Home > Mason : A Ride Series Crossover

Mason : A Ride Series Crossover
Author: Megan O'Brien


Chapter 1

ELLIE

 

Spring was in full bloom with just a hint of chill in the air as I left the office after a whirlwind day. I cinched my jacket tighter as I waited for the metro. After six years in Denver, I was well versed with the change of seasons and that the weather could turn on a dime.

I’d been working against a deadline all week and was already looking forward to my date with a glass of wine, my paintbrush if the mood struck, and, more likely, a cheesy movie.

As though reading my mind, the incoming text from my best friend sought to sideline my plans.

Don’t even think about putting on your pajamas, we’re going out tonight!

I groaned. Lily was stubborn on her best day. Which meant I had little to no chance of getting out of whatever adventure she’d conjured up for the night.

Wrong number

I muffled a laugh at my response as the metro pulled up.

Ellie June Mitchell do not make me come pull you out of your house, you know I will

Figuring this could go on a while via text, I called her as I was getting off the metro and beginning the four-block walk to my loft.

“What’s the big deal about tonight?” I demanded by way of greeting.

“What? A girl can’t want to hang out with her best friend?” she returned innocently.

I snorted. “Spill it, Lil.”

She huffed. “All right, fine. I finally got an invitation to a party Ryan Colson is going to.”

It was a name I was familiar with. Lily had had a crush on him for the past year. He was some sort of football player. Which position, I had no idea.

“Lily…” I sighed. “You know those parties are so not my thing.”

As a PR manager who got invited to some of the flashiest parties, she’d dragged me to more than one.

“Please, El?” Her quiet plea was melting away my resolve.

As roommates in college, though polar opposites in many ways, we’d connected instantly. Lily was the most loyal, loving friend I’d ever had. “What’s the dress code?” I sighed in surrender.

I could practically hear her jumping up and down. “Cocktail attire.”

She’d be lucky if I showed up without paint on my clothes, and she knew it. “So, my jeans and a blouse.”

“Fine,” she grumbled.

I smiled. “Okay, I have to take Kodi on a walk. I can meet at your place by nine. Sound good?”

“Sounds good,” she agreed.

“And, Lil, if this night’s a disaster, you owe me one.”

“It won’t be,” she assured me.

* * *

This night was a disaster with a capital D as I sat on a couch in the ridiculously ostentatious house we’d arrived at an hour before. The mansion, complete with a circular drive, fountain, and columns, was so pretentious I almost felt bad for it.

Lily had mentioned the owner, who was some football star, was out of town for the night but allowed his house to be used for entertaining now and again.

I’d given up mingling after Lily had disappeared onto the back patio to talk to who I hoped was Ryan, otherwise I’d kill her. I’d found a seat on one of the large sofas in the grandiose living room and debated pulling up the reading app on my phone.

Instead, I studied the ornate columns spiraling their way to the ceiling. The place was sort of beautiful in an opulent sort of way. It could make for a beautiful painting if done the right way. I continued to muse my next piece as I felt the couch depress beside me.

“Hey, beautiful,” a male voice purred.

I grimaced. “Uh, hi.”

“You here alone? I find that impossible to believe.” He grinned as I looked over at him reluctantly.

“No, I’m not alone.” I shook my head, letting my vague answer hang in the balance as I took in the man I would objectively call handsome if he wasn’t acting like such an arrogant ass, and a very drunk one at that. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was seeing two of me.

He made a show of looking around. “Well, I don’t see anyone now. How’s about you and I get to know each other. I’m Bridger.”

“Ellie.” I took his hand reluctantly. “And I actually have to use the restroom. I’ll be back,” I lied, rising from the couch and hoping for an easy escape. I was fairly certain he’d quickly move on to an easier target that didn’t require standing. A glance behind me proved my theory when the guy looked about a second from passing out entirely.

The looming staircase was as good an option as any, and I climbed it readily, hoping to find a bathroom I could hole up in for a bit. When I crested the landing, so many closed doors met me, it took me two tries to find a bathroom before I ducked in with a sigh of relief.

After using the restroom, I washed my hands and debated tidying what was already an immaculate bathroom. Anything to pass the time.

After another few minutes and hoping the coast was clear, I slipped out into the hall, only to find the guy from downstairs appearing at the top of the staircase.

So much for my theory.

I inwardly groaned and made a hasty retreat to the room toward the end of the hall. I ducked inside and closed the door, pressing against it hoping against hope I’d made a successful escape.

“What the fuck,” a furious voice snarled from inside the room as my gaze snapped to the incredibly gorgeous, angry man who was propped up on the largest bed I’d ever seen. “I could have sworn I locked that goddammed door,” he muttered, dropping the book he’d been reading and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. With his muscular frame that towered over me and narrowed gaze, he made for an imposing figure as he stalked in my direction.

“Not interested sweetheart,” he dismissed me.

Uh, what?

“Interested in what?” I demanded in indignation as a light tapping began on the other side of the door.

“I saw you go in there, beautiful,” the sickly-sweet voice of my admirer crooned on the other side. “I forgot your name, but I’d never forget those green eyes. Have a drink with me. I won’t bite.”

I winced and hung my head in defeat. Trapped between two assholes. What a night.

I moved to open the door, prepared to accept my fate.

“Shit,” the man muttered, his brown eyes warm with understanding as he looked down at me. He pulled me behind him, shielding me from view as he opened the door a crack.

“What the fuck do you want?” he barked.

“Oh, sorry, man, I didn’t know you were in there,” my admirer stammered nervously.

“Yeah, well get your ass back downstairs,” he returned curtly as he shut the door and turned his attention back to me.

“Okay, well, I’ll just be on my way,” I announced, indicating for him to open the door he still held closed.

He didn’t move, his countenance softening as he stared down at me. “I didn’t realize you were trying to dodge that asshole,” he apologized.

I snorted at his very apt appraisal. “Yeah, well. Comes with the territory sometimes. Now, I’ll leave you to it.” I again gestured to the door.

“Wait, do you want hang out for a bit?”

“Hang out?” I asked incredulously. That had been the last thing I’d expected.

He grinned. “Yeah. I mean, I tend to keep to myself, but I’m told that’s something people do on occasion. Plus, I’m fairly confident I can be better company than Mr. Smooth.”

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