In search of your soul. The start of a path.
- 👁 223
- ⭐ 7.3
- 💬 8
Wrapping my coat tightly around me, I started walking towards the road, when suddenly, I heard growling just a meter away from me. Memories of the cages I had seen when I arrived flooded my mind. Freezing in place, I raised my head to locate the source of the sound. Immediately regretting my decision to leave the house, I was confronted by a huge Doberman with bared teeth, and behind him slowly approached two more. My whole life flashed before my eyes, and for a second, I was saddened by how little I had accomplished in it. "Richard, stop! Get back to your places," Alex's voice harshly and loudly interrupted my thoughts. Startled, I jumped on the spot. The dogs pricked up their ears and obediently walked away. "Thank you," I replied, barely audibly. "Let's go inside. You'll get soaked," my unexpected savior said surprisingly gently and caring. I turned around and another wave of shock washed over me. Alex stood there with only a towel tied around his hips, which threatened to slip off his well-defined abdominal muscles. Raindrops fell on his chiseled chest, strong arms, and pumped torso. His black wet hair framed his incredibly handsome face, with thick black eyebrows, piercing blue eyes, prominent cheekbones, and full scarlet lips. Everything about this man was perfect. "No, I'd rather go back to the dogs. With this man, I'm sure I'll forget about principles and morals," raced through my head.
Fear gripped my whole body, and the tension felt like a thousand needles in the back of my head.
"Am I going to get hurt?" I finally asked my last question.
"No, I'll make it quick. I promise," he said seriously.
My executioner began to screw the silencer onto the muzzle of the gun, and I decided to seize the moment and desperately rushed towards the door. However, he immediately grabbed me and threw me aside. As I fell to the floor, I hit my head hard. Everything else happened quickly, just as he had promised. I lacked the courage to stare death in the face, so I covered my face with my palms, and my whole body tensed up in anticipation. The last thing I heard was the loud sound of shattering glass and then, a thundering gunshot. A sharp pain seized my whole body. After that, darkness enveloped my consciousness and dragged me away into the distance.
The room was flooded with warm light from the fireplace, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The crackling of the logs drowned out the oppressive thoughts in my mind. Slowly, I shifted the whiskey glass in my hand, watching as the drops trickled down in a thin, wiggling line.
The muffled sound of heels echoed in the hallway, indicating someone walking with confidence. The door creaked softly and opened.
"How did they let you in here? The manager said it was a private club and no one could disturb me," I asked with a smirk, knowing that there were no closed doors for this woman.
"And I'm glad to see you too," she kissed me on the cheek and settled down in the chair beside me.
"What can I get you?" I asked politely.
"I'll have something light. We can move on to the heavier stuff after the case," she said, her beautiful blue eyes twinkling.
"Hmm... And what business brings you here?" I handed Lika a glass of her favorite drink, mint liqueur.
"You know exactly why I'm here. It's time. It's been a year," she said with determination.
"Really? How quickly the year flew by..." I murmured, going to the fireplace to stir the logs with a poker. As the charred wood shifted, sparks rose and danced in the air. I was captivated by the fiery display that had always fascinated me.
"It feels strange that I'm the one who's been looking for you. Usually, you show up at the appointed time, with excitement in your eyes, ready to go into battle," Lika said.
"Well, I'm not an adventurous kid anymore. Besides, you know how this year has worn me out. I'm not sure if I want to continue this childish game," I replied cautiously, gazing into her eyes. I didn't want to upset her, as this game had been a thread that kept us connected over the years. But as time went on, life had become too intense, and in the face of life's challenges, I didn't need the extra dose of adrenaline.
"I know you've worked hard this year to keep the company going. I offered you an installment plan, but you're too proud. You chose to give away twenty percent of your brainchild just to prove that you could handle everything on your own. You even turned down Dan's help," Lika said, shaking her head. "I intend to continue. This game is the kind of magic kick you need sometimes."
"I thought the last round was particularly tough for you. I was even convinced that you wouldn't want to continue," I snickered, recalling our previous wager. We had bet whether my sister could survive for half a year on a waitress's salary, working honestly for the entire period. The stakes were high, and to my surprise, she not only survived those six months, but managed to quickly become the administrator of that establishment. In the last two months, she even paid for her own apartment, a tiny space but separate from her neighbors. This accomplishment was the most important and challenging goal for her. And since none of the established rules were broken, I had to pay every penny of the agreed amount. As a result, this year became a struggle for my own company, as my overconfidence played a cruel trick on me.
"You're right, it's been extremely difficult for me. There were times when I wanted to drop everything, get in my favorite car, and drive to the mansion. But you know what stopped me?" Lika turned her head to the side, her big blue eyes fixed on me, her blond hair tumbling over her shoulder.
"I guess the prize money kept you firmly in place," I responded ironically, taking a scalding sip of my drink.
"That's exactly what I expected you to say. What else could a man who spends his entire conscious life solely on increasing his wealth say?" Lika sighed, not giving me a chance to reply. She continued with her admonition, "But that's the wrong answer, and the right one you'll find out for yourself. At least, I really hope so..."
"Lika, we're not kids anymore. I know you've been patronizing me for too long, and it's become a habit. You want to change the way I live my life, but at least try to have a thought that I'm okay with it," I said, trying to end the conversation.
"This conversation, alas, will lead nowhere. The only way to get through to you is through action," Lika sighed heavily. "I want to show you how much you're missing out. Yes, this world is dependent on money, but just filling your pockets doesn't make you richer emotionally. Understand that no amount of money is going to close the hole in your soul."
"Look, I don't have the energy or time for another wager. Whatever you're trying to tell me, I don't need it right now," I stated firmly.
"What if I told you that this time, Villa “Delrado” would be at stake?" Lika mentioned, capturing my attention.
"Are you kidding me?" I locked eyes with her, she was definitely knowing how much I desired that piece of land. ‘Why now? She must be playing a complicated game, but whatever it is, it's definitely worth it,’ I thought to myself.
"There's that look of excitement. I take it you're in?" Angelica asked eagerly.
"I'm all ears, if you'd be so kind as to state the terms," I replied, intrigued.
It had been two days since my meeting with Lika. Today, there was a lot of work, as always, but my thoughts were consumed by the "villa." I couldn't focus on anything else. As I stood from my chair, my back and neck stiffened. ‘Too bad my gym workout is postponed today. But I'll get to a winery in southern Italy very soon, and it'll be all to myself.’ The thought brought a smile to my face.
"I see you're so excited," Lika said, entering my office unnoticed when I was in deep contemplation.
"It's so good to see you. You look absolutely dazzling today," I complimented her.
"Oh, that's so nice to hear. It's a shame it's all an act," Lika teased, and we both laughed. It had been so long since I was in such a wonderful mood.
"Mr. Heifetze, good afternoon. I’m glad to see you," I’ve greeted my notary.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Frei. As always it’s a big joi to work with you," He replied.
"Well, shall we get down to business?" I asked, rubbing my hands together and taking a seat at the head of the table. The guests settled on either side of me. "Mr. Heifetze, have you read the contract?" I inquired.
"Yes, Mr. Frye. All the clauses are clear. We just need your signatures and my seal. Have you finalized all the details of the deal?" the notary asked.
The notary gave me a significant look, causing me to tense up. I had known Gidon Heifetze for a long time, and all important documents went through him exclusively. He was a man of his word and incredibly detail-oriented. If he asked me a question like that, it meant that I needed to delve deeper. I wouldn't be surprised if it was more intricate than my sister had portrayed.
"Please hand over the contract," I requested with a frown. As I took the papers, I glanced at my sister, but she remained perfectly calm.
She knew that I would do anything to get the villa. I scrutinized every page. Everything was as discussed in the paragraphs, but the addendum was twice the size of the contract itself and contained a number of new terms.
"I'll need at least half an hour to go over the paperwork in detail," I said. The good mood began to fade rather quickly, and it smelled like a trick.
"Alex, are you saying that something can stop you on your way to your cherished goal?" Lika asked with a smug grin.
"It's unlikely, but I'm not in the habit of leaving my signature on unverified papers," I replied.
"Mr. Frei, I've spent a lot of time studying every letter in these documents. If you wish, I'll give you the highlights," Gidon said. I trusted Gidon as much as myself, and his summary could save us a lot of time.
"I'll be very grateful to you," I said, putting the papers aside and turning my attention to the notary.
"The basic contract is that you have to get three different girls to be intimate with you for money. For each girl, you will be given a maximum of three weeks. The amount of their fee is unlimited, but payment will come from your personal funds. Two girls will be chosen at random by Mrs. Masters, one girl will be chosen at random by you...."
"Gidon, please familiarize me with the addendum. I have no questions about the main part," I said, beginning to lose patience as I wondered what my one and only sister, Mrs. Masters, could have come up with.
"The addendum is that if one of the girls refuses, no matter which one it is, you will have to live with her in the same territory for six months," Heifetze said, raising one eyebrow.
‘What is her grand plan? No, of course, I'm used to privacy, but for such a prize, I can tolerate a neighbor,’ flashed through my mind.
"Lika, let's get right to the pitfalls and not waste time testing my patience with you," I said, growing impatient.
"Alex, your patience grew with you. When you were a boy, you hardly had any, but as a man, it seemed to me, you'd learned to wait. You can't imagine how much I love seeing that boy's curiosity in you again," Mrs. Masters said with a smile. But my good mood was gone, and luckily my sister understood that, so she hurried on,"Okay, look, it's all spelled out right here." Lika found the right page and handed it to me.
The documents said that I not only had to live in the same house with my roommate, but I had to spend all my off-hours with her, my workouts, my meals. In addition to sleeping in the same bed. At this point, I coughed and looked up at my sister with horrified eyes.
"This is too much. Half a year without sleep could make me lose my mind. Maybe we can do without that clause?" I asked with hope in my voice.
It would have been foolish to expect it to be as easy as my sister had presented it to me the last time we'd met. But I'd always slept alone, and having someone in my bed meant not getting a good night's sleep.
"Al, I'm not gonna change this one, it's up to you. Nobody said it was gonna be easy. And I'll have my man in your house to report to me on compliance," Mrs. Masters said, her eyes glowing with smugness.
"And besides, didn't you say that everything in this world is bought and sold, you just have to name the right price? If you really believe that, then you have nothing to fear," she added.
There was no way I could respond to this outburst.
"There are a couple of other points you should pay attention to," Heifetze broke the silence and turned to me.
I took a deep breath, rubbed my temple tiredly, stood up, and walked toward the bar. I poured a glass of whiskey and added rocks from the fridge, then took a big gulp.
‘I have to weigh everything up. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get three people to have sex for money, but knowing my sister, there will be a catch here too, so I need to be prepared for any outcome,’ I said to myself.
(on behalf of Anna)
The day was delightful; the air carried the scent of spring. Nature was rousing from its winter slumber, unfurling green buds, and dispersing the grayness with a burst of colors. The sun shone brilliantly, infusing long-awaited warmth. Birds serenaded, blending their melodic chirps with the city's hum, and this weather was ideal for a refreshing stroll.
Munich is an incredible city that happens to be so easy to fall in love with. Now I can't even believe that three years ago I was so opposed to coming to Munich. But oh, how the tides have turned. The architecture here dances between history and modernity, inviting me to lose myself in its intricate details. Even the familiar boxy structures I once knew have transformed into charming abodes, neatly nested into the city's embrace.
Yet, the true enchantment lies in the absence of towering skyscrapers. A smattering of taller buildings dots the skyline, yet they stand in perfect harmo
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