Part Twenty Four

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Kate looked at Mason’s sleeping form; he looked so relaxed sprawled across the bed. Finally relaxed after the traumatic day. Kate on the other hand was wired. The events of the last twenty four hours playing on her mind in a vivid reconstruction.

Clarissa had stormed out and left the two of them in her room. Mason had looked at her and told her she didn’t have to go with him, he’d leave alone. She had no intention of staying; she wanted to be with him even if Clarissa wasn’t as angry as she was. So they’d both packed their bags then slept until six am, annoyed that they’d had a few drinks and couldn’t rush off immediately. Before anyone had woken they’d left in Kate’s car, the only message a note to Margaret explaining.

Where to go when the World is your Oyster? Neither had much idea. They wanted to get away, put miles between them and the disaster of the previous night, so they’d driven aimlessly until they ended up in a cold but pretty seaside resort on the east coast. It was cold and blustery as they’d stopped the car in front of a small hotel, and they’d been relieved that their first port of call had vacancies for the next few nights.

The hotel was a small place run by a male couple who were more than friendly, and the room they were shown to was little short of a bordello. Elaborate red and gold drapes, linens and walls made the room too gaudy to be romantic, and they had both chuckled as the door closed behind them.

                “All that’s missing is a pole to dance around!” Mason had announced with a raised and waggling eyebrow.

Wrapped up warm they’d wandered along the seafront, arm in arm against the winds before finding a small restaurant that was open in the desperately quiet town.

Over pasta, pizza and wine they had sat across from each other and contemplated the day.

                “Why did Clarissa launch at you Mason? I know your mother must miss you, you said you’ve been in Dubai for years, but surely she doesn’t begrudge you your own life? I’ve never seen her like that before. She always seemed so reserved.”

He’d looked everywhere but at her for a few moments until he finally brought his eyes back to meet hers. “I didn’t leave by choice...” Mason didn’t look overly proud as he retold the ugly story of his rubbish childhood, and then his rebellion. Sleeping with his step mother, and then becoming such a womaniser, and the ultimate low, seducing his young step sister.

                “I deserved to be chucked out by them, and it DID make me grow up. But I know my mother spent years grieving for me...Derek my stepfather wanted more children, but it never happened...he blamed that on the stress and depression my mother suffered, not the fact she was in her forties...so of course that was my fault too.”

He had looked at Kate with a sad expression on his face, “so my Aunt is right, I have caused nothing but trouble, you’d do well to have kept a wide berth from me!”

Kate sighed, “I’m just glad to know that I’m not the only one guilty of making wrong choices. My family are in bits, I’ve lost lots of friends to devote myself to Peter...”

Mason reached across the table and took her hands in his, “you didn’t make a wrong choice Kate, you’re only guilty of doing the right thing. I’m afraid I can’t boast that fact. I wanted revenge over my father and it made me as bad as him. I did some terrible things...”

They’d agreed at that moment to bury their pasts, and back at the hotel they’d made love. Now as Mason slept in the beautiful and rather raunchy bed, Kate found sleep eluded her. He’d bared himself to her, told her all his dark secrets, but she’d not shared back. Peter was such an emotive subject that she had barely honest with anyone about him, and she knew that she had to share her own guilt with Mason, but she wasn’t used to sharing anything anymore, and  without Peter to hide behind, she found she was still anxious, nervous of getting close to Mason. Then there was his mother, his Aunt...because of her there was another rift developing. Margaret had tried to call him when they arrived at the town, but Mason had ignored the phone. She couldn’t help thinking of her mother, her brother, how devastating her absence had been to them, and she didn’t want to be the one that started that for Mason.

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