Hanschen's eyes fluttered open. Had he fallen asleep? He never fell asleep during the day…then again; he hadn't been this comfortable in a long while. He glanced down at his chest where Ernst was resting under multiple blankets. He hated to wake him, but their argument and painful discussion earlier that morning made Hanschen want to draw up travel plans right away. He wanted them to be safe.


Ernst unwillingly opened his eyes and yawned. Hanschen kissed his forehead. "Must have fallen…asleep…sorry."

"I'm not complaining." Ernst kissed him back and smiled up at him. "We should, however begin travel arrangements"


"…I'll be back in a moment."

They untangled and Hanschen slipped out of bed and put his clothes on. Before leaving the bedroom he tossed a shirt in Ernst's direction. "Put a shirt on darling, or I'll be far too distracted." Ernst laughed and slipped the shirt over his head as Hanschen left the room, returning moments later with a pile of stationary and assorted papers. He had a plan. It wasn't fool proof, but it was the best he had.

Hanschen sat back down on the bed and looked at Ernst who was wearing an expression of worry and confusion.

"You have a plan, don't you?"

Hanschen smiled. "Of course I do." He could tell Ernst was still worried about him getting caught, however he continued talking so Ernst couldn't interrupt. "Now, first we need to find you a place to go, until I can get there. It has to be safe, and have little chance of being conquered by the party-"

"I could stay with Thea's…"

"No. I don't think so darling. I believe France has a chance of getting involved in this mess. If it was conquered, we don't stand a chance. No, we need a place with a history of peace."

"Hanchen where c—"

"Ilse." When Ernst didn't speak, he continued. "She and Melchior fled to Switzerland didn't they? I think it's our safest bet. You leave in a few weeks, and I'll come as soon as I'm able."

"Hanchen do even know where they are?"

"I have a letter they sent us when they first arrived, of course they could have moved, but it's the only plan I've got. I'll write them."

Hanschen walked over to his mahogany desk in the corner of the room and began to write. He knew he couldn't give anything away; he had to be as subtle as possible. If they no longer lived there, or if it got in the hands of the wrong person, they were screwed. Hanschen wasn't surprised to find that the words came smoothly to him as he wrote. He was, after all perhaps the king of deceiving. He felt hyper, manic even; to be writing to the people he missed; the supposed enemies of Germany. He felt giddy knowing and not doubting that both of them would escape. When he finished, he scribbled his gorgeous signature at the bottom and read it over.

Dearest Ilse,

It truly has been far too long, and I apologize for the delay in writing. I'm sure you can imagine I've been busy and I can assume the same of you. I do miss you and hope you are well. I must admit that I right asking you a favor, and I apologize for it must appear selfish of me. Anyway, out dear friend and painter Friedrich has come to pay me a visit and he would like to pay you a visit as well on his way home. It so happens that he is looking for a scenic place of the mountains where he can paint his landscapes. Would it be possible he could stay with you a while? He feels terrible asking which is why I write instead. Please respond quickly so other travel arrangements can be made if you are unable to assist him.

Best Wishes,

Hanschen Rilow

"Does Ilse know your middle name?" Hanschen asked handing Ernst the letter.

"Friedrich? Oh I suppose I mentioned it when we were younger but I don't know if she'll remember it now…"

"Oh…well, she'll have to pick up on the other hints then..." Ernst finished the letter and looked up with big eyes.

"it's good…great…"

"Then what's the trouble darling?"

"I'm just...scared." Hanschen nodded

"I know, but we have to take the chance." He stood up, grabbed the letter and placed into its envelope and placed in the mailbox returning moments later. He climbed back into bed and kissed Ernst gently, meaning to pull away after one kiss, he found he was unable to stop. When Hanschen's kisses traveled to Ernst's neck, he whispered, "I have undeniable faith in us."

Ernst scoffed a little and smiled pulling Hanschen to him.

Hanschen silently said a prayer for the first time in his life.