READER'S ROCK LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE VOL 2 ISSUE 4 NOVEMBER 2014 Vol. 1 Issue 9 March 2014 - Page 27

Flustered that he blew off the infraction without even an apology, she placed her hand in his. His grasp was firm, his palms rougher, more calloused than she'd expected. Frankly, nothing about him was what she'd expected. He was extraordinarily good looking in a dangerous sort of way and made her uncomfortable on too many levels to analyze just now. "You're getting wet." She stared at him, dumbfounded. "What?" He peeled off his coat and draped it over her in one fluid motion. "You forgot your umbrella." "You got ID?" She really needed to collect her wits. Precautions were essential when anyone got this deep into her personal space. And she was falling down on the job. Evidently the attack on her apartment had gotten to her more than she'd realized. "John Noble." He dipped his head ever so briefly. "We talked on the phone last night." John Noble. The voice... yes. Definitely the voice from last night. Amelia relaxed marginally. She stared at the outstretched hand an endless second before regaining her bearings. Some idiotic part of her wanted to ask how he'd known she was in fact Amelia Bennett, but the rational side of her evidently malfunctioning brain reminded her that he was in personal security. He'd likely checked into who she was the same as she had checked his references. Reclaiming her usual confidence under fire, she looked him dead in those exotic green eyes. "You're late, Mr. Noble." "I'm here now." Oblivious to the insistent drizzle, the man reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. He offered the small, plastic encased card for her inspection. Massachusetts driver's license. John Noble. She gestured up the block. "I'm running behind. We'll take my car." With his coat covering her like a nun's habit, she hurried to where she'd parked. In those few seconds she had decided this guy was really quite strange. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, she reminded herself he was in the business of personal security. In her opinion, that occupation probably required a certain level of peculiarity. Kind of like being a good reporter required a person to be a little crazy. She reached for her car door, but he beat her to the handle. Water slipping down his beard-shadowed jaw, he opened the door and waited as if he had all the time in the world and could care less about getting soaked without his coat. Definitely odd. She slung off his coat and passed it to him. "Thanks." He gave her another of those negligible nods. That instinct she trusted above all else railed at her to snap out of it. "Just a minute." She hesitated before getting into the driver's seat and dug around in her purse. Didn't matter that it rained steadily on them both. She pulled out her cell and snapped a photo of John Noble. She flashed a perfunctory smile and dropped behind the steering wheel. While he closed her door and then walked around to the opposite side, she sent the photo to her boss with a text explaining that this was the bodyguard, John Noble. She shoved the key into the ignition and started the engine while Noble settled into the front passenger seat. "Why did you take a picture of me?" Amelia fastened her seatbelt and checked the street before shifting into Drive. "The truth?" Might as well see if he could take her straightforward approach. "Preferably." "If I disappear and they find my body," she eased out of the parking slot, "the authorities will have a description of you to go on." His attention remained fixed on the street ahead of them for endless seconds before he responded. "If I made you disappear," he said finally, his tone dark and ominous, "your body would never be found."