Debra Fran Baker

"Aren't you cold, Chief?"

Blair turned to face him, his hair blown about by the wind from the ocean. "Uh? I...maybe. I didn't notice." He turned around again, his arms hugging his chest. "It's really beautiful today."

"Yeah, it is." It was late enough in the year that the sea was a little rough, and the tide was coming in. The whitecaps crashed against the rocks on the shore with a roar that would have deafened Jim had he not enjoyed it so much. The sun was low enough in the sky that there seemed to be a golden road leading to it over the waves. The air smelled clean and fresh and full of seaweed and salt, and even from this distance the spray was sharp against his skin. It was beautiful. So was Blair. His hair had escaped from its tie. It moved about his head like a living thing. His cheeks were red from the chill and his eyes sparkled like the sea itself, and the scent of salt mingled with his own musk.

Tentatively, Jim put an arm around Blair's shoulder. To Jim's surprise, Blair, shivering under his flannel shirt, snuggled closer. "Oh, yeah, man. That's good. You are *so* warm."

"You want my sweater?" He felt he had to make the offer.

"No way. This is better." With that, Blair leaned even closer and rested his head on Jim's shoulder. "Mmm. Don't let go."

"Never, Chief." He wrapped his other arm around Blair, and stared over his head at the ocean. Greatly daring, he bent to kiss the top of Blair's head.

Blair looked up at him and smiled. And kissed him back as the sun set and turned the sea to crimson.

Copyright 2001 Debra Fran Baker and NightRoads Associates

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