First Posted: August 19, 2000
Category: AU/Challenge - "Jim and Blair - but not"
This has been completely revised and beta'd by the gang at alyjude's cellar: Bluewolf, caarianna and starwatcher307 - all of whom made it a much better story! Thank YOU!
Summary: Blair is a jockey (come on, suspend your belief) and Jim a famous actor - can they make a relationship work?
Simon Banks loved this time of day. He stood in front of his stables enjoying the first rays of a dawning sun as it bathed the fields in its early morning glow. A fine, low mist flowed over the grass and around the flurry of activity, courtesy of his trainers as they headed out with the horses for their morning exercises. God, how he loved the sounds of hoofs hitting wet grass, the snorts of the magnificent animals, their tails switching, the cloud of their breaths hanging on the air. There was no other time like it for him.
He followed the swishing tail of his newest - and favorite -acquisition, Little Stogie, as he was trotted past. Simon's gaze traveled upward - and his expression of enjoyment died as he took note of who rode the horse.
What the hell was his best jockey doing out on the field for routine morning exercises? One of the sport's youngest, and most successful, jockeys in the last decade, taking a horse out at five in the morning?
Hearing the firm, but loudly, said name, the jockey in question looked over his shoulder at Simon...and smiled. He added insult to injury by waving innocently before turning his mount and trotting lazily back to where Simon stood, hands on hips.
"Mind telling me why the number one jockey in the world is doing something as mundane as taking Little Stogie through his morning paces?"
Not in the least cowed by the fierce expression on Simon's face, the young man simply smiled and asked rather cheekily, "You do want to win on Saturday, right?"
Expression softening, Simon grudgingly said, "That's the idea, yeah."
"So stop asking questions and let me get to work. Stogie is chomping at the bit and raring to go. And by the way, isn't that movie crew due any minute?"
"Damn. I completely forgot. You'll be available later, right? The producer wants the cast and crew to meet you."
"I'll be here." He then wiggled his eyebrows and shook his hands in the air as he added, "Gosh, Simon, I just caaaan't wait. How will I handle it?"
"Very funny, Blair. Very funny."
At Blair's laugh, Simon chuckled, gave Little Stogie a swat on the rump, and waved both man and beast away, Blair's laughter floating back to him on the cool, morning air.
As scheduled, the movie crew began arriving at precisely eight, the large trailers, trucks and RV's swinging into the long drive that would eventually take them down to the old practice track. Simon was on hand to welcome them but then could only stand back and watch in amazement as they turned the set of currently unused stables into a movie set.
By ten, the film crew was already shooting a scene.
Simon, one of the wealthiest men in Cascade, Washington… Hell, in the nation, certainly didn't need the money received from allowing his home, Banks Folly, to be used for filming. So why was he doing it, he asked himself as he watched the ground being trampled by heavy equipment. Because one of the producers, David Tilson, was a good friend and, damn it, he'd simply been unable to say no. Of course, the charities that would benefit from the premiere night of the movie, which had been one of Simon's stipulations, wasn't a bad reason either.
Now, observing the crew at work, Simon had to admit there might be another reason - namely the fact that he was finding the process of movie-making fascinating. At the moment, he was watching a confrontation between the hero and the bad guy, a scene that was evidently going to escalate into some heavy violence. Simon was really getting into it when, just as it appeared things were going to heat up, the director, Tom Van Parton, yelled, "Cut!"
The action ceased immediately and, smiling, the two actors parted, both going for towels, make-up and water while the director ordered everything to be set up for the stuntmen. Simon caught a glimpse of his friend, who was now talking to the star of the film, James Ellison. David pointed in Simon's direction, Ellison smiled and nodded agreeably. A moment later, both men were making their way toward him.
As they drew near, James Ellison, academy-award winning actor, number one at the box office for the last five years, and recently voted the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine, smiled his famous five-thousand-mega watt-ticket selling-popcorn buying-smile.
Almost hypnotically, Simon found himself returning the grin as David said," Simon, I'd like you to meet Jim Ellison, our star. Jim, this is my old friend, Simon Banks."
The two men shook hands, both sizing up the other. Call it gaydar or something else, but Simon recognized a kindred spirit in the famous man standing in front of him.
"Mr. Banks, I've been looking forward to meeting you and seeing this spectacular ranch I've heard so much about."
"Thank you, but please, call me Simon."
"And I'm Jim." He waved an arm around, indicating the cameras and equipment, and asked with a raised eyebrow, "How do you like film-making so far?"
"Actually, I'm enjoying it immensely. I just had no idea how much waiting around you have to do."
Both Jim and David laughed heartily at that before David said, "There's a saying in this business which you've now found to be very appropriate: 'Hurry up and wait.' That pretty much describes what we do on a daily basis, but when the cameras finally do roll, there's no one I'd rather have in front of them than Jim."
"That's what you say now, but next week you'll be extolling the virtues of Leonardo." In spite of the words, Jim was smiling, affection clear in his eyes. Turning back towards Simon, he added, "They're going to be shooting with our stuntmen for a bit so I was wondering if would it be possible to get a tour and," he looked hopeful, "maybe a glimpse of Little Stogie? I've heard a great deal about this new wonder horse of yours."
Even if Simon had wanted to refuse, and he most certainly didn't, he wouldn't have. You don't say no to someone like Jim Ellison. His magnetism on screen was famous, but in person, it was even more compelling, so much so, that if Simon hadn't already been in a very happy and committed relationship...well, this man might have been more than he could - or would - have resisted.
Giving his watch a quick glance, he mentally reviewed the schedule for the day - and finally nodded. "I'd be honored to give you the grand tour myself. If we start up at the house, Little Stogie will be back and stabled by the time we've made our way down to the new stables. I'll also be able to keep a promise."
"A promise?" Jim asked, curious.
Simon had his own version of a megawatt smile and he flashed it now. "I told my partner, Joel, that he'd have a chance to meet you. He's one of your biggest fans."
"Can't have our host breaking any promises, then," Jim said with a grin. "Please, lead on."
It took the better part of an hour for the two men to make their way up to the two story Georgian house, thanks to the many stops required in order for Simon to show off the grounds. They'd toured the rose garden, the arbor, the vegetable and herb garden and, finally, the area Simon had referred to as his 'playground'.
For Jim, a wealthy man in his own right thanks to having parlayed his success into sound investments, Banks Folly was incredible. And now, standing in Simon's favorite spot, gazing out over the Olympic-sized swimming pool with its attached jacuzzi, he was truly awed. There was a bathhouse tucked into the corner end of the area, but connected to the house via a covered extension, which was a brilliant architectural move, one that Jim wished he'd thought of with his home. At the other end of the pool, in the shade of two large oaks, sat a massive brick BBQ surrounded by tables, lounge chairs and a lovely flagstone walk that meandered throughout the 'playground'. To top everything off, some truly incredible landscaping emphasized the natural beauty of the surrounding land, including the Cascade mountains that formed a magnificent backdrop.
"I'm impressed, Simon. Who's the landscape artist?"
Simon grinned at the compliment even as he was lifting a hand to wave at someone coming from the house. "You're about to meet him."
Jim followed his host's gaze to see a man, almost as tall as Banks, striding toward them. As he reached Simon, he was pulled in close for a hug and a kiss, then released, but with Simon's arm remaining around his waist.
"Jim, I'd like to introduce you to your biggest fan, the creator of Bank's Folly and my life partner, Joel Taggart. Joel, this is Jim Ellison."
Joel reminded Jim of a big, cuddly bear and, as they shook hands he realized he couldn't help but like him.
"Mr. Ellison, it's a real pleasure to meet you in person,” Joel said enthusiastically. “I'm not ashamed to admit that I've got to be one of your biggest fans."
"Please, it's Jim. And after what I've seen of this beautiful home, I'm now one of your most ardent followers."
'You like our home then?" Joel asked, clearly pleased by Jim's words.
Simon gave Joel's waist another squeeze, his pride clearly evident. "But he hasn't actually seen the house, only the grounds, something we can remedy now."
"We might want to put the tour of the house on hold a bit,” his partner suggested. “The horses should be back and this is the perfect chance for Jim to see our real pride and joy."
"Damn, you're right. Do you mind a slight change of plan, Jim?"
Ellison shook his head, "Not at all. As I said earlier, I'm eager to see the wonder horse."
As Simon and Joel started to lead the way, Jim asked, "Is it true that Blair Sandburg will be riding Little Stogie in the Cascade Aspen Sweepstakes this weekend?"
"I wouldn't let anyone else take him to the win. In my humble opinion, he's the greatest jockey of our time."
Jim held up his hands in surrender as, chuckling, he said, "Hey, you'll get no argument from me, I couldn't agree more about his skill."
Walking down to the other set of stables, Jim found himself feeling at ease with his hosts in a way that he hadn't experienced in years and, as a result, felt confident asking his next question. "I'm curious about the rumors that Sandburg is planning to go free-lance. Any truth to them?"
"Trust me," Simon assured. "That's nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of some very jealous owners. Blair would never leave…you see, he's like a son to us."
Joel nodded. "Blair's mother died when he was ten." He smiled softly at a sudden memory. "Naomi was the original flower child; a real free spirit. She was gifted and loving but had to be on the move. She'd often take Blair with her but there were several summers when she left him with us and my sister, Joan, who was living here at the time. She and Naomi had been best friends since high school." Joel gave a small shake of his head before adding, "Even back then, Blair loved horses and riding so we encouraged him.
"When Naomi was diagnosed with cancer, she insisted that if anything happened to her, Simon and I should take him." His dark eyes saddened even as he added, "So Blair's been with us ever since. And a greater gift we could never have been given."
Smiling in understanding, Jim said, "I can see why the rumors are just that; rumors."
The sounds of hooves plopping down on soft dirt alerted the men to the arrival of the racing string. Jim watched in fascination as the parade of horse flesh passed them. He scanned each rider in his attempt to find one particular face; a face he'd seen over two years ago on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was disappointed not to find him.
Simon, correctly reading his expression, said, "Blair must have finished early, which means Little Stogie did well this morning. We'll find them over at the main stable."
Simon once again led the way as they entered the building. Inside, the smell of horse and hay permeated the cool air. Gentle snuffling sounds and the occasional pawing hoof indicated several occupied stalls. Simon came to a halt in front of the largest and Jim got his first look at Little Stogie.
The young rider had his back to the three men and was in the process of scrubbing down the great horse. At approximately 5'7, he was tall for a jockey and certainly taller than Jim expected, but that might have been the riding boots he was wearing. Faded blue jeans hugged his slender frame and a blue pullover sweater with suede elbow patches completed his riding ensemble, if one didn't count the leather strip that held back long, curly, chestnut hair.
Jim Ellison was used to being admired, sought after, and was propositioned on a daily basis. He'd even been the victim of a stalker early in his career. He was equally used to being surrounded by beautiful people, thanks to working in a business where beauty was the norm - but not once in fifteen years had he ever been touched by any of it. Nor had he ever felt anything for anyone, other than friendship - but now, in a stable in Cascade, Washington, watching a young man groom a horse, he felt a stirring in the pit of his stomach, a nervous excitement that seemed to grab hold of him and shake him to his very foundation. He found himself facing an overwhelming and agonizing desire - no, a need - to touch the man he was observing, and he hadn't even seen his face yet.
Blair chose that moment to turn around.
Eyes the color of the purest cornflower widened as they connected with Ellison's own famous blues.
How many times had Ellison heard or read the phase 'Time stood still'? Well, he was here to tell anyone who would listen that time had no choice but to stop as he and Blair Sandburg connected.
And if not for Simon, time very well may have remained frozen.
"Blair, this is Jim Ellison. Jim, Blair Sandburg."
Blair slowly rubbed his right hand down his leg as, with eyes locked on the handsome man in front of him, he extended his hand.
As Jim grasped it, a current of electricity seemed to explode between them.
Without releasing Blair's hand, Jim Ellison said, "Blair."
Equally reluctant to release the warm, larger hand, Blair said, "Jim."
Call it chemistry, sparks or electricity, Simon had seen it all when it came to love. Hell, he had it all with Joel. But what he'd witnessed just two hours before between Blair and Jim Ellison transcended the normal and very human thing called physical attraction. What he was certain he'd witnessed was even beyond the call of fate or destiny. He'd been eyewitness to the coming together of two pieces of the same soul; a soul that must have been split apart but had finally found its other half.
Trite - but true.
Simon had been standing only a few feet from the two men when they'd first touched via the simple gesture of a handshake, but he would swear to his dying day, with his last breath, that *something* had been created when Blair's hand had slipped into Jim's larger one. Banks had felt the energy, the pulsating waves that seemed to jump from one man to the other and back again; energy so powerful, it had almost taken his breath away. And all from one simple touch, two hands, flesh to flesh.
He'd watched as Jim's hand had tightened and held - observed two sets of blue eyes meet and, without wavering, continue to hold as they repeated each other's first names - breathed them out in the same way that Simon had heard Joel whisper "God" - with the same reverence, trust and...love.
Damn, he thought, as he realized he'd actually been privy to "love at first sight." Talk about 'trite' again - but this time, perhaps not entirely appropriate. Maybe… Found At Last?
The truly amazing thing was, that until two hours ago, Blair had been straight. He may have spent the last fifteen years of his life being raised by two loving men, but he'd shown, at an early age, a complete joy of, attraction for, and dedication to, women. He'd even come close to marriage with one - an event that still gave Simon the shivers. Her name had been Alexis Barnes, an artist that Simon was very grateful to have out of Blair's life.
Jim Ellison, on the other hand, was no stranger to same-sex relationships - Simon had recognized that fact at the same time Ellison had seen it in him. And therein lay the problem that had been plaguing him for the last two hours.
Now, sitting by the pool and nursing a beer, he worried. Of course, he'd gotten very used to worrying about Blair in the last fifteen years - becoming a father to the ten-year-old had turned him into an expert. He smiled in fond memory of the boy Blair had been - a bundle of frenetic energy, his mind and body never at rest and constantly tripping over each other in their never ending quest for fun, knowledge, exploration and action. That boundless energy had Simon and Joel at their wits end at the conclusion of more than one day.
What had he and Joel called those hours after Blair would finally fall asleep at night? Oh, yes, their "lull before the storm" time. A lull that came every evening at nine-thirty, which was the time Blair's fuel would finally run out and they could get him to bed. And how had two young, loving, gay men enjoyed their lull? How else but by sitting in Blair's bedroom and watching the miracle of their sleeping child.
Unfortunately, as Blair grew, so did their worries. Concerns graduated from fear of falling due to running too fast, or upset stomach thanks to eating too much popcorn, or drowning because Blair had a penchant for jumping into the deep end of the pool before he learned to swim, to the more grown-up worries that followed the receipt of his learner's permit. This was followed by the question of whether Blair would live to see sixteen. Then they had to worry about Blair dating and safe sex. And finally, the constant worrying about whether they'd been good fathers.
But of course, given their circumstances, Simon and Joel had to face an additional worry: two men - two gay men - raising a boy. Two black gay men. Or how about one black, gay, agnostic male and one black, gay, born-again Christian male, raising a white, Jewish child?
And then there was Blair's choice of a career, which had added another layer to their worrying. Blair had chosen something that could disable or kill him in the blink of an eye.
Yep, Simon was well acquainted with worrying about Blair.
But the idea of a possible relationship with the world's biggest box-office star - the world's biggest "male" box office star - was emerging as the greatest worry to date.
Jim Ellison was a man whose career hinged on his very macho, very male image, so where would Blair fit in - how could Blair fit in? His face was almost as well known as Ellison's so it wasn't as if they could ever enjoy anonymity. What kind of future could Blair hope to have with the man? Even an openly gay couple today had difficulty showing overt displays of affection in public. The simple, physical public acts such as hand holding, hugging or kissing that heterosexual couples enjoyed were routinely denied to same sex couples.
The truth about the love he and Joel shared for each other was not a secret. But even he and Joel, in spite of their wealth, which yes, did protect them to a certain degree, was hobbled by public mores and they were forced to curtail public signs of affection.
So what chance did Blair have with Jim?
"You're a million miles away, love."
Simon started to turn when two strong hands began to massage his tense shoulders.
"And you're tense. What's wrong?"
Relaxing into Joel's deft fingers, Simon murmured, "Just indulging in some fatherly worrying."
"Ah, I thought so. Blair and Jim, right?"
"You saw it too?"
"Saw it, felt it, heard it and still amazed by the miracle of it."
Simon reached up to still Joel's hands. "You're not worried about our straight Blair entering into a relationship with a famous actor?"
"No. Not at all. It'll work. I'm sure of it."
Simon cocked his head back to smile up into his husband's face. "God, you're such an optimist. But surely you must see that the odds are against them, that Ellison can't afford our Blair?"
"That's a strange thing to say, but maybe I understand it. Our Blair is an open and very affectionate man, so trying to imagine all that love having to be stifled is rather daunting, but I think you're underestimating Jim Ellison."
"You think he'd give up his career for Blair?"
"Honestly? Yes, in a New York minute."
Simon could only shake his head in wonder. Joel was one of the sweetest, gentlest men he'd ever known, but sometimes his naiveté was just too much. "Joel, Joel, Joel. What am I going to do with you?"
The man in question gave Simon a truly wicked look, a look at direct odds with the otherwise happy countenance, but one that never failed to excite him. Pulling Simon up, Joel said in his best purr, "Why don't you put yourself in my hands and let's find out what you can do to me?"
"You're really not worried about this? In any way?" Simon asked as he stood.
Joel enfolded his love in his arms and, laughing gently in his ear, whispered, "No, I'm not. Have faith in our son and in my ability to get you to forget all about Blair and Jim Ellison."
How could Simon argue with that? If Joel had seen all that Simon had and wasn't worried, how could Simon do less? "Where are they now?" he asked as they started to walk toward the house.
"Blair is showing him his pride and joy. Now come upstairs and let me show you mine."
"This is incredible."
Jim stood in the middle of what Blair called his "reading room" which in any major city in the world be considered the main library, and whistled.
The room was a split level with a spiral staircase connecting the two. The majority of books were on the second level, and housed in the most beautiful bookcases Jim could remember seeing. The ground floor was clearly designed to create a quiet, comfortable atmosphere for reading with plenty of good lighting and a small, intimate fireplace to Jim's left. Two luxuriously deep beige couches had been placed facing each other a few feet away with a large square, oak coffee table between them. A beautiful bay window took up the wall opposite and was flanked by two equally luxurious wing chairs.
Jim began to move along the far wall where even more bookcases showcased Blair's collection. While he perused the titles, Blair stood by the fireplace, one arm resting on the mantle, face alight with joy as he watched Jim's reactions to the room and the titles he was now checking out.
"This collection is incredible, Blair. I can only imagine what you have on the second landing." He glanced over at the younger man and asked, "Do you actually read all of these?"
Laughing, Blair nodded. "Simon and Joel have always been voracious readers and they passed the love onto me. I lean toward archeology and anthropology, like the book you're looking at now, whereas Simon devours gruesome murder mysteries and Joel lives for science fiction. We also have a wonderful collection of First Editions upstairs."
"You're a strange combination, Blair. Jockey and scholar," Jim noted as he leafed through the anthropology book in his hands.
"Don't forget perpetual student."
"Let me guess - anthropology?"
The laugh that filled the room at Jim's correct guess, also filled every corner of Jim's soul, warming his blood and soothing his heart as nothing else had ever done. He was very sensitive to sounds, smells, even some materials and his eyes could easily be injured by bright lights and sunlight, but right now, with the sound of Blair's voice ringing in his ears, the world seemed incredibly right. His senses were in harmony and old wounds healed as he listened to the soft laughter.
He realized with a start that he never wanted to lose that sound.
"You're right. I do lean more toward Anthropology. Not sure why. I recently acquired a monograph by Sir Richard Burton and I can't leave it alone."
Still reveling in Blair's voice, Jim said, his eyes sparkling with humor, "I assume you mean the explorer?"
Blair chuckled, "Yes, somehow I can't quite picture the actor, Richard Burton, writing such a book."
"What's so special about it?"
"Well, it explores a special tribal--"
Unfortunately, his explanation was cut short by the insistent buzzing coming from the green phone mounted on the wall by the door.
"That's the phone for the stables; something must be wrong." Blair gave an apologetic grimace and hurried to answer while Jim slid the book back into its place and joined the younger man.
"...you're right, that doesn't sound like him. I'm on my way. No, no, let me check him out first...right."
Jim could feel the worry even before Blair faced him.
"I'm sorry, Jim. I've got to get down there; it's Little Stogie."
"I understand. I should be getting back to the set."
"I have a cart; we use it to get around the property when we're in a hurry. I'll drop you off."
Since the longer he spent in Blair's company, the better, Jim nodded and followed him out.
They went through the large, airy foyer, then the elegant, formal dining room and finally through the sunroom where Blair led him out a set of French doors. There, under a carport, sat two blue golf carts. Blair waved him over to the second one and Jim slid into the passenger seat. As Blair took off, Jim quickly learned that his racing wasn't confined to horses. He also learned that a golf cart that shouldn't be able to exceed five miles per hour - could.
Blair negotiated the twists and turns of the gravel path leading down to the track like a racecar pro, which didn't stop Jim from holding on for dear life. The path they were traveling cut roughly through the center of Simon's property, leaving the house on their left, the track on the right and, below, the stable, fields and pastures. Beyond that, Jim could see the road continuing on until it eventually met the main highway. But he also noticed that part of it branched off about a hundred yards from the highway. He was curious about its ultimate destination since it disappeared into a huge stand of evergreens, but in the face of Blair's evident worry about Little Stogie, he refrained from asking. He filed the question in his "ask later" file; a file that now held such questions as, "Would Blair go out with me if asked?" and "What would Blair's hair feel like as it flowed through my ultra-sensitive fingers?" and his favorite: "How would Blair taste?"
Jim could admit that he desperately wanted to find out, to share his bed with Blair, to have him in his arms with no clothes hampering their mutual exploration of the other's body. The freedom of such a moment tantalized him as he imagined his hands and lips free to caress and taste. He couldn't help but wonder how Blair would sound either; the low moans of pleasure as Blair moved with him, or later, in the throes of his orgasm. He could imagine his name on Blair's lips, moaned during his final release....
The cart came to an abrupt stop, bringing Jim back to the here and now and, he realized belatedly, Blair was talking.
"...as I know anything, I mean, I'd like to...."
Jim slipped out of the cart and smiled at the embarrassed man, which was ridiculous. If any one should be embarrassed at the moment, it should be him. But it was fairly easy to figure out what Blair had been saying, so he answered easily. "Me, too. So whichever of us finishes first?"
Blair smiled in relief. "Yes, whichever of us finishes first." He stuck out his hand and, once again, Jim took it as their gazes locked. This time, however, a question was asked, truth was acknowledged, and a shy answer given. Jim held on longer than strictly necessary, but he was loathe to release, to break the connection. Eventually he had no choice and, as Blair's hand slipped away, Jim stepped back and watched, reluctantly, as the cart moved off.
Staring down at his hand, experiencing Blair's heat and energy still coursing though it, Jim felt as Blair were still with him, soothing him as he'd done all afternoon. But he had a job to do and it certainly took precedence over standing here and looking at his hand.
Jim moved toward the lights, cameras and the action.
Even before he pulled the cart alongside the stall, Blair could hear Little Stogie's pained neighing. He jumped out of the cart and hurried inside.
His crew had wisely segregated the horse at the far end of the barn when the fidgeting, neighing, pawing and kicking had begun to affect the other horses. At the moment, Carl Mendoza and Willy Simmons were trying to soothe the horse, holding him taut with leads while the ranch foreman, GM, tried to get close enough to check Little Stogie. All three talked softly, trying desperately to placate the animal, but it was clear to Blair that nothing was working.
Nevertheless, Blair remained just inside doorway, watching closely but choosing, for the moment, to do nothing. His actions weren't out of a fear that Little Stogie would injure him or that he didn't know what to do for the animal, but rather because in observing, he hoped to get a clue as to what the underlying problem might be.
One thing he could see from his vantage point was that Little Stogie's eyes weren't wild and there were no whites showing. Fine tremors ran through him every few seconds and his coat was dark with moisture. Every minute or so, he would shake his head and neck, as if shaking something bothersome; his pitiful neighing a testament to pain rather than fear or panic. Little Stogie was doing his best to give them all the clues necessary to fix him. Blair just had to put them together.
After a few more minutes of observation, Blair said, "Okay, guys, back all the way to the end of your leads."
Anywhere else, at any other stable, with anyone else, the men would have thought the suggestion insane, suicidal even. They'd have rightly believed that loosening their leads would free the horse enough to lash out and injure itself and/or Blair, who was now standing a few feet from Little Stogie. But they weren't anywhere else and this wasn't just anybody, this was Blair, so they did as instructed and did it with complete faith in him.
As each man slowly played out their lines, Blair began to talk, gaze locked on the pain-filled eyes of his horse. "It's okay, I'll fix it, don't worry...ssh, it's okay, quiet now, watch me baby, watch me."
The words weren't unique, but the voice, the tone; even the three men had to be on their toes or they'd find themselves relaxing and falling victim to the cadence of the melodious voice.
"That's it, baby...quiet down, let me touch you. I'll find it, fix it, take the pain away. Blair will take the pain away…just let me hold you, touch you...shush, let me make it better...."
The quivering animal watched, ears up, listening...and slowly quieted; the pawing stopping. Only its head and tail moved; the tail switching in anticipation, Stogie's head moving up and down as if to say, "Yes, hurry, make it better."
Slowly, Little Stogie arched his head forward, muzzle straining toward the healing hand. The three men watched, amazed as always by Blair's magic with horses even as they held their collective breaths.
Blair finally rested his hand on Little Stogie's muzzle and began to move in slowly until he was right next to the animal, still talking, almost purring, his words quiet and soothing while he began his gentle exploration. He ran his hands down each leg, then along each flank as he continued his soothing words. He checked the animal's eyes and mouth, searching for anything out of the ordinary. By now, Little Stogie was completely quiet, still, and trusting. Blair moved his hands up into the reddish brown mane, his fingers raking through it, slowly probing the horse's neck.
There…something...a bump, something tough, hard...a sudden jerk from Little Stogie…and Blair knew he'd found the problem.
"GM, you can drop your lead, I need the pinchers."
The man didn't hesitate. He slowly dropped the line, turned and, reaching over the low stall, plucked a pair of what looked like curved pliers off their peg. He moved slowly toward Blair until he was within reach and held them out.
Blair took them even as he continued to croon. "Okay, baby, daddy's going to make it better, just a few more minutes, be still for me, almost there...."
As Blair worked at removing what he'd found, GM got a bottle from a nearby shelf, opened it and grabbed a couple of pads.
"Got it! Okay, guys, you can all drop your lines, and Carl, go ahead and carefully pull them off."
The men did their job, the lines removed and rewound with Little Stogie at complete rest now. Blair held his hand out to GM and, with a glance at the bottle and pad, said, "Trade you?"
Grinning, GM handed him the bottle and gauze. Blair took them and dropped what he held into GM's now outstretched palm as he added, "Put this in a plastic bag for me, and thanks. Good job."
GM nodded, took the pinchers and headed back to the small office. Meanwhile, Blair poured some of the liquid onto a pad and began to apply it gently to the site of the extraction. The liquid was a natural mixture of herbs that would soothe and protect the puncture, as well as act as an antiseptic. It was also one of many of Blair's own concoctions used at Banks Folly.
He continued to gently pat and wipe and, after a few moments, the horse neighed gently and lowered its head in relieved exhaustion. Blair handed the bottle and pads back to GM, who'd returned, and gave Little Stogie a few final, loving strokes, followed by a kiss on the jaw before saying, "Carl, you know the drill."
"Yeah, boss. Apply the liquid every thirty minutes for the next four hours. Don't worry, I'm on it."
"Never worry. Great job, guys. Thanks."
Pleased, they nodded and promptly went about the task of cleaning up as Carl got more pads.
GM followed Blair back into the small workroom where the baggie lay on the antique desk. Blair lifted it in order to give the item inside a closer inspection. Shaking his head, he said, "A thorn. Just a simple thorn. A large one, sure, but still...a thorn." He glanced over at GM and added with a frown, "But a thorn from a bush you'd have to travel over fifty miles to find."
GM nodded. "Yep, and a thorn that just happened to make its way to a damn sensitive spot on our baby. A spot where normal movement would slowly aggravate 'til the pain drove him into a frenzy. And if this had happened anywhere else, Little Stogie would've been put down." He cocked his head. "You thinkin' what I am?"
"Yes, and you know what to do."
GM took off his hat, fiddled with the brim, nodded sagely and said, "Me, Carl, Will and Blade will take shifts. No one prepares his food, no one feeds him, or cares for him, or sees him but us."
"I'll go back up to the house, let Simon know. Operation Lockdown. He'll love it."
"I'm thinking we have a couple problems here...."
Blair had already started out but at GM's words, he turned back. "What?"
"The movie crew, for starters."
"Fuck. Okay, we can handle this; I mean, they're scheduled to shoot at the old lower track and main house only, so we should be able to keep them away."
"Nuh-uh, Boss. Three were already here earlier, before the problem with Little Stogie. Said they would be shooting down here and were looking for 'angles.' Leastwise, that's what they said."
A frown creased the handsome face as Blair wiped a hand over his jaw. "Okay, I'll check into it. You said two problems?"
"Yeah, Boss. You. If Little Stogie can't be taken out of the race, if they can't get to him...they'll go after the rider. Now we both know Barnes is responsible for this, that he's tired of losing to you, that's he's not real happy 'bout his daughter, either. You've got a powerful enemy there."
"GM, I don't doubt for a minute that Barnes would hurt or even kill Little Stogie, or anything else he could come up with to turn the odds in his favor for Saturday, but even he would stop at hurting people."
"Just the same...."
"Just the same, you guys will be watching me. Right?"
GM scratched his head, fingers moving through short, graying bristly curls. "Well, yeah, that about says it." He grinned before adding, "Simon 'n Joel wouldn't have it any other way."
Blair shook his head and moved out, bag in hand. He didn't hear GM's parting words of, "And neither would we."
"...so there it is." Blair sat at the kitchen table, Joel and Simon on either side, the plastic bag on the table in front of them.
"You're sure that thing couldn't have made its way under Little Stogie's skin by accident? Maybe while out this morning?" Joel queried.
"Well, that would be kind of tricky since this particular type of thorn is from a bush found over fifty miles from here. Not to mention the fact that I did Little Stogie's rub down this morning after our run and believe me, there was no thorn."
"So someone did this between then and…now…and we know it isn't any of our people--"
"Because our people know Blair and they know Blair would have figured it out, no problem." Joel finished for Simon.
"So. The movie crew." Simon said, his expression grim.
Joel shook his head, "Not necessarily. With the number of strangers on the property, anyone could have slipped in and no one would be the wiser."
"Don't think so, Joel. David has his own security. Seems Ellison was stalked by a dangerous fan a while back and it's in his contract. Security. Good security. Add that to our own and you've got a pretty good bet that it's one of the crew."
"Simon, didn't you tell me that they'd only be shooting at the old track and the house?" Blair asked.
"That's the agreement."
Blair quickly filled them both in on GM's information about the three crew members who'd visited the stables.
Simon was clearly surprised. "No way. Old track and house, that's it. There must be a mistake. David wouldn't make a change like that; there'd be no need. The whole point of using the old track was that he wanted stables in the background - the older the better." He got up and moved to his work corner. "Look, I have his schedule here, somewhere." He rummaged around and finally pulled out a stapled sheaf of blue papers. Bringing them back, he let them flutter down onto the middle of wooden surface, retook his seat, and said, "NO primary stable shots. None."
Blair picked up the papers, folded them and stood up. As he stuck them into his back pocket he said, "Well, I guess I'll just amble on down there and check this out."
"Blair, you could be--"
"Don't worry, Pops," he said fondly. "The guys are taking good care of me." He grinned wickedly and patted the top of Simon's head as Joel laughed outright.
"Have I ever told you that I hate it when you finish my sentences?" Simon groused.
"Yep." With that and a laugh, Blair was gone, the screen door banging shut behind him.
Joel looked at his husband and grinned, "Little anxious there? To rush down and 'check out' the crew? Like, maybe, check out Jim Ellison?"
"Joel, so help me...."
Blair stood unobtrusively on the sidelines, watching as Jim shot his scene, one that was apparently pivotal to the movie as Jim's character discovered the murderer's true identity.
Watching him, Blair couldn't help think back to his experience of a few hours ago. He was twenty-five and had been struck by lightening. And it hadn't hurt a bit.
Just like that.
A snap of his fingers.
Oh, yeah, he had it bad and he had every intention of keeping it.
The moment he'd turned and gazed into those pale blue eyes, he'd known. And when their hands touched; he'd become whole. He couldn't explain it any other way. He hadn't even known he'd been missing a part of himself until that moment - and just like that, Jim Ellison had slipped into his heart.
But there'd been something else. Apart from the attraction, apart from the completion he'd felt, there'd been a different connection, separate, unrelated, but there. He couldn't yet define it, but knew that even if the love, the wholeness hadn't been there, this other connection would have. Two for the price of one.
Oddly enough, Blair wasn't even blinking twice at the fact that he'd fallen in love with a man. It simply wasn't an issue because it just was.
His thoughts were interrupted by Jim's voice and the heat of the older man's hand resting lightly on his shoulder.
"So, you finished first. Little Stogie okay?"
Blair looked up and saw the genuine concern in Jim's eyes. He nodded and smiled, "Yep. Everything is fine. We race on Saturday."
"Well, Tom just called today's shoot a closer, so I'm free."
There was a question in his voice and Blair found himself oddly hesitant to pursue it, given what he was about to ask of Jim, but ask he did. "Is there somewhere private we could talk?"
Hearing the worry in his voice, Jim nodded, "Sure, we can go over to my trailer. Follow me."
He led them to row of RV's, one of which had his name on the door. He unlocked it and let Blair precede him inside, at which time Blair breathed out an awed, "God."
Staring at the interior, it was all the younger man could say. He was used to Simon's wealth, sure, but his own life was grounded in the day to day process of being a jockey. He never frequented fancy hotels when traveling for races, always choosing his own trailer instead, which was nice but couldn't compare to the opulence he was faced with now. It would be like comparing an outhouse to a mansion. "I...you...this is not what I pictured, I mean, this is so not you."
"No, it isn't, but it's expected." At the raised eyebrow, Jim continued. "This business is about power and the more power, the more freedom. I would never choose this, but I'm expected to have it. If I don't demand it, the perception of power is diminished. Sounds weird, I know, but there it is. I actually have demands put into my contract simply to maintain appearances. Here, take a look." He walked over to the refrigerator and opened the freezer to reveal carton after carton of Ben and Jerry's Ice cream.
Smiling, he closed the freezer door and said, "Because I once mentioned that I liked the product, I now have to demand its delivery when I'm on a shoot." He gave a huge grin, "And of course, I do like it and the people in this business tend to do things in a big way."
Blair could only shake his head, his own smile mirroring Jim's until Jim indicated a plush chair. "So sit and tell me why you needed privacy on your own ranch."
Blair finished explaining the afternoon and what had happened to Little Stogie, as well as sharing his concerns about the men who'd visited the stables. Now he sat back and said, "So you can see why it would be really helpful if I could talk to David or the individual responsible for these things."
Jim got up, went to the phone on the wall and dialed. "Jake, is Paul still around? Yeah, I need to see him, it's important. Thanks." He replaced the phone in the cradle and returned to Blair.
"It's all set. Paul will be here in a few. He's the man who sets up the shoots and prints out our schedules. If there's been a change, it would have to go through him."
"But you're not aware of any?"
"No, but that isn't unusual. We can get them twenty-four hours in advance or ten minutes before I'm supposed to walk on the set. We're at the mercy of weather, lighting, you name it. Not to mention the whimsy of the director."
A tentative knock forestalled any further discussion as Jim opened the door to admit a tall, rangy man of about forty.
"Paul, this is Blair Sandburg. Blair, Paul Sawyer."
The two men shook and Paul's eyes lit up in recognition. "Mr. Sandburg, it's a real pleasure to meet you. I'm counting on you to win this weekend."
"Please, call me Blair, and I plan to."
"Paul, have there been any shooting schedule changes involving locations here at the ranch?" Jim asked.
"Well, I did receive a memo from David stating that we'd be shooting down at the lower stables tomorrow. That surprised me, but I sent Booth and a couple of lighters down earlier to check it out."
"I never received them," Jim said.
"No, I don't have approval. The information is sitting on David's desk in his trailer. Is there a problem?"
"I don't know yet. Can you get the names of the two men Booth took with him? It could be important."
"Will do. Anything else?"
"No, that's about it - and thanks."
"My pleasure, and it was great meeting you, Blair. I've got money on you and Little Stogie, but no pressure you understand."
"Hey, no pressure, but just out of curiosity, how much?"
"Five bucks." He stepped out of the trailer laughing uproariously.
The two men looked at each other and burst into unrestrained laughter themselves.
"Well." Jim said, as they finally controlled themselves.
"Yes. Well." Blair scratched his chin and then said, "I've been meaning to ask, uh, there's a party tomorrow night; it's a tradition for the Cascade Aspen Sweepstakes, kind of a ball, actually. Thought maybe you'd like to go?"
Jim stared at him, his expression one of both surprise and humor. Blair had actually beaten him to the whole "asking out" thing.
"As my guest," Blair added somewhat unnecessarily.
Grinning, Jim nodded. "I'd like that."
Before anything else could be said, the phone rang and Jim quickly answered. "Ellison. Yeah, Paul...you're sure? You talked with David? What? This Tony guy is gone? No, I'll talk with David myself later. Do me a favor though and find out everything you can on the guy, but do it quietly, okay? Yeah, and thanks Paul."
He turned to Blair, "Well, you heard. David never did a memo to Paul about changing the shoot and one of the men who was down at the stables with Booth has disappeared. And, according to Booth, the guy wasn't with them every second either - he disappeared for several minutes, claimed he'd been looking for a restroom."
"Can't say that I'm surprised."
"What happens now?"
"We have procedures in place to protect Little Stogie, this isn't new to racing."
"What about procedures in place to protect the rider?"
"Well, if you go to your window, you'll probably see a tough old geezer standing a few feet away."
Jim turned his head and peered out the side window. Sure enough, someone who looked like every western character actor ever to grace the screen stood nonchalantly against a fence. And damn it if he was whittling too. Jerking a thumb in the whittler's direction, Jim asked in disbelief, "He's your protection?"
"Yep. Trust me, I won't be alone until the race is over." Then Blair frowned as he moved toward the window. He looked out, whistled and turned back to Jim. "Uhm, how did you see him from over there?"
"What do you mean?"
"Jim, man, you're standing at the opposite end of this mansion of a trailer - no one could have seen as far you evidently did. Hell, I had to move to the window in order to see him - and believe me, I have great eyesight."
Jim shrugged nonchalantly as he said, "I just looked, that's all. No big deal."
Blair wasn't fooled, not for a minute. "That's bullshit, man. Now how did you do it?"
"Blair, I'm serious, I don't know what to say. I looked."
Blair turned away from him, apparently to look back out at GM.
"Why don't you check for yourself?" Jim asked with a smile.
Blair whirled back to face him, his expression ecstatic. "You heard me!"
"What are you talking about?"
"I just whispered that only Superman could have seen that far and were you hiding an 'S' under your shirt - and you *heard* me." He joined Jim and grabbing his arms, added, "You heard what you shouldn't have been able to hear, and you saw GM from a distance that you shouldn't have been able to." He cocked his head. "I bet if you concentrated right now, you could hear my heartbeat."
"Don't be silly. No one could. Not without assistance."
"But you heard my whisper. Go on, try. Concentrate."
Jim stepped back, shaking his head. "I...don't need to...Damn it, yes. I can hear it, if I choose to."
Wonder suffused Blair's face. "My God, you're a sentinel. A real sentinel."
"What are you talking about?"
Barely containing his excitement, Blair said, "That book I was telling you about, Sir Richard Burton's? It talked about a tribal guardian with very powerful senses, heightened if you will, and that's you. I bet your sense of touch and taste are off the charts too, right?"
Jim moved away from him even as he said, "Blair, this is real interesting, but you're not talking about me. Yeah, I heard you, so what? Yes, I can be bothered by lights, sounds even some materials used to drive me crazy--"
Blair interrupted, "Used to? You can control them now?"
"No, not exactly. I use...take--"
"Aw, Jim, don't tell me you're taking pills to dull your nerves?"
"It's the only way; I'd go crazy otherwise," Jim said defensively.
"Okay, so when was the last time you took one?"
Jim thought back...and was amazed to discover that he'd needed nothing since that morning. Surprised, he answered, "Around five this morning…but I haven't needed anything since, in fact…I've never felt better."
Blair cocked his head with sudden interest. "You make it sound like that's very unusual - is it?"
Jim nodded, "Yeah. I generally need to take one every few hours when on a shoot."
Rubbing his hands together and grinning excitedly, Blair said, "This is so cool, Jim. Maybe you have control but just didn't know it because of the meds."
Jim looked down into the incredible, animated face and knew instantly that it wasn't the meds. Voice full of awe, he said, "It's you. I never have control, but somehow, since meeting you...when we first touched, shook hands, I could feel everything about you…but my senses didn't run wild. No pain, no headache, just - you." A frown creased his forehead as he added, "But that feeling was...different from my…well, my attraction to you."
Blair blinked several times as he processed what Jim had just told him…because it meant that Jim had experienced the same strange connection he'd felt. Placing his hand on Jim's arm, he said in a voice full of wonder and an underlying excitement, "I...God, this is unbelievable. In the monograph, Burton says that each guardian had a partner to help them, protect them--"
Jim's hand came up and rested on top of the hand still clasping his arm as he interrupted Blair. "You."
Suddenly assaulted by indecision, Blair shook his head. "I don't know, Jim. I just don't know."
They looked at each other, eyes taking in as much as possible, both of them feeling so much more than two men should feel after only a few hours. Jim finally broke the silence. "Blair, I don't really understand this, but I do know that I trust you as I've trusted no other, but that the trust isn't connected to the--"
"Attraction," Blair whispered.
"Yeah. The attraction. They're--"
Jim nodded. "Yeah, separate. And do you always finish other people's sentences?"
"Until now, only Simon's and Joel's. Apparently I can add--"
"Me," Jim, laughing, finished for him. At Blair's happy nod, he added, "Well, at least I'm in good company." His expression sobered a moment later as he asked, "So, what does this mean? Where do we go next, Chief?"
"I guess we take it one step at a time. I'd like to run some tests on you…." At Jim's horrified expression, Blair laughed and quickly added, "Eventually. But right now, well, I think we should act on those…other feelings. I'd like to take you somewhere, if you have the time now?"
"For you? All the time in the world. Not to sound trite or anything."
"Do you have swim trunks in this little manse-away-from-manse?"
Puzzled, Jim nodded.
"Well, go get 'em. Where we're going, you'll need 'em."
Jim disappeared into what must be the bedroom and came back a few minutes later with a small bag. "Okay, I'm ready. Lead on McDuff."
Before Blair drove them off, he stopped to talk to the man he'd called GM. Jim couldn't help but listen in, and he couldn't help but smile as he heard Blair's words ensuring the man that he'd be safe and no, he was *not* to follow.
He must have convinced him because GM shrugged his shoulders. Blair walked back to the cart, climbed in and, once again, Jim found himself on the track at Le Mans. He wondered vaguely if this was a trait of all jockeys.
Several minutes later Jim was surprised to see Blair steer the cart in the direction of the path he'd wondered about earlier; he'd expected Blair to take them to the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Looking ahead, he said, "I noticed this section of road this morning. Where exactly--"
"We're going to what I call 'The Pond'. It's sort of a special place of mine." He indicated the stream on Jim's side of the road and said, "That empties into it in the form of a small waterfall. The whole place is cool and peaceful." He grinned as he turned his attention back to the road. "It's the perfect spot to check out your senses."
Jim was disappointed that his senses were all Blair was interested in, but he hid it well.
Blair drove into the wooded area where the trees, foliage and resultant shade helped drop the temperature from the warm mid-eighties to something more like the upper seventies. Blair slowed down, allowing Jim to take in all the splendor surrounding them, including the creek, which had widened.
For several more minutes they rode in peaceful silence, Jim allowing the area - and the man beside him - to lull him into a calm, almost hypnotic state.
Eventually, Blair brought the cart to a stop and, as he climbed out, said, "We hoof it from here, but it's not far."
They followed the stream further into the trees with Jim hearing the waterfall long before seeing it. When they finally broke through and the pond was before him, he could only stare at the beauty before him.
The stream was at its widest here, with evergreens rising tall around them. The waterfall tumbled over moss-covered rocks in a small but lovely cascade that caught the sunlight streaming through the trees. The bank rose up and jutted out on the opposite side, but on their side, it was a gentle slope.
Jim whistled low and, looking back at Blair, realized that he'd been observing the wrong scenery. At the moment, Blair was standing in a streak of golden sunlight and the sight literally took Jim's breath away.
Smiling and obviously unaware of the effect he was having on his guest, Blair said, "Swim first, senses last - and last one in is a rotten egg!”
Grinning at the challenge, Jim narrowed his eyes wickedly and said, "You're on." He looked around for a secluded spot to change but the rustle of clothing brought his attention back to Blair - who'd already toed off his shoes, pulled off his socks and was now removing his sweater.
Jim forgot about looking for seclusion.
Blair tossed the sweater to the ground, unsnapped his jeans, pulled down the zipper and quickly pushed them down over his hips. After stepping out of them, he kicked them away, grabbed the tie that held his hair back and pulled it off. Shaking his hair loose, he said with a deceptively matter-of-fact voice, "You're still dressed."
Jim tried to make a sound - any sound, but nothing came out of his mouth. Staring at Blair, he had to admit that clothed, he was hot, but in nothing but navy blue boxer-briefs, he was a wet dream. He'd expected him to be slender, as a jockey, that was a given, but what he hadn't expected were the lean muscles and powerful legs, but he should have. After all, it took great mental and physical strength to control an animal weighing several hundred pounds.
His gaze was drawn up to the younger man's chest, to hair that had been tantalizing him all afternoon. Dark and curling, it spread, soft and appealing, across the expanse of the compact but muscular chest. A silver glint caught his attention and, focusing on it, he realized with a gasp that it was a nipple ring.
Blair's right nipple was pierced.
A small moan escaped his lips as his hands began to tear at his shirt in his eagerness to get undressed. It didn't matter than the clothes he was wearing belonged to the studio.
Laughing, Blair made a dash for the creek and, as his feet hit the edge, he arched his body into a beautiful racing dive and hit the water, cutting through it so smoothly, there was only the barest of a splash. He disappeared beneath the cool surface even as Jim's fingers, now frantic and clumsy, tugged on his zipper, roughly tugging down the studio-owned Armani slacks. As Blair's head finally popped up, half way across the pond, Jim lost his balance and toppled over, slacks twisted around his ankles.
Blair pushed the hair back with both hands before wiping the water from his eyes. Spotting Jim, he couldn't hold back the delighted laughter.
Jim, now red-faced and sweating, shot a disgusted look at him but, seeing only affection in his eyes, he fell back on his hands and let his own mirth mingle with Blair's.
Finally Blair couldn't resist and, in his best construction worker imitation, asked, "Hey gorgeous, need some help with that?"
Jim's eyes widened before he fell back on the grass, his laughter uncontrollable.
"Gee, and I thought that was my sexiest voice. Damn, guess I'm going to...."
Blair's words trailed off as Jim got to his feet sans Armani and boxers. With a very wicked leer, he dove in and swam directly for the younger man, who, with an, "Uh-oh," dove backward and swam for the opposite shore.
Blair was faster but Jim was taller. He got close enough to connect with Blair's foot so he took advantage by grabbing and pulling. As he reeled in the struggling, laughing man, he moved his hand up to settle on Blair's left hip. Jim pulled again, this time bringing Blair up and towards him. At that point, he changed tactics and wrapped his arms around Blair's waist, tugging him close. They were now back to chest, legs kicking slowly beneath the water and keeping them afloat.
Jim wanted Blair Sandburg as he'd never wanted anyone before. He was a major star and, as he'd explained to Blair, it was always about power. If he desired it, just about anything was his for the asking - he just rarely asked. But a man needed…certain needs met - and there were plenty of extras and actor-wannabe's who were looking for a thrill in the form of bedding down with him. There were also other high-powered actors in the same boat, more than willing to hook up for a night or two - but Blair was none of those, nor was he the best table at the finest restaurant or front row center seats at a popular Broadway play. What Blair happened to be - was everything Jim have ever dreamed of finding; all he'd ever wanted.
Now, bringing his right hand up, he gently moved aside the heavy, wet curls to expose Blair's neck and, lowering his head, kissed the moist skin just below Blair's ear. He couldn't help the smile at the result of the shudder that ran through the younger man. Blair tilted his head back and slightly to his left, giving Jim better access even as he shifted closer.
Jim was using his considerable strength to keep them afloat and plastered together but he almost lost it as Blair's ass bumped against his rapidly hardening cock. Regaining his equilibrium, he nibbled at Blair's ear, slid his hand up through the mat of chest hair until he found the nipple ring. He fingered it gently but in rhythm to the motion of darting his tongue in and out of Blair's ear. His reward came in the form of Blair's arch backward followed by a low, guttural moan of need.
Jim somehow managed to maneuver them backwards until he could just touch bottom. Blair was still kicking gently below the surface, which continued to force his ass against Jim's cock. Grinding himself into Blair, he gave the nipple ring a sharp tweak. Blair's reaction was to thrust back so hard, he nearly came up and out of the water.
That was it for Jim. With a few maneuvers worthy of Houdini, he managed to remove the one obstacle between the two of them: Blair's shorts.
Jim gripped Blair's cock; the water making it easy to work it while, at the same time, he began to ease his way into Blair.
Blair reached back and clamped onto Jim's hip in order to anchor himself to him, to make it easier, and now he pushed back just enough to help Jim slide in. He wasn't expecting any resistance so was startled when he encountered it, when Blair suddenly tensed. Instinct took over and Jim gave a quick tug on the nipple ring. Blair moaned and immediately thrust back hard just as Jim pushed in again, this time more easily.
They kicked and thrust; one moving backward, the other forward…in...out...in...out....
Jim hefted Blair up a bit, thus allowing his cock to strike Blair's prostrate. The shudder that ran through him told Jim that Blair was close.
End part One - go on to Part 2