Chapter 12-First Day in Spain
Chapter 12: First Day in Spain
“I will miss you very much, Krystal!” Beatrice smiled as she, the captain, Matthew and Erik all stood at the top of the gangplank. The Cruel Mistress had reached Spain and Beatrice and Erik were just about to walk down to the dock.
“I will miss you as well, Mrs. LaRouche,” Krystal nodded but didn’t move. “It was a pleasure to have you on board my ship. Have a nice honeymoon in Spain, and please, don’t hesitate to ask me for any favors.”
“This may be the last time we ask you for a favor,” Erik muttered and Beatrice smacked his arm.
“Erik!” she hissed. “Where are your manners?!”
“It’s alright, Mrs. LaRouche,” Krystal smirked. “He and I have an understanding.”
Beatrice glanced between the captain and her “husband” in confusion.
“We’ll miss you, Beatrice!” Matthew grinned and threw his arms around her neck for a hug, making her laugh and hug him back as Erik glared at him.
“Matthew!” Krystal snapped and the three stared at her. “Get off the lady.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” Matthew said and stepped away from Beatrice. “I’m sorry, Mrs. LaRouche.”
“It is quit alright, Matthew,” Beatrice smiled, pulling him back then smirked, “I am never hugged anymore.”
Erik stared at her in disbelief. Did he not hold her and kiss her a bit more than he should have?! She was obviously teasing him.
“Well, then,” Krystal interrupted. “We have to get going rather quickly this time. I hate to rush the good-byes, but---”
“We understand, Capitaine,” Erik nodded, picking up some of his and Beatrice’s bags. “Come along, cheri.”
He nearly ran down the gangplank as Beatrice stared after him in disbelief then turned back to Krystal.
“Thank you again, Capitaine Robyn,” she nodded. “Thank you for everything. I hope I’ll see you again soon.”
“As I hope of you, Beatrice,” Krystal nodded back. Beatrice smiled and picked up two of her bags and ran down the plank after Erik.
“Erik!” she called as she reached the dock. “Erik! Wait for me!” She wasn’t paying attention and suddenly ran into a person going the other way and found herself on the ground as her bags flew open revealing more than she wanted anyone to see.
“Are you alright, señora?” a man’s voice asked with more concern than she had heard in a long time. She suddenly felt herself being pulled up and to her feet then noticed a man kneel toward her bags and packing her things again.
“Monsieur, please,” Beatrice begged, kneeling next to him. “You need not help me. It was my fault. I should have been watching where I was going.”
“Then we were both to blame,” the man replied. “I was not watching where I was going either.”
They laughed, and Beatrice looked at him for the first time. He was handsome with black hair that had a few dark brown highlights and dark brown eyes that shone with compassion and warmth. He was dressed as a Spanish noble making Beatrice feel very embarrassed at the fact that she knocked into him.
“Thank you, Monsieur…?” Beatrice wanted the name of such a kind man.
“Ruban,” the man replied, closing one of her bags and holding a hand to take hers. “Don Ruban Castillo.”
She gave her his hand and he kissed it gently and chastely. She smiled and he suddenly looked up behind her in near terror. Beatrice frowned and looked up behind her to see Erik standing and glaring down at Ruban who scrambled to his feet.
“Beatrice,” Erik growled, prompting an explanation but never taking his eyes off of Ruban.
“Erik,” Beatrice replied, standing and dusting herself off. “This is Don Ruban Castillo. He was just helping me with my bags.”
“Ruban!” a woman’s voice called behind him and all three turned to see a stunning young woman with ebony black hair that fell to her waist and golden eyes that shone just as brightly as Ruban’s. She was dressed in expensive wears as well: a golden yellow silk gown that flowed as she ran toward the three.
“Esperanza,” Ruban smiled, holding out his arm. The woman ran into his arm and Ruban held her close then turned her toward Erik and Beatrice. “This is my wife, Doña Esperanza Castillo.”
“Hola,” Esperanza nodded with a slight curtsy.
“It is a pleasure to meet you both,” Beatrice replied. “My name is Beatrice LaRouche, and this is my husband, Erik LaRouche.”
“You are from France?” Esperanza guessed, and Beatrice nodded.
“We are here for our honeymoon,” Erik replied, not wanting Beatrice to say anything different.
“We may stay longer than that,” Beatrice replied as honestly as she could.
“Have you ever been here before?” Ruban wondered.
“No, I’m afraid not,” Beatrice smiled.
“Would you mind if we were your guides?” Esperanza grinned making Ruban look at her in shock.
“Esperanza…” he scolded.
“That would be wonderful!” Beatrice grinned back. She and Erik needed friends in this foreign country. Esperanza’s face lit up and she took Beatrice’s hand and led her in the other direction.
“Ruban, mi querido, could you help Señor LaRouche with their bags?” Esperanza called, dragging Beatrice behind her. “Gracias!”
Beatrice looked at Erik and shrugged as he glared at her. What really was she to do? Ruban and Erik looked at each other then at the bags, then at each other again, shrugged and picked the bags up, following the girls into the crowd. This couldn’t be so bad.
“This shawl is so beautiful!” Beatrice grinned as she and Esperanza stood at one of the many venders on a dirt road. She wrapped the shawl around her shoulders and spun around in circles with a smile on her face.
“It suits you,” Esperanza giggled as she watched her new friend spin in circles. “Black is certainly your color.”
“I’ve always liked maroon,” Beatrice smiled, stopping and removing the shawl to put it back.
“Would you like me to buy it for you, cheri?” Erik whispered in her ear as he and Ruban also stood with the girls. Beatrice blushed and looked up at him.
“No, I can live without it,” she whispered back.
“But I want your happiness,” Erik smiled.
“No, Erik. We have no money.”
“I can buy it for you,” Ruban said, not helping that he overheard their conversation.
“No, it is quite alright,” Beatrice said, putting the shawl back. “However, thank you for offering.”
“Do you have a place to stay?” Esperanza wondered, suddenly changing the subject.
“Not at the moment,” Beatrice replied.
“Would you like to stay in our hacienda?” Esperanza smiled, taking Ruban’s arm. “You could stay in our guest room.”
“We would not want to be a burden,” Erik replied.
“We would rather you stay with us than in an inn,” Ruban replied. “Please. Let us help you.”
Beatrice looked at Erik and silently pleaded he say yes. He sighed as he looked at the couple in front of him then down at Beatrice.
“This woman is going to be the death of me,” he thought. “I can never say no to her.”
He looked back at Ruban and Esperanza and nodded.
“If it will not be too much trouble,” he replied in a vague yes.
“No trouble at all, señor,” Ruban smiled as Esperanza let him go and hugged Beatrice fiercely. The Spanish beauty pulled away and held Beatrice at arms length.
“We are going to be great friends, I know it!” she grinned. Beatrice smiled back at her with wide eyes filled with surprise. The only girl that had ever been this cheerful was Meg Giry. Esperanza took Beatrice’s hands and led her toward a carriage not too far away as the men picked up Erik and Beatrice’s bags again and followed them.
“This is our carriage,” Ruban explained, handing to of the bags to one of the servants standing next to the carriage. “We will take you to our hacienda now so that you can get settled, if that is alright.”
“We will be here for several days,” Beatrice replied. “I am sure that Erik and I will have plenty of time to visit the shops and things.”
Erik handed the bags he was carrying to the servant who piled them into the back of the carriage.
“Señors, señoras,” the servant entreated them to get into the carriage. The four piled into the carriage with Ruban and Esperanza on one side and Erik and Beatrice on the other.
“Again, thank you,” Beatrice smiled, taking Erik’s hand and holding it in her lap. He gave her a sideways look of surprise, but said nothing.
“No need for thanks,” Ruban smiled as he wrapped an arm around Esperanza who leaned on him. “It is our pleasure to help our new friends.”
Beatrice grinned at him saying that they were the couple’s friends. They had so far spent the rest of the day together and they had found out so much about each other, it was almost as though all four of them had been long time friends. Ruban was a wealthy Don who had many servants, a huge home, and a kind heart. Esperanza was a Spanish beauty who was just as attractive and kind as Ruban. They belonged with each other.
“When we have enough money, I am going to buy you a carriage made of jewels,” Erik whispered in Beatrice’s ear making her smile at him.
“A fine carriage like this one will be just fine, thank you, ‘dear,’” she retorted with a smirk.
“But you would look so much better in a carriage made of jewels,” Erik argued, snuggling the side of her head with his forehead.
“But people would be able to see what we were doing if we had one,” she smiled meeting his forehead with hers, making a very obvious love scene in front of Ruban and Esperanza and securing their roles as ‘husband and wife.’
“Is that so bad?” Erik smirked, loving the way he could actually flirt with her in front of other people.
“Erik,” Beatrice blushed sincerely. “You shouldn’t talk that way in front of our new friends!”
“You brought it up,” he murmured.
“That is enough,” Beatrice said sternly. “We are making Ruban and Esperanza uncomfortable.”
Erik glanced over at the couple to see them nuzzling each others faces in their own love scene.
“They would beg to differ,” he whispered and Beatrice frowned in confusion then glanced at their new friends and smiled.
“Apparently so,” she agreed.
“Kiss me, mon cheri,” Erik demanded softly, brushing his lips against hers, playfully.
“If I do not?”
“Then I will leave you.”
“I doubt that,” Beatrice giggled as she closed her eyes.
She let Erik press his lips against hers as he too closed his eyes. His tongue plunged into her mouth and she had to fight from letting out a moan of approval as he played with her tongue. Her mouth began to water at the taste of his mouth as he deepened the kiss then gathered her tongue fully and sucked on it. Her eyes shot open in surprise and she couldn’t keep herself from letting out a small squeak in surprise at the sensation. She pulled away slowly, but his teeth held onto her tongue gently and as he let her mouth go she stared at him with a blush all over her face, neck and chest. He opened his eyes and grinned mischievously at her.
“Did you enjoy that, mon sucré?” he whispered. Beatrice licked her lips and took a deep breath as she tried to collect her thoughts.
“A bit too much,” she admitted, making his grin widen.
“Erik,” Ruban suddenly spoke up, and Beatrice and Erik looked at him. “We have an opera house here in Madrid. It is small, but popular. Would you be interested in visiting?”
“Of course,” Erik replied, sitting up to let Beatrice snuggle up to his shoulder. “I would want nothing more than to see an opera house again.”
“Excellent!” Ruban grinned then pressing a kiss to the side of Esperanza’s head. “I shall see if I can persuade the managers to let me take you on a tour. I am sure they will not argue with me.”
“Pardon my boldness, but how are you so sure?” Beatrice wondered. Ruban smirked and looked down at Esperanza who shared his smirk.
“Because I am the patron,” Ruban replied simply and Erik and Beatrice looked at him in disbelief.
“So, it is your opera house?” Erik guessed.
“In a sense,” Ruban replied, running his fingers through Esperanza’s long, thick hair. “It was my idea to build it, and now I pay for its existence. Like you, Erik, I grew up with music around me and now enjoy everything that has to do with it.”
“He and I met at an opera,” Esperanza smiled up at Ruban and he smiled. “I will never forget the performance. The Marriage of Figaro.”
“Our seats were reserved next to each other,” Ruban recalled. “She sat to my left, as if she had been there all my life.”
“It was as though we were meant to be,” Esperanza finished with a content smile. Ruban smiled back at her and moved a strand of hair from her face. Beatrice smiled at the couple and snuggled closer to Erik who wrapped his arm her shoulders.
“How long have you been married?” Beatrice wondered and they looked back at her.
“Three years,” Ruban replied.
“Three wonderful years,” Esperanza corrected, snuggling up to his chest.
“You seem like you truly love each other,” Beatrice observed.
“So do you,” Esperanza smiled. Beatrice and Erik looked at each other in shock. They were good at their performance as husband and wife. A bit too good.
“W-We are,” Beatrice replied making the couple across from her frown in confusion.
“Have I said something wrong?” Esperanza asked, sitting up from Ruban. Beatrice and Erik looked at them and put on their best smiles to assure them.
“No, not at all!” Beatrice laughed. “We just didn’t think we were so obvious.”
Esperanza sighed and relaxed on Ruban again. Beatrice hated lying to people, especially these new people who now considered her and Erik as friends.
“I am so glad that we ran into this couple today,” Beatrice told Erik as they got ready for bed in their room at Ruban and Esperanza’s home. “They are very nice.”
“Yes,” Erik admitted. “They seem agreeable.”
“Agreeable?!” Beatrice laughed, turning to stare at his back as she stood on the other side of the bed. “They are more than agreeable, Erik! They are superb!”
“As you wish, Beatrice,” Erik smirked as he stripped off his shirt. “They are superb.”
“Do not mock me, Erik!” Beatrice smiled playfully as she whirled all the way around to face him. Her eyes went wide when she realized he was shirtless and he merely stood there with a frown of confusion on his face over her stare.
“What is wrong?” he wondered, cocking his head a bit as a dog would when curious.
“N-Nothing,” Beatrice lied, casting her eyes down. “I am just tired.”
“He is so unaware of how attractive he is,” she thought. “How could Christine have left him?”
“You should sleep well tonight,” Erik assumed, slipping into the bed on his side. “It was a long day.”
“Yes,” Beatrice nodded and grabbed her nightgown off of the bed to change into it. She ran behind a dressing screen standing in a corner and hung the gown over the top as she began taking her clothes off.
“Are you sure you are alright, Beatrice?” Erik wondered, unmoving from the bed.
“I am fine, Erik,” she lied again as she threw her clothes over the top of the screen. Of course, she wasn’t fine. Her thoughts began to wander to Erik as she changed, and for a brief moment, she wished he was undressing her. She caught her thought and shook her head fiercely.
“You should not think such things, Beatrice!” she scolded herself, silently. “What would he think if he knew you were thinking of him that way?! He would surely think you wicked! Still, it was he who kissed me first and he who acts flirtatious with me. Perhaps he would not condemn my thinking of him that way?”
Beatrice slipped on her black silk nightgown and fixed her hair so that it fell down her shoulders and arms. She had this strange urge to look nice for Erik, as a wife should look attractive for her husband. But they were not married and because of that fact, she found it strange that she would want to look pretty for him. Still, it would secure their role as being married even more so if she simply let herself feel that way, so she did not fight it.
She straightened her gown out of wrinkles and took a deep breath then slowly came out from behind the dressing screen. She swallowed when she saw Erik sitting up, waiting for her and staring at her with wide eyes filled with some emotion she couldn’t identify. She walked toward the bed and Erik followed her as she glided across the room. Beatrice slipped into the bed and turned on her side with her back facing Erik.
“Good night, Erik,” she mumbled and closed her eyes.
“G-Good night,” Erik stuttered. She had looked so beautiful that he couldn’t take his eyes from her when he saw her. Erik had seen Beatrice in hardly any clothes before accidentally, but seeing her show so much skin willingly had his mind reeling. Though the gown fell to the floor, it was sleeveless and his eyes had fallen to the rather low neckline as well as scanning over her creamy white slender arms.
Erik stared at her back for a moment, wondering why she was acting so strangely then shrugged and moved closer to her. He lay down, wrapping his arm around her stomach and burying his face in her hair.
“Erik?” she said in a small voice.
“W-What are you doing?” Erik lifted his head and frowned down at her in confusion.
“I am lying with you,” he replied. “As a husband would with his wife. I thought you were no longer bothered by this.”
“I-I was not, but…” Beatrice couldn’t think with Erik this close to her. Did he know that just his presence made her feel like a giddy school girl? Obviously not if he continued trying to be close to her. Or perhaps he did and he was merely messing with her head.
“But what?” Erik prompted, shifting to stare at her from above. She turned onto her back to look up at him and he studied her face intently.
“It is not necessary when we are alone to act as husband and wife,” she murmured. Erik smirked, surprising her and they sat up as she demanded, “Why do you smile?”
“Because you are blushing again,” Erik murmured, moving his face closer to hers. “You are beautiful when you blush.” He touched his lips to hers ever so softly as he ran his index finger up her arm, leaving goose-bumps on her skin in its wake.
“Erik…” she breathed as her eyes became heavy. “Please. Stop this.”
“Why?” Erik wondered but he did not move away from her.
“It is not right,” she replied. “You should not taunt me.”
“I thought you liked to be taunted.”
“Erik, please. Stop teasing me.”
“As you wish.”
Erik pressed his lips gently to Beatrice’s in a tender kiss and she could not help but start to kiss him back. She slowly wrapped her arms around his neck and his arms wrapped around her to pull her closer as she deepened the kiss. Her tongue slowly made its way into his mouth making him groan in approval. They fell back onto the bed still engaged in their lip-lock. Erik shifted so that he was fully above her, pressing every inch of his body against hers. He began sucking on her tongue and she groaned for more as she pulled him closer. Erik broke the kiss slowly and began trailing tender kisses down her neck and shoulder.
“Erik…” she breathed again, running her fingers through his hair. She suddenly realized what was about to happen and her eyes shot open as she pushed him away.
“No! Erik, stop!” she pleaded in a harsh whisper and pushed him away by the shoulders. He pushed up with his arms and stared down at her in confusion.
“Beatrice?” he prompted.
“We cannot do this, Erik,” she breathed. “It would not be right.”
Erik looked down at her, truly not knowing what she meant. Beatrice saw this in his eyes and sat up, taking him with her as she explained, “If we were to lie together, it would damage our relationship. It would not be right.”
Erik stared at her in disbelief. He suddenly realized what had almost happened and felt guilty. He had promised himself that he would not take advantage of her, but he couldn’t help it. Beatrice was so beautiful, and he couldn’t help wanting to hold her and kiss her. He just wanted her close to him he didn’t want to force himself on her.
“Erik?” Beatrice called in a worried tone.
“I am sorry, Beatrice,” he replied. “I did not mean to frighten you.” He turned away from her and lay on his side, his back facing her. “Get some sleep.”
“I am not mad, Beatrice,” Erik interrupted, knowing that was probably what she was worried about.
“I know what it is you want, Erik,” she replied, moving toward him. “I can give you what you want to an extent.”
“Beatrice, I will not force you---”
“I wish to give you what you want. You wish to be close to me, yes?”
Erik turned to her with wide eyes. Had she read is mind?!
“I can see it, Erik. The truth is I wish to be close to you as well. As close as you will allow.”
She pushed him gently onto his back and laid her head on his chest. What could he say? She wanted what he wanted, and he would not keep from her what she wanted if he was the only one who could give it to her. Erik wrapped his arms around her and smiled when she snuggled her cheek to his chest.
“I will not ask anything of you---”
“Erik, please,” Beatrice interrupted. “Just hold me. Keep me from nightmares tonight.”
Erik sighed and pulled her a bit closer.
“I will do what I can, mon ange,” he whispered and Beatrice felt her heart skip a beat.
“He called me his angel!” she thought with excitement. “Perhaps he is beginning to forget her?” She raised her head slightly to look up at him. He was already asleep and she smiled at him. She moved a small piece of hair that fell over the edge of his mask then gently pulled his mask off, setting it on the nightstand next to the bed.
“You do not need that when you sleep,” she whispered. “I think you handsome no matter what you look like.” She placed her hand on his damaged cheek and caressed it lightly.
“I know now, Erik. I do love you and I will follow you wherever you go. I will not let you be hurt anymore.”