Jim Ellison smiled at the cheery greeting from his partner and roommate. Blair stood in the kitchen, peering into a simmering pot with a look of immense gratification.
"Smells great, Chief." Jim hung his jacket on the hook and secured his weapon. Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper.
Blair looked up to see the smirk on Jim's face. "What?" he asked, folding his arms.
"Thought you'd get a kick out of this," Jim chuckled. "Someone left the original on Conner's desk. It's from a 1955 edition of Housekeeping Monthly. Drove her up the wall." He handed the paper to Blair and peered into the pot.
Blair quickly read the top sheet and began laughing. "Oh, man! I've got to send this to Naomi! We'll hear the screeching all the way from Mexico!"
"Read the next page." Jim leaned against the refrigerator and waited.
Blair glanced at the second page then at his partner. "Bored today with nothing to do, were we?"
Jim shrugged. "I just adapted it. Figured out your responses, too."
"Oh, you did, did you?" Blair mock-grumbled. He leaned against the sink and read.
THE GOOD GUIDE'S GUIDE (by Jim Ellison)
1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for your Sentinel's return. It's is your way of letting your Sentinel know you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most Sentinels are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorites) is part of the warm welcome your Sentinel needs.
Blair's Reply: "Hey, Jim! How about Mexican tonight? Good. Drive through Taco Bell on your way home."
2. Prepare for your Sentinel's arrival. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Your Sentinel has been with a lot of work-weary people and needs a break.
Blair's Reply: "No, there's no hot water left. But, I'm very refreshed."
3. Be understanding. After the day your Sentinel has had, he needs a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
Blair's Reply: "No, Jim. Watching the hockey game is going to be way too stressful on you after your long, hard day. Here's a nice show on the Garden Channel."
4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your Sentinel arrives.
Blair's Reply: "It's not clutter. It's ambiance."
5. Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare and light a fire for your Sentinel to unwind by. He will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Blair's Reply: "Ahhhh…this is nice. A warm fire, hot chocolate, soft music...too bad you're on stakeout tonight."
6. Greet your Sentinel with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
Blair's Reply: "Jim, while I'm glad to see you and really glad you're safe after all you've gone through today, I still don't understand why cleaning under my bed is going to make you happy."
7. Listen to your Sentinel. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Blair's Reply: "No problem, man. My news about tenure at the University, being asked to contribute to the Commissioner's Task Force, and the winning lottery ticket can wait. Now, what is it about your truck?"
8. Never complain if your Sentinel comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his work is stressful and full of pressure and he has a very real need to relax.
Blair's Reply: "Jim? Relax THIS!"
9. Your goal is to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your Sentinel can renew himself in body and spirit.
Blair's Reply: "I've told Brother Jeremy to expect you tomorrow afternoon."
10. Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
Blair's Reply: "Jim, why would you think there's a problem just because we're standing in the kitchen in 4 inches of water? It can wait."
11. Don't complain if he's home late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Blair's Reply: "Jim, what you went through yesterday is minor compared to what you're going to go if you ever do this again without letting me know where you are!"
12. Make your Sentinel comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
Blair's Reply: "Just close your eyes and relax. Now, tell me what you taste in this mug."
13. Arrange your Sentinel's pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Blair's Reply: "Shhh...just take it easy. Everything's fine. I didn't run down the battery in the truck. No problems or stresses. The toilet's not stopped up. All's well."
14. Don't ask your Sentinel questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the leader of this relationship and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Blair's Reply: "Who? Me? Question? No way, man. My lips are sealed. Locked. Zipped up tight. Why would I question your reason for wanting to strip and refinish the floors in the middle of the winter? It's not for me to ask. Nuh-uh. Not me. You won't hear one little...OWW!"
15. A good Guide always knows his place.
Blair's Reply: "And if he's smart, the Sentinel knows it, too."
Jim watched in amusement as Blair started chuckling, then laughing, then finally sliding down the cabinets to the floor where he doubled over muttering "yes…oh yes…true…"
The Sentinel carefully stepped around his hysterical partner to take the pots off the burners. He checked the oven and removed the warm bread.
"Chief. Sandburg." Jim shook his head, giving up trying to get Blair's attention. He supposed dinner could wait. "Do I know my Guide or what?" he chuckled.
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