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"So, how did the testing go?" Jim asked from his chair as Blair leaned against the closed front door.

Blair just blinked tiredly at him.

Jim set the newspaper aside. "That bad?"

Blair shook his head. "No. Just that long."

Jim stood and moved toward his companion, wrapping his arms around the slightly smaller man and holding him tightly to his chest. After nearly a full minute, Blair released a long, slow sigh and melted against him.

"Thank you, lover," Blair whispered softly against his neck.

Jim gently rubbed his fingers against Blair's back and smiled when his companion arched up into his touch. "Find any sentinels?"

Blair chuckled. "No. Although Henderson in Vice does have a heightened sense of taste and Tomsons in Homicide has a heightened sense of smell. There are about a dozen others who rank as above-average in one or two senses, but no one else qualifies as heightened."

Jim never stopped his gentle ministrations. "Will you be able to teach them how to use their senses better?"

"Yes. They're all quite open to the concept."

"More open than I was?"

"Jim, it would have been easier to get Scrooge to part with a few coins than it would have been to get you to embrace the concept of using your senses that first year."

Teasingly, Jim gave Blair a light Vulcan Death Pinch. "I wasn't that bad. Was I?"

"If you have to ask..." Blair chuckled again. "Actually, you weren't that bad. Close, but not that bad."

"And here I was going to make dinner for you tonight." Jim rubbed Blair's neck, enjoying the obvious pleasure his partner was getting from the physical contact.

"You better make dinner. It's your turn, after all," Blair said, never opening his eyes.

"Drats." After a moment or two, he asked, "You okay now?"

Blair's eyes fluttered opened and he smiled sweetly at Jim, causing a heat to rise within the sentinel. "Yeah, I'm doing much better. Thanks."

Jim brushed his lips over Blair's forehead and gave him a gentle push toward the chair in the living room. "Go. Sit. Relax, while I make dinner."

"Naw, that's okay. I'm feeling much better now. I'll help."

Jim frowned and pushed a little harder. "Go. Sit. Relax."

Blair grinned, turned and kissed Jim on the lips, then obeyed.

"I'm thinking Swedish meatballs."

"Works for me."

Jim spent several minutes gathering the necessary ingredients then looked over at his lover. Blair seemed lost in thought, although a small smile graced his face. "Whatcha thinking about?" he asked softly.

Blair shook himself out of his thoughts, his attention fully on Jim. "I think that while I'm not particularly happy about being outted, teaching officers to use their senses better at a crime scene isn't that bad of an idea."

"Well, if anyone can teach those bozos, it's you. Besides, I've found if people think they have an edge, they often do."

Nodding excitedly, Blair sat up in his chair. "Exactly. Besides, anyone can teach themselves to hone their senses. It just takes dedication. People who go blind due to injury have a tendency to compensate with their other senses. Same with people who experience sudden deafness. If I can teach officers to be aware of their senses, to pay attention to what they see or smell or feel, and if they have some success in their application, there's no telling how much they can increase either their awareness or their actual senses."

"I foresee another paper."

Blair snorted with amusement. "Hell, I'm seeing a series of papers."

"If you want to grab a shower, Chief, now's the time."

Blair nodded and practically ran for the bathroom.

Blair's contented hum as he moved under the steaming water made Jim chuckle quietly to himself. Of all the lovers he had had over the years, no one enjoyed a shower a much as Sandburg did. Heck, there wasn't much as far as sensual pleasures went that Blair didn't enjoy. He brought a whole new definition to the word hedonist. If Jim didn't know better, he'd think Blair had a heightened sense of touch.

The spoon dropped from Jim's hand.

A heightened sense of touch.

Why in God's name had the thought never occurred to him before?

Touch always calmed Blair when he was frightened, gave him courage when he was scared, turned him on when he was horny.

Many of Blair's flannel shirts were baby soft from multiple washings. His sheets, even before they had become lovers, had been obscenely decadent considering the graduate student's near non-existent salary.

How had Blair known what fabric softeners to buy? What detergents to use? What soap and cleaning supplies were the mildest?

How did Blair know how to make everything feel all right? How to control pain?

There hadn't been any trial and error with Jim's sense of touch. Blair had acted with quiet authority and Jim had never questioned him. While all his other senses had given him trouble for a while, Blair had gotten Jim's sense of touch under control first.

The question was...did Blair even know about his ability?

Of course he knew, Jim decided. But why hadn't Blair said anything? And were any of his other senses heightened?

Jim turned off the heat under the bubbling sauce and put a lid over the meal. He had an experiment of his own to conduct and he wasn't going to be rushed.

Blair was leaning his head back under the cascading warm water, a happy smile on his face, when Jim joined him in the shower.

Sensing Jim's presence, Blair straightened, cocked a curious eyebrow at Jim, then grinned lustily at his lover.

Jim moved closer, his lips hovering just millimeters over Blair's. His guide moaned in submission, his mouth opening to accept Jim's tongue, but Jim continued to tease him, his fingers ghosting over Blair's body, but never quite touching him.

Blair shivered with anticipation, his entire body swaying toward Jim's, but Jim stayed just beyond reach.

"Touch me. Please," Blair panted in short gasps.

Although he shook his head negatively, Jim ran one fingertip down the center of Blair's chest. The results were spectacular. Blair's whole body convulsed with need, and his breathing grew even more ragged. Jim leaned forward and scraped his teeth softly over Blair's left earlobe. Blair leaned his head to the right, granting Jim easier access.

But Jim would not be rushed. He breathed along the offered neck, watching Blair shiver as the warmth of the water and the warmth of Jim's breath mingled over him.

Jim sensed a slight change in the water temperature and reached around his lover to turn off the water. With a smile promising wonderful things to come, Jim stepped out of the shower and held out their plushest body towel. Blair smiled and allowed himself to be wrapped in the soft material.

Barely moving his hands, Jim started to rub his lover's body dry. Every touch was a caress. Every stroke a fondle.

Blair was quivering with need. "Jim," he whispered, his voice hoarse with barely-restrained emotion.

Jim continued his meticulous ritual. Blair mewled in the back of his throat, but didn't reach for Jim, as if understanding that this was Jim's show.

"Please," he gasped.

Grinning wickedly, Jim gently pinched Blair's hardened nipple through the towel, tugging ever so slightly on the ring.

The only warning to Blair's impending explosion was his surprised gasp. His body went rigid for a moment, then he melted against Jim.

"I'm sorry," he whispered against Jim's shoulder.

"Don't be," Jim whispered back, his hands never stopping their gentle rubbing.

Blair reached for him, but Jim intercepted his hand and brushed a slight kiss over his palm. A quiet sob told him everything he needed to know.

Jim leaned forward and tenderly bit Blair's shoulder. The younger man's head rolled back on his shoulder.

"God, Jim."

Jim's teeth nipped and scraped along Blair's collarbone, until he noticed a certain part of Blair's anatomy showing renewed interest in the proceedings.

"What you do to me," Blair moaned.

Jim fumbled for the lubricant in the medicine cabinet, never stopping his sensual assault on his partner. He turned Blair away from him and took so much enjoyment in preparing him that Blair came again against the sink.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," Blair apologized again.

Jim made shushing noises as he slowly entered his partner. He trailed his fingers up Blair's chest and down his sides. He moved incredibly slow, his fingers holding Blair's hips so the younger man couldn't thrust back on him.

"Jim," Blair groaned. "Please."

However, Jim would not be hurried. He wiggled his hips slightly with every centimeter he pressed in, making sure to hit the spot guaranteed to drive his partner wild. Blair's elongated gasp told Jim that his partner was feeling on a whole new level.

Slowly he withdrew, gently scratching Blair's back as he did. His next thrust in was just as slow as the first, as was his third, and his fourth and his fifth and his...

Blair's panting became stuttered and his legs trembled with the effort to support his weight. Jim leaned over his back, grinding deeply within his partner.

Blair turned his head, his mouth seeking Jim's. Jim nibbled his lips, while his fingers tweaked Blair's straining nipples. His tongue dipped teasingly into Blair's mouth as his hands danced ever downward, teasing, but not quite touching Blair's heat.

Blair tried to control his breathing, but every time he came close, Jim shimmied against him.

"Do you feel me in you, Blair?"


"Do you feel my heat searing you from the inside? Feel my passion for you burning deep within you?"

Blair nodded, incapable of speech.

"I'm going to stay in here forever," Jim whispered over his lover's ear. "I'm going to take you to the brink time and time again, until all you know is pleasure, until all you know is me."

Blair moaned and Jim made good on his promise, pushing him to the edge but stopping just short of sending him over.


"Tell me how it feels."

Blair tried several times to form a coherent word. "H-h-heav-en."

"You've dreamt of feeling like this, haven't you?"

Blair nodded, shooting one hand out behind him and trying to hold Jim to him. "P-p-pl-pl-ea-se."

"Hang on, babe," Jim whispered, thrusting forward and releasing his own pent-up passion.

Blair's collapsed forward, his shout echoing around the bathroom.

Jim carefully withdrew and turned his lover toward him. Blair was practically boneless. "Come on, babe. You need to stand up while I clean you off."

Blair hummed, sated, and made no attempt to comply. Chuckling, Jim bathed his lover with a warm washcloth, shaking his head in wonderment as Blair purred with contentment.

When he was done, he once again wrapped his lover in the plush towel, lifted him over his shoulder with a grunt and moved resolutely toward the stairs. "God, you've put on weight."

Blair just hummed happily. Jim gently laid him on their bed, then took a moment to revel in the contented face of his companion.

"Figured it out, didn't you?" Blair asked, his eyes half-closed in passion.

"Yeah. It took me long enough."

Blair shrugged and reached for Jim. Jim allowed himself to be guided down, until his body covered his lover's.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"'Cause it wasn't about me, it was about you."

"Anything else heightened?"

Blair shook his head. "Although I do have better than average taste."

"Which explains your aversion to grease."

Blair grinned at him.

Jim moved over him, not enough to incite passion again, but enough to satisfy the sense of touch in both of them.

"You realize we're going to have to talk about this at some point?"

Blair's hands fluttered in his hair, making Jim close his eyes and lean into the touch.

"Not right now."

"No," Jim agreed. "Not right now. Right now we--"


"Oh yeah...we experiment."