A whole week had passed and Kelsey felt tired and restless from work. She was glad it was the weekend again. Mason was the only thing, or in this case, the only one that had been keeping her inspired all throughout the week. With his constant annoying teasings and his sweet kisses, she was complete. She sighed and plopped herself on the couch after she had eaten her breakfast. Mason had already left early for work and she couldn’t hand him the money. That was another thing that kept her to work hard all throughout the week, she wanted to collect the money she owed him and pay him back. Just because they were terminating the contract didn’t mean she wasn’t to pay him back for all his help. Kelsey was relieved when Nick had given her, her very first paycheque and her cheque had also arrived two days ago in the mail from ‘La Mille’. It still was still short but Kelsey got some from her savings and had managed to gather all the money in time.
She had withdrew the money yesterday after her shift at ‘La Mille’. She was planning to hand it to him last night but she did closing again and was too tired when she got back.
Too focused on her thoughts, Kelsey had almost missed the ringing of her phone. However, she had managed to pick it up before it went to voicemail. “Hello?” She answered, forgetting to check the caller ID first. “Kelsey.” She heard his husky voice echoing on the other side. Kelsey knew right away who it was and she couldn’t help but feel her stomach doing a somersault. “Hi.” She had managed to squeak out and Mason chuckled at her cuteness, picturing her flustered cheeks in his mind. It had been a week but she was still unused to his teasings and flintiness. “Listen, I asked Enrique to pick you up at noon. Let’s meet and go out for lunch.” He hastily commanded. “But I have-” “I’ll see you then!” Mason interrupted and hanged up the phone before she could even finish her sentence. Kelsey pulled the phone away from her ear and glared at it. He sure was a demanding man.
And hardheaded too. She sighed and sent a quick text to Margie that she would meet them at dinner instead. Mason was really unpredictable, which made their relationship fun but terrifying simultaneously. She just wished he would inform her ahead of time before he made any decision. ~ * ~ * ~ The buzzer beeped and Lucas’ assistant’s voice echoed around the room. “Mr. Montenegro, your guest is here.” He informed him. Lucas clicked the intercom on the telephone and spoke. “Let him in, Bill.”
A man in his early-forties, Detective Alex Murphy, entered the room and sat on the chair across Lucas’ mahogany desk. “Coffee?” Lucas asked as he closed the file he was reviewing and placed it aside. “That would be nice.” The man replied as he placed a bulky folder on the desk before slouching on the comfy sofa chair he was sitting on. “Bill, bring us some coffee, please.” Lucas said on the intercom, not moving his eyes on the sealed folder in front of him. He already knew what was in it. He just wasn’t certain if he should be relieved, glad, or nervous when he opened it. “Yes, sir.” Bill politely answered. Alex amusedly watched his friend stare at the folder as if it was going to jump right at him. “You know, it’s not gonna open by itself.” He jested.
Lucas sighed and tried to move his hands resting on the table, but it seemed that his arms had stopped working. He couldn’t move them, no matter how hard he tried. “Are you that nervous? I thought you wanted to find out?” Alex pipped in, seeing the hesitant on his friend’s face. “I do. I just…” Lucas started but didn’t exactly know what to say or how to explain what he was feeling. “I don’t know.” He admitted shaking his head. “I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to handle what’s inside that folder.” He stated as he stood from his chair and paced back and forth. Alex sneakered and watched him walked around. “Do you want me to open it instead?” He suggested as Lucas froze and stared at the folder again.
Lucas shook his head and started pacing again. “No, no. I should be the one opening it.” “Then open it. What’s stopping you? Your father’s dead, your mother wants you to be happy again, Carla is long gone. I don’t see the problem, Lucas. This is what you wanted. You loved your family and you still do. Isn’t this the right time for you and them to be united again?” “It’s not as easy as it seems, Alex.” Lucas sighed and sat back down on his chair. “There are many things to consider. I don’t even know if they’ll accept me back. I left them.” He said disgustingly at himself. “I was a b*stard for leaving them and a coward for not fighting for my family.” Alex crouched forward and looked his friend straight in the eye. “You were a b*stard, you were a coward.” He agreed in a serious tone. “Is that suppose to make me feel better?” Lucas sarcastically asked him. Before Alex could reply, the door opened and Bill entered with two mugs of coffee. The strong aroma of it wafted around the room. Bill placed the tray on the mahogany desk and left. Lucas muttered a quick ‘thank-you’ before he left the room.
Alex stood from his chair and placed some cream and sugar on his coffee before settling back down on the chair. While Lucas took the black, plain coffee and placed a cube of sugar on his. “The point is, sure, you made a mistake. But everyone deserves a second chance. Based on your stories, I think your ex-wife is really nice and understanding. Why don’t you give it a shot?” Lucas sipped on his coffee and stared at the folder once again. “It’s been over a decade, Alex. I’m not so sure if the Hilda I’ve once loved will be the same Hilda today.” He explained his hesitation to him. “Well, there’s only one way to find out.” Lucas said, eyeing the folder he placed on the table. Lucas set the mug down and reluctantly took the folder in his hand. Alex urged and encouraged him to unseal it. Lucas could practically hear his heart beating wildly against his chest. With shaky hands, he teared the side and took the files out. ‘This is it.’ Lucas thought to himself as he took a deep breath. ~ * ~ * ~ “Why did you call me in such a hurry?” It was the first thing Kelsey had asked as soon as she had seen Mason. Mason looked up from his phone and placed it in his pocket. He smiled at her as he watched her take a seat across from him. “Well hello to you too.” He sarcastically greeted her. Kelsey playfully glared at him and glanced around the place. It wasn’t Mason’s usual dine-in place but he figured that she would complain if he had brought her to an expensive restaurant. So he, instead, settled on a small diner that he and Ricky used to go to when they were still in university. It was a simple diner but they sell amazing and reasonably priced food. “Mason!” A familiar voices called out, causing both him and Kelsey to glance at the direction of the voice. An old woman with a petite body and round-rimmed glasses exited the kitchen and joyfully leaped towards their table. Mason grinned and stood up to hug the old lady. “Mrs. Pepper, long time no see.” He told her. “Indeed, how have you been?” The woman pipped in excitedly. “You’ve become more handsome since I’ve last seen you.” She stated, studying his beautiful face. Mason chuckled and Kelsey saw the pureness of his smile and how genuine it was.
They must have known each other for some time, they seemed really close. “I’ve been well. How are you? How’s Mr. Pepper?” “Still as annoying as ever.” She announced as Mason sneakered. “But you know that his annoyance is his greatest asset. I love him dearly for that.” She told him and Kelsey couldn’t help but agree internally. Kelsey also felt the same way about Mason. His constant teasings and annoying nagging made her feel angry yet special at the same time. Mason was a serious man and having the knowledge that he was very carefree and playful around her made her feel that she was someone special to him. “Oh my!” Mrs. Pepper squealed and shot Kelsey a wide smile. “And who is this gorgeous lady? You’ve never brought a girl here before. She looks stunning.” Kelsey warmly smiled and stood up to shake her hand. “Good afternoon, ma’am. My name is Kelsey Parker. It’s nice to meet you. You have a wonderful diner.” She politely told her. “Oh please, call me Linda or Mrs. Pepper.
Whatever makes you comfortable.” She said shaking her hand. Mason wrapped his arm around Kelsey’s shoulder and kissed the side of her temple. “Mrs. Pepper, this is Kelsey, my fiancée.” He proudly announced as Mrs. Pepper giggled in delight. “Oh dear! I am so happy for the both of you! Congratulations!” She said and pulled them into a hug. “Linda! Cash register please!” Mr. Pepper’s voice screamed, catching some of the customers’ attentions. “Well, I best be going! Congratulations again! I’ll send someone to take your order.” She said before leaving and strolling towards the cash register behind the counter. “She seems nice. You’ve been here a lot before, I’m guessing?” Kelsey asked as they sat back down. Mason nodded his head, the smile on his face still intact. “Ricky and I used to go here when we were still in university. Hang-out place, I guess, you can call it. They serve the best burgers here.” The waiter then came and took their orders. “And for the lovely lady?” He asked Kelsey who was busy looking at her menu that she had missed the young man ogling her. Mason squinted his eyes at the man, who looked like he just turned twenty, and glared at him. “I’ll have the steak burger with medium fries, please.” She said and closed the menu. “And to drink?” The man asked with a foolish grin on his face. He was really admiring her and Mason’s ears were starting to puffed out air. “I suggest the cherry flavoured Coke for a sweet lady like you.” He added and Mason only grew more furious as he held his fist into a tight ball. “That would be nice. Thank you.” Kelsey gratefully said and the man left before shooting her another charming smile.
Kelsey was still grinding when she turned her head towards Mason but it faltered once she saw the dangerous glint in his eyes. “What?” She asked in oblivious. “What do you mean ‘what’? That man has been ogling you and flirting.”
He explained through gritted teeth trying to contain his angry. Complete astonishment flashed on her face and stared at him in bafflement. “Are you sure? He was just being nice, Mason.” She assured him but knowing Mason, he wasn’t going to go down without a fight. “Nice? You call that nice?! That was flirting, Kelsey!” He barked at her.
Kelsey stared at him with pointed look. “I’m sorry I’m not as skilled as you are when it comes to determining what is consider as flirting and being ‘nice’. But can we please have a peaceful lunch and just enjoy this day?” She asked of him. Mason didn’t like the way she had indirectly called him a playboy. But he couldn’t even defend himself because he knew that she had a point. It was obvious that she had never dated before, let alone went out on a date with a man. Mason sighed and nodded his head. “Okay. But if that young fellow flirts with you again, I will not be hesitant to throw a punch at him.” He threatened and Kelsey only shook his head in disappointment.
Their order came and the young man carefully placed the plate in front of Kelsey.
He shot her a warm smile and wished her a good lunch. Kelsey glanced at Mason and could sense the fury of the possessive man. She couldn’t help but feel giddy yet annoyed at the same time. She only nodded her head at the young man and kept her attention to Mason afterwards. “We’ll do. My fiancé said that the food here is fantastic.” She announced and the expression on Mason’s face brought the grin on her face to widen.
The young man tightly smiled. “Fiancé? Of course.” He muttered under his breath. “Have a great day.” He firmly said and left. Kelsey started eating and glanced up when she noticed that Mason was staring and wasn’t bothering to eat his meal. “What now? Hasn’t anyone told you that staring is rude?” Mason smiled at her and laughed. “Fiancé, huh?” He asked with a raised brow. Kelsey’s brows furrowed in confusion and sighed. “Are you happy now, Mr. King?” She sarcastically asked him and threw a small piece of fry at him. Mason caught in with his hand and chuckled. “Very.
Mrs. King…” He said wiggling his eyebrows. Kelsey threw another fry at him and laughed. “Can we just eat?” They ate their lunches, having small chats here and there. They ordered some desserts when Mason sense that it was the right time to tell her his plan. “Kelsey?” He started. “Mhmm…” She hummed as she ate another spoonful of chocolate drizzled ice cream. “I have to go to a business trip for the next few days.” He announced and Kelsey quickly looked up from her ice cream with furrowed brows. “Where are you going?” She asked him. “I have some things I need to take care of in Alaska.
But I’ll be back by Monday. I promise.” He told her and Kelsey pouted in reply. Mason leaned over the table and placed a peck on her lips. “I won’t be gone for long.” He promised. Kelsey felt upset that she won’t be seeing him for a couple of days, but she also felt pathetic because she was starting to get clingy. She was certain that there was nothing more that Mason hated than a clingy girlfriend. That was, if he really considered her his girlfriend. They haven’t really talked about their status or what they were to each other. Sure, they would tell people that they were engaged but that was because it had been published and everybody already knew. “Okay.” She whispered and found herself playing with her now melted ice cream. Mason saw the sadness in her eyes and he couldn’t help but feel upset as well.
It was a new feeling to him, but he had to admit to himself that he was going to miss her, a lot. “Tell you what. My flight is not in another four hours. Let’s go take a walk by the bay.” He suggested. Mason hated doing those romantic, cheesy stuff he seldom saw on TV, but he was willing to become a hopeless romantic for her. Anything to make her happy. Kelsey’s lips widen to a smile and excitedly nodded her head.
Mason chuckled at her cuteness and pinched her cheek before kissing it. “Let’s go!” He beckoned, taking her had into his. _______________________
Hired Bride - Season 1 - Episode 41
Hired Bride - Season 1 - Episode 43