James ignored his partner’s widow momentarily to focus on her daughter. The shy Sub was back in her gaze smiling at him with coy invitation. He knew Penny didn’t understand the vibes she was sending out, but damned if the Dom in him didn’t demand he take her up on the offer. However, common sense forbade him from making a move on her while her father laid in his grave a mere four hours.

“Mr. Ryan, I’d like you to meet Penny.”

He nodded politely, though privately seething at the note of hostility Mary held in her voice. He noticed she didn’t even introduce Penny in a familial way; if he didn’t know their connection, she could’ve been a servant for all the care Mary took.

“Hello, sir.” The instinctive lowering of her lashes told James that Penny was a natural, if untrained. Her body, stiff against the cold side of her mother, softened in supplication to his arrival.

His nostrils flared as he sought to draw in every molecule of her scent. His body hardened impossibly, the zipper biting deeply into his straining cock. He silently thanked his foresight of wearing the longer suit jacket.

“We met for a moment outside, Mary.”

James picked up the small carry on she’d left outside in her haste and dangled it from his fingers.

“I believe this suitcase is yours.”

Mary harrumphed and grabbed the bag from his hand before Penny could reach out. Silently he cursed the older woman, as he wanted to feel Penny’s skin against his own, even for a moment.

“Thanks, Mr. Ryan. I didn’t even notice I had left it behind.”

“I’m sure you had other things on your mind.” He wondered if she noticed the slight emphasis he’d placed on his words. Judging by her flustered response, he gathered illegal bahis she had.

The widening of her eyes and the hint of rose that filled her pale cheeks fascinated him. So far he’d seen several sides: a lusty unabashed woman, a stiff cold mannequin, a shy untrained sub, and now an embarrassed virgin.

He wondered which woman he would meet if he managed to get past the many buttons that guarded her lower extremities. He had never thought much about a woman’s clothing before, but the dark ankle-length skirt was too constricting and impeded his view. He wondered if she wore panties or if bare flesh waited beneath. He hoped she wore nothing beneath the gray woolen and how he would love to lick up the trailing juices that turned her thighs creamy.

The slight cough caught in Mary’s throat diverted his attention for a moment, as it was meant to, he knew. The disapproving look in the back of her eyes told him it was time to depart.

“Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss. I want you to know, I cared deeply for John and felt he taught me a lot.” James had to keep the memories of the many many things John had taught him from showing on his face. “When you are strong enough, we will arrange the reading of the will.”

“Reading of the will? What are you talking about?”

Mary’s sharp question brought his attention back to her face (he hoped she hadn’t noticed he was staring at her daughter again like a fool — no scratch that, he hoped the daughter didn’t notice that).

“Yes, the will. Pretty standard division of property and whatnot between you and Penny.” Concern flowed through him, momentarily blocking the lustful direction in which he had wandered. She looked pretty apoplectic for someone illegal bahis siteleri recently widowed.

“I didn’t realize John left a will.”

He exchanged glances with Penny, both made uneasy by the virulent hatred evident in her voice.

“Mother -” Penny attempted to interject before Mary, previously known to all as a small quiet brown wren, turned on her with spittle flying from her mouth.

“You have no right to calling me by that name! How I’ve hated hearing you say that.”

James took a step closer and wrapped his arms around Mary to prevent her from launching herself at the younger and sturdier woman. Noting they’d attracted the attention of nearly everyone in the room, he managed a weak smile and hustled his armload into the connected kitchen.

Fortunately the room was empty and he was able wrestle Mary outside before letting go. She turned on him with fury; her arms and legs wind milling as she tried to kick him in every place she could reach. However, his 6’4″ frame was much taller than her 5’1″ height and she could only kick him in the shins.

“What the hell was that Mother? For a woman who hates scenes you picked a hell of a time to make one.”

James breathed easier as he realized Penny had followed them out.

Mary narrowed her eyes and stabbed a finger in her daughter’s direction.

“When he brought you into my house and made me claim you as mine, he promised I would be rewarded in the end. He promised I wouldn’t have to share my house with you as soon as you were old enough to leave. Well, you’re 32 and there’s no way in hell I’m letting you have my house!”

Shock and complete pain emptied Penny’s face as the words slapped her with the force canlı bahis siteleri of complete truth. In the silence, James could hear a slight tinkling sound and wondered if it were her heart.

Mary smiled with cruel triumph.

“Ah, so he never told you, did he? He fucked some silly waitress and you were the result. The fucking whore decided she didn’t want you and left you on the doorstep with a note stating John had made you so he could take care of you.”

The harsh laughter that followed the stunning statement was part satisfaction, part malice, and deeply held resentment.

“That’s why he named you Penny. He said you were like a bad penny that turned up.”

At that last cruelty, James wanted to punch Mary in the face. Despite his closeness with John, the other man had never shared the secret of Penny’s arrival and so he couldn’t refute any of her statements. However, knowing John’s deep love for his daughter (despite the strained relationship they shared), James knew he would never have named her as Mary claimed.

Looking at Penny made his heart hurt. The terrible emptiness that shadowed her eyes made him wish he could take back the last several minutes. He’d mentioned the will more out of preserving his dignity, not with the intent of blowing this shaky house of cards.

Then suddenly the light returned to her eyes and she straightened. Drawing her tattered soul back to her, Penny looked at Mary and replied, “No, he named me Penelope after the woman who remained faithful and true despite all the tribulations she suffered at the hands of her persecutors. She found a way to outsmart them and held on to everything her husband left behind.”

Raising her eyebrows with disdain, Penny, no, Penelope a small voice whispered, nodded at him briefly then turned on her heel and returned to the kitchen.

In that moment, Henry James Ryan, Jr. swore to whatever force in the universe listening that she would belong to him someday.



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