Gabriel followed his summer itinerary as planned, staying with one friend or another as he went from Atlanta, Raleigh and finally DC, visiting art museums, going to gallery openings and visiting certain artists in their studios. By mid July he was heading back home to Albany. He stayed in Charlottesville for a couple of days then headed south to Winston-Salem. He wasn't sure what to expect in Winston-Salem but he knew it was an historical city and assumed he could explore it for a night or two before heading on down to Charlotte. He was staying with one of his closest friends from art, Richard, who had a style that caught his attention in their first studio together. Richard told him he had to come to Winston-Salem, for the old moneyed class of North Carolina lived there and they had loved to collect art, with a lot of it on display at different times around the city.
He arrived in town on a Thursday afternoon and went by the store where Richard was working the summer. That night they toured the city, visited a restaurant that was also an art gallery and hung out till late with some of Richard's friends. The next day Richard went to work and Gabriel headed out to museums. He strolled through them unhurriedly until the museum was ready to close and he went to meet Richard for dinner. This time it was just Richard, his girl friend, Shelley, and he sitting around the table with Gabriel telling them where he went that day.
The evening moved along slowly, the three of them taking their time, for the gallery opening they were going to later was open till late and they wanted to avoid the initial crowd of people. When they finally paid their check it was after nine thirty, so they made their way outside and headed down the sidewalk. The gallery was on the next block and as they approached they could see several people standing outside its doors in little groups smoking cigarettes as they talked.
The gallery was busy but not so crowded they couldn't look at each piece of art. Gabriel was slower than Richard and Shelley and soon found himself roaming through the gallery alone, moving from piece to piece studying the ones that attracted his attention. He looked at the use of color, the brush strokes or the way other media was applied. Near the back of the gallery, in a small side room he found himself alone looking at several pieces that were darker than the others, something about them menacing and he found himself staring at the largest of the paintings with its one light illuminating it in the center. The sounds of the gallery opening, the people talking in the adjacent rooms became white noise as he focused on the painting in front of him.
"So, what do you think?" the unexpected voice asked breaking Gabriel out of his trance and he turned to see an older man standing behind him. He was dressed expensively in a jacket, dress shirt and pants, the jacket and pants black with a steel gray shirt, all tailored to fit, the shirt starched perfectly. Gabriel looked at his face and saw his bright blue eyes with their slight wrinkling at the corners, the dark tone to his skin, the way his dark hair had a little gray at the temples. Gabriel couldn't tell but the man appeared to be in his forties and his expression was of someone who was always calm and reserved in polite company.
"Initially; they are dark and somewhat foreboding" Gabriel replied as he turned back to the painting on the main back wall.
"And after you have studied them for some time?"
"There is something...frighteningly alluring about them, especially this one" Gabriel replied as he pointed casually to the painting in front of him.
The man laughed as he approached Gabriel coming up to stand next to him. Gabriel saw the man was tall, a few inches taller than he was even in the thickly soled boots he wore.
"You know the artist?" Gabriel asked.
"I know him, yes, indeed, although I've not seen him in...rather a long time" he replied turning to Gabriel, "I'm Rayford."
"Rayford; I'm Gabriel."
"Gabriel; such a nice name. Are you an artist?"
"Yes, sir" Gabriel replied suddenly realizing he never used 'sir' when addressing someone.
"Me too I'm afraid" and Rayford laughed as he took a step closer to the painting. "I'm afraid I do not have the talent of our Mr. Ross here" and he turned back to Gabriel, "but I do so love to paint. You know?"
"You have a studio?" Gabriel asked realizing how intrigued he was by Rayford for there was something about him, something hidden.
"Of course, would you like to see it?"
"Very much so" Gabriel replied. "It is what I've been doing all summer. Going to museums, galleries and when I can, to artist's private studios."
"And does this help you?"
"I'd say it is inspiring" Gabriel replied as he looked Rayford in the eyes, seeing something mischievous in them. "So when can I see yours?" Gabriel asked the double-entendre blatantly obvious.
"We could go there now if you like."
Gabriel found himself in a big Mercedes, jet black, driving though the city to an old residential neighborhood, one of large homes of brick, stone and lap siding conservatively painted white. Music played softly, the volume low as some female artist from the fifties or sixties sang and Gabriel sat quietly looking out the window at the passing scenery. Rayford didn't say anything during the drive until he slowed, turning on his turn signal.
"We're here" he said as he turned into a drive between two stone pillars and drove along a meandering drive through some woods. The drive curved around a small pond and Gabriel saw the lights of a house just above it sitting on a hill. The drive along the base of the hill then curved back and up till they were pulling up to the house. Rayford turned left through a low brick wall into a parking court area and pulled up to a garage that the door was raising upward. Inside Rayford turned off the Mercedes and got out. Gabriel eased out and stood looking across the garage seeing an old Austin Healey, an old Corvette and another Mercedes, this one a convertible.
"Would you like to come into the house for something to drink first: wine or a cocktail? We can go to the studio afterwards" Rayford said as he headed to a door in the rear of the garage, the overhead door now coming back down.
"That sounds good" Gabriel replied following Rayford through the door. It was a passage and Gabriel continued to follow Rayford till he found himself in a study, bookcases floor to ceiling on three walls. Rayford moved to a cabinet on the fourth wall and opened it to reveal a bar.
"I think something a little stronger than wine is in order. Don't you agree?"
"Definitely" Gabriel replied and soon found Rayford handing him a scotch, the amber liquid reflecting the low light of the room.
They sat in two of the arm chairs in the room and Gabriel couldn't stop scanning the room, looking from book shelf to book shelf and to the old leather furniture that sat in the middle of the room.
"Who are you?" Gabriel whispered.
"Oh dear, I'm afraid I'm nobody special. All this...well, it is a bit ostentatious isn't it, but you see this was my grandfather's place and he left it all to me and my brother. Charles took controlling stock in the companies and I took this house and its belongings. We each became wealthy men and Charles continued for years to add to it but I settled down enjoying what I had and pursued those things I wanted to pursue. This house was something that was easy for Charles to let go. It was always too old, too much tradition about it for him."
"So you made one of its rooms a studio so you could paint?"
Rayford looked at Gabriel and smiled.
"Why yes, I began to paint. But there was no room in this house I wanted to desecrate with my studio so I took the old carriage house out back and renovated it. Would you like to see it now?"
"Very much so" Gabriel replied realizing his own speech was mimicking the formality of Rayford.
Gabriel followed Rayford out of the house through a lushly landscaped rear yard and back around to the parking court outside the garage. As they entered the parking court area Gabriel saw the old carriage house opposite the garage, its garage doors replaced with large glass doors. Inside the walls around the perimeter were exposed masonry and the new interior partition walls drywalled allowing for the hanging of art. The concrete floor had paint spatter nearly covering its entire surface and was especially thick and multi-colored at the area Rayford did most of his painting.
Along the walls leaned paintings in various states, some finished, some started and some completed to a point of frustration: a point of not knowing if it was finished or not, or if it should be painted over and begun again. There were some still lifes, a few landscapes and on one wall there were two rows of male nudes, each one different; each one a different man in pose.
"Have you ever done male nudes?" Rayford asked.
Gabriel was looking through the paintings and he stopped, thinking of Anthony, Shane and Carson, especially Carson, and he turned to Rayford who was waiting patiently for his reply.
"Yes and each one were different."
"Different? Yes, they are indeed. Their personalities...it..." Rayford stammered to a stop unsure how to say what he was thinking.
"Inspires the painting" Gabriel said and Rayford looked at him smiling nodding his head in agreement. Gabriel went back to flipping through the canvases.
"Have you ever posed?" Rayford asked.
Gabriel stopped and looked at Rayford, smiling. "No, Rayford, I've not posed. Why? Do you wish for me to pose for you?"
Gabriel watched Rayford come up to him, run one finger along his arm, the contact soft, ticklish, casual, then look up at him with a mischievous smile. "Oh yes, Gabriel, I do."
Gabriel was laying on daybed, a thick white coverlet lying loosely underneath him and intertwined around his lower legs. His cock lay thickly over his thigh, slightly aroused with his nudity. Rayford wasn't like all the others, so young, eager, and sometimes aggressive. Rayford had changed into white painter's pants and a t-shirt, his muscular arms exposed with their fine dark hairs along the lower arm. The pants were spattered with paint and the t-shirt was an old one, stretched out, with a few spots of paint on the front. He worked barefoot behind the easel, sketching away capturing Gabriel's form, the lines of his body. Gabriel lay still, relaxed in his pose and when he realized Rayford had laid down his pencils and had one of his brushes in hand he was surprised for he had no idea how much time has passed. Rayford talked to him while he worked, told him of the others he had painted, what kind of men they were and what sex had been like with each one.
"So does that mean I get to have sex with you?" Gabriel boldly asked and Rayford looked up and smiled.
Rayford painted for some time and Gabriel watched him, the way he moved behind the easel, the expressions on his face, the way he moved the brush over the palette mixing the paints to achieve the desired hue. There was something about posing for him, lying there naked, that aroused Gabriel and after a while he couldn't help it, couldn't control his thoughts and his cock thickened, stretched out and grew erect. He thought of how Carson had got like this, so aroused his cock would rise up and by the time he went to Caron it had begun to leak .
Rayford saw the aroused state Gabriel was getting in and he moved around the easel, palette and brush in hand, a bright blue at the tip. He moved to Gabriel, eased down beside him on his knees and he leaned over and kissed Gabriel on the chest, then the right nipple, his lips so softly touching it causing Gabriel to shiver. Rayford shifted down and kissed Gabriel on the stomach just over his navel, lips barely touching the skin as it moved up and down with Gabriel's breathing. He rose up and leaned over again and his lips touched Gabriel's cock, gently, barely touching the soft spongy head causing it to flex up and down.
Rayford leaned back up and he ran the paint brush down the middle of Gabriel's chest, a thick blue line following the brush as it moved down. Gabriel watched each move, his fist balled up tight resisting the urge to reach out for Rayford, instead allowing him his pleasure. Rayford ran the brush in the paint on the palette and put it to Gabriel's cock running it along the shaft and over his sac leaving a purple trail in its path. He dipped the brush in paint again and this time left rings around each nipple, red mixing with purple. Gabriel leaned back, stretched out fully with his arms over his head.
Rayford set the brush and palette down on the floor and stood up. He slipped his shirt off, then the painter's pants revealing his dark toned body, the soft mat of chest hair and the trail down the middle of his stomach to his crotch where his cock was half hard, the shaft shifting and moving with his arousal. He picked up the brush and palette and climbed over Gabriel straddling his hips and sat down feeling the thickening cock press against his ass. Rayford ran the brush through some paint and began to paint lines that mimicked Gabriel's ribs, fanning out from the central line he had painted earlier.
Gabriel felt each brush stroke, the way the fine soft hairs filled with paint glided over his skin. He lay there submissive, each touch of the brush, the pressure of Rayford's body on his cock and the very idea of this mixing of something sexual and artistic making him fully aroused, his desires inflamed with need. He lay with his eyes closed and after feeling the brush strokes over his chest, a few on his stomach he felt one slow stroke over his forehead and he opened his eyes where he saw the trance Rayford seemed to be in, this focus on his art. Rayford's cock was angled upward, the thick shaft curved slightly and the head beading clear liquid at the slit.
Rayford moved off of him, shifted down over his legs.
"Get up on your knees and turn around" Rayford whispered and Gabriel rose up and did as he asked. With his back to Rayford he felt the touch of the brush, each stroke, as it ran down his spine then made the pattern of his ribcage and shoulder blades across his back. He felt the brush travel over each ass cheek and he leaned forward giving himself to Rayford. He felt the brush handle slide along the cleft between his ass cheeks, probing him, raking along the dark recess of his ass and he closed his eyes waiting.
The handle of the brush pushed into him, slowly, inch by inch, till he felt it was impossibly deep within his body. It began to move back and forth, sliding through the tight ring of his opening, such a familiar movement. When it slid free of his hole he felt Rayford's fingers, one, then two, penetrate him, work into his hole stretching him open. The wet brush touched him on the back of the neck and moved in a wavy line downward as three fingers stretched him open.
"Oh..fuck..." Gabriel uttered under his breath and he felt Rayford's fingers pull free of his hole, felt the brush break contact with his skin then he felt it, Rayford's cock, thick and hard, pressing against his hole and he pushed back. The penetration made him shiver and he inhaled deeply making his body accept the initial pain, the stretch of his hole as Rayford pushed into him, inch by inch, till he could feel the bodily contact as Rayford buried the last inch of cock into his hole.
Rayford held still until he felt the tight ring of Gabriel's hole loosen around his cock then he began to fuck, to drive his hips back and forth, fueled by this primitive need, an urge to feel his cock sink into the soft hot insides of Gabriel. He swung his hips steadily, back and forth driving his cock into Gabriel harder and harder. He leaned over the long lean torso, wrapped his arms around it and moved back up as he drove his cock into him, over and over and he felt the heat of Gabriel's body, the way it moved in his arms and he held tightly to it as he piston his cock into him.
Rayford felt Gabriel's hands rest on his thighs, felt them squeeze when he drove forward sinking his cock all the way in and it spurred him onward, drove him to fuck faster, to slam his hips against Gabriel's ass rocking the two of them violently, roughly, with their fuck growing animated with their grunts and moans and the sound of their bodies coming together.
Rayford shoved inward, buried his cock all the way inside of Gabriel and ejaculated, wad after wad, he pumped deep into Gabriel till he was spent. He eased out and pulled back and saw how his sweaty body was smeared with paint. He ran his fingers over the hot slick skin of Gabriel's back raking them through the sweat and paint.
Gabriel turned, wild-eyed, and he moved Rayford down on his back. He shifted up between Rayford's legs lifting them as he moved up, his hard cock, streaked with purple paint, pressed to the tight hole. He looked like some tribal warrior, this body painted in various colors, the lines reflecting his form, the shape of his body and Rayford gave himself to him, spread his legs and pulled them back opening himself to him.
Gabriel put his hands down on the daybed, Rayford's legs locked around his arms and he held Rayford folded in half as he drove his cock into the tight hole, the purple paint flaking off as his shaft slid inward. Gabriel fucked hard, drove himself all the way inward and Rayford cried out as he felt his hole stretch open and take every inch Gabriel pushed into him.
Rayford watched Gabriel, all painted by his hand, fuck him, drive cock into him hard making him grunt and moan with each penetrating thrust inward and he let his hands move over the undulating torso over him, felt the way it moved, the heat of its exertions with the skin slick and hot to the touch. Gabriel drove his body hard till his breathing was labored, every push inward straining the muscles of his torso and legs, but he kept fucking, driving his cock in Rayford till he felt his cum surge through his shaft and he pumped it out into Rayford, each forward push his cock ejaculating more cum till he was spent.
Gabriel spent four days with Rayford, visiting museums, galleries and studios, driving down to Charlotte to do the same there and each night they spent in Rayford's studio, experimenting with the paint and their sexual desires. Gabriel left early in the morning, his body aching with the exertions of the previous four nights but as he drove away he leaned back in the seat and smiled, satisfied, feeling refreshed...inspired.