Cast of War Horse for Vanity Fair
“I never thought I’d spend these years in your country and alla fine find this horse the the hardest part of leaving…”
Antonio leaned his forehead against the horse’s strong, soft brow. Sherlock saw that the young man was masking deep emotion behind the reserved, practiced facade of a professional rent boy.
Escort, Sherlock. Not rent boy. We don’t use that term. Victor kept correcting him about that. It seemed a pointless distinction. Were they not renting their companionship and their bodies? And seldom did they ever escort a client anywhere outside the extensive grounds of the Club.
As if on cue, Victor entered the stables. “Antonio, my friend, the car will be here soon. You’ll have a direct flight to Fiumicino airport in Rome, and there should be no trouble with your paperwork.” Victor handed Antonio a small card. “Should anyone question you, ask to speak to this man. He will take care of it, I promise.”
Antonio took the card and nodded, tears glistening in his eyes. Sherlock watched as Victor tenderly stroked the young man’s shoulder. “Now, now. None of that. There’s a charter bus to Bari ready for you, and you’ll be at your mother’s bedside this time tomorrow. We’ll miss you, but we all understand that you need to be with her right now.”
When he was able to speak, Antonio thanked Victor, thanked all of the other men, too, and then turned to Sherlock. “Seamus, amico mio,” he said, “Non dimenticare… carote ogni giorno, una zolletta di zucchero domenica…” Antonio stroked the horse’s neck again.
Sherlock nodded and looked up at Victor. “I think Giuseppe is due for his afternoon exercise, is he not? Perhaps there is time for a last walk.”
With a barely-visible smile, Victor gave his consent, and Sherlock led the horse outside. A lone teardrop escaped down Antonio’s cheek as he readied everything and all but leapt on Giuseppe’s strong back. He threw a glance back at his friends, and he set off.
“That was very kind of you Sh— Seamus,” Victor said in a low voice as they watched Antonio and Giuseppe proceed slowly along the trail. “I didn’t think you were the type for such sentiment.”
“I wasn’t,” Sherlock replied, his words strangely clipped and controlled. “But then I learned what it was to forsake what you love most. I understand how important it is to say good-bye.”