Lying sated, exhausted and limp as a dishrag, Blair Sandburg was a confused man. He wasn't sure why he was confused. He also wasn't sure what he was confused about. But he was confused.
Michelle turned over in her sleep and pressed her body against him. She had a beautiful body, legs up to her neck, breasts...well, let's just say a shrine to her bosom wouldn't do it justice, and hair that begged to be stroked and curled around fingers. A beautiful woman.
And Blair was confused, but getting a bit more clear about why he was confused. Because he was lying there, wishing that Michelle was Michael. Well, if he was being completely honest with himself, going all the way, he wished that Michael was Jim.
Twenty nine years of being mostly heterosexual and *wham*, he was thinking about getting a boyfriend. It wasn't as if he hadn't appreciated beauty in all its myriad forms. It's just that this was the first time he wanted said beauty to lick him all over, kiss him, and then fuck him into the rather lumpy mattress beneath him.
It was a revelation, an epiphany, a change in paradigm. And Blair was a confused man.
He wanted Jim. There, he said it. Okay, maybe not out loud or anything, but he admitted it.
Blair Sandburg wanted Jim Ellison. As in forever. As in happily ever after, and while you're at it, kiss me you fool. As in I love you and want you to love me.
The question was, what exactly was he going to do about it?
The answer came as Michelle rolled over and drooled on his shoulder. Get the hell out of Dodge, or in this case Michelle's swanky two bedroom apartment.
"Michelle?" Blair whispered loudly. He gave her a poke. "You awake?"
"Hmmmph?" She snorted as her eyes slowly opened. "Wha?"
"I have to go. Important..." Think Sandburg, think. "Thing." Brilliant. "Jim's expecting me on a stake out. I gotta go."
She squinted at the clock face by her bed. "At three thirty in the morning? God, you really are dedicated to your research."
Blair slipped from beneath the sheets and dragged on his boxers and jeans."Sorry. I'll call you?"
Michelle nodded, her eyes bright in the dim light poking its way between the curtains over the window. "All right."
Blair pulled on his shirt and leaned over the bed, kissing Michelle with a passion he could almost convince himself he felt. "See you."
She smiled back at him. "I'll be waiting."
As he closed the door behind him, he felt a pang of guilt at not coming clean. But the thought of Jim Ellison naked and doing things to him he'd only ever imagined, well, the guilt sort of just floated away like a wisp smoke. But like smoke, the reek remained.
To distract himself from that feeling, he'd just have to get pro-active. No more sitting around waiting for love to come to him. Oh, no. He was going to take action! He was going to be in control!
Time to plan the wooing of Jim Ellison. Shouldn't be that hard, it was just a matter of suiting the courting to the target, so to speak. Jim Ellison was a Sentinel. Sentinels had enhanced senses. The plan of attack seemed natural. Now there was just the fine, tiny, little details.
They said food was the way to a man's heart. One simply had to go through the small intestines, around the circulatory system a couple of times and finally, with a rather anti-climatic squeeze of the pulmonary valve, you were in. Blair figured that particular modus operandi was in keeping with his rather indirect approach to seducing Jim. The poor Sentinel wouldn't see it coming. Blair chuckled a rather maniacal cackle as he balanced the Wonder Burger bags while pressing the 'up' button on the wall between the elevators.
He smiled at the donut lady as he passed by. Then he put on the brakes, backed up and surveyed her kingdom. Chocolate with sprinkles -- Jim hated the artificial taste of the candy bits, so that was out. Lemon filled with a dusting of icing sugar -- the colour of the filling was normally enough to put the poor Sentinel off his food for the rest of the day. Honey Glazed Crueler -- melt in your mouth flakiness with deep-fried crispiness. Perfect. The cholesterol nightmare was carefully wrapped in a napkin and it joined Blair's stash.
"Sandy? What on earth have you got there?" Megan stopped on her way by, sniffing curiously at the aromatic bags. "Since when do you eat at Wonder Burger?"
"Oh, I had lunch already at the Sprout Saloon. They had this great tofu gilled pita with ocra relish! This," Blair nodded at his armful, "is for Jim. He was in court all morning, and I thought this might cheer him up."
"Killing him with kindness?" She laughed and went on her merry way. Blair humphed. He wasn't killing Jim. He was wooing Jim. Big difference. Of course, there was the possibility that by the time Blair managed to get to Jim's heart it would be filled with cholesterol, but that was a risk he was willing to take. This was true love, after all.
Or at least true lust. He'd figure out the semantics later.
Blair spread out his fast food picnic. The bacon and cheese, double burger with fried mushrooms, fried onions, and lettuce that Blair wouldn't place bets on that it wasn't fried, went in the centre of the napkins he had spread out on the desk. He left it wrapped in the silver foil specially designed by Wonder Burger Scientists to retain heat for hours while under the heated lamps in the restaurant's kitchen. The container of fries went to the right, the onion rings that were finely deep fried to the perfect crisp, not a soggy ring to be found, went on the left. At the top right corner went the double size cola. Jim would get mesmerized by the feel of all those bubbles against his palate, and the sight of the older man lost in sensation was enough to offset Blair's worry about the corrosive chemicals. Love conquers all, after all. Finally, the donut was placed on the upper left corner.
The Japanese thought that presentation was everything. It wasn't just the eating, but the serving that went into a meal. In some cultures, the ritual was more important than the actually consumption.
His carefully laid out buffet was destroyed as a single minded Sentinel, irritable from a long morning in court, made his appearance and dive bombed his desk.
Jim looked up at his partner, cheeks bulging from his mouthful of burger, hand already grasping for the wax container containing the cola. After taking a long draught from the straw, he sat back, swallowed, and sighed.
"Thanks, Chief. Just what I needed."
Then he went back to inhaling his food, putting vacuum cleaner ads to shame. Blair ruthlessly quelled thought about the sucking action he'd really like to see and smiled blithely. "Not a problem, Jim."
Phase one complete.
Music soothes the savage beast, or in Blair's case, his voice managed to calm the rampaging Sentinel who was trying to find the beatle, which was doing the two step on the floor of the loft somewhere.
Blair had managed to get Jim to put his gun away, appeasing him with a quiet comment about how Mrs Mitchells downstairs would probably prefer not to have a ventilated ceiling.
Now they sat on the couch, side by side. Well more
accurately, with Blair seated comfortably in a lotus position facing Jim who sat with his
legs splayed and hands over his eyes. Blair began to gently talk, describing a quiet
place that Jim could imagine. Soft music drifted about the loft, the
gentle rhythm and pure tones dancing about the rafters in a melodic waltz.
"...it's dark, but you can't hear anything. The world is muffled like there's a layer of cotton balls between you and the air around you. You're safe, secure, and its quiet. Peaceful."
The tension slowly seeped from the broad shoulders. Blair grinned. He didn't have to do this, he could have just said 'Dial it down, man'. But how often did he and Jim sit together quietly on the sofa? Throw in some candles and wine and it would practically be romantic! Besides, dials were boring and technical. He wanted to start Jim on soft things, warm things, gradually moving up to hard, warm things, like himself.
"Slowly peel back a thin layer of cotton. Pick a sound you hear that's warm, comforting. Latch onto it as you continue to pull back layers, gradually coming back into contact with the world."
Jim suddenly smiled an incredibly soft smile, his lips curving up minutely with a peaceful sigh. He cocked his head and sighed again.
"Is it working?" Blair forced himself to restrain the urge to crawl into Jim's lap and demonstrate some more imagination techniques that involved his tongue and Jim's tonsils.
"Yeah." Jim's reply was whispered as he leaned ever so slightly towards Blair.
"Cool. Want me to turn up the music so you don't have to strain?" Blair made a move to get up but was hindered by a firm grip on his wrist. Jim's eyes were still closed.
"Not listening to music," he said dreamily, lost in a world of audio sensation. Blair quirked an eyebrow.
"What are you listening to?"
"Heartbeat, lungs. Thump De Thump Woosh."
Blair forced back a snort of laughter, trying to remember how many beers Jim had actually consumed after dinner. "Jim, you are like, so gone."
"Living white noise generator. Mine." The dreamy tone didn't go away, and Blair exhaled in a long sigh. The hand grasping his wrist wasn't going anywhere either. Jim's thumb and forefinger pressed against his artery and veins, stroking lightly.
Stage two complete.
A rose by another name is still a rose, and still annoys the hell out of Jim's nose. But a Blair smell, by any other name is also still a Blair smell, only nicer than a rose. Blair realized he was a bit biassed, but he had it on good authority that he smelled nice. Megan had asked him where he got his shampoo, Simon had wondered aloud about his deodorant -- although admittedly a 'what the hell is that smell' doesn't necessarily constitute appreciation of said aroma -- and his past lovers had never complained about eau-de-Blair, pre-, during or post-sex. So it was with some confidence that Blair upped the ante in his pursuit of true love. Or lust. The jury was still out on that one.
His most recent step in his campaign was to envelop Jim in his presence through nasal infiltration. It started off subtle, leaving his hair down while wet, allowing the evaporation process to carry the small scent molecules to his target. He began burning gently scented candles while he mediated. None of that sandle wood or odd smelling stuff, just mildly fruity, slightly minty, and subtly musky. He would sit cross-legged in front of the couch while Jim puttered in the kitchen or read at the table. Occasionally he would sneak a peek at the Sentinel and would be gratified to see the slight flare of the nostrils
But that morning was to be the coup de grace. He actually took Jim's offer to accompany him for a workout at the gym. Jim had been slightly surprised, but happily filled two more water bottles. Blair tossed on a pair of worn sweats and light T-shirt and quickly laced up his sneakers. His hand wavered over his deodorant but a sly grin crossed his face. No need for that. He grabbed up a duffle bag with a change of clothes before following Jim to the truck, bouncing lightly on his toes to start loosening his muscles.
"So, Jim. Where is this gym anyway? I know you don't work out at the PD, 'cause Henri said he never saw you there. Come to think of it, I doubt he sees himself there much either, but still, I'm curious," Blair rambled.
"Oh, its just a place down town. Its pretty small."
The young man at the reception desk, dressed in bright blue spandex with dark hair dyed blond at the tips, gave Blair a day pass, and let his hand linger a bit on Blair's fingers as he passed it over. "You should bring your friend more often, Jim," he said with a wink and a clearly jesting leer.
Blair forced his jaw up from the floor as they went to the weight room. "Jim," he hissed, "you didn't say anything about this being a gay gym."
Jim shot Blair an unreadable look, unflappable in his element of testosterone and muscles. "I didn't think it would matter to you. Besides, they're the only place in town that gives massages on request. After I pulled my shoulder, Brian really helped get my muscle back in shape."
Brian? Jim was getting massages at a gay gym from some guy named *Brian*? Blair went through some stretches on autopilot before sitting down at a machine to begin working on his legs. This called for some drastic action. No one ought to be giving his object affection massages other than himself.
Blair watched covertly as Jim fended off pickups from multiple men, brushing them off with practised ease which made Blair uneasy. So much so that he didn't realize he was sweating and aching with the speed of his leg lifts. Damn, he really had to work out more. On the bright side, his exertion had brought about the desired effects. His skin was coated with a fine sheen of sweat, and he knew that his smell would be unavoidable to the Sentinel. He would have rubbed his hands together in glee if they weren't clenched tightly around the bar above his head.
So intent was he on his workout and sneaking glances at Jim, he didn't hear the man approaching him from behind until the voice spoke, practically in his ear.
"I haven't seen you around here before."
Blair turned and looked into the greenest eyes he had ever seen. A shock of dark hair fringed the forehead of the handsome face which looked down at him with definite interest.
"Uh...yeah, well, first time," Blair managed amidst some manly grunting.
"Really? Name's Alex. If you want a tour or something, I'm here all the time." From the look of the man's incredible body, lean and muscular, Blair couldn't find any evidence that the man was lying.
"Thanks. I'm Blair."
Alex set his hip against the metal frame of the machine. "Would you be interested in going for a lunch break later?"
Blair caught a movement out of the corner of his eyes at the request. Jim had stiffened noticeably, clearly listening in. Bingo, Blair crowed inwardly. Pheromones City, here we come.
"Thanks, but my partner and I have an appointment, so I'll have to say no. Thanks for the offer though." Blair could see the disappointment in the Alex's eyes, but could also see the slight lessening of the tension in Jim's shoulders.
The rest of the workout was rather mindless, endlessly stretching muscles, feeling the tendons move beneath the skin, taut and ropey against bone. He was tired, exhausted, yet flowing with an energy by the time Jim indicated they had to go. He followed his partner down a short hallway into the chorine scented smell of the change room The showers weren't communal oddly enough, but were individually curtained off cubicles. The curtains however didn't pull completely over the entrance, offering occasional glances of bare flesh. All but one of the showers were in use and Blair was shameless, gallantly offering Jim the remaining stall first. As Jim quickly shucked his shorts and undershirt, Blair watched from the corner of his eye.
An expanse of firm muscles wrapped in smooth skin unfolded before him. He only got a fleeting glance of two muscled buttocks and a long smooth back, but it was enough to set his heart pumping. He carefully adjusted himself as he waited his turn. He had closed his eyes and was imagining joining Jim in the shower when a voice disrupted his day dream.
"This one's free." It was Alex again, raking over his body with undisguised lust, while he towelled off the water from his shower.
"Need some help?" A nod to his groin left no questions.
"Ah...no...I got it covered. Thanks."
"No harm in trying, I guess." Alex shrugged and unwrapped the towel about his waist, slipping commando into comfortable jeans and battered leather jacket, both deep black.
Blair slipped into the offered shower after leaving his boxers on the rack supporting the curtain. He quickly rinsed off, enjoying the heat. His muscles relaxed and his cock hardened. Jim was right next to him, separated by a thin, tile-covered wall. They were mere inches apart, naked. Blair fisted his cock roughly and came against the wall between the stalls. The water splattered over him from the clogged shower head, erasing the visible evidence of his pleasure. A contented sigh escaped his lips as lethargy swept over him after his release.
Rinsing off his hair and reaching past the curtain for a towel took more energy than he thought he could muster, but he managed. When he emerged, Jim was already out of the shower, his hair slicked back, already tucking his button-down shirt into his slacks. As Blair stepped out, Jim's nostrils twitched, but other than a shake of his head as though to dispel what was bothering him, he didn't say anything other than a quick, "Hurry it up, Chief. Simon's expecting us."
Blair smiled inwardly. The scent of semen was probably still lingering about him and was the probably cause of the nasal spasm.
Phase Three complete
Until Blair began seriously reconsidering his relationship with Jim, he never realized how much the Sentinel touched him. A pat on the cheek here, a hand on the small of his back there. It was a bit too much for a horny guide to take. Innocent touches that just fuelled the fire burning in Blair's heart.
So, it was with a mixture of anticipation and horror that he decided he needed to take action. It took some time setting up the stage for the next part of his seduction of Jim. He first began volunteering at the university daycare. Then, when he figured that Jim was ready, he put his plan into action.
He heard the sound of the key in the lock, summoned the most hangdog expression he could, and tried to calm his heart.
Jim came casually through the door, tossed his keys in the basket, hung his jacket on the hook, took the ten steps to the counter where he layed his gun in the ritual Blair had dubbed "Ellison Habit Number 2", number one being the rather maniac bathroom cleaning every two days. When he actually took stock of Blair's condition he stopped dead in his tracks.
"Jesus, Chief, what the hell happened?"
"Oh man, talk about a bad day. I was at the daycare, and this parent thought that he would give his kid a treat. Unfortunately the kid's a gum blowing prodigy, man. I mean, I've never seen bubbles like that."
Jim rolled his eyes. "And what happened exactly?"
"I got in the way of a particularly big one just when it burst. More of it got on me than the kid." Blair held up a pair of scissors and put a thoughtful expression on his face. "Hey, you're just in time to help. I need to cut it out. Wanna do the honours? Just think, you've been wanting to get my head shaved ever since I started sharing your shower."
Jim rocked back on his heels. "Cut your hair?"
Hook, line, and..."Well, it's just hair."
"Cut your hair?"
Sinker. Or sucker, if you were being really picky.
"Well, if you have any other ideas, I'm all for it." Blair placed the scissors on the coffee table.
"Let me see if I can't work it out," Jim offered.
Blair held up his hands. "And let you pull my hair out by its roots? I don't think so, man."
"I'll be careful, Blair. Just sit back and relax. Its just gum. I'll be finished before you know it."
Blair did as he was told. Jim sat on the couch, directing him to sit between his legs -- Blair didn't even want to go where his mind was taking him at that order -- and slowly beginning to comb his fingers through the hair tangled with pink globules. Blair closed his eyes as Jim's fingers separated curly strands from sticky gum. Not a hair was pulled too tight, and each clump of hair was reverently combed through, ensuring each speck of gum was removed. It was the closest Blair had gotten to a head massage, and his head began to bob slightly with the sensation of those sensitive fingers manipulating his head.
Before he knew it small moans of pleasure were escaping his lips, and the hands had moved from his hair to his neck.
"Why did you put gum in your hair?"
Silence. Blair's head stopped moving, his shoulders began to tense, despite the massaging action of Sentinel fingers.
"The saliva on that gum is yours, and is only a couple of hours old. I happen to know you volunteer at the daycare in the morning which means that this gum was chewed by you." Jim's voice was whispering in his ear, the breath teasing hotly at his lobe.
"You didn't have to go to such extreme measures, Chief. Its cute, but unnecessary."
Blair swivelled so he was kneeling between Jim's thighs. "Wha..."
A finger on his lips stilled his response. Jim's eyes were crinkled at the edges with repressed humour. His lips were curved into a soft smile and his thumb moved over the barely stubbled cheek of Blair's face.
"For the record..." Jim buried his other hand in Blair's hair. "Leaving a list lying around with your plans for seduction is a bad idea."
Blair broke out into a grin. "You shit! You knew!"
Jim laughed a deep and throaty laugh that sent shivers up Blair's spine. "Its hard to ignore when you had 'Wooing Jim' in bold caps on the top of the page."
Blair sighed theatrically. "So much for a good plan."
Jim tilted Blair's head up. "Oh, it was a good plan, Sandburg. A very good plan. There's just one problem."
Blair cocked his head. "Problem? With *my* plan? I don't *think* so! I am the King of Plans, the Head Honcho of Conspiracy. There was nothing wrong with my plan!...was there?" he ended uncertainly.
Jim nodded. "Yes. Not with the plan, per se, but with the execution." His hands moved down past Blair's shoulders to his back, stroking along his spine in a most distracting manner.
"Ex...execution?" Blair tried to rally his thoughts against the pleasant assault on his back.
"Uh huh. You see you missed one sense. It wasn't on the list, even." Jim cupped Blair's head in both hands. Blair was rendered mute and simply stared up at the object of his love. And it was love. Love was about pulling gum from hair. That had nothing to do with lust. It was so clear now. He waited for Jim to explain how his seemingly flawless plan had an error.
"See, you forgot about taste."
With that, Jim bent down and captured Blair's lips. He pressed lightly, but insistently, and gained entrance. Blair's hands moved to grip Jim's forearms. His eyes closed and he floated on the feel of Jim's tongue lazily exploring the back of his teeth and the underside of his tongue.
Oh yeah. Taste. That sense. Well, it just went to show that no plan was completely foolproof. And Jim wasn't even a fool. Blair came up for air.
"Hey, Jim? I got something else for you to taste..."