Alexander: Okay. Be safe. Carter will be on watch.

Olivia groaned. He was so frustrating sometimes.

Olivia: I haven’t agreed to accept your bodyguard services yet, Mr. Burnham. ;-)

Alexander: Humor me, Love.

There was that word again. Olivia didn’t think she would ever tire of hearing that word fall out of his mouth. Even via text, she could just hear his lips caressing the word as he whispered in her ear. She began breathing heavy as she stood in line to order her coffee. She immediately snapped back to reality and returned Alexander’s text when the barista asked for her order.

Olivia: Fine. :-P

Olivia dropped her phone in her purse and ordered two coffees while she waited for her friend. A few minutes later, Kiera walked into the shop, making her way toward Olivia’s table.

“Hey, Libs,” she said, sitting down as Olivia pushed the coffee cup toward her. “Thank God. I don’t think there’s enough caffeine in the world to get me through this day.” She took a long drag of her drink.

“That bad, huh?”

“Yeah. Well, I had a late night last night, so I need it.”

“Oh really? What were you doing?” Olivia raised her eyebrows.

“None of your business, slut. So what’s going on with you and Alexander?”

“Not a whole lot, except he’s still wonderful,” Olivia blushed, looking at her friend.

“Okay, spill it.”

Olivia hesitated and then told her all about her run-in with Adele the previous day. “God, it felt so good to just punch that bitch. I was proud of myself for not running. A year ago, if the same thing happened, I would have run as far as I could to avoid dealing with it. But yesterday, I just don’t know what came over me. I knew she was talking shit and, well, she deserved it.”

Kiera laughed. “That’s fantastic. Maybe you’ve finally stopped trying to push Alexander away. He is definitely quite the catch.” Kiera took another sip of her coffee. “So, he’s going with you this weekend to Newport?”



“Yeah. A little. I mean, we’re going away together for the weekend, so there’s nowhere for me to run to when things get bad.”

“Oh, stop it. You’re so negative. Things aren’t going to get bad. He’s going there to support you in your race. It’s a big deal. Not everyone can run a marathon.”

“I know,” Olivia replied, nervously tapping her nails against the black bistro table. “But I’ve never gone away with a guy before. I am looking forward to spending some time with him away from the city. We’ve only done things around here, and most of the time lately we’ve just been going to his place. He feels better knowing that he’s close to me. For some reason he’s still all worried about Simon. Which reminds me…” Olivia said, sipping her coffee and lowering her voice.

“What is it?” Kiera asked, her interest piqued.

“I got a call from the D.A. yesterday. I guess Simon took a plea deal. He’s pleading guilty to a lesser charge of assault and will serve about a year in jail. But with his lack of priors and over-crowding, they’re saying he’ll probably be out sooner.”

“Hmmm…” Kiera said, looking at her friend. “How do you feel about that?”

Olivia glared at Kiera. She knew how much Olivia hated that question.

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry, Libs,” she said, winking at a man dressed in a business suit as he walked past their table to order his morning coffee. “I just want to make sure you’re okay with it.”

“I am okay with it,” Olivia admitted. “What Simon did was wrong, but I just don’t think I handled the break-up, if you can call it that, the right way and he snapped. I’m not making excuses for him, but he didn’t seem like the violent type. So I’m sure this is the only time he’ll ever be in prison, ya know? He made a mistake and he’s paying for it. It’s all good.”

“Well, okay. As long as you’re good with that.”

“I am.”

“So, getting back to Alexander all worried about Simon.”

“Oh, yeah. He’s still concerned about someone attacking me. It’s sweet, but at the same time a little overbearing.”

“I could see that.” Kiera paused for a moment. “Have you ever thought that maybe he’s hiding something from you? I mean, he runs a private security firm and has the ability to get any information he wanted. Maybe he found out something that has him on edge a bit.”

“I don’t know what he’d possibly find out. No one out there has any reason to want to come after me, so…”

“Yeah. I guess you’re right.” Kiera looked at her watch.

“Crap. I need to get to the office. I have a meeting with some new client about publishing their manuscript. I barely read the damn thing so this will be interesting.” Kiera stood up and Olivia joined her, clutching her coffee.

“Well, you are the queen of bullshit. I’m sure you’ll do just fine.” Olivia laughed as she opened the door, leaving the coffee shop. She noticed Carter standing on the sidewalk and waved.

The two girls walked toward Olivia’s office building, Kiera’s being just a few blocks past that.

“So, what’s with the bodyguard?” Kiera muttered under her breath.

“One word. Alexander,” Olivia said. “He can be very domineering sometimes.”

“Oh, I bet he can,” Kiera laughed. “He looks like the type that would be into tying you up and having his way with you.”

Olivia blushed. “KIERA!” she exclaimed, slapping her friend.

Kiera looked at Olivia, her face bright red.

“Oh my God. I knew it! He’s into that shit, isn’t he?” The two girls stopped walking. “I mean, he’s not fucked up and into beating you is he? Because that shit is so not cool. But hell, I’d go for being tied up and blindfolded.”

“I am not having this conversation with you on the street.” Olivia continued walking, a grin on her face, thinking about the previous morning.

“Dude. That is so fucking hot,” Kiera laughed as she ran to catch up with her friend.

“Okay, you’re right. It is so fucking hot.” Olivia’s face was flushed from the memories of Alexander restraining her.

“I bet it is.”

“And he gets turned on when I call him Mr. Burnham,” Olivia said, smiling.

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