Wheel of Fortune
Click on image to enlarge.
by Julia Talbot
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Historical Fiction
Description: Fortunato is a mute lad, making his way in the shadowy world of Renaissance Venice. Angelo is the scribe charged with his education in reading and writing, all at the order of the mysterious Master Riccio. These reluctant allies come to know each other better than anyone could imagine and as Fortunato is dragged into a world of deceit and danger, Angelo is the only one he can trust and with any luck, love. Romantic historical suspense that begs for more at every cliffhanger.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Screwdriver, 2005 http://www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: May 2005
47 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [121 KB]
Reading time: 81-114 min.
"What do you mean, he cannot read! What good is he to me then?"
Fortunato cringed back from Maestro Riccio, trying to make himself as small as possible. The man sounded exactly as his father always did, calling him worthless, calling him abomination in a thundering voice that surely came up from Hell.
The difference between his father and this man, however, came in the softening of Maestro Riccio's features, in the rough pat to his shoulder accompanied by a rough voice.
"Did I scare you, lad? I did not mean to. Yet for you to be as useful as I wish, you must learn to read, do you understand?"
Even though he nodded, Fortunato really did not understand. How could he, a gutter rat whose father was not even a citizen of the Republic, be here, in the presence of the Doge's own Master of Entertainments, being told he was going to learn to read and write? How?
The loud bellow made him jump, clapping his hands to his ears, and Riccio laughed, the sound deep and mellow.
"Still not used to me are you, boy?"
Of course not. Fortunato made a gesture with his hands, eloquent of how new it all was. His nonna had told him he was pretty, back before she got the lung sickness and was in bed all day, and his mother had stroked his hair and told him he was a lovely thing, but he knew they all thought he was a punishment for their sins, just as his father said aloud. When the Maestro of Entertainments had come, looking for boys who were quick and pretty and able to learn, he had almost been overlooked because of it. How could he expect to get used to being here, where it was dry and warm and there was always a fire, and he had friends like Lorenzo, who was just coming now at a run.
"Did you call for me, Maestro?"
"Si. Go to the master of the scribes and tell him I need one. Fortunato is going to learn to read."
"Oh! Good for him." Lorenzo clapped his hands together, and 'Nato smiled at him.
"Yes. Good for him indeed. Now he has a tumbling lesson. Go on and do what I say."
Lorenzo pattered off again, and Fortunato turned to his lesson with determination.
He had a fine new place here. There was no way he was going to lose it by not being good enough.