Monday, November 16, 2009
Jon walked up and down her block, three times before he managed enough spit to swallow his pride and walk in her door. The small, antique gold plaque told him she was on the first floor of the building, along with another agency of some sort. Taking a deep breath, he walked up the stairs.
Dammit, after trying every way to get around this security issue he’d come to only one resort. No fucking way he was having an entourage, or a guy escorting him everywhere at Obama’s functions. It had been made perfectly clear by Obama’s security that unless Jon had personal security, he was a threat being there.
Mackenzie was his only option if he wanted to continue to do the Democratic stomps. It twisted right down to his gut to think about having to ask her when he clearly blew her off.
He couldn't stop the smile when the frosted glass front of the door screamed noir PI movies, with the crisp black lettering: Coopers Private Investigation & Security Agency. Kenzie's name was smaller and still yet more formal underneath it advising of her licensed status. He was actually going to walk into a PI's office to ask this woman to watch his ass.
He seriously needed to be committed, he thought as he opened the door.
A desk took up the majority of the main space. A simple seating area in leather took up the rest of the room with a fan of magazines and all sorts of green sprouting from every corner. The receptionist desk was littered with green plants in various stages of bloom and a pretty blonde had a phone to her ear. She was a little starchy in a mild pink suit that reminded him of the movie Legally Blonde that his daughter made him sit through.
She hung up the phone and he smiled. "Hello, I was wondering if Ms. Cooper was in."
She pushed her mouse to the screen, and looked over to the diary. "Sorry sir, she's out at the moment with a client but her next hour is free, she's due back any minute. Is she expecting you?"
He smiled, taking his ball cap and sunglasses off. "I think she'll see me. She brought me a contract to look at yesterday." It wasn't exactly the whole truth, but pretty damn close. "Do you think I could wait for her?"
She glanced at the couple of people waiting and nodded "Not a problem" she stood up and walked to the far door and held it open "Just wait inside here, she won't be too long."
He had to hand it to her, she didn't blink even though he saw the recognition in her wide blue eyes. Kenzie certainly had a professional staff. "I appreciate it," he bumped up his smile into charming instead of polite.
"There's a pot of coffee in the corner there, I always put it on at this time of day for her. So please help yourself," she smiled and clicked the door shut behind him.
"That'd be great, thanks." He headed for the pot and smiled appreciatively as the high end blend wafted his way. He almost wished it was Folgers or something to fit with the front door. He didn't bother with any sugar or cream, needing the quick jolt of heat and caffeine that only black coffee could provide. Sipping at the mug, he turned around the room.
She seemed to like the traditional heavy end desks, both at reception and the super sized one in her office. She'd situated it right near the window, maximizing space and light. It was totally covered in files and ditto paper with a busy fax spitting out information behind her chair on yet another desk.
Volumes of books were crammed in the shelves that reminded him of a lawyer’s office more than...well. He supposed she dealt with the law even more than a lawyer and a cop. His eyes scanned titles that spoke of laws, paternity, and even a few different states mixed in. One bookcase seemed to boast a frenzy of electronics that he couldn't even begin to decipher.
A large safe was tucked in the corner, reminding him that her job was indeed in the security end of things. It was a gun safe. He'd been around guns most of his life, though he'd grown out of the fascination with them before he'd hit thirty. Too many near misses and stupidity came with that kind of weapon in his lifestyle.
The only thing that had any semblance of a feminine flair was a single stained glass window that lit the battered hardwood floor with gold’s and greens, reds and blues. An explosion of plants framed the window with some hanging, some in racks and some with stands all showcasing one pot that had to be half the size of Kenzie's massive desk. It was filled with greens and flowers and pretty glass bulbs that seemed to stick out of the dirt. He stepped closer. Damn, there was water in the little balls. "Pretty cool," he said out loud and filed that away. He had far too many women in his life and finding little presents was tough.
He walked across the room, to the personal shelves tucked off in another corner behind her desk. Framed faces in a variety of stages of Kenzie's life crammed the shelves. Mugging smiles, sappy grins at Christmas and a smug flipping finger in front of a cake with so many candles it resembled a bonfire.
He snorted, putting the picture down, his knuckle bumping into a small frame that wasn't quite out front. He picked it up and a much younger Kenzie stared back at him, her lips smacking a guy that couldn’t be over twenty. His eyes were crinkled and laughing as his beefy arm wrapped around her neck and waist.
Mackenzie raced up the stairs, her heels pounding on the wood back up to her office. She breathed out when she came to the landing swinging the door open. Slung over one shoulder her bag, filled with documents she’d now have to file and process. And the other, two foot long subway sandwiches. One again was to be used for bribery. Claire was so much better at filing and doing all that stupid work. Ok ok, so not better. Mac just loathed the manual work that the job entailed at times.
MacKenzie breezed through the reception area, Claire was busy on the phone but snapped up when she saw her come in, and waving her arms around frantically. She raised her eyebrow at her and followed her rapid pointing to the door of her office. She walked up and paused looking through the crack. To her surprise she caught the back end of Jon holding one of her photo frames.
She studied him a bit longer than she intended to instead of going right on it. What was he doing here? A small grin curled in her lips as she wondered if he'd changed his mind and needed her after all. The dark wash jeans curved around his ass so perfectly. What was with that? She always had to look. The blades in his back were prominent through the tight black long sleeve tee he had on. The man worked out, gorgeous shape into a trim waist. Josh would be proud. She snapped back to reality when Claire coughed and gave her a look. She chuckled and shook her head. Swinging open the door fully she stepped in.
"Enjoying the slide show?"
Jon turned away, frame still in hand. The business woman that greeted him left him off balance. Her dark hair was twisted up and away from her face, leaving her sea colored eyes unframed. A slick, decidedly feminine suit nipped in at her waist and the simple white shirt under it looked a little wilted, like she'd been sitting forever. He could see the restlessness in her face and the wariness at his visit. He put the frame down and rounded her desk. "Here," he grabbed the huge deli package and caught a whiff of Italian dressings and meat. "You didn't need to feed me, though." He said with what he hoped was a charming, lopsided grin.
She laughed, "Thanks, it was actually bribery for my staff but tell anyone I do that and I may have to kill you." She sank down in her leather swivel and slammed her leather satchel down. She took the package and pulled out a long wrapped parcel. "I'm starving, I've not eaten since six so please excuse me," she unravelled the paper and took a huge bite of the pastrami cheese and mayo rich roll. "So what do I owe this visit Jon, I know it’s not the free coffee,” she smiled nodding to the coffee at the end of the table.
Leave it to MacKenzie to get right to it. He set his hat down on her desk, crossing his arms over his chest as he dug his fingertips into his aching tricep against the cooling weather. "I'm not terribly good at eating crow, MacKenzie, but I'm here." He wanted to stare at the floor, over her shoulder, anything but her eyes. But it was her eyes he focused on. Pride slamming in his throat
"I'd like to discuss some options."
She finished the second mouthful of her sandwich and couldn't help but be intrigued. He's thinking about it now huh? Didn't seem so bad now did it? She leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs meeting those aquamarine eyes that countless probably women had orgasmed over. The tenseness in his jaw, she could see. He hated this, a man like Jon wasn't used to admitting that he was wrong she'd bet. "I'm listening," she said seriously.
The delight to make him squirm in his seat, she could get off on. He was going to have to work for this one.
"I spoke to a few people last night," try a dozen, "and I'm not in love with any of my options." He couldn't just stand there and have her watch him like that. Her eyes were nearly glittering with the crow he was munching on and it left a bad taste. She didn't want to have anything to do with him, and now he had to all but coerce her into helping him. Christ. But he'd eat that fucking crow if it meant that his family was safe.
He paced along the carpet just inside her door. "I've spoken to the police and a few people I trust and all of them want me under 24/7 guard with a detail that would rival fucking Madonna and all the Brittany's combined." He turned to her. "I'm not going to live my life that way." He clenched his jaw. "You're my best option."
She sat for a few moments listening to him tapping the end of her boot against the brass draw handle of her desk. "You're best option? Or your last?" she asked a bit too quickly off the tongue.
She knew she was his best option, especially for what he required in the upcoming events he had to attend. He couldn’t afford to have an entourage but she wasn't in the habit of jumping into bed with a client in a personal security job unless she had their full confidence.
Otherwise this was never going to work.