Talented market analyst Isolde Molnar faces a tough choice – either work for shady mogul Tristan Stahl, or face unemployment and poverty forever. He’s powerful enough to destroy both her life and that of her younger brother, which forces Isolde to sign his contract. Why he wants her of all people is a mystery, like the man himself.
Wickedly handsome and shamelessly rich, Tristan Stahl is a villain. A businessman by day and an underground cage fighter by night, he fears no one, and respects one man alone – his adoptive father, Mark Stahl. It’s at Mark’s request that Tristan recruits Isolde Molnar for her “special talents”. He doesn’t expect complications from this “piece of livestock”, but working closely with her turns out challenging in more ways than one. Throw a modern alchemist’s potion in the mix along with Mark Stahl’s growing infatuation with the girl, and there you have it – Tristan and Isolde Reloaded. Enjoy!
It’s not enough that my head spins because of the shame and liquor, but I also have to stumble down the stairs, and bump into my hunter, the shaved head from before. I drop the tray and cuss for the life of me.
“Wow, look at you, done with your rich client?” The shaved head reaches for a rebel strand of my hair, but I slap his hand off before he can touch me. It unbalances him, and he grips to the banister to keep steady. He grins.
“Have you been following me?” I spit. I don’t dare hunker down for the tray.
“Been watching all I could.”
I try repeatedly to pass him, but his bulk staggers in my way every time.
“You seem tipsy yourself, love.” He grabs me harshly around the middle and pushes me back against the banister, bouncing his groin into my thigh. “Been drinking and f****** the rich guy behind his bodyguards, what?”
He exudes a gross smell of alcohol as his mouth lunges for mine, and I can barely avoid it. I turn my cheek, and he ends up sucking on my face, which tears a desperate “arghhhh” from my throat. I screw my eyelids shut, as if that could suppress the reality, but it’s all there – his reek, the choking smoke, the loud base. This whole place seems to be crumbling, and I’m going down with it. The shaved head grabs my jaw and forces me to face him. Scared as hell, I open my eyes widely.
“Your lipstick’s gone. Did you leave it around the rich guy’s c***?” His fingers drill through my cheeks into my bones.
“You’re hurting me!”
My lamentation only turns him on, and he reaches under my skirt to my underwear. I flinch as his finger brushes the lace aside and strokes right there. “Aw, it’s so easy to f*** you. I’m gonna do it right here and no one will even notice. I like’em sexy Latinas too.”
He squashes my breasts against him, and I despair realizing he’s going to push that sausage of a finger right inside of me. My eyes desperately search for Roland as my usual savior, but he’s too far at the bar, not to mention the shaved head’s group of friends gathers around to block us from sight.
They’re laughing, covering the upcoming deed. The club is packed, the music too loud for anyone to make out my cries for help, the entire place a freaking jungle. This guy can prey on me like I’m a wounded deer, he can rape me even easier than he would in a dark alleyway. I succumb to fear and self-loathing, and my body goes numb.
“I’m gonna –” But a force yanks him away from me so fast that the air lashes at my face. I grip to the banister for balance, and blink clueless for moments before I realize what’s happening.
Tristan Stahl takes the foreground in my field of vision, looking so angry that it drives ice into my bones. He shows his alpha beast teeth, his boxer claw on the shaved head’s jaw, forcing the bastard to his knees. The bodyguards gather behind him, ready to fight the shaved head’s friends, but none of those losers dares step in.
“How about I tear out all your teeth with my bare hands, you piece of shit?” Tristan growls, and the hairs stand all over my arms. The shaved head’s leather-clad knees hit the ground.
“Please,” he manages, but then he screams like a pig being slaughtered. Tristan’s grip tightens on his jaw so hard that the man’s face goes red, and his eyeballs swell from their sockets. I’m afraid his head will burst like a watermelon any moment.
“Tell everyone you know that Isolde Molnar –” One of Tristan’s men grabs my arm and pulls me close to his boss as if on command, displaying me to the shaved head, “– stands under the Dutchman’s protection. Whoever touches a hair on her head turns cold. Be it sewer or Siberia, I will find them until the sun sets on the third day.”
The shaved head babbles something. Tristan squeezes harder, and the man gives out another excruciating scream.
“Yes?” Tristan hisses.
Tristan drops him, and the shaved head crawls out of the way, looking back at me this time like I’m a freaking queen. I turn to thank Tristan, but he seems ill, pale and maybe in pain. His icy features distort like in movies with shape shifters, his fists balling and eyebrows scrunching.
“Consider your shift over,” he says through his teeth. “Go home and, until I send the car for you, keep your errands short.” With that he turns around and hurries towards the exit like he can’t get away from me faster, his bodyguards trailing after him. Everyone clears from their path. I stand in place, watching, feeling deaf and dumb. And craving a drink to put out the scare.
I can’t hear music anymore, and there’s an empty semicircle around me as if no one dares come too close. Everybody stares. I hunker down to clean the mess at my feet, keeping my legs close together, but soon understand that the more I try to make myself small and inconspicuous, the more I’m putting up a show. Plus that I’m shaking like crazy.
Tristan’s glass of scotch is intact and lies on the side, one last thick drop trickling along it. I have an urge to put my mouth where his has been, so I take the glass to the bar, asking Roland for a refill of the same brand – it’s shamelessly expensive, so it must be good. Stricken by the events, my brother doesn’t ask questions or protest, but hurries to serve me. I take the glass to my lips and sip, but then someone cries out my name. My head snaps back to see little Frany lunging towards me with her arm outstretched and eyes as wide as grenades.
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