(The two men sat before the fire, drinking brandy and avoiding telling eye contact, as the woman fussed with the baby. The host already knew he had won. The guest’s father sat in the shadows, weak and spent but eyes darting about, seeing and understanding everything. Gazing at the baby lovingly and longingly, the host thought, “Someday.” When the woman took the baby away to settle him for the night, the host looked at her husband, the glass artist, and said, “I believe the garden beckons.”
(Being lifted to his feet before the garden seat on which the host sat while his guest took his cock in his mouth, the glass artist dutifully stood in submission while the host unbuckled and lowered the guest’s trousers. “The men of this family are so weak,” the host thought, “but so winsome, nourishing, and satisfying.” As the guest straddled the host’s lap and rose and fell on the engorging cock, the host nuzzled his face in the hollow of the other man’s throat, pierced the carotid artery with his sharp fangs, and gently began to feed, matching the rhythm of the suck with the rhythm of the fuck.)
“Not you, Guido. I’m afraid you must stay behind. We have to discuss your future.”
I would, of course, do what Count Salvatore Morosini told me to do—I was compliant and submissive to him in all things. But I looked longingly at my eleven fourteen-through-seventeen-year old cohorts stumbling down the external wooden staircase of the Palazzo Morosini inner courtyard as they raced out of the smaller courtyard at the street and trundled up the Calle dei Cortellotti in the Venetian sestriere, or quarter, of Dorsoduro to the Zattera al Ponte Longo pier to board the motor launch. The boat was to take the Alta Academi Morosini students out to the Lido beach for the day. We had just completed our term at the upper school of Count Morosini’s charity academy. Today was a free day at the beach; tomorrow night was one of the periodic masques Morosini held in his palazzo, where he both lived and housed the academy he patronized. Venice loved its masques, which dominated half its year, and Count Morosini’s evenings were special and exclusive.
The next day, those turning eighteen in the next few months and any of the other students who were being turned over to mentors would be moving out into the world in the positions the count had helped secured for them. I was fourteen, in my first year at the academy, but the count had hinted that I might be in demand and might be apprenticed quickly now that I had moved up into the upper school. At the academy each of the young men, under Morosini’s patronage from an early age, starting in the lower academy, which was housed elsewhere, through the upper school for fourteen through seventeen-year olds, specialized in some reputable and noble profession. Many were training for the arts. I was training to be a novelist. Therefore, I would normally be apprenticed to a leading man of letters.
All at the school were from noble Venetian families, ones that had fallen on bad financial times. Morosini, though, had established his school to maintain the sons of such families in the upper reaches of Venetian society. He took only three students at each age level every year, so there were only a dozen line-in students in the upper academy.
I, Guido Sarto-Reutter, was only half Venetian. My father was Austrian and lived in Vienna. My mother was from an old and highest-drawer Venetian family, though, the Sartos. She and my father were estranged by an old family scandal that kept on providing gossip, and thus the hyphenated name. My mother, Caterina Sarto, had returned to her family’s name and had entered a convent in Milan in her embarrassment, but she had not been able to erase the Reutter from my name. Normally, the scandal that had ensued decades ago and kept spinning out would have denied me entry into the Academi Morosini. But it was the Sarto name that won through. My mother’s uncle—and thus my granduncle—had been Giuseppe Sarto. He had died six years earlier, in 1914, but his fame and influence lived on. As Giuseppe Sarto he had been the Patriarch of Venice. As Pius X he had been the pope of Rome.
That granduncle Giuseppe had recently been the pope didn’t help damper gossip that both my grandfather Reutter and my father had been the submissive lovers of a flamboyant and prominent Austrian opera and Lieder lyricist, Baron Johann von Gruber—simultaneously. The rumors extended to the claim that the baron had kept both father and son in separate wings of his castle outside Vienna, visiting their beds on alternate nights, and that the two were so controlled by the Austrian that they tolerated the arrangement. My mother hadn’t tolerated the arrangement, though, and had made much noise before the marriage broke up. Apparently in Vienna all was forgiven as long as it wasn’t made public but not taken into account was the fiery temper of the niece of the pope from the hot-blooded shores of the Adriatic Sea.
The marriage between my parents had been unfortunate from the beginning. My mother had had her sights on the son of a prominent Venetian family and, in view of my father’s later lifestyle and the timing of my birth, part of the ancient scandal was that perhaps I wasn’t really a Reutter. But my father had claimed paternity, so that rumor became a minor thread in the story. Georg Reutter, my artistic and sensitive father—who became a premier stained-glass artist, initially for cathedrals but after his public scandal, for private chapels—had received an ultimatum from his family—to get on with marriage and begetting heirs.
The detractor-amused story of how they met was that my mother and her parents were on a train from Milan to Venice and my father had entered the carriage and observed my mother sleeping on one of the facing seats. Before the train reached Milan—or my mother had awakened—Georg had taken Caterina’s father out into the corridor and proposed marriage. Faced with the need for money that Austrians had at the beginning of the twentieth century and the Venetians didn’t and, reportedly, my mother possibly being pregnant, Caterina was engaged before she woke and had anything to say about the arrangement.
By that time my grandfather, Gustav Reutter, a minor composer, was already under the sway of the lyricist Johann von Gruber. Johann’s baron father, Jacob, was a patron for musicians in Vienna and, through him, his son was apprenticed to the composer Leopold Launer, who bedded the young man as well as mentoring him and introducing him to composers Johann could write lyrics for. More pointedly, Launer lay under Johann. When Launer also took Gustav, nine years Johann’s father, on to mentor, Johann also covered Gustav. All of this was within the swirl of contact with such leading Viennese composers as Gustav Mahler; Johann Strauss, the younger; and Arnold Schoenberg.
When Launer died, of anemia, the baron was established as a writer and Gustav was still struggling to gain a name for himself as a composer. Johann returned to his castle an hour after Launer died by horseback from Vienna and took Gustav with him. When it became known that the baron was bedding Gustav who also had been bedding Launer and that Gustav’s wife, whose family was more prominent in Vienna than the Reutters were, had left him, Gustav became estranged from his son, Georg. When I reached four and hadn’t died—I was a small, pale baby as I am small and very blond in adulthood—my parents decided that I should at least be shown to my grandfather, although he hadn’t shown particular interest in seeing me. My family visited Gustav at the baron’s castle. I am told that Gustav was lethargic, pale, and distant when we met and that my parents thought he was not long for the world, but ten years later it appears that he still lingers.
Something happened between the baron and my father during this visitation, because a year later, my father had moved into the baron’s castle, without either my mother or me, and joined my grandfather as the baron’s captive bedwarmer. Through the unpleasantness that followed, however, Georg consistently denied that he and his father occupied the baron’s bed at the same time. The only times I have seen my father since then, when he visits Venice, he has been as withdrawn and lethargic as my parents described my grandfather to have been when I was taken to meet him.
And, so, here I was in Count Salvatore Morosini’s Alta Academi Morosini, at the sufferance of Morosini as a patron, my father living in twittering scandal in Vienna, my mother in retreat in a convent, fully at the count’s mercy for my entire future if I didn’t want to sink in the morass of post-world war poverty and deprivation. Thus there was no question that I would follow him back up the wooden staircase to his study in the apartment he occupied solely, never having married, on the top floor of his Dorsoduro sestriere palazzo. And follow him I did, knowing where this probably would ensue.
Once in his spacious apartment with large rooms sparsely but expensively furnished in treasures that had been in the Morosini family for generations and centuries, I followed him to his study and, as he opened the door and stood aside, moved past him and into the center of the room with its oriental carpeting, huge mahogany desk, supple leather wing chairs, ornate fireplace, and daybed. As I stood there, Morosini came up behind me and embraced me. He kissed me in the hollow of my neck, encircled my waist with an arm to hold me in place, and unbuttoned my fly. He released my cock with the other hand. He already had exposed his, and I felt him hard at the small of my back. I was small and compact and he was tall and rangy, so his body overwhelmed mine.
I was neither shocked nor surprised. We had been here before since my fourteenth birthday.
He pushed my trousers and underdrawers down to my ankles, grasped my engorging shaft with one hand, and stroked my right flank with the other. I shuddered and spread my legs wider, as I knew he was wanting me to do, and his hand moved to the crease of my buttocks, and his index finger to the opening of my channel. I held there swayed my hips on his penetrating digit. I sighed for him because I knew that would please him and murmured, “Si, si—yes, yes.” He had been fucking me for nine months and would, I knew, continued to do so as long as I was here and as long as he wanted me.
“So nice. So blond. More platinum than yellow blond. So slim. Slim hipped. It’s a surprise that you take a man so easily. Bend over and grab your ankles, please.”
I did so and shuddered and moaned as his lips and tongue pushed in between my buttocks crease. He had a hand weighing and rolling my testicles and ran his fingers through the curls of my pubic bush, murmuring, “So nice. Just as blond down here.”
After a few minutes, he murmured in a guttural voice, “Over on the desk I believe. Now, please.”
He completely controlled my life and my future, just as he did the other eleven sons of the impoverished Venetian aristocracy who lived at his academy. He fucked any of us he wanted too. Being fucked by men and not telling your family you were was one of the required courses here. I hadn’t sought this, but I couldn’t say no to the patrono, and after the third time and then after the other men had covered me as well, there didn’t seem to be any reason not to just give in to it. I had learned to be aroused and satisfied by it and perhaps it was destiny—both my father and grandfather had given in to that preference.
I walked out of my puddled trousers and underdrawers and moved to the desk, lowering my chest to the leather-inlaid surface of the desk and raising my arms and grasping the edge of the far side of the top. I jerked and groaned as, crouching over me, the count slid inside me. He grasped my shoulders with his hands and started the rhythm of the fuck. He was a tall, trim, patrician man in his early fifties and wasn’t appreciably large, and I had taken him frequently since I had turned fourteen, so I closed my eyes and waited for him to be done. He aroused me enough, though that, once he’d set up a cadence of thrusts, I reached under me with a hand and stroked myself, concentrating on coming with him as closely as I could.
As often was the case, he didn’t want to lose penetration after he had ejaculated, so he pulled me back, maintaining contact, and sank into one of the wing chairs, with me—appreciably smaller in body than he was—sitting in his lap on his buried cock. He wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in the side of my neck. I turned my face to his and we kissed, giving him assurances that I was totally submissive to him and would continue to as long as he wanted me too.
“I’ve been distracted from why I brought you up here,” he said when he was finished playing with my body, which seemed to fascinate him—especially, I think, because I was totally submissive to him and made no attempt to withdraw from anything he wanted to do with me. “But you are so beautiful. White blond, such slim hips, what the muscles of your channel walls does in making love to me when I’m inside you,” he said. He was running fingers through the white-blond curls of my pubic triangle again and I felt him rehardening inside me. “But I wanted to tell you that we have an important poet as a guest at the masque tomorrow night. He may be interested in mentoring you. It’s time for you to move out into the world. I’ll be sorry to lose you, but the poet’s visit tomorrow night is an opportunity for you. You will need to cultivate him. Can you do that?”
“Yes, Patrono,” I whispered. I was sighing at his attention, my need rising again. I moved my buttocks on his buried cock and he groaned.
“Now I think I will take you over to the bed,” he murmured.
“Yes, Patrono,” I whispered.
“What do you want from me?”
“Cazzo. ‘Sti cazzi. Minchia. “—fuck me, fuck me, fuck me—I whispered, using the crass vernacular, knowing that the lack of refinement—street vulgarity—and my failure to be formal with him would arouse him, which it did. He laid me on my back on the bed, grasped my ankles, spread-eagled my legs, thrust inside me, and began to pump me. Crying out, “Si, si! Cazzo! Minchia! Cazzo! ‘Sti cazzi!” and arching my back and digging my claws into his shoulders, I settled in for the ride. He was neither thick nor long, but he was strong and vigorous and as long as he wanted to fuck me I had some leverage over him.
The man was fucking me, as he liked to do, in a position he called The Flying Dutchman, which he described as making me like a figurehead on a sailing vessel. He was lying on his back on the couch, his toga gathered up to his waist, he having come to the masque as a Roman senator. I was cantilevered out in front of him, my toes digging into the reclined back of the couch on either side of his shoulders and my body, head turned from him, suspended out into space over his stretched-out legs. He was pulling back on my arms by grasping my wrists, and, using the leverage of my toes, I was fucking myself on his shaft.
We had done this several times before, just as many of the other men in the room had fucked me in positions of their choice. I was a favorite as I so easily accommodated myself to what men wanted to do with me.
The toga he wore, with nothing underneath, gave him ready access to the copulation and when he had finished with me, he would move on to one of the other academy students. I had been dressed as a shepherd boy, short, loose trousers below and a sheepskin draped over my torso. I was wearing the sheepskin, but the trousers were bunched up on the floor of the Palazzo Morosini ballroom beside the couch. All around us, the other men where in various stages of taking the other eleven students, although my position was further into the fuck than the others were. Men hardened fast for me and were quickly ready to be inside me, probably because of my size, my striking coloring, and the prettiness of my features, but also because I was so malleable and ready to open my legs to them.
I would be covered two or three times more in the progress of the count’s monthly masque. Count Morosini was praised for his philanthropic charity in educating and developing the skills of the destitute aristocrats he took into his school, but I dare say that he made money from his subscription masques where a particular skill in his charges was being developed.
The Roman senator was one of the regular men, always masked and in a costume that would allow him to go into action with one of the students. Morosini could count on enough regulars to attend his subscription masques to exhaust his student charges and to make the venture worthwhile.
Count Morosini appeared dressed and masked as Harlequin, in a tight-fitting body suit of red with black diamonds on it and a mask to match. I saw him greet what must be the special poet guest, who had come as Pantalone, a commedia dell’arte character, represented greed, money, and status at the top of the social order. The new guest was muscular and stocky and walked with an “I own the world” swagger in contrast to the host. Morosini was tall, thin, and aristocratic. Pantalone also was costumed in a form-fitting red body suit, but one of solid red, and this was covered by a black cape with armholes. For a mask, he wore the traditional Pantalone visage of a pronounceably hooked and protruding nose.
I was sure this was the poet Morosini wanted to match me with as I watched Harlequin and Pantalone in conversation, taking looks at me as they talked. I wasn’t sure—but maybe it was so—that they were mostly interested in the copulation position the Roman senator had me in. We were in a serious stage of the fuck, with the Roman pulling me on and off his cock in jerky thrusts moving toward his impending ejaculation. As he came and turned and pulled me back into his chest, my eyes followed the figure of Pantalone up onto the platform. There was something about him that was mesmerizing. The Roman senator had me stretched out beside him and he was stroking me off—he had come in the Flying Dutchman but I hadn’t, although I was close. The muscular Pantalone’s protuberant nose—it could almost be used for ... And then I was thinking of it being used on me, pushing inside me and moving back and forth, and I came for the Roman senator in a peaceful flow of release.
The Pantalone figure had one of my classmates, a florid fifteen-year-old, effeminate and willowy, in an embrace below the platform to one side. They were kissing and then Pantalone had the student bent over the side of the platform, covering them both with his black cloak. The undulation of the material of the cloak told me that Pantalone was embracing the student from behind and penetrating and pumping his channel in long thrusts. The man’s face was buried in the hollow of the student’s throat, and the boy’s eyes were blazing and his mouth was hanging open in a cavernous yawn. I knew he was being fucked masterfully.
And I felt a jealousy I couldn’t either explain or brush away. The man hadn’t been in the room for more than an hour and already I wanted to ride his cock.