Protecting Lulu

By: J.M. Jeffries

“Speak for yourself,” Aiden quipped. “My end of the dating pool has been dry lately.”

Lulu giggled. Aiden always knew how to cheer her up. “I’m glad you came. You keep me sane.”

“You brought me to keep you out of jail,” Aiden said with a matching giggle. “Just play along and make Wilder happy.”

Lulu closed her eyes. Aiden was right. She would do what Wilder asked, because life was easier when he was happy. Normally her brother was an enlightened despot who had her best interests at heart, but since the car incident, he’d gone into tyrannical dictator mode.

She knew why Wilder was frantic to keep her safe. Twenty-two years ago their parents had been murdered at their family estate in France in what everyone assumed was a botched kidnap attempt. Lulu and Wilder had barely escaped. The assailants had never been found or brought to justice and a part of Wilder still lived in the fear they would return to finish the job.

A second before they reached the penthouse floor, Lulu pushed the stop button the elevator. “How do I look?”

Aiden took off his glasses, twirling them around as he studied her. “What are you going for?”

What did she need to be in order to get through this meeting as quickly and as painlessly as possible? “Cooperative comes to mind.”

Aiden laughed. “So not happening.”

Lulu closed her eyes and tried to think of something pleasant like beautiful Dutch men running naked through the garden or a new pair of Brian Atwood shoes.

“Wipe the look of disdain off your face,” Aiden waved his finger over his forehead. “You’re doing that crinkle thing with your eyebrows.”

“I’m trying.”

Aiden cringed. “You look like you’re having a fit. Careful or you’ll get a wrinkle.”

God forbid. Lulu took a moment to focus. She took several deep breaths and relaxed her facial muscles. “How do I look now?”

Aiden squinted at her. “Hair magnificent. Make-up flawless.” He reached up and unbuttoned the top two buttons of her blouse. “As always the girls are at their awe-inspiring best.”

“The type of men Wilder hired are trained not to be inspired.” He would only get the best and that probably meant they were all ex-FBI or CIA or some other alphabet agency with absolutely no sense of humor.

Aiden put his glasses back on. “I’m a gay man and the girls inspire me.”

“You just want them for yourself.” She started to button her blouse back up. Today she wanted to ooze self-confidence, not sell sex.

Aiden pulled her fingers away from her dress. “Oh darling, it is a universal truth that all men, be they gay or straight, love boobs. Straight boys think of sex and gay boys think about food, or what blouse would make them look their best.”

Lulu laughed. “I’m giving you that one.” Her hand strayed back to her buttons, but Aiden slapped it away. She pressed the elevator button and they finished their journey to the top floor. Seconds later the doors opened to a reception area decorated in muted grays with a gold sofa and matching chairs. Sylvia, Wilder’s assistant was sitting at her round desk gazing at the computer screen to the other side.

Behind the woman, the double doors to Wilder’s office stood open and Lulu could see her brother speaking to a man who just about took Lulu’s breath away. He was tall, taller than Wilder who stood an even six foot three.

“Your brother is waiting, Lulu,” Sylvia said. “Go right on in.”

Lulu swallowed another spurt of irritation. “Thank you, sweetie.”

As she and Aiden stepped into the large office, she stopped short. A number of very impressive examples of manhood stood around the office. She bit her bottom lip to keep it from quivering. “Oh my.”

Aiden leaned toward her. “Lulu, your brother is having a man buffet,” he whispered

Lulu couldn’t agree more. She tried not to sigh at the sight of so many men and the one lone woman who stood off a little by herself.

“If I knew the boy candy was going to show up,” Aiden continued. “I’d have tried to kill you myself.”

“I think I would have let you.” Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all. The day was looking brighter and if it continued to improve, she might let Wilder off the hook for his arrogant summoning. After she made a trip to Cartier on his dime, of course.

Noah turned at the sound of voices in the doorway and found a beautiful, dark-haired woman standing in the doorway with a sly do me smile on her lips. Noah’s mouth fell open as he gazed at her. She was six feet of curves, elegance, and the kind of beauty that sank ships. He closed his mouth with a snap and glanced at Harrison to see if he’d noticed Noah’s lapse. Harrison hadn’t. In fact, he was staring glassy-eyed at the gorgeous woman entering the office with the same awed intensity as Noah.

“Hello boys,” she said in a low seductive, smoky voice that reminded Noah of aged malt whiskey and sent hot shivers down his spine.

She was curvy in all the right places and the blue skirt and blouse she wore accentuated every one of those stunning curves. Long black hair with was piled on top of her head and wispy tendrils framed her face. She looked like she just rolled out of bed and not alone. Startling sable brown eyes seemed to stare right into Noah’s soul.

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