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Chapter 3: Deadly Desires
Nando and Will rode tiredly into Rancho des Caballos. It had only been a few weeks since Will had begun to recover from his illness and lately a few at his uncle’s ranch had started suffering with stomach sickness. Rather than risk Will’s still fragile health, it had been decided he should stay with Don Carlos. Nando had taken on extra work firstly due to Will’s incapacity and latterly because of other workers being sick and consequently had become unintentionally sharp with the young blond due to fatigue. Still recovering physically and mentally, Will had taken Nando’s irritation to heart and now silently worried about his place at Nando’s side. As the two men dismounted from their horses, a beautiful woman appeared at the steps of the hacienda. As Will looked on in shock, Nando’s face lit up with joy and he ran to embrace her.
“Marianna,” he said hugging her tightly.
“Hola, Nando,” she laughed. “I did say I would visit.” The woman looked older than Nando and was immaculately made-up and coiffeured. Her dress was a deep blue that seemed to emphasise her dark skin and hair and was clearly of expensive make and material. Her whole demeanour was of breeding and wealth.
“I did not know you would be here already,” said Nando walking her towards the house. “This is wonderful…”
The rest of his sentence was cut off as they entered the house leaving Will vulnerable and alone. Tears pricked at his eyes. Will had been left feeling an inconvenience, not an Intended. He sighed and began to lead the horses to the stable. He forced a smile as the stable boy came over.
“Hola, Senor Will,” the attractive younger man beamed as he took charge of the horses. “Welcome back.”
“Gracias, Marco,” Will replied.
“Buenos dias, Pequeno,” a deep voice resonated in Will’s ear and as he turned he was lifted from the ground and enveloped in a strong warm embrace.
“Roberto,” Will gasped, a genuine smile lighting his face. “Hello,”
“Where is Nando?” the big man asked, but before Will could compose a reply Nando’s angry voice reached them both.
“William! I expect my Intended to be at my side when receiving guests and not consorting with the ranch servants.”
Roberto immediately noted the way Will paled and looked withdrawn at the tone of the older man. Roberto was surprised Nando would be so sharp with the blond. He gazed between one and the other as Will obediently moved to stand at Nando’s left and a step behind, his dejected stance reflecting his insecurity..
“It was my fault, Senor Nando,” Roberto said levelly. “I was pleased to have Senor Will back at des Caballos. I delayed him.” Roberto frowned at the curt nod he received as Nando re-entered the hacienda with Will dutifully at his side. Something was wrong. The joy he had seen between the two was clearly missing. He made a mental note to speak to Don Carlos as he strode away.
Nando had guiltily realised that in his excitement at seeing Marianna again, he had simply left Will behind. However, seeing the pleasure on Will’s face when in Roberto’s arms had made him angry and the older man had snapped at Will when really the blond had done nothing to merit it. Nando felt caught in a downward spiral. He wanted to take Will and hold and kiss him, but his mis-placed pride stopped him. He had wanted to display his Intended. To Nando’s eyes Will had not been so enthusiastic in the Rojan’s company of late. Nando did not realise that what he perceived as coolness was insecurity over Nando’s irritability. Nando worried that the younger man he loved was growing distant from him and that in turn made him more agitated and irritable. Neither man realised their actions were feeding the insecurities of the other creating a vicious circle.
“Marianna Cortez, te presento a William Green. William Green te presento a Marianna Cortez,” Nando made the introductions.
Marianna barely touched the hand of the Americano. She eyed him coldly with a distaste that was shielded from Nando’s eyes. She had been told that Nando had an Intended. She had not expected a man, an American at that. She could see the insecurity in the large blue eyes and gave a mental smile. It would seem all was not well between the engaged couple. She would watch and wait.
Will felt like an insect under the dark woman’s stare and yet Nando was oblivious to his discomfort. Will had hoped a few days at des Caballos would help him regain the loving attentions of the man who had cared for him so devotedly when ill. With the advent of this beautiful woman, who seemed to be so close to Nando, Will’s heart sank. Nando’s devotions seemed centred on her rather than him.
Nando took Marianna’s arm to lead her to the large sitting and dining room. He sat with her on the couch, leaving Will to perch uncomfortably on one of the chairs. Their animated talk, in Spanish, simply made Will feel even more unwanted and isolated. His language skills were not up to this level. Making a decision he rose.
“If you will both excuse me, I’m rather tired and would like to rest for a while.”
“We cevizli escort are in our usual room,” Nando supplied. He frowned at the pale young man and started to rise intending to accompany Will to the room.
“Nando, will you not stay and talk with me?” Marianna pouted.
“Don’t worry, I know the way,” Will sighed, his shoulders slumping as he saw Nando immediately turn to the woman.
Nando was torn, but as he turned back to Will, the blond was already at the door. He decided to spend a few more minutes with Marianna and then go check on his young mate. He determined to find out what was wrong.
Will diverted to the kitchen before going to the room. His mouth was dry and his stomach did not feel good. He could not be sure whether it was the beginnings of the stomach sickness from des Toros or simply his body’s reaction to all that was happening. As he got himself a glass of water, he felt faint. The glass dropped from Will’s fingers as the room swayed. The cook called for Roberto who was standing outside and the big man rushed to Will’s side.
“Are you ill?” he asked concerned.
“Just a little dizzy,” Will said as he was guided to a chair. “I was going to go and lie down but I think I need a little air first.”
“Let me,” Roberto said solicitously. He wrapped an arm around the slender waist and walked Will outside.
Will smiled up at the ruggedly handsome, dark man. Roberto had become like a father to Will and the small blond felt safe with him. He relaxed into the protective embrace.
Inside the hacienda, movement caught Marianna’s attention. She smiled, but it did not reach her calculating eyes. Instead, she turned confused brown orbs onto Nando.
“Nando, did your Intended not say he was retiring to bed? I am sure I have just seen him in…I mean with Roberto.”
Nando caught the hesitation and his mind filled in the missing words. ‘In Roberto’s arms’. He surged to his feet and stared angrily at the way Will stood in his father’s manservant’s embrace. Will was supposed to be in love with him. He stormed from the room, not seeing the delighted smile on Marianna’s face.
“I thought it was bed you sought, not Roberto,” Nando voice was cold and hard as he confronted Will.
“He felt dizzy, I was simply looking after him as Don Carlos has instructed me,” Roberto replied, keeping his own anger firmly under control. He felt Will shrink against him and tightened his grip instinctively.
“Did those instructions include taking him in your arms at every opportunity?” Nando demanded. “Will!” Nando held out his hand and Will moved to stand and look up at the angry man wondering what Nando was suggesting. He was tired and confused and his eyes began to tear.
“I’m sorry,” he husked, uncertain as to why he felt the necessity to apologise. He had not done anything.
Nando looked at the pale, sad face and his manner softened. He loved the beautiful blond and he did not want Will to be upset.
“Do you feel well now?” he asked. At the small nod, he wrapped an arm around Will and relaxed as he felt the younger man mould to his side. “Then let me take you to bed.”
Nando watched as Will undressed and slid into bed. He leant in to kiss Will and relaxed further at the small sigh of pleasure from the smaller man. It suddenly struck Nando just how long it had been since they had been alone, how long it had been since they had made love. There had been so much to do that he had spent little time with Will. He knew he could not leave Marianna alone for too long, but this opportunity to show his love for Will was one he did not want to miss.
He kissed Will again, this time his tongue thrust dominantly into the blond’s mouth. At the soft gasp, Nando’s tongue delved deeper. His hands tweaked at small nipples, raising them to hard peaks. He tasted very nuance of the warm wet cavern, finally sucking on Will’s shyer muscle. He moved to feast on taut nubs, grazing his teeth over the furled flesh as Will writhed restlessly. He wrenched back the covers to expose the beautiful pale body and felt a primal surge of satisfaction at the rosy erection jutting up from its small blond nest.
“Do you desire me?” he husked.
“Always,” Will moaned. “I love you, Nando.” In reply his manhood was enveloped in moist suction. Will was helpless as Nando’s tongue traced the sensitive underside of his member. A large, knowledgeable hand cupped his sac, squeezing gently then separating the orbs within, rolling them carefully. Will groaned as Nando’s teeth grazed the sensitive head and cried out as a tongue probed at the tiny slit demanding more of the intoxicating pre-come it leaked.
Nando held Will’s slender hips as he began to rhythmically bob up and down, hollowing his cheeks, sucking hard. He wanted Will to come, to taste his lover’s release. He felt small hands fist in his hair as Will neared his zenith. A cry of Nando’s name coincided with the salty sweetness that pulsed into his mouth. Nando greedily swallowed his mate’s nectar, sucking until certain there was no more of the addictive erenköy escort offering. As he allowed the sated organ to slip from his lips, he saw Will was out cold. He covered the slight nude form, tucking him in securely and kissed Will’s temple.
“I love you, too, mi amore,” Nando whispered, sorry he had not spoken the words when Will could have heard them.
Will awoke slowly, his head a little muzzy. He reached for the comforting presence of his mate and was disappointed to find the other half of the bed cold and empty. He sighed sadly. In the insecure young man’s mind, Marianna’s company had proven more desirous to Nando than his. Yet Nando had made love to him. He held tight to the thought as he started to rise.
“Ah, you are awake,” Nando said briskly as he entered their room carrying a jug of warm water he poured into a basin. “It is time to get ready for dinner. As you wished to rest I left you sleeping.”
“Is Marianna staying long?” Will asked, hoping his voice did not waver.
“A few days. I want you to get along with her,” Nando said as he began to wash. “We have been friends for a few years. At one time we were very close.”
The Rojan was unaware of the effect of his words on his young lover. Will stood staring at Nando’s back. ‘Very close’ echoed in his mind. He shivered unconsciously. Would Nando come to realise that he preferred the company of beautiful women? Will glanced down at his own body. He had nothing to compare with the devastatingly attractive woman from Nando’s past. He blinked and saw Nando was almost dressed. Woodenly he moved to take his place at the basin.
“I will be in the living room waiting for you,” Nando said placing a chaste peck to Will’s cheek. Nando knew if he began kissing Will they would not get downstairs, he did not know Will believed he was rushing to return to Marianna’s side.
At dinner, Don Carlos watched anxiously as Will seemed to do little more than rearrange the food on his plates. Marianna monopolised Nando’s attention, exploiting every feminine trick to keep the Rojan focused on her and Don Carlos was annoyed with his son for failing to rise beyond such tactics. Roberto had spoken to him earlier and he could certainly see that there was something wrong with Will. The pale blond kept glancing nervously at Nando. Don Carlos wanted to shake Nando for the part he was playing in putting that look on Will’s face. He also noted that Nando’s wine glass was never empty, Marianna refilling it as it reached halfway down. After the meal, the four sat with brandies. Will’s remained untouched as Nando finished his first and Marianna suggested refills.
“Perhaps you and Will should have an early night?” Don Carlos offered as Marianna once again raised a shared experience from hers and Nando’s past.
“Oh but, Don Carlos,” Marianna fluttered her eyelashes. “It has been so long since Nando and I spoke.”
“You are going riding first thing,” the older man persisted. “You will have ample time to talk.”
“Just this last drink,” Nando smiled. The alcohol was making him more relaxed than he had been for a while. He was comfortable and did not want to move. He gazed at Will. “If you are tired you go up,” he said magnanimously. “I will join you soon.”
The words were like daggers to Will’s heart and Don Carlos could see it. Unfortunately, the slightly inebriated Nando could not. Nodding at the hastily muttered ‘Goodnight’ Don Carlos sadly watched Will despondently head for the stairs. He determined to speak to his son at the earliest opportunity. In front of this woman, who had Roberto uneasy, was not the place and with Nando having been drinking it was not the time. Don Carlos stayed a little longer before retiring himself. He made a pointed remark about it getting late and finally Nando seemed to rouse himself to make a move. Muttering darkly under his breath, the older Rojan ascended the stairs.
Will waited in their room. He was stretched on their bed, hugging a pillow to his chest. He had donned a nightshirt as he had been unable to settle under the covers and too cold to remain above them undressed. He frowned as he heard Nando’s voice and childish giggling. He opened the door and peeked through. Nando and Marianna were just stepping into the corridor. Will did not realise that he could be seen by the older woman and, as she and Nando paused at her room door, she manoeuvred the Rojan into appearing as though he were pinning her to the door to kiss. Will watched, too shocked to make a sound, as they disappeared into her room. Without thinking, he ran from his room and down the stairs and threw himself onto the settee sobbing quietly. He was therefore unaware of Nando disentangling himself from Marianna to go to the room he shared with Will. However, in the darkened room and having drunk too much, Nando simply tumbled on the bed, curled around the same pillow Will had held, inhaled the scent of his lover and fell instantly asleep.
Roberto found the distressed blond as he performed his final sweep of the house before retiring to bed. He cradled esenyurt escort the younger man as he listened to what Will had seen and the doubts that plagued him. Roberto rocked Will gently, soothing him as best he could, until Will was virtually limp in his arms. He moved to sweep him up and carried him to his own bedroom. As he lay Will down, the communicating door opened and Don Carlos stepped through.
“What has happened?” he asked concerned. “Why is Will here and not with Nando?”
Briefly, Roberto explained and as he finished they turned to see Will gazing wide-eyed at them.
“This room is regarded as Roberto’s,” Don Carlos said, sitting next to the young man. “In reality he hasn’t slept here since two years following the death of my wife. From the day I took him as my Spouse.”
“You and Roberto?” Will gasped.
“Si, Pequeno,” Don Carlos confirmed. “Roberto had his reasons for not wanting others to know, although the staff here are all aware and under oaths not to reveal the relationship. I must ask of you the same. I want to tell my children myself.”
“I understand,” Will husked.
“Nando loves you very much,” Don Carlos assured stroking the soft blond hair. “I will speak to him tomorrow and then you and he will spend some time together and I will keep Marianna company. She is behaving very childishly when she knows Nando and you are betrothed. Sleep now, Pequeno, all will be well in the morning.”
Comforted by Don Carlos’ confidence, Will settled down, watching as the two older men moved into the adjoining room, before slipping into an exhausted sleep.
“Nando, are you ready?” Marianna’s voice roused Nando from his sleep. The Rojan groaned as his head throbbed in protest. He didn’t think he had drunk so much, but his body told another story. He frowned at the lack of Will, his arms still hugging the pillow.
“In a minute, Marianna,” he said his throat parched.
Hurriedly he dressed, rinsing his face and his mouth with cold water, deciding to leave shaving until his hands were more up to the delicacy of the act. He frowned again as he realised Will’s half of the bed looked as though it had not been slept in. As he opened the door, Marianna was already beautifully dressed and ready for riding.
“This will be such fun,” she gushed. “Just like old times.”
She preceded him downstairs, but as Nando took a couple of steps he heard a door closing. Craning his head round he saw Will emerge, sleep-mussed, from Roberto’s room and make his way to the room they shared. Marianna reached back to tug impatiently at him. In a daze, he allowed himself to be led to the stable, his mind trying to make sense of what he had seen.
As Nando mounted the horse, Marco watched Marianna. He saw the look of desire in her eyes as she appraised Nando and the stable boy scowled. Will belonged to Nando and Marco had been given responsibility by Roberto to keep his eye on the beautiful Americano. As soon as he next saw Roberto, he intended to report what he had seen.
Will sat in the shade of a large tree on a soft, thick blanket. Nobody was certain of how long Nando and Marianna would be out riding. Will was watching as Don Carlos and Roberto allowed a couple of their newest acquisitions to run in the corral.
At the single word, the blond turned, but the happiness that had begun to form on his face at the sound of his name on Nando’s lips fell away as he saw the tense visage.
“Nando,” he whispered.
“I would like an explanation as to why my Intended slept with another man.”
“I didn’t,” Will gasped.
“So it was not you I saw this morning leaving Roberto’s room?” Nando asked.
“I was in his room,” Will stuttered, desperately remembering his promise to Don Carlos.
“And where was Roberto?” Nando pressed.
“He was … he was…” Will’s blue eyes cast frantically around as he prayed Don Carlos or Roberto would come to his aid, but the men had vanished from sight.
“If you no longer wish to marry me, perhaps I should stand aside for Roberto,” Nando said his voice brittle.
He turned on his heel, pride and fear warring inside him. One part of him not willing to beg Will to stay at his side, the other terrified of losing the one that completed him. Lost in his own personal anguish, he did not turn back, but mounted his horse and rode away from the ranch, Marianna in pursuit. As such he neither heard the desperate cry of his name from Will’s lips nor saw the arm reaching for him in supplication before Will crumpled bonelessly to the floor.
Nando lay morosely with Marianna stretched at his side. They had ridden for a while before dismounting and seeking shade from the searing heat. They had lain together in silence for a long time before he had noticed that Marianna was petting him. He was then taken by surprise as Marianna moved to lie across his chest.
“Remember how we would kiss out here, Nando?” she purred before claiming his lips. He gasped in surprise and Marianna moved lightening swift. Her tongue surged deep into Nando’s mouth as she pressed herself against the broad chest. Twisting her lower half, she draped her body fully over the Rojan’s, using her legs to push apart Nando’s, and ground herself against his crotch. For a moment there was no resistance and then she found herself pushed back onto the ground.
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