"Where'd you go?" Dorian asked when Klaus returned that evening from the library.
"I had something to do. Oh, I see someone sent you flowers. Klaus examined the card. ‘Get Well Soon, Love, G.'
Dorian giggled. "James finally wired the cash, and Bonham is sending some clothes and things. We'll be ready to fly to America tomorrow night. The tickets are already there at the counter." He clapped his hands. "Oh, this is going to be so exciting."
"Your men are going to be furious when they find out."
"Uh-huh. Will you be here to guard me? Keep me safe and close in your protection?"
"All right, Earl, but if that James comes near me, I reserve the right to shoot him if he starts to whine and gripe."
"That's a sure kill, then. Be temperate, I beg you. Let him be, I'll deal with them my own way. They won't know what to think of our collusion, or why you'd come along with me when NATO's not involved."
"I'm insane, they can't blame me for my actions,” Klaus grinned. "I can't be held responsible. I'll just say, I thought this was a mission. Or pride and duty bound me to a vow I couldn't break."
"You are proud," said Dorian. "I like that. They'd believe your duty bound you to me. Just the same, someday we'll be discovered. Discretion's not my strongest suit and something's bound to show."
Klaus was silent, not knowing what to feel. This shadow on the sunlight of their love. In his joy, he'd failed to consider the consequences of his choice and how his world would change.
"Let them talk," Klaus said, "it's no one's business. I will not confirm or deny any rumors." Deep inside, he felt it might be better if everyone just knew and let him get on with his life. After all, his men would still respect him. They respected Chief, and everyone knew about him and G. And Eroica -- to them he was an angel. They had their rumors anyway that Klaus was in the closet. So to them, it would be only a little surprising. Something else to blame on his breakdown. Didn't Klaus deserve to be happy? Wouldn't they prefer to see him at peace? Surely he would not be disgraced, for he had given NATO all the best years of his life. No, not the best years. The best were yet to come.
"You mean it?" asked the Earl, "You'd let them talk. You wouldn't insist you were straight, or at least, not in love with me?"
"In the past, I only insisted because I couldn't feel anything at all. There's no shame in what I feel for you. Maybe I should have some pang of conscience, but right now I am still reeling from the blast."
"Like a baby gasping for its first breath of air," Dorian said, reaching for him. "Fill your lungs, then shout it out: you love me. I'll never hear it enough."
"I love you," he said softly, not ready to shout it yet, "I love you. I love you." And they laughed together.
"Dorian, I swear to God I love you."
"God would not approve," Dorian teased him.
"Then if I must choose which love to honor, I have to say I choose you because you have never let me down. You are real. It's the only thing I'm sure of."
"I have shaken your faith to the core."
"No. It wasn't just you. It happened twenty years ago. It s been a slow decay since then, and when it all fell apart, only the strongest stones remained. Duty, honor, and you."
"You are the cornerstone from which I am building a new life."
"I didn't know you were such a poet, Darling.”
"Dorian, I am finding there are a lot of things about myself I never knew."
They laughed again.
Klaus was feeling reckless. If they weren't in a hospital, he just might have shouted out his love for Dorian. Instead, he just clutched him tight and buried his face in the warm rose-scented hair. He loved Dorian's hair.
"Klaus my love, I have no God to swear to, but upon my heart, I swear I love you. And the only thing that I hold holy I am holding in my arms.”
"Trying to out-poet me?" Klaus replied softly, a lump rising in his throat.
"Not at all. You just bring lyrics to my soul. "
It was time to tell Dorian about his decision. This moment was perfect.
"Dorian?" He sat up, smoothing the sunlight curls back from the moonlight face.
Dorian ran his hands over Klaus' chest. "Yes, my love?”
How could eyes be so blue? "I went to the library today." He paused. "I found some books about... you know... men like us."
"You mean 'sodomites'?"
Klaus felt fire rush to his face. "Please."
"Your word, Darling. Go on."
"Well, I just wanted to know what it is all about, what to do."
"Do? Do about what?"
Klaus stared down at the buttons on Dorian's pyjama shirt. "You know. Everything. How to act. How to... make love.”
Dorian took Klaus' hands in his. "You don’t need books for that. It's different for everyone, and when you're ready, we’ll just... play it by ear, so to speak."
Klaus still did not look up. If he did, he knew he'd lose his train of thought. "What I am trying to say is, I -- I am ready."
Dorian said nothing, just kept stroking Klaus' hands.
"I love you," said the Major. "I want to make you happy. In your arms, I know I will be all right. I trust you. I want to be your lover. Not just for you but for me too. I want to try again."
"When we make love, you too must feel the fire."
"What do you mean?" asked Klaus.
"I mean Desire. When your body aches for mine, then the time will be right. Until then, kisses are enough. There's no rush. I’m not going anywhere. I'll wait for you. I always have."
Klaus' heart swelled. Why couldn't a certain other part of his anatomy as well? He was desperately in love. Shouldn't that naturally lead to sexual desire? It did in books, in movies, even in operas. It scared him for the first time. Before, it had seemed like a blessing. Now it was an obstacle. The Devil still had him by the balls.
"I just don't want you to doubt my feelings," said Klaus.
Dorian kissed the Major's hands. "I don't. I've never doubted you. I never doubted your hate. I don't doubt your love. "
"Please," said Klaus, "don't ever mention my hate again. It was anger, that's all. Frustration. A little bit of terror."
"I hope you haven't lost your passionate temper," Dorian smiled. "I find it very sexy."
Except for the incident at the porno shop, Klaus hadn't been upset at all since their rescue, and even that had been so minor that it hadn't really even bothered him. "I haven't had the opportunity to find out yet."
"I've been floating on air myself," replied the Earl. "So sex is not so vital. Let's just enjoy our love as it comes. I want to savour every moment."
Klaus fixed him with a wicked gleam. "Savour this!" he said, and then kissed him open-mouthed, pressing Dorian back onto the pillows with the force of it.
Desire. A kiss from Dorian was always desired. He desired to crawl into bed beside him and sleep, warm and safe.
Dorian moaned and ran his hands roughly over Klaus' back. He was setting his Earl on fire. He had to do something. Things he'd learned earlier that day floated through his mind. He was already practically lying beside Dorian as he pressed him deep into the pillow with his kisses. Slowly, he began to slide his hand down Dorian's chest. The Earl groaned and arched up under his touch. Klaus continued the journey under the sheets, down the smooth, flat belly. Dorian groaned again. "No, Klaus," he gasped.
"Let me," the Major replied. "I want to."
Dorian closed his eyes and arched his head back. Klaus could see the pulse in Dorian's throat. He found the waistband of Dorian's silken pyjamas and ventured inside.
He was shocked and alarmed at the size of what he felt down there. Dorian's organ was hard and erect and Klaus stroked it with wonder.
"God," Dorian gasped. "Klaus."
Klaus felt inept. He didn't even have personal experience upon which to draw. Only words on a page. He felt wetness on the tip.
"Am I doing this right?"
Dorian breathed deep and heavy. "You're an angel."
The wetness made stroking easier.
"Tighter," Dorian panted. "Please."
Klaus tightened his fist and made steady up-and-down strokes. He was glad for any instructions Dorian would give.
"Yes," Dorian moaned. "Yes, yes, yes." He clutched Klaus' shirt in one hand and the bed sheets in the other.
Long, intense minutes ticked by. Klaus prayed no one would come in and ruin everything. He didn't want Dorian to suffer any longer.
"Ahh! Faster," Dorian gasped, seeming to rise from the mattress. "Godyessss!"
"Come on, Angel," Klaus murmured. "Come for me now."
Obediently, Dorian did, swallowing a cry of ecstasy. Klaus felt warm liquid run down his hand. He'd done it. He'd given Dorian pleasure. He felt powerful.
Dorian lay there panting, utterly still save for the heaving of his chest. Sweat made his pyjama top stick to his body and dampened the ringlets around his face. Klaus himself was perspiring. His arm ached and his hand tingled. But he felt terrific!
At last, Dorian stirred and opened his eyes. "Klaus..." he whispered, his eyes wide with surprise. "Thank you!"
"Do not thank me. I am your lover. It is my duty."
Dorian chuckled. "And what is my duty?"
"To let me."
"Aye-aye, sir," the Earl beamed.
Klaus went to wash his hands, then returned with a dampened washcloth. He found Dorian had already risen and stripped. "I'm going to need a shower," Dorian giggled.
Klaus threw the bed sheets around Dorian. "For Heaven's sake! The nurse will be back for the tray any minute now!"
But His Grace was in the mood to play. "Take a shower with me." He wrapped Klaus up in the sheets with him. "I want to see you wet and naked."
"Dorian, please!" He began to encarmine again. "This is a hospital! We must act with some decorum." Dorian's body was like a torch against him, but he didn't mind the heat.
"You didn't care about decorum a minute ago," Dorian teased.
"You shut up. I was just... It was just the heat of the moment."
"Heat of the moment? Did it turn you on?"
Klaus picked Dorian up around the waist and sat him down on the edge of the bed. "Maybe."
With a squeal of delight. Dorian grabbed the front of Klaus' waistband, and hauled the Major up close, wrapping his bare legs around Klaus' hips. He embraced Klaus tight. "What did you feel?"
"Lord Gloria!" Klaus freed himself from the incriminating embrace. "Behave yourself!"
"I can't help it. Darling. I love you."
"Yes, well, that's fine, but we needn't put on a public demonstration. I am still a very private person." Klaus straightened his suit.
Dorian just sighed dreamily. "'Maybe'..." he repeated. "What does 'maybe' mean?"
Klaus replied, "It means that I am not sure yet. Something's there, I don't know what you'd call it. You feel good to hold and touch and pleasure. I'll gladly hold and touch you anytime, just be discreet. If desire is joy, than you fill me with it. I am happiest when I'm with you."
"I can't believe you're saying this. I never thought I’d hear it. I never thought you were capable of words of love. Even poetry."
"I was not. I was alive, but not living. Not like this..." He couldn't explain.
"It's all right. The lonely nights at last are over.” Dorian stood up and stroked Klaus' face. "Nothing can hurt us now. No bad dreams, no past wrongs. Nothing. It's over. "
Klaus' heart soared. His sins had been forgiven. Total proof that here he had found his savior. He had risen from the dead and at last had found salvation.
"Go to sleep," he told Dorian. "Our journey starts tomorrow."
"I'll take a shower first. Come for me before breakfast. The breakfasts here are worse than the dinners."
Klaus kissed him chastely on the lips. "I will be here before sunrise."
Dorian fluttered his eyelashes. "The sun never rises until I see you, my Darling."
"Ach..." He took one parting look at Dorian’s beautiful body. "Mein Gott," he said, but he meant it.
Back at the hotel, the clerk had a message for him. It was the Chief, asking him to return the call at his convenience. Checking up on the basket-case, he thought to himself. He went to his room and called. Of course Chief had gone home already, so Klaus left a message.
"Major von Eberbach, sir. I got your message but am leaving Switzerland tomorrow for the United States. It is personal business." He felt he ought to say something about Eroica. "Eroica asks that his men not be notified." Hmm. That would sound fishy. "He is accompanying me on this. Er, that is, I am accompanying him..." He squirmed. "It is for both of us." He cringed. If that didn't give them away, then Chief had no business working for NATO Intelligence. "I will call back later."
He hung up. His heart was pounding in his throat. What would Chief think? What rumors would fly now? If anyone was going to find out, Klaus at least wanted to be the one to tell them. Lying was not in Klaus' nature. How could he deny his love? After all, Dorian was the most important thing in his life. It would be like Peter denying Christ. Klaus shook his head. He had to stop with the religious analogies. He was in enough trouble with God.
Sometimes he believed in God. Sometimes he knew that there couldn't possibly be a God, as wretched as the world was. Yet one had to believe in something. It was easier to believe the things he'd been raised to believe than to find his own truth. Yet it was all beyond belief anymore. If there was a God, he was damned already. So it didn't matter if he believed or not. A structured religion fit nicely with his structured life. But it wasn't truth anymore. That child who had wanted so badly to be holy was now one of the damned.
And then, maybe there was no God. Everyone had lied. Everyone except Dorian. There was truth. There he was not damned but blessed above all men, seated at the right hand of the God of the Sun. He was chosen. There was no structure to this religion. It disordered everything in his life. But it didn't matter. It was good.
He wanted to believe with his whole being, not just his mind and heart. Yet it was so hard to turn away from the first and deepest belief he'd ever learned. Because there just might be a Hell. And he was afraid. Who was he to rewrite an ancient doctrine that millions adhered to? Who was he to rewrite the Creator? The Judge? The Father?
Father! Klaus froze. In his newfound joy, he'd forgotten about his father. Father would disown him, disgrace him and forsake him. Klaus' agents would get over it, God might even forgive him, but Father never would.
Klaus sat alone on his bed and clutched himself. He wished he were with Dorian again. When he was with Dorian, there were no questions, no doubts. No thoughts at all except poetry and promises. He began to wonder about himself. Was he even the same man at all? He hadn't given a thought to returning to duty until the matter in Oklahoma was resolved. He hadn't lost his temper once, even at the pervert in the porno shop. He was willing to relinquish power to Dorian as far as the sexual part of their relationship went.
Yet some things remained the same. He didn't waver from decisions made. He never doubted his love for Dorian once he decided he did love him. When Klaus decided something, it was carved in stone as one of the Major's Great Truths. Only now Religion's stone had a huge crack in it.
He didn't feel weak or effeminate for choosing to be with Dorian. If Dorian had been a woman, he would still have been unable to love until the wall came down. Dorian was a person, not a body. A spirit. All in all, he really never chose to love Dorian. He simply loved. His only choice in the matter was how to handle it. Resistance was useless. Besides, he no longer wanted to resist. He no longer wanted to be lonely. Not when such joy and peace were his for the price of a few kisses. Of course, the personal cost might add up to much, much more, but he would face those obstacles as they arose. And as Dorian had said, "Nothing can hurt us now." Klaus believed in him.