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Authors: Katie Reus

Under His Protection

BOOK: Under His Protection
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Under His Protection

Red Stone Security Series

Katie Reus

Under His Protection

Copyright © 2014 Katie Reus

Cover Art by Sweet ‘N Spicy Designs

Copy editor JRT Editing

Digital Formatting by Author E.M.S.

* * *

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.

Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book. This purchase allows you one legal copy for your own personal reading enjoyment on your personal computer or device. You do not have the right to resell, distribute, print or transfer this book, in whole or in part, to anyone, in any format, via methods either currently known or yet to be invented, or upload this book to a file sharing program. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

ISBN: 9780996087438


For my wonderful readers.

Chapter 1

Julieta Mederos looked up from her computer screen as the bell above her shop door jingled. She inwardly cringed. She thought she’d locked the door. It was ten minutes until closing but as the owner of Julieta’s Silk and Lace she could make executive decisions. And it was Friday night, she was starving, and the employee she’d had scheduled to close this evening had called in sick. Again.

Since no one else had been able to come in, she’d been stuck covering.
She hated to let anyone go, but tomorrow morning she was making the call.

Shoving those thoughts away she smiled at the beautiful couple entering. “Hi, please feel free to shop around and let me know if you have any questions about anything.”

The woman was tall, slender and wearing a long, bright print Bohemian-style dress with simple gold sandals. She was truly stunning, the kind of woman Julieta wouldn’t be surprised to see gracing the cover of a magazine. She smiled back, her expression tentative. “I saw the hours on your door, are you sure you’re still open?” When she fingered the strap of her purse, the giant diamond on her left hand, ring finger glinted under the colorful track lighting.

Julieta nodded, already liking the woman from that one thoughtful question. “I’m Julieta so I can stay open as late as you’d like.” She flicked a glance to the tall, blond man standing next to her. He looked like a sexy Viking god. Well, a sexy, angry one. He was practically glaring at her.
Okay then

Maybe Julieta’s discomfort showed on her face because the woman nudged the male in the sharp black suit next to her. “I’m going to shop and my friend here is going to sit right over there.” There was an edge to her voice as the woman pointed to a plush couch next to a glass-cased display of discreet sex toys.

Practically growling, the man went to stand next to the couch, turning his body so that he had a view of the front door and the rest of the shop. As Julieta watched him she realized just how huge he was. Most people were taller than her anyway, but with broad shoulders and a muscular body even a suit couldn’t hide, a sliver of anxiety threaded through her veins. She’d never been robbed before, but she wasn’t stupid enough to think it couldn’t happen to her.

Julieta sold high-end lingerie, but she also sold affordable, quality fashion jewelry and sex toys. Some days it amazed her how many toys she sold. Remaining where she was, she placed her hand on the silent alarm button under the display case. “Just let me know if you need help.” She made it a point not to crowd her customers unless it was clear they needed assistance and she wanted to keep some distance between herself and the big man in case he tried anything.

“I actually do need help. My friend Elizabeth Porter recommended this place to me,” the woman said as she strode farther into the shop, her gold bangles jangling around her wrist noisily.


Smiling widely, the woman nodded. “Yes. We’re new friends actually. I just moved to Miami a month ago and my fiancé works for the same company Lizzy and her husband do.”

Julieta let her hand drop from hovering over the silent alarm. That explained the man’s military-style stance as if he was guarding or casing the place. She tilted her head to the man standing stiffly in the front of her store. “He’s with Red Stone too?”

She nodded. “Yes, but he’s not my fiancé. That’s Ivan Mitchell. He’s my personal guard.”

Julieta started to raise her eyebrows then caught herself. “Well I’m more than happy to help a friend of Lizzy’s. Our mothers go way back and I’ve known Lizzy since we were kids.”

The woman smiled. “That’s what she said. She said she’s a couple years younger than you and used to follow you around like a puppy dog whenever your parents got together.”

At that, Julieta let out a sharp bark of laughter and rounded the counter, all anxiety about the sexy Ivan dissipating. “I don’t know about that, but she was quite attentive.”

The woman’s shoulders relaxed slightly, her sun-kissed arms a nice bronze. “I’m Mina.”

“Nice to meet you. You can call me Jules. Why don’t you tell me what I can help you with?”

The woman flicked a glance to the front of the store. Julieta followed her line of sight to see the sexy Viking watching them intently again. She squirmed under his glare. It was like he expected her to pull out a weapon at any moment.

Not liking the way he watched her, she turned back to Mina. The tall woman bent slightly, as if wanting to tell her a secret. “I didn’t want to bring him but he insisted on coming inside.” She let out an annoyed sigh before continuing. “Lizzy said you sold the best lingerie in town and that you sold fun…toys,” she said in a whisper. Her cheeks tinged crimson and Julieta bit back a smile.

It was always fun to introduce women to their first sex toys. Sadly for her, toys had been her only form of companionship the last three years. Gah, she couldn’t even think about that. Nodding, she said, “Are you looking for solo toys or something you can use with your fiancé? Maybe as a surprise for him?” She was just guessing but she’d gotten good at reading her customers the past couple years.

“Definitely with him. And yes, it’s a surprise.”

“If we can move your scary bodyguard away from the case up front, I think I’ve got a few things that might interest you. If you decide you like something, I can have it delivered or you can take it with you today—discreetly packaged. And if you don’t find anything you like, I have a catalogue you can check out too.”

Relief bled into Mina’s dark green eyes. “My fiancé, Alex, is coming back tonight from an out of town trip so I’m sure I’ll find something.”

Julieta nodded and forced herself to ignore the intent stare from the blond-haired, blue-eyed god standing up front as she led Mina to the display case. She’d met enough judgmental men to last a lifetime, thank you very much. Maybe he didn’t like the fact that she sold sex toys. Heaven forbid women please themselves on their own. Whatever his problem was, she didn’t give a crap. He wasn’t her customer and she didn’t have time to worry about it.



Chapter 2

Two months later

“You are going to love what I got her,” Julieta whispered to Lizzy.

They were sitting next to each other at Mina’s bridal shower. Mina Hollingsworth, soon-to-be Mina Blue. The sweet artist was marrying former pro-football player/former Marine Alexander Blue and she was one of the nicest people Julieta had ever met.

“I take it you went off the registry,” Lizzy whispered back before taking a sip of her mimosa.

“Just a bit.” She held back her grin as Mina picked up her next gift. The black and white damask bag with a bright pink stripe across the top was distinctively from Julieta’s store.

“I know who this is from,” Mina said, already blushing as she delicately pulled the paper stuffing out the top. Her face split into a wide smile as she pulled out the sheer white, delicate lace lingerie babydoll halter. The back had ruffled layers to create a small bustle and above that in bright pink hand-done stitching were the words ‘property of Alex’. Mina’s fiancé
have mentioned something to Julieta about this.

As Mina pulled it out and saw the back she started laughing, her cheeks flushing an even darker shade of pink. “Did Alex ask you to do this?” she asked.

Julieta just shrugged and pursed her lips together as she fought a smile.

Mina turned it around for the twenty other women to see. Everyone started howling and talking about how much their significant others would want them to get one. Julieta ignored the small pang in her chest. For a bridal shower this one was very small and considering how wealthy Mina was, she was surprised it wasn’t bigger. But maybe she shouldn’t be. The woman was incredibly picky about who she was friends with—because she wasn’t sure who she could trust—and she had guards around her most of the time. All the women at the shower were either married or engaged, except two of Mina’s friends from California.

Being single had never bothered Julieta before. The last three years she’d been working like mad to get her business off the ground and now that it had and she was doing well, she had more time on her hands. She had a lot of friends and a huge, loving family but the truth was, she was lonely. When she’d first started her business she’d actually had a serious boyfriend. They’d been together the last two years of college, but once she’d started working long hours he’d decided he couldn’t handle it. He’d said he wanted her to be successful and would support her, but in the end it had all been lip service. She was glad she’d found out before they’d taken the next step, but it still stung when she thought about how badly things had ended between them.

She couldn’t remember the last date she’d gone on and unfortunately the last two months she’d spent fantasizing about a certain sexy Red Stone Security employee she kept seeing because of her friendship with Mina. But she couldn’t get a read on the man. He was always so tight-lipped and gave brooding stares when she was around. She was pretty sure he didn’t even like her. Not to mention Mina had mentioned that he was a total player on more than one occasion.

Which made her fantasies even more ridiculous. She wasn’t into playboys or bad boys. So why did everything about Ivan make her wake up and take notice?

“Is that from your new line?” Lizzy demanded, shifting against the loveseat in the expansive living room that overlooked the Miami bay as Mina told everyone to go grab food and drinks.

Huge windows and a bright October day made for a gorgeous view and natural lighting as the women broke up and started to eat and mingle.

“Minus the personalized stitching, yes. And
, I’ve already saved one for you. I can’t believe you had a baby five months ago. You look amazing,” she said in mock disgust.

“Porter keeps me busy.” Lizzy’s smile turned mischievous which only made that pang in Julieta’s chest expand.

She shoved down those feelings as best she could. “Seriously, do you need to remind me how long it’s been since I’ve had sex…” She trailed off as Ivan appeared from out of nowhere.

Wearing his standard dark suit he looked imposing and too sexy for his own good. She gritted her teeth at his timing because she was pretty sure he’d heard her. He so did not need to know she had no sex life. He nodded at both of them politely. For a brief moment she thought he’d approached to speak to her and her heart rate increased by about a thousand percent. That lasted for all of two seconds. The thought of him approaching her just to chat was as ridiculous as her fantasies about him.

“Hey Ivan, where’ve you been hiding?” Lizzy asked casually.

Since they both worked for Red Stone, though in different capacities, the two were friends. It shouldn’t make Julieta jealous that Lizzy, one of her oldest, happily married friends, was so comfortable with Ivan. But it kind of did.

“Mina didn’t want us out here for the actual shower but… The other two sent me on recon to check out the food. We’re getting hungry.” He sounded almost sheepish as he spoke, the first time she’d ever seen him look so human.

BOOK: Under His Protection
2.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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