Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Chapter 1, Part 1

Danny Vandervere woke up that morning, as he did most mornings, conscious of a great happiness. He awoke to a world where he knew himself the possessor of everything that a young gay man could possibly want: extraordinary physical beauty, a big dick and a perfect ass, love and sex coming at him from a hundred directions at once, plenty of money in the bank, and a spacious apartment taking up a whole floor of a Beaux-Arts townhouse he owned outright on a desirable tree-lined Castro District street; his home was filled with dazzling state-of-the-art electronic equipment as well as exquisite art and antiques, his closets overflowed with custom-tailored designer clothes and ridiculously expensive shoes, and his private garage (an enviable luxury in its own right) boasted a jazzy and powerful racing-green Jaguar roadster that growled deliciously when it accelerated and gave him a hard-on every time he got it into fourth gear. He could not think of a single thing he lacked, and that made him very happy.

Danny stretched luxuriously, pulling and flexing every muscle in his long body one after the other, purring like a cat from the pleasure it gave him; working his way slowly into a sitting position against the cream silk pillows, he gave his sleep-bloated cock an affectionate pull and ran the tips of his perfectly manicured fingernails over one large and shiny rose-brown nipple. Indulging in a profound, jaw-stretching yawn and wiggling his long and meticulously pedicured toes, he took stock of his physical well-being — no hangover, no eye-crusts, no sourness or fuzziness in his mouth, no aches or pains anywhere — and then opened his clear young eyes on the new day.

The furnishings and hangings of his bedroom had been specifically chosen to set off his own coloring in exactly this light; the pale but earthy shades running from the cool eggshell paint of the architectural details to the faded camel velvet of the walls and curtains, the warm fleshy cream of the upholstery and bedding to the delicate honey-gold of the burl pearwood Art Deco furniture accented the rose-gold tones of Danny's smooth milky skin and made it glow as if lit from within; the sheer amber silk curtains over the slightly open windows filtered and shifted the direct late-morning sunlight so that it danced flatteringly in his gilt-edged sable curls and large puppy-brown eyes. If the sun had been obscured by clouds, as often happened in San Francisco, or if Danny awoke significantly earlier or later than 10 a.m., the effect wouldn't quite come off — the success of the day's lighting added substantially to his happiness.

Kicking off the cream-silk-covered eiderdown duvet, Danny focused on the sliding full-length mirrors that covered the shallow closet directly across from the foot of his bed, delighting in his own physical beauty luxuriously displayed against its perfectly orchestrated background — he marveled at the sight of his face and physique as if they belonged to someone else, finding aesthetic joy and erotic pleasure in his reflection the way one would expect to find it in one's beloved.

He stroked his genitals in a more purposeful manner, bringing himself to full erection and thrilling at the size and heft of his own cock, delighting in the way his round hairless balls rested with deceptive calm against the rumpled sheets. He angled his left leg up and braced his foot against the mattress; he ran his left hand over his well-developed pectorals, then traced the flowing lines of his neck, chest, abdomen, groin, and crotch while he slowly pumped his cock with his right hand.

His eyes rested on his long well-muscled legs and beautifully sculpted feet with their intricate bones and shiny nails; then surveyed his tight-turned waist from the sharply defined pelvic girdle, up his taut narrow flanks across the smoothed-out cobbles of his abdominal wall, and up to the soaring arch of his ribcage; then on the slowly pulsing bicep and deltoid of his right arm as his large fist continued to slide up and down in its comfortable rhythm at the end of his elegantly tapered wrist; then to his own rapt face with his big faunishly slanted eyes blank with pleasure, his plump-lipped scarlet mouth hanging open, soft and slick from his active tongue, his flat porcelain cheeks flushed peach and rose with the heat of his body, all framed by the delicate architecture of his cheek- and jaw-bones and the tousled cherubic mass of his thickly curling dark hair.

A fine film of clean sweat broke out over his hot velvety skin as he brought himself closer to climax; his hips bucked and his head beat back against the pillows as the semen boiled inside of him, but he became perfectly still, with his eyes focused on the mirror and his legs straining to hold his body still, as the thick jism erupted and splashed onto his chest and abdomen, then trickled and spread across his pumping hand and moist reddened cock. Danny continued to stroke himself slowly, soothingly, as his breathing returned to normal and he let his mind dwell on the pulsing waves of pleasure that rippled slowly through his body. In this calmly exalted state, he offered a prayer of thanks to the benificent God who had created the human body with such exquisite pleasures in it.

Eventually, in the cooling aftermath of his orgasm, Danny became aware of something he did lack: someone to bring him a cup of coffee in bed. Or better yet, someone to bring a pot and cup of coffee, and a plate of toast and jam, perhaps even a slice of canteloupe, with his bone-and-platinum Lenox service on the pearwood bed-tray with a cream damask napkin and a cream-and-crimson rose in a silver bud-vase. He could, of course, make up such a tray on his own and come back to bed with it, but by then the mood would have been broken and the tray and Lenox service and bud-vased rose a waste of time.

Danny Vandervere's favorite part of the day was waking up, that blissful Elysium between gaining consciousness and recovering from his morning orgasm, in which nothing was lacking and he was only aware of his innumerable physical and material blessings. As he levered himself out of the vast warm bed and padded into the warm beige marble bathroom for a pee, his mind became aware of other things he lacked... a loving family, one special person on whom to lavish all of his love, or just some passionate purpose in his life.

He stepped into the twelve-head shower stall to rinse the light sweat and heavy come from his skin, misted his skin with an expensive moisturizing spray, and patted himself dry with a vast fluffy towel; as he moved out of the long narrow bathroom with its blondwood cabinetry and gilded fixtures, down the book-lined corridor, and into the cool metallic efficiency of the long narrow kitchen, a vague but persistent dissatisfaction began to circle around at the back of Danny's mind.

By the time he had ground his accustomed quarter-pound of Italian roast beans and brewed the first pot of the day in the new German coffee-maker (a recent gift from an admirer who owned a chi-chi kitchenwares boutique) that bristled with so many digital features that Danny himself didn't know what they all did, he had come down from the sunny summit of pure happiness and was paddling about in the warm shallows of mere contentment.

He took great pleasure from his first cup of coffee, which he drank while standing pleasurably naked in the dappled sunlight and sweet spring breezes on the fire-escape-cum-balcony outside the kitchen and dining-room, watching with great pleasure a neighbor's young orange cat frolicking in the scattered sunbeams across the alleyway; but these simple pleasures were slightly diminished by that vague back-of-the-mind dissatisfaction, a dissatisfaction of which Danny wasn't consciously aware — but which hung, like a dimming curtain, between him and the complete happiness he experienced upon waking up.

His second cup of coffee was set to cool as Danny slurped down a cup of lime-flavored nonfat yogurt and an obscenely large banana, after which he let go a loud wet belch that he would never have dared if he weren't completely alone, but which gave him a great secret thrill of naughtiness. Belching felt good, despite its social unacceptability, and so did walking around naked and scratching his ass or petting his cock. It was the luxury of living alone, a luxury that Danny loved despite the occasional loneliness that sometimes dampened his solitary pleasures.

He took his coffee into the opulently overfurnished living room, where he opened the front of the large chinoiserie secretaire that stood in the center of the wall at the north end of the room, wherein his computer and assorted electronica were hidden away. He settled into the florid Renaissance Revival swivel chair (one of the few pieces of Victoriana he owned, preferring the clean smooth lines of the Empire and Art Deco styles, but the chair had been a gift), wriggling into the ticlkish feeling of the age-softened wool velvet against his bare skin, and waited for his unnecessarily powerful top-of-the-line PC system (another gift from another admirer) to come to life while finishing off his second cup of coffee.

Returning to the kitchen for a third cup and detouring through the foyer to retrieve his fancy little PDA from last night's jacket, Danny paused to survey his domain for a moment before settling down for his morning reading; the big square living room illustrated his recent financial and emotional history more than any other room in the apartment, and its jostling crowd of exquisite objects never failed to satisfy him.

The basic furniture, like the deep pillowed sofa and the Georgian wing chairs flanking the fireplace, or the square rosewood piano set in the wide bow window and the chinoiserie desk against the wall, Danny had purchased for himself with the seven-million-dollar windfall he'd inherited from his great-aunt Mathilda Vandervere, who had died two weeks after Danny graduated with his English Lit degree from Stanford; he'd also bought the apartment building he lived in, another less luxurious building up the street, and his beloved 1956 Jaguar convertible (which he'd named Caroline Queen after his great-aunt's secret business pseudonym, under which she had amassed her tidy fortune from weekend gambling trips and slightly shady real-estate ventures, away from the profit-grasping fingers of the Vandervere Family Trust).

Seven million is quickly absorbed when you're splashing out in San Francisco real estate, eighteenth-century escritoires, and high-maintenance vintage cars, and Danny found himself with little more than his Trust allowance to live on after his initial purchases. And while his bachelor's stipend from the Vandervere Trust and his rents from his apartments were a plush-enough income for most people, Danny had expensive tastes in clothing, restaurants, and entertainments, not to mention a lot of property taxes.

Within four months of his arrival in San Francisco and the official inauguration of his life as a free adult, Danny was essentially broke, having squandered two quarters' allowance and the remainder of his inheritance on opera tickets, bottles of pre-war P√Ępe Neuf, and stacks of signature Versace underwear. There were two months left before he'd get another allowance check, and the rents were being eaten up in repairs and insurance, but the bills kept rolling in on his department store accounts and credit cards.

Danny had never been trained to take care of himself in this manner (Vandervere men were expected to stay at home in Vandervere, California, and either run the eponymous town or the paper mill that was the source of the Vandervere fortune, or else take up residence in the more cosmopolitan capital of Sacramento and help run either the state or the Vandervere Family Trust), and though he tried to economise on his lifestyle, it never occurred to him to sell any of the property he'd amassed in order to raise money, or even take up some kind of salaried job.

Instead, he drove up to Sacramento to beg one of the officers of the Trust to give him an advance on his allowance. A certain Mr. Uderhagen, whose task it was to administer the allowances that were drawn on the Trust, was happy to oblige with an extra few thousand in advance without mentioning it to the family... the first time. The second time Danny came begging (a mere two weeks later, having frittered away the entire amount in a few days), Mr. Uderhagen set a condition: Danny must allow himself to be spanked, then rimmed, then blown.

During the two-hour drive home to San Francisco, Danny pondered the feelings that had resulted from the humiliating and yet pleasurable transaction in the Trust Officer's office. Though Mr. Uderhagen was no great beauty, just an average-looking middle-aged accountant with a scrawny neck, he wasn't entirely repulsive; and though the spanking had been painful and embarrassing (and made the drive home a tad uncomfortable), the rimming and blowjob had been quite lovely.

These spank-and-advance sessions became a regular occurrence in the next few months, until Mr. Uderhagen was no longer able to make advances without the other Officers and the family noticing the diversion of cash-flow; Danny was several quarters ahead of himself, and his bills continued to mount. However, Mr. Uderhagen offered to pay the month's bills with his own money, if Danny would agree to a rather more complicated and reciprocal "scene"... one that involved an Eton uniform, buggery, foot-worship, and a baroque storyline about cricket practice and an impatient Classics master.

Danny complied, and even enjoyed the well-staged scene, but knew that Mr. Uderhagen couldn't afford to keep up this arrangement on his salary; and he would hate for the helpful Uderhagen to lose his job because of the advances, or become drawn into embezzlement on Danny's behalf, so he broke off the affair. But the lesson of Mr. Uderhagen remained: older, less-attractive men are often quite generous when young and extremely beautiful men show them favor and comply with their romantic fancies.

As Danny flitted through his accustomed social rounds, his focus shifted away from the other beautiful young men with whom he had been exclusively fascinated, and he suddenly noticed the great numbers of affluent-looking older men to whom he had never really paid much attention... they were so quiet and unassuming for the most part. But once Danny got to know them, they often turned out to be extremely kind, sometimes wonderfully wise, and occasionally quite interesting — but invariably generous. These men took him to dinner in his favorite four-star restaurants, escorted him to prime seating at the opera and the ballet and the symphony and the theatre, and gave him sweaters and watches and paintings and bronzes all gift-wrapped with sweetly sentimental cards attached.

Of even greater value to Danny's happiness than the gifts, these older men lavished on him an affection that he never knew he craved. He'd never recieved any affection of any kind from his own father, nor his mother or brother, his aunt or uncle or many cousins. The Vandervere clan, never known for its warmth or emotional content, had despised Danny from the moment his rather decadent beauty became apparent... in an entrenched old clan of handsome WASPs, an effeminately beautiful boy was viewed with distrust and anger. And though his three spinster great-aunts, Mathilda and Myrtle and Maude Vandervere, had taken him under their collective wing and poured out their maiden love on him in his adolescence, it had been undemonstrative WASP affection rather than the doting physical affection (in tandem with Venetian mirrors, Shiraz carpets, and bespoke suits) that Danny recieved from his elderly beaux.

Having opened his mind to the emotional and material satisfactions inherent in kindly older men, Danny started noticing more practical applications for his beauty and sexuality as a commodity: the burly Czech mechanic who serviced Caroline was more than happy to lube and tune the Jaguar for free after he'd lubed and tuned Danny in the back office; the senior salesmen of fashion houses and department stores often "forgot" to ring up various purchases after a quick tussle in a fitting-room; the owners of the shops where Danny picked up his necessities, his wines or housewares or charcuterie, kept him supplied with his daily needs after he'd seen to a few of their night-time needs.

Danny's new career as a "courtesan" (he didn't think of himself as a prostitute, since he never took money, only gifts and favors) did not take him completely away from his former sexual pursuits; instead, it doubled his success-rate when he began to notice attributes in potential mates that weren't just physical. Along with the nice old men and the well-placed admirers, he maintained a roster of stunning fuck-buddies and indulged in brief, passionate romances that burned out quickly from their own sexual heat.

And so he had everything, torrid romance and remunerative affection, hot encounters and ever-increasing financial security. He loved his tricks and sugar-daddies on some level, but it wasn't the kind of passionate love he expected to someday find: he harbored an inchoate dream for a special someone on whom to devote all his love, but that desire wasn't yet fully formed in his still quite young and affection-starved mind.

An elaborate musical tone from the computer, telling him that his email was downloaded and his stock portfolio and news articles refreshed and ready to read, recalled Danny from his woolgathering. Settling down into his desk-chair, he tuned his surprisingly agile and retentive mind to the morning's crop of information: absorbing the events of the world, calculating the losses and gains on the handful of preferred and IPO stocks that had been the gifts of amorous brokers and lonely CEOs, and reading and answering his voluminous email correspondence.

Danny's intelligence is what set him apart from the crowds of beautiful young men with whom he competed for the limited supply of gay millionaires; older, educated, cultured men were so delighted to discover that Danny wasn't a ditzy party-boy or a narcissistic drama queen, so thrilled that his conversation ranged far beyond the limits of Britney gossip and the latest fashions, so amazed that he'd read Proust in French and could debate the intricate cultural revolutions that characterized the Medieval period, that they fell all over themselves to keep him intellectually stimulated with rare first editions and one-time-only cultural events.

But while his education and breeding made the rich men trust and dote on him, these same factors formed a barrier between him and the other young men with whom he hoped to fall in love. Though he could spend whole afternoons discussing Dolce & Gabbana's new spring line and the influence of Madonna on the gay community, he found a complete lack of mutual comprehension between himself and his younger lovers that left him with terribly little interest in them once the sex was over.

Finishing his morning computer time, Danny switched over to his datebook program to synchronize his PDA and check his schedule for the day. It was a singularly uneventful day, with nothing but his usual Thursday afternoon spa routine: an hour of Pilates with his personal trainer and forty minutes of cardio aerobics with the rest of the well-kept men and women who used the exclusive day-spa, followed by shiatsu and river-rock massages. The evening gaped and yawned with emptiness, giving Danny a twinge of anxiety over how to fill it up.