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The office door swung open and the tired journalists frowned when they saw who had just walked in - or rather, the mood in which he appeared to be: Walter Blunt was smiling.

At seven in the morning.

Rosalie - as usual - was the first to find her voice. "Walter? Is everything alright?"

He flashed her an even broader smile. "Why shouldn't it be?"

"You're so... cheerful." Rosalie leaned forward. "Did you take anything? For fuck's sake, Walter, it's not even -"

"Jesus, Rosalie!" he protested, his good mood fading quickly. "Taking something at this time of day - what kind of monster do you think I am?!"

"Where's Harry?" Celia interrupted, quickly changing the subject.

"Busy," Walter said.

"Busy?" Martin echoed, confused.

"Busy," Walter confirmed and then looked around. "And now let's get to work, I'm not here to answer questions all morning."

 

**********

 

"Walter, you can't keep this a secret forever," the young man said, slowly raised his hand and began to gently caress Walter's hairy chest.

The journalist harrumphed and adjusted the pillow behind him. "Whenever I tell my team that I'm dating someone they're all over me with questions. I'm not ready for that yet - I want it to be just us for now, Lex."

"I understand that, but how long do you think Harry's gonna keep quiet about us? He's been sulking ever since you introduced me to him."

Walter sighed. "I wish I knew what to do about that - I've never seen him behave like this before when I dated someone. Besides, I've been good. I take my meds, I attend our towel-whipping sessions, I eat healthy food..."

"You no longer let him read bedtime stories to you, though. He was quite upset about that last night."

"I wasn't in the mood, especially not last night. We were busy, remember?"

"Vividly," Lex smiled and slowly let his hand wander to a part of Walter's body that was hidden under the blanket.

The older man gasped. "Lex, I don't know if I - oooh..."

A knock at the door interrupted the romantic moment. "Major?"

Lex made a face and pulled his hand back.

"Yes, Harry?" Walter called.

"May I come in, sir?"

"Yes, you may!"

The door opened and the valet walked in, a small alarm clock in his hand.

"What is it, Harry?"

Harry raised the hand with the clock. "Your lunch is ready, Major."

"Is it that late already?" Walter wondered. "I hadn't noticed."

"You do seem to lose track of a lot of things lately, sir," Harry said. "If you allowed me to be present in your bedroom in the morning I could remind you of the passage of time in a much more efficient way."

"That would not be appropriate, Harry."

"It used to be, Major."

"Things have changed," Walter insisted. "Lex and I require privacy from time to time."

"You have required privacy every night for the past two weeks, sir."

"Not the day before yesterday," Lex chimed in. "I had the nightshift at the bar then."

"And a good night that was," Harry remarked.

"Harry!" Walter exclaimed.

"It's alright," Lex said quickly. "I'd be jealous as well if I were in Harry's position."

"Jealous?!" the valet echoed. "I'm not jealous!"

"What do you call it, then? Temporary hostility that occurs whenever you talk to the guy in your major's bed?"

"Now now, you two," Walter scolded. "Can't you just get along?"

"Apparently not," Lex said dryly.

Harry shot him a glare. "I agree. For once."

 

***********

 

 

"Harry...?"

The valet appeared in the doorframe almost immediately. "Yes, Major?"

"I want to talk to you. Sit down."

"Yes, sir." Harry slowly walked up to the couch and sat down next to Walter.

"It's about Lex."

Harry frowned. "What about him, sir?"

"You don't seem to like him a lot."

"I don't, sir."

"Why not? Do you think he's bad for me?"

"Not... precisely."

"But...?"

"Nothing, sir."

"Harry, you know you can talk freely - it makes no sense for us to keep secrets from each other."

"Very well, Major." Harry cleared his throat. "I'm not sure you're aware of the consequences such a relationship can have. You warned me about my relationship with Sylvia - and you were right, she did break my heart in the end when she moved away."

"Lex is not going to move away because of work. He's a bartender, he can find work anywhere here in LA."

"I know, Major. But what if he breaks your heart by leaving you for another reason? He's rather young. What if he only wants you for your money?"

"Harry, I'm not a billionaire."

"But, sir, you do have more money than other men your age. Can you safely say he would be with you if you didn't have any money?"

Walter leaned back on the couch. "Yes, I actually can." He paused briefly before he continued. "Whenever we go out, he always insists on paying for his food and drinks. I've never had to buy anything for him - no food, no clothes, nothing. He has a very strong sense of pride."

Harry said nothing.

"Honestly, I'm not planning on asking him to move in or anything. You and I both know how this would end - Sylvia was all the warning we needed. We must never let that happen again." Walter eyed his valet carefully. "That's what you're afraid of, isn't it? That I'll ask Lex to move in and throw you out as a result."

Harry looked at the floor.

Walter smiled, reached out his hand and raised Harry's chin so that they were looking into each other's eyes. "Oh, Harry... I wouldn't know what to do without you. That time when we were separated was torture for me. I need you."

"Really?"

"Of course! And now, please do me a favor and at least try to be civil towards Lex...?"

Harry smiled shyly and put his hand on Walter's. "Anything for you, Major."