Forbidden Fruit, Unspoken Dreams

BY : AEMorgan
Category: S through Z > Sentinel
Dragon prints: 2202
Disclaimer: I do not own The Sentinel, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Title: Forbidden Fruit, Unspoken Dreams.
Author: Adelaide Elizabeth Morgan (FalconKenobi@aol.com)
Author web page: Every Generation Has A Legend (http://members.dencity.com/firststep/)
Fandom: The Sentinel
Rating: PG
Categories: J/B, PWP, First-Time, Angst, POV
Archive: Sure! You want it? You got it!
Thanks to: You, for reading this. Rushlight, as ever, for the beta. The support act at the Ronan concert for being mind-numbingly boring and forcing me to start daydreaming. Franzi, for poking whenever I got stalled. Sheltie, for helping finding a fitting title.
Summary: After Jim Ellison walks in one of Blair Sandburg's most private moments, their relationship becomes strained, neither one of them knowing how to fix it.

Ever notice how the Earth never opens up and swallows you whole when you really want it to? Last night would have been the most perfect example of this. I had the loft to myself; Jim had gone out with some redhead, couldn't tell you her name. So... I decided to make the most of the peace and quiet and do something I've been meaning to do for some time. Fantasise. About Jim. Just picture that gorgeous man in my mind and let nature take its course.

Which is precisely what was happening when he walked in. I don't know how long he'd been standing there, and I don't think I want to know. I just remember hearing a sound, looking around and seeing him leaning on the wall. Watching me. And I panicked. I grabbed my clothes from the floor, held them in front of me and ran to my room, slamming the door behind me. He didn't follow me; what was he supposed to have said or done if he had, though?

I just can't get the look on his face out of my mind. The look of a man who has just witnessed his best friend jerking off in front of him, screaming his name as he spills his seed all over himself. He didn't say anything, just looked at me.

He's a fucking Sentinel, surely ouldould have heard me, or smelled me, or something, figured that I was entertaining and gone away again. Which is when wishful thinking rears its ugly head up - what if he did hear me, heard only one heartbeat in here, and wanted to watch? Perhaps he wants me as much as I want him. Impossible, I know, but it doesn't hurt a guy to dream, does it?

Only when those dreams stop being private fantasises of Jim and become the harsh reality of him walking in. Oh shit, this seriously sucks.

What was he doing back so early? It could barely have been 10pm. He was on a hot date, he shouldn't have been home for hours. Perhaps I should go out there and check if he's OK. He's a very sensitive guy, and I don't just mean his Sentinel senses. He was head over heels for whatever-her-name-is, talked about her all the time. If she's hurt him... I ought to see if he's all right, but that would mean facing him, facing what happened last night. And I'm not ready for that. I don't think I'll ever be ready for that. I think I'll just wait until he leaves for work Monday, pack my stuff and go. Detach with love and all that shit.

But I can't... I'm his Guide and he needs me. Even more importantly, he's my friend, my best friend. I can't just walk out on him like that - it'd be wrong. But how can I face him? How will he ever face me again? Me, Blair Sandburg, one bisexual 'neo-hippie witchdoctor punk' of an anthropologist who's fallen madly in love with his friend, his thesis subject, his partner. His extremely good looking, blue-eyed, muscular, caring (even if he won't admit it), sarcastic, funny, practical and, unfortunately, straight Sentinel; what's not to love about him?

So I'm stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. I can't live like this, with Jim knowing how I feel about him and knowing that he doesn't feel the same way, that he can't love me back, but I can't leave him. So what do I do?

What I do know is I can't stay in here forever. I'm gonna need to use the bathroom soon, and eat; normal everyday stuff that can't be done in here. So - I need to go out there. There being the rest of the loft. Might as well do it now... can't put it off forever, can I? OK, one foot in front of the other, walk to the door. Hand on doorknob, take a deep breath. Or two. Or three. Or four. I can do this, I CAN do this... No I can't! For Christ's sake, Sandburg, what are you afraid of? Well, that's a stupid question. So answer it then. Jim? No, I'm not afraid of Jim. I could never be afraid of Jim. Why not? Because... Because he saved my life, he brought me back from the dead. He wouldn't hurt me, not on purpose. So, what are you afraid of then? Me. I'm afraid of me. Of what he thinks about me.

And so it comes back to Jim. I guess in a way I am scared of him; just not in a physical way. More in the emotional spectrum - in what he thinks of me. Does Jim's opinion really matter that much to me? Of course it does. I'm in love with the guy; his feelings are very important to me. HE is very important to me and I can't bear to hurt him. Which brings me full circle back to the question of what the hell am I gonna do. And I'm still standing here leaning on the door. He can hear me, I know he can hear me. I'm nervous, so my heartbeat's racing for sure, and I'm probably breat fas faster.

And I'm stalling.

I live here. I've lived here for a couple of years. I have every right to leave this room and go flop down on the couch. So that's what I'm gonna do. Right now. OK.... The door is open. That wasn't too bad. Deep breath, and step through it. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. OK.. I'm out of my room and I'm still alive. This is a good thing, right? Right.

There he is. He's looking at me. Sitting on the couch. The TV's on, but he's turned away from it to face me. He's worried about me, I can see it in his eyes. His gorgeous blue eyes, eyes that I drown in every time I look into them... No can't go there. It's wrong. Where was I? Oh yeah... Jim worried. Not many people can read his expressions... I can. It took living and working with him for years, but I can nearly always tell what's going on with him. And right now he looks worried, and... guilty. Guilty?

"Blair?"

He's speaking to me. Nothing new there, but he used my name. Not Sandburg. Not Chief. Blair. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I'm not sure, but he's looking at me very strangely. Oh right, yeah, he'll want me to answer him. What the fuck do I say to him? I sure as hell don't know, but I think I'd better do it fast.

"Jim."

Oh yeah, that worked. Stroke of genius, really coherent and... extremely stupid. I can't do this, I've gotta get out of here. I can't go back in my room, that's really gonna freak him out. Where's all the air going, it's getting hard to breathe. I've got to get outside. I need to breathe. Don't have a panic attack, Sandburg, no need to panic. Just get air. And stop standing in one place, you're looking stupid. That's right, move. Left foot, right foot. Stop, because Jim's standing in front of me. He's reaching out to place a hand on my shoulder, a familiar gesture, one he does all the time. But I can't... I flinch away from his touch. How can he bear to touch me, let alone be near me after what I've done to him?

"Chief, please?"

He's hurt. I've hurt him. I'm sorry, Jim, I never meant to hurt you. I'll leave now before I hurt you anymore.

"Blair, no. Please don't walk away like this. Not like this."

Jim's speaking to me, but I can't listen. I'm too scared to listen, to hear him throw me out again. I'm making that decision. It's easier this way, on him and me

I'll never forget the look on his face as I push past him, shaking my head as I reach to lift my coat off the peg.

It's breaking my heart to do this to him. Literally. I can feel the ache, it's all numb, feels like my heart, my soul, the centre of my being is smashed into tiny pieces. Leaving's gonna make it worse, I know, but... I'm not doing this for me, I'm doit fot for Jim. The sooner I get out of here, the sooner he can heal, get his life back to normal. Can have his place back to himself, without having to walk in on...

Not going there, hurts too much. Leaving. Now. Where to? Don't know, all I do know is that I have to get out of here. Slip coat on, open door, leave, shut door behind me. Very simple plan, not much room for anything to go wrong, right?

OK, the door slamming shut in my face pretty much proves me wrong, even if I don't remember opening the door in the first place. Guess the body must have been doing as I was thinking. Nice to know some things still work properly for me.

Slipping his arm around my shoulder, Jim turns me to face him. His face is etched with worry as he studies me with his intense blue eyes. He doesn't speak, and neither do I, as he gently pulls my coat off my body and hangs it up again. It's as much as I can do to stop the shivers that run through me and keep silent. His hands feel so good, so strong, yet so kind and familiar. I shake my head. Can't think these things. He probably feels my shivers, but he doesn't say anything.

"Where're you going, Chief?"

A question. They require answers. I don't know where I was going. Think fast, Sandburg, and it has to be believable.

"College. I've got a paper due and I'm gonna go and speak to Clare. She's a friend of mine, works in library records about some books I need and...."

...And, oh God, he's slipped his arm round my waist and he's pulling me over. I just wanna lean back against that broad chest and feel those muscles surrounding me, holding me tight. Feels good, feels safe, feels right. Shouldn't, but it does.

"Look out of the window, tell me what you see." His mouth is so close to my ear it feels lik's 's blowing on it, and this time I know I don't contain the shiver. I feel it coursing through me and I know he can feel it as well. It feels like he's resting his chin on my shoulder, every inhalation and exhalation brushing past my ear. "What do you see, Blair?" he whispers.

Swallowing audibly, I force myself to turn my head and look out the window. It's dark, and I tell him so, or should that be I stammered to him.

"That's because it's 3 am. I don't think your friend will appreciate you dropping in at this hour." He's still whispering into my ear, and the hand that's not wrapped around my waist has started running up and down my side. Feels so good, and the fact that it's Jim makes it even better, or should that be worse? My brain registers the fact that this is *Jim*, and there's no way I could have stifled the groan that just escaped my lips. My knees give out, and all that's holding me up is Jim's arm around me. I lay my head back against Jim's shoulder, momentarily content to just relax and feel, but tell myself I'm just catching my breath. His arm tightens around me and his fingers continue his relentless exploration of my body as he dips his head forward enough to actually catch the ear he's been whispering into, into his mouth and suck on it.

This isn't right, I shouldn't be doing this. I know it feels good, and it's Jim, and I love him, but this shouldn't be happening. And not like this. Why is he doing this? I pull away from him and try to unwrap his arm from my waist. He lets go slowly, but not without caressing my body one more time. I cross my arms tightly across my chest, and turn around to look at him. And I mean really *look* at him. He's still wearing the black jeans and dark blue shirt he wore to go on his date, and I think I can still smell a trace of whatever after shave he was wearing.

Knees going weak, and severe tightenof mof my jeans as my erection makes its whereabouts known proves that looking at him was possibly not the best thing to do. My hand grabs for the sofa like a drowning man gasping for... Ouch. Totally the wrong visual there. Man, could I have chosen a worse one? Feel sick now, skin going clammy, can't breathe. Don't think I can stand much longer, can feel my knees buckling (not just from looking at Jim either) and I'm gonna crash down on the floor. I so cannot do that, I've embarrassed myself enough in the last 24 hours, gotta get to the sofa.

Not sure how I made it, but I'm sitting down. Jim's on the other end of the sofa, one leg curled under him, facing me, his arm resting on the back of the sofa near me. He's really worried about me, can't say I blame him, I'm worried about me as well. Worried about my sanity.

In typical Jim fashion, he just sits there quietly, looking at me, waiting for me to speak, but I don't know what to say. I look at the arm on the back of the sofa and can feel another knot of hurt coil in my stomach; normally when he's worried about me, he'll lay a hand on my arm, and now he can't even bare to touch me.

"I... I'm sorry." It comes out a whisper, so quiet that he wouldn't have been able to hear it without Sentinel enhanced hearing.

"What for?" His voice is gentle, non-accusing.

What for? For being in love with you. For being turned on by you. For fantasising about you. For you finding out the way you did.

"For this." My lips meet his as I land on his lap, hands going around his shoulders as I kiss him for the first time. A kiss that is so much more than I could ever have imagined. His lips feel soft and supple under my tongue, and I can't resist slipping the bottom one into my mouth and sucking on it, before my tongue slides between his lips, tasting him properly.

Part of me is screaming to kiss him hard, fast and passionately, throw all that I am into this kiss. But I know this is the only time I'm ever going to kiss him, I have to make it last, savour it so I can remember every little detail. So, I slowly explore his mouth with my tongue, effusing myself with the taste that is purely Jim, before stroking my tongue over his. I moan into his mouth as I feel myself growing even harder than I ever though possible, and I pin him to the soda by bringing my knees up, and to either side of his body as I straddle him. I feel my chest constrict as the need for oxygen makes itself known, but I don't want this kiss to end. Don't think I want to know how Jim's gonna react. Don't want to get thrown out of my home again.

I run my tongue around his mouth once more, ending the kiss by stroking that oh so soft tongue of his. A tongue which follows mine out, caressing my lips, before retreating back into that warm wet cavern.

Oh!

OH!

He... Jim... Kissed... Me... Back.... Oh!

Not the response, I was expecting, but... OK I can cope with that. I think. File it away for processing later, definitely, just cope for now. And try not to embarrass myself. I'm already flushed, I can feel the heat radiating from my face as it is. The floor has never been so interesting to look at as it is now.

His hand cups my chin, and turns me to face him, and it feels amazing to have him touching me. He's smiling, and what a sight, even if it's arousing me even more. But how can I not be turned on by that dazzling smile? His whole face lights up, and his eyes crinkle and sparkle.

And when it's directed at me - Wow!

"You don't have to apologise for kissing me."

I don't? OK, that's a good thing. Why not? He... kissed me back. Wow. OK - getting confused now.

"Jim?" What do I say first? There's so much going on, I don't understand it. What do I say?

"Yeah?" He hasn't moved his hand, its still cupping my face, spreading warmth through me. I can't help but lean into that touch. A content sigh rumbles from my chest, and I can't help but grin. If I was a cat, I'd be purring by now. "Blair? Now might be a good time to talk to me, Chief."

"You..." Damn, my mouth is dry. Dry mouth, sweaty palms... Why am I so nervous? This is Jim. He's not reacting the way I thought he was going to. He kissed me back. Jim kissed me! "You kissed me back."

"I did" He nods, in agreement. Damn you Jim, you said you wanted to talk, so talk. Don't make me do all the work here.

"Why?"

"I wanted to."

"Because... Because you wanted to? You've just turned my life upside down, because you wanted to? Oh, no! That's not going to wash, Jim!" Calm down, Sandburg. You don't need to lose your temper at him. "If you wanted to kiss me, you could've man. You didn't need to stand there watching me jack off. That is so private, not something you watch. You were supposed to have been out on a hot date, I turn around and you're watching me. What's going on, man?"

Shouldn't be losing my temper, but it feels so good to get it out. And I can't quite get the fact that Jim kissed me out of my mind. He *kissed* me, and it felt so good. No. You're supposed to be being mad, remember. Go melt later!

I must have pulled away from him and stood up, pacing as I spoke, because he's standing in front of me, his hands on my shoulders. I look up at him, my eyes meeting his, a shiver running through me as I see my desire reflected in those blue pools. His hands come up to cup my face, and I cannot draw my eyes away from them, even as he bends over, his lips meeting mine, silencing any further comments I could make.

And Wow! Jim can kiss. It takes all my energy to keep upright, so I just let myself feel. It's hard and passionate kiss, but far too short. A whimper escapes me as he pulls back, his hand cupping my cheek again.

"I'm sorry, Blair."

"Huh? You just told me not to apologise for kissing you and now...." The tone of my voice gave away my confusion, I'm sure of it. And if not, the frown definitely did.

Taking my hand he pulls me over to the couch. I sit, but he doesn't let go of my hand. Not that I'm complaining, not at all. His thumb rubs over the backs of my hands as he talks, and I'm finding myself struggling to pay attention to his words.

"I... I wanted to apologise for last night, Chief. I had no right to have acted like I did last night. You... What you were doing was private and I should never have just watched. I don't know what I was thinking, and I'm sorry."

"But...." Why is my throat so dry? "Surely you could have heard, or smelt...." My voice trails off. I'm not sure I know myself what I'm trying to ask. I glance up at Jim and notice in shock as a faint red tinge covers his cheeks. Jim's blushing. Blushing! I don't think I've ever seen Jim so embarrassed that he actually blushes before. He doesn't reply, so I glance up to meet his eyes. He smiles slightly, and doesn't break eye contact as he continues.

"I did."

Oh! Uhmm... OK. Not the answer I was expecting. Damn, I can feel the heat creeping up my cheeks - bad time to blush Sandburg. My mouth opens and closes a few times but no words come out, so I stop. But I haven't broken eye contact with him. This is too important, even if I know I can't string together a coherent sentence at the moment. I just hope that all my thoughts and feelings are as plain on my face as they feel.

"Gillian said that I spent so much time talking about you, she felt that I would have been happier spending the evening with you. Then she walked out." It's Jim that breaks eye contact, choosing instead to stare at the floor. "And she was right." He pauses, and I see him take a deep breath, his tongue darting out to wet his lips, before he lifts his head, meeting my eyes again. "I was driving home to tell you, and you know what happened when I got here. Anytime you want to jump in and say something, Chief, feel free to do so." He stops speaking and just looks at me expectantly, waiting for me to say something. Which I still don't think I'm capable of.

"I... I don't understand, Jim." Very true, but did I have to say so?

He laughs, and grabs me by the waist, pulling me over so I'm lying across my lap, and with his other hand messes my hair. Damn, I hate it when he does that. It takes forever to get the knots out. But if feels so good, Jim touching me so intimately. "I thought you were supposed to be the brains of this outfit." He's still laughing, I can hear it in is voice, and so am I. The hand he has on my waist finds its way through the many layers of my clothes and starts tickling me. He knows how ticklish I am, and can find all the spots that make me squirm. In no time at all, I'm thrashing around on the couch, Jim pinning me down and tickling me relentlessly. I've got tears streaming down my face, and I've got a stitch from laughing, but I feel better than I have since last night.

Exhausted, but with a big grin on my face I stop fighting Jim, and lay back against him, my head resting comfortably on his legs. I've rolled over while being tickled, and instead of being face down over his lap, I'm facing him. I move my head slightly to look at him, and he's look down at me, his face lit up with an open smile. An infectious, catching smile that I cannot help but smile back at.

I meet his eyes, and something sparks between us, something so tangible I swear it was like a flash of lightning. Jim reaches up to cup my face, his hand so tender on my cheek. His thumb strokes over my skin, and I cant help the rumble of contentment that escapes. I sound like I'm purring.

"I love you, Blair."

It feels like my heart misses a beat, then starts again at twice the normal size. Three little words; I never knew they could make me feel so alive.

"I love you, too, Jim."

I sit up, turn around and straddle his lap. I can feel his erection straining to get through his jeans and I know he can feel mine. But I ignore it. I wrap my arms around him, and nuzzle the crook of his neck, inhaling the scent that is pure him. My tongue darts out to taste the salty taste of him, and he groans. He pulls my head up.

"Kiss me," he whispers.

And I do.

~fin~


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