“Dorian In The Dark”
(February 21, 2004)
One would think that pain would be a distraction to anger; also that it would be something to break through the cloud of intolerant dread. But unmercifully, it proved not so as Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach sat in his office watching the small trail of blood that traced the curves of his clenched hand. The crimson lines marked his fingers as they twisted and crushed the malleable flora in his right palm. A scarlet red ruin of a rose....
A calling card. Eroica's own RSVP to the summons that NATO had forced Klaus to issue when his other window of opportunity had been closed with a slam. His Chief had insisted the thief be called in after their second alternate was found dead the morning after his assigned mission was to have occurred; the first having disappeared a month before the second's death.
Which left Eroica.
The damned scourge of Iron Klaus' existence. Incorrigible thief, outrageous fop and perverted....
"Verdammte Schwuchtel." Klaus' voice sliced through the quiet of his office, signifying his own bitterness at even the idea of having to speak - let alone work, with the Englishman yet again.
"Nice to know I'm on your mind, darling." The voice - THAT voice - had Klaus jerking his eyes up from his injured hand with a snap of his neck. "And on such sweet terms too."
Klaus grit his teeth at the low tease that sounded in the space between them. The vision that was Dorian Red, Earl of Gloria, was irritatingly and intentionally provocative enough without adding the voice as well.There the man stood with radiant blond curls reaching past his shoulders; his tall slim physique framed in a white blouse embroidered with red roses along the v-cut neck and down the sleeves, legs dipped in black leather pants and feet encased in red suede boots that covered his shins up to the knees. It was a look that spoke loudly to the man's nature and tastes. And served to make the Major vibrate with frustration at having to take the meeting seriously.
Quickly rising from his chair, the Major rounded the desk and stomped by the amused Earl towards the door. With a tone of fury, he yelled at the outer office. "Z!" The agent was nowhere to be seen, probably in hiding due to his failure to take Eroica into a conference room and stay clear of Klaus' private office.
"Oh, I'm afraid I left him a few floors back."
At that comment, Klaus growled a curse, "Idiots, all of them." He returned to his desk, after shutting the office door with enough force to almost placate his desire to destroy the closest object. Throttling the Earl was out of the question. At least until he got the compliance that NATO wanted from the thief.
Rigidly sitting in his chair, the Major made no effort to play the gracious host by inviting Dorian to sit as well. The man could remain in his elegant reclined position against the wall across from Klaus' desk. It was the furthest away from Klaus the man could be while in the same four walls.
"How did you end up here in my office?" The words sounded out in a low growl.
Dorian smiled, "Made a request to use the loo, took a left instead of a right . . . and here I am." His manner was in keeping with his obvious enjoyment of Klaus' anger.
The Major clenched his fists as he fought to keep his temper from overcoming the necessity of the meeting's intent. "Scheiße!" The thorns imbedded in Klaus' hand were a sudden reminder that in his distraction, he'd forgotten that he still held Eroica's rose. Or rather, the mess of what was left.... "Idiot." Whether the insult was for himself or Dorian, Klaus didn't pause to reason. He threw the ruined flora across the room and was left unsatisfied with the small thud that harkened its contact with the wall. He jerked a handkerchief out from the inner pocket of his suit and clutched it in his right hand. "How in the hell did you get that thing in my office before you stole your way here yourself?"
Tisking with a shake of his head, Dorian moved to stand in front of Klaus' desk. "What would a man be without his mysteries, Major?" He didn't wait for a response before looking down at Klaus' injured hand, musing aloud, "That's going to bite every time you pull the trigger in the next few days." He lifted his gaze to the Major's face, "But at least I'll know you'll be thinking of me when you do..."
Wanting to get past the inane banter, Klaus pushed a folder across the desk for the Earl to review with an impatient shove. "Thinking of you when I pull the trigger is nothing new."
With a small mischievous grin, Dorian took the file in hand and glided into the chair opposite Klaus. "This is where I refrain from mentioning the sexual connotations of that last comment and we get down to business, yes?"
The sputter of Iron Klaus' indignation escaped him with a heavy grunt as the Major kicked back from the desk, his face red with anger as he stiffly turned to look out the window behind them - fighting yet again to hold his temper. Teeth gritted like a vice, Klaus breathed out a hissing acknowledgement. "NATO has seen it fit to have me contact you to undertake a procurement of intel."
The pause after Klaus's announcement was broken by Dorian, "In other words, you want me to steal for you."
Turning back, the Major snapped. "NATO wishes it, Eroica. Not I."
Dorian kept the folder closed as he watched the display that was Klaus in a fury. The passion of the German agent's anger was electric in so small a space. Barely contained with a restraint that had Dorian aching to prod and poke until the barriers between them broke all together. Of course, he also knew that channeled in its present direction - that passion would be more detrimental to his health than was wise. Utilizing a small amount of his own restraint, Dorian asked a question more to the point. "And what does NATO wish for Eroica to procure, Major?"
With a sigh, Klaus answered. "A means to an end, Lord Gloria. Merely a means to an end...." He saw Dorian's bemused expression and impatiently ordered, "Turn to page seven, damn you." Klaus started to pace as he waited for Dorian to read the data on the item he was being hired to obtain.
"A KEYCHAIN?" Dorian's voice rose slightly with disbelief. Disbelief and not a small amount of affront at the very idea of his talents being utilized for such an errand.
"Dummkopf! It's NOT a key chain!" Klaus snatched the file from Dorian's hands, throwing it down on the desk as he returned to his chair. "It's a Key Fob. A hardware token which displays a code generated by hash algorithm in combination with a symmetric key contained in the token. A new code is generated every sixty seconds which creates a barrier against unauthorized access."
Eroica nodded, even as he unconsciously smiled at the thought that it all sounded like something out of Science Fiction. He murmured with a chuckle, "A sonic screwdriver. Who would've thought."
Laughing outright at Klaus' question, Dorian answered with a hint of a chagrined smile. "Sonic screwdriver. It's a television reference for the "Dr. Who" series that was on the BBC. Suppose to be able to open any lock. I rather fancied the notion of it being more than fiction, as you can imagine."
Snorting disdainfully in response, the Major added what he felt was the pertinent point. "There is only one technological lock this device will open, Eroica. NATO means to see that it's available to do so...."
Dorian hedged, "So this key fob is the means. What is the end?" He leaned forward, his elegant hands pressed flat against the surface of the desk. "What system is NATO looking to crack?"
Klaus frowned as he watched Dorian tracing the edges of the folder with his fingertips, caressing the paper as he looked to the Major to answer his question. "In addition to being classified, that is irrelevant." Fed up with watching the Englishman as he molested the file, Klaus jerked the folder away. "Your assignment is only to acquire the device and give it to me."
Dorian slowly sat back in the chair, draping himself fluidly into the best position in which to display himself. "Seems simple enough."
Klaus bit out a sobering piece of truth in answer. "One agent assigned is dead, another is missing. Simple is not the word to use."
The Earl's face grew serious as he thought of his next question, "A dangerous source from which to 'procure' - then. Who's the one on tap for the theft?"
The Major opened the file to a photograph, and slide it across for Dorian to see. The man in the photo was distinguished looking, but with an obvious harshness to his features. Middle-aged, well-groomed - dark hair cut short. Stature tall and figure fit. Eyes an unusual amber brown. The eyes would have drawn anyone's notice to the man, but the cool condescension that radiated from his face was enough to quickly turn attraction into trepidation. A man of cruel distinction - one known to Dorian at a glance.
Klaus' recitation of the man's demographics was decidedly halted by Dorian's voice as it sounded bitter and bleak, cutting through - "Miguel Devon. Originally Devonshire, but he changed it. Father - one of England's wealthiest. Mother raised in Argentina, but originally of Austrian descent." The Earl leaned back away from the desk, an unpleased look on his face. "He calls himself Mig, for short."
Like a Russian fighter plane, the Major thought. He was surprised at Dorian's familiarity. Surprised and suspicious. "What is your acquaintance?"
"Little to none." At Klaus' disbelieving snort, the Earl decided to elaborate. "I've met him, yes. Families passing in the same social circles, it was unavoidable - despite my own wishes that it had been." When Klaus just stared at him with an unnerving insistence, Dorian sighed dramatically. "He is quite . . . detestable, egomaniacal and persistent in going after everything and anyone that he wants."
The emphasis on 'anyone' was more telling than Dorian had meant it to be, judging from the Major's expression. "Detestable, egomaniacal and persistent. Sounds like a certain someone in this office."
Quirking an eyebrow, Eroica made a show of flipping his golden hair back - the motion exposing the line of his shoulder visible in the low cut neckline of his blouse. "But completely without my fashion sense." He added, "And said in a different context, by say - Mischa for instance, who in this room would fit those same three words but you, my Major?"
Growling at the perverse possessive implication the 'my' represented, Klaus slammed the flat of his hand down on the desk. "Enough with this incessant foppery, you twit. Explain what you mean. What is between you and this Mig?"
Dorian's eyes flashed with annoyance as he answered. "He holds an interest in me. In Dorian Red, not Eroica - just so you know. To be frank, he desires dalliance in all things of pleasure. No one, no kink is off his scale. He has made it known on more than one occasion when we crossed paths that he wants to add me to the list of his conquests." Shifting in the chair with less eloquence due to his agitation, the Earl finished. "I can't abide him, frankly. And have endeavored to distance myself from any meeting of happenstance that may occur between us." Throwing the Major a suspicious look of his own, "Mig is a bit player. At best, he is a go-between for others. He's not spy or terrorist material. How did he play into acquiring this key fob?"
Klaus dismissed the curiosity, "By being precisely what you said, a go-between. Again, Lord Gloria . . . the details are irrelevant." He lifted the file up, returning to the more immediate cause of their meeting. "Will you accept NATO's request?"
Dorian rose from his chair, standing in silence for long moment. He watched Klaus growing more and more aggravated with the passing seconds. And then with a quiet word, he firmly answered, "No."
Standing with enough force to push his chair into the wall behind him, Klaus barked angrily, "Why no?"
"You're asking the wrong question, darling." He made a point of looking the Major directly in the eyes. "One man dead, one missing - and I'm called here as the last resort when I should have been the first. You are forced by your own admission to ask on NATO's behalf for my help, and in doing so - you've been made aware that I would have to get close enough to a man even I with my low moral code as you espouse, find reprehensible. Ask me the correct question, Major. And I will say yes."
Klaus stood as a storm rose through his body, a twister of fury - but he knew the mission had to have Dorian's cooperation or NATO's window of opportunity would close for good. Clenching his fists and fighting the desire to reach out and throttle the Earl, Klaus asked, "What question do you want to hear?"
Dorian smiled, triumphantly. "I want you to ask me, personally."
A beat in time.... And then Klaus, looking like he wanted to kill, bit out the words that needed to be said. "Would you accept my request to procure this item, Eroica?"
Laughing as he reached out to take the file, Dorian teased. "Why of course, darling. I'd do anything you ask of me, Major. Be sure of that...."
Klaus breathed out a curse, "Fick dich ins Knie."
Laughing again as he pivoted with a luscious swing of his leather clad hips on his way out the door, Dorian replied, "I may be extremely malleable given the right inspiration, but even that - in the literal sense - is beyond my abilities." Stopping with one hand on the doorknob, he turned to look back with a flick of his head - the motion causing his blouse to fall, exposing his shoulder in a provocative manner. "Care to give the insult another go?"
Seething now, Klaus shouted loudly, "FUCK YOU."
With an enormous smile at having gotten what he wanted from Iron Klaus, the Earl blew the agent a saucy kiss before giving his reply to that oh-so-perfect of openings. "Given an opportunity, my Major - it would be my pleasure."
One breath - a moment in time - and then Dorian raced out the door as various items from Klaus' desk were hurdled in his wake.
*Beep* "Eroica" *Beep* "Eroica, report."
With a sigh, Dorian bowed his head as he excused his presence from a small group of guests. He made his way across the crowded room, nodding this way and that to those who knew him as Lord Gloria. It was a gathering to celebrate the latest victory of Miguel Devon's newest acquisition - a racehorse of excellent breeding which had just won yet another lucrative cup that very morning. As owner, Mig was playing up his bragging rights - considering the amount of people present and the money being spent. All of which had proved most timely to Dorian's plans.
Skirting the edges of the partygoers, the Earl made a seemingly unconscious gesture of brushing his hair back over his shoulder - the golden glory made all the more striking for the contrast it posed against his burgundy silk shirt. The motion in fact was a check on Eroica's part, fingers brushing against his ear - adjusting the fit of the earpiece/microphone that was in his right ear. Once he'd passed out of earshot as he seemingly walked to the loo, Dorian answered in a monotone that would have passed as a simple murmur to anyone happening upon him.
"On point, I can assure."
*Beep* "When are you moving on the target? We're running out of time."
Having cased the home through the course of his mingling, Eroica turned down a hallway - slipping quietly past a member of Mig's security staff who was entering the bathroom. The Earl continued to stealthily make his way along the corridor as he quietly spoke to the Major. "Despite my reputation for being able to bare up beautifully under pressure - especially when it's the right KIND of pressure, it does distract to have you reminding me like a ticking clock." He sighed dramatically. They both knew tonight's circumstances were fortunate happenstance after weeks of trying to bring the assignment to its close. Gaining access to Mig's property was rather difficult given the amount of moving around the man did, and Dorian had been more than a little reluctant to contact the man face to face - not wanting to hint at a rendezvous that he would rather avoid.
*Beep* "Then please also consider that there IS a clock ticking on this idiocy. You either get the fob to me for the handoff before midnight, or you'll be facing that little flea of an accountant without the exorbitant fee he negotiated."
Dorian turned the handle on the door at the end of the hall, closing it quietly behind him as he entered the ill-lit office. "As if money was my primary motivator, darling." Doing a scan of the room's contents, Eroica's eyes fell on just what he was looking for.... The Major was beeping in to blast the Earl for his comment, when Dorian beat him to it. "Silence please, I'm in." His voice carried over their connection as both provoking and serious. Time to go to work.
Jaw tightly clenched against his own desire to spout off every obscenity he knew - in more than one language, Klaus did something he abhorred. He waited....
Waiting was a part of the spy game, a necessary function on assignment. But the Major would be damned if he looked forward to playing the game of wait and see.... He was much more a man of action. And as such, it was rather galling to be the one stuck in a nondescript transport vehicle - acting as lookout and backup, as Eroica played his own game of cat and mouse.
Of course, in the light of the fiasco that was the pre-planning for tonight's theft, it was a miracle they were this close to completing the assignment. Devon flew to a different city at the slightest whim; his private jet ever at the ready - making it practically impossible to determine where he'd be next. The key fob always with him, whatever the destination - as NATO reconnaissance had been able to determine. Eroica had made an extra effort of playing societal fop, listening to the set's rumors as he collected information on Devon's next departure. All indicators had been that he was going to fly to his house in Edinburgh, so Klaus' agents had gone ahead - but then plans had changed quickly. One poker game played, and Mig Devon had become the owner of a champion racehorse. He abruptly altered his flight schedule, deciding to stop over in London for a celebration.
The Major knew that given the time restraints, they would have to take the opportunity or the mission be damned. Hence why he was presently sitting on his ass in the dark, listening to Dorian breathe while the thief calmly went about his commissioned crime.
Minutes ticked by slowly with only the inhale/exhale of Eroica's breath to interrupt the silence; a silence that impressed even Iron Klaus. It was a mark of the most expert of talents to be able to perform such a task under pressure, without making even the smallest indication or noise to alert anyone to your activities. Had he not known better, the Major would have thought the man was either standing as still as one of those silly statues the thief so favored or that he had disappeared into the mist like some fey creature from a fairy tale.
But then after a time, Dorian's voice sounded low over the wire. "It's in hand." The sound of footsteps lightly treading down a marble corridor was followed hard upon by music growing louder the closer Lord Gloria moved back towards the party. Then there were voices talking, speaking to the Earl as he walked through the main room - his answering responses were both outlandish and yet dismissive, as if he had grown bored with his surroundings and were going to call it an evening.
Klaus listened as the thief said farewell to a few gossipmongers he seemed familiar with, waiting for Eroica to be free to speak to him once more. Finally, it seemed that the night was almost at mission end as the Earl went to retrieve his coat. "Meet me...." Dorian's instructions were abruptly cut short as a loud gasp escaped him, blaring through the wire into Klaus' ear. With a voice laced with surprise, he spoke again. One word, one name telling the Major that all was not well.... "Mig!"
"Lord Gloria, I've caught you now."
Words, crisp and rough - a hiss in Dorian's ear as he was jerked back, just feet from making his exit. Jerked back and around to find himself staring at the man who was his host. Miguel Devon, in the flesh. Flesh that the Earl had been trying to avoid meeting up with ever since he'd entered the party earlier in the evening. Before he could say anything distracting or flip enough to answer Mig's greeting, Dorian found himself hustled rather abruptly across the entrance way and into a side room away from the public eye.
With a whirl and a thrust, the Earl was pressed back against the closed door - trapped by the full length of Mig's body as it held him captive. The yelp that escaped the thief was a tad undignified, but considering the situation - even the Major would probably have....
Oh dear. The Major....
Dorian's thought was interrupted by Devon's hot breath, harshly blown against the skin of his neck. "Dori-boy, you're trapped. No escaping me this time." The Earl jerked his head to the other side, trying to keep his mic'ed ear from showing through the tangle of his hair. Hair that was now fisted in Devon's hands.
With a hiss at having his head held in so tight a grip, the Earl snapped, "I am no man's 'Dori-boy.' Let me go, Devon." He tried to push against the man's solid frame, but barely made a budge in his attempt to free himself. He was repulsed by the man holding him captive, by his manner - his presumption - his having crudely crossed the line. It didn't help that Dorian was startled and afraid at having almost been caught. Almost - hell, maybe still about to be, if Mig found the evidence on him.... But Devon's designs were altogether of a different ilk as the Earl was finding out.
Pulling Dorian's head back, Mig laughed. "Ahh, there's the fire I've heard about. Keep trying to get away. I like it." He leaned in and licked a line from the Earl's throat up to his chin.
Shivering at the brazen audacity, Dorian gasped as Devon's free hand began to wander over his body. "I'm not in the mood for this, now let me go. You're drunk." He shuddered at the smell of alcohol on the man's breath, at having it placed on his own skin. It made him feel dirty and misused.
Clutching the Earl now by both wrists, Mig clicked out a negative sound with his tongue. "This is MY night, Dori-boy. Fate's very happy with me. A horse, a winning run - and now you - under my fingers. Leaves me very in the mood for MORE." Pressing closer with no space between them, he lewdly taunted the Englishman as he circled his hips against Dorian's own. "There are rumors, Dori-boy. Wonderfully dirty tales about you. How you respond to any touch, how you moan and arch like your blood is on fire.... As wanton in bed as a cat in heat. Willing to do and take anything, anyone - and all with just a few strokes in all the right places." His voice had lowered in a rough vicious assault that had the Earl flinching in fury and trepidation. Devon growled his last words, "Mark me well, Dori-boy. I mean to know the truth of it, right .... now!"
With a sudden lunge forward, Devon raked his teeth down to the base of Dorian's throat until he could bite at the flesh of the Earl's collarbone. Harsh, without any caution save that of not breaking the skin - the man sucked and laughed as Dorian cried out in pain.
Sod circumspect necessity, he was NOT going to take anymore of this treatment for the sake of trying to hide behind facade.
Struggling to break away and to get the man off him - without care if it caused him damage in the process, the Earl cursed heatedly as he wrenched his wrists free from Mig's hold. With a determined grunt, Eroica did what he could to surprise the oaf that had him cornered. Boot heel stomped down and ground into the toe of Devon's shoe, heel of his palm brought up to slam against Mig's nose - then the other hand clutching the brute's balls in a tight clenched fist. It was with great satisfaction that the Earl heard the man squeak out a yell before he landed on his ass with a fierce shove by Dorian.
He quickly grabbed for the doorknob as he spit out, "Fucking you would be an insult to tom cats everywhere, you sonofabitch." Almost out the room, Dorian cried out as Devon made a grab for him from his position on his knees. Blunt fingers caught the back of the Englishman's burgundy blouse, ripping it in a line from waist to collar as the Earl kicked back to strike at Mig's arm. Racing out into the entranceway, Dorian jerked open the front door and ran down the stairs into the black cold London night....
- - - - - - -
*Beep* "Eroica!! Report, damn you!"
Panting breaths echoed through the digital link, but no answer was given to the Major's demand for acknowledgement. The man was running like a fiend by the sound of it. Klaus looked at his watch. Damn idiot. The Earl needed to make their rendezvous within the hour or the trade off to NATO would be for nothing. He didn't want to think about how disheveled Devon's attack and Eroica's near capture must have made the Earl. The possibility of it causing the mission's ruin so close to its successful conclusion was heinous and unthinkable.
*Beep* "Answer me, NOW! Where the hell are you going?"
"Char..." Panting as he was obviously trying to breathe in enough air to answer, Dorian's voice sounded in a rush. "The rendezvous, of course." The Major almost interrupted him but stopped when Eroica added, "I'll be there in twenty minutes, Major. You know the room." Klaus listened as the Earl called out to someone, "Charlotte Street Hotel, please." A cab driver apparently.
The Major cursed loudly as he turned to take the driver's seat. Pulling out into traffic, he murmured darkly. "You had better be there or I'll personally take this mission's failure out of your damned hide."
- - - - - - -
The rendezvous point had been planned ahead of time. It needed to be someplace inconspicuous, but well appointed. Off the beaten track but close enough to the action to be a convenient distance from Devon's London home. Some place where Eroica could go that wasn't as impractical as stepping into the back of the spy van that Klaus has commissioned for the evening's events. A place where secrets would be kept, and the appearance of an English nobleman would decidedly go unspoken.
At Dorian's suggestion, the Major had agreed to meet at the Charlotte Street Hotel. A room had been acquired before the mission's start and both men held a key. With the Earl on his way, Klaus called in the notice to NATO's London office - making sure that the contact would be there for the handoff in no less than half an hour. Walking a couple blocks from the parked vehicle, the Major entered the lobby of the hotel. His first impression was that it was understated with hard wood flooring and paneling, simple in its decor with most of the splash showing up in the adjoining restaurant called Oscar. It was closed due to the late hour and only a couple of staff members were present as he crossed the lobby. All in all, it was rather sedate to what he would have thought Eroica would choose.
Any conceded thought in the Earl's favor fled in an instant when Klaus looked down and saw what was one of the main decorative features of the room - a dark enlarged sculpture of a cat. The features were smooth and blown up like a balloon rather than a feline - the piece heavy and bizarre. The Major's thoughts darkened as he heard again in his mind the words that Devon had growled at the Earl, 'As wanton in bed as a cat in heat. Willing to do and take anything, anyone - and all with just a few strokes in all the right places.' Staring now at that damn sculpture had Klaus fuming in unreasonable anger. He'd avoided thinking about what he'd overheard, more focused on the mission's success or failure than on forming any opinions as to Dorian's abuse or the words that had passed into his own ear. To have his consciousness go from mission control to ground zero of Eroica's sexual reputation - all while staring at what now looked to be fate's own caricature of symbolism....
"Verdammt." Clenching his jaw tightly, the Major stormed through the room to the elevator - stabbing at the buttons with a force that would have made most people flinch on contact. The mission, that was all he determined to think about as he rode up in the lift. He had a job to see through to the end and no other thoughts could be afforded until it was done. Of course, that mindset didn't seem to ease any of Klaus' tension or anger as attested by his stomping footsteps on the way down the hall.
The room was silent as the Major entered. Still and dark. No lights were on, which had Klaus cursing under his breath as he wondered where the hell the idiot was....
Then - the sound of water, faint behind the bathroom door.
Impatient, the Major barked out a greeting. "Are you in there?"
Dorian's voice sounding in a subdued distracted manner through the door as the water continued to run. "Come in."
Shoving the door open, the Major entered the room - his mouth opening to spout out more venom towards the English fop that was his trial to bear yet again. Only no words came.... The sight before him took away the inclination as he stood caught in the doorway by the view.
Eroica, at close quarters, bent over the salt and pepper marble basin - slapping his wet hands over his face and down his neck. The motion of his hands was agitated and shaken as he scrubbed at his throat, unmindful of the mess he was making or the way the water soaked his shirt as he worked to clean himself of Devon's taint. The blouse was opened down the front and split up the rear as it spread to reveal the Earl's back - the silken fabric barely held together by the collar and sleeves. At the sound of Klaus' entrance, Dorian jerked his head up - catching the Major's eyes in the mirrored reflection. His expression was harsh and unsure for all of a second, before he blinked in a new one like a light switching from off to on. Standing upright, the Earl took a hand towel and ran it over his face. Once the towel was at his throat, Dorian turned to Klaus with a smile that did not reach his eyes. "Present and accounted for, Major - as you can see."
What the Major saw was Eroica at a disadvantage, hiding in plain sight with the flannel as his shield. The rarity of the look held the German's attention as he walked across the marble floor, his shoes clicking as he moved. Reaching out, Klaus jerked the cloth from a startled Dorian's hand. Baring under the bright lights of the little room, the evidence.... The marks of Mig Devon's assault on the Earl's skin.
Red, the lines - uneven and harsh against the pale smooth canvas. Exposed, glaring in contrast. They ran down the length of his throat, raked in over his collarbone like a waterfall that ended in a violet bruised pool where Devon had bit and sucked his mark into the man's skin. None had broken or bled despite the assault, which was a saving grace against doubt - but the sight, the knowledge of what they represented mixed with the echo of Devon's words left the Major skidding from annoyance to burning rage. Irrational and un-rationed, he stood glaring at the Earl - his eyes hot and burning as he looked at the man who had yet again quickened Klaus' blood enough to make him forget for a moment the importance of duty.
Tension built as they stayed silent, until the crowded position caused Dorian to blink under the inscrutable glare of the Major's green eyes. Assuming his role of light gaiety like a mask, the Earl tried to hide his true unease behind a suffering sigh - released as he leaned back against the basin counter. He lifted a hand to touch at the base of his throat, caressing his fingertips lightly over the marks as he raised an eyebrow and smiled. "The pains I suffer at your slightest whim, my Major." At the blustering heat of the German's face in response to those words, Dorian moved closer even as the Major fought to stand his ground. With a whisper, "Too bad it wasn't as much fun going on as it looks like it should have been," the Earl tried to push past Klaus to escape the small confines of the room. A hard hand clamped down on his shoulder with a punishing grip, causing Dorian to eek out a startled gasp.
The Major shook the blond with a barked, "Enough foolishness, Eroica. We don't have time for your idiocy." With a shove, Klaus pushed the Earl through the door - waiting a count of ten to follow him, warring against his nature to restrain the need to lash out, his anger feeding his lack of patience.
He had to get the damn key fob from the thief before the courier showed up - and before he let his reactions get the better of his judgment. For no matter his own irritation, Eroica had done what two others had been unable to do. Now it was just a matter of Klaus holding his temper long enough to see it through to the end. All the quicker he hoped to get out of the Earl's presence. Especially before he started questioning himself as to why he was feeling so incredibly raw and on edge.
Entering the other room, the Major saw that Eroica had turned on a lamp that lent a soft glow to the darkness. What he also saw at last was the decor of the bedroom....
Pink and white vertical stripped walls, soft rosy mauve curtains and bedspread. Pink and rose accents in all the appropriate spaces. The color of it was enough to make Klaus' skin itch. And did nothing to ease his anger.
"This, it's. . .it’s.... Can’t you even get a room that doesn't shout queer from every surface?"
More than a little of his own frustrations showing through - both from his continued manhandling and the Major's insults, the Earl snapped back. "I didn't choose the bloody room, thank you. It was assigned by the front desk. The other time I've been here, my room was blue." He stood with his hands on his hips, glaring right back at Klaus - a vision framed in pink; eyes bright and storming blue, body encased in silken burgundy remnants and chocolate leather pants. To say he looked glorious in his anger would have been an understatement. "It's just a damn room, Major. Not an invitation to lose your precious virtue...."
One second, two - and then Klaus crossed the few feet between them and shoved the other man hard into the wall behind them. Holding him at arms length, one fist at Dorian's collar and the other bracing the Earl rudely from being able to flee - fingers digging into the blond's shoulder. It was the standard treatment, Klaus' brutish abuse in the face of Dorian's.... Well, in the face of ALL that was Dorian Red. Crude shoves, harsh treatment - foul verbal attacks, and almost always from a distance. Passionate moments of what Dorian considered desperation on the Major's part - the German's actions always skirting the edge of being too adamant in the face of what Klaus protested against. Actions that would have driven most people away, but seemed to call to something in Dorian - that continued to draw him back to his Major.
Of course after a night of almost being caught, of first Devon's bruising hands and now Klaus' added to the mix as well - Dorian was at his own threshold for tolerance. It caused him to ride the edge of the situation as a way to sound his disconcerted condition - and to get a little of his own back. "All this dancing on the head of a pin, darling. If you wanted to lead, all you had to do was ask...." Innuendo and insinuation, darkly murmured.
Klaus quickly removed his hands with another shove, one that almost unbalanced the Earl until he caught himself with hands against the nearest solid surface. The Major thundered back, "You never know when to stop. Damn you! Weeks of this . . . two fucking weeks of this, of your words and your innuendo. I‘ve had enough!" Taking a deep breath, Klaus tried to cool his temper down a little and gather his composure as he continued to glare at the Earl. "The courier's in route - give it to me now!"
Glaring back in anger, Dorian closed his eyes for a moment - counting for a tick to calm himself. No matter how much he loved the Major, there were limits even to Dorian's patience. And tonight his threshold was spread thin to the point of breaking.
Of course, he didn't realize how true that held for the Major as well.
Opening his eyes, the Earl looked rather pointedly back at the man seething from across the room. He held the gaze as his hands moved slowly, deliberately to the opening of his leather pants. "As you wish, my Major." One snap, two.... His hand on the zipper, the barest start at pulling it down....and Dorian's world swung out of focus in an instant.
It hadn't been a conscious choice; just gut instinct on the Major's part. One moment he was watching in disbelief as the thief starting opening his pants and the next, Klaus had him slammed bodily up against the nearest wall, again - holding him one hand on Dorian's arm and the other.... The other buried, clutched tightly in Dorian's hair.
Panting as he struggled to step away, the Earl hissed as Klaus' fingers pulled his head back and dug into the flesh of his arm. He couldn't move, his body blocked by the Major's own - once more captive to another's strength.
Klaus bit out the words that were racing in his brain, dangerously incredulous at the Earl's audacity. "What in hell are you playing at, you fucking pervert? You're like an arsonist who's addicted to fire, never thinking you'll get burned. Always lighting a match with your words, your actions. It will not stand, Eroica. This is not a game!"
Caught close, hindered from flight - Dorian gasped as Klaus words sounded in chorus to the increased pressure of his hands. He'd be bruised come the dawn. Managing a harsh breath, he arched back into the hold on his hair to ease the tension and pull. One side of his brain firing on all cylinders at the danger of the situation and the other titillated by the proximity of the dark man that he'd wanted since the first. It was a heady mix that little resembled his earlier anger and fear under Devon's hands. Having Klaus touching him, dominating him had Dorian skirting the line between wanting to be freed and wanting to feel more of the same - whatever the cost. The danger of what the man could do, of which road he'd possibly travel....as they stood closer than they'd ever been before - the Major having now crossed the physical boundaries he'd so rigidly maintained in the past.
Dorian closed his eyes as he gasped out, "Never a game, my Major. Not with you." Opening them, he looked at Klaus with vivid blue heat - playing again at getting burned. "You're the second man to have me by the hair tonight, darling. I know it's an attractive feature, but who knew it was catnip to brutish German Majors too. Keep pulling harder and I might start to purr."
The words were a device aimed at Klaus - a means to find himself freed by taunting Klaus into pushing him away. Meant to fragment the man's control, even though the risk was great that it would not work in his favor, his purred incentive was the thief's only weapon against the Major's strength.
And fragment it did as the Major's hand dropped from Dorian's arm, balling into a fist in the man's fury. Blood at a boil - he wasn't thinking mission, he wasn't thinking at all....
The Earl hissed at the hard grip of Klaus' fingers pulling his head back. He knew a moment of fear as he looked at the hardened features of the German's face, as he took in the drawback of the Major's raised hand. Desperately, Dorian called out, "The key fob, Major. You NEED it!" Lifting his hands up in a gesture of surrender, as he watched Klaus' vision clear at the mention of that which took precedence over their mutual battle of wills. "I have it, I do."
"Hand it over now." Voice deadly quiet, the Major finally released the man's hair - taking him by both arms with a harsh shake.
Panting a little, Dorian murmured as he dropped his own hands to reach around behind him. "Easy, easy. It's hidden." He tried to squeeze his fingers between him and the wall as Klaus continued to hold him trapped. There wasn't enough room. He arched a little to create a space for his hands to maneuver, the motion bringing him closer still to the Major's hard frame. Seeing the look that skirted through the green eyes - knowing the man would take his every action as suspicion verified, Dorian assured him in a soft whisper, "At my waist, it's in the band at my waist." The words chorused by Dorian's leaning forward as he felt blindly for the inner slit at the back of his waistband that housed the key fob. Pushing against the pressure of the Major's hands, the Earl caught his breath as their bodies touched.
Snapping his eyes back up to see the Major's own, Dorian gasped at the intensity they held within.
Blue eyes held by green fire. Faces close, bodies together and the shifting of Dorian's hips bringing about more friction than the German wanted to think about. Fingers pulling, a quick jerk as the fob came free - and Dorian's eyes fell to the Major's mouth. Klaus' fingers tightened on the Earl's skin as their breath met and merged in a hot haze between them. The proximity, the possibility.... The need. The Earl’s head swam. Almost, a fraction of an inch and..... And Dorian crossed over, a sigh - a moan so hotly murmured, a "yes, please..." as he felt the barest of brushes, skin over skin. Eyes closing as he gave over and began to hope....
Until with a sudden strike, a slap - a burning sting across his face - Dorian knew the death of that possibility with bitter disappointment. Klaus' hand raised against him, hitting with sudden aim but less force than was probably intended - the closeness of their bodies lessening the weight behind the slap, the angle bad for damage. A hissed, "Damn you," sounding in the air between them from Klaus' lips.
Freezing for a second, stunned into stillness - Dorian blinked. His mind racing with the night's full dance card of abuse, first Devon now Klaus. Too much, too often.... A kiss that would never be known.
With a heart racing, his mind indignant and full of anger - Dorian reacted in his own right. Consequence be damned....
Reflexes as quick as a thief could hone them, the Earl flattened himself against the wall and shoved his hand into the Major's coat pocket - depositing the fob. The second Klaus pulled away in response to the sudden move, Dorian rounded in his direction and slapped the man across the face with enough force to whip the Major's head around. Voice raw and harsh - Dorian gasped, "Damn you back."
Klaus roared in his anger, outraged and out of control. He made to grab at Dorian's retreating back.
Dodging frantically, Eroica sped out of the way - throwing open the door and running down the hall. Nearly rushing into a startled man by the stairs.... The courier having arrived to face Klaus in the aftermath. With no backwards glance, Dorian raced through to the stairwell never stopping as he escaped the curses that followed in his wake.
Mission accomplished, but he feared a battle now fully engaged....
- - - - - - -
There's no reasoning as to when a person's mind turns from a quiet whisper of wondering to the burning underpinnings of want. The turning point may not be easily explained or acknowledged. Several factors could play a hand in the change - a certain look, a touch.... Or a barrage to the senses. All of which adds up over time until one's sub-conscience decides to play havoc with one's sense of reason. Setting one at war against a firmly held sense of duty.
A triggering moment - a glide of lips over lips and the look in a pair of eyes. The sound of a voice saying, "yes, please...." And the realization of self and of self-fulfillment may alter, changing irrevocably as if waking from a dream. Or waking into one....
Waking from a red daze to find himself in a hotel hallway after momentarily fading out, time skipping away in seconds - only to be called back to the necessity of NOW by a timid but dutifully insistent voice.
"Uhmm, Sir. Sir? Would you mind if we moved inside?"
Still staring over the agent's head, Klaus grit his teeth and jerked his head down in a quick nod of affirmation. He made to indicate that the man should proceed into the room ahead of him, when he realized his hands had strangely found themselves inside his coat pockets while he had briefly fugued out. As he drew them out, he felt the hard edge of metal inside one of the pockets - pulling the object out, he found that it was the key fob.
"Verdammter Dieb!" The Earl had done it. Despite the moment, the ... whatever it had been between them, he'd kept his head enough to finish his job - even in the face of Klaus' violence. And it railed against the Major's nerves that *he*, in the space of a moment, had lost his course enough to forget. Especially when thinking about the reason, the cause - would again take him off from the mission's path. He had a job to do, blast it.
With a shove, the Major practically pushed the agent through the door and slammed it closed behind them.
- - - - - - -
The handoff complete, Klaus left the hotel a short while later. The key fob was in play again, on its way to wherever NATO desired it to go - to do whatever it was needed for. A job well done, and in his case, finished. So why then was he not feeling accomplished?
What he felt was distracted - itchy - restless. Bothered...
Snorting aloud, Klaus shook his head. There was no wonder as to where that last emotion had come from. But as quickly as that thought passed his mind, he stopped and frowned. Bothered wasn't something he'd ever admitted to being by that.... That man.
No. No, it wasn't.... He wasn't. The subject was at best avoided. Or so he knew he'd always reasoned in the past.
But in the past, he hadn't had - known - experienced the almost that had been the earlier between them.
Damn it all. Lighting a cigarette, Klaus made his way back to the van. Long drags as smoke billowed around his head in the darkness of night, seen in the light of the street lamps and store windows he passed. Another cigarette as he pulled off from the curve.... His thoughts a blank, reason stalled as his innate sense of direction took him away towards he knew not where as he drove supposedly without purpose, and tried to not feel the unease of things left unfinished; left open and gapping in a way that fractured his steel resolve.
But there was a purpose he found, in that his aimless wondering indeed had a final destination.
With a sudden swerve, Klaus jerked the wheel as he pulled over abruptly and looked around. "Scheiße." His word - quiet but vehement.
It was at that moment that he knew he'd decided. Or rather his subconscious had done it for him. His senses felt a thousand times heightened as he looked out the window at where he was - touch, taste, smell, sound and sight. Alive. He felt intoxicated by the sober reality of what he intended, by the meaning behind it. The truth he'd never wanted to know. Before this night, before that one man....
Klaus closed his eyes, and gave a small nod. Then he got out of the vehicle and crossed the street to where he knew Dorian would be found.
- - - - - - -
When they’d had to make final arrangements for the night’s mission earlier in the day, the Major had thought Lord Gloria’s request to meet at “his” place meant he needed to go to Eroica’s mansion just outside of London - the residence that was on file with NATO as belonging to the Earl. He had been surprised when Dorian had instead given him an address inside London proper. When he’d asked, the Earl had smiled at Klaus’ curiosity.
The small two story terraced residence was in a quiet neighborhood, one that had “family” written all over it at a look. The property was in Bonham’s name, apparently. And served as a hide-away for when Dorian wanted to be in the city but more anonymous than he usually was…. The Englishman had laughed loudly at the Major’s accusation that it was there only to serve as a halfway house to hide his stolen wares in after his latest debauched thievery. The laugh was confirmation enough to leave Klaus’ back up so that the next hour of plan making and wire tapping had been a tense affair.
And now Klaus found himself again at that door, the wood painted a deep blue - looking practically black in the dark night. One hand pressed flat to the hard surface and the other on the doorknob - he stood there waiting but a moment before he reached inside his coat pocket and retrieved the small packet of tools he usually kept on hand during a mission. Setting to work, the Major looked straight ahead - feeling out the movements of his fingers as they worked the locking mechanism with a quickness and skill that would have had Eroica more than a little surprised.
With a click, the latch fell and the knob turned. And as he entered, silent and sure - Klaus had to acknowledge the fringe benefits of a spy’s knowledge and job experience. For tonight, it seemed - the Major was now the thief…. Stealing himself into Eroica’s lair.
After a quick check of the alarm he’d seen Dorian engage upon their leaving, Klaus’ fingers automatically entered the digits he’d memorized earlier at a glance. It was a number game he often played to keep his mind sharp from days spent at a desk between missions; his ability to recall codes having saved his life many times. Tonight, it served to help launch him into a new world.
Turning around, the Major took off his coat and hung it on the rack by the door. His holster remained, as he quietly walked to the stairs - a figure in black, dark hair - dark dress shirt - dark trousers - matte black shoes. All of which blended in with the lack of house lights to leave him lost from view, hidden from casual observation. It was just a guess that there would be no one else in residence but Dorian, but the Major wasn’t taking chances of foolishly alerting anyone to his presence before he was ready.
Stairs taken two at a time, Klaus made it to the top floor - path leading straight to the door at the end of the short hall. He put an ear to the door, and hearing only the faint sound of water running in what must be an adjacent bath - he carefully turned the knob.
The room was empty and almost as absent of light as the hall had been. All except for the glaring white-light outline of the bathroom door across the way. The sound of water still audible, Klaus could only deduce that Dorian was inside.
Sense memory flashes - cold night air, the view of the Earl without his coat with his shirt torn to a virtual rag, and the feel of the man against him…all served to have Klaus clenching his fists at the affect they had on his body. He felt hot in the warmth of the room, hot and constricted - more enclosed than he should feel in so large a space. Swallowing against the lump in his throat, the Major shook his head to clear his thoughts.
He wondered if Dorian’s bathing was solely a method to cleanse his body, to warm himself or to try and forget the night’s events. Then he realized he was *wondering* about Dorian - who was probably naked and wet. It was an abrupt turn of mind, one that had Klaus at a loss as to how to respond. But then the decision was taken away as the water was turned off in the bath and it became obvious that the Earl was about to return to the room.
Muttering a whisper of a curse, the Major quickly crossed to the far windows - ducking to hide unseen behind the heavy drapes which were drawn to shut out the moon.
He watched silent and still as the bathroom door opened for Dorian’s entrance.
A vision in gold tones - lit from behind, he crossed into the room and the sight was enough to have Klaus catching his breath. The Earl was completely bare, head to toe. Nude and wet, his body shown in contrast to the darkness through which he passed. Klaus clutched his fists as he felt a rush sweep through his own system. It was a heady realization to find himself reacting so after just one look. Made all the more powerful and gut-clenching as he silently acknowledged that it wasn’t the first time he’d been drawn by Dorian’s appearance, but it was the first time he accepted the truth of what it meant.
That he wanted to do more than look….
That he wanted to *have* that which he’d always believed was forbidden and out of reach.
And with Dorian Red, Earl of Gloria, who stood just across the way - both tempter and temptation in the flesh.
Rational thought had long fled in the wake of lost restraint, leaving Klaus feeling irrational anger at having his world and self views altered - anger and overwhelming curiosity to have what was unknown, made understood. Like someone dragging their heels in stubborn reluctance while they also wanted to leap headlong into the aftermath so all was over and the questions were behind them.
His thoughts were interrupted by Dorian’s next move. The thief had walked closer to the bed; the warm glow from the bath helping to create a seductive mirage of shadows and light that played over the man’s tall slim frame. He reached over and turned on a lamp beside the bed, throwing the room into a rosy sheen that signified a colored bulb - one meant to sooth and relax. The intended affect was lost to the Major as he watched Dorian reach up to remove the clasp that held his hair swept up from his neck. Tossing the clip onto the bedside table, the Earl shook out the mass - running a hand through the length to rid himself of any potential tangles.
Klaus bit at his bottom lip, pressing down hard as he took in the wet shine of Dorian’s skin being obscured by the thief’s blond curls. The glory of natural waves fell to the middle of the man’s back, drawing Klaus’ gaze down the line of the lean frame to Dorian’s hips, bottom and legs. Now blatantly staring, the Major stood - mesmerized.
The Earl sighed softly, the pleasure of having his hair freed playing across his face as he brushed it back over his shoulders. He turned to retrieve the scarlet burgundy towel that lay on the bed; his body in perfect profile as he lightly, absently ran the cloth over his still damp skin. Framed in soft light, skin slightly flushed from the bath - he was golden. Beguiling without effort…. Seduction without a try.
With a start, the Major closed his eyes - angry despite the pleasure he was deriving from the view, or rather because of it. Too quickly it seemed, he’d moved from refused acknowledgement and blatant denial to this…. This overwhelming need that he didn’t recognized as anything close to what he’d felt in the past. A need to watch, to know…. To take the vision ethereal and make him real at a touch. It warred against his seemingly heretofore better nature, but still he knew that what called to him was more than a siren’s song. It was his own lyric, his own verse - his being singing for what was wanted most, what was needed more than care.
A sound drew the Major back, his eyes opening to see Dorian flinging his damp towel and the remains of his evening’s clothing onto the tiled floor of the bath. The Earl turned off the light in the adjacent room and closed the door before making his way to the bed. The bedside lamp remained lit; a caution against the mysteries that one could find in the dark.
Dorian pulled down the covers, leaving the duvet at the foot as he settled on the bed - pooling the sheets over his body, around his hips. He rested on his back for a moment, eyes opened as he stared at the ceiling. Again he breathed out a sigh, rolling onto his side as he finally closed his eyes. The lamp’s illumination cast against his turned back to play over the lines of his body until it gave him an almost other worldly presence.
Minutes passed like hours, and the room settled into silence. The Earl remained still as if in sleep. And Klaus waited, sentry-like in his secret place. But the longer he waited, the more he questioned his purpose. What was he doing? Hiding in a corner, not going forward - trapped from going back. It railed against his innate drive to “do,” to control. But it wasn’t cowardice that kept him at bay, but a feeling even more foreign to his nature.
It was anticipation.
Anticipation that whatever the outcome would be once he took those few steps towards Dorian, whether it would lead to anger and violence or the opposite - he would know resolution.
Be it a determined end or a new beginning, now was the time.
Klaus slowly emerged from the drapes, shoes silent as he walked over the carpeted floor. He reached the bed and stopped, his eyes on Dorian - letting them travel over the other man’s form from head to toe. Blond hair spread out over the pillow, the faint traces of stubble over his cheek and chin, the curve of the arm that rested under his head - the images burned into Klaus’ mind as he continued down. The alabaster rise and fall of the man’s chest held his attention, as did the nipples light and small - peaking out, mostly covered by several wayward strands of his long hair. Following still down, Klaus took in the curve of Dorian’s hip outlined beneath the sheet. The blond’s legs were pulled slightly up one over the other as he curled on his side in sleep.
To say it was distracting, Klaus would later acknowledge - though he did not hold it as an excuse for his lax awareness. What he did know was one moment he was almost frozen in a zone of appreciation, then the next the circumstances were completely altered when with a sudden lunge, Dorian jerked upright. Grabbing out, he caught a startled Klaus’ belt in one hand and managed to draw a weapon with his other.
It was a surreal instant for the Major, who following his instinct for self-defense went for his gun, only to halt with a loud hiss as a sharp press - the tip of a knife held warningly against his thigh, signaled Eroica’s victory in speed and stealth. The blade just an inch from his groin, made the threat very clear and dangerous. Intimately so….
Dorian looked up at him, the Major’s hand frozen still on the handle of the gun safely housed in the harness strapped over the man’s shoulders. The expression on the Earl’s face gave nothing away, leaving the Major to grit his teeth. His body was suffused with white hot fury at being caught out in such a position; the uncertainty and awkwardness a stark contrast to the other cause of his overheated senses - the sight of Dorian bared completely as he rose up on his knees, the sheet fallen to his knees as he held Klaus captive on a knife‘s point.
When at last he spoke, Eroica’s voice held a small rough sound of sardonic sadness. The irony was evident as he said, “This scene between us seems all too familiar. The two of us, blade versus gun.”
Klaus blinked, frowning as he thought back. Then he remembered. “Iran.”
Mouth raising in a satisfied smile, the Earl nodded. But the smile fell as he looked again to Klaus’ hand on the gun. “Iran, indeed. But with a potentially more painful and pressing twist, Major.” Face a blank, he pushed the blade until it was on the cusp of penetration.
Klaus hissed as he felt the tip pierce the fabric of his pants, stinging as it was held against his skin.
“Come to finish the job?” Dorian’s words broke passed the Major’s narrowed focus.
He hadn’t considered that Eroica would think he was there to cause him harm, but then he hadn’t considered it himself either. Given his tendency towards erratic violence or anger at the man, the Major couldn’t fault the assumption after the night’s drama. And his earlier harsh treatment of the Earl. Tone clipped, he answered. “No.”
With a raised brow, Dorian echoed him. “No.” He slowly let Klaus’ belt go, letting his arm drop down to his side. He was still poised to strike if need be; the knife biting into the Major’s leg. “Mission over, fob in hand and Bonn calling - yet here you stand.” The Earl threw a look back to the German’s weapon, tisking out a disapproving sound. “You’re not here to harm me, so let’s lose the gun.”
Klaus snarled at the order, his ire heating the longer he stood immobile on Eroica’s whim. He may have given in to his need to test the inclinations that arose around the man, but he was determined to hold onto what manner of control he was able to maintain. “Kill, no. Harming is relative…. The longer you keep that blade pulled, the greater your chances that I’ll test the theory.”
Gaze intense and ever watchful for a wrong move, Eroica couldn’t let the moment pass - as usual when he was threatened by the Major, there was a teasing barb given in response. What made his next words different was the change in Klaus. The response he felt as Dorian rose up tall on his knees, their faces level and close - the thief’s words breathed in the space between them.
“Why are you here, then? Standing in shadows, hiding in the dark as I pretend to sleep.” Nodding in confirmation of Klaus’ frown, the Earl affirmed - the words husky, low and deliberate. “Yes, a ruse. I knew it was you.” His eyes fell to the Major’s mouth, eyes drawn to it - a look of remembrance, of want in his gaze. “Watching me from the dark. Your scent giving you away. Smoke and you, together.” Looking up through his thick, long eye lashes at Klaus, Dorian smiled. “It really IS a telling habit, darling.”
“Idiot.” The word snapped aloud, but to whom it was directed - either Eroica or himself, Klaus couldn’t say.
Dorian arched an eyebrow, a mischievous look on his face. “You’ve got a knife to the groin and yet you’re still so witty.” When the Major started to reply, Eroica pushed ever so slightly with the blade - stressing his seriousness as Klaus bit back a curse at the continuing sting. “Put the gun on the table, Major. Or this night will get more unpleasant than it’s already been.”
It was madness, Klaus reasoned, that he should find himself in this situation. A seasoned NATO agent held at knifepoint by a naked thief…. If he hadn’t felt the bite of Dorian’s blade against his flesh, he would have thought the threat a farce. But it was the look in Eroica’s eyes, the expression on the man’s face that had the Major complying with deliberate care as he removed the gun from his harness and reached out to place it on the table. The move left him at a forward stance, but his upper body was turned to the left - the angle giving him the opening he needed to change the course of their night.
So fast, it came about…. One moment he was held at bay, the next Klaus turned the tables on the surprised thief. With devastating speed, the Major did two things at once. He grabbed at Dorian’s dangerous hand with his left, just as he thrust his full body weight in a tackling push using his right shoulder. The instinct to overcome, to persevere was upon him in a rush. And the two men fell back in a tangled crash of bodies and limbs as the knife hit the floor.
His advantage robbed away, stolen by Klaus’ strength and force - Dorian cursed in indignation and anger. “Bastard,” the insult was bitter and full of affront. There was no time to think, to reflect - only to act and react as the Earl threw himself head long into the tussle that resulted. He was clearly fed up with being yet again under the hands of another, absent his consent and control. His frustration and fury blinding him to the stark reality of how they appeared, how they were positioned - and how close he was to having what he’d always wanted happen.
Klaus pressed him down, trying to lock the man’s arms above his head and to still the thrashing legs…but each time he thought Eroica would finally give in to being subdued - the hellion would pull a sneak twist and again they’d be at it. Hands hit him, striking at every angle as the blows landed about the Major’s head and back. He growled in chorus to Dorian’s grunting gasps; the two men determined each to triumph over the other. But in the end, Klaus’ brute stamina outlasted the Earl’s anger until the Englishman was caught and covered by the dark man above.
Ignoring Dorian’s frustrated yell, the Major stared down at the man he’d subdued. The both of them were panting, trying to catch their breath as sweat dotted their brows and burned their eyes. Each looked a wreck, but that only served to increase their glory. Klaus’ dark to Dorian’s gold - each locked now in looking at the other.
It was in those moments, silence reigning between them both in the aftermath of anger, that they both became yet again *aware* of how they were positioned. Of the intimacy of Dorian’s skin, his body - in contact with Klaus’ own clothed form. Dorian froze, still as a wild animal on the cusp of a perceived assault. And Klaus watched as the man’s expression guardedly echoed the possibility of this being the start of more…. A yearning gaze held barely in check as the Englishman waited to see what was next.
Adrenaline high and senses sharp, Klaus allowed himself to absorb the feel of Dorian below him. The sight of him, flushed and warm…. Hair spread around them in a wild tangle. Eyes bright, mouth full and lips parted. The view touched a new sensation within Klaus; something new to the Major’s perception. He found the man ….
Klaus shifted slightly onto his knees, body still arched over Dorian’s as he adjusted his hold on the man’s wrists. He felt as much as heard the catch in the Earl’s breathing, the gasping reaction as their bodies shifted together at the motion. Klaus knew what the other man probably expected, for him to either strike or flee the scene - and while the feeling that coursed through him felt similar to rage, tonight the burn would instead drive him to a new and different course of action.
His eyes raked over Dorian’s exposed body; face, arms, neck and chest - until he stopped at the scratches and bruising along the Earl’s collarbone. Freeing a hand, the Major traced the marks that remained from Devon’s earlier ill treatment. They glared back at him, bright and red against Dorian’s heated skin. The longer he looked, the harder his expression became. Again the anger flared, finding new direction as he faced the evidence yet again of another’s touch on Eroica’s body.
Dorian shivered at the touch, and a soft sound rushed out as the Major’s hand tightened on his throat. He didn’t speak, uncertain of what his words would be a catalyst for….
The thought ruling Klaus’ awareness in that moment was that they were wrong; the fading lines and the dark bruise. They shouldn’t be there. He didn’t like what they signified; the marking of another man - evidence that another man had dared….
Had dared what he had not.
Moving fast, Klaus buried his face in the crook of the Earl’s neck. He breathed in the scent of Dorian’s body, his hair. It caused sensations to tickle down his spine, firing his determination until he opened his mouth and laid claim to new territory.
The silence was split with a sharp cry as Dorian arched and jerked, “Major!” He whimpered and strained, still held captive as Klaus worked his mouth and teeth along Dorian’s flesh. His body shook as he pushed against the Major’s own; the friction heightening his response to the pleasure-pain of the German’s actions.
His lips traveling, Klaus increased his suction - biting down as Dorian moaned. The more he tasted, the more he took until he realized in his distraction that he’d released Eroica’s wrists all together. The thief’s hands cradled the Major’s head at the base of his throat, fingers buried in his dark hair as Dorian moved against him - their bodies locked in a rhythm that left nothing disguised between them. The Earl’s hard length pressed against Klaus‘, even as his own ached within the restriction of his pants.
“Ahhh, Kl…. Klaus! Please.” Dorian’s voice broke through the den of the Major’s beating heart, causing him to surface - guided by the near frantic pull of Eroica’s hands. In the rush of urgency, Klaus found himself being laid claim to in return as Dorian pushed up into him and took the German’s mouth with his own. Their kiss the first, as each man felt the pleasure and passion that the other had to give.
For Klaus, it was a kiss unlike any he’d had before - different for it being with a man, but more so for the sheer fire that every taste, slant and press between them sent through his blood. In this he let Dorian lead, opening to the thief’s tongue and reveled in its wake. Possession manifested, they continued as the night played listener to their enthusiasm - Dorian‘s soft moans, Klaus‘ gruff murmurs mixing into a new song.
Quickly the need changed from exploration to desperation. Dorian grabbed at the Major’s clothing - trying to push the harness off the man’s shoulders, and failing that by lack of patience, he jerked the shirt free from Klaus’ pants. Yanking at it blindly until he managed to rip it open, both men gasped at the feeling of being chest to chest.
Trying to compound his advantage before Klaus could come to his former senses, Dorian reached further to the Major’s waist. Only to be thwarted by the tight press and strain of their bodies riding the desire not to lose contact. His fingers found their way, covering the evidence of his Major’s reaction - stroking the hardness that was hidden away. Klaus shuddered and groaned at the touch, inhaling sharply as Dorian caressed him with tormenting skill.
The moment built until Dorian pulled back from Klaus’ mouth, demanding breathlessly, “Off, get off.”
Frowning at the implausibility that he’d actually heard those words correctly considering it was Eroica who’d said them, the Major looked down at him incredulously. Catching the shadow that started to cross over Klaus’ expression, Dorian quickly moved to reassure and rephrase. He grabbed the Major quickly before the man could get away in anger. Hugging close, the Earl rubbed against Klaus and playfully licked across his mouth; initiating a kiss that had them feeling electrified.
Murmuring against Klaus’ lips, Dorian murmured seductively. “Stand for me?”
The breaking of their contact didn’t last long as Klaus stood rigidly by the bed, the ease of his body tightening with tension as he followed Dorian’s request. His was resolute in his decision to follow the desire he felt, but it held a newness that left him feeling more exposed than he usually allowed. Still, it was Dorian reaching for him - looking on him with such vibrant passion that the Major was left satisfied by his choice.
The Earl slid along the sheets until he sat at the edge, thighs spread to frame the Major’s legs. There was no time for savoring; his actions were quick and greedy as he reached forward to remove Klaus’ shirt. The moment too filled with seriousness, desire and awe for either man to respond as the harness and custom made holster fell to the floor with a thud. All that smiled was Dorian’s eyes….
Klaus remained still, letting Dorian look at him - half bared in contrast to Eroica’s full nudity. He watched the emotions skirting through Dorian’s eyes, the heat and spark he found within their gaze caused his body to contract - tightening as his arousal grew. The Earl took Klaus’ hand in his own, looking down at it as he ran his fingers over the palm. It was the very hand that had held Eroica’s red rose and crushed it until Klaus had bled. The thorn scratches had faded, but still Dorian caressed the sensitive skin as though to ease the pain that was already past.
Lifting his gaze back to Klaus, Dorian silently asked a question with his eyes as he gave the Major enough time to move away if he chose. Raising his hand, Klaus answered with the brush of his fingers over Dorian’s mouth. The caress turned more prophetic as the blond opened to take the Major’s fingers inside, a tease and an affirmation that he understood and was glad.
Biting at the inside of his cheek, the Major watched as Dorian played along his fingers - the man’s tongue mapping out every length and curve. Emitting a gruff growl, Klaus pulled his hand free as he tried to slow the rise of his desire. But as he’d seen time and again, Eroica would have all that he could - even if he had to steal it away.
The deep breath Klaus was taking caught, stolen in an instant as the thief’s hand moved between his legs. Dorian’s palm circled, teasing the Major with a determined rhythm - even as the other smoothed over the warmth of Klaus’ chest in a slow slide from neck to waist.
Dorian’s voice bridged the divide between them, offering Klaus a choice. “Slow?” His hand moved up again, fingers brushing over the Major’s nipple. “Or fast?” The question echoed as he pressed against the aroused flesh beneath the German’s clothes.
Whether it was the newness, the need or the determination that he wouldn’t allow himself to question his way out of doing what he wanted - what they wanted, Klaus gruffly answered. “Now.”
Markedly at a loss for words in the wake of hearing the word, the demand passing from his Major’s lips, Dorian held Klaus’ eyes even as he reached to rid the man of his belt. Grinning devilishly, Eroica held the length of leather to his mouth and licked the surface. Ever the reprobate, even in the mist of desire….
Klaus growled in response, both from the memory the act brought back and from the frustration of Dorian’s playing games when the man should be doing something, anything else. He jerked the belt from the Earl’s hands, pulling at the man’s hair as he pushed the blond’s face up - a hand again at Dorian’s throat. Klaus’ face was like thunder on a rainless night; sudden and frightening was his strength. But Dorian’s gasp at the abrupt shift in Klaus, ended in a moan as the Major charged forward and claimed his mouth in a fierce kiss.
Leather and smoke - their tastes merged, carrying across as Klaus passed his tongue between Dorian’s lips. It was possessing, and brief. Pulling back, the Major glared at Dorian - his grip still holding the Earl’s head still. Faces close, he snapped in a rough tone, “Jetzt, verdammt!”
Klaus took in the hungry expression on Dorian face as the thief worked his pants undone. Inhaling sharply, the Major fought not to close his eyes involuntarily as Dorian reached inside and touched him. He tried to process the sensations: warmth as fingers caressed his skin, another hand pushing his underwear down until both they and his pants road low on his hips and then Dorian closed the divide….
“Aaahhhnn.” Frozen, momentarily stunned. Klaus grit his teeth as his system was suffused with blinding pleasure. Too much, so good and in a way he wouldn’t have known before now - more right than he’d ever experienced before tonight. He’d dropped his hands at the first touch of Dorian’s mouth along his erection, fists clenched as he took the brunt of the man’s obvious skill.
Past the desire to tease, Dorian set a pace meant to drive him quite mad. He ran his hands over Klaus, touching as much of the Major’s body as he could: the back, hips, chest, waist…. Constantly, his fingers moved in chorus to his mouth as it worked over the length and weight of Klaus’ desire as it moved along his tongue.
Well gone with the yearning for more, but weakening on the strength to hold out - Klaus groaned as Eroica dealt his next trick, humming as he continued to play the Major’s need. Nerves afire, the rushing of his blood sounded loud in his ears. Almost there, almost…. And then things stopped.
Gone was the liquid heat and the tormenting tease. Dorian moved back in a flash, crossing over the bed for what purpose Klaus could not reason. All the German knew was he couldn’t allow Eroica to leave. To escape…. Making a grab for the Earl’s ankle, Klaus managed to hold firm even as Dorian cursed in frustration. His words, “Let me, Klaus. We need,” were cut short as Klaus climbed back onto the bed and covered the length of Dorian’s back. Trapping him once more beneath….
Smooth skin, warm body and the delicious friction of moving against him - Klaus buried his face into the wreck that was Dorian’s hair. He ignored the Earl’s attempts to shift closer to the edge of the bed, holding the man still as he circled down and against the rise of Dorian’s behind. His reason was too lost to sensuality to make sense of his own impatience and need.
Dorian moaned, panting as he pushed back against the hardness behind him. When Klaus refused again to let him move, the Earl gasped out, “The drawer. We need what’s there.” Surging back against the German, Dorian managed to reach the drawer and yank it open even as Klaus again covered him. Grabbing at what was inside, Eroica almost dropped his prize when he felt the sharp press and bite of the Major’s teeth at the base of his neck. “Awww…”
Groaning in what sounded like pleasured pain, Dorian shivered and arched back. Words spilled from him, his plea a ragged needful ramble. “I want to show you, let me show you… let me. Turn over.”
Finally the words broke through the haze of his distraction and the Major forcible rolled Dorian onto his back, not moving away any further than was necessary to accomplish the Earl’s request. The need for constant contact, for the connection between them to continue, was a heady mix with Klaus’ arousal. And he was incapable of thinking beyond it. What was, was….
Not wasting a moment in his drive towards the “now” that Klaus had demanded, Dorian threaded his free hand in the Major’s dark hair and pulled him back into a kiss. They reveled as small gasps and murmured groans spilled out between their lips. As it continued, the Earl managed to steal a hand between them. Klaus arched into the touch even as he shivered at what the suddenly slicked fingers meant. Eroica had managed to keep his head enough to make preparations, his fingers wet with lube - the prize he‘d nicked from the drawer.
Klaus thrust into the clasping hand, breaking from their kiss as he groaned low and loud in encouragement. He looked into Dorian’s half closed eyes and watched as the thief arched into his own touch; the hand leaving Klaus’ flesh as the Earl reached between his own thighs to push inside. It was going to happen, the final barrier crossed. Seeing the expression of wanton anticipation on Dorian’s face, Klaus couldn’t doubt the desire that must lie on his own. His walls downed in the wake of the moment and the force of his fired blood.
A tick, a stitch in time and then Dorian was holding him again in hand - pulling him to where they both needed him to be…. And then the thief’s voice sounded, desperate but sure - calling out against Klaus’ lips again and again. “Jetzt, komm!”
Klaus took Dorian’s next breath, and his own - as he pushed, thrust inside the heat that was Dorian’s body. The thief moaned and held onto him as the Major moved inside, riding the fierce drive that housed Klaus within him. Their coupling could not be gentled this first time, would not be anything other than the buffering of a storm - forceful, quick, verging on dangerous as each strained and gave, thrust and met - taken and took.
So tight, so hot - the intensity marked him like fire to the skin; the desire a scar Klaus found it a pleasure to bear. He clutched at Dorian’s body, needing something to ground himself as he moved them together and apart. The thief arched against him at each thrust inside, welcoming his length and his desire with a wildness that was breathless and true.
His voice an almost incoherent ruin, Dorian moaned as Klaus worked them closer and closer together - each almost at their breaking points. He was coming apart before the Major’s eyes and it was a glory to see.
Klaus knew the moment he was lost, watching as Dorian’s eyes widened - the thief throwing his head back as his body was wracked with pleasure so sharp as to be almost pain. The sight, the feel of Dorian coming beneath him, around him and against his body was too much for Klaus to withstand. He tried to hold on, but his body won the battle as Klaus roughly cried out with a curse - his face buried in the curve of Dorian’s throat as he jerked and shuddered in bliss.
The aftershocks eased with time as the two of them remained still locked together - a tangled web of limbs and bodies. Neither of them moved to part, both well tired but content to stay. Klaus inhaled the mingled scent of sex and them, his eyes closed and heart slowing from its race. He was aware and alert to what he’d done, and surprisingly he didn’t feel the need to run. He’d allowed himself to fall…. And lacked regret to mourn.
For the death of old ways now harkened a new sense of life, and of self. Knowledge had set him free of burden. And all because of the persistent man in his arms….
Dorian murmured softly, regretfully as Klaus shifted to lie beside him - breaking their connection as he came to lie against the blond’s side. The Earl turned towards him and laid his claim with an arm over the Major’s chest and leg over the German’s thighs.
The movements brought home just how unkempt he must appear, socks and pants still on - shoes having earlier fallen to the floor. His pants were in a ruin around his knees. It was rather amusing, Klaus considered. Admitting it privately at least. He pushed the pants down his legs, before toeing off his soaks. Lying back again, he closed his eyes and rested with Dorian against him. Glad to sink into the darkness.
The warmth of Dorian at his side, the deep breaths that ghosted across his skin, the small scratching feel of the soft hairs that covered Dorian’s legs and arms - they were things that tickled Klaus’ mind as he rested in silence. The pieces of a puzzle now seemingly fit into their perfect place.
He shifted against the Earl’s body, drawing his hand down the long smooth length of Dorian’s back. The motion continued unconsciously as the Major absorbed the comfort to be found in the aftermath. In the desire to remain, rather than rush away as he’d always felt in the past.
“Hmmm….” Dorian murmured softly, appreciative of Klaus’s caress.
The Major’s hand continued to stroke the blond’s skin, even as Dorian’s sounds grew lower. And then deeper, until Klaus had an epiphany. Dorian Red, the man in his arms, was actually purring. Or as near to it as any human could….
It was a sound the Major found intimately satisfying to have caused.
A long while passed without a word until Dorian broke the silence. Voice husky from use, he asked, “When are you expected to report?”
Clearing his throat, Klaus answered. “Forty-eight hours. In Bonn.”
Dorian released a sigh, rubbing his face against the line of Klaus’ neck. His breath tickled the Major’s skin as he continued, “So soon.” There was a pause, a while that drifted by without words until he again broke the stillness. “I can do it, you know. Be discrete. Keep the secret.” His voice held a certainty, a seriousness that was testament to his belief in what he said.
Klaus opened his eyes, and looked at Dorian’s face. There was a solemn ferocity in the Earl’s eyes, one meant to show he knew the stakes and was willing to play the game. It was, the Major found, endearing. And something he believed Dorian capable of accomplishing. For he’d witnessed, again and again - the determination of the man he held to get and maintain the things, and now the person, he valued most.
Letting his gaze drop, Klaus viewed the darkening evidence of his own passion’s marks. His claim was writ across the paleness of Dorian’s skin, all effects from the other one now covered and gone. He knew he’d made his own decision to retained the maddening man in that moment. So with a nod, Klaus drew the Earl down to seal his agreement with a kiss.
Relief and gladness laced Dorian’s whisper, released into the touch of Klaus’ lips. “You’ll be my Major by day and my Klaus by night.” He teased a bite at Klaus’ lip, licking it better before doing the same again.
Growling in response, Klaus abruptly turned and rolled Dorian beneath him - rising up enough to make sure Dorian was looking in his eyes and not at his mouth before saying, “Never on duty.” When Dorian tried to kiss him again, Klaus buried his hand in the blond’s hair and held him still. “Say it.”
Moaning as he was held trapped, the Earl did as told. A rare event, indeed. “Not on duty.” There was always the downtime, after all.
Klaus gave him a shrewd glare that melted in the heat that passed between them. He was almost back to kissing the man, when a request was made that stopped his progress.
“Say my name.”
Groaning as he felt the body beneath his undulating against him with reawakening need, Klaus gave in. “Dorian.”
Klaus pressed his mouth to Dorian’s own, speaking softly as he moved against the heat of man’s body. “Dorian.”
Impossibly, he asked for more. “Again.”
“My Dorian in the dark….”
The answering gasp was silenced as Klaus took Dorian’s breath away with a kiss, as once more the fire burned …. And both found themselves licked by passion’s flame.