Chapter Ten
All Good Things…

"When do you have to be back in Bonn?"

Dorian had dreaded asking the question, as it meant the end of the experiment, and possibly the end of this glorious dream.

"Tomorrow morning," Klaus replied. "I won't be able to stay the night, but you're welcome to."

They were in the kitchen, eating lunch in an uncomfortable silence, both keenly aware of the fact that the weekend was quickly slipping away.

"Klaus," Dorian said firmly, "I want you to know that, whatever you decide after this weekend…" He closed his eyes, swallowing hard. "Whatever you decide, I'll go along with it."

Klaus sat back, studying him with his usual intensity. "Thank you," he said quietly. "This is…very confusing…"

"I know." Dorian gave him a small smile. "I'm sure you're gonna need time to sort things out."

I don't know if I can ever sort things out! "Yeah." Klaus drew a deep breath. "It will have to be business as usual, you know."

"This never happened, is that it?"

Klaus saw the injured look on the Earl's face and knew what he was going to say next would only make things worse. "Yes. It will have to be like that." He paused. "A lover's secret, isn't that what you called it?"

Dorian nodded and drew a deep breath. He tried to eat, but suddenly seemed to have lost his appetite. When this thought crossed his mind, he started to chuckle.

Klaus scowled, finding no humor in the situation at all. "What's so funny?"

Dorian looked up, a hand going to his mouth as he tried not to laugh. "I've…Oh, God, Klaus." He finally had to squeak out, "I've lost my appetite." So saying, he collapsed into laughter.

The German continued to scowl, wondering if his English had suddenly failed him. Then he realized why the Earl found his lose of appetite so hysterical. That's what had started this whole ridiculous, terrifying, exhilarating mess in the first place. After a moment, Klaus was laughing, too, the tension that had been building between them finally broken.

Dorian wiped the tears from his face. "Tell me the truth," he said once he could speak, "have you really been taking that awful drug?"

Klaus's eyes grew wide. "Gott, no! It was embarrassing enough just getting the vial I let you steal."

"Wait. There were lots of vials…"

"Yes, but there was only one on top when I turned my back on you."

"Oh, Major!" Dorian said sharply. "You are an evil man!"

A wry smile came to the officer's face. "And you're not? You were here beforehand, weren't you? Getting things ready?"

Dorian felt his face flush. "Guilty as charged."

Klaus nodded. "We both are." A sudden thought struck him and he sat back to look at the Earl again. "What the hell was in that injection you gave me?"

"Oh, God!" Dorian gasped, a hand going to his mouth. "It was supposed to counteract the drug."

"The drug that I never took…" Klaus's eyes narrowed. "What was it?"

"A steroid."


"Testosterone, actually."

Klaus's eyes grew wide. "No wonder…" He gave the Earl a piercing look. "I could've killed you!"

"I know."

Klaus ran his fingers through his hair. "Where did you get the ridiculous idea that I was drugging myself?" He looked up, his eyes blazing. "Do you think you're that irresistible that I need to use drugs?" he said accusingly.

Dorian felt his heart jump as the hard edges started to appear on the other man's face and he realized he was watching Iron Klaus appearing before his eyes. "Violation," he said sharply.

Klaus blinked. "What?"

"No Eroica and no Major, remember?"

Klaus's eyes narrowed and he glared at the other man for several minutes. Then the angry lines started to fade from his face and he nodded. "You're right," he said at last. "We have all the time in the world to argue later."


Klaus got to his feet, clearing the table off and putting the dishes into the sink. "These can wait till later, too," he said as he turned back to face the Earl. "I think we have time for you to show me one thing more…"

Business as usual,
Eroica thought as he listened to the Major ranting across the room. It had been more that three months since the "experiment" in the cabin. Surely, the man had had ample time to work everything out. Then the horrible thought that his original misgivings had been true flashed through Eroica's mind. That it had all been a way for Klaus to get a taste of what he had been missing, and then move on.

Does the man really have that low a libido? Dorian wondered as he watched the alphabets scurrying from the fury of their commanding officer. Had he only responded to the Earl so well because of the injection of testosterone? Oh, God, what did I do?

The Earl jumped when the Major suddenly thundered, "Eroica! Stop daydreaming and get your foppish ass out of here! We have work to do."

"I know that, Major," Eroica cooed, pushing his hair from his face as he pulled himself together. "But I can't do a thing until it's dark outside."

"Idiot, you think I don't know that?" The Major waved a hand across the room where Agent A was waiting at the door. "Go with A and get into position."

"Of course, Major." Eroica fluttered his eyelashes at him, raking his eyes over his body. "Do I have a choice of positions?" He could not help but grin at the high color of red the officer's face took on at this obvious double entendre. Clearly, Klaus had gotten the hidden meaning. He blew the Major a kiss as he flounced across the room.

"Bloody pervert!" the Major yelled after him.

Eroica thought the mission had gone quite well, considering. Now, suddenly, he was being called back for another ridiculously long and boring debriefing. If I didn't want to just be near you, Major, I wouldn't've come back at all, he thought as he stood outside the Köln-Bonn Airportwaiting for the car from NATO to arrive.

A black Mercedes stopped in front of the Earl that he assumed must be his ride when the trunk popped open. One of the porters assisted him with his bags, smiling brightly at the generous tip he received. I'll just have James bill NATO for that, he thought as he opened the back door.

"No, Lord Gloria, sit up front."

Eroica felt his heart in his mouth when he heard the familiar voice. "Major…?" he said, looking into the open back door.

"Well? Get in if you're going to."

Eroica got into the front seat, giving the officer a startled look. "I hardly expected you to be the one coming to get me," he remarked. "Isn't this a job for a subordinate?"

"There's been a change of venue," the Major replied as he pulled out of the airport. "Your expertise is needed elsewhere."

Eroica tossed his hair back and tried to flirt, but his heart wasn't in it. "Major…Klaus," he said seriously, "this is the first time we've been alone together since…" He left the sentence unfinished and received a quick sideways glance from the officer. "And you still haven't told me what your decision was."

"I know."

Dorian felt himself becoming very angry. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

"Oh, you bastard," Dorian growled, punching the other man on the arm.

"Hey, not while I'm driving!" Klaus reproved sharply. "You wanna cause an accident?"

"Oh!" Dorian crossed his arms and turned in his seat as much as he could to turn his back on the officer.

Klaus threw him another sideways glance but said nothing, lighting a cigarette instead. After what seemed like forever, Dorian could stand the silence no longer.

"Where are we going, anyway?"

"Do you really care?"

"No. Just making conversation."

Klaus gave a low grunt.

"How long until we get to wherever my expertise is needed?" Dorian asked astringently. His eyes narrowed as he saw a small smile curling the edges of the Major's mouth. "What are you…?" It was only then that he realized where they were. He turned sharply to look out the windshield just at the car came around a bend and the cabin appeared. Dorian caught his breath, a hand going to his mouth.

Klaus parked the car and gave Dorian a steady look before getting out. "Leave the bags," he said and then led the way through the front door. "I didn't tell you my decision," he said at last, turning to the Earl, "because the report you turned in was incomplete."

Dorian blinked. "Report?"

"On the…experiment. I've since learned that there are several gaps in it." Klaus crossed his arms, giving the man a look of mock disapproval. "You have the weekend to fill in as many of the gaps as you can."

Dorian stared at him a moment. Then he crossed the distance between them, took the officer's face in his hands, and kissed him passionately on the mouth. He felt his heart jump when Klaus's strong arms wrapped around him. "What if I can't fill in all the gaps this weekend?" he asked breathlessly.

Klaus smiled, turning to move toward the stairs. "Then I'll just have to call you back for another debriefing."

"Oh, Major!" Eroica said as the pair vanished up the stairs. "You know how terrible I am with details. This could take weeks."




"Oh, Klaus, I love you so much."

"Show me."

The Earl's reply was a laugh of delight. It will be my pleasure, my beautiful, magnificent, darling Major.

This story is followed by a sequel -- Feet Of Clay.

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