Olli was pouting, it was the only thing he could do now. The chocolate soufflé was ruined beyond recognition. The roses he'd expressly asked the florist to freeze were wilted. He thought he'd set the oven for the proper temperature to broil the steak, a steak he'd made for Christian a hundred times, the steak that was his signature hit-it-out-of-the-park-how-could-Christian-love-anyone-else-cause-they-couldn't-keep-him-fed-like-this T-Bone. It was bloody in the middle. Christian HATED that. Now all he had left was a lame convenience store card and a Mylar balloon he'd bought on a whim, and of course the champagne chilling in the fridge. Not that that was anything special, he was a bar owner after all and really, if he couldn't wrangle some champagne for Valentines day, then hell Christian should find himself a new boyfriend.

He looked despairingly at the burnt soufflé pan one more time. Maybe he could pass it off? Christian really could eat almost anything, and it didn't look too bad. Besides, Christian liked dessert best with one surly puff, the ruined soufflé brought him, harshly back to reality before collapsing back in on itself, a culinary quantum singularity, absorbing all possibility of a good evening.

Olli knew in his heart of hearts, that Christian really wouldn't care about a ruined steak, or a Cajun style soufflé , and the flowers were somewhat amusing in a Charlie Brown kind of way. But, Olli was disappointed nevertheless. In almost two years of being together, he had the dubious distinction of missing almost every major holiday with his boyfriend, romantic or not. Granted, it was usually Gregor's fault. He sneered in the general direction of Gregor's flat willing his business associate to feel his impotent rage. Yet he knew he was partly to blame for some missed opportunities as well. He still thought guiltily of Ibiza from time to time, of looking on the bluest ocean he'd ever seen and crying because it had reminded him of Christian's eyes.

He sank down on the couch cradling his head in his hands. The pastry had given up, maybe it was time for him to do so as well. He sighed thinking about how much of a disaster last Valentines day had been. Christian had been stuck working in NoLimits during their annual "Black Hearts" party, and by the time he'd trudged back into the apartment - with far less tips than expected- he'd been just too exhausted to do anything more than pass out on the bed, leather chaps and all. One hundred candles, which had almost incinerated the apartment, and thirty chocolate covered strawberries, went completely to waste. Olli hadn't even hazarded making them again until that summer, but fortunately that had worked out pretty well. Though, he was still waiting to use his spiked leather red collar and cuffs.

He sighed, and with one despairing glance at the kitchen, prepared to fix the mess there. He looked up French Fries Dieter's number and placed an order for delivery, then did his best to undo whatever alchemy had fused the pastry to the pot. He still wasn't sure what he would do to surprise his boyfriend, but he felt a little knife edge of panic creep slowly into his guts as the evening drew closer. What could he do to impress Christian? How could he salvage this?

"Do you have any ideas?" He asked the cherubic cupid smiling at him from the floating balloon. Though the little sprite did not condescend to answer, Olli gasped with dawning comprehension, and ran immediately to their room. He just might have had a wonderful new surprise for after all. Just an old belt, some oak tag, and glitter, and Olli would be back in business.


Christian walked up to the flat slowly. Today was the day. He was terrified. Olli had woken up with that slightly crazy gleam in his eye, and Christian had no idea what would be waiting for him on the other side of the door. Olli's surprises were amazing, but they always had the unintended, but very real, side effect of making him feel sort of lazy. Sometimes Christian felt like his boyfriend was the only one weaving the romance for the two of them, and he was just along for the ride. Not that he didn't try, but the last time he'd surprised his boyfriend he'd lost his job and developed a rather nasty papaya allergy. It didn't help either that they both worked so much that whenever a special day came around, they were either too tired, too overworked or too busy to spend it together. He leveled a murderous glance at Gregor's flat. If he'd known "bar owner" meant delegating all responsibility to your brother and his lover while reaping the benefits, then he would've gotten into the business himself.

He paused outside of the door shuffling nervously, feeling the pinch of his new shoes and the starchiness of his collar. He broke out in a sweat. This was killing him. He finally had the perfect surprise for Olli, but would it be ok? Would it be something Olli wanted? It wasn't amazing or sexy, and it probably wasn't even that surprising, but it was nice, and really right. He thought so at any rate. But was nice going to cut it? Did Olli go through this every time he did something special for him? He put his ear against the door, trying to get some clue as to what lay in store but he could only make out the faint strains of his favorite jazz cd.

Olli had been shocked to discover that Christian had such refined sensibilities, Christian smiled to himself, as he remembered Olli's valiant effort to perform a striptease for him to MIngus' "Solo Dancer "– without realizing it was a nearly 10 minute song. He'd given up three minutes in, and instead they'd spent the evening drinking wine and listening to the various artists in Christian's collection. Over time Olli had become just as big a fan as Christian, if not more so. That was the best thing about Olli, he just accepted everything and nine times out of ten, he made things better. Here Christian was, worrying about whether Olli would like his surprise, when all he had to do was open the door and see that shy smile, or hear him say "Schatz," and his worries would be utterly groundless. He unlocked his apartment and walked in. Today was going to be the best Valentines Day ever. He would make sure of it.


Olli stood, in the center of the room trying to take deep calming breaths as the lock turned. He figured Christian would have one of two reactions. Either he'd be very confused, which actually wasn't so bad. Olli could work with confused, and the quarter magnum of champagne coursing through his system was instilling him with confidence - drunkenness too - but mostly confidence. The other possibility was that Christian would be completely dismissive, and Olli would have to laugh, fake and harsh, to cover his wounded feelings. He hated that the most. Ok, so he wasn't asking to be taken seriously, who would be in this get-up? But if Christian was in buzzkill mode, then this whole thing would go up in a soufflé-like puff of disaster. He just wanted something a little silly and a little sweet. He renewed his scathing invective against all things French, and all things Gregor – except for Luise, never Luise - then composed himself as Christian walked in.

"Why are you wearing a shiny red diaper? And what's that on your back?"

Christian's voice and eyebrows had risen at the last question, but Olli remained still and watched as Christian looked him over from head to toe, his eyes shifting from the red Mylar around his waist, to the improvised wings attached to the belt around his chest. But what really seemed to catch Christian's eye was the red leather collar around his neck. His eyes kept darting between it and Olli's crotch, and Olli felt a slow blush spread through him as the Mylar got a bit tighter. And seeing Christian's face change from bemused, to appreciative, to desirous, he realized Christian was probably thinking of something that would definitely involve Olli squealing with delight beneath him as his skin flushed redder than the leather.

"Hi, welcome home. You like?" Olli, asked, feigning an innocence he most certainly did not feel.

"Nice Collar," Christian responded his voice suddenly husky as he wet his lower lip in anticipation, his attention still fixed to the hollow of Olli's throat. He sauntered forward, closing a hand around Olli's wrist to pull him closer.

"What's with the wings?" Christian asked, though his eyes never strayed to them, trained as they were on the leather at Olli's neck and the Mylar below. Olli laughed and closed the distance between them, ignoring the scratch and squeak of his unique new underwear. This was the reaction he'd secretly been hoping for. Arousal. Placing a sweet chaste kiss on Christian's lips he answered,

"Schatz, Today I wanted to be your personal cupid." He emphasized the last two words with a shameless roll of his hips and decided to consider Christian's hitched breathing as a sign of approval. Who needed soufflé after all?

"Olli," Christian gasped, skimming his hands all over the hot bare torso before him, "Is this my belt?" He undid the buckle and let the complicated glitter laden monstrosity fall to the ground. Olli, on his part could only manage a muffled "mmmhmm," as he was quite occupied trying to capture the little pulse point in Christian's neck with his lips and tongue.

"I think, you should stick to your day job. Arts and Crafts are not your thing."

Olli pointedly ignored his boyfriend's sarcastic comments, and opted instead to undo the buttons of his very nice shirt, to kiss his way down Christian's exposed torso. He sank to his knees and looked up smiling wickedly as he mouthed Christian's erection through the fabric. His breath was hot and humid around the taut outline of Christian's cock, teasing. Olli's hands were holding his straining hips to the door so that he could only rest his shaking hands in soft black hair and moan. It really was the most effective way to shut his boyfriend up with, of course, the added benefit of utterly turning him on.

"Olli please," Christian gasped, moving his thumb in little circles on Olli's cheek. He briefly leaned into the touch before standing up again to pin Christian to the door.

"Ok," Olli whispered, helping Christian shed his jacket, "I know what you want."

Suddenly their positions were reversed and Olli found himself trapped with an armful of hard, squirming, panting Christian. He closed his eyes, and stilled as Christian ran his tongue along the edge of the collar, and he shuddered at the little satisfied grunts coming from him as his tongue alternated between the cool leather and Olli's heated skin. The Mylar was beyond uncomfortable now, and he gave a quick prayer of thanks when Christian growled and ripped the modified balloon off Olli's body, and dropped to immediately to a crouch.

He didn't need to hold Olli down with his hands, choosing instead to run them lightly over the quivering thighs. Instead, Christian bound him with his gaze, an intoxicating mixture of innocent reverence and lust and need, that short-circuited everything in Olli's brain except the desire to plunge into that waiting, willing mouth. He tugged on the long blonde hair to bring him closer to what he wanted, what they both wanted, and his knees nearly gave out at the first loving slide of Christian's tongue along his length.

"God, Christian, so good." he groaned, he could hardly hear himself over Christian's answering moans, and he gripped the hair tighter, unable to stop his hips from pushing further and further into that moist heated warmth. He had a minute to devote to wondering if he really had been Christian's first, but then, God help him, those strong confident hands were on his ass pulling him deeper and swallowing. He closed his eyes, threw his head back ignoring the sting when he connected with the door. The pressure was building inside him, and Christian's throat and tongue were working in maddening concert to tease the sensitive head of his cock. He whimpered and looked down, gasping at Christian's rapturous closed-eyed devotion. But when those too blue eyes snapped open and locked on his, and one sneaky hand gently massaged his tightening balls he tried to choke out a warning but failed. Instead he came, shuddering and gasping against the door as Christian sucked him dry.

"Thanks schatz" Olli whispered, nuzzling the long neck and running his hand over the rapidly rising and falling chest.

"M'not done," Christian panted, his hand firmly pressed to the front of his trousers, "neither are you."

Olli gave him an appraising glance and asked "Bed or couch?"

"Bedroom, Definitely." Christian answered, hauling Olli up off the floor and leading him through the door. "And don't you dare take that collar off." He added gruffly.

Lying in their room, in the twilight, their legs entwined Olli's breathing finally normalized, and he followed the chorded muscles in Christian's back, his fingertips contemplating the curve of a shoulder blade. His stomach grumbled and he reached for a (now cold) Dieter French fry, and Christian, unsurprisingly, plucked it right from his hands.

"You always steal my food! And don't tell me you're 'carbo-loading', that excuse never worked."

Christian chuckled, and ran a thumb across Olli's nipple, following it with his teeth. "Just tastes better that way," he murmured settling deeper into Olli's arms.

"Ok. Christian, whatever you say."

"Wow Olli, hot sex, food from Dieter's stand, and now you'll do whatever I say? Will Wonders never cease?!."

"What did I ever do to you?" Olli moaned dramatically, attempting to suffocate the source of his annoyance.

He got in one good hit with the pillow before Christian had him pinned on his back, his sides shaking with laughter. But the laughter died in his throat at the serious expression on Christian's face.

"What, what is it?" Olli asked, massaging Christian's thighs, trying to calm him down.

It didn't matter how long they'd been together, he didn't know if he'd ever be able to understand or predict the emergence of his boyfriend's inner drama queen. Christian didn't respond, instead he reached for his discarded pants and fished a small blue box out of his pocket.

"What did you do to me?" Christian whispered.

Olli watched aghast as a single tear crept down Christian's cheek, and sat up quickly covering his shaking hands with his own.

"I-I'm sorry?" Olli didn't know what to do, and perversely he thought to himself that yet another holiday had gone awry. They were doomed.

"No, no you don't understand." Christian said, he took a deep breath and looked Olli in the eye.

"Don't apologize. What you've done to me, is change my life for the better. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I know I don't want - can't live without you."

He let out a ragged gasp, when Christian pushed the box into his hands, and looked away. Olli couldn't stop his own hands from shaking now as he eased the precious thing open. The band was simple, silver ringed with gold, with an inscription running down the center 'You make me so happy.' He felt so light-headed he didn't even realize Christian hadn't stopped talking.

"I know it's not much, and we can't think of marriage right now without setting aside some money, and really I wanted to get down on one knee and do the whole thing, that's why I got the suit, but then that collar distracted me, but truly Olli I'm serious and-"

Olli put the ring on and shushed him with a kiss.

"Yes."

He felt all of Christian's anxiety and tension flitting away as strong sure hands tightened at his waist, and a tender kiss was placed at his temple.

He sank back down on the mattress, taking his fiancé with him, and admired the ring softly glowing in the dim light of their room. Twining his fingers with Christian's he closed his eyes, the skin on his neck tingling from the butterfly kisses being placed there.

"This isn't only because I got you the French Fries?"

"No, but that didn't hurt." Christian laughed. "it's because you love me enough not to give me burnt soufflé."

Olli snorted happily and thought to himself, as they settled in for the night, that just maybe the holiday curse, was finally over.