Author Name: Tali Spencer
Book Name: Victory Portrait
Series: Pride of Uttor
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Imperial captive and former Sebboyan prince Peta Kordeun has one great wish: to meet Darius Arrento, conqueror of his country and a man he has idolized since childhood. That wish comes true the day the Uttoran emperor assigns Peta to assist the artist who will be painting the great general’s official portrait.
General Darius Arrento would rather take a crossbow bolt through his flesh than sit for a portrait, until his friend the emperor forces his hand. The notorious artist, Brazzi, uses semen and other sexual fluids to bind his colors—and Arrento is captivated by the artist’s pretty helper. Before long he is driven to possess the gorgeous young man who draws battle maps and whose naïve charm has won more hearts in Uttor than Arrento has won battles.
When Arrento learns that Peta, the slave he covets and wants for his own, is one of the despised Kordeun princes, he storms from Uttor toward a far corner of the empire—where he quickly finds himself embroiled in a plot to tear Uttor’s empire apart. His emotions and loyalties frayed, the great Arrento is in the battle of his life…and Peta may hold the key to his survival.
Pages or Words:78,600 words
Categories:Alternate Universe, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
“You want me to assist the painter. Only that?” Peta asked.
“Yes. I just want you to understand you will be naked and…Brazzi will want you to be sexually aroused.”
“It’s what Brazzi does. Not for himself—not unless you’re a woman—but for his method. He was tried three years ago on charges of obscenity because he uses…sexual fluids for mixing his paint. He truly is a genius. His colors are astonishing.”
“And you want Arrento to see me like that? Naked and…being used?”
“No.” Gaspar was being firm. “I want a portrait of my general. And I happen to think that the sight of you will keep his ass firmly planted for whatever sittings the painter requires. You see, Darius has one weakness—only one. He cannot resist a thing of beauty—and you, my pretty slave, are the most breathtaking young man I have ever had the privilege to look upon.”
Peta flushed. Gaspar wasn’t smiling. The man was serious.
Could he do it? Did he want to do it? Peta knew he was pretty. His looks had blessed and cursed him all his life. His beauty had attracted Kesme as a fellow cadet and was what Kesme had praised that last night when they’d made love...and Peta’s face was what Lukacz, his own father, had sought to destroy, thinking that doing so would release him from predation and unnatural desires. And now Gaspar, too, wanted only one thing…
“Just sit there and look pretty,” he said, heart sinking as he grasped what Gaspar was asking him to do.
“Only if you’re willing. I’m not completely oblivious to what this sort of service might entail. It could be rather…awkward. On the other hand, it might not be for long. Darius can be stubborn. It’s possible he won’t show up.”
And just as possible that he would.
Peta wanted to say no but he could not get his mouth to form the word. He might never get another chance to see Arrento, perhaps hear his voice. Be in the same room with him.
He’d be silent…naked…terribly exposed even in his utter worship.
But he would at least be able to say he had seen the great man.
“I’ll do it,” he said.
Buy the book:
Meet the author:
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.
Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Tali’s other books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, and Adored, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often posts free stories and excerpts on her blog.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29851588-victory-portrait
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Cover Artist:Melody Pond
Tour Dates& Stops:
18-Apr: Prism Book Alliance
19-Apr: Decadent Delights
21-Apr: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
22-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
26-Apr: BFD Book Blog
27-Apr: My Fiction Nook
29-Apr: Oh My Shelves
4-May: Alpha Book Club
6-May: Molly Lolly
9-May: A.M. Leibowitz
10-May: Divine Magazine
Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card
A Seminal Story
The Pride of Uttor series originated with semen. Lots and lots of semen. Not that I wrote it with semen, though I could have given the right set of circumstances—and a harem of men. The semen that gave birth to Victory Portrait is fictional, part of a bigger picture that involves origin stories, art, and the creative mind. Or maybe just that we humans are, at the core, raunchy little buggers.
Victory Portrait was the first Uttor story. It’s the fourth book to be published, but the whole series was born from this story that started with a quirky notion.
Actually, it started with an image—not of semen, but of a powerful man, a great military leader, having his portrait painted and being enraptured by a beautiful slave boy belonging to and helping the artist. A breath-taking, naked young man. Because I’m a stickler for story logic—there has to be a believable reason for a young man to be naked—I asked why might an artist need a naked, obedient youth. Moreover, why would he need him present while the general is sitting? A model. Okay. But this youth is not a model. He’s there because the artist needs something only a naked young man can provide.
The idea was erotic and kinky, and maybe a little out there, but…could it be done? Even if an artist wished to use semen in his paint, was that even something that could work?
I already knew tempura paint was used by artists in the Roman Empire and Middle Ages, a time period that suited my fantasy story well. Tempura uses egg yolks. Egg yolks are glutinous…and so is semen. Yay, science classes! So I delved further.
Had any artists actually used semen?
Turns out they have. Though there’s no historical record of artists using semen in paintings during antiquity, our own era has plenty of examples.
Mexican artist Mario Castillo mixes his own semen with acrylic paint. His reasons are philosophical: “Semen is like the old medieval paintings, which used egg yolk instead of oil as a binder,” Castillo said. “A thought crossed my mind about the essence of the yolk. I realized I had been mixing a life-giving substance into the pigment.” Though he understood that mixing yolk with paint destroyed the life-giving forces, he was still left with knowing the paint contained traces of life, “a substance which would represent mind, body, soul, and spirit.”
Castillo’s The Ancient Memory of the Mayahuel’s People Still Breathe(1996)presents avibrant vision of Mexico’s racial memories of the Mayan people.
Among Castillo’s influences is the man history has first recorded as using semen in his art: avant-guarde artist Marcel Duchamp, who believed eroticism was at “the basis of everything and no one talks about it.”
Take Duchamp’s Paysage Fautif, or Faulty Landscape (1946). The painting even looks like a jizz splotch, though DuChamp kept quiet about it and the semen was only identified as such in 1987 through laboratory testing. The painting celebrates Duchamp’s romantic passion for a fellow artist.
“It doesn’t look perverted until you know what it is,” says art blogger SaherSohail. “It’s also a work that says: ‘I had a picture of you in my head when I was beating myself off, and here’s a picture of how that finished.’”
What makes research such a joyous part of writing for me is that not only do I get my facts straight, I also get to learn more about truly interesting people and movements.
Victory Portrait’s artist, Brazzi, uses a lot of semen for his monumental portrait of Darius Arrento—and to get that semen he needed a young helper. Thus was born Peta…and the stories of Peta’s family, their loves and deep conflicts, eventually became the Pride of Uttor series.
While Brazzi moved the rejected sketches aside and set up a larger canvas upon which to render the final work, Arrento walked around to the crates where he would pose and took a seat upon the foremost. He gazed with renewed interest at the youth, drinking in details. The young man’s fingers as they milked his rosy cock showed no signs of belonging to a warrior. Slender and strong—a beautiful hand meant for pleasure and soft things, not the violence of war. The fingers alternately squeezed and opened with a fluid control so mesmerizing Arrento could only stare in admiration. He craved that touch…in fact, he craved a great deal more.
But Peta was not his slave.
Not for the first time, Arrento reminded himself that a man who obeyed his cock was not his own master.
“So it’s true you use sexual essences to bind your paint to the canvas?” Talking to the artist at least provided a diversion.
“They are an ingredient of my secret formula for applying pigment, yes. With women I often use their own essences for the most luminous surfaces—the skin, the lips, the eyes—that is, if they will permit me to gather their nectar. Otherwise I use my ejaculate or the gifts of a slave. Most men, of course, do not provide their own…I don’t suppose—”
“No,” Arrento said, refusing that option.
“Certainly His Imperial Majesty predicted as much, which is why he provided the boy.”
“A Sebboyan moreover. After my victory we brought many of their number back to Uttor.”
“A handsome people,” Brazzi agreed. He arranged his paint pots and brushes, then took a seat. “Superior, really, in many ways…cultured and well-educated. We laid claim to their finest scholars and artists.”
That was true. The hostilities that had brought their two countries to war had been due to infractions of politics, not a lack of regard. The people of Sebboy were famed for their philosophers, scientists, and actors. They had not lost the war because they were uncivilized or lacking in courage but because they’d been poorly led.
What had Peta been? He was too young to be a philosopher.
Brazzi resumed sketching quickly like a fencer seeking hits, his charcoal stick skating across the canvas.
Arrento contented himself with studying the way morning sunlight created highlights and shadows upon Peta’s body as though he were an artwork himself. An artist would have been pleased with such a creation: the torso just broad enough through the shoulders, balanced by strong arms with toned muscles suggesting some use of weapons. The arms of farmers and laborers differed from those of soldiers. The youth’s legs, however—those glorious thighs and tight half-moons for an ass—revealed him to be a rider. Cavalry, perhaps. He was likely some wellborn youth for whom riding and using blades had been activities of leisure before his country had gone to war. Arrento’s lip twitched at the thought.
He noticed the youth had ceased stroking his cock. “Don’t stop, boy,” he said, “continue. I like watching you work.”
The boy’s elegant jaw line firmed, but he resumed. Arrento watched intently the way two fingertips caught drops of pre-cum and curled over the engorged, deeply colored crown. Sebboyan’s cut away the foreskin in infancy, leaving the glans exposed. That nakedness now held Arrento riveted. Peta stroked his sensitive tip, then slid his hand back down along the shaft, adding slickness until he reached the golden hair at his crotch. High dusky pink balls peeked from within lacy curls. Arrento shifted his position slightly to conceal the burgeoning heft of his own neglected cock.
Angling out from behind the canvas, Brazzi picked up a brush and reached with it toward Peta’s stiff cock. The flat bristles flicked over the slit, picking up drops of pre-cum which he immediately carried to a spot of brownish pigment on the palette. Arrento’s breathing quickened as he watched Brazzi perform this collection again…and again, bristles lightly touching the rosy skin surrounding the boy’s leaking slit.
Peta groaned and worked faster with his hand.
“Cease stroking,” the artist murmured. The youth clearly needed no further stimulation. Droplets flowed freely at every touch of Brazzi’s brush. Like a spigot, Arrento thought, appreciating the image.
“May I?” he asked, indicating the tableau. He wanted to touch that hard cock, test the texture of that porcelain skin.
“Not now,” Brazzi replied. “Stay put. The light is perfect for capturing your coloring.”
“I’ll sit again…perhaps tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes that would be good. I would appreciate if you would dress as you did for the Battle of Cheda, a winter campaign. For now, don’t move. Another sitting, maybe two, and I can work without you for a few days or a week, and then you must return. I prefer morning light for applying the first layers, but later you must come in the afternoon. Late light provides a more martial quality I think will suit you.”
Arrento hardly cared for the quality of the result. He wanted more of the slave. Peta’s fine lips, a delicate tint of rose, parted with a gasp at another touch from Brazzi’s brush. Arrento noticed the boy avoided looking at either man.
“How do you get him to drip so much?”
“Excellent care. I encourage my helpers to eat fruits and meat and to drink plenty of wine. Also I have gotten good at exciting even reluctant partners.”
Yes, he could see that. The man wielded his brushes masterfully—in every possible way. Peta quivered from the stimulation, his breathing ragged and skin beaded with fine perspiration. He almost certainly battled an overpowering urge to spend himself. Fortunately for the painter, the cock noose prevented that. From time to time pretty Peta’s lovely thighs tensed, buttocks tight, pelvis thrusting forward to present Brazzi with that captive prick and pink balls dusky with frustration. Using a pointed brush, the artist applied the bristles directly to the slit, provoking a groan of need and an even more copious flow of seminal drops.
The damn painter had to know his subject would be as aroused as the slave.
“You’re quite devious, aren’t you?”
“An artist must be devious with his art. It is no mean feat to capture the soul of a subject. All things in nature defy our meager talent to capture it, even as a still life or landscape. But the essence of a thinking, emotional being…much harder.” Brazzi peered again around the canvas. “Are you uncomfortable?”
He was, but not from posing. “Get it done,” he grunted. “I have battle plans to make.”