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!
“You okay?” Demerol inquires in the limo.
I look up from under my eyebrows. His head tilted to the side, stray dog face and all, he’s submissive. Has been for a while, but you never know with his kind of guys. After all, I test them for my team by crushing their bones in cage fights.
“You seem a bit off, that’s all.”
He puts up his palms that resemble bear paws more than human hands, and that make the reason for his nickname – just one blow can send a man to sleep. “Hey, just saying. You seem angry. That prick at the club?”
I ponder. “Yeah, I want you to relocate him.”
“Why not end his existence directly if you want to go that way?”
“His existence is worthless as it is.” I look back down to my smartphone, even though I’ve stopped e-mailing since the club. Now I’m looking at her profile. Again. I zoom in on her picture with my thumb and forefinger. “I just don’t think he’ll stay away from her. Losers like him have a kind of stupid pride, he might take chances. And we need the girl safe for now.”
“For now? How long do you want him away then?”
I slide the phone back in my chest pocket and, with it, Isolde Molnar out of my sight. “We’ll finish her anyway after she’s served her purpose. You can let him go then.”
“Wow, you must hate her more than him.”
Rage crawls up my spine, and I feel like I could crush a fucking skull. It’s pretty much my natural state, but this has a strange irk to it. “She’s been defiant. You know what happens to the defiant ones.”
Demerol drops his head, looking at his big hands. “Yes, Sir. They’re made an example of. But it’s a waste, if you ask me.”
“Well, I’m not asking you,” I snarl, and he winces, as big as he is.
An urge to claw his face runs through my body, to have his viscous blood swell out of the trenches in his flesh. But he’s saved by the bell. The car stops. “We’re here,” the driver says, and we get out.
We make our way to the mansion through the blizzard and bald trees, Demerol keeping back with the others. It’s one of the few things I like about him – he usually makes a good flank, but he instinctively knows when the Dutchman might snap off leash.
The gravel crunches under our feet as we march down the alley to the front door. I can barely still keep the savage in check. I need to slip underground and feed it before it goes irrational, but the moment we step into the hall Gertrude rushes my way. Her white hands land on my chest. I cock one eyebrow, and she backs off.
“Your father has been asking for you all night, Tristan.”
“He shouldn’t even be up at this hour. Didn’t you give him his pills?”
“Wouldn’t take them.” She leans in, whispering like an accomplice. “He wants to know about the girl.”
Isolde. “All right.”
I walk past her and head to the grand stairs, while my men remain in the hall like a falling cloak. I feel lighter every time this happens. They’ll check out with Gertrude and retreat to recharge, leaving me to myself for a few dark, much needed hours.
For all the opulence of this place Mark’s door creaks when I push it open. I told Gertrude to have it oiled, but she keeps forgetting. Sometimes I think it’s Mark who blocks the attempts to fix it though, and uses the creak as a sort of secret alarm.
I move slowly and make out his haggard shape in the wheelchair by the window. Heavy curtains aside, blanket on his knees, he bathes in the cold moonlight, seeming so small and fragile no one in their right mind would believe he basically rules Europe. Connected to snaking tubes and IV-lines, he’s more of a cyborg than a man.
“Did you get her this time?” he rasps. I approach enough to get a side view of his blotchy, pruned face that’s as old as a turtle, and I feel something other than anger for a change. Pity, I think.
“She understood there’s no alternative.”
“I hope not too much damage was done.” He speaks slowly. His small blue eyes sparkle in the moonlight, more alive than many a young man’s, the only mirror of his intact mind.
“Isn’t it impressive, Tristan,” he says, slowly turning his head to face me in full, “that she should resist you like that? Nobody has in years, am I correct?”
“You are.” I tighten my jaw, struggling to keep the Dutchman behind the bars it’s now rattling like crazy.
“Come on, son, tell me her story. I know you’re not a man of many words, but this is special. She is special.”
Special, yes. “She’s very unusual.” The Dutchman’s jaws snap like a crocodile’s. I could bite off heads right now.
“It’s fascinating, really. That someone of so few resources can hold on so tightly to morals and dignity. I’m almost glad my life depends on her of all people.”
Just another word about Isolde Molnar, and I’ll snap. She has virtues that are awfully rare, yes, but a part of her is still a dirty wanton, using tits and ass to manipulate men. The Dutchman roars, rattling the bars, its eyes burning. My teeth crunch.
“I’ll mentor her well,” I hiss.
“Mentor her fast. Find the right people quickly. I don’t have much time.”
The savage bustles inside, I can’t even reply anymore. My jaw is completely locked. Mark assesses me with his small, vivid eyes, and for a moment I see the General from years ago in this wrecked shell. He’s a monster, and he probably deserves to live as little as I do, but he did spare me when no one should have, and I owe him.
“Go now, lad,” he says. “I can see you need to. But I’ll hear more about the girl as soon as you regain yourself.”
I nod and stomp back the way I came. I lose my jacket and unbutton my shirt like they burn me as I haste down the stairs, and by the time I reach the hall I’ve loosened my belt too. I’m aware of Gertrude lurking, biting her lip as she watches from the shadows. She disgusts me as much as always, but then, out of the blue, I imagine Isolde’s intelligent eyes on me instead of Gertrude’s, and my c*** twitches. Even the savage is stunned. I slow down as I reach the underground, as if that can help me understand.
The inmates’ calls and cusses flood my ears from the bowels of the cages. Soon they’ll be in my line of vision, and I’ll be able to unleash the savage, but the idea of Isolde hits me again, and there’s a pang in my gut. I stop in an alcove, wishing I still had my phone with me to look at her picture. That should help, they say the real thing is always more disappointing than memory.
I lean my head against the wall, listening to the crawl of spiders and cockroaches, feeding the darkness within. It’s my element, it’s where I’m free to wreak carnage, only that this time a different kind of adrenaline pumps through my veins. It doesn’t send the Dutchman clawing and knifing the inmates just around the corner, it craves something else.
The pressure in my groin has become unbearable. Out of instinct I reach in my boxers and grab my c*** like I used to take my hand to a sore place automatically back when pain still bothered me. I’m rock solid, and the first tug drains a rush of pleasure from my groin. A moan escapes my throat, and a flash hits me – Isolde Molnar *** (the erotic content in upcoming book)
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