June 2nd, 1918 Birmingham, England
Mackenzie poured himself another glass of his favorite brandy before knocking it back and placing the glass on his desk. He let out a long sigh as he ran his rough hand down his face and along his beard. After the mishap at the lounge Mackenzie had led Blythe to the restaurant side and let her enjoy a peaceful dinner at his expense of keeping his mouth shut and ignoring his throbbing shoulder. He was a man of his word and he had promised Blythe a dinner at Luciano’s and regardless of the events that had occurred earlier in the evening, he was going to provide that for her.
The dinner had gone off without a hitch. The longer they sat there Blythe seemed to relax more and more. With each passing glass of red merlot the waiter refilled Mackenzie got to know Blythe on a much more personal level. She opened up to him about her childhood and what she had thought she wanted to be as she grew older. After about the 3rd glass, she even tipsily revealed her utter disgust at societies aristocrats before quickly clasping a hand over her mouth; realizing that she was letting her lips loose to one of the very same aristocrats in front of her. Mackenzie chuckled and shook his head. He would never get tired of that woman for she always kept him on his toes. Shamelessly blunt and charismatic, she was never afraid to be herself.
Once dinner was finished Mackenzie paid for the meal and escorted Blythe out to his car. He checked with Byron and ensured that the situation had been handled and Antonio had gotten his shipment. After all was settled he and Blythe returned back to the estate. Mackenzie knew Blythe was still a little nervous around him after what had happened. She politely said her thank you’s and quickly disappeared off to the guest house after they had arrived home.
For the last few months Mackenzie had bent over backwards and completely out of his way for Blythe between the job, which he had absolutely no intention of hiring anyone before he had met her, helping her with her father whom he had formed a bond with, and letting her slowly work her way to intermingle herself with his life. The woman was growing on him, he had to admit. Even Byron and Remi teased him on the daily about those two getting together much to Mackenzie’s dismay. However, relationships had never been priority. His father had convinced him at a young age that all women made to do was make life complicated. So aside from the occasional woman he would pick up and bring home to satisfy his needs, he had never been in a serious relationship and it showed. He had not the first clue on how to go about showing a woman he actually cared about her and he was pretty sure the way he had executed recently was frowned upon.
A small knock at his office door brought him out of his reverie. “Come in.” His voice came out raspy from how long he had been stuck in his own mind.
Blythe peaked around the edge of the door before taking slow cautious steps into his office. Her face was decorated in a bright crimson as she pulled her night robe closer around her. She had understood that it was completely improper to come to a man dressed as such but she had to make amends for her actions earlier. She felt terrible about slapping him. Twice. No one had ever made her as angry as Mackenzie had but that still didn’t merit a physical assault on the man.
It took everything Mackenzie had not to let out a deep groan as he watched her enter lithely in his domain. Her black silk nightgown peaked out from underneath her cotton robe, displaying a good chunk of her beautiful alabaster chest. His eyes followed her body down, running along her bare legs from her kneecaps to her toes. Mackenzie watched as her blush became more furious. She was not unaware of his eyes eating her up.
She cleared her throat gently. “I, uh, came to apologize. About my haste actions earlier.” Blythe kept her eyes down, her fingers fiddling with each other.
Mackenzie wasn’t sure if it was the nearly empty bottle of brandy sitting next to him or the sleep he had been desperately lacking but something was nagging in the back of his mind to lay her over his desk at the very moment and show her his apology. But instead he gestured his hand to the chair that sat in front of his desk. “There was never a need to apologize, Blythe. If anyone should be, I am the one to blame.” His eyes followed her every move while she slowly made her way over and sank into the plush leather chair.
“You’re hardly to blame.” She commented, smoothing out her robe on her legs. “You were right about what you said back there. It really is none of my business what you dabble in. I should have kept my mouth shut. And I most certainly should not have hit you.” The last part she mumbled, glancing around the room to avoid his gaze.
He couldn’t help it. A loud laugh burst through his lips as he nodded. “Yeah, we definitely could have avoided that entire part.” Mackenzie agreed with her, laughing even harder when she reached back to scratch the back of her head sheepishly. “However, I brought you there and it was incredibly stupid of me to put your life in danger like that. You’re important to me, Blythe. I shouldn’t have been so careless.”
Her brow furrowed slightly. “Well, thank you, I think. I really am not that important, but I appreciate you thinking so. I’m sure you have plenty who could replace me in a heartbeat.” What would possess him to say something like that?
Mackenzie leaned forward in his seat. “You’re joking, right?” The hard glint in his eyes was back. “It’s always been you.” His brow was low over his eyes, almost glaring at her like she had told a terrible pun.
“What do you mean, ‘always been me’? Mackenzie, all I do is answer the phones for the books.” She laughed, her voice ringing through the air like a gentle bell.
It was Mackenzie’s turn to laugh. He knew he wasn’t very good at showing affection, but she was terrible at getting the hint. He slid his chair back so quickly it teetered on two legs for a moment. “Blythe, don’t you get it?” He asked as he stalked around his desk. “There is no one like you. I didn’t need you to work for me. The den had plenty of people for that position. But I wanted you. From the moment I seen you in the tailor shop I knew I had to have you close to me. I didn’t have to pay off you and your fathers bills and post you up in my guest house. But I wanted you closer.” The more he said the wider Blythe’s eyes grew. She had known that they had a pretty close relationship and the attraction between them was undeniable but she hadn’t expected that he cared so much. She figured he had women coming and going so frequently that she wasn’t anything but ordinary. Blythe pressed herself into the leather of the chair as Mackenzie got closer. She nervously gnawed on her bottom lip as he dropped down to his knees directly in front of her. Grabbing her by the back of the neck, he pulled her in so that she was inches away from his own face. Their warm breathes mingled together in the small space between them. He wasn’t gentle by any means, attempting to get his point across, however, he wasn’t the rough barbarian that Blythe had experienced earlier. “And no one, I mean no one, get’s to call me Mackenzie like you do. I have never let someone to close to me, and if we’re being honest it terrifies me because you have this sort of supernatural hold on me. But I want it, I want you, and I can see you want me to.” As the last word whispered from between his lips, Mackenzie crushed his mouth on Blythe’s lips.