Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Ch. XVI – The Beast

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!

CHAPTER XVIThe Beast

TRISTAN

Isolde’s brother, Roland the Callboy, is staring at us with quivering eyebrows. His Latino lover muscles ripple under a white undershirt.

“You,” he grunts at me, fists clenching by his sides. “You’re the guy from the hotel. You blackmailed—”

“I blackmailed your client, yes. But I’m pretty sure she’ll be calling on your services again, nevertheless. No damage done.” I measure him up and down, assessing the danger. He poses none. He obviously miscalculates, though, and he launches himself at me with a war cry.

He bends from his waist, and his shoulder slams into my lower belly as his arms fly around my belt line. I flex my abs to dampen the impact, and he groans loudly. I grab him under his armpits, spin him around and haul him onto the couch.

“For God’s sakes!” Isolde cries, and hurries to her brother. Roland bares his teeth in pain, taking his good hand to his shoulder.

Isolde drops onto the shabby green couch by his side, hands on his arm, looking daggers at me.

“You brute! What are you made of?” Her despair sears like acid dripped onto my heart.

“He attacked first.” Hell, I even sound like an apologizing child.

“You barged in on him while he was naked in bed with a woman only a few days ago. What did you expect, a brotherly slap on the back?”

Before I can think of anything to say Roland redirects his anger at Isolde. He pushes her away with his good hand, and my body flexes to intervene automatically. It’s an effort to stop myself.

“You! You knew,” Roland barks at his sister. “You helped him stage the whole thing, didn’t you?”

“I didn’t have a choice, Roland.” Isolde makes herself small at the other end of the couch. Roland convulses toward her, and I can’t keep back anymore. Before I know it, I’m stomping toward them.

“You lay that hand on her, and I’ll fucking break it.”

Roland’s eyes snap at me. “How did you get her to betray me, you bastard? Did you blackmail her, too?”

I stop right by the couch, looking down on the pathetic callboy with tousled hair. “No. I threatened her. I said that she’d never get a decent job again, if she refused to work for me. I said I would destroy her life. And yours.”

“Get out,” he says between his teeth.

“Make me.”

“You’re not welcome here,” he insists.

“But I’m needed.” I turn around and walk leisurely to the window, parting two blades of the blinds with my fingers. “Did you see the pack of clowns and cheerleaders downstairs at the entrance, Roland? I have good reason to believe they’re here for your sister. And that they mean her harm.”

Isolde mumbles something, but Roland interrupts her.

“Let me guess,” he spits. “They mean to harm Isolde for some shit you got her into, right?”

“She wanted information on heavy bad guys. That’s power. Power comes with danger,” I say evenly, still keeping my back at them and my eyes out between the blades at the losers outside. I still my body completely, feeling my environment.

The hallways on the floors above and below sound empty. But there’s activity on the ground floor. My ears spike, expanding hearing range. Steps dodder up the stairs. I tune out Roland and Isolde’s arguing, and spin around the moment someone raps on the door. Isolde makes to get up.

“No,” I command. She freezes. “Roland, you go.”

“But, his shoulder,” Isolde insists.

“If they see you, they might hurt you right off.” I motion with my chin at Roland. “Go. Let them in.”

“Are you sure about this?” he mumbles. He doesn’t seem very combative anymore, like he’s low on fuel.

I nod. “And don’t worry. I guarantee no harm will come to you. I promised Isolde in return for her services I’ll keep you safe, as well.”

That brings back some of Roland’s hostility. “I can take care of myself, trust me.”

He rises to his feet, and shuffles to the door, still holding to his shoulder. His bronze muscles in that white undershirt would normally have a more intimidating effect, I’m sure, if it weren’t for the rough 3 AM face and the I’m-wounded posture.

I wait at the end of the hallway, right across from the callboy. Looking through the peephole, he asks, “Who are you?”

“Please, let me use your bathroom,” a female voice replies. She sounds a bit incoherent, like she’s tipsy.

“You climbed all the way to the third floor for that? Why not stop on the first?”

Pause. “There was no one home.”

“In the entire building until you came to my door?”

“Roland,” I hiss. He turns, his dark brown eyes meeting mine. “Just let her in.”

With his gaze still on me, Roland unhooks the door chain, turns the locks, and wrenches it open. A blue-haired girl with a beer bottle in her hand staggers in, all torn black stockings and smeared lipstick. She sees me across the hall, stops in her tracks, and smiles. She starts fiddling with her hair. “Oh, hello, handsome stranger.”

When Roland makes to close the door behind her two guys in studded leather appear on the threshold. The one with earlobe stretchers and braided beard slaps a hand on the door, keeping it open, while the one with long hair and chain boots walks in. They measure Roland up and down.

“We need the loo, too, mate. You don’t mind, do ya?”

Roland glowers at them, saying nothing. While the two thugs approach, the girl leans by the door, staring at me with that drunken smeared grin, still wringing her blue hair on thin dirty fingers. I know her type well – cracked in the head, gets off watching live fights. Women like her litter the seats around the cages.

“And who are you, mate?” the longhaired guy says roughly when he’s beside me. “You the bitch’s boyfriend, of the fuck buddy?”

Both thugs laugh, checking out the living room to my left, where Isolde sits on the couch, white-knuckling the edge.

“I’m her boss.” I motion with my chin at Roland again. The rest of my body is still as a statue. “He’s the brother.”

The longhaired guy circles me, the chains on his boots clamoring every time his heel hits the floor. “The boss, eh? Too young and too pretty for a boss, but say I believe you. You fucking her?”

I keep my eyes ahead. “Not yet.”

The guys and the girl burst into laughter.

“Then what you doing here at 3 A.M.?”

I turn my head slowly, and scan him from chained boots to ugly longhaired head. I can already taste blood in my mouth, my pulse quickens in anticipation, and my palms itch.

“Waiting for a chance to smash your face in. To break your legs, make you squirm on the floor, and step on your fucking head until your eyeballs swim in your scrambled brains.”

Fury explodes in the whites of his eyes, and I run my tongue over my teeth. My heart pumps adrenaline through my whole body, and time shrinks.

The longhaired thug balls his fist, opens his mouth in a cry of battle, face furrowed and eyes reddened. His fist starts on a curved trajectory towards me. I block it with my right arm. My left first crashes into his face, molding his flesh and uprooting a couple of teeth.

He lands on all fours, and spits his teeth out with blood. Then he falls on his side, half of him in the hallway, half in the living room, unconscious. His face is deformed. X-ray kicks in, and I assess the damage – he’s got a fractured cheekbone. Won’t be waking up anytime soon, and when he does, he’ll be in excruciating pain. I raise my eyes to see Isolde watch me with an open mouth, her soft brown eyes big and amazed. Is this a good thing? Or is she disgusted?

Movement at the entrance draws my attention. The other guy starts running towards me, but Roland tackles him to the floor. The girl breaks her beer bottle on the back of Roland’s head, making him get off the thug, cursing, good hand to his bloody head. I could intervene, but should I? The girl tries to sprint out the door, but bounces off Demerol’s huge bulk that appears in the doorstep. Behind him, I hear my men disable the rest of the mafia’s thugs.

I address Demerol, pointing at Roland. “Help him up.”

Demerol looks down at the callboy, frowns as if he doesn’t quite understand at first, but then reaches to grab him under his armpit.

“Not that shoulder, I might have dislocated it,” I say.

Roland comes slowly to his feet with Demerol’s help, while two other men tie up the screaming girl and the guy with earlobe stretchers. Rubbing the back of his head, the callboy squints at me like I’m the sun.

“You fucking maimed that guy with one blow, man,” he calls. “What sort of beast are you?”

To be continued

 

***

Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for more! Subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be notified each time a new chapter is uploaded. Feel free to roam the site – it has many goodies to offer, from personality tests to HOT psych information.

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Ch. XV – Dark Desires

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!

CHAPTER XVDark Desires

TRISTAN

Thoughts knot inside my brain, and I spin on an axis, hurrying towards the exit. I run up the grand stairs so fast the air whips around my face, and I barge into Mark’s luxurious bedroom through the high double doors.

Mark and Isolde are sitting across from each other at a small round table by the high window, curtains aside to let them admire the star-filled night sky among tree branches. Mark’s blue eyes shoot at me from his pruned old head as he adjusts his wheelchair to face me.

“How may I help you, son?” The speaking device distorts his real voice.

“I’m sorry to intrude.” I glance at Isolde. Her hands grip to each other on her lap, ankles crossed. She’s defensive. My eyes slide down the curvy shape of her body wrapped in the cream dress that, admittedly, I’ve been wanting to tear off her since the moment she presented it to me at the store. I square my shoulders and look back at Mark. “But the girl needs to go now.”

He raises the arches of skin where his eyebrows used to be. “And why is that?”

Because I don’t want your foul hands on her. My jaw tenses, and my fists ball behind my back. “It’ s been a very long night. The club, Podgor, and she’s been feeling sick.”

He doesn’t look convinced, and I take a step forward. “She saw a man die tonight, Mark, if I may remind you.”

Mark’s body slackens in his chair. He must realize he’s been overeager. Very well, then.” He gives Isolde a tired smile, and my jaw tightens.

“I’ll have the staff prepare a room for you here, Isolde,” he says. “You’ll be more comfortable than at your apartment, which I expect you to move out of as soon as possible.”

Move in here?” The words leave my mouth before I can restrain my tongue. I sound too sharp, and Mark seems taken aback.

“Yes, here. With her powers now activated, she needs a safe place. A sanctuary.”

I hate the idea so much I barely keep back a growl. I don’t want her within his reach. I don’t want her within Gertrude’s either.

Isolde surprises us both by standing up brusquely, almost knocking back her chair.

“I appreciate your kindness, Mark.” She shoots me a glare as she emphasizes his name. Is she making a point of how close they’ve become? “But I’d rather keep my own sanctuary, my own place, plus that I need to be with my brother. Make sure he stays safe as well.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” I step in, gripping Isolde’s delicate wrist in my hand that seems a hammer compared to hers. The contact sends a soft tingle through my skin, a fully new sensation, but she pulls away.

“I’ll make sure that she’s well protected,” I tell Mark, still looking at her. Her gaze is burning, defying me. “I’ll have her apartment building monitored, men at every corner, two undercover constantly surveying the entrance.”

“The back door from the inner yard as well,” Mark demands softly.

I snort. “Of course.” I’m your right hand and personal bodyguard, you sorry bastard, don’t tell me what to do. I understand he’s trying to prove his position as my boss to impress Isolde, and anger punches me in the gut.

I turn around to restrain myself, and stomp toward the door, expecting Isolde to follow. She does after she kisses Mark good-bye on the cheek – I’ve learned to perceive what happens at every angle around me long ago, it’s a must-have skill in the cages. I swallow hard, and force myself to keep walking.

Mark’s glassy blue stare stings the back of my head as we walk out. I can sense he’s growing suspicious, but right now something else takes over my mind. I’m hyperaware of the soft sound of Isolde’s steps on the stairs behind me as we descend, and that puts a ball of fire in my stomach, the most awkward sensation.

Demerol is already by my car at the curb, and hurries to hold the door at the back.

“No, the passenger’s seat,” I demand.

Isolde steps in, looking messed up, but somehow snappy. She frowns, seeming irritated. I take the car keys from Demerol, planting a razor sharp glare right between his eyes. I could slash him across the face for wanting her the way he does. His looks alone are enough to stain her.

“I’ll drive. And we don’t need company,” I grunt.

With that I slide into the driver’s seat, slam the door shut, and fire the ignition. The tires spit out gravel as we drive away, leaving Demerol behind in a cloud of grey dust.

During the ride I can’t help glancing at Isolde from the corner of my eye, and I do it often enough for her to notice. Damn it, get a grip.

She makes herself smaller in her seat, bracing herself as if she’s feeling naked, cold, awkward, all sorts of uncomfortable, but I can’t stop. I’m pulled to her like a flea to honey. By the time we reach her place I’ve played a scenario in my head at least five times, a scenario where I pull over, bend her over the hood of my car and bang her brains out. Would it be enough to have my fill of her?

She opens the door to get out of the car, but then I notice something strange out in the night, a slight shift in the headlights. I grip her wrist to keep her in.

“Wait.” My eyes narrow, infrared kicks in, and I see them. Young men and women, party people hovering in front of the entrance to Isolde’s apartment building, waving beer bottles, tattoos and crazy hairstyles. This is Berlin, and this side of town is especially prone to sorry-ass “funk”, but something’s off. It’s almost three in the morning, on a weeknight. Not exactly the peak of “party mile” time.

“What’s wrong?” Isolde inquires, her eyes narrowed to peer outside through the windshield. Despite the headlights, we’re too far from the building for her to see things half as well as I do.

“This is not right,” I say, and pick up my phone. The call goes to Demerol. “Get a team, fix an undercover, and prepare to tail.”

“Surveillance of Isolde Molnar’s place?”

“Yes.” My tone sharpens even more. “You get them over here, but then you’ll be working with me. So don’t get an extra car.”

I hang up and open the door, addressing Isolde. “Let’s go.”

She’s looking at me inquisitively as I offer her my arm. Hers hooks around it and, even though she looks uncertain, she lets me lead her towards the entrance.

The gathering in front of the block pulls to the sides and lets us through. Some stare open-mouthed, some ogle us, and some – very few – frown defiantly. There’s no power on the stairway, and my x-ray vision is helpful when Isolde skids over a stair edge. Her body slams warm into mine. As I steady her my palm sweeps up her arm, feeling her goose bumps. Is it from the cold, damp air, or from my touch?

This is a crumbling block by the railway, smeared with graffiti, and I already know that Isolde’s apartment is right by the tracks. But when she pushes the door open and hits the lights the shabbiness of it still hits me.

She throws her keys and purse on a small chest of drawers by the door, and leads me down a narrow corridor to the living room. The train shakes the walls and, right after it’s passed, she turns to face me. She’s scowling, but she’s obviously nervous too. She shifts her weight awkwardly from one leg to the other as she speaks.

“Listen, Tristan.” Her voice is dry and shaky. “You were right back at the villa – I am tired, which is the only reason I didn’t intervene much in your talk with Mark. But know this.” She even points a finger at me. Seriously? For the first time in ages I want to smile, but I repress it. “I acknowledge you as my boss, but you won’t boss me around in my private life. The world technically switched poles for me ever since I met you, and in order to keep my sanity, I’ll keep at least a bit of the old world with me – this place.”

Listening to her, I pace around the room. I stop by the old glass case she must have inherited from a grandma or something, and pick up a porcelain ballerina, feeling strangely amused.

“No one is asking you to relinquish the old world, Isolde.” I turn the ballerina in my hand, inspecting it. “Only your contact with it.” I turn around to look at her. God, how I want to bite into those carnal lips that seem made of cacao silk. “Have you ever desired to be special? Of course you have, all of you little animals do.” I walk around her like a tiger around its prey, sniffing her scent of fresh meat and lilies. She listens petrified, her whole body unmoving but for her chest, rising and falling with her heavy breathing.

“Well, now you are special,” I purr. “The people outside, I think they’re here for you. The mafia bosses behind Podgor, they’re rich and powerful, and they get wind of things extremely fast. You didn’t have the time to write an entire article about Podgor, but you announced it’s coming soon, and now they’ll do anything to stop you from publishing.”

I halt in front of her. She’s so much smaller than me, so frail, and this vulnerability makes my shaft twitch in my pants. Her eyes are stuck on my lips, as if she’s afraid to look me in the eye. A fist seems to clench around my heart, and I want to sink my hand in her rich long hair and tug her head back. To kiss her. Fuck, this needs to stop. I wrench myself away from her and stomp to the glass case again.

“You want to keep at least a sense of freedom, of independence, and I understand that, Isolde.” My tone is meant to make her feel mocked. “I’ll grant you that. But you’ll have to suffer my presence here, in your home. Often.” Why the hell did I just say that?

Her voice trembles. “To what do I owe the honor of being protected by the mighty Tristan Stahl himself?”

Protection, yes. “You’re exposed to dangers that only I can face up to,” I throw over my shoulder.

Isolde walks closer behind me, slowly, carefully. My pulse quickens, and my throat clogs for the second time in one night. I force myself to keep my back on her.

“You speak of little animals, special people, and dangers that only you can shield me from,” she says. She’s so close now I can feel her voice vibrate between my shoulder blades. She grips my elbow gently to turn me around, and this time I respond like a marionette. I meet her soft brown eyes that look up at me with the purest interest anyone has ever shown. “What makes you special?” she whispers. “Who was Tristan a moment before he met Mark Stahl?”

At that question something cracks deep in my mind, like an old gate being wrenched from its rusty locks. The showers room swirls around in my memory, the other boys’ screams, the poison spraying down on my face. Anger shoots through my veins, and The Dutchman roars deep inside me.

I reach for Isolde, determined to crush her lips under mine, and her ample breasts beneath me, but before I can act on it the door creaks open. A man walks in. Isolde looks at him, and color leaves her face.

To be continued . . .

Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for more! Subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be notified each time a new chapter is uploaded. Feel free to roam the site – it has many goodies to offer, from personality tests to HOT psych information.

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

 

Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Ch. XIV – For the first time

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!

TRISTAN

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 . . .

Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for more! Subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be notified each time a new chapter is uploaded. Feel free to roam the site – it has many goodies to offer, from personality tests to HOT psych information.

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Ch. XIII – He loves me, he loves me not

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!

CHAPTER XIII

ISOLDE

What the –?

“No, you don’t understand,” I yelp. Then I realize – perfumed wigs and long inflated dresses aren’t ancient. They’re from the more recent centuries. Those Roman soldiers in the arena were the only ones dressed like ancient characters. It hits me. I rise on my toes, bringing my nose within an inch of Tristan’s. “A theme party, a masquerade, a ball –”

He nods. “The ball at the Charlottenburg museum castle.”

Indeed! “You mean . . .” I frown as the idea creeps into my head. “They have that planned for you?”

He cocks his head to the side, narrowing his bright blue eyes. God, he’s beautiful.

“You are smart indeed, Isolde. Mark was right about you,” he says softly. His eyes are wandering all over my face. Now I put my finger on the emotion they express – respect. I’ve actually triggered respect in the feared mogul Tristan Stahl.

He lets go of me and helps me sit back down on the couch.

“What you just did,” he says. “Mark always knew you had that ability. To be honest, I doubted the actual power of your talents at first, but Mark insisted. He was right. I was wrong.”

My brain is afloat, and I feel weak all over. Life seems to have drained from my limbs, like I’ve just heard some shocking news. But then again, all this is so much to take all at once. “Good God, I never even suspected that I’m clairvoyant.”

“I’m not sure I’d call it clairvoyance, Isolde.” Tristan hunkers down before me and swipes his palm over my forehead and cheeks like he’s checking me for fever. His eyes are sharp, but his voice soft. “Your intuition is so powerful that, given the right input information, your subconscious calculations become visions. Maybe it wasn’t even a vision, but a –”

“An experience,” I murmur, interrupting him. “Yes, an experience. I was in the scene.”

Tristan cups my face. My stomach knots, and I blink rapidly, trying to grasp what’s happening. He pauses for just a few seconds but, to me, they feel like minutes. The clock’s tic-tock is loud in my ears.

“Isolde, I don’t say this often,” he slurs darkly, “but I’m impressed. Hadn’t you seen what you just did, I may have actually fallen in their trap.” He gives me a faint smile that puts a wicked dimple by the side of his mouth, a bit smug. “It wouldn’t have killed me, of course. But it would’ve been damned close.”

“Trap?” I murmur, eyes locked on his sweet lips. Right now he seems an angelic boy whose only sins are the passions he unwittingly ignites. Indeed, how deceiving appearances are.

“Boris Podgor. They knew all along Mark and I would go for him, and they planted the invitation in the mobster’s office, knowing we’d find it. At the ball, they’d have ambushed us.” He stands, and walks over to his desk, opening a drawer and pulling out a file. He slaps it on the mahogany, and gestures to it. “Please, have a look.”

I push myself off the couch, and head slowly to the desk. I’m nervous, and the way Tristan watches me approach doesn’t help my cause. He may have a somewhat softer attitude than usual towards me, but I still feel like I’m the prey and he’s a hawk circling up in the sky, waiting to stick his powerful beak into my guts.

He steps behind the leather chair and guides it under me as I sit down. I pick up the file, which is thick. It’s on Boris Podgor, and his illicit affairs, as it turns out as I leaf through it.

“Don’t think I’ve forgotten our agreement,” he slurs. “I promised you golden nuggets to put on your blog.” He bends in over my shoulder, the warmth of his body touching my cheek. He opens the laptop’s lid, and hits a key on the keyboard. “You’ll have to write it from here, though. Our servers are safer than safe.”

“I bet,” I whisper, breathing in his scent of winter, candle wax and Christmas love stories. There’s so much emotion in my stomach right now, and my heart beats in my throat. He’s too close, the smooth fabric of his suit brushing my forearm, and giving me the goose bumps.

“But how come they sacrificed Boris Podgor?” I say, trying to distract myself before the reactions of my body expose how I feel inside. “He was their man, they used him to infiltrate Marie France into the club to manipulate her potions into your drink.” Thereby making me crush on you like a freaking schoolgirl.

“As I said, Boris Podgor was scum. A pimp, a drug dealer. But the Institute, they claim to be on the side of the good guys. So they used his services, and then rid the world of him.” Again he takes distance from me, taking a seat on the couch, right across from the desk. We’re looking straight at each other. “Should you have any questions on that file, I’m at your disposal.”

He’s at my disposal. The way his masculine baritone voice wraps around those words . . .

I read through the file, but I can barely focus while being so aware of Tristan’s ice blue eyes on me over the rim of his glass of scotch. My eyes cling to the laptop screen as I type clumsily, but blood pulses in my ears, and I can’t think of what I’m doing at all. I’m painfully aware of his open neckline that falls between his hard pectorals, of the smooth skin on his face and the way it stretches over his angular, aggressive bone structure. Everything about him is so darn sexy, from the way his suit trousers glue to the muscles in his thighs to the way he twirls the glass slightly in his hand, looking at me.

I could take advantage of this moment. I could push the chair back and walk to him, losing my dress in the process and stopping naked in front of him. Then maybe he would let his hand slide up my thigh, and pull me onto his lap, where his body would finally press against my naked flesh. But when I risk a glance at him I catch him glaring at me just like he did that day on the hotel corridor – like he could tear me apart. His eyes are once again those of a demon made of ice.

The door opens suddenly, ripping me out of my own imagination. Gertrude’s white-blond bob shines in the cozy orange light as she steps into the study, and my heart sinks. I remember Mark Stahl’s words – she is the mate chosen for Tristan. The perfect Aryan couple, Tristan and Gertrude, making Tristan’s adoptive father who’s a former Nazi happy. I can feel my mouth curl in sour jealousy.

***

To be continued . . .

Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for more! Subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be notified each time a new chapter is uploaded. Feel free to roam the site – it has many goodies to offer, from personality tests to HOT psych information.

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Chapter XI

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! 

CHAPTER XI

I’m lying face-up on a couch. My body feels so heavy, I think I’m a boulder sinking into the leather cushions. I blink to clear my eyesight, and I recognize the high shelves of books spiraling toward the arched ceiling in Tristan’s study.

I shoot up to a sitting position, and my head swims. I take my hand to it with a grunt. “Crap.”

“Here,” familiar baritone says. Tristan holds a bar of chocolate under my nose. “It’ll help.”

I look up his arm and suited body to his face. Those eyes like blue ice knock me back, but I can’t let him do this to me now. When I try to stand I go instantly dizzy, and my legs give away under me, making me drop back down into the cushions.

Tristan doesn’t say another word, but keeps the chocolate in my face. I take it with trembling fingers and bite into it. The sweetness spreads over my taste buds, and I close my eyes in delight, but the yawning cuts in Boris Podgor’s throat snap at me, and my eyes shoot open again.

“For God’s sakes,” I cry. “She killed him! The woman with the white gloves, she freaking killed him!” The scene is glaring inside my head. The heavy, rusty smell of the man’s blood still clings to the inside of my nostrils.

“If you knew the kind of scumbag he was,” Tristan says coldly, “you’d say we went too easy on him.”

I look straight into his face, scowling with everything I have. “You and your pack, you can’t go around killing people, no matter what reasons you think you have.”

His features remain as if sculpted in ice as he hunkers down before me. He’s strikingly beautiful, the Ice Prince. I remember what my mother used to say – the devil is the most beautiful of angels; in the end, he used to be God’s favorite.

“Boris Podgor used to fool girls from Eastern European countries,” Tristan says, “promising to bring them here, to Germany, to work as nurses and baby sitters. But once he imported them, he’d take their papers away, lock them up, and force them to prostitute themselves. He also made a fortune of selling a particularly nasty drug in his clubs. It’s called crocodile.” He brings his face closer, and I swear I can feel coldness oozing out of his skin and touching mine. “Have you ever heard of crocodile? It’s known as the ‘zombie drug’ because it practically eats the flesh away. Care to see pictures?”

I swallow and shake my head.

“I thought so,” he says, places his hands on his knees, and stands.

I watch him walk to the drinks cabinet, and can’t help my eyes from sliding up and down his body. Despite myself, I love the way his suit jacket stretches over the breadth of his back. I love his fighter frame. It seems God created him especially to spite me, to make me drool and suffer that I’ll never have him. Heck, I shouldn’t even want him, he’s a bad guy.

“What do you make of what Boris said?” I murmur as he pours a drink. It’s easier talking to his back, less intimidating. But my heart still beats in that way it did when I was thirteen and had my first crush.

“He said a lot. Which part do you mean?” he asks calmly.

“About Marie France and what she put in your drink.”

He turns with two glasses of scotch. Walks over, hands one to me, then returns and leans against his desk. “I’m not worried about Marie France’s potions. Mark is.”

I take a sip, studying him. The alcohol stings my dry lips, but the burn running down my guts feels good. “He must have a reason, your father.”

“He’s an old man. A bit paranoid.” He looks up from his drink, his arctic eyes sharp. “Marie France aimed to chemically manipulate my feelings. According to my people’s recent investigations, that’s what she specializes in.” He juts out his chin, and I know he’s defying not only me, but the whole world. “Too bad I’m a psychopath. I cannot feel, not like Marie France understands emotion. If her potions have any effect on me, it’s unconventional to say the least.”

Now my heart is my throat, beating to gag me. “Unconventional in what way?” I manage. I realize Marie France wanted him to have feelings for me, which backfired big time. I sipped from that glass, too, and I’m falling for him. Crap.

“Seems it only intensifies what I normally feel – mostly anger.” He drains the scotch, and sets the glass on his desk, right by the antique lamp that burns low among neatly arranged documents. “But enough on the matter. Back to business. Since Mr. Podgor had to leave us before revealing something worthwhile, we took the liberty of searching his back office. We found this.”

He fishes what looks like a shiny wedding invitation from a pile, and walks over. He hands me the shiny thing, and drops into the armchair by my side, scotch in his hand. I look at what turns out to be an invitation indeed, only not to a wedding, but to an event at the Charlottenburg museum castle. “Science Evening – celebrate groundbreaking discoveries by candlelight”.

“What?” I hear myself exclaim, flipping the invitation around to glance at its silvery-framed back, as if the explanation of its existence in Boris’s office could be there. “Not the kind of thing you’d expect someone like Boris Podgor to get invited to,” I think out loud.

“Exactly,” Tristan murmurs, twirling the glass of scotch lightly. “Except if he’s got ties with people from the field, which we know he does – through Marie France Cassel, the Institute’s alchemist, at the very least.”

I narrow my eyes, looking at him. “Speaking of the Institute and alchemy. Aren’t they supposed to focus on psychosomatic research? Why do they mess around with chemistry? I mean, pharma – chemistry – is the domain of your company, which they try to prove useless with their psychology research.”

“Chemistry and psychology are related. Think anti-depressants and calmatives.” He runs his free hand through his hair. The way it catches the cozy lamp light, the orange dance of flames on liquid white gold . . .

I swallow hard and clear my throat. “You make it sound as if, in truth, there’s nothing beyond the physical. As if concepts such as mind, soul, dignity, aspirations are nothing but a mix of chemicals and –”

“No, it’s not like that.” His voice is softer than I’ve ever heard it. It sends a burn through my limbs, and I feel like freaking ice cream melting on his couch. It’s dark outside, the rain patters against the high windows, and I begin to realize the atmosphere is romantic. I’m alone in a fairy-tale library with the most powerful man on the continent, who happens to look like a fairy-tale prince, too.

He takes a deep breath and continues, his eyes on the dark window. “They’re trying to prove that, with proper psychological guidance, people don’t need drugs or any kind of chemicals in order to heal.” His eyes shift to my face, and my heart jumps. “They’re trying to prove that human mind can beat any disease by itself, with no input but from sunlight, wind, and water.”

***

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Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

 

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Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Chapter VI

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! 

CHAPTER VI

TRISTAN

Isolde’s brother sleeps with rich women for money. With his designer muscles from Men’s Gym and his Latino tan, he’s perfect for the jobs he does – callboy and bar buffoon. To be frank, I think he actually likes screwing older ladies.

He beams a perfectly white smile at the wilted Marilyn he meets in the hotel lobby, her lips puckered under red lipstick. By the way he scans her up and down, I think he’s looking forward to stripping her of the white fur coat covering her from shoulders to ankles. She’s the one who’d recommended “Frany C.” – Marie France Cassel – to him, asking him to get the woman hired at the club. And she’s the one who’ll lead us to her again. As was to be expected, Ms. Cassel never made her appearance again at the club after the night she manipulated my drink.

Isolde sits across from me, gathering her coat tighter around her body. She’s uncomfortable, obviously. She’s watching her brother through the glass wall that separates lounge from lobby with a look of guilt on her face – in the end, she betrayed to me the time and place these two would meet.

“You did it for his own good,” I remind her in an even tone. She just nods, and presses her lips together. Doesn’t look at me, which makes me ball my fist on my thigh. I want her looking at me when I’m talking to her. As if she senses it, she braces herself rigidly, and casts her eyes down. She makes herself smaller in her armchair, like she’s hiding.

“Relax. He can’t see you here, the pane is a mirror on the other side,” I sneer.

Again just a short nod. It hits me, and I can’t keep back a sour grin. She’s not hiding from him, but from me.

I rest back in my armchair, and study the side of her face that she offers. She has the same Latino complexion as her brother but, other than that, they aren’t very much alike. Her features are finer, her lips darker, and the small craters in her cheeks – probably the marks of chicken pox – make her look pleasantly vulnerable. Little animal. I breathe in her scent that makes me think of a stable. And lilac.

“Get used to this, Isolde.” I feel wicked satisfaction as I say the words. She’ll betray everyone and, before this is over, the only one she’ll have left will be me. “You’ll bait many people working for me. This is only the beginning.”

Demerol walks on the other side of the pane and gives the inconspicuous signal that it’s time. I push myself up from the armchair. Behind me, the men grab Isolde from her seat and urge her to follow. I know every move that takes place behind me, I can “read” the shift of air against the skin on my nape, but I still feel the need to turn. To look at her, see those wet doe eyes beg me not to do this. I curse under my breath and steel myself against it.

The elevator ascends smoothly, the numbers blinking green as we ride to the floor where Roland is banging Marilyn. We wait on the corridor outside their room for a while, my men sending away anyone walking out of the elevator to get to their rooms. When they protest, Demerol invokes a mission of the Secret Services. By the look of us except of Isolde, the story isn’t hard to buy.

I glance at my watch. Half an hour, the cameras must’ve gotten enough by now. I look at the men by the door, motion with my chin, and the one closest produces a fine wire from between his fingers. He’s dexterous with that, he used to steal cars before I recruited him. He works the lock and opens the door silently. The others follow him in, and the woman inside shrieks.

As I make to cross the threshold Isolde grabs my wrist. I stiffen and look down at her, arching an eyebrow at her boldness. She releases my hand and drops her gaze.

“He’ll never forgive me for this,” she whispers. She’s shivering. I look away and make to step in again. My men shove her from behind, signalling her to follow me. She resists.

“Don’t make me do this, Tristan,” she pleads. “He doesn’t have to know it was me who made this happen.”

Against all odds, I find myself wanting to concede. I grit my teeth. “Fine, stay here.”

I walk in coolly, my fingers skimming over the white fur hanging on a chair at the tea table. The woman stands on her knees on the bed, I see her from the corner of my eye. Roland, Isolde’s brother, is fully naked, my men holding him back by the arms against the carved wood headboard, a silken pillow resting against his private parts. The canopy hangs flowingly from the bed frame.

“Well, Mrs. Simova,” I slur as I pace, hand caressing the fur. “I’m sure your husband – the man who paid for this fine coat, that fat designer bag and, I’m sure, unknowingly, also for your lover – would very much hate to –” I pluck the small camera from the vase on the table, “ – discover who his trusted wife of over twenty years really is.”

The woman clutches the silken sheet above her breasts, her ash-blond Marilyn locks ravished, the skin on her arms sagging.

“Who are you? Why are you doing this?” she babbles desperately, her eyes darting around at the men in black who now flash more cameras in her face, producing more proof. Roland jerks from the men’s hold toward me, but they keep him back. His pumped up Latino chest heaves, and I barely refrain from ordering him thrown in the cages. Let him try to take it out on me there, the piece of shit.

“You bastard!” He glowers and wriggles. “You come in here with a whole squad to threaten a poor naked woman?”

I snort, which comes out more like a laugh full of contempt. “Poor isn’t exactly a word I’d choose to describe Mrs. Simova, young man. In fact, it’s the opposite of it that lured you to this bed, is it not?”

His knitted eyebrows form one dark line that now quivers like he’s confused. It must be the way I talk, it throws many off balance. It’s a mark of the old day I haven’t quite gotten to master over the years.

“I’ll leave out the pleasantries.” I stop by the end of the bed, squaring my shoulders. Demerol throws the picture of Marie France Cassel on the bed, right under Mrs. Simova’s nose. “You had this young man find this woman a job at the nightclub. Her true intention was to get to me, and manipulate my drink. She succeeded, and disappeared. Where do I find her now?”

Mrs. Simova takes the picture in her trembling fingers, the other hand still holding tightly to the sheet above her chest. I scan her and her much younger lover. They seem two maggots on the bed, slimy and stinking. It would be so easy to squash them. And hell knows they deserve it, both of them. Maybe I’ll send those pictures to the woman’s husband anyway when this is all over. And the callboy, I could throw down in a cage, feed him to the Dutchman. Isolde wouldn’t know, she’d be long cold by then. My insides knot at the image of her lying stiff in a coffin, and rage burns in my fists.

“Talk,” I thunder, and the woman winces.

“Frany, yes, she used to be my maid,” the woman babbles. “My husband was unhappy with her.” She gives me a meaningful, almost reprimanding look under her fine eyebrows, which are barely more than faint blond lines on a face like crumpled paper. “I’m not the only one with guilty pleasures, you see. He’s been screwing secretaries and maids for a lifetime, and this one wouldn’t give in.”

I nod, unimpressed. “Go on. I don’t have all day.” I didn’t come here with a squad to intimidate a woman and her paid lover, indeed. I’m going straight after Cassel when this is done, and I expect she has serious back up from the Institute. In the end, they create men like me.

“I don’t know where she is or what she does now,” the woman bursts in obvious despair. “I swear, I don’t.”

“No need to panic,” I say coolly. “I’ll just take the next best lead. Who got her into your house?”

She frowns. “Excuse me?”

“Who recommended her to you?” I flash a glance at Roland. “I was in contact with his sister. So Ms. Cassel must’ve known you were seeing him, and she manipulated her way into your house. So who got her working for you?”

The woman ponders. I’m sure she sees my point. “Boris Podgor, my husband’s partner. He owns a Russian restaurant down in Mitte.”

Connections bolt through my head. Boris Podgor, a Moscow scumbag who trades girls and crocodile in the underground. Particularly nasty. “Thank you, Mrs. Simova.”

I throw the tiny camera device on the bed, spin round and head for the door. Behind me, the men shift and shuffle, expertly removing all proof of our presence there, starting with the cameras. On the corridor I encounter Isolde. I make to stomp by her, and she withdraws by the wall, still clutching her coat tightly around her. Her lips form a distorted line – is she crying, or is she disgusted with me? At that thought I stop brusquely. My face snaps to her, and I can feel current flash in my eyes.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” I sound cold as ice, but on the inside I’m bustling with hot rage. Rage because I want to sink my fingers in her thick messy bun, pull her head back and bite into her full, dark lower lip until I taste blood. For a moment I picture pulling her into the next room, throwing her on the bed, and ripping her clothes off. Subduing her, branding her mine. Like cattle, she’ll be put to death when the time comes, that’s inevitable, but until then I can consume the heat of her body, the essence between her thighs. The Dutchman roars, my rod stiffens with an urgent need to feel her skin on mine. It’s so strong it clouds my head, and it’s so new I don’t bother to understand it. Just this once.

I reach for her, but the elevator doors zing open, and Gertrude walks out of it, one silky, toned leg in front of the other. She’s wearing a pencil skirt, shiny pantyhose and patent leather shoes. She’s been trying real hard to impress me, but she fails every time. Her white silk gloves give out a smooth sheen in the corridor light. She throws Isolde a bad glance.

“Your father wants to see her,” she tells me. “Right away.”

***

Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for more! Subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be notified each time a new chapter is uploaded. Feel free to roam the site – it has many goodies to offer, from personality tests to HOT psych information.

Read the FIRST CHAPTER of Tristan and Isolde Reloaded here and the SECOND CHAPTER here, THIRD CHAPTER here, and CHAPTER IV here, and CHAPTER V here.

Further chapters:

 

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

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Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – Chapter V

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! 

CHAPTER V

My men bring her in a few days later. I’m waiting in the study, reading the last adjustments to her contract. I expect her intense dark eyes to spit soot at me, but there’s no trace of the confident, bold-mouthed young mare from last time in the girl now facing me. Even at the club, with her tits technically popping from her cleavage, she was more commanding.

She wears an old raincoat with a mock fur lined hood that now hangs loose on either side of her neck, no make-up, a thick and messy bun atop her head. I’ve never seen her hair open, but I expect it to be long and tangled, suiting the curvaceous little cavewoman that she is. Demerol says they intercepted her at the corner store buying eggs for breakfast, so this must be the morning package, no mortar, no paint.

“I hope my men weren’t too brusque with you?” I rise from the chair behind the desk, my eyes scanning the reality for differences to the picture I had of her in my mind a few nights ago. Except for the lacking grooming there aren’t many.

“I was taken a bit by surprise.” She looks up at the shelves upon shelves of books like they’re fairy tale, clearly in awe. “It’s quite a castle and a library you have here.”

“You an avid reader?”

“I’m a sucker for romance novels.”

Sucking. The lapping sounds of my jerk-off come back to me, and I want to splinter the rack of ancient weapons on the sidewall.

“As honest as always, but without the bitter part.” I sound hostile, which alarms her. I can see it in her face.

“Well, you’re my boss now, aren’t you? I thought I’d mind my tongue.”

Hell, what next? She’s gonna find a reason to say sex?

I rip my gaze away from her as I invite her to read the contract, but can’t help creeping from the corner of my eye as she passes me by. She leaves behind a trail of meaty smell mingled with cheap lily scent. I grit my teeth to refrain from literally biting into her.

They say humans unconsciously decide if they want someone as a sexual partner in a split second after they meet them, but I stopped being fully human a while ago. I do prostitutes to release my waste, but I never lusted for them, not even in the abusive way I want to possess Isolde. They’re human cattle to me, they stink and wobble, they’re drains and gutters. Seems I have to remind myself of that whenever I’m around this particular one.

Isolde takes the contract in her hands, and I almost expect her to go audacious enough to sit in my chair and start analyzing individual paragraphs. But instead she remains standing and skips right to the last page. She picks up a ballpoint pen from the holder on my desk, and signs with one swing of her wrist.

“Didn’t you want to peruse it first?” I inquire, cocking an eyebrow.

She tucks a strand of dark hair behind her ear, her cheeks a reddish hue. She’s nervous. “What’s the use? It’s either your way or the highway, isn’t it?”

“Pretty much.”

She looks around, awkward and shy. This doesn’t add up, she acts nothing like the first two times we met.

“So, do I come back tomorrow with a suit and a briefcase? Or will I be working from somewhere else?” she says.

“You work from here, and no, there’s no need for special attire. You start right away.”

I join her behind the desk, keeping a safe distance like a lion from a lamb, and pull file folders from the lowest drawer. I place them in the form of a pyramid to suggest hierarchy within the Institute for Psychosomatic Research. Isolde is much smaller than me, and all I see is her messy bun whenever I glance at her. An urge washes over me to grab it, tug her head back and lick her jugular, feel it pulse on my tongue. I grit my teeth to refrain.

“Here are your golden apples,” I begin to talk, determined to distract myself from the urges. “I know all there is to know about all the Institute’s important members, besides their leader.” I point to the X-marked file at the top of the pyramid. “You’ll use the others in order to get to him. I believe that my resources combined with your talents is the formula for success.”

Isolde stiffens. I bend my head a bit to get a good look at her face – fixed eyes, slightly parted lips. She appears stunned.

“What troubles you, Isolde?”

I don’t expect her to say something immediately, therefore I give her a few moments. She takes her hand hesitantly to a file right under the X one. Besides the X file, each one has a picture of its subject on the cover.

“Marie France Cassel,” I start about the person she’s staring at. “She might be among the hardest people to pin down.”

“She works for the Institute?” Isolde murmurs.

“Obviously.” Redundant questions annoy me, so I turn from her and start pacing slowly, keeping my eyes off her as well. “Madame Cassel majored in Chemical Engineering at Imperial, London, top of her class, but she considers herself a new age alchemist. She is praised in her field as very innovative, and mixes in-depth knowledge of chemistry with esoteric that she openly believes in – based on her upbringing; her parents were Goths. No one ever took them seriously, of course, but Marie France cherishes their memory and therefore always strived to prove their legacy veritable. She’s a modern witch, if you want.”

“Did she succeed? To prove their legacy real?” Isolde sounds faint, as if she’s afraid of the answer.

“To a certain extent.” I narrow my eyes at her. “Why the special interest in Ms. Cassel?”

She holds up the file. “I know her, Tristan. Her name is Frany, and she used to work with me at the nightclub.”

The news tears through my eardrums. Like everything that takes me by surprise, it angers the hell out of me. “Say what?”

“This woman was supposed to wait your table a few nights ago when you and I last saw each other. The guy you saved me from and his friends had given her a bad time, and I offered to take the drinks up for her. Then –” she hesitates. I’m forced to approach.

I grab her shoulders, my hands firm on her upper arms, but I pull her closer gently. Her scent of prey and lily makes my nostrils flare. This is what blood must smell like to sharks. “I suggest you spill all the beans.”

“Didn’t you see Frany at all?” she asks, clearly intimidated.

“Would we still be having this conversation if I did?”

Her eyes dart around as if she’s searching for an explanation on the walls and shelves. “The glass you drank from. Frany took it to some guy who looked like an undercover agent or something, leather jacket and all, saying the police is after your DNA.”

The wheels turn in my head. I narrow my eyes.

“What is it?” she inquires. “Please, Tristan, tell me what you’re thinking.”

“Marie France Cassel doesn’t need my DNA. She’s had it since forever. And she’d never work with the police.”

Isolde frowns and shakes her head slightly. “But why would she be so desperate to stop me from touching that glass and making your DNA useless?”

I grin. I’ve never been so close to the Institute before, especially through a member as highly ranked as Madame Cassel. Hiring Isolde has already started to pay off. “Let’s go ask her.”

***

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Read the FIRST CHAPTER of Tristan and Isolde Reloaded here and the SECOND CHAPTER here, THIRD CHAPTER here, and CHAPTER IV here.

Further chapters:

 

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Beautiful sexy couple portrait“>Pic credits. Pic acquired here.

Tristan and Isolde Reloaded – CHAPTER III

Blurb:

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! 

CHAPTER III

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’re drunk.”

“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.

“Yes! Yes!”

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.

“Don’t!”

***

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Read the FIRST CHAPTER here and the SECOND CHAPTER here.

Further Chapters:

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Pic source.