A Deal To Be Made

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XXVII

August 14th, 1918 Thomas Estate, Birmingham, England


The next morning Blythe had woken up early and made a bee-line directly for the kitchen. She had stayed in the guest house last night while Byron and Remi stayed with Mackenzie and talked business. However, she knew the guest house was going to be Mackenzie’s first stop to reprimand her about not staying in his bedroom. This morning she would tell him that she didn’t mean it. The guest house was perfectly situated for her and she didn’t need to be imposing on his space. She was sure he had said it in the heat of the moment and didn’t intend to go back on his word but she wasn’t about to hold him to it.
The staff in the kitchen had tried very hard to shoo her away just like all the times before, claiming that it wasn’t proper since it wasn’t her job to cook. Needless to say, Blythe was a very stubborn woman who had supported herself and her father all these years and didn’t need anyone to wait on her 24/7. Cooking was something of a past time that she rather enjoyed. The years that she had spent on her own and cooking for her father gave her the experience she needed to make a fairly delightful meal. Not to mention of course Mackenzie’s kitchen came stocked with only the freshest ingredients; some that she had never even heard of before. It gave her a lot of room to experiment and, though they would deny it, the staff loved trying her concoctions.
Today, however, she had promptly pushed everyone out of the kitchen. She wanted to be able to think properly and prepare breakfast for Mackenzie by herself without anyone hovering over her shoulder. A smile stretched across her lips at the thought of him enjoying what she had handmade for him. But naturally the peace couldn’t last long.
The wooden spoon she had been using to mix some dough clattered to the floor as a pair of strong arms wound their way around Blythe’s waist. Before she could give out a shriek she could smell the musky scent of Mackenzie standing behind her. The heat from his naked torso burned into her back and sent a blush creeping across her entire face.
“I thought we had agreed that you would be waking next to me from now on.” The deep hoarseness from his voice signaled that he hadn’t been awake for very long. He pulled himself against her and nuzzled his face into the crook of her neck, planting kisses along her jawline.
She tried to remain strong but the shivers that ran down her spine were a force to be reckoned with. “About that.” The spoon and bowl that occupied her hands had been pushed to the side. She attempted to turn around in his arms but his tight hold made it difficult. Finally, she managed to face him but he didn’t move an inch. The two of them were so close they could feel their breaths mingle. Blythe’s back was pressed into the edge of the counter with Mackenzie pressing into the front of her. She placed her hands on his shoulders for a lack of better placement.
“What about?” He cocked his eyebrow, his gaze beating down onto her. If she thought she was going to get out of this she had another thing coming. It had been something that had been weighing on his mind a lot lately and even the others had commented on how bad his mood had been since they hadn’t seen much of each other. Last night he had finally had the opportunity to ask her, well demand her, to stay with him. Although it didn’t go exactly how he had planned, he was glad he did. Initially he wanted to ask her over dinner or something a little less, involved.
“Don’t you think it’s a little early?” Her brows knitted in serious thought but once she seen how his brows lowered in disapproval she tried to quickly explain herself. “I mean, we’ve only known each other such a short time. Wouldn’t you feel like I’m imposing on your space? What if I snore? What if the servants talk? What if-”
“You overthink entirely too much.” Mackenzie grumbled before smashing his lips against hers in a valiant effort to shut off her rambling. Without hesitation his tongue dipped into her mouth and swirled around hers causing Blythe to melt into their embrace. He broke away, leaving her winded and frazzled. “I am a man of want, and I get what I want. I’ve made the decision that I want you; in any form you come in.”
“But-” She tried reasoning with him but a firm shake of his head stopped her.
“No ‘buts’. Business men don’t break deals.” His smirk led Blythe to believe that no matter what she said at this moment he refused to be swayed on the topic. She rolled her eyes at him. A grunt sounded from her as he picked her up by her thighs and set her gently upon the countertop. His mouth once more found hers and this time she didn’t fight it. She let her hands slide around his shoulders, looping her arms around his neck.
“Ah, ah, ah. Not this morning, kids. Mackenzie has some very important meetings to tend to today. It’s going to have to wait!” Byron yelled as he barged in the kitchen door. The second he heard Byrons voice Mackenzie’s entire body tensed. Even Blythe seemed to blow an annoyed breath at Byron’s impeccably timed interruptions. The shit-eating grin on Byron’s face clued Blythe in that the timing of said interruptions were no coincidence.
“I’m going to fucking kill him.” Mackenzie whispered under his breath when his head dropped onto Blythe’s shoulder. It took everything she had not to giggle at his defeated tone.

***

After breakfast the men had taken off to sort through some meetings they had in the city. Blythe decided to take advantage of the spare time she had on her hands. Since Ramona had sent everyone home for the weekend and Mackenzie was away she had nearly an entire day to herself and she knew just how she was going to spend it.
It didn’t take her long to find the estate’s library. The second she walked in she was taken aback by the beauty of the massive oak shelves that lined the room two stories tall. Rows upon rows of shelves decorated the room in a maze of knowledge; each shelf stuffed to the very edge with an assortment of books. Her fingers brushed the spines of books as she walked down each aisle until something caught her eye. She settled on a thick black book about the history of architecture. It seemed a little odd to her that this book caught her attention considering she had never taken any interest in architecture before, but she just shrugged it off and took a seat on an armchair that had been situated in front of a fireplace. Shortly after sitting down and cracking open the dusty book, some of the servants had come in and started the fire along with bringing her some tea and a thin blanket. She settled in to her spot and sipped her tea while she let history envelope her into her own little world. The book held her attention well and she was actually enjoying the read but no matter how well written it was her mind would periodically track back to Mackenzie. She wondered if he had ever read this particular book or if it had just been something that was on these shelves when he inherited the estate.


Hours flew by along with the pages and before she knew it, Blythe squinted up through the window, the sun was setting. She blinked away the weariness from her eyes as she closed the book. This will definitely be something that she would be coming back to later. For now it was time to get up and stretch her legs. It had been so long since she had moved she hadn’t realized that her feet had fallen asleep. Placing the book on the small table beside her she threw off the blanket and hung it on the back of the chair after folding it neatly. She reached her hands high in the air and gave a good stretch, one that sent tingles all the way up her spine and left little dots floating around in her vision. Perhaps she had waited too long to get up.
After patiently waiting for the spots to finish dancing she made her way to the hallway. She stopped at the bottom of the staircase when she noticed men trudging in a line carrying trunks. The men made their way up the stairs without so much of a glance towards Blythe. She scratched at her temple in confusion. Did Mackenzie have an entire new wardrobe imported for him? Mrs. Layton came flying around the corner nitpicking at all the men for the smallest things they could be doing wrong. She was a mother hen through and through.
“What’s going on, Ada?” Blythe’s furrowed brow caught the attention of Mrs. Layton. Ada released a huge smile when she made her way over to Blythe.
“All of your possessions have been properly moved to Mr. Thomas’ bedroom, along with the trunks of clothing he had requested for you.” Not only did Blythe’s eyes bulge at the mention of him completely disregarding their talk earlier but also at the fact that she said trunks of clothing he bought for her.
“Wait.” Blythe held her hands up. “All those trunks… are mine?” The incredulity in her voice made Mrs. Layton laugh.
“Yes, dear. They most certainly are. Mr. Thomas had me help pick out a few of the items and might I say,” She shook her head while a fanciful look took over her features. “That man spared no expense on you, only the best.” Coming back to, she realized Blythe’s face had blanched entirely. “Oh, don’t be like that. I have never seen a woman effect him so much as you do and I think it is great for such a selfish man-child. Now go on, go have a look. I’ve to be off somewhere else doing something that’s not this.” Blythe’s lips tipped upwards in a small smile. The way that Ada spoke with no reservations was part of the charm about her that Blythe loved.
She slowly made her way up the stairs once the men had finished and exited the house. When she entered the room she was almost shocked to see it look almost the same as it always had. There weren’t massive trunks filling the room from floor to ceiling. From what she could see, there was still no evidence of her in his bedroom. It almost felt as if a small piece of her broke off inside. Maybe he didn’t really want her in here but he had said it so he felt he had to follow through with it. She tried to shake that thought off, pushing the rest of her way in. At first she hadn’t noticed a difference but the further she walked the more things of hers she spotted. A small jewelry bust sat upon a short dresser that held her items. She peeked inside the bathroom and noticed all of her things like her brush, clips, make up and more sat on the vanity. At this point she was fighting a smile that was threatening to take over. Then she decided to check the closet.
“Holy shit.” She whispered in awe. In the small room the back corner was taken up of Mackenzie’s clothing like suits and casual jackets. The entire other side was lined top to bottom with women’s clothing that still had the marketing tags on them. She was amazed at the number of clothes that were hanging in front of her. The last time she had seen so much clothing had been when she want to the department stores last summer to find her father a new pair of trousers.
The sound of Mackenzie’s bedroom door closing caught her attention. He chuckled when he received the glare from her while she stood at the entrance to the closet. “I see you’ve received my welcome gift.”
“This is way too over-the-top, Mackenzie.” Her arms folded over her chest and she tried to shoot daggers with her eyes but she couldn’t help but smile at the mischievous look on his face. It was like a child who had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
He made his way over to her, loosening his tie and throwing it on the edge of the bed. The way that she tried so hard to make him feel guilty about showering her with affection made him laugh. If she thought he was ever going to feel bad about providing for his woman, she had a long time ahead of her. His hands gripped her by the waist and pulled her in close before planting an unusually gentle kiss upon her lips. “I told you before.” He leaned in and brushed his lips against her ear, his voice in a low whisper.
“A businessman never breaks a deal. Welcome home, Love.”


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