Rating: NC-17

Pairings: J/B

Warnings: m/m, AU

Archive category: Alternate Universes, 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. :-)

Summary: FBI Special Agent Blair Sandburg meets Survival Training instructor Jim Ellison and sparks start to fly during the week-long training session.

Date completed: June 28, 2004


Sandburg After Hours

by Barbara Nice-Miller




X-Files Office

Washington, D.C.

Monday, March 2nd

10:13 a.m.

Special Agent Matthew Rafe threw open the door to his basement office and breezed in, a file folder in his hand and a smile on his face.

Startled, Special Agent Blair Sandburg looked up from his laptop at his partner, a scowl on his face.

“Glad you decided to grace me with your presence this morning, Matt.  We’re an hour late for—“

Smiling, Rafe cut off Blair’s tirade.  “Good morning to you too, Blair.”

“Should I even ask why you’re so chipper on a Monday morning?”

Rafe held up the file folder.  “New assignment.  Pack your bags, Blair, we’re headed to Cascade, Washington.”

If Matt was this excited, it had to be extraterrestrial related.  But Blair never remembered him saying Cascade was an EBE hot-spot before.

“What is it? UFO sighting?”

“Nope. Simon cornered me in the bullpen on the way in this morning, which is why I’m late.  It’s time for our survival training re-qualification.”

“Survival training?  You’re excited about survival training?  Since when?  You hate the wilderness, Matt.  Your idea of roughing it is having to use the oven instead of the microwave. What gives?”

Rafe gave him a look of complete innocence.  “You wound me, Sandburg.  How could you think I have ulterior motives?  Come on.  It’ll be a nice walk in the forest.”

“Matt, the last time you said that we ended up in quarantine for a month.”

Rafe sighed. “C’mon, it’ll be a nice change of pace. We work too hard. You work too hard, Blair. Let’s just enjoy some time away from the office up in the woods. Who knows? You might even enjoy yourself.”


FBI Field Office

Cascade, Washington

9:05 a.m.

Blair knew Rafe was up to something.  He had accepted this trip way too easily. Despite what he said about both of them needing a break, he was as dedicated to their work as Blair was. There was no way he’d run off and play boy scout for seven days if he didn’t have something up his sleeve.  But try as he might the whole way on last night’s flight, he could not coerce any information out of him.

So here they were at the Cascade field office, getting ready to be briefed by the survival training instructor. The door to the small room opened and the entryway was filled with the most gorgeous man Blair had ever seen. He was tall, easily over 6 feet, with a short, military style haircut, piercing blue eyes and a body built like a Greek statue. He was dressed impeccably in a suit and tie, but Blair had the feeling that the man was uncomfortable in the clothes, like it was not his usual state of dress.

Rafe glanced over and smiled at Blair’s reaction to the man. He poked his partner in the ribs. “Close your mouth, Blair. You’re drooling,” he whispered.

Blair snapped his jaw shut, embarrassed at being caught, just as the man entered the room and walked over to Rafe and him. The man offered his hand, introducing himself.

“I’m Agent Jim Ellison, the survival training instructor.”

Blair shook Agent Ellison’s hand, marveling at the controlled strength behind the grip. “Special Agent Blair Sandburg, and this is my partner, Matthew Rafe.”

Rafe shook Ellison’s hand as well, nodding his head. “Nice to meet you.”

Ellison perched himself on the edge of the desk. “Well, I’ve seen your files.  You both have done survival training before, but not here in Cascade, so here’s the drill: you’ll be choppered into Trails End wearing blindfolds so that you can’t see the surrounding terrain.  You’ll have a topographical map with your four checkpoints marked, a compass and your survival gear.  You’ll have a total of seven days to get to all the checkpoints.” He looked over at Blair. “Agent Sandburg, you’ll be paired up with me and Agent Rafe, you’ll be with Agent Wilmington. We are strictly observers, there to evaluate you. We will offer no suggestions on your routes to the checkpoints. All of the decisions will be yours. Each of you will be carrying a homing beacon if trouble arises, however. Just push the button and the cavalry will come to the rescue.”

Here he paused to grin at the two D.C. agents. “Now this isn’t a race...but the record is four days for completing the course.  Just in case you’re wondering.”

Blair crossed his arms over his chest and smiled at Agent Ellison.  “So what are the odds?”

Ellison laughed.  “For two agents from Washington, D.C. who are trying to break the record of Cascade’s own Agents Brown and Baxter?  Three to one.”

Blair glanced over at Rafe.  “Guess we’ll just have to give them a run for their money, eh, Matt?”

But Rafe just sat there and gave him that infuriating grin.


Trails End - Survival Training Re-qualification Area

Cascade, Washington

11:21 a.m.  (same day)

The chopper made a final circle over the landing field before coming gently to rest on the ground.  Agents Sandburg and Ellison disembarked, Blair having removed his blindfold when the chopper set down.

Dressed in flannel shirts, jeans and hiking boots, the pair looked more like Forest Rangers than Federal Agents.  Ellison looked up and down appreciatively at Blair as the young agent reached into the chopper to grab his gear.

“You know, the Grizzly Adams look works for you, Agent Sandburg.”

Blair smiled. “Please, call me Blair. And the same could be said of you, Agent Ellison. You look much more at home out here than in a suit and stuck in an office.”

Ellison laughed, reaching in the chopper for his own gear. “Very observant, Blair. I’ve always liked the outdoors. I find office buildings…confining. And call me Jim, OK?”

“Jim it is, then.”

“OK, you two!  You’re all set!” shouted the pilot over the roar of the chopper blades as they started back up.  “Remember, if you get into any trouble, just activate your homing beacon and we’ll come get you! Good luck and we’ll see you in a few days!”  With that he waved good-bye, jumped back in the helicopter and was gone.

Although it was March and the smell of spring was in the air, it was still cool out, so Jim pulled on his jacket while Blair dug the map and compass out of his backpack. Blair studied each item before deciding on which direction would take them to the first checkpoint.


Trails End

3:24 pm

They had been walking for hours now.  It was tough going, but the pair were in excellent shape and they had covered a lot of ground.  For the most part they walked in companionable silence, listening to the sounds of the forest around them.  The sun would be setting soon and night came

swiftly in the forest; they needed to find a place to camp for the night.

“Just a minute, Jim,” Blair said to the instructor, coming to a halt.  “I want to check the map for a good place to camp.”

Jim stopped next to Blair, his hands on his hips. “Provided we’re heading in the right direction, we should only be another half mile from that small river.  I’d like to stop there for the night.” Blair stated.

Jim turned his head toward Blair with the intention of telling him he agreed, when his breath caught in his throat.  The sun, which had been behind a cloud, picked that moment to break through the trees and shine down on Blair.  The beams glinted off his curly auburn hair, turning the strands into the most beautiful shades of red and gold.  Blair’s face was flushed, cheeks red from the combination of the cool mountain air and their hike.  His lips were parted slightly as he drew in deep breaths.  Jim was mesmerized by the sight.  And when Blair turned his head away from the map to look directly at Jim because he had not answered him, Jim was lost in the depths of Blair’s sparkling blue eyes.

“Jim?  You OK?” Blair inquired as he reached out to touch Jim’s arm.

At his touch, Jim blinked and came back to himself, glancing quickly away, suddenly embarrassed.

“Yeah, fine, let’s go,” he said brusquely.  And with that he walked away, leaving Blair thinking that perhaps his initial attraction to the man was not one-sided.

Half an hour later they had reached the banks of the river, picked out a spot for their camp and were in the process of setting everything up.  Blair was laying out the pieces of their two-man tent and Jim was constructing the firepit.  He made numerous trips into the woods around the campsite gathering the rocks to form the ring and an equal number of trips for firewood.  By the time he had the fire started he was hungry, sweaty and dirty.  Grabbing the retractable fishing rod and hooks from his backpack, he turned to Blair.

“Gonna go bag us some trout for dinner, Blair.”

“Just don’t fall in OK?  I don’t want to have to go fishing for you,” Blair joked.

Jim chuckled then turned and walked the short distance to the river’s edge.  Blair finally got the tent put together, coming to the conclusion that someone must have made a mistake in calling it a

two-person tent.  How they were both going to fit in there was beyond him. On second thought, being in such close proximity to Jim wouldn’t be a bad thing, he decided.

Deciding to take advantage of the remaining daylight to hunt for edible greenery, he set off to find Jim and tell him where he was going.  Expecting to find him fishing, he was caught off-guard by the sight that greeted his eyes.

Jim was naked to his waist, washing his face, arms and chest in the cool river water. He did not hear Blair approach and went on rinsing the dirt and sweat from his body.  Blair watched, captivated by the play of muscles along Jim’s back as he bent down to scoop more water into his hands.  As the water sluiced down Jim’s body, Blair had the sudden urge to step into the water and help him wash all of his body.

Startled at the direction his thoughts were heading about a man he’d only known for a day, Blair took a step backwards, wanting to leave before Jim saw him.  But Fate intervened and Blair’s foot sent a rock skittering down the bank and into the water.  Jim whirled at the noise, his FBI instincts taking over, relaxing only when he saw it was Blair.

“Blair?” he called quietly.


“Uh, yeah.  I was just...” Blair stammered, trying to avert his gaze from Jim’s dripping chest, to no avail.  He looked magnificent, standing there in the fading sunlight with droplets of water clinging to his bare upper body.  His hair was damp, too. Blair wanted to reach out and run his fingers through it.

When Blair didn’t continue, Jim closed the distance between them with a few long strides, coming to a stop in front of him.

“Blair?” he repeated, “Do you want something?”

Want?  Oh, yes..., Blair thought.

“Ah, no.  I mean, yes.  I mean I just wanted to tell you I’m going to find us some edible plants,” he rambled.

“Oh, OK.   I’m just going to dry off and then I’ll get those fish,” Jim replied, running a hand though his damp hair, completely aware of the effect he was having on the younger man.

Blair backed quickly away, heading for the trees, leaving Jim staring after him, a grin on his face.


Trails End

6:30 p.m.

Jim leaned back against a tree, across the fire from Blair, heaving a sigh of pleasure and patting his stomach. Their meal of fresh trout and greens along with ice cold water had been delicious.

“Wow, Blair, I’m impressed.  You struck me as the city-type who only cooked things that came pre-packaged and frozen,” Jim commented as he leaned forward to push the logs around.

Blair grinned.  “There are lots of things you don’t know about me.”

Jim stopped poking the fire, stood, walked around the pit and sat down beside Blair.  “I’d like to know all about you, Blair,” Jim replied quietly.  Blair was about to say something when Jim reached out and gently brushed his thumb across Blair’s lips.  Blair’s eyes went wide at Jim’s action, too stunned to speak.

“Crumb,” Jim said softly, explaining.

“Oh,” was all Blair could manage.

The combination of their strenuous hike, the high altitude, their meal, the warmth of the fire and the nearness of Jim’s body was playing havoc with Blair’s senses.  He’d never felt this kind of intense attraction to someone he’d just met, but it felt so right

As for Jim, he couldn’t take his eyes off Blair.  The firelight danced across his features, highlighting his hair.  Jim was reminded of earlier in the day when the sunlight had done the same thing.  But all thoughts ceased as Blair slowly leaned toward him.

Jim reached out to touch Blair’s shoulder...

Hoo-hoo!  Hoo-hoo!

The owl’s cries startled them both, causing them to jump away from each other, effectively breaking the mood.  Jim jumped to his feet, nervously running a hand over his hair, unnerved at the prospect of what had almost happened.  Well, part of him was unnerved, the other was thrilled.  And he wasn’t sure which part he should listen to.  He needed to be by himself for a minute and get his thoughts under control.

“I’m gonna run down to the river and clean up the dishes,” he told Blair.

“All right.  I’m going to get ready for bed. I’m beat,” Blair replied, glad for the opportunity to be alone for a few minutes.

After Jim grabbed a flashlight and the dirty dishes and started walking toward the water, Blair stood up, brushed off his jeans and headed for the tent.  Once inside he quickly changed into the sweatshirt and sweatpants he’d brought to sleep in.  That done, he allowed his thoughts to drift to Jim.  He was attracted to him, that he could not deny.  Had been from the moment he walked into that room at the Bureau office.  And from the way Jim was acting around him, the attraction seemed to be mutual.

Blair ran his fingers through his curls with a sad sigh. So the attraction went both ways - now what? Nothing, that’s what. He couldn’t let this go any further. He was already feeling more for Jim than he had with any other man previously, and in such a short amount of time. All he’d ever wanted was a stable, long-term relationship, and now that it looked like he might have a chance at one, he couldn’t have it.

Why did he have to fall for someone who lived on the other side of the country? How could you try and build a life with someone when you never saw them? There just wasn’t any point in trying to start something with Jim. Not when it had to end so soon. And while sex in the woods with Jim would no doubt be great, a fling just wasn’t what he wanted with this man.

He was leaving in six days. All he had to do was close off his desire, and his heart, for that long. And find some way to let Jim know this couldn’t move beyond friendship. Even though that was the last thing he wanted. Just six days. Then he could leave, taking with him his dreams of what he wished he could have had with the tall, blue-eyed man.

And at the water’s edge Jim was warring with his own thoughts and emotions.  He sat on a large rock listening to the rush of the water and the sounds of the forest, but his mind was filled with thoughts of Blair. 

What was he thinking? He was the senior agent here, the instructor, for crying out loud. He was supposed to be showing Blair how to survive in the wilderness, not get into his pants. And he certainly didn’t want a one-night stand. That wasn’t like him at all. But what could possibly come of this? Blair lived on the other side of the country. That made having a relationship a bit difficult. And that’s what he wanted. A real relationship. What he’d been searching a long time for. Not a quick fuck. Blair deserved more than that. He was a special person, Jim could tell that already, after spending just one day with him.

Jim sighed. He wanted Blair, there was no denying that. But it was pointless. Nothing good could come of this tryst in the woods. He would control his emotions and his desire for the next six days. Then Blair would be gone, leaving him with nothing but thoughts of what he wished could have been with the beautiful, blue-eyed man.

Jim stood up and tossed a stone in the river, listening to the splash. //Better get back before Blair thinks some giant trout got me//, he thought with a small smile.

Back at the campsite, Jim extinguished the fire then made his way over to the tent, pausing at the closed flaps to jokingly call out, “Everyone decent in there?”

Blair answered with a laugh and told him to come in.  He was sitting on top of his sleeping bag, absently toying with the small homing beacon, which hung from his neck.  He had brought his flashlight in with him and had it pointing at the top of the tent, using the reflection to illuminate the interior.

“Welcome to Hotel Fed,” Blair joked. “Nothing but the best accommodations for the Bureau’s finest agents.”

Jim grinned and slipped his hiking boots off, placing them outside and then zipped the tent flaps closed. It suddenly felt very claustrophobic inside to Blair.  And when Jim began to remove his shirt, he swore the temperature rose twenty degrees.  Jim pulled the shirt over his head then reached for the zipper of his jeans.

Averting his eyes quickly, Blair struggled to find something to say to keep his mind off of the fact that Jim was undressing next to him.

“So, Jim…do you think I’ve got a chance to win this survival training ‘contest’?”

Jim chuckled as he stepped out of his jeans then slipped into his sleeping bag, clad only in his boxers and socks.

“Not if your partner has anything to say about it.”

Blair was confused. “Matt? What do you mean?”

Jim looked at Blair. “You mean you don’t know what he’s planning?”

Blair shook his head. “I knew he was up to something. He was too happy to come out here. What do you know that I don’t?”

“I heard him on his cell phone as we were loading the choppers, talking to someone called Frohike. Your partner got a GPS from him that he’s planning on using to win the contest.”

What?! That’s cheating!” Blair exclaimed. “I can’t believe Matt would do that. I’ve never known him to be so competitive like this.”

“Oh, it’s got nothing to do with winning,” Jim replied. “He’s got tickets for the Supersonics game three days from now. Court-side seats.”

“That rat!”

“Don’t worry,” Jim reassured him. “He’s with Wilmington. There’s no way he’s going to sneak using the GPS without Buck noticing. He’ll have to play fair like you.”

“Speaking of noticing, I can’t believe Matt said all of that with you so close by to hear him.” Blair paused. “Wait a minute, when we were loading the choppers, you were over by me. Matt must’ve been at least fifty feet away. How in the world did you hear him?”

Panic crossed Jim’s features for a spilt second. “Umm…oh, I made a mistake,” he said hurriedly. “It wasn’t by the choppers. It was inside the office. I was at the water cooler around the corner from Rafe when I heard him on the phone. He didn’t even know I was there.” Jim cleared his throat and quickly changed the topic. “So, why don’t you tell me about these strange cases you investigate? Your file was…interesting, to say the least,” he grinned.

Blair laughed. “Uh, yeah, interesting is a good word.” He paused, his features growing serious, as he looked directly at Jim. “I’m glad you and I were partnered for this, Jim. It’s only been one day, but I’m already thinking of you as a very good friend. And I hope we can remain that way, after I leave.”

Jim looked away for just a moment. Friends. Blair had made the decision for them, sparing Jim from figuring out how to do it himself. He reached over and gently squeezed Blair’s shoulder, replying with a soft whisper.



Federal Bureau of Investigations

Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, April 10th

10:13 a.m.

The ringing of the phone was a welcome distraction from the mountain of paperwork Blair was struggling to complete before lunchtime. He picked up the receiver with a weary sigh.


“Blair, it’s Jim from the Cascade office.  Remember me?”

Blair sat up straight in his chair and nearly dropped the phone. “Jim, hey!  How are you? What’s up?”

“Well, I’m going to be in D.C. this weekend for a symposium on Sunday.  I’ve only been there once before and don’t know my way around and I wanted to do some sightseeing. You and Agent Rafe are the only agents I know who are stationed in D.C. and I was wondering if you had any time on Saturday to play tour guide.”

“After your encouragement helped me beat my cheating partner during survival training re-qualification, it’s the least I could do.  But Matt’s taken a few vacation days to visit his mother in Baltimore and won’t be here this weekend.  How’s just one tour guide?”

Jim chuckled.  “That’d be fine.  Thanks for taking the time to show me around.  I’ll be staying at the Ambassador hotel.  Why don’t we meet for dinner Friday night and plan our itinerary for Saturday?”

“That sounds fine.  I’ll meet you at the Ambassador at, say, six o’clock?”

“Great.  See you then.”

Blair hung up the phone and stared at it for a few minutes, thinking about Jim Ellison.   It had been just over a month since he’d seen him in Cascade, but Blair remembered exactly what he looked like. Tall, blue-eyed with short, brush cut, military-style hair and well built - absolutely gorgeous and still absolutely unattainable, since neither of them had relocated across the country in the last month.

Despite the fact that Blair could never have a relationship with Jim, he’d meant what he’d said in the tent that night - he wanted them to remain friends.

He found himself looking forward to Friday night.


The Ambassador Hotel lobby

Friday, April 12th

5:45 p.m.

Blair glanced around the lobby, looking for the men’s restroom. Spotting the appropriate door, he walked in and found himself alone in the bathroom.  Walking over to the full-length mirror, he gave himself the once-over.  His long, curly hair fell to just past his shoulders. He sighed as he pushed a wayward strand behind his ear. Maybe he should’ve tied it back.

//Get a grip, Blair. This is not a date.  You’re just helping out a friend.//

He knew that, but how long had it been since he’d actually been out with a man when it wasn’t for Bureau business?  He honestly could not remember.

Blair turned and left the bathroom, heading back toward the center of the lobby.  He spotted Jim  the same time Jim spotted him and Blair was again struck by his good looks.  He was wearing a charcoal grey suit, white shirt and a tasteful tie.  Blair smiled as they made their way toward each other.

Jim couldn’t believe his luck when Blair had agreed to show him around Washington.  From the first moment he had set eyes on him in Cascade, he was struck by his charm and intelligence.  And then after Trails End, he knew he had to see Blair again.  Friendship be damned. He wanted more. And he would somehow find a way to make this work with Blair because he knew deep down the young man wanted the same thing. So when this symposium came up, he jumped at the chance to go.  He was incredibly nervous when he called Blair on Wednesday.   He could’ve cared less about Rafe showing him around, but thought it was the polite thing to do to ask both men. But luck was with him when Blair told him Rafe was out of town for the weekend.

And now here he was, walking right toward him, looking breathtaking in a navy blue suit and tie. He couldn’t take his eyes off him.

Jim smiled and closed the distance between them.  They clasped hands, holding on just a little longer than was necessary, and said their greetings.

“It’s great to see you, Blair.”

“You, too, Jim. I’m really glad you called.”

“Ready for dinner?  I hear the surf and turf is excellent.”

“Mmm, sounds good.  Let’s go.”

They walked down the hallway leading off from the lobby to the restaurant at the other end of the hotel.  It was rather elegant and Blair was glad he’d chosen to wear a suit and not one of his more casual outfits.

Jim had made reservations and they were seated immediately.  Their conversation started with business, each bringing the other up to date on what they’d been doing for the last month.  Blair learned more about Jim’s duties as the survival training instructor, and his harrowing experiences rescuing agents hurt or lost in the Washington wilderness. Jim found he was very comfortable in the outdoors and he seemed to have a knack for tracking and locating people. And Jim learned more about Blair’s own harrowing experiences with the X-Files, running around the country with Rafe, and experiencing every bizarre situation imaginable.

Then they planned their schedule for the next day, Blair pointing out the highlights of Washington, D.C. and Jim choosing the places he’d like to visit.

Dinner was almost over when the tone of their conversation changed.  They began talking about more personal things: friends and family, likes and dislikes. Jim was amazed that he was able to open up so easily to a man he’d met only once before. He felt so at ease, so relaxed around Blair. There was just something about him…Jim found himself drowning in the depths of Blair’s intense blue eyes. He watched, mesmerized, as the flames from the candles on the table played across Blair’s features, bathing him in golden light.

The moment was broken, however, when the waitress came to leave the check. Jim paid then escorted Blair out of the restaurant and back to the lobby.

“Well…” Blair began, unsure of what to say.  He didn’t want the evening to end quite so soon.

Impulsively, Jim asked, “It’s a nice night.  What about a walk?”

Blair smiled.  “I’d like that.  How about the reflecting pool?”

Jim nodded. “Great idea.”

Jim rested his hand on the small of Blair’s back as he led Blair out the front door of the hotel.  They walked in comfortable silence to the reflecting pool, the only people along the pathway. There was not a cloud in the sky, the stars were out in force and the moon was full, creating a beautiful reflection in the pool.

Jim led Blair over to a park bench and sat down next to him, draping his arm behind Blair to rest on the back of the bench, his fingers just touching Blair’s arm. They chatted quietly, enjoying each other’s company.  Then the conversation lagged and Jim saw his opportunity.  Placing his hand under Blair’s chin, he tilted the younger man’s face upwards and bent his own head downward. But Blair moved back at the last second, looking away from Jim.

“Jim, we can’t…”

“Blair, please…” whispered Jim. “Can you honestly say you don’t want this, too?”

Blair looked back at Jim for a long moment, his eyes filled with desire, unable to lie to Jim. Then he slowly leaned forward and closed the gap.

Their lips met softly, gently, as they each closed their eyes, soaking up the new sensations.  The short, tentative kisses soon turned more urgent and Jim swept his tongue across Blair’s lips, seeking entrance. With a small moan, Blair complied, parting his lips and letting Jim’s tongue in.  Blair felt Jim’s answering moan against his mouth as their tongues met for the first time.

Shifting on the bench, Blair turned and placed his hands on Jim’s chest while Jim shifted his own hand to tangle his fingers in Blair’s curls.  A moment later he tore his mouth from Blair’s to run hot, wet kisses along the smooth column of his neck and at the sensitive spot behind his ear.  Jim felt Blair’s fingers tense and grab at his shirt, bunching the material in his fists.  Jim’s heart was pounding so hard he thought it might burst at any moment.

Blair’s own heart was pounding at the same tempo and a burning, tightening feeling was growing deep inside him.  He was in awe at the feelings Jim was stirring in him and he couldn’t get enough.

Removing his mouth from Blair’s neck, Jim’s voice was gruff when he spoke.

“Would you like to take this somewhere more private?”

Blair smiled and rested his forehead against Jim’s.  “You read my mind.”

Without another word, the men rose from the bench and made their way out of the park, hand in hand, lost in their own thoughts about what was to come.


The Ambassador Hotel

15 minutes later

They seemed to make it back to Jim’s hotel room in record time; one minute they were in the park and the next they were standing next to the hotel bed, wrapped in a tight embrace.

Releasing each other, Blair slipped off Jim’s suit jacket and ran his hands over Jim’s broad chest, causing Jim to tilt his head back in pleasure.  He loosened Jim’s tie next, and it joined the jacket on the floor.  The shirt was next, each button was undone slowly, sensually, driving Jim insane.  He just wanted the damn thing off so he could feel Blair’s hands on his bare skin.  But Blair was having none of that and was taking his time, knowing the effect he was having on Jim.

Blair reached the last button, tugged the shirt tails out of Jim’s pants and pushed the material off his back and down his arms, revealing Jim to him.  Blair placed his hands, palms down, on Jim’s chest and ran them over every inch of him, drinking in the sight and feel of him.

When Jim could stand no more, he gently grasped Blair’s wrists, stilling his motion. Placing Blair’s arms down by his side, Jim ran his fingers up Blair’s arms to his shoulders.  Blair shivered at the sensation. Repeating Blair’s actions, Jim undressed the young man, but went further, removing Blair’s suit pants as well.

Jim’s breath caught in his throat. “You’re so beautiful,” Jim whispered.

Blair smiled and reached for Jim once again.  He unbuckled Jim’s belt, slipping it out of his pants and dropping it to the floor.  His single pants button was next, released with deft fingers.  The zipper was last, sliding downward with a soft sound, causing Jim’s slacks to drop with a whisper.

Blair’s own breath caught in his throat as he admired Jim.  He still couldn’t believe that he was here with Jim, doing this.  Blair always thought love at first sight was a joke, but not anymore.

Boxers were removed swiftly, neither knowing whose hands removed what. Once completely bare to each other, Jim gently pushed Blair down to the mattress, and stretched out beside him.

They kissed passionately, letting their hands roam over the other’s body.  Moans of desire filled the room.  They took turns pleasuring each other, bringing the other right to the edge before backing off.

When neither could bear it a moment longer, they came together in an explosion of love and passion that rocked them to their souls. They made love well into the night, bringing each other to the heights of ecstasy over and over.

When Jim and Blair finally drifted off to sleep, held securely in each other’s arms, they shared a single thought: both were eternally grateful that Special Agent Matthew Rafe had picked that weekend to be out of town.


Somewhere over Washington State

Blair Sandburg was nervous.  And his condition had nothing to do with the fact he was on an airplane. He knew he shouldn’t be nervous, but knowing did nothing to suppress the butterflies in his stomach.  He had to get his mind off it.

//The case, Blair.  Concentrate on the case// he told himself.

With a sigh, he flipped open the case file on his lap and went over the facts one more time. Six hunters had mysteriously disappeared while in the Olympic National Forest over a period of six weeks. Each had rented a cabin and each had been hunting alone.  Exactly one week after each of their disappearances, each body was found and that same day another hunter had vanished.  That had been the pattern for six weeks now.  If that wasn’t enough to make it an X-file, the condition of the bodies did.  Each had been ripped to shreds and displayed in the same manner. But by what?  Or who?  The Cascade FBI team was at a standstill. They needed outside help.

The case quickly found its way to the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover building and into the hands of Special Agent Blair Sandburg.

Blair vaguely remembered Rafe going on about Bigfoot, but his brain remained stuck on one fact.  He was going back to Cascade.  Cascade…

“Sandburg!  Earth to Sandburg!” called a voice.

“Hmm?  What?” he asked, looking around, startled out of his thoughts.

Rafe, sitting across the aisle from him, laughed.  “Wake up partner.  We’re starting to land.”

Blair quickly shut the file, put it back in his briefcase and fastened his seatbelt, but was not quite ready to get to Cascade.


FBI Field Office

Cascade, Washington

Friday, September 20th

3:36 p.m.

After claiming their luggage and renting a car, Rafe and Blair drove straight to the field office.  Blair had been unusually quiet the entire ride and seemed preoccupied with something.  But Rafe didn’t press.  Blair would talk to him when he was ready.

Upon their arrival at the office, Rafe went to find the SAC, Agent Keller, to report in while Blair went in search of a vending machine.  Airplane food left much to be desired.  As he walked down the hallway, he glanced furtively from side to side, looking in office windows.  The butterflies were now the size of bats.  Maybe he wouldn’t be here....

All thoughts abruptly ceased as a man turned the corner at the far end of the hallway, coming towards him.

He was here.

Special Agent Jim Ellison came around the corner and stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of the lone man in the hallway with him.

//Blair...//  Jim’s breath whooshed out of his lungs.  He had found out last night that he would be escorting Blair and Matthew Rafe up the mountain, but he still wasn’t prepared to see him.

It had been five months since he’d seen Blair.  Five months since he’d been to Washington, D.C.  Five months since they’d brought each other to the heights of ecstasy in his hotel room.

They’d had one glorious weekend together before he’d had to return to Cascade.  They had promised to make this work, and the blue eyed, curly haired man had ensconced himself deep in his heart.

They tried.  They really did.  Phone calls and emails every day for the first month, but then life got in the way.  He was constantly up in the mountains and Blair was constantly running across the continent.  Soon, the phone calls and emails had stopped altogether.  They were both to blame.  It had been a little over two months since they’d last spoken.  Just as he was about to speak, Rafe came around the opposite corner, behind Blair.

“Sandburg.  There you are,” Rafe called out.

Blair jumped as though he’d been shot and whirled to face his partner.

“Blair?  You OK?” Rafe questioned.  At his nod Rafe looked up and saw Jim standing in the hallway.  With a smile, Rafe stuck out his hand and started walking toward him.

“Agent Ellison.  Nice to see you again.”

Jim returned the handshake and smile.  “Same here, Rafe. Welcome back to my corner of the world.  I only wish it were under better circumstances.”

“So do I, believe me.  I understand you’re going to be escorting us up to the cabin we’ll be using as our base.”

“That’s right.  I hope you remembered to pack your long underwear, Rafe.  It’s cold where we’re headed. And we’d better get moving, for two reasons.  First, if whoever is doing this stays on schedule, we’ll have another dead body come Monday morning and another missing hunter.  And secondly, I just got the weather report and it doesn’t look good.  There’s a snowstorm rolling in that’ll be here in a few hours.  I want to be safely tucked away in the cabin before it hits.  I was up there this morning and all the supplies are up there already.”

“Damn,” Rafe muttered. “Do me a favor, Jim?  Take Blair up to the cabin now.  We’ve got our luggage in the car.  Your SAC told me the pertinent reports were taken up to the cabin this morning, too.  He’d like us to get started right away.  But Agent Keller also told me they brought in a couple of guys who may have seen something.  He wants me to talk with them.  Can I have another of your men drive me up when I’m done?”

Jim flicked his gaze from Rafe to Blair and made eye contact.  His heart leapt at the possibility of being alone with Blair for a while.  He turned his attention back to Rafe. “Of course.  Agent Beecher can take you, but I’d make it fast if I were you.  I don’t want you stranded out in the middle of nowhere when the snow hits.”

“Don’t worry about me,” Rafe said with a grin.  “Just have the hot chocolate waiting.”  With that he turned and walked back to Blair.

“Blair, are you OK?” he asked quietly.  “You seem a little out of it today.”

“I’m fine, Matt.  Really.  Just tired.  Go get started with your witnesses and I’ll head up to the cabin with Ji--, with Agent Ellison.”  He had never told Rafe that Jim had come to Washington the weekend he went to visit his mother and that they had tried to start a relationship.  And he didn’t plan to tell him now.

“OK then.  I’ll see you in a few hours.”  And with that he was gone, leaving the two lovers in the same spots he’d found them in.


Jim and Blair removed Blair’s luggage from the rental car and loaded it into Jim’s 4-wheel drive jeep, not saying more than two words to one another, but stealing glances as often as they could without the other noticing.  When they were on their way, they both decided to break the silence at the same time.



They laughed together for a moment before Jim said, “Please, you first.”

Blair looked over at his traveling companion, his lover of one weekend.  Jim really hadn’t changed in the five months since he’d last seen him.  His hair was a little longer, his eyes were still crystal blue pools that he could lose himself in and his well-built physique showed he was still the survival training instructor and spent his time outdoors.  Blair reached over and laid a hand on Jim’s leg.

“I’ve missed you, Jim,” he said quietly, sincerely.

Jim covered Blair’s hand with his own and smiled broadly, his heart swelling.  “Same here, Blair. Same here.”

They still didn’t know where they stood with one another and had so much to talk about, but the tension was broken.  They chatted about safe subjects, like work, until they noticed the change in the weather.  It had started to snow quite heavily and it was getting worse by the minute.  The storm had moved in early.

By the time they made it to the cabin, Jim was driving at a snail’s pace and they could hardly see.  They quickly unloaded the luggage and tromped through eight inches of snow, most of it fresh, to the cabin door and inside.  The relative warmth of the interior of the cabin was a welcome relief from the cold outdoors.

Jim took Blair’s luggage and disappeared into a back room, leaving Blair to take in his surroundings.

It was a large cabin, much larger than he had expected.  The main room would normally have been a living room of sorts, but half of it was set up as the FBI’s base of operations for this case, with tables and chairs, files and maps strewn about.  The other half contained a single, large couch facing a fireplace along one wall.

Taking off his jacket and shaking the snow from his hair, Blair stepped farther inside the cabin.  Four rooms branched off the main one.  Two were bedrooms, one a bathroom and the other was a small kitchen.  Jim emerged from one of the bedrooms and headed to the short-wave radio on one of the tables.

“I’m calling down to the office,” he said over his shoulder.  “I want to tell Rafe not to attempt to come up here.  They’d never make it.”

Blair’s heart lodged somewhere in the vicinity of his throat.  He and Jim would be spending the night together, alone, in a snowbound cabin.  It was suddenly quite warm in the cabin.

“—Yeah Rafe, it’s Ellison,” Jim was saying.  “Glad I caught you.  Looks like you’ll need to find a hotel in Cascade.  The storm’s already here in full force.  Nobody’s getting up the mountain tonight.”

“OK, then,” came Rafe’s voice through the speaker.  “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow.  And Ellison, take good care of my partner.”

Jim turned and looked directly into Blair’s eyes as he answered, “Absolutely,” then turned off the radio.

They remained that way, gazes locked, each thinking of the night to come, until Blair finally looked away, his cheeks burning.  Jim hid a grin as Blair cleared his throat and turned and walked over to the nearest table, throwing his jacket on the chair there.  But when he picked up the first file on the case, Jim sighed and went to stand by his side.  Jim pointedly looked at his watch, making sure Blair noticed, then took the file from his grasp.  Before Blair could protest, he said, “It’s after hours, Agent Sandburg.  And it’s been a long day.  Relax.  I’m going to start up the fire.  Why don’t you unpack?”

With a sigh and a tired smile, Blair ran a hand through his damp hair. “I guess you’re right.  I could really use a shower.”

Jim chuckled as he lit the logs in the fireplace.  “Sorry, no shower.  You’ll have to make due with one of those big, old-fashioned tubs.”  He stood, walked over to Blair and leaned in close to whisper seductively, “Need someone to wash your back?”

Blair’s first thought was to give a flippant remark back to him, as was his habit from being around Rafe when he made remarks like that to him.  But this wasn’t Rafe.  This was an incredibly handsome man whom he missed very much.  And whose presence was putting his hormones in overdrive.

Jim watched the play of emotions cross Blair’s face as he waited for his response.  He could tell his first instinct was to laugh it off but now he was giving it considerable thought.  They still hadn’t discussed how to proceed with their relationship.  Hell, he didn’t even know if Blair wanted one anymore.  He could already be seeing someone else for all he knew.  It suddenly occurred to him how important his answer was.

“Yes, I do believe I require some assistance, Agent Ellison,” Blair breathed, leaning in even closer and closing his eyes.

That was all Jim needed to hear.  He brought one hand up to caress the side of Blair’s face, then gently pulled his head towards his own.  Their lips met for the first time in five months and the memories of their weekend together in D.C. came flooding back.  The kiss quickly went from tender to urgent, both expressing their longing for each other in that first kiss, pouring out their heartfelt emotions.

Blair put his hands on Jim’s chest and pushed him backwards into the wall behind him.  Jim wrapped his arms around Blair and crushed him against his body, neither breaking the kiss. As their tongues did battle, Blair pressed himself against Jim, feeling a hardness against his belly and a fire building inside his own.  Jim groaned at the contact and broke the kiss, his entire body throbbing with his desire for Blair. He looked down at Blair’s passion filled face, his lips moist, pink and puffy from their kisses.  He’d missed Blair so much…

Jim took Blair’s hand and strode across the main room, heading for the couch; pausing only to flick the main light switch to OFF and plunge the cabin into darkness, except for the light from the fireplace.  He sat Blair down on the couch then kneeled between his legs on the plush bearskin rug in front of the fireplace.  He ran his hands up Blair’s denim-clad legs to his waist, then slipped them under Blair’s flannel shirt to feel his hot skin beneath.

Blair closed his eyes and moaned in pleasure, letting his head fall back against the couch. He’d missed Jim so much…

Jim’s hands continued their explorations, roaming higher, past Blair’s belly to rub against dusky nipples hidden in soft chest hair.  Blair arched his back at the touch and pressed himself into Jim’s palms.  Jim squeezed gently, encouraging the nubs to hard peaks, before slowly slipping his hands out from under Blair’s shirt.

Blair opened his eyes and raised his head to look questioningly at Jim, desire written across his features.  Jim simply smiled and raised shaking hands up to the first button of Blair’s shirt.  Each button was slowly undone and Blair was practically squirming with impatience by the time the last button slipped free.  Jim put his hands on Blair’s shoulders and he sat up slightly to allow him to push the material off.  Jim sucked in a breath as the soft flannel slipped from Blair’s shoulders. Jim’s back was to the fire, casting Blair’s body in shadow.  He shifted slightly to the side to bathe Blair in firelight.  It transformed him into an angel with fiery hair.  It was a breathtaking sight and Jim’s voice was husky with desire when he spoke, an echo of five months ago.

“You’re so beautiful.”

Blair smiled at the words, sat up and reached out a hand to lay it on the side of Jim’s face, words escaping him at the moment.  Jim turned his face to place a kiss on Blair’s palm, then urged him forward to sit on the edge of the couch.  Jim wrapped his arms around Blair’s waist and drew him closer.  Jim closed his eyes and inhaled Blair’s scent, a mixture of shampoo, bath soap and the outdoors. It was uniquely Blair and he loved it.

Drawing back slightly, he gazed deep into Blair’s eyes before once again covering his mouth with his own. Blair gave a small moan at the contact and reached up to thread his fingers through Jim’s short hair. The kiss was deep and passionate, stoking the flames of desire in them both. Blair finally pulled back, breathing hard.

“Jim...please...” he gasped.

Jim gave one last suckle on Blair’s bottom lip then looked up at him, understanding. As Jim attempted to straighten up, Blair grabbed two fistfuls of his t-shirt and yanked it over his head.  Now Blair was in charge.  It was his turn.

Blair ran his hands over Jim’s smooth, muscular chest, loving the feel of his hot flesh beneath his palms.  Jim sighed and let his eyes drift closed, but they sprang open a moment later when he felt Blair’s tongue flick over one of his flat nipples.  Turnabout was fair play. Blair smiled up at him before raining hot kisses over his upper body.

Giving Jim a playful shove, Blair toppled him over onto his back atop the bearskin rug, then sat astride his hips.  He could feel Jim’s hardness through his jeans and he pressed himself downward just as Jim grasped his hips and thrust upwards.  They both cried out at the sensation.  Keeping a firm grasp on Blair’s hips, Jim pressed him down more firmly on his erection as Blair began to rock his hips back and forth, creating sweet friction between their bodies.

Just when Jim thought he could stand no more, Blair slid farther backwards and started fumbling with his jeans zipper.  Jim needed no further urging.  In a burst of frenzied passion, the remainder of their clothing was quickly discarded. Their only goal was to press themselves against the other’s naked body.  The goal was swiftly accomplished.

Jim flipped Blair over onto his back and covered his body with his own before his mouth descended upon his.  This time the kiss was slow, sexy; filled with promises of things to come.  Blair’s blood hummed in his veins.  He never felt more alive than when he was in Jim’s arms.  This time…this time he would not let him get away.  His heart couldn’t take it.

As Jim’s tongue did slow, erotic battle with Blair’s, he marveled that Fate had seen fit to bring this man back into his life.  And he swore to himself that this time…this time he would not let him get away.  His heart couldn’t take it.

Soon, Blair began to squirm beneath him, rubbing his body against Jim’s already sensitized flesh and running his hands up and down his back.  Jim jerked and groaned against Blair’s mouth as Blair reached between their bodies and took him in his hand.  He broke the kiss and shifted slightly as Blair’s hands began to stroke him.  Jim dipped his head down to nuzzle behind Blair’s ear and place hot kisses along the smooth column of his neck.  Blair quickened the pace and Jim found himself closing his eyes and rocking his hips in tempo with Blair’s strokes.  He was close, so close.....

“Blair, love,” he panted, “please…not yet.”

Blair smiled mischievously up at him and gave him one final stroke before releasing him and raising his head to capture Jim’s mouth once more.  Jim shifted back to cover Blair’s body with his; his hot, hard length resting against Blair’s thigh.  As their kisses became more passionate, urgent, Jim began to rock his hips, pressing himself against Blair, feeling an answering hardness against his own thigh.

Finally, Blair could take no more.  He needed to feel Jim inside him, to make him whole, complete.  He tore his mouth from Jim’s and pleaded, “Please, Jim…make love to me.”

It was all Jim could do to control himself and not take Blair hard and fast, so excited was he. Instead, he took a deep breath, stood up, made his way quickly to the bathroom and returned with a container of hand lotion. In a few minutes, Blair’s body was ready and Jim slowly entered him, drawing out the experience, and the pleasure, for as long as possible.

Hot, wet and tight, Blair fit Jim like a glove.  Jim again fought for control, wanting to explode the moment Blair accepted his full length.  Closing his eyes and throwing his head back, he ground out, “God, Blair…don’t you dare move.”

And at that moment, Blair wouldn’t have moved for all the money in the world, drowning in the sensations Jim was creating.  For a long minute they remained that way; Blair’s body stretched taut around Jim’s hardened, throbbing member until Jim slowly moved his hips backwards, sliding his length almost out of Blair.  Blair whimpered in protest, lifting his legs to wrap them around Jim’s waist and draw him back in.  And that’s all it took to start the ages-old rhythm.

While they moved against each other, Blair’s hands roamed over Jim’s back and chest while Jim’s mouth roamed over Blair’s nipples.  As Blair lifted his hips and met Jim thrust for thrust, their passion-filled moans were interrupted only by their passion-filled kisses.

Jim quickened the pace and their breaths came in short gasps as he slid faster and faster in and out of Blair’s silken heat. Jim briefly squeezed his eyes shut as the pressure in his groin built and built, demanding release.

“Blair…Blair…” he repeated softly over and over, in time with his strokes.

Blair’s own body demanded release as well.  He felt himself drawing closer and closer to the pinnacle, without Jim ever touching his cock.  Jim could feel Blair’s body tightening around him and knew he was as close as he was.

“Jim…please, now,” Blair pleaded.

Jim captured Blair’s mouth with his for a deep, hard kiss before pulling back to reach between their bodies and stroke him.  Blair flew apart at his touch.  He came explosively, arching his back and crying out as his body contracted in spasms around Jim’s cock.

As Blair’s body convulsed around him, milking him, Jim finally lost all control.  With a low cry, he drove into Blair one last time and came in an explosive, warm gush.

They rode the waves of ecstasy together for what seemed like an eternity, before slowly coming back to themselves.  A fine sheen of perspiration coated their bodies, breaths still coming in short pants.  They kissed softly, tenderly, pouring out their love for one another in that simple gesture.

Jim broke the kiss and brushed a lock of sweat-dampened hair from Blair’s flushed face.

“I love you, Blair.  I love you so much,” he whispered.

Blair had tears in his eyes when he spoke.  “I love you, too, and I’m not letting you get away from me again.”

Jim smiled down at him.  “We already know how hard it’ll be. Are you up to the challenge?” he teased.

“You bet I am,” Blair replied, reaching up to wrap his arms around Jim’s neck.  “What’s that saying?  ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’?  Truer words were never spoken.”  Blair shifted beneath Jim and smiled.  “I seem to recall you offering to wash my back.  Does the offer still stand?”

Jim chuckled.  “I’m at your service, sir.”

They disentangled themselves from one another and before Blair knew it, he was being pulled to his feet and ushered off to the bathroom.  Blair took Jim’s hand as they walked down the hallway, threw back his head and laughed with pure joy.  Jim’s answering laugh mixed with his and reverberated throughout the cabin as they reached the bathroom and closed the door behind them.

And outside, the snow fell silently beneath a full moon, cocooning the lovers inside the cabin with warmth and love.


Federal Bureau of Investigations

Washington, D.C.

Friday, October 7th

2:28 p.m.

Blair picked up the receiver of his phone as it began ringing, never taking his eyes off the case file of the current X-File he and Matt were working on.

“Sandburg,” he answered distractedly.

“Hey, handsome.”

Blair looked up and swiveled his chair so that his back was to his partner.  “Hey, yourself,” he replied quietly with a smile.

Matthew Rafe looked up with a smirk from the file he had been reading.  Gee, two guesses as to who that was on the phone.  He shook his head and looked back down at the file.

“So how’s my favorite G-man today?”

“Up to my nose in paperwork, wrapping up our Cascade case,” Blair answered. “Thanks again for helping Matt and I catch that psycho out in your lovely city.”

“Hey, it was my pleasure to hunt that nutcase down and throw him behind bars,” Jim responded. “So…how ‘bout I whisk you away from all that paperwork?”

“And just how do you plan on doing that, Mr. Survival Training Instructor?  You are in Cascade, aren’t you?”

“For the time being, yes. Do you have any vacation time you can take next week?”

Blair fiddled with his pen as he thought.  “Yeah, I’ve got some time.  Just what are you up to, Jim?”

Jim chuckled, sending a small shiver of pleasure up Blair’s spine.  “Who me?” he asked innocently.  “I just thought you might like to go to Chicago.”

Now Blair was really confused.  “Chicago?  In October?  Gee...how romantic,” he said jokingly.

“Now just think about it a minute,” Jim replied.  “What’s going on in Chicago in October?”

The light bulb finally went on over Blair’s head.

“OH MY GOD!” he cried, scaring Rafe, causing him to slosh his coffee out of the mug he had been holding.  The hot liquid landed on his leg and he jumped up, yelling.

Blair spun around at Rafe’s yelp of pain.  “Matt!  Are you—“ he slapped his hand over his mouth to stop a laugh at the sight of his partner standing up with a wet stain on his suit pants and an annoyed expression on his face.

“Sorry ‘bout that, Matt,” Blair said with laughter in his voice.  “Didn’t mean to scare you.”

Rafe flicked one of his hands, sending coffee droplets flying all over his desk.  “That’s OK,” he said with a sigh.  “I was feeling an urge to get up and go to the bathroom, anyway.”  And with a last flick, he left the office.

Blair turned back to the phone.  “Sorry, Jim.  Rafe had a minor coffee accident.”

Jim just laughed. “I take it you figured out what I was talking about.”

“God, Jim, you don’t have tickets to the World Series do you?!”

“No wonder you became an FBI agent with those powers of deduction,” he teased.  “That’s right, the Chicago Cubs vs. the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field next week.  Interested?”

“Of course I am!  Are you going to tell me how you got the tickets?”

“Nope.  A man has to have some secrets, doesn’t he?” he said with a smile.  “I’ve already made reservations at a very special place for our first night’s stay.  And before you ask, no, I’m not going to tell you where.  Just fly in on the 15th and I’ll pick you up at O’Hare.  And don’t forget your Cubs hat.”

“This is unbelievable!  I love you, you know.”

“I know,” Jim replied sincerely.  “I’ve got to get running, so call me with your flight info.”

“OK, I will.  See you in a few days.  Bye.”

“Bye, babe.”

Blair hung up the phone, still in a bit of shock.  He was going to see the Cubs in the World Series!  That Jim, he never forgot anything, did he?  Blair sighed and leaned back in his chair, letting memories of his childhood wash over him.....

With Naomi being the free spirit that she was, they were constantly on the move. Usually with his mother following some man from state to state. And that’s what happened when he was eleven years old.  Naomi fell in love with a sailor stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, not too far outside Chicago.  Well, it seemed everyone on the base was a Chicago Cubs fan.  Blair soon became an avid fan himself.  He lost track of the number of times he went with his mother’s boyfriend to see a game at Wrigley Field.  Blair loved everything about that ballpark.  From the hot dogs to Harry Carrey’s “Take me out to the ballgame” in the seventh inning stretch, to the players, to the thrill of watching his adopted team win.  It was four years of his childhood he’d never forget.

Rafe knew none of this about him.  He wasn’t sure why, but he knew he’d laugh at his sentimental devotion to a sports team.

But Jim knew.  He’d told him about it, among other things, that night they were snowbound in a cabin in the Olympic National Forest.  After their candlelit bath they lay intertwined on the bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire pouring out details of their lives to each other. Learning everything they could about the person they loved.

And Jim remembered about the Cubs.  Actually, it seemed the entire country was talking about Chicago’s miraculous season.  No one could believe they were in the World Series.  It was Chicago history in the making and Blair was going to be there to see it happen.


Chicago, IL

O’Hare Airport

One week later

Blair hated flying. Ever since that first disastrous case with Rafe, the slightest bit of turbulence sent his heart racing.  And it never failed, whatever flight he was on was always delayed.  Today was no exception.  Heavy rains had all but shut down Dulles and now he was three hours late.  Which meant he and Jim couldn’t go to that “special place” before the game started.  The city was in total chaos because of the World Series; traffic would be a nightmare, they’d be lucky to get there before the first inning began.

So here he was, jogging down the airplane ramp, Cubs cap on with his auburn curls pulled through the back into a ponytail, searching for Jim.

And there he was.

They hadn’t seen each other in a month - living thousands of miles apart made dating difficult - and Blair’s eyes drank in the sight of him.

Jim’s entire face lit up the moment he caught sight of Blair.  He was stunning, even in a hat, baseball jersey and jeans.  He opened his arms and Blair eagerly moved into them, molding his body to Jim’s as they hugged each other tightly, oblivious to the stares of those around them.

Jim tapped the tip of Blair’s nose and gently admonished him, “You’re late.”

Blair poked him in the ribs.  “Blame Mother Nature.”

Jim smiled as he put his hand possessively at the small of Blair’s back and started leading them towards the exit. “Come on G-Man, Wrigley Field awaits.”


Wrigley Field

Home of the Chicago Cubs

2 hours later

They were here.  Finally.

Jim had rented a car and traffic had indeed been a nightmare, but they paid an astronomical price and parked in the McDonald’s lot right across from the ballpark.  The entire area was a teeming mass of people. Vendors were everywhere, hawking everything from peanuts to hats to shirts to inflatable bats.  Excitement was in the air.  After all, it was the seventh and final game of the Series.  Boston had turned out to be a worthy opponent, and tonight would decide who was the best.  Blair was betting it would be the Cubs.

Jim grabbed Blair’s hand and they maneuvered their way across the street to the main gate.  Blair felt like he was eleven again, holding onto Naomi’s hand, and he never stopped smiling.

Jim led the way through the gate, where they each picked up their free gift: Cubs floppy hats for everyone!  Blair already had a hat on, but Jim plopped his on his head, looking incredibly goofy.

Their seats were excellent, first row along the third base line, prime territory for foul balls.  Blair could only wonder how in the world Jim got his hands on these tickets.

With only minutes to game time, the crowd was on its feet, yelling and cheering for their Cubs.  With a unanimous cry of, “Go Cubs!”  Jim and Blair joined in, full force.


Wrigley Field

Several hours later

The game turned out to be incredible and Blair couldn’t remember the last time he’d had so much fun.  He and Jim stuffed themselves on Chicago dogs, peanuts and ice cream, cheering for their team between mouthfuls.  Neither caught a foul ball, though Jim lunged for one and nearly fell out of his seat and onto the field. 

The game itself had its ups and downs, with the Cubs struggling through the first five innings and down by two runs.  But they perked back up and it was all tied up heading into the seventh inning stretch.  Harry Carrey’s “Take me out to the ballgame” had the crowd on its feet, Jim and Blair singing along at the top of their lungs.  It seemed to inspire the Cubs, because they came out swinging and chalked up another run right away.  They held onto their lead till the top of the ninth, when Boston’s first baseman hit a solo home run.  The crowd, with the exception of the Boston fans, was eerily silent until the last Boston out, one batter later.

This was it.  Crunch time for the Cubs.  One run and they’d win the World Series.  They were on the last man in the batting order, Damien Miller, the catcher.  The crowd was behind him, but a high, pop fly ended up to be the first out.  Top of the order now, Moises Alou up to bat. A smash line drive just past the reach of the first baseman and the Cubs had a man on base.

The fans surged to their feet as Sammy Sosa stepped up to the plate.  He took his time, looking for the right pitch as the count went to three and two.  Sammy put everything he had into the next swing.


Bat and ball connect and…

…it might be…

…it could be…

…it IS!!!


Cubs win!  Cubs win!

Absolute pandemonium broke out as the Cubs swarmed out of the dugout to tackle Sammy as he came across home plate.  The fans went crazy, some trying to get out onto the field as fireworks exploded in brilliant colors overhead in the starry sky.  The roar was deafening as thousands of people yelled and clapped when the Cubs took their victory lap around the field.

Jim and Blair were cheering just as loudly as everyone else was, with Blair bursting at the seams with happiness.  They stayed for quite some time, celebrating with everyone, before making their way out of the park.  The scene outside mirrored the one inside: a sea of people as far as the eye could see, up and down Clark Street.  News reporters were everywhere; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, SportsChannel, and of course FOX, who was televising the game.  The famous Wrigley Field marquee said it all: Chicago Cubs—World Series Champions.  This victory would be talked about for some time to come.

For once, the Chicago police were on the ball.  They had blocked off streets to pedestrian traffic so that people could leave the various parking lots easily.  Once Jim and Blair made it to the rental car, they were able to drive from the ballpark without too much difficulty.

Blair was still beside himself with joy, squirming in his seat.

“God, Jim, I still can’t believe it!  I never thought I’d see this day.”

Jim chuckled.  “You and a lot of other people, seeing as how the Cubs have played in years past.”

Blair leaned over to put his head on Jim’s shoulder.  “How can I ever thank you for this?”

Jim took one hand off the wheel to run it slowly up Blair’s thigh, a twinkle in his eye.  “Oh, I’m sure we can think of something.”

Blair playfully batted Jim’s hand away.  “Now, now, Horny Agent Jim.  Both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.  We’ll discuss payback when we arrive wherever it is we’re going.”

Jim smiled.  “I’m gonna hold you to that.”

“I’ll see that you do.”


The Sybaris

Northbrook, IL

One hour later

Jim pulled off the highway in front of a lighted sign that read The Sybaris and announced, “We’re here.”

The Sybaris?” Blair questioned.  “Never heard of it.”

“A friend of mine told me about it.  It’s supposed to be the ultimate romantic getaway.  This place is so popular you can only stay one night.  Ah, here’s the office.  Stay here while I check us in,” Jim said as he stopped the car and got out.

As Jim went inside the office, Blair looked out the car windows.  It was pitch black out, being after 11 p.m., so he couldn’t see much.  But what he did see sort of surprised him.  He expected this place to be a hotel, but it looked like a bunch of individual cottages of different sizes.

Jim came back then and handed Blair a set of keys as he got back in the car.  “OK, we’re all set.  Cottage number 852, right down this road,” he said, then put the car in ‘drive’.

A short time later they pulled up in front of their unit and Blair marveled at its size as he got out of the car.

“My God, Jim, this must be the biggest cottage here!”

Jim laughed.  “Only the best for my favorite FBI agent.  Come on, let’s go in.”

If Blair thought the outside was impressive, the inside took his breath away.

The cottage was two floors, the entire bottom floor being a large indoor heated pool complete with a slide that started on the top floor and a connected whirlpool in the shape of a heart. There were tropical plants everywhere, giving the room the look and feel of a mini-oasis.

The top floor was a giant glass-enclosed bedroom with a bathroom, sauna and fireplace.  The bed was a king-size waterbed, with a stereo system right next to it.

Jim leaned over and whispered in Blair’s ear, “Well, what do you think?”

“Paradise,” he breathed.

“Let’s go upstairs, shall we?” he said as he started for the stairs.

“Shouldn’t we get our bags out of the car first?” Blair asked.

“Something tells me we won’t be needing any clothes for awhile,” he answered with an arched eyebrow as he continued up the stairs.

Jim pushed the bedroom door open, turned, hooked Blair by the waist and practically tossed the smaller man the remaining foot onto the bed. Blair landed with a laugh and a ‘splosh’ as the water in the bed shifted.  With a growl, Jim launched himself onto the bed, too, pinning Blair beneath him, eliciting another laugh from him.  Jim reached down and pulled the Cubs cap from Blair’s head, freeing his hair to his touch.  With a flick of his wrist, the hat ended up halfway across the room.  Blair sighed and closed his eyes as Jim threaded his fingers through his long hair.

“Like that?” Jim whispered.

“Mm-hmm...” Blair sighed.

“Well how ‘bout this?” Jim asked before dipping his head and kissing Blair deeply, passionately.

Blair kissed him back with equal passion, reaching up to wrap his arms around Jim’s waist and pull him down to rest his full weight on him.  Blair felt Jim’s arousal and pulled him more tightly against himself, moaning softly into the kiss.

Jim pressed himself into Blair’s warm body, wanting to crawl inside his skin.  It’d been a long time since they’d been together, but hopefully very soon they wouldn’t have to go so long between visits.

Blair shifted beneath him, interrupting his thoughts. He broke the kiss to gaze into his sparkling blue eyes.

“I’ve missed you,” Blair whispered.

Jim shifted so that he lay next to Blair, one arm and one leg still draped across Blair’s body.  He laid his head on Blair’s shoulder.

“God, Blair, I’ve missed you, too.”  Then he started fiddling with the top button of Blair’s baseball jersey. “I think it’s time we discussed that payback.”

“And just what did you have in mind?” Blair asked with a smile.

“Oh...something like this,” Jim answered, then proceeded to slowly unbutton Blair’s jersey.  He moved so that he was above Blair once more, sitting lightly on Blair’s thighs.  Then he grasped the edges of Blair’s shirt and pulled it open.

Jim laid his hands flat on Blair’s stomach then ran them up his body, stopping to brush the pads of his thumbs across Blair’s nipples.  Blair closed his eyes and arched his back into Jim’s touch.  Jim gently squeezed, feeling Blair’s nipples become erect at the pressure.  Jim’s own arousal was becoming more apparent by the second, straining against the front of his jeans.  He wanted to make love to Blair here and now, but he fought to control the urge.  He had other plans first.  He moved his hands again, using his thumbs and forefingers to tease the hardened peaks hidden in the soft chest hair.

“Jim…please,” Blair breathed.

Jim leaned forward, resting his forearms on either side of Blair’s head, then dipped his head to capture a nipple in his hot mouth.  Blair gasped at the sensation and Jim suckled until he had Blair worked up into a frenzy. Blair’s hands slid under Jim’s waistband and tried to tug Jim’s pants down, then roamed under Jim’s shirt to tease his own flat nipples.  Just when Jim thought neither of them could take much more, he abruptly broke away and rolled off the bed.

“Last one in the pool is a rotten egg!” he called, before sprinting out of the bedroom, stripping off his clothes as he went.

Blair, face flushed with passion, lay on the waterbed, dumbfounded at Jim’s sudden departure.  And by the time he regained his senses and made it to the open bedroom door, Jim was already climbing the short ladder to the top of the slide, dressed only in his birthday suit.

“Surf’s up!” he yelled, then hurdled himself down the wet slide.

He hit the water with a <SPLASH!> and resurfaced halfway across the pool.

“Hoooyahhh!” he called as he broke the surface, shaking his head from side to side, flinging water droplets everywhere.  “Get rid of those clothes and get in here!  The water’s great!”

Deciding to get back at Jim for leaving him lying there on the bed, Blair proceeded to do a little strip tease for him, driving him crazy because he couldn’t touch him.  Clothes went every which way, until Blair stood before him in all his glory.

Jim moved to the bottom of the slide and held his arms out toward Blair.  “Come here, babe,” he said with a smile.

Blair eagerly obliged him, sitting down on the slide and giving himself a push.  The water was warm and Jim’s arms strong and secure when he reached the bottom.  Jim hugged Blair to him and gave him a kiss before unceremoniously dunking him under the water.  Blair came up sputtering, pushing wet curls out of his eyes.  That did it.  Time for a splash fight.  For the next ten minutes it was an all out war.  Water flew everywhere and by the time they called a truce, Jim and Blair were laughing so hard they could barely catch their breath.

Blair swam up to Jim and wrapped his arms around his waist.  “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.”

“You think it’s been good so far?  Well, we haven’t reached the climax yet,” Jim said with a wink and a grin.

“Ooh, you.  What am I going to do with you?” Blair laughed.

“How about kiss me senseless?” Jim offered.

“Now that I can do,” Blair whispered, then pulled Jim’s head down and captured his mouth with his own.  Their tongues did heated battle while their hands wandered up and down each other’s bodies, remembering the feel of one another.  Their desire was escalating once more when Blair reached between their bodies to stroke Jim’s rigid cock. Jim jerked at the touch and broke away momentarily, only to return to run kisses up and down Blair’s neck.

Blair’s hand moved surely up and down Jim’s silky hardness, knowing the exact tempo it took to take Jim to the edge.  Jim began to sway against Blair as he increased the pace, his small moans driving his own passion higher.

“Blair...Blair...not now, not yet...”

Jim stepped back, away from Blair’s touch, and struggled to control his breathing. //Damn, he was good. Hmm, well turnabout is fair play// he thought.

He stepped toward Blair once more then reached beneath the surface of the water to wrap an arm around him, right beneath his buttocks, then lifted him out of the water.  Before Blair could say a word, Jim’s mouth had claimed his nipple.  First one, then the other, received a tongue lavishing, till both peaks were tight nubs.  He took one and sandwiched it between two of his fingers, enjoying the small wanting sounds that issued from Blair’s throat each time he applied the merest pressure to his nipple.  Then he took it in his mouth once more.  His tongue circled and stroked and teased until Blair’s hands were clutching at his shoulders and his own body was burning like a furnace.

“Jim...make love to me, Jim,” Blair whispered.

Jim nodded wordlessly and began carrying him toward the ladder at the edge of the pool.

Blair shook his head.  “No...here...in the water.”

Jim had never heard anything more erotic in his life and his pulse leapt in his veins.  Nodding again, he continued to the side of the pool, turning Blair around so that his back was to him.  Jim reached between their bodies to stroke Blair’s opening, slipping his finger slowly into Blair, to find him hot, tight and ready for him.  Blair cried out as Jim probed him, pushing backwards onto Jim’s finger, seeking more.  Jim let his finger slide slowly in and out, adding another finger, stretching his lover, preparing him, listening to Blair’s whimpers of passion until the tightening in his own groin became too much to bear. He settled one hand on Blair’s hip then guided himself into Blair ever so slowly, drawing out the moment as long as possible, till he was buried inside Blair to the hilt, and they both cried out at the feeling.

Jim braced his hands on the edge of the pool, draped over Blair’s back, then began to move against Blair, drawing out almost completely before sliding his hot length back in.  He couldn’t get enough of Blair, couldn’t get deep enough inside him.  And Blair couldn’t get enough of Jim, either, matching him thrust for thrust as Jim increased the tempo, thrusting deeper and deeper.

As they moved together again and again, their cries of ecstasy reverberated throughout the cottage as the waves their bodies created splashed water over the side of the pool.

Soon, Jim could feel Blair’s body tightening around him, and he knew Blair was close to the edge. He changed tempo, feeling his own body responding to the sweet friction they were creating, and realized he was almost at the pinnacle himself.

“Oh, God, Blair...Blair...now,” he panted.

“Yes, Jim...yes...”

And with that, he wrapped his arms around Blair’s waist and plunged himself once...twice...three times...burying himself as deep as he possibly could, hitting the sweet spot, reaching around Blair’s body to grasp his straining cock and pumping just one time.

They came almost at the same instant.  Jim first, pumping himself into Blair’s depths, then Blair himself, convulsing around him in waves of pleasure, their cries of love mingling together.

Sated, they sagged against each other, with Jim slipping slowly from Blair’s body. Blair moaned at the loss and turned to face Jim.

“I love you,” they both said at the same time, then smiled and kissed slowly.

Jim helped Blair out of the pool, and once upstairs they dried each other off tenderly, lovingly, with white, fluffy towels, then crawled into bed after Jim lit a fire in the fireplace.

Snuggled up together spoon-style, Blair started to drift off to sleep, but Jim had one more thing to say.

“Blair...I’ve requested to be put back on active Field Agent status.”

“You did?  But why?  I thought you loved doing survival training.”

“I do, but I love you more.  Which is why I also put in a request for transfer…to Washington, DC.”

Blair twisted to look at him as he continued.

“I’ll know soon if my requests have been approved.  Blair, I can’t take being thousands of miles apart anymore. And I know you’d never give up your life in D.C. to transfer to Cascade, which is fine by me.  I know how important your work is to you.”

Blair was momentarily speechless.  “You’d do all that for me?  I don’t know what to say.”

“Just say you love me and I’ll know I did the right thing,” Jim replied.

There were tears in Blair’s eyes as he spoke the words Jim so longed to hear.

“I love you.”