Miami Bodyguard (Kendall Family Book 5)(9)

By: Jennifer Ann

“Aaaaactually,” Evelyn drawls out, “we hired him as your bodyguard.”

“You what?” I shuffle away from Asher, eyes darting between Charlie and my sister. A sudden need to bolt seizes my legs. How could they betray me like this? “I can’t believe you guys! You asked him to babysit me without even bothering to ask how I felt about it?”

Asher grumbles something under his breath while shooting a stern stare Evelyn’s way like he agrees with my objection. So why would he agree to this fucked-up idea?

“I’m sorry, but you agreed you should have a bodyguard.” Evelyn throws her hands up at her sides. “Would you rather we hire some random guy you know nothing about? We asked Ash to come down here because we knew you’d feel safe with him around.”

I stop to take a deep breath, knowing I can’t argue with her logic. For a stuttering heartbeat, I’m even thrilled with the thought of Asher sticking around. I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone messing with me, or showing up uninvited at my apartment.

It’s just the idea of hiring a bodyguard now seems like a setup—like Charlie and Evelyn were merely looking for a way to make certain I don’t do anything stupid. Next thing you know they’re going to find an excuse to send me to rehab for something that was prescribed to me.

“If this has something to do with what happened the other night—”

Charlie cuts me off with, “You mean the part where a fan groped you and you were violated by a security guard, or the part where you came home to find someone in your apartment? You were in the room when your agent said this was only the beginning, right? Whacked-out fans who are ready to do whatever it takes to get a piece of you will become a constant in your daily routine. And I swear they’re getting a little crazier all the time. Your sister was purposely tripped once while she was pregnant with Mia. That woman was lucky Dante held me back before security had a chance to kick her out. This isn’t something you wanna take lightly.”

Although my stomach surges with the story of Evelyn I hadn’t heard before, now’s not the time to show any weakness. He thinks he can bully me into this with his horror stories, he’s wrong. I throw my hands on my hips, glaring him down. “If it’s such a big deal, why aren’t you running around with a bodyguard?”

“Dante’s with either me or Ev ninety percent of the time,” he snaps back. “He’s outside as we speak, making sure no one got wind that we’re here. Wherever there’s a crowd, there’s bound to be chaos. If your sister and I go somewhere they’re not expecting me to be, or we’re back in Brooklyn, I can fend for myself.”

“Why do you think Charlie’s wearing a hoodie and I’m in a baseball hat when it’s a thousand degrees out?” Evelyn tugs on the brim of her black Nike cap where her designer shades rest. “It makes my head disgustingly hot, and it’s not at all my style.”

“This shit’s new to you,” Charlie continues with the kind of low growling noise I’ve noticed him making whenever Evelyn’s being stubborn. “I’ve been doing this for years, and I can physically take on any prick who gets out of hand. I don’t have to worry about someone bigger throwing me over their shoulder and locking me in the trunk of their car.”

“Wanna bet?” Asher prods with a chuckle.

I’d laugh along with him if I weren’t so irritated by Charlie and Evelyn’s insistence. Who exactly does my baby sister think she is? I appreciate that she’s had more experience with overzealous fans, but my success isn’t anything near the level of Charlie’s at this point. This is different.

“I don’t. Need. A babysitter,” I insist, throwing a glare my stubborn brother-in-law’s way. “I’m with Theo ninety percent of the time. Problem solved.”

I swear I hear a noise of irritation coming from Asher, but when I look his way, he’s feigning indifference. Mentioning Theo was supposed to be a dig toward Charlie. In reality, it makes me physically ill to imagine Asher tagging along when I’m with Theo.

Having Asher around could ruin everything, mostly because I find him so damn attractive, and I already know he’s not as shallow as my costar. He’d be an unwanted temptation. I’m only with Theo because my agent claims that our “relationship” helped to generate interest among new fans, knowing we’re involved off-screen. How would they react if I moved on with someone else? It’s not uncommon for fandoms to turn on their favorite celebrities because of something that makes them unhappy.

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