Disclaimer: The Sentinel and Stargate, 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. Pet Fly Publication for the Sentinel, or for Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Productions for Stargate. The Story had also been inspired by MIB.
Thanks to Connie and Gail.
This story is in response to a challenge by one of my readers. A crossover in the GDP AU.
Warning for a few adult words.
Seth was sat behind his desk at the center of the Shadow Force, like a spider in the middle of his web his enemies claimed, but he had accepted the slur and took pride in it. Like a spider, he could feel any tremors in the web that warned of possible danger. For him the Organization was the web, and the tremors, information. At 57 Seth had been on of the first agents, his hair was nearly white which made him look older, but there was nothing fragile about him, he was like tempered steel.
He closed the file; heíd been reading, rose and walked to the large office window that overlooked the hub of activity.
When the world leaders had finally acknowledged the arrival of aliens on the planet, the Organization had been formed, as a type of intergalactic FBI. Cascade by default had become the center of alien landings, and that had made it the arrival port for all life forms leaving and entering the Americas. Like all people, there were some good, some bad, and some bent on world domination. It was all in a days work for them. But now something new had arrived, and it would take the best of the best to tackle it. And there was the problem, and he had already put it off for too long.
Sitting back down he pressed the intercom, "Please send Dr. Halliwell in."
The doctor was in her mid thirties and like all in the Organization she was been one of the top people in her field. A small bookish woman, who looked as if she would faint if someone said boo to her, but in reality she had a strong personality and heaven help anyone who tried to steam roll over her, to get their way.
"Thank you for seeing me Sir. It concerns Agent Ellison."
"I thought it might. Please sit down doctor."
Dr. Clare Halliwell got comfortable, "As you know, Agent Ellison is a Sentinel. The Varian delegate diagnosed him when he was on Varian Prime, guarding our delegate at the Mission. Since then I have been reading through the information they sent. Agent Ellison has been undergoing changes due to his condition. For want of a better term, he is coming fully on line. He is the tenth Sentinel that we have found on the force, but from what the Varianís are saying he is going to be the most powerful one, we have. They class him as a Max 10 Primal or Dark Sentinel." She paused "That is the highest rating they have."
"Primal? Dark Sentinel?" Seth queried. He had been working with Sentinels since he had joined law enforcement, but had never heard those terms before.
"Del Tor was very excited. It appears they are rare. How can I put it? Our sentinels are protectors. Primal Sentinels are stronger, faster, and more aggressive then a normal Sentinel. A Primal is a predator. And the Varianís have recommended that Agent Ellison bond as soon as possible, for his own protection. He needs a guide to control him."
"Control!" Seth, spat the word, "No one controls my men. Talk like that puts the Sentinels back in the stone age, nothing more than slave to their Guides."
"Sorry, Sir, that didnít come out quite right. A Primal needs a Guide to act as a balance for them. Ordinary Sentinels need them to help with zone outs and to help focus their abilities, but with the Primal itís a bit different. They actually submerge themselves in their Guides. They are their soul mates for want of a better term." She added quickly, "There is no indication of a sexual nature in their bonding, but it is intense and very physical in its nature."
"Doctor, we are talking about Agent Ellison here." Seth ís eyebrow lifted. "Can you see Jim Ellison actually being intimate with anyone? His girlfriends last only one date, so how could he bond to her for life. I assume like all bonds, this is for life."
"ErÖ well Sir, that is where the problem is. We have no female Guides on the books." She paused, "Usually if the Sentinel is aggressive, we bond them to a female, that usually curbs them, but in Ellisonís case the Varianís have indicated that he needs a male Guide."
When she saw the look on Seth ís face she added. "ErÖ Del Tor was adamant that the Guide has to be male."
"The GDP will want to bring in one of their own people for this, and personally I donít want them to get a foothold in the Organization. They are already trying to get the rules changed to include visiting empaths having to follow their Guidelines and we know what that would do. Their arrogance is going to cause trouble, I can only hope that when Dr. Claydove takes over will be more enlightened that old Brittas." Seth broke off and fixed the doctor with a calculating look, "Tell me you have found someone?"
"Yes and no sir."
"Which do you mean?"
"I have found an empath, but there is a problem, which would preclude a life bond with Agent Ellison. I have put his file on your desk sir for consideration. I will keep looking but in the meantime Agent Ellison is using the full dampeners as I have asked."
ĎAskedí, Halliwell mused, that had not come into it. Her first meeting with the legendary EL or rather Agent James Joseph Ellison, had been memorable.
She had asked for him to come in for his monthly medical, only to see the rest of the medical staff start to disappear, until only she and an older nurse had been left.
When Ellison had walked through the door she had been impressed, but that had turned the next minute into anger, the man was impossible. How she had gotten through that examination without braining him with the nearest blunt instrument she had no idea. Only when he had left and she had dropped into a chair did the Nurse put an almost parental hand on her shoulder and say, "He likes you, that was easy."
"Easy!" She had remembered almost shouting the word, then seeing the knowing look on the Nurseís face realized the woman might just have had a point. From there she had formed an uneasy alliance with the Agent, which was turning, she hoped, into friendship.
"Is Agent Ellison operational?"
"Good. Because we are going to need him."
He pressed the intercom, "Gina have Ellison paged." Then he asked, "Has the Team arrived back yet?"
"Wait ten minutes, then have them come up."
Ellison was pacing up and down the office, Seth ís secretary Gina was trying to concentrate on her work, but it was impossible to not see him. The man was tall, about six foot two, impressive build. He worked out, but his body had a sleek predatory look to it, not the bulging muscles of a weight lifter. His hair was short, brown and receding slightly. His face was good looking, but in a stoic way, with a strong jaw. Black, wrap-around sunglasses covered his eyes, even though he was indoors. They had an anti-flash coating on them, which mirrored the speaker. Unlike the usual agentís dress of black suite, tie and white shirt, Ellison was in all black. Even his hands were covered by a black meshing. The mesh was like a second skin, and cut out any tactile sensation that would overload an unbonded Sentinel.
When he turned, she noted that he wore a lightweight headset that filtered out the noise. Ellison was the best of the best, a Shadow Warrior. The other agents might take on the scum of the universe, but there were times when even they had to turn to the Shadows. Looking at Ellison, you knew why.
"Agent Ellison you can go in now."
She received the slightest of nods in reply.
Dr. Halliwell moved back in her chair as Ellison walked in, his gaze swept round the room and rested on Seth.
Seth did not waste any time, "Ellison you have a mission, this one will be containment and then protection. We have report of an archaeological excavation in the north; they have been searching for a Tomb. We have reason to believe that they will locate it. Rather than stop the dig, we would like them to continue and any finds to be relocated. The dig is conducted on a three month session, the teams are due to rotate in three weeks time."
"And the students, is it containment with prejudice?" Agent Ellison asked levelly.
Halliwell tried to suppress a shudder, and pulled in on herself when the Agents head snapped round and she could almost feel his eyes through the dark glasses fix on her, before returning back to Seth.
"No, they will be re-educated. The Tomb will be found, but empty. They write their papers, but we will have the artifact."
"Is anyone else interested in the Tomb?"
"Good question, we have been looking at the personnel assigned to that project and one interesting name came up. Doctor Daniel Jackson, double PhD, and he is a first contact expert for the SGC. I donít have to tell you Agent, that we need this artifact, and not the SGC. The Air Force has prevented us from using their Stargate, and the one from Antarctica has been of limited use. Dr. Li has confirmed that the moment we start to use the gate, the SGC will know about it. Doctor Jackson used that knowledge to find OíNeill and Carter when they had an accident and got sent to the second gate. We need that artifact, it is our key to the problem of using the Stargate taken from Antarctica. You, Agent Ellison, will secure it for us"
Dr. Halliwell, leaned forward, "But surely weíre all on the same side."
She found herself pinned by Ellisonís gaze. She couldnít see the eyes behind the glasses, but she could barely suppress a shudder.
"Sharing is for kids in the playground, this is for real."
She pulled back; there were times like this when he gave her the creeps. It was as if she were facing a dangerous animal, one that would take her throat out in a heartbeat.
"Agent." Seth warned. For a moment there was silence. "Now we need to have someone on the digging team that knows one end of a trowel from the other. His name is Dr. Blair Jacob Sandburg, like Jackson heís a double PhD, in Anthropology and Sentinel Studies." Seth ignored the Ďhuhí that came from his Agent, and continued. "Sandburg is intelligent, and from all reports rather hyperactive, and," he paused, "from Varian Free."
"Great, a fucking hippy."
"Ellison!" Seth would not let him get away with that. The Agent was difficult to control, and any sign of weakness in the person facing him was ruthlessly exploited.
Clare Halliwell was puzzled, "Varian Free. Surely itís just an off world colony. What is so wrong with them?"
"Sorry, I forgot you are new here. Varian Free is about 100 years old. It was colonized by a large group of people that wanted to leave the rigid Varian code of conduct behind them. Letís put it this way, in the 1960ís, 20 of them came to earth and started the hippy movement, free love, and peace. They have a very open way of living. Sandburg is the grandson of one of the Varian Free couples that came in the 1960ís and never went home and he fully embraces his Varian Free heritage."
"Sandburg has a BA MA and double PhD, and one of the highest scores ever recorded at Rainier, and was admitted at 15 to the University. Heís 27 years old and like a high majority of the inhabitants and dependences of Varian Free he is a natural empath." You did not have to be a Sentinel to see the reaction that got from Ellison, Seth mused. The man flinched and if anything, drew himself up more, aggression radiating from him. If he loved that, he was going to be in raptures over the next part.
The intercom clicked and the disembodied voice came though. "Sir, The Team is here."
For a moment Seth hesitated, the rest of the briefing could wait, first letís see what was going to happen between Ellison and Sandburg.
Whatever Clare had been expected it was not what came though the door.
Two Agents held a young man between them. He didnít even come up to their shoulders. He was five nine if an inch, with long curly chestnut hair that came down to his shoulders, good looking, with lively blue eyes, and talking a mile a minute. His clothes looked as if he had been hit by an explosion in a paint factory, multi-colored and multi-layered. One of the Agents held a battered backpack in his hand.
They released him, and he came to a halt. Blair Sandburg gave his jacket a tug and then began to bat away the invisible specs of dirt. "Come off it guys, watch the threads okay." Only then did he look around, taking in the surrounding, his eyes settling on Agent Ellison. "So whoís the grim reaper?"
Clare had to suppress a grin, and saw Seth ís lips twist; it was not the wisest thing to jerk the chain of a Sentinel.
"Dr. Sandburg, if you had accepted our invitation none of this would have been necessary."
"Sure your goons come up and tell me I am going with them, and I am going to just follow them. Grow up man, for all I know they could have been the GDP." His next comment was in Varian as impossibly wide blue eyes fixed on the man in the corner of the room.
The Team backed away as Ellison moved forward, he was slowly circling Dr. Sandburg, and they certainly were not going to come between them.
When he put a hand out, Blair batted it out of the way. With a roar, Blair was caught round the throat, lifted off the floor, and slammed into the wall, his feet kicking against it. He was raised until they were only inches from each otherís faces; the dark glasses reflecting back Blairís frightened face.
"You will not yell, and you will keep a civil tongue in your head, Sandburg, otherwise I will take it out, understand." The tone was chilling. The younger manís voice had somehow managed to drill straight through the hearing filters, and Ellison felt the beginnings of a headache. Suddenly his hands where they gripped the man seemed to become very hot. He dropped Blair back onto the floor, and walked away to stand on the other side of the room. The attack had been swift; and Seth had been caught off guard by it.
"So heís the charm team right." Blair said rearranging his jacket, his hand rubbing at his throat. He was impressed. The Neanderthal spoke Varian.
"Agent Ellison is a Shadow Warrior. You know what they are Dr. Sandburg?"
"Sure, youíre rent-a-killer." He glared at the older man.
"No Doctor, heís your partner."
"What!" Two voices came as one.
"This is what is going to happen. Dr. Sandburg is going on the Bass Dig, and you, Agent Ellison, are going to go with him. The whole dig team is in danger, if they find the artifact. We have reason to believe that the dig has already been infiltrated and they are only waiting for the discovery before they go in, and gentlemen when that happens, no one is going to walk away.
Blair exhaled slowly, "Some of my friends are on that excavation, so Iím in. But where does the grim reaper come in?"
"Agent Ellison will go along as a digger."
"You have got to be joking man, there is no way that anyone would buy him as a digger. You just have to look at him and he screams cop." His fingers made air quotes.
"But they would buy him as your Sentinel."
Blairís head snapped round. He saw the look on Seth ís face and began to go pale.
"Dr. Sandburg you are going to tell Dr, Bass that you are bringing your Sentinel, and that is Agent Ellison."
"I am not bonding with him." Jim said.
"And I am not asking you to. As far as the world is concerned, Dr. Sandburg will be your Guide, and in public you will act as a pair. In private Ellison, I will expect you not to kill the good doctor. With Dr. Sandburgís knowledge of archaeology and excavation, I expect you to find the artifact and secure it before the other team. If they arrive before you have secured the artifact, your first priority is the artifact, then the people. Once you have found it we will send in a Ranger unit to keep the area locked down until we can remove it.
Seth handed over the file, and then added, "If the mission is successful, Doctor, we will pay you for your time and looking at your financial statement, I would certainly say you need it."
"What if we donít find the artifact? Is this one of the all or nothing deals?"
Seth shook his head, "No Doctor Sandburg, if you draw a blank, you will receive half the amount for your time. Now gentlemen start earning your pay."
Blair had been adamant that he needed to go back to his office, and since The Organization had been the ones to pick him up, then they could take him home. Since the other guys had vanished, that meant Ellison.
The ride had been made in silence, with Blair trying to keep as far away from the other man as possible, which was pretty hard in the classic truck he was driving.
He was after all an unbonded Sentinel, and bonding was so not on Blairís schedule of things to do.
It was dark when they pulled up in the University library. Slipping out of the truck, Blair started walking, and he was several yards ahead of the Sentinel as he said over his shoulder. "All I wanted to do was go to the library and pay Miller." He looked towards his car, "Oh shit!"
Blair ground to a halt, and then swore again, as he saw the three men come out from round his car, one of them held a baseball bat.
"Sandburg, you owe Mr. Miller $4,500. Itís either pay or pain, which one?"
"Look man I donít have all the money, but I am onto a good gig and it will pay off, promise."
"And when is that?"
"Couple of weeks time." Blair knew just how lame it sounded. "I can give it to him then Marco."
"Sandburg. Blair", the mans voice became almost friendly, "Now I would be more than happy to give you, your time, but Mr. Miller said, I should get the money, and I promised him I would. You wouldnít want me to be a liar would you?"
"Er no, but I would be able to pay a bonus."
Marco had closed the distance, and the bat swung, Blair only had time to pull back, it grazed his arm, and the others began to circle him.
"Good try, but we know youíre not bonded, youíre living in that dormitory on Fifth and Angel."
Just then a figure came out of the dark, an arm went round Marcos neck and he was pulled back, and a gun pressed against the base of his back.
"Tell them to back off, or your spine will be history."
"You wouldnít," Marcoís voice was steady but not to sentinel ears.
The low chuckle in his ear, was chilling, "I am his Sentinel."
Marco let the bat drop from his hands. That made a big difference. A pissed off Sentinel in blessed protector mode. Hell, he wasnít paid enough to take on one of them. A runt teacher, sure, but a Sentinel, no.
"Sandburg come here", Jim Ellison ordered his Guide, albeit his false Guide to him.
Clutching his backpack he made his way round the men, keeping his distance from them, to take up a position behind Agent Ellison.
The Sentinel gave Marco a shove that pushed him away. "Tell this Miller that he will receive his money tomorrow. There will never be another time."
Blair grabbed his arm, "Man I donít have money."
"I do." Then added, "No one but me owns the Guide!" to Marco he said, "understand!"
The goons backed away slowly, there was no way they wanted to get into a challenge with a Sentinel over just who owed any part of the Guide.
"That was way cool man, I, thanks."
Jim Ellison turned, looming over the smaller man, and grabbed him by the front of his jacket, holding him immobile as his other hand went firmly over him, checking for any injury.
Blair kept still. Ellison was exhibiting all the systems of a Sentinel with a threatened or hurt Guide, and they hadnít even bonded. This degree of mother henning should not be happening. Why did he get a feeling he was getting in over his head.
The dormitory was on the edge of the campus, and the building was one of the most run down ones in the complex, Blair waved at the notice board, "The Titan Company is paying for a face lift of the student dormitories, but this is the last one. Empaths arenít actually very high on their list. Old Man Titan, his son is a Sentinel and he thinks that we are nothing more than emotional vamps. So we get good support for the labs, but zero for us." He shrugged, "lifeís a bitch but at least by next year the hot water should be on every day not just one it three." Blair did not even stop to see Jim was following him, he just kept on chatting a mile a minute.
Jim Ellison paused on the steps to the dormitory and looked up at the building, mentally he pulled his senses in tight, battening down the hatches before he entered the building. Already he could feel the unbonded Guides in there, like an itch he could not scratch. Then he saw the notice, it stated clearly that the building had a curfew of 6.00 am to 11.00 pm.
It was then he realized that his Guideís voice had taken on a different tone; there was anger in the voice now. Dr Sandburg was having trouble with a GDP Security Guard, whoís job it was to enforce the curfew.
"Right Sandburg, itís only ten minters to curfew, perhaps I should check your bags, make sure your not taking anything illegal into the house. Problem is it could take me about 15, which means you would be late, and you wouldnít want that would you?"
"Okay Philmore. What do you want now?"
The doorman grinned, then he saw Jim Ellison, "You know the rules Sandburg, no visitors after curfew, so kiss your boyfriend good night and get in." His tone was calculated to cause as much of an insult as possible, and he took pleasure in seeing the flush on the younger manís face.
"Doctor Sandburg is my Guide. Now being GDP Security you know what that means donít you." Jim reached out and lightly brushed the doormanís shoulder insignia as he spoke, then this fingers tightened, and his smile was cold and emotionless. "Now open the door, because the Doctor is moving, to my territory, Iíll call you when I need his bags carried."
With a last chilling smile he placed a hand on the middle of Blairís back and gave him a gentle push to start him walking up the stairs.
"Look man, itís not that I donít appreciate what you did, but Iím not planning on leaving my room."
"For this to work they have to believe that we have bonded, and that means you move in, believe me kid, itís not exactly what I want either."
Blair woke and looked round the small room. It was warm, thank god. Warmer than the dormitory, quiet, and best of all, he didnít feel the minds of other empaths battering his barriers. He got up slowly, the pressure on his bladder reminding him he had to move. Blair glanced up the ceiling of his room. His Sentinel, correction, his fake Sentinel, was upstairs resting, so he had to move quietly. Waking up to noise could be painful for a Sentinel. And although the man had all the personality of Frosty the Snowman, he did not want to hurt him.
With one hand out, he made his way out into the room, it was in half darkness.
Jim woke, his hand already on the gun under his pillow, and he rolled out of bed as his senses fixed on the heartbeat of someone moving round down below.
He stalked down; bring the gun up, and sighting on the back of a curly head. "Cascade IPD freeze."
The man spun round his hands up high above his head, his heart pounding. "Agent Ellison, itís me, er remember."
Jim lowered the gun, as it clicked into place, the longhaired academic he was saddled with until the mission end.
"What the hell are you doing up?" Jim exploded, anger to cover up his embarrassment of not remembering about his houseguest.
"Bathroom", Blair did a small hop and skip.
"First on your right Chief."
For a moment Blair hesitated, ChiefÖ it was the first half friendly thing the Sentinel had said.
"Right, first right," and Blair took off down the hallway. When he emerged it was to find Ellison had returned to bed. With a yawn he went back to his own bed and gave a soft sigh, as he got comfortable, and then on impulse looked up at the ceiling. "Good Night Ellison."
Upstairs, Jim lay in bed staring at the skylight; he clearly heard the whispered good night, for a moment he felt warmth spread through him. Before he ruthlessly pushed it down, this was not his Guide, he was a fake. But not before a voice whispered in his mind, if heís not your Guide why do you have to protect him, and why are you so sensitive to him. Rolling over he hit the pillow hard and then tried to go back to sleep.
Blair was making breakfast when the Sentinel came down; he corrected himself, Jim, came down. For a moment he paused on the bottom step, and just looked at him. Lowering the bread knife, Blair moved round the kitchen island. "Look man, I know weíre not bonded, but there are certain, well, customs that Guide and Sentinel have to go through. I am in your territory," he gave a shrug. "Okay itís by sufferance, but I am here all the same, which means that the primal part of you wants to claim me." //Ouch, if he keeps on grinding his jaws like that heís not going to have any teeth left//.
In the dark he hadnít been really able to see Jim Ellison. This was the first time he had seen the man without the wrap around glasses, his eyes were icy blue, and seemed to look straight through to his soul.
"Keep your lectures to yourself Sandburg, donít flatter yourself, you donít have anything I WANT." The last word was harsher and with that he walked straight past him heading to the bathroom.
Inside, Jim leaned his head against the cold surface of the bathroom mirror, //I can do this. Heís not my Guide, ignore him, just ignore him// The words became his mantra as he slowly straightened up, and looked at himself in the mirror, at 37 he was one of the oldest unbonded Sentinel on record. Hell he was the oldest. The others had sunk into a zone out so deep that nothing could save them and they had become nothing more than comatose vegetables until they had been put out of their misery. He had long accepted, that that was to be his fate. Life with honor and loyalty and then death would not be the end of a wasted life, the translation was crude, but it was the code of a past Sentinel Warrior. He, it was said, had met his true Guide on the battlefield, fighting against him, his side had prevailed and he had won honor and his Guide.
//Now you have a Guide//. Jim ruthlessly pushed the thought away. The kid was not his Guide. He was a decoy, nothing more.
He splashed some water on his face, then grabbed for a towel, and froze. The scent was heavy on the towel. Sandburg had used it, and it was all he could smell. The dial on his sense of smell went through the roof. All he could scent was Sandburg. In his brain, it was as if something more primal pushed towards the surface and the seductive voice was back in his head. In his territory was a Guide, unbonded and available. All he had to do was take him, bond, and it would all be over. Logic was pushed to the back and the primal panther inside the Sentinel came forward.
Blair was leaning over the toaster when he sensed more than heard Jim coming towards him, the look on his face was unreadable, his lips had pulled back over his teeth and he was growling. Blair felt his barriers being torn to shreds by the emotions coming off the older, larger man.
He only had time to throw the toaster at him, and swing himself over the kitchen island, to put it between him and the approaching Sentinel.
"Look Jim, I donít know whatís happening here, but you have to cool down, okay." He edged round. It was like playing cat and mouse, and he knew whom the mouse was. His mind was spinning //what the hellís going on//. Then he remembered an article, old and nearly forgotten by Burton, centuries ago, about the Primal Sentinel, the first true Sentinel. That was what he was facing now.
The front door was still locked from last night. All he had to do was get to the door, andÖ whom was he kidding, Ellison was going to be all over him before he got half way. But there was no way that he was going to be bonded to an out of control Sentinel.
"You know this is so not cool, Jim. I am not a chew toy for the inner panther, and you know the deal, we do not bond, remember. I am the longhaired witch doctor punk you told your cronies about, would not want me, now would you. Would you." Blair repeated the last part a little louder.
But the Sentinel was just mapping his every move, patiently, waiting for him to make a mistake.
"Youíre mister neat freak, Iím a slob."
"Can house train." The first words the Sentinel had said, they were grated out, it took a visible effort.
Blair leaned forward slightly, and saw a flicker of recognition in the blue eyes, the man was coming back.
"As if I were a pet, no way. Freedom of expression means not lining my magazines up with a ruler."
"Donít do that."
"Well you color code your leftovers. Violet for vegetables, get real man."
Blair knew the conversation was completely pointless, but it was getting results, and then it hit him, he was calming down, and with it the fear in his scent would be getting less. The Sentinel had gone into a bond mode, and then when he had scented fear, it had pushed him even further into the protect the Guide mode. Now he was coming back.
With a shudder, Jim Ellison was back. For a split second Blair saw a look of total fear, and confusion, then the normal stoic mask was slapped back in place.
Jim Ellison carefully backed away, "I am not going to hurt you, Sandburg."
Blair started round the kitchen island, his only concern to help the man in front of him.
But the Sentinel backed away, "Donít touch me."
"I wonít bite."
"Not that, I just donít know if I can control it if youíre too close."
Jim turned and went up the stairs two at a time, and pulled the black leather bag from his bedside table, he had been a fool not to do this the moment he got up, but it was force of habit. He glanced up to see Blair Sandburg standing on the next to last step leading to his bedroom.
"Dampeners, thatís not healthy, how long have you been on them."
"None of your business." Jim snapped back and then with a steadying breath, "Two years ago, I started to come on line, and since they canít find a max 10, itís the best I can do. Tried with two 8 Guides and nearly scrambled their minds." He filled the pressure syringe, pressed it against his leg, and pushed the button. There was a soft hiss, and the itch went away.
"See Sandburg", then he added, "Iíll be down in ten."
"Sure." Blair took the stairs slowly. He had been scared, really scared that Jim Ellison would make him bond, but somehow seeing the man have to do that, to deny what he was, saddened him. One thing he was determined to do was get to know Agent James Ellison.
Rainier University was like a city under siege. There had been several attacks on University personnel. The attacker was ruthless and clever, attacking people when they believed that they were safe. One woman had been attacked at the very door of her office. An elderly Professor had been attacked in his own lab, and now, as Blair stepped out of his office at 10.00pm, he had the feeling he was not alone. Looking round him carefully he tried to see what was out there. The entire faculty had been issued a flashlight and a mobile phone voucher for $20.00 dollars airtime, the idea being that they could see the Stalker with the flashlight and then call for help.
Clutching his flashlight tighter, Blair could still remember his scathing comments, when it was suggested they have a notebook as well to write anything interesting down. Sure, ask the person attacking you to give you his name and address. His flashlight was pathetic, the light it gave out died out within six foot of the flashlight head. Great, the first time I need the thing and it wonít even light up a cardboard box. Gripping it tightly in his hand, he headed towards his car.
Before he had even reached the car, the hairs on the back of his neck started to stand up. He lengthened his stride fishing for his keys.
When he saw the two slashed tires, he quickly swerved and headed for the library. It was only 10.00 there would still be plenty of people there.
The Stalker wiped the back of his mouth with his hand. This was the one, this one called to him, had great promise. Soon, very soon, he vowed.
Blair looked up from the steaming cup of coffee and smiled as Jim came through the door to the reading section. The man had made good time.
"Thanks man, someoneís made Swiss cheese of my tires and my AAA has expired", seeing the look the Sentinel gave him, he added, "not that I could afford it anyways."
Jimís attention switched, he did not tune his Guide out, his words washed over him, soothing him, but he had located a threat, and his whole attention was now focused on it. Over by the far stacks two jocks were pouring over the books, but their comments were aimed at Blair, and what they would like to do to the little freak empath.
Removing his dark glasses, Jim just looked at them. It took a moment for them to realize someone was watching them. They lifted their eyes up to meet his, and started to look uneasy. One of them tried to out stare the older man, but his gaze dropped down. The smile touching Jimís lips sent chills up their spines. Turning back to Blair, he put his glasses back on. Reaching for Blair, he pulled him close, one arm around his waist, and ran a possessive hand up and down Blairís arm and shoulder, petting him before dipping his head to inhale at the smaller manís neck.
Blairís hand came up to push Jim away, as his heart went into over drive, then he heard the softly whispered voice, "Remember Chief, weíre suppose to be bonded, you have been threatened, I am checking my ownership."
"Sure man." Blair patted his arm, and allowed himself to relax.
Over his Blairís shoulder he glared at the youths again, and they got the message. Blair was protected.
The clock on the bedside table read 1:30 am. Yawning, Blair rolled onto his side, and saw the figure standing outside his bedroom. The door was closed, and through the frosted glass he could see a dark silhouette, pacing back and forth back lit by a light in the living room. The figure moved with the grace of a cat, and when he lowered his barriers, he could feel the emotions of the man on the other side of the door. They were primal, feral, and it caught his breath as he could hear the deep low growling. Blair clutched the blankets, and tried to keep his heart from leaping into his throat when the door handle began to turn.
Then it stopped turning and the hand was gone.
The Primal Dark Sentinel was growling softly, his mateís heartbeat had risen. He was frightened and his scent was soured with fear, he would wait. Soon his mate would come to him, of his own will, and then they would bond.
Jim yawned and stretched, then stilled. Heíd had the weirdest dream. He had dreamed that heíd turned into a panther, and had been stalking his Guide, to protect and claim him. He ran a hand through his short hair; worriedly. It was bad enough to be a Sentinel, but now he was having technicolor dreams. He sniffed and his mouth started watering, his Guide, was making breakfast. Getting up, he put on his robe and went down.
Captain Simon Banks looked up from his desk as he saw Agent Ellison come into the bullpen. It was busy as always, and they worked a 38-hour day. It was hectic but someone had to keep the peace. Craig Marlow had made the Shadow Force his personal pet project, and Simon has been the first person selected for it. Since then Banks had recruited his own men and women.
Nearly all were either military or police. The role of Shadow Force combined the two roles; they operated as the intergalactic police force, but were also the last line of defense against invasion.
When he had been approached to recruit Agent James Joseph Ellison, he wasnít sure if he wanted the man. His record was good, and he had served his country well, reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel. His rank was still active, which was useful when he had to work with the military.
The man was also a Sentinel, and unbonded. At first, he had been worried about how the other men and women would respond to Ellison. He had not been surprised. He was considered a good cop and good at his job, but was a loner, and an emotional Antarctica. However during the course of their work they had become friends, and never once had Ellison tried to push the boundaries of that friendship.
When the Varianís had diagnosed Jim Ellison as a Primal Sentinel it had seemed the answer to their prayers. It explained why he had been unable to bond, but it was also a curse, since no Max 10 Guides had been found yet. Now he had a fake guide, he checked the name on the report in front of him.
Simon looked across the bullpen, watching the way that his best Agent placed his Guide at his desk, a hand on his shoulder as he scanned the office, his senses stretching out to find anyone that might threaten his Guide.
"Ellison, Guide Sandburg, my office now."
Simon watched the way Jimís head snapped round and for a moment he was looking straight at the dark glasses.
Sandburg came in at a steady amble. The Captain was relieved to see that he was still in one piece. Jim looked the worse for wear.
"Okay gentlemen, tell me whatís going on. Jim you look like shit."
"Thanks Simon." The sarcasm was plain for anyone to hear. His whole attitude screamed that he wasnít going to talk about what he considered private business.
Simon waved them to a seat noticing the way that Jim placed Blair Sandburg on the inside, away from the door. The doctor had said there was no way they could bond, but if he didnít know better he would have thought that he was looking at a newly bonded pairing. Shaking the thought away he turned to Jim. "Now an update gentlemen on the case, how far are we on that?"
Blair settled in the chair, already he could see Ellisonís jaw clenching hard enough to grind teeth down to stubble. It was going to be a long day in more ways than one.
It was late and Blair was so tired after grading the last of his 63 blue books that he was nearly asleep on his feet, Jim had taken an early night. Getting undressed Blair settled down to sleep, the pull on his mind, a steady pressure, brought him fully awake, and he flew backwards hitting the wall.
In the dim light he could see the Sentinel was back. This time the door handle turned, the door was pushed open, and a figure moved into the room.
Blairís hand slid under the pillow and closed on the small bronze statue of a Venus. It was heavy enough to use if push came to shove. He had no idea why the Sentinel should be doing this, but in this primal state, it could be anything. The mere fact he was in his territory could have set it off.
"Jim what do you want?" He forced the words out through a dry throat, but the figure did not answer, it just made its way towards him.
Kicking the blankets off, Blair scooted down the bed to put more distance between them, the bronze replica Venus held in his hands like a club.
The growling got louder, then the Sentinel roared, his head going back as he yelled. It seemed to echo round Blair, suck the air from his lungs, and he found himself moving forward. Tightening his grip of the Venus until it cut into his hand he pulled back, the lure of a Sentinel ready to bond had nearly been too much for him.
Then Jim knelt down, placed something on the floor, and then backed away. Waiting until he heard the older man return upstairs, he got out and looked down at the object. It was one of the Cascade IPD sweatshirts. Lifting it up he took a quick sniff and the penny dropped. The sweatshirt had the unmistakable scent of Ellisonís aftershave on it, very faint, but to another Sentinel it would back up the clear signal he was sending out. Blair was his.
If he didnít know better he would think he was being courted.
//Oh hell//, Blair began to pull books out, and leaf through them. Two hours later he lowered the last book and his pen circled the notes he had made. He just prayed he was wrong.
End of part one
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