I've decided to tone certain smutty bits down, while subtly raising the heat in other ways. I am hoping to end up with a publishable novel of the Erotic Supernatural Thriller genres. When I say 'publishable' I mean 'by a professional publishing house' not yet another self-published effort.
Silver & Gold is my first attempt at a full-length novel. It has its naughty bits, but it addresses some pretty sensitive topics in ways that, I hope, will not offend readers' sensibilities. Still, it's definitely being written for mature audiences.
Here are the first couple of chapters.
Outside Buenos Aires, Argentina, Recent Past
The old man, his back still ramrod straight in spite of supporting the weight of accumulated decades, his once formidable frame now thin and frail, his still thick head of grey-white hair close-cropped as always. The fire crackling cheerily in the nearby hearth hardly lending his tired bones any warmth of late, took a moment as he painfully lowered himself into the cracked leather and burnished hardwood chair in his study, facing the roll-top writing desk with its many nooks and drawers.
Using that moment to glance in the direction of the discreetly concealed closet built to blend seamlessly with the wainscoted mahogany panelling which lined the room, lending it a warmth that was in no way reflected in SS-Oberführer Heinrich Müller’s withered soul.
Returning to the task at hand, Müller laid out his writing kit. The black lacquer Montblanc nib pen, indigo ink pot, blotting paper and stick of blood-red sealing wax, placing each with careful precision on the leather-framed surface. Once this small but important ritual was completed the old man, silently cursing his age-spotted and shaky hand, sun-bronzed except for a pale band around his ring finger, as he began to write.
Outside Buenos Aires, Argentina, Recent Past
The ranch’s perimeter had been easy enough to breach, just the usual precautions a wealthy, or guilty man might take. Barbed-wire fencing with strong current running through it, video cameras mounted every hundred metres.
Once inside the fence, however, Eli also found herself having to avoid irregularly timed patrols. Consisting of pairs of lean, fit young men in dun-coloured fatigues and polished black boots not unlike her own, though they hadn’t adopted war paint, each was equipped with a radio, armed with a shouldered H&K G3 battle rifle and a holstered pistol.
Worse yet, one held the leash of a large Alsatian.
Fortunately, this wasn’t Eli’s first visit to Rancho al atardecer, the Sunset Ranch, and she had come prepared accordingly.
Mossad had trained her well for the task awaiting her.
Greenwich Village, New York, Present Day
The letter arrived unexpectedly, early on an Autumn Tuesday in New York City. The postman recorded Henry’s signature, seeming to give it more than the usual cursory glance before handing the heavy-weight, heavily sealed parcel over to the twenty-seven year old, bachelor and post-graduate student before going about his way.
The young man watched the letter carrier as he made his way to the aged, creaky birdcage lift, pulling the door aside before entering and, with the push of a button, slowly descending out of sight and, finally, sound.
And so out of Henry Rosenthal’s life, after delivering the letter which would forever change it.
Which missive went unopened until midmorning of the following Sunday. Research, writing, editing and re-editing his thesis, as well as time visiting his advisor at Columbia, where he had studied since his Freshman year, majoring in Anthropology and Archaeology with a minor in Linguistics, following up on the Greek and Latin he’d learned at an exclusive private school.
Of course, his week hadn’t been spent entirely on his studies. Henry was attractive in the tall, blonde and blue-eyed way, with a fit, toned swimmer’s build and an easy, even cocky confidence that many women found hard to resist.
That he lived alone in a Greenwich loft certainly didn’t hurt when it came to bringing dates home, either. Sparsely but tastefully furnished in Arts & Crafts style, hardwood floors laid with silk hand-knotted Tibetan rugs, brick walls hung with framed prints, mostly his own work, either portraits or architectural studies. He’d picked up photography during his Senior year.
Friday night had been spent at the Village’s currently trendy cocktail bar The Up & Up in the company of a handful of schoolmates, catching up and pulling girls, mostly co-eds, with the waitresses also being fair game.
Henry hadn’t been disappointed, his looks and casual, assertive manner coupling with his stylish attire, favouring as he did casual Italian designers, accented by carefully-chosen shoes and Rolex Submariner watch, having learned that doormen and staff alike checked these things first, serving to attract the flirty attention of a vivacious, more than a little bit over-served Italian tourist who’d gotten separated from her friends and proved amenable, after the usual social dance, to joining him for a pleasantly memorable night.
Henry had worn her out after the initial kissing, caressing and foreplay, first enjoying her talented mouth as she knelt over him in his king-sized bed, finishing by swallowing most of, and wearing the rest of his copious pearls, then fucking her, first from behind, a favourite of his, watching her pert ass bounce with each thrust of his hips as she looked back over her shoulder at him, flushed and lovely, her cum face soon blossoming for him, in time for him to join her, filling her untrimmed little pussy, even spanking her, causing Isabella to squeal as her firm round bottom showed his red handprints.
Not typically one to go that way, Henry had been surprised at how arousing the sight, as well as the dynamic between them then, had been.
Finally he relaxed and lay back as she rode him, his hands on her modest but perky breasts as she threw her head back, moaning heatedly in Italian, of which he understood only a little, just enough to feel quite thoroughly appreciated as they came together and she collapsed, sweaty and glowing, atop him and they slept, arms around her, hands cupping her ass, her face buried in the curve where his shoulder met his neck.
The following Saturday morning had been spent lazing abed with her until they’d shared a shower and dressed before a stroll down the block to a favourite café, where a breakfast of eggs benedict and rich, dark French roast had left them pleasantly sated, and served as an ideal place to part. Numbers and email addresses exchanged, along with vague promises to keep in touch…
All repeated Saturday night, this time at Provocateur, the exclusive Gansevoort and 13th Street nightclub.
Eschewing the company of his friends and acquaintances, wearing his best clubbing suit, a midnight blue, two-piece wool and silk Italian cut over a cornflower blue shirt, open at the collar, French cuffs linked with midnight blue silk knots. Mirror-polished black dress shoes and a casually folded gold pocket square completing his lady-killing look for the night.
The final touch being a subtle spritz of Creed’s Royal Oud, his cologne of choice, its exquisite bouquet, its notes of bergamot, galbanum, sandalwood, Indian oud and Tonkin musk perfectly complementing his own clean, masculine scent.
Henry wasn’t poor, having recently inherited his parents’ estate following their sudden, violent deaths in an automotive accident in the Hamptons two winters prior.
He’d grieved, of course. Still did, from time to time, particularly on and around the date, but he’d also chosen to use his modest fortune to better himself, and clothing was a particular weakness.
As were women. He’d found himself unable to form long-term attachments, the variety and lack of commitment typical of the hook-up scene being more comfortable for him. Easier to invest in a night out, or a weekend away than to do so emotionally. He was up-front with his potential dates about his intentions and tended to gravitate to the other students with similarly transitory aims and tourists, as well as the occasional older woman, often married and so also unable to cross the line he’d drawn, emotionally.
That night his chosen playmate was a model he vaguely recognized, in town for a fashion show and slipping away frequently ‘to pee’, by which he recognized meant doing cocaine with her friends.
Not one to moralize, and besides, girl candy often made for great lays, and the pair had ended up in her suite at the Mandarin Oriental, coupling feverishly, the girl, Amanda, showing remarkable imagination, to say nothing of flexibility, well into the early hours.
He’d let himself out sometime after dawn, while she slept, exhausted, tangled in the sweaty sheets, and caught a taxi home.
There, after a quick shower and change of clothing, he’d finally retrieved the envelope and retreated to his study to examine it.
The postmark revealed it to have originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the sender a law firm he didn’t recognize.
Henry tensed upon reading this, a knot forming in his throat as he held the envelope, turning it in his hands. Knowing before opening it what it must contain.
Having received such a letter just two winters past.
Taking the ivory-handled pen knife from its place on his desk, he unfolded it and carefully slit one edge of the thick envelope. Extracting the heavyweight cream vellum paper within, he found to his relief that its contents were neatly printed in English, the typeface classically severe and elegant.
Esperanzo & Márquez
420 Plaza del Toro
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mr. Henry Rosenthal
111 Fourth Avenue
Greenwich Village, New York City
New York, USA
We regret to inform you of the passing of your great-grandsire, Heinrich Müller.
As executors of his last will and testament, we also inform you that you are the principal beneficiary of Herr Müller’s estate.
The terms of his will require that you present yourself at our offices at your earliest convenience. Please find included an open, first-class ticket and all relevant visa and other legal documents.
If you send word in advance, we will of course arrange to have you met at the airport, and suitable lodgings provided.
Please accept our sincerest regrets at being the bearers of such unhappy news.
Henry stared at the sheets of crisp, cream stationery for what felt like hours, though in truth it was merely long minutes, during which his thoughts meandered back over many years to his childhood, a vacation to stay with his great-grandfather in South America, such an exciting adventure for the young boy, unaccompanied by his parents.
His Großvati, as he insisted the boy call him, German for ‘grandpa’, had been, even twenty years ago, an aged and spare man, severe in his manner, yet surprisingly vigorous for a man his age. Thinning white hair meticulously combed back, showing a widow’s peak, his seamed and barely sun-bronzed complexion spotted with age. He’d always dressed impeccably, typically white and tan linen against the Argentinian heat, often wearing a wide-brimmed Panama hat.
Throughout their visit, staying at his sprawling, single-story ranch house, at the centre of his many acres, though he apparently kept no livestock, just a herd of horses, which he taught Henry to ride.
Otherwise, their time together was largely spent alone, though closely attended by Großvati’s few servants, mostly young locals, many of them pretty girls, though Ernst, his butler, or valet, and driver was an older man a contemporary, severe and Teutonic in appearance and comportment who unfailingly addressed his employer, Henry’s great-grandfather, as ‘Mein Herr’, and the boy as ‘young master’.
While they spent part of his vacation touring Buenos Aires and the surrounding countryside, the most memorable moments came when the two were alone, in Großvati’s study perhaps, or on the veranda watching the sunset.
During these times Henry came to have a sense of the severe, older man. That he was proud of his German heritage was clear, though the boy was of course too young to associate this, and his great-grandfather’s age and circumstances with the one-day obvious.
But Heinrich was pleased by his grasp of the German language, something his parents had seen to from his earliest years, and of his quietly respectful manner. Boyish enthusiasm tempered by a seriousness belying his years but nevertheless pleasing to the old man.
In all, Henry had spent a month vacationing, returning to New York with stories to tell his very curious parents and memories of a far-off, exotic land to fuel his imagination further.
This had, eventually, led him to learn of the Nazis, their atrocities, but also the sinister love of pageantry, and the mystique surrounding them.
That his Großvati was or had been one of the Nazi Third Reich’s officers was to him an inescapable conclusion. One which he yet found did not fully colour his memories of his time in Argentina, however.
Such things were ancient history, after all.
The Nazis, save for their sad progeny, Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists whose thuggish public displays, clumsy and ineloquent propaganda, hand in hand with such ignorant, virulently racist beliefs ran contrary to everything the growing young man was taught, and himself learned to hold close.
Now, some twenty years after his first visit, Henry would be returning to Argentina to receive his inheritance and, perhaps, he mused, learn more about his late Großvati.
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