Confesion of the Devil
Nyte & BronzMamba Crime, Romance and a dash of mystery.
On the day Marco Huk turned seventeen he forged his brother documents and went ahead to get enlisted in U.S. army. Marco came from a lineage our of Germany. Not to mention he was just second generation. But he saw himself as an American and nothing else. But when he got back the young man had changed... he was always understanding, talked kind and reassured you even in the worse moments you shared. And yet everyone who knew him feared him. First, it was the little village he used to live in. He called it 'getting things organized' the unmarkable chief of police suddenly had a son in one of the finest universities. The village was sought out by more and more men that were interested in a company of questionable women, the prohibited alcohol, gambling or just the feeling of power that came with having even just couple more bucks than someone else.

And before they knew it the man in his signature white suite would knock on their doors, sit in their restaurant or come in to check on the items they were selling. Like an invisible spider web, Marco's fingers had reached out to the nearby cities. He worked with everyone. Was it fishermen hiding contraband that they would pull out of the sea or was it the Chief of police or Major that could not afford to refuse the man any longer. He was intelligent and well organized he liked to keep his dealings withing an inner circle and the little village he was raised in had turned into a little country of his own. If you wanted to open a business, you did not go to the bank. That would be far too risky. An establishment that did not need Marcos financial help clearly would be in need of protection. You never knew what problems someone could run into... while on the other side. When you came to Marco right away. He was happy to help. "How much you need to set up the shop this month?" Or "Don't worry about the prices, right now. Drop them a bit lower, get the locals used to this place and we will start making money next year. I know this is for your family not just yourself."

Those were the upsides of having Marco around. He seemed like a man that could fix anything in the world and it would be easy for him. And yet there were people who took his understanding acts as a sign of weakness or were they just insane?

One of these men was Joseph White. The fool had borrowed money to open a fancy saloon, and had gone ahead and started to gamble with it on the same evening... he was lucky to get away with his life on that night. By no means was Joseph perfect. He was shortsighted and far too impulsive. Marco was everything he was not. The first time he came to visit, Joseph's wife had taken the children out of the house to go visit a neighbor. They barely would get glims at the well-built man in the white suit. His fancy car did stand out by their house for anyone to look at. They did not see their father for the entire day and when he returned on the next one he looked like he had gone through hell. That started happening more often as the time passed on. The second time was almost a year later, then one more after six months... that time he had come to join his family for the dinner. And the air in the room seemed so cold and thick you would have to cut it with a knife. Marco was sitting on the end of the table looking over Josephs family. He did not speak much, but whenever he did it was to compliment his wife's cooking, or how his daughter would grow up to be a beautiful woman. Joseph was sitting on the opposite end of the table and he was sweating cold sweat, he knew what he had done better than anyone and by now he knew no matter how sweet were the words and his smile they did not mean much when they would remain just the two of them in the room.
The atmosphere in the room was so intense that Shelly had lost her appetite. Which was a shame considering her mother had made one of her favorite dishes, but as the family sat at the table the only sounds that filled the room was the occasional 'tink-tink' of silverware against the glass plates and the man in white's compliments. After dinner Shelly would be expected to go into her room and ignore anything she might here from downstairs. Though she knew that by the end of the night her father would be sporting a black eye, busted lip, or other injures. Everytime Marco visited their home it happened. God she hated that man. Hated his smooth words and charming smile. The easy way he held himself as the rest of the family seemed to be sitting on pins and needles. 

"Shelly," her mother's voice startled the young girl from across the table and she looked up from her plate to meet her mother's gaze "are you not hungry?" 

Looking back down at her food Shelly realized she had only been pushing small pieces of the meal around on her plate rather than actually eating anything. "Oh, um sorry. Guess I'm just tired from school." Shelly was about to graduate from highschool and had been busy with various things to finish up her classes. It was an understandable excuse. She finally managed to lift a bite of food and started to eat, though her appetite was still non-existant. 

After the meal Shelly and her younger brother helped their mother clean up the dishes and put them away. Then the kids were sent to their rooms for the remainder of the evening. Shelly sat in front of her vanity brushing her short brown hair and listening to a radio her father had gotten her for these nights. Her jaw was clinched as she looked into her own pale green eyes and tried to ignore anything that was happening beyond her bedroom door. 

How many times had Shelly imagined telling Marco to leave their home? To grab onto his arm, triggering her ability to force him to tell the truth and reveal all his secrets, and threatening to spread those secrets to everyone who had ever wanted to cause the man harm. Of course such an actual event would be disastrous and her mother warned her to avoid actually touching anyone. It was why she wore soft white gloves nearly all the time. If she never made physical contact then no one would ever be subjected to the girl's power.
There was no one to turn to. Marco had their father in his grasp and it seemed like he would not let go no matter what. The police were on his side and so were most of the men who returned from the army. Josephs family left and he seemed to sink into the ground in front of the man. Marco had been sitting in front of the empty desk and waiting for just that to happen. "You are doing good for yourself, Jo. Your barbershop seems to be blooming and my acquaintances seem to enjoy the spot as well. Oh, I wish you were not such a filthy worm, Jo. So it has been six months and four days since I came to visit you. So tell me, Jo. What did you do this time? What is your worse thing you have done while I was gone?"

Joseph knew how this went down. It had happened plenty of times for him to know. Marco had ears and eyes everywhere. And he came to visit you only when he knew yet another secret of yours. Joseph felt like he was suffocating when Marco was around. He probably would if he knew how much Marco hated him. There was only one way out... to guess what Marco knew. If your answer would aline with your it was a slap on the wrist. Like a brush or a busted lip. Then there was the chance you would go overboard and tell him something he did not know that was worse than his info. That pinned out similar, it also meant he would keep a close eye on you from here on out. And then there was the third option, telling something meaningless, playing a saint. That would mean you did not come clean and you had sinned... that usually meant a very bad punishment. Joseph happened to be the fool who always thought he could get away with anything and went with the third option even knowing it was the stupidest thing to do. The idea of no punishment always pushed him towards that one. "I... well... I cheated with taxes so it would seem like my business is doing really well." Marco started to shake his head in displeasure.

"Like I would come over here on such a tiny subject. The country and the government does not care for us. But I do, I do care for all of you. Even a little piece of shit like you. I think it is time to remind you how good, you really are doing for yourself." Marco got up from his chair and walked behind the man. His hands moved on his shoulders and he pulled on him to stand the man up. "That's good, you are tense already. You remember what we talked about the last time. You need to flex your body, it will be harder for me to leave damage on you." His clenched fist pressed against his back, right over his kidneys. "Now, whatever you do, don't move, I don't want to rupture something. one... two... three..." his fist dug into the backside of the man and he let out a moan of pain. "Come on, come on, get back up two more, you really pissed me off this time." On the second punch the man's cheeks had tears rolling over them and on the third, he let out a little scream. Marco threw him back in the chair and bowed down. He then bowed down and whispered in his ear. "Keep pretending to be the good father, you ever think about leaving your family again and I will be the bad guy buries their father." He got up and walked past him. "Remember, cold helps, get some ice or just a can that's from the basement will do fine as well. Till, the next time, Jo I will see myself out."

Marco left and his next visit came sooner than anyone would have expected. On the first day of summer just 4 months later. There was a knock on their door and there he was smiling a warm charming smile as always. Her mother seemed to like his company and he asked for Joseph. This time he did not come in he asked to talk with him in their barn... god only could know what would happen to her father if there was no one around to hear his screams.
The visit had been rather horrible, as expected, and when Marco left her father was doubled over in pain. Bitter and angry tears were shed by everyone, except for her mother, who seemed far to relaxed in the man's presence. Shelly was the one who nursed her father's wounds, got him packs of ice, and brought him pain relievers. Her mother simply continued her day as normal. Shelly never understood the woman and resented her for her nonchalant behavior. 

The next time Marco came calling was just after Shelly had finished school. Her birthday had been a joyous occasion which lots of people from the town were invited. Marco had also been invited, out of courtesy, but fortunately he hadn't been able to attend. Something about prior engagements but had sent a bouquet of flowers for Shelly to celebrate the occasion. 

This time though, Marco didnt come in for dinner and called her father out to the barn. Her stomach turned at the thought of what might happen to him at Marco's mercy. So instead of waiting in her room as she was supposed to she snuck around the back of the house and to the barn where there was a broken window. A rock had smashed it when her kid brother was playing and tossing them against the side of the barn. The window allowed her to hear what was happening inside without being seen.
Marco closed the door of that barn behind them and he looked very displeased. "I am starting to think me disciplining you is a complete waste of time. We have gone through this again and again and again and nothing ever changes. Don't you wanna be a man?" Marco had taken off his suit and rolled up his sleeved while he had talked. "You're a good earner when you want to be Joseph." Whenever he used his full name the man knew it was bad news of epic proportions, the last time that had happened he was almost drowned alive.

"But I am sick and tired of getting these little messages about you more and more often. You have responsibilities as a man, your a father and husband. While your wife might know what kind of man you are the children don't. She asked me to let you be, she begged me, said you are smart and charming if you want to be. But I have not seen either, you cowardly piece of shit. I swear to god if I will have to come down here one more time I will forget what your wife asked of me." He went straight at Joseph and punched him right on his Adam's apple. The man seemed to choke and was gasping for air in agony. Meanwhile, Marco cracked his knuckles circling him, waiting for him to get up to keep the beating going.
From outside the barn by the window Shelly listened as the conversation started. Her father didn't say anything as Marco threw vague accusations at him. She heard a dull thud as Marco's hit landed and then heard her father choking. She covered her own mouth to prevent herself from making any noise at the sound. That monster was hurting her father again. He was a hard working man to supply a good life for the family and yet Marco constantly showed up to beat him back down. Her body shook with anger but she remained hidden. Even as she slowly rose up to peek inside the window to see the scene fold out before her.

As she rose up her father worked his way back up to his feet as Marco circled him like a vulture to carrion. Her hands trembled as she saw the evil look upon Marco's expression. "Say something back, father." She mouthed silently to herself. "Tell him to leave you and our family alone." How she had wished he would stand up to Marco, even fight him off, to leave them alone. Hell, she had even hoped that Marco would die in one way or another.
Joseph did not retaliate he just laid there shaking in fear looking sad and pathetic.

Marco: "Get up!"
Joseph: "Please, please Marco those are lies."
Marco: "Lies? Are you fucking serious? Lies! The girl's mother came to me herself. And on her Birthday too. I swear if it would not break Sally's heart I would snap your neck right here, right now."
Joseph: "I get it, I will do right by her, I get it Mark."
Marco: "Oh, you do? Then why do you keep doing shit like that? Get up and fight like a man you disgusting worm."
Joseph: "Please, I can't win against you, I'm just a disgusting worm, please, Mark."

That earned Joseph a kick in his guts. "It's Mark only to my friends." He dropped on his knee ready to punch his light out when he heard something. He looked towards the window and saw Sally looking at him. He immediately got up and took his jacket. Before she could even follow him Marco was out of there and her father remained there crying on the floor of the barn.

Marco knew he would not come to their house again. The next time he would see Joseph in a matter like this would be their last. He was on his last straw.

Rest of the summer seemed happy for them, Joseph hardly ever was home tough. He was always working and when he got back they ate dinner and he went to sleep. Always gone as soon as he woke up. Its started to seem like he was dodging Sally. And just on the day towards the end of the summer she had decided to go and visit her father at work he walked out of the barbershop his hands held behind his back by a large goon while Marco was following them towards his car... if that was how he threatened her father in the barn what would he do to him in a location he would pick completely all on his own... was this the last time Sally would see Joseph?
Shelly wasn't quite as silent as she had hoped, and caught Marco's attention right after he had kicked her father in the gut. Luckily after that Marco was quick to make an exit. Why he had been so startled by seeing Shelly she'd never know but she was glad he was gone. What he had said before departing however, stuck with her, even as she ran around the side of the bar and through the back to help her father up off the floor. "Father! Are you alright?!" The man groaned and tried to turn away from Shelly, but she wasn't going to let him simply crawl away from her. "Come on. Let's get back to the house." She told him and worked to get up and inside.

The rest of the summer passed with ease, but Shelly didn't see much of her father. Their mother tried to distract her children by taking them on weekend trips and to see their grandparents. It was a fun, but Shelly was still worried. She couldn't stop thinking about what Marco had said. What was it that went on between the two men and what did it have to do with her. Marco had said that something would have broken her heart, but she didn't think her father had done anything wrong. There was no way to ask either of her parents about it either. Whenever Marco's name came up they both immediately put an end to the conversation.

On one of the final days of summer Shelly wanted to visit her father's barber shop. She wanted to get her hair cut anyway and one of the men there had always been the one who cut her hair. As she approached the building, however, her smile faded from her lips as she saw her father being lead out against his will. "Dad?" She called and jogged up to intercept them before they reached the car. "Wait, where are you taking him?" She directed her question at Marco who had been following behind. "He didn't do anything! He's been working all summer!" She snapped angrily to which her father snapped back.

"Shelly! Stay out of this and go home." He ordered.

"No! You didn't do anything! Someone needs to stand up to him." Her eyes refocused back on Marco.
It was hard to look the girl in the eye when she came on to Marco so strongly... but he looked back seeing the hate and the fire in her eyes. But what was way harder was not smashing Josephs head through the glass of the car door when he heard commanding Shelly to go home. Like he fucking care what happened to her he just knew if the truth would unravel he really would die no matter what happened.

Marco turned his head a bit not being able to look the young woman in the eyes. "He has certain responsibilities he refuses to live up to. He once games his words and swore on it and since then he had gone back on it time after time after time. Thinking he can push me around, escape any responsibility, he is a selfish piece of shit." At that, he looked at her and his eyes were full of anger. "Newton, take Joseph back into the barber shop and keep him there until I come back. And if that does not happen today kill him. Now Shelly, get in the car. Front seat. I am taking you home. If he is not man enough to take responsibility I will offer it to you."

He sat down by the driver seat and waited for her to get inside. When she did he started the car up driving slowly towards her home. "You have grown into a beautiful flower, Shelly. But Joseph is not a man of honor, he has tricked you. Can you truly recall one time he has sincerely shown you that he loves you? Not said it or bought you a cheap gift. When has he been around when you played the rabbit in the primary school play. Or did he know you scored better on the eyes than anyone in your class? And don't tell me has been busy at work. He does not even shave the men or cut the hair. He is just there wasting his time. The truth is he has never been there for you when you needed it. And all the money he brings in is built on my hard work. And here you are showing your devotion to this piece of shit. Are you really so naive?"
Shelly had been expecting her father to snap at her, but she had not expected Marco to turn his gaze away from her. He was such an odd man in her eyes, but one that was insanely dangerous. When Marco ordered his goon to take her father back inside, and possibly kill him, she felt her heart sink in her chest. When he offered to take her home afterward she wanted to refuse but it did grant her the opportunity to talk to him privately. Maybe she could reason with him on her father's behalf. 

Getting into the car she placed her hands in her lap and looked out the front window as she listened to him speak about her father and his character. She knew the man wasnt perfect for she wasnt completely blind to his faults, but she still loved the man. "It's called being loyal, Marco. He's my father, family, and if I'm not willing to stick up for them at least then what does that say about me? I've heard my mother cry, heard them arguing, I know there are issues. I just cant abandon him, I wont do it." She was stead fast in her conviction as she spoke to him. 

"What are you wanting from my father? Money?" She knew their payments were being made. Her mother usually signed the checks. "Or is it something else?"
He wanted to tell her so badly... his mouth opened and he seemed like he tried to say something. But no sounds came out it looked like he was about to explode... he even stopped the car. His pupils were dilated and his neck showed thick veins coloring a tiny bit in blue. It looked exactly how it did when Shelly used her powers. Like her hand was on his squeezing his mind for the truth and yet no one was touching him and no words came out. Marco managed to close his eyes and he took a deep breath like he had been choked. And finally, he managed to get something out of his mouth...

"I don't care about money, that's just it I want loyalty. Money is just means to an end. I wish to keep my own family safe." He started the car back up. "I see you have that loyalty I am looking for. So I tell you what. I will make a deal with you. You will come work for me and trade that loyalty you have for that cowardly man to be loyal to me. In trade for that I will pay you, teach you how to do the work, and what happens to Joseph will be entirely in your hands." Marco even showed a little sly smile. This was perfect. This had been just what he had been looking for...
Marco looked like he was going to pop a vein and Shelly had to make sure she hadn't reached over to touch the man. Her hands were still in her lap, with her soft white gloves covering them, so whatever struggle he was having was of his own doing. In one day she had made him avert his eyes and made him speechless. Maybe there was hope for her father yet.

What Marco suggested next, however, shocked her. He wanted to trade her father for her own services? What could she do? She didn't know anything about his operations and honestly never wanted to know. He wanted her loyalty though and she didnt even like the man whatsoever. "I.. but.." she paused. If she didnt accept her father would be killed. Marco had put his life directly into her hands. How could she say no? "Alright, if you give me your word that you wont harm my father anymore."
He knew that Shelly had some sort of powers... he just did not know what they were. That was why she always wore the gloves. He had seen them before... he just preferred to stay off the topic or he might start choking making himself feel like his head was going to explode again. "I want to change that last point of yours and we are all set. I will not harm your father or have anyone ordered to harm him, as long as you don't ask me to." If only Shelly would know how truly irrelevant the contract they were making right now was. Marco almost had to laugh. But he would honor it even on the terms Shelly had imagined. "So if that is okay with you we have a deal. Now about the job. You will be living in my personal estate. You will have your own room and your working hours would be from eight in the morning to eight in the evening. You would get Sundays off alongside five days of your own choosing through the year you can keep the reason why you need them to yourself. You will be paid pocket money 35 dollars a month. (around half for a factory worker less than a barber would make) And once every quarter you will be paid out your salary. 250 dollars." (More than her father makes) To say the least the pay was generous. Most eighteen-year-old girls just out of high school could not dream of money like that in their wildest dreams. Just after a year she could afford to go to any college she set her eyes on, or buy her own house... it was almost too good to be true.

"Now, if you decide to quit early our agreement will be terminated and so will be the quarterly payments and that refers only to the first quarter to be as fair with you as I possibly can be. You should talk to your mother about this. It is a big decision. I will expect your full dedication and hopefully eventually the loyalty. I will come to hear your reply tomorrow around noon." They had stopped next to her house and Marco was waiting for her to get off.
Marco had the agreement details lined up rather quickly. It made her think that he had planned something like this all along. Then again how could he have known she would agree to such an offer? Wanting to her move into his estate though? What sort of work did he have in mind? Was he going to make a maid out of her or did he have something else in mind? Never mind the pay he offered she was more worried about what would happen to her while she stayed there and could only hope that her bedroom would have a lock on the door. To think that she could be moving in Marco's estate was enough to knock the breath from her lungs though. 

As they stopped in front of her family's home she got out of the car. She suddenly felt like the air was extremely thick and needed to be anywhere but inside that vehicle. "Tomorrow then." She managed to say as she closed the door behind her and watched him pull away from the curb. When he was gone she felt the sting of tears form in her eyes and a few rolled down her cheeks before she could wipe them away and turn to go inside where her mother would be just starting to prepare the supper for everyone. 

When she got inside she immediately went to the kitchen and told her mother of the potential deal she had made with Marco. Shelly had expected the woman to be somewhat cross with her. Tell her she didn't need to get involved or needed to worry about her own future instead of her fathers. Instead Shelly's mother seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of her daughter working for Marco. Happy that she would be working for the man even under the given circumstances. The really strange part was that she didn't seem to take into consideration that she was doing it for her father. She was simply happy about the job prospect even with her having to move out. Shelly didn't know if that was comforting or not. 

After that Shelly simply sat in the kitchen with her mother as the woman spoke fondly of Marco and how lucky Shelly was to have the opportunity. Then she started to ask if she wanted help packing up her things from her bedroom. She was willing to just ship her daughter out without much remorse. It was unsettling to say the least.
Joseph, when let of the hook back at the barber shop, decided to head straight for the nearest speakeasy. There he got piss drunk and when he got home it was already past midnight... the only reason he might have met Shelly was if she had been waiting up worried sick... thinking what Marco had done to him. And yet there was not a hair touched on his head as promised. Alchocol had done it's toll tough. And when Joseph heard the news of the job she was offered he became furious first. He slammed the table next to him with his fist and a moment later he was looking at her sobbing with teary eyes. "You can't go! Can't you see my dear Shelly? That kind of money... he will make you do indecent things. We all have heard rumors of what kind of businesses Marco is a part of. You can't leave, you're my only real family. No one else cares for me." He dropped on his knees in front of her and took her hand that was as always covered by the white glove. "He is bluffing, he can't kill me... that is he would not kill me. All he wants to is to intimidate me." Something was off... he was sobbing and yet no tears came out. And while he seemed scared of Marco when he was present he never showed any fear when he was not there... the question was. Was Shelly too close to see it?

The noon of the next day came along quite quickly and the knock on their door came in the same tone as always when Marco arrived. Her mother was first to the door inviting the man in before he could say a word. She seemed so happy and excited. "Please take a seat I will go get Shelly, tight away."

When he finally saw her come down the stairs he was still sitting but when she got in front of him he stood up and took his hat off giving her a little bow. "So, I take it you could not resist my offer?"
After dinner Shelly tried to stay up to wait for her father to return home. She felt sick to her stomach with worry and when she wasn't worrying about him she was worrying about the deal she had made with Marco. The stress and tears that were shed over the entire situation were exhausting and eventually she fell asleep against the windowsill of her bedroom that looked out to the street while watching for her father to come home. It wasn't until her bedroom door slammed open against the wall that she was startled awake. The first thing she noticed was the stench of alcohol as Joseph threw himself before Shelly. Apparently her mother had explained the situation to him when he arrived at home. "Dad, I wont let him do anything indecent. I promise." She told him trying to sound reassuring as she did.

As he continued to tell her not to go she noted his strange behavior, but at the same time she remembered he was drunk. Drunk men did strange things so she tried not to put to much thought into it. It wasn't long before Shelly's mother came up to collect her father and carry him off to bed. "Don't worry about him. You just concentrate on that new job of yours." Her mother told her with a cheerful smile.

Shelly was left alone in her partially packed room once again, but this time she simply climbed into her bed and covered herself up as she thought over the day's events. For some reason she couldn't get what her father said out of her mind. He had always hated Marco, but what did he mean exactly? Giving a long sigh she tried to push it from her mind - the ramblings of a drunk man - and drifted off to sleep once more.

In the morning her mother came in to wake her up bright and early. While Shelly got ready, bathing and changing clothes, she swiftly packed up the rest of her room. Her mother was practically shoving her out the door. There was a hearty breakfast that morning as well. Though her father was unable to attend since he was still sleeping. When the knock on the door finally came Shelly felt her heart sink. This time Marco would be looking for her, not her father.

His polite and formal tone and way he carried himself did little to offset her discomfort. "I decided to accept your offer, yes, but only as long as you keep to our agreement." She wanted to make sure he hadn't forgotten those details.
Marco raised his eyebrow at her. "Such a statement does not show anything good about me or you. I know our arrangement to a letter and I have never gone against my word not to you, your family or any of my business partners. From now on, your words and actions reflect on me as well, so I expect you to think twice on how to carry yourself." He took her bags and walked out of the door. He set them down in the trunk of the car and opened the door for her. It seemed like they were off on a rough start considering Marco did not seem all to happy. But he was still polite and quite the gentleman. He gave her mother his own personal number in case there was an emergency or if she had to reach Shelly.

After that, they left. And they drove for quite the while. They went through her little town and then the next one. She could see some of her old classmates as they passed them by. It felt a little like they were heading out of civilization when Marco took a turn to a highway that went through a forest. And after 25 or so miles he took a turn into the forest. They took a little dirt road that had more twists and turns than a river would. And finally they arrived at this clearing... in middle of it, there was a house... two stories and a tad bit smaller than the family house Shelly had grown up in. It clearly was new. Everything was new even the grass around the house was fresh and greed and fluffy like it had just sprouted. It should not look like that in a forest. It was a bit offsetting. The whole house was white with a red tile roof. In front of the house, there was just the walkway the grass and one little evergreen. When they would walk in the house smelled of fresh wood and the air was much clearer and fresh than in a city. It was like this little corner of paradise. Marco took off his hat and left it on a coathanger near the door. It was made out of deer horns... He turned around to help Shelly with her jacket and hung it next to his hat. "I think a little tour would be in need but first let's get a kettle going." He walked ahead and turned in the first door to the right. There he started to get a little stove loaded up with firewood. The pieces were short and chopped quite fine. He pulled a page of an old paper that were stacked next to the fireplace and got out a matchbox. He hit it against the side of it and lit the fire up. As it got going he went in the further end of the kitchen and took a lid off a barrel. He got a kettle filled up with water out of the barrel and got it on top of the stove. "So, Shelly. Are you ready for the tour? Or have you changed your mind?" The way he said it with a teasing tone and a stern look in his eyes were a clear show of doubting her like she had done to him right before they left.
Marco seemed less than enthused about her reply to his agreement, but she didnt trust the man and therefore needed to reaffirm that he was going to do what he promised. As he started to take her things out to his car she said her goodbyes to her mother and brother. Her brother was probably the most confused he had ever been. Neither woman had bothered to explain the situation to him. 

When they got into the car she watched the town slip passed through the window in silence. What was there to say anyway? She could have questioned what sort of work he had in mind or what plans he had, but she'd find out soon enough. Her hands were still in her lap, and she played with the soft cloth of her gloves as they drove. She was also worried about the chances of her coming into physical contact with Marco. He could learn of her ability and then he might have her do something she really didnt want to. Her stomach was still tied up in knots as they left the town and drive through the countryside. 

Marco lived quite a bit farther out than she expected. Her eyes scanned the trees and winding road as they went. Occasionally she would glance over to him. When she finally saw his house, seemingly cut out of the middle of the forest, she furrowed her brow slightly as she looked on with a bit of confusion. It was a lovely home, with a nice yard but very out of place. 

Once inside she let him take her coat and followed him to what she found to be the kitchen area. It wasnt at all what she expected from the tyrant. "Why would I change my mind?" She asked as she met his gaze. She wasnt going to let him intimidate her, even if no one would hear her scream if he did get rough with her. "A tour sounds nice." She tried to be at least polite as she talked to him.
His eyes lit up like two little lightbulbs when he heard the words and like they had pressed a pistols trigger, immidietly audable but already prepared words came back at her. "And why would I forget our agreement." It felt like the sighn of immediet distrust was not something that would be forgoten anytime soon either. His gaze moved away and on their way they where. "Yes the tour. So this is the kitchen area. I use it as a dining room as well, when I am alone." He led her to the next room and that one looked like something more of a dining room. There was a large round table that could easily have seated eight people. The decor was very simple. The real beauty of the house was it's craftmanship. Each board had been just perfect. All the angles and the setting of the room made it very clear there was a dealing with an controll freak. An absolute perfectionist. "So this is the dining room. I use it only on very special occasions." They went straight ahead and there was a wide slidable door that lead to the back yard. He opened them up to reaveal the most wonderful flower garden. There was atleast twelve different kinds flourishing each in their own square. The whole sight was filled with the colorful beauties. And there was a little terrace with two wide armchairs made of branches or baboos... but they were weaved and looked real weird. You could not get anything like that in the towns furnature store that was for sure. "You could call this my office. That is where I spend most of my time." He closed the sliding door and then to the left there was one door right behind the staircase. He opened that one up to reveal a staircase leading down into a basement. "Basement." That was all he had to say about that. And the door was closed again. He then walked back to the front door. "This you can consider our wardrobe. When someone arrives you should help them get their coats off and leave them here. If you leave your own coat here be sure to remember what you had in the pockets and check if nothing has changed after someone leaves. Even if they ask to, restrain them from going to the second floor. The only ones allowed there will be you and me." The first door on the right he knocked on. "Always check this is our only bathroom. We will be sharing. I trust growing up with a younger brother you know that privacy in this room is highly appreciated." The next one was a large slidable door once again. He pushed it open and where most people would have a living room there was this large office like liberary. In middle of the room there was a large writing table with a chair pushed up against it. It had three lockable drawers on each side and even the president of America would look at a table like that with a bit of envy. It was all prefectly organized each thing on it in it's palce all in straight angles. All the walls were covered in bookshelfs it made the room feel quite a bit smaller and claustrafobic than it should be. There was a lot of books there but mostly it was these little maps full of files. Like they were in a court archive. "This will be your main concern. As a secretary you will have to organize my archive right now it is alphabetical but even with that it is starting to get hard to orrient in all this. So I was starting to consider writing file numbers and doing somekind of hronological order. Well, we will see that is not the highest priority." He closed the door behind them and looked back in the kitchen. He smiled. "The water is almoust ready." He got out a pan and a jar filled with coffee beans. He poured some of them in the pan and placed it next to the kettle, and now it had a termometer inside it. "I will go up to change real quick. For now check on the coffee beans roast them evenly I will be back in a moment."
Shelly was lead around the house and given a very brief tour. He concisely gave a description for each area and she made mental notes of each. The basement however caught her interest the most. It caused her curiosity to raise at his quick dismissal but also terrified her in a way. What did Marco keep in his basement? He seemed to live pretty.. naturally so it could have been canned fruits and vegetables, or it could have been a place where he conducted business like he did when he came to visit her family and talk to her father. She wasn't given much time to dwell on it though as once he wrapped up the tour he immediately gave her a task of roasting coffee beans. Luckily her mother had taught her how so she was confident and stirred the beans in the pan gently while watching them darken while they cooked. Their pleasant aroma quickly filling the kitchen she worked with ease until she realized he never told her how dark he wanted the beans roasted. 

She felt panic rise up within her for a moment as she knew she couldn't simply leave the beans on the stove, they would burn. Then just as she felt her stomach start to flutter with anxiety she took a deep steadying breath and decided to roast the beans for the same amount of time she usually did. It was his fault he didn't specify, and this way she knew she would enjoy the coffee at least. She waited till she heard the first crack then removed them from the heat, found a colander, poured them in it and then began to stir them gently as they cooled off over the sink. She also managed to turn the heating element on the stove off and once the beans were done she set the colander on the counter. They really needed to rest for at least a couple hours, and so she would wait for him to come back at this point. 

While she waited she took a minute to observe her surroundings. The naturalist decor and unique way the house was designed. Even the furniture was unlike anything she had seen. He was living a simple life, but still rather extravagantly. It was an odd combination. Not to mention, he said he was going to change clothes. What else did the man own besides white suits? She hadn't ever seen him in anything else.
It really was not long until Marco came back down. And Shelly would be there for quite a surprise. Instead of the perfectly white suit, he was dressed more like an olden times duke about to go on a hunt. He had a rough linen shirt the sleeves ended with them being held closed with cufflinks. They seemed to be from Copper, definitely not mass production. Like someone had made them with their hands in a jewelry store. And yet while the craftsmanship of both the cufflinks and the shirt was very high neither of them was particularly fancy or valuable. He had thick clothing pants and thick leather boots. The place where the ends of the pants would meat and the boots would begin where tied over with what looked like a linen cloth. It was stuck behind itself and it looked like Marco would be ready to go into the forest to live there at any moment he needed to. The only accessory on him that would make someone believe he had not come out of a time machine from the past was the suspenders that were connected to his pants and went over his shirt. They were thicker than regular ones and had two holsters connected to them on each side. In one there was a six-shooter revolver and the other was a hunting knife. One on each side right about where his elbow would rest if he moved his hands to his sides.

The two top buttons of his shirt were not closed and showed off a muscular, hairy chest. Alongside him in the room came a musky smell of pipe tobacco. It complimented the roasted coffee beans quite nice. He walked over and even before he opened the cauldron he gave Shelly a look. "Next time, roast it a little bit longer. It's a high-grade Arabica it won't taste acidic either way." He got out a pestle from a cupboard and poured the beans right in there. He started grinding them up and took the water off the fire with the thermometer still in it. "You want a fine grind so you will have to train your hand to do it. I usually drink 3 to 5 cups a day. And I mean it I will know if you don't grind it fine enough. The finer you get it the more surface for the water to hit it and with that the more distinct and clear flavor." It took him a minute until he finally had ground the beans into a fine powder. He got two steel cups... they looked like they had seen some action, both of them used up quite a bit. Both had the 'U.S. Army' engraved on the bottom of them. He divided the coffee into two doses and placed them each in a separate strainer that he but inside the cups. He then bowed down to check the thermometer he gave it a poke and looked a bit displeased. "Commit this to your memory. Exactly 204 degrees by Fahrenheit when you get there take the kettle and out the water over the coffee. Pour it for exactly 20 seconds mind how fast you pour the water and rotate it a bit so you would get all the grounded up coffee. You pour too fast the cup will be too full too soon, you pour too slow and I will know it was too long." He checked the thermometer again. He stood there his complete dedication at these two coffee cups. He just stood there focused and seemingly relaxed like a tiger before he was about to lunge on his pray. The thermometer dropped to his desired bar and like a starting shot had been fired the man picked up the kettle and started to pour the coffee. He did for twenty seconds on each cup and they came out identical after the strainers had been removed. Clearly, he had practiced this and had a very particular preference. If making coffee for her new boss was that complicated what would happen when they actually got to the files he wanted her to work with...

He set the cup before her and the coffee smells just exceptional. He opened a cupboard again and got out this steel candy box. He picked his cup up and with the box in his hand turned around to walk out of the kitchen. "Follow." He went to the sliding door at the back of the house and opened it up for them. Revealing the beautiful flower garden once more. He took a seat and set his coffee cup on the table between the two armchairs. He placed the box in his lap and opened it up... there was a tobacco pipe with everything one needed to keep it clean and everything. He stacked it up and with a match he got the pipe going. He took the coffee and drank the first mouthful. He loved the combination of this tobacco and the coffee and the smell mixing together with the flower garden was something out of this world.

His house and style seemed very simple, very functional and yet they were radiating extravagance off the man. Clearly, he knew what he wanted. So the real question was why did he need Shelly... a young girl just out of the highschool. Was it really all just a trap? And the basement he promised to show her later was just his dungeon to tie the innocent girl up? They both knew the law around here could not touch the man. And when he was out of his land... others could try but they would end up having a nasty surprise.
When Marco returned Shelly listened to his instructions and watched carefully as he executed them to make sure it committed to her memory. Even as she watched the fairly simple process though she felt her stomach tie into knots. He was so specific and made it very clear that he would know if she had made a mistake. She wasn't prone to making mistakes when she put her mind to something but now she was completely nervous and second guessing herself.

When he finished she could smell the tantalizing aroma of the coffee and found it to be very pleasant, but she didn't really want any. She wasn't sure she could stomach much of anything at the moment. Though when he placed the mug in front of her and then ordered her to follow him as he collected the box and his own coffee she picked up her cup and made her way out to the garden area. It was, as everything in the house was proving to be, beautiful but as her eyes scanned over the yard briefly she couldn't help but wonder how many of the plants were poisonous.

She lowered herself in one of the lawn chairs and sat with the warm mug in her lap as she cradled it when her hands and looked down at the dark liquid as it rippled and swirled from her walking. What made things worse was that when they got out to the garden he didn't give her any more direction or say anything at all. He simply prepared his pipe and began to smoke and drink his coffee without a care in the world. He was enjoying himself and she was a nervous wreck; even though she showed very little of it and held herself quite well.
Marco took good five minutes just huffing and puffing his pipe. He took an occasional sip of his coffee. And while he smoked a specific smell of his tobacco blend and peppermint filled the air. It was not like when her father's friends smoked in the back yard. It did not smell of the cheap burning leaves that left the men's clothing stinking like a bums blanket. It was like a smell of fine pine barrel whiskey played with roasting wood and the slight hint of peppermint. It was very interesting and quite pleasing. The tart and yet slightly sweet smell complimented the coffee perfectly and it was just strong enough to barely overwhelm the flower garden leaving them in the background how it should be at a moment like that. Finally, he spoke...

"I like the gloves, they give a woman a certain degree of mystery." His head turned and he gave her a glance. He looked at her with the same appreciation he looked at his flowers appreciating the fresh beauty of youth. "Tomorrow a lad will come by. He will take you out to shop for clothing. On my expense of course. Consider it an everyday task to look extravagant. Now I suggest you take the chance and taste the coffee while it's still somewhat warm. Making it will be your daily duty, you should know how it has to taste." He went back to smoking his pipe and looking lost in thought. Then once again he spoke. "You see the yellow Lilly's right in front. They're beautiful in the composition, but stuffed daffodils looked so much better. A funny thing, turns out the roots of them, the little turnips that sprout the beautiful flowers are quite the treat for a wild boar. And you see, that is what we do here, we compromise with animals that do not care for beauty or what others hold dear to their hearts. You must think I am one of the animals, but I do ask you to reconsider. Please, keep an open mind. All I do is compromise, to make it better for everyone."

He had finished his cup and started cleaning out his pipe. He then packed it up in the box like it had been and went back in. He then went to the car and got her luggage. "Come on it's time to see the upper floor." They walked up the stairs and there were three rooms there. One at the very end of the corridor. That was a rather wide hall with a piano in the middle and multiple painting and busts. It looked like a room of a fine museum. But the first thing Marco showed her was a wide thin closet right in front of the staircase. "That is the gun cabinet. We will return to that later. I do ask you to not play with them, not until you know how to handle one." Then there were two rooms opposite each other. The one he brought her stuff in was considerably smaller and one-third of it was practically cut off because of the roof. But the room was nicely lit with a big window towards the entrance of the house, it had a comfy bed and a closet. But that was it. "It is not much, right now. But if you are in need of anything else do ask, I will see what we can do about it. My bedroom is right over the corridor, I do ask not to visit that room. I would like it to keep it just for myself. Knock and I will answer if I can. Make yourself at home, settle in. Figure out what else you need to feel comfortable here." He left her in the room and went to his. He walked out of it only when he went down to the kitchen to prepare dinner for two of them.
At Marco's insistence she finally brought the coffee cup up to her lips and sipped it. Some of the heat had been lost so she was able to drink it without it burning her lips or tongue. Though she didnt openly admit it the coffee was very good and she mentally ran over the instructions on how to make it once more. She drank about half of her coffee before he started to talk about someone coming to take her back into town to take her clothes shopping. So her second day working for Marco she wouldn't have to be in the house most of the afternoon. 

When he finally started to pack up his pipe into the little box she had just finished her coffee and was looking everywhere around the garden except at him. When he finally took her upstairs she only managed to sneak a small peek at the extravagant room before he showed her where she would be staying. At least she had her own space even if it was smaller and only had the minimum amenities. 

Once she was left alone she sighed and drug her suitcase to the bed, opened it, then began to unpack her belongings. She put everything away neatly. All her dresses were hung up to avoid wrinkling them, luckily he had hangers in the closet for her already, and everything else she left in her suitcase. She would have to ask about a small dresser or vanity, but she would wait for a while before pestering him for anything extra. Even though he had told her to ask. She wanted to refrain from asking him any favors if she could help it. 

The last thing she unpacked was a journal. She had brought a couple but one was for making notes concerning her new job. She sat on her bed with the journal in her lap and began writing down the instructions he had given her this far. 

She didnt bother to leave her room till she heard his footsteps on the floor out in the hallway. Then she slowly made her way downstairs, carrying her journal with her, and stood at the doorway to the kitchen.
It was a simple supper. Some green beans with a pan-fried trout. Simple and delicious. Marco asked Shelly to make coffee and while he did he was watching like a hawk not telling a word just checking out how she was doing. When he finally tasted it he seemed scared to at first being quite hesitant. He finished the cup, in the end, tough and asked her if she knew how to cook or was that in charge of their mother in their house. After the dinner, Marco retired to his room and half an hour or so walked to the piano and sat down to play it. The beautiful melody filling the rooms of the house once more. He went to be rather early and was up before Shelly and had breakfast for them prepared already. He had made coffee as well and seemed much more pleased when he was drinking it than when Shelly had made it.

It seemed like nothing ever happened around Marcos house. He ate, he drank coffee and just watched his flowers or played the piano. It was peaceful and quiet. Just a boring man living in the middle of the forest enjoying the little things in life. Exactly 12 o'clock a specific knock was hit on the main entrance. Two rapid knocks then two more after a very short break and then a longer break and one more. Marco was sitting in the kitchen at the time and right away called out to Shelly. "I'll be by the flower garden, this is for you anyways." He took the box with the pipe and walked out.

When Shelly would open the door there he was... tall, dark hair, blue eyes. He looked like a movie star or a famous actor. His hair was short and neatly styled in a very classic way. He was wearing pants and a shirt. But they fit his trained body very well. He had a rather big package in his left hand that looked like a whole stack of newspapers wrapped in a paper and tied together. The man looked polite and had a slight smile on his lips that bloomed when he saw who opened the door. "Oh, wow! If it was not the only house here I would be thinking I got the wrong door. The last time I checked there was no goddesses living here." He bowed a little to take her gloved hand and gave it a very settle kiss. Then came the serious question. "Where is he?" As soon as she replied the young man made his way into the house and walked to the flower garden he set the package on the table and Marco got out his wallet. He paid the man ten dollars and stood up. "Shelly, this is Franchesco. And Franchesco this is Shelly. Franchesco delivers me... 'news' and Shelly will be staying here aiding me with multiple things. I want you to take her to Madam Delevire. Remember you once drove there to pick up a bunch of ladies dresses for the mayor's daughter."

The man who must have been around Shelly's age at best two or three years older gave a nod. "Sure thing boss. What are we getting there?" Marco gave a slight smile. "Everything Madam Delevire tells you to and anything Shelly likes. Now get going."

"Sure thing boss." He walked out of the house and started up the car while waiting on Shelly. When they got in and started to drive Franchesco right away spoke up. "And here I was thinking it will be another day with a boring delivery for Marco. Instead, I get a date with this gorgeous girl. Deam, I'm lucky. There must be someone watching over me up there. So what you wanna talk about? We have to go to the big city so this will take about 3 hours one way. So don't get to the best topics, right away."

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