Chapter 10: Repercussions
Just a reminder. I do not own nor do I make money from Supernatural.
This chapter is a little shorter. It is an interlude.
The sound of complete silence filled the duke’s chambers. Jared watched the man in front of him on the floor. Jensen’s eyes were wide, and the baron could almost see his mind working. He knew he had probably gone too far.
“Morgan gave me to you,” came the quiet statement. “That’s why you’ve said the things you’ve said. You can keep me from other men because…”
Jensen took a deep shuddering breath, “Because I’m yours?”
“Jensen, I’ve learned a good deal about you. When Morgan made the offer, I refused. He offered it to the men; Pellegrino won, and I regret that. If I had not been angry over my brother’s death, your lands would still be intact.”
“About your brother and Pellegrino…”
“Jensen, I know now. Morgan told me.”
“I am so sorry. I tried to stop, but there was no time.”
“No, don’t. You weren’t at fault. Pellegrino will pay for it with his life. I’ll see to that.”
The baron watched the young lord stiffen and grimaced as he waited for the next verbal attack.
“Pellegrino is mine.”
“I don’t think so, Your Grace.”
Jensen suddenly struggled to get to his feet and almost shouted in frustration when the warrior pushed him back down.
“I’m not your property yet, Baron. Let me up.”
A large grin spread over Jared’s face, and he rose his feet. “Do you need help?”
“No,” came the reply from clenched jaws.
Backing up, the taller man crossed his arms and waited.
Jensen looked up and grimaced. He turned to his side and using his right arm, pushed himself to his knees and then to his feet. He looked into the other man’s hazel eyes and dared him with a green glare from his own.
Grinning even more, Jared opened the door and waved an arm towards the entrance. Glaring even more, the duke moved swiftly past him and headed towards the stairs.
Travis came to attention when his master entered the hallway.
“Yes, Your Grace,” the footman replied.
“Send for my horse,” the duke responded.
“Yes, Sir.” The footman hurried to the rear of the house to send someone to the stables.
Walking toward the office, Jensen stopped at the door and stood there with his head lowered. Taking a deep breath, he opened the door and entered.
Jared shut the door to the duke’s chambers and walked down the stairs. He found Christian in the lounge. His second looked up from a book he was reading.
The baron was smiling, “Would you have one of the men ready my horse?”
“We haven’t been back that long.”
“His Grace thinks he’s going to ride the property alone. I won’t allow that.”
The captain looked at his commander, “Is there a reason?”
“I don’t trust Pellegrino.”
Nodding, the other man left the lounge. Jared knew Jensen was outside. Smiling, he headed towards the front door. Jensen was not there. Looking around, he began to worry. He turned to enter the house as Ackles walked out. The two men collided.
“What the hell are you doing out here,” the smaller man demanded.
“I’m going for another ride. I saw part of your estate today. I thought I would join you and see what needs to be done.”
The duke paled, gritted his teeth, and an emotion showed in his green eyes. The baron noted it and reached out to place a hand on the other man’s shoulder.
“Don’t touch me! I’m not yours yet.”
“Actually, you are,” the warrior drawled.
“What? You said….”
“I said we would marry and the control of the land is in my hands.”
“Damn you, Padalecki! I won’t marry you. I may be the king’s gift to you, but I won’t become what my mother was. I’ll die first.”
“If Pellegrino gets his hands on you, you’ll wish you were. Life with me won’t be that bad, Jensen. I’ve asked your neighbors to come for lunch tomorrow. We can discuss some kind of trade or payment for food and supplies. I don’t intend to have you relinquish control of the estate. You retain your title. You know and love this land; we will both prosper with you in control of it.”
Jensen was still taut. Jared let his mind work out what he had just been told. The duke sighed deeply and looked at the taller man.
“Even though I retain the title and control of the estate, I’m still your property. How does that work exactly,” the smaller man asked, sarcasm dripping from his lips.
“Once we are married, I will be involved. We discuss everything. Nothing is done without that. I’ll bow to your knowledge of the estate and your decisions, but guests, parties, trips, and what happens in our bedroom will by my decision.”
“Well, the bedroom isn’t going to happen. This will be a marriage of convenience.”
The baron smiled and reached out and grabbed the duke’s chin firmly. He moved closer and felt the man stiffen. He liked the fact that the smaller man still had some fight in him. Leaning in, he kissed Jensen’s neck and began to bite and suckle it with the intention of marking him.
Jared never saw the fist. Looking up from the ground, he rubbed his jaw. Both of the duke’s hands were fisted, and his face looked rebellious.
“I told you not to touch me! You damn well won’t be branding me with your marks!”
Two men came around the corner of the house, each leading a black horse.
“We’ll discuss this later,” Jared spoke in a low voice. He rose to his feet and the men waited for their mounts.
The duke remained quiet as the two of them rode throughout the estate. The warrior spent more time watching the man riding next to him than he did viewing the damage.
Jensen had a good seat; he rode his stallion well. The mount was trained to verbal sounds and commands.
“Have you considered continuing your education, Your Grace,” the baron asked.
The duke lowered his head, took a deep breath, and replied in a quiet voice, “I’m a little old for that now.”
“We could hire a tutor?”
“Most of the books in the library have been there for a while. Some of the former masters were well read. I have continued the tradition of being well read. I may not have the degree, my lord, but I am not stupid or unlearned.”
“I know you have quite a few capabilities so I never considered the possibility that you were unintelligent.”
“Thank you. Most people aren’t interested enough to find out.”
“Jensen, I want to learn all there is to know about you, and I will, given time.”
“Why me, Jared? You didn’t want the land, so why?”
‘First off, I lost my home when I was a child. I’ve been a soldier most of my life. But you…you intrigue me. I wanted to know you before I killed you for the loss of my brother. Second, I met you that night in the War Room. Even that small encounter piqued my interest more. The next morning, all I could think of was you killed my brother and betrayed Morgan. Lastly, Morgan told me that you were not responsible for what happened to my brother. I found out why you betrayed the king. Your father ordered you to serve Sebastian. Someone told me how you were repaid. Then Manns told me why you did not go to Caerdon when commanded.”
Jensen kept his head straight, looking forward. All he could think of was Sebastian’s guards had talked. No one would believe it was against his will. Only a few had known but now everyone would. His hand on the reins shook slightly, but he kept the emotions inside.
“All right,” the duke’s voice trembled. “You want a home. I can understand that, but I’m not interesting. Not really.”
“Yes, you are, Jensen. You are highly intelligent, a born leader, a fighter, and you fill me with a desire I’ve never felt for anyone.”
Jared thought he heard a soft sob from the other man, but let it go. Enough had been said.
Changing the subject the baron asked, “So, do you like to watch the stars?”