A/N: I am humbled to bring you the final chapter of this tale of romance and love:
The bell in the tall, medieval tower sounded ten times, echoing along the chilly, ancient streets as the two men walked hand-in-hand out of the small caffe, their bodies warm and pressed against the other.
Six years have passed since Kurt, in his wine-colored silk robe, first appeared in Blaine's art class at Dalton. Six years since they shared their first kiss in the rose garden, the scent of thousands of flowers intoxicating their senses. And six years since they fell in love and silently realized that their lives could no longer be lived without the other.
They strolled passed Florence's gloriously designed Duomo, its mosaic façade and famous golden, gilded doors glinting marvelously in the early March sun. It was still chilly and relatively quiet, the tourist season having not yet begun, and Blaine and Kurt preferred it that way. Rather than hearing the barrage of foreign languages and tour guides and the clicks of thousands of camera shutters, both men preferred to hear the sounds of the city, the pulse of their footsteps on the cracked cobblestones, the rush of the Arno River has it lapped against the base of the Ponte Vecchio, the passion of the Florentine street performers as they recited verses from Dante's Divine Comedy, and the quietly mysterious and romantic music that seemed to follow them down each via.
When Blaine had surprised Kurt with a trip to Italy, Kurt had nearly passed out from the force of his excitement. He had never been to Europe, and though he had always assumed that his first European adventure would have taken him to Paris, he did not know that instead, he'd be walking through the anciently beautiful streets of one of the most artistically rich cities in the world, hand in hand with the love of his life. And he wouldn't have traded that opportunity for anything.
Blaine knew these streets well, having visited a few times since his childhood, and though he walked slowly to allow Kurt's eyes to have their fill of the magnificence of the city, he also walked with determination, their destination clear in his mind. Between peering down each cobble-stoned street looking for the right one, he would steal glances at Kurt, whose gloriously blue-green eyes were wide with wonder and curiosity, gasping each time they turned a new corner. He smiled widely and lifted their intertwined hands to his lips, breaking Kurt's trance.
"Blaine, I just…I can't believe…" Kurt stuttered, the words appropriate to express what he was feeling escaping him.
"I love you," Blaine whispered, pressing his mouth against Kurt's, his lips feeling like fire on Kurt's wind-flushed face. Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine's shoulders, pulling him closer against him, whimpering into their kiss. He could die with just how much he loved this man.
Pulling away, Blaine nudged Kurt's nose with his own, causing the taller man to giggle and meet Blaine's golden eyes with his own.
"Ti amo," Kurt said, his heart fluttering. Unwrapping Kurt's arms from around his neck, Blaine grabbed his hand, weaving his fingers again with his, and allowed himself one more second of looking into the eyes he adored above all else, before setting off down another ancient street.
"Blaine, you still haven't told us where we're going," Kurt said with a playful pout. He hated but secretly loved surprises. Especially if they were from Blaine.
"You'll see, tesoro," Blaine said with a smile before adding, "we're almost there."
They continued down a few more streets, the rich and tantalizing scent of the famous Florentine leather permeating the air ("Oh, Blaine, look at those gloves! Can we stop in please?"), before Blaine let out a triumphant laugh and turned swiftly along Via Ricasoli, finally stopping in front of a white marble building, decorated with four immaculately carved columns that melded into the façade. Outside, various street artists had set up their canvases, each painting a different angle of the building and street, and for a moment Kurt thought of Blaine on that first day, his curly hair and honey-colored eyes peering up at him from behind his easel. He felt Blaine's lips press a warm kiss to his cheek and was snapped back to the present at the gesture.
"Stay here, love, I'll be right back," Blaine said excitedly and Kurt laughed, nodding. He watched as Blaine entered a door on the side of the building before looking up at the words carved into the marble between the columns, mumbling them to himself under his breath. Accademia di Belle Arte. Why did those words sound so familiar?
Blaine removed his leather glove and reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet. He smiled brilliantly at the pretty young woman at the ticket counter and counted out the Euro notes before slipping them under the thin metal bars.
"Buongiorno! Due, per favore," he said in his perfect Italian and the woman grinned at him as she handed him his tickets.
"Grazie, signorina," he replied, and the woman blushed furiously. But before she could ask this beautiful stranger if he'd like to join her for an espresso after work, he had turned and walked out the door, no doubt back to his equally beautiful girlfriend. Well, not quite but she was close.
Kurt was where he had left him, only now he was staring up at the words carved into the building, his brow furrowed in concentration. Blaine could tell that Kurt was trying to remember why he knew this place but couldn't recognize it, which worked to keep Blaine's surprise.
"Vieni con me, amore," Blaine said with a chuckle, again taking Kurt's hand and leading him inside, handing the tickets to the man at the door. The inside was cool and the lighting dim, with pottery and busts of ancient Florentine nobles scattered throughout the room. Their footsteps echoed quietly against the marble floors, the sounds of whispered conversations between the few museum visitors punctuating the peacefulness. Blaine didn't want to rush him but his body tingled in anticipation of showing Kurt why he had brought him here. With a quick squeeze of his fingers, Kurt let Blaine know that he could lead the way, and with a deep breath, Blaine led him towards a wide doorway, the light beyond which was much brighter. Crossing the threshold, they turned down a wide, echoing hallway, and Kurt's breath caught in his throat when he saw what stood underneath the arching ceiling at the end of the hall.
Blaine grinned as he watched Kurt slowly make his way towards the giant statue, his face flushed. For a moment, Blaine felt transported back to the summer before his first year at Dalton, when he had first seen David and began to draw, his passion eventually influencing his decisions that would lead him to the gorgeous man standing next to him. As strange as it seemed, Blaine always felt a sense of gratitude towards this work of art, as though it was because of David that he met Kurt. And in a way, it was.
"What do you think?" Blaine asked quietly, his eyes never leaving Kurt's face that was looking up at the statue in awe and admiration.
"Oh Blaine, this is incredible," Kurt whispered, unbelieving that he was looking at one of the most famous, recognizable, and beautiful pieces of art ever rendered by man.
"The last time I was here was right before I started at Dalton. The first time I drew something I was sitting on that bench right there. I fell in love with art here," Blaine told him, his eyes shining. Kurt instantly recalled the sketch of a hand Blaine had shown him when they were teenagers, and as his eyes fell on the statue's, he recognized them instantly. Kurt felt like crying himself because he realized immediately that this was the reason Blaine had been in that art class all those years ago.
"And now do you know what I see when I look at this statue?" Blaine asked, taking both of Kurt's hands and turning to face him.
"What?" Kurt asked breathlessly.
"You. I see the most beautiful work of art that has ever existed. I see the muse who inspires not only my art, but my heart as well. And I see the person who makes my life worth living. I love you so much, Kurt." Blaine allowed the tears to fall, not caring that other people were in the gallery. For all Blaine knew and cared, no one else existed in this moment but Kurt.
Kurt watched as Blaine slipped his hand inside his coat and pulled out a small, dark green velvet box.
"Kurt, tesoro, will you marry me?" he whispered, holding the small box out to him. He opened it to reveal a simple band in white gold, with three understated but no less beautiful diamonds engraved into the metal. On the inside, Blaine had the words My Muse embossed in an elegant script.
Kurt let out a gasp and a choked sob as he took Blaine's face in his hands and kissed him lovingly. The only sound he could hear was the slightly accelerated beat of his heart and the soft smack of their mouths as they embraced gently. Kurt had no idea he had any more love left to give to this man, but at this moment, he felt himself falling for him even more.
"Blaine Anderson, non ci sono parole giuste per dirti quanto ti amo. Ma so che non sono capace di vivere senza te. Ti adoro con tutto il cuore, amore mio." Blaine continued to cry as he took in Kurt's words, letting them fill every inch of him with emotion. Taking Kurt's hand, he slipped the ring on his finger, before bringing it to his mouth and kissing it softly.
"Ah, che bellezza, l'amore," Blaine and Kurt turned to see a uniformed, gallery attendant smiling at them warmly, her eyes glistening. They giggled softly before whispering a quick "Grazie" at her well wishes, and turned back down the large hallway, their fingers entwined, both with no intention of ever letting go.
Buongiorno! Due, per favore - Good morning! Two please.
Grazie, signorina - Thank you, miss
Vieni con me, amore - Come with me, love
Kurt's speech - Blaine Anderson, there are no words to describe how much I love you. But I know that I am incapable of living without you. I adore you with all my heart, my love.
Ah, che belleza, l'amore - Ah, how beautiful, love.
A/N: There you have it. What can I say that I haven't said a million times before? I can't believe the following this story has gotten and that people were so touched by it. I am absolutely honored that every single one of you took time out of your days to read this and to give me the strength and inspiration to keep up with it and actually give me a sense of pride for something I created, which trust me, doesn't happen often. So thank you so much and I hope to keep writing things that will touch people's hearts. As I've mentioned, a sequel for this IS in the works, where I will be writing about the boys in, yes you guessed it, ITALY! I'm super excited to get working on that though I'm not sure when I'll have time to write this month as I'm studying for/taking a very important exam then rehearsals start for a show I'm in. But in the mean time, please check out my latest story, "Until the Curtain Falls," and leave me some feedback, please. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue but if it sounds like something you'd be interested in reading more of, please let me know.
Ok, I have babbled long enough. Tesori, siete le mie muse e vi voglio bene infintamente. Grazie per aver letto la mia storia. (Loves, you are all my muses and I love you infinitely. Thank you for reading my story.) xxxxx :)