A Hotel California Night
Part Two
By: Linda M. Sauve

Before Ana could politely decline the offer, her brother strode forward and swung his leg over the back of a chair, a cloud of dust rising into the air off his tattered jeans. "Don't mind if I do," Nich stated as he slid down into the seat and propped his feet atop the desk, ankles crossed, dirt falling off his sneakers. "My feet are beat."

Seeing no other course of action left, especially after her brother's behavior, Ana moved slowly forward and carefully sat down in the other chair but remained perched on the edge of her seat. Leaning over slightly, she pinched a chunk of Nich's flesh through a hole in his jeans and twisted savagely.

Instantly his feet fell to the floor, landing with a thud, as he turned toward his sister and asked in a hoarse whisper, "What the hell was that for?"

Even more, mortified than she was moments before, Ana ignored her brother and, bravely meeting an icy blue stare, said, "Please excuse my brother's complete lack of manners this morning. He is not usually this rude."

Once more, taking his seat, the man smiled when he spoke to her. "There is nothing for you to apologize for, my dear. It was your brother's transgression, not your own."

Unaware that he had just been insulted, Nicholas started picking at a hole in his pants and said, "Since it doesn't appear my sister is going to get to the point any time soon. Ana here," he jerked his thumb at her face, "ran the car out of gas a couple of miles up the road." Catching her angry glare out the corner of his eye, he whispered to her, "Well, you did," before continuing for their host, "So we were hoping that you had a phone we could use to call for a tow." When the other man just sat in his chair and continued to stare intently at Ana, Nich became bolder and asked, "Well, do you?"

The man tore his gaze away from her, as if it caused him great pain to do so and looked at Nich. Under the man's stare, Ana's brother began to sit up straight and seemed to suddenly become aware of his disheveled appearance. "Unfortunately, the house phone is not functioning and will not be repaired until later this evening." Seeing Nicholas open his mouth as if to speak again, their host continued, "And one of the servants took my car into town to visit with an ailing family member and restock the cupboards and will not return until tomorrow morning."

Leaning forward to stand, Ana, tapped her brother's arm and said, "Come on, Nicholas, we really shouldn't take any more of this nice gentleman's time; we have taken enough already."

"Do you expect me to walk all damn day?" her brother whined, disgust over the impending physical activity oozing off his words.

"Nicho…" Ana began to reprimand him when their host raised his hand, interrupting her.

"Please," he said as he stood up from his chair. "Do not consider walking through this desert in the heat of the day." Moving around the side of the desk, he added, "You wouldn't even make it three miles, and the nearest town is over ten miles away. Devil's Valley may not be as hot as Death Valley, but it has four times more deaths per year." Smiling, he reached up and pulled a tasseled satin rope hanging from the ceiling. "Please, I insist that you remain here today and rest. Then after dinner, we can try to fix your car problems."

"Oh no," Ana said quickly, "We couldn't possibly impose on your generosity."

Stepping forward, he extended his hand to her, offering to assist her up. "Anastasia, my dear, you are so tired you can barely keep your beautiful eyes open."

Rising from the chair with his assistance, Ana was just beginning to stutter out a response when the door behind them opened.

Glancing at the door for an instant, their host said, "Ah, ladies," before returning his eyes to Ana. "Please show Nicholas to a room and make sure he is comfortable." Unable to resist, Ana looked over her shoulder and gasped when she saw two of the most exotically beautiful women, she had ever seen enter the room.

The two women moved to stand on either side of Nicholas, their flawless bodies barely concealed by sheer clothing. Looking like proverbial genies escaped from a bejeweled jar, they knelt down, bowed their heads, and waited to be introduced. Positioned on Nicholas' left, slits in her blood-red pants showing her olive skin from ankle to hip, her large breasts barely hidden behind cascading waves of ebony hair, Giovanna rose when her name was spoken. On his right rose the heavenly Angelica, her blonde curls piled high atop her head revealing the silk toga she wore, made of the palest blue imaginable and held in place by a silver brooch on one shoulder, while silver cords tied beneath her breast. Once introduced, the women quickly grasped Nich's hands and began trying to pull him out of the chair.

Smiling foolishly, he allowed the women to help him up and lead him toward the door. As he left the study, Nicholas called over his shoulder, "I don't know about you, sis, but I'm not leaving."

Suddenly left alone with the mysterious man and becoming increasingly aware of his nearness, Ana muttered, "Thank you for allowing us to rest in your home." She blushed when he lifted her hand to his lips and gently kissed her knuckles.

"Think nothing of it, my dear. It is the least I could offer." Her nervousness was apparent; he let her hand slip from his grasp and waved toward the door. Trying to put her at ease, he spoke gently, "Please allow me to show you to your room. After you."

Ana had taken a few steps toward the door before she stopped and, with a weak chuckle, said, "I don't know anything about you. You could be some psycho killer, planning to murder me in my sleep, and I wouldn't know it. I don't even know your name."

"Gabriel," was his response as he joined her and showed her from the room.

As the pair left the study, Gabriel said to her in a voice so quiet and seductive, for an instant, it was as if the words were spoken in her mind, "You have nothing to fear in my home, Anastasia. You are my guest, and no harm will come to you while you sleep."

They moved in silence down the same hallway she had recently traveled. They had almost reached the front door when Gabriel turned and guided her through a doorway that opened into an exposed courtyard. Careful to remain in the shadows created by the balcony of a second floor, he led Ana toward a set of stairs. Gently cupping her elbow in his hand to steady her, he guided her up the stairs and, upon reaching the top, slid his hand down to rest lightly on the small of her back. Using this one point of contact to direct her, Gabriel showed Ana to a door at the end of the hall, where he turned her to face him.

"This will be your room while you stay here. Please make yourself at home," he said softly.

"Thank you," Ana whispered, unable to take her eyes off his face. She watched as his eyes roamed her own face, and the instant their eyes met, she was unable to look away. Ana felt herself being pulled forward into their icy depths, a sense of peace and calm closing in on her.

Tentatively she reached forward and rested her hand on his arm to steady herself as the hallway spun around her, and she remained unable to break eye contact with Gabriel. Her eyelids drifted downward as he moved closer and lowered his lips to hers. Gently he applied pressure until slowly she parted her lips and allowed his probing tongue entrance. Responding on instinct alone, she followed his lead and began exploring his mouth with her tongue, finding the sweet taste intoxicating. She heard a moan of pleasure and was startled to realize it was her own.

Lifting his lips from hers, he stared down at her upturned face. Slowly his hands trailed up along her rib cage and traced the underside of her breasts to the center of her chest. His fingers deftly loosened the first few buttons of her blouse.

Suddenly nervous with him, her hand moved to the top of her shirt, holding it closed, and her eyes flew open, her uncertainty clearly visible with their sparkling depths. She quietly uttered a single word, "Don't."

Leaning down, he whispered huskily in her ear, "Trust me."

When her hand loosened and fell back to her side, he kissed the tender pulse point behind her ear. Feeling her relax against the wall, he slowly began trailing kisses down the length of her slender neck. Reaching the base of her neck, he playfully nipped the muscle at the start of her shoulder. He paused and inhaled her scent deeply when a shiver of delight ran through her body.

After a few moments, he continued his journey, placing kisses along her smooth flesh in a path following the curve of her shoulders. Reaching her bra strap, he slowly slid his silky wet tongue into the hollow along the ridge of her collar bone and thus maneuvered it beneath the elastic strap. Softly he caressed the sensitive skin beneath the strap with his tongue, enjoying the slightly salty taste of her skin beneath its sheen of excitement.

Her sigh of pleasure caught his attention, and he began retracing the trail of kisses he had traveled across her flesh, only this time he drew his moist tongue along her flesh and stopped when he reached the tender underside of her jaw. He placed tiny nipping kisses along the underside of her jaw from one ear to the other. Then he slowly pulled her ear lobe into his mouth, gently sucking on it and teasing the sensitive area behind it with the tip of his tongue.

When she moaned and began to slide down the wall, he stepped closer to her, trapping her fully between his body and the wall. Effortlessly supporting her weight with the pressure of his embrace, he began trailing kisses down this shoulder, the silk of her shirt caressing his cheek as he pushed it out the way as he went. Reaching that side's bra strap, he again slid his tongue beneath to tease the tender flesh beneath.

After a few moments, a whimper escaped her lips, and hearing a tone of emotional pain laced beneath the pleasure, he ceased his caress and lifted his face from her skin to look down at her. When he saw a single tear form in the corner of her eye, then spill out to roll down her cheek, he slowly pulled her shirt together and, using his hands at her elbows to support her, stepped back. When he was sure she would no longer fall without his assistance, he released her and dropped his hands to his sides.

With a sigh, Ana opened her eyes and noticed they were just walking the last steps to her door. Puzzled, she looked up at him.

Lifting his hand from the small of her back, Gabriel said, "Dinner is at nine." Then he turned and walked away, leaving her confused, standing next to the door of her room.

Feeling silly and contributing the vivid daydream to lack of sleep, she opened the door and entered the room, closing the door behind her. Hearing an odd series of clicks after the door shut, she turned the knob and tried to open the door again but found it had locked behind her. Ana stood there for a few minutes, trying to get it open before becoming resolved that it would not be opening from the inside. A little unnerved by being locked in, she rubbed her arms to ward off a sudden chill she inexplicably felt. After she thought about it for a moment, Ana decided that Gabriel only wanted her to have an undisturbed sleep and most likely merely locked the door for her own security and a more peaceful rest. At least, she hoped that's all it was.

Ana decided to explore the room, and she trailed her hand down the soft, thin draperies surrounding the queen-sized bed, centered on a raised dais. Moving slowly around the bed, she found a fully stocked walk-in closet complete with a lovely oak vanity. Ana left the closet to continue her exploration and soon found herself standing in a bathroom fit for royalty. A shell-shaped whirlpool tub took up an entire corner with shelves of blooming plants separating it from the glass-walled shower.

Ana turned on the water in the shower and adjusted the temperature, then began taking off her clothes as she closed the bathroom door to contain the steam. Locking the door, she noticed a fluffy white terry cloth robe hanging from a hook behind it. She rubbed the material between her fingers and said to herself, "Wow, they thought of everything."

To Be Continued…

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