She was the perfect distraction to forget Anne. A velvet-eyed gazelle with honey-drop breasts – as Arpad Somogy, the President of Moldova, had enthused in his flowery manner in view of her bare-breasted performance at the welcome party. Without a doubt, Dascha was one of the most breath-taking betas that had ever found their way to Károlyi.
So, Ben Abner must have known how to make Adrian want to give up Anne. It might not even have been necessary, because Adrian was relieved when he heard what had happened in the pupils’ room. That same evening, which may have been around midnight, Abner had invited him into his office and, in the presence of Holly Rüschenberg, had told him what Anne had done. The lord of the castle explained that their rampant violence left him no other option but to immediately send her to special training.
Adrian probably felt the look of Holly Rüschenberg at that moment. Full of expectation she had first stared at him, then reproachfully and finally scornfully when he was silent and did not contradict. Apparently, she felt that Anne was punished too severely. Abner, however, kept talking incessantly. Anne Ludwig was sold to Ortega with binding effect anyway. The special training was just the right thing for her, as the South American would use her as a mare. That would even be in the sale’s contract. Besides, Adrian would now be free for Dascha, fortunately. It would take a huge load off Abner’s mind. Even though Dascha was obviously blameless for the incident, she would still need – and he thought everyone could agree on this – an experienced and capable Alpha for the second phase of education. Attila von Ungruhe is currently far too involved in special training to do justice to this task. The poor guy practically never left his workshop. Von Unruhe himself had therefore proposed Adrian as Dascha’s lord. The lord of the castle looked at him expectantly.
How simple everything was. If Adrian agreed now – a tiny nod of the head would be enough! – all the musing of the past few days came to an end. Sure, back in the library, everything was magical. He was enraptured and infatuated with the girl who sat next to his armchair with glow-worm eyes, who adored him, who dared to defy him, who was full of crazy ideas, who could set wood on fire with her angry glare alone, and who even outshone the chandeliers of the castle library with her laughter.
The doubts came later. How deep could her feelings be at all? She was a pupil, brand new in the organisation. Adrian was the first Alpha to give her the severity she so longed for. Wasn’t that the only reason she had a crush on him? But suppose her feelings for him were serious. Where could this lead? Did such a thing even have a place in the Magnus organisation? Sure, there were examples. They worked more or less well. Some were disastrous. With Abner’s French friend Jean and his Florence, it had ended in a poison attack. His mentor and supporter Ben Abner did not even like to pronounce the L-word. For him, it was some kind of glitch in the system. Something a smart Alpha would do his best to avoid.
As if that were not enough, the most difficult question of all remained. What did he do to the girl himself when he got involved with her? The explosion in Baghdad had shredded his body, and the associated betrayal of Aminah had pulverized his emotional life. All that remained was his well-tempered sadistic pleasures in the Magnus organisation. He was about as suitable for love as a black widow who is used to eat her partners’ heart out after mating.
Damn, he called her that now, too. Then Holly Rüschenberg could look at him with such reproach. He knew what he was doing or what he better left alone. So, he agreed to take over Dascha instead of Anne in the second phase of training. Relieved, he had left Abner’s office afterwards. Relieved, he had gone to bed. Deeply and dreamlessly he had slept, only to wake up at the crack of dawn to find that he had exchanged one agonizing condition for another. He felt restless, restless and above all angry. Very angry. He struggled with himself, with Anne, with Abner, with fate and with everything else that got in his way.
At 6:30 am he had already got the first of his employees out of bed and crashed them together because he had failed to report a faulty camera at the security fence yesterday. Afterwards it was Rockenbach’s turn. Where’s the weekly report? He was already 24 hours overdue, he had barked into the phone. If Rockenbach felt unable to fulfil his dual obligations as animator and team leader in the security sector, he could simply tell him. While Rockenbach, still drowsy, stuttered an answer, a beta – a shy being, whom he therefore always treated carefully and gently – had brought him breakfast in the office. She had placed the cup of steaming coffee right in front of him. Lost in thought, he took a sip and scalded his lips. The coffee was boiling hot and suddenly he felt a terrible and almost overwhelming urge to pour it over the girl’s bare breasts as punishment.
It lasted only a second, then he had himself under control again, but he kept away from betas in the following hours, almost fearfully. This was not possible with Dascha, however. As agreed after the fight, she was examined again by the doctor of the castle in the morning. As her future master, Adrian could not avoid picking her up afterwards in the administration building where the practice rooms were located. He resolved to approach the matter with iron self-control and not to let his anger get the better of him.
Adrian had studied Dascha’s file early in the morning and listened to part of her in-depth interviews. He knew Abner’s assessment of her character and he had seen her in action when she denounced Anne in the library for the chocolates. He considered them scheming, manipulative, selfish and unscrupulous. However, as far as the fight in the pupil’s dormitory was concerned, Adrian believed that his little bear girl had essentially gotten herself into it. The statements of the other betas were too serious and clear. Nevertheless, he had the vague feeling that Dascha was far from being as innocent as others might think. And she had truly made the best of the situation.
Supervised by a maid, she stood in her blue-grey tracksuit ready to march in front of the administration building when he rolled into the yard. With a hint, he had sent the other beta away and turned to his pupil. Dascha had curtsied in perfect form and then handed him a doctor’s note. He had looked at the document in …