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Chapter Five

A sound disturbed him sometime later and he was instantly awake.

"I'm awake," he announced softly to the dim figure, instinctively going for his gun.

"I'm going to sedate him for the night," the duty nurse said.

"Nein. Lord Gloria requested no more sedatives," he told her, relaxing.

"He won't sleep through the night without it."

"He said the drugs make the dreams worse. Leave him be. If he wakes and disturbs the other patients, then you can sedate him."

"All right," the nurse reluctantly agreed.


He thought the nurse was going to say something more, but she left without another word. He stared up at the ceiling, trying to remember how he had ended up on the bed with the Earl of Gloria sealed tightly to his side. Not that he was really complaining. Dorian's weight was oddly welcome, his warmth and steady breathing a comfort. He was glad that the Earl was alive.

The thought should have disturbed him, but it didn't. The wild curls, however, were tickling his chin. Repositioning himself, he looked at his watch. It was 23:47, visiting hours were long over. He knew he could get up and leave, but he was too comfortable to move. Besides, he was tired, and just beginning to realize how tired. He'd been on full alert for almost five days, from the moment Eroica failed to meet him at the rendezvous point to the moment the Earl regained consciousness, and it was finally catching up with him. The door opened.

"Major, sir?" Agent S said hesitantly.


"U and V are here. We'll be going now."

"Gut. That will be all. You may go."

"Yes sir."

The door closed again as he shifted and Eroica made a tiny sound of protest, clutching at him and inadvertently grabbing his breast.

‘Fucking pervert,’ he thought dimly to himself but made no move to remove the offending hand or to get out of bed.

The Earl's warmth returned as the smaller man gravitated towards him like a heat-seeking magnet, and soon the curls were once again tickling his chin. He sighed.

‘It wouldn't hurt to rest a while longer, and he's quiet. I'll wake up in 30 minutes...’

He let the sound of Dorian's breathing and the steady thrum of his pulse lull him back to sleep.

Sunlight coming through the blinds awakened him and for a moment he was disoriented. Then a pair of blue eyes caught his attention.

Dorian smiled at him, a sweet and tender smile, and nuzzled his cheek.

"My friend," he murmured against the Major's skin. "Mmmm..."

The Earl's voice sounded much stronger this morning so he felt comfortable getting angry.

"Don't slobber on me, you queer," he said, but his voice lacked its usual acid.

"Would never dream of it, Major. Well... actually..."

"Hmph, you must be feeling better."

"For the moment. What's not to feel better about? I wake up from a deep sleep, warm and safe in the man I love's arms. I thought it had to be a dream, and then it was real. Mmmmm," Dorian answered, burying his nose in Klaus' hair.

"More like a nightmare," the Major answered dryly, looking at his watch. It read 07:14. "I have to go."

He could almost feel the Earl's pout. "Must you?"


"But we were just getting to know each other better..."

"That's enough," he snapped brusquely and sat up, sliding out of the bed.

The sharp movement jostled the Earl and he cried out in pain. Klaus immediately recognized his error and cursed his stupidity.

"Lord Gloria! Dorian, I'm sorry," he blurted, trying to comfort the writhing man. "Here, on your stomach," he directed, guiding the Earl onto his mostly uninjured side.

Dorian was still panting, his face contorted with agony, tears leaking from his eyes. Klaus leaned over him, petting his hair.

"Shhh. I'm sorry. I did not mean to hurt you. I'm sorry..."

The Earl's long hand grabbed his own and he was surprised by its strength. "It's okay... my Major," he gasped.


Eroica drew a deep breath. "It's all right. The worst is past now."

"I'm sorry."

"Major. I forgive you... your trespasses."

They fell quiet, the Earl catching his breath and riding out the last of the pain, and the Major mentally kicking himself. Their hands were still entwined.

"Why do you forgive me when all I give you is pain?" he blurted suddenly.

"Because I love you."

"You shouldn't! I don't want you to."

"I can't help it. We don't choose who we love. You think this is easy for me?"

"No. No I would never think it was easy. I am not an easy man to like, least if all to love," he confessed.

The Earl found amusement in the quiet statement. "Major, you are anything but easy. You make me try sooo hard..."


Dorian chuckled, noting that Klaus still had not pulled away his hand. "Lewd is my nature."

"You'll corrupt me."

"Too late for that."

The Major's free hand stroked the Earl's blond hair. "Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'll live."

"Do you need me to get the nurse?"

"No. You are more than an adequate nursemaid for me."


"Oh, Klaus, I love it when you call me pet names."

"The painkillers are making you crazier than usual," he groused.

"You really think so? Can I kiss you and claim temporary insanity?"

"No! And be glad you're injured, otherwise I'd have beaten you bloody for that."

"Why not? Maybe I like pain."

Klaus's quasi-joking mood vanished and he squeezed Dorian's hand hard enough to hurt.


"Don't say that. Don't ever say that," he hissed.

Dorian's smile faded as well and he lowered his eyes. "I'm sorry. That wasn't funny."

"No, it wasn't."

The comfortable ease between them was gone, replaced by wary tension. Klaus was about to say something when someone knocked on the door.

"What?" he barked.

"Major, sir? The Chief is on the phone for you," Agent Z's voice came.

He sighed heavily. "I'll be right there." Then to Eroica. "I have to go."

He slid his hand gently out of the Earl's grasp, briefly meeting the man's soulful eyes.

"Will you come back?"

"Yes. I promise."

"Thank you."

"In the meantime, I'm sure your men will be in to see you."

Dorian winced. "Mr. James must be frantic. I am sure this is costing a great deal of money. You do know that I will have to pull off some serious thefts to pay for all of this."

"Just keep it out of my jurisdiction."

"Of course, darling. I'd never interfere with your mission," Eroica cooed.


"I'll see you later then?" Dorian asked, all teasing gone and replaced by nervous fear.

"Yes," he answered truthfully, dropping the bravado for a moment.

The nervousness vanished replaced by a splitting grin. "Later then, darling. Kiss kiss."

"Good day, Lord Gloria," he said stiffly, going for the door.

"What? No good-bye kiss?"

"Piss off," he shot back and walked out.

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