Claudia inherits her grandmother's house and all its mystery.
Day dispossesses day;
Moons hurry to be born
And race to their decay.
- Horace, Odes.
L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Agrigento… 11am.
“Ah yes, here it is.” Claudia smiled as she read the polished brass plaque to the right of the heavy iron door. The door was nestled in an old arched stone doorway in a quiet side street off Agrigento’s Via Atena. The sheer scale of the doorway suggested to her that it had been the entrance to a grand house, little of which was visible from the street. She found the bell but hesitated and recounted the events that had brought her here.
At four am on the morning of the previous day, she and Carlo had come home from their night of clubbing to find all the doors and windows to Eleanora’s house locked and intact; just as they had left them. The house was dark for it was a moonless night and as far as they could tell, nothing in it had been disturbed. But when Claudia had entered the conservatory and switched on the light, the first thing she had seen was her cell phone lying on the floor pointing at the ceiling. She had left it where it was and had proceeded to search the room. She found that nothing had been disturbed but noted that the phone had landed quite a way from the shelf of books where she had earlier hidden it. She reasoned that it might have slid or bounced since the floor was not carpeted but she remained unconvinced. Picking the phone up at last, she had found that it was undamaged and that it was still switched on and that its camera was still recording. She had switched it off and taken it into the kitchen where Carlo was busy brewing them both a cup of hot chocolate. She had insisted that he stay away from the conservatory and he had reluctantly agreed. She had then sat down and, not without trepidation; she played back what the phone had recorded. Upon the screen was total darkness; a blank, black rectangle that might have been the very spot on the ceiling under which the phone had lain. But the darkness had spoken volumes for as she had stared at the screen Claudia had heard, coming from the phone’s speakers, the pure icy sound of the harpsichord.
She now shut her eyes and took a deep breath. Composing herself as best she could, she then buzzed the intercom and announced herself. The iron door opened into a dim, cool reception room with ornate mosaic floors, indoor palms and dark antique furniture. At the far end she was greeted by a pleasantly smiling girl at the desk.
“Ah signiorina Incarnata, bongiorno.”
“We spoke on the telephone .The professor is expecting you. Follow me please.”
The girl led her through a dark corridor hung with old oil paintings of composers. Claudia recognized Beethoven, Verdi, Bach and Wagner despite the gloom. A moment later they stepped out into a cloistered court-yard that was a veritable blaze of colour. Neat rows of manicured hedges enclosed beautifully tended and well stocked flower beds. At the far end was a bronze and marble fountain depicting the three graces. Next to it, under the shade of a huge sprawling pepper tree, sat an old man. He looked about seventy with short white hair and a trimmed white goatee. He seemed to be totally absorbed in an old grey laptop which sat on the table in front of him. As Claudia approached she heard the gentle splashing of the fountain but aside from that, a tangible silence hung over the courtyard. She looked briefly at the rows of columns and arches; clearly relics of the city’s glorious past and no doubt lovingly restored. She found the whole scene tranquil and beautiful and imagined that she had wandered into the garden of some ancient philosopher.
The girl from the desk now cleared her throat quietly and the old man looked up. For a moment he seemed slightly annoyed but smiled immediately upon seeing Claudia. He stood up as the girl announced,
“Professore Virgilio Barricelli this is Signorina Claudia Incarnata.”
Claudia offered Barricelli her hand and he stood, bowed and kissed it.
“Signiorina Incatnata welcome to Agrigento and to our school. Please take a seat and please do me the honour of joining me for some coffee.”
“Yes, of course. Thank you, and please call me Claudia.”
He had spoken with gravity, indicating that he was impressed by his visitor’s presence. Claudia sat down opposite the old academic who now turned to the young receptionist.
“Julia, espresso for two and see that we are not disturbed.”
Julia bowed and left rather reluctantly whereupon Barricelli said,
“She is my granddaughter, I am teaching her the violin,” He spoke with obvious affection but Claudia could not help but notice a strained note in his voice as though he was wrestling with some unresolved problem. She nodded politely but did not reply.
Barricelli then typed something into the laptop. Once he had finished he looked up, his face full of expectation. Suddenly the eerie sounds of the harpsichord began to issue from the laptop; breaking the near silence of the courtyard and echoing strangely about the colonnades. Claudia watched the old man’s face closely as they listened. For the most part he remained composed and dignified but from time to time she saw a hint almost of fear in his eyes, almost of trepidation, as though he had just been reminded of some dark and long forgotten secret.
After several minutes he closed his eyes and kept them shut for a further minute until he touched the keyboard and brought the music to a stop. Opening his eyes, he smiled but remained silent until Claudia said,
“Professor, I appreciate you seeing me at such short notice and for reasons that I can’t explain I need to know something, anything, about the music on this disc.”
Barricelli thought for a moment.
“Well, since you sent me this…er, recording just yesterday, I have only listened to it once but I have some information for you. I can tell you that most of the pieces are well known, in musicological circles at least. But there are some pieces here that I don’t recognize. I believe them to be improvisations or tranions of modern music; with which I am largely unfamiliar.”
“Yes, pieces that have been rewritten for the keyboard. Our player, whoever he or she is, is quite good at transcribing.”
Why do you assume that I don’t know who it is? The question hung in Claudia’s mind until Barricelli said,
“This is playing of the first order, that of a master, my dear, a virtuoso as we say.”
Now he looked away and settled into academic mode. The more he spoke the more Claudia found that she quite enjoyed listening to him lecture.
“He, or she begins with several short pieces that are unknown to me but they display great virtuosity none the less. They sound quite modern but are quite diverting. But then he plays Les Barricades Mysterieuses by the great 17th century French composer Francois Couperin. A master of the keyboard in his day and one of the principal musicians at the court of Versailles under Louis XIV.”
“The mysterious barriers?”
“Yes, exactly. This is followed by an excellent tranion of a very well known violin concerto; Vivaldi’s La Tempesta di Mare. In this there are passages of sublime beauty; quite unequalled in my experience and I know the concerto very well.”
Barricelli paused for effect but Claudia only responded with a look of growing concern.
At last she said, “Go on professore.”
“Finally there is another tranion of a French 17th century piece, this one originally written for viola da gamba. It is The Dreaming Girl by Marin Marais. Once again, beautifully played with uncommon sensitivity and tasteful ornamentation.”
Barricelli then checked his tone and his enthusiasm; his voice returning to its casual mode. Claudia looked at him with a mixture of perplexity and relief. Part of her still believed that the whole thing was some elaborate practical joke. But the proof was there on her phone and now on the disc in the professor’s pc. As these thoughts entered her mind, Barricelli asked,
“Do you happen to know the performer?” The transparency of this question suggested to Claudia that Barricelli possibly already knew the answer. A short but awkward silence followed as he cast his eye to the distant side of the courtyard.
“No, I don’t.” She wanted to add, but now I’m not sure that you don’t.
“It is a pity; he is a truly great performer.”
Barricelli said nothing further; instead he changed the subject.
I knew your grandmother; I met her once or twice. She loved our concerts and was a regular subscriber, but regrettably, I did not know her well. You are very much like her.”
Claudia smiled, “Thank you for saying so. I didn’t know her well either. Her house is now my home but it is still a place of mystery to me.”
Barricelli sighed and looked at her as though he was struggling with his thoughts. But he remained silent. He reached into his jacket pocket and produced a card.
“This is my card. I regret that I could be of no real assistance to you. But if you ever need anything please don’t hesitate to call. After all, I have lived here all my life but you are a newcomer to our bella Sicilia. I can be reached here or after hours at my home in Porto Empedocle. My wife Angelica is always there.”
Claudia smiled as he solemnly bowed his head. She was not immune to a little chivalry.
“Grazi professore, you are very kind.”
Julia now returned with a coffee tray. Barricelli looked up at her as she set it down, his eyes filled with fondness.
“Thank you Julia.”
He poured Claudia a cup and passed it to her as Julia bid them ciao.
“Are you interested in music Claudia?”
“Yes, but I don’t play.”
“Well, our concerts here at the Accademia are very popular. May I offer you a complimentary invitation? The performance is on Sunday night at 7pm. The students are quite good. I’m sure you will enjoy it.”
“Certainly, I would love it!”
After some pleasant and diverting small talk in which Barricelli summed up the history of the town and of the Accademia Santa Cecilia, Claudia finished her coffee. Barricelli gave her back the CD along with some notes that he had made. Politely he made it clear that it was time for her to leave.
“Well then ciao Claudia, we will see you on Sunday at seven.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
Claudia stepped out onto the street at noon. Her meeting with the professor over, she wandered onto the Via Atena. The noontime heat meant that there were few locals about. The people she did see were obviously tourists browsing in the small shops that lined the street. She picked up lines of French and German as she made her way to a café on the corner. It was in an old building like so many in Agrigento and occupied the ground floor. It seemed to have been open since 1900 judging by the ceiling moldings and by some of the décor. But it had a lovely cool ambiance and was small but uncrowded.
A handsome, dark haired young man greeted her at the counter where she ordered an affogato and a slice of orange cake. Her accent immediately caught the attention of the young man and he naturally asked her where she was from.
“Ah, Australia - buono.”
He winked at her and nodded knowingly, causing Claudia to laugh. She chose a table by the window and heard the young man call out to someone at the rear of the café.
She sat down and took out Barricelli’s notes. Her eyes scanned the titles again; Mysterious Barriers, The Storm at Sea and The Dreaming Girl. She and Carlo had downloaded all the music that the phone had recorded onto Claudia’s PC then onto a recordable CD. Carlo had not seemed overly surprised to discover the unearthly music. He had listen to it grimly for a few minutes then given Claudia a look that said – See, I told you so.
She had found Barricelli’s name as musicologist and director of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in the Agrigento telephone directory and had posted the CD to him along with a cover letter containing her number. She had been surprised at the speed with which Barricelli’s granddaughter Julia had called to inform her that the professor would see her that morning if she was free. The ease with which this had all taken place simply added another layer of complexity to the mystery. Had she acted rashly and impulsively contacting Barricelli? Perhaps only time would tell
She now stared at Barricelli’s notes with pursed lips. There seemed to be some message or some hidden significance in the titles of the pieces, but what? Barricelli had even provided the time durations for each movement along with various notes. His handwriting was shaky and seemed to have been done in a hurry, or in a state of agitation, Claudia thought. Aside from this, it now looked as though he was holding something back from her. He seemed a harmless old man but could she trust him?
Another, younger man then arrived who resembled the one behind the counter enough to be his brother. He served her cake and affogato with a shy smile and lingered for a second or two after she had thanked him to look at her. Claudia was used to this and smiled sweetly up at him before returning to Barricelli’s notes. The newcomer cleared his throat unnecessarily, turned awkwardly and headed back to the counter. Unseen by Claudia, he exchanged wide-eyed glances with his brother and a quiet exchange followed.
Claudia found the cake delicious and the affogato was a perfect blend of sweet ice cream and strong, bitter espresso. She gazed out onto the street: it was another perfect Sicilian day. Recent events had done little to dampen her enthusiasm for the island that was her new home. Given time alone to reflect, part of her feared that someone or something was indeed living in her new house or had access to it. If so, then she should go to the police but what evidence did she have; a watered tree and some music on her phone. If whatever was happening, was intended to frighten her then the perpetrator would have to try much harder. She had become the sole custodian of her grandmother’s estate. Leaving it or selling the house seemed like an insult to Eleanora’s memory. Maybe the house still contained some clue to the mystery, she thought. But whatever was happening, she was too logical to believe in ghosts.
As she finished the cake, the elder of the brothers approached her and politely asked to take her photo. From the counter, the other brother watched intently. He had been joined by a boy who also looked at her admiringly. She glared back at the elder brother with a mixture of bemusement and suspicion.
“Why, who do you think I am?”
“Please signora, we want to put your photograph up on the wall with Pacino, Pavarotti and Andrea Camilleri. Please.”
She glanced at the wall and there were the three famous men he had named.
“Hmm, ok but only one picture and I want to be hung next to Pavarotti.”
He bowed and took out a small digital camera, stepped back with a touch of ceremony and snapped her smiling. His brothers from behind the counter applauded as Claudia shook her head. After they thanked her profusely she gathered her purse and left to a chorus of Ciao bella signora. As she crossed the street she turned back to look at the café door. There the three brothers were. The youngest waved and the others grinned. She caught a few words of their conversation that the breeze happened to blow towards her;
”Megan Gale, that was Megan Gale!”
* * * * * * * * * *
The drive home was uneventful but as she sped through the rustic landscape, Claudia tried to imagine what tumultuous times the island had seen. Barricelli had spoken of the Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans and all of their warlike successors; conflicting armies that had fought for dominance here from time immemorial down to the end of World War II. She tried to imagine the clash of steel, the cacophony and the dust of warfare, and yet strangely, the peaceful landscape prevented her from fully doing so.
It was a landscape of rustic ruins and crumbling walls, of old farm houses, baroque villas and olive groves. It was a beautiful landscape and one that, for her, would always be steeped in mystery. But most of all, on that day, at that moment, it was a landscape drenched in sunlight. Sunlight that made the orchards bear sweet fruit and the fields proffer golden grain.
Claudia delighted in all that she saw but what she loved most was the coast with its marvelous interplay of light and water, of sun and sea and the alchemy of sunrise and sunset upon the ocean. It was nature’s sorcery and nothing less that twice a day turned the sky into warm copper and the sea into liquid gold. Now her imagination stretched far out over the boundless plains of the lapis tinted sea and soared high into the turquoise coloured sky.
At length she came to the turn and ascended the low hill that effectively hid the house from the main road to Agrigento and Porto Empedocle. She passed the stone gate and was immediately surrounded by the verdant green of the garden. Silent and still in the heat of early afternoon; the garden seemed frozen in time like a scene in amber. From somewhere deep in her mind a voice recited lines from an ancient poem;
There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate…
“Who wrote that I wonder? “she asked herself.
“Tennyson.” The voice answered. But it said nothing more, fading instead back into her subconscious. She looked at the garden again,
“My own little piece of paradise, wherein a serpent dwells perhaps.”
Further on, she glanced at the wall where the strange twisted orange tree grew. Then it was on to the house. She saw Carlo through the kitchen window wearing only his boxers and a white apron. As soon as she stepped out of the car the lovely aroma of spices, garlic and onion tickled her nose. She breathed deeply,
“Mmmmm, oh Carlo.”
She found him at the stove tasting his pasta sauce and he looked up at her with orange lips. She pulled a tissue out of her jacket, wiped his lips and kissed him. After donning her bikini she joined Carlo under the shade of the front porch from where they had an unequalled view of the bay.
Lunch took the form of pasta primavera, green garden salad and a chilled bottle of moscato; sweet with a touch of honey. Carlo then brought out ice cream with black mulberries that he had evidently picked himself. They ate quietly; enjoying the sea-scented breeze, the glorious sun and watching lazily wheeling sea birds in a cloudless sky. After lunch, a blissful hour passed, until Claudia suggested they go for a swim. Carlo shook his head and with a touch of embarrassment informed her that he had nothing to swim in. She laughed.
“Io sono la padrona di Tintamare.”
“Si padrona mia!”
“…and I say that you’ll go swimming naked.”
Carlo shrugged his shoulders and smiled. She took him by the hand and led him down the steep steps to the tiny beach at the foot of the cliff. The pebbled beach could be traversed from end to end in one minute but it afforded more than enough space for a picnic or for a couple of beach towels. It was secluded and quiet; bordered on each side by the sheer cliff and it offered some shade. Three large boulders made tiny islands out in the water close to the shore on one side. The water itself was crystal clear and quite deep. In some places, long kelp-like sea mosses swayed like dancers moving sensuously to the sound of the flute. The pebbles that composed the beach were small and displayed a vast assortment of colours. Claudia could easily imagine the beach as yet another part of her estate, yet another room of the beautiful home that was Tintamare.
“Tinta del mare…” she whispered as they came to the bottom of the stairs and their feet crunched on the pebbles. No other phrase was more apt in describing the beautiful scene before them. The tiny beach was like a jeweled mosaic in miniature; a precious thing that belonged to a different world.
She set out their towels and a basket of items for their afternoon’s swim while Carlo walked over to the water’s edge and waded in up to his knees. Claudia sat down and turned to look at him. He wore his usual pair of canvas pants rolled up at the knees but nothing else. She ran her shaded eye from his head of boyish black curls down his slightly aquiline nose to his full lips then down his stubbly chin to his chest. There she delighted in curly hair and pectorals with more than enough definition to make them apparent. The superb capital V of his torso reminded her of the Kouros of Volomandra or brought to mind an echo of some lost work by Polyclitus or Pheidias. Each of Carlo’s muscles announced their presence quietly but surely, as he walked in the water admiring the view beyond the tiny beach. His visible skin was tanned; kissed by the Mediterranean sun and Claudia wanted to see more of it.
“Ho detto nudo!”
He turned and dropped his head to the side; smiling modestly.
Slowly Carlo’s hands undid the button on his pants and pulled down the zipper. He slipped them off while watching Carla the whole time between stray locks of black hair that had fallen down over his eyes. She giggled as first one foot then the other slipped through the khaki leaving large wet spots. Carlo then almost fell into the water as he rolled the pants into a missile and threw them at Carla. They landed in a bunch next to her as she laughed.
Carlo covered his nakedness with his hands for a moment then stretched out his arms. Where his tanned skin ended a compact muscular package delighted her eye. He now left the water and landed chest down on his towel. Claudia ran her hand from his shoulder, down his back to the firm, almost architectural curves of his ass. She slapped his cheeks hard,
“Good, do as you’re told.”
He yelped then turned to her smiling, his eyes only hinting at the awe and admiration that he felt for her. Bewitching she certainly was, yet to all intents a woman like any other. He reached behind her and gently tugged at the string of her bikini top. It fell away and he looked down. This was no ordinary woman.
“Dea incomparabile, bella Claudia…”
“No, I am Circe, this is my island and you will stay here for years after I have turned all of your companions into swine.”
She smiled and slowly slipped off her bikini bottom.
“C’mon, let’s go for a swim.”
She ran into the water and immediately felt the invigorating rush of coolness as the fluid touched her skin. She dived and the marvelous feeling of water surrounding her body brought back intense feelings of wellbeing and calm; feelings that stretched far back into the deepest recesses of her memory. As she came up again she saw that Carlo was still sitting on his towel watching her. She stood up, like a sea nymph emerging from the deep and waded towards him making as much noise was possible. Carlo sensed he was in trouble and quickly dodged her hands as she tried to flick water into his face. He stood, grasped her by the shoulders and dragged her back into the water to the accompaniment of laughter and good natured expletives. They reached the water just as they lost their balance and fell in; two nude bodies momentarily engulfed by the crystalline fabric.
They enjoyed the water for a care free hour; swimming diving and splashing. Carlo proved a good diver and a strong swimmer. On one of his many long dives he brought up a beautiful living Murex shell adorned with spines. She took it from him and marveled at its delicate beauty then let it float gently back down into the depths.
“You are kind, very kind,” he said as they stood waist deep in the water; droplets falling from his black hair like beads of purest quartz. Claudia watched them as they ran down over his muscles back into the water; taking a little of his essence with them. A sudden impulse seized her and she ran her hands up his sides, held him close and her lips found his once more.
After kissing her tenderly for a few minutes, Carlo’s hands slowly slipped down Claudia’s back. Incredibly, the water had given her skin an added silkiness and a sensual coolness that immediately aroused him. He grasped her hips and brought her closer, feeling her hard nipples press against his chest. As he kissed her she buried her feet in the pebbles and enjoyed their pleasantly textured massage. As Carlo’s kisses grew in intensity he bit her lips and plunged his tongue deep into her warm mouth. Their kisses mingled with the salt of the sea and to Claudia, the aroma of the surf that she loved so much, at that moment seemed sweeter and more evocative; reminding her of all that was good in life.
Carlo now reached down under the water and grasped her ass cheeks. They made perfect firm handfuls. He buried his palms into her soft skin and held her close; massaging and parting her ass cheeks gently as he kissed her. Claudia too found Carlo’s array of muscles irresistible; she rubbed his hips and reached round behind them to hold him. She pressed her body against him, raking the skin of his sides and abdominals lightly with her nails; sending tingles through his entire body.
In her subtle way, Claudia carefully avoided Carlo’s cock but every time it brushed against her skin and every time she touched his body, it responded and pulsed into life. Now Claudia kissed him hard, propping herself up onto his shoulders. Her feet left the tactile field of pebbles as he held her high. She bore down upon him, pushing her tongue deep into his mouth with relish. After a long moment of this she broke away and dived under the water. She was a good swimmer but only swam a short way towards the beach before she rose at a point where the water was waist deep. If Carlo could have seen her face he would have noticed a wicked smile playing on her lips and the dark glow of mischief in her eyes. But he could not see her face; instead his attention was focused on her mass of wet hair and the water streaming from it down her back. Carlo’s eyes followed the little rivulets as they ran down her spine to the cleft of her ass; just visible now above the glare on the water’s surface. He felt his cock twitch and his balls tightened and he followed her immediately – as she knew he would. A fleeting vision from her late teens entered Claudia’s mind then, of disapproving female classmates accusing her of being a shameless cocktease.
She now peeped over her shoulder – Carlo was gaining on her. In a flurry, she tossed her hair back; sending drops of water flying into his face. She giggled as he shook his head, telling him that he would have to chase her. As she had anticipated, he rushed forward so she took an evasive step sideways but tripped. She looked down to see what had caught her foot but saw nothing except the ubiquitous pebbles. Then she thought she heard laughter coming from somewhere but it was so subtle and gentle that it seemed to come from deep within her own mind.
Now she felt strong fingers and firm palms grasp her shoulder. She turned and met his cool lips. Serves you right cocktease…she thought to herself as her arms encircled his neck and her hands gripped his back. They lay at the water’s edge rolling and kissing with the sea gently lapping at their naked bodies as though they were some irresistibly delicious treat. Stray lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets floated through Claudia’s mind while Carlo imagined himself to be the star of a Calvin Klein photo shoot.
Claudia now took his hand and they stumbled out of the water, landing on the large towel beside her discarded bikini. She rested one of her hands on the side of Carlo’s face and pulled him down. Intuitively he knew exactly what she wanted. He settled beneath her thighs as Claudia made herself comfortable. No sooner had she done so than she felt his tongue flick over her labia. It was not long before Carlo’s efforts began to take effect and electric tingles coursed through Claudia’s body. She gripped Carlo’s head and pressed his face hard up against her pussy; moving her hips in time with his flicking tongue. He found her clit and started to encircle it with the tip of his tongue; faster and faster until she moaned and sighed. Now with his fingers, he spread her lips and worked his tongue up and down in long, lazy strokes from her clit to the verge of her ass. Claudia could feel her pussy moisten and drip. Carlo lapped up every drop like it was honey and spread it wherever his tongue roamed across her delicious pussy. He pressed his fingers into her inner thighs; there her skin was softest and the feel of it aroused him more than he could have imagined. Claudia placed one of her legs lightly upon his back while she played with his hair and continued to enjoy the sweet licking that he was treating her to. Now Carlo’s tongue began tracing the outlines of her slit and venturing ever deeper into her velvet folds. He grew bolder after several minutes and started licking her pussy with long, purposeful strokes like it was some exquisite delicacy. Claudia responded with deep sighs and spoke his name several times; calling him, mio caro amante.
Greatly pleased to hear this, he spread her delicate petals and slowly wiggled his tongue in as far as it would go, tasting her essence and rapidly bringing her to the verge of climax. But she wanted him to stop; the pleasure was just too much too soon. No, their afternoon had only just begun. She slid down to kiss him now; bringing her hand up to massage his cock. She loved the feeling of a man’s cock expanding in her hand. With Carlo the job was easy. She ran her palm lightly up and down his shaft and immediately it responded. Then she cupped his balls, rubbed them and finally teased his foreskin down. She looked at the plump pink head of his cock then met his eyes. He almost shuddered; so filled were hers with lust and desire.
“Cocktease I may be but I never disappoint,” she thought.
Her mouth began to water as she slipped her lips down over the head of Carlo’s cock. Then with her hand pumping its base and squeezing it harder and harder, she gave him her full attention. Carlo lay back; he breathed in the sea air deeply and felt the surge of the waves as they broke on the tiny beach. He felt at one with the elements; a denizen of sea and sky. Now here was this impossibly beautiful woman; a woman he barely knew; this nymph, for surely she had been created by the gods. Maybe she was indeed Circe; she belonged to a different age, the mythic age of gold; so intense, so magical was the desire she produced in him. He felt his cock filling her mouth and rubbing against the inside of her cheeks, he felt her tongue lick every inch of his shaft one minute and her silky lips envelope his thickness in the next. The entire time he gazed at the sky and there he saw her face; her enigmatic onyx eyes, her perfect full lips; as dark as a ripe mulberry, her lustrous hair framing a visage more beautiful than any he could recall.
Claudia could of course read all the signs of Carlo’s growing arousal so she pressed home her onslaught. Pursing her lips as tightly as she could, she concentrated on the head of his cock, bobbing up and down as though to a deep bass beat. Carlo resisted the mounting waves of pleasure that were flooding through his body and he fought the battle bravely. But he could not hold out long. Claudia’s besieging army soon conquered him. He buried his hands into the towel and the muscles in his legs tightened followed by those in his hips. He arched his back and shot his seed. Rather than take it into her mouth, Claudia milked his cock until four spurts of thick come had streamed out of it and landed upon her breasts. She then ran her hands through the warm fluid; enjoying the sensation of its texture against her skin. Carlo watched her fascinated. He breathed heavily and long after she had finished with it, his cock retained its hardness; pointing up into the cloudless Sicilian sky.
They refreshed themselves in the sea then rested in each others arms and drank the remainder of the moscato. The afternoon wore on lazily as they dosed nude in the sun. Carlo was about to apply more sun block to Claudia’s back when he heard the familiar strains of Shakira’s Loca coming from deep inside Claudia’s beach bag. He delved inside and found his cell phone. It was a call from his mother.
Carlo fell silent then as he listened to his mother’s angry words delivered in purest Sicilian and at ever increasing volume. He bowed his head and could only manage to utter a few meager words of apology.
“…Mi dispace…perdonami mamma, perdonami… no mamma no…”
Yet still the torrent of parental indignation continued. By Carlo’s side, Claudia was pretending to be asleep, pretending not to listen, but all the while she delighted in the grilling that Carlo was being subjected to at his mother’s hands. She fought off the urge to laugh.
“It serves you right,” she thought, “Naughty boy, neglecting your mamma like that and bumming around naked with loose Aussie chicks you hardly know.”
At last there was a pause from the Fury at the other end of the cell phone and her errant son promised her that he would do the right thing,
“Faro la cosa giusta.”
“Ciao mamma, ciao. Ti voglio bene.”
“Awww,” Claudia thought, “he loves her and is not afraid to say it.”
He clicked the cell phone off and looked at Claudia with more than a touch of embarrassment. She frowned theatrically and wagged her finger at him after which she stroked his hair. Suddenly he said,
“I have to go soon. I have to take an ex-am? Si, an exam in Palermo on Manday. It is important to me, very. My… mother is angry that I no study hard. But I worry about you…this house is strange, may be evil is here.”
Claudia was quick to dismiss his fears for her safety, telling him that she was far tougher than she looked and that the house was now her home. He seemed to accept this based on what he had seen and let the matter rest there.
“What are you studying?”
Monday was the day after tomorrow. She reassured Carlo again that she would be fine on her own and offered to drive him to the air port. He thanked her, but politely declined then hugged her and kissed her cheeks. Claudia found his obvious sincerity touching, but as the news of his immanent departure began to sink in, a cold note of apprehension entered Claudia’s heart and she was not used to feeling apprehensive or indeed to being afraid.