The merest whisper of lips brushing over my ear invaded the warmth depths of my sleep. I tried to ignore the velvet rasp of a tongue licking the shell of my ear, followed by the sharp nip of teeth.

Unexpected surge of pain and then pleasure crashed over my wakening senses. I moaned fretfully.

“nice try, Mochi” the gravelly voice rumbled in my ear, “I know you are awake!”

I pouted into my pillow. Mason was such a stickler for mornings. He enjoyed waking up early, whereas I slept in. He got in a run, shower and even a few business calls before eight am. That was inhumane.

“no” I grumbled.

Mason chuckled. There was little warning before the comforter was ripped off me. I let out a shriek as I was rolled underneath him. My arms yanked high above my head. His fingers circling my wrists.

Mason’s lips twitched at the corner. “You’re quite the spoiled one, aren’t you? You always want things your way and can’t stand hearing ‘no’,” he teased, leaning in closer until his mouth was just inches away from mine. “But indulging your every whim will be the death of me. I think it’s time for a little punishment to set you straight.”

I couldn’t help but smirk at his words. “Well, if being spoiled means getting what I want, then I guess I am.” I teased back, my eyes locking with his.

Mason’s lips turned into a grin as he leaned in closer. “And what do you want, little brat?” he whispered, his breath hot against my cheek.

My heart raced with anticipation as I leaned in even closer, feeling the heat between us grow more intense. “Right now, I want you,” I answered huskily, my fingers tracing the lines of his shirt.

Mason’s lips found mine in a fierce, hungry kiss. His strong arms pulled me closer, his body pressing against mine as we kissed with a fiery passion. In that moment, nothing else mattered but the intense desire between us, and the overwhelming need to indulge in every pleasure we craved.

As we broke apart, breathless and gasping for air, Mason’s eyes glittered with mischief. “Looks like I’ll have to indulge my little brat some more,” he said with a playful grin, his fingers running over my skin. “Unfortunately, it will have to wait until this evening”

I was impressed with the luxurious appearance of the restaurant, later that night.

The sommelier was prompt with wine. “She will have Iced Americano, thank you” Mason cut in before the sommelier could pour me a glass.

“Don’t be a hard ass, Mase!” Joel chuckled “let her drink”

Mason’s eyes flashed and there was a barest of smiles on his lips “Becky doesnt drink” he thanked the sommelier and dismissed her. A waitress appeared with my Iced Americano. Joel leered at her.

Mason shot him a warning look before turning his attention back to me. He leaned in, “order whatever you want,” he whispered, “I will try to end this dinner as quickly and painlessly as possible”

Mason and Joel talked about their business ventures, throwing around terms and concepts that threaten to put me to sleep.

Joel shifted the conversation to himself once our meals were served.

He believed himself to be God’s gift to women. He bragged endlessly about his lavish vacations in the Caribbean, his splurges on luxury resorts, cars, and stunning women. And yet, despite all his bluster, he lacked even a hint of arm candy. I seethed with annoyance that I’d let Mason talk me into a dinner with such a blowhard. I barely spoke, responding with curt yes or no answers. I knew I was being rude, but I couldn’t bear to waste any more of my precious time. I’d much rather have been snuggled up under the covers with a good book than forced to listen to this man’s ceaseless prattle. I mulled over the various ways I could punish Mason for putting me through such a torturous experience.

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t hide the disgust and boredom I felt towards the self-absorbed idiot sitting across from me. I wasn’t an actress, and I refused to pretend to enjoy his meaningless small talk. I had no tolerance for fools, especially when they made revolting comments about women. It took all my willpower not to pick up my fork and silence him for good. Suddenly, Mason’s firm touch on my hand snapped me out of my thoughts. I looked down to see our fingers intertwined and then up at his face.

“Do you want dessert” he smiled. Before I could answer Joel interrupted.

Joel had a smirk across his face as he asked, “Does she really need dessert?” His gaze trailed up and down my body. “It’s not like she requires it.” Mason’s grip on my hand intensified, and I couldn’t help but feel the urge to gouge Joel’s eyes out. “Becky can have whatever she desires,” Mason retorted with a smooth tone. “I would rather indulge her than face her anger.”

Joel snorted. “You shouldn’t let your woman wear the pants! She should know her place!”

I smirked, “A woman should know her place.” Joel glared at me, “And what place is that?” I replied with a sweet smile, “Similarly, a man should know his place. Men have a tendency to act like kids and require consistent coddling to prevent their delicate egos from being harmed. Although they desire women to be in a subservient position, they are unwilling to take on any responsibilities.” I closed my eyes, “In my opinion, instead of being supportive and uplifting to their partners, men frequently belittle and demoralize them to enhance their egos.”

Mason’s grip on my fingers tightened even more. I knew I was crossing a line, but I couldn’t help myself. Joel’s arrogance was too much to bear.

Mason spoke up, “Becky is entitled to her opinion, Joel. And I happen to agree with her. A real man lifts up his partner, not tear them down.”

Joel grumbled under his breath.

“I’ll have the salted caramel cheesecake,” I said, quickly placing my order before Joel could make any more remarks.

Mason ordered a slice of chocolate cake for himself and we sat in silence as we waited for our desserts. My mind was still reeling from Joel’s comment, but Mason’s reassurance put me at ease.

“You’re beautiful just the way you are,” he whispered, giving my hand a gentle squeeze. “Don’t let anyone make you feel less than that.”

I gave him a small smile and leaned in for a kiss, feeling grateful for his unwavering support. When our desserts arrived, I savored every bite of my cheesecake, feeling unapologetic for indulging in something I truly desired.

As soon as dinner was finished, I made an excuse to leave early. I couldn’t wait to get away from Joel and his disgusting comments. Mason walked me to my car, his hand resting on my lower back. “I’m sorry about Joel. He can be quite insufferable at times.”

I huffed a laugh, “You don’t have to apologize for your friends. I just couldn’t stand hearing him talk anymore.”

Mason leaned in close to me, his breath warm against my ear. “I know, but next time, please try to behave. You know how I get when you misbehave.”

I felt a shiver run down my spine at his words. Mason could be a bit domineering at times, but it was something I secretly enjoyed. “I’ll try to keep myself in check,” I replied, smiling.

Mason brushed an errant hair away from my face, “You know what we should do? Let’s go out and explore the city. We haven’t really done that yet.”

“What about your business deal” I asked.

“Joel bores me.”

I grinned at him, feeling a sense of excitement bubble up inside of me. “That sounds like a great idea. What do you suggest we do first?”

Mason leaned in closer, his breath tickling my ear as he whispered, “How about we find a rooftop bar and watch the sunset?”

My heart skipped a beat at the suggestion, and I nodded eagerly. “Yes, let’s do it!”

♥writing was all I had, all I’ve ever had, the only currency, the only proof that I was alive. Memory.♥ each of us has a story to tell. Leave your thoughts. Leave your comments.

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