The Morning After
By Debbie Tripp
Blair opened his eyes, quickly closing them as the light assaulted him. As he lay in his bed, he tried to remember what had happened. He definitely had the remnants of a hangover. It came back to him gradually.
Holly had dumped him and Blair coped by coming home and drinking beer. Not very mature, but Blair hadn't been feeling mature. He and Holly had been going out for better than three months and Blair thought all was going well. But Holly had claimed Blair had broken off more dates than they had been on. Blair had tried to explain that it was a result of university obligations and his obligations to the police department. Holly had indicated to Blair that his work was more important than her. No matter how much Blair tried to deny it, Holly didn't want to hear it. She had initiated the breaking up.
And Blair had wanted to drown his sorrows in beer. A twelve pack bought on his way back to the loft.
Blair had gone out on the balcony for a little extra privacy. He knew Jim wasn't due home for some time. Actually, Blair lost track of the time, awash in his hurt and sorrow.
Then, Jim had come home. Finding Blair out on the balcony. Wondering about dinner and what had happened. Jim had always been a good friend. Listening when Blair wanted to talk.
All of a sudden, Blair opened his eyes as what happened next came to him. His heartbeat increased and he sat up in his bed. It was true - Jim had kissed him and he had kissed Jim. The reality of that slammed home. Blair shakily got out of his bed and weaved his way towards the doors to his bedroom. He paused before opening the door. He could hear Jim in the kitchen. Blair wasn't sure what to do.
Before Blair could do anything, there was a soft knock on the door. Of course, Jim would know he was awake.
"Chief, are you okay?" Blair could hear the concern in Jim's voice.
"Um yeah." At that time, Blair opened his bedroom door and came out. He avoided looking at Jim, who was standing right there. He walked past Jim towards the kitchen, getting himself a cup of coffee. He could hear Jim behind him, but Blair didn't turn around.
"Blair? Do you remember ?" Jim paused, not sure what to say.
Blair nodded slowly. "Um yeah. I'm sorry, Jim." Blair's voice was barely above a whisper. He took a sip of his coffee, still refusing to face Jim.
"What are you sorry about?"
"For what I did. I didn't mean "
"You mean you don't love me?" There was surprise in Jim's voice.
"I didn't mean to assume " Blair felt confused about it all.
Jim stepped forward and placed his hands on Blair's shoulders. He could feel Blair stiffen up at the contact. But Jim leaned forward and whispered into Blair's ear.
"You didn't assume, Blair. It was my doing. I initiated the whole thing. You just wanted the kiss. I love you, Blair Sandburg." Jim gently turned Blair around to face him. He took the coffee cup from Blair's hand, placing it on the counter behind him. He pulled Blair forward, initiating another soft kiss.
Blair pulled away from the kiss and away from Jim's hold. He walked away from Jim, going towards the balcony windows. Jim turned to watch Blair walk away, but decided to give the young man his space.
Blair stood by the windows, looking out on the bright, clear Cascade morning. He could feel the tears welling up in his eyes and he didn't understand his warring emotions. He did love Jim, so why did he pull away from him just now? Blair also remembered last night that he had told Jim he loved him. But he had been soused, he had been drinking. How could Jim even consider loving him? He wasn't worthy of Jim's love. He was an emotional wreck.
Blair reached up and wiped away the tears in his eyes, but more appeared. He should just leave and tell Jim to forget about him.
Jim was surprised when Blair pulled away from him and walked away. He watched as Blair went over towards the balcony windows and just stood there, looking out on the city. Jim wanted to follow Blair to reassure him, but sensed that the younger man needed some time to process what had occurred.
Jim wanted to do nothing more than to take Blair into his arms, declare his love over and over and hold him close. He had been able to get the words out this morning. Telling Blair that he loved him. He did love Blair. With all his heart and soul.
Blair had expressed the same thing to Jim last night. But Jim realized Blair had been drinking and may not remember all that he said. Jim just wanted the opportunity to tell Blair how he felt, how long he had felt it and what he wanted to feel in the future. He wanted a future with the long-haired, energetic bundle of joy. Jim knew staying with Blair was the right move. He just had to convince Blair of that fact.
Jim took several steps towards the living room, still giving Blair his space. He didn't want to scare the young man away. Jim knew how it looked that he was, all of a sudden, hot for his roommate. And the last thing Jim wanted to do was to screw the whole thing up.
Jim smiled when Blair turned to look in his direction. Jim had registered from that first day just how sexy the younger man was. But he didn't act on his feelings then. He didn't totally understand how he could be drawn to a man in a sexual context. He had always been a lady's man. And it was obvious that Blair was the same way. Blair could charm the women like no one else could.
Blair saw the smile on Jim's face and wondered if he could do this. He walked over to stand in front of Jim.
"Can we sit down, Jim? I need to talk to you."
"Of course, Blair. Whatever you want to do."
They sat down side by side on the couch. Blair suddenly got to his feet and moved over to the chair and sat down.
"Sorry. I just need some distance." Blair was staring at the floor.
"It's okay, Chief. We'll do this at your pace."
"Were you just taking pity on me, Jim? When you kissed me and held me?"
"Blair, can you look at me? Please?" Jim was glad when Blair looked up at him. "I want you to know, I wasn't taking pity on you. I do love you. I've wanted to tell you that for the longest time now. But I didn't think you felt the same way. You were always going out with women, having a wonderful time. I didn't want to complicate your life. But last night, when I saw you hurting and alone, I thought I'd take the chance. I was prepared to have you tell me you weren't interested. But you kissed me back, enjoyed the kiss I gave you and you told me you loved me. Do you not want to...?"
"It's a big step, Jim. I've never been with a guy before."
"Neither have I. That means we can learn together."
"Learn oh! Yeah, I guess you're right."
"I don't want to pressure you into something you don't want."
"I do love you, Jim. I have for the longest time. I didn't want to say anything, I mean, I saw you with Carolyn, Lila, even Beverly Sanchez. And I know you and Wendy Hawthorne went out several times. I guess we both were clueless."
"I've never been interested in a man before you, Blair. Never. You mesmerized me. It seems natural with you."
"Maybe it has something to do with me being your guide and you being a sentinel. Maybe the enhanced senses play a part in it. Maybe "
Blair's words were cut off by Jim placing his mouth over Blair's in yet another kiss. Jim had moved from the couch during Blair's explanation. Now, Jim got Blair to his feet, sat down in the chair and then pulled Blair down to sit in his lap.
Blair twined his arms around Jim's neck and deepened the kiss. They only separated when the need for air was apparent. Jim inhaled Blair's scent and closed his eyes in obvious pleasure. Blair noticed the move and took the chance to kiss Jim on the temples, around his ears, and over his entire face, gradually going lower to latch onto the side of Jim's neck, gently nipping. There was a slight moan from Jim as he opened his eyes again.
"You have the sexiest mouth." Jim kissed Blair on the side of his throat, eliciting a moan from Blair.
"I've got an idea. Why don't we go upstairs, where there's more room? We can explore each other, um more thoroughly and with fewer clothes."
"Sounds like a plan, man." Blair jumped to his feet, pulling Jim to his feet and leading him towards the stairs leading to Jim's bedroom and Jim's big bed.
Jim was more than happy to be led upstairs. He was just glad it was Saturday and he didn't have anything else planned.