"What the hell are you talking about? I know your father pushed you around a bit and is a real ass, but it wasn't that bad."
"Yes. It was."
Mason looked at Leslie now. The color was gone from her face.
"What are you two not telling me?"
"Mason, Tom abused Nick. He abused him in ways you didn't know. Nick never told you because he was worried you'd do something reckless."
Mason stiffened and grew quiet. His mouth tightened, and he focused on Nick.
"What is she talking about?"
"My father used to beat me. When I say beat, I mean with his fists or anything else he could get a hold of at the time to hit me with. He tried to come on to Leslie one time, and I stood up to him. He beat me so badly, I could barely walk for a couple days, and when I told him I was in love with you? He took a whip to my back and threatened to kill you if I ever spoke of such a disgusting thing again. I still have the scars to remind of exactly how serious he was about that threat."
Mason sucked in a sharp breath.
"If I hadn't left, I would never have been able to stay away from you. My father would have done something terrible to you and maybe Leslie."
"How did I not know this?"
"I got good at hiding it, and my father was brilliant at making sure most of the marks he left were covered by my clothes."
Leslie stood and walked to Nick. She put her arms around him and laid her head against his chest. He hugged her back and stared at Mason over her head. His eyes darkened as if the sight of Leslie in his arms turned him on. Was Mason in love with Leslie? Nick observed Mason closely for a few seconds more. The look in Mason's eyes was pure desire.
Nick rubbed slow circles on Leslie's back, and Mason watched the motion as if mesmerized. Nick had always loved Leslie, but until he'd returned, he'd never really thought of her in a sexual manner. Mason had always taken precedence where those thoughts were concerned. Now he couldn't deny that she felt damned good pressed against him.
Mason's eyes turned even darker when Nick's caresses turned to long strokes up and down her back that stopped just above the curve of her ass. Her softness and Mason's heated gaze made his cock throb and his blood fire in response.
When Leslie moaned against him, he let his hands slide over her ass and cup the globed cheeks. She was soft, like a woman should be, but toned from all the horseback riding. She felt good against him, and he urged her closer into the cradle of his thighs. When she brushed against his erection, he groaned.
It had been too long since he'd been laid. The thought jerked him from the trance he'd been in, and he pulled back from her. She was not a mere lay. She was special. What the hell had he been thinking?
"I'm sorry, Leslie. I didn't mean--"
When she looked up at him, eyes as dark with desire as Mason's, he forgot what he was about to say. She placed her index finger over his mouth and pressed against his lips.
He sucked in a breath when she trailed her fingers down his chest and brushed his lips with her mouth. He kept his eyes open and watched as Mason came toward them. When Leslie squeezed his thigh, he lost all rational thought and dipped his tongue between her lips as they eagerly parted for him.