In the city of Florence lives an artist of great renown, skilled at breathtaking works of art both earthly and divine. His subjects are so life-like they seem poised to break free of their worldly confines; his paintings sought after and coveted by the greatest and most powerful of his time.
He paints many things over many years - tableaus of classical myths and still portraits for the rich; frescoes on palace walls and angelic murals in places of worship. His gift allows him insight into the hearts of men, and his dreams give him inspiration to paint their every desire.
But the paintings he paints are not for him, bereft as he is of love and companionship. He borrows lust to incite passion and steals sorrow to make others weep, but the man himself is an empty vessel, tossing aimlessly upon the open sea.
One day, he packs his bags and leaves the city, moving to a villa overlooking the sapphire blue waters of the Tyrrhenian. He spends his days sitting on the sand drinking wine, and his evenings swimming under a dark sky, the stars dancing across the rolling waves. He strokes himself as the water caresses him, holding him in a lover’s grip, and spends himself with a shudder, his release swallowed by the hungry sea.
At night he dreams of stormy eyes watching him, and the feel of a broad chest pressed against his back. Tastes the salt in his mouth and the touch of long, slender fingers, and hears the same voice calling his name.
One morning he unpacks his canvas and starts to paint, letting the images from his dreams guide his brush. Not much is revealed to him beyond a pair of piercing steel grey eyes, and the outline of a man’s torso breaking free from the waves.
He strips at the edge, pale skin bathed in moonlight, the water lapping gently at his bare feet. In his hand he clutches a phallus made of polished metal, slicked with oil, and holds it steady as he braces himself over the largest rock. Charles moans as he guides it in, and arches with every drag and push, in perfect harmony with the rhythm of the surf pounding against the shore. When he’s close he sinks into the water with a loud groan, enjoying the fullness of the stretch and the sea’s warm embrace. He fucks himself slowly until he comes with a sigh, the waves bearing lone witness to his quiet bliss.
He rips the painting apart, and starts over.
The new image takes up an entire wall, and every day Charles coaxes a little more life from the blank canvas. There’s a strong jaw that complements those same piercing eyes, and the narrow waist and broad shoulders of a man in his prime. He works tirelessly, forgetting often to eat or sleep, determined to draw his Muse from his hiding place. His brush uncovers layers of hard muscle and smooth skin, revealing a new secret with every soft and loving stroke.
The Man in his painting is beautiful, and otherworldly, erupting nude and defiant from the murky depths of his watery domain. He wears naught but a crown of coral in his dark brown hair, and though his head and chest seem to tower above the waves, the rest of his sculpted body remains submerged – including long arms and legs and a thick cock nestled between his thighs. The curiosity in his eyes belie the fierce expression on his face, a god lured to the surface by a mortal’s call.
That night a storm rages on for hours upon hours, the waves churning violently against the rocks and the battering rain like drumming footsteps across his roof. Charles strips and runs his fingers along the finished canvas, tracing the curve of the Man’s jaw as he fondles his own prick. He follows the line slowly down the Man’s throat and his chest, and imagines it - the feel of living muscle and the taste of warm flesh. He kisses the spot where the Man’s heart would beat, and pumps himself until he comes with a gasp, splashing sticky white all over the Man’s large cock and toned thighs.
The winds die down as Charles slumps against the painting, and the sea is still as glass once more.
Later, he dreams of gentle hands working him loose, slicking him ready with his own spend. Of a broad chest along his back and lips on his neck and a massive hardness prying him open and pushing in deep. Of being taken while standing, propped against the wall, rolling up onto his toes with every wild buck against his hips. On his hands and knees, being hammered from behind, so fast and brutal as to bring tears to his eyes. On his back with his legs pinned against his chest, each powerful thrust and slow grind driving him mad with ecstasy.
The sun is shining bright by the time he wakes, the sound of sea gulls and the smell of the sea spilling in through his open bedroom window. He is sprawled across the bed, his body a dull and pleasant ache, a fact that he can attribute to long hours with very little rest. That he also feels well used is a bit of shock, as is the plain evidence of someone else’s pleasure leaking down his thighs.
The mystery is solved when Charles rolls over with a grimace, and finds himself staring into the abyss of familiar blue-grey eyes. The same eyes in the same face, attached to the same body; of the Man in his painting, miraculously come to life.
“I am well pleased,” the Man says, offering a sharp smile that sends a shiver of anticipation down Charles’ spine. “You are even lovelier than I expected.”
He punctuates the compliment with a kiss, rolling on top of Charles and pinning him to the bed. The questions on the tip of Charles’ tongue fall away unspoken and unanswered, an overwhelming sense of calm acceptance banishing all else from his mind. His body is pliant under those smooth hands, singing with desire and a long forgotten joy; his legs fall open to welcome the thick shaft slipping between his thighs, letting the Man plunder his mouth and his buttocks with equal abandon.
“So good,” the Man whispers, as Charles arches to meet every deep thrust. The feeling is exquisite, the sensations almost overwhelming, as the Man angles his hips to batter precisely against Charles’ sensitive spot, over and over. “Absolute perfection.”
He loses himself in the intense pleasure of being breached and filled, for what feels like an eternity as the Man continues to fuck him without pause. “Please, please, please,” the only words he can muster, his fingers digging into the sheets as his orgasm builds. He cries out when it becomes too much, his whole body going rigid when he comes, while the Man follows him moments later with his own release, spilling hot and sticky inside Charles with a lusty sigh.
“You can call me…Erik,” the Man says, as Charles closes his eyes.
Magnus lets the gentle breeze draw him away from the bed to the open window, with a view of the sea stretching endlessly beyond the horizon. It’s not a perspective he’s seen now for years beyond counting, unwilling as he is to leave the cavernous deep. He cares nothing for the meaningless affairs of men; finds little of interest in the short and lesser lives of mortals.
He turns his gaze on Charles - his beautiful, lonely Charles – asleep on the bed, his limbs askew and body uncovered, primed for Magnus’ pleasure. The god of the sea has long been watching his bright and brilliant star, waiting with great anticipation for his summoning.
And now that Magnus finally has his Charles in his arms, he is loath to let such a coveted treasure escape his grasp.
Charles wakes to the sensation of warm heat surrounding him, a hard body straddling him on the bed. He is buried to the root inside his new lover, waves of pleasure assaulting him as Erik rocks languidly up and down Charles’ shaft. They moan together, and apart, the feeling so unbearably good as he grips Erik’s buttocks, straining to ram himself as deep as he can go. He wants this to never end; to always have Erik, and to please him and to love him and to go down on his knees and worship him —
He tenses, and his mind goes blank as he comes yet again, thick and ropy white inside Erik with a gasp. It feels a little like dying he thinks, losing control of his sanity and his limbs, his vision hazy as the tight clench milks his release from his aching body. Charles can only lay still and watch then, sated and limp as Erik strokes himself to climax, spurting all over his face with a grunt, long streaks of white marking his face and chest.
Erik rubs some of the spend into Charles’ beard, and feeds the rest to him with his fingers. Charles licks and swallows it all with an insatiable hunger, and Erik rewards him with an indulgent smile.
“Very good, Charles. Very good indeed."
There is an empty painting in Charles’ villa, against the wall, revealing nothing but the deep dark of the sea.
Charles does not paint any other paintings, after Erik. His days and nights are full of happiness and his desires quenched, the hole in his heart filled to the brim with love and contentment. He does not burn to create any longer, or put brush to canvas, for nothing could ever compare to his Erik, as beautiful as the sun. There is nothing better than dropping to his knees and taking him in his mouth, letting Erik fuck his throat until the tears fall, overwhelmed by the gasping, choking pleasure. Nothing like Charles on all fours, Erik slamming into him from behind, spreading him wide enough to add long fingers into that harsh and relentless glide.
“Will we be together, forever?” he asks, as Erik slips the plug back into Charles’ entrance, watching the spend leak from around its edges with a pleased smile. Erik tilts his chin up until their eyes meet, kissing him fervently, pressing the weighted words of a vow against Charles’ lips.
“If you wish it, it shall be.”
One day, Erik simply disappears.
Charles falls asleep that night with Erik’s arms around him, and his cock lodged deep inside. When he wakes the next morning there is nothing but a glaring emptiness – in Charles and in his bed - a gaping hole where Erik used to fit. He tears about the villa frantically, looking for clues, fear and desperation filling his heart, until he comes into the room where his painting sits, and stops.
Erik is there, on the canvas once more, vibrant and powerful and more beautiful than Charles ever imagined in his dreams. But he is not posed as he was before, with his head and torso breaking through the surface; he beckons now from below, submerged under the waves, his hand stretching before him as though he’s reaching for Charles.
He falls to his feet before the painting, and weeps.
He coats the canvas with his seed, and fucks himself on the floor, to no avail. Erik does not return to him that night, or any of the long days that follow, no matter how he begs or what he promises. Charles drinks himself into oblivion and curses Erik’s name, and falls into a pit of the blackest despair.
One night, he goes down to the beach and strips off all his clothes, and wades into the churning surf. He drifts in the warmth of the waves under the bright twinkling stars, and lets the tide carry him out into the deep and welcoming sea, far from shore.
He does not come back out.
There once lived an artist of great renown, much beloved for his immense talent and admired by those who knew his work. Though no one knows his current whereabouts, or why he suddenly disappeared, all agree his last undertaking to be his undisputed masterpiece.
In a villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian, there sits a painting of the sea, so large that it takes up the entire wall. The life-like subjects look poised to break free from the canvas, two lovers entwined beneath the waves. One of them is wearing a crown of coral on his head, his arms wrapped around the other as they share a lingering kiss. The other - believed to be a portrait of the painter himself - arches against him with undisguised longing, the two immortalized forever in a passionate and never-ending embrace.