Bassanio hated the sea. Unlike his sleeping lover, he did not share the same love for the waters. He did not see the appeal of the ocean, did not yearn for Poseidon's endless waves like the merchant. It did not mean that he could not appreciate its beauty. It simply was not for him. The neverending blue of the ocean and the rocking of the ship made him uneasy. He felt lost.
It was not a long journey, but he wanted nothing more than to return to Venice as soon as he could. Belmont had long since grown tiring for him. The people too upright, their customs too maddening. He had tried, let it not be said he did not to, to try and follow along. To be the man his wife had wanted. Perhaps if he were someone else, who had eyes and heart only for her he could have succeeded. Perhaps had his heart not been across the ocean resting with another man, he could have been able to love her.
She harboured no ill feelings towards him and he wondered again what she had done to end with someone as miserly and inadequate as him for her husband. Portia was akin to a firecracker. She bore so much energy within her, he was not fit for her. Like a dying flame, their attraction had kindled out. She found her eyes wandering and he found his heart aching for the one who really held it. It was perfectly civil, better for the both of them. It had still hurt, of course, they had been married. They still got their share of money. She had let him go with little resistance, with a small kiss to both cheeks. She had warned Antonio about hurting him before they left. It was enjoyable to still have the lady in his favour.
He was simply glad to have his lover once more. Sticky and still sweater from the night before, they are wrapped around each other, limbs curled around the others. The merchant's head is resting on his shoulder, face obscured in his neck. His hair sticking to his skin. He does not seem uncomfortable, however. He looks as if he were resting on clouds. There are no creases, no frowns or lines of worry on his face, simply contented comfort. He wears it well.
They have an actual bed, which is he is glad for. If he had had to sleep upon a cot or hammock, he would have been very displeased. Antonio had been gracious enough to acquire them a bed, though it was his ship.
With a sheet draped over the both of them (admittedly most of Antonio), they are comfortable. He would make no move to wake his sleeping lover if not for the questions burning through his mind. He had slept little after their time in bed. Between gasped 'I love you's' and all the shared thoughts they had not been able to share for God knows how long, they had put aside the questions that needed to be answered.
"Did you get any rest, my dearest Bassanio?" His lover's voice catches him off guard and he blinks, straining his neck to look at him. His voice is slurred a slight bit as he shakes the tiredness from his words. Sleep still hangs heavy over him as he blinks away the sleepiness in his eyes. He looks positively angelic almost. He smiled gently.
"I confess, rest hast evad'd me. Good morrow" He mused.
"Good morrow. Did thoust know, it is said that one cannot sleep when they are on another's mind," Antonio laughed and shook his head slightly, "Perhaps I am to blame for that." His laughter is gentle, yet his eyes betray him. A rare sight to see for he needed to be quite good at managing emotions for his job. Nevertheless, he could see the slightest pinch of fear shining in his soft eyes.
"Such is life," he hummed, shifting so he could face his lover, "Because it is you, I do not find myself minding." Antonio smiled.
“Did you get rest?” He returned the question.
“Enough for the both of us, mine love.” He mused. Antonio brought one arm up, resting it upon his shoulder and playing with the ends of his curls. Portia had preferred he keep his hair short and well kept, but Bassanio had been too stubborn to cut it. Letting his hair grow as it pleased. Though it had never gotten too long for comfort. Antonio had always liked the longer hair. The merchant ran his fingers through his hair, gently dragging his nails along his scalp. He leaned into the touch, savouring being blessed enough to feel his lover's hands along his skin, he pulled the merchant to his chest, leg hooking around his own.
“I must confess,” Antonio started, so many confessions from the both of them this morning it would seem, “That I had never... Done such as we did the night bef’re.” He admitted, voice incredibly quiet. He knew what the man meant. He had lain with women before, he was one of the most attractive men within Venice, and women often came to him. Men, however, were something he had never attempted. They had shared and stole secret kisses before when they were alone. They had linked hands ‘neath the table when they could. They had never done more, however.
“That is no issue- nor need to find yourself ashamed upon. It is the first time for many a man.” He murmured into the merchant's ear. A shiver passed down his spine, the whole of the man's body wracked with a shudder under his arms. He laughed gently, soft kisses pressed to the merchant's neck and collarbone.
“What are we to do now then?’ He inquired.
“We are to return to Venice. We will not let this falling, this hurt, keep us from being who we are meant to be. We will set up, return to the lives we once had before I inquired you to lend me the money for the fair maiden and the jew.” He whispered. A promise of more to come. Their life would be never what it once was. With this blossoming relationship between them, it would ought but a dream to imagine that they could return to the life they had once had. That meant nothing, however, for a life could continue even after a great change.
“Just as that?” he questioned. He could feel his lover growing cold in the cabins, he tugged the sheet closer upon them, covering their bodies tangled upon the mattress.
“Just as that. There is no going back to what we had once been able to accomplish,” he whispered, trailing his hands over the merchant's body, mapping out his body, mapping out the places he had ignored the night before when he had been captivated by his body. He sighed softly as the lord gently trailed his fingers over the inside of his thighs, moving to trace circles on his hips.
"Will you miss the money?"
"Of course, but you have more than I truly ought to have, I complain not for I am not in it for the money. Of course, mine love, it will not be the life I had planned to bring you along on, that thou shalt accompany me is all I need." He smiled. Antonio shifted beneath him at the kisses and tracing along his body.
"Oh," the merchant gasped, voice tinged with pleasure and fleeting, soft, "Flattery, love of mine, will get you everywhere." He laughed, breathless and letting his head fall back, whines falling from his lips as Bassanio's fingers found themselves around his body, blooming fire under his touches. Bassanio pulled him closer, body flush against his own, Antonio's hands curled around his waist, fingers digging into the skin and dragging as pleasure took him. He was akin to a Roman sculpture, a beautiful man, the Adonis of Venice. One Bassanio was forever grateful to be able to feel and touch and taste.
"The crowds shall question thy motivations, my Lord." Antonio pointed out once he had regained his composure. He hummed, nuzzling his face in the crook of the Lord's neck, lips forming silent words and prayers on his skin. The Lord smiled, closing his eyes, bidding sleep to come to him but denying it for the man in his arms.
"Let them question, I do not have a care for them and their miserly gossiping. Should we be prudent, they will have nothing to gossip upon." He frowned. Should there be one thing he would be grateful to lose, let it the gossip and the woman's never-ending distaste for another. It drove him mad, as he had voiced to Portia one many times. She had just laughed. "Tis a lady's affairs, husband mine. Thou wouldst naught understand." She would say. Not dismissing him, neither acknowledging him either.
"I am overjoyed to hast thee as mine own," Antonio spoke once a silence had settled. He had never done well in the careful embrace of silence, he did naught blame him.
"As am I, mine own beloved merchant."
It had once been thought he cared for nothing but himself, he cares for life because he alone is in it, but perhaps now that they find themselves once more together, enthralled once more in the woes of life, perhaps there will be something waiting for them. They had once feared the views that might forgo them in life, but perhaps he could allow himself to be cliché this once.
"Rest now, we have just now woken, but there is much more to the sea we have yet crossed. You shall need thy strength. I shall be by your side." He murmured.
His dearest merchant answered him with but a laugh and bid him to join him. They fell to sleep with waves caressing the boat, troubles far from their minds.
But love is good, and lovers cannot view themsalves unto thee. The pretty follies that themselves commit.