The dimly lit room showed every sign of transition toward desertion. The closet door was open, the closet empty, other than two sad-looking wire hangers. Two drawers of the bureau were pulled out. Both were empty. Clothes once tucked away in these recesses were strewn on the two chairs in the room and hanging on hangers from the top of the closet drawer. One suitcase was already packed; another one had been moved, open and half packed, to the floor from the bed, where two naked men were stretched out against each other.

The bedclothes were tumbled and entwined the bodies of the two men, indicating both that the two had been going hot and heavy at it and that the battle had not been planned. Such was the case. What also was quite clear was that the older, thinner, taller man had won the battle. They were lying on their sides, the younger man’s buttocks nestled into the older man’s groin and the older man’s arms and legs, caught up in wads of sheeting and coverlet, entwined around the body of the younger man so that the younger man was completely controlled, a prisoner of the older man’s desire and sustained penetration. Both men were panting lightly.

The long, thin, slightly up-curved, sheathed cock of patrician and effete visiting Julliard music composition professor, Clayton Ambrose, was still buried to the root in the anal canal of the short, trim, perfectly formed blond, strikingly handsome, second-year Charleston College music major student Neal Burton. Both men felt the cock going flaccid, diminishing in hardness, if not length. Clay knew and Neal strongly suspected that the older man had come almost immediately after penetration.

“You didn’t finish with me,” Neal whispered, his voice revealing a sense of disappointment. “If it’s our last time, I wanted there to be fireworks.”

“I was lost in the moment, realizing this is the last time. I would have tried to hold longer, but I felt you were close,” Clay responded. “You were close, weren’t you?”

“Yes. I hoped we could come together.” Close? Neal thought. You’d just started. But Clayton Ambrose had been his mentor and initiator; he wasn’t about to argue more deeply than this with him. What he had said had come spontaneously from the disappointment of leaving their relationship like this.

“I want it all,” Clay responded. “I do want us to come together. I too want the last time to be special. You know what I want.”

“Yes,” Neal answered. He’d never done it before Professor Ambrose had come to Charleston as a visiting lecturer and had seduced him, but they had often done it that way since and Neal had become accustomed to it. He turned his face to Clay’s and they went into a kiss. For a few moments he thought the professor might harden enough for another finish, as the kissing and Neal’s moaning caused by Ambrose’s thumb and index finger having found and started to work one of Neal’s nipples had caused the professor to breathe heavily and his cock to start to harden--harden enough that the professor could take three more long, shuddering slides.

But then he broke away from the clutch, pushed Neal on his back, and raised and twisted his own body as he reached around to the nightstand for another condom disk. The twisting brought his cock close enough to the surface that the glans dragged across Neal’s prostate, causing Neal to jerk and shudder.

“Oh shit, oh fuck,” Neal gasped. “Finish me proper, Daddy. Please give it to me.”

Basically cruel by nature and pleased with the control he had over the young man, Ambrose dragged the bulb over Neal’s prostrate a couple of more times to hear him beg, but then he pulled out. Neal’s own cock, thick, and prodigious in its own right in its current hard, throbbing state, stood straight up from the blond, curly V of his trimmed pubes, with Neal flat on his back.

Ambrose laughed and, slipping the condom off his own cock and aiming it for a nearby trashcan, lowered his face to take Neal’s cock in his mouth--again listening to the young man’s moans and listening for the approach of some edge that would end his play. Before that could happen, though, he released the cock from his mouth and tapped it a couple of times, to hear Neal groan and to feel the cock lose a fraction of its hardness.

They both held nearly a full minute, Ambrose waiting for the wave of Neal’s preparatory contractions to cease and listening to Neal begging in a whisper, “Just fuck me, Daddy. Don’t tease me like this.”

But Neal knew that, since Ambrose had come already, all of this was just play for him.

Without responding, Ambrose placed the disk on the tip of Neal’s cock and rolled it down over the sides. Wetting his hand with lube, he slicked up the cock as Neal moaned and then raised up, slung a leg over Neal’s thigh in an elegant, fluid motion, fisted Neal’s cock until he could get it positioned at his asshole, and slid down on the cock.

Neal was panting and moaning as Ambrose lowered his face to take possession of Neal’s lips with his, fisted Neal’s wrists, held both of Neal’s arms captive above and away from his head, flat on the surface of the bed, and started making love to Neal’s cock by raising and lowering his buttocks and sliding forward and back and from side to side on the buried cock.

When Ambrose was ready--and he always seemed to know how close either one of them was to coming--he pulled Neal’s right hand down to his cock, which was wrapped in both of their hands when Ambrose shot off up Neal’s chest and Neal jerked and spasmed his own ejaculation inside the professor’s channel.

Afterward, Neal sat, still naked, on the side of the bed and watched Ambrose move around the bedroom of his Charleston College-owned condo on Coming Street--a name that continually amused Ambrose--and expertly folded shirts and trousers.

Everything was elegant and refined about the professor, from the way he moved his slender, but well-muscled nude frame around the room; to how precisely in place was his flowing, wavy gray hair, despite having just come out of a sex session on the bed; to how wrinkle free his shirts and trousers would be when they got to the end of the journey that marked the close of his residency at Charleston College.

Both men had enjoyed their couplings when he was here; neither had been under the illusion that it was anything more than temporary. For Ambrose it was a necessary servicing wherever he was for any length of time; for Neal it had been the start of a new lifestyle and was worship of an accomplished professor and for the extra time the professor spent with Neal on his music technique. Ambrose had taught Neal a lot about sexual technique too, not least the technicals of edging and of the sexual flip-flop.

That didn’t make parting a piece of cake for either one of them.

“When do you drive away?” Neal asked, as Ambrose moved about the room.

“Today. In a couple of hours.”

“So, we won’t have the night?”

“No.” Ambrose’s tone had a genuine tone of regret to it. “No. I find I have to leave earlier than anticipated. In fact, you’ll see there on my dresser--that envelope--a ticket to the Carlos Ferrari Argentinian jazz concert at the Spoleto Festival tomorrow night. I’d like you to take it--as a parting gift. He’s all you are preparing to be in music: a jazz and classical pianist, Spanish guitarist, singer, and composer. I hope you’ll go to the concert and think of me and of how important pursuing your desires beyond the music are in honing your creativity.”

“Thank you,” was all Neal could think of to say on that, but he was having trouble letting go. “You say in a couple of hours. But not right now. And I can see that you’re hard again.”

“So I am,” the professor said. He fucked Neal again on the bed, doggy style, clutching Neal closely from above, stroking him hard and deep, possessing Neal’s lips as the young man turned his face to his, and diplomatically not bringing attention to the tears that rolled down the young man’s cheeks. Finally, at the finish, giving the young man the finish he’d been begging for.

Clayton Ambrose had done this several times before--picked out a talented, luscious, and willing student, either male or female, to possess for short periods of time. It was usually at least a minor regret he had to leave them, if only because of the investment he put into them surrendering to his needs and whims. He wasn’t into looking back. Neal was the most difficult one to leave. He had been so ripe and innocent and willing to do whatever Clayton wanted.

For Neal, though, this was a first--and a momentous first at that. He had no idea if or how he would be able to get into such a relationship again--or even if he wanted to be dominated that way again.

“Do you have any regrets?” Ambrose asked as they were cooling down in each other’s arms for the last time.

“Regrets? Regrets for what?”

“That I took your male virginity. That I turned you?”

“No, of course not,” Neal answered. “I’m glad it was you. You have taught me so much in all ways.”

“It hasn’t been just me, has it? I never demanded monogamy.”

“No, but not often--not before you and none others that give me what you do.”

“Will you promise me one thing?”

“Of course, but what?”

“I want you to take another lover immediately. I don’t want you to slip back. You need this for your art, for your craft. Someone who can further hone your artistry.”

Neal didn’t answer right away. This would be a hard role to fill. He’d actually given the matter a lot of thought already but hadn’t made a decision. He didn’t even know how to go about finding another lover. Clay had done all of the finding, all of the seduction, most of the fucking and sex education. At no time had Neal felt he had any control over any of it. Neal had had no illusions that Clay had been a predator, taking advantage of his position, and although Neal had struggled against it that first time, letting Ambrose have his way only because the man how power over Neal’s future, Neal had been deceiving himself. Ambrose had given him what he had secretly desired and had freed him from indecision and inhibition. Neal had no idea how to go about the hook-up process in more than a casual meeting way.

“Promise,” Clay repeated.

“Of course,” Neal answered, not sure himself if he’d ever have another deeper-level male lover.

* * * *

“Is this seat taken?”

Neal looked up in surprise and involuntarily smiled, initially mistakenly thinking that Professor Ambrose hadn’t left yet after all and had come to the Ferrari Spoleto Festival concert just to be with him. Spoleto was a two-week music, theater, and dance festival, started by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti in the late 1970s, and held in the facilities of Charleston College annually in May. Although Neal was hanging around after the end of the school year to build up his portfolio of musical compositions, he would not have been able to afford to attend any of the Spoleto programs on his own means. The man who was standing by the empty aisle seat next to where Neal was sitting was tall, handsome, elegantly dressed, and of the same late forties age and the same wavy gray hair as Ambrose was.

“No, by all means use the seat,” Neal answered, trying to take the edge off his smile. The man smiled warmly back, leaving Neal embarrassed that perhaps he had misunderstood Neal’s smile as some sort of come on. Or were Neal’s thoughts just too consumed by Clay’s request--well, more of a command--to find another lover immediately. Was Neal seeing possibilities where they didn’t really exist?

“I do need an aisle seat and the recital hall is filling up quickly. It’s surprising there’s still this aisle seat available.”

“I was sitting in it until a minute ago,” Neal answered. “But I could see that I could view the musician’s hands on the piano keyboard better from this seat, so I moved over.”

“See his hands better--ah, I guess that means that you study music yourself then,” the man said as he sank down into the aisle seat. “So, are you a music student?”

“Yes, here at Charleston College. I’m lucky to be able to come to this concert. I am studying the same music styles this Carlos Ferrari composes and plays. Are you a musician too?” The man looked refined and artistic, in the same vein that Clayton Ambrose was. Neal didn’t recognize the man as being with the college faculty, but he could be. Neal knew he shouldn’t be so presumptuous--or hopeful--but the man could have fallen right into the role of Clayton, and Neal would open to him. Clayton had hinted and Neal had realized that he needed another man like Clayton.

Neal’s openness to this--because of the similarities of the men and because of Clay’s request still ringing in his ears--did prove to cut through a lot of preliminaries that normally would have been there.

“No, I’m just a banker,” the man answered. “But I do appreciate music--especially the music of Argentina. I’ve done some study of that. And I speak the Argentinean form of Spanish. My name’s Peter Wentworth.”

He was looking expectantly at Neal, who felt heat coming off the man--not temperature heat; sexual heat. He was so much like Clayton Ambrose. Neal wondered if this similarity in looks and demeanor between this Wentworth man and the professor was misleading Neal into sensing that the man now sitting close beside him was interested in him on a prurient level. It may just be this similarity, he had to acknowledge, but it made Neal tense and trembly and he felt--and hoped the man didn’t see--himself going hard. Neal, the wound of losing Ambrose still so open, just went with the flow.

Later Neal was to wonder how many young men other than him had been seduced and made to ejaculate in his shorts by the expert hand of older man while sitting in a crowded hall during a concert. But by the time he thought about, it didn’t mean much to him anymore. Ambrose had left him achingly open to the approach. Wentworth couldn’t have been blamed for recognizing that, Neal reasoned.

Wentworth was leaning into him and giving him a very warm smile, and their shoulders and forearms were touching--giving Neal a buzz of electricity. But the seats were set close together, so Neal couldn’t be sure to read anything into this. The man’s hands were sensual, the fingers long and manicured--and hovering as if at the least invitation they would come down on Neal’s exposed knee and massage it in a way that could translate--in Neal’s fevered imagination--to the feel of it masturbating Neal’s cock. Neal was wearing shorts and sandals without socks. He suddenly was feeling undressed--certainly underdressed for the venue, although the festival was pointedly casual and other men in the hall were similarly dressed.

The man’s sense of casual was much more refined and stylish than Neal’s was, and he was very much aware that he was out of this man’s league. But he’d been out of Clayton Ambrose’s league too--if you didn’t take into account Ambrose’s pleasure at debauching younger men.

Neal was aware of the tripping of his imagination on sensual clouds enough to tell him that the fingers on the knee were just his fantasizing. But when he looked down at his knee, he saw that Wentworth, indeed, was lightly massaging it. That, of course, would have been the perfect time to get up and change seats. But he was here first, dammit, and the hall was filling up quickly. And besides . . .

Neal couldn’t help himself, he looked over and down at Wentworth’s lap. Elegantly cut trousers or no, there was every evidence that the man was hard and built just as long as Professor Ambrose. He looked up to see that the man had been watching him and was smiling as he spoke.

“. . . like to meet him afterward?”

“Excuse me, I didn’t hear you,” Neal said, embarrassed that he was fantasizing about the man’s equipment and those fingers on his knee while Wentworth had asked him a question.

“I said that, since you say you are studying the same musical disciplines and techniques as Carlos Ferrari offers, would you perhaps like to meet him after the concert?”

“Well, yes, certainly I would. But I doubt that’s possible. There must be others who already have--”

“Oh, he has no other engagements after tonight’s concert, and I can introduce you to him. My bank is sponsoring his appearance and I’ve been hosting him. I am responsible for seeing that he has a pleasant time in the States. I speak his dialect and he speaks very little English. I’ve been translating for him. Which I suppose means I need to go on stage to usher him out now and introduce him. The lights are going down. Would you be so kind as to make sure this seat is saved for me to come back to?”

Wentworth was rising and moving up onto the stage--and to the back, where a door was opening to let the performer enter. Now Neal knew why the man had said he had to have an aisle seat--and also why he could offer to introduce Neal to Ferrari.

He also knew, with a shudder, that he’d protect the seat next to him with his life.

The introductions made, Wentworth returned to his seat. But before he left the stage, he’d leaned down to Ferrari, who was positioned at a Yamaha concert grand piano, with microphones between him and the audience and a guitar on a stand behind him, and whispered something to Ferrari. The performer looked out into the audience, apparently directly at Neal, and smiled as Wentworth whispered something else to him.

Carlos Ferrari was no taller than Neal was. He was sensitive-looking as many musicians are. Perhaps in his mid thirties, he was dark complexioned, sensual, with black, curly hair--perhaps even permed hair--that reached to his shoulders. He was dressed simply in a white, billowy shirt and brown trousers. Like Neal, he was wearing open-toed sandals. Both his toes and his fingers were long and slender, and, like many Latins, his arms and hands were in perpetual motion as he talked and played.

Wentworth returned to his seat. As he sat down next to Neal in the near total darkness of their row--there was no one in the two seats to the other side of Neal--and in the seconds before the music started, Wentworth leaned over and whispered to Neal, “Carlos is gay, you know. And goes both ways.”

Neal said nothing. He told himself that it was just a spontaneous piece of “I am close enough to him to know what he likes” banter, and nothing more. That didn’t stop him from trembling or for this to convey to Wentworth where their shoulders and arms were touching.

Ferrari played three songs on the piano. First a busy jazz rendition and then two slower pieces, with rolling arpeggios that made Neal think of the gentle coursing of a river. And, sure enough, when Wentworth went back up on stage to translate a short commentary on the music for Ferrari, he said that these were Ferrari’s own compositions and were about life on the river.

“Carlos lives near the Puraná River in Argentina,” Wentworth told the audience. “He loves the feel and sound of the river running by his bedroom window. He says the second composition is of an image he once had of his lover having moved down river and of him maintaining an emotional connection with this lover by going to the riverbank and looking down into the water at his own reflection and imagining that the reflection floated down the river to be received by his lover.”

After the audience has applauded this, thanks to Wentworth Neal envisioning a male lover in a way that hadn’t been revealed to the rest of the audience, Wentworth said the next set of songs would be love songs to this lover.

All the time Wentworth was translating this commentary, both he and Ferrari were looking directly at Neal and smiling--or so it appeared to Neal. When he returned to his seat and Ferrari was beginning to play his next set, Wentworth leaned over and whispered to Neal, “I told him a music student wanted to meet him and pointed you out. He said he was pleased. He also said this set of love songs was being played with you in mind--that you reminded him of his down-stream lover. The lover is a young man who looks very much like you. I hope that doesn’t upset you.”

“No, certainly not,” Neal whispered back. “I’m flattered.”

“And, if I’m not mistaken, you are aroused. Does Carlos arouse you?”

“I am very impressed with him. He makes wonderful music.”

“Carlos told me that you were arousing to him. Are you fine with that--in meeting him after the concert. Am I right in having assumed that you take cock?”

Neal paused only a few moments, looking up at the stage, seeing that, although Carlos was playing the piano and singing now too, in a soft tenor, that Carlos was looking out into the audience--in his direction.

“Will you let Carlos fuck you?” the man persisted. “I have to set him up with someone to lay with him after a concert like this. He needs it to unwind.”

“Yes, I’m good with that,” Neal whispered back. Not exactly a long-term lover that Clay had made him promise to acquire immediately--but a stopgap. And evidence that Neal could manage this himself. Of course, he was actually more aroused by Wentworth.

“As his host, that pleases me,” Wentworth said. Well into the second song of the love song segment, Neal felt the tips of Wentworth’s fingers on his knee. He moved his hand to cover Wentworth’s hand but made clear in the movement that he wasn’t trying to push the hand away.

Why was he being so easy, Neal wondered, as he felt the heat of the possessive touch on his knee. It probably was because of what he had promised Ambrose and how nervous he was about how to go about that. It wasn’t that Neal was promiscuous. He wasn’t--and he hadn’t even been voracious for it until Professor Ambrose had come into his life. He’d sucked and been fucked occasionally since coming to Charleston and after Ambrose had shown him the ropes. It was all part of going out into the world, he’d reasoned. And the college was well known for its eclecticism and liberal mindedness. But he hadn’t been as casual and open to it before as this. He thought it was from panicking at Clayton leaving so abruptly. Neal wanted to continue such a relationship as that, but he had no idea how to fall into what he’d had with Clayton. He had no experience in casual cruising--not something that fell into a more regular relationship.

This encounter, beyond causing a surge in his libido, was at least a temporary answer to his “where from here?” concern.

Wentworth went back on stage to introduce the guitar segment and when he returned and Ferrari started to play, Wentworth leaned over and whispered, “His music is divine, isn’t it?” His hand went to Neal’s knee and was rhythmically squeezing and releasing pressure with the beat of the guitar music.

“Yes, gorgeous,” Neal responded.

“He says you are giving him inspiration--that he can feel the heat between you across the footlights. He asked if you would lay with him. I told him you will.”

“Yes,” Neal answered.

“And will you open your legs to me too? I know I’ve been speaking for Carlos, but you make my blood boil as well.”

Rather than verbalizing an answer, Neal spread his legs in the seat and moved his hand to Wentworth’s knee. Wentworth’s hand was already climbing the inside of Neal’s thigh, traced the line of Neal’s hard cock, and grasped it through the material of his shorts, squeezing and releasing to the beat of the guitar.

“Just relax,” Wentworth whispered, “and come for me in your shorts. Don’t be embarrassed. No one can see us, and I want assurances that you are the young man I need tonight.”

Giving a low moan, before that set was finished, Neal creamed his shorts. Wentworth could tell from the young man’s jerk and the relaxing of his muscles, that he’d had an ejaculation.

Before rising to introduce the last set, Wentworth leaned over and whispered, “Thank you. I will make it worth your while.”

After the concert; after Wentworth and Neal had held back for others to cover Ferrari in adulation, which clearly both embarrassed and delighted the Argentinian musician; after the three of them were alone in the small dressing room assigned to Ferrari and the door to the corridor was closed and locked, Wentworth pushed Neal’s back up against the wall next to the door and, placing his hands possessively against the wall on either side of Neal’s shoulders, came in for a kiss.

Neal surrendered to him, but his eyes went to Ferrari, sitting at a dressing table, his face to a mirror. Ferrari was all eyes, staring at the other two in the reflection of the glass.

Seeing where Neal was looking, Wentworth smiled and said in a low, growly voice, “Carlos likes to watch at first. He wants to watch me fuck you and then later, in the hotel, he wants you to fuck him. Am I right that you go both ways?”

“Yes,” Neal murmured, embarrassed again that he was being so easy--but he also was so needy for it--and giving passing thought to how transparent he must be for the man to assume correctly that Neal would both give and take, something Neal only recently had learned from Clayton Ambrose.

Neal’s T-shirt was being pulled over his head. “Carlos wants you to be naked,” was the only explanation Wentworth gave. In high heat now, Neal didn’t really need any explanations.

Wentworth went back to possessing Neal’s lips as he maneuvered Neal’s right hand down between them, giving a sound of amusement deep in his chest when Neal shuddered at what his hand encountered when Wentworth guided it to his groin. Neal ran his fingers down the length on Wentworth’s cock through the material of his trousers, finding him long, thick, and hard. Wentworth unzipped his fly. Neal’s hand entered on his own accord, found the slit in the briefs, and ran his fingers over the flesh of the still stiffening staff.

Ferrari continued to watch, bug-eyed, in the reflection of the mirror.

Neal heard the unbuckling of Wentworth’s belt and the belt buckle ring on the concrete floor as the trousers puddled around his ankles. He came out of the kiss, his eyes capturing Neal’s gaze, a slight, sneery smile on his lips; looking, no doubt for some sign of reluctance or doubt, but finding none. His hands went to Neal’s shoulders and applied gentle pressure. Complying with the obvious request, Neal sank to his knees, his hands sliding Wentworth’s briefs down his legs as Neal descended, his mouth immediately opening to take in Wentworth’s cock.

After a few moments, Wentworth pulled Neal back up to his feet. As he did so, Neal felt the contours of the disk Wentworth had in his hand, and knew instantly that it was a condom.

“Carlos wants me to fuck you here, against the wall,” Wentworth said.

Neal’s eyes went to Ferrari, turned from them at the dressing table, but intently watching them through the mirror, his tongue licking his lips, lust overflowing in his eyes, his hand grasping a freed cock. Neal’s first thought was, “and what do you want, Mr. Host?” but he already knew what he wanted. “Yes,” he whispered.

Neal both felt and heard his own belt buckle being undone, his shorts sliding down his leg, Wentworth’s hand on his cock, stroking it.

“God, you’re built big for your height,” Wentworth growled. “Carlos is going to love you.”

Neal felt the slight tug under his knees on both sides, and, understanding, pulled his feet out of his puddled shorts, and climbed Wentworth’s hips with his knees. Clayton had done him against a wall before; Neal knew how this worked.

Neal felt the bulb of the cock at his entrance and moaned. “Here it comes,” Wentworth muttered in a raspy voice.

“Yes, yes, fuck me,” Neal whispered. Then he gasped and gave a little cry as the sheathed cock entered him and started working its way up inside him. He threw his arms around Wentworth’s neck, pressed his cheek into the older, taller man’s hairy chest, his shirt already having been unbuttoned and flared, and whimpered and groaned as the cock started to mine and pump his passage, increasing in speed and intensity until he, first, came on Wentworth’s bare belly, and then Wentworth came deep inside him, with a jerk, inside the condom.

It was only as they climaxed that Neal realized that Ferrari had been singing, his voice rising and its timbre becoming more frenzied as Wentworth’s thrusts intensified.

“Now we go for drinks and then to my hotel,” Wentworth muttered, while going flaccid inside Neal. Neal was still moaning and trembling in satisfaction.

Later in the night, Carlos Ferrari sat, naked, on a chair in Peter Wentworth’s Mills House Hotel bedroom suite, strumming his guitar and watching as Wentworth fucked Neal from behind, bent over the end of the king-sized bed. Wentworth covered Neal’s back closely. His fists grasped Neal’s wrists, spreading Neal’s arms wide on the bedspread on either side. Wentworth’s teeth were closed over the nape of Neal’s neck like that of a cat holding her kitten steady and still. His cock, as long as Ambrose’s, but thicker, pumped Neal’s channel deep. He started slow, governed by Ferrari’s stroking of his guitar and built to a fast and furious pace as Ferrari added complexity, rhythmic beat, and fast finger picking to his playing. At a loud, discordant chord on the guitar, Wentworth arched his back, jerked, threw his head back, and exclaimed his ejaculation to the ceiling.

He released Neal’s wrists then and stepped back from him. Whimpering, Neal drew his knees up into his belly in a fetal position and, still trembling from the ferocity of the fuck, panted and moaned softly.

The guitar music stopped, and Neal felt hands on his knees and shoulders, coaxing him to turn on his back, spread his legs, and let the legs flop over the end of the bed. He complied and looked down to see the top of Ferrari’s curly head as he knelt between Neal’s knees, ran his sensuous fingers up Neal’s thighs to rest at the top of the thighs and thrum Neal’s lower belly softly and rhythmically, as Ferrari’s mouth swallowed Neal’s cock and rhythmically sucked the young music student to a throbbing hard. Thus prepared, Neal watched as Ferrari rose, climbed over his hips, lowered his channel on Neal’s cock, and, facing him and looking intently into Neal’s eyes with slitted eyes of his own, started to ride him.

Later still they moved into a threesome, with Neal covering and fucking Ferrari from behind, while he, in turn, was covered and fucked again by Wentworth.

They slept in a three-way tangle, which occasionally resulted in a random cock in a random hole, a brief flurry of pumping action, release, and sleep.

When Neal woke in the morning, both men were gone. There was an envelope on his neatly folded clothes on a chair that contained tickets to each of Ferrari’s remaining three concerts at Spoleto and an invitation to join Ferrari after the concerts. There also was a check for $500, signed by Peter Wentworth on the Wentworth bank.

* * * *

Neal found that it was exhausting sitting at Carlos Ferrari’s bedside in the Paraná hospital and listening for the next shallow breath, holding his own breath until Carlos’ next one came--never certain there would be a next one and knowing that at some point there wouldn’t be another one. The musician’s breathing had become so shallow and the waiting so tedious in the dim sterility of the Argentinean hospital room through the night that Neal fancied he was able to relive a day of their life in each of the spaces between one uncertain breath and the next.

He knew that the time could become perpetual between breaths at any given moment. The doctors had said that it could be any time now. He had wanted to move Carlos down to Buenos Aires, to a more modern hospital and a more experienced set of doctors, but Carlos had forbidden it, saying he’d been born and raised in Paraná and wanted to die here. Such was the respect that the city had for his music that he was receiving the best care they could give him here--at no expense. Carlos had never been one to accumulate money and goods.

Of course he had accumulated Neal, and now, after twelve years, was fading away under the death sentence of pancreatic cancer, leaving Neal with nothing other than memories--or so Neal assumed. Neal didn’t begrudge this, but he also knew that he wouldn’t receive the regard and support from the people of Paraná that Carlos had. He’d be left, destitute, in this isolated country where he’d not yet, even after twelve years, been able to fully master the Argentine dialect of Spanish--well, the Paraná dialect, which was distinct from what they spoke in Buenos Aires and of little use to him if he wanted to make money from music in the capital city.

Long after that last breath had been whispered, Neal sat, holding Carlos’ hand. Carlos had been everything to him this past twelve years. Neal had given everything up to follow him from Charleston to Argentina--and then to wherever else in the world Carlos’ renown as a musician had taken him.

Neal didn’t cry at the finish. He was all teared out--and a bit numb. He was just grateful that Carlos, who he had loved well and mutually satisfactorily for over a decade, was mercifully released from the pain he had endured to manage “just one more” composition. Carlos had dedicated the composition to Neal.

Neal felt the pressure of a hand on his shoulder, and some instinct told him that it was Peter Wentworth, even though the three of them rarely--but explosively when it occurred--had met over the years since Spoleto in Charleston.

“You are just a bit late,” Neal said in a flat voice. “He’s gone.”

“I’ve been here from time to time over the last week,” Wentworth said. “I flew down not long after I heard he was ill. Thank God it didn’t take long once it was inevitable.”

“Yes, thank God for that,” Neal murmured. “You have been here for a week but didn’t make contact with me? I didn’t know you were here.” Neal was hurt. Wentworth could have given him some support through this ordeal. Had Peter forgotten everything they’d gone through? Was he abandoning Neal as well?

“I couldn’t bring myself to contact you--not until . . . well, you know, out of respect for your relationship with Carlos.”

“Yes, I understand,” Neal answered. And he did understand when it was put in that light. In all the time the three of them were together, sexually, it had been Wentworth who Neal melted to. Neal could concentrate on pleasing Carlos when it was just to the two of them, but he naturally gravitated to Peter when he was added to the equation. But both of them realized that Neal was there for Carlos, and both of them had restrained themselves in respect for the musician whose talent had brought them together. Wentworth had even declared that they should meet rarely, to avoid the temptation. It was OK that they fucked with Carlos there, but Wentworth really wanted to have Neal all to himself.

“There are no impediments any more. Can you come away now--to my hotel?” Wentworth asked.

“Yes,” Neal said, letting go of Carlos’ lifeless hand for the last time. There was nothing left here for Neal anyway--at least for this time. There was no reason not to go with Wentworth.

Wentworth fucked him on the foot of the bed in an old, exclusive hotel with large rooms and a shaded balcony. Open French doors led out onto the balcony and the unexpectedly comforting sound of the busy street noises below and let in a breeze to caress the steaming bodies of the fucking men. Neal was on his back, his legs being held raised and spread by Wentworth as, his forehead plastered to Neal’s and his eyes capturing Neal’s to catch every nuance of Neal’s response to the working of the cock inside Neal’s channel, Wentworth adjusted his stroking technique to cause Neal’s eyes to slit the most and his moans to deepen the farthest.

Wentworth had put a CD of Carlos Ferrari’s music on while they fucked, which both men found comforting and arousing. Always in tune with Carlos’ music, Wentworth harmonized the working of his cock with the texture of the tune playing on Carlos’ CD. This is the first time they’d done this to a recording, though. In times past, Carlos had controlled the fuck with his own singing live.

Afterward, the two lying in each other arms stretched out on the bed, turned slightly toward the French doors and the cooling breeze on their lightly sweating bodies, Wentworth murmured, “Did Carlos ever tell you how we picked you out--picked you up--in the first place?”

“No,” Neal answered, surprised. “I didn’t realize there was a story to that. I just thought you gauged me as easy--rightly. I still can’t believe you were assured enough to just ask me straight out if I took cock. And I can’t believe that I answered ‘yes’ straight out and that you jacked me off right there, in the crowded auditorium during the concert. It wasn’t so much that I was easy as that I was vulnerable at that moment.”

“Yes, I was told you’d be easy. But I also was told that you weren’t really promiscuous, wasn’t a rent-boy type--that you’d be sweet and with a sense of innocence, albeit willing and pliable.”

“You were told? Told by whom?” But just then, the image of a long ago lover--not his face, but the slenderness and grace of his body, the long cock, slightly upturned--entered his mind. “Professor Ambrose? Clayton Ambrose?”

“Yes, Clayton. I knew Ambrose--through Spoleto, of course. I was looking for someone to service Carlos while he was at Spoleto in Charleston. He played with so much more inspiration when he had a young man to fuck him--and the coupling of men to watch. The videos on the Internet were not working. I told Ambrose of my need--I didn’t realize at the time that it was my own need as well, but of course it was--and he said he was leaving Charleston and had a relationship with a young music student--you--that he regretted just walking away from. He offered you because he thought it was what you needed, not just because I needed someone to service Carlos during the concerts. I gave him the ticket to the concert to give to you. I hope you’re not--”

“No, it’s fine,” Neal whispered, putting the finger of one hand to Wentworth’s lips as the fingers of the other hand went to the older man’s rejuvenating cock. “I did have my own need at the time. But I felt like such a slut just to give it that easily.”

“Neither of us thought of you as a slut. We both could see your need. You were sweet. Carlos was especially taken with you--although I shouldn’t say that. I was taken with you too. But I had host responsibilities. Carlos wouldn’t have seen you as a slut to have asked you to return to Argentina with him.”

“I can be a slut, though,” Neal said, with a little laugh, as he moved his lips down Wentworth’s body and swallowed his cock.

Wentworth fucked him this time doggie style on the bed, covering him close from above, as Neal, cheek to bed and arms outstretched in total surrender, gazed out to the blazing light beyond the edge of the shadowed balcony and thought, with appreciation, on his life with Carlos--but also on the restraint he and Wentworth had had to observe, except for the explosive occasional meeting as Carlos watched them fuck. His thoughts also went to his present, uncertain existence.

“You seem sad. Carlos wouldn’t want you to be sad at his passing,” Wentworth murmured when they once again were stretched out in a close embrace.

“I’m not sad for Carlos. I’m said for me. I gave him everything. I am empty and alone now. I have no idea what to do now. Everything went to Carlos. I don’t regret that, but I should have kept something for myself, done some planning, especially in these weeks when we knew the end was coming for Carlos.”

“You weren’t left with nothing,” Wentworth answered. “Carlos has been schooling you in the music since Charleston. He has taught you more, brought out more of your talent, given you more useful experience, than you could ever have learned in that college. You can go on tour yourself now. I can mentor you, just as I discovered Carlos down here, brought him to America, and lifted him up into the international ranks.”

“You would do that for me?”

“I’ve been aching to do that for you. You’ve been ready for years. Carlos and I discussed that. We were about to offer you some independence and exposure anyway. Yes, I’d do that for you--and you also don’t need to be alone. You know how I feel about you. You can come away with me and--”

“Shush,” Neal whispered, putting a finger to Wentworth’s lips again. “I can be easy for you again. The answer is yes.”

Gently pushing Wentworth over onto his back, Neal reached over to the nightstand for another condom and to switch on the CD again, bringing the soft tenor of Carlos’ guitar-backed crooning into the room with him. Saddling his channel on Wentworth’s sheathed cock, Neal began to ride him slowly as the shadows lengthened out on the balcony--knowing that Carlos’ song would increase in volume and intensity as they fucked, knowing that Carlos wrote this song explicitly for this purpose and was watching them from above with approval and arousal.



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