Today’s Snippet Saturday is about fights. There are physical fights and emotional fights that I could choose from. There’s a physical fight in my upcoming Deliberate Deceptions a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith I could have put up, but I figured you might need a reminder of Chad’s character, who is the hero in Deliberate Deceptions.  So I pulled out a scene from Personal Protection where he’s arguing with a very stubborn Sam about accepting his own bodyguard.

copyright© 2009 by Leah Braemel

Chad carefully slid the photograph back into the envelope. “This has been going on for three months now, Sam. At least let me assign a couple of CPOs to you.”

Sam scowled and flopped into his chair. “Come on, Chad, I don’t need close protection. Of all people, you know I’m trained in escape and avoidance techniques. In fact, I’m better than anyone you’d assign.” Sam shifted in his chair. “Besides, what’s it say to clients if the owner of a protection agency can’t protect himself?”

“It says he’s smart that he knows he needs an extra set of eyes. Damn it, Sam, this is no idle threat. You’re being followed. Stalked. And someone broke into your apartment, remember? The bastard could have set a bomb to go off when you opened the door.”

“Yeah, well…”

“What’s Mark say about the threats?”

Sam shrugged one shoulder. He’d meant to talk to his Dallas-based partner last time he’d flown down to Dallas but then Mark announced Jodi’s pregnancy and Sam hadn’t wanted to intrude on his friend’s happiness. And now he felt uncomfortable discussing it via email. Oh, by the way, thought you should know, someone’s taking pictures of me. Yeah, that would make him sound a real lame-ass weenie.

“You haven’t told him about them, have you?”

“Damn it, Chad, there’ve been a half dozen pictures in the past three months. And the phone calls—it’s some kid who dialed a random number and got lucky, that’s all.”

“Christ, Sam, listen to yourself. You get a picture doctored so it looks like your brains have been shot out, you’re getting phone calls with some mechanized voice telling you to prepare to die—”

Sam covered one fist with the other, cracked his knuckles. “If they wanted me dead they could have shot me any one of those times, but they didn’t. They took my picture a couple times and made a coupla calls. Big deal.”

“What about the break-in? No,” Chad corrected himself. “They didn’t need to break in, they had a key. And they knew the code to disable your security system so they could take as much time as they wanted. And yet here you sit trying to pretend it’s…what? A kid pranking you? Some practical joke?”

Yeah, the break-in had been hard to ignore. But damn it, that meant he knew whoever it was who was stalking him. Intimately. This wasn’t something he wanted to call the cops in on. He’d handle it himself. “So they emptied the ketchup bottle on my bed, along with one of those damned photos. That’s it. They’re not trying to hurt me, Chad.”

Chad forced his shoulders down and exhaled through his mouth in a long slow blow. “Sam, if I were a client receiving these pictures, you’d recommend I wear a vest every time I went out in public. You’d tell me to change up my routine—to take different routes at different times—”

“I’m already doin’ that. I check my six regularly—no one’s following me. They’re trying to psych me out, that’s all.”

Chad continued as if he hadn’t been interrupted. “You’d insist I used one of our special bullet-proof limos with a bodyguard trained in defensive driving as the chauffeur, and you’d assign a team of Close Protective Officers to guard you twenty-four/seven. And if I still didn’t listen, what would you say?”

Sam slumped back in his chair. “I’d ask you if your will was in order.”

Chad folded his arms across his chest and rocked on his heels. “So tell me, Sam, you got your will in order?”

Don’t forget to visit the other Snippet Saturday participants:
Lissa Matthews
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah DevlinEliza Gayle
Shelli StevensTJ Michaels
Lauren Dane
Jody Wallace
Helen Kay Dimon
Sasha White

Snippet Saturday – Fight