Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Brando/Riccardo (Bruce/Dick), Jason, Timotheus (Tim)
Genres: AU, Challenge, Historical, Drama, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): NC-17
Claim: For my 2017 Bruce/Dick Bingo Card.
Prompt: Write That Art!
Pattern: Row B (Straight/Vertical Line Bingo) (1/3)
Prompt Count: (6/9)
General Summary: Brando Venucci is a great artist/sculptor/jeweler in Renaissance Florence and is desperately in love with his beautiful model, Riccardo Graciano, the centerpiece of an ambitious artistic project which will make them forever famous.
Chapter Summary: Brando welcomes his favorite model to his studio.
Date Of Completion: April 16, 2017
Date Of Posting: June 21, 2017
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count (this chapter): 1897
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: All chapters can be found here.
Merry Summer Solstice! :)
The sodden earth
As the winds blow
A gentle zephyr
“Florence In Light”
Brando Venucci snatched up an apple from a vendor’s stall and tossed a coin at the complaining vendor. He strutted through the piazza, enjoying the warm Italian sun and listening to the shouts and chatter of hawkers and customers. Somewhere a seller was cooking sausage over a brazier, and Brando’s mouth watered. It was a glorious day in Florence, and he was at the height of his artistic powers.
He bit into the apple and savored its sweetness. Mornings were always the promise of a brand new day, though if truth be known, he preferred the night. Yet painting required light, and sculpture required precision. Light was needed to see.
He waved to several acquaintances, considering a stop at The Bird Of Paradise, the local watering hole. He bypassed it, eager to continue working on his latest projects. He had so many! That pretender Cellini thought he was the toast of Florence.
“Bah! I am!” He waved his hands in a windmill motion.
Several people looked at him, but others were used to the resident artist/sculptor talking to himself. Did not the talented ones all do the same?
Brando Venucci was a handsome man. Well-muscled and usually dressed in shabby tunics and breeches, his coal-black hair was wild and he wore a full beard. Blue eyes the color of the sky at dusk saw everything and missed nothing.
His temper was volatile. Most people steered clear if he was staggering out of the The Bird Of Paradise, because he was not a happy drunk, and that was on a good day.
Brando smirked as he entered his dwelling, pleased to see his apprentices hard at work.
Jason’s mother had been Greek and had named him after the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, and Timotheus’ father was posted in Gaul, of all places, so Brando had taken him in so the boy could learn a trade while his parents were away, as his mother was a camp follower.
“Is the kiln fired up?” Brando asked.
“Yes, Master.” Timotheus pointed to the kiln. “All ready for the casting.”
Brando stuffed the apple core in his pocket and began to work.
Brando was immersed in his work. The casting of this piece of jewelry was very important to him. He wanted it to be perfect. It was not for some noble, like the Medici. It was someone far more important.
Finally, Timotheus said, ‘Tis done, sir.”
“Yes. Let it cool.” Brando wiped his face with a rag. “I am going upstairs.”
Brando walked up the creaky wooden stairs and emerged into his sunlit upper suite. Light was essential for his painting. A half-finished canvas was set to one side, covered by a clean cloth.
He strode over to the easel and yanked off the cloth, eyeing the canvas. His critical eye was dissatisfied, but since that was usually the case, he did not worry about it. He replaced the cloth and inspected his small pots of paint. His model would be here soon.
Brando’s pulse quickened and his hand trembled slightly as he picked up a paintbrush. He turned slowly, noting the couch he often used with his subjects and the bed against the wall with a gauzy veil hanging from the canopy for privacy when drawn. The walls could use a fresh coat of paint, but otherwise the genteel shabbiness suited an artist’s rooms.
A great artist.
Once upon a time, he had hidden his light under a bushel. No more. He was Brando Venucci, gifted by God to create beauty.
And to appreciate it.
His model, Riccardo Graciano, was highly prized. His presence glowed in paintings, and Brando was determined to immortalize him in sculpture.
He would have made the Classical Greeks weep.
His ray of sunshine was alluring. Brando checked his wine supply. Enough, but he was low on fruit. He bellowed, “Timotheus!”
The youth appeared at the foot of the stairs. “Yes, Master Venucci?”
“I need fresh fruit. Go to the market quickly.” Brando threw a bag of coins down and it clinked noisily as Timotheus caught it. He dashed off.
Brando changed into his paint-spattered workclothes and gave his hair and beard a quick combing. He grasped the small pendant he wore on a gold chain around his neck. The pendant resembled a book, studded with tiny sapphires as it spelled out the title The Lovers. A single yellow stone sparkled in the center. The work was very fine and detailed, right down to the leaves showing at the top of the closed volume.
One of my finest creations.
His mind wandered until Timotheus clambered up the stairs. “Here you go.”
“Put it all in the bowl.”
Timotheus carefully arranged the fruit in a golden bowl, a gift from the Medicis.
“Take a few pieces for yourself and Jason.”
Timotheus hurried downstairs carrying the lush fruit. His voice drifted upward, “Hello, Riccardo!”
“Good morning, Tim.”
Timotheus always loved seeing Riccardo. Brando smiled as he heard the delight in the youth’s voice.
Riccardo walked up the stairs with so light a tread that the worn wood did not creak. He emerged from the stairwell and smiled. “Good morning, Brando.” His smile was brilliant as he moved gracefully toward the artist.
Riccardo Graciano wore brightly-colored scarves and a tunic of good quality. As an in-demand model, he earned good coin. He wore strands of gold, some with teardrop jewels, and a gold ring. He wore soft leather boots and yellow and green feathers held in place in his hair by a jeweled clip. He was flamboyant as bracelets jangled when he smoothed back his glossy dark hair.
“Good morning, my Sunshine.”
Riccardo moved closer to his patron. He smelled faintly of citrus. “Shall we enjoy a little vino before we start?”
Brando grinned. “Surely, why not?”
They clinked glasses and drank lustily. When Riccardo had drained his glass, he set it down on the table and removed his scarves except for the green one, putting on the yellow silk cape he wore for the painting-in-progress. His crimson tunic completed the riotous colors. He smiled his half-smirk and walked casually to the spot in the room where the morning light was best.
Brando took the cloth off the easel, studied the painting, and began to paint.
There was silence for several minutes as the muffled sounds of voices drifted up the stairwell from the first floor, and an occasional vendor’s cry penetrated through the closed windows of the studio. Brando felt energized as he absorbed the beauty of Riccardo’s face, the lush lips not too full but sensuous, his sapphire-blue eyes sparkling. Glossy raven locks spilled over into his eyes and brushed his collar.
He was slim yet a bit broad in the shoulders, and his thighs were powerful. Brando smirked as he thought of how he had discovered that little fact.
At any rate, Riccardo was a model much in demand. Brando was fortunate to get him as often as he did to pose.
He continued painting, pleased at the morning light. It was just perfect! He could feel his creativity flowing.
The silence between them was never uncomfortable. Despite Riccardo’s fondness for chatter, he also knew when to keep silent, a trait that Brando wished more models possessed.
But then, sometimes talk was good. As he stroked his brush across the canvas, Brando said loftily, “I am planning another project for you.”
“Oh?” The younger man sounded interested. His pose was natural, his head slightly tilted to best catch the light across the planes of his face. “Pray tell.”
Brando’s brush hovered around Riccardo’s lips on the canvas. Yes, just…so! He brandished his paintbrush toward the ceiling. “Magnifico! I have captured it!”
“Your enigmatic smile, my Nightingale. Ha, and they say Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is a masterpiece.”
Riccardo nearly burst out laughing. “No false modesty for you, Venucci.”
“Si! Why should I? Bah, they say Cellini and Da Vinci are the standards. Well, I, Brando Venucci, say that I am just as good!” Brando threw his brush down. “There! Finito!”
Riccardo came around to view the work. He studied it, Brando holding his breath. Despite his bravado, he dearly wanted his beautiful model to recognize his greatness. Riccardo fingered his necklaces. Finally he pronounced his verdict.
“Magnifico!” He gestured expansively.
Brando beamed. He grabbed Riccardo’s shoulders and kissed him lustily. Riccardo responded enthusiastically and they stumbled toward the bed. Paint-spattered hands divested Riccardo of his clothes, boldly roaming over the exquisite body. He cupped the perfect ass, squeezing hard, and Riccardo moaned breathily in his ear. Brando spanked him and threw his lover down on the bed, Riccardo looking up with a sultry gaze as his mouth curved salaciously.
Brando tossed off his own sash and tunic and kicked off his sandals. He pulled off his breeches, already half-erect, his seed beginning to leak from the tip of his cock. He climbed onto the bed and straddled Riccardo, tweaking his companion’s nipples. Riccardo moaned and he arched up, his own erection rubbing against Brando’s. The friction made the artist’s nerves tingle all the way up to his scalp.
Brando’s rough hands rubbed Riccardo’s stomach and reached for his legs, bending them back and exposing his smooth buttocks. Brando took a jar from the window ledge and smeared generous dollops onto overheated skin, preparing them both. With a wide grin, Brando rammed his cock into Riccardo’s body.
Riccardo’s head jerked back as he groaned, grabbing onto two leather straps nailed to the wall by Brando for just this purpose. Brando pounded hard, desperate for release as Riccardo growled, “Harder!”
Brando grinned again as he thrust hard, Riccardo’s expression pure bliss. His chest heaved as Brando rode him, mixing endearments with ribald talk. Sweat slicked his skin as he closed his eyes to enjoy the exquisite sensations. He cried out at one particularly sharp thrust.
Brando grunted and his body shook with the strain of orgasm. His cock spurted over Riccardo’s belly and Riccardo came seconds later.
The afternoon sunlight slanted across the studio. Two bodies were entangled on the bed as they slept peacefully. A sheet was draped over their bodies, Riccardo’s leg sticking out as Brando’s arm draped over his lover’s chest.
Brando stirred awake. He lay behind Riccardo and kissed the younger man’s shoulder. Riccardo moved, a smile on his face.
“You are sweeter than wine,” Brando whispered, nuzzling Riccardo’s neck.
Riccardo’s smile turned lazy. “You are like an orange: tart but sweet.”
Riccardo laughed. “You are right, I should not encourage you. Your head already has difficulty fitting through the door.”
“Ah, sharp-tongued jester you are.” Brando smirked as he licked Riccardo’s ear.
“You want me again?”
“Always.” Brando lightly bit Riccardo’s shoulder. “But I wish to speak to you about my new project.”
“It will be a grand one, I suppose.”
“Of course! It will surpass Cellini’s Medusa!”
“Really?” Riccardo was amused.
“It will rival Michelangelo’s David!” Brando gestured excitedly. “It will surpass it!”
Riccardo looked over at his companion. “You never think small, do you?”
Brando beamed. “Why bother? Big or nothing!”
Riccardo laughed as he rolled over on top of Brando.
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