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Part 11

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Mason had had a reasonably disruptive childhood. An only child, he’d grown up trying to protect his mother who’d always been the delicate flower that she was now, his father was hard, an angry man, crushing any vitality she had on a continual basis, regardless of whether Mason was there or not. In his adult years looking back, he always wondered how the hell they ever came to be married. He’d still only been young when they split, just a week after his twelfth birthday. The breakup, he later realised, was because his father had impregnated his secretary, and his mother in response had a nervous breakdown.

With her institutionalised for the next few years, he’d been forced to spend time with his father, and so became the object of this same anger. Mandy, the second wife was no doormat like his mother, and the anger that his father felt at the lack of control he had over his new and errant wife became ammunition for his treatment of Mason. He’d got older like all boys, and started to stand up to him, and then his mother was out of hospital, getting married and wanted him back.

Mason knew it was a bleak part of his life. Hitting seventeen he firstly started an affair with Mandy his thirty four year old step mother, which lasted six months, only to be discovered by his father. When it ended, it left him VERY sexually experienced, and instead of being mortified at his behaviour and the way it crushed his father, the pleasure such revenge brought meant he only looked for more controversy.

It was then he’d become a real player, sleeping with more girls than was wise, after being completely shunned by his father. His mother took him in on his breaks from university. But that came to an equally rapid end when his step father Derek found him to quote the older man in flagrante with his sixteen year old daughter and he was banished by those too.

Alone again, Mason had taken an apprenticeship with a petroleum company straight from University. The animosity towards both himself and his parents had only fuelled his desire to succeed, and he became a success, working and playing hard until he took on an executive position whilst still in his mid twenties.

He’d rarely been home since that fateful day when his mother had looked at him with sadness and disappointment in her eyes. But the death of his step father earlier that year and meant that he’d seen his mother the previous month when he’d come home for the wedding. It was only the fourth time he’d seen her in more than twelve years and he knew that it was his doing, his behaviour that had devastated her over the years.

If he’d been home, or at least in more regular contact with him mother in those intervening years  then he’d have instantly realised that the man who Kate was guiltily devoted to was his own second cousin Peter. He vaguely remembered hearing about the dreadful accident, but had never shown enough interest to appreciate the extent of his injuries, and the implication it had had on all of his family. It had happened maybe six years ago, and wasn’t discussed any more. Also Peter was almost ten years younger than him, he’d been a small child when Mason had been pushed out of family life, he didn’t even know the other man.

Back at the apartment that night he could barely sleep. All he could visualise was her, Kate, clothes and hair still crumpled from bed, face fresh looking up at him, then when he’d kissed her, her hands and lips reciprocating his own investigations.  Mason realised he’d spent the last few weeks groaning, sighing and ruing his wrong decisions over Kate, and now he knew that he may never see her so desperate for him again. Hell he may never see him smile again. It was going to be a long night, and he had no chance of sleeping.

It was Saturday morning, and finally Kate felt back on form. Physically she was fit, she was well rested, but emotionally, that was a different story. Her time with Mason had fragmented her. For the first time in ages she didn’t know what to do. He was right. She was lying to herself. But she’d always known that. She was never going to have anything back from Peter, he was purely an emotional responsibility. At some point she had to think of the future, not just hers, but his too. He was so dependent on her, if anything happened to his mother, she’d be all he had. Even more commitment and heartache.

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