The Ellisons and The Sandburgs Join Up
Jim moved purposely through the streaming crowd his head turning from side to side, his eyes scanning the various faces and clothing looking for a certain uniform. He dialed up his sight wincing at the bright lights and the loud noises that assailed him as his hearing followed his sight to an enhanced level and wished that his guide was here. But Blair was trying to find a place to park the car unwilling to do Jim's police privelege perogative by planting the light on the hood and leaving it in a delivery zone. Jim shook his head at Blair's sense proprietary and continued his scan spotting his quarry at the same time they spotted him.
Jim moved forward and dropped to his knee holding out his arms just as William Kenneth Stephen Ellison jetted across the stained marble floor and into him. Jim caught the boy up close to his chest rubbing his small, quivering back with large, gentle hands.
After a moment of making sure he had a tight hold on the frantically, sobbing boy clinging so tightly to him he looked up and gazed on the pale, spindely girl of red-gold waves and the Ellison powder-blue eyes who stood queitly, near enough to touch but all alone.
Jim held out his hand and the young girl clasped it so tightly he thought he heard bones crunch. He refused to wince as he drew her close until she let go of his hand and wrapped thin arms around his waist. She clutched him for a moment only then she pulled back and clamped fine, delicate hands over her ears rocking slightly trying so vailantly to shut out all the input especially her brothers loud cries.
Jim pulled at her arm pulling her back against him, to lean into him and spoke in a sentinel soft voice to her knowing that anything louder would just aggravate her spiking senses more.
"Elisabeth, I want you to imagine a...uhm a t.v. remote control. Can you see the buttons for turning the sound up or down?"
Jim felt Elisabeth still. He felt the effort in her body to imagine what he said, to bring it into focus. He felt her failure as she shook her head with a choked sob. Jim furrowed his brow and looked around again for his guide. Blair had to be in here now but Jim knew it would take a few moments for him to find them. Elisabeth did not have those moments. Already Jim felt her slipping into a zone out as overloaded senses- from to much input and overwhelming emotion- spiralled into shut down.
Turning back to his niece he clutched her tighter and spoke again urgently while gently shaking her to remove the glassy look from her eyes. William K. had stopped crying and now lay limply against Jim to weak to move but alert enough to gaze anxiously at his sister while Jim tried again to help Elisabeth control her out-of-control senses.
"What does the loud noises, bright lights, sharp smells, scratchy touch and sour tastes look like in your head?" He blundered forward instinctively.
Elisabeth trembled and Jim feared she wouldn't be able to respond as she cried whole-heartedly.
Finally, "I don't know. I don't know. Nothing"
"Try Elisabeth, try."
The child strained and then finally panted out "Mom's model. I see Mom's model."
Jim jumped on that even though he didn't understand her image until he remembered that Karin Elisabeth Ellison had been a fashion designer. She had helped to design a couple of the new fashions being worn by young people today including the fashions for her and her daughter. She had taught Elisabeth fashion and style, color coordination and how to match jewelry and make-up. It was no wonder her daughter thought in fashions when asked to visualize. She'd already been doing it for a long while now for her mother's specialty.
"Why does the model make you feel out-of-control?" Jim didn't know where any of this was coming from. He felt as if he could hear Blair's voice coaching him though. "What is wrong with the model?"
"She...she's, her clothes are all wrong and her make-up and jewelry. She's jarring. That's what momma used to say when things didn't go together. She said they were jarring and that's what the model is, jarring. Her shoes are to loud and clumpy like on a wooden floor in a empty room and her jewelry is to big and bright and jangly. It makes clashing sounds everytime she moves."
"Okay Elisabeth good. Now tell me how you can make the model not so jarring?"
Elisabeth panted for a moment fighting the overwhelming sensory input to change the image in her head until a cool blanket of peace descended over her dulling the sights, sounds, smells and tastes which finally allowed her to redesign the model in her head.
"Her make-up's to bright and the wrong color. Her hair is in a ugly, old-lady style. Her clothes don't fit right. I'm making her look fashionable" Elisabeth said matter-of-factly. When she raised her head her senses were under control and her eyes lit on the sense of peace that had helped her. She gazed into the ocean-blue eyes of Blair James Sandburg and smiled.
Jim had felt the presence of his guide and his son BJ at the same time as Elisabeth. As Elisabeth got herself under control and pushed away from him, Jim looked up into the eyes of his guide.
Blair looked down at Jim and his niece and nephew and smiled. Somehow he had known that Jim needed him and had hurried through the crowd looking for him. He had a general direction but had been surprised when BJ had grabbed his hand and pulled to the left urging him faster in an urgent desire to find what the boy described as a desperate call to him.
As they got closer Blair too had sensed they were going in the right direction but he couldn't help looking at his son in wonder when they came out of the pressing crowds to find Jim kneeling on the floor coaching his niece in "turning down the dials."
Blair couldn't help his fascination in the images Elisabeth described. He had come up with the dials to help Jim after a bullet injury had left feeling to much pain but Elisabeth seemed to have a well designed mechanism for turning down her senses on her own.
Blair couldn't help the questions and tests ideas that popped up in his head. Did all sentinels have an instinctive, internal imagery to described their enhanced sensory capacity and had Jim's been destroyed or misplaced because of his father's cruel attempt to make him repress who he was? Or perhaps the imagery was more of nurture than instinctive because Karin Elizabeth Ellison had been a dressmaker for celebrities and the fashion industry with her daughter being privy to her work.
Blair's head was swimming with ideas until he really looked at the pale, tear-stained little girl and her emotionally drained brother, then all thoughts of test flew out of his head leaving him only the very concerned new uncle of two recently traumatized young children.
He knelt down by Jim and smiled at Elisbeth and William K. who was gazing at him out of wary eyes.
"Hello. I'm Blair. I'm your Uncle's friend and I hope to be yours too."
Jim smiled at the two children and lifted William away from him. He motioned to Blair and BJ who Blair had drawn close to his side. Neither man could miss how the two older children were gazing at each other still but they decided they would deal with that later.
"Blair, BJ I want you to meet my niece and nephew Elisabeth Stacy Ellison and her brother William Kenneth Stephen Ellison."
"William K., Elisa I want you to meet my friend and housemate and his son BJ."
Elisabeth stepped forward and greeted Blair and BJ very prim and properly but her eyes stared fixed on BJ. "Hello I'm pleased to meet you." She hesitated a moment then she barreled ahead in a child's honest need. "Please call me Bet, that's what everyone calls me and William is Kenny. Daddy says..." She paused and gulped. "Daddy said..." She clarified forcefully, "William K. is to pretentious. That's just what grandpa calls him because he likes to hear his name."
Jim couldn't help but grin at her candor and honesty and Blair found himself laughing out loud. The children looked at them as if they were crazy then BJ moved forward. "It's good you're coming to live with us Bet. We need a woman about the house, maybe it'll help Dad be less messy."
Jim and Blair looked at each other and laughed again. Jim pushed himself to his feet and set Kenny down. He reached for their bags, the rest would be sent later and he would have to go through his brother's estate but that was for later. Now he was taking them home.
BJ clasped Bet's hand and pulled her away toward the car glancing back with disdain at the laughing adults and Kenny followed. BJ wasn't quite sure what was going on but he knew that Bet was very important to him already just like Jim was to his father and he would protect her from whatever or whoever tried to hurt her he promised to himself and Kenny to because he was her little brother.
And so the Ellisons and the Sandburgs were joined and a new sentinel/guide relationship was begun.