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Author's Chapter Notes:
Alternate Universe: Klaus/Dorian/James-kun. (So there ~_^)

James woke slowly, his mind fuzzy with sleep. He felt safe and warm... Odd that. He paused to wonder why he was so content. He let his mind drift back as a pair of strong arms encircled his shoulders...


It was another foray into the world of shadows another mad dash to stay one step ahead of 'The Enemy'. One more trip where James watched his beloved Earl fawn over the Iron Major. He clutched his Casio tighter, and turned away.

He was one of the few that knew the Earl and the Major were truly lovers. Oh half the Intelligence Community thought they had been for years. The truth of the matter was that on a rather dismal snowy night five years before the two men consummated their relationship.

It had nearly destroyed James.

He had walked in on them, sound asleep in a nest of blankets before the fireplace. He stood, frozen for long moments, before silently backing out of the room. He had told no one, had never confronted them. He had lost before he had truly begun.

As time passed he watched them together and slowly came to see what the Earl saw in the brooding officer. Not that it eased the pain any. But he had come to understand the older man.

He sighed and turned towards the squabbling lovers. He still had his part to play after all. Even if his drive to horde money was strong as ever, it was getting harder to act the part of the 'stingy bug'. He squared his shoulders as a flash caught his eye. After several years of following Lord Gloria into dangerous situation, some things became instinctive.

Before the sniper could fire, he was already moving. He saw Klaus turn to face him seconds before he slammed into him. The sharp ::CRACT:: sound of a high powered rifle rent the air. Something hard and burning slammed into his back. There was a blessed few seconds of numbed shock, and then pain took over.

He struggled for air, held up only by the Major's strong arms. Breathing was impossible and his vision was gray around the edges. He was dimly aware of the massive pistol that bucked in the German's hand. Air slowly returned to his lungs. He was eased to the ground; Dorian knelt in the mud staining the expensive silk slacks. James gasped weakly as Klaus gripped the back of his shirt.

"'ll replace it," the Major muttered and ripped the cloth. James bit back a whimper; Dorian stroked his hair back. The Earl crooned to him, reassuring him that he would be fine.

He was aware of Agent G rapping out orders. Agent Z appeared a large medic kit in his arms. His sober face a mask of worry. Klaus scooted to James's feet and propped them up on his legs in an effort to combat shock. G's quick hands pressed a wadded up shirt to the wound in the accountant's back as the slender agent tried to stem the bleeding. The pain washed over him in a tide as awareness fled.

When he woke next, it was to a dim room. The pain was held at bay, almost fuzzy at the edges, alerting him to the fact that he was on pain meds. A clear tube fed oxygen up his nose, easing his struggle for breath. The steady beep of the monitor told anyone who cared that his heart still beat. He turned his head slowly and received a shock.

In a sturdy chair at his bedside was the slumped form of Major Eberbach. The stern officer looked as though he hadn't slept in some time. James raised his dark eyes and stared into bottle-glass green.

"m~major..." His voice was raspy, his throat hurt terribly. Before he could say anymore a cup of ice chips was held to his mouth. He let a few past his chapped lips, allowing the moisture to soak into the parched membranes of his mouth.


"In a hospital. NATO is taking care of everything. I sent the Earl to the hotel once you were out of danger."


"Why did you do it?" Perhaps it wasn't the best time to ask it. After all the smaller man was drugged and injured, but he had to know.


"Why did you do it?"

James tried to focus. And as he lay there, ice chips melting in his mouth, it came to him. The very truth that he had avoided for several years. The fact that he had shied from since that morning he found the Major and the Earl curled nude in the morning light.

"Did it 'cause..."

Klaus leaned a bit closer so he wouldn't have to struggle to be heard.

"Be-because he loves you and..." 'And I know why. I've watched you... Seen your determination, your devotion to the job and those around you. You are all the things he loves best: beauty, skill, talent, and strength. And because I love you, too.' And that knowledge forced tears from his eyes. He tried to turn his head, his sweaty hair sticking to his face. Hot drops of misery gathered under the tubes, making his face itch. Then a pair of hands turned his face; callused fingers wiped the tears away.

Klaus didn't move away. His touch didn't falter. And James dearly wished he could sink into the bed and through the floor. He turned his face away, letting the pain wash over him. He was no soldier, no dashing rogue. All he could do was make money, to make sure that the Earl would never have to do without a home. He had to admit it. He was in love with the two most unattainable men in Europe. It hurt so bad he just wanted to die. A soft sob hitched in his chest.

"Shh... Hush, little one. You are safe, you did a very brave thing." Klaus's thoughts were in turmoil. Danger was part of his life, as was getting hurt. The same thing applied to his agents and even Dorian to a degree. Things like this shouldn't happen to... well, to non-combatants. He could narrow down what saved James's life to a handful of things; the shirt used as a pressure bandage, Z's inserting the IV the delivered life saving plasma to the slender man, all but squeezing the fluid into his veins, and G's calm skill. If any of those factors had failed, they would have lost this slender young man.

James stilled under the older man's touch, shaken by the gentle care the normally taciturn German lavished on him. Damp hair was brushed back from his face by hands callused from combat and gun practice. He choked a bit, fighting down tears. He wouldn't act pathetic...

He stifled a yelp as he was lifted from the bed. He was carefully settled onto a hard lap. The Major easily maneuvered around the tubes and wires to cradle the distraught Brit. In the back of his mind, James realized someone else had entered the room. The scent of roses filled his nose.

"Let it out, little one. You are hurt and scared, and it's okay to cry about it." The words acted as a catalyst. Safe in the arms of the men he admired and loved; he let go of his wavering control. Cool blond locks drifted over his bandaged shoulder as Dorian pressed his lips to James's limp hair.

After a time the sobs tapered off into shuddery breaths as he rested weakly against the major, the Earl a warm steady presence at his injured back. He shivered a bit and feigned sleep as a warm cotton blanket was tucked around his thin form

"Wonderful brave James. Rest now. Klaus and I will take care of everything. All is well sweet one."

"Go to sleep. We are here."

"Darling, go rest. I'll stay with him."

"Did you hear?"

"Yes. The question is what shall we do?"

Even after five glorious years of love and passionate sex with the blond Englishman, Klaus still had reservations about some things. He just couldn't see what he could do... "Darling, you are tired. Go get some sleep. We shall think of something."


"Yes, love?"

"Should we... keep him with us? After an injury like this... I don't envy the nightmares he will have."

A tender kiss was his reward. "That is a wonderful idea, love. He will need to heal and you have vacation time. You vanish first and set up the lodge. I'll follow with James later on."

"First get him outta the hospital."

"Of course. Now go. Shoo shoo!"

Awareness next returned with the accompaniment of pain. The throbbing in his back pulsed in time with his heart. A breathy sound of pain slipped past his clenched teeth.

"'s okay. Quick light breathes. Ja like that." A soft voice murmured near his ear.

"Darling, should I go get the nurse?"

"Ja. He won't heal if he can't rest."

The door opened softly, and soon footsteps returned. Something damp and cool wiped over his arm. There was a pinprick that was slowly followed by the blessed numbing of his pain.

A hand returned to his hair, the touch gentle. He drifted on a cloud of drug hazed contentment. He could hear them speaking in low tones.

"Did the doctor say when we can take him out of here?"

"Wednesday afternoon, Darling. I've had the hunting box in Scotland prepared. It's remote enough to be quiet, but if we need to, we can get him to an excellent doctor in good time."

"Good. I've already arranged my vacation. Chief was glad to be rid of me. Stupid bastard."

"Now darling..."



James was pleasantly buzzed on medication when he left the hospital. Dorian led the way to the car, a bag of meds in one hand. Once James was carefully tucked into the car Dorian started the engine. The Earl waved to the nursing staff that helped him move James out of the building.

"Just relax, Jamesie. We'll have you settled at the hunting box soon. You can rest and heal while Klaus and I take care of everything." The drive was uneventful. Dorian kept a sedate speed as they wound through the English and Scottish countryside. It was late evening when the reached the small estate in Scotland.

Dorian yawned and stretched as he got out of the low slung car. A grateful smile lit his face as Klaus opened the door to their hide-away. The taller man strode to the vehicle and opened the passenger door.

"The trip was good?"

"Yes darling. He fell asleep almost immediately. We made good time getting here. No one followed us."

"Good." Klaus murmured as he easily lifted James's slender form from the confines of the car. The younger man made a soft sound as his face was tucked into the curve of his shoulder. They made their way into the house, speaking in soft tones.

"Your staff prepared for everything. There's a bed set up in the parlor."


"Now if my agents were as competent..."

"Dar~ling. Your agents are just fine. If you didn't terrorize them so..."

"I do not terrorize my agents..."

"Wait, set James down before you get struck down by lightening for that fib, love."

"Very funny."

James was tucked into the bed, hot water bottles placed under his feet. He made a contented sound as the warmth rolled over him. He had once confided in Dorian that if his feet were cold he could not get warm. Obviously the older man remembered.

He drowsily listened to the two men move about, a habit he got into in the hospital. Many of the things he had heard soothed him, made him feel welcome with the men. He knew they didn't love him, but they cared.

It was enough for now.


James screamed himself awake for the third time that week. His trembling body was folded against a hard chest. Soothing sounds rumbled past his ears and slowly resolved into speech.

"Shh... 's okay. You're safe here."

With a muted sound of fear, James wrapped his arms tightly around the Major. The dream refused to leave his mind. Time and again he would see the glare off the scope, but in his visions, he was too late. The sharp report of the rifle came mere seconds before Klaus's head vanished in an explosion of blood, bone, and gore.

As the scene returned to his mind, he began to choke and gag. He was dimly aware of being swept off the bed to be cradled in front of the commode. His hair was held back from his clammy face. Finally he calmed enough to notice a damp cloth resting on the back of his neck.

His soft sounds of misery quieted as he shivered. A cup of water was pressed to his lips so he might rinse his mouth. His nerves calm, he rested against a tanned chest as agile slim fingers carded through his tangled hair. He closed his eyes, letting the care wash over him.

"Do you think I should call a counselor?"

"Ja. The first time you face death... It is never easy." Klaus clearly remembered his own first brush with the reaper. There had been no one to hold him when the dreams came. No one to rub his back or tell him all was well. Dorian had been furious to learn that his beloved had faced it all alone, since all his superiors cared for was his performance in the field.

"I know a marvelous doctor, Darling. I'll call after lunch, Doc should be awake by then."

"Where is this shrink?"

"America, Darling, checking on a former client."

"And this doctor can do the job?" Cost was not an issue in Klaus's mind. If the shrink could help James...

"Darling, the good doctor is the kind of person that will drop everything to help someone in need. Even helped me when I needed a ear to vent to..." 'And a shoulder to cry on.'



"Now remember kids, nice and slow. Wakaba, you want to walk me to my car?"

The two women left the young men in the housed to talk in private. Wakaba brushed her hair back from her face and smiled.

"Anything else I need to remember, Mercy?"

"Just take things slow, sweetie. Both of those boys were hurt badly. And that trauma is going to take a lot of time to heal. Sage has a good start, mostly because of his sister. But you have to remember that Touga absorbed a huge amount of damage while trying to protect you and the other students."

"Yes, Mercy. Anything else?"

"If either seems to start to distance themselves, especially during intimacy, you'll have to stop and regroup. Touga used sex as both a weapon and a bribe for as long as he was in that school."

"I told Utena once that Touga was a playboy... Sex on legs I heard some girls call him."

"And that is the biggest problem. It was a tool and a weapon. Now he has to learn to value his own body and sexuality. It's going to be a long hard road."

"Hai, but I'm in for the long haul. I love them both, for different reasons. I will protect them."

Mercy placed a kiss to the girl's forehead. "Good luck then, Wakaba-chan. Call me anytime if you need help."

"Good journey, Doctor Mercy!"

The long legged doctor drove away from the secluded cabin feeling fairly good about her stay there. Touga and Saionji had repaired their relationship... and were now heading to a bright future with Wakaba. The trio had enough allies nearby to help them in an emergency. Now where would fate lead her next?

Her digital phone chose that moment to ring.

"Yeah, go."

"Erin, love, you are bloody strange."

"Hey, Darlin', how are things with the Tank?"

"Wonderful, Erin, utterly wonderful. But I need some advice."

"Ask and Ye Shall Receive."

"James was shot a few weeks ago."

"Is the kid okay?"

Dorian smiled at Klaus. According to the Book O' Mercy: Anyone under the age of forty was a kid to her. He leaned into Klaus's embrace. "Physically he's healing. Emotionally..."

"Nothing has prepared him for that kind of damage. How did he get shot?"

"He saved Klaus's life, Erin. Now he's having nightmares about it."

"About being shot?"

"No... About not getting there in time to save Klaus."

"Think he'd talk to me?"

"Doubt it. You know he's never been comfortable around women."

"Okay, we can do this. You remember your journals I had you write?"

"Of course." He had eventually shown them to Klaus, as the two men grew close. It had been a defining moment in their relationship.

"Get him started on one. Don't push it... but give him a notebook and let him get his thoughts out. Don't coddle him, but be supportive. If you need me, call. When he calms a bit, I'll come out and talk to him."

"Thank you, Erin."

"You don't have to thank me, sugar. You just be you and that will help James heal. Give the Tank a hug and kiss James for me."

Dorian hung up the phone and smiled at Klaus.

"She is a strange woman." The Major muttered into Dorian's hair.

"You have no idea, Darling..."

"Can we sic her on my father?"

"Darling! That was just mean... But she is still quite lovely for her age..."

It was slow going. James was reluctant to put his horrifying dreams on paper. It was almost as though if he did, they become more real. They made several calls to the doctor for advice as the dream intensified.

Dorian was at his wits' end until Klaus made a decision. He had survived this himself. He knew what he had needed. And by judging his own unmet needs, he took over.

Neither James nor Klaus spoke about what happened after Klaus had locked them into the music room. But it worked. James emerged with red eyes and a haggard expression, but there was life in his face.

Klaus easily looked just as fatigued, and as he laid in Dorian's arms that night he asked, "Are we doing the right thing?"

"Do you want him with us?"

"I... I want to keep him."

That proclamation was met with a soul-searing kiss. "Then keep him we shall."

He was proud of Klaus. It had taken them a long time to get to the point that Klaus would ask for what he needed, be it emotionally or physically. And it seemed that James already had a place in the dark haired warrior's heart.



It was hard going. He needed to lie down again, but he didn't want to wake the Major or the Earl. They had been so kind, taking care of him. He didn't want to burden them any further. So he used various walls for support as he tried to make his way from the kitchen to his room.

As he neared the parlor he realized he could go no farther. His body trembled and his back burned. The stitches were removed only a few days ago. His abused muscles burned as he sank to the cold floor. It looked like that would be his bed for the night.

He leaned against the wall and let his eyes fall shut. After his screwed up childhood he had sworn to never rely on anyone. He clawed his way through school, driven to be someone better than the skinny unwanted waif he had been.

But now, slumped on a cold floor in a dark hallway, aching in body and soul, it felt as though he was still trapped in the past. A few tears trickled down his face and he brushed them away angrily. He was a survivor, damn it!

Erin had warned him that the upheaval would play games with his emotions. She had wanted him to start seeing her in her office, but he refused. She was one of the few people privy to his past., and seeing her reminded him of that little fact.

He bit back a whimper as his sore back spasmed.

Inside their room, Klaus woke. He carefully slid Dorian off his chest and reached for his gun. The sound was faint, but he would take no chances. Not with Dorian and James there.

Magnum in hand, he padded to the door and paused, straining to hear what had woke him. A scowl tightened his features as he eased open the door and slipped silently into the hall. If Mischa was in this house, he would die screaming. This was his place to be with Dorian and only James was welcome to join them.

The two men had worked hard to create this haven for themselves. It had been Mercy's advice to Dorian that prompted it. He was slowly coming to respect a woman he had never met.

Cat-like feet guided him to the stairway. He descended slowly. 'Miss the first step, it creaked. Step onto the right edge of the next one, then avoid the loose board on the sixth. Skip and tenth and twelfth stairs as well. Remember the banister is loose.'

The measures were silent, but effective to someone not familiar with his haven. He made no sound as he reached the main floor and stopped. James was curled on the floor; his bare toes looked blue. Klaus bit back a curse and bundled the young Brit against his chest before moving to the parlor.

James made a questioning sound as he was tucked in bed. He just couldn't seem to get warm. He gave a little moan of misery before something incredibly warm joined him. The faint scent of steel and roses entered his nose. He uttered a happy sound of contentment, secure in the knowledge that he was safe.

Klaus kept his vigil until dawn. Then he eased from bed and turned to find Dorian standing in the doorway.

"What happened?"

"I found him curled up in the hall."

"Damn. Sometimes he has trouble sleeping and would wander the castle in North Downs late at night. He must have been too tired to make it back to bed. How did you know he was there?"

"Heard a noise and it woke me."

"That would explain the gun Darling. Now shall I start the tea and make you some of that nasty Nescafé you so love?"

"Ja, mein pervert. Should we let him sleep late then?"

"Yes. Who knows how long he was up last night."

The days past quickly, deepening the ties between the trio. Klaus and Dorian spoke of James in the privacy of their room. But the words were not what James would have expected.

"So that would be the signal?"

"Yes, darling. For all his fawning, I have yet to see James with anyone, man or woman. If he consents to joining us we would have to be very careful with him."

"There is something we are missing. I feel it in my bones."

"Don't worry, love. He's safe and healing and for once we have all the time we need."

Klaus snorted, "Don't tempt fate, Leibling. With our luck, the Bear Cub will decide that he is a match for me and show up here."

"If he does, I'll bloody well torment him until the day he dies." The blond growled. Like Klaus, he had grown fond of their love nest. James was the only other person to be here. Not even Klaus's men or any of Eroica's crew knew of this place. The British thief fully intended to keep it that way, too.

Breakfast was started in congenial silence. The two men had spent each free moment of the last five years in this place. It was a home, of that there was no doubt. Schloss Eberbach may be the Family Seat, but this little hunting lodge in the middle of nowhere Scotland was home.

Klaus smiled at his own sentimental thought. Truly anywhere that Dorian was with him could be home. He had changed much in the last few years. He had calmed considerably, no longer pushed by loneliness and misery. Duty did not keep you warm at night.

Oh, he would never be foppish, as he still teased Dorian, but he had learned to like himself. He still pushed his men, terrorized them really, but keeping them sharp in the office kept them alive in the field.

Klaus didn't care if they hated him until the day he died as long as they stayed alive. He had yet to lose an Alphabet. And with any luck, when he was ready to retire, he could pass the job to either A or Z with the knowledge that he had done his best.

It only took him five years to realize that maybe he wouldn't die in the line of duty. That maybe he did have a future outside of NATO. And it was all due to that sweet, maddening, perverted, blond in the kitchen.

Dorian sat down at the table, a cup of tea in hand. A plate of scones sat before them, warm from the oven. Dorian smiled at his distracted lover. "See, darling, for once they can't be used as projectile weapons."

Klaus chuckled over that remark. Their first attempt to cook breakfast came at their six-month anniversary. The potatoes had set off the fire alarm and the scones were lethal weapons of blunt force trauma. It was amazing what five years of 'domestic bless interrupted by moments of raging terror' could do to change a man.

James woke to the sound of soft conversation and the heavenly smell of breakfast foods. He opened his eyes to see the two men enter the parlor that made up his infirmary.

Klaus watched them with calm assurance. He had to go back on duty soon. But he fully intended on checking up on them. He had news from Agent A, that the Chief was planning some new irritation for him. Probably meant Eroica would be needed too. If it weren't serious though, he would delay the mission. James needed time to heal.

Four days later, he returned to the lodge. Pissed was a good description for his mood. Though he didn't let on to the Chief about it. The mission had been nothing more than a farce.

The Colonel in charge of the operation would be lucky if all he got was fired. Klaus wanted to shoot the man. The Intel had been sloppy and proved to be false. Agent A and Z however had shown just why Klaus's Alphabets were the best.

The quiet blond and his senior had quickly pieced together the mistakes the officer had made and then did the only thing they could. They fed him to Klaus. In front of a General.

Klaus had coldly peeled a strip of hide off the other officer, verbally lambasting him for wasting NATO's time on what later turned out to be nothing more than a grudge. It was one time where the other man's 'connections' would not save his career. As they left the meeting Klaus could have sworn he heard Z mutter, "Alaska'" In a gleeful tone of voice.

The kid had potential, as Mercy would say.

He yawned as he let himself into the building that stood for home in his heart. James was curled on the daybed, reading a book. Dorian was napping in front of the fire. James looked surprised to see him.

"A short mission Major?"

"A waste of my time. How are you feeling?"

Something in James's heart warmed. He had expected the Major to lavish all that warm attention on the Earl, yet the man was going out of his way to greet and be kind to him. Perhaps it was time for him to return to North Downs and the Major was being nice to soften the blow?

"That was a quick mission, Darling."

"Waste of time. Friggin moron didn't check his information. Bastard. Just jumped at the chance to bring down an old rival."

"Oh, my. Is this fellow still breathing?"

"A and Z found the information before he wasted any more of my time. They work well together."

"I've noticed, Darling. They do seem to like Bonham and Jones as well."

Klaus sat down wearily next to James. "Z has what it takes."

"Ah, so you have chosen him as your successor."

"We'll see." He then returned his attention to James. "How are you healing?"

"Better, Major."

"The Nightmares?"

"I shouldn't wake you anymore with them."

Something in his tone tipped Klaus off. He tugged the slender man into his arms, ignoring the shocked look on that pale face. "I know what it's like. Don't hide from us. I can help you. I... We want to help you."

James lay against the Major, more than a little stunned. In the last four days, Dorian had lavished extra care on him. He acted as if he had to do something in Klaus's absence. And yet when the older man returned, they both treated him with tender care. None of it made sense to James, but he wasn't about to cast aside the affection. Somewhere in his heart, the boy he once was wanted to come into the light. He felt safe and cherished, something totally new to him. He fully intended on reveling in it for as long as it would last.


They were celebrating. There was no other word for it. In the three weeks since James's stitches were removed, he had only one nightmare, and thankfully the flashbacks were fading.

He knew his body was scarred for life, and put it down as one more thing that would probably repulse Dorian. For while his mind healed from the damage of the shooting... His past was another matter.

Still there was a Black Forest Cake on the table, fresh and filling the room with the glorious scent of dark chocolate. The wine was waiting for them in the dining area. Soft candle light lit the room, illuminating the opulently decorated room, complete with a new lush bedcover to keep him warm while they chatted on the couch later.

James sighed and eyed the older men in consternation. "You two waste more money than anyone I know."

"Stingy bug." Klaus's voice was gentle, teasing, but it yielded unexpected results.

"Major, when you know what it's like to be a child, alone on the street, and have no way to get food, then you can make fun of me." He dropped that bombshell and stood, intent on seeking refuge in another room. A strong arm that wrapped around his waist thwarted his plan. He was drawn to the daybed and tucked between two hard bodies, held in place by an arm about his shoulders.

"Jamesie..." That silken voice sent shivers down his spine. Dread iced his stomach... Why had he said it? He had kept his secret from the Earl, from everyone for years!

"James, tell us."

Defeated, he ducked his head, shame on his face. He never spoke of his past. But neither had he forgotten the jeers he had received growing up. He remember trying to sleep as hunger ground through his little body, of sleeping in cold empty alleys. He remembered praying that the nastier elements wouldn't find him.

And as each thought came, the words tumbled form his lips. He had done what he had to for survival. He had learned to steal, to lie, how to pickpocket. He had done it to stay alive, to have food for maybe one more night. He made what little money he obtained last for as long as possible. Maybe he was stingy, but that skill was one more thing that kept him alive. It was the only part of his past he could be proud of. He had survived.

He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the pity or revulsion he was certain was on their faces. They were noble born, rich, powerful... Why would they want him around? He made a startled sound as he was pressed face-first into a wide chest. The shirt under his face smelled of wood smoke and gun oil.

"'m sorry. I won't tease you again about it."

Dorian bit his lip as he rubbed James's shoulders. So many things made sense now. He was the first person to give James a home, one that came with a ready made, eccentric family. James had in turn granted Dorian all his affection and loyalty.

In payment, he had blatantly chased the Major under his very nose. And suddenly, Dorian felt about two inches tall. He looked at Klaus and saw the expression mirrored on the other man's face.

James tried to smooth it over, lighten the mood. "It's okay Major... I shouldn't have snapped at you. It's not your fault I'm a stingy street rat."

This was the wrong thing to say. Instead of lightening the mood, Klaus's expression turned thunderous and Dorian bit his lip. But before the German could say anything Dorian tugged the accountant to his feet. Together the three moved in front of a large mirror on the far wall of the room.

James tried to look away, but Dorian held him firm before the antique beveled mirror. "What do you see in the mirror, James?

Klaus smiled gently. Dorian had done the same to him early in their intimacies. It forced him to take a long look at himself. Oddly enough, he learned to accept what he had found, and even like the person he was. They made a beautiful picture together, the golden Earl, tall and elegant, against the darker young man. Two fey beings who belonged to him. "I see... I see..."

Klaus moved forward to place a gentle kiss on James's brow. "Do you want to know what I see? I see a beautiful young man who is a survivor. I see an intelligent loyal man willing to set aside his happiness and even his life for those he cares about. I see someone I want at my side for a lifetime.

Dark eyes shimmered for a brief moment before James firmed his expression. "I don't need pity."

Klaus's green eyes flashed as he jerked the slender young man into his arms. "I do nothing out of pity. Remember that. You are here because we want you with us."

Dorian rubbed James's back as he leaned forward, his lips temptingly close. "James, we want you to be with us... Is that so hard to believe?"

Somewhere, deep in his mind, the boy he once was trembled. They knew about his childhood. And though the revelations were met with support and comfort, he still expected them to turn him away. He lowered his eyes, visibly calming himself before nodding.

Two pairs of hands guided him before the massive stone fireplace. Warmth bathed him as his clothing slowly slipped from his body, accompanied by the occasional soothingly tender kiss. He quieted under their touch, drifting until he was completely nude. They drew back a bit to take in his slender body.

James quivered under their silent scrutiny. Once again he felt like that poor skinny child that everyone teased and tormented. His shivers grew more pronounced as Dorian's fingers traced the faint marks on his back left from the bullet and the surgery that saved his life. He moved to wrap his arms about himself, only to be halted by the Major.

Klaus drew his thin body into a warm embrace, soothing his raw nerves. Broad palmed hands rubbed his shoulders and neck in tender sweeps. He could feel the Earl's warm mouth trailing down his spine. Soft whimpers passed his lips at the sensation of wet fire painted erotic pictures on his flesh. He moaned, fingers clutching powerful shoulders, squirming, caught between the two hot bodies of the men he loved.

Klaus smiled against James's temple as the slender man quaked under Dorian's skilled touch. The agent knew first hand the delicious torment his blond lover could give. Desire burned through his body like wildfire.

Dorian chose that moment to touch James intimately, causing the strength to leave the young man's knees. Klaus caught him close, all but purring as the young Briton licked his neck. The older man gave his smiling lover a look that said, 'Stop teasing him.' Dorian's expression turned to a mock put as he slicked a finger in scented oil.

The two men returned to stroking and soothing their lover-to-be. The Major shifted his hold on that slender body as the Earl began to pet tender hidden flesh. Klaus remembered his own first time clearly and sought to distract James. He nuzzled the younger man, drawing him into a heated kiss that tricked him into relaxing. The intimate exchange continued as Dorian gently breached the secret flesh of the accountant's bottom. James grew still as he tried to adjust. The kneeling blond pressed a kiss to the brunette's pale flank. He glanced up to Klaus; his smile wicked as he search for the cluster of nerves inside that hot channel. He scattered more kisses over the small of his countryman's back as he stroked that secret place.

At the Earl's sure touch on that spot, discomfort bloomed. Disconcerted, he felt his passion cool. He tucked his face into Klaus's shoulder, determined to ride out the odd feeling. However, Klaus sensed a change in the tension. He splayed a hand just above James's buttocks. It was a prearranged signal Dorian understood instantly. He withdrew carefully and sat back on his heels.


He tried to tuck his face further into that bronzed shoulder, embarrassment coloring his fair skin. Thin fingers lifted his chin until he could meet sapphire eyes.

"James, there are no rules here. No expectations save one. If something feels uncomfortable or hurts, you must tell us."

Klaus stroke the dark hair near his lips, "'s about pleasure, little one. If you don't like something, you have to say so."

James nodded and Dorian released his chin. "Now, did it hurt or was it just uncomfortable?"


"Very well then, we shall do something else." And with that statement, Klaus tumbled back onto the bed, taking James with him. A breathy chuckle escaped the Earl at the slender man's yelp of surprise. Klaus flipped him over; holding him spooned on top of his larger body. The German pressed his lips to the shell of a vulnerable ear and growled, "You'll like this."

It was his only warning as hot moist velvet encased his length. His head snapped back, baring his throat to the Major's teeth and lips. He could only keen and writhe as blond curls caressed his thighs. He was dimly aware of Klaus's husky murmurs of encouragement. His entire world was focused on the bobbing lips of the Earl as they worked their magic.

Fingers teased his nipples, rubbing in a slow counter-point to the blond's teasing tempo. Nearly maddened with need, he grabbed one hand, suckling at the callused fingers. His breath sobbed from his chest. And once Dorian began to hum low in his throat, the younger man came undone.

Klaus smiled through a haze of desire as James reached the end of his endurance. He gave a playful growl and nipped at the ivory neck near his lips. At the same time, he shifted his free hand to James's pelvis to press down lightly. James shuddered in their grasp before going limp. Dorian began to chuckle softly. "Passed out cold."

James woke sometime near dawn. Awareness came slowly, accompanied by soft grumbles and snuffles issued from kiss swollen-lips. A muted chuckle shook his pillow and forced his eyes open. His 'pillow' turned out to be the Major's chest, his nose buried in the hollow of the older man's throat.

"Guten morgen."

"G-good morning M..." A finger pressed to his lips.

"My lovers don't call me Major in bed."

"Unless I feel kinky Darling."


"'Course Darling. Now what shall we have for breakfast?"

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