~~I stayed behind in the car for a few moments as Delaney got out
and went to greet the men waiting for him in front of the house.
I didn't want to get out and face them, I was too embarrassed.
Hi I'm Ali, your job is now babysitting me, since I ruined your
whole operation. I shuddered at the thought of what they must
think about me. Taking a deep breath I attempted to make a
beeline straight into the house, but Delaney stopped me before I
could reach the door.
"Alivia, Come over here please. I want to introduce you to a few of my men, since they will be responsible for security here at home." My cheeks immediately began to burn, perhaps it was my imagination but they seemed to glare at me as I approached. There were four of them and they were equally intimidating in their dark suits and unsmiling faces. "This is Alex, Tyler, Tony, and Demetri" He said motioning to each of them as he said their name. I smiled, but only received a curt nod of acknowledgement in return.
Alex and Tyler were the youngest of the set, barely in their early twenties. They looked as if they were simply plucked out of the military with their low crew cuts and clean shaven faces. Tony's face on the other hand was anything but clean. He had a huge scar across his cheek and it made it difficult for me to look at him. I couldn't help but wonder how he got it, and what happened to the person that left it there. He was absolutely terrifying. Demetri appeared to be clean cut until I saw his hands. There were tattoos peeking out from under the cuffs of his shirt. I then scanned the rest of his exposed skin and found some peeking out just above the top button of his shirt. There was definitely more than meets the eye when it came to him.
This was some crew. If Luther knew what was good for him he would stay far away from here. These guys looked as if they didn't play around, hell they didn't look as if they even knew how to smile. Their expressions remained unchanged as I awkwardly excused myself and escaped into the house. Things were going to be so uncomfortable with those four lurking around.
I headed towards my bedroom wanting to hide, and shower again so at the very least I could wallow in my self-induced pity wearing clean clothes. Norma caught me before I could I could make it there, and pulled me into a long embrace.
I was completely thrown off by her affection. I had anticipated both her and Richard being upset with me for lying to them and had prepared myself for as much. The fact that she wasn't mad at caused relief to course through me, making me even more emotional than I was before.
"I'm so sorry Norma." I cried, tears in my eyes.
"I am just glad you are safe. Ali you have no idea how worried we were. You are very lucky Mr. Delaney catching you is the worst thing that happened."
"I know, I … I had no clue, and now I've screwed everything up even worse" She reached over and wiped the freshly fallen tears off of my cheek.
"There is no use being all upset about it now. What's done is done. We will keep you safe." She squeezed my shoulders before releasing me "Go freshen up honey. I've made dinner just let me know when you're hungry and I will fix you a plate, okay?" I nodded and gave her a grateful smile before finally retreating into my bedroom.
I wasn't hungry, in fact. I wasn't much of anything. I felt numb lying on my bed with my eyes closed thinking about Delaney, and how I wish I had known last night was going to be the last one with him for a while. I would have stayed awake and just enjoyed the way it felt being next to him. The light knock on my door interrupted my train of thought. I looked up to see Norma peek her head in.
"Ali honey, Mr. Delaney wants to see you in his office."
I opened my eyes and hopped off of the bed. I so hoped that he was alone, I wanted to talk to him. I needed him to reassure me about "us".
I stopped just outside of Delaney's office and peeked in. He was sitting at his desk, and had Alex and Tyler sitting across from him. My heart sank at the sight of the other two men. I was hoping it would just be Delaney.
"Norma said you wanted to see me" I said announcing my arrival. Delaney looked up and motioned for me to come inside.
"Ali, come in and take a seat please." I walked in and sat down next to Alex. "I told you earlier, that you are going to have someone with you 24 hours a day, especially when you are not within the walls of the property."
"Yes, I remember" I replied wondering where he was going with this.
"Well Alex and Tyler will be your personal escorts. You are not to go anywhere without them unless you are accompanied by me or the other guards. This includes school."
"What? They are going to go to school with me?" I was unable to keep the shock out of my voice.
"Yes, they are"
"Both of them?" I sighed, imagining how ridiculous I would look walking down the halls with these two in tow.
"I have already spoken to the Dean it's settled" That edge had returned to his voice. He was obviously annoyed at having to explain himself.
"I just don't understand how it's going to work. I mean no offense guys, but you two in your suits walking down the halls with me is going to cause a stir to say the least" I turned towards both Alex and Tyler giving them an apologetic look. Alex seemed amused by my outburst.
"No offense taken mam" he said looking at me briefly before turning his attention back towards Delaney who looked anything but amused.
"Alivia, I'm not too concerned about whether or not you are embarrassed. But to be clear, they will try to be as invisible as they can be which includes wearing normal street clothes and posing as students. I am not expecting you to enjoy it, but I do expect that you cooperate." I nodded. "Good, now if you will excuse us we have some more business to discuss."
I stood up and left them to their business. I was annoyed that he dismissed me like I was just anybody, and sad because I had gotten a taste of reality. I didn't like the cold clinical way he was with me in front of them, I didn't like it at all.
The next morning I sat in the kitchen eating breakfast with Norma while I waited for my entourage. It was barely 7am and the house was buzzing with activity. All of the men had come through the kitchen at some point to grab some of the breakfast Norma had made for everyone. There was scrambled eggs, a heap of bacon and croissants. She had made enough to feed an army, I guess in some strange way she was.
"Good Morning Ladies" Delaney's voice causing the butterflies in my stomach to swarm. I looked at him and he smiled warmly back. My heart soared that his mood had greatly improved since last night. "Norma you've made some spread here, I sure the guys appreciate it. Would you mind bringing a couple more croissants out to Demetri and Tony? I heard them grumbling about how they didn't take enough the first go round"
Norma laughed "Sure Mr. Delaney, make sure you help yourself to some breakfast before it's all gone. These boys can eat"
He smiled as he grabbed a plate and began to put some eggs and bacon on it. Norma took another plate and loaded it with croissants and headed outside. I turned to look at Delaney happy for the few moments we would have alone.
"You're wearing your gun?" I asked noticing that over his white button up shirt he was wearing a holster with his pistol tucked in at his side.
"I always do, usually I'm wearing my suit jacket over top so you don't see it."
"I've never noticed it". I said as my eyes wandered up and down his frame. He was sexy enough already, but seeing him with his holster on played heavily on my mind. I was thoroughly enamored with the danger he radiated. My Delaney was a powerful man. "How did you sleep?" I asked curious if I was the only one who struggled with being apart.
He gave me a slight smile, "How do you think?"
"To be honest, I hope you had a shitty night sleep because I wasn't with you" I laughed at my own bluntness.
He leaned down and quickly kissed my forehead "Well you should be thrilled, I barely was able to sleep at all"
I smiled and tilted my head up to kiss him on the lips but we heard Norma coming back into the house, and he turned away from me focusing on his breakfast. I inwardly rolled my eyes, this situation was shit.
"Delaney, do you have my cellphone?" I asked him remembering that I didn't get it back as yet.
"Ah yes, thank you for reminding me." He got up and quickly walked towards his office, returning a few moments later with my cellphone in hand along with small black box. He placed the phone down on the counter and opened the box. Inside was something that resembled a thumb drive.
"This is connected to our monitoring system, one click and it will send a signal to us instantly, almost like a portable panic button. Not that you will ever be alone, but if you find yourself in a situation Ali, just click this and we will know immediately where you are and that you are in trouble."
I took it from him and hoped that I would never have to use it. "Thanks…I guess" I said as I slid it and my cellphone into my purse.
"Try not to keep it in your purse Ali. Keep it in your pocket or something so it's on you and can be accessed quickly"
I nodded took it out of my purse and slid it into my pocket. I looked up and noticed Tyler entering the kitchen. He was wearing jeans and a fashionably faded t-shirt. He looked as if he had stepped out of an Abercrombie catalog. The girls at school were going to be all over the new kid at school. I laughed to myself wondering if they had prepared for that as part of their training.
"Mr. Delaney, Alex and I are ready to go and will be waiting out front for her whenever you are done" Delaney nodded and Tyler turned and left as quickly as he had come in.
"Um, what am I invisible? He could have at least spoken to me" I shot at Delaney my annoyance obvious.
"Relax Ali. His job isn't to be your friend. That's just how Tyler is. He is focused and doesn't get involved with our clients any more than absolutely necessary."
"Jesus if I'm going to be stuck with them for the duration of this crap they can at least be human and civil with me. Besides is that what I am…just a client?"
He laughed at my displeasure "calm down killer, you know you're much more than a client to me, now come you have to get going. I don't want the boys to be late their first day of school." He put his hand behind my back and led me out of the house.
This was going to be an interesting day to say the least.