Disclaimer: We don't own any of these guys, they are the brainchild and property of: Rysher, Panzer/Davis, Greg Widen, Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, Paramount, Pet Fly Productions, UPN and a bunch of other people. No money made, no harm intended. It's all in good fun, don't take us too seriously.

Attention: This is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Expect things to be wacky.

That said, this story takes place in it's own time period. Zen&nancy no longer feel the need to comply to TPTB's time lines.

Story title and lyrics borrowed without permission from Bob Marley (r.i.p.)

Mucho thanks to Suze for always being there, and to MoonPuppy, who is crazy enough to be resident beta at the House Of Slack, and the wonderful people who have written us, we're still in shock that people like this soap opera.

Vive la RSM!

Three Little Birds

Part 36

By Zen&nancy

Two Weeks Later...

Blair strode across campus towards the parking lot, feeling exceptionally happy about having the afternoon off. He felt free of guilt for the unexpected free time; it had been his full intention to spend all afternoon with his Anthro 101 students, watching a film. A film he'd ordered early last week, and which the department had promised him would be available. It wasn't, and since he didn't have anything prepared for a back up plan, he'd been forced to set them free. Laughing to himself as his students rushed for the door, Blair refused to be discouraged by their joy in being spared his film and lecture. It was a beautiful day, cold, but exceptionally clear and sunny, without the usual dampness of winter in Seacouver.

Dumping his backpack in the back seat, Blair contemplated what he might do with his afternoon. Duncan was teaching, on the other side of campus, and Jim was already on duty at this hour. He could go to the library, or stop by Joe's bar for a cold beer and a sandwich. Both sounded good, but as he pulled out of the lot, an idea occurred to him. Blair hadn't forgotten a single word of what Adam had said to him on New Year's Eve. In fact, he'd thought about little else. This seemed like an ideal time to see if he could persuade the reticent Immortal to elaborate on those little tidbits of wisdom.

Adam answered Blair's knock in a white terry cloth bathrobe provided by the hotel for their more affluent guests. He seemed pleasantly surprised to see Blair, and quickly invited him in.

"Hi Adam. Where's Amanda?"

"Shopping, eternally. You'd think she'd give up and just fly to New York. Something about a quest for a diamond brooch. I ask as few questions as possible. What are you doing making social calls in the middle of the day?"

"Had to cancel my afternoon lecture; film department screwed me over on a request I put in four days early. Happens all the time, Anthro gets no respect," Blair kidded, following Adam into the luxury suite. He took a seat in a very comfortable armchair, declining Adam's offer of a beer. "No thanks, too early. I hope you don't mind me just stopping by. I thought maybe we could talk some more, about your experience with Sentinels."

"It's never too early." Adam told him, settling into the corner of the sofa with a fresh bottle from the bar. "So you've come seeking knowledge," Adam's voice was thick with sarcasm, and Blair thought that a few weeks ago, that remark would have annoyed the hell out of him. Now, he only smiled, shaking his head in denial.

"Nope. I mean, I don't care how old you are... you're still just a guy, right?"

Adam gave him a strange look, tilting his head to the side to regard him with hooded, curious eyes. "Yes."

"Okay, good. So, I just thought maybe you'd be in the mood to tell stories, relive some old memories, whatever... If you don't, it's still a gorgeous day, and I don't have anything I have to do. Maybe you wanna go to the zoo, or the museum. I could give you the tourists tour, if you haven't done that stuff yet."

Adam smiled at him, obviously entertained. The man had a funny, offbeat kind of charm. Blair was beginning to understand why Duncan had such a hard time putting a finger on it, when he asked Duncan to name what it was about the older Immortal he was drawn to.

Adam regarded him with speculative, raised eyebrows. "No regression? No hypnosis therapy? I've heard about you."

Blair had to laugh, shrugging his shoulders in a small attempt at self-defense. "No, I promise. Whatever you want to give me."

Adam shifted to stare at him with suddenly piercing eyes. "What do you want to know?"

Blair felt as though he was being put to the test, but he didn't understand why, or exactly how the results were going to be evaluated. "Well... You've given me reason to believe, on two separate occasions, that you feel that I'm doing something wrong with Jim. I need to know what. I'm getting the idea, you said we've got it backwards... and lately, some things have been happening between us that would definitely support that theory, but I need to understand why."

"That's a very tall order, Mr. Sandburg." Adam's voice was affectionate, letting him know that he wasn't playing with him anymore.

"Well, then, how about you just tell me about your Sentinel."

Adam frowned, and for a moment Blair was sure he'd flunked. He waited, trying to be patient, while Adam stared at him, a completely unreadable expression hidden under the surface of indifferent detachment. Blair thought that by now it must be almost impossible to break that facade, to startle any kind of spontaneous reaction out of those precise features. Finally, Adam rose from the sofa, speaking rather sharply, "Well, if you're going to insist, let me at least have the protection of clothing before the interrogation begins."

Before Blair could deny the charges, his host had disappeared into the adjoining room, closing the door behind him. Blair fiddled with the straps of his backpack, looking around the comfortable, stylish hotel room and wondering nervously how to put the unreadable, mercurial Adam at ease. There had to be a way, something that would make Adam want to tell him what he knew. Blair thought about that for a moment; what Adam knew could be a totally inexhaustible amount of knowledge, of a proportion that had never existed in any written form. If Adam's memory was anything like Duncan's, he knew more than anyone else Blair was ever going to meet about the evolution of humanity, society and culture. For a moment the realization rocked him into a kind of stupefied wonder, and then sensibility got the best of him, and he told himself to put any crazy ideas about personal study out of his head.

Adam returned only a few minutes later, in baggy jeans and a cable knit sweater. Detouring around the sofa to the bar for another bottle, he seemed unaware of Blair's eyes, following him. Blair took a deep breath, telling himself to relax.

Adam came back to sit with him, and beat Blair to it when he started to speak.

"Let me ask you a question, Blair, about your Sentinel."

"Fair enough, hit me."

"How did you find him?" Adam's eyes pinned him, making Blair want to squirm in his chair.

"It just happened, it was just sorta fate, I guess. I stumbled on him. Well, not even me, this T.A. that I was, well, shtupping, she was doing work in the E.R. at the hospital when he walked in complaining about his senses going wiggy, and she knew my field of study... So I ran right down there and borrowed a lab coat and told him Dr. Sandburg was the only one who could help him, gave him my card and booked. Of course, the second time I saw him he put me up against a wall and threatened my life, but that's incidental."

"No, actually it's very relevant. Are you really telling me that you just happened to meet him, it wasn't planned, you didn't hunt him down?"

"Adam, right up until I got him to agree to let me test his responses, I had no substantial proof that what I was looking for even existed. He just fell into my lap, man. Karmic collision."

"Good God. How the hell did he survive alone, up until then?"

"He repressed them, after they finally got him out of Peru. His senses were dormant for close to five years. He came to the hospital when they first started coming back online, thinking he'd been poisoned or drugged or something."

"A good assumption."

"Yeah, well, it really was just fate. It turned out the place I was renting was right next door to these guys he was trying to bust. My place sorta got blown up in the course of events, and I moved in with him."

"Do you understand how remarkable that is?"

"No, I guess I don't. Explain it to me, Adam."

"A Sentinel was given to his Guide at birth, or as soon as they're weaned, to be raised. A Sentinel never left his Guide's side, not from birth to death, under natural circumstances. In the place I lived, it was assumed that a Sentinel would immediately go insane if left alone. They need to connect, to use you as a reference point, a place to call home, psychologically speaking. They're not even considered full members of the tribe, not of any direct genealogy. Actually, they were thought of as a part of the other, the guide or watcher; one person made up of Guide, the dominant, and Sentinel, the submissive, both forms of the same function, to watch and protect."

"That's amazing," Blair leaned forward excitedly in his chair, shifting to cross his legs beneath him. "So you're saying a Sentinel wasn't regarded as an individual, without a Guide."

"I'm saying they were regarded as the property of their caretakers. They were throwbacks, and the elders of the tribes knew that. Mental stability isn't even the question, it was understood that these people had more connection to the natural world than the intellectual one."

"They were thought of as animals?"

"Well, nearly. Watchdogs, I suppose," Methos shrugged, looking somewhat uncomfortable with Blair's questioning.

"You were a Guide, weren't you? At least once." Almost instantly, Blair was certain that he was right, and for a moment the unreadable Adam was transparent. He shifted defensively, drawing his legs up from his sprawl, hands on his knees. He was nervous. Something about Sentinels upset him, more than upset...

"Yes, once. And then he died, just like every other mortal I've ever known." Hazel eyes squinted at him, and Blair told himself that this anger wasn't really aimed at him, it was just anger. He was walking on thin ice here, and he knew it, but he pushed a little farther.

"How? What happened?"

"He was killed by an enemy's arrow... We both were." Adam stopped abruptly, almost as if he hadn't realized he was speaking out loud.

Blair thought it was probably smart to stop now, Adam didn't look like he wanted to answer any more questions, and if he pushed too far, he might never talk to him about Guides and Sentinels again. It was information Blair was sure he needed, and if he had to, he would wait for it. Wait until Adam knew him better, until he trusted him. Blair remembered that Duncan had said he was the only person Adam trusted, and promised himself he would do whatever he could to change that. He was starting to realize that he wanted to be Adam's friend.

Duncan waited impatiently for the lift to carry him up to the fifth floor. He was returning from his Thursday night lecture, which ran until ten o'clock. He'd requested a night course this semester so that he could see more of Jim and Blair. Blair was teaching all afternoon and evening classes, and mostly keeping up with Jim's erratic schedule. Officially, Jim's shift was three to eleven, but as Jim had warned him, his schedule revolved around the job, catching the criminal, not the time clock. Duncan was hoping he'd be home tonight, along with Blair. He hadn't seem both of them at once for the last three days. Even with all of them trying to coordinate their work schedules, it wasn't always easy.

Duncan's face split into a wide grin when he pulled up the gate. Jim was face down on the bed, laying on his stomach with his head hanging over the foot of the bed. Shirtless and barefoot, getting what looked like a very serious back rub from Blair, who was also shirtless and straddling his hips. Blair looked up, greeting him with a happy smile and a wave.

"Hi handsome. Welcome home."

"Thank you. How was your day, Jim?"

"Hmm... Hi Duncan. Rough. Blair, don't stop... Uhhh, yeah, Harder."

"This is solid rock, what am I supposed to do, get a pick and start chipping?"

Duncan laughed, hanging up his coat and kicking his shoes off. He came over to sit on the edge of the bed. "Want me to take over for awhile?"

"That'd be great, my arms are ready to give out here. It's good to see you, how was your day?" Blair didn't give him time to answer, leaning over to wrap his arms around his shoulders and into a long hug and a kiss hello.

"Mmm, good, but I missed you."

Blair laughed, giving him a delighted smile. He moved off Jim's back, offering his place. "He's all yours."

"My, my, quite a gift," Duncan teased back, laying his hands flat on Jim's back to say hello as he straddled his hips, pushing his flattened palms slowly up either side of Jim's spine.

"Ahh... He's selling me off, huh?" Jim turned his head to smile at Mac over his shoulder.

"Yep. I got you for a song," Duncan chuckled, digging deeply into the heavy muscles of Jim's shoulders. "Rough day, superman?"

"Uhh, harder. Chased this guy for six blocks, up onto a roof, ended up pulling him up off the side, hanging five stories up. Thought my shoulders were gonna come right out of their sockets. Guy weighed about two hundred pounds."

"I told him he should have waited for Rita, but he doesn't listen to me."

"Rita was on the fire escape, doing her job, reading the other guy his rights. The skinny one."

Duncan laughed, shaking his head. "You love it."

"Yep. Mmm, that feels so good."

"So how are things going with your new partner?" Duncan asked, his own muscles flexing as he manipulated the rocks in Jim's shoulders, moving the tight muscles in slow circles until they relaxed.

"Great. Rita Jackson is one tough cookie. Not a bad cop, either."

"That's great. I'm glad it's working out." Duncan knew that Jim hadn't been happy about getting a new partner. He'd had some serious reservations, but after the first few days his attitude had changed dramatically. Blair had met Rita, she'd come over last week for lasagna, but he'd been teaching a class in the dojo and missed the chance to meet her.

Jim groaned in delight, "Oh Mac, right there, that's the spot."

"Uh-huh..." Duncan dug into the stubborn knot, patiently walking his fingers back and forth until he felt the tension releasing.

Jim's groans of appreciation continued as Duncan's strong hands fought the bunched up muscles in his back. Slowly, Duncan worked his way down, kneading each group of muscles until Jim was totally relaxed. Shaking out his hands, Duncan placed his palm flat at the bottom of Jim's spine, the other hand curled around his shoulder to ease him backwards as he pushed. Jim's vertebrae popped with a loud noise, and he moaned in pleasure, relaxing back onto the mattress. "I don't know how the hell you do that, Mac, but it feels incredible. Nobody else has ever been able to make my back pop."

"It's a gift," Duncan chuckled, lifting himself off of Jim.

"Hey, gifted guy, I'm heating up dinner for you. Are you hungry?"

Duncan laughed, not at all offended by Blair's teasing. "Yeah, I'm starving. Did you cook?"

"Lasagna. We saved you a big piece," Blair assured him, getting the covered dish out of the refrigerator.

"I adore you," Duncan told him, coming up behind his lover to give him a squeeze.

"Me or my lasagna?"

"Both, of course."

Blair turned in his arms, hugging him hard. If felt so incredibly good, to come home to Blair, to have his smile and the happiness in his eyes when he told him, "That's good."

"Did Jim fall asleep?" Blair asked quietly, looking up to his lover, who was facing in that direction.

"Think so. We should let him."

Blair nodded against his shoulder, holding onto him for another minute, until the microwave beeped. "Eat your dinner, I'll sit with you."

Duncan retrieved his food from the microwave, transferred his dinner to a plate and brought it to the table. His lover came to stand behind him while he was pouring himself a glass of milk. Blair's arms wrapped around his waist, his forehead resting between Duncan's shoulder blades. "I went over to see Adam today."

"Really? Did you have a good time?" Duncan returned the milk to the refrigerator, thinking that even Methos couldn't be entirely resistant to Blair's charm. Eventually, they were going to be friends. Blair was too persistent to be refused.

"Yeah, it was very enlightening. Let me get him facing the right way on the bed and I'll tell you all about it."

Duncan nodded, smiling. He watched Blair cross the room to take Jim's hand, hanging off the edge of the bed. "Hey, buddy, let's turn around, huh? Come on, I'll help," Blair whispered to Jim, who barely woke up at all.

Duncan ate his dinner, listening to Blair's patient murmur as he got Jim turned around and began taking his clothes off for him. "Yeah, I know, you don't wanna wake up. Just lift your hips up for me, big guy. There we go... Uh huh, shirt too." Jim was mostly asleep, but he rolled and lifted and let Blair move him around until he'd lost all his clothes and was tucked under the covers. Blair kissed his temple, pulling the blankets up around Jim's shoulders. "Happy dreams. I love you."

Duncan was moved by the devotion that Blair showed while he was doing these little things for Jim. He realized that one thing Blair had become expert at over the last two months was taking care of his Sentinel, especially now that Jim was learning to let him. Since they'd brought Jim here, so much had changed. Blair doted on Jim, but in a very matter of fact way. He made it seem normal for him to do things like tuck Jim into bed, or stuff a bagel into Jim's mouth on mornings when making love caused him to be running late for work. Instead of making him jealous, all these things only made him love Blair more. It was his endless capacity for caring that never ceased to amaze Duncan.

When Blair came back to join him at the table he was quiet, resting his head on his hands, looking content to sit with him and watch him eat.

"This is delicious."

"Thanks. Wanna take a hot bath with me after you eat?" Blair's voice was just above a whisper, his eyes sparkling merrily at him across the table.

"I'd love to. I want to hear all about your day."

His lover was quiet while he finished his dinner, smiling when their eyes met, but seeming deep in his thoughts. He didn't seem upset, just serious. Duncan drank the last of his milk, curious about what had Blair thinking so hard. He could almost see the gears turning. He put his plate in the sink, going back to the table where Blair was still lost in his thoughts.

"Hey, is there anybody in there?" Duncan asked softly, smiling down at him from behind his chair. "Bath time?"

"Yeah, definitely," Blair smiled, deep blue eyes moving slowly down his body and back up. It made him feel so good, the way his lover looked at him. "Sorry, I was just thinking."

"Tell me," Duncan answered, taking Blair's hand to pull him to his feet.

Blair followed him into the bathroom, waiting until they had both stripped out of their clothes and were settled in the big, claw footed tub, the water level rising slowly around them.

"I had to cancel Anth101 today, film department never got that documentary I ordered. I didn't know what else to do with myself, so I went to visit Adam."

"Did you see Amanda, too? How are they getting along?" Duncan hoped that Methos and Amanda were taking care of each other. It was very possible that by now they were at each other's throats.

"She wasn't there when I got there, she was shopping, but she came back before I left. They seem like they're having a lot of fun, they tease each other a lot. Amanda's good for him, isn't she?"

Duncan smiled, reaching out to clasp Blair's hand across the lip of the tub. They were seated at either end, their knees drawn up and their toes touching under the water. "Yes, I think she is. What did you and Adam talk about?"

"Well, you know, Sentinels... He told me some pretty amazing things. I think I'm still trying to process it all, and understand how it relates to what's happening with us."

 "Like what?" Duncan probed, playing with Blair's fingers.

Blair's foot slid slowly up and down his calf, caressing him under the water. "You really want to know?"

"Of course. I'm curious."

Blair heightened his curiosity by blushing. "Well, uh, okay, if you really want to know... He said I'm supposed to be the dominant one. Like, completely."


Blair shrugged, at a loss how to express the kind of picture Adam had painted in his mind. "That's just the way it works. Or it's supposed to work. I don't know; I'm having kind of a hard time putting history in perspective here. It's hard to say what is and isn't relevant to us, in the modern world. You know?"

Duncan nodded, frowning a little as he thought. "I think that matters of tradition are only important as long as they suit the needs of people."

"Me too, but I also think that understanding patterns of behavior is the key to really understanding how this Guide-Sentinel thing works. I mean, I know there's a got to be a genetic blueprint in there somewhere, and then there's environment, but I think before any of that stuff there has to be a more intimate connection, something that would transcend hundreds of years and modern civilization."

"And what is that?" Duncan prompted quietly, his fingers trailing gently up and down his lover's thigh under the water.

"It's a bond, it's a power exchange and absolute dependence, unbreakable trust... more than that. It's hard to put into words. I think it's hard to define the kind of relationship I'm talking about it modern terms... let alone live it," Blair sighed, and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them his expression relaxed and he smiled, locating Duncan's hand to hold under the water. "Anyway, I'm not going to worry about it."

Duncan chuckled, shaking his head and the utter impossibility of his lover's declaration. "That's a laugh."

Blair's smile widened, but he shook his head solemnly. "No, I mean it, whatever we're doing right or wrong, I'm happy. Besides, when I think about how bad things got... I'm just amazed that it all turned out so good, and I'm grateful. I think I'm really, really lucky."

Duncan spoke without any hesitation, "I'm the one who's lucky, lucky to have you in my life. You are the greatest gift Immortality has given me, Caro."

Blair squeezed his hand hard, and then turned himself around in the tub so he was resting his back against Duncan's chest. He felt Blair relaxing against him; his knees pulled up so his feet were flat against the bottom of the tub, under the warm bath water. Duncan appreciated how perfectly his cock fit into the small of Blair's back. He felt so good, so heavenly to hold under the water, slick skin and the hollow contour of his backbone to press against, where his cock could slide up and down, nestled into his lover's body.

"Mmm, this is nice." Duncan stroked his fingers through the wet strands Blair's hair, covering his own chest with it's length.

"Yeah," Blair sighed, his eyes closed and a small smile on his face. Duncan never wanted to let this moment go, it was too perfect. The back of Blair's head rested against his collarbone, and Duncan had to tilt Blair's head back to look at him. Blair looked utterly content, not a single line creasing his forehead. His lover sighed, and turned his face to press a kiss to the hollow above his collar bone.

"I don't think I want to get out of this water. You should take baths with me more often," Blair spoke softly, his hands reaching up to thread through his hair, pulling Duncan down to his lips. Soft, wet kisses, and the slide of Blair's tongue against his lips. Duncan made a happy sound of approval and agreement as he reached for Blair's hands, removing them from his hair and covering them with his own, then guiding them to cover Blair's groin.

"Relax; let me love you, Blair." Duncan nibbled on Blair's neck as he spoke softly, trying to lull Blair into a state of bliss with his body and his voice. "Let me show you how precious you are to me."

Blair responded by rolling his head to the side, giving Duncan full access to his neck and throat. His hips thrust into their clasped hands, causing Duncan to follow the movement with his own body, so he wouldn't lose contact with Blair's back. The water sloshed in the tub as they set a lazy rhythm, their bodies slowly sliding against each other.

"Oh yeah, Duncan," Blair let go of Duncan's hands, reaching up to grip tightly in Duncan's hair. Duncan bit an especially tender spot on Blair's throat and the hands in his hair responded with quick tug. The flash of pain went straight to Duncan's groin, and he stroked Blair harder under the water. His fingers teased the head, and Blair let out a breathy moan.

Another shift, and Duncan's hips ground into Blair's back as the pull on his hair became even more demanding. "Ah, Blair," Duncan growled into the soft wet hair that hid Blair's ear from him. "Let it all go love, let me see you wild, Caro. I need you so much, need you..."

Duncan lost the words in his throat as Blair arched in his grip, his hands countering the action with another sharp pull on his scalp. Duncan had been stroking Blair's cock slowly in his left hand, teasing his head with little pinches and pets with his right. Now he switched his grip, pumping the swollen shaft steadily in his closed fist while his left hand moved up to Blair's nipples, pinching them hard enough to share the sensation of the sharp tugs on his hair.

"Mmm, oh man, Duncan! Oh, oh you get me so fucking hard, Duncan. I wanna... wanna come for you so bad," Blair cried out softly, thrusting into his fist as Duncan continued to tease the nipple that had hardened under his fingers, twisting it back and forth under the sloshing water as Blair ground against his hard flesh. His whole body was enjoying the pleasure of Blair writhing on top of him, his body taut and twisting urgently, pressing into him to prolong the contact.

"Oh- Oh Duncan, yeah, please, oh God, so close..." Blair's moan held a pleading note of expectation and demand, and the fist buried in his hair yanked his scalp so hard he saw stars. Duncan felt hot, almost agonizing pleasure shoot straight to his cock, and growled in response, tightening his hold on the thrusting hips with his thighs, hearing water splash over the side of the tub. Grinding against the slick skin, feeling each vertebrae of Blair's back against his cock, Duncan could only thrust back, bending his head back into Blair's grip as far as he could.

"You're going to rip it out of my head if you don't take it easy, Caro," Duncan panted in a harsh whisper, not at all upset about the painful grip.

"You're... You're going to make me crazy if you don't... don't let me come." Blair moaned back, panting hard, anticipation quickly turning to desperation under the relentless strokes. Duncan increased the pressure of his fist, but the water kept his jerks slow and steady, not quite fast enough to take Blair to orgasm, but still it was an incredibly pleasurable friction. Duncan's satisfaction with the state he'd brought his lover's body to made him forget the pain of Blair's hands in his hair, made him want to keep them both waiting at this agonizing point of pressure and anticipation for as long as he could.

"Mmm, no, I like you like this. Tell me, tell me how good it feels Caro..." Duncan released the tortured nipple to reach up to the fingers tangled in his hair, closing his grip over Blair's wrist until he released his painful hold.

"Oh God... You're trying to kill me. Please, Duncan, just don't stop, harder, oh man, just a little harder..." Blair cried, panting open-mouthed and wide-eyed, his cock thrusting helplessly into Duncan's steady rhythm.

Duncan let go of Blair's hand, and it quickly grabbed the side of the tub so hard the knuckles were white. Blair was thrashing his head in short twists now, grunting and moaning in desperation. Duncan's own needs made themselves known as he felt his cock pulsing, demanding release.

"All right, Caro. Come for me, then," he told Blair just before sinking his teeth into Blair's shoulder and doubling the pressure of his hand on Blair's dick. The reaction he got was exquisite. Blair yelled, his voice feral and raw, and his entire body shook as he came in explosive waves. It went on and on, Blair's body convulsing in Duncan's arms.

The violent shaking of Blair's hard body against him had Duncan thrusting up against Blair's back. He moaned Blair's name over and over as his orgasm took him over. Holding Blair as close as he could, Duncan buried his face in Blair's neck. He wanted to become part of his love; he never felt like he could get close enough to Blair.

A little while later they were still quiet, not moving, not wanting the moment to end. When Blair felt his hamstring threatening to cramp up, he reluctantly moved, so he was sitting up with his back to Duncan. He felt Duncan's fingers run slowly down his back, a feathery caress across his still sensitive skin.

"Mmm." He sighed in satisfaction. Duncan's love was the most amazing thing he had ever experienced. He felt it deep down in his soul, warming him. "I adore you, Duncan, you know that, right?"

"I know." Duncan hugged him from behind. "I adore you, too, and so much more."

Blair turned his head to kiss whatever skin he could come in contact with. "Yeah, it goes pretty deep."

They enjoyed the closeness a minute more and then made busy with getting clean and out of the tub. Blair took a moment to appreciate how complete he felt, how calm and peaceful he and Duncan were together. The harmony that they achieved in their relationship still amazed Blair. He realized that what he had with Duncan was a level of intimacy he'd never believed himself capable of before he'd met Duncan MacLeod. Duncan's love had taught him how to love. He thought that without Duncan, he and Jim would never be where they were now, and tried to express this idea to his lover.

"You love me more than anybody ever has. Nothing would be the same without you."

Duncan smiled, looking very happy with the compliment. "You too, Caro. Come, let's go to bed."

End Part 36

Part 37

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