The Millionaire's Forever

By: Sonya Weiss

“I’m not entering into a relationship with you and I’m definitely not giving you the land. Why would I do that?” Olivia laughed. “That land has been in my family for generations and it meant a lot to my mom.” Her great-grandmother’s home used to be on that land. Not only that, in an effort to help the incarcerated teens turn their lives around, her mother had volunteered time with a nonprofit organization that made weekly visits to the facility. How could she let go of something that had been a part of her mother? “Why do you even want it?” She paused. “Is this about my father? As the police chief, he was only doing his job when he arrested you and your friends.”

He closed his eyes for a brief second as if fighting for control. “Your father ruined my life. And you will sell me the land because there’s a lot at risk for you if you don’t.” Mason shrugged. “I’ll call a press conference, tell the media I was just trying to cover for you for old times’ sake.”

Olivia narrowed her eyes. He thought he had her between a rock and a hard place, damn him. Would he really do such a thing? She searched his expression for any sign of softening, but his jaw was firm, his gaze steady on hers. No weakness, no kindness showed on his gorgeous face. Olivia bit her lip as she thought over her dilemma. She had to do something to stop the reporters from finding out there was no boyfriend.

“And if I agree to this plan of yours, how long do we have to pretend that we’re a couple?”

“I think six weeks should do it. By then, I’ll have convinced you to sell me the land.”

“And if I’m still not convinced?”

“You will be,” he said in a tone that oozed self-confidence.

“But if I’m not? Aside from not being outed for my lie right now, what do I gain out of this arrangement?” Olivia pressed.

“I’ll keep your secret—even if it means I have to go all the way to the altar to do so.”

When Olivia nipped her lower lip with her teeth, it took all of Mason’s restraint not to give in and put his mouth there to taste the fullness of her lips. As the police chief’s daughter, she’d been out of bounds. Chief Carter had taken great pains to make sure Mason understood that. His daughter wasn’t ever going to be with someone like him, he’d pointed out almost every time their paths had crossed. Hell, maybe one of the reasons he craved her the way he did was because she’d always been the forbidden fruit.

“Maybe I’ll take my chances that you won’t blow my cover. I don’t think you’re coldhearted enough to follow through on your threat.” She gave him an appraising look. “I saw you that day on the riverbank when you jumped in to save that drowning dog.”

He remembered that wet, shivering mongrel. He’d taken the dog home, intending to take care of it, and his father delivered the dog to the pound while Mason was at school the next day.

Mason lifted a sheet of card stock used to create custom wedding invitations and ran his fingers over it. “That was before my stint in the juvenile facility.” He put the card stock back on the pile with the others like it. “So when I tell you I want something and that I’ll do anything to make it happen, you can bank on it.”

“I’m sorry for what you went through.” Her beautiful eyes filled with pity.

Damn her. He didn’t need her pity. The thought that she would do so after her part in destroying his life galled him. “What I went through? That’s damned rich of you. You have no idea what I went through.”

“Given your reaction, I’m assuming it wasn’t good.”

How could she stand there like she didn’t know what the hell she’d done? She was a better actress than he’d given her credit for being. “Not good?” He took off his suit jacket and tossed it onto the sofa, then slowly began unbuttoning his shirt.

“What are you doing?” Olivia asked, taking a step back as he advanced.

Mason removed his tie and ripped the shirt from his body. He threw both on top of the suit jacket.

“I want you to see, Olivia.” Mason saw her swallow, saw her breathing quicken, and had to take a deep breath. He had to stay focused. He’d come too far to blow it all by giving in to his desire for the girl who’d haunted his teenage fantasies. The one who could have saved him and hadn’t. He’d never been able to put her out of his mind. Confined, bleeding, and bruised in a cell at the juvenile facility for a crime he hadn’t committed, he’d had plenty of time to think about her. To imagine how different his life would have been had he not played hero to the very girl he’d been warned to stay away from.

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