Runaway Guide

Joan Z and Neichan

Part Sixteen

Simon was at the hospital again, waiting and watching over his pack’s guides for Jim and Spike’s return. Blair wasn’t a problem but Xander had tried to get to Spike and when he heard the gun shot it took both Simon and Blair to keep Xander from rushing out the door.

When the sentinels returned they were concerned when they saw the blood from the wounded guide on their guide’s clothing.

“Pet, are you okay?” Spike felt compelled to ask even though he could smell that the blood was from a female and if Xander had been wounded he would be in an exam room or surgery, not waiting in the lobby.

“I’m okay,” Xander said. “It’s not my blood.”

Spike began to remove Xander’s shirt to check for wounds.

“Please,” Xander said. “Not here, we’ll go someplace private.”

Jim had already removed Blair’s shirt, without a word, and was tracing his finger over Blair’s chest checking for injuries.

“Jim, this is a crime scene,” Blair said. “I’m okay; we can go somewhere else for this.”

Simon decided to intervene. “I’m taking the four of you back to the loft,” he said. “I don’t want to see you in the bullpen until Monday morning.”

As soon as they got to the loft, Spike and Jim made the rounds of the small apartment to make sure it was safe and then Jim and Blair showered and went up to the loft.

The smell of guide blood on Xander so distressed Spike that he stripped Xander naked and examined his body while they waited their turn in the shower. When their turn came to use the shower Spike, once again, carefully checked Xander’s body for wounds as he washed away all traces of the female guide’s blood. Afterward they retired to their private bedroom and climbed into bed naked. Spike stroked and purred to Xander as he slowly became more amorous. It was obvious to Spike that Xander was forcing himself to respond.

Spike looked into Xander’s eyes. All thoughts of making love to his beautiful guide were gone and only concern flooded his awareness. “What is it, Pet, what’s worrying you?”

Xander refused to make eye contact. “I’m okay. Really.”

“No you’re not, Xan, your try’n hard to be, but you’re not.” Spike said as he stroked Xander’s hair. “Let’s talk this out.”

Xander shook his head, “No, this is something I should just put behind me and move on.”

Spike lifted Xander’s chin. “Sometimes,” he said, continuing to hold Xander’s chin in his palm, “the best way to put things behind you is to put them in front first. Tell me…Please. You know you can tell me anything.”

“I’m worried that I’m not a good enough sex partner,” Xander said, still refusing to look Spike in the eyes.

“So this is about Jim and me?”

“I guess.” Xander said, a bit ashamed that he was once again letting his emotions interfere with his guide duties.

Spike held Xander’s chin in one hand and stroked his hair with the other. “Look at me, Love,” he said in a tender but firm voice.

Xander managed to look into Spike’s eyes.

“You weren’t there, and I know it may seem like Jim taking me for his second was done behind your back, but that wasn’t the intent,” Spike said with a soft voice. “I had gone a bit bonkers. I don’t remember exactly what I said; I was disoriented when Jim pulled me out of it. Blair was exhausted. He had been pouring healing energy into the pack and needed to sleep. He couldn’t have helped me. Tara was concentrating on healing you.” Spike sighed and then continued. “I would have died before I took her away from you. Jim knew that; all the sentinels knew that. So Jim offered to bond to help me get stable. I said no, I told him that you were my mate; he said that he was mated to Blair and he promised he wouldn’t try to come between us. I was still resistant to the bonding but then…It became more than just a stabilizing bond. I knew that he would call me to be his second someday. I knew it from the time we kissed in the pack ceremony. Maybe it wasn’t the best time with me a bit wonky but it was the only way he could get me to accept the bond.”

“So he forced you,” Xander said as he jerked upright and let his anger creep into his voice.

“No, Pet, he didn’t. A sentinel can’t force a bond with another sentinel; they both have to be willing. I wanted to be his second. He knew I’d accept when it was offered. Jim and I have a link that I’ve never felt with any other sentinel. I don’t know what it is but it’s there and it’s not going to go away; in spite of that he is not more important to me then you are.”

“So you wanted him to top you?” Xander asked.

“Top?” Spike said. “There wasn’t any top. We were equals.”

“How did you manage to do that? You’re his second.”

“In the field we are pretty much equal. He has the final say because someone has to and he is pack leader. But we are equal partners. As far as the bonding goes it was done with mutual, oral, sixty-nine. Is that what this is all about, Pet; you thought I let him top me?”

“Partly,” Xander said feeling a bit embarrassed about discussing sex.

“Well, Xan, I’m not totally opposed to being topped, but when that happens it will be with you, no one else but you.”

“You’d let me top?” Xander asked.

“If it’s what you need, yes”

“It’s still difficult,” Xander said. “Knowing that you’ve been with him and that you’ll be with him again.”

“Whoa, Xan, Where did that come from?” Spike said, confusion flooding his emotions. “The only way I would be with him again is if there is another crisis and no guide was available.”

“But the bond, aren’t you going to keep the bond?”

“Love, it’s not like bonding with a guide. Sentinels have to renew their bond with their guide to keep their stability. This is different. It’s done and it’s permanent; it doesn’t have to be renewed.”

“He washed your hair.”

“We’ll feel the need to touch from time to time,” Spike said. “We’ll continue to sleep in the same bed but that’s all.”

“So you’re saying if there were a crisis and I wasn’t available you would be with Blair before you would be with Jim?”

“Yes, Pet, Blair is a healer guide. It’s his job to stabilize a sentinel in distress.”

“I have one more question,” Xander said. “What if it’s Jim that’s in distress and Blair that’s not available, what then?”

“You’re a healer guide,” Spike said as he stroked Xander’s face. “I’ve accepted that. I know that it may be difficult for you but if you could heal Jim I would be very proud of you. If it weren’t something you could do I’d understand, knowing your history; but I would do what I could to help him. Look, Xan, if it’s going to bother you this much I’ll put in for a transfer as soon as this case is closed.”

“But you’re Jim’s second; you’d do that for me?” Xander asked.

“I can’t break the bond but I could put distance between us. I’d quit the force if I have to and go back to teaching. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Wouldn’t that hurt you, Jim and the pack?”

“It would be difficult but not impossible,” Spike said as he tilted his head and looked into his guide’s eyes. “I’d do it if that’s the only way for you to feel secure.”

“No,” Xander said. “It feels good that you offered but I don’t want to run away any more. I like the people here. They’re good people; they care about us, even thought I do have issues. I want to make this work. I want to make this place home.”

“Then that’s what we’ll do,” Spike said as he pulled Xander into a kiss.

Xander returned the kiss.


Blair was resting with is head on Jim’s chest when he felt the sentinel’s muscles tighten and Jim hold his breath. A moment later he exhaled in relief.

“Are you eavesdropping?” Blair asked.

“Can’t help it; I can hear them,” Jim said.

“You could dial back your hearing and give them some privacy,” Blair suggested in an annoyed voice.

“They were talking about me claiming Spike as my second, that’s pack leader business.”

“Of course they’re discussing it. I don’t understand why that would make you hold your breath.”

“Spike offered to transfer out of Cascade or quit the force.”

“And?” Blair asked as he moved to sit up. “Is he going to leave Cascade?”

“No, Xander said no, he wants to make it work here.”

“So he’s accepted the bond between you and Spike,” Blair said. “You can stop listening in now.”

Jim sat up in the bed “Chief?” he asked. “What do you know about sentinel-to-sentinel bonding?”

“Just what I’ve read. Sentinels will bond for stability in the field if a guide is not available. It helps for a time but eventually they’ll need a guide and I know that some pack leaders will bond with a sentinel they choose as a second. You combined the two with Spike. The sentinel-to-sentinel bond is permanent, but it doesn’t have the same drive to renew as a sentinel-to-guide bond.”

“That’s all you know?” Jim asked.

“Why do you ask?”

“Xander had some misconceptions.”

“What misconception?”

“That I topped Spike; and that we would have to renew the bond.”

“I know Spike was in distress, but I never thought you would let him top you. You’re the pack leader.”

“Neither of us topped, it was mutual fellatio,” Jim said.

“Why are you telling me this, Jim, Do you expect it to change how I feel about you having sex with Spike? I’ve accepted it but I’m not happy about it. You did what had to be done. I know that.”

“It’s enough that you’ve accepted it. We never meant to hurt you.”

Blair had to ask the question that was nagging at him and would not let go. “Do you love him, Jim?”


“Yes, Spike”

Jim sighed, “I don’t feel the same way about him that I feel about you. So I would have to say no.”

“Then what is it with you and him?” Blair asked. “Simon was your best friend for years; you never bonded with him. Why Spike?”

“I trust Spike.”

“You don’t trust Simon?”

“Yes, but…If Spike were in a situation where he had to choose between saving me and saving you, he’d save you. He wouldn’t have to think about it. It’s rare that Simon is in the field, but if he were he would have to take a second to think about it. That’s the difference; I trust Spike to put you first without having to think about it.”

“So it’s about me?”

“Chief,” Jim said as he looked into his guide’s eyes. “Don’t you know by now that for a bonded sentinel everything is about his guide?”


Ethan Rayne was livid with rage. Gunn had failed. Well at least he had the good sense to get himself killed in the process, Rayne thought. It saves me the trouble. He turned off the newscast and considered his options.

Killing the sentinel now would be all the harder, he no longer had the element of surprise. Also the more attempts made the greater the chance that it could lead back to him.

Shutting down Washington Genetics was out of the question. WG was the lock and Xander was the key. Washington Genetics was going to make him one of the most powerful men in the world and it was his safety net. He could go to any country on the planet in exchange for sentinel gene splicing technology.

There was also the option of kidnapping the whelp. He could take him out of the country and set up a lab. The sentinels can’t track an airplane. There were several possible countries in Western Europe, South America and the Middle East that would allow the kind of human experimentation he needed to do, with no questions asked. The promise of the rewards would justify them looking the other way. Ethan Rayne felt secure in his arrogance as he picked up the phone to make arrangements. He had no idea the sentinels had already linked him, in name if not in actual fact, to Booker and Gunn.

Part Seventeen

Xander yawned and poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Still tired, Pet?” Spike asked.

“I’m not sleeping well. The bed is cramped and I feel like I’m going to push you off the edge every time I move.”

“It’s the best we can do for now,” Jim said. “But you’re right, we need to look for a bigger place.”

“Bigger place?” Blair asked, surprised at Jim’s admission.

“Yeah, Chief,” Jim said, “a house with a nesting room and two bedrooms for privacy. With the four of us pulling down a paycheck we should be able to find a place to suit our needs.”

“Do they build houses with nesting rooms?” Xander asked.

“No,” Spike said, “but there is a company that will convert a bedroom to a nesting room.”

“Sounds good,” Xander said with another yawn.

“I’ll call the realtor right after breakfast,” Jim said.

Spike grabbed the coffee out of Xander’s hand. “No coffee for you, you need to get some sleep.” Spike led Xander into their private bedroom.

“So,” Blair said, “you think we also need a private bedroom?”

“I think it will make everyone more at ease,” Jim said. “Spike and Xander have to go into their bedroom now to give us privacy and this place is small; it won’t be long before we start getting on each other’s nerves.”

“I agree,” Blair said. “This three days off is going to be a trial for all of us.”

“That’s why we should keep busy and look into new housing.”

“What kind of house did you have in mind?”

“I thought a four bedroom ranch would be nice.”

“Four bedrooms, are you planning to invite H and Rafe to live with us?

“No, Chief, but we had talked about adopting or asking Tara to be a surrogate mother.”

“I thought that went out the window when you bonded with Spike. Besides they’re going to be living with us and we don’t know how they feel about having children.”

“Spike wants children.”

“How do you know that, eavesdropping again?”

“I just know it, from the bond.”

“The bond,” Blair scoffed in a whisper.

Jim was very concerned about his guide’s emotions, “I thought you were okay with it,” Jim said.

“I’ve accepted it. I just don’t like to be constantly reminded of it,” Blair said, trying to cut off his emotions, but Jim could hear the annoyance creep into Blair’s voice.

“So you’re willing to deal with it as long as you don’t have to deal with it?” Jim asked

“Look at it from my point of view,” Blair said with a sigh. “What if I had bonded with Spike, how would you feel?”

“I’ve accepted the fact that you're a healing guide and there may come a time that you need to have a healing bond with a sentinel. Do you want to bond with Spike?” Jim asked, “Would it make you feel better?”

“Listen to you,” Blair said, hardly able to believe Jim had asked that question. “Would you let me bond with Spike?”

“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep this from festering out of control. If it takes a healing bond with Spike then so be it.”

Blair’s panic at the idea shifted into anger, “Jesus, Jim, why don’t I bond with Xander too while I’m at it? Hey, do you think Spike will let you bond with Xander? Just think of the time we’ll save in the morning all showering together. We can stand in a little circle and wash each other's hair.”

“Is that what pissed you off, that I washed his hair?”

“Yeah, Jim, it pisses me off. You did what you had to do to stabilize him and make him your second. But you didn’t have to wash his hair. That’s what you do with ME. You wash MY hair, and the way you reach for him at night, you think I don’t know that you sleep with your fingers intertwined with his?”

Jim walked over to Blair and fell to his knees. “I can’t undo what’s done, Chief. Just tell me what you need,” he asked in a soft pain filled voice.

Blair knew what he needed. He ached to touch Spike, to know Spike the way Jim did. He needed to be part of Jim’s bond with Spike. His own bond with Jim had been complete and whole, but since the bond with Spike there was a part that he couldn’t touch. As Jim’s guide he felt a frantic need to go to the place, within his sentinel, that was closed to him and he knew empathically that Spike was the door. But want and need are not always the same and Blair did not want to bond with Spike. So he pushed his pain aside looked down into Jim’s eyes and lied. “I don’t know what I need. All I know is I used to be your one and only and I’m not any more.”

“Your still my one, my first, you’re my guide; you give me life. Spike could never take your place. I’m sorry that washing his hair hurt you and I’m sorry that claiming him as my second is causing you pain, but I am not sorry that I have a bond with him.”

“Well you’re nothing else if not honest,” Blair said with a pain filled laugh.

“We’ve always been honest with each other, Chief,” Jim said still on his knees and looking up into Blair’s eyes, “so I’ll ask you again, tell me what you need, Guide?”

Blair looked away from Jim and was silent.

“You’ve never blocked me out before, why can’t you tell me what you need?” Jim asked.

“I’m not the one that’s blocked you out,” Blair said.

Xander suddenly sat up in bed. His empathic need to go to Blair was overwhelming.

“Xan,” Spike said, “lay down and get some rest. They need to work through this themselves.”

“No, they can’t,” Xander said as he swung his feet over the side of the bed. “They need us.” He pulled on his pants and went into the kitchen and knelt down beside Jim.

“Oh, bloody hell,” Spike said as he put on his jeans and followed Xander into the kitchen.

“Blair,” Xander said as he laid his hand on top of Blair’s, “you have to tell him. He’s your sentinel.”

One look at Xander and Blair knew, Xander understood everything. He could feel Xander sending him positive energy, giving him comfort, letting him know he understood his need for Spike and it was okay. “It’s not what I want, Xan,” Blair said, he didn’t want to hurt his friend.

“I don’t want it either, but it’s what we need. We’ll never find peace without it.”

“What is it, Xan?” Spike asked as he knelt down beside his guide.

“I didn’t know, Spike,” Xander said. “I swear I would have told you. I thought it was being stuffed in the bed between you and Blair that made me feel so restless. But it wasn’t. I slept fine that way until you and Jim bonded.”

“Are you saying that my bond with Jim is interfering with your sleep?” Spike asked as concern for his guide mixed with confusion of how such a thing could happen.

“Not exactly,” Xander said. “It’s more like I used to have a clear signal to you, now there is static on the line sometimes. You’re my sentinel, I’m responsible for you and sometimes I don’t have a clear sense of you; that makes me nervous. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I felt what Blair was going through.”

Jim turned Blair’s face to him. “Is that what you’re feeling?” he asked Blair.

“I feel like there is something new that is a part of you but it’s walled off from me,” Blair said. “Xander is right, I haven’t been able to find peace since you asked to wash Spike's back in the hospital yesterday.”

“That was before you knew about the bond,” Jim said.

“You may not have told me about it,” Blair said, “but I sensed the difference in you.”

“Then what do we do about it? “ Jim asked wanting to get the situation with the guides resolved.

Blair looked at Spike and then back at Jim. “I don’t even know if it's possible.”

“If you need it we’ll make it possible,” Jim said without a shadow of doubt in his voice.

Blair took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I need to share your bond with Spike.”

Part Eighteen

The two sentinels and their guides were sitting in the living room discussing how best to deal with their situation.

“What do you mean by ‘share the bond?’” Spike asked Blair.

“I’m not sure,” Blair said. “All I know is since you bonded with Jim there's a part of him that's walled off from me. It feels like I’m separated from him and I find it difficult to tolerate.”

“What about you, Pet?” Spike asked Xander. “Do you need to share my bond with Jim?”

“It scares the hell out of me to say this, but yes,” Xander said. “No offence Jim, but I love Spike, the thought of being with anyone else…it’s just…”

“Scares me too, Xanman,” Jim said in his best ‘soothe the guide’ voice. “We’ll take it slow and Spike will be there too,” Jim said.

“You don’t mind being there?” Xander asked Spike.

“You couldn’t keep me away, Pet,” Spike said as he gave Xander’s arm calming strokes. “We’ll make it beautiful for all of us.”

Xander looked at Blair and Jim cuddled together on the sofa, Jim was quietly stroking Blair’s arm. He watched the sentinel carefully; he obviously loved Blair and wanted what was best for his guide. “When are we going to do this?” Xander asked.

“Tonight,” Jim said. “I want this stress you're feeling ended as soon as possible, I think we should use one of the nesting rooms at the hospital.”

“The nesting room is a good idea.” Blair said. “But I think we should go after lunch. I need to get used to Spike touching me and I’m pretty sure it will be a lot easier on Xander too, if he gets used to Jim’s touch. The hot tub and the shower will help too. Also, we have more than one night. We shouldn’t force this, we should let it happen.”

Xander shivered at the thought allowing someone, that was not Spike, to touch him and be intimate with him. Jim and Spike could smell his fear and then they smelled his resolve.


It was one p.m. when they arrived at the Sentinel and Guide Hospital. The nest was ready for them. Everyone was feeling a bit self-conscious, so Spike decided to take matters into his own hands. He encircled Xander in a hug and started whispering. “Everything's okay pet,” he said in a soft, soothing voice. “I’m going to take off Blair’s shirt, just his shirt for now. When you’re ready just nod to Jim and he’ll take off your shirt. Okay, Pet?”

Xander managed a breathy yes and then watched as Spike, his sentinel, began to unbutton another guide’s shirt. Xander forced the thought of ‘other’ out of his mind. Blair was a member of his pack and his friend. He was a guide in pain and needed to heal. Xander put aside his fear and awkwardness; he reached out and took Blair’s hand.

Blair looked over at Xander, smiled and gave Xander’s hand a little squeeze. He looked over at Jim and saw he was watching intently for any sign that his guide was too stressed to continue. Spike unbuttoned the last button on Blair’s shirt and looked up at the guide.

Blair looked into Spike’s impossibly blue and expressive eyes and saw the caring and the questions they held. ‘Are you ready? Is it okay to touch you?’ Blair nodded his consent and Spike opened Blair’s shirt and placed his fingertips on Blair’s torso. Blair took a deep breath at the fist sensation of Spike’s touch, he closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them; Spike was looking at him, head tilted, his mouth slightly open with a half smile and Spike’s eyes, so willing to take Blair’s pain away, and still the question was there, ‘should I go on?’

Blair lifted his free hand. “Spike,” he whispered as he stroked the sentinel’s face.

Spike’s hands began to move upward. They slid gently over the peaks and valleys of Blair’s muscles leaving a trail of marvel in their wake. Blair could feel Spike giving of himself. It was healing energy that poured into him and it was a touch that penetrated into Blair’s soul. His eyes opened wide, sentinels weren’t supposed to be healers, but Spike was different, a sentinel, yes, but there was an other worldliness about him. Blair understood, with that touch, that Spike was ‘something more’. As Spike’s hands reached his shoulders and began to slowly slide the shirt down his arms, Xander let go of Blair’s hand and the shirt fell to the floor.

Spike placed his hands back on Blair’s chest. This time the touch was firmer as his hands wandered over Blair’s skin.

Blair reached out and unbuttoned Spike’s shirt and Spike put his arms down by his side as Blair removed the shirt without touching him. He stood in front of Spike; unsure of himself, he looked up at Jim. This was another sentinel not his own, to willingly touch him felt like a betrayal.

Jim understood Blair’s reaction. He walked behind Blair and encircled him in a hug. “We’ll do it together,” he whispered into his guide’s ear. He put his hands on Blair’s shoulders and slid them down Blair’s arms until his palms rested on the back of Blair’s hands and their fingers were between one another. Then he lifted Blair’s hands and gently placed them on Spike’s chest.

The touch was wonderful, Sentinel mixed with Guide; Spike’s breathing slowed and deepened, and for the first time since they arrived Spike felt the familiar throbbing in his cock as it grew harder with each heartbeat.

Jim slid his hands back until it was only Blair’s fingers caressing Spike’s chest. Spike closed his eyes and lost himself in the touch; he let himself float free in the sensation of Blair’s finger ghosting over his skin. Suddenly a vivid picture filled his head. He was helping wounded young women out of a winery and then he heard Xander howl in pain. Spike opened his eyes wide in panic and screamed, “Xander!”

Xander wrapped Spike in a hug. “It’s okay, I’m here, I’m here,” he repeated as he peppered Spike’s face with kisses.

“Oh gods, it was so vivid,” Spike said.

“Lay down with me,” Xander said as he continued to hug and stroke Spike. “And I thought I was the one that was going to be all quirky about being touched,” he said as they reclined in the nest.

“Blair!” Spike said as he suddenly sat up. “Are you alright?”

Blair and Jim knelt down beside Spike. “I’m fine,” Blair said, “but I’m worried about you.”

“What happened?” Jim asked.

“Just one of my vivid past life visions,” Spike said, still shaken from the experience. “I really need to bond with Xan, right now.” Spike lay back down, nuzzled Xander’s neck and began to suckle. Xander closed his eyes and hugged his sentinel.

Jim and Blair lay down beside their pack mates. Blair reached over to give Spike a comforting stroke and Jim began to purr.

After a few minutes of suckling his guide, Spike began to calm and the panic he felt that Xander might be hurt dissipated.

Blair suggested they enjoy the whirlpool and all agreed.

Xander was still dressed, although Spike had undone all the buttons on his shirt. When they stood up Jim helped Xander off with his shirt. His touch was kind and gentle but it held none of the sensuality that Spike showed to Blair and Xander began to wonder if he would be able to bond with Jim.

When the foursome got out of the whirlpool, Jim got a towel and began to dry Xander. “You’re very serious about this,” Xander said, as he watched Jim’s face.

Jim looked into Xander’s eyes. “Is there any other way to be?” Jim asked.

“How about serious with a smidge of pleasure on the side?”

“You’re a guide, you need to be taken care of; it’s a little early to be distracted with pleasure.”

Xander sighed, picked up a towel and began drying Jim off. “I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to say. Doesn’t it please you to take care of a guide?”

“It pleases me to have a job well done,” Jim said.

“Okay, maybe I’m being a little blunt here,” Xander said. “But all serious and no joy makes Xander a stressed out guide. If you know what I mean.”

“You expect me to be happy about this situation?” Jim asked.

Blair opened his mouth to say something but Spike pulled him into a hug. “Shhh,” he whispered into Blair’s ear, “they have to work this out themselves.” Blair remained quiet.

“This isn’t about the situation, this is about me.”

“You’re not MY guide.”

Xander let the anger show in his eyes and his voice. “You are one POMPUS ASS!"

Jim growled a warning.

Xander stepped up nose-to-nose with Jim and growled back. “YOU,” he said, poking Jim in the chest with his finger, “invited my sentinel into your pack, THAT makes me your guide. YOU bonded with my sentinel as your second, THAT makes me your guide.” Xander turned away from Jim and hung his head. “I thought I could do this,” he said, his voice soft and full of pain. “When you called me Xanman at the loft it felt good, for that moment I was sure I could do this. But now you’ve cut me off. I’m nothing to you, you don’t even like me.”

“That’s not true,” Jim said in an equally soft voice. “I do like you. That first day, at the Inn, I remember thinking how lucky Spike was to have found you.”

Xander turned around and walked back to Jim. “Tell me that again,” he said. “But touch me while you do it.”

Jim looked over at Blair, his eyes were full of pain, he finally understood what Xander needed but Xander was right, he had put up a wall. A wall made of fear. Letting himself show feelings to another guide, especially one that he admired as much as he admired Xander, was scary as hell.

Blair gave his consent, “It’s okay Jim,”

Jim put his hand on Xander’s arm and looked into his eyes. “That first day at the Inn,” he said as he stroked Xander’s arm, “I thought about how lucky Spike was to have found you. Since then, learning about your past, I’ve come to admire you and I’m proud that you’re a member of my pack.”

Xander put his hand on Jim’s chest. “Thank you,” he said with a half smile.

Jim felt the warmth and caring of Xander’s soul though his touch. “Xanman,” he whispered and then pulled him into a kiss.

Part Nineteen

Blair watched his sentinel kiss Xander and was undecided about how he felt. He had never seen Jim kiss another guide, man or woman, not even Tara, who he knew that Jim admired enough to ask her to be a surrogate mother of their child. He could see that Jim’s kiss did not have any of the demanding need that Jim had when he kissed him but it did have a kind of passion, not demanding, but a sharing of himself and a willingness to receive from another. Blair doubted that Jim’s willingness to share himself would extend beyond their little quartet but it was still more than Jim was willing to do a month ago. He decided he felt good about the kiss.

Spike watched the kiss and smiled. He was secure in his love for Xander and Xander’s love for him. Xander was his touchstone, his rock. No matter what the storm he could stand firm as long as he had his guide. Jim was a visitor to Rock Xander, but only a visitor, just as he was only a visitor to Jim’s rock, Blair.

Blair was the perfect guide for Jim, warm, friendly and outgoing to Jim’s ‘pompous ass’ demeanor.

But Xander was his perfect guide. Warm, sweet, caring and willing to heal another, even when he himself was in pain. But the biggest reason Xander was perfect for him was because Xander needed him as much as he needed Xander.

The kiss ended and Jim looked into Xander’s eyes and smiled and then he turned to Blair. “Are you all right, Chief?” he asked.

“That was beautiful, man,” Blair said. “I’m proud of you.”

Jim took a step toward his guide and opened his arms. “Proud?” he asked.

Blair stepped into Jim’s arms. “Yes, proud that you were able to open up to him. I know that it’s not easy for you.”

“I was scared of what I would feel for him,” Jim said, burying his face in Blair’s hair. “I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“It’s not the same as what you feel for me,” Blair said. “I could tell by the way you kissed him.”

“No, it’s not the same, Xander is a wonderful person, but he's not my one true guide and he's not my mate. You are.”

“And may I say how glad I am about that,” Xander said with a smile.

Jim looked over at the guide. “Was there something wrong with the kiss?” he asked, deciding to tease Xander a bit.

“No, no, the kiss was great. In a different sort of way than the way kisses are great with Spike. I just mean that is was obvious to me that Blair is a better fit with you than I could ever be.”

“And you, my love,” Spike interrupted, as he wrapped his arms around Xander, “are a better fit to me than Blair could ever be.”

“And don’t you ever forget it,” Xander said with a quick kiss to the tip of Spike’s nose.

“Not bloody likely.” Spike said in a perfect English accent and then began to tickle Xander. Xander broke away and started running around the nesting room, giggling. Spike took off after him and when he caught him the couple fell on the soft floor kissing and pawing at each other. Spike kissed his way down Xander’s torso and captured his guide’s cock in his mouth. Xander lay back to enjoy the sensations Spike was giving him and moaned in pleasure.

Jim and Blair smiled at Spike and Xander’s antics and lay down on the floor themselves. Jim began kissing and stroking Blair. “Do you know how precious you are to me?” he asked his guide.

“Tell me,” Blair whispered.

“I love you,” Jim said, “you’re my shelter in a storm, you keep me sane, you give me control, and I just want to kiss you and make love to you.”

“Then what are you waiting for?” Blair asked.


Two hours later the four sated lovers decided they needed a shower to slough of the remains of their lovemaking. Once in the shower, they again switched partners. This time they were more relaxed and at ease with each other and after drying off they returned to the nesting room to lie together.

Jim’s sentinel behavior kicked in and he began exploring Xander’s body, first with smell and then with touch. He ran his fingers over Xander, patterning him and committing this guide to sentinel memory. Xander attempted to respond with touch, but Jim stopped him, and when Xander looked into the dark blue eyes of the sentinel he understood the bonding had begun so he lay back and allowed Jim to explore him. It was a slow process, the touching, seeing and smelling followed by the tasting. Jim started with Xander’s face and then moved down to his neck. He suckled Xander’s guide gland for a few minutes and then moved down his arms. Each finger was lovingly licked and sucked. Xander was rolled over and a warm wet tongue ran down his back. Each vertebra was counted and licked. The sentinel took particular delight in nipping at the most sensitive areas of Xander’s cheeks before moving down his thighs and on to his toes. It seemed to Xander that Jim wasn’t just sucking and tasting his toes but worshiping them. He looked over at Spike who was watching with such love in his eyes that Xander’s heart filled to nearly bursting.

Jim licked his way up between Xander’s legs and then picked up his legs and put them over his shoulders. He leaned in and began licking Xander’s crack. When he came to Xander’s bud he encircled it with his tongue licking and sucking. Then he laid Xander onto his side and looked at Spike.

Spike understood the summons and moved in behind his guide; he slicked his finger and began making Xander ready as Jim continued to give Xander oral pleasure. When Xander was properly stretched Spike entered him. Jim and Spike synchronized their rhythm and Xander became lost in a bonding thrall.

Blair moved in and began stroking Jim’s weeping erection.

And then Xander felt it. Both sentinels were there in his mind and soul, wanting to protect him and care for him. Xander was overwhelmed with the love he felt from them and he called out Spike’s name as his seed filled Jim’s mouth. Jim and Spike reached their climax together as Spike called to his guide. “I’m here, Pet, I’m here.”

Jim licked the last drops of cum from Xander’s cock and pulled away to look into Xander's eyes, “Are you all right?” he asked.

“Oh gods,” Xander said. “Oh gods that was…intense. I didn’t know you were both going to…”

“It just seemed the right thing to do,” Jim said with a smile that held just a bit of smugness.

“Yeah,” Xander said. “Definitely the right thing.”

“Did it work?” Blair asked. “Are you bonded?”

Jim moved back and placed Blair between him and Xander where he belonged. “Yeah, Chief, we’re bonded, But you’re still my one true guide and my mate.”

Blair snuggled in against Jim. “I didn’t think otherwise,” he said.

The three spent men closed their eyes to rest and fell asleep. Blair tried to sleep with them but sleep was ellusive. He resorted to meditation in an attempt to calm himself but sleep still would not come. He was gradually getting more stressed. He tried to put the lust he felt for Spike behind him. He knew it was a result of Jim’s bond with Spike and his need to share that bond but the frantic need only seemed to become more demanding. And then they woke. All of them could feel a guide in desperate need.

Xander moved out of the way so that Spike and Jim could tend to Blair.

“It’s time, Chief,” Jim said, and with a nudge encouraged Blair to roll over and face Spike.

Spike put his hand on Blair’s shoulder and gently helped him turn over. “Tell me what you need, Blair?” Spike asked, as soon as Blair faced him.

“Do what Jim did for Xander,” Blair said.

Spike could smell Blair’s lust for him. He could feel it pounding through Blair’s body. “You’re not Xander, that’s not what you need. It’s okay, tell me what ‘you’ need.”

“I need to bond with you.”

Spike began kissing Blair as he spoke. “Do you know how beautiful you are?” he said with a kiss. “So warm,” kiss, “caring,” kiss, “so willing to give,” kiss. “And so beautiful to look at.” Spike captured Blair’s mouth in a softly passionate kiss. He brushed his tongue against Blair’s mouth and the guide opened to the sentinel. Their tongues met and danced as Spike slid his hands down Blair’s back and cupped his ass, pulling the guide to him. Their erections rubbed against each other and Blair broke the kiss with a soft moan. Spike nuzzled Blair’s neck and began to suck and nibble at Blair’s guide gland.

“Spike, please,” Blair gasped. “I can’t, I’m not supposed to want you like this.”

“It’s okay, Chief,” Jim said as Spike continued suckling and rubbing his erection against Blair’s. “You need to bond with him; you have to let go.”

Something inside Blair snapped, as if Jim’s words had broken a barrier; he could no longer hold back his need. He pulled Spike’s head away from his neck and captured his mouth in a brutal kiss. He sucked in Spike’s lower lip and worried it between his teeth as he rolled Spike onto his back with him on top. He wiggled down’s Spike torso and sucked in one of Spike’s nipples. He sucked hard and when the nipple was swollen and tender he bit into it.

Jim had never seen Blair be brutal. He reached out for his guide but Xander stopped him. “Let him take what he needs,” Xander said, empathically feeling Blair’s need.

Spike allowed Blair to take control. He simply held the guide and gently stroked him as he took what he needed. Spike hissed from the sting when Blair bit his nipple but then suddenly it wasn’t Blair on top of him in the nesting room but a blond woman in an alley. “That’s right, Luv,” Spike said to the woman, but it was Blair that heard the words. “Let me have it. Give it to me; give it to me good, give it all to me.”

And then as suddenly as it started it was over. Blair stopped, looked at Spike and gave a heartfelt moan as he pushed away and rolled off of Spike. Spike blinked; the alley and the woman disappeared and he was back in the nesting room.

“I hurt you,” the guide said in a pain filled voice.

“No, Love, no,” Spike said, as he sat up and pulled Blair to him. “You just got some things out of your system that’s all.” Spike stroked and planted little kisses on Blair’s face as he talked. “I’m all right.”

“I was so angry at you,” Blair said. “And even more angry at myself.”

“Why would you be angry at yourself?” Jim asked. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You have to tell him,” Spike said, “or what happened just now will come back on you.”

“What I feel isn’t real,” Blair said. “It’s because of your bond with Jim.”

“What is it that’s not real?” Jim asked. “If it’s not real why not tell me?”

Blair looked at his sentinel. “When we talked about doing this,” he said, “Xander and I said it wasn’t what we wanted but it was what we needed. It would have been more accurate for me to say I don’t want to want it.”

Jim pulled his guide into a hug. “It’s okay, Chief,” he said. “I can’t fault you for it, when I wanted it myself.”

“Jim,” Blair said, his anguish at what he was about to say was evident. “I need to bond with Spike. I don’t understand why I have this drive. I’ve tried to push it away. It just keeps coming back harder. I don’t know what it is but it just… won’t… stop. I just feel like… Ohhh,” gave a pain filled moan, “I can’t feel a part of you, Jim. It’s like a big dark room and Spike is the key… My gut tells me I have to bond with him. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve tried to push it away, Jim, honest I’ve tried, but it just comes back, even stronger.”

Jim was overwhelmed with concern for his guide. “That’s why we’re here, Chief, so you can bond with Spike,” he said as he stroked Blair.

Blair hung his head. “I think I need more than what you did with Xander,” he whispered.

Confusion mixed with concern for Blair flooded Jim’s emotions. “What are you saying, guide?” Jim asked. “You want the sentinel to claim you?”

“I want to be his second,” Blair said, “He’s your second, I want to be his.”

Anger suddenly welled up in Jim. “Two sentinel’s can’t claim the same guide!” Jim growled.

“Let him do it,” Xander whispered.

“What?” Jim asked, as anger, worry and confusion swirled into a kaleidoscope of feelings “You want Spike to claim him?”

“I want Blair to live, that black place where Blair can’t touch you, that’s death,” Xander said. “Something dangerous is coming, I feel it. We need this; the pack needs this. If Spike doesn’t claim Blair he won’t survive.”

“Xan,” Blair said, “I never wanted to hurt you.”

“You’re not hurting me, Blair,” Xander said. “Really it’s okay, It would hurt me more to lose you as a friend.”

“Are you sure about this?” Jim asked as worry for his guide won the battling emotions.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m 8.9 sure.” Xander said.

“Hazard detection,” Blair said.

Xander nodded.

“Do you know what the danger is?” Spike asked.

“No,” Xander said, “I don’t even know when, could be tomorrow, could be next year.”

Jim got up and started pacing; Blair sat on the floor, cross-legged, watching him.

Jim stopped pacing and ran his fingers through his hair. He looked down at his guide. “Can this drive you have to bond with Spike be your hazard detection kicking in?”

“I’m not as sensitive as Xander, but yeah, it could be,” Blair said. “It would explain a lot.”

“Then do it,” Jim said, determined to do what was best for his guide.

Spike got up and walked over to Jim. “Blair’s your guide now and he’ll be your guide when this is done. It’s why we did this in the first place, to keep our guides safe. This is just one more step.”

Jim looked into Spike’s eye’s. “If it were anyone else I’d kill him,” he said as a statement of fact.

“If it were anyone else,” Spike said, “I’d help you.”

Jim pulled Spike into a passionate kiss. “Brothers,” he said when the kiss ended.

“Brothers,” Spike repeated with a nod.

Xander walked over and put his hand on Spike’s shoulder. “Make it beautiful,” he said with a smile.

Spike pulled Xander into a hug, “You’re mine,” he whispered, “ and always will be.”

“And you’re mine,” Xander said, “And always will be.”

“I need to do this now, Pet,” Spike said.

“I know,” Xander said and turned to Jim. “You won’t be able to help, they have to do this alone.”

Jim took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he attempted to resign himself to Blair being claimed by Spike. “I know the drill,” he said in a clipped military style, his fists clenching and unclenching.

“You don’t have to watch this,” Xander said. “We can go to the cafeteria or another room and I’ll hold you if you like.”

“I’m not leaving this room,” Jim said through clenched teeth, and then calmed himself. “Holding me would be good. I think I need a guide’s touch.”

Xander reached out and began stroking the distraught sentinel. “We’ll sit over here,” he said as he took Jim’s hand and led him toward the nest wall.

Jim’s eyes never left Spike and Blair as he slid himself into a sitting position against the wall. He watched as Spike began to suckle and Blair’s pheromones filled the air. He gave a soft moan as the sentinel call of ‘Guide!’ rose within him and his eyes turned to the dark blue black of a sentinel in thrall. Jim began to stand but Xander pulled him back.

“Whoa, big guy, you need to stay with me,” Xander said.

The sentinel looked at Xander, and then Xander realized it wasn’t Jim he was talking to but an ancient sentinel’s soul. “You’re not mine,” the sentinel said and once more tried to go to Blair.

“Do we have to have this conversation again? I am yours!” Xander put his hand over Jim’s heart and sent healing energy. “Feel it?”

The sentinel’s eyes opened wide as he looked at Xander and then at Blair and back to Xander. “I need my guide,” he said, as he lay Xander down on the nesting floor, nuzzled into Xander’s neck and began to suckle.

Spike was lost in a bonding thrall with a guide that was his but not his own. He touched and stroked Blair’s body, patterning it and committing the feel to memory. The hill and valley of each muscle was traced and with sentinel sensitive fingers and tongue. Each sound, breath, heartbeat, moan and word, were indelibly etched into the sentinel’s memory. Each taste and smell were cataloged and filed for instant recognition when future need arose.

And with each lick, smell, and touch Blair could feel the sentinel’s joy of bonding with a guide. Blair was awash with the feelings that bombarded him and sunk into his mind.

Spike took Blair’s cock into his mouth, and made love to it. He reveled in the feel of Blair’s jewels rolling over his tongue and the sound of pleasure that escaped as he returned to Blair’s cock to lick more pre-cum from the sensitive tip.

Spike's slick fingers slipped into the guide reading him, and one word escaped from Blair’s lips, “Please.”

Spike crawled toward the Guide, his finger turned under, his eyes blue-black, his muscles taunt.

For a moment it was a golden cougar that crawled toward Blair and then it was Spike again, his pure sexual energy so beautiful that Blair gasped and his heart skipped a beat.

Spike kissed Blair as he stoked their cocks and coated them with lube, and then he got into position, put Blair’s legs on his shoulder and claimed his second guide.

Spike slid into Blair, body and mind. Emotions seemed to collapse inward and explode outward at the same time. And with each stroke Spike became more a part of Blair until he cried out, “Sentinel,” and his seed burst from him.

And Spike answered the call, “Guide.”

Part Twenty

Blair was glowing and at peace for the first time since Jim had bonded with Spike. He cuddled in Spike’s arms for a few minutes as Spike stroked and kissed him.

“You’re beautiful when you glow,” Spike said.

“And when I’m not glowing?” Blair asked teasingly.

“You’re beautiful then too.” Spike kissed Blair on the forehead. “I have to go to Xander now, Love.”

“And I need to get back to Jim. I’m surprised he’s not over here already.”

The pair got up and turned toward Jim and Xander. Xander lay with his back against the nest wall. Jim was holding him, protecting him with his body but both could see the unmistakable glow emanating from Xander.

“It’s only fair,” Blair whispered, when he felt the sudden cringe of emotions emanating from Spike. “You claimed me.”

“You wanted me to claim you and your sentinel gave me permission,” Spike said.

He could hear Xander whisper, “Let me go to him.”

And Jim’s answer, “I’ll take care of it, Xan.”

Spike walked over to Jim. “Sauce for the goose, Jim?” he asked in a tone that was neither friendly nor confrontational. It was as if he were asking a stranger for the time.

“I needed him and he gave himself to me,” Jim said, without turning to face Spike and then he kissed Xander and stood up to look into Spike’s eyes. “If you have a problem with that, you have it with me, not with the guide.”

Xander got up and started to walk toward Spike. Jim put his arm out and stopped him.

“Spike said he’d be proud of me if you ever needed me and I could help,” Xander said to Jim. “He’d never hurt me. He’s my sentinel, let me go to him.”

Jim put his arm down and Xander walked into Spike’s embrace.

“Are you okay, Pet?” Spike asked.

“Ummm,” Xander said as he laid his head on Spike’s shoulder.

Spike took Xander’ head in both hands and looked into his eyes, “Xan,” he asked in a soft but firm voice. “Are…you…okay?”

Xander understood what he was asking, “It wasn’t ugly, Spike, he didn’t force me and he didn’t hurt me.”

Spike pulled Xander back into his embrace. “I’m proud of you, Pet,” Spike said with a smile and then he looked up at Jim. “He’s not like other guides,” he said.

“No, he’s not,” Jim said. “He’s astounding.”


Ethan Rayne had everything arranged. Monday was a go. The lucky thing was he would not have to leave the country, but the military refused to reveal their exact plans to Rayne. A black ops team from the U.S. Military would take care of everything. And he had full lab facilities available, all he had to do was supply the research scientist, himself included, and the notes on the progress he had made so far. In less than twenty-four hours Xander would be his, and this time there would be no interference and no escape.


Monday morning the detectives were working on the guide abuse case when a call came in that there was a silent alarm at The National Savings Bank on Main Street. The guides were told to wait at the station where they would be safe from a possible shootout while all the sentinels and several uniformed officers sped to the bank.

The black ops team entered the building as soon as it emptied out. They carried Theta brainwave blockers to impede Xander’s hazard detection and dart guns that would knock out anyone still in the building as well as erase memory for up to ten minutes before they were attacked. The operation went smoothly. All the guides were together and Xander never sensed them coming. The guides were tranquilized and Xander was carried out of the building and put into a van, the team got away without incident.

When the sentinels got to the bank they found it was a false alarm. Spike sensed that something was wrong and cursed himself for not keeping his guide close by. He and Jim started back to the station immediately. A traffic accident, arranged by the black ops team, had backed up traffic and the sentinels had to go several blocks out of their way to get around it. When they got back to the station they found chaos. Jim and Spike didn’t wait to see what had happened, they ran to their guides.

The smell of drugs was everywhere. Tara and Blair had just woken up and were attending to Rafe when the sentinels arrived.

“Where’s Xander,” Spike asked with barely contained rage.

“I don’t know,” Tara said, “I was the first to wake up and he wasn’t here.”

“What happened?” Blair asked.

“They took Xander,” Spike growled and hurried away.

Jim and Blair followed. “Where are you going?” Jim asked.

“To get him,” Spike said.

“We don’t know where to look,” Jim said.

They had reached the sidewalk and Spike stopped. Blair felt relieved that Jim had managed to keep Spike from going rogue. Spike shook out his arms, closed his eyes, took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “This way,” Spike said, when he opened his eyes and then he started walking.

“I don’t smell him,” Jim said and grabbed Spike’s arm.

When Spike turned to face Jim his eyes were ablaze with yellow fire.

“What the hell?” Blair said.

‘Ell is what they asked for; ‘ell is what they’re gona’ get,” Spike said with an English accent. “I don’t ‘ave to smell him; if ‘e’s anywhere on this sodden planet I’ll find ‘im” Spike started walking again.

“Stay with him,” Jim said to Blair, “I’ll get the truck.”

“Spike wait,” Blair said when he caught up with Spike. “Jim will come with the truck and we’ll look together.”

Spike stopped and nodded his agreement.

“Um, your eyes are yellow. I’ve never seen a sentinel’s eyes turn yellow, darken to nearly black, but never yellow.”

“The buggers took Xan,” Spike said, as if that explained everything.

“And you’re talking with an English accent.”

Spike turned and looked into Blair’s eyes, “You have a problem with that, Luv?”

“I’m just wondering if I’m still talking to Sentinel Detective William Spikeman?”

Jim drove up and the two men got in. “Take the highway, west, toward the abandoned army base,” Spike said

Blair wasn’t about to let his question go unanswered. “Are you William Spikeman?” he asked again.

“You won’t believe me if I told you.”

“We know you’re different,” Blair said. “We’re both bonded to you. You can tell us anything.”

“I’m Spike,” he said, resigned to the fact that Blair wouldn’t just let the matter drop. “Also known, in my last life, as William the Bloody. I choose to come here, to be a sentinel. I told her I wanted to keep all my mystical abilities, to do that, she had to make the demon a part of me. But she couldn’t wipe the memories from the demon so sometimes I remember.”

“Demon?” Jim asked. “You’re telling us you’re part demon?”

“Told ya’, ya’ wouldn’t believe me.”

“I believe you,” Blair said.

“You can’t lie to me, Luv,” Spike said, “I claimed you as my own.”

“Well, it is kind of hard to accept,” Blair said, sorry he'd attempted to lie.

Spike took his eyes from the road and looked at Blair. “Then why are my eyes yellow, Luv?”

“He’s telling us the truth, Chief,” Jim said. “I saw him kill the hit man in the parking garage. He’s faster and stronger than he should be and we both sense an other worldliness about him.”

“Spike’s no demon, Jim, he’s a healer. A meta-physical being… that I can believe, but he’s no demon.”

Spike laughed at the irony of Blair’s words. “Okay, Luv, meta-physical being it is then.”

“It was you that came out at the nesting room while we were healing Xander, wasn’t it?” Blair asked.

“That was me, Luv.”

“But your eyes weren’t yellow then.”

“Didn’t want to kill anyone then,” Spike hissed.

Blair shivered from the venom he heard in Spike’s voice. “And you do now?”

“My kind don’t tolerate anyone taking what’s ‘rs; most won’t admit it but we ‘ave a strong sense of family. ‘Urt what’s mine and ya’ won’t live long enough t’ regret it.” Spike looked over at Jim. “Get off at the next exit and turn north,” he said in a tone that made it clear he expected to be obeyed.

Jim didn’t know how Spike was tracking Xander but he had no doubt that when they got to whereever they were going Xander would be there.

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