The Present

Three weeks later, Klaus reappeared at Castle Gloria unannounced. He strode in, waved away the servants, and made straight for the Earl's bedroom. He almost walked in and then hesitated, finally knocking, or rather pounding, on the door.

"Go away, whoever you are, it's too early," Dorian moaned.

"Don't you know my knock yet?" Klaus said as he strode into the room. "And it's not too early."

Dorian turned over, his eyes widening. "Klaus! What a marvelous surprise!" He slid over to make more room in bed. "Come join me."

"Get up and get dressed. I'm taking you out for your birthday."

Dorian's eyebrows went up. "Really?"


Dorian practically flew from his bed. He was cleaned, shaved, and dressed within half an hour. He appeared at the door, an enormous grin on his face. "Where are we going?"

"Breakfast first."


"It's a surprise." Klaus said evasively.

"Oh, you know how I love surprises."

Klaus's eyes flickered but he did not reply as he led the way out to his car.


Dorian was beside himself trying to guess what lay in store for the day. Klaus had a romantic streak that would rear its head from time to time—if he allowed it, that is. Dorian had first glimpsed it when they first met. When they were stranded and Klaus sang "The Tank Song" and remarked about the beauty of polished steel. The officer had later arranged an outrageously romantic way of getting the Earl to meet him on a train so he could be hired by NATO. After that, it would appear again and again when he was dealing with the Earl. Now that they had become lovers, Klaus was allowing his romanticism to appear more often when Dorian was around, if only to keep the Earl from annoying him too much.

The first thing Klaus did was take Dorian to breakfast at his favorite restaurant. The staff all knew him and fawned over him in their usual manner. When Klaus "accidentally" let it slip that it was the Earl's birthday, the pampering increased ten fold.

"That was a wonderful surprise," Dorian said as they left the restaurant.

"I have another one at my hotel," Klaus replied with a wry smile.

"My present?" Dorian purred.

Klaus gave him a sideways glance. "Maybe…"

Within a few minutes, Klaus was opening the door to his suite. He entered and turned to the Earl, a small smile coming to his lips as the other man took in the room. This was not his usually austere hotel room.

Klaus had scarcely closed the door when Dorian was on him, kissing him passionately, his hands pulling at his clothes. It was all Klaus could do to breakaway. "The bedroom is over there," he said, only to find himself being pulled into the room and practically thrown onto the bed.

"Not a tad eager?" Klaus laughed as his clothes were yanked from his body.

Dorian smiled brightly as he shucked his own clothes. "Just hold still and I won't hurt you."

"That's what you said the first time."

"And did I hurt you?"


"And you loved every minute of it," Dorian grinned.

Before Klaus could think of a suitable reply, Dorian suddenly asked, "Where?" Klaus pointed to the nightstand where he had placed the lubricant earlier. Then he pushed himself further onto the bed. He smiled at the startled expression that came to his lover's face when he drew up his knees and spread his legs for him. It was a position he had yet to get completely comfortable with, but he had resolved to do this for Dorian's birthday. Especially after he had learned how much Dorian enjoyed the feel of being inside him.

"Klaus, are you sure…?" Dorian said as he moved between the man's spread legs.

Klaus sat up, giving Dorian a passionate kiss. "Yes. For you, without even having to ask." This was all he needed to say. His lover was all over him again, pushing him back onto the bed, covering his body with kisses. He closed his eyes as the Earl's hands slid down to his straining erection, brushing against it and pulling a moan from him. Then a slick finger entered his body and he gasped.

Dorian grinned as he probed in his partner's body, watching him arch his back in response. A second finger joined the first, gently preparing the way for his aching cock. After a few careful minutes, he withdrew his fingers and got to his knees, covering his erection with lubricant. Then he leaned forward to position himself and gave a sharp thrust.

Klaus gasped when his lover entered his body. He reached up with trembling hands to take hold of Dorian's shoulders as he leaned over him and began a slow steady rhythm of strokes. Dorian took hold of Klaus's wrists, and pinned his hands to the bed. Then he shifted the angle of his thrusts slightly and struck the prostate, causing Klaus to give a sharp cry and buck up under him. "Gott, Dorian!" he gasped out.

Dorian merely grinned and continued his steady rhythm of maddeningly slow thrusts until he had his partner writhing beneath him. Klaus tried to pull his hands free, but Dorian increased the pressure, keeping him pinned to the bed. No, you're all mine today. To do with as I please.

After a few failed attempts, Klaus realized he would have to actually fight to free himself and stopped struggling. Obviously, Dorian was trying to drive him mad, and was succeeding quite admirably.

Dorian was smiling brightly as Klaus started to thrash and buck beneath him, his breathing turning to ragged gasps. How long can you go before you beg for it? He continued his slow progress, knowing the longer he could hold back the more crazy he would make his lover. Then Klaus was pulling at his hands trying to free himself. Yes, you want it, don't you? Dorian increased the pressure of his hands again, pulling a whine of frustration from Klaus.

"Something you wanted, Klaus, darling?" he teased, stopping the motion of his hips altogether.

"Dorian! You're making me crazy!"

"What do you say?"

Klaus gave him a startled look. "You want me to beg?" The thought of begging for anything still went against the grain with Iron Klaus.

"Yes. I want you to beg," Dorian grinned, not realizing he was pushing his inexperienced lover too fast.

"Then what? Are you gonna ask for the pumpkin in exchange?" As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Klaus regretting having said them. It was a horrible thing to say and he knew it. It came as no surprise when Dorian slapped him across the face and climbed off the bed. That was brilliant. Talk about killing the mood.

"Bastard!" Dorian snarled. He snatched up his clothes to get dressed and was stopped by a firm hand, which he shrugged off.

"Dorian, I'm sorry. That was a cruel thing to say."

"Yes, it was." Dorian turned to him with tears in his eyes. "I told you that in confidence, Klaus. Now you make it sound like something…cheap."

Klaus sighed heavily and sat down on the bed again. This birthday was not going as he planned. "You can't have missed the parallel," he said quietly.

Dorian was still trying to decide if he wanted to leave and looked up sharply. "What parallel?"

"You said you'd do anything to get that painting, so you slept with that man. You said the same thing about the pumpkin. That you'd do anything to get it, because you always get what you want."

Dorian's eyes widened. "Klaus, I did not sleep with you to get 'The Man In Purple.'"

Klaus closed his eyes. "I know."

"Then why did you say something so…awful."

"I don't know. Maybe I just wanted to be sure."

Dorian gave him a suspicious look, his eyes narrowing. "Sure of what?"

Klaus nodded to a door. "Look in the closet."


"That's where your birthday present is."

Suddenly Dorian knew exactly what was in the closet and was almost afraid to open the door. When he did, his suspicions were confirmed. Leaning against the wall was "The Man In Purple."

"Happy birthday," Klaus said ironically in Dorian's ear.

Dorian turned sharply, not having heard him come up behind him. "I can't accept it," he said, his words surprising himself.

"I'm not paying you off, Dorian," Klaus said firmly. "I decided to give it to you the last time you were at the Schloss. You couldn't take your eyes off it. I knew if I gave it to you, you'd treasure it. As soon as you left, I had it sent to London and stored so I could surprise you on your birthday." He paused a beat. "Then you told me that story…"

A hand went to Dorian's mouth. "No wonder you were so quiet. I thought you were being judgmental and were afraid to tell me what you really thought." He hugged his lover tightly. "And here you were probably panicking because I'd ruined your surprise."

Klaus broke the embrace to look into Dorian's eyes. "I didn't want to hurt you, but I have anyway. I'm sorry I brought it up at all." He sighed heavily. "I'm an ass."

"Yes, you are," Dorian agreed. "But I love you anyway." He captured the other man's mouth in a passionate kiss and could not help smiling as he felt the hardness of an erection pressing against him. He leaned back to look at his lover, grinned, and then dragged him back into the room, pushing him back onto the bed. "I'm going to have to punish you, you know."

Klaus's eyebrows went up. "You think so?" he said as he pushed himself further onto the bed.

"Oh, yes," Dorian grinned. "I'm gonna make you beg, Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach."

"Iron Klaus does not beg," Klaus stated flatly.

"That's what you think."

Before Klaus could reply, Dorian was on top of him. He thrust his cock back into him, causing him to gasp. Then his hands were pinned to the mattress again as his lover began the maddingly slow rhythm of thrusts once more. He threw his head back, his back arching automatically, his hips moving in time with his partner. After several minutes, Dorian had his wish as Klaus begged for release.

"I thought Iron Klaus doesn't beg," Dorian said calmly.

Klaus replied with a loud cry of frustration.

Dorian giggled at this response. "Tell me you're sorry."

"I'm sorry I started this!"

"Oh! Naughty boy, you know what I want."

"Yes! And it isn't that bloody painting!"

Dorian blinked. That wasn't the reply he was expecting. He looked down at his thrashing partner and smiled. He let go of his hands to allow him to take hold of his straining erection. Then he increased the speed of his thrusts, his breathing increasing at the same time.

Klaus drew a sharp breath as he climaxed, his body shuddering at the same time. This was enough to pull Dorian over the edge and he gave a final thrust before he came himself, emptying himself in his lover's body. Then he collapsed on top of him. He closed his eyes as Klaus wrapped his arms around him.

Klaus rolled onto his side, carrying his lover with him. Dorian extracted himself from the other man's body and rolled onto his back, his face glowing. "That was the best birthday present ever," he said happily.

"Minus the argument," Klaus rejoined.

"Even with the argument."

Klaus scowled. "How do you figure that?"

Dorian turned to him, giving him a quick kiss. "Because you've finally realized I'm not a shallow bugger who's only interested in art and sex."

Klaus's eyebrows went up. "Did I miss an important point? I thought it was about trading sex for art."

Dorian sat up, a longsuffering look on his face. Sometimes the man could be so incredibly thick. "I wouldn't trade you for all the art in the world."

Klaus grinned and pulled him on top of his chest. "Would you trade me for sex?"

Dorian made a show of thinking this over. "Sex with whom?"

"Shallow bugger!" Klaus rolled over to end up on top of Dorian. "Now I'm gonna make you beg!"

"But it's my birthday!" Dorian protested playfully.

Now it was Klaus's turn to make a show of thinking this over. "Fine. I won't make you beg too long, then."

Dorian gave a delighted cry as Klaus started to tickle him. "No, no, please, no!" he laughed.

"Not now, you idiot!"

"Oh, sorry. Carry on, then."

"That's it. I'm keeping the painting."

"Like hell you are!"

Klaus laughed at Dorian's determined expression. Then he was serious again. "I'm sorry about what I said before."

Dorian could not help but smile. Klaus was so wonderfully adorable when he was guilt-ridden. "I know." He gave the man a quick kiss. "You'll just have to make it up to me, won't you?"

Klaus gave him a sideways glance. "Oh? And how do I do that?"

The smile on Dorian's face grew wider. "I'll have to think about that. I'm very sensitive, you know? It could take quite some time for me to get over this."

"You're gonna make me pay for this until your next birthday, aren't you?"

"Mmm, hmm," Dorian purred. "Too high a price for you, Klaus, darling?"

Klaus leaned back, giving the appearance of giving this serious thought.

"Well…?" Dorian said playfully.

"Will you let me pay in installments?"

Dorian burst out laughing at this reply. Then he squealed as Klaus started to tickle him again. A moment later, he was kissing him passionately.

"Am I forgiven?"

Dorian threw his arms around him, returning the kiss. "Yes."

"Good." Klaus smiled, his hand slowly sliding down his lover's body. "I'd like to make my first installment."

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.