A The Sentinel story by Merrin

The Chablis waited while she gave
the boy his lesson in the leafy shade,
pergola where honeysuckle trailed.
  - from Stillness by Stephen Sandy


"I didn't know this would involve me being naked."

Jim eyed Blair over his shoulder as he spread the blanket out under the dubious cover of a pine tree. "In a public place, no less."

"The woods aren't really a public place."

"Semi-public then. Gotta hit all your kinks, Sandburg."

Blair squinted at him. "I don't know..."

"Remind me, sometime, to tell you about Maggie Conrad, a bottle of wine, and the largest troop of girl scouts I've ever seen."


"Yeah." Jim turned from straightening out the blanket. "Sandburg, c'mon. Naked."

Blair closed his fists over his flannel shirt. "What, no foreplay?"

"This was your idea."

"I know."

"It's not like you normally mind being naked."

"It's not like I'm normally the only one being naked."

"It's happened before."

Blair's brain clouded over as he remembered Jim backing Blair's bare ass up against the wall of the copy room at the station, remembered the hot feel of Jim's clothed body rubbing against his. "Maybe," he finally said, clearing his throat when his voice broke, "but I was definitely getting more out of it at the time."

"Again, Chief, your idea. Do you want to do this or not?"

Blair sighed and slowly unclenched his fists. "I do, I do."

"Okay then."

"Turn around."

Jim chuckled a bit and crossed his arms expectantly.

"No really, turn around."

"Christ, Chief, it's not like I've never seen it before."

"This is different."

"Different than the time-"


Jim sighed the sigh of the long-suffering. "Fine, fine. I'm turning around."


"You're squirming."

"Of course I am. You're pacing."

"I'm being a good Sentinel and checking perimeters. Unless you really want some unsuspecting girl scout troop to catch you sitting naked under a tree."

Blair shuddered theatrically. "Pace away, dear boy. Pace away."

Jim snorted. "That's what I thought."


"Does it look like rain?"

"Are you ever going to concentrate?"

"I'm just wondering. I don't want to get caught ass-naked in the rain."

Jim obligingly squinted at the sky. "No, it does not look like rain."

"Are you sure?" Blair asked, one hand shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun. "I mean, this is Washington State. It's not like it never rains."

"Yes, I'm sure."

"Ass-naked. Rain."

"It is NOT going to RAIN."

"Okay, okay." Blair made a great show of crossing his legs again, closing his eyes, positioning his hands on his bent knees. "I'm concentrating, really... under the looming threat of rain."

"Jesus Christ..."

"Shh! I'm concentrating."


"I'm still not sure why I have to be naked. I mean, I know this was my idea and all, but you're the one who said I had to do it naked."

Jim sighed. Again. "Clothing muffles your responses to the world around you."

"So, naked..." Blair slapped at a bug.

"So you can feel stuff. I have to tell you, this might actually work better if you kept your mouth shut for five minutes at a time."

"I have!"

"Huh, uh. I'm the one with the watch. You know, with all that meditating you do..."

"Which I've never done naked, by the way."

"You certainly seem to have a hang up about this naked thing."

"It might work better if you were naked too."

Jim dodged Blair's imploring eyes. "Nope."

"C'mon! I'm naked!"

"I don't need any help communing with my surroundings, thankyouverymuch."

Jim laughed as Blair muttered darkly.


Jim knew the moment Blair began the exercise seriously. His heartbeat evened out, slowed down. Every breath was deep and even, as if Blair didn't want to distract himself from what he heard.

He had no idea what Blair could hear, if he heard anything at all. The idea wasn't exactly to simulate Jim's experiences, there just wasn't any way to do so, but Blair had wanted to know what it was like, really wanted to know. Jim figured this was the closest he could ever get.

Barring the sudden appearance of girl scouts- which, he admitted, wasn't very likely- Jim didn't figure that much could happen, but he kept watch anyway. He crouched on the other side of the pine: far enough away that he wasn't a distraction, but close enough should his Guide need him.


"Jim," he said, and Jim was at his side in a heartbeat.

Blair tugged on his hand, pulling Jim down beside him on the blanket. "Jim," he whispered, running his hands over Jim's arms and chest. "Jim."

Jim's hands crept forward of their own accord, much as he didn't want them to, much as he wanted Blair to continue this journey of discovery on his own. Blair shuddered as Jim's cool hands met his warm skin, began to trail down his sides. He leaned forward, mouthing the skin over Blair's veins, felt Blair's heartbeat through his lips. He felt the rumble of Blair's words before he really understood what Blair was saying.

"Jim, man, really, this is amazing. This naked thing. It's like I can feel everything! This must be what the Scottish warriors had in mind, going into battle naked. They'd react more quickly than their clothed counterparts, not to mention the nasty shock-"

Jim clapped his hand over Blair's mouth. "Sex or a lecture, Chief, choose now."

He waited as Blair scrunched up his face, cocking his head to the side as if he honestly considered the choice.

"Well... I don't know..."

"I'm hurt."

"No really, how often do I have such a *captive* audience? I mean," Blair spread his arms out, his broad sweep encompassing the forest around them. "Where are you gonna go?"

Jim sat up and crossed his arms over his chest, seriously hoping that he didn't look-or sound- like a six-year-old denied a cookie. "Seriously wounded."

"You give a man a lot to consider..."

"Mortally wounded, even."

"Sex it is then!" Blair said, springing up with inhuman speed from the now bunched up blanket.


Jim loved sex with Blair. Sex with Carolyn had been such a clinical affair, very much the "insert tab A into slot B" production that his father had always warned him sex would be. It hadn't been like that before marriage, but maybe his father was right. About Carolyn.

Not about Blair.

Blair wrapped himself around Jim, as much as he could, and with his senses dialed up, just a little, Jim could feel every hair on Blair's body, imprinting themselves onto his skin.

"C'mon, Jim. C'mon," Blair whispered against his ear, hands clenching on Jim's ass, hips straining upward to meet Jim's.

"Got to... got to..." Jim was saying, muttering against the hair on Blair's chest.

"You don't." Blair caught Jim's hand, tugged it around until Jim could feel Blair, already slick and warm against his fingers. "I'm ready. I've been ready all day." And that, that was the hottest fucking thing because Blair wanted it, wanted him so much, so much more than anyone had ever wanted him.

"God," Jim said, and it was definitely a prayer. Barriers of clothing taken care of and Jim thrust against Blair, straight into him, and it was just like coming home.


Blair squirmed until Jim turned over, cushioning his head with his jacket, one foot still tangled in his jeans. He wondered idly where he'd thrown his shoes.

Blair settled happily against Jim's chest, one ear to where Jim's heart beat steadily and one hairy leg wedged between smooth thighs.

He heard the rumble of Jim's words almost before they left his mouth.

"That plan was a bust."

"Not from where I'm sitting... lying down... whatever." Blair raised his head to offer a sleepy leer. "I mean, honestly, is it my fault that you are completely unable to resist my hot body?"

Jim tangled one hand in Blair's hair. "True. And you did manage to get me naked."

"In a semi-public place, no less."

"Gotta hit all your kinks, Sandburg."



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