crossover between the movie Speed and The Sentinel "Switchman"
Author's notes: A huge thank you to Patt, Mary,
Amy, Lisa and the MME crew for all the wonderful moments shared. Thanks to
DarkCherry, Sherri and Sue for beta'ing this story.
"Want to tell me what we're doing here?" Joel Taggert asked as they
rushed through the office building's main entrance.
email from the Switchman," Jim replied with a grimace. "An elevator is
wired and there are thirteen people inside, below floor thirty. The first
explosion blew the cables; they're stuck between floors. The second will
blow the emergency breaks. I still can't believe I let this creep escape
at the lumber mill!" he growled angrily.
He was still having a hard
time dealing with the bomber's escape, knowing that it was his fault.
There was something wrong with him, and other people were going to pay the
price, maybe with their lives. If he had caught the bastard, those people
would never be in that situation.
And what was worse, he was no
closer to finding out what was wrong; the test results he'd done days
earlier with Doctor McCoy had turned out negative. As far as medicine was
concerned, he was one hundred percent healthy and sane, although he was
starting to doubt it.
"It wasn't your fault, Jim. This one's
dangerous. Cunning too. You were not the only cop on that
"I guess," Jim grunted. "Got
"Then let's go."
"There's no way
of unloading the passengers without setting off the second bomb?" Joel
asked as they began climbing the stairs.
"No. It's an express
elevator; the only way in is through the access panels. The bastard rigged
the elevator doors and the hatch as well. He's crazy, not stupid," Jim
said, never slowing down.
"God, why can't these things ever happen
on the lower floors?" Joel bemoaned as they finally reached the thirtieth
floor. "I hate stairs."
"You chose the wrong profession then,
Joel," Jim grinned. "Come on, let's get the panels off and check the shaft
for booby traps." A few minutes later they were down the elevator shaft
looking down at a homemade bomb. "Can you deactivate it?"
one, yeah," Joel replied. "But the one wired to the breaks... It'll be
impossible to reach it."
"Don't worry about it. Simon's taking care
of the building's evacuation. Taking these people out of here will get us
ahead of this nutcase for the first time in seven months. Too many people
have died already."
"Right," Joel began to inspect the bomb,
ignoring the sheen of sweat suddenly covering his body. "Remind me again
why I took this job?"
Jim chuckled, "Are you kidding? Another
fifteen years of this and you'll get a lousy pension and a gold watch.
It's every cop's dream."
"Oh, yeah," Joel breathed. "I'd forgotten
about the watch. Always wanted one. Got it! Let's get these people out of
here before the second bomb goes off."
Jim opened the hatch on the
elevator's ceiling, smiling down at the frightened people inside. "Good
morning, ladies and gentlemen. Cascade PD, I'm Detective James Ellison.
The elevator had a... uh, small mechanical problem, so we have to get you
out of here. Ladies first," he said, reaching for the closest woman. "Give
me your hand."
One by one, they got the passengers out and rushed
them to the stairs. They had reached the lobby when the second bomb
exploded. Seconds later everyone held their breaths as they heard a loud
bang and the terrifying sound of twisting metal. The elevator had reached
its final destination.
"...In a daring rescue, Detective James Ellison, the lead investigator
in the Switchman case, and bomb expert Joel Taggert, were able to save the
lives of the thirteen passengers trapped in the Rayburn Tower's elevator.
This is the Switchman's eighth target in seven months. Among others, he's
responsible for the Snohomish Bridge and the Puget Sound ferry bombings,
causing eight dead and twenty-one injured..."
She muted the TV, her
eyes following Ellison on the screen as the man spoke to a few of the
passengers rescued from the elevator. "You may have won this time,
Ellison," she whispered, "but you haven't won the war. Vengeance is mine."
Jim sipped his coffee leisurely, allowing his brain to slowly come
awake. He had spent half of the night with Joel, going through the bomb's
debris in hopes of finding something that would lead them to the
Switchman. They had gotten nowhere, although they now knew more about the
He was just thankful that whatever had been ailing
him was apparently gone. He hadn't had any strange visions or smelled any
weird scents in days. Maybe it was finally over.
"Hey, Jim! Saw you
on TV yesterday. About time you guys pulled the rug from under that
creep!" a voice said cheerfully from beside him.
Jim grinned at the
man. Bob Kowalski was a bus driver who every morning before going to work,
had his cup of 'caffeine' at the coffee shop on Prospect. Ever since
joining the Cascade PD, and whenever he had the time, Jim would join him
and make small talk before going to the station.
"Yeah. Can't say
we're any closer to catching him, though."
"You will," Bob assured.
"You're a good cop. Well, gotta go. People to see, places to drive," he
grinned, patting Jim's back before leaving the counter.
good day, Bob."
"You too, Jim. You too."
Glancing at his
watch and seeing he was already late, Jim downed the rest of his coffee
and rushed out. He watched Bob hop into his bus and take off, then walked
over to his truck. He was opening the driver's door when a loud explosion
from behind him nearly knocked him off his feet.
seeing the bus carcass burning, the twisted metal and flaming plastic
making a terrifying picture. For a long moment, he was unable to hear the
car alarms wailing all around him, or the people running and screaming.
All he could see was the burning bus still moving on the
"No!" He ran towards the bus, knowing it was useless, but
unable to stop himself. He couldn't get close enough due to the flames and
the intense heat, but he already knew the truth; there was nothing to do,
nobody to save.
His cell phone rang, bringing him out of his
stupor. "Yeah?" he answered, half dazed still.
beautiful?" a female voice purred from the other end. "The flames, the
bright colors... There's nothing quite like fire in the world. Wild,
dangerous, irresistible. You really think you could walk away after
ruining my plans, Ellison?"
"Switchman?" he whispered, his shock
fading as he realized who he was speaking to. "Why are you doing this? Why
The woman laughed. "You destroyed my life; took away the only
precious thing in it. I won't rest until I've destroyed you as well, until
the whole world knows who James Ellison really is. You owe me and I will
collect what is my due. Let's play a game for starters, shall
Jim felt his blood run cold. "Game?" he echoed, heart
contracting painfully in his chest.
"There's a bomb on a bus. Once
the bus hits fifty miles an hour the bomb is armed. If the bus drops below
fifty, it blows up."
"What bus?" he nearly yelled into the
She laughed again at the urgency in his voice. "You really
think I'd tell you that?"
"Yes. That's why you called," he gritted
out, knowing she was taunting him and willing to take the challenge
"Very good, Ellison, you're learning. Let's make this
harder for you. There are a few rules to follow; no one gets off the bus.
If you try to take any of the passengers off, I will detonate it. Let's
see how good you really are at saving people now."
"Don't do this,
please!" he pleaded with her. "If it's me you want --"
Ellison! The clock is ticking for those people. Now, are you still
listening? If you try to call the bus, you'll find the radio is down. It's
bus 2525, running downtown on the way to Rainier. It's at the corner of
Chelsea and Waverly. Should be heading onto the freeway right about...
Now!" she said, hanging up.
Jim didn't waste any more time. He
jumped into his truck and drove away with a squeal of tires. The lives of
the passengers on that bus depended on him. He was not going to fail them.
Blair rushed towards the bus stop knowing he was already late. His
Corvair was in the shop again, so the bus was the only way of getting to
Rainier on time. He reached the stop just as the bus was pulling
"No! Sam! Sam! Stop! Hey, Sam!" he shouted as he ran
alongside it. "Sam! Wait up, man!"
His efforts paid off because the
bus finally stopped and the doors opened to allow him in. "Does this look
like a bus stop to you?" the black man behind the wheel
"Come on, Sam, I've been shouting my head off since the
stop! You're way cool, man. Thanks for stopping."
"Well, just thank
your stars. I wouldn't stop for just anyone. The classic's in the shop
again?" Sam grinned.
"Hey, man, don't knock it 'til you've tried
it. You just don't know your way around cars."
The other chuckled,
"Right. That's why I have to put up with you about three times a
"It's not that bad, man. It isn't!" Blair insisted when a
few of the regular passengers rolled their eyes.
He sat down by the
window, ignoring the boring chat of the tourist behind him as he watched
the busy freeway. An accident had blocked the three right lanes, forcing
most of the vehicles to stop and the drivers didn't look happy. He saw a
truck suddenly stop in the middle of the mess, and a man getting out. He
gasped as the man ran beside the slowly moving bus shouting, "Stop! Stop
the bus!" and banging on the doors hard enough to crack the glass. The man
seemed to be saying something else, but with all the horns blasting around
them it was impossible to hear.
"This isn't a bus stop, mister!"
Sam shouted, refusing to stop.
The traffic cleared out
suddenly and Sam drove away, leaving the man waving frantically behind.
Blair stood watching him for the longest time, feeling something strange
settling over him. Somehow he had the premonition he was going to see the
blue-eyed man again.
"Fuck!" Jim shouted as the bus drove off.
He had tried to get
the driver to stop, but the man had obviously thought he was a nut. Not
that he could blame him, that definitely hadn't been the best approach. He
looked towards his truck, which was still caught between a few
Grabbing his shield, he stepped in front of the first
vehicle driving by, "Stop! Cascade PD, get out of the car!"
man! This is my car, I just bought it. I am *not* going to give it to just
anyone who asks for it!"
"I don't have time for this!" Jim growled,
aiming his gun at the annoying man. "Move over!"
"Shit!" the man
shouted, crawling into the passenger seat. "Are you nuts?! You scratch
this puppy, and me and you are gonna have words, you
"Whatever," Jim retorted, getting behind the wheel and
chasing after the bus.
He sped through the traffic, weaving
through as fast as he dared, ignoring the frightened mutters of the man
beside him. He couldn't stop, he couldn't slow down, he had to save those
people. It was a race against time.
Jim finally managed to
reach the bus, driving side by side with the larger vehicle, pressing the
horn a few times to get the driver's attention. His desperation
skyrocketed as he realized they were going over fifty miles an hour. There
was no way out now, the bomb was armed.
"Hey! I'm a cop!" he
shouted to the driver.
"What?" the driver shouted back.
a cop. Cascade PD," he repeated, flashing his badge. "There's a bomb on
"What? I can't hear you!"
"Damn, this isn't
working!" he shouted, frustrated. "You have a pen and paper I can use?" he
asked the car's owner.
"Yeah, give me a sec. Here. What do you want
me to write?"
"'Bomb on bus'. Hurry!"
"Geez, I can't
believe this is happening!" the man moaned as he wrote the words as large
as he could make them. "Done. Now what?"
"Show him the paper," Jim
ordered, watching as the man rose in his seat and held the paper high in
the air. He only hoped the driver understood this time.
BOMB ON BUS.
Blair blinked as he read the words over and
over again, only the frightened gasps from the passengers around him
convincing him he wasn't dreaming. So that was what the man had been
trying to tell them before, they had a bomb on the bus. A
"Oh, God!" he whispered, his heart hammering in his chest at
the idea. Before he even knew what he was doing, he rose from his seat and
joined Sam. "What now?" he asked, trying to control his fear.
going to stop the bus. He's a cop, he can do something to disarm it," Sam
replied, his foot already easing from the gas pedal.
from the horn made Blair look back at the car beside them, "No! Don't slow
down!" he heard the man shouting as he waved frantically. "Keep it up!
Speed up!" He watched as the cop drove the car effortlessly to pass in
front of them, then back alongside them, only now on their right side.
"Open the doors!"
"Open the doors, Sam," he repeated, rushing to
the bus's entrance when he was obeyed. "What's up, officer?"
him to stay above fifty."
"Do it, Sam," Blair said, turning to the
He saw the cop hand a cell phone to the man beside
him. "Press four and ask for Captain Banks."
"Simon, it's Jim."
"Ellison, where the hell have
you been? I'm up to my neck --"
"Simon, we have a problem," Jim
interjected. "The Switchman blew a bus on Prospect this
"Yes, I know. That's why I've been looking everywhere for
you. I've --"
"That's not all, sir. There's another bus wired to
blow. And the Switchman is a woman. She called right after the bus
exploded. Said she wants to destroy me. Have someone look into my old
files. She said I took something precious from her; I'm guessing she meant
someone. Someone close, if she's this set on revenge."
call Joel. We'll be here waiting for news. If you need anything,
"As soon as I can, Simon. I have to go now."
"I've got to get on that bus," Jim said, more to himself than to his
"You're going to get yourself killed,
"I have no choice," he replied. Then to the young man by the
doors, "Tell him to drive straight. Keep in this lane."
Jim stepped on the gas, getting ahead of the bus. "What's your
name?" he asked the man beside him.
"Well, Tom, are you insured?"
"Yeah. Why? What
are you doing?" Tom asked as Jim opened the driver's door, swinging it
wide. "No!" he yelled as Jim suddenly slammed on the breaks. The bus
rushed by them, smashing into the door and ripping it off. "My puppy!" he
"Grab the wheel," Jim ordered the distressed
"Take the wheel," he repeated as he
drove the car alongside the bus's doors again. He moved to the edge of the
seat as Tom scrambled to get into it. He stretched his body to jump, just
as the bus hit a lump on the road and moved away. "Shit!" His hands
grabbed the bottom of the handrail at the front of the bus, feet dragging
over the pavement as he held on for dear life. He heard Tom press the horn
as he moved away, then pulled himself onto the bus steps with the young
"Are you okay?" his rescuer asked, smoky blue eyes
regarding him with concern.
"Yeah," he replied as he rose stiffly.
"You have to stay above fifty," he said to the driver.
but are you out of your mind?" the young man asked, confusion clear in his
Jim turned to the passengers, figuring he had to say
something to explain his actions. "Everybody, I'm Detective Jim Ellison,
Cascade PD," he began, flashing his badge again. "We have a... uh, slight
situation here. Please sit down," he said to the kid.
completely ignored. "Slight situation? We all saw the note. A bomb is *so*
not a slight situation, man. What's going on?"
"Sit down! Please,"
he added, lowering his voice. "Everyone, just stay in your seats and
remain calm. We should be able to defuse the problem."
man snorted, "You mean the bomb."
Before Jim could utter another
word, a passenger in the back rose abruptly, gun aimed at him. "Stay away
from me, pig!" he shouted, sweat running over his face.
out his gun and aimed it at the scared man in front of him. "I don't know
you, I'm not here for you. Let's not do this," he half-begged. "Put the
The other man looked past him to the driver. "Stop the
"He can't," Jim told him softly.
"Shut up! Stop the
bus! Stop it!"
"Look! Listen! I'm putting my gun away, okay?" Jim
said soothingly, raising his hands in an armless gesture. He put his gun
back in the holster, eyes never leaving the other man. "Now listen. I
don't care what you did, that's not why I'm here. I'm not here as a cop, I
just want... No!" he growled as one of the passengers suddenly jumped the
He rushed forward as the two men fought for the gun's
possession, but before he could reach them a shot went off. He watched
helplessly as the driver's partition shattered. The driver lurched to one
side, hit in the back, the bus swerving sickeningly as the man slumped
Not wanting to waste any more time, Jim punched the man
twice, disarming him. When he looked back to the driver's seat, the young
man was frantically trying to control the wheel, while another female
passenger was unsuccessfully wrestling the injured driver out of the
"Get your foot off the pedal, Sam!" he heard the young
man beg as he was cuffing the man to the seat. "I have to stop this
"No! Stay above fifty!"
"Sam's hurt! We have to get
him out of here!" the kid shouted at him.
"Slow down and this
bus will explode!" he shouted back, receiving only tense silence. Two of
the passengers had taken the driver off the seat and the kid was now
driving the bus. Jim approached slowly, speaking loud enough for everyone
to hear, "You saw the note. There's a bomb on this bus. If we slow down,
it'll blow. If someone tries to get off, it'll blow."
b-bleeding so much," a woman stammered as he went to look at the injured
man. "I don't know what to do."
Jim took off his jacket. "Put
pressure on his back and keep his legs up. Put this under his head," he
told her, giving her the jacket. "Can you handle this bus?" he asked when
he reached the driver's seat.
"Yeah, I guess. What are we going to
do? You have a plan?"
"Just keep us above fifty. We're doing okay
"That's your plan?" the young man asked, startled.
"Great! We're screwed!"
Jim ignored him and grabbed his phone,
dialing for Simon. "Simon, I'm on the bus," he said as soon as the captain
"Jim, I have Joel here with me, he's getting ready to
join you there. What do you need?"
"I don't know the first thing
about bombs, I need him to tell me what to do."
"Do you know where
the bomb is located?"
Jim remained silent for a moment. In all the
confusion following his unorthodox arrival in the bus, he'd forgotten to
search for the device. His hearing suddenly picked up the kind of ticking
he associated with a bomb, along with the strong smell of the products the
Switchman used to make her bombs. He tilted his head instinctively,
searching for their source. He was beginning to feel disconnected with the
world around him, when a hand touched his shoulder
"Are you okay?" he heard.
His skin tingled at
the contact, even through the layers of clothes he was wearing, and he was
brought back from his daze. He looked into the blue eyes taking a peak at
him, and smiled slightly, "Yeah, I'm okay, Chief. Simon, the bomb is under
"Joel says you have to check the bomb so he'll know how
to deactivate it."
"I hate to state the obvious here, but I can't.
The bus is kind of in motion."
"Excuse me!" a female voice called
from behind him.
"Yes?" he turned to the woman tending to Sam,
Helen; he'd heard someone calling her.
"Sam says there's an access
panel on the floor, there, at the center of the bus. You can go through
Jim nodded, smiling his thanks at the injured man. "Thank
you, Sam. Hold on, Simon," he said into the phone.
He moved over to
the panel, unscrewing it and moving it aside. He held his breath as the
pavement rushed beneath him as they sped along the freeway. He gave his
cell phone to the guy who had jumped the armed man earlier.
your name, sir?"
"Okay, Ortiz. I need you to hold
my phone for me, and repeat what I tell you." He waited until the man
nodded before sticking his head through the opening.
next few minutes he gave Ortiz a description of the bomb, listening as he
spoke into the phone and then giving him Joel's instructions. Basically,
with all the triggers, traps and C4, it would be impossible for him to
defuse the bomb without setting it off. It didn't look good.
my God!" he heard the kid whisper, panic clear in his voice.
Jim rushed to the front of the bus, gasping as he saw
a domino tide of red lights in front of them. Traffic was jamming again,
and they had little place left to go before stopping
"No!" he muttered, refusing to give up. "Get on
the shoulder," he ordered.
The young man nodded, veering onto the
right shoulder, blasting past the slowing traffic. About a half mile ahead
they saw an exit sign. "Stay on or get off?" the kid asked. "On or off?"
he shouted when Jim didn't answer immediately.
"Off! Hurry!" Jim
watched as the kid steered off the freeway at the last second, onto the
single lane ramp. "Hold on!" he shouted to the passengers, realizing it
was a tight curb. The bus jumped the curb, taking out roadway signs,
reflectors and mirrors from the cars waiting on the lane. "Keep
"The light's red! We're talking cross traffic here, man!"
the kid panted as he fought with the wheel, hesitating over the
"Don't!" Jim moved closer, stepping on the gas pedal,
causing them to rocket through the intersection. He held his breath as
cars fishtailed around them, nearly colliding with the bus. A collective
sigh was heard from inside the bus and Jim couldn't help grinning at the
young man beside him. They had done it. They were safe, at least for the
moment. "Good job, kid."
"Thanks. You realize what we've done,
don't you? We left the freeway; we're back in the city. It'll be harder to
stay on fifty here."
Jim squeezed a tense shoulder. "One thing at a
time, Chief. We're okay for now," he said softly. "That was some
"Yeah, well, I spent a summer driving a rig
with an uncle. It's not the same, but it helps," the young man
"Detective?" Jim turned to see Ortiz still holding
his cell phone. "Your captain wants to speak with you."
"Jim, what's going on?"
"We were forced to leave the
freeway, we're in the city. There was a traffic jam, there was no other
"Okay. Listen, Joel is on a chopper on the way to you. We'll
try to clear the roads for you and get you out of this mess. In the
meantime, I have every available cop looking through your files. It's
going to take some time, Jim. We're talking all the cases from your time
in Vice and Major Crime."
"I know, but keep trying. At least now we
know it's a woman. We have to get this nut before more people die,
"I'll keep you posted. As soon as I can, I'll join
"Everything okay?" the kid
asked once he hung up.
"Yes." He smiled gently at the concerned
blue eyes looking up at him. "It's going to be okay, Chief," he promised,
glad when the kid nodded.
Blair shook his head at his reaction to the man beside him. He didn't
care if the man was a cop; they had a bomb on the bus, they had to keep
going on fifty, they were in the middle of Cascade in rush hour, and there
seemed to be no hope for their situation. And yet... he truly believed
they were going to be okay. All because the blue-eyed man standing with
his hand on his shoulder said so. He had to be out of his mind.
tried to concentrate on driving instead of focusing on the cop. Something
about Ellison made him pay attention in a way he had never done before. He
was a ladies man, always had been. But it was impossible not to notice the
man's powerful body and handsome face. It was upsetting, the way he found
himself gazing at the man at the oddest of times.
He saw a
few black and whites trying to clear their way, ordering the cars away
from their path, and felt himself relax for the first time since reading
the note about the bomb. Maybe it *was* going to be okay.
had enough time to finish that thought when he saw a school bus full of
kids back out in front of the bus. "No!" he pulled the wheel hard left,
swerving the bus onto the oncoming traffic. "Oh, God! I'm sorry,
"It's okay, you're doing fine," Jim told him, as Blair
dodged the vehicles coming their way, escaping with bumping just a
A red light forced Blair to turn right, changing directions
again to avoid stopping. His heart stopped beating for a painful moment as
he suddenly saw a woman stepping out from behind a parked van with a baby
carriage. He felt a sob catch in his throat as he realized there was
nothing he could do; the bus smashed right into the baby carriage, sending
it flying through the air as the woman jumped back.
please..." he whispered brokenly, shock settling over him at the thought
of killing an innocent baby.
He didn't see Jim look back and
grin happily as he watched the carriage hit the road and a hundred cans
exploding out of it. But he felt the hand squeeze his shoulder, and the
gentle voice in his ear, "Look in the side view mirror,
Heart hammering in his chest he obeyed, his breath rushing
out of him as he saw the cans rolling all over the pavement. "Thank
"There was no baby, Chief. It's okay. I --" The phone rang
abruptly, cutting off whatever Jim was going to say to him, and Blair
listened to the one-sided conversation as best as he could. "Simon, give
me good news. Okay, that's good. You sure there's no traffic? That's
great. Right, thanks." Jim closed the phone and turned to him, "We have a
couple of patrol cars waiting on the next block. They're going to take us
to a freeway. It's under construction, so there will be no traffic to slow
"Oh, God... Yes!" Blair breathed, nearly slumping over
the wheel in relief. After the scare with the baby carriage, he was ready
for a little break. They made it to the freeway entrance. It was a tight
fit, and the bus leaned to one side, wheels lifting off the ground for a
few seconds, but they made it. "Shit! I'm never going to take the bus
again. I don't care if I have to walk to Rainier."
student?" Jim asked, and Blair smiled as he realized the man was trying to
calm him down a little.
"Yeah. And a TA. Anthropology. Actually,
our two professions have a lot in common. Really!" he assured, when Jim
gave him a doubtful look. "Part of your job is walking into a place and
trying to figure out what happened there, right? Well, so is mine. It's
just that mine are usually a few thousand years vacant," he grinned,
pleased when Ellison smiled back.
"What's your field of study?" Jim
asked him as he watched the road ahead.
"Oh, man, don't get me started! Let's just say that a
sentinel was someone that patrolled the borders in the old tribes, like a
watchman, you know? The sentinel would watch for approaching enemies,
change in the weather, movement of game. Tribe survival depended on it.
They were chosen because of a genetic advantage. A sensory awareness that
could be developed beyond normal humans, usually by spending time alone in
"And you think these people really exist?" Jim
asked, giving him a look Blair couldn't quite understand.
been trying to find the real thing for years, someone with five heightened
senses. I haven't had any luck so far, but I know that someone's out
there. And to answer your question, yes, I do believe sentinels are real.
I mean, there are certain manifestations today of maybe one or two
hyperactive senses, like taste and smell, people who work for coffee and
perfume companies. Oh, and in Vietnam, the Army long-range recon units
that had to --"
"Change their diet to fish and rice because a Cong
scout could smell a Westerner by his waste," Jim finished for him, his
voice sounding a little off.
"Right. I've got hundreds and hundreds
of documented cases of one or two hyperactive senses but not one single
subject with all five. But he's out there somewhere, I just know it. Hey,
man, you okay?" he asked, not liking how pale Ellison looked at the
"I'm fine. What's your name?"
"Nice to meet you, Blair," Jim grinned, and Blair
couldn't help but chuckle.
"Well, man, don't take this the wrong
way, but I wish we could've met under different circumstances. This isn't
like a typical day for you, is it?" he asked, but Jim just grinned at him.
"Never mind. I don't think I want to know," he mumbled, feeling like
sticking his tongue out at Jim's overly amused gaze.
smiled at each other for a moment, then Blair looked back to the road with
an embarrassed flush. Obvious much? He thought ruefully to himself. "So,
why is this all happening, Jim? Did we bomb this guy's country or
"It's a woman, and it's my fault."
did you do? Stand her up? Hell hath no fury and all that?"
heard of the Switchman?"
Blair sucked in a startled breath. "This
was done by the Switchman? Oh, man! Now I remember where I've seen you
before; you're the cop in charge of the investigation. But why is she
"Revenge. We still don't know who she is, so I can't
tell you much. But she's definitely out to get me. My captain is trying to
search through my files, trying to find a link between this woman and my
old cases. This is all a game to her; a cat and mouse play to see which
one of us will win. If this bus blows, she'll win."
"And if you
Jim sighed. "Unfortunately, the way things are going now,
tomorrow we'll play another game. Until we know who she is and where she
is, we can't win. Not completely anyway."
"What's that?" Blair asked suddenly.
Jim turned, seeing what
looked like a flatbed truck, several SWAT men on top. "Joel Taggert. He's
our bomb expert," Jim replied, before moving to the bus's steps. "Hey,
Joel. What's up?"
"Let's start unloading the
Jim shook his head. "Can't. She told me if we tried,
the bus would blow." He pointed to the news choppers hovering above them.
"And I bet she's watching. Crazy, not stupid, remember?" His cell phone
rang again. "Simon?"
"No. It's me," the female voice he identified
as the Switchman drawled. "You're not going to be a bad boy and try to get
the passengers out like it looks on TV, are you? I warned you what would
Jim gritted his teeth, trying to control his
anger. "No, I'm not. But you have to let me get one out."
have to do anything!" she snapped.
"Please... The driver's been
shot; he's in bad shape. You wouldn't want to spoil the game just yet,
would you? Let him go, the others stay, I
"Please?" he pleaded.
you begging?" she asked in mock surprise.
"Yes, damnit! I'm
begging! You'll still have a bus full of people to kill, one less won't
make the least bit difference. Please --"
She sighed happily.
"Never thought I'd hear the great, stoic Jim Ellison beg. Oh, all right,
you can try to unload the driver. Tell the little wolf behind the wheel
not to slow down, or else..." she purred before hanging up.
Jim rushed to the passengers. "We're going to get Sam out. Just him for
now, but it looks good. Ortiz, I'm going to need your help."
about the rest of us?" Helen asked, nervously.
everything we can, Helen. Don't give up on me now, okay?" He moved to the
steps. "Joel, she's letting us unload the driver. Pull up alongside
"Ortiz, grab his arms. Carefully, so it doesn't
hurt him more." He grabbed Sam's legs. "A few more minutes and you'll be
in a cozy hospital bed, Sam."
"Thank you," the man nodded
They lifted him up gently, walking him slowly to the
opened door. Joel had the truck right beside them; two men ready to grab
the injured man as soon as he was within reach. Jim stood on the bottom
step, inching as close as he could, allowing the SWAT men to hold Sam and
push him over to them.
Once the exchange was made, Jim sighed in
relief and moved back inside the bus. "I think he's going to be
"Wait!" Helen shouted, leaping out of her seat and rushing to
the door, panic etched on her face.
"No!" Jim tried to reach
for her, but he was too late.
As Helen extended her hand to one of
the SWAT guys, Jim heard a soft click and the bus's front steps exploded,
knocking him back into Blair, and causing the bus to swerve dangerously.
He watched in sickening fascination as Helen fell onto the pavement,
already dead from the blast.
A desperate silence settled over the
bus as Jim sat on the floor at Blair's feet, staring at the hole where the
steps had been. Failure fell heavily upon his shoulders. He had lost
another precious life. Each single one weighed upon him, making him
responsible even if it wasn't his fault. He had to catch that woman. He
just had to.
He dialed Simon's number. "Simon, get the
choppers out of here," he demanded flatly.
"Joel told me what
happened. Are you okay?"
"No. This is... this can't be happening,
Simon. I can't take responsibility for all of these lives, it's not fair.
What if... What if I can't save them?" he whispered brokenly before
He felt a hand rubbing his shoulder gently. "I trust
you," he heard, raising his head to look into Blair's too-bright
"Are you okay, Chief?"
Blair sniffed slightly. "No,"
echoing Jim's own answer.
Jim knelt beside him, hand unconsciously
carding through the long, curly locks. "What's wrong?"
man took a deep breath, "When the bomb went off..." he shook his head, a
lost look crossing over the expressive face. "When it blew, I thought that
was it, we were all going to die. And when I saw Helen
"You were glad you were still alive," Jim
Blair nodded shakily. "Yes. God, I'm sorry! I don't
"Shhh, it's okay. You are allowed to feel glad, Chief. We all
are, I know I am. It doesn't mean you didn't care about Helen, or that you
won't hurt for her. It just makes you human."
Blair smiled at him,
a weak but genuine smile. "So, did you take psych 101 or what?"
grinned. "Nah, just used to handling hysterical people," he chuckled at
Blair's mock punch.
"You're an asshole, Ellison." Jim noticed he
looked better, calmer. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. We should be okay
for a while, so take it easy. We haven't lost yet." He rose to his feet,
then looked at the bruised, dazed passengers. "Everybody okay?" he asked,
receiving a weak chorus of 'yeahs'. "Good."
His sight seemed
to reach out on its own volition and he thought back to his conversation
with Blair about sentinels. Amazing how after days of agonizing about what
was wrong with him, a chance meeting would allow him to learn the truth.
He was a God-damn sentinel. Could life get any weirder?
down at the young man driving the bus. He took his time gazing at the
handsome face, the smoky blue eyes, the chestnut hair. His lips twitched
upwards as he noticed the flush on Blair's cheeks; apparently the kid had
noticed his thorough observation. Once they were out of this mess he was
going to ask him out. To talk about sentinels... among other
He turned his attention back to the road. An idea suddenly
sprung to mind as he recognized the large building rising on the horizon.
"Get off! Get off the freeway! Go there!" he nearly shouted.
obeyed and turned to the right exit ramp. "This will take us to the
International Airport, Jim."
"I know. We can't keep going forever,
Blair. Sooner or later there would be traffic again. This way we're
covered. Just keep going."
Blair drove the bus through the airport
gate, shredding the tires on the entrance spikes, and forcing the
helicopters above them to veer off, away from the air
"Keep going," Jim ordered.
"We have no
"Keep going, Blair!"
The young man drove them onto a
taxiway just as a 747 thundered overhead. "This sucks, man! There's no way
I can stay clear of any landing planes."
"I know, but tower can
direct the planes to other airports. Keep us circling around the runways
while I think of something." He watched a small van following them, Joel
waving from the side. He waved back, relieved. It helped to know that
backup was close by. Just in case.
He moved back to Blair's side
just as his phone rang. "Hello."
"Very nice, Ellison," the
'Switchman' complimented. "Some close calls, but you've made it. I have to
confess I never believed you'd make it this far. And some nice thinking
there, using the airport runways to stay clear of traffic. Now I know why
you made detective," she laughed. "And you may think you've gotten ahead
now that I can't follow what's going on in the news, but don't start
partying yet. I'm not through with you. You, the little wolf and every
innocent soul on that bus, belong to me," she told him, hanging
Jim leaned against the window, seething. He was going to
strangle that bitch with his bare hands when they caught her. In a fit of
rage, he threw his phone on the floor. "Fuck!"
"Jim? Jim, come on,
don't fold on me now! We can't let her win, remember? Jim!" He turned to
look at Blair, who gave him a weak smile, "We need you, man. Keep your
cool, okay? We're still here, still giving her a run for her money. Don't
go all crazy on me now."
Jim watched the expressive face for a long
time, seeing the fear, but also the courage shining there. He nodded, his
gaze settling on Blair's neck. "I'll be damned!" he whispered, feeling
like laughing suddenly. Maybe they could make it after all.
Blair asked with a frown.
"The two times she mentioned you, she
called you 'little wolf'. I didn't understood until now." Blair was
wearing an Indian necklace, with a wolf's head in the middle. "She was
talking about your necklace. She can see you."
Blair began to
speak, but Jim stopped him. "Wait." He leaned against the windshield,
looking around the front of the bus slowly until he saw a small camera. He
knelt beside the young man again. "There's a small camera behind the big
convex mirror. That's how she's been keeping track of us. It's right in
your face, she can probably see the whole bus."
"Can't she hear us
as well?" Blair asked worriedly.
"Don't think so."
"Pray the cell phone is as resistant as they publicized it,"
Jim quipped, grabbing the small piece of equipment, and sighing as he
realized it was still working. Making sure he was out of camera range, he
called Simon. "Simon, I think I know a way of getting us out of here.
Where are you?"
"In the van with Joel. What can we do?"
any of the news crews still around?"
"Yes, there's one just to our
"Good. Time to turn the tables on our bomber. Here's what I
need -- the Switchman has been using a camera to check on us. Get them to
pick up the signal and record the inside of the bus for a while. When I
tell you to, have them play back the tape. Hopefully, that will give us
enough time to get everyone out of the bus."
"We're on it. Joel is
already speaking to a crew guy. Okay, we have you on the screen
"Wait a second," Jim reached for his keys, uncuffing the guy
who had shot Sam from the seat. "Behave. Like I've said before, I'm not
here for you." When the man nodded meekly, he turned to the other
passengers. "People, I'm sure you've heard my plan. Now, I need you to
remain as still as possible. No big movements, try to remain frozen. Okay?
Good. Simon, give me a few seconds then tell them to start
"Got it. Joel's on the way with an airport
Jim moved closer to Blair, then stood as still as the
moving bus allowed. Figuring about three minutes was enough; he got back
to the phone call. "Simon, it should be enough. Tell the guy to loop the
"Just say when, Jim."
"Do it!" he shouted into the
phone when he saw the airport truck pulling alongside them. "Everyone to
the back doors. Blair open the doors."
him a length of two by four and a piece of rope. "Use it to rig the gas
pedal and steering wheel, Jim. And start sending those nice people out,"
he finished with a smile as he set a wooden panel between the two
"Okay, people. Let's move, one by one, slowly.
Don't look down, just keep going. Blair, how you doing?" Jim asked,
approaching. He knew Joel would take good care of the passengers. He just
needed to make sure Blair was okay.
"I'm doing okay."
Let's rig this thing," he said, beginning to tie the rope to the wheel.
"Got it. Come on, everyone's already on the truck but us." They were
moving to the back of the bus when it suddenly swerved to the right,
causing them to stumble to the floor. "What the --"
tires, they're peeling off, Jim."
"Shit! Come on," he helped Blair
up, pulling him towards the door. He walked through the panel, reaching
the truck safely, then turned to Blair. "Come on, Chief. Give me your
Blair moved to the panel, his hand reaching towards Jim just
as the left tire peeled completely, making the bus swerve again. The
wooden panel slipped away, causing Blair to fall with a shout. Jim was
able to grab his hand, saving him from being run over by the bus. He
pulled until Blair's upper body was resting on the truck's steps, feet
skidding on the pavement, dangerously close to the rear
"Jim!" Blair whispered, frightened eyes locking with
"I won't let you go!" he vowed, grabbing for Blair's other
hand and pulling with all his might. He felt Ortiz and Joel beside him,
helping him, and soon he had his arms full of Blair. "I've got you," he
whispered tenderly. "I've got you," he repeated, wrapping his arms around
the sturdy frame and holding on tightly.
He felt Blair sigh,
then relax completely against him. He missed the warmth of the younger
man's body as Blair finally moved back to look at him. "Thanks, man. I was
*so* not ready to die today!"
"You're welcome," Jim smiled gently,
fingers running through the wild locks. "Joel, get us out of
"Your wish is my command," Joel quipped, waving to the SWAT
Everyone in the truck held their breaths as they
watched the bus rolling under the wings of a parked 747, then between two
jumbos before plowing head first into a DC10, exploding into a huge ball
of fire and shower of metal.
"Okay?" Jim asked, turning to
Blair, both still sitting on the truck's floor.
He got a beautiful,
wide smile in return for his question. "Oh, yeah! There's never a dull
moment around you, is there?"
"Nope," Jim grinned.
so," Blair sighed contentedly.
The truck stopped beside the
police van and a couple of ambulances, and Jim made sure that every
passenger was checked over by the paramedics before being taken to the
"Jim!" He turned to watch Simon running up to him.
"How are you doing?"
"Fine. We beat her again, Simon, we're finally
getting somewhere. This is Blair Sandburg, by the way. Blair, Captain
Simon Banks, my boss."
The two men shook hands. "That was some
impressive driving, Sandburg," the big man praised.
Blair replied, swaying tiredly towards Jim.
Jim turned to the young
man. "Think you can go back to the station with us, Chief? We could get
your statement, then I'll take you home."
"Sure, why not? As long
as you promise to take me home afterwards. Otherwise, I might be forced to
sleep on your desk," Blair remarked with a smile as Jim steered him
towards the van, hand resting at the small of his back.
There was something wrong. They had been still for way too long, she
decided suddenly, her eyes locking on Ellison's frame standing beside the
hippie. Funny, how he was right in the kid's personal space; she had never
expected that from tough-guy Ellison. It didn't matter; it was time to
finish the game.
She pressed the button, detonating the bomb, but
instead of witnessing an explosion, everything remained just as before.
She was still looking at the people inside the bus; they were still
circling the runways. "It's impossible... What the hell is going
She began paying attention to what she was seeing. On the
screen one of the passengers dropped a bag. There was a glitch and the bag
was back in her hands. Over and over again, always the
It was then that she finally realized it -- she was
watching a recording. She stood facing the TV for a long time, eyes wide,
rage simmering. A scream rose in her throat and she let it out until she
couldn't hold it any longer. Ellison had cheated. She was going to make
him pay for that, dearly. And she knew just the way.
Blair leaned against the building's wall with a tired sigh.
Hard to imagine it was only lunchtime. The morning had been longer than
most of his days.
He watched the cars driving by and the
people walking past him while he waited for Jim to exit the station. His
statement was signed, now all he wanted was to go home and sleep for a
week. He had even managed to call one of his TA friends and get her to
cover all his classes for the next three days. He was scot-free.
had left Jim having a last minute talk with his captain and gone down to
get some fresh air. Having been trapped in that bus for so long, he was
feeling decisively claustrophobic.
A uniformed cop approached him.
"I'm supposed to take you
Blair frowned at the woman. "I'm sorry, there has to be some
mistake, I'm waiting for Detective James Ellison."
gently. "I know. He got a call from his brother. Their father had some
kind of accident and was taken to the hospital, so he can't take you home.
I'm the designated driver."
"I didn't see him leaving," Blair
insisted, knowing it was silly to feel so disappointed, but unable to stop
"He caught a ride with one of the patrols. They left
through the garage," she replied, impatience coloring her voice, and
making him feel like a dork for not having thought of that.
Sure, let's go then."
"Come on, follow me to the garage. We can
take one of the patrol cars."
Blair followed the woman feeling a
kind of dread he couldn't quite understand. There was nothing he could
point his finger at, but something wasn't right.
taking possession of one of the black and whites, when he saw a man
parking a truck to the side, which looked just like Jim's. "Hey, isn't
that Ellison's truck?" he asked aloud, and the man locking the door turned
"Yeah. The nut left it in the middle of the fucking
freeway. It's a miracle it survived without even a scratch, especially
considering how many vehicles the man goes through a year," he waved and
moved to the elevator, soon disappearing from view.
dread turned into full-fledged panic and he knew he wasn't going anywhere.
He would wait for Jim back at the station if he had to. "I'm sorry," he
said, trying to control his voice. "I think I'm having delayed shock or
something. I just can't... I'll go back upstairs and wait --"
you won't." He started to turn, but something in her voice made him look
back at her. She was aiming her gun at him, eyes cold as she smiled
evilly. "You're not going anywhere, little wolf."
"You're the Switchman? Wha --? What do you want?"
"At the moment?
You. Hands in the air. And don't move or I'll shoot you where you stand,
He nodded, helpless to do anything as she strapped
what looked like C4 plastic to his chest. "What are you
"Making sure Ellison doesn't cheat this time. I just
wrapped ten pounds of C4 to your chest. That should keep him in
"Why are you doing this?"
"You mean blowing the hell
out of Cascade?" she grinned, before her eyes turned cold again.
"Ellison's responsible for my father's death. And yet, he's still working
for the 'good guys', playing the hero. I wanted to make him look bad, make
the world see what he was really like."
"But why are you
doing this to me? I have nothing to do with you or your
"Because it'll hurt Ellison. He seems to like you a lot.
Let's see if he likes you enough to try and save you."
"Hey, Ellison! Your truck's in the garage!"
Jim turned and
smiled at his fellow officer. "Thanks, Rafe. God bless you."
other snorted, "Yeah, right. Who's the kid downstairs?"
"Yeah. Blue eyes, long, curly hair, looks like a
neo-hippie. Was by the garage with one of the uniform rookies. Knew it was
your truck, so I figured it was a friend. He didn't look too good,
"He's one of the bus passengers," Simon replied. "How did
you know he was with one of the rookies? They aren't supposed to be here
"Well, I've never seen her before, sir. They were
by a patrol car so --"
"There's something wrong, Simon," Jim
interjected, urgency clear in his tone. "Blair was supposed to be alone
waiting for me. And by the main entrance, not the garage. It's got to be
the Switchman," he snarled, bolting for the stairs.
get some backup, tell them to meet us at the garage, I'm going with
They rushed down the stairs, but the
garage was already empty. The hatch leading to the sewer system was
opened, and both men exchanged a glance before jumping down, guns ready.
Jim heard a heart beating frantically ahead of them and ran towards the
sound. His sight caught a shadow in the corner and he aimed his gun at it.
"Freeze! Turn around!"
The shadow stopped, turning slowly, face
coming into the light and both cops gasped. It was Blair, chest wrapped in
C4 and looking half scared out of his wits.
"I'm sorry," the young
man whispered, voice quivering slightly. "I didn't know who she
"Jesus!" Simon breathed heavily. "That
"It's okay, Chief. Everything's going to --"
emergency door on the side of the tunnel opened suddenly, and a young
woman dressed as a beat cop stepped out. She was holding what Jim knew was
called a deadman's stick, the bomb's detonator, in her hand. "Gentlemen,"
she smiled widely. "We finally meet face to face, Ellison."
are you? Why are you doing this?" Jim growled, murderous rage ready to be
"You let him die, you let my father die," she said
softly, eyes bright with unshed tears. "You let them all die."
frowned in confusion. "What?"
"You want to know who I am? Does the
name Sarris mean anything to you?"
"Sarris?" His eyes widened as he
understood what she was saying. "He was your father? God... I
"You left me alone," she accused, voice strangely
"No! Your father was my friend; I'd never hurt him. I tried
to save his life, you've got to believe that." He took a deep breath.
"Please stop this. Get the C4 off him and let him go."
said, shaking her head slowly. "Time's up, Ellison."
Jim aimed his
gun high again, feeling Simon do the same. "Let. Him.
Sarris looked at him, an almost fond expression on her
face. "I don't think so, Jim. The game's not over yet." Then she bolted
through the emergency door, pulling Blair with her, and slamming it shut
Jim snarled as he reached for the door and found
it locked. "Simon, go back up and find out whatever you can about her. Her
father served with me in my Special Forces unit. He died in Peru.
Shouldn't be too hard."
"What about you? What are you going to
"I'm going after them. This is it, I'm not letting her get
"Okay, but be careful."
Jim was oblivious to
Simon's departure. He aimed the gun at the door and blew the handle to
pieces with a couple of shots. Tugging it open, he groaned as he suddenly
found himself in the subway station that ran under the PD. There were
people running and screaming everywhere as Sarris shot a few rounds into
the air to scare them away, and tried to pull a resisting Blair into the
train at the same time.
"Stop fighting me!" he heard her
yell, finally tugging Blair inside the deserted subway train. "Want me to
push the button and blow us both to Kingdom Come?" she threatened
"No," was the whispered reply, and Jim felt like killing
her again. Blair had been through enough; he didn't need to be dragged
throughout Cascade with a bomb strapped to his chest and a madwoman by his
Just as the train began to pull out of the station, Jim
sprinted through the platform, jumping and grabbing the end of the fourth
car. He opened the connecting doors, stepping inside the train, and after
retrieving his gun from the holster began to make his way to the front,
passing the other cars one by one. It was time to end the game.
Blair took a deep breath, trying to slow his heart rate as Sarris
cuffed him to a vertical hand pole. He kept hoping that it was all a
nightmare; that he was going to wake up any minute and find himself in his
bed, grinning at the incredibly weird dream he had been having. But it
wasn't happening; he wasn't waking up because it wasn't a nightmare, it
"Grab this," she ordered, handing him the deadman's
stick. "And don't drop it."
He took the detonator into his hand,
watching as Sarris moved to the front of the car. The driver suddenly
walked out of the compartment, blinking as he took in the scene before
him. "What the --"
Before he could utter another word, Sarris shot
him four times at point-blank range, sending the man flying back into the
compartment. Two more shots and she had destroyed the control
"Are you nuts?" Blair shouted, trying to control his
growing hysteria. "Now there's no way of stopping the train!" He leaned
his forehead against the pole. "God, this is insane..."
approached him slowly, brushing the hair out of his face, "Shhh, little
wolf, it's okay. I know you're scared. But it's not going to hurt, I
"Please let me go," he begged softly.
"Let him go," a voice growled from behind
Blair felt like crying when he recognized the voice.
"Hey, Chief. You okay?"
Blair never got a chance to
answer. Sarris swung around, firing her gun at Jim, barely giving him
enough time to jump out of the flying bullets way. They spent a few
minutes trading shots, the young man watching helplessly as Jim suddenly
ran out of ammo, his gun clicking repeatedly.
delightedly, "Well, well, well... Seems like luck is on my side! I thought
every boy scout's motto was 'Be prepared'. Should've brought more clips,
Ellison. Why don't you join us?"
Blair saw Jim leave the
safety of his hideout and approach the woman wearily. Before the cop could
move any closer she fired a single shot, hitting him in the arm. Jim took
a step back, clutching at his arm, face etched with agony.
you're not Superman, after all," she remarked. "Too bad. I'm almost
disappointed with how easy this is going to be." She aimed her gun at
Jim's head. "Good-bye, Ellison."
"No!" Blair raised his leg,
pushing Sarris with all his strength and propelling her towards Jim, who
didn't waste any time. He punched her twice, knocking her unconscious and
letting her fall to the floor.
"Good move, Chief."
Blair huffed. "How's the arm?"
"I'll live," Jim replied dryly,
tying a handkerchief to the injury. "Let's get that bomb off of you," he
said with a soft smile. Blair remained still as Jim took off the vest and
defused the C4, neutralizing the deadman's stick. "There. Let me go stop
this damn train and we're home free."
"You can't. She shot the
control panel to pieces."
"Damn! We've got to jump, Chief," Jim
told him, using his key to open the cuffs holding him
"That won't work, not at this speed. I didn't make it this
far to die with a broken neck, man. Not to mention the rails are
electrified. There's got to be another way, man!" he whispered
desperately, turning to look out the window. He felt Jim wrapping his arms
around his waist from behind and leaned against the other man. "I don't
want to die, Jim," he breathed. "There's so much I still want to do. It's
"We're not done yet, Blair. There's got to be
Blair felt the body behind him tense and turned his head. Jim
was looking intently at a map on the wall. It showed the subway line they
were on. Ahead of them there was a big curve, then the end of the line,
which was still under construction.
Their eyes locked. "Jim, are
you pondering what I'm pondering?" he quipped weakly.
"We can make it go faster, speed it up. Maybe it'll jump the
"You have any idea how insane that sounds, Ellison?" Blair
asked, hearing the desperate humor in his own voice.
"It's our only
Blair nodded. "I know. Do it."
Jim rush to the driver's compartment and turn a knob all the way down,
nearly falling to the ground as the speed doubled. The cop came back then,
giving him a curt nod. "It's done. No backing down now."
locked anew, a different fire burning inside them now. Jim reached for
him, hand caressing his stubbled cheek tenderly, and Blair nuzzled into
the calloused hand, closing his eyes with a soft sigh. Lips ghosted over
his in a feathery kiss, then deepened the contact as he opened his mouth
to allow invasion. His mouth was ravaged, plundered and explored
thoroughly, before he was permitted to breathe again.
sighed, blinking at the man standing in front of him.
"I had to do
it," Jim confessed. "Just in case."
Nothing more was said as they
laid down on the floor, Jim covering him protectively, as they waited for
the tunnel to reach its end. They braced themselves against the impact,
holding tightly to each other as the lights flicked on and off around
Blair felt the train hit the curve, wheels screeching
loudly as it suddenly left the rails and continued to speed through the
unfinished ramp, steel pillars breaking the front car in half. Relieved of
the extra weight their car kept skidding through the ramp, rolling through
the dusty path until it finally crashed through the tunnel's wall and fell
down in the middle of the street.
It took Blair a moment to realize
they had stopped and that they were still alive. He looked up at the man
blanketing him and grinned. "You never did answer my
"What question?" Jim asked, still looking half
"This wasn't like a typical day for you, was it?"
moan to their left caught their attention and they turned towards the
sound, seeing a barely conscious Sarris clutching at her head and blinking
owlishly at them. "What hit me?" she asked, causing them to laugh, their
mirth bordering on hysteria.
When their laughter had finally died
down, Blair looked at the cop again, a wide grin crossing his face. "Well,
Jim ran his fingers through his hair, and Blair felt his
heart hurt at the tenderness shining in his eyes, "You'll just have to
stick around and find out."
"I can do that," he breathed, arching
against the body holding him down.
managed before his lips were captured for another hungry kiss.