Life Is A Bridge – Rogue
Okay, so Blair Sandburg had already figured out that riding along with Jim Ellison, cop and Sentinel, wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. He’d already been almost blown up on a bus, held hostage by a terrorist in the PD, had his home destroyed a drug lab…. Oh, and the best one of all, kidnapped by a serial killer, and that was just the highlights. This, though… This was so out there, he was still having trouble sorting through it all in his mind, let alone coming to grips with it.
He’d met some pretty cold-hearted bastards in the past few months but Brackett put most of them to shame. The man was, as Jack Kelso had so succinctly put it, a sociopath of the highest order. And the fact that Lee Brackett had known so much about them, had been following Blair’s career and research, knew that Jim was a sentinel, made the hairs on the back of Blair’s neck stand up. His mother had ranted often enough about the Establishment, how Big Brother had taps on everyone, knew every move you made, that it had almost become a background hum to Blair. Just the same old, same old where Naomi was concerned.
Oh boy! He could see the ‘I told you so’ look on her face now when he told her… except he couldn’t, of course. Not only was his mother as protective of her only child as a mother hen, she couldn’t know about Jim’s senses. It was going to be a big enough shock if she discovered he was riding with a pig… police officer. Naomi would have a conniption, he just knew, and Jim had just about tattooed onto his forehead that no one, except Blair and Simon, could ever know about the senses.
Except Brackett knew.
Blair felt a shiver run through him. They’d stopped Brackett though. At least, Jim had, and Blair hadn’t missed the satisfied smile on Jim’s face after he punched Brackett and laid him out for the count once they’d disarmed the bomb. So everything was good now. Another bad guy behind bars, never getting the chance to hurt anyone else. They were on their way home, looking forward to settling down in front of the TV with a pizza and a beer or two.
Something jiggled his shoulder and he looked up. Jim was staring at him with a frown and Blair realized that they’d arrived home. Quick trip when you had other, more pressing concerns on your mind.
“Sorry. Miles away.”
“I said, what happened to your shoe?”
Blair looked down at his damp, dirty sock. Huh! He’d forgotten about that. I wonder if I can claim a new pair of sneakers from the PD?
Sandburg?” Jim prompted.
“Oh. Sorry. I tossed it to set off an explosion on the bridge.”
Jim looked at him as though he’d grown another head. “Why?”
“Because they didn’t want to listen when I tried to tell them the bridge was armed. They shot at me, man!” Blair protested. “Well, over my head. Lucky I was already on my knees! I couldn’t convince them I was one of the good guys.”
“I keep telling you to get a haircut, Sandburg.” Jim smirked but dropped the grin when Blair glared at him. “Sorry. You’re not hurt anywhere?”
“Took ten years off my life,” Blair grumbled as he opened the door and climbed out of the truck and hobbled across the road. He’d have to put in a claim for socks and sneakers.
“As long as all you got was a fright, Chief, I’m down with that. They were just doing their job.”
“I guess,” Blair conceded. “Damn GI Joes.”
“Hey!” Jim cuffed the back of Blair’s head as they entered the apartment building. “I resemble that remark.”
Dinner had been eaten, the dishes cleared away and Jim sat on the couch, looking comfortable and half-asleep, a beer bottle clutched in one hand as he idly channel surfed, trying to find something worth watching.
Blair stood by the kitchen counter, staring into space, his thoughts tripping over each other, leaving him feeling edgy.
“You wanna watch the game, Sandburg?” Jim called.
Jim straightened up and looked over at him. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” Blair sighed. “I guess.”
“Probably just coming down from the adrenaline,” Jim said. His attention wandered back to the television. “It’ll pass.”
“It’s not that,” Blair said. He walked over and sat down next to Jim. “I just keep thinking about Brackett.”
“He’s going to be in prison a very long time, Chief,” Jim replied. “Chances are they’ll throw away the key.”
“What if he gets out?” Blair asked. “Escapes?”
“He’ll be in a high security lock up. He won’t escape.”
“But what if he does?” Blair persisted.
“All right.” Jim turned off the TV and set his beer on the coffee table. “What’s really bothering you?”
Blair leaned forward and combed his fingers through his hair. “He knew about you, Jim. He knows you’re a sentinel.” He sat up and stared at Jim. “He’s read my research, followed my career, for god’s sake!”
“And?” Jim shook his head. “You’ve lost me, Chief.”
“What if he tells someone?” Blair asked forcefully, feeling his chest tighten. Why couldn’t Jim get how important this was? He was the one all fired up about no one knowing about his abilities, after all!
“He’s a nutcase who tried to infect Cascade with Ebola,” Jim replied. He picked up the remote and ran his finger over the on switch. “Who’s gonna believe him? Anyway, you said all your research on me will be anonymous, right?”
“Right.” Blair nodded slowly. “Of course.”
Jim narrowed his eyes at that and his hand tightened around the remote. “You sure about that? Does anyone else know that you’ve actually found a sentinel?”
“No! Of course not! It’s just that if Brackett figured it out…” Blair slumped back on the couch, feeling suddenly exhausted.
“Someone else could,” Jim finished for him. He sighed and switched on the television. “Brackett was in the right place at the right time to put two and two together and come up with four. We’ve come close to it being discovered before – the Juno case, remember? – and we got around it. We’ve just got to be careful, keep it under wraps. Trust me, no one’s gonna believe Brackett if he’s starts raving about some cop with super senses. Okay?”
Blair nodded but the words didn’t ease his concern. He stood and walked over to the balcony door and stared out into the darkness. What if they already know?