The door opened and she turned her head, the brush in her hair mid-stroke. He strode in and went straight to the white couch that sat in the corner of her bedroom, tossing his peaked cap onto her bed on the way over. His body language gave off the air of indignant annoyance but his countenance expressed he was absolutely drained and fatigued. He fell heavily onto the pristine cushions, his head leaning back against the backrest as he brought his hands up to his face, sighing heavily. He was still dressed in his military uniform, his black leather boots leaving deep impressions in the plush carpet though no marks. He always studiously wiped his shoes on the rug that lay in the foyer before the door, taking care not to bring in any kind of substance from the outside.
She sat there watching him, allowing him to bask in the relaxation the silence brought him. She turned back to the mirror and continued running the brush through her hair. He would speak when he was ready; but for now, she knew he needed peace. She patiently observed his reflection.
He sighed again and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and middle finger, his other hand dropping onto the cushion next to his thigh. He kicked his feet out in front of him, the heels of his boots digging into the carpeting. He made some kind of noise in the back of his throat that indicated his displeasure and exhaustion at whatever had happened during the day. She had no guesses. He didn't like talking work with her. She was his much needed escape from constantly shouldering the weight of conducting a war.
"I cannot do this anymore," he finally said in a low voice. "I feel absolutely dead."
"Do what, exactly?" she inquired, turning to face him on her vanity stool.
He ran his hands back through his hair, disturbing its typical form and making it stick out haphazardly. She thought it looked silly. In an adorable way. But she held her tongue. He wasn't in the mood for cuteness. Not yet, anyway. She had played this game with him so many times and she had perfected the art of knowing which moves would be the most effective at precise times.
"This," he gestured to the world around him, indicating what it was presently undergoing at his insistence. "The strain of leading this country to glory is thoroughly debilitating."
Her eyebrows furrowed. She wasn't so sure in her game plan now. They had never played on this stage before. Work was to never be discussed. She got up off the stool, running her hands down the silky material of her white nightgown as she walked over to him and sat by his side, bringing her knees up onto the couch and tucking them beneath her. She gently played with a strand of his hair. "No one other than you could take on such a burden, you know."
"I'm not so certain anymore," he breathed out through pursed lips, his eyes far off and glazed over. His face looked as though it had taken a weighty beating from stress, the bags under his eyes heavier than usual, his eyes almost bloodshot. She knew he hadn't been sleeping. "Perhaps I am getting too old for this sort of thing."
"Oh, come now, Adi. Don't be silly," she said, moving her fingers to the back of his neck and gently massaging his tense muscles. She noticed his shoulders relax a bit, her manipulations succeeding. "You're irreplaceable to this country. This is your mission. That's what you told me that night at Hoffmann's, remember? When you first kissed me?"
He closed his eyes but there was a small smile on his mouth. "Much has changed since then, Tschapperl."
"I'm inclined to agree. I didn't have such a grand bedroom then," she smiled, her eyes alight with charm and adoration.
"Oh, yes," he nodded. "The genuine reason behind your companionship with a tired old man, I suppose," he said turning his head toward her, reaching over and grabbing her other hand from where it was resting in her lap. His eyes looked a little softer, his shoulders less rigid.
"You caught me," she teased, leaning in toward him, clutching his hand. "Speaking of which, I saw a new dress I want." He chuckled quietly, smiling. She kept going, pulling the tension out of him one thread at a time. "Oh but Adi, I think you will absolutely adore it on me. I will look so beautiful."
"Who has convinced you that you are not now?" he asked.
"The price tag," she answered.
He gave a hearty laugh, his eyes sparkling. She beamed, the sight of his smile filling her chest with unadulterated happiness and a tender fondness for this man whom she had been in love with for so many years now. She couldn't ever have imagined she would be here, at the side of the ringleader behind the greatest revolution this country had ever seen. Everyone loved him, held him up as the Messiah of the Reich. But she knew she loved him more than anyone else in this world and he had seen that; had been moved by that. And he had taken her for his own.
She could never have envisioned she would be allowed to simply lean over and kiss Der Führer on the mouth; and he would respond by bringing a hand up to tenderly cradle her face and kiss her back. How was it she had found herself here? She was the luckiest woman in the world, she knew it. Her man was the greatest who had ever lived and would ever live. No one would walk the Earth like he did.
But he had chosen her exclusively to walk by his side as he did so. He had reached out for her hand and she had given it to him without hesitation: because just as his Greater German Reich was his destiny, he was without a doubt hers.
He pulled back from her, gazing deeply into her eyes. He sighed happily. "My dear Eva," he breathed.
"Yes?" she asked, her mind adrift in the haze of love.
"My dear Eva," he emphasized, squeezing her hand tighter in his, their fingers interlocked.
"Always," she said in a soft and innocently tender voice, pushing a few errant strands of his hair back with her fingers. "I'll always be here, waiting for you. Forever."
Insecurity crept into his eyes. "I can't imagine my life without you anymore," he said in a low voice, looking away from her. It confused him, how he had become so dependent upon another. He felt vulnerable and this frightened him, slightly angered him. He'd spent much of his life not getting involved. It was better not to concern himself with relationships of any kind; they would only hinder him in his magnificent pursuit. So why had he gotten involved with her?
"Adi, I couldn't possibly live without you either," she responded, her tone sincere and reaching far inside him.
He passively turned back to her. "I want you, Eva. I need you." He hesitated, taking a deep breath. "I do."
"You have me, sweetheart," she confirmed. "I promise, I'm all yours. I'm right here, only for you."
"I'm not referring to only now," he clarified unsteadily. "I want you to stay."
"Stay?" She didn't know where she had been planning on going. Was she going somewhere?
"With me. After everything is said and done."
"You mean after the war?" she asked, her head tilting.
"Yes," he answered softly.
She gently climbed into his lap, encircling her arms around his neck and resting her head against his broad, uniformed chest. The coolness of his metals seeped right through the thin fabric of her nightgown, kissing her skin like frigid coins. "There's nothing in this world that can take me away from you, Adolf," she mumbled, her fingertip tracing the border to one of his decorations.
There is was again: that loyalty; that sincerity; that devotion; that love. He couldn't have possibly foreseen how much he would need this… how much he would need her. He would have collapsed by now. "You'll remain with me, then?" he asked into her hair.
"Of course," she stated. "What has given you the impression I wouldn't?"
"Nothing," he responded, tilting his head up so his chin was resting atop her head. "I've been thinking a lot about the future, I suppose. Tends to be a common topic to give consideration to for men my age."
"Could you please stop talking about your age?" she asked abruptly, sharply. His eyebrows went up and he looked down to her curled up form that had attached itself to his body like a caterpillar.
"I apologize," he said slowly, befuddled. "I hadn't realized… wait, no, I don't understand."
She sat quietly for a moment before she gave a huff and reorganized her position, moving her knees to either side of his waist, her hands to his shoulders. "Make love to me, Adi." Before he could give his response, she moved toward him and silenced him with her lips. There was desperation and fear behind her kisses and he soon felt sultry tears had begun to slip from her eyes and down her cheeks.
He withdrew his mouth from hers and as soon as he did she fell onto him hard. Her face burrowed itself into his neck and she mutely sobbed, her shoulders trembling and her chest quivering, her fingers rooting themselves into his clothing. He held her in silence, patiently waiting for her to expel whatever it was that had started to poison her spirit during his absence.
As soon as he felt the intensity of her sorrow fractionally decrease he took a firm hold of her shoulders and pushed her off of him. With red eyes and blood brushed cheeks she stared at him in misery until she noticed his hand had moved down to his belt and was working on unfastening it. She crossed her arms and grabbed the ends of her nightgown, lifting it off and letting it fall to the floor in response. She lowered herself and immediately felt him fill her entirely. She didn't know where she was or who she was right then. All she knew was him and her: who they were as friends; who they were as lovers; who they were as companions; who they were once they had become one entity.
She never felt like herself when they made love because she wasn't herself. She was no longer a single separate person with him. He injected himself into her, both literally and figuratively. His body and his spirit collided with hers and they evolved into a being that existed within a wholly different reality than the one that had birthed them, that held them as individuals.
In every sense of the word had they found their other half.
Having been swallowed up by a world that instantly unfolded itself before them during these times-a world strictly off limits, impossible to find, completely unknown to anyone else-they stole sensations and delivered pleasures with one another in a constant delirium inducing exchange, intoxicating themselves past inebriation. He abstained from any form of alcohol, detesting its virulent nature; but he more than willingly, nothing short of eagerly, made an exception when it came to getting drunk on her. She was the substance he shot into his veins to escape reality. The after effects she left within him helped in getting through the withdrawal, just long enough until he could stumble back to her and reclaim his footing on that high he received from no one else.
They had been separated for over a month this time; yet, per usual, it took them no time to fall back into the utterly flawless synchronization their relationship operated under; the impeccable harmony their bodies engaged with. They moved with one another as though they had never been torn apart in all their lives. Her body and her inner mechanisms were all he knew and his body and his internal system were all she knew. They played each other with the finest, most perfected and most adept of fingers, having mastered the art of their partner's body, knowing how to incite music of the highest and purist beauty. His body was her map to euphoria and her body was his route to exhilaration; the farther they traveled, the closer they arrived to the intersection, a point of an entirely greater, superlative dimension.
Her mouth was on his again, his shoulders bearing most of her weight as she loved him ardently, holding nothing back and readily giving over everything to him because he hadn't taken it in so long. He wrapped his fingers around her hips, painfully clutching her body in an effort to aid her her motions, driving her harder down onto him. He needed to feel her; he wanted her to feel him. All of him. She wasn't restraining herself and neither was he. He had to release his lips from her hold in order to breathe. He'd been gone too long this time. He felt like steel.
Panting and gasping one another's names into each other's necks, her fingers lost themselves within the darkness of his hair. Her grip caused his head to tilt back but this he was fine with: he could see every emotion that ran across her face, every thought that twinkled in her eyes, every sound that spilled freely from her mouth. They tossed each other's titles back and forth like a ball, neither of them realizing when they had thrown it away, choosing a new one.
"Stay," he thrust.
"Yes," she gasped.
"Stay," he thrust.
"Yes," she whimpered.
"Stay," he thrust.
"Yes," she whined.
"Stay," he thrust.
"Yes," she moaned.
"Stay," he thrust.
"Yes," she cried.
"Marry me," he finished.
"Yes" she screamed.
He wouldn't be able to take her as his wife yet. Not officially, though they had already adopted and mastered the roles of man and wife. But he would. Once this game he'd been playing on the world stage had reached its conclusion, he would marry her and live out the rest of his days with her in Linz. She needed to be prepared for and conscious of this. He didn't want to arrive at the end, having claimed victory, and discover himself alone without the one person he deeply loved. He needed her now and he would need her then. He needed her forever.
He would marry her if it was the last thing he ever did.