pouncing. No matter how sexy he looks in that t-shirt... "Jim! Hey, man, you're just in time. I got inspired tonight."

"Just please tell me there's no ostrich or mold responsible for the inspiration." Never know, with him.

"Not this time. Hey, try this -- picked it up on campus."

Now there are the two most dangerous words to hear around him -- 'try this'. Doesn't smell too bad, though. "Mm. Hey, not bad. What is this?"

"New microbrewery opened up right near Rainier. They use a lot of different, subtle flavors in their brews. I thought if you liked it, I might be able to talk you into some tests, distinguishing the flavors, you know." OK, he's looking at me, now to bend over to get the pie out of the oven...

"cough cough" Damn. That is not the kind of view guaranteed to keep my blood pressure under control. Nearly spit the beer all over the table.

Better wiggle a little as I straighten up. Hee hee, I am so bad. "So, what do you think?"

Tight. Beautiful. Perfect. What the hell were we talking about? "Uh..." Oh, right. "Tests. Sure. We can do that."

Yes! Got him down to words of one syllable! "Great! Hey, you mind dishing out the pasta while I put this over here to cool down?"

"Sure." Right. Serving pasta. Eating dinner. I can handle that. I hope.

If I wasn't so full, I'd be having a bad feeling about this. He's being way too nice. Probably wants me to do some really annoying tests. Ah, might as well get it over with. Not a bad price to pay for a dinner like this. "All right, Chief. You've successfully gotten me in a good mood, not to mention stuffed to the gills. Spit it out." Yep, I knew it. He's blushing. God, he's sexy when he blushes.

So much for being subtle. "Well... you remember I told you about finding out that there's a reference to sentinels in Cook's journal? So, I finally got a copy, and, well, it, uhm, made me... helped me notice... something." Uh oh. He definitely looks suspicious.

"Riiiight." This has got to be bad if it's making him inarticulate. "So get to the point. You want me to do some tests, right?"

"Uh... yeah." That's not a lie. There are all sorts of tests I want to do.

"You know, Chief, you could have just asked. You really don't have to ply me with a three-course dinner." Unless these tests are going to be worse than I thought.

"Yeah, well, I need you to be relaxed and comfortable for this. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone." And if I'm somehow totally off-base on this, he might relaxed and comfortable enough for me to outrun him... "Hey, where are you going?"

"The couch, Chief. There. Now I'm relaxed. Take your best shot."

Now *there's* an invitation I'd love to take him up on. "Okay... um. Well, you see... um, it's actually more like a question." I sound like an idiot. But I don't have a clue how to say this. 'Are you secretly lusting after me?' probably wouldn't go over too well.

"You're scaring me here, Chief. Come on, whatever it is, just ask it. It's not going to get any easier."

"Right. Just say it. Okay, sure." Here goes. "Do you love me?"

"Sandburg, didn't we just go through this the other day?" I guess I never did say it back to him. "If you need to hear it, yes. I--"

"Um, that's not quite what I meant."

"Then what--" Oh shit. Oh shit.

I think he just got it. Damn, he's closing up on me. Better head that off right now. "Because, if you did, that would be... that would be... cool."

I can't look at him. "It would be cool? How exactly would that be cool, Sandburg?"

"Jim..." Great. He's doing the 'stare out at the balcony' routine. "I mean, not cool, but it's not..." Oh crap. This is coming out all wrong. "Come on, Jim, just talk to me about this, okay? I just kind of figured it out this past week, and I don't even really know how you feel about it."

"You think this is something I want to talk about? I don't even want to think about it." Great. He's doing the 'supportive and caring' routine. "I didn't ask for this, dammit!"

Wonderful. He really doesn't want this. Now what do I do? "Look, Jim, if you don't want to pursue this, then I understand..."

"Pursue what?"

Uh, are we talking about the same thing here? "What do you mean, 'what'? An intimate relationship."

Huh? How does he expect me to pursue... "You know, Sandburg, it takes two to tango."

Whew. He just doesn't realize that I'm trying to say I want this too. "Yeah, Jim, I do know."

He doesn't mean what I think he means. Does he? "Look, just spell this out for me, okay?"

Okay, my signals aren't coming through too clear. "How about we skip to nonverbal communication?"

"Such as--mmmph?!"



Wow. He is one great kisser. Hey! He's kissing me back! Oh yeah! He shoots, he scores!


OK, I think I can definitely go for some cuddling action here. Come on, big guy, let's move this party back to the couch... yeah, that's it, sit down. Mmm... never been wrapped up in someone's arms quite like this before. There's definitely something to having a lover bigger than I am.


I've got to get my hand squeezed in here so I can get his shirt pulled up... Man, you are just way too built for words. Talk about definition! Let's see how you like my taking your nipples on a test drive.


Hel-lo nurse! Somebody's definitely interested down here... Awww, don't stop kissing me now. "Grrr." Fine, I guess I'll just have to nibble on your neck, then.

"B.. Blair?"

God, he looks so sexy just like that, all dazed and flushed. "Mm-hmm?"

What the hell do I say? He's... kissing me... feeling me up... oh yeah, right there... "Blair!"

I guess he's a little freaked out. Okay, I can handle that. I'm going to stop. Any minute now... mmm. So good. Okay, one last nibble. "Yeah?"

"..." He kissed me. He's sitting in my lap. He's got his hands all over me. This isn't happening. I'm going to wake up, and my sheets are going to be soaked, and...

"Jim, if you're not going to say anything, do you mind if I get back to what I was doing, here?"


"Have I ever told you how cute you look when you've got that shellshocked expression? By the way, you don't mind if I nibble on your ear a little, do you?" Maybe I should take this a little slower, but he's just so... mmm.


"Hey, can you let go for a sec so I can get your shirt off? Thanks..."

"Ohh..." I can't be dreaming. Even my subconscious couldn't come up with a something this bizarre. "Blair, if you don't tell me what the hell is going on, I'm going to have to kill you." Right after I take you upstairs and fuck the living daylights out of you.

"You never let me have any fun." I must look like a grinning idiot right now.


"Okay, big guy, you want me to spell it out for you, here goes. I love you. You love me. See, you've reduced me to quoting Barney, and if that isn't a sign of true love, I don't know what is. So how about we go upstairs and have hot sex for the rest of our lives?"

Hot sex for the rest of our lives. I can deal with that. "I don't remember Barney ever saying that part." My face hurts. I've got to stop grinning before it breaks in half.

"So I improvised a little. Do I get an answer?"

"I suppose I can handle that." My turn to start touching him. Oh God, he's so beautiful. Way too many clothes on. "Except maybe the part about going upstairs."

"First -- ooh yeah, right there -- you want to put plastic covers on the furniture, now -- mmm -- you want to have sex on the sofa?"

There, got the shirt off. Love how this little hollow right at the base of his throat tastes. Now for the jeans. Button-fly? Darn, guess I'm going to have to put my hand down here to get these open. Jesus, is that his... wow. No wonder he's always on the prowl... Make that always been on the prowl. He's mine now. God, I love these little noises he's making. Nipples already hard... mmm. Salty. Can taste the spices from dinner on his skin. His mouth tastes of the apple pie.

Whoa, so much for Jim being tentative. Maybe he's done this before after all. Hope so, since I don't really have much of a clue here. Love the way he's touching me, hands squeezing my thighs... got to get these shoes off... there. Now I can wrap my legs around him. Nice and hard. Love the way his face feels against my cheek, with that little bit of stubble. Still soft under my lips. Don't want to let go, but I need to get these jeans and briefs off, like now. Want to be against him.

Wish he hadn't backed off to strip -- I don't have to think when he's in my arms. Damn. It's hard to take my pants off while my hands are shaking. I can't believe that I'm doing this, that we're doing this. I want him so bad my body's aching for it, but what exactly do we do? Has he ever done this before? Maybe he has.... Why the fuck won't this zipper come undone?

"Let me help you with that." Zipper comes open easily enough, even if I can't see what I'm doing while he's trying to dive down my throat. Hmm, I think he likes my hair. Ooh, that feels nice... I love scalp massages.

Like burying my hands in warm silk. "Love you. Want you." Don't know what the hell I'm doing.

"Upstairs. Now." Don't mean it to sound so harsh, but I can't wait much longer. I am so glad I jerked off before, because we'd both be pretty sticky right now otherwise. But I want him on that bed up there... want to roll around on it with him, want him on top of me.

Don't want to risk dropping him, or I'd throw him over my shoulder and carry him up. Takes way too long to get up the stairs like this. Finally... now I can pick him up -- feels nice when he wriggles in my arms -- and toss him on the bed.

Whee, that was fun. This bed definitely has bouncing potential -- oh man. I wish I had a camera to get a shot of the way Jim just prowled onto the bed. Some other time. Right now, I've got better things to think about... "Come here, babe. Lie down." Want you on your back. You're all mine. Every last inch of this gorgeous bod. Especially this earlobe... oh yeah, and this great spot right under your chin... okay, we like that, don't we? And both of these tight nipples...

Is he going to lick my--oh Lord...! "Don't... Don't stop. Yes. More. Please!" Christ, I'm going to fly off the bed if he keeps this up.

Mmm, looks like that part of my fantasy was right on target... man, am I going to have fun running tests on sentinel responses to sexual stimulation. I guess I'd better move on, or he's going to start getting sore -- these little nubs are hard as rocks now. Let's try some other spots... navel turn you on? Hmm, not too much. How about along the ribs... paydirt! So hot to hear him moan like that. I can actually feel his cock giving off heat, it's almost touching my face... a few drops at the tip. Just a quick taste... just to try... not bad... maybe a little more...

Oh god. Oh god. Can't... think. Like my whole body's pulled tight. Can feel the pulse in his cock, lying against my leg, like a drumbeat, pounding into me. Need to touch him... Everything's turning up so high -- every ridge of his fingerprint, every little fold of his lips, every bud on his tongue. Oh yes. Yes. Yes.

Got to sit back and catch my breath for a minute here. And enjoy the view. He just looks so decadent. Eyes closed, lips gasping, that perfect chest heaving, those arms gripping the sheets into knots, cock practically throbbing against his abs. And I did that to him. God, that is such a turn-on. Have to close my own eyes, or just looking at him is going to make me come.

Stopping? Why? Want more. Need to wrap myself around him. Curl up from the bed, pull him close, his chest against mine. Soft, warm, fuzzy. Oof--he's heavier than he looks. Glad I didn't hit my head falling back. He's got curls down there too, silk tangling around me... around both of us. Oh. Oh. Have to-- move.

I can feel his thigh muscles clenching, the way they're wrapped around my legs. Can't keep my hips from moving with him. Don't want to. Oh, baby! Again, please... Yes! Oh god! God!

"Blair. Blair."

Have to tell him. Hard to breathe, but have to tell him. "Love you. Yours."

Mine. World's burning down around me, but that comes through. Can't get out the words to tell him the same, but he touches me and I don't have to. He already knows. Mine. Want to drown in you, drown in scent of you, touch of you, love you, love you... oh.

Don't want to hurt him, but I have to hold on tight. Feels like I'm trying to fly apart, hold me, so strong. Jim. Jim. Oh, lover.

"oh" Was that me? Guess it was. Damn. I'm shaking. I can't even push myself up. I've got to be squashing him. "Mmmim?" Um, let me try that again. "Jim?"

"Mm." Love the way he's... quivering. Lie here forever.

"Can breathe?"

"Mm hm." And you're not going anywhere, Chief. Let's make that clear.

"Mmph!" OK, guess that squeeze means you want me to stay right where I am. Fine by me, big guy. I think I'm going to need a few days to recover anyway. Snuggling here is good... ick! What-- oh, drat. Forgot. "Need to get a tissue."


"Hate to overrule you, but you're not the one who's going to be having significant amounts of hair pulled out of his chest when we try to separate." Almost got the box... there. Good. Now I can get cleaned up. Clean him up, too. I really can't get over his chest. All mine, now, too. Wow. I'm really getting possessive here. Wonder if I could sneak a temporary tattoo onto here some night. 'Property of Blair Sandburg'. Hee hee, that would freak him out.

Nice to just lie here and be cleaned up. Don't know how he can even move, though. "I didn't do a good enough job."

"Huh? Any better and I'd be dead, man."

"Should've kept you lying still and talking in incomplete sentences for at least five minutes."

"I can be amazingly coherent when it means avoiding serious bodily harm, babe. Trust me, I'll go limp again as soon as I get rid of the tissues." Where's the garbage? Oh, who cares, I'll just pick them up when we get up.

"Sandburg, did you just throw wet tissues on a brand-new hardwood floor?!?"

"Yes. I wrapped them up in a dry one and I'll throw them away tomorrow morning. Now stop trying to sit up, I want my body pillow back." Definitely time to establish some guidelines. Come here, nice little nipple...

"Ahh..." I suppose I can let it slide this once... No way am I going to be up for another round, but that feels great. So does having him snuggle up to me. Love his hair. Now I can touch it all I want. Hope he doesn't get sick of me petting him.

"Mmm. Keep doing that." I feel like a cat. Nice to have him stroking my hair. He keeps that up, I'm going to fall asleep right on top of him.

Guess I don't need to worry about that too much. This is a good tired. Like a great workout. A little too wound up to sleep, though... too much to think about.

Aha, Jim has entered brooding mode. "Penny for 'em."

I suppose I might as well ask... "Chief... you ever done this before?"

"Had sex? Oh yeah. As often as possible. Ow! You know, I'd have thought about this longer if I knew you were into spanking." Hmm... spanking...

"Stop whining, smartass. You were asking for that. You know what I mean."

"Only in my dreams, big guy. Have you?" Have to admit, there's definitely something to the idea of tying him to the bed and smacking that tight rear a few times...

Whoops, that yawn slipped past me. "Sure, if we're counting dreams." Why do I have a bad feeling about that speculative look he's giving me?

"Guess we'll just have to learn by doing. I bet I can get 'The Joy of Gay Sex' from And I can dig out my copy of the Kama Sutra. We can... experiment."

"Experiment?" I don't think I like the sound of that... "Wait a second. You have a copy of the Kama Sutra?"

"Hmm? Yeah. I--" Whoa, I can feel his abs moving while he laughs. Neat.

"Don't even try to tell me that you got it for research purposes, Sandburg."

"Hey, I got an 'A' on the paper I wrote about it!"

"Why am I not surprised? Hey! No pinching."

"Oh, but spanking's OK? You were the one asking for it that time. Here, I'll kiss it and make it better."

"Mmm. Nice." Can't stop this yawn either. Eyes getting kind of heavy.

"Happy now?" Hope so, big guy, because I'm about to check out for the night.





"Night, Chief."

/ finis /