Bodyguard (Den of Thieves, #2)

BOOK: Bodyguard (Den of Thieves, #2)
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Bodyguard

a Den of Thieves Novel

By Allison Cosgrove

Bodyguard © 2016 by Allison Cosgrove

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

First edition March 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1512209068

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Bodyguard (Den of Thieves, #2)

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

To All The Brokenhearted,

May You Find A Way To Love Again.

Chapter 1

T
he sun was shining and the birds were chirping. Olivia was having brunch at her local cafe just like she did every Saturday morning. She liked sitting on the patio in the warmer months, watching the people come and go. It was a nice break from her hectic everyday as a county prosecutor.

She took a sip of her coffee just as tires screeched. Olivia’s head snapped up in the direction of the sound. A dark black sedan had just finished turning the corner at the end of her street.

It picked up speed as it shot down the road towards where she was sitting on her front porch.

Then just as suddenly as it had started racing towards her, it started slowing down.

The passenger window rolled down and the muzzle of a gun appeared.

The next few seconds passed by as if they were hours. In nightmarish slow motion she watched the flash of gun going off, heard the pop-pop as it fired a second time and felt the air whoosh by as the bullets passed by her.

Someone was shooting at her!

Olivia’s breath caught in her chest as she dove off of her chair to the ground as the pop-pop continued.

The bullets whizzed by her head, striking the chair where she sat. They didn’t stop. They just kept coming.

Pop.

Pop.

The last one found its target. Her left shoulder felt like she had been punched. She gasped in the air that had been knocked out of her and screamed.

The fire engulfed her shoulder and shot down the side of her body. She lay down as close to the ground as she could and whimpered. She could hear sirens in the background.

One of the men yelled something to the other and the car suddenly picked up speed and shot off down the road.

She didn’t move. She couldn’t. The pain in her shoulder was so bad she could barely catch a breath. She lay there on the ground watching the pool of blood slowly growing beside her.

She listened to the sirens getting closer and prayed they would make it in time. She didn’t want to die. Not like this. It hurt too much. 

Bright lights flashed. Red and Blue. She closed her eyes. She was tired and the pain was getting to be too much.

“Over here! We have one down!” a woman’s voice called out.

She could feel hands on her. She was so tired.

She closed her eyes.

"Stay with me. Stay with me." She could hear the woman's voice but it sounded so far away.

She tried to open her eyes; they were so heavy she didn't have the strength.

"Ma'am? Can you hear me? Ma'am—" the bodiless voice got further and further away with each word.

Then her world faded to black.

*****

B
o closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was early morning at D.O.T. Recovery Services and he had the small weight room all to himself.

Just the way he liked it.

He started every morning the same way: into the office before anyone else to use the weight room in peace and quiet.

Not that he didn’t like working out with the others. Cat was always a good work out partner. She kept him in line and on target, but he was one who enjoyed his solitude. He needed to find his balance in the morning before the rest of the world took his attention and whisked him off again.

He opened his eyes and looked in the mirror that covered one of the walls. He was shirtless, tiny beads of sweat coated his torso. His muscles ached slightly but it was a good ache, one he looked forward to daily. 

He had been working out for over an hour and he was finally ready to start his day. It was a good thing too; he could hear sounds coming from the main room of the office. Everyone was slowly filtering in for the day.

He opened his eyes again. It was time to start his day. He took another deep breath and turned around as the door to the weight room opened and Cat walked in.

“Good morning,” Cat sang cheerfully, as she gave him a light pat on the shoulder, “Have a good weekend?”

“Decent.” Weekends for him weren’t any different than the rest of the week. He spent the weekends prepping for upcoming cases and going over their gear to make sure that it was all in top working order in case they needed it and working out at the gym.

“Let me guess. You did the same thing you do every other weekend?”

He nodded.

“Bo you really need to live it up a little. Enjoy the finer points in life.”

“Like what?”

“Oh hell, I don’t know. Come out for drinks with us on a Friday night or something. You know, meet other people.” She threw her hands up in the air.

They’d had this conversation more than once in the past. He had tried to go out with the rest of the team, but in the end everyone went home with other people and he went home alone. He had no wish to meet new people and go through the awkward conversation, the pretenses and the unspoken promises.

None of it appealed to him in the least. Then there was the drinking. The others tended to drink a lot. He, however, did not. He might have a beer or two once in awhile, but never to the excess that his teammates did. He didn’t understand it really – why anyone would willingly put himself or herself into a position to act like a fool and not be in complete control for some of the time.

That wasn’t something that he had the inclination to participate in.

“We know that won’t work, Cat. Why do you insist on trying to change the way I do things?”

“Well you just seem to be so lonely all the time. And you never do anything fun or exciting. It’s just the same old routine.” She gave an exasperated sigh.

“Maybe I like routine.”

“Ugh! I give up,” Cat said throwing her arms out. “The rest of the gang is on their way in, you might want to get cleaned up and get into the office.”

“Something going on today?”

“Jake wants to meet with us about something. Not sure what but... you know Jake.”

He nodded. Jake didn’t like to be kept waiting, a stickler for being on time and organized. He liked progress.

All the things he himself appreciated. Seven and a half years in the military will do that to a man.

“See you in the main room,” Cat said waving as she walked out of the room.

*****

“G
ood morning, everyone!” Jake said walking into the room and passing out fresh coffees as he went.

––––––––

B
o watched as everyone dutifully accepted their coffees. He noted that while Sebastian had not arrived as yet, everyone else was there.

“You are looking mighty pleased with life this morning,” Rudy observed, sitting down at his bank of computer monitors in the back of the room and bending down to boot up the towers.

“As opposed to what?” Jake asked eyeing Rudy.

“Well, l have noticed you’ve been under a lot of stress lately...” Rudy’s voice trailed off and Bo could tell by the look on his face that he wished he hadn’t spoken up at all.

“Really now?” Jake glanced around the room and the rest of the team either shrugged or turned away to avoid his eyes.

When he looked at Bo, Bo just shrugged his shoulders and offered,

“Jake, you have been a little on edge lately. It’s not hard for us to see it.”

“Hmph,” Jake grumbled, taking a swing of his coffee before continuing, “Well, if I have seemed a little ‘on edge’, as you put it, or if I have crossed any lines with any of you I am sincerely sorry.”

“Jake, look, we weren’t trying to—” Bo started again, trying to smooth any ruffled feathers.

“No, no. It’s fine really, it is.” Jake held up his hand to silence Bo, “I completely understand everyone’s concern. I have been a little off my game lately and for that I really am sorry and I do have a valid reason for being that way.”

He paused to take another gulp of coffee and everyone waited for him to continue.

“The reason I’ve been stressing out is that the offers are not as full as they have been in recent months.” He shrugged, “We haven’t had a solid assignment that brought in real money in a long time.”

“We had that thing with that woman and her ancient artifact thing—” Cat piped up.

“That was over a month ago, Cat.”

“The LCPD has been keeping us busy for the last few weeks,” Paul offered

“Yes, they have and thank God for that because otherwise none of us would have had a pay cheque at the end of the week.”

“Really, Gracie?” Paul looked over at Gracie who was fighting with her papers at her desk, trying to stay out of the conversation.

“He is right. We’re not broke. At least not yet. And really it is not something to truly worry about right now but at the same time, Jake is right,“ Gracie nodded as she spoke, her cats eye glasses sliding slowly down her nose as she continued, “The work we do for the LCPD, while it pays the bills to a point, is not enough to sustain us completely. We are slowly dipping into our buffer money. It will eventually cause a huge problem if we don’t stop the slow bleed.”

“Thank you, Gracie, for explaining it.” Jake smiled at her before turning back to the rest of the group.

“Why didn’t you tell us this earlier?” Paul asked.

“To be honest, while it bothered me to some degree, I also knew we would eventually pull out of it and get back on the right path again.” Jake shrugged, “And to be quite truthful, I didn’t want anyone else to have to worry about it. That’s the job of the team leader: to worry about these things.”

“Fair enough.” Bo nodded. “I am pretty sure that any one of us here would have shouldered that worry alone.”

Bo knew all too well what it meant to have to lead a team into situations unknown from his time in the military. Far too many times he would have given anything to have been able to speak freely with one of those soldiers under him about the dangers they were headed into but he had not wanted to burden any of his men with that worry. Nor had he wanted that subconscious fear to erode their abilities or their confidence.

He understood entirely why Jake had chosen not to inform the others.

“If that’s the case then the reason you have been in a rather chipper mood today must mean that something has cropped up to improve our situation,” Rudy brightened.

“Indeed something has.” Jake grinned.

“Did we win the lotto last night?” Cat asked returning the grin.

“Not unless you were the one that bought the winning lotto ticket,” Jake cracked back.

Bo took a deep breath again and finally sat down on the edge of his desk. He could feel the tension that had been in the air moment before lifting rapidly. They had all been friends for years and it always made him uncomfortable when they were at odds with each other. It didn’t happen often but when it did, it didn’t sit right with him.

Since he had left the army, these people were the only family and friends he had, really.

“I thought you, being our fearless leader and all, would be the one who procured the winning ticket," Cat shot back, her eyes lit up at the playful banter. "Just goes to show you can't trust a man to do such a simple task."

Everyone burst into laughter.

“I do apologize for any inconvenience that not winning the lotto may have caused, but I just don't think it's in the cards right now.”

“Do tell then, Jake,” Paul said, sweeping his hand across the room. “We are all waiting on our fearless leader to tell us the good news.”

“You know we do a lot of work for the LCPD and they trust us to take care of our end of things in a polite and professional manner. We have been asked to take care of a special project for them where they require the utmost delicacy and sensitivity on our part.”

“I take it by your enthusiasm that this job also comes with a sizable paycheck along with the level of delicacy and sensitivity that you described,” Rudy's eyebrows raised in curiosity

Neither could help but wonder what it could be that had gotten Jake so excited about a job with the LCPD after having just said that the money they ere already making wasn't quite enough to cover their expenses each week.

“Yes, it does that, my geeky friend.”

“Are you going to tell us what we are going to be doing or are we just going to have to sit here and guess?” Cat said seriously. Gone was the joking tone from moments before.

That was one thing about her he truly liked: while she was one of the first to join in on some playful banter, she was a big believer in the idea but there was a time for work and a time for play.

BOOK: Bodyguard (Den of Thieves, #2)
10.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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