Exclusive Excerpt from Pain and Promise
by Lazlo Thorn
The wooden hut was very small, entirely whitewashed and with bare boards underfoot. The inside bristled with hooks, some with damp towels that smelt of sea salt, sand and sweat. Above the door some narrow, angled slats admitted a little daylight but otherwise the cubicle was completely closed off from the outside world. Dario shut himself in and paused for a moment. What had just happened? He couldn’t deny it. He was enjoying Luca’s company even more now and especially the opportunities this trip to the beach had provided for their clandestine contact sport. It wasn’t the first time he had noticed such feelings around other boys his own age. But what did it all mean? He returned to the mundane business of putting some dry clothes on. He slipped off his wet bathing trunks and looked down at the drops of sea water draining from his naked body, drizzling onto his bare feet and seeping into the boards below. He placed a hand on his hairy chest. He wasn’t a boy anymore. Neither of them was. Dario and Luca. They were men now.
Suddenly and without a knock, the door opened, and Luca, still dressed only in his skimpy bathing trunks, barged his way in. Initially startled and thinking that perhaps this intrusion was simply a mistake, Dario went to cover his naked genitals with his own wet costume. But Luca just smiled, closed the door, pressed a finger to his lips, and then brusquely pulled the wet swimming trunks from Dario’s hand and discarded them on the sandy floor.
The sound of their breathing suddenly dominated the little cabin. Luca grinned and then reached out, running his fingers through the coarse dark bush which framed Dario’s waking sex, and then grasped his swelling cock in his fist, pushing back hard against Dario’s pelvic bone. All those years playing the accordion had made Luca’s hands very strong, and with all the dexterity he usually reserved for working the keys on his musical instrument, he took Dario in his grasp and began to play.
About Pain and Promise
June, 1981: The small town of Frentana on the Adriatic coast of Italy was the last place Bobby would have suspected that his titanic struggle with being gay would come to a head. But then he hadn’t reckoned on the town’s evil secret weapon – Dario, a Michaelangelo man with a missionary zeal for sex with men and the tightest trousers that Bobby had ever set eyes on. But then Bobby wasn’t the first Englishman in that bright land where the olive trees grew, to be dazzled and beguiled by a local boy. For there was another love story that had yet to be told. A hidden affair separated from Bobby and Dario by almost forty years. An inspiring tale of a great war time romance between two very special young men and one with which Bobby would become strangely linked.
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About Lazlo Thorn
Lazlo Thorn published his first novel (The Signal Box) in 2018. In his work he explores themes about life, death, love and sexuality, set against the social mores and prevailing attitudes to gay sex at different times and in different places. Pain and Promise is his second novel and takes the reader to a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy where two love stories, separated by almost forty years, become linked in an unexpected way. The author has lived and worked in various countries and travelled widely in Europe and beyond. Today, he lives in England with his husband, in a quiet seaside town on the south coast.