The Bodyguard

 

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Synopsis

 

Aiden James Grayson is the alluring, womanizing, and careless CEO of Grayson Enterprise – a company passed down to him from his overbearing father.

Trouble is what many people associate Aiden with because he can never stay out of it. Aiden is the type of man who likes to play by his own rules, he does whatever he wants and refuses to answer to anyone but himself. Being born into money, Aiden can get whatever his heart desires and more. He lives his privileged life to the fullest, caring only about his own happiness.

But at the age of twenty-nine, Aiden's destructive lifestyle throws him into a situation that puts him and those that he loves in danger. Everything around him starts to spiral out of control thanks to an anonymous woman that he hurt in the past. This unpleasant blast from Aiden's messy past turns his lavish life into a living hell after she threatens to blackmail and extort him for millions.

The woman is out for vengeance and will not stop until Aiden and his empire is taken down.

With his life now seemingly in shambles, Aiden's family intervenes and works hard to protect the troubled CEO. Thomas Grayson, Aiden's domineering father, quickly sets him up with Julian McAndrew – one of the best bodyguards in the business.

Julian is ordered to stay by Aiden's side twenty-four-seven. No exceptions.

Even though this is all for his safety, Aiden loathes that he's being forced to have a second shadow follow him everywhere. Nevertheless, Aiden tries to make the best out of his chaotic situation, but it's hard for him to connect with Julian McAndrew when the men have nothing in common. The two are complete opposites, like night and day, which makes their relationship tense and incredibly awkward at times.

In spite of their differences, there is one thing that the two men can agree on and it's that neither of them cares all that much for the other, at least not at first.

When Julian McAndrew was first contacted by Aiden's team, he almost turned down the job offer due to the fact that he would be working so closely with Aiden Grayson – an impulsive, stubborn, rich snob that Julian didn't have the patience to handle. Julian knew all too well of Aiden's distasteful reputation and has seen his scandalous affairs play out in the media one too many times. He wasn't impressed by Aiden Grayson in the least bit.

However, money talks.

Thomas Grayson cuts Julian a deal that will give him the ability to retire before he's thirty-five, he'll never have to be put in the line of fire again once Aiden's threat is captured. Julian weighs the pros and cons and, ultimately, he decides to take on the role of becoming Aiden Grayson's personal bodyguard.

That decision, unbeknownst to either of the men, seals both their fates for the better and for the worst.   

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Chapter 1: Watch Your Back, Grayson

01. Watch Your Back, Grayson

After he partied all weekend and consumed more alcohol than what he should have, Aiden somehow managed to show his face at work this morning. As he staggered to the boardroom completely hungover, a pair of dark shades covering his bloodshot green eyes, he groaned in discomfort with each step that he took.

His body ached and his head wouldn't stop throbbing. He overdid it with the drinking, the hardcore partying, and not to mention all the women that he managed to fuck and dump in under twenty-four hours. Still, for a man like Aiden, he'd never admit out loud that he was in the wrong and probably should have taken things easy when he knew that he had an important business meeting to attend today.

Aiden Grayson, unfortunately, knows neither of those things: how to take it easy or when to admit that he's wrong about something. And it's not because he's incredibly stubborn or super egotistical, maybe partly, but more so because he's never accepted fault for anything in his life.

It's just not in his hardheaded nature to do so.

"Has this stupid meeting started yet, Davina?" Aiden rudely muttered to the secretary that worked the floor as he shuffled past her desk, not caring enough to even look in the woman's direction as he passed her by.

"No, Mr. Grayson. They've all been waiting for your arrival," Davina replied in a professional tone while secretly rolling her eyes at the insolent asshole that was her boss.

Great, now I'll have to sit through the whole damn thing, Aiden thought.

Once he finally reached the door to the boardroom, he barged inside like he owned the place - which technically he did - and didn't acknowledge anyone inside as he went to take a seat at the head of the long conference table.

Having to attend a meeting this early in the morning was the farthest thing on Aiden's to-do list. He'd much rather be at home and asleep in bed than here at the office. His hangover was beyond intolerable, but sadly, for him, his presence was required for the meeting that was being held today.

He had no choice but to show his face or else his business partner and part-time babysitter, Kyle, would have been all over his ass if he hadn't made an appearance. To not have to deal with Kyle's tiresome nagging about how he's unprofessional and irresponsible, Aiden would do his best to sit through the meeting and play nice.

"Let's get this party started shall we, gentlemen?" Aiden yawned, causing all eyes in the room to land on him and his wrinkled navy blue Armani suit.

The three visitors that had come from out of town sat motionless in their seats, judging the notorious Aiden Grayson. They all questioned in their minds for as to whether coming here had been a colossal mistake or not, thanks to Aiden's apathetic demeanor.

As for Aiden, on the other hand, he couldn't have cared less how the men viewed him, or how anyone viewed him for that matter. He wasn't here to impress anyone. For all he knew, the three men were here to make an impression on him.

As for Kyle, his brother from another mother, he stared at Aiden from his seat and couldn't feel more annoyed that his messy business partner of the last five years had actually shown up here completely shitfaced like he didn't have a care in the world. Kyle was exasperated, to say the least.

Then again, there was a part of him that knew none of this had been new for Aiden. After all these years of dealing with the stubborn mule, Kyle was almost used to Aiden's half-assed way of doing things, but that didn't mean that he wasn't completely unbothered by it all.

No matter how many times Kyle would preach to Aiden about how he should do better as a businessman, and as a man in general, deep down inside he knew that his boss would probably never change. It seemed like Aiden had issues that nobody could fix. He was too set in his destructive ways. He was pushing close to thirty but acted like an ill-bred child.

Having hope that one day he'd turn his life around for the better was pointless, Kyle felt. Aiden was a lost cause as much as Kyle didn't want to admit it.

Meanwhile, the three visitors looked back and forth from one another, shifting uncomfortably in their seats as it appeared that Aiden was starting to doze off. Kyle knew that he needed to get to the point of things quickly before the men lost interest and left. So, putting his feelings aside, he shook off how irritated he felt with Aiden and took charge of the meeting because somebody had to do it.

"Aiden, joining us today is Mr. Wong, Mr. West, and Mr. Pryor from Blanc Industries. You remember me telling you about them the other day, right?" Kyle looked over at his brother and when it took too long for Aiden to respond, he took his foot and hit Aiden in the shin from underneath the table.

Aiden almost immediately came to. He cleared his throat and sat up straight in his seat. "Yeah, yeah, I know who they are. What about them? And why are we all here today, Kyle? Get on with it already. Some of us have more important places to be this morning."

The nerve of this asshole, Kyle thought to himself.

"I called this meeting today because I believe in Blanc Industries and what they stand for," Kyle said. "I think it'd be wise for us to partner with them on the upcoming project that they're working on called Echo. I emailed you all details last week," Kyle said to Aiden. "Did you read over them?"

Aiden shrugged his shoulders. He could barely remember what he did last night, let alone what he did last week. "Briefly."

Kyle sighed in frustration. "Like Grayson Enterprises, Blanc Industries started off with nothing, but now they're rising to the top and are close to taking over. With the two of us working together, we'll be unstoppable. I say sealing this deal will be an easy win for everyone involved."

Kyle was talking about partnerships and with that came making negotiations about money; Aiden's attention was finally captured. He removed his two hundred and fifty dollar sunglasses to look Kyle in the eyes. 

"You vouching for these men that I've never met before makes me a little nervous, Kyle. You see potential in them that I don't. They must be some pretty decent men, huh?" Aiden paused. Kyle nodded, looking anxious. "If they're as good as you say, that means these men could easily turn into competition for me one day. Which brings me to the question of why would I ever want to work with my future competitors, Kyle?"

Kyle didn't immediately come back with an answer. He hadn't expected things to take this kind of a turn.

"We're nowhere near your level of success, Mr. Grayson. I assure you that you won't have to worry about us ever becoming a problem for you or your company. You'll always be the top dog around town." Pryor was being a kiss ass while his partners remained quiet, letting him take the lead.

As independent as they were as a company, the three men really needed this deal to go through, along with Aiden's money, so Pryor would say whatever he had to in order to walk out of here with a check in his hand.

"A man should never be a brownnoser, Pryor," Aiden said to the older man. "I may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. I know you're just telling me what I want to hear because you need my money. Kyle may think us working together is okay, but I'm not all that interested, not anymore. I don't care what your business is up to right now. My company has been doing fine before you got here and it will continue to do so without this deal that'll probably benefit you more than it would me." Aiden then looked to Kyle with a bored expression. "I'm going home now."

"This is preposterous! He didn't even hear us out!" One of the men exclaimed after Aiden put his shades back on and rose from the table, headed for the door.

Aiden had been here for less than ten minutes and he was already leaving. None of the men could believe it. None of them had expected for Aiden to be so indecorous. Kyle, though, was beyond embarrassed and humiliated.

"What a complete waste of time!" Another one of the men shouted. "Kyle, you said that he'd be on board with this. We trusted you."

"Gentlemen, please settle down. We can all still work something out..." Kyle worked nervously to keep the three men calm whereas Aiden was already out of the room and in the hallway headed towards the elevator doors, leaving his brother behind to deal with the three angry businessmen he'd just royally pissed off.

"Hey, a package just came up for you, Mr. Grayson!" Davina called out as Aiden had gotten ready to enter the elevator. "I put it on your desk."

"Fucking hell," Aiden snapped and then turned to storm down the hall towards his office. As horrible as he felt, he couldn't leave without seeing what the package was. Sometimes his curiosity got the best of him. "What the hell is this? It's not my birthday," Aiden said aloud in a confused tone as he eyed the small white bag sitting on his desk. Balloons were tied to the handles and it was filled with colored tissue paper. Having reached the bag, he quickly dumped its contents out onto his desk.

An envelope and a black rectangular box fell out.

Popping off the top of the box, a positive pregnancy test rested inside. Aiden immediately felt sick to his stomach. The two blue lines were there as clear as day and there wasn't any denying it. Whoever sent him this was definitely pregnant.

Whoever sent this to him was also sending the message that he's the father.

Aiden felt like the room was spinning. With all the women that he'd been with in the past week alone, he could have impregnated anyone! He was just that damn careless. And now it seemed like his recklessness was coming back full force to bite him in his irresponsible ass.

"This has to be some kind of sick joke. There's just no way..." Aiden wanted to drop to his knees as he felt the walls of his office start to close in on him. "Davina! Get in here right now!"

With trembling hands, Aiden placed the pregnancy stick back into the bag to tear open the envelope that held a handwritten letter inside.

It read:

Dear Mr. Grayson,

As much as I'd love to tell you who I am, I've decided to keep my identity a secret because I don't need you trying to track me down and scare me off before things start to get good between us. You should know that you won't be in charge of what's going on here - I will be.

And you should also know that I'm not going away anytime soon. I'm going to have fun watching you crash and burn, but that won't have to happen so long as you give me what I desire - $5 million. I know that I could ask for so much more given who you are and whatnot, but lucky for you, I'm not feeling all that greedy while writing this.

Give me the money and I can promise you that you'll never hear from me again. The world won't have to find out that you have a baby on the way. Give me what I'm asking for and I'll make sure that there won't be any baby coming at all.

Give me what I'm asking for and I won't have to hunt your lousy, selfish, good for nothing ass down and... Well, hopefully, we won't have to take things that far because I'd hate to get my hands dirty with you.

I must go now, but do keep an eye out for another letter to await further instructions from me.

Watch your back, Grayson.

"Mr. Grayson? What's wrong?" Davina rushed into her boss' office just as Aiden went around his desk to vomit into a wastebasket. "Oh God, are you all right?"

"Who sent this up here?" Aiden ignored her question and pointed to the white bag lying on his desk. If this person was bold enough to threaten him via a handwritten letter, of all things, then they had to have been bold enough to deliver the threat themselves, Aiden assumed. "Don't tell me that it was the delivery guy because I don't want to hear that shit."

Davina stood frozen in place not knowing how to respond. She was completely taken aback by Aiden. As much of an asshole that he could be to her sometimes, she'd never seen her boss act like this before, so distraught and out of his damn mind.

"B-but it was the delivery man, Mr. Grayson," Davina stammered. The look now lingering in Aiden's green eyes sent chills down her spine, not the good kind. And it was then that she knew she had blown it. Her answer wasn't the one that Aiden had wanted to hear and now he was about to explode on her for something that she had no control over. "Who else would it be?"

"I don't fucking know! That's why I'm asking you, Davina." Aiden sighed, shaking his head. He was way too angry, confused, and repulsed by this unexpected threat to feel sorry for the woman he unnecessarily bitched at. "Just get the hell out of here."

"What is going on? What's with all the yelling?" Kyle entered the room after having heard the loud commotion from down the hall. He looked over at Davina, who was on the verge of crying and couldn't help but pity the pretty woman. He promptly dismissed her and shut the door to the room as he walked up to Aiden and grilled him. "What is your problem, man? Why do you always have to be such an asshole to people? And thanks for earlier, by the way. You handled that just like I thought you would. That deal could have been great for us and--"

"Read this." Kyle's words went in one ear and out the other as Aiden came from around his desk and shoved the letter towards him.

"Aiden..." Kyle glared at his friend in bewilderment and for a split second, he couldn't tell who it was that was looking back at him. "What's the matter with you? Has something happened?"

"Just read the damn letter, Kyle," Aiden repeated himself, face expressionless.

Kyle hesitantly took the letter from Aiden and read it while Aiden paced the floor of his office, freaking out.

"When I find out who's behind this, they'll pay!" Aiden exclaimed. "No one dares to blackmail me. No one!"

"Wow, this is... wow," Kyle whispered once he finished reading the letter. Aiden looked at him with an unreadable expression and Kyle knew what he wanted to ask, but couldn't, because of his pride. "I'm not sure what you should do about this, honestly. Beef up security? I mean it could just be a bad prank, right? Can you think of any women that you might've pissed off recently? Maybe one of them is behind this."

Aiden sighed heavily, shaking his head. It felt like his entire world was slowly crumbling down around him. He'd hit a brick wall and it looked like there was no way of getting past it.

So what was he to do? How was he supposed to handle this new threat and not create yet another messy scandal for him and his family?

Kyle was the smartest person that Aiden knew. He went to him for all his problems whether they were personal or business related. It didn't matter the issue because Kyle would always come through and 'handle' things for him. But he couldn't this time, for whatever reason, and that threw Aiden for a loop.

And so, it seemed like the reckless playboy was left to deal with his first ever pregnancy scare all on his own.

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Chapter 2: Father Knows Best

02. Father Knows Best

Only with the help of Jack Daniel's had Aiden managed to keep his nerves in check ever since an anonymous psychopath dropped a bomb on him claiming that he's soon to be a father. Not only that, but the fact that the woman wanted a five-million-dollar payoff to keep her from going to the media with the news was beyond ridiculous, Aiden felt.

A part of him also felt like this whole thing was nothing more than a crock of bullshit.

A baby? Really? How unoriginal.

Aiden Grayson was reckless and arrogant, sure, but he wasn't gullible. The woman coming after him clearly didn't know who she was messing with. This hasn't been the first time that someone's threatened Aiden's life or has tried to blackmail him over some petty nonsense. He's had far worse scandals than this play out in the media before, and each time he's gotten through them, mostly unscathed.

Regardless of the woman's intentions, he'd fight to the end to keep his name from being drug through the mud. It was times like this where Aiden could do nothing but sit back and laugh at how his life appeared to be one big never-ending party. Something dramatic was always happening to or around him.

"For the love of God, can I not have one day to myself?" Aiden slammed his drink onto his bar's counter top as he went to answer the front door to his two-story mansion. "You only need to ring the doorbell once! I'm not deaf."

Aiden grew irritated because he hadn't been expecting visitors today and he hated when people dropped by unannounced. Finally reaching the door, he swung it open and was ready to tell whoever it was to go back to wherever the hell they came from, but he had to stop himself because much to his surprise, it was his parents and Kyle that stood before him.

Each one of them had concerned looks on their faces. Aiden knew right off the bat that they were judging him, his father mostly. 

Aiden is the irresponsible and immature son of Thomas and Lydia Grayson. He's their one and only child by blood. He's the one who was supposed to make something out of himself and the one who was supposed to bring no shame to the family and its name, but instead, he seems to be dragging it through the mud every chance that he can get. 

Aiden should be his parents biggest pride and joy, the center of their universe; instead, he felt as if he was their biggest disappointment.

"I hope this isn't another intervention." Aiden sighed, leaning against the door frame while he tried to shield his eyes from the blinding rays of the sun.

"My God, you look like hell," Thomas spoke. "It's almost noon and you're already wasted. And when's the last time you consumed something other than alcohol? Or better yet, when's the last time you showered? I can practically smell you from here."

"A simple hello would have sufficed, Thomas," Aiden replied as Thomas pushed his way past Aiden to enter his house.

"Will you two ever get along?" Lydia asked her son, following in behind her husband. "I'm so tired of the petty bickering between you two."

"It's not me," Aiden muttered under his breath. "It's Thomas."

Aiden couldn't recall the last time for when he called Thomas his 'father' out loud. The issues that they have with one another didn't arise until Thomas all but forced Aiden to run the family business. It was a dream that Thomas had always wanted to see come to light, but something that Aiden never wanted to do.

And despite the fact of it all, Thomas had given his son an ultimatum at only twenty-five that it was either run the company or be cut off financially. Aiden's mother didn't like her husband's aggressive request, but she also didn't do much to object to it either.

The choice had been pretty obvious to Aiden at the time.

He'd been living carelessly up until that point in his life and it put real fear in his heart when Thomas threatened to take everything away from him - goodbye to all the money, to living luxuriously, and goodbye to all the easy women who stuck to him like glue. Aiden didn't want to lose what all he had, so he did what he had to do and ever since then he's made it his life's mission to piss his father off every chance that he could get.

It was childish of him, but Aiden felt like Thomas deserved his wrath.

Thomas wanted him to play the part - CEO of Grayson Enterprise – so badly that he didn't care what Aiden's desires were. Thomas wanted Aiden to be just like him, or at least that's how Aiden always felt. Growing up, Thomas tried his hardest to groom and prep Aiden for the corporate world despite him wanting nothing to do with it.

It wasn't until Thomas gave Aiden that ridiculous ultimatum was when what little was left of their cordial relationship fizzled away. In bits and pieces, Aiden could almost remember Thomas' speech even to this day:

"I've had enough of your bullshit, Aiden James! The way that you've been carrying yourself lately is completely unacceptable and your mother and I will not tolerate it any longer. You're an embarrassment to this family and I won't take any more of your foolishness. You've given the media too much entertainment and it stops now! It's time for you to stop acting like a child and instead a man. If you don't cut out all the whores, the partying, and the drugs and take responsibility and do what you were meant to do, be a leader, then I have no other choice but to cut you off indefinitely. I have no other choice!"

Aiden knew that Thomas had been serious. He only called him Aiden James whenever he pushed Thomas too far. Still, Aiden thought that putting a reckless piece of shit like him in charge of a company as big as Grayson Enterprise – one of the top leading innovators in the vast world of technology – was the biggest mistake that his father could have ever made.

However, Thomas wasn't as impractical as Aiden had thought he was because he didn't make him go into running the family business alone. Thomas made Kyle out to be Aiden's right-hand man and CFO of the company. Thomas wasn't entirely stupid, he knew that Aiden wasn't ready to handle the responsibility of running a billion-dollar corporation, but that didn't mean that his son couldn't be the face of his brand.

Kyle had always been ready to go since day one when it came to working at Grayson Enterprise. He was always at Thomas' beck and call and had been watching him run things for years. He knew the business inside and out and admired Thomas and everything that he did. In reality, it's all thanks to him that the company hasn't gone to hell yet.

Aiden was just a face to go with the name whereas Kyle was the one that really ran the company, Kyle was the son that Thomas wished he'd had, something that Aiden always thought growing up. And whether it was true or not, Thomas would never admit it out loud to Aiden's face.

Kyle - a responsible, brainy, do-gooder – was the complete opposite of Aiden. And unbeknownst to him, Aiden secretly envied him and the relationship that he had with Thomas. As annoyingly close as the two of them were, Aiden couldn't help but be a little jealous. Nevertheless, he didn't hate Kyle for having a better relationship with his father than he did.

He could never hate the blonde haired blue-eyed devil. In fact, he loved Kyle. He thought of him as a brother, in spite the fact they weren't technically related.

Aiden and Kyle had been best friends since the fourth grade. They were brought up together and even lived near each other. But after Kyle's parents overdosed on heroin one day, with no one to prevent him from going into the foster system, Aiden's parents stepped up and took him in.

In another life, had Kyle actually been Aiden's biological brother, Aiden felt that Thomas would have named Kyle CEO instead of him. He was positive of it.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that they're here today because of you." Aiden glared at Kyle in displeasure, talking about their parents. "You told them about the blackmailing thing, didn't you?" Kyle shrugged his shoulders. "I shouldn't be surprised. You run and tell them everything in regard to me."

"What else was I supposed to do, Aiden? I had to tell them," Kyle replied, sounding apologetic. "Somebody needs to take control of the situation. You sure as hell aren't!"

Aiden scoffed, "Whatever you say, brother."

"You seriously need help, man. The type that I don't think I can give you. Help that you can't even give yourself because you're too busy sitting around here getting drunk off your ass," Kyle whispered that last part. "It's sad."

"My God, you don't have to whisper, Kyle! Our parents know that we curse, even sweet little innocent you." Aiden rolled his green eyes in annoyance. Kyle could be such a polite prick sometimes that it irked him. "Had I wanted them to know what was going on with me, I'd have called them and told them my damn self. You shouldn't have gotten them involved. You had no right to do what you did."

Kyle stepped inside the house without saying another word to his infuriating brother. Aiden slammed the front door behind him out of frustration and stormed into the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water, something that'd be his first non-alcoholic beverage this morning.

"Your brother is just looking out for you, Aiden." Thomas scowled at him. "Stop your whining and get over it."

"Damn, as old as you are I'd figured your hearing wouldn't be so sharp," Aiden replied, teasing.

"Are you even the least bit concerned about what's happening, son?" Lydia stared at him with a worried expression. "A person threatens your life and is trying to blackmail you for millions, saying they're carrying your child for heaven's sake and this is how you react - nonchalant? Why? I just don't understand."

It stung Aiden to hear how distraught his mother was. Being a disappointment to Thomas was nothing compared to being one to his mother, someone who's genuinely only ever wanted the best for him.

"Would anyone like a drink?" Aiden cleared his throat, trying to change the subject. "I have orange juice, apple juice..."

"To hell with the juices, Aiden! Get a fucking grip, why don't you?" Thomas shouted, vividly irritated. It didn't take much for Aiden to get under his skin and he smirked at Thomas' reaction. No one else was amused, but him. "At least pretend to be a little concerned with what's going on here."

"I'd be concerned if I thought I was in real danger, but I'm not. You're all freaking out over nothing!" Aiden replied coolly. "I know Kyle runs and tells you everything that's going on with me, so you should know that this isn't the first time that something like this has happened to me and it surely won't be the last. This is just some woman that I probably pissed off because I wanted nothing more to do with her. I'll find out who it is and I'll deal with her. It's that simple. I got it all planned out."

Kyle hung his head, feeling unsatisfied by Aiden's response. "Stop lying to yourself and to us, Aiden. You don't have anything planned. You don't even know where to start with this! Admit it, you don't know what to do and you need help. Well, we're here! So, please, let us help you."

"You may not think that I give a rat's ass about you, but I do." Thomas looked Aiden dead in the eyes as the room grew quiet. "You can take this threat lightly all you want, but I won't. Nobody threatens to blackmail a Grayson. I look after my family, and I'm going to do something about this mess since you couldn't care less about it."

"Humor me, Thomas. What exactly are you going to do?" Aiden crossed his arms over his chest and stared at his father with a blank expression, feeling the opposite of amused.

"I hired you a personal bodyguard," Thomas answered with a straight face. "His name is Julian McAndrew and he's the best in the field. If anyone can keep your irresponsible ass from getting shot, drugged or kidnapped by some crazed psychopathic whore that you managed to rub the wrong way, it's him."

"I'm a little drunk right now, so I don't think that I heard you correctly. You said you hired me a... what?" Aiden glared at his father in total shock as he tried to process what Thomas had just dumped on him.

"A bodyguard," Thomas repeated more slowly.

Within seconds, Aiden was enraged. "What the fuck! How old am I - ten?"

"Please don't fight with him about this, Aiden," Kyle jumped in as Aiden tossed his glass into the sink out of anger, nearly breaking it. "It's for your own safety. You remember that time when you were in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time and your car got shot up? You could've died that night."

"But I didn't!" Aiden snapped at Kyle.

"Yeah, thanks to Marcus Ballard, the previous bodyguard that you had and fired for no good reason," Kyle countered back.

"Look, Julian and I have already worked out a payment plan, so you needn't worry about any of that. It's all been taken care of." Thomas cut back in the conversation just as Aiden's head started to swirl from the rage that slowly began to take him over. "I've also already filled him in on the situation and he knows to stay by your side at all times until we find out who this anonymous maniac is and eliminate them. Oh, and you should probably clean up one of the rooms upstairs because he's moving in with you."

As angry as Aiden felt, he could do nothing but laugh like he'd lost his damn mind.

"Even at twenty-nine years old, you still manage to treat me like a child!" Aiden yelled at his father. "A bodyguard? Did I say that I wanted a bodyguard? No! Because nobody asked me what I wanted. Nobody asked me if some stranger could move into my house. This is utter bullshit and you know it. I didn't sign off on a damn thing and I didn't agree to any of this, so how dare you come here and tell me that this is what's going to happen? How dare you think I'm supposed to stand by and be on board with this? No! I don't want any part of this. Take your fucking bodyguard back and go home because I don't want him here."

"Aiden, please!" Lydia rushed to be near him, but Aiden moved past her before she could touch him.

He didn't want to be consoled. He didn't want to hear her cries. All he wanted was to be left alone. He wanted them all out of his house before he said something that he'd later regret.

"I wouldn't have to treat you like a child if you'd only stop acting like one, now settle the hell down, Aiden James!" Thomas stormed over to Aiden and grabbed him roughly by the shoulders. "For once in your life be smart and accept the help that others are offering you. I love you, Aiden. You are my son and because I don't want anything to happen to your stupid ass, you have a bodyguard to deal with now. When all this is over you can fire him. But for now, he's your second shadow. He's your protector. You need protection, so you'd better get used to him being around." Thomas paused. Aiden was on the verge of shaking thanks to how upset he was. "Do we understand each other?"

Shit. He called me Aiden James...

"We're clear," Aiden muttered. "Crystal fucking clear."

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Chapter 3: Secrets Exposed

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Chapter 4: Defiant

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Chapter 5: Optimistic

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Chapter 6: Old Flame

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Chapter 7: Different Tastes

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Chapter 8: Who Are You?

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Chapter 9: Obsessed

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Chapter 10: Drunk In Lust

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Chapter 11: What You Really, Really Want

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Chapter 12: Dark Places

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Chapter 13: In The Bathroom

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Chapter 14: Thank You

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Chapter 15: Have Patience

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Chapter 16: Dirty Little Secret

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Chapter 17: Rain Check

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Chapter 18: Alternatives; Part 1

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Chapter 18: Alternatives; Part 2

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Chapter 19: Petty

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Chapter 20: Same Page

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Chapter 21: Cut You Off

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Chapter 22: Surprise

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Chapter 23: Mama's Boy

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Chapter 24: Disgruntled Employee; Part 1

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Chapter 24: Disgruntled Employee; Part 2

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Chapter 25: Out In Public

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Chapter 26: Talk of The Town

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Chapter 27: Hotline Bling

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Chapter 28: Let Me Go

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Chapter 29: Man Down

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Chapter 30: Snapped

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Chapter 31: Undeserving

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Chapter 32: Beg For It

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Chapter 33: Check-In

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Chapter 34: No More Mr. Nice Guy

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Chapter 35: Mind, Body, & Soul

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Chapter 36: Dreaming of You

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Chapter 37: No More Secrets

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Chapter 38: Second Thoughts

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Chapter 39: Rip It Off

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Chapter 40: Now or Never

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Chapter 41: A New Discovery

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Chapter 42: Who You Least Expected

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Chapter 43: Reasons Why

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Chapter 44: Dead or Alive

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~

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