Tangled Up in Life

Debra Fran Baker



"Okay. Thanks. Goodbye." Blair hung up the telephone and turned to face the two far too handsome men standing next to him. "There was a flood in the hotel. Something about someone using a water sprinkler as a sex toy...I do *not* get that. Anyway, the conference has been canceled. Guess I'm not going anywhere."

"Let me get this straight, boss." Blair grinned at Montana's nickname for him. "You didn't go to Chicago because of plane trouble. Now the whole conference is canceled because...because of a sex-induced flood?"

"Yeah. Does sound like greater forces are at work here. Had any visions lately, Jim?"

Jim stood there silently.

"Tiger?" Montana stepped closer to him. "What's going on? Jim?" He touched Jim's shoulder. "Boss, what's wrong?"

"I don't know." Blair moved to Jim's other side. He wasn't blinking, but it didn't feel like a zone. "Jim. Jim. Listen to my voice, Jim. Feel my hand. Montana, stroke his arm. That's right. We're both here, Jim. Jim, follow my voice, follow Montana's touch."

Jim blinked. "Wha...Chief...I..."

Blair gestured to the couch with his head as Jim sagged in their arms. They set him down gently, with Blair at his head and Montana at his feet. "Jim, where were you? Do you remember at all?"

"It's...I don't know. That conference...you...us...all of us. I just saw the jaguar. The panther. He...morphed into me and smiled when you said something about a higher power. Then he disappeared and I heard you." Jim smiled and touched Blair's face. "I guess maybe you're right, Chief."

Blair shivered at his touch. Had they only made love together for the first time that morning? He bent to kiss his cheek. "You okay, Jim?"

Jim shook his head, smiled and reached out a hand to Montana. "I need to get used to this. But anything that brought you into our lives, babe, has to be a good thing."

"That's what I think, tiger." Montana took Jim's hand and held it as if it were something precious. "No matter what happens."

This was all very nice, but it wasn't getting what they needed done. And those two would moon at each other forever if he let them. Well, he'd be happy staring at them, too. "Okay, do you remember *when* the panther showed up? Not when it changed but when it appeared?"'

"Chief, do we have to do this now?"

Montana grinned at him. "Why even bother arguing, Jim?"<