The Men with the Golden Cuffs(7)

By: Lexi Blake

Lara’s voice came across the line with the force of a bullet. Several bullets. Lara spoke in a rapid-fire manner, peppering her with questions. “Are you out? Is everything done? How do you feel now? So, who did Ian assign to you? I know he wouldn’t take it himself, but I expect someone good.”

Lara had been the one to send her to McKay-Taggart. She would not be pleased that Serena had been turned down. Serena ignored the first questions. Lara would only really be interested in the answer to her last question. “Sorry. I don’t think they’re going to take the case.”

She was silent for a moment. Lara Anderson was a bitch and a half. It worked for her as an agent. It sometimes scared the crap out of Serena.

“I will handle this.” The phone clicked off.

“Is über-bitch on the case? Goddamn it! What are you doing in the fast lane, idiot? Seriously? Do more than twenty miles a fucking hour!” The horn blared, and the small vehicle in front of them obediently moved to the right lane. Bridget was the very definition of road rage.

“She’s going to try, but I don’t think these guys go down easy. And, honestly, I don’t think I want them on the case. If Lara forces them to take it, they won’t be serious about it.” And they would charge her out the ass. A pissed-off guardian probably wasn’t the best guardian.

But when she’d first met Adam Miles, she’d felt like he liked her. He’d smiled and been friendly. There had been genuine concern on his face. She’d felt safe with him. But it meant nothing since Jake Dean seemed so damn willing to shove her to the side.

But the truth was neither one of them would accept her if they read her work. That would sink her. Jake had probably run her pen name. That was why he’d rejected her.

“Sweetie, we’re home. Let’s go inside.” Chris got out of the car. He opened the back door and held out his hand. Bridget ran around the car and stood beside him.

Serena was enveloped in their arms as she got out of the car. Tears pricked her eyes. No matter what her ex said, she was loved. Even if she only had these two people beside her, she was blessed beyond measure.

Serena wrapped her arms around them. Whatever happened, she would be all right.

“Okay, sweets,” Chris said, squaring his shoulders. “Let’s do this thing.”

She sniffled a little. It seemed wrong that she now had security protocols for walking into her own house. It seemed like a bit of overkill, but Chris and Bridget insisted on it. And it really did make her feel better.

Her two newest purchases had been all about safety. The alarm trilled as she entered her house. And her dog panted and wagged his massive tail.

“Hey there Mojo!” She turned off the alarm and got to one knee, the big mutt licking every inch of her face.

“Yes, Mojo is such a guard dog. Are you going to love the stalker to death? Yes, you are. You’re going to take him down by humping his leg!” Bridget rubbed a hand down the dog’s back. “You couldn’t have gotten a pit bull?”

She tightened her arms around Mojo’s neck. “I went in to get a killer, but they were going to put him down. He’s so sweet. I had to save him. And he’s big enough that he should make people think twice.”

Chris stood looking at them, shaking his head. There was a baseball bat in his hand. He’d bought it right after the first death threat and placed it just inside her front door. “You two stay here until I get back.”

He walked off, doing his normal perimeter sweep. She had gone with him a few times since he’d decided on this particular protocol. He would walk through each room, checking her closets and even looking under the beds.

Bridget walked to her answering machine. She frowned at the blinking light. “What’s the bet?”

“I’m not betting. We both know who it is. I need to change my number.” Serena filled Mojo’s bowl with his favorite kibble.

Bridget pushed the button and Doyle’s voice came over the line. Cool and crisp, he was every inch the pretentious professor, even in a voice mail message.

“All right, Serena. I got your latest little legal form. My lawyer is looking over it right now. I don’t think anyone with half a mind will buy it. You wrote that smut while I was supporting you with a legitimate, respectable job. You wrote that filth on my dime. I want half. I’m not going away until you start paying me. Do you understand?” Then an angry click.