Exciting news! Yesterday Tristano and I passed San Lorenzo and I remembered that they started the excavations at the Medici-tombs some days ago. They will examine the graves at the church of San Lorenzo as well as in the Principe's chapel. In the crypt they made an exciting discovery: Under the grave of the last Medici ruler Gian Gastone they found a subterranean secret chamber with the bones of eight corpses, most of them babies and children. I've attached a newspaper clipping so you can read for yourself. Isn't it great? But they won't examine the bones of Lorenzo Magnifico because then they would have to remove the statues made by Michelangelo standing above the tomb and they don't want to risk it. Tristano said they were dying of a heavy kind of gout, but the experts aren't sure if this was the reason for their deaths.

Gioia, I'd be really pleased if you could book a hotel room for us. Rosso will be staying in a tent with his little brothers and to be honest, I don't fancy that. I haven't ask my parents about the trip to Rome. It was difficult enough to convince them to allow me to go with you to the sea side. Father is somewhat on my side, but I guess just because he feels he has to protect his youngest son against the verbal insults from Dante and Marcello. Dante's out of hospital by the way. He's doing better but still can't go to work. Marcello's wrists are healing but there's only two weeks before the summer holidays anyway, so he won't return to work either.

Raniero's been expelled from the workshop for good. Coppo resisted the influence of his family and despite the fact that he was a promising talent he said he didn't want a jerk in his class. Mind you, Coppo has confessed that he's gay too! My father knew but he had repressed it. And some of our class mates support us. Me and Tristano that is.

Yes, I've heard from Giano. He's working with Tino in the music shop to earn a bit of money. He seems to enjoy that.

My train arrives Friday afternoon in Pisa at 5:15 pm. I miss you too."



Alessandro unfolded the newspaper article and became absorbed.

"... about 6 square metres long, two and a half meters high crypt. For almost 300 years it remained undetected! Corpses were lying everywhere...

... What a spectacular prelude to the unequalled "Operation Medici". Italian experts want to open all 49 Medici-graves. This should clarify the circumstances of life, diseases, rumours about mysterious murders by poisoning and the causes of the deaths of the relatives of the legendary banking dynasty that ruled Florence for three centuries...

... 'The identity of the eight corpses is unknown", says Fornaciari, a palaeontologist from Pisa. So far one thing is clear: we are dealing with the corpses of three new born babies, two children between one and two years old and two older children , along with a 20 year's old. Fornaciari continued 'One of the young boys was carrying the remains of a crown in the form of a garland of flowers.' ...

... So far the experts have managed to bring four corpses up to daylight: the bones of grand duke Cosimo I, his wife and their children Giovanni and Garzia. This brought to light the first surprise: The previous hypothesis of the historians, that most of the Medici suffered from gout, begins to seem uncertain...

... no metabolic disease like gout, but a synotivis... all skeletons and pieces of clothes shall be DNA-examined..."

Alessandro whistled through his teeth. He knew the Florentine rumours about grand duke Cosimo I who was reputed to have had an unhealthy longing for his little daughter.

Don Garzia and Cardinal Giovanni, Cosimo's sons, both died at the age of twenty. The official history said they died of Malaria, but rumours said, Don Garzia stabbed his brother during a hunting trip, and was killed afterwards by his father Cosimo. Perhaps the Pisan professore would now be able to bring the truth to light.

This was the stuff Florence was made of. Rumours, conspiracy, poison, knives, murder, vendetta. What he would be able to tell an interested audience while he led them through his hometown! This was so much more than the clean and boring facts he had to learn about Proto-Renaissance and the dates of battles. Though of course it would be easy to merge the two and spice up the plain stuff.

Alessandro put the article into his exercise book, stretched out upon his bed and thought about Luca. He missed him more than he would like to admit. And then there was all that shit with Leoni. She was like a leech on his trousers' leg, clinging to him wherever he went. Whenever he tried to talk with her about the night they had spent together, she repeated the same story over and over again almost until he started to believe it himself. What if it was the truth? What if he had fucked her like 'Jupiter's hammer', as she stupidly described it? He couldn't imagine becoming horny like that when a naked girl was lying in his bed. He wouldn't be horny at all, for heaven's sake and he hadn't even been drunk enough. Something was off about the story.

Uncle Arrigo had written to him too, about the political events in Florence, about the everyday strike of the bus driver, about the welfare of his mother who was still living in the clinic for rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol, but was doing extremely well. As long as she was left in peace, Arrigo said, and not reminded of his family. Alessandro snorted. Of course not. As if she had ever cared about her sons. His brother Nando she had let die alone; a wretched death in a hospital and he - Alessandro? He was the pretty boy of the family. The youngest. The hope and the last offspring of the Gondi-Lucertola's. The carrier of the genes. Frail and unstable like the ones of the old Medici's whose last offsprings had all been homosexual, soft and weak idiots, with no children, so that the long line of the proud and strong banker's dynasty simply died out one day. They were contemporaries of the Gondi's and now his own family would go the way the Medici's went before them. Neither Arrigo nor his brother Emilio, the mayor of Florence, had been able to produce children. Their fertility was like - nil.

Sometimes he felt compassion for his uncles. If at all possible the Gondi's mustn't die out. Why not go to Leoni and fuck the brains out of her to father a son that would carry the long blood line?

Alessandro stood up and poured himself a glass of wine, Arrigo had sent to Pisa from his own Tuscany vineyard. It tasted fruity and a little of herbs, just the way he liked it. He poured another. Together with a glass of Grappa it would be enough to make him drunk.

Despite the wide open window it was sticky in his room, there was no breeze coming in from the river. He wondered if Florence was melting away in the caldron of a summer's heat and he felt pity for Luca. He wished he could stay in his palazzo, the Lizard-Tower, with its cool, thick walls that let no heat in.

What would Luca say if Alessandro became a father? He could do it, father the child and then leave Leoni, get a divorce and continue with his life as it had been.

And then? Alessandro sipped at his glass. Wouldn't he feel responsible for his child? Should it be allowed to grow up without love as he himself had grown up?

If he only could wait! He was only nineteen and felt he wasn't mature enough to be a father. He was still a kid himself with all the longing to catch up with what he had missed when he was younger. The displays of bad temper, the bad behaviour he had shown when he was an adolescent and frightened the town, was just a protest.

On the other hand... Alessandro had finished his third glass. Now or later, what did it matter? He swayed slightly as he rushed to the door that led to a small corridor and opened the door to the kitchen. As always it was thick with smoke because Leoni stood at the stove and stirred a pot. Brutally he took her shoulder and turned her to face him. Then he pressed his lips upon hers and ground his abdomen into hers. She gave a startled, but stifled cry, then she succumbed. She wrapped a leg around his and he lifted her up onto the kitchen table, while fumbling under her short skirt and tugging at her slip. "This is what you want, right? Me fucking you like a hammer", he hissed. But she struggled. "What are you doing, you're drunk!"

"Yeah", he giggled. "When I'm drunk I don't miss an extra thing to play with."

Suddenly she gave up the struggle and lay down upon her back on the table.

He looked at her and his arms fell to his side. Nausea filled his stomach. What was he doing here? Brutality was a foreign word to him. "I'm sorry", he said, and ran into the toilet of his room where he vomited into the sink. Then he sank down against the tiled wall and wiped over his face. Bloody hell.

After a minute he felt well enough to stand up, drank some water and returned to the kitchen. Leoni was sitting at the table, smoking. She was pale. "I'm sorry, Leoni", he said softly. "You're right, I'm drunk. Forgive me?"

Leoni watched him silently. Her eyes were red. "I should report this, you know", she said coolly.

"What?" Alessandro laughed. "Nobody would believe you. It's what you wanted, right? You tell everybody we're a couple. So, who wouldn't expect a little fucking session upon the kitchen table, eh?"

They glared at each other.

"One - zero to you", Leoni said after a while. "When you've sobered up I'll be waiting for you in my room." She stood up and continued to stir the pot.

* * * * *

"Last group", said the moustached warder and counted the people. "Thirty people, no more. In thirty minutes you have to be back down here, per favore", he told the grumbling tourists.

Luca and Alessandro were part of the last thirty people who were allowed to clamber up the spiral staircase of the Leaning Tower. Luca was excited. He had never been up here before. For years the tower had been closed, but now since the specialists had stabilized the leaning of the tower, it was open again and he followed Alessandro's butt cheeks, moving up the stairs in front of him. He suppressed the longing he had to bite softly into them, and grinned instead to himself. Going into the Campanile was a very strange experience: the angle of the 'lean' was really pronounced when they were inside. The staircase was a rather tight corkscrew, and Luca really felt as though the whole building could tip over as he climbed. Going up the staircase meant that he was tilted first to one side and then to the other as the corkscrew snaked up around the centre of the tower.

It was seven thirty in the evening, thirty minutes before closing time. Behind him he heard people puffing and stomping up the marble steps. Two hundred and ninety four steps wasn't exactly a short way. Alessandro stopped briefly to marvel over the exquisite work of the colonnades stony lace work. Contemporary architects would just work in glass and concrete, but there was something about the decorative elements of the Pisan Tower that remained unique. Luca stopped beside him and touched the cool material tentatively. Alessandro smiled at him and brushed a strand of blond hair out of his eyes. "I'm glad you're here", Alessandro whispered.

A surge of wind blew their shirts when they stood in the open air upon the platform they shared with the other twenty eight people. The view glided over warm coloured houses, red roofs and ochre toned walls, over an oval stadium, the old university buildings, the green lawn of the Piazza dei Miracoli to the green hills of the Apuanian mountains in the distance.

"There's the sea", Alessandro stretched out his arm. "Behind the mountains. I've booked us a holiday apartment, we'll be undisturbed." He pulled Luca's face to his and kissed him. "You think it was worth the 15 Euro entrance fee?" he asked. Luca had complained about the expensive fee and that Alessandro had insisted he would pay for them both. He had bought the tickets this morning but the waiting time was unbelievablely long until they could walk up the tower.

Luca nodded. "It's beautiful." He turned to touch the marble stone of the building that hid the small tower bells.

"It's of Moorish influence. Look at the grey-white alternating stones. It's like a Zebra-pattern", Alessandro said. "Like the Muezzin calling the believers from the Minaret, the bells shall call the Christian believers. But perhaps it was vice versa, after all, Christianity is older than Islam. Which reminds me: Ever been to the Camposanto?"

"Only on a school trip", Luca answered. "There's holy earth from Jerusalem scattered over the ground that the first crusaders brought with them, the teacher told us."

Alessandro nodded. "That's true. Next time you come we'll visit the museum where they hung up the remains of the large freschi, the cemetery-walls were once covered with. It must have been a marvellous sight once in the middle ages." Alessandro's eyes were veiled as they always were when he was absorbed in his favourite metier.

Luca stood close to him and felt the heat that his body was oozing. He would become a good guide, conveying his love for the old and historic Art. But wasn't Art timeless? Even when those large freschi had been destroyed in the second world war by an allied bomber, hitting the tin-roof so that the walls were shaken and the hot tin flooded over the paint? The remains that lay crumbled on the ground were carefully picked up and sorted by scientists and now they can be seen in the museum. It had been a tragedy. One of the many.

They stood and looked. "What I wanted to ask you ...", Alessandro started after a while, "I wondered about your remark in your last letter. You told me that some of your classmates support you and Tristano. Why Tristano? Do they know he's gay like you?"

"Well, they found out", Luca said cautiously, not looking at Alessandro.

"How? Did they catch you both inflagranti?"

Luca said nothing.

"Did they?" Again Alessandro took Luca's chin and turned his head towards him. He looked him straight in the eyes. "They did, right? Where? In the class room?" His blue eyes hid a glint of laughter, but Luca couldn't find it funny.

"We were late one morning, and ... we came in together to the workshop. Raniero made a stupid comment..."

"You were late one morning? After what? A hot night?" Alessandro, was furious for a second but then got himself instantly under control.

Luca didn't know what to say, so he said nothing. He just looked down, embarrassed. He had been unsure whether to tell Alessandro what had happened, and had actually decided against it. But now... he couldn't lie to Sandro's face.

Alessandro let go of his face and leaned beside him upon the iron fence. "When?" he asked.

"Monday night. He invited me to the flat he has moved into. I told you."

"And he cooked for you and opened a bottle of wine and told you to have sex with him for he wanted to learn all about gay sex, right?"

"Right", Luca said stubbornly.

Alessandro couldn't hide a small grin. "Is that so?" He examined Luca closely for a moment. "You like him, don't you."

"Sure I do. But it was just one time."

Alessandro nodded. His heart felt heavy but he couldn't turn back time. What happened had happened, no use to make reproaches. He leaned in and whispered into Luca's ear "Did he take you or did you take him?"

"I took him. I... I couldn't allow him to do the same ... as you..." He leaned his chin upon his forearms and would have liked to have vanished from the earth. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again." Then he lifted his head and looked into Alessandro's face. "I'm really sorry. Are you mad at me?"

Alessandro looked him up, sizing and ruminative. "Of course not, gioia. I hope you were good." A brief twinkle appeared in his eyes. "Better than I was on our first night."

His voice sounded serious and Luca felt exceedingly relieved. He pressed his lips upon Alessandro's and afterwards embraced him.

Some people stared at the couple; both felt it, but it wasn't important to either of them.


Luca felt completely filled. Outstretched upon Alessandro's soft mattress - a newly bought one - and lying on his stomach, he felt Alessandro's heaviness behind him. Upon him. Relaxed he enjoyed the soft thrusts, the steady rhythm of the beginning of their coupling, a tentative searching for the right position, letting the other do all the work. For the moment Luca was too overwhelmed, overwhelmed by the long missed sensations and the understanding Alessandro had shown when he had confessed his tryst with Tristano. Well... understanding perhaps wasn't the correct word. Sandro had told him later, that he was disappointed, but that he was human enough to understand. What a noble feeling. But Luca couldn't stop feeling certain that there was something more behind Sandro's all too willing acceptance. As if he had a bad conscience. But why would that be?

Alessandro's hands glided along Luca's outstretched arms and back, over his shoulder blades, around his waist. Luca lifted his belly a little and Alessandro slid down to embrace Luca's straining and wet erection. "Who's washing the bed clothes?" Luca mumbled.

"Bed clothes?" Alessandro mumbled back. "You have odd ideas in the middle of hot sex." He came to his knees, took Luca's legs in between his own and made the channel very tight. He slid his cock in and then out almost completely, varying the speed and the thrusts, until Luca purred with lust and came up to his knees too. Alessandro reached around and grabbed hold of Luca's cock, stroking him up and down in the same rhythm. "I'm very glad you didn't allow Tris to fuck you", Alessandro whispered. "That's my place." Luca grinned but was instantly washed away by too many sensations that his moaning became louder.

"You haven't told me if he liked it", Alessandro murmured into his ear. "Were you gentle with him? Sure you were, like with me." He now stroked only the tip of Luca's penis, going round in circles and smearing the fluid around it. Luca responded with more groans. "Did he say he wanted more?" Alessandro continued, increasing his speed. "And do you?"

Luca couldn't answer and his ears weren't listening anyway. Alessandro constantly hit the sensitive skin over his prostate and it made him wild. A while later he found himself upon his stomach again with Alessandro laying heavily upon him, outstretched like he was himself. Both were panting hard.

"Your place is booked", Luca said softly and heard Alessandro's chuckle.

* * * * *

Colourful lanterns swayed in a small, cool breeze. They had been hung up between the trees and oozed a mysterious, warm light. The meadows of the Cascine Park - Florence's fairground - were covered with stands and grills and tents. Tristano heard the pulsating music in the distance.

Illumination lit up the discjockey, glimmering points in yellow, red and green. In front of him - on the grass - people moved to the rhythm of the music. Listening from a distance, Tristano couldn't make out the songs - it was only the pulsating beats, the basses and drums that drew him closer. He breathed in the scent of baked potatoes, barbecued meat and vegetables, of cotton candy and fruity ice-cream.

By the pizza-stand he saw Rosso and some of his friends, dressed up like Tristano himself. Teenagers roamed between the stands, smearing themselves with candy floss and glazed apples. He felt some heads turning as he passed by; a flash of white teeth when a girl smiled at him, but then he froze. In the middle of the lawn a group parted and a young man started to dance alone. He made quite a show - naturally - swaying his slender hips, kicking his feet, bending his upper body, shaking his butt.

Tristano grinned involuntarily when their eyes met briefly. The dancer's upper body was clad in a tight-fitting, white muscle shirt with the printed words 'Take me' and a phone number. His legs were covered with expensive looking designer-jeans; tight, and giving his butt the kind of look that made everyone stare at it, especially the giggling girls. Black, shiny curls fell boldly on to his forehead.

Luca might be handsome, Rosso interesting, Alessandro an austere beauty - but this guy here was the embodiment of the classic Italian male beauty. Michelangelo would had chiselled him in marble, and Leonardo would have taken him into his bed for sure. His profile was perfect, but just as Tristano got close enough to look at him, he realised the secret of his beauty; his face was regular, but it had the incompleteness of a work of art. The cheekbones were high, and the mouth was a noble line with swelling lips, the bottom lip a tad too thick. The secret lay in the imperfection. Tristano fell for him instantly.

He wasn't alone with his adoration; Luciano, the homosexual well known in town, sneaked around him like a snake after a rabbit.

A tap on Tristano's shoulder shook him out of his fascination. Rosso arched his left eye brow. "I can see your bulge from ten metres away", he said sternly. Then he broke out into a merry laughter. "I thought you were keen on Luca", he added quietly, still grinning. Tristano literally jumped back. "How do you know that? Have both of you talked about me?" His voice betrayed his anger.

"Hey, it was plastered all over your face the last time we met." Rosso turned to the little dance floor and folded his arms, looking at the dancer in the middle of it. He couldn't deny that he was the most sexy man he had ever seen. Giuliano appeared at his side, another girlfriend in his arms. "How's that for a fag?" he asked. The girl giggled but nonetheless her eyes were fastened on the moving body.

"You still don't have enough?" Rosso said sharply. "Watch your mouth, Giuliano. You're just envious." He looked meaningfully at the girl. Giuliano was speechless for a moment. "Are you in support of Luca?" he asked then. "Our pal who has turned into a shit stabber? Has he turned your head?"

Rosso's hand jerked but then he only shook his head and dragged Tristano away with him. He bought two Rum & Cokes and stared silently into his paper cup. The basses boomed through the night. Tristano looked alternating to the dancing beauty and the silent Rosso who muttered "I'd never thought that I'd have to decide between them one day, that some of my old school friends would turn out to be complete jerks."

Tristano looked unhappy. "You don't have to speak to me", he said.

"What?" Rosso's green eyes sparkled angrily. "Why do you say that? Do you feel that inferior? Luca told me what happened to you; well, I noticed anyway. And believe me, I prefer your company to any of those." He nipped his paper cup on Tristano's and emptied it. "Come on, let's find a sexy man for you."

Tristano glanced at the dance floor and saw the black curly haired guy surrounded by some guys that he was obviously flirting with. Rosso followed his stare. "What's it called?" he shouted over the music. "Gay Radar?"

Tristano grinned "I guess you mean Gaydar." He shrugged. "I'm new to the scene. But I think my radar works already." He threw a last glance at the dancing guy and suddenly their eyes met. The lights flickered - at least Tristano thought so for a brief moment, but then Rosso pulled him away, laughing. He was glad that he had found another friend, since his old ones appeared to have changed into idiots.

Rosso had just turned towards the next grill stand when Tristano said "Wait", and stopped in his tracks. It was too late. Carolina, his ex-girlfriend, had already seen him. She was in the middle of a group of girls and the smile on her face died.

Tristano's stomach clenched painfully. He saw the lights upon her long, brown hair - blue and yellow, her tanned skin stood out against her yellow, short dress and Tristano felt a pang of regret. It was about time he made his peace with her.

"Ciao, Tris", Carolina said coolly, eyeing Rosso, who stared back. Then he gave Tristano a slight push and vanished between the trees. Tristano eyes followed him thankfully. "Ciao, Caro", he said quietly. Joyful laughter touched his ear drums as well as chattering, shouting and music. A warm breeze whispered through the branches and the air was balmy. Carolina's friends gave him unfriendly stares and Tristano felt embarrassed.

He took her hand determinedly and she followed. She leaned against a tree and looked at him. "Do you regret it?" she asked. "Have you thought about our relationship and found that you're ready to continue?" she said hopefully. But he had to shake his head. "I'm sorry, Caro. Yes, I've found out something." He took a deep breath. "Something that hasn't anything to do with you."

Carolina's big, brown eyes looked expectantly.

"Well, I'm almost eighteen. And... people can change. I knew what I wanted, but I was wrong and I've fallen in love again."

"Obviously not with me." Carolina said in a bitter voice. "Do I know her?"

Tristano grimaced. He bit his lower lip. "You know him... Luca. I like boys, and as I've said, it has nothing to do with you."

Carolina was mute. Shocked perhaps. Then she laughed. "That's a joke", she stated.

"I'm not joking. I said, people can change. I've found out what I really want."

On Carolina's face were mirrored many different feelings in rapid succession. "And what did you feel when you was in bed with me? You didn't like it, right? I gave you everything and you ... you laughed about it." Her eyes glistened with tears. He tried to take her into his arms but she pushed him away. "Don't touch me." She breathed deeply in and out and calmed herself. "Alright, Tris. You like boys, ok. You think you're gay, all right. But what if you change your mind in a few months? How many people are you going to hurt until then?"

"Caro, that's nonsense, and you know it. What am I supposed to do? Live like a monk to prevent others from being hurt? Somebody'll always get hurt."

"But you don't want me because I'm a girl! Do you know how much that hurts?"

Tristano shook his head. "No. I don't know about that. It would probably be worse if I'd fallen in love with another girl. But a boy? You can't compete with that. It's not your fault. I still like you."

Carolina wiped her eyes. Perhaps she was starting to understand. When he tried to pull her into her arms she didn't struggle. "Is he your boyfriend?" she said into his neck. "The red haired boy?"

"No. Rosso's looking for a girlfriend." He took her shoulders, held her away from him and looked into her sad face. He smiled. "He's nice."

Carolina gave a sobbing laugh. "Bugger."

At a different place Rosso fought a similar fight. His school friends Micky and Giuliano continued their bickering until Rosso left them standing and hoisted two Ramazotti's pure. The bitter-sweet taste of the herb-flavoured liqueur lingered in his mouth but warmed his stomach. Determined to leave the park he ran into Tristano. Still fuming he snapped at him. "Made up with her?"

Tristano looked hurt. "Listen, I told you you don't have to bother with me, so don't shout at me."

Rosso took a grip on himself. "Sorry. I was just ... pissed, not at you." He took Tristano's shoulder. "I'm going to get drunk tonight."

"Ciao, bello", a deep voice murmured into Tristano's ear at that moment. Startled he turned to the owner of the sexy voice and froze again. It was the dancer, now looking at him with a half cheeky, half seductive grin on his tanned face. "Do you have a light?" He shoved a cigarette between his lips.

Rosso, hearing this, said "that's the most stupid chat up line I've ever heard. Only straights would use that. I thought you had more imagination."

Curly raised his eyebrows. "Tell me a better one." He put his arm around Rosso and combed his fingers through his red hair. "I'm a pyromaniac - are you coming to put out my fire? How about that?"

Rosso screw up one of his eyes. "That wasn't bad."

Curly's eyes devoured Tristano. "Your boyfriend?" he asked. Rosso roared with laughter. "No. I prefer the female curves if you know what I mean." He slipped from Curly's embrace and called back as he walked away "but thanks for the offer!".

Curly, still with arched eyebrows turned to Tristano, standing like a statue, with his hands in his pockets, his face unreadable.

"And you?" Curly asked. "Keen on the female curves or male ... stiffness?"

Both weighed each other up with stares. The curly haired guy's anthracite eyes radiated. His brows built a wonderful, clear, black arch over his eyes. "Sergio", he said finally.

There's something was about him, Tristano thought. Something dark, secret, forbidden and shady. Altogether.

"Tris", Tristano said.

Sergio made an unsuspected step forward, pulled Tristano close, by taking hold of the neck of his shirt and rubbed his lips over Tristano's. Electricity crackled. Tristano's hair at the nape of his neck stood on end as well as his cock. In an instant. Sergio's tongue tasted his lips like a flickering snake, before it entered his mouth like a conqueror.

Tristano gave a sigh and leaned into Sergio's body; his groin inflamed, his mind heated.

"You certainly prefer male stiffness", Sergio ground out between his lips, feeling the bulge between Tristano's legs. "To your place or mine?"

Tristano hesitated for the length of a heartbeat. "To my place.", it was about time he substituted the memory of Luca with another.

"He's going with him", Carolina's friend said incredulously. "I don't believe it".

"There you are, all the handsome guys are gay", another sighed. "And you hadn't the slightest idea?"

Carolina shook his head.

"Perhaps he'll hate it". Her friend put her arm around Carolina's shoulders. "I've heard it hurts like hell. You know ... being ... erm ...from behind ... and all."

Carolina looked at her incredulously. "I've heard they are crazy for it."


As soon as the door closed behind Sergio he pushed Tristano forward into the room and kissed him like a starving wolf. Then he let go of him and inspected the flat. The only light came from the aquarium and the yellow streetlamps outside. "Nice fish", he said. "You live alone here?"

Tristano stood, over heated and nodded. "Drink?" he asked.

Sergio pulled his shirt over his head. The light reflected on his skin and Tristano wanted nothing more than to touch him. His nipples were two dark coins, like the peaks of two mountains with a valley leading down to a six pack. Instantly Tristano felt inferior. He couldn't compete with this beauty. If he undressed now, he would die of embarrassment.

Sergio's eyes flamed. He hooked his thumbs beneath his belt and grinned. "Didn't you offer me a drink?

Tristano rushed into the kitchen and found only the Est! Est!! Est!!! Luca had brought. His heart ached. What was he doing here? Suddenly he felt a warm breath on his neck, a forefinger draw a line from his neck down his back along the spine. Tristano shuddered and his heartbeat quickened. With trembling hands he tried to open the bottle. Sergio embraced him from behind and blew into his hair. "I love blond hair" he whispered. "Come here."

Sergio took the bottle, uncorked it and clicked his tongue. "Wow, where did you get this year from? It's been a long time since I've had such a marvellous wine." He filled the glasses. "Cin-cin", and let the fluid roll over his tongue. "Superb."

Tristano was confused. Suddenly Sergio seemed similar to a high society snob. "Drink", Sergio said. Tristano emptied his glass with his nervousness and waited for what would happen next.

"Now, what shall we do with the rest the evening?" Sergio asked, grinning slyly.

The wine went instantly to Tristano's head. A fruity-herb taste on his lips he leaned in and raked his fingers through Sergio's curls, shining in the pale light. He felt sweaty and sticky from the warm night. He ran his palms over Sergio's upper arms and felt himself pulled to a hard chest. "I need a shower", Tristano tried an evasive answer.

"Good idea."

Tristano went ahead into the bathroom and wondered if Sergio would follow him. He didn't have to wait too long until the curtain was pulled aside and Sergio stepped behind him into the shower. Tristano didn't dare open his eyes but his skin and body responded to the man behind him; to the soapy hands, sliding easily and firmly over his body. When he felt Sergio's cock nestling in between the cleft of his cheeks, he felt adrenalin streaming through his veins and his lust rising. He turned off the water and fished for the towel, still avoiding looking at Sergio. Almost desperately he towelled his hair and tried to smooth it; then he felt Sergio's hands stopping him. He lifted his chin and looked examiningly into his eyes.

When Sergio smiled, dimples appeared in his cheeks and his white teeth sparkled; his almond shaped, anthracite eyes still radiating.

"Oh god", Tristano whispered and then he devoured the red lips, the chin, the neck, collarbone and bit into the dark coins of Sergio's nipples. He went down on him, kneeling on the hard tiles, kneading Sergio's butt cheeks and watched his cock hardening and rising. But before Tristano could do what he wanted to do, Sergio pulled him up; his palm briefly touching Tristano's hard penis, grinning cheekily before he engaged him in a wet and passionate kiss.

"I want you", Tristano mumbled boldly, fingering Sergio's arse, searching for the cleft. He had no idea how to do it, but his cock had taken over control. Sergio chuckled. "Then go ahead."

Sergio's kisses sent Tristano into the orbit. He managed to block Luca and all comparison from his mind. He knew this was pure sex. Somewhere in the back of his brain he realized that Sergio was experienced, older and able to press all the buttons necessary to set Tristano's body on fire. The bed sheets were a tangle, the cover lay on the carpet and he tried to remember what Luca had done to him as he sat upon Sergio's back, stroking the lean muscles, the shoulders and the moist, black hair. The jar of vaseline was still standing on his night stand.

Sergio struggled and Tristano slid from his back. "What's the matter with you? What are you waiting for? Have you never done this before?"

Tristano shook his head timidly.

"All right." Sergio crawled out of the bed, vanished and returned with the bottle of wine. "Drink."

"I don't need to be drunk to have sex."

Sergio held out a glass. "Apparently you do." He drank some more himself, brought his mouth close and let the fluid drip from his mouth into Tristano's. Tristano coughed but swallowed, then he took the glass and emptied it himself. He felt himself pushed upon his back. Sergio's warm mouth engulfed his now shrivelled cock and then suddenly Tristano lost all inhibitions. He squirted into Sergio's mouth, but the relief was just momentarily before he felt his lust rising again.

Sergio's cock, heavy and longer than his own, poked his thigh, his hip, rubbing against his skin. As he opened an eye he saw Sergio greasing himself and then rolling a condom over Tristano's penis. He straddled Tristano, wriggled for the right position and let himself sink down on him.

Tristano's eyes opened wide in shock. How tight. How warm. How slippery. Sergio's face was relaxed. His muscles rippled, his hairless thighs rising and sinking, and Tristano gave his first loud moan. Sergio bent forward to kiss him and then released himself.

"Get the idea?" he asked. Yes, Tristano thought. Hell, yes. He took over control, kissed Sergio as if there was no tomorrow, and instinctively did all the right things to surprise the experienced Sergio. He was behind him, pushing his fingers into Sergio's greased hole, then he lined up and shoved his cock in with one long, slow motion, making Sergio jump and a long groan escape his mouth. "Keep going", he said through gritted teeth.

On his knees he responded to the long thrusts until they found a mutual rhythm which wasn't easy, Tristano thought. The sensations were overwhelming, and the only thing he could wish for would be another cock thrusting up his own arse and he would die a happy man. He didn't want to hurt Sergio with the beautiful body he possessed, but he couldn't hold on. Sergio moaned and was on fire but all too soon Tristano had to give up the fight with himself and ejaculated.

Sergio was still on his knees, jerking himself until he came too. Then there was silence.

They both lay side by side, eyes closed. Tristano's brain kicked in after a long time and he turned his head. Sergio's face was unmoved and he wondered to himself if he had liked it. If perhaps he was sore. If he wanted to do it again. Why didn't he say something?

Tristano propped up on his elbow and leaned over. Sergio's tanned body stood out against the crumpled sheets. Perfect, hairless, in proportion; small hips, long, muscular legs, his cock a beautiful neat snake, carefully shaved balls and trimmed pubic hair. Tristano had always looked after his body too, but Sergio had something unearthly. How could such a man be interested in him?

Sergio felt the look and opened his eyes. Radiating eyes with black, thick lashes. "You liked it?" he asked. "I'm ready for another round."

There it was again: his cheeky grin and Tristano's heart ached. Sergio's mouth left a wet trail after he had gnawed on Tristano's nipples, washing his belly with his tongue, at the same time rubbing Tristano's half-sleeping member. He had a technique that made Tristano crazy and that was far in advance of his own ability. He spread his legs wide when Sergio's fingers searched for his hole, sighed when it was encircled, the pressure growing then diminishing, Sergio's mouth engulfing and sucking the head, and only the head of his cock. He sucked hard, almost painfully, alternating with lapping the tip, gnawing at his foreskin and at the same time a finger penetrated him, bent, found and purposefully stroked the little knot. Tristano saw stars. "Fuck me", he panted.

Sergio was over him in a second.


Tristano's lids were heavy like lead. A stale taste was in his mouth. Every limb hurt, including a sting in his arse. He jerked upright and looked at his side. The place was empty. "Sergio?"

Silence. Tristano noticed the mess. The empty wine bottle. The open jar of vaseline. Ripped open plastic packets and filled condoms on the floor, the rumpled, moist sheet.

Tristano jumped out of his bed, rushed around searching his flat; Sergio had gone without leaving a note.

Estate 8