The 9-Month Bodyguard
The 9-Month Bodyguard
The 9-Month Bodyguard
Table of Contents
Title Page (#uf3202fe2-c64f-508c-82e3-b1ca1761866c)
About the Author (#u10151aec-fc35-5f59-a512-0fa057df8165)
CINDY DEES started flying aeroplanes while sitting in her dad’s lap at the age of three and got a pilot’s licence before she got a driver’s licence. At age fifteen, she dropped out of school and left the horse farm in Michigan where she grew up to attend the University of Michigan.
After earning a degree in Russian and Eastern European studies, she joined the US Air Force and became the youngest female pilot in its history. She flew supersonic jets, VIP airlift and the C-5 Galaxy, the world’s largest aeroplane. She also worked part-time gathering intelligence. During her military career, she travelled to forty countries on five continents, was detained by the KGB and East German secret police, got shot at, flew in the first Gulf War, met her husband and amassed a lifetime’s worth of war stories.
Her hobbies include professional Middle Eastern dancing, Japanese gardening and medieval re-enacting. She started writing on a one-dollar bet with her mother and was thrilled to win that bet with the publication of her first book in 2001. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at www.cindydees.com.
Chapter 1 (#uaeb88f87-668a-5d24-a9fd-88a436a672a2)
If one more person told her that her thirties were going to be the best years of her life, she was going to spend that decade in prison, doing hard time for murder.
Silver Rothchild realized her pasted-on smile was slipping and reinforced it quickly.
Thirty years old. Gamblers all over Las Vegas must be losing their shirts tonight betting over whether or not she’d live to see this birthday. A few years ago, no one would have bet a plugged nickel on her chances of making it this long.
She had to admit that her twenties had been one heck of a wild ride. The holier-than-thou crowd was offended at any hint that she’d actually had fun jet-setting around the world, rocking out in front of huge audiences as a pop singer, partying till dawn and pulling dozens of crazy stunts, any one of which should have killed her. But the fact was, a lot of it had been a blast. Self-destructive in the end and rendering her jaded and cynical far beyond her years, but a blast, nonetheless.
Of course, she’d done a lot of growing up since then. She’d buried enough of her friends by now to know the dangers of the lifestyle, too. Since those days she’d sworn off harmful substances, and she’d made a concerted effort to drop completely off the celebrity radar. Heck, she’d made an appearance in a celebrity magazine a few months back in a “where are they now?” article. How pathetic was that? Thirty years old and she was a has-been.
“You okay, snookums? You look like roadkill.”
“I hate it when you call me that,” Silver muttered to Mark Sampson, her bodyguard and ostensible boyfriend of the past several months.
“It’s cute. Like you and your perky little—”
She stepped away from his hand as he made a clumsy grab at her rear end and hissed through her fake smile, “Stop acting like white trash.”
“Now, snookums. Be nice. Wouldn’t want me to get all mad and accidentally say something to them reporters over there about our arrangement.”
She sighed. He was right. She was the one who’d made the offer to him in the first place—she had no business getting bitchy with him over it. She looped an arm through his and guided him out to the dance floor. Dance nasty in front of Mark and he’d forget all about his threat. Men were such incredibly simple creatures.
Not particularly enjoying either the song or gyrating around in as slutty a fashion as she could muster, she was vastly relieved when a sharp vibration tickled her right hip. Her heart leaped in anticipation. Could this be the call?
Shouting over the blaring music, she yelled at Mark, “Phone! I’ve got to take this call.”
He nodded, turned to the nearest half-naked bimbo without interrupting his own hip-thrusting Elvis impersonation, and kept on dancing.
She found a secluded corner behind a potted palm in the hall outside and pulled out her brand-new crystal-encrusted cell phone, a birthday present from her stepsister, Natalie. She hit redial quickly.
“Hello, this is Silver Rothchild—”
“Silver! Hi, this is Debbie, from Dr. Harris’s office.”
Her blood pressure jumped twenty points right then and there. Oh, God. It was the call. Her test results were back. She let out a long, steadying breath and steeled herself to hear the news either way. “Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I’m sorry I couldn’t stick around the office to wait for the results, but I couldn’t be late for my own birthday party.”
The nurse at the other end of the phone laughed. “Well, I’ve got a birthday present for you, Silver. Your results are positive. You’re going to have a baby.”