For the next three nights, we drove slowly and painstakingly towards south, high along the mountain range that runs like a backbone the whole length of
The first night we only got as far to the south as
We spent the day either sleeping or hanging around close to the camper, ready to duck in and drive away if anyone seemed to approach our little forest. In between long naps we cooked pasta and talked, but somewhat surprisingly Jan and Ivan weren´t hitting it off. They regarded each other warily, and the little conversation they had among themselves was stilted.
And, of course, we watched the news. Until none of the channels had nothing new to say, only meaningless updates on the chase of the heinous child kidnapper – namely me – but we knew our luck wasn´t goint to last. By the connection between the abandoned boat owned by Ivan´s friend, Roberto, and the rumor about the cruising area sighting were starting to leak, and this time it was the never squeamish Italia Uno channel which breathlessly reported the news first. It didn´t really matter if the story turned out to be false later during the day as Italia Uno had no credibility left to lose, their headline news most nights consisting of psychics working for the Italian police and Channel 5 showgirls´ latest boot fashions. Obviously, they didn´t much bother with a boring old stolen boat; the dish consisted of me hunting new victims in a forest notorious of nightly gay orgies, only minutes after having murdered Ivan and thrown his body to sharks. An hour later the more reputable news channels joined in on the fray, and Channel 5 was already inteviewing Roberto´s sweetly befuddled grandmother when the police from
“He was so friendly,” she kept protesting, apparently thinking it had been me, hiding behind the helmet, to have picked up the keys. “I can´t believe he just went and killed that boy.”
She was followed by a famous Christian Party MP, interviewed in front of a church. “This proves beyond doubt that in our country there is a powerful clandestine gay mafia that stops at nothing to protect their own. Every parent should be concerned what may happen to their children if these attempts to legalize homosexual marriage should be successful.”
Ivan scoffed at the TV set, and Jan regarded the ranting MP with his usual imperturbability.
“These people shall be punished for their crimes!” the MP had time to declare before the discussion in the studio turned back into the more titillating possibilities of the gay cruising area.
“I told you so,” I said to Jan. “You´re going to get into trouble over this.”
He glanced up to me, wide-eyed. “But Mr. Judge, I´m only seventeen. I was psychologically manipulated into submission.”
“Psychologically?” Angelo asked, his eyes lingering over my crotch. “I can tell he´s manipulating you right now.” He turned to Jan. “I think we should go for a walk.”
The second night the kids rode in the back, sprawled on the mattress on the floor and exchanging a few words sporadically, while I took the navigator´s seat and Angelo drove as usual. He kept ribbing my map-reading abilities while refusing to acknowledge that his countrymen had forgotten to put up half of the roadsigns, and his eyes looked very dark in the dashboard lights whenever he glanced at me. We both knew it was going to happen, sooner or later; we´d never been able to spend more than a couple of hours together without ending up in bed or the nearest secluded spot, which had once included a dressing room at the Emporio Armani store while trying on speedos, with a salesguy Angelo had once fucked closing an eye in exchange for having his workday lightened up by a quick show of Angelo´s speedo-wrapped hard-on, and a chance to adjust it to confirm that the size of the swimsuit really was way too small.
We reached the
Built of old, weathered and now partly moss-covered and slowly crumbling stone, the small town seemed to have grown out of earth on its own accord. The winding mountain road gradually turned into a street, and lost its way among the narrow, maze-like alleys. All the glass panes and shutters were long gone, and the empty black windows gave me an unsettling feeling of someone watching us as the van came to a halt in the small central piazza. Amazingly, proving the quality of past workmanship, a fountain still disgorged a narrow stream of water into a moss-filled basin. Looking around, we judged that the last inhabitants had moved away, either emigrating to North or the
As we prepared the breakfast, before going to sleep for the day, I noticed Jan throwing one of his sphinx-like yet inquisitive glances every now and then towards me and Angelo. Ivan, on the other hand, of more trusting nature, didn´t seem to notice the tension. I tried to avoid being alone with Angelo as much as I could; after all the things Ivan had done for me I couldn´t imagine anything more rotten that cheating on him. Furthermore, for the last couple of days, a lot had been said on TV about the fact that the bloodhounds had run straight into his room, “drooling and howling” around his bed, and there had been less and less talk of kidnapping although he wasn´t being directly accused of complicity yet. There were easier ways to come out than on national television, amidst the irated public denials by your own family, and I could tell it was weighing on him heavily.
We were munching on thick, crusty slices of Sicilian bread, with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, when the morning news came on TV. The headline item was the prefect of Rome declaring in an impromptu press conference that Angelo had violated the request to remain in town, and coudn´t be found in Milan either, contrary to the reports of his friends who claimed that tired of the media attention Angelo had left Rome merely to get back home. Then it was Ivan´s turn to take a beating: “there was firm evidence of physical relationship” with the “known murderer”. It didn´t take much imagination to see that within hours he´d be an official accomplice.
Trying to lighten up the atmosphere, Angelo quipped, “Bonnie, could you pass the bread?” but Ivan wasn´t ready to joke about it, and Angelo quickly apologized after seeing his expression.
The car was too hot to sleep in, and so we dragged mattresses into two houses which looked as if they might not collapse on us as soon as someone sneezed. Ivan was biting his lip, to keep himself from crying I suspected, while we set up our little camp for the last time. Once we left this place it would be time to part, and he´d be alone, with a hell of consequences to pay. And Channel 5 having found – or paid – two of his former classmates to tell on air, at the end of the newscast, that they´d always considered him “a bit queer” certainly didn´t help. The house smelled musty, but it was cool inside, and I cradled Ivan in my arms as we ducked under the covers.
It was already early evening with the summer sun close to the horizon when I woke up. The slanted golden rays entered the room through the empty windows, slowly creeping along the grey weathered stones of the walls, and the air felt uncomfortably warm. I looked by my side and saw that Ivan wasn´t awake yet, having slept poorly all day long, and I carefully extracted his arm wrapped around my chest and stood up. He remained asleep, face flushed and his full lips slightly open, and looking younger than ever. I cursed myself, once again, for having dragged him into this mess. Quietly I left the room, and entered the central piazza. Outside, the high mountain wind was pleasantly cool, and I quickly grabbed some breakfast and had a makeshift shower under the fountain stream. Ivan was still asleep, there was no sign of Angelo and Jan, and I decided to explore the old, derelict town.
Despite the neglect, or perhaps because of it, the place actually looked magnificent. Narrow, stone-paved street and the houses seemed so much part of the landscape that they almost appeared camouflaged, and occasional wild trees, breaking through a crack in the street and slowly but inexorably displacing the adiacent slabs of stone, only accentuated the impression. The empty black windows were spooky, though, and when I heard something akin a soft, echoing wail I stopped, my heart thumping, and tried to smile at myself for having immediately thought of some ghostly presence from the past, haunting the abandoned town. It´s just the wind, passing through the hollow, old crumbling houses, I told myself.
After a few steps, however, I heard the sound again. This time, it had sounded distinctly more human, and I could even make out the direction it had come from. Worried, I walked faster towards the house I thought it had come from, and stopped at the empty doorway, peering into the shadows.
The building might have been a stall originally, but the elements, scouring the place for decades, had carried away any trace of animal presence. A line of three worn-out wooden pillars ran along the center of the room, and between two of them, secured by two leather belts tied around his wrists, arms stretched out to their full length, naked Jan was held in kneeling position. Behind him, looking shockingly tall and muscular next to the much smaller boy, Angelo was crouched on his knees, one hand holding a tight fistful of Jan´s hair, pulling his head back. The other hand was placed on the boy´s abdominals to keep him in place while Angelo, with a slow deliberation, thrusting forward with his narrow, muscular hips, forced another inch of his massive hard-on in between Jan´s tensed buttocks. Only the topmost third of the thick, veined shaft had already slipped in; there was still a long way to go before full penetration. The boy let out another cry, pleading Angelo to stop.
I stood still, transfixed by the sight. Neither of them moved for a moment, and then, noticing the shadow I was casting into the room, Angelo slowly turned to look at me. Our eyes locked as his grip on Jan´s hair tightened, pulling the boy´s head further back, and this time, no longer satisfied with the slow progress, he thrust several inches of his hard dick into the quivering boy in one graceful move. Jan wailed, and a sheen of sweat broke out all over his body.
Only after taking the first step I realized I was walking towards them, and Angelo, never taking his eyes from mine, pushed Jan´s head forward to my direction. His other hand moved up from Jan´s abs, cupped the boy´s jaw, and pulled his mouth wide open. I stopped in front of them, undid the buttons of my shorts, and slipped my rock-hard dick into Jan´s gaping mouth. The soft, wet lips closed around the pulsing shaft, and his swirling tongue went straight for the sweet spot under the crown. I groaned, and my knees almost buckled with the intense pleasure that shot through my body. Then he swallowed the entire length of my cock, an impressive feat, and I felt the muscles of his throat convulse around the shaft in choked wail as Angelo drove his hard-on to the hilt. Jan could do nothing to stop us as we fucked him, trading places several times, teasing and stretching his tight slippery holes before forcing our cocks back into him again and again. Despite his cries, Jan´s dick remained rock-hard the whole time, and with a slow, long thrust against his prostate we could always squeeze yet another thick glob of precum out of him, a glob that was then wiped off his dripping cockhead and fed into his mouth. We were using Jan exactly the way I had imagined while I´d been masturbating in the lonely farmhouse in
That had been before the arrival of Ivan, of course. Gradually the thoughts of him were coming back from the back of my mind where I had pushed them, and just momentarily imagining Ivan´s face in Jan´s place instantly brought me into a helpless, tainted orgasm. I shot my load all over Jan´s face, already shrinking back in shame from what I´d done.
“Calm down, it´s OK,” Angelo said, seeing my expression.
But it wasn´t all right. Far from it. I quickly wiped myself clean, and almost ran out of the place, still buttoning up. On the way back to the van I slowed down, trying to compose myself and knowing that I´d have to tell Ivan right away what had happened. However, I discovered that there was no need. He wasn´t in the house where we´d slept, and when I entered the van I saw that all the kitchenware and food that had been on the table had been struck down, now laying scattered on the floor, and one of the side windows had a large fracture, probably from the nearly full and heavy water bottle that was now slowly leaking its contents on a couch. A suitcase lay on the floor, half of its contents spilling out. Ivan was gone.