Come To Your Senses 21

200 pages

color cover by Karen River


Zine Information

Available From: Agent With Style


LOOK HERE by Saraid

     Simon stood with his back against the wall and his arms crossed over his chest.  "You don't know what's been going on, do you?  He hasn't told you any of it."  It sounded like another accusation and Blair responded
     "He doesn't talk to me about cases anymore.  He barely talks to me at all."
     "Because he knows you don't want to hear about it!" Simon shouted.
     Blair stopped, startled, and started at him.  "What?"
     "When you left the PD, we all knew you weren't coming back.  Hell, we figured you'd dump Jim, too.  The betting pool gave you six months.  Jim said he had to give you some space, to let you find your own way.  So, he started coming to talk to me instead of you."
     "He knows I would never leave him when he needed me."  Blair crossed his own arms, defensive and angry.  "You've been his friend longer than I have, why shouldn't he talk to you about shit?"
     "Because he's not in love with me," Simon said more gently.  "Because I'm not the beginning and ending of his world."
     Blair snorted, and then laughed.  "Jesus, Simon, drop it in my lap, why don'tcha?"  He ran his hands through his hair, freeing it, and straightened to look up and meet Simon's eyes.  "You're nuts, man.  Jim's the straightest
guy in the world, and I'm the second."
     "Tell that to the guys that have been harassing him."  Simon held Blair's gaze.  His voice was rough and pissed off.  "Tell that to Brown and Rafe; they've been defending both of you.  Tell it to Jim the next time he hides out in my office because he's so lonely he can't bear to go home."
     "You're nuts," Blair said.  But his mind was racing.  Jim being harassed at the station?  Staying in Simon's office instead of coming home? Why?
     "I never thought I would say this about you, Sandburg.  After everything you've done and everything you've sacrificed, I can hardly believe it."
     Blair glared at Simon, daring him to say whatever it was.
     "You're being selfish."  Simon raised a hand in a warding gesture when Blair would have erupted, and kept talking.  "For the past year, you've been so caught up in your sacrifice and your miserable martyrdom that you haven't even noticed what's been going on with Ellison.  He's your best friend and you've been taking him for granted."
     "I gave him my life, man, what else does he want?!"  Blair yelled now, ignoring the pained look on Simon's face.  "I haven't got anything left to give him!"


     Blair sighed as he watched the couple head toward the hotel stairs. The man clutched the room key that Blair had just given him tightly in his hand as the prostitute he was with fawned all over him.  Blair figured he'd see her three or four more times that night.  He usually did.  "Man, this job sucks!"
     He guessed he shouldn't complain, though.  He got paid on time, under the table so Jim couldn't track him by a paycheck, and he got a place to sleep on top of his pay.  Being night desk clerk at this type of seedy motel had another advantage, too.  Nobody ever looked at his face.
     He'd tried more upscale neighborhoods, but someone always recognized him.  He just couldn't take the scorn.  "I should leave Cascade," he muttered.  His gut clenched at the idea of going that far away from Jim, but
Blair knew it was the best plan.  Just...not yet.
     He'd have to soon, though.  Jim had almost found him a couple of times, before Blair found this dive.  Blair knew the man.  He wouldn't give up--not until he had to.
     Forcing his mind away from the Sentinel, Blair turned back to his books.  He'd decided that the furthest thing away from being himself would be a stuffy businessman, someone no one would ever suspect of having once been Blair Sandburg.  He had pretty much decided on bookkeeping or stockbrokering.  They were both pretty boring, but they would keep him fed. And Jim would never think to look for a businessman.
     He settled down to study just as a second prostitute and her john pushed through the lobby doors.  It was going to be a long night.
     Finally, hours later, the sky lightened outside and the parade of hookers stopped.  Just before nine, the motel owner showed up.  "Okay, kid. Here's this week's pay," he said, handing Blair an envelope.  "Good night?"
     Blair shrugged, pocketing the cash.  "The usual."
     His boss settled in behind the desk, flipping open his paper.  Blair headed for the stairs that led to his room, only to be called back.  "Hey, kid!  This looks like you!"
     Blair approached the desk slowly, fearing what he might see.  Sure enough, his face was in the paper, topped by a large headline:  HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?  The phone number underneath the picture was Jim's cell phone.
     "Nah.  That's not me," he said.  "Look at that hair!  I wouldn't be caught dead with hair like that!"  Inwardly, he mourned the loss of his curly mane.
     The other man shrugged.  "If you say so.  Looks a lot like you, though."
     "Nope."  Blair headed casually for the door to the stairs, his heart pounding.  Stepping through, he stopped and listened closely.  Faintly, he heard the motel owner picking up the phone.
     "Shit!"  He turned and ran up the stairs.  Throwing himself into his room, he jammed the few items he'd unpacked back into their case, grateful that he'd thought to leave most of his belongings in the car.  Five minutes later, the room was empty.


     Blair took a deep breath.  Okay, he could do this.  It wasn't as if he had anything to be ashamed of.  He wasn't as buff as Jim, but the academy had firmed up any soft areas, and all in all, he could put on a pretty decent showing.
     It was just that the showing would be for Jim.  Blair hadn't been this nervous since his first kiss.  He couldn't believe he was resorting to something so underhanded, but he had to know if he turned Jim on.  That was the dealbreaker.  Jim hadn't shown any signs over the years, but Blair hadn't been looking, either.  Besides, he hadn't known he was attracted to Jim until he'd thought about it.
     So, he was stuck pulling some 1950's how-to-catch-a-husband crap to find out if there was anything there to even work on.
     Blair heard the elevator ding, and silently counted as he turned the volume up on the music and kicked off his shoes.  Moving to the beat, he unbelted his pants and flung off his shirt, one ear primed to the sound of the key turning in the lock.
     He could feel a slight draft from the open door, and Blair knew Jim was there watching him.  The tee shirt was next, pulled slowly up his body and over his head in time to the sultry rhythm of the song.
     He spun around, opened his eyes--and froze.  Blair didn't have to fake embarrassment as not only Jim, but Simon and Megan stood in the doorway watching him, Simon's mouth open, cigar dangling, while Megan had an a
ppreciative grin on her face...

Price: $25.00 (US) * $29.00 (Can/Mex) * $30.00 (overseas)

Observations of a Slash Slut:

If you were hesitant to purchase Come to your Senses 21 because of the last CTYS debacle, take heart:  CTYS 21 is good -- heck, it is very good.

There were plenty of good reads in this one, and I think it is a worth while purchase.

In summary:

747 by Donna Jones.  Started this and then skimmed it briefly, but it was not my cup of tea.  And I thought it was an odd choice for the first story.  From what I did read it read almost like a DD or dom/sub story.  Blair was
furious at Jim for jumping from a helicopter onto a plain, and Jim was being very sub and conciliatory.

Look Here by saraid.  First Time.  I saved this for my last read because I thought it was going to be a real angst-fest, and it *was* angsty...reading Saraid can make my heart hurt.  But it was also good.  Very Blair
introspective, very sensual and intense and sweet.  In other words:  very sariad.

Secrets, by Bluewolf.   A Naomi friendly story that made me think kind thoughts about her.   A believable (to me) explanation of Naomi's flightiness and Blair's illegitimate birth.  Blair finds out who is father is.

Chrysalis by Chrys.  First time.  After TsbyBS.   Not very realistic, and I never could quite *believe* what was happening,.  Blair runs away from Jim and stays away and becomes a "mean Corporate Type".  But Blair's thesis is available on the net and people are reading it.  Jim tries but cannot find Blair and Jim wastes away until a man confronts Simon and tells Simon that he could be Jim's Guide (he discovered his guide qualities from reading Blair's thesis on the net) until he finds his own Sentinel.  A woman confronts Blair in his corporate persona and tells Blair that she needs him as a Guide until she finds her own (she discovered she was a Sentinel by reading Blair's thesis on the net_.  This is sort of a convoluted tale, and the name that Blair took as a "mean Corporate Type" threw me off and confused me.

Two in the Bush, by Kira.  A continuation of a story from CTYS 18 that I didn't remember (durn it), and it doesn't seem to be available on the net yet.  This was a funny/cute Jim and Blair go camping story, but I felt the
bad guy was irrelevant to the story line.

Best Laid Plans, by Carmen.  First time, Jim trying to get Blair interested in him by making Blair jealous.  It works.  Well written and good Blair dialogue.

Time to say Goodbye, by Bluewolf.  First time, Blair is a cop. A bomber is blowing up malls and Jim has to make a choice.  A bit of angst, a bit of h/c (Jim gets hurt).

Five Senses, Backward by JenCat004.  Started, never finished.

The Write Stuff, by Quinn.  First time.  Blair writes a couple best selling bosom-rippers under the name Jaqueline Ellesmere.  Jim doesn't know Blair is a published author.  A crazy person decides Jaqueline Ellesmere is responsible for his wife leaving him and starts stalking Blair.  Blair has to tell Jim, who has to tell Simon.  The premise is a little funny.

Echo, by Pink Dragon--first person POV (Jim), first time and sweet sweet sweet.  Add a bit of wickness, great writing, leave off the mush.  Pink Dragon is a good writer and I very much liked this story.

Touchstone, by Garnet.  A sort of poem.  I haven't read it.

Asylum, by Kira.  First time, AU. Fairly long.  Jim is still in the military, just out of Peru, and signs himself into a mental hospital for the wealthy (guess why).  There he meets Blair, and....well...I don't want to spoil the story, but know that Blair is there against his will.   It is angsty and tense, a little predictable, but it held my interest all the way to the end.

A Kiss is Just a Kiss, by Spacecadet.  First time, just two pages.  Jim and Blair's first kiss.  A nice story.

Sometimes I Feel, by Valaria.  First person, told from Simon's POV.  Started, never finished.  Skimmed the end.  It appears to be a Simon/Blair story.  I did read the last few paragraphs and it looks like Blair got hurt
which made Jim see reason and Simon gave up Blair to Jim.

Alone Tonight, by Kyanoswolf.  Sweet little ditty.

Written, by Spyke.  Established relationship. Blair is writing a report about how he almost killed someone because that someone almost killed Jim.  Then there is comfort and sex.  This reads a bit odd., sort of like a cross between a first person and a personal journal.  It didn't really work for me, although I liked the premise of the story and some of the phrasing had significant impact.



Added 3/2005 -- Review by Patt

747 by Donna Jones - Blair is angry about the chances Jim takes with his life. Blair is going to make him pay. Donna did a very nice job showing us an angry but scared Guide. Thanks, Donna. 

Look Here by Sariad - This start off calm and two pages later youíre on the edge of your seat. Blair is a high school teacher and isnít totally thrilled about that. He gets called out of school to help his Zoned out partner. This is all Iím saying other than Sariad wrote this so smoothly; it was a joy to read. Thank, Sariad.  

Secrets by Bluewolf - Naomi explains some of Blairís past. His Father has died and left him an estate. I donít want to give away any of the plot. Bluewolf , you did a lovely job with making me think about things I hadnít before. Thank you, S.  

Chrysalis by Chrys - Jim pushes Blair too far one too many times. Blair leaves the loft and leaves a note for Jim. Simon helps Jim try and find him. He goes by Rafe Conner and is gone for years. A stack broker name Rafe Conner, can you believe it? Iím not saying anymore. You have to read it. Thanks, R.  

Two In the Bush by Kira -Jim and Blair go camping. I love sexy camping stories. The The Chair of Blairís Funding Department made a pass at him and he tells Jim while camping. What ensue are tons of fun and laughter. You have to read it yourself. 

Best Laid Plans by Carmen - Jim is beginning to act like Blair with dating. Blair wonders when this became Freaky Friday. Jim is going to start looking for the/oneí. This one is so damned funny. I was bugging the hubster with all of my laughter while he tried to watch tv. Iím not going to say anymore other than, make sure and read this. Carmen did a most excellent job in writing it. Thanks.  

Time to Say Goodbye by Bluewolf - Wasnít readÖ 

Five Senses, Backwards by JenCat004 - Jim wants to use his senses in a different order than work. Jim talks to himself about what sense would do the most with Blair. Very sexy story.  

The Write Stuff by Caroline Quinn - Jim finds out more about Sandburgís writing then he cares to know. Or does he want to know more? Iím not saying which one it is. You have to read it and see. This is a fun, fast, exciting and sexy story. Youíll love it.  

Echo by Pink Dragon - A sweet story of the boys hanging together and finding out theyíre in love. I adore the way Pink Dragon writes, so this was a nice treat. You love this story too. Thanks, Tuscadero.  

Touchstone By Garnet - A very nice Prose about Jimís sense of smell and life with Blair. Itís fairly angsty, for those that like that in a Prose.  

Asylum by Kira - The story starts out with Jim admitting himself to a mental hospital. Itís there that he meets Blair, another inmate. Blair helps Jim with his senses and Jim leaves the hospital to help spring Blair out of that place. Who is behind all of this? Youíll have to read it and see. Kira did a wonderful job telling us this story. Be sure to read it.  

A Kiss is Just a Kiss by Spacecadet - It was an accident, really it was. [g] After a tough bust and a good scare, Jim accidentally kisses Blair. What follows is pure fun and heat. This is a really short story, but really good.  

Sometimes I Feel by Valeria - This is a Simon/Blair story and I donít read them anymore. Sorry.  

Alone Tonight by Kyanoswolf - This is soooooo sexy and sweet. Youíre going to love it. Only one page, but well worth the read.  

Written by Spyke - Jim and Blair are on a bust and Jim gets knocked out. Blair is having a hard time dealing with anyone hurting his lover. Now heís going to have to deal with it and this story is wonderful.

Why you should buy this 'zine: Because youíre getting top-notch writers all in one place. I had a wonderful time reading it and so will you. Karen River did a beautiful cover for it also.

Why you shouldn't buy this 'zine:
I have no idea.

The beautiful cover, by Karen River has a nice plastic covering it and the spiral binding is very nice. This is a great zine.

Review: Write to Submit