Thank You For Loving Me
by VampyrAlex


Rating: NC-17
Pairings: J/B, other pairing
Category: Drama, First Time
Disclaimer: Not mine, also no money was made from this, blah, blah, blah.

Notes: It's been a year since I wrote and posted my first story, so this is kind of an anniversary story for me. *g*. I must warn you all that 'Thank You...' has the never ending sex scene between Jim and Blair. It just kept growing, and growing, and growing. So I apologize for that. (Yeah, right!). Also, if you think Blair and handcuffs don't mix together, don't read this. Last warning, the First Time category in the story is NOT for J/B.

As usual, DarkCherry, Monica, Helen and Sherri, my beloved betas, you have my undying gratitude. Bine, you're still my favorite muse. And last, but definitely not least, a huge HUG to the CEO's of SSOTWU (Slash Sisters Of The World Unite), Patt Rose and Susan for the wonderful laughs and support. And Patt, I'm sorry I used your son's name for one of my bad guys. I promise not to do it again... much. Lol.

Summary: Someone is trying to kill Brian Rafe and MC wants to catch the culprit. Jim goes undercover but things don't turn out as expected for the cops.



Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn't see
For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me
You pick me up when I fall down
You ring the bell before they count me out
If I was drowning you would part the sea
And risk your own life to rescue me

~~Bon Jovi - Thank You For Loving Me~~


Detective Brian Rafe looked up to the sky and groaned disgruntledly. Just another grey and depressingly wet day in Cascade.

"So what else is new? God, I'm so sick of this weather!" he muttered to himself.

He remained at the entrance of his apartment building, protected from the rain and the glacier winds that seemed to be sweeping Cascade of late, waiting for Blair to come around. Rafe's car had met with an unnatural demise two days before at the hands of a couple of banks robbers, and since Blair was on the same shift at the PD, he'd agreed to pick Rafe up. And damn the man, he was going to make them late. Again.

A horn finally startled him from his gloom, and he couldn't help but smile as Blair waved from Jim's truck. How he'd managed to convince the gruff cop to let him have it, Rafe would never guess. Ellison pampered that truck like a son and watched over it with a hawk-eye. God forbid anyone touching it, or making a dent on it. Not that anyone tried to get close to the truck; no one wanted to face the wrath of Ellison. Rafe shivered just thinking about it.

Blair saw Brian leave his safe haven and make a run for the truck, snickering as his friend got soaking wet in only a few seconds. A sudden movement caught his attention, and he watched as a man stepped out of a phone booth only a few feet away from Rafe. There was nothing threatening in that, except that the man was carrying a gun and was aiming it at his friend's back.

"Rafe, behind you!"

The next moment happened with alarming speed, and slow motion simultaneously, for both detectives. As he watched the man move closer to Brian, Blair left the safety of the truck, pulling his weapon and aiming it at the bastard who dared threaten his friend.

"Cascade PD! Freeze!"

The man grinned at him; a dazed expression on his face, and Blair felt his heart contract painfully as he realized the man was stoned. He froze as the man turned his attention back to his prey, his finger beginning to squeeze the trigger.

Instinct took over when Rafe heard Blair's warning shout. He somehow found his own gun and without a moment's thought fired it, his shot in unison with Blair's. He felt a stinging pain on his left shoulder and knew he was hit, but to his relief the man dropped to the floor, struck either by his or Blair's fire.

"Rafe, are you okay?" Blair asked, turning his attention back to his fellow detective after checking the killer was dead.

Rafe turned slightly dull eyes to his friend. "Yeah, I think so. You?"

Blair nodded. "Fine, but you're bleeding, man. I'll call for backup and an ambulance."


Once the calls were made, Blair joined his friend. The bullet wound didn't seem too serious, but it wasn't every day that someone took a shot at you, and he wanted to stay close until the ambulance arrived.

"So, what do you think?" Rafe asked, looking at him. "Random shooting? He was stoned, might be shooting at an hallucination, a figment of his own imagination, someone only he could see."

Blair looked at the body lying on the concrete and shook his head slowly.

"I don't think so, man. The way he looked at you... I think he knew exactly who he was trying to kill."



A few hours later, after leaving the hospital, both Rafe and Blair marched into the bullpen. Brian had to stop every few steps to reassure someone that he was really alive and okay. It felt good to be a part of the team and to know that the people he worked with cared what happened to him. It was an amazing sensation and despite the terrifying morning he'd had, it gave Rafe a warm comforting feeling inside.

The two young detectives strolled right up to their Captain's office and knocked just before entering. Jim and Henri were already there, and by the looks of things they'd been busy.

"Hey, Brian! Are you okay?"

Rafe smiled. "Yeah, H, just fine, thanks to Blair. If he hadn't seen the guy, I'd be the one at the morgue right now."

"Which reminds me," Simon started, feeling his heartbeat return to normal now that he was sure his detective was fine. Now was not the time or place to analyze his feelings, but he knew he was moving into dangerous waters. He hadn't felt that way about a man in a very long time, and getting involved with someone who was his subordinate was beyond insane, but it was getting harder to resist the signals Rafe unconsciously kept sending his way. "We already have his ID. His name was Eric Tyler, twenty, his father is the only living relative. Has a record for breaking and entering, but that was six years ago. Nothing since then," he informed his detectives, his mind getting back to the problem at hand.

"Any gang tattoos?" Blair asked.

"No," Jim shook his head dejectedly. "He had traces of what felt like tattoos, but they've been lasered off. There was no way to tell what they might've been," he finished, with a look that meant that even his Sentinel sense of touch hadn't been enough to identify the erased tattoos.

"Umm, that costs money," Rafe noticed thoughtfully. "He had a job?"

"We don't know yet," H replied. "We're still checking and looking for his father as well. Maybe he can shed some light on why his son suddenly decided to go shooting at cops."

"Which is exactly what I want to know. The why," Simon stated. "I managed to make the press think this was a random shooting, just another wacko with a gun out to get the world, but that is highly unlikely given Rafe's profession. So, I want a review of all of Rafe's case files and trial dates. And Rafe," Simon continued, ignoring the groans his order generated, "...until we get this straight, you need to keep a low profile. I want someone with you at all times, even if it's to use the men's room. Got it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good. Back to work, gentlemen."

The four cops left the office, and Jim turned to the two younger men.

"Nice shooting, by the way. Two bullets straight through the heart. You both win the jackpot!" he finished with a grin.

"Funny, man, fuuunnnyyy. Don't quit your day job, Ellison!" Blair snorted, his face falling as he glanced at the amount of case files from Rafe they had to check. "Oh, man! This is going to take forever!"

"Then we better get started. The sooner we start, the sooner we finish," H remarked with a touch of philosophy in his voice, making the others snort.

They were about to sit down and attack the workload when Megan walked in.

"Hey, guys. We located Tyler's father. Michael's brought him in. Room 1."

"Thanks Megan."

Jim and Blair went in to question the man while Rafe and Henri watched from behind the one-way window.

"Good cop, bad cop?" Jim asked his partner with a grin.

Blair regarded the dejected figure sitting alone in the interrogation room and shook his head.

"I don't think we'll need that. Let's test the waters first and see how it goes."

Jim nodded and followed his partner inside, closing the door behind him.

"Mr. Tyler, I'm Detective Jim Ellison, this is my partner, Blair Sandburg. We'd like to ask you some questions about your son."

John Tyler was in his late fifties, with greying black hair and pain filled green eyes.

"I don't know what happened, detective," he nearly whispered, obviously heartbroken about what his son had tried to do. "Eric wasn't bad. We had our problems, especially after his mother died, but this... I don't understand, I just don't. The man he tried to kill, is he okay?"


"Thank God!"

"Mr. Tyler, did Eric have a job?" Blair asked, softly. He couldn't help feeling sorry for the man. He couldn't even begin to understand what it must be like to lose a son, especially in such a way.

"Yes, he did, and he went to school at night too. He wanted to get his studies done, so he would be able to get a better job in the future, you know? He wanted to be someone. I was so proud of him..."

"Where did he work?" Jim asked.

"Stargaze Art Gallery. He was a sort of Jack-of-all-trades for the owner. Anything that needed to be done, Eric would take care of it. He loved it there, was always talking about what he did there and how much he liked the owner, Natalie Perry."

"Shit," Rafe whispered as he heard the name, and Henri glanced at him.

"Know her?" he asked, curiously.

"Oh, yeah..."

"Did you ever meet Natalie Perry?" Blair questioned on the other side of the window.

"Once. Didn't like her much, no matter what Eric said. She threw a big party at the Gallery and Eric brought me with him. Too much booze and drugs for my taste."

"Drugs? Did Eric --"

"Do drugs?" Tyler interrupted Jim. "Not until he started working there, after that it wasn't unusual for him to arrive home stoned. I told him he should quit it, leave that job and that woman, but he said she was going to help him buy a house uptown."

Jim and Blair exchanged knowing looks. Buying a house, especially in the rich part of town, cost money. And a Jack-of-all-trades, as Tyler named it, wouldn't be able to make enough money for that kind of house, at least working for such a small period of time.

"Why would Natalie give Tyler so much money?" Blair whispered to his partner, although he thought he knew the answer already.

"It was a pay-off," Jim whispered as well. "She paid him to kill Rafe. Eric might've been the one to squeeze the trigger, but she was the one who put the gun in his hands. Now all we need is to know why."



Fifteen minutes later, John Tyler was gone, and the four detectives were back in their Captain's office.

"Well?" Simon asked, shrewd dark eyes locked on Rafe's hazel ones.

The young man let out a shuddering breath.

"Just before I joined Major Crimes, I was involved in a major bust. This other guy and I put away a bastard called Thomas Darrow for drug smuggling. He was one of the partners in Stargaze Art Gallery. He used the art shipments coming or going from the Gallery to receive large amounts of drugs from his suppliers and then used the same method to send the drugs to his dealers. All very discreet and careful, until one day while moving through customs at the airport, someone noticed that a crate that was suppose to have a precious painting was damaged. Imagine their surprise when besides the painting, they found a few kilos of heroine! Anyway, we got Darrow, but we never had enough to arrest his partner, and now sole owner of the gallery, Natalie Perry."

"And after a number of delays, the case is finally going to trial in five weeks," Henri informed them, having checked after Rafe told him about Perry. "What's worse, the other cop involved in the bust with Rafe, Jonathan Simpson, had a very lethal car accident yesterday morning, which is an unbelievable coincidence."

"Yes," Simon nodded. "And I don't believe in coincidences. Rafe, from now on, and until the trial, you're going to a safe house."

"Oh, come on, Captain!"

"I don't want to hear it, Detective! It's not up for discussion!" the Captain growled. Feelings involved or not, he was not about to let one of his detectives on the loose when someone was out to get him.

"Yes, sir."

"Good. Now, we need to make the woman show her true colors. Since the press reported the incident this morning as a random shooting, she doesn't know we're on to her. Find out if she's looking for someone to replace Tyler. It's an important job, so she must be in a hurry. Jim, if she is looking for a replacement, apply for the job, Sandburg will be your back up. Brown, take care of security on the safe house and take first shift. That's all, gentlemen!"

"Yes, sir!"

They strolled out of the office in a dark mood.

"You know, we could just arrest the bitch," Rafe grumbled disheartenedly.

Jim shook his head. "You know that wouldn't work, we don't have enough evidence. And there's no guarantee that if pressed enough, she'd confess. This way is better."

"I know," Rafe confessed. "I just don't like the idea of you guys doing all the work, while I have to hide."

"Hey man, we're a team," Henri said, patting his back. "We want you safe and around for a long time. You'd do the same for us, wouldn't you?"

Rafe grinned. "For Jim and Blair, yes. For you... I'm not sure."

Brown flipped him the bird, then shook his head. "That's gratitude for ya. Ungrateful s.o.b.!" he muttered, making the others laugh. "Come on, Your Majesty, time to drive you to the safe house."

Brian grimaced. "Oh, goody!"



"Okay, the interview with Natalie Perry is set. I have to be there in about thirty minutes. I'll be presenting myself with the name Jim Grant, and I have a record. Nothing major, just small theft, breaking and entering. I'm sure she checked Tyler before she hired him, and since he had a record, I'm guessing it's a requirement for the job," Jim told Simon with a smile.

"Here." Blair handed his partner a small device resembling a pager. "This is a limited range transmitter, it will work for about a mile, but I'll stay close. It looks like a pager, she won't be able to tell the difference and it's not so unusual for you to have one, lots of people have them."

"I'm not taking this."

"Yes, you are."

"No, I'm not," Jim stated, his jaw set stubbornly.

Blair felt an urge to leap from his seat and shake some sense into the aggravating man. Instead he rose fluently from the chair and pulled his unwilling partner with him.

"Excuse us, Captain."

The young man dragged his partner out of the office, not stopping until they reached the bathroom. Then he pushed Jim inside, made sure they were alone, locked the door and turned to his Sentinel.

"You *are* going to take this thing, even if I have to shove it up your ass, Ellison! The woman is dangerous and I want to be able to hear what's going on. *And* in case you're forgetting, the Sentinel in this partnership is you, not me! Plus, I like your head right where it is, thank you very much."

He stepped closer to his partner, and in a sudden move, reached out and covered the older man's mouth with his own, plundering the willing cave, tasting everything about the man he loved with every fiber of his being.

"God," he whispered, when their lips parted. "I missed this..."

Jim snickered. "We made love just this morning, Chief!"

"So? It's not my fault I have too much stamina and you tire too easily," he grinned, taunting his lover. "I'm hard to satisfy, amore mio."

"I'll show you who tires easily tonight," Jim purred in his ear, grinning as he felt the smaller body glued to his own, shudder. "You won't be able to walk tomorrow... Amore mio."

And with that, he snatched the transmitter from his lover's lax hand, and unlocking the door, walked out whistling softly.

"Bastard," Blair muttered, knowing his lover would hear, shifting to accommodate his suddenly tight jeans. "I'll make you pay for this, you just wait!"

Megan couldn't understand why, while passing by her, Jim suddenly began to laugh softly. But knowing the Sentinel and his partner, those two were up to no good. She'd better stay out of the way for a while.



"Mr. Grant, I'm sorry to keep you waiting. Please come in."

Jim followed the woman into her office, surreptitiously checking her out. There was no doubt she was beautiful, tall, with a lean body, and a shape most women would die for, huge green eyes, and long, wavy red hair. It was easy to see why Eric Tyler had fallen for her, whether as a friend or something more, but there was something in her eyes, something hard and shrewd that belied the easiness and gentleness she portrayed. She was definitely dangerous, Jim decided.

"Thank you, Mrs. Perry,"

"Ms. Perry, or better yet, Natalie. Please, sit down."

Keeping to his part, Jim nodded and smiled somewhat shyly, taking the offered chair. He felt confident he would get the job. The reason why she'd kept him waiting was because she'd been checking him out. He'd heard her make a few calls and finding out about Jim Grant's criminal record. Things were looking good.

"So, Mr. Grant --"

"Jim, please."

She smiled and nodded. "Okay, Jim. How did you hear about this job? This was all so sudden, I didn't even have time to place an ad in the papers."

"Luck. A friend of mine was passing by the Gallery, saw the "Help wanted" poster outside and called me right away. I needed a job, so..." he shrugged.

"Very well. I need a hands on kind of person. Things always need fixing, and I need someone to keep on top of that. There's even a small room in the back, in case you need to stay here at night. There's probably more you can do to help, more stuff I will want you to do, but let's start small. I want to see how you do first."

"You mean the job is mine?" Jim asked, a huge smile breaking through.

"Yes. Only two other people applied so far and I didn't like either of them, so the job is yours."

"Oh, great! Thank you so much!" He shook her hand effusively, his smile widening. "When do I start?"

"Tomorrow morning will be okay. Be here by nine, I'll show you around and give you a list of things to do."

"Right. See you tomorrow then, Ms... uh, Natalie."

"Bye, Jim."

She watched him go and shook her head. Just another airhead. With any luck she might be able to talk Grant into picking up where Tyler had left off, killing that bastard cop. And Grant having a criminal record was half way to getting what she wanted. It was in her hands to make sure that Brian Rafe wouldn't testify against her lover. Ever.



Jim sighed in relief as he felt the pounding spray of water washing away the last of the day's frustrations, his body finally beginning to relax. He turned his face into the spray, letting the droplets massage his temples until he couldn't hold his breath any longer. He then bowed his head so that the water could cascade over his shoulders. There was nothing quite as soothing as a hot shower to relieve tension and erase all traces of the sensory input he was forced to endure every day.

Jim's thoughts turned to Rafe and the attempt on his life. He was going to do everything he could to make Perry slip somehow, he had to, or they might end up losing the young detective. And there was no way in hell he was going to let that happen. He genuinely liked Brian, he was a good friend and cop, and Sentinel imperative or not, he was going to do his damndest to protect him.

The soft sound of the bathroom door opening and Blair entering seized all thoughts of their current case. The Sentinel smiled as he heard his lover slowly taking off his clothes and moving to join him under the warm spray.

Two arms wrapped gently around his waist and he felt his lover's head resting against his back.

"I told you I was going to make you pay, didn't I? Payback time, Jim," Blair whispered, his breath caressing his lover's warm slick skin, enjoying the shudder that shook Jim's larger frame.

Blair turned his lover around to face him, locking amused sapphire eyes on cautious steel blue ones. Jim's guarded expression caused him to chuckled.

"And payback's a bitch," the young man breathed softly across a nipple, enjoying how it peaked. His hands traveled down the expanse of his Sentinel's chest, fingers trailing over the strong muscles and the hairless chest, a sigh of delight escaping from his lips at his lover's beautiful, taut body.

The young man pressed his erection against the body driving him crazy with arousal and sought to capture the alluring lips for a soul shattering kiss, as he felt Jim's arms surrounding him, one hand roughly grabbing hold of his hair, the other kneading his buttocks possessively, pulling him impossibly closer.

"Uh," he purred, with a wicked grin. "Jim flavor, I love it."

Jim whimpered, his enhanced sense of touch making his skin feel alight, as his lover's sturdy body rubbed sensually against his own. They locked gazes again, and Jim watched entranced as the warm water running down his lover's face, highlighted the long damp lashes, those huge ocean blue orbs more enticing than ever.

"Jim," Blair breathed suddenly, beginning to worship the body close to his with a thoroughness that left the Sentinel gasping for air.

Blair slid wantonly down Jim's slick frame, slowly leaving a trail of light kisses down the older man's throat, stopping to nibble and lick an earlobe, running his tongue teasingly over twin nipples until they stood firm. He kissed, nipped and nibbled every bit of flesh he could reach, paying special homage to the amazing pecs and taut stomach, feeling the muscles quivering under his touch, until Jim was unable to do more than whimper and beg for mercy.

The young man's lush mouth hungrily kissed the insides of Jim's strong thighs while his hands massaged his ass tenderly. Leaning his upper body against the shower wall for support, Jim entangled his hands in his lover's long soaked curls, guiding his talented lips to where they were most needed.

The young man finally relented and worked his way to the firm cock, rubbing his cheek lightly across the weeping erection, leaving behind a trail of precome. Jim moaned at the sensation of stubble running over his sensitive flesh, his head arched back as he writhed under his lover's touch, the feeling nearly overwhelming him. Blair's tongue darted out and licked the head of Jim's shaft, swallowing the throbbing erection into his warm, moist mouth, fighting the urge to grin as his lover drew in a deep ragged breath. Determined to give Jim the blow job of his life, Blair massaged the tender balls, alternating between sucking and licking on the hard shaft, keeping his Sentinel lover from guessing as to what he would do next.

Blair's hands moved to his lover's ass once more, skimming a finger between the clenched cheeks to tease the tight ring of muscle. Water helped the penetration as he pushed the digit into the tight channel that led deep inside Jim's body, followed by a second finger, until his lover was moving back onto his digits and fucking his mouth at the same time.

Soon Jim's thrusts increased in speed and Blair readied himself for the rush of hot salty-bitter liquid that would soon fill his mouth. He deep-throated the hard shaft suddenly, the contractions of his throat making the other man groan loudly, one of his fingers caressing his lover's pleasure point, and Jim came explosively, his whole body convulsing, emptying himself down his lover's throat, shouting Blair's name.

The young man held Jim against the wall, licking the now softening cock in cat-like fashion, giving it a last tender kiss before finally moving away.

"God," Jim whispered, sliding down the wall to sit on the bathtub's floor.

Blair kissed him tenderly and grinned, "Are you okay?"

Jim chuckled. "Yeah, but I think you killed the last of my brain cells!"

The young man laughed teasingly. "No problem. It will just re-enforce what I've been saying all along, I'm the brain, you're the brawn," Blair joked.

He knew nothing could be further from the truth. Jim was one of the most intelligent men Blair'd ever met, even if he was biased. The way his lover managed to solve case after case was awe-inspiring. The Sentinel senses might help find the right clues, but it was Jim's mind that came up with the solution to the mystery. The younger man couldn't be prouder of his life mate.

The cop cuffed him weakly on the head. "You just wait until I recover, Junior. I don't get mad, I get even," he finished with a grin, enjoying the way his lover narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Served him right for frying his brain. "Come on, Chief, let's get out of here. The water is getting cold."

They stood up, and Jim couldn't help noticing that his lover was still hard. He chuckled to himself as they stepped out of the cooling water and grabbed a towel each. It would only make his revenge sweeter.

Taking his time, Jim turned the water off, dried himself and combed his hair, working out the last details of his plan as he cast furtive glances at his partner.

When Blair was finally dry and getting ready to get dressed, Jim Ellison, Sentinel of the Great City, made his move. In a swift motion, he wrapped his arms around his lover, hugging him from behind and nuzzling the beautiful neck. Nibbling an earlobe tenderly, Jim brushed his hips onto Blair's in a slow, arousing rhythm, rubbing his firming length against the younger man's ass.

"What do you say we take care of that?" he whispered, a finger trailing down Blair's hard cock.

"Uh," the young man moaned. "Yes..."

Jim dragged him to their bed, both lying down slowly on the covers, smiling tenderly at each other, their love plain to see in their eyes. The Sentinel crawled on top of his lover, blanketing Blair with his bigger body, lacing his fingers with Blair's, pinning his lover's hands above his head. Before the young man could even tell what was going on, he was cuffed by the wrists to the headboard.

"What the --? Jim?" Blair looked up at his cuffed hands, then turned his wide eyes on his lover. "What --?"

"I told you, I don't get mad, I get even," Jim smirked. "It's my turn now, Junior. Just lay back and enjoy the ride."

Blair rolled his eyes, trying to look annoyed, but the truth was, he was excited. It wasn't every day that Jim got inventive in bed, and he had to confess that the feel of the cuffs were rather erotic.

The Sentinel brought his mouth to the tender junction of Blair's throat and shoulder. He drew the flesh there up between his teeth and nipped until he was sure it would leave a mark, then lapped at the love bite gently to sooth the hurt. Jim's hands began caressing heated skin with Sentinel touch, finding all of his lover's hot spots, using fingers, tongue and lips to torture him with pleasure, until Blair was moaning and trembling beneath him.

"Ready to surrender, Junior?" he teased mercilessly.

"Yes, oh yes..." Blair breathed, nearly out of his mind with arousal.

He watched as his lover reached over to grab the lube from the nightstand. Jim popped open the top of the lube and poured some of it onto his fingers. Reaching behind his body, he began to prepare himself, his hooded eyes locking with his aroused lover.

Blair moaned at the wanton display, exhaling loudly as Jim finger fucked himself, his sweat covered skin flushed pink, his cock rock hard again. This was the Jim no one else was allowed to see, the Jim that held nothing back, no defenses, no shields, and no reserve. He was giving everything he was to Blair, and the young man was entranced. He'd never seen anyone more beautiful, lustful, and sensual in his life.

Wanting to taste his lover's sweet lips, Jim lowered his head and claimed the lush mouth in a hungry kiss, tasting the moist haven, stealing Blair's breath away and replacing it with his own. Parting reluctantly from the pliant mouth, he licked Blair's lips one more time before continuing to stretch his opening for the penetration to come.

Jim's hips bucked backwards as he thrust his fingers into his ass, little whimpers escaping his kiss-swollen lips as he stretched himself, looking directly at his lover as he did so, teasing him, arousing him, provoking him. Knowing that not being able to touch him was driving Blair to the point of madness.

"God," Blair groaned, arching of the bed, petitioning his Sentinel with his body. "Jim, please..."

Jim relented with a smile, slipping the fingers from his body. He straddled the younger man, grabbing the lube again, emptying more into his palm and coating Blair's hard cock thoroughly. He moved slightly down his lover's body, taking Blairīs cock in his hand and guiding the firm shaft into his opening. Jim began to impale himself slowly until he took all of the young man's cock inside himself, causing Blair to moan softly as he was sheathed in his lover's tight heat.

They remained still for a moment, just enjoying the intimate embrace, savoring the feeling of being joined together. Then Jim began to move his hips slowly, his lover meeting him stroke for stroke, both men moaning as their bodies moved as one in an ancient dance. Jim's right hand began to pump his own cock, stroking up and down in time with their movements. His other hand trailed up his body to tease his nipples, pinching and rubbing the hard pebbles, head thrown back in ecstasy.

Soon it wasn't enough and their thrusts increased in speed, until finally Jim's body stiffened, and with his lover's name on his lips, he orgasmed powerfully, muscles straining, his come covering his hand and both their stomachs as it spurted freely from his shaft. Feeling his erection squeezed by Jim's heated channel was too much for Blair, and after two more powerful thrusts, his body arched of the bed and with a deep whimper he released his seed into his Sentinel.

With Blair's softening cock still inside him, Jim swooped down and captured his lover's lips. He snatched the cuff keys from the nightstand, freeing his lover and caressing the wrists tenderly to make sure they were not bruised.

"Shit," Blair huffed. "I'll have to make you want to get even with me more often. That was amazing!"

Jim smiled widely at his lover, using the small towel by the bed to clean them both.

"Yes, it was," he whispered sleepily, wrapping his strong arms around his lover, a sigh escaping his lips as they lay twined together.

Jim rested his head on his lover's hairy chest and hummed contentedly, burrowing into his mate's warmth. Blair chuckled drowsily and hugged the Sentinel to him, closing his eyes and listening as the other man surrendered to sleep and the day's exhaustion.

It was still one of his favorite moments of their lives together, when Jim fell asleep in his arms, trusting him to watch over his rest. So much had happened since they'd first met, so much water under the bridge. Blair'd moved from being a geeky anthro student, to a police observer, and finally a cop. Many people said he wouldn't make it, wouldn't be able to go through the police academy, but he had, and with flying colors, all thanks to Jim. Thanks to his encouragement, his support -- his love.

Only a selected few knew that along the way their relationship had taken the natural progression from deep friendship to undying love. It had been no real surprise. The feeling had always been there from the beginning for everyone to see, maybe not expressed in words, but definitely in actions.

Jim had risked his own life time and time again to rescue the younger man, when Kindcaid had taken the whole station hostage, from Lash, from Warren Chapel. He'd been there throughout the Golden ordeal, nursing him back to health; during the whole mess with Maya, mending his broken heart. Or simply by parting his lips and giving him life again when he couldn't breathe after drowning in that damned fountain at Rainier.

And Blair had returned that love ten fold by saving Jim's own sanity when his senses began to spin out of control, by turning Cascade upside down when Colonel Oliver had taken the cop, by healing his soul after Jim'd gone undercover in a prison, or simply by being his eyes when he couldn't see.

So one day, not long after the Barnes fiasco, they'd sat down and had a long talk about their feelings for each other and their future. With the notion that they loved each other, that life was too short and something might happen and chances would be forever lost, they began to make a life together. Swimming against the current when it was necessary, but mostly going with the flow and having their friends support.

And though at first scared he wouldn't be strong enough to commit to Jim, to be a true life-partner, Blair found it surprisingly easy and couldn't remember ever being happier. They complemented each other, fit together surprisingly well. They picked up each other's pieces when life got too hard and gave each other wings to fly. And Blair was so thankful for all they had, for everything Jim'd given him.

Settling down with a sigh, not realizing it was still early and that they'd missed dinner, Blair let sleep conquer his body and mind.

"Thank you for loving me," he whispered to the sleeping man in his arms, before joining his lover in slumber.



Rafe looked out the window of the room assigned to him, seeing the night slowly replace the clarity of day. Not that with all the dark clouds always hovering over the Cascadian sky there was that much of a difference, but the street lights were a definite sign that he'd been in the safe house for hours.

He sighed wearily. He was sick of being cooped up and it was only the first day. He thought about leaving the room and joining Henri in the living room. Even Henri's ramblings were better than being there alone looking at the damn walls. That left too much free time to think and sometimes thinking was a bad thing, especially with the kind of thoughts he'd been having lately.

Rafe leaned back, his head banging softly on the wall behind him in silent desperation. Being in love sucked, as Blair would've put it. And that was the big problem in his life. Not the fact that someone wanted him dead, not that he was locked in that damned house, not the upcoming Darrow trial. He was in love and helpless as to what to do about it.

There was so much against it and so little in favor...they were both cops, he was somewhat younger, the object of his desire was also his superior, and to make it worse, they were both males. Simon Banks. How could he have fallen for Simon *fucking* Banks? *Captain* Simon Banks? Did he have a death wish? Because if the man ever found out, chances were he'd beat him to a pulp, and even if he didn't, same sex relationships weren't exactly cherished in the force.

It hadn't been a case of love at first sight or any of those swept away feelings you read about or see in the movies. In fact, he'd been almost fearful of the man when they'd first met. Simon Banks was an impressive man and had a temper to match. But after joining the Major Crimes team and getting closer to the Captain, he began to see behind the gruff exterior. He saw the real person, the real Simon Banks, and he liked what he saw. A lot.

And day after day, month after month, the respect he'd began to feel for the man, and the cop, morphed into something else, something stronger and scarier, but oh, so exciting. Something he couldn't avoid feeling, no matter how much he tried at first. And it encompassed a wide range of emotions, friendship, lust, a little bit of hero-worship, but most important of all -- love.

Rafe yearned for physical and emotional contact between them; he wanted to touch the man, his soul, his very essence. He wanted to feel his strength and his power. He wanted to lose himself in everything that was and made Simon Banks.

"God, what a mess," he whispered to the empty room.

He closed his eyes and pictured the man he wished was his lover, the tall, strong frame, the beautiful eyes, the soul-shattering smile when the man was in one of his not-so-often excellent moods... Rafe shook his head disgusted.

"Soul-shattering smile? God, I'm a sick man!" A knock on the door startled him, and he sighed, relieved. He could use with a distraction to take his mind off of Simon for at least a few minutes. "Come in," he called softly.

His heart missed a couple of beats when the object of his thoughts walked in the room, closing the door behind him. Rafe cleared his suddenly tight throat and looked up at the figure looming over him.

"Captain? What are you doing here?"

Simon smiled. "Doing my shift. With half the force on sick leave because of this damn weather, everyone has to put in extra time. I'm going to spend the night here, I'm doing the security detail."

Still trying to get rid of the lump in his throat, Rafe just nodded. This couldn't be happening. How was he going to stand spending the night in close quarters with the man he was lusting over? On the job it was easy, they were always too busy, he had to focus too much to avoid getting shot and he was able to repress his feelings, but how was he supposed to spend the next few nights -- at least -- in the company of this man?

"God, I hate my life sometimes!" he muttered under his breath.


He nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt Simon's hand resting gently on his shoulder. "Why what?" he asked, trying to keep his traitorous body under control.

"You said you hated your life sometimes. Why?"

Rafe felt his face grow warmer as his cheeks turned bright red and groaned to himself. "Sorry, Captain, just thinking out loud."

Simon sat on the bed, his hand so close to Rafe's thigh the young man could feel its warmth. "It's going to be okay, Rafe. Jim and Blair will get Perry, you'll be out of here in no time."

The young man nodded and looked down at his hands. "I know. I just don't like knowing they're risking their lives because of me."

"You'd do the same."

"Yeah, I guess," he replied, and couldn't help but smile when Simon chuckled. "Where's Henri?"

"Gone home, he'll be back tomorrow morning. Come on, let's get some dinner. I'm sure he left something in the freezer we can heat up."



Dinner was spent in an awkward silence. Simon knew the reason Rafe was so tense, why the young man's face showed a light blush. And he wasn't oblivious to the glances Rafe kept sending his way when he thought the older man wasn't looking, but he was at a loss as to what to do.

They should talk, he knew that, but what could he say? 'I'm sorry Rafe, I'm interested, but there's just too many things that could get in the way, and I'm not sure I want to take the risk?' That was plain cruel, but wasn't it just as cruel to keep the young man guessing? Truth was, he was more than interested, his awareness of the younger man having heightened over the last months to amazing levels, showing him things he didn't really want to see. Like how good looking Rafe really was, how appealing his sturdy body was, how his smile seemed to light up a room, how those hazel eyes seemed to shine for him alone when they were together. But he was too jaded after his marriage and later divorce from Joan. He didn't want to take the risk and let anyone that close, just to see it all fall apart around him again.

Simon sighed wearily. "Rafe?"

The younger man raised his head, startled out of his own introspection. "Yes, sir?"

"I... uh, I'm glad you're okay," Simon blurted out. Coward, he called himself ruthlessly, unable to prevent the warm feeling inside from spreading as his statement was met with a huge smile. God, he was falling fast!

"Thank you, sir," Rafe beamed at him, his hazel eyes twinkling happily, cheeks flushed with pleasure.

Simon groaned to himself at the wanton sight. It was going to be a long night, a very, very long night.



The next day went by in a flash. Jim started his work at the Stargaze Gallery, fixing whatever needed his attention, barely crossing paths with Natalie Perry. Outside the Gallery, Blair and Megan listened to the occasional conversations going on inside, ready to jump in in Jim's defense if need be.

They took turns going for food or coffee, or just taking a small walk to prevent boredom from settling. It was after dark when the Gallery finally closed to the public, and Jim and Natalie were left alone.

"Showtime, Sandy," Megan muttered to her friend, and Blair nodded nervously.

No matter how many times they'd done undercover work, Blair's heart was always in his throat when it was Jim's turn. He wanted to be near his Sentinel, covering his back, making sure his senses were under control, making sure nothing wrong was going to happen. It was a helpless feeling, not being able to be there, and he hated it.

Jim and Natalie seemed to be moving to her office, chatting about the work he'd done and what still needed to be done, so Blair took a calming breath and settled down to listen. He just hoped their usual bad karma when they were on a case wouldn't rear its ugly head that night.

But as usual, fate had another thing in mind.



Natalie watched her new employee with a pleased smile. Airhead or not, the man was a fine example of the male species. Very nice to look at, she decided. Maybe she could use him for other 'activities', besides working at the Gallery.

"You've done an excellent job today, Jim. I wasn't expecting you to do so much on your first day, you've kept yourself quite busy!"

Jim smiled back. "Well, you're paying me good money, and besides, I've always been good at this hands-on stuff. I'm pretty good with tools," he chuckled.

She nodded. "We should celebrate, Jim. To a job well done."

"Sure, okay," Jim answered, with a shrug of his shoulders. A drink after all the work he'd done would be nice.

Natalie's smile grew wider as she took a small vial from her pocket. Jim tensed slightly as he recognized the drug inside the vial. It was a potentially dangerous situation. He couldn't take the drugs, obviously, but if he protested too much, the woman would know something was up. He would have to be very careful.

"Uh, Natalie..."

"Yes?" she purred softly.

"I can't... There's something... I'm on parole."

She laughed. "I now all about your jail time, Jim. It doesn't matter one way or another to me. But surely, a little fun won't hurt you, and who's going to know, right? It's just a little cocaine."

In the truck outside the Gallery, Blair and Megan traded worried glances. Things were getting out of hand. Fast.

"Uh, it's okay. You go ahead, I don't mind."

Natalie shook her head and rose from her chair, moving closer to Jim. She placed her hands on Jim's chest, fingers sliding smoothly down his pecs and abdomen, pausing only to tease his nipples into hard pebbles.

"Come on, Jim," she taunted in an husky voice. "What's the fun in partying alone? Join me, we can have so much fun. I want you to be my friend, and friends share everything, Jim, everything. Relax, enjoy," she breathed in his ear.

"Okay, that's it!" Blair growled, having heard enough. He opened the truck's door and got out, an angry look on his face.

"Sandy! Where are you going?"

"Stay here, Megan!"

He ran to the Gallery and finding the service door unlocked, walked inside. Going to what he knew was Perry's office, he steeled his heart for what he was about to do. Jim might want to kill him for this, but eventually he'd see the light and thank him. He hoped.

Blair arrived at the office to find the door open, and the woman on the verge of kissing his lover. "Jim Grant!" he shouted. "What do you think you're doing?!"

The couple startled, whirling around to look at him, Jim with a guilty expression, Perry with a seriously pissed off glare.

"What are you doing?!" Blair asked again, punching a thoroughly confused Jim in the face.

"Who are you?" Natalie snarled, but Blair ignored her and kept his attention on his partner.

"Is this the great job you were telling me about? I come to pick you up and this is what I see? What are you doing, you stupid idiot?! You said no more trouble, no more drugs, no more stealing, no more *jail*! And who the hell is this bitch?!"

"Excuse me?! Who the hell are you?"

Blair turned his furious glare on the woman. "I'm his *lover*! And who are you?!"

"I'm his boss!"

The young man's anger seemed to deflate at that. "Oh!"

Jim, having understood what his lover was doing, grabbed his arm, pretending to be mad. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" he hissed. "You want me to lose my job?!"

"I-I didn't think..."

"That's right, you didn't. Like you didn't think in all the other times you got me in trouble with my bosses. How are we going to save any money if you keep doing this?" He sighed. "Honey --"

Blair's eyes blazed fire at him. "Don't you 'honey' me! I saw you two flirting with each other! You cheat on me and I'll cut your balls off, I warned you before!"

Jim dragged his lover to the door. "We'll discuss this at home, now get out of here."

"But --"


The young man gave Jim a murderous glare, threw Natalie a disgusted glare, and stalked off the office with a snort, muttering aloud, "Bastard! You'll get yours when we get home."

Jim turned to Perry, an embarrassed look on his face. "I'm sorry. He's a little hot-tempered."

"No kidding?"

"So, do I still have a job?" he asked, trying his best puppy-dog look, something he'd learned from his lover.

Apparently it worked, because Natalie sighed tiredly. "Sure. Go home, Jim. It's been a long day. Be here tomorrow at the same time."

Jim gave her a mega-watt smile. "Thanks, Natalie, I appreciate it. I'll make good, you'll see. I'll be your best worker!"

She nodded. "We'll see. Goodnight, Jim."


Jim practically ran out of the Gallery, walking up to the truck where Blair and Megan were still laughing at the scene in the Gallery.

"Very funny," Jim muttered, but couldn't help grinning. "Did you have to hit me so hard?" He tried glaring at his lover, gingerly touching his sore jaw.

"Sorry!" Blair sounded anything but, a huge grin lighting up his face, and Jim fell in love all over again.

Megan noticed the mood changing between the two men, and cleared her throat. "What about we call it a day, mates?"

"Good idea, Megan, it's been a very long one today."

The three detectives climbed in the truck and Jim gunned the motor, driving them away from the Gallery and Natalie Perry. It had been a close call, but thanks to Blair's fast thinking, they were still in the game. Now they had to score before Rafe lost his life.



Brian checked his watch again, his eyes gazing out the living room window, but not really seeing anything. Three hours. Simon had failed to show up three hours before to relieve Brown. Rafe and Henri were waiting for any news, having sounded the alert about Simon's disappearance.

Unable to stand still for too long, Brian began pacing frantically, his worry getting the best of him. It wasn't like their Captain to just disappear and not let anyone know. The only explanation was foul play.

Rafe'd been so excited before, just the thought that Simon would be there in a few minutes to relieve Henri left him breathless with anticipation. The day had gone by at turtle speed, the hours ticking by with excruciating slowness, at least according to his watch. Rafe spent most of the day locked in his room reading, pacing in his gilded cage, hating his inactivity, the fact that he couldn't help the investigation, or simply talking with Brown, idly whiling away the time, but even so he'd been bored out of his mind.

But then Simon was coming and that made all the difference in the world. Because he now knew Simon was also interested in him, if not in love as well. The night before had been the proof. The bigger man was nervous around him, glancing at him when he thought Rafe wasn't looking, and the few times they locked gazes, those deep dark eyes couldn't hold back the truth. And then there was the fact that Simon seemed to be nearly hovering over him, even if Rafe could tell it was unconsciously.

It didn't matter. Because Simon didn't do that with anyone else, except with his son Daryl, no matter how much danger they might be in. So now that he knew how Simon felt, or at least had an idea, he could wait. It was meant to be, no matter how much Simon was fighting it at the moment.

But now the man was missing and Brian was unable to stop from panicking. A sudden thought crossed his mind. "She has him."

Brown frowned, confused. "What?"

"Natalie Perry. She has him." Rafe's voice sounded oddly calm, almost as if belonging to someone else, someone not coming apart inside, someone whose whole life wasn't on the line.

Henri shook his head. "It doesn't make any sense, Rafe. Why would she kidnap the Captain?"

'Because I love him,' he thought, but even as he thought it, he knew how impossible it sounded. There was no way the woman could've known about his love for Simon. But maybe it was some plan to draw him out of hiding, to make him leave his safe haven. And Rafe knew he had no choice but to do it, to go to her and beg her to spare Simon. He'd even offer his life in return; it was certainly worth it to keep Simon alive. Anything to keep Simon alive.

Knowing Henri would never go along with his plan, he forced himself to at least appear relaxed. He smiled ruefully and shook his head. "You're right, of course. I'm sorry, this whole case has me on edge, and now Simon's disappearance..."

Brown nodded. "I know, it's okay, man. Why don't we play poker or something just to pass the time? What do you say, buddy?"

"Honestly, I don't feel like it. Maybe in a little while."

"Okay. There's a game on TV. What about that?"


They settled down on the couch, and Rafe pretended to watch the game. When he was sure Henri was caught up in the action on TV, he rose with the excuse he was going to the bathroom. Snatching Henri's car keys from the small table in the hall, he made his escape, managing to open and close the front door without making any noise.

Rafe gunned Brown's car and drove like a madman to the Stargaze Art Gallery, rescuing Simon Banks the only thought on his mind.



It was nearly ten minutes later when Brown finally realized there was something wrong.

"Bri? Are you okay?"

Getting no answer from his friend, he rose from the couch and went to the bathroom, finding it empty.

"Shit. Rafe?"

A quick search on the whole house produced the same result, and Henri grimaced.

"Man, Captain Banks will have my balls for dinner when he hears about this!"

Suddenly realizing why Rafe had left the safe house, Brown raced to the phone. It didn't take long to get an answer on the other side.


"Blair, it's Henri. Is Jim still at the Gallery?"

"Just left. We're on our way home. Why?"

"Simon disappeared and --"

"Yeah, we know," Blair interrupted, the worry clear even through the phone line. "We heard it on the radio. Any news?"

"Not so far. Listen, Rafe thinks Perry kidnapped him. He's on his way to the Gallery."


"Rafe thinks this is Perry's doing. He knows she usually stays at the Gallery long after closing, so I'm sure he's on his way. You have to stop him!"

"Okay, calm down. We're already on our way back to Stargaze. As soon as we know anything, I'll give you a call."

"Right, thanks."

"Bye, H."

Blair looked at his partner. "Think she'd be that stupid to kidnap Simon?" he asked, as he pocket his cell phone.

"She's desperate to free her lover, it's possible. I haven't heard anything, but it's possible she paid someone to do it long before I began working there. In any case, we have to hurry. If she gets a hold of Rafe, all this will be for nothing."

"We can't let her kill him," Blair stated firmly, and watched as Jim nodded grimly.

Jim stepped on the gas. It was a race against time and he wanted to make sure they won it. For Rafe's sake.



"Where is he?"

Natalie Perry looked up from the bills she had been compiling for payment. She couldn't help blinking in surprise as she recognized her unexpected guest.

"Well, well, well! If it isn't Detective Brian Rafe! To what do I owe the visit?"

The young man glared at her. "Don't play games with me! Where's Simon?" he growled.

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean, Detective. Who's Simon?"

"Captain Simon Banks, he disappeared a few hours ago."

Her eyebrows flew to her hairline. "And you think I had something to do with that?"

"Haven't you?"

"Of course not, Detective. I may be desperate, but not that much. I would never kidnap a police Captain. Too much hassle."

"So you confess that you want me dead?" Rafe challenged angrily.

"Yes. You're a bit of a nuisance, my dear," she replied in a soothing voice. "That other cop... What was his name? Uh, Jonathan Simpson was it? As I was saying, he was a lot easier to kill. But of course, there's always time to rectify the situation. Your coming here was a gift from the heavens. Now I have the perfect opportunity to kill you without leaving any clues behind me."

Before Rafe could utter a word, she pulled a small gun from her pocket.

"It's actually kind of sad, you know? I thought you'd be more of a challenge. But anyway --"

"Wait a minute! Since I'm about to die, I want to know the truth. Who killed Simpson? Eric Tyler?"

Natalie seemed to hesitate, but the need to boast was stronger. She smirked. "Yes. Dear Eric was so easy to manipulate! A few wild parties, some hot sex, drugs, money, and he was mine to do my bidding. I ordered him to kill Simpson, which he did, and then you. We both know how that ended," she grimaced in distaste.

"So you were always in the business with Darrow." It wasn't a question, but she nodded just the same.

"Yes," Natalie purred. "Too bad you never got anything on me, Detective."

"And Simon's disappearance?" Brian asked fearfully.

"I had nothing to do with that, although I am beginning to wish I had. Now, enough talk. I've wasted too much time as it is."

"Fine!" Rafe spat. "You want me dead? Use it!" He nodded towards her gun. "But if you think you'll get away with this, you're mistaken. You really think my friends won't know it was you who killed me?"

Natalie smiled. "Oh, I'm sure they will. But they won't have any proof, will they?"

"We won't need proof, because there will be no murder," a new voice stated.

"Grant?" Perry watched with a stunned expression as Jim Grant and his lover entered in the room, guns in hand.

"It's Ellison, actually. And you're under arrest, Ms. Perry," Jim smirked. "Chief, cuff her and read her her rights."

Blair grinned. "With pleasure."

Jim turned to Rafe. "Brian, what the hell were you thinking?"

"Uh, sorry..."

Rafe looked so chagrined, Jim couldn't stay mad at the younger man. He was just trying to save their Captain and friend, after all. The Sentinel sighed.

"It's okay, Bri. But think before you act next time, okay? If Henri hadn't called...."

Rafe nodded. "Any news on the Captain?"

"Not so far."

Blair joined the other two. "I called Henri and told him he could leave the safe house. Told him we had Perry and that Brian was okay. He said he was going to sleep a few hours, then join the search for Simon."

"Okay. Come on, Rafe, we'll take you home," Jim ushered them out of the Art Gallery.

"But --"

"No buts, Bri. You've been under a lot of pressure, you need to rest. Blair will stay with you until we get anything on Simon."

"Okay," the young man exhaled, admitting defeat. Truth was he was dead on his feet and wouldn't do anything but be in everyone's way like that.

The three men climbed into Jim's truck and drove slowly away into the dark night. At the same time, and throughout the whole city, every cop available worked incessantly to find one of their own, so far with no success. It promised to be a long night in Cascade, Washington.



Brian dropped down on his couch wearily, all strength leaving him at last. He listened as Blair moved around in the kitchen, making them some tea. He wanted some coffee instead, something to keep him awake for hours to come, but knew the caffeine would only make him feel worse. Right now he needed to relax, not get more anxious.

Blair came into the living room with a full tray, which he settled on the coffee table. "Here. I brought us tea and a few sandwiches. No point in waiting on an empty stomach, is there? Come on Bri, eat up."

The food didn't have much appeal, but the tea felt like ambrosia to his parched throat. He sipped his beverage quietly, trying to forget it was nearly four in the morning, and that the chances of Simon being alive were getting thinner and thinner as time moved on.

He suddenly felt Blair's eyes on him and turned to look at his friend. "What?"

"How long have you been in love with him?" Blair asked softly.

"I --" Brian thought about lying, but decided against it. No point either. Blair was like a dog with a bone when he was on to something. "Feels like forever," he replied in a whisper. "Caught me by surprise, actually. First I thought it was hero-worship, you know? He's a damn good cop. Then we became good friends, and then..."

"Then you realized it wasn't hero-worship after all, but love."


"When he gets back, tell him."

"What? Are you crazy, Blair? He'd have my head on a..."

"No, he wouldn't," Blair interjected. "He feels the same way."

"I know, but --"

"Brian, long before I was a cop, I was a trained observer. He loves you too, he's just afraid of getting hurt again. He needs a little push. You want to spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been?"

"No," Brian began, but a huge yawn caught him off guard. Suddenly, he couldn't keep his eyes open, his whole body felt like a dead weight. "What --?"

"Sorry, Bri. There was no way I could keep watching you driving yourself mad. I put a little something in the tea. A few hours sleep will do you good, we can talk when you wake up."

He wanted to protest, to shout that it wasn't fair, but his body and mind decided to shut down on him. Rafe heard Blair grunt with the effort of lifting him up and carrying him to his bed. He felt Blair take his clothes off, tuck him in, and then there was only blessed oblivion.



Hours later Brian was dozing when he felt the bed move and a warm, gentle hand caress his cheek. Thinking it was Blair making sure he was all right, he yawned gently, his head turning towards the tender touch. His breath caught as dark eyes met his hazel ones.

"Simon," he whispered, his mind unable to come up with anything else.

"Hey, Brian."

"What -- Where -- Uh, I mean, what happened to you Captain?" Rafe stammered, stunned at the use of his first name, and the fact that his superior was stretched out on the bed beside him.

The black man grimaced. "I was caught like a rookie, that's what happened! I decided to buy us something for dinner and was in this convenience store, when four punks decided to rob the place. Before I had a chance to do anything, they took me as hostage and along for a ride."

"Are you okay?"

"Yes. They tried to rob a gas station next, but some uniforms managed to ruin their plans. Two perps are dead, another is badly injured, only one got away unhurt. One of the cops recognized me, said half of Cascade was looking for me."

Rafe nodded. "I... Uh, I'm glad you're okay." He unconsciously echoed the words Simon said to him just the night before.

Simon smiled. "Thanks. And what's this I hear about you leaving the safe house and storming Stargaze looking for me?"

Rafe felt his cheeks flushing with embarrassment. "Well, you see..."

The older man chuckled. "Wanted to be my knight in shining armor and come to the rescue, is that it?"

Understanding Simon wasn't mad at his folly, Rafe smiled and nodded softly. "Something like that. All I could think was Perry'd kidnapped you and I had to get there before she killed you. I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking too clearly."

"No, you weren't. But I understand why you did it," Simon sighed. "Brian, I think you should know I had a long talk with Blair when I got here. He can be very..."

"Pushy?" Rafe suggested, when it seemed Simon couldn't find the right word.

Simon chuckled. "Yeah, pushy. He told me to stop being an ass, that the love I'd stopped searching for was right under my nose, that I should stop wasting time, because life was too short. Told me I had to make a decision and stick to it. Then he snorted and muttered something that sounded like, 'Men!'" The black man chortled, enjoying the way Brian smiled at his Sandburg imitation.

"And what did you decide?" Rafe asked quietly.

"You know, when things fell apart with Joan, I replaced love with sex, one-nights stands, because I couldn't bear to be hurt again. I want to give it a try, Bri, that's my decision. I trust you not to hurt me. But I'd made up my mind before my...uh, talk with Sandburg."


"Yeah. All I could think about when those morons had me was you. How you'd feel if they killed me, what could've happened if I hadn't been such a coward. What it might've been like between us. Think it's worth a try, Bri?"

"Yes, " Rafe breathed. "Oh, yes..."

"Good," Simon smiled, lifting Brian's chin and leaning down slowly to brush his lips gently against Brian's moist ones, both men shuddering at the inflaming touch.

The passion took over their bodies and Brian moaned softly, his mouth opening invitingly to Simon's daring tongue. They kissed avidly, tongues dueling sensually, exploring and discovering together. When the need for air became too strong they parted, panting hard, and Simon stood up on shaky legs.

The older man quickly removed his shirt and trousers, watching his young lover's hungry gaze as he slid out of his pants. Finally he threw the covers away and climbed back into the bed to envelope Brian into a loving embrace. He lay atop the younger man, propped up on his elbows and gazing into soul-deep hazel eyes.

"I love you, Bri," and it felt so good to say it aloud.

"I love you too, Simon."

Rafe began to explore the bigger body above him, running his hands down the older man's flanks, his fingers moving lightly down the strong, muscled chest, stopping to play and rub pebbled nipples before sliding down the firm stomach. He was treading lower when his wrists were caught up in a gentle grip.

"Let me give you this, Brian."

Rafe nodded and sank back into the pillows. He got another brush of satin lips against his mouth as a reward for his capitulation.

Simon began exploring the flat planes of the body laid down for his pleasure on the soft bed, using his lips, fingers and tongue, going down the beautiful form trembling helplessly, hands clutching weakly at the sheets due to his ministrations. He sucked an earlobe between his lips, nibbled hard nipples, his moist tongue soothing the bite, fingers brushing feather-like against pecs, abs, the smooth stomach, down to the silky hair of his lover's groin.

Brian gasped, nearly jumping off the bed as a warm mouth suddenly engulfed his thick shaft. Simon began a slow sucking motion, running his tongue around the head slowly, probing the tiny slit and teasing the younger man playfully. One of his big hands pumped the base, while the other played with the furry sac below. He increased his pace, sucking harder, his hands more insistent, and at the same time holding the young man's hips firmly with his own body, allowing him only the slightest of movements.

He finally allowed Brian to thrust into his mouth, knowing he wouldn't last much longer by the frantic way of his lover's thrusts. Simon's now free hands traveled up Rafe's muscled calves and thighs, caressing and soothing him, enjoying the way the young man massaged his scalp in return. Then, in a sudden move Simon deep-throated the hard erection and watched as Rafe threw his head back and groaned loudly, his body bucking one last time before coming with a shout into the hot mouth surrounding him.

Simon continued to suck his lover's cock until he'd swallowed the last drop. Then, giving the now flaccid cock a last goodbye kiss, he released it tenderly.

Still breathless from his soul-shattering orgasm, Brian looked into his lover's warm eyes. "Take me," he whispered softly, a loving, happy smile lighting up his face.

Simon smiled back, then stood up. He went swiftly to the bathroom looking for something they could use and returned with some kind of oily lotion. He wasn't about to stop and check the contents.

He slid between his partner's wantonly parted legs, growling as Brian drew his knees up to allow him better access to his hidden hole. Opening the lotion container Simon dipped a finger in, then with the most tender of touches, he reached slowly forward and brought it to the puckered opening of Rafe's ass. The finger slid easily into his lover, and he moved it gently around to stretch the passage gently and arouse the young man.

Another finger joined the first one, then a third digit, as Brian gasped and writhed in ecstasy. Coating his own straining erection took only a second, and finally Simon was ready to make love to the delicious body of his young lover. Lifting his lover's legs over his shoulders he placed the tip of his erection at the entrance of the tight ring of muscle. He slid forward gently, Rafe pushing back, until Simon was completely engulfed in his lover, both of them moaning at the pleasure the connection provided.

Leaning forward to capture the alluring mouth, Simon kissed his lover passionately as he began to rock, deep, long strokes into the tightness of Rafe's body, their thrusts increasing speed as the kiss escalated between them. The need was too strong and both knew they wouldn't last very long. Simon felt his control slip as he began thrusting harder and faster, unable to stop but feeling Brian rising up to meet him stroke by stroke.

"Oh God, Oh God," Brian moaned, thrusting back as fiercely as he could, knowing he was about to come a second time that night.

Simon could feel his balls tightening up, he knew he was as close as his lover. He gripped his lover's renewed erection with his lotion coated hand and began to pump in time to their frantic rhythm. With a wordless shout Brian climaxed, his seed covering Simon's hand and both their bodies. Feeling Brian's channel muscles contracting around his cock broke the last of his control and finally Simon let go, thrusting one last time and shouting Brian's name, he came deeply inside his lover's body.

Unable to hold back he collapsed on the smaller man, trying to catch his breath, certain Rafe would catch him safely in his arms. When he finally felt he had the strength to move, Simon rolled on his side, moving his lover along with him, and entwining their bodies together as much as was humanly possible.

Feeling the body in his embrace lose the battle with sleep, Simon whispered, "Brian?"

"Uh?" came the sleepy mumble.

"Thank you for loving me."



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