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, December 2002.

Author's notes - With thanks as always to Barbara for betaing.

Part of the Slash Advent Calendar Challenge situated at: http://www.kardasi.com/Advent


by Karen Colohan

Silence reigned in Schloss Eberbach, the darkness thick and heavy in the very earliest hours of the morning. The slow sweep of the hands of clocks throughout the castle announced that Christmas Day had arrived and, for once, it had not been heralded by a new mission for Klaus von dem Eberbach and his team.

Consequently, Klaus had been asleep in his own bed until a small sound had disturbed him, coming from the vicinity of his bedroom window.

Klaus lay very still, feigning sleep as another tiny noise reached his ears. Peering into the darkness, senses on alert, he saw the curtain move slightly, allowing a hint of moonlight into the room. Then, not unexpectedly, the shadow of a familiar form slipped through, leaving the heavy drapes parted just a little in its wake.

Eroica... or Dorian, the Earl of Gloria, dependent upon circumstances, but whatever name he chose to use the facts were the same: acquisitive collector of all things beautiful, sometime NATO contractor and, for the past few years, Klaus' lover.

Remaining utterly still, Klaus waited to see what the black clad thief would do next. He slitted his eyes so that just a sliver of emerald glittered through the fringe of dark lashes and watched intently. Klaus wondered if Dorian honestly believed he would sleep through anyone's unannounced intrusion in his bedroom, but he was prepared to play along for now, curious as to Dorian's intentions.

Dorian stepped a little further into the room and Klaus knew then that the thief was perfectly aware he was being watched. Nothing else would account for the very precise positioning as Dorian stopped squarely in the narrow patch of moonlight slanting through the now part opened curtains.

The effect was not lost on Klaus; it was, after all, consciously devastating. This was a display that was meant to be seen and appreciated by the thief's specially chosen audience. Nevertheless, Klaus was equally sure that Dorian expected him to maintain the fiction of being asleep. His lover liked to play such foolish games, and Klaus was willing to indulge him - for now.

Keeping his breathing slow and even while his eyes remained cracked open, Klaus waited to see what Dorian would do now. Knowing the thief, whatever he did would be both aesthetic and erotic, calculated to arouse Klaus.

A faint, wolfish smile curled the major's lips as he awaited whatever his lover might unleash, a thread of anticipation coiling through his body.

The first thing Dorian did was to release his hair from the dark, restrictive cap he had been wearing when he arrived. He tossed his head, letting the curls tumble around his shoulders where the cool wash of moonlight silvered their usual extravagant gold.

Next Dorian went to work on the black catsuit he was dressed in, unsealing the concealed fastening that ran from neck to crotch. A bit of sensual wriggling allowed Dorian to peel it from his torso, the fabric bunching around his waist. Then he turned and gracefully bent down, presenting Klaus with a perfect view of the long, pale sweep of his back and just a hint of the curve of his buttocks.

From this position Dorian removed his boots, before standing and once more facing Klaus. With a positively erotic shimmy, Dorian slid the catsuit over his hips and let it fall around his ankles. A careful step, and he was free of it.

It took all of Klaus' famed discipline to remain silent and still then, as the move left Dorian quite naked. He posed in his natural spotlight, all silver gilt hair and moonlight pale skin. The effect was utterly and devastatingly beautiful and Klaus was well aware that Dorian knew it.

After a few moments, Dorian leaned down again, this time picking up a large bag which had been slung across his shoulder when he first entered and quickly discarded. He opened it now and a faint scent escaped into the room, teasing Klaus' senses.

Opening his eyes a little wider, Klaus watched to see what the thief had concealed in the depths of the bag. Klaus had to stifle a snort of amusement when, with a particularly flamboyant flourish, Dorian began to pull out a succession of long stemmed roses, scattering them around him on the floor. Apparently the thorns had been removed from them as Dorian blithely trod on the fallen blooms, showing no sign of discomfort as he slowly continued with his task.

Still watching avidly, Klaus couldn't help but wonder where on earth the thief had managed to procure the perfect roses in the middle of winter. Whatever he'd had to do to get them, it was a typically extravagant gesture on Dorian's part.

After a somewhat roundabout circuit of the floor, covering it with a floral carpet, Dorian drew close to Klaus' bed. The silvery light shining into the room only served to highlight the fact that Dorian was becoming aroused, his erection curving out from the pale curls at his groin. And now that he had drawn so near, Klaus could smell Dorian's own scent beneath the roses' heavy perfume.

It was the final straw.

Never overly tolerant of Dorian's teasing ways, Klaus' patience finally ran out. Giving up all pretence of being asleep, Klaus surged up, pushing the covers aside impatiently. One strong hand reached out and caught hold of Dorian's arm, yanking him down onto the bed with no ceremony whatsoever.

Dorian gave an indignant squawk as his remaining roses went flying, scattering across the mattress. His protests quickly died on his lips, though, as Klaus rolled over on top of him, pinning him down effortlessly. Without further hesitation, Klaus took possession of Dorian's mouth and proceeded to kiss him breathless.

When Klaus finally let him up for air, Dorian lay back amidst a flurry of crushed rose petals. His eyes glittered as he stared up at his masterful lover. It was rare for Klaus to let his iron control slip and Dorian was prepared to endure a little rough handling for the unexpected pleasure of it.

"Infernal tease!" Klaus muttered gruffly, glaring down at Dorian out of stormy eyes.

Dorian let a slow smile curve his lips as he reached up with one hand to primp his tumbled curls. "Why, darling, you do say the nicest things," he purred.

Klaus gave a wordless growl, his long black hair swinging forward as he bent low over Dorian again.

Reaching up, Dorian buried his fingers in the silky strands, tugging Klaus the rest of the way down so that he could claim his lips for another long, searching kiss. As they kissed, Dorian took advantage of Klaus' distraction to roll them over so that, when he eventually released Klaus' mouth again, he was comfortably perched on top of the major's well honed body.

Klaus blinked, surprised by the sudden reversal.

With a sunny smile, Dorian picked up one of the roses still scattered on the bed. He drew the delicate bloom slowly down Klaus' smooth chest, admiring the contrast of the dark petals against his silver limned skin.

All at once, Klaus' hand closed over Dorian's, stilling the soft touch. "Enough," he demanded, his voice a rough whisper. "No more teasing, Dorian."

Nodding, Dorian let the rose fall back onto the sheet. "This is your present, Klaus, so whatever you want."

Dark brows raised in question as Klaus asked, "My present?"

"Always," Dorian replied, his smile widening. "Merry Christmas, darling, and I'm sorry you didn't get to unwrap me personally."

Klaus gave a low chuckle. "Perhaps you should make it up to me then."

"What exactly did you have in mind?" Dorian enquired, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

A predatory expression spread across Klaus' face as he tumbled Dorian amidst the remaining roses.

"Oh, darling..." Dorian gasped as Klaus then proceeded to demonstrate exactly what his lover could give him for Christmas.

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