The Millionaire's Forever

By: Sonya Weiss

“Then you’re going to agree to what he wants?”

“I’m still hoping a way out will come to me between now and tomorrow morning so I won’t have to, but if not, then yes.”

“Liv, you’ve got such a sweet heart and I know that you’ve given so much to help others. I wish there was something I could do. If I had a way to help you out of this situation, I would.”

Olivia gave her friend’s hand a squeeze. “I know. But I got myself into this mess and I’ll get myself out of it.”

“You know, it is okay to lean on others for help.”

“I’ve had to be strong for so long, I think I’ve forgotten how to not handle everything on my own.”

“Do you think that you can handle Mason? I can’t believe he’d blackmail you like this,” Beth said.

Olivia could believe it. She thought about the scars on Mason’s back and the tattoo she’d seen across them and a shiver went through her. She sensed he wasn’t a man who worried whether or not he was pushing others to get what he wanted. “I think I can handle him. What I’m fighting for is something that I believe in. Something that makes a difference in the lives of others. Just like Mom did.”

She squared her shoulders, mentally stiffening her resolve. Mason might be the one calling the shots, but if he thought she was a woman who would meekly go along with his every demand, he was in for a big shock.

A quarter to eight the next morning, Mason wasn’t surprised to open the door to his hotel room and find Olivia on the other side. She had her hair down and wore a minimal amount of makeup, yet she was stunning. He stepped to one side and she breezed past him, stopping when she saw the food-laden service cart. She swung around to look at him and when she did, he caught a faint whiff of perfume.

“I took the liberty of ordering breakfast,” he said, motioning toward the spread of meats, eggs and strawberry-covered waffles.

Olivia dropped her purse into one of the chairs and pinned him with a hard look. “You had no doubt I would show up? You think I’m that predictable?”

Mason could feel the waves of dislike wafting from her. “I don’t know that much about you. Only what I’ve read. But I know me.” He slouched with his hands in his pockets, enjoying watching the play of emotion across her face.

“Is that your way of saying what Mason wants, Mason gets?”

He studied her, taking in the tantalizing way her breasts rose and fell beneath the emerald-green shirt she wore. He’d never ached for a woman the way he ached for Olivia. “If I deny that, I admit some things are outside the realm of my ability to have. If I admit it, I’m an arrogant bastard.”

“You’re right that you don’t know me. Reading a few articles doesn’t give you insight into who I am.”

He smiled. “Do you think I’d face an opponent and not know far more than what I could read about them in some damn publicity pieces?”

She leaned her deliciously curved backside against the arm of one of the chairs. Understanding crossed her beautiful face. “You had me investigated.”

It was a statement without any emotion, and Mason admired the way she held herself in check. He knew women well and had fully expected a strong reaction once she realized he’d had her life dissected. She certainly wasn’t playing the role he’d envisioned she’d play, and it intrigued him. “You’re not angry?”

She lifted one shoulder and the silky material of her shirt slid across her body. “Why should I be? Investigating the woman you’re going to force to act as your girlfriend is a smart business move. I’ve done some investigating of my own.” Crossing the floor, her heels soundless on the thick carpeting, Olivia went to the cart and picked up a piece of bacon. She bit into it, licked her lips, and gave him a smile. When the hell did eating bacon become so erotic?

“And what did you discover?”

She swallowed and lowered her voice to a whisper. “I’ll show you mine after you show me yours.”

Amused, Mason laughed. “Olivia Carter. Thirty-one. Never had a serious relationship, but you don’t sleep around. You were torn between studying fashion design or art in college. You chose design and then took art classes after graduating.”

“Is that all you’ve got?”

Mason raised an eyebrow and continued. “You often devote time to causes that mean a lot to you. You’ve volunteered at homeless shelters and no-kill animal organizations, and participated in drives to raise money for underprivileged children. You’re financially okay, but by no means wealthy. No serious debt other than your mortgage. Good credit, good friends.”

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