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Dom and Sandro Pt 01
[This story continues the saga of three gay couples, David and Jon Singleton-Scarborough, Tom Appleton and Luke Singleton-Scarborough, and Dom Overton and Sandro Mascagnoli. All the characters in the story are imaginary, although some of the main characters are models of the sort of person that I would like to be. Some places and institutions mentioned are real, others are imaginary. All literary quotations are genuine. The opera Anna Veronica and its composer are totally imaginary. I hope that expert readers will forgive any inaccuracies in my representation of the worlds of engineering and opera, and not forget that this is a work of fiction. Once again there are a lot of characters in this story. You can get help to remind you who they are by clicking on WittePiet, then on the Biography tab, and scrolling down till you reach a Character List.]
Chapter I Dom: Life in Fountain Street
Late in September 20—, I awoke in our room at Rockwell’s Barn. I disengaged myself from Sandro’s right arm, got out of bed, released a noisy fart from my rear-end, and looked out of the window. The Ixfordshire countryside was beginning to show its autumn colours, and brown and yellow leaves were falling from the trees at the slightest breeze. It had been a long, hot summer, and autumn had started early. I turned round and looked at my darling boy, still lying asleep, his long dark hair spread out over the pillow, his sweet lips slightly parted, showing a hint of his white teeth. As I looked at him, a wave of tenderness swept over me. I realized how lucky I was to have such a wonderful mate. In two weeks’ time, my final undergraduate year in Camford would begin, but for most of that year I would be sharing a bed with my sweet boyfriend under my uncle’s silk sheets. I resolved that when in the future the two of us had our own house, we also would get silk sheets.
Today however, I was going to London for the day to get a new suit. Most of my clothing was from Giorgio Armani, but my parents liked me to have just one English-cut suit from the family tailors in Savile Row, which they paid for! I had chosen the pattern and the material (wool) and today was to be the final fitting. I was also going to order a pair of hand-made shoes.
My Italian boyfriend, Sandro Mascagnoli had arrived in England three weeks before, for the wedding of his brother’s partner’s sister and we were enjoying a short spell together without work or responsibilities. He was to start in his lab later that week, and we would be busy for the next few days getting ready to move our possessions to the flat in Fountain Street, Camford, where he, I and Sandro’s uncle Jonathan Singleton-Scarborough would be living. I adjourned to our bathroom, where I had my morning shit. Then we both showered and shaved before joining Jon for breakfast. “Are you sure you did the right thing, moving out of College?” asked Jon.
“Oh, yes,” I said, “it’s my final year, and there are too many distractions in College. Jennifer would never leave me alone. Sandro will be busy in his lab, and he has a lot of work to get through, so you needn’t think that we will be idling our time away in sex and drinking! Camford is a wonderful place and I want to leave it with a good degree. I can’t think why my brother Michael opted for Oxbridge when Camford is much better. Sandro loves it. He says it is better than Venice!”
“I agree with you about that!” said Jon. “But as you’re gay, maybe you should have gone to Buckingham!” Buckingham was Camford’s gay-friendly college. Sandro’s brother Luke Singleton-Scarborough had been a student there.
“I didn’t know I was gay when I went up to university,” I replied. “That was your nephew’s doing!”
Sandro grinned. “Are you having regrets then?” he asked. “Do you wish that you were fucking Jennifer?” he asked with a grin as he named our fag-hag.
“Of course not!” I replied, “If I didn’t have a train to catch, I would punish you mercilessly for that remark!”
About three hours later, I came out of Piccadilly Circus underground station and began to walk up Regent Street towards Savile Row and the shop of Fanthorpe and Crowley. I entered the shop and an assistant came up to me. “I have an appointment for a fitting at 11-30,” I said.
The man looked in a book. “Oh, yes, please come this way, my lord,” he said. I nearly died of embarrassment. Clearly my mother had made the appointment! Because she had married into our family and become a countess, she loved the titles that embarrassed my father and me. In Camford, I had gone to extreme lengths to conceal the courtesy title. I was registered with both college and university under my birth names of Dominic Francis Overton, and my signature Dominic Overton gave nothing away. After all, I told myself, Viscount Overton was not a real peerage. The only real lord in the family was my grandfather, the Marquess of Wakefield, who had actually sat in the House of Lords until evicted, with all but 90 of his colleagues, by the Blair government in the nineteen-nineties.
However, I had nothing to fear about any breach of confidentiality at Fanthorpe and Crowley. A firm that holds delicate and intimate casino oyna information like on which side a customer’s genitals sit in his trouser crotch, is not going to be indiscreet! The fitter commented on how my body measurements had changed since my last suit. I replied that the old suit dated from the days when I was a skinny teenager. The suit would be ready in three days. I told them to send it to Fountain Street, but to address it to Jon, and I gave them his card. They measured me for the shoes, and I was told they would be ready in three weeks. I said that I would slip up from Camford one Saturday so that they could be fitted. Like the suit, they would not be worn every day. My usual garb in Camford was the standard student one of jeans and trainers. In fact, because of his access to Italian clothes, Sandro often looked smarter than me. We never criticized one another’s clothes, because we were really only interested in what was underneath!
Alessandro Mascagnoli had transformed my life. Until I met him, I was a geek with little interest in sex, and uncertain of my sexuality. Then this wonderful gay Italian boy came into my life and made it clear very early on in our acquaintance that he wanted me. He was almost my height, but much slimmer, with delicious brown skin and long black hair that he wore in a ponytail. We swam and played squash together and eventually, after taking care of him when he was injured after he had been mugged for his iPhone, I realized that I had fallen in love with him. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Coming out to our families was a slow business, complicated in my case by the revelation by my widower grandfather, Lord Wakefield, that he also was gay and was sleeping with his chauffeur, who was actually a very old friend from his student days, whom my grandfather had invited to come and live at Getheringthwaite, family home of the Ovendens, after my grandmother the Marchioness had died. He was very supportive, assuring me that unlike him, I had no reason to hide in the closet, and that I should not fear about succession to the title, because I had two brothers who could succeed if I had no biological children (adopted children cannot succeed to a hereditary title). However, he cleverly gave me the job of revealing to my parents not only my own sexual orientation, but his as well!
My parents were astonished by the revelation of not one but two gays in the family, and at the time of this story were only just getting used to the idea. My brother Michael was delighted by the fact that I would never have any biological children, and had no interest in living on the family estate in Yorkshire. This meant that he could have the estate, a bigger income than me in order to maintain it, and the prospect of either inheriting the title when I popped my clogs, or if he was already dead, the eldest of any sons that he might legitimately father would get the title. As for me, I just hoped that my grandfather would have many more years of happy fucking with his boyfriend before my father inherited the title, and I would move up one step to become Earl of Batley. At that stage, Michael would get the house and the estate, as my father was happy in his job as a university professor, with no desire to be a country landowner. Michael had promised me a smaller house on the estate.
Sandro had got a first in civil engineering earlier that year and been awarded a Ph.D. studentship by Rail-UK, by which he would spend one further year in Camford, developing a signalling application that would be tested in Rail-UK’s development lab in Oxtedborough, where he would spend the next year. So after the coming academic year, we would have to make decisions about our life together. By then, I would have my degree.
But in the meantime, we were enjoying sleeping together in a king-size bed under silk sheets each night. The narrow single beds in college had been impossible for two to sleep in on a regular basis. I had negotiated a mutually satisfactory rent as a tenant in Fountain Street with Sandro’s Uncle Jon. Jon and his partner David had no need to provide an extra room, just a little space to store my books and clothes, as I would be sharing Sandro’s bed! There was a small room that we could use as a study, and we had our own small bathroom. The space in the flat was rather restricted, and Sandro made clear to me from day one that we should not be shy about farting. His uncle was very flatulent, he said, and no-one in the family was restrained about releasing gas. No apology was necessary unless the fart was a stinker. Once I got used to hearing the sound of farts regularly, I began to feel that it was a very comfortable habit, at least for an all-male family.
Chapter II Sandro: My first days as a research student
I was rather worried about how I would get on with my new supervisor, Dr Philip Ashburton, university Reader in Civil and Railway Engineering. He had shown signs of being homophobic when I had first met him, but the things he had said were so extreme as to be libellous, and I suspected that it was some kind of ploy. When I arrived in the lab, he took me round the whole department and introduced me to everyone, which I canlı casino thought was a good start. I had my own stretch of bench and a small desk beside it. The technicians and other research students seemed friendly and welcoming, and I soon settled down. To my surprise however, there seemed to be no social life in the lab apart from the daily tea and coffee sessions. When term had begun, between 5-30 and 6 pm each day I would finish work and go to the computer lab to meet Dom, who usually had a lecture at 5 pm. We would then often go for a drink and a meal at the Sparrowhawk or a student restaurant, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, when Jon would cook for us at Fountain Street. Sometimes, he joined us to eat, but every Tuesday and Sunday during term, we all dined in college, although Jon was on High Table. He also ate in college when he was not cooking the evening meal, leaving us to cook or eat out. I was hopeless at cooking, but Dom, to my surprise, was quite good. He had learnt cookery at school.
I had fancied him from the very first moment that I met him, a year previously. He was a muscular blond, slightly taller than me, and in many ways an archetypal Englishman, which my two uncles were not. Before he came up to Camford, he had spent three years working alone in an outhouse as a web developer, and become very introvert. It took several months of hard work on my part to get him to open up and become more socially (and sexually) aware. OK, so I threw myself at him! From very early on in our acquaintance I told him that I was gay, and to my amazement he eventually responded and made me one of the happiest men in Saint Boniface’s College.
It always amazed me that a man nearing sixty who possessed as much wealth as Jon did should spend so much time cooking and looking after his lodgers! He left the celebrity lifestyle to his opera-singer partner, though David also hated being in the limelight. When David was not performing, he dressed quite ordinarily, even scruffily, and his maximum publicity was an occasional appearance on Pauw en Witteman, a Dutch television talk show. This of course, as a non-English language programme, totally escaped the attention of the British media. He also presented a radio programme on classical music for one of the Dutch public broadcasting unions. His gayness of course was no secret, and the media did sometimes ask his opinion on gay issues. Fortunately their attention never seemed to focus on his partner. The enthusiasm for gay issues that had fired him in his youth no longer obsessed him. He felt that he had been lucky to live to see an era when to be gay was to be mainstream! I counted myself fortunate to be part of Jon and David’s extended gay family.
Dr Ashburton did not sit at a desk all day. He did not hold tutorials before 5 pm, and when he was not lecturing, he was in the lab doing experiments. I noticed that he kept a close eye on me, which did not disturb me in the slightest. I had insisted that my first two weeks in the lab were on a trial basis, and if I thought that I could not stand working with him, I would quit and renounce the award. But it soon became obvious to him, from the way that I was not only accepted, but made welcome, by his technicians, postdocs and other research students, that I was not going to become a disturbing influence, and he moderated the way he talked to me, although he studiously avoided any conversation of a personal nature. I felt that the topic I was working on was so interesting that I was prepared to put up with his reserve towards me as long as it did not hinder what I was doing. And of course we both had an interest in the problem’s progress and success.
Chapter III Sandro: The party in Boni’s
Towards the end of term, late November it must have been, I suggested to Dom that we hold a small party in the college function room. It was to be more rather than the traditional college drinks party, but timed to end at 10 pm, so that special permission from the Dean was not required. The stipend that Rail-UK was paying me was considerably more than the typical research studentship, and included free rail travel as an additional perk. My uncles were only charging Dom and me a modest sum in rent, so I could afford to splash out on such an event. It would be unusual in that it transgressed the unwritten rule that undergraduate members of the university should not offer hospitality to senior members. As this was to be a social occasion, with a wide spectrum of guests, I felt confident enough to ignore the rule, although I insisted to Jennifer and Dom that the only conversation with the dons was to be offers of food and drink.
We decided to invite Jon and David, Professor and Mrs Bairstow, Dom’s tutor, Dr Ashburton, Jennifer and my old undergraduate tutor Dr Clarendon. Dom and I had made the acquaintance of Professor and Mrs Bairstow at a dinner given by my uncles the previous term. Professor Bairstow was a priest, and had become a close friend of both my uncles during his period as Chaplain of Boni’s, as Saint Boniface’s College was popularly known. He had had to migrate colleges to Sanguis Christi College when he became the Parker Professor of Ecclesiastical History. We hoped that kaçak casino when Dom and I decided to become civil partners, he would preside at our blessing service at Getheringthwaite. By then, he would have retired from his chair, and become an Emeritus Fellow. The college kitchen gave me a good quote for supplying the light refreshments, and to keep them happy, I ordered the wine from the college beer cellar. It was not the kind of event at which beer would be drunk.
There was of course an ulterior motive to the event. It was designed to show Philip Ashburton that I had respectable, indeed influential contacts in the university, people who all knew that I was gay, and that in spite of the fact that I was an Italian outsider, I had a foothold in the Camford establishment. Among the guests, Jennifer was rather an exception, but I did not want Mrs Bairstow to be the only woman present! It seemed to me that if Ashburton was as influenced by prejudice as he seemed to be, his views might at least be modified by meeting senior people who thought differently on the subject of homosexuality.
If you think that organizing a party like this is a bit improbable for a 22-year-old first-year research student, you must not forget that my biological father was a scheming Italian, the land that produced Niccolò Macchiavelli! I am not the naïve teenager that the author tried to portray me as in the previous book in this series. The only thing that worried me slightly was that someone present other than Jon or David (who were sworn to secrecy) would recognize Dom’s identity as the heir to a peerage. Dom thought it unlikely, and in any case, none of those present was indiscreet.
To my surprise, all those who had been invited accepted the invitation, and when the date arrived everyone settled down to a pleasant evening of French wine and Danish pastries instead of the usual vol-aux-vents. Dom was wearing his Savile Row suit. Dom, Jennifer and I circulated with trays and bottles. I noticed that Dr Ashburton was in deep conversation with Edward Bairstow on theological topics. I lingered in their vicinity, pretending to fiddle with a corkscrew to open a new bottle of wine. It seemed that they were discussing the biblical teaching on homosexuality. From what I could overhear, it seemed that Ashburton was a bible-bashing evangelical, and was clashing sharply with my friendly but coolly rational professorial guest. This observation went some way to explaining Ashburton’s attitude to me. He was convinced that I was an immoral sinner!
Later on when the conversation had ended, l took Dom over and introduced him to my supervisor. “Dr Ashburton, I want to introduce you to my partner, Dominic Overton. We are not yet officially engaged, but hope to become so as soon as Dom has finished his finals.”
“I am very pleased to meet you, Sir,” said Dom formally. “I’m reading computer science.” After a year in Camford, Dom had now outgrown his geekish phase and was once more the charming self-confident ex-public schoolboy that he had once been. I personally regretted this. I had preferred him as a geek! Jennifer had played a role in this change in Dom, but I saw no reason to blame her. She did not represent a sexual challenge. Dom was mine and I was certain that he would stay that way! I didn’t need his social charm, I just needed his lips, his cock and his loving disposition! However, the charm seemed to have an effect on my supervisor, and they were soon involved in a discussion on computer applications in the railway industry.
Dom’s tutor was deep in conversation with David and Jon, three Boni’s dons together, while I talked with Jennifer and Mrs Bairstow. Professor Bairstow was talking to Dr Clarendon, recalling old times when the former was a fellow of Boni’s. At 10 pm, the party dispersed. It was not clear at all whether those present had enjoyed themselves, but at least nothing disastrous had happened. The following day, Dr Ashburton thanked me for the evening. I hoped that the conversations and people had given him food for thought. My two uncles rang to say that they had enjoyed the party and invited us both to dinner at the Venezia.
Chapter IV Dom: Thoughts about our future
I had already had several interviews with prospective employers all anxious to secure my coding and testing skills. Obviously, no firm was going to make me an offer, even a conditional one, at this stage, but it was an important step to study the market and identify possible employers. I was very anxious not to work for a firm that outsourced any computer work to third-world lands. There were both security and reliability reasons why British industry should employ British computer experts wherever possible. At the time of this story, Britain was not producing enough native computer experts, and outsourcing was rife. Experts with the right experience could get lucrative jobs as self-employed consultants. I believed that outsourced workers, hired on the cheap, were inadequately supervised, got careless and produced buggy software. Jon was considering endowing some scholarships to encourage more British students to study computer science at a high level. The university was making its contribution by introducing a new Master’s degree, M.CSt. It occurred to me that I would improve my chances of a high-level job by doing such a course. I did not of course require one of Jon’s scholarships, I could pay my own bills!
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