AUTHOR’S NOTES: This fic is the result of an adopted plot bunny, some conversations on message boards and LJ, Lawrence’s remarks about the Prince of the Hamburg Nights in canon, and my own twisted imagination.

 

FORBIDDEN FRUIT

By Margaret Price

 

Chapter One

Touch Of The Flu

“I’m sorry I ruined the evening,” Dorian said weakly.

“Will you stop saying that. It’s not your fault you became ill,” Klaus replied, trying to keep the accusing edge from his voice.

They were in Dorian’s car heading back to Castle Gloria after a very curtailed evening out. The Major was in London for a conference and they had planned on a full night, only to have it cut short by Dorian becoming violently ill at dinner.

“I think I got some bad seafood.”

“I told you to listen to the waitress and steer clear of that Middle Eastern crap.”

“Which one? The one with the big tits? Or the one in the belly dancer’s outfit that you couldn’t kept your eyes of off?”

Klaus rolled his eyes. “You’re never gonna let that go, are you?”

“You said you liked belly dancers.”

“I was trying to piss you off!” Klaus retorted. “And you know I watch everything. Like the way you were looking at that candy-ass pretty boy who brought the wine.”

Before the argument could go any further, Dorian put a hand to his mouth. “Oh, God, Klaus, I think I’m gonna be sick again…”

Klaus threw a quick glance to the passenger seat and pulled off the road. At least this damned sports car is maneuverable. He barely came to a stop before Dorian had the door open and was heaving his guts out on the side of the road. After a few minutes, he leaned back into his seat, pulling the door closed.

“That is so undignified,” he groaned, closing his eyes. He was startled when Klaus put a hand to his forehead

“I think you may be running a fever,” Klaus said in a concerned voice. He turned back, pulling the car back onto the road. “We’re only about five minutes from the Castle. Just hang on.”

Dorian nodded and closed his eyes again.

Klaus drove up to the front of the Castle and then threw a concerned look at Dorian as he put the car in park. The Earl looked grey. “Stay put. I’ll get help.”

Within a few minutes, Dorian was being helped from the car and practically carried up to his bedroom, where he was assisted into a pair of silk pajamas and put to bed.

“Do you think we should send for a doctor, Major?” Bonham asked, worry clearly written all over his usually jovial face.

Klaus considered. As quickly as the Earl had become ill, it could just as easily be a case of food poisoning. “Is there anyone in this band of thieves that has medical training?”

“That would be Justin,” Bonham replied. He turned on his heel, crossing to the house phone. “I’ll have him sent up directly.”

Justin appeared in less than two minutes and spent another few minutes talking with the Earl, after which he came over to Bonham. “I don’t think it’s food poisoning. I think Lord Gloria has the flu,” he stated flatly.

Klaus scowled. “How do you figure that? His symptoms…”

“Didn’t appear as fast as you believe,” Justin broke in. “Lord Gloria wasn’t feeling too well earlier today. He didn’t want it to interfere with your evening, Major, since you’re only here for a few days.”

Klaus drew a deep breath, throwing a concerned look across the room.

Justin cleared his throat nervously. “It…might be best if you…avoided contact, sir. To limit your exposure.”

The Major’s eyes snapped back to the man’s face. “I’ve been inoculated against diseases as severe as small pox and cholera, and as minor as influenza,” he said sharply. He received a frightened, stricken look in reply and sighed heavily. “I appreciate your concern for my health,” he said calmly. “I’m not… used to this arrangement yet, either.”

Relief washed visibly over Justin’s face. When the Earl announced that he had finally managed to take the Major as a lover, the staff had been overjoyed and anxious. Naturally, James did not take the news very well, which was no great surprise to anyone. But when the order came to treat the officer in the same way as the Earl, things became…difficult. The Major still terrified the majority of the staff, and he didn’t exactly have the same temperament as the Earl, although he was attempting to at least be…civil.

Klaus crossed to the bedside, receiving a weak smile from Dorian. “You should’ve told me you weren’t feeling well earlier,” he admonished mildly as he sat down.

“I didn’t want to spoil things,” Dorian replied guiltily. “And then I go and get sick in the restaurant.” He closed his eyes. “I’m never going to be able to show my face in there again.”

Klaus’s eyes flickered. “At least the staff was…discreet.”

“I’ll bet you wish you never took up with me…”

Klaus sighed heavily but did not reply. It was best not to say anything when Dorian was like this. First jealousy, now he was feeling sorry for himself.

“I’m sorry, Klaus. I’ve—” Dorian put a hand to his mouth. “Oh, God, I’m gonna be sick again.” He threw off the bedclothes and dashed to the bathroom. He was followed by Justin, who patiently waited for him to finish before he was at his side to help him up. Dorian closed his eyes and moaned, stopping their progress. “No, let me stay down here a bit.” He felt his stomach rumble and put a hand to it. “Oh, God, I think it’s gonna start at the other end next.”

“I’ll stay right here with you, m’lord,” Justin said mildly.

Dorian gave a weak smile and leaned against Justin’s shoulder. This was not how he wanted to spend his time while Klaus was in town.

Klaus watched from the door a minute before going back to Bonham. “I have to get back to London,” he said quietly. “The conference is another three days, barring any delays. I’ll call when it’s over.” He held out a card. “Here’s the numbers for my hotel, the conference, and my cell phone. Call me if he gets worse.”

“Don’t worry, Major. We’ll take good care of ‘is lordship,” Bonham said, taking the card.

Klaus nodded. He might have had his doubts over any number of things concerning Eroica’s men, but in this, he had no doubt.

“Who can you spare to drive me back to my hotel?” he then asked.

* * *

 

Chapter Two

Suspicions

“I must admit, this is an unexpected honor, Lord Gloria.”

Dorian stood on the threshold of the Private Detective’s office a moment. He was relieved when he saw it was not the typical seedy type straight out of a Mickey Spillane novel. It was clean, bright, and organized, the desk a rather intriguing antique mahogany. “I must confess to finding this rather unexpected myself, Mr. Evans,” he said as he entered and took the chair being offered to him.

“You mentioned on the phone that you believe your partner is cheating on you,” Evans said conversationally as he took a seat behind the desk.

“Yes. I might just be imagining things, of course.”

Evans sat back in his seat. “Lord Gloria, let me be frank. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, if someone suspects something is going on, then it’s going on.” He paused, allowing this to sink in. “Now, if you could give me the particulars on the man I’m to check on? And a recent photograph if you have one.”

“First off, he’s NATO intelligence. He’ll know if he’s being followed,” Dorian said as he handed over a photograph.

Evans nodded. “And you came to me because I’m former SIS, am I right?”

“Well, who better to follow a spy than a spy?”

Evans’ eyes flickered. “This is his current location? Bonn, Germany?”

“Yes. He’s in London from time to time, but Bonn is home.”

“That will put the cost up a bit…”

“Money is no object,” Dorian stated flatly. “My accountant will have a heart attack when he sees I’ve hired you, but I don’t care. I want to know the truth.” That I’m being ridiculous, because there’s no way that Klaus would ever think to cheat on me. Would he?

“A handsome man.” Evans scowled, looking at the photo again. “He looks very familiar…”

“He’s a living piece of art, he’s so beautiful.” Dorian sighed longingly before saying in a serious tone, “Don’t let his looks fool you, Mr. Evans. They don’t call him Iron Klaus for nothing.”

Evans’ eyes widened. “Iron Klaus, of course! I thought I recognized him.” He looked up sharply a startled expression on his face. “That would make you Eroica. Well, this is going to be an interesting case.”

Dorian shifted in his seat. As much as he loved being the center of attention, this was not the kind he was going for.

“I’m not SIS anymore, Lord Gloria. Nor am I Interpol,” Evans said reassuringly. “They don’t pay as well.”

Dorian gave him a small smile, tossing his mop of blond curls over his shoulder. “Thank you, Mr. Evans. I’m sure everything that goes on here will be held in strict confidence.”

“Naturally.” Evans looked down at his notes. “I know just the person to start this investigation,” he said slowly. “And Iron Klaus won’t suspect a thing…”

Dorian gave a snort. “The man suspects everything, Mr. Evans.”

“Will he suspect a woman?”

“I beg your pardon?”

Evans grinned. “I’m sure Iron Klaus would suspect a man watching him, but will he suspect a beautiful woman? Even if he were to ask what she was doing, she would just reply that she was watching him because she thought he was handsome.”

“Women give him the creeps.”

“Then he’s even less likely to suspect her, isn’t he?”

Dorian thought this over and grudgingly agreed. The last person on earth Klaus would suspect would be a beautiful woman. Unless she tried to make further contact, of course, then he’d think she was KGB, which Dorian pointed out.

“You let me worry about the details, Lord Gloria,” Evans said as he got to his feet. He crossed to the door, holding out a hand. “Give me a few weeks. Then I’ll be in touch with the results.”

Dorian shook the man’s hand and left. He could not believe he had actually hired a private investigator to follow Klaus. Was it really just his vanity getting the better of him? It had taken years to get Klaus into his bed, and even that had been a struggle. For an atheist, the man had so many ridiculous moral objections. So long as he got pleasure from the act, what difference did it make if he slept with a man or a woman? Dorian had pointed out.

Now Dorian was wondering if he had awakened a sleeping giant. Now that he’d tasted the forbidden fruit, what if Klaus wanted more now than just him?

* * *

 

Chapter Three

The Results

Six weeks after his meeting with Mr. Evans, Dorian found himself back in the man’s office to find out the results of the investigation. It was perfect timing, as Klaus was due in town that very evening and Dorian planned to confront him.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” Dorian said as he sat down. The grave expression on the other man’s face was confirmation enough.

“Yes, you were.”

Dorian sat back in his chair. “Let’s have it, then.”

“Would you like a drink, first?”

Dorian’s eyes widened. “Am I going to need one?”

“Yes, I believe you are.”

“Oh, hell.”

After giving the Earl a gin and tonic, heavy on the gin, Evans pulled out a large accordion envelope. “You were right about Iron Klaus being cautious. My operative was able to follow him, but wasn’t able to get anything beyond some photographs at first.” He pulled out an audiocassette and put it into a tape deck. “She was able to get some excellent audio, however…”

Dorian’s eyes widened as he heard the Major’s voice on the tape. He was talking to a woman! Klaus and a woman! God, it’s worse than I thought.

*

“That was the most boring meeting I’ve ever been to,” the woman sighed. “I’m so glad you decided to leave early.”

“Just the same crap as every other meeting,” Klaus replied. Then his voice changed. “What are you doing?”

“I’m getting undressed, silly.”

“Don’t bother. Just take off your pantyhose.”

 “Ooo, you are an impatient one, aren’t you?” the woman cooed. This was followed by the rustle of clothing and then the creak of a mattress. “And you have a condom! How very foresighted of you.”

Klaus responded with a grunt.

“Here, let me do that.”

The response to this was a low groan from Klaus. Then the mattress was creaking again. What followed was the woman making the unmistakable noises of someone being banged into the mattress.

“Harder! Harder! Oh, you’re so good!” she squealed. “Yes, yes!”

The woman turned out to be a screamer, and gave a shriek as she climaxed.

*

When Evans stopped the tape, Dorian returned to reality. “A…woman…” he said in a small voice. “He’s seeing…a woman?”

Evans cleared his throat. “Apparently, that was just a one night stand, Lord Gloria.”

“What?” Dorian felt all the blood drain from his face. “There are more?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“How many?” Dorian waved a hand in the air. “Never mind, don’t tell me.” He drew a deep breath. “Would several cover it?”

“Yes.”

“I take it there’s more?”

Evans nodded. “My operative recorded several such…encounters. Then she was spotted and gave the answer I told you she would.”

“After what I just heard, I doubt she gave him the creeps,” Dorian remarked.

Evans cleared his throat. “No. He propositioned her.”

Dorian’s eyes grew wide. “What?”

“I don’t encourage this in my people,” Evan said as he pulled out a videotape. “They’re only supposed to act as decoys. But she…agreed.” He hit the play button. “The camera is in her purse.”

*

 

The location of the camera became obvious when a hand reached in to switch it on and adjust the angle. Then the purse was left open facing the bed.

“I have a condom, if you need one,” the woman said.

“You always carry condoms in your purse?” Klaus replied.

“Not all men come prepared. And I don’t like taking chances.”

Klaus gave an approving nod as he opened his trousers and pulled them down. Then he sat down on the bed. “We don’t need it for what I want.”

The woman’s face was obscured from the camera by the purse. Whatever her reaction, she did not object verbally. She climbed onto the bed, kneeling beside Klaus, who laid back. She did not waste any time, taking his erection into her mouth and sucking for all she was worth. Klaus responded with a low moan, a hand reaching up to tangle in her hair.

The woman had obviously done this before. She slowed her progress, pulling gasps from Klaus, who arched his back and thrust up into her mouth. The encounter lasted for several minutes before he finally climaxed with a loud groan. The woman milked every last drop from him before finally sitting up, a triumphant look on her face.

*

Dorian sat staring into space as the tape was paused. God, women! I’m being replaced by…women!

Evans drew a deep breath. “One of my other operatives discovered that the Major has a favorite club that he frequents in Bonn.”

Dorian’s eyebrows went up. “Does he indeed?”

“It’s run by a woman who has several dozen aliases. I’m sure if I dug deeper I could find her real name. She currently goes by the name of Little Sheba.”

Oh, God, it’s worse than I thought. “You’re joking?”

Evans shook his head. “She’s an exotic dancer.”

“Klaus is seeing a striper?”

“Actually, she’s a belly dancer.”

Dorian’s eyes nearly fell out of his head, his mind flashing back to the belly dancer Klaus had been so interested in in Alexandra. Fuck, I knew there was something to that.

“Little Sheba’s…er, club caters to like minded people, if you get my meaning. She is a procurer of other…partners upon request. Fortunately, she’s not averse to secretly videotaping her clients,” Evans was saying. “For a fee, of course.”

Dorian took a gulp of his drink as the videotape started to play again. When he saw and heard Little Sheba, it became obvious that her origins were nowhere near the Middle East. More like Middlesex, judging from her accent.

*

“I thought I heard you were in town again, Major,” Little Sheba said as she entered the bedroom on the screen.

“Just got back,” the Major replied. He was already pulling his tie off, having tossed his jacket on a chair.

“And what can Little Sheba do for you tonight?”

“You can lie down and top talking,” Klaus said succinctly as he stepped out of his trousers.

“Oh, Major, you know how turned on I get when you’re forceful,” the woman cooed as she pulled off her underwear and got onto the bed, still in her costume.

Klaus put on a condom and then climbed onto the bed, pushing her spread legs further apart. He reached down, placed his erection into position, and then gave a sharp thrust.

Little Sheba gave a sharp gasp, her back arching as the man’s cock entered her body. Then the top of her costume was pushed up, exposing her breasts. Klaus leaned down and started to suckle on one, while fondling the other. Then he began a steady rhythm of thrusts and Sheba moved her hips to match him, her breathing growing faster at the same time.

“Harder! Oh, please, harder!”

This was all that was needed to spur Klaus on. He thrust harder into the woman, causing her to writhe beneath him, her legs kicking into the air. This went on for several minutes before the woman climaxed. She let out a loud moan, her back arching. She wrapped her legs around Klaus’s waist as he continued to thrust into her, causing a second orgasm, and then a third before he finally came himself with a loud moan of satisfaction.

Klaus rolled off the woman and onto the bed where he lit a cigarette. Sheba smiled and rolled over, laying her head onto his chest. “You’re the best, Major,” she sighed.

*

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Klauswich is totally the Reverand’s fault, even if it isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

Chapter Four

More Video Evidence

Dorian jumped when Evans paused the tape again. By this time, he was fighting back the tears as he turned a questioning look at the detective.

Evans drew a deep breath. “You…might want to prepare yourself for this part…

Dorian finished what was left of his drink and then took hold of the arms of the chair. What could be worse than Klaus with a woman? A long succession of women, come to that? God, what did I do? Is he trying to prove he’s really straight. Dorian blinked. Shit, what if he really is straight and I just…woke that up?

 

*

The bedroom from before appeared on screen. Little Sheba seemed to be making some last minute preparations, fluffing pillows and such. A moment later, Klaus entered, tossing his jacket onto the chair again. “Did you arrange it?” he asked as he pulled off his tie.

“Of course, Major. Little Sheba can perform miracles.”

Klaus gave a derisive snort. “So long as your  price is met.”

“You know me so well, Major,” Sheba purred. “That’s why I like doing business with you. You don’t get all caught up in emotions.”

Klaus replied with another snort. As he was unbuttoning his shirt, a very handsome young man entered, followed by a very well-endowed blond woman who was wearing a gauzy peignoir and nothing else.

“Major, this is Eric and Magda,” Sheba said, holding out a hand.

Klaus acknowledged the pair with a nod and finished undressing. Magda looked the Major up and down, smiling approvingly before she took her place on the bed. She pulled open the peignoir and spread her legs evocatively.

Klaus put on a condom, pausing long enough to make sure that Eric did the same. Then he climbed up onto the bed between the woman’s spread legs. This time he did not thrust into her right way. He cupped her ample breasts in his hands, fondling them gently. Then he leaned down to suckle her nipples, causing her to throw her head back and moan with pleasure, her back arching at the same time

Eric came up behind the Major’s bare ass and put one hand on his hip, sliding a slick finger into him. Klaus responded with a gasp, his head jerking back. He seemed to have to struggle to concentrate on fondling Magda’s breasts as Eric probed into him, a second finger soon joining the first.

After a few minutes, Klaus moved forward, thrusting his cock into Magda while still suckling her breasts. She responded with a loud moan, her hips moving in time with his steady thrusts.

Then Eric removed his fingers from the Major’s ass, going on to thrust his cock into him. Klaus drew a sharp breath, and shuddered as the man started to slide in and out of him. Then he was thrusting forward into Magda, and pulling back onto Eric’s cock, burying it deeper inside himself. It looked as though Klaus was going mad from the sensations. His breathing turned into ragged gasps as he continued the steady rhythm, forward and back.

“Gott, das ist so gut!” Klaus exclaimed, as the speed of the other man’s thrusts grew faster, harder, deeper.

Eric shifted position slightly and gave a sharp thrust. He smiled when Klaus gave a sharp cry and shuddered, throwing his head back in ecstasy. Then the frenzy of movement increased in speed.

Just as with Sheba, Magda climaxed multiple times, growing louder each time. She thrashed beneath Klaus as he continued to pound into her, triggering orgasm after orgasm.

Finally, Klaus could hold back no longer and came himself, giving a final thrust into the moaning woman.

Eric held out much longer, and continued to pound into Klaus’s body, much to his apparent enjoyment. Then he finally came, and the threesome remained locked together for a minute as they caught their collective breath.

Then the scene went black and the tape paused.

*

“There’s more,” Evans said, “but it’s hardly necessary, is it?”

“No, I… Keep going,” Dorian said in as firm a voice as he could manage.

Evans blinked. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. I want to see it all.”

“As you wish.” Evans started the tape again.

*

What followed was an escalation of erotic behavior. The threesome returned to the room where Eric and Klaus penetrated Magda together. She wrapped one leg around Klaus’s waist while Eric held the other leg high in the air. Then Klaus thrust into her inviting pussy, to be followed by Eric, who worked at her firm ass. She writhed and moaned beneath the pair as they got into a steady rhythm of thrusts and proceeded to pounded into her in unison. Within a minute she was begging for more. Harder, faster. Finally she climaxed with a scream of delight, her back arching like a bow. The men continued as long as they could, causing her to writhe all the more, and triggering multiple orgasms again. On what turned out to be her last one, she actually passed out.


*

In the next session, another man entered. Dorian had lost track of names at this point. The large man might as well have been called Red, his hair was so striking. This scenario was even more of a shock. Klaus laid down on the bed, spreading his legs for Eric, who began a slow rhythm of thrusts. Then Magda knelt on the bed, sucking Klaus’s straining cock for all she was worth. Finally, Red got on the bed, and Klaus took hold of his cock and started sucking and licking it. All the while, he was making the most incredible groans of ecstasy. A few times, it seemed all he could do to keep his concentration on the cock in his mouth as the other two took their pleasure from him.

*

The foursome changed positions again for the next session. Red knelt on the bed and held onto the headboard. Klaus came up behind him and was thrusting into him for all he was worth. Eric took up position behind Klaus doing the same thing to him. Once this action was underway, Magda slid in front of Red and started to suck him off. By the time the foursome were finished, they were all aglow with pleasure, and gasping for breath.

This turned out to be the last portion of the tape. From the date stamp, it had taken place only three days earlier.

*

I’ve created a sex addict, Dorian thought. At this rate, he’ll be hosting full-blown orgies at the Schloss next! He wasn’t sure if he should be angry or proud. Klaus had fought for so long, and now he’d turned into this…this…

Dorian shook his head. When he realized it was all he could do not to burst into tears, he decided he was going to be angry. I wait all those years for you, Klaus, only to find you throwing yourself at women! Strange men and…and…women!

“I’m sorry, Lord Gloria,” Evans said, placing the tapes back into the envelope. “As I said, ninety-nine times out of a hundred.” He got to his feet, going slowly to the door. He pulled it open, holding out the envelope as he did so. “There are some still photos in here, but I doubt you’ll need them.”

Dorian shook his head, taking the envelope and then shaking the man’s hand. “No, this will be quite enough. Thank you for you help, Mr. Evans. Please send your final bill to my accountant. I’ll make sure he pays it.”

Evans gave a small smile. “Thank you, Lord Gloria. And…good luck.”

Dorian gave a smile of irony as he left the office. Good luck. Isn’t that my line?

* * *

 

Chapter Five

Confrontation

 

Dorian wasn’t sure what he was going to say when Klaus arrived. He knew he would have to confront him, but wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. This was unfamiliar territory. He was the Earl of Gloria! He wasn’t the one people threw over. He did it to them!

He decided to use the tape, since there was no way Klaus could deny it, not that he really expected him to try. When he heard the Major’s car pull up, Dorian popped the tape into the VCR and hit play. Then he sat down, folded his arms, and waited.

“Dorian, what are you doing in the library?” Klaus asked as he strode into the room. “You said you’d be waiting…out…front…” His words trailed off as his eyes locked on the television screen. “Fuck.”

“Yes, you seem to be doing a lot of that lately,” Dorian said coldly as he got to his feet. “Care to explain?”

“Explain what?” Klaus replied. “It’s rather obvious what’s… Christ, how did I do that without hurting myself?” The look in his eyes was one of pride rather than guilt, causing Dorian to slap the off button. Then his expression was immediately crestfallen. “Why’d you do that?”

“Why?” Dorian was incredulous. “Klaus, I thought you and I were…well, a couple.”

Klaus’s eyebrows went up. “Really? You mean you actually expected me to be monogamous?”

“Yes! What did you think I would expect?”

Klaus shrugged. “You weren’t celibate while you were chasing me all those years, were you?”

“No, but—”

“Then why should I expect you to stay faithful to me now?” Klaus pointed out logically.

Dorian blinked. “I rather assumed that…with your upbringing, it was a given that you’d be faithful to me, Klaus.”

“Ah. Well, that was your mistake,” Klaus said dismissively. “Thanks to you, I’m finding out what I’ve been missing.”

Dorian’s mouth dropped open. He couldn’t believe these words were coming from his beloved Major. How could he just turn his back on him after all he’d been through to get him? “So, where does that leave me?”

Klaus gave another shrug. “By the way, women aren’t as bad as I thought.”

“Klaus, they used to give you the creeps!”

“So did you,” Klaus countered. “You’re the one who said so long as I got pleasure, it made no difference if I slept with a man or a woman”

“That’s not what I meant!”

“Really? You should try it sometime.”

Dorian shuddered. “I feel ill.”

“Not again.”

“Sure, fine! After all I’ve been through for you, now I learn that you’re a slut, Major!

Klaus heaved a heavy sigh, rolling his eyes. “If you’re gonna get all emotional about it, Dorian…”

“Emotional! Damn right I’m gonna get bloody emotional,” Dorian thundered back. “No one throws me over!”

Klaus’s eyebrows went up. “Oh, so that’s it! It’s just your bloody ego that can’t take it. This has nothing to do with me at all, shallow wanker.” He waved a hand in the air. “That’s your problem. You’ve wasted all your time on pretty boys who don’t know any better.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Klaus gave him a piercing look. “You’re not that good.”

Dorian’s mouth dropped open. “Bastard!” He punctuated this by slapping him across the face.

Klaus touched a hand to his face, turned on his heel, and started toward the door. “Have a nice life, Eroica.”

“Don’t you dare walk out on me!” Dorian strode after him, grabbing the man by the coat, and spinning him around.

“Let go of my coat, Dorian. I don’t want to hurt you.”

Dorian gave a bitter laugh. “It’s way too late for that, Klaus.”

“Fine.” Klaus pulled the Earl’s hands from his coat only to have him reach in and pull his gun from its holster. “What are you gonna do with that?” he said dismissively.

“Condescending bastard. I should put a bullet through your fucking heart,” Dorian growled. He pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He tried again, and again with the same result.

Klaus sighed heavily, rolling his eyes. “You idiot, you’re trying to shoot me with a gun that has the safety on.” He held his hand out. “Give me that back before you hurt yourself.”

“No!” Dorian moaned. “I’m gonna kill you, you lying, cheating bastard!” He flipped the safety catch and pulled the trigger.

What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. The bullet slammed into Klaus’s body, knocking him off his feet and sending him flying. He landed several feet away, sprawled on the carpet, an enormous hole in his chest. A pool of blood started to form almost immediately.

Dorian stood staring, not quite believing what he had done. Servants came out of the woodwork and stood in a horrified silence as they took in the scene. Finally, after the gun fell from Dorian’s hand, Bonham ventured close. “M’lord?”

Dorian gave him a vacant look, and then fainted dead away.

* * *

 

Dorian became aware of soft beeping sounds somewhere in the room. It was a steady, almost soothing sound. He moaned and turned over in bed, only to discover that he was very weak.

“Dorian…?”

“Mmm?” Dorian struggled to open his eyes. When he did, he felt dizzy and closed them again. He swallowed hard, a hand going to his spinning head. “Am I dead?”

A laugh. “No. You’re in the hospital. You collapsed.”

“Hospital…?” Dorian was trying to make sense of it all. “Not jail?”

“Why would you be in jail? Aside from the obvious, of course.”

Dorian suddenly realized to whom he was speaking and his eyes snapped open. He turned to look at the man in astonishment. “Klaus!”

Klaus gave a small smile. He was sitting at the bedside, looking remarkably unscathed. “Feeling better?”

Dorian put a hand to his head again. “I…I shot you.”

Klaus’s eyebrows went up and he looked down at himself in amusement. “You’re still a lousy shot, then.”

“I don’t…” Dorian closed his eyes. “God, my head is spinning.”

“You collapsed,” Klaus repeated. “Apparently, you were right about getting some bad seafood, and Justin was right about influenza. You had food poisoning on top of the flu. You ended up getting extremely dehydrated and then you spiked a dangerously high temperature.”

“How long have I been here?”

“Two days,” came the startling reply. “You were delirious for a bit.” Klaus gave a small smile. “Who, may I ask, is Evans?”

Dorian blinked. “Evans?”

“You kept repeating that Evans would find the truth. Then you would know for sure. Know what for sure?”

“Oh, Klaus…” Dorian closed his eyes. “I had the most…bizarre dream about you.”

“Me?”

“You…” Dorian sighed heavily. “You were gonna leave me.”

Klaus’s eyes widened. “I was?”

“For…women.”

Klaus’s eyes widened further. It was all he could do not to burst out laughing. “You really were delirious.” He noticed Dorian licking his parched lips and reached over, picking up a glass of water from the table and holding it out, putting the straw to his mouth.

Dorian observed this automatic gesture and felt a pang of guilt. How could I ever think this man would want to leave me? He took a sip of the water, and smiled gratefully. “Thank you.”

Klaus nodded, and then leaned on the railing of the hospital bed, his eyes bright. “Now, I want to hear all about this. How did I get to the point where I was I gonna leave you for women? Is that why you shot me?” He seemed to find the whole idea genuinely amusing, much to Dorian’s relief.

Dorian gave him a self-conscious smile. “Oh, Klaus. If I tell you the details, you’ll just laugh at me.”

“You’re probably right.”

Dorian smiled briefly. “The gist of it is…you said that…you didn’t think I’d be faithful only to you,” he said mildly. “So, you figured that you didn’t have to be faithful to me.”

Klaus’s eyes narrowed. “Do you really believe that?”

“No! I always assumed that… that… When you and I got together, that would be it.”

“No more pretty boys?”

Dorian closed his eyes and wondered if he should have broached this subject sooner. When the relationship began, for instance. What if Klaus really did believe he would have to share his affections with a never-ending parade of pretty boys?

“No more pretty boys, Klaus. Just you. Only you.”

Klaus got to his feet and leaned over the bed, kissing Dorian very tenderly on the mouth. “I never doubted it for a second.”

— END —

 

 

 

Eroica