Jim turned back to the coffee table and opened the Pain Bonding Kit. The first things he pulled out were the four restraints. Each restraint consisted of a long tether made of woven material identical to a car safety belt, but only about an inch wide; one end had a clamp for attaching the restraint to something solid, the other end of the tether was attached to a 2-inch wide heavy leather cuff by way of a set of metal rings that could be used for shortening the tether to the needed length. The cuffs were lined with sheepskin and could be buckled onto the guide's wrists or ankles. The irony of the kit makers using sheepskin on the cuffs to keep them from cutting into the guide and causing him pain during the bonding process made Jim snicker as he tossed the restraints back into the box. He picked up the gag next. It was made of hard rubber and the part that was inserted into the guide's mouth was a bit smaller than a doorknob with breathing holes drilled through it. "How considerate," Jim mumbled sarcastically, as he turned the thing in his hand to look at the soft cloth strap that ended with a Velcro closure. He put the gag back and took out a white cardboard box a bit smaller then the Seattle phone book. It was stamped: IMPORTANT, in large red letters. Jim opened it and found a large tube of lubricant along with what he had been looking for, a booklet titled: The Pain Bonding Ritual * How to achieve a successful and satisfying bond with your new guide. Ritual, he liked that word and settled back on the sofa to read.
Forty minutes later Jim climbed the stairs to the loft with the Pain Bonding Kit and a warm tube of lubricant wrapped in a heavy towel with a hot water bottle. The book had said that using the specially formulated lube cut pain bonding injuries by seventy five percent and using a warm lube cut the injury rate down to only one in ten and that, that one injury was due to sentinels losing control during the bonding ritual.
When he got to the top of the stairs he found Blair kneeling on his neatly folded pile of clothes. "Christ, Guide, have you been kneeling there all this time?"
"A guide submits to his sentinel," Blair said remembering to look into his sentinel's eyes.
"Yeah, I know, you've said that before," Jim said as he dropped the Pain Bonding Kit on the bed. "Look, I don't want to micro manage you, so when you're waiting for me sit on the damn furniture. No kneeling unless I tell you, I don't want your knees going stiff on me."
Blair stood up.
"Do you remember the number one rule?" Jim asked.
"Don't bother the sentinel," Blair answered.
"Good, now sit over there against the wall while I get these restraints hooked up," Jim said as he pointed to where he wanted Blair to sit. "According to the book I should tell you what is going on so you won't panic, panic prevents you from bonding," he said as if he were giving a weather report. "All of this is for a reason. We need to go through a Pain Bonding Ritual," Jim began to work as he talked. "It's designed to force you to open your empathic and telepathic pathways to create a deep bond. The restraints are to keep you from hurting yourself or me during the process. You'll lie on your back so we can have eye contact. It works much better if you look at me so keep your eyes open and the whole thing will be over much faster. You'll wear a gag that is designed to make you breathe through your mouth, but you won't be able to talk. The only way you'll be able to communicate with me is empathically and telepathically. The booklet said some guides could leave their body during the ritual, whatever the hell that means, but they have to have an empty stomach to do it, you've had lunch so it shouldn't be a problem." Jim said as he finished connecting the restraints to the bed frame and gave them a hard tug to make sure they were secure. Then he pulled the bedding down and let it hang off the foot of the bed. "Time to submit to your sentinel, get on the bed."
Blair's heart pounded as he climbed on the bed and sat down where the sentinel was patting.
Jim grabbed Blair's chin and tilted his head so he could look into his guide's eyes. "I need this bond, Guide," he said in a stern voice. "It's going to hurt, no point in lying to you about that, but how long this takes is up to you. Resist and I'll just keep coming back. In the end the result will be the same, you'll be my bonded guide. Now layback and lets get started."
Blair lay back on the bed and waited while Jim took off his clothes and hung them in the closet. He didn't look at the sentinel; he stared at the ceiling trying to calm himself. He knew he had to submit and accept the sentinel into him physically, mentally, and emotionally. He had been conditioned to submit totally, nothing was to be held back. All that he would be would come from his sentinel. The sentinel's needs, wants and whims were his life, but still he didn't want to do this, he wanted to keep some of himself, even if it were a tiny bit, inviolate. But he had been taught that he had no right to exist if he did not serve his sentinel's needs and the sentinel needed total submission.
Jim climbed onto the bed and pulled Blair to him. His sensitive fingers roamed down his guide's back counting the vertebrae as he nuzzled and licked his neck.
Guide pheromones increased as the electric touch of the sentinel slid over the guide's body, committing to memory each muscle and bone. The sentinel took particular delight in the most sensitive areas, sucking and nipping at the guide's nipples. Each response was a joy to be cataloged for future play. The sentinel thrust his tongue deep into the guide's bellybutton before nibbling his way along his guide's hard cock. Taking his time with the sensitive organ he sucked, licked, and twiddled until the guide was moaning and thrusting his hips upward.
"Give me what's mine, Guide," the sentinel growled before again sucking the tip of the guides organ into his mouth, drawing fluid from it, bitter and yet good.
"Yours sentinel," Blair cried, as his seed sprayed into the sentinel's mouth.
Jim let the creamy fluid rest on his tongue as he cataloged and memorized its taste before greedily swallowing his high protein treat, this was his guide to milk at his pleasure.
The patterning continued on the guide's back, licking down the spine, nipping Blair's buttocks and back of his knees, sucking and memorizing each and every toe, then the sentinel rolled him onto his back.
Moving over his guide Jim stretched Blair's arms over his head and buckled the restraints around his wrists, pulling the tethers taut. Then he pushed a pillow under Blair's hips and lifted and shackled first one leg and then the other. Jim looked at his guide, who was nearly folded in half, with his legs wide and his ass raised and exposed for the sentinel's use. Next Jim grabbed the gag. The door knob shaped piece of hard rubber fit easily into the guide's mouth and Jim secured it snugly at the back of Blair's head with the hook and loop strap.
Satisfied that Blair was secure and ready to begin the most important part of the bonding ritual Jim unwrapped the warm lube and began to prepare his guide. He worked quickly and efficiently making sure he followed the directions in the "how to" booklet precisely and then, still rock hard from the patterning foreplay, he entered his guide. He pushed in slowly, Blair's passage was very tight, and uncomfortable for the largely endowed sentinel, but Jim closed his eyes and continued his slow steady push forward.
Blair felt pain immediately and as it continued to grow he tried to cry out to the sentinel but all the gag would allow were strange mewing sounds. As the pain increased Blair began to shake his head back and forth. He tried to pull against the restraints, anything to get away from the searing pain, but he was held immobile both by the restraints and the sentinel on top of him. He tried to cry out louder, gasping for breath through the air holes in his gag and then he began to bang his head against the mattress.
Jim opened his eyes and looked at his guide. Cold sweat covered his body and tears ran from his eyes. Jim grabbed handfuls of the guide's thick curly hair and held his head still. "Look at me, Guide," he commanded. Blair's eyes locked onto the sentinel. Jim felt sudden hot, all consuming pain, as if his nerve endings had suddenly exploded. He pulled back and out of his guide sitting on his heels and gasping for breath. "What the hell was that?" he yelled, glaring at Blair.
Blair laid back his head still whimpering and shivering from the cold sweat that covered him. Unable to answer as he blinked away the tears.
Jim looked at his guide; he couldn't see or scent any blood so it was doubtful that the guide was injured. He got off the bed and grabbed his holy grail of pain bonding, the "how to" booklet. He quickly thumbed through it looking for any information he could find about what just happened. And there it was on page eleven.
"The guide's first reaction will be to communicate his or her pain to the sentinel. This is an empathic communication and often the most difficult for the sentinel to go through. It is the first deep empathic link to your guide. This first contact can be, and often is, quite jolting. You must persevere and open yourself to the experience or you will not achieve the deep bond that you crave."
Quite jolting...open myself to the experience? Jim thought, how could he have overlooked the meaning of this paragraph? Well, he's a sentinel and a little thing like searing pain was not going to stop him from bonding with his guide, all he needed to do was turn down his sense of touch. That should help.
Jim moved back to his guide. "Like I told you before, Guide," he said as he began to push back into Blair while holding his head and looking into his eyes, "I'll keep coming back." Jim kept pushing forward and felt the pain build. He stopped for a moment and made sure his sense of touch was turned down before continuing. It didn't help. It was his guide's pain he was feeling and there was nothing he could do to turn it down. And then he understood, he needed to pattern his guide's pain the same way he did his body. The sentinel dove into it and let it wash over him. It ebbed and waned as he pushed in and pulled back from his guide.
Then he heard Blair calling to him. "It hurts," the small voice said. "Please...stop."
"That's it guide," Jim called as he continued to look into his guide's eyes. "Call to me." Jim searched for the source of his guide's inner voice.
"Please, no more," the voice was louder now. "It hurts."
"It won't end until you submit to the bond," Jim said. "Come to me, submit to your sentinel."
Blair wanted to run, to get as far away from the sentinel and his mind as he could, but there was no point. A guide must bond...a guide must submit. He opened his mind fully to the sentinel. "I submit," he cried over and over.
Jim felt the guide's mind fully open to him. He reared up and roared as his orgasm took him over and he plunged himself deep into his guide.
A few minutes later Jim had taken off Blair's restraints and gag. He pulled Blair into a hug warming him with his own body heat. A shower could wait until morning; this was the best he had felt since he could remember. The pressure cooker of anger that had been threatening to blow was gone and in its place was peace. Jim breathed in the scent of his guide letting his fingers stroke his back and hair. "Shh, Guide," he whispered just before sleep overtook him. "Everything is fine."
Jim woke up with a start, he could smell his Guide's fear and pulled him in close. Blair's muscles tightened at the unexpected tug, the sentinel was hard and the stiff member dug into his back. Jim turned up his senses searching for the sound of a stranger's heartbeat or breathing that would locate the danger. There was none.
"What is it Guide?" he whispered with commanding urgency. "I can't sense any danger."
"Please, not again, so soon," Blair begged.
Jim's anger was instantaneous, he rolled his guide onto his back and reared up over him. "I won't have you deny me what is mine to take," he growled, his eyes glaring.
Blair saw the tight muscles of the sentinel's face, the broad shoulders and muscular chest and his fear increased. "I am sorry, Sentinel," he said with a shiver. "I had no intent to deny you."
Jim's massive body continued to hover over his guide. "Our bond has to be renewed or it will fade. Make no attempt to close me out and I'll be as gentle as possible. But I will not tolerate any refusal to submit to the bond. Is that clear Guide?"
"Yes, Sentinel," Blair said lowering his eyes to show submission.
"You stink of fear," Jim said, in disgust as he rolled to his side. "That's not what I want from you. We both need a shower, then breakfast." Jim began mapping out the plan for the day. "I'm on Bonding Leave from work. We're going out shopping today to get you a decent wardrobe, one that doesn't leave you shivering in the cold. I won't have you getting sick on me. We'll bond again this evening, unless I feel the need sooner."
Jim didn't realize he was purring as he washed his guide. He used the time to run his fingers over Blair's body, comparing it to the patterning he had done the night before. But while the patterning was a pleasant activity for the sentinel, washing his Guide's hair was sensual. He found himself growing hard as the warm water washed away the stench of fear and was replaced by the Guide's sweet smell of contentment.
Blair's head seemed to swirl, he couldn't exactly hear the sound of the sentinel's purring above the pounding of the water on the shower wall, but he could sense the sentinel was happy and the feel of the sentinel's hands running over him sent what could only be described as electrics shocks of pleasure through his body. He closed his eyes and leaned back against the hard muscles of Jim's chest and the purring vibrated through him as the large skillful hands washed his hair. This was what the bond was meant to be, and, as the sentinel had commanded, the guide gave himself over to it.
Jim felt no surprise as Blair leaned back against him, he too was lost in bonding heat. The curve, where Blair's neck met his shoulder, seduced the sentinel and he bent his head and bit into it. Blair moaned his pleasure at the claiming bite and lifted his hand to stroke the sentinel's head. Jim's began to suck at the tender flesh even as he bruised it with his teeth. Blair rose up on his toes, forcing more of his shoulder into the sentinel's mouth. The purring had changed to a growl now and Jim's hands slid down his Guide's body and fastened on his cock. Blair's hips thrust up at the sentinel's touch and a fountain sprayed into the air.
Jim, pleased at his Guide's responsiveness, could feel the wave of of muscular contractions starting at the base of his Guide's cock and rippling upward to the tip and he felt a deep sense of satisfaction. When the waves stopped he turned his guide to him and captured his mouth in a passionate kiss, sucking in the Guide's lower lip before letting it go to explore the Guide's mouth with his tongue.
Blair returned the kiss with equal passion until the need to breathe could no longer be denied and then he dropped to his knees. Kissing his way down Jim's flat stomach and groin he took his sentinel's erection into his mouth, pleasuring the hard organ before deep throating it as he had done the day before.
Jim leaned back against the shower wall and wove his fingers into his Guide's water soaked hair. He let himself float on the the pleasure that cascaded through his body along with the warmth of the bond. Jim had never been aware of the cold empty loneliness that filled his life. How could he know; he had no basis for comparison until now. But all of that was gone, replaced by the warmth and companionship of his guide. Another wave of pleasure flowed over his body as he gave his seed to his guide.
Blair sat back on his heels and looked up at his sentinel. Jim was still lost in the afterglow of the bonding thrall when he reached down and pulled Blair up and into a hug. The two men stood under the warm water, holding each other for minutes before the thrall faded away.
Jim felt a moment of confusion, and he was a man who did not like that feeling at all. A small voice in the back of his mind told him something important had just happened but the louder voice told him what happened was no more then good sex. A guide was a tool to be used to improve his control and manage his senses nothing more. He mustn't show weakness by getting all sentimental over something as silly as a blow job in the shower. Jim stuck the small voice into a deep dark closet in a far corner of his mind and slammed the door. "The shampoo's out of your hair," he said as he turned off the water. "Get out."
Jim grabbed a large fluffy white bath sheet and wrapped it around Blair and then he quickly dried himself off and fastened the towel around his waist before returning to attend to his guide. He rubbed Blair down vigorously and none too gently.
"Did I do something wrong?" Blair asked, confused at why the sentinel suddenly seemed angry with him.
"If you do something wrong, Guide, you won't have to ask me about it. I'll tell you." Jim began rubbing the towel over Blair's dripping hair, when he was satisfied that it was no longer dripping he steered the guide over to the mirror, picked up the comb and tried to pull it through the thick, wet, curly, mass. It immediately became stuck. Jim gave the comb a light tug, the comb refused to move. The second tug was harder but the comb again refused to move through the tangle. The third time Jim placed his free hand on the top of Blair's head, braced his feet and yanked hard. He was rewarded by a very loud yelp of pain from his guide and the comb coming away from Blair's head with the knot and more then a few strands of hair attached to it. Jim removed the offending wisp from the comb and threw it away. Sure, in his ignorance of long, curly, hair, that the tangle was just a fluke he tried once again to comb his Guide's hair, only to be stopped by another tangle. Not wanting to deal with the coincidence so soon he moved to a new area of hair only to be stopped again.
"What the hell's the matter with your hair, Guide?" Jim asked, looking at the offensive mop as if it were a burglar resisting arrest.
"It needs cream rinse," Blair whispered, "that will take the tangles out."
"Cream rinse," Jim said with an angry tone to his voice. "I don't have any cream in the house, just Half and Half for my coffee. Besides you'll stink of sour milk before the day is over."
If Blair weren't so terrified of the sentinel's reaction he would have burst out laughing, instead he dropped to his knees. "I ask your forgiveness sentinel; I failed to speak clearly. To avoid tangles my hair should be rinsed with a creamy hair conditioner after each shampoo."
Jim shook his head with disgust. "You stink of fear again, what do you think I'm going to do to you, beat you senseless? Get back in the shower and wash that fear off. I'll be right back and I want that stench gone."
As Blair got back into the shower Jim slipped into his slacks and then he grabbed his badge. Barefoot, he left his apartment and walked down the hall to knock on Mrs. Benton's door.
Beverly Benton was a stay at home mom with a preschool aged child. She looked through her peephole and recognized her neighbor. "Sentinel Ellison, what is it?" she asked as soon as she opened the door.
Jim flashed his badge. "Official Sentinel business," he said in his clipped no nonsense voice. "I am commandeering a hair dryer and cream rinse hair conditioner."
Mrs. Benton has heard some pretty strange stories about weird Sentinel behavior but this was beyond weird in her book. "Is this some kind of a joke?" she asked, as she eyed her short haired, shirtless, and barefoot neighbor.
"Do you have the items on the premises?" Jim asked, raising his voice and sounding like he was interrogating a suspect.
Mrs. Benton raised her arms in surrender, "No search warrant required, Sentinel, I'll get them for you," she said, as she turned to fetch the items.
The day was not going well. First the fiasco with the Guide's hair and, although the cream rinse worked wonders,(He would have thought the stuff was magic if he believed in such things.) and he had thought of also commandeering the hair dryer, that alone eliminated hours of waiting for the Guide's hair to dry, but when he returned the hair dryer Mrs. Benton refused to open her door and told him to leave it in the hall.
Now he was stuck with a sales clerk that seemed to have the IQ of peanut butter; Jim scowled at the young woman. "This material feels like sandpaper," he said, angrily throwing the undershirt onto the counter.
"I'm sorry, Sentinel," she said, still smiling up sweetly at the obviously annoyed man. "The only other brand we stock is sentinel quality 300 count Egyptian Cotton, it's quite expensive."
Jim growled in frustration, Blair took his hand and wove his fingers between the the sentinel's. Jim's wayward emotions calmed instantly and he took a deep breath, exhaling slowly as he felt the warmth of the bond travel through him.
"I'll be handling my Guide's clothes and my guide while he's wearing them," Jim explained, in a tone bordering on patient as he closed his fingers around Blair's. There was definitely something about this bonding stuff. He hadn't expected such fast results. Maybe with time he would actually stop growling at civilians. "Let me see them."
When the clerk returned Jim found the quality of the underwear satisfactory and the rest of the purchases went smoothly. When Jim asked for jeans for his guide the clerk brought the pre-softened stonewashed variety, first thing. Jim bought three of everything, a small amount, but it would have to do until he got his guide allotment. At first he hadn't planned on using Blair as a detective's assistant but now the thought of leaving him home alone all day when he could have his guide by his side and earning his keep as his assistant appealed to him.
The next stop was the Army Surplus store where Jim purchased a snorkel jacket, for Blair, with a thermal rating of twenty below zero, military lace up boots and thermal insulated gloves and socks, and a woolen cap. Jim insisted Blair wear the jacket, cap, and gloves saying he was tired of having to choose between keeping the heat in the truck cranked up too high or listening to him shiver.
Next they went to Target where Jim approached buying a hair dryer as if he were purchasing a new electric drill. He read all the boxes comparing the power rating of each one and eliminating all but the three most powerful. Then he used the display models to test the comfort of the grip. Blair waited quietly for the forty minutes it took the sentinel to decide. Picking out an electric razor for Blair took no time at all. Jim simply chose the same model that he used for himself and then they moved on to the beauty isle. Luckily Target carried the same brand hair conditioner that Mrs. Benton used, because Jim was not about to mess with a good thing and try a different brand; he didn't understand how the stuff worked, but he had proof it did work and he was a strict believer in the, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', philosophy of life. When Jim asked if there was anything else Blair may need the Guide quietly suggested a brush and hair ties. The hair ties proved to be a bit of a problem, as Jim didn't want anything too girly. Blair shyly suggested they purchase rawhide shoelaces and cut them to size. That appealed to the sentinel so they grabbed a pair of shoe laces and checked out.
After a quick stop at the grocery store the pair arrived back at the loft. Luckily the elevator was working and they managed to get everything up stairs in one trip.
As Jim removed Blair's new coat he noticed the black and blue claiming mark on his Guide's neck. Jim opened Blair's shirt and examined the mark. He knew he must have put it there, but could not remember doing so. Jim began stripping his guide as he bent down to nuzzle, suck and lick at the mark. Jim's bonding heat quickly escalated and he steered his guide toward the loft stairs. When they got to the stairs the sentinel sat Blair down and pulled off his sneakers, socks and pants and then ordered the naked guide up the stairs and onto the bed.
Blair climbed the stairs as quickly as possible softly repeating, "a guide submits to his sentinel." It became a mantra in an attempt to keep away the hated scent of fear.
Jim stripped quickly and prepared his guide for claiming without foreplay. He was lost in a bonding thrall and his promise to be as gentle as possible was forgotten. As he claimed his guide he felt a mental sensation of falling as his guide gave the sentinel total submission. As Jim pounded into his guide there was none of the warmth that had filled the sentinel and guide in the shower that morning or when the guide took his hand at the clothing store. This was pure sentinel power and domination over his guide and Jim roared out his triumph.
Jim slid into his guide, deep and warm, he loved the feel of Blair’s hard muscular body lying so willingly under him. He dug his fingers into his guide’s soft, silken, hair. ‘His guide,’ the thought intoxicated him and brought out his instinctual animal nature. He growled softly with approval, as Blair’s hair seemed to wrap itself around his fingers with little encouragement, clinging to him, the way a guide was meant to cling to his sentinel.
Jim was determined that tonight would be different. Tonight he wouldn’t feel that terrible let down that always came when he renewed his claim on his guide. He had ordered Blair not to do it again, not to turn away from him. Blair agreed in his usual manner, by saying what he always said, “A guide submits to his Sentinel.” Jim certainly agreed with that statement; what he didn’t agree with was the sensation that Blair was there without being there, that the guide was somehow denying the sentinel access to what he needed most.
‘What he needed most?’ Now that was an odd thought. What he needed most from his guide was access to his guides body, plain and simple.
The feeling of emptiness never came in the morning when Blair knelt before him in the shower, or during the day when his guide filled him with warmth and kept him stable, even in the most stressful of times. He closed away the small voice that told him something was wrong…this was wrong, and pumped harder into his guide. The sentinel growled louder as his pleasure increased and the overwhelming urge to take, conquer and own, washed over him. Jim bit down on Blair’s shoulder, unable to stop himself from displaying his dominance as his orgasm built to an explosion. This was where it always happened, just as he filled his guide with his seed, the falling sensation hit him, as if Blair had been holding him up and suddenly let go. Jim fell into a void, and hit bottom. Blair became the floor under him, empty and devoid of the warmth he had come to crave in the short time they had been bonded.
The sensation was frightening. Each time it happened it became worse, as if he somehow fell further than the time before. The fear that he was losing his guide, that the bond was being torn from him as he fell, was more than Jim could cope with. He pushed the fear away and turned to anger in its stead. “I told you not to do that to me again,” he growled as he pulled Blair from the bed and on to the floor. “Bathroom, now!”
Blair scrambled forward trying to stand up as he went only to be pushed flat again by the sentinels bare foot on his ass.
“On your belly, bitch,” Jim growled. “You don’t deserve to walk.”
Blair slid down the stairs and wiggled his way across the living room floor to the bathroom as quickly as he could. He was scared; he had never seen his sentinel in such a rage. He couldn’t understand what was wrong. He had only done what he had been trained to do, total submission to his sentinel. Each time the Sentinel claimed him, he let himself go, he held nothing back. He emptied his mind and waited for his sentinel to command him.
Jim watched Blair wriggle across the floor. He had to admit there was something very satisfying about watching his guide scurry across the floor on his belly. Maybe he had made a mistake insisting Blair walk around the apartment. Perhaps the guide needed a constant reminder of his place. “I ought to whip your back raw,” Jim said. “But that will leave scars for the show ring, so this is the punishment of choice,” he pulled Blair up by his hair, dragged him to the edge of the tub and laid him over the side. “Get your ass up,” Jim commanded.
Blair moved forward until his groin was over the edge of the tub and his butt stuck up in the air. “A guide submits to his sentinel,” he cried softly over and over as he trembled with fear.
Jim grunted his approval and walked over to the closet. He pulled out restraints, a gag, a butt plug, and the enema can and then filled it with cold water. When he finished he turned back to Blair. “This is going to hurt, guide. Now open your mouth,” he said as he hung the enema can on the shower curtain rod and leaned over the guide to put in the gag. Next he slid the enema nozzle into Blair’s ass and unclipped the hose letting the water flow.
The cramping started instantly as the cold water hit Blair. Tears filled his eyes and he tried to cry out through the gag as the cramps worsened. When the can was empty Jim removed the nozzle and replaced it with the butt plug. “Get in the tub,” he ordered.
Blair was in agony but he managed to get into the tub and curl into a fetal position in a futile attempt to ease the cramping.
“On your stomach,” Jim snapped as he pulled Blair over and yanked his arms behind his back. He noticed how clammy Blair felt as he worked quickly and efficiently to hog-tie his guide. The rage inside of him swirled with satisfaction that the guide was suffering for what he had done.
Jim left the bathroom with his rage still filling him, he knew he had to do something to vent it away before he began breaking things. Exercise had always been his friend; he was used to turning to it to get back some semblance of control before he was bonded to a guide. There was no reason it wouldn’t work now. He went upstairs to put on a pair of sweat pants and then he returned downstairs, cranked up the treadmill and began to run.
Blair moaned in pain as the cramping continued. He had broken out in a cold sweat and his eyesight blackened around the edges. There was no way to move. The restraints were too tight. Blair found himself wishing he could just pass out. It seemed like an eternity before his body was able to warm the water and the cramping stopped. Blair could do nothing but lay in the tub crying. The mental mantra, ‘a guide submits to his Sentinel,’ was his only comfort.
Jim ran, one mile, two, three... Somewhere between three and a half and four miles his rage calmed enough for the small voice to be heard, ‘it’s not the guide’s fault, the problem is you.’ He slammed the door closed on the whisper and turned up the speed on the treadmill. He continued running until he was exhausted and then he went upstairs, fell into his bed and slept. The nightmare that assaulted him was terrible.
He careened through endless corridors screaming for Blair. Sharp slivers of pain pierced his eyes as he rushed down the too bright hallways. His guide’s scent surrounded him, directionless, he couldn’t depend on it to track his guide.
“Blair,” he screamed out in anguish, pushing at the white walls searching for an invisible door. The walls felt as if they were embedded with razor blades, but he bore the pain and ignored red fingerprints of blood that stained the walls as he continued his frenzied search.
He listened for his guide’s heartbeat; he could hear it far away below him. He had to find the stairs. Blair’s scent, so strong all around him, made his head spin and the corridor tilted as he tried to process what his senses were telling him.
“Blair, answer me, damn you!” he screamed. But there was no answer. He looked ahead, squinting into the brightness, looking for his guide, but there was nothing but the empty, pain filled corridors. He had to find the stairs and follow the sound of Blair’s heartbeat; he had to get to his guide. He needed to fill himself with his guide’s warmth; he needed the control his guide gave him. He reached out his hand, blood dripping from his fingers, he screamed… BLAIR!
Jim was catapulted out of the nightmare. His guide wasn’t with him. Where? And then he remembered. He ran down the stairs and into the bathroom.
“I tell you there is something wrong,” Jim growled through gritted teeth. He had had to take the first available appointment and this doctor was not proving helpful in any sense of the word.
“I’ve given your guide a complete physical, I can’t find any problems,” Dr. Bishop answered with a sigh of frustration.
Jim took a deep breath and calmed himself as he combed his fingers through his guide’s hair. “Look Doc, there has to be something. In the shower, in the morning, everything is fine, the bond is better than I could have ever imagined, and all day too. But at night…when I renew my claim there’s this feeling of freefall and then…nothing, it’s like I’ve fallen into an empty room, he’s there but not there. How can there be nothing wrong?”
“Yes, yes,” the doctor said with a wave of his hand. He was nearly at the end of his patience; Alpha sentinels were never easy to deal with. Add a guide into the mix and… well… “You’ve already told me all of this, and now I’m telling you, Sentinel, there is nothing physically wrong with your guide. You need to take him back to Lake Island and speak with them. Perhaps they can come up with a solution, but it sounds to me as if the guide is flawed.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, Blair is not flawed,” Jim said, tightening the grip on his guide’s hair to keep from grabbing the doctor by the neck and squeezing the life out of him. “If there was a flaw in the bond I would have killed you by now.” Jim waited a moment to savor the look and scent of fear that suddenly came over the doctor. “I’m not going to risk Lake Island taking Blair away from me; I don’t want my money back; I don’t want another guide. I just want the problem fixed!”
“There are therapist that deal with bonding problems,” Dr. Bishop said looking down at the floor, being sure not to inadvertently challenge the sentinel. He took his pad and began to write on it. “I don’t know whether or not you would like to talk with one of them, they usually deal with sentinel and guide… relationships, as they call them…older then a year. You’ve been bonded to your guide less then a month so it may be difficult to get an appointment. You’ll probably be told to give it more time, if that happens tell them Blair has had a complete physical and that you are calling on my recommendation. There are radicals in the field that believe it is the Master/slave mentality that causes the difficulties within a bond. They feel that Sentinel and Guide should be equal partners. I only mention it so that you will stick to this list that I'm giving you. I believe that Dr. Samuel Ranch will be the best for your situation. Dr. Wesley Pratt is also very good but extremely busy and it is difficult to get an appointment with him. Dr. Elena Williams is an excellent doctor if you don’t mind dealing with a female. It is mostly sentinels with female guides that seek her out.” Dr. Bishop handed Jim the list. “If you have any problems getting an appointment call me.”
Jim took the paper the doctor handed him tore it into pieces. “I’m not talking to any damn therapist,” Jim growled, “If there is nothing wrong with him physically then he needs to learn to obey me.” Jim turned to Blair. “You will learn!”
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