Milliardo stood inside the door of a large bedroom. He watched as a woman made the bed with fresh sheets and filled the vases with even fresher flowers. He was paying little attention to her as his mind grew heavy with thought. What was Treize thinking?

He knew that Treize was still talking to the boy, giving him the choice they had discussed and Treize had been so certain of the boy’s decision he had sent Milliardo to have a room prepared. That’s Treize, always certain to have his way.

Milliardo disapproved of the man’s actions. He was unsure of his motives, but Treize rarely did anything without expecting his come uppance. Still, whatever his intentions, Treize was his lifelong friend, and now, his employer, he would stand fast in the man’s wishes even as he voiced his disapproval.

He only hoped Treize was making a wise decision. He had never seen the older man led astray but he had also never seen the man so eager to have someone in his home. If the boy held this strong of an attraction for the older man after only one meeting, imagine what a year might bring. And worse yet, if--

“Is this acceptable, sir?”

Milliardo had barely heard the question from the woman in the room. “I’m sorry?” He asked, meeting her gaze, and finding hers immediately averted.

“Is this acceptable, sir?”

Without looking at the room he replied. “Yes, it’s lovely. Thank you, Noin.”

“Sir.” She breathed quickly before gathering her supplies and exiting the room.

Milliardo picked up his thoughts, staring hard at the immaculately made bed. What if the boy realized his power over his master? What if he began to wield it? What then?

Milliardo pulled his eyes from the bed, the room that was to house their new inhabitant, and turned quickly, exiting the way of the servant woman.

They had been chatting in the room for nearly an hour. It was fully night now and the room had darkened significantly. A few lamps glowed dimly, spilling their flickering light across the room and the faces of its two occupants. The older one spoke.

“So it seems,” he continued, while lounging comfortably in the oversized chair, “our only option is to have you leave in the morning. You’ll stay here tonight and Milliardo will ride you into town at dawn.”

Nashi looked hurt. His lower lip quivered and he knitted his eyebrows. A most adorable expression.

“But Treize,” the boy had finally relented to his master’s wishes and called him by his given name, much to Treize’s pleasure, “I don’t want to leave here. Everyone, -- everything I know is here.” He had sat up onto his haunches during his speech and he now leaned forward, clasping his hands before his chest, punctuating his sorrow.

Treize watched silently.

“What if I were to earn my position here?” Nashi asked timidly. “I can do things,” he added, and dropped forward onto his hands, a predatory pose, “lots of things,” and he began crawling slowly toward Treize.

Treize was not unmoved by the boy’s actions. He thought the sudden change of mood to be out of place but was in no position to complain. In fact he didn’t say a word.

That is until Nashi’s head was in his lap, slender fingers finding his buttons and rummaging for his quickly hardening organ.

“Trowa . . .” Treize breathed throatily as a warm rosebud mouth engulfed his aching shaft, bobbing up and down its length and suckling at the tip. The fingers were there again, gently massaging his testicles and he quickly found himself succumbing to oblivion, a single word again on his lips.

“Trowa . . .” Treize heard himself whisper as he woke from the intensely vivid dream. The first thing he became acutely aware of was his own hand stroking his hardened length, a response to the dream’s erotic nature. He stilled his hand, feeling suddenly ashamed of his actions. He had never touched himself without being fully aware of what he was doing, certainly never while unconscious.

He opened his eyes taking in his surroundings. The deep shadows projected eerily across the wide expanse of his bedroom ceiling danced in the movement of the treees outside his window. Treize watched and sighed. His mouth was dry from the heavy breathing he had been doing, and his bladder ached. Still, he lay quietly watching the shadows.

“What is happening to me?” he whispered softly to himself, “that boy, Trowa, he --” and then he remembered something.

“Trowa?” Not Trowa, Nashi. The boy’s name was Nashi. But, who was Trowa? It was the name from his dream, the name he had called out as he woke. But whose name was it?

Nashi woke abruptly to the first pale rays of morning sun that glinted through his window. Normally, sunrise would not have caught him still slumbering but he had not slept well the night before. In fact, he had barely slept at all.

After their conversation, and his ultimate acceptance of Treize’s terms, Treize had led him to his new room, which Nashi noted was already prepared, and bid him good night, leaving Nashi bewildered at his suddenly new environment. At Treize’s departure, Nashi moved immediately to the lushly covered bed, placing the tattered bag that contained his few belongings on the floor, and laid himself down to cry. And then he didn’t.

He had not cried in as long as he could remember and even as he willed the tears to come, they would not. He wanted them to. He thought that they could console his aching heart if nothing else could, or at the least put him to sleep. But they were denied him, as was his sleep until sometime before dawn when he must have grown so weary of being weary that his body overcame his psyche.

At present, awake in his new surroundings, he realized he didn’t know what he should do. Should he go down for breakfast, or wait for someone to fetch him? Was he expected to do chores or was he to spend the day lazing about, something he had never done? He watched the lighted curtains blowing in the breeze drifting through the window and realized that he was chilled. He had slept atop the coverlet of the bed, fully clothed, but his feet were still bare and the cold air bit at his soles. He was lying on his side, wriggling his toes for warmth and watching the sunlight break between them when a warm voice came behind him.

“You gon’ catch your death layin’ around like that.” He turned toward the door to find a sizable black woman sauntering in. She was plump and rounded in every part of her body, especially her face, which held a sweet welcoming expression and even, Nashi thought, some familiarity. He liked her instantly.

She approached the foot of the bed and crossed her arms, a none too easy feat considering her hefty girth, and gave the boy in the bed a mock frown.

“Now what massah Treize gon’ say if you fall ill on my watch?” She waited for a response and when Nashi only sat up in reply, she continued, her easy smile returning, and ambled to his side of the bed.

“Well chil’, it’s time you get up ‘n movin.’ They’s a bath through there,” she pointed to an adjoining door, “an’ I brought you some mo’ clothes. Massah Treize say you ‘bout Heero’s size,” she looks him over, “seems ‘bout right, could be a might too short for you. Jes let me know if I need to let da hem out some.”

Nashi sat quietly letting her speak. He didn’t look at her.

“What you scared of chil’?” she asked sweetly sitting down beside him. She assumed his quietness as apprehension and she wasn’t completely wrong. He didn’t answer.

“Mahreem tol’ me you was quiet but I ain’t nothin’ to be scared of.”

Nashi’s head perked up at the mention of his friend’s name. “You know Mahreem?”

“Ooh chil’, do I know ‘Reemie? ‘Reemie my boy. Ain’t he tol’ you ‘bout his momma Netti?”

Nashi shook his head.

“Oh that boy. Well,” she said, extending her hand, “I’m Kiminetti Kenyi, folks ‘round here call me Netti. You gon’ be seein’ alot o’ me.”

Nashi took her chubby fingers into his own, and she shook them both firmly, and then lingered for a moment before letting him go and hefting herself off of the bed.

“Massah Treize gone into town for a couple days on business. He say you can do whatever you want, ‘side from workin’ that is, and that I was to look out for you.” She had been walking toward the bureau as she spoke and was now pulling out clothes for him.

“I imagine mistah Milliard’ be lookin’ out for ya too, but don’t spect no warm welcome. That man gotta pretty face an’ a col’ heart.” She smiled. “But seein’ as how you got massah Treize on yo’ side, he ought not give you too much trouble.”

She was standing at his side now, and handed him the clothes. He took them and thanked her, and was surprised when she began brushing her fingers through his long bangs, attempting to push them out of his eyes.

“Ooh chil’, you got you some healthy hair,” she lifted them and peered at the face beneath. “And you sho’ got pretty eyes. Why don’t you let momma Netti cut them bangs for ya’, show off them pretty greens.”

Nashi didn’t mind the attention but the length of his hair was non-negotiable.

“No,” he said politely, “I like it this way.”

She smiled again, and let his hair fall back into place. “That’s fine chil’. Now, you gon’ get to bathin’ or ‘m I gon’ hafta do it myseff?.”

Milliardo waited in the small kitchen for the servant girl, Relena, to prepare his lunch and canteen.

“Remember to pack the extra fruit this time, and put a few more sandwiches in there as well.” He commanded from where he stood by the table, one foot in a chair as he bent to lace his boots, his lush hair falling to the side.

“Yessir.” The lunch she was preparing for him was already enough for three people. Relena never understood how the man ate so much and stayed so thin. She didn’t mind the extra work though, even for his callousness, the girl found any reason to be near him worth the effort.

“Mornin’ mistah Milliard’. ” Netti greeted as she ambled into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Netti,” Milliardo replied curtly, “did you get Nash--” his words were cut short as he looked up from his boot and saw the young boy in question follow her into the kitchen.

“I see,” he straightened and regarded Nashi, “good morning, Nashi.”

The boy was an absolute contradiction to the creature who had entered their home the night before. The clothes he wore were fitted perfectly, the dark pants hugging his hips and tapering to slim ankles. And the shirt, a white, starched button-down with small pleats down the front, tucked neatly at his waist, accentuating his slim lines. Most impressive was his hair, which instead of lying in heap across his forehead, curling here and there, fell sleekly in front of his face, his bangs nearly reaching his chin.

“Good Morning, Mister Milliardo.” his voice was quiet.

“Mistah Milliard’,” Netti interrupted, “you gon’ ridin’ already?”


“You gon’ take Nashi along?”

“Not today, Netti, I’ve got a lot to do.”

“Then I’ll take him ‘round the place,” she smiled at Nashi, “break him in.”

“That’s fine,” Milliardo answered taking the lunch Relena was handing him and heading toward the door, “I’ll be back this evening.” With that, he left, and a certain amount of tension went with him.

Netti had shown him every part of the house she thought important and explained rules or procedures as she went. Some rooms were off-limits, Milliardo’s suite being one of them, and others simply hadn’t been used in years. One room, not too far from his, was being cleaned as they looked inside.

“This Heero’s room,” Netti explained, “he comin’ to visit soon. Come every summer.”

“Who is he?” Nashi asked, peering timidly inside the darkly furnished room.

“Heero mastah Treize’s nephew. He’s charming as the devil, but that boy can be trouble, believe me. He might be good comp’ny for you, though. Jess don’t let ‘im lead you too far into them still waters, theys bound to be a strong undertow.”

|Part 4|