Simon reluctantly withdrew hands and lips and let Blair and Jim wash him. If he was surprised or discomfited by the thoroughness and intimacy of that washing, he made no sign of it, which relieved Blair immeasurably; there was really no polite way to ask Simon the state of his hygiene, and he didn’t want his hypersensitive Sentinel to worry about where he was putting his mouth or nose. Simon got right into the spirit of it, too, and Jim and Blair had had a pretty damned good washing themselves by the time they stepped out of the bath. Blair and Jim tenderly toweled Simon dry, then themselves; then they retired to the bedroom area for a glass of wine apiece while Blair rolled out his mat (not one of the fancy thin yoga mats, but a big old inch-thick foam mat once used for school gymnastics), spread a fluffy towel over it, and checked the temperature of the massage oil in the warmer where he’d placed it.


“I’ve always wondered,” Simon said, watching the preparations, “why on the floor? Why don’t you just do it on the bed?”


Blair chuckled.


“Lots of reasons,” he said. “First, a good massage needs a really firm surface so you can put enough pressure without just pushing the person down into the mattress, and most beds aren’t nearly firm enough. Second, I have my massage oil warming over a candle, and candle and oil plus bed equals a big fire hazard. Third, this way your whole body’s accessible from all sides without you having to move. And fourth, who wants massage oil all over the sheets they’re going to sleep on?”


Simon grinned.


“Good points all,” he admitted. “Okay, how do you want me?”


“Loaded question,” Jim chuckled. “Try lying down, face down, arms at your sides.”


Simon grinned again and assumed the position; Blair was ready with a small wedge pillow that fit under Simon’s hips so he wasn’t lying on what Blair knew would soon be his erection again, although that had subsided during the wine and the talk, and another U-shaped pillow for his face. Simon raised an eyebrow, however, when Blair handed him a padded sleep mask.


“Blindfolds now?” Simon said a little doubtfully, but he put it on.


“It goes with the massage,” Blair said. “You don’t have to keep it on if you don’t want to. It’ll just help you relax and focus on what you’re feeling.”


“Blair takes massage very seriously,” Jim chuckled.


“Hey, don’t laugh,” Blair scolded. “A real massage is a very powerful experience. Want me to tell Simon what you did when I gave you your first full-body massage?”


The blow landed solidly; Jim blushed deeply and made a hasty retreat.


“Okay, okay, very powerful, not a subject for levity,” Jim hurriedly agreed.


“Now I’m interested,” Simon said, raising his head to glance back at them.


“No, no, never mind, this is your fantasy, can’t keep you waiting,” Jim said quickly. “Blair, honey, sweetheart, shall we get started?”


Blair fought down laughter of his own and took the flask of oil out of the ceramic bowl of water, suspended over a candle flame, in which it had been warming. Jim held out his hands; Blair poured oil into Jim’s hands, then liberally oiled his own.


“Jim, why don’t you start with his scalp and neck,” Blair said. “I’ll start with his feet. Jim’s actually getting pretty damned good, Simon. The last time he gave me a backrub, he had to carry me up to bed. I was reduced to a puddle. Maybe it’s those sensitive Sentinel fingers, but frankly I just think there’s a major-league hedonist hiding under that buff exterior.”


Jim blushed again, this time with pride.


“Well, you’re a good teacher,” he said quietly, starting to work his fingers slowly over Simon’s scalp.


Blair simultaneously started on Simon’s left foot, and Simon groaned pleasurably.


“Oh, man, was this ever a good idea,” the Captain purred. “Blair, why did I just know you’d be good at this?”


“Gee, let’s see,” Blair chuckled. “There’s the fact that with my mother, it would be pretty damned difficult to grow up without learning at least eight or ten different types of massage. Or there’s the fact that I’ve been all over the world and learned all these exotic and sensual secrets. Or maybe there’s the fact that I’m Jim’s Guide, which has given me a lot of practice in reading people, even the unreadable Jim Ellison. Or there’s the fact that one of my ex-girlfriends was a massage therapist. Take your pick.”


“Well, I didn’t know about the ex-girlfriend,” Simon admitted. “Be aware, however, that if we ever need somebody undercover in a massage parlor, you’re doomed. Both of you.”


“Simon,” Blair said softly, “you can talk if you want to, but you don’t have to. It’s okay to just be quiet and enjoy it. Sometimes it’s easier to communicate in silence. Jim taught me that.”


“I speak fluent body language,” Jim chuckled softly. “And Blair’s a quick study. Just relax, Simon, and feel what we’re telling you.”


And Simon fell silent, except for the occasional moan or whimper of delight, while Jim worked his way down the back of Simon’s neck, over his shoulders and down his arms, massaging each finger separately, while Blair massaged up Simon’s calves and thighs, over the muscular buttocks. Jim relinquished Simon’s back to Blair, the master of massage, and Simon groaned in utter bliss as each muscle gave up its tension under Blair’s skilled strokes.


“Oh, God,” Simon sighed. “I don’t think I could move if you paid me.”


“If you can move just enough to roll over,” Blair coaxed, “then we’ll do the front.”


Somehow Simon apparently mustered the energy to roll, and Blair whisked the pillows out of the way as Simon settled himself. He was utterly relaxed except for his cock, which stood rigidly at attention.


“By George, I think he’s enjoying it,” Jim chuckled.


Blair grinned and reached for the oil.


“Trade me places, Jim,” he said, moving up to Simon’s head. He slipped a slender roll pillow under Simon’s neck. “Simon, keep your eyes closed, okay? I’m taking the sleep mask off for a few minutes while I do your face. I don’t want to get any of this oil in your eyes.”


Simon gasped in surprise, then slowly relaxed as Blair’s fingers worked carefully over the muscles of his forehead and face, even carefully pressing under the bones of his eyebrows, while Jim simultaneously worked his way up Simon’s calves. Blair replaced the sleep mask before he started on Simon’s neck, shoulders and upper chest. By the time his hands and Jim’s met on Simon’s abdomen, Simon was purring and relaxed all over.


Well, almost all over. One part of Simon was definitely standing at attention. Or, more aptly, demanding attention. Blair glanced at Jim, grinning at the hungry expression in the Sentinel’s eyes which, he was certain, probably mirrored his own. Blair picked up the waiting towel and gently wiped excess oil from Simon’s gleaming black skin. They were going to get the sheets messy anyway, at least if he had his way, or someone had his way with him, but what the hey, preserve the illusion of innocent intent. He gently removed the blindfold.


“So – did you get our message?” he asked softly.


Simon blinked momentarily in the candlelight. His eyes were full, and when he spoke, his voice was husky and a little unsteady. He was trembling hard.


“Yeah,” he said, just as softly. “Yeah, I think I got it.”


Jim scooted around Simon’s side to press a slow, warm kiss to the larger man’s lips.


“Bed?” the Sentinel suggested when he finally drew back slightly.


“Definitely bed,” Simon agreed hoarsely.


They slid into bed, Jim and Blair putting Simon between them, kissing and stroking his skin softly. Simon was still shaking, and Blair could see that his eyes were full. Blair stroked his chest soothingly.


“It’s okay,” Blair murmured. “I told you, a pretty powerful experience.”


Simon nodded wordlessly. Then he drew a deep, shuddering breath.


“So – what was it Jim did when you gave him his first full-body massage? I’d – uh – really like to know.”


Blair glanced inquiringly at Jim, who blushed violently.


“I came all over the place while he was rubbing my feet,” Jim said ruefully. “And by the time he was done with the rest of me, I was crying like a baby. He spent the next three hours cuddling me. I’m still sometimes not real comfortable with all that emotion. That massage was more intimate, made me feel more loved than any sex I’d ever had. Pre-Blair, that is.” He looked away.


Simon firmly turned Jim’s face back to his and kissed the Sentinel with lips that still trembled.


“Amen,” the older man whispered.


Blair smiled as Jim and Simon cuddled. Somewhere along the line his jealousy had vanished entirely. Maybe it was as simple as Blair having the opportunity to exert his particular power over Simon – massage him into a pile of mush – and in that way stake a claim on the big man. Blair wasn’t going to underestimate the significance of primitive instincts and mating behaviors. Not after the last time Jim had ‘claimed’ him – on the kitchen counter – and he’d sat with great timidity for the rest of the day.


And it looked like the Sentinel was well on the way to staking another claim right now. He had been kissing Simon, working his way down Simon’s throat, but kissing and nibbling had turned to sniffing, and Jim was slowly working his way over Simon’s body, his expression intent.


“Uh – Jim?” Simon raised his head, his eyebrows shooting up as Jim nuzzled Simon’s abdomen, sniffing audibly.


Blair chuckled and moved closer to Simon, taking up the cuddle slack.


“Don’t bother,” Blair grinned. “Right now it would take a knock over the head with a two-by-four to interrupt him.”


“Yeah, but what’s he doing?” Simon said cautiously. Jim was nuzzling Simon’s groin but making no move whatsoever to lick or suck that monumental tower, which was nevertheless responding nicely to Jim’s proximity. After a moment Jim moved on down Simon’s legs.


“Imprinting you on his senses,” Blair said softly, stroking Simon’s chest. “Don’t worry, the fun part’s coming up, because after he’s finished with smell, he – “


Simon groaned abruptly as Jim licked the back of his knee, sucking on the skin there.


“ – moves on to taste,” Blair chuckled. “Be flattered. He’s never done this with anybody but me. Think of it as, like, a tribal initiation.”


“Oh, yeah?” Simon’s voice was breathless now as Jim licked his way up the inside of the larger man’s thighs. “Well – uh – what happens when he’s finished smelling and tasting me?”


“Well, he probably got plenty of touch and sight while he was massaging you,” Blair said thoughtfully, holding the moaning man close as Jim’s tongue bath extended over Simon’s balls and up his leaking cock, gathering the moisture at the tip. “And I’m sure over the years he’s had plenty of opportunities to pick up all your sounds – “


Simon moaned from the depths of his soul when Jim gently suckled at the head of his leaking cock, then moaned again in protest when the Sentinel moved on up his belly.


“ – okay, okay, he probably hasn’t heard every sound,” Blair conceded. “So basically after he’s catalogued you with all his senses, welcomed you into the fold, as it were – “


Simon cried out and almost came up off the bed as Jim licked roughly over his left nipple, then nipped it none too gently.


“ – the next step is for Jim to mark you with his scent,” Blair continued, moving down to gently lick and soothe the stinging bud as Jim scooted up to nibble and lick Simon’s neck. “So basically unless we do something to alter the course of events here – oof!”


The breath whooshed out of Blair’s lungs and Simon let out a startled yelp as Jim suddenly flipped the older man over onto his stomach – and onto Blair. Hurriedly Simon got his arms under him to take his full weight off the Guide.


“Thanks, Simon,” Blair panted, quickly scooting up a little in the bed so his face wasn’t trapped under Simon’s chest. “As I was saying, unless we intervene here – “


Simon moaned again as Jim began licking his way down Simon’s spine, one vertebra at a time.


“ – you’re definitely looking at getting fucked into the middle of next week by a primal Sentinel on overdrive, and wearing a turtleneck sweater for the next few days to hide a big whopping love bite,” Blair finished, pulling Simon’s face down for a liplock.


Simon groaned deeply, and Blair didn’t know whether it was the kiss, the delightful crush of their two bodies together (Blair himself was pretty much going into meltdown just from feeling that monster rubbing slightly against his belly), Blair’s words, or the fact that Jim had reached the end of Simon’s spine and was now exploring distinctly sensitive areas. Although far be it from Blair’s intention to interrupt at such a moment, still he figured he’d better get a bit more explicit consent before he let Jim unleash himself on their unsuspecting captain.


“Are you okay with that, Simon?” Blair said softly, cupping Simon’s head and gazing into his arousal-glazed eyes. “’Cause if you’re not – “


Simon shuddered. Blair couldn’t see what Jim was doing – his head had disappeared somewhere down around Simon’s lower body – but it must be something wicked, because Simon was trying to bore a tunnel through Blair’s belly with a purely flesh-and-blood drill hard enough to put diamond to shame.


“So you’re the expert, Blair,” Simon gasped, shuddering again. “How do you tell a ‘primal Sentinel on overdrive’ to hurry the fuck up?”


Blair chuckled and reached over his head, fumbling on the shelf at the head of the bed. He found what he was looking for and tossed it in the general direction of Jim’s invisible head.


“You hand him the lube,” Blair said, pulling Simon down for another kiss.


Blair couldn’t see what Jim was doing; Simon’s bulk obscured his view very nicely, thank you very much, and only the fact that Simon was damned well-endowed allowed any of that monster to rest on Blair while they were kissing, since Blair was quite a bit shorter than the captain. But when Simon whimpered into Blair’s mouth and spread his legs wide, Blair got the idea that Jim was putting the lube to use, preparing their new lover, and Blair obligingly moved his own legs out of the way, raising his knees to clasp Simon’s hips.


Simon kissed Blair’s temple, his lips hot and moist, his breath fanning Blair’s ear.


“Aren’t I going to be too heavy for you?” he whispered.


Blair nipped Simon’s earlobe.