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The 9-Month Bodyguard
Cindy Dees

“Your suite’s the one to the left.”

He nodded and gestured for her to follow. He all but ran down the hall, and for a man as tall as him, that was really moving. She had to break into a jog to keep up. Note to self: wear flats around this guy. She would only come up to his armpit that way, but at least she wouldn’t be forced to run in heels.

Austin hustled her into the suite and closed the door quickly behind them. His mental sigh of relief was nearly audible. She knew the feeling. The last hour had been a heck of a ride. Literally. Man, she was getting old. There was a time when this amount of excitement wouldn’t have fazed her. But now, the danger and racing around in fear for her life were simply exhausting.

A single thought exploded across her mind. I’m pregnant.

She really shouldn’t be doing crazy stuff like getting shot at anymore. Her wild days were, indeed, officially over. Now, they just had to convince an unnamed gunman of that fact.

“You hungry?” Austin called from the far side of the living room. He’d been looking carefully out of each of the floor to ceiling windows—probably checking for snipers or something.

Actually, she was vaguely nauseous. “Not really. You?”

“Starving. Adrenaline always makes me hungry.”

“Typical man.”

“Honey, I’m a lot of things, but typical isn’t one of them.”

She grinned over at him. “I gather modesty isn’t on your list of major attributes, either.”

He shrugged. “I call it as I see it, darlin’.”

“Want me to order up a steak for you from Room Service? The prime rib here is to die for if you’re a carnivore.” She started to reach for the phone, and Austin moved to her side so fast he was practically a blur.

He snatched the phone out of her hand. “Nobody’s to know you’re here. As of now, you’re officially in hiding.”

A moment’s relief at the idea of being safe gave way to dawning horror. “Small problem, big guy. I don’t have time to hide. I have only six weeks to pull together the show of my life.”

He scowled down at her. “Sorry. Not happening. What part of ‘someone just tried to kill you’ didn’t you get?”

Chapter 5 (#uaeb88f87-668a-5d24-a9fd-88a436a672a2)

Silver stared up defiantly at him. Taking temporary precautions in case her sister’s killer tried to harm her was one thing but screwing up the rest of her life by ruining her comeback was another thing entirely.

He had to be wrong about someone from her past coming after her. Sure, she’d stepped on a lot of toes in her early days. But that had been a long time ago. Anyone who’d had it in for her had had more than enough time to get even with her before now. And as for Candace’s killer? Her stepsister had made plenty of her own enemies through hard and selfish living. Besides, the past several years her path and Candace’s had barely crossed. Silver had a very hard time believing that she and Candace shared any enemy in common. Yeah, there’d been a shooting downstairs, but incidents like that weren’t unheard of in this town. Gambling did funny things to people.

Austin pulled at his ear again, looking impatient. But he said evenly enough, “What exactly do you think happened in the lobby?”

“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing more. Somebody snapped under heavy gambling losses or got ditched by one of our showgirls.”

“Silver, I’m not just your run-of-the-mill bodyguard. I guard heads of state. I train the people who guard heads of state. I’m one of the top personal security experts in the entire world. And I’m telling you that shooter was aiming for you.”

She sat down heavily on the nearest sofa as she reluctantly acknowledged the possibility that he might be right. “But…why?”

“That’s what you and I are going to figure out.”

“How?” she pressed.

“You’re going to tell me everything about your life, and I’m going to develop a list of people who might want to see you dead.”

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