In the winter of 1944, Lt. Kenneth Hellman, an ace fighter pilot and leader of a young inexperienced but promising fighter squadron, is shot down on a mission to escort American bombers to their industrial targets inside Nazi Germany. He is captured and interrogated by one of the most ruthless men in the Waffen SS, Oberführer Wolfgang Farber, who instructs his henchmen to extract military secrets from him using any methods necessary. After his eventual transfer to Stalag VIII-b, Hellman exacts revenge by joining forces with an unlikely hero, his German Commandant Wilhelm Braun, clandestine leader of the European Resistance movement and the man Kenneth yearns to have as his life-long partner. But with the Russian Army closing on the camp and Wilhelm’s refusal to follow the German High Command’s orders to set his poorly clothed and emaciated POW’s on a march in the middle of one of the harshest winters on record, they have little choice but to flee the country, their attempt fraught with grand adventures and many close calls with death.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Pairings: M-M, M-M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Word Count: 56, 430
Setting: Europe WWII
Languages Available: English
“In these dark times . . . may I call you by your first name, Lt. Hellman?”
“Would my objection matter?”READ MORE
After a short pause, his frown softening, Fritz continued. “In these dark times, Kenneth, it boils down to survival. At the end of the day, Hans and I are SS soldiers. As you’re no doubt familiar with the organization’s grim reputation, we are expected to exhibit the behavior of ruthless cornered animals while at the beck and call of evil men like Colonel Farber, another Nazi who despises homosexuals and your classic tyrant. Nonetheless, we are a means to an end. He uses us to blackmail his political enemies and coerce secrets out of prisoners like you. But Hans and I are not fools. The moment we’re no longer beneficial to him, he will sentence us to hard labor at one of Hitler’s death camps. I suppose we’ll get a taste of our own medicine as we’re starved and worked to a slow agonizing demise alongside all of the others deemed outcastes by the perfect Aryan race.”
The American fighter pilot’s indifference chilled the room like the presence of a specter. “Thanks to you, Farber knows I prefer men. Do you think for one moment he won’t pass that little juicy morsel along to the commandant of the camp? My life is going to be hell. So, you’ll forgive me, SS Sgt. Schmidt, if I’m unsympathetic to the plight of Nazi queers!”
While Kenneth’s hard gaze wandered their quarters, Fritz sat next to him, placing a hand on his upper thigh. “What’s done is done; I can’t change anything that happened at St. Vith. But prior to our arrival at Lamsdorf, I will earn your forgiveness or die in the attempt,” Fritz said earnestly, the SS sergeant’s eyes pleading for acknowledgment. “Say something.”
“You betrayed and tortured me. I could have died at the hands of the SS; your hands. If it’s absolution you seek, then I suggest you find yourself a fucking priest.”
“Whiny as Hans,” Fritz grumbled as he removed handcuffs from his utility belt. “I’m going to see what’s taking my corporal so long, give you some time to—”
With a guttural roar, the American prisoner lunged at his guard and tormentor, shoving him to the floor, his head colliding hard against a metal air grate beneath the small compartment window. Dazed, the SS sergeant was rendered defenseless, like his American prisoner for the past two weeks.
Not giving him time to recover, Lt. Hellman straddled the limp body of his enemy. Teeth bared, muscles and veins distended in his face and neck, he seized the Nazi soldier by the throat. Fritz’s eyes budged from their sockets, his reddened face contorting as he clawed at his assailant’s tightening grip. Gagging, his words gurgling from his constricted throat, he implored his prisoner to have mercy.
“Don’t know why the hell I’d show you mercy, kraut; there was certainly none shown to me,” the American pilot huffed in disbelief, breath coming fast and hard as he relented and stood to his feet.
The SS sergeant, coughing and choking, attempted to rise, wincing as he felt the back of his head. A huge goose egg had formed, but there was no blood. “Maybe I should try sitting up first,” he groaned.
“I’d wager it doesn’t feel anything close to a rifle butt to the head.”
“I deserve that. I hate what I’ve become; torturing and killing for the glorification and enrichment of Nazism; it has sickened me for so long now. Win or lose, I ache deep down in my soul for this war to end and for the day men like us can love freely.”
Kenneth plopped down in the narrow red-carpeted aisle running down the center of the passenger car’s two cushioned bench seats. Both sat cross-legged, face to face, their knees touching. “Can’t the two of you find a way out?”
“Where would we go that the SS or the Gestapo couldn’t find us? You could’ve finished me off and escaped. Why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know; perhaps I realized vengeance made me no different than a black-hearted Nazi. Besides, I’m on a speeding train full of German soldiers; where would I go?” After a moment of silence, they snickered.
Fritz took his prisoner’s hands in his. “What’s the verdict, will you forgive me?” he pleaded sincerely.
“Under one condition.”
“Farber dies, slowly.”
“If the opportunity presents itself, consider it done.”
Kenneth fervidly pressed his lips to his German captor’s while eagerly unbuttoning his black uniform jacket.COLLAPSE