Bodyguard Dearest (Bodyguard #1) (13 page)

BOOK: Bodyguard Dearest (Bodyguard #1)
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I try to punch his chest, but my arm feels like a noodle. “Your fingers completely rule me and you know it.”

“Good, but we’re not done. Your punishment isn’t complete yet.”

I look at him curious, not quite following.

“Get on your knees, Princess,” he says, pulling up my shirt to swirl his tongue over a nipple. “You’ve been so bad. It’s time for that pretty head of yours to bob up and down on the tip of my cock.”

“That’s punishment?” I say, rolling my eyes at him.

“I want you to take as much as you can handle.”

He’s mine and he’s gone through hell. It’s not possible to deep throat him, but I’ll try, he deserves it. Hope I survive.

I drop to my knees and take him in my mouth the way he wants me to. He tastes and smells so good. I suck on the head which is already a mouthful. I tease the veins that pop out of his shaft with the tip of my tongue.

I enjoy pleasing and torturing him as much as I enjoy him doing the same to me. I can’t be selfish. This is about him. He doesn’t need to know that I’m growing hornier and hornier as he approaches the heights of his arousal. He likes when I gag a little. For him, I’ll do anything. I let him tickle and clog my throat as much as I can without passing out.

I don’t stop until he moans and grunts and then shudders into his explosive approval which stripes my tongue and tonsils. Everything is so intense with Tanner. His orgasm just keeps going and going. I let my big hurt man finish all over my breasts which he so adores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 19

Tanner

“L
et’s leave,” Tris says, bolting upright the moment she wakes.

“Good morning to you, too,” I say, taking a peek at the alarm clock. It’s almost ten, way too late for my liking.

She rubs the sleep out of her eyes and stretches both arms over her head, lazily, like a cat. I was half awake and quietly enjoying the scent of her hair when she suddenly awoke.

“I’m serious,” Tris says. “There are so many countries in the world I’d like to get lost in. What’s keeping us here? Let’s pick a destination.”

I try to reach out and hug her but my arm hurts like a motherfucker. I do my best to keep a straight face for her sake. Well, no, it’s for my sake really. If I show discomfort, she’ll start yapping about a trip to the urgent care again. The doctor that came with the crew gave me antibiotics and painkillers. I’ll just sail right through to recovery like a champ.

There’s a glint in her eye and something like a remnant of a morning dream. “You mean that?” I say, kissing her soft lips.

She nods happily. Tris Kane can be such a sweet and simple soul.

“You’d leave everything behind?”

“No, I’m taking everything with me. You,” she says, rolling on top of me.

“Careful,” I tell her, grabbing the back of her head with my good arm.

“I’ll be good, I’m only a little bunny. I can’t hurt you.”

That would be cute if it didn’t make me want to fuck her like a bunny right now. The fact remains she is very impulsive and at any moment she could do anything, including bumping my painful arm.

I decide not to spoil her good mood even though I might need to remind her that I fix problems, I don’t run from them. We kiss and my blood warms instantly. I’ll never tire of tasting her. She tastes as good as her delicate features and her
curvalicious
body look.

I slap her ass playfully when we stop kissing. “I have calls to make that won’t wait. I have some colleagues to meet. Can you stay out of trouble?”

She scrunches her nose, pouting. “Sure thing, Mister Serious,” she says. “I’ll just look through all your stuff and uncover all your secrets.”

“Knock yourself out,” I say. “Don’t feel you have to clean or anything.”

“Babe, I pretty much have to clean just to move around in this place.”

“I used to have a maid,” I say.

“Maybe she’s still in here somewhere trying to dig her way out,” Tris says as she stands. Her firm nipples press through the fabric of one of my white T-shirts she must have put on during the night.

“Sorry about this place. I haven’t been here much recently.”

“I’m just teasing you, sport,” she says. “You’re no fun.”

“Did you think I’d be fun when you threw yourself at me in that Canadian Inn?” I say to jostle her a little.

“What? I did not throw myself at you,” she protests. The shocked look on her face is precious.

“Totally did. Might as well have stage dived right on top of me.”

“You’re nuts.”

“You took your clothes off.”

“That was to torture you.”

“And then you kissed me.”

“Oh, is that how it went? Cause I remember someone getting a huge erection. I mean so huge it scared the living daylights out of me.”

“Getting naked to torture a man kind of has that side effect,” I explain. “If you didn’t want the beast, you should not have woken him with your sweet little ass or perfect tits. Do you have any idea how fuckable you are?”

“No, why don’t you show me right now?” she says, starting to land a few hot kisses on my chest.

“Nice try,” I say, “but it’s almost noon. It’s the latest I’ve woken up since, I don’t know, before I enlisted. I need to take my meds.”

That part about the meds does it. I knew it would.

“You didn’t take your meds yet?” she screeches. “You’re so unbelievable, Tanner. From now on, I’m in charge. Go! Take them!”

“Yes, ma’am,” I say, diving down to just get a taste of her nipple through fabric before she pulls away.

I walk into the kitchen to get some water. I gulp down half a glass when I hear her footsteps approaching behind me.

“Do you have like cable TV or an iPad? Do you even have Wi-Fi?” She says that last bit with an almost reproachful tone.

I laugh a little which only makes her whine more.

“I mean are we still in the 21
st
century? No one lives like this. I’d say you live like a monk, but monks are very tidy.”

“Why don’t you cook something?” I tell her as I gulp down the antibiotics. “We could use some sustenance. We forgot to eat last night.”

Maybe that’s not entirely true. We did eat each other. No wonder I basically passed out with the blood loss and intense physical exertion.

Tris seems to be searching for words. Something like panic lingers in her eyes as she forces a grin.

“What is it?”

“I don’t know much about cooking,” she says.

I’m kind of speechless. “Really?

She opens her eyes wide. “Yeah, really. It just never came up.”

I try not to laugh. Tris Kane has hungered independence all her life but has never learned how to prepare a proper meal. “It’s not rocket science,” I say. “I bet you could figure it out.”

She rolls her eyes. “I’d need groceries. The non-expired kind. And then maybe a fire engine parked outside just in case.”

“There’s a Korean market on the corner,” I say. “You could grab noodles and boil some water. They have all the basics there, too.”

“We’re back to the basics,” she says like it’s an exotic lifestyle.

I’m about to grab her ass when her phone rings.

“Oh my god, it’s my sister, Elsie.” She clicks on the call. “Hi, Elsie. I’m so glad you called.”

Her face evolves from cheerful to concerned to completely panicked.

“How?” I hear her say. “When?”

My senses heighten. I go to her. My eyes implore her to explain.

“Margot has been kidnapped,” she says with trembling lips.

I snatch the phone out of her hands and put it to my ear. “Elsie, please, try to stay calm. It’s Tanner. Tell me what’s happened. Start at the beginning.”

Elsie hesitates. She’s the sister to always give me the least trouble. She was always the easy assignment for security. She never changed plans. She never got into too much trouble.


Margot didn’t come home last night,”
she says finally
. “We thought she spent the night with Warren but then he called this morning. He said Margot had taken a cab home because he got a flat tire and had to wait for triple A.

“A setup,” I say, mostly to myself, but Tris tugs on my hand urgently.

“What do you mean?” she asks.

“Someone blew out Warren’s tire so they could get to Margot,” I say into the phone so both sisters can hear.

Elsie sobs. “
Dad said we shouldn’t call Tris. He didn’t want you involved, Tanner
.”

That son of a bitch. He has priorities upside down.

“You did the right thing calling,” I reassure Elsie. “We’ll get your sister back. Don’t worry.”


What will you do
?”

“Everything.”

“Did you mean that?” Tris says when I hand her the phone.

“Your sisters are under my protection. All of you are. That will not change, no matter what your father does.”

“Who would take poor Margot?” she says. “My father should be begging you to handle this.”

“He doesn’t have to, because I’m handling it,” I tell her.

All those phone calls I had to make are now cancelled. Finding Margot is the only thing that matters. I dial Dominic.

“Details, pronto,” I tell him as soon as he answers.


Boss
,” Dominic says. “
I’m glad you called. We need all the help we can get. Riley might not be down with it. You gave him a mega welt on his head.

“Hey, it was his idea. He said it’d be more believable if he got hurt.”

Dominic laughs. “
He wasn’t saying much about it. What a jackass. He’s always been terrified by Mister Kane
.”

“Enough small talk. What do we have?”


Not much. The police are here. They’re sweeping the area inch by inch looking for clues. Derek is in tech personally running detailed checks on all the likely crews that might have been used on this. It’s a mess
.”

“Any hits?”


So far every usual suspect was either out of town or otherwise accounted for at that time last night. He has a few more to run
.”

“This is Jordan Kane’s daughter we’re talking about,” I say. “They would have used someone from out of town. Maybe a Seattle crew or Albuquerque.”

“I’ll tell Derek,” Dominic says.

“Tell him it was your idea,” I say. “He’ll be more receptive.”

“Check.”

“Alright, brother,” I say. “Stay vigilant.”

“Always,” Dominic says and hangs up.

I exhale and grit my teeth before facing Tris.

“It doesn’t look good, does it?” Tris says, heartbroken.

I hug her tenderly. I’m going to make this right. “I need to do some digging. Go back home. Our personal drama can wait. You’ll be safe there. Derek will have the grounds crawling with security.”

“Tanner, no. I live here with you and the cockroaches. We’re family,” she says, more serious than her words would suggest.

“Tris, you need to listen to me. I forgave you for the last time, but that ship has passed. You’ll do exactly as I say in these matters. Do you understand? About this there is no discussion.”

She stares at me defiantly at first but then slowly softens. “You’re right. I do kind of act on impulse sometimes. I trust you, babe. I do, really. I’ll go back if you think its best.”

“It’s best,” I say impatiently. “Your father won’t bother you with any more lectures. He has a bigger problem. He’ll have his entire focus on Margot.”

“Will you find Margot? Tanner, tell me she’s all right. I can’t bear to think they might have hurt her. She must be so frightened.”

“This is my fuck-up. I’ll make sure we get her back in one piece,” I say, walking down the hall to my gun.

“It’s not even a little your fault,” she says. “Don’t say that. You were no longer on the job.”

“I’m always on the job. I just slipped.”

“You have a life and my father made it impossible,” Tris says. “It’s not a crime to put yourself first every once in a while.”

“Listen, I understand what you’re trying to do,” I say. “It’s not necessary. I knew security was lapsing because of me. I knew vulnerabilities would rise and I knew the crew would grow soft during transition to new leadership.”

“It wasn’t your watch, babe. You know that.”

I strap on my shoulder holster. “All I know is that I did nothing.”

 

Chapter 20

Trista

I’
m so horrified about Margot. And I’m so grateful that my father allowed me to stay at the house without asking too many questions. It didn’t even seem to bother him that Tanner knows what’s happened with Margot. Maybe a life-altering crisis can put things into perspective even for someone as stubborn and vindictive as Jordan Kane.

Three hours have gone by since I asked my father if I could stay in the house while Margot was missing. There has been no news since, no phone calls asking for money, no threats and no clues either. The more time that passes, the more the chances of her safe return go down. We all know that.

Tanner’s out on his own doing what he does best. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m sensing that even my father takes some small comfort in that. My mother and sisters definitely do and they’re vocal and open about it. They have witnessed the mad skills and insane tenacity of Tanner Hayes, how he can take control of almost any situation.

I never knew before why Tanner is so fearless, but now it’s becoming clear to me that he fights against his regrets every single day of his life. Facing danger is a necessity for him and it will be until the day he fully forgives himself. I want to be there to help him with that.

Oh, please, Tanner, please just bring Margot home.

“We should do something,” my mother says. “We just can’t sit around waiting. We’ll lose what’s left of our minds.”

“What should we do, Mom?” Alice says. “Make cookies? Take up knitting?”

My mother shoots her an irritated glance. “It wouldn’t hurt you to be a little kinder during this time of uncertainty, Alice.”

“Mom’s right,” I say. “We can’t just wallow in this, we should keep busy.”

“We could play cards,” Elsie offers. “Or Xbox if you feel more audacious.”

“Xbox,” my mother says, shocked. “Really, Elsie, you still play all those horrific games? You’re a twenty-four-year-old woman.”

“Girls play video games, Mom,” Elsie says. “You should give
Assassin’s Creed
a try. You read all those historical romance novels.”

“Yeah,” Alice agrees. “And Mom should check out these cosplay-Parkour combination videos on You Tube. They’re mind boggling. I was just watching them this morning. It’s like Cirque du Soleil in the streets. She loves that kind of thing.”

“She totally would,” Elsie says.

My mother’s more than a little befuddled. “What on earth are you girls talking about?”

We laugh. We can’t stop laughing actually. Thank God for Elsie’s
Assassin’s Creed
obsession. We need all the distractions we can get.

One of the guards, Dominic, comes to the living room carrying a tray with coffee cups from Starbuck’s.

“I thought you might need some caffeine, Mrs. K,” he says as he sets the tray on the coffee table.

“Goodness,” Mom says, “you didn’t have to do that, Dominic. We have some excellent Colombian blends in the kitchen. Marcy would have brewed some coffee if you asked.”

“Marcy doesn’t put caramel and cream in the coffee,” Elsie says, grabbing one cup. “Thanks, Dominic.”

“Yes, of course,” Mom says, remembering her manners. “That was very thoughtful of you, Dominic.”

“Any news at all?” I ask him, hoping for something positive.

“We are exhausting all channels. Mr. Kane is overseeing everything and will no doubt update you when he has a free moment.”

Translation. They have nothing. And if they did, they are censored. No one dares to tell us anything without Daddy’s permission.

No one responds to his non answer.

“I’m sure it will all work out,” he finally says.

How could he be so sure? I want to challenge his word choice, but decide to let it go. I’m trying to learn to bite my lip. It’s a work in progress.

Dominic bows a little. He picks one of the coffee cups and turns to go. He missteps somehow and manages to spill some of his coffee onto my jeans.

“I’m so sorry,” he says, a split second before I realize what has happened.

Oh shit, I feel the warmth of the coffee soaking through onto my thighs and knees. Thank God the coffee wasn’t scolding. “It’s okay,” I say, trying to act like it’s all cool. “It’s not hot.”

“Go change those pants, honey,” Mom says. “All your stuff is right where you left them in your closet.”

That’s true, but I don’t want to be alone, not even for a minute. I want to stay with my mother and sisters. They’re a welcome distraction. I don’t want to face this suffocating panic alone.

“I’ll escort you,” Dominic says, sensing my reluctance.

What? I don’t need to be escorted in my own goddamn house. Ha! So, it’s
my
house now. I’m a nutcase.

Dominic hovers, totally weirding me out. When he starts shaking the coffee cup he’s holding, it finally dawns on me that he’s trying to get my attention.

I lift my eyes up to him and he nods, knowingly.

My heart stops. I think I get it now. “All right,” I say. “I guess it wouldn’t be easy to ignore coffee-stained jeans.”

I exit the living room with Dominic in tow.

“What was that all about?” I say when we’re out of earshot of my family.

“This way, Miss Kane,” he says.

He takes me out back and into the gazebo my father built when I was a little child. A sudden memory of baby Miles in his stroller inside that same gazebo one bright spring day surfaces in my memory. I must have been four or five at the time. I shudder and I close my eyes for one second. My mother can’t afford to lose another child and I can’t lose one more sibling.

“What’s going on, Dominic?” I say when I open my eyes, almost certain Tanner has something to do with this.

“There are cameras in the house,” he says. “It’s better to talk here. It’s not a big deal but I’d rather no one in the house notices.”

“Notices what?”

Dominic is not very tall, but he’s stocky and muscular, so when he blows a strand of hair off his forehead like a child, it looks funny.

“Tanner called me earlier,” he says.

“I guessed this much.”

“He has a lead, maybe, but he can’t be certain and he doesn’t want to take any risks. Miss Margot’s safe return is all that matters. He needs backup and he thinks you can convince your father to let Tanner work with the team.”

“That might be easier said than done,” I say, pensively.

“It’s more than that,” he says. “The team needs him. We just want to get your sister back in one piece.”

“Dominic, I don’t know. My father…” I say without finishing.

He nods, considering my words. “Miss Kane, if I may?”

“Please, call me Tris.”

He nods his agreement. “Tris, from what I have seen, your father’s only weakness is his love for you girls. You can make him listen.”

I consider his words. “Can anyone make Jordan Kane do anything?”

“You can,” Dominic says before he walks back to the house.

*

Make my father put Tanner back where he belongs—at the head of his security team. Yeah, right. Sounds like a fool’s errand.

I find him in his study, sitting in the big armchair by the window that he favors. He’s hunched over, chin resting on his fist. He’s so deep in his thoughts, he doesn’t notice my presence right away.

Standing by the door for a couple of seconds, I sense something about my father is off today, like he’s not himself somehow. When he finally turns his face to me, I realize what is wrong. My father looks like he’s grown at least a decade older since yesterday. The truth hits me. For the first time in his life, my father looks old and it pains me to see him like that.

“Tris,” he says, sadly. “Is there something you need?”

“Just to talk. Is that okay?”

Instead of an answer, he points to a second, smaller armchair he keeps on the opposite side of the room.

I drag that armchair all the way next to his. He watches me as I do this and I’m thinking that he’s about to reprimand me for lugging furniture over his expensive carpet, but instead he looks out the window.

“Have you sat here long?” I ask him.

“Here? No, not long. Just a few minutes to collect my thoughts. But you’re right, I should be where I’m needed.”

I inhale slowly, readying myself for what I’m about to say. “You’re needed here. I need you right now, Daddy.”

“My little Trista,” he says and there’s melancholy in his eyes. “I always thought you’d be the one to get yourself in this kind of trouble someday.”

“So you don’t think I’m in trouble already?”

He smiles. “Don’t push it. What did you want to talk about?”

“I need a favor from you,” I say.

His attention is with me now one hundred percent. “It’s a strange time to ask for a favor, sweetheart.”

Another deep breath in. “Let Tanner help, Daddy. He needs the team and the team needs him. This is for Margot. You know he’ll do it anyway, but if you put your resources together…”

He raises his hand to stop me. “You’d be wrong to think I haven’t considered that.”

“What’s stopping you then?”

“When one of your top men betrays your trust, you cannot let them back in, Trista. I’d look weak, an easy target.”

“You’re already a target,” I say, but immediately regret my words. I’m sure that’s not the way to get through to my father Dominic was talking about. So I start all over. “Tanner never betrayed you so much as he helped me. I was his assignment. He was my protector. You know he’s a purist, Daddy. He reacts on instinct. He has great respect for you. No matter how you feel about him, you know he’s the best at what he does. The assignment is everything for him.”

My father remains silent, a battle raging behind his intense eyes.

 

 

 

BOOK: Bodyguard Dearest (Bodyguard #1)
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