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End of the Line Chapter 12

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Author's notes: Thanks to Cats for the beta. She's a heroine.


End of the Line Chapter 12

End of the Line Chapter 12

by Wadjet

Date Archived: 03/19/03
Website:
Status: Complete
Category: Story, Established 'ship, Slash, Crossover
Characters/Pairings: Col. Jack O'Neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson     Jack/Daniel, Other Pairing   Implied Blair/Daniel, Jim/Blair   The Sentinel   Jim Ellison Blair Sandburg
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: NONE
Permission to archive: Area 52
Series: End of the Line
Notes: Thanks to Cats for the beta. She's a heroine.
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: Not mine. The usual.
Summary: Daniel gets offered a job and Jim and Blair have issues to work through.


Chapter 12

Jack sat up in bed and looked over to the window where Daniel was staring out at the sea. Even after this long and even after Daniel had become his life-partner Jack still had difficulty some days believing that Daniel was really there, and really his. He absentmindedly twirled the gold ring on his finger. It had been a long time since Jack had worn a wedding ring.

Daniel turned around and flashed Jack one of his patented 'Jack O'Neill melting' mega-watt smiles. "Hey Jack! Good morning."

"Morning."

"Sleep well?" Daniel asked, his voice laced with mischief.

"You know damned fine I slept the sleep of the well and truly fucked, Doctor Jackson. So yeah, I did sleep well. Thanks for asking," Jack admonished him, smiling.

Daniel chuckled, took off his robe and slipped under the cover to lie beside him. Jack took him into his arms and sighed, "God, I hope this feeling never goes away."

"Hmm?"

"You know, the 'I'm with someone I love, I can't get enough of them and I feel all warm and snuggly inside' feeling," he answered, feeling a little embarrassed at being such a sap so early in the morning.

"Oh, that one," Daniel grinned and nuzzled further into Jack's embrace. "Me too. I'm so sorry about what happened with..."

Jack put a finger to Daniel's lips. "Ssshh. Ancient history. Water under the bridge. No use crying over spilt milk. What's done is done. Let bygones be bygones."

"You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

"What?"

"Sorry, Jack. I thought we were having another 'Battle of the Cliches' kind of a thing going on. I still haven't forgotten the whole 'never run with scissors' incident."

Jack laughed and hugged him closer, snuggling back down into the bed. "It's a good thing you make me laugh, Daniel. Otherwise, I'd have to kill you."

"That's so charming. Still, at least I'm good for something," he grinned.

Jack swiped him across the head, playfully.

"Ow!"

"You know, all these years, you were the only one. The only guy I ever worked with who could make me really laugh. Thank you." He placed a soft kiss on Daniel's head.

"You're welcome. Have I told you how much I love you?" Daniel asked, looking up at him.

Jack picked up his watch from the bedside table and looked at it. "Not for about five hours, no."

Daniel moved over him, covering Jack's body with his own and looking into his eyes. "I love you, Jack"

"God, Danny," Jack whispered, his eyes locked with Daniel's, running his fingers through his lover's hair. "Love you, too." Jack leaned up towards him, covering the tiny distance between them and kissed the younger man softly. Their mouths opened up as they kissed, sucking each other's lips and tongues gently. Daniel broke the kiss to move his lips around Jack's face, planting small delicate kisses all over it, and then moving downwards to kiss and lick his neck and shoulder. Jack closed his eyes and arched into his lover's caresses, feeling Daniel's hips rocking slowly as their erections grew and rubbed against each other.

Their breathing became deeper as they both became more aroused and Jack murmured and moaned quietly while Daniel's lips and tongue stoked the fire inside him.

"Need you so much...can't believe how much you turn me on...can't leave you alone, even after all this time...never used to get it up this much when I was twenty!"

Daniel smiled, raising himself up and reaching for the bottle at the side of the bed; then he shifted upwards so that he could straddle Jack's legs, hooking his calves underneath them. Jack sat up against the pillows and put his arms around Daniel's body, pulling him into a close embrace and nuzzling his neck, then took the bottle away from him.

"Let me?"

Daniel nodded and moved up onto his knees as Jack warmed some of the lubricant in his hand. Jack reached around and slid his fingers into the crack between Daniel's buttocks, working the lube around Daniel's entrance as the younger man closed his eyes tight and hissed with delight, rocking his hips backward to welcome Jack's touch.

Jack slid one finger inside him, kissing Daniel's chest and licking his nipples as his talented fingers coaxed the muscle open and Daniel leaned forward a little. Daniel's eyes remained closed as he focused on relaxing and concentrated on enjoying the pleasure Jack was bringing him. Knowing Daniel's body well and being satisfied that his lover was ready, Jack removed his fingers and placed his hands on Daniel's hips, urging his lover to take his cock inside.

Daniel reached around behind him and placed the head of Jack's cock at the entrance to his body then eased himself slowly onto it. Jack marvelled at the sight and sensation. Daniel's eyes were tightly closed and his brow was furrowed in concentration, then his head fell forwards onto Jack's shoulder and he exhaled against his lover's warm skin as he allowed Jack to sink inside him inch by inch. Despite all the times they'd made love in the past few weeks, Daniel was still tight and it took much of Jack's self-restraint not to just grab him by the hips and start pounding, but he knew that if he let Daniel take control, when he finally came it would be the sweetest thing he'd ever felt.

Daniel moved slowly and easily up and down as Jack stroked his cock tenderly. Gentle caresses, soft moans and heavy breathing punctuated their movements. When their orgasms finally overtook them, the feeling spread through both their bodies like a warm, gentle radiance they could almost see, and the emotional and physical intensity of it left them both speechless. Their afterglow, however, was cruelly curtailed by the shrill ringing of the telephone. Daniel eased himself carefully off his lover and picked up the receiver.

"Yasu? Ieuan!"

Jack's eyebrows raised and he mouthed, "Ewan?" as Daniel waved him off.

"Shwmae? Da iawn, diolch yn fawr. Nawr 'te..."

While Daniel was obviously busy, Jack took the opportunity to take a shower; comfortable in the knowledge that even if Daniel did disturb him, there was no way he'd be getting it up again so soon.

As he showered, Jack couldn't stop a goofy grin from spreading across his face. He was happy. Sappy happy. He still smarted just a little from Daniel's betrayal, but the more he thought about it, the less it mattered.

"Fuck you, Sandburg. His ass is mine," he whispered to himself, grinning and then exited the bathroom, towelling himself off and whistling as Daniel ended his call.

"OK Ieuan, hwyl am rwan." Daniel replaced the receiver, looking a little stunned.

"So, who's Ewan , and what the hell language were you speaking?"

Daniel watched his naked lover approvingly as he dried off and smiled as he explained. "Ewan, is Professor Ieuan Madoc, Head of Celtic Studies at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and the language, as you might realise now, was Welsh. He wants me to go over there to talk about a job."

"A job? In academia? Wow. What d'you think?" Jack asked as he slipped back into bed.

Daniel put on his glasses and pursed his lips. "I...I don't know. It would mean leaving the SGC. Not only that, it would mean leaving the US. I wouldn't go without you, so...how would you feel about it?"

Jack drew Daniel into a soft embrace. "Babe, where you go, I go. Whether that's back to the Springs or to Timbuktu...where the hell is Timbuktu anyway?"

Daniel smiled indulgently, "Mali, but I get the drift."

"Jesus, when did I turn into the 'Sapmeister'? Anyway. Y'know what I think? I think you should seriously consider it."

Daniel drew back with a surprised expression. "Really?"

"Yeah, why not? What does he have in mind? Did he say?"

"There's a major dig starting up on the Isle of Man. That's out in the Irish Sea, between Ireland and the British mainland."

"Okay, I know where the Isle of Man is. I do have Irish relatives y'know," Jack huffed.

"They think they may have found another settlement where Celts and Vikings lived together, near to The Braaid."

"Losin' me now, Daniel."

"Sorry, Jack. Long story short, he knows I have a lot of experience in both areas and wants me on the team."

"You mean... he doesn't think you're crazy?" Jack asked, bluntly.

Daniel frowned, "Not everyone thought I was a freak. Wales has had more than its share of UFO activity. He's pretty open to the whole concept actually, although he'd never dare say it publicly. I did have some personal support from a couple of people who didn't think my theory about the pyramids was so far off the wall, it's just that they couldn't afford to support me openly."

"Cowards," Jack spat.

"Realists, Jack. With families and mortgage payments and research grants. I couldn't blame them. I probably was crazy to come out with my theory to the academic community. I should have known what would happen."

"But you were right!" Jack protested, bristling. Daniel kissed him softly. He loved it when Jack became indignant on his behalf.

"Yes, baby, I was. But...I want to get back to archaeology again. It seems that the SGC is gradually taking a different turn and although I love doing translations and I love languages, I want to get my hands dirty again, Jack. I want to make those discoveries again and I'm not sure how much opportunity I'm going to get back there. Not the way things are going. Besides, to tell you the truth I can't stand the politicking anymore. I don't know how George and Paul put up with it, dealing with those slimy bastards in Washington. The more I'm thinking about it, the more inclined I am to cut it loose."

"The General won't be happy. Not losing both of us at the same time."

"George will be fine about it. He cares about us, Jack. Us. We've done our bit for the planet and I can still be available to do translations if he wants me. Not that he probably will, I have a good team back there. I'll recommend Tony Pacynko to take over and he can liaise with me if he needs to. I...I need to at least look into this a bit further."

"So, let's go to Abercrombie then!" Jack grinned.

"Aberystwyth, Jack."

"I knew that."

"Jaack..."

"I did. I was just playin' with you."

Daniel looked at him wolfishly. "You want to play with me?"

Jack rolled his eyes. "Jesus Danny, you're gonna fuckin' kill me!"

Daniel snaked his hand down Jack's body towards his groin. "Ah, but what a way to go..."

Birmingham was cold and grey when their plane landed rather roughly on the tarmac and Jack shivered as he walked out of the airport building towards the taxi rank.

"Jesus Daniel, it's July! Tell me it's not always like this?"

Daniel grimaced, "Not always, but mostly. Birmingham isn't the most attractive part of Britain, Jack. You'll like Wales, the Brecon Beacons are stunning."

"Hmmph. I doubt they'll match the Rockies. Do they play hockey here?"

Daniel chuckled at his tired and grumpy lover. "Not so's you'd notice. Come on."

The train journey to Aberystwyth took just under three hours and took them around some spectacular scenery, which Jack slept all the way through, snoring softly. Daniel felt another pang of guilt, but a good one this time. He'd obviously worn his Colonel out during the past couple of weeks, but they had been memorable weeks and the first joint holiday of what Daniel hoped would be many happy times together. He resisted the urge to nestle his head on Jack's shoulder and have forty winks himself, as tempted and tired as he was. He sighed quietly; it made him a little sad that public displays of affection were not as acceptable in Britain as they had been in the more easy-going atmosphere of Athens. The prospect of working as an archaeologist again excited him though and he was looking forward to seeing Ieuan again. It had been a lot of years since they had worked together on the Holyhead Mountain Hut Group find on Anglesey.

Their room at the Conrah Hotel in Aberystwyth was large and comfortable, with two double beds - one of which they had no intention of using. As Jack flopped onto the bed they had chosen, nearest to the window, Daniel picked up the phone and called Ieuan to let him know that they'd arrived.

Back in Colorado Springs, Blair and Jim had spent the best part of two weeks getting reacquainted with each other in their new status as lovers. They had spent the days exploring the local area, spending much of their time in Pike's Peak National Park.

Blair had still been asleep when Jim had awoken. Military training ran deep and like Jack, he always woke up early. After he'd showered and shaved, Jim wandered around Daniel's apartment, trying to get the measure of this man who had obviously captured his lover's heart. The place was filled with books and ancient artefacts: Jim wondered if this was the kind of place that Blair would like to turn their own loft into. There were a couple of pictures on the mantle-shelf, including one of Daniel on a camel in front of the Great Pyramid in Giza and one of Jack and Daniel together, but none of Daniel and Blair. Jim knew. He'd looked.

Jim felt a certain pang of jealousy that Daniel had such a connection with Blair and resolved to ask his lover about how they'd met. Up to now, Blair hadn't been ready to tell him and for a while he was content to give the young man time, but Jim had been in love with Blair for quite a while and in the days they had spent in Colorado Springs since Jack and Daniel's commitment ceremony, Jim's feelings had moved into a higher gear and he needed to know.

It was a bright, beautiful summer's day and while Blair slept on, Jim prepared a delicious picnic for them to take up to the Peak with them. As he packed it, he felt Blair's arms snake around his waist and had to dial down his sense of touch so that he wouldn't immediately get hard again.

"Morning," Blair mumbled into his back.

Jim smiled, "Morning Chief, sleep well?"

"Ooh yeah," Blair smiled, stretching and scratching his sides. "What's for breakfast?" he asked, peering around Jim's arm.

"I'll make you some eggs in a minute, babe. This is for later."

"Looks good. How're you doing?"

Jim put down the food packages and turned to embrace his lover, nuzzling into his neck. "Good," he replied, as his sense of smell took over and he began to nibble Blair's neck then moved his lips over the young man's face, finally reaching his slightly open mouth with its full, moist and unbelievably kissable lips. He covered Blair's mouth with his own and began to kiss him gently, licking Blair's bottom lip, and then sliding his tongue inside. Blair moaned softly and relaxed into his lover's caresses, his own tongue dancing with Jim's between their open mouths.

Jim decided to junk the dials and just experience, as he felt Blair's cock becoming hard against his own through their shorts. Jim pushed his hands up underneath Blair's undershirt and ghosted his fingertips all over the young man's warm skin, moving around to the front to card them through his lover's chest hair and up to rub a thumb over one of Blair's nipples. Blair groaned into Jim's mouth and slid his hand downwards to stroke Jim's cock through the cotton.

Jim's breath caught and he broke the kiss, rolling back his head and closing his eyes. His hips bucked forwards into Blair's hand as it grasped him firmly and he growled as Blair rubbed his thumb over the sensitive head.

"Sandbuuurg..."

Blair looked up at him in wonder. "God, Jim. I never thought I'd ever see you look this way. You're so beautiful, man," he murmured, as he continued to stroke and caress his lover's erection, slipping Jim's shorts down to his knees and licking his lips at the prospect of sucking him off.

Blair didn't think he could get enough of his new lover. Jim elicited the same primal feelings in him that Daniel did. As he nuzzled his face into Jim's pubic hair, he breathed deeply of the clean, masculine scent between his lover's open legs and decided that later, he would tell Jim everything about himself and Daniel. They would be returning to Cascade in a couple of days and before they got home Blair knew that this had to be resolved. There was really no need for Jim to be jealous, but Blair had to make him understand that they were together now, as lovers, not just sentinel and guide. As intimate as that relationship was, Jim needed to know that Blair was his. Unconditionally. No unfinished business.

Jim gasped as Blair flicked his tongue around the swollen cock-head, lapping up the first bead of pre-come seeping from it, then Jim growled again - a sound Blair never imagined becoming tired of hearing - as Blair took his big cock deep into his throat. Jim's hands gripped tightly onto Blair's shoulders as the younger man fellated him with great skill and tenderness.

"Oh God, Chief, you're so good at that," Jim panted. "I never thought...never knew...aah Blair...so good...so good...want you...I want you to fuck me, baby...stop...stop, please!"

Blair gripped the base of Jim's penis tightly to stave off his orgasm and rose from his knees. He stroked Jim's chest and kissed him all the way up the line of hair on Jim's belly up the smooth skin sheened with sweat, to lick one of the taut, rosy nipples, before worrying at it a little with his teeth.

"You want me inside you, Jim?" Blair asked.

Jim nodded sharply as Blair's hands continued to stroke his body.

"Dial it down, baby. Dial your sense of touch down and concentrate on my voice," Blair said quietly, the rich tones floating over Jim's sense of hearing like a warm, summer breeze. "Just listen, Jim. Dial it down and I'll be back in a second. Wait for me. Don't touch yourself. Anywhere." The pitch of his voice had changed. It was still warm and loving but had a hint of command in it that Jim had never heard before and his cock twitched at the unaccustomed stimulation.

Jim's hands gripped the kitchen counter as Blair pulled off his undershirt, then kicked off his own shorts and padded back to the bedroom to find the lube. Jim concentrated on his breathing, dialling down his senses and trying to relax even as the anticipation wound him into knots. His cock throbbed painfully and the temptation to touch himself, to bring his swollen flesh some kind of relief was almost overwhelming, but it fought unsuccessfully with the sound of Blair's voice in his head, demanding he leave himself alone. The promise of what was to come was too great a prize for him to ruin it by disobeying.

After what seemed like an hour, but in reality was probably less than a minute, Blair returned smiling broadly, the bottle of lube in his hand but no condom.

"You ready to go bareback, Jim?"

Jim swallowed, "Yeah, I'm ready. I know we're both clean. I want you, Blair. No barriers. Nothing. Nothing. Just you," he panted.

Blair put his hand around Jim's head and pulled him forward for a deep kiss, grinding his own throbbing cock against Jim's. He pulled away and whispered, "Turn around, baby."

That commanding tone was there in Blair's voice again and Jim happily complied, leaning forwards with his hands braced on the counter top. Blair knelt behind him and parted Jim's buttocks. Jim cried out softly as Blair's tongue touched him, and then thrust his ass back while Blair licked around the tight hole. Slowly the muscle began to relax and Blair inserted the tip of his tongue, drew back, and then thrust back in again. Every thrust opened Jim up just that tiny bit further, so that soon Blair was enthusiastically tongue fucking the bigger man, as Jim writhed and moaned.

Blair removed his tongue completely and Jim groaned at the loss, then hissed with pleasure as he felt the wet tip of Blair's cock resting against his ass-hole. Blair leaned over to cover Jim's back with his body, resting his head on Jim's shoulder blade.

"Just relax. Relax and let me in," he whispered as he pushed slowly against Jim's sphincter. Blair rocked his hips gently, coaxing his lover's body to open up and allow him entrance, edging himself inside little by little. "Come on baby, that's it, let me inside you. Oh God, Jim...Love you so much..."

"Sandburg...Sandburg..." Jim murmured as Blair's thick cock gradually slid inside him, almost overwhelming him with sensation. Eventually Blair was all the way in him. Jim could feel Blair's balls resting against his buttocks and he could hear Blair panting with desire. Blair stopped for a moment to allow Jim to become accustomed to him. He knew from experience that he was well endowed and although he just wanted to plough Jim's ass and make him scream, he didn't want to hurt him. His lover was relatively new to bottoming and still needed a little time and patience.

"C'mon Blair. Do it!" Jim grunted and thrust his body back, clenching his anal muscles as he did so which made Blair cry out.

"Aah God, Jim! Don't push me too far, I don't want to hurt you."

Jim thrust back again.

"For chrissakes, man! You want me to fuck you hard? Is that it?"

"Yes!" Jim demanded through gritted teeth. "Fuck. Me. Hard. I want everything you gave him! Everything!"

So, that was the crux of the matter. Jim didn't need to be told that he was the only one, he needed to be shown. Blair gritted his own teeth and grabbed hold of Jim's shoulders tightly.

"You want to be fucked, Ellison? You want me to fucking show you? I'll fucking show you. I'll fuck you into oblivion you stupid, stubborn, jealous, sonova...bitch!" he punctuated his words with deep, hard thrusts.

"Oh God, Blair. Yes! Show me, dammit. Show me!" Jim begged.

Blair set up a deep, fast rhythm, grasping Jim so tightly that his fingertips left marks on his lover's skin. He fucked Jim furiously, with passion, love, anger and frustration all mixed into a heady cocktail of desire and need. Blair angled his cock as he fucked so that the head relentlessly stabbed at Jim's prostate, making the other man jerk and writhe against him. Blair held his lover tightly, and both men became mere creatures of feeling and sensation, emitting only feral groans and grunts: it was almost as if their animal spirits were fucking and not them.

Blair pounded into Jim even faster as his orgasm approached and he reached around Jim's body to roughly pull on the bigger man's cock, dragging Jim along with him to their climax. Suddenly Jim roared and a second later he came, hot semen spewing out of him, splashing onto the counter, then dripping onto the floor and finally boiling over Blair's fingers. A few seconds after, Jim cried out again as Blair sank his teeth into the tight skin of Jim's back thrusting so deep as he came, that Jim thought it might split him in two.

Blair held him gently through the aftershocks, lapping at the bite on his lover's back as they came down.

"Jesus, James," Blair whispered as his lover sobbed quietly. He turned Jim around and stroked his lover's face, rubbing the tears away with his thumbs.

"Do you see? Hmm? Do you understand? I love you. You got it? I. Love. You. Do you believe me, now?"

Jim nodded, sniffing.

"Nothing is going to get between you and me, Jim. Nothing and no-one, past, present or future. I need you to really know that, otherwise...otherwise it's all a waste of time, man."

"God, Blair," Jim whispered. "God..."

"C'mon babe. Let's get cleaned up. I need coffee and we need to talk."

After they'd showered together, silently cleaning each other gently and tenderly, they sat at the kitchen table, neither of them knowing where to start.

"Blair...I..." Jim began, suddenly feeling very foolish for doubting his lover and for allowing his jealousy of Daniel Jackson to surface.

Blair raised a hand to stop him. "It's my fault. I should have told you. I should have explained. I'm not surprised you felt the way you did."

"No. I had no right. We hadn't even met when the two of you were together. It's none of my business. If you don't want to tell me, then that's fine."

"Jim..."

"Really. I'm okay with it, Chief. It's in the past."

Blair didn't believe him for a second and took a sip of coffee. He sighed heavily and looked into the cup as he began.

"DJ and me... we clicked from the start, y'know? He's brilliant. When we were in the same class at college, I was amazed. I'd never met a mind like his before. I'd always been told I was bright, but Daniel... I just fell for him. You could call it 'love at first sight' I guess. He was the only one I was studying with who had any idea of where I was coming from."

"There's a shocker," Jim grinned.

"Hmmph. We became friends at first. He was real shy and quiet, but I always knew there was more to him than met the eye. He looked like your average geek, but there's nothing whatsoever average about Daniel Jackson."

"There are things I don't need to know, Sandburg."

"Jesus, Jim. I didn't mean that... although... "

"Sandburg."

"Yeah, right, right. So I was attracted to him, but I had no idea how he felt about me, so I... seduced him." Blair muttered.

Jim smiled, "You... seduced him?"

"Er, yeah," Blair answered, his face colouring with embarrassment, both at the confession and the memory.

"God, Chief, what were you? Sixteen?"

"Eighteen."

"And how old was Daniel?"

"Twenty two."

Jim chuckled and shook his head. "You amaze me, Chief. You really do."

"C'mon, man. I've always been ahead of my time," Blair grinned.

"I think the word you're looking for is 'precocious'."

"Well, maybe, but if I hadn't forced the issue we'd never have gotten together. Either him and me or you and me, so don't knock it, Big Guy."

"This is true," Jim conceded. "You were lovers, then?"

"Oh yeah, we were. It was intense; for both of us, then he got the opportunity to study in Chicago and I had to stay where I was. We kinda lost touch for a while, and then we found each other again when he started working for the Air Force. He never told me exactly what he was doing, and I never asked. We just got together when our schedules matched and took up where we left off. It was amazing that we just clicked back into it every time, as if we'd only been apart a few hours instead of a few weeks, or sometimes months."

"And when did it end?"

Blair sighed, "When Daniel met Jack, or at least when they finally got together. Jack was kinda like you."

"Tall, powerful, handsome, irresistible?"

Blair slapped him and rolled his eyes. "Yeah, all that 'Mr Adonis', but what I actually meant was uptight, withdrawn and in denial."

"Thanks for those few kind words, Sandburg," Jim huffed.

"You're welcome. DJ fell head over heels for Jack, and even though Jack wasn't bright enough to see it at the beginning, they were made for each other. Eventually I guess Daniel persuaded him to see what was under his nose. We stopped sleeping together when they started their relationship. As much as it nearly fucking killed me, we were just friends from that point on."

"So, what's with the hickey?" Jim couldn't help himself.

"We... we had one last fling. He couldn't help it; and I sure as hell couldn't help it. You were ignoring what was happening between us, I hadn't been with a guy in a very long time and it... just... happened. He needed some closure."

Jim snorted with derision.

"He did!"

"And you needed a good fucking; right Chief?"

Blair bristled. "Yeah, as a matter of fact I did. And I got one. More than one if you want to know."

"I don't."

"Look, why are you giving me a hard time about this? Daniel and I have meant a helluva lot to each other over the years, but that doesn't change you and me. I love you, Jim. I've loved you for so long it hurt, man. It isn't my fault your timing sucks."

Jim looked into his eyes. "And if we had been together, can you honestly say it wouldn't have happened anyway?"

Blair looked away. Jim caught his chin and forced him to look into Jim's face.

"Tell me, Chief. Can you? It doesn't matter, I just need you to be honest with me; and with yourself."

"No," Blair whispered. "I can't. But I do love you, Jim. You have to believe that."

"It's okay, Blair. I do believe it; but I needed you to admit how much he still means to you, just like I needed you to show me how you felt about me. It's okay." Jim stroked his lover's hair and leaned over the table to kiss him. "It's okay."

"You're sure?"

"I'm sure. I love you, Blair."


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