* Mason *
Mason stared at the platinum frame on his desk. A picture of Clover in her wedding dress, looking so beautiful it never failed to distract him. They married three months ago and ever since he forced her to let go of the guilt she clung to over Bentley and the things he did, there had been a shift in their relationship.
She was sweet.
He sighed in annoyance as a man on his screen continued to drone on and on about a report he couldn’t care less about. He made a quick excuse to call him later, ending the meeting.
Diane’s sudden voice over the intercom startled him. “Sir, your wife is on line one.”
He picked up his phone with a frown. Why hadn’t she called his cell? “Sweetheart?”
“Mason…” she sounded strange.
“You okay?” He perked up in concern.
“My water broke.” her tone rang flat.
He jumped to his feet, “Where are you? Do I need to alert the doctor?”
“I’m already at the clinic.”
He frowned, “I’ll call you back on your cell.”
“I don’t have it.” she snapped.
Attitude? Fuck. She was giving birth alone!
He froze, “Why not? Wait, did they give you drugs?”
“Yes. Lots. You should hurry.” Then she hung up.
He ignored Diane’s probing questions when he flew past her, taking the stairs to the parking area. Shit, his daughter was on the way! Today? On a Wednesday? Why did he come to work so close to her due date? He should be with his wife!
On the drive to the birthing center, he called to confirm the obstetrician they chose was tending to Clover. He wondered if she was scared. He sure as hell shook, scowling at the traffic. What did he know about babies? They had studied up, sat through a few classes, but he felt unprepared suddenly.
When he marched outside of the room where nurses and a doctor spoke, he saw Clover yelling and being her typical fiery self. His eyes rounded when a nurse tossed a set of scrubs at him, cooing, “Great! Daddy made it on time! Suit up and hold your wife’s hand.”
He didn’t hesitate to obey, eager to be with his family.
Clasping hands with his anxious wife, he kissed her clammy cheek. She snorted at his discomfort at seeing her so exposed to others. Yeah, he’d gone caveman on the handsy physician a few times. Oh well, he resented anyone touching his woman. Even innocent waiters received his evil eye if they lingered too long. He never used to be territorial, but he had a lot to lose if she snatched back her forgiveness for how he lied and placed her in danger.
He winked and listened as they ordered her to push to which his vixen screamed she was dammit! Four minutes later their daughter arrived screaming her head off.
Mason swallowed the thickness in his throat when they asked him if he wanted to cut the cord. He noticed Clover had fallen quiet after hearing Sadhbh’s first shout into the world. He returned to her side and her glassy eyes ignited his protective instincts.
“It’s over. You did it,” he murmured in her ear, stroking damp strands from her forehead, “I wasn’t able to see if Sadhbh has your scarlet hair.”
Clover’s chin wobbled, her jade orbs glistening, “She came so fast. I grabbed a cab here, forgetting my purse.” She began crying.
He chuckled at her worries, which only pissed her off more, “Don’t sweat it, babe. I’ll call them. You just do what they tell you.”
Mason stepped out while the doctors finished up with the two most important people in his life. He shot off a few texts to let family and friends know Sive was born. He was a dad! Shit! That defenseless little girl in there needed him.
The same nurse as before joined him reporting, “Mr. Thistle, your baby is healthy. Your wife is nursing. I’ll return shortly.”
Nodding, he slipped his phone in his pocket, returning to check on Clover. His love for her grew tenfold as he took her in. Everything had come together perfectly. He had his ideal goddess and now his progeny. Life was fucking good.
“She’s so even-tempered all ready,” The young obstetrician told them before he left, “Sadhbh, huh? Any meaning behind the name?”
Mason glanced over at him, aggravated the man was still there, “Happy… or wise.”
“Sweet,” Clover rasped, never taking her eyes off Sive.
Smiling, the doctor and his aides exited. He leaned over to study his daughter’s face properly for the first time. Well, she wasn’t ugly. She looked wrinkly, actually. Cute though.
“She has dark hair,” Clover lightly tugged on the pink cap they had placed on Sive’s head, “No red in sight.”
He teared up from the fullness inside his heart, “Thank you for being so brave. I adore you more than anything, but now my baby girl needs her daddy.”
She giggled, handing over their newborn, “She always will.”
He dropped a kiss on her lips before focusing on the bundle secured in his embrace, “What? Our precious girl whispered she wants a brother!”
“I can’t hear you,” she groaned playfully, “Shut up and let me rest.”
He wiped at his misty eyes, “Sleep, babe. I’m watching over you both.”
* Clover *
“Who’s ready for date night? Mommy is gonna get l-u-c-k-y!” Aurora sang, rocking Sadhbh in her arms by her crib in the nursery.
Sive yawned, her glossy brown curls and bright green eyes giving her a cherub appearance, stealing the show wherever they went. She kissed her soft head before yanking at the red dress Aurora talked her into wearing, “This is obscene. It’s too low cut.”
“Yeah, you look extra juicy,” Aurora wiggled her eyebrows, “Come on, it’s not like Mason doesn’t appreciate your big hooters.”
“Ugh,” she pulled the bodice higher, hoping her nipples wouldn’t pop out, “He does, but I’m sure the people in the restaurant could get by without me having a nip slip. Peter is joining us with his latest conquest. Speaking of, is Casey coming over later?”
She thought Peter and Aurora would hit it off at their wedding, but her friend surprised her by bringing a plus one. While wrapped up in drama with Bentley, her bestie had been getting closer to the paralegal and they’d been a couple for the last few months. It thrilled Clover to see her settle down with someone who didn’t mind her unorthodox job. Aurora was no pushover, and some men found that intimidating, but Casey held his own. She claimed it made the sex hotter.
Aurora laid Sadhbh down since she’d finally dozed off, “Yes, if he ever leaves the office. Get out of here. Have fun!”
Clover grinned, snuggling her daughter’s sleeping form before skipping downstairs. She heard Mason in the living room of their new house. He gifted her a list of homes after she pushed out the cutest little girl in the world. They toured each property until she fell in love with a three-story mansion on the outskirts of the city. Its wraparound porch and twelve accompanying acres surrounded by secure fencing offered Sive ample space to play outside, while the six bedrooms inside gave Mason plenty of ideas on how to fill them up. She swore he’d wake up neutered if he didn’t give her a few years between kids and he laughed, winking at her genuine threat.
“Hey, sweetheart,” Mason licked his lips, staring at her tits, “Are you trying to kill me again? I know one of these days you’ll succeed.”
She eyed the relaxed jeans hugging his ass and nearly sighed at the tee-shirt stretched tight across his chest. While she sometimes felt fat and frazzled, her man took working out to another level in the gym he constructed upstairs. “Um… did I overdress?”
He swiftly came over to where she stood ogling him, wrapping his arms around her waist, “Never. We’re spending the weekend at the penthouse. You deserve a break from baby vomit or whatever else is bothering you.”
“What about Peter? Did Aurora sign on to babysit?”
He kissed her forehead, “We’ll meet up with him tomorrow and of course she did. I covered everything.”
She palmed his smooth jaw, loving how he kept his face scruff free so he could cuddle with Sive, “Really? We’ve never spent a night away from her…”
“Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” she didn’t hesitate, although leaving Sive for a few days would test her nerves, “Why?”
He snatched up a bag laying by the front door, “You’re so stressed lately. This last year has been a whirlwind, but I got you, babe.”
She smiled at the sincerity in his words, “Thank you.”
“Let’s go. I have a surprise for you on the way.”
Instead of heading downtown, he drove until they reached rural roads. She asked where he was taking her, but he just teased she had shitty patience. She stuck out her tongue, proving his point. Twenty minutes later he pulled up to a run-down looking cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Nervously, she stepped out of the vehicle, “What is this place?”
He grabbed the pack from the trunk, “I found him.”
She inhaled sharply at his dire tone, “Who? What’s going on?”
“Open the door.”
She wore heels! Why hadn’t he warned she’d be traipsing through knee-high weeds? She slowly picked her way to the rotten wooden steps of the cabin, Mason behind her. Her heart strummed in apprehension as her hand twisted the loose knob.
When she pushed the entrance ajar, all she saw was darkness. Mason brushed her aside and entered. After a few seconds, a bright lantern illuminated the one-room space.
She lost her breath.
“Come inside,” Mason ordered.
Clover obeyed on auto-pilot demanding, “What the fuck is he doing here?”
In the center of the room, Kyrell sat bound and gagged to an armchair she recognized from Masons’ cabin at Lake Sunshine. She shivered. Not from fear. From blood lust.
He switched on another lamp, lighting the other side of the shack, saying, “The guy I hired when you went missing lucked upon him.”
Clover slid closer to their captive. Kyrell’s green eyes stared at her like the situation didn’t worry him. Taken and placed where no one could hear him scream — it should. Imagining all the ways possible to make this tattooed muscled human trafficker her bitch heated her skin. She squeezed her thighs together, her panties becoming wet in anticipation.
“When did you bring him here?” she questioned, kicking off her heels.
“Last night.” Mason circled the rigid man until standing by her once more, “What are you thinking?”
“He let Bentley starve me for days. You should have waited.”
“We can. Whatever you want, just name it.”
Clover turned, kissing him hard, and he ate her mouth with unrestrained passion. She had wondered if Mason truly understood her whispered confession months ago.
Killing Reese and Bentley changed her outlook. She wallowed in self-hatred for feeling peace a few days after it happened. Then instead of condemning herself for their rash actions, she embraced the darkness they shared. She shouldn’t have doubted he wouldn’t give her exactly what she needed to trust her new nature. It hadn’t been about the actual kill. It was hurting someone who ripped her soul to pieces without wondering who she’d become afterward. How she shed her soft-shelled naivety for electrified ramparts — eviscerating those who figured she would roll over and take their abuse.
Kyrell had to pay.
“Fuck,” Mason pushed up the bottom of her skirt, swiping his fingers against her thong, “You’re soaking wet, babe. Did Kyrell touch you?”
Clover scraped her nails against his growing erection, “Once. He kissed me and said he wanted to lick my pussy raw. After kidnapping me, he told me to accept my mistakes. He took those women. Did you learn any useful information?”
He growled at her admission, his tongue flicking out to taste her exposed breast line, while two of his thick fingers spread her open and his thumb rubbed slow circles against her clit, “Yes. Oh, yes. Don’t worry, he gave it all up believing they’d let him walk. The other good news is Emmett was with him. They picked up where Ben left off.”
She grinned, grinding against him, “T -that’s outstanding news. Ah, don’t stop!”
He chuckled, pulling away to stand behind her, his hard-on grazing her ass, “He doesn’t deserve to watch you cum. You should dig his eyeballs out and make him eat them for even looking at you.”
Kyrell’s face contorted in fury as Mason’s firm hands roamed over her torso. She contemplated how long a man his size could go without food. “Hmm… sounds messy.”
Mason went over to the bag he brought. “Good thing I came prepared. Are you attached to that dress?”
Clover smiled darkly at Kyrell, unzipping the side, letting the silky material pool at her bare feet. Standing in just her black thong and bra, she confided, “Emmett put me in the dog cage, but this asshole hurt me too. Killed Brad! Bentley’s number one bitch. We aren’t leaving until he tells me where he shipped off those girls.”
“He already ratted out everyone. Does that mean you want his gag removed? Tragic how he died though,” Mason slipped on gloves, handing her a pair, “On the run, trying to keep warm in an abandoned cabin only to be burnt to a crisp in an out-of-control fire.”
Kyrell’s eyes widened, and he began struggling. Mason and Clover laughed at the same time. They knew how that chair withstood a beating and kept intact.
“If you’re sure, then no, I think Mr. Bright and I have chatted enough in this lifetime. What’s in your bag of tricks?”
* Mason *
Mason slowly sifted water through his fingers in the jacuzzi tub in their penthouse bathroom, watching the droplets fall onto Clover’s breasts, grinning when she giggled, shifting her ass against his cock. He nuzzled her neck, tasting her sweat, and inhaling her intoxicating scent.
“Do you think they put out the flames by now?”
He ran his fingertips along her arm, “It’s been a few hours. I hope so. I don’t want a forest fire on my conscience.”
That made her laugh again, considering they committed murder earlier. “No, me either. I love this.”
“I love you, Clover. Any regrets?”
She shifted in the water until facing him. He took in her serious countenance. He hadn’t planned to bring her in on killing Kyrell, but she needed closure. Dash resented handing the man over, especially since the FBI required his knowledge as a contact to slave traders, but the money he offered along with justice for what Clover went through compelled them both to include her. They arrested Emmett, and he aimed to make his life a living hell in prison.
“He deserved what we did to him,” she looked him straight in the eye, “I know it doesn’t stop or even begin with men like Kyrell. It’s one less criminal in the world, right?”
Mason placed a kiss on her cheek, “Agreed. I have another surprise for you. A belated one. One I promised so long ago you probably forgot.” He wanted to change how they remembered tonight.
Her eyes sparkled as she leaned back, floating away from him, “I bet I can guess.”
He curled his lip, “They delivered it before we arrived. Did you peek?”
She stood up, and as water cascaded off her body, his dick grew so hard it bobbed against his stomach. Her breasts were large before she had Sadhbh, but now, damn. Everything about her excited him. He could be in a room filled with gorgeously groomed women, but he only had eyes for one. The curvy red-headed who refused to kowtow to others.
“There’s only one surprise we discussed but never got around to playing with.”
“True. Meet you in the bedroom, babe.”
She cocooned herself in a robe before he joined her after draining the tub. Two boxes sat on a table with the words SENSES stenciled on the outside. His company already made millions from the devices.
“It works better if we’re in separate rooms,” he explained, tossing the lids off, “but I want you close. I prefer your hot body to V.R.”
She wrapped her hand around his cock since he remained naked. He devoured her lips, dropping onto the bed, SENSES forgotten. Who needed a virtual reality experience when he had the real thing? He ran his fingers through her wetness, sucking on her earlobe, and she let out that cute cry he adored. Lifting her leg, he speared deep, settling to allow her time to adjust.
“You are still so fucking tight,” he grunted, one hand gripping the headboard as her walls fluttered, pulling him in deeper. He thrust once, and she whimpered, grabbing his shoulders to reel him closer, but he didn’t budge, “Greedy, aren’t you?”
“Like you aren’t,” she snickered, “You crave me. Would do anything for me.”
“Fuck, yeah. Hold on baby, I’m feeling all kinds of giving right now.”
He pumped his hips slowly a few times, watching her gasp and try to hug him, but he wanted to enjoy the show. Her chest heaved and sweat trailed down his back as he sped up, hammering her into the mattress, making sure to brush her clit. He lost himself in her suppleness, lowering his mouth to kiss her deeply.
Mason would forever remember how Clover looked holding Reese underwater and the way she smirked when Kyrell howled when she cut off his balls before setting him on fire. He had never been prouder of her, or more turned on. Even now, as she wailed, absorbed in ecstasy while he drove into her with a single-mindedness to make her lose control, he gloated at the love shining through.
But it was nothing compared to when they met.
He had coveted the scrappy woman from afar the moment he saw her, and as she peered up at him with tears glistening in her jade eyes, remembered the sweet smile she offered him on her first day at G&T.
“Hi, Mason, my name is Clover McBride,” The red-headed girl beamed, sticking out her palm as if he needed to shake his new secretary’s hand to let her start the job.
Where the hell did they find her? She was a damn puppy!
“You’ll address me as Mr. Thistle,” he gave her a once over, noting the gray knee-length skirt hugging her round ass and white blouse stretched tight against her ample breast. She shifted on her kitten heels nervously, her breathing turning harsh, highlighting her nipples through the thin material.
She lowered her hand since he showed no interest in shaking it. “Well, I hope I can keep up. HR said you’re a busy, busy man.”
He curled his lip, noticing her abnormal green eyes. Jade. The girl had jade eyes, and a hot fucking body the catty women on the floor would frown at. She was like a breath of fresh air, and his cock twitched when she simply smiled at his silent treatment. She was the sweetest woman he’d encountered in years. He deflated at how untouchable she became at that moment. He wouldn’t be one of those rich douche-bags who banged his assistant.
“Miss McBride, hold my calls until I contact you,” He almost cringed at how he snapped the command but had to set the tone of their rapport because she stood there looking far too kind. How easy would it be to obtain her respect? Her devotion… NO! Those days were behind him. Besides, she’d never want someone so fucked up or depraved as he turned out to be.
“Good luck!” her voice squeaked as he headed for his office, “I’ll wait for you, Mr. Thistle.”
“I loved you the second I met you,” he blurted after making love to his wife. She nuzzled against him, sighing in contentment. “I was a fool for waiting.”
Her bright greens held his affectionate gaze, and he grinned when she admitted, “I felt it then too. When you wouldn’t shake my hand and didn’t face me for an entire week.”
“You were always mine, Clover.”
“No, Mason, we are each other’s.”
~ THE END ~
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