“Samuel, it’s late. You should go to sleep, and I should leave before Seitz finds me in your room after hours again.”
The handsome, youthful face of the Italian showed frustration, his cocoa eyes hung with fatigue.
The other boy, distinctly American, smiled a soft, absentminded smile in the general direction of his companion. The shadows of this boy’s visage were illuminated by the flickering glow of the green banker’s lamp perched precariously on the ebony surface of the Steinway piano.
“Gian Carlo, I promise it’s almost done. Besides, if ol’ Fritz-y hasn’t notice your absence already, he’s not going to.” Samuel spoke these words without eye contact from his companion- the American was too preoccupied with jotting down various chords on a well loved piece of staff paper.
“You may have to suffer the punishment for procrastinating on your composition project by staying up into the God-forsaken hours of the night, but that doesn’t mean I do! I was a good student and turned it in on time.”
Samuel laughs a melodious laugh.
“But Gian Carlo, when have good students ever made history in music? You forget Debussy was banned from the Conservatoire; Ravel shunned by his patrons, Berlioz refused conservatory admittance and the Prix de Rome and so forth. Mozart and Bach didn’t even attend school. So I don’t want to hear it.”
Gian Carlo rolled his eyes, one of his fingers making its way through his thick tendrils of brunet hair, frowning at its length. Should it grow too long, it would become curly and unruly.
“Why don’t you grow your hair out, Gian Carlo? I think it’s becoming.”
A small hint of pink danced across the Italian’s strong features.
“Because it gets greasy,” he answered roughly, his eyes begging for the relief of sleep.
The insinuating smile disappeared from Samuel’s face, replaced by one of slight worry.
“Do you think Seitz knows? About us, I mean.”
The Italian released an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.”
“Would they…would they kick us out of the conservatory?” Samuel asked, his murky brown eyes with flecks of green seemed to quiver at the thought of it.
It was one of those moments where Gian Carlo realized that Sam really hadn’t had a life outside of music. He was put into Curtis at fourteen, with nothing but a scholarship, a passion, and a thirst for learning. Gian Carlo, on the other hand, arrived from Italy, where he had worked on his father’s plantation. He knew of the hardships of the world, and that it was a dastardly place, and while Sam knew some of the cruelties of mankind, he in no way knew enough of them.
The Italian nonetheless put a comforting hand on Samuel’s shoulder and smiled, his face appearing more melancholy than reassuring.
“I think they’re pretty open-minded here. After all, it’s art school.”
Unceremoniously, the composition flopped from the built-in music stand of the piano, and simultaneously, Samuel found his way into the other boy’s arms, touching his face with graphite-stained hands.
Sometimes, the Italian felt that he had corrupted Samuel, who was so innocent- he knew little of romance, and they had become good friends, and…hell, Gian Carlo himself wasn’t sure of the feelings he harbored for the older man.
An exhalation of breath echoed throughout the silent school. It, itself, was silenced by the rough placement of lips on lips, the fisting of hands in hair, the release of emotions pent away by the traumas of work.
Gian Carlo kissed Samuel with all he had, and as he heard the resounding whimper from his lover’s lips, Gian Carlo’s face emptied of its melancholy.
God can’t save those who don’t want to be saved.