----Sometimes, all a man can do is hold on - for dear life----
Blair hurried to the Volvo, threw the groceries into the back seat, jumped into the front and sped out of the parking lot. He was late and he'd really wanted to beat Jim home, have something that actually resembled a homecooked meal on the table, and even a few candles. He checked his watch and swore under his breath. He'd never beat Jim.....
Jim rode up in the elevator, disappointment flowing from him. Blair wasn't home yet. Damn. Funny how a few weeks could get a guy used to something - like Blair always *being* there, not that he wasn't before they'd become a couple. But now, when he was there - he was *there* as in *here*. Jim leaned back and shook his head.....he'd lost the ability to make sense......too much - Blair. Too much Blairbody. He smiled at that, remembering last night....Blair's body writhing under him, strong, stocky legs around his waist, hands tugging, words urging him on, sweat soaked hair clinging to his face, the pillow, streams of sweat rolling down his chest, captured by swirls of chest hair......and Jim, looking down, seeing their bodily connection, his penis buried deep, and yet unable to see where he ended and Blair began......and later, Blair holding him, kissing the top of his head, and the peace, the sublime peace.....never known, never hoped for, but finally found. With Blair.
The elevator door slid open, breaking his reverie and even before he stepped out, he smelled the flowers. Wild flowers. Naomi. He rounded the corner to find Blair's mother sitting on the floor outside their apartment, knees up against her chest, arms across her knees, head resting on her arms. She didn't move at his footsteps, gave no notice that she'd heard him.
She lifted her head, blinked and said, "Jim? Thank god." She stood quickly, her long, flowing blue dress dropping down as she smoothed it.
Jim could see the tear tracks, in spite of how she'd tried to hide them, to brush them away.
He got the door open quickly and with a hand her back, he ushered her inside.
Naomi gazed around the room, eyes not really seeing, still standing where she'd stopped once inside.
"He left before me, Naomi. Went to the store. Should be here any minute.
Can I get you something to drink? Some tea?"
She shook her head and said, "I shouldn't have come. I could have just called, but...."
Jim's jacket was now on it's peg, his keys on the small table and Blair's mother in his livingroom - saying how she shouldn't have come.
"You haven't talked to him since that day at the station. I'd say being here was the right thing to do. If you ask me."
For the first time, emotion took center stage. Naomi's blue eyes flared with anger and bitterness.
"I didn't ask you. And you have no right to judge me. And don't say you weren't, I could hear it in your tone."
"I'm not judging. Just - commenting. You left that day and he hasn't heard from you since. He's needed you, called you. And why were you waiting outside? You have a key."
"Gave it back. Or to be more precise, mailed it back."
"I see. Blair never said anything. So you have communicated. I'm glad."
"No. Just the key."
Just the key. Dear God. And Blair must have opened that envelope, and only a lone key falling out onto his hand....Fuck.
Jim marshalled his anger, walked to the sofa and with a wave, indicated a seat for Naomi. She looked at the sofa, at the door, and just when Jim thought she might bolt, she joined him.
"Why are you here?"
"Something I have to tell him."
"I see. Are you sure you wouldn't like something to drink? I'm getting myself a beer, it wouldn't be any trouble."
"No, I'm fine."
He got up, got his beer, twisted off the cap, tossed it toward the trash, missed, ignored it, took a long swallow, then walked back into the livingroom.
"He's a cop now, isn't he?"
Jim took another swallow. A long swallow. He brought the bottle down, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and said, "Yes."
"I thought so. I knew he'd make it, that was never in question, he *always* succeeds. But you know, he isn't happy."
Don't get mad. Just don't get mad. This is your SO's mother, technically - *your* mother-in-law.
"He's doing a fine job of *looking* happy. Personally, I've never seen him happier."
"You would know? You don't know him. Never did. And yes, I know, I'm sounding angry, bitter even. Well, I am. He had dreams, now he has a gun. I'm sorry if I can't reconcile that." Her voice softened at that last, her eyes going moisture bright.
"This isn't a discussion for us, Naomi. It's for you and Blair."
"No, it's for you and I as well. This is your fault. Because you didn't trust him, didn't believe in him. Do you, for one minute, think that any of that would have happened if you'd said, *Blair, I know, I know you didn't do this. So how do we fix it?*......what do you suppose would have happened then, *Detective* Ellison?"
Jim didn't have to answer - the front door swung open and Blair walked in, arms full.
"Hey, Jim, man, give me a hand and I'll give you one."
He froze. Turned. "Mom?"
"Paul is alive."
##End Part 1##