This story takes place after Reckless and before Rage.
“I swear, if she puts her hands on you one more time,” Megan said through gritted teeth, “I’m cutting them off.”
Dimitri smiled indulgently at his fiancée. “She doesn’t mean anything by it, Buffy. It’s just her way.”
Megan’s head turned slowly as she pinned him with a fiery stare. “It’s just her way?”
“Yeah.” He shrugged, feeling the weight of his sidearm in its shoulder holster. “She’s one of those touchy-feely types. Most actresses are.”
Oh yeah, her eyes were definitely flashing fire now. “She doesn’t touch me.”
“That’s because of those scary vibes you give off. I’m more of a laid-back kind of guy, more approachable.” He fought to keep his face blank. “More touchable. I don’t mind. I get it a lot.”
For a second, he could have sworn there was steam coming out of her ears. “You don’t mind?”
Man, she was stunning when she was jealous. She was also dangerous. You never quite knew what Megan Donaldson was going to do next, and now that she had a permit to carry a firearm, that made teasing her a risky business. Which meant, he probably shouldn’t do it, no matter how much fun it was.
“Buffy,” he said softly, “I don’t want anyone but you to touch me.”
Her mood shifted from jealous outrage to sexual possession at the flip of a switch. Her blue eyes pinned him in place as she closed the distance between them to stand in front of him. A short, unvarnished fingernail trailed down the front of his black dress shirt.
“That’s good,” she said as she leaned into him, making every inch of his body scream to be touched. “Because only I get to touch you.” She stepped back, resuming her position on the other side of the hotel suite’s doorway. “Which is what I’m going to tell Princess Pain-in-the-arse as soon as her meeting’s finished.”
It was clear that the only way to stop her would be to tie her to their bed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, so he went for reason. “Remember, she’s a paying client. This new service of Rachel’s offers women a safe and secure experience with Benson Security. We’re supposed to make women feel comfortable while we protect them.”
Her chin went up, making her blonde ponytail bob. “That doesn’t mean we pander to the clients. I can guard her body a whole lot better when she isn’t touching yours.”
There was no talking to her. She was determined to have it out with the Hollywood actress who’d hired them to protect her. All he could do now was damage control. Which made him grin—life with Megan would never be boring, and he couldn’t wait to marry her. Only seventeen more days and then he could relax, knowing he’d tied her to him forever. Until then, he’d have to live with the worry of her being free to walk away.
Over his dead body!
Megan caught his frown and rolled her eyes. “You’re thinking about our wedding again, aren’t you? Or more precisely, how you can get me down the aisle faster.”
There was no denying it. “I have a license. We could go to the courthouse after our shift ends.”
“This is London. There’s no going to the courthouse. We have our weddings in churches or in the registrar’s office, which is generally located in some concrete monstrosity built in the seventies that looks like it should house serial offenders.” She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Not exactly my idea of romance.”
“I don’t care about romance. I care about getting a ring on your fingers and a signature on a document that makes it harder for you to leave me.”
“You are so insecure.” She shook her head in disgust. “If you didn’t have a fantastic six pack and thighs like tree trunks, I would totally leave you.”
It was comments like that made him want to drag her ass in front of the nearest judge—damn it, he meant registrar. If he was in the US, this wouldn’t be an issue, he’d have her in Vegas so fast her head would spin. He wondered if that was an option. No, unfortunately, they were on the job, and they couldn’t walk off without leaving their client wide open to an attack by her secret admirer slash stalker. Which reminded him. “Did you get a look at the latest threatening letter? It looked kinda hinky to me.”
“No. Rachel whisked it away for analysis before I had a chance.” She glanced around the corridor. “Would it kill them to provide us with a couple of stools? My feet are aching. How long does one meeting with your agent take? What is there to talk about? You’re a crap actress. No one wants you. I’ll call if they do. That takes what? Forty seconds to say.”
“She isn’t a crap actress. She’s just has a limited breadth of performance.” He’d heard that from Belinda, who was an amazing actress, and thought it made him sound knowledgeable.
Megan wasn’t fooled. “Stop reading Variety. It’s messing with your head.”
“I didn’t get that from Variety.”
“Well, stop listening to Belinda. Our charge can’t act.” She paused. “And ninety percent of her body has been put together by Silicon Inc. Lips, tits, arse. There’s so much plastic in her, she won’t biodegrade for centuries after she’s buried.”
Glenn Close’s voice suddenly blared out, saying her famous line from Fatal Attraction, ‘I’m not going to be ignored, Dan.’ Megan pulled her phone out of her blazer pocket.
“Rachel.” She groaned.
“You’d better hope she never hears her ringtone,” Dimitri said.
“Like Rachel scares me,” she scoffed as she swiped the screen. “Wassup?” she said to their boss. There was a pause while she listened, and then, “No, I can’t put you on speaker, we’re in the corridor, guarding the freaking door. I can fill Dim Boy in after we’re done.”
His eyes ate her up as she listened to Rachel. Even in a plain black pant suit and white dress shirt, she was still the sexiest woman he’d ever set eyes on. And he wasn’t the only one who noticed. Everywhere they went, men craned their necks to get a better look at her. Hell, she got more attention than the actress they were protecting. It was probably the reason Samantha kept touching him, she was jealous of Megan. He needed to talk to Rachel about the situation. Having Megan guard the actress wasn’t working. She needed to assign a different team.
“Sure we’ll wait for you before we talk to her,” Megan said, her tone unnaturally casual, which set off all sorts of alarm bells. “How far away are you? Ten minutes? Fantastic. See you then.” She shut the phone off, slid it into her pocket, and turned toward the door.
Dimitri’s hand shot out, grabbing her arm to stop her. “What was that about? Aren’t you meant to be waiting for Rachel before you talk to Samantha?”
“Oh, I think I need to have a word with our charge right now.” She shook off his hold, threw open the door, and stormed into the suite.
Although he knew better than to get between a Scottish woman and the object of her fury, duty demanded he at least follow and try to contain her. It was like trying to contain a tornado. She strode along the short hallway and turned left into the living-room area. As soon as she entered the room, Samantha shot to her feet, while her agent—spray tan in a suit—shoved a set of papers into his briefcase, in a move so fast and practiced, Dimitri wasn’t even sure he’d seen it.
“What are you doing in here?” Samantha snapped. “This is a private meeting. Surely you didn’t think my own agent was a threat? And who’s guarding the door? What if someone sneaks in while you aren’t watching? This is my life on the line.”
“No. It’s not.” Megan strode toward the actress, forcing her back into her seat just by her presence.
“Maybe I should go.” The agent stood.
“Sit!” Megan snapped.
The man froze, unsure of what to do. Dimitri might be in the dark about the situation, but he sure as hell was going to back Megan up.
“You heard her,” he ordered. “Sit.”
The man sat.
“I’ll have you fired for this,” Samantha said. “Rachel will be furious with the way you treat her clients.”
“Funny you should mention Rachel.” Megan folded her arms and spread her feet wide as she stood in front of the actress. “I just got off the phone with her and she has some concerns about this supposed stalker of yours.”
The woman paled, and her hands began to shake as her shoulders went back. She lifted her chin and stared down her nose at Megan. “Well, I’m sure Rachel will talk about them with me later. Now, please leave and let us finish out meeting.”
Dimitri sighed. Megan was right, the woman couldn’t act worth a damn. It was clear she was nervous and did very much care about whatever Rachel had told Megan.
“I’m calling your boss.” The agent dug his phone out of his pocket. “This is unacceptable.”
Megan reached over, snatched the phone from his hands and tossed it over her shoulder.
“That’s it!” The agent, shot to his feet. “I won’t stand for this.”
“You’re right. You won’t.” Megan reached for her hip, unsnapped her holster, pulled out her gun and aimed it straight at the man’s forehead. “Sit,” she ordered the man. He sat. “Stay,” she added. And there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he would stay.
And just like that, the situation had spiraled down the toilet.
“Eh, Buffy?” Dimitri kept his eyes on the two people they were supposed to be protecting but were now threatening. “Want to get me up to speed here?”
“Don’t worry, babe” she said, her gun still trained on the agent. “It will soon become clear.” Her arm swung the weapon to point it at Samantha’s head. “Keep an eye on the overgrown Oompa Loompa for me, while I have a talk with Princess Pain-in-the-arse.”
“Well, I never…” Samantha started to complain, but was silenced by the sight of a gun aimed at the spot between her eyes.
“As I was saying,” Megan said. “I just got off the phone with Rachel, and she told me something really interesting. It seems there was a fingerprint match on the last threatening letter you received. Want to guess whose it was?”
There was silence as Samantha and her agent shared a glance. And it was enough to tell Dimitri the whole story—they’d been had.
“No?” Megan said, her hand steady as she pointed the gun at Samantha’s head. “It was yours. We found your print on the letter.”
“Well, of course you did.” Samantha shifted in her seat, smiling benignly. “I opened it.”
“Did you also put the stamp on it? Because the print was halfway under the stamp.”
The agent jerked to his feet and ran for the door, holding his briefcase in front of him like a battering ram. Dimitri shot out his arm and clotheslined the guy. A second later, he was on the floor, holding his throat and gasping for air.
“My fiancée told you to stay,” Dimitri said as he flipped the man onto his back. “She gets upset when people don’t do as she says. And when she gets upset, it upsets me.” He secured the man’s hands behind his back with zip ties.
“Thanks Dim Boy.” Megan blew him a kiss.
“You’re both insane.” Samantha’s eyes were wide with shock.
“And you can’t act worth a damn.” Dimitri picked up the briefcase and opened it. It was filled with threatening letters, ones they’d obviously been working on during their meeting. “Yet, it’s still better than your criminal efforts.” He held up the letters. “How could you think you’d get away with this?” He looked at Megan. “I feel like I’m in an episode of Scooby-Doo.”
“I’ll give you a Scooby snack later. Once I’ve finished talking to this idiot.” She looked back at the actress. “Lesson one—all the publicity in the world won’t improve your acting. Lesson two—if you ever put your hands on Dimitri again, I will remove them.”
“So much for waiting,” Rachel said from the doorway in her icy English accent. “Megan, please don’t shoot Samantha. The bill from the hotel to remove the blood stains from the carpet would cripple Benson Security.”
Rachel glided into the room on black designer pumps with bright red soles. She wore a black bespoke skirt suit and held her ever-present iPhone in her manicured hand. Red fingernails tapped at the phone as she gave the actress an icy stare.
“This isn’t how I do business, Samantha,” she said coldly.
As interrogation techniques went, Rachel’s was more about inflicting mental distress than physical pain, but it usually worked. As Samantha proved when she crumpled. “I needed the publicity, my career—”
“You don’t have a career,” Rachel said. “Not anymore.” Her thumb flicked over the screen of her phone. “The police are on their way.” With a dismissive toss of her long dark hair, she turned to Megan, who still had her gun pointed at Samantha’s head. “What did I say about guns?”
With a sigh, Megan put the gun away. “Rach, you say a lot of stuff. How am I supposed to remember it all? Plus, I didn’t shoot her. Although, I really, really wanted to.” She looked back at Samantha as though she was considering it. “There aren’t many places I could aim for on her body where the bullet wouldn’t hit rubber and just bounce off.”
She was magnificent, in a slightly deranged, blood-thirsty way.
“Man, I love you,” Dimitri said.
“For the love of all things Prada,” Rachel said. “We’re at work. Keep your relationship for your own time.”
She had a point.
As the police came through the door, Dimitri put an arm around Megan’s shoulders and guided her away from Samantha, just in case she snapped and did something they’d both regret.
“I really didn’t like her touching you,” she said as she tried to stare holes through the actress.
“I know, Buffy, I know.” He lifted her chin and kissed her hard.
“For the love of Gucci,” Rachel shouted. “Not on the job!”
Reluctantly, Dimitri broke the kiss. “Only seventeen more days until you become Megan Raast.”
“If you’re lucky,” the evil woman said.
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