A Chance Meeting -- Angelise

Author's Note: I am a big fan of Oded Fehr and in this story, I have included characters from his recent TV series, Undercover and the movie, The Mummy. Enjoy!

Simon Banks opened the door and called out. "Ellison! Sandburg! My office! Now."

Blair turned to Jim, his blue eyes twinkling. "What have you done now?"

"Me? Why do you think it's me he's mad at?" The detective shut down his computer and followed his lover as they made their way toward his captain's office.

Blair smiled over his shoulder. "Simon adores me. He would never get mad at moi."

Jim rolled his eyes, a look of enduring love on his face. "You are so full of shit, Chief."

The longhaired police observer laughed as he opened the door to Simon's office. "And that's exactly why you put up with me." Blair nodded to the large black man. "Hi, Simon. You bellowed?"

"Shut the door, Jim." Simon handed the detective a file before waving him and his partner toward the two vacant chairs in front of his desk. "Take a seat gentlemen." After a second, he looked toward the far corner of his office. "Both of you realize that we are getting nowhere with the Distefano case. And because Washington has shown great interest in our own Cascade Mafia, they have graciously offered us the services of their Special Operations department."

Simon nodded his head to the man standing the shadows. "Jim, Blair I'd like for you to meet Frank Donovan. He and his people will be working with you on this case."

Blair jumped up and offered his hand to the tall stranger. He quickly catalogued the man's foreign features the short ebony hair, the piercing dark brown, almost black eyes, the thin lips that barely lifted into the semblance of a smile as the two of them shook hands.

"Welcome to Cascade, Mr. Donovan. I'm Blair Sandburg and me and my partner look forward to working with you and your team." Blair reached out for Jim and found empty air. Turning around he found his lover engrossed in the file Simon had given him. "Jim," he whispered. "Put that down and come introduce yourself."

Jim took one last look at the photo he was studying. Holding his hand out he stood and said, "Jim Ellison."

Simon chose that very moment to open the blinds, flooding the room with the bright light of the afternoon sun. The sudden illumination temporarily blinded the Sentinel and he missed the look of shocked disbelief on Donovan's face. The first indication that something was wrong was Blair's shout.

"Jim! Simon! Catch him!"

Jim felt his captain push past him, the sudden move causing the detective to stumble to the side. Still blinded by the light, he heard Blair yell for someone to call 911. Cursing his lack of sight, Jim reached out and somehow caught his partner by the arm.

"Blair! What's happening? I can't see a damn thing." The Sentinel felt his Guide push him away from the group of people charging into the office. Fingers closed his eyes as Blair's voice calmly took precedence over the loud noises in the room.

"It's okay, Big Guy. Keep your eyes closed and just listen to me." Blair brushed his hands over the older man's face. "Concentrate on my voice. That's it. Now find those dials and slowly ease down the one for sight. You know the drill." He continued to talk to Jim for several minutes, calming the Sentinel's confusion.

Two paramedics entered the office and Blair observed as they loaded the government agent onto a stretcher. He followed the stretcher's exit to the elevator before patting his partner's arm. "Everything's gonna be okay. Visualize a sunset, Jim. Watch the sun's light slowly dissipate. The brightness is getting dimmer and dimmer."

The police observer lightly pressed his fingertips to his lover's eyes. "Go ahead, Jim. Open your eyes. Everything should be back to normal."

The detective blinked several times, his hands automatically going to his face to rub his eyes. He squinted at his surroundings as he took a seat on the edge of Simon's desk.

"Where's Donovan?"

Blair examined his lover closely and, finding no residual effects from the temporary blindness, pointed to the doorway. "Paramedics just hauled his ass out of here. The guy passed out just as he was about to shake your hand. And as far as I could tell, he was still out when they left with him."

"Damn. Wonder what's wrong?" The Sentinel glanced around the room. "What happened to Simon?"

Blair placed the file his partner had been looking at back on the police captain's desk. "He went with them. Shouted something about following them to the hospital."

Jim shook his head. "Nothing like a little excitement to end the day." He slid off the desk and guided Blair out of the office. Grabbing his jacket, Jim said, "Since we can't do anything until we hear from Simon, why don't we just head on home? We can grab an early supper." The detective checked his wallet. "In fact, how 'bout I treat you out? I think I still owe you a meal for clearing away that mountain of paperwork Simon blessed me with last month."

Blair gathered his books together and dumped them in his backpack. Slinging it on his shoulder, he smiled at Jim. "Lead on, oh great one! My tummy is begging for some Italian. Let's try out that new restaurant on Westside Street."

The two men waved to their co-workers and headed toward the elevator.

+++++++

"Touch my meatball and die." Jim slapped away his partner's foraging fork.

Blair frowned. "I need the extra nourishment."

The Sentinel took a sip of wine. "Is that why you tried to eat not only your salad but my salad and the majority of the bread basket?"

A smile spread across the anthropologist's face. "What can I say? I'm a growing boy!"

Jim picked up his napkin and reached across the table, cleaning a smear of sauce off his lover's chin. "The only thing growing on you, Pinocchio is your nose."

Blair grinned wickedly. "Are you sure?" He touched his nose and then cast a glance downward. "Something's growing and it sure ain't my nose." The young man yelped when an investigating foot nudged his crotch.

"I do believe you're right." Jim waggled his eyebrows suggestively. "Unless of course, that's a loaf of bread you're trying to smuggle out of the restaurant?"

A fresh attack on his plate had the detective defending his remaining meatballs with his knife. He entered into a duel with Blair's fork in order to prevent his lover from stealing another portion of his meal. Blair finally gave up and licking spaghetti sauce off his fingers, pointed at his partner, grinning. "I think somebody is calling your meatballs."

Jim snorted and dug out his cellphone. "Ellison here." He listened for several seconds, shaking his head in confusion. "Why does he want to see me? I don't know the man."

The detective held up his hand, stalling his curious partner. "Okay, Simon. I'll be there in about thirty minutes." Jim slipped his phone back inside his jacket.

Blair wiped his mouth with his napkin. "Who wants to see you?"

"Donovan." Jim took another sip of his wine. "Why in the world would he want to see me?" He waved a hand at their waiter.

"Maybe it's about the case?" Blair captured a stray tomato from his salad plate and popped it in his mouth.

"Then why doesn't he talk to Simon? Simon's right there." Jim figured out the tip and tossed several more bills on the table. "Just doesn't make sense."

Blair grabbed several pieces of garlic bread and followed his partner out of the restaurant. "Whatever the reason, we'll find out soon enough."

Jim unlocked and opened the passenger door for his lover. Blair offered him a greasy kiss and the older man wrinkled his nose. "Garlic breath, babe. You certainly don't have to worry about any vampires sucking your blood tonight."

Blair grinned. "It's not my blood I want sucked." Jim's hand connected with his ass, causing the anthropologist to jump. He looked over his shoulder at his partner. "Any more of that and we'll never make it to the hospital."

Jim simply rolled his eyes as he shut the truck door. "Slut."

+++++++

"Where is he?"

Simon nodded to the doctor he was speaking to and turned to face the two men approaching him. Pointing to the door across the hall from where he was standing, the police captain said, "Donovan's in there. The doc here says it's okay for him to have visitors."

Jim stopped in front of the large black man, a questioning look on his face. "Do you know why he wants to speak to me specifically?"

Simon shook his head. "He wouldn't say. As soon as he came around, he asked to see you. And he's been as forthcoming as a clam since he made his request." Simon looked over at Blair. "Want to grab a cup of coffee with me?"

"No. I think I better stay with Jim. See what's going on with this Fed." Blair laid a hand on his partner's arm.

Simon shrugged his shoulders. "Okay. I'll be in the cafeteria if you need me. Just call me on my cellphone."

Jim and Blair watched their boss disappear around the corner. The anthropologist indicated the door Simon had pointed out to them. "Ready?"

"Might as well." Jim pushed the door open and stepped inside. The pristine white hospital room was cast in shadows, a small overhead light barely illuminating the man sitting in the bed, his hands playing nervously with a tear in the blanket that covered him.

The Sentinel stepped forward. "Mr. Donovan. I'm..."

"My husband." The dark haired stranger, his eyes shimmering with joy, looked up and held his hand out. "James my beloved."

Blair caught Jim by the arm, the detective nearly falling to his knees. Confused, he watched as his partner stumbled to the bed and embraced the government agent. A suffocating pain gripped his heart as the words the man had uttered finally took precedence in his mind.

My husband.

Blair reached out and braced himself against the door as a sudden weakness attacked him, his vision graying around the edges.

My husband.

Shaking his head, the anthropologist took several deep breaths before focusing his attention on the two men in front of him. What he saw shattered his heart.

Jim wrapped his arms around the dark haired man and smiled down at him, disbelief and confusion warring on his face, tears overwhelming his blue eyes. "Ardeth." His shaky fingers traced the agent's face, lingering several seconds on his smiling lips. "I was told they told me you were dead." Jim lowered his head and shared a tender kiss with his very much alive husband.

Ardeth smiled and gently cupped Jim's cheek. His soft voice belied the anger of his words "Those bastards told me the same thing. I've spent the past 7 years believing my heart had been buried forever in the desert with you. When I saw you today, in that office, alive the shock..." He touched foreheads with the older man, tears helplessly falling down both men's cheeks.

Blair took several steps back, the need to escape almost overwhelming him. Before he could move, he found himself tugged toward the bed by Jim, his hand gripped tightly by his partner. Jim hugged him close, whispering softly to him.

"Don't leave me, Blair. Please."

The anthropologist stared at his lover, disbelief in his eyes. Just a moment ago, Jim was embracing a man who claimed him as his husband. How could he ask him to stay? Didn't he see how much this reunion was hurting him?

Jim smiled at both men. "Blair, I want to introduce you to Ardeth Fey, the man I married seven years ago."

"Ardeth?" Blair asked. "I..."

"He was named after his grandfather."

Blair held his hand up. "I thought your name was Frank Donovan."

The dark haired man smiled. "That name came with the job."

Blair felt himself shoved in a chair with Jim kneeling at his feet. "I know you're confused as hell," his partner said.

"That's putting it lightly." Blair avoided Jim's eyes, staring instead at the commitment bracelet his lover had placed upon his wrist on Valentine's Day. He twisted the thick braiding of gold, resisting the temptation to rip it off and throw it at Jim.

Jim reached out and took hold of Ardeth's hand, his words directed at Blair. "Forgive me for not telling you about this part of my life. The agony of losing Ardeth was so overwhelming, I buried it deep inside, never wanting to feel that pain again as long as I lived."

Ardeth echoed his husband's action and grasped Blair's hand, adding it to theirs. "Jim and I were part of a joint covert operation in the Middle East. We were instantly attracted to each other. His silent strength, his solitude pulled me right in."

Jim nodded. "After the mission, Ardeth invited me to visit his grandparents. They belonged to one of the desert tribes and we stayed with them for nearly a year." The detective smiled at his husband. "It was during that time that we truly fell in love. And once his grandfather saw the depth of our feelings for one another, he agreed to marry us in a special ceremony."

Ardeth pulled the top of his gown to the side and showed Blair the tattoo on his chest. "I had the image of his spirit placed upon my body."

Blair stared in amazement at the panther that graced the man's skin. He turned questioning eyes toward his partner. "Where's your tattoo?"

Jim reached in his back pocket and took out his wallet. Opening it, he pulled out a long strand of braided black hair. "I claimed a part of him to carry with me for always."

Blair touched the strand of hair. "What happened? Why did you think he was dead?"

Unable to speak, Jim replaced his marriage token in his wallet. He looked over at his husband, tears once again threatening his blue eyes.

Ardeth traced the trail of an escaping tear. "There was a skirmish in Iraq and both Jim and I were called into service. Unfortunately, we were placed on different teams. Things went wrong from the very start; it was as if the mission was decreed by the gods to fail." He turned and locked gazes with Blair. "My team was surrounded by the enemy the minute we hit the ground and I was severely injured trying to get my men out. Two weeks later I woke up in an Israeli hospital to the news that Jim was dead."

The dark haired man paused, his control made vulnerable by his memories. A shuddering sigh escaped him before he could continue. "The mission took place on foreign soil-hostile foreign soil. I tried desperately to confirm Jim's death, to find his body but all attempts failed. I finally returned to my grandfather's home and forced myself to accept my loss."

Jim rose to his feet and gathered Ardeth in his arms. He rocked the man back and forth, whispering quiet words of comfort. The Sentinel, even in his grief, did not forget his Guide, his lover. He held out his hand and pulled Blair into the embrace, sharing his kisses with both men.

Jim buried his face in the softness of his husband's short black hair. Several minutes later, he began to speak. "My story is basically the same. I was caught in an explosion and nearly had my leg ripped off. Once my injury was stabilized, the commander of my team had me shipped back to the States-despite my protests. I demanded; I pleaded to stay. I couldn't go home without Ardeth. But as you can surmise, my requests were denied and home to the good old USA I went. The doctor assigned to my case gave me the news shortly after I arrived stateside."

The detective stroked the side of his husband's face. "As you, I exhausted every resource trying to verify your death. I was in hell for a solid year---an emotional and physical hell. By the time I learned to walk again and could investigate on my own, all facts of the mission had been classified and I was denied access to them."

Jim stared into his husband's eyes. "My leg healed but my heart..." The two men embraced, each one hiding their emotions from view.

The door to the roomed opened and a young, dark haired man, introducing himself as Dr. Whitaker, walked in. "Gentlemen, if you would excuse us for a few moments, I would like to examine your friend."

Jim kissed Ardeth softly and silently gripped his hand for several seconds. He started to pull away but was stopped by his husband's refusal to let him go.

"Wait. Don't go. I need to..."

"I'll be right outside the door," Jim told Ardeth. "As soon as the doc finishes, I'll come back in."

Blair watched the exchange in total confusion, his emotions tumbling wildly in all directions. He was happy for Jim, yet heartbroken and afraid. And yes, even mad, angry almost. This morning he had awoken, wrapped in the arms of the man he had called his lover for the past two years. Now, in less than an hour, that lover had been claimed by another. His whole present and future had been shattered by two little words.

My husband.

Blair felt like his heart had just been crushed and then ripped out of his chest. Jim's husband had literally risen from the dead and appeared more than ready to assume his rightful place at Jim's side. How could he deny his friend and partner that happiness?

And what about Jim being a Sentinel? Blair was his Guide, bonded to him in ways Ardeth could never be. Or could he? Was Ardeth Jim's original Guide? Could he take Blair's place, fulfill the role that had been his for the past 5 years?

Blair followed Jim out of the room and into a small waiting area. Reluctant to speak, his words strangled into silence, he watched the Sentinel pace the narrow space for several minutes.

"Blair."

Even though Blair had been watching his partner, the sound of his name startled him. "Yes?"

Jim halted his pacing in front of the large window Blair was standing next to. He glanced at the younger man, confused by his silence. "What are you thinking, Chief?"

"What am I thinking? I can't believe you asked me that." Blair shook his head. "I'm thinking I should start looking for a new place to live."

"NO!" Jim turned quickly and gripped Blair's arms. "You can't."

"Why can't I? Why wouldn't I?" Blair ripped himself free. "Unless I'm suffering from hallucinations, you now have a husband. Why in the hell wouldn't I be thinking of moving out? Three's a crowd last time I checked."

"Is it?" Jim reached out a hand to the man who had given him his life back, who had given him love. "Are you really ready to throw away everything we are to each other?"

"That's an interesting question, Jim. But I have one that's even better. What exactly are we to each other?" Blair ignored his partner's outstretched hand. "This morning I was the man you loved---the only man you loved. And now? Now you have a husband. And for the life of me, I simply can't figure out where I belong in that equation."

Jim grabbed Blair and hauled him close. "You belong right here." He kissed the anthropologist hard on the lips. "I love you, Blair."

Struggling to free himself, Blair hissed, "I thought you loved him." He tilted his head in the direction of Ardeth's room.

Jim looked at his partner, confusion etched on his features. "Why are you so mad, Chief? I know this is a shock. But it's a shock to both of us." The Sentinel tangled his fingers in the riot of curls surrounding his lover's face. "I still love you, Blair. And you're still my Guide. Nothing's gonna change that."

"No?" Blair shook his head, unwilling to believe his partner. "The man in that room over there---he's changed everything. Everything, Jim."

"What do you mean, he's changed everything? Tell me. I don't understand. I still love you. Finding Ardeth has not changed that."

Blair's eyes opened wide. "Has not changed that? Unless you're into threesomes-which I doubt, Ardeth's arrival has closed the book on our relationship."

Jim avoided Blair's discerning gaze, focusing instead on the window behind them. Blair stared at his friend. "Jim? You're not are you suggesting?"

"Yes."

Jim's whisper stunned Blair into complete silence, his mouth falling open in disbelief.

The detective wrapped his arms around Blair and hugged him tight, burying his face in the softness of the anthropologist's hair. "I don't want to lose Ardeth, Blair. But more importantly, I don't want to lose you." He pressed a soft kiss to Blair's ear. "Do you think I mean would you consider allowing Ardeth to join us?"

Blair closed his eyes, listening to the frantic beat of his heart. Could he share Jim with Ardeth? Was he secure enough in Jim's love to make room for this stranger in their home, in their bed? What about Ardeth? What if he wanted Jim all to himself? What if he wasn't willing to be part of a threesome?

The older man whispered, "Chief?"

"I... I don't know, Jim. What if I don't want to share you with Ardeth? Did you think of that?" Blair slowly pulled out of his partner's arms and turned away. "I need some time, Jim. This isn't something I can decide in just a few minutes."

Jim gripped Blair's hand, preventing him from walking away. "I love you. You believe that, don't you?"

Blair nodded his head, too choked with emotions to answer.

"Fellas!" Simon poked his head in the doorway. "Time to go! This is Dr. Eldridge and he's here to discharge Mr. Donovan. Says all his tests checked out normal."

Jim stared at the short, gray haired man standing beside his boss. "Doctor? What the...?" He ignored the physician and, grabbing Blair by his arm, slammed his way into Ardeth's room. A growl ripped from his throat when he saw the supposed doctor locked in an embrace with his husband. The man was trailing kisses across Ardeth's half naked chest.

Blair had no choice but to follow his partner, nearly falling to his knees when Jim abruptly released his arm. Catching hold of a nearby chair, he watched the detective seize the young man and pull him away from Ardeth, throwing him against the wall. Blair raced forward at the sight of Jim's hands encircling the man's throat. Both he and Ardeth reached the two men at the same time.

"Jake!"

"Jim!"

Ardeth used his greater strength to yank Jim away, handing him off to Blair. He then placed his hand on the dark haired man's chest, preventing him from following after Jim.

The Sentinel tested his Guide's hold, lunging forward. "Who the hell are you to be touching my husband?"

Simon, who had entered the room on the heels of his friends, turned and stared at Jim. "Husband?" His questioning gaze slid over to Blair. "Sandburg?"

Blair shook his head. "Not now, Simon."

The man Ardeth had called Jake spoke, his voice exceedingly loud in the small room. "Frank? Wanna tell me why that guy is calling you his husband? Last time I checked I was the only man in your bed. Or did something change after we got up this morning?"

Jim stumbled back a step. Lifting confused eyes to Ardeth, he fought to speak. "You're" Jim gestured at Jake. "He's..." The Sentinel straightened to his full height. "You goddamn son of a bitch. You let me believe..." Jim left the sentence unfinished and turned away. Directing a tight smile at Blair, he strode out of the room.

Blair watched his partner exit the room before slowly advancing on Ardeth, stabbing the taller man repeatedly in the chest with his finger. "You bastard. You could have told him." Blair poked Ardeth again. "What? The fall you took earlier made you forget old Jake here?" The anthropologist twisted around and headed toward the door. "Maybe you should get lost in the desert again," he threw over his shoulder.

Blair turned back and dragged Simon out of the room. "If Jim's done what I think he has, I'm gonna need a ride back to the loft."

Simon pulled out his keys. "Let's go."

+++++++

Blair rushed inside the loft and looked around. Not seeing his partner, he ran upstairs. "Jim! Talk to me, man. Jim?"

After a few minutes, the anthropologist leaned over the railing and looked down at Simon. "Damn. His overnight duffle bag is gone."

"Blair?" Simon held out a piece of paper. "There's a message from Jim."

Blair flew down the stairs and snatched the note from Simon's hand. He hurriedly read the words Jim had scribbled down. "SHIT!"

A pounding on the loft door distracted Simon. He walked across the room and opened the door. Ardeth burst inside, his dark eyes huge, their color intensified by the gray pallor of his skin.

"Where is Jim? Where is he?"

Blair threw the note at the government agent. "He's gone, damn you. He's gone!"

Ardeth quickly skimmed the message before looking up Blair. "Where is this cabin?"

"Why the hell do you care? Besides, it's none of your goddamn business. You've got Jake, remember?" Blair turned away.

"Jake's gone," Ardeth said quietly. "He decided he wasn't quite in the mood to share." The agent looked down at the note again. "Are you going to stand here all day arguing with me or are you going help me bring Jim back home?"

Blair refused to look at Ardeth. "He's mine. I'm the one he loves now."

Ardeth stepped forward and laid his hand on Blair's shoulder. "And I'm the one he loves once more. Are you going to be like Jake---unwilling to share?" The dark haired man moved to stand in front of Blair. "I love Jim and I want to be a part of his life again. But I will not do so at your expense. I'm not blind, Mr. Sandburg. I can see how much Jim cares for you. You are in his heart." Ardeth sighed. "But so am I." The man cupped the side of Blair's face. "Do you honestly want Jim to choose? Do you want him to sacrifice a part of his past, of his heart just because you are insecure---unwilling to share his love?"

Blair shook his head in confusion. "No. Yes. Fuck! I don't know." Closing his eyes, he wearily rested his head against Ardeth's hand. "What you're asking is hard. Very hard. There are things you don't understand ---a bond between Jim and I that goes beyond love."

"You're talking about his senses, aren't you?" Ardeth smiled at Blair's gasp of surprise. "It was Jim's senses that brought the two of us together. He froze during a walk through a minefield and, of all the men there that day, I was the only one Jim would respond to. My grandfather told Jim that I could help him for a time but that one day another would come that would truly bring his life back into order."

Ardeth tangled his fingers in Blair's curls. "You must be the one my grandfather was speaking of. The one who has given Jim a peace he never fully had with me." Silence reigned several seconds as Ardeth examined the truth in Blair's eyes. "Maybe you are the only one Jim needs in his heart. Maybe it is time for me to truly say goodbye to my beloved warrior."

The band of fear that gripped Blair's heart broke free and the anthropologist was able to move past his doubts. He took hold of Ardeth's shoulders and shouted, "No!"

Ardeth dropped his hand and attempted to step away but was prevented by Blair's grip. "No?"

"You can't go. Jim will never recover losing you again." Realizing he was still holding Ardeth, Blair released the man and backed away. He carded his hands through his hair and chewed on his bottom lip for several seconds. "I" Blair looked up at the government agent. "Are you truly willing to share Jim with me? I mean do you think this can work? Both of us loving-living with Jim? What about those nights when Jim takes me to bed and not you? Can you handle that?"

"Who's to say I won't join you?"

Blair's jaw hit the floor. Ardeth smiled and gently closed the younger man's mouth, his long slender fingers tracing the outline of Blair's lips. "You are very attractive, Mr. Sandburg. I would be lying if I said I hadn't entertained the thought of holding you in my arms and making passionate love to you."

Blair shivered, the image of Ardeth's deeply tanned body covering him. He opened his mouth and let his tongue brush against the man's exploring fingers. "You you'd wow."

The noise of Simon clearing his throat startled the two men. Turning away to hide his blush, Blair stared out the window.

"Time's a wasting, gentlemen. If you wish to get to the cabin before dark, the two of you need to haul ass." Simon looked at Donovan. "Do you have transportation? I can loan you my car, if you need it."

Ardeth tore his gaze away from Blair and glanced over his shoulder at the black police captain. "My SUV is parked downstairs. We can take that."

Simon lifted the anthropologist's jacket down from the coat rack. "Blair?"

The young man visibly shook himself before turning around. He took his jacket and slipped it on. Finally, he looked up at Ardeth and smiled. "Let's go get Jim."

"I'll lock up," Simon offered.

"Thanks, Simon. I'll call you when we get back." Blair followed the government agent out the door.

+++++++

"Is this the turn?"

Blair looked up and examined his surroundings. "Yeah. You go down this road about ten miles. There'll be a fork and you need to hang left."

The anthropologist returned to his silent contemplation of the patch on his jeans. Intent on pulling free a loose thread, he gasped when Ardeth's hand closed over his. He quickly looked up at the man.

"You have been way too quiet, Mr. Sandburg. What troubles you?"

"Blair. Call me Blair."

"Talk to me, Blair. Why the silence?"

Blair stared at Ardeth's hand, watching his fingers intertwine with his. "I've been thinking about Jim about us."

"And what have decisions have you made about us?" Ardeth gripped Blair's hand briefly before releasing it in order to shift gears. Finished with that task, he slid his hand along the longhaired man's thigh, stopping just short of his crotch.

Blair's eyes widened at the sight of Ardeth's hand touching him. Groaning softly, he felt his body react to the man's caress. "I I think I like the idea of us being a threesome."

Ardeth skimmed a finger along the outline of Blair's cock. "Yes?"

The anthropologist gripped the armrest on the passenger door, forcing himself to resist arching into the maddening touch of Ardeth's hand. Glancing up, he shouted, "Stop!"

Throwing on the brakes, Ardeth moved his hand up to Blair's chest and braced the smaller man against the seat.

"What? What's wrong?"

"We need to turn here. The cabin is just past that group of trees." Blair grinned sheepishly. "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. I kinda got distracted."

Ardeth grasped the anthropologist's jacket and pulled him closer, pressing a soft kiss to Blair's mouth. "Did you enjoy the distraction?"

Blair licked his lips and whispered. "Oh yeah."

"Good." Smiling, Ardeth released his hold and directed the SUV down the gravel driveway. Within less than a minute, he stopped the vehicle in front of a two-story cabin. "Nice place."

Blair scrambled out of the SUV and headed for the door, followed closely by Ardeth. "It's actually Simon's cabin. He lets me and Jim use it whenever we want." Finding the door unlocked, he stepped inside. "Jim?"

Silence greeted the two men. "Let's check upstairs." Pulling his jacket off, Blair nodded at the upper level.

Taking the stairs two at a time, Ardeth reached the landing first. Once Blair joined him, he guided the young man down the hallway. They finally found Jim asleep in the second bedroom, his large naked form sprawled across the mattress.

Ardeth started unbuttoning his shirt. "I don't know about you but I have found that the direct approach works the best with Jim."

Blair opened and closed his mouth several times, the sight of Ardeth's naked chest driving all thoughts from his brain. He continued to stare until the man stood completely nude in front of him. A pair of snapping fingers in front of his face finally broke Blair free from the fascination he had with Ardeth's uncircumcised cock. He looked up at the older man. "Huh?"

Ardeth smiled at Blair and gently tugged on the collar of the man's shirt. "Have you been distracted again?"

Grinning, the anthropologist began stripping his clothes off. "You are one hell of a distraction, Ardeth Fey."

The government agent chuckled and nodded his head at the sleeping man on the bed. "Shall we?" Ardeth crawled onto the bed and with a smile at Blair, bent his head and softly kissed Jim on the mouth. "Wake up, beloved."

Jim blinked drowsily. "Ardeth? What ?"

Blair joined the two men and nuzzled the sensitive skin behind Jim's left ear. "Love you, Big Guy."

Jim opened his mouth to speak but found his words buried under the gentle weight of Ardeth's kiss. Confused, he pushed his husband away. Looking back and forth between the two men, he demanded, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Loving you." Ardeth lowered his head and lazily licked a wet path across Jim's lower jaw. "Is that a problem?"

Jim struggled to a sitting position against the bed's headboard. "Yes, it is a problem. A major problem. Or have you forgotten that Jake is the only man in your bed right now?" Jim jerked free the pillow from behind his back and slung it across the room. "You bastard. I can't believe you forgot to tell me you had a lover."

Ardeth sighed and sat back on his heels, a flash of pain darkening his eyes. "Jake has left me."

Fighting back the urge to reach out and console Ardeth, Jim looked down at the bed, avoiding the man's eyes. "Maybe he didn't like finding out you had a husband?"

"I deserve that." Ardeth bowed his head. "But if you'll remember, I tried to stop you from leaving the room after Jake walked in. I was trying to tell you but you just ignored me."

"He said he was your doctor. What was I to think?"

Ardeth waved his hand in the air. "Where's that keen sight of yours? Didn't you see the words X-ray tech embroidered on the front of his labcoat?"

"I guess I was too busy looking at you." Jim had the grace to look contrite. "Why did Jake leave?"

"As I told Blair, Jake is not into sharing."

Jim glanced at his lover. "Sharing?"

Blair scooted forward and stroked his hand over Jim's bare chest. "Ardeth and I have come to an understanding, babe. We know you love us both and that you want us both in your life. We're cool with that. And" Blair pulled the sheet off Jim. "if you don't mind, we'd be more than happy to demonstrate how good the three of us together can be."

Jim captured Blair's hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it. "The three of us? Blair? Are you sure?" Only after his lover had nodded his head did the detective reach out and pull Ardeth close, tucking the man against his side. "Do the two of you realize what you're proposing?"

"Yes." Ardeth rolled over and partially covered Jim with his body. He nipped at the hollow of Jim's throat. "The question is do you want it want both of us loving you?"

Jim tangled one hand in the ebony strands of Ardeth's hair and with the other, gripped Blair's hand and brought it to his groin. "Yes. Please yes."

Ardeth flowed forward and claimed his husband's mouth, tasting the love he had been denied the past seven years. Removing the remaining pillows from the bed, he pushed Jim down and blanketed him with the solid weight of his larger frame.

Blair pulled away and watched as the two older men came together. Tears collected in his eyes as he witnessed the love Ardeth was offering Jim, the dark haired man's endearments whispered in a language that was as ancient as the dessert that gave birth to him.

With his vision clouded, Blair was startled to feel unfamiliar fingers brushing across his chest, their touch circling his nipples, teasing them into hard peaks. The anthropologist opened his eyes and found his gaze captured by Ardeth's fathomless dark eyes. Licking his lips, Blair hesitantly shifted closer and with a sigh of thankfulness, guided the man's hand lower, encouraging a more intimate exploration.

Jim's growl brought Ardeth's head up and he questioned what he could only assume was a protest from his husband. Jim reached out and touched Ardeth's hand. "Together. We touch him together."

Ardeth shifted to his knees and with a touch to Blair's shoulder, directed the younger man to stretch out on the bed. He moved to the opposite side of the mattress and waited for his husband to take his place.

Jim rolled to his knees and leaning forward, feathered several kisses along Ardeth's collarbone. He smiled at the look of passion on his husband's face. "Soon. Very soon."

Kneeling beside Blair, Jim pressed his lips to his lover's forehead, inhaling his scent, reaffirming his connection to his Guide. Closing his eyes, he felt his lashes catch on a wayward curl and he buried his face in the softness of Blair's long hair, whispering, "I love you, Blair. For always."

Blair shuddered at the sound of Jim's quiet declaration. Lifting his hands, he tugged on his lover's face, urging the older man to look at him. "Thank you, Jim," he said quietly. Smiling at Jim's confused frown, Blair nodded his head toward the man waiting silently beside him. "Thank you for having enough room in your heart for Ardeth and me."

Jim closed his eyes, a single tear escaping and falling on Blair's lips, the salty droplet sharing in the kiss between Sentinel and Guide. "There's room only because your love made room, Blair."

Jim settled down beside his lover. Taking Ardeth's hand in his, he pulled his husband down to join him and together they gathered Blair in their arms. After a moment, Jim began to chuckle. Blair twisted his head to the side and looked at his lover.

"What's so funny?"

Jim took hold of Ardeth's hand and brought it down to Blair's groin, lazily stroking the younger man's erection.

"Never thought I'd be thankful to the Feds for butting in on one of our cases."

Moaning, Blair lifted a leg, allowing Ardeth to move his hand lower in order to fondle his balls. "Remind me to send Uncle Sam a thank you card."

All three men laughed and settled down to the business of beginning a new life together.

The end

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Mary for her much appreciated encouragement as beta and friend. To Patt for her endless patience when it comes to my coverart! You ladies are the best!!!

Back to My Mongoose Ezines