As always, this series carries a m/m/f warning. This should be the last part, unless I get an
enraged cry from my listsibs demanding that I continue. // // is link talk, [ ] is individual thoughts.
Sorry about the cross-over. I've been working on this for so long, I lost the original thread of the
story. It just happened, really.

Summary: Derek fights for his part in the bond. Alex is kidnaped, and they find a few friends in

by Voracity

"GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF HIM!" Derek yelled, slamming the door open and
advancing on Philip. "He's not *yours* to chew on." He pulled out his sword, threatening the
two men with it. "They're mine, you go get your own," he hissed, pulling a stunned Nick away
from Philip, accidentally nicking Philip with the blade.


Kat looked out of her room, sighing in frustration at the noise. "At least he finally figured it out,"
she said, pulling back into her room to read until they settled down. "Good thing I don't have
even one of those yet. Poor Alex."


Rachel met William in the hall, tying her ugly peach robe. "What's going on now?"

"It looks like Derek's finally snapped," he said, smiling at her. He admired her greatly after all the
things she had been through since joining the house. "Shall we go stop him?" he offered, guiding
her with a hand on her back. "At least Kristen is out of the house somewhere," he muttered,
going the short distance with her.

She smiled at him, walking down the hall to see Derek backing out of the room, pulling Nick with
him. "Derek," she asked softly, slipping into her therapist persona. "What's going on?"

"He's mine, and so is she," he hissed, waving the sword in their direction. "Go back to bed."

"No," William said simply, moving closer. Derek thrust at him, making him jump back.

"It's all right," Nick said calmly. "We'll deal with this between us." He motioned them off, letting
Derek pull him into his room. "We'll be fine."

They watched helplessly as Derek shut the door and locked it. Rachel went into Alex's room,
checking her and Philip for injuries, while William tried to get the door open..

Philip was holding a wet washcloth to a shallow cut on his shoulder, leaning against the bathroom
doorway. "I'm fine. It's nothin' major." He shrugged away from her, going into the bathroom for
some privacy.

Rachel nodded at him, going over to Alex. "How are you sweetie? Did he hurt you too?"

"No," she said, sitting up. "I was taking a nap, and I heard this noise. When I opened my eyes,
Derek had just taken a stab at Philip, and was trying to drag Nick away." She swallowed hard.
"He winked at me, Rachel."


Derek locked the door behind him and released Nick gently. "Don't worry," he crooned, "I won't
let that other man touch you again. You and she will be mine. That's the way it should be." He
stroked Nick's hair away from his forehead, dropping the sword by the door. "Come to me,
precious one, and be mine."

Nick backed away from him, slowly getting out of arms' reach. "Derek, what's going on here.
Earlier you didn't even want to speak to me."

Derek smiled sadly, advancing on the younger man. "I was just jealous, trying to punish you
wrongly for what Philip had made you do." He moved around Nick, sitting on the bed and
patting the spot beside him. "Come, sit with me, and I'll tell you everything." He patted the spot
again, more forcefully when Nick didn't sit down right away.

Nick thought about his options. He could try to sit in the chair, but that might make
Derek go off again. He could stand, but again, that might make Derek loose it. He decided the
bed might be best after all. Nick pasted a smile on, sitting next to his boss. "So, tell me what that
was all about?"

Derek smiled at him, leaning over and planting a light kiss on his cheek. "You're mine,
you and Alex both," he said simply, running a finger around the neck of Nick's collar. "The link
proves it."

"But we're linked with Philip too, Derek. What about that?" Nick tried to make him see
reason, trying to make him come back from wherever his mind was. "We can't break the link with
Philip, not without killing all of us."

"So, he'll be yours and hers. I won't mind." He looked in Nick's eyes. "Much." And his
smile turned smarmy.

Nick looked at him, noticing the sweat and the chills wracking his body. "Derek, why don't you
crawl into bed, let me go get a washcloth to wipe your face down before we talk." He smiled,
trying to reassure the older man.

"No," Derek pouted. "You're not going to leave me." He grabbed Nick's wrist, holding it tight
enough to bruise. "Mine, and you're not going anywhere."

//Just give in,// Philip sent to him. //Calm him down and get him into the bed so you can get a
cloth to wipe him off. It will calm him further, maybe even allow him to sleep.//

"Tell him to go away," Derek hissed, squeezing Nick's wrist. //You don't need him, you have me

"Derek," Nick started. //I need him, like I need you probably. Definitely like you need me. I
can't tell him to go away.// "He's as much a part of this as you and Alex are."

"We don't need him," Derek started, but Nick cut him off.

"But I and Alex do. We need him to be with us too. Same as he needs us." Nick rubbed a
shoulder, lightly pushing him back on the bed. "Lay down, and I'll go get a cloth. I'll come back,
I promise, and lay beside you for a while. We'll talk and it'll be all right." Nick gently laid Derek
back, helping him under the covers. //Everything'll be fine, just wait and see,// he crooned
mentally, over and over again, getting Derek to let him go.

Nick went into the bathroom, coming back out with the promised cloth. He gently wiped Derek's
face down, folding and refolding it to get a clean side until all the sweat was gone. "Isn't that
better?" He sat down beside Derek, not at all surprised when the older man laid his head on his
legs. "Ssshh, let's talk and it'll be all right." Nick stroked the back of his neck, soothing in his

//Nothing to talk about. You're mine. You and Alex both. It's our destiny.//

"Why are we yours, Derek? Why both Alex and I and not Philip?" He stroked a hand through
the graying hair on the back of his head. "Tell me and make me understand."

"You're mine." He swallowed, then started to nibble on Nick's leg through his jeans. "My house,
my staff, my workers under me, and that's how it should be." He looked up. "That's the right

Nick nodded, leaning his head back to think. //What do I do now?//

//Trust it,// Alex sent. //He must have a reason, just get down to it.//

"Derek," Nick asked softly, "*why* do you need Alex and I?"

"Because I do," he answered, running a finger lightly down Nick's zipper, playing with the soft
tissue it was hiding. "Be mine?"

"Not until we talk, Derek." He moved the errant finger, laying it back on his thigh. "I need to
know why you want both of us and not Philip. It seems like you and Philip would get along
better than you and me."

"Why? Because we're both book people?" He snorted. "We have nothing in common really."

"Yeah, you do. You like the same things, listen to the same music, go to the opera. It just seems
like you would want him more than you would me. Why do I attract you?"

Derek thought for a moment. "You're vivacious, full of life and energy, so much that you radiate
it to others. I like that, the feeling that your strength and energy are mine. Mine and Alex's," he
corrected himself. "I understand what your early life was like now, know some of the bad things
Jonathan did to you, what made you into the man you are today. I can understand what drives
you to go off on your own and do stupid things like play Russian roulette with a ghost." He
looked up, frowning. "By the way, if I haven't told you yet, don't ever do that again. Not only
was it foolish and stupid, but you could have been lost to us. I was scared I would lose you. I
would have hated to have lost you over something like that. The work is not that important." He
laid his head back down, stroking the sensitive flesh of Nick's inner thigh. "Nothing is that

//Derek, listen to me.//

//What?// He looked up, but didn't stop rubbing.

//Why do you want Alex?// He had replayed the earlier conversation to the other two already so
they could help him figure this out, now he needed to find the common bond between them. Why
Derek wanted him and Alex, but not Philip.

"Because I've always wanted her." He kissed the tight muscle he was laying on, shifting up some,
making Nick recline a little further. "I've always loved her, from the first moment she stepped into
my class room; to when she walked in tonight on Philip's arm. She's supposed to be mine."

"So this is about love?" He sighed, not really appreciating the depth of the situation. "Derek,
why didn't you tell us?"

"If I did, both of you would have run out on me, told me I was strange. Neither of you are that
liberal. This is the only way we can be together." He moved up Nick's chest, laying over his
heart. "I don't really mind if Philip is connected to you two, but I *need* you to be mine. Him
I could care less about loving. I'll do it if I have to, but I don't really want to."

//He's right, and I do understand. I've not really ever wanted him either, but you and Alex are my
world now.// Nick heard Philip sigh mentally. //Just bring him in. I'll live with it, even bond to
him if I have to, but it's not him I've wanted.//

"When did I become the male fantasy around here?" Nick asked quietly.

//Oh, I don't know, the first time you took off your shirt?// Philip suggested, sending a smilely face
and a picture of Nick working on his beloved car without his shirt on and grease streaks across his
pecs and neck, with the comment. //That's when I started, don't know about our leader though.
Ask him.//

//He doesn't need to,// Derek said, //I can use his mind as an interchange to hear yours. I've loved
him since he was a teenager. All that strength and anger pushing people away to protect himself.
I wanted to grab him, hold him until it went away, heal him. The day he showed up at the house
to interview, I still saw it. I almost reached out and hugged him then, but I knew it would have
scared him off, so I controlled it.// He sent a wry look to Philip through Nick, //I've always been a
sucker for a person in trouble.//

"I didn't know that. Was that why you kept staring at me during my father's funeral?" Derek
nodded, blushing slightly. "Okay, I guess I can accept that answer." He nodded his head. "That
makes perfect sense." He leaned down, kissing the top of Derek's head. "Feel better?"

"Not enough," Derek said, pulling himself up and straddling Nick's lap. He locked his lips to
Nick's, plundering the mouth that opened in shock, rubbing their crotches together.

//Oh, man, can he kiss,// Nick sent, making Derek laugh into his mouth.

//Tell me about it,// Alex sent.

Derek pulled back, smiling at him. "See, Alex agrees with me. You're both mine now."

"Derek, we still need to talk. I mean, do you understand what this is? How far we are into each

"You mean like that dream you shared that first night away?"

Nick nodded, his mouth falling open. "Was part of that your's?" He swallowed, thinking back to
those memories. "Let me guess, the snake part, right?"

"It was an old dream from when I spent six months in the jungles in India on a dig. We were
surrounded by snakes constantly, and I didn't like them before that." He smiled sadly. "Yes,
Nick, to answer your question, I do know how far you are into the others. I've felt that too. Just
as much as you have. All I'm asking for is a chance to be yours and Alex's. Nothing more
complicated. I know you need to talk to them about it, so I'll lay here and try not to listen."
Derek laid down, back turned to Nick, and closed his eyes. "I'll stay out of it until you call me."
He closed his eyes, waiting for them to decide his future.

//Guys, he's right, what do I do?//

//He's yours,// Philip sent sadly. //I'll abide by your decisions.//

//Philip, if he becomes part of it, he's going to be part of this as much as you are.// Alex snorted
mentally. //Both of you will have two lovers, but not the third to make it a true quad, just two
triangles sharing a side. We want your opinion on this too.//

//She's right. But that is not a pretty picture Alex. A square with a hypotenuse dissecting it down
the middle? Have you been helping Kat do her homework again?// He shuddered mentally.
Geometry had given him nightmares in high school, and occasionally came back to haunt him

//Yeah, mostly. You aren't that good at math, you know.//

//We're off the topic, aren't we,// Philip sent.

//We know,// Nick and Alex sent. //This is hard.//

//But I still stand by my earlier statement. I'll go with what you two want.//

//I wish I could find her right now and ask what to do. She would have an answer, but I
wouldn't understand it anyways.//

//Who? The woman from the temple?// Nick sent a feeling of agreement. //Didn't she say
you could come back anytime?//

//But I don't know how to get there. Earlier it was like some near death experience. How
do I do it without that?//

//Don't know, search for the answer,// Philip and Alex sent.

Nick settled himself in comfortably, going back into his mind to recall what she said earlier, trying
to find a way back. He searched the memory of his short time there, but he couldn't come up with
anything. So, he came back forward, thinking about the problem at hand, Derek. Did he want
him to join them? Did he want to sleep with the older man, did he want to think and know and
feel what Derek was? Did he really have a choice in the matter? //Derek?//

"Yes, Nick?" He rolled over, cuddling back up to Nick's side in relief.

"Is this something I have to do, or do I really have a choice in the matter?"

The older man's face fell with the question, the light going out of his eyes. "I don't know. I
would suppose you have a choice, but I'm not sure of the consequences." He shuddered, a chill
running through him. "All I know is that you have to decide soon."

"Yeah, I do," Nick said, testing Derek's temperature with the back of his hand. "You're fever's
come back."

"It's nothing," he said quietly, rolling over, going back to his own little world where everything
worked out all right.

//Guys, what do I do? Derek's got a fever.//

//Then we really don't have a choice do we?// Philip sent. //He has to join us or die probably.//

//But will it work if we only do it for that reason. I mean, when we joined, you had wanted Nick
for a while, and I was complaining about not having a man. Nick's been lonely for a long time
too. That could have kept us together through that first night so we could bond , but what about
Derek. He loves Nick and I, but will us wanting it to save his life be enough?//

Alex was thinking about something she had heard in Nick's mind during her bath. The journal he
had been reading had mentioned all of them had secretly been thinking about the others for a
while, contemplating being with each other in some form of relationship. The researcher thought
that's what had held the four of them together during the critical period. They didn't have that
with Derek. But, maybe they could build something like it. She shared the thought privately with

//Alex, be truthful, you've wanted Derek, at least when you were his student, right?//

Nick listened to Philip make his point, know it led back to him being the problem again.

//Yeah I did but that lust, it's grown into a friendship now, not a love.//

//But it may be enough,// Philip sent. //Now all we have to do is to give Nick a strong enough
reason to not reject him.//

//That's me, the big problem in the whole picture.//

//Stop it,// Alex sent. //You're no more a problem now then you are usually. It's just stickier for
you to not be so stubborn this time.//

//Gee, thanks guys. But I can honestly say I've never thought about Derek that way.//

//But what about what Alex was thinking about with us. The not having anyone, needing a mate,
someone who understands you. Derek has know you longer than we have, he knew you as a
child. He can understand you when we can't.//

//And you told me when Julia was here that having someone who understood you was an
important part of having a mate,// Alex sent. //That's why you liked her.//

//But wouldn't the desire for a mate be weakened by my having you two?//

//Not if you don't want it to,// Alex sent. //Reality is how you perceive it, not what you can prove
of it.//

"Those are famous last words in this house, love, but I'll try," he whispered, turning over to lay
against Derek's back. "Derek?"

"Hmm," he asked, mumbling in his semi-conscious state. Nick hadn't noticed him slipping away,
but he was very close to being gone. He couldn't hear the rich voice anymore in his head,
humming to give him privacy. He hadn't even noticed it slowly getting more quiet, leaving them
in silence.

Nick rolled Derek on his back, checking his pupils and pulse. //Guys, he's almost gone.//

//Do it now then,// Philip sent. //Otherwise we won't have to make a decision.//

Nick nodded at the sentiment, knowing Philip was right, but he still wasn't sure. He wanted
to be sure, but he didn't know what he felt for Derek, or if it was strong enough. He didn't know
if he could come to think of Derek as more than a boss, a friend, a mentor. That jump to lover
and mate was a long one, especially for him.

//Be sure, Nick, or it won't work,// Alex sent to him.

Nick closed his eyes, centering himself and putting that thought in the forefront of his
mind. He leaned down, kissing Derek's lips softly, moving them slightly so he could get into the
mouth beyond. He kept his eyes open, watching for Derek to come back, but he didn't see a sign
of it, couldn't tell if it was working or not. He sat up, looking around the room for something to
help him.

Derek's breathing began to falter, coming in short gasps, with longer and longer intervals
between them. Nick panicked, pressing his mouth back to Derek's to kiss him again.

//Be sure, young one,// came a voice, he didn't know whose.

Nick sat there, looking at him. He could love Derek, if given some time, but he didn't
know if he did now or not. He saw the older man as a father figure, someone to go to for help
and understanding. He couldn't let him die, but was that strong enough? "No, he can't go on
me," he said, starting to strip of Derek's shirt and pants, getting down to his skin. "I do want him
here, with me, if only for support. Maybe he's meant to be my mate, but that'll be later, after I
bring him back. I can't just let him go." He got up long enough to pull Derek's pants off and
strip himself.

Nick laid back down, curling up against Derek's side. "Mine, you're going to be mine
too," he whispered into his ear. "Just you come back and I'll be yours, just like you wanted," he
promised in desperation. Nick kissed him again, trying to put as much affection into it as he
could, trying to send over all the feelings he had, hoping it would work.

Derek didn't come back fully, but his breathing regulated again. He smiled at his small
success, licking at the hollows that gravity made on the face of his soon to be lover. Nick could
almost hear his mind, could almost hear the smooth, rich voice in his head, so he leaned down,
licking over Derek's Adam's apple, nibbling on it lightly before moving down to suck on the
hollow spot on his throat, a place Alex had shown him he liked.

Derek moaned, still not fully back, but aware of what was going on. Nick could hear his mind
clearly now, the 'yeses' coming through clearly. //Mine,// he sent. Derek moved some, rolling
towards him. Nick sighed in relief and kissed the not so slack lips again, letting their renewed
strength flow into him.

Derek sent a clear //Yes// to him, an affirmation and a promise to be what he needed.
Nick smiled down at him, knowing he was doing this, understanding that it was his feelings that
had made the difference.

"Derek?" He shook his shoulder, nibbling on the hard bone protruding along the top edge.
"I can't do anything without your consent. You've got to come back and tell me it's okay." He bit
hard, marking the tender flesh where the neck and shoulder met.

Derek opened an eye, looking down at him. "Yes," he said softly, kissing the hair that tickled his
lips. "Mine, now and always."

"Yours," Nick agreed, coming up for another kiss.

Derek smiled, flipping them over, pushing Nick into the mattress. He devoured Nick's mouth,
sliding his tongue around the soft tissues, playing tag with his tongue. Nick moaned, and Derek
swallowed it, giving back his own before letting them come up for air. "I don't want a mating like
you three had. I'd rather remember tonight. For a very long time."

"Okay, fine by me," Nick said, nibbling on his cheek and tracing the faint hair paths. "Your ours
now I'll let you decide, if it's possible." He started to let his control go, letting Derek take the lead.
Obviously the Dutchman had some idea of what to do, whereas he only did what the bond told
him to do. He could let Derek show him and teach him this.

"Goot, but from what happened to you three, we need to experience each other in every way
possible." He looked down their naked expanses of flesh, sighing at all the possibilities. "Where
to start?"

"How about like this?" Nick thrust up against him, rubbing his erection against Derek's
stomach, just like Philip did to him sometimes. Derek moaned, pushing back and set the rhythm.
Nick could feel the calling come back, the singing in his blood growing steadily, telling him what
to do and how to do it. He quickly lost touch with what was happening, losing himself in Derek's
touches and kisses, the need taking over all that he was, all he knew. He became one with the
singing in his blood, letting it flow out to imprison all of them together in it.

Derek could feel it when Nick stopped fighting and he let go too, letting the fantasies he had
been having take control of his mind and body. He could feel the calling, not as strong as Nick,
but strong enough to take him over. He knew now that if he gave in fully he wouldn't remember a
thing they did later, but it was worth it to have his mate here with him. His last conscious thought
of the night was wondering how sore he was going to be, and thinking it would be worth it
because Nick was going to be worse off.


William walked out in the hall as Nick's final scream of "Yes!" in climax went off. He
shook his head, heading down to the kitchen to get something to help him sleep. "Guess I'll be
seeing Nick again tomorrow after all." He made it to the first landing before starting his
conversation with the thin air again. "Maybe by the time I'm back, they'll be out. They couldn't
have much more left." He headed down the last of the stairs, wandering through the house in
search of something to help him sleep too.

When he headed back upstairs, he stopped and looked at the bodies in the hall. Alex and
Philip were laying there, cuddled up in front of Derek's door, asleep. He went into her room,
bringing back out a comforter and laid it over them so they could be warm.

"Sleep tight," he whispered, taking his warm milk into his room.


Nick was awake at dawn, even more sore than the day before. He drank some water out
of the tap in the bathroom, noticing his sore throat, and grimacing. "This has to slow down soon.
I can't take much more of giving into this bond thing." He coughed painfully and opened the
bathroom door, checking to make sure Derek was still asleep.

When he opened the bedroom door, he looked down, not really surprised to find Alex and
Philip snuggled tight up against it. It was hard for any of them to sleep alone anymore, at least it
was for him, so he had almost expected that to happen. He gingerly stepped over them, going
into her room for the clothes he had dropped when Derek grabbed him, taking them into Alex's
bathroom for a badly needed shower.


Derek opened an eye, sure it was just another dream. Nick and he couldn't have.... He saw the
open bedroom door, and felt for the damp spots on the bed, feeling the warm indent where his
new lover had slept through the night. He concentrated, thinking about Nick, where he was,
trying to use the bond. He could feel warm water pulsing down on his back, loosening tense and
overused muscles.

Derek smiled. His lover, what a wonderful phrase to wake up to, didn't have such a bad idea,
especially not after last night. He groaned as he got out of bed, holding his sore back muscles in
place. What had Nick done to make him this sore?

Derek flashed to a single scene from the few hours of intense passion: Nick throwing him back
onto the bed and slamming into him, riding him roughly face to face before flipping him over and
moving him onto all fours to pound him harder, letting himself fall into his body. He smiled,
letting the stiffness in his back go from his mind, knowing he had earned it and everything would
be okay from now on.

He headed into the bathroom, a large smile gracing the noble face. Oh, Nick was all he had ever
dreamed. And so much more. He could see other flashes of the night coming out, brightening his
morning with the carnal lust.

He didn't wonder why his throat was sore, he knew; Nick had used it for 'target practice'
as he had called it. He smiled in wonder at the playful side the bond brought out. Now if he
could get that Nick to come out voluntarily, without the bond. He followed his new lover's
example, getting into a hot shower to soothe the ravished muscles.


Nick got out of the shower, reaching for a towel, not expecting to have it handed to him.
He brushed the water dripping from his hair out of his eyes and looked at the tight masculine form
standing there smiling. "Morning, Philip," he said hoarsely.

Philip just smiled and handed him a second towel, going back to brushing his teeth and
wiping off the remnants of shaving cream.

Nick dried off, getting out and slipping into his clothes. He hugged Philip from behind,
cuddling up to his back and looking over his shoulder. "How are you this morning?"

"Fine." He smiled in the mirror at Nick. "You might' wan' ta rest your throat. We've
been using' it heavily for the past two days." He reached back to play with the damp hair. "Tha's
why you can' talk this mornin'."

Nick blew out, tickling Philip's neck with it. "I know," he whispered. "I'm starting to
agree with Alex about that."

//Well, it *is* nasty when you think about it,// she sent from the bed. //Still sleeping.//

"Why?" Philip asked loudly enough to be heard in the next room.

//Because I'm tired.// She sent a 'Duh!' with it to show what she thought of the question.

//You've been this way since we bonded. You never used to sleep this much. Is something
wrong?// Philip was worried. Alex had never slept this much before, usually she was somewhat
of an insomniac. She used to work all hours of the night, not needing a reminder to go to bed, or
to get up. So many mornings he had found her asleep in the control room, or in the library,
working on something.

//Don't know, I'm fine. Come cuddle.// She sent a mental yawn along with it, a clear
invitation for her new favorite body pillow, Philip, to come and help her sleep. //Then I'll get up
and ravish you.//

Nick sent a laugh over the bond. //Guys, there are more important things we have to do today
beside strengthen the bond. Like figure out where Derek fits in, and if you need to ..... have
him... too, Alex. Like seeing about testing this thing so we can use it instead of it using us.//

//True, later,// she sent. She also sent a picture of her snuggling back down under the
comforters and quilts, purring like a kitten when she got warm and comfortable.

Nick shook his head, planted a kiss on Philip's neck, and headed downstairs to breakfast. He
would not even think about running today, the thought itself bringing up pain.


William was sitting at the table, staring into his food, trying not to fall back asleep.
"Nick," he said, inclining his head. "Is he better?"

"Very better." He smiled at the older man, sitting down beside him and spooning himself
some eggs from the bowl in front of him. "I think we should test it today," he whispered hoarsely.

The older man smiled at the hoarse tone to Nick's voice. "What about Alex. Doesn't she have
to...." He made a motion with his hand, showing what he was trying to say.

Nick laughed at the blush William was sprouting. "We don't know, and she's too tired to
come down and eat. I'm going to bring her up some food after I'm done." His smile broadened.
"How did you sleep?"

"I'll kill you if you keep me up like that again, young man," he growled, but it came out sounding
weak. He sighed and told the truth. "You kept me up most of the night. All that yelling and
screaming, and the bed pounding into the wall. You two are a noisy pair. I'd hate to hear you,
Philip, and Alex together."

"Sorry," Nick said, looking down and blushing. He still didn't remember much of what
went on, just him pounding into Derek, in as many ways as possible. He caught a flash of Derek
pumping down deep into his throat, shouting at the top of his lungs about how good it felt. No
wonder it was sore this morning. "He's fine now, and that's all that matters, though, right?"
Another flash hit him of Derek pausing in the middle of rimming him to slowly caress his body
like .... a lover, the gentle and tender touches strange in the instinct driven environment.

William nodded, tearing off a small piece of his danish. "Just so long as you all stay like
that. Fine, I meant."

They finished breakfast in quiet, calm in their places in the house, knowing the strange feelings
and desperation would come later with thoughts about last night. When they were done,
William helped Nick carry some food up for Alex and Philip, and an extra cup of coffee for the
missing precept.


Nick opened Alex's door, after checking to make sure she was in there. He peeked around the
edge of the door and stopped, mouth dropping open. Derek was laying curled up to her back,
fully undressed and out of the covers. Philip was laying on her other side, also undressed from
what they could see of his chest, but he was under most of Alex's body in what was becoming a
usual sight.

William pushed open the door and said, "Aaawwee," looking at the sleeping trio. He set
the tray down on the desk and walked over to the bed.

Nick was leaning over Philip, checking on Alex. He looked up and smiled, mouthing the
words, "Fully asleep," before pulling the blanket up higher on his mate's bodies. He watched as
William covered Derek, gently, with an afghan that usually draped the bed's end. They snuck out
of the room, going back downstairs to the control room until the three sleeping people got up.
There was time enough to talk later.


Nick picked up the phone, answering Dominic's call. "Yeah, what's up?"

He listened for a second, then closed his eyes and hung up, moving out of the control room and
quickly up to Alex's room. He stopped inside the door, staring at Rose, who was staring at her

"Rose," he said quietly, not wanting to wake them up.

She spun to face him, her anger plainly seen in her flashing eyes and stance. "What have you
done to my innocent Alex?" She pulled him out of the room by his ear, closing the door behind
her. She flung him a little further down the hall, keeping him from going back in. "You *will*
tell me what's going on in this house, and you will make it sound reasonable." She put her hands
on her hips, tapping a foot while she waited for him to come up with something.

//Alex, you need to get up now. I'm not explaining this to Rose,// he called, trying to wake her

Rose watched him, her eyes narrowing. "Young man, I'm waiting. Do I need to go get a
shotgun and a preacher? Or maybe just a shotgun?"

Nick swallowed. His throat was still sore, but he would do his best to talk their way out of
this. He just wished one of the less verbally deficient members of the house were here right now.
"Rose, listen. Alex was telling you the truth about the perfume. It changed us, did things to us
and through us, linked us all together." He swallowed again. "Somehow Alex, Philip, and I are
linked and Derek is linked to them through me." When Rose didn't move, or make any noise, he
threw his hands up. "It's not like we planned this .... thing. Trust me, before a week ago, I never
thought about your Granddaughter as more than a sister. Now I *have* to be in contact with her
and Philip and Derek. This is not easy for any of us."

Rose grunted. "I'm sure; and you're not enjoying this either, are you," she said, heading
back into Alex's bedroom. "We'll just see if the other's hold your fantasies up." She walked to
the side of the bed, reaching down to lightly slap the side of Alex's face. "Get up, Child. Now."
She stood back, waiting for Alex to acknowledge her presence. When she didn't open an eye
right away, Rose started back towards the bed, tuning her gifts onto the lithe body before her.
"Now, missy, or else I'm going to drag you out of here by your hair, all the way back home."

Alex had heard Nick and Rose out in the hall, but had tuned them out, sure Nick could handle it
for a while longer. She tapped into the minds next to her, seeing into their minds to find out the
state they were in. Philip was coming awake, Derek was still sleeping heavily, snoring into the
indentation between her shoulder blades. //Guys, time's up, Grandma Rose is here, and she's
pissed,// she sent, trying to gently wake them.

Rose was just coming back over to the bed when Philip opened his eyes. He looked over
at her, frowning. "I'll no' le' ya hur' her," he said calmly, getting out. He felt the breeze over his
skin and looked down, reaching back blindly for a sheet or something else to cover himself with, a
blush spouting easily on his face. "She'll talk ta ya in a few minutes when we're dec'n'."

Rose 'hrumphed' and tried to push the young man aside, but he was stronger and resisted,
pushing her gently away from the bed. "I'll see my Granddaughter now, young man. Get out of
my way."

"Le' her ge' dressed an' we'll meet ya downstairs in a few minutes. Ya can at leas' let her
do tha' much, can' ya."

"For her sake, I'll wait long enough to let her get dressed." She stepped closer. "But hear
me well. I *will* fix her of this situation, remove her from your evil influence, and save her from
this.... this.... this wanton coupling. She's coming back with me, and I'll thank you to never come
after her." She turned and walked out of the room, heading down the stairs and into the sitting
room where Dominic had tried to put her earlier.

Philip looked down at the pair on the bed, then at Nick. "Quite a woman. Now I see where she
ge's it from." He smiled at the younger man and reached for his pile of clothes. "Nothin'

"I know. I would have felt it." He sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. "What a mess."

"You said it," came the soft, feminine reply from the bed. "This *is* a mess, a complete
and total disaster." Alex pulled the comforter down, exposing her head. "How's the throat?"

"Better," Nick said, rubbing it lightly. "But I'm not putting anything except soft things down it for
a while." His eyes lit up in mischief.

Alex and Philip groaned at the play on words, each grabbing a pillow to toss at him.

"You are so bad," she said, getting out and looking back down at the sleeping older man. "He
came in, crawled in beside me, but nothing else," she whispered. Alex reached down to smooth
his hair off his brow. "So soft. Even in these strange times some things stay the same." She
shook herself, walking around the edge of the bed, past Nick, and headed for the bathroom.
She kissed the youngest of her lovers as she went by him. "Get me some clothes please?"

Nick nodded, watching her go in and shut the door. He smiled at Philip before getting into
the dresser for an outfit, getting her some comfortable clothes to act as armour for the fight to


Rose was ensconced in a deep chair, sipping a cup of tea. She tapped her foot impatiently,
waiting on her granddaughter. How could her good little one come to this sort of end? She
nodded when the three younger members of the house entered. They walked in, Alex leading the
two men, both looking like overprotective bodyguards.

She watched them look at each other, talking privately, and sit down close enough to be
touching. "Get away from her. She's to tell me on her own how this happened." Rose took
another sip. "I'll hear my Granddaughter tell me herself how she got into the evilness without
your help. You can leave now."

"No," Alex said, laying a hand on each of the men's thighs. "They're a part of this, as
much as I am. They'll stay, and we'll explain it together." She waited until Dominic had poured
her a cup of tea and left to continue. "What I told you on the phone was the truth. We've been
changed. The change has linked us together." She swallowed some of the soothing liquid. "I'm
not the same person I was, but a better one." She smiled at her Grandmother. "Grandma Rose,
it's like having a support system built in. I can *hear* them, feel their thoughts and feelings. My
gift has expanded, opened whole new worlds because of this." She took a sip of the tea. "I'll
understand if you're mad at me, or disappointed, you have every right to be. This *is* *not*
normal, even for this house," she added with a smile at her two men. "Not even for us. But,
we're making do, and we'll find a peace in the bond that we wouldn't have found otherwise." She
put down the cup, stanidng up and moving to where Rose sat. "You need to understand, I'm
happy in this bond. Even if I could break it and not hurt them, I wouldn't because *I* need it now
to be complete. I've never felt this level of peace before." Alex sat on the floor, leaning against
her leg. "Be happy for me if nothing else. I'm not alone anymore."

"Child, I don't know what's gotten into you, but you can't do this. It's not right, not good.
You're treading down the wrong path." Rose patted the soft hair, her nails straightening out the
part. "You need to leave them, get yourself some help maybe, but you can't stay here." She gave
one last pat and pushed Alex's head away so she could look at her. "Go pack, now. You're
coming home with me."

"No, I'm not," Alex said, getting up and going back to stand in front of the couch. "I'm
where I belong." She waved a hand around at the men and the room. "This *is* my home now.
I belong here. They need me, as much as I need them." She sat down, grabbing Nick and Philip's
hands in hers. "You're not listening to me. I *can't* leave them. IF I were to try to leave them,
they could die, but I'm not going to do that." She looked down. "I'm their's and they're mine. I
know it's hard to get used to..."

"Alex, Child, listen to me. This isn't you." Rose leaned forward in the chair. "You don't
do things like this, your sister does." She smiled and cleared her throat. "I can see the bond, but I
also see it's not too late to stop this before something bad happens. To you or to them. Come
with me." She got up, holding out a hand for Alex to take.

"Rose," Nick said, "you aren't listening. She can't leave. Not without killing her or us.
It's apparently a permanent bond, not just something we do on weekends to have fun."

"Heav'n forbid," Philip added, crossing himself with his free hand. "Rose, this is no' easy
for any of us. I'm a Priest, I can' do this an' have my callin'. Bu' I have ta, because I can' no' do
it." He looked at Nick and Alex. "They were like family ta me, and tha's changed now, but I can'
do anything abou' it. None of us can."

Nick nodded, sending soothing and strong thoughts to Alex. "We didn't have a say in
this. When the perfume started to act on us, we *couldn't* stop it." All three blushed, thinking
back to the images of their first night together. "It's taken over our lives, fully and completely."

"Philip will have to give up his calling," Alex said, smiling over at him. "Probably." She
looked at Nick. "He still can't deal with what's going on. It has shattered all his notions of what
a love life was." She kissed Nick's cheek. "Poor Nick, he's been through such a hard time.
What with Derek and all."

"It's okay. We'll deal with it." He smiled at her, then Philip. "Together."

They gave him blinding smiles, accepting his confidence.

"See, Grandma Rose, it's not evil. Just different." She smiled sadly at the elderly woman.
"We've each had to give up something important to us. And if my loss is you, I'll be devastated,
but I'll be helped through it. By them and their love for me."

"Make no mistake, we would rather have you accept what ever is happening between us,
but if you won't right away, we'll understand and comfort her, filling in the void you've left if we

"She'll no' be alone," Philip said. "None of us will..."

"Ever again," Nick finished.

"Grandma, just let us get you to a hotel in town, let you calm down and think about it.
Then we can talk in a rational manner." Alex got up, hugging Rose, leading her to the door.
"Let's just step back and let you ease into this on your own." She smiled. "I booked you a room
in the city, at a good hotel downtown. I'll drive you over."

"You'll do no such thing," William said, walking down the hall. "I'll drive her, you and
those two men in there go eat breakfast. Rachel wants to check you over before the testing this
afternoon." He smiled and held out a hand. "William Sloan, and you must be Rose. Alex has
told me many nice things about you." He shook her hand, then tucked it under his arm. "Would
you like to see the garden before I take you to your hotel?" He deftly steered her out of the house
and around to the garden.

"So that's what dealing with politicians does for you," Nick said quietly, coming up
behind Alex.

"Or Derek," Philip said, hugging them both to him.


Rachel met the four of them in the Dining room, nodding at them as they came in. "Hi,
great work today," she said, patting the stack of notes she and William had taken from the tests.
"Derek, you need to eat something."

The Dutchman swore under his breath, before sitting down and grabbing a small pastry.
"It was nothing."

"Passing out isn't nothing," William said, coming in. "Oh, Alex, Rose wants you to meet
her for dinner in a few hours. I said you'd call and tell her where."

"Okay," she said around a danish. "What time?"

William shrugged and sat down, patting Derek's arm. "Good work today. All of you.
You've already beaten all the other groups' limits."

"So then Philip can go back to the Church soon, right?" Nick asked.

"Maybe," Philip said. "I'd have ta tell them abou' this." He started to trace the grain
patterns on the table top. "They're no' going ta be happy abou' it."

"So do you have a back-up plan?" Philip shook his head. "Okay, so later tonight we'll
form one." Nick smiled at him, reaching across Alex to pat his hand. "It'll be okay."

"Philip, if you want...." William started.

"NO!" Philip said, pushing his chair back violently. "I have ta do this on my own. No
interference from anyone. Not even the Legacy." He left the room, breathing heavily.

Nick and Alex watched him go, trying to get into his mind.

//Philip, do you want us with you?// Nick sent.

//Go away for a while. I need to think.// He sent a small smile picture through the link. //I
just need to think about it, get used to the idea of my life's work crumbling around my ears.//

//When you're ready, we'll be here,// Alex sent. //Even me if want me to come back early.//

//Thanks, I'll call when I'm ready to talk.// Philip said and sent over his version of white
noise, chants.

Nick shook his head, consciously putting it out of his mind. "So, now what?" He lifted a
croissant from the tray and took a bite. "More tests or..."

Alex yawned. "Nap." She looked at the shocked faces around her. "What? I'm catching
up on all the sleep I've missed since I got here years ago."

"Of course you are," Rachel said diplomatically, "but can I still do a physical just to make
sure?" Alex nodded and the women headed upstairs.

The men watched them leave, Derek and Nick watching Alex until she was out of sight.
"She's fine," Nick said and took another bite. "I'm sure she's fine."

"Of course she is," William said. "What else would she be?" He looked carefully at the
two linked men. Derek was fighting to stay awake, and Nick was eating like there was no
tomorrow. "Derek, go take a nap with her." He made shooing motions with his hand. "You're
ready to fall asleep right now." He smiled at the appearing frown. "Besides, I want to talk to
Nick, alone."

Derek started to fight, actually had his mouth open, but shut it and nodded. He got up
without a word and left Nick and William alone to talk.

"So," William said once Derek was well out of hearing, "how are you doing? Are you
finally adjusting?"

Nick shook his head. "No, I'm still getting taken over." He sighed and put down the flaky
pastry. "Alex, Philip, and Derek are all settled into the bond, but it's still getting me. Every five
hours or so." He looked down at his watch. "Matter of fact, should start to feel it soon."

William stared at the young man in awe. "You have it timed?"

Nick nodded and laughed. "Had to work around it." He blushed. "It's not like I'm able
to do anything until it's gone."

"True," the older man said, sprouting his own blush. They sat silently for a while, each
lost in their own thoughts. "Nick?" He looked up, arching an eyebrow in response. "Is it....
could it be because you're still fighting it?"

He gave it some thought. "Weeellll, it might be." He stopped and thought back to the
most recent episodes. "But I've given into it when it showed up, so how could that be?"

"But have you *accepted* it? Really wanted the bond to form between you and the other
three so it could make you whole? Because that's what they've done."

Nick shrugged, poured another cup of coffee and walked out to think about that. "I'm
gonna go think."


Nick found himself in the gazebo overlooking the garden and pond. He leaned on the
railing, looking over the place where one of the great loves of his life was scattered. "Oh, Julia, I
could use your help right about now. You'd know what was going on. You always did." He
took a drink of his coffee, setting the cup on the rail beside him.

He stared at the flowers, not seeing the fall leaves spread on the ground, covering the
surface of the pond and pathways. He moved back into his head, thinking about what William
had asked him. [Have I accepted it? Truly accepted it's, their, place in my life?] He moved
some, shifting to lean more heavily on the railing. [Not really, no. Why? Because I can't accept
that I could love a man or Alex? Or is it something deeper, a fear to trust them?] He let the
thoughts wash over him, flowing in currents around his mind. He didn't bother to stop the
current, just followed it where ever it led.

Inevitably it led back to his family, just like all his other failings did. [So it *is* a matter of
trust, not just being uncomfortable with a man. Hmmmm,] he thought, picking out one of the
threads to examine. "Trust," he said quietly.

"Definitely not one of your strong suits," Derek said from behind him.

Nick turned, knocking the coffee cup to the floorboards. "Derek, man, don't sneak up on
me like that."

Derek just smiled and came closer, pulling him into a hug. "I thought I'd find you out
here." They stood there like that for a while, getting comfortable with the position. "Still

Nick nodded, looking down at their feet. "Yeah."


Nick looked up, a flat humorless grin on his face. "Because my father was a son of a
bitch. Because I *can't* trust like that, *don't* trust others with who I am." He looked back
down, turning slowly to lean on the strong chest. "I don't know beyond that," he whispered.

"So, let's work on it." Derek kissed the top of his head and pulled him over to a bench
seat. "Sit and we'll talk."

"That's another thing I'm not great at."

"I don't expect poetry, Nick, I expect honesty." Derek smiled and tipped the younger
man's head up, kissing the soft lips gently. "I want to help."

"I know. You and William both want to help me sort this out. But I don't know if I *can*
be helped. This is not the average problem of the house, not something we can stop this...
whatever it is and fix."

"It is now," Derek said, nuzzling his neck, playing in the hairline. "What are you afraid
of?" He straightened up, placing one last kiss on the exposed ear. "Is it the trust issue, or is it
because of the people involved?"

Nick was quiet for a few minutes thinking about that. "Both," he said finally, "and
something else."

"So, not only can you not trust others to know you, heart, mind, and soul, but you're still
scared of making love to a man?" Derek turned Nick around so he could look at him. "After all
the times you and Philip have been together, you're still worried about that?"

"Well, yeah," Nick said, getting up to pace. "I let the bond lead. *I* don't know what to
do, or why I'm doing it, or even if they like it. The bond does it all. I'm not sure I like it, much
less what it's doing to me." He stopped in front of Derek, putting his hands on his belt. "You
don't know what it's like for me. Suddenly I wake up one morning, not remembering anything
that went on the night before, but now I *have* to love a man, my best friend no less." He turned
away, leaning back on the railing and looking back out across the pond. "I .... that's not me, I've
never wanted that before."

Derek sat there, thinking about what his youngest lover had said. "So this change in
lifestyle is bothering you?"

Nick nodded, too tired to speak. Getting it all out in the open had helped, but it was tiring
trying to fight this bond.

Derek came up behind him, hugging him tightly, letting him lean against his chest again.
"You know, many gay men have went through this same thing."

Nick didn't bother to look up at him, just spat the words, "I'm not gay," out.

"Did you like what happened last night? Or when you were with Philip last time?"

"I don't remember much of either." Nick turned and looked at the strong face so near his.
"I don't remember much of any of it. Maybe it's better that way." He got out of the strong arms
and picked up the coffee mug on the way out. "I'll see you later."

"Nick, wait," Derek said, hurrying after him. "We have to talk about this." He grabbed
his arm, spinning him around. "Wait, let's go talk."

"Derek, no offense, but I'm all talked out right now." He gently removed the fingers from
his bicep, then patted the hand. "I'm going for a walk in the woods, I'll be back by supper time."
He looked down at his hand, then smiled and handed Derek the cup. "Here, won't need it."

Derek watched the young man walk off, letting his confusion wash over him. "Nick, come
back soon, we need you. I need you," he whispered. He waited until Nick was out of sight
before going back in.


Derek sat down in his office, taking out his journal.

Today, I talked with my youngest lover. He doesn't understand that
his problems are our problems, but then again, he's never had to trust
anyone else to that degree. I don't know if I should tell the other two
about this or not. Is it my place to tell them? It is his problem, so I don't

Alex and I talked earlier, working things out between us. We have
agreed that the passion of the bond hasn't come between us because
it didn't need to force us together like it did the others. She thinks
it's the bond's way of proving to a new initiate that you need another
person, that specific one, and that it keeps coming back until you
get the idea. Maybe that's why she and I never felt the need to even
consummate it, we were already together, a long time ago, and we
understood about giving in to destiny. Philip seems to have stopped
fighting it, and it went away, so it seems to hold out this hypothesis.

If only Nick would quit fighting; but he's lost right now. He can't
see that loving myself and Philip doesn't change him, not who he
really is. He told me earlier that he wasn't 'gay', but was that fear of
admitting that he liked it when Philip and I pleasured him at earlier
times? He also said that the trust part was hard for him. That I can
understand, better since I went into his mind and found memories of
his childhood while we were outside. What I wouldn't give to have
Jonathan here before me right now. I would show the man how
wrong he was about his son, and gays, and so many other things,
with my fists.

That's a scary thought, the violence I'm willing to do for Nick,
Philip, and Alex. The fact that I would give up all control I have
to save them from some ignorant people by force. The fact that I
would give up all I've ever learned about peaceful conflict and
become, well become Nick. I have done many things for the
Legacy, but to give up myself to them, for them, is the most
fear inspiring thing I've done yet. Hopefully that will never
become an issue, and if it does they'll help me through it.

Derek laid down his pen, sitting back in his chair and closing his eyes. Would he really
become some violent person, even a gun carrying fanatic if he had to, to help and protect his

"Oh, Got, yes I would," he said quietly, sure now that his life was never going back to
what used to pass for normal. "In a heartbeat if I needed to." He opened his eyes, looking
around to make sure he wasn't overheard. "Even if I have to protect Nick from his personal


Nick walked back into the kitchen, looking around for the others. He smiled when Derek
came in the room, turning on the lights and handing him a beer.

"Goot walk?" Nick nodded while he drank deeply out of the bottle. "Did you get anything

"Not really," he said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. I've thought some, but
nothing settled into place. " He took Derek's hand in his, squeezing it. "Thanks for

"Nick we all need time to ourselves. To sort things out, to ponder life's little joys and
obscurities, or just to be alone sometimes." He squeezed the hand back, pulling the younger man
close enough to hug. "We're here when you're ready to come back to us. Anytime. For any

They walked into the sitting room, joining William and Philip on the couches. Nick sat
next to Derek, quietly looking at the puzzle he had been working on.

//Thought you were going to miss dinner,// Philip sent.

"Me, not hardly," Nick said, smiling and sending happy thoughts back to him. //You know me
better than that.//

"True," Philip said, putting down his book. He looked over at his younger lover, seeing
him slightly tense under the scrutiny. //Relax, beloved, not going to hurt you.//

Nick choked on his last swallow of beer, spitting it all over Derek's puzzle. //Where did
that come from? Beloved?!?//

//Precious,// Derek sent, //relax and let go. We want to try something to soothe you, make
you more comfortable.// He looked over, smiling. "And I thought you might miss dinner also."

William just shook his head. "This is too personal for me, I'm going to the control room
to loom over Kristen's shoulder while you three talk." He looked hard at the two grinning men.
"Or whatever." He got out of his chair and headed out of the room, making sure he wasn't
hurrying, or that at least it didn't look like it.

They waited until William had closed the door before moving closer to Nick. "Nick we
know all about the problems you're having. The trust and everything," Derek started.

"We wan' ya to be with us fully, by your own will, not the bond's."

"We want to seduce you, without the bond calling you to us."

"Will ya let us?" Philip placed a gentle kiss on hsi shoulder. "Please let us do this for
ya," he whispered into Nick's ear.

Nick got up, pacing and thinking. "Guys, I don't know if I can do that." He stopped,
facing them. "At least not yet."

"So, we'll let you watch," Derek said, looking down at Philip. "We've already agreed on
it." He got up, pulling Philip up with him, who in turn grabbed Nick's hand and led the young
man up the stairs.

They led Nick into Derek's room, locking the door behind them. Philip sat Nick into a
chair, patting the strong arm before he stripped off his shirt and went over to Derek.

"I thought you guys didn't want each other," Nick said.

"We don't, not really. We both want you, though, and we're both man enough to share,"
Derek said, pulling Philip's pants off. "And we'll do anything it takes to get you over this

"Even if it means sleepin' with the boss here," Philip said, running a hand over Derek's
not totally hairless chest.

Nick stoood up, "Guys...."

"Sit," Derek ordered. They waited until Nick had re-planted his butt in the chair before
continuing. "You don't have to do anything, just watch."

"Thin' of it as interactive sex ed."

Derek swatted Philip's shoulder, "Interactive would be him with us on the bed."


"Okay, you have a point." Derek kissed him before walking over to kneel in front of Nick.
"All you have to do is watch. We'll teach you all we can, help you get comfortable with it, over
the next few days. Okay?"

Nick thought, then smiled. "I don't have to do *any*thing?" he asked to make sure.
Derek and Philip both nodded their heads. "Do I sit here or over there?"

"You'll need to pull the chair closer." Derek helped him move it to a better viewing spot,
judging it by what he could see of Philip where he was sprawled on the bed. "There, just right."
He made one last minor adjustment, then started to work on Nick's t-shirt, pulling it out of his

"Hey," Nick yelled, stepping back.

"This is the only rule," Derek said. "You have to be stripped while you watch us."

Nick backed away slowly, trying to put some distance between him and his oldest lover,
not noticing Philip getting off the bed to help Derek. "That's not real fair, I mean I'm not joining
in or anything so why do I have to be undressed."

"Because," Philip said from behind him, "we wan' to see wha' turns you on, and if we
affect you tha' way." He kissed the earlobe, sucking on a tender spot he had discovered
yesterday. "Besides, I wan' to look at ya while I'm doin' him," he pointed at Derek, "as a fantasy."

"Not needed," Nick said, trying to get away from the men. "I don't need this that bad. I'll
get over it eventually." He started to back towards the door. "It's a nice offer and all, but ....."

"Nick," Derek said in his best you-better-listen-to-me-now voice. "You will sit, you will
watch, and you will follow the rule. Just this once." The last came out as a breathless plea.

"We wan' to show ya that's there's nothin' to be afraid of. Not between me and him, and
not between us an' you." Philip led the not-really-resisting man back to the chair, letting Derek
position it again. "Do ya wan' help with your clothes, precious?" he asked.

Nick shook his head and took off his t-shirt, stunned being a light description of what he
was at that moment. "How..." He cleared his throat and tried again, "How did you come up with

"It's what my first lover did when I got scared," Derek whispered in his ear. He walked
around to stand behind Nick, undoing his belt. "Kick off your shoes and let me tell you?"

Nick nodded, doing as he was told. He was scared of what he would see, but so long as he
didn't have to do anything it was all right. After all, he'd seen things like this in the service at
some clubs, sex shows and all, so he was familiar with what was going to happen. It was just
different this time because he was involved. [Settle down, they won't hurt you,] he told himself.
[They promised you don't have to participate, just sit there and watch them. You can do that,
you've done it before. A few times.]

Derek waited until Nick's mind was clear to them again before starting in on his jeans. He
popped the top button, moving back into whispering range. "When I first discovered I liked men,
I was attracted to this one person. He taught me everything." He undid the next button, rubbing
the newly exposed flesh a little before going on. "When he found out I was a virgin, he brought
another man to me, one of his old lovers. They sat me down, told me details and everything,
trying to get me more comfortable with the idea of sex. When they saw it wasn't working he
came up with another plan.." He popped the next button, brushing lightly across an edge of the
soft cock. "That night, they did this same thing to me. They sat me down on a chair next to the
bed, naked, and showed me what they told me earlier." He undid another button, just one more
to go, and rubbed some more of the almost exposed flesh. "At first I was shocked that he could
do that in front of me. But by the second time that night, I had learned quite a lot." He undid the
last button, running both hands under the heavy material to push them off. "Step out love," he
said, holding the jeans with his foot while Nick got out of them. "I slept between them for a week,
learning all I could."

"Did....did it help?" Nick was shivering, but he wasn't cold. He was starting to get
aroused by the story, letting Derek's warm and smooth voice lead him where ever the older man

"Yes, it did. I lost my nervousness by the end of the second night. That night I was lying
in bed next to them, watching every touch, kiss, and stroke very closely." Derek played with the
button at the waist of Nick's boxers. "The third night I got between them, learning in a very
hands-on manner. I got taken by and took both of them by the end of the week." He slid the
cotton material down, letting Nick step out of the pooled material. "So hot," Derek said in his
ear. "That's what we want to do for you beloved, make you comfortable with what happens in a
way that gently eases you into it. Will you let us?"

Nick couldn't speak. He hadn't know that just being told things like that could affect him.
He nodded his consent, letting Derek sit him back down in the chair, watching as he leaned down
to take off the boxers.

Derek kneeled between the hard thighs, stroking the outside of them lightly. "Anytime
you want to see something better, or want to come over, just do it, we'll understand and not
pressure you any." He placed a chaste kiss on Nick's mouth, shocking him back to the room from
his thoughts. "I meant it, anytime."

Nick swallowed, hard, and looked down at himself and Derek. The older man was only
inches away from his hard-on, almost close enough for it to bump him in the chest. He looked
past himself to the impressive hardness that Derek was sporting, letting the sight of his newest
lover wash over him. [I had that in me last night,] he thought. Derek could see where his gaze
was, so he spread his legs a little and arched his back some to give Nick a better view. [He's
going to put that in Philip. To teach me, make me less scared of them.] Nick thought about it,
getting between them just for pleasure. [Can I do that? Have sex with a man for pleasure, no
bond calling, nothing else between us?]

Derek smiled at him when Nick's dick twitched at his thoughts. "Was it a goot one, little
one, the thought? Would you like to share it with us?"he asked quietly. Nick shook his head, so
he just patted his tight thighs again and stood up.

Nick looked the erection in the face. Really, it stared at him, at mouth level, but he couldn't not
look at it. "Derek," he whispered.

Derek smiled, moving a little closer. "Would you like to touch it?"

Nick nodded, a blush appearing. "Please," he whispered, reaching a hand up. He stroked a finger
along the smooth, soft flesh, not so very different from his own. He touched the bead of liquid
staring to form, spreading it around, making Derek moan. He pulled his hand back.

Derek almost jumped when Nick pulled his hand back at his moan. "It's all right, precious, I liked
it. You didn't hurt me."

Nick smiled up at him. "I didn't think I did, it just took me by surprise." He replaced his
finger and tried to learn all the differences from his own organ, but he really couldn't find any
outside of size. Derek was a little longer, by a few inches, and a *lot* wider.

Derek chuckled, leaning down to plant a hard kiss on his lips. "Do you want to examine it
more? Or more closely?" He locked Nick's lips to his, sucking all the air out of the young body.

"No, not yet," he panted softly, catching his breath, "not ready yet. But may I...?" Derek
nodded so he brought his finger up so he could taste the clear liquid flowing from him. Derek
smiled and moaned as he sucked on his finger, getting his first real taste of his oldest lover.

"Tha's fine, Nick," Philip said. "Just do wha' you wan'." He had been sitting on the edge of the
bed, watching him explore. He was hard himself, but he didn't want to do anything about it
in front of them, at least not yet. What had come over him, agreeing to this? This wasn't
something he would normally do, not even something he would *think* about normally. Maybe
he had been changed more than he thought. Maybe they all had.

Derek studied both younger men, watching their reactions closely. "Guys, it looks like I have
much to teach both of you." He kissed Philip's, then Nick's, cheek before sitting on the edge
of the bed. "It's all right to enjoy this, really it is." He laid back, letting his feet remain on the
floor. "I would like to find the people who taught you pleasure was bad and strangle them. You
both are closet hedonists, I'm sure of it. They just ruined your pleasure until someone, like me,
breaks you out." He looked over at Philip. "After a lot of work." He gave Nick a bright smile,
daring him to say anything. "After all that work, I'll have you both in padded satin collars on gold
chains tied to me. You'll run around naked all the time and we'll have to hire caretakers for you
that can massage and pamper your little bodies until you purr. I'll have to buy you new clothes
every month just so you don't have to wear anything twice, and all the finer establishments will
come calling to cater to your every whim." He sighed and his smile got wider. "I'll be so happy,
we all will, when you become my pampered and cherished little hedonistic love slaves.."

Nick and Philip looked at each other, then started to laugh. The tension in the room
disappeared, leaving only the lust. Nick came over to the bed, sitting down on the other side of
Derek. "We were taught it was manly to repress it," Nick said slowly, "not to give in and let go."

"Then the stupid people deserve to rot in hell for it." Derek sat up, bringing both of them to
his chest for a hug. "Manly men have feelings and wants and desires. Real men know their
body's responses, rejoice in them, and know what gets them there. They know when to give into
them, and when to wait for a more appropriate time. They know how to enjoy life, not only the
big pleasures and great orgasms, but the little things like perfectly done toast and goot coffee."
He sighed, a deep and suffering one, letting his over-dramatic acting side take over again. "I
guess I'll just have to teach you how to do this. Undo all the bad things they taught you both.
Make you into my own personal hedonists. My perfect love slaves and toys."

Nick looked over at Philip and smiled, rolling his eyes toward Derek and his pitiful
acting. They jumped on him at the same time, knocking him back onto the mattress and tickling

"Pick on manly repression will you," Nick said, taking on the awesome job of Derek's
ribs. "We'll teach you." Philip was holding down Derek's arms, assisting in Nick's attack of his
sensitive spots. They communicated silently between them, making sure Derek was always under
attack and held down so he couldn't retaliate.

Derek shocked them both by going limp, them surging up when they lowered their guards.
He flipped Nick onto his back, sitting astride his youngest lover's stomach and tickling him with
one hand, holding Philip down with the other. "Got you now," he taunted, finding a spot that
made Nick roll and shriek in laughter.

"No.....fair," Nick panted through the laughs. "You ..... weren't...... sup....posed..... to do....that."

Derek smiled in triumph when Nick finally submitted to him, going limp and letting him have his
way. He released the pressure he was using on Philip's chest before leaning down and claiming
his victory kiss. "You see, I was right."

Nick nodded, his surrender complete to the magnetic man that straddled him.

Derek looked down at the man between his legs, and almost moaned. Nick's erection hadn't
lessened, it had gotten harder with the playing they had done. It was now brushing against his
crevice and rubbing his fluid onto the flesh surrounding it.. The same for Philip. His own had
gotten noticeably harder, now it was leaning upwards some, leaking and just starting to change
color. He climbed off the young man, intent on not hurrying him into anything.

"Derek," Nick whispered, not able to catch his breath, "what?"

"It's too soon to be on you like that." He smiled, leaning down from his new position next
to Nick and across from Philip. "I want to wait to do that until you ask me for it," he whispered
lovingly in Nick's ear. He took a lick of the soft earlobe, playing with the cartilage swirls.

Philip watched in fascination. He had never seen anyone seduce another person. He wasn't all
that experienced, and all his lovers had approached him. He watched as Derek teased Nick,
making him squirm in delight just from playing with a sensitive spot on his neck.

Nick looked up, watching Philip watch them. "Taking notes?" he asked. Philip blushed and
nodded. "Don't worry, I'm sure he can teach you too." He took the older man's hand, squeezing
it while Derek worked on his shoulders using his teeth, tongue, and fingers. "Ummm, so good
Derek, more?"

The oldest man laughed, deep and full, into the tight elastic skin of Nick's upper chest.
"Of course, what ever you're ready for."


Alex walked into the restaurant, looking around for her Grandmother. When the older woman
waved, she walked cheerfully to the table. She didn't know the man at the table, but she could tell
he was going to bring trouble into her life. She reached in her purse, putting her panic button in
her pocket circumspectly. She leaned down, kissing her Grandmother Rose's cheek before sitting
down in the chair being held for her.

"So, how are you feeling?"she asked. [Stick to small talk, diffuse whatever she has planned. You
know she's only trying to protect you.]

"Oh, fine, my stomach's not hurting anymore. That herbalist you sent me to did the trick." She
nodded at the man, their prearranged signal. She sat quietly, her heart breaking for what she
knew she had to do.

Alex tried to get away from him, reaching into her pocket, but he was too fast. He hit her with
the needle, imbedding it in her shoulder muscle. She fell over, not having been able to push the
panic button.

Rose quietly made their excuses to the maitre'd when he came over to see what was wrong. He
helped them get Alex to the car, buckling her in for the ride.


Derek had just given Nick his first real kiss of the night for deciding to sit on the bed and watch
them instead of using the chair.

He had leaned up from working on Philip's neck to kiss the younger man. He tasted good, was
the one he wanted, but he wasn't here to indulge in that problem. Yet.

Nick and Philip grabbed their heads at the same time, both curling around their mid-sections.
Derek didn't know what was wrong, only that something bad must have happened, and he could
guess to who.

Instincts taking over, he got Nick laid down beside Philip and had them touch hands, moving
them to touch each other as many places as possible, reducing the pain and bringing them into
closer contact mentally. He quickly got dressed and had them covered before anything else
could happen.

"Nick, Philip," he whispered to them, in their ear. "What's wrong?"

"Alex," Philip groaned. He hadn't opened his eyes, but he still knew who was around him.
"Derek, she needs help."

"Unconscious," Nick added and rolled onto his side, burying his head in Philip's chest.

Derek knew his place in the bond from their earlier testing. He was their anchor, their reason. He
could allow them to branch out, searching longer and farther away. But right now, he had
something more important to do. He ran out of the room, almost through the locked door and
downstairs shouting for William.

"Alex's been taken," he panted and headed back upstairs with William Sloan right behind

They made it to the bedroom, getting the two younger men dressed and carried them downstairs
to the Range Rover that Kristen had pulled around for them. They put them in the backseat,
buckling them in and heading for the ferry, leaving Kristen in charge of the house until Rachel got


Alex clutched her head and groaned. [Oh, god, why me? Why am I part of this?] She tried to
reach her lovers, but it didn't work; nobody could hear her.

"They can't hear or sense you," Rose said from a few feet away. "We made sure this was a null
spot and the materials around you were dampening."

Alex looked down at herself. She was strapped to a chair, straps at her wrists, ankles, and
chest. "What are you doing?" she hissed. "Are you trying to kill all of us?"

"Child, they won't die." Rose walked over and started to smooth Alex's bangs away. "They just
brainwashed you to think they would. Sweetie, they're just using you for pleasure and as a
procreative device. You don't matter to them."

Alex laughed. Full out, rich and deep, rib hurting laughed. "Oh, Grandma, that's so funny. You
see, we have documentation from an earlier group. When one of them got to far away, two went
into a coma until they were brought closer."

"Dear Alex," Rose smoothed some more hair back. "You aren't one of them." She sighed
and nodded for the man to come over. "And you don't need them." She held Alex's arm still
while he came closer to her, bringing a new shot. "It'll just put you to sleep, nothing painful."

"NO!" She tried to get away, but Rose and the straps held her. Her last thought was to
send a loud and long shout for Nick and Derek, adding Philip just as she went back out.


Nick woke up, looking around. He had heard her. "Alex," he said and looked around
some more, trying to find her. They were sitting in the Range Rover, on the docks on the city
side. "She's in a big space, a warehouse." He tried to listen to her, to locate her by sound, but he
couldn't hear anything. "She's gone again."

William nodded and turned on the computerized city map. He had it pick out warehouse
districts and headed for the closest one. "She's probably under anaesthesia again, Nick, just don't
go back under." He nodded his head at Philip in the mirror. "He's been gone as long as you

Derek turned to look at him. "Do you remember the exercise we did earlier, with the echos
and smells?" Nick nodded. "Goot, try that one again. Close your eyes." He waited until Nick
did it. "Now focus in on Alex. She's not able to respond, but the thread of her is still in you.
Find it and follow it back to her."

They all waited while Nick found where her thoughts would normally be located. It was
very faint, and moving away. "She's moving," Nick said quietly, still caught in her head.

"Okay, Nick," William said. "I want you to stay with her. No matter what don't leave her mind."
He picked up the phone and dialed a number from memory. "We'll get her back, but you have to
tell us where she is."

Nick just nodded and settled himself more comfortably in the seat.


Rose looked at Alex, who was talking in her 'sleep'.

"She's moving.....Airport," she said quietly.

Rose swore, and turned to the man. "They know, we'll have to take a different route."

"You never did tell me how this works."

"She's in a linked state, some form of telepathy, with those men that had her. That was
one of them talking through her just now."

"So, we have to go someplace where they aren't familiar with the surroundings." He thought,
leaving the older woman to her supposed delusions for now. "Tell me about them again."

"Nick's a former Navy guy. He was a warrior of some sort, Alex never did say. Philip is a
priest, and Derek Raine, the head of their merry little group is an Anthropologist. Other than
that, I don't know."

"Did any of them grow up around here?"

She looked at him funny, then sighed. "She once told me Derek inherited that castle they
live in. Nick is from close by, and Philip is Irish. He has the accent and all."

The man, a deprogramer by trade, thought. "Okay, so they probably know the local forests
and suburbs quite well. We could drive out of state, or further away in-state, but we don't know
where any of them have lived. We could start home in the car, but I don't know that route that
well. Any suggestions?"

She searched her mind for a safe person or location. She didn't find a truly safe one, but she
would have to do. "Her sister. She lives in the Northwest. Up Washington way."
"You said she's been part of groups like this before too. Will she help us?"

Rose nodded. "She will. I'll make her."

He turned the car around and headed for the interstate. "Okay, to Washington we will go."


Nick had heard the whole conversation. He mouthed the word 'write' to Derek, who rifled
through the glove box until he came up with a pad and pen. Nick wrote down the conversation
and handed it over.

Derek looked down at it and smiled. "I know where she is. We've kept an eye on her." He
looked over at William, holding up the pad for him to read off of.

"So, should we take the jet, or can we not do that?" He looked at Derek, then Nick. "It's
your call."

"Wasn't there something about distance in that journal?" Derek asked.

"Yeah," Nick said, thinking back. "But back then, fifty miles was a long distance to travel." He
thought about it, then sent a thought to Alex. //We're going to travel ahead of you. Don't worry if
you can't hear us for a few hours or even a day. We'll meet you at your destination and rescue
you there.// He got back an almost answer, showing she was trying to wake up.

He waited a few minutes then tried again, this time getting the answer, //Okay, let Philip sleep, it's
probably necessary.//

Nick smiled. //You're going to Tanya's. It's not that far away, and we'll be there waiting when you
pull in so we can negate the distance problem. We're going to meet you at her place, and steal
you back. You are so precious to us.//

//Full of it. I was pretty sure you were, but now I'm sure. See you in a few days. Whisper it in
Philip's ear and he'll not go homicidal on you three.// He could hear her yawn mentally, the fight
against the drugs wearing her out. //Nick, I'll be fine. They think I'm brainwashed and in a cult.
They won't hurt me.//

//but what if...// Philip added. He was hugged by Nick and a mental one sent by Alex.

//I'm pregnant? Don't know. If I am, then the drugs have probably already hurt it. If not,
then don't worry. Rose won't hurt me, she's trying to save me from you three.//

Nick, still deep in her mind, concentrated and sent a whispering echo through her body. //Um,

//I heard. Okay, so we'll check the baby as soon as you get me back.// They lost contact with
her, Philip slipping back into unconsciousness.

"She's okay. She fought it off long enough to talk some." Nick filled them in on the
conversation. "She's pregnant," he added at the end.

Derek swore in as many languages as he knew, shocking William and Nick by the vast number of

William smiled and picked up the phone again, hitting the redial. "Derek, I didn't know you could
speak half of those. We're going to have to update your file." He told the person on the other
end of the phone to get the jet ready. "Gentlemen. Tanya is still in Cascade, right?" Derek
nodded. "Good, you have a few people up there who will help us. I'll call from the jet." He
pulled into the airport, heading for the Luna Foundation hanger. "We'll be there in a few hours.
It'll take her until tomorrow."

"Good," Nick said, rubbing his hands together. "I want to give her a piece of my mind."

Philip woke back up and looked over at his younger lover. "Do ya think tha's wise?"

Nick gave him his most nasty and evil smile. "No, but do I care?"

Nobody said anything else until they were on the plane.


William made a call from the plane. "Hello? May I please speak to Doctor Sandburg?"

(He's not a doctor yet and he's downstairs. May I take a message. This is his partner.)

"Yes, please Detective Ellison. This is William Sloan."

(Oh, yeah, he mentioned that he knew you when you came up to give that speech. What's

"Well, we have a situation with one of our people, and she's headed your way. So are we. We
needed Blair to meet us and to help us find her. Be a native guide as it were."

(Um, situation?) A long and heartfelt sigh. (Mr. Sloan, do I need to be involved officially?)

He thought about it, then smiled. "Might not be a bad idea, just in case. We'll be at the airport
in," he checked with Derek, who mouthed 'twenty minutes', "twenty minutes or so. We're on a
private plane. If you would both meet us, we'll explain it then." He hung up and turned to look at
Derek, the only one still awake. "Blair will meet us at the airport with his Detective partner."

Derek nodded and sipped his coffee, looking over at the two young sleeping men. "They'll be

"I'm sure. She'll be back in range soon, so they'll come around again. Until then, we'll check into
a hotel, and watch for it to happen; monitoring your conditions very closely."

"Sounds like you have everything under control." He yawned. "I think I'll head where they're at."
He leaned over and put down his cup, passing out before it had hit the table.

William looked at it in disgust. "Derek, you would be the messy one," he said quietly and cleaned
up the broken cup. "Oh, well, he'll buy the next set. When he's London Precept." He smiled at
the thought. The whole San Francisco house will have to transfer, or the seat of power will.
How will his stubborn friend deal with that little problem?

He buckled back in and sat back, waiting until they arrived. Oh, he wanted to see Blair again. He
had such fond memories of that young man. All bounce and intelligence rolled into a compatible
and sturdy package. Oh, yes, he had wonderful memories of the young man.


William exited the plane and waved at the two men waiting in the hanger for them. When Blair
Sandburg got withing grasping range, he pulled him into a tight hug, squeezing him until he was
gasping for breath. "Blair, some help please?" He let the pilot get around him to bring the car
around. They walked back in, a curious Jim following.

"So, what....." Jim stopped as soon as he saw the three unconscious men. "What's going on

"It's a long story, Detective. For right now, we need to get these three comfortably ensconced in
a nice soft bed and wait for them to wake up. When they do is when we'll really need your help."
He motioned for Blair, and the Pilot who had just returned, to grab Nick, while he got Derek.
"Would you mind?"

Jim shrugged and picked up Philip, slinging him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. "Where

"The van's outside, sir," the Pilot said and led the way, Nick slung between him and Blair.


Rose made a call while they were stopped for gas. "Tanya honey, it's Grandma Rose. Alex and I
are coming up to see you."

(Okay, when do you get here?)

"Early tomorrow."

"Afternoon," the deprogramer said. "I need to catch a few hours of sleep. Unless you want to

"Afternoon dear," Rose said.

(Okay.) There was a long pause. (Grandma, is something wrong with Alex?)

"Yes, dear, but she'll be fine soon. We'll make sure of it." Rose hung up and headed back toward
their car. "She'll be waiting for us," she said simply and got back in to check on her beloved
Granddaughter. "You'll be fine soon," she told the sleeping young woman, "and you'll make sure
those men never bother us again." She held Alex's arm still while he gave her a shot. "Is it
necessary to keep her under like this?"

"With this sort of case, yes. The first chance she got, she would run away, trying to get back to
the cult. She thinks they're her family. They've probably got her convinced that you're evil and
they're saving her and the world." He snorted. "You just don't know about some people."

"Oh, I thought I knew about them. They seemed like such nice people, but they're just using her
to breed more of them."

"Sexual manipulation as a method of brainwashing. Not uncommon. How many...."

"All three of them, I think. I found her with two of them in bed that first morning. The other
came up and tried to explain it to me as some sort of bond, but I didn't believe him."


Rose nodded. "Supposedly," she snorted at the word, "according to them, it took them over and
bonded them sexually. They couldn't and didn't fight it. A perfume started it, if you can believe
that." She snorted again at the ridiculousness of the idea.

"Okay, so that could have been drugs, some sort of hallucinogen isn't uncommon either. Does
this bond call to them?" he asked and pulled back out onto the interstate.

"Yes, one of the young men, a Catholic Priest no less, said it took them over periodically, or at
least he was thinking it."

He looked at the old woman funny. She couldn't mean.... "Does that mean...."

"That I heard him, yes, it does." She looked back at Alex and sighed. "I've heard all of it. That's
how I knew she was in trouble."

"Okay, so describe this bond to me." He needed to get it down so he could undo it, whatever it

"It's a calling. It calls them to have sex, in all manner of ways." She shuddered. "We didn't do
things like that in my day. All those things were considered sick and gross, not something you did
for fun."

"Yes, ma'am, but times are changing. Today's youngsters see sex as a sport, not as a sign of
commitment. And to corrupt a Priest from his vows like that, well, that's the lowest."

She smiled at him. "I knew I picked the right person to fix my Alex."


Blair helped William check in, then helped them get the men upstairs. The cover about them
being sick and in town for treatments would help cover for quite a few things.

Jim closed the door behind them, locking and checking it before moving farther into the suite.
"So, what's going on?"

William sat down and looked up at him, waving at the chair. "Some of this is confidential. Very
secret. I'll tell you as much as I can, though." He waited until Blair sat down and took Jim's
hand. [Good, they're finally together. I told Blair it would work.] "Those three and our missing
person are bound together mentally."

"So, like they're in each other's minds and all?" Blair was bouncing around on the couch, eager to
find a new problem, especially an unusual one, and be of use to his friends. "So, what's up?
Where's Alex?"

"She's been taken by her Grandmother, Rose, who thinks this is some sort of cult."

"You mean, the Luna Foundation?" Blair started to laugh. "Like a scholastic operation like that
could be considered a cult."

"Only by outsiders," Jim said, patting Blair's head. "I feel that way some days about the
University. It seems to suck you away from me and life every so often, giving you all these ideas
about commitment to only it and it's higher authority."

"Really? I didn't...."

"Blair," William interrupted. "Back to Alex, please?"

"So, Miss Moreau has gotten through to Derek after all? Hmm," Blair thought and bit his lip.
"'Bout time," he muttered under his breath.

Jim just shook his head and leaned forward. "So, this Miss Alex Moreau has some sort of link to
the three men in there, and she's been kidnaped. Why is she being taken to Cascade?"

"Here sister lives here right now." William shrugged. "Rose has a man with her that we identified
as one of the better deprogramers in the business. She's trying to break the bond, but by doing
that will kill all four of them."

"So, it's a true link?" Blair asked. William nodded. "How did it happen?"

"Would you believe a bottle of perfume?" William said dryly.

Blair burst out in giggles, rolling off the couch. "Oh, man, you guys still get into some of the
strangest stuff in the universes." He calmed down gradually until he saw the look Jim was giving
him, which started off a whole new wave of laughing.

"Perfume," Jim said slowly. William made a face and nodded. "Are you sure...."

"Jim, chill. It's the norm for them," Blair said, getting back up. "William, I'm glad that you felt
you could come to me with this. What can we do to help?"

"We need to get Alex away from Rose, and then explain it to her. She's a telempath herself, she
can hear and feel them. She admitted that much at the house when she showed up. Now all we
have to do is to make her *see* that we aren't a threat to her precious granddaughter."

"Would someone like to explain to me what's going on here? You lost me with the bond part."
Jim looked at both men, then stood up when no answer was forthcoming. "That's it, I'm out of
here." He tried to pull Blair up, but was pulled back down into the younger man's lap instead.
"Blair, let go."

"Nope. We gotta talk."

"Yes we do, but not here," Jim said from between clenched jaws. "Not in front of him."

"Jim, Detective Ellison, we deal with the paranormal everyday at the Luna Foundation. This is
just an extra weird turn in an extremely different life." William got up and got a drink from the
bar so they could talk and have the illusion of privacy.

"Blair, how do you know these people?"

"I worked with them for a while," Blair shifted and hugged the older man tightly. "When I first
got to college, through my undergrad years, I worked in the house he was talking about in San
Francisco, a huge old castle. They do research and debunk the paranormal. I was going to join
after I finished school, but I found you. End of story."

"Why do I think that isn't everything. Or even close to the whole truth?"

"Because you're not the only one with secrets you can't tell. I can't tell you any more, but trust
me, these are the good guys. And you'll like Alex."

Jim nodded. Slowly and like he didn't want to burst Blair's delusion. "Okay, but why am *I*

"Because it's handy to have a cop when you're trying to steal someone that's been kidnaped back,"
Blair said slowly and softly. "Jim, just go along with William and the others and don't ask. You
don't want to know. Really don't want to know. This makes the Sentinel stuff appear normal and

Jim shook his head and got a kiss for making the effort. "Okay, just don't let me get too far down
the garden path before giving me the whole story."

"*I* don't even have the whole story. That is for the true and sworn in members. We just need to
help them."

"On a need to know basis, right?" Blair nodded at him and he sighed, rubbing his face with a
hand. "Okay. Whatever. Just don't get us in too deep of trouble."

"William, he's going to help."

"Good, we'll need it."


Jim pulled Blair into the loft. "Now, tell me about this foundation again. This time the truth.
The whole truth."

Blair got them a beer and sat down on the couch. Jim growled and went to sit next to him,
putting his own bottle on the table. "I can't tell you the whole thing. I promised."

"Then as much as you can. I don't like these cloak and dagger games. Especially not when I'm
involved and don't know the rules."

"The rules here are simple. We get back Alex. We give her back to William and those other
three. They go home after convincing Rose that it's the right thing. We come home and ignore
that we ever met. Simple."

"Only you would call this simple, Darwin. Now tell me," he grabbed Blair's hand to stop him
from taking another drink and squeezed gently.

"Jim, calm down. I will. Just give me a second to frame it right." He stared at Jim until he let go
so he could take a drink. They sat there in silence for a few minutes before Blair started to talk.
"Doctor William Sloan and Doctor Derek Raine. Two men in Anthropology that I have admired
for quite a while. I went to Frisco to study under the latter, he was the older unconscious man,
for a summer. He was heading a small dig that I was interested in." Blair took another drink. "I
ended up unearthing something strange. A Celtic box in the ruins of a Spanish fort and church.
That's when I met Philip. He was the middle one of the three. Short dark hair, lean, but not
muscled. I'm guessing the other one was Nick Boyle. He was just joining the week I left." He
took another swallow. "Anyway, when I showed Derek the box, he hissed and his 'assistant' Alex
took it from me like it was going to explode. I asked them about it a few days later, when they
came back. Alex's arm was in a sling and Derek had gashes down his back so bad he couldn't
wear a shirt. Philip was with them, making sure nothing else was uncovered." He put his empty
bottle down on the table. "Apparently, as I later - much later - found out, something had been
trapped in the box and had gotten free. It was what had hurt those two."

"So, we're dealing with heavy stuff that I normally wouldn't believe, right?" When Blair nodded
at him without looking at him, Jim swore and went up to their room "I want to think. Start
dinner, something that takes a while."

"Can I join you?" Jim nodded from the loft and Blair smiled. "Okay. I'll tell you the rest of it in a
few minutes." He went into the kitchen and started some homemade soup.

By the time he got upstairs, Jim was laying down and looking at him. "Hi," he said quietly. Jim
just patted his side of the bed and lifted the cover so he could lay down.

"Where was I ... oh, right, the dig. Philip turned out to be a really nice Priest, of the Catholic
variety as opposed to another format, that specialized in languages and guilt. We had a few talks
after I brought up the second artifact, right in front of him."

"How were you finding them?" Jim snuggled the younger man closer and held on for the
obviously outrageous story.

"I found out later, after Incacha passed on the way and I did some research, that it's part of being
a shaman." He kissed Jim. "Incacha couldn't make me a shaman, but he could awaken it in me;
that's what he did when he passed on the way." Blair looked up at him. "Incidently it was Derek
that told me to stay here for my Graduate work. That he would love me there, but I *needed*,
his emphasis, to be here." He kissed Jim's lips. "Guess he was right about that too."

"And I would love to thank him for it," Jim said quietly. "Back to the story, babe."

"Oh, all right, if I have to." He laughed as Jim tickled him. "Okay, all right. Derek, Philip, and
Alex headed off for a private conference, and they kept looking at me, watching me really closely.
I later found out why. Philip had Derek clear the sight and had me stay. They let me point out
sights that I was itching, literally, to dig up. They found lots more stuff, some of it very old and
scary. Then we found the pendant." Blair swallowed and shivered, making Jim pull him closer.
"Derek, well I guess the closest you could call it was zoned, for a few seconds, then yelled and
Philip tried to pull it out of my hand, but he didn't reach it in time. By the time he got to me,
what-ever-it-was had been released and wanted me to eat." Blair shuddered. "That was the
scariest moment of my life. I was looking into these eyes that were just hanging in thin air, but I
couldn't turn away from them. I couldn't move, not even to get away. Philip began chanting....
something, and Derek joined in. The thing turned away from me so Alex pulled me out of the
way. It went for Philip, but Derek did.... something else, and it vanished. Poof, like that. Just a
cloud of smoke. The next thing I knew, I was in the castle. Woke up in this really nice, soft bed,
and was clean and dressed in silk pajamas, pampered and all. It was really nice there. Since then,
I've helped them some with research some summers." He smiled up at Jim. "They've been a
second family to me ever since then."

"So, that's it?" Jim was mystified. Where was the big secret in that?"

"Well, yeah, but you can't tell anyone. See, there are people on the other side that would like to
stop them. I've sworn to not tell anyone unless I had permission, which William gave me today to
tell you." He pulled back and smiled. "See, not a government thing at all."

Jim snorted. "Sure, and now I'll have to go deal with fairy godmother's too, right?"

Blair rolled his eyes. "No, Jim, that's another story all together." He hugged the big detective and
smiled, brushing his hair across Jim's throat. "Just go with it and stay behind me. This is my

"Ah, now I see it, a role reversal." Jim rolled them over and kissed Blair soundly. "Does that
mean you have to protect me now?" Blair nodded, all laughter and joking gone from his face
and body. "You're serious?"

"Yes, Jim, I am. Just stay behind me and we'll be fine." Blair patted his shoulder and crawled out
from under him. "Gotta stir the soup."

Jim watched him go, sure their life was going to get weirder by the day now.


All six men met for breakfast in the hotel the next morning. Blair bounded into Derek and hugged
him close. "Glad you're okay." He gave him one last squeeze, then hugged Philip and then
introduced himself to Nick. "Blair Sandburg."

Nick took the hand and shook it. "Heard things about you. Nick Boyle. Actually we talked on
the phone that one day."

Blair snapped his fingers, then smiled. "Oh, yeah. Thanks for getting the message to him." He
pulled Jim in closer. "This is Jim Ellison, Detective here in this crime ridden city. Derek, he's the
one you.." he cleared his throat, "mentioned."

Nick shook his hand. "Detective? As in Police?"

"Yeah," Jim smiled. "We seem to have some sort of imbalance that draws criminals here, but only
the strange ones."

Blair blew out his breath and sat down. "Tell me about it. And they all like me."

Jim sat down next to him and smiled. "Not all of them. Some of them wanted me more."

Blair laughed. "Yeah, right." He turned to Derek. "You wouldn't believe some of the things that
have happened to me recently since I joined him in the Police department."

Derek smiled at him. "Yes we would, we've kept an eye on you. Just in case. Derek Raine," he
held out a hand to Jim.

"Oops," Blair said softly.

Derek just shook his head and pulled Philip and Nick closer. "My associates, Philip Callahan and
Nick Boyle." They shook hands.

"Nice ta meet ya."


"So, Derek, anyway, you were right. I was meant to be here." He looked at Jim and smiled.
"Very meant to be here."

Philip laughed and took his seat. "Does tha' mean ya won' be hauntin' the library anymore at all

Blair pouted at him, then smiled. "Not right away. I'm still not a doctor yet. Maybe afterwards,
if I can talk Jim to San Francisco."

"Soon you'll be a doctor, dear, soon." Jim patted his arm, then looked up. "Please?"

They all laughed and got down to breakfast.

Halfway through, Blair looked over at Jim and Derek, who were discussing the ideal way to do
this. "What's the plan?"

"We do surveillance until they show, then go in and get her back," Jim said. He took another bite
of egg. "Why?" He gave Blair a suspicious look. "What did you have planned?"

"Oh, I was just wondering if we were going to have another car chase, or a shoot out, or any of
our normal things." He gave Jim a mean smile. "I wanted to grab the keys first if that was going
to happen. I am *so* not up to our usual thing today." He winced as he shifted in his chair.

"What do you mean we?" Jim asked. He put down his fork and looked at Blair. "I'm sure you're
not the one who has to fill out reams of paperwork for every shootout or chase. You've only had
*two* cars in the last three years; I've had five. It's not you who get's into chases, it's me and my
poor vehicles and poor fingers. I don't see you running after bad guys or......"

"Gentlemen, we would like a nice quiet replacement of her. Nothing that the good Detective
would have to fill out forms for, or that would endanger the public by racing cars down the
street." William tried to break the argument, but to no avail.

Derek looked over at Blair. "Besides, who said you could drive? I'm not going to be in that car if
you are. You forget, I remember how *well* you drove the last time you were at the house."

Blair spluttered out his juice. "I can drive, thank you, and very well. I had a very patient
teacher." He smiled at Philip.

"Oh, no, you can't, Chief. Not with me there and awake. I don't love you that much." Jim shook
his head and looked over at Philip. "And you taught him that? Were you trying to drum up

Philip choked and then laughed. "Nah, he used ta be worse." He smiled at Blair. "I'm sure ya
don' wan' me ta tell him how ya drove through the garden that night and aimed for the pond."

Blair shook his head and got up to leave, but Jim pulling on his shirt stopped him. He gave Derek
his best 'puppy eyes'. "I wasn't that bad, was I, teach?"

Derek shook his head. "Worse. And please, none of the other stuff we found in your file? Your
fan club of criminals is more than enough on a regular day without adding Alex this time too." He
was about to get down on his knees and beg, until Nick and Philip did it for him. They all laughed
and Blair pouted until he was kissed, then they went back to eating.


Jim drove the van to the address they had for Tanya Moreau. They parked a block away, close
enough so Jim could see without appearing to be special in anyway. He didn't miss the look
Derek gave Blair, or the smile back.

He sat up straighter. A car was coming down the block with California tags. "They're here," he

Nick lifted his binoculars and smiled. "And doesn't our Alex look pretty." He turned just in time
to catch Philip's suddenly inert form. "Was it really necessary to sedate him?"

"Yes," came the two part reply from the older men in the back.

"Let's go," William added. "Blair. Stay. Here." Jim snorted and mumbled something about his
lack of respect for that order. They left him alone with the unconscious man.

All Blair heard on their way out was Jim asking, "So he got into trouble with you too, huh?"


William knocked on the door. "Rose, we know you're in there, open up."

The door opened to show them a young African American woman, dressed in tribal ceremonial
garb. Derek and Nick pushed past her and went in search of their lover. William pulled her aside
and started 'explaining' things to her. Jim followed the two men.

He found them, kneeling beside a young woman on a bed. An older woman and a middle-aged
man were huddled against the wall. "She okay?"

Derek looked up and nodded. "Rose, we need to talk."

"You've corrupted her!" she yelled and ran for the young woman on the bed. Jim stopped her and
snarled as the man came to help her.

"Let her go, I assure you she means no harm," he said, raising his arms out to show he wasn't

"This is *Detective* Ellison," Derek said. "I wouldn't try that disappearing needle trick on him."

The man blanched and stepped back, pulling Rose with him. "Detective, we only want what's best
for Alex. Her Grandmother feels she's been taken in by these people and made a cult member."

"We aren't a cult," Philip snarled from the doorway. A panting Blair was trying to hold him back.
"We may not be normal anymore, but we didn't choose this anymore than she did." He tried to
pull away from the young Anthropologist and head for the two of them, but Nick came over to
pull him toward the bed, gently steering him toward their mate.

"Ssshh, we need to wake her up now," he murmured, stoking the fine hair. "We have to
concentrate on bringing her back." He pulled Philip down beside the bed and made him kneel.
"Think to her, make her come back to us. Make her understand how much we need her."

All three closed their eyes, and Rose's widened. Alex's eyes opened and looked around.

"'Bout time," she whispered, and was engulfed in kisses.

Jim pulled Rose and the deprogramer, and Blair, from the room, closing the door to give
them some privacy. He pulled them into the living room, pushing them onto the couch. "Now,
tell me again. What is going on?"

"Officer," at the dirty look he received, he amended it to, "Detective, I am Dr. V. Curtis
Browne, a deprogramer, someone who helps cult members come back to reality. Rose thought
her granddaughter was a member of some sexual cult, and called me to fix her."

"She is. There's no other explanation." She sat up straight and looked at her other
grandchild Tanya. "At least you never did anything this extreme."

Tanya laughed and cocked her head to the side. "Grandma Rose, open your mind. Listen
to them. You can hear them if I can. Listen to what they're saying, not the sex that's bound to

Rose cocked her head and 'listened'. "I still don't hear anything but sex"

"Then listen deeper," Blair suggested. "If you have half the gift Alex does, then you should
*know* that they're bonded. For life." He waited while that sunk in. "You have no idea what it
meant to her to have you care enough to kidnap her, but it only hurt them. All of them. Those
three men were comatose when they got in yesterday. Not sleeping, but unable to come out of

"He's right Grandma," Tanya put in. "Even I can feel the bond, the love it creates, from them.
The love it created in her."

Rose smiled at her grandchild. "Do they have you fooled too?"

Jim snorted. "Ma'am, to be blunt. Unless you have a court order saying that woman is unable to
care for herself, or you can show me just reason to stop them, then what you did is a federal
offense called kidnaping that will put you in prison for around twenty years." He looked over at
the other man. "As for you, if they can prove you drugged her, it'll add five years to your charges
automatically, either here or California." He sat back and watched that small fact set in.

"Unless Alex won't press charges, which she wouldn't," Rose argued. "She'd never do that to her

"Ma'am, there are even ways around that." He sat back in the chair and turned up his hearing,
wondering what was going on.


Nick picked up Alex's hand and smoothed the flesh. "I'm glad you're back," he said quietly,
kissing the soft flesh on the back. "We all are."

//Pretty one,// Philip sent, with an external smile. //Glad to have our pretty one to hold. Ours and
only ours.//

Nick smiled at him and reached over to stroke the back of his hair. "Yes, dear, ours and only
ours. No one will ever take her away from us again."

Derek got up, sitting on the bed, pushing her up and sitting behind her. He laid her back until she
was laying against his chest. "We need you, need to reaffirm our place in your life. Will you let

Alex nodded and pulled Nick up for a kiss, stealing one from Philip over his shoulder first, then
leaned her head back, receiving one from her former teacher last. "Mine, all of you, always,"
was all she said.

Nick stood up slowly and took off his shirt, making sure it was what she wanted.

Alex reached a hand out, motioning him closer and stroking the firm flesh once he got there.
Nick moaned as she hit one of his nipples, and Philip stood up, undoing his shirt and throwing it
aside too. Alex hummed and pulled them over by their belt loops. "Mine, don't forget it."

Nick smiled and leaned down, kissing her briefly. He stood abruptly when he felt nimble, broad
fingers at his belt. Philip smiled shyly at him, and he returned it.

He suddenly knew why he was here, in this bond with these people. They needed him. Not
wanted him, not needed him like a family, but *needed* *him* to complete some part of
themselves, some empty hole in their souls. That was why he was here. He was here to complete
and be completed. They would fill all his holes like he would theirs.

The sex was just an outer way of showing it. Their bond was the inner workings of it, but
not the whole. The whole was much scarier. Their souls had been joined that first night, then the
new whole separated and replaced within them. The sex was just a way for the bond to grow and
gain strength. Each time he willingly submitted to it, it grew stronger and healthier, freeing more
of him to love them. That's why the sexual expressions they had went through were so strong, it
needed the nourishment to survive until they all realized it and gave in freely.

He could give in now to them. He was theirs and a part of them as they were of him. He
belonged and was loved. Sex was just a natural part of that, and he could give that willingly. He
could mate with them and enjoy it now, no guilt, no problems, no worries. It was *right* for him
to give himself to them. They needed and deserved him and his body.

"I need you to have me," he said quietly, affirming and showing he understood now.

//Bout time,// Philip sent. He smiled, a beautiful and serene smile, comforting and calming him
with his new knowledge.

Nick relaxed and let the slightly older man strip him for Alex's pleasure. He would learn to enjoy
this with them. For all of them.

When he was done, he turned and stripped Philip, taking his time with each piece, standing behind
him so she could have the best view. When he pushed the jeans and boxers down slowly, rubbing
his fingers down the strong thighs, Derek and Alex moaned in appreciation. He slid his hands
back up the furry body, stopping to stroke all the parts he now remembered drove Philip crazy.
When he ran a finger down the hard erection, stroking the exposed vein, Philip arched out, nearly
ramming it into Alex's face.

"Come here," she told them. They followed her order, kneeling on the bed so she could touch
where she wanted. "I want to ask something, Nick. May we have your virginity? Freely given in
joy and love?"

Nick was dumbfounded. "But I'm not...."

All three of them laid a finger across his lips. "But this would be the first time you had *given*
yourself freely to us, wanted it to happen. That is the real virginity," Derek told him.

He nodded, annoying moisture welling up in him.

Philip smiled at him, bending him over Alex so he could get a good look down his back. "Umm,"
he moaned, running a gentle hand down the broad expanse of flesh. "Ours."

Nick wiggled, not really thrilled with his position. "I thought we were here for Alex."

Derek reached over and swatted him once, stopping his arguing.

//Undress me, my toy,// Alex sent to him. He looked at her, and smiled, then looked at his
hands, planted firmly and holding up his weight. //With your teeth.//

Derek and Philip moaned through the bond, aroused by this request. They continued to stroke
the firm back and buttocks, squeezing, patting, and caressing it in time to his movements.

Nick did as he was bid. He bit the buttons off her shirt, spitting them across the room. She
moaned as each button left, watching him lick each newly exposed piece of flesh. When he nosed
her blouse off her chest, she sighed and arched up, smiling as he got the hint and nibbled on her
nipples through her bra.

Derek reached his free hand under her and undid the offending and very in the way piece of
lingerie He pulled it and the shirt off her arms and threw it in the direction of the buttons.

Nick leaned back, hissing as his butt encountered someone's chest. He looked back, seeing Philip
standing there and stroking it like he was a favorite pet. Philip smiled at him and spanked him,
just once, before going back to his petting.

Derek tapped him on the shoulder, helping him go back to kneeling, then picked Alex up enough
so they could get her pants and underwear off her easily. Philip came around to pull them off her

Alex tried to get up, but none of them would allow it. "Guys, I'm fine. Really." They all shook
their head so she laid back into Derek's arms and chest, laying back to enjoy herself.

Nick leaned back over her, kissing his way down her stomach to her mound. He made it there,
licking a path through the dense hair and moving lower once she spread her legs. He licked down
her hair trail, spreading the flesh with his tongue until he got to the little piece of flesh he wanted.

Alex moaned as Nick lapped at her clit like a kitten with cream. She arched her back and spread
her legs further, letting him get to all the places he wanted to taste. He obliged, nibbling and
sucking on all her favorite places, sending her over the edge of orgasm quickly. He crawled up
her body, letting her taste herself in his mouth with a kiss. He tried to move out of the way, but
was stopped by her.

//Stay, more, please? Claim me as we will you,// she sent to him. He just smiled and crawled
around until he was laying between her legs and smiling up at her. He took another broad lick,
separating her lower lips with his cheeks, then stiffened his tongue and drove it into her moist

She arched off the bed, crying "yes" and was held by Derek while Nick did her again as
only he could.

She was so close, but Nick wouldn't let her come over. "Nick," she begged, but he just
smiled at her and took one last lick, getting up onto his knees and entering her with one deep
stroke, sending her over again.

They all watched as Alex fell back into sleep, a natural and healing one.

The next thing Nick knew he was on his stomach, still laying between her legs, and being stroked
from behind. He looked over his shoulder, smiling at the grin Philip was carrying. "We should be
at the hotel for this, not in someone else's bed," he objected gently.

"We should be at home," Derek said, "but that will have to wait for a few days." He smiled down
at Nick. "There's plenty of things we can do until then, if you would let us teach you." Nick
nodded, shyly, for the first time glad he had such experienced lovers.

"Goot," he said. "The first lesson is one of kissing and nibbling on the right spots." He leaned
over Alex's shoulder and helped by Philip, kissed Nick until he was ready to scream for more.

"Oh," he moaned, and slumped back down, right into the slightly older man's waiting arms and
lips. Philip showed him how good a chaste and closed mouth kiss could be, gentling him back
down the slope of desire so they could get back to the hotel in one piece.


Jim smiled at Blair and said, "She's awake and talking."

"Good," the deprogramer said, "the drugs should be out of her system by now. She just needs to
not do anything strenuous for the next few days.

Blair snorted. "With those three overprotective men and him?" he pointed at Sloan. "Not

William just shook his head and then smacked the back of Blair's. "Children."

"Hey, he's an adult now," Jim said in his defense. He stopped to listen, then turned an amazed
face back to him. "They're like that?" His voice almost squeaked on the last word, he was so
shocked. He had never heard or seen a foursome before.

Rose gave him a smug look. "See, I told you they weren't natural. That in itself is the Devil's
work." She nodded and started to head in there, but Blair stopped her. "Young man, let me go.
My Granddaughter needs me."

"No, I don't think she needs your help for that." He pulled her into the kitchen. "Missus Moreau,
I know how you must feel about all this. It's strange and it's not the normal way. But she's
happy, and pregnant, and fulfilled in her life. Would you take that from her? Especially over
something as trivial as her mates?" He waited while she thought about it. "Would losing her in
your life be worth that?"

Rose thought about it. No, losing her granddaughter, the good and her favorite one, wasn't worth
that price, any price really. "You may be right, but I still don't like it and I think she's been tricked
into it."

Blair smiled, a soothing and gentle one, with some radiance thrown in. "I was listening when
William told you what happened. She didn't choose this, but it's her path now. She may not have
wanted this then, may have even tried to push them away at some point, but now she's accepted it
as her way and life. I know how important you are in her life, she talked about you all the time
when I was working with them. Losing you over something that she didn't even chose to do, but
*has* to do, will destroy her. Your favorite granddaughter will become a shell of her former self,
a wasted and useless hull of a person. She thinks that much of you." He put his hands on her
shoulders. "They can't take your place in her life, anymore than a normal relationship could. But
she would be overjoyed to the point of rupture if you would support her, even if you can't accept
it. Let your love for her guide your actions and speech." He squeezed her shoulders. "I know,
and she knows, that you were trying to protect her earlier, and she's not going to be mad."

"Are you sure of that?"

Blair nodded. "Very sure." He pulled her in close. "It's a testament to your good raising that
she's already brought so many changes to them; your loving and caring teaching that showed her
how to love others and let them grow in that love." He turned her toward the living room, and
the foursome. "See how much she has changed those three men?"

Rose nodded. "Yes, I do. She's told me about them, what they were like. I can definitely
see her influence on them." She looked and "looked" at Nick. "Especially that young one. He's
much better now that she's awake."

Blair hugged her turned form to his chest. "All she wants is your continued love and
support. You don't have to accept, or like, what goes on in her life, but you need to love her no
matter what."

Rose turned, brushing a stray tear away. "Young man, Blair, you're right. She still needs
me in there. For her sake, I'll learn about them, and their relationship, even if I can't abide by it."
She gave him a tight hug. "You are also a testament to a good upbringing. I would be proud to
tell your mother that."

"Yes, ma'am, I am. And you know what? Alex and the rest of them are like a family to me, even
though I don't get to see them as often anymore. The six years I spent working summers with
them was some of the best time in my life, mainly because of Alex and Derek being there for me
as a family. You raised her right, more than."

He walked her back into the living room, and helped her sit down beside Alex on the
couch. "I think she would like to talk to you for a while now."

"Blair made me see some things, Alex. I'm sorry I kidnaped you, endangered your child.
I did it out of love and concern, but it still wasn't right. Can you forgive me?"

Alex hugged the older woman, rocking them back and forth. "Oh, I can do more than
forgive you. I love you."

"Good," Rose said and wiped her eyes again.


Jim drove them back to their hotel, sure that he had now seen everything. "We're here,"
he called softly, breaking up the kissing in the back.

Blair got out and opened the door, holding it open as part of his family left. "So, are we
going to have dinner while you're still here?"

Derek hugged him close, tucking the curly head under his chin. "Yes, we are." He pulled
Blair far enough away to look at him. "It was a great thing you did for us with Rose, and we
could never thank you."

"Man, you guys are like family to me, and I couldn't do anything but help." He blushed
slightly. "I could never refuse to help you."

Alex and Philip came over, surrounding the younger man for a deep and close hug. "Blair,"
Derek said, "when you're ready, come home to us. Bring Jim, you'll both be welcome."

Blair nodded and slipped a card into his hand. "Tomorrow, nine p.m. I'm cooking." Derek
nodded and took the card, patting his head one last time and went inside. Alex gave him a
kiss on the cheek, Philip gifting him with another hug and a "Just wait until I bring out some
things to tell 'im," and pointed at Jim.

Blair laughed and smiled. "Oh, I'm sure you two could swap stories for months." He waved as
they left him alone with Jim and William. "So, are you coming too?"

William shook his head. "Nope, London called while you were saying goodbye to Rose. Seems
someone let a group of fairy's loose in the house. Again." Blair groaned, and William hugged
him. "Good to see you." He kissed his cheek and whispered, "I agree with Derek, come home
when you're ready. We'll be here." Blair just nodded and handed him the keys to the van.

Jim took his hand and stood beside him while they watched his adopted family leave for a
while. He pulled Blair back to the truck, sure they would be over for dinner, and more than sure
that they would meet again after that.


Dinner was a success. Jim shared stories with them, gaining better insight to his love, and
they told him things he would never have dreamed were possible. Even for Blair.

They left, and he held Blair close to him all night and most of the next day, letting him
wear out his sorrow and worry about them.

"They're happy and together," was all he said. Blair agreed and smiled, flipping Jim over
to show him how much his care meant.


Their first night back, everyone was too tired to do more than curl up together and sleep.

The next morning, they laid there and talked about how to do things around the house.

"We'll need a nursery soon," Nick said. Philip made agreeing noises from his position on
Alex's stomach.

"Maybe a large old fashioned one," Derek suggested. "The type where all the children slept in the
same suite until they were old enough to need their own rooms."

Nick smiled up at him, liking the idea. "Just like Peter Pan and Wendy."

Philip snorted, and licked the firm muscles he was laying on. "Any children of mine will be too
stubborn to leave. Nick's too."

"Oh, I think all my men are stubborn love slaves," Alex said quietly, then hid when they tried to
thump her with pillows.

It settled down into a pillow fight, then tickling, then caresses while they calmed down and

"We need a bigger bed and room," Alex said. "This one is great, but if I'm going to be pregnant
often, you three will end up in a little corner."

"Philip and Derek already hog the bed," Nick complained.

"They make this new size, called family sized," Derek said after some thought. "The idea was to
have small children sleep in bed with the parents so they could be closer and more secure. It's
about the same size as two kings, supposedly. Would something like that work?"

Everyone nodded.

"But, about the bathroom situation," Nick added. "Alex takes forever, and you and Philip
like taking bathes that last for hours. We need more than one." Philip and Alex nodded,

"So, we need to redesign this to be a suite?" Everyone else nodded and Derek groaned.
"That's going to be a nightmare."

"Not really," Philip said. "We can knock down a few walls. My cousin is a contractor, and so's
my sis. I could call and send pictures, get a plan drawn up."

Nick laughed. "Oh, man, I can see what he means. We're going to need a dressing room, with
enough areas for all of us and mirrors. We're going to need another bathroom, at least, plus
maybe a sitting area so you and Derek can read up here when you can't sleep or are sick. This is
more than a little remodel."

Derek hummed at what Nick was saying. "Well, there is another option. We do have a whole
wing of the house that isn't being used. It's been sealed off for ages, almost since the house was
built. It's near the kitchen, and the gym and pool. It's a little ways from the work areas, but
nothing that takes over two minutes. There are three floors, ten rooms, if I remember right, and
they could be modified readily since they were never finished." He would leave it up to them.

"Why was it sealed," Nick asked, suspicious. In this house things were only sealed for one

"Well, when it was built, the original owners were going to use it for their magickal practices.
They had the marble floors inset with the necessary designs and things. But right before it was to
be finished, there was some sort of summoning that went wrong and blew them up. At least that's
what my father told me."

"So, we'd have to 'clean' it first," Philip said. Derek agreed with him silently. "So, an exorcism
and maybe some careful removal of artifacts. Anything else?"

"Um, a few ghosts."

"So? We do that every day or so," Alex said and shrugged. "Can we do that?"

Philip shrugged and looked at the others. "Only one way ta find out."

They all trooped out of bed, pulling on sweats and heading down to the unused part of the
building. Derek stopped in his office to get the key, and met them in front of the heavy oak door.

He unlocked it and swung it open on the screaming hinges. Everyone waited, holding their
breath. Nothing happened.

They walked in and looked around. Philip and Derek immediately fell in love with the view. Alex
found the perfect spot for the nursery, and Nick found a room he could put his weights and things
in to call his own. They met back in the main area, looking up the stairs to the platform/loft
section. They climbed the stairs carefully, Nick in the lead just in case it wasn't stable, and looked

What they thought was a loft was really half a floor. There were six rooms up here, two
obviously planned as a bathroom and two as bedrooms. Nick whistled when he looked out the
larger bedroom window and saw the view. "I can see almost to the other side of the island," he
said quietly. Philip came up behind him and hugged him.

"It's a good view."

Derek found the stairway up to the third floor, an observation room with numerous small
slit-like windows. Alex twirled in the center. "Oh, I love it," she exclaimed, throwing out her
arms and spinning some more.

"It's like it was made for us," Philip said, grabbing her and pulling her to the floor to tickle.

Nick and Derek looked at each other. "You never know," they said together and broke out
in laughs when the others just looked at them and shook their heads.

"Philip, can you call them and send them a picture. Other than updating it, I don't see
much that needs to be done."

"The nursery needs to be joined," Alex said. She was helped up and went over to hug him. "I
know we're going to have more than two, so we need to join the playroom and the three rooms
on that side."

"I want shelves," Philip said, "in my space."

Nick nodded. "I'll need a work table or something, maybe a few shelves and some
furniture along with my weights."

Derek just looked at them and shrugged. "Okay." He was grabbed into a group hug and
held for quite a while.

They broke it up when Rachel came looking for them. "Hey!"

"Rach, how do you like our new rooms?" Alex said and spread a hand around.

"There's enough of them, and you're obviously happy with it." She nodded and pulled Alex aside
to check her out. "Come on, Mom, need to be checked." They waved as they were pulled away.

~~~oooOOO000OOOooo~~~ Epilogue:

They decided they should wait until they were in their new rooms before claiming Nick fully as
theirs. For the month up till then, they played 'show and tell' on each other, graphically explaining
things to him. They taught him how to penetrate, and how to take it. Philip showed him how to
suck the men and Derek showed him how to get the most pleasure from Alex's body. By the time
he knew enough, the wiring and the walls were done; all that was left was the furniture. He used
his frustration that last week that no one touched him to move them in and decorate the place to
their standards.

The first night in their wing, Derek laid out the candles while Philip tapped into his newly
discovered talent for massages. Alex gave him a bath afterward, scrubbing and cleaning him
gently for them.

Nick was placed in the center of the bed, and was surrounded by his lovers. Each one leaned
over him, kissing their way down his body, but stopping short of what he wanted and was ready
for. Alex had him spread his legs, and put the tray between his ankles, pulling back the towel to
show them the toys they had bought together just for tonight.

Nick moaned as she held the first one up, and lubed it where he could see it. He rotated his hips
outward in preparation for her to penetrate him with it.

She waited while Philip leaned over, taking Nick's cock into his mouth and Derek teased him with
a lube-slick finger, gently sliding it inside in tandem with Philip's sucking.

Nick arched up, nearly choking Philip and making Derek and Alex chuckle at his eagerness.

"Relax, Nick, it's coming," Derek whispered. This part of the house was so quiet, you could hear
him like that without straining. He slid some more lube in him, gently removing the finger and
reloading it before going back to his playing.

Philip came up, smiling and demanded a kiss silently, leaning over and pursing his lips for it. Nick
obliged, showing him how much he had learned in the last month. Both came away panting, and
Alex moved in for her turn, kissing him while she slid the instrument in.

Nick looked up. Derek had uncovered their mirror, letting him see everything. He watched the
first thrust in, the slow disappearance of the tiny dildo into him. He moaned at the sight, eager to
have more, feeling it by pulsing his muscles.

"Oh, our little Nicholas is so ready for us," she cooed and thrust in it faster and harder, twisting
the finger sized object around to give him the most pleasure from it.

He lifted up his hips, telling her he wanted more through their bond, and smiling when Derek held
up the next one and lubed it so he could watch. Alex drew out quickly, making him hiss at the
loss, but Derek slammed the new toy into him, matching her old rhythm for a few strokes. He
watched it all, smiling at the satisfied and aroused look he was giving himself.

Philip and Alex laid next to him, watching Derek play with their lover in the mirror too. They
moaned on each in thrust, and soon they were touching him in the most pleasant ways, sucking on
his erect flesh and nibbling over his chest and stomach.

Philip moved down from Nick chest, giving Alex a kiss before showing him the next one and
lubing it. This one was half as wide as both he and Derek were, and there was just one more
to go. He kissed Derek's shoulder and held the hand with the prosthetic as it was pulled out,
taking his place beside Nick's hip and sliding the new one in.

Nick hissed. This one hurt a little, stretched him a little more than he thought. Alex lifted the leg
she was laying next to, letting Derek do the same to the other one. They brought them up to his
chest and held them there, easing the stretching/burning with the new position.

"Soo good," she said and kissed the back of the knee she was holding.

Nick was getting into this. He was thrusting back against the toy and Philip, liking it and the
feeling it caused. "Oh, more, please?" he begged, making all of them smiled.

Alex got the last toy and lubed it. She handed it to him, and smiled. "You can do it. For us?"

He was guided to his hole by Philip and Derek, both holding his hand steady while he
slowly thrust it in.

Both men started to pant, and Alex was rubbing her breasts lightly, occasionally letting her hand
fall and fingering herself. He decided to draw it out for them, playing himself like he had been
taught to do.

He arched up into each of his thrusts, not expecting it to feel like that, that good. He was
full, stretched and filled, but it wasn't enough. He looked over at his two male lovers and smiled.
He withdrew it, making them moan at the loss. "I'm ready."

Philip removed the tray and helped Alex cross his body. She laid down in front of him,
rolling him onto his side facing her. She took his mouth, possessing it.

He could feel more lube being added, someone's fingers in him, checking him just to make
sure. He rode them, thrusting and pushing back, squeezing them with the newly discovered
muscles. He moaned and groaned into her mouth when they were removed, but gasped and
nibbled on her throat as he took her and he was slid into.

He didn't know which one was back there, and he didn't really care. He slid into his mate,
making her gasp, and started to ride her softly, easing her up the ladder of pleasure. The same
way his lover was taking him.

They climbed higher and higher, Derek eventually coming around to take the other side of
their wife and help him pleasure her, his entrance setting her off.

Alex yelled his name and came, wetting his condom down and slopping her juices all over
any flesh of his that touched her close to there. She pulled off him and slid over Derek's body,
letting him flip over and slide his back up to him.

Philip reached around and rolled a fresh condom down him, and they all watched as she spread a
little lube down it.

Derek presented himself to Nick, arching back when the younger man grabbed his hips, taking
him gently, sliding in slowly stroke by stroke getting deeper.

Philip was doing him still, building him up to heights he had never imagined, forcing him closer to
the edge. Then he did the unthinkable, he stopped and pulled out. Nick moaned and tried to
shove his hips back, almost pulling himself completely out of Derek and stopping their rhythm.

"Philip?" she asked.

"I want to be in front too," he said quietly, giving Nick a kiss on the cheek. Derek just nodded
and pulled away, making Nick cry out at the loss. He was too close for them to abandon him

"Ssshhh, we're just changing parts." Alex patted him, moving up until his head was on her thigh,
resting on the inside edge. He took the opportunity to lick her, lapping up the earlier spill he had
caused, not pausing when Derek took him, and Philip was taken by him.

Their rhythm was kept by all, kissing, suckling, and playful licks bringing them over about the
same time. Nick sent her over, licking furiously to get it all, and pushing back harder onto Derek
and into Philip. Philip got off next, using Nick's hand to stroke himself in time with his thrusts.
The shock of the muscles clamping around him sent Nick over, bringing Derek off right behind

They all lay there panting, kissing each other when they had the breath, and hugging close
as a group.

Nick had never felt anything so special in his life. Almost four months to the day since
they had bonded and now it was done. He had claimed them as his own and been claimed by
them as theirs. He was finally complete. They all were.

~~~oooOOO000OOOooo~~~ Super-Epilogue:

It had been six years since Philip had seen the pair standing on the steps. He pulled his heavy leg
forward, pulling Blair Sandburg into a hug. "Oh, good God, you're back!" He pulled Jim into a
hug too, letting him go when he saw Blair's frown.

"Derek!" he bellowed. "Door!"

Derek came down the stairs at a run, expecting trouble yet again, but to his shock was piled into
not only by his son and daughter but by the man he considered his son. "Blair?" The younger
man nodded and promptly fell asleep in his arms, mumbling about 'home' and 'safe;.

Nick came running down too, chasing a naked youngster, a boy, and Alex stood at the top of the
stairs and smiled. "Some things never change. He still falls asleep whenever you touch him," she
quipped and went to get Rachel and Kat.

Jim eased his lover from Derek's arms. "We don't mean to intrude, but I have a problem."

Just then, Blair started to have a nightmare, swiping at imaginary things that were trying to fly
down and take him away from his Jim. "No," he moaned, reaching out.

Jim sat down next to him, holding him close and rocking him until he woke.

Derek waited until he was awake to ask his questions.

"Jim!" he shouted, sitting bolt upright and panting. The older man 'sshh'ed him and
patted his hair until he calmed down.

"So, what's this abou'?" Philip asked, dragging his daughter over to the stairs and sitting
down, by grace of much practice not on her head.

"I ..." Blair cleared his throat, "I keep seeing these things, flying things, coming for me,
trying to take me away from him," he hugged Jim to him. "I see this box, and he opens it and
they, she, flies out."

"So, where's the box?" Derek asked, moving aside as Nick came back chasing the still
naked child through the foyer. "Nick!" He stopped dead in his tracks and turned to look at the
new guests.

"Cool, do you sit? As you can see, there's more than enough to keep you busy."

Blair smiled and nodded. "Just so long as you take the box in the carpet bag and get rid of
the fairy godmother trapped in it." He turned to look at first Derek, then Philip. "He found it
yesterday, or rather it was sent to him for me. We came down right away." He wiggled his
fingers at the young girl attached to Philip's leg. "Hi."

She waved back and hid her face behind his knee. "She's a lamprey, won't get off. My last x-ray
they had to do her too because they couldn't make her let go, not even with a sedative," he

Rachel came down the stairs and frowned at the naked one. "Leave their things alone, Sydney."

They all turned just in time to see him open the box and let the fairy godmother out. And
she was pissed.

"Boo!" he cried and she shrieked, disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Everyone looked at the one year old in awe. "How did he do that?" his father asked.

An End?