This Tom Jones-esque graphic sexual romp begins in the early 18th century in the town of Newbury, England. Handsome, androgynous Mark Antonious deMontford was a being raised by farmers, his Aunt Katie and Uncle David. Though Mark wondered the real identity of his parents, he never received the answers to his questions. The year he turned nineteen, his Uncle David took him for a visit into London to meet his distant cousins, the rich and eccentric Holloway family. Mark is astonished by their wealth and sexual appetites. When he learns he is the son of a Venetian patriarch and an English opera singer, Mark goes on a quest to Italy to find his real father. Bringing with him an Italian prostitute, Francesco Cavella, to act as interpreter, Mark falls madly in love with the dark Italian man and begins on a journey of a lifetime.
One man caught his attention. His jaw was so coarse with shadow it seemed it would scratch to touch it. The backs of his hands were covered in black hair, his eyes were as black as a deep well, and very sensuous. He too was olive-complected. Yet, he was broad, solid, and wide, not the tall lithe spirit Mark knew he was. No six feet height to give him the appearance of a wraith. This man uttered a word that Mark heard. “Catamito.”
Italian, like himself. Mark’s lip sneered at his own internal dialogue. Mark approached him to see him in more detail. “Do you speak English?”
The man smiled like he had asked a very odd question. “Of course. What do you want, my beautiful one?”
“What did you call me?”
The man’s dark hand reached out to brush the hair back from Mark’s face. “Tesoro mio. Vieni. Vieni tra le mie braccia, amor mio. My treasure. Come. Come into my arms, my love.”
Mark followed him up a flight of stone steps. The building appeared to be a century old and the large stone masonry gave off coolness he enjoyed. Mark had no idea why he was following this ‘foreigner’. For all he knew he would be robbed and beaten. He didn’t care. He wanted punishment.
A creaking sound accompanied the door closing. This dark man leaned against the old splintery wood and stared at Mark like he was simply an object.
“Do you know of a Venetian named Marc Antinous Caeserni?”
The man’s expression revealed to Mark he had heard the name, though he never said a word. He moved across the expanse of that small space and cupped Mark’s face in his callused workingman’s hands.
When their lips touched, Mark closed his eyes and tried not to tremble. As they parted Mark repeated his question.
“Why do you ask this?” The man started pushing Mark’s expensive coat off his shoulders.
“Why do you not answer?” The velvet fell to the dusty floor.
“I know of him. He is a member of the Council of Three.”
“What is that?” The man was now kneeling and opening the pewter buttons of Mark’s breeches.
“It is one of the highest powers in Venice. Look, my pretty. Did you come here for your lesson in politics? Or for some pleasure?”
“Pleasure?” Mark’s breeches were peeled back to his stockings.
The man stared up at Mark and smiled. “Si, yes, pleasure. You came to me and I will see to it you are pleased.”
Mark swayed back as a very strong arm held him firm and a mouth sucked him expertly.
When the climax rushed over Mark, the man stared up at his face to see it. Mark recuperated slowly and opened his eyes to get used to the dimness in the room.
The man gave a slow deliberate smile. “You forget everything you ask me. Good.”
“Good…oh, very good.” Mark gathered up his breeches and very gently with two of his knuckles, he caressed the roughness of this man’s face. Mark had never seen a shadow so coarse. Then he touched his own hairless one.
The man smiled sweetly. “You will not grow it like this.”
“No, I am not pure Italian.”
The man’s expression dropped and he seemed to study Mark more closely.
“Do I pay you? Or do I return the offer?” Mark asked innocently.
“You choose this yourself, bello mio, my beautiful man.”
Mark instantly dropped to his knees.