“Bull’s Blood” Chapter 3….

Cover for Bull's Blood

“Bull’s Blood” is now published on Amazon.com

 

Vadas stood by the window of his suite and drew deeply on a cigarette. The first smoke in the morning was always the best, but he knew he was smoking too much. He thought of that last phone call from Miklos. He didn’t have much choice in the matter. Business was business; he wasn’t his own man.

Already Miklos was in a pissy mood. Budapest was five hours ahead and he had used those hours to get up a full head of steam. Miklos knew better than to hurl threats, for Vadas had enough on Miklos to sink his ship, but it would take both of them down.

Ah, Miklos, thought Vadas, our strange life has affected you for the worse, my friend. If we could just return to our days at university, when the world was fresh, and we looked on the future with expectation. Nothing excites now, not even the best wines.

Except this woman Elizabeth. Vadas shook his head, surprised at his thoughts. Who was this little chit? She was nothing special, not a great beauty, no endless legs, not much of anything. But she was…different. Perhaps she was different because of the Strauss, or because she didn’t have a clue who he was. Or what he was.

Vadas picked up the remote and pressed some buttons. The strains of Mozart filled the silence in his suite. Vadas took a sip from his cooling coffee and looked out on the bay. That was part of the problem. Life was empty. Even if he went back to Hungary, what was left for him? He could retire from the business. Money wouldn’t be an issue, not right away. He would work his vineyard, work the hills among the men. He was still too young for nothing at all. The endless hours of a flat life, as flat as the soil around Lake Balaton, stretched before him like a dwindling ball of yarn. No, there had to be more than just breathing the air. And more than climbing the hills looking for diseased vines.

Vadas’ cell phone chimed. He crossed to his desk, flipping it open. The voice on the other end reminded him of an event that evening. He had already forgotten, and his presence was expected. Ah! He would bring Elizabeth. She would entertain him with her innocence.

These people were an unusual crowd, thought Vadas. Unfortunately, his crowd. Even in Paris they would be unique. A mixture of men with doubtful pedigrees, and the women? Well, the women were elegant, well groomed, dignified. Glossy covers on polluted books.

 

 

g

 

 

Two days since my “date” with Vadas, thought Elizabeth, and I’m regretting my behavior. He must think me a slut.

Why had she behaved so with Vadas and why did she give herself without a chase? Wasn’t that the point of it all and didn’t she know something about men now that she was well over fifty?

She had sold herself cheaply. He would be right to find her contemptible. It was an uncomfortable feeling, for if she was honest, Vadas interested her more than just his cock. Well, his cock did too, all that howling and writhing around, but his kiss led off nicely. Tongue and cock, cock and tongue, two pieces of flesh making her act like a whore.

Two days since they had sex. There was no way of dressing it up. She remembered him carrying her to the bedroom, and even now, the hot cup of coffee in her hand trembled, her knees weakened.

Vadas was a puzzle. Older, sophisticated, she wondered if this would go anywhere. What did they really have in common?

Vadas of the long kisses. Perhaps that was all she needed right now. A day ago, she ached between her legs, but the pain was not of desire. Vadas gave her a good screwing, and if it weren’t for the wine, she would have had more of him.

Some things troubled her still, like his insistence she eat no meat, that he would feed her. And then the spanking! Perhaps this was how they did it in Budapest? There were lots of unknowns with Vadas, but he drew her like a bee to honey. It was crazy, probably dangerous, and she didn’t want it to stop.

She was surprised when Vadas called her. She wasn’t prepared. Her stomach flipped and she had to lean on the couch. He wanted to go to a party that evening. She tried not to sound eager, too compliant, but she would have done anything at that point to be with him. What a goose she was!

Vadas’ driver brought Elizabeth back to the hotel. Vadas was again on the phone, and pulled her into the room, his eyes sweeping Elizabeth from head to toe and back again. She rolled her eyes at him. At that moment he yelled something Hungarian, snapped the phone shut, shaking his head.

“I am sorry Elizabeth for my foul mouth, but perhaps your Hungarian doesn’t extend to those words?”

He smiled, embraced her, and kissed her on both cheeks. Obviously, his mind was still on the phone call, for his manner was distant.

“We won’t need my driver tonight. I will drive. You will stay here tonight, we will get back very late.”

She thought at least she should raise some objection or ask some questions.

“What? You have a cat at home? Why wouldn’t you want to stay with me? Didn’t you agree I am to make the decisions and you to obey?” Vadas kissed her on the forehead. “Come, we leave, we have miles to go.”

Vadas owned a grey Mercedes and drove too fast. Elizabeth, white knuckled, gripped the door panel. He was an aggressive driver, horn blaring and soft curses at anyone he considered too slow on the road. No wonder he had a driver!

“This isn’t the Autobahn, Vadas!” She yelled. “It’s New Jersey!” Only after he saw the distress in her face did he drop to a normal speed.

They were deep in the countryside when Vadas turned down a road and pulled up to a large gate. Pressing the button on the callbox, he gave his name, and the huge iron gates swung open. They drove through a small wood and suddenly a large Georgian style house appeared to the left. Vadas pulled to the front, helped Elizabeth out, and tossed his keys to a valet.

Vadas held her hand, but otherwise was silent. He explained on the trip out that many of these people were either old friends or business acquaintances, and she would know no one. Many of them would be Hungarians, friends of the host.

A maid met them in the wide central hall, and took Elizabeth’s shawl. Vadas directed Elizabeth to a room on the right. They entered a large area with people standing in groups. Vadas was greeted in both French and Hungarian, acknowledging friends with a nod of his head. Just then a tall, thin man came up to him, and embraced Vadas, kissing him on both cheeks.

“And who have you brought to our little gathering, Vadas? You always have an eye for the prettiest of women.”

“May I present Elizabeth Kovacs, Janos? Elizabeth, Janos de Laszlo, our host.”

Janos de Laszlo took her hand and kissed it, something she expected among the older Hungarians. They were a formal and gallant breed, rather stiff. Janos stared deeply into her eyes, another typical Hungarian gesture. The men would woo you first with their eyes, secondly with their voices and then hands if they could find the chance.

Still holding his gaze on Elizabeth, Janos de Laszlo addressed Vadas, as if Elizabeth was invisible. “And where did you find this little morsel, Vadas? How long have you been hiding her?”

“Janos, behave.” Vadas’ voice a low growl. “I have just met Elizabeth. She is unknowing of our ways. Do not scare her, my friend.”

Janos looked Vadas in the eye and gave a low chuckle. “Ah, Vadas, you are still the romantic. But do not mind me. You are master of it all.” Turning back, he spoke kindly. “Welcome, Elizabeth, to my home. You will make new friends amongst us.”

Kissing her hand again, Janos looked up into her eyes, smiled and left to attend other guests. Vadas watched his retreating back, a sour expression his face.

“Come, Elizabeth, let me get you a glass of wine and introduce you to some friends.”

Vadas led her to a group of men and women, mostly older, and made introductions. They were cordial, two women making room on a sofa for her. When he left to get a drink, a woman came up to the group.

“I am Alexandra de Laszlo.” She was older, with what appeared to be a diamond-encrusted collar around her neck. Elegant, with short white hair, obviously a beauty when younger.

“I am the sister of Janos, your host.” She looked at her closely. “Did you come with Vadas Dohendy?”

“Yes, I did.” Elizabeth could not help but look at her collar. The woman saw where her eyes landed and nervously touched it.

“I understand from Janos you have just met our Vadas. Come walk with me, I would wish to learn more of you.”

Another command, but she dare not refuse, certainly not an order from the host’s sister.

Alexandra de Laszlo led Elizabeth back down the hall. They entered what was obviously a library, passing through French doors to a sunken garden. It was large and walled with a lovely square Tuscan fountain, very formal, in the middle of the plot. Trees formed an arcade to walk under and there were niches in the back mortared walls, all of them empty. Alexandra wrapped her arm in Elizabeth’s, and they walked around the garden.

“So, Elizabeth, I take it by your last name you are Hungarian?” Her voice was low, like the buzz of bees flying in and out of the plum blossoms around them.

“I am half Hungarian, my father’s family. It seems they have nothing in their line except Hungarian blood.”

“Do you know what part of Hungary they came from?”

“My grandparents came from Győr, I believe, but they moved to Budapest at the turn of the century.”

“Ah! Budapest is so beautiful. Have you visited the capital?”

“No. I have been to parts of Europe but never to Hungary.”

Quel dommage. Perhaps someday you will go.” She paused for a moment, patting Elizabeth’s arm with her hand. “And how did you meet our Vadas?”

Her question should not have startled Elizabeth, but it did. Perhaps Alexandra felt her nervousness, for she tightened her hand on Elizabeth’s arm.

“I met Vadas in a restaurant, while dining with an elderly aunt.” She felt she could reveal at least that much.

“And how long have you known him?” Her voice was liquid silk pouring into Elizabeth’s ears.

“Only three days.” Again, it was the truth.

Alexandra was clearly surprised by this. “Ah, so you know little about our Vadas,” she stated.

“Yes, or no, I know little about Vadas, except he is kind.”

At that moment, Vadas found them in the garden. Elizabeth turned with a smile, relieved he interrupted Alexandra’s line of questioning. He was carrying two glasses of wine and kissed Alexandra de Laszlo on both cheeks, presenting them each with a glass.

“Ah, Vadas! So good to see you, my darling,” said Alexandra. “I flew from Paris three days ago and had hoped to have you here for dinner. And now you come with this lovely woman as your guest! Well, we are twice enriched, we will have you both.”

Vadas cocked his head on one side, like an owl, and narrowed his eyes. “Ah, Alexandra. You don’t change a bit. Still the same woman.” He smiled at her ruefully and turned to Elizabeth. “Elizabeth, I have to talk with someone about business. I won’t be long. Alexandra, would you take Elizabeth under your wing while I am gone?”

Alexandra smiled, staring Vadas in the eyes. “Of course, Vadas, my darling. It will be like old times.”

Vadas moved towards Elizabeth and left a kiss on her forehead, a rather strange, fatherly gesture to her mind.

“Alexandra, play nice.” He turned and walked back to the house.

They continued to stroll, Alexandra chatting on about Paris, where she lived most of the year. The name “de Laszlo” was a bit familiar to Elizabeth, but she couldn’t remember why.

“Ah! So you are an artist!”

Elizabeth revealed she was a landscape painter but the recent shift of house after her divorce was giving her a welcome vacation from galleries and other attempts to sell paintings. After her last divorce, she was finding life not so easy.

“Fulup de Laszlo was our grandfather,” said Alexandra. “You might have heard of him? The last of the court painters you know. There was recently a revival of his work, but unfortunately that was mostly in London. It hasn’t spread to your shores. Janos has a number of our grandfather’s paintings. Perhaps you would like to see them later this evening?”

“Of course! That would be wonderful”.

They continued the round of the garden, with Alexandra pointing out the different kinds of early roses, most of them old-fashioned species. They were trellised, the kinds of roses that did not bloom more than twice a year, if that.

“You must be a very interesting woman to keep the attention of our Vadas. He is not known for his, ah, constancy. He goes more to the men for his intellectual pursuits.”

So, Alexandra was challenging her? It was good that she did not know the full extent of their short relationship.

“Vadas seems to love music.” she said, sounding a bit defensive. “And history, or at least European history. And wine, too.” She wondered if it was obvious to Alexandra that they had been intimate.

They sat down on a stone bench towards the back of the garden. From here they had a view of the fountain and the steps leading up to the rear elevation of the house. It was a beautiful evening, warm and still. The sounds from the house did not carry on the air. It was as if there was no one around. The lyrics of Richard Strauss’s “At Gloaming” crossed her mind. She started to laugh, reflecting her general lightness of mood and the wine she was drinking.

“What inspires that laughter, my sweet child?” Alexandra’s voice was soft. Elizabeth didn’t mind the “sweet child”. She was full of peace, feeling safe. Vadas was somewhere nearby, and Alexandra’s company was pleasant enough. She recited the lyrics of the Strauss song:

 

 

Through want and joy we have

walked hand in hand;

we are both resting from our travels

now, in the quiet countryside.

 

 

Elizabeth thought it presumptuous to say: “Wir sind durch Not und Freude”, her German being slight. Perhaps Alexandra did not speak the language.

“Ah, a nice translation, but the drama does not carry from the German, n’est-ce pas?

Alexandra did indeed speak German, and more importantly, she knew the lyrics of the Strauss song. Elizabeth looked at her with interest.

“Perhaps you believe the words apply to you and Vadas?” She smiled, but there was something Elizabeth could not read in her expression. “You know very little about our Vadas, do you not? Would you like to know more?”

She knew that she should not be curious, but the temptation was just too strong.

Alexandra looked before her, seemingly concentrating her thoughts.

“Vadas lives mostly in Budapest, but he has his parent’s manor house near Eger. That is in the northeast part of Hungary. They had a very famous vineyard before 1956. Now, with both parents dead, Vadas, as the eldest son, inherited everything. One of the famous ‘Essence’ wines comes from his vineyard. There are others, but the fertility of his soil grows the best grape.” Alexandra drew in a deep breath and sighed. “Vadas does not tend to his vineyard much, not since the death of his wife, only a little for the last few years.”

His wife! She realized she knew nothing about Vadas.

“It is not talked about, but perhaps explains Vadas’ behavior now. His wife was young, beautiful. Her name was Marta. He was frantically in love with her. She conceived, gave birth, and died, along with the baby.”

Elizabeth gasped. Ah, Vadas. What a sadness to live through.

“It was, in the end, a great mercy.” She heard Alexandra’s voice muted against the whirl in her head. “The baby was a monster.”

The word “monster” was the only word she remembered. “Oh my God.” Nothing could soften that shock.

“So perhaps we forgive Vadas for what he does with life. Men are very fragile creatures, Elizabeth.”

“What I know of them, they would appear to be.”

A moment of silence, and Alexandra spoke up, her voice now different. “Would you like to see some of the paintings?”

“I’d love it. But I have taken you away from the party long enough.”

“No. Besides, I promised to take you under my wing. Vadas would want it.”

They walked to the house and through the central hall. Alexandra led them up the main staircase to another long hall.

“I believe there is one in this room.” Alexandra opened the door and ushered Elizabeth before her. The room was darkened, the draperies pulled. It was a bedroom, for the first thing she saw when her eyes adjusted was a four-poster bed. The room was large, and a woman, gagged and bound, was suspended by ropes from the ceiling in a corner. An unknown man was standing beside her, talking softly. A riding crop was in his hands. Elizabeth stood transfixed, knowing somewhere in her mind she should leave. Nearby, backlit by a window, was Vadas, his suit jacket removed, sitting in profile. He too held a black riding crop. She gasped, throwing her hands over her mouth. Vadas turned his head and stood up fast.

“Elizabeth! You should not be here.” She backed away from him, into the hall, and saw a look of triumph cross Alexandra’s face. Vadas muttered “bitch” in Hungarian as he passed her.

Elizabeth continued to back up, avoiding him. She struck at his hands as she turned to run down the hallway. Vadas grabbed at her arm, swinging her around.

“Elizabeth, stop being a child!” She started to yell, to tell Vadas to leave her alone, when he slapped Elizabeth across the jaw, making her head jerk back and she fell to the floor.

She woke up in a bedroom, struggled to sit up, and saw Vadas sitting across the room, watching her.

“Elizabeth.” He looked grim.

Gingerly, she felt her jaw. Apparently, she had a glass one, for he didn’t hit her that hard.

“What? Am I now to expect your apology?” Her voice was bitter; she refused to look at him.

“That, and an explanation.” Vadas had some nerve. “For years, Elizabeth, I have been involved in a different life. I am a trainer of men and women. I am a Dom. Do you know what that is?”

Vaguely, but she had little kink in her life. And now the first man that looked good was a “Dom.” Great luck she had with men. She shook her head. Let him talk, there was no excuse for him hitting her.

“What you saw, Elizabeth, what Alexandra made you see, was a man and his wife engaged in some bondage and discipline.”

“You are telling me the woman actually wanted to be whipped until she was half-dead? Do you think I am crazy enough to believe you, Vadas?” She turned to face him, wanting him to see her scorn.

“Elizabeth,” said Vadas, moving to the bed and taking her face in his hand. He carefully felt her lower jaw. She scowled at him and pulled her face away. “Elizabeth, she was not unconscious. She was in an altered space. You know this deep meditation, right? She was in ‘sub-space’. Pain is a path to it.”

She thought of what he was saying. “Altered space”. You meditated for that. Drug-free trip.

“Sub-space? Explain that.” She shouldn’t show him any interest at all, but inspired by her sore chin, she deserved some answers.

“Sub-space. Ah, Elizabeth, there are many ways to get there. Applied pain is only one way but seems popular.”

“So, Vadas.” She tried to sneer at him. “You apply the pain?”

“Elizabeth, don’t act stupid. Of course I apply the pain. I train men and women. They have to be taught, to be educated. How else can I show a man how to whip his woman without demonstrating?”

“Whip his woman.” That was interesting, but of course, she was talking to a Dom! It all makes sense now. But it didn’t.

“You train women too? As in dominatrix?”

Vadas chuckled. “Yes, Elizabeth, both sexes. Women can be brutal Dommes, you know.”

Ha! He dares talk about “brutal”? “Vadas, when were you planning to tell me?”

Vadas gave a slight shake of his head. “Soon, Elizabeth, soon. Perhaps I was having fun with you. It wasn’t business, it was friendship.”

“Do you fuck all your friends?”

“Elizabeth, such a word in such a beautiful mouth.” Vadas held her face a little too firmly and looked at her closely.

Vadas, she thought, you are either a con man or a very dangerous man. But sometimes you amaze me. Elizabeth was intrigued with Vadas and his secret world. She ran like a river when he spanked her the other night, though she hated him for making her so.

“What else do you do, Vadas? Are you a white slaver?”

Vadas laughed and sat on the bed. “Elizabeth, I train slaves, I don’t export them.”

“This just gets worse and worse, Vadas.”

“Elizabeth, slave training just means instructing a submissive in what a dominant wants, his preferences. I condition the submissive behavior.”

“What, Vadas? With whips and chains?”

“Sometimes. It depends generally what both want.”

“You are telling me a woman wants to be whipped until she is unconscious?”

“Elizabeth, it is called sub-space, and she wants to enter that condition. Nothing is done the submissive doesn’t ultimately want.”

She felt her jaw. “Vadas, why did you hit me so hard?” It was tender now and probably bruised by tomorrow.

“I didn’t hit you hard, Elizabeth. I tapped your chin. There are guests here who don’t know this life. Janos has many friends and associates present. You were on the point of hysteria. I had to get you under control.”

“Vadas, what part does Alexandra play? I saw the diamond collar around her throat.”

“Ah, Alexandra! She likes to play the part of a woman scorned, Elizabeth. She is vengeful.” Vadas shrugged his shoulders.

Elizabeth could only guess what part Vadas played to Alexandra but thought better of asking. She was still trying to take in the scene of the limp woman, tied to the ceiling and what Vadas was saying.

“Vadas, shouldn’t we be downstairs? Janos might wonder what has happened to us.”

“Don’t worry about Janos, Elizabeth. He would be more worried if I brought a beautiful woman to one of his parties and stayed around drinking.”

“Vadas, why did you invite me? Why did you want me to come here?”

Taking up her hand, he kissed it. “Only for your company, Elizabeth. Only for that.”

He gathered her in his arms, and she heard his voice above, muffled in her hair.

“Remember Elizabeth, the first day we met, I told you I make the decisions? Are you now too afraid to agree?”

“No, Vadas. Just never hit me again. Agreed?”

“Elizabeth, I promise the only pain you will feel from me you will beg for.”

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

 

 

 

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