I couldn't believe my eyes. How in the heavens was he
able to find the grotto?
"Let go of me, you big oaf!"
Struggling and putting up a good fight against Lieutenant Massoli was
my young protégé, Markus Wolfsburg.
"Markus? What are you doing here?"
Markus gave me a very angry look and tried to peek over my shoulder.
"What am I doing here? I can
ask you the same damm thing. What are you doing here and who the
hell is that?"
I didn't need to look back, I knew that Markus was looking at
Val. I'm sure that poor Valerio was also trying to figure out
what all the fuss was about.
The wind was picking up and blowing fiercely in our direction.
>From where I stood, I had a perfect and unobstructed view of the ocean.
could see the storm just over the horizon, it was moving slowly but
gaining strength. Lighting was visible and thunder could be
heard, I knew
that we all had to leave the grotto as soon as possible.
The grotto was certainly a calming and beautiful place, but you didn't
want to be caught inside when the tide came in. Otherwise you'd
be stuck until morning when the tide receded back.
It had happened to me once a long time ago when I was in my
teens. I spent a cold and miserable night sleeping among the
kelp, sea weed and noisy sea otters that loved to dwell in the grotto
"Listen Markus, I promise that I will explain everything to
you. But right now this is neither the place nor the time to have
this talk." I gave the signal for Massoli to drop Markus and take
a step back.
Markus' face had changed to a fiery red colour. He looked
exasperated and ready to blow a fuse. I guess all the secrecy was
making me look devious and deceitful.
"Not a good place to talk? First you avoid me and now you're
running around being all mysterious? I don't care where we are, we are going to talk!
I sighed and took a step towards Markus. I tried to grab a hold
of his hand, but he was so angry that he pulled back.
"We will Markus, I will explain everything
to you. But you have to calm down, you have to watch your
language and especially your actions in this place."
Markus looked around and read the inscription at the entrance of the
"Just what the hell is this place?"
Massoli took a step forward and grabbed Markus by the shoulders.
"Do you want me to take him somewhere?"
Markus was caught unaware and tried to free himself from Massoli's
grasp, but it was to no avail.
"No, that won't be necessary Lieutenant. But I do want you to
escort Val to the Villa Bonera and you're not to leave his sight.
Also have Dr. De Luca meet you there and he'll take care of the rest."
Massoli gently moved Markus aside and called out for Val.
"Mr. Mazza, it's time for us to go. If you would be so kind as to
I turned around to see Val walk out of the grotto with a disillusioned
look on his face. He stopped briefly and while looking at me, he
took hold of my right hand and tenderly kissed it.
"Remember the bond..."
Val walked quietly past Markus while giving him a quick look from head
to toe. Although their eyes met merely for a split second, the
look that they exchanged was of pure and absolute rivalry.
Markus and I watched silently as they walked around the bend and out of
sight. Markus' face still showed anger and hurt, I knew that I
had behaved badly and should have discussed things with him instead of
doing things behind his back.
Without saying a word, I walked up to him and gave him an ardent and
passionate kiss on the lips. While Markus struggled in anger, I
lifted and carried him into the grotto.
"What the hell are you doing?
Put me down Antonio..."
Markus was a true fighter. He fought me with both anger,
bitterness and passion.
I set him down by the steps of Venus and tried my best to suppress my
happiness that I was feeling. After all, without Markus knowing,
I had sealed our fates forever
as a couple.
The second that I had kissed Markus on the lips and carried him inside
the grotto our fates had been sealed. We were now bound together
for life and our unity had been witnessed under the watchful eye of the
goddess of love and beauty, Venus.
"What the hell are you smiling
at? I'm still angry at you."
Outside, the storm was getting closer and closer. The roar
and rumble of thunder was deafening and fierce.
"I'm sorry if I seem happy to you, but I have a good reason to be."
Markus gave me a look of mistrust and suspicion.
"So are you going to let me in on
all your secrecy? Or are you intending on keeping me in the dark?"
Markus was beyond being angry. Every word he said was said
harshly and in a resentful way.
"I have no desire to keep anything from you, Markus. I meant it
when I said, that I was going to tell you everything."
That seemed to calm Markus for a second. His nostrils were still
flaring, but the colour on his face was turning back to normal.
"That young man that you saw a few moment ago, that was Valerio Mazza."
By the look on Markus' face, the gears in his brain were slowly
turning. He looked at me seriously and kept his eyes on me the
"I recognized the face, he seems very familiar. I've met him
before, haven't I?"
I nodded my head and smiled.
"I thought he looked familiar, but I couldn't be sure. Where did
I meet him, was it at the Tapu
I cleared my throat and again nodded.
"Yes, you met Valerio at the Tapu. That was also the same night
when we had our first lover's quarrel on the beach, remember?"
Markus gave me a faint smile.
"Well, I have been looking for Valerio for quite a while. At this
very moment, he's on his way to the Villa Bonera Hotel, where he'll be
Markus raised his eyebrows and looked confused.
"The Villa Bonera Hotel? Do you mean, the most
luxurious, extravagant and
expensive hotel in Italy? And what the hell do you mean by
I nodded silently and carefully chose my words.
"Well, I intend on making Val feel very confortable for the
moment. What lays ahead for him will be very difficult, and this
will also be hard for me to do, but, I don't have much of a choice. Val
dosen't know it yet, but I've arranged for him to be declared
incapacitated. He'll be sent
to a Detox Hospital and Treatment Center in Milan."
Markus' beautiful, deep blue eyes almost popped out of his skull.
"You're serious? You have got to be kidding me, Antonio.
Can you do that? but you're not even immediate
I looked up at the statue of Venus and sighed.
"Val's family turned their backs on him when he was fifteen. He's
been living on the streets since and he dosen't have any other
relatives, so the doctors will do as I tell them."
Markus' voice changed to a more irate tone.
"Antonio, you have to at least explain to him what you're planning on
doing and why. You can't just send him to that treatment center
without prior knowledge, it's unjust, it's..."
I turned to face Markus and by his facial expression, I felt that he
was getting defensive.
"I know that it sounds unfair Markus, but I did offer Val my assistance
once, and he agreed to get help. He gave me his
word that he would go to a
Detox center and get treatment, but instead he ran away."
I closed my eyes and tried to clear my head. From the heavy
thunder going on outside, I knew that the storm was almost on top of
us. If we didn't act fast enough and get out of here as soon as
possible, we will be spending a cold and wet evening in the grotto.
I was startled by Markus' warm hand caressing my chest. His sweet
kisses on my neck brought me back to reality.
"Antonio, I know that you mean well, but Val has to accept and realize
that he has a problem. It's gotta be up to him
acknowledge his addictions and seek help. I mean, it's great that
you want to
offer him help, but unless he makes the first step, it's out of your
Substance abusers are themselves unaware of the extent to which they
have lost control, and this is the disease of addiction. Your
intervention is all in good faith, but..."
I cut Markus off and took his hand away from my chest.
"Look, this place in Milan is the best one in the country. They
have years of experience on all types of addictions and I know that
they can help Val. Detoxification is just the first treatment,
the next step will be rehabilitation and with time, he'll make progress
and recover from his drug, alcohol and gambling abuse."
Markus now looked angry, his face was changing colours again.
For a brief moment, I understood of what he must be thinking and
"Tony, I understand that detoxification is one step, but it's not the
first step. And you're right of course that as long as there is
alcohol or drugs in his body, it will cause him to crave for more of
these substances. But Valerio has to be mentally and physically
stable. He has to be fully aware and in compliance or he won't be
fully prepared to participate in any treatment program."
I walked away and waved my hands in the air.
"Which is why it's best if he dosen't know, Markus. Once he's
at the treatment center, the doctors and psychiatrists can start his
treatment. Valerio will just have to go along with it, whether he
fucking likes it or not!"
Markus walked towards me and turned me around to face him.
"Antonio, you're not listening to me. The goal of drug detox is
to rid the body of toxins accumulated by drug use. The first step
of drug detox is drug withdrawal, which means that Val will have to
discontinue the use of addictive substances. After that, he'll go
through physiological and mental readjustment, and once Val has
discontinued using drugs and
alcohol, then physical and behavioral symptons will follow
. But the most
important thing is that
has to be aware
of all of
If you force him
resent you, perhaps even hate you
. Val will feel
betrayed and might not respond to the treatment, do you really want
I closed my eyes and listened to the loud thunder outside.
"I'm not ignoring you, I hear what you're saying, Markus. I
realize that what you're saying might be true, but I gave Val a chance
before and he blew it, I can't afford to lose him again. Even if
he ends up resenting me, I'll deal with it. It's better that he
resents me for the rest of his life, than one day I find out that he
died of a drug overdose, or
that someone killed him for owing money."
I heard every word that Antonio said. But the words that I heard
being repeated over and over were, "I can't afford to lose him again
My throat felt dry and my heart felt like it was breaking in
pieces. Did Antonio love Valerio? What was the hold that Valerio
I turned around to see Markus walking back to the
bench and he sat there quietly and looking sullen. He was sitting
arms crossed and he looked angry and hurt. To say that he looked
was an overstatement. Markus stared at the ground but eventually he
his stunning blue eyes.
"Do you love him?"
I stared back at him, his choice in words caught me off guard.
"You heard what I said, Antonio. Do you love Valerio?"
I was speechless when I was asked again. His voice quivered and
sounded very hurt. I had to be very careful in the way that I answered.
"No, Markus. I do not love Valerio."
The look on his face was still showing a wide range of emotions.
"Then why are you getting so involved in his private life? What
do his problems have to do with you?"
I lowered my head and sighed.
"There's a bit in him that reminds me of myself at his age. I
wasn't involved in any of those things, the drugs and all that other
I mean. I was lucky, I met a man by the name of Rocco Foglio, who
took me under his wing and steered me away from trouble."
"When I lost my parents and I was on my own, I got involved with a very
dangerous crowd. I came very close to landing in jail, and if it
weren't for Rocco and boxing I don't know where I would be today.
I had someone that cared for me Markus, a man that helped me cope with
my anger and resentment towards the world. I want to do the same
for Valerio, because I feel that he's heading for disaster, and before
it's too late I want to intervene."
Markus was still looking at me with pain and cynicism. I walked
up to him, gently lifted him from the bench and stared at those
magnificent and sensitive ice blue eyes.
"It is you whom I love, Markus, and no one else."
There, I had finally said it and couldn't take it back. At the
exact moment, a piercing and powerful bolt of lighting hit very close
to the entrance of the grotto. The bolt of thunder would have
made anyone else jump, but at that moment, Markus and I had blocked out
the entire world.
Gently, I raised his handsome face and moved his lips into a prone
position for a kiss. As our lips met, Markus sighed in pure
contentment. He raised his face and it seemed the most natural
thing in the world to tell him that I loved him.
Markus had tears in his eyes which made me smile. I realized at
that moment that he was a very sensitive young man. I felt his
muscles tense and as I raised his gaze, I saw the surprise of pleasure
that played like fireworks in his sparkling ice blue eyes.
"You mean that, Antonio?"
Markus' look was serious and somber.
"I do," I smiled back sincerely.
Markus' eyes shone brightly with the lighting that flickered in the
"I hoped to hear those words from you, Tony. I fell in love with
you since day one..."
Markus' lips once again met mine. This time the kiss was a good
deal more passionate and possessive. Markus' kisses deepened and
was with much more reluctance that he let me go some minutes later, as
he ran an unsteady hand through my hair.
I looked down at him and his eyes were soft and gentle, yet full of
joy and affection.
"You know the funny thing?"
Markus fought tears of joy and softly caressesed my face.
I smiled and gave him a soft kiss on the lips.
"I kept telling myself that if you ever found your way into this
grotto, then you and I were meant to be together."
My arms slid down from his shoulders to lock around his waist.
"One thing you should definitely learn about me, Markus, is that I
always keep my promises... always."
I cupped the back of Markus's head with my hand and slowly lowered my
lips to his. The kiss was heavenly and I felt Markus move his
hands to grasp my shoulders. Our fiery kiss deepened and Markus
tightly, reeling from the sensation.
His kiss was warm and sweet, and he couldn't stop himself from issuing
a smalll moan as our tongues explored each other's mouth. Markus
had his eyes closed all the time, whereas I kept mine open and smiled
at his innocence.
"I would want nothing less from you, Tony... than your whole heart."
I couldn't stop smiling and kissing his forehead. The painful
erection in my shorts was giving me away as to how delighted and
turned on I was. Just the smallest touch from Markus and my cock
at full mast and yearning for his touch and attention.
"I've loved you ever since you challenged me at the sports center,
Wolfsburg. The moment I saw you walking up to me and looking for
a fight, I knew that I had to have you for my own."
Markus blushed a deep crimson red and smiled.
"I was so full of myself, I behaved like an idiot, I'm sorry
Tony. I am particularly sorry in the manner in which I approached
you and your friends..."
I tenderly kissed Markus on his neck and he groaned softly.
"Don't be, my love. Besides, if you hadn't approached me at the sports
center, then perhaps we wouldn't be together at this moment."
Markus laughed softly.
"That is true."
We stared at each other for the longest time.
"Can I ask you something, Tony?"
>From the look on his face and tone of his voice, it sounded serious.
"Go ahead, lover."
"Are we a couple? I mean, are we to be partners?"
I felt ecstatic and thrilled, my heart was beating faster and faster.
As I heard Markus utter those words... partners, I felt immense
happiness flow within my veins and into my heart.
I looked deep into Marku's eyes and with the biggest smile, said,
We were both smiling at each other now. I was looking hotly at
Markus and I desired him in every way possible at this moment.
"But seeing as you've been branded by me and every part of you belongs
to me, you will still obey my commands
Markus gave me a mischievous smile.
I was still holding him by his waist, but now Markus struggled to get
away. I held him in place, while he kept trying to push me away.
"Well, if you put it that way,
Master. You're every wish shall be done and with the greatest of
Markus wriggled to get away and once I had let him go, he mocked me
by giving me a proper courtesy. His malicious and teasing ice
eyes,had a much heavier emotion in their half lidded sultry look.
I found myself drawn into his eyes like a moth to a flame. Those
eyes were so inviting, magnetic and especially seductive. I
grabbed him by both of his wrists and pulled him forcibly towards me.
Markus came willingly and found himself cradled against my chest.
"You're so completely unlike anyone I've met before, Tony."
As I lay my head on Antonio's chest and listened to the beat of his
heart, I felt safe in his embrace. I felt safe in his strong and
muscular arms that were now unfolding and gently caressing my back and
"Tony, ..." I muttered tentatively, but the words seemed to escape me.
I felt Tony's lips against my forehead and his warm breath making my
"Tony, I want..." again I choked on the words. My arms and hands
held him very tightly as though I was drowning and he was my
saviour. I felt him place several tiny kisses on my forehead, and
"You want what, my love?"
I couldn't help but to smile, he had said it again. I reeled
internally, feeling the emotional power in his every gently and subtle
touch and word.
I raised my face a little to his, and felt one of his strong hands come
up and cradle the nape of my neck. The other grasped me by my
waist and he pulled me more tightly against him.
"You want what...?"
Antonio asked again, and as he continued to gently kiss my forehead,
ears and cheeks, he whispered softly against my skin.
"You want me to kiss you some more? Like this? Or this? Or
Antonio chuckled in a soft way. His lips nuzzled against my ear
and he spoke again.
"If I may, Mr. Wolfsburg, may I tell you what I
As I looked into his sweet hazel eyes, I softly answered,
My whole body now tingled with the intimacy of every contact between
us. I longed to tell him how much I wanted him right now, but
speech was nearly impossible.
Antonio's entrancing and soft voice caressed my senses.
"I want to make love to you. I want to know every part of you,
inside and out. I want you to know that I will always cherish,
care for and love you."
I didn't want to cry in front of him, but tears of joy and absolute
happiness were inevitable.
"Do you want me to do these things to you, Markus?"
His tender lips were still brushing my cheek and ear as he spoke these
words. My senses were reeling and I could barely stand.
Tears stung my eyes and my cheeks burned with the heat of desire.
"Tony, I..." again, I faltered over the words, but when his beautiful
hazel eyes caught mine, I saw myself reflected there in his
"I want you, Tony."
"Make love to me, Tony. Right
here and right now..."
Antonio's mouth bent towards mine and we kisses fiercely.
It was an unbelievable feeling, I was beyond ecstatic and overjoyed.
We knelt on the ground and as Antonio kissed my back, my eyes were
carefully surveying this grotto. In the tumultuous argument, I
had completely even forgotten as to where I was.
In front of us and raised on a very high platform, stood a
super-colossal statue of the goddess Venus. This was by far the
most spectacular statue that I had ever seen, and I've been to many
I've been to the Musée du Louvre, The Vatican, The Uffizi, The
Accademia in Florence, The Bargello, etc. But no other statue
like this Venus was as grandiose and stunning, to say the least.
She was perfect and immaculate, the amazing attention to detail was
The statue bears a small resemblence to Botticelli's version, "The
Birth of Venus". But I also remember seeing in an Art History
class an ancient painting by Apelles, which was called "Venus
Anadyomene". Anadyomene, meaning "Rising from the Sea".
Antonio on the other hand, was busy and desperately trying to take off
my shirt. I was too enthralled and captivated by the beauty of
this place. I could also smell incence burning, the sweet smells
of Jasmine blossom, Lavender buds, Sandalwood and a variety of scented
flowers, leaves and perhaps essential oils as well.
Where were we? What exactly is this place? Is this a
shrine, a temple of some sort? I couldn't even form words, when I
saw the altar.
Cardinal gems as they are called, adorned the altar. These
gems were largely used by a history of ecclesiastical, devotional or
use, and of course rarity. Only six types of gemstones were
precious; the amethyst, diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire and pearl.
"Tony, what is this place?"
Antonio was now kissing my neck and using my right hand to caress his
enormous and massive cock. He was now so horny that he wasn't
even listening to me.
"Seriously, Tony... stop it! What is this place?"
Antonio sighed and looked up at the statue.
"This, Markus, is the Temple of Venus and in honour for the goddess
Antonio took my right hand and gently kissed it.
"Love... the most powerful force in the universe. You were
created by it, all of creation was created by it. Not one thing
can exist without it, nothing can thrive without it. Love can
give hope where there is none, it can turn enemies into friends, and it
can turn darkness into light."
As Antonio spoke and darkness encircled us, the light that was being
given off by the oil lamps gave the grotto a magical feeling.
"Love is the light, love removes all judgement. It accepts and
does not condemn, it has compassion and understanding. With love
is no anger, no fear, and no suffering, there is only peace. Most
importantly positive peace that equals a just peace."
I must have looked confused to Antonio, because he smiled and winked at
"Listen Markus, I want you to know that you're the love of my
life. I don't have a lot to give you, the love that I hold in my
heart is all that I can really give you. Love... undying love is
all I have and just a handful of words that most likely will make you
Tears were forming in my eyes as Tony spoke. I was about to say
something, when he put his index finger on my lips and again he spoke.
"I give myself to you and only you, Markus. I'll always be here
for you, whenever you need a friend, and especially in troubled
times. I've been waiting for someone like you for a very long
time, and now I spend my days and nights thinking of you, and of us."
As Antonio said those last words, I cried a river. As corny and
girlish as it sounds, one cannot control what the heart tells the mind
"This is the temple of love, dedicated to all lovers Markus. The
moment I carried you in my arms and kissed you, we were forever sealed
as a couple. This is a holy and sacred place, and I do believe
that Venus herself truly protects those that truly desire everlasting
love from their partner, and you are my
I was about to say something to Antonio, when all of a sudden a giant
wave swept into the grotto and slammed us both against the wall.
Everything happened so quickly that I lost sight of Tony.
I felt something become entangled around my ankle, I tried to pull
away, but I couldn't. I was being dragged out of the grotto and
into the ocean by giant kelp. As I struggled furiously to free
myself, I could hear Antonio's frantic voice.
I can't recall from which direction his voice was coming from,
and as I gulped for air, I could only hear him faintly.
"Swim Markus, swim!"
I swam the best I could against the current, but it was way too strong
and powerful. I couldn't breathe, and I couldn't grab a hold of
anything. The more I struggled, the worse it seemed and everything
around me was getting dark...
To be continued...