Title: Strawberries and Wine
Author: SassyInkPen
Fandom: The Sentinel Jim/Blair
Rating: Adult
Part: 1/1
Warnings: None other than m/m
Summary: After their misadventures on his birthday, Jim plans to get it right on Blair's.

This was written for Majorbrat on her birthday, and is a sequel to "Explain To Me"

Strawberries and Wine
by SassyInkPen

*****

Jim hummed along with the Billie Holiday CD while he arranged strawberries and grapes in a bowl. He carried the bowl over to the coffee table and set it down between the candles and the wine. The sky framed by the loft windows was turning dusky and would soon be crimson with the setting sun. He really hoped Blair would be home by then. He checked his watch. Blair was due any moment, and although he didn't hear Blair's car yet, Jim lit the candles. He shifted the wine glasses, and readjusted the plate that held the petit fours. Little tiny petit fours. Little safe petit fours. If you squished one of these it barely made a smear. Jim had tested them.

He glanced around the spotless loft one more time and checked his watch again. Everything had to be perfect. Not only did he want this to be a really special night, he wanted to teach Blair a thing or two about how an intelligent, sane person plans a romantic birthday for their partner. Jim had the advantage, because, unlike Blair, he knew that they were partners going into it. He didn't have to plan that leap into the evening's events. Still....He really liked the new bed set he'd picked out, and wanted to keep it for a while.

The ringing of his cell phone interrupted his inspection and he went and fished it out of his coat pocket. "Ellison," he said, snapping it open.

"Hey, Jim," chirped Blair on the other end. "Listen man, I'm just calling to let you know that I'm going to be working late tonight. The grant committee for the Winston Foundation project just pushed up the deadline on me and I have to finish up a couple reports they need first thing tomorrow."

Jim scowled. "It's your birthday, Chief. I've...I was going to take you out and buy you dinner."

"Oh wow, that's really cool, Jim. Maybe we can make it a late one, huh?" Jim could hear the smirk through the phone when Blair added, "Or maybe we can just order Chinese and stay in, where the bed is..."

"We'll get to that part, Romeo," Jim grinned, "But I still want to do something for your birthday. Why don't you give me a call when you're about done there, ok?"

"Sure thing, man," Blair said, "see you later."

Jim continued to scowl for another ten minutes as he paced around the loft cursing grant committees, Blair's tendency to procrastinate, Murphy's law, and the table he stubbed his toe on in his frustration. He stared into the kitchen and tried to calculate the possibility of still making their dinner reservation if he stayed with the plan as written. The sunset was right out though. The rosy hue of the kitchen and the warmth on his back told him that. As he was thinking all this through, his gaze landed on a wicker picnic basket that someone had given to him and Carolyn as a wedding present. That was it...if Blair couldn't come to his own wooing, then the wooing would go to Blair.

Jim dusted off the picnic basket and thought about how pissed Carolyn would be if she knew it was finally getting used for the purpose the giver had intended it for. He packed up the fruit and cake, slipped the glasses into clever little straps apparently designed just for that purpose and tucked the bottle of wine in alongside the food. He went over and took the CD out of the stereo and tossed that in the basket too. This was going to work out all right, possibly even better since Blair would be feeling stressed and put out for having to work late on his birthday.

Jim gloated all the way to Rainier. He amused himself by picturing the look on Blair's face when he walked in, and the warm reception he was likely to get. Oh yeah...Blair ate this stuff up with a spoon.

He was still feeling pretty smug when he rounded the corner of the hallway and strode down to Blair's office. He grabbed the door handle and pushed, intending to make a grand entrance. What he actually did was smash head long into a locked door. He shook his head and scowled at it. The office was dark and silent. What the hell? Blair lied to him? Jim immediately dismissed that idea and listened intently. The soft hum and crackle of a recently shutdown computer confirmed that Blair had indeed been there working up until very shortly. So where the hell was he now?

Jim's cell phone rang and he hoped he was about to find out. "Ellison," he said, just a touch more tersely than before.

"Jim!" came Blair's cheerful voice, over the additional chatter of at least three other people. "Hey, some of the TA's and Leo, and Kris decided to buy me a birthday beer. We're goin' down to Aces, why don't you come and join us? I'd really love it if you were there, and then maybe we get that dinner after?"

"Sounds great, Chief," Jim told him, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice. Now he'd have to scratch wine and wooing and the hand feeding of fruit off the list too. Dammit. He really liked the taste of strawberries on Blair's lips. "I'll see you there."

The sound of raucous laughter nearly drowned out Blair's goodbye.

Jim was significantly less smug on this drive, and he started to reformulate his plans yet again. Now he was going to have to share Blair with a bunch of other people and keep his hands to himself until later. He drove through the college neighborhood and pulled into a parking spot outside of Aces about ten minutes later. On impulse, he reached into the now defunct picnic basket and plucked out one fat strawberry to bring to Blair. He popped open the door and started to climb out of the truck, but didn't even have both feet in the ground when his phone rang again. He froze and scowled on principle.

Jim answered it wearily and was met with Blair's overly loud voice. "Change of plans, Jim. Aces was dead, so we downed the beers and we're headed down to the Neon Warehouse to cut loose a little."

From somewhere in the background, Jim heard someone yell, "And the birthday boy needs Atomic Shots!!" He groaned inwardly. This was not at all what he had in mind.

"That might be cuttin' it a little close on dinner, don't you think?" Jim asked, not really bothering to hide his irritation this time.

"No way, man, we're cool. It'll all work out," Blair managed before there was another burst of commotion and laughter and the phone went dead.

Jim stared at it for a moment and then finally put it away. He tossed the strawberry into the street and got back in the truck to scrap his plan and start all over. He was no longer the least bit smug, and had a whole new understanding of Blair's botched attempt to celebrate his own birthday.

*****

Blair bounced around the dance floor, gyrating to the pounding beat. It had been a long week ending in a long day, and he was intent on having fun and blowing off some steam. Leo and one of the TA's worked their way out to him, and Leo pressed a tall thin shot glass in his hand. It was filled with some kind of blue alcohol that glowed in the pulsing dance floor lights. Blair downed it in one gulp with his friends cheering him on. This was his third since they'd arrived an hour ago, and he was feeling pretty loose by that time. He caught a waitress who was pushing her way through the fringes of the crowd and dropped the empty glass on her tray.

Moving back onto the floor, Blair executed an especially smooth turn and giggled when his head continued spinning long after his body had stopped. The song changed and Blair cheered and started a new dance with the surging crowd, bumping bodies and jostling elbows with the people around him.

One of the elbows took him by surprise when the arm it was attached to wrapped itself around his neck and pulled him into a firm headlock. Blair took a moment to appreciate the raw strength and muscular build of that arm, but squawked when it started hauling him off the dance floor. Before he knew what was happening, he was slammed up against the wall. He got the briefest glimpse of Jim's face before he was spun around and pressed face up to the concrete, a booted foot kicking his legs apart.

"Jim!" he exclaimed, giggling. "It'zabout time you got here. You nearly scared the hell out of me, man. What's up?"

"You're under arrest," Jim explained, frisking him, "for evading a police officer."

"Oh, ha, ha," Blair snorted and started to turn around.

Jim's big hands shoved him back in place. "You have the right to remain silent," he started.

Blair rolled his eyes. "Ok, big guy, very funny. I get it," he laughed.

He kept laughing and playing along with the joke until Jim caught his wrist in an iron grip, wrenching it behind his back and snapping a cuff on it. When Jim did the same to the other arm, Blair started to struggle a little. "Come on, Jim, what gives? I mean, we're like...in public here."

Jim plucked him away from the wall. "Chief, I have been chasing your ass all over town tonight. Now that I finally have you....I'm not about to let you get away."

He grasped Blair firmly by the upper arms and steered him toward the door, miraculously making the crowd part for them with the power of his glare. Blair went more or less willingly, still trying to turn around and talk to Jim, but enjoying the handcuffs and manhandling a whole lot more than your average perp.

Still, he thought he should make a good showing of it. "Jim. Jim, what about my friends, man? They're gonna wonder what happened to me."

"Tell them you got lucky."

Blair snickered and grinned at the people staring at the scene as he was forced out of the bar. Jim flashed his badge at the bouncer guarding the door and muttered something about a drug bust, but the guy just shrugged and said, "No skin off my nose how you wanna spend an evening."

A few minutes later, Blair was struggling to climb up into the truck without the use of his hands...or his balance. He was laughing and gasping for air, when he felt Jim's big hand planted on his ass and he was hoisted up into the seat.

"Just how drunk are you, Junior?" Jim asked gruffly.

He shut the door before Blair could answer, so Blair made a face at him and turned to grin at him when he got in. Blair pressed his lips together a couple of times and wrinkled his nose. "I'm pretty giddy, I think, but I can still feel my extremities for the most part."

Jim leaned over and buckled his seatbelt for him, and Blair stole a quick kiss. Jim gave him a stern look and said, "Not in the truck." Then he started the engine and pulled out into traffic.

The basket on the seat between them caught Blair's attention and he nudged it with his thigh. "Hey, what's that? It that my birthday present, Jim? What's in there?"

"Shut up."

"Come on, just give me a little hint, man."

"Shut up, Sandburg. Not another word until we get home."

Jim's gaze was fixed steadily on the road, and his expression was like stone. Blair frowned and started to ask what was wrong, but Jim cut him off with a hard glance.

Blair pondered this turn of events until they got back to the loft and Jim was pulling him, and the basket, out of the truck and into the elevator. When they got inside, Blair expected Jim to take the cuffs off and rant at him for running around and messing up their plans, but instead, he found himself planted in a kitchen chair and turned to face sideways.

Jim set the basket on the table across from him. Without saying a word, he flipped open the lid and took out a CD. Blair craned his neck to see what else was in there while Jim went to play the disc, but he had no such luck. The sultry sounds of Billie Holiday filled the room. When Jim returned, he set two candles on the table and lit them. Blair watched all this quizzically, but didn't interrupt.

Next Jim pulled out a bottle of wine and a corkscrew, which he used to open the bottle. He produced two glasses, and poured some. Finally he lifted out a couple of Tupperware containers and set them on the table.

Blair beamed, "It's a picnic!! Oh man...that's like...so cool! Why'd you bring it all the way downtown if we were just coming back here?" He knew instantly that was the wrong question by the dark look on Jim's face. "What?"

Blair found himself nose to nose with Jim, fixed by steel blue eyes. He swallowed hard, and his pulse raced. It was kind of sexy, really. He was feeling very vulnerable all trussed up and pinned in the chair, with Jim looking very much like he needed to blow off a little steam himself.

"I wouldn't have ever had to put it in the truck if you had just come home when you were supposed to," Jim said slowly and evenly. Blair shivered as Jim's warm breath ghosted over his neck.

"That wasn't my fault," Blair said meekly.

"No," said Jim, "but if you had been in your office where you were supposed to be, it would have worked out all right." As he spoke, Blair noticed him reaching for the Tupperware containers and sliding them closer.

"You...you went to my office? With a picnic?" Blair asked. Damn, he really wished he'd been there. How hot was that? And he was still waiting for the chance to fuck Jim on his desk. He was counting on the memory of that to brighten up many a long evening grading exams.

"Yes. I did." Jim said tersely. He peeled the top off one of the containers. "And I went to Aces, and I went to that hell hole downtown, and I spent almost half an hour looking for a place to park..."

"Oh man, I'm really sorry." Blair winced, "I didn't know you were planning anything special, I swear."

"And now I have you and we're back where we're supposed to be." Jim held up a shiny strawberry and touched it to Blair's lips. "And we're going to celebrate. Your. Birthday. Open your fucking mouth."

Blair opened his mouth and took a bite of the strawberry, never taking his eyes off Jim's. He smiled and flicked his tongue out to catch a drop of juice off his lower lip. The way Jim groaned sent shivers down his spine, so he did it again.

"Now wine," Jim told him sternly, holding up the glass. He raked his fingers through Blair's hair and tugged his head back just slightly.

Blair moaned and sipped from it, and watched the steel in Jim's eyes turn to a smolder. Oh yeah... This time it was Jim's mouth that cleaned the traces off Blair's lips.

Next Jim fed him one of the tiny cakes, followed by more fruit and wine. Neither of them said a word for a long time, and the only sounds in the room were the music, and the snapping of the candles and the occasional soft moan.

Finally, Blair batted his eyes at Jim and said, "Why don't you turn me loose here, so we can go upstairs and celebrate naked..."

"Not on your life, Chief," Jim said with a smug grin. "You're too hard to keep track of."

Blair smirked and leaned forward so that he could kiss a path along Jim's jaw line. "But....how will I get all your clothes off and do wicked things to you, if I can't use my hands?"

Jim pushed him back into the chair. "You're the birthday boy," Jim pointed out, pulling open the buttons of Blair's jeans. "I get to do wicked things to you."

"OH," panted Blair, becoming almost instantly hard, "Oh my god. Yes. Yes, you go right ahead. This birthday boy is all yours man, I swear."

Jim deftly slid Blair's jeans and underwear over his hips and down to his thighs, pulling Blair forward to just where he wanted him. Blair watched intently, tugging lightly at his handcuffs just to remind himself they were there. His breath caught in his throat when Jim's strong hands slid gently around his cock, caressing him with an expert touch. A low groan escaped his lips.

Blair closed his eyes and let his head fall back, savoring the feel of Jim's touch and the incredible sensations it brought him. When the intensity was jacked up by the sudden heat of Jim's mouth, Blair cried out and jerked his hips involuntarily. He looked down in time to see his cock sliding all the way in and nearly came on the spot. "Fuck, Jim..." he moaned, "I know giving head isn't really one of the most noble uses of your gift....but I'm really really glad you do it." There were times when Blair felt almost insanely guilty to have a lover with such finely honed senses when no one else got to experience that. This wasn't one of them.

Within minutes, Jim had him on the edge and panting, literally begging for release. It was the best birthday present Blair could ever ask for, and when Jim finally gave it to him, Blair nearly fell out of the chair, he came so hard. When he finally recovered, he found himself on his knees with Jim, firmly wrapped in the biggest, sexiest pair of arms he'd ever had the pleasure to drool over.

"Happy Birthday, Chief," Jim murmured in his ear, making Blair feel weak in the knees.

"Damn, man," Blair blurted out, "if this is how we celebrate birthdays...I'm not sure we're gonna survive New Year's"

END