The following morning at 9 o'clock sharp they arrived at Aphrodite Films. Carla introduced them at once to doctor Papa, in his office. He checked their medical tests, then handed them the copies of the contracts they had to sign, explaining them point by point and answering their questions. After they finished checking the contracts, they signed them. Osvaldo very nearly signed with his real name, and smiled to himself.
"Good," Rolando Papa said, "so you are officially on board. This afternoon I'll introduce you to the other actors. We will look at a script together and I'll assign your roles to you, and tomorrow I'll show you where we will film the movie. First of all we will you do a screen test, then we will plan the schedule for the takes for each of you. I imagine you will not use your real names, therefore I've already thought about your pseudonyms. You, Giulio, will be Michele de Regis, and you, Leo, will be Dino Stefani. Are they alright?"
"Yes, sure." Giulio said and Osvaldo nodded.
"Now, if you like and if you've some free time, I'll take you to the video room, where you can look at some of the videos we've produced, to start getting an idea about your job."
"Yes, thank you." Osvaldo said.
The man took them to a small room. There were two rows of chairs and a wide screen TV. Rolando switched it on, then put some videos on a chair.
"Here are some of our movies. You can put them on yourselves; you have just to slip one in that slot and it will start automatically. These are the rewinding button, the fast forward, the stop and the eject buttons... Have a good time, boys. When you want to stop, just switch it all off and tell Carla. See you this afternoon at four, alright?"
After the man went out, they looked at the tape boxes and at the pictures on the front and on the back of them. Both were looking for Letizia's photograph, but she wasn't on any of them.
"Which one shall we see first? There is 'Housewives in rut', 'The Health Service Doctor', 'Home Delivery', 'Women in Careers', and 'Monica's Hitchhikes'." Giulio read.
"Bah, any of them..."
"Let's try 'Women in Careers'..." Giulio said and pushed the tape into the video player.
Images started to flow on the screen. There was a woman in an office, a manager, giving a buzz to her secretary, warning her that that day some men would turn up for an interview to be hired by their publishing house. The first of the applicants came, a young man of twenty-five, with a leather jacket, who while he was dictating his data to the secretary was caressing his basket; the secretary asked him if he had a letter of introduction, 'Yes!' he said and pulled out his tool and fucked her on her desk.
He then entered the manager's office and after an operetta style conversation, she said he had to undergo an aptitude test... that is they started to fuck, performing various acrobatics on the little sofa. Meanwhile the secretary received another young man, the 'shy student' kind, who oddly, didn't fuck with her. As the first applicant was leaving, the student entered the manager's office and she just said to him that, if he wanted to get a job, he had to make her happy. The boy played the shy little virgin and she seduced him. In a moment the boy was stark naked and she was keeping him happy in all possible ways. And so on...
Osvaldo was looking mainly at the men. Some were decidedly handsome, but others, at least according to Osvaldo's tastes, were nasty and vulgar. The fucks, after a while, were more or less all the same...
They had seen half of the movie when Giulio asked, "Do you want to watch it all or can we stop and try another one?"
"As you like..."
"Let's try 'Home Delivery'." Giulio said and, after he rewound the first movie, put on the second one.
"Do you find them arousing?" Osvaldo asked, curiously.
"Really very little. They are crude, boring and vulgar... Making love is... quite different."
"Well, this is just fucking, not making love."
"Yes, but it seems like an assembly line... zum-zum-zum, next one, please!"
Osvaldo giggled. On the screen the supermarket errand boy was fucking a housewife on her kitchen table, then the baker's errand boy also arrived, who at once joined them and fucked the woman at the other end...
"Try pushing the fast forward button, so we can see it in a shorter time." Osvaldo proposed.
"Alright... here it is... Now at least it seems like the old comic silent movies." Giulio said, smiling for the first time.
"Yes, porno comics! It could be an idea." Osvaldo commented.
Meanwhile, on the screen, there were two sisters in an apartment when the postman arrived and all three ended on the living room carpet and fucked.
"Wow, this one is super-endowed!" Osvaldo observed.
"Yes, and the girls are broken up!" Giulio said, somewhat tense.
They then looked at a bit of 'Monica hitchhikes'. Fucks in a car, in a motel, behind a bush, then with a couple, husband and wife, with a lesbian performance... and so on all through Monica's journey.
They checked all the movies at fast forward speed, just to see if by chance Letizia was on one of them, but she didn't appear in any. Finally they switched off the equipment and left the room. They told Carla they had seen enough, said goodbye and went out.
"Carla possibly hoped we knocked her over her desk and fucked her, both of us!" Giulio sneered when they were on the street.
"Or possibly she is totally asexual..." Osvaldo came back with a giggle.
"Anyway... In the afternoon we will see what they will propose for us." Giulio said sinking the hands in his trouser pockets and kicking a disposable paper cup from the pavement.
"Are you worried, Giulio?"
"I don't know. All this is so dreary... If there was at least a story, some flirting on those movies... How can somebody like such movies? It seems to me almost impossible that somebody can get aroused looking at them..."
"And yet, the quantity sold, as well as plenty of porno magazines and porno shops... Just think how much making one of those movies has to cost... I think they have to sell not less than a thousand of each just to pay the expenses, if not even more."
"Yes, yes, I believe you. And yet I still can't understand it. Or possibly it just isn't my kind of thing. Possibly it's me who is different, who isn't... normal. Or possibly I'm far too romantic, who knows. Or I'm not modern enough. It doesn't scandalize me, or disgust... it just simply bores me. But above all, it doesn't arouse me, or just very little."
"I can understand you, yes. The movies I saw at one of my friend's home also all bored me... in fact I never bought one of them."
"Yes, really. Spending money on them, it's..." Giulio commented, without needing to say any more.
They went to have lunch and talked about other matters. Then they went for a walk, waiting until it was 4 pm, to go back to the Aphrodite Films.
"Let's hope that all this will be useful to find Letizia, at least." Giulio said at one point.
"Yes... But I'm worried about her reaction when she sees us." Osvaldo commented.
"Why are you worried? Do you think she will not understand that our is a... something dictated by love?"
"That's so, but I'm afraid she might not understand it. She can just think we are nosing in matters that aren't our business."
"How could her life, her choice, not be our business? You are her brother, I'm her boyfriend. We have the duty and the right to care and to worry about her, and for her. And mainly because she disappeared in that way, without a single word. And then... if we didn't look for her, what sense would loving her have?"
"I totally agree with you, but... will Letizia also agree?"
"After listening to us, and after we have listened to her, she can decide to confirm her choice, of course. And I will respect her decision. But she can't simply ignore us, can she? She can't be angry with us because we came to look for her."
"I hope not."
"You don't seem really convinced."
"No, Giulio. I'm possibly saying that just to ward off bad luck."
"Do you want to give up? There's still time..."
"No, Giulio, no, on the contrary. I want to get to the end of it."
"It's possibly because I'm so in love, but I feel that everything will go well, that this will be a happy-ending story."
"I too really hope so."
At four o'clock they went back to the Aphrodite Films. When Carla went to open the door, she greeted them with a light smile.
"You're the first to come. Perfectly on time, good. Have a seat there, in the meeting room. Soon the others will come too."
"Is doctor Papa in?" Osvaldo asked.
"No, but he will be here in a moment." the woman said, leaving them at the door and going back to her desk.
They closed the door and sat down.
"In a while we will meet our partners... do you think she will also come?" Osvaldo asked, feeling his heart beat strongly in his chest.
"We'll see." Giulio answered tensely.
Quite soon the door bell rang. They heard some voices then two women and a man entered the room.
"Hi! Are you two the new actors?" one of the two women asked.
"Rolando said us we would have two new recruits. They're handsome, aren't they, Olga?"
"Yes, fairly good-looking. What's your name?"
"How do you do. I'm Giulio."
"And I'm Leo."
"How kind are they, Marzia, really polite! She's Marzia, I'm Olga and he's Stefano. We are just waiting for Cesare, Vito, Renza and Rolando, then we can start. Is it true you're cousins?"
"I'm happy I can work with you, Giulio." Olga said.
"She means the thought of fucking with you suits her. I'll willingly do it with our Leo instead..." Marzia said.
Stefano laughed, "You'll have it off with them both, don't worry, whores!"
"Listen who's speaking, the pimp." Olga retorted and went to sit near Giulio.
They heard the door bell again and soon two more men entered.
"Oh, here's the iron couple! They are Vito and Cesare, Cesare is the blond one. And these are the two newcomers, he's Leo and this hunk is Giulio." Olga said, taking Giulio arm in arm.
"How do you do, Giulio." Cesare said offering him his hand.
"Careful, darling, Cesare is bisex and from his lusty little eye he evidently wants to screw you." Olga said.
"You're really handsome, Giulio." Cesare said, not at all upset, keeping his hand in his own.
Giulio gently moved away his hand from the man's hold and answered, "Thank you, but I don't think that..."
"Never say never!" Marzia said with a giggle.
Finally Rolando arrived with a woman called Renza. Rolando, after they all took place around the table, passed around some photocopies.
"Well, we all are here. This time the story will be titled 'Perverse Couples'. The plot is this - there is a woman, let's call her Angela for the moment, who is in bed with her husband Berto, who goes off to go to work, but first he fucks his wife. As soon as Berto goes out, in comes Carlo, Angela's lover, and they have a good screw. Meanwhile Angela gets a call from Dina, her sister, who is fucking with her lover Enzo, and the two women exchange their erotic confidences. Break. In a villa there is Floriana taking a shower. A thief enters the villa, Gino, he sees Floriana naked and first enters the shower and fucks her, then they go on her bed for an encore.
"The door bell rings and Floriana makes Gino hide, then goes to open the door. It's her friend Dina, The two women end up on the bed and have a good lesbian fuck. Then Gino emerges and fucks both of them. Henry, Floriana' husband, suspects she has a lover, so secretly he goes back home. He sees Floriana on the bed with Dina and Gino, becomes mad and decides to punish them. He undresses, takes his pistol, enters the bedroom and first forces Gino to take it in his ass, then fucks Dina, then they end all four in a group sex scene.
"Dina goes to see her sister Angela and tells her the adventure she just had. Berto, Angela's husband, comes back home and goes to the living room to read his newspaper. Then his sister-in-law Dina reaches him in the living room, makes him get a hard-on and keeps him busy, so that Angela can let her lover Carlo enter her bedroom and they fuck. Henry divorces from Floriana to stay with Gino, so Floriana calls Dina telling her she want to stay with her. But Dina is in bed with Enzo ad doesn't intend to go. End of the movie. It's all there on your photocopies. Do you have questions?"
"But in this movie there is not even a scene of a woman with three men!" Renza protested, deceived.
Everybody laughed and Rodolfo said her, "You already had three men in your last movie, Renza. Be satisfied with two males and a female, this time. More questions? No? Well, let's now decide the roles."
"The thief has to be Cesare, as he's bisex, and Vito will be Fiorenza's husband, as he likes fucking Cesare's ass so much. I bet you thought of them, when you created these two characters!" Stefano said, laughing.
Vito protested, "Why Stefano, wouldn't you too be game, fucking Cesare's ass?"
"If it was required by the script, I would let Cesare or another man give me a blow job..." Stefano answered, sniggering.
So they decided that Renza would play the part of Vito's wife. Stefano and Marzia the other husband and wife. Olga would play the part of Marzia's sister, Giulio Olga's lover and Leo Marzia's lover.
After having settled that, each of them underlined his parts on their copy. They discussed some changes in the sentences they had to speak, and some scene details and they wrote down the changes on their copy. Anyway, the "plot" remained almost unchanged.
"Where will it be shot, in Tivoli's villa or in the one in Prima Porta?" Stefano asked.
"At Prima Porta they are just finishing a shoot. We will use both of them, I think, but we will start at Tivoli with the scenes involving Renza, Vito, Cesare and Olga. So that will give time for Giulio and Leo to familiarize themselves with the set and the takes." Rolando answered.
The meeting came to an end. Rolando Papa signalled Giulio and Leo to stay longer.
"So, then, you were both silent. Is everything alright?"
"Yes, sure." Giulio answered.
"If I can give you a piece of advice... go and fuck with your partners in this movie, before the takes, at their homes. They will be game for sure, and you can get to know them before doing it on the set... Then, when we shoot, it will be more natural for you, you understand? I don't think that this advice... well, does it annoy you."
"Of course it doesn't." Osvaldo answered, possibly even too hurriedly.
Giulio asked, "When will we have to start the takes?"
"The day after tomorrow. Study the script and call Olga and Marzia, so you can rehearse the scenes with them..."
"Can you take us to Prima Porta to see the takes and the set today?"
"Yes, of course, it was planned. Just be here this afternoon, in front of the street gate around 4:30. I'll have somebody take you there, possibly Stefano. More questions?"
"How will we have to dress, for the takes?"
"Bring some casual clothes you have with you, it will work. One can be what you are wearing now. Ah, but above all, nice, new underwear, don't forget that. Sexy items, of course."
"So, then, we will meet here the day after tomorrow at 10:30 a.m sharp. Alright boys?"
"Yes sure, alright." Giulio said.
The two friends went out carrying the folder with the script with them.
"What do you think, should we really call Olga and Marzia for... rehearsing?" Osvaldo asked.
"Let's start by seeing this afternoon if by chance we meet Letizia on the set of the movie they are shooting. If she isn't there, then we will call them and go to their places... and then we can ask them if there are other actresses, what their names are, and so on." Giulio answered.
"It's good that we two don't have to participate in an orgy, for the moment." Osvaldo abserved.
"Yes, sure. Possibly because we are greenhorns... they gave us just a fuck each. Do you like that Marzia?"
"They are all alike, to me. And you? Do you like Olga?"
"Same as you... If I have to fuck with her, I'll do it. The idea doesn't excite me very much, but... never mind."
"She's not bad, that Olga."
"No, you're right. But I'm just not attracted to her, not interested in her."
"But if you weren't in love with Letizia?"
"I don't think I'd try to hook her, if I met her. She's physically pretty, but besides that, I can't find in her anything else that could interest me."
"Physical attraction is important though, isn't it?"
"It can come later. To me, the most important thing is that I feel psychologically attracted by her personality. I care more for the character than for the physical aspect." Giulio answered. "The physical aspect can work quite easily. The body reacts... almost by itself. But if I don't like the personality, if there isn't a psychological attraction, even though my body can react, I'm not really interested. This is the case with Olga. I'll get a hard-on, I presume, and I will fuck with her, if I have to... But I'm really not interested in her."
Osvaldo nodded and asked himself if he could succeed in being aroused touching Marzia and being touched by her. He had never tried it with a woman. He asked himself if he would have liked having Cesare's role best... but Vito didn't attract him at all. If in Vito's place there could be Stefano, possibly... or even better Giulio... then he would really enjoy it.
But certainly not on the set with Giulio. On the set, possibly, with Stefano... but it was better as it was, hoping it would work with Marzia. Possibly the day after would be his first time with a woman... he wondered how it would be?
"Did you notice this script? What a fantasy it is! Do you think it's that Rolando Papa who writes them?" Giulio asked, with sarcasm.
"When you have to write dozens of this kind of script I suppose it must be difficult to think up new and original ideas again and again. And anyway, in these movies, the plot is totally unimportant. It's just the fucks that count."
"Yes, but also in such a case... a beautiful story is anyway a beautiful story. Even if in the movie the main things are the fucks, a minimum of psychological plot wouldn't be bad. A love scene, some romanticism..."
"Evidently people who buy them don't care at all either about psychology or about love, but just sex and fucks."
"People possibly buy just what is put on sale..."
"But for psychological scenes they would need real actors, not only handsome males and pretty women. And I think that a real actor would be a lot more expensive." Osvaldo said.
But he agreed with Giulio. Also in the few gay porno movies he had seen, he had always found the same deficiency, and mainly in the American ones. The plot was almost always the same - two look at each other, understand the other is game, undress, fuck. The courting, the flirting were completely absent, quite unknown.
Then he thought that it was weird that Cesare had been described as bisexual and not Vito who, from what he had understood, was fucking Cesare's ass off the set, in their private life... But evidently Vito was always the top, never the bottom, therefore he was considered... straight, by his colleagues. A funny conception. Vito and Cesare had been called the iron couple... perhaps they lived together.
It was also true that in those days Giulio and he were living together and also sleeping in the same bed, and naked too, and yet (unhappily) there was nothing between them, besides a strong friendship that seemed to strengthen day after day, but without ever passing the limits...
"What are you thinking about?"
"About our friendship, Giulio."
"Yes, ours is really a beautiful friendship. And it seems with every passing day to become more true and sincere."
"Exactly what I was thinking..."
"It happens quite often that you and I are thinking the same thing at the same moment, doesn't it?" Giulio said, pleased.
"Yes, you're right."
"I think that at this point it is not just our love towards Letizia that makes us so close. Without Letizia we would never have met, it's true... but at this point our friendship lives on by itself, don't you agree?"
"I totally agree." Osvaldo admitted.
"If I marry your sister, I would like you to be my best-man. What do you think?" Giulio asked him, with a smile.
Osvaldo loved Giulio's smile. "Sure, it will be a real pleasure." Osvaldo said and thought, with a pang in his heart, that it was sad he had to simulate in that way.
He recalled Marco. The only two men with whom he really fell in love, and both loved a woman. Was this possibly his destiny? Then he remembered Leo. If the boy lived in Milan like him, he could possibly fall in love with him too, and his love would possibly be returned...
"Excuse me, I have to go and telephone a friend..." Osvaldo said.
He stood up and went to the phone-box and called Leo and after a short time got him on line. He told him what had happened during the recent days, after he had left Florence. They chatted for a while. Leo was kind, but after a few minutes he apologized, telling him he had a guest...
"He's a French sailor on leave. Really handsome and sweet. He's waiting, he's here near me. Sorry, Osvaldo, but I have to leave, now. I have been really pleased you called me... call me again, agreed? I really would like..."
He was with another man. Well, it was logical. What could he expect? They weren't a couple... But, honestly, he felt somewhat deceived. He knew that Leo was sincere telling him to call again, and he would.
When he went back to the table, Giulio asked him, "Did something happen?"
"No, why?" Osvaldo answered, brightening up.
"You've a... sad expression."
"No, no... I just interrupted my friend while he was making love..." Osvaldo said with a smile.
Giulio smiled as well, "Well, next time, if he doesn't want to be interrupted while he's with his girlfriend, he will just have to unplug the phone. I always did that, when Letizia stopped at my place."
"Yes, good." Osvaldo said, with a smile.
"May I order two coffees?"
"No, let's go to have them to another place. Did you ask for the bill?"
"No, I'll ask it now. This time it's up to me..." Giulio said, taking out his wallet.
Osvaldo was still thinking of Leo and his French sailor on leave...