Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. It belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

I'm back to working on my thesis, since my extension is coming to an end, so this means less time for writing fun stuff, unfortunately. :/

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. Hearing your thoughts is always a treat and often the highlight of my day. :)

Thank you to Mauigirl60, whose corrections and suggestions make this worth reading.

Enjoy!

BPOV

"So, when do you think you might be done for the night?" Alice asks.

"I'm not sure," I say, as quietly as I can. "He said he likes to stay up late on his nights off. I'm really sorry about this."

"Don't be. I'll figure out something to tell my mom, but it might not be necessary. She's going to bed in a few anyway, so chances are she won't know when you get in."

I breathe out, feeling better.

"How'd it go tonight?" I ask.

"No problems. They had fun. I put Seth in my bed with the girls like last time, and my mom is taking Maria's bed, so it looks like we'll be sharing the couch."

"No way! I'll tell the cab to wait outside and I'll take Seth home straight away. Then you can take his place in your bed."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. There's no point in none of us getting a good night's sleep. Mr. Masen pays the cab driver a hundred dollars and that should be plenty for two trips."

"Speaking of," Alice says, "how's it going over there? He's still being nice to you, right?"

I glance through the door to the kitchen where Mr. Masen seems to be having an altercation with his microwave oven. He opens it, looks inside, closes it again, and presses several buttons before staring intently at the display. He must sense my eyes on him, because he turns his head; when he sees me watching, he grins, throwing his hands up in defeat. My heart stutters at the sight of his happy boyish expression and I smile at him, holding up my index finger to signal that I'm almost done.

"Bella? He is still nice, right?" Alice asks again, sounding concerned.

"Yes," I answer. "He's so nice, Alice. I'm . . . I'm actually having a good time."

"I'm glad," she says, and I know she's being genuine.

"I am, too. I have to go now."

"Yeah, I'll see you later. Can you text me once you leave, so I can let you in?"

"I will. Thank you."

"No problem. Later."

"Yeah, later."

I hang up and walk over to Mr. Masen, who's leaning against the kitchen island, and hand him back his phone.

"Everything all right?" he asks.

"Yeah. I'm yours for the rest of the night."

"I like the sound of that."

"I do too, Sir."

He smiles and turns back to the microwave oven again, opening it to take out a flat brown package.

"I thought we'd have popcorn with the movie," he says, "but it's not working for some reason. The display is dead."

The thing looks brand new to me.

"When was the last time you used it?"

"I've never tried it until tonight."

I grab it and move it to the side, reaching for the wire.

"Did you plug it in?"

Before Mr. Masen can reply, I hold the answer in my hand. Quickly, I plug it into the socket on the wall and the oven comes to life with a loud beeping sound.

"All fixed," I say cheerily.

Mr. Masen looks a bit stunned and my heart skips a beat, but not a good way. I realize that my take-charge attitude, which is how I normally am at home, isn't something he's seen in me before. In fact, I may have made him feel a bit foolish that he couldn't figure out the problem by himself, and that certainly doesn't fit with how he wants me to act: submissive and worshipful of him.

"Well done." Mr. Masen chuckles and leans down to press a soft kiss on my lips. "I would've made a real ass of myself at the store, saying it was defective."

"Oh, it was nothing, Sir," I say, beaming at him. "Would you like me to make the popcorn?"

"That would be lovely."

"How did you happen to have popcorn in the house?" I ask, as I set the timer and start the oven. "You've never used the oven before, I mean."

"Oh, that. I have an assistant who takes care of a lot of things, among those grocery shopping. I don't know half of what's in the cupboards, I'll admit."

"An assistant? Is she pretty?"

Fuck. Awkward much?

Mr. Masen laughs.

"Marcus is quite attractive. If that's your type."

"Oh."

"Yes, oh," he says, smirking. "Nothing for you to be jealous of, sweet girl. I already told you: there's only you."

My cheeks flame from embarrassment as Mr. Masen pulls me close again.

"Only you, Isabella," he murmurs softly, stroking my hair.

The look in his eyes is slightly hypnotic and all I can do is stare up at him.

"And what about you?" he continues.

"What about me?" I whisper.

"Are you seeing anyone else?"

Immediately, I start to shake my head but he holds me by my chin, stopping me.

"I realize I don't have a say in what you do when you leave here, so I want you to be honest with me."

"I swear there's no one, Sir. Only you. I'm yours completely."

He closes his eyes for a moment, as though he's savoring my words, which I suppose he genuinely is, seeing how his fantasy is all about being worshipped. However, knowing I'm the only one he's seeing makes me happy, as well, but I'd rather not dwell on what that says about me.

"I'd like for you to keep it that way," he says, gently running his fingers across my throat, making me shiver. "Is that too much to ask?"

I shake my head. It's not as though I have guys lined up around the block, and even if I did, I doubt I'd feel much like dating. Making this promise to Mr. Masen is easy.

"Only you," I say, "Sir."

His lips are on mine in the next moment, kissing me with so much heat that I actually feel my knees going weak, something I'd always felt was a gross exaggeration in romantic literature, but it turns out to be a real occurrence in this case.

"Isabella."

His breath is warm against my mouth as he lifts me up, wrapping my legs around his waist. I hold onto him as he carries me through the house and we end up in the living room where we tumble onto the couch, both laughing. He frames my face with his hands.

"Sweet girl," he says, now serious again, before reclaiming my mouth.

His hands fumble with the zipper on my back and I lift up to help him, eager to rid myself of the dress and being naked again. Mr. Masen's lips trail across my skin as it's bared to him while he slowly pulls the fabric off my body.

"Oh, God," I groan, feeling his hands and his mouth caress my breasts.

I squirm around to get the dress all the way off and Mr. Masen chortles, looking up at me.

"Eager?"

"Yes, Sir," I admit.

"Good," he says," I don't think I can wait much longer either."

We kiss again while he somehow manages to open his pants.

"Ready?" he asks.

I let him between my thighs and feel him sliding against me.

"God, you're so ready," he moans, lifting my right leg up as high as it can go. "Tell me why."

"W-why?" I gasp, as he lines himself up, ready to push inside.

"What makes you so fucking wet?" he growls.

"You do, Sir," I tell him with perfect honesty. "Please, f-fuck me."

"There's my good girl," he croons, slowly easing his cock inside me. "So horny for me, aren't you?"

"Yesss," I hiss, loving the sensation.

He fucks me slowly, taking his time to watch how I react to him. Each time he slides in, I moan, eager for him to do it again and again. Suddenly, he reaches up to grab my right hand and slides it in between our bodies. Then down. Way down. Embarrassed, I try to pull it away but his hold on my wrist tightens.

"Don't," he commands, lifting himself up to make more room between us. "You know what I want."

I do. He wants me to touch myself. He wants to watch while I do it.

"Please, Sir."

"Yes, that's why you're here," he says. "To please Sir."

He leans down again until we're nose to nose before thrusting his cock back inside me, making me gasp against his lips. His eyes somehow penetrate me even more, if that's possible.

"So please me," he adds, continuing a slow sensual rhythm. "Obey me."

Pushing aside everything I was ever lectured by my mother, I do as he says, caressing myself with unsure fingers. Mr. Masen sits up on his knees, holding onto my hips, his eyes fixed on the place where we're connected.

"That's it," he croons, picking up his pace a bit. "It feels good, doesn't it, Isabella?"

I nod my head, unable to look away from him. The dual sensation of his powerful deep thrusts combined with my fingertips sliding across my clit is undoubtedly wonderful, but what's most amazing to me is when Mr. Masen glances up to meet my eyes. He smiles at me and the tenderness in his eyes is rivaled only by the warmth in his tone when he tells me,

"Good girl. You're such a good girl."

Watching his satisfaction makes me feel warm all over and I feel no shame in exposing myself like this to him. I revel in it, doing this for him, and I bring my left hand up to fondle my breast, without being told to do so.

"Yes! You're so fucking beautiful!" he gasps, his rhythm faltering before he starts moving at a rapid pace.

It doesn't take long before I come, clenching wildly around him as he stills, groans and sinks down on top of me, breathing heavily against my skin.

"Oh, God," I exhale, mostly to myself.

I can't believe how good that felt and I don't understand why it's so different with Mr. Masen, why I suddenly experience sensations I've only read or heard about from Alice.

"Hmm?" Mr. Masen mumbles, lifting his head to look at me.

"Nothing, Sir. It's just . . . I didn't know it could feel like that."

"Like what?"

His roguish grin tells me that he knows exactly what I mean. He wants to hear me say it.

"Feel so good," I tell him. "I . . . really like it, with you."

"I really like it with you, too," he says, brushing a soft kiss against my lips. "Just you wait, pretty girl. Tonight was only the beginning."

With that promise, he lifts himself off me and fixes his pants before flopping right back down on the couch next to my feet, exhaling loudly, while unbuttoning his shirt.

"You're giving me quite a workout tonight," he remarks with a grin, giving my left thigh a playful squeeze.

"Sorry, Sir." I return the grin, not feeling the least bit sorry.

I sit up and let my eyes drift across his torso, admiring his toned stomach now visible to me, thanks to his open shirt. But then I see something that wipes the smile clean off my face: scars. Plural. They're raised, jagged, and angry-looking, despite their pale color, indicating that they're old. Starting few inches to the left of his belly button and continuing underneath the shirt, it's obvious that they're not from surgery. They were put there. Inflicted violently. But by whom? His parents, maybe? Could that be the reason he doesn't want to talk about his family? He could have died from those injuries!

"Oh," I say softly, covering my mouth with my hands.

Mr. Masen shifts next to me. I tear my eyes away from the scars and look up at him, seeing that his previously happy expression is long gone. He doesn't say anything. With slow deliberate movements, he buttons back up and sits quietly next to me, staring into space. I lower my hands.

"Someone hurt you," I whisper.

"Someone tried," he corrects, shooting me a glance.

"I'm sorry." I move a little closer, tentatively placing my hand on his shoulder.

He gives me a curt nod, clenching his jaw several times. His posture is rigid.

"You can go put your own clothes on now. We're done for the night."

His dismissal stings, but I'm not sure he actually means it. It's obvious he didn't want me to see what I've seen. He's never really taken any of his clothes off in front of me, which I always thought was a bit weird, but now it makes sense.

"I'd like to stay," I tell him, moving my hand up to caress his hair. "Watch the movie with you, Sir."

"Why?" He looks at me. "I'll pay you the same amount, if that's what you're worried about."

I have no idea how to respond to that. Does he really think that's all I care about? Yes, realistically it probably should be my only concern, but I know it isn't.

"I don't want our night together to be over yet," I say. "It's still your birthday, sort of. I'd like to spend it with you."

He examines me closely, and I wonder if he's trying to figure out whether or not I'm telling him the truth.

"Besides, it would be a shame to let the popcorn go to waste," I add, giving him a small smile.

Finally, the corners of his mouth lift.

"Yes, it would," he agrees.

My own smile widens, knowing he'll let me stay for the rest of the night. The money he pays me is my main motivation for being here, but I acknowledge that it's not the only reason. I didn't have to offer to bake him a cake, I didn't have to sing 'Happy Birthday' to him, and I certainly didn't have to buy him a present. I did those things because I wanted to, of my own volition.

"You really are such a sweet girl, aren't you, Isabella?"

He's asked me that before, I think, and I know my answer.

"Yes. Your sweet girl, Mr. Masen."

I lean in, kissing him on the lips. A spark of tenderness rushes through me as he responds, reaching up to cup my cheek ever so gently. He can be gentle and sweet when he wants to be, rough and demanding at other times. I like both sides of his personality.

"I need a couple of minutes," he says, giving me another quick peck. "Run upstairs and put your own clothes back on. Then we'll watch the movie."

"Yes, Sir."

I head up to the bathroom, grateful for the chance to clean up after our tryst. Sex without a condom is messier than I had expected, but I don't regret agreeing to it. After all, I'm on birth control and Mr. Masen has no reason to lie about his health. I'm actually more surprised that he trusts me so blindly. A callous sort of woman could make a lot of money in child support off a wealthy man like Mr. Masen if she tricked him into getting her pregnant. I shake my head, deciding to take a quick shower before getting back into my own clothes. Walking downstairs in my shirt and skirt, I feel very underdressed. That is, until I see Mr. Masen sitting on the couch with his bare feet up, wearing plaid pajama pants and a gray t-shirt. It looks like he's showered as well, his usually so-severely-styled hair now tousled and still damp. He looks so . . . young, almost.

"There you are," he says, smiling. "Come join me."

"Uh, yes, Sir," I manage, sitting down next to 'casual, relaxed Mr. Masen'.

"Here, I brought you a Coke," he says, handing me a tall glass, its sides damp with condensation. "Almost like being at the movies, huh?"

I take the drink, gaping at him.

"Yes. Thank you, Sir."

It's such a small gesture, but with so much meaning behind it. He remembers our talk from last time about how I can't afford the cinema, so he's giving me the experience at home. It's one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced. I take a sip and place it back on the table.

"Can I get you anything, Sir?"

He shakes his head, lifting the remote to press the 'play' button before handing me the bowl of popcorn and turning his attention to the screen. We watch quietly for a while, passing the snack back and forth. I keep stealing glances at him, marveling at how different he seems right now. He's so at ease, like he's let some of his walls down all of a sudden. It makes me a bit nervous, as if I don't really know what to expect from him now, or what he expects from me. It's almost like we're usually in costumes: him in his suits and me in the dresses he picks for me. Now, we're just . . . us.

"What is it?" he asks suddenly. "You're fidgeting."

"Oh, my, uh, feet are a bit cold."

Well, they are, actually.

He observes me for a moment before nodding.

"C'mere," he says, lifting his arm in invitation.

I move into the corner of the couch with him and curl my legs underneath me, liking the feeling of his arm draped around me.

"Better?"

"Much, Sir. Thank you."

"Thank you, Isabella," he says, giving me a small squeeze.

We watch the movie like that, all cuddled up with me in his arms. It's really nice. I can't remember the last time someone held me for a long period of time. Usually, I'm the one doing the holding: when Seth has a nightmare, is sick, or simply wants a hug. This is nice in a very different way. I feel safe and cared for in Mr. Masen's embrace. I can relax and just be, knowing that Seth is well taken care of by Alice, and all I have to do is watch the action on screen and try not to fall asleep, which is difficult feeling so warm and relaxed. At some point, I must nod off, because suddenly I'm being awakened by Mr. Masen saying my name and stroking my cheek. I pry my eyes open, looking into his. I'm still in his arms, heavy and sleepy.

"Is the movie over?" I mumble.

"Mmmhmm."

"I'm sorry I missed it. Was it good?"

"Not really," Mr. Masen chuckles. "There were aliens for some inexplicable reason."

"Oh, that's too bad," I say, frowning.

"Perhaps my expectations were too high."

"I guess you don't always get what you wish for—not even on your birthday."

Mr. Masen brushes my hair off my forehead, stroking the length of it down my back.

"Not always," he murmurs, leaning down to kiss me, "but sometimes."

An hour later, as I'm tucking Seth into his own bed, I'm still smiling. I haven't stopped since that kiss. Alice took one look at me, grinned and whispered that she wants details tomorrow after her mother leaves. Lovingly stroking Seth's hair, I feel as though everything might actually work out for us. I have another thousand dollars, which means I'll now be able to pay the rest of what I owe the landlord and can throw that horrible eviction notice in the trash. We're in the clear and I already know more money will be coming soon, since Mr. Masen asked me to cook dinner for him next week.

"Everything will be fine," I whisper to my sleeping son. "We're going to be okay."

Thank you for sticking with me. Actual plot development coming up in the following chapter! :)