Enzo found his father at the back of the house hoeing the small plot of land they owned. He said to his son that he wanted to make a little vegetable garden. Enzo was happy to see his father bustling around -- he was still too young to let himself go. The man asked him how things were going up there in the villa.
"There will be a lot of work to do. Now don Ruggiero is discussing the work with the master, then we will start working. They have already started cleaning the park in the villa. It is really beautiful..." the boy said.
"And do you fit well with don Ruggiero? How does he treat you?"
"Well, dad, very well. Up there he introduced me as his assistant and that's why he wants me to be always well dressed. Everybody respects me, and even call me 'don'! It makes me feel odd. Well, as long as it lasts..."
"Yes, he is fond of you, don Ruggiero," the man said thoughtfully.
The boy wondered if with these words his father wanted to tell him that he did understand what was really going on between him and the young man. Enzo studied him for a while, but it seemed that his father didn't want to add any allusion to what he said.
That evening, he went to the belvedere to meet his friends. A couple of them were now going to the square and there were three new kids, but most of his old friends were still there. Cesare greeted him with particular liking. They chatted and surrounded him with questions about the Villa. His friends admired the fine clothes he was wearing.
"You seem like a young gentleman. You always wear such elegant clothes?" Alduzzo asked him.
"Not when I work, but don Ruggiero wants me to be well dressed, so..."
"You are fine, dressed in this way," Pino said with a light, benevolent envy.
At night, he went back home. Cesare walked a stretch of road with him.
"How is it going with Ranuccio?" Enzo then asked him.
"Nothing. He is not really looking for a job for me. He told me that now he is the boy of a man owning a tailor's shop. Therefore..."
"Ah, he left you?" Enzo asked, feeling sorry for his friend.
"Yes and no. When he comes here, we still make love, but..."
"And why don't you look for another boy?"
"Who? It is not so easy, here. It is too risky -- if it becomes known, you can guess... can't you? But you, rather? I see you are in good shape, and serene. Is everything all right with don Ruggiero?"
"Wonderful -- we are in love and now we can sleep on the same bed."
"It must be great, right?"
"And how! But how long will it last? When the villa is restored... everything will be back to normal like before. I try not to think about that, but..."
"Now enjoy these months, then some saint will help you, right? Does he make love well?"
"Well? Surely he does! And then he doesn't treat me like a subordinate, but like a real lover. He is hot, tender and strong and I feel it is too good with him. I wish you will find a friend like him one day..."
"You are the only friend I have, and you are so far away... I miss you."
"You'll find one."
"I barely believe that. And I feel like... if I remain here I'll have to marry. My parents are already starting that talk. And so, I was thinking about leaving..."
"To Catania?" Enzo asked.
"No, to Palermo, where nobody knows me. Who knows? Perhaps one day I'll leave, without telling anybody... before they force me to marry."
"You'll need courage. Palermo is so far. But you would tell me goodbye before leaving, wouldn't you?"
"So much the better, right? But I haven't decided yet... Sure I'll tell you."
"That's a shame, about Ranuccio."
"Well, that's life. Anyway, there was no love between us, we just had fun, that's all. It was not like between you two. Who knows why we like males instead of females? Why aren't we like everybody else?"
"Who knows? Anyway, I'm happy this way."
"Because you have don Ruggiero, you are lucky."
"But we always have to hide, like brigands."
"Brigands could also have a good life."
"As long as the king's soldiers don't catch them and hang them. And yet we haven't taken anything from anybody and we are already outlaws. And a brigand chooses to break the law, we didn't."
"Also brigands, it's not always their choice. Often it is life who forces them become outlaws, because life stinks."
"But life can also be beautiful, at times. Like in these days, for me, with don Ruggiero," Enzo said with a dreamy look.
"May God help you, always..." his friend said with a sigh. They bid goodnight and parted.
Those few days in the village passed slowly, also because Enzo had nothing to do all day long. He chatted with his father who told him all kinds of trivial facts that happened when he was away, just to kill time. But finally Ruggiero came to tell him to be ready -- they were going back to Villa Torretta. Don Calogero gave him his orders for the restoration of the villa and of the estate. Ruggiero was merry -- the work will continue at least until the month of May, the wedding month, and possibly even further. And don Calogero officially appointed Enzo as his deputy. This also meant an increase in his salary.
Enzo didn't care so much about his pay. What really interested him was to be able to stay near his Ruggiero. When Ruggiero went to look for him to tell him they would leave on the following morning, when Ruggiero was in front of him, Enzo felt a jolt in his heart -- his man seemed so beautiful to him! Possibly even that separation, the unsatisfied desire of those days, contributed to make him seem even more beautiful than ever.
Ruggiero also told him he had a hope -- the young master might ask his father to allow him to remain at the villa as his superintendent...
"But what if he didn't allow me to stay?" Enzo asked, feeling lost.
Ruggiero made a tender gesture -- he brushed his cheek and Enzo worriedly looked in the direction of his father who was busy not too far away, but enjoyed that gesture.
"I'll not accept the position if you couldn't stay as well."
"It would be weird if you give him this condition... he could understand our relationship and it would be even worse..."
"I wouldn't tell him that, I'd find another excuse. But I don't want to lose you, now that I have found you."
Enzo felt grateful warmth pervading him. He knew that Ruggiero loved him, and yet he was thirsty for these gestures, these words. He never got tired being at the center of his man's attentions. He looked at him with luminous eyes.
Ruggiero smiled to him and whispered, "When you look at me in this way... you make me feel fire inside me. If your father was not here..."
"When will we leave? Tomorrow?"
"No, now! I'll go back to take my horse and the donkeys. Get ready..."
"I'll bid farewell to you father," Ruggiero said and went near the man who, seeing him, stood up from the hoe, wiped his sweat with his forearm and rubbed the palms of his hands on his breeches.
"So then, I'm going to fetch the animals then I'll be back to take your son away," the young man said, stopping in front of him.
The man looked at him with a mixture of respect and confidence, "Don Ruggiero, I entrust him to you, the boy. I know you treat him well and I feel grateful. He is a good boy, my little Enzo..."
"He is a very good boy, it is a pleasure having him with me, I assure you. I am lucky having an assistant as good as your Enzo," the young man answered with a frank smile, stretching his hand to the man. They shook hands.
Enzo's father returned the vigorous and virile handshake of Ruggiero, looked at him in his eyes and nodded, then said, "My son is too happy to serve you, and I am too. He is all that I've got in this world, you know it. I couldn't give him much, beside life and a roof... But I now know he is in good hands, and as long as you have him dear, I'll be grateful to you. For when he is with you, Enzo changed, bloomed. He was always good, generous, honest, serious and a hard worker. Make a man out of him, don Ruggiero, you have so much influence on him, and I'll pray our Good Lord to reward you as I would never able to."
"You can count on that. I like him, I like your son."
"Yes, and he likes you. May God bless you, don Ruggiero."
The young man left, after making a salutation gesture to the boy. Enzo went in the house to prepare his things and to change his clothes. He was getting ready to shave when his father appeared at his back. He saw him in the splint of mirror. The man was looking at him with a serious expression, but serene and affectionate.
"You are really becoming a handsome young man, my little Enzo..."
"So then, why don't you start to call me just Enzo, dad?" the boy merrily said.
The man smiled and put his hand on the boy's shoulder. The boy dried his face and turned. Their eyes met. They looked at each other for a long while, in silence. Then the man said in a low voice, "Enzo... you are maturing fast. It seems only like yesterday when you were playing on my legs. I'm not able to give a fine speech, I'm just a poor man, but I wanted to tell you... I am happy with you. You are the right arm of a man who will have a bright future. And he worries about you, and that's luck. You are different from the other boys, I know. I wish you to be always happy near don Ruggiero. But be careful -- life has highs and lows. Now you feel high. If by chance... remember your dad, as long as our Lord leaves him life, your dad is always here, for you..."
"Sure, dad. Are you sorry I work far from here?"
"No. It is your life. And I know you are in very good hands, And I see you are happy. Always respect don Ruggiero, work hard, and don't take profit of his benevolence. And be prudent -- we live among wolves disguised as lambs, my son, I advise you."
Enzo looked at his father and wondered again how much the man understood the real relationship between him and his man. He would have liked to know, to understand, to ask him, but he knew it was not possible. A son and a father could not talk about such things. Nevertheless, he felt the affection of his father and this much was enough for him.
The man pulled back his hand from his son's shoulder and went out again to care his would-be vegetable garden. Enzo put on his clothes and went on to the street to wait for Ruggiero. He saw him coming on his horse, pulling another horse and two loaded donkeys at his back.
"I also have a horse for you. It is quiet. You'll have no problem riding it. And you are learning well. Mount him, go on!" the young man said.
Enzo would have loved to be able to mount on the saddle with Ruggiero, like when they were going to the old oil mill, but he knew it was not possible, and resigned himself to mount the other horse. They started. While going uphill towards Villa Torretta, Enzo said to Ruggiero, "Do you know, I got the impression that my father understood about us..."
"I too got the same impression. But it doesn't seem that your father condemn us. A rare thing, in our days. But it's also possible that we see what we would like to see. Who knows?"
"Who knows if there will ever be a place or time when two men can love each other without having to hide it?"
"I doubt it..."
"But it would be nice."
"It would be nice, yes."
"From where will you have the work started?" the boy asked, apparently changing the subject.
Ruggiero guessed what way were following his boy's thoughts -- they now started to know each other well. He smiled, "From the small tower, from our rooms... for other people's eyes."
"Meanwhile, can we use the canopy bed again? Even with people around?"
"Sure. They are not around at nighttime, are they? The nights will be all for us, like before."
"I can't wait to reach the villa."
"It's a pity the donkeys are so slow..."
"Did you think of me, in these days?"
"Thought and... desired."
"Yes, I too, desired and thought," the boy said, feeling a quiver of pleasure in these words. He thought that the nights were cool and that sleeping close to the warm and strong body of his man would be a special pleasure.
Yes, it was beautiful, his man, beautiful, and hot, and passionate. Like the Mongibello, like the mountain they were climbing. Even when it seemed to be sleeping, in its depths fire was smoldering, a fire that could melt the hardest rock, ready to erupt. Yes, they were really sons of the Mountain. Under the rough crust there was a heat that never stopped burning. Enzo looked at the top of the volcano with the same reverence with which his ancestors, and the ancestors of his ancestors must have had while looking at it. But if others looked at it with awe, Enzo caressed it with his eyes with tender affection.
They could finally see the sight of the villa. This seemed to give new vigor to them. Ruggiero spurred the donkeys -- he too, the boy noticed with pleasure, was longing to be among its walls, to climb on the second floor, to let their mutual desires flow freely at last.
They left the animals with the keeper's son, entered the villa, almost ran to the master bedroom and took refuge in each other's arms. Their tongues played, at times light, at times passionate, while their hands impatiently undressed the beloved's body. Naked, happy, they climbed the wide, ancient bed. Ruggiero covered his beloved's one with his body. He girdled him with his arms and legs, held him tight, their erections searched for each other, pressed against each other, and they deeply kissed and passionately united.
When they emerged again with sweet stupor from their fiery and tender embrace, they looked at each other with luminous eyes. Enzo slowly traced doodles with his fingertips on his man's pectorals. His head leaning lightly on the arm of his man, his eyes half closed. Ruggiero, languidly relaxed, lightly scratched the nape of the neck of his young lover, like one does with a purring kitten. He was thinking that he would never have believed he could one day know so much happiness. All those adventures he had had in his life were fading in his memories.
Enzo asked him, "What are you thinking, sir?"
"That I have never met anybody as splendid as you are."
"You were really thinking that?" the boy asked, overjoyed.
"Really, sure. You know that before I met you I had many adventures, don't you? And before meeting you, I would occasionally recall some of those adventures with pleasure, or even with nostalgia. But just a little while ago, I was becoming aware that those memories are now discolored, like a badly dyed cloth under the sun. They have no more taste."
The boy was happy to hear these words, but he asked, with a flirtatious voice, "If they have no more meaning for you, now... why don't you tell me some of them?"
"They are trivial..."
"But why do you want to know them?" the young man asked, slightly embarrassed.
Enzo liked that light modesty, curled against him and caressed him, "Because I would like to know you better. To know more and more about you..."
Ruggiero caressed him lightly, "Then, if you want me to tell you everything, you have to do something in exchange."
"Everything. All you have to do is ask, you know it."
"You have to call me by name. No more 'sir' or 'don'!"
"When we are alone?"
"No, always. You are my deputy, now. And you are my lover. Hearing you talking to me in a formal way makes me feel we are too far apart."
"Too far? More close than ever..." the boy jested him, caressing his soft genitals, then added, "As you want, Ruggiero." And while he addressed him informally for the first time, Enzo felt that his name was beautiful, as it was full of meaning. The young man bent and kissed him.
"So, then, will you tell me about some of your more interesting adventures?" the boy insisted, looking at him with serene eyes.
"From where would you like me to start? You already know about my first time, don't you?"
"With the young officer on the shore, yes, the handsome Neapolitan. Did you meet often?"
"No, just a couple of more times. But he awoke my desire. I wanted to try it with others. I had a roommate at the boarding school, Domenico was his name, but we called him Mimmo. With him sometimes we gave vent to our needs together, competing to see who would cum first... So, I told Mimmo about me and the Neapolitan, and told him I wanted to try it with him. At first Mimmo said no, laughed embarrassingly. But he wanted to know in detail what I did with that young officer and he was aroused. At that time there slept four in our bedroom. Once, the other two were not there, as one was ill and the other went to his brother's marriage. I then slipped in his bed. Mimmo continued to say no, but I was excited and determined, so in the end... he let me do all I desired."
"What?" Enzo asked with a mischievous air.
"Well... like between you and me..."
"That is?" the boy insisted.
"When I made him turn over and lie on his belly, and went on top of him, he continued to say no, but he didn't slip away from underneath me. And he didn't oppose when I lubed his hole with my spit... and so..." the young man said, and narrated everything in detail.
Enzo was aroused by that story, and by the ones that followed. He was excited for the closeness to his man. He was excited thinking that they were stories of the past, that now Ruggiero was all and only for him. And at the same time he was happily amazed that among so many with whom Ruggiero made love, he never fell in love with anybody, and he had been the first.
Who is in love often feels a sense of astonishment, to know he is the object of love of the person he loves, he admires, who seems to him unique, exceptional. He then often asks himself with secret amazement, "Why me, among so many?" This was what Enzo was feeling while hearing the stories that Ruggiero was telling him with a quiet, subdued voice. "He gave up all that for me!" he was repeating to himself with grateful stupor. And the love for his man seemed to feed on that sweet remark.
"But then, you met me..." in the end Enzo said with a moved voice.
"Yes. That first day, when I went to the square to choose the farmhands with my father, and I saw you leaning against the tree, standing up, hoping to be chosen. I also hoped that my father would point at you. I liked you at once, I desired you at once. But I didn't know that you'd conquer my heart. At first you were just a really desirable boy to me -- I liked the color of your hair, your eyes, your skin. I liked your languid and yet ready look, your feline grace, and your intense, luminous glance. And then, your smile, your way of moving, and working, fast, precise, serious. Then, your voice... I gradually felt that my desire was becoming deeper, more serious, and stronger. It was no more just a physical desire, I didn't dream any more to just having you, but I wanted to know you, to discover you. To understand why I was so fascinated by you. And day after day, I discovered I was falling in love with you. And felt that the same thing was happening in you too. And... I was so moved, when I told you that I wanted to be your friend, intimate friend. And you touched me intimately and said you were ready, even if you never had a man before me..." Ruggiero stopped talking and gently kissed the boy, pulling him to himself.
It was time to let their body talk again, to say what the most elegant prose, the most lofty poetry would never be able to express. And again, they gave themselves to each other with sweet passion.
That sumptuous, ancient canopy bed that they transformed to their love nest, never knew such a beauty. It had assisted in nights of passion, hours of pleasure, and orgasms of every kind, but nothing could be comparable to the complete fusion of two bodies and two souls like it was happening between Enzo and Ruggiero -- such complete and joyful mutual donation.
The work in the villa proceeded busily. Now women were cleaning, men were repairing, and little by little the villa was resuming its ancient splendor. Ruggiero gave orders to restore the little tower as soon as possible. During the day, they both followed the work, sometimes in the Villa, sometimes in the park and in the garden. Ruggiero admired the active industriousness of Enzo, who was untiring, careful and precise. He also admired how the boy was able to direct men older than him, with grace but with firmness, and thought that the boy was a born leader. He was likeable to everybody, with an iron hand in a velvet glove. He was able to give orders with a smile, but his eyes were vigilant and serious, so that the men instinctively understood that it was not fitting to take lightly the young age of the vice-superintendent, as he was now called.
Ruggiero thought several times that the boy was not only a delicious lover, but also a valuable, irreplaceable right-hand man. And when don Calogero and don Raffaele went to check on status of the work, Ruggiero sang Enzo's praises.
"Yes, I got a very good impression," Don Raffaele said, "Although he is so young, that boy has firmness and energy. And he also seems intelligent and able."
Ruggiero nodded and said, "Without him, the work here would be slower. He oversees everything and everybody, and reminds me things at timely moments. Nothing escapes him."
"And he is not arrogant," don Calogero noted, nodding, "I like that boy. He is the son of Matteo Rota, if I'm not mistaken. He was a good man, a honest and good worker, sound, strong, better than a mule, before he fell ill."
Not far away, unaware that they were talking about him, Enzo was discussing with two women, "You will wash the chandeliers you took down, when the room is all in order. If you do it now, they will soon be dusty again when the room is being worked on and what you did will be wasted. Wrap them up with a cloth and leave each of them in its room."
"But, don Vincenzo, meanwhile the rooms won't have any light," one of the women objected.
"Nobody is here at nighttime. And in case it is needed, a lamp or a candle will be enough. Rather, now carefully clean the interior doors so that the decorator can paint them again and then the gilder can remake the fillets. I gave order to Nando and Saro to take down the leaves of the doors just for that."
"But..." the woman started again.
Enzo stopped her, "This is what I decided. If you don't agree, go to complain with the master, as he is here now."
"No, no, who is complaining? We will do as you say, don Vincenzo," the woman answered readily.
Ruggiero, who witnessed the short confrontation, smiled -- his sweet Enzo, when required, was able to show his claws! Don Raffaele Also heard the confrontation and nodded approvingly. "Take care of that boy, as probably... who knows?" he said to Ruggiero while they were going away.
In the evening, after they had supper discussing the programs for the following day, they closed all the entrances of the villa, and went to the masters' spacious bedroom. They undressed and climbed onto the wide soft bed, and embraced.
"Tired?" Ruggiero asked, caressing him.
"You make all the tiredness disappear..." the boy sweetly answered him, and kissed and sucked his nipple.
"The masters are happy with you, do you know?"
"I only care whether you are happy with me."
"They told me to take care of you, to make you become a valuable man."
"These cares are the best... all the rest doesn't matter, they are just something extra..."
"Enzo, seriously, you have to care about your future!"
"Our future," the boy corrected him amiably, lowering to kiss the tense belly of the young man.
Ruggiero shuddered and gently pushed him to his groin, "You like it, don't you?"
"Of course! And every part of you," Enzo said, brushing his cheek on the straight and hard rod.
Ruggiero teased his little hole with his finger, "And I like this one very much, do you know?"
"Yes... and how much I know! And now I'll prepare it carefully, so that it can enter its home..." the boy murmured, dedicating himself, full of passion, to the beautiful member of his lover. When he felt him quivering intensely, he offered himself to his man and with a shudder of stirred up desire, begged him, "Take me, Ruggiero. Make me yours!"
The young man nodded excitedly, ready to unite with that boy from whose splendor he was completely subjugated. The boy moaned with pleasure, pushing himself closer against him -- he desired this all day long and finally the miracle of their union was happening again. Enzo thought that the Grecian gods would also die from envy.
"Oh, yes Ruggiero, so... so... forever!" the boy thought, feeling his man starting to move inside him and with him.