The Devil He Knew
Dorian sat in the windowseat, his knees drawn up to his chest and his arms around them, and gazed out the window at the Alps. He had never had his chalet all to himself before, never having been a lone wolf, and he was surprised at how restful it was not to have to look after his team for a few days. Of course, who knew what they’d get up to without his supervision, but he’d whip them back into line when he got back, literally if necessary. For now, he needed to get away. They wouldn’t stop pestering him to steal something, and he hadn’t felt like it in nearly a month.
Not since he had been ordered at gunpoint to rape the Major.
Dorian never did learn the names of any of them. They spoke to each other in Arabic, switching to heavily accented English only when they were telling him what they wanted him to do.
The Major was already tied down when they brought Dorian in, his clothes shredded. Dorian had averted his eyes, but not before seeing the trickle of blood on the back of the Major’s neck. He started worrying; Klaus would have to be pretty badly hurt for them to bring him down.
“You! English!” the apparent leader had said, waving a gun at Dorian. He looked at the man, his eyes wide. Then the leader had told him what he was to do, in the crudest possible words.
Meanwhile his beloved Major was lying on that table, strapped down, half naked, injured, defenseless.
It was almost dinnertime, but Dorian wasn’t hungry. The episode had taken its toll on his appetite. And on his sleep; he tossed and turned, and kept waking up in the middle of the night. Oh, he wasn’t having a nervous breakdown; he got enough sleep to function, and ate enough to sustain himself. But he wasn’t his normal self.
Who would be?
“Unless you want to see us do it to him, English,” the terrorist had offered, with a grin that revealed that dentistry was one of the things about the West he didn’t approve of.
His stomach churning, Dorian had reluctantly approached Klaus. “Major… if they do this, they’ll tear you apart. I… I won’t hurt you.”
“You sure as hell won’t.”
Dorian started, more at the tone than at the words. Klaus didn’t sound panicked or afraid, only angry. It was the same tone in which he’d exchanged unpleasantries with Mischa once, while Mischa’s goons held him against the wall, before Mischa had beaten up the defenseless German.
“Because you’re not going to do this. Keep your trousers zipped, Dieb.”
A month later, remembering – the incident wouldn’t stop replaying itself in his mind – Dorian felt the same jumble of conflicting emotions. Relief, first of all, at being given permission to refuse to following the revolting order the terrorist had given him. Then fear and anger, at what these brutes had in mind for his beautiful, chaste Major, whose initiation he had so carefully and lovingly planned. And then, unexpectedly, that insidious little sting as he thought, My Major would rather be gang-raped by these animals than have me do it to him?
Dorian shook his head at himself. Klaus had gone through something horrible. What place did his hurt feelings have in this? None at all, and yet, there they were. Not that he was sorry he hadn’t raped the Major at gunpoint. It was just the thought that the Major found him that loathsome. He shriveled inside.
”They’ll tear you apart!” Dorian had protested again. “At least I won’t hurt you!” But Klaus had been adamant. Dorian was not to touch him.
Feeling sick, Dorian had obeyed. And closed his eyes while the terrorists’ leader had undone his own pants, while one of the others kept a gun pointed at Dorian.
Dorian didn’t watch. He bowed his head and squeezed his eyes shut. But he couldn’t help hearing. Perhaps it was a mercy that he didn’t understand what the bastards were saying to each other, though their laughing tone needed no translation. Neither did the occasional grunts and cries of pain that even Iron Klaus couldn’t stifle.
Judging from the sounds, the third terrorist was taking his turn when the hands of Dorian’s guard started to wander. Dorian’s only response was to stand rigid as the Major at attention and grit his teeth. There wasn’t any way to fight.
His eyes flew open when there was a loud bang. The heavy bolt on the door burst into pieces, sending a shower of splinters around before the door was thrown open and a dozen heavily armed and wrathful alphabets charged through.
The head of the terrorist who was on the Major almost exploded as A put several bullets into it. Other shots rang out, and over them, the Major’s voice yelling in German. “Take them alive! We need them for questioning!”
‘Just like my dear Major to think of that at a time like this,’ Dorian thought, before emptying his stomach onto the floor.
Miles away and safe, Dorian continued his glum contemplation of the breathtaking landscape. After an ordeal like that, any interest his Major had ever had in sex, especially with men, would probably have been destroyed. And who knew about the extent of his injuries?
Dorian had always known, in theory, about the kind of risks the Major ran in his profession. But this time he had been a witness, and he had discovered that he had never really believed it was as bad as it was.
A car appeared on the winding road. Dorian watched without much interest, even though passerby were rare; the chalet was fairly remote. He didn’t pay it much attention until it turned into his driveway. A black Mercedes.
Dorian stared until the sedan parked. Sure enough, the Major got out. Spurred to action, Dorian jumped up and hurried to the door. He hadn’t seen the Major since… since.
Dorian opened the door before the Major reached it. The Major didn’t seem too surprised. He entered without greeting him. He seemed normal, except for circles under his eyes, which was a relief. He didn’t even seem irate, unusually enough.
Dorian closed the door, folded his arms, and faced the man he loved. Best to get this over with. “Major. You have to understand I didn’t want you that way, never in a million years. I never planned to force myself on you. I wanted you to choose me. The only reason I was going to cooperate is that I didn’t want them to hurt you. I wasn’t taking advantage of that loathsome opportunity. I hated the thought of – what they wanted me to do. I swear it.”
The Major was looking at him as if he’d lost his mind. “Of course. I knew that.”
This reception left Dorian at a bit of a loose end. “Oh.” He let his arms relax and abruptly remembered his manners. “Er, would you like a drink?”
Klaus nodded and they went into the living room. Klaus sat down while Dorian poured two whiskeys. They each took a token sip before Klaus spoke.
“You don’t understand why I told you not to do what they wanted, do you?”
“No,” Dorian answered quietly.
The Major frowned, clearly embarrassed. His words sounded rehearsed. “I can handle pain, you know. I do it all the time.”
Dorian spoke up. He wasn’t sure he ought to interrupt this, but he had to know. “Major, are you… um… all right?”
“Ehm. I will have to, ehm, see a doctor for a while. I have some… damage. But he tells me it will be all right in time. And I did not contract any diseases.” The Major’s voice was flat, as if he were trying to conquer his embarrassment by forcing himself to speak through it.
“Thank God.” Dorian wanted to ask if he was in pain, but he didn’t dare to push it; he hadn’t expected to be told this much.
The Major swallowed a bit of whiskey and squared his shoulders. “As I was saying. I can take pain. And in the circumstances, there was no way for me to escape being raped.” His voice still had that peculiar flatness. Saying these things had to be a fresh ordeal for the repressed German. “But I did not wish to be raped by you, when we both always expected that,” he came to a full stop, mustered his strength, and continued, “that our first time would be wonderful.”
“Our….” Dorian stared.
Klaus set his glass down and pulled out a cigarette. He kept his eyes on his hands as he lit it, as if it were a complicated operation requiring close concentration. “I know that you do not understand why it is so difficult for me to allow anyone to get close to me.” He sounded rehearsed, again. With sudden compassion, Dorian realized that Klaus had had to plan out what he was going to say and practice it.
“I understand better than you think,” he said carefully, and received a skeptical look in reply.
“Still, I knew that eventually you would win. I simply have not been,” he inhaled more smoke, “equal to facing it yet.”
Dorian felt a bit dizzy, even though he’d hardly touched his whiskey. “Oh, Major. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I couldn’t. You wouldn’t understand.”
“Maybe I would. But I still don’t understand – what those bastards did to you, when I could have at least spared you the-“
“Because I didn’t want to have to remember you raping me!” Klaus retorted, clearly exasperated. “How long would it have been before we felt right with each other? How could we have,” he cleared his throat, “enjoyed it, if we had that in our thoughts?” He took a drink. “And don’t you understand why those sickos wanted you to do it? They might not have known how I feel about you,” Klaus’s voice was dry and detached, as if he were discussing car engines, “but they knew you were at least an ally. They wanted to mess with my head. I wasn’t going to let them fuck us up that way just to get out of a little pain. Besides, considering that you were at gunpoint, technically it would have been rape for you too.”
Through tears, Dorian boggled at the man he loved but never understood at all. “Major, are you saying that you were protecting me?”
Klaus looked impatient. “Of course I was.”
Dorian shook his head, trying to blink the tears away. “Oh, Major. You pigheaded lunatic.”
The Major wasn’t finished. He finished his whiskey and recited another prepared speech with an air of taking the bull by the horns. “Lord Gloria- Dorian, I meant it when I said this was difficult for me. In addition, I do not know how long it will be before I am fully healed. It might be quite a while before I am able to….” But Klaus couldn’t force the words out of himself. Small wonder; he had probably displayed more of his emotions in the last ten minutes than in his entire life.
“That’s all right,” Dorian whispered. “I’ve waited this long.” Now that he knew there was something to wait for, he could wait for years if he had to. He found himself smiling and tried to make his expression more composed. “You’ll stay here, won’t you? We can have dinner in a bit and, oh, talk or play chess or something. You can rely on me to behave like a perfect gentleman,” he added.
Klaus surprised him by smiling back. “I know that.”