The Wingman(2)

By: Natasha Anders

Mason, in the meantime, had used his dual South African and UK citizenship to join the British military. At just nineteen, Mason had been better at soldiering than he’d ever expected, and after only a year in the military, he had undergone the grueling selection process for the Special Air Service. After leaving the SAS five years later, he had, to the hilarity of his former brothers-in-arms, used his “abs of steel”—so hard-earned in the SAS—in a short-lived and embarrassing underwear modeling career.

He still cringed when he thought about it and preferred to wipe that year of his life from his mind.

“Look, I have to grab this opportunity,” Spencer was saying urgently. “I’ll regret it forever if I don’t try, Mase.”

Mason peered at his brother for a moment before shrugging and waving toward the women with his beer bottle.

“So go for it,” he said. “I’m not stopping you. In fact, I have no idea what this has to do with me. Am I supposed to hold your hand? Applaud when you score? What?”

“You know how close the sisters are. Dahlia’s distracted by her friends, because it’s her hen night, but Daff probably won’t allow herself to be diverted by me if the other one is left to fend for herself.”

“And you want me to what?”

“Talk to her.”

“Her who?” Mason asked, genuinely confused.

“The other one, Daisy . . . distract her. Flirt with her, pay her some flattering attention. Daff will—”

“See right through that,” Mason completed with a snort. “That’s the dumbest plan you’ve ever come up with, Spence, and that’s saying a lot, considering your history of dumb ideas.”

“Come on, Mason, you can be convincing. You’re great with women. She’ll be so flattered to get some attention from a stud like you that she’ll probably fall all over herself for the opportunity to hang out with you.”

“I’m kind of insulted on this chick’s behalf, Spencer. You’re being a dick.”

“It’s Daisy McGregor,” Spencer dismissed. “She’s used to it.”

“Doesn’t make it right.” Mason was a little disgusted with his brother’s attitude. He couldn’t believe that people actually treated the poor girl this way. She was a McGregor; she couldn’t be that bad. And if she were, it was still no excuse to be an asshole to her.

“Come on, Mase, please. It’s Daffodil McGregor. I’ve been half in love with the girl since high school.”

“Man, this is just all kinds of wrong,” Mason muttered, running an agitated hand over his head. He kept his hair cropped military short. Seven long and eventful years after leaving the army, and it was still hard for him to wear it any other way.

“I’m asking you to be my wingman, bro,” Spencer pleaded. “I’ve never asked you for anything before. Well, hardly ever . . . but this is important to me.”

“It’s not going to work.”

“But can we at least try? There’s no harm in trying, right? If they shoot us down, so be it, but I really need to try.”

Mason stared at his brother for a few long moments. That bitch, Tanya, had really done a number on him. Spencer had always been a steady guy, had loved Tanya with everything in him, yet she had cheated on him with just about every available guy in town. Worse, after Mason had returned from England, she had tried to seduce him as well. Luckily Spencer had discovered her infidelity before Mason had been forced to tell him about it. But he still felt like a douche for not warning his brother about Tanya before Spencer caught her in bed with two guys at the same time. And it was because of that guilt that he now found himself nodding in response to the plea he saw in his brother’s eyes.

“So what’s the plan?”

“Well, they’re still busy with the hen party thing—no boys allowed—but according to Ralphie’s intel, Lia has to leave the party early, so they’ll probably be winding down soon. Daff, the other one, and a few of the ladies will be staying on a bit afterward, so that’s when we should make our move.”

Mason thought this was all a bit skeevy, but he folded his arms over his chest and nodded, keeping his discomfort with the entire plan hidden behind a blank mask. A thought occurred to him, and even though it pained him to ask, he felt he had to.

“Spencer, if she rejects you, that’s it, right? You won’t persist?” His brother looked wounded that he had even asked, but Mason had seen enough crazy shit in his lifetime to feel that the question was warranted, even if the guy he was asking was his brother. Spencer had been through so much with Tanya that Mason wasn’t sure if any of his brother’s hatred for the woman had bled over into his dealings with other females. He hoped not, but one could never be certain.

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