For today’s Snippet, we’re talking character. I waffled between posting an excerpt or doing something a little different – a character interview, but decided this section of Personal Protection gave you a bit better insight into both Sam Watson and Rosie Ramos than an interview could do.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Sam Watson owns a bodyguard company called Hauberk Protection. He’s being stalked – he’s been receiving pictures that have been altered to show him being shot or with a target over his chest. He’s also had someone break into his apartment, bypassing their security to leave one of the doctored photos on his bed. Despite all this, he’s ignored the threat to himself and refused to accept any bodyguards. His second-in-command, Chad, has brought in reinforcements and is forcing him to accept his own personal protection…
Chad tossed the file folder on Sam’s desk, then hitched one hip on the desk. “Sam’s also received threatening calls to his home phone.”
“Three.” They looked up as one, startled that Sam had rejoined the conversation. “You’re making it sound like I’ve received dozens. I’ve only received three calls.”
From the corner of her eye, Rosie saw Chad shaking his head in frustration.
“Did you recognize the voice?” she asked.
“No. It was a male, no accent that I could hear, street noises in the background but nothing recognizable.” He bit the words out. “First time he talked about how he’d seen me that day and how easy it would be to take me out. How he wished he’d had his gun, then he hung up. He’s gotten a bit more creative since but nothing specific about what I did to make him want to kill me.” He resumed his study of the parking lot.
“What’s Caller ID show?” Kris asked.
“He’s using pay phones at various locations around the city,” Chad answered when Sam didn’t respond. “We’ve checked the addresses, but so far there’ve been no security cameras near the phones. When we dusted the phones for prints, they’d been wiped clean.”
While Kris, Chad and Andy continued to discuss who might have that information, and how easy it might or might not be to find, Rosie let the conversation flow past her and observed Sam ignoring them all. He had eschewed protection for three months, and even now stood in front of a window, a clear target. Was he trying to prove his invincibility? That he wasn’t afraid?
His eyes scanned the rear parking lot, the field beyond. Alert. Aware. But not an ounce of fear.
Maybe he was being driven by guilt. Did he have a death wish? Because if he did, that would make her job that much harder.
She glanced back down at the photo of the leggy blonde. What she wouldn’t give for another eight inches in height and blonde hair. She’d tried peroxide once, but it wasn’t worth the trouble, not with her complexion. But maybe she should consider it again if that’s what it took to get Sam Watson’s attention.
In the reflection of the glass, his eyes met hers. She wanted to look away, but couldn’t, the darkness of his gaze drawing her in, compelling her to keep the contact. There was heat in his gaze, need.
“With all due respect, Mr. Watson, may I ask you to move away from the window? If someone is watching, you’re presenting a good target right now,” Rosie said, glad to hear her voice was steady.
There was a moment’s hesitation before Sam sat in his chair. There was a flare of frustration in his eyes before he veiled his expression.
No, not guilt. Frustration at having to place his life in someone else’s hands. Sam Watson was a pride-filled ego-driven walking pile of testosterone.
I’m not letting this whacko get you on my watch, buddy. Better a hit to your ego than your life.
As if sensing her challenge, Sam leaned back, dropping his chin to his chest. His gaze dropped from hers to her lips, then made a leisurely perusal of her chest before slowly travelling a reverse route and catching her gaze once more.
Don’t forget to drop by the other participants’ blogs and read their snippets too…