* Bentley *
“I don’t know what to report except Friday morning Clovers account closed,” Kyrell said, “I tried my best boss.”
“You should have told me she never responded!” Bentley exploded, “Fucking worthless!”
The idiot just shrugged his meaty shoulders, “Are we done in the city yet? We’ve reached capacity at the house.”
He fumed over the idiot’s latest failure. Snatching Clover was becoming a bigger project than he expected. If he did anything, it’d have to be on his own, and had a gut feeling Mason was on to him. He blamed himself for showing interest, although he encouraged the fool to act on his repressed desire for the redhead.
“No, you need to follow orders,” he paced in front of the monitors, “I have a tracker on her phone. When I send you the location, show up like it’s a coincidence.”
“So... no sex?” the man smirked, “The bird was willing last time. Wouldn’t take much.”
Bentley glowered, “You had a week! What did I fucking say! I want her. Get her, but I swear to whatever fucked up God you believe in you’ll lose a hand if you hurt her. I’m tired of your excuses.”
Kyrell sobered, “I will.”
He dismissed him with a curt nod, forming a plan. Why was he so focused on Clover McBride? Sure, her beauty turned him on, but her spark! That self-sufficient glow in her jade eyes, challenging anyone to mess with her destiny.
The bemused way Clover rejected his charms when they spoke pissed him off. Then to top it off, Mason stole her attention at the street fair when he flirted with her. Did his friend truly care for her, or was it out of guilt he staked a claim? He wanted Clover to submit to him so badly he could taste it. Time was running out, but he had to keep a level head.
He pulled out his phone with a smirk and dialed, “Hey, Mason.”
“Ben,” Mason sounded surprised, “What’s up?”
“I called to ask if you are free this weekend. I’ll only be around another week or so. How are things with Clover?”
“Great actually. We’re visiting the new Japanese garden on Saturday.”
He silently cursed, “Seriously? Pussy that good, huh?”
“It’s not like that!” Mason growled over the line.
“Yeah, tell it to the flowers. Why don’t we all go out? At least meet for drinks?” he kept his tone light and friendly.
Mason paused, “I don’t know Bentley.”
“Look, wasn’t it me who encouraged you to make a move on the woman? I’d like to see you both. She seems sweet.” He rolled his eyes as he resorted to the matchmaking card.
“I bet,” Mason snapped.
“Whoa, she’s all yours! What’s the matter? Did I do something? Aren’t we cool?”
Bentley smiled to himself, knowing he would give in. They had been friends for far too long. His prideful nature urged him to show Clover off, and with Bentley pushing the right buttons, he wouldn’t resist temptation. It would be easy to manipulate them in public.
“No, no... we’re fine. I’ll speak to Clover and text you. How’s that?”
“Sounds great. Glad you finally got the girl, Mason. Talk soon.”
Bentley’s gaze returned to the screen after hanging up. Reese sat poised on a cot as Kyrell whispered in her ear, patting her hand.
He would have Clover, even if it meant leaving the city without being paid.
Maybe he would keep her.
Clover could travel with him, and he’d teach her to be his perfect little toy.
Bentley stood to join Kyrell, feeling confident.
* Clover *
“What the hell is a plastic?”
Clover struggled to concentrate on Mason’s question, but his warm lips grazing her neck was distracting, “What?”
He chuckled, leaning backward to give her space. They laid on his comfy leather sofa, her body trapped under his. “You said the plastics might catch us.”
She giggled, “Oh... that’s what I nicknamed the other women around here. You know, like Adley? She’s always reminding me you have an important phone call to take when I return from lunch. They’re all so fake, bendable.”
Mason bit his lip, tracing her jaw with his fingers, ”Bendable? I’d like to bend you over, you sassy minx.”
She shook her head, trying to push him off, “Uh uh mister, I need to go back.”
He groaned but helped her to her feet then sweetly adjusted her clothes before giving her a hesitant look, “Are you sure you don’t want me to tell HR we’re dating? You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.”
“Soon,” Clover promised then gave him a soft peck on his sinful mouth, “Bye.”
She didn’t have a legit reason for not announcing they were in a relationship except for fear of rejection and scorn from the women in the office and his business partner. They’d enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing weekend together talking about everything and nothing while ordering out and exploring each other’s bodies and yet felt like it could all slip away instantly if she wasn’t on top of her game. Dating a high profile man had never appealed to her before, but he was so down to earth and gentlemanly she sometimes forgot the city revered him.
At her desk, a Plastic stated in her nasal tone, “Afternoon breaks are half an hour, you’re abusing the system. Maybe I should see if Mr. Thistle requires another secretary.”
Clover bristled, “I assure you, Mr. Thistle needs nothing. Anything else?”
“Yes, Mr. Gill’s on his way. A staff member alerted me.”
She flinched at the news, “Thank you.”
The Plastic smirked and sashayed back to the job she should have been focusing on instead of butting into her business. Since when did Mila, Peter’s PA, call Adley? It wasn’t protocol and undermined her position.
“Mr. Thistle, Mr. Gill is coming.”
“Thanks, sugar lips. Add to my calendar to make you come next.”
Clover blushed, turning to the computer, “Tease!” He laughed.
She liked Peter. He was nice, like Mason, only a lot nerdier, directing their R&D projects, getting his hands dirty while Mason headed the company. He was boyishly cute, she supposed, light to Mason’s brooding darkness.
Peter stepped out of the elevator sporting his usual worn jeans, t-shirt, and tousled blonde hair. He pushed glasses over warm hazel eyes, giving a friendly wave. “Afternoon Clover!” he smiled brightly, “How goes it up here?”
She grinned at his enthusiasm, “Good as always Mr. Gill. How are things in the trenches?”
He chuckled, and she stiffened when Mason appeared behind her, “Never a dull moment. Mason! Can we talk?”
“Sure,” his deep voice rumbled through her chest like liquid sex, making her clench her thighs, “Coffee?”
Peter declined, then they retreated into his office. She let out a cleansing breath as the phone rang.
She tried to concentrate, but her thoughts wandered. Would Mason confide in Peter? She was nuts about Mason, but they were moving so fast! They kissed when no one looked, but only a matter of time before someone caught them. Clover shook her head. Worrying made her crazy. She just had to realize this was real. That he returned her affection and took their relationship seriously.
Trusting Mason meant letting down her walls and to stop second-guessing his motives.
“I’m so fucked,” she muttered, slumping in her chair.