Mirror Image

By K9



Diary of Blair Sandburg. August 31st 1999

Today's decision will mark the beginning of the rest of my life and it's a very frightening path I'm choosing to follow.

I still do not know what will happen, what the consequences of my actions will be, but I'll know soon enough.

It's a simple truth that some things are just worth risking everything for.





It was a fine sunny afternoon when Blair Sandburg pulled his beloved 'classic' car onto the long winding drive of 'Tall Trees Retreat'. This place was typical of most of the places that his mother chose to hole up in, quiet, peaceful and remote.

He needed the rest, he was feeling ragged and spent after finally gaining his Masters and becoming 'Professor' Sandburg. <Ah yes, that still sounds good,> he thought with a grin. But it had all taken its toll on his health.

Blair had shut himself away, cramming every minute of every day into his research.

He'd wasted a few years on the study of ancient Sentinels, but when it had become clear that it was going nowhere, he'd quickly changed the track to cover a wider spectrum of study. His beloved Sentinel research, however, still haunted his every waking moment and a fair amount of his sleeping ones too.

As he pulled up to the house, he saw the beaming face of his mother standing on the porch, waving frantically and bouncing slightly on the balls of her feet.

Climbing out of the car, he was struck forcefully as his mother swooped him up in her arms and hugged him hard enough to cause bruises.

"Baby, it's so good to see you," she squealed, "Or should I call you 'Professor'?"

"Oh, just 'Sir' will do," he grinned.

"Blair, I'm *so* proud of you, I could burst," Naomi Sandburg sighed lovingly as she quickly glanced over her beloved son.

Blair was barely thirty years old and a full Professor. He'd always been a gifted child and had displayed an academic ability way beyond his years since early childhood.

But most importantly, he was Naomi Sandburg's only son and she worshipped the ground he walked on.

"Come on in, baby. I've made the attic room ready, I just know you'll love it in there. You can see for miles from the window and it's so bright and airy. It also has such wonderful vibes, it'll appeal to your romantic soul," she smiled.

"That's great, Mom, anywhere is just fine, as long as I can lay my head down for a few days and relax."

"You *do* look tired? All the study was tough on you, huh?"

"A little. But, that's why I'm here, to kick back and take it easy. No telephone, no students, no Professor's and no distractions," Blair sighed.

Naomi smiled widely, "Just peace, tranquillity and your mother."



One thing that his mother had been right about, was how lovely the attic room was. It had a serenity that seemed to wash across him and within seconds, he felt at home.

The bed was an old fashioned brass bedstead and the mattress soft and inviting.

Thrown across it, an antique comforter lay patched and wearing the years in brightly colored remnants of material, that probably meant something important to someone at sometime.

Blair placed his bag on the bed and threw open the window, gazing out across the endlessly rolling meadows and breathed in deeply. No smell of pollution, no sounds of irate motorists irritably honking horns despite the fact that they knew they were going nowhere.

Just peace and quiet.

Turning back into the room he took a moment to look around. Other than the large imposing bed, there was an ancient dresser, its far-left corner scotched to prevent it from wobbling. A wardrobe that had seen better days, but somehow its tall forbidding presence was oddly comforting, like a sentinel watching over the rooms' inhabitants.

Blair grinned to himself, <Back to sentinels, eh, Sandburg?> he thought.

And in the corner was a large free-standing mirror. Its gilt frame was slightly chipped and worn, a crack snaked its way across the frame, obviously it had at one time been restored after being broken, but the mirror was crystal clear. Standing easily six feet tall it was strangely compelling.

Blair stopped for a moment in front of it to look at himself. He looked terrible.

His hair was still pulled severely back and he was dusty from the journey, but it was much more than that. He had dark circles under his eyes and his face was pale and drawn.

What he hadn't told Naomi was, that it wasn't his study alone that had caused the stress in his life.

He'd been living with another man for almost a year, Todd Campbell, and recently they'd had an almighty row. Todd had hit Blair, fracturing his cheekbone and Blair had gone straight to the police.

Not that it had made much difference, the officers had warned Todd off and then merely mumbled something about 'fucking screaming queens.'

So, it was okay to be brutalized if you were gay or a woman? But, God forbid that a heterosexual man should ever be attacked.

Blair shook his head; he didn't want to go back over that, it was water under the bridge. Todd had left town and Blair had buried himself in his studies, only eating and sleeping when he felt he had no choice.

He wasn't just physically tired, he was *soul* tired.



"Blair, come meet the others," Naomi beamed, "Everyone, this is my son, 'Professor' Blair Sandburg."

The group of around eight people all looked up and smiled, greeting Blair warmly as Naomi ushered him to sit at the table.

"Nice to have you with us, Blair. Naomi's told us a lot about you," a large bear of a man grinned.

"I'll bet," Blair replied shyly.

A meaty hand was thrust across the table. "I'm Johan, by the way."

Blair shook the man's hand, his own resembling a dolls in the man's huge paw, "Nice to meet you. All of you."

"Blair's come here to get some rest and restore balance to his Chi," Naomi explained, "He's looking for positive vibes...good Karma."

"Peace and quiet will do me just fine," Blair smiled as the gathering mumbled its pleasure at having a 'soul to cleanse'.

Dinner was a pleasant affair, lots of home-made food, pesticide free and of course, all vegetarian, but delicious and wholesome and Blair developed a quietly contented feeling as he settled down in the surprisingly well stocked library after his meal and planned to vegetate for the evening.

Pulling a book from the shelves, he glanced at the old leather cover.

'A History Of Tall Trees by Simone Harrison'

That would do.



'In 1871, Tall Trees was purchased by a Captain James Joseph Ellison, a gentleman, recently returned from the war. He was the son and heir to the Ellison Railway Co. in Cascade City, but chose to retire here on his return from battle, due to 'ill health'. Little is known of his time at the house, because Captain Ellison was something of a recluse.

It is believed that he lived with a companion, but nothing is recorded of either inhabitant due to the fact that the estate had a fire at the end of second decade of this century and most of the documents pertaining to that period were lost.'

Blair glanced up as Naomi entered the room, "Hey Mom."

"Do you know what time it is?" she yawned.

"No? Jeezus, it's 2am!" Blair gasped, "Oh man, I'm sorry."

"No, baby, you can stay here all night if you want, I just thought you might have lost track of the time. I don't want you overdoing it with the books again," she chided gently.

Blair closed the book and put it back on the shelf, "I know and I did. Thanks for caring, Mom, I really do love you, you know?"

"Of course I know, you're my baby. You can't hide things from me," Naomi slid her arms around him, pulling him close.

"Who says I'm hiding anything?" he smiled.

"Oh, so the fact that you're gay isn't really a secret?"

Blair's face dropped, "How? I mean...when?"

"Sweetheart, I've known since you were a teenager. Oh, I know you've dated girls and I always hoped that it wasn't just for my benefit, but I always knew you were attracted to men. It's okay," she smoothed back his curls, "Blair, I love *you*, the you in here," Naomi laid her hand on his chest, "I love everything about you, the fact that you're smart, kind, generous and beautiful. Who you choose to love is up to you, but if I ever get my hands on the man who did that to your face, I'll kill him."

"But I.."

"Walked into a door? Oh baby, what kind of a mother would I be if I believed that? Just tell me that you're not going back to him?"

"I'm not going back to him, Mom. It's over."

"Well then, that's okay. Now scoot off to bed and get some rest. Feel free to come down for breakfast at any time you like, we don't stand on ceremony here."

Blair touched his mother's face gently, "Do you *know* how much I love you?" he asked.

"Yes, sweetheart. Go to bed."

With a final hug, Blair wandered wearily from the room and began the climb to the attic room.


Falling back on the bed, Blair seriously considered just sleeping in his clothes. After all, it couldn't hurt, just this once?

With a grin he thought of the time he'd suggested that to Todd after they'd frantically made out on the sofa, only to be roughly shoved off and told that he was a 'fucking slob'.

Why did he stick it so long? What made him take the abuse for almost a year? True, Todd hadn't actually done him physical injury before, but he took every opportunity to put him down, make him feel small. Tell him what a no good piece of shit Blair Sandburg really was. And the worst part was, Blair had begun to believe it.

Pushing himself up onto his elbow, he reached for his journal.


Date August 24th

Arrived at Tall Trees, it's as beautiful as Mom said it was and very restful.

I have the nicest room overlooking the entire valley and a bed that feels like it's made from angel wings.

Pity it's so empty.

No, I'm not going to dwell on Todd, he was a bastard and I'm better off without him.

Oh yeah...Mom knows I'm gay.



As he placed the book back on the side table, Blair heard the sound of birds. The noise was almost deafening, like a dawn chorus was here in his room. As he glanced around, he noticed a light emanating from the corner. Curiosity eating at him, he climbed to his feet and made his way across the room. The mirror was lit up like a summer day. In the reflected image, the room was filled with sunlight and he could hear birds singing. To his astonishment, as he tried to touch the surface, his hand disappeared, right through the mirror and into the world beyond. Nervously, he snatched it back.

"Holy, shit!" he gasped, tentatively doing it again to be sure that he hadn't imagined it, "What the fuck did Naomi *put* in that stew?"

As if spellbound, Blair lifted his foot and slipped it through the mirrors surface, it felt like walking through the door of a store on a summer day, going from the cool air conditioned interior into the heavy humid outside. Beyond curious now, Blair let the rest of his body follow through until he stood in the attic once again, but this time, it was day and hot, stiflingly hot.

Looking around, he tried to take in the details. Essentially the place was the same, but polished floorboards replaced the modern carpet and the furniture was newer, rough-hewn pine, hand made maybe?

Blair moved to the window and glanced out. It was about midday, according to the position of the sun. The orchard to the left was in full bloom, the trees hung heavy with fruit and he could smell the delicious aroma of apples.

"Oh man!" he exclaimed, "I am *really* tripping. I know Naomi said she wanted me to relax, but *Mom* I'm flying here!"

He turned once again and looked around the room, this was *unbelievable*. "Wonder if I'm gonna see the Yellow Submarine float past or maybe burst into a rendition of 'I am The Walrus'?" he laughed at the sheer absurdity of the situation. "I'm going to look downstairs," he decided. Hell, it was *his* trip, he may as well enjoy it.

Opening the attic door, he peered down the darkened staircase. Much as the attic had been, it was essentially the same but with a slightly more dated variety of wall hangings.

Descending the two flights to the main sitting room, he peered around the door, "Oh Wow!" he gasped.

The room was set out in a style more prevalent in the late nineteenth century. Tall mantle, a heavy iron fireplace and framed family pictures hung from picture rails around the room.

Blair wandered in and absently began touching things to see if they felt real.

He'd done a few experimental drugs when he was at college, but *nothing* had ever been *this* real.

As he passed the window he spotted an old fashioned newspaper on a small table.

Picking it up, he read the date: June 12th 1874. The paper felt so solid and Blair quickly glanced around at the rest of the room. So damned real, this couldn't be a trip?

Maybe it was a dream?

"I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming," he chanted to himself. That usually worked, it was the way he could wake himself up from any dream *or* nightmare.

Opening his eyes, he found that he was still there and everything was still as damned solid.

Suddenly, he heard someone calling.

"I know that there's someone in the house, come out now...I have a gun and I'm trained to use it. Come out!"

Panicking, Blair raced for the attic, thumping heavily up the wooden stairs he reached the door just as he heard the man begin to climb the stairs behind him. Closing the door, he dashed across the floor and almost flung himself through the mirror, landing heavily back in the darkened attic that he'd left only minutes before.

It took a moment before he could truly get his bearings. He was indeed back in the attic, his journal was still on the side table and his travel bag still flung at the side of the dresser, and it was still dark outside. Trying to still his trembling fingers and attempting to climb onto his shaking legs, Blair eventually made it to the bed, flopping back and sinking into the softness of the mattress gratefully.

He wasn't sure *when* sleep overtook him, but eventually it claimed his weary body and finally stilled his confused thoughts.


The sound of birdsong brought Blair out of his dream-world. He looked around nervously to check that he was indeed in the attic of the present day, not in his mirror world version of the past. The L.E.D screen on the clock-radio assured him that it was 1999 and was in fact, ten thirty a.m.

Looking down at himself he noticed that he'd fallen asleep in his clothes after all and he needed a shower *so* badly.

As the water streamed down his back he began to think over what had happened. Had it all been a dream? He *was* exhausted and had always been endowed with a more than active imagination, not to mention the fact that the last thing he'd read before he went to bed was a book about the place and it's previous inhabitants. Still, it *had* been one hell of a trip.

The breakfast room was deserted except for a huge elderly Labrador dog, who opened one eye as Blair walked in, then immediately lost interest and began to snore again almost immediately.

Blair poured himself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from the pitcher on the counter and let the stinging taste jolt his senses back online. There was only one thing that he hated about living with Naomi in these places...no real coffee, only the 'natural', no additive, no caffeine, no damned taste alternative. But, it was a small price to pay for the sheer peace that this place offered. He smiled to himself as he noticed another pitcher of his favourite algae shake in the corner.

Todd used to *freak* about him drinking that stuff and would never kiss him until he'd swilled his mouth with mouthwash afterwards. But, he was now his own man, he could drink what he wanted, dress how he pleased and watch 'farty arty' movies to his hearts desire, with no one to tell him not to.

Sitting down at the table with his shake, more juice and some freshly baked croissants, Blair decided to make the best of the time to be as lazy as he could. Once he got back to Rainier, his life would once again become a maelstrom of work, study, students, classes and a cold, empty little apartment in the rough area of town.

<I need to get myself a new place,> he thought suddenly, <A 'full Professor' shouldn't be living in a place not even the rats will stay in,> he smiled to himself as he tried not to be amused by the absurdity of the snobbishness surrounding his new position.

He was after all, the same Blair Sandburg who just a few weeks ago got falling down drunk at a going away party for his old T.A and woke to find himself slumped against the fountain at three a.m in the morning, half naked and without his shoes or socks.

That damned fountain had always scared the shit out of him for some reason, but he could never work out why?

"Hi, sweetie. Sleep well?" Naomi's voice echoed through the silence.

"Yeah, like a log. Say, if I ask you something, will you give me a truthful answer?"

"Sure baby, you know I wouldn't lie to you."

"You have before," Blair protested with a twinkle in his eye.


"When I was five."

Oh Blair," Naomi slapped his shoulder and blushed slightly, "You walked in on Roger and I making love, what was I supposed to say?"

"I don't know, but even at that age, I thought 'praying' was a shit excuse," he chuckled.

"Well it was a religious experience for me," she sighed nostalgically.

"Mom, whoa! More than I *ever* want to know."

Grinning, she sat beside him, "So, what did you want to ask me?"

"Did...did you put anything in my food last night? You know, to 'relax' me?" he asked with a frown.

"Blair Sandburg, if you're asking whether I *drugged* my own son against his will, the answer is *no*. And I'm damned offended that you'd think I would do that," Naomi's face was twisted in astonishment.

"Hey, sorry, I didn't mean it that way. I just had this *really* trippy dream and it was *so* damned real," he looked up at his mother sadly, "Mom, I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I know you'd never do *anything* to hurt me in any way."

"It's okay, sweetie. But tell me about your dream?"


An hour later, Naomi still sat listening to her son's vivid description of his 'vision' through the mirror. Every detail, the sounds, the smells, the feel of the furniture beneath his fingers, even the way he'd lifted up the newspaper to read the date.

"That sounds incredible," she gasped, "I had a vision like that once...but, it *was* the sixties and..." she trailed off with an apologetic smile.

"Mom, this was more than a dream, it was tangible. So damned weird," he brushed back his hair with his fingers, the dampness of the shower still clinging to it.

"Lots of people have stayed in that room, they never said anything about it being haunted or anything," Naomi frowned.

"It wasn't like that, not like some apparition appeared. I *went* somewhere, physically. Oh man, it was just too freaky. Look, when I'm finished with breakfast, I'm going to hit the library again, okay?"

"Blair, try not to bury yourself in books while you're here. Get out, enjoy the sunshine, feel the positive energy of the place."

Smiling Blair placed his hand on his mothers, "Mom, I promise I will. I just feel like sitting, putting my feet up and reading today, okay?"

"Okay. I'm going down to the hop field to help Beth and Johan for a while. Will you be all right here?"

"Sure, I have Jazz for protection," Blair grinned, gesturing to the snoring dog.

Naomi giggled, "Well, that makes me feel *so* much better. I'll see you later, baby."


Blair slipped off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Checking the clock, ticking steadily in the corner, he realized that he'd been in the library for almost seven hours.

It was a very well preserved and concisely catalogued collection and the history of the house was fascinating. Each owner had lovingly kept logs of the day to day upkeep of the place until Richard Scott, who had been killed during the war in the mid-nineteenth century. His wife Celia had returned to California, childless, and the estate had been put up for sale.

It had lain empty for twenty years until James Ellison was recorded as buyer in 1871.

No description of him, nor of the estate at the time was recorded, just the bare facts of the sale. All information pertaining to his life was pure conjecture, filled in by later owners. One thing was clear, after his death, the estate once more went up for sale, so it could be gathered that he had no heir and left nothing to any remaining family.

Blair rested his head back on the high back chair. He was fascinated with this mystery man, Ellison. Who was he? What did he look like? Why did he shut himself away in this haven of tranquillity and become a recluse? And... was it he who had chased Blair back through the mirror in his vision?

Trembling at the thought, Blair closed the book and decided to go take a closer look at that mirror. A part of him was still convinced that he was losing his mind, maybe that punch from Todd did more than just fracture his cheekbone?

As he entered the attic room, he felt himself shiver, but the air was warm and the room light and inviting. No, it was almost like... anticipation.

The mirror sat innocuously in the corner, still slightly worn by time and use. Slowly, Blair reached out and touched the surface. It was just cold glass, reflecting his slightly trembling hand and his frowning face back at him. "What a jerk!" he grinned suddenly. He had been so disturbed by the 'dream' that he'd been almost afraid to return to this room all day. Instead burying himself in books, trying to find answers to a question that he was still unsure of.

Laughing to himself, he made his way back down the stairs and into the dining room, where Naomi and the others were eating dinner. "Hi sweetie, sit yourself down and have something to eat," she gestured to a chair and began to ladle him some food onto a plate, "You haven't been eating properly lately, have you?"

"Mom? Stop being such a Mom, I'm okay. Say, how about tomorrow you give me some hard work to do? Build up my muscles," he teased.

The group laughed and a gentle chatter filled the air. Jazz still lay snoring in the corner, his cat chasing days long since past.


Blair heard the old grandfather clock strike midnight as he opened the attic door.

Smiling to himself, he made a mental note *never* to be fooled by appearances again. Johan might look like a slightly offbeat old hippie, but the guy was a shark at poker.

Weary and poorer by fifty dollars, Blair sat down on the bed. He picked up the journal and opened it to a new page.


Date: August 25th

Spent all day reading up on the history of this house. It has a really fascinating history.

By far the most compelling part, however, is the man who bought it in the late nineteenth century, A James Joseph Ellison.

There is almost *no* data on him at all, other than that he was an ex-army man who bought the estate to retire to. It doesn't even state his age, which I'm assuming to be maybe late fifties to sixty, since he chose to retire here.

There are times when I wish the anthropologist in me could be switched off, but the mysteries of this house and its history keep stabbing away at my curiosity.

I've been conscripted into vegetable picking tomorrow, me and my big mouth.



Placing down the journal, Blair began to strip off his shirt. Suddenly, he felt rushes of warm air circulate the room, like someone had just opened a door and let the summer heat inside. Turning around, he saw a glow from the mirror, the sunlight dazzled him and he could smell apple cider.

The decision took precious little soul searching and within a few moments he was standing in the mirror attic once again. Damning his scientific curiosity, he decided to take the chance and go downstairs.

<What if you meet Ellison and he blasts you with a shotgun?> he thought, <Well, then you'll find out if this really *is* a dream or not,> he told himself with a snigger.

Gingerly, he crept down, one stair at a time, stopping and listening but hearing nothing like the sound of inhabitants. After a quick check of the main rooms, he came to the conclusion that the occupier wasn't in.

What could only be described as a temporary madness possessed him and Blair opened the door slowly, peering into the sunshine. It was once again a blazing hot day. A heat haze hung over the meadow to the south and the smell from the orchard was mouth watering. Blair knew that he *had* to find answers, he desperately needed to know what was happening to him and where all of this was leading.

Looking around for signs of the houses' owner, he stepped out into the light, the hot air blasted against his skin and he took a deep breath as the dry breeze seared his throat.

He strolled around to the back of the house, the small rose-bed on the right, a vegetable garden in 1999, was filled with sweet smelling blooms, their rich perfume heady and close in this heat.

Blair carried on through the garden, across the small meadow at the back. A few cattle milled aimlessly about, a scattering of chickens scratched at the ground and a lone horse stood gently swishing its tail in the distance.

Taking the path that led through the trees, Blair made his way to the lake, which fanned out just beyond the tree line. Stopping before he was in view, he heard the sound of splashing in the water. Taking cover behind a tree, Blair watched as a figure dived and splashed in the water, before swimming across to the shore nearest to where he was hidden. The man suddenly pulled himself from the water.

Blair would go on to believe that at that moment time stopped and angels wept.

As he cleared the lakes' surface, the man stretched in the sunlight. He was naked, tall and muscular. Dark, short hair was plastered to his head, slick with moisture. The rivulets of water cascaded down his body, sliding effortlessly across hard muscle before pooling around his feet. He was perhaps thirty-five and fit, lean and tanned.

Feeling his hands tremble, Blair dug his nails into his palms and tried to stifle a whimper as the man shook the water off his body, running his hands down his torso and coming to rest idly on his flaccid but impressive penis.

At that moment, he glanced up, his head tilting slightly like a dog hearing a whistle.

With a sweep of the area, he zeroed in on where Blair stood behind the tree.

"Hey, I know you're there," he shouted, "Come out and show yourself!"

Blair panicked, there was no way that the man could have heard him or seen him from there, but he'd spotted him within seconds of his uttering such a small sound.

The man pulled on some cotton pants and set off at a run. Frozen with fear, Blair tried to get his legs to work, but they remained uncooperative and he found himself standing, watching the angry man getting closer and closer.

"Hey, you," the man snarled, "What are you doing here, this is private property.

You're trespassing!" he came to a thundering halt in front of Blair.

He was possibly more exquisite close up than he was at a distance. Blair stared, spellbound by this large man, looming dangerously over him. Clear blue eyes blazed with anger, but there was softness to his manner that washed away any trace of fear that Blair might have felt.

"I... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you," Blair stuttered, " I... I'm staying with my mother at... nearby and I just wandered down here. I... I'm sorry."

The big man frowned, "Don't you have 'private property' where you come from, stranger?"

"Yes, I... I apologize, I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking. It's so hot today," Blair tried on a shy smile, "I really am sorry, Mr...?"

"Ellison," the man grumbled.

Blair shivered. It really was him, this was James Ellison and he was... beautiful.

"I'll show you back to the road, Sir," Ellison said dourly.

"Blair, Blair Sandburg," Blair held out his hand, trying unsuccessfully to disguise the mild tremor in it.

Ellison stared at the outstretched hand for an eternity before reluctantly taking it and briefly shaking.

The touch of the big man's hand turned Blair's insides to slush. The feeling was so electric that he thought he'd pass out from the sheer intensity of it. "I'm a Professor of Anthropology at the University in Washington, just here on vacation. What do you do, Mr Ellison?"

"A Professor? You don't look old enough," the older man frowned.

"I'm thirty and I went to college early," Blair said, cursing his sudden inarticulate rambling.

"Oh," the big man frowned, "I was a soldier, now I'm not," Ellison said coolly.

"So what do you do now? Farmer? I saw some cattle and chickens?"

"No, they're just for food, fresh milk, eggs. I'm not interested in farming as a lifestyle."

"Really? So, what do you do?"

"I'll show you back to the road now," Ellison insisted, effectively bringing the conversation to a close.

"It's okay, Mr Ellison, I can find my own way. I'm sorry I disturbed your swim. Say, I don't suppose you'd be interested in discussing the history of this house, sometime. Would you? Only I understand that it dates a fair way back?"

Ellison scowled, "No."

"It would really help me out," Blair smiled and turned his face up to the bigger man.

His large, soft blue eyes pleading and demanding at the same time, "I need a project for my first year students next semester and this place would be a perfect starting post."

"Well," Ellison shifted uneasily from foot to foot, "I suppose so. There's a library in the house, you could maybe take a look at some of the books," he shrugged, "Some *other* time."

"That's great, thanks a lot. I appreciate it. I'd better be going. See you again then?" the young man babbled excitedly.

At Ellison's nod, Blair tore off through the trees, knowing that he had to get into the house before James Ellison saw where he went.

As he stepped through the mirror, he felt a chill of excitement run through him that he'd never experienced before.

He'd done it. He had travelled back in time and *met* James Ellison.


At six a.m, Blair bounded down the stairs and into the breakfast room where Naomi was preparing pancakes.

"Mom, Mom it happened again," he whispered grabbing her shoulders from behind and almost bursting with excitement.

"What did dear?" she asked.

"I went back again, last night, back to the past. Like in the first dream, but it wasn't a dream, it was *real*. I *touched* James Ellison, Mom. I shook his hand. It was real."

"Sweetheart, some dreams are very real, especially when you're as tired and exhausted as you are. You just need to find your center," Naomi smiled, kissing her son lightly on the forehead as she turned and made her way to the table to serve the pancakes.

"But, Mom, it *was* real!" he pleaded.

"Sit and eat, then you can tell me all about it while we're harvesting the vegetables."



Naomi knelt down in the vegetable garden, pulling up the carrots and shaking the dirt from their surface. Opposite her, Blair did the same, occasionally he would glance up at her and bite on his lip nervously.

"So, what was he like?" Naomi said suddenly.

"Who?" Blair asked.

"James Ellison."

Blair looked up and the shocked expression on his face almost made Naomi laugh, "What? How?"

"Blair, if you say you saw him, I believe you. I'm just curious, what he looked like?"

Taking a deep relaxing breath, Blair began, "He was about six two, two hundred pounds, but all lean muscle, not an ounce of fat. He had short dark hair, cut close, but it was wet when I saw him so I'm not exactly sure of the color, I'd say dark brown. He was heavily tanned and he had the most beautiful crystal blue eyes I ever saw on a man. Jeezus, Mom, he was beautiful," he sighed. It took only moments before he realized that he'd said those things to his *mother*. The woman who, until a scant few hours ago, he'd assumed, thought he was heterosexual.

"He sounds wonderful, Blair," Naomi grinned, "What did you talk about?"

"Nothing much, I just asked him if I could question him about the history of the house," he explained, "Eventually he said okay."

"You gave him that look didn't you," Naomi laughed as Blair frowned and pouted,

"The times I gave in to that look and the pout that goes with it."


"So, you're going back?"


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