Posts Tagged ‘Bull’s Blood’

“Bull’s Blood” Chapter 3….

July 2, 2019

Cover for Bull's Blood

“Bull’s Blood” is now published on


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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ah! So you are an artist!”

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

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

“Of course! That would be wonderful”.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Through want and joy we have

walked hand in hand;

we are both resting from our travels

now, in the quiet countryside.



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

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

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

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

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

Alexandra looked before her, seemingly concentrating her thoughts.

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

His wife! She realized she knew nothing about Vadas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Elizabeth.” He looked grim.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You train women too? As in dominatrix?”

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

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

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

“Do you fuck all your friends?”

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

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

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

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

“This just gets worse and worse, Vadas.”

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

“What, Vadas? With whips and chains?”

“Sometimes. It depends generally what both want.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019




“Bull’s Blood”, part of Chapter One

June 18, 2019

Cover for Bull's Blood

Chapter 1



Aunt Irene was on the phone. Although Irene was born in Hungary, long ago she picked up a New Jersey accent. Every sentence was now a whine, interspersed with more Hungarian whining.

“Come to dinner with me. Oh, you would love this restaurant. Such good people are here. It’s like Thanksgiving with the white linen. Dress nice like a good girl. Make me proud of my family, and don’t wear those tight jeans. Wear the pantsuit I gave you last Christmas.”

Uncle Izsák died the year before and Irene was lonely. She was also the closest of family to Elizabeth. If she was honest, she would admit to being lonely, too. Elizabeth had been divorced for nine years. She fled the south where she had lived for the past three decades to the dull north of her youth. It was now alien territory, but at least it wasn’t the south. A fresh start well above the age of fifty was still a fresh start.

Elizabeth considered what to wear. She should make an effort for Aunt Irene’s approval. That would mean her Christmas gift of the horrible print pantsuit and the necklace with tiny elephants made of faux ivory.

She decided to please herself with a bit of compromise. Dressing for dinner, she rolled black sheer thigh-highs, topped with lace onto her legs. It was a sensuous act, the silky nylons outlining her painted toes, clinging to her ankles and still shapely thighs. She adjusted the lace at the top. They came all the way to her crotch, a bit too long. Feeling around her lingerie drawer, she looked for a modest bra, not a push-up. That style of bra would draw some disapproving clucks from Irene. Elizabeth’s dressing for dinner became a game: one piece for her aunt, one piece for her. A calf-long black skirt (for Irene) and an ivory silk blouse (for Elizabeth) was compromise enough. She would wear her silly ivory elephant necklace, just because it was a gift from her favorite aunt. With all the dying-off in her family, Aunt Irene was about the only family left. Aunt Irene had two sometimes rotten sons, and always wanted a daughter. That was fine with Elizabeth: she had always wanted a mother.

It was early spring, and though it was drizzling outside, she decided on a bright yellow shawl. It was a striking color, hard, almost neon yellow. The shawl was like a beacon in the rain, something no cabbie could miss.

The restaurant was in an older part of town, the city bleak from the gray color of the stone buildings, a remnant of a century ago. This part of New Jersey had been an industrial town, the stone and brick buildings pitted by acid rain. There was little greenery. The rain didn’t help. Springs were later in the north, sometimes six weeks later than the south. This was something Elizabeth had forgotten. She missed the azaleas of an early southern spring. The dogwoods, too. There didn’t seem to be any up north.

Elizabeth was surprised at the place Irene picked for dinner. Irene was in her mid-eighties and venturing beyond cafés, cafeterias and casinos was rare. This restaurant was the one Elizabeth’s father took her to when she was very young. Much had changed in New Brunswick, but this little street in the drab north of her childhood was still the same. Dull brownstones, bakeries, bookstores, and a tavern on every corner. Centuries ago, it had been a settlement of the wily Dutch. Now it was populated by Hungarians, Russians, Romanians, Poles and other central European immigrants.

Her mother had fumed when she heard this. It was barbaric, just what she expected from Elizabeth’s Hungarian father. Elizabeth and her father were locked in a conspiracy against her mother until her father died and then she had to go it alone. She was never easy with her mother. Conflict was always there or right around the corner.

Now she was looking for Aunt Irene in the same restaurant fifty years later. Her hair was touched by rain and despite the bright yellow shawl, the silk of her blouse was spotted. She stood at the entrance to the dining room and wondered at its rebirth. It looked like someone’s idea of Budapest, but a Budapest before World War I. When she was here with her father, it was very different. The long counter where food was picked up by old waitresses was gone. The little two-seater tables were gone, the dingy lace café curtains had disappeared. She was very young, but she remembered the customers being older men. She also remembered an incident when a handsome, grey-haired man stopped at their table and addressed her father in Hungarian. He rose and they kissed on both cheeks. Then the man grabbed Elizabeth’s hand and kissed it. He wore a large gold ring, studded with diamonds. He pointed to one diamond (a rather small one as she remembered) and said that when she was older, he would carve that diamond out of his ring and give it to her. Her father said something to the man in a low, sharp voice and in a language she couldn’t understand. The man bowed and quickly left them.

Elizabeth now saw a transformed room. Red- and gold-brocaded walls with dark red velvet drapes puddling before the high windows, gleaming black floors and rose-tinted lamps upon each white, linen-covered table. Hungarians were such romantic people. The tinted shades cast the best light on aging Hungarian skin. The women were vain that way, and Hungarian complexions were known to be some of the best in Europe.

The hostess, a woman almost as old as her aunt, knew Irene and pointed her out. Irene was at a small table by one of the long windows past the middle of the room. Elizabeth had to walk through the room, being careful to avoid the closely placed tables. She clutched her shawl around her, afraid of sweeping the tables with the ends. Aunt Irene looked up with her usual, careful smile. Her wrinkles had deepened since the last time Elizabeth saw her.

“Hello, kis galamb”. Aunt Irene’s eyes shone with sadness.

Elizabeth was surprised how old Irene had grown, how thin, and that she had missed her. They held hands across the table as Irene told Elizabeth what she had been doing. Not a lot, but she had gone to Atlantic City with her girlfriends and lost money on the slots there. Elizabeth’s shawl was too warm for the room and she flipped it over the back of her chair. Aunt Irene clucked her tongue and laughed. The rain had made her silk blouse almost transparent in places. Good she was wearing a bra. Most times she didn’t.

Elizabeth looked around as Irene greeted an elderly woman at the next table, apparently a friend. The restaurant was full. Perhaps it was the rain. There were the usual men and women of Irene’s age, and some younger couples. At one table, three men were eating, burly men, in dark suits. They had finished three bottles of wine and a server was opening a fourth. One man looked straight at Elizabeth, and for a moment she returned his gaze. Dark hair shot with gray, not a slender man, wearing a charcoal gray suit. His face startled her for some reason. She broke contact with his eyes and to her surprise, blushed and looked down. What a crock! Why should a man make her blush? Hasn’t she seen the worst with two failed marriages? Yet there was something in his appearance that made her pause. His face was striking, beautiful and brutal at the same time. A sensuality hung about him that she could not define.

Elizabeth glanced back and found the man was still watching. She tried to look haughty. He passed his hand over his mouth and smiled behind it. It was a mocking and seductive gesture, and his eyes expressed a boldness that annoyed her. Too cocksure, this man. Elizabeth turned back to listen to Irene, determined not to look at him. They were served, Irene telling her about gambling luck and aging friends.

After dinner, when they were drinking coffee, Elizabeth had to pee. The combination of rain and coffee conspired against her. She excused herself and went in the direction Aunt Irene pointed. The bathroom was occupied, so she waited, leaning against the wall, staring at her toes peeking out of her heels. Suddenly, she felt a presence and looked up. It was the man from the dining room. Elizabeth straightened from a slouch, feeling a bit apprehensive, for she had been thinking of him, trying to dismiss him and not being able to do so. He was about four feet away, looking at her, smiling. He put one hand above him on the wall, came closer, turning his body towards hers. It was a very confident move, but he did it so naturally she didn’t have time to react. She was confused by his presence. He disturbed her and she didn’t know why.

“You look miserable with your…what? Aunt? Mother’s friend?” He was smoking, which was still allowed in these ethnic restaurants. The smoke from his cigarette floated above his head creating a halo around him in the dim hall light.

“I’m not miserable. Why would you say that?” Elizabeth sounded defensive.

His eyes were dark brown, rimmed with thick lashes. Black brows and a generous mouth, lips almost too full. He radiated confidence, or perhaps she hadn’t been in the presence of a man so sensual for a while.

Elizabeth looked at him, her voice changing. “She’s my Aunt Irene,” she said softly. He continued to smoke, blowing the smoke to the side, but holding his gaze on her. He looked like he was contemplating something, making a decision as he blew out the smoke in a sharp stream. He dropped the cigarette to the floor tile and ground it beneath his black loafer.

Then, almost before she knew it, the man pivoted his body, his broad chest pushing her into the wall, his pelvis up against her. He spread both his arms outward against the wall, trapping her. His mouth swept down on her lips. He kissed her hard and only at the end did he part her lips with his tongue and push it into her mouth. She moaned, weakened, her legs feeling like water, her arms spread against the wall behind her. His chest and pelvis were hard against her, pinning her to the wall. He was broad enough to cover her and bringing his hands down, he sought her ass, digging his fingers into each cheek, pulling her to him. Elizabeth groaned, lost in the surprise of his behavior, lost in the surprise of her own behavior.

For a moment, Elizabeth forgot her surroundings. She didn’t care where she was or that Aunt Irene was sitting in the dining room awaiting her. This was raw, a kind of passion she didn’t know, because she had never had it. Her body jumped, aching with the sudden rush of arousal. Their clothes didn’t matter, they were no barrier. There was lightning between them, an electrical charge. She was almost dizzy. She felt alive.

The man broke off his kiss and whispered in Elizabeth’s ear, still pressing his pelvis to hers, holding her tight in his arms. “Go kiss Auntie goodbye and walk to the front door. I’ll have her taken home by a man at my table. She will be pleased.”

“What? How do you mean–”

He put his hand gently over her mouth and smiled. The overly confident pursing of his lips drew her eyes like a magnet.

“Don’t ask questions. Obey, like a good girl.” He smiled, pressed a card into her hand and walked away. Elizabeth heard the water of the bathroom sink turn off and a woman walked out, adjusting her waistband. They exchanged brief smiles. She was thankful for not being caught.

Elizabeth looked at the card in her hand. It had a name “V. Dohendy” and just the words Budapest and Paris. Obviously, a business card, but it meant nothing to her. One kiss from this man and she was acting like a slut. Enough to want to break her bones on the cock she felt pressing her into the wall. She was ready to be a bad girl. Not a good girl.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

” A Kapitany”, a novel. Chapter 18

December 6, 2012
Sometimes it helps to envision a character. This worked as Vadas for me.

Sometimes it helps to envision a character. This worked as Vadas for me.

Thank you WordPress for the snow falling on the blog!

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 18

The morning sun poured across the room where Vadas left the drapes open. Elizabeth awoke and fished around the bed for him. She wondered what time it was and rolled across the bed to the nightstand. It was already 9:20am. She rubbed her eyes and shook her head. A slight headache and a dry mouth were the remains of last night’s drinking. Calling out to Vadas, she got silence for her effort. Obviously he had left. Where he had gone she hadn’t a clue. She was too drunk last night to ask any questions about activities for today. Perhaps he left a note somewhere in the room. A shower would help. The thought of breakfast turned her stomach.

After dressing, Elizabeth went to the reception desk to see if there was a note for her, telling her where he was or what he was doing. Perhaps he expected her to meet him somewhere that morning.

“I am Elizabeth Kovacs from room 136. Is there a message for me?”

The young man behind the counter immediately answered.

“Mrs. Dohendy. Your husband said that you were to have a driver and car if you wanted to go out. May I order one for you now?”

Mrs. Dohendy. Elizabeth tried not to show her surprise. What a cock-sure man he was! He must have registered them as husband and wife, days before she turned up in Budapest. Days before he asked her to marry him. He was that sure of her answer? He had some nerve.

“No, thank you. I will walk. Is the National Hungarian Gallery close enough?”

“Oh, Mrs. Dohendy. It is, but it gets rather warm at midday and of course we are in a hilly region of Buda. Surely wouldn’t you rather have a car?”

“No, I would not. Just give me a map, if you would be so kind and I’ll find my way. And if you see Mr. Dohendy, please tell him I’ll be back sometime this afternoon.”

Elizabeth walked out, clutching her map. The young man at the desk gave general directions, but the names of streets were not at all familiar to her. She would make her own way and not be tied to Vadas’ agenda. She had enough of that over the past few months, enough to last a lifetime. She had been a fool not to put her foot down before, and Vadas had run all over her. Now that she knew his ‘intentions’ she felt a little more power. The beautiful bracelet signified those, but she didn’t completely believe him. There were too many unanswered questions right now.

Elizabeth had pulled on a light sweater, covering the bracelet. It was obviously an expensive piece of jewelry and of course, in any city you could get mugged. The removal of this bracelet could mean the removal of her hand. She had heard stories before of thieves who had sliced off the hands of old lady tourists in Egypt. This was Budapest, but still there was a risk. One never knew.

She sat down on a bench at the end of a park. Budapest seemed to be a combination of huge, Baroque stone buildings, denuded of greenery, and then parks thick with trees and flowers. She could see how it would be broiling at midday in the summer.

It took a while to make her way to the National Gallery, now in the old Buda Palace. An imposing Baroque stone building with sculpture flanking the entrance and the huge Magyar fountain at the front. According to the brochure she got upon entering, the building had been bombed in 1944 and again in 1945. It looked completely restored to her. She made her way to the galleries and then was faced with making a choice: genre paintings, history of Hungary paintings, warriors and saints, kings and queens, landscapes, portraits and self-portraits, the list seemed to be endless and certainly overwhelming. She settled on landscapes.

The vast majority of these were dark, heavy paintings of castles with rather bleak landscapes. Most of them were from the Victorian period, though she didn’t think the Hungarians called this period “Victorian”. She had trained herself in the lighter English landscape style, with a mixture of watercolors and oils, and these before her were very formal, dark and heavy paintings. Impressive, but obviously the influence of Impressionism hadn’t made the journey from France to Hungary. What she was seeing would be tagged as “Romanticism” and excepting a few canvases, these were all to a type. In these few exceptions, the brush strokes were more of an impasto application, and that stood forth from the blended strokes of the other paintings. In some, the colors were lightened, and this was more to the modern style, an advance certainly unusual to the regular tints and tones, so dark and moody were these other paintings.

The modeling of the skies, the clouds and the far backgrounds reminded her of Constable and Gainsborough. She didn’t recognize any of the Hungarian painters except Antal Ligati, and his was one of the more modern ones. Lighter in tone, somewhere he found a huge palm tree to paint posed in front of a hill.

After a few hours Elizabeth decided her eyes could not take any more, and then again, she was tired. She also was hungry and stopped in the gallery restaurant for something fast, and the food was bad. So she bought a fruit juice and started on the way back to the Gellert.

She stopped at the reception desk, but there was no message from Vadas. Entering their suite, she stripped to her bra and panties and slipped into bed. She was tired. Walking the hills of Buda had been quite an exercise. Within a few minutes she was asleep.

Elizabeth awoke to the smell of Vadas’ cigarette. Turning over, she saw him stretched out in a chair. Usually Vadas was a natty dresser, but today he was wearing jeans, boots and a sweatshirt. She noticed his boots were a bit muddy.

“So, you’re finally awake. Did you have a good walk?”

Elizabeth yawned, and stretched. “I went to the National Gallery. The exhibit I saw was of landscapes. Big, dark landscapes. Apparently the Hungarians have avoided meeting the Impressionists.”

“Why didn’t you take a car?”

“Vadas, I’ve not had much exercise since landing in Hungary. I need it if I am not to get fatter. All this rich food you Hungarians eat! Plus, the walking up and down hills did me good. I needed the air.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed your day. Have you had enough sleep? You were pretty drunk last night. Did you awake with a headache?” Vadas smirked at her.

“And where were you, Vadas? What did you do all day? I see mud on your boots so you couldn’t have been inside.”

“No, Elizabeth, I have been outside with friends, tromping around. This mud is honest mud.”

Elizabeth laughed. “So tell me, what is the difference between honest and dishonest mud?”

Vadas smiled and continued to puff on his cigarette.

“So, who are your friends?”

“Some men of my acquaintance, Elizabeth. Some men who may come in handy.”

“What is going on, Vadas? Why would you need men?”

“Ah, Elizabeth, you ask too many questions. But since you ask and it is something I can answer, I will tell you a little bit.”

Vadas smoked, looking up at the ceiling. He was trying to decide how much to tell her about his activities of the day. He didn’t want to alarm her, but perhaps she should be. Perhaps she should feel a bit uncomfortable. That would put her in her place, as she seemed to wiggle out of it lately.

“It is complicated with Miklos, Elizabeth. And we both have much on each other. Of course, this has been built up over the years, but he isn’t going to take my leaving the business easily. Miklos is a possessive man, and he doesn’t like changes he doesn’t control. And this one he won’t. Nor will he like it.”

Vadas puffed away at his cigarette, sending up a haze towards the ceiling.

“Miklos is also a violent man, or pushed to it, he will be. And I have to consider what I have that he wants and therefore what he values. I will have to buy my way out of his control. Perhaps that is the only way he will settle. Remember, Elizabeth, everything with Miklos is about power and control. It is the same between Miklos and me.”

“So, what would he want, Vadas? Would he want your vineyards, you money, what?”

Vadas looked at her without expression, but there was something in his face Elizabeth could not read.

“Miklos would want to destroy me. Plain and simple.”

“Why, Vadas, what are you saying? Isn’t money or something of value, say this bracelet, enough to get rid of Miklos?”

“I know where the bodies are buried, Elizabeth, to use a phrase. You see all of us, Alexandra, her brother, Soffia, me, many others, we are pawns in Miklos’ games and we all have benefited from him. Until we wake up and realize our lives have been short changed by our activities or we want out. Then the fun begins. And it will be a dangerous fun.”

Vadas puffed hard on his cigarette.

“When Miklos sees that bracelet on your wrist he will know your status has changed. And he will know I am serious enough to force his hand. It is time, Elizabeth.”

“Then take off this bracelet, Vadas, and he will know nothing.”

“No, Elizabeth, I have given it to you as a promise and I have no desire to change that, even to throw Miklos off the track.”

Elizabeth had thought of the bracelet all afternoon. Where had it come from? Was she wearing stolen goods?

“Vadas, I have to ask. Where did this beautiful bracelet come from?”

Vadas exhaled straight at her. This was a trick he had when he wanted to annoy her, and it always worked.

“Ah, so you suppose that it is a piece of stolen jewelry? Let me tell you the truth. I gave it to Marta when we married. It came from my grandmother. There is also, somewhere, probably in a vault either here in Budapest or in Eger, a pair of earrings and a necklace. I haven’t checked for over 20 years. In fact, I forgot about it. Tonight Elizabeth, when those bitches Alexandra and Soffia see that piece on your arm, they will howl like jackals.”

Vadas laughed, but it was bitter.

Elizabeth felt embarrassed. She didn’t know what to say.

“I am sorry if my question insulted you. This is not the way I want things to go between us. But you have to know, after what you told me about your business with Miklos, well, it would raise some questions.”

Vadas didn’t answer and continued to smoke and look at the ceiling. Elizabeth thought perhaps he was put off by her question.
Vadas was thinking. This woman is no fool. If she was an opportunist, she wouldn’t question where the bracelet came from. She would just take it.

“Vadas, you still haven’t answered my first question. Who are these men and why do you need them?”

Vadas snubbed out his cigarette and considered his answer. Perhaps he should be honest with her.

“I don’t know how Miklos will take what I have to say to him tonight. But one thing I do know. Miklos will not be happy and he is unpredictable, Elizabeth. Today I have been with my men out in the woods. We have been discussing the possibilities of Miklos’ reaction. What I was doing was seeking advice from friends. Men stuff, Elizabeth.”

What Vadas didn’t say was he and the others, men he trusted and knew for decades, were an hour north of Budapest, where Miklos had his country home. Vadas had been there many times over the years, but this time was different. These handful of men would be watching the house and would react to any alarm. Vadas had his men, but Miklos certainly would have his. And both of them knew it.

Vadas looked at Elizabeth stretched out under the sheet. He didn’t tell her Miklos would probably want not only the bracelet on Elizabeth’s arm, but Elizabeth. She was a desirable little thing, and anything he had, Miklos was sure to want. This had been a game between them for four decades. He knew Miklos had wanted Marta, but her dying so early in their marriage had stopped him. He also knew of Miklos’ sexual proclivities and he didn’t want Elizabeth to suffer those. Miklos was a sexual sadist and that was something Elizabeth would not survive. At least not mentally. And perhaps not physically.

Vadas rose and came to the bed. Elizabeth watched him with half closed eyes. Sitting on the side of the bed he removed his boots. He lay down and took her in his arms. She turned to him and he placed his chin on the top of her head, thinking. Elizabeth rubbed her hand across his crotch and threw her leg over his hip. Vadas tightened his arms around her and felt her relax. Within a few minutes she was asleep, gently snoring.

Vadas didn’t sleep. He had a long night ahead, and possibly a dangerous one. Perhaps the threat was more to Elizabeth, but right now, he needed to consider all angles. Miklos could not be taken for granted. He played life like a chess game, and he usually won.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2012

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