Dancing With DangerBy: Cristina Grenier
Chapter 1: Betrayal
“Did everything go according to plan, Mr. Kingston?” Carlos asked as Dorian slipped into the car and closed the door behind him.
“As much as it could, I suppose,” Dorian replied, cut glass accent sharp and clear. He leaned back in his seat and buckled himself in, waiting for his bodyguard to get in the car as well. There had to be a check first, to make sure no one had planted a bomb of any sort under the car while it had been mostly empty, even if Carlos had been there the whole time.
“Standard protocol, Mr. Kingston,” the burly man had told him the first time he’d complained about it. It slowed him down and made him late, but the retort had been that they should just leave earlier and schedule time in for the checks.
Dorian, for all he could be hot headed and preferred not to be told what to do, had to admit that being late was preferable to being dead.
At the moment, however, he was ready to leave. Meetings with his accountant were always tedious, and he wanted nothing more than to get home and have a long soak in the hot tub and then maybe try out a new recipe in the kitchen after a long morning of discussing investment and charity opportunities with a dusty old man who cared more about where his money went than Dorian did.
He tapped his foot impatiently against the floor, fingers drumming on the armrest of the back seat of the large black SUV he was sitting in. It made sense that it took a while to check such a massive vehicle, but he was ready to move.
“Patience, Mr. Kingston,” Carlos said, meeting his eyes in the rearview mirror.
“That’s easy for you to say,” Dorian fired back, making a face. “You were born with the patience god gave a saint. The rest of us aren’t so lucky.”
Carlos smiled and shook his head, starting the SUV up when the bodyguard tapped the hood, giving the signal for all clear.
“Thank goodness,” Dorian muttered under his breath.
“Home, then?” Carlos asked as the bodyguard (whose name Dorian still didn’t know, even after having him in his service for over five months already) buckled in and shut his door.
“As quickly as humanly possible, please.”
“As you wish, sir.”
They started moving, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the highway, and Dorian relaxed, pulling out his cell phone so he could reply to a few emails while they made their way home.
Beside him, the bodyguard shifted, showing the line of a gun inside the jacket of his blazer.
Dorian hated guns, he really did. He knew that all of his guards had them for his protection, so that if it came down to it, the only one to die in an altercation would be whoever was trying to kill him, but that didn’t make it any easier to be constantly surrounded by armed men and women at every turn.
His guards all had a similar body type. Tall, muscular, clearly able to handle themselves. Dorian spent time in the gym, but these men, and even some of the women, were all physically stronger than him and easily able to hold their own.
This one was no exception. Dorian was six feet tall, but this man made him feel like he was short. He had to be at least six and a half feet tall, and his sheer bulk was mind boggling. Dorian was close enough to him to be able to see that it was all muscle, and he wondered how the man found clothes that fit.
Someone else might have been intimidated by being outsized by most of his staff, but Dorian was very self assured. He might not have been able to bench press the weight of a grown man or two, but he was intelligent, and he paid all of their salaries. Without him, they wouldn’t even have the job, and that gave him a level of superiority over them.
Even if it didn’t, they didn’t talk much.
None of them were interested in idle chit chat while on the job, and Dorian couldn’t even imagine what they’d talk about anyway. Aside from Carlos, who’d been his father’s driver back in England and had come to the States with him after his father’s death, Dorian knew very little about the people in his employ, and he was fine with it staying that way.
“Sir,” Carlos said, making Dorian look up.
“What is it?”
“Not to alarm you, but I think perhaps we’re being followed.”