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!
I pace the study like a lion in a cage after Isolde was taken to see Mark. But then I notice Demerol by the door, watching me from under his bushy eyebrows.
“Go back to where you came from,” I bark.
He hesitates, but instead of walking out he closes the door and stares me in the face. I cock an eyebrow, ready to punch him senseless if he dares come closer, and make an example of him. It would serve all the others well, a demonstration of my punishment for disobedience.
“You don’t like it,” he dares quietly. “You don’t like it, that your father wants her.”
The suit strains over my arms as I grip to the chair behind the desk. My knuckles go white, and the Rolex’s metallic band cuts into my wrist.
“I didn’t invite you in, Demerol.”
“The way you looked at her in the limo, when we brought her back from Podgor’s club, it was different,” he continues, approaching the desk. There’s a tremor in his voice – he’s scared, but for some reason he’s also stupid, taking risks like this. “She sat sprawled by your side, unconscious, and you drank her in.”
I throw my head back as I understand where this is coming from. “That’s why you kept watching in the rear-view mirror? I thought you were into her yourself, which is also the reason why I didn’t ask you to roll up the partition. ”
He ignores my mockery, stopping on the other side of the desk. We’re face to face now. “So you were aware of my watching. Still, it wasn’t enough to make you tear your eyes from her.”
“We hired Isolde for a reason. She was close to delivering what we wanted from her, and that could’ve happened any moment, especially in that state.” I lean in like a wolf spanned to attack, my eyes piercing Demerol’s. “I don’t have personal interest in the girl.”
“I’m sure that’s what your official fiancé Gertrude keeps telling herself, but she’s growing more hostile towards Isolde by the day. So I’m afraid that theory hangs by a thread in her mind, too.”
I keep my glare steady. “I don’t owe you explanations, pooch. Now get out, before I lose my temper.”
He doesn’t move an inch, but I’m still willing to let it go until he says, quietly, “Then would you mind if I took my chances with her after your father’s done?”
Impulse fires in my head, the muscles in my arm flex to snap, and my fist crashes into Demerol’s face. The feel of my knuckles drilling through his flesh to the bone is so fulfilling I almost roar with pleasure. The next second he’s on the floor, and I’m planting my feet on each side of him. I bend from my waist and grip his collar, lifting him just enough to look him close in that furry face.
“You listen carefully, slave,” I slur through my teeth. “It’s been so long that desire has pulsed in poor old Mark’s veins, that I don’t think he’ll get enough of her anytime soon. But if he does, I have other plans for the girl.”
Demerol seems to be choking, but his small eyes blaze with fury. “Other plans,” he croaks, the vein in his forehead swelling red. “Like do her and then slit her throat, right?”
Has he gone mad? He knows I could slit his throat in a second, yet he pushes. His large, warm hands strain on my wrists, but he can’t even move me. I pull him up, swirl him around and haul him against the bookcase by the wall, folders tumbling to the floor and knocking him in the head. He trickles to the ground, a huge bear in a suit, dizzy on his ass in front of me. Seems his wits are back, and he doesn’t make a move to fight me again. He looks up at me like he doesn’t know what hit him.
“What do you care about what happens to Isolde Molnar?” I grunt. He doesn’t answer, only stares at me with an open mouth. The scene he painted flashes in my head – my very hand slitting Isolde’s neck while my shaft still throbs between the walls of her smooth, hot inside. The image sends a sharp pain through my chest, like a spear that pierces me all the way to my back, and I know I’d want to die if I ever hurt the little cavewoman.
Angry as hell at the revelation, I grab the stunned-looking Demerol by his collar, and force him up, slamming his back against the bookcase and speaking so close to his face that my spittle lands on his cheek. “Why are you playing her savior? Did you fuck her?” I’m seeing red. Blood threatens to burst through my ears. “When? Talk, or I swear to God I’ll tear you apart!” Before I know it, my fist crashes into the bookcase, splintering the wood. Demerol flinches, like never before ever since I met him in the fighter cages of our underground. He’s one of the toughest thugs I ever recruited, yet he shrinks in my grip.
“I, I, God, Tristan, I promise you, I never had her,” he stutters. “You sent me for her so often, pick her up from home, take her shopping, follow her around, and she’s, she’s, please, Tristan!” He searches my eyes desperately, so I guess my thirst for blood is showing big time in my face. “She’s a special woman. She’s the kind that won’t leave your head once inside, you know that.”
“Do I?” I purr dangerously.
“Damn it, Tristan!” Demerol looks me up and down, terrified. “Look at yourself! Look at how you’re reacting. I expected you to be mad, but I didn’t expect you to fuckin’ beat me up for her.” His eyes rest on mine, begging. “You’re into her, boss. For the first time since you and I have known each other, you desire a woman. And it’s even more serious than I thought.”
Serious. Like an illness. My hands drop off the man as I begin to understand, and I take a few steps away from him.
To be continued . . .
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