Note from ManOfSteel on this render’s posting on Renderotica:
This was originally intended for the Premier Gallery, but in honor of Valentine’s Day,
Bruce’s last dream of David, Italy, and the Villa Segreta, continues here in the Main Gallery.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
Swimming at night was wonderful. All the statues around the pool were lit up, and the huge fountain was brightest of them all. To add to all this, there was a full moon almost directly above us. It cast a silvery blue light on everything. The concrete around the pool was still slightly warm from the heat of the day, and the smell of the trees and the flowers was heavy in the air. We jumped and splashed until almost midnight, and then we stopped, still in the pool, to catch our breath. We didn’t talk. We watched the sky. I saw a shooting star. We listened to the crickets.
Then David smiled and said, “Follow me.”
We swam lazily to the other side of the pool and stopped at the sparkling curtain of water that cascaded into the pool from the great basin of the fountain. The pool’s depth here was about five feet, and we were able to stand with our heads and shoulders above the surface. David took my hand and we trudged towards the curtain of water. His head and shoulders and chest were inundated as he passed through it, and then I closed my eyes for a moment and went through. Inside the semicircular chamber, light played and danced wildly, filtered through the the sheet of falling water around us. Above us, the base of the fountain swept down to join the edge of the pool. David turned to me and smiled again.
“Come on,” he said, and then he ducked beneath the surface of the water and seemed to go right through the side of the pool. I submerged myself and opened my eyes. Under the water, the side of the pool gave way to a large opening. I bobbed back above the water for a moment, took a deep gulp of air, and dove down and swam through the entrance.
I had feared that the swim to the grotto would be long, and that scared me, but it couldn’t have been easier. Two feet into the wall, a new world of wavering blue light began, and the surface of the water was just above my head. I stood, again with my head and shoulders well above the surface, let out my swallowed breath, and breathed.
My mouth fell open. “Wowwww!” I shouted, and the sound echoed, mixing with the cascade of water from somewhere inside. The air was cool and wet. I couldn’t see the walls, although I could make out the wet glimmer of huge, vertical rock surfaces. The Greek pattern of the pool continued in here, but instead of Roman structures, there were the tumbled remains of a Greek temple. I could see two intact Doric columns, and the remains of others leaning or in great chunks in the water. The tilted, triangular pediment of a temple was at ground level, decorated with sea horses and dolphins. There was a great slab of a frescoed wall with faced Cretan figures on it, and there was a crumbling statue of a Greek god on it’s side, half submerged in the water.
“Like it?” David asked.
“Atlantis!” I said. “This is so cool!”
• • • • •
I sat on one of the fallen columns and looked up. Several beams of moonlight glowed in the air. They came from several perfectly round holes at what seemed to be the center of the ceiling.
“We must be right under the fountain,” I said.
“Yep,” he said as he stepped from one piece of ruin to another.
“Hey,” I began. “Do me a favor?”
He looked at me.
“Get up on the pediment over there.”
“Yeah,” I said.
He carefully made his way to the remains of the structure and stood on a rock. “Now what?”
“Flex,” I said, smiling.
“Yeah. You look like a Greek god.”
He gave me a crooked smile.
“Please? I just want to look at you. Don’t hold back. Flex. Pose. Please.”
For someone who made his living posing in front of a camera, he could sometimes be amazingly shy. But with a sigh and a smile, he hit his first post, naked and wet, and lit by the wavering light from behind the grotto and the beams of moonlight from above.
There were a few ancient steps to a small terrace. Here, the water was only a foot or so deep. I knelt down and swished my hand in the water in lazy arcs. David knelt next to me.
He sighed. “You know… um… you know how we… get along? I mean, how we get along… physically?
“What are you trying to say?” I asked with a slight smile.
Even in the low light, I could see him smile. “I mean… you…” He sighed. “You…” Now he looked me in the eye, and his blue eyes sparked. “You just make me so…” He faltered again. “You really… excite me. I mean you know that. Already.”
“I can’t see why,” I said. “I—”
“Oh now, come on now,” he said, and he scooted closer to me. “I know… that there are guys who are uh… bigger and taller and all that. But some things aren’t a contest, you know?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well… when s-someone, when someone has feelings for—I, I mean I just… I just think… what I’m trying to say is that I just think,” and his voice lowered. “I just think you’re very beautiful.”
I could only stare at him. This huge man with his head lowered and his fingers fumbling amongst themselves.
“I think of you a lot.” He looked up at me. “Your hair.” He smiled. “And your arms and your shoulders. And your legs. And your smile. And it scares me.” His smile vanished.
“Because, I don’t know why. Whenever I think of you, I just…” Now the smile returned. “I just… miss you. And I just get… so damn horny.”
“Oh my god I just get, like a crazy person.”
“Can you even try to imagine then what you do to me?”
“Well, seein’ as how we get along in that way, I think I can imagine. But um… I… I… just wanted to you know, that that’s not the only way you make me feel.”
I waited for him to continue.
He sighed, steeling himself for his true confession. “It seems weird that… here we are… naked as jaybirds… and after all the… crazy animal sex we’ve had today, and it… this is just hard for me to say, but… what you do for my body?” He lowered his head and his voice again. “You also do it to my heart.”
I smiled. Now I felt shy. And terribly, terribly naked in my soul.
“And I so look forward to these times when we’re together.”
There it was. His English accent returned. He was really nervous.
“And I get so excited, especially when I see you enjoy the places that we go.” He smiled at me and raised his eyebrows. “It’s pretty spectacular here, huh?”
I nodded. I pulled my elbows right against me, raised my shoulders, and lowered my head.
There was a long pause, and then: “But you know what?” He whispered and I could hear the familiar Texas twang again in his voice, and he scooted even closer to me. “I would give it all up. I’d live in a tiny, little house. And I’d be happy. If I could be with you.”
And then he kissed me on the cheek…
…and that …in the dark, with the sound of the water, alone with him, unseen, was the most frightening, thrilling, wonderful, intimate moment of my life.