This is could be considered an AU.  It takes place a couple years before Blair and Jim's meeting in The Switchman.  I'd rate it R for mature themes.  This was written as a themefic for the SentinelAngst list.  The theme was Jim, Blair or Rafe kidnappd and tied up.  But things are not always what they seem.


By CarolROI

The pounding techno beat was a pulse against his skin, permeating his pores, filling his senses from the inside out. Eyes closed, head thrown back, his body shimmied to the sensual rhythm. Hands stroked across the taut fabric of his black t-shirt, tracing a path down his chest and around his waist. Dark blue eyes flew open as his dancing partner pulled him to her, rocking their hips together.

A grin split his face and he laughed, resting his hand on her shoulder as he followed her movements. She gazed up at him, her eyes half-lidded in pleasure, slowly running her tongue over her full, red lips. She wanted him, he was sure of it.

Soft, white skin peeked between the slits and chains and buckles of the incredibly short leather dress she wore, tempting him, enticing him. As the music segued into another song, he disentangled himself, leaving the dance floor and the promise of a night of sexual bliss behind.

Fingers grabbed his hand before he'd gone more than a few steps, dragging him into a pocket of shadow, away from the strobing lights and prying eyes. Whirling around, he found the brunette he'd been dancing with.

"Come on, baby," she purred. "Where are you going? I have plans for you--"

Yanking his arm away, he shook his head. "I've got to go home."

Instead of the pout he expected, hazel eyes flashed dangerously in the dim light. Before he knew what was happening, his back was pressed against a pillar, her fingernails digging into his biceps. "You're making a mistake," she purred softly, her tone the exact opposite of her hostile body language. Leaning in close, she nipped at his earlobe.

The rush of adrenaline and pure testosterone at the sharp, short pain made him gasp. All his nerve endings suddenly switched on high, his body instinctively knowing what a night with this woman could be. The sensation made him weak in the knees.

He shook his head to clear it. She was fire, and he would definitely get burned. "Sorry, not tonight," he rasped, his voice rough with self-denial.

She stepped away, releasing him. He headed for the exit, not daring to look back for fear he'd find her on his heels, and this time not have the strength to resist her.

Exiting by the alley door, he left the noise and stink of the crowded club behind. Almost immediately, he felt the tension from his confrontation with the woman abate. Breathing deeply of the slightly muggy night air, he paused between the buildings and gazed up at the sky. Stars glistened like dewdrops on a canvas of deep purple. The streetlights mirrored the heavens, brilliant points of light against a velvet cityscape.

He could hear snatches of music and chatter from inside the club every time the door opened and shut, but he really didn't pay much attention to it as he walked toward the street, caught up in the simple beauty of a summer evening.

Without warning, he was grabbed from behind and shoved against the building, his left arm twisted painfully behind his back. "What the--" he started to protest, but fingers tangled in his hair, pressing his face so tightly to the wall he could feel each individual bump and groove of the brick cutting into his cheek.

"I don't recall giving you permission to speak," a voice hissed in his ear. "Behave, or I'll have to hurt you." Swallowing hard, he nodded, wincing as his skin scraped across the rough wall. The grip on his head was released.

Something was looped around his wrist and drawn tight. Adrenaline flooded his body, making it hard to breathe, making him struggle. Again a fist tightened in his hair, the pain bringing involuntary tears to his eyes. "Stop it!" the voice growled. "I don't want to hurt you - yet - but I will if I have to."

The edge of steel in the words sent a shiver down his spine, and he stood still, allowing his hands to be bound behind his back. "Please…" he pleaded. "Please don't do this…."

"Someone has a very short memory." A cloth gag was forced into his mouth and tied tightly. "There, that's much better."

A hand on his shoulder spun him around and he finally got a look at his captor. It was the leather-garbed woman from inside the club. She smiled at the recognition in his eyes. "I told you I had plans." Leaning up against him, she pressed her lips to his, her hand stroking his thigh.

He shuddered, trying to cope with the conflicting emotions racing through him. He knew he should be afraid, but fear warred with an adrenaline-fueled lust. Her hand moved higher, touching, stroking, rubbing, and his traitorous body responded, his hips thrusting into her hand. He moaned deep in his throat, and she seemed amused by that, laughing and nipping at his Adam's apple with her teeth. "Such a beautiful boy, so responsive. We're going to have so much fun together, precious," she whispered.

A car's headlights illuminated the dark alley, and for a moment, he thought he might be rescued. The vehicle rolled to a stop a few feet away from them, but the tall, muscular, blond man who got out walked around to the rear of the sedan and opened the trunk, giving the couple only a brief glance.

Her grip tightened on his upper arm, and she tugged him in the direction of the car. The trunk--oh god, they were going to put him in the trunk!

He wriggled and twisted and kicked and yelled behind his gag. But help didn't come, and his two kidnappers dealt with his tantrum by simply picking him up and depositing him inside the car. His ankles were tied together, and he was positioned on his side a top a blanket that covered the bottom of the trunk.

She leaned over him, stroking his hair tenderly. "Just a short ride, pet, and then the real fun begins." Her fingertips gave his left nipple a quick pinch through his shirt, then the lid closed, and he was alone in the darkness.

Breathe, he told himself, just keep breathing, and you'll be fine. His body didn't seem to be listening, though. His blood pounded in his ears. The noise of the car engine and the swish of the tires on pavement sounded distantly in the background, distorted, as if he were underwater.

It was hot in the trunk, and he quickly began to perspire. Sweat trickled down between his shoulder blades, and beaded on his forehead. He blinked rapidly as sweat ran into his eyes, stinging. Ducking his head, he rubbed his face against the blanket underneath him, wiping away the moisture. When he raised his head again, his eyes had finally adjusted to the darkness. Surprisingly, it wasn't as black as he expected. Light leaked around the taillights, giving the compartment a reddish glow.

Wiggling around a bit, he finally settled on a position that was minimally uncomfortable, though he hoped she'd been telling the truth when she'd told him it would be a "short ride." Where were they going? She'd made it pretty clear what she wanted with him, but he could imagine a hundred different ways the night could play out.

She'd been dressed in some kind of quasi-dominatrix garb. Was his final destination some secret dungeon where she'd make him her slave? A mental picture of himself wearing nothing but a collar and a leash came to mind and he shivered.

But she'd called him "beautiful" and "precious", and those words didn't fit with the dungeon image in his head. Maybe she was taking him to one of those theme hotels, where every room was a different fantasy, and people checked in under phony names and paid by the hour. A nice soft bed, satin sheets, candlelight…and him--tied to the bed with silk scarves. An involuntary noise escaped his throat; it sounded suspiciously like a whimper to his ears.

A siren whooped shrilly and he jerked in surprise and pain, wishing his hands were free so he could cover his ears. The car began to slow, then came to a stop. He could hear voices, but the trunk muffled the individual words. The whole vehicle vibrated as doors were opened and shut. More voices, then silence. Just when he was about to die of curiosity, there was a 'click', and the lid of his prison was opened. He was about to be freed.

"Well, that was a waste of a perfectly good Friday night," the detective commented as he left the raucous nightclub with his partner.

The older man shrugged. "Any stakeout where nothing dangerous happens is a good stakeout, especially in a room full of people. We'll catch him, Slick, you just have to have patience." They reached his vintage sports car, and he unlocked the door. "You still helping me move tomorrow?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I'll be there. Night." He watched his partner drive off, then started toward his pickup truck, parked on the street next to the club. A scuffling noise from the alley behind him reached his ears, and he paused, straining to listen. But there was nothing else, and with a shrug, he climbed into his truck and started the engine.

Just as he was about to drive off, a black Mercedes sedan pulled out of the alley and turned east in front of him. Something about the car didn't feel right to him, though he couldn't explain why. Without a conscious effort on his part, he found himself dropping in behind it, staying half a block back.

The driver of the Mercedes acted like he knew he had a cop on his tail, keeping just under the speed limit and coming to a complete stop well behind the line at every red light. Still, the nagging tension in the detective's gut kept him on their tail, searching for an excuse to pull them over.

Finally, he got one. The Mercedes changed lanes without signaling. A grim smile twisting his lips, the detective closed on the car and flipped on his lights and siren. The driver of the sedan checked his rearview mirror with a start, then he slowed down and parked at the curb.

Picking up the radio microphone, the detective called in the stop, knowing dispatch would automatically roll a squad car to his location as he was driving an unmarked vehicle. Within a few minutes, he had the name of the car's owner from the license plate number. The Mercedes was registered to Julia Henson of Seattle, no prior arrests or traffic violations.

Grabbing his flashlight, he climbed out of his truck and approached the driver's side of the vehicle. The blond man behind the wheel rolled down the window. "What seems to be the problem, officer?" he asked. "I know I wasn't speeding."

"License and registration, please," he answered, ignoring the man's question. The license read Patrick Malloy, and the registration was in the Henson woman's name. As he was examining them, the patrol unit arrived. "I'll be right back," he told Malloy.

Walking over to the police car, he quickly explained the situation. "Hey, Hutchens, just follow my lead on this, okay? Something's going on with this guy, but I don't know what yet."

Getting out of his car and leaning against the hood, the patrol officer nodded. "Sure thing, detective. I've got your back."

Returning to the suspect's car, he handed the license and registration back. "Does Ms. Henson know you're driving her car this evening?"

There was movement in the back seat, and the tinted rear window descended with a whir. The passenger spoke up for the first time. "I'm Julia Henson. Patrick is my driver. What's the problem?"

She seemed familiar to him, but he couldn't get a good look at her inside the car. "Could you both step out of the car, please?"

Malloy started to complain. "Look, I haven't done anything wrong--"

She cut him off with a quiet "Patrick," the single word laced with the unmistakable note of command.

"Sorry, Mistress," he murmured, getting out of the car and immediately turning to open the door for her.

Taking the hand Malloy extended to her, she exited gracefully, giving the detective a good look at her legs, their length and shape accentuated by the five-inch stiletto-heeled pumps she wore. His gaze traveled up, taking in her skimpy clubbing outfit which appeared to be no more than some scraps of leather held together with chains. Her dark brown hair just brushed her bare shoulders, and her makeup gave her a subtly exotic look. Closing the car door, she leaned against it, her gold-flecked hazel eyes meeting his calmly, as she said, "How can we help you?"

He recognized her now, from the club. She had been the center of attention on the dance floor, dancing with a young man in a t-shirt and tight, strategically ripped jeans. The way they had been hanging all over each other, it surprised him to find her in the company of the older, and much more subdued, Patrick. He gave the driver a closer look. In contrast to Henson's calm aura of authority, Malloy seemed visibly nervous, his gaze flicking from the detective to the squad car, to the rear of the Mercedes.

"I noticed you didn't signal back there when you changed lanes," he said, directing his comment at the driver.

Malloy looked to his employer before he answered. At her small nod, he responded, "I'm sorry, officer. I thought I signaled."

The detective smiled jovially. "Well, perhaps you did. Maybe your turn signal isn't working." Again, Malloy's gaze drifted to the trunk of the car.

"Thank you so much for that information, officer," Henson said. "I'll have Patrick take the car to the garage in the morning."

"Oh, no need for that. It's probably just a loose wire. I can fix it for you in a jiffy, if you'd be so kind as to open the trunk," he pressed.

"That's quite all right," she replied, her voice calm and unwaveringly sincere. "My mechanic can take care of it. In fact, I know he would insist upon it. He hates for anyone but him to touch my car." She laughed lightly.

The detective laughed with her. "I understand, Ms. Henson, but a non-working turn signal can cause an accident. I'm sure you wouldn't want anyone to get hurt because of something as simple as a loose wire." When she showed no sign of giving in, he continued, "Unless there's some reason you don't want me to look in the trunk."

"I'd hate to have you go to all that trouble, officer, when I pay a mechanic to take care of these kinds of things for me. I promise you I'll have it taken care of in the morning."

He shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I can't let you drive the car until the turn signal is fixed. I'll call a tow truck and have it taken to the police lot. You can have your mechanic come get it in the morning."

Malloy looked rattled at his words, but Henson simply sighed, then reached through the open driver's window and popped the trunk latch.

"Thank you, ma'am," the detective said, walking around to the rear of the Mercedes and lifting the trunk lid. Nothing he'd imagined prepared him for the sight that met his eyes.

Lying in the back of the car, bound and gagged, his eyes wide with fear, was the man he'd seen dancing with Henson at the club. "What the fuck!" he swore, then he was drawing his weapon and aiming it at the woman as Hutchens slammed Malloy against the hood of the car and cuffed him in response to the other man's outburst.

"Turn around slowly," the detective snapped. "Put your hands on top of the car where I can see 'em."

The woman raised one perfectly arched eyebrow, but complied. Moving in close, he holstered his weapon and got out his handcuffs. Bringing first one hand then the other behind her back, he cuffed her wrists together, then turned her around and pushed her against the side of the car. Only then did he shift his attention to Hutchens and his prisoner. "Call for more backup--and an ambulance."

"Already on its way," the patrol officer replied. "An ambulance?"

"Yeah, there's a guy tied up in the trunk. I don't know how bad of a shape he's in."

Hutchens's eyes went wide, then he reached for the mike switch at his shoulder and spoke with dispatch.

When he was finished, the detective asked, "You got these two?" At Hutchens's nod, he walked back around the Mercedes, turning on his flashlight.

The man in the trunk blinked at the sudden light, and scooted further back in the cramped space. "Hey, hey, easy, buddy. I'm a cop." That sent a visible shudder through the captive. "I'm not going to hurt you, chief. I'm here to help you." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his Leatherman and flipped open the blade. "Just hold still for a second, and I'll cut you loose."

A minute later, he was helping the man--kid, really, he didn't look much older than eighteen--out of the trunk. "What's your name, kid?"

The victim ran a hand through his wild riot of medium-length curls, pushing them off his forehead. "I'm not a kid. I'm twenty-three," he spat.

Obviously his youthful looks were a touchy subject with the kid--er, young man. "Sorry. Can you tell me how you ended up in the trunk of this car?"

"It's not what you think--" he started, then hesitated, his gaze going to the woman. At her almost imperceptible head shake, he left his sentence unfinished.

Backup and the ambulance rolled up just then, and the detective turned the victim over to the paramedics to be checked out. Confident the man was in good hands, he walked over to the two suspects. "Okay, let's hear your side of it. How did that kid end up bound and gagged in your trunk?"

Julia Henson met his gaze squarely. "We're not answering any questions without our lawyer present."

He didn't know who the hell this woman thought she was, but both Malloy and the vic seemed to be afraid of her. And that pissed him off. "You want to do this the hard way, we'll do it the hard way. Hutchens, she goes in your car. Put Malloy in the other unit, and get me a tow truck. We're all going to take a ride downtown."

He sat quietly in the back of the ambulance, having waved off the paramedics, and watched the detective giving orders, sending Julia to one cop car and Patrick to another. When the cop had first opened the trunk of the Mercedes and leaned in, he'd thought some Hell's Angels reject was after him. Easy mistake to make, what with the sleeveless T-shirt, the earring, and the totally seventies facial hair--a bushy mustache and what he'd thought for a moment had been a hairy caterpillar stuck to the cop's chin. He shuddered at the memory. *Not* his idea of a good time.

The cop finally returned to the ambulance, scowling at the paramedics. "I thought I told you to check the victim out," he said, jerking his thumb in the young man's direction.

"He refused treatment," the medic replied.

Striding over to the rear of the ambulance, the cop stared down at him. "Why didn't you let them look at you? You were trussed up and tossed in a car trunk. You've gotta at least be banged up from getting thrown around in there, chief."

He shook his head, his chestnut curls bouncing. "Not a scratch on me."

The cop's hand snaked out and grabbed his wrist, holding it closer to the light as he examined it. "Not even a rope burn," he muttered.

"Told you. Can I go now?"

The detective gave him a glare. "You were the victim of a crime. You're coming down to the station and giving a statement."

Hopping down from the ambulance, he shook his head. "No. I'm not going to press charges, so you can just let them go." He waved his hand at the squad cars holding Julia and Patrick.

"It doesn't work that way, chief. I saw you in the trunk, and that makes me a witness to whatever the hell was going on. So a ride to the station is in your future whether you like it or not. Now are you going to go quietly with me, or do I need handcuffs and a squad car for you, too?"

Sighing, he shook his head in defeat and followed the detective to a pickup truck. He got in and fastened his seatbelt, figuring if the guy looked like a biker, he might drive like one too. Staring out the window, he watched the dingy buildings go by, the night's events putting a serious damper on the magic he'd seen in the lights before. Engrossed in his depressing thoughts, he startled when the cop spoke.

"Look, chief, I'm sorry I came down on you the way I did back there. I treated you like a perp there for a minute, instead of a victim."

He gave a snort of disbelief at that. The cop was going to say whatever he thought would get the response he wanted.

"Let's try this again. My name's Jim Ellison. What's yours, chief?"

Anything to get the cop to stop calling him "chief". "Blair--Blair Sandburg."

Ellison gave him what he must have thought was a friendly smile. "Now we're getting somewhere. So, chief--"


"All right--Blair. How'd you end up in the car trunk?"

Blair rolled his eyes. "How stupid do you think I am? Just because I know your name now doesn't make you my new best friend."

"And two people who'd tie you up and stick you in a trunk are?" he growled.

Not having an answer that the detective could possibly understand, Blair returned to staring out the window.

Ellison was silent for a few minutes, and Blair hoped he was through with the grilling. He was wrong, but when Ellison started in again, the questions were of the gentler variety.

"So, you live here in Cascade?"

The question seemed harmless enough, and the cop would find out his address when he looked up Blair's driver's license once they got to the station. And if he got Ellison talking, maybe he could figure out a way to get himself out of this mess. "Not at the moment. I just graduated from Washington State University."

"Decided to go away to school, eh? Or they not offer your major at Rainier?"

A smile twitched at the corners of Blair's mouth. "I got my undergrad degree at Rainier. I did my MA in anthropology at WSU." It was a few seconds before Ellison spoke again, and Blair imagined him doing the math.

"You some kind of genius? Or just a glutton for punishment?"

Wouldn't you like to know… "I started at Rainier when I was sixteen."

"Genius then. So you got a job lined up?"

He spared a glance at the detective, who had both eyes on the road. "I have a few months off, then I'm going on an expedition for a year."

"Sounds more exciting than the ride you went on tonight." Ellison signaled, then pulled into the police station's underground garage and parked the truck.

As Blair got out, he said, "You can work it any way you want, Detective, but you're not going to get me to press charges."

The cop shrugged. "Whatever. Get in the elevator. We're going for a ride."

When Ellison entered the Major Crime bullpen with the kidnapping victim in tow, he found it practically deserted. A glance at the clock showed him the reason--it was after one a.m. At least one of the patrol units must have gotten there ahead of him, because Julia Henson sat in the chair next to his desk, Hutchens standing guard over her.

As soon as Sandburg saw her, he made a lunge in her direction, and Ellison was caught flat-footed. It only took him two long strides to catch up, though. Wrapping his arms around Blair from behind, he lifted him bodily off the ground, keeping him from crossing the last few feet separating them from Henson.

"Put me down, pig!" Blair yelled, kicking and twisting in an attempt to break free.

Julia had been staring off into space, but now she gazed at the struggling men, a hint of amusement in her eyes. Then letting out a bored sigh, she looked away toward the wall behind Jim's desk.

All the fight went out of Blair, and Jim set him down, but kept a grip on his arm. He clearly understood the message she was sending--Blair Sandburg was less interesting to her than a blank wall. So why in the hell had he been tied up in the trunk of her car?

Obviously, he needed to get the truth out of them somehow. Perhaps a little police procedure would loosen some tongues. "Hutchens, can you take her down to booking, make sure she's fingerprinted and photographed? And when the unit rolls in with Malloy, do the same with him. Then bring them back up here for interrogation--separately."

"Sure thing, Detective." Assisting Ms. Henson to her feet, he started to lead her past Sandburg and out of the bullpen.

Drawn like a magnet, Blair moved toward her again, only this time Ellison was ready for it, and didn't let him get far. "Siddown, punk." Jim pushed him into a chair and held him there.

Half-turning at the noise, Julia graced Blair with a smile and, in contrast to her actions just seconds earlier, reassured him. "It'll be all right, pet." Then she was gone.

The detective shook his head. There was something going on between those two, something "hinky" as Jack would say. He sat down at his desk and fired up his computer to take Sandburg's statement. "So, chief, tell me again, how did you end up in that car trunk?"

Blair leaned back in the chair, stretching out his legs and crossing his ankles. He then began to twiddle his thumbs.

It was going to be a long night.

Jim Ellison was not a happy cop. Both Henson and Malloy were refusing to answer any questions without their lawyer present. Sandburg was more talkative--about anything but the events of that evening. He'd had an earful about the tribe in South America the anthropologist was going to be studying, the Jags chances at making the NBA finals this season, and a lecture on the horrors of MSG in Chinese food. Jim had finally stuck the kid in an interview room so he wouldn't have to listen to him any more.

That had been an hour ago. Henson's attorney had finally shown up, and after conferring with her client agreed to let the detective question her with her present. He entered the interview room determined to find out what the real story was. After setting up the tape recorder, Ellison leaned against the wall. The suspect and her attorney sat at the table in the center of the room. "Ms. Henson, what you were doing at the Neon Pony club last night?"

Her lawyer nodded, indicating she should answer the question. The trace of a smile crossed Julia's lips as she replied, "Dancing."

"With the young man found in the trunk of your car, correct?"

She looked to her attorney, who again nodded. "Yes."

"How did Mr. Sandburg get from the dance floor to your car, Ms. Henson?"

The attorney, a tall blonde woman by the name of Dagne Mueller, spoke up. "I advise my client not to answer that question on the grounds that it might incriminate her."

The suspect shrugged. "Sorry, I always listen to my lawyer."

Jim tried another line of questioning. "What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a doctoral student in psychology at Washington State University."

Now that was interesting, that Henson and Sandburg both attended WSU. "Had you ever met Mr. Sandburg before last night at the club?"

Another look passed between client and counsel. "Yes, at school."

So she knew the guy. This was beginning to make less and less sense to the detective. "How well do you know Mr. Sandburg?"

Julia leaned forward, propping her elbow on the table and resting her chin on her hand. "How do you mean 'how well'? Are we friends? I like to think so. Do I know him in the biblical sense? Very well," she purred, giving him a slow wink.

"What about Mr. Malloy? Is he friends with Mr. Sandburg?"

"Yes, we all know each other." She yawned, covering her mouth with a beautifully manicured hand. Jim got the distinct impression his questions were boring her.

"Let me ask you about Mr. Malloy for a few minutes. You told me when I stopped you that he was your driver. He's in your employ?"

Another whispered consultation was held with her attorney. "No, I don't pay him to chauffeur me around. He was driving my car tonight because I asked him to."

"Did he help you tie up Mr. Sandburg and place him in your trunk?"

She didn't need to look at her lawyer to answer that one. "I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me."

Jim felt like planting his fist in the smug woman's face. With an effort, he restrained himself. "You understand you're facing serious charges here, criminal confinement, reckless endangerment--"

"Misdemeanors, Detective Ellison," Mueller said. "My client has never been in trouble with the law before. She'll get probation, if anything."

"Those will be felony charges, Ms. Henson, once Mr. Sandburg finishes his statement." Jim was not about to tell them that Sandburg had told him exactly zip up to that point.

Julia began to laugh. "You've got to be kidding, Detective! You expect me to believe Blair is going to press charges against me? Just the fact that you've even brought the subject up is telling me that Blair has told you nothing." She leaned back in her chair, still giggling. "You haven't asked the right questions yet, of Blair or me."

Jim was at a loss, but he saw a way to turn it to his advantage. If she thought she was so smart, then he should use that, play to her ego. "All right, Ms. Henson, what questions should I be asking?"

The smile she gave him was devious. "You haven't asked me whose idea it was in the first place to tie Blair up and put him in the trunk of my car."

"Whose idea was it?" The answer he got made him storm out of the room in a rage.

Taking a deep breath, Ellison opened the door to the interrogation room holding Blair Sandburg. The young man looked up at his entry, a smile crossing his face.

"Can I go yet?" he asked.

"No!" Ellison snapped, pulling out the chair across the table from Blair, flipping it around, and sitting down on it backwards. "I want the truth from you and I want it now." He slapped his hand down on the tabletop, and Sandburg jumped.

"I already told you, I'm not going--"

"To press charges. Yeah, yeah, I heard you. Well, Mr. Smart Guy, I don't need you to press charges. I can do that all on my own. Sure, they won't be felonies, but your good friend Ms. Henson will still wind up with a criminal record."

Blair's face paled, and for the first time since Jim had pulled him out of the Mercedes, he looked scared.

"Ms. Henson and Mr. Malloy have told me a very interesting story, but I want to hear it in your words. What were you doing in the trunk of that car?"

Blair chewed the inside of his lip, his gaze darting around the room. Finally he sighed. "Okay, if I tell you the truth, you'll drop the charges and let Julia and Patrick go free?"

Jim narrowed his eyes. "If I'm satisfied with your story, I'll consider it. Now answer the question."

Licking his lips, Blair said, "It was a roleplay."

"A what?"

"A…a game. A force fantasy."

Ellison had never heard of such a thing. "Still not following you, chief."

Blair's cheeks turned a bright red, and his voice dropped to a harsh whisper. "A sex game. Julia 'kidnaps' me and takes me to a secret place and…has her way with me…."

Jim felt like smacking himself in the forehead. Or better yet, smacking the kid. "And you thought being tied up and helpless in a car trunk was a good idea?"

"Hey, I was never in any danger at all! I could have been free and out of that trunk in ten seconds." He crossed his arms over his chest and stared sullenly at the floor.

Now this Ellison had to see. "Okay, chief, prove it to me."

Twenty minutes later, they were down in the parking garage, Julia's car having been brought over from impound. The two suspects, Henson and Malloy, along with their victim, were present. So was their attorney, Detective Ellison, and a couple of uniforms in case things got rowdy.

Ellison handed a length of rope to Julia. "Go to it."

Nodding, she approached Blair, grabbing him around the waist and pulling him to her, giving him a kiss that left him dazed and breathing hard when she finally stepped back. "Turn around, pet." Shaking himself, Blair complied, bringing his hands together behind him. Julia quickly tied them, then called the detective over to inspect her work.

"See, Detective? This is a quick release knot. Blair can strain all he wants against the rope, but it will only release if you pull on this end of it." She held up the end she meant, then made sure it was secure in Blair's grasp. "Give me a hand with him?" she asked Jim. "Grab his feet." Together they lifted Blair into the trunk.

"Anyone got a stop watch?" Blair asked. "If so, start timing as soon as the lid is closed."

Scowling, Ellison pushed Blair down into the trunk and closed the lid. He had barely taken his hand off of it when it popped open. Blair leapt out, grinning.

"See, I told you I could do it. I practiced it long enough. How long did it take?" At the answer of 'six seconds', he let out a whoop.

The detective shook his head. "What about carbon monoxide poisoning?"

Julia opened the back door to the car and reached inside, pulling the back of the rear seat down. "Take a look. I had this open the whole time, monitoring him."

Jim stuck his head inside the car. With the seat down, there was clear access to the trunk. Straightening up, he looked at everyone involved in the incident, as well as the small crowd that had gathered. He was never going to live this down. His kidnapping was a fantasy sex game.

"There's nothing to see here!" he yelled at the gawkers. "Don't you have work to do?" As the crowd dispersed, laughing among themselves, Ellison looked at the two "suspects" and their "victim" "You're free to go," he told them with a sigh. "Not because I don't have enough evidence to charge you, but because you've already taken up enough of my damn time, and it wouldn't be worth the aggravation to bring this case to trial. Go pick up your belongings and get the hell out of here."

With that, he turned his back on the whole crazy lot of them, and stalked into the PD.

Letting out a long sigh, Blair rubbed his cheek against the soft skin his head rested on. Fingers worked their way through his curls, massaging his scalp. "Mmmm…."

"Feel good, pet?"


Julia tipped her head down just enough so she could plant a kiss on top of his hair. "I'm sorry tonight didn't work out as we'd planned. I hope the experience hasn't ruined the idea of role-playing for you."

Blair shifted in the bed, rolling over on his back, releasing his hold on her, his wrist still trailing the silk scarf she'd used to tie his hands earlier. Raising up on one elbow, she peered down at him, her fingertip tracing across his lips before she leaned over and kissed him.

He smiled at her when they parted, his sleepy eyes reflecting the candlelight in the room. "It's okay, Mistress. In fact, I have an even better idea. Think we could get some handcuffs?"

"Why, pet, whatever would we need handcuffs for?"

His grin grew broader. "I can think of lots of games--like naughty cops and robbers."

Laughing, she kissed him again, loving the way his mind worked.


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