The year is 1946, World War II is over, and the Nuremberg trials are underway. US Army Captain Frank Hawthorne is returning to Germany to testify in the military tribunal of former Nazi Officer Johann von Biehn. Despite explicit orders to the contrary, Frank is trying to save Johann’s life.
Three years ago, at the height of the war, Frank had been sent to kill the very man he is now defending. Much to his surprise, instead of the Nazi monster he was sent to kill, Frank found a compassionate dissenter. Johann considered the handsome young American officer the answer to his desperate prayers to save his beloved Germany from the cancerous infection of Nazi rule. What really happened between the two men during those long summer days in von Biehn’s Spreewald mansion must be kept secret at any cost.
With his own government forbidding Frank to reveal anything political that happened during the war, and society forcing him to conceal their personal relationship, Frank will have to find something truly unexpected to prevent Johann’s all-but-certain death sentence. (M/M)
Von Biehn was an attractive man, handsome and virile in his uniform in all the wrong ways. Or the right ways, depending on the point of view.
But he was still the enemy, and Frank for the life of him couldn’t figure out why he was imagining von Biehn flirting with him. And why on earth should von Biehn be hitting on him? As far as Frank knew, love between two men was even more stigmatized among the Nazi than everywhere else. Or had Frank done something to encourage von Biehn’s attitude? Had he been talking while he had been unconscious? Or was it just an attempt by von Biehn to unsettle his prisoner, trying to see how Frank would react? After all, von Biehn didn’t seem like a person who was so insecure in a foreign language that he made such a mistake.
Whatever the reasons, Frank was profoundly wary of him. If von Biehn had suddenly sprouted fangs and horns, Frank wouldn’t even have flinched.
“And if the parachute and the rifle wouldn’t have been enough, Süßer,” von Biehn said as he leaned forward and explicitly mimed sniffing at Frank’s throat, “your aftershave is only available on the US market.”
“Stop calling me that,” Frank snarled, but von Biehn only grinned. It might be a nice thing to call a gal “sweetie,” but for a man, that was plain condescending.
“No, I won’t.” Von Biehn’s smile mellowed for a heartbeat, changing into an expression one might have taken for genuine care and affection if that just hadn’t been so utterly impossible. “Eat. I still have things to do.”
“Why the hell do you help me?” Frank asked, still too confused and groggy to think of any less blunt attempt at solving this riddle.
“Now, isn’t that pretty obvious?” There it was again, that indecent ring to the German’s voice. And this time, Frank was sure he wasn’t just imagining things. It didn’t make any sense. “See, I was standing on my balcony two nights ago, having a late drink, as I heard a plane passing. Which, in itself, wasn’t something too unusual, but it wasn’t on the standard course and didn’t really sound like one of our machines. And then, like a gift from heaven, there comes a magnificent bird of prey with a broken wing plummeting down from the sky, hitting the ground right next to my favourite fishing spot. So I thought, let’s have a look. And what I found definitely looked more like a present than anything else. Admittedly, it was a bit battered and muddy. But it still felt like someone upstairs had finally recognized the hard work I do down here and sent me some beautiful angel to share my lonely nights with.”
“In your dreams!!” Frank hissed reflexively. So he definitely wasn’t imagining things!