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by Jayd

Author's disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters are owned by Pet Fly and UPN. I make no money from this story and intend no copyright infringement.


"Help me, Sandburg! Help me!"

Jim was in his face, pushing him up against the wall. The man's hard body pressed him into the brick and Blair couldn't breath.

His partner's eyes were wild...almost feral and something else leaked out, something primal and just close to violent, yet mixed with a passion and desire Blair couldn't explain. Jim's breath came hard and anxious and the man's heart was hammering hard enough for Blair to feel the beating through the cloth of his shirt.

"Breathe, Jim. Try to take a normal breath, " he offered in his most soothing of the beast tone.

Yeah, like I can take a normal breath right now.

Jim had been acting strange since they had returned from Sierra Verdi...since before that, of course, but this was something all together different. They had settled back into the loft again, friends again and Blair tried to forget, well...really, tried to understand what had caused the great chasm of misunderstandings that had lead to his death and rebirth and the mental destruction of Alex Barnes.

He knew that some of it had been his fault, but Jim needed to take responsibility for his share as well. They were working on that now that Alex was out of the picture. But why did Blair feel like she wasn't yet? Why did he feel like something was left hanging, something left undone, unfinished? Somewhere in all this was something not yet completed and Blair felt like he and Jim were about to find out. Whatever it was may just be about ready to manifest itself in some kind of explosion if he couldn't help Jim control whatever it was.

Blair had never been good at hating people. Hatred lead to bad karma that came back around at you like a boomerang when you least expected it. And he could say truthfully, in spite of everything, that he did not hate Alex Barnes.

Yes, indeed, she had killed him, had walked him outside of his office building, cracked him over the head with the gun he thought she was going to shoot him with and for all he knew shoved him into the fountain as he fell. He honestly did not remember.

But how convenient that his death just might look more like an accident than murder. And she had pulled Jim's gun on him there on the beach in Sierra Verdi as well. Luckily, Jim had gotten control of those errant primal instincts in time to keep her from killing him again. Yet, Jim couldn't find the will to take Alex down. Not with the mating ritual just about to commence.

"That's it, Jim," Blair continued while his mind raced to find an answer to Jim's turmoil and apparent emotional anguish. "Close your eyes and try to relax."

"What is wrong with me, Chief? She's gone. I don't even want her. I...I...this should be over. I shouldn't still feel this way. Why does it keep coming back?!"

"The ritual was interrupted, Jim. You and Alex, genetically, were compatible and the fact that she was obviously destined to lead you to the temple...to the eye of god, made the attraction all the more difficult for you to resist. The problem might be that the physical coupling was never achieved. You need to give it time, Jim. It will get better."

Another slam against the wall rattled Blair's teeth and Jim's anguish multiplied, his distress, ten fold. "Oh god, Sandburg. I don't want to hurt you. Please believe me."

"I know, Jim. I really know that. You just need to relax. You need to get control."

"You think I don't know that?!" Jim's eyes closed again and a long deep breath shuddered in and out. "I don't know how to tell you."

"Jim, you need to tell me so I can help you. I want to help you. I always have."

And that was the plain truth of it. Blair wanted to help, but Jim shoving him out of his partner's life had hurt like hell. Blair had felt confused and scared and...well, just plain ignorant of how to help Jim before they had realized that Alex was the cause of Jim's eruptions, of the gun pulling and the cruel emotional pummeling the man had given Blair over the course of those last few weeks before...before he had died.

And Blair knew he had ignored all the signs because of his discomfort and his fear of what was happening. And he had been distracted by Alex Barnes. Oh, not sexually by any means in spite of Alex's female charms, but because she had the sentinel abilities and he had been fascinated. And the more Jim shoved him away, the more Alex's need for help consumed him. After all, he'd always been a sucker that way.

"I know you want to help, Blair." Jim's hand slid up from it's hold on Blair's biceps to caress Blair's cheek. "I know. You've always helped me and I acted like a shit to you when what I needed most was your help. I let her kill you and almost let her do it again."

Blair shook his head, but not enough to dislodge Jim's touch. That touch was like fire. The man's heat was an inferno of unrequited passion that needed somewhere to go.

"Jim. We promised no more recriminations. We were both wrong about different things. We both made mistakes. But we both survived and I'm proud of you for trying to save her. For trying to reach her even when she was too far gone. I know your instincts wanted Alex, wanted to mate with her. Genetically, that would have been a good thing, but she's been gone too long off the right path for anyone to save her. I'm sorry for her. It's a damned pity."

Jim's other hand moved up Blair's arm, fingers moving through his hair, stroking the strands back from his face. The body was still hard and pressing, still controlling him physically, but Blair knew he needed to help Jim gain a different kind of control. And quite suddenly he knew how. And it seemed as though perhaps Jim did too.

"Jim," Blair said and let his own hand creep up Jim's side, stroking his partner through the t-shirt Jim wore. "You need an outlet. The ritual needs completion."

Jim's gaze moved to stare into his eyes with hot sultry desire and the man's face lowered towards his in a nuzzling fashion.

How long had he wanted this? So long. And he'd felt such rejection, such pain of betrayal when he had ran out on that beach and had seen Jim kissing Alex Barnes, his murderer. The pain had almost made him hate them both.

But then he knew the truth of it. Jim and Alex both could not help themselves. This was not so much about choice, but some sort of destiny asserting itself, forcing them to comply. Yet, Jim had made a choice, had chosen between right and wrong, good and evil. And Alex had also. Perhaps Alex didn't even know the difference. Alex only knew about self fulfillment. Jim knew about self sacrifice. The choice had been bigger than Jim choosing between a genetically compatible mate and his best friend. Blair knew that and knew why he could not hate either one of them.

What he and Jim had was a deeper bond than what Jim and Alex had and that bond came from three years of living together, depending on each other in almost every way. They had shared a secret long before the likes of Alex Barnes had come along. And they would share that secret still now that she was long gone.

And their destiny was bound up together and their souls as well. Blair had felt as if he'd found the place he had been searching for. Jim loved him enough to come after him even into death. Their spirits had merged and a new deeper bond had formed. Were they about to test those waters he had spoken of in the hospital? Had all that had transpired been meant to be? Perhaps Alex was a necessary evil...or more a tool to fulfill a cosmic design. Perhaps, even with the pain they had caused each other, they had simply been immersed in the purifying fires that lead to greater enlightenment and a stronger bonding.

Or maybe he was just full of crap.

Blair really didn't know, but Jim's lips touched the corner of his mouth, moved to lick his ear and lay a series of kisses along his neck and throat. Blair relaxed a little and gave access.

"That's it, Jim. Take what you need from me."

"Blair, do you know what you're saying?" Jim pulled back and looked at him with eyes clearer than before. But those intense blue orbs held onto control with a desperation that made Blair's heart hurt. "I don't want to hurt you?"

"Would you have hurt Alex?"

Jim's gaze turned troubled and shifted away, some part of Jim's mind making the correlation between Alex and Blair. The gaze returned and the gentlest of smiles touched Jim's mouth.

"No, Chief. I couldn't hurt her."

"Then you couldn't hurt me. We're more than friends now, Jim. We're more than brothers though that's what I called you. We're soul mates. We always have been and I think you know that. The bond is unbreakable. I give myself to you willingly. You don't need to make that choice, Jim."

Jim shuddered again, drawn to Blair like the proverbial moth to the flame. Jim's lips touched his hair, nuzzling again and the man's hands moved along Blair's body, caressing with desperation.

Jim's gaze moved to meet his again and Blair licked his lips.

"Have you ever...ever...?"

Blair smiled. "Been with a man, Jim? Yeah, once, over five years ago. A brief fling when I was in South America. I know what it's like, Jim. I'll be okay."

"Five...years is a...long time, Sandburg."

Blair's smile widened and Jim's concern, even with this primal instinct looming over them, touched his heart, eased some of his own emotional pain.

"I'll be okay, Jim. I want to give you this. No matter what happens afterwards, we'll have no regrets because we're doing the right thing." Blair reached up, caressing Jim's cheek. He let his fingers trail along Jim's jaw line. "Please trust me again."

Oh Jim...please. I need you to need me again.

Jim's expression softened, the instinct lulled for the moment. And there was a clarity in Jim's eyes that made Blair pay close attention, made him wondered what went on in the mind of a man like Jim. Someone who felt such responsibility for the safety of so many people. To Jim, the world must seem like his tribe and even a bad seed, like Alex Barnes deserved one chance to redeem herself. But what Jim needed to see was that Alex's failure to understand was Alex's responsibility, not Jim's. Jim had offered her true wisdom and the path that lead to true understanding and Alex had refused, had wanted only what she wanted and cared nothing for how she got it. Alex Barnes had given Jim no choices and that was her final downfall.

"I trust you, Chief," Jim finally said in a hushed tone. "Like I've never trusted anyone in my life. It's me I don't know if I can trust anymore."

Blair felt Jim's doubt, felt his partner's pain and the turmoil was returning. Blair felt that too as if they were connected by their nerve endings. He felt Jim's caress turn harder, more wanting, more needing.

"I trust you, Jim. I trust you."

Jim held on for one more moment, resisting the primal drive to take instead of mutually giving and in that moment, Blair took Jim's face in his hands and brought their lips together.

That was all the instinct needed and Jim was all over him, pressing him so hard into the brick wall of the loft that Blair feared he'd lose consciousness from lack of air. Jim's hands moved over him like a whirlwind, trying to find access to skin, pulling at his shirt and his jeans.

Blair forced his mouth away to take a deep breath. Jim just went for Blair's neck, sucking and biting, kissing and licking. Jim growled like his spirit animal and Blair had the ridiculous urge to howl.

He fought the feeling down. "Jim...Jim...please...hey, let's not do this against the wall or in the floor. You mind? Let's take it to bed, okay?"

Jim pulled back just enough to meet Blair's gaze and those smoldering eyes were like cold fire, but deep with need and desire.

"Yeah...okay. We can do that, Chief," Jim gasped out. Jim stepped back with a herculean effort and grabbed Blair's hand. With a jerk they were heading towards the steps to Jim's bedroom.

"Wait, Jim. We need lubrication."

"What? Oh...yeah. Right. Petroleum jelly?"

"No! Talk about friction, man. You'll set me on fire in more than one way."

"What then, Sandburg?!!"

Blair glanced around frantically. What indeed? He took a quick mental inventory of the medicine cabinet and could think of nothing that fit the bill.

"I've got it!!. Massage oil. I have some in my room."

Jim didn't wait, just dragged him into the room. Blair rummaged in the bedside stand's drawer and came up with a vial of aromatic oil. The next thing he knew, Blair was on his back on the bed and Jim was on top of him, lips on his again. Blair opened his mouth and let Jim's tongue have entrance.

Guess we're not going to make it upstairs.

Together they worked at shedding clothing, shirts off first and Blair was surprised his survived the ordeal. Jim's mouth worked it's way down his chest and stomach, the man's hands trying desperately to pull off his jeans. He laughed when his hikers got in the way, but Jim growled again and pitched the offending boots across the room, followed by a pair of wadded up argyle socks.

Blair watched in fascination, Jim yank off clothing as if the garments had personally offended him. Perhaps the cloth did. Perhaps, in this heightened primal condition, the clothing hurt Jim's skin.

Blair really didn't care, just watched this gorgeous hunk of a man strip down to nothing right before his eyes while he lay there on his back naked and his cock hard and erect.

Not many men had turned Blair Sandburg's eye, but Jim Ellison was certainly one of those that had. Blair simply had held back those feelings because he had no reason to make them known. Jim had needed him as a partner...as a guide to help Jim gain the knowledge Jim needed to use those senses properly. Jim had not then needed a paramour and certainly had not needed Blair to be a drooling dog after Jim like that table leg his partner always accused him of being so fond of.

But now Jim did need him even if the man didn't love him. They would perform this primal instinctual act because it needed doing and Blair wanted to give Jim the relief the man obviously needed.

And, dammit. Blair just wanted to. As he had said, no matter what happened afterwards. Blair just wanted to do this, to be what Alex Barnes could never be to James Ellison, a true, willing, loving mate.

Jim moved back up over him, staring down at him with eyes that sparked with that same fire, a light that blazed out even in the low light of his room. Jim straddled Blair's waist and reached out to stroke his chest, run fingers over his nipples, explore his muscles and the curves of his body. Jim's hands caressed his shoulders and moved in slow downward strokes. And Blair could see the restraint Jim forced upon himself, fighting the primal urges, fighting to maintain control of his body and mind and soul.

"I want you, Blair because I want you. Do you understand what I am saying?" Jim's voice was strained with pent up need. The man's body nearly throbbed with the holding back.

"Yes, I think I do."

"Good." And Jim let the beast loose again. With another deep growl, Jim slid down, pressing Blair into the mattress and again. Jim's hands became forceful, demanding attention and response. And Blair gave the attention and response back in full measure.

Jim's cock ground against Blair's, and their bodies moved against each other with a desire that seemed so much more than mere need. Jim's hands possessed him like no one had ever possessed him, wanted him like no one had ever wanted him before. And Blair reveled in that possession and want.

Blair felt Jim's mouth working around his throat and neck, felt the nips and licks, the sucking that would leave bruises for all the world to see. But Blair didn't care for he then realized he too was caught up in the same primal need that Jim was, almost lost in the depth of this most basic instinct.

Jim's mouth worked down along his collarbone then dipped to one nipple, latching on and sucking hard. Teeth grazed the nub and Blair exploded with sensation that went straight to his groin. And it was as if Jim sensed Blair's need, hand moving downward, stroking the skin of his chest and stomach. The man's hand slid down to gasp Blair's cock and worked him gently. Jim slipped a knee between his legs and forced them apart.

Blair's hips moved towards contact and Jim obliged, fondling Blair's balls with rough caresses. Blair groaned and moaned and wanted more. He wanted Jim's mouth around his cock, but didn't know how or if he could even ask that of Jim.

And as if Jim had read his mind, Jim licked his nipple and asked, "what do you need from me, Chief? How can I make you feel good?"

"You're doing a good job, man," Blair offered breathlessly. He moaned with another long stroke of Jim's hand along his cock, but he so wanted to feel Jim's mouth around his rigid organ, wanted to feel those lips stroking the skin. "Could you...would you...um...oh god...."

"Do this, Blair?" Jim moved like liquid down his body and without hesitation took Blair's cock into the hot cavern of Jim's mouth.

"Ooooh, god! Yesssss." Blair arched upward and Jim pushed him back down, trapping his legs against the bed, but then Jim moved and bent Blair's legs and pushed them further apart.

Blair felt as if he'd been laid out for sacrifice and Jim was worshiping at the alter of his body. Jim's mouth and hands worked him as if the man had been doing this for a lifetime. That made Blair wonder in that one little still thinking part of his brain, if Jim had more experience in this arena than the man had shared with him.

But then the pressure started building, the nearness of coming a surge of power through his loins. He moaned and tried to worn Jim, but Jim seemed intent on giving him this pleasure. Jim seemed to be enjoying this as much as he was.

And when the moment came, Blair cried out then bit his lip to hold back the rest for he was certain in that blinding moment he would indeed start howling like the wolf he had become in that moment of his death, his own spirit animal to Jim's panther.

And Jim didn't stop until the man had sucked him dry of his coming, licking Blair's softening cock and lapping at his balls and thighs. Blair sucked in breath and tried to ease the heaving rise and fall of his chest.

Slowly, Jim worked his way back up Blair's body, nipping at his side, tongue teasing a nipple. Their mouths met again in mutual desire and Blair tasted his own sex on Jim Ellison's mouth and that made him smile. Their tongues dueled playfully and Blair felt Jim's rock hard erection pushing against his soft cock.

"I can't hold back much longer, Chief," Jim said in that strained voice again. "I don't want to hurt you by waiting too long." Jim's body was hot with need, hands possessive and roughly kneading Blair's muscles.

"I know, Jim. You'll have to let me up though or this won't work very well."

Blair's heart did a little flip, jumping up into his throat and bouncing into his stomach.

"Blair," Jim said and pushed up off of him. "You don't have----"

"Shut up, Jim. I know I don't have to do anything. We're not stopping now, man. No way."

Jim's expression was of relief and the sweat poured off the man as if he'd been immersed in water.

Blair moved up to his knees and grabbed the oil from where it lay beside them. He lifted his gaze up and offered the small bottle to Jim.

"I need your help, Jim. I need you to prepare me...okay? You understand?"

Jim took the vial as if it were a precious gem and the man's gaze met Blair's with an intense look of reverence. Jim nodded and Blair turned around and went to all fours.

But instead of simply oiling him up, Blair felt Jim's hands on his ass cheeks, massaging him. He felt Jim's lips kissing each mound with a loving touch, sucking bruises in random design. Jim's tongue licked his hole and Blair moaned again.

So much time had passed since he'd felt that intimate touch. He hadn't been in love with Angelo, another student he'd met while in South America. They'd had fun and Blair had wanted to see what a male lover was like. But when all was said and done, Angelo had gone back to his University and Blair had returned to Rainier. No hard feelings. No love lost.

But this was so very different. Blair wanted forever and hoped for nothing. Yet all he wished for now was Jim Ellison to possess him, to take him and he hoped he could hold his own with a man like Jim.

Jim nuzzled him and licked him and soon Blair felt Jim's fingers rubbing the scented oil around his hole and he wondered if Jim was wary of penetrating him. But then a finger slipped in and out of him in a slow slick motion, in and out again and again. And just when Blair felt comfortable with that, another finger entered him and he groaned and his breath caught.

Behind him, Blair heard Jim hiss and moan, felt Jim's hands clench on his hips. That was all the preparation his was going to get and Jim was behind him, hard cock poking at his hole and Blair took a deep breath and willed his body to relax.

The thrust in was one of controlled desperation, just short of pile driving into him. Blair cried out and fell forward, but Jim's hands pulled him back and held on in a clutching possession.

Blair shook with pain, his body consumed with the fire of Jim's entry into him. He should have warned Jim to take it slow, but Jim was on the verge of fucking him until he screamed and he knew Jim was doing all the man could do not to move and let Blair get control of his agony.

"I'm...I'm...sorry, Chief," Jim said against his back. "Oh god."

"Give...give me a minute...here, Jim. Please. Okay?"

All he got in return was a frantic nod against his back. Jim surrounded him like a layer of skin, wrapped around him, arms entwined and chest laid along his back. He felt Jim's thighs against his own and the man's balls pressed against his lower buttocks. Jim was big and Blair felt as if he had been impaled by a stake the size of a telephone pole.

Blair forced a long cleansing breath and let it out. His body relaxed further and the pain eased away in slow ebbing waves.

"Jim?"

"Chief?" Jim said with hissing restraint, sounding on the verge of going primal again.

"Ready?"

"You have...got...to be kidding."

With a growl, Jim slid out and back in a long hard thrust. Blair grunted with a surge of pain and reached out mentally, pushing out the pain to let the pleasure in. Again, Jim thrust, then again. A rhythm formed around them, between them, surrounding them and Blair felt something extraordinary starting to occur.

The pain had all, but disappeared and a light shimmered around them like a star exploding, raining down upon them. The light was cool and comforting, not a fire that burned them. Only their combined passion burned and that was with a mutual desire for one another.

Soon, Blair was moving back against Jim, meeting each thrust with a matching backward lunge. He felt consumed by the light, yet refreshed and renewed simultaneously. And in his mind's eye Blair saw the vision again. The vision of the panther running towards him, running to meet him and he ran towards the black jaguar, ran towards his salvation and his desire to live...and perhaps his very destiny in this life.

Jim growled behind him, thrusts hard and solid, deep inside of him and that's the way Blair wanted it. He wanted that connection, that melding and merging and joining of his and Jim's spirit. And now their bodies were joined as well, meeting in the physical plane as well as the spiritual plane.

Indeed they were soul mates...brothers...partners. And now...lovers. Blair didn't dare hope for more than this one moment of sublime bliss. Destiny would lead them to where they were meant to be. Destiny would guide them if this was meant to be more than one moment of physical sharing or if this was nothing more than the completion of the interrupted mating ritual.

The vision came again and the wolf and panther leapt. The cool light burst all around them and this time Blair let the howl loose, matching the panther's roar as Jim's thrusts drove Blair flat against the bed and finished with the light sparkling all around them. Then the light settled down to a gentle even glow and was gone.

Blair lay with Jim's weight on top of him, both breathing in heaving gasps. Jim's warmth saturated Blair's skin and he could have laid there forever with Jim still inside of him, still needing him and wanting him for he feared when they disconnected, Jim's need for him would end.

But Jim's hand reached up to stroke his hair from his face, lips kissing along from his temple to his chin. He felt Jim's tenderness in that touch and Blair sighed contentedly and was happy.

After a while, Jim slid out of him, moving with care off of him. Blair didn't move much, just shifted and stretched until Jim had rolled to the side and bent down to kiss Blair's lips. The man's hand slid over his back and down over his ass without hesitation. He heard Jim's breath catch and Blair lifted his head.

"You're bleeding. My god. I made you bleed."

"It's not bad, Jim. I'll be fine----" But Jim had already gotten up off the bed and headed out the door. For one long terrible moment, Blair thought Jim was running away from him.

But he should have known better. Jim returned from the bathroom with a warm wet cloth and gently pushed Blair back down on the bed. With loving caresses Jim soothed his sore places and Blair marveled again at Jim's tenderness.

"Better?"

"Better. The beds a mess though."

"That's all right, Chief. We've got another one upstairs." Jim put out a hand, offering something and Blair wondered exactly what. But he took Jim's offered hand and let his partner lead him up the stairs, both naked, arms around each other.

"You sure, Jim?" Blair asked, climbing into the bed he'd never done more then sit on it's edge. "I'm sure I can find a dry spot....."

Jim put a finger to Blair's lips and pulled him down to lie against Jim's shoulder. "I want you here if you want to be here. I'd like to wake up in the morning with you in my arms so I can make love to you again."

Blair said nothing for a moment contemplating Jim's word usage.

Make love? Not have sex?

"I do want to be here, Jim."

For a long while they were quiet. Blair could hear Jim's heart beating in a steady rhythm beneath his ear. His body ached a bit and he was sore inside. Yet, this was where he belonged. He felt Jim's hand stroking his shoulder, reaching up ever so often to do the same against his hair. His partner nuzzled his neck with slow gentle kisses, nothing frantic or desperate now, just lingering and loving and almost as if this was a permanent arrangement.

"You know I don't love her...Alex, don't you?" Jim said in the midst of the night's quiet repose. "You know I didn't want to be where I was or feeling what I was feeling."

"I know."

"You know that although, as a sentinel, I might have needed to pass on my genes, I still have the freedom to love whom I choose."

"I know."

"I choose to love you if you'll have me, Chief," Jim said in a voice laden with emotion. "It's wasn't just the mating ritual," Jim went on in a rush. "I could have gone out anywhere and found someone to take care of that instinct. I needed you and wanted you. But most of all, I love you and have been an idiot not to see it sooner."

Blair smiled and pure relief and love flooded through his veins. "I would have given you what you needed even if you didn't love me, Jim. Because I love you too and because I want to be your spiritual guide. Incacha bestowed that responsibility on me and I've practically ignored that responsibility."

"You've done just fine, Blair. You've always come up with the answers I've needed when I've needed them. Even with Alex you understood what was happening...even if it must have hurt you to see me kissing the woman who had murdered you."

"Jim...we don't have to go there."

"I know that. But you deserved better than that and I had nothing better to give you then."

"You gave me my life back."

"And you gave mine back to me when I thought I was going crazy. When nobody, but you could tell me what was going on with my senses."

Again they were quiet and Blair felt a peace he hadn't felt in months slip over them. Whatever happened now or in the future, at least, Blair knew that Jim loved him.

"You know, Jim," Blair said in his most seductive tone. "We don't have to wait until morning to make love again."

Jim gave a little chuckle and rose up over him. "Chief. I do believe I'm ready now to take that trip with you."

Blair grinned and pulled Jim down into his embrace. "Then come on in, man. The water's nice."

End