The Blue Cat
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Roland Graeme
Word Count :88653
Publication Date :2014-05-29
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-859-0
After his soldier lover goes off to war, an artist’s devotion to the study of the male physique leads him to Italy and its men.
A titled member of the English aristocracy is not supposed to embarrass his family by becoming a professional artist. Nor is he supposed to take a soldier as a lover after painting him in the nude. But the free-thinking viscount does all this, and more. When his lover goes off to war and urges him to feel free to be with other men, the viscount travels to sunny Italy in search of new subject matter to paint—and new erotic adventures. What he hadn’t anticipated was meeting and falling in love with an American who has chosen to live in Italy. Is it possible to love two men at once, but in different ways? Or must one always made a choice between two equally seductive alternatives?
Someone once said that all science may come from the north, but surely all beauty originates in the south.
That’s a generalization, and the man who made it confined his comparison to Europe. Nevertheless, this is the twentieth-first century, and it’s only fair to acknowledge that other parts of the world have made great contributions to both technology and culture.
Still, I grew up in cold, damp England, and although I love my native land, I must admit that the warmth and sun of the Mediterranean attracts me like a magnet. It isn’t a question only of the landscape and the climate. The men who inhabit the Mediterranean shores are in a class by themselves, as far as I’m concerned.
In jotting down these reminiscences and offering them for your perusal, Dear Reader, I had better confess right from the start that I come from an aristocratic family. Try not to hold that fact against me. Mine is an old family and a respectable one, but not of the highest rank. It is true that back in the eighteenth century one of my ancestors, a woman famous for her beauty, intelligence and charm, became the mistress of a member of the royal family and bore him no fewer than four illegitimate children—whom her indulgently uxorious husband accepted as his own. Since their biological father could not acknowledge them officially, this must have simplified matters considerably. Unfortunately, I’m not a direct descendant of one of those royal bastards. If I were, it would make for good dinner table conversation. No, my lineage can be traced to some of the more conventional and hidebound members of my family, who confined their reproductive efforts within the bonds of matrimony.
This might also be the appropriate moment in which to dispel another persistent rumour. I have never had an affair, or even a one-night stand, with any member of the current royal family. The closest I have ever got to that was a fling with a member of the royal household’s staff, a strapping young footman, to be precise. Nevertheless, I’m flattered that people assume I must take after my notorious ancestress and am a sort of male courtesan. Perhaps that should be my aspiration.
I’m not certain how that rumour got started. Maybe it resulted from the fact that in my younger days, after I discarded my virginity while still at university, I was rather wild. I never drank or took recreational drugs to excess, and gambling has never held any interest for me. I became a convert to sex, however, from the moment I first played around with another man’s body, and I have worshipped at the altar of Priapus ever since. Let’s face it—his rites are a lot more interesting than anything the Church of England has to offer.
My worst debaucheries took place while I was still a feckless youth, in my early twenties. Now that I’m a mature man, I have developed a little more restraint. Quality, not quantity, is the goal I strive for, in my relationships as well as in the other good things in life.
The truth is that I now lead a quiet and generally uneventful life. I stay out of trouble, which is more than I can say for some of my peers, who possess more money than discretion or brains. For some reason, I have always been frugal. I have an income that allows me to live comfortably, so long as I don’t indulge in too many extravagances. I do not need to work for a living, which sometimes embarrasses me, whenever I meet an attractive working-class man and become intimate with him. I don’t want money or class to be an issue and to come between my friends and me—or between my casual sexual acquaintances and me, for that matter.
It’s curious and may tell you something about me that most of my friends—and most of my sex partners, for that matter—have not been members of my own privileged class. I’d like to be able to say that this is a result of firmly rooted democratic principles on my part, but in fact, I don’t have any. I tend to be apolitical at the best of times. It’s simply that I find people who work for their living, whatever their profession, more interesting than the idle rich. My relatives like to accuse me of slumming, which is a terrible slur on working-class men. A man can have callouses on his fingertips and dirt under his fingernails and still be intelligent, well rounded in his interests and a lively companion.
On the other hand, all cats are grey in the dark, as the expression goes. If a bloke is good in bed, I could care less whether he’s a butcher’s boy during the daytime hours or the kind of prissy aristocrat twit with whom I am forced to socialize all too often at family gatherings and other such occasions. Let me just say that, all else being equal, I’d place my money on the butcher’s boy, sight unseen, as likely to be the better fuck of the two.