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The soulful looking man below is my inspiration for Benedetto Tagliaferro…
Benedetto smiled tentatively.
“Though you still don’t believe two men can love each other,” Morello forced out.
“Leo said,” Benedetto replied. “I never made it a practice to believe every word he spoke. I knew him too well. I loved him. But he taught me how to use his words on other men. And as I have told you, the Night Office is brutal and cruel.”
“They respond with violence to the crime of love,” Morello said. The echo of Benedetto’s words other men made his heart contract into a miserly fist. “I don’t ask this of you lightly. I have kept my own secrets for a long time.”
“The commune fears conspiracies. Like any good tyrant.”
“Then let’s conspire to love, Benedetto. Give me some time.”
“How do you know what you feel for me is love?”
“Because Mona Venus’s damned putti have shot me full of arrows like St. Sebastian, and it hurts to be apart from you.”
Benedetto kissed him, a slow thoughtful kiss, so familiar it broke his heart. An agonized, inarticulate cry fell from Morello’s lips, muffled against Benedetto’s softness. “If I never saw you again..!”
“I suffered from your absence too, do not fear.”
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