The Music in the Painting

Chapter Twelve

Once they had dried off sufficiently they walked back through the door. Bobby pulled out a drawer and removed two dress like garments.

"They’re from Morocco, Arab boys wear them, they call them Djellaba. There’s a place in Culver City that sells them. This one’s a bit tight on me but it should fit you great. I have one that’s a little larger for me."

Drew pulled the djellaba over his head and let it settle on his slender frame. "It feels really light and very smooth." Looking down at his chest he began to notice the details of the garment. "Is this lace or embroidery?"

"Both actually, it looks really great on you. Litton was right, you are very pretty," Bobby cooed.

"I’ll bet you say that to all the boys," said Drew adopting a coquettish pose. Both boys burst out laughing as a knock sounded on the door.        

Bobby opened the door and found his Grampa waiting.

"I’m going to meet with some fellows from Metro; Walt called and said they have some new developments, I won’t bore you with the details."

"You lads look wonderful in those, please ask Davey to get a photo of you in them by the pool. He’ll be here while I’m gone; he might even swim with you if invited."

"Okay Grampa," They said in unison and then giggled.

Mac leaned down and gave Bobby a peck on the cheek.

"What about Drew?"

Mac Shrugged and gave Drew a quick peck as well and then turned and headed down the hall.

The boys shambled after him and down the stairs towards the pool. They met Davey on the way as he was crossing from the kitchen.  Bobby loaded Drew down with several large white terry towels and grabbed a pile himself.

"Hi Guys," said Davey, "Going for a swim?"

"Yeah, you should join us,"  Bobby chirped.

"You know, I think I will."

"Do you have your camera handy? Grampa wanted a picture of us by the pool in these djellabas."

"Yup, let me get it from the kitchen. I kind of took over the table in there."

Bobby and Drew went out to the pool terrace.  As soon as they stepped out the door, Drew was in awe.



The terrace itself was impressive, it was covered in a pebbled concrete and quarried tile. A large rectangular swimming pool took up a large part of it but there were chairs and chaises scattered about casually.

The brilliant blue of the pool was enhanced by a tile mosaic in the bottom. It was a six foot compass properly oriented and magnified by the still, clear water in the pool.

 The air was scented by Star Jasmine emanating from the river stone planters that surrounded the terrace on three sides.

"Turn around and smile guys," aiming his camera, Davey snapped a couple photos and then said, "How about a nice pose, maybe put an arm around the other?"

Bobby complied immediately sliding his palm across Drew’s bottom as he did. Drew reciprocated and both boys smiled innocently for the photo.

Davey snapped a couple more and said, "I think that will do the trick guys. I’ll develop these tomorrow."

With that he put the camera on a low table and pulled off his shirt and shorts and jumped into the pool.

Drew and Bobby scrambled to pull off their robes and join him. They threw themselves into the pool without hesitation. Drew didn’t have a chance even to be shy about swimming nude in the outdoors.

The boy’s swam and roughhoused for more than an hour. Finally Bobby said," I’m wiped out guys; I’m going to get some sun. He lay down on a chaise after folding a towel and draping it over his groin.

"Now you’re shy?" asked Drew.

"Nope, I just don’t want to be sunburned there."

Davey got out of the pool and began to dry himself as Drew claimed another chaise and nabbed a towel to protect his own little friend, both boys watched Davey towel off, with salacious interest.

"Enjoying the show boys?" asked Davey waggling his rump at them.

"Davey, why are you not circumcised but Wes is, and he’s older?" asked Bobby

"I think the Doc did it without asking when Wes was born. My parents made sure it didn’t happen again with me. And actually I am partially circumcised. When I was nine I started having trouble with my foreskin being painful to retract for cleaning or when it got hard. I had an elephant trunk and the skin was too tight. So they nipped a little off the end. Now the tip is partially exposed because I grew a bit, and when I’m hard it looks like I’m fully circumcised."

"Can we see the transition?" asked Bobby a bit lasciviously.

"No, I don’t think that would be right, but your Gramma did the procedure and she took photos before and after and even erect. Ask her."



"I’ve seen Grampa’s stand up. It looks like an extra arm sticking out of him like that," said Bobby

"It’s impressive to be sure." Davey said "I walked in to the bathroom early one morning when I was about seven. I looked at his and then at mine and felt a little inadequate. He said I had plenty of time to grow. Okay guys; that’s enough boner talk, I have some stuff I need to do for Uncle Mac."

"Yeah, it’s kind of creepy talking about Grampa’s dick anyway," said Bobby.

"Do you guys want me to fix you something to eat?"

"No thanks," said Bobby, "we’ll just grab some cheese and crackers and some fruit, oh and let’s get a bottle of Martinelli's."

"What are you boy’s doing later?"

"We don’t know yet, we’re still getting to know each other. I was going to ask over our snack."

"Okay, just let me know if you wander off please?"

"We will I wouldn’t want to get any of us in trouble with Grampa."

"None of us want that," Davey laughed.

The boys put on their djellabas and headed to the kitchen. There they gathered a tray of goodies and an ice bucket for the sparkling cider.

Bobby led Drew to a small patio off the atrium and as they passed through Drew saw an unusual looking piano.

"What is that?" asked Drew nodding at the piano.

"It’s a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand, it has eight full octaves. It’s been here since Grampa’s Grampa had this place built. It has ninety-seven keys."

"It must sound great."

"It does, all the extra notes are below C so you can play organ pieces mostly.

But the piano itself sounds better than my Steinway. It has a tone that’s mellower if a little bit less crisp. But I love playing it. Let’s eat and I’ll show you how it sounds."


"Yes it’s in my practice room, next to my bedroom. We never got that far did we?" Bobby smirked a bit.

"No we didn’t, grinned Drew in response.

The boys lazed on the padded chairs and munched on pears and grapes, cheese and wheat crackers and sipped sparkling cider. The landscape surrounding the small patio was alive with birdsong.

Dragonflies and Emerald beetles buzzed about. At one point a pair of hummingbirds fed from a feeder taking no notice of their observers.

As Drew absorbed the scenery Bobby’s attention was fixed on Drew. His tousled hair seemed to catch the light and shimmer.

The way his face was lit he looked like a painting by one of the great masters. Bobby wore a serene smile and when Drew turned to look back at him, he returned it in kind.

"If you’re done eating let’s carry the tray and stuff back to the kitchen. Then you can hear the Bosendorfer and I can hear you sing."

When they arrived in the kitchen, they found Davey asleep on his hands leaning over the old blue prints for the house. Bobby kissed him on his upturned cheek and he stirred.

"We’re about to play some music in the atrium, why don’t you lie down in there and catch a nap?"

Davey rose and placed his hand on the side of Bobby’s neck in a gentle manner. "That’s a very good idea, I think I will; thank you."

Bobby sat on the bench and thought for a moment.

 "So how about Beethoven’s most popular bagatelle; as a demonstration?"

"I don’t know that piece," said Drew

"Sure you do, you just know it by the popular name," "Fur Elise"

Bobby began playing as Drew listened intently.

"I don’t think I’ve ever heard it all the way through," He told Bobby once he had finished playing.

"Most people only recognize the first few bars unless they’re musicians. It’s not a choral piece so singers rarely hear the whole thing either."

"What would you like to start with?" asked Bobby

"Oh, how about Ombra Mai Fu. "

"Okay, but I’m not warmed up."

"It’s just us; you don’t have to project much."

Drew ran through a few quick scales as he had been taught.

Bobby began playing the introduction and then Drew began singing. Bobby closed his eyes and absorbed the angelic voice of his love.

It was truly beautiful and full. He found that his eyes were tearing up in reaction. As the last notes died away from the piano, Bobby sat silently. His reverie was broken when Drew lightly stroked his cheek with the backs of his fingers.

"That was wonderful. I love your voice. How about another? your choice this time."

"Do you know Voi che sapete?"

"Sure, Cherubino’s song from La nozze di Figaro right? I like that one." 

Now that he was warmed up Drew didn’t spare the horses, he sang with all the embellishments he had learned for the song.

"Wow Drew! Fantastic coloratura! That was great! You can really control your voice. I’ve heard adults in live opera that can’t do that as well as you."

"Okay, now it’s your turn."

"Oh, I hadn’t considered that. Let me think." After a short pause he announced, "Okay here’s one."

He began to play "The Moon and I" from the Mikado. Although he could no longer sing the song in his soprano voice he was still able to give a lovely rendering as an alto. When he finished he found Drew gazing at him with his remarkable green eyes.

"That was great!" said Drew enthusiastically.

"Thanks." said Bobby. "I like singing it, especially for you."

"Let’s do one together." said Drew excitedly.

"Sure, I know the perfect piece to try out if you’re game."

Bobby retrieved a thick notebook from the piano bench and found the pages he wanted.

"My Gramma and I sing this together; I did an arrangement for piano that made it comfortable for us both."

"Sul Aria," mused Drew. "That’s a beautiful one. You must like La nozze di Figaro."

"Actually I prefer Rossini’s version if I’m watching opera. But for playing or singing you can’t beat Mozart."

As they sang it was like two lovers searching for the perfect pose. As each began to take the others measure their voices blended in a spectacular climax of harmony. When they finished singing they shared a passionate kiss. Suddenly Bobby became aware of his surroundings again and noticed his grandfather beaming at them.

"That was beautiful lads, I’ve never heard better," said Mac.

Drew blushed a deep red and stammered, "Hello Sir."

"You’ve no need to be embarrassed Drew, I’ve known about our Bobby for some time now," Mac soothed. "I’m happy for both of you. You seem a good match, does your Mum know?"

"Yes, sort of, I mean we’ve talked but I never just came out and said I like boys." Drew said trying to retain his composure; he was only moments from tears.

"Well now don’t you fret, she’ll hear nowt from me. Who you tell is your business, and you’re free to be affectionate here. You might want to be careful in public though. There are some who would do you harm because of your love." Mac said, he had moved closer and placed a hand on the trembling boy’s shoulder. Drew stood and hugged Mac with all he had.

"Thank You." He squeaked out as he dissolved into tears.

Bobby joined them and they stood together until Drew was sufficiently recovered.

Mac bent down and kissed both boys on the forehead. "I’m going to change for a swim, let’s let Davey catch a few winks."

Bobby put away the music and closed the piano, and grasping Drew by the hand, led him up the stairs to his room.

"I get it now." said Drew

"Get what?" said Bobby.

"I get why you light up when you see your Grampa, he’s really wonderful."

"Yeah, but don’t tell him that, he’ll get a swelled head," as he finished his reply Bobby gave Drew a little hip check as they walked down the hall. Drew reciprocated and soon they were both giggling as they reached Bobby’s door.