Mason Ch. 15bykalamazoo707©
Toni sat on the bed for an hour thinking about what had transpired between her and Mason. She was tempted to call him and demand that he tell her whatever it was so that she could decide whether to jump ship or not. She forced herself to calm down when she heard Jamie in the kitchen, the last thing that she wanted was for him to be upset.
"Morning." Toni said with forced brightness as she walked into the kitchen.
"Morning mom, want some cereal?" Jamie asked getting her a bowl before she responded.
Mason had rubbed off on him Toni noticed.
"Yes, thank you." she replied.
She watched as Jamie poured her cereal first and then his own and then waited for her to pour the milk.
"Jamie, you really like Dr. Mason don't you?" she asked as she poured the milk.
Jamie looked at her as if she had gone nuts but he answered the question.
"Why do you like him?" Toni asked.
"Dunno, he's nice and he likes us." Jamie replied.
"What about Dr. Ellis? He's nice too." Toni said and watched Jamie's expression.
"I don't like him." He said scrunching up his face.
"Why don't you like him?" Toni asked.
"He doesn't like me but he likes you." Jamie said.
"How could you possibly know that?" Toni asked.
"He didn't talk to me." Jamie replied as he finished his cereal.
Toni thought back to when Jamie was in the hospital. Jamie was right, Mike said hello to him at the beginning and then Jamie ceased to exist as Mike worked on his own agenda whereas Mason made a point of speaking to Jamie and included him in on any conversation that was age appropriate.
She felt silly asking a five year old about a man that she was thinking of becoming involved with but his opinion counted.
Jamie jumped up when he heard his laptop beeping.
"Dr. Mason!" he squealed as he ran into his bedroom.
"Question asked and answered." Toni said under her breath.
She had never listened in on the talks that Jamie and Mason had on the laptop, it was just another indication that she trusted him. This morning however, she listened.
"Good morning Jamie." Mason said.
"Good morning Dr. Mason." Jamie replied. "Are you coming over tonight?"
"Not tonight, your mother and I have some things to talk about that young men shouldn't hear." Mason replied.
"Like what?" Jamie asked.
"I'll let your mother tell you if she chooses to but I was wondering if you could help me with something." Mason said.
"Okay!" Jamie said eagerly.
"What should I make your mom for dinner tonight?" Mason asked.
Toni knew what Mason was doing; he knew that Jamie would be disappointed at not seeing him so he found a way to include him in on the evening.
"I think that you should make..... Pancakes, the Mickey Mouse ones, she likes those." Jamie said.
"Pancakes? Anything else?" Mason asked.
"Mickey Mouse pancakes." Jamie corrected, "And she likes that bacon that has the pepper on it." Jamie added.
"What about something to drink?" Mason asked.
"Orange juice." Jamie replied without hesitating.
"That sounds like a good dinner." Mason said smiling at Jamie, "Thank you for helping me plan it."
"You're welcome, will I see you tomorrow?" Jamie asked.
"I hope so." Mason replied. He was hesitant to say yes just in case the evening didn't go as planned. Fortunately, Jamie was satisfied with his answer.
Toni stepped away from Jamie's room leaving him and Mason to continue their conversation. Mason obviously thought highly of Jamie, "No, he said that he loved him." Toni said quietly.
Mason drove home making plans for the evening; he had already called his furniture supplier and was meeting them at his house in fifteen minutes. The new bed would arrive with them and would be set up in next to no time, he had new linens that he would use on the bed and would dispose of any linen that he had used with Gretchen. They were washed but as far as he was concerned, that wasn't the point, he didn't want Toni sleeping on anything that he had used with another woman.
When he got home, his furniture supplier was waiting at the gate. Mason drove in, parked in the garage and then went to the front to let the men in. While they tore down the old bed, Mason got online with Jamie. He knew that Jamie would be disappointed that he wouldn't see him tonight and that was why he asked him what he should make for dinner. Another man might have pretended that he was going to make the meal suggested but Mason was really going to make it whatever it was. It was important that Jamie and Toni both realize that he was a man of his word.
As he and Jamie talked, Mason did a mental checklist of his supplies, he had everything except the peppered bacon but that was easy enough to make and he had fresh oranges in the fridge. By the time he was finished talking to Jamie, the old bed had been taken away and the new bed set up. He admonished Jamie to be good and logged off. He prepared the pancake batter and peppered the bacon before going to his room to make the bed. He had staff that could have done it but he liked his bed made in a certain way and no matter how hard they tried, his staff couldn't quite get the hang of it so now he made his own bed.
That done, Mason sat in the living room with his feet propped up and began to practice how he was going to tell Toni that he was a vampire.
"Toni, I'm a vampire." No he thought. It was too... something.
"Toni, you're going to find this hard to believe but I'm not human." Mason grimaced.
After an hour of trying various approaches, he gave up deciding to see how the evening played out. He began to wonder what Toni knew about vampires, "probably nothing other than that drivel they show on television." he grumbled.
Mason closed his eyes to rest hoping that some inspiration would come to him as he rested. Around one in the afternoon, his cell phone rang. Mason checked the ID, Joyce.
"Yes Joyce." Mason said as politely as he could.
"Wow, you actually answered the phone, fancy that." Joyce said.
"Did you need something?" Mason asked.
"This time it's a real need." Joyce said. "I'm leaving for good this time and I wanted to talk to you about joining your practice."
"Just hear me out, I may be a busy body but I'm a damned good psychiatrist and you know it. You also know that we work well together as long as we're not in the office at the same time which is related to my big mouth. Anyway, I think that we could work something out. If not with you then maybe Eustace Matthews will take me on as a partner. What do you think?"
"I think that Eustace won't consider it because as I told you he and I are partners when the mood or need strikes. I also know that he wouldn't tolerate your mouth and it would end badly for you, why don't you consider opening your own office?" Mason asked.
"Because you have to have clients to do that." Joyce replied.
Mason didn't want to share a practice with Joyce no matter how good of a psychiatrist she was and neither would Eustace even if he was looking for a partner. He understood the desire to leave because he wanted to leave too; he was only there because of Toni which brought up another issue-work.
"How about this," Mason said. "I won't go into practice with you and I won't give you Eustace Matthew's number but I will give him yours so that he can contact you if he's interested. I will also refer clients to you to get you started and you can use my office space during the day only as I see my clients during the evening."
Joyce for once was speechless, "Y... you would do that?" Joyce asked. "Why?"
"As you said, in spite of your mouth you are very good at what you do. Think about it and get back to me but not tonight." Mason said.
"Ahh, plans with Toni?" Joyce asked.
"Good bye Joyce." Mason said and hung up shaking his head. Would the woman never learn? He wondered.
Five hours to go and it was too early to call Ethan, the girls had finally gone to the sleeping during the day/up at night schedule. According to Ethan, they were even busier finding all kinds of things to get into but he loved it and them. It made Mason realize that he wanted that, even though he would consider and did consider Jamie to be his son, he wanted a child with Toni.
He laughed at himself when he thought about him changing diapers and then he turned serious, he really wanted this. Toni would be the one to stop it and if she said no then.... "I'm getting ahead of myself." he muttered.
With Jamie gone, Toni had nothing but time to think. "What are you thinking about?" she asked herself as she munched on one of the chocolate chip cookie that Mason made a few days before.
It was another one of those times that she really wanted to talk to her mother but she didn't think that she could stand to hear the "I told you so" speech. Toni sighed and decided to go for a walk to clear her head; she wondered why she was making this so difficult.
"Because you're scared dumb ass." She muttered. "Admit it, you want the man." she added as she headed out of the door. Her walk took her to her parent's condo where Jamie and Ben were playing some kind of video game and Barbara was in the kitchen making a snack for them when Toni got there.
"Hi mom." Toni said as she sat at the counter.
"Hi baby, are you alright?"
"Yes, no oh hell mom I don't know!" Toni exclaimed suddenly not caring about the "I told you so" speech.
"Does this have anything to do with Mason?" Barbara asked as she sat the snacks on a tray.
"It.... Yes, it does." Toni admitted.
"Let me take this out to the boys and we'll talk." Barbara said as she picked up the tray and headed for the living room.
Toni closed her eyes and sighed, it just shouldn't be this hard.
Barbara came back to the kitchen and made coffee while Toni got the sugar and cream out and sat them on the table, a few minutes later each woman was holding a cup of coffee. Barbara waited for Toni to say something and when she didn't she asked.
"Do you love him?"
"Just because you love someone, it doesn't mean that you should be with them." Toni replied.
"I'll take that as a yes." Barbara replied and instead of doing the "I told you so" spiel, Barbara asked another question. "Did he tell you that he loves you?"
"Did he mention Jamie?"
"Does he want him too?"
"Yes." Toni said.
"So what's the problem?" Barbara asked. "Is it James?"
"Believe it or not the answer is no, I've pretty much made my peace with that although I still have my moments when I feel a little guilty." Toni replied.
"Alright, so what's the problem? You love each other and Jamie which to me is the most important thing, so what are you afraid of?" Barbara asked.
Toni looked into her coffee cup and then back at Barbara.
"What if he dies?" she asked in a whisper.
"And what if he doesn't? Baby, there are no guarantees; he can't promise you that he won't die any more than I can. Death is as certain as taxes and it's a part of life. Now I can't and won't tell you what to do but are you really thinking about sending that man away because you're afraid that he might die?"
That is exactly what she'd been thinking.
"Toni, its time to stop being afraid and time to start letting yourself be happy." Barbara said. "Jamie loves him too and he's so much happier since Mason's been around, so are you for that matter. If you send him away, make sure it's what you really want."
She was right Toni realized. The crux of the matter was her fear that Mason would die leaving her and Jamie alone-again. It all came down to her making a conscious decision to take that gamble, Barbara was right, Mason might not die anytime soon, he could live to be a hundred.
She had just made her decision.
Toni hugged her mother and thanked her.
"And thanks for not saying I told you so." she added.
"You're welcome and I did tell you so." Barbara replied unable to resist.
Toni kissed both her dad and Jamie on her way out and headed back toward home. As she walked, her cell phone rang. She squinted in the sunlight to see the number and answered it.
"Toni? Hi it's me Mike Ellis. I got your number from the staff directory, how are you?"
"Fine, did you need something?" Toni asked.
"I was wondering about you and Donahue, how serious is it?"
"I don't think that's any of your business." Toni replied.
"I just want to be sure that I don't have a shot at you before I throw in the towel." Mike said.
Toni rolled her eyes, a good doctor he might be but the man was an arrogant jerk.
"Okay Mike, you're hearing this first from me, throw in the damned towel!" Toni said and hung up.
The phone rang again as soon as she hung up.
"Toni?" Mason's voice asked.
"Oh, hi I thought that you were somebody else. What's going on?" she asked.
"I just wanted to see how you were." Mason replied.
"Fine," Toni said. "But what you really want to know is if I thinking about changing my mind about tonight. Am I right?"
"Yes you're right." Mason conceded.
"I'm still coming; you've got some things to explain." Toni replied.
"Good, by the way who were you so irritated with?" Mason asked.
"Oh Mike Ellis just called." Toni replied without thinking about it.
"What did he want?" Mason asked trying to keep the anger out of his voice.
"Nothing really, he just wanted to know if we were serious."
"What did you tell him?" Mason asked.
"I told him none of his business and hung up. I thought it was him calling back when I just answered the phone." Toni replied just as she reached her condo.
"Good answer." Mason said.
"Well it isn't any of his business and ... Mason? Are you alright?" Toni asked not knowing why she asked. He sounded the same but there was something different. He was.... Angry but why?
"I'm fine." Mason replied. "Just angry that Ellis insists on calling you when I thought that I made myself clear."
"Don't worry about it, I told him to give up." Toni said but got the feeling that her words did little to take away his anger.
"I'll hang up now, I just wanted to check up on you and I wanted to tell you that I love you." Mason said.
"I... I love you too." Toni replied and hung up.
Apparently Joyce wasn't the only one who never learned Mason thought to himself. Mike Ellis was becoming a thorn in his side that needed to be yanked out. It was still too early to go out but he could call the bastard. Mason called the hospital and got Mike's number from the exchange, which was much too easy he realized. He could have been anyone and they simply gave him a physician's phone number without asking questions.
Mason dialed Mike's number and waited for him to pick up; it took three rings before that happened.
"Ellis here." he said instead of the traditional hello.
"Mason Donahue here, just what in the fuck are you up to?" Mason asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't try to play me." Mason hissed. "I told you that Toni Jacobson is off limits and yet you call her. If you call her or talk to her about anything other than work related issues, you will regret it. Consider this your last warning." Mason hung up and leaned back into his chair, he was almost certain that he hadn't heard the last of the fool.
He spent the rest of the afternoon preparing the bedroom. He placed candles in the bathroom and in the Jacuzzi room located just off of the bathroom. He also placed candles in the bedroom as well as the fresh flowers that he had his staff pick up at the florist. The apartment sized refrigerator was filled with water, juice; wine-although he knew that Toni wasn't a big drinker and a cheese tray that was sealed in an air tight container. Everything was ready and he still had two hours to go.
Toni soaked in the Jacuzzi tub and tried to calm her nerves, after tonight she would know one way or the other if Mason was going to be a fixture in her and Jamie's life. Whether he would be a permanent fixture, it was too soon to tell but how would she feel if he were? She wondered as she closed her eyes and dozed off.
Because she did tend to fall asleep in the tub, Toni always used an egg timer and set it to go off in fifteen minutes and that's what woke her. She climbed out of the tub, put on her robe and looked at the clock, she still had an hour and a half before Mason came and since she didn't have to dress up, she had time for a nap. She set her alarm and lay down on the bed, within minutes, she was asleep.
The doorbell ringing woke her up. She looked at the clock and cursed, she had forgotten to turn the alarm on after setting the time. She jumped out of bed and ran to the front door peeking out before she opened it.
"I am so sorry!" she gushed, "I fell asleep and just give me a minute to get dressed."
As far as Mason was concerned, she never had to put on another stitch of clothing. As she talked, he had to put his hands in his pockets so that he wouldn't untie her bathrobe.
"It's alright, take your time." Mason said as he stepped closer to her and put his hands on her waist.
Toni couldn't move. Her skin tingled even though Mason wasn't touching her skin directly.
Mason looked down at her and pulled her closer so that she was flush against him. Toni put her hands on his waist to steady herself; she could feel her heart pounding as she felt a kiss on the top of her head. Her breasts tingled reminding her that they hadn't been touched in over three years and she felt moisture gathering between her legs.
Toni made herself step back; "I'll only be a few minutes." she said and rushed off.
Mason watched as she practically ran into her bedroom, tonight was it, tonight Toni Jacobson would be in his bed he thought confidently as he adjusted his cock in his jeans.
Toni washed her face with cold water and looked at herself in the mirror, she hadn't felt desire like that since James and even at its best it had been intense but nothing like this. Toni dried her face and hands managing to convince herself that the desire was so intense because she hadn't been with anyone since James.
She dressed quickly opting for a plain white bra and panties, a tee shirt, jeans and a pair of striped socks. She slipped on her 'K mart' sneakers and grabbed a jacket and the bunny slippers on the way out.
Mason was thumbing through a magazine when she came out.
"Sorry." Toni said.
"No worries, we don't have to be anywhere." Mason said as he helped her with her jacket and taking a moment to hold her after it was on.
Toni grabbed her purse, keys and phone before leaving the condo, she had half expected Mason to take her next door but wasn't too surprised when he offered her his arm and led her to the car.
"Where do you live?" she asked as she watched the scenery speed by.
"Not far, about twenty minutes from your condo." Mason replied. "You can change the radio station if you like or put in a CD, they're in the armrest."
"I don't suppose that you have any big band or blues?" Toni asked.
"Sorry but I don't." Mason replied. "Who are your favorite artists?"
"Benny Goodman, BB King and people like that, do you only listen to classical music?"
"Most of the time yes if not that then the news." Mason replied.
"Have you listened to other types of music?" Toni asked. "Most people like more than one genre."
The fact was that he had and for the most part found that music other than classical obnoxious as it didn't soothe the nerves.
"No, I haven't." he admitted and explained why.
"I see what you're saying but sometimes I don't want to be soothed, sometimes I need something that makes me want to move, to dance. You know what I mean? There are days when a happy, upbeat song makes me feel better. Haven't you ever suggested to your clients that they listen to something upbeat?"