A/N: Love and Friendship Story set after Hands of Time.
Rating: MA Explicit Male/Male Sex
Story Notes: Allison (Jamie to her father and Uncle Jim only) is the niece of Jim Ellison; Special Agent Joel Campbell is from the movie, The Watcher--No copyright infringement intended.
Love Leads to Isolation
J. L. Blackstone
“Allison, we have to go.”
The eight-year old girl didn’t even turn from the television screen. The sound of explosions echoed through the loft, as they have been for the last couple of hours.
Blair sighed and checked the clock. “You have five minutes to get yourself to a saving and quitting point. I have to drop you off at your grandfather’s in half an hour.” He turned and picked up the black portfolio which had been the reason behind this short visit to the loft. He needed some papers from his desk and also took advantage to pick up some more clothes for them.
It was almost a month since he and Jim had moved in with Jim’s father to help take care of the blonde little girl who was now methodically securing the cord from the game controller. She had already ended the game and was neatly putting the playstation along with the gamepads in the drawer where Jim kept them along with the other game paraphernalia.
Jim had bought the playstation for the weekends that Allison stayed with them although Blair did not approve of the majority of the shoot and kill games that his lover bought the little girl.
Blair snorted under his breath. It didn’t help that the little girl was as good a shot as her uncle, her heightened senses not withstanding. “Ready?”
He took a fond look around before he ushered the little girl through the door. He missed the loft.
Blair was laughing as he followed the little girl into the house. They automatically headed towards the kitchen for an “after school snack.”
He and Allison were peering into the refrigerator when the elder Ellison walked into the room.
Blair smiled as the little girl walked over and gave William Ellison a hug before scampering back to look into the refrigerator.
“We’re looking for a snack. Any suggestions?”
“How about…,” William began as he withdrew a covered plate from the closed microwave grandly. With a flourish he pulled off the aluminum foil to reveal a plate full small sandwiches with chips.
“All right!” Allison exclaimed in an almost exact imitation of Blair’s speech pattern.
William and Blair exchanged a glance over the little girl’s head.
Blair gave a half shrug and smiled sheepishly. Whatever he was going to say was interrupted by the shrill sound of his cell phone ringing. “That’s mine,’ he turned away and fished his phone out of the pocket of his jacket in relief. “Hello,” he said into the phone, all too aware that he wasn’t alone. “How ya doing, Joel. Yes. How many victims? Really? Okay, three is better. I’ll meet you there. I have to drop by the Station and tell Jim. Bye.”
“Well guys it looks like it’s going to be an all Ellisons weekend,” Blair announced with a smile down at Allison.
Allison’s forehead furrowed ominously while the elder Ellison’s eyebrows arched in surprise.
“There’s a case out on a reservation in Montana that the FBI want me to check out,” explained Blair.
“How long will you be?” William asked.
“A couple of days. It’s probably not anything, Joel, Agent Campbell is just being cautious.” Blair smiled assuredly at Jim’s father and niece, neglecting to mention that Campbell specialized in serial killers.
William’s question brought him out of his thoughts. “Joel’s expecting me at the airport in three hours.” He ruffled Allison’s hair affectionately and grabbed an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter. “I’m going to be stopping by the station to tell Jim, so I gotta get going if I’m going to make it.”
Blair quickly went up the stairs and grabbed the small black bag from their closet that he always kept packed with the essentials for occasions like these.
He hugged Allison goodbye and nodded to William right before he went out the front door. As uncomfortable as saying goodbye to the little girl was it was going to be a picnic compared to how Jim was going to react.
Especially after their disagreement two days ago.
As he drove, scenes from the night of the argument that had left him and Jim barely talking to each other for the last couple of days flashed through his mind.
“What did you say?” Blair looked down into the light blue eyes in disbelief.
“Stop pussyfooting around, Sandburg. Just do it!” Jim tilted his pelvis up, making Blair’s erection roughly trail along the cleft between his buttocks.
Blair sat back on his knees between Jim’s wantonly spread legs. Oh yeah, the view was perfect and he was all raring to go: to be buried in that tight ass that he’d touched and fondled for the last two years. Not to mention the teasing glimpses he’d gotten of it all the time they were working together in the previous four or so years.
But no, his eyes narrowed suspiciously at Jim’s words. His previous enthusiasm waning at the undercurrent of tension he could sense. No pun intended. “What the hell is your problem, Jim?!”
“I’m not the one with the problem.”
“So it’s my fault!” He pressed his lips together in agitation before the rage filled curse escaped before continuing in a more patient tone, “Jim, you won’t let me rim you and you’re still so tight that I can’t get one finger in and out of you easily. And I’m a hell of a lot thicker than two fingers! Trust me, ramming it in WILL. NOT. WORK.”
“Yes if you had some balls and would just do it! Get it the hell over with!”
Blair closed his eyes, his hands clenched into fists while he counted to ten in Hebrew, the language he hadn’t used in over fifteen years. He slowly got off the bed and backed away, breathing heavily but evenly.
Part of him was tempted to just “RAM IT IN” like Jim had ordered him but he knew that it would be the one and only time he ever got to again. It wouldn’t be all that enjoyable for him either since he knew that it would tear Jim which would probably require surgery and lead to a whole lot of questions that neither of them could afford.
“What is it with you lately?!” Blair asked. “Why the rush?!”
Jim rolled his eyes indicating what he thought of him and talking, especially at the moment.
“Answer me, Jim. For the past week you’ve done nothing but push. We talked about this…”
“I’m tired of talking!”
“No, no, no, no, NO!” Blair shook his head in agitation. “Something else is going on here. I don’t know what it is, I can’t put my finger on it…”
“It’s called wanting to get LAID, Sandburg! Something you should be familiar with since you do it often enough!”
Forget Hebrew, let’s try Archaic Latin. Blair leaned his head back surprised when it came into contact with the door. He’d backed away across the spacious bedroom all the way to the other side. The sound of someone, probably Jim’s father, William moving through the hallway clearly audible although they were trying to move quietly.
Blair strode forward to stand before the foot of the bed and glared. “That’s it!”
Jim’s eyes narrowed at the knowing tone.
“That’s it isn’t it? Your dad. You’re still trying to prove something, aren’t you?! I won’t be part of some FUCK YOU to your dad. If you thought I would, you can go to hell!”
Guilt flashed across Jim’s face for an instant telling him that he‘d hit upon the damn truth.
Blair pulled on a pair of sweat pants that he’d earlier discarded and slammed out of the room. He hadn’t slept in the room since then, camping out on the couch in the living room instead. Even going so far as to use the downstairs bathroom to shower to avoid having to interact with Jim. When they’d been in the company of others, they were polite but nothing more.
William knew something was wrong of course, although Blair didn’t think he knew exactly what he and Jim had argued about, merely that they had a fight. The elder Ellison acted too comfortable around them to know that he’d been, indirectly anyway, the subject of the disagreement.
Blair turned into the underground parking garage of the Cascade police station with a sigh.
Maybe Jim would be out on a call and he could leave a note.
He nodded acknowledgement to Rafe and Brown’s hellos but didn’t pause to talk on his way toward Banks’ office.
“Hi Rhonda,” he greeted the blond with a smile. “Is he busy?” he asked with a nod toward the figure that could be seen though the glass walls of the Captain’s office.
She shook her head, “No, go right in.”
Blair rapped once on the door with his knuckles before stepping in. “Hey Simon,” Blair greeted.
Simon sighed but didn’t look up from the paperwork he was reading. “What can I do for you, Sandburg?” he groused per usual.
“I’ve been asked by the FBI to look over a case in Montana.”
At the word “FBI” Simon looked up and by the time of “Montana” he’d pushed himself back in the chair and was reaching for a cigar.
He shook his head but didn’t sit. “I don’t have any of the particulars quite yet. Joel…”
Simon nodded for Blair to continue. All of Major Crime had pretty much adopted the FBI agent via Sandburg since his arrival several weeks ago. Even Jim treated him if not as part of the gang then as pretty darn close.
“There’s been three vic’s out on a reservation. Might be ritualized killings according to some Native American myth, Joel asked me along just in case. Think you can spare me for a few days?”
“Fine.” Simon shook his head unhappily but agreed. “Tell Rhonda on your way out.”
“What does Jim think?”
He shrugged. “I haven’t ran into him, yet.”
“Check the break room.”
Simon’s attention was already back on the paperwork by the time he walked out the door.
Blair rubbed the back of his neck nervously as he walked up to the tall figure standing in front of the vending machine. “Hey, Jim,” he lightly greeted.
Blue eyes flicked his way for an instant before they returned to the contents of the vending machine.
“Jim, Joel called,” Blair began, while his eyes scoured the chiseled features for any sign of emotion. “Campbell wants me to look at a case out…”
Jim’s head slowly began to turn towards him.
“…in Montana,” finished Blair staring up at Jim.
He shook his head. “I haven’t seen the file, yet. All I know is that there’s been three people killed out on a reservation. Looks like ritual killings…” his voice trailed off as Jim’s face went even more blank.
Jim crossed his arms over his chest. “You going?”
“Well, yeah,” Blair replied, surprise in his voice. “It’s my job…”
“Fine.” Jim turned back toward the vending machine.
Nothing not even a twitch. Blair narrowed his eyes angrily. “Jim!”
Ellison reached into this back pocket and pulled out his wallet and calmly withdrew a couple of dollar bills.
“Am I suppose to ask your permission now?!”
“Of course not! Don’t be ridiculous, Sandburg!” Jim replied, turning once again to face him.
“Then what is it? Is it Joel?” Blair fell silent and just stared up at Jim. “I know the timing isn’t great. I’m sorry about that.”
A quirked eyebrow was Jim’s only response.
“Maybe the time apart will do us good,” he began.
“What? Like D.C?” Jim asked sarcastically.
“Well, go have fun with your little drinking buddy,” Jim told him before walking past him out of the break room.
“That went well,” Blair said aloud to no one. “I guess a ride to the airport is out of the question,” he sarcastically stated knowing that Jim with his heightened senses could hear him.
However, he walked into Major Crime a minute after Jim, surprised to overhear his lover telling Simon that he was driving him to the airport. Blair stood by his desk stunned.
“Ready?” Jim asked as he walked towards him.
“Uh, yeah.” He followed the tall detective out into the hallway, wondering what he’d just gotten himself into.
“Thanks, for this,” Blair said as he buckled his seatbelt.
Jim turned the wheel and they were soon out of the parking garage into a flood of bright sunlight.
“Look, Jim. About the other night…”
Jim sighed and gripped the wheel tighter but didn’t glance over at Blair, keeping his attention on driving.
“If it’s really what you want, I’ll do it.”
“Sounding real enthusiastic there, Sandburg,” Jim dryly commented.
Blair clenched his teeth. “Dammit, Jim! I’m trying to apologize…”
His jaw dropped at the deadpanned statement.
“I’ll just keep fucking you…fine by me,” continued Jim casually as if he was talking about taking the car out to be washed.
“You…ASSHOLE!” Blair blurted out after a couple of stunned seconds.
“Hey! You’re the one who seems to have a problem, Sandburg. I’m raring to go while you’re sitting on the bench…however you didn’t seem to have a problem with Roy and what was that other guy’s name…Daniel?” Jim asked with an air of innocence.
“I never slept with Daniel, Jim,” Blair stated through clenched teeth. “You know that…why are you doing thi--.” He stared at Jim in shock. “Its just for a few days. I won’t ever…”
“Dammit!” Jim quickly crossed over to roughly park on the side off on the side of the two lane highway. He pressed his forehead down on his hands which were still clenching the steering wheel.
Blair watched in concern, wanting to touch Jim but afraid. Suddenly it was too much and he was sliding over the vinyl bench seat after hurriedly unbuckling his seatbelt.
He tenderly reached out and touched the side of Jim’s head. “It was just a stupid fight. I’m not going to get myself killed--”
Blair’s words were cut off by Jim’s tongue pressing inside his mouth hungrily. Two days of not touching each other caught up with both of them. Blair found himself alternately clutching and running his hands over Jim’s back and chest as they kissed sloppily.
Jim backed off for a moment and they met each other’s eyes, both breathing heavily.
“Ride me,” Jim gruffly whispered against his lips.
Blair shut his eyes tightly against the image of him doing exactly that which flashed through his mind at the words. “We’ve never done it here, there’s no lube,” he panted out into Jim’s open mouth.
Jim released his seatbelt and reached over, brushing against the front of Blair’s pants as he opened the glove compartment to take out a small white tube. “The camping trip,” he muttered by way of explanation.
Blair nodded, now remembering the camping trip they’d taken about two months ago, and the stowing of a new tube of Astroglide ‘just in case.’ He gave a short bark of laughter as he took the tube from Jim and flicked the cap open with his thumb.
Jim scooted over to the center of the seat and began echoing Blair’s actions with his own jeans.
About to lower his zipper, Blair paused and looked around. “Uh, Jim, we are sorta out in the open here, man, and it’s the middle of the afternoon.” He looked over at Jim and shivered at the heat in Jim’s eyes. “Ah, screw it.”
He undid his zipper and pushed his slacks down, his loafers being the first to be kicked off then the pants, quickly followed by his boxers. That done, he quickly coated his hands with the liquid gel and turned to wards Jim.
Blair smiled as he straddled Jim, leaning over to kiss Jim, his hands immediately finding and coating the hard length rising from between the muscular legs. He whimpered as Jim’s hands immediately found their way to his buttocks, clutching each cheek tightly which slightly spread them, exposing him to the air.
It was Jim, however, who groaned into their joined mouths when he pulled Blair’s hips forward so that their cocks rocked and slid against one another.
The finger that gently nudged inside him, heightened the intensity of their kiss. Blair thrust his tongue inside to taste the mouth that he’d been deprived of for days. He pulled away after a few minutes and slowly opened his eyes.
Jim stared up at him and gasped, “I’ve missed you.”
Blair nodded and pressed his lips to Jim’s in a chaste kiss. “I’m ready.”
“We’re bare backing,” Jim informed him unnecessarily considering that his hands still tenderly encircled Jim’s erection sans condom.
“I’ll risk it,” replied Blair with a smile. He raised up slightly until he could feel the head press against his pucker. His hands tightened on Jim’s shoulders to steady himself as he pressed down, closing his eyes as he once again felt the distinct width and sureness of Jim’s cock as it slid home, something he’d longed for since the night of the fight.
Jim gripped the back of Blair’s head and pulled him down for a kiss.
Their bodies moved in synch to meet one another with a loud slap. Jim gripped one of Blair’s hips as he thrust upwards trying to get deeper, faster.
Blair’s hair hung down brushing the side’s of Jim’s face as he moved up and down.
“Love you,” Jim panted between kisses, pressing his lips tightly to Blair’s as he began to shudder.
Blair threw his head back as he felt the cock spasm within him, his right hand immediately dropping down to stroke his own roughly. When Jim’s sticky hand joined his, he groaned.
“Come on, baby. That’s it!”
He felt himself tighten up in that delicious second before one crests over into orgasm. He collapsed down on Jim’s lap, totally done in and not wanting to move ever again. “I hate you, you know,” Blair murmured into Jim’s neck, musing that he’d never smelt anything better than Jim when he’s covered in sweat. Preferably naked.
But hey this would do. He could die happy. Well maybe not happy, but sated. Blair smiled into the sweaty skin of Jim’s neck and placed a kiss there before lifting his head up. He cupped Jim’s face and softly kissed his lips.
He laughed breathlessly as the arms around him tightened making him all too aware of where his body surrounded Jim’s. “I gotta go.”
Jim nodded and gripped his hips, helping him as he raised upward while they stared into each other’s eyes, both holding their breath at the hot wet withdrawal. He reached up with his right hand to tenderly brush away a few strands from the side of Blair’s face. “You call me, if you’re in any danger whatsoever.”
Blair nodded. “I will.”
“Promise me, Blair.”
“I do. I did. I’m not taking any crazy chances. Joel probably won’t even need me. It’ll turn out to be nothing and I’ll be back tomorrow,” Blair assured him with a smile as he sat beside Jim and began to pull on his clothes.
He pushed Jim towards the steering wheel. “Now come on, I have a plane to catch.”
Joel laughed out loud at the long haired man weaving left and right around people; jumping very adroitly over a stack of suitcases to slip just ahead of the airport official drawing the a gray rope across the corridor leading to the plane.
He shook his head at Blair’s flushed face and his rumpled clothes. “Jim drop you off,” he asked in a knowing tone.
Blair shot him a half smile, as he accepted his boarding pass back from the attendant who waved him on.
They began walking down the rickety tunnel towards the plane.
“I’m sorry I cut it so close,” Blair apologized. “I had to stop in the restroom,” he added in low tone and looked around to make sure no one was around.
“I would hope so,” he teased him.
It didn’t take them long to find their seats. As soon as Blair got settled he handed him the file that he’d taken out of his briefcase before placing it under his seat.
He watched Blair’s eyes narrow curiously behind the lenses of the glasses he immediately put on. “See something?”
Blair glanced at him then back down at the photograph. “Maybe, do you have a wider shot of this wall?”
“Maybe, it’ll be back a few more…Does it mean something?”
“I think it might be the Lakota symbol for wolf and this...” Blair pointed to another red blob that ran off into the right hand corner of the photograph, “for…just…well a derivative of just.” He fell silent as he compared the symbol in the paragraph to the page of the book he’d pulled from his backpack. “It’s been a while since I studied the language. But I do think that they are saying something important.”
Joel nodded. “I thought so, he is definitely conducting some sort of ritual but since I’m not up on my Native American legends.”
“Legend? Why would you say that?” Blair asked him sharply.
He shrugged and looked off to the front of the plane, watching as the flight attendant pushed the trolley covered in drinks down the aisle. “It just reminded me of some Indian art I saw once in a gallery down in New Mexico.”
Blair continued to look over the symbols but couldn’t make much of them. “The scenes are intact?”
“The first got a bit mucked up by the locals but the second, well it became obvious that it was a possible serial so care was taken with the second. The third is only 24 hours old.”
He snorted at Campbell’s dry tone. “They called you immediately.”
“Yeah. Realized they were out of their depth. Fortunately.”
“Before more deaths.” He shifted his attention back to the photographs scattered across his lap before he began to gather them up to put back into the briefcase. “Good, I want to see all of the scenes in person. I think we’re missing something here…the photographs are good but the staging is too deliberate as if its designed to illicit a particular emotion in regard to the symbols’ meanings.”
Joel eyes narrowed slightly as he pondered the words. “Emotion…might give us a clue as to motive…”
“….and what the purpose is behind the killings. If we’re really lucky.” Blair leaned back and relaxed against the seat after he safely stowed the locked briefcase under his seat.
“Ellison okay with you heading out for a few days?” Joel asked, humor in his voice.
“Fine enough,” replied Blair looking sideways at Joel’s grinning face. “What?”
Joel shrugged as he slightly shook his head and laughed. “I’m still amazed that Ellison and you are hooked up. I never thought, I mean even when you were bitching about him in D.C. I thought you were just being….I had no idea that you were actually being soft on the guy. Ellison is some piece of work.”
Blair pursed his lips and scowled, wondering if he should feel the way he was, two reactions warring within him at whether to be outraged on behalf of his…husband…or laugh at the accurate assessment of Jim’s personality. Hell, even he still had seconds of incredulity when he woke up beside Jim. “Who’ve you been talking to? It sounds like you’ve heard a new story about the old Ellison charm from somewhere. Jim hasn‘t made many friends at the FBI.”
“Nor with his ex-wife.”
“Carolyn!” Blair turned sharply in his seat towards Joel. “You met her when you were in San Francisco ?” What were the odds?
“Oh, yeah.” His eyes held Blair’s for a long second before continuing in an amused tone. “One of the guys I was working with at the SFPD thought I need a bit of cheering up.”
“Oh, no! Don’t tell me?!”
Joel nodded still grinning wildly. “Blind date with Ellison’s ex.”
Blair groaned. “Oh god! How long did it take you two to find out?”
“Not even five minutes. The first thing she asked was what city I was based at, after she heard Cascade it was pretty much written.”
“What did she say?” Blair asked although at this point he really didn’t want to know. He hadn’t seen Carolyn since that disastrous dinner months ago when she found out that Jim and him were together.
“She asked if I knew Ellison, when I responded that I did she asked me how he was doing?”
“She didn’t mention you if that’s what you’re getting at.”
“No real reason she should, I guess. I mean we were never exactly friends even back then…”
“Wait a minute, Carolyn was still in Cascade when you began working with Ellison?” Joel asked in an incredulous tone.
“Yeah, but they were divorced. I mean there was that one date but Jim and I never…we only got together a couple of years ago, man.”
“Woe! Woe, Woe, slow down, I wasn’t accusing you of anything, Blair.”
Blair nodded. “So what did you think of her?”
“She’s nice enough. Very attractive…”
“But,” Blair prompted him.
“I think its too soon. Plus it was only one date. I had to fly back to Cascade the next morning.”
Silence fell between the two men. They accepted the drinks and light snack from the flight attendant. They munched on the crackers they had been given for a few moments while they both thought of Carolyn Plummer, one ex-wife of Jim Ellison.
Joel cleared his throat wondering if he should ask the question that had been bugging him since he’d met the woman. Oh, what the hell. “So, why did they break up anyway?”
Whatever reaction Joel expected it wasn’t laughter.
Blair shook his head, a big grin on his face. “You’ll never believe it.”
“No, well maybe you will. I mean you’ve met Jim so. And it’s not like there weren’t other problems but the reason why they got divorced at least the way Jim tells it…”
“Okay, now I’ve got to know. Spit it out, Blair.”
“You can’t tell Jim.”
“Yeah, yeah, of course, just tell me.”
Silence fell. Joel looked at Blair with a puzzled expression. “Window treatments?” he repeated, as if not sure that he had heard correctly.
Blair nodded. “Yes, like in curtains.”
“Curtains?” Joel repeated in a somewhat dazed fashion.
Blair laughed “yes” in response, knowing he shouldn’t. After all they were talking about the demise of Jim’s first marriage, but he couldn’t help it. It was the same way he’d responded when Jim had first told him. “Well, you stayed at the loft, right. All the windows.”
“They have blinds right. Well, apparently Carolyn wanted to put curtains up…”
“You’re kidding me?! Ellison divorced her because---”
Blair was nodding furiously, still grinning like a loon. “There were other reasons of course but the final straw---”
Joel and Blair met each other’s eyes for a moment before bursting out in laughter. Tears as a result were forming in the corner of Joel’s eyes for the first time in years. “That is so…Ellison.”
“---JIM,” they said simultaneously.
“How do you do it, Blair?”
Blair shrugged and laughed. “I guess it was just meant to be.”
They were to the side of the line at the security checkpoint, waiting for the airport official to check over the papers authorizing Campbell to not only travel with a gun but to carry it concealed in the state of Montana when Joel suddenly blurted out, “Polly called me.”
Blair turned to his friend with a concerned expression. “Oh.”
“Asked me how I was, you know, the usual…”
“Is that good?” asked Blair before hurriedly continuing, “Does that mean that she--.”
Joel shook his head and smiled sadly. “No. Whatever chance we had was lost long ago. Maybe if I’d stayed in Chicago but probably not even then. She would have never been able to handle the job.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” responded Blair in a thoughtful tone.
“Plus its not safe…”
“Oh, come on, Joel. What happened with…it’ll never happen again.”
“Maybe, but the late nights, flying to another state for days or week after a phone call,” Joel gestured around them, “what type of person would understand all this? Not to mention…”
“What about Lisa?” Blair softly reminded him.
Joel’s grey eyes softened for a moment before hardening. “I got her killed.”
“That doesn’t mean you have to stay alone your entire life,” Blair stated exasperated at Joel’s continued glumness toward the possibility of romance. “If you’re worried about danger, date someone who knows the score and can handle themselves; a cop, a fellow agent. That’s what we all do, in our line of work. All the relationships I had before Jim while I was working at Cascade PD felt like they were missing something. They could never understand what I was going through, no one can really who hasn’t been there.”
Joel’s lips quirked into a half smile. “Thanks.”
Blair glanced sideways at him as they walked toward the uniformed man who appeared to be waiting for someone, them, at the other end of the gate. “What for?”
“Listening. You always cheer me up.”
“No problem,” Blair replied with a bright white smile, his blue eyes good humored.
The FBI agent was laughing as he unlocked the motel door and walked in with Blair following.
“I thought he’d left. The sheriff had told him to go outside,” Blair was saying as he shut the door. He stopped by the full size bed and dropped his bag on it before heading towards the small bathroom just inside the room.
“It’s not your fault, Blair,” Joel assured him referring to the green deputy who’d promptly vomited at the forensic anthropologist’s offhand remark that the chunks of missing flesh around the marks on victim three’s inner thighs were bite marks. Human bite marks. “The kid has to get used to it if he intends to make law enforcement his career.”
“Yeah, I know,” Blair replied coming out of the bathroom drying his hands with a small towel. “It’s just I’ve been there, you know. The one everyone laughs at.”
“We’ve all bee there. So, you hungry?” Joel asked.
“Yeah, is there anything still open?”
“Sheriff Bryant says that café that we passed stays open all night offering simple stuff. Hamburgers, sandwiches…”
“So what do you want? Or do you want to come with me?”
“No, I’d really like to call Jim. Grab me a ham and cheese sandwich, please.”
“Sure.” Joel had figured that Blair would use the privacy to call Ellison, it was why he’d offered. “Be back in twenty.”
“Okay,” Blair acknowledged while he held up the cell phone to his right ear.
“Ellison.” Blair smiled at the familiar voice.
“Blair.” Relief was clearly distinguishable in the smooth voice in spite of the cheerful overtone.
“Hey, Joel and I are fine. We got a room at a local motel. Room 20, phone 406-555-3883.”
“When are you coming home?”
Blair sighed before reluctantly dropping the bomb. “Probably not for a few days, this guy has some whacked out Native American ritual that he appears to be acting out. How are things there?”
“Sound asleep. Nothing really big at the station. Just the usual. You won’t make it back by Saturday night?”
“I don’t know, why?” asked Blair.
“Some fancy party dad is wrangling me into attending, to represent the Ellisons because he’ll be staying home with Jamie. You being there would have made the whole thing more bearable.”
“Sorry, I’ll try to get done as soon as possible. This guy--”
“More like unsettling. We’re talking cannibalistic tendencies.”
“Be careful, Sandburg. Small town, you’ve probably already met him. He’s certainly already spotted you.”
Blair nodded. “I know. I hear Joel outside the door grumbling, his hands are probably full what with dinner. Hold on.” He walked over to the door and called out, “Joel.”
“Yeah, Blair, it’s me, open up.”
He opened the door and closed it after Joel walked in, making sure to turn the bolt on the upper door. “I gotta go, Jim.”
“Okay. Call me if you need me.”
Blair nodded. “I will.” He clicked the end button and tossed the phone onto ‘his’ bed. “That smells pretty good, but what is that brown stuff?” he asked scrunching up his face at the texture of the liquid that covered the white wrapped food.”
“Don’t care,” Joel replied around a bite of whatever that he was chewing.
Blair shrugged and proceeded to unwrap his sandwich. Good enough for him.
Jim stared stonily out at the sea of people, silently cursing his father. Why did he allowed him to guilt him into coming to this…thing. He bitterly wished Blair was here. Maybe then it would have been bearable as it was--.
“Here,” a voice caught his attention. “You look like you need some medication, of the liquid kind.”
“Humph,” Jim replied as he accepted the champagne with a brief smile at the handsome blond before taking a sip. “Thanks for coming with me, if I have to spend the entire night listening to the Dow Industrial’s and why Giles fired its CEO I might be tempted to do something drastic.”
His companion was about to reply when they were interrupted by a young brunette in her mid-thirties dressed in a tight fitting dark grey sheathe. “Hello, Jimmy. Long time no see.”
“Hello Kristine,” Jim greeted coolly. She knew how much he hated being called that--everyone knew about the big blowup he’d had with his dad about it during some stupid dinner party that he hadn’t wanted to go to, similar to this one.
“Chris, let me introduce you to an old, excuse me,” he corrected himself ostentatiously at the glare in Kristine’s eyes,” Kristine Barton. We went to high school together. Kristine, this is Chris Edwards. He’s only recently moved to Cascade.”
“Oh really,” Kristine said, “business or pleasure?”
For a minute Chris appeared startled at the focused attention he was under from the lady.
Jim snorted into his champagne as the image of a startled deer flash through his head. If he were Chris he’d run like hell. In fact that’s exactly what he’d done when Kristine had set her sights on him back in sophomore year. He’d gone out and started dating a sweet girl named Sarah. He wondered what ever happened to her?
“I’m finishing up my residency at Cascade General,” Chris replied after a moment.
“Oh, you’re a doctor?”
“Yes, general medicine.”
Jim tuned out the conversation. It was why he’d dragged Chris to this thing anyway after Blair had called and said they he would be in Montana another night. Although the killer had been caught, there was the paperwork to finish up so there was no way the forensic anthropologist was going to make it back for the charity benefit.
The thought of him alone at this thing gave him nightmares so he’d invited the doctor that lived below him and Sandburg to come along. It would be good for the doc. To be seen with the movers and shakers of “Cascade Society.” The Chief of Staff at Cascade Memorial was here as well as the Mayor etc. All men who could help a new doctor’s career. The ticket was already paid for. He wanted to help the guy out for taking care of Sandburg when he lost his voice several months ago.
“So how do you know Jim?”
He returned his focus to the conversation at the question.
“We’re neighbors,” Chris explained. “Jim and Blair helped me when I was moving in.”
Kristine’s attention returned to him. “Blair?”
Jim returned the woman’s curious look with a leery one. He really didn’t want to be latest fodder in the blue blood social column. Kristine was known as one of the more vicious tongues in Cascade, but he wasn’t ashamed of Blair. “My partner.”
“Aaah,” Kristine commented in a knowing tone. “I’d heard you’d divorced Carolyn.”
“Well, you heard wrong. Carolyn divorced me. Now if you’d excuse me, I see the Chief of Police gesturing to me.” With that he walked away, not bothering to hide his sigh of relief. He really hated these things he thought as he smiled at the Mayor and shook the Chief’s hand.
He was beyond relieved when the two men wandered away after a cursory chat filled with polite emptiness. A brush of air against his back made him turn. “Rafe!” His eyes widened in surprise as he took in the tall dark haired detective who worked with him in Major Crimes.
“Hello, Jim.” Rafe’s embrace on the woman’s waist he was holding tightened. “This is--”
“Pammie!” Jim exclaimed in surprise. “Is that you?” he asked reaching in to hug the woman. “You’re all grown up.”
“Hi Jim. It’s been a while,” laughed Pamela.
Rafe glanced from the auburn haired woman to Ellison. “You two know each other?”
“Sure. Pammie here was the tag along that I could never get rid of,” Jim teased.
Pamela punched him in the shoulder.
“Ow!” Jim rubbed his shoulder as if it really hurt.
“That’s for running off to the Army and abandoning me,” Pamela complained.
“Awe, come on. You were just a kid!”
“A fat kid,” Pamela said softly.
Jim’s eyes darkened at the sadness in the pretty green eyes.
“Jim here was the only one who’d dance with me back then,” Pamela explained to Rafe.
“Well it looks like that’s not the case anymore,” Jim commented with a pointed look at Rafe.
“Absolutely.” Rafe squeezed Pamela even closer to him. “And if I have me way, she won’t ever be in need again.”
Jim smiled a the glowing couple. “Why don’t we blow this joint and get some real food?”
Pamela and Rafe smiled and nodded their heads. “Let’s go!”
The three of them headed toward the door, Jim leaving them only to tell Chris that he was leaving.
“So how long have you guys been seeing each other?” Jim asked as they walked out the door.
“Couple of months now…”
Blair sighed as they walked into their room.
“What’s up?” Joel asked. “I thought you’d be happy. You can go home now.”
The heaviness that had sunk in his chest from the beginning of this case lightened a little bringing a faint smile to his face which quickly faded when his thoughts returned to the serial killer who‘d just been killed. “I just don’t get it, man…”
“What do you mean you don’t get it? You’re the one who tagged Clements.” Joel shrugged off his jacket and sat down on the far double bed as he spoke.
He waved away the praise in Joel’s voice. Campbell was the one who dug and found the motive behind the killings, he‘d just narrowed down the list of suspects. Like most of police cases it was teamwork that got the case solved not some brilliant lone cop like they show in the movies. “Not that. How could a guy be so mixed up inside and yet no one ever guess? He was a Deputy Sheriff! Those people didn’t have to die!”
Joel shook his head. “Sometimes, people only see what they want to see.”
“Not cops, man. We get closer than most. Even as a reserve deputy somebody knew or at least suspected…” Blair shook his head in disgust. “But it doesn’t matter now. Clement’s dead they’re dead. Case closed.”
Blair rubbed his chin, for the first time noticing the beard stubble coating his jaw. “Ugh. I need to shave.” He headed towards the bathroom, aware of the FBI agent following.
“You’re the first person I’ve met who has to shave so much,” Joel commented while he leaned against the doorjamb.
“I forgot to shave earlier, or was it yesterday? What time is it” Blair asked as he picked up the bottle of shaving cream.
Joel checked his watch. “Twelve thirty.”
“Damn. I gotta call, Jim,” Blair muttered, however he made no move to do so but continued to coat his throat and cheeks with white foam.
“He’s probably asleep by now. Wasn’t he going to some party?”
Careful of the razor he was running up his throat, Blair nodded. He snorted in response while he held the razor under the flowing tap to clean the blades. “You don’t want to hear it, if I don’t call.” He chuckled as he remembered some of the tirades he’d been force to listen to over the years from his lover. “Jim’s a light sleeper anyway.”
A low grunt from the federal agent brought his attention back to the mirror. He gazed at the still figure in the doorway. Something was up with Campbell. He’d sensed that the other man had been wanting to talk to him about something ever since he’d met him at the airport but with the case and everything they hadn’t gotten a chance until now.
“I’ve been having flashbacks…”
Blair stared at the down turned face in concern. “To Lisa?” he asked. David Griffin the serial killer that Joel had been profiling for three years back in L.A. had killed the woman Joel’ had been dating at the time. Lisa Anton wasn’t listed as an official victim. In fact no one living knew about Lisa and Joel. Lisa had been married and Joel never told the FBI the motivations behind her killing. From what he could deduce it would have been too damaging to Lisa’s character but more importantly too personally revealing to the federal agent. So he’d only ever revealed the truth to Blair. He was the only one who knew absolutely everything that had happened between David Griffin and Joel in its entirety.
Secrets that Joel had revealed to a practical stranger one drunken night in D. C. Since then he’d been Joel’s unofficial therapist.. Their conversations holding more depth and meaning than even those with the clients he counseled at the police station. He supposed it had to do with how they met. Both had been at the very bottom of a well. He because of the rape and Joel because of--well rape was a part of it of course but he hadn’t known about it at the time. Joel had only mentioned the murders.
Blair shook his head slightly and returned his attention to the man who was peering at him from beneath ruffled blond bangs that needed a trim.
“To him. Griffin.”
“Chicago?” Griffin had followed Joel to Chicago and kidnapped his therapist after taunting Joel back into searching for him by murdering two young woman by strangling them with piano wire. Joel had been raped by Griffin while trying to get his therapist back. He hadn’t wanted another woman to die for the misfortune of finding him attractive.
Joel sighed. “Chicago, L.A. that damn conversation!” Joel turned and walked back into the room to slouch on the bed. “I need a drink,” he complained as Blair walked into the room.
“No way. Not again, man,” Blair immediately replied. “We’ve already been down that road.”
“Yeah, medicated oblivion.”
“Joel, what conversation,“ he asked in a gentle tone.
Blair waited patiently at the long silence, knowing that Joel wanted to tell him and would eventually.
“She..asked if I’d…missed him.”
“Because he followed you…”
“Fucking greeting card.” Joel laid heavily back on the bed and closed his eyes, his feet still on the floor.
Blair moved to sit on the other double bed and stared at the other man.
Joel slowly opened his eyes and turned to look at Blair. He snorted derisively at the blue eyes which were fixed on him. “Ellison’s right you know.”
Confusion filled him at Joel’s words. “What do you mean?”
“He checked out the file.”
Mentally cursing at Jim, Blair replied, “So?”
“I missed it. Jim probably suspects but he would lose it if he knew about Lisa Anton.”
“Joel, what does this have to do with the conversation with Polly?”
“The girls…Lisa, Polly, hell if you throw out gender, which of course Griffin did…you…”
Blair shook his head still not understanding.
“I wasn’t his type. He was mine.”
He hoped that the picture he was getting was wrong. “You mean…”
Joel laughed harshly at the expression on the forensic anthropologist’s face. “Long dark hair, brown eyes…Lisa, Polly---Griffin.” Another harsh laugh punctuated the sentence. “I didn’t see it. But he did.”
“Joel, the rape wasn’t…” began Blair.
“That’s bullshit, Blair!” Joel cut him off as he sat up and stood in front of him. “He was fixated on me! It was sexual! I missed it. I should have seen it and I missed it!”
“Don’t what? Tell the truth.” Joel pushed up into Blair’s face who’d risen at his outburst. “You’re the only one I can tell. The one I want to tell!”
“Don’t do this!”
“Why not!” Joel stare into his eyes for a long moment before he turned on his heel and began to pace. He laughed again. “Jimmy boy sees it. He’s too good of cop not to see it. Hell even the guys at the bureau after everything. They had a good laugh. And that’s with them not knowing. Can you imagine if they knew that I‘d let the son of a bitch fuck me up the ass!?”
Blair watched Joel pace in the small room. The federal agent didn’t seem to notice the tears streaming down his face while he ranted.
“That damn voice. Why won’t it stop?! Whispering, taunting me about the kerosene, burning flesh. Why did I go after him? Polly was right. I don’t--didn’t want to need him.”
“Joel, did you miss him?”
“No! No!…How could I?! he was never gone! He was always there in my head…flashes…whispering.”
Blair caught Joel as he collapsed. Joel continued to sob and wail as Blair tightly held him. The only movement his hand gently stroking the dark blond head pressed against his chest. A sense of peace filled him as Joel released five years of guilt and pain. Blair smiled in the dim light of the hotel room. Maybe now he could move on.
Jim swung the refrigerator door shut and turned back toward the living area, a beer bottle in each hand. “Here you go,” he offered as he handed it over.
“Thanks,” Rafe replied.
As he settled back against the chair, he took a long hard look at his fellow cop. It didn’t take heightened senses to see how tense the younger detective was from the stiffness of the shoulders and the smell of desperation which permeated the loft ever since he opened the door to the unexpected knock.
However, it was his hyper sense of vision which allowed him to see the minute relaxation of the muscles in the other cop’s shoulders after the dark haired man took a long drink.
“Long night,” Jim commented.
“So how long have you and Pamela been dating?” Jim asked to get the other man started.
“A couple of months. We met at the theatre…” Rafe looked over at Jim and smiled at the senior detective’s knowing grin. “Don’t start.”
Jim hid his grin behind the beer bottle but couldn’t do anything about the soft chuckle. All the guys gave the smartly dressed detective a hard time about his GQ three piece suits that made the rest of them look like slobs.
Besides hanging out at the local bar drinking with the man along with the rest of Major Crime, Jim realized that he actually knew very little about detective even though he was the one who began calling him by his first name seven years ago. The detective’s Dutch name of Rijntgen had quickly been discarded, the first name of “Rafe” being a hell of a lot easier to pronounce for everyone and a hell of a lot easier to remember.
When he’d left the couple outside the hotel earlier in the evening, the only thought he’d had was to spend a nice relaxing night in the loft. Hell, if he had to be alone he wanted to be in their home, where he could smell Blair’s scent--and only his scent. Yeah he was wallowing but damn it Blair was suppose to be here with him. Not off in Montana…with Campbell.
So he’d been prepared to brood a couple of hours--not for any particular reason, especially not waiting for the phone to ring when a knock on the door had disrupted his plans.
“I can’t believe you know her?” Rafe revealed breaking into his thoughts.
“Yeah, Pammie and me basically grew up together. There aren’t that many children from “good” families in Cascade so we ran into each other at various birthday parties and cotillions. She was a cute kid…” Jim trailed off silently cursing his lack of tact. He’d thought he’d gotten better but it seemed like he regressed without Sandburg. “Um sorry.”
Rafe only looked down at the bottle in his hands, his finger fiddling with the label which was now in danger of falling off. “No, that’s the problem.” Rafe stood up and strode towards the balcony. “She thinks she’s too old…and I--those women say terrible things. I begged her not to go tonight, but she said it was expected. I love her, Jim and I’m losing her.”
Rafe fell silent, his brown eyes dark with pain. “Do you think I’m too young for her?”
“Of course not. It would be damn hypocritical of me, with Blair almost a decade younger.” He walked over and rested his right hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “If you love her, ask her to marry you. The naysayers will shut up after a couple of years.”
“You think that’ll work?” Rafe asked.
“Trust me.” Jim smiled. “The ring is no use in your left pocket.”
Rafe looked down for a moment before looking at him in shock. “How did you know?”
Jim laughed. “I did the same thing. Carried the damn thing in my pants for weeks.” And in the end he never asked the question, not properly. It was Blair who’d found the rings on the dresser.
“Thanks Jim,” Rafe called over his shoulder as he opened the front door.
Jim hadn’t even noticed him move, his thoughts back on that fateful discussion that happened the day before the kidnapping. He saluted Rafe by upraising the beer bottle while calling out, “good luck.”
With a shake of his head, he picked up the other bottle and placed both of them in the trash, wondering what else he‘d missed these past few months. Rafe was about to get married, he knew Simon had been going out with some nurse. The gang used to be so close. What the hell had happened?
He sighed as he walked up the stairs. Damn he missed Blair.
A whisper of air woke him seconds before he felt a mouth on his while simultaneously all his sense screamed “Sandburg” in recognition…
It was Jim who instantly deepened the kiss, pulling the other forward, Blair’s startled yelp muffled between their lips.
Blair was gasping heavily when the kiss finally ended, his hands the only thing keeping him from completely sprawling across Jim.
“Missed you,” Jim murmured while combing his fingers through the long curly hair that had come lose from the hair tie Sandburg used to confine the tumultuous curls whenever he traveled.
“So I gathered,” Blair replied in a dry tone, completely belying his flush and now aroused state. He backed away and stood. “I need to take a shower. Get some of the dust off me.”
Jim threw off the sheet and stood to follow him down the stairs. “Hungry?”
Blair yawned as he shook his head. “Just tired,” he called over his shoulder as he walked into the bathroom and began to undress. His shirt and tie were already on the floor when Jim walked into the small bathroom to lean against the doorframe.
“How’d you know to come to the loft?” Jim asked watching as the grey slacks slid down the tanned muscular legs.
Blair shrugged and bent slightly to turn on the shower. The growl from behind him making him grin. “Want to help me?”
Strong arms immediately encircled his waist and the chest he’d been dreaming about for days was pressed against his back. Not to mention the other lower appendage he could now feel reacquainting itself with his lower spine. “I meant to get clean,” he laughed as he was bustled under the warm water with Jim still firmly attached to him.
“Uh-hmmm,” Jim vocalized while he nuzzled behind his right ear. “Just want to touch you,” he murmured. Blair relaxed against Jim as strong fingers coursed through the hairs on his chest as he rubbed the bar down his stomach and back up again, bringing the soap to lather.
“Missed you too,” Blair whispered with a sigh. He was home.
Blair sipped his coffee while Jim made them breakfast. He didn’t know how he knew to come to the loft last night. “Eight fifty-two Prospect Place,” had come out of his mouth automatically when the cab driver asked for the address. He wasn’t the only one. Jim had done it numerous times as well. One of the…mystical…things that they never talked about. Mystical, hah, he mentally snorted. There were quite a few things that they didn’t talk about--.
“Good news,” Jim called out as he walked around the island and placed a plate in front of him.
“Looks delicious,” Blair remarked, looking down at the omelet. He picked up the fork and asked, “What news?”
“Steven’s due back week after next,” Jim cheerfully informed him, his body positively radiating happiness.
His smile would be a little tired if he could see it, although he was glad that they’d be back here in a week. No matter how long he stayed there Blair knew he would never feel comfortable in William Ellison’s home. Especially now that their sex life seemed to be in such a mess. Maybe things would go back to normal once they were back at the loft.
“Rafe’s dating an old friend of mine,” Jim said between bites.
“Really, you know Pamela?” Blair replied with a curious sidewise glance.
Jim shook his head. Of course Blair ‘I’m into people’ would know. Hell he probably even knew the name of Simon’s nurse. “From high school. Do you have to go downtown today, finish up the case?” he asked unable to keep his cock hardening at the thought of staying “in” all day.
“No.” Blair turned towards him so that he completely faced Jim. He held Jim’s eyes for a long moment before turning Jim outwards as he slid off the stool to rest one knee on the floor. “I wanna try something,” he uttered as he pulled down the zipper.
“Sandburg,” Jim warned, worry coloring his voice as he tried to bring Blair back up. “Don’t.”
But he was too late, his rapidly hardening cock was gently exposed to the air under an intense blue eyed gaze. “Babe,” he tried again.
Blair looked up and gave a small twisted smile. “It’s going to be all right.” With that he gently licked the tip without hesitation. A myriad of flavors spread across his tongue and yes for a second he tasted something sour and smelled dirty sweat but then Jim groaned. He looked up from beneath his eyelashes and the shadows fled before the sight.
Jim’s face was contorted in pleasure and he was gasping with his eyes closed. Strong broad hands were clutching the edge of the island. He’d never looked hotter. Fully dressed with the only flesh exposed being the one gently held in his hand.
He swallowed down the head without thinking, his hands braced on jean clad hips to control the unconscious forward movements Jim was attempting to make. Old habits kicked in and he drew the tip of his tongue down the center underneath as he drew back, the inside of his cheeks sliding along the sides before suddenly reversing to swoop forward to take even more inside his mouth.
“Blair!” That was all the warning he got before his mouth was filled and a much familiar taste once again consecrated his taste buds. For a second time stood still before the realization of what he’d just done hit.
“Blair, are you all right?!” Jim’s worried voice broke through the shock. He looked up and allowed Jim to help him stand. “Blair?” Jim’s hands were on either side of his face and he was staring at him; guilt in his blue eyes.
Blair smiled and pressed forward. Jim’s lips opened automatically when he increased the pressure to slide his tongue inside. The need to get closer only escalated as their tongues danced against each other until he was forced to draw back to take a breathe.
“You didn’t have to…” Jim choked out.
“Shut up,” he said before he calmly reached down and readjusted Jim until he was once more fully dressed. The blowjob wasn’t one of his best. Hell it barely even qualified but he’d done it and he felt whole for the first time since he was kidnapped. “I feel like going out,” he exclaimed with a broad smile.
Jim stared at him like he’d lost his mind but then he smiled and Blair knew that he felt the same way he did.
Story Notes: This story is more a filler chapter in the Love and Friendship series, although we do get a resolution to Blair‘s inability to perform oral sex. We get to see what is going on in some of the other guys’ love-lives. I apologize once again for not resolving the Jim bottom plot-line but it didn’t want to be included in this tale. All comments and criticisms welcomed. The series will continue.