Chapter 25: Miguel Avalon
I woke up at the crack of dawn. Slowly lifting myself from the bed, I placed a pillow on my side and tiptoed to the bathroom. It was 4 in the morning and I knew my men will be at the vineyard and the stables. It had been years since I worked in Hacienda de Avalon.
I miss the smell of the earth, the horses and the fresh Spanish air. I can distinctly remember the taste of sweet grapes picked and fermented to become one of our best-selling wines. I used to take care of the horses and ride them as any professional would do. Horses and I understood each other. I wonder if my old Arabian stallion still recognizes me.
Putting on some fresh working clothes, I slowly made my way out of the bathroom and walked to the sleeping figure of my wife, Ava. Her arms were curled on the pillow I placed on my side of the bed. Her raven hair was a beautiful tangled mess on the white sheets. The baby pink camisole she put on was as preppy and sweet as her personality. Her breathing was even and slow puffs of air came out of her mouth. Her long lashes fanned her cheekbones and a peaceful smile was on her lips.
She was beautiful. It took every inch of my self-control not to take her last night and the days we didn’t talked with each other. I knew I was being an ass but I was scared on acting on the feelings I have for her.
I had to convince myself that all this was only friendship. Surely, men and women were better off as friends. It will be much easier than to succumb to the whims of passion and love. Love complicates things, and I do not wish to hurt her by acting on my feelings. I was my parents’ son. Surely, she knew by now my past and the possibility of my infidelity.
My parents had the same love story. They loved each other when I was a boy but that love soon faded. Soon they were taking their own lovers. I do not wish for Ava to love me and show her affection when I may fall out of love and hurt her in the process. So, it was better for us to be friends.
Placing a soft kiss on her forehead, I smoothed the hair on her cheek and straightened up. I walked out of our room and closed it. Turning to the huge window on the side, I can see my men on their horses. Just in time. Chuckling, I quickly descended the stairs two at a time.
Our home and land were from the old family of my mother. The Avalons were wealthy knights and merchants who were close to the King. Being in the King’s favor granted my ancestors numerous houses, land and people. We became Spain’s wealthiest and oldest family. The lived lavish lives, eminent by the parties and balls they held in our ancestral home. It wasn’t long before they got addicted with gambling and women. Slowly, our properties dwindles to pay off our debts. It didn’t helped the wars razed by our king. Until we were left only with our ancestral home and the vineyard. If not for my great-great-great-great grandfather, our home and vineyard would have been lost.
My mother named me after him. He wanted me to be as wise and dedicated as Juan Iñigo Avalon. He was a wise businessman who grew our vineyard and wine business. I can say we were alike in that department. But what made my Madre admire him was his endless love for his wife, Katarina Avalon.
I shook my head as I remembered their love story. It was my mother’s bedtime story and for a long time I believed I was my ancestor. But his life was different than mine. I accepted a long time ago that we were nothing alike and I cannot have the life he had. My only purpose today is to maintain our family home and wealth, and reproduce heirs.
Thinking about my heirs brought a smile to my face. I longed for a long time to have a son or a daughter of my own. I knew for a fact that I will love them unconditionally and give them the best life. But Leanne never wanted to have kids. She gave me reasons of not being ready yet and I waited patiently until she was ready. It was too late for me to realize she never wanted to have kids. She never wanted her body to be filled by stretch marks, dark underarms or darkening neck.
The sound of horse hooves brought me out of my thoughts. Glancing up at the smiling familiar face riding on top of a brown stallion brought a smile on my lips.
“Buenos dias Señor Iñigo!” Raul Domingo, our stable master, greeted with a smile on his old face “It has been years since we last saw you. You have grown to be a fine man señor.”
I grinned at the warm old man. “Gracias Raul. I heard you needed another helping hand.”
Raul tipped his hat on his forehead “We sure do Senor. Come, they have been waiting for you for years.” He tilted his head to the side “Your old friend also misses you.”
Glancing towards the thundering hooves of my old black stallion, I grinned as I ran to his galloping form like an old friend. Blackjack, my black Arabian horse, stopped before me and bowed his head. I thanked the man holding his reins and brushed a hand on his stout.
He made a noise and eyed me like telling me “Where have you been you old snotty man?”
I chuckled and patted him, “I’m sorry old friend. A lot has happened for the past years.”
He made a noise again and I chuckled “Don’t worry, I’ll come visit as often. Now, why don’t you take me for a ride since we have a job to do. Just like old times.”
Leaning down his neck, he patted his legs and it was a cue I was forgiven. Giving him a pat, I swung my legs on his back and grabbed the reins. Turning to a grinning a Raul, I followed him as we began our work.
Peeking through one eye, I glanced at the close door where my husband stepped out of. Sighing, I slumped on my side of the bed and stared at the wide wooden canopy. Iñigo thought I was asleep. The silly man thought putting a pillow underneath me would construed as him. He should know by now that his muscular chest will never compare to the soft pillows underneath me.
Groaning, I glanced at the grandfather clock. It chimed to 4:30 am. Sleep deluded me. I couldn’t sleep without Iñigo by my side. And to think my husband has escaped me once again, I needed to think of a way to spend my day. Grabbing my journal at the bedside table, I began to write.
Writing has been my form of medicine. It helped me through my darkest days and kept me grounded on the things in my life. Once I was done, I swung my legs on the side of the bed and stood up.
I saw an indoor gym at the manor, so might as well use it to let out pent up frustration caused by my escaping husband. If Iñigo thought I will let him run and get away from me, then his in for a ride.
Changing into my gray sports bra and leggings, I put on my running shoes and jogged towards the indoor gym. The indoor gym was complete with a boxing ring, a large mirror, sound system, treadmills, bicycle, and weights. Plugging my phone into the sound system, I clicked on my playlist and loud upbeat music plunged the still and silent room.
Facing the wide mirror, I began to start my stretching routine. Warm-ups are important to get your body started and loosen the tight muscles. I moved to the treadmill to jog and kept my heart pumping. Afterwards, I moved to doing my core workout.
I was sweating and huffing when I finished but I still haven’t released my pent up energy. Eyeing the boxing bag an idea entered my mind. Grabbing the boxing gloves and cloth, I tightly put it on and went to the boxing bag.
Placing my hands in front of me, I thought of the face of Saul and Leanne. They fucked Iñigo up and I couldn’t imagine people being that horrible. The ringing in my ears started and my breathing became ragged. Seeing the fleeing back of my husband, I punched the bag. The ringing in my ears intensified. I punched it again. And again. And again. I didn’t know how long I was punching the boxing bag. All I know is the ringing in my ears has stopped, my hands are bruised and hands clapping echoed inside the room.
Wait hands clapping?
Turning towards the sound, I frowned at the gorgeous man leaning in the doorway. He was wearing a white polo shirt and denim jeans. His hair was as black as the night and his ripped muscled form was tanned like he’d been out in the sun for most of his life. A playful was on his lips and his eyes were as golden as the sun.
“Hola señorita! You seem to be intent in murdering the poor boxing bag. I wonder how he is after those painful punches you gave him.” He sardonically replied as he placed his hands on the back pocket of his jeans. He walked towards my form while I crossed my arms in front of my chest.
Eyeing him, I sassily replied “The poor boxing bag asks for his apologies for the brute man who roused my temper.” An eyebrow rose at his Spanish face “He’s warning you not to play with my temper.”
“You’ll deal with same fate as his.” I arrogantly replied.
He cackled in laughter at my reply while I openly glared at him. Why is he laughing at me? I was warning this arrogant man but he laughed in my face. Did he not understand my warning or do I need to punch him as well? I woke up in a very bad mood after my husband fled my presence. Now that I have calmed down, I believe I am about to take a punch again for this man was testing my patience.
Sensing my mood, he coughed out his laughter and put on a straight face. Yet his eyes held amusement in its depths.
“Forgive me señorita. I didn’t mean any disrespect.” He explained clasping his hands in front of his chest “I was merely laughing at my brute cousin. He had himself a strong and spitfire wife. It was a long time since I waited for this day.”
“Juan Miguel Avalon.” He bowed introducing himself. His mercurial eyes alighted with delight as I gasped out loud. “You called for me as I have heard from my dear Aunt Celine?”
“Uh-yes.” My cheeks heated in embarrassment “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to threaten you. You just got on my nerves.”
“Problems with my cousin?” he dubiously asked
I rolled my eyes as I removed the straps of my boxing gloves “A big understatement as you can tell. You’re cousin is intent in fleeing from me.”
“He is a very difficult man.” He supplied “It’s a shame you married him. I know a lot of well-titled men you can pick.”
I shook my head “Sorry but I love your cousin since I was 15.”
He stared at me in shock “15? Good lord! You liked him since you were a teen? What has that boring man ever do to you? As far as I can tell, he doesn’t smile often.”
“True. But he is a very deep man.” I explained. “What made you take on the offer of helping me?”
A playful grin formed on his lips “Let’s just say I have a long list of women vying for my hand. By making them see I was attracted to my cousin’s warrior wife, it would stop them. Besides I liked a good entertainment in my life and rousing the green beast in my cousin’s eyes will be a sight to see.”
I shook my head in disappointment but the grin on my face was evident. I found a man just like me. “Will it not tarnish your name for liking your cousin’s wife?”
“Let them talk. It’s only pretend.” He drawled “The tabloids haven’t had a good news about me so this will help them make money.”
“You are a devious and playful man Señor Avalon.”
“Please señorita, call me Miguel. I hate the posh and formal name.” he grumbled then eyed me teasingly “So, what’s the plan?”
“We will be having breakfast.” Celine, Iñigo’s man announced at the doorway. Turning towards her formidable and smirking form, she was wearing a mischievous smile on her face “I have sent word to my son that he must eat breakfast with us. It is the perfect way to start a plan.”
“Good. Then I’m cooking.” Tipping my chin up. The man beside me rubbed his hands together.
“Alright. Let’s get started.”
After taking a quick bath, I went to the kitchen where Celine was drinking a cup of coffee and reading a newspaper. Miguel had his apron on and a grin was on his lips upon seeing me.
“I believe you need an assistant.” He offered as I rolled my eyes at him.
“As long as you know how to not burn your hands.” I teased.
“I learned to cook in college. My hands are perfectly safe from knives and fire.”
“Good. Now get the pans. I’m cooking potato omelette and huevos rotos.” I commanded as I tied my apron too. He grinned and nodded his head. This means I made the right choice.
I haven’t cooked any Spanish meals before, so I will need all the prayers and guidance I needed to not fuck this up. Turning on the stove and preparing the ingredients, Miguel and I began to work.
It was so easy to fall into Miguel’s charm. I can easily tell he was a charmer and man whore. He told me so much about his childhood with Iñigo that I ended up bursting into laughter as he recalled the time they were almost suspended in class for bringing a Men’s Magazine to book day. He also recounted the time they snuck out of piano lesson just to ride the horses or the time they had to run to the manor buck naked after a group of their classmates stole their clothes.
“Do you think this tastes nice?” I asked him as I let him taste the soup I made. I had already prepared most of the meal and was just finishing the soup. Leaning towards me, I backed away a little as he moved closer to me. Taking a sip of my soup, he closed his eyes and a deep rumble echoed in his chest.
Opening his eyes, he said “Damn, I never had soup that tastes as perfect as that before.”
“Really?” I squealed in delight. “I’ll place it on the bowl now.”
Turning off the stove, I stirred it for a few more minutes and began to place it into the bowl. Once done, Celine clapped at the heavenly sight before her.
“Oh I forgot the orange juice!” I suddenly remembered. Backing up, I didn’t mean to hit the counter and a round surface on the floor. Suddenly, I was flying backwards but before I can do so, Miguel had me in his arms and pressed me upright into his chest.
“Oh god, I’m sorry I was so clumsy.” I said looking up at him. My face was pressed on his hard tanned chest while his arms were around me.
He laughed and grinned at me, “It’s alright you can ----”
He didn’t get to finish his sentence when the doors opened revealing the majestic blonde haired sun god of a husband I have. The grin on his face fell as his eyes took in before him. Arms wrapped around one another, and grinning at each other, we were truly a sight. His jaw clenched and his eyes screamed danger as he stood still on the doorway. Everyone was in shock even Celine.
I wanted to speak yet no words came out of my mouth. Before I can so, Miguel spoke before me.
“Primo! It has been a while since I last saw you!” he greeted yet Iñigo’s eyes were still trained on us.
“Unhand her.” Iñigo spoke.
“I said, remove your hands on my wife before I cut it off of you myself!” Iñigo commanded, his eyes shooting daggers at a grinning Miguel while Celine hid the smile on her face with her newspaper.
As for me, I stood there, grinning to myself as the first step in our plan unfolded.
Hello! Sorry for the late update. I had to rush work before the typhoon hits us. I’ll be updating everyday since we weren’t hit as much by the typhoon.