The Better Offer

by Anne-Li

Author's disclaimer and notes: I don't own them, I just dream of doing so. Feedback is better than Lily O'Briens Chocolate Decadence Collection. Corrections to my language or any other type of comments are welcome. Ask if you want me to archive it anywhere. You may link to this story if you want or to my main page. 4.118 words. Written in October 2009.

For Heather Sparrows, Christmas 09

Betaed by Heather Sparrows, Kadorienne and Cassie Ingaben - thank you all of you!! Remaining errors are all mine.

Lady Red - Victoria Red - daughter to the late Earl of Gloria and - regrettably - sister to the current Earl of Gloria, seldom partook of social events, but Lady Dextoria was a former associate from school and had pleaded with her to come to the Dextoria Gala. A quaint get-together of Helena's closest fifty friends, making a joint effort to collect money for a charity, Save Poor Whales or Aid The Starving Children of New York or some such noble cause. Each envelope cost 4.000 pounds, which put a considerable dent in Victoria's monthly budget, yet she paid without blinking - naturally, as not to reveal this regrettable fact. Her limited yearly allowance from Grandfather's inheritance - and the pittance from her father's - was the main reason why she so seldom allowed herself to be persuaded to grace such social events.

On the other hand, once Victoria did accept an invitation she was - naturally - the belle of the ball. Anything else would be unimaginable. She was, after all, a Gloria. With all the family trademarks: the hair; the eyes; the flawless looks; the natural grace and the rich sensuality only marginally tempered by British restraint. What most women fought so hard for, Victoria achieved with merely a strict diet and such simple make-up that she appeared an incomparable wild rose among garden-bred tulips. Always the same jewels - actually a necessity since she couldn't afford new accessories for each party, but she had made this another trademark, spinning stories about each bracelet, the rose-shaped earrings and the by all accounts impressive necklace. Different outfits, though - a must, yet another drain on her strained finances. Luckily, her ardent admirers often presented her with all sort of gifts, hoping to gain her favour. Many such trinkets were rapidly cashed in to pay for luxuries she couldn't do without.

For the Dextoria Gala Victoria had opted for a sleek, figure-flattering dress in blue with crimson highlights. Red was always part of any outfit she wore, whether dominant or subtle. Another family trademark, needless to say. The dress was a Waldfried, an up-and-coming couturier who had yet to earn a good enough reputation to be overwhelmingly expensive, but who would get there shortly. Victoria kept a sharp eye out for such talents. Early sponsoring often afforded her reduced prices down the road. Thanks to such precautions she managed to remain well-dressed for any given occasion.

Victoria selected with great care which parties to grace. Helena had roped her in, but Victoria had still ascertained that all her usual criteria were met. Excellent food, some noble cause and a reasonable possibility to meet prospective husbands. And, above and beyond, a minuscule risk of running into her brother. She had asked Helena specifically about Dorian. Luckily, Helena was sensible. Some people saw only the Earl title and blinded themselves to reality, but Helena saw what trouble Dorian could potentially make and was thus easy to talk to about how one wished to avoid being connected to such unpleasentries.

Trouble was: the Gloria tended to make his own rules.

The very sight made Victoria want to stomp her feet. Of course, she didn't. Such a display would have been quite unseemly. Instead she smiled serenely and moved away from her brother and the embarrassment which so effortlessly accompanied him. From a protected alcove, sipping champagne, she did study him, though, hoping to catch signs of age and deterioration. Hoping against hope, regrettably, as they shared the same, excellent genes. Barring accidents or extremities, they would look much the same for the next decade, if not for longer.

He wore blue and red. Damn him! Not medium blue, as she, but still.

Flawless cut on the midnight blue dinner jacket too, showing off his narrow waist, long legs and strong shoulders, not to mention the fluffy hair like a sun god's halo around his prettily handsome face. All but holding court for a small harem of effete-looking men, riveted to his every lip-movement. One hand raised in the air, posing elegantly - gold glittering in his bracelet.

Later she would be forced to approach him. Exchange smiles - experience making the expressions look natural. Heads inclined in gracious acknowledgement. Possibly even stiff semi-hugs, though with any luck both would try to avoid that. The night was still young yet, though, and House Dextoria large enough for them to keep out of each other's sight. Victoria sipped some more from the crystal flute, then stepped away from the alcove, rolling her hips just enough to be noticeable without appearing slutty. She garnered considerable attention, which did a lot to soothe her rattled composure. Her pulse had almost calmed from the unexpected sight of her brother, when she spotted ... The Man.

He moved like a tiger. Economical, but with that kind of powerful grace that was impossible to resist watching. Long limbs, immaculate dinner jacket with green details and black trousers. Elegant, though in a stark, intense way. Hair just brushing his shoulders in a thrilling hint of conventions defied. Powerful nose, handsome face. Most of all, though, he carried with him an aura of danger, yet security, magnetism and that indescribable, almost unmentionable quality of alerting a female to the presence of a male who carried really good, highly complementary genes.

That man would sire great children - and she was just the woman capable of handling him.

He was walking towards her brother!

Victoria, a primal scream trapped in her throat, pushed her way through the throng, ready to do whatever necessary to prevent the nightmare scenario she could already see playing out before her. Her brother could have anyone he wanted - but not this man!

She would have made it in time, claws at the ready, if her brother had not also spotted the man and approached him with long steps, arms unfurled in greeting. Victoria prepared to let loose the howl building within her, no matter the consequences - anything to stop the pending horror! - when the man slapped her brother sharply over the face, did an about-turn and marched away.

The man had slapped her brother!

Victoria was in love.

"Who is he?" she demanded of Helena, when in a lull of the party they had sneaked away to speak undisturbed. The incident was, naturally, on everyone's lips.

"I have asked around," said Helena. As the hostess she was entitled to be as nosy as she wanted. "Apparently your brother has tried for a long time to, ah, get the man's attention, but with no luck."

"I like the sound of that. What's his name?"

"Klaus von dem Eberbach. German business man of noble blood, but no one seems to know just what business he's into."

German. Victoria considered this briefly. That was not ultimate. She knew some German, of course, but she wouldn't want to live there. Different customs; different language; different people. Hmm. Well, if von dem Eberbach - Klaus - was in England on business, surely he knew enough English that language wouldn't pose a problem. And she had a sizeable house in London - not near the size of Gloria House, of course - and not in the same area either, God forbid - but respectable enough for a businessman. Though she would have to check up on what business he really was into, so that it was nothing too unsavoury - and that it was successful, naturally. Though she doubted that her brother would waste time on a man with limited means.

She was about to approach the man - no harm done with just introducing herself, perhaps even a dance - when she realised that he had already left. Not wanting to hang around and risk running into her brother, Victoria left shortly afterwards. She was not a woman totally bereft of contacts and now she deployed them to find out more about this von dem Eberbach. The name itself yielded nothing, until it was coupled with her brother's and conclusions were drawn. A cousin of a friend had had dealings with the von dem Eberbachs and happily provided plenty of information. Not much about the younger von dem Eberbach himself, but the family was independently wealthy, stemming from a long line of successful entrepreneurs. Post-war the business had diminished, but there remained enough money that the next several generations would run no risk of starvation. The father still made deals and moved money around, but what the younger did wasn't quite clear. It appeared he was in the army or possibly working for the German government. Victoria wanted more information, to make sure she wasn't making a mistake, but then she heard through the grapevine that the man would visit another ball shortly, that of Baron Polford. A quick phone call later and she had her own invitation.

Her prey stood to the side of the throng, holding a gaggle of obviously interested ladies at bay with a withering glare. In one hand he held a glass, but she had yet to see him drink. Ram-rod straight posture, immaculate clothes. Victoria looked her fill and approved greatly. Obviously a strong man, though not one of those muscle mountains who were so off-putting. No, enough width over the shoulders and a distinct solidity, but overall long lines, like a swimmer's body built for stamina. Very nice, just her type.

Victoria blithely ignored the somewhat hostile look she received on approaching him. As she came closer he looked her over quickly and she was pleased that the dress she had opted for - a rich, carmine red, with details in yellow that accented her hair - showed off her décolletage very nicely, as his eyes lingered on her bosom for a long moment.

"How do you do?" she said. "My name is Lady Red. I am--"

Sharp, green eyes narrowed. "Any relation to the Earl of Gloria? Dorian Red? You look like him."

"Ah ... Well, yes. The Earl is my brother." Unfortunately ... "But--"

"What? You here to speak on his behalf or whatever?"

"Certainly not! Not at all! On the contrary, Graf von dem Eberbach."

"Major. Major von dem Eberbach."

"Oh. Yes. Major von dem Eberbach. How nice, an army man. As I said: on the contrary. I'm not here to speak on my brother's behalf. I'm here to speak on my own. Can we go somewhere more private?" Like her bedroom, but she wanted a ring on her finger first. Preferably.

He studied her thoroughly - the intensity of his gaze making her shudder and wonder how it must be to have the man's full attention whilst in an intimate engagement. The very notion made her skin tickle, though she ignored the reaction as she met his scrutiny with a smile. Let him look. Let him see. Let him admire. Let him want.

"Fine. I need a smoke anyway. There's a balcony. This way."

Then he turned his back and marched through the throng. Victoria followed, a little put out by the way he hadn't offered his arm or at least waited for her for them to walk together. But he is German, she reminded himself. A very direct, unsubtle people. I must not take his behaviour personally.

He did hold the balcony door for her to precede him, though the way he then firmly closed it made her wonder if that was the actual reason for his sudden chivalry, that he wanted to make sure the door was properly shut.

"So. Lady Red. What do you mean on your behalf?" As he asked he got a cigarette out and lighted it with deft movements.

"First, do let me apologise for my brother's outrageous behaviour towards you, and let me assure you that I in no way approve or encourage this."

He snorted and blew a perfect ring of smoke. Certain that his sulking attitude would vanish as soon as he realised that she was most firmly not on her brother's side, she continued. "I saw you at Lady Dextoria's party three weeks ago. How my brother ... bothered you and how you slapped him." The memory still set off a small tingle inside her.

"He deserved it. Foppy wanker."

"Oh absolutely. I have spoken to people since then. Apparently my brother has inconvenienced you for some time. I can only imagine how difficult he must make things for you. It's the same for me, Livia and Sophie - those are my - and his - sisters. One embarrassment after another. Why, Livia hardly shows her face in public any longer, not after the last time she met him. She refuses to tell even me what he did. It's unbearable."

Another puff of smoke. "He has no sense of shame. Does whatever catches his fancy and then he's all 'Oh, I didn't mean to stea-- cause problems.'"

The German was obviously loosening up, no doubt eager to start ranting about his dislike of her brother. Very good. "Exactly. The most galling thing, of course, is how he always gets away with things. That is what I wanted to discuss with you, Gra-- Major von dem Eberbach." Graf sounded so much better than a mere major, but soon enough she'd be calling him Klaus and then they'd see about things. What is the title for someone married to a Graf? A Grafness? That doesn't sound particularly German. I'll have to check into that. "I have an idea which will give my brother a right lesson and finally make sure he understands that he can't have everything he wants."

Those chilling, yet oh so very intriguing eyes now held a certain interest as they studied her. "How?"

"Do forgive my directness, but as I said, from what I've been told, my brother has been ... bothering you for a long time now."

"That's true. Acts like I'm some bloody flouncy trollop of his."

"Quite horrible, I do understand. So, let's make him stop."

"My superiors frown on me shooting civilians unless in the course of duty."

She laughed gaily, delighted that he apparently wasn't totally without humour, as she had often heard that Germans could be. "Brother will stop at almost nothing to get something he fancies. There is, however, one thing that will stop him cold and that is where I come in."


"It's quite simple. You will court me. Next time you meet my brother, simply tell him that you are going to marry me, his sister. Or perhaps we could arrange for him to see us together at some party, hand in hand and so obviously in love he can't doubt his eyes. He will slink away in mortal embarrassment, never to bother us again."

She could see it before her, so clearly, how shocked Dorian would be - how horrified. Of course, she would make a point to invite him to the wedding, should things progress that far. Family pride would force him to attend her day of glory, to watch as she - for once - took home the prize. Oh, and well, he was her only male relative. Perhaps she could even make him give her away - to the man he wanted. Certainly a thought for the future. The important thing was to ensure that Dorian realised that this man, whom he so obviously desired, had chosen her before him.

"Me sniffing around some girl won't stop him. I tried that, a while back. Didn't help."

To be likened to "some girl" annoyed her, but she consoled herself that he meant the description in general, not her in specific.

"Oh, but that wasn't his sister. Look at me, Gra-- Major von dem Eberbach." To show herself off to the best she stepped back and brought out her arms invitingly to the sides - the motion also stretched the glittering material of her gown fetchingly across her bosom. "There is nothing that Dorian can give you that I couldn't. Not unless you were also a ... homosexual. He will give up."

As the German obviously considered things his eyes darted over her still displayed body. His cigarette was discarded for another, lit with the practiced, absentminded ease of a dedicated chain smoker. Smoking is rather unattractive. I shall have to persuade him to cut down-- she thought. --if this is any indication of how much he smokes.

"Nothing he can give me that you couldn't," the man finally repeated.

She nodded confidently and, finally, lowered her arms to a more natural position.

The green eyes measured her even more carefully. She could all but feel them traverse her legs, arms, breast and the rest of her body. Lovely.

"You can pick a door in under ten seconds?"

Pick? A door? Why would she pick a door? "My interior designer is a--"

"A safe under five minutes? A vault in thirty?"

"Why such a hurry? I think one should take plenty of time to--"

"Are you good at Judo or Karate, maybe? I have to save his arse every fucking time there's fighting, so if you can do hand to hand that would be a plus."

"Certainly not! Why would I--"

"Can you impersonate a man?" Then the German blinked and made an ehming sound. "A real man, that is. Ehm ... I know you can imperso-- Ehm, look like a woman. He can do that, but he can look like a man too, a real man, if he needs to. Surprised the living fuck out of me one time, I thought he was a construction worker. Can you?" He looked directly at her still prominent breasts and frowned.

"Impersonate! What?! Are you a homosexual after all?"

He blinked. "What has that got to do with it? You said you can do anything for me that Dorian can, I'm just checking. Right, a situational question: we're trapped in an abandoned shed in Alaska, surrounded by wolves and Russians. You hear a sound from--"

"What? Russians and wolves? In Alaska?" She took a step backwards. "What are you--?"

"Can you at least fire a gun? Because he sure as hell can't. Well, he can fire it, but he can't hit a barn from the inside if he pressed the muzzle to the wall."

"A gun!? Most certainly not!" All Germans were gun-crazy, what with the wars and so on, but all these strange questions - was the man mad?

"Hm. I don't suppose you have an accountant that can do my taxes in his sleep and get me back twice what I pay? A SIC who is actually half-way competent? Connections to just about any part of the underworld? You'd voluntarily take a beating for me? Fight a guy off with a sword? Kill someone with a throwing knife?"

She just stared, mouth half-open, unable to formulate any response.

von dem Eberbach snorted and tipped ashes off his cigarette. "So, to sum up, what you can give me that he can't is a bit more up here--" He pointed at her bosom. "-- and a little less down there?" This time his finger indicated between her legs.


He leaned closer. "I never wanted children, so that's not really a potential plus. I have an heir, a young relative of mine, that's enough. You're pretty, I'll give you that. Some would say beautiful, I guess. You do look much like him. He ... is too. That. And you have a really nice rack."

For a moment his eyes rested appreciatively on her bosom. Then he unexpectedly lowered his voice, as if he now suddenly worried about being overheard. "I like breasts, you know. Prefer them, even. In general. Kind of thing. To cocks. I'm not homosexual. Not a wishy-washy half-n-half either. Call it more like ... sixty - forty. In favour of breasts. The things is? Your brother's forty is a hell of a lot more than most people's sixty. So in specific?" He shrugged. "He wins."

Then he pulled back and raised his voice anew. "Besides, I ... care for your brother. I have feelings for him."

With a scream of rage, Victoria fled.

Klaus watched the woman run away. He resolutely closed the door behind her, again cutting off the music and murmur of voices.

"At least this one didn't try to scratch my eyes out," he said.

A figure all but materialised from the darkness, sitting on the stone balustrade with his back to the house and long legs stretch out before him. Moonshine and light from within the castle glittered in his voluminous, blond hair with such intensity that Klaus failed to understand how the man had managed invisibility just moments earlier.

"Livia was always a bit more hot-tempered than Victoria," said Dorian. He swung down from his seat and spread his arms invitingly. Klaus looked towards the party beyond the French doors, but judged that unless someone pressed their face against the glass, they wouldn't see Dorian. So he moved over, letting himself be enfolded in the long, strong arms. Hands caressed him firmly - one up over his shoulders, the other down over his lower back and arse. A push brought their pelvises together. Dorian was aroused and the sizeable lump in his trousers nudged Klaus on his way as well. He hastily withdrew so that those particular parts of their anatomies no longer touched.

"I have to get back inside," he hissed in explanation. "It's only five minutes to the micro film drop now. And if one more Alphabet sees me with a hard-on they'll complain to the Chief. Fuck, why do all your sisters have to come on to me?"

A smile, slightly lazy but also a good deal possessive, flittered over Dorian's features. "Family taste, I suppose. Something about the Eberbachian build that just calls to us. Look at it from the positive side: two down, one to go. I'll take you to visit Sophie in a month or so."

"You're parading me off like a piece of meat."

Dorian leaned closer, dropping a quick kiss on Klaus's lips while bringing both hands down to squeeze his buttocks. "The finest, --" Kiss. "-- most succulent, --" Kiss. "-- tastiest meat in the world, my dear. Neither Victoria nor Livia will have told Sophie about what has happened, so that'll be interesting. And you won't begrudge me, will you?"

"Yeah, yeah, fine. Whatever."

"And in July, for my birthday, there's still my mother."

"What?! Dorian, I never--"

Another kiss silenced his protest - a more insistent, lingering one. Klaus let the matter drop and concentrated on the nice taste and the lazy battle of their tongues, ticking off time in his head simultaneously, knowing that he would soon need to get back inside. He was a little surprised when Dorian broke off their contact first, though he kept kneading Klaus's buttocks in a way that definitely had Klaus's own cock starting to get interested in the proceedings.

"Klaus? You handled Vicky well. I'm very pleased. I think you deserve something special for your effort."

So Dorian hadn't overheard the part of the conversation when Klaus had admitted attraction to Victoria's boobs. Good. Dorian was a bit sensitive about that. A reward sounded very nice, though, as Dorian could be very generous - and inventive. "What?" he asked.

"Well, how about you see this mission off and then we go home and you can top tonight, hmm?"

Sudden arousal twisted Klaus's gut. Dorian only rarely - so very, very rarely - made such an offer. Which was normally fine with Klaus because, well ... Dorian's forty really was a hell of a lot more than most people's sixty and he knew how to use it so well that Klaus never had anything to complain about. Once in a great while though, when Dorian did offer ... Well ... That made such occasions even more special - and hot and overwhelming in a totally different way. By the way Dorian's eyes glimmered in the light, he must have known exactly Klaus's thoughts on the matter.

"The mission will be over quickly." In order to ensure this fact, Klaus backed away from Dorian's tantalising hands and turned towards the French doors. Then he sighed and reached down to arrange his half-hard cock so that his arousal would attract less attention from the other party goers.

Maybe he'll let me fuck him after I turn down his mother as well, he thought as he went inside. That would really be an offer too good to resist.

The End

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