BY: Lyn

WARNING: Explicit scenes, M/M sex.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Originally written for My Mongoose Ezines for Valentine's Day.

There were two roses today. Blair slowed his approach when he saw the flowers
placed on his side of Jim's desk. Yesterday there had been three and the day
before that, four and the day before that, well, you get the picture.

Jim was on the phone. He nodded his head, acknowledging Blair's arrival. Blair
placed his backpack on the floor under the desk and slid into the adjacent
chair. Waiting for Jim to finish his call, his attention was drawn back to the

They were satiny and blood red in color, a small drop of water perched
delicately on the tip of one perfect bloom. Blair reached out and brushed his
finger over one bud, the sensation soft, warm and sensuous beneath his touch.

"Figured out who they're from yet?"

Jim's voice startled him from his dreamy reverie and he jumped, wincing as a
thorn bit into his finger. Sucking on the injured digit, Blair shook his head.

"There's no card again," he replied. He shrugged, tried to make it look
nonchalant. "Maybe John," he added softly.

Jim stared at him for a moment, his eyes narrowed then abruptly he stood and
pulled his leather jacket from the hook behind him. "Let's go. Sneaks has got
something for me."

Blair looked down at his shoes. "Glad I wore my old sneakers today."


Blair looked nervously at the gun barrel an inch from his face and beyond it to
his partner's angry glare. He swallowed dryly; knowing the fury in that gaze
was not reserved exclusively for the young drug dealer who now held him
hostage. He started as the man shifted the weapon so that it dug now into the
side of his head. A strong arm snaked around his neck, cutting off most of his
air and he struggled automatically, his breath wheezing as it scraped past the
constriction on his throat.

"Move." The gun moved away for a moment and pointed at Jim. "You! Stay where
you are or your partner gets it."

"You've been watching too many cop shows, man," Blair squeaked and then paled
as the gun dug cruelly into his temple.

Jim spoke, his tone cold and deadly. "Shut up, Sandburg."

"Yeah," the kid with the gun mimicked. "Shut up, Sandburg."

Blair felt himself dragged back, his air cut off totally for one awful,
panic-filled moment when his feet didn't move quickly enough to stay up with
his captor. Then the hold on his throat lessened somewhat and he blinked away
the dark spots crowding his vision. A cold dread filled him as he saw Jim
getting further away from him, his hands balled into fists so tightly clenched
that they shook, a nerve in his cheek twitching furiously.

Blair raised a hand as though to grasp for a lifeline and then everything went
to hell in a handbasket.For the drug dealer at least. Blair felt the man behind
him stumble just as he raised his hand toward Jim. He felt himself falling
backward toward the ground, then heard twin explosions of gunshots, the first
passing so close that he felt the heat from the bullet as it whizzed past his
cheek. The second shot sounded a split second later and coincided with a
burning pain in his arm that slithered all the way up to his shoulder and back
down to his fingers.

He hit the ground with a bone-jarring thump and curled instinctively around
the pain in his arm as he gasped like a landed fish and struggled desperately
to draw air into his lungs.

"Chief?" He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, a fine trembling still evident
in the touch and he forced himself to stretch out, then weakly began to pull
himself into a seated position. "Easy, just lay back and relax, all right?
Ambulance is on its way."

*Ambulance? * Blair's eyes flickered briefly over to the drug dealer who lay on
his back, his arms flung wide, the gun spilled from his hand lying a few feet
away. The man's eyes were open but there was no life there, the neat bullet
hole between them attesting to that fact. Blair felt his stomach lurch and
looked away quickly. He felt the drizzle of cold sweat down his back and did
not fight when Jim pushed him back to the ground. The pain in his arm flared
again at the movement and he groaned as Jim wrapped a strong hand around his
forearm, squeezing tightly.

"You're going to be fine, Sandburg. Just got in the way of a bullet. I know it
hurts but I need to put some pressure on the wound."

Blair nodded, and swallowed past the lump in his throat at the tender look on
Jim's face. One small half-sob escaped his mouth and he blinked away the
foolish tears that dribbled unintentionally from his scrunched up eyes.

"Sorry," he whispered.

"No problem, Chief. Just try to breathe through the pain. You know the drill by
now. I know it's hurting."

"Not that," Blair said. He jumped as the door to the warehouse opened with a
loud squeal and footsteps made their way hurriedly toward them. "Should have
done what you said. Should have stayed in the truck."

"Yeah, well you got that right, Darwin, and we will talk about it when you're
patched up."

"Could have gotten you killed," Blair said. He could feel the shivering start
up in his bones, felt cold seeping into him, suddenly Jim's face wavered in
front of him and he gave into the darkness.


"Jim, I said I was sorry. I don't know what else you want me to say." Blair sat
on the sofa and watched his partner pace up and down in front of him.

Jim stopped and turned to glare at him and Blair felt a chill pass over him.

"You could have been killed, Sandburg. Do you realize how lucky you are that
all you got out of this was a bullet in your arm?" He gestured with his coffee
cup to the sling on Blair's right arm, not even appearing to notice the coffee
that sloshed onto the floor.

Blair sighed and stood up, walking quickly to the kitchen to retrieve a
washcloth. He brought it back and handed it to Jim then pointed at the liquid
on the floor. He watched as Jim placed his cup on the coffee table then bent to
mop up the mess. "If I promise to do exactly what you tell me, to the best of
my ability from now on, will you give it a rest?"

Jim eyed him speculatively from his position on the floor. "What do you mean,
to the best of your ability, Sandburg?"

Blair shrugged. "If you go into a warehouse on your own after some guy who's
got a fucking big gun and then you zone, I am not going to wait in the truck
and listen while he shoots you."

"I wasn't zoned," Jim amended as he took the cloth back to the kitchen and
rinsed it under the faucet. "I was listening."

"I didn't know that," Blair flopped back onto the couch in a sulk, wincing as
the movement jarred his injured arm.

"I just don't know what I'd do if something happened to you, that's all."

The admission was whispered but to Blair it sounded like a shout. He looked up
at the detective and pushed the hope from his face, keeping his words carefully

"What do you mean?" His voice sounded raspy in his ears.

Jim looked up sharply at the question and appeared to give it some thought
before shaking his head. "You damn well know what I mean, Sandburg. You're my
partner and my friend. I don't want to see you get hurt because of me."

"And that's it?" Blair scooted his legs up onto the couch and leaned back
against the cushions piled high at one end.

"What do you mean, is that it? That's not enough for you?"

*Not nearly enough, Jim. * "Of course it is," Blair answered. "I just thought I
detected something more for a minute, that's all, and you've been acting kind
of snippy lately."

Jim allowed a smile to tease his lips. "Snippy, Chief?"

"Bad-tempered, pissed off, angry."

"I know what it means, Sandburg. I just don't think I know where you're going
with this."

"All right. Is it the fact that I'm bisexual that makes you uncomfortable or
just the fact that I'm dating John?"

Jim shifted in place, and studied the floor and Blair knew that he'd scored a
bulls-eye. "Come on, man, you know what I'm saying here." He sat up again on
the couch and leaned forward.

"You're talking crazy, Sandburg. Must be the drugs the doctor gave you."

"I haven't taken any drugs yet," Blair replied. "Come on, Jim. Open up to me
here. If it makes you uncomfortable to think of me going out with guys, going
to bed with guys," he let his voice drop a little lower in pitch, "having sex
with guys, then I'll move out."

Jim's eyes widened. "No! It's not that. You don't have to go. I didn't mean for
you to think."

"Then what, Jim?"

Jim opened his mouth to speak and Blair waited, his heart pounding furiously in
his chest. "I can't. It's not you, Chief. It's just. It's complicated, okay?"

Then abruptly, the sentinel spun on his heel and headed toward the stairs. "If
you haven't taken any of those painkillers, you should do that and get some

Blair felt the breath he'd been holding rush from his throat in a heavy sigh
and he slumped back onto the couch. He lowered his hand to his rampant erection
and stroked it gently a couple of times. "Down, boy," he whispered. "Now is so
not the time for this."


Jim had already left for work by the time Blair staggered from his bedroom the
following morning and the anthropologist knew that any discussion was going to
have to wait until that evening. He had classes and office hours all day and
Jim had to give a statement regarding the shooting of the drug dealer who had
held Blair hostage at the warehouse.

Blair showered and shaved awkwardly, trying not to jostle his injured arm and
then snatched his backpack up from the floor before hurrying out of the loft.
The rest of the day flew by in a daze as he struggled to catch up with the work
that had been neglected while he'd been in the hospital.

An unpleasant lecture from the Chancellor regarding his repeated absences from
the university further delayed Blair's escape and he still felt wound up and
tense when he finally climbed wearily into his car and backed out of the
parking space. Glancing at his watch as he turned onto Prospect, he cursed. It
was already seven o'clock and he'd promised Jim that he'd be home early enough
to cook. Any hope that he may have had that the detective might have gotten
caught up at the precinct were dashed when he spotted Jim's truck parked in its
usual spot outside the apartment building.

Juggling backpack, keys and takeout bags, a bribe for Jim, Blair fumbled to let
himself in the front door. He stopped dead in the foyer at the sight before

The detective stood with his back to him lighting the candles that sat in
elegant silver holders in the center of an exquisitely set table.

"Jim?" Blair cleared his throat and tried again. "Jim? What's going on?"

Jim turned to face him, a nervous smile on his face, his cheeks coloring
suddenly. "You're home. You're late. I expected you at six."

Blair lowered his bags to the floor and shrugged out of his jacket. "Sorry. I
should have phoned. The Chancellor wanted a piece of me over being away on sick
leave again. I didn't know you were expecting someone." His eyes traveled from
the table to the smoldering blue of Jim's eyes then back to the table. He
hooked a hand over his shoulder. "I'll go catch a movie or something."

Jim lifted two champagne glasses from the table before shaking his head. "I'm
not expecting anybody, Blair." He said the name like a caress. "Well, actually
I am. You." He half-turned back toward the table and indicated it with a
glass-filled hand. "This is for you.and me."

Then Blair saw the rose and understood. "It was you," he breathed, coming
closer. "Why didn't you say something?"

"I couldn't at first. It felt strange, wrong somehow and I."

Blair's eyes narrowed. "You think it's wrong? Unnatural. Dirty to love another

"No!" Jim's reply was sharp and immediate. "Just new to me. I've never felt an
attraction toward another man before and I'm not sure that I do now. Any man
except you, that is."

Blair gave him a considering look. "Are you saying that maybe it's a sentinel

Jim shrugged and took a measured step closer, holding out one of the champagne
glasses. "Maybe it's a Blair thing. Whatever. All I know is that I've been
trying to ignore it, push it away, pretend my feelings for you were just the
love a man has for his partner, his brother, then you started seeing John and I
couldn't deny it anymore. I was afraid I was losing you to him. I laid awake
all last night, trying to work out what to do about it. I've been on
tenterhooks all day, terrified that this might push you away completely."

Blair stepped closer and raised his glass to Jim's, striking the edges together
in a tuneful toast. "I'm not running away, Jim, as you can see."

"So you're okay with this?"

Blair leaned in and placed a soft, delicate kiss on Jim's lips. "More than
okay, Jim, more than okay."


Jim sat back from where he straddled Blair's naked body and studied his lover
for a long moment, one hand absently scratching through the soft mat of hair on
Blair's chest. His other hand moved lower and he scraped a gentle fingernail up
the underside of Blair's weeping cock, smiling when the other man moaned softly
and arched his hips up toward him.

"So," Blair whispered, biting his lip as Jim's hand encircled him and began to
slowly stroke. "No more secrets?"

Jim leaned forward and moved his hands so that they framed Blair's face. He
watched his lover's eyes turned a dark sultry blue as he began to undulate so
that their cocks rubbed against each other in a sensual rhythm.

"No," he agreed, bringing his lips to Blair's. "No more secrets."