Joan Z and Neichan
It was eight am and Ethan Rayne was eating breakfast when his butler came into the solarium.
“It’s Director Booker sir,” the butler said as he handed his employer the phone with a bow.
Ethan took the phone. “Rayne here.”
“There’s been an Intent to Bond Certificate filed on the boy.”
“What!” Ethan Rayne said sitting forward in his chair. “How did that happen?” he asked as he threw his linen napkin onto the table.
“I don’t know; it was filed yesterday evening by a Detective Sentinel William Spikeman. He works for the Lake View Police. Apparently the boy ran because there was also an APB filed and a request for all Guide School Records.”
“Don’t let him have the school records,” Rayne said. “We have to find the boy before the sentinel does. What do you know about Spikeman?”
“He’s already found the boy. Sentinel Detective James Ellison out of Cascade pulled the APB last night. And Spikeman has some school records. He’s requested the sealed records as well.”
“Delete any records he doesn’t already have,” Rayne said through a clenched jaw. “Make sure it looks like a computer glitch. By now they’re bonded. But maybe we can make this work for us. We’ll break the bond, that should give us the trauma we need to push the brat over the edge.”
“You can’t break the bond with a level nine empath, the only way would be to kill the sentinel,” Booker said hoping desperately to make Ethan Rayne see reason for once.
“We’ll give them three days together,” Ethan said. “That should be enough. I’ll take care of the arrangements.”
A shiver went through Booker at the sound of Rayne’s voice. “You can’t kill a sentinel, they’ll swarm down on us so fast…”
Ethan Rayne hung up the phone. “Stupid man,” he muttered, “Sentinel’s die all the time in the line of duty.”
In a booth in a restaurant in Cascade:
“You should be eating some protein,” Spike said as he looked across the table at Xander's bowl of Coco Crisps.
“You’re overwhelming me again,” Xander said as he shoveled another spoonful of the low nutrition high sugar cereal into his mouth.
“Cereal is a part of a nutritious breakfast,” Spike said as he finished his western omelet. “It even says so on the TV adds.”
“Yeah, yeah and breakfast is the most important meal of the day blah, blah, blah.”
“That was disrespectful, Pet.”
Xander hung his head and looked up at his sentinel with doe eyes, “I’m sorry, I just want to enjoy my junk food breakfast in peace.”
“Do you know you melt my heart when you look at me like that?”
“Sauce for the goose,” Xander said with a smile as he shoveled another spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
“Really,” Spike said tilting his head and looking at Xander. "When did I melt your heart?”
“The first time was when I saw you standing outside the door holding my pillow. You looked so vulnerable and cute with the sleep mussed hair and all.”
“You didn’t show it.”
“Well… it was kind of scary, I didn’t expect …” Xander’s voice trailed off.
“What, Pet? It’s okay you can tell me.”
Xander put his spoon down, “No, I can’t,” he said looking down at the table. “Can we go now? I don’t want to eat any more.”
“I know I’m not what you expected.” Spike said. “I’m an inch shorter and a bit slimmer than most sentinels.”
Xander moaned, he could feel Spike’s sadness. “Now what did you have to go and say that for. You think I’m disappointed? I’m not. I expected an enraged gorilla to come through the door. Instead you melted my heart, and it scares the hell out of me.” Tears rolled down Xander’s face. “You’re gorgeous, okay, I’ve said it.”
Spike got up and slid into the booth next to Xander. He took Xander’s face in his hands and began licking the tears away. Xander waited, still unable to open his arms and hold his sentinel.
“Xan,” Spike said quietly, “I need the card that the guide gave you.”
Xander reached into his pocket and handed the card to Spike. “I’m okay, I don’t need to talk to him.”
“I need to talk to Ellison, I’m swearing out charges against Rayne.”
“Why? He’s not director of the school anymore.”
“He hurt you, Pet, he’s not going to get away with it.”
“It’s because I’m unfit, isn’t it?”
Sentinel eyes looked at Xander. “Never again refer to yourself as unfit. Do you understand me Guide?”
Xander startled at the anger he heard in Spike’s voice. “Yes, Sentinel.” he said softly.
Spike eyes softened. “Oh, Pet, Don’t you know, no one gets through life unscathed, some of us more than others. All we can do is the best we can with what we have. You’re doing that, Pet, you’re doing the best you can and struggling to make your best even better. I can’t ask more of you than that. No one can. But I need to do this. I need to let you know you can trust me. I need you to know I won’t abandon you.”
The Bullpen Cascade Police Department:
“Hello Sentinel Ellison’s desk, Guide Sandburg speaking, how may I help you?”
“Guide Sandburg, this is Sentinel Spikeman.”
“Is there a problem Sentinel?” Blair asked, his concern clearly showing in his voice.
“This is just a courtesy call, is Sentinel Ellison available?”
“He’s not available at the moment, he should be back shortly. Can I take a message or have him call you back?”
“I’m coming in later today to press charges against Ethan Rayne. I just wanted to give him a heads up.”
“Thanks Sentinel Spikeman, that’s very thoughtful of you.” Blair said relieved that Xander was okay.
“Please, call me Spike, and there’s one more thing. We’re planning on staying in Cascade for a few days. Can you recommend a decent sentinel/guide friendly motel? The inn is a bit too pricey for my wallet.”
“Why don’t you stay with Jim and me?” Blair offered. “We have a spare room. It’s got a bed and the price is right.”
“I don’t want to put you out, Guide Sandburg.”
“Please, we’re going to be roomies, call me Blair.”
“You did what?” Jim asked.
“I told them they could stay with us for a few days. What’s the problem?”
“They are a newly bonded Sentinel and Guide. That’s the problem.”
“I thought you liked the guy. You said he was impressive.”
“That doesn’t mean I want him anywhere near you.”
“Jim, I don’t understand, he’s a fellow sentinel in need. I thought you’d be glad to help him out.”
“Ordinarily I would,” Jim said, “But these are special circumstances.”
“What special circumstances?” Blair asked truly confused.
“You waited six months to report his guide was being abused.”
“Xander forgave me for that, and you don’t think I was to blame either. Why would he?”
“Sentinel’s aren’t always reasonable when it comes to their guides,” annoyed with Blare for not thinking of his own safety.
“I doubt if it will come up. Besides he would be an idiot to try anything with you around. So don’t worry, Big Guy. They’re going to stop at a barber for a shave and they need to pick up some things, a change of clothes and stuff. They’ll meet us here before the end of shift.”
"I'm going to see what I can find on Ethan Rayne,” Jim said. "Then maybe there won't be any reason for Spikeman to stay."
Charles Gunn was a big man with coffee brown skin, a shaved head and cold hard eyes. Anyone who saw him coming and looked into those eyes stepped aside. Gunn was Ethan Rayne’s problem solver. He solved people problems efficiently, quietly and most importantly his solutions were final. He was paid well; it was the money that Gunn was loyal to. He knew that one day he would have to kill Rayne, or be killed by him, and he had no intention of letting the latter happen.
Gunn came to the solarium per Rayne’s summons and stood quietly waiting for his employer’s instructions. Rayne liked keeping his employees waiting. Most of them squirmed after a minute or so. Gunn didn’t, he just watched calmly looking for any weakness that he may be able to exploit in the future.
Rayne did not look up from his Wall Street Journal as he spoke. “I have two jobs for you, he said in his usual cold crisp voice. The first I want done today as soon as we finish talking. It’s Director Booker of Rainier University Guide School. He should meet with a most unfortunate accident. With your skill it should cause you no problems.
The second, Sentinel William Spikeman, should be taken care of on Thursday. He is currently in Cascade but may return to Lake View by then. He has a guide Xander Harris.
It is imperative that no physical harm be done to his guide. I need Harris physically intact. You should be able to find all the information you need on Spikeman in the sentinel registry.
Ethan Rayne took a sip of his tea and turned the page of his paper. “Do you have any questions?”
Gunn knew better than to ask questions, Rayne considered employee’s questions, at best, a nuisance or worse, a weakness and he knew that anyone suspected of weakness in Mr. Rayne’s employ posed a problem that needed to be solved. “No, sir, Mr. Rayne.” Gunn smiled as he left to take care of the Booker problem; he was looking forward to testing himself against a sentinel. He didn’t care why Rayne wanted this particular sentinel dead. For Gunn the only thing that mattered was the joy of the kill.
Director Booker was in a panic. Ethan Rayne intended to have a sentinel killed. Booker wanted nothing to do with it. He went to his safe and pulled out a large block of cash and a thick brown envelope. He wrote the address of the Cascade police on the envelope, Attn: Sentinel James Ellison and put every postage stamp he had on it. He left the house as if he had every intention of coming back but gave a silent thanks to God for his account in the Cayman Islands. Booker stopped briefly to drop the envelope in the mail and then sped out of Cascade toward Canada. He knew he was leaving behind a lucrative interest in Washington Genetics; a research company that Ethan Rayne secretly held a controlling interest in; but there was a good chance that if he stayed he would never get to enjoy the good life that Rayne had seduced him with when they first met. Rayne didn’t like people knowing about the skeletons in his closet and Booker had a gut feeling he had just learned about one too many.
Charles Gunn waited quietly, in the faculty parking lot of Rainier University, for Director Booker to arrive. He knew from a phone conversation with the director’s secretary that he was due in at nine. It was now nine thirty and Gunn was concerned. He called the director’s home and got no answer. He felt in his gut that Director Booker was on the run. He got on his phone and made some calls. It was hard to run without leaving a trail and Gunn had people that were very good trackers. Then he headed for the director’s home; when someone ran this quickly they always left clues.
Jim and Blair were sure something was wrong. It couldn’t be co-incidence that the director of the guide school disappeared just when Jim needed to talk to him about Xander’s abuse. He wouldn’t be able to get a search warrant until charges were filed. It was all very frustrating.
“Do you have Spikeman’s cell phone number?” Jim asked.
Blair could tell by the tone of Jim’s voice he was in his sentinel detective mode. “Sure,” Blair said and handed Jim a piece of paper with the number on it.
“See if you can track down any of the other teachers that were at the school when you were students.”
“Sure. Ah, Jim,” Blair said with a calming stroke to the back of Jim’s hand. “Do you think Xander could be in danger?”
“Maybe,” Jim said as he dialed Spikeman’s number.
Spike picked up on the second ring, “Hello.”
“Sentinel, this is Jim Ellison, I need you to come into the station right away. Director Booker has disappeared.”
“Do you know when he went missing?” Spike asked as he moved between the window and his guide; his eyes scanned the street for anything suspicious.
“Sometime this morning. Do you need a police escort?”
Spike thought for a moment, he didn’t know the area and having someone who could get them to the station safely would be a plus. “Is there someone available you can trust?”
“Me,” Jim said. “Where are you?”
“In a barber shop on the corner of Main and Central streets.”
“I know the place; I can be there in less then ten minutes. Look for a red pick-up.” Jim hung-up.
Xander’s shave was finished just as Spike hung-up the phone. He stepped out of the barber’s chair; he could feel the sudden change in Spike. “What’s wrong?”
“Booker went missing this morning, Jim’s coming to take us to the station.” Spike said still scanning the street.
“Do you think it has something to do with us?” Xander asked as he moved up beside the sentinel.
“I don’t believe in co-incidences, Pet,” Spike said as he grabbed Xander’s arm and steered him to a back corner of the shop. “Jim will be here in a few minutes, he’ll take us to the station. You’ll be safe there.”
“If you let me look out the window I’ll be able to tell if there is anything dangerous out there.”
“It’s too dangerous.”
“Is that supposed to make sense?” Xander asked.
“It does to me, Guide.”
Gunn searched Booker’s house. All his clothes appeared to be there. That meant that he would have to buy some soon. Gunn found the safe; it was easy for someone with his skills to break into it. It was empty. Next Gunn looked through Booker’s desk, that’s when he noticed the empty stamp sheets in the wastebasket. Gunn logged onto Booker’s computer and backed up all the files onto a CD. Then he looked at the Internet history and found what he was looking for. Booker had pulled up directions for a road trip to Canada. Gunn slipped the CD’s into his pocket and went to the gas fireplace. He disabled the autopilot and turned on the gas, lit the candles on the dinning room table and left the house.
When Gunn got to his car he made a call and arranged for Director Booker to have an unfortunate accident on a lonely stretch of back road, while on his way to Canada. Then he calmly drove away.
Twenty minutes later the house exploded.
Jim was not happy when he returned to the station.
“He’s back too soon,” Spike whispered to Xander. “Something’s wrong.”
Spike stood up and made eye contact with Jim as he approached. He didn’t have to ask. “Fire,” Jim said and Spike understood. Sentinel to sentinel they had closed ranks as quickly as that one look. A guide was in danger, they were sure of it now, and nothing was more important to a sentinel then protecting a guide.
Spike grabbed Xander’s hand and pulled him along as he followed Jim and Blair into Simon’s office.
“Who are you?” Sentinel Captain Simon Banks asked, looking at a strange and obviously very tense sentinel.
“Spikeman out of Lake View.”
“Well that was fast, Harry told me he’d ask around to see is anyone wanted to transfer up here.” Simon offered his hand. “I’m surprised he didn’t call me to let me know you were on the way; but that’s Harry, he must have gotten distracted with a kitten up a tree.” Simon said with a big smile, “Welcome to Cascade.”
Spike shook Simon’s hand and looked frustrated. He didn’t know what Sentinel Banks was talking about and he wasn’t sure of how to approach the subject of Simon’s incorrect assumption. He wanted to address Xander’s situation. He decided to let Jim handle it.
“No arguments Jim,” Simon said assuming that Spikeman’s tension was due to Jim not wanting a partner. “He is partnering with you. You’re the Liaison Officer.”
“Fine Simon, but that’s not why we’re here.” Jim said trying to get things back on track “Director Booker of the Guide School went missing today. I just went to his house and it’s been blown up. The Firemen think it was a gas leak. He’s wanted for questioning in connection to abuse that took place at the school.”
“And there’s one other piece of information,” Spike said. “I’ve been trying to get my guide's sealed school records, I just got a notice that there was a computer malfunction and the records have been lost.”
“Booker is covering up guide abuse,” Simon said with his jaw clenched in anger. “Jesus H. Christ, why didn’t I hear about these charges? When were they filed?”
“I filed them less than an hour ago,” Spike said in his crisp detective tone, hoping he hadn’t broached protocol by not notifying the captain right away.
Simon turned and looked at Xander. A combination of anger and concern danced across his face. He wanted to offer Xander a comforting touch but he didn’t know this sentinel and guide well enough to take that liberty.
Xander gave a soft moan. Spike guided him to a chair, “Sit down, Pet.”
The guide yanked his arm away and refused to sit. “Does everyone we meet have to know about this? It’s over, why can’t we just walk away.”
“We talked about this, Xan,” Spike said in a firm tone while stroking Xander’s arm to offer comfort. “We’re sentinels, a guide has been abused. You may as well ask a fish to walk away from the water.”
Sentinel Captain Simon Banks was a very good judge of sentinel character. He liked Spikman’s crisp no non-sense delivery of the facts. He watched the exchange between Sentinel and Guide carefully and he liked the way he treated his guide. Firm yet comforting. “You want in on this case, Spikeman?” Simon asked deciding that for once fortune was in his favor.
“Yes Captain Banks, I do,” Spike said as firmly as he dared, he didn’t want to risk disrespecting the team of Cascade sentinels.
“Sentinel Robert’s guide is pregnant with twins. She wants to be near family. He’s asked me for a transfer to Lake View. If you’re willing to transfer here permanently I’ll assign you and Jim to the case.”
This time it was Spike that offered his hand, “Call me Spike, Sir.”
Simon shook his hand, “Call me Simon and we have a deal.”
“Thank you, Simon,” Spike said with a smile, glad that he hadn’t been told to go home.
“You’ll need a safe house to stay in,” Simon said reaching for the phone.
“They’re bunking with us,” Blair said, he wanted to keep Xander close in case the newly bonded guide needed someone to talk to.
“Good, one less thing to worry about.” Simon said with a sigh of relief. “What else do you need?”
“I want Oz,” Jim said. “If anyone can recover those computer records he can.”
Jim and Blair brought Spike and Xander to the loft apartment after the shift was over. Spike held Xander’s hand as Blair showed them around the small apartment. This was Jim’s territory and he was first sentinel here. If Jim said it was safe then it was safe. Spike forced himself to defer to the senior sentinel’s judgment and refrained from nosing into every corner.
Blair and Xander prepared supper in the kitchen while Jim and Spike compared notes on what they had found in their computer searches earlier that day.
“So both the teachers that Xander reported the abuse to are dead,” Jim said.
“Yes, whoever is doing this is playing hardball.” Spike said concern filling his voice.
“But why kill them,” Jim asked. “Blair was never abused and the other students that were in the school at the time were not abused either. What’s the motive?”
“Beats me,” Spike said, “Booker ran so whatever the motive is it’s on going. That makes me think that this is about more than Xander’s abuse.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Booker declared Xander unfit to bond or work as a healer guide…”
“He’s not unfit!” Spike growled.
“Whoa, Sentinel,” Jim said throwing up his hands in surrender. “It’s a case fact, I’m not passing judgment.”
“Sorry, Jim,” Spike said with a sigh, “That’s a sensitive area.”
“I understand,” Jim said. “If anyone called Blair unfit I wouldn’t be very friendly toward them myself.”
“I like Blair,” Spike said. “He warm and calming in a bubbly sort of way.”
Jim laughed, “I never heard him described that way, but now that you mention it, it does fit him to a T.”
“Well I guess we have our jobs cut out for us until this case is over. It’s not going to be easy for either of them having to relive this.”
“What do you mean?” Jim asked. “Blair was never abused.”
“Blair is as much a victim of abuse as Xander is. To know what he knew and not be able to do anything about it had to be hell for him.”
There was no use lying, Spike would know if he tried. “How long have you known?” Jim asked.
“Since this afternoon. I found out Blair was the one to file a report about the abuse while I was doing the computer search on Rayne. That was brave of him.”
“Blair feels bad he didn’t report it sooner, but Xander doesn’t blame him. He comforted Blair at the inn, in spite of the emotional turmoil he was going through.”
“Like I said, Xan’s not unfit, but there must be something in the school records they don’t want me to see.”
“I agree,” Jim said. “Otherwise they would have given them to you right away.”
At the same time in the kitchen:
“I’m telling you, Xan,” Blair said, “when I saw him standing at the door hugging your pillow; I thought, Wow…He is the second most beautiful sentinel I’ve ever seen.”
“Second?” Xander asked.
“Jim is the most beautiful sentinel I’ve ever seen.”
“Well, that’s your opinion,” Xander said with a mischievous grin.
Blair laughed. “Maybe we should just agree that they are both tens.”
“I’ll agree to that.”
“So,” Blair said as he chopped the lettuce for the salad, “You seem to have accepted the role of guide.”
“I’ve accepted that we are bonded, but it’s not easy,” Xander leaned in to whisper, “He wants to hold my dick when I piss and take showers with me.”
Blair laughed, “Jim did that for about three or four months. He still does if we're in a strange place and we still shower together most of the time.”
“I have to let him shower with me. He chewed a hole in my pillow case this morning because he was so distraught.” Xander looked at the floor, “I don’t want to fail him as a guide.”
“You’re not going to fail him Xan, and he’s not going to fail you either.”
Xander looked into Blair’s eyes. “We haven’t…I can’t…” He looked at the floor again, “I’m terrified that I won’t be able to and he’ll force me.”
“You’ve only had one night together,” Blair said. “Spike seems to be very concerned with your feelings. I don’t think he’ll do anything to hurt you.”
“What’s it like, Blair, to be claimed?”
“All I can say is that I look forward to it. Having Jim fill me up. Oh God, I’m getting hard thinking about it. He’s going to smell it and come to see what we’re doing.”
“Excuse me,” Jim said to Spike, “I need to see what my guide is up to.”
Spike stood up and watched Jim walk into the kitchen; he could smell Blair’s arousal.
“Chief,” Jim said keeping his voice neutral for Xander’s sake. “Can I talk to you alone?”
Blair turned off the oven and walked over to Jim. Jim took his arm and guided him to the upstairs bedroom. “Explain yourself, Guide. Why are you getting aroused talking to another man?”
“We were talking about you,” Blair said.
Jim grabbed the back of Blair’s head, “What goes on between us is between us. It’s not open for discussion, even with another guide.”
“It wasn’t exactly a discussion, Jim.”
“What exactly was it?”
“Xander is scared, he asked me what it was like to be claimed. I told him I look forward to it. Just thinking about it was getting me aroused so I told him I had to stop talking about it. Ten seconds later you came in.”
Jim was breathing heavily, “His sentinel hasn’t claimed him yet?” Jim asked as he nuzzled Blair’s neck and unbuttoned his shirt.
“Not yet.” Blair said.
Jim pulled Blair’s shirt off and laid him on the bed. Then he took off Blair’s pants and removed his own clothing. He lay on the bed next to Blair and pulled his guide to him nuzzling his neck. “You’re mine, guide, and mine alone.”
Blair wrapped his arms around his sentinel, “Yours alone,” he whispered.
Jim kissed his way down Blair’s torso to his hard cock. Blair stroked Jim’s head and arms as the sentinel began to lick and suck his guide. Blair bit his bottom lip to keep from moaning loudly.
Jim looked up at his guide. “Don’t do that guide. Let them hear your pleasure. There's a sentinel in the house that hasn’t claimed his guide. I need him to know you’re claimed. I want him to hear it and smell it.”
Blair moaned out loud when Jim bent his head and took Blair’s shaft into his mouth.
Jim continued to pleasure his guide, keeping him on the edge of orgasm but not allowing him to come.
“Jim, Oh! Jim, Yes, Oh! So good.” Blair forgot the visitors and got lost in the pleasure his sentinel was giving him.
Jim sucked one of Blair’s balls into his mouth and rolled it across his tongue as he lubed his hands and then he began preparing Blair for claiming.
Blair’s moans became louder as Jim stroked his channel with his fingers. Suddenly Jim stopped. “What do you want guide?” he asked.
Blair moaned, “Please Jim don’t tease me.”
“Tell me what you want guide.”
“I want you to claim me.”
Jim moved between Blair’s legs and moved them to his shoulders and then he pushed the tip of his slick hard cock into his guide. Blair raised his hips to meet his sentinel but Jim stopped his forward thrust. “Tell me what you need guide.”
“I need you to claim me,” Blair answered.
“I need you to claim me.” Blair yelled.
Jim slid into his Guide and matched the rhythm of his thrusts with hand strokes of Blair’s weeping cock.
“You’re mine,” Jim shouted as he exploded into his guide.
“Yours,” Blair cried as his own orgasm erupted.
Jim pulled out of Blair and laid down beside him. “Do you know how beautiful you are? You’re glowing.”
Jim caught the dripping cum from Blair’s stomach and began rubbing it into his own torso.
“What are you doing, Jim?”
“Marking my territory, Chief. Sentinel to sentinel I need to know that Spikeman gets the message.”
“I guess this means no shower?” Blair asked.
“That’s right, Chief.”
“How am I ever going to face them?”
“They’re sentinel and guide, this is the way it’s supposed to be. From the sounds that I hear down there you’re not going to have anything to be embarrassed about.”
“Excuse me,” Jim said to Spike, “I need to see what my guide is up to.”
Spike stood up and watched Jim walk into the kitchen; he could smell Blair's arousal.
“Chief,” Jim said careful to keep his voice neutral for Xander's sake, “can I talk to you alone?”
Blair turned off the oven and walked over to Jim. Jim took his arm and guided him upstairs to the loft bedroom. “Explain yourself, Guide. Why are you getting aroused talking to another man?”
Spike walked into the kitchen. “That sounds like a good question,” Spike said. “Explain yourself, Guide?”
“We were just talking,” Xander said looking down at the floor.
“I asked him what it was like to be claimed.”
“If you want the answer to the question, Guide, I’m the one to ask.” Spike walked over to Xander and began stroking his hair.
Xander looked toward the loft as he heard Blair moan. “I didn’t mean to cause trouble.”
“That’s not the sound of trouble Guide. That’s Sentinel Ellison giving you an answer to your question.”
“Here, now, with us here?”
“He needs to put his scent on his guide and so do I,” Spike said as he took Xander’s arm and tried to lead him to the guest bedroom. Xander stood with his feet firmly planted to the floor. “The kitchen table isn’t as comfortable as a bed, but if that’s your preference, Guide, it will do.”
Blair’s moans of pleasure were getting louder. Xander still stood firm looking in the direction of the sounds; the scent of his fear flooded the kitchen.
Spike moved in and began licking the bonding spot on Xander’s neck. “I don’t want to hurt you, Pet,” he whispered between licks. “But if you don’t come with me now I could loose control. I need to do this.”
Xander looked into the dark blue eyes of his sentinel. “I’m scared,” he said with a shiver.
“I know, Pet, just come with me and let me do what I need to do and I promise I won’t hurt you.”
Spike and Xander walked to the door of the guest bedroom. They heard Blair cry out “Jim, Oh! Jim, Yes, Oh! So good,” just before they closed the door.
Xander was passive and accepting as Spike removed his shirt and then sat him down on the bed. Spike knelt down and removed Xander’s shoes and socks and then he undid Xander’s pants and gently laid him back onto the bed and slipped them off. Spike quickly took off all his own clothes and lay down on the bed pulling Xander to him. Xander shivered at his sentinel’s touch. Spike nuzzled his Guide’s neck and sent calming waves of pleasure through his guide as he whispered sounds of comfort. “Talk to me guide, tell me what you’re feeling. Why are you so afraid of this? It’s part of what we are.”
Xander clamped his jaw shut and turned his face away from his sentinel. “Do what you have to do,” he hissed.
Spike rolled Xander onto his back and then straddled him; he forced his guide to make eye contact. “First fear, now anger, you will tell me what this is about guide.”
Xander forced his body to go limp and his eyes to go out of focus. “Sentinel, claim your guide,” he whispered.
Spike growled a low, rumbling, fearsome warning, Xander startled. “Hopeless surrender is not what I want from you, Guide. Tell me what this is about, now!”
Xander took a shuddering breath; he knew there was no other way; he would have to tell. “I was eleven when the school sent home the letter saying I was a ‘potential’ guide. When my dad saw the letter he went ballistic. He started yelling at my mom. He blamed her. He said his grandfather and his uncle were sentinels. I should be a sentinel, and then he would get respect from his friends. He said now all they would do is laugh at him because his only son was getting it up the ass every night.”
Spike moaned. “Oh no, Pet, no.” He felt as if a stake had gone through his heart.
Xander continued. “He kept yelling about it, getting it up the ass, getting my ass reamed, how a male guide was the lowest. He said I was nothing but a leach to him. He got real drunk and dragged me to the police station. He told the desk sergeant he didn’t want me. My dad was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and they sent me home to my mom.
When he sobered up the police told him he had to keep me until I graduated from high school. My dad never let it go, every day he would yell about it. I was twelve when he tried to…He said he wanted to show me what I was going to get; but he was so drunk he couldn’t… My mom pulled him off of me and he passed out. After that I made sure he never had the chance to try again.”
Spike rolled onto his side and pulled Xander to him. “Oh Xan… Pet, you know it’s not like that,” he said with a voice full of grief for the emotionally battered child.
Blair’s voice came to them, “I want you to claim me.”
“To my dad,” Xander said, “it was all horrible, vulgar, filth. When you held me that first night it wasn’t like that. I’m terrified it will turn into filth.”
Blair’s voice came to them again, “I need you to claim me.”
“Do you hear that, Pet? They’ve been together two years. Does that sound dirty to you?”
“No,” Xander said. “But Jim loves Blair, I don’t know whether you could ever love me.”
“I already do,” Spike said. “I thought it would scare you if I told you.”
Blair’s voice was louder this time, “I need you to claim me.”
Xander put his arms around Spike, “You’re my sentinel”
“Yes I am,” Spike said as he nuzzled Xander’s neck.
“I need you to claim me,” Xander whispered. “I need you to make it beautiful.”
Spike kissed his way down Xander’s torso and took his guide’s cock into his mouth.
“You’re mine!” they heard Jim shout.
Spike began a soft purring growl as he gently licked and sucked; he could feel Xander’s cock grow and harden with every heartbeat.
“Yours!” they heard Blair answer.
Xander laid his head back, closed his eyes and moaned with pleasure. The vibrations Spike was sending through his body were beyond description. Xander began to raise and lower his hips with each wave of sensation.
Spike let go and crawled up to his guide. “I love you, Xan,” he said and then he kissed him. “I promise I won’t hurt you. Okay, Pet?”
Xander was lost in a bonding thrall; he wrapped his arms around Spike and pulled him down and rolled him onto his back. He lay on top of Spike and rocked back and forth, moaning as their cocks rubbed against each other and then he captured Spike’s mouth in a passionate kiss.
Spike held the kiss for as long as he could and then pulled away and gasped for breath. Xander nuzzled Spike’s neck in what seemed like a desperate search for the Guide Spot, Spike was confused, Guides didn’t normally behave that way so he rolled Xander onto his back and the behavior stopped immediately. “I think you have a bit of a Topper in you, Pet,” Spike said. “I like it, but he’ll have to come out and play another day.”
Spike grabbed the lube that Blair had so thoughtfully left on the bedside table and rubbed a generous amount over his hands. He put Xander’s legs on his shoulders and with one hand began slowly stroking Xander’s weeping cock. With his other hand he began rimming Xander’s hole and gently inserting his finger into the tight channel, then two fingers. Ever so gently Spike readied his virgin guide, thee fingers and then the sweet spot.
“OHHHH! GAAA! What?”
“Sweet spot, Pet.” Spike said as he pulled his fingers out.
“No don’t stop, I want it. Oh gods, I didn’t know I could want it.”
Spike spread lube over his own weeping cock and gently pushed into his guide. “I’m going to go slow, Pet. If you feel uncomfortable tell me.” He continued small thrusts in and out until he reached the pleasure nub.
Xander moaned and began lifting his hips to meet each thrust.
Spike was careful not to thrust in too deep. He didn’t want to break his promise and hurt his guide. He picked up his pace and matched each thrust with a hand stroke of Xander’s cock.
“You’re mine,” Xander yelled as his cum exploded onto his stomach.
“Yours,” Spike answered as he filled his guide with his warm juices.
Jim and Blair were laying in each other’s arms when they heard Xander yell out his climax and Spike answer.
“Did I hear that right?” Blair asked, confused as to why Xander was claiming his sentinel and not the other way around.
“None of our business,” Jim answered.
“But they’ll know we know.”
Jim sighed. “The scent I get is a sentinel claiming his guide. What I heard is a sentinel giving his guide what he needed. I think they’ll be okay with us knowing that.”
“Sometimes I don’t understand sentinels,” Blair said.
“Sentinels are easy,” Jim said. “It’s guides that are impossible to figure out. I’m hungry; let’s get some dinner.”
Xander wrinkled his nose “You do know we stink?” he asked as he pulled on his pants.
“No we don’t,” Spike said. “This is necessary. If we went out there without being marked Jim would be within his right as alpha sentinel to throw us out of the apartment.”
Xander was confused. “Aren’t you an Alpha also?”
“Yes, but that has nothing to do with it. This is Jim’s “den”; he’s the one in charge. I either bow to that or fight him.”
“I hope I can at least wash my hands before I eat,” Xander said hopefully.
Spike laughed. “Hand washing is allowed, Guide.” Then in a more serious voice he added, “but no shoes or socks.”
“What?” Xander asked surprised by the mandate, “Why not?”
Spike ran his fingers through Xander’s hair. “Going barefoot shows we recognize Jim’s dominance.”
“Then why didn’t we take off our shoes as soon as we got here?”
Spike sighed. “That was then, before you triggered all this by asking Blair what it was like to be claimed.”
Xander sighed. “So this is all my fault,” he said hanging his head. “I’m sorry.”
Spike lifted Xander’s chin and looked into his eyes. “Not fault, Pet, consequences. You just triggered some sentinel behavior, is all,” he said in a soothing voice. “This would have had to happen sooner or later so don’t go thinking you did anything wrong. Let’s go wash our hands.”
Spike and Xander walked into the bathroom. That’s when Xander looked in the mirror.
“What is that!?” Xander squealed with fear when he saw himself.
“Guide glow,” Spike said as he wrapped his arms around Xander. “You’ve been claimed, Pet. It makes you glow for awhile.”
“Human beings aren’t supposed to glow,” Xander said. “I look like I’ve got a hundred watt bulb inside me.”
“They didn’t tell you about this at Guide School?” Spike asked wondering why Xander wasn’t better prepared to become a guide.
“I kinda put everything about being claimed out of my head,” Xander said letting his shoulders slump.
“Don’t worry, Pet,” Spike said with an extra hug before letting Xander go. “It will fade away in about an hour.”
“How am I supposed to go out there and face them like this?”
“With your head up and proud,” Spike said. “Besides Blair will be glowing too, I can smell it.”
Spike wrapped his arms around his guide again. “I love you, Xan, and I’m proud of you. You’re a warm, loving and beautiful man.”
“Head up and proud, I guess I can do that,” Xander said. Then in a little boy voice he asked, “will you hold my hand?”
Spike and Xander held hands and walked to the kitchen. Spike was right, Blair was glowing, but he busied himself in the kitchen as if nothing was out of the ordinary. The table was set and the wine had been poured. Jim defused any awkward silences by immediately offering a toast, “to new friends and new beginnings.”
“To new friends,” the other three chimed in.
“I was planning on rare roast beef,” Blair said. “But this has turned out to be more medium well.”
“It’ll be fine, Chief,” Jim said as he gave Blair an affectionate pat on the ass.
Dinner went well and afterward Blair showed slides of his trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. Everyone went to bed tired but feeling good about Spike and Xander starting their first official day with the Cascade police in the morning.
Jim and Blair got up half an hour earlier than usual to shower together and make breakfast for their guests.
Xander didn’t give Spike any resistance about showering together; he knew everyone expected it.
As soon as their guests were in the shower Jim whispered into Blair’s ear, “I’m going to invoke the ritual today.”
“What ritual?” Blair asked.
Jim looked a bit annoyed with the question. “Welcoming him into the pack.”
“So soon? Don’t you usually wait a week or two for that? Besides you think Spike is hiding something with the school teacher past.”
“I still think he’s hiding something; but I know he’s a damn good man. No point in making him wait.”
“You know?” Blair asked. “It’s not just a gut feeling?”
“He’s knows about you. He told me you must have gone thru hell knowing about the abuse and not being able to do anything about it.”
“He said that?” Blair looked over at the bathroom. “Xander must have told him.”
“Nope, he came across the computer records himself.”
“He never said a word,” Blair said in awe. “The guy likes me, I can feel it, and it never wavered not one bit. I’m a level nine empath, I would know if he were hiding any animosity toward me.”
“So you’re okay with this Chief?”
“Sure, but what about Simon?”
Simon and H can hold off if they want. I’ll make it clear that it’s personal. Spike is going to be my partner at the squad plus he’s bunking here, that gives them an out if they want to take it.” They heard the shower turn off and went back to making breakfast.
Xander and Spike wore the new clothes they had bought the day before. A uniformed officer had retrieved Spike’s car from the barbershop and brought it to Jim’s apartment so Spike and Xander followed Jim to the station. As soon as they arrived Simon called everyone in the bullpen together to introduce them to the new sentinel and his guide.
“Everyone, may I have your attention please,” Simon called. “As you know sentinel Roberts’ guide, Anna, is pregnant with twins. They have transferred to Lake View to be near her family. We have been lucky enough to have Sentinel Captain William Spikeman and his guide Xander Harris transfer in, effective immediately.”
Jim stepped forward. “I’ve spent some time with Sentinel Spikeman and his guide and I would like to personally welcome him into our ranks.” Jim took Blair’s hand and walked over to Xander and then he leaned in and sniffed Xander’s neck. Blair reached over and gave Xander a reassuring pat on the hand and a big smile.
Spike was surprised, he hadn’t expected to be invited into the pack so soon; but Jim did say it was personal. Maybe he thought it was the best thing to do since they were bunking together. Spike ran his fingers through his guide’s hair. “This is a sentinel rite, Pet. Nothing difficult. Jim just needs to lock us in as part of his pack.”
Spike looked at Jim. “I am Sentinel William Spikeman,” he said in a clear firm voice so that everyone in the bullpen could hear. “This is my guide, Xander.” Spike stood at Xander’s shoulder, put his hands into his hair and tilted his head to fully expose the claiming gland to Jim.
Xander stood impassive as Jim leaned in and gave a firm long lick to his neck. No one other than Spike had ever touched him there. He considered it a private place, even a sacred place and now Spike, his sentinel, held his head and offered it to another.
Jim had welcomed other Sentinel’s and their guides into his pack. Every one was unique and yet under it all was the taste of guide; but when he licked Xander he tasted something else familiar, something he recognized but couldn’t name. Then he stood up tall and said, “I am Sentinel Jim Ellison. This is my guide Blair.” He ran his fingers into Blair’s hair and tilted his head to the side exposing Blair’s claiming gland to Spike.
Xander was shocked. He knew what Blair meant to Jim, and Jim was offering Blair’s neck to Spike. It was at that moment that Xander understood the sanctity of the ritual.
Spike looked at Blair’s exposed neck and an odd thought crossed his mind. ‘Sorry Luv, I don’t speak Chinese.’ And then it was gone and Spike took one long hard lick of Blair’s neck. The taste of a guide, not his own, filled Spike’s mouth. When he looked up, Jim took Spike’s face into his hands and then waited for Spike to do the same to him. Then they kissed with open mouths; their tongues danced and mingled the taste of themselves and their guides. Now they were family, now they were pack.
Xander empathic senses absorbed the beauty of what the two men were giving each other; it was a pledge of life and brotherhood beyond anything Xander had ever sensed before, he knew it touched all their souls.
Next Simon stepped forward and sniffed Xander’s neck to signal his willingness to accept them into the fold. Spike looked into Simon’s eyes. He had expected Simon to wait. It was his right to do so. Spike repeated his ceremonial introduction to Simon and once again exposed Xander’s guide gland.
This time Xander understood as Simon licked his neck, he wasn’t being forced to endure an intrusion, this was a form of communion and the guides were the sacrament.
Simon was surprised when he tasted Xander. As elder Sentinel he had done this ritual many times. He knew “guide taste” and he recognized the other familiar taste right away. He wondered if Jim had identified it. He continued with the ritual.
“I am Sentinel Simon Banks,” he said. “This is my guide Tara.”
Tara was a tall voluptuous woman with long sable brown hair and beautiful large hazel eyes. She could see Spike was lost in the ritual. His eyes were the dark sapphire blue of a sentinel in thrall.
Simon let his hand wander to the back of Spike’s head as he kissed him and Spike returned the kiss with equal passion. When the kiss ended Simon whispered, “true brothers,” in a voice so low only the sentinels could hear it.
Spike was so moved by the senior sentinel’s endearment that he momentarily lost his ability to speak and all he could do was look into the big man’s eyes and nod as a tear rolled down his cheek. Simon took Spike’s head into his hands once more and kissed his face, catching the tear, before stepping back and allowing H his turn in the ceremony.
H had watched the ritual closely. He was unsure whether to join in but he was the only other sentinel in Cascade and if he held back until he got to know Spikeman better it could look odd to the mundanes in the office and could cause some friction. Rafe understood what Henri was thinking and leaned over and whispered, “Simon’s welcomed him, and we should too.”
H stepped in and sniffed Xander’s neck and Spike, still lost in his ritual thrall made the introductions and then tilted Xander’s head. H smiled at Xander and whispered, “you’re doing great,” before licking his guide spot. Xander was grateful for the bit of encouragement.
Henri also noticed a second familiar taste but thought it must have come from Simon’s saliva.
“I am Sentinel Henri Brown,” H continued. “This is my guide Rafe.” Spike licked Rafe’s neck and turned to Henri for a kiss. The kiss with Jim had been deeply spiritual; the kiss with Simon was full of passion. Henri’s kiss was one of comfort and abiding friendship. Spike felt everything click into place, as if he had come home. His eye’s turned back to their lapis blue and he ended the kiss with Henri. The ritual was over.
As the sentinels started to return to their desks they came face to face with a five foot four redheaded man dressed in a leather jacket. “This is just a guess,” he said in an absolutely serious voice, “but I would say there’s a new sentinel in town.” He stuck his hand out to Spike. “Daniel Osborn, I let my conscience be my guide.”
Spike took his hand. “The computer genius,” he said. “Sentinel Spikeman, everyone calls me Spike.”
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