Read The Forbidden Promise Online
Authors: Helena Rose
The Forbidden Promise
By Helena Rose
Copyright © 2013 by Helena Rose
Design © by
translation by Helen Shaw
Title: Il Patto Proibito
Viviana stopped to
admire the nocturnal sea. The calm waves gently lapped on the empty beach,
illuminated by the pale moon that shone in the dark sky. Not far away, the
chapel of the
Virgen del Mar
cast its shadow over the beach and on the
lush palm trees growing along the edge of the sand.
Anxious, she pulled her dark cloak tighter around herself. If her parents
discovered her, she would be in serious trouble.
And who knows what
Costantino would think of me
. Thinking of Costantino inevitably made her
feel guilty, even though she had done nothing to encourage his courtship; she
knew he was a good man, kind and gentle. He was admired throughout Tampico: the
younger son of the powerful Vargas de Coronado family, he had decided to go to
Mexico City, where he had studied and had graduated with honours in medicine.
He was now a respected doctor and carried out his profession with devotion. Of
a completely different character was his older brother Miguel, who had the good
fortune to be bound in matrimony to the daughter of the Rivera family, proud
members of the local nobility. Costantino’s parents had tried in every way to
entice Costantino to devote himself to the administration of the estates and,
above all, to seek a bride just as noble and suitable as his brother.
Instead, he chose me
... Viviana thought,
a simple girl and what’s
more, in love with another ...
She heard a noise and turned around. She saw her lover, Hector Navarra y Reyes,
who belonged to one of the richest and most powerful families on the east coast
Hector embraced her passionately, his pale eyes looked at her admiringly. He
pulled back the cloak from her head and gently caressed Viviana’s beautiful
"My Love," he whispered, "I have finally arrived."
"I've waited so long," said Viviana. The two kissed passionately. The
Hector’s lips took possession of Viviana’s mouth, while his hands caressed her
back, giving her a red-hot thrill. It was Hector, who suddenly broke the magic.
He pulled away from her and taking her hand walked to the waterfront. Stunned,
Viviana followed him.
"I need to talk with you," he said seriously.
She looked with intrigue into his clear eyes. With her, he had always been
sweet and affectionate, but she knew that in Tampico he had a reputation of
being an exacting man, gruff and surly.
Hector stroked the trimmed beard that adorned his chin, giving him the
appearance of a buccaneer.
"Something serious has happened? Have you fought with your brother again?”
Viviana knew, like all the rest of Tampico, that Hector did not get along with
his older brother Eduardo with regarded to the administration of the Navarra
The problems seemed to have exacerbated since Eduardo’s marriage.
Hector stared at her silently, hesitating.
Viviana suppressed a shudder.
Something bad is going to happen, I can feel
"I can’t stay here with him ... and with his wife." He whispered,
"I must go. Go far away."
Viviana opened her hazel eyes, trying to understand exactly what he meant.
"Do you mean move to Mexico City?"
"No, Viviana. I intend to leave Mexico. I‘m going to Europe. "
For a moment Viviana thought she had not understood properly.
"Europe? Why Europe? No, Hector think again ... "Viviana tried to hug
him, but he pushed her away. He turned and began walking nervously along the
"You don’t understand, Viviana, there's no room for me in Mexico ... my
life here is over. Eduardo and Raquel have taken everything away from me.
Raquel, was Eduardo’s wife. One of the most beautiful women in Tampico. One of
the most courted. Local gossip even said that she had been fought over by the
two Navarra y Reyes brothers...
"Raquel ... it's all her fault, isn’t it?" Viviana said, barely
holding back tears. "What power has this woman still got over you? Tell
me! You swore to me that you were like strangers now, especially since she
became your brother’s wife! "
Hector shook his head.
"You don’t understand, my dear. She’ll always have power over me. She has
cursed me, she has bound me with chains that I can’t break. "
Viviana felt that she been struck in the heart by a dagger. She winced in pain,
and put her hands to her chest.
"Do you still love her?" Viviana asked plaintively. "You've
always loved her, haven’t you? With me, you’ve only been amusing yourself,
hoping to make me give in and give up my respectability ... " She started
Hector grabbed her impulsively and hugged her close.
"It's not what you think, it’s not a question of love or feelings. It’s
something else. She’s blackmailing me. I can’t do anything but obey. Viviana,
she keeps me in the palm of her hand. She keeps all my family in the palm of
her hand. "
"But Eduardo is her husband now! If she cared about you, why did she marry
him?” Cried Viviana, "She doesn’t love you, she just enjoys seeing you
"It may be so, but I can’t do anything else." Replied Hector who was
also struggling to hold back tears, "but as far as I can, I must repair
the harm I have done to Eduardo. I have to leave or this story will never end.
And although I love you, Viviana, I won’t drag you down with me. You don’t
deserve it. I never wanted to deceive you. I want to marry you more than
anything else in the world, but now it’s no longer possible. You deserve
someone better. Someone like Costantino Vargas de Coronado. "
"Costantino knows that I don’t love him, he figured it out," said
Viviana bitterly. "His family won’t allow him to ask for my hand in
marriage again after my continual refusal."
"I'm really sorry, Viviana," replied Hector moving away from her.
"I ask your pardon, but I can’t stay. I have to go away. Forever. "
Viviana tried to hold him, but Hector moved away from her.
"Hate me if you want, despise me, but please, try to be happy," he
"No ... take me with you! I'll come to Europe, I don’t care about the
honour or the scandal! "
"Enough! Don’t you understand that it will already be difficult for me to
start over again in another country, you would be just a hindrance to me!
Viviana met Hector’s aloof gaze and understood in an instant that all his
childhood dreams had been shattered, like the waves of the sea against the
cliff. All of a sudden she felt she had to maintain a modicum of dignity: she
turned to hide her face and the hot tears that were beginning to run down her
"Then go, now, immediately, you are a coward, a puppet in the hands of
this woman, you don’t deserve my love!"
Hector was startled by the harsh words and slowly began to move away from
Viviana, her love now, was lost forever.
He walked quickly towards his horse, untied the reins and with a leap jumped
into the saddle. He urged the animal into a frantic gallop, trying not to think
about Viviana, the lovely silky smooth skin of her face, her warm hazel eyes,
her bronze hair that fell in waves over her shoulders.
It’s all over,
enough! Damn Raquel!
Without even noticing, he reached the Navarra estate and arrived at the
He dismounted and walked briskly into the luxurious house.
Nervously he crossed the hall and met Raquel’s personal maid, Penelope. She
made a small curtsy, while glancing sideways at him.
"Don Hector," she greeted him.
Hector did not answer. He could not stand the woman, who was faithfully bound
Penelope stopped to watch him quickly climb the stairs, a wry smile crossing
her pursed lips.
Hector entered his room and slammed the door. He began to walk up and down the
room like a caged lion.
It's over Hector, you've made your decision, now you
can do nothing else.
Suddenly he heard a knock at the door.
"Who is it? "He asked irritably.
A soft, calm voice replied.
Raquel. His downfall. The cause of his despair. His torment.
"Go away Raquel, I don’t want to see you!" Hissed Hector.
"Let me in immediately," ordered Raquel firmly, "I need to talk
Hector hesitated an instant, then as if propelled by invisible hands, opened
Raquel walked slowly into the room and shut the door behind her. Her hair,
black as the night was gathered on top of her head, while long ringlets framed
her face. Her eyes, dark as coal, looked at him attentively and inquisitively.
She slowly stroked her belly swollen with pregnancy.
"What timing, you were expecting me?" Asked Hector abruptly.
"Yes I was waiting for you: I ordered Penelope to inform me when you got
"What do you want?"
"You did what I told you? You have left that insignificant little woman?
Hector grabbed her roughly by the shoulders.
"Don’t you dare insult her!" He snarled.
Raquel stared at him for a moment and then laughed.
"You don’t want to hurt me, do you? You should be careful, you may also do
harm to your child. "
"Don’t repeat that," cried Hector. "Eduardo might hear
"Eduardo is still working in his study. The
is his whole
life as you know.” Raquel sat on the bed and stared at him intently.
"The important thing is that you've done all you had to do. You’re mine,
remember this. "Said Raquel sweetly.
"However you married Eduardo." He replied, "You chose him, but
as soon as you were alone, you sneaked into my bed! You’ve never left me in
peace, and I was stupid not to have said no! To reject you as you deserved! I
should have revealed everything to Eduardo a long time ago! "
Raquel smiled again.
"You're still the same naive, Hector. Who do you think would ever believe
your story? Your brother certainly not. You could never convince him that his
beloved wife was pregnant by another man. He even saw the evidence of my
virginity in the marriage bed! Who do you think Eduardo would believe, you, the
brother with whom he’s always been in conflict, or me, the wife who he loves
and that whispers words of love in his ear every night? "
"You're despicable, Raquel. I loath you."
Raquel got off the bed and approached him. She touched his lips with a light
"No, Hector, you don’t hate me. You love me. And despite your cowardice
you know that I prefer you to Eduardo ... I married him just because he is the
oldest and the master of everything here ... but in truth between the sheets
I’ve always preferred you ... "She smiled slyly, then went on, "I
thought it was just punishment for your proud brother to betray him with you!
He, who deep down has always preferred the memory of his dead wife to me! That
poor white soul who is now underground! What consolation is a ghost, poor fool,
while I may have the pleasure he denies me with you. "
Hector looked at her almost with disgust.
"I can’t live like this any longer. I’ve left Viviana, who was my only
hope of having a happy life. I don’t want to deceive Eduardo anymore and
there's nothing to keep me here, apart from the lust I feel for you, damn you
Raquel ... I’ve decided to go to Europe. I never want to see you again! "
Raquel looked at him astonished.
"You dare to leave me?" she asked angrily.
"You can do nothing to stop me. If you decide to expose me, you would fall
into the abyss with me. You know that. "
Raquel looked at him thoughtfully.
"Ok. You’re your usual cowardly self. Go! It has always been pleasant
spending the nights with you, but I can do without you. I’ll comfort myself
knowing that all the wealth of your family will be mine ... and you’ll have the
consolation of knowing that your child will one day be the heir of everything.
"You forget that Eduardo already has a son, Lucas, by his first
Raquel made a gesture with her hand, as if to drive away a troublesome insect.
"I know that well enough. In a while Lucas will no longer be a problem,
I'll deal with him, don’t fear."
"Eduardo will understand sooner or later, what kind of snake he has
married. Don’t believe he is so naive."
"He is naive enough for me to be able to handle."
Raquel smiled sinisterly, speaking more to herself than to Hector.
"I’ve done everything possible to emerge from the misery in which I was
thrown into as a young girl, due to father’s drunkenness. You understand, don’t
you? I couldn’t allow you to marry someone else, and come to live with her here
... I’ll not divide the power and wealth with anyone! I’ve endured, suffered, I
was humiliated ... but my triumph is at my fingertips! When I met you I knew
you'd be the key to my comeback; through you, I met Eduardo, who had just
become a widower, and it was easy tying him down to marrying me and finally
making me the mistress of all "
"You're completely crazy," Hector whispered, staring at her grimly.
Raquel seemed to awake from a dream. Slowly, she walked to the door.
"Enough talk. I have won and you and your brother have lost. Farewell dear
Raquel walked out of the room, quiet and haughty.
Hector decided he needed to talk with Eduardo.
He left the room and descended the stairs. Penelope was still there, intent on
organizing some plants.
"Don Hector," she greeted.
Hector looked at her in disgust and walked towards Eduardo’s study. He knocked
on the door.
"Come in” said a voice from within.
Hector walked into the office and stood in front of Eduardo’s desk
"I need to talk
to you, Eduardo," he said firmly.
Eduardo stared at him with inquiring eyes. Green eyes that twinkled with
"What’s happened Hector?" he asked, stroking his dark beard.
"I want to leave."
"You want to leave the
?" asked Eduardo amazed.
"No, you didn’t understand. I want to leave Mexico. I want to go to
"To Europe? Why? "
"Come on, Eduardo, you know that we don’t get along. You’re the oldest, it
is up to you to command, while I have to stay on the sidelines. I'm now
resigned to the fact, so take the
. I’m tired of being the
younger brother. I'm leaving. "
Eduardo stood up and walked over to Hector.
"You're exaggerating," he said. "It’s true ... there have been
some disagreements, but they‘re surmountable, we could find a way ..."
Hector stopped him and put a hand on his shoulder, shaking his head.
"No, Eduardo, nothing more can be overcome. It’s right that I go. Believe
"But why now, when my child is about to be born? Don’t you want to wait at
least until Raquel has given birth? "
Hector walked away nervously.
"It's one more reason to leave. I prefer not to be here when the baby
Eduardo noticed Hector’s hesitation.
What's going on? What’s making him so
agitated? I've never seen him in this state before.
"I'll be leaving soon. Tomorrow I’ll order the servants to prepare my
luggage. I'll stay a while in Veracruz and then take the steamer for Europe.
Eduardo looked at him incredulously.
He's suffering ... a lot. But what’s
happened to him
? This time it was he who put his hand on Hector’s shoulder.
"Hector, despite our differences, you’re still my brother, tell me how I
can help. I don’t want you to go."
Hector hugged him impulsively and becoming emotional said, “You don’t know what
you are saying Eduardo ... if only you knew, you would kick me out
"What are you saying? Why would I kick you out? "
Hector did not answer. He just hugged him closer.
"Eduardo, forgive, forgive me," he sighed, "it's better for me
to go. I want to say just one more thing: keep an eye on Lucas when the other
baby is born."
Then he turned and ran out of the studio. Eduardo watched him thoughtfully.
never said "your child." Hector has always referred to him as
"the baby" or even "the other." I don’t understand