Series Note: There are 65 episodes of The Sentinel, and that got me to thinking...That's 65 opportunities for two beautiful men to make love. Or, at least, to want to very badly. Hmm...
Summary: Episode 47, Trance. Jim takes an unlikely interest in the rituals of Santeria. And like a good educational professional, Blair shares what he knows.
Warnings: Rated NC-17. m/m
Note: This is a fantasy on "Trance." Needless to say, the details about Santeria are hardly accurate.
Jim gave him a sidelong look as he drove, his eyes flickering with amusement. And Blair felt decidedly silly.
"Of course, the modern version of Santeria has all kinds of cultural influences thrown into the mix," he babbled, for no other reason than embarrassment. "The original African rituals are a bit different."
"Show me again," Jim said.
Blair was surprised, but he went with it, because, well, it was Jim.
"You've got all the moves, baby," Jim said.
And he smiled at Blair. Smiled, as if he knew.
Blair swallowed hard. It was a very bad habit of his--he'd given himself many silent lectures on the subject--this tendency to throw out incomplete anthropological anecdotes, to play up the entertainment value and leave out the inconvenient bits, because, really, who would ever know or care?
But sometimes Blair got the sense that Jim did know. He would feel Jim's gaze linger just a little too long on him, as if he knew perfectly well that Blair was knocking the corners off the facts.
Sometimes, Blair thought this was just his own paranoia. Other times, he felt it was entirely possible that Jim really was hip to his little omissions. After all, Jim was not the intellectual dark horse he pretended to be. His big-dumb-cop bluff masked hidden depths. Blair had discovered that ages ago. Really, there was never any knowing what stray bits of information Jim had stockpiled over the years.
So maybe Jim knew all about Santeria? Blair squirmed uncomfortably in his seat. Maybe he knew the dance Blair had just been demonstrating was traditionally performed in the nude?
For several blocks, he fought off the urge to hyperventilate.
Eventually, he talked himself down from the ledge. So maybe Jim did know, Blair told himself. But surely he didn't care? Blair glanced over at Jim. He was looking straight ahead, concentrating on his driving. He certainly didn't seem to be playing a home video in his head of his male roommate naked and gyrating. In fact, he was probably at that very moment figuring out how to catch the bad guys. That would be a very Jim-like thing to do. Blair breathed a little easier. He could handle Jim thinking about bad guys.
Soon enough, Blair had more important things to think about, too. There were questions to ask, a Sentinel to guide, an ancient goddess to summon. He quickly forgot all about the incident in the truck and the panic attack he'd had over it.
Later, after the criminals had been nailed, he and Jim headed home. They made dinner, ate, exchanged a few teasing insults the way men do. It was all par for the course.
Once they'd cleaned up the kitchen, they drifted into the living room. The magnetic lure of television pulled them over to the sofa. Jim fired up the set and flipped channels, skipping with an impatient snap of the wrist things Blair would definitely have explored further. Perfectly predictable.
Jim shook his head at the screen. "Reruns," he said, with distaste.
"Oh, hey, man," Blair said. "There was that documentary on the domestication of livestock."
Jim gave him a nasty look.
"I'm just saying it's not a rerun," Blair said, defensively.
Jim didn't even bother to dignify his feeble protest with the usual smart-alecky remark. He zoomed through the channels one more time and then turned off the TV.
"Boring," he declared.
"Now what are we going to do?" Blair asked, a little peevishly.
Really, he didn't see what was wrong with learning more about one of the most crucial developments in the history of civilization.
Jim regarded him speculatively for a moment. "Well, you could show me that dance move again," he said.
Blair stared at him.
"You know, from earlier in the truck," Jim clarified, as if that was actually necessary.
Blair laughed half-heartedly. "Funny, man."
Jim shrugged. "Why not? Couldn't really get the whole picture before. Too cramped. Plenty of room here in the living room, though."
Blair snorted. "Yeah, right." It's got to be a joke, he told himself. Got to be. "Mock the anthro geek. Very funny, man."
"Hey, you're always trying to get me interested in this--" He waved his hand in the air. "You know, educational stuff. So here's your chance to expand my horizons."
"You're kidding, right?"
Jim just smiled at him, in an encouraging way, not like it was a joke.
"Right? Jim?" Blair insisted, a little desperately.
"Go on," Jim coaxed. His voice was suddenly all honey and warmth. "Put on some music. I bet you even have the right kind, don't you?"
"Okay then." Jim jerked his head toward the CD player. "Let's hear it."
God. Jim was serious. Blair was too stunned to answer.
Jim leaned closer. "Go on. You know you want to."
Blair really didn't know why that was what got him up from the sofa. Maybe it was the shock of it. Or perhaps it was simply the truth.
He found the CD he needed right on top of the cabinet. It looked as if it had just been carelessly tossed to the side, but somehow Blair had the oddest feeling that it had actually been placed there quite purposefully, for just this moment. He put the disc in the player and hit the button. The sinuous rhythm of drumming filled the room.
Blair looked nervously over at Jim, and then he felt utterly ridiculous. He was about to shut down the CD player and laugh the whole thing off when Jim got up from the sofa.
"Go on, Blair. I really want to see," Jim said.
The sound of his name rattled along his bones. Jim hardly ever called him Blair. And the way he'd said it! God. When had Jim ever sounded like that, so raw and urgent?
It just seemed natural to give in to it. His body began to undulate in time to the music. Jim leaned against the pillar and watched. Blair couldn't bear to look at him, but he couldn't stop moving, either. So he closed his eyes and let his body take over.
Time flowed rather strangely after that. Blair danced and got lost in it. Even the fact that Jim was watching him receded, until Jim's voice finally jolted him back to reality.
"I thought you were going to make it authentic," Jim said.
Blair's eyes flew open.
"I-- uh-- I am."
Jim crossed his arms over his chest. Blair's face went violently hot. God. Jim did know.
"It's not really educational if it's not authentic, is it, Chief?"
"Um-- Well, I guess--"
"Go on," Jim urged. "Show me the real thing."
Blair couldn't move, couldn't think.
Jim's voice lowered a sultry octave. "You know you want to."
And this time, Blair recognized that tone. He could hear his own voice taking on that same smooth timbre, telling Jim to relax, focus, trust his senses. Blair had never stopped to consider how Jim might really feel about that. Jim was a proud man, after all, fiercely independent. Maybe he resented the whole Guide thing as much as he was grateful for it? Maybe this, finally, was payback?
Despite the enormous potential for humiliation, Blair found his trembling fingers obeying. They pulled at the buttons of his shirt, undid the fastenings of his jeans. He shook all over, but he found his way out of his clothes. When he was finished, he stood there in front of Jim, helpless and naked and half hard.
Jim watched impassively. "Move for me," he said. But his voice wasn't impassive at all. It had an intense, controlled heat in it.
So Blair moved. He had taken a modern dance class once in college to please some girl he wanted to sleep with. The teacher had exhorted them over and over to find their center. At the time, the concept had really stumped him. But now he could feel it clearly, deep in the cradle of his pelvis, in the smooth glide of his hips, the sense that he was finally moving at the correct angle to the universe. He didn't have to close his eyes anymore. It felt so right to be watched.
And it felt right to touch, too. He couldn't help himself. He ran his hands lightly over his body. He stroked his chest. His nipples were hard and begging for attention. He just had to play, to tease.
In many ancient religions, it was the female figure that represented love, sex, fertility. In the past, this notion had seemed perfectly fitting to Blair. But now it struck him as flawed, incomplete. As he danced, his erect cock swayed gently, and for the first time, he truly understood his own phallic power. Pre-cum flowed freely from him. He was profoundly alive to his own maleness, how rich it was, how fruitful.
All Jim's attention was fastened on him, on his body, but Jim's face remained utterly blank. Blair had no idea what he was thinking, what he might do. Blair needed so much, and he didn't see how he could stop. But could he really do this in front of Jim? Only a few hours ago, the thought would have made him laugh.
Jim seemed to sense his hesitation, to understand. He whispered, "You know you want to."
Blair's whole body jerked. It wasn't what he was expecting. But then, it appeared that Jim wasn't exactly what Blair had thought. Nor, for that matter, was Blair himself.
So he did it. And Jim never once looked away, not even for a second. When Blair came, he shrieked and shot, and it felt as if all the world's electricity was flowing through him, as if hand and dick and Jim's gaze had completed some vital circuit. And then everything went dark.
When he came to, he was lying on the floor, and Jim was standing over him. For an instant, he was frightened. Jim was stark and looming, and Blair had just crossed any number of lines you were never even supposed to approach. Jim might find it convenient to forget how he had pushed Blair past those boundaries. But then, Blair's vision cleared a little more, and he saw that Jim's pants were open. Jim was silent, holding his hard-on in his hands. Blair knew what that meant at once, as easily as if Jim had actually spoken the words.
This is what you do to me.
Blair couldn't move, couldn't tear his eyes away as Jim started to stroke himself. Because, God, he had done that. He had made Jim hard. He had made Jim want. The CD had long since finished. The loft was so silent that the slip and slide and slap of Jim's pleasure echoed off the walls. And Blair found himself thinking that this, finally, was music.
When Jim came, he did it without words, without sound, his eyes closed as if in pain. His seed fell onto Blair in soft, warm waves, like rain. It felt oddly like a blessing.
Jim stood frozen for what seemed like forever, his face a mask, his fading cock still clutched in his hands. Then he opened his eyes and looked down at Blair. Blair had no idea what to do or say. There was no lesson in anthropology, no life experience that had prepared him for this.
And then, Jim was moving, walking away from him, and Blair desperately wanted to call him back. He knew Jim was only going to the bathroom, but even that small distance seemed unbearable. Blair felt too languid to stir, to get up, to follow. So he had to settle for listening to Jim clean up and waiting impatiently for him to come back.
When Jim returned, he brought a wet washcloth with him and handed it to Blair.
"Don't fall asleep on the floor, Chief. It'll kill your back. And don't leave that washcloth on the rug."
He sounded just like Jim always did, but what did that mean anymore? Blair could only blink at him, in a daze. He listened as Jim's footsteps traveled away from him, across the room, up the stairs. After that, things were kind of a blur. He could dimly recall the rough, wet feel of the cloth on his bare skin, the solid sense of the wooden floor beneath his feet, the slight bounce of the mattress as he flopped down onto his bed. The washcloth made the pillowcase damp next to his face, but at least, it wasn't on the rug. This was his last disjointed thought before his short-circuited brain clicked off and he fell deeply asleep.
In the morning, he woke with a start. His cock was hard and aching. He could feel Jim's name in his mouth, as if he had been calling it in his dreams. And then he heard Jim stirring up above him, the first heavy fall of feet onto the uncarpeted floor, light steps across the room, and then soft thudding down the stairs. Blair's heart pounded. His cock thrummed. He didn't know if he should be eager or frightened. For all his study and observation, there was so much he didn't know about Jim.
So much he'd never guessed about himself.