by Eileen Troemel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Former military, John Vellum is a Protector. He protects the elite. The elite can be difficult but John knows a firm hand will keep his clients safe but Mel is not what he expects.
The danger to her life is real and imminent. While trying to keep her safe, he learns she is spunky, vulnerable, and sexy. Amidst kidnapping attempts and other threats, John’s desire leads to something deeper if he can only get her to trust him.
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files on his comp. “This is going to be interesting,” he muttered. Taking the com, he knocked on
the Princess' door and waited. Princess Margarita kept him waiting. He was giving her another
The door opened. She stood there in t-shirt with no bra and shorts. “What,” she said.
John swallowed as lust slammed into him. “Your com,” he said keeping his eyes on her face
and gray eyes.
“Great,” Mel said. “I told you to keep it.”
“Do you want them going through the station,” John asked.
“Bubble killer,” she grumbled and took it from him. He stepped back from her. She followed
him out. “So who did you piss off to get this assignment?”
“I beg your pardon,” John said.
“When I lived in the monstrosity, the security people begged not to be on my detail,” Mel
said. Her com chimed multiple times, but she continued to ignore it.
“Are you going to answer your com,” he asked.
“Not until I have to,” Mel said. “Can we get some food?”
“While we can order from any of the restaurants on this level, I’d prefer to wait,” John asked.
“Great,” Mel said sounding like it was anything but. “Do any of them have a good burger?”
“The menus are on the comp,” John said. “I’d prefer to wait until my team is here. It restricts
those who have access…”
Ignoring him, Mel walked over to the comp, brought up the menus and started shifting
through. “How the hell does this count as a burger. Shit, what is all this crap,” she complained as
she moved through the list. “Oh, here we go. You want one?”
John ran a hand through his hair. “Did you hear what I said about security,” he asked.
“I heard,” Mel said. “The thing is, I don’t care. No one has bothered with me for the last
three years. You get a juicy assignment of babysitting me. I get to eat real meat instead of the
more affordable substitutes while I’m annoyed with all this crap.”
John smiled at her description but the information he was given belied her assessment.
“There are some serious threats,” he said.
She turned from the menu, paused in ordering momentarily. “Like from who?”
“There were briefings sent to you,” John said.
“Oh, those,” Mel said. “I don’t agree with the assessments.” She turned back to the menu.
“You want anything?”
“Princess Margarita,” John said. “Perhaps you might return to your room. It’s inappropriate
for you to be dressed so casually in my presence. Security is my top concern and if you could
wait for a meal, it will assist in ensuring you are safe and secure.”
Mel went very still, too still. She took a deep breath, seemed to argue with herself. John
waited for her reaction. Shaking her head, she turned, “There are a few things I’m going to tell
you about me. First, don’t call me Princess. I’m Mel. If you can’t manage that, get a
replacement. Second, my own mother can’t get me to dress like a princess. If you don’t like what
I’m wearing, don’t look. Third, I’ll get a damn meal when I want a damn meal. If you don’t want
me ordering, then I’ll be happy to go back to my place alone and get food.”
“Pri.. Ma’am,” John modified how he addressed her. “In order for this to work, there has to
“I’m here, aren’t I,” she said her temper starting to break through. “I’ve let you drag me to
this hideous suite. I’ve let you pull me out of my job which I’m probably going to lose now
thank you very much.”
“Why do you need a job,” John asked seeing her worry at the job loss.
“Because I pay my own damn way,” Mel said. She threw up her hands, stalked back into the
bedroom and slammed the door. John wasn’t sure what to think. He heard her moving around in
the room. She came out again, wearing pants, a bra and a long sleeve top which covered her.
“I’m going out,” she growled stalking around him.
“No,” he said stepping in front of her. “Princess Margarita, your safety is my highest
“Get out of my way,” Mel said. “You can take that damn com and shove it. You can take this
assignment and shove it. I don’t care one bit what threats there are, I’m out.”
“Your disregard for threats is what got your friend killed,” John said digging deep into what
he knew about her. “Are you sure you want to continue your reckless behavior?”
“You have no clue,” Mel said hurt flashed across her face. “It wasn’t my disregard for threats
which caused her death.”
“The two of you snuck out,” John said regretting the hurt he saw the topic caused her. “She
died and you didn’t.”
Princess Margarita you have a call waiting, please take the call in your suite
“Fuck,” Mel said. She stalked over to the com, pressed the button to see her sister.
“It’s about time, Margarita,” Sabrina said. “You’ve upset mother. Why do you have to be
“What do you want, Sabrina,” Margarita said.
“Mother needs you to do some diplomatic schmoozing at three events,” Sabrina said.
“No,” Margarita said. “I’m not … I walked away.”
“You can’t walk away from your family,” Sabrina said. “Now I’ve sent the times of the three
events. Do you have anything decent to wear? What am I thinking, of course you don’t. I’ll see
to it some suitable clothing is sent to you. Margarita, don’t mess around with this.”
“I’m not doing this,” Margarita said.
“Mommy and daddy are really stressed out, do you want to cause more problems,” Sabrina
said. “Be a good girl for once in your life and do as you’re told.”
“And if I don’t,” Margarita said.
“I’ll send Michael down to you,” Sabrina said her eyes narrowing as she watched her sister
take in the threat.
“Bitch,” Margarita said. “Fine, but I’m not wearing anything stupid. You can send someone
here but I’ll pick the outfit, unless you want me going in my comfortable clothes.”
“Fine, but read the briefs and do what you're supposed to at these receptions,” Sabrina said.
“Tell the rest of them to leave me alone,” Margarita said. She closed the connection, hung
her head. “Fuck.” Without a word, she returned to her bedroom.
John stared after her and wondered if he could contact Michael.
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