Fall Back Plan

by Caro Dee

These characters do not belong to me. The Sentinel is owned by Pet Fly, etc. Not making any profit here.

Bluewolf betaed this puppy and Sen_betas supported me through my angsty writer's block. Greater love hath no list. . . .

Part 3 of the Four Seasons Series.

This story is a sequel to: Summer Sun  

I love the energy of Rainier during the first weeks of Fall semester. There's such an edge of anticipation, nervousness, movement, exploration. People are bustling around, the sun is shining, and, Man! the girls are out. I'm getting a crick in my neck from scoping out the banquet of beauties waiting for the Sandburg experience. Life is sweet.

I spot a gorgeous girl camped out on the grass studying. Her long dark hair falls forward over her shoulders but can't obscure the sweet cleavage framed by her low cut top. Oh yeah! I park myself near her, taking out an anthro journal for cover and crane my neck to see what she's reading. She looks up at me and I smile, opening my mouth to start talking.... She sniffs and pointedly turns her back on me.

I'm a little disconcerted but I shrug. What the hell -- maybe her boyfriend dumped her last night or something. Philosophically, I pop the journal back in my pack, get up and move on.

Passing the row of on-campus dorms, I see two potentials coming towards me -- one with a dog tugging at the leash and the other carrying a frisbee. A little careful angling brings me into enthusiastic contact with the pooch. I'm doing the friendly rub and admire, while casually mentioning my frisbee championship. That should have netted an invitation to join them, but these two gals were in a hurry. "Hey, the dog likes me!" I yell after them. "They're great judges of character!" All that gets me is some giggles and a very nice view of them walking away. Okaaay....

An hour later, I'm a lot less philosophical and a lot more pissed. Checking out the Student Union, the Campus Bookstore and the library, as well as the popular outdoor gathering places, have so far failed to net a single date. I haven't had luck like this since I was a sixteen year old trying to get any girl to notice me.

Naomi would say that my aura was off or that the stars weren't favorable that day. Of course, when Naomi runs into a dry spell, it's always because she's embracing celibacy for some spiritual reason. It's her choice. But Jim and I've been really running ourselves ragged with this last case and I haven't had a date in weeks. I'm getting desperate here.

So I'm in a fairly bad mood when I get home. Jim's already there, fixing dinner. I head into the kitchen, duck around him and grab a beer out of the fridge. Medication is definitely called for tonight. I've got this low-level ache in my groin and it'll be hours before Jim falls asleep and I can take care of it. I almost groan with frustration at the thought.

Deciding I need some distraction, I head over and turn on the TV, impatiently flicking through the channels. I'm having trouble finding something interesting and I'm idly theorizing about the sublimation of the male sexual impulse with the technological penile substitute of the remote control, when Jim calls out that dinner's ready.

Jim's made comfort food tonight -- sloppy joes. At least I've gotten him to use ground beefalo instead of hamburger, the buns are whole wheat and there's actually a green salad on the plate. My beer's pretty much gone, so I get up to get another. "You want a beer too, Jim?"

Jim looks up from his plate where he's been shoveling the food in like a trooper and gives me a steady look. "Sure, I'll have one."

He waits until I've plunked myself back down and says, "So, Sandburg. What's up? Drowning your sorrows?"

"Oh man, you can say that again! I can't get a date for shit."

"Ah..." Jim leans back and grins at me. "Where's a table leg when you need one, huh?"

"Ha. Ha. So funny. I'm telling you, Jim, it's like I'm last year's flavor of the week and they wouldn't be caught dead talking to me. I just don't get it."

"Maybe you're coming on too strong, Romeo. Women don't like that; it smells like horny, desperate loser to them."

I'm nodding. Horny. Desperate. I'll argue the loser, but.... "So what are you saying, Jim? I should act like I couldn't care less?"

"Acting's not good enough, Sandburg. Haven't you ever noticed that when you're with someone, all of a sudden there's available women everywhere?"

"The feast or famine phenomenon?"

"That's the one."

Okay, I'm surprised to find that Jim's making sense here. Normally, I wouldn't touch any romantic advice from Mr. Date-A-Disaster with a ten-foot pole, but for once he's right. "So... I should start seeing someone so I can get more dates?"

Jim rolls his eyes. "It's not that you're seeing someone, genius, it's that you're not desperate." He raises his eyebrows and looks at me, waiting.

Uh-huh. I glare back at him and wave for him to keep talking.

"You need a little tension release, Sandburg." His voice changes, turning extra casual. "You know, I could help you out there."

"Um, don't think so, Jim. Straight, remember?" So not a good idea. We'd had a little incident this summer that made me realize that maybe Jim was interested in being more than friends. I had to tell him I was straight. He sulked for a couple of days and then seemed to let it go. Big relief for me. I didn't want to lose my research subject and my best friend because he thought I was leading him on. Then or now.

Jim smirks at me. "You've done this before, Sandburg. You were pretty comfortable whipping out your dick last spring. And it wouldn't occur to most guys to 'help' out a friend with an unfortunate sunburn."

I flash on the memory of the smell of pines, listening to Jim jerk off while my hand's busy on my own dick. Then, I remember the feel of Jim in my hand, the hot silk feel of him thrusting up into my fist....

I blink and frown at him. "Yeah, well... Yeah. Okay, I've done some stuff. But it was while I was a kid or on a field expedition. It all depends on the context, man."

"Context?" Jim's biting his lower lip like he's trying hard not to burst out laughing.

"Yes, context." Smartass. "Experimentation among pubescent males is common and healthy. And you go study some culture, especially ones where the women are owned like property, and there's all sorts of ways the culture provides for the unmarried males. Sometimes you can't say no. But this isn't a foreign culture. You're my friend and I don't want any misunderstandings here."

Jim narrows his eyes at me. "You're worried about... context."


Jim nods and then seems to make up his mind. "Just a couple guys helping each other out until the ladies notice us again. Used to do it in the army all the time."

"Really?" I'm kinda, sorta intrigued. Jim's pretty close-mouthed about his past and, after this summer, I'm not actually surprised Jim's had some bisexual experience, but I am curious.

"Oh yeah," Jim says, matter-of-factly. "When you're out on a mission day after day, the adrenaline, the constant tension gets to you and you can't sleep. When your life and that of your unit depends on you being alert the next day, you learn to do something about it. Some guys handled it solo, some guys helped each other out. No big deal."

My dick isn't just half-hard anymore and I have to shift a little to relieve the pressure. Jim's nostrils flare and he smirks knowingly at me. Shit! I drop my eyes and nervously pick at the label on the beer bottle. I clear my throat, uncomfortably. "So what would we do?"

"Up to you, Chief. We could trade blowjobs... or you could give me a handjob. We know you can handle that. Heh heh."

Dickwad. Man, I haven't had a blowjob in months. Even if it's only Jim, my dick is liking the idea a lot. I chew on my lip, as I consider the possible ramifications. Aw, fuck it. Who the hell can think clearly with a blowjob being offered? "Um, okay. Who's first?"

Jim freezes a second and then a big old grin spreads across his face. "I'll do you." He stands up and comes around the table, pulling my chair around, and kneels between my legs. He's looking at my crotch intently and then reaches out to pull down my zipper. I'm having trouble breathing and my heart's hammering like crazy.

Jim looks up, his voice gentle, "Relax, Chief. Pretend I'm an unmarried male from a foreign culture. You don't want to insult me, so you're playing along."

I gulp and clear my throat. "Yeah, okay."

Eyes locked with mine, Jim reaches into my jeans and pulls out my dick. His hand is warm and my dick leaps in his grip. His eyes flicker a second and then he says, "So in this foreign culture -- called the Army -- very warlike society -- the custom is..."

Jim leans forwards and hovers over my crotch. His eyes close and he's concentrating, his nose less than an inch from my balls, and I realize that Jim is scenting me. Oh Jesus! A spasm shoots through my dick and I gasp, "No way is this army procedure."

In a distracted voice, Jim murmurs, "Sure it is, Sandburg. This is reconnaissance. You've heard of that, right? You're the one who told me the Viet Cong used scent to track American soldiers."

I'm too busy shuddering to answer as Jim runs the flat of his tongue from my balls all the way to the tip of my dick. I know, I just know that the sentinel is tasting me. That's... that's just so hot, man. Then it gets even better.

Suddenly my dick is surrounded by heat and moisture and the insistent caress of Jim's tongue swirling around the head. Jolts of pleasure hit me, sharp and ticklish and unbearably good. I'm vaguely aware that sounds are spilling out of my mouth as I thrust helplessly upwards. Then, the warmth is gone. "Wha'...?"

Jim's looking up at me with affectionate exasperation. "Sandburg, can't you keep your mouth shut even during sex?"

"What? Why'd you stop?" No, no, don't stop.

"Well, Chief, not only were you making it absolutely clear to the entire building that you were getting lucky, you were yelling my name at the top of your lungs."

Oh. Shit. "Sorry, Jim. Sorry."

Jim shakes his head, then reaches over his head and pulls his T-shirt off. Wadding it up, he offers it to me. "Bite down on this. Then you can scream all you want."

Slowly, I take it and stuff part of it in my mouth. I'm no sentinel, but I can smell Jim all over the shirt. It's weirdly intimate, like sleeping in someone's bed and smelling them on the sheets, which is such a totally bizarre thing to think of as intimate considering that Jim's face is in my....

Aaaah! Oh God, oh fuck, yeah yeah yeah....

I scream into the T-shirt and clutch the sides of the chair with white-knuckled intensity. My hips are bucking so wildly that I slip off the chair. Jim catches me, lowering me off to the side and onto the floor. I fall back, head hitting with a soft thunk, hands scrabbling at the floorboards, writhing with need until Jim puts his mouth back on me.

Oh God. Jim's mouth. His mouth. His wonderful, hot, wet, knowing mouth. I'm moaning into the shirt and trying to ram my dick up his throat but Jim's lying on my legs and I can't get leverage. All I can do is lie there and watch as Jim's head bobs smoothly up and down on my dick. I'm moaning encouragingly to let him know that yes that's a fucking great rhythm and oh yeah that's the sweet spot right THERE! and please please don't stop or I'll have to kill you. Even through the T-shirt, Jim seems to understand exactly what I'm saying because it just. keeps. getting. better.

I'm going to die. I just know it. Heart attack. Brain aneurysm. Death by orgasm. Oh God, please let me live through the orgasm. Afterwards, I don't fucking care....

I can't seem to stop moving, banging my head against the floor, and pulling at Jim's shoulders, trying to get him to move faster. I'm so close. Come on, Jim. Please.

I open my eyes and look down. Right into Jim's glittering eyes staring up at me, face fierce with concentration and hunger as he sucks me hard. I freeze for a moment, staring back, and then my balls clench and I'm -- Oh Jesus, fucking YES -- coming, dick spurting into Jim's eager mouth, our eyes locked, as waves of ecstasy shake my body.

When I stop vibrating and spit out the T-shirt to gasp for breath, Jim slows down and lets my dick fall out of his mouth. He buries his face against my right thigh and I can see down the length of his back where the muscles are moving rhythmically under the skin, his butt clenching as he grinds himself hard against my legs trapped underneath him. I'm totally wiped out, but my hand rises and strokes gently over his head, the short hair softer than I expected. Jim moans, his pace speeds up, and then he comes, shuddering.

We lie there for a minute, chests heaving. Jim's arms tighten momentarily around my legs, then he climbs unsteadily to his feet. With a grimace, he plucks at the crotch of his slacks. "Shit, I hate coming in my pants. It's already getting clammy."

Stooping over me, he asks, "How are you doing, Sandburg?"

"Mmmm." I smile dreamily up at him. From this angle, he's fucking huge, like a giant. I'm a boneless, blissful heap on the floor. Not moving any time soon. No sirree.

"I'm guessing that means you're good. Need help getting up?"

I shake my head and stretch a little, slowly, luxuriously. My whole body is humming and happy from the endorphin rush.

Jim's eyes lazily travel the length of my body, then rise to meet my gaze. We stare at each other for a second, faces carefully blank.

I pick my way cautiously through the necessary conversation. "So, are we going to do this again?"

Jim shrugs. "If you want to, sure."

It's really important to be crystal clear now, because God knows I don't want to hurt Jim. "We're like fuck buddies here? Right? Just a little tension release?"

For an instant Jim goes completely still, then he relaxes and smiles. "Can you think of a better way to get through a dry spell?"

Relief surges through me. Looks like Jim can handle this. "Cool. Hey, this is great!" I reach out for Jim's hand and enjoy the feel of his strength as he lifts me up. For some reason, I'm really aware of the heat from his bare chest filling the space between us. I drop his hand and clear my throat. "Well, gotta go prep for tomorrow's class."

Jim nods and turns away. "I'm taking a shower."

I watch him walk away, staring at the red stripes along his shoulders where I scratched him, and impulsively call out, "Hey, Jim?" He turns for a second. "Thanks!"

He throws me a quick grin. "Any time, Chief." Then he closes the bathroom door and, a couple seconds later, I hear the shower running.

I stand there staring at the bathroom door, then I give myself a good shake. Back to work, Sandburg. I stuff myself back in my pants and zip up. Then I start carrying the dirty dinner dishes into the kitchen. That's all I can do until Jim's out of the shower. So I head into my room, fire up the lap top and start reading my notes for class.

I'm vaguely aware of the shower stopping and Jim's footsteps heading up to his bedroom. A couple minutes later, he comes back down and starts making washing up noises in the kitchen. Grinning, I wait for it.

"Sandburg! Get your lazy butt in here and help me do the dishes. Who the hell cooked tonight anyway?"

"Yeah, yeah. Hold your horses, Jim. I'm coming."

"What, again?"

"Hey!" I try to sound indignant but I'm laughing too hard. Punching him on the arm, I bend to grab the towel and duck the soapy swipe at my hair at the same time. Grabbing a glass in self-defense, I start drying, confident that Jim is not going to risk breakage just for horseplay.

We do our usual clean up routine, working efficiently around each other, and if we're moving just a little slower and laughing a bit more, so what? We're cool. Just another normal evening at the Sandburg-Ellison home.

Once again, it's a beautiful day. The sun is shining and everything looks a little brighter. I'm feeling great, bopping down the sidewalk, grinning at all the pretty people. I'm loose as a goose and feeling fine.

I must have been daydreaming or just not paying attention, because I accidentally bang into someone. "Oh man, sorry, sorry about that!" I help the girl pick up her books and the scattered papers. "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"No, I'm fine. Don't worry about it." She looks me over and smiles. "Hi, I'm Kathy."

"I'm Blair," I answer, smiling back, thinking how right Jim was. Get rid of the desperation and the girls will beat a path to your door. I hand her stuff over. "I really am sorry about that. See you around, Kathy."

I like not being desperate.

I wonder if I can talk Jim into another one of those fantastic blowjobs tonight.

Disclaimer: The Sentinel is owned etc. by Pet Fly, Inc. These pages and the stories on them are not meant to infringe on, nor are they endorsed by, Pet Fly, Inc. and Paramount.


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