Disclaimer: I do not own Kyo Kara Maou

Claimer: I own all of my original characters (Merrick, Maya, etc)

This story is the product of my own imagination, any similarities to any other fan fictions is purely coincidental and unintentional.

Hello all and welcome to my Yuri x Wolfram one-shot story. If you don't like male/male love and mpreg please leave now. This fic was inspired by the song 'Think Twice' by Celine Dion so if you don't know it I suggest listening to it before (or while) reading this story. I tried to make the lyrics link up to the story but since the chorus repeats and the story had the change in order for it to be interesting, they kinda moved away from each other a bit.

I don't usually write one-shots and I hope this one turned out ok. Please note that this story does not link up to my other KKM fanfic in any shape or form.

Enjoy and please remember the review button!

Update: 05.11.11 - this story is now on the favourite list of 35 people. Thank you so much for your support!

Think twice

Don't think I can't feel that there's something wrong,

You've been the sweetest part of my life for so long,

I look in your eyes there's a distant light,

You and I know there'll be a storm tonight,

This is getting serious,

Are you thinking about you or us?

-:-

Wolfram had a feeling that Yuri didn't feel the same way about him as he felt about Yuri. Wolfram knew that he could be over-reacting, he did have a tendency to get worked up when it came to Yuri, but this time was worse than any other time he had called Yuri a 'cheater'. Yuri was smiling happily at a pretty young girl who was batting her eyes back at him. The girl was a human princess who was visiting the kingdom with her father who had recently agreed to sign the mazoku-human treaty. Wolfram was proud of all that Yuri had achieved in his short three years as the Maoh. The wars between the humans and the mazoku had all but vanished and trade had never been better. Yuri's 'no war' policy had seemed naïve and foolish at first and no one was more surprised than Wolfram when it paid off in ways he could never had imagined. When Yuri had first arrived in the demon kingdom all Wolfram saw was an air-headed half human boy who couldn't tell one end of a sword from another. Wolfram had resented his presence from the start. He was furious to think that he should bow his head to this idiot boy who knew nothing of their world and follow his orders.

That all changed however, Yuri proved to be a great King who ended the wars between the humans and mazoku. No leader in the history of the demon kingdom had even thought it possible to achieve peace with the humans but then a boy fell from the sky and changed everything. Wolfram found himself beginning to admire, even fall for, the double black in ways he couldn't have imagined. Even now Wolfram couldn't pinpoint exactly when it was he fell for Yuri but he fell hard. Now his every waking moment was filled with thoughts about Yuri and his dreams plagued with images of Yuri leaving him behind for a woman. In Wolfram's mind there was no greater insult than Yuri breaking their engagement for some woman he had just met. How could Wolfram ever compete for Yuri's love against a woman? How could he make Yuri see him when all Yuri could see were pretty girls? They had been engaged for three years and Yuri hadn't even kissed him.

To protect himself Wolfram tried to hide his feelings behind a brash and sometimes bratty exterior. But Yuri could always break through the fragile walls that Wolfram had built around his heart. Wolfram looked away from where Yuri was still chatting to the pretty brunet girl. Yuri had stormed the castle protecting Wolfram's heart and torn down its walls leaving Wolfram feeling more vulnerable than he had ever felt in his whole life. Wolfram had had many admires in the past, both male and female, but he had ignored them easily. Why was Yuri so different? Why couldn't he push him away like he did to all the others? Wolfram closed his eyes and sighed. Maybe it was because he had never loved before. Mazoku didn't value time like humans did. 80 years was nothing to Wolfram and he used to think that 80 years without love wasn't anything to worry about. Now Wolfram thought differently.

Yuri had made Wolfram feel lonely whenever he wasn't around so Wolfram treasured the moments they had together. It was why Wolfram always chased Yuri even though Yuri didn't want him to. At first it was because it was his duty as the wimp's fiancé but now it was because he wanted so desperately to be with Yuri. It hurt so much when Yuri rolled his eyes in exasperation when he found out that Wolfram had yet again snuck on board a ship or talked his way into following them. Whenever Yuri tried to leave Shinmakoku and leave him behind it felt like a stab to Wolfram's heart. Yuri had no idea how painful it was to be pushed away by the one you loved; to know that they would rather spend time with your older half brother than with you.

Wolfram didn't believe for a second that Conrad loved Yuri the way he loved Yuri. Conrad saw Yuri as the son he didn't have and loved him like one. Wolfram wasn't as stupid as everyone thought he was. But it still hurt to see Yuri smile so brightly at Conrad whenever he saw him. Wolfram wanted Yuri to smile at him like that; he wanted Yuri to be happy when he was near like he was when Yuri was near. Yet Yuri just seemed annoyed by his presence and it hurt, it hurt so much.

The princess giggled and glanced shyly up at Yuri with her baby blue eyes. Yuri had a stupid grin on his face and was making a total fool of himself. Wolfram felt a pang of jealousy shoot through his body. All the times he had called Yuri a 'wimp' or a 'cheater' it was all to get Yuri's attention. He wanted Yuri to look at him, just to notice him, so he did the only thing he knew how to. He shouted and threw insults around. In the past Wolfram had always gotten what he wanted by shouting or throwing a temper tantrum. People feared Wolfram and his temper so they did their best to please him. That technique didn't work on Yuri however. Yuri just became angry at Wolfram when he shouted or just ignored him. Wolfram soon learnt that by trying to get Yuri's attention he was just pushing Yuri further away from him. But Wolfram didn't know what else to do. So he kept on shouting.

This time Wolfram didn't want to shout or make a fuss. He just didn't have the energy. He was tired of trying so hard to make Yuri love him but getting nothing but blank looks in return. Yuri was adamant that he didn't like boys 'that way' and that all he wanted was a girlfriend. Wolfram couldn't understand, what was so special about girls? Wolfram could do anything sexual to Yuri that they could do. He would happily give his body to Yuri if he would only ask him. But Yuri didn't want him. Wolfram closed his eyes again to force the tears back. It was as if there was a metal case around his heart that tightened every time Wolfram thought about Yuri. Now it was crushing his heart so tightly it was painful.

"Hey Wolf this is Princess Maya," Yuri was still grinning. Wolfram opened his eyes and carefully put on his mask of slight disdain. "She's here with King Andrew." I know that Yuri, Wolfram thought to himself. He knew all about King Andrew coming to sign the mazoku-human treaty. He had known for months.

"Nice to meet you," Wolfram said politely looking the girl up and down. Wolfram hated to admit it, but Maya was pretty. Her blue dress looked like it was made of silk and it matched her eyes. Her waist was tiny and her bust large but no were near as big as Wolfram's mother's. Then again Cecile was in a league of her own.

"It is an honour to meet you Lord Bielefeld." Maya smiled and dropped into an elegant curtsy. Wolfram felt another wave of anger and jealousy flow through him. Maya was from a wealthy kingdom and she knew her manners. If she had been rude at least Wolfram could have good reason for hating her guts. But Maya seemed to as polite as she was pretty.

"I'm sure it is," Wolfram said with a slight sneer to his voice. Maya looked surprised and glanced at Yuri who frowned at Wolfram.

"Princess Maya is going to be staying with us tonight and leaving tomorrow." Yuri continued giving Wolfram a stern look. Oh wonderful, Wolfram thought but he said nothing. Maya smiled at Yuri showing perfect white teeth. Wolfram had to clench his hands to stop them from shaking. Maya may be pretty and perfect but she was stealing Yuri from him! What was worse is that Yuri didn't care. Wolfram felt his eyes sting. He couldn't cry now, not in front on Yuri. Wolfram never cried in front of Yuri, he refused to show him such weakness.

"I see you are enjoying spending time with my fiancé." Wolfram said and Maya looked at Yuri in surprise.

"Lord Bielefeld is your fiancé?" Maya asked looking shocked and embarrassed.

"Didn't Yuri tell you about that?" Wolfram asked innocently knowing full well that Yuri hadn't told her.

"Oh," Maya blushed furiously and turned to Wolfram and dropped into another curtsey. "Forgive my behaviour Lord Bielefeld my father had not mentioned that the Maoh had a fiancé."

"There is nothing to forgive Maya," Yuri cut in giving Maya a smile, "would you give Wolfram and I a minute?" Maya nodded and walked away a short distance. Once she was out of hearing range Yuri turned on Wolfram. "Why did you tell her that?"

"You are my fiancé you wimp!" Wolfram hissed, "And she had her hands all over you."

"Wolf just because I talk to a girl doesn't mean that I going to talk them into my bed!" Yuri looked really angry now. "Why can't you trust me a little?"

"How could I ever trust a no good wimp like you?" Wolfram snapped before he could stop himself. Yuri sighed and shook his head.

"I'm going to show Maya around the gardens so don't follow us."

"You can't –" Wolfram began but Yuri cut him off.

"Wolfram I order you as your Maoh to go the hell away." Yuri snapped before turning on his heel and marching away. Yuri hated arguing with Wolfram like this. He actually had some respect for the blond but then Wolfram would act like a silly child ruining everything. Yuri would never admit it out loud but he recently began developing feelings for Wolfram. Yuri wasn't comfortable with the idea of loving a boy so he had been getting advice from Conrad. Yet when Wolfram acted like this it made Yuri so mad. Once again Yuri found himself questioning his feelings for Wolfram and whether or not the blond was worthy of them. Yuri couldn't face giving his heart away only to have it destroyed by a child who was only playing fiancé.

Wolfram didn't watch Yuri walk back to Maya. He turned and marched back inside the castle his face burning. How dare Yuri send me away like that! Wolfram seethed. For several minutes Wolfram marched around the castle looking murderous. Everyone hurried out of the fire demon's path not wanting to feel his wrath. Once Wolfram had marched off his anger he began to realise what he had done. He and Yuri had had yet another argument. Wolfram leaned against a pillar in a deserted corridor with a heavy sigh. How could he tell Yuri his feelings when all he ever did was yell at him?

-:-

It was late evening and Yuri was heading back to his room looking forward to a good night's sleep. Yuri had explained everything to Maya about his accidental engagement to Wolfram. When Maya asked why Yuri hadn't called off the engagement yet Yuri had been unable to give her a straight answer. Dinner had been an awkward affair with Wolfram stubbornly ignoring Yuri making Yuri mad. If Wolfram thought he could get his attention through childish games then Yuri wasn't going to give in. If Maya and her father King Andrew noticed the atmosphere they didn't say anything.

Yuri hadn't stopped talking to Maya and her father all night about their kingdom and their people. Maya had told Yuri all about this strange purple fruit that grew like a weed in their kingdom. It was eaten after a meal to freshen the mouth and according to Maya it tasted very good. Maya had promised to bring some back the next time she visited Shinmakoku. Yuri hope Maya would return soon because then he could see her again. Maya was bright and funny and just plain nice to be around. She was also laid back and relaxed and took things one step at a time. Yuri couldn't help but notice how different she was compared to Wolfram who had left the table soon after dinner finished. Yuri had stayed up late to talk with King Andrew about trade relations and now he was very tired and just wanted to go to sleep.

Yuri opened his bedroom door and nodded at his guards who positioned themselves outside his room. Yuri closed the door behind him with a sigh. He walked over to his bed yawning loudly when the covers suddenly moved. Yuri jumped about a foot in the air and was about to shout to his guards when he recognised Wolfram's blond head.

"Damn Wolfram, you almost gave me a heart attack!" Yuri said angrily glaring at the blond fire starter. Wolfram smiled at Yuri and Yuri frowned suddenly wary. Wolfram had never looked at him like before. Wolfram gave Yuri a sexy smile as he slid out of bed.

"Who else were you expecting in your bed Yuri?" Wolfram purred. Yuri's eyes went wide when he saw how short Wolfram's pink nightgown was. The nightgown in question only brushed against Wolfram's legs mid-thigh.

"What the hell are you wearing?" Yuri squeaked. Wolfram smiled again looking cool and confident. Inside however, Wolfram was a nervous wreak. His heart was beating so fast he thought it would punch a hole in his chest. Wolfram had surprised himself by confiding in Josak after dinner about how lost he felt because Yuri was ignoring him for a girl. Josak had smiled and clapped Wolfram on the shoulder and whispered to him that he needed to 'show Yuri what he was missing'. Wolfram was praying that this would work. Wolfram felt like he was standing on the edge of a cliff and about to jump. He just hoped Yuri was going to catch him before he hit the ground.

"Do you like it? I'm wearing it just for you." Wolfram stepped up to Yuri still smiling. Wolfram glanced up at Yuri from under his eyelashes in what he hoped was a coy look. If Yuri's red face was any indication, then Wolfram was succeeding in his mission so far.

"W-what the hell Wolfram? Take that t-thing off r-right now!" Yuri spluttered. Wolfram smiled and reached out for Yuri's belt buckle.

"All in good time my fiancé." Wolfram whispered in Yuri's ear before brushing his lips down Yuri's cheek feeling the double black shiver under his touch. Wolfram undid Yuri's belt his heart racing in his chest. Yuri shoved Wolfram away from him his face red with anger.

"Don't do that!" Yuri snapped before doing his belt back up. Yuri turned away from a shocked Wolfram.

"Why not? You're my fiancé aren't you?" Yuri didn't reply. "Unless, you really don't find me attractive," Wolfram said slowly as realisation set in.

"Do you want an honest answer to that question?" Yuri asked his voice strained with anger. Wolfram looked away. He had jumped off that cliff and no one had caught him.

"No," Wolfram said shortly walking to his wardrobe to get his dressing gown.

"No you started this, do you want an honest answer or not?" Yuri demanded marching up to Wolfram.

"Just leave it alone Yuri." Wolfram said as he opened the doors to his wardrobe and searched for his dressing gown and slippers.

"Did you really believe that I could have any serious feeling for you?" Yuri asked sounding shocked and disgusted. The words struck Wolfram's heart like a blow. Wolfram turned to Yuri who was staring at him unflinchingly.

"I never suggested that you had 'serious' feelings." Wolfram swallowed the lump in his throat. Yuri threw up his hands.

"So what, we sleep together once then what?" Yuri snapped in Wolfram's face making Wolfram flinch back. "We work together Wolfram! You are a close friend and you have proven that you can be trusted I admit. But I can't even imagine what a relationship with you would even be like! At best you are a spoiled brat who stamps his feet and throws insults around to get what he wants!"

"I –" Wolfram closed his mouth and turned away from Yuri's gaze. His chest was so tight he couldn't breathe.

"I mean, I used to think I would never end the wars or stop the evil forces trying to take over this world. I thought I would be an awful King who always messes things up. But now that I have proved myself a worthy King, I feel that I deserve to find someone to share my life with. But never in a million, million years would I ever possibly consider that person being you." Yuri scoffed turning away from Wolfram. Wolfram was trying desperately not to cry. "You and I are total opposites and so wrong for each other it's not even funny. The worst part about all this is that you know that." Yuri looked at Wolfram accusingly. "So this whole flirty sexual thing is just your way of having a laugh at my expense. So I'm so sorry that I'm not more appreciative of that," Yuri said his voice heavy with sarcasm, "And I'm so sorry that you are so bored you have nothing better to do. But don't you pretend its anything else."

"So that is how you feel." Wolfram said taking deep breaths trying to keep his feelings in check. Nothing had ever hurt this much before.

"Oh don't pretend that you're hurt," Yuri scoffed in disgust. Wolfram turned to Yuri with a glare.

"If that is how you feel then I wouldn't want to force you to be my fiancé. Yuri, I herby cancel our engagement." Wolfram said firmly.

"Finally," Yuri threw up his hands. Wolfram stared at Yuri in shock. He had no idea Yuri could be so hurtful.

"Run off with that harlot woman then see if I care!" Wolfram yelled wanting to hurt Yuri as much as Yuri had hurt him.

"Maya is not a harlot!" Yuri yelled back. "She is a bright, intelligent and kind woman. She doesn't dress like that for a start!" Yuri pointed at Wolfram's nightgown. Wolfram turned his back on Yuri and pulled on his dressing gown and slippers.

"Good bye, Your Majesty." Wolfram said icily and marched over to the doors and threw them open. The guards jumped slightly and stared in amazement as Wolfram marched past them in his night wear. Yuri stomped over to the doors and slammed them shut.

Wolfram made it back to his own room before the tears started. Wolfram closed and locked the door behind him before sliding to the floor. Once the tears started they wouldn't stop. Wolfram drew his knees to his chest and hugged them tightly as he cried.

-:-

Don't say what you're about to say,

Look back before you leave my life,

Be sure before you close that door,

Before you roll those dice,

Baby think twice.

Baby think twice for the sake of our love for the memory,

For the fire and the faith that was you and me,

Babe I know it ain't easy when your soul cries out for higher ground,

'Cause when you're halfway up, you're always halfway down,

But baby this is serious,

(Baby this is serious)

Are you thinking about you or us?

-:-

It had been a week since Yuri and Wolfram had officially ended their engagement. Rumours were flying all around the castle. Some said that Wolfram had tried to seduce Yuri who had hit him. Others claimed that Yuri had been seen kissing the human Princess Maya and Wolfram had ended the engagement in response. Others said that Wolfram and Yuri had had a fight which resulted in their break-up. No one knew for sure which version was true but one thing was certain, Wolfram and Yuri were not engaged and not likely to be ever again.

Wolfram had started taking his meals alone and withdrawing from courtly life altogether. Whenever they crossed paths Wolfram would call Yuri 'Your Majesty' and Yuri had stopped using his nick-name of 'Wolf' for Wolfram. Conrad and Gwendal were left as go-betweens for Yuri and Wolfram. Gwendal wanted to know what had really happened but Yuri and Wolfram had both clammed up tight. Not even Conrad knew what had really happened. Josak wondered if it had something to do with the advice he gave Wolfram the night all this happened but he wasn't sure. Maybe Wolfram had pushed the Maoh too far and an argument had arisen. Josak knew that harsh words were often spoken in the heat of the moment that neither side really meant at all. What they all needed was for Wolfram and Yuri to sit down and talk but the two were avoiding each other like the plague. Yuri stayed locked up in his study all day and Wolfram with his soldiers. At meal times Wolfram ate alone or with his men.

Josak sighed as he leaned against the window sill and looked over the town of Shinmakoku. Today had been the same as any other day. Yuri and Wolfram avoided each other and the atmosphere in the castle became worse and worse. The sun was just touching the horizon bathing everything in an orange glow. Josak watched as candles were lit inside people's houses as evening descended. Josak wanted to mend the rift that had appeared between Yuri and Wolfram but he didn't know how. He and his lover had never had a problem like this.

"Josak?" Josak turned and smiled at Conrad as he entered his bedroom.

"I was just thinking about you."

"Hmm, if I know you I'm sure you weren't thinking anything decent." Conrad said with that gentle smile that Josak loved so much. Josak opened his arms and Conrad stepped into the embrace with a sigh. Josak wrapped his arms around his lover and closed his eyes.

"I was thinking about Wolfram and Yuri too." Conrad stiffened before he relaxed again.

"I doubt that you telling Wolfram to show Yuri 'what he was missing' was the cause of their break-up." Conrad pulled back to look into Josak's blue eyes. "They were both bottling up their feelings inside them for so long an explosion was bound to happen." Josak nodded with a heavy sigh.

"I still feel bad though." Josak admitted. Conrad tilted his head up and kissed Josak gently on the lips.

"They are the only ones who can get through this Josak. Maybe they weren't meant to be after all." Conrad pressed his forehead against Josak's. Yuri had sworn Conrad to secrecy and Conrad would never break a promise, but Yuri had been coming to Conrad for advice about his confused feelings a lot before the break-up. Conrad had begun to think that maybe his baby brother and Yuri had a future together after all. Turns out it was all a false hope.

"Maybe all they need is a push." Josak offered with a smile before he kissed Conrad again. Conrad closed his eyes and let Josak push him gently backwards towards the bed. Josak had a point about Yuri and Wolfram though. Maybe they did need a push to get back together.

(Morning)

Wolfram read through the letter he had received from his uncle. He had sent a letter shortly after his and Yuri's break-up asking his uncle if he could return home for a few months. He just wanted to get away from everything and away from Yuri. Waltorana Von Bielefeld would know that his nephew was no longer engaged to the Maoh but he didn't seem angry in his letter. More resigned to the fact that a Bielefeld wouldn't sit beside the Maoh on the throne. Wolfram tucked the letter in his breast pocket and went to round up his men.

Wolfram's soldiers, all dressed in smart blue uniforms, jumped to attention when they saw Wolfram. They knew their commander had broken off the engagement with their Maoh but their loyalty to Wolfram came before their loyalty to Yuri. They all believed that Yuri didn't love Wolfram like he deserved. Wolfram had been Yuri's loyal servant for three years, the least Yuri could do was marry him to show his thanks for the support and blood Wolfram had spilt in his name. Therefore, all of Wolfram's soldiers believed that Wolfram was right and Yuri wrong.

"Men, we are travelling to the Bielefeld lands this afternoon. Get the horses and packs ready at once." Wolfram ordered.

"Yes Sir!" The soldiers saluted and hurried away. Wolfram watched them go before heading back inside the castle. Wolfram walked to Yuri's office his heart thumping in his chest. He had never been so nervous in his life. He had spoken to Yuri a million times before but never when things were so tense between them. Wolfram used to be confident he could bully the wimp into doing what he wanted but after seeing another side to Yuri he almost feared him. Wolfram stopped outside Yuri's office door. He ignored the maids who were gasping and whispering among themselves. Wolfram knocked loudly.

"Come in!" Yuri's voice called. Wolfram opened the door and shut it behind him. Yuri glanced up and froze before putting his pen down slowly. The tension appeared in the air at once. "Wolfram, what can I do for you?"

"Your Majesty, I would like to request time off to travel to the Bielefeld lands." Wolfram said straight out. He stood to attention and didn't look Yuri in the eyes. His voice was steady but his heart was still thumping hard in his chest.

"Why do you want to go there?" Yuri asked in surprise.

"I wish to return home, Your Majesty." Wolfram answered calmly. Yuri really wished Wolfram would quit calling him 'Your Majesty' all the time. It was so formal and so unlike Wolfram it bothered him.

"Are you not needed here?" Yuri asked. Please don't leave me.

"Gwendal and Conrad can run things perfectly without me here. I can be contacted by carrier pigeon if my services are needed." Wolfram said ignoring the voice that screamed inside his head. Don't let me leave Yuri. Tell me that you need me.

"Well I see no reason why you can't go home if that is what you wish." Why are you leaving me Wolfram?

"Then I respectfully ask your permission to leave Shinmakoku and return to the Bielefeld lands." I don't want to leave you, Yuri.

"Permission granted," Yuri sighed as Wolfram nodded and turned away. "Wolfram," Yuri paused and Wolfram glanced over his shoulder, "I hope what has happened between us has not destroyed our friendship." What a stupid thing to say! Of course it has affected our friendship you dolt! Yuri told himself. Wolfram was quiet for a moment before turning back to Yuri.

"I remain and always will remain your humble servant My King." Wolfram bowed then turned and left the room. Yuri sighed and leaned back in his chair. That sentence told him everything he needed to know.

-:-

Gwendal couldn't believe that Wolfram was running away once again. It seemed whenever Wolfram came up against a problem he didn't want to face he ran away. Gwendal had seen Wolfram grow up and mature a lot over the years since Yuri's rule and he knew that Wolfram's feelings for Yuri had played a huge part. It seemed with the dissolve of their engagement Wolfram had gone back to his old ways.

"Gwendal, are you alright?" Gwendal looked up at Gunter who was watching him carefully. Gwendal grunted and went back to knitting a kitten for Wolfram to take with him when he left this afternoon for the Bielefeld lands. He had been trying to think of reasons to make Wolfram stay but Gunter had shot them all down. Gunter looked at the mass of knitting that Gwendal had created. It looked a little bit like a podgy bear.

"Gwendal if Wolfram wants to leave and if Yuri isn't going to stop him then you should let him go with good grace." Gwendal grunted again. "Oh the trials of young love!" Gunter wailed pressing a hand against his forehead. Gwendal's eyebrow twitched.

"They are not in love that is the problem." Gwendal said finishing the last stitch and admiring his handy-work. It wasn't the best work ever but for a morning's work it wasn't bad.

"Oh His Majesty must be suffering terribly." Gunter sighed making Gwendal's eye twitch again. "Maybe I should comfort him?" Gunter suggested and Gwendal snorted. He had a feeling that the last thing Yuri needed was Gunter fawning over him. "Hmm, you're right there is someone else who needs my attention more than His Majesty." Gwendal was about to ask who when Gunter swooped down and kissed him on the brow.

"Gunter –" Gwendal began but Gunter just winked at him before floating out of the room in a flash of lilac and white. Gwendal blinked at the spot that Gunter used to be in before a rare smile spread over his face.

-:-

Wolfram checked everything was secure one last time before mounting his white mare with practised ease. Knowing that they were going on a long trip the mare tossed her head eager to be off. Wolfram patted her neck and glanced at his men. They were all on their horses checking girths or adjusting stirrups. Saddle bags were tied to everyone's saddles and filled to bursting with everything they would need for the several days ride. Wolfram glanced at his little big brother and smiled. Conrad didn't smile back.

"I will be fine Conrad; I just need some fresh air." Conrad nodded but he didn't look convinced.

"Send me a letter when you get back to your uncle's castle." Conrad instructed and Wolfram nodded. Josak was standing a little behind Conrad and was staring at Wolfram with a sad look in his eyes. Wolfram turned away to check on his men. They were all ready to leave so Wolfram picked up his reins.

"Just a moment Wolfram," Wolfram turned in surprise to see his older brother Gwendal walking towards them. "Take this with you as a good luck charm." Wolfram looked at the hand-knitted bear and smiled.

"Thank you brother," Wolfram took the bear and put it into his saddle bag.

"It's a kitten," Gwendal said sombrely and Wolfram glanced at his brother wondering if he was joking. Gwendal looked dead serious.

"It's very nice," Wolfram said slowly and Gwendal nodded. Wolfram sat up straight and nodded at his brothers. "Well goodbye then."

"Isn't Yuri going to see you off?" Conrad asked in surprise and Wolfram felt his heart jump.

"He is busy so I don't want to bother him." Wolfram said before jerking the reins making his mare snort in protest. "I will write when I get to the Bielefeld lands." With that said Wolfram turned his mare's head and trotted away. Wolfram's men, totalling six, all turned and followed their commander.

-:-

"What, Wolfram has left already?" Yuri exclaimed in surprise that evening when he asked if Wolfram would be joining them at dinner or not.

"He didn't tell you?" Conrad asked in surprise.

"He said he was leaving but he said nothing about leaving today." Yuri poked his food with a frown. He had wanted to talk with Wolfram again before he left but Wolfram had slipped past him it seemed.

"Wolfram promised to send a letter once he reached the Bielefeld Castle safely." Conrad said and Yuri glanced up. "He has six of his men with him, I'm sure he will be fine." Yuri nodded. Suddenly the castle was a whole lot quieter and lonelier without Wolfram in it.

-:-

Don't say what you're about to say,

Look back before you leave my life,

Be sure before you close that door,

Before you roll those dice,

Baby think twice.

Baby this is serious,

(This is serious)

Are you thinking about you or us?

-:-

Wolfram couldn't believe that it had been a whole month since he left Shinmakoku to live with his uncle in the Bielefeld castle. Time seemed to have flown by for Wolfram the past few weeks. Waltorana it seemed had taken Wolfram's single status to his advantage. Within a week of Wolfram's arrival as the Bielefeld castle an old admirer of Wolfram's had turned up. Wolfram hadn't been expecting to see Merrick Caedon ever again. Merrick wasn't from one of the mazoku noble families but his family were extremely rich merchants who made their living shipping just about anything between all the kingdoms be they human kingdoms or mazoku. Rumour had it that they also operated on the black market and while nothing had ever been proved Wolfram didn't doubt it for a moment.

Merrick may not belong to one of the ten noble families but his ancestors had married into the noble families on several occasions. Not in to the Bielefeld family however, it had always been a proud family and would only marry its children to children of noble birth. Merrick was three years older than Wolfram and when Wolfram was 30 years old the two had met for the first time. Merrick had taken a liking to Wolfram at once and had made rather suggestive comments and promises to the blond mazoku on several occasions. Wolfram had threatened to set Merrick on fire if he continued to try his luck. Merrick didn't have any control over elements so he had backed down very quickly seeing Wolfram as a lost cause.

It wasn't until Wolfram was in his 60s when he met Merrick again. The dark brunet had calmed down a lot in the past 30 odd years and Wolfram found himself rather liking the blue eyed mazoku. Merrick had stopped making dirty jokes and had an air of professionalism around him as a result of taking a more active role in his father's company. Merrick had travelled to every port that existed in the world and visited every major trader in every country. Merrick spoke several languages and could write and understand several more. Wolfram respected those who possessed knowledge and understanding and Merrick had lots of both. Merrick still rather liked Wolfram but Wolfram could tell that Merrick's admiration was because of his looks and nothing more. Wolfram didn't want to marry someone who wanted him for his looks. He wanted something deeper so he had once again refused Merrick's advances though not as bluntly as before. Now Merrick was back.

"Wolfram, how did you sleep last night?" Merrick gave Wolfram a white toothed smile as he sat beside the blond at the breakfast table. Maids hurried to place a plate of neatly cut fruit in front of Merrick. Merrick picked up a fork and gazed at Wolfram out of his deep blue eyes. Wolfram was always reminded of the ocean when he looked into Merrick's eyes. Merrick even smelt like the sea.

"I slept very well thank you Caedon," Wolfram smiled, "How about you?"

"This castle is so quiet and peaceful it is impossible not to sleep. I'm used to listening to the rigging creak and sailors shout all hours of the day and night." Merrick smiled and leaned forward on one elbow. "Wolfram, why don't you call me Merrick? Caedon sounds so formal." Merrick smiled and Wolfram smiled back.

"Very well, Merrick," Merrick's grin widened and Wolfram felt his cheeks heat up. Any other time he would have scolded Merrick for being formal but he felt starved for attention and Merrick was spending almost every waking moment with him. It was so refreshing to be around someone who genuinely wanted him around. It was nothing like when he was with Yuri who just wanted him to go away. Wolfram looked down at the fruit sitting on his plate. That statement wasn't fair. There were times when he and Yuri would be alone together and the bond between them would be unmistakeable. It seemed that those days were long gone.

"Wolfram, are you alright?" Merrick's warm rough hand was placed on top of Wolfram's making Wolfram start. Wolfram looked up at Merrick who was gazing at him in concern.

"Yes I am fine, I was just," Wolfram stopped and looked away from Merrick's intense gaze.

"You were thinking about your ex-fiancé again weren't you?" Merrick didn't sound angry; in fact his voice was filled with understanding. Wolfram nodded.

"Yes," Wolfram said quietly.

"It's ok Wolfram, after being engaged for three years I don't expect you to forget him in a few weeks." Merrick smiled and squeezed Wolfram's hand. "It just means I have to fight that bit harder for your heart." Merrick's voice was soft and gentle but it still made Wolfram jump. Wolfram stared at Merrick who looked back at him steadily.

"Y-you, you still –" Wolfram stumbled for the right words but came up with nothing. Merrick smiled.

"For a long time I gave up on you and looked for another. I even considered marriage to a young hansom mazoku male but," Merrick sighed, "it didn't work out. He ran off with a human and I've never seen him since."

"I'm sorry Merrick." Wolfram said with feeling. Merrick shook his head.

"Don't be; he didn't love me so I let him run. It put me off finding a new lover for a long time though. But with my father's death I realised that the whole future of my father's, my, company rested on my shoulders alone. Ever since I turned 40 my father has been grooming me to take over one day. He started giving over parts of his company to me one piece at a time until I was running the company while he watched from the sidelines without me even realising it." Merrick turned his ocean-blue eyes to the floor to ceiling window that was opposite their table. The flowers and grass swayed gently in the light breeze lit up by the bright sun.

"It must have been hard for you when your father died." Wolfram said gently his breakfast forgotten. Merrick turned back to Wolfram and nodded.

"Yes, the company had to keep going otherwise it would lose too much money. I took one day off to go to my father's funeral but the next day I was back at work. My mother didn't take the death of my father well. They had been married over 90 years you know." Merrick smiled sadly and Wolfram nodded.

"I heard she was unwell, I'm sorry I didn't visit you." Merrick shook his head with a smile.

"You had more important things to do with the arrival of the new Maoh and all. I was shocked to hear that he proposed to you the same day he arrived!" Merrick chuckled, "He certainly didn't waste any time claiming you." Wolfram turned bright red and hunched his shoulders.

"Yuri – I mean – His Majesty didn't know our customs. I insulted him so he slapped me unaware that it meant a proposal among the noble families. He never wanted to marry me." Wolfram heard the pain and hurt in his voice even though he tried to hide it. Merrick turned serious as he listened to Wolfram's explanation.

"But you did want to marry him?" Merrick asked gently. Wolfram looked into Merrick's blue eyes and gave him an honest answer.

"I didn't at first in fact I wanted nothing to do with the Maoh least of all be married to him. I don't know when my feelings changed, I think when I realised that His Majesty could be a great King after all and I saw the good he was doing I began to love him."

"Do you still love him?" Merrick asked his voice still gentle but there was a hint of worry in his voice. Wolfram gazed out of the picture window for a moment thinking over his answer.

"Maybe," Wolfram said at last, "But I don't want to anymore. I want to stop hurting." Merrick smiled and squeezed Wolfram's hand. Wolfram hadn't even realised that Merrick hadn't let go yet.

"You will one day; I can help you get your smile back." Merrick said and Wolfram glanced at him with a half smile.

"Yes, I believe you can."

(Next day)

Wolfram leaned over his mare's neck and urged her to go faster. Merrick was right behind him riding his bay gelding. The wind whipped Wolfram's hair around his face and into his green eyes as he leaned slightly to the left. The mare felt Wolfram shift his weight and she responded by turning left towards a large Oak tree. Wolfram glanced over his shoulder to see Merrick catching up fast behind him. Wolfram's mare was faster on the turns but Merrick's gelding had longer legs and could gain ground on the straights. Wolfram looked back to the Oak tree that marked the finishing line. All Wolfram could hear was the pounding of hooves on dry earth and grass. His heart was beating fast with excitement as the thrill of the chase filled his body. Wolfram could feel the rocking movement of his mare under him as she stretched her legs as far as they could go.

Merrick was now almost along side Wolfram. But Wolfram's mare shot over the finish line just a head in front of Merrick's gelding. Wolfram cheered and patted his mare's neck as she slowed down. Merrick cursed but his cheeks were pink from excitement and he was grinning. Wolfram knew that he was grinning like a fool as well but he didn't care. Once the horses had dropped out of a full gallop and into a gentle canter Wolfram and Merrick could talk. Both boys were breathless and bright eyed.

"You know I let you beat me." Merrick said still breathing hard.

"Ha, I beat you far and square." Wolfram panted back still grinning. Wolfram leaned forward to pat his mare's neck again and she tossed her head and whickered. Wolfram licked his lips and glanced around looking for his men who were had been setting up the picnic Wolfram and Merrick had brought with them. It was a gorgeous day with the sun shining brightly in a bright blue sky. Not a cloud could be seen and there was a gentle breeze which prevented the day from being too hot. Wolfram and Merrick along with three of Wolfram's men had left the Bielefeld castle shortly after breakfast with Wolfram's men carrying a huge picnic between them. When Wolfram saw the picnic he had wondered if a small army would be joining them. There was certainly enough food for one.

The horses slowed to a trot as they gently cooled off after their wild gallop around the lake. Wolfram had always loved this spot as a child because his father would take him out here whenever he was in his home land. Wolfram treasured those memories after his father had died and this spot had remained his favourite place. It was a two hour ride from the castle through thick forest then the forest opened up to show a wide clearing with a deep blue lake in the centre. The clearing was full of green grass dotted with wild flowers of every colour. The constant sound of the wind whispering through the trees surrounding the clearing gave the whole place a calm feeling.

Wolfram spotted his men setting out the picnic a few meters from the edge of the lake. Their horses were tied to a nearby tree that stood out by itself in the middle of the clearing. Wolfram groaned when he saw all the food. "We are never going to eat all that food!" Wolfram exclaimed and Merrick laughed.

"I think the kitchen might have gone a little over the top." Merrick admitted and Wolfram snorted.

"If we eat all that we will be sick, not to mention we wouldn't be able to move we would be so fat!" Merrick threw his head back and laughed. Wolfram looked at him then started to giggle as well. Soon the two of them were laughing so hard they almost fell off their horses.

"W-why are we l-laughing?" Merrick gasped out trying to control his laughter and failing.

"You s-started it!" Wolfram said breathless from laughing. The two looked at each other and it set them off again. Wolfram's men looked up at the sound of Wolfram's laughter and exchanged grins. It was so nice for them to hear Wolfram laughing like that again. People were already starting to wonder if Merrick was going to propose to Wolfram. Others were wondering if Wolfram would say yes. A rich merchant was several steps down from a Maoh but Merrick could easily replicate Wolfram's living style with his vast wealth.

Wolfram and Merrick finally got control over their giggles and they pulled their horses back to a walk. Both horses had stopped panting for air now they had had time to cool down. Two of Wolfram's men stood up and took Wolfram and Merrick's horse's reins when they stopped. Wolfram and Merrick dismounted and Wolfram's men took the horses to the lake for a drink. Wolfram stretched before sitting down with a thump on the red and white checked table cloth that was stretched out on the grass. Merrick sat down with more grace as he eyed the spread before them.

"Good grief there is rather a lot isn't there?" Merrick said and Wolfram gave Merrick a 'no kidding' look. Wolfram and Merrick's horses were tied up beside Wolfram's soldier's horses and started to happily munch on the grass.

"Men help yourself to anything you want," Wolfram spread his hand to include all the food laid out before them.

"That is not proper Sir," One of Wolfram's soldiers tried to argue but Wolfram shook his head.

"Solider I couldn't possibly eat all of this even if there were six of me." Merrick gave a short laugh and Wolfram arched an eyebrow at him.

"Sorry I was just trying to imagine six Wolframs but it was impossible." Merrick grinned and Wolfram rolled his eyes before jabbing Merrick gently in the ribs.

"Anyway, all three of you need to help Merrick and me eat all this otherwise its going to go to waste." Wolfram said and his men nodded although they didn't look that happy about breaking protocol.

"It's Merrick and I actually, not Merrick and me." Merrick said with a grin making Wolfram laugh.

"Oh shut up and eat you idiot." Wolfram grinned to take the bite out of his words and Merrick nodded and pulled a plate towards himself and started filling it with cold meats. One of Wolfram's men pulled another sheet out of his saddle bag and placed it a little way from Wolfram and Merrick's. Wolfram noticed but didn't comment.

For several minutes the only sound was content munching and the sound of bees buzzing from one flower to another. Wolfram gazed over the lake watching the sunlight sparkle on its surface. As usual the lake was almost completely flat giving an almost perfect mirror image of the land surrounding the lake. Wolfram had thought about bringing Yuri here several times but there was never time. Some disaster or crisis would appear leaving no time for holidays no matter how short. Merrick noticed that Wolfram seemed distracted.

"You are really different you know." Merrick said making Wolfram look at him. "I've known you most of your life and you've changed more in just three years than all the time I've known you."

"A good change or a bad one?" Wolfram teased but Merrick looked dead serious.

"Its defiantly good, you are so much calmer and well, to be honest, a lot less bossy and demanding." Wolfram's men froze but Wolfram just tilted his head in thought.

"Uh, I hadn't noticed," Wolfram commented eating a piece of meat.

"Like just now for example, if I had said that four years ago you would have set me on fire." Merrick pointed out. Wolfram glanced at Merrick out of the corner of his eye.

"That could still happen you know." Merrick went pale. Wolfram tried to remain serious but the smile slipped out and Merrick relaxed again.

"I would never have thought you would tease me like that either, I like it." Merrick leaned forward and before Wolfram could think, he kissed Wolfram gently on the lips. The kiss was short and chaste. It was just a peck on the lips really but it made Wolfram's heart pound. He had waited three long years to be kissed by the one he secretly loved and although Merrick wasn't that person he welcomed the attention. Merrick pulled back watching Wolfram's face carefully to see his reaction.

"Call that a kiss? Surely you can do better than that." Wolfram scoffed a smile threatening to break out across his face. Merrick blinked in surprise before grinning and leaning forward again. This time Wolfram tilted his head to accept the kiss. Deep inside Wolfram knew he didn't love Merrick and that he was using him as a substitute since he couldn't win Yuri's love. Wolfram knew that was wrong but he yearned to feel the touch of someone who loved him and Merrick was the only one willing to offer what Wolfram so desperately craved. Besides, Wolfram was hoping that, given time, he would love Merrick back.

-:-

Don't say what you're about to say,

(No, no, no)

Look back before you leave my life,

(Don't leave my life)

Be sure before you close that door,

Before you roll those dice,

Baby think twice.

-:-

Yuri had been denying it for weeks. But as the weeks turned into a month Yuri finally had to admit it. He missed Wolfram. A lot. He missed his whining, he missed him calling him a wimp, he missed Wolfram's presence in his bed at night and most of all he missed the protection that having a fiancé gave him. Yuri must have received hundreds of letters from wealthy families who wanted their daughters, and in some cases sons, to become his next fiancé. Yuri had been forced to sit through so many personal pleas for his affection he feared he might be going mad. At first Yuri had loved all the attention from beautiful girls he received but it was clear even to him that all they wanted was the prestige and power that being married to the Maoh gave them. They wanted jewels and fancy silk dresses. Yuri had almost fainted when he causally asked Cecile how much a dress one of the girls had talked about would cost. Yuri was sure that if married a girl like that the country would be bankrupt within a year.

Wolfram had never asked for silk outfits or fancy jewels. Wolfram hadn't even wanted to marry him at first so Yuri was sure that Wolfram didn't want the power and status that came with being married to the Maoh. Wolfram was strong and independent and could hold his own in a fight. Most of the girls Yuri saw looked like a strong wind would blow them away. They were clingy and at times boring and annoying. Yuri had found reason to turn every one of them down but he found himself re-using excuses with different girls and it was bound to get him in to trouble. Yuri now told Gwendal to toss out any requests for his hand in marriage they could politically ignore and send polite refusals to those they couldn't. Yuri got the feeling that Murata was laughing at him behind his back. In fact Murata was spending a lot of time in Shinou's temple recently. Ulrike refused to comment on went on behind closed doors but Yuri and a sneaking suspicion. He had seen the usually perfectly kept Murata walking away from the temple his front buttons on his uniform done up wrong, his shirt only half tucked in and his hair messed up with a content look on his face. Yuri decided on that day that he really didn't want to know what was going on as he was sure it didn't involve the temple maids.

Yuri groaned and dropped yet another letter on the 'signed' pile and looked at the stake of papers he had left to do. Yuri stuck his tongue out at them childishly before snatching another one off the pile. There was a knock at the door and Yuri dropped his head on the table with a loud thump. If it was Gwendal with yet more papers then Yuri was going to pass out. The door opened and Conrad looked around the door.

"Yuri, are you in here?"

"Ah Conrad are we going to practise?" Yuri asked hopefully as he half-stood up. Recently Conrad had taken over Yuri's sword training since Wolfram wasn't here to do it. Yuri even missed Wolfram training him to the brink of death while Wolfram's men watched in amusement.

"No Gwendal has me under strict instructions not to take you away from your work." Conrad grinned as Yuri dropped inelegantly back into his chair. "I do however have a letter from the Bielefeld lands addressed to you from Waltorana." Yuri perked up at once. After Wolfram's rather short letter to say that he had arrived safely home he hadn't heard a thing from him or his uncle. Conrad noticed Yuri's reaction and smiled. Everyone could tell that Yuri was moping; it was rather sweet that Yuri missed Wolfram so much but the only problem was that Wolfram wasn't there to see it himself. Conrad handed over the letter and Yuri opened it with a letter opener and skim read its contents.

"Waltorana is having a party and he has invited me, you, Greta, Cecile, Gunter and Gwendal." Yuri looked up at Conrad. "Why would Waltorana being throwing a party?"

"The letter doesn't say?" Conrad asked puzzled and Yuri looked back over the letter before shaking his head.

"All it says it that the party is in a week from today. A week, that means we need to leave soon." Yuri stood up frowning. "If Gwendal and Gunter are coming I will need to ask Gunter to find someone to do the paper work while I'm away."

"Whoa Yuri, we haven't said that we are going yet." Conrad pointed out.

"Waltorana is expecting us to attend and I can't think of any reasons not to go." Yuri shrugged. Conrad opened his mouth when Yuri cut him off. "Besides, Wolfram will be there." Conrad shut his mouth when he saw the pleading look in Yuri's eyes.

"Fine, I will let Gwendal know." Conrad sighed and Yuri beamed at Conrad in delight.

"Thanks Conrad," Yuri gave Conrad a hug and ran to the door.

"Hey where are you going?" Conrad pointed at all the paper work Yuri had left to do.

"I was going to tell Greta," Yuri edged towards the door but Conrad shook his head and pointed at Yuri's chair.

"You sit," Conrad said firmly and Yuri's shoulders dropped as he headed back to his chair. "You can tell Greta at dinner this evening."

"When will we leave?" Yuri asked as he sat down behind his desk. Conrad smiled at Yuri's eagerness, he just hoped Wolfram would be as excited to see Yuri as Yuri was to see him.

"The party is in a week from now right?" Conrad asked and Yuri nodded. "It takes three days to ride to the Bielefeld lands so we should leave in three days from now."

"But that means we won't reach the Bielefeld lands for another six days!" Yuri protested and Conrad grinned.

"I'm sure Wolfram will still be there Yuri." Conrad teased and Yuri turned bright red.

"I meant that we would only turn up the day before the party. Shouldn't we get there sooner?"

"I think Waltorana is up to something," Conrad admitted, "I don't want to be with him for any longer than need be."

-:-

"A party?" Wolfram repeated in shock staring at his uncle. "Why are you throwing a party?"

"Do I need a reason to have a party in my own castle?" Waltorana asked. Waltorana, Wolfram and Merrick were sitting in the dinning room eating dinner when Waltorana had suddenly announced he was having a party out of the blue.

"Well no of course not uncle but you don't usually throw parties." Wolfram frowned at his uncle wondering if he was planning something.

"I have been planning this party for many months actually," Waltorana lied, "You just happen to be here for it that's all."

"Why didn't you mention anything before Lord Bielefeld?" Merrick asked.

"I forgot," Waltorana said simply piercing a piece of meat with his fork.

"When is the party?" Wolfram asked already thinking about what he had that he could wear.

"In a week from today," Waltorana replied smoothly. A week, Wolfram thought in alarm. Now he was sure that his uncle was planning something.

"Who is coming to this party of yours?" Wolfram asked eyeing his uncle with heavy suspicion.

"Someone from each of the noble families, a few notable merchants, some close friends and the Maoh of course." Waltorana ticked off on his fingers. Wolfram froze when he heard that Yuri was coming.

"His Majesty will be coming?"

"Well I haven't received a reply yet but I'm sure he will be." Waltorana answered Merrick's question with a smile. Merrick glanced at Wolfram who had turned rather pale. "I invited that girl Greta, your mother and your brothers as well as Gunter." Waltorana continued and Wolfram felt himself relax slightly. I wanted to see Greta again and he missed his brothers and his mother. He could find out if Gwendal and Gunter were public with their relationship or were still sneaking kisses behind closed doors. It didn't matter that the whole castle knew about their relationship already.

"I look forward to it," Merrick said politely with a small bow at Waltorana. Waltorana nodded and continued eating. Wolfram glanced at his food no longer hungry. The rest of dinner seemed to drag on forever but all the courses were finally eaten and Waltorana retired to his study.

Wolfram went to his room his mind reeling. Part of him was excited to see Yuri again but another part of him wanted Yuri to stay far away. He didn't want to hurt anymore but if Yuri was going to turn up in less than a week than Wolfram knew that the hurt would return. He wasn't ready to let Yuri go just yet. He wasn't ready to face his feelings. Wolfram stopped outside his room and pressed his forehead against the wood.

"Wolfram, are you alright?" Wolfram turned to Merrick who was giving him the same concerned look his gave him yesterday over breakfast. "You look pale, are you ill?"

"No I'm fine," Wolfram sighed, he seemed to be saying that he was fine to a lot of people lately and it was rarely true.

"You haven't stopped loving him yet have you?" Merrick asked but once again his tone wasn't accusing. Wolfram nodded and stepped up close to Merrick.

"You're right Merrick, but all I need is a little more time to get over him." Wolfram wrapped his arms around Merrick's neck and kissed him gently on the lips. "Can you wait for me?" Wolfram whispered against Merrick's lips

"I don't know," Merrick whispered back, "I don't even know who it is you see when you kiss me."

"The only people here are you and me." Wolfram said softly and kissed Merrick again. Inside he knew that Merrick was right. He often thought of Yuri when he and Merrick were together and having fun. He wished that it was Yuri laughing beside him and smiling at him instead of Merrick. "There is no point loving someone who doesn't love you back." Wolfram whispered as tears gathered in his eyes. "But never in a million, million years would I ever possibly consider that person being you. You and I are total opposites and so wrong for each other it's not even funny." Wolfram shivered as he remembered Yuri's hurtful words that fateful night.

"Sshh, its ok Wolfram." Merrick held Wolfram tightly as tears slipped down Wolfram's cheeks. "Just remember this; you deserve to be loved just as much as anyone else." Merrick said softly in Wolfram's ear as he rubbed Wolfram's back in slow gentle circles. Wolfram nodded against Merrick's chest hating himself for being so weak. Even after everything that had happened Wolfram still wished it was Yuri holding him so tightly.

-:-

Don't do what you're about to do,

My everything depends on you,

(I depend on you)

Whatever it takes I'll sacrifice,

Before you roll those dice,

(Don't do it baby, no don't do it baby)

-:-

(Night of the party at Waltorana's castle)

Yuri was very annoyed. A hold up in Shinmakoku had delayed their departure so they only arrived at Waltorana's castle early in the morning of the day of the party. Yuri had been corned as soon as he arrived by members of the ten noble families who wanted to talk, or in most cases complain, about goings on in their respective lands. Yuri had searched for Wolfram but the blond fire starter had been no where in sight. Yuri had a sneaking suspicion that Wolfram had run off before he arrived. The fact that none of Wolfram's men were around put weight behind Yuri's theory.

Since it was a party a carriage had followed Yuri and co. from Shinmakoku to the Bielefeld lands to carry all their smart clothes in large wooden boxes. Greta and Cecile had sat in the carriage as well. These boxes had been taken by servants to their rooms and the clothes hung up to stop them from becoming creased. Yuri was standing in front of his mirror adjusting his black uniform. This uniform was just a smarter version of his usual outfit complete with a purple sash around his shoulders held in place by a large red jewel on his right shoulder. Yuri made a few minor adjustments before he heard a loud knock on his bedroom door.

"Come in!" Yuri called and the door opened. Yuri smiled at the mirror at Conrad's reflection. Conrad was wearing the smart version of his brown military uniform. Yuri guessed that Gunter and Gwendal would be wearing their own smart military uniforms.

"Are you ready to go Yuri?" Conrad asked just as the clock in the hallway struck seven.

"Yeah, hey Conrad, have you seen Wolfram yet?" Yuri turned to look at Conrad with a frown.

"Waltorana said that Wolfram went out with a friend of his which was why he wasn't here when we arrived. He came back a few hours ago though." Conrad answered and Yuri frowned again.

"A friend?" Yuri repeated.

"Yes a guy called Merrick Caedon," Conrad shook his head, "I haven't seen Merrick in years."

"You know this guy?" Yuri asked.

"He must be different from when I knew him otherwise Wolfram would never be friends with him. It has been at least 40 or so years since I last saw him though." Yuri was once again struck at how old everyone was compared to him. Wolfram was in his 80s but he only looked about 19 years old if that.

"So this Merrick guy is a mazoku as well?" Yuri asked although he was already certain that he was.

"Merrick is the only son of a very powerful merchant who made his money through selling and trading just about anything to anyone. They were not bad people," Conrad added seeing Yuri's look, "They just had a good way of making money."

"So Merrick will inherit his father's company?"

"He already has, his father died a few years ago during your first year here." Conrad answered, "Merrick is well known among very high social circles."

"It will be interesting to meet this guy." Yuri said before smiling at Conrad. "But first we have a party to get to, so let's go." Yuri walked out of the room with Conrad following behind shaking his head.

-:-

Wolfram stood at the far end of the grand hall with Merrick beside him chatting to his mother. As soon as Cecile had seen her baby boy she had rushed over to hug him until Wolfram's face began to turn blue. Cecile had greeted Merrick as well but with a little more dignity than when she greeted her youngest son. Wolfram smiled as his mother told him how Gwendal and Gunter were still sneaking kisses when they thought no one was looking. It seemed they hadn't realised that everyone in the castle knew about their relationship and that no one was bothered by it. Wolfram couldn't help but feel a little jealous that his brothers had found love and he hadn't. Conrad and Josak had been lovers for months and Gwendal and Gunter were taking their time building up their relationship.

"Yuri has missed you Wolfie," Cecile said with a grin and Wolfram blushed.

"No he hasn't," Wolfram muttered looking away. He had run off this morning when he heard that Yuri had been delayed in Shinmakoku and wouldn't be arriving until early this morning. Wolfram knew it was cowardly but he couldn't help himself. He and Merrick had taken his men and gone out to the clearing and spent almost the whole day there. Wolfram had been tempted to stay there all night too but Merrick had convinced him to come back.

"He has to, he's been moping about the castle missing you but he just won't admit to it." Cecile said firmly and Wolfram gave up. No one won an argument with his mother.

"Papa Wolfram!" A voice squealed and Wolfram turned with a huge grin. Greta rushed towards Wolfram as fast as her pink ball dress would allow. Wolfram knelt down and opened his arms for Greta to run into. Wolfram hugged Greta tightly and she hugged him back.

"I've missed you Greta," Wolfram said with a smile. Greta pulled back and grinned hugely at Wolfram.

"I've missed you too Papa Wolfram. Papa Yuri has missed you as well." Greta added seeing her grandmother wink at her. Wolfram groaned and turned to look up at his mother who gazed innocently back at him.

"Mother really," Wolfram sighed, "Its bad enough you saying things like that without making Greta say them too."

"But its true Papa Wolfram!" Greta protested with a pout. Wolfram sighed and shook his head. He wanted it to be true, he really did, but he just couldn't believe that Yuri would miss him at all. He would be having too much fun flirting with girls. Wolfram scowled and stood up.

"Wolfram what's wrong?" Cecile asked putting a hand on Wolfram's shoulder. Wolfram shook his head and forced a grin on to his face.

"Its nothing mother," Wolfram turned back to Greta, "So do you have a new mummy already?"

"No silly," Greta giggled, "Papa Yuri didn't like any of the girls that visited him. He likes you." Greta smiled completely unaware what effect that sentence had on Wolfram. For Wolfram it was as if his heart stopped in his chest. Yuri turned down all those girls? Wolfram may not have any interest in women in general but he could recognise female beauty when he saw it, some of the wealthy daughters of the mazoku kingdom where very beautiful. Wolfram couldn't believe that Yuri would turn them all down.

"Its true Wolfram, Yuri turned down all the proposals he received." Cecile gazed at her son intently to make sure he knew that she was telling the truth. Wolfram gazed at his mother for a moment before looking away.

"It means nothing," Wolfram muttered. Cecile sighed heavily. Her son was so stubborn, he got that from his mother, and he refused to believe that Yuri would turn down all those women for him. Cecile had seen the way Yuri acted after Wolfram left and she was now convinced that Yuri had feelings for Wolfram but was unsure of how to express them. Cecile glanced at Merrick who was gazing at Wolfram in concern; she just hoped everything was going to turn out alright in the end.

-:-

Yuri entered the large hall looking for Wolfram. He was no where to be seen and Yuri frowned in annoyance. It seemed that Wolfram was avoiding him. Conrad spotted Gwendal and Gunter talking to Julie's older brother the Lord of the Wincott family. Conrad headed in his direction with Yuri following put out that he hadn't seen Wolfram yet.

"Your Majesty it's nice to see you again." Lord Wincott smiled his blue eyes kind. Yuri forced a smile onto his face.

"Hello Lord Wincott, how is your family?"

"They are all well, thank you." Lord Wincott bowed slightly and Yuri nodded his eyes still scanning the hall for Wolfram. "Are you looking for someone Your Majesty?" Lord Wincott asked brushing a lock of light blue hair out of his face.

"Oh," Yuri blushed, embarrassed at being caught out, "I was just looking for Wolfram I haven't seen him yet."

"I think I saw him over there," Lord Wincott pointed to the far end of the hall, "He was talking with his mother."

"Thank you Lord Wincott," Yuri nodded and turned and hurried away. Lord Wincott frowned in confusion and turned to Conrad.

"I thought they broke off their engagement?"

"They did," Conrad answered, "But I think they did it in the heat of the moment and neither really wanted it."

"So His Majesty is going to try and make up with Wolfram?" Lord Wincott asked in surprise. He knew that Yuri had been seeing several women who wished to be his bride but he also knew that Yuri had turned them all down.

"I don't know," Conrad admitted and glanced in the direction Yuri had taken, "But I hope so."

-:-

Cecile and Greta had left to mingle with other guests leaving Wolfram and Merrick alone. Wolfram was still thinking about what his mother and Greta had said. Could Yuri really have feelings for me? He made it pretty clear that night that he wanted nothing to do with me.

"What are you thinking about?" Merrick asked although he was pretty sure he knew the answer.

"Hmm, oh it's nothing Merrick." Wolfram shifted in place clearly uncomfortable. Merrick stepped up close to Wolfram and placed his hand on Wolfram's left hip. Wolfram stiffened but he didn't pull away so Merrick took that as a good sign.

"You are thinking about the Maoh again aren't you?" Merrick whispered in Wolfram's ear making Wolfram shiver.

-:-

"Cecile have you seen Wolfram?" Yuri asked the former demon Queen. It hadn't been difficult to spot Cecile in her bright red dress. As usual she was surrounded by young single men who had fallen for her good looks.

"Oh hello Your Majesty, yes he's just over there." Cecile pointed and Yuri thanked her before slipping through the crowd in the direction that Cecile had indicated. Cecile made a quick excuse and hurried after Yuri. She wanted to see what would happen when Yuri and Wolfram finally met up again.

-:-

"I wasn't thinking about him." Wolfram said his voice breathless. Merrick was so close Wolfram could see the flecks of green in his eyes. Merrick leaned forward and brushed his lips against Wolfram's ear making the blond shiver again.

"Yes you where," Merrick whispered, "But its ok Wolfram. I don't expect you to forget him, just think about me a little more ok?" Merrick said his breath ghosting over Wolfram's skin. Wolfram turned so he was facing Merrick. They were nose to nose. Their breath mingled when they breathed out.

"Ok," Wolfram said softly looking into Merrick's eyes.

-:-

Yuri spotted Wolfram's blue uniform and started forward with a smile. Then he frowned and slowed down. Wolfram was standing very close to a handsome boy who looked about the same age as Wolfram. The boy had dark brown hair and blue eyes and was whispering something in Wolfram's ear. The blond was blushing and shivering. Yuri felt something stir inside him that felt a lot like jealousy.

Yuri noticed the hand that the other boy had on Wolfram's hip and the feeling inside him grew stronger. Yuri walked forward and opened his mouth to announce his presence when Wolfram turned towards the other boy and looked into his eyes. Yuri stopped again as he saw Wolfram's lips move saying a word that Yuri couldn't hear. Then Wolfram tilted his head up and kissed the other boy on the lips. Yuri couldn't watch anymore. He turned and hurried away the image of Wolfram kissing someone else burned into his memory.

Yuri had thought that Wolfram would come back to him if he only asked him. He had believed that Wolfram would always be there for him. Yuri never considered that Wolfram would leave him for someone else. It hurt. Yuri left the hall and stepped outside. It was coming close to winter so the sun had already slipped over the hills. Yuri looked up at the stars above him. I am such an idiot, Yuri thought to himself. He was no longer Wolfram's fiancé which meant that Wolfram was free to love, kiss and marry who ever he wanted. Yuri closed his eyes and buried his face in his hands. He just wished it had been him.

-:-

Cecile had seen the whole thing. She saw Wolfram kiss Merrick and she saw Yuri watch the whole thing before turning and leaving. She saw the look of hurt and jealousy on Yuri's face. This is either going to be really good, or really bad. Cecile thought as Wolfram stepped back from Merrick's embrace and smiled shyly at the older mazoku. Cecile wanted Wolfram to be happy, and if Merrick made him happy then so be it. Cecile was sure however that Wolfram couldn't be happy with anyone but Yuri and she was now sure that Yuri could only be happy with Wolfram. Its time for some motherly intervention, Cecile thought with a grin.

-:-

"That was very nice," Merrick said with a grin making Wolfram blush. "Feel free to do that whenever you want." Merrick winked and Wolfram snorted and shoved Merrick lightly.

"Oh shut up you pervert," Wolfram said but he couldn't seem to get rid of the smile on his face.

"Wolfie darling," Cecile swept down on her son in a swirl of red skirts and a wave of perfume. Wolfram jumped startled and then blushed wondering how much his mother had seen. Did she see us kissing? Wolfram wondered mortified. If his mother had seen the kiss she would never let him forget that she saw it. "Meet me in ten minutes in the library." Cecile whispered loudly and Wolfram stared at his mother in confusion.

"Huh?"

"The library in ten minutes, come alone ok?" Cecile winked and swept away with nearly all of the men in the hall following her progress with their eyes. Wolfram stood still staring after his mother looking shocked and very confused.

"Is your mother always like this?" Merrick asked sounding amused.

"Most of time," Wolfram admitted. "Why does she want me to meet her in the library?" Wolfram asked out loud not really expecting an answer.

"Not a clue," Merrick shrugged and Wolfram glanced at him before turning back to gaze in the direction his mother had taken with a frown.

-:-

Wolfram had carefully considered whether or not meeting his mother alone was a good idea. When he had confessed his concern to Merrick the mazoku had laughed at him. Wolfram had been annoyed about that but he realised that Merrick didn't know his mother like he did. Wolfram knew that Cecile was up to something he just didn't know what. As Wolfram headed towards the library he suddenly realised that he hadn't seen Yuri yet. He had spotted his brothers chatting to some of the nobles when he left for the library but he hadn't seen Yuri with them.

Wolfram pushed open the library door and looked around. The library was cool and silent. All the lamps were lit and the flickering flames made the shadows dance on the walls. Waltorana's library wasn't very big for a library. The room was rectangle in shape with a large desk in the middle of the room with gold candle sticks resting on top of the worn old wood. Shelves of books lined the walls and a ladder leaned against one of the walls so people could reach the books on the top shelf. Wolfram walked over to the table and sat down. It was obvious that his mother wasn't here yet. Wolfram hoped that she hadn't played a trick on him.

The door opened and Wolfram looked up expecting to see his mother. Instead he saw Yuri poke his head around the door. Wolfram froze in shock. What is Yuri doing here? Yuri walked into the room not spotting Wolfram sitting motionless at the table.

"Cecile, are you in here?" Yuri asked frowning in confusion as the door shut with a light click behind him.

"Yuri, what you doing in here?" Wolfram asked standing up forgetting in his surprise to call Yuri 'Your Majesty'. Yuri jumped and whirled around his heat thumping loudly in his chest.

"Wolfram, you almost gave me a heart attack! Why are you sneaking up on me in the dark?" Yuri panted out in shock. Wolfram scowled.

"I did not sneak up on you!" Wolfram protested hotly. Yuri was about to argue that Wolfram did sneak up on him when he remembered what he had seen happen a few minutes ago. Yuri's face darkened and he looked away from Wolfram.

"Why are you in here Wolfram?" There was an edge to Yuri's voice that Wolfram didn't like at all.

"If you must know mother asked me to come here." Wolfram said stiffly. Yuri glanced at Wolfram in surprise.

"Cecile did? But she asked me to meet her here as well, she said she had something important to tell me that the others couldn't overhear." Yuri and Wolfram stared at each other each one realising that they had been tricked. Cecile had made it so they would meet up, alone.

"It seems we are being made fun of by my mother," Wolfram said heading towards the door. "I will speak with her."

"Who was that mazoku you were kissing earlier?" Yuri blurted out before he could stop himself. Wolfram froze his hand hovering over the door handle.

"You saw that?" Wolfram asked his voice low his face turned away from Yuri's gaze.

"Yes," Yuri said simply feeling that rush of jealousy return. "It seems you have found yourself a new fiancé already. Congratulations." Yuri's voice was heavy with sarcasm. Wolfram turned around his cheeks burning with anger and embarrassment.

"Merrick is not my fiancé," Wolfram said and Yuri's eyebrows shot up.

"That was Merrick? Are you just playing with his feelings then?"

"How can you say that when I –" Wolfram cut himself off and looked away. He could feel the tears building.

"You love him?" Yuri asked and his voice shook slightly.

"It's none of your damn business!" Wolfram snapped not caring that he was talking to the Maoh.

"It is my business!" Yuri retorted.

"Why?" Wolfram shouted back.

"Because I love you that's why!" Yuri shouted before he could stop himself. Wolfram recoiled as if he had been slapped. His eyes went wide and his face turned pale.

"What?" Wolfram whispered.

"I – I love you Wolfram, not as a friend, but, you know, that way." Yuri stammered his face bright red. Wolfram would have found the sight amusing had his heart not been beating so hard in his chest.

"How can you say that to me?" Wolfram exploded running up to Yuri and grabbing him by his jacket jerking him close. "How can you say that after all those things you said, about you never in a million years wanting to share your life with me? And what about us being total opposites and not right for each other?" Wolfram felt like he was going to break down and cry at any moment. His chest hurt and he was finding it difficult to breathe.

"I was upset!" Yuri said desperately. "I didn't mean anything I said back then."

"Then why did you say it?" Wolfram almost screamed in Yuri's face.

"I thought you didn't care about me then way I cared for you!" Yuri cried grabbing Wolfram's face between his hands to lock his gaze with Wolfram's. "I thought that all the times you ran after me or protected me was just because you felt it was your duty as my fiancé and as a soldier. I didn't, no I couldn't, marry someone who just saw it as their duty. I wanted to protect myself so I pushed you away." Yuri dropped his hands and looked down at the carpet. Wolfram stared at Yuri in shock his hands releasing Yuri's jacket.

"You thought that I didn't have any feelings for you?" Wolfram asked in shock.

"I thought you were just acting that way because you felt you had no choice. You yourself said that it would bring shame on your family name in you broke off the engagement." Yuri refused to look at Wolfram.

"You," Wolfram gritted his teeth, "You stupid idiot wimp!" Wolfram yelled making Yuri jump. "I was in love with you! At first I did it because it was my duty but then I fell in love with you and everything changed!" Wolfram sniffed trying to keep the tears back. "How could you have possibly thought that everything I did was out of duty not love?" Wolfram slumped, all his energy gone. Yuri stared at Wolfram for a few seconds before his face creased in a wide smile.

"You love me?" Yuri whispered hardly daring to believe it.

"Yes you idiot wimp weren't you listening to me?" Wolfram said looking up. Yuri grabbed Wolfram and pulled him forward. Yuri crushed their lips together in their first real kiss. It was sloppy and Wolfram hadn't been expecting it so their teeth clacked together. Yuri pulled back and smiled at Wolfram's shocked face.

"That was all I wanted to hear." Yuri reached out to caress Wolfram's face. Wolfram couldn't believe that this was happening. Yuri loves me? Part of Wolfram was giddy with joy but the other part was frozen with shock. Is this a dream? "Wolf, are you ok?" Hearing his nick-name again brought Wolfram out of his shock.

"You really hurt me that night." Wolfram said his voice sombre. "I thought you hated me and wanted nothing to do with me."

"I'm sorry Wolf," Yuri continued stroking Wolfram's cheek. "I am so sorry, please forgive me." Wolfram heard the pleading tone in Yuri's voice and saw the desperate look in his eyes.

"You are going to have to work very hard for my forgiveness you know." Wolfram said crossing his arms over his chest. "I expect lots of grovelling." Yuri's face broke into a beaming smile that made Wolfram's insides flip in excitement.

"I'll do anything you want Wolf, anything." Yuri promised. Wolfram smiled.

"You can start with kissing me again, and doing it gently this time." Wolfram uncrossed his arms and stepped closer to Yuri with a teasing smile on his face. Yuri grinned back and wrapped his arms around Wolfram's narrow waist.

"Your wish is my command." Yuri tilted his head and kissed Wolfram on the lips. Wolfram closed his eyes and leaned in the touch with a content sigh. Yuri's kiss was gentle, sweet and full of his love. It was enough to make Wolfram melt as he pressed his lips against Yuri's trying to transmit his feelings in that simple touch. Yuri threaded his fingers through Wolfram's thick blond locks.

Yuri pulled back for air and opened his eyes unaware that he had closed them. Wolfram's cheeks were flushed and his hair messed up. Yuri had never seen anything so beautiful. "Hey," Yuri had a sudden thought, "What about Merrick what's-his-name? Aren't you going out with him?"

"Merrick and I are complicated." Wolfram said after a pause. "I think he likes me but I never felt anything for him." Wolfram turned his face away from Yuri's gaze. "I still loved you, even after all that you said, and I was lonely and sad. Merrick offered me a distraction from the pain and I was too weak to resist even though I knew he was just an attempt to replace you. I felt terrible whenever he kissed me and I wished it was you kissing me instead of him."

"Did you two, um, you know…" Yuri drifted off and Wolfram arched an eyebrow at Yuri in question. Yuri was blushing. What Yuri was asking suddenly clicked in Wolfram's mind.

"No we did not!" Wolfram said his face scarlet. Yuri sighed in relief and pulled Wolfram close to hug him.

"That's good otherwise I would've had to kill him." Wolfram had a feeling that Yuri was being serious.

"Well we didn't so you don't have to."

"What are you going to tell him?" Yuri asked.

"The truth," Wolfram answered.

-:-

Don't say what you're about to say,

Look back before you leave my life,

(Don't leave my life)

Be sure before close that door,

Before you roll those dice,

Baby think twice.

-:-

(One year later)

Yuri sat in his office with Gwendal beside him who was helping Yuri with some papers that had come in for Yuri to sign. Yuri could do most things by himself now but these papers were related to laws of the land and Gwendal wanted to make sure Yuri got everything correct. Yuri would be lying if he said he wasn't grateful for the help and advice. Gwendal was now engaged to Gunter and they were planning their wedding to be next year during the summer. Gwendal seemed a lot more relaxed now he was engaged and he smiled a lot more too. Yuri was happy for his friend and advisor and now brother-in-law. Yuri glanced at a picture on his desk top and smiled.

Six months ago he and Wolfram had finally gotten married. Yuri had brought his family to Shinmakoku for the wedding and his mother had proceeded to take pictures of everything and everyone. The one on Yuri's desk was his favourite. It showed him in his light grey tux standing with his arm around Wolfram's waist grinning at the camera. Wolfram was wearing a pure white tux but his jacket reached down to the ground and was open at the front. Wolfram had refused to wear a dress and Yuri was very grateful for that. He had a feeling if Wolfram had appeared in a white wedding dress he wouldn't have been able to keep his hands off him. In the picture Wolfram was also grinning at the camera with an arm around his waist. Yuri had never seen him look so happy.

In fact everyone had looked happier than Yuri had ever seen them that day. Conrad had been his best man and Gwendal had walked Wolfram down the aisle while Cecile and Miko (Jennifer) had cried. Conrad, Gunter and Gwendal had been wearing their smart military uniforms and even Gwendal had been smiling. Conrad hadn't stopped smiling from when he woke Yuri up the morning of his wedding till the end of the party late that night. Greta had looked beautiful in her pink flower girl dress with her hair pined up on her head with white and pink flowers. Josak had been grinning as well and Yuri was eternally grateful that Conrad had managed to force his husband (Conrad and Josak had married three months prior) to wear a black tux instead of a dress like he wanted to.

The wedding had been huge since every member state of the mazoku-human alliance had sent representatives to the wedding with gifts of all shapes and sizes. A huge party had been thrown in Wolfram and Yuri's honour after the wedding which had gone on till the early hours of the next morning.

Back then Yuri had considered that day the best day of his life. Then just 3 months after the wedding Yuri received the best news in the world. Wolfram was pregnant. At first Yuri had been shocked that male mazoku could even get pregnant but after Wolfram calling him an 'idiot wimp' and Gunter calmly explaining that he had in fact told Yuri that before, Yuri accepted it. Now Wolfram was six months along and a right terror. If people didn't think that Wolfram had a temper before they certainly did now. Wolfram had almost burned down the whole castle on several occasions when he had a violent mood swing but he was always forgiven. Apart from being violent Wolfram would also become very gentle and caring. Yuri's heart would always skip a beat when he saw Wolfram gently caressing his stomach with a gentle loving smile on his face. Everyone agreed that Wolfram was going to make a great mum. Yuri just hoped he would make a great dad. He only had 3 months to prepare. They didn't even know what gender their baby was yet.

"Are you listening to me Your Majesty?" Gwendal asked bringing Yuri back to Earth with a bump.

"Huh? Oh yes go ahead Gwendal." Yuri grinned and Gwendal rolled his eyes and started from the beginning.

-:-

Wolfram sighed as he eased himself into a chair out in the sun. The maids bustled around handing out tea and cake to Wolfram and his guest. Wolfram rubbed his large belly as his baby kicked with a fond smile on his face.

"That's a good look for you." Wolfram looked up and smiled at Merrick who was sitting opposite him. Merrick had taken the news that Wolfram was getting back together with Yuri rather well in Wolfram's opinion. He still visited Shinmakoku often and he had been at their wedding as well. Wolfram and Merrick had become close friends and Merrick would often tease Yuri by saying he was still trying to steal Wolfram back. It wasn't true though, Merrick just said it to annoy Yuri. Wolfram enjoyed Merrick's company even if he did still feel a little guilty about trying to make himself forget Yuri by accepting Merrick's advances. Merrick now had a new lover and Wolfram wanted to hear all about him.

"Thank you, how is your love life coming along?"

"Very well actually," Merrick took a sip of sweet tea. "His name is Casper he's half mazoku and the son of one of my trading partners."

"Does his father support your relationship?" Wolfram asked taking a cake. Wolfram had never been one for sweet things before but during his pregnancy he wanted cakes nearly all the time.

"Yes, in fact it was his father who introduced us." Merrick laughed a fond smile on his face as he thought about his sweet lover. Wolfram saw the look and grinned.

"What is Casper like?"

"He's about 5 foot 4 inches I'd say," Merrick thought, "So he's quite small but that just makes him cuter." Merrick chuckled, "If he heard me say that he would blush and hit me. He has these beautiful big pale blue eyes and the cutest smile. His hair is dark blond and his skin lightly tanned because he spends a lot of time outdoors. He is young though, only 40 years old."

"He sounds like just your type." Wolfram laughed patting his tummy as his baby kicked again. Merrick nodded.

"Oh yeah, he's everything I want." Merrick sounded so wistful it made Wolfram laugh.

"So propose to him already!" Wolfram exclaimed.

"I'm thinking about it," Merrick said. "I'm meeting up with him in a few days and I think I'll ask him then."

"Have you had your wicked way with him yet?" Wolfram asked with a naughty smile.

"Wolfram, you know me better than that!" Merrick pretended to be hurt and Wolfram laughed.

"So that is a yes then?" Wolfram winked and Merrick paused.

"It's a definite maybe," Merrick teased and Wolfram laughed again. "I do love him though and that scares me slightly." Merrick sighed. "It seems everyone I love runs off with other men." Wolfram flinched slightly.

"You can't live in fear Merrick, just go for it and I'm sure it will all turn out ok." Wolfram smiled gently and Merrick nodded a determined look on his face.

"You're right Wolfram; I'm not letting this one escape from me!" Merrick looked at Wolfram and the two burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?" Wolfram looked up to see Yuri heading towards them. Merrick stood and bowed but Yuri waved a hand at him indicating he could sit down.

"Merrick is in love." Wolfram grinned as Yuri sat beside him. Yuri arched an eyebrow at a lightly blushing Merrick.

"Oh really, who is the unlucky boy?"

"Yuri!" Wolfram scolded and Yuri laughed raising his hands in surrender.

"I was kidding; I'm sure whoever it is they are lucky to have your love Merrick." Yuri smiled at Merrick who bowed his head.

"Thank you Your Majesty."

"How are you today Wolf?" Yuri asked laying a hand on Wolfram's belly.

"I'm fine Yuri you really shouldn't worry about me." Wolfram smiled.

"I'm your husband and this is our baby," Yuri leaned down to kiss Wolfram's belly, "I have a right to worry about both of you." Wolfram ran his fingers through Yuri's hair. Yuri had grown it out so the black locks now brushed his collar.

"Everything is fine Yuri," Wolfram smiled. "We still have three months before our little one makes his or her entrance into the world." Yuri sat up and nodded.

"Yes we do," Yuri kissed Wolfram who leaned into the kiss with a smile. Merrick pretended to gag and Wolfram broke his kiss with Yuri to stick his tongue out at Merrick who laughed. Yuri snorted and Wolfram looked at him. The next second everyone was laughing hard with no one really sure why.

(3 months later)

"Yuri, wake up!" Wolfram pushed Yuri who snorted and rolled over onto his right side facing away from Wolfram. It was about two in the morning and the middle of winter making the nights long and cold. Wolfram gasped as another contraction hit him making him double over. Wolfram reached out again and shook Yuri's shoulder speaking through gritted teeth. "Yuri, wake the hell up already!"

"No more papers Gwendal," Yuri muttered sleepily, "I don't wanna work today."

"Yuri, your baby is about to be born wake up!" Wolfram yelped as another contraction squeezed his insides painfully. Yuri snored gently. Wolfram groaned. He should know that Yuri was a heavy sleeper. He had to be to sleep in the same bed as Wolfram who kicked and snored all night.

"Wolf," Yuri sighed in his sleep and Wolfram looked up hoping Yuri was awake, "That dress doesn't suit you." Wolfram's face turned scarlet. Summoning his powers Wolfram's palm lit up with a small flame. Wolfram turned the flame on Yuri. "Aaahh!" Yuri woke up feeling the heat burn his flesh. Yuri summoned his water powers to sooth the burn and glared at Wolfram. His black hair was messed up and he still looked half asleep. "What was that for?"

"Yuri I'm –" Wolfram cried out as yet another contraction hit. This time he felt fluid seep down his legs to soak the bed sheets and his pink nightgown.

"Wolf!" Yuri was beside Wolfram in an instant. After a moment Yuri managed to light a match and lit a candle. Yuri took in Wolfram's pale sweaty face and heavy breathing and the soaked bed. "Wolf, are you ok?"

"No I am not ok you stupid wimp!" Wolfram yelled through the pain. "I'm giving birth you dolt!" Yuri froze for a second his eyes going almost comically wide.

"What!"

-:-

Yuri paced outside of the infirmary casting worried looks at the closed doors. It was almost ten in the morning now. Wolfram had been inside the infirmary for almost eight hours. Yuri bit his lip for what felt like the hundredth time before he started pacing again. After a mad rush to the infirmary at two in the morning and rousing Gisela from her bed Wolfram had been hurried into a room and Yuri told to wait outside.

Conrad, Gwendal and Cecile had all been woken up by guards sent by Yuri and told that Wolfram was giving birth. At this time only an exhausted looking Cecile and a worried looking Conrad remained with Yuri waiting for news. Yuri had told the guards who had woken the others to let Greta sleep. The little girl had been furious when she found out that Wolfram had gone into labour and no one had told her but when she saw Yuri's worried face she didn't make a fuss. Greta had disappeared awhile ago to eat breakfast with Gwendal, Gunter and Josak. Gunter and Josak had gone back to bed after being told that Wolfram was in labour after extracting promises from Conrad and Gwendal that they would be told if there were any developments. They had checked in once they had woken up for news then they took Greta to eat some breakfast. Yuri had flat out refused to leave. He was still in his nightwear not wanting to leave Wolfram for even a moment.

"It's been way too long." Yuri muttered still pacing.

"Mazoku male births usually take longer than with females." Cecile said as she yawned. Everyone had told her she could go back to bed but she refused. Yuri had to admit when it came to Wolfram nothing was too much trouble for Cecile.

"But eight whole hours!" Yuri cried waving his hands. Yuri made a mental promise to never ever get pregnant himself then started pacing again.

"Gisela would have sent someone to tell us if things were going wrong." Conrad assured Yuri although his eyes were troubled. At that moment the door swung open and everyone jumped. Cecile and Conrad were on their feet so fast they were blurs of movement. Yuri rushed up the tired looked Gisela his eyes searching her face frantically for any indication of how the birth had gone. Gisela gave Yuri a tired but happy smile.

"You can go in now." Yuri didn't wait a second longer he shot through the doors as if his life depended on it. Gisela grinned and beckoned Conrad and Cecile to follow her. Yuri pushed open a second door to find Wolfram sitting up in bed looking exhausted. His face was pale and sweat stuck strands of hair to his face. He smiled tiredly at Yuri.

"Hey Yuri," Wolfram's voice was horse and Yuri felt a pang of sympathy.

"Hey Wolf, how are you feeling?" Yuri asked taking Wolfram's hand.

"Tired and really sore." Wolfram flinched slightly to prove his point. Yuri kissed Wolfram's head.

"What about the baby?" Yuri had to ask. He didn't see Gisela, Conrad and Cecile step into the room behind him. Wolfram face broke into a huge grin and the tension melted from Yuri's shoulders.

"You mean babies." Wolfram corrected. Yuri looked confused then the two nurses who had helped Gisela with the birth walked into the room. Each one was holding a small bundle wrapped up in a soft towel. One towel was blue and the other was white. Both Conrad and Cecile gasped quietly. Yuri just stared unable to believe his eyes.

"How are they doing?" Gisela asked peering into the bundles the nurses were holding gently.

"They are both fit and healthy." One nurse said with a tired smile. Gisela nodded.

"Ok you can give them to their parents now." Yuri felt like he was about to pass out. Twins? The nurse carrying the baby wrapped in blue walked up to Wolfram and handed him the baby. The other nurse walked to Yuri and held out the second smaller baby. Yuri took the bundle his arms shaking slightly. Yuri sat down beside Wolfram gazing into the face of his baby.

"They are both perfectly healthy little boys." Gisela announced with a smile and Yuri nodded unable to speak. His gaze shifted to the baby in Wolfram's arms. This baby was slightly bigger with a fine fuzz of blond hair on top of his head. The baby shifted and opened his eyes slightly and to show black coloured eyes before they slid shut. Yuri returned his gaze to the smaller boy whose head was covered in a fuzz of black hair. This baby also opened his eyes as if knowing that his father wanted to see them. Yuri felt his throat close up at the sight of emerald green eyes staring up at him.

"Oh Wolfram they are so beautiful." Yuri gasped out unable to stop his eyes from misting over. "Is this why the labour took so long?"

"Yeah, having twins means twice the effort." Wolfram groaned but he was still smiling from ear to ear. Conrad and Cecile came up for a closer look. Cecile stood beside Yuri while Conrad went around the bed to stand next to his younger brother.

"Hello my beautiful grandsons," Cecile cooed. "I am your grandmother Cecile." The baby in Yuri's arms shifted slightly.

"And I am your uncle Conrad," Conrad grinned stroking the cheek of the baby that Wolfram was holding. "What are you going to call them?" Conrad looked from Yuri to Wolfram.

"Well we said that if it was a boy then he would have a Japanese name and if it was a girl she would have a mazoku name." Yuri said, "But since there are two we might as well give one a Japanese name and one a mazoku name." Wolfram nodded and looked down at the baby in his arms.

"How about the name Alarik for this little one? It means 'noble leader'," Wolfram said and the baby gurgled happily.

"He likes it!" Cecile giggled and Yuri smiled broadly.

"Alarik it is then," Yuri said and turned back to the baby in his arms. There were so many names Yuri could choose for his baby but he wanted the perfect one. The baby's eyes opened again and Yuri smiled. "What do you think of Akio? It means 'bright boy'," Yuri looked up at Wolfram who leaned slightly to look at his second born son.

"Akio, yes I like that name. Alarik and Akio, my perfect sons." Wolfram smiled and Yuri chuckled.

"You mean our perfect sons," Yuri kissed Wolfram's sweaty brow. Wolfram smiled and looked at Yuri.

"Yes, they are our perfect sons."

The End

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