Part Three

The Star

Prologue: Monday

 

 

"Whaddaya mean you're not coming 'ome?!?" James shrieked into the phone.  "You run off, almost get killed, run off again, almost get killed again, and now you say you ain't comin 'ome?"

Dorian held the receiver away from his ear until the tirade ended.  Klaus sat in a chair beside Dorian's hospital bed, smoking a cigarette and looking absolutely gorgeous, as usual. He cocked a straight black eyebrow at the sound of Mr. James shrill voice.

"James, dear, I have some important business to attendee back in Freiburg.  Now be a sweetie and wire me some cash."

"Sweetie?" Klaus muttered.

Dorian gave him a teasing look.  "I'll come home as soon as I get done there.

"No!  No more money!  You come home right now!  You're in no condition to go gallivanting-"

Bonham's voice suddenly came on the line. "Your Grace? Oughtn't you come 'ome till you're all better?"

"I can't, Bonham.  I've got to get to Freiburg as soon as possible.  Don't you and James start teaming up against me.  This is a matter of life and death."

"Sir?"

"I made a promise to a woman in exchange for her help in the Durdenstein affair.  She got hurt.  She may be dying.  I've got to get to her before she dies."

"Say no more, M'lord.  James'll send you the chinkers toot-sweet.  I'll make sure o' that."

James' irritated shout came from beyond, "Will not!  Will not!  We're already up the spout, so you can just whistle for it for all the good-"

"How much, Sir?"

"Urn.  Five hundred pounds will be fine."

"Aiee-um, of course, Your Grace.  And Sir?"

"Yes, Bonham?"

"Take care.  Don't go wearing yourself to a nub.  You know what a delicate condition you're in."

"Yes, Bonham.  Thanks heaps, mate."

Klaus snuffed his cigarette and waved away the smoke.  He wasn't supposed to be smoking in the room, but Dorian insisted it would be okay.  He was no longer on oxygen, and he didn't want Klaus to leave, even for a cigarette break.  The Major had come by at about eleven that morning, taking a single rosebud from his sleeve when the nurse had left.  After hearing Dorian's promise to Christine, Klaus insisted on helping.

"After all," he'd said, "it was my case she assisted with.

Dorian knew better.  Klaus just wanted to be with him.  That was all.

"I won't be able to leave for some time," said Dorian, after the phone call.  "Why don't you fly down to Freiburg and see how Christine is?  Time is of the essence.  We've got to find out who her son and his father are and where the book is."

"You are not coming?"

"I would if I could.  Please, Darling.  The money Mr. James is sendinq will take me to the States and back.  I couldn't tell them that.  They'd never allow it."

"Why go to the States?  We can conduct that business from here."

"I want to see for myself if he's still there.  Then I can tell her myself how he is."

 "Oh, I see."  Klaus seemed unsure.  "What if she's still in a coma?  Or dead?"

"Then I'll have to find the answers on my own.  But she has to be alive still.  I promised her I'd reunite her with her son.  She said she knew she'd never see him again.  I want to prove her wrong."

Klaus looked down, as if considering.

"Please, Klaus, do this for me.  I'm relying on you.  She's relying on me."

A look of dutiful determination came over Klaus' face.  Dorian certainly knew which buttons to push.  "Very well.  I will make arrangements tonight."

"Now, please.  I know it's sudden, but you must act now.  There's no time to spare.  I swear I'll join you as soon as I can"

"You will stay here 'till I return," Klaus ordered.  "I shall not be gone long." 

Dorian held Klaus' hand to his lips and kissed it. "Thank you, my love."      Klaus stood and bent to kiss him.  "Get well."

Dorian embraced him and held him down for a lingering kiss, which Klaus consented to.  "Farewell."

Klaus grinned as he turned to go.  "Stay well.

"Come well to my door again," sang the Earl as Klaus' handsome form disappeared out the door.

 

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