DISCLAIMER - From Eroica With Love and its characters is the copyright of Yasuko Aoike and Princess Comics and no infringement is intended. The story, such as it is, is copyright Karen Colohan, February 2002.

Author's note - the beautiful artwork is courtesy of Nina, to whom I owe many, many thanks!

Klaus von dem Eberbach prowled around the unusually crowded hallways of Schloss Eberbach and surveyed the scenes of unrestrained merriment and borderline debauchery with extreme distaste. His fuming was silent - for the moment - but it would take very little to set him off on an ear-splitting rant. Frankly, he would have found such an opportunity exceedingly therapeutic at that moment.

Klaus hated parties. Especially those which were foisted upon him against his will. Even more so when he was forced to host them in the normally sedate surroundings of his own home. And it only made it worse that the request to use the Schloss as the venue for the departmental Christmas party had come directly from that fat slug of a Chief.

It would have given Klaus great pleasure to refuse - what did he care for budget restraints and the impossibility of catering appropriately for so many agents on the purportedly pitiful sum allocated by the finance department? However, the request had been phrased in such a way that it was very clear that lack of co-operation on his part was not an option. That the Chief had then piled indignity upon indignity by decreeing it was to be a fancy dress party - failure to wear a costume also not an option, regardless of rank - was the final bit of sadism... or would have been, had Agent G not come back from the costume hire shop with bad news for Klaus...


Upon the Chief's insistence that fancy dress was indeed mandatory for the goddamned party, Klaus had returned to his office in a less than tranquil mood. Seating himself behind his desk he turned and sought out Agent G with his eyes.

"G, get over here!" he barked at the petite blond agent.

Managing his tight skirt and heels with admirable aplomb, G was quick to obey. He'd been a member of the Alphabet long enough to recognise the imminent detonation of the major's fiery temper. He had no desire to be the one to set it off; the fallout was never pretty.

"Sir?" he enquired respectfully.

"You know about dressing up in stupid clothes," said Klaus without preamble. He gave the agent's smart but feminine outfit a distasteful glance. "Get me a costume for this fancy dress nonsense - nothing indecent or foppish, mind. And no women's clothing, d'you understand?"

G paled slightly as Klaus' gaze strayed momentarily to the poster of Alaska which adorned one wall of the office. "At once, sir."

He backed away as quickly as he dared, aware of the looks of commiseration cast his way by his fellow agents.

Several hours later, despite the seasonal chill outside, G was sweating inside his chic suit as he returned to the office. Christmas was, it seemed, a popular time for fancy dress parties and at this late stage G's choice had been limited - extremely limited, in fact, thanks to the limitations placed upon him by the major. G would not have given himself a very great life expectancy had he returned with either the pantomime dame costume or the gorilla suit which had been his only other options.

Even now, it was only with considerable trepidation that G approached Klaus, burdened with a large, gaudy plastic suit carrier.

"Well?" snapped Klaus, eyeing the carrier and his agent both with equal misgiving.

"Sir," began G, "please understand that I did everything I could, but all the best costumes were already hired out."

Klaus sighed, his meagre patience waning still further. "Show me."

G swallowed audibly as he stepped forward and placed the bag on the desk. Carefully he began to unzip it. He was already mentally cataloguing his warmest outfits in anticipation of the major's probable response. He pulled the large carrier open and from it spilled a cascade of material - all of it an intensely offensive shade of red.

"What the fuck is that?" Klaus grated out at last.

G cowered back. "Your costume, sir," he replied miserably. "It was the only appropriate thing they had left in your size..."

"It's red," said Klaus, trying to keep his voice even and barely succeeding.

"I know." G hardly dared go on. "A Santa Claus suit generally is... sir."

And then the petite agent knew that what had gone before was merely the calm before the storm. Klaus' temper, which had been simmering before, exploded. G weathered it as best he could. After all, the major would have to wear the costume - he had no choice. The clever Chief had made an order of it and Major Eberbach never openly disobeyed an order. It wasn't much consolation, but G took whatever he could get as he endured the full force of the major's high decibel verbal lashing.


The ensuing rage had left Klaus' face very nearly as red as the suit in question. He had - orders notwithstanding - almost refused to wear the wretched thing and damn the consequences. However, a few well- placed threats by the Chief had secured his marginal obedience.

For one, Klaus would do pretty much anything to avoid being assigned to a mission with that idiot Lawrence ever again. The man was a liability and could cause chaos without even trying. Added to that, the mere mention of an undercover operation requiring him to spend protracted periods of time confined in close quarters with Eroica was enough to have him trying the outfit on for size.

Even so, his acquiescence only went so far. Which meant that Klaus was in attendance as a positively slim-line Father Christmas, devoid of both white beard and jaunty red cap. Even after that small rebellion he still felt utterly ridiculous. And if his wretched butler so much as looked at him the wrong way in this verdammte ensemble then he'd be out on his ear before morning, length of service to the Eberbach family notwithstanding.

"Yoo hoo, Santa Klaus!" A laughing voice with an unmistakable English accent rang out suddenly from behind Klaus. "'S me! How lovely to see you - and getting into the swing of things, too. Merry Christmas! Oh, and red really is your colour, darling. I always suspected as much. It looks utterly divine with your hair; you should wear it more often."

Klaus growled low in his throat as the lilting voice prattled on, floating its inane chatter ever closer on a whisper of rose scent. It seemed the evening could still get worse...

Eroica, NATO Bonn's most esteemed contractor simply had to be invited to attend the party. Or so that faggot of a Chief had insisted, declaring that Eroica would surely feel snubbed if he were excluded from the guest list. And, if that happened, he might refuse ever to work for them again.

Privately, Klaus thought that would be just fine with him, but - once again - the Chief was adamant. When Klaus had entertained brief thoughts of rebellion, the words 'desk job' had been prominent in the Chief's reply.

Finally, Klaus had given in to the inevitable and issued the requested invitation. Consequently, he'd better be at least marginally civil to Eroica now - for 30 seconds or so, anyway, there was no point in overdoing it - just to pander to the old slug's sadistic whims. Then he could stomp off somewhere quiet and let the rest of those idiots get on with their self- appointed task of getting as drunk as they could manage, as quickly as possible.
Plastering a patently insincere expression on his face Klaus turned to greet Eroica. He froze almost at once, though, as he caught his first glimpse of the blond thief and what he was wearing. His words seemed to stick in his throat and for a long moment Klaus could only gawk at the other man, green eyes wide with startled disbelief.

Tight, black, glove-soft leather seemed to encase every last inch of Eroica's anatomy. And the one-piece suit came equipped with a long, padded leather tail, forked at the tip. This was currently draped negligently over one arm. And, whether by accident or design, that tip pointed downwards, provocatively drawing the eye towards Dorian's leather encased groin like a homing beacon.

The thief had no other adornment but his bright blond hair, and that tumbled over his shoulders in a golden cascade of curls that provided the perfect contrast to the dark outfit.

Klaus did not generally consider himself to have a particularly vivid imagination; in this case it really didn't matter. The sleek suit left nothing at all to be imagined - every line and curve was outlined in perfect, eye-catching detail.

click on picture above to see the full size version

For a moment Klaus nearly choked, but eventually he mastered himself and regained the use of his vocal chords.

"What in God's name have you come as?" Klaus demanded. He knew his own face must be red; he could feel the heat in his cheeks... and other places. Resolutely he kept his eyes on Dorian's face as he waited for an answer.

As he watched the delightful flush spread over Klaus' fair skin, Dorian gave a lascivious grin.

"God has very little to do with it, darling. I'm a devil -" Your own, personal demon, Klaus... he added silently. "- can't you tell?" Dorian caught up his leather tail and twirled it suggestively in Klaus' direction.

The major instantly backed away, out of reach.

"Hmph! I always knew you were the devil incarnate," Klaus muttered darkly.

With a smirk, Dorian leaned back in close. It was unusual to see the major quite this rattled - when he was, he usually hid it better - and so Dorian decided to push his luck a little. Surely Klaus wouldn't dare kill him with all his Alphabet and their Chief around as potential witnesses. Besides, it was Christmas, the season of goodwill to all men... Hopefully that extended to encompass blond British art thieves.

"Then again," Dorian purred, his voice soft and honey-sweet. "Maybe I'm just dressed as every wet dream you've ever had about me..."

Dorian posed artfully, waiting for an explosion that, inexplicably, didn't come.

Instead, Klaus couldn't seem to prevent his eyes from tracking downward once more; his gaze coming to rest just - there. The leather really was very tight...

Following that green-eyed stare, Dorian couldn't help but grin. More than a hint of triumph sparkled in his own eyes. He tossed his blond curls in mute invitation, then couldn't resist adding, out loud -

"Oh yes, darling, take a good long look. If you're Santa, well, perhaps I'm your present. Right here, just waiting to be unwrapped..." Begging to be, in fact.

The words penetrated the numb haze that seemed to have enveloped Klaus. He blinked, then tore his eyes away from the temptations of Dorian's body. What the fuck was he thinking?

For just a second grey-green eyes met liquid blue, their gazes meshing.

Then Klaus gave a strangled growl, low in his throat. Without another word to Dorian he turned and stomped off down the hallway. He was swearing viciously under his breath, cursing fat, faggot Chiefs, idiot agents and perverted thieves.

Dorian stood and watched him leave, feeling gloriously exhilarated. There was no doubt, despite his expected angry retreat, that Klaus had got himself a good eyeful of what Dorian had to offer before he'd fled the field.

Twirling a golden curl absently round one slender finger, Dorian immediately began to plan how he could ambush Klaus again... this time, somewhere much more private.


As the evening wore on the party became steadily more unruly as the participants became truly drunk and disorderly. Dorian, however, remained on the fringes of the affair, content to observe what happened when a roomful of Alphabets collectively let their hair down. In some cases, he found, the results were quite surprising. Who would have guessed what lay beneath A's quiet efficiency or Z's politely reserved innocence...

Dorian himself was barely drinking at all. He was determined to keep his wits about him after the earlier encounter with Klaus. For the first time in all the years that he'd known him, Dorian was certain he'd seen genuine desire in Klaus' eyes - at least, until he'd come back to his senses and buried the emotion in a characteristic display of temper.

If he cornered the man and forced the issue, Dorian knew he would be playing with fire. Yet he was also aware that this was probably the best chance he'd ever get to find out if Klaus returned the feelings he had for him, even a little.

He'd pushed hard once or twice before, when Klaus had seemed more approachable than normal. The result had always been the same. The major would freeze - getting that utterly adorable 'deer in the headlights' expression on his face - as if he had no idea what to do when Dorian really invaded his personal space. And yet nothing ever came of it beyond the loosening of a few of those interminable layers of clothing the major wore or the briefest of kisses. Each time Klaus had regained control before desire could ignite and he'd retreated, leaving Dorian to reflect on another missed opportunity.

Not this time. There was nowhere else for Klaus to run - this was his bolt-hole. Perhaps on home ground he would feel secure enough to let Dorian in. The blond thief sighed. How glorious it would be if he finally managed to snare his beloved major. The perfect Christmas gift - for both of them.

There was just one small flaw in Dorian's plan. Since their encounter, Klaus had been conspicuous by his absence - though it was doubtful that anyone but Dorian had missed him. How was he supposed to seduce the man if he didn't know where he was? Refusing to be daunted, Dorian went in search of his elusive prey.

Dorian had been to the Schloss quite a few times and he knew the layout of the place nearly as well as its owner did. He also knew the major. Klaus was charmingly predictable sometimes. After brief investigations of the library and the music room - both empty and dark - Dorian set off for the gun room.

His instinct was soon proved to be accurate. Dorian could smell the familiar smoky fragrance of the major's strong cigarettes long before he opened the door to reveal Klaus himself.

Incongruous in the vivid red of his Santa Claus suit, Klaus sat at a table meticulously reassembling his Magnum after giving it a thorough cleaning. The familiarity of the disciplined routine had helped to calm him after his earlier, inexplicable reaction to the sight of the Earl of Gloria in his utterly indecent outfit. Looking up, Klaus was less than pleased to find the cause of his disquiet entering the room and carefully closing the door behind him.

"Get out!" Klaus ordered, glowering at the thief.

The skin-tight leather suit looked no less decadent upon his second inspection of its sleek lines than it had the first time. Klaus clutched at the newly assembled Magnum convulsively. Its weight and familiar contours in his hand were a lifeline he held onto with vague desperation as the blond-haired man who had so bedevilled him slowly approached. At least the idiot had the sense to look a little nervous as he drew near.

"No," came the steady reply.

Dorian felt just as nervous as he appeared to be. He was never comfortable around guns and the other powerful weapons that Klaus favoured. He was also uncertain of the major's mood. Were any of the guns loaded? And, if they were, what if he provoked Klaus too far? Dorian clearly remembered what it felt like to have Klaus hold a loaded gun to his forehead. He had been utterly terrified and it was not an experience he had any wish to repeat.

But gaining ones heart's desire wasn't supposed to be easy, Dorian reflected. If he wanted to win Klaus he had to be prepared to take a risk.

The major's flat green stare was faintly disturbing, but Dorian held his head high and walked all the way over to where he sat.

Klaus didn't move, simply watched the lithe figure until Dorian stopped, scant inches away from him. That close, Klaus could smell the subtle scent of roses, overlaid by the more masculine aroma of skin-warmed leather. Calmly he inhaled the last of his cigarette, grinding out the stub in an already overflowing ashtray. His fingers itched to reach for another, but he held still - waiting.

"Don't you ever get tired of running away, Klaus?" asked Dorian, his expression honestly curious.

"Who says I was running?" said Klaus, the set of his mouth stubborn as he looked up and met the thief's eyes with his own.

Dorian raised blond brows in disbelief. "What else would you call it? I know you were looking earlier... and that you liked what you saw."

All at once, Klaus' shoulders seemed to slump in defeat. He looked away, carefully setting the Magnum down on the table in front of him. "What else can I do?" He sounded - tired.

Dorian frowned. Whatever reaction he had expected from the major, it wasn't this. Had that one instant of honest lust really cost him so dear? What was Klaus really afraid of? Dorian... or himself?

"You could come to bed with me," suggested Dorian, his voice very soft.

He wondered if Klaus feared he would not be wanted, now that he had shown that brief moment of capitulation. Did he think the chase was all that Dorian desired? If so, Dorian had no hesitation in showing Klaus that he was wrong. Yes, he had enjoyed pursuing the elusive Iron Major, but Dorian had always had every intention of catching him in the end - and of keeping him once he did.

An angry retort rose to Klaus' lips at those words, but Dorian reached out with a single finger. He pressed it gently across the major's mouth, sealing the ill-considered reply inside.

"Don't..." he said simply.

Klaus frowned and pulled away from the intrusive touch. "The entire Alphabet and my Chief are out there," he pointed out firmly. "And you expect me to..."

Dorian's blond curls flew as he shook his head emphatically. "It's Christmas, Klaus. They're all far too drunk to know or care where you are or what you're doing."

He decided that, perhaps, he should refrain from telling Klaus about the drunken but enthusiastic clinch he'd caught Z and A furtively engaging in, out on the terrace a little earlier. The two of them hadn't even noticed Dorian was there. But if Klaus learned of it he'd probably feel duty bound to tell A's wife, and that would never do. Let them have their moment of fun. They probably wouldn't even remember it, come the morning.

And now, please God, let Klaus agree to his own momentary lapse of reason. Let him succumb to Dorian's charms, even if it also proved to be only for one night. Not that Dorian wanted to be denied in the morning; he simply had no real expectations of Klaus' desire surviving into the cold light of day. But even a single night would be better than never knowing... and he could hope that the pleasures he would show the major, if given the opportunity, might finally melt that iron reserve for good.

"I meant what I said earlier," Dorian informed Klaus, when he made no further move either towards or away from him.

"What?" Klaus' brows drew down, puzzled.

"I can be your Christmas gift. Unwrap me, and I'm all yours." Dorian let a warm smile lift the corners of his mouth, part invitation, part simple encouragement. "No one else need ever know, if that's what's worrying you. I don't want or need to shout it from the rooftops, Klaus, whatever you may think."

Suddenly serious, Klaus looked up at the tall figure standing over him. Strangely, he didn't feel threatened by Dorian's closeness, but he did feel - something. Unsure what he ought to say, Klaus could only manage, "I don't have anything to give you in return."

"Oh, darling..." Dorian's smile widened and faint amusement danced in his eyes. "Only yourself - and that's all I want."

Again Klaus could only look puzzled as he met Dorian's sparkling blue gaze. "I still don't know why you would want - me... I've never understood it."

Silvery laughter greeted his words. "Don't worry, I'll show you - very soon. Now, do you have a way we can get upstairs without any risk of being seen?"

"Ja, there is a servants' stairway. It's just down the hall. No one uses it any more." Klaus climbed to his feet, finding his eyes on a level with the other man's now. He swallowed. "Dorian..."

"Hush, darling..." This time it was Dorian's lips that silenced Klaus.

It was only a brief, almost chaste kiss, but it seemed to set every nerve in Klaus' body on fire. He stared at Dorian in wonder. It felt - incredible... and Klaus knew he wanted to repeat the caress, and more. He found himself wondering why he had been so afraid of this for all those years. Perhaps because it did feel so good and Klaus was certain that a single taste would never be enough for him. Yet he had always been unsure whether Dorian's pursuit of him had really been anything more than a game to the thief. Now he was even more afraid of finding out that's all it was.

Carefully, setting aside his doubts, Klaus placed one hand in the small of Dorian's back, urging him towards the door. The dark leather was soft and surprisingly warm under his fingers. Almost unconsciously, Klaus stroked over it gently.

"Let's go," he ordered softly.

Dorian practically purred at the unexpected touch, arching his back into the caress. He let himself be guided firmly out the door and down the hallway to the promised stairs. Klaus was a warm presence at his back as they climbed, and Dorian found himself shivering in anticipation.

Under his hand, Klaus could feel the faint quivering and he marvelled at it. Was his touch doing that to Dorian?

His room wasn't far, and Klaus lengthened his stride, anxious to reach its sanctuary. Dorian matched his pace, just as eager, it seemed. Klaus pushed the door open with a sigh of relief, leading Dorian inside. As soon as he had switched the light on, Klaus closed the door again with a firm shove and then locked it. He wanted no intrusions.

Dorian stood in the middle of the room, looking round at his almost spartan surroundings. The long, leather tail which formed part of his costume was wound around his hands and Dorian fiddled with it a little uncertainly. Whose was the next move now? His or Klaus'? Somehow he had never really expected to get this far... He looked to the major for guidance, but Klaus appeared to be every bit as unsure as he was.

"What now?" asked Dorian finally.

With a small, choked sound that might have been aborted laughter, Klaus shrugged. "I was rather hoping, Dorian, that you would tell me."

Dorian gave a genuine laugh at that, his lips curving upward with wry amusement. "What a pair we are, darling. Surely one of us can figure this out." He dropped the leather tail and held out his arms. "Why don't you come over here and kiss me, Klaus. Then we'll see where we go from there."

Klaus still wasn't certain what he was doing, let alone why. The one thing he did know was that he was powerless to resist the lure of his very own black-clad devil. Klaus stepped into the circle of Dorian's arms and felt them tighten around his back. Dorian's head was tilted up towards him and it was the easiest thing in the world to close the brief distance between them and cover Dorian's lips with his own.

So Klaus did.

Dorian promptly melted against him - a warm, enticing weight literally plastered to him from chest to hip. And one strong, leather-clad thigh slipped with proprietary ease between his legs, pressing firmly against an erection Klaus hadn't dared to admit to until now.

Of course, Dorian noticed at once and pulled back from the slow, almost hesitant exploration of his mouth that Klaus had been indulging in. His smile was dazzling as he insinuated his body even closer to the major's, revelling in the undeniable evidence of Klaus' desire for him.

"Lovely," he murmured, his tongue stealing out to sweep over lips already moist from Klaus' kiss.

Klaus barely restrained a groan at the sight. To distract himself, he slid his hands down the smooth lines of Dorian's back, gliding over warm leather until they came to rest on the delightfully firm swell of Dorian's buttocks. He couldn't resist pulling the other man closer still, a move which did nothing for his peace of mind. Dorian's thigh simply pressed even harder against Klaus' erection and, at the same time, Klaus could feel the ridge of Dorian's cock nudging his hip. Klaus closed his eyes at the sudden wash of sensation and finally gave voice to a low groan.

"Dorian..." he growled. "Must you... do that?"

Soft laughter sounded close by his ear, accompanied by warm breath on the sensitive skin of his neck. "Oh, I'm afraid I must, Klaus," replied Dorian without mercy. He punctuated his words with gentle thrusts of his hips. "You see, unless I'm very much mistaken, your body knows exactly what it likes... and it seems to like me very much indeed."

"Damned tease!" Klaus accused, not denying it. He kept his eyes tightly shut, though, not wanting to see Dorian's amusement at his expense.

Long fingers crept up the length of his spine - Klaus could feel their heat clear through the slightly rough material of his Santa suit. Paradoxically, their progress made him shiver; he felt the goosebumps forming on his skin. At the same time, soft, damp lips teased at his neck and then his ear lobe, sending a whole flurry of new sensations skittering along his nerve endings.

"You can try to ignore me as much as you like," Dorian whispered, his voice rich with amusement. "But I know you can't manage it. You give yourself away with every shiver and shudder... It's so like you, though, my poor stoic darling, to try and deny all the pleasure you're feeling..."

"'m not trying to deny it," Klaus insisted hazily. "'s just... different."

"Different from what?" asked Dorian curiously, pulling back until he could see Klaus' face clearly.

"Everything," replied Klaus, finally opening his eyes to meet Dorian's heated gaze.

"Care to elaborate on that a little?" Dorian's lips twitched in a half- smile.

"From what I expected and..." Klaus shrugged, his eyes darting away from Dorian's a little uncomfortably. "With women," he finally explained, as the thief still seemed to expect something more. "It never felt anything like this when I was with a woman. Are you satisfied now?" he finished a trifle petulantly.

Dorian suspected it would be wiser not to go the 'I told you so' route with the major. It was unlikely to be appreciated; still it was good to be vindicated after all this time. And all that really mattered was that Klaus' body knew what it wanted; his brain would catch up with it soon enough. So Dorian kept his tone light, gently teasing as he replied.

"Satisfied, darling? Oh, hardly, but I'm sure we'll do something about that soon enough."

Klaus' green eyes fixed on him sharply. "You're not going to gloat then?"

Dorian raised blond brows in question, but said nothing.

"You were right about me all this time, or so it would seem. Aren't you going to say anything?" Klaus seemed perplexed.

"What is there to say?" asked Dorian at last. He reached up, slipping his fingers into the dark silk of Klaus' hair. "It won't change anything. Frankly, I'd rather just enjoy you, now that I can. We have so much time to make up for." He gave a soft sigh."This feels so lovely, darling. I don't want to fight and spoil it."

"Not even so we could make up afterwards?" asked Klaus gruffly.

The trace of a smile curved Dorian's lips at the note of wry humour in Klaus' tone. "Going by our past history, I'm sure we'll have lots of fights and plenty of perfectly spectacular make up sex, Klaus, but not today. Right now I think I'd like you to kiss me again. How about you?"

Klaus seemed to agree. He pulled the irrepressible thief firmly back against him and then freed one hand so that he could thread it into the mass of Dorian-scented golden curls. He used his grip to tilt Dorian's head just where he wanted it and then bent to claim the warm lips once more.

They tasted of wine and spices - doubtless he had been sampling the mulled wine being served downstairs - and the subtle tang of Dorian himself. Klaus suspected he probably tasted strongly of cigarettes, but Dorian was polite enough not to mention it. Indeed, the pliant mouth was moving under his own without reservation, the lips parting to encourage him to slip his tongue between them. The temptation was too much to resist and Klaus thrust into moist heat, his tongue sliding over Dorian's in a slick caress.

For his part, Dorian was content to let Klaus do as much or as little as he was comfortable with. He was more than happy simply to be alone with his beloved major, locked securely in the privacy of his bedroom. That Klaus was kissing him with every evidence of considerable enjoyment while he wound himself around the major like a sturdy rosevine was an unexpected and pleasurable bonus. As was the sensation of the thick, heavy cock that Dorian could feel pressed hard against his thigh. The heat of it burned into his skin like a brand. Klaus could not deny such an obvious reaction, nor could there be any doubt what - or, rather, who - had caused it.

With his attention drawn unerringly back to that unmistakable sign of Klaus' arousal, it occurred to Dorian that it would be even more pleasant - for both of them - if he could get his hands on that heated flesh. He hoped Klaus would second that particular motion - if he ever diverted his attention from his self-appointed task of kissing Dorian breathless.

Once Klaus devoted himself to any given undertaking he approached it with wholehearted determination and enthusiasm. Dorian was rather looking forward to encouraging that single-minded pursuit of his goals in other, mutually pleasurable, directions. For now, he just wanted inside Klaus' somewhat voluminous Santa suit.

Klaus had cinched in all the excess fabric resulting from his refusal to wear the padding that came with the costume by using his own favourite ox-hide belt - the one Dorian had once stolen from right around his waist.

The sight of the familiar belt - now somewhat battered from long use - drew a snort of amusement from the thief as he deftly unfastened the buckle. Moments later he held his prize up in triumph. The red tunic, freed from its restraint, now hung loosely about Klaus' hips.

The major released Dorian's lips, startled. As the strip of ox-hide was flaunted under his nose by the incorrigible thief he couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up, spilling over as he snatched the belt from Dorian.

"Gott verdammt, Dorian, how many times are you going to steal that from me?" he demanded in mock annoyance.

"As many times as it takes for me to actually get inside your trousers," replied Dorian, straight-faced, but his blue eyes were dancing with mischief.

"Maybe I should just give it to you this time then," said Klaus, his tone more serious. "The spoils of war..."

"Battle's not over yet," Dorian reminded him crisply.

"Isn't it?" Klaus' eyes caught and held the thief's.

"Oh no, there's still far too much clothing between me and my objective," Dorian assured him. "Besides, I'd rather you kept it and continued to wear it. That way, I know you'll think of me every time you put it on - if you don't already."

Klaus ducked his head, avoiding the knowing look in Dorian's eyes. Yes, of course he remembered; how could he forget? Just like all the other times Dorian had invaded his space and done something or other outrageous.

"I'm flattered, darling." Dorian's hand was under Klaus' chin, tilting his head up until they were eye to eye again. "'s nice to know you found me so memorable."

"You were always that," muttered Klaus with a sigh. "You made damn sure of it."

"Well then, it's good to know it worked," replied Dorian with a quick grin. He wriggled enticingly, tightening his arms around Klaus' waist and pulling them close together. "And do I still have it? Will you remember this?"

"Every day for the rest of my life, probably," murmured Klaus wryly.

How could he possibly forget the novel sensation of a leather-clad devil filling his arms and rubbing against him in that entirely perverted way until his cock felt about ready to explode? And how would he ever get out of his head the fact that, as appallingly wonderful as that felt, it wasn't even close to being enough? Never, when Dorian's cock pressed hard against his with every uninhibited squirm and wriggle the thief gave, promising so much more.

"You know..." said Dorian conversationally, his hands skimming slowly down to the hem of Klaus' red tunic. "If you really are Father Christmas, I do think it's about time I got my present."

"Present?" Klaus looked at Dorian in something of a daze. He decided his brain wasn't functioning properly - probably a side-effect of all those hormones suddenly rampaging around his body. He hadn't got the thief a present; he'd already told him that, hadn't he? There'd been no reason for him to even consider doing such a thing - before this.

"Do you want me to sit on your knee? So you can ask me what I want and whether I've been good this year," Dorian teased, continuing to rub against Klaus and delighting in the very definite thrust of those strong hips he felt in response. "It might be fun..."

Klaus was feeling even more dazed now, his cock throbbing with every rub and press of Dorian's slender form. He had to admit that, just at the moment, the thought of having a lapful of beautiful, golden-haired thief did sound appealing. Anything to keep that wonderful pressure and friction that felt so damned good...

"Ja," he agreed shakily.

For just a second Dorian held his breath, wondering if he'd heard correctly. Then he looked into pleasure-hazed green eyes and knew that he had. Klaus very definitely wanted this - wanted him. And what his beloved major wanted...

Dorian finally let his hands slide under the edge of Klaus' tunic, seeking bare skin. Frustratingly, he didn't find it. As ever, Klaus was armoured in one of his modest undershirts beneath the red fabric. Dorian gave a low growl and tugged at the soft cotton, relieved when Klaus didn't protest as he pulled it out of the man's waistband.

Finally! thought Dorian as his hands burrowed underneath and at last found skin - warm, smooth bare skin. He purred contentedly as he let his palms glide upwards with slow strokes. All these years and he finally had his hands on Klaus von dem Eberbach... and Klaus wasn't fighting him off.

In fact, Klaus was staring at him with a strange expression on his face. It was almost as if the major was seeing him for the first time.

"Does that feel nice, darling?" Dorian asked and, for the moment, there was no teasing at all in his tone.

"Ja..." It seemed to be the only word Klaus was currently capable of uttering - and it was quite inadequate to express what he was feeling. Then again, 'nice' didn't even come close either. The sensation of those warm hands moving slowly over the bare skin of his back was, just then, beyond Klaus' ability to describe. "Don't stop," he managed finally, green eyes locking onto incandescent blue.

"I wouldn't dream of it," Dorian assured him, his spirits soaring at such an admission from Klaus, that he wanted this to go on. Well, Dorian was more than happy to oblige him there, but perhaps it was better to keep things light and playful - to begin with, anyway. He didn't want to spook Klaus now.

Dorian's hands continued their journey of exploration, travelling over new expanses of heated skin. He drew them round to test out the firm muscles of Klaus' enviably taut stomach and then moved up to trace the contours of the strong, smooth chest. Delightful! But the prize he really wanted lay downward... if Klaus would allow him that much leeway.

For just a moment Dorian pressed close again, leaning in to claim the major's lips in a slow, coaxing kiss.

Not that Klaus seemed to need much encouragement to respond now. His mouth opened under Dorian's without hesitation, welcoming the tongue that flicked lazily at his own.

Dorian took advantage of the distraction to trail the fingers of one hand down Klaus' belly to pause at the waistband of the loose red trousers. The major didn't flinch or pull away from the touch and Dorian carefully ended the kiss, nipping at Klaus' lower lip as he stepped back.

"Mmm," he purred, sounding almost indecently pleased with himself. "And just what does Santa have in his sack for me to play with?"

Before Klaus could form a response of any kind, long fingers finally dived inside his waistband, intent on just one thing. They quickly closed around their goal, Klaus' swollen cock, which had already lengthened enough to push free of the confines of his perfectly practical and modest boxers. The shock of feeling a hand that most assuredly wasn't his own stroking confidently and intimately over the heated flesh dragged a harsh, wordless gasp from him.

At the same time, Dorian's lips were nuzzling at his jaw, nibbling and kissing a path to his ear.

"Ohhh..."

The soft exhalation of breath ghosted warmly over his skin, making Klaus shiver. He squeezed his eyes tight shut and tried to concentrate solely on all the different sensations he was experiencing, without letting himself think too much about just who was causing them. Not that Dorian made it easy for him to forget...

"I must have been a very good boy this year," the thief chose that moment to giggle breathlessly. "See what a lovely big present I have here. Oh, but I think I want to unwrap it all now..."

And Dorian set about matching actions to his words. Reluctantly he withdrew his hand, but only so he could use it, together with the other, to tug firmly at the red trousers. They were no match for the determined thief and he quickly had them pulled down over Klaus' hips.

It occurred to Klaus that he probably ought to be resisting what Dorian was doing. Then he recalled just how good everything the thief had done thus far had felt and abruptly told his conscience to shut the fuck up and cope.

As Dorian seemed to have matters well in hand as far as getting the lower half of his body naked was concerned, Klaus helpfully opted to concentrate on getting his torso in the same state.

Glancing up from where he had knelt at Klaus' feet - he was carefully untangling the major from his boxers without causing the man irreparable damage - Dorian was treated to the sight of Klaus stripping off the over-large red tunic in one fluid movement. The thief held his breath as the undershirt followed, leaving Klaus bare from the waist up. Damn, but the man was incredible!

With an effort, Dorian dragged his eyes back to his own task, finally succeeding in extricating Klaus from the rest of his clothing. As he did, one large hand touched his cheek and Dorian looked up again. He met wide eyes that were dark with desire and pleaded silently with him for more. Dorian was perfectly happy to grant it.

Klaus' cock was standing stiffly to attention and Dorian wrapped his hand around it, stroking gently. A strangled moan sounded from somewhere above him and strong fingers threaded deep into his curls, urging him forward. Dorian gave a soft huff of laughter. Oh, when Klaus finally gave in to the inevitable, he did so with a vengeance. Well, he wasn't going to make it that easy for the major. The man had been holding out on him for years. He could damn well be patient for a little longer.

Leaning in just a bit closer, Dorian blew a gust of warm breath over the head of Klaus' cock. Another small gasp and a further imperative tug on his curls answered him. Dorian grinned to himself. The major wasn't going to be the one giving the orders here. A quick swipe of his tongue to learn Klaus' taste and then Dorian was pulling back, resisting the major's efforts to have more of his teasing mouth.

"Dorian!" protested Klaus, his voice hoarse with want, but the black-clad devil evaded him.

"Not so fast, darling," Dorian cautioned him, blue eyes glittering with merriment. "I seem to recall a military man of my acquaintance leading me a merry dance for... how many years exactly? And now you expect me to forgive you for keeping me waiting just like that?"

"So, why wait any longer?" Klaus grated out, biting his lip to hold in the entirely unseemly whimpers of need that threatened to spill out. "You needn't on my account."

Dorian laughed softly at the major's less than successful attempt to maintain his dignity. "Patience is a virtue... or so they tell me. Are you feeling virtuous, Klaus?"

Declining to answer, Klaus merely growled as Dorian darted in to dispense more teasing licks and caresses that served only to inflame him further. He supposed there was a kind of justice to what Dorian said, but at this rate the thief would drive him quite insane before he found release.

A pleasant while later, when Klaus was flushed and panting from the continued teasing assaults on his cock, Dorian sat back on his heels and looked up at the deliciously debauched figure the major made. Somehow he'd managed to stay on his feet, but, Dorian decided, he would look even better if he were horizontal. And there was a perfectly serviceable bed in the room...

Gracefully, Dorian rose to his feet. He took the opportunity to kiss Klaus again, now that he could reach his mouth, savouring the smoky flavour of the major's pliant lips. When Dorian released him, he found Klaus was watching him a little uncertainly. With a smile he caught hold of the major's hands and tugged him gently in the direction of the bed.

After weighing the expression in Dorian's eyes for a long moment, Klaus followed him obediently. It seemed strange that he should be naked when Dorian was still fully clothed, but the thief appeared in no hurry to shed the skin-tight leather. And he did look lovely in it - sleek and predatory.

Especially now, as he urged Klaus down onto the bed.
Once the major was stretched out on his back, Dorian moved over him on all fours. He covered the inviting body with his own, pausing from time to time to taste particularly enticing places with his lips and tongue. He wanted to learn all the flavours of Klaus' skin, and so he took his time about it. Eventually, though, Dorian was once again eye to eye with his beloved major.

Dark lashes fluttered upward slowly, revealing eyes that were all dark pupil. "Dorian?"

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Swooping down, Dorian captured the still-moving lips with his own, kissing Klaus until they were both breathless. When he sat back he found that large, warm hands had come to rest questioningly on his thighs, rubbing softly. He held still, letting Klaus touch where he wanted to.

One hand glided further upward, coming to rest at his groin. The wide palm spread warmly over the unmistakable swell of his erection, pressing gently. Dorian drew in a deep breath - it felt so very good - but he'd resolved to keep things light and Klaus was coming perilously close to derailing that intent.

"Mm, that feels nice, darling," he sighed.

"Then take this damned thing off and let me touch properly," Klaus ordered, plucking at the tight leather.

Well, some things never changed. Even in the bedroom it seemed that Klaus liked to give orders. But Dorian wasn't ready to follow them quite yet.

"Ah, no, patience - remember?" he cautioned.

Klaus snorted. "I am feeling properly virtuous, I promise you."

Blue eyes slitted thoughtfully. "Are you sure about that? You don't look very virtuous, darling. Somehow, lying flat on your back with no clothes on and your very lovely cock pointing skyward doesn't quite fit the bill, you know." Dorian tapped one slender forefinger against his pursed lips. "Have you really been good, Klaus? Be truthful now..."

So, the blasted thief wanted to play games, did he? Fine. Klaus was used to dealing with Dorian in that kind of mood. He set his own lips firmly in a stubborn line as he looked up into brilliant blue eyes.

"What if I have not?" he demanded in a commanding voice.

A look of undiluted delight suddenly sparkled in those eyes as Dorian realised that Klaus had decided to rise to his challenge.

"Why, then I shall just have to spank you, I suppose," he declared. A mischievous grin tugged at the corners of his kiss-swollen lips. "That is what you do to boys who misbehave, isn't it?" Dorian twirled his leather tail in mock threat.

Klaus glared up at him, looking distinctly unimpressed.

In retaliation for the lack of proper respect, Dorian moistened the very tip of his tail by sucking on it for a moment; then he slowly trailed the forked strip of leather down the major's chest.

As the cool, wet touch teased first at his nipples and then dipped into his navel, Klaus couldn't control his start of surprise. When the damp leather was then dragged with excruciating care along the length of his aching cock, he had to bite his lip hard to keep from moaning.

"Have you been good?" asked Dorian again, bending low over the lean form of his darling major.

The heat of Dorian's body as it pressed against his and the sheer overwhelming presence of the blond-haired thief were making Klaus want things he'd never have dreamed of being possible - let alone desirable - before tonight. And, strangely, the teasing expression in the man's eyes was somehow reassuring. It made Klaus brave enough to reach for those unfamiliar possibilities. He could trust Dorian.

And so grey-green eyes looked up steadily into the fair face poised just inches above his own. A small smile played about the stern mouth and there was a definite dare in the smoky voice as Klaus replied, "No, I have not. What of it?"

Startled, Dorian abruptly sat back on his heels again. His eyes were wide as he breathed, "Oh, darling, do you want to play?"

A slight widening of the enigmatic smile and the faint hint of a blush on the fine cheek-bones were his only answer as Klaus settled himself back against the pillows and awaited Dorian's response.

For just a second, Klaus wondered what the hell he thought he was doing, but the eager leap his cock had given at the mere suggestion of Dorian daring to spank him was enough to quiet his doubts - for the moment, at least.

And the black-clad demon with his improbable halo of sun-bright curls was leaning close again, faint worry lines creasing his brow.

"You really want me to...?" he began, the uncertainty clear in his voice.

"Ja," Klaus interrupted calmly. If Dorian decided to talk this to death he'd probably lose his nerve.

The blue stare measured his sincerity for a long moment more. Then Dorian nodded sharply. "I believe you do," he whispered. "I never would have guessed... Iron Klaus of all people. All right then, darling, I'm going to take you at your word. Roll over."

As Dorian moved to the side, Klaus was quick to obey. He snagged a couple of pillows, pulling them underneath him as he rolled. He felt a sudden temptation to simply move his hips and thrust his cock into their soft, downy grip, anything to bring some relief from the insidious ache at his groin.

He would have given in to it, but Dorian saw the small thrust he made - quickly aborted - and without further hesitation his hand came down on Klaus' unprotected buttocks in a quick, stinging slap.

"Oh no you don't, Major," he said sternly, dropping into his assumed role with ease. "I won't have you taking pleasure until you've earned it - and that will be when I decide. It seems you were right - you've been very bad."

Klaus swallowed the gasp which rose to his lips at the unexpectedness of the first slap. He could feel the sting and the residual heat where Dorian's hand had landed. It felt - strange; arousing at the same time as it was humiliating. Which probably only went to prove that he was quite out of his mind to have ever let himself get into this situation, Klaus decided. Nevertheless, he buried his face in his arms and waited to see what Dorian would do next.

For a long moment Dorian merely let his palm caress the smooth skin that still bore the imprint of his fingers. He felt the taut muscles twitch at his touch. Dorian raised his hand and let it fall sharply again, then once more.

At each slap Dorian felt Klaus tense and draw in a harsh breath, but he remained stoically silent. Dorian found himself wanting to break through that iron reserve and make Klaus cry out. He continued to strike the muscular buttocks, but still the major made no sound. The creamy-white skin was hot and red from the repeated blows, and Dorian paused to admire his handiwork. He knew he wasn't hitting hard enough to really hurt, but Klaus' backside had to be stinging like crazy by now.

Bending low over Klaus, Dorian breathed cool air onto the heated skin and watched the subtle clenching of the major's buttocks at the new sensation.

"Let me hear you, darling," he murmured. "I want to hear that lovely voice scream for me."

"Nein," replied Klaus stubbornly, raising his head just a little. In truth, he was so close to coming he hardly dared breath, let alone scream.

"So wilful," sighed Dorian, raining a flurry of quick, stinging slaps on the major's abused rear.

Klaus wriggled under the renewed blows, but still refused to utter a further sound. It was a matter of principle.

"I can be just as stubborn as you," Dorian insisted. He brushed his palm lightly over the reddened skin again, feeling its heat. All at once a small smile curved his lips.

Bending down once again, Dorian tried a new tactic. His tongue stole out, carefully laving Klaus' sore backside. The broad, wet strokes were intended to both cool and inflame. Dorian took his sweet time about it, making sure that not an inch of skin escaped his attention.

Klaus tensed and bit his lip, hard. Damn! That was unfair.

A moment later and Dorian decided to play even dirtier. His hands moved smoothly over Klaus' buttocks in the wake of his tongue, caressing gently. As soon as he felt the major begin to relax into the touch, Dorian spread the reddened cheeks and delved between them with his tongue. He flicked at the virgin ring of muscle and was rewarded with a sharp, startled gasp.

"Dorian!" protested Klaus, trying to roll away from the unexpected intrusion. It felt warm, wet and utterly illicit. More than that Klaus wasn't prepared to admit to.

With a pleased sigh, Dorian repeated the caress, holding Klaus firmly in place as he did so. Finally a reaction! He licked the tight muscle several more times and again Klaus reared up, but - whether he had intended it that way or not - he was pressing into the touch now, not trying to escape it.

No longer able to control it, a desperate moan tore free of Klaus' throat. It felt too damned good and he was just so close, but the thief refused to set him free.

Hearing the abandoned moan Dorian smiled in triumph. He savoured the sound and the deep, earthy musk of Klaus' body equally. Oh, who would have guessed there was such passion underneath that seemingly impenetrable iron shell. A delicious secret that had been waiting for someone like him, someone who had the patience to discover it.

"Dorian, please!" Klaus begged, beyond pride now.

"Darling?" Dorian sat back and carefully rolled Klaus over, hearing the slight trace of distress in his tone.

The moss-green eyes were wide and beseeching and Dorian found himself unwilling to resist their silent demand any longer. Sliding down Klaus' lean body he closed his mouth carefully over the fiery, swollen cock and, with all his considerable skill, set about sucking Klaus to a hard, fast climax.

It didn't take long. In moments Klaus was arching up off the bed, taut as a bowstring as he emptied himself into that long, pale throat. Breathless as he was, he still gave voice to a loud groan of relief as the aching pressure gave way to an intense pleasure that seemed to flood every limb. His head pressed back into the pillow, black hair spread out in disorder on the crisp, white cotton as he rode out the unexpectedly sweet sensations.

Dorian soothed him carefully as he swallowed every last precious drop. It might be unwise, but Dorian trusted his love's abstinent nature to have kept him clean. It was so much nicer this way, without the barrier of a condom between him and Klaus' lovely salt-sweet skin. He'd worry about the necessity of such things if - no, when - he and Klaus contemplated other means of satisfaction.

As Klaus stilled, breathing harshly into the silence, Dorian let his softening cock slip from between his lips. Flushed and tousled as he was, the major looked the perfect picture of debauchery. Dorian decided the look suited him rather better than that of the severely proper NATO officer. He grinned, suddenly very pleased with himself. It had finally happened - at last he'd had Klaus and the man had been utterly wonderful, surprising in a whole host of ways. He had definitely been worth the long wait.

Glancing up, Dorian found he was being studied closely by intent green eyes, half veiled by dark lashes.

"You look - content," said Klaus eventually.

"Oh, I am, darling - perfectly so," Dorian assured him. "And you?"

Klaus considered. "I feel - sated, pleasantly so." He frowned suddenly. "But you..." Once again a broad hand cupped Dorian's groin, spanning the still-prominent bulge of his erection.

"Hm? Oh, I was too busy enjoying you to think about that," Dorian replied with a quick grin. "And there was such a lot to enjoy. You're a dark horse, Major..."

"So it would seem," agreed Klaus dryly, "even to myself."

"I always knew there was more to you than met the eye." Dorian giggled. "If your Alphabet could only have seen you..."

"Dorian," Klaus warned sternly.

"Don't worry, I don't mean to tell them anything." Dorian shook his head. "They'd never believe me anyway... except G - and maybe Z..."

"Dorian..."

"Hm? Oh, sorry!" Dorian grinned unrepentantly.

Klaus' hand was still resting carefully over his groin and, arching his back, Dorian pressed into that touch. Now that the major's needs had been taken care of, Dorian was once again becoming aware of his own.

"Mm, that feels nice, darling," Dorian murmured as the strong fingers began to move. They were kneading his erection quite deliciously through the supple leather.

The suit had undoubtedly been an excellent idea - it had certainly made Klaus sit up and really take notice at last - but it was rapidly becoming over hot and positively constricting now. It was time to orchestrate a picturesque means of removing it - if it would still come off by the time Klaus had finished playing with him! The major seemed utterly fascinated by the way his cock had swollen and filled out the tight leather. He didn't seem to want to stop touching, stroking, squeezing...

All of which was very nice, but it was only going to make life more difficult when it came to getting naked. Dorian was very glad the leather was as soft and flexible as it was or he'd probably be feeling quite pained by now. Added to which, there was a very real possibility of him simply exploding before he managed to get out of the suit if Klaus kept on fondling him that way. And he had such an utterly delicious look of focused concentration on his face... Ohh, the man was beautiful, and such a revelation!

Not that any of that altered the fact that getting certain kinds of stains out of leather would be hell. Dorian grimaced at the positively unaesthetic prospect and reached down to carefully grasp Klaus' wrist, stilling the movement of that maddening hand.

Klaus looked up from his study of Dorian's crotch, a trace of uncertainty in his moss-green eyes.

"It's all right, darling." Dorian forestalled the question he could see in that hesitant gaze. "That feels lovely, but the touch of your hands on bare skin would feel even better, you know."

"It - it would?" More hesitancy.

"Of course it would. Didn't it feel just wonderful when I touched you?" Dorian asked.

Klaus ducked his head, abruptly embarrassed at the memory of just how Dorian had touched him, and how good it had all felt. Finally he nodded.

"Well then, turnabout is fair play, love," said Dorian with an artful pout.

"How do I get you out of the damned thing?" Klaus seemed perplexed as he raised his head to look the outfit over once more.

Dorian gave a silvery laugh. "Here, sit up and I'll show you," he said, tugging gently at Klaus' wrist before letting go.

Slowly, Klaus pulled himself upright, his limbs still feeling heavy from the pleasure that had so recently flowed through them. Dorian was watching him expectantly and when Klaus had settled himself in a comfortable sitting position the thief scooted nearer, still kneeling. They were close enough to one another for Klaus to feel the heat pouring off the other man's body and to smell the scent of roses mixed with the far more prosaic tang of sweat and the heavier musk of arousal. It made him feel dizzy and Klaus reached out to steady himself, his fingers tangling in the mass of blond curls that framed Dorian's face.

Dorian sighed and swayed closer towards him.

When he was that near it seemed a shame not to close the space that remained between them and cover that clever mouth with his own. So, once again, Klaus gave in to that temptation. The lips were just as soft and warm as they'd been earlier, but instead of tasting of wine they tasted of salt and a faintly bitter earthiness. Klaus shuddered as he realised just where Dorian's lips had acquired those particular flavours from.

He would have pulled away, but Dorian sensed his imminent retreat and didn't let him go. Aware of the hesitation, and guessing its source, Dorian sealed his lips more firmly against Klaus'. His tongue pressed for entrance and Klaus didn't deny him. Dorian liked to share the intimate tastes of a lover's body with them, and Klaus was no exception. He flicked the tip of his tongue over Klaus' encouraging him to respond.

Tightening the grip his fingers had in Dorian's hair, Klaus did. Pushing down the feeling of strangeness, of doing something illicit and outright wrong, he slid his tongue over Dorian's, learning what he tasted like on another's skin. It was strangely - exciting. Caught up in the sensation he pressed into Dorian's mouth, finding the traces of bitter saltiness that he knew were from himself.

Would the thief taste the same if he did for Dorian what Dorian had done for him? It wasn't an unpleasant flavour, more - unfamiliar. But more to the point, could he muster the skill to do it right and to please Dorian? It mattered to him that what he did should please the other man and Klaus had never been more uncomfortably aware of his own inexperience in this particular area. Though Dorian had been marvellously patient with him thus far.

Attempting to put off the decision a little longer, Klaus delved deeper into the kiss. He pulled Dorian close against him, one hand still buried in the riot of curls, the other stroking distractedly down his back to the tempting swell of leather-clad buttocks.

He would have kept at it indefinitely, but Dorian's hands rose between them, coming to rest on his chest. Carefully, but firmly, the thief pushed at him until he leaned back a little, creating a breathing space.

"Klaus, enough," Dorian panted. "This is all very lovely, but I really do want to get out of this suit."

Breathing just as heavily, Klaus reluctantly released his hold on Dorian. "Show me," he demanded.

Catching up one of the major's hands, Dorian drew it slowly up, over his chest to the base of his throat. "There," he directed.

Carefully, Klaus let his fingers explore again - Dorian had a long, graceful neck and the black leather emphasised its elegant lines. Where leather gave way to pale, creamy skin Klaus found the edge of the concealed zipper that sealed the devil inside his tight costume. Latching onto the fastener - predictably small and fiddly, Dorian had clearly opted for form over function - Klaus began to work it downwards.

He watched in fascination as the leather steadily parted, revealing more and more of that perfect white skin. As provocatively as Dorian had often dressed in the past, Klaus had never seen quite this much of him. His chest was perfectly smooth and surprisingly well-muscled. Though Klaus knew he shouldn't have been surprised. He'd seen Dorian at work often enough to know what he was capable of, and those feats had required strength as well as skill.

When Klaus had the zipper undone as far as his waist, Dorian began to wriggle carefully, working the leather down off his shoulders. He was hot under the suit and it clung to him with sticky tenacity, the downside of having had it made quite so tight. Still, he considered the awkwardness of removing it a small price to pay for having finally tempted Klaus into his bed.

Seeing the trouble Dorian was having, Klaus abandoned the zipper in favour of helping the thief peel the black leather off of his torso. The decision gave him the added benefit of being able to touch the warm, sweat-damp skin and trace out the strong lines of Dorian's body.

And if Dorian found the big hands to be as much a hindrance as a help he wasn't about to complain. Klaus was touching him. Finally. Willingly, without prompting and with an unexpected gentleness. It was so much nicer than the rough handling and violence he'd endured from the major over the years. Broad palms stroked down his chest and as the gun calluses dragged enticingly over his taut nipples Dorian shivered in sheer delight.

"Are you cold?" Green eyes looked up, all solicitousness.

"Oh no," Dorian assured him with a smile. "Your hands just feel so wonderful on me, Klaus. Don't stop."

"I thought you wanted me to get you out of this costume. I can't do both." Klaus frowned.

"You've been managing quite nicely up to now," Dorian giggled.

Klaus snorted. It was such a familiar sound, so typical of the major that Dorian laughed again in sheer delight.

"What's so funny?" Klaus demanded.

"Nothing," Dorian replied giddily. "It's all just so wonderful I couldn't help it. Oh, darling, I do love you so."

Klaus gave a long-suffering sigh. "So you have always said."

"Surely you believe me now." Dorian looked incredulous.

"I have no idea what to believe any more." Klaus stared at him, abruptly serious. "I always believed that I hated what you were, what you were offering and yet..." Klaus shrugged, clearly troubled. "Give me time, Dorian. This is all just too much for me to take in at once."

Dorian blinked, his blue eyes wide and equally serious. "Of course, darling, I... Do you want to stop? I can leave if you'd prefer."

"Ach, Dorian, no... I don't want you to go. I'm sorry; I've spoiled the mood now, haven't I?" Klaus sighed. His fingers reached up to stroke the blond curls away from Dorian's face.

"Well, damped it down a little, at the very least," Dorian admitted, a rueful smile touching his mouth.

Klaus brushed his thumb gently across Dorian's lips, as if he hoped he could wipe away the sudden seriousness with that touch. And, perhaps, he could.

Tentatively, Dorian's tongue stole out, curling around Klaus' thumb. When the man gave a pleased-sounding sigh, Dorian opened his mouth and sucked the digit inside. He nipped at the pad and suckled the tip until Klaus was left wondering why the hell he'd ever had any doubts at all.

"I'd say that put the mood right back where it should be," said Klaus, his voice husky.

Dorian's lips smiled around their mouthful and then let go. "Are you sure?"

"Positive."

Klaus reached down and, with a thoughtful expression on his face, carefully pressed the wet thumb to one of Dorian's nipples. When the thief gave a startled gasp Klaus moved it around the tight nub in slow, lazy circles. Once the moisture was gone, sunk into the overly hot skin of Dorian's chest, Klaus brought the thumb up to his own mouth. He wet it again so that he could repeat the treatment on the other nipple.

Dorian closed his eyes blissfully and just let the sensations wash over him. The gentle circling pressure and the cool wetness on overheated skin felt delightful. Oh, Klaus had a natural talent for the sensual once you got past that repressed facade. Of course, under the guidance of an expert sensualist like himself he would soon be an absolutely wonderful lover. Dorian was most definitely looking forward to teaching Klaus everything he needed to know.

In the meantime, the major had turned his attention back to removing the devil costume. And, ever a man of direct action, he decided that the simplest way of peeling Dorian out of the constricting leather was to grab hold of the cuffs and pull, hard.

Eyes flying open as all thoughts of bliss fled, Dorian let go a distinctly unaesthetic stream of curses as the tight leather threatened to take off half the skin on his arms at the same time. So much for the sensual...

Klaus looked more than a little startled by the uncharacteristic language coming out of Dorian's mouth. Apparently the thief had been paying close attention to some of his more vituperative tirades!

Despite his discomfort, Dorian nearly laughed at the comical expression of surprise on his love's face. "Sorry," he said breathlessly, "I wasn't expecting that."

"Maybe you shouldn't have had this damned suit made so tight," Klaus grumbled.

"Well, you seemed to appreciate the fit earlier," Dorian reminded him tartly. He groped for, and found, the long leather tail amidst the rumpled bedding and flourished it at Klaus with a coquettish smile.

"Hmph, bloody exhibitionist!" Klaus groused, but the gleam in his eyes gave away the fact that he was teasing. Oh yes, he'd certainly appreciated the way the leather clung to Dorian's body all right.

"I only hope you're not going to be so abrupt when you take the suit the rest of the way off," Dorian told him sternly. "That would certainly put a crimp in my style."

Klaus chuckled darkly. "And we can't have that now, can we? Never let it be said that Eroica was anything less than stylish."

He caught hold of the tail as Dorian waved it under his nose to emphasise his point. Winding it around his hand he reeled Dorian in close enough for another quick brush of lips. He pulled back when the thief tried to deepen the kiss, depositing the leather tail in a neat coil in Dorian's lap.

"You're a cruel man, Klaus." Dorian shook his head, glad to see the major's odd sense of humour surfacing once more.

It showed that he was clearly feeling more at ease and that was what Dorian wanted - along with his own satisfaction, of course. But that was far more likely to be accomplished with the help of a mellow Klaus, rather than with the uptight, repressed major who he'd been afraid might reappear again, just a while ago. After all, this turn of events had forced Klaus into a decidedly steep learning curve and Dorian had no idea where his limits might be.

"'s never seemed to bother you before," observed Klaus, in response to Dorian's teasing accusation. His dry tone made it clear there was a serious intent behind the statement.

"The fact that I didn't let a few punches deter me from chasing you doesn't mean I'm a masochist, darling," Dorian informed him sharply. He rubbed his still-stinging arms a little. "Besides, I always knew you only did it for appearances; you didn't really mean it."

Klaus gave another non-commital snort. "What does it mean then? That you're an idiot? I always told you that."

Dorian's smile was indulgent. He tossed his golden curls away from his face with a practised gesture. "No, just that I'm determined. I thought you knew that, Klaus. What I want, I get - always."

"Took you long enough this time," said Klaus, favouring the thief with a bland stare.

"Tell me about it," groused Dorian. "I don't believe I ever set my heart on anyone so stubborn before! But, fortunately for you, I do love a challenge, so..."

"So?" Klaus feigned nonchalance.

"It was worth every last bruise and shred of persistence it took to win you," replied Dorian, his expression serene.

Klaus' hands were busy again, stroking slowly over smooth, sweat-slick skin. It felt good to touch, contrary to his previous expectations. Dorian contributed to the sensations, arching against his palms and making small, encouraging sounds that guided Klaus to the sweetest spots. And when fingertips alone weren't enough, so that Klaus simply had to lower his head and sample the salt-sweet skin with lips and tongue, the sounds rapidly increased in both volume and urgency.

There was nothing of serenity on Dorian's face now as big, strong hands glided over his chest and down to the quivering muscles of his stomach. And what Klaus' mouth was doing to his composure as it nuzzled and bit lightly at the base of his throat was probably illegal - or, at least, ought to be.

Dorian reached up and caught hold of Klaus' shoulders in a firm grip. Then he wriggled until he'd managed to get his legs out from underneath him. The sleek, dark head raised in question and almost at once Dorian missed the warm, wet pressure of those lips on his neck. Before Klaus had a chance to ask what he was doing, Dorian rolled onto his back, neatly pulling Klaus down on top of him.

The wide, green eyes looked momentarily startled, but the expression in them quickly changed.

With a grin, Dorian watched Klaus coming to a swift appreciation of the advantages of their new position. And Dorian was no less appreciative. The feel of all that solid, heavy muscle blanketing him was quite delicious, as was the serendipitous pressure on his swollen cock. Dorian thrust up against the perfectly placed thigh with a very pleased sigh.

"Oh no you don't," muttered Klaus, scooting back enough to put temptation out of Dorian's reach. He pointedly ignored the thief's disgruntled pout.

In a neat juxtaposition, Dorian was now the one on his back with Klaus, on all fours, looming over him and very much in control of the situation. Though, in Klaus' considered opinion, Dorian was still wearing far too much in the way of clothing. Then again, with Dorian stretched out like that, it ought to be much easier to remedy the fact.

Sliding all the way back down to the end of the bed, Klaus first divested Dorian of the showy black ankle boots he'd been wearing and the soft cotton socks underneath. Then he crawled back up and went in search of the fiddly zip fastener once more. All the while he was very aware of the weight of Dorian's heated gaze on him, but Klaus didn't let himself be distracted. His fingers found the zipper and carefully tugged it down the last few inches from the thief's waist to his well-filled crotch.

Klaus felt his mouth go dry as he considered just exactly what he was going to do once he had managed to peel Dorian out of the tight leather. For now, he forced himself to simply concentrate on the pure mechanics of achieving that goal.

Dorian was near-silent, but co-operative. He raised his hips at Klaus' urging and wriggled picturesquely until the suit had been carefully worked down to his thighs. He gave a soft sigh of relief as the tightness around his aching cock was eased. His underwear was still on - just - but the silk thong was hardly constricting at all. Dorian wondered what Klaus thought of that sartorial choice and decided it probably wasn't repeatable. He couldn't repress a grin as he tried to imagine the major similarly attired. It was a positively enticing mental image and Dorian resolved to buy his love some silk underwear - steel grey, of course - at the earliest possible opportunity.

Meanwhile, Klaus was slowly easing the leather suit down Dorian's slim, shapely legs, being very careful not to take any skin with it. The fine, silky blond hairs that brushed against his palm were yet another sharp reminder of just who he was undressing and Klaus tried to suppress the faint tremor that shivered through him.

"Klaus?" The light voice was too knowing, too understanding of his uncertainties, so Klaus ignored it.

He finally succeeded in pulling the black leather all the way off and it dropped over the edge of the bed and onto the floor with a serpentine slither. The forked tail was the last part of it to disappear from view. And then there was no reason left for Klaus not to turn around and face his own personal demon.

Dorian was watching him a little warily and Klaus avoided the sharp blue eyes, focusing instead on the utterly frivolous slip of silk that the thief had the temerity to call underwear.

"What the hell is the point of wearing that?" Klaus blurted out the first thing that came into his head.

Dorian laughed softly. "You expected me to wear nothing underneath?"

Glancing up at the amused tone, Klaus was snared by the heated blue gaze. "You might just as well."

"Oh, darling, I can tell you haven't worn leather very often. That would chafe terribly," murmured Dorian, his voice teasing. "And silk is so lovely and soft, why don't you feel..." Dorian tilted his hips artfully and Klaus swallowed hard seeing the result.

The tiny scrap of silk barely covered Dorian, especially now. Of course, the vain thief wouldn't have wanted to spoil the lines of his incredibly tight leather with the wrong sort of underwear, would he? Klaus shook his head. Trust Dorian to wear something so ridiculous and impractical, so... sexy.

The black silk clung to the thief like a second skin, damp with sweat and... Klaus' mind shied away from thinking about what else had damped the delicate fabric. But he couldn't drag his eyes away from that small piece of silk that draped every contour, clearly defining the outline of Dorian's swollen cock.

"Klaus..." Not a question this time, but a softly spoken plea.

Of their own volition, Klaus' fingers edged towards the silk-wrapped prize. When they finally touched, carefully tracing the hard shape underneath, Dorian whimpered helplessly.

For a moment he looked as if he might melt into a boneless heap, but then Dorian pushed up into the hesitant caress with an unmistakable eagerness.

"Oh, God," he breathed with fervent appreciation, "don't you dare stop, Klaus."

Emboldened by that breathless order, Klaus increased the pressure of his hand, stroking more firmly along the silk-shrouded length. It was hot and damp and seemed to fit his palm as if it belonged there. Klaus decided not to dwell on that particular thought, his world-view had already been expanded enough for one day. Instead he concentrated on every nuance of the soft gasps and moans that were coming from Dorian's throat.

"Darling..."

Klaus looked up, taking in the delightful rosy flush that stained Dorian's cheeks and the way his blond curls spread out on the pillow as he tossed his head restlessly. The man looked more like an angel than a devil, albeit a thoroughly debauched angel.

"What?" Klaus couldn't find it in him to be other than his usual, abrupt self.

"Direct as always, my love." Dorian gave a breathy laugh. "But I think you know what I want."

Klaus' hand had stilled and Dorian thrust up against it once more, pressing the damp silk to his skin. Ah, yes...

Taking a steadying breath, Klaus locked gazes with the blond-haired thief. Then he hooked his fingers into the delicate straps that held the thong in place. He gave a gentle tug and Dorian's eyes darkened imperceptibly.

Oh my...

A second tug, much firmer, and the material parted easily. Dorian blinked and thought that he might just come then and there, but that would be such a waste after all his hard-fought control. All the same, he was breathing hard as, with a sudden feral smile, Klaus peeled the ruined garment from him. And when a warm hand finally closed over bare flesh Dorian had to clench his fingers tightly into the sheets to keep himself from simply dragging Klaus down on top of him and fucking them both into oblivion.

There was a faintly smug smile playing around Klaus' lips as he watched Dorian's struggle for control. Well, the thief had played him until he'd all but begged, so it was only fair. Though Dorian had at least had the advantage of knowing what he was doing. Klaus wasn't sure he had that luxury; only instinct and the knowledge of what had brought him pleasure. Was that what Dorian had meant, when he'd said that Klaus knew what he wanted?

Klaus kept his hand moving, trying to mimic the rhythm of stroking that he liked when he gave in to temptation and touched himself. Carefully he lowered his body to the bed, settling as comfortably as he could, curled at Dorian's side.

Feeling Klaus move, Dorian looked down to find the major with his face scant inches from his groin. He was close enough that Dorian could feel the warmth of his breath ghosting over his hip.

"Oh, Klaus," he murmured, reaching out to thread his fingers in the dark silk of the other man's hair. The major was certainly proving to be a quick study.

Klaus looked up sharply at the touch. "This is what you want, isn't it?" he asked.

"Mmm, of course I do," Dorian admitted. "But only if you want to. Your hand feels perfectly lovely too, you know."

"But that isn't what you want," persisted Klaus.

Dorian sighed. "Making love isn't a competition, darling. It's about doing what feels good - for both partners. If you're not comfortable using your mouth it won't be good for me either."

"I want to," Klaus insisted, his expression set and stubborn. "I want to know what you taste like."

"All right." Dorian gave in with a dreamy smile. "Have I mentioned that I really do love you? My beautiful major, so strong, so brave... But no more than you're comfortable with; promise me?"

Klaus gave a disgusted snort. "As you wish, and the foppish sentimentality is quite unnecessary..."

"So much for romance," lamented Dorian, pouting.

"How can I concentrate when you insist on talking so much? Now, may I?" Klaus turned a quelling stare on the thief.

"Oh, please," Dorian offered. "And it seems that I forgot masterful..." he added cheekily.

A warning growl was directed at him for his pains. Then, a moment later, Dorian almost forgot how to breathe as well.

With admirable directness, Klaus once again set about proving the adage that actions speak louder than words. Propping himself up on one elbow he leaned over Dorian and, steadying the thief's cock with his hand, simply closed his lips around the head and sucked firmly. There was nothing subtle or practised about the caress, but it was no less effective for all that. A surge of pre-come hit his tongue, a little bitter, a little salty. Klaus carefully lapped at the source, trying to decide if he cared for the taste.

Dorian curled his fingers even tighter into the rumpled sheets, dangerously close to tearing them. Christ! What Klaus lacked in experience he certainly made up for in enthusiasm. Dorian whimpered as an agile tongue flickered over the very tip of his cock, teasing at the slit, tasting him. He really wasn't going to last much longer at this rate.

Releasing the abused sheet, Dorian let his hands return to petting Klaus' hair. It was soft and warm against his fingers as he threaded them into the shining fall. He curved one hand around the back of Klaus' head, gently encouraging him to slide his mouth down further.

Klaus was well aware of the careful pressure on his scalp, but for the moment he resisted it. He wanted to explore the flared head of Dorian's cock with his lips and tongue, chasing after more of that musky flavour. It hadn't taken him long to decide he did like it after all. But he compromised by letting his hands stroke and squeeze the swollen shaft and heavy balls, hearing the broken moans and sighs his actions drew from Dorian. It was intoxicating. To hear those helpless sounds and know that Dorian was making them because of him, because of what he was doing.

The hands in his hair grew more insistent, their grip a little desperate. Under his own hands, Klaus could feel Dorian writhing, trying to buck up off the bed.

"Hush," he breathed, releasing the swollen cock from his mouth. He was suddenly aware that Dorian's frantic movements might choke him. "Dorian, be still."

"Klaus!" wailed Dorian in frustration. "Don't stop! Please God, don't stop. Your hands, your mouth, I don't care - just don't stop!"

The wide eyes were all dark pupil and the delicate blush had now suffused all the creamy-white skin. With his bright hair utterly disordered, Dorian looked more beautiful than Klaus had ever seen him. And more vulnerable. The elegant hands tugged at him again, and Klaus gave in to their pull.

He planted his own broad palms firmly across Dorian's hips to keep him from thrusting too forcefully. Then he lowered his mouth over the slick column of the man's cock once more.

The sound Dorian made then was both needy and relieved. He moaned as the hot wetness surrounded him, taking him in more deeply than before. Klaus was controlling his movements carefully, making sure he couldn't thrust up too far, but that didn't matter. The tight suction and the curl of Klaus' tongue around him were more than enough and Dorian finally let go of the last shreds of his control.

Warmth and sensation spread out from his groin along every nerve and Dorian found an added pleasure in crying out Klaus' name as he came. The hot mouth sucked enthusiastically as he spilled and Dorian spared a brief second to wonder if he'd died and gone to heaven. But the hands holding him felt too solid and real as Dorian let the waves of pleasure crash over him. His fingers tightened in silky hair and then loosened as the post-orgasmic languor began to weigh down his limbs. Eventually, the grip required too much effort altogether and his arms fell heavily onto the mattress.

Dorian lay back, panting and feeling his heartbeat continue to race. With a last lazy lick along his shaft the mouth that had brought him such delicious release slid away and his cock, as limp and wrung out as the rest of him, fell back onto the tight blond curls at his groin. A quick kiss was dropped onto one sharp hip bone and then the mattress shifted. Without looking, Dorian knew that Klaus had withdrawn.

For a long moment Dorian lay there with his heart in his mouth. Had Klaus hated what they'd done? It hadn't felt as though he had... Then Dorian heard the sound of a tap running in the bathroom and let out a long breath he hadn't consciously been aware of holding. A minute or two later the bed dipped again as Klaus returned and Dorian finally risked opening his eyes.

Klaus didn't look displeased. In fact, the content expression he'd worn earlier had returned. He smiled slightly as his eyes found Dorian's.

Dorian smiled back.

"Darling..."

With an emphatic shake of his head Klaus silenced him. "No talking," he insisted firmly. "Not now. It's late; we should sleep."

"But the party..." Dorian tried again.

"Has doubtless managed quite well in our absence," replied Klaus calmly. He didn't mention that his subordinates would probably have been infinitely more comfortable without his presence. "Now, I don't know about you, but I am tired."

"I suppose I am," Dorian agreed, feeling the warm afterglow start to retreat. Ah well, it had been nice while it lasted. He began to sit up, carefully swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

"Dorian..." A hand on his shoulder stopped him. "Where are you going?"

"To find my clothes. I'm not going out there naked." Dorian thought he managed to keep the bitterness out of his voice quite well, considering.

"But..." Klaus sounded uncertain again. "Why do you want to leave?"

Dorian turned, his eyes startled as they locked with Klaus'. "I don't. I just... I thought... Don't you want me to go? After all, how's it going to look if anyone sees me leaving your room in the morning?"

"No, I don't want you to leave." Klaus' voice was soft, but quietly determined. "Dorian, you saw how much they were all drinking. Tonight no one is going to remember who slept where. We may not have that luxury very often..."

"Oh, Klaus," Dorian breathed, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing. Klaus wanted him to stay? "You really mean it, don't you."

"Yes." The reply was simple, direct.

Quickly leaning over, Dorian gave Klaus a thorough but gentle kiss, not trying to fan the flames of desire any more. "Well, hold that thought, darling," he said when he finally drew away. "I'm just going to wash up a bit and then I'll be back."

Klaus nodded, not speaking, and watched as Dorian headed into the bathroom. He wasn't entirely sure what he was thinking or feeling at that moment, but it seemed - right that Dorian should stay. How he would feel about it in the morning he had no idea, but that was tomorrow's problem.

To distract himself, Klaus set about straightening up the disordered bed. It would feel strange enough to share it with another person without the discomfort of sleeping on tangled sheets. Though Klaus decided he liked the warm tingling sensation he felt as he remembered, in detail, how it had got into that state. The reminiscent smile was still on his lips when he turned at the sound of the bathroom door opening again.

Dorian came close and kissed him again, wrapping his arms around Klaus' waist. "Someone looks pleased with himself," he teased lightly.

"Ja," Klaus agreed, pulling Dorian against him for a long moment, simply to bask in the pleasure of touching warm skin. Then he released him, absently directing Dorian towards the remade bed as he went to turn off the light.

Dorian needed no further invitation, sliding between the sheets as the room was plunged into darkness.

Klaus found his way back across the room in the dark with the ease of familiarity. But there was nothing familiar about the sensation of warm arms pulling him close as he slipped under the covers. Or the brush of soft hair against his cheek and the scent of roses and musk that came to him with every breath.

It was strange, and Klaus was certain he would never manage to sleep in the midst of all that strangeness. Nevertheless, he let himself be arranged where Dorian wanted him - after all, the thief would know what was comfortable when two people shared a bed, wouldn't he? And there was no reason for Dorian not to sleep just because Klaus couldn't...

It was the last coherent thought Klaus had as sleep overtook him with scant regard for his concerns. And it quickly dragged him down to a place without dreams.

Dorian remained awake a little longer, feeling the moment that Klaus drifted off, his breathing evening out into the steady cadence of sleep. He wanted to enjoy the rare opportunity to simply watch his major as he slept, the stern features completely relaxed for once. He tried gamely to keep his eyes open, but the warmth and the closeness dragged at his consciousness and it was only a few minutes later that Dorian succumbed to sleep as well.


Downstairs the party continued unabated, the remaining participants too drunk or, in an occasional rare case, too tactful to notice the absence of their unwilling host and his most problematic guest. It went on in that vein, noisy and boisterous, until midnight was nothing but a distant memory. Tired and, now, even more drunk, the Alphabet retained just enough collective brain cells to deduce that attempting to find their respective ways home was a very bad idea. Giving in to the demands of sleep, they simply bedded down wherever seemed quiet and undisturbed.

Silence finally reigned in Schloss Eberbach. Doubtless it wouldn't last, but for now the sleepers did not care what morning might bring, whether it would be discord or goodwill.



[A short sequel, dealing with a few - loose ends is planned. Just don't hold me to when it might be done! ;-)]


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