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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

La Bella Vacanza - 7. Friday

Friday

For the first couple of seconds after Reza awoke the next morning, he felt the same way as he did every day…

…but then the memory of the previous evening crashed in on him, and his hands flew to his nether regions to make sure everything was still there.

Oh, man… what did we DO?

Reza cast his mind back, recalling the evening’s activities in lurid detail. When Otto had finished his work, he had crawled back up the bed for a cuddle. Reza, feeling the other boy’s still unmet need pressing against his leg, had done his best to help. He hadn’t quite been able to bring himself to do what Otto had done for him, but he had managed to finish him off by hand. If Otto had found this less than satisfying, it certainly hadn’t been apparent from his breathless reactions.

Otto had asked to take a shower before he left. While the other boy freshened up in the bathroom, Reza had got dressed, hoping that the reassuringly familiar feel of actual clothes on his person would help to tether his freewheeling mind. It had almost worked.

Otto had emerged from the bathroom fully dressed, towelling his mid-blond hair dry.

“That was amazing, Reza,” he had smiled before he left.

Reza had nodded. “Bye, Otto.”

Neither of them suggested a second date. Perhaps they both knew that their time was almost over, and that their brief relationship had already reached the only peak it was ever likely to have.

Then, Reza had been left alone, feeling vaguely violated but also strangely good. Half of him was recoiling in horror at what he had just done, while the other half felt light-headed and giggly and sort of wished he could do it all again.

How he had got through dinner with his parents that night, he couldn’t really remember. He only hoped he hadn’t given too much away.

* * *

Reza stretched and opened the shutters, letting the morning sunlight stream in. He donned yesterday’s shirt for a moment and stepped out onto the balcony without bothering to button it up. The cicadas were already hard at work in the trees around the square; a member of staff was hosing down the terracotta tiles around the so-far deserted pool; and, on the other side of the valley, a few columns of smoke rose from bonfires on the terraced slopes of the neighbouring village.

It was the very picture of tranquillity, he realised; and, there and then, he understood how much he would miss this place when he went home.

Can it really have been a whole week already?

In more ways than one, he felt he had discovered a whole new side to himself during these few short days… and the business with Otto was the most confusing part of it all. Did he even know who he was anymore?

He felt like he could certainly use one of Dad’s prayer sessions right now…

At the thought of his parents, Reza wondered what they would say if they knew. God, how was he going to tell them?

But… what if he didn’t need to? After all, this didn’t really change anything, did it? He was still into girls, wasn’t he?

He tried picturing Otto’s sisters for a moment. Yes… he still felt just as curious about what lay beneath those stylish two-piece swimsuits as he ever had done.

Uhh… what the heck?

Reza showered, dressed and got ready to meet his parents for breakfast. He felt better prepared for their scrutiny than he had last night. But, as he made for the bedroom door, he faltered for a moment.

What would he do if he ran into Otto? What would they say to each other? Would they both be terribly embarrassed? Would he still be crushing weirdly on the German boy, or had they both got that out of their systems last night?

Maybe, once again, avoidance was the best policy…

* * *

Tired from all the walking they’d been doing during the week, Reza’s parents suggested a late-morning visit to the Villa Rufolo gardens, which were right in the centre of town.

Reza was vaguely aware that some kind of music festival had been happening throughout the week, and he had a feeling that the Villa Rufolo gardens, which were accessed via an old stone gatehouse off the cathedral square, were at the heart of it somehow. Still, feeling a keen desire to do something normal, he was quick to agree to their plan.

Over breakfast, Reza and Otto managed to avoid bumping into one another, although Reza was acutely aware of the German boy on the periphery of his vision. To make matters worse, Otto was looking particularly good today, dressed in a dazzling white shirt with a golden pendant around his neck. Dismayed that he was even still inclined to notice, Reza worked hard to avoid doing anything that would re-establish eye contact.

Reza and his parents weren’t due to meet up again until eleven o’clock, so, after breakfast, he headed into town for some fresh air, keen not to waste any more of the limited time he had left. He was still kicking himself for passing up the chance to strike out into the countryside earlier in the week.

Reza was wandering round the cathedral square, looking for subjects for close-up photographs – the sort of odd urban details that helped to evoke the character of a place – when he caught sight of Otto and his family wandering into the stone-paved space from the direction of the hotel. For the moment, their attention was distracted by the displays of colourful ceramics outside the shops, but soon he would be trapped in plain sight.

CRAP! They picked a fine time to go gift shopping…

As quickly as he could manage without drawing undue attention to himself, Reza hurried towards the railings and concealed himself behind the hefty, sun-warmed trunk of one of the tall pine trees. He closed his eyes for a moment, breathing a sigh of relief among the scraping of the cicadas in the canopy above him.

“Ah… hi,” came a voice. “Hehe.”

Reza winced and looked to his right, finding himself face-to-face with Gianni and Angelo, who had appeared from nowhere with uncanny timing. They were both looking at him with amused interest.

“Why are you hiding?” Gianni asked.

Reza jabbed a thumb over his shoulder. “Otto and his family are here,” he hissed.

“So?” Gianni replied. “Didn’t it go well last night, or something?”

Reza cringed. “It went too well.” He turned to the other boy. “Why did you tell me to go with the flow, Angelo? Ugh.” He shuddered. “It flowed, all right…”

Angelo frowned slightly. “Wait a minute. You mean, you…”

Reza confirmed his suspicions with a helpless glance. For a moment, a delighted look stole across Angelo’s face, and then his hands flew to his mouth and he began to giggle uncontrollably.

“Guys!” Reza yelped desperately, glancing over his shoulder in fear that they would be noticed.

Gianni hastened to quiet his boyfriend before they attracted too much attention. “Shh, Angelo!” he snickered, taking hold of him. “Sta nascondendo!

Still laughing, Angelo shook his head. “Why hide?” he managed. “You obviously like each other.”

“Yeah, but…” Reza protested. “I’m not… argh!

The damage, it seemed, had been done. Otto had appeared at the railings, his baby-blue eyes observing Reza and the two local boys in surprise.

He smiled awkwardly. “Oh - hi, Reza.” he said. “I thought I heard your voice.”

Aw, man…

“Um… hi,” Reza replied.

Angelo broke free of Gianni’s clutches and stepped forward. “Hi, Otto,” he grinned. “I’m Angelo, and this is Gianni. Reza has told us all about you!”

Gianni giggled, reaching futilely for Angelo again, but the spiky-haired boy shook him off.

“Don’t worry,” Angelo went on unrepentantly. “It was all good. Reza thinks you’re super-cute, by the way.”

“Um… that’s nice,” Otto replied, looking back at Angelo in total bewilderment.

Dio, Angelo, stop!” Gianni begged him, peeping out from between his fingers in embarrassment.

Forced into action, Reza slid out from under the tree and interposed himself between the two boys.

“Oh-kay, that’s enough,” he said, taking the blond-haired boy by the arm. “Come on, Otto, let’s hang out.”

“Well, all right,” Otto replied, offering Reza a surprised smile as he led him away. “Who were those boys, Reza?”

“Um… I’ll try to explain, I guess,” Reza replied.

“You’re welcome!” Angelo’s voice called after them, and then Reza and Otto left them to their giggles.

* * *

Maybe it was best, Reza thought later, for them to part as friends rather than be caught forever in the shadow of what had happened last night. Mentally, he thanked Angelo for his insight, even while he cursed the Italian boy for his merciless methods.

They chatted a little about what they would each be doing after they got home, and what they would each remember most about their holiday. As they talked, Reza calmed down a little. He looked at the other boy, taking in his blond hair and those baby-blue eyes, and tried to face up to his feelings.

Yes, Otto was cute.

Yes, there was still something about the other boy that made him feel weird inside.

But no, it didn’t mean that everything he had ever believed about himself was false.

So, I’m what… bisexual, then?

Hmm. It may not have been what he had in mind… but Reza began to feel that he might be able to come to terms with what had happened after all.

* * *

At the appointed time, Reza met his parents outside the ancient stone gatehouse of the Villa Rufolo. They spent a pleasant hour or so exploring the colourful gardens, which were full of interesting nooks and crannies and vibrant flower borders. They even got to see the main festival stage, which hung off the edge of one of the larger terraces, seeming to float above the distant sea.

As they made their way back out into the square, Dad paused to examine a festival programme set up on an easel inside the entrance.

“There’s a classical concert here tonight,” he said. “It’s quite expensive, but… I could ask if there are still any tickets available. It could be quite spectacular at dusk on that main stage.”

“Oh… that would be lovely,” Mum breathed, a dreamy look stealing across her face for a moment… but then they both turned to Reza, clearly expecting him to pour cold water on the idea.

Reza shoved his hands into his pockets. “Sure…” he said, “that’d be nice.”

His parents stared at him incredulously.

“I beg your pardon?” Dad said.

“I said that’d be nice,” Reza repeated patiently.

Mum and Dad exchanged an astonished glance.

“Helen,” Dad said, “I think this may be a cause for celebration!”

Mum nodded. “Break out the Champagne!” she said. At Dad’s startled look, she smiled and added, “Don’t worry, Ramin… I can drink enough for the three of us.”

* * *

For dinner that evening, they returned to the restaurant on the hill. This time, freed of most of his earlier anxieties, Reza was better able to appreciate the expansive view down over the lower reaches of the valley and the coast. He took photographs of the landscape and his parents, and then a waiter was pressed into service to take a picture of the three of them together. Once honour was satisfied, Reza stared out at the panorama, trying to fix the landscape in his memory.

They made their way back down the winding steps for the concert, which passed in a sea of soaring strings and booming brass. Reza and his parents watched in respectful silence as, behind the bright lights of the stage, the sky and sea darkened from blue to purple and then the black of night.

Afterwards, what else could they do but return to the square for a final drink? While the lively locals dined, drank and chatted and the children played in the middle of the square, Reza and his parents raised a glass to their time in Ravello. The holiday was almost over.

* * *

Saturday morning

Soon after breakfast, they were packed and ready to go, checking out of the hotel for their transfer back to the airport at Naples.

While his parents waited for the driver, Reza sought Otto out. He found him sitting with his family in the garden area outside the hotel doors, where a small fountain played quietly in the dappled shade of the overhanging vines; judging by the suitcases piled up beside them, they were also about to set off for home.

The German family offered him friendly smiles and waves as they approached; Lina blew Reza a cheeky kiss, which he took as gracefully as he could. Otto rose to meet him, and Reza drew him aside for a few minutes.

“Well, goodbye, Otto,” he said.

Otto smiled. “Goodbye, Reza.”

“Did you have a good holiday?”

Otto nodded. He sniffed slightly, and Reza thought he could see the trace of a tear in the corner of his eye. “It has been very nice.”

Reza cast a glance around at their colourful surroundings. “Yeah… it has.”

He turned to go, but Otto caught him gently by the arm.

“You’ll always be my first, Reza,” he whispered, and pulled him into a hug.

This time, Reza didn’t try to pull away; instead, he hugged the other boy back. “Yeah… you too.”

They broke apart, leaving Reza feeling slightly embarrassed. “Um… hehe,” he smiled awkwardly. “Have a safe journey home, I guess.”

“Reza…!”

It was Mum. She and Dad were standing in the doorway. They had acquired the driver somehow and were ready to move on.

“Gotta go,” Reza said to Otto, and he hastened to fetch his suitcase. They wheeled the luggage out through the wisteria tunnel, Otto waving them off as they left.

Out in the little street, Reza encountered two more familiar faces. Gianni and Angelo were waiting for him, leaning casually against the wall of the building opposite the hotel.

“I’ll catch up with you,” Reza told his parents. “I just need to say goodbye.”

“All right…” Dad said, “but don’t be too long.”

Mum and Dad followed the driver down the street.

Ciao, Reza,” Gianni said with a smile.

“Hi, guys,” Reza replied. “So, I made things right with Otto.”

Angelo grinned. “Cool.”

“I’m going to miss this place,” Reza admitted. “…and you guys have taught me a lot.”

“Taught you what?” Angelo asked with a smile. “How to laugh way too much and be generally annoying?”

Reza smiled and shook his head. “Nah. I think you’ve helped me to be more accepting of other people… but also myself, I guess.”

Gianni looked pleased. He clapped a hand on Reza’s shoulder for a moment. “Look us up if you’re ever back in town, okay?” he said. “We’ll be around.”

Reza nodded and turned leave. “Cheers, guys.”

* * *

The taxi was parked on the edge of the cathedral square, next to the mouth of the tunnel. Reza helped his father to load their luggage into the taxi, then paused for one last look around.

He remembered how bored he had expected to be when they arrived in Ravello just a week ago. Somehow, since then, the place had managed to get into his head. Reza suspected that, for nights to come, he would drift off to sleep imagining the scraping of the cicadas, the babble of quiet conversation and the chink of coffee cups.

Somehow… he wasn’t sure how, exactly… the trip had turned him into a better person, and he had a strong feeling that he would be back here one day.

Oh, well… time to go back to reality.

Reza levered himself into the back of the taxi, and then they were on their way. They swept back through the tunnel, bumping over the cobbles, and out onto the main Naples road. They cruised along the sunny hillside for a while, and then they left the crowded villas of Ravello behind them.

Reza pulled out his Nokia and composed a text to Tania.

Hi. So, we’re finally on our way home.

hey, stranger. about time. missed u!

Missed you too. Been a busy week.

He thought for a moment. It was best to have honesty in a relationship, right…? Wasn’t that what he had been thinking just the other day?

By the way… I think I’m bi.

There was a pause.

wot the actual FUCK, Reza?!

Reza uttered a weary laugh.

This could be an interesting conversation…

 

- End -

Copyright © 2022 James Carnarvon; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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drsawzall

Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, James Carnarvon said:

If I were to consider that, it would be lucky that I happened to set this story ten years back in time, wouldn’t it? 🤯😀

I think rather fortuitous rather than lucky!!! 

I also feel that you struck the right note between being erotic without being explicit!

Edited by drsawzall
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From reading the press reports of the problems at UK airports, I can only wish you a trouble free journey. 

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5 minutes ago, Ivor Slipper said:

From reading the press reports of the problems at UK airports, I can only wish you a trouble free journey. 

Thank you!!

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Have a great time!  I envy your trip. Maybe you can find a cute blonde German guy this time. :2thumbs:

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35 minutes ago, raven1 said:

Have a great time!  I envy your trip. Maybe you can find a cute blonde German guy this time. :2thumbs:

I’m travelling with my family, such as it is!

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4 hours ago, raven1 said:

Have a great time!  I envy your trip. Maybe you can find a cute blonde German guy this time. :2thumbs:

Perhaps he already has @raven1. 😜 This story as written by @James Carnarvon had a strong "ring of authenticity". Otto, Wolfgang, Helmut, Hans, the possibilities are endless.

I echo the sentiments of others @James Carnarvon. Enjoy your trip, whatever it entails.

Edited by Summerabbacat
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18 minutes ago, Summerabbacat said:

Perhaps he already has @raven1. 😜 This story as written by @James Carnarvon had a strong "ring of authenticity". Otto, Wolfgang, Helmut, Hans, the possibilities are endless.

I echo the sentiments of others @James Carnarvon. Enjoy your trip, whatever it entails.

I can assure you that everything that happened with Reza and Otto was just a product of my fevered imagination. 🤪😎

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19 minutes ago, James Carnarvon said:

I can assure you that everything that happened with Reza and Otto was just a product of my fevered imagination. 🤪😎

Maybe so @James Carnarvon, but you did indicate this was to be your seventh trip to Ravello (LOL). 🤣

Edited by Summerabbacat
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8 hours ago, Summerabbacat said:

Maybe so @James Carnarvon, but you did indicate this was to be your seventh trip to Ravello (LOL). 🤣

So, you’re suggesting what - a different German guy each time? 😉

I’m afraid my own personal story is one of missed opportunities rather than conquests!

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That explains why you write about Ravello with such familiarity. I'm sure you have walked down many of the paths you describe, taken the bus to Amalfi etc.

I really looked forward to each chapter of this story. Breakfast time will be dull now!

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