Karl placed his quill down triumphantly. The final page sat in front of him, the ink on the word unite! still wet and dripping. He gazed over his stack of manuscript papers, pleasingly thick and tall. He let out a long sigh and reclined in his chair, arching his muscular back. The window was open, the chilly breeze making the hairs stand on end. He took a jacket off the chair and wrapped it around himself, nestling in its embrace.
He suddenly felt a dark, brooding presence behind him. He knew who it was. Friedrich, or Fritz as he called him, was standing above him, looking over the manuscript.
“What do you think?” Karl asked in a breathy voice.
“It’s…” Fritz began. Karl could feel his hot breath against the back of his neck. The anticipation exhilarated Karl. He turned his head and slowly looked up at his friend—his best friend—meeting his gaze coyly.
“It’s beautiful, Karl. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.”
The shiver that ran through the entirety of Karl’s body had nothing to do with the breeze.
They kissed. Their tongues met. Their lips merged. Their beards merged. There was nothing in the world except one giant salt-and-pepper beard enveloping everything…