In the stony doorframe of Lucas' house they kissed good bye with the promise to meet again that afternoon.
Tired, but happy, Luca entered the staircase, careful to avoid any noise. He found a sleeping Giano upon his bed.
Luca shook him gently. "What are you doing here? Waiting for me?" Luca's heart suddenly beat faster.
Giano wiped his eyes and rose. "There you are! I told the parents you were with Rosso to celebrate." He looked his younger brother up and down. He couldn't miss his glowing cheeks and the different look in his eyes. Wary he said, "Where've you been then?"
Luca blushed furiously. "You know I don't meet girls."
Giano's eyebrow rose but he said nothing. "Go to bed then, I'll excuse you from breakfast." He silently closed the door behind him. Sighing Luca stretched out upon his still warm bed while his eyelashes started to flutter in sleepiness. What a night. His first night with a man... The diary of Masolino... and ... his body jerked upright... the Lapis lazuli! He found the stone on the table beneath the window next to his other gifts, sitting amidst the colourful paper Alessandro had wrapped it with. It looked like an exotic flower, a pure dark blue, round with sharp edges now and then, bigger than his fist. Carefully he touched it with his fingertips, felt the cool, rough surface and wondered what he would do with it. So far he hadn't any idea how to work it, but he would learn soon. Perhaps the pieces that he had to cut off he would grind to fine powder; mixed with the white of an egg, glue and oil it would give a rich blue colour to paint with.
Happy he returned back to his bed and wondered what life had in stock
Luca's eyes filled with tears. "Please, don't tell father. It... it was just a try... of a drawing.... to see if I still can."
A last glowering look, then he vanished into the kitchen. Luca ran out of the
house and stood for a while upon the low steps that led to the small
pavement. After some minutes he decided it wasn't worth to getting
frightened about it. He couldn't understand Dante's homophobic aversion, but
he didn't want it to spoil his time with Alessandro. Dante would calm down,
probably take it as a joke. He was just a hothead.
He smiled openly at Luca, reached out and pulled him into an entrance made of heavy stone. Pietra serena. Pushing him against the stone and kissing him was one and Luca's body flashed with heat. His penis strained against the denim of his trousers when he felt Alessandro's tongue wrapping his own, caressing, searching. The soft pressure of his lips against Luca's was almost too much for him. He moaned loudly before he pushed Alessandro away. "Don't be mad, everybody can see us."
Alessandro sighed. "Tourist's season started again... That's the curse of living in a museum. You'll never have your home to yourself. Do you know when the last time I was at the Uffizi? I can't remember. It's always blocked by those pillocks."
They followed the slow walking groups of foreign visitors, lead by their guides, using umbrellas with funny pennants or artificial sunflowers raised high in the air, watched the beer bellied men or the middle aged ones in their sandals with black socks, Bermudas and sunhats. Luca shivered. It wasn't that warm and the sky was clouded. What would they do when they had to suffer a long, hot Florentine summer?
Alessandro grinned at him. Apparently he had the same idea. Slowly they passed the Uffizi-yard, the loggia and turned left to enter Ponte Vecchio; the shortest way leading to the Boboli-gardens. The jewel shops had just started to open, the owners pulled down the heavy wooden or iron gates, and presented their treasures. Gold, gold and gold once more, a treasure- chest for each tourist. But Luca and Alessandro passed without looking, anxious to be alone finally.
They balanced upon the small pavements with the traffic roaring beside them; the Postal van, horse carriages, trucks with wine and groceries, taxies, even donkey carriages from the countryside with bags of grain. They passed maids with wicker's bags, lounging in front of the poultry shop touching dangling rabbits, until they reached the gigantic light brown facade of Palazzo Pitti, a tarred area in front of it. In summer it was almost impossible to cross it, because your feet would stick.
Alessandro paid the fee for both - unpleasant enough for Luca who could easily pay for himself, but Alessandro wouldn't hear any argument - they passed an open-air theatre, a fountain with a basin and an obelisk claming to have stood somewhere in Egypt. Alessandro told him that was the truth and the Roman emperors had brought it to Rome.
Luca rolled his eyes. "You really should join the tourist groups and demand payment, you know." he said half-laughing. "When will you stop instructing me, eh?"
Alessandro soothed him. "It's not too much. It was just laying in the house in a glass cabinet. Nobody cared for it, so why should it gather dust there when you would have use for it", he said, breathing in the cool, moist air under the trees. Nobody was here. The tourists were busy with their sightseeing, and the few locals were spread all over the place. From afar they heard children's laughter.
Imperceptibly the sky had clouded over and it didn't last long before the first tiny drops of rain started to fall. Neither was bothered, but then the drops became thicker and both searched for shelter. Alessandro spread out his jacket over their heads. "Come", he said and started to run down the hills, along a labyrinth of box trees until he reached the entrance to a grotto that was closed with red-white striped plastic tape. "No entrance" it read, but Alessandro stepped over and Luca followed. He knew they were in what was called the Grottos of Buontalenti, the man who had built them for the pleasure of Duke Cosimo several hundred years ago, but since they were not used, the town fathers had closed them.
Artificial stalagmites hung from the moist ceiling. A stuffy, musty smell came from the cave behind it. Nonetheless Luca followed excited, passing odd looking faces of stone, chiselled from the walls. Faces with open mouths and wild, matted hair eyes torn open in shock. "Michelangelo's slaves were placed here", he heard Alessandro whisper, "to the amusement of the noble people. The slaves were half-finished figures, peeling themselves out of the stone. Slaves to the material, so to say."
Luca was for the first time thankful for Alessandro's explanations, for he felt a little shiver. It was gloomy in here, and both were soaked from the rain. Their bodies steamed.
Alessandro stopped and turned. Then he pushed Luca against the stone and grinned. "Nobody will find us here, don't you think?" While he said this, he unbuttoned Luca's shirt and pulled it out from his waistband, unzipping his jeans and let them slide over Luca's hips. His fingers found and massaged Luca's erection, before he fell to his knees and continued the massage with his mouth. Luca groaned, his head pushed back, his arms searching for support . Again he felt he needed to lay down because his legs wouldn't hold him upright any longer, but Alessandro's palms were clasped around his buttocks, holding him steady. A few sucks and Alessandro got the prize, careful, that Luca didn't fall down. "The more often you do this, the longer you can hold out", he mumbled then, wiping his mouth. He came to his feet.
Luca had to admit that he would do everything Alessandro wanted him to do. He pulled up his jeans and stuffed the moist shirt into the waistband and both looked to see if the rain had subsided. It had, all that was left was a drizzle.
Alessandro nodded. He didn't know what Giano was doing in the gay bars, but he thought he knew the answer. But he was sure that Luca hadn't the slightest idea about that. He wondered if Giano was still a virgin as Luca was.
The street pavement was wet and slippery; the tourists had vanished like at a secret sign, waiting for the rain to stop in several restaurants and bars on the way to Alessandro's home palazzo. A stony coat of arms hung over the entrance. A decorative lily and a lizard. The thick rustica ashlars of Pietra Serena looked very unfriendly. Rusted rings for torches and to bind horses were attached, and some small stony benches inserted into the walls, made for ancient visitors. "What were your ancestors actually?" Luca asked while Alessandro pushed him through the gate. On the other side they reached a square yard with graceful grey-white pillars connecting the walls, carrying the second floor that was built as open balcony. Window boxes were placed all over, red and white geraniums and in the middle of the yard grew a palm, thin and a bit sad. At the side wall was parked Alessandro's Ferrari next to his motorbike.
Luca stood and pondered. "My ancestors were contemporaries of Lorenzo too. But we were dyers, delivering the court with clothes."
Alessandro led the way to a side entrance, then upstairs, directly to his large room under the flat roof. Again Luca was overwhelmed by the large size. He detected a coffered ceiling he hadn't noticed the night before. A fire was slowly crackling in the fireplace and the windows, leading to the loggia were considerately closed. "Good old Anastasia", Alessandro said. "That's our housekeeper. The only person that has some sense here."
"Yes. She does everything I'm too lazy for. What WE are too lazy for", he corrected himself.
Alessandro turned surprised. "Sad? Why should I be sad? Sure, he was my father, but..." He shook his head and vanished through a door. He came back with fluffy towels, tossed Luca one of them and started to rub his wet hair. Luca did the same, watching Alessandro. His hair, tousled as it was, curled up into lovely, brown locks, now without the reddish highlights of the sun, but lovely enough to eat. They fell over his ears onto his neck, stressing the tenderness of the skin. Luca got weak knees. How could he resist such a beauty? But, why should he? Alessandro for sure didn't want him to resist.
Slowly and confused he started to undress himself, made a neat heap from his wet clothes and stepped into Alessandro's, enjoying the clean baby-scent oozing from them. They fit as if they were made for him.
Not knowing what to do he looked around and examined the room. Dark blue curtains hung from the small windows, leading to the open loggia, reaching to the floor, held aside by heavy, bronzed fixtures, depicting faces with open mouths and eyes, reminding him at the ugly faces Luca had seen in the grotto. A complete wall was covered by hand-made book shelves, protected with glass doors. Silver candelabras decorated low chests, and all sort of boxes with locks, looking as if they were made from Florentine Art too, like the heavy chest Sandro had taken Masolino's diary from. A thick carpet covered the parquet floor; the bed was hidden with a pulled down curtain too, that matched the blue colour of the window curtains.
Luca felt good in these surrounding. He stepped up to the fireside and stirred the embers, like he did always at home. These palazzi were good for a sweltering heat outside, but in winter they were cold. Amused he thought that the tourists would freeze their asses off in the cool spring rain today.
It didn't take long before Alessandro returned with a plate, laden with tramezzini, Italian sandwiches, filled with tomatoes and cheese, chicken and tuna, salami and pepperoni. He pulled a bottle of white wine out of his fridge and opened it. Luca felt suddenly very hungry. He took the glass, emptied it and eat heartily. "You were starving, eh?" said Alessandro, biting into his tramezzino as well.
They sat around a small table, looking out of the windows. The clouds hung low, short over the top of the cathedral's cupola and Giotto's clock tower beside. The hills of Fiesole had vanished behind a gloomy curtain of drizzling rain. The pieces of wood cracked in the fireplace.. There was dead silence in the house.
Alessandro swallowed the rest of his bread and washed it away with wine. "I wouldn't say hate. It was more. I despised him."
Alessandro shook his head. He stood up, went over to a small chest, opened the doors wide apart and revealed a stereo. He pressed some buttons and low music sounded. "I don't want to talk about it."
Alessandro laughed. "Clever boy. You think I'm the brat of the family, living off their richess, snottily despising every member of it, right?" He placed his glass back upon the table. "You're right, amore."
It was getting darker and Alessandro's body became nothing more than a shadow in the room as he stepped closer and took the glass from Luca. Luca was starting to lose his mind again when he felt Alessandro's lips. He felt himself being undressed once more. Giggling he thought that it must be Sandro's profession to undress other people, but he didn't stop him and was having a go at Alessandro's clothes too. Soon the fire was the only light in the room. The curtains of the bed were pulled back, revealing a made bed with a soft, handmade patchwork cover. Anastasia, Luca thought while he was pushed between the sheets, surrendering to experienced hands, that aroused him so much that after a while he didn't know anymore where he was, who he was and what was the reason he was here.
Alessandro showed him, pulling him over his own body, opened the crack between his buttocks, and sliding his fingers between them, circling around the hole Luca still had had just one use for. It wasn't so difficult for him anymore to give Alessandro the same pleasure he gave to Luca himself. Once he got used to Alessandro's length he could take it into his mouth, enjoying each centimetre of it. He enjoyed the clear fluid, he enjoyed the hot shooting juice and laughed. Alessandro joined in his pearly laughter.
He didn't object when he was turned over on to his belly, and yelped when he sensed biting kisses on his butt cheeks, then a tongue that started to enter his private entrance, but his hands grasped the sheets in a never experienced ecstasy.
And then he learnt, why Alessandro had been so keen on something to stick between his legs, when he felt invaded by careful, knowing fingers, a cooling fluid being smeared and he was ready and prepared. "Push back, amore", Alessandro whispered behind him, holding his hips steady from behind, playing with Luca's erect penis to keep his arousal, and to make it easier. Luca pushed, but the stinging pain was hard. Harder than he thought to bear, but soon it was over, due to the greasiness around Alessandro's condom covered tool, and his penis - limp from the pain - started to rise again.
Luca fell down onto his belly, pulling Alessandro with him. Luca's legs were
shaking; he could feel it. Sweat had coloured the hair on his neck a dark
blond. "Don't go away", Luca whispered. One upon the other they fell asleep
Alessandro opened his eyes. "How many what?"
Alessandro pulled a face and wiped his eyes. "I'm a slut, amore, but not that much of a slut to gather used condoms under my bed." He suddenly grinned and showered Luca's mouth with kisses. "You're right, I should buy a trash can. From now on the amount of those things will rise!" He started to tickle Luca who squeaked and tried to shove Alessandro off his body. "You liked it?"
Amore. Luca tasted the sound of that word in his mouth. It tasted like pure joy. He was lying naked in his bed and straightened out the crumbled drawing of Alessandro. Actually he hadn't been that exaggerated with Sandro's length of his private parts... he giggled to himself. He clenched his butt cheeks and felt the little sting. A pleasant pain though. Just the mere thought of all the things they did made him hard again. Lazily he stroked himself. What would Dante have said had he seen that? he suddenly thought. Dante would never feel like this. Dante would never have such good sex. Complacently Luca encircled the head of his penis and started to rub the length of it until he came. He had to practise to delay . A pearly laughter escaped his throat. Each day practice, was his last thought before he fell asleep.