“I think I’m going to take a bath before I eat. I’ll be back downstairs in a little while.” She saved her work and closed down the computer before heading for the stairs.
She didn’t think she could deal with much more. Between the men pressing her and the stalker, she felt like she was losing her sense of self. How could she resist them while she was staying with them? They would smother her and try to change her. She didn’t want to change. She liked her life like it was. Sure, she missed some of the camaraderie of friends, but her writing never let her down. It was always there when she needed it.
She was sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with her mental processes. She was hiding, and she knew it. It worked, though. She managed to get by just fine. She was her own boss and could do what she wanted. Yeah, sometimes she had a hard time making decisions about big things, but for the most part, she was fine.
Beth climbed the stairs and walked into the bathroom before she realized that Mason was following her. She turned around and glared at him.
“I didn’t invite you.”
“I’m going to take a shower. I won’t bother you. I’ve been up since five this morning. I need a shower.” He started undressing.
Without giving him a second look, she turned her back and started the water in the tub. She waited until he was in the shower before she undressed and slipped into the water. She hoped he had cold water for his shower. It would serve him right. He could have taken one in the bathroom down the hall. She quickly bathed in hopes of finishing before he did, but about the time she stood up to get out of the tub, he was stepping out of the shower. They stared at each other.
“Get dried off, baby, before you catch cold.” He sighed and grabbed a towel.
He turned his back to her as he dried off. She realized he was trying to give her some privacy. It went against everything she’d been building up about him being manipulative and demanding. How could she hold a grudge when he did something like that? Maybe he had just needed a shower.
Maybe she was reading into it all too much. They might just want a fling, and she was putting forever into it and balking at the idea of living a D/s lifestyle. There were plenty of them in Riverbend. She knew they were into that. And she wasn’t anymore. They would want someone to live the life twenty-four-seven. She wasn’t that woman. She’d never wanted to do that. It was one of the things she’d had a problem with Master James and Master Williams’s offer. She just didn’t want that sort of life.
Once she had her clothes back on, Mason walked out of the bathroom with his lower body wrapped in a towel. It didn’t hide the obvious erection that tented the towel. She quickly averted her eyes, but not before Mason smiled at her. Then he turned away and walked down the hall toward his bedroom.
Beth hurried downstairs to the relative safety of her computer. There she could do anything she wanted and be anyone she wanted to be. It was never permanent, and there was always a “happy ever after” in it.