Rating: NC-17

Pairings: J/B

Warnings: m/m

Archive category: First Times

Disclaimers: All recognizable Sentinel characters are copyright of Pet Fly Productions and Paramount. No infringement intended on my part.... just doing some wishful thinking. :-)

Notes: First appeared in Come toYour Senses 19

Summary: A brush with death causes Jim to re-examine his feelings for Blair.

Date completed:  June 13, 2001


  A New Beginning

 by Barbara Nice-Miller




"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"

- Semi Sonic, "Closing Time"



"C'mon, Sandburg!  Push it in!"

"Forget it, Jim!  It's not gonna fit!"

"Of course it will.  Just push harder."

"It'll break or something!"

"Sandburg, it will *not* break.  Now c'mon, keep pushing."

"Jim, I think we should stop.  There's gotta be another way to get it in."

"There's no other way and you know it.  You got us into this situation and now you're gonna get us out."

"I swear Jim, I'm *never* doing this again."

"C'mon, you're almost there.  Just one more and you're done. Ready...push!"

And with a final groan and a soft "Pop!", it was all over.

Jim smiled.  "See?  I told you you could do it."

Blair smiled weakly in return as Jim continued.  "But the *next* time we buy a new couch, *I'll* be the one who measures the doorway so that it doesn't get stuck halfway through.  Like now."

"Smart ass," Blair replied. "You *should've* measured it.  It was your idea to buy this thing in the first place!  So the least you could've done was help a little more.  Instead of standing there grinning like a fool."

"Well, if you hadn't made me walk backwards carrying it, I wouldn't have been the first one inside the loft. *I* would've been the one doing the pushing."

"Speaking of pushing, if you're through smirking at me, would you mind helping me get it into the living room?"

Spring was here and that meant one thing to a certain anal retentive cop - spring cleaning.  But this year Jim Ellison had taken things a little too far.  Not only had he gotten rid of old clothes and shoes, but some of his furniture as well.  His couch, chair and mattress to be exact.  It was time for a change, he'd told Blair.  Since the delivery men were backed up and he didn't want to wait for a week, he'd persuaded Blair to spend their day off helping him get their new furniture home.

So here they were, struggling to get the new, blue couch into the loft.

Dragging the couch across the floor, Blair commented, "You certainly know how to show a guy a good time, Jim."

Jim smacked him lightly on the arm.  "Oh, quit whining.  I promised to treat you to dinner, didn't I?"

"And after all this hard work, dessert had *better* be included," Blair joked.

They got the couch moved into position, then stood back to take a look at the living room.  They had brought the chair up first and it sat on the other side of the coffee table.  Jim looked over at his partner as the younger man surveyed their new furniture.  Blair was dressed in what used to be a long sleeved grey sweatshirt, that was now short sleeved and cropped to just above his waist thanks to a little creative work with a pair of scissors. With scruffy jeans and sneakers completing the ensemble, and his hair pulled back into a pony tail, Jim thought he looked fantastic.

It was a warm spring afternoon, sunny and bright.  Blair had opened up the balcony doors and a refreshing breeze was blowing through the loft.  The radio was playing over in the corner.  All in all, it was a beautiful day that was slowly dissipating the horrors of the last week.

Blair turned and caught his eye.  He gave him a wide smile and opened his mouth to say something when the phone rang.  Blair turned and jogged over to the phone, passing the still-open door of the loft. He gave it a push as he went by.  But with all the balcony doors open and the breeze blowing through, the door slammed shut so forcefully it sounded like a gunshot.


The world faded away as Jim's mind was thrown back in time...


They were tracking a serial killer who's murder spree had spanned three states and four months. The killer's victims were all young men who had been offered as a sacrifice in a sickening ritual that involved not only torture and rape, but the removal of the victim's eyes as well - while still alive. Another victim was found only hours after Jim and Blair caught the case.  The horrendous things the killer had done to this boy's body was almost too much for even the seasoned cop, let alone a civilian observer.  But Blair never once asked to walk away from the case, giving Jim yet another reason to admire his partner.

All of the victims were between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years old, all had long, dark, curly hair and were found gagged and tied to a chair.  The resemblance to Blair was uncanny, and Jim was helpless to stop the visions of his young partner, held captive by David Lash, that sprang unbidden into his mind.  He'd stopped that psychotic bastard, and before another innocent young man lost his life, he'd stop this one, too.  Even if it was the last thing he did.

It almost was.

Not a man prone to nightmares, even in his line of work, Jim suddenly found himself caught in the grips of a horrible one the first night of the case. The terrifying image of Blair's face on the bloody, mutilated dead boy's body invaded his sleep and he jolted awake, calling out Blair's name. Mere seconds later, his Guide was sitting on the edge of his bed, talking softly to him.  And he didn't leave until Jim had calmed and fallen back into a fitful sleep.


Working closely with Homicide, he and Blair had a suspect identified in four days. Luck was on their side, as a witness description of a man fleeing the last crime scene happened to match the FBI's profile that had been included in the case file.

Their attempt to apprehend the suspect had gone bad, leaving one cop hospitalized.  The killer fled to a railyard, hoping to hop on a freight train leaving the city.  Jim, Blair, and their backup from Major Crimes were close behind.  It was almost midnight when they reached the yard, the moon casting an eerie glow over everything and everyone in the crisp spring night.

He, Blair and the other detectives spread out, searching intensely, all senses on alert and guns drawn.  As he and Blair approached two connected box cars, he motioned for Blair to stay back around the corner, out of harm's way. The tension in the air was electric, the hair on the back of Jim's neck standing on end.  The gravel under his feet crunched softly as he stealthily approached the opening on the side of the box car, his back rubbing against the rusted metal and his gun held high next to his face.  Pausing briefly next to the opening, he felt the adrenaline surge through his veins, giving him strength, at the same time extending his senses.  His sensitive hearing immediately identified a single heartbeat from inside the box car.  Bingo.  Springing away from the side, Jim jumped in front of the opening with his weapon pointed straight out in front of him.

What happened next was still kind of a blur, it happened so fast.

The two by four came swinging out of the blackness, cutting through the air with a whistle, smashing into Jim's gun hand and nearly breaking his wrist.  He dropped the gun in pain, but before he could utter a sound, the board came smashing downward again, catching him on the left side of his head and laying him out on his back.

Stunned, in pain, his vision blurry from the blow and the blood dripping in his eye, Jim could do nothing but lie there and watch as the killer dropped to the ground from the box car door, grinning evilly and tossing the board to one side.

My gun.  Where's my gun?!

Too late, he saw that the killer had already picked it up from where it had fallen beneath the box car. Digging his heels in the gravel, Jim scrambled backwards, trying to stand, but the pain in his head was too overwhelming. With the killer standing above him, pointing his own gun downward at his chest, he began to lose consciousness.  As the blackness closed in, one final thought slid into his mind with surprising clarity and force.  It was followed instantly by a feeling of deep regret that his final words would never be spoken outloud.

Goodbye, Blair.  I love you.

Resigned to his fate, Jim let his eyes close as he heard the click of the hammer, waiting for the sound and the excruciating pain that would accompany it.  His body jerked at the sound of the gunshot, but he felt no pain, instead feeling a body land across his legs.  It surprised him enough to jolt him back to semi-consciousness and he opened his eyes.

There, standing ten feet away, was Blair, with Rafe standing beside him.  Rafe's weapon was still pointed out in front of him, tendrils of smoke still emanating from the barrel.  As Rafe holstered his gun, Blair ran toward Jim, calling his name.  Upon reaching him, Blair dropped to his knees, oblivious to the rocks and dirt, and pushed the killer's body off Jim's legs, the bullet hole in the side of the man's head still bleeding.

Blair reached for him and gently lifted Jim's upper body, placing Jim's head on his lap. He ran his hand softly across Jim's face.  "Jim?  Jim, can you hear me?"

Jim's only reply was to reach up and touch Blair's face before he let his body relax and give in to the wave of darkness, safe in his Guide's arms.


He woke up hours later at Cascade General, just as dawn was breaking.  Blair was sitting on a chair next to his bed, lightly grasping his hand when he opened his eyes.  Blair's face lit up and broke into a smile, the worry leaving his eyes.

Jim smiled back, thinking to himself.  [It's true what they say about your life flashing before your eyes when you're faced with death.  Mine sure as hell did.  And it's been a cold, dark, lonely existence with only one spark of light. That spark is the man sitting next to me.]

Blair gave his hand a squeeze and said softly, "Welcome back, partner."


Jim's doctor came in shortly after the detective woke up, and after another examination, announced they would release him later in the afternoon, sending him home with stitches above his left eye and a brace on his right wrist. After Jim's prodding, Blair left to go get some sleep, promising to handle both the hospital and case paperwork after his nap. Then he'd be back to pick Jim up in the afternoon.

After Blair left, Jim knew he should go back to sleep, but his mind was racing.  He had a lot of thinking to do about what had happened.  He'd been close to death before, but this time...this time had shaken him to his soul.  Staring down the barrel of his own weapon, so many things had flooded his mind. But the most important one was that he'd never see Blair again.  Never hear his laugh or see his smile or hear him spout some obscure anthropological fact. 

Never have the chance to tell him he loved him.

And until the moment when he was faced with his own mortality, he had never admitted to himself that he *was* in love with Blair, because he had never let himself think along those lines.  He just couldn't risk it.  But when faced with the fact that he'd never see him again, he could no longer deny he was in love with Blair.

But now what?  Run up to Blair, drop down on one knee and profess his love?  Yeah, right.  And what about Blair?  Both men had admitted their bisexuality early on after becoming roommates, and they had joked and teased and even flirted a bit with each other, but neither had ever tried to take it further.  For Jim, it was his disastrous relationship track record that kept him from examining his true feelings for Blair and pursuing something more with him.  Deathly afraid of repeating his past mistakes and losing the best friend he'd ever had, Jim had contented himself to continue on with the status quo. Friendship only. Did the same hold true for Blair?  Was he afraid of something, too?  Or was he simply not interested in a romantic relationship?

Jim sighed deeply and closed his eyes.  This was turning out to be tougher to solve than any case he'd ever had!


As promised, Blair returned to the hospital in the late afternoon to pick Jim up.  Without a word, Jim climbed into the passenger seat of Blair's Volvo and leaned his head back. He barely spoke the whole ride home, suddenly nervous around the man he loved.  And Blair thankfully said nothing, probably attributing his silence to the stress of the last few days.

Simon phoned not long after they arrived back at the loft, informing them he was giving Jim, and by extension, Blair, a few days off to recuperate.  Suddenly faced with downtime and pent up nervous energy, Jim began doing what he did best - cleaning.  And the next thing Blair knew, the loft was immaculate and Jim had a new couch, chair and mattress ordered.


The touch on his arm made Jim nearly jump out of his skin, jolting him out of his memories and back into the present.  Blair was standing next to him, his hand still on his arm.

"Earth to Jim.  Come in, Jim," he joked.

Jim blinked.  "Oh, sorry. Did you say something?"

"You OK?  You looked about a million miles away."

Jim smiled.  "I'm fine.  Just thinking."   He looked away to find himself staring out at the Cascade skyline.  He never even remembered walking outside onto the balcony.

Blair dropped his arm and rested both hands on the balcony wall. He closed his eyes briefly and inhaled deeply of the warm spring air.

Still looking outside, the young man commented, "Beautiful, isn't it?"

"Yes, beautiful," Jim agreed.  But he wasn't looking out the window. Averting his gaze quickly, lest Blair find him openly staring at him, he asked, "Who was on the phone?"

Blair turned to face him.  "Oh!  Thanks for reminding me.  It was the truck rental agency. We're half an hour late returning it."  He clapped Jim on the shoulder.  "Come on partner, let's get that mattress up here."

Jim swept his arm out to the side.  "Lead on, partner.


They were both sweating by the time the mattress finally made it's way upstairs into Jim's bedroom, and Jim's wrist was throbbing.  He never should've attempted to move all this furniture, but being the "macho man" that he was, he refused to tell Blair he was hurting, especially since this was his idea in the first place.

Propping the mattress against the wall, they walked all the way into Jim's room.  The box spring sat on the bed frame, waiting for the mattress to be put on top of it.  But there were a few obstacles in the way.  Pillows were scattered all over the floor next to the bed where Blair had pushed them off of Jim's old mattress.  They both leaned over to pick them up when a flash of skin caught Jim's eye. 

With Blair bent over, his short shirt gaped open at the waist, giving Jim a great view of the flat, softly furred plane of his stomach.  He swallowed visibly and felt a stirring inside his boxers.  His thoughts were heading toward the "erotic zone" when something soft connected with his shins.  His gaze shot upward from Blair's stomach to his eyes.  Blair was staring right at him.  And from the look on his face he'd seen where Jim had been staring.  Which is why he'd hit him with the pillow.

Embarrassed, Jim did the first thing that came to mind.  He hit Blair in the butt with his own pillow.  Well that did it.  Blair retaliated by swinging his own pillow back towards Jim, who was still bent over, but the bigger man moved just as Blair began his swing and the projectile hit Jim squarely above his left eye.  Right on the bandage with the fresh stitches beneath.  Jim's hand flew to his head and he sank down onto the box spring with a grimace of pain on his face.

Blair was immediately apologetic.  "God!  Jim, I'm so sorry," he said in a rush. "Here, put your hand down and let me look at it," he told him as he walked over to where Jim was sitting.

Jim was about to protest, to tell Blair he was fine, when the young man stopped in front of him, his left leg pressed firmly against Jim's thigh.  All rational thoughts left Jim's mind as he soaked in the nearness of Blair's body.  With him sitting and Blair standing, Jim's head was even with Blair's chest.  As Blair began removing the bandage, Jim closed his eyes and breathed deeply, inhaling Blair's scent.  He smelled faintly of sweat, but also of fresh air and the outdoors, mixed with a faint herbal scent. Probably his shampoo.  All together, it was uniquely Blair and he could never get enough.

Seemingly of their own accord, Jim's hands slowly rose and settled on Blair's hips, half of his fingers resting on Blair's bare skin and half on his jeans.  At the same time Jim's hands were moving, so were Blair's.  He had removed the bandage, then his movements slowed and became more of a caress as he examined Jim's head. He softly ran his hand over Jim's hair, enjoying the feel of the short, silky strands.  His hand moved lower, coming to rest on Jim's cheek.

They remained that way for a long moment, neither man making a move to break their first, intimate touches.  Jim finally opened his eyes to gaze into Blair's sparkling blue ones as Blair began speaking.

"I thought I was going to lose you yesterday.  I've never been so scared in my life, seeing you lying on the ground, bleeding," his hand trembled, "with your own gun pointed at your chest."  He paused to draw in a deep breath.  "And I realized that my life would be very empty without you."

He wrapped both arms around Jim's neck and impulsively drew him into a hug, the bigger man returning it without hesitation, wrapping his arms around Blair's waist, his head resting on the younger man's chest. 

They drew apart a moment later and Jim's voice was rough with emotion when he spoke.

"I realized something, too..."

This was it.  He was at the point of no return.  He was bursting at the seams with his love for this man and he would give anything to know what Blair was thinking at this very moment. Because he couldn't contain his emotions any longer and was dreadfully afraid of making a mistake with his next words.  He could lose his partner and best friend or gain something beyond his wildest dreams: Blair's love.

So, with his heart in his throat, he took a chance.

"I love you."

Blair stood there, utterly still, silent.  And to Jim his expression was unreadable.  Shock? Joy?  Confusion?

Then Blair smiled, whispering, "It's about damn time..."  Then he placed his hands on either side of Jim's face, leaned over...and softly, gently, pressed his lips to Jim's.

Sensory overload would be an apt description of what both men felt at their first taste of each other.  Blair swept his tongue across Jim's lower lip, demanding entrance, and Jim eagerly complied.  They both groaned as their tongues met for the first time and the kiss quickly went from exploratory to demanding.

Jim suddenly stood and wrapped his arms around Blair's back, bringing their bodies into full contact as he backed Blair into the nightstand.  Blair responded by wrapping his arms around Jim's waist, pressing their groins tightly together.  Blair broke the kiss with a strangled moan at the sensation of his erection rubbing against Jim's. In response, Jim thrust his hips once, twice, into Blair's, delighting in the hiss of pleasure that broke from the other man's lips.  Blair released Jim's waist to capture his face between his hands.  He ran his hand over the smooth planes of his face and Jim sighed, leaning into Blair's touch, eliciting a smile from the younger man.  Blair let his hands wander, drawing his thumb across Jim's lower lip, then down his neck.  Moving lower, he let both hands slide down Jim's chest, brushing his thumbs against the flat nipples hidden beneath Jim's white t-shirt. Jim jerked, pressing his lower body against Blair's once more.

Blair moved quickly, stripping Jim of his t-shirt in one swift move, then his hands dropped lower, to the waistband of Jim's sweatpants, running his thumbs just under the material before slipping his hands inside Jim's boxers to knead the firm buttocks.  Jim's head dropped forward, resting on Blair's shoulder.

"Please..." Jim breathed.

Blair moved one hand to the small of Jim's back, fingers splayed against the warm flesh.  His other hand gravitated slowly toward the front of Jim's body, searching...

He could feel the heat of Jim's erection before he even touched it, the swollen flesh begging for attention.  Bypassing it for the moment, Blair instead cupped the heavy balls in his palm.  Jim's entire body jerked at the touch, his hands coming up to grasp the smaller man's upper arms.

"Please..." he breathed again, head still resting on Blair's shoulder.

In one quick stroke, Blair ran his hand straight up Jim's shaft then back down again.  For a moment, Blair thought Jim was going to come right then.  Jim's head flew up with a soft cry and his hips slammed forward, pinning Blair's hand between his cock and Jim's.  Blair adjusted his grip so that as he pumped Jim, the backs of his fingers stroked his own erection through the fabric of their pants.

Jim thought he'd died and gone to heaven. Standing here having his cock stroked, rocking his hips in rhythm with Blair's, pumping faster and faster...  His breath was coming in short pants now, he could hear that Blair's breathing matched his own.  He was so close...  No, not yet, not yet.

Lightening quick, Jim stepped back from Blair. Before the younger man could say or do anything, he found his jeans puddled at his feet. Then Jim was on his knees in front of him, pulling down Blair's boxers as he went.  Blair kicked them away, fairly trembling in anticipation of what he knew was going to happen next.  Jim spread Blair's legs wide apart, and, without preamble, latched his mouth onto the head of Blair's straining cock.

"God!  Jim!" Blair cried, arching his hips.  His hands came down to hold Jim's head in place, trying to set the tempo. But Jim was having none of that. He was going to set his *own* pace.  He reached one hand up to grasp Blair's shaft, pumping it as he sucked. His other hand went downward, to encircle his own erection and release it from the confines of his sweatpants and boxers.  He felt himself leaking, the precum wetting his fingers.  He swirled the moisture around the tip, then down his length, before pumping himself at the same tempo he was doing Blair, wanting to come at the same time, his movements made awkward with the brace around his wrist.

But giving Blair pleasure soon overrode his own needs and he released himself in order to fondle the other man's balls.  They were already tightening, drawing up into his body. He was close.  Now to push him over the edge...

He felt Blair look down as the younger man's hips rocked in a steady rhythm, pushing his engorged penis in and out of Jim's hot, wet mouth, as Jim pumped him up and down.

"Yes...please, Jim...please," Blair moaned.

Blair felt the older man's hand leave his balls and a finger snake up between his buttocks. Before he could comprehend what Jim was going to do, he did it; deep throating him at the same time he pressed the tip of his finger against his anus.

Blair's orgasm overtook him with a yell of, "Jim!", his entire body stiffening before the convulsions gripped him, coming explosively into Jim's mouth.  Jim drank greedily, draining his new lover until he felt him go soft.  Then he pulled back to gaze up at Blair with a smile.  Blair still had ahold of Jim's head, and he loosened his grip to lay his palm on his cheek before his legs gave out on him and he sank to his knees, arms falling limply to his side.

That was the most erotic experience in Jim's life and he craved for his own release.  He was so hard it was almost painful.  As Blair watched, he reached down to stroke himself.  Struggling to get his breathing under control, Blair saw Jim's hand stray to his erection and begin pumping.  He desperately wanted to do to Jim what he'd just done to him, but he was exhausted.  So he

decided on a different tact to bring his lover off.

Both men were on their knees, facing each other. Blair leaned forward to knead Jim's thighs, rubbing his palms up and down, getting closer and closer to his groin.  Then he leaned even closer, inhaling Jim's scent, to whisper in his ear.

"What do you want, Jim?  Tell me what you want.  Do you want to come?" he asked seductively, with a nip and lick to Jim's ear.  The bigger man shuddered at the touch and Blair knew the Sentinel had the dial on his tactile sense turned up, wanting to feel every sensation to its fullest.

Jim's eyes closed and he nodded his head, hand still moving, his breathing getting faster.  Blair shifted one hand to touch the tip of Jim's cock before whispering again.

"Look at you, you're leaking.  Do you feel that?" he asked, swirling the moisture around the head, careful not to interfere with Jim's stroking.  Jim whimpered in response to the feel of the wetness, his wetness, and Blair's erotic talk. He was so turned on he could barely stand it.

Blair continued to use one finger to tease the tip as he bent his head to nip at Jim's neck, delighting in the answering groan he received.  Back at Jim's ear, he continued his whispered words.

"I want to watch you come, Jim.  I want to see your face as you explode all over my hand."

"Yes...yes..." Jim ground out, trembling with need.

Blair straightened, his face mere inches from Jim's. "Open your eyes, Jim," he gently commanded.  "Look at me."

Jim complied just as Blair gave his balls one firm squeeze.

"Ahhh!  Yes!" screamed Jim as he pumped his warm, white semen all over Blair's hand.  Blair had removed Jim's hand from his penis to replace it with his own as the first convulsion started and now he watched in erotic fascination as each stream of semen filled his hand.

As Jim's orgasm died away, the bigger man slumped forward, shaking slightly, a light sheen of sweat covering his body.  Blair used his free hand to pull Jim to him, holding him as Jim came back to himself.  When Jim's breathing slowed, he raised his head to capture Blair's mouth for a slow, soft kiss.  When it ended, he cupped Blair's face with his hand and smiled.

"This isn't exactly how I pictured our first time, on the floor with most of our clothes still on," Jim admitted.

Blair gave him a sly smile in return and waggled his eyebrows comically.  "Then what do you say we do it right and christen that new mattress of yours?"

That's all the prompting Jim needed.  Within minutes the mattress was on the box spring, sheets, blankets and pillows thrown hastily on top and the remainder of their clothing removed just as hastily.  Finally free of their cloth barriers, the new lovers spent long minutes languidly exploring each others bodies.  For once, Blair wished he possessed the same sensory abilities as Jim.  As he watched the Sentinel catalog every aspect of him with each of his senses, further imprinting Blair inside of himself, Blair wished he could do the same for Jim.

As their explorations slowly wound down, with Blair on his back and Jim draped over him, the younger man finally had the chance to say the words locked inside his heart for so long.

"I love you, Jim."

Jim closed his eyes and breathed a sigh at Blair's declaration.  He placed a kiss on his Guide's forehead and murmured against his skin, "Why did I ever try and deny it?"

Blair pulled back slightly.  "Deny what?"

"That I love you."

Blair nodded his head once. "Then I *was* right."

"Right?" Jim asked, confused. "Right about what?"

"That you were holding back.  I've loved you for so long," Blair admitted.  "And even though I suspected you felt the same towards me, I never said anything.  Something kept holding me back, telling me that *you* had to be the one to make the first move.  That you needed to work through something first."  Blair paused.  "Did what happen in the railyard have something to do with that?  Is that what prompted all this?" he asked softly.

Jim nodded, then rolled away, onto his back.  Blair followed, reversing their positions.  Jim's hands settled around Blair's back as he began.

"Being in the Rangers, and being a cop, I've been in more dangerous situations than I can count.  You know there's always a chance you're gonna die, but it's always buried deep down inside.  Because you're either in the middle of a gunfight or on some surgical strike mission and you've got more to think about than death."  He paused and let out a long breath.  "But that night in the railyard...I was lying there, completely helpless, staring down the barrel of my *own gun*.  And for the first time, I actually had time to think about death.  There it was, staring me right in the face, and all I could do was wait for it.  And the first thing that popped into my mind was that I loved you.  And that I'd never told you."

"Oh, Jim..." Blair breathed.

"You mean *everything* to me," Jim continued.  "And I've never shown it or said it to you.  I just *assumed* that you'd know how important you are to me.  And that was wrong. *I* was wrong.  And if I died without ever coming right out and telling you how I felt about you...I'd never forgive myself."

"But I don't understand.  Why were you trying to deny what you felt about me?"

Jim raised up his left hand, his palm toward Blair.  As the younger man touched his own palm to his, Jim intertwined their fingers.  Then he looked steadily at his Guide, trust and love shining forth from the depths of his blue eyes.

"Because I'm scared, Blair."

The rare use of his first name nearly rendered Blair speechless.  Then Jim's words impacted him.  Jim?  Afraid?  He was the bravest person Blair had ever known.  What could possibly scare him?

"What is it, Jim?  What are you afraid of?"

"Of losing you now that I've told you I love you."

"Jim, no.  Why would you even think that?"

"Because every time I've said those words, the relationship has ended in disaster.  My mother, Carolyn, Lila, Veronica...I've lost them *all*.  And you...you mean more to me than any of them."  He swallowed thickly.  "I was afraid that if I brought love into our friendship I'd screw it up, just like all the rest...and I'd be left with nothing.  So I refused to let myself feel anything more than friendship for you.  Because I couldn't take the chance that I'd lose you, too..."

Blair was shaking his head.  "Jim, don't you see?  It wasn't *you*, it was *them*.  You just hadn't found the right person yet."

Jim tightened his grip on Blair's hand.  "What about now?" he whispered, voice tight with emotion.  "Is my search over?  Have I found the right person?"

Blair nodded, kissing their joined hands, eyes bright with unshed tears.  "Yeah, you have.  And I'll spend the rest of my life proving it to you."

As the two men pulled each other close and began to move as one, a gentle breeze blew through the loft, encircling them, binding them together and carrying with it the music from the radio in the living room.


They say for everyone

There's that certain one

Out there, somewhere

I'd been looking hard

Searching every heart

Getting nowhere

Didn't know I was making my way to you


Miles of loneliness

Now make perfect sense

Here beside you

Tears like water fall

It was worth it all

Just to find you

And yours are the last arms I'll run to

Spring.  A time for new beginnings.



Thanks for reading!  Comments are always appreciated. :-)

Barbara Nice-Miller