Dancing With Danger

By: Cristina Grenier

But if they were being followed…

“How can you tell?” Dorian wanted to know.

Carlos tipped his head forward as he drove, changing lanes. “I recognize the car from your accountant’s office. It was there before we arrived and remained there the entire time you were inside. I knew we should have had Barney come to us.”

Dorian scoffed. “Between you and the guards, you’d have me never leave the house. It’s been months since someone has tried to do something. Not since Father died.”

“Doesn’t mean they gave up,” the bodyguard said in his deep voice. “Probably just means they were regrouping and getting set up over here.”

“That makes sense,” Carlos agreed. “They’re still there.”

Swearing under his breath, Dorian turned his head to look. The car was indeed tailing them, but not so close that it was suspicious. It was a nondescript green Honda something or other, and he had a vague memory of seeing it on his way into Barney’s office building.

For several miles the car just followed, not picking up speed, but every time Carlos changed lanes, the car changed with them, and when he took a turn that definitely did not lead back to the house, the car was right there behind them when they merged.

“We can’t lead them back to the house,” Carlos said after several tense minutes.

“Plan?” the bodyguard asked. “They probably already know where the house is, but they’ve seen it’s just us three by now. They want to make this quick and not messy.”

“What does that mean?” Dorian demanded, voice tight with fear.

“Means they don’t want us to make it back to the house. They don’t know how much backup we have there, but they know they’ve probably got us out numbered here. At least at a disadvantage because they’re probably not worried about hurting people.”

“Oh god.”

“It’s going to be fine, Mr. Kingston,” Carlos said, taking a sharp turn.

“You don’t know that!” Dorian snapped.

“Getting hysterical isn’t going to help anything,” the guard said calmly.

“Then please tell, what I should be doing to make this situation less awful,” Dorian muttered under his breath? “I’m sorry that my life being in danger again is something I find alarming.”

In that moment he missed the old guards from England. They’d all known him since he was a boy more or less, and they treated him with respect. They’d practically been a part of the family, in a way, so there hadn’t been any of this awkwardness or them treating him like he was a child when he was afraid. Not even when he had been a child.

But now it was just this man who he didn’t know and Carlos, standing between him and whoever these people were. Surely they were the same people from England, regrouping here and making sure that he knew they hadn’t given up.

Well, bully for them.

The guard was reaching into his jacket and pulling out his gun, which was a sure sign that things were about to get messy.

Dorian wanted to snap at him to put that away, but the very real truth was that he was probably going to need it.

His heart was racing a mile a minute, and it was getting hard to breathe without wheezing. It had been over a year since something like this had happened to him, and then he always had his father and his father’s team of guards. They’d always made him feel safe, and the fact was that when he was younger and living in England, his father had been the target. They’d wanted him and his money, and had mostly left Dorian out of it.

Now they were back, and his father was dead. All of Ethan’s money was Dorian’s now, and the full might of the people who had wanted his father dead was now trained at him. It was terrifying, and for a moment Dorian wasn’t a twenty-six year old man.

He was a ten year old boy, huddled in the back of a limo, his father’s arms around him as the guards shouted at them to get down and keep their heads covered.

Glass had rained down around them as the shootout had started, and Dorian remembered crying into his father’s suit jacket, getting it wet and wrinkled because he couldn’t stop clinging in his fear. His father had stroked his hair and told him he was being so brave and that it would all be over soon.

His father wasn’t there to comfort him now, and Dorian missed him with a deep ache in that moment.

Now it was just him and Carlos and the guard whose name Dorian couldn’t even remember, and he was trusting them to get him out of this.

“We need to lead them somewhere,” the guard said gruffly, checking the ammo in his gun.

“Somewhere where bystanders won’t get hurt,” Carlos agreed.

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