Posts Tagged ‘bdsm’

“A Kapitany”, a novel. Chapter 27

June 6, 2017

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WARNING:  SEX SCENE AND OTHER STUFF  YOU DON’T WANT THE KITTIES TO READ.

 

Eight years ago I started to research and write this novel.  It was an encounter between an American woman and a Hungarian man that blossomed more than expected by this writer.   She was innocent of all knowledge about this setting, and he was a Dom.  Not any way innocent of the BDSM scene, world.  In a year and a half I learned more about this ‘scene’ than I wanted to.  Now I can laugh at the presumptuousness of  men who claim to be Doms….the women are more able to evoke sympathy from me. Sometimes. It is hard to watch a women subject herself to  form of slavery.

In any case, I set this story in Hungary and Paris.  Vadas Dohendy is in his early 60’s, tired of life, and an art thief.  He doesn’t break into museums at his stage of life, but it’s basically a well oiled insurance fraud scheme.  Elizabeth is in her 50’s and bound up unexpectedly in the snares and personality of Vadas. In Vadas’ attempt to leave the field of art thievery, Elizabeth is abducted by his arch enemy, Miklos.  A man he has worked with for over 30 years.  Elizabeth is recovering but the ‘insult’ to Elizabeth (almost killing her) is seen as beyond the pale by Vadas.  Hence, warfare breaks out in Eger, Paris and other places in Hungary.

This was a lot of fun to write….and I finally finished it 2 years ago. But I haven’t done a proper editing and will have to  soon.

Soffia is a character from Vadas’ past.  A Domme, but has become friends with Elizabeth.

Lady Nyo

 

A Kapitany, Chapter 27

 

“Soffia, I need a favor, darling. Yes, I know, your Vadas only calls when he needs a favor. Soffia, listen to me. I must come to Budapest.”

Vadas grimaced and pulled at his cigarette. Soffia could be a hard ass and right now she was being just that. He shifted the phone on his shoulder and stretched his legs.

“I have several things to do in Budapest. What I need is you to come here and stay with Elizabeth. No, she is much better, she is walking around. Yes, she is better, but I don’t want to leave her alone right now. I still don’t know where Miklos is, and I don’t want him showing up here when I am gone. No, I have men posted to watch, but I don’t want to alarm her.”
Vadas held the phone from his ear. Soffia was full of grievances this morning. He wasn’t in a mood to listen.

“No, darling, I haven’t told her yet you are coming. I thought I should ask first. Yes, I know, Soffia, I take great advantage of you. I will make it up. What? You pick. You know your Vadas will buy what you desire. I always have, darling.”
Vadas blew smoke towards the ceiling. “Listen, Soffia, Elizabeth has agreed to marry. Yes, I am speaking the truth. No, I didn’t burn her passport. No, I didn’t break her arm, funny lady.”

He rolled his eyes. Soffia was chattering on. “Look, you can help with planning the wedding. What? Yes, it will be a wedding. A big wedding. You will be maid of honor or whatever they call the woman next to the bride. Where? Some church in Eger. You take her around and show things. You can buy the dress, and another one for you. Yes, like last time. I trust you, Soffia. She will be a pretty bride. You both will be pretty brides. What? I’ll marry you off to one of my men, ok? You will like living in the countryside. No, I am teasing, Soffia. I know you are too sophisticated for these men around here.”

A few more minutes and Vadas got what he wanted. Soffia was coming out by car and would stay with Elizabeth for a few days. This would give him the time to go to Paris, see his lawyers and visit the old aunties. They were his only living relatives. It was crucial he at least visit and invite them in person. They held some important purse strings.

At lunch Vadas asked Elizabeth what should be done with the frescos.

“For now? Nothing, Vadas. First secure the roof. Anything done before that would be pointless. Then fix the plaster in the ceilings. It’s rather scary lying under that ceiling in the bed. It could all give in at any moment. But the frescos should not be touched. They are too valuable and historic for any hands besides professional conservators. And that would cost a lot of money.”

Elizabeth pushed around her salad. She still wasn’t eating much.

“Probably the damp in the house doesn’t help. Fix the windows in the rooms where there are frescos. Where there aren’t, board them up properly. They will be costly to fix anyway. Those sashes have to be custom made.”

Vadas smiled over his coffee. “You have been thinking, no? You speak good sense, Elizabeth. Now, I have a plan. You do that stuff on the internet, you know, press those buttons, and find the people who can fix the roof first. You can go into Eger and ask. I would start there first.”

Elizabeth looked doubtful. “Vadas, do you remember I don’t speak Hungarian? They would laugh at me first, and then throw me out.”

“Well, I have a solution. I have asked Soffia to come up for a couple of days. Now, listen to me, Elizabeth. I have to go to Budapest for a couple of days, on business only and no you can’t come. I will be racing all over and you will not be able to keep up. Plus, I have to call upon my old aunties and invite them to the wedding. You and Soffia can plan the wedding, you two girls. This is woman stuff, and it best left in your capable hands. Four capable hands.”

Elizabeth still looked doubtful. In fact, she looked upset. Vadas guessed what was worrying her.

“Listen, Elizabeth. Soffia has promised to be good. She has promised not to get you under her or whatever she does. Ok? No hanky panky from her. Plus, she is Hungarian and can help arrange the workmen. It will be fun. You won’t even miss me and I will be back before you do.”

Elizabeth said nothing. She continued to push her food around the plate.
Vadas sat back and watched. “Do you remember, Elizabeth, when I told you I would feed you? That you would eat from my hand only? Do I have to do that now? You are going to look like a scarecrow at your wedding. What man wants to sleep with a woman who is skin and bones? The winter, Elizabeth, is hard in these hills.”

Vadas had no trouble with his own appetite. He cut up his meat and held out his fork. “You come here, Elizabeth. You eat this. Then you eat another mouthful.”
Elizabeth looked at him, her eyes filling with tears. “Vadas, I’m scared.”

“What? You are scared of meat?”

“You know, you must know. What if Miklos comes back when you are gone? What if he comes here? Soffia is no defense against him. You know that.”

Vadas sat back and patted his knee. “You come here Elizabeth and I will explain something.”

Elizabeth knew his behavior made her look like a child, a ‘good girl’ in his terms. But she was scared and the news he was going away put her on edge.
She sat on his lap and Vadas wrapped his arms around her. He had this habit of humming off key when she was close by, and Elizabeth found it strangely comforting.

“Now look, Elizabeth. You and Soffia will be safe. I have men here you won’t see. But anyone who approaches by foot or car will be known. These men are hunters and they know this particular prey. And you are wrong about Soffia. I would rather go up against two men than Soffia. She is a good shot, too. I will give her a gun. Hell, you can have a gun, too. Ok? Dry your tears and eat this good food.”

“Vadas, I can handle a gun. I have before.”

“What? You know how to shoot? I will sleep with one eye open from now on. Eat another piece of meat.”

Just to see if she was telling the truth, Vadas took her out behind the lodge where there was a meadow. He set up some bottles as targets and loaded a large pistol. Standing behind her with his hands around hers, he told her to gently squeeze the trigger. She missed.

“Ok, we do this again. You hold the gun steady, Elizabeth. You are jerking the gun.”

“Vadas. Let me do this without your hands all over. Let me try, please.”

Vadas backed off and Elizabeth considered the target. She closed one eye and aimed carefully. The bottle exploded.

“Good girl! That was beginner’s luck. You try again.” Elizabeth hit the bottle but the gun was heavy. It wasn’t a light pistol, but a heavy European model. The sound scared her.

“Enough, Vadas. My wrist hurts. I have shot a gun before. I don’t use pistols, so this was hard. I have my own shotgun.”

“What? You have a shotgun? What, a lady’s gun? Maybe a small gauge? Something for mice?”

Elizabeth laughed. “No, Vadas, I have a 12 gauge for bird hunting. I have another, a breech loader, I use with skeet.”

“Oh, skeet don’t taste good, Elizabeth.  Each day I learn something new about you. This is good, Elizabeth. By the time we are married I will know all your secrets.”

Elizabeth smiled. “Don’t bet on it, Vadas. I have lived a long life. I have many secrets.”

Vadas took the gun and put it in one of the larger vest pockets. He put his arm around Elizabeth’s shoulder and they went back to the lodge.

That evening Elizabeth asked him. “So when are you leaving and when is Soffia coming?”

Vadas looked up from his paper. “Are you pushing me out the door? Well, Soffia is coming tomorrow and I thought I would hang around until she got here. Then I can read her the riot act again.” Vadas went back to his paper.
When Soffia arrived, Vadas brought her into his study and closed the door. They were in there for a while and Elizabeth decided to take a walk. She would see if she could spy these men lingering about. Vadas said they would be invisible, but she wanted to see for herself. When she came back in the lodge, Vadas and Soffia were by the fire drinking whisky.

“Ah, Elizabeth darling! You look good! So much better than those first few days in hospital.”

“Hello, Soffia.” Elizabeth went and kissed her on both cheeks. “It’s good to see you again.” She sat down on a small sofa. Vadas held out his whisky to her and she shook her head.

“Vadas has given me a list of things we can do and things we can’t do,” Soffia said brightly. “But we can spend his money and that is the best thing.”
Vadas sighed. “Always you women spend my money. That is constant.”

He took a deep pull on his drink. “Now Elizabeth, I have explained to Soffia something. You two go up to the house, but always take one of my men. Better to take two. One inside and one outside watching. Soffia knows who, so she leads. You go into Eger, Soffia will drive, and you will be safe there. But I have given specific orders to Soffia and you are to obey, ok?”

Elizabeth looked at Soffia. She was met by a big grin. It was clear to Elizabeth Soffia had her own plans.

Vadas must have caught something. He clucked his tongue at her. “You remember Rule Number One, Soffia. You don’t forget it.”

That night Soffia slept in Elizabeth’s bedroom. Vadas was up working on some papers and came upstairs late. Elizabeth had gone to bed and was just falling off to sleep. She tried to stay awake until he came up, but the day’s activities and Soffia coming had worn her out. Vadas undressed by a small lamp and came in bed.

“Elizabeth, I know you are awake. I can tell by your breathing. Now listen. Soffia has her orders. She will be good company for you. I will be gone three, maybe five days, but I will be back before you know it.”

“Ok, Vadas”, she said with a yawn. “Soffia has her orders, I hear you.” Sitting up, she asked. “Vadas, listen to me. You made a promise about Miklos. Are you going after him and this is why you are leaving now?”

“Elizabeth. You don’t worry about what I am doing. I’m seeing lawyers, old aunties and wine clients. You will learn I have business that doesn’t concern you. Now, you be a good girl and behave with Soffia. At least tell me you will behave.” Vadas switched out the little lamp.

Sliding down the bed he pulled Elizabeth towards him. He began kissing her neck and worked his way down to her breast.

“You are warm and soft. You eat more and the bed will be warmer this winter.” He had an erection and pulled one of her legs over his hip.

 

“Now, Elizabeth, we go slow. Just a little and you tell me if I hurt you.”     Elizabeth shifted in his arms. After a few minutes, she was ready enough.
Vadas didn’t lose any time. He gently pushed into her. Not meeting objections, he began to make love with his old vigor. He rolled over on her and sat back, pulling her hips up onto his thighs. Elizabeth moaned and watched him illuminated only from the feeble moonlight that came from the windows. Here was her old Vadas, as strong as a horse.

“Ah, fuck me, Elizabeth.”

It didn’t take long for either of them,  with Vadas rocking into her and Elizabeth lifting her hips to meet him. Panting, Vadas lay over her, drained of energy. Elizabeth smiled. Miklos hadn’t won. She had healed and picked up the important pieces of her life. Vadas tonight proved that. His cock was one of those important pieces. Oh, how she had missed it!

“Elizabeth”, Vadas said quietly. “How come you never ask me for anything? You know I will give it.”

Elizabeth was half asleep, wrapped in his arms under a blanket. The heat from his body almost made it unnecessary. She wondered what she should say.
“I don’t need anything, Vadas. You are generous enough to me. What do I have to want?”

“Soffia always gets something when she asks. You know I have a soft spot for women. I can’t say no. You want a car? I will buy you a nice Mercedes. I will give you a driver so you won’t get lost.

“Vadas, go to sleep. I want nothing. Perhaps when we marry we can bring my Aunt Irene over for the wedding?”

“Of course, that would be nice. But you know you can ask me for anything, Elizabeth. A husband takes care of his wife.”

“I’m not your wife yet, Vadas. I will be expensive enough when we are wed. Think of the cost of all those sheep and a trained sheep dog. You will howl at the price.”

Vadas laughed, a deep rumbling sound in the night. “I am thinking of roast lamb right now, with a good bottle of wine.”

“Vadas, go to sleep. You are always thinking of your stomach.”

Vadas fell asleep, snoring loudly. Elizabeth fell asleep but not before she thought of what he said. She really didn’t have anything to want for, except for her safety from Miklos. She already knew Vadas would not listen to her. She knew he would continue to go after him. She knew as long as she stuck close to his side, she would be safe. If he could do this, Vadas could do anything. She wanted for nothing, really. Vadas always pays.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008-2017

 

 

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 20

October 9, 2015
from website: halfhearted dude...and thank you.

from website: halfhearted dude…and thank you.

About 8 years ago, I started writing a novel.  I had a vague idea about the story, but a stronger idea about the characters.  It started out as a novel about BDSM, but I knew nothing about the subject.  However, I did know a real sadist: a ‘sexual’ sadist as he claimed, and not ‘your usual garden variety sadist.” (His words).

I had joined an online writer’s group.  You find all sorts of people in these things.  Some normal and some very strange.  Some good writers and some hacks.  You learn a lot about other worlds out there and if you are lucky, you learn something about writing.

Corresponding with some of these writers gave me the opportunity to observe human nature or perhaps the sadder side of human nature.  It did give me a few characters for the novel, and perhaps those two years were worth it, if only for that.  As one good friend said: “Can you afford the therapy you will need just knowing these folk?”   He was right: they do leave nightmares.

Chapter 20 of “A Kapitany” (which I used to think meant  “Master”  in Hungarian, but I have been informed means “Captain”…..still works) sets a scene between the two antagonists:  Vadas Dohendy and Milkos Fargas  (Vadas in Hungarian loosely means “Hunter”,  and Fargas means “Wolf”) have been partners in art crime for a least 30 years in Europe.

 Vadas has met a woman (Elizabeth) and wants out:  He is tired of the life, and wants to settle down with Elizabeth and his vineyard in Eger, Hungary.  They are both ‘Doms’, but Milkos is even more of a control freak. A dangerous man, indeed.

He is out to hit Vadas where it will hurt most.

Writing  chapters of sex and violence was a challenge.  The extreme nature of both themes was unknown territory.  However, the book is now completed, and except for the usual rewriting of chapters, will be published next year.

Lady Nyo

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 20

It was well after one in the morning when they met in Miklos’ study. Vadas always liked this room, with its dark wood paneling, book cabinets, and the long windows that gave an almost panoramic view of the countryside. They were on the second floor of the house, in a corner room, with Miklos sitting behind an antique desk. He had placed a bottle of whisky before them. Both were into their second drink.

“This little woman, this Elizabeth. She is a bit different from what you usually have on your arm, no?”

Vadas swallowed his drink before answering. “She is, Miklos. She is different. She is deeper than the usual fare.”

Miklos laughed. “Ah, my friend, if you are looking for this ‘deep’ you must be feeling the creep of age in your bones.”

“I am, Miklos. It’s been coming on for years. My life has caught up with me.”

Miklos finished his drink and poured another for both of them.

“So”, Miklos said quietly. “You are feeling old. We all get to feel old if we are lucky. To be lucky is not to die young.”

Vadas raised his glass to Miklos.

Miklos drummed his fingers on the surface before him. “You were good with the women, Vadas. They flocked to you like pigeons in the park. You had more than your share if I remember right.”

Vadas smiled and sipped his drink. Miklos always drank heavily and could hold his liquor. Vadas drank sparingly with Miklos because he knew his game. Tonight he needed his wits about him.

“I see this Elizabeth is wearing Marta’s bracelet. No other woman in my memory has been seen with it. So, tell me, Vadas, what is so special with this girl?”

“Nothing much. She’s a woman innocent of our ways. She has no experience in these things. That has a certain charm.”

“But to give her that bracelet, Vadas? This means more than she has charmed you with her innocence. I hear she wasn’t the best of submissives, so you think making her your wife will improve her behavior?”

“What you have heard is probably from those two jackals who keep circling about. They know little, and Alexandra knows nothing.”

Miklos laughed. “They are rather like jackals, my friend. They move in for the kill before it is decent. They themselves were bad slaves as I remember.”

Vadas gave a wry smile. “Considering you trained Alexandra and I Soffia, I think the failing was on our side.”

“Well,” said Miklos with a shrug, “both of them have served a purpose, wouldn’t you agree?”

Vadas laughed. “Everyone in our lives, Miklos, has served a purpose.”

“But what about this Elizabeth? Why would she of all women interest you?”

Vadas pondered his answer. “I don’t know, Miklos. She was just the usual girl at first. I had my way with her, but something else developed. I won’t say love, but then again, what is love to us? Over time she was willing to trust me. She trusted my decisions for her, even to take her from her home. Not to say she wasn’t a brat at times, but she was pliable.”

Vadas sipped his drink. He had not said much but knew Miklos could read between the lines.

Miklos looked through half closed eyes at Vadas.

“So you are saying you were training her for yourself, and not someone else? “

“Yes. It was an indulgence and also an experiment. She charmed me how she saw the world. She wasn’t jaded. Our society, our friends, Miklos, they are too corrupted, too deep in the mire. Elizabeth was, well, just innocent of our lives. She probably never will understand what we are. Or what I have done with women. Or why.”

“You think you can recapture your life through the innocence of this woman?”

“It’s more about changing my life, Miklos, and this is why we are talking tonight.”

“What is it you want from me?”

“I want out, Miklos. I don’t want to work for you anymore. I don’t want to fence art and I don’t want the continued risk to life. I want to retire to my vineyard and I want to grow old in the hills above Eger.”

“And this Elizabeth has agreed to be with you?”

“Elizabeth has not agreed to anything, Miklos.” Vadas put his glass down on the desk and scowled.

“Hah! That is a strange place for a man like you to be. Perhaps you can persuade her with a little pressure applied at the right places?”

Vadas laughed. “That ‘little pressure’ you are talking of would send her scurrying back to the States.”

“So, it seems you have lost your interest in dominating her? You are expecting a different kind of relationship and life with her?”

“I don’t know what the future holds, Miklos, but I do know that I am tired, bone weary of life as it is.”

Vadas finished his drink. “What do you want Miklos? What do you want from me for my part in the business?”

“What do I want? Ah, Vadas my old friend. Why would you think I would want anything? You have grown rich from our partnership and so have many others. I am stunned you would want to leave what we have built up so carefully. Do you really think you can walk away from all this and be happy and contented among your vines?”

“We have both grown rich, Miklos, and so many others, as you say. We have kept ourselves in very good fashion, but for me it’s over. I am too old for this. Let Alexandra or Soffia take up my place in the business. They will be good at it. Perhaps it is a time for a change here, no?”

Miklos leaned back in his leather chair. “You are not going to walk away so fast, my dear Vadas. You might be having a mid-life crisis. Have you considered this?”

“Miklos, bottom line. What do you want for my leaving? If I can, I will give it to you.”

“What do I want? One, I am deeply hurt you would want to leave our partnership. Two, if you are serious, I want an exchange for losing you. I don’t want money, I want property. You decide on what property.”

“Let me think on this, Miklos. This whisky is clouding my brain. I will give you an answer as to what I feel fair in a few days. Let me think on this. And I am serious, Miklos. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m not.”

Vadas left Miklos in his study and went back to what remained of the party. Some of the guests had departed, and some had disappeared into the guest rooms above the main floor. He spotted Soffia and walked up to her. She was yawning and looked tired.

“So, you were with Miklos a long time, Vadas. I hope your conversation was cordial. You know how both of you are together. Two wolves with very bad dispositions.” Soffia laughed. “I can smell you were drinking.”

“You don’t sit down with Miklos without a drink to steady your hand.”

“Well, did you get what you wanted out of him, Vadas? You know how hard he is to best.”

“What we discussed is between two men, Soffia. You are a Domme, but you still are a woman.”

“Oh! Am I to take that as an insult, Vadas? You men are so full of yourselves. Perhaps a woman knows more about women than men ever will know?”

Vadas pulled Soffia to him and kissed her on the forehead. “You know, Soffia, I respect you and admire you. In fact, I pushed for you to replace me.”

“Replace you? What do you mean?”

“I want out, Soffia. I want another life, a quiet life, one with Elizabeth and my grapes. I am too old and tired to continue to do what Miklos demands. I want to be my own man, with no attachments to my old life. Can you understand this?”

“How did Miklos take this news?”

“I don’t know, Soffia. I will find out in a few days when we talk again.”

“What if Elizabeth refuses to marry you, Vadas? All this will be for naught.”

“If she refuses to marry me, I will be very persuasive. You know I can be, Soffia. And even if I can’t get her to marry me, I will still do this.”

Soffia thought a moment. “I have no doubt about your persuasiveness, Vadas. I remember some of that in the past.”

Vadas left around 4am, tired and sick of the company. There were a few still drinking and loudly laughing, among them Miklos. They kept apart, each knowing the other could be moved to violence if tested. Or just given the chance.

Vadas called up one of his men and was met by a car as he walked down the gravel driveway. He could fall asleep he was so tired but too much was on his brain. He would have to consider his losses with Miklos. He knew they would be heavy. It was just one trade off for another. At least he would be starting something different. The allure of that was headier than the whisky he had drunk this night. It was time he was his own man. Miklos be damned.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 35

October 5, 2014

Budapest Balcony with flowers

I started this novel seven years ago.  I dropped it, mainly because it started out with a bdsm theme and it fast queered me out.  I left it for 6 years, just dangling in my documents, but last year finished it.  The trick of this was the change in emphasis of theme.  Gone was the bdsm stuff  and the characters were able to develop.  The woman, Elizabeth more fully fleshed out, and Vadas, the former Dom, became more human.  Actually, besides an ‘action’ story, full of things like art thieves, violence and revenge, it also  became a love story between two very convoluted characters. I was able to research some historical information about WWII and what happened in Hungary and the ‘containment’ camps for Jews and all others, and especially what happened with the Soviet occupation.  All this information went into the novel and I believe deepened the plot.

I had a lot of fun this summer rewriting this.  Mostly tense changes and some other changes. This is just one chapter of 40 and perhaps I will post others later.

Lady Nyo

—-

Vadas slept badly. Shortly after dawn when first light appeared, he left the bed and stood watching Elizabeth, still sleeping. He avoided her questions the evening before, but she was no fool. She pressed him why Marcus was sitting in the hall of the lodge, obviously armed. Why the gun cabinet he was so careful about locking was unlocked and wide open. Why Maria wanted her company in the kitchen even though they couldn’t understand each other, and also because Maria wasn’t that welcoming of Vadas’ new squeeze. And why he had disappeared without notice.

Vadas avoided her questions until he started yelling at her. She didn’t back down. God, how she had changed in the months when he could do as he pleased! Now? She met him word for word, even yelling and stamping her foot. She was pushing him. He raised his hand, thinking she would shut up. He wouldn’t have hit her, just wanted her to stop with the questions. She looked shocked and then laughed. “You fall back into Hungarian because your English is so bad. Actually, it’s cute.” That had cut him. Cute? He was the Dom and didn’t think what he did was cute. What in hell was she thinking? Ah, there was no fear in this woman. She was fast getting the upper hand.

Vadas went downstairs. Maria must have gotten up even earlier as the coffee on the sideboard under the boar’s head was fresh, waiting for him. She must have heard the ruckus upstairs last night.

A cigarette and some coffee would concentrate his thoughts. He needed to think. He needed to get in control of Miklos and Elizabeth. Miklos was the serious threat, but Elizabeth was getting too bold. Ah, God. Women. If she wasn’t so fragile now, he would beat her. Of course he wouldn’t, but she needed to fear him a little.

It was still raining, but lighter today. The gloom outside fit his mood this morning. He looked out the window at the mass of trees and to the landscape stretching down the valley. There was a lot of land out there. He needed to put Elizabeth out there with a spade. Perhaps a plow. A big garden would tire her out, made her more docile.

Janos must have come in the middle of the night to lay the fire. Maria would be making breakfast soon. Elizabeth? Let her sleep. She probably was disturbed by his tossing in bed all those hours. By bed time they weren’t speaking. Like an old married couple, he thought with a sigh.

Miklos. He was in control now. His appearance (if that information was reliable) in Eger was part of his strategy. Andor was right: Miklos was playing cat and mouse. Vadas didn’t like being the mouse.

All this over a mere woman. No, that wasn’t right. Elizabeth was just a pawn in Miklos’ game. Actually a pawn in a shared game. He had done the unthinkable. He had pulled down the foundation of Miklos’ empire. Well, if not that, he certainly had disrupted his business. Why didn’t Miklos pick someone to replace him? He knew why. Twenty years and Miklos was comfortable the way things were. It was a delicate operation. Each man was necessary to the success of what they had been doing, illegal as it was. They were well honed parts of a particular machine. A man just didn’t walk into the job: years of risk and valued contacts, years of trust, at least with the clients. No, his wanting out had come from left field. Miklos didn’t believe he would walk away. It was an affront to his power and control. Of all injuries and insults, this was the one thing Miklos could not stand.

Vadas thought of the woman upstairs. It was an old tale, a classical tale. Both men wanted her. For different reasons, but both used her against the other. Vadas had used Elizabeth to break with Miklos; Miklos had used Elizabeth to break Vadas. It was like Achilles and Agamemnon, with Briesis between them. A long war with much causality until one defeated the other.

None of this was fair to Elizabeth. But women were pawns in the conflict between men. It had been so since the beginning of time. Why should it be any different now?

He felt like a sitting duck. Miklos was moving the pieces around the board right now. Well, there was nothing to be done about it except go on the offensive. Perhaps getting Elizabeth out of here for a while would give him time to develop his own plan besides sit and wait for Miklos to show his ass.

He sipped his coffee and decided he would take her to Budapest. Let her be introduced to the old girls there. It was right and proper she be brought before them anyhow. They shouldn’t meet her at the reception for the first time. Plus, he could kill two birds with one stone; he could meet with his wine clients and perhaps take in a museum or two. He had promised this to her before, and he had broke his promise. She was anxious, nervous. God knows she had reason to be. They were getting on each other’s nerves. A change of scenery would do them both good.

He would ask Zoltan to go with them. He would talk this crap through with Zoltan and get a better perspective. Right now he wanted to stalk Miklos to the ends of the earth, shoot him down in the street. He knew he had to be smarter if he wanted a future.

Vadas looked at his watch. Too early to call Andor and Marcus, but he wanted to meet with them before leaving. Perhaps they could meet together at Zoltan’s and lay down a plan while he was gone. Just talking it over with them would be good. Right now he was too close to the fire to think straight.

He heard someone in the dining room and thought Maria was bringing in breakfast. It was Elizabeth. She poured herself coffee and came into the room, saying nothing to him, only nodding her head.

“Good morning, Elizabeth. You sleep as badly as I did?”

“Your moving around in the bed didn’t help.” Elizabeth sat down across from him and looked out the window.

“I’m sorry, but I have a way to make it up to you.”

“What? Separate bedrooms?”

Vadas laughed uneasily. “No, smarty pants. That will never happen, not while we’re married. The winters up here are too fierce for that. No, I was thinking we go to Budapest later today to visit the aunties and play tourist.”

Elizabeth looked over the rim of her cup. “Are you serious, Vadas? Look me in the eye and say that?”

Vadas laughed. “So, you are picking up the phrases? Good, you need to learn if you live in Hungary.”

He sipped his coffee.

“Yes, would you like that? A change of scenery will do us both good. I am going to ask Zoltan to come with us. He needs a vacation, too.”

“I would like to see Zoltan. I would also like to see Budapest, again. This time with you instead of seeing it alone.”

She put her cup on the hearth. “Vadas? I want to pick up art supplies while we are there. I need to get back to my painting. I think it will calm me.”

“Then we will do it, Elizabeth. And it is time you met the aunties. We will stay maybe for three days. I will have to visit some of my wine clients while we are there, but you will enjoy that. We will go play the tourist like I promised.”

“Thank you, Vadas.” Elizabeth gave him a wry smile. “I’m sorry we fought last night. I didn’t enjoy it at all.”

“Well, that was hardly a fight, Elizabeth. The big ones come later in marriage.”   Vadas smiled into his cup.

“Vadas? Don’t ever raise your hand to me again. I am not a dog to discipline. You do, and I will be on the next plane back to the states.”

There was no mistaking her. Her tone said it all. Vadas knew she would do just that.

“I’m sorry, Elizabeth. You were pushing me. A man doesn’t like to be pushed. And, my English is good, not ‘cute’.”

“And a woman deserves answers, especially when it concerns her life.” Elizabeth stared into the low fire.

She would have the last word this morning, thought Vadas. Let her be difficult. She would come to know he was the man and a man didn’t answer every whine.

“Vadas, can we see Soffia in Budapest? I sort of miss her.”

“Sure, Elizabeth. You can call and warn her. I’m sure she wants to see you, too. But don’t think the old aunties want to see her. They never approved of Soffia, not in all these years.” Vadas laughed.

“Why, because she is a lesbian?”

“No, because they wanted me to get married after Marta, and Soffia looked too fast for their idea of a wife.”

Vadas stretched, the tension of last night mostly resolved.

“Look, Elizabeth. I go see Zoltan. I won’t be long. I need to talk to him. You go pack and pack for me, too. It will give you good practice when we marry.” Vadas half closed his eyes and smiled at her. Now, he would have the last word.

While Elizabeth was upstairs he called Andor. They agreed to meet at Zoltan’s. Then he called Zoltan to let him know he was coming. Gulping down one last cup of coffee and chewing on some bacon, he left before Elizabeth could appear and ask more questions.

Vadas met Marcus and Andor on the road to Zoltan’s cottage. Again the same dog met them at the gate and again Zoltan’s cousin yelled at the cur. It ran to the back under the house. Zoltan was in his favorite chair, his shoes propped up on the fender of the woodstove. It was early, but he was drinking plum wine. The cousin brought in a tray with a bottle and glasses. She left it on the table with a large sausage and a knife. The men found places to sit and Vadas poured out the wine.

“Well, Zoltan. We got news Miklos was seen in Eger yesterday. Maybe true, maybe not. But I have men there watching. It’s a big town, and Miklos knows the hiding places. But so do the men. We will see what happens. You up for a trip to Budapest?”

Zoltan blew out smoke and nodded. “Sure, sure, I’m up for anything right now. I’m getting stir crazy sitting here. I got my pills. I can visit a woman I know. Fine, but I drive, Vadas. We will make it with our lives spared.”

The other men laughed. Vadas drove too fast, talked too much and drove with his knees, his arms flailing around with his talking. Only Zoltan was used to his ways, but now? He decided he had tempted fate enough and wasn’t a cat with nine lives. Being in Vadas’ company was dangerous enough. He would drive.

“What about Miklos’ men? Has anyone seen or heard of them lately?” Vadas lit another cigarette.

“Nah, only that Barna is still bitching about his finger. He can’t grip his cock with his hand missing a finger,” Marcus said.

The men laughed. “Barna better be grateful Vadas left him his cock to play with,” said Zoltan.

“What about this Ukrainian?”

“Nobody has seen him, Vadas, but he’s probably lying low. What happened to Barna sent a clear message to those dickheads.”

“To some of them. Some need to clean the wax out of their ears.”

There was nothing new so they decided to continue to wait and see. Sooner or later they would flush out Miklos and his merry men. It was a dangerous game all around, but they had little to go on. They could wait. Miklos would come to them, eventually. The point was not to fall into another trap. That would mean ‘game over.’

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 32, and a Haiku each day….

January 31, 2013

This is Natiional Haiku Month I am told: Write a haiku a day.

I will not shed tears
Let the tall murasaki
wet my silken sleeves.

Outside the window
there is a world of chaos
Inside, warm fire.

A swirl of blossoms
Caught in the water’s current
Begins the season.

The north wind blows hard
Chills both man and animal
Life is not certain.

Haiku (classical form) is done as 5-7-5. There are many who creatively write ‘outside the box’. I still count on my fingers, and squeeze the ‘haiku’ into the box.


Lady Nyo


A Kapitany, Chapter 32

Vadas knew where Zoltan lived, though he hadn’t been there in a long time. He passed through a small village behind Noszvaj, where the road cut through a dense forest. Zoltan had a small cottage, down from the village, off the road. Vadas could see smoke from a small chimney.

All of this region was poor, and had been since it was settled. The war didn’t help and they survived much as they had after the war, scratching out an existence from the earth. Many of the people hunted in the forest for deer and boar to feed their families. They planted cabbage and millet, the poorest of grains. There was the forest for fuel, the way people heated their houses. This region of the northeast Hungary was poorly served by natural gas and electricity. Unemployment was high.

Vadas stopped his Jeep in front of the small path that led to the cottage. A dog came off the porch, barking wildly. A woman, not young, came from inside and yelled at the dog. It went behind the house where it quieted down. She smiled at Vadas, showing missing teeth. She must be a relative of Zoltan’s, thought Vadas.

The woman stood aside and held the door for him. He entered a room where he saw Zoltan sitting, his feet propped on the woodstove. Zoltan was smoking. Vadas embraced him, kissing him on both cheeks.

“You look good, Zoltan. How do you feel?”

“Like I dodged a bullet”, said Zoltan with a wide smile, his eyes twinkling.

Vadas laughed. “Well, you didn’t dodge the bullet, but you live another day.”

Zoltan offered him a cigarette from his pack. Vadas hesitated. He had cut down smoking, and mostly didn’t when Elizabeth was around. Elizabeth wasn’t around.

Lighting up, he drew in the smoke. Ah, he missed this. It was good to be around others who did.

They sat in silence. The woman, a cousin of Zoltan’s, brought in a tray of glasses, wine and sausage. She poured a glass for each of them then went back into the kitchen.

“How is your woman?”

“She is recovering, Zoltan. She’s is a bit cracked in the head right now.”

Vadas twirled his fingers near his temple, like Soffia had that morning.

Zoltan looked at the woodstove and grunted. “To be expected. She went through hell with Miklos.”

Vadas took a long drag on his cigarette. He looked at the glowing end. It was good to smoke again.

“I still don’t know where that bastard is. He hasn’t surfaced. I got all sorts of men looking and nothing. It’s driving me crazy. It’s also driving the woman crazy. She’s jumpy and cries a lot. This morning she tried to beat me up. I’m sore now, and tomorrow? I’ll be bruised like a kicked dog.”

They both laughed, Zoltan staring at Vadas. “You got one bold woman, there, Vadas. Either she’s bold or you’re getting soft.”

“I’m getting soft in the head. Ah God. And I am marrying her. Yes, soft in the head. She’s softening me up for the kill.”

“You know she tried to save me, Vadas? She told me to stay where I was. She started to leap out of the back door. She was going to deal with them. Her dress and heels slowed her down.” Zoltan shook his head and laughed softly.

Vadas drew on his cigarette. “I didn’t know that. I’m not surprised. She’s smarter than she looks.”

“Well, women, Vadas, you know?” Zoltan shrugged his shoulders and picked up his wine.

“To life and death, Vadas. To the death of Miklos. In time.”

Vadas tipped his glass to Zoltan. He could drink to that.

“How are the grapes?” Zoltan had his own vines. Vadas could see them stretching down the hill behind Zoltan’s cottage.

“Good. We need more rain. Always more rain.”

“How’s your cabbage?”

“Small, Vadas, but the woman spread manure, and they are growing, but slow.”

Vadas finished his glass and put it on the tray.

“Look, Zullie. I came to talk to you about something important. Something I just found out.”

“I’m all ears. Look me in the eye and speak, Vadas.”

Vadas sighed and shook his head.

“When I was visiting the old aunties yesterday, they told me something. Seems my mother was yours. We are brothers, Zullie.”

Zoltan shifted his weight and smiled. “I knew, Vadas. I knew years ago. Not officially. I heard the whispering when I was a boy.”

Vadas leaned forward and snubbed out his cigarette on the tray. His voice was cracked with emotion.

“What in hell made you silent? No family to speak of, just these two old biddies, and here under my nose I had a brother? What the fuck, Zoltan? Why didn’t you say?”

“There didn’t seem to be reason, Vadas. Life was fine without knowing. Would it really make any difference?”

Vadas stood up, ran his hand through his hair and sat down.

“Difference? Hell, yes, it would have made a difference. I could have done more, I could have done something. Look, Zullie, you are my flesh and blood. Do you know what that means? I’ve not had that. I’ve been thinking I was alone in this world. You could have been part, an important part of my life.”

Zoltan laughed softly. “What would have changed? I’ve been a part of your life. When we have need, we know where to find each other. Look, Vadas, I’m not like you. I’m a peasant. I’m a simple man. I have no education and I am comfortable. I don’t have your responsibilities. What do I need? I have this cottage, these vines. I got plenty of wood for the stove. I even got a cellphone.” Zoltan laughed, his heavy eyebrows going up and down.

“No, Zullie. It’s not that simple. You are my flesh, my blood. I have that house and the lodge and money in the bank. Sure, without Miklos’ business, and the need of the vineyard, the money won’t last. But fuck, Zullie. I have something more than that with you. I got family right under my nose and I didn’t know.”

Zoltan smiled. “Vadas, has anything changed between us with this news? No. We are the same as before. You need me, you find me. I need you, I find you.”

“Look, Zullie. I don’t care what you say. I have to make this right. It’s something I do. I want you to have the lodge. I am going to deed it over to you, understand? You get the lodge and the land around it, ok?”

“Vadas, are you cracked in the head like Elizabeth? What the fuck would I do with that place? It’s too big. Besides, my vines are here. My cousin takes good care of me. I am set in my ways. What else do I need?”

Vadas sighed and passed his hand through his hair. “You may not need much now, but I am still going to deed the lodge over. No argument from you, Zullie. Whether you live there or not, it’s your inheritance.”

“You live there, Vadas, you live there with Elizabeth. That house is going to eat you up. Too expensive to fix up and what would you do with all those rooms? No, you stay in the lodge, and whatever the future brings, well, the future will be here soon enough.”

Vadas was out of words and argument with him for now. He changed the subject.

“How’s your wound? Are you in pain?”

“Nah, I’m fine, plus I got these pills. They take the edge off life, Vadas. You might need them after marriage.”

Vadas laughed. “I might need them now. That woman runs circles around me. You wouldn’t believe how strong she is. I don’t want to be on the getting side of her bad moods. I’m going to be black and blue tomorrow.”

They smoked a while in silence, Vadas filling their glasses.

“That woodstove? Heats pretty good? Maybe I put one in the lodge. That place is cold. Elizabeth is going to freeze her nipples off this winter. She isn’t used to the winters up here.”

“She will adjust, Vadas, but I think you need to keep her warm. That will sour a woman fast, being cold. We can take it better. And the whining when they are cold! Jesus Christ, they can whine.”

Vadas laughed. “Yeah, Elizabeth is going to have to make a lot of adjustments. This first year will tell. I expect her to buy and hide a ticket back to the states. This winter will say a lot about her devotion to me.”

They drank their wine and Vadas filled their glasses again.

“You know she wants to raise sheep? Not for meat, but for wool. What the hell?”

Zoltan laughed. “Be thankful she is doing just that. She could be sitting around spending your money on crap. A few sheep? Not bad for a new wife. Sounds good to me. You can always kill a lamb and blame it on a dog.”

“We will see, Zullie, we will see. Right now I worry about Miklos, where he will pop up. Elizabeth is so spooked she doesn’t want a wedding. She wants to get married in a civil service.”

“Not a bad plan, Vadas. Think of the money you will save.”

“Oh! I want you to be witness. You and Soffia.”

Zoltan laughed. “As long as I don’t have to be near that hellcat long. Even standing next to her gives me the creeps.”

Vadas laughed. “Lesbians. I don’t understand it. What can they do without a man?”

“I’m sure plenty. Perhaps they paint each others toenails?”

Vadas laughed. “I don’t want to think. But I have to about Miklos. I have to figure out where the fuck that bastard is hiding. I thought by now I would have a clue. I don’t and I have a number of men on the payroll. Nothing yet.”

“Ah, Vadas, you know Miklos. He’s a tricky bastard. But he will surface for air. Just be patient.”

“Yeah, and quiet Elizabeth. She’s afraid Miklos will come through the window like a wolf.”

“He might. I wouldn’t leave her alone again.”

“I got men watching but Miklos has men, too. It will be interesting to see what happens.”

“Just a thought, Vadas. Miklos might try to strike before the wedding. Or at it. You find him first before he finds you.”

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2013

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 31, again with a WARNING

January 25, 2013

from website: halfhearted dude...and thank you.

bit of the Dom getting beat up…nothing too graphic.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, Chapter 31

“Come into my arms, little mouse.”

Vadas left his aunts and Budapest at dawn. He wanted to surprise Elizabeth early in the morning before she began her day. He found her still asleep. Getting into bed, she turned to him, tousled hair covering her face. When he brushed it back with his hand, he saw she had been crying. Her face was streaked with tears.

“What is wrong, Elizabeth?”

“Oh, nothing, just a dream.” She sat up and blew her nose.

“A dream? That must have been some dream to make you cry in your sleep.”

“I don’t remember much. Zoltan was in it.”

Vadas spoke quietly. “Don’t worry, Zoltan is fine. We will see him soon. Zoltan is recovering well.”

Elizabeth snuggled up in his arms and in a matter of minutes had fallen back asleep. Vadas thought this a good time to seek out Soffia. He found her downstairs with her coffee before a low fire. Janos always had a fire in this room in the morning. Even in the summer the lodge was cold before ten o’clock.

“Morning, Vadas”. Soffia yawned and sipped her coffee.

Vadas drew a cup and sat down across from her. “How did it go while I was gone?”

Soffia smiled. “It went ok. We found a couple of contractors who will come out and give estimates on the roof. Other than that, we didn’t do much. We looked at a few churches in Eger, but Elizabeth seemed to balk at them. I think she is remembering things, Vadas. I think memories are messing with her head.” Soffia twirled her finger next to her temple.

Vadas didn’t say anything, but stared into the fire. It was good there was a fire going. It was drizzling outside, a grey and mournful start to the day.

“You know, Vadas, it was bound to happen. She was having a hard time sleeping. I found her crying a lot. She tries to hide it. It’s either Miklos or she is afraid with you gone. Probably both.”

“Well, I’ll deal with it. I didn’t want to leave her but I knew you would take care of things. Thank you, darling.”

“Vadas? I think until Miklos is out of the picture, Elizabeth won’t feel safe. And I think she won’t feel safe even if you marry her.”

“Did she say that, Soffia?”

“Not exactly. She was listless looking at the churches. She said she doesn’t want a big wedding full of strangers. I think she wants to get it done in a small, quiet way.”

“Perhaps that is best. Perhaps we marry with a few witnesses. Later we have a large reception. What do you think?”

“I think you are wise, Vadas. But talk it out with her. You will be able to open her up. She is closed right now like a clam.”

Vadas stared into the flames again. He was troubled Elizabeth was having doubts. She seemed fine when he left.

“Soffia, when I was visiting the aunties, I found out something. You will never believe this.”

“What, Vadas. I am all ears.”

Vadas said simply: “It appears Zoltan is my half brother.”

“What? Can you be serious? Zoltan?”

“I’m telling you this, Soffia, but keep it to yourself. Zoltan doesn’t know.”

“My God, Vadas. Is this true?”

“Well, the old aunties don’t have any reason to lie. He’s a few years older. Zoltan’s father was my mother’s lover. Zoltan was given to his family to raise. My mother didn’t have milk enough to nurse. My father came back from Recsk a broken man. The aunties said he died not knowing anything. That was a mercy.”

Soffia’s face registered her shock. “What life brings, no?”

“I am going to tell him, and also ask him to stand as witness at the wedding. And you, Soffia. You are my oldest friends. Elizabeth will be glad of having someone she knows with her in this stuff. Someone who is a woman.”

“I figured that, Vadas. I am honored.” Soffia was silent for a few moments as she sipped her coffee. “So this news about Zoltan. Does it change anything for you?”

“Hell, yes. It means he is to be considered in the inheritance. I will deed over this lodge to him. He doesn’t have much family and of course Janos and Maria will stay on.”

“That’s generous of you, Vadas.” Soffia tipped her cup to him.

“Zoltan almost lost his life. I would have had his blood on my hands. It’s the least I can do.” Vadas shook his head. The shock of seeing Zoltan in the car would not soon fade.

“Look, Soffia. Do you think Elizabeth is trying to back out of marriage? You are a woman and women know these things before men.”

“Vadas, I can’t know anything for sure. I believe she loves you. It’s what has happened with Miklos that has unscrewed her. She is remembering things now the shock is wearing off.” Soffia sighed. “It’s to be expected.”

“What do you think I should do?”

Soffia was surprised Vadas was asking her. He was always so much in control of everything. Now? The cracks were showing in his façade.

She smiled. “Do what you do best, Vadas. Dominant her. Show her you will protect her at all costs. Show how strong you are as a man. Perhaps take her away for a while.”

“I was going to take her to Paris after the wedding. She’s never seen it. We will get to know each other better.”

“Well, you do what you think best. But I warn you. She is really suffering right now. She cries and jumps at the littlest things. All she wanted to do is scurry back to the car and come back here. She was jittery on the streets of Eger. She didn’t enjoy the churches at all.”

Soffia left soon after and Elizabeth came downstairs.

“Has Soffia gone already? I wanted to say goodbye.”

“You’ll see her soon. It’s hard to get rid of Soffia. She always comes back.”

Elizabeth got herself a cup of coffee and started to sip it standing under the gaze of the boar’s head.

“No, Elizabeth. Not today. You are going to have a proper breakfast.”

“I don’t have an appetite, Vadas. I just want coffee.”

“Sit down, Elizabeth. You are going to eat something. You look like a scarecrow. You are scaring me, plus the crows.”

Vadas headed down the short hall towards the kitchen. He would ask Maria to bring a tray of eggs, sausage, anything to tempt Elizabeth. He came back and scowled at her. She avoided his eyes, and sipped her coffee. Maria came in with a tray and placed it before Elizabeth and left, Vadas calling after her.

“Thank you, Maria. Now eat something, Elizabeth. Don’t make me feed you.”

“Leave me alone, Vadas. You don’t always get your way. I’m not hungry.”

“Then you leave me no choice.” Vadas stood up and was coming around the end of the table when Elizabeth threw her cup at the boar’s head.

She yelled, “I told you. You don’t always get what you want!” Vadas paused, shocked by her violence, undecided what to do.

“You want to hit me, Elizabeth? Go ahead. Hit me all you want.” He grabbed her shoulders, and pulled her out of the chair. Elizabeth went pale. Then she exploded in a violent rage.

“You bastard! You think you can bend me to everything you want! I hate you! I hate you!”

She pounded on his chest as hard as she could. Vadas stood there. He didn’t smile or taunt her. He let her tire herself out. He didn’t put his arms around her, or try to stop her.

Elizabeth slipped to the floor, sobbing. She put her head down on his shoes and continued to sob. Vadas crouched down beside her.

“Are you finished? Is it out of your system?”

Elizabeth looked up at him, hair obscuring her face. Snot ran down her face and she had bit her lip. Hiccuping, she was trying to get her breath. She looked like a mad woman. Oh, what was he marrying!

“Vadas, I am so scared. Miklos will come back and kill us both” she sobbed, barely able to talk. She was trembling.

“No, Elizabeth. He knows the game. He is as scared of me and my men as you are of him. You understand? You have me, others to protect you. Miklos wouldn’t dare make a move. He knows I will kill him first. Remember, Miklos is only the wolf and I am the hunter.”

“Don’t leave me, Vadas. Don’t leave me. I will die if you do.”

Vadas stood her up and wiped her face with his handkerchief. She was still crying. He picked her up in his arms and carried her upstairs to the bedroom. Placing her on the bed, he lay down beside her. She was calming down and wouldn’t look at him, turning her distorted face away. She was trying not to sob, but every so often, a sob would break out and her chest would heave.

“Hush, Elizabeth, no one will hurt you again. No one will come through the doors or the windows. You are safe here, you are safe with me. Now you are in pain, but it will end. Your Vadas will protect you. Hush, darling girl, stop your sobbing.”

Elizabeth turned and threw her arms around him. “I hurt my wrist beating you. I think I broke it again.”

Vadas examined her wrist. It was a bit swollen. He didn’t think it was broken. “No, but you pack a punch for a little woman. I will be black and blue tomorrow.”

“Oh, let me see. Did I hurt you?”

Elizabeth unbuttoned his shirt and looked at his chest. There were a few red markings and she started to kiss each one.

“Oh Vadas, I am so sorry. I was beside myself. I am so sorry.”

“Kiss each wound and see where it leads.” Elizabeth looked up at his face and saw he was laughing.

“Feel better, little mouse?” Vadas asked after some minutes. “Now come down and eat the lovely food Maria has made. We have fed one appetite, now let’s feed another. I am hungry, Elizabeth and can’t live on love. I need food and so do you.”

Elizabeth was as docile as a lamb sitting at the table. Actually, she was exhausted. She ate a bit of egg and toast. Vadas ate everything in sight and called out for Maria to bring more food. She came in with a tray. She tried to maintain a poker face, but Elizabeth saw a small smile. Vadas grinned at her, his mouth full. Maria put her hand on his shoulder as she passed him. He grabbed and kissed it. Maria smiled as she left.

“Good fights like that lead to good love making, Elizabeth. You show promise as a wife.”

“Vadas, we need to talk about this wedding. It’s not real to me. We need to talk.”

“Ok, Elizabeth. Talk. Tell me what you want. You have my full attention.” Vadas pushed the last of his egg around with toast. He sat back chewing on a long sausage.

Elizabeth drew in a breath. “I don’t want a large wedding. I don’t want to get married in a church. Please, Vadas. I haven’t been to mass in thirty years. Those churches in Eger scare me. All those plaster saints! I don’t belong there. Can’t we just marry before a judge or whatever people do in Hungary?”

“What? You don’t want a church wedding? Well, let me think. We can have a civil service, and then a large reception. Elizabeth, if I didn’t throw a large party for people they would talk behind our backs. It is expected of me. I owe too many favors to too many people not to give them a good time. I warn you, it could last three days.” He pointed his sausage at her.

“Yes, Soffia warned me,” said Elizabeth in a small voice.

“So, you don’t want a church wedding. Do you want a bride’s gown? You have to have witnesses, and I thought Zoltan and Soffia would be good for that.”

“I can agree with that, Vadas. And no, I don’t need a bridal gown. A new dress would be fine.”

“Ok.” Vadas washed down his breakfast with the last of the coffee. “No church wedding. My aunties will be crushed.”

“They will survive, Vadas.”

He retrieved his jacket from a hook in the hall. He pulled Elizabeth from her chair and led her to the sitting room before the fire.

“Sit, Elizabeth.” He pulled a small black box from his pocket. He placed it in her hand.

Elizabeth opened it and saw the heart-shaped diamond ring.

“Oh!” Tears formed in her eyes. She was overwhelmed. She looked up at him.

“Oh, Vadas! It’s so beautiful.” She tried to put it on her left hand ring finger, but her finger was too swollen.

“Put it on your right hand, Elizabeth. You are in Hungary now. That is where a wedding ring goes.”

“Did you buy this in Budapest? It is so lovely.”

“No. Actually it comes from my Aunt Eva. She insisted I give you this. It was from her husband, long dead now. It’s pretty, no?”

“Vadas, it is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. Please thank her for me.”

“You can thank her yourself when you meet her. Aunt Eva is sweet, and Aunt Magrit is… fierce. They are about as different as two sisters can be.”

Vadas chuckled. He was pleased at Elizabeth’s response to the ring. It fit well on her hand. Elizabeth kept looking at it, holding it up in the dim light of the room.

“Elizabeth, I have some work to do today. You can read or talk to Maria, but I have to do this alone. I’ll be back in a few hours. You be a good girl, and perhaps if it stops raining we will go visit the grapes. I need to see how they are growing.”

Elizabeth didn’t like the idea of Vadas leaving, but what could she do? She would read or go bother Maria. It was time she talked to her, anyway. Perhaps she spoke a bit of English. At least it would be some companionship. Perhaps she could learn to cook more Hungarian dishes. As long as she stayed within these walls she would be safe. That was what she wanted. To be safe from the wolf outside.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2013

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 30

January 23, 2013

Budapest Balcony with flowers

I have been reading “Savage Continent”, by Keith Lowe. I can’t put this book down and have been getting up in the middle of the night just to read more. It’s about Europe after WWII and it is nothing we in the US have been taught. At least most of us. The turmoil after WWII, when nation’s borders were expanded or condensed, when people who were minorities were expelled, slaughtered by ‘ethnic cleansing’ by new and vengeful governments and citizens, where starvation and disease were even more prominent than during the war years of rations and ‘without’….this book opened my eyes and my heart.

It is not an easy book to read because the horror of what happened is heart wrenching. Since the men were off fighting a war, the majority of victims were women, children and the elderly. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to get this book. It also influenced my writing of “A Kapitany”, though only in the past few weeks. This history can’t be ignored, especially when you are writing about conditions (as in Hungary) today. The impact of war and it’s devastation in the 10 years after will impact generations to come.

Chapter 30 is a gentle chapter. No warnings. Just two elderly aunties that have seen much and survived more.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, Chapter 30

Vadas walked down the street in Rozsadomb, a well heeled part of Budapest. He looked for the elaborate iron grill of their balcony, and saw the geraniums in pots. Aunt Eva was the gardener. Vadas remembered his mother and Eva spading up the flower garden when he was a child. They planted cabbages and turnips. He remembered some man helping to uproot the old rose bushes. Cabbages would feed them, Eva said. Roses only smelled good.

They had lived a long time in Rose Hill. Their home was part of an old mansion, subdivided into apartments. Before there were only old people around. So many of the rich, those who had built these villas, had fled Budapest for the west. They had settled in Paris, Toronto, in London. Now Rose Hill was again an expensive residential neighborhood in Buda. Some of the former residents had moved back in the twenty years since the Iron Curtain had fallen. Many of the new owners of these places were foreigners. Vadas wondered what his aunts thought about the changes around them, these new people. The last time he had talked to them, they had bemoaned the dying off of neighbors of many years. They had grown old, and despite war and political turmoil, claimed the world was moving too fast.

Vadas stood in the street and looked at the stonework of the building. Elaborate carvings and even more elaborate iron work on the balconies. This type of construction would never be reproduced now. Too expensive. The skilled workers, stone masons and artists who produced this decoration would have died off. Tastes had changed and now efforts were put into economical and fast construction. The housekeeper appeared on the balcony. Vadas waved to her.

He rang the buzzer at the door and was let into the vestibule. He climbed the stairs to the second story, ignoring the small elevator and was met at the door by the same woman. She led him down the small hallway to his aunts.

They were sitting with big smiles creasing their faces. Vadas embraced them, kissing both on their cheeks.

“You have come! You rascal, you don’t visit us much. How many times a year, Vadas? Perhaps you are waiting for our funeral to pay your respects?” Aunt Magrit was the fierce one, and pulled little Eva around in her wake.

Vadas grinned. “You look very well, dear Margit. As well as ever.”

He was fondest of Eva, who was younger by two years. She looked so old, but then, both of them were in their nineties. They had seen so much; war, the starvation after war, displacement, casual violence outside their windows. They had survived events many others hadn’t. Aunt Eva’s eyes had almost disappeared into the wrinkles of her face.

Still they shone with tenderness.

The housekeeper came in with a tray of coffee and Vadas took a cup, placing the saucer on his knee like he did as a young boy.

“Your last letter said you had a surprise for us? Come Vadas, you know we have little time left to play riddles with you.”

Aunt Margit always had a sharp tongue. She meant well, still was a formidable woman. Aunt Eva just smiled at Vadas. She was used to her sister and all these years nothing had changed.

“I am going to marry.” He took a sip of his too-sweetened coffee.

Both women looked at him and Aunt Margit exploded in cackles.

“You? The man who has run all these years from marriage? Hah! This news is unexpected. Tell us who this poor woman is. We will warn her.”

Aunt Eva had tears in her eyes.

“Ah, Margit, leave the poor boy alone. He means well, you know his heart.”
“Well, then. Tell us about your intended and wedding plans.”

“Well, it won’t be until after the harvest. I have hopes for this year’s grapes. The wedding will be in Eger.”
“We hear you have done a good job with the vines, Vadas. Your hard work is paying off. Your dear father would be proud of you and your labors.”

Aunt Eva nodded her head. She was the silent one when Margit was around.

Vadas didn’t think his father would be proud at all if he knew how he had made the bulk of his money. The past five years had made a difference, though. The grapes were producing well, and he had expanded his clients. At least that part was good.

“Elizabeth is a few years younger, past child bearing age, but still in good shape.”

He took another sip of his coffee. “She is a small woman, sometimes quiet. She is an artist.”

“Ah, good! She will paint a picture for us! Tell her I want one of the old house and be quick about it. I won’t live forever.”

Eva laughed at her sister. “Go on, Vadas, dear. Tell us more about this Elizabeth. It is good you are marrying a countrywoman. Poor Marta. After all these years, you are going to have a wife.”

They would not be pleased when they found out more about Elizabeth, thought Vadas.

“Actually, darlings, Elizabeth is an American. But she’s half Hungarian”, Vadas rushed to add.

“What? You are marrying someone foreign? Why? Why can’t you find a good Hungarian girl to marry, Vadas?”

Aunt Margit’s cup rattled in her saucer. Aunt Eva looked confused.

“Well, simply….I have fallen in love.” Vadas put his cup and saucer on the table besides him.

“Look, she is a good girl, a good woman. She is sensible and not someone who is just out to spend money. She wants to raise sheep after we marry. I don’t understand this, but she wants to sell wool to some market. She is industrious and she will be good with clients. She is smart. And pretty.”

“Wool?” Aunt Margit looked at Eva, her jaw dropping. “Does she understand the duties of a wife? Does she cook?”

Vadas laughed. “Oh, believe me. She understands the duties of a wife. I have taken her out for a test drive a number of times.”

Aunt Eva laughed and Aunt Margit blinked several times, the joke going over her head.

“As to cooking, I don’t know. Maria Kovacs has taken care of that so far. Two women in the same kitchen look like trouble to me so I haven’t encouraged this.”

“Well, that at least shows you have some sense for a man. So tell us, Vadas, in what church will the wedding be?”

Vadas knew he was in trouble now. He hadn’t given it any thought. He left these details to Soffia and Elizabeth.

“Oh, a good Catholic church. When I get back to Eger I will discuss this with Elizabeth.”

“A good Catholic church? Hah! You haven’t been to mass in years. Is this Elizabeth even Catholic?”

Vadas thought carefully how to answer. “We don’t discuss religion too much, Auntie. There has been so much on her plate. We haven’t had much time to talk about these things.”

“Have you met her family?”

“No, Eva. She only has one elderly Aunt. We will bring her over for the wedding.”

“Oh! Are her parents dead? Poor woman, to be alone in a country, planning a wedding and no one to help her.”

“Remember Soffia Horvath? She is helping her. She’s with her right now. They have been visiting churches and looking for a wedding gown.”

“Soffia! Oh, Vadas, that Soffia is not a good woman to throw at your bride. I remember her. She was quite something. Attractive, yes, but not wife material at all.”

Vadas laughed. If they only knew the truth about Soffia.

“I’m not marrying Soffia, Aunt Margit. She’s just company for Elizabeth while I am gone on business. She is serving a purpose and likes Elizabeth. Soffia is a sweet girl, don’t worry.”

They were silent for a few moments as the aunties digested this news about the intended marriage.

“I am very glad you are settling down, darling. I remember the sadness when Marta died. Oh, that poor lamb!” This from Aunt Eva.

“Thank you. Elizabeth is very different from Marta, but then again, this is to be expected. And I am twenty years older. I am different, too. Elizabeth is very curious about the vineyard and I have shown her the vines. She will adjust to being married to a humble wine maker.”

“Will this American woman want to live in Hungary? Aren’t we very different than the States?”

“She will adjust, Aunt Margit. She is in love with her Vadas and she will adjust.”

They talked about other matters, and Vadas relaxed when the conversation shifted from Elizabeth. How could they grasp anything about her? She was different, a foreigner, a woman not of their culture. But it didn’t really matter. The adjustment would be between them. And there would be plenty of it. First they had to get past Miklos. But that was still in the future. Nothing to bother the old aunties with.

“Well, Vadas. You know this news changes a lot of things. We were holding the estate for you, and you would get it when we died. But with your marriage, this changes. Would you want to live in that old house?”

“Elizabeth has seen it. I made it a point to show it to her. She has given some excellent advice on the murals and the restoration. She and Soffia are travelling around Eger right now talking to people to begin at least repair the roof.”

“Does she speak Hungarian?” This from Aunt Margit.

“No, just a little bit. That is why Soffia is so helpful right now.”

Both aunts looked at each other. “Well, she will have to learn, and fast.”

“What did she think about the house?”

“Ah, she loved it, Eva. Tears were in her eyes. She said she couldn’t marry me because I would think she was
marrying for the house.” Vadas laughed. “I convinced her otherwise.”

“Yes, said Margit, I bet you did. You always had a persuasive way with women. You know we heard stories of your exploits, Vadas. We might be old, but we still can hear and enjoy gossip.”

Vadas smiled. “Well, you don’t have to worry about rumors anymore. You will like Elizabeth. She is the soul of kindness and good sense. You will love her in time.”

They had asked him to stay for dinner and Vadas didn’t see how he could politely refuse. He wanted to drive back to Noszvaj that night but they had more to say. Aunt Margit went to instruct the housekeeper who also cooked for them, and left him alone with Eva.

“Have you given her a ring, yet?”

“No, Aunt Eva. I did pick up a box of jewelry from the lawyers in Paris, but there was nothing I saw on first viewing. I will look for something, probably in Eger.”

“Wait, Vadas. I have something to give you. I don’t know if you will like, but perhaps it will work.”

Aunt Eva left him in their sitting room, and went to her bedroom. She returned with a small box and presented it to him. In it was a diamond ring. Heart shaped, with a pave of tiny diamonds on either side, set in platinum. Vadas sucked in his breath when he saw it.

“I can’t accept this, Eva”. He looked with fondness at his aunt.

“And who am I to give it to, then? I didn’t think to give it to you for Marta, but then, it was all over so soon.

Ah, Vadas, how much our hearts were broken. We suffered along with you, darling boy.”

“It is beautiful, Eva. It is perfect for Elizabeth. She will love it. Thank you.”

Vadas embraced this tiny, frail auntie and held her long. He didn’t want her to see the emotion crossing his face. He was deeply moved.

After dinner and during the coffee that followed all meals in Budapest, the aunts told him they had another thing to talk about. They felt he needed to know this, and were wrong to hold it so long.

“Do you remember the man that came and helped your mother? He dug up the rose garden and helped her plant cabbages? It was Zoltan’s father. Your mother had a child by him. Your father was in prison, and your mother was very alone. It is hard for a women to face the world without a man, and she faced more than the world. She faced the Germans, and then the Russians. That house almost killed her. Everything weighed on her until it broke her health. That is why she died, Vadas, before her time. Don’t judge, Vadas, war does terrible things to people and especially women. You wouldn’t have known this. You were in France, with us. You were so young, just a baby.”

Aunt Eva did the talking. Aunt Margit was silent with the memories.

“The years after the war were almost as terrible as during the war. The starvation, the lawlessness in the cities, the rampages, and especially the famines, all these things happen, Vadas. What are we to do? We just go on. This child, Zoltan, was given to his father’s family to raise. Your mother didn’t have milk enough to nurse him. Cabbages and turnips were not good food for this. He would have died, one amongst so many babies who did. People suspected his parentage, but who could care? They all had their own worries. One child born above the blanket was not an event to produce much concern during those years. People had too much to do. This was nothing.”

This was nothing? Vadas couldn’t think straight. So, Zoltan was his half brother. What was he to think? Why did they not tell him before? Ah, God! He had almost killed Zoltan, had seen him awash in his own blood, and only a mercy had saved him. He, Vadas, had sent him into danger. He had almost died. He would have killed his own brother had he died. This blood would have been on his hands.

The two sisters couldn’t know what Vadas was thinking, but the shock of it was on his face. He felt physically sick and stood up. He passed his hand over his face, and walked to the window. The two women looked at each other in fear. They didn’t expect this old news, of sixty years duration, to do this to him.

At the window, Vadas took a deep breath. Zoltan was alive and recovering. He would do everything in his power to rectify what he had done.

He faced his aunts. The shock of this was still on his face, and his voice wavered.

“Zoltan is my brother? This is true?”

“Yes, Vadas, he is your half-brother. We didn’t know until recently that Zoltan was still alive or living in Hungary. We had lost sight of him many years ago. We just forgot all this. But we were visited by some investigator and he mentioned Zoltan had been injured. They also mentioned your name. We didn’t give any information, played two old rattled women, which we are, but it was time for you to know about Zoltan.”

Vadas was curious about this investigator. He didn’t want to alarm his aunts. He would find his own answers later.

“Since Zoltan is my half brother, then the estate should be divided between us.”

“There is the house and the hunting lodge. Since Zoltan is not married, we thought perhaps he could be settled in the lodge? But it is up to you, Vadas. You are the main inheritor.”

Vadas thought hard. What should he say to them?

“I was hoping I could restore at least part of the house for us to live in. I don’t know, it would be too expensive to restore the whole house. There isn’t any furniture in it. It isn’t something you can ask a bride to do. I was thinking we would live in the lodge until we could fix up a couple of rooms, and of course patch the roof first. Everything else can be later.”

Vadas looked at the floor. “I thought of asking Zoltan to come live in the lodge. I knew he was injured, and I visited him in hospital. He has no wife or children I know of. I think that is right, to deed over the lodge to him. Of course Janos and Maria would continue to live there. They have been there so long. They also can help Zoltan. All this changes everything, no?”

“Yes, Vadas, it does. And Zoltan living in the lodge is a good idea. He doesn’t know you are his half brother. We thought it would be up to you to tell him.”

Ah God, thought Vadas. I wonder what he will think. And why so long in the coming?

The aunties later said there was a warehouse in Eger full of furniture they had saved from the Russians, first from the Germans, and then later from the Communists. They didn’t know the shape of the stuff, perhaps the mice had destroyed the upholstery, rats had eaten the legs of tables, but it was from the house. Perhaps Elizabeth could see what was there and choose what she wanted?

Vadas smiled. He already knew of a nice bed needing a mattress. Aunt Magrit gave him her best severe look and Eva chuckled. Their darling boy really hadn’t changed over the years. Thank God something of life was still the same, even if in the telling it would make a priest blush in the confession box.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2013

“A Kapitany, Chapter 29 with a WARNING.

January 14, 2013
Marais District, Paris

Marais District, Paris

I have had a lot of fun writing this book. I am very appreciative of the readers and their contacting me with all sorts of suggestions for the progress and plot of this book. That makes it a lot more fun for me. New eyes, fresh vision, etc.

I have also decided to leave in the sexual content of this chapter. You are all adults or you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, Chapter 29

Paris never changes, thought Vadas. It was an old shoe, comfortable, familiar.

He maintained an apartment, more a loft on the Ile Saint Louis. It was expensive, but he was right in the middle of Paris. It was a place where he could disappear, think, gather himself. Not many knew of it and that was what he wanted. It was a place where he could bring a woman, to finalize plans, to relax. Rarely had he brought other men there, and certainly no clients.

While he told people he was going to Budapest, he went to Paris. It was a short flight. He hadn’t been here in a while and needed to think. He couldn’t do this around Elizabeth. She was too much a distraction. Plus she would whine if she knew why he was in Paris. He had a phone call one night. Miklos was seen in Paris. Whether he was still here or not, Vadas would find out. What he did next had to be planned very carefully.

He looked down at the woman between his knees. “Voici, Noele. Merci. It is useless, cheri.”

Noele lived on the Ile Saint Louis. He had known her for years. Sometimes she appeared like clockwork when Vadas was there. Other times, she didn’t, but if Vadas waited, Noele appeared. She was a prostitute but one Vadas found interesting. Or had. Now? He was too distracted to make good on what Noele was so energetically attempting to do. Vadas handed her double her usual charge and she left.

He looked around the loft. It was very modern, with just a large bed in the loft up the steel staircase. A small kitchen, most of the ground floor was furnished with a leather couch and some club chairs. It was comfortable, without frills, stripped down. industrial fans whirled overhead and pipes were exposed. He leased this loft a decade ago, had done nothing with it and always found it restful. Now he wondered whether he could keep it. He wouldn’t need this place if he was working the vines in Noszvaj. He probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. He shouldn’t bring Elizabeth here. She would ask too many questions, and he would have to lie too much.

Vadas thought of the years with Miklos. They had both grown rich with this work. Now that it had come to the end, Vadas knew he would have to scramble to make up the difference. The vineyard would have to prove itself each year. He would have to search out new clients for the wine. The restoration on the house would have to wait. He was a fool to think he could move Elizabeth in there after their wedding. Better continue to live in the lodge where at least there was electricity. He would remove the boar head from the dining room. The wolf head would stay where it was.

He knew why Miklos took his revenge on Elizabeth. It was meant for him. Elizabeth had just been handy. He leaving had upset the apple cart. For years they had a clear division of labor: Miklos acquired the merchandise, and Vadas moved it. The insurance concerns were those of the original owners. It had worked smoothly for twenty years. They picked up their fee when the insurance paid out. Now? With him pulling out, Miklos had no where to put these works. Miklos had been the brains on one end, and Vadas on the other. Miklos couldn’t be sure that these works would disappear and wouldn’t be traced. In over twenty years, Vadas had come to know the tastes and expectations of their clients. He would present these works to new owners who weren’t particular of legalities and provenance. Of course, they never dealt in well known artists or pieces: those were impossible to unload, except for a few collectors who would pay a lot of money to lock up a Picasso in a home vault. They were the eccentrics. They were also dangerous. They had enough wealth to roll over on anyone who appeared suspicious to the police.

No, their business was different. If an owner had need of money, a burglary could be done and later, an insurance claim made. Once the work was well hidden, the list of clients could be trolled and a new owner found. Again, this owner would not care about ownership, provenance or the attending legalities. He had previously obtained part of his collections this way. Of course, the work in question could not be seen for a matter of years, until interest and knowledge of the piece had died down. No, it could not be shown to knowledgeable guests at a dinner or cocktail party. But so many of these collectors would want something they had to lock up: to be seen by them only. It was a rush to them. They had deceived the police, investigators and the insurance men. That was thrilling to many and played heavily into the game. Sometimes, Vadas thought, the artwork was just a vehicle for this rush. No different than drugs.

Now Miami was the international center to fence stolen art. With the wealth there and the drugs, these precious paintings were traded for guns, drugs or used for ransom. This was too dangerous for Vadas and probably for Miklos. However, this situation would give Miklos an outlet if he so desired. That’s if he lived long enough.

Miklos and Vadas had worked like clockwork. Both knew their roles and both excelled at them. Now with Vadas pulling out, the whole business would crash around Miklos’ feet. No wonder he was in a rage. He would have to train someone to take Vadas’ place. That would not be easy.

At one point, Vadas considered turning state’s evidence. Too many of his own men would fall with him. Even if Miklos fell harder, Vadas was thinking of the others. This was no way to repay the loyalty of a group of men who had, over the years, taken the big risks. Some had become friends.

The next day he met with a man on the Left Bank. This man had been paid to watch all the usual places that Miklos was seen when in Paris. Vadas couldn’t track him because Miklos or his men would immediately recognize him, but informants would work well here. So far, Miklos had been seen only once. He hadn’t checked into his usual hotel, and wasn’t seen in his usual haunts. But he was here for some purpose.

Vadas had another reason to come to Paris. His dead mother’s lawyers held property for him. He knew it would be wise to collect that property now before he dealt with Miklos. He needed to get as much of it back to Hungary where he could secure it. Who knew what the future would bring.

The morning of his appointment, he left the loft and strolled over the Pont Marie. He headed down to the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais district. There were boutiques lining each side of this long street and a lot of pedestrians. It was a beautiful morning, with sunlight touching the buildings and giving them a soft gleam. There were old women, flower vendors, with bouquets in buckets near the park and at entrances of old buildings. Bookshops, restaurants, and the smell of coffee and flowers filled the air. Vadas stopped for a coffee and sat outside at a table. There was nothing more colorful, more interesting than watching Parisians walk about. The women were sleek, like greyhounds, and dressed with flare. Perhaps it was the same in Budapest, but here, in the Marais district, it was more exotic to his eyes. Parisian style was a world to itself.

Paris in this early summer was as Paris should be: the center of the world and as romantic a place as one could desire. He would bring Elizabeth to Paris, perhaps on a honeymoon. He was old fashioned enough to want one and to dazzle her with the surroundings. Perhaps they would spend a couple of weeks here just getting to know each other. Perhaps he could keep her in bed for a week and get to know every inch of her. Elizabeth had never been in France. This would be the place to start. The countryside could wait, but he knew she would want to experience that, too. He wanted to see her reaction to a city he deeply loved. He knew she would not be disappointed. He looked at his watch. It was almost time for his appointment.

Entering the 19th century building of the law firm, Vadas wondered about the property. He knew some land was involved, perhaps land heavily timbered. He knew his mother’s jewels were part of this wealth he had come to Paris to collect. Since Miklos had taken the bracelet he gave Elizabeth, he wanted to replace it with something. What, he had no idea as he had not seen the jewelry. It had been placed with these lawyers many years ago, when she died.

He was shown into the interior office of one of the firm’s lawyers. He remembered Monsieur Depardieu from his last visit. That had been at least ten years ago. Monsieur Depardieu was small and sleek, much like the women outside the window. He hadn’t changed much in the years. More grey hair on his head, but he looked much the same. Shaking hands, Vadas sat down across the large desk. An assistant appeared and returned with a locked wooden box. There was a folder of papers on the desk in front of Monsieur Depardieu.

“I have been looking over the deeds and titles, Monsieur. Of course, the main estate, that of the chateau, is held by your mother’s two sisters. Have you seen the dear ladies recently? I hope they are well?”

Vadas thought he had rather neglected the two old darlings, but said he was on his way to Budapest to visit them. He would remember Monsieur to them.

“Ah. Please give them our best regards. They must be very ancient, no?”

“They are in their early 90’s, Monsieur. But so far of good health and better spirit.”

“We understand there are congratulations to be offered?”

“Yes, I am to be married, but not immediately. I have the fall harvest taking my attention and then the wedding in Eger.”

After discussion about the deeds, which turned out mostly to be of hectares of timberland, Monsieur Depardieu opened the locked box and turned it to Vadas.
There were necklaces pinned on black velvet, bracelets and some pins. A few rings, but not what Vadas wanted for Elizabeth. He wanted a wedding ring, or something with a diamond. There were a few that had possibilities but none struck him as right. Some of them were just fussy, out of fashion. The necklaces were something to be worn on special occasions, not daily fare. Perhaps he would have to look for a ring either here or in Budapest.

He finished with Monsieur Depardieu and arranged for the box to be shipped to his Budapest bank. It would be safer for the lawyers to arrange their delivery from Paris to Budapest, than for him to make the effort. When he was in Budapest, perhaps he could look again at the pieces. Perhaps something would stand out for her wedding present. As for the deeds, they did expand his vineyards, and though he would have to chop down a lot of trees, he could sell the timber and then plant more vines when the land was cleared. It would take a lot of labor. The vineyard needed to be expanded if he was going to plant more varieties. And he needed to do this if he was going to make his living honestly. The money with Miklos was over. He would live a different life. It would be a shift in priorities.

*****

That evening Vadas lit a cigar. He rarely had a chance to enjoy one as Elizabeth didn’t like the smell. She would learn to live with it after they married, he thought with a chuckle. He wondered whether he should call but decided not to. Soffia was there for a purpose and let her entertain Elizabeth. He wondered what Soffia was doing on that front. Probably they were spending his money in Eger. That was inevitable.

Vadas blew smoke towards the ceiling. He watched the slow moving fan above. Those two were as different as two women could be. Soffia took from life without a second thought. She would be a bad influence on Elizabeth if they ran around too long. Elizabeth was impressionable. Vadas laughed to himself. He told Soffia to obey “Rule Number One” in his absence. He knew before he was out the door she wouldn’t.

He slouched down in the chair. It had been a long day, and finally he was relaxing. He had done a lot of walking, more than he usually did. His feet were tired. Walking the streets of Paris were harder than climbing the hills of the vineyard.

What did it really matter if Soffia seduced Elizabeth? Again. What a lesbian did to another woman was nothing but girls playing around. Innocent enough. Let Soffia stick her nose in Elizabeth. It would not matter a mite when he got home. He knew his sexual power over Elizabeth would erase any such nonsense.

Ah, Elizabeth. There were endearing things about that girl. She would come from the bath and use some sweet smelling oil on her skin. She would shake powder over her, rub it in. He would act like he wasn’t watching, wasn’t interested in her toilette, but he was. He was interested in all she did in these things. He watched her shave her legs (with his razor), even caught her douching. She went from extreme modesty to tolerating his presence as she prepared herself for bed. One day he went over to where she had her bath supplies and picked up the powder. Baby powder. Ah, when she came to bed, he wanted to eat her up. She smelled so clean and fresh, just like a baby.

He loved to dig his face into her flesh and smell these enchanting female scents. He loved the softness of her, each fold revealing itself like a flower petal. He would push his tongue deep into her and bury his face, holding her tightly by the hips. He loved how she made these little mouse squeaks when aroused. She could scream her head off when coming. It always made him smile when she yelled. This was how a man possessed a woman. Satisfy her to her toes and she would show her devotion. She would wind herself around him like a cat.

Vadas’ thoughts did what Noele couldn’t. He was stiff with no woman around. Ah well, he would just have to finish up his business here, go to Budapest and see the old aunties. Then he would go home and plow Elizabeth. Perhaps Soffia would warm her up for him. He pulled a folded handkerchief from his pocket. It was sprinkled with baby powder. Vadas sniffed deeply.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2013

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 27

January 7, 2013

Not so much a warning for this chapter. I’ve had a lot of fun writing this book, especially these later chapters. I began “A Kapitany” in 2007, but deserted this novel after Chapter 14. BDSM is an enormous field of study and frankly? Other work got in the way. However, with the support of friends and readers in this lifestyle, I was encouraged to finish this book. The theme has changed over the course of writing this book and I feel on more solid ground now. I hope to publish this in the spring, or perhaps early summmer. Thank you John Taurus and others who are reading and giving advice. Their experience in this world is a great help in writing this novel. There is a sex scene i have eliminated towards the end of this chapter. Don’t want to raise any hackles.

Lady Nyo

“Soffia, I need a favor, darling. Yes, I know, your Vadas only calls when he needs a favor. Soffia, listen to me. I must come to Budapest.”

Vadas grimaced and pulled at his cigarette. Soffia could be a hard ass and right now she was being just that. He shifted the phone on his shoulder and stretched his legs.

“I have several things to do in Budapest. What I need is you to come here and stay with Elizabeth. No, she is much better, she is walking around. Yes, she is better, but I don’t want to leave her alone right now. I still don’t know where Miklos is, and I don’t want him showing up here when I am gone. No, I have men posted to watch, but I don’t want to alarm her.”

Vadas held the phone from his ear. Soffia was full of grievances this morning. He wasn’t in a mood to listen.

“No, darling, I haven’t told her yet you are coming. I thought I should ask first. Yes, I know, Soffia, I take great advantage of you. I will make it up. What? You pick. You know your Vadas will buy what you desire. I always have, darling.”

Vadas blew smoke towards the ceiling. “Listen, Soffia, Elizabeth has agreed to marry. Yes, I am speaking the truth. No, I didn’t burn her passport. No, I didn’t break her arm, funny lady.”

He rolled his eyes. Soffia was chattering on. “Look, you can help with planning the wedding. What? Yes, it will be a wedding. A big wedding. You will be maid of honor or whatever they call the woman next to the bride. Where? Some church in Eger. You take her around and show things. You can buy the dress, and another one for you. Yes, like last time. I trust you, Soffia. She will be a pretty bride. You both will be pretty brides. What? I’ll marry you off to one of my men, ok? You will like living in the countryside. No, I am teasing, Soffia. I know you are too sophisticated for these men around here.”

A few more minutes and Vadas got what he wanted. Soffia was coming out by car and would stay with Elizabeth for a few days. This would give him the time to go to Paris, see his lawyers and visit the old aunties. They were his only living relatives. It was crucial he at least visit and invite them in person. They held some important purse strings.

At lunch Vadas asked Elizabeth what should be done with the frescos.

“For now? Nothing, Vadas. First secure the roof. Anything done before that would be pointless. Then fix the plaster in the ceilings. It’s rather scary lying under that ceiling in the bed. It could all give in at any moment. But the frescos should not be touched. They are too valuable and historic for any hands besides professional conservators. And that would cost a lot of money.”

Elizabeth pushed around her salad. She still wasn’t eating much.

“Probably the damp in the house doesn’t help. Fix the windows in the rooms where there are frescos. Where there aren’t, board them up properly. They will be costly to fix anyway. Those sashes have to be custom made.”

Vadas smiled over his coffee. “You have been thinking, no? You speak good sense, Elizabeth. Now, I have a plan. You do that stuff on the internet, you know, press those buttons, and find the people who can fix the roof first. You can go into Eger and ask. I would start there first.”

Elizabeth looked doubtful. “Vadas, do you remember I don’t speak Hungarian? They would laugh at me first, and then throw me out.”

“Well, I have a solution. I have asked Soffia to come up for a couple of days. Now, listen to me, Elizabeth. I have to go to Budapest for a couple of days, on business only and no you can’t come. I will be racing all over and you will not be able to keep up. Plus, I have to call upon my old aunties and invite them to the wedding. You and Soffia can plan the wedding, you two girls. This is woman stuff, and it best left in your capable hands. Four capable hands.”

Elizabeth still looked doubtful. In fact, she looked upset. Vadas guessed what was worrying her.

“Listen, Elizabeth. Soffia has promised to be good. She has promised not to get you under her or whatever she does. Ok? No hanky panky from her. Plus, she is Hungarian and can help arrange the workmen. It will be fun. You won’t even miss me and I will be back before you do.”
Elizabeth said nothing. She continued to push her food around the plate.

Vadas sat back and watched. “Do you remember, Elizabeth, when I told you I would feed you? That you would eat from my hand only? Do I have to do that now? You are going to look like a scarecrow at your wedding. What man wants to sleep with a woman who is skin and bones? The winter, Elizabeth, is hard in these hills.”

Vadas had no trouble with his own appetite. He cut up his meat and held out his fork. “You come here, Elizabeth. You eat this. Then you eat another mouthful.”

Elizabeth looked at him, her eyes filling with tears. “Vadas, I’m scared.”

“What? You scared of meat?”

“You know, you must know. What if Miklos comes back when you are gone? What if he comes here? Soffia is no defense against him. You know that.”

Vadas sat back and patted his knee. “You come here Elizabeth and I will explain something.”

Elizabeth knew his behavior made her look like a child, a ‘good girl’ in his terms. But she was scared and the news he was going away put her on edge.

She sat on his lap and Vadas wrapped his arms around her. He had this habit of humming off key when she was close by, and Elizabeth found it strangely comforting.

“Now look, Elizabeth. You and Soffia will be safe. I have men here you won’t see. But anyone who approaches by foot or car will be known. These men are hunters and they know this particular prey. And you are wrong about Soffia. I would rather go up against two men than Soffia. She is a good shot, too. I will give her a gun. Hell, you can have a gun, too. Ok? Dry your tears and eat this good food.”

“Vadas, I can handle a gun. I have before.”

“What? You know how to shoot? I will sleep with one eye open from now on. Eat another piece of meat.”

Just to see if she could handle a gun, Vadas took her out behind the lodge where there was a meadow. He set up some bottles as targets and loaded a large pistol. Standing behind her with his hands around hers, he told her to gently squeeze the trigger. She missed.

“Ok, we do this again. You hold the gun steady, Elizabeth. You are jerking when it went off.”

“Vadas. Let me do this without your hands all over. Let me try, please.”

Vadas backed off and Elizabeth considered the target. She closed one eye and aimed carefully. The bottle exploded.

“Good girl! That was beginner’s luck. You try again.” Elizabeth hit the bottle but the gun was heavy. It wasn’t a light pistol, but a heavy European model. The sound scared her.

“Enough, Vadas. My wrist hurts. I have shot a gun before. I don’t use pistols, so this was hard. I have my own shotgun.”

“What? You have a shotgun? What, a lady’s gun? Maybe a small gauge? Something for mice?”

Elizabeth laughed. “No, Vadas, I have a 12 gauge for bird hunting. I have another, a breech loader, I use with skeet.”

“Oh, skeet don’t taste good, Elizabeth.” Vadas laughed and shook his head.

“Each day I learn something new about you. This is good, Elizabeth. By the time we are married I will know all your secrets.”

Elizabeth smiled. “Don’t bet on it, Vadas. I have lived a long life. I have many secrets.”

Vadas took the gun and put it in his vest pocket. He put his arm around Elizabeth’s shoulder and they went back to the lodge.

That evening Elizabeth asked him. “So when are you leaving and when is Soffia coming?”

Vadas looked up from his paper. “Are you pushing me out the door? Well, Soffia is coming tomorrow and I thought I would hang around until she got here. Then I can read her the riot act again.” Vadas went back to his paper.

When Soffia arrived, Vadas brought her into his study and closed the door. They were in there for a while and Elizabeth decided to take a walk. She would see if she could spy these men lingering about. Vadas said they would be invisible, but she wanted to see for herself. When she came back in the lodge, Vadas and Soffia were by the fire drinking whisky.

“Ah, Elizabeth darling! You look good! So much better than those first few days in hospital.”

“Hello, Soffia.” Elizabeth went and kissed her on both cheeks. “It’s good to see you again.” She sat down on a small sofa. Vadas held out his whisky to her and she shook her head.

“Vadas has given me a list of things we can do and things we can’t do,” Soffia said brightly. “But we can spend his money and that is the best thing.”
Vadas sighed. “Always you women spend my money. That is constant.”

He took a deep pull on his drink. “Now Elizabeth, I have explained to Soffia something. You two go up to the house, but always take one of my men. Better to take two. One inside and one outside watching. Soffia knows who, so she leads. You go into Eger, Soffia will drive, and you will be safe there. But I have given specific orders to Soffia and you are to obey, ok?”

Elizabeth looked at Soffia. She was met by a big grin. It was clear to Elizabeth Soffia had her own plans.

Vadas must have caught something. He clucked his tongue at her. “You remember Rule Number One, Soffia. You don’t forget it.”

That night Soffia slept in Elizabeth’s bedroom. Vadas was working on some papers and came upstairs late. Elizabeth had gone to bed and was just falling asleep. She tried to stay awake until he came up, but the day’s activities and Soffia coming had worn her out. Vadas undressed by a small lamp and came in bed.

“Elizabeth, I know you are awake. I can tell by your breathing. Now listen. Soffia has her orders. She will be good company for you. I will be gone three, maybe five days, but I will be back before you miss me.”

“Ok, Vadas”, she said with a yawn. “Soffia has her orders, I hear you.” Sitting up, she asked. “Vadas, listen to me. You made a promise about Miklos. Are you going after him? Is this why you are leaving now?”

“Elizabeth. You don’t worry about what I am doing. I’m seeing lawyers, old aunties and wine clients. You will learn I have business that doesn’t concern you. Now, you be a good girl and behave with Soffia. At least tell me you will behave.” Vadas switched off the little lamp.

Sliding down the bed he pulled Elizabeth towards him. He began kissing her neck and worked his way down to her breast.

“You are warm and soft. You eat more and the bed will be warmer this winter.” He had an erection and pulled one of her legs over his hip.

*******

“Elizabeth”, Vadas murmured, almost asleep. “How come you never ask me for anything? You know I will give it.”

Elizabeth, half asleep, was wrapped in his arms under a blanket. The heat from his body made the blanket unnecessary. She wondered what she should say.

“I don’t need anything, Vadas. You are generous enough. What do I have to want?”

“Soffia always gets something when she asks. You know I have a soft spot for women. I can’t say no. You want a car? I will buy you a nice Mercedes. I will give you a driver so you don’t get lost.

“Vadas, go to sleep. I want nothing. Perhaps when we marry we can bring my Aunt Irene over for the wedding?”

“Of course, that would be nice. You know you can ask me for anything, Elizabeth. A husband takes care of his wife.”

“I’m not your wife yet, Vadas. I will be expensive enough when I am. Think of the cost of all those sheep and a trained sheep dog. You will howl at the price.”

Vadas laughed, a deep rumbling sound in the room. “I am thinking of roast lamb right now, with a good bottle of wine.”

“Vadas, go to sleep. You are always thinking of your stomach.”

Vadas fell asleep, snoring loudly. Elizabeth fell asleep but not before she thought of what he said. She really didn’t have anything to want for, except her safety from Miklos. She knew Vadas would not listen to her. She knew he would continue to go after Miklos. As long as she stuck close to his side, she would be safe. If he could do this, Vadas could do anything. She wanted for nothing, really. Vadas always paid.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2013

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 26….Again with a WARNING

January 2, 2013

de la Motte house

This is a novel of bdsm, violence, love and also bad language. You have been warned.

In writing this chapter, I came across the Hungarian Labor Camp, Recsk, that was used very near Eger from 1950-1963. This was a Stalinist prison camp that came into Hungary on the heels of WWII and the Nazis leaving Hungary. The brutality of Stalin was a continuation of Hitler. There were ‘only’ 1500 people in this camp, but many never survived. It is hardly ever talked about in Hungary, in part because of the threats by the Soviet government. However, that is slowly changing and people are holding memorials to the victims.

The De La Motte House (from “The Great Country Houses of Hungary) built around 1773, was a visual inspiration. The influence is obviously French and apparently this was not that unusual for Hungary in the 18th century. Some aristocrats, and others from the French Revolution moved to Budiapest and the Hungarian countryside. The workmen and architect came from Eger, which is only 12 kilometers from Eger. The house had many frescos (based on Roman mythology) that have been carefully restorred. It is now a place for tourists and weddings, etc.

The famous “Bull’s Blood”, a Hungarian wine, comes from this region.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, Chapter 26

Both of them slept late, Vadas waking with a mild hangover. He fell into his bed without thinking of Elizabeth sleeping there. He was too tired to move. The drink and smoke of last night did him in.

In the morning Elizabeth got up before Vadas. She washed in the cold water from a pitcher on a table near a window. Vadas watched her from the bed, playing possum. He liked these moments when he could observe her. It was an intimacy, different from the usual stuff.

This morning Elizabeth moved carefully from the bed half way across the room. She couldn’t pour water into the bowl because of her wrist but dabbed at her face. She removed the Velcro cast and plunged her arm into the pitcher. Vadas wondered if he should rise and pour water for her. He decided against it, mostly because he was too comfortable. He needed more sleep after last night. Watching her was a nice way to begin the day.

Elizabeth pulled her nightgown over her head. She struggled free and threw it into a chair. Naked, she moved to look out a window. The windows were deep and she had to raise herself on toes to see the morning outside. Vadas saw the marks from Alexandra’s caning and the bruises of Miklos’ usage. She was a small woman, and since Miklos raped her, she had lost weight. She became quiet, withdrawn. It began to worry Vadas. Already he could tell she wasn’t eating enough or sleeping well. He heard her turning over in the middle of the night, crying out in pain.

In all his years playing the Dom, he never did what Miklos dared. Some had begged for pain, and that he could give. But there was a tipping point. There were times the woman demanded things of him he didn’t want to do. Choking them until they fainted. Then having to revive them, and quickly. Vadas had done these things. He knew there would come a time he would slip up, something would happen. He didn’t want to chance it now. The risks and thrills weren’t worth it. Perhaps he was growing old, soft, whatever happened to men. He didn’t know. He did know Elizabeth, probably by her innocence, had turned his sexual desires a bit more wholesome. He laughed to himself. Just the usual fucking and sucking. He enjoyed the simple passion of this woman. He was over the extreme. At least, for now. He could continue to tie her up, play with her, flog her, scare her. He liked to scare her; it fed into his power. He hadn’t made her beg, but that would come. Elizabeth was a curious woman. He could work with that.

She would learn her place in the marriage. She would come to know his. She wasn’t used to Hungarian men, but give her a few years. She would learn. That was if he could get her to marry. He was aroused, his cock swelling slightly under the covers. His thoughts and the sight of a fragile- looking Elizabeth were doing the trick. She made him feel young, and God knew he was far from that. No, perhaps it wasn’t so much sex. Perhaps it was just Elizabeth. He had a woman, one to care for. Perhaps that was all he ever wanted. Since Marta died, he hadn’t known many with real intimacy. He went through the motions, but his heart wasn’t in it.

Vadas watched her put on panties and a long skirt. She couldn’t put on a bra, couldn’t reach behind her back, but pulled a loose grey sweater over her head. She bent over and brushed her long hair, braiding it into one loose braid. Vadas smiled. He remembered his mother doing her hair like that. He was very young, but it was one of the things he remembered of her.

The morning sun was not encouraging. Pale, barely breaking through the clouds. It was misting outside, a good day to stay by a low fire. They drank their coffee and Elizabeth pulled a shawl over her shoulders in the hall. She saw Vadas put a gun in his hunting vest and take a handful of ammo from a drawer.

Vadas saw her expression in the mirror over the table. She looked confused.

“Don’t worry, Elizabeth. This is just a precaution. I haven’t been up there in years. There might be raccoons or skunks in the house.” Vadas gave her a broad smile.

“Vadas, you don’t shoot a skunk in the house. Are you crazy? That smell will never go away. You will have to pull it down or you will not be able to go near it for years.”

Vadas laughed. “Ok, then no shooting skunks. What about trespassers?”

“No, you don’t shoot them, either. You order them gone and then you call the police.”

“Ah! So you know Hungarian police, now?” Vadas laughed. The police here didn’t function like those in Budapest. They were slow to respond, and when they did, they wanted bribes on the spot. Not much had changed since the previous regime. Corruption was corruption, inbred in people with some small authority.

They drove to the main road in an old, open Jeep. Vadas turned off to a private, overgrown road. It was at an incline. They climbed a rutty road at least three hundred feet. The gravel of the drive had not been raked for years, now mostly covered in leaves. Twice he had to stop and remove limbs.

Before them was a high stone mortared surround with a large wrought iron gate. There were unicorns on top of the two main pillars, missing their horns.

Vadas got out and unlocked a small gate at one side. Elizabeth went through the gate and passed trees and bushes not trimmed in years. These trees and shrubs had grown up and covered the first floor windows. Even with this neglect, the house was a beauty.

Vadas could see from her expression she was impressed. He had not come up here in years. There were too many sad memories of the short life with Marta.

Elizabeth turned to him, her eyes wide. “This is a chateau! You didn’t tell me it would be so grand.” Elizabeth turned back to the house. There was definitely some French influence in the design.

“Well, I don’t know you would call it a chateau in Hungary, but it is an old house. Come, I have the key.”

Elizabeth counted eight windows on both the first and second floors. There was a small balcony in the middle on the second floor, and double wooden doors at the entrance. Just then the sun peeked out and Elizabeth saw the buttery yellow of the building light up. All over central Europe this color, Schonbrunn, was used. It was a color enriching with age.

“Oh, Vadas, it’s beautiful!”

“Wait until you see the inside, Elizabeth. Perhaps you will have ideas what can be restored?”

He unlocked the front door and Elizabeth passed under his arm into the wide and dark hallway. Vadas turned on his flashlight and told her to stay where she was. He would open the interior shutters and the dusty drapes.

Her eyes were slow to adjust to the darkness, even with the open door behind her. When Vadas came back with his flashlight, he aimed it at the ceiling, fully twenty feet above her. There were frescos of some Roman mythology. As he cast his light around the room, she saw faded frescos on the walls.

“Oh, Vadas! You grew up in this house? What a marvelous childhood you must have had.”

“Good and bad, Elizabeth, like most. Come, we go through this door first. There are a number of reception rooms.”

With the shutters opened and the heavy drapes drawn back, Elizabeth could see the interior. First was a large rectangular room banked with windows on the long side. The floor was parquet made up of dark stars on a lighter background. Frescos on these walls, too, but much faded. Some of the walls looked like the plaster had been gouged out. Elizabeth walked over and touched a wall gently.

“During the war, my parents moved outside of Paris. This house was looted, by soldiers mostly. Some locals joined in the looting. Very few family pieces were recovered after the war, so when they came back, they made do what they could find. We never really knew who destroyed some of these frescos, but we think it was not the soldiers. The Nazis were brutal, but they didn’t usually destroy property like this. They bombed Budapest pretty flat in 1944, so maybe I’m wrong. They went after my father’s laborers from the vineyards. Many were sent to Germany to the forced labor camps. The grapes? They were untended for years before my father could work them. He survived a few years after Recsk in the Matra Hills east of here.”

“What was Recsk, Vadas?”

Vadas looked up at the ceiling as if the answer was floating there. “Recsk, Elizabeth, was a labor camp. This was during Stalin’s time. Officially it was opened in 1950, but it held prisoners after the end of the war. My father was a broken man when he was released. He had worked in a mine all those years. He was considered lucky. He came back. I was too young to take over and by then the Soviets had Hungary in their fist. I spent my early years in Paris with my mother.”

“So no one lived here since the war?”

“Oh, we lived here, came back later right after the war, but our living conditions were greatly changed. Before we had a household staff, laborers for the vines, we had forests to sell timber. After the war? We had nothing except this house tumbling down around our ears.”

These memories had pain for him. “There were times we almost starved. We broke up what furniture we had to warm a room. If it wasn’t for Zoltan’s family and a few others, we would have starved to death.” Vadas laughed. “Zoltan’s father hunted deer on our land and brought us meat. I think our woods fed the whole of Eger after the war. The deer disappeared and we ate what we could find, which wasn’t much. My mother dug up her flower garden and planted cabbage like a peasant woman.”

Vadas moved through the rooms, pointing out the elaborate fireplaces. Some of the marble was missing, and the mantels had been shored up with rough timber. Mirrors had been bashed in, and windows were boarded up, the sashes missing. It was hard to see everything, but the house needed a lot of restoration. For a chateau, it was small, but big enough.

He showed her the first floor, and then led her upstairs to the second. The staircase was a double marble construction, and had wrought iron railings. The central hall was crowned with a fresco on the barreled ceiling. There wasn’t enough light for Elizabeth to make out the theme, but it was from some mythology, probably Roman as in the lower rooms.

They walked through different bedrooms with small closets, which would have been a room for an attending servant. There were no frescos in these rooms, but they did have windows that looked out to the dark mountains. Elizabeth wondered if these were part of the chain of the Matras mountains, where the prison camp Recsk once was.

The landscape outside from the second story view was breathtaking. Elizabeth saw rolling hills, forests, a river in the distance, and what seemed to be once a garden beneath where they were standing. Perhaps this was the flower garden where Vadas’ mother planted cabbage.

Except for the cellar and kitchens, they explored as much as Elizabeth had energy for. She felt tired and asked Vadas if she could lie down somewhere for a few minutes. She hadn’t this much activity since she visited the National Museum, where she had walked for hours. Vadas led her back to the central bedroom, a room at one time of great decoration. The white marble fireplace was rococo in design, though parts of it were missing. There were particular flourishes of Hungarian taste, with what looked like gargoyles flanking each side. They didn’t look French.
Everything in the room had been covered with heavy white sheets. What seemed to be a wardrobe, or armoire, against a long wall, was shrouded with sheeting. A table and individual chairs were covered. The bed was covered, the headboard and footboard, though there was no covering for the plain mattress. It looked old and stained. Elizabeth looked up, and there in the plaster, were great streaks, water markings where the rain had come through the slate roofs. She moved to a window, one of four in the room, reaching from a low ledge almost to the high ceiling. Outside, before her, stretched a landscape of incredible beauty with those rolling hills into the distance.

Vadas watched her. He wanted to see her response to the house. She turned to him and smiled.

“It is more than I thought it would be. It is so beautiful, Vadas, I haven’t the words. But there is so much sadness in the history of this house.”

“Good, I thought you would like it. And yes, there was much sadness. Now, come lie down, I will shake out this dusty sheet. At least the mattress is dry.”

The bed looked to be carved walnut, in the style of Louis XVI. There were no blankets so Vadas smoothed the sheet over the bed. He lay down and patted the mattress. Elizabeth lay next to him, her head on his shoulder. She pulled her shawl around them. Both of them looked up at the stained ceiling. Some plaster decoration had long ago fallen and lathe was exposed in sections of the ceiling.

“What do you think of the house, even with damaged ceilings?”

“I know I can’t marry you now. If I did, you would just think I was marrying you for your house.”

“Women marry for worse reasons, Elizabeth.”

“I will marry only for love, Vadas,” Elizabeth said quietly. “Yes, I will marry you.”

Vadas put his arms around her and placed his chin on top of her head. He looked out the window at the distant mountains and felt peace. It was to be short lived.

“I will marry you, Vadas, on one condition.”

“I’m listening, Elizabeth. What is this condition?”

Elizabeth drew her breath. “That you promise you will not go after Miklos. Or Alexandra.”

Vadas sat up and reached for a cigarette in his vest.

“Do you understand what you are asking, Elizabeth? He has violated the woman he knew was going to be my wife, and in doing so he fucked me over as he did you. How would it look to the men I know, men I work with, if I just walked away? You ask too much, Elizabeth.”
She heard the frustration and anger in his voice. She knew this lay beyond anything Vadas could deem reasonable. His pride, his ego, his manhood had been defiled. She was the one physically injured, but he, in typical male fashion, was the insulted.

“I ask this, Vadas, for us. Not for me, nor for you, but for us. You wanted a new life, a fresh start, then let’s take it. What is Miklos to us if we have a different life together? He has no part in it, darling.”

Vadas puffed on his cigarette. There was no way he would stop going after Miklos. This woman asked too much. How could he face the men he called friends all these years? How could he face Zoltan? How could he walk as a man among these men? They were friends, but he was still boss. No, she didn’t understand. He was made a cuckold by Miklos, and the world would see it. This was not how men settled things. Miklos must be found and brought to ground. Alexandra, too, but she was not as important. Miklos would pay with his life. Elizabeth would be revenged and so would he.

Vadas puffed hard on his cigarette, blowing smoke like a dragon. He was visibly upset. However, she had said she would marry. That was one concession he won. This other stuff he would work around. She didn’t have to know everything. A man kept some secrets for the sake of his dignity.

********

Vadas watched Elizabeth asleep in his arms. He needed her to climax, to scream in passion. He needed to reclaim her with this small act. Miklos had taken so much from him. Now, with this short hour of love making, he had her back under him. It was a beginning, as Elizabeth said. A small beginning, but it helped. He looked at the woman in his arms. She was only weak physically. She surprised him. This marriage might work out. He felt she was his, and in wonder, realized he had become something of hers. It was a strange feeling but had some truth to it. Perhaps this was how love began.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007, 2013

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 23 with a WARNING.

December 28, 2012

Don’t read this chapter if you have a problem with Violence, Male to Male Violence, BDSM, Sex,….

Vadas entered the suite and looked for Elizabeth. She was not in bed. In fact, the bed was still made. No one had slept there. He pressed the numbers of the hotel safe in the closet. Her passport was still there. She hadn’t left. So where was she?

He called Zoltan on his cell, but there was no answer. He passed his hand through his hair, and pulled at his lips. He went down to the reception, but no one had seen her enter.

Vadas punched some numbers. He needed to gather men and go look for Zoltan and Elizabeth. Zoltan always answered his cell so this was strange. Actually, it was alarming, considering the conversation with Miklos. He didn’t put it past Miklos to pull something. He was a bit too curious about Elizabeth during their meeting. This nagged Vadas as he came back to Budapest at dawn.

Four of Vadas’ men came in two cars: Andor, Sami, Peti, Markus, all from Eger. They were the men Vadas trusted the most. These men had been tromping through the woods up by Miklos’ the day before. Now they were going back to his house. They didn’t know what they would find, and didn’t know what else to do. Near Esztergom, on a heavily forested road, they found the Mercedes. It had been pushed far off the road and into a gully. Only the sharp eyes of one of them saw the car.

“Vadas, there’s the car.”

“Oh, God,” mummured Vadas. “Let’s get it open.”

They slipped down the bank and surrounded the car. Andor looked in the back seat.

“No one is here. They must have had an accident and walked until they were picked up. But why haven’t they called, Vadas?”

“This is no accident Andor. Pop the trunk.”

Zoltan was lying in blood. He was shot somewhere in the torso and barely alive.

“Oh Jesus,” muttered Vadas. Others crossed themselves. Zoltan was well known to all of them.

“Sami, you and Peti take him to hospital in Esztergom. Tell them you found him on the road, but don’t be specific where. Check his pockets and remove any identification. You know what to do.”

Vadas sat down on the bank. He was shocked to see Zoltan. He also was relieved they hadn’t found Elizabeth in the same condition. The others stood around, nervously smoking.

“Ok, we know this was no accident. Zoltan wasn’t the target, Elizabeth was. So, who would want to take her? Only one I can think of is Miklos. This was done under his orders.” Vadas cursed quietly. “ I shouldn’t have let her out of my sight.”

“Vadas.” Markus broke the silence. “I know one of Miklos’ men. He lives in Esztergom somewhere, but I bet he’s in a bar. This was serious business last night. He probably needs a drink right now.”

They tried to push the car further in the gully, but the front wheels had sunk into the soft soil. They piled into the remaining car and drove fast back to Esztergom. There were numerous bars in this old city and they entered three before they found Miklos’ man.

He was hunched over a drink at the end of the counter. It was early in the morning, not a time for drinking. He was almost alone except for the bartender and a old man asleep in the corner. He didn’t look up until they approached him. Then he tried to bolt and Markus tripped him.

“Out. And be quiet about it, Barna.”

Barna’s eyes were wild with fear. He didn’t recognize Vadas, but he did Markus.

They hustled him out into the piss smelling alley behind the bar.

“Ok, Barna, tell us where the woman is. Be quick about it.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know any woman.”

“Ok, you want to play hard ball? Fine with us. Hold him”, said Vadas.

Vadas loosened Barna’s belt and pulled down his pants, exposing Barna’s genitals. Barna’s eyes got wide at the sight of Vadas’ knife. Grabbing his cock, Vadas started to cut Barna at the top of it by his belly. Barna started to scream, while Andor put his hand over his mouth, silencing him. His eyes were pleading with Vadas not to do this.

Vadas spoke quietly. “Here’s how it goes, Barna. Where did you take the woman? You got one last chance to answer before I cut your cock off and stuff it down your throat. Now, look me in the eyes and tell the truth. That’s if you ever want to fuck a woman again.”

Andor removed his hand and Barna started to blabber. “I didn’t do it, I didn’t take the woman.”

“Ok, Barna, say goodbye to your dick”. Vadas started to slice at the root of his cock, blood spurting over his hand. Barna was yelling for him to stop. He would tell him what he knew.

“Miklos Farhas ordered her taken. I didn’t shoot your man, someone else did. But they drove the woman back to Farhas’ house, but not to the house.”

“You are not making sense, man. And you are pissing me off.” Vadas grabbed the terrified man by the shirt front, pulling him up close.

“Better I end your worthless life right now with a stick between the ribs. Your choice, Barna.”

“Listen to me. There is a road above the big house. It was up there she was taken. It’s a small stone house, maybe once a summer house, I don’t know. But she was knocked out by a rag over her face. They took her up there.”

“Do any of you know what this bastard is talking about? Have you seen this house?”

“We can find it, Vadas. We can get her back.”

Vadas turned his attention to Barna. “You get to keep your limp cock, but you will lose something. Just so you never to go up against me again.”

Vadas grabbed Barna’s right hand and chopped off a finger. Andor held his arms and Markus slapped his hand over Barna’s eyes. Vadas shoved the finger into Barna’s mouth. Barna spit it out, weeping.

Vadas grabbed Barna’s jaw and stuck his knife in Barna’s nose. “If I ever see you again, Barna, you will be losing more than your cock.”

They left the weeping, terrified man collapsed on the ground. It was a bad day for Barna. He didn’t smell so good, either.