~20~

Dorian could not decide whether to be delighted at seeing the strapping Major, or dismayed at the temptation before him, or afraid that the machine maniac would blow his cover.

Evidently that last thought was also going through Klaus’ mind. Dorian wished he could believe the first two were as well.

But they were in accord sufficiently to cover the minute they had spent gawking at each other by holding their arms out to each other and then — oh, God — embrace in the Middle Eastern fashion, both exclaiming, "Allah akbar!!!"

Dorian was too distracted by the warm solidity of Klaus against him to speak. It was Klaus’ low, faintly accented voice that spoke.

"Long time no see, my friend. How are you?"

Klaus had called him "friend". For a moment, Dorian allowed himself to believe he had meant it.

"Can't believe we bumped into each other here," Dorian murmured, noticing that Klaus’ eyes seemed even greener in the desert. "It's just like a dream."

A dream which would have been made complete by the sudden hard pressure against Dorian’s hip, if only that pressure hadn’t been Klaus’ Magnum.

"Don't speak, my lord," the Major said in a dangerous purr as he raised the gun to point at Dorian’s stomach. Dorian shivered, and not only from fear. "If you say anything unnecessary, you'll be ventilated."

Dorian could not quite hide his smile of delight. The wire rope never did fail to meet his expectations. A worthy adversary. The blood began to beat in Dorian’s temples. In a trice, his nimble fingers had produced his knife. The point was at Klaus’ Adam’s apple before the Major knew it.

"Keep quiet yourself, Major," he replied coolly. Two could play the quietly threatening game. "It serves us both to keep our mouths peacefully shut."

Klaus’ hard eyes had a glint of something that might have been grudging respect. In unison, the two of them slowly lowered and sheathed their weapons.

"That's fine, then." Klaus tried to step back. But Dorian had other ideas.

"Wait, Major." Dorian confined the Major in a firm embrace. To escape, the Major would have had to engage in an unseemly struggle which would have blown their little game. This was too good an opportunity to miss. Klaus couldn’t escape without giving them away, and with so many observers, Dorian could steal a few kisses without worrying that Klaus might give in and break Dorian’s vows. Slender worry as that was.

Dorian wound one arm around the Major’s shoulders and dared to bring his other hand up to the side of Klaus’ face. "Don't you think we should fool the audience a little more?" he asked breathily, leaning close.

Raw panic promptly flashed in those vivid green eyes. "This is enough!" Klaus said through clenched teeth. "What more are you—"

Dorian answered by kissing Klaus’ cheek, allowing himself time to relish the slight stubble beneath his lips.

"You…." Klaus bit off the single word.

Dorian smiled and whispered, "Duusteh mane.…" Klaus had called him "my friend". Dorian could do the same.

Klaus was standing rigidly, his eyes scanning the horizon frantically as if for rescue, his body frozen still, his arms held stiffly at his sides. "What...!" he said through gritted teeth.

"Even Carter and Brezhnev hugged and kissed each other," Dorian cooed.

"Don't equate me with a Yank and a polar bear!" Klaus’ voice was strangled. A drop of sweat trickled down the side of his glaring face.

Dorian’s lids lowered with mischief. "Then what about Prime Minister Schmidt of West Germany and—"

Predictably, the Major decided to see this as an insult. Then again, he was probably desperate for any excuse to get angry; Dorian could feel him shaking under the thick striped robe. "Are you insulting my nation?" Klaus demanded. "Cut it out!"

Dorian quickly pulled him close for another hug. "They'll get suspicious if you look so tense, Major," he admonished softly, closing his eyes. Klaus smelled of shaving soap and expensive tobacco. It was a frankly masculine scent. Dorian was going to faint, he was sure of it. How could he do otherwise, holding six feet and two inches of deadly German muscle and iron shivering faintly with impending violence in his arms? Good God, this was no awed boy who could be given a few kisses and dismissed. If Klaus had wanted him, Dorian’s vows wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Klaus was sweating profusely now, and his eyes were wide and alarmed. He looked far more afraid than he had with the blade of Dorian’s knife at his throat. "GOD DAMMIT...!"

Daring to kiss the wonderful firm line of Klaus’ jaw, Dorian wondered if Klaus was shaking from revulsion, or from restraining a desire to strangle Dorian on the spot, or from the electric current Dorian felt going all through his body into Klaus’ and back again.

An unwelcome voice intruded. "Eh, excuse me." Dorian looked up from Klaus’ embrace, blinking, feeling a bit dazed. "Could you finish up soon? There're people waiting," he asked deferentially.

Dorian was a bit embarrassed, but not half so much as Klaus was. He gave the Major an adoring look. "I guess I forgot my surroundings in the joy of seeing an old friend.…"

"It was a fun sight," the guard said, and Dorian bit his tongue not to laugh at the deep red flush that spread over Klaus’ handsome face. "Really dynamic, but your wife's been crying all this time."

Dorian looked quickly to James, who was indeed wailing with all his might, while his other men tried to soothe him.

He released Klaus with a great deal of reluctance and they moved on through the checkpoint with their respective teams. Once they were out of the guards’ earshot — far enough away that they could no longer hear the guards’ enthusiastic discussion of their performance — Dorian gave Klaus his most alluring sidelong glance. "Now that you've safely entered Iran, where are you heading, Major?"

Klaus’ mouth was compressed in a tiny line. "I don't have to answer your questions!" he snapped.

Dorian looked at the Major. He was beautiful enough with his normal cool, almost bored, insolent expression. With his emerald eyes hard and gleaming with anger, he was downright stunning.

"Then we'll part here," Dorian said softly. "I won't be pretentious and say ‘Oh, finally we've met and now we part again’... but take care!"

Perhaps Klaus doubted the sincerity of Dorian’s earnestly meant good wishes, because he replied in characteristic fashion. "Don't ever show up again, you frigging queer son-of-a-bitch!" Turning to his trembling alphabets, he barked, "Let's go!"

Dorian sighed as he watched the impossible man ride away. "No matter where he goes, the Major's always so very like that," he murmured to himself.

 

 

Snippets

Eroica