Posts Tagged ‘erotica’

“Diary of a Changling”

March 1, 2018



Warning: Erotica and this series (of 11 pieces) probably won’t make me any friends.  In fact, I probably will lose some. Posting 6 entries today.  As a writer, the issue of self-censorship is still looming.

Ten years ago I was in a writer’s group called ERWA. (Erotica Readers and Writers Ass.)  I was a new writer and how in hell I landed there I can’t remember.  What I do remember was this group (huge) was complicated: some very good writers and some who gloried in smut.  Constantly there was the argument that ‘erotica was porn and porn was erotica’.  I didn’t buy that.  In fact, after a while, I realized that writing about lust was just a seasoning, not the whole damn meal.  I titled my first book: “A Seasoning of Lust” because of this. I left after a few years, having learned some good and some bad.  The group seemed to be more about bdsm and male dominance, and that went just so far.  I remember reading Anais Nin, who wrote erotica for a while for a client, and it was as if he was behind a curtain yelling “more smut! more smut!”.  You can do that until it you realize the limitations of such and step out to become a real writer with more notches on your belt than erotica. Some don’t though.

This is about WWII and the German occupation of Paris in the early days, and then about the French Resistance.  Not too sexy a topic, but sex is ultimately boring. As Anais Nin said.

Lady Nyo



I have started a series of stories in an epistolary form. This follows the development of a woman who begins to understand the issues of pain and its application to arousal and sex.


Diary Entry 1

It finally happened last night. This morning I feel a stranger in my skin. The welts from his whip will disappear soon.

I never thought it could be so! How could I crave this—torture? How could pain do this to me? Am I normal?

S___ was the one who set it up. She didn’t tell me much, just that it was ‘time’. All those conversations over tea, those events I thought she was making up. They were just lascivious stories, something a friend would tell another to wile the afternoon away. Besides, S___ was a writer, a novelist. She cultivated her imagination.

“What do you mean, ‘it’s time’?” I asked.

I remember her laughing, placing her cup on the tea table.

I quote her:

“I can smell your excitement. It gets stronger with each visit. You must not deny anything, ma cherie. You are aroused now, yes?”

S__ had smiled and said: “Your responses are obvious. You crave it.”

Ah! I can’t write anymore. My hands shake. Even now my face burns with blushes

Diary Entry 2.

I saw S. today. She smoking a stinky Gauloises and looking so chic. French women are born this way, with no efforts to be so.

She asked me how it went with MN. I struggled to answer, my hands shaking, my teacup rattling in the saucer.

I told her ‘it went well.’ How could I explain??

We made small talk for she was expecting a guest and I was leaving anyway.

But my mind recalled when MN. traced the whip handle down my back, making me shiver. I remembered his breath in my ear, the scent of him close to my skin, the cuffs on my wrists, how he stroked my flesh, warming it with his hand, cupping my breast and my ass. Dipping his hand in my wetness.

Nothing could have prepared me for that first strike. The sting was like a hornet, the pain radiating outward, making me gasp. His whip owned me with the first blow. What had I done? I wanted to scream.

Rising to leave, MN. walked in. I froze. I saw S. smile. MN. kissed her hand, and turned. I must have looked the fool.

Diary: June 14th, 1940 (#3)

I was looking out the window with S. and watching the Germans march past. They passed forever, seemingly endless supply of men in black boots.

S. was very nervous and puffed on her terrible Gauloises. I could have screamed but we are all bundles of nerves. She said things would radically change and we will have to ‘make do.’

I don’t know about S. though. She is well placed and has lovers in the government. She has the best brie and wine.

I can’t get back to England now, am dependent upon S. MN.disappeared this last week, but S. tells me he will be back, he is on ‘business’. What kind she doesn’t say.

He was a bit too lavish with the whip this last time, and my back and buttocks are still bruised. It is strange how these bruises have become something different to me than just examples of pain. His whip stings me, but he knows to wait and in the waiting something happens. I am resolved to find out more. Of course, this is rather outré considering what is happening outside the windows now.

I have become obsessed. Pain is the portal.

Diary: June 21, 1940 (#4)

MN is back. I was at S.’s and he just appeared! It’s been a week and of course I had questions, but S. warned me. Don’t ask him anything.

MN seemed tired, his face thinner, paler. But looking at him, my own gut clenching, there is little difference. Still that same full mouth, that smile which touched on a cynicism with all life, those eyes so expressive, or maybe I am so much in thrall with his power I can’t see the truth: he is just a man.

No, he is more. He is much more, now. And he knows it. There was almost an invisible thread that connected us across the room. All propriety with S. there, but when she answered the phone across the room, MN turned to me, his hand across his mouth, hiding his smile. Only his eyes danced over his hand, and it was enough for me to feel this flush of lust.

S. announced a Lieutenant Wolauf was to visit.

MN left too soon. Only a kiss on the cheek and a whispered “a demain, a demain” and he was gone.

Two cold words to warm me.

Diary: June 24th, 1940 (#5)

The division of France is done, and no one is happy except the Germans and Marshal Petain. S. is puffing her stinky Gauloises, nervous. I can’t stand to be around her.

Petrol is scarce, but MN took me in S’s car out to the countryside. He has use of a farmhouse and this was new for us.

The house is old, with beamed ceilings and a stone sink in the kitchen. We ate bread,. stinky cheese, drank a bottle of wine.

Upstairs in the bedroom, MN said we shouldn’t ‘waste’ the beams and tied me with ropes he brought.

Perhaps it was the wine, or perhaps I am ‘getting tougher’ but he gave me more lashes than usual. I didn’t want to stop, but he was still careful.

This pain gets my attention fast, radiating outward and inward at the same time. MN stuck his hand in my crack and rubbed, cooing in my ear, whispering French nothings, soothing my tears with his breath.

We made love for the first time, MN slowly touching my body from my feet to my neck with his tongue and hands.

Why am I doing this? I have no choice.

Diary, June 28, 1940 (#6)


I was at S.’s today, telling her about our night over in the countryside.

How MN filled the woodstove with splits stacked in the kitchen, how the stove puffed and groaned and how good the three eggs I found in the old hen house tasted. I heard a rooster crow so there must be hens around. I took a chance but the eggs were fresh.

S. laughed, she seemed at ease. She said I am good for MN. He needs a diversion in his life. He needs a woman to fry him eggs in the morning. He needs a woman to warm his bed at night.

MN has never told me about his past. I thought it would come in time. There is such little chance now, with him scarce and not even S. knowing where he is from day to day.

But I do miss him, and wonder what he is up to. When I see him, I fall under his spell, and my body responds to his presence faster than my mind. My skin seems softer, my movements more languid. S. laughs when she questions me, saying all this is natural.

He is a man and I, a woman. What could be more normal?

S. and I were having our usual talk when the maid informed her the German, Lieutenant Wolflauf was downstairs.

This German is very cordial, quiet, but commanding. He kissed my hand, which I thought outrageous considering his army has just invaded Paris.

I sat and said little. S. was her usual self, elegant and unflappable, but I could tell a bit nervous.

I kept staring at his shiny black boots. They seemed more than boots, and they made me nervous for some reason. They were like mirrors into the future.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008








‘The River’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”

September 15, 2017





The sun streamed in the window,

Like a jarring benediction

From a loud-mouthed priest.

It fell upon us

As we spooned asleep,

Your back turned to me,

My nose on your skin

Breathing in the miracle of you.


Last night, our first in spent passion,

That particular coin flowed like a river

Between us.

You brought hot, wet towels

To clean up the waters left by the flood.


Bending over me,

Parting my thighs with your hands,

I wanted you to leave the damp alone,

And slide

Into the faintly pulsing dark chasm,

My hollow twisting at the end of you.


But instead,

I curled up like a fiddle-head fern,

And embraced your dark head with my hands,

Pulling your mouth to my own,


And we flowed down that river again.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016  (“The River” is published in “A Seasoning of Lust”, 2016)

“To The New Lover, #1”, From “A Seasoning of Lust”, second edition

January 12, 2017


It’s Open Link Night at dversepoets pub.  Come read some great poetry!


In December, 2016, “A Seasoning of Lust” was published on  It is now in its second edition.  Nick Nicholson, a long time friend in Australia,  did the heavy labor on this book, bringing a new cover and together we rewrote some of the poems. Nick also lent some of his marvelous photographs taken on his recent world tours to illustrate some of the poems and all of the short stories.

It was my first book, published in 2009 by, but most first books can be redone.  I am very pleased with the new book, and am very grateful to my dear friend, Nick, for his keen advice and his patience.  There is an emphasis on literary erotica inside this book, with poems, flashers, prose, and concluding with three not- so- short stories.

Lady Nyo

A piece of erotica to get the blood moving this cold January morn….

To The New Lover, # 1


Fingers flit over cheeks

rubbed raw during the night

by ardent kisses and the

rough beard of a man in rut.


An early morning’s light

peeks through drapes drawn

for modesty’s sake

shielding the

sweet debauchery

of the night before.


She feels his hands move to her breasts

and nipples greet their caress,

arising to a new and different

touch, demanding notice.


His dark head moves to kiss her mouth now

dry, her lips bruised with their late passion,

he  filled again with early need.

She feels him push at her thigh.


Eyes barely open, he now knows

the terrain, and with a growl, rolls on top,

spreading the sweet apex of her thighs, a hand

in the warm  darkness there, waiting.


She stretches, remembering the sweet movements

of the night, a savage pas de deux.

An ardent moan escapes  her throat.


This morning, he is gentle, she is sore,

almost virginal, challenged by the heat

of the night

and with gentle touches, he commands

her arousal,


and calls her out to dance again.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

“A Seasoning of Lust” can be purchased on 

“A Seasoning of Lust”

December 20, 2016


Well, there you have it.  The second edition of “Seasoning”.

Nick Nicholson, a dear friend of over a decade took my first book and reworked it.  Nick picked the cover, we consulted on the  writings, making some important changes in text and Nick also supplied some of his marvelous photographs illustrating some of the poetry, other writings and the three short stories inside.

We had a lot of fun with this.  This first book was heavy with  erotica, but that mostly was because of the influence of a particular writers group I was in at the time.  I left that group because I felt strongly that erotica should be a seasoning, not the whole meal.  Plus, as a writer, I realized the constrains in writing erotica.   Writing became much more.  I was ready to find out how much more.

A first book is thrilling to hold in your hand.  However, I feel after 8 years, it needed to be revised.  It was the basis of my beginning royalties, but I figured that I could do better and this book needed revision.  Nick was the instigator of that and I am deeply grateful for his eagle eye, his marvelous photos, and his guidance on the revision.

It was originally on, but now is published on Amazon, Createspace.

Included are the original pieces in this new edition, (but revised) much poetry, tanka, haiku, the three (longish) short stories and the beginnings of the “Lady Nyo Writings” that became “Song of the Nightingale”, my last book, also on Amazon.

All these stories and poems and ‘flashers’ (very short stories) were written in basically two years.  I look back at this book and marvel at the energy I had then. Now?  It takes me much longer to produce a book but with friends like Nick, it can be a walk in the park.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016







Sonnet:”Erotica Sea”….Adults Only.

October 25, 2016


(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2000)

Nick Nicholson has worked hard to reissue “A Seasoning of Lust”, first published in 2009.  As with first books, there were changes that needed to be made, in format and content.  It is a mildly erotic book, reflecting the milieu of the first writer’s group I was first in.  However, I wanted to write more than erotica and left and went on.  As I became to hold, erotica was just a seasoning, not the whole dinner. Hence, the title of that first book.  In a few weeks it will be reissued on Amazon with a new cover and other surprises.  Thank you, dear Nick.  Your friendship and eagle eye has made all the difference.


I’m going to include this for the d’verse challenge.  It’s my first sonnet, my first nautical painting, and from my first book: “A Seasoning of Lust”.  A lot of firsts for me but not I am sure in the expectations of d’verse readers.  LOL!


 Erotica Sea

O, give me a taste of  you and your tongue

pry open my lips with that soft muscle,

plunge in warm waters of an ocean sung

by lusting mermaids, loins in a tussle,

a clam’s foot that tastes the brine of passion

claims undersea caves of another route.

Pull my loins to yours in a riptide grip,

sound my deep warm sea, your cock a stiff mast

the weight of you pushing me downwards fast

hips gyrate in a nautilus spiral.

With your foghorn’s groan, semen’s saltiness

floods my womb like the moon’s tidal offering,

we float weightless, that sweet mystic sea sings,

bodies sway, like abandoned ship’s rigging.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008-2016

“The River”

October 4, 2016

Spiral right back into Life

For friends and readers who don’t mind a little erotica.

The sun streams in the window

like a jarring benediction

from a loud- mouthed priest.

It falls upon us

as we spoon asleep,

your back  to me,

my nose on your skin

breathing  in the miracle of you.


Last night, our first in spent passion,

that particular coin flowing like a river

between us,

you brought hot, wet towels

to clean up the waters left by the flood.


Bending over me,

parting my thighs with your hands,

I wanted you to leave the damp alone,

and slide your hand

into the still wet, faintly pulsing dark chasm,

my hollow jerking and twisting at the end of you.



I curled up like a fiddle-head fern,

embraced your dark head with my hands,

pulling your mouth to mine,


and we flowed down that river again.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

This poem was “Poem of the Year” at ERWA back in 2010.  It is included in “A Seasoning of Lust” which is being reissued on Createspace  in a few weeks.  My deepest gratitude to Nick Nicholson, in Canberra, Australia for doing the rework. With a friend like this for over 10 years, you are never alone.




An email from Jingle Nozelar Yan (JP at Olive Grove ):

“when you post on word press or blogger, you do not have to pay or ask permission in person. which is what we count for.”

Every poet and poet group I frequent would find that surprising.  There are Copyright Laws in the US,  Jingle. Even in China. But bless your little  heart.

Please  don’t read my work on her site. If you care about literature, you will go to the original source and bypass Jingle Bells.



First Snowfall

January 12, 2016

My beautiful picture


Liras, a strong  writer and a woman who stands up to her convictions, has posted the first chapter of “Diary of a Changling”, a series I wrote  about Paris, 1940.  An Englishwoman is stranded in Paris when the Nazis march in, and her lover, unbeknownst to her, is in the French Resistance.  There are only 10 chapters so far in the novella. 

Warning:  this is a work of erotica.

Thank you, Liras.  Her blog can be found at

Lady Nyo


First Snowfall


There is such beauty in the still-night.

A sudden snowfall  pushed

The boundaries of the mundane back

And fantasy flows like outrageous mythology.

The white challenges the moon

Lights up a trampled ground

And gives a purity to all it covers.

Shadows form where  there were none

A supple mystery to something  familiar,

Now a strange, alluring world

Transformed, made anew,

Even forbidding as the huge trees

Groan with an icy burden

And bushes are split in two

With the weight of an alien gift,

Power lines  crystalized spider webs

Spun across streets.

The silence complete.

No modern noise intrudes.

It is Winter’s gag on  fretfulness,

Restlessness, all noise.

Commanded to stay inside

To read a book,

To look outside and admire

A miracle that we, with all our intelligence

Can not remake.

This is Winter’s true gift.

We are to obey the season

This enforced solitude,

Wrap  ourselves in this quilt of quiet,

Cast off our endless activity,

Finally be still,

To heal with a balm of serenity.

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”, (The Master) Chapters 16 and 17…..

December 1, 2012

In 2006 I joined a website, ERWA, and this website (Erotica Readers and Writers Ass.) had a lot of writers who delved into bdsm in their writing. Hell, many in their lives. It took me a couple of months before I realized what this stuff contained, and it was pretty interesting. Also scary. It was something totally alien, different from my experience. I started writing a novel, “A Kapitany”, (Hungarian for “The Master”) which had a strong bdsm quality about it, with lots of sex, but then dropped it. I was pretty queered by what I found in this bdsm world, and of course, you can’t write something like this without doing some research. The people in this world were a very mixed bag, and I never thought I would revisit this unfinished novel. Over the fall, I did, and decided to give it to the only sane man (and a friend) I knew from that former world (called a Dominant there) to read. He gave it a thumbs up and suggested I finish it. He had reluctantly read “Fifty Shades of Gray” and thought this “A Kapitany” had some merit. I haven’t read that book and probably won’t, but then again, it seems to be making the rounds in society.

I realized I had lost interest in this book, but not only because I was queered by the behavior I found in this bdsm world. Every chapter had sex in it, and after a while, this became boring, at least to this writer. When I expanded the theme to include international art
thievery….it became more interesting. Expanding the theme brought new challenges and research, and a deepening of plot. If it doesn’t interest the
writer, or they feel they are just going through the motions to finish a book…it won’t hold together.

A quick summary of characters:
Vadas Dohendy is a Dominant man, deeply
involved in the bdsm world, but also an art thief. He is growing older, and he is jaded with his life. He sees his circle of friends for what they are, and they are all corrupted by life. They are opportunists and the women around him now leave him cold. He has inherited a vineyard in Eger, Hungary and wants to leave this other world for a world of fungus, blight and vines. He produces a good “Bulls Blood”, a particular Hungarian wine with a lot of ancient history.

Elizabeth is Vadas’ new squeeze but she hasn’t a clue to his real life. He has proposed, sort of, but she isn’t biting. He is older than she, but not by much. She hasn’t been corrupted by his activities and her freshness is part of Vadas’ interest.

Miklos: basically, the ‘boss’ of Vadas and a thoroughly bad character. He is a sexual sadist and not a nice guy at all. People should move far down the bench from him. Vadas is trying to find a way to get rid and around him without the usual violence. It probably won’t happen.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, chapter 16

It was time for dinner and Vadas always listened to his stomach. I didn’t know if I was hungry or my stomach was responding to the latest news of Vadas’ life, but nothing seemed normal to me. I felt suspended in time. I was falling in love with this complicated man, and at the same time knocked off my feet with what he said. Then, there was also the issue of my staying with him. Could I possibly live in that remote area of Hungary? Could I be serious about marrying him? And was his proposal driven because he had revealed something very dangerous about himself, something anyone could use, could go to the authorities and reveal?

“Elizabeth, I am hungry and I would suppose you are, too? Let’s go to a nice restaurant around the hotel, I know of a few. I am tired of room service.”

This was new. Vadas loved room service. At least in the States. But we were in Budapest, and it was, from what I had seen, a glorious city, full of museums, churches and art galleries. Of course I hadn’t seen any of these places. I still was a tourist and wanted this before I left. When and where I was leaving I hadn’t the time to yet consider. There was just too much to decide and right now, my stomach was deciding for me.

We walked down Vaci utca, a historic street full of Nouveau Art buildings, former mansions and now hotels and restaurants. A full moon was just rising, and the street was lit with those street lights that were soft globes far above the cobblestones. The facades of the buildings were marvelous, something rare and wonderful. Vaci utca was a pedestrian only street and people were sitting at tables outside restaurants and cafes. Vadas turned into a restaurant and we were immediately placed at a table in an alcove. I had the idea he had come here before, perhaps many times, because the maître de bowed, his face lit up with a smile, and he whispered a greeting. Vadas replied, of course in Hungarian, and a few words were exchanged, beyond my comprehension.

It seemed a rather formal restaurant for a quick dinner, but I had come to see that Vadas did things in a grand fashion. Immediately a waiter appeared and Vadas ordered a couple of bottles of wine. I could make out the word ‘wine’ but I was surprised how fast they appeared. Generally Hungarian food was based around meat and heavy starches, and I was afraid this constant fare would get me fat so I decided to order just a salad and perhaps grilled shrimp. Vadas had a bottle of rosé brought to the table for me. He didn’t even look at the menu but was brought a steak and two bottles of some red wine.

The rosé was rather sweet and delicious, perfect for my fare. Vadas said little, but he tore into his meal like a starving man. Perhaps he was, as I wasn’t around to see what he was eating for the past few days.

“Vadas. Except for the shopping trips with your Soffia, I haven’t seen anything really of Budapest.”

“That can be easily remedied, Elizabeth. Where would you like to go?”

“I would like to see some museums, some galleries and of course a church or two.”

“Ah, do you feel so sinful you need to empty your heart in confession?” Vadas chuckled and picked up his glass.

“No, I don’t. I just want to see what other tourists see of Budapest.”

“But Elizabeth, you aren’t exactly a tourist. I am hoping you will stay with me and make this country your home.”

I sat back, surprised at this quick turn of conversation and looked at him.

“Vadas, I haven’t decided anything yet. I have a lot of confusion about how I feel, and especially about you.”

“Elizabeth, try this wine, and tell me what you think.” Vadas was clearly avoiding this topic.
He pushed a large wine glass across the white linen cloth and I tasted the wine. It was deep red, and stout. It wasn’t to my taste at all. I made a small grimace.

“What? You don’t like it? It came from my vineyard.”

I looked up at him in surprise. “Oh, Vadas, I am so sorry. It’s just that I haven’t developed a taste for strong red wines, yet, but I am sure it is a very good wine.”

“Well, I brought you to this restaurant because I supply some of the wine, and I wanted to surprise you. Perhaps next year, when I play with the vines and combine different grapes, you will grow to like the results.”

“I am surprised, Vadas. I didn’t think where your wines went. And perhaps it is just my inexperience with Hungarian wines, my ignorance, that makes them not to my taste. Please forgive me. I can learn.”

Here was an honest venture of his, and I had not seen it coming.

“If you become my wife, Elizabeth, you will see my wines are far flung. You will visit many restaurants and will be treated like a queen.”
“There are many problems first, Vadas. But I like the idea of being treated like a queen.” I laughed, and hoped that he had not taken offense.

“Vadas, I can not live in that house of yours with the pig head in the dining room and the wolf head in the hall. They have to go.”

Vadas sat back and I saw him tapping the table, planning his answer. He even scowled.

“Elizabeth, you don’t know the history of those two. The boar as you call pig, killed a man and gored another. He lost his leg. This was in my father’s time. And the wolf? Well, he was a man killer, coming down from Transylvania, for we don’t have black wolves, ours are grey. He killed a number of people before my grandfather led a pack of men to hunt him down. Both of them have history, important history and lots of memories for the people who live here.”

It was clear these two mounted heads meant more than just to Vadas. What right did I have to demand they be removed? Ah, this was more of the Hungarian cultural issues that I did not understand. And to live in this region, well, could I?

I sat back, and sipped my sweet wine. It was good but was going straight to my head. I felt my emotions rising as I looked at the man across the table. Ah, Vadas, what am I to do or say to you? Do I even tell you I am falling in love or do I play it safe?

Somewhere the strains of a violin started up, the music soft and alluring. Usually I found violinists traveling between tables annoying, but this was music of Bartok, not what was played for tourists as ‘gypsy’ music. The combination of wine and music was beginning to relax me, perhaps too much. I was with Vadas, after all, and needed my wits about me.

“Vadas, I don’t want to pry, but have you decided what to do with Miklos?”

“That is not of your worry, Elizabeth. And no, I haven’t decided about Miklos, if you must know. I am more interested in you right now.”
I picked at my salad and avoided his eyes.

“Tell me what you want, Elizabeth. Look me in the eye and tell me what you want.”

Oh, this was the classic appeal of a Hungarian man to get to the truth. I sat back and thought what I should tell him.

“Vadas, what reason do I have in asking you anything? We have known each other only six weeks. How much do we really know of each other? I know you were married once before, you have a vineyard and live in a former hunting lodge. I know you have two dubious side lines. Or careers if you prefer. You know nothing of me, except what I have told you and that is little enough. We haven’t a basis for marriage, certainly not now. Do we even understand each other? Plus, there are cultural differences between us. Surely they can’t be ignored.”

“Elizabeth, I know more than you suspect. It is very easy, if you know how, to obtain information on just about anyone. I know, for instance, that your first husband was a spoiled brat and your second one a drunk. That you disliked your mother and adored your father, but of course he was Hungarian, so that is understandable. I know you worked as a graphic artist, and hated it, and wanted to paint landscapes. I know you had some successes in a few galleries, but not enough to support yourself by sales. I know you are a talented and intelligent woman and I know that you are older than you have said. Just a few years, but still I am older.”

My face showed my surprise. So, he has snooped on me? And who was he talking to? Did he hire a private investigator? Did he know how much I had in the bank and did he know how many men I had screwed?

“Elizabeth, don’t be angry with me, darling. I became very interested in you from the second day we met. From the first. I needed to know who and what you were, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was intrigued. You are a very independent and strong woman, and if you weren’t such a challenge, I would not have been interested. Do you understand? Perhaps Hungarian men do things differently than what you are used to, but there was some risk for me. If you had known, or had been a plant as they say in America, to inform on me, I would have been at your mercy. But you were innocent of all suspicions. And plus, the sex was very, very good.”

Vadas sat back and smiled, as if that last comment made all else disappear.

I had no answer for him, but I checked my anger. I could play my own cards.

“Vadas, what do you really want from me? And are you willing to give me what I want?”

He looked across the table, his eyes locking mine. “Tell me, then, Elizabeth, what you want. If I can give it to you, you will have it.”

“I want to paint. I want very much to go back to painting. I want my own studio, with good light and space enough. I want to be able to contact galleries, not just local ones in Eger, but here, in Budapest. I want someday to own my own gallery. I also want some sheep.”

Vadas’ eyes widened and I heard him chuckle. “Good! I love lamb and we could market it with the wines. That is a very good idea, Elizabeth. I congratulate you on your invention.”

“No, Vadas. I don’t want to raise sheep for food, or for slaughter, I want to raise sheep for wool. To market fine wool to different artisans. And since I am probably becoming a vegetarian, I wouldn’t be eating meat.”

Vadas looked worried when I mentioned not eating meat. “You don’t expect me to eat grass, do you?”

“No, Vadas, but I do expect you to quit smoking. You are going to die from it, and I will not be married to a man who is going to die soon from such a habit.”

“So, you are going to marry me?”

I had to backup quickly, but the wine was clouding my head.

Before I could open my mouth to answer, Vadas pushed a black velvet box across the table.

“Open it, Elizabeth. Then you will know my intentions.”

I sat and looked at it for a few moments. I was curious but the wine hadn’t completely screwed with my senses. I sensed something different, something a bit dangerous to my present convictions.

“Open it, Elizabeth.” I looked up at Vadas, and he seemed to be so earnest, so serious.

There in white satin lining was a bracelet. A diamond bracelet with rubies and emeralds. They were large stones and were set in what looked like platinum or white gold. The diamonds were strung in two strains, linking the rubies and emeralds. I had never seen such a piece of jewelry. It was very fine and obviously very expensive.

“I can’t accept this, Vadas. This is too valuable, and it would be wrong to do so. It is too valuable a gift for me to accept.”

I couldn’t take my eyes off of this bracelet and in the dim light of our table, it sparkled like a million stars come down to earth. The fire of the diamonds and the depth of the other stones made this jewelry captivating.

Vadas reached across the table and took my left hand. “I give this to you, Elizabeth, because I have love for you and hope you have some for me. You are right, we have been together a short time, but in this time I have seen a woman I would want to spend my life with. Not since Marta have I had these feelings, and they make me feel younger. Just try it on for me.”

I picked up the bracelet and placed it on my right wrist. The clasp was strange, not what I was used to in a bracelet. It was like a small box with a large ruby in the middle. I didn’t see any way to secure it on my wrist. I looked up at him, puzzled, and he was smiling.

“Here, extend your arm to me, Elizabeth. I will show you how it works.”

Vadas took a tiny, delicate key from his pocket and pressing the ruby, the clasp opened. Then the other end of the bracelet could be joined to secure it. He turned the key, and with a sly smile, pocketed the key.

“There, it is on your arm, only to be removed by this key and by me. So, how do you like your gift?”

Vadas had tricked me! But it was not something I could have anticipated. I just shook my head and laughed. This man was one tricky devil, but I couldn’t for the life of me take my eyes off his gift. In a way, it was a very expensive slave bracelet and the meaning of it was not lost.

A Kapitany, Chapter 17
Vadas sat in the darkened hotel room illuminated by the full moon. Elizabeth was asleep on the bed, gently snoring. The rosé proved to be too much for her, even two glasses. All the way home Vadas listened to her tipsy chatter. He also watched her raise her arm to admire the bracelet every time they walked under a street lamp. It fitted her arm well, and she seemed happy, perhaps because she was drunk. It was the first time he had seen her in such a state and it amused him.

She was dead on her feet when they got to their suite and he undressed her. He placed her naked on the bed and sat in an armchair watching her sleep. The moon fell across her pale body and she looked like a little Venus on the half-shell. Her long hair fell over her face and breast and her stomach rose and fell with her breaths. She was a small woman, but the roundness of her belly gave her a charming appearance, a ripeness that only could come with maturity.

She looked so innocent, lying there exposed to the moon, his eyes. There was nothing he could not do to her in this state, but he felt no lust. Perhaps he was tired himself or perhaps he was just old. There was more on his mind than Elizabeth. He couldn’t help wonder, though, if demanding that she live in Eger was the right thing to do. Here was a modern woman, not of his usual society, and certainly not a submissive woman. He was asking her to make a radical rupture with most of what she knew in life. He wondered if she would marry him, but then again, what was his rush to marriage? Probably because he was old fashioned and needed to claim her. Perhaps he thought she would leave him if he didn’t. There were no guarantees in life, he knew that.

Vadas threw back his head and stared at the dark ceiling, wanting a cigarette to accompany his thoughts. He would have smoked but it probably would have awakened her. She was bound to make trouble, to rock the boat with the Kovacs. Maria and Janos had been in the family for forty years and two women in the same kitchen was a recipe for disaster. Elizabeth seemed to be a little domestic, and would probably want her own space. She would want to cook for him, or do something to mark her territory, and that was most probably him. Ah, there was trouble ahead and he had to figure out how to make his world…undisturbed. Probably not possible. He would have to make some changes, too.

Perhaps they should live in the old house? He hadn’t been there for twenty years. It was falling apart. The last time he was there was when Marta had died after childbirth, and he had abandoned it like so much of life. Probably bats and wolves inhabited the rooms, now.

Could he afford to renovate the house of his ancestors? It was too large and drafty, the window glass gone in some of the rooms, just boarded up against the weather. Zoltan had been up there on the hill, had gone through the house, made an accounting of the continued decline. He told him on the way to Eger. It didn’t sound good. The plaster had fallen from the walls of some of the rooms, the floor boards had rotted in sections from a bad roof and the smell was one of a general decay. The only rooms that had survived were those where the old furniture was stored, covered up from the elements. These were in a side wing of the main house. Perhaps they could live in this part and slowly, given the finances, restore the rest of the house? Ah, Elizabeth had a ‘nose’ for old things, antiques, perhaps she would rally to this. There was no modern heat, barely plumbing but it would be more of an adventure to a new bride, if he read Elizabeth right.

Elizabeth liked historic buildings and this certainly fit the bill. Perhaps there was a sunny room where she could set up her studio? Perhaps in years to come they could open this as a hotel? There were rooms enough for that, but of course they would have to put in the modern conveniences. People couldn’t be expected to use chamber pots and fireplaces nowadays, not like when he was growing up.
There were servants then, and now nothing like that. Of course the Kovacs were there, but after forty years, they were more family than the other. But two women in one kitchen was a recipe for trouble.

Vadas looked at Elizabeth lying in the moonlight. If he would admit it, if he would ‘look himself in the eye and tell the truth’; he was lonely. Elizabeth looked sturdy enough to work the vines by his side, to hunt with him, to walk the caves and inspect the barrels, to grow old with him and warm his bed. He was lonely, and the past twenty years had done nothing to change this. Funny he had to travel half way around the world to meet someone who was only just a little Hungarian, but had interested him enough to grow love. Since Marta died he had not had love, only lust and lust had made him run from any consideration of love. Lust had been enough then, but now?

He was thankful Elizabeth was at an age where the possibility of a child was over. He didn’t want to chance another birth like the last. If his blood had brought forth a monster, it was better he remain childless. There was no heir, but then again, the loss of Marta had ruined him.

He was empty, his heart was empty, barren, and only with this little chit of a woman had he begun to realize what he was missing. When she had gotten so angry at him, when she challenged him, he had known fear. He was afraid of being alone again, afraid of losing her. She had spirit and was no fool. She had allowed him liberties but she knew her own head. He could push her around just so much. She had substance and could survive on her own. She didn’t need him, and he knew it. That was why he told her about Miklos and his history with him. It was time to be honest with her if he wanted her to stay. As honest as it suited him. There were always other considerations. He was still the man and had secrets she didn’t need to know.

Miklos. Vadas sighed. Miklos once again stood in the way of his happiness. How many times over the years had this been true and how many times had he bowed to the power of Miklos? What would Miklos want to end this, to break these ties that bound them together? He knew there was no future with Elizabeth if he didn’t get away from Miklos.

Vadas yawned. He was more tired than he knew. It had been a long three days and tomorrow night he would confront Miklos in his own lair. That bracelet on Elizabeth’s arm would signify much to anyone in the room who knew him. It was time for old Vadas to start a new life. And the farther away he was from Miklos and his circle? The better for his future. And the safety of Elizabeth’s life.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008-2012

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