The painting

English translation of one of the short stories from my publication „Lucas und Cassari“.

Update: removed an copy & paste error, sorry for that.

In the corridor right next to the elevator, Leon paused. Individually placed here, at wide intervals, hung paintings, some in oil, others, mostly smaller, drawn in ink or pencil. Right next to an ornamental arch, without a frame, was a scene captured in oil that looked familiar to him. Slanting from above, the viewer looked down on a slender young man kneeling on all fours on the floor. The torso and feet were bare, the body slightly stretched forward. The head was tilted to the ground, the face turned away and only dimly recognizable.

The image was kept dark. Walls were hinted further in the background, the light fell on the body at an unusual, steep angle, casting impressive shadows. Despite the blond hair, Leon thought he recognized the young man depicted. And not only his figure and pose seemed familiar to him. As in one of their encounters, distinct reddish weals stretched across his back, and in this depiction also across his shoulders, arms, and the soles of his feet.

What caught Leon’s attention, besides all this, was the date noted by the signature. 1978.

Cassari had stepped up beside him, glanced at it as well, tilted his head appraisingly.

„Black hair suits me better, what do you think?“ he asked. Shaking his head, Leon smirked.

„1978?“ he now inquired, however, looking at the other.“So it’s really that long that the two of you have been…. Well, I mean…“

Cassari smiled, shrugging his shoulders. Lucas had also reached the floor by now, and joined them.

„Ah, my favorite slave,“ he commented, glancing at the painting, then wrapping an arm around Cassari and pulling him close, pressing a kiss to his cheek. Cassari went for it, turned to face him a bit, and briefly they kissed. Lucas wrapped his arms around him from behind, while Leon now turned a questioning look on him.

„And that… red, is that artistic license, or…?“ he inquired. Lucas laughed, while Cassari carefully avoided his gaze.

„It would have worked just fine with a little artistic license, but in fact it’s a very accurate documentation of historical facts,“ he smirked. „Whereas, if I’m not mistaken, there were considerably fewer of them at the beginning of that night after all…“

Cassari probably felt tempted to follow his instinct to flee. But once again Lucas had anticipated it and held him tight, obviously against his will at first. Soon, though, Cassari gave in, shrugged his shoulders, and resigned himself to having to stay.

„It’s just that there are things that you might not actually need to hold on to for eternity,“ he put up a weak defense. „And somehow… well…“

Continuing, Lucas smiled.

„I suppose you were worried that once I managed to pin such a moment to my wall, I might lose interest in the hands-on experience?“ he suggested, pressing another kiss to his cheek. Tenderly, he stroked his chest with his fingertips, pulling him more closely to himself.

Leon felt it, despite their distance: Lucas didn’t just leave it at the touch. Dark, heavy, almost physically tangible, his energy spread over Cassari’s body, enveloped him wherever Lucas touched him, seemed to penetrate him. And thus apparently made it impossible even for him to resist. Cassari moaned heavily, closed his eyes, and pulled his head back. Lucas, meanwhile, stroked his chest with his other hand, grasping him lightly by the neck. And Leon, at a good half meter away after all, also had to pull himself together considerably in order not to give in to this force, which he had rarely experienced from Lucas in this way before.

„What do you think, if I want you to beg now, will you?“ whispered Lucas into Cassari’s ear. He nodded.

„How’s that?“

„Yes, sir!“

Cassari whimpered as Lucas‘ fingertips continued to gently dig into his body. With a smile, Lucas pressed a kiss on his hair. Then he lowered his hands, and his energy slowly withdrew from the other, too.

While Leon took a quick breath, and looked briskly to the side as Lucas now gave him a playful look as well, Cassari regained his composure surprisingly quickly. He lifted his chin when Lucas met his somewhat direct gaze with a grin.

„Scumbag,“ he muttered from above, more offended than annoyed. Lucas gave him a light slap in return.

Leon couldn’t help but grin, even if he wasn’t quite sure how serious Cassari was about expressing his displeasure. While Lucas continued to seem amused, he got the impression from Cassari that he was himself still considering whether to be seriously offended, protest a little bitchily, or instead of all that go over to feigning indifference. At which Leon, however, guessed that it might be difficult for him.

„Indeed, being paraded, in whatever way, is still one of those things you can really use to tease him well,“ Lucas murmured, and as if to affirm, he pinched Cassari lightly in the side, above the hip, where he had just grabbed him so penetratingly. Caught off guard at first, Cassari merely pushed his hand aside. But now he had apparently had enough. With some effort, he freed himself from the arm that Lucas had put around him again and made sure to get some distance from him.

After a brief attempt to hold him, Lucas let him go, giving him a playful look. When he stayed where he was, with no further effort to grab him again, Cassari seemed satisfied for the moment and leaned against the nearest piece of wall. He maintained his distance somewhat now, however.

„Well, I must admit, I can understand it,“ Leon returned to the picture. „It’s not wrong, after all; humiliating it is. And probably more exhausting than a normal session with chains and a whip.“

Cassari laughed out.

„So, strenuous, true, but this, humiliating?“ Decisively, he shook his head.“It was a long night, don’t you get me wrong there. But what’s really humbling, I can tell: It’s those moments when it’s like, ‚Stay right there for a second, will you?‘ When you hear that phrase from him, you should get the hell away. That’s when things come up that you really wish would have never happened later.“

Lucas smirked. When he held out his hand to Cassari in a conciliatory manner, Cassari regarded it skeptically, looked up at Lucas, back at the hand. He didn’t move an inch.

Leon laughed.

„I promise you, the nearest camera is a good two rooms away, dear,“ Lucas kept trying.

„Haha!“ opined Cassari. To Leon, it seemed, he inclined his head once more, for a brief farewell. Then he just left them standing there.

This time Lucas laughed, too. Leon grinned to himself.

„So, what do you think?“ he then wanted to know from the other, who was still looking for a few seconds along the corridor through which Cassari had just disappeared. „Are you going to chase after him?“

Briefly, Lucas tilted his head. And sighed.

„Yes, I am,“ he said, nodding.

„Yes, most likely I will.“

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