The Wrong Type of Seduction

27 Val’s Day Job


27: Val’s Day Job

Val got off the plane and followed her business partner through the airport terminal as music flooded her ear. The jazz quartet was the same group that had played at Matt’s concert. She’d never heard of them before the concert. After being completely impressed by them, she downloaded their album. That’s when she learned they were new and were scouted and produced by Matt. And their debut album had just released two months prior.

When her business partner, Tiffany, turned to speak, Val took the buds from her ear.

“I got a text that our car is out front, waiting. You go on ahead and I’ll grab your bag,” Tiffany said in her proper English accent handing her carry-on to Val.

Nodding, she took it and headed out the airport.

Out front, she looked for the black car and grinned when she saw a guy waving to get her attention. She walked up to the big guy with short brown hair and a big happy smile.

“Welcome back, ma’am. The UK missed you.” Roger hugged her then stepped back. “I know, I know, personal space.”

“Please. But it is nice to see you, too. Shall we?” She sat up front with him as he told her about everything that Tiffany hadn’t told her. Roger knew the grit of each situation, while Tiffany gave her the pretty version.

“Yeah, rumor has it that Lee is on drugs again. Poor bastard. We get him clean and he can’t even stay that way.”

“I thought we had someone watching him?”

“We did. The arse touched my guy…inappropriately.”

“Wait… Lee is gay?”

“Nope, if he was, I’d have put a woman on him — strong woman. What the guy is, is a motherfucker. The bloke just wanted our guy out of the way so he could ditch him and get his drugs.”

“So he assaults our people just to…” She blew out a breath.

“Tiffany already handled it. I love this peach. Love her. She threatened to take Lee to court. His family scrambled and paid damages. Now they are begging us not to give up on him, because they know we’re his last chance.”

“No chances. Not until he decides for himself to get clean. I don’t want any more of my people being harassed like that. We’ve already gone above and beyond,” she said cutting her losses. 

“But the intel we get from the family has been good.” Roger made a compelling argument. The information and the recommendations had helped them expand quicker than anticipated. 

“True, it will hurt to lose them, but we’re supposed to be image consultants, not babysitters. Right now, they’re taking advantage of our arrangement. No. More.”

“Yes, ma’am. So how long are you staying this time?”

She grinned. “Just long enough for you to take me to that restaurant.”

“Great! And they got this new menu. You’ll love it.”

She listened as he rambled on  until Tiffany got in the car.

They drove to their London office where Val began to work on things that Tiffany couldn’t send her over email. Val usually managed her part of the business remotely from New York but some things were so highly confidential that Tiffany didn’t feel secure sending them over computer. While Val had assured the woman countless times that the system was secure enough, Tiffany was still weary.

Val understood that her partner, as capable as she was, just wanted to see Val again. That was her excuse. So to ease the younger woman’s fears, Val came to visit.

Tiffany was a quiet woman, the total opposite of Roger, but the two worked well keeping the company running — Tiffany as admin and Roger as ground support. They didn’t need Val, but they often deferred to her about things that were a little more delicate like picky high profile clients who valued discretion. Though she and Tiffany shared ownership of the company, Val’s plan had always been for the woman to take over. All she needed to do was build up Tiffany’s self-esteem more.

Sitting across from her, Tiffany rattled off the day’s agenda and Val had to concentrate to stay focused. Usually she didn’t have trouble shoving her mind into work. But lately it was becoming a chore when her thoughts kept drifting to that sinfully dimpled smile…

Recalling what she saw of Matt’s apartment, she hadn’t expected such an older more mature feel. It was wood furnishings that looked more traditional, less modern. Most people were getting away from wood because they didn’t want to keep it polished, but Matt’s furniture was clean and well taken care of. Books that looked to have been actually read lined two whole walls. The only thing she could see it needing was a fireplace to round out the old world look. Though the entire apartment was spacious, there was a comforting and warm feel to it that made it seem a little more…intimate. 

“What’s that expression?” Tiffany gasped, clearly shocked that Val could spacing out. “Everything okay?”

“Sorry, Tiffany. I was-“

“You met someone in the U.S. didn’t you? Roger was right! You are different,” Tiffany said blinking wide-eyed in shock.

Val just stared at the woman in surprise. Was she that obvious? Hell, she thought she had hid it well. “What are you two talking about? Met who?”

Tiffany snorted. “Don’t try it. We’ve worked closely with you for four years. We know you well enough. Why do you think I bring you special teas on the days you get frustrated? Even though you try to mask all of your emotions, we see. You get quiet when you’re mad or frustrated. When you are excited, you become…slightly playful. We know you’re about the business and don’t want anyone close, but we see things. And that expression is new!” Tiffany grinned, brown eyes flashing with delight. “Good on you. I hope you are happy.”

Val just shook her head surprised that the normally quiet woman had so much to say. “Back to work, please.”

Tiffany nodded, dropping her head as if scolded. Though the woman could handle professional conflict like a champ, she fled from personal conflict the moment it rose. That was because her ex-husband had been an evil bastard that hit her whenever he felt insecure. Which was often. Val found the woman at the first shelter she worked in and was instantly drawn to her brilliant mind. With her help, Val started their image consultation firm, and they had been working together since.

The two worked into the evening when Roger barged in the office and demanded they take him to supper. They ate at the restaurant that Roger loved and chatted at Val who barely listened.

“See, she’s doing it again,” Tiffany said to Roger.

“I told you.” The big man grinned.

“Stop it.” Val waved her hand to the waitress who came with the check. “I’m leaving tomorrow night, so if there is anything else that needs my attention-“

“Oh, yeah, the Ye Jun job…” Roger groaned dropping his mug of ale on the table with a thunk. “That bastard you had us deliver to-“

“Mr. Ussan.” Tiffany correct.

“Him!” Roger pointed at her. “That son of a bitch-“

“Paid one million pounds for the sculpture.” Tiffany added.

“I don’t care how much he paid, I don’t like what he said about you, m’lady.” Roger grumped, cracking his hairy knuckles.

“Something about my ass right?” Val shrugged.

Tiffany gasped.

“Not professional at all.” Roger scowled. “I don’t like him one bit.”

“It’s just words. And he doesn’t touch me.”

“I don’t care!” Roger leaned into the table. “If you go any where near him again, I want Norman with you. Do you understand?”

“Roger, he is our top informant. And if I so much as want to sleep with him, I’ll do as I please.”

His voice grew darkly serious. “Then I hope you don’t mind Norman watching.”

Val blew out a exasperated breath and Tiffany smirked.

“And how is Master Norman’s training going?” Val asked watching as Roger’s face contorted into a grimace.


“He’s currently guarding one of the princes of Denmark,” Tiffany said proudly.

“He should be guarding you, m’lady.”

Val shook her head. “I have no need of a bodyguard anymore, Roger.”

“But ma’am, your mother-“

“Is dead and her rules along with her family’s rules no longer apply to me.”

“But her family is not dead. If only you reclaimed your name-“

“My past is dead to me. All of it.” She stared him down.

“I am your past, too, so you plan to bury me as well?”

She looked him straight in his eyes. “Don’t. Tempt. Me.”

He dropped his head. “Yes, m’lady.”

“And stop calling me that.”

“You’ll always be the heir whether you like it or not…” Roger muttered before picking up his mug and gulping it down.

Tiffany fidgeted with her fingers nervously. “Umm…before you depart back to the States, can I suggest…well… Roger had concerns about Mr. Norman. He was hoping you would do an inspection and see what else he needed to work on.” The weary woman glanced over at Roger who just grunted agreement before running a large hand through salt and pepper hair.

“Very well. I’ll drop in on him,” Val said gathering her purse ready to depart before she and Roger got into another fight over things neither of them would ever agree on.

Twenty-four hours later she was in Copenhagen climbing the steps of a small apartment building. When she found the right unit, she heard loud music blasting through the door. Frowning she knocked. And of course he didn’t hear it. She knocked again calling out his name.


Taking in a deep breath, she tried the handle. 


Good thing Roger gave her the key. She used it to open the apartment door. Loud rock music assaulted her on entry. She walked into the narrow hallway and rounded into the kitchen only to get a metal barrel in the face. She looked up from the gun at her nose to the man holding it and just held his deep dark gaze.

“Ay!” The twenty-one year old grinned lowering the gun. “Sorry ma’am.” He rushed to turn down the music. Val looked around the tiny apartment noticing how sparse it was — perfect for a temporary residence.

Val traveled into the living room and watched Norman grab a shirt from the tiny sofa. He pulled over his sweaty head. From the smell of musk in the room, she’d guess he’d been working out.

“I was told you wanted me to inspect you,” she said clutching her purse and looking back up to meet his gaze.

“Yes, it’s good to see you,” he said standing cock sure and grinning. He was a tall good looking young man with dark skull trimmed hair, rosy skin, wide shoulders, and rugged features. If he had behaved in the UK Special Forces, the talented man would have probably moved up the chain of command pretty fast. But his wild side took over his common since. Though he’d been with her only a year, she could see a remarkable improvement. Roger really did work miracles.

“Good to see you as well.” She nodded her head. “Two things-“

“Right to business then?”

“Always. You’re music, how can you hear when you are called for duty if you can’t hear the phone?”

“Ah, I have it in my pants pocket on vibrate.”

“Good, but try not to blast out your eardrums. Hearing is very important to every bodyguard.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Second, I’m sure Roger has warned you never to point a gun unless you have every intention of shooting. They should have drummed that into you in basic training. You’re in a small apartment with limited mobility and a gun accidentally going off could go through the walls and kill an innocent. Don’t pull a gun to impress, ever.”

“But the fact I noticed an intruder even with the music blasting and was prepared to take you down was impressive, right?”


“Not even a little?” He frowned.

“Did you mine the ore that made the muzzle?”


“Did you design the machine that molds the chamber?”

“No, but-“

“Did you even balance the gun powder formula for each and every bullet?”

He blew out a breath.

“Then, Norman, I’m not impressed. What impresses me is when you think smart and work smart. Are we clear?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then I have a plane to catch. And you have more to learn. Listen to Roger and stop with the bravado. It’s only effective in the movies.” She turned to leave.

“Wow, I forgot how tough you were.”

He forgot? She turned slight back and eyed him in disapproval. “You forgot? How? Did you think this was a game when Roger recruited you?”

“No, no, I didn’t mean… I mean I know how serious this is-“

“Are you sure? There was a reason we had your name changed and you left your whole life behind.”

“Forgive me.”

“Don’t forget, again.” She turned back toward the door. “And remember what line of work you’ll potentially be in. Guarding a royal prince is one thing. Guarding me is another.”

“So I’m still not qualified to be your bodyguard?”

“Mine the ore, Norman, and then we’ll talk.” Val waved her hand before leaving. The one thing Mr. Special Forces still hadn’t learned was that no one was interested in a showboat for a bodyguard. Showboats would either get the client killed or themselves needlessly.

She got on the phone with Roger. “I know you want him to guard me, but he’s not ready. Dumb down his detail. I want him to work for smaller less exciting clients. He needs to learn humility.”

“What if he gets board and quits?” Roger asked sounding concerned.

“Then he quits. You know how this works, Roger,” she said before hanging up. Then she blew out a breath. No matter how much she wanted her life to be simple and the past gone, something always lingered… I don’t need a damned bodyguard…


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