Protecting Lulu

By: J.M. Jeffries

Bennington’s mouth hardened as Lulu trailed Harrison out of the office, but he didn’t follow.

She smiled at Noah and crooked her finger. “Follow me.”

And that was how it was going to be. Her voice was so sultry, Noah’s insides almost melted. Before he reached the door, he grabbed Ian’s arm. “You know her?”

Ian held up a hand. “We met once.”

“Telling me wasn’t important?”

Ian’s gaze followed the woman. “I didn’t know she was a potential client until Harrison told me this morning. You were still up 55,000 feet. Calling you was not an option.”

Noah had met Ian on a job in, of all places, Monaco. Ian had been pretending to gamble while Noah and E. J. were trying to keep tabs on an alleged Romanian countess who’d stolen a necklace from a New York client. Noah had hired Ian on the spot thinking he could bring a new level of clientele to the business.

Noah knew Ian had a point. “What she’s like?”

Ian shrugged. “She was a model at the time. Too skinny for me. Although I have to say, I’m intrigued now.” Ian gave him a little smile that didn’t bode well for the way this assignment was going to go.

Noah looked ahead and saw that Lulu had looped her hand through Harrison’s arm and a slight man with a pencil thin mustache, Noah didn’t remember being introduced to. “You know she’s going to be trouble.”

Ian only smiled. “The most interesting women are, but so worth the effort.”

Noah swallowed his irritation, not liking the fact that Ian was intrigued with Lulu. This was a job. They all had to act professional and make sure she kept breathing.

Chapter Two

Lulu had been around gorgeous men all her life and had refused to let them mess with her head. But Noah Callahan startled her. There was something so masculine and hard about him; she felt that she would swoon if he looked at her in just the right way.

He wasn’t pretty, and his craggy features spoke of strength and character. His tall, rugged body suggested a physical strength strong enough to protect her. Not that she needed protecting. She was just letting Wilder have his way to keep him happy.

She caught a wisp of his scent—a subtle hint of musk and wooded forest. If she could bottle that scent, she’d make a fortune.

At least she was able to control herself. The one thing she learned about doing a talk show was how to think on her stilettos.

She opened the door to the conference room, a large space with a solid walnut table that could seat twenty people. The room was painted a neutral gray. The only spot of color were silk plants in the corners, the dark red fabric on the chairs and some abstract art on the walls.

“Why don’t we all have a seat?” She walked down the length of the table. “Aiden would you please have some refreshments brought in.” Aiden gave her a panicked look as if he were afraid to leave her alone with all this male testosterone. “Sweetie, I’ll be fine.” Lulu patted his hand and watched him go.

Harrison politely held out a chair for her and she sat down.

“So where do we start?

Harrison pushed her chair in. “Ms. Bennington--”

“Lulu. Please.”

Harrison pulled out the chair next to her and sat down and rested his forearms on the table. “Ah, Lulu—”

“See that wasn’t so hard now, was it?” She grinned. “Please everyone, take a seat and stop hovering, you are going to give me a crick in my neck.”

She watched everyone sit. Interestingly enough, Noah Callahan took the chair furthest from her and she wondered why. Did she intimidate him in some way? She couldn’t imagine how and why he felt the need to put distance between them.

She had dealt with personal security before, but not on this level. All these people exuded danger and a professional detachment that told her they were good at what they did. “Now, where were we?”

Harrison put his brief case on the table and snapped open the locks. He pulled out a sheaf of papers encased in paper sleeves. ‘We start with the letters.”

He started passing the letters around the table. Lulu refused to touch them.

“What do you know about the letters?” Noah asked as he held one up.

“Standard typing paper, the letters are cut from a magazine. No fingerprints, nothing to indicate if the person is male or female.”

Everyone studied a letter and passed it on. Lulu watched them. She repressed a grin when she realized Noah’s lips moved as he read each letter.

“What about the car that tried to run her down?” Noah asked when he’d passed the notes on.

“Nothing,” Ian said. “We pulled a video from a bank across the street, but someone was at the ATM and obscured the view. No other cameras around.”

Noah looked pointedly at Lulu.

“It happened so fast,” she said, “I didn’t really see anything besides that it was black with dark windows and looked like a sedan. I didn’t notice the make or model.” She took a deep breath. “So how do you proceed?”

Harrison smiled at Lulu. “We need to assess the threat level, find the person who is stalking you, and then we stop them.”

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