Summary: Frightened by the thought of nearly losing his guide, Jim needs to reaffirm Blair's existence in his life.
Warnings: This story contains corporal discipline and a scene that may be viewed as rape.
Dedication: This is lovingly dedicated to Grey, BCW and Klair with my sincerest appreciation for their talents and inspiration. And my deepest appreciation to patl for all her hard work in betaing this story.
Jaw clenched against barely concealed anger, Ellison inserted his key into the slot and with a deft twist of the wrist, unlocked the door. Pushing it open, he stepped in and ushered his silent partner into the loft. Wordlessly he tossed the keys into the basket on the table beside the door and shrugged out of his jacket. Hanging it up he turned to Sandburg, thrusting out an impatient hand for the younger mans coat.
Swallowing past the lump in his throat, Blair quickly discarded the jacket. His hand trembling slightly as he handed over the garment. Cant we at least talk about this? Blair pleaded, as he watched Ellison hang up the coat with exaggerated care.
Jim's head snapped around, his ice blue eyes narrowing dangerously. Oh were going to talk about it, Ellison's steely voice vehemently assured him. In fact were going to discuss it in a language that Im hoping gets through that irresponsible hide of yours.
Blair unconsciously winced beneath the tirade. Come on Jim, it wasn't...
Ellison raised a single digit in warning; effectively silencing his roommate. Wait for me upstairs. The no nonsense directive was issued.
But Jim... Blair tried again, only to be stopped cold as the taller man raised an intimidating eyebrow.
Reluctantly, Blair turned and headed towards the stairs. A dejected slump in his shoulders and stride. He was halfway up when Ellison called out. Make sure you're undressed. Pausing momentarily as the implication sank in, Blair merely nodded then continued up the stairs.
Toeing off his shoes, Blair slowly began unbuttoning his shirt. The buttons were too few and soon he stood bare chested as the discarded shirt was carefully folded and laid aside. The tight, sun bleached denim jeans soon followed until he stood clad only in boxers and socks. Icy tendrils caressed his skin and Blair shivered. Although whether due to the cold or a feeling of trepidation, he did not know. Resigned, he slipped off the socks and boxers, adding them to the pile. Alone, cold and vulnerable, he sat on the edge of the bed to wait.
Angrily, Jim strode into the kitchen and flung
open the refrigerator door. Reaching inside, he snagged a bottle of beer
and wrenching off the top, raised it to his lips. The chilled amber liquid
slid smoothly down his throat, quenching his thirst, but failing to squelch
the anger boiling
within. Slamming the door shut, he tossed the lid in the general direction of the garbage can and headed into the living room. Plopping down on the couch, he grabbed up the remote and thumbing the on button, began surfing mindlessly through the channels. Never, in all his life, could Jim Ellison recall being so angry. Replaying the days events in his minds eye, Jim took another swig of beer, hoping time and the bitter taste of alcohol would cool his ire.
Once again Blair glanced at the clock, his anxiety growing proportionately with each passing tick of the moving hand. Soundlessly, he slid to the head of the bed and peered through the railings. In the living room below Jim sat, staring blankly at the volumeless picture flickering from the television. Never could he recall having seen his lover so angry. He knew the older man was trying to regain some semblance of control before confronting him with the ramifications of his foolhardy actions. But Blair had to wonder if, perhaps, the waiting and worrying wasn't more painful than any discipline Jim could dole out.
Blair sighed. What on Earth had possessed him to go into the convenience store? Even as he did it he knew his lover was going to go ballistic when he found out. More than once Jim had warned him of the consequences of putting himself in unnecessary danger and yet he had done it anyway. But how could he not try and help those people? Maybe if he tried to explain it to Jim. The thought was considered and immediately discarded. Subconsciously, Jim already knew this, just as he knew that it was a primal imperative for the sentinel to protect his guide at all costs. Whether it was willingly sacrificing his own life for that of his guide or administering corrective discipline, it made no difference. Blair could no more change that aspect of Jim's innate personality then he could his own. So as a guide he would submit to his sentinels needs. And for Jim he would submit out of love and commitment.
Shaking away the reverie, Blair once again cast a look below. An almost inaudible gasp escaped his lips as he watched Jim drain the last of his beer and click off the remote. Tossing it aside Ellison rose, his blue eyes meeting their counterpart across the expanse of the loft.
Quickly Blair scuttled back to his former position
on the side of the bed. His ears filled with the sound of his heart beating
out a rapid tattoo
against his breastbone. The sound grew in volume, all but drowning out the quiet footfall of Ellison's tread on the stairs. Nervously Blair's eyes darted back and forth as first Jim's head appeared, swiftly followed by his upper torso, lithe hips and finally, muscular legs.
Pausing at the head of the stairs, Ellison took in the beguiling appearance of his guide. One slim, fur covered leg tucked beneath his lean haunches. Hands cupped gracefully in his lap. Vivid blue eyes, wide as saucers. The strong, yet angelic facial features, framed by a halo of dark, riotous curls. A picture of perfect innocence. Perhaps some men would have capitulated beneath the weight of such a vision. To Ellison it only served as a poignant reminder of what he had almost lost.
Nervous eyes tracked every nuance of movement as Jim went to the dresser and pulled open the bottom drawer; retrieving the wooden paddle stored within. Closing the drawer, he rose and turned, only to discover that his errant lover had fled his perch and now stood across the room, his back pressed against the brick wall as far as it would go.
Their eyes met, each knowing the inevitable outcome. With the grace, power and agility of a large jungle cat, Jim moved to sit on the side of end of the bed. The mattress depressing slightly beneath his weight. His eyes rose, once again meeting those of the man he loved more than life itself. Setting the paddle aside, Jim raised his right hand and crooked his pointer finger in a come here motion.
Blair's Adam's apple worked furiously as the young man tried to work up enough spit to swallow and thus speak. Jim, this really isn't necessary. Came the soft pleading tone. I wont do anything like that ever again. I promise.
Ellison blinked beneath the quiet entreaty, his brow furrowing. Don't make me come over there after you. The voice, low and dangerous.
With a hitching sigh, Blair pushed away from the wall and with reluctant steps moved to stand, eyes cast downward, beside his furious lover.
Grasping him firmly by the wrist, Jim guided Blair across his lap.
Head bowed, face obscured by dangling curls, Blair
closed his eyes and waited. Swallowing nervously as he felt Jim shift slightly
to turn and
retrieve the paddle.
The dark wooden implement, although smooth beneath his callused palm, was harsh in contrast to the pliable, soft globes with which it would soon come in contact. In the gentle lamplight, Ellison let his gaze momentarily roam over the pale, blemishless ass cheeks, knowing that soon they would bear the marks of the punishment he was about to wield.
Once again a kaleidoscope of images played across his minds eye. Reiterating in vivid detail just why this was necessary. Body trembling with suppressed anger, Jim raised the paddle. As his arm completed the upward arc and began its downward journey, he felt Blair tense beneath him.
The first blow resulted in a loud crack. It resonated disturbingly in the overwhelming silence of the room. Effectively drowning out the small grunt of pain from his guide. Again the arm was raised and lowered, planting a similar stinging swat on the opposite mound. Over and over the action was repeated, alternately striking the exposed spheres with unrelenting blows. Allowing precious little, if any, time for the pain to ebb before the next searing swat was delivered.
Quickly, the formerly ivory toned mounds gained color. Turning from pale cream, to a blushing rose; swiftly rising to an intense shade of red and finally bordering on an angry purplish hue as Blair cried out, Please. Please, stop.
The arm, raised to strike yet again, paused in mid air; then lowered to rest the wooden implement on the abused globes. Breathing heavily through flaring nostrils, Jim ground out, Damn it Blair, what in hell were you thinking? Or did you even bother to think at all?
Im... sorry, Blair gasped through choking sobs. I was just trying... to help.
With an angry snort, Jim tossed the paddle aside. HELP, he bellowed, bringing his bare hand down on Blair's heated bottom. A scorching smack accentuating the word.
Blair squirmed beneath the pain, bringing one hand around to cover his inflamed buttocks.
The hand was quickly removed as Jim pinned the younger mans arm to the small of his back. Help, Ellison continued, as he began raining sharp blows on the twin mounds, is when you call for back up and wait for it to arrive. Help is not sneaking in the side door and trying to rescue the patrons yourself!
Okay! okay!, Blair sobbed; tears pooling in red rimmed blue eyes to drop in quick succession to the floor. I wont ever do it again, I swear!
Damn it Blair, Jim growled, ignoring the pleading cries as he continued to administer punishment. If I hadn't taken that guy out he would have killed you. I've begged and I've pleaded with you repeatedly, not to put yourself in danger like that. And yet the minute my back is turned, you do it again. Well, maybe this will make a lasting impression.
Owww! Im... sorry, please... Blair wailed.
Abruptly as it had begun, the spanking stopped. Leaving a very contrite Blair crying in great, gasping sobs.
Shhhh, Jim crooned, the pent up anger totally dispensed. Then, the same hand that had just delivered such harsh punishment, began rubbing the smaller mans back.
Slowly, Blair's wracking cries subsided into sniffing, hiccupping breaths. The hand stopped its gentle ministrations and moved to glide tenderly over the mistreated portion of Blair's anatomy. Jim's breath hitched as he took in the mottled appearance of the formerly cream colored ass cheeks. Guilt rose at the thought of being the one who had inflicted such marks. Angrily, he shoved the guilt aside. With time, the pain and marks would fade, leaving a wiser and hopefully more cautious individual in its stead. No. If he wanted to keep his Blair safe, keep him alive, then this was a lesson, painful though it might be, that needed to be imparted.
You okay now? Jim asked, his voice rough with suppressed emotions.
Sniffling, Blair gave a nearly imperceptible nod.
Reluctantly, Jim released his guide, allowing the younger man to slide from his lap and onto the bare wooden floor.
Issuing a faint hiss of pain as his buttocks came in contact with the back of his legs, Blair sat repentant at the foot of the bed. Head bowed, unable to look at his irate mate.
Silently, Jim observed Blair's dejected posture and felt the love he had for this being swell within. Blair, look at me, came the gentle command.
Persistently, Blair maintained eye contact with the floor, unwilling, or perhaps more truthfully, unable to reply to the softly worded request.
Reaching down and tenderly cupping either side of his beloved's face, Jim forced Blair to look at him. I love you damn it! he growled into the tear streaked face. You know that, don't you?
Yes, Blair replied timidly, lower lip trembling.
Aw...Chief, Jim sighed. Sliding from the bed, he gathered Blair into his arms. The simple comforting gesture was too much, unleashing another torrent of tears. It proved to be Ellison's undoing. Tears accumulated within his own expressive blue eyes, overflowing their banks and coursing silently down his face. Im so sorry, he crooned softly to the clinging figure. One hand gently caressing the tangled curls at the back of Blair's head.
No, you were right to... to punish me, Blair stammered through hiccupping sobs. But please, please... just don't be mad at me, okay?... I wont do it again. I promise.
The stroking motion stopped. You're right. You did deserve to be punished, Jim said, glancing down at the man in his arms. And yes, I was angry. Angry that you thoughtlessly put yourself in the middle of such a dangerous situation. But I think more than anything, I was afraid. Emotions rising to the surface, Jim closed his eyes to block out the horrific images accompanying them. Images of his lover laying dead, blue eyes staring sightlessly. I mean, my God, Blair, he had a gun pointed at your head! A shudder rippled through Ellison's frame at the thought.
I know. Im sorry, Blair mumbled. One hand coming up to brush away the tears.
I cant bear the thought of losing you Chief, Jim said, capturing the smaller hand to bestow a kiss upon its smooth surface. You are my life.
Full lips, curving upwards in a smile of joy, Blair closed his eyes and snuggled deeper within his sentinels embrace.
Content to merely sit and hold the love of his
life, Jim lost all track of time. It wasn't until the sound of slightly
nasal breathing permeated his
consciousness, that Jim realized Blair had fallen asleep.
Careful not to wake the sleeping man, Jim scooped up the slumbering form and gently deposited him on the bed. Grabbing a comforter from the nearby chair he shook it out and with reluctance, covered the naked vision that was his guide.
Efficiently, he began to undress, his eyes never leaving the figure on the bed. Totally nude, Jim pulled back the cover and slipping beneath its silky folds, spooned up behind the smaller man. One beefy arm snaked out to pull Blair even closer. And with a sigh of contentment, Jim joined his lover in the land of nod.
He had gone to sleep with a smile on his face. Nose buried in his guides silky locks, the herbal fragrance of Blair's shampoo and the heat radiating from the smaller body had acted as a soothing balm to his tortured soul. But the reprieve was short lived as dark, disturbing images began encroaching on his sense of well being. Crowding it out until only fear, horror and overwhelming grief remained. As if on a looped reel, over and over the scene from the convenience store played itself out. Only this time, instead of rescuing Blair, the gunman had succeeded in killing him. In slow motion, he watched repeatedly, helplessly, as the gun discharged and the bullet embedded itself in Sandburg's forehead. Powerless to stop it, he saw the spark drain from his guides eyes as he crumpled, lifeless to the floor. NO! he cried out, bolting upright.
Emotionally exhausted, Blair had swiftly succumbed to the gentle embrace of sleep, secure in the arms of his lover. However, the respite was not to last as a commotion permeated the sweet serenity. Its summons urgent; demanding. Blair's subconscious willingly abandoned its peaceful haven, seeking out that which intrigued. Curiosity was usurped by concern as he recognized the source of the disturbance.... Jim. Blair's eyes shot open.
The room, still bathed in lamp light, had grown colder as night blanketed Cascade. Shivering, though not from the cold, Blair turned over. A moan escaping his lips as his bruised bottom connected with the mattress. The pain swiftly forgotten as concern wrinkled his brow. Beside him, caught in the throes of some horrendous nightmare, Jim thrashed. About to rescue his sentinel from whatever demons pursued, Ellison cried out. Bolting upright, eyes glazed with grief and fear darted anxiously about. His breath coming in quick, panting gasps.
Swiftly sitting up, Blair ignored the pain of protest
from his lower regions and gathered the larger man into his arms. Jim.
Jim, its all right, he
Confused as he was suddenly pushed away and held at arms length, Blair looked questioningly at his lover, then swallowed nervously as he recognized the feral gleam in Ellison's eyes. Heat and the unmistakable scent of desire emanated from his partner.
Jim? Blair questioned, not entirely certain the sentinel was fully awake.
Need you, Ellison growled. Need to be; inside you.
Blair's tongue darted out to lick nervously at his lips. A matching desire had risen within, but he was acutely aware of the tenderness throughout his hindquarters. With reluctance, he scuttled to the end of the bed.
Eyes narrowing to slits, Jim wordlessly pushed back the cover and on hands and knees, began stalking towards his prey.
Ah... Jim, I don't think this is such a good idea right now. I'm...
Any further entreaties were abruptly cut off as Jim grabbed Blair by the arms. Pulling the smaller man closer, he looked with heated passion down into the expressive blue eyes of his guide. Slowly his gaze traveled down to the tantalizingly full lips mere inches away. All cognizant thought fleeing as he captured those lips in a crushing embrace.
A low moan of passion formed deep within. Starting in his groin, it rose up to slide effortlessly past dueling tongues. Thoughts of further protest forgotten as the man kissing him became the sole reason for his existence. Blair uttered a cry of complaint as the lips possessing his broke away.
Pulling back, Jim raised a hand and trembling with need, gently traced the face of his beloved. His thumb slid over the slightly stubbled cheek before moving down to brush across the kiss swollen lips that mere moments before had given him such pleasure. Overcome with desire, Jim allowed his senses to fill with the sight, smell, taste and touch of his guide, until they overflowed and he was drowning beneath the onslaught.
Seeing the naked display of lust on his sentinels face, Blair smiled. Now is so not the time to zone, man, he chuckled softly.
The musky scent emanating from his mate pushed Jim over the precipice. Nostrils flaring, the overwhelming need to claim; to become engulfed in that which was rightfully his, stripped away all rational thought. Swiftly, his hands moved to Blair's waist and with a strength born of lust, he lifted and flipped Blair over and onto his stomach.
Blair gasped at the unexpected move as he suddenly found himself face down in the center of the bed. Pinned by Ellison's hands on either side of him, Blair felt an insistent knee urging his legs apart. Barely aware of what he was doing, Blair reached up and snagging a pillow from the head of the bed, thrust it beneath his hips. Then, cock growing rigid with anticipation, he eagerly spread his legs wide, allowing his lover complete access. Behind him Jim's vocal chords rumbled. The perfect accompaniment to Blair's pleading whimpers. Whimpers that abruptly grew in volume as the cool surface of Jim's tongue began bathing his crimson toned ass cheeks with painstaking thoroughness.
Urged on by the guttural grunts of his guide, Jim began kneading the rounded globes, manipulating them, parting them to unearth the treasure hidden within their crease.
Beneath him Blair had begun to squirm. Jim's fondling had reawakened the inflamed nerve endings in his abused buttocks. The intensity grew, overshadowing the pleasure, overwhelming the desire, until all remnants of it vanished, vanquished beneath the incursion of pain. His previously hard cock, went placid. Jim, please. Stop, he groaned.
The manifestations of distress went unheeded. Ensnared by primal desire and the need to reaffirm his mate was alive, Jim positioned himself and began to thrust.
NO! Blair cried out at the intrusion of pain. Self preservation rising to the fore, Blair tried to scramble forward. Away from the pain. Away from his out of control lover. But rough hands seized his hips, dragging him backwards. A snarl sounded in his ear as teeth sank into his right shoulder, pinning him down. Biting back a cry, Blair ceased struggling.
Breath coming in short rapid exhalations, pin points
of light appeared to dot his visionary landscape. Through the adrenaline
rush, slowly it
registered that he was hyperventilating, bordering on passing out. Clamping down on the fear, Blair forced himself to mentally examine the situation rather than just react to it on an emotional level. His sentinel was obviously out of control. The question was, why? They had made love countless times and never before had Blair witnessed such raw, animalistic behavior from his partner. Something had to have triggered it, but what?
Beneath him his mate had succumbed. Slowly he unclenched his jaw and withdrew the embedded teeth, leaving behind two symmetrically perfect semi circles. Cocking his head, Jim blinked. A frown of bewilderment marring his forehead at the sight. In the lull of confusion, other sensory input began filtering in. The stench of fear... quick, panting breathes... minute trembling. The rapid heartbeat, reminiscent of a hummingbird in flight. Something had frightened his guide, but what?
With a fierce growl, Jim's head rose. Eyes quickly surveyed the surrounding area. Nose, sniffling for the scent of intruders. Yet there was nothing. Satisfied that his territory had not been encroached upon, Jim's gaze returned to the object of his desire.
Once again the urge to mate flared. Cock pulsating with need, his hands traveled over smooth flanks, pausing only briefly to spread the twin mounds prohibiting his entrance. Below him, his guide stiffened and the odor of fear permeated the air. With a howl of frustration Jim retreated, sinking back on his haunches to peer with confusion at his mate.
Released, Blair scrambled to the head of the bed. Back pressed firmly against the railing, he stared with a combination of fear and concern at his sentinel. Don't be ridiculous, Blair silently admonished, trying to squelch the trepidation. Jim would never hurt you. True, Jim had just punished him and most severely. But that had been done out of love and fear. However, there was no way Jim would forcibly take him, hurt him in that manner, unless... Blair blinked. What was it Jim had growled before losing control? Need you. Need to be inside you. What if the same fear which had instigated the punishment was responsible for Jim's behavior? The discipline had been administered on an intellectual and emotional level. Perhaps this was a similar response, but one on a more primal level.
Blair took in his lovers appearance. Sweat glistened
like miniature dew drops on the muscular plains. The physical manifestation
evident. Two crystalline blue eyes reflecting lust, totally devoid of intellect. His sentinel had zoned. Had been reduced to the very epitome of
primal behavior. Yet the trigger had not been sensory, but emotional. The question however still remained. How was he going to reach his lover?
Jim, he called softly. I need you to come back to me. His tone reverberating with the nuances of what Jim had termed his guide voice. But despite the repeated entreaties the desired response had not been forthcoming. Slowly Blair moved closer. All the while keeping up the constant litany. Carefully reaching out, he gathered Ellison into his arms. Reminiscent of a cat being stroked, Jim nuzzled at Blair's neck, all but purring beneath the attention. Blair smiled. So far, so good, he thought. Its all right Jim, Blair reassured, Im here, safe and alive. But I need you to come back to me. I need...
Blair let out a surprised yelp as he was forcibly thrust backwards onto the bed, Jim landing on top. His mouth licking, nipping, exploring. Normally Blair would have found such behavior stimulating, but it was obvious that the sentinel was still out of control. Damn it Jim. STOP! he yelled. Freeing one arm, he then soundly cuffed his lover along side the head to emphasize the command.
With a snarl, Jim retreated to the foot of the bed, taking up his former perch. His demeanor one of hurt and irritation. The only detail missing from the image he projected was a long furry tail, twitching with annoyance.
If the situation wasn't so serious it would have been comical, Blair mused eying his lover. Jim had taken on the attributes of his animal spirit. But it was serious. Jim's zone out was unlike any he had ever witnessed before and conventional means to bring him out of it weren't working. That left only one recourse. Allowing Jim to purge the animalistic urges compelling his actions.
It was going to hurt; Blair knew that. In his present
state, Jim was capable of inflicting both pain and damage. Even now he
could feel the pain
radiating throughout his buttocks from the earlier disciplining. Was he scared? Yes, Blair acknowledged. He'd be a damn fool to admit otherwise. Could he do this? One look at his zoned mate answered the question. Yes. For Jim he could and would do anything. However, there were measures he could take to ensure minimal pain and damage.
Eyes never leaving his sentinels face, Blair slowly moved to the side of the bed, Jim silently tracking his every move. Sliding open the drawer to the night stand, Blair reached in and feeling around, came up with a tube of KY. Within seconds he had the lid off and his fingers coated with the substance. Then reaching around, Blair began preparing himself for his lovers entrance. Normally when Jim did this to him, Blair found it highly stimulating. But this time, Blair found nothing arousing in the act. Only a gut clenching knowledge of what was to follow.
Preparation done, there was no further reason to put off the inevitable. Tossing the tube on the night stand, Blair moved back to the center of the bed. Positioning himself on hands and knees, ass pointed towards his mate, he offered himself and waited... and waited.
Nerves stretched to the breaking point Blair glanced around, surprised to discover Jim still in the same position. Confused at first by his reaction, it finally dawned on Blair the reason for the sentinels reticence. He had refused his mate not once, but twice. Sitting up, Blair reached back and taking Jim's hand, placed it firmly on one of his ass cheeks. Then holding Jim's hand in place, Blair returned to his former position.
Once again the minutes stretched endlessly with
no movement from his partner. Then, just as Blair was about to cry out
from frustration, Jim
moved. His other hand came up to tightly grip the other buttock. Slowly Jim kneaded the rounded globes, his touch growing more insistent and intrusive as no protest from his mate was forthcoming. Beneath him, Blair felt the mattress shift as Jim moved into position. Moments later his ass cheeks were spread wide and Jim thrust forward burying his cock, balls deep, within the tiny orifice.
Despite the preparation, Blair bit back a cry of
pain at the abrupt intrusion. Stifling yet more as Jim's hands clamped
down on his hips and he
began fucking his mate with silent abandon. Fully primed then denied release, it wasn't long before Jim reached culmination. Behind him, Blair felt his partner stiffen, then crying out, expel his seed. Totally spent Jim collapsed, his weight pinning Blair to the bed. Crushed beneath his partners weight, Blair lay motionless.
Afraid to move for fear of provoking another attack, it wasn't until he heard the reassuring snores issuing forth from his partner that Blair deemed it safe enough to leave the sentinels side. Carefully he pushed himself up and rolled Jim over onto his back. Blair froze, his breath catching as Jim showed signs of waking. Moments later Jim settled back into sleep and with a soft moan of pain, Blair crawled from the bed. Moving to the head of the stairs Blair cast one final glance back at his lover. Then stifling a sob, he descended the stairs.
Wrapped in the comforting embrace of sleep, Jim Ellison smiled. Their copulation had confirmed on the most primitive of levels that his guide/mate was indeed safe and alive. Purring with contentment and gratitude it was sometime before the absence of his lover permeated Jim's subconscious mind. In the dreamscape he stirred, lamenting the disappearance of his guide. Seconds later his eyes snapped open, immediately registering the fact that Blair was gone from their bed. Shivering from the cold, Jim wrapped the comforter around his nakedness, wishing instead for the heated embrace of his lover. With a sigh he settled back to wait Blair's return.
At first Jim was unconcerned, figuring the younger man had just gone to the bathroom. But as the minutes continued to tick by and his wayward lover had still not returned, Jim extended his senses, scanning the loft. Wrinkles creased his forehead as the sound of Sandburg's familiar heartbeat sounded from the living room below. Turning, Jim peered through the railing. In the semi darkness of the room he could see Blair curled up on the couch, wrapped in an afghan. Closer inspection revealed red rimmed eyes staring blankly off into space. Concerned, Jim rose from the bed and slipping on his tattered blue terry cloth robe, padded quietly down the stairs.
After parting from his lover, Blair had stolen
silently down the stairs. Entering the bathroom he flicked on the light,
softly closing the door
behind him. I've got to get myself together before Jim wakes up, he thought, taking one look at his tear streaked, disheveled appearance. Sliding back the shower curtain, Blair turned on the faucets and after adjusting the water temperature, stepped in drawing the curtain closed.
For a long time he simply stood there beneath the cascading spray, sobbing out pent up emotions. But as the water began to cool he made a conscious effort to collect himself and finish his ablutions. After drying off, Blair made his way into the living room. Shivering from more than just the cool night air, Blair took the afghan from the back of the couch and wrapping it around his lithe frame, eased himself down on the sofa to think. Becoming so lost in thought that he failed to hear the silent approach of his sentinel.
You okay Chief? Jim questioned from his position at the foot of the stairs. Not failing to notice the startled response from the younger man.
Blair couldn't help it, he started at Jim's sudden appearance, knowing full well that the sentinel had witnessed his response. Hey big guy, he said, lips curving upwards into a forced smile. I thought for sure you'd be out like a light until morning.
Jim moved closer. I missed you, he admitted with an embarrassed shrug, settling himself beside the younger man.
Oh, sorry, Blair replied, looking everywhere except at Jim. I couldn't sleep and didn't want to disturb you so I...
Any further explanation was cut off as Jim firmly cupped Blair's chin and forced his guide to look at him. I can see that you're upset Chief. What's going on here?
All thoughts of lying fled as Blair looked into the concerned blue eyes of his sentinel. How much do you remember about this evening Jim? he asked hesitantly.
Ellison blinked, confused by the question. I remember being really pissed off at you for nearly getting yourself killed, he began, sorting through his memory. I also remember expressing my disapproval by... he paused thoughtfully. Is that what this is all about? You're upset because I spanked you?
Its not that, Blair replied with a negative shake of his head. I understand why you felt the need to do that...
Then what? Jim asked, cutting him off.
No, I cant do it, Blair thought. If Jim doesn't remember, maybe its better to just leave it that way. Blair sighed, shifting slightly to ease the ache in his hindquarters. The blanket slipping in the process.
Jim's sight immediately zeroed in on the bite marks dotting Blair's shoulder. What the hell? he growled, pulling Blair closer to inspect the mark. How did this happen Chief? He asked with honest confusion. Then, as if pole-axed, the submerged memories began flooding back in explicit detail. OH MY GOD, NO! Jim cried out in abject horror. Thrusting Blair away from him, Jim rose, backing away.
Jim, its all right, Blair assured him, rising from the couch.
How can you say that? Ellison asked, incredulous. I raped you!
NO! No, it wasn't like that, Blair insisted, taking
a step towards Jim. It hurt to see the look of horror and utter despair
etched on his lovers face.
I let you...
You let me what? Jim raged, backing away. Take you by force? My God Blair, I took you like an animal... he gasped, retreating still further as Blair continued to advance.
Damn it Jim, Blair growled, his voice rising in volume. It wasn't your fault!
No? Ellison snorted in disgust. I didn't see anyone else there pounding into you like there was no tomorrow. Agitated, he ran a trembling hand through his short cropped hair. You were already sore, I had no business even touching you.
Blair grabbed Jim's forearm, preventing further retreat. Just stop it and listen to me for a minute, Blair commanded with authority.
Jim shook his head. I don't see what you could possibly have to say that would make this all right, he exclaimed. Breaking away, he began to pace. There's no excuse for what I did. I...
Frustrated, Blair picked up a pillow and on Jim's next pass hit the sentinel with it, effectively ending his tirade.
Ellison blinked in surprise.
Do I have your attention now? Blair asked in a fit of pique.
Wordlessly Ellison nodded.
Okay, good, Blair replied, tossing the pillow back onto the chair. Now, I want you to listen carefully and no interruptions. You got it?
Lips pressed in a grim line, Jim nodded.
Taking a calming breath Blair began to explain. As I was saying, this isn't your fault, its mine.
Blair held up a warning finger against Jim's forthcoming protest and continued. Just as sentinels enhanced senses are genetically predisposed, so are other related factors. Such as the need to protect the tribe. Now factor into that equation the inherent bond that exists between a sentinel and his guide. Not only have we bonded Jim, we've mated. Don't you get it man? he asked at Ellison's look of confusion. I could have been killed today and that scared you. Your reaction to that was simply an instinctual behavior on the most primal level. You needed to assure yourself that I was alive, and to do that you needed to mate. To immerse yourself in that bond. And Im not just talking sensory wise but also on a physical and emotional level.
And that gave me the right to rape you? Ellison roared, outraged.
Damn it Jim, Blair yelled back, his anger rising
to the surface. Yes, all right, I admit at first it freaked me out a little.
But when you sensed my
fear, you backed off, Jim. He took Ellison's chin in hand and forced the older man to look at him. Are you listening to me? You didn't do anything until after I had time to prepare myself and even then you were hesitant. I initiated our joining Jim, not you.
But I hurt you, Ellison whispered, unshed tears of sorrow glistening in his crystal blue eyes.
Reaching up to caress Jim's cheek, Blair smiled mischievously. Actually, he said with a bob of his eyebrows, if my ass hadn't already been so sore I probably would have given as good as I got.
This is not a joke Sandburg, Ellison scowled with annoyance. I saw how upset you were when I came downstairs.
Come on, give a guy a break Jim, Blair snorted, turning away. Its been a really rough day, you know.
Soundlessly Jim came up behind his partner, then wrapping his arms around the younger mans waist, pulled him close. You're still upset, I can tell.
Closing his eyes, Blair relaxed into the comforting embrace of his sentinel. I was so scared Jim, he admitted in a whisper. Feeling his lover stiffen, Blair hurried on. Id never seen you in such a deep zone out before and nothing I tried seemed to be working. I was afraid that I had lost you forever and it was all my fault. Blair's tone turned berating. If I hadn't done something so stupid and nearly gotten myself killed, none of this would have happened.
Shhh, Jim crooned softly, turning the trembling man in his arms to face him. Now its your turn to listen to me. What you did today was dangerous and yes, foolish. But your intentions and heart were in the right place, Blair. That's one of the things I love most about you. Your willingness to help anyone in need. Ellison smiled ruefully. Of course you don't stop to think about the consequences, and if you ever do anything like that again you wont be able to sit for a week...
I think you've already accomplished that objective big guy, Blair said with a grimace, one hand rubbing his tender bottom.
The point is Chief, that its all part of the unique package that makes you Blair Sandburg, the man I love. And personally, I wouldn't change a thing. His mouth screwed up in thought. Except perhaps the propensity you seem to have for putting yourself in danger.
Blair looked up, doubtful. Really?
Jim smiled tenderly. Yeah, really.
Jim, could you... Blair broke off, uncertain.
What ? What is it you need Blair ? Ellison asked.
Could you just hold me for a little while.
Gathering the smaller man into a comforting embrace, Jim laid a gentle kiss a top his head. Everything's going to be all right Chief, I promise.
But as Blair sighed contentedly within his arms,
Jim, recalling his primal behavior, found himself wondering if, indeed,
that were true.