A Hot Piece of … Art, Chapter 10

Good Monday morning, Story Orgiasts! Halfway through June already … my, how time flies when you’re writing/reading gay erotic romance.

A few announcements before we get on with the story. Lee Brazil has a new release available through Silver Publishing. Click here to check out Less Than All, a lovely regency romance that’ll make you want to dig through your closet to find that puffy-sleeved shirt from the late 80s, early 90s. You know you still have it!

Thanks, as always, to Jade Baiser for finding us the lovely pic to go with our weekly prompt. Sigh…

Have you liked our various author pages so you can stay up to date with all the Story Orgy happenings? Follow the links and “like” the pages to be “in the know” with all of us.

The Story Orgy Group Page

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Okay, that’s a lot of clicking, you’ve earned a bit of a reward. Are you ready for today’s full length chapter? Our prompt this week: He couldn’t explain.

Well, there’d better be at least a little explanation going on if we’re going to learn the identity of the sneaky art thief! Ready? Let’s go!

A Hot Piece of … Art

Chapter Ten

Hank Edwards

(c) 2012

It was the final night of their time at the studio, and Charlie couldn’t sleep. All the other nights the boredom of sitting on the platform while people stood and stared at him had left him completely, overwhelmingly exhausted, but tonight he lay on his back staring at the ceiling. The quiet breath of the air conditioning was the only sound in the studio, but even that low white noise failed to ease him to sleep.

The previous night, Rodrigo had stayed with them in the studio, claiming to be undercover. From the hot and heavy sounds Charlie had heard coming from Billy’s platform all night, however, the man needed to work on his ability to remain inconspicuous. Some of the sounds had made even Charlie blush, and he considered himself pretty experienced after several years working and living in the L.A. gay porn scene.

Nothing had happened last night. Well, nothing related to the art thefts. On Billy’s platform, a lot had happened. Over and over again. All night. Tonight, though, it was just Billy and Charlie once again. Rodrigo was on patrol, but he had promised to stop by early in the morning when his shift ended. Hawkington, the studio owner, had lowered the lights to half power before he had left for the night. Charlie had heard the thin, sparse man sniffling as he pushed out the door into the warm California night, crying, most likely, at the thought of being forced to close down because of the mysterious thefts of Rafael Fothergill’s paintings.

Once the owner had left, Charlie had clambered down his ladder and hurried to Billy’s platform where they had talked in hushed tones about their plan. Something had to be done to stop the slippery thief. During the day, Billy and Charlie had worked out a plan via text message. All they needed was a little bit of time, some spare change, and an empty art studio.

Luckily, the thrill of watching two nude young men spending their nights sleeping on raised platforms had worn thin halfway through the week. Visitors no longer came around early in the mornings, and this gave them time to set their trap.

“Be careful,” Billy hissed at Charlie as they tip-toed through the open studio space. “You’ll ruin it.”

“What?” Charlie frowned at him. “How on earth could I ruin this setup?”

Billy rolled his eyes and turned away. “I don’t have time to explain it to your simple Idaho mind.”

Charlie snorted a laugh and went back to work. Simple Idaho mind indeed. He was the one who had come up with the plan!

“Are you sure this is going to work?” Billy asked, standing with his arms crossed and looking around the room. “It seems a little… plain.”

He couldn’t explain it, but Charlie had always believed the simplest traps caught the biggest prize. “Look,” Charlie said, placing the final touches on his set up before turning to face Billy. “It’s the final night we’re here. The thief has struck twice in the last week. He even tried to get some ransom money out of them. I think he’s going to come back tonight to clean the place out.”

Billy shrugged. “If you say so. But, if it were me, I’d go for someone a little more impressionist, like Richard Bassett, or the desert landscapes of Carl Eytel.” Billy noticed Charlie’s look of surprise. “What? Just because I’m a fluffer in gay porn doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate good art.”

“Sorry,” Charlie said after snapping his mouth closed. “You just caught me by surprise, that’s all. I mean, the closest thing to art I’ve seen you look at is comic books.”

“Which are considered an art form, Farm Boy.” Billy shook his head, then gestured toward the platforms. “Shall we retire to our chambers and await the thief in the night?”

“Absolutely,” Charlie said. “Watch where you step.”

“You got that right,” Billy mumbled as they carefully made their way to their respective platforms and climbed the ladders.

Charlie stretched out on his back across the futon, so much more comfortable than the mattress in his apartment, and wondered idly if Sven would consider letting him take the mattress when the show finished. Then, without meaning to, he easily slipped into sleep.

A loud crunch woke Charlie and he blinked at the ceiling. It wasn’t the ceiling of his apartment, that had a long crack running across it. What ceiling was this again?

Another crunch, followed by a muffled curse, brought Charlie up to a sitting position. He squinted across the dimly lit room, finally placed where he was, and caught his breath at the sight of a figure dressed in black and wearing a ski mask. The figure held a painting and had frozen in place, head turned to stare at him, one foot raised in mid-step. They stared at each other for a breathless moment, the thief holding so still Charlie wondered if he might be a sculpture he had never noticed before.

“Hey!” Billy shouted from his platform across the room. “Stop thief!”

Billy’s shout shattered the moment of stillness. The thief turned toward the doors, holding the painting in front of him. Each step he took set off loud crunching sounds as his feet came down on the cheese curls Charlie and Billy had spread around the studio. The very simple burglar alarm Charlie had conjured up had paid off and alerted them to the intruder. Now they just had to catch their prey.

“He’s getting away!” Charlie said and pushed to his feet.

“Not if I can help it,” Billy replied. He grabbed the ladder, spun around to hook the tops of his feet around the sides, and slid down to the mat. It would have been a slick move … if he had been dressed. Because he was nude, however, Billy’s dick smacked against each rung on the way down, leaving him curled up on the mat and moaning with his hands cupped over his crotch.

Charlie was so distracted by Billy’s self-inflicted cock torture he stepped off the side of the platform. He had just enough time to gasp before he did a belly smacker on the surface of the mat. His breath left him in a great whoosh as the impact rattled through him. He rolled onto his back, sucked in a lungful of air, and forced himself to move. Ignoring the pain in his groin from landing on his cock and balls, Charlie staggered to his feet and looked toward the doors.

Everything had happened so fast, he discovered the thief was still inside the studio, panic obviously clouding his thoughts as he tried to open the door while still gripping the painting. Before the man could adjust his grip and open the door, Charlie headed for him, crying out with each step as cheese curls burst beneath his bare feet and jabbed his tender skin. So much for the pedicure Rock had convinced him to have done.

Charlie’s moans of pain alerted the thief to his approach, and the man looked over his shoulder, eyes wide inside the black ski mask. When he saw how close Charlie was, the thief took off running at an angle across the studio floor, holding the painting over his head as cheese curls exploded into orange dust beneath his shoes. As the thief ran past, Charlie tried to come to a stop and grab him, but the cheese dust covering the bottom of his feet gave him no traction and he skidded into the studio door, pressing his nude body against the glass.

An elderly couple was walking past at that moment, and the woman looked him up and down, the top plate of her dentures slipping at the width of her smile. Her husband, however, was not amused. He frowned at Charlie and wagged a finger at him through the glass before tugging his wife off along the sidewalk. Charlie briefly wondered what an elderly couple was doing out walking at that time of night, then remembered the thief and turned to shout, “Billy! He’s headed your way!”

Billy had managed to get to his feet and stood with his hands on his knees, mouth hanging open in an effort to catch his breath. He lifted a hand in acknowledgement, then did the only possible thing he could do to stop the thief without injuring himself any further: he pushed his ladder over so it fell in front of the man. The thief’s feet got tangled within the rungs and he fell flat on the floor. He lost his grip on the painting and it slid down the short back hallway to bump against the rear exit.

Charlie high-stepped through the cheese curl mine field until he reached Billy’s side.

“You okay?” Charlie asked.

Billy looked up, grim faced and pale, and nodded. “I’m okay.”

A rustling of fabric and the rattle of the ladder against the hardwood floor brought their attention to where the thief lay on his stomach, struggling to pull his feet out of the rungs. Charlie saw the man was about to get free and leaped into action. He sat on the thief’s back, pinning him to the floor as the man let out a great huff of air.

“Careful, Charlie,” Billy said. “He may have a knife or something.”

“If he stabs me, I’ll pee on him,” Charlie said, and smacked the thief on the back of the head. “Hear that, you jackass? Give me any trouble at all and I’ll pee on you. And I really have to go, too.”

The front door opened and two policemen ran inside, cursing as they stepped on cheese curls. It was Rodrigo and his partner, Myers, and they made their way to Billy’s platform.

“Everyone okay?” Rodrigo asked.

“I fell off the platform and stepped on a lot of cheese curls in my bare feet, but I think…” Charlie stopped talking as he noticed Rodrigo staring at Billy. “Oh, you meant him, I guess.” Charlie sighed, then bounced atop the thief when he started to struggle, earning a grunt from the man. “Hold still, dammit.”

“All right,” Rodrigo’s partner, Myers, said in a slow, ‘why do I always get these kinds of calls?’ tone of voice. “What’s the story in here? We got a call from an elderly gentleman who told us he and his wife were flashed by someone from inside this art studio.”

Charlie raised his hand. “That was me. But I have permission to be nude because I’m part of the exhibit.”

Myers closed his eyes a moment. “Ah, yes, the exhibit. The one I’ve tried so hard to forget about this past week.”

“Yeah,” Charlie said quietly. “That one. I guess. We are the art in the exhibit.”

“Of course you are,” Myers grumbled. “Each and every one of us is a distinct work of art.”

“We’ve been living here in the nude,” Billy said, and smiled at Rodrigo. “All day, all night, all week, all nude.”

“Okay then,” Myers said with an elaborate eye roll. “You’re the exhibit I tried so hard to forget about and you are allowed to be in the nude and accidentally flash people walking past. Fine. Now, care to tell me why you’re sitting on a guy dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask?”

“This is the art thief who’s been stealing paintings all this week!” Charlie exclaimed. “We caught him!”

“You did this yourself?” Rodrigo said to Billy.

Billy shrugged. “Yeah, I did.”

“Well, not all by himself,” Charlie grumbled as he got off the thief’s back and stepped aside. “I did chase him your way.”

Rodrigo and Myers lifted the masked thief to his feet. The man struggled, but the cops held him tight and, finally, the thief slumped in surrender.

“Let’s see who this mysterious art thief is,” Myers said and pulled off the mask.

Charlie and Billy both gasped. They looked at each other, looked back at the thief’s face, then looked at each other again.

“Oh my God!” Billy said.

“I can’t believe it!” Charlie said.

“Who is this?” Rodrigo asked.

“It’s Rafael Fothergill!” Charlie exclaimed. “She’s been stealing her own paintings.”

“But why?” Billy asked. “She’s not that good of an artist.”

“Billy,” Charlie said from the side of his mouth. “She’s standing right there.”

“I can have an opinion, can’t I?” Billy said.

“You idiots,” Rafael said with a sneer. “Don’t you understand anything?”

“I understand long division,” Billy replied. “Does that count?”

Everyone looked at him and he shrugged. “Well, she asked.”

“Anyway…” Myers said. “Back to the thief.”

Rafael sighed. “My paintings aren’t selling. I’m broke and I have three mortgages on my house in the Valley.”

“The Valley?” Billy asked, and all four men winced in sympathy.

“This show was my last chance to gain recognition,” Rafael said and hung her head so her blonde dreadlocks hid her face. “But nothing was selling. The visitors all wanted to see Sven’s new show, they didn’t care for mine. I was desperate and decided if I couldn’t sell the paintings to make money, I’d steal them and get the insurance money.” She looked up, anger burning in her eyes as she glared past Charlie and Billy at the studio owner’s office door. “And besides, I hoped to drive that fucking son of a bitch Hawkington out of business. The bastard tried to pretend he was doing me a favor by putting my paintings in the show, but he was ripping me off on the split.”

“Well, now that she’s conveniently told us her motive,” Myers said with another eye roll, “how about we take her down to the precinct and book her. Sound good?”

“But Hawkington’s the crook!” Rafael shrieked as the cops led her to the door. “He should be arrested, not me. I was just making a statement!”

“Wow, what a nutjob,” Billy said once the door had closed behind them. He looked at Charlie and pouted. “Do you think Rodrigo will come back when he’s done booking her?”

Charlie patted his shoulder and smiled. “Pretty certain you’ll see him again. Come on, let’s try to get some sleep. Our last sex partners are due sometime tomorrow and then we’re free.”

Billy clapped his hands and smiled. “It feels like Christmas! I hope mine’s big enough to climb on.”

They returned to their platforms and, after tossing and turning for a bit, Charlie finally drifted off to sleep.

~~ * ~~

Did you guess who the thief was? Hope you enjoyed that big reveal. Be sure to come back next week for the final chapter of this latest Charlie adventure. It’s definitely NSFW and might strum those romance heart strings. Until then, hop on over to the other Story Orgy blogs with me for more hot, smexy reads. Ready? Here we go!

J.R. Boyd,    Lee Brazil,     Havan Fellows,     Em Woods,     Jade Baiser

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J.R. Boyd: @JR__Boyd

Lee Brazil: @leebrazil

Hank Edwards: @hanksbooks

Havan Fellows: @HavanFellows

Em Woods: @EmWoodsAuthor

 

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5 Responses to A Hot Piece of … Art, Chapter 10

  1. Billy! *smuthers a laugh* Ouch! Poor kid. Nope, I had no idea Rafael was stealing her own paintings. I had the odd thought that it might be Rock, just to get the exhibit closed down early. Great story, Hank! I’m still giggling, and cringing, over our two boys here. 🙂

  2. Sharon S says:

    Wow! I had no idea it was Rafael! And *ouch* poor Billy!
    Great story, Hank.

  3. Havan says:

    OMG – I don’t even have manly parts and I was cringing for Billy and Charlie! That ladder part was freaking hilarious…um…I mean not funny at all…*covers grin with hands*

    You rock Hank! <3

  4. Lee Brazil says:

    Awesome! No, I did not guess. I was sure it was the gallery manager. Ummm poor Billy and Charlie…the trials they had to suffer through for the sake of justice… Love this!

  5. jade baiser says:

    wow, Raphael is a great comedian! I wouldn’t have guessed she was the thief!! And when I think of poor Billy’s slide down the ladder…Outch!
    Great post Fur King (yep, I couldn’t resist that one, sorry!)