I scrunched my nose to a tickling sensation. My brain was still lost in the depths of la-la land, unwilling to return, but the tickling persisted. I finally gave my face a good smack to ward off the tiny offender in hopes of returning to my peaceful slumber.
My eyes shot open. Sharing my pillow was a pair of soulless gray eyes. They glared at me sardonically, the hand belonging to the eyes flailing in pain. “Jesus, you’ve got an arm.”
I smirked at the surprise on Mason’s face. I’d wanted to smack him a million times since I’d met him and here I’d managed it without even trying – I somewhat regretted having missed the satisfaction of a purposeful slap but it would have to do.
“That’s what you get for torturing me when I’m trying to sleep.”
“I was wiping the makeup from your face. It was supposed to be endearing.”
I smiled. “You? Endearing? Are you turning over a new leaf?”
He scowled and turned away from me, pulling himself off the large soft bed. “Breakfast is ready soon. I hope you like pancakes.”
Yum. I turned over and heaved a sigh. It was too dark to see his room the night before, but with the light flooding in from the window I could see how incredibly huge it was. It was plainly decorated, but stalwartly constructed so that it felt cool and crisp. It was comforting in a way – as if I was in the home of someone who would always remember to take care of every detail to perfection.
I rolled over and glanced at the bedside clock sitting unassumingly next to a small set of keys. 8am. Normally I’d already be up pouring over contracts and finances on my laptop, but this Sunday it felt good to be lazy. The runoff from all the alcohol in my system didn’t put me in a position to be energetic anyways. I mused over the events of the evening before – the awful horrible evening that ended up being one of the best of my life.
Mason and I had headed over to the diner and grabbed a booth as far from the greasy kitchen as possible. We both ordered food we’d normally never eat and packed it down like a couple of wild animals. Then we started on the beer. They had a large variety of cheap knock-off beers available so we started a contest to see which one was the worst. When I ran to the bathroom to puke after Candidate #5, we figured we’d found our winner.
“There’s something…eclectic about sitting in this diner in our fancy clothes,” Mason had mused. “It’s almost charming.”
“That’s the beer talking,” I teased.
He laughed. “Usually it takes a couple of scotches to get me to even consider a place like this…”
“Yes, you don’t strike me as a beer drinker. Is this your first time?” I gasped and covered my mouth with my hand. “Mason Thacket: are you a beer virgin?”
“I’m not sure I’d qualify as any kind of virgin.”
The way he bore his eyes into me with that statement made my knees weak. I tipped back another drink of my beer to distract myself from the tingling sensations cascading across my limbs. “Do you want to go?” I asked. “Do you not like it here?”
“Normally I’d take you up on that, but tonight for some reason,” he looked me dead in the eye, “it doesn’t bother me.”
A small smile crept across my face and I wanted to kick myself. I never got shy and girly around a guy; it wasn’t my style. I decided aggressive Clay needed to rear her ugly head. “You’d better watch yourself – this place is open 24 hours and I’ve been known to go at it all night long.”
He almost spit his beer across the table. I chuckled with pride. “God, I hope to heaven you’re not talking about drinking beer,” he said.
I winked and sauntered over to the breakfast bar to grab a few extra napkins, taking extra special care to put a little swagger in my step. When I got back with napkins and yet another beer he was staring at me with concern. “You’ve had enough beers already; you’re going to pass out if you’re not careful.”
“What would you do to me if I passed out?”
He didn’t laugh. “I’m serious. You shouldn’t overdo it like that. It could be dangerous.”
“Are you saying you’re dangerous?” I teased, sliding into the booth beside him.
He scooted away from me. “You’re a drunken mess.”
I got up on my knees and moved closer, dropping my ass in his lap. “Kiss me. I’m horny and it’s your job to make me happy.”
“No,” he took my hands which had wandered to his face and neck and pinned them behind my back. His hands were strong and he seemed so comfortable holding me this way. So did I, much to my surprise. “It’s my job to escort you to your event. The event is over. Technically my job is over.”
“Does that mean you’re done being vanilla?” I really was ridiculously drunk. I was randy and I wanted him bad.
“It means I’m done having this conversation. Come on, I’ll call the car.”
I pouted as he moved us both out of the booth, dropped some cash on the table, and carried me out to the curb. From there the night went downhill. I couldn’t remember all the details – my head was still too fuzzy – but I could recall arguing about me being too drunk for sex and me demanding he take me home and him refusing on the grounds that I might not make it to my own bed…
It was a fun night. I didn’t get laid; I’d rarely had a fun night when I didn’t get laid. It was a bit confusing, actually. Just as I started to muse over that fact, Mason showed up in the doorway again, this time in nothing but his sweat pants.
Agh, why does he have to be so hot?
“I told you pancakes were ready in ten minutes. Get your ass out here before I have to make you come get them.”
I smiled coyly, but before I could launch a sexy comeback, he had disappeared again. I scowled and threw on a robe, a pair of huge slippers I found in his closet, and a shower cap – just to make myself look as unappealing as possible.
My foul mood stuck with me all through breakfast even after Mason commented on my “very ladylike attire”. He clearly wasn’t going to give in to my advances and it pissed me off. I was starting to wonder if he was going to make me hold out for a relationship. The thought made me even angrier – there was no way that was going to happen. Leave it to me to find the sexiest man in all Seattle only to learn that he’s a sucker for commitment.
“I’m going to shower and get dressed and then I want to go home,” I said with my nose in the air as his maid cleaned up our dishes. He simply nodded, a small grin playing underneath his controlled visage.
Lucky for me, he had an amazing bathroom. I turned on the massive shower lined with craggy stone that gave the ambience of a hot springs buried in a deep cave. I undressed and the water rippled over me like magic. I had to wonder if he had some fancy water infused with bath salts or holiness or something. I had just started on the all-natural shampoo when I heard the door open. I froze, glancing around nervously. A figure walked in and turned the sink on. I heard the sound of brushing teeth.
“Mason, what the fuck are you doing? I’m trying to take a shower in here!”
He spit in the sink, placed his toothbrush back in place and then walked towards me. I started to panic. Was he bluffing? Was he going to get in the shower with me? My pulse started racing. As much as I loved the idea of getting soapy with him, I wasn’t prepared for this. I was completely thrown off guard.
He stopped just outside the shower door, cracked it open, and poked his head around. I instinctively reached around myself to cover my nakedness.
“Come on, do you really think this is my first time seeing a woman naked?” he teased. “Although…” his eyes crawled from my toes on up to my hair. “This is a particularly enjoyable view…”
I chucked the bar of soap at his face. “Get out of here!”
He chuckled and made his way back to the door, shutting it softly behind him.
He took a shower when I was done. After a failed attempt to forget how creepy it was that he had managed to procure a new set of clothes and underwear for me in the exact right sizes, I decided to give myself a tour of the apartment.
I wandered upstairs first where I found another bathroom and a guest bedroom – both very decadent but that wasn’t surprising. I took the stairs back down and followed the hallway to a library and billiard room. I stared at the pool table maniacally – if he ever convinced me to come back here, I’d have to take the opportunity to kick his ass at that game.
I continued down the hallway, happening upon a closet or two and another bathroom. I stopped short at another door that I could only assume was another guest room. But when I tried the doorknob, it was locked. My mind flashed back to the small set of keys I’d noticed by the alarm clock that morning. I smirked at the thought of exposing his secret man cave while he was in the shower – he would be pissed! I took delight in imagining the look on his face when he saw me stretched out on his leather couch, staring at his pictures of naked girls on the wall and playing his X-box.
I sprinted back to the bedroom and glanced at the bathroom door – the shower was still running. Good. I grabbed the keys and bolted back to the locked door, giggling the whole way. I inserted one key, but it didn’t work. I shoved the other one in and heard the lock click open. I slowly opened the door.
The darkness was palpable as the it swung open. Straight across from me on the opposite side of the dim room, a small window scattered sparse rays of morning sunshine onto the wall to my right, bathing the room in a soft dusty light, but piercing my eyes painfully. I raised my hand to block the brightness, revealing something akin to a coat rack sitting several yards from me up against the wall – except instead of coats, it held a series of what looked like horse whips.
I crinkled my eyes in confusion. Mason is an equine enthusiast?
A deep guttural voice interrupted my thoughts. “What are you doing!”