"That's a lot more than you were supposed to know," says Sam, throwing a worried look my way and I can't help but agree with her. Even if they were listening in on us while we were heading toward that restaurant, there are a couple of things in Blairs statement that must have come from elsewhere.
"Okay, so half of what I just said was guesswork, but seeing how you just confirmed it for me, I don't think there's much point in you trying to deny it now," Blair points out.
"You bluffed it out of me?" exclaims Sam, who seems torn between being offended and amused.
"Sorry," he says, sounding far from sincere. Somehow I get the feeling that, whether we end up recruiting these two or not, I'm going to have my hands full with my little brother... and with each and every passing moment I become more and more convinced that actually recruiting Blair into the SGC would be a major coup. The guy's got the training as an anthropologist combined with his experience as a detective and a natural ability to read both the situation and the people around him. That is not a common combination and the possibility of adding a sentinel to the mix only sweetens the deal... though somehow I don't think Blair would appreciate hearing those thoughts.
"Okay so, that takes care of things," I say, hoping to move things along.
"Not exactly, you haven't told me what you know about Jim," he reminds me and I realize that somehow he's managed to get me right where he wanted me. He's managed to guess a number of things and then he bluffed a confirmation out of Sam but somehow I don't think we are going to be so lucky here. Simply put, trying to bluff him is not likely to get us very far. We are going to have to tell him what we know and then the only way in which we will get any additional information is if he feels like sharing... and, if what I've seen of how protective of his sentinel he can be is anything to go by, then the chances that he will be willing to share are slim to none. He may claim that Jim is the acting president of the MMHFHU (though I still maintain that that honor belongs to Jack), but the truth is that he is not fooling me. Blair and Jim protect each other and there's no arguing as to who is the president of the NMMHFHU. Of course, in a way it is only natural. That is one difference between us, a difference between Jim and Jack. When Jack gets overprotective he has the whole SGC to fall back on, Jim and Blair are on their own and they know it. Still, if I want things to move along here then I'm going to have no choice but to figure out a way to make it past his defenses.
I'm still considering that situation when Sam jumps in.
"We know he is a sentinel and I've read your dissertation," she says before going on. "We also know that he was listening in on us earlier today and that has given us a reference in terms of what he can do, at least when it comes to his sense of hearing. If that is anything to go by in terms of his others senses, well, let's just say that the possibilities are fascinating."
"He is not a lab rat," growls Blair, making it abundantly clear that that is not up for debate and that pushing the issue would be the fastest way to get him to clam up. I can see he is still afraid, still unsure as to whether or not he can trust us. I think he wants to, but he is also having a hard time seeing past Sam's rank... not that I blame him.
"I know, but the fact is that he is at risk," she points out, refusing to back down. "Believe me, with what we deal with we've come across some groups that would not hesitate to do whatever it takes to ensure Jim's services."
"And how can we know you are not involved with any of them?" he challenges her.
"You can't, not really, she admits, but we are probably your best bet when it comes to keeping him safe."
"What do you mean?" he asks.
"We can keep him safe --we can keep you both safe-- if you trust us."
"And how is you trying to blackmail me any different from them doing whatever it takes to ensure his services?"
"It is different because we are giving you a real choice here... and I would hardly call that blackmail," says Sam.
"Some choice," he mutters.
"Listen, Blair, you don't have to decide anything right now, in fact Sam shouldn't even have said that much, not without talking it with our base's CO first, but she does have a point," I say, trying to defuse the situation. "Believe me, we have an alien on our team. If we can keep him safe, we can keep Jim safe. The problem is that right now we can't be entirely sure that the people in those groups haven't followed us to Cascade... and if they have this could easily turn into a race against the clock so please hear us out."
Author's notes: In case anyone was wondering, NMMHFHU stands for Non-military Mother Hens From Hell Union.