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The Gingerbread Man

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Detectives Henri Brown, Brian Rafe and Jim Ellison were having a miserable night. It was cold and raining and they were stuck camping in the middle of Cascade Forest. They all had a tent to themselves but Brown and Rafe were both currently in Rafe's tent playing cards whilst Ellison stayed in his own.

Jim was a mystery to both of the other men. A stone cold SOB, he was a trained killer having been an army ranger and involved in special ops. There wasn't really much in the way of hard facts about his background but there had been a rumor that his CO had betrayed the big man and as a result his team had all died leaving Jim stranded overseas.

That was a few years ago and everyone soon got the thinly veiled hints to leave the man well alone. Some of the braver members of the PD had nicknamed him "The Iceman" but not to his face. Never to his face.

He had just been transferred from Vice into Major Crimes and the placement with Brown and Rafe was suggested as a way to ease the transition but it wasn't. The man had isolated himself, closed off and was proving notoriously difficult to work with.

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Jim Ellison led back on his sleeping bag and heaved a sigh of relief. The two detectives he had been stuck with were pleasant enough but Jim preferred to work alone. He knew what people thought of him and though his hard image made others think him cold and uncaring, the truth was really very different. He cared a lot.

He was alone now because he had one of his headaches coming on and the last thing he wanted was to come across as anymore of a heartless bastard acting like a bear with a sore head. One of the reasons he liked to work alone was to hide the strange sensory hallucinations he had been having.

All of his senses had been playing up for the past couple of weeks, light and colours too bright, sounds too loud, overwhelming smells and tastes and all of his clothes felt like sandpaper against his skin. He was constantly fighting the urge to just rip them all off and run naked.

Jim really wasn't sure how much longer he could go on without going off the deep end.

It was even more terrifying since he'd started having black-outs. The most recent had been by far the worst. He'd lost 2 whole days in the blink of an eye and then couldn't explain his absence to his Captain.

Soon after, he'd requested a transfer to Major Crimes under Captain Simon Banks hoping that it might make it all go away but it hadn't.

Jim couldn't remember much about his time in Peru but he was becoming more and more sure that going back would be a good idea. Surely there were people that would take him in and could help. Putting his earplugs in, he fell into an uneasy sleep and began to dream.

There was someone in the tent with him. Soft, gentle hands touched him soothingly, lightly massaging the pain in his head away.

Jim's senses all centred on his person, cataloguing the pine fresh scent, the feel of the soft, warm skin under his fingers and the long, silky curls flowing over the upper body of a firm, young man, listened to the steady heartbeat, kissed, tasted and rubbed against the body now beneath him, shouting his completion as a wave of pleasure and a faint electrical buzzing rode his body and looked..... but couldn't see the face he so desperately wanted to kiss.

Nevertheless he felt safe there and so just relaxed into the comforting touch.

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Jim woke with a start. Rafe was outside calling to him. Jim stretched and twisted, his bones popping loudly and made his way out to find out what was going on. He felt as if he was missing something or someone and the information was there at the back of his mind, just out of reach but on the plus side, his senses had levelled out overnight and he was feeling great.

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The killer they were after had been nicknamed "The Gingerbread Man" as he always left a calling card on the victim. Each one was found with 15 words etched into their backs. The words were always the same: "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I’m The Gingerbread Man".

His MO was to snatch a young male camper, alone, usually every 3 nights, stripping, torturing and beating them and then the body would turn up dead the next morning. The head of the Major Crimes Unit, Simon Banks, had every available team out in the field to catch this madman.

That morning the police radios were quiet and once all of the teams had reported in, it was confirmed that there had been no kill that night. There was a feeling of relief that there hadn't been another victim but not so that "The Gingerbread Man" hadn't been caught and so was still out there and that meant another night on stakeout and the possibility of further bodies.

For some reason, that Jim couldn't quite grasp, he felt pleased about this fact. The cop in him was mightily pissed off but there was something deeper, darker, connected to his sensory problems that sent a feeling of rightness through him as if something life changing was going to happen.

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Most of Jim's day was caught up in reporting the night's activities (even though nothing much had happened) and then going home to the loft to sleep, perchance to dream. He dreamed of the man again, soothing and gentle hands, enticingly warm skin, that wonderful scent and soft curls cascading over Jim's skin, each touch burning deep into him.

The man's fingers gently massaged Jim's headache away again and Jim raised his hand and stroked the pale skin. Electricity buzzed between them and Jim relished the connection, enjoying the feeling humming between them. He sighed contentedly, relaxed and closed his eyes.

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Jim woke and stretched. He felt great physically but the loft was silent and empty and he felt a keen loss at the remembrance of the dream. He tried to convince himself that it was just a dream, there was no pale man with curly hair really, just a nameless someone from a harmless fantasy stored deep in his subconscious.

Certainly he had never felt such deep feelings for any man in real life but, again, that deep, dark something insisted that it was all part of his destiny, meant to be. Jim scoffed at that idea but couldn't dismiss it completely.

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Having dressed for another cold night in the forest, Jim waited impatiently for the time to pass. Standing on the balcony looking down at the street, a loud thumping filled his head. A very familiar sound.

Focusing downwards he spotted a tall slim man heading away from the loft, wearing a dark coat and with long hair, familiar curls. It was him, had to be and Jim rushed at break-neck speed down the apartment building stairs and onto the street.

The man was nowhere to be seen. Carefully casting out his hearing Jim couldn't locate that familiar heartbeat. Feeling disappointed and dejected Jim slumped back to the loft for his gear and headed out to meet Brown and Rafe.

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The routine for the night was pretty much the same as the last. The three detectives got themselves sorted out then Brown and Rafe played cards and after declining once again to join in, Jim retired to his tent.

All he wanted to do was as sleep so that he could have that dream again. In the back of his mind he knew he shouldn't be sleeping on the job, but the lure of warm skin and soft curls was just too strong to resist so he led back and closed his eyes.

A noise outside the tent made him sit up and he carefully made his way to the flap and peeked outside. The sight he saw there was enough to make Jim forget anything else existed. *He* was there. Big, blue eyes regarded him; the man silently watching him from a position leant against a tree across the campsite.

The full moon shone brightly on him, making his pale skin translucent and ghostlike. All he wore was a white loincloth and Jim just couldn't stop his eyes from being drawn to it, wondering. The slightly smaller, slim man raised a hand and beckoned Jim closer. Jim walked toward the man who haunted his dreams, feeling as if he had no choice and eager for answers.

As he neared, Jim realized that the young man didn't just look translucent, he actually was see-through, the trees and bushes behind him easily seen even without enhanced sight. The wraith-like figure looked at Jim with sad eyes and then turned and pointed deep in the forest before fading slowly away.

Jim could feel his heart breaking and he wanted to shout and scream for the man to come back, not to leave him here, alone, like this but the words stuck in his throat and he suddenly realized just how silent his life really had become, how lonely. Up until 2 days ago he would have insisted that it was just fine with him but it really wasn't.

His attention was pulled away from his thoughts by a whimpering cry coming from the direction that had been pointed out to him. A thought flashed across his mind that the killer might be striking again so he turned and ran towards the noise.

Jim went on, deeper into the forest following the sound and he could also now hear two wildly beating hearts, one he didn't know and the other was one that he was so familiar with, that he loved and his body and heart jumped for joy.

Making his way cautiously into the nearby clearing, the first thing he saw was *him*, knelt on the leaf strewn ground, head down and hair hanging over his face. He was naked save for the white loincloth and Jim took a second to admire the pale skin, muscles moving beneath the surface.

Jim could smell the fear coming in waves off the young man and that made Jim feel very protective of him. That and the fact that if he looked closely he could see whip marks and rope burns on the other man. He was also shaking, helpless to stop the tremors that were running through his body. It wasn't really a surprise, he, he was almost naked and the night was bitterly cold.

"Hey" called Jim softly across the clearing. The other man lifted his head as he heard the sound and looked around, his glazed eyes finally noticing the big man. A look crossed his face and a small smile flitted across his face briefly before his head dropped from the effort.

Jim surveyed the area quickly and found the unfamiliar heartbeat. It was moving back towards the clearing and Jim melted back against a tree, using the skills he had learnt in his Ranger days. An older man, about 50 or so, with straggly gray hair came out of the trees on the other side to side and slapped the tied man across the face.

"Look at me, whore!" he bellowed. Jim's hackles rose as he saw *his* property being manhandled and abused like that but he pushed the feeling down, now was not the time to get territorial, he wanted "The Gingerbread Man" alive. The older man was yelling and screaming at his captive.

"You think you're so clever, don't you bitch?" he grabbed the young man's hair and yanked his head right back looking directly into his face.

"Thought you could outsmart me, din’t ya? But I’m onto ya little game. Ya can run but ya can't hide. Grow ya hair, move away, change ya name, doesn't matter what ya do, I always find ya, but ya just won't stay dead!"

He struck out at his prisoner and knocked him unconscious. Jim snarled, there was no way he'd let this go lightly, just because he needed the man alive didn't mean he had to be unharmed and Jim, with his wealth of training, knew exactly how to do it without leaving marks.

The inhuman rage welled up inside Jim and his snarls got louder. It was if something had gotten hold of the big guy and he was just along for the ride. The other man heard the unworldly sound and pulled a gun from his waistband, waving it around. Jim's face twisted into a feral smile as the killer came forward.

One wrong move and he'd be well within his rights to shoot the man in self-defence. Then the rage washed over him once more and he burst into the clearing roaring "MINE!" The other man was so startled by this that he squeezed the trigger on his gun and the bullet zinged past Jim's ear.

He calmly raised his gun and sighted onto the killer. The man's eyes widened and he panicked, turning to run. Jim fired and hit the older man in his upper arm.

The killer cursed, dropping his gun from senseless fingers and fled. Jim had half a mind to give chase but his mind was telling him to check out the victim, which he did deciding that, seeing as he had a description and a witness, the guy wouldn't get far and that the near naked, unconscious and still bound young man needed his attention more.

Jim shrugged off his jacket and carefully arranged it to cover the young man. The electricity between them buzzed and Jim fought the desperate urge to run his fingers over the skin for real.

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It seemed like hours but was probably only minutes before he heard noises indicating that Brown and Rafe were on their way. Jim estimated that it would be about five minutes before they got to him.

They had most likely heard the gunshot and then discovered he was missing. He hoped they had called for back-up. The young man in Jim's arms moaned softly and his brow creased as if in pain. Jim ran his fingers through the soft curls and massaged the younger man's scalp.

He felt strangely satisfied as the other man quietened and relaxed under his touch, then after a moment he opened his eyes slowly revealing deep blue wonder. Jim smiled and said, "Hey, how are you feeling?" The voice that answered was musical and soothing to Jim's ears "it.....hurts". "I know it does buddy, you got hit pretty hard, but it won't hurt for much longer, I promise" Jim told him. "Can you tell me your name?" "Blair......Blair Sandburg", the voice was slightly hesitant.

"Hey there Blair. I'm Jim. Detective Ellison. You're safe now". Blair's relief was evident as he relaxed back into Jim's arms and looked up at him. "I knew you'd come" Blair said, his eyes filled with tender emotions. "You did?" Jim's heart soared. "Had a dream" Blair mumbled, his eyes starting to droop. His body relaxed as he drifted close to sleep. "Blair!! Blair, buddy you can't sleep yet" Jim's tone snapped him back.

"So.....tired!" Blair moaned. "I know you are chief, but you might have a concussion, so I need you to stay with me until we can get you checked out, okay?" "I'll try", Blair’s teeth began to chatter. “I'm cold,” he said, snuggling closer to Jim. Jim tightened his arms around the young man and kissed the top of his head.

Blair made a happy sound in the back of his throat and looked up at the older man, trust shining from his eyes. Jim almost got lost in the sight of Blair's beautiful lips then that musical voice pulled him back. "Do you feel the connection between us?" he was asking. Jim nodded and then bent his head to capture those luscious lips but his hearing acted up again and he heard Brown and Rafe just about to crash the little party. He smiled gently and said "Cavalry’s here".

Brown and Rafe burst into the clearing, guns drawn and Jim had to stop himself from laughing at the looks on their faces as they spotted the supposedly cold and heartless Ellison sat with a near naked man on his lap looking completely comfortable. Jim explained what had happened to them and then he took Blair off to the hospital whilst the others secured the crime scene and called it in.
Jim stayed with Blair whilst they cleaned and dressed his wounds and checked for a concussion (which he didn't have) then sat by his side while he slept for a few hours in an empty office because he just couldn't stay awake. Simon came to the hospital while Blair slept and suggested that they would need to put the young man into a safe house but Jim protested that Blair would be safer going home with him. Simon argued but Jim won in the end.

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"We'd better go get your stuff if you're coming home with me" said Jim as he and Blair left the hospital. “All my stuff is in my tent at Lakeland camping area, by Cascade falls" Blair answered. "Are you on holiday?"

"No I'm at Rainier but once again they never assigned me an office, and I couldn't afford a motel, so camping it was".

"Well, you don't have to stay out here now. I told Simon I was taking you home with me".

"Cool. That'd be great man" Blair said then asked "Is there anyone you need to let know first, a wife or girlfriend?"

"No, I'm divorced" Jim told him. "I live alone".

"Oh, what happened?" Blair asked. Jim gave him a look. Blair just looked right back. Jim sighed and said, "the first 12 months or so were wonderful, we were so happy together. I guess it all started to fall apart the day Susan was born".

"Susan?" "Our daughter. The most beautiful little girl you've ever seen". Jim smiled sadly.

"Oh wow, man. You have a daughter?"

"*Had* a daughter. She was stillborn". A lone tear ran down his face.

"God Jim, I'm sorry" Blair looked horrified had he had brought up bad memories.

"Thanks. We both grieved alone, not letting the other close and then Carolyn's department transferred her out of state for 6 months so we only really saw each other at weekends. I got pretty lonely during the long weeks so I started going to pubs and clubs, picking up anyone I could, man or woman and having sex with them (always protected of course) but I never felt anything for any of them and I think I was looking to connect with someone. Carolyn finally caught me red-handed. As time went by I became careless, reckless. Maybe subconsciously I wanted to get caught. Anyway she came home a day early to try and work out our differences and found me buried up to my balls in a young man I’d picked up that night. As you can imagine, Carolyn had a fit and left me there and then. I haven't really dated anyone since then".

By this time they had picked up Blair's stuff and were pulling up outside the loft. Blair followed Jim up to the apartment, both of the men silently lost in thought, Blair trying to digest the info and Jim wondering why in hell he'd told Blair all that stuff that he'd never told a soul before.

Blair followed Jim into the loft and pushed the door shut behind them, then pulled an unresisting Jim into his arms and hugged him tight. Jim relaxed into Blair's touch, he felt safe there. Pulling back his head from Blair's shoulder, he tried again with the kiss they had attempted earlier. Lips pressed, tongues dueling, softly at first then with greater urgency. As the need grew stronger they clawed at each other, each desperate to remove the cloth barriers that hid the other from view.

Realizing they would have to part, they did so, stripping as fast as they could and then latched on again. Finally Jim could stand it no longer and broke off the kiss, hauling Blair over his shoulder and striding up the stairs to his bedroom. Laying Blair down gently on the bed, mindful of his injuries, Jim started to explore the familiar but yet new and exciting body beneath him.

Kissing, licking, nibbling, biting all intended to drive Blair crazy. As he did so he felt the heat of bruising and took a closer look, not liking what he saw. All down one side of the younger man's body was covered with bruises and healing cuts. Jim stored this information for later and continued with the assault on Blair. Pretty soon, Blair was mumbling incoherently.

Jim could hardly hold back from just shoving into the willing body beneath him and pounding them both into oblivion but he wanted it to be good for Blair, so he gently prepared the tight hole, taking his time until the younger man was begging to be taken. "Oh yes.... Jim, man.... take me.....*NOW*" Never one to ignore an order, Jim did so slowly. Blair's body was hot and tight, the flesh molding around Jim and sucking him in.

Jim moaned in ecstasy as he felt Blair's heartbeat, already so familiar, beating all around him. Blair was rock hard, quietly begging, moaning and whimpering, sweaty wet curls stuck to his body and pulse racing. Jim lowered himself down and kissed Blair passionately wanting as much contact as possible.

Whilst doing so he changed the angle of his hips and brushed against Blair's prostate. Blair's body bucked and he let out a little yelp at the sudden burst of pleasure. "Yes Jim, oh yes.....harder, do it again" Blair panted. Jim did so. "Oh yeah, Blair! So good, so good........I love fucking your little hole, it's so tight, made just for me....I'm gonna fuck you every day for the rest of your life and you'll let me, won't you Blair, because you love it too". "Yes! Oh...YES!"

Jim reached down and started to stroke Blair's cock in time to his thrusts, marvelling at the way the two of them fit together so well. "You make me so hard, Chief, harder than anyone ever has before. I love you, Blair......I LOVE YOU!" Jim yelled, coming deep inside Blair. The feeling of Jim's hot sperm stimulating his prostate sent Blair over the edge and he thrust once more and shouted "Love you too, man", coating Jim and himself with streams of white cream.

The clenching muscle around Jim's cock made him rock hard and come again in the same instant, sending another wave of warm fluid deep into Blair. Blair shuddered, overcome by so many unfamiliar emotions. Jim collapsed on the mattress next to him, panting hard and gathered the younger man into his arms, hugging him tight. "Wow....that was.....wow. I never knew it could be that good" gasped Blair, once he could breathe again. Jim just hugged him tighter and kissed him.

They napped for a while, cuddled close together and they Jim roll led onto his side and stared down at Blair with tender eyes. "So what's your story?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well I told you all my secrets, so spill".

"Okay well.... I’ve known I was gay since I was 14. I actually knew before then but I didn't have a name to put to the feeling. Um.... I started Rainier when I was 15, had my first sexual experience at 16, got my Masters at 18 and my Doctorate at 22. Now I’m a professor at the University. I've been in a relationship with a guy for the past 2 years. He lives in L.A. so I spend all my weekend and holidays there. He's got this really cool condo in the city...... anyway, we had a bust up last week and he kicked me out and then I come here and find I’ve got nowhere to live so the tent was really my only option".

"What about family or friends?" asked Jim.

"You never told me about yours" retorted Blair.

"Okay Chief. You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine".

"You'd better. My mom is Naomi Sandburg, peace activist, free spirit and world traveler. I don't know who my father is; hell even Naomi can't tell me that. All she says is there's a list of candidates".

"Ouch....that's got to be painful" said Jim in sympathy.

"Tell me about it" agreed Blair. "Don't get me wrong Big Guy, I love Naomi and we had great fun traveling to different places. But I was a gifted child, sometimes too much for a single mother to cope with so she would leave me with her friends, mostly only for a couple of days or weeks but once it was a whole year. The people she left me with weren't the nicest and they were just about ready to put me into the system as an abandoned child when she came back. I was never more glad to see Naomi".

Blair paused, trying to sort through the painful memories. "She stuck around for a while after that but the travel bug caught her again and off she went....... I wanted to hate her but I found I just couldn't. So what about you? I bet your childhood wasn't like mine".
"No Chief it wasn't.... it was worse".

Blair raised an eyebrow.

"At least your mother cared. I grew up here in Cascade in a large house over on the east side. My Father's the CEO of Ellison International Corporation. The perfect little family, right! A constantly drunk mother and an abusive father who was never home. My mom left us when I was young and it was left up to our housekeeper, Sally, to raise me and my younger brother Steven.

Dad started being around more as we got older but he was very competitive and loved to pit me and Stevie against one another. There was this one time he bought season tickets to the Jags but only two and whoever was in favour that week would get to go. I guess it sounds pretty petty, huh?" Jim tried to make a joke of it but couldn't stop the pain from showing in his eyes.

"It doesn't sound petty to me man, that was really harsh" Blair said softly. "Well whether it was or not, all it did was drive us further apart and it wasn't long after that, while dad and Stevie were abroad, that I left home and joined the army. I came back to Cascade 2 years ago after spending time overseas and decided to join the PD" Jim smiled sadly, sorrow in his eyes.

Blair looked at him, understanding his fears and insecurities, love shining from his expressive blue eyes. "You know Blair, I’ve never felt this way about anyone before, never cared so deeply for my family, hell, I didn't feel even half this passionately about Carolyn at the peak of our marriage. Even though we've only just met, I feel like I’ve known you my whole life"

Jim paused and nibbled his lower lip. "Blair, I know this is going to sound kind of sudden but will you move in here permanently, live with me? I love you and I don't ever want to lose you".

Blair was silent and Jim began to think he might just have screwed up the friendship before it even had a chance to start.

Then Blair spoke, "Oh, Jim. I love you too, so much. I've never been real big on commitment but this feels so right. I want it all and I would be so happy to live here with you".

He threw his arms around Jim and kissed him deeply, tongue sliding between Jim's lips. Jim had a sudden, overwhelming urge to have Blair inside him, taking control.

He broke off the kiss and grabbed the lube from the nightstand. Laying on his back, legs spread wide, he squeezed a dollop of lube onto his fingers, warmed it up and slid a slick finger into his own ass. Blair sucked in air through his teeth as it entered and watched in fascination as the finger began to move.

Another quickly joined it and Blair's body began to react as he watched the erotic sight of Jim finger-fucking himself. Jim bucked and jerked as his fingers rubbed on his prostate and his cock stood rock hard and large from the stimulation.

He was already nearing the edge so he slid the fingers out of his ass and grabbed Blair's cock with his slippery hand, pumping him until Blair was as hard as Jim, the younger man thrusting desperately into his hand. Jim then clambered to his hands and knees, ass facing Blair and rested his head on his hands, spreading his legs wide so that his hot, moist hole winked at the younger man as Jim clenched his muscles.

Blair started, mesmerized, then hesitantly reached out a hand and stroked Jim' firm, strong ass. Jim moaned at the touch and begged "Fuck me Blair.... please. See how hot I am for you. Stick your dick in my hole and pound me senseless. I want to feel you come inside me, filling me up, possessing me....... please!"

Blair shuddered at Jim's words and quickly got into position, pushing inside in one smooth stroke. Jim gasped. He could feel Blair's heartbeat inside his core, the velvety texture of his cockhead, the hard heated shaft and every soft hair rubbing deep inside of him. He could also feel Blair's tiny drops of pre-come as they smeared against his inner walls.

Blair's hand enclosed Jim's dick and started pumping it in time to his thrusts. "God, god, Blair. Fuck me, fuck me hard, and fuck my hole. Make me yours. Blair!!" Jim panted, moaning and thrusting backwards onto Blair's cock and forward into his hand in time. "Yes, yes, yes, you're mine, Jim Ellison. You only belong to me!" cried Blair slamming into Jim and over his prostate brutally.

Jim came over Blair's hand in long spurts, thick white fluid dripping onto the sheets. Jim couldn't have cared less because Blair's cock had swollen further inside him and was filling his body with hot sperm, the sensation of that combined with his own orgasm sending his nerve endings into overload.

Jim came down off his high to find Blair fast asleep next to him and studied the young man for just a moment, memorizing his still features.

Then he got up and carefully went downstairs to the bathroom, asshole clenched tight so that he wouldn't lose any of Blair's precious gift. He found his favorite butt plug and slipped it in, wanting to keep Blair's semen inside him for as long as possible. Jim then grabbed a washcloth and cleaned himself up, another for Blair and a towel for the wet spot.

Having cleaned up, he slipped back into the big bed and gathered Blair close, wondering at his feelings for this amazing man that he hadn't even known for 24 hours and yet he never wanted to be apart from again and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

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Jim woke early the next morning and let there for a while, just watching Blair sleep. He looked even younger in slumber and so innocent. He then got up, went for his usual early morning run, showered and was cooking breakfast by the time Blair emerged, still half-asleep.

Today Jim had to take Blair to the station so that the young man could make a statement and give a description of his attacker. Blair took a long shower and eventually came out dressed in tattered blue jeans and a flannel shirt, his damp curls loose.

He looked good enough to eat. "How are you feeling, Chief?" asked Jim.

"I'm stiff and a bit sore but other than that I’m fine".

"I was meaning to ask you about the damage to your side. How'd that happen?" Jim was casual.

The bruises in question were on the turn from purple to yellow and the tiny part of Jim's brain that had not been focused on their lovemaking had put them to about 5 days ago, so *not* the handiwork of "The Gingerbread Man”.

"Just an accident, Man. You'll soon figure out I'm accident-prone and a trouble magnet". Blair's heartbeat had sped up as he said this but even without that indicator Jim would have suspected something was wrong, as Blair wouldn't meet his eyes.

Jim was sure someone had beaten Blair and his gut told him it was sure to have been the L.A. boyfriend. "What kind of accident?" he asked as casually as possible.

"I just tripped, no big deal. Aren't we supposed to be off to the PD?" Blair changed the subject.

"Not till noon. There's plenty of time for breakfast first". Jim dished out the food onto the plates. Bacon, Eggs, Sausages, waffles, pancakes.

"Do you eat this for breakfast every day?" asked Blair.

"Pretty much" laughed Jim.

"This'll kill you man, clog up your arteries".

"Well, I’m still in pretty good shape" Jim protested.

“Oh yeah man, I noticed that last night" smirked Blair.

"You're in good shape too Blair" Jim said seriously. Blair just blushed and shut up.

They both finished off their food, Blair eating as if he hadn't had a good meal in weeks, cleared the dishes and got ready to leave for the PD.

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Jim and Blair entered the building of the police department. They crossed the lobby and got into the elevator.

One floor up the doors opened and a tall thin man in a suit stepped on. He looked at Jim and sneered.

"Ellison" he drawled, smirking. "Got yourself a new toy, have ya?"

"Mind your own business, Martin" Jim snapped.

"Oh, tetchy, tetchy, isn’t he giving it up for you?" he was back to sneering.

Jim snarled "shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you!"

"Still seeing and hearing things, clothes like sandpaper, huh?" Martin taunted.

Jim made as if to hit the guy but Blair stepped between them and spoke softly to Jim, calming him.

The tension in the elevator could have been cut with a knife and it wasn't made any easier by Martin muttering, "Knew he was your toy".

It was with a sigh of relief that they reached their floor and stepped off.

"What the hell was that about?" Blair asked quietly.

"Nothing" Jim tried to play it down.

"That was *not* nothing man. Has that stuff really been happening to you? Have you been having blank-outs, taste and smell acting up too?" Blair was bouncing about like a ferret on speed as they walked down the corridor to the MCU.

"Can we not talk about it now!" Jim hissed.

"Oh sure, sure man but we will talk about this".

'Great' thought Jim 'the last thing I want to do is tell Blair about my problem. He'll just abandon me like everyone else'. Then an idea popped into his head. 'If he tries to force this out of me the least I can do is try the same to get the name of the guy who beat him and caused those bruises’.

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"That's all I remember until I woke up and saw Jim. If you get me a pad and pencil, I'll sketch him for you!" Blair said finishing up giving his statement. Simon Banks sent for the requested items and wondered who the hell this long haired hippy kid really was to be able to slip into Ellison's life so easily, staying in his home, calling him Jim, insinuating himself so quickly.

Unless they knew each other already, that would explain how Ellison had found him so quickly but Simon found the very idea that macho tough, cold as ice, ex-army ranger Ellison and long haired, hippy grad professor Blair Sandburg would have ever travelled in the same circles, was utterly laughable.

But still there was something going on and Simon was damned if he could figure it out.

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The sketch Blair did of "The Gingerbread Man" was surprisingly good. Jim took one look at it and confirmed it was the man who had Blair, the one he'd shot.

"Where'd you learn to draw like that, kid?" asked Simon.

"Blair.....my name is Blair. I minored in descriptive art, majored in sociology and have my doctorate in Anthropology".

"Oh" said Simon. "How long have you known Ellison?" he asked trying to sound casual.

Blair looked puzzled, his brow creasing as he frowned.

"Well...since yesterday morning but what does that have to do with anything?"

"What makes you so special then, coming straight into his life and home without so much as a token protest?"

"What do you mean?" asked Blair, puzzled and a little bemused at Simon's words.

"Look, I'll put it bluntly Sandburg. You've got closer to that man in one day than anyone in this building has in two years. He's a stone cold SOB and he's never let anyone near and now I see him smiling. *SMILING* for godsakes".

Blair shrugged and smiled wryly. "I don't know what to tell you Captain Banks. The only Jim Ellison I know is the kind, caring, sensitive man who saved me from becoming just another corpse in this case. A good man who took me in with the sole purpose of keeping me safe and I resent the implication that I have some kind of hold over him that's making him act this way".

"Caring? Sensitive?!! I've never before heard those words used to describe Ellison" Simon laughed.

"Well" Blair huffed ""Its people like you with those sorts of attitudes that are just too shallow-minded to see past the hard exterior to who Jim Ellison really is inside. Do you judge everyone by his or her outer shell? Do you not care that you are repeating the same mistakes made against all non-whites by saying this is who he projects as, therefore this is how it must be. You really need to think about how you treat the people who work for you. If this is the kind of example you set, then I’m not at all surprised he hides away. Now if we're done here, I'd like to go home!"

Simon was stunned and speechless. He mutely handed the forms to Blair for his signature, his mind running over the earlier words.

"You know where to find me" were Blair's parting words.

--------------------------------

Jim was waiting for Blair in the bullpen. He smiled at the younger man and slung his arm across his shoulder ignoring the looks from his fellow detectives. They walked like that to the elevator and as they stepped in, Jim said "Thanks Chief".

Blair was puzzled. "For what?" he asked.

"For sticking up for me in there to Simon. Nobody's every done that for me before"

"Wait a minute.....Are you telling me you heard us? Through soundproofed glass??!!"

"Wha.....? How? Soundproofed?!!" Jim was stunned.

Blair, on the other hand, was speechless. In fact he didn't say another word until they were back in the truck and heading back to the loft. "Wow Jim....that was astounding, man. I wasn't certain until just now but you proved it. You're a Sentinel. A real live Sentinel. It's fucking amazing" Blair was babbling.

"That's just great Chief, but what the hell is a Sentinel?"

"A Sentinel is a watchman, a tribal protector with all of their senses heightened...... you do have all five senses heightened, don't you Jim?"

Jim hesitated for a moment then nodded, not taking his eyes off the road. "Wow, I've been looking for you all my life. My first diss was on Sentinels. They are absolutely fascinating but do tend to zone out if they concentrate on something too much. Has that ever happened to you?" Jim sighed.

Blair seemed really eager about this Sentinel business but Jim didn't want people finding out and calling him a freak. "Yes, it has chief but I don't want to be studied" he said.

Blair smiled and said, "I don't want to study you Jim, just help you. I had to abandon that diss when I couldn't find a Sentinel so I studied closed societies instead. It even tied in with the work I was doing for my sociology major. All I want to do is help you, if you'll let me".

"Blair, I....".

"You know Jim, back when Sentinels were first discovered by Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor) he discovered that they all had lifelong partners, a guide, someone to stabilize their senses and prevent them from zoning. Apparently they are supposed to know each other even before they meet. I think that is part of the connection we've been feeling. I'm your guide".

Jim thought about it and nodded slowly. It kind of made sense. Blair was really hyped about it, enough to convince Jim that he might stick around for good; after all he had said they were lifelong partners. "Okay, so tell me about these Sentinels".

--------------

By the time early evening came, Jim was really wishing that he had never asked that question. Blair knew a hell of a lot about Sentinels and he'd shared it all with his new friend and now Jim was wondering just what it would take to shut him up. There was only one surefire way to do it.

So Jim leaned over along the couch and kissed Blair gently on the lips. Blair jumped right into the kiss, running his tongue along Jim's bottom lip. Jim opened up and Blair dived right in.

The kiss grew deeper as the need and passion between them bloomed and they soon made their way up the stairs to the bedroom, Blair held in Jim's arms, lips still locked together.

Once there Jim laid Blair down gently, straddled him and bent down close to whisper in the young man's ear, softly licking the folds at the same time. Blair nodded and relaxed into the soft bedding, his eyes fluttering shut.

Jim moved his body, straddling higher and started to masturbate, alternating between his hands and rubbing his cock through the dark curls on Blair's chest. Blair found the feeling of a rock hard dick on his chest and small touches of ass and thighs on his abdomen amazingly erotic and not being allowed to look only served to heighten the sensations settling and curling in his gut.

It was taking all of his will power not to buck at the feelings. Then Jim was coming, hot fluid covering Blair's chest and neck driving him to his own orgasm, spurting semen up Jim's back.

They both lay panting until they could move and wipe off what mess they could with a handy towel, and then snuggled together, Jim spooned around Blair and dozed off.

-------------------

A loud banging woke the men from their slumber. . "Ellison!" came Simon's roar from the hallway. "I know you're in there. Open this door immediately!"

Blair looked at Jim with panic in his eyes. "I'd better move downstairs before you answer that Jim".

"No! You stay here".

"Jim, you’re a cop. They don't tolerate gays in the force and they'd never accept me. Probably won't anyway".

The banging and shouting continued outside the door. "Chief, please! I love you!" Jim pleaded.

"I know you do big guy, I know you do, but it's better this way".

"Okay" Jim reluctantly agreed "But I hate having to confine this relationship to the loft. I'm in love with you Blair and I want to shout it from the treetops. It really tears me up inside that I can't". Blair smiled in sympathy as he gathered his things and slipped down the stairs and into the spare bedroom.

Jim pulled on his jeans and took a second to breathe before he opened the loft door. Simon stood there, hand raised as if to start pounding again. "Sir?" Jim said. "Ellison, they think they've found The Gingerbread Man. The kid's drawing was faxed across the area and someone called it in. Let's go!"

Jim rushed up the stairs and grabbed a shirt. Coming back down he put it on and stuck his head round the cube curtain across the spare room. "Hey chief. I'm going out for a while. Keep the door locked and don't let anyone in, okay?" Blair smiled at Jim, a smile full of promise and anticipation that made Jim rock hard in an instant, and nodded. Jim smiled back and then he and Simon left the loft.

----------------------

It took a lot longer for the Major Crimes Unit and the Cayman Sheriff to capture the guy known as "The Gingerbread Man" whose real name turned out to be Allen Marshall, than they had expected, but once they had him, he'd confessed happily to the (so called religiously just) murders of all the young men.

Apparently the first victim, a boy he had sexually assaulted, had been a member of his church and he claimed "god" had directed him to kill the boy for his sins.

Then paranoia had taken over and Allen had started seeing his young victim everywhere he looked so he figured that since "god" had wanted him dead the first time, he was justified in killing him again and again.

The uniforms came and took him away with Simon calling for them to do everything by the book so that this madman could not get away on a technicality.

--------------------

Jim arrived back at the loft in the early hours of the next morning. He was bone tired and incredibly weary, wanting nothing more than to snuggle up with Blair and sleep well into the day. He could hear Blair's heartbeat, slow and steady, still in the guestroom.
Poking his head in again, his heart quickened at the sight of Blair sprawled there, hair everywhere, book on his chest, looking just like an angel. As gently as he could, Jim gathered Blair up and carried him up to their bed.

Blair woke enough to kiss Jim's shoulder. Jim set Blair down at the top of the stairs and the young man dopily stripped off his sweats and boxers and crawled into the bed, waiting to see what Jim expected of him.

Jim also stripped off, then gathered him back up, curled around him and fell asleep, too tired to even wait for his guide to relax. Blair grinned and wrapped his arms around the muscled body. He belonged to Jim and no one else would ever be able to claim him again.

------------------------

Jim woke, still curled around Blair, with one thought on his mind. A long hot shower. As much as he loved Blair, he didn't really want to spend any my more time covered in dried semen.

Thinking back to the night before, he knew Simon had to have seen the thick white fluid dried on his back and there was no way he could have done that all by himself. He honestly couldn't believe that the sharp-eyed Captain would have missed that but although he knew Blair was right and there were bad cops about, he didn't think Simon was into spreading rumours or blackmail.

A few minutes later Jim heard Blair pad down the stairs and enter the bathroom. "Morning" Sandburg's sleepy voice said as he took a leak.

The intimate tinkling sound of Blair's water hitting the bowl made Jim's innards twist up with excitement so he drew back the curtain and hauled Blair into the shower, barely giving the other man time to kick off his boxers. "Morning!" he answered, then pinned the younger man against the tiled wall.

He pushed Blair's feet apart and knelt down behind him. Parting Blair's golden globes, he ran his tongue along the crease. Blair moaned, moved his feet apart and bent his back, causing his ass to rise slightly in invitation.

Jim licked and tasted the tight ring of muscle until it relaxed, and then he pushed his tongue inside. Blair bucked, pushed his ass further out and Jim began to fuck him with his tongue. Blair begged and pleaded with Jim to never stop.

Once Blair was crazed with passion, Jim removed his tongue, got to his feet and pushed into Blair, sliding in easily. He fucked Blair hard and fast, pounding the young man into the wall and then leaned forward and taking hold of the skin at the top of Blair's spine, he bit hard as he pumped his seed deep inside the other man. A warm wetness on his hand assured him that Blair had come as well.

Coming down off his high, Jim could feel the tremors running through Blair's body and smell the coppery scent of his blood. "Chief? Are you okay?" asked Jim. Blair was still facing and held up by the wall. He didn't answer. Turning him around, Jim saw his eyes were clouded with pain, on the verge of passing out. Jim quickly checked his ass but couldn't see any sign of tearing and then the shoulder. The bite was red and sore looking and slowly oozing blood, which was being washed away by the shower water.

Jim swore and helped Blair out of the shower. He quickly dried both himself and his lover, patched up the wound and then dressed them both in baggy sweatpants. He gently made Blair take painkillers and settled his friend onto the couch on his front. "Oh god, I'm sorry Blair, I...I didn't mean....." Jim said, afraid and immensely guilt-ridden. Blair looked up and smiled weakly. "S'ok" he said reassuringly, "not you, Sentinel claiming guide". Even that short sentence caused Blair pain to say, Jim could tell.

The painkillers were starting to kick in and Blair fell into a deep pained sleep. Jim watched him closely, wondering what the hell had possessed him to do that. He hoped with all his heart and soul that he wasn't going to turn into his father and start hurting the ones he loved most.

The phone rang. Jim jumped to grab it, taking it upstairs so that it wouldn't wake Blair. "Ellison". "I need you to come in and finish this paperwork, detective" came Simon's voice.

"Now's really not a good time Sir".

"I don't care. The DA is getting twitchy and I want this case tied up so tightly that even Houdini wouldn't be able to get out of it and that means you finish the paperwork, got it?"

"Yes sir" Jim sighed "I'm going to leave Sandburg here though. He had an accident and injured his shoulder, so he's sleeping. With any luck I’ll be back before he wakes up".

"Fine Ellison. I just don't want this sick bastard getting away. Your little "friend" will be safe on his own".

"I'll be there in 15 minutes Sir". Jim changed into jeans, jumper and grabbed his jacket. He left a note for Blair if the young man should wake and left after checking his charge was sleeping peacefully.

---------------------

The amount of paperwork on any case was astounding and this was no different. It was the worst part of the job but Jim wanted to bring this guy down as much as anyone, if not more.

Today it took even longer than usual because the mayor and the D.A. had called a meeting to congratulate all those involved and Jim was sick and tired of it all by the end. It wasn't that big a deal. He just wanted Blair and the comfort he offered to senses that whacked out when he wasn't near.

-----------------------------

Parking outside the loft, Jim extended his hearing as gingerly as possible, not wanting to risk a zone-out.

He could hear Blair's heart racing and mumbled words. "No! Please Scott, don't! I won't do it again, I swear" and then a small cry of pain and then sobbing.

Jim was already running up the building stairs trying to listen for another person in the apartment. He burst in, ready to face allcomers, and then stopped dead.

Blair was still asleep but having a nightmare, tossing and turning and Jim moved forward quickly to prevent the young man from further damaging his shoulder. "No!" Blair cried, struggling and clawing at Jim. He shook Blair gently and the younger man woke with a start, cowering from the dark figure looming over him.

"Hey there, chief. You're safe here. Nothing can harm you" Jim said soothingly. "What happened?"

"I woke up and you were gone. Left me, just like the others and then he came and told me you weren't real, all in my mind and I didn't know what to think. Please don't leave me!" Blair sobbed.

"I promise you I will do everything in my power to stay with you for a very long time, Blair" Jim said solemnly.

Blair lunged forward and wrapped his arms around Jim, trying to burrow under his skin. Jim held him tight, tiling the curly head up to face him and gently wiped the tears away. He pulled Blair in even closer, careful of his shoulder.

Making a quick decision, he steered Blair up the stairs to their bedroom, wanting a quiet place to talk Blair could feel safe. Settling Blair on his stomach on the bed, Jim led next to him looking up at the ceiling.

He wasn't quite sure to broach the subject of the cause of Blair's nightmare. "Blair, this Scott, he's the L.A. boyfriend, right? The one who gave you those bruises?"

"Yes" whispered Blair. "That wasn't the first time either".

"Why did you stay there?" asked Jim.

"I didn't have anywhere else to go. I wouldn't have got a room at Rainier until the term started and Scott was talking about moving here with me and hiring a "bodyguard" to *protect* me at school. I'd already tried to escape once and he found me and I knew this would be the last chance I’d get. I'm scared Jim. He's going to find me again and this time he'll kill me".

"I won't let him, baby" crooned Jim, rolling onto his side aide and stroking Blair's soft hair.

Blair rolled onto his good side, facing Jim and he pulled the smaller man close, wrapping his arms around the slim waist. Blair tucked his head beneath Jim's chin and relaxed as he breathed in the purely masculine scent of his Sentinel, which made him feel so safe.
Finally, Blair slept curled in Jim's arms, the bigger man watching over him.

THE END