His Muse

By: Isabella Starling

PROLOGUE


MASON

I watch her sleep on the flight back, fighting the urge to stroke my cock the whole way home.

Cara sleeps with her lips slightly parted, her head lolling to the side. She's a none-too-gracious heap in the plush leather seat, and yet, she's the most stunning thing I've seen in my life.

The flight is long. Too fucking long for me not to sleep. But even so, I'm too worried to so much as wink after everything that has happened. I just want to make sure we get back home alright. I need to know we're finally safe from all the shit that's happened this summer.

When we land, my driver, Filippe, is waiting for us with the car. I don't let him touch Cara. I gather her in my arms and carry her into the car. She hugs me, her arms wrapping around my neck as she presses her lithe body closer to mine. I don't even try to untangle her from myself. I place her on my lap and look at her pretty features for the next two hours, the length of the drive home from the airport.

I know I'm going to have to keep some distance at first. I've gotten too close to her, too deep inside her head. I'm fucking with her mind now, and I don't want to damage her permanently. I need to take a step back, reassess. I need to give her some time to become whole again. I can't risk losing her - not again.

Once we're back at the mansion, I dismiss Filippe quite roughly. He doesn't say a word as I carry Cara into the room she's spent her summer in, gently tucking her under the covers. She finally stirs as I'm about to leave the room, and she pulls on the collar of my shirt helplessly.

"Please don't go," she mewls. "Just stay in bed with me."

Words she's said so many times before, and yet, I can't make her wish come true tonight. She needs some time alone. She needs to learn how to survive without me. I shake my head no and her lashes flutter closed. She's too tired, anyway. She probably won't even remember this come morning.

I leave her safely tucked into the bed and close the door to her bedroom quietly. I'm about to leave when I remember something, and, as an afterthought, I turn the lock on her door.

I have every intention of heading to bed myself. But I'm a sick fucking bastard and I can't resist the voyeur in me. I head to the room next to hers, the one that requires a keycard to get into.

I sit in front of the large window into Cara's room, disguised as a mirror on her side of the wall. I pull out a pack of cigarettes from my trousers. I'm not a smoker. Never have been, never will be. But the events of the past few months have shaken me up so much I'm dying for something to distract myself with.

I light the cigarette and inhale, filling my lungs with poison. I watch her sleep as I smoke the thing down to a nub, just as she starts stirring in her big bed.

I watch Cara get up, throwing the covers off her. Her eyes are big and manic, her hair messy as fuck. She shouts my name, loud and clear. She'd get spanked for that any other day. I like it when she calls me Sir.

She tries the door as I watch, shaking and rattling the knob and then snarling furiously once she realizes she's locked inside the room. My heart fucking aches seeing her like this, but I'm so fucking worried her father was right.

Maybe I am a bad fucking influence.

Maybe I am the last thing she needs.

It may not seem like it, but maybe I am keeping her here against her will. No matter what Cara says. Daddy knows best, after all.

Cara keeps screaming, my name on her lips, anger in her fists. Finally, she comes to stand in front of the full-length window, or what she knows as the ornate mirror in her bedroom. She stares at her pretty reflection, not knowing she's looking into my eyes.

She starts sobbing. Deep, heaving sobs wrack her body and she hiccups, wiping at her eyes angrily and smearing black mascara and eyeliner everywhere. She's a fucking mess, and I've never wanted her more.

She looks at her reflection again, her finger going to the mirror and outlining a heart. Without meaning to, I reach for the glass myself, following her motions. But when my hand falls back into my lap, her fist smashes the mirror.

The sound of glass shattering blasts my eardrums and I just stare in front of myself as the last shreds of my disguise fall down. The glass that was separating us clatters to the floor and Cara's lips part in a surprised O as she realizes the mirror was merely a decoy.

We're face to face now, mere inches apart. Her dress is rumpled. I know for a fact she's not wearing panties, because I took them off on the plane and stuffed them in my pocket.

"Cara," I say roughly, and she whimpers. "Sweet fucking girl, what have you done?"

She's crying as she rushes into my arms. Our bodies meet with full force, crashing into one another as I gather her into my arms and carry her through the new hole in the wall and towards her bed. I lay her down gently and she squirms under my touch.

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