Günter paused, the frantic rustling of paper coming to an abrupt halt, leaving silence echoing around the room. As Günter listened for the footsteps he could have sworn he had heard, a single strand of silvery lilac hair fell into his face. Realising that he must have imagined the approaching footsteps he raised a slender hand and brushed the stray hair behind his ear before continuing his search. He knew that he shouldn’t be in Gwendal’s study without him knowing, but there was no choice. Gwendal was nowhere to be seen –probably hiding somewhere as far away from Anissina as possible - and Günter needed his glasses for his lesson with Yuuri. He couldn’t be late, he couldn’t miss out on the chance to spend a few more precious minutes with the young king. His glasses had to be there. The last time he had them was yesterday when he’d been looking through Gwendal’s vast collection of books before being distracted by Wolfram chasing Yuuri down the corridor waving a rather revealing pair of jet-black pants. Judging by the fact that Wolfram was wearing his blue beret, he was obviously trying to convince Yuuri to wear said pants for his next painting. The mere thought of Yuuri in these pants distracted Günter, who clasped his hand up to his nose. As he did this he heard a small tinkle to the left of his foot. He bent down to find his glasses on the floor, the right lens cracked from the impact of hitting the cold stone floor.
As the tall mazoku stood up, left hand still cupped over his nose, right hand cradling his poor cracked glasses, he met with a sight that made his face drain - his nosebleed would no longer be a problem. Standing in front of him was Gwendal, arms folded and a scowl on his face that would even strike fear into the Maou.
Günter knew this wasn’t good. Gwendal never called him ‘Von Christ’.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY STUDY?!” Gwendal’s eyes were harsh; the usually beautiful sapphire pools were now like lethal shards of glass, repeatedly stabbing Günter, impatiently, waiting for an acceptable response.
“I… I… I was looking for my glasses. I left them here yesterday and I need them for my lesson with His Majesty.” The dark haired man before him continued to stare, expression unchanged.
“I… I'm sorry Gwendal. I didn’t mean to come in without you knowing, but I need them now and you weren’t – “
“Get out.” Gwendal’s voice was quiet, a dangerous tone, soft yet almost sinister.
“- I tried to find yo-“
“Get. Out.” Repeated Gwendal slightly louder than the last time and accentuating the t’s
“- but you weren’t around I thought you’d gone –“
“GET OUT!!!” Gwendal slammed his fists down on his desk, the shockwaves causing a few books to fall off and crash to the floor. Gwendal’s outburst made Günter jump back, dropping his glasses, his violet eyes wide with fear. He grabbed his glasses and ran out of the room, down the corridor and around the corner, where he slumped against the wall holding his forehead in one hand, the other draped around his stomach. His breathing was heavy and frantic. He had never seen Gwendal that angry.
After a few moments his breathing calmed and Günter stood up again, dusting off his clothes. He composed himself and headed towards the kitchens to collect Yuuri - who had taken up hiding there with Doria and the other maids in order to avoid Günter’s lessons - before starting today’s lesson on the Von Spitzburg territory. As Günter hurried past the half open door to Gwendal’s study he did not see the tall man hurriedly pick up a small navy book from the pile on his desk, securely locking it in the bottom drawer, hidden away from others eyes, especially sparkling violet eyes.
Günter spent the next few days, trying to avoid Gwendal, which luckily was not too difficult since Gwendal spent most of his time sitting at his desk. But even though he had not seen him, Günter couldn’t stop thinking about him. Why had Gwendal gotten so angry that day? He couldn’t get the image of Gwendal’s piercing eyes out of his head. It had almost been like Gwendal had hated him at that moment, but something about that look wasn’t quite like hatred. Günter had to stop thinking about it; he couldn’t spend all his time thinking about Gwendal’s problems, he had to find some way to escape it all.
Eventually Günter decided to just sit in his room and read. Maybe if he immersed himself in books he would be able to clear his mind. So Günter sat down in his favourite chair, picked up a book and began to read. A little while later he heard a knock on his door. Thinking it was Konrad coming to tell him Yuuri’s latest hiding place Günter called out for him to enter. As he looked up from his book his body froze, there in front of him was the large solid figure of Gwendal walking towards him.
“Here.” Said Gwendal holding a book out, repeatedly pushing it out into the air to indicate that he wanted Günter to take it. After a few moments Günter reached out and took the book looking at the spine, which read ‘The Natural Habitat and Lifestyle of the Bearbee’.
“I found this under a pile of paperwork. I don’t think you’ve read it. Make sure you give it back when you’re finished.”
Gwendal turned on his heels and walked out before Günter had a chance to thank him. Günter looked at the book. It was obviously fairly new as the cover was in almost pristine condition though as he flicked through he saw that some pages were noticeably dog-eared, the ones that contained paintings of the Bearbees. A small grin crossed Günter’s face; Gwendal wasn’t as good at hiding his love for cute things as he thought he was. However one thing bothered Günter. Why had Gwendal come out of his way to give him the book, and why had he acted as though nothing had happened the other day? Generally if Gwendal got angry at someone he would carry it around for weeks and even then wouldn’t let them forget it for a good 2 years, but he had just been acting the same as ever, after only a few days. Günter decided that it was best not to think about it. Gwendal had obviously decided to forget about it so maybe he should too. Günter carefully placed the book about Bearbees on his desk, settled back down into his chair and continued to read long into the afternoon.
A few hours later Günter heard another knock on his door, he looked up from over the top of his newly repaired glasses.
As the door opened he saw the familiar, gentle appearance of Konrad standing in the doorway.
“I thought you should know that His Majesty has been just been sent back to Earth. Wolfram was chasing him and he tripped over a stone and fell into the fountain.”
“OK. Thank you for letting me know, Konrad.” Günter calmly replied before going back to his book.
Konrad remained in the doorway, looking slightly confused. After a moments pause his curiosity and concern got the better of him.
“Günter, are you alright?”
Günter looked up from his book and stared at Konrad.
“Yes, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“No reason. Except… normally when you hear that His Majesty has returned to earth, there is more reaction. More… crying…”
“And wailing!” Yozak appeared from behind Konrad, with a big grin on his face. Günter’s eyebrow twitched a little and a small frown appeared on his normally docile face.
“ ‘Oh His Majesty must hate me! Why else would he leave me and go back to Earth?!’ “ Günter’s frown deepened. Konrad seeing the look on his face gave his lover a small shove to indicate that he should be quiet and go away. Yozak took the hint and slid out the doorway but not before giving Konrad a wink and a little pinch on the bum. Konrad turned his attention back to Günter, staring at him, waiting for a response.
“I’m fine. Was that all that you wanted? I would like to finish this book before dinner.” Günter’s tone was not harsh but it left no room for argument. Konrad gave a single nod of his head and left the room, quietly closing the door behind him. As he turned the corner he met with Yozak’s grinning face.
“What did he say?”
“He said he was fine then said that he wanted to finish his book by dinner. What do you think?”
“I think he’s just getting over his little crush on the kid, ‘bout time too really, he used to pine more than Wolfram, and that’s saying something!”
“You’re probably right –“
“I’m always right.” Yozak winked, whilst Konrad shook his head smiling.
“ – I just can’t help but think it’s more than that.”
Yozak gently stroked Konrad’s arm, comforting the clearly concerned man in front of him.
“Look, if there is something else going on then he’ll come to you in his own time, so for now there’s no point in worrying about it. Hey. We’ve got a while before dinner right? How about we go grab a bath… I’ll let you wash my back.”
Konrad smiled and nodded as Yozak grabbed his hand and dragged him down the corridors to the baths, his giggling echoing around the castle.
A week went by and the castle continued along as normal. Wolfram continued to mope as he usually did when Yuuri was away, Konrad and Yozak would steal moments away together, Günter and Gwendal made sure that the paperwork was up to date and everyone was avoiding Anissina.
Günter headed towards Gwendal’s study, clutching the book on Bearbees. He’d finished it the night before and needed to return it. As he approached the study he noticed the door was partially open and could hear Greta’s voice coming from inside. Günter smiled. Whenever Yuuri was away and Wolfram was moping Greta always went to Gwendal, it was quite sweet really, though Gwendal always seemed slightly uncomfortable with it. Just at that moment Günter heard something strange. Very strange. It sounded like laughter, male laughter. Günter crept towards the room and peered through the partially open door, but he wasn’t prepared for what he saw.
Inside Gwendal was kneeling on the floor in front of Greta, watching her playing with some of his knitted animals, a bear and a dog, well at least he thought they were a bear and a dog, but knowing Gwendal they were probably meant to be a pig and a rabbit. After a short while Greta put down the toys and looked up at Gwendal with her big shining brown eyes.
Greta grinned and nodded. Gwendal stood up put his hands on his hips, smiled and sighed. Then in one fluid movement he bent down, grabbed Greta under the arms and swept her up into the air spinning her around. Greta squealed with delight and Gwendal chuckled as he brought her down and held her in his arms.
Günter watched in amazement. He had never seen this side of Gwendal before. He was soft. He was gentle. He was laughing! Günter had seen Gwendal smile, but he had never seen him laugh.
Gwendal looks totally different when he laughs. Attractive…almost, beautiful. Günter shook his head violently, trying to shake out these thoughts, these thoughts that came from nowhere. Günter pulled himself together, stood back from the door, and knocked on it.
Günter opened the door and walked in. Greta was now sitting on a chair at Gwendals desk her legs dangling above the ground a sweet smile gracing her face.
“I came to give this back to you.” He said holding the book up and nodding to it before handing it to Gwendal. He leant to the side, looking past Gwendal, smiling at Greta who waved at him. Gwendal took the book and placed it on a small pile of books on the floor by his desk, his back to Günter he stood up.
“Did you enjoy it?”
“Yes, it was certainly different. Quite interesting actually…”
Günter found himself staring at the man in front of him, watching his hands rifling through the papers on his desk. Watching as his fingers tickled the paper, his gaze wandering up to Gwendal’s face, watching his eyes twitch ever so slightly when he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Günter found himself smiling, though he didn’t know why, he had disappeared somewhere and was only brought back to reality by the sound of Greta’s voice.
“Günter, what are you smiling at?”
Gwendal turned round to look at the slender teacher who suddenly looked quite worried.
“I uhh, just remembered that I’ve got a new book to read.”
Gwendal stared at him unconvinced by the explanation, but not willing to delve for the truth.
“Actually I may go start reading it now.” Günter was getting more and more nervous, though he couldn’t figure out why. He turned around quickly and left the room walking quickly down the halls. What had that been about? Why had he spent so long just staring at Gwendal? And why was his heart racing? All he needed was some sleep. He should just go and have a nap, and then his head would be clear.
Günter woke up to a commotion outside. He got up and looked out of the window into the courtyard where he saw various soldiers running around, looking as if there were preparing something. Günter decided to get dressed and find someone to ask what was going on, though he didn’t need to look long as when he opened his door he walked straight into Gwendal, a small tingle rippling up his spine.
“Oh, Gwendal. Sorry I should watch where I’m going.”
“It doesn’t matter, I was coming to find you anyway. We’ve heard that there’s a disturbance in one of the human territories bordering Big Shimaron, Ulrike is summoning His Majesty back. He should arrive in about an hour.”
“What are you planning to do about this?”
“It’s hard to plan before His majesty returns, he has a habit of surprising us. However I imagine he will want to investigate himself.”
“Yes, I imagine he will. I should go help everyone prepare for His Majesty’s return.” Günter slid past Gwendal and headed off to gather towels and clothes ready for the young king’s return, he would not doubt be soaked when he arrived.
As expected the young king arrived within the hour, soaked through and through and Günter was there, as always, ready to greet the king. This time however is was different… Günter didn’t rush up and give Yuuri his usual hug, in fact Günter didn’t even rush to give Yuuri a towel and clean clothes and although neither Yuuri nor Wolfram noticed this, it did not go unnoticed by Konrad.
“We have to look into this. When do we leave?” Yuuri was decisive in his statement, and it did not come as a surprise to anyone.
“The day after tomorrow.” Gwendal muttered.
“Myself, Gwendal and Wolfram will accompany you, Your Majesty. Günter will remain here and make sure that the castle is all in order.”
“Yuuri!” The door opened and in ran Greta heading straight for the young dark haired boy almost knocking him over as she jumped to hug him. Günter smiled remembering what he had seen earlier. He shot a quick glance at Gwendal, now sitting quietly in the chair, the normal emotionless look on his face, a sharp contrast to the warmth he had seen in him earlier. Günter looked at the table, wondering if he would ever see that other Gwendal again, ever hear that laugh again, that laugh that had melted his heart. He dared to shoot another quick glance at him, this time however for barely a second his eyes met Gwendal’s, who looked away, the tiniest shade of rose sweeping across his cheeks.
He looks so adorable when he blushes Günter thought. Wait. What am I thinking?! Why do I keep thinking these things? Why can't I get Gwendal out of my head?!
“Yes you do have to!” The sound of Wolfram’s voice brought Günter back from his thoughts.
“We have a painting to finish. It will only take an hour or two. So COME ON!” Wolfram grabbed Yuuri’s wrist and marched him out of the room, closely followed by Greta.
“I’m going to go find Yozak and tell him what’s happening.” Konrad left the room leaving Günter and Gwendal alone in silence. After a few seconds Günter looked at Gwendal, smiled, and left.
When Günter got back to his room, he lay down on his bed, staring at the ceiling. What was going on? He had always liked Gwendal. He worked efficiently. He worked hard. He was reliable. The two of them had gotten on well; well, as much as anyone could with Gwendal, he wasn’t exactly the most sociable of people. So why all of a sudden was he thinking about him like that? He didn’t want to think of Gwendal like that. It wasn’t the fact that Gwendal was a guy. After all he’d had an obsessive crush on Yuuri ever since he had arrived. However Günter knew that if he did have feelings for Gwendal he would only end up getting hurt. Gwendal wasn’t the relationship type; all his previous relationships were uncomfortable and, from what he had heard, short. Besides Gwendal wasn’t into guys. Günter turned over, trying to stop torturing himself with these thoughts and tried to get some sleep. Maybe it would be better in the morning.
The following day Günter knocked on the door to Gwendals study.
“Come in.” As Günter entered he noticed a shuffling of Gwendal quickly stuffing his knitting needles and his latest “creation” in a drawer, which, Günter noted, was rather odd. Normally Gwendal just got on with whatever he was doing almost ignoring the person who had just entered.
“I was wondering if I could borrow a few books.”
“Of course. Help yourself.” Gwendal busied himself with some nearby papers, absent-mindedly signing them whilst secretly watching the pale man head over to the stepladder. Günter climbed up looking at the selection of books on the shelf. Gwendal stood up and started putting some of the many scattered books back in their rightful places, every few moments stealing a glance at the beautiful man browsing his book collection.
Günter scoured the row of books, there were so many. Books on mazoku history, books on various creatures, even books on cooking – which was slightly odd as Gwendal had never set foot near a stove in his life. Finally Günter saw something that caught his eye, a large black book full of fairy stories. Günter stretched out his arm to reach for it, but as he did his ankle gave way, he lost his balance and fell. There was a sudden scrabbling of feet and a rush of air and Günter landed, not on the floor but in a pair of strong, safe, muscular arms.
“Are you OK?” Günter opened his eyes and looked up to see Gwendal’s face staring down at him, his deep sapphire eyes filled with concern.
“Y – Yes. I think I’m ok, though my ankle hurts, I’ve probably just twisted it.” Günter smiled up at Gwendal. He felt so safe laying there in his arms, feeling the warmth of his body, the rhythmic breathing from his chest. Suddenly realising that Gwendal was still holding him, Günter blushed, his normally pale skin turning a delicate shade of rose. Günter jumped up quickly, leaving Gwendal kneeling on the floor, then let out a yelp of pain as he put pressure on his left foot. As he steadied himself and sat down on a nearby chair Gwendal got up and headed over to the cupboard on the far side of the room. Günter removed his shoe and was bent over in the chair rubbing his ankle gently when Gwendal returned with a small box. He knelt down on the floor next to Günter and in silence opened the box, taking out a bandage and began gingerly wrapping up the injured ankle.
“You should be more careful.” Günter looked down at the man wrapping his ankle.
Those hands, they look so strong but they’re so gentle.
Gwendal wrapped the bandage around Günter’s delicate ankle one final time before neatly pinning the end down. He placed the remaining bandage back in the box and stood up, returning the box to the cupboard where it came from.
“You should go to see Gisela about that. I've strapped it up for now, but it’s only temporary. Can you walk on it?”
Gwendal watched as Günter stood up on his good foot, but as he went to take a step it was clear that the ankle was still too painful. He rushed over draping Günter’s arm around his shoulder, acting like a crutch for the man beside him.
“Come on. I’ll take you to see her…” Gwendal’s voice was softer than normal, more caring. His face was softer too; his usual frown wasn’t anywhere to be seen. As if suddenly realising that he wasn’t acting in his normal manner, Gwendal’s expression changed.
“Next time just be more sensible.” Günter turned to him and nodded.
As they finally arrived at Gisela’s clinic, Gwendal knocked on the door, and entered, helping a hobbling Günter to the bed.
“Father? What happened?”
“I was up on a step ladder reaching for a book and I fell. Luckily Gwendal was able to catch me before I hit the floor, and he strapped up my ankle.”
“Father, you should be far more careful. Thank God you’ve only twisted your ankle this time, it should be easy to heal.” Gisela wandered off into the next room to get something whilst Günter inspected his ankle. Gwendal turned round and began to walk towards the door.
The dark haired man turned to face Günter.
“Thank You.” Günter smiled.
“Mm.” mumbled Gwendal as he walked out of the door, closing it behind him.
Gwendal picked up his water bottle and sword and closed the door to his study, quietly locking it behind him. As he walked to the courtyard he hoped to see the beautiful teacher there, seeing everyone off, though as he walked out into the soft glow of the morning sun, his shoulders fell. Günter wasn’t there. A drop of sadness crossed his eyes for just the flicker of a moment before he regained his composure and strode towards his horse with purpose.
Günter sat at his window, watching the sunrise, the golden strands of light reflecting off of his soft silky hair. He looked down into the courtyard, watching everyone mount their horses, seeing Yozak give Konrad a sneaky peck on the cheek before his gaze travelled back to the green figure sitting on his chestnut brown stallion. Yozak was walking alongside Konrad’s horse, but as they passed Gwendal a hand stopped Yozak in his tracks. Günter saw Gwendal hand something to Yozak who took the item, nodding his head, before Gwendal began to ride off with the others. Günter watched as he disappeared further and further into the distance, a single tear fighting to escape. Günter closed his eyes. Maybe he should have gone to see them off, rather than hiding in his room, pretending to oversleep. But he just couldn’t. He knew that it would cause him pain, saying goodbye to him, even if it was just for a week or two.
“Urgh, I'm being stupid. Maybe a couple of weeks away from him will rid me of this ridiculous fixation.” he muttered to himself. Günter looked out of the window again, staring into the distance. A few minutes passed and he heard a knock on his door. Günter got up to open the door, to see Yozak standing there.
“Hey Günter, why didn’t you come to see everyone off?”
“Hmm.” Yozak seemed unconvinced by his excuse. Günter’s mouth said one thing, but his eyes said something completely different. He looked as if he wanted to cry.
“Well, Gwendal told me to give this to you, he said you forgot it yesterday.” Yozak handed him the book on fairytales he’d been reaching for when he fell. When he fell into Gwendal’s arms… Gwendal’s strong, safe, comforting arms. Günter drifted off, remembering the gentle touch of Gwendal bandaging his ankle.
“Günter. HEY Günter!!” Yozak waved his hand in front of Günter’s eyes, bringing Günter back from his daydream.
“Günter, are you felling OK?”
“Huh? Oh yes I'm fine.”
“It’s just you sort of, disappeared off somewhere just then.”
“Sorry. I just, I’m not fully awake yet, that’s all.”
“OK, well I'm gonna go grab some breakfast, do you want any?”
“No, I'm not particularly hungry at the moment. Thank you for delivering this”
“No problems, you know where I am if you need me.” Yozak grinned and ambled off down the corridor, his hands in his pockets, whistling a little tune that echoed around the silent halls.
Two and a half weeks passed and Günter had become more and more secluded. He spent most of his time hiding in his room, nose buried in the book that he’d borrowed from Gwendal. He had read it twice already and had nearly finished his third reading. The midday sun broke through the brilliant white clouds and shone straight through the window, making Günter’s hair shimmer like a field of silver barley blowing in the breeze. As Günter read the last words of the book and closed the cover, placing it in his lap, he heard a shout from outside.
“His Majesty is back! They have returned!”
Günter jumped up and ran to the window and looked out. Sure enough there was the familiar sight of Yuuri, Wolfram, Konrad and Gwendal riding towards the castle. He watched as the tiny figures gradually drew closer, a wide smile appearing on his face. As he saw them approach the gates he turned and ran out of his room, running down the halls, his white robes gracefully flowing behind him. He almost knocked a surprised Yozak over in his hurry to get to the courtyard to greet them. He got outside and stopped, waiting for the figures to reach him, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. All Günter wanted to do was run over and hug him, hug him to welcome him back, hug him to show his affection. But he couldn’t. He would be risking his personal safety if he did. After all, it was Gwendal. It’s not as if he wasn’t used to hugging those who didn’t share his affection, he’d hugged Yuuri countless times after returning from a journey. The difference was that Yuuri wouldn’t physically attack him when he did, whereas with Gwendal that was a possibility. This realisation managed to wipe the smile off of his face. Before the approaching party reached him, Günter turned away and walked back into the castle.
What was wrong with him?! He had hoped that spending some time away from Gwendal would calm down these irrational thoughts and feelings he was having, instead it had the opposite effect. He felt more. His heart ached whilst Gwendal had been away.
Could it be? No surely not. But could it? Could it be that I love Gwendal?
Konrad dismounted his horse and walked over to Yozak, who just grinned at him. Konrad embraced him, pulling away only to press his forehead against that of Yozak’s and nuzzle his nose with his own.
“Thank God you’re all back, Günter was driving me crazy!” Konrad took a step back, keeping a hold on Yozak’s arms, looking at his lover with a concerned face.
“He’s been moping around the castle ever since you all left. It’s been worse than normal and he wouldn’t snap out of it.”
“He was pining for His Majesty again?”
“No I don’t think it was the kid. He wasn’t wandering around saying “His Majesty” in his normal way. He’s just been locking himself in his room or walking around looking miserable. And just before you got here he’d rushed past me in the hall to come out to greet you all, looking happier than I’d seen him look in weeks, but all of a sudden he just turned round an walked back inside. He looked a bit defeated.”
Konrad just stared at Yozak. He could see Konrad’s mind working, gradually trying to figure things out.
“I think I’ll go see him a bit later. But first I need to get changed and unpack.” And with that Konrad gave Yozak a quick peck on the cheek and walked into the castle.
As Konrad unpacked his bag he heard a faint tap on the door.
The door opened slowly and Günter poked his head round.
“Konrad, I was wondering if I could talk with you for a moment.” His voice was quiet, barely audible, and full of uncertainty.
“Of course. Come in and shut the door behind you.” Konrad smiled, buttoning up his shirt and indicating to the chair for Günter to sit down. Günter wandered over and slowly eased himself into the seat while Konrad sat down on his bed, noting just how uncomfortable Günter looked.
“What did you want to talk about?” Günter shuffled in the chair, eyes fixed on his feet.
“Günter, are you OK? You know you can talk to me in absolute confidence.” Günter nodded slowly, lifting his head to look at Konrad who was still smiling gently at him. Günter swallowed and took a shallow breath.
“When did you realise that you loved Yozak?”
“Oh.” The directness of Günter’s question surprised him a little, but at least he was talking, Konrad thought he was going to have to work much more to get Günter to talk.
“When did I first realise that I loved Yozak?”
“Mm.” Günter nodded.
“Well we had always been close, ever since we were little. He was my best friend. But I guess that the first time I realised I loved him was during the war, when we were fighting together. I’d been injured, just after I found out that Julia was at the front lines helping the wounded there, and I woke up in the medical tent and my first thought was ‘Where’s Yozak? Is he alright?’ He was my first thought, I realised that I was more concerned about his safety than I was about Julia’s and everyone, including myself, thought that I was in love with her. And it was in that split second when I thought Yozak could be dead that I realised I cared about him more than anyone or anything else in this world and that I loved him, and would do anything to keep him safe.”
Günter listened to his words; they flowed into his head and stirred up all sorts of emotions in him. He could feel the tears pushing their way to the surface and dropped his head to hide his face as they broke free, trickling down his soft cheekbones.
“Günter? Günter, what’s wrong?” Konrad leant forward and touched Günter’s shoulder to comfort him. Günter sniffed a little then spoke, spoke with a voice broken with tears.
“Did you ever doubt your feelings?”
“I doubted at first. I couldn’t believe that I might have feelings for him, but after that day, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind.” Konrad smiled softly, then looked back to Günter.
“Günter, why are you asking me these things? Does it have something to do with Gwendal?” Günter suddenly looked up at Konrad, his usually beautiful eyes slightly puffy and red. The tears had stopped but his cheeks were still damp.
“H- how did you know?”
“Just call it a hunch. Do you love him?” Günter hung his head, his hair dropping down in front of his face, the tears beginning to fall again. Günter nodded slowly. Konrad looked down at the weeping man in front of him, he had never seen Günter in such a state. He was so distressed. He was in pain. Konrad knelt down in front of Günter, attempting to look him in the face.
“I don’t want to love him! I’ll just get hurt!” The tears were now streaming down Günter’s face. Konrad leant over and gently hugged Günter, trying his best to comfort the sobbing mess in front of him. As Konrad looked over Günter’s shoulder he saw Yozak open the door, and start to walk in. Yozak stopped dead and just stared at the scene, looking to Konrad as if to ask if he could help, but Konrad just looked at him, and gently shook his head, so Yozak backed out the door, gently shutting it behind him. Konrad pulled away from Günter and reached for a tissue, handing it to him to dry his eyes.
“Günter, how do you know that you will only get hurt? Gwendal may appear to be cold, but he isn’t. He’s not as mean as he looks.” Günter remembered that day he had seen Gwendal with Greta, and how different he had been, maybe Konrad was right, maybe he isn’t as cold as he appears.
“Just go and talk to him and – “
“No. What's the point in doing that? I’m just going to embarrass myself, and him, when he rejects me.”
“Günter, listen to me.” Konrad’s voice was still soft, but there was a more commanding tone. Günter looked up at Konrad, his watery purple eyes meeting with Konrad’s brown.
“Just go and see him. What’s the worst that could happen? He rejects you. If that happens, it will help you move on and get over him. And Gwendal isn’t a bad person. He won’t shout at you, he won’t attack you. He will be understanding. This won't be the first time he’s had to deal with this sort of situation. He and Anissina are on the same terms as they were before.” Günter looked at him disbelievingly. Gwendal avoided Anissina at all costs, although that was more likely because he is her first choice of guinea pig.
“Besides, I doubt you will have to worry about that.” Konrad winked at a bemused Günter, a look of realisation gradually crossing his face.
“What… What do you mean by that?”
“Just call it a hunch.” Konrad smiled then turned his back on Günter and continued to unpack his bag. Günter dried his eyes then stood up and slowly walked towards the door. As he reached for the door handle he paused, then after a moment or two, he opened the door and left.
As he walked aimlessly around the castle Günter couldn’t stop thinking about what Konrad had said. He couldn’t tell Gwendal how he felt. He just couldn’t. But what had Konrad meant by “I doubt you’ll have to worry about that.” Maybe he should listen to Konrad’s advice and go and see Gwendal. Günter’s head was spinning. He couldn’t think clearly. Suddenly Günter realised where he was. He was standing right outside the door to Gwendal’s study. He walked up to the door, placing his hand flat on the centre of the door, pressing his forehead against it. Before he could stop himself he knocked lightly on the door and entered without waiting for an invite.
As he walked into the study he saw Gwendal sitting at his desk, asleep. Günter approached the sleeping man ahead of him, a smile creeping across his face; he looked beautiful when he was sleeping. Günter walked around the desk and stood at Gwendal’s side just watching him sleep when he noticed something in Gwendal’s lap. He looked closer and it was one of Gwendal’s knitted creations, but it wasn’t an ordinary one. It was a knitted Günter, and it was actually good! Günter blushed at seeing Gwendal’s hand draped around the small, knitted version of himself. But something else caught Günter’s eye, on the desk was a small book with a navy cover, being held open by a pen. Günter had never seen this book before, it looked more like a diary than a book, and although he knew it was wrong he couldn’t help but look. He opened the book at the page with the pen in, as he looked his entire face changed.
So that’s what Konrad meant.
On the pages of the book were a series of sketches, of Günter, sketches that were beautiful. Sketches that could only have been drawn with love. Günter put the book back on the desk, a single tear gently flowing down his cheek past a smile of pure happiness. Günter turned back to the sleeping figure in the chair. He leant over and tenderly kissed Gwendal’s sleeping forehead being careful not to wake him. He straightened him self up and turned to leave, but as he did so a hand grabbed at his collar pulling him down. Down into a deep passionate kiss. Down into a kiss, with Gwendal. Günter’s heart began to race. Gwendal’s tongue gently, yet desperately, massaging his own, their soft supple lips meeting whilst Gwendal touched Günter’s cheek with his hand, tenderly caressing it before running his fingers through his silky hair. Günter breathed in deeply, inhaling Gwendal’s scent. Günter wanted this moment to last forever. For that moment, Gwendal was his, and his alone. Nothing and no one else mattered.
As Gwendal pulled away Günter opened his eyes and looked directly into Gwendal’s. His eyes were somehow different. There was a softness that had not been there before, the sadness that normally graced his eyes had been replaced, replaced by a spark of happiness. Gwendal stood up and smiled at Günter. It was the most precious and beautiful smile Günter had ever seen, a secret smile, a smile that only he was allowed to see. He raised his hand to touch Gwendal’s cheek, but was stopped as Gwendal took his hand, lightly kissing it before turning and leaving the room.
As Gwendal left, Günter slumped down into his empty chair. Had that really just happened? He picked up the navy book and decided to look through the rest of it. There were a lot more drawings, all of Günter, all beautifully drawn. Günter picked up knitted Günter and looked at him alongside the sketches, smiling as he did so. Gwendal returned a few minutes later carrying two cups of tea and a single slice of chocolate cake on a tray. He put the tray down on the desk then went back and closed the door, momentarily leaning against the doorframe, smiling at Günter.
Günter stood up and walked around to the front of the desk as Gwendal approached, stopping directly in front of him. Gwendal took his hand and gently directed Günter’s chin towards him with the tips of his fingers as he leaned in for another kiss. Gwendal kissed Günter’s lips gently before his tongue delved deeper, searching, searching for Günter’s warm supple tongue. Günter caressed Gwendal’s head, running his hands through his hair, treasuring the feel of every strand. Gwendal placed his hands in the small of Günter’s back, pulling the paler man’s body closer to his, running one hand up his spine, making Günter tingle all over. As Günter pulled away, Gwendal kissed his neck, then took his hand and led him to the chairs, sitting him down. Gwendal sat in the chair beside him, taking hold of the piece of cake. Günter gazed at him, his eyes sparkling.
“How long have you -?” Gwendal looked at him, breaking a piece of cake off with a fork and holding it out to Günter. A smile crossed Gwendal’s lips and his eyes shimmered as he simply said:
~ ~ ~