Disclaimer: The main characters are not mine, this is an amateur effort written purely for the fun of it, and no money has exchanged hands, and it is not intended to breach the copyright of Paramount and Pet Fly Publication.
For Jael, I hope your feeling better soon.
With thanks to Gail, Rogue, and Lois.
This story starts just before the end of Sentinel Conference. Blair has been rescued and is sleeping off the drugs that he was given by the young unbonded sentinels.
It is advisable to have read some of the Dark Guide Ancients stories of Guide Prime Blaer and Sentinel Prime Jeme of the Panther Clan, please be aware that although the Dark Guide series is general fiction, they do have a more intense bonding, and are a little more touchy feely than the modern Jim and Blair. I would also suggest reading Little Knowledge in the GDP series before your read this story.
Jim Ellison woke and switched off the alarm clock and lay gazing up at the changing light as dawn began to break. He tightened his grip around the smaller man who was nestled against him, with his head resting on his chest. Jim gave a gentle sigh. He was in sentinel bliss; his guide was resting trustingly with him. He could feel Blair's mind like a soothing caress.
Things could have been so different. Blair had been kidnapped by an unbalanced sentinel who had drugged him and was about to rape him when the Hunting Pack of Sentinel had arrived.
Later today in front of the Clans, he would reclaim his guide. Gently, he ran his hand over Blair's head and shoulders, then found himself looking down into the sleepily blue eyes of his guide.
"Hi, Jimmmmm." Blair's voice was slurred.
"Hi, yourself. How are you feeling"?
"Sore." Blair moved slightly, easing into a more comfortable position. "But safe." Blair buried his face in Jim's shoulder and yawned again as he settled onto his living pillow, rubbing his face against the warm skin. "Time to get up yet"?
"Not yet. Go back to sleep, Chief." Jim began to massage his guide's forehead. Blair's eyes closed as he slipped toward sleep again with his sentinel to guard his rest.
Jim yawned, then reset his alarm for an extra two hours. As long as they were at the hotel by noon, it didn't really matter when they got up. Blair needed his rest to rebuild his shields and to find his focus.
Half-asleep Blair, snuggled his human security blanket; he felt loved, cherished and protected. The other slowly began to emerge into his mind as he slept off the after effects of the drugs. The other would protect him while the essence that was Blair Sandburg rested. The other opened his eyes. The Dark Guide Blaer pushed himself up, looked around then down, and gave an approving growl. He was resting with his sentinel. Carefully, he raised himself up a little further then tugged his T-shirt off. He needed the skin-to-skin contact with his sentinel. With a contented sigh, he settled back down, luxuriating in the feeling of body warmth as his body fitted perfectly to that of his sentinel. He blindly put a hand back and pulled the covers over them.
The Dark Guide's mind touched that of his Dark Sentinel and power surged through the connection. As Dark Guide, Blaer rubbed his face against the throat and jaw of his sentinel, the Dark Sentinel's eyes opened, bright and clear. Strong arms circled the smaller man and with a growl, he rolled them over, pinning Blaer under him as he nipped at his throat, the need to mark his guide coming to the surface. His soul mate did not push him away; Blaer just tipped his head back, giving him better access, as their minds' connection began to open wide, pulling them into the spirit plain.
Dark Sentinel Jeme looked around. They were in a forest; blue colored every aspect of the world. His gaze quickly found their spirit guides: the panther and the wolf. The wolf was no longer underfed and scruffy, with its fur falling out. It looked sleek and fit. His gaze focused on a third animal - another cat - a Mountain Lion. It came out of the forest. Its eyes burned red and it stalked toward the Panther and the Wolf. The Panther came to its feet, its teeth bared, as it roared its challenge to the Mountain Lion. The Wolf growled and stood by the side of its mate ready to do battle.
The Lion attacked. The cats rolled around on the ground, snarling and snapping, claws slashing; then the Lion, with one last lunge at the Wolf, turned on its tail and ran.
The Wolf was immediately at the side of the Panther, fussing over him, licking at its muzzle, making sure that it was all right. The Panther looked into the eyes of its human and the message burned in his head. "He will come and he will challenge you for your guide. Defeat him, and keep your guide safe, but do not kill him, there is a threat coming, which will be his salvation or his death."
Dark Sentinel Jeme shook his head and the forest vanished. He was aware of his guide making distressed noises of need in his throat, his hands pawing at him. Jeme's head went back as he roared his ownership and claimed his guide.
The alarm clock went off and was splintered by the fist that hit it. Jeme sat up, careful to hold his still sleeping guide to him, and pulled a pillow behind his back to support him in a sitting position. He gently petted his guide as he started to wake up. With a yawn and a soft moan, Blaer opened his eyes, his arms tightening around Jeme.
"Time to break our fast, little one."
Blaer sat up, straddling his sentinel's lap, his hands resting on the broad shoulders as the bond crackled between them.
Jeme heard the words form in his head, saw the tilt of his guide's head and the smile of the cat who had gotten the cream. He patted Blaer's stomach affectionately.
"Today we face the Clans. Now feed your sentinel."
Blaer got up slowly and using the knowledge of the other one, made his way down to the kitchen. For a moment, Jeme simply watched him before he, too, got up. He had nearly reached the bottom of the stairs when he heard footsteps. His head tilted and he smelled the scent of cigar smoke. Aloud, he said, "Saemund" then corrected it to, "Simon."
Simon Banks raised his hand to knock on the front door. He knew that Jim and Blair didn't have to be at the Conference until noon, but they had agreed the night before that they would come into the PD first then go on to the Conference.
The door opened, leaving his hand in mid-air, and he found himself looking into the face of Jim. However, he knew instinctively that this was not Jim; it was the Dark Sentinel. Why did he get the feeling that he was going to need Dan Slater for this?
Jeme caught his arm and pulled him into the loft. Before the Captain could gain his balance, the door to the loft was locked.
Simon looked round the loft remembering the last time the Dark Guide and Sentinel pairing had come to the fore. But everything looked okay. Blair come out of the kitchen and Simon took a deep breath. The guide was half-naked. Immediately, the Dark Sentinel blocked Simon's view of his guide. He scooped up a long coat from the hook by the door and wrapped it around his guide. Blaer looked puzzled and slid his hand up the sleeve of the terry robe his sentinel was wearing, his fingertips stroking his arm to reassure him as he felt the emotions becoming more intense. Sentinel soft he muttered the words that the Dark Sentinel needed to hear. Only then did he turn around to get the orange juice. Simon shifted uncomfortably as Jeme ran a hand affectionately over his guide's body, causing the smaller man to look over his shoulder and say something sub vocal that caused his sentinel to rumble deep in his throat.
Once the last of the food had been placed on the counter Blaer move into Jeme's personal space. He wrapped his arms around his sentinel's chest, his head resting against his heart, while the sentinel's hands held him, one hand on the back of his neck as the other rested at his waist.
For a moment, they remained unmoving. Then, with a nuzzle at his sentinel's throat, Blaer pulled free and went into his room, totally ignoring Simon. //The kid is going to be mortified when he remembers this//. Blair was usually dressed in multi-layers of clothing, needing to feel safe, warm and covered; to be only partly clothed would bring back too many nightmares from his days in the facility when his body had no longer been his own and he had been nothing more than a living sex toy, to be used and abused by Wilson and his cronies.
The low growl next to his ear caused Simon to spin around. Jeme had not taken kindly to his interest in the guide. The captain's mind raced for the words that would calm the Dark Sentinel. "Blaer is yours, Jeme, Claimed and Marked, of my Clan, and my family." He bit his lip and waited to see what the Dark Sentinel would do. Jeme nodded. "Saemund, well spoken." The sentinel seem satisfied with his words.
Simon moved toward the balcony and pulled his cell phone out. He was going to need Daniel Slater. The man could ride shotgun on the GDP at the Hotel, because if anyone looked at Blair the wrong way, they would be getting presented with their heads.
Although the two of them moved around the loft in a practiced way, it became obvious to Simon that something had happened. The Sentinel and Guide of the Chronicles - Jeme and Blaer - were with him now, but using the knowledge of Jim and Blair. He was pretty sure it had something to do with what was going to happen at the Conference. //Why in the hell can't anything be simple with these two? //
"This is Captain Banks. I need you to come to the loft, Jim Ellison's place. When you arrive, just follow my lead."
"Has something happened? Do you need medical support?"
"No, Slater, but make sure you're unarmed."
The door to the utility room - correction, Blair's room - clicked closed and Simon found himself looking at the Dark Guide. He made the change in his head: Blaer. This was Sandburg, but different. There was no hesitation in him; he moved with an almost feline grace. Hell, there were women that would have pounced on him if he had approached them like that. He was dressed all in black, from the sneakers to the trousers, the shirt, and jacket, all black.
He heard Jeme give his approval. Blaer turned and hung his head down. The sentinel reached up, his fingers carding through the long curly hair as it was pulled back into a ponytail, then fixed into place with a leather tie. His hand stroked the nape of his guide's neck, and smiled at something that was said so low that only he could hear. He gave the ponytail a tug. Blaer turned and pulled at the terry robe. "I know, Blaer. I am just going to get ready." The sentinel took the steps to his bedroom two at a time.
Simon found himself now the only blip on the Dark Guide's radar, and knew he was being examined in close detail by Blaer. The Captain shifted his stance slightly, ready to counter any attack by the Dark Guide. In the Chronicles, he was all too aware of how the Guide had been almost homicidal at times in his intent to kill his ancient counterpart.
Jim - no, correction, Jeme - was just coming back down the stairs when there was a knock at the door. Jeme pulled it open, careful to block any view of his guide. "Slater." To the Dark Sentinel, the other gave a name to the face.
Commander Slater kept perfectly still, his eyes flicking up and down Senior Sentinel Prime James Ellison. The man was dressed all in black. Why did he get the feeling this wasn't a natural look for him? A pale hand latched onto the black clad shoulder and he saw Blair Sandburg.
"Let him in, Jeme. It could be fun." The guide was almost purring.
Only then did the sentinel move out of the way. Slater shot Simon a puzzled look, then his eyes fixed on Blair Sandburg. While the person standing in front of him might look like the fragile guide he knew, but that was as far as the comparison went. The man watching him back was dressed in matching black with one hand confidently resting on Jim's shoulder; the other pale hand was at his waist and he was plastered across him. There wasn't a centimeter of space between them. Okay, he had seen the kid plastered across the sentinel before, when he was frightened and needed comfort, but this was different; he got the feeling that Sandburg was holding the reins.
Blaer was pulled around Jim, so the pale hand now resting on his sentinel's chest. The fingers moved in a slow petting motion, like a person petting a dangerous animal, because at that moment all Slater could see was a predator. He had read the books and heard the title Alpha Male - given to five sense sentinels - but in this man, James Ellison, he was looking at all the book said about them and more.
As a GDP officer he had been scanned by sentinels before, but this one seemed to look into his very soul.
Simon spoke levelly. "Slater, we have a slight problem. We need to get them to the Conference, but they're not quite themselves today."
"You're telling me." The three words were heart felt.
"There's a link to a time of ancient sentinels. Jeme - er, Jim - is a Dark Sentinel and Blaer, or Blair, is a Dark Guide."
"A Dark Guide! Simon, do you have any idea what that means?" Simon brought Slater up fast, as Jeme was about to start forward.
"This has to stay between us, understand? If you tell your boss, I will personally take you down." He paused so Slater could take the vow in. "That's not a threat; it's a promise. Something is going to happen at the Conference, and these two will be the cause of it." Simon stepped between them "It's all right, Jeme, he understands." The captain wished he could claim it was his words that stopped Jeme , but he knew it was Blaer and the touch of his hand.
The hotel hosting the Sentinel Conference had a line of police barriers circling it, holding back the protesters. Jeme sat in the back of the police car with Blaer resting peacefully in his arms. The smaller man had lowered his empathic barriers and the connection between the two of them was humming, while the sentinel's natural shields wrapped around the guide's mind.
From where Jeme sat, he viewed the protesters with barely concealed venom. They were stealers of guides. They had tried once before to separate him from his guide, but the clans had met force with force. He tugged Blaer closer to him, burying his face into his hair.
Simon glanced across at Daniel Slater. "You got any ideas of how to get them in without blood shed? Because like this Jeme, is going to rip off anyone's arms who dare try to touch Blaer."
Slater nodded. "One of these days you're going to have to tell me more about the Chronicles. At least, let me read them."
"If you prove yourself, and he lets me."
There was no need to add the "he" was the Dark Guide.
Blaer placed his hand on Jeme's arm. When the sentinel looked down at him, he spoke softly. "It's all right, big guy, I am here. They are not a threat to us." The energy arched between them as the Dark Guide connected with the Dark Sentinel. "Come on, big guy. Let's kick some sentinel butt."
Jeme's laugh was a deep rumbling growl. "They challenge, they go down."
He was already pushing the door open. All Simon got the chance to say was, "It's starting, so heads up, Slater." The two self-appointed shepherds jumped out and began to run interference for the dark pair.
As they approached the barrier, one of the GLA protesters turned and recognized the sentinel and guide pairing and started toward them. "Guide, throw off your chains! Rebel! Get off your knees!" The man grabbed for Blaer, but before Jeme could react, Blaer pulled back so the man over stretched. In a practiced move, Blaer caught the man's wrist and twisted, bringing the man down. Stepping around the fallen protester, he continued in step with his sentinel. The other protesters stood back, making no further attempt to stop the pairing.
Simon yelled at the police officers on duty to open the barriers. With a nod, Jeme acknowledged them, but even they backed away. There was something about him the sentinel that was setting off their primal sense of preservation. This sentinel was dangerous; a predatory, alpha male, ready to defend what was his.
Seated in his car, former Sentinel Prime Mark Hudson watched as events unravel themselves, his face hardening when he saw Blair step out of the car. The filthy little rogue was the reason he had lost everything. His guide, Mary Day, had put in for an official segregation from him the moment he had lost the title of sentinel prime to Ellison. She had looked at him as if he were nothing and her eyes had already been on James Ellison. Their bond had turned to ashes and she had risked flat-lining to break the bond rather than spend another hour as his guide. He would have his revenge on Ellison. He would challenge him and take his guide. His face twisted into a horrible parody of a smile. Looking down at the passenger seat, he saw the empty drug cartons; soon he would have Blair Sandburg on his knees at his side and he would not need them again -- and Ellison would know the empty loneliness of being a broken bonded sentinel.
Although he was on sick leave, he still had his ID, and the morons at the gates would let him in. They never read the cards, just saw the uniforms; besides, the GDP hadn't exactly broadcast his disgrace.
This time Ellison would not walk away from the challenge. Blair Sandburg would be his.
In the entrance of the hotel, the sentinels and guides who had made up the hunting pack that had rescued Blair from a group of renegade sentinels stood waiting for their arrival.
The Dark Pair moved forward to meet them. Simon and Slater hung back.
Commander Dan Slater watched the group of sentinels and guides with unreserved interest. In his bones, he knew something was happening; something that was going to have far-reaching implications; something ancient was surfacing and God help them when it became fully formed. For a moment, he had held the Dark Guide's gaze and he had broken away first. There was an element of the unworldly about Blair now. The Dark Sentinel had turned and fixed him with a look, picking up on his guide's emotions, and Slater had felt his heart go into his mouth. For the first time, he was touched by fear. What he was looking at was strong, primal and dangerous. Nothing he had learned in the GDP had ever prepared him for a confrontation of this sort. When Jim looked away, Dan had shuddered. It was then he remembered that Simon Banks had asked him a question and he belatedly replied, "I have no idea, Captain, but whatever it is, they are re-writing the books."
Simon watched as the sentinels and guides began to file out of the entrance following the senior pairing.
"If they think they're leaving me behind, they have another think coming, Commander. It might be their sand pit, but I'm not going to let them have it all their own way. Come on."
"Captain, this is Sentinel business."
"You mean you're not interested in what they're up to?" Simon almost scoffed at him. "I wasn't born yesterday. The look on your face speaks volumes, so what are we waiting for?"
The Captain and Commander hadn't even reached the corridor when Sentinel Prime Dr. Harvey came up to them. As always, her guide was with her, towering over her.
She looked from the GDP officer to Simon and back again. Both men realized that they were looking at a pure sentinel; her forensic officer persona had been pushed back.
"Today the Senior Sentinel Prime is reclaiming his guide. You will both attend and bear witness. You will not interfere." There was a very clear warning in her voice. With that, she turned on her heels; her guide in perfect synch with her, his hand barely ghosting her forearm, anchoring her with his touch.
The Clans parted as the two ordinary men approached, but Simon, looking at their faces, was pretty sure he had seen friendlier grizzly bears. They looked only one step away from reforming the hunting pack, which had wanted to tear the renegade sentinels apart with their bare hands for the attempted violation of the Senior Guide Prime. Simon was about to comment on them when Dan Slater touched his arm, silencing him. Simon took his cue from him.
They had entered Sentinel Territory. Simon could see the power that was bubbling just below the surface of this stranger with his friend's face. The man looking at him now had always been hidden beneath the covering of the civilized man. The warrior was now mixed with the Covert Op Ranger; what earlier had been tempered with Jim Ellison was now fully out of its box.
Jeme's head came up, inhaling the scent of the two not of the Clans, and fixed onto Commander Daniel Slater. He recognized Saemund; the man might look different, but he recognized the soul of his friend. But for Slater, he picked from the memory of the other. He had tolerated this man, but now when his guide would be at his most vulnerable, he needed to know that this man was true. The Dark Sentinel could feel his guide's fear of the uniform; it was as if he had been struck in the stomach. The white hot anger of the other echoed through the bond, joining with the fear of the dark guide, bringing a hatred to all who wore the uniform of the GDP and he snarled, "Violator of guides!" In one stride, he had Slater by the throat and lifted him off the floor, slamming him against the wall. The Sentinels grouped around them began to growl.
Simon started forward only to be pinned by two of the Clan sentinels. This was up to their leader; if the man had violated a guide then death was the only sentence to fit the crime.
"Jeme." One word and the sentinel paused as Blaer came up, his hand reaching up to touch Slater's face. The GDP Commander's head went back as power went through his mind and everything that he could or would ever be was exposed to the Dark Guide.
The sentinel waited for the verdict of his guide. At his command, Jeme would kill the man he held, breaking his neck. At that moment, past loyalties meant nothing; his will was the will of his guide. Simon took a deep breath, trying to steady himself. The captain was a brave man; he had citations to prove that, not that they were needed, but at that moment, he knew that when someone had once jokingly called Ellison his personal Pit Bull, they had only been half right. Now he was seeing it in the flesh.
Finally, Blaer gave his judgment. "His heart is true."
The words were spoken in a lower timbre than Sandburg's usual voice. The Dark Sentinel's hand opened and Slater dropped to the ground. The GDP Commander rubbed his throat as he watched the Sentinel reconnect with his guide. Turning as one, the Dark Pair headed for the gym. Simon was released as the sentinels and guides fell into step behind them, leaving the two outsiders to follow.
Slater was puzzled. If the Dark Sentinel was going to reclaim his guide, why not go to the bonding suite? As if reading his mind, Simon cut across his thoughts. "You have to think ancient this time, Daniel. They want room for whatever's going to happen."
Entering the gym, they could see that the Sentinels had been at work. They had taken the bonding platforms to the gym then used the exercise mats to make a much larger area.
Once in the gym, Blaer moved, for the first time, away from his sentinel and was immediately surrounded by the Guide Primes of the other Clans. They reached up and laid a hand on his shoulder and one on his head. Blaer's eyes closed and he began to channel from them. He knew their histories and those of their sentinels. The Guides Primes began to merge in the mind of their Senior Guide Prime. His empathic power was nearly too much for them to handle; only his light touch on their minds stopped them from overloading, their minds reduced to a frazzle. His power opened up new pathways in their own minds.
The other clan guides lined up along the east side of the mat and knelt, their sentinels on the west side, leaving the north and south sides for the Sentinel and Guide Primes.
The Sentinel Primes around Jeme were slowly becoming more primal as they reacted unconsciously to the pure Dark Sentinel. This time Jeme would bond as a full dark sentinel. Blaer might not be fully meshed into his future persona, but for now ancient instincts had come to the fore and he would bond as a full Dark Guide.
Blaer parted from the guides and they took their place, a hunger burning in them to claim their own sentinels.
The Dark Guide stepped onto the platform. He moved with arrogance, an almost sensual swing of the hips, all grace and power. He reached out a hand and beckoned the Dark Sentinel to him and onto the platform. Blaer's eyes never left his Dark Sentinel's face as he tugged the tie from his hair and shook it out, then stripped off his jacket and threw it to one side, opening up his shirt as he kicked off his sneakers.
His voice dropped to a husky timber. "Sentinel, claim your guide."
Jeme did not need a second invitation. He caught Blaer in his arms, swinging him around, off his feet, as the smaller man's legs went around the larger man's waist and his arms went around Jeme's neck.
The sentinel snarled then nuzzled at his guide's throat, where the scent was the strongest. The linkage scent was thick and heavy around his guide. Blaer was in the heat of the bond, his needs made clear by the sub-vocal sounds he was making. The Dark Guide wanted to bond. The sentinel dropped to his knees, holding his most precious bundle in his arms, then lowered the guide onto his back, crying out in pain as Blaer fixed onto his throat, his teeth nipping the skin, the rest of the clan now forgotten.
Jeme began to gentle his guide, feather light touches with hypersensitive fingertips, as he carefully stroked his guide. Feeling the shivering rack the smaller body, he made soft cooing noises, muttering the same words over and over again "Mo sgoileir dubh ... *my dark scholar*" as his guide tried to push up against the larger body pinning him against the mat.
"Mo chridhe, my heart, my soul, my life." The Dark Sentinel solemnly murmured the words softly. With those words he pledged his past, his present and his future to the spirited and impulsive dark guide.
His thumbs brushed lightly over the cheeks and lips and eyelids of his guide. The gentleness was something that people looking at the ex-military, covert-ops solider would have never thought possible of him.
Jeme felt the tug on the back of his mind; he opened it wide, letting Blaer in.
Two words projected from the guide to his sentinel: "Mark me."
This time when the sentinel bent down, his hand tilting Blaer's face, he bit the soft flesh of his guide's throat and worried the skin, until he knew that his guide had been marked.
The sentinels roared as their Senior Sentinel Prime marked his guide.
Suddenly Jeme was flipped onto his back and the dark guide was on top of him. Their bond burned even brighter as Blaer bent down and, looking Jim straight in the eyes, moved his body against his sentinel's, their minds merging deeper. Two bodies, one soul. The words echoed through their joined minds. Blaer's movements became more desperate as the power began to reach its peak. His head went back and he screamed; the cry was primal as it filled the gym and mingled with Jeme's cry. The sentinels and guides began to roar, their voices lifting and joining. In that moment, the police officers, the civilized part of them, vanished and in their place was the most primal of clans. The guide had claimed and been claimed, marked and been marked. All was now right in their world.
Slater had seen a knowing look on the Police Captain's face. "You've seen this before, Simon." It was more a statement than a question.
"Once at the station, Blair had that bite mark on his throat and was wearing Jim's shirt. At the time, I couldn't believe Jim had actually bitten him."
"He is marking him, showing all the other sentinels that Blair is owned by him. No, it's more than owned; that he possesses him. The shirt would have had his own scent on it; reinforcing the message." Slater paused, then continued, "But I have the feeling that what we've just seen goes past that, way past that. This behavior predates anything we've ever known or seen and somehow it's all linked with this pair." He trailed off as various sentinels turned and glared at him then snapped their attentions back to the bonding pair.
The link between Jeme and Blaer was vibrating with the emotions of the bonding, setting it alight. At that moment there was no beginning or end between the two; there was only one heart, one soul, shared in two bodies. The sentinel smiled and saw the answering light in his guide's eyes. They were one.
Blaer stood up, his legs wobbly, then reached a hand down. Jeme took it as he got to his feet, then pulled Blaer to his side, his arm around the smaller man's waist, needing to hold him close. The Dark Guide swayed then steadied himself with a hand resting against his sentinel's chest.
Blaer patted his sentinel then looked up, blue eyes fixed on blue. They blazed brightly as the Dark Guide met the level gaze of the surrounding sentinels. Slater nearly choked as the sentinels' heads dropped forward in a salute of respect, Sentinels bowing to a Guide, someone they had been taught was a second class citizen, whose only function was to serve them. No. He shook his head, they were paying respect to the Senior Guide Prime
The Sentinels rose as one and closed around the dark pair. The Sentinel Primes were granted permission to touch without a word being said. They reached out, their hands skimming over Blaer, not touching, as they imprinted him onto their minds, his scent, his body, so they could find him simply by sending out their senses.
He flinched, but the arm around him tightened. "Easy, Little One." The words spoken out loud and the emotions through the bond steadied him.
But even so, the Dark Sentinel began to rumble deep down in his chest, having to fight the resentment that came crashing over him of the other primes being so close to his newly reclaimed guide. The Sentinel Prime understood why this needed to be done, but the primal Dark Sentinel saw only a threat.
Jeme became silent under the touch of his guide. Without a word spoken out loud and a feather light touch, Blaer pulled him back onto a level keel. The Sentinel Primes had to acknowledge them; this had to be done.
Dark Guide and Dark Sentinel had bonded the way they should have and would have if the GDP had not gotten in the way. The wrong had been put right.
It was then that a voice yelled out a challenge and Jeme spun around, pulling Blaer behind him.
Mark Hudson stood just inside of the door to the gym. The former Sentinel Prime of Cascade looked pale and drawn, but determined to challenge Jim Ellison.
Simon had expected the others to grab him as he came in, but they stood back. This was a challenge and one person had the right to deal with it.
"Because of you, I lost my guide. Mary couldn't live with my disgrace, my loss of position as Sentinel Prime of Cascade. I, therefore, challenge you for your guide and your position."
"Officer Hudson, step down." Slater started forward, b was manhandled out of the way.
"This has nothing to do with you, Commander. This is sentinel business and you have no power to interfere. This person took from me and I will take from him. His guide will kneel and beg to be taken and claimed, to carry my mark."
"Never." Blaer spat the word and started forward only to be collected by an arm around his waist and pulled back against his sentinel. Jeme tugged him around to face him, one hand lightly stroking his face.
"Easy, Little One. No one will take you away from me." He dipped his head and nuzzled at Blaer's throat as Blaer hugged him.
"If you lose, then I follow you to your death. No other sentinel will ever claim me. Mine," Blaer vowed.
The Dark Sentinel placed Blaer with the Sentinel Primes and they formed a protective circle around him, then he approached the challenger.
"Your funeral, Hudson." His smile was chilling.
Hudson's foot lashed out and Jeme batted it down as the skills of the other came to the fore.
The two sentinels sparred; Jeme blocking the other man's blows while putting in some telling ones himself. Both men were marked; Jeme was bleeding from the mouth, the result of a punch from Hudson that had staggered him backward. He rushed in to finish Jeme off but was brought down by a blow to the stomach. As he doubled over, Jeme pivoted on one foot while the other lashed out, hitting Hudson around the head, putting the former GDP Officer down. Dropping to his knees, Jeme caught Hudson's head and shoulders, his arm going around his throat as he tilted it back to the point of breaking it. He looked across to Blaer. "Your choice, little one. Does he live or die?"
Blaer crossed the room to his own sentinel, but it was *Blair* who looked down. "Jim, let him go. He's finished now."
Jeme hesitated for a moment. "As you wish, Mine." Then, as he released the nearly unconscious man, letting his body slide to the floor, his eyes closed and he shook his head.
"Are you all right, Chief?" Jim returned to himself, reaching for Blair and pulling him close, letting his hands move over him, needing to know that the most precious addition to his life was unharmed.
Blair's arms went around his waist and held tight as the fear of losing Jim washed through him.
It resulted in him being hugged harder. Blair rested his head on Jim's chest, his arms tightening around the man that was his sentinel but also his friend and brother.
Only then did Jim Ellison, Senior Sentinel Prime of Cascade, look down at the man at his feet.
"Get this scum out of here and out of my city." He leaned into his guide and gently inhaled his fragrance, needing to know that Blair was his and only his. He lifted his head once more to look into the eyes of GDP Commander Daniel Slater. The silent message was simple, if he ever thought to interfere with Blair Sandburg, he would forfeit his life.
Slater swore then, that he would never betray the trust of Jim or Blair.
20th January 2002