Authors Notes: The third story in this alternate universe where Sentinel/Guide Pairs are known. The first story provides (what I hope is) useful background for this story.
Warnings: AU, WIP, minor language (a bad word or two)
Disclaimers: As before, not mine. Just borrowed.
For a Male Guide 3:
A Sentinel of His Own
Blair was quiet and contemplative when he and his reduced contingent of bodyguards climbed back into their rental car. JJ had, of course, remained behind with Arianna. The other three Sentinels didnt exactly begrudge JJ his happiness, but there was a quiet air of "why not me?" about them, especially Tom, the most desperate.
As they traveled into the afternoon, conversations slowly picked up, with Moe pointing out that this night they didnt need a hotel room because Ida-Mary had cousins they could drop in on. The cousins had a large, ramshackle house, the kind of house filled with friends and relatives and dogs and gerbils in constantly shifting and ever welcome numbers. Also, Ida-Marys cousin, Gerard, was a gourmet cook.
It was agreed by all members of the party that a night in a friendly household would be better than a night in a hotel, and so Moe made a quick cell phone call, and turned the vehicle slightly North of their original direction. Conversation turned to gentle prodding as the three Sentinels sought more information about the unbonded young Guide in their midst.
A little shy, even now, Blair finally blurted out what had been troubling him since theyd left JJ behind. "What if other Sentinels find out Im a Guidefinder? Theyll come after me, and theyll want me to help them, and I dont know what I did, or how to do it again and and then theyll be mad at me. And, how can work or go to school or do anything if Sentinels are following me around " Suddenly he blushed furiously. "I dont mean you, guys. Really, I dont."
"Blair, Sentinels would never be angry with you. They might be upset or disappointed, but you know that they could never hurt you. You know that, right?" Tom tried to speak soothingly. He reached a hand out to run it soothingly up the younger mans arm. By design, he was sitting with the teen in the backseat while Moe drove and Jim took the "shotgun seat."
"Besides," Moe added, looking at Blair via the rearview mirror, "Youll have your own Sentinel soon enough, and hell help you."
Blair didnt look convinced, but he changed the subject and began to the tell his audience a bit about his mentor and the work they had done together. As always, speaking about his interests made him happy and his eyes began to shine. Seeing him relaxing, the three Sentinels were also able to settle down a bit.
When they reached their destination, however, Blairs fears came back fourfold. Before the four were even out of the car, one of Gerards young sons was flying toward them, yelling, "Hey! Its you! Youre on TV."
Thinking it had something to do with the kidnapping, the three Sentinels asked the boy to tell them more about what hed seen. "They did a whole special," the boy said. "About you being a Guidefinder and kidnapped by the Army and traveling West!"
Blair turned white. "But but who told JJ wouldnt "
"Im sorry about that," Gerard said, corralling his son and sending him back into the house. "I was going to tell you, but Eddie beat me to it. There was an interview with some people at a restaurant and then a woman named Evelyn Moretti. She was really excited. I hate to say this, but she kinda implied that you not only somehow recognized that her daughter was a Guide, but that you somehow made her into one."
Blair couldnt formulate a response more coherent than a soft "oh." Now what was he going to do? Not only would Sentinels be after him, but so would Guides and people who thought they were (or who wanted to be) Guides. Hed have to move to a small island off Guam to escape. It wasnt a week past his birthday, and he felt decades older.
Thus he didnt know whether to laugh or cry when he followed the others into the house. While the three Sentinels stopped to greet Gerards wife and family, Blair continued down the corridor, honing in on a flowery bedroom at the very end. Peeking through the door, he suddenly had the same feeling hed had when hed seen Arianna in the restaurant.
He turned to face the othersSentinels, Gerards family, a few random neighbors and the childrens friendswho had followed him. After smiling brilliantly at Moe, he turned to Gerard. "Whose room is this?"
"Its Bonnies room. Shes my oldest, a graduate student at the University."
"Shes Moes Guide."
And the whole crowd stared.
Moe didnt stop to phone Bonnie or his wife before he borrowed Gerards car and headed out. Hed call them from the road. Part of him thought he should only take Blairs words with some reservations, but he didnt. He believed. Ultimately, the trust was proven to be justified.
Although Gerard asked that they all keep the secret that the Guidefinder was staying with himself and his family, he knew, and so did everyone else, that the secret was not going to stay a secret.
Reluctantly, Gerard joined Jim and Tom and Blair around the kitchen table, and they made plans to head out for a hotel. Too many people had been witness to this Guidefinding, and Gerard suspected that the house was about to become a madhouse.
Gerard did give them a cooler filled with food for the night and the next morning. Blairs picture was already in the news, and this story would just add to the frenzy. Going out to eat in a public place would earn unwanted attention. The men spent a few long minutes going over the map, making sure they could get back to the highway and back on their way.
"I dont want to go to hotel," Blair thought, sadly. "I want to stay in a real bed with a real family. I want " He stopped abruptly
He turned to the tall Sentinel standing right behind him, "Mine?"
Grinning broadly, the Sentinel spoke, "Yours. Mine?"
"Yours," Blair agreed.
Staring in jealous horror at his two soon-to-be-former traveling companions, Tom thought to himself, "No! What about me? What about me?"