There were many words the Major’s peers might have chosen to describe him. Most related to the qualities that had earned him his nickname, Iron Klaus; others were rude, some downright unprintable. "Sentimental" certainly would never have made the list, even as a joke.
They all would have been surprised, then, had they known about the box at the back of Klaus’s bedroom closet. It even surprised him, when he really thought about it—which wasn’t often, as he was not given to wasting time and mental energy on introspection. While it was not unheard of for people in his field to keep souvenirs of their work, Klaus was not at all the type to engage in such self-indulgence; he required no "trophies" to boost his ego or to remind others of his accomplishments. Indeed, he tended to look down on those who felt compelled to showcase their achievements. His record spoke for itself.
But still there was the box, its contents surreptitiously gathered and carefully guarded—and he supposed that some men would consider them trophies of a sort, though he objected to the connotations of that word. To him they were not spoils but agents of relief, taken out occasionally when Klaus felt things catching up with him. He could only run for so long.
There was a dagger, small and deadly sharp, dropped and forgotten during a skirmish. There was an envelope of surveillance photographs—fairly innocuous unless one knew something of the subject and the photographer. There was a scarf, blue as the eyes of its owner, with a few blond hairs still caught in its folds. And there was the glory of the collection, a black catsuit, torn and discarded after some misadventure, saved by the Major when no one was there to notice.
All were traces of Eroica collected by Klaus during their long association. For all his care and skill, Lord Gloria still had a tendency to leave something of himself behind wherever he went, and much of it eventually found its way to the box. Thinking about it once, the Major had realized that this almost made it seem as if he were the one doing the chasing. That thought had been quickly brushed aside and he had done an additional fifty sit-ups as a sort of penance, his face burning.
He was not a homosexual, Klaus kept telling himself. He was not sexual at all. But he was human, and as such had certain needs that, however base, could not be ignored. Though the idea of becoming physically involved with the thief continued to repulse him, he could not deny his attraction to the man. He had long ago ceased struggling with himself over this, but had resolved to resist acting on the lust that he sometimes felt would consume him. However, these articles, these…vestiges of Eroica, they were acceptable. They were more than that. And they were as close as he was willing to get to the other man, for the present.
So Klaus would sit, surrounded by his treasures, and think. Remember. Recall the whisper of satin and the glare of sunlight on golden hair. He would look at the photographs, test the edge of the dagger. And slowly, tentatively, he would begin to touch himself.
At first he had been almost shy with his own body, being as swift and business-like as possible, just trying to get it over with. Gradually, though, he had become more comfortable with the act, taking his time and indulging himself in ways he never would have dreamed of before.
Sometimes he would remove his tie, unbutton his shirt and slide a hand up beneath his ever-present undershirt to brush light caresses over his chest, closing his eyes and pretending the gently teasing hand was not his own. Other times, he would bring the scarf to his face to catch the faint, pleasantly masculine odor that clung to it. That scent and the accompanying mental imagery were often enough to push him to the brink, and he would roughly open his trousers, reach in and give his cock two or three rough strokes before he was spent. Once he actually put the catsuit on. It was a trifle small, but Klaus didn’t let that bother him, thinking only of his body—his naked body—touching where the thief’s had been before. He hadn’t lasted long that time, and he’d been lucky to avoid ruining the suit.
Afterward he would clean up, dress, and carefully replace everything in the box before concealing it again at the back of the closet. By the time he left his bedroom, he felt steadier, his mind clearer, and there was no sign to indicate to anyone that he had wavered for a moment in his inviolate iron chastity.
And always, always, he kept pushing Eroica away. It was easier, knowing that in a way he was always waiting for the Major back at the Schloss, no strings attached. Klaus sometimes wondered if Eroica had some idea what was going on; there was often a certain light in the thief’s eyes when he looked at him that hinted at a secret knowledge…at those moments, Klaus felt almost vulnerable. But he would not let Eroica press the advantage. Iron Klaus, having bent so far, must go no farther. It could be the death of him.
Some day, the box might not be enough. Until then, Klaus was safe.
Author's Chapter Notes:
In this story, Klaus is very different from any way I've imagined him before, and I don't know what to make of it...although I guess I don't entirely dislike it, because it's sparked a little lemony story arc that I'm working on now. This is an odd one; that's really all I can say.