"Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!"
The Major's butler froze mid-step at the sound of his Master's thunderous tones issuing forth from the study. He had been prepared for some sort of explosion on this, his Master's birthday. Ever since Eroica had taken to sending a gift every fifteenth of May, it had become an annual ritual. But today the tone was different. Not the Master's usual anger. This was unbridled rage.
"God fucking dammit!"
When this bellow was followed by a loud crash, the butler chose to make a strategic withdrawal. He turned on his heel and quickly returned to the dining room where breakfast had been laid out. The Master would come when he was ready. Until then, it was safer for all concerned to leave him alone.
Inside the study, Klaus was beside himself with rage. He had fully expected to receive a ridiculous gift of one kind or another from Eroica today. But he had also expected to discover it when he arrived at work, not when he entered his study. Within he found that damned painting of Pumpkinpants had been removed from the wall, revealing the wall safe behind. A wall safe that was now standing wide open, its contents rifled.
Only one item was missing. One very important item. A rectangular porcelain box containing the Major's most closely guarded secret. A box that was undoubtedly in the possession of Eroica, who at that very moment was surely going through its contents.
As this last thought passed through the Major's mind he stopped his tirade, finally dropping into a chair. Once the Earl went through the box, he would be back demanding answers. Answers that Klaus was not prepared to give, least of all to Eroica. He looked down at what remained of the birthday card he had found in the safe--and promptly torn into pieces. He put a hand to his head and closed his eyes. The day had only just started and was already a disaster.
Happy fucking birthday.
* * *