AUTHOR'S NOTE: Even though this is a sequel to F.W.B.?, the characters of Rafael and Diego are based on short gay story I wrote titled The Commission. For this novel, I changed the story slightly to fit with this new plotline.
Four years ago…
The countryside of Villatuono.
Twenty year old Rafael Garcia stared at the
blank canvas. Dull. Lifeless. Uninspiring. His model shifted
uncomfortably in his chair as Rafael attempted to find some sense
of epiphany to sketch something quick. Anything. Anything at
this point. Five thousand dollars was a nice commissionable
rate to paint someone's portrait especially when the model was
both the client and the subject of his artwork. He inhaled
another sigh of frustration, stared at the empty canvas again,
and feigned movement. God knows he needed the money. He hadn't
sold a piece for over six months and his creditors were breathing
down his back. A muse. Any muse would be nice at this moment but
instead all he could feel was an empty brain and a hungry
"Problem?" asked Rafael's client Diego Hernandez. Looking like one of those male models in a fashion magazine he scratched the stubbles of his chin, stroked a dark curl of his hair with his fingers, and adjusted the tie of his designer suit as he attempted to be patient with the artist.
"I'm sorry Mr. Hernandez," winced Rafael. "I just need a couple more minutes to prep and we'll begin." If only you weren't so damn distracting. Rafael thought to himself.
Santa Cristo! Why did Diego Hernandez have to be so devilishly handsome? Rafael tried hard to concentrate but every so often his eyes tended to catch a glimpse of the beautiful man before him. Diego Hernandez had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth as the wealthy heir to Jorge Hernandez, the titled shipping and mining baron. Like his father, Diego had a reputation of being the it boy of the moment, exhibiting his actions through his lavish partying lifestyle and scandalous exploits as it was detailed by the many broken hearted females he left behind in the gossip rags of every major tabloid magazine. Now in his mid-twenties family pressure had forced him to settle down, marry well, and produce a progeny of offspring to carry on the family legacy. He had hired the artist Rafael to paint his self-portrait for his fiancée as a wedding present.
"Perhaps we can reschedule for another time," suggested Diego. "When you are more focused to work?."
"No no," protested Rafael. "I can definitely being your self-portrait now. I'm not distracted I assure you."
"Well it seems that you are," grinned Diego. "I don't know much about art but I know when someone's mind is somewhere else."
"Please Mr. Hernandez, I give you my word that I'm focused," continued Rafael. "Your fiancée will have her wedding gift ready in time for your ceremony."
Reality hit Diego hard from the comment. "You know I think a self-portrait of myself might not make my bride happy. I think she'll appreciate a token of my love through jewelry. Diamonds always seem to work, I think. I'm sorry but I've changed my mind about the portrait. However, I would love to compensate you for your trouble by still paying the five thousand as promised."
"Mr. Hernandez, that is more than generous," smiled Rafael. "However I would still love to paint you if you would permit me."
"I'd be honored Mr. Garcia."
"Rafael," corrected the striking European man. "Please call me Rafael."
Diego gave him a smile just as Rafael's heart began to pulsate rapidly. "Then you must then call me Diego since we're on a first name basis here."
An hour passed as Rafael took the stick of charcoal and traced the outline contours of Diego's chiseled face across the blank canvas. Paying close attention to detail had always been his specialty. Rafael accentuated each curve of Diego's chiseled profile to the strands of his dark hair and finally ended the lines near the base of his midnight eyes. After a few more strokes, he finally captured the true essence of this man. Enigmatic. Adventurous. Masculine. An avatar of beauty. Rafael had been so consumed in the minor accents of his sketches that he did not notice Diego behind him.
"Extraordinary!" exclaimed Diego as Rafael felt his warm breath against his neck. "It truly does look like me."
"It is only a rough sketch of an outline but I'll paint in the details when I'm finished." He began to blend the shadows with his fingers.
"You truly are an amazing artist, Rafael. I'm surprise you don't get many offers." Rafael continued to work as his listened to Diego's low purr and felt his groin began to swell.
"With the current state of the economy, the art world has taken a hit," he explained. "Commissionable art is not that much in demand right now." Diego grinned as he grew fascinated by how Rafael worked. The man had an incredible talent with his hands.
"Well I must send some business your way then," he chuckled.
"That would be quite nice Diego." He quickly broke out of his trance, feeling a wave of embarrassment and rushed into the kitchen to fetch a kettle. "Tea?"
"I'd love some," responded Diego as Rafael poured him a cup. He took sip enjoying the taste of chamomile and honey and prodded more questions from Rafael. "Tell me what it is like to be an artist."
"Complicated," answered Rafael bluntly. "It's like having so many dreams and images in your head and trying to make some sense of it by putting it down on paper or doing it through sculpting. Then try translating it into something more tangible for a potential buyer. There is only so much symbolism that you can throw around before the client thinks you're insane."
Diego put his cup of tea down and laughed. "I don't believe it is that superficial. I love the sense of freedom it offers and being allowed to be creative and expressive. I always wanted to try art in college but my parents wanted me to have a head for business and expect me to carry on the title of Baron Hernandez of Villatuono. Luckily, you don't have that problem being a simple artist and all."
His words struck Rafael hard. For someone who appeared to have it all, he lived in a world of great sadness. A tear began to well up in the corner of his eye. "I suppose we never know where we our lives tend to lead us. I guess we have to forge our own futures."
"I wish I had your sense of freedom Rafael. I really do envy you."
"I guess everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side but it truly isn't. Everyone needs to experience something different and sometimes be able to live in the moment."
"Perhaps I should start doing that," responded Diego with an arrogant smile. "Then again I could always rebel against my lineage as you did, my young prince." His teasing caused the artist to swallow hard. He could possibly know. Yet, the wealthy baron's son did.
Rafael paused and remained expressionless. "I have no idea what you're speaking of, Diego."
Tossing his head back in laughter, the handsome rich man snorted. "Oh, come now, Mr. Garcia or should your last name be Donati. I know of your true father and that you are the bastard son of King Hernando! Don't deny it. The political circle of Villatuono knows all about you and your mother, Guadalupe Garcia as his mistress."
Rafael frowned and turned defensive. "And what business is it of yours, Mr. Hernandez? I'm King Hernando's bastard and nothing more. I have no claim to the throne and I have no interest to. If you came here simply for the pretense of mocking my birth, then I suggest you leave." He pointed to the door. "And for the record, I never wanted anything to do with King Hernando. My mother and I have done fine without him!"
Diego folded his arms and shot the artist a challenging stare. "Oh really? Is that why you accepted my offer of five thousand even though you hold a deep resentment toward the wealthy class?"
"Sadly, you need money to survive in this world," the artist defended. "True, my mother and I struggled but we managed and not once had we taken a penny from the king." He curled his fists. "With that said, Mr. Hernandez, you could show yourself out my studio! I think our business together has been concluded."
The baron's son approached the young man.
Leveling his face close to Rafael, Diego smirked. "Has
Caught off guard by the twenty six year old man's presence, Rafael felt a sudden warm heat filled the room. Strong hands curled around his chin as stared into Diego's dark pools and felt his lips brush his. The kiss was at first gentle but heavy pressure started to become fiercer as Diego bit his bottom lip before his moist tongue melded together with Rafael's. Human nature took over as Rafael did what came naturally and that was to embrace this gorgeous masculine specimen and give in to his inner urges.
"I'm sorry! I can't do this!" Rafael broke away from the kiss and stepped back. "This isn't right. You have a fiancée. It isn't fair to her. Please leave!"
"Rafael, don't feel bad about what just happened. Look the truth is I'm bisexual! I've been with men too. As for my fiancée, she knows all about it. This marriage is mainly for convenience. She gets to marry someone for money and I get to continue my life of debauchery. It is a win-win situation."
"Diego I may not understand this arrangement but morally this is wrong." Rafael crossed his arms in disgust. "I can't be a part of this."
"What happened to living in the moment?"
"Sometimes it's just not practical."
"Forget practicality. Forget reasoning. More
importantly, fuck morality. I admire your strength, Rafael. You
chose to deny your true birthright. You chose to deny your
father in the name of pride. For once, you need to live for
yourself. What does Rafael want to do?"
"I want to live in the moment."
"Then show me where your bedroom is."
The seconds flew by as both men stripped off their clothing as they clawed their way to Rafael's bedroom and finally to the bed. Diego discarded his suit, trousers, dress shirt, and tie and threw them across the room. Rafael followed suit with his t-shirt and jeans. Naked and exposed, the two men kneeled and faced each other as the springs of the mattress creaked with anticipation as they continued to hold, caress, massage, and kiss each other as a precursor to their foreplay.
Rafael smoothed out the edges of Diego's muscular chest with his fingers as he traced a line down to the dark curls across the grooves of his abdomen. "Mmmm nice. Just like Michangelo's David."
Diego giggled and pushed him down on the bed as he jerked Rafael's thighs up and cupped his buttocks. "Can David do this?"
Grabbing Rafael's flaccid cock, he brought the shaft to his mouth and began to taste him. A tongue lapped against the rigid length of him as Rafael felt the warm caress of moisture run up and down making him fully aroused and standing at attention. Teeth nipped gently across his skin as warm air engulfed his prick causing him to moan as Diego consumed him.
Diego's dark eyes watched as his enjoyed Rafael submitting to his desire. He worked on Rafael's cock hard lifting and lowering his head across the bulbous head, teasing and tonguing the base and urethra enjoying the first drop of seed before swallowing him again whole.
"Diego…I'm…gonna cum," pleaded Rafael who tried to not release so soon.
"Not yet, Rafael. Do you have a condom?" asked Diego pulling his head up from Rafael's groin but still continuing to massage his scrotum. Rafael pointed to the drawer of the end table which Diego frantically opened and found the condom package and lube.
"Ahhhh, even better."
He returned to Rafael, turned him over on to his stomach, and bent him down leaving his buttocks raise toward Diego. "An truly incredible sight." Ripping the condom wrapper with his teeth, he slid on the rubber on his already aroused prick, and squirted the lube on the sheath. "Now let's have a taste."
Rafael groaned as he felt a pair of strong fingers open his rectum, plunging into him with wet fingers, teasing the entrance for proper accommodation. Fingers were replaced with a moist tongue as a strong desire washed over Rafael with intense pleasure as he enjoyed the attention Diego was giving him.
"I think you are ready," said Diego as Rafael closed his eyes. The tongue that wickedly teased him before changed into something cylindrical, enormous, and long. It filled his opening with such an immense sensation that he gasped in response at Diego's tremendous girth. Diego filled him in again and again, withdrawing, and thrusting as he felt his core build in anticipation. Experienced fingers reached around his waist and down his cock as Diego's fingers teased and massaged Rafael's hard cock into a sensual frenzy.
"Diego…I…want to cum!" demanded Rafael.
"Then cum, mi amor!" ordered Diego.
Rafael cried out as his seed splashed across the bed and on to the sheets. Diego followed suit with his own release as his own seed overflowed within the condom he was wearing. Yanking off the drenched rubber off his prick, Diego threw the offending thing to the floor, grabbed Rafael roughly and kissed him.
"How's that for living in the moment?"
"I'll definitely say worth the experience," replied Rafael who returned the kiss and the two men fell back against the soaked sheets.
The next morning…
Entwined and naked in the folds of his bed sheets, Rafael awoke and felt for an arm somewhere across the mattress. Nothing. Diego was gone. His eyes groggily looked to the end table near the bed and saw a stack of five thousand dollar bills and a note. He scrambled off the mattress to read it.
Rafael mi amor,
Thank you for a wonderful night. As promised, here is the five thousand dollar fee for services rendered. I have to meet with my fiancée and family this week so I won't be able to visit you. However I would like to see you next week when I'm back in town. How does another five thousand dollars commissionable rate sound and I will add another two thousand if I can bring another companion in for the session? Consider it. It is a very generous offer.
Bastard! Rafael's head screamed. He ran to the bathroom to take a shower. He suddenly felt extremely dirty.
Montgomery Town, Michigan.
Beeping. Constant beeping. That is what seventeen year old Ethan Zylko heard. Lifting his eyes, he noticed the left side of his vision covered in some fabric while his right one slowly opened. Blurred images slowly began to adjust itself while what seemed to be a thousand voices filled the room. Half of his face felt numb as the sudden pain in his side ached each time he inhaled a breath. Forcing his one working eye to examine the room, he noticed the bandages and entwining plastic tubes covering his body before he shifted his head to see the IV bag next to him. Then the tender voice of someone familiar woke him up.
"He's awake! Thank God!"
Soft hands covered his hands as his nostrils took in the scent of soap and rosewater. His fifty year old Aunt Ellen smiled down at him with tears in her eyes. Behind her, his Uncle Matthew placed a hand to his forehead.
"Ethan," Uncle Matthew sighed. "You're going to be all right. The doctors are patching you up."
Confused, the teen stammered. "What…what happened?"
"You don't remember?" Aunt Ellen asked with concern. She placed a hand to her worried mouth before looking at her husband. "Matthew…"
His uncle nodded and bravely explained the situation. "That no good bastard brother of mine! Your Dad…Frank came home drunk and took his anger out on you…"
Memories came flooding back of last night's events. Ethan slowly put together the pieces. He was practicing in his bedroom a song for his high school's show choir. He was ecstatic when his teacher offered him several solos because of his talented voice when his father, Frank Zylko, arrived home late last night drunk from his nightly visits to the local pub. Frank overheard his son rehearsing, called him all sorts of gay slurs, and began assaulting him to the point that he blacked out the rest.
Now in the hospital, his Uncle Matthew filled him on the details. "Frank beat you so severely that your left eyes got swollen shot, he cracked your ribs, and you had some internal bleeding."
"Where's Dad now?" The young man asked.
His uncle shrugged. "I don't know. He took over before the neighbors called the cops. Luckily, I happened to be swinging by your house to see the front door left opened and that's when I found you. I called the ambulance and we got you into ER. Thank God, we got to you in time."
Aunt Ellen squeezed her nephew's hands tight. "Don't you worry, Ethan. You're staying with us from now on. Your Dad is not going anywhere near you, I promise. No one is going to hurt you anymore."
Tears filled the boy's blue eyes. Ethan had been used to his father's abuse ever since he was a youngster. It got progressively worse when his mother died from cancer. Frank Zylko's rages increased to point that Ethan grew fearful whenever the man flew off the handle. He could not wait to turn eighteen and leave that life behind. Sadly, those plans went awry. Even worse was confessing to his closest relatives, who cared for him the most, his true nature.
Swallowing hard, the seventeen year old sobbed. "Aunt Ellen…Uncle Matt…I'm…gay…"
Neither relative flinched. Exhibiting a friendly smile, his aunt touched his face and planted a kiss on his forehead."
"Ethan, we know."
The young man's one good eye widened. "You know? How long?"
Matthew Zylko released a small giggle. "Family always knows. Ever since you were small boy and preferred playing dolls than to trucks. You were never interested in sports or even girls, for that matter. Hell, you joined Drama Club and Show Choir. Your Aunt Ellen and I and even your cousin Mack always knew you were different."
The older woman squeezed her nephew's palms. "It doesn't matter, Ethan. We love you no matter who you are and are proud of the person you've become. We will continue to support you no matter what happens and we'll start by having you live with us once you're all better."
Chaos erupted outside of the teen's hospital room. Sounds of skirmish grabbed Uncle Matt and Aunt Ellen's attention, forcing the older man to peek outside of Ethan's quarters. The fifty year old curled his mouth in fury.
"What the fuck?"
"Matthew, language!" Aunt Ellen frowned.
"No, Ellen," said her husband. "It's hospital security and the police."
He was right. Dragging a figure through the doorway of his room, the teen saw several cops and hospital guards restraining an older gentleman outside. Ethan identified the graying blond hair of brutish prisoner and immediately became frightened.
It was Frank Zylko. His father.
"GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF ME!" Frank screeched as the police handcuffed his back. "I WANT TO SEE MY FAGGOT SON! WHERE'S THAT FUCKING FAGGOT?"
The strong smell of alcohol permeated the room. Frank sneered at him from across the way as both security and police restrained him.
"BET YOU ENJOYED GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED, HUH SISSY BOY?" His father hissed. "I SHOULD HAVE KILLED YOU! NO SON OF MINE IS GONNA BE A GODDAMN, FUCKING BUTT PIRATE FAGGOT! YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!"
Before he knew it, Matthew Zylko curled his fist and landed a heavy punch to his brother's nose. Aunt Ellen stood up and gasped. A small sound of a crack long the bridge of the man's nostrils flared with blood. His uncle was going to land another one before one of officers stopped him.
"Mr. Zylko," said the lead policeman. "Please, we're already charging your nephew's father with assault and attempted murder. We don't want to arrest you too."
"Get that man away from my face!" Matthew ordered. He got close to his sibling's face and spat at him. Frank struggled as everyone held him back. "You come near Ethan and I swear to God I'll kill you! You're no longer my brother! Rot in jail, asshole!"
Hospital security and police dragged the culprit from the room amid the echoes of hateful shouts that filled the halls.
"FAGGOT! FAGGOT! I'LL KILL THAT FAGGOT!"
Then the homophobic slurs disappeared.
Aunt Ellen stroked her nephew's face as Uncle Matthew joined the young man at his bedside. Planting a kiss on his forehead, the older man smiled.
"Don't you worry, Ethan," he said. "You don't have to deal with him every again."
Ethan cried again. This time they were tears of happiness.
And of hope.