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, June 2004.

Author's notes - Written for the postcoital challenge, using the prompts drawer, paw and incense. With thanks to Barbara for betaing.


by Karen Colohan

The room was quiet; only the steady sound of the man lying next to him breathing as he slept broke the silence. It seemed almost anticlimactic. After all the years of dogged resistance on his part Klaus had somehow expected more of a fanfare when he finally gave in to the golden-haired thief's blandishments. Nothing had been as he'd expected, though; not least the fact that he'd enjoyed the things that Dorian had done to him... and that he had done to Dorian in his turn.

Dorian himself had been a revelation too. Over the years he'd never seemed to miss an opportunity to paw at Klaus or embarrass him with sly innuendo. As a result, Klaus had been sure Dorian would take every chance to revel in his victory over him, to crow about the fact that he'd been right all along. In fact, he'd done nothing of the kind.

Instead, once he'd got over his initial shock at Klaus actually kissing him, Dorian had shown the utmost consideration. His quiet voice and gentle touches had been almost reverential as he'd slowly undressed Klaus and coaxed him into the spartan bed. Then he'd done everything he could to make Klaus feel comfortable, taking things at his pace and drawing back whenever he'd hesitated to try something new. Though almost everything had been new to Klaus; he wasn't a virgin, but sex had never figured high on his list of priorities.

Drawing in a deep breath, Klaus frowned at the lingering scent of incense in the air. Dorian had dug through his luggage until he'd located it, insisting that it would relax him and help overcome his inhibitions. Truthfully, Klaus had just found that it irritated his nose and made him want to sneeze, though he'd refrained from telling Dorian that.

The unfamiliar, spicy fragrance made Klaus long for the more prosaic smell of tobacco. Taking care not to disturb Dorian, he rolled over and pulled open the drawer of the bedside table in search of his cigarettes. His fingers found the reassuring shape of the pack, together with his lighter. Lifting them out, Klaus eased himself into a sitting position, propping himself up against the headboard.

Klaus wasn't prepared for the sudden rush of memories as he slipped a cigarette into his mouth and closed his lips around it. Intense, visceral flashes assaulted his senses - the sight of Dorian looking up at him in open adoration, the sound of his breathless moans and the taste of him on his tongue as he'd sucked his cock for the first time.

The thought of it all made Klaus fumble with the lighter and it took him several moments to get the cigarette lit. He was grateful when he could finally take a long, satisfying drag on it, letting the smoke fill his lungs and slowly calm his nerves. It was odd how remembering what had happened somehow made it more real.

Turning his head, Klaus looked down at the riot of blond curls spread out on the pillow next to him. As much as Dorian had infuriated him over the years, Klaus had to admit that he'd become accustomed to his presence. Dorian could be self-centred and outrageous, but when the situation demanded it he was as focused and professional as Klaus himself. There were definitely worse people he could have at his side in a crisis.

Klaus blew out a stream of smoke, watching it twist and curl in the gloom. He could live with what he'd done. If he were honest with himself, Klaus could even concede that he wouldn't be averse to it happening again. Reaching across, he ground out the cigarette butt in the ashtray on the bedside table. Then he slid down under the sheets, lying rigidly on his back as he prepared for sleep; just as he always did.

Next to him, Dorian had other ideas it seemed. As soon as Klaus was settled he burrowed close against his side, murmuring sleepily without actually waking. For a second Klaus tensed, disconcerted yet again by the disturbance to his routine, but the warmth and the brush of soft hair on his skin felt unexpectedly good. Slowly, he let himself relax, one arm stretching out to draw Dorian closer in an instinctively protective gesture.

As he finally drifted towards sleep, Klaus identified the unusual feeling that had spread through him. It was contentment, and that was good too.

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