Chapter 1: The Threat
He pulls me into a tight embrace. This man... I don’t know what it is about him, but I just can’t seem to stay away from him. If this is wrong, I don’t want it to be right.
“What do you want baby?” I look straight into his eyes and take a deep breath, knowing that my answer could change everything. Before I can respond, I hear a familiar voice in the background.
“What the hell is this?!” This is it. My husband caught us.
*** Ten days earlier: Although being a senator’s wife has its perks, the downsides are far greater. Every moment of my life is planned out and scrutinized.
“Good morning, Olivia.” I smiled at my receptionist who seemed flustered, or surprised to see me. She didn’t stop looking at me until the elevator doors closed. What the hell is her problem?
As I approached Kyle’s office, I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now. Is that Kelly, his personal assistant?! She’s half-sitting on the edge of his desk, facing my husband. When I see her hand slide up his upper thigh, I feel my anger raise.
He looked at me in pure shock and pushed Kelly off of him. “Ow Kyle! That hurt!”
The moment she saw me, she gasped and stood up. “Mrs. Cyrus! How lovely to see you this morning!”
I nodded. “Ditto.”
“You look nice this morning, as always.” It was clear she was trying to get off of the topic which frustrated me even more.
I pitied Kelly. Kyle fed her the same lines of bullshit that he gave me for years and she fell for it. “What are you doing here?”
“You two have an interview with the National News today to discuss your campaign.”
“I was asking my husband, not you.” I looked directly at Kelly and rolled my eyes.
“I didn’t know the meeting was at nine, darling. I thought it was at ten.”
God that cocky grin on his face made me want to slap the shit out of him. “Kyle, we went over this so many times.”
“I forgot, love.”
“What is she doing in here?” Besides trying to seduce you as always.
“I’ve been looking for my darn pearl earring for the last few days and I realized I dropped it in here.”
Pure giveaway that she’s been in here multiple times with him. “Maybe my husband has it hidden somewhere.”
Kyle looked at me and scowled. “Vanessa, seriously?”
I noticed as he watched Kelly get on her hands and knees, “searching” for her earring under his chair and sighed. “Found it!” She smiled at Kyle when she stood up and adjusted her blouse. “Well, I should get back to work now.”
“Good.” Kyle smirked at her, causing her face to turn beet red.
“Oh! I forgot to give you these.” Kelly went to her desk in the hallway and handed him a pile of letters.”
As soon as she shut the door, he glared at me. “Was that really necessary?”
“You two were pretty close when I walked in, so it was an assumption and you also have a tendency to want to sleep with your employees.”
“Babe, I’d never cheat on you.”
Lies. “I know you wouldn’t, but we should really get going. The interview starts in twenty minutes.”
“I need to look through this mail.”
“Kyle, we don’t have time and...”
The smug grin he had on his face immediately changed to pure shock and confusion. “What’s wrong?”
“The interview is cancelled.”
“What? But I prepared myself for this interview for the past week.”
“Go home, Vanessa.”
“Don’t make me ask you again.”
Nodding, I left to avoid another argument (which seemed to happen a lot more lately).
*** Four hours later: I was expecting for Kyle to be home by five, but it’s eight already and he’s still not back. I called and texted him countless times but didn’t get one response.
Is this really what I wanted my life to be like? From a Princeton graduate to a trophy wife? How pathetic! I can’t even do anything about it. Whenever I bring up filing for divorce when I find out he cheats on me, it turns into an argument.
He feels his job is more important than his own wife. So I’m stuck in a loveless marriage for the rest of my life, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m done. I’m not going to live this way forever. I refuse to be treated like a piece of garbage and he’s going to be confronted about it the second he walks in the door whether if he likes it or not.
Just as I’m preparing myself, Kyle walks in the door and leaves it open. He’s finally home! “Is everything okay?”
“There’s someone who I’d like for you to meet. This is Darrell Cleary. He’s an ex NAVY seal and he’s one of the top men who works for me.”
A strong, muscular and quite handsome man approaches us and looks at me without saying anything. His face is so serious, yet so intimidating.
“What’s he doing here?”
“Darrell is going to be your bodyguard.”
“I got this letter today.” He pulls an envelope out of his pocket and reluctantly hands it to me.
Inside is a typed letter with photos attached of myself. One was of me with Hannah last week at the mall and the other two were of me getting in my car after work and arriving home.
“Kyle, what the hell is this?”
“Read the letter.”
I unfolded the piece of paper and read the text.
Mr. Cyrus: Here’s proof that we not only know where she is at all times, but that we can get into your house without you even knowing. If you don’t drop the campaign, your wife’s days are very limited. Consider yourself warned.
"Who is this from?"
Kyle shrugged. "Don't worry, babe."
"Don't worry?! Kyle, they have pictures of me!"
"Stuff like this happens all the time, Vanessa."
"Then why is he here?" I asked, pointing at Darrell.
"I'd look like an asshole if I didn't take the threats a little serious. Especially since it's exposed to the public."
Kyle checks his Rolex watch with an expressionless look on his face. "I had to tell the news why we cancelled the interview."
"What the fuck, Kyle! Why the hell would you do that? I told you I contacted them earlier about rescheduling the interview."
"If the press finds out about this, you're really fucked. So I handled it myself."
"You can't just boss me around, Kyle. I'm twenty five years old and it's unnecessary for me to have a bodyguard. I'm perfectly fine taking care of myself."
"Don't be so dramatic, Vanessa. This is non-negotiable and I'm your husband so you do what the fuck I tell you to do."
"This is a marriage, Kyle. Not a dictatorship."
"It's for your own good, Vanessa. As long as Darrell is with you, you're safe. I have to go back to work. I have shit to finish."
"You mean you need to finish up with Kelly?"
He scowled. "Fuck you, Vanessa. You know I wouldn't ever cheat on you."
"Keep telling yourself that. You know it's a lie as well as I."
As soon as he leaves, I look at Darrell who hasn't said a single word the entire time. "So it's Darrell, right?"
"Well, we'll have a lot of fun together since it's just you and I."
The only response I got from him was a simple nod. This guy is going to take a lot of convincing to have a full conversation.
*** The next morning: It felt like every step I took, Darrell was right behind me. "If you're going to be this close to me, you should at least talk to me. Otherwise, you'll look like a stalker following me."
I've literally tried all morning to strike up a conversation, but I only got one worded answers each time. "Are you always this quiet? Or do I need to bring the exciting side out of you?"
"I'm just doing my job, ma'am."
"Would you like something to eat?"
"I'm not much of a breakfast person, but I wouldn't mind some coffee."
I nodded. "This way, Darrell."
Once we got an empty table and received our orders, it was dead silent between us until he finally said something. "You alright?"
"You haven't touched your food or coffee."
After he said that, I didn't even realize that my plate was in front of me or the cinnamon latte that I usually loved. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"You don't seem it."
"This whole letter shit has me rattled. But irregardless of what happens, Kyle couldn't care less. The only important thing in his life is his career."
"Oh. I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."
I shook my head. "Don't be. Relationships can be complicated. Especially with Kyle."
"They definitely have their ups and downs."
"You sound like you've had some experience. Your girlfriend must miss you when you're gone." God Vanessa, shut up. "Sorry. I didn't mean to sound nosy."
"It's okay. Relationships aren't my number one priority right now though. I have other things I need to focus on."
"That's smart. Do you mind taking me home?"
He shook his head. "Not at all. Let's go."
*** It wasn't long before we got back to the house and I've been dying to ask him something. "Have you ever tried..."
"Shh... do you hear that?"
I heard footsteps downstairs and voices. "See if someone's home." In seconds, gunshots came from most likely the kitchen and Darrell grabbed my arm.
"We need to go."
"Do you have a place to hide?"
"The best option is the closet."
He nodded. "Lead the way."
I sighed as I went into our bedroom, heading straight towards the closet and dragged Darrell with me. "I know it's a little tight."
He shook his head. "It doesn't matter. I need to keep you safe, Vanessa."
We stood fairly close to each other until the gunshots stopped and I heard the main door shut. "I need to go check if they're gone."
"Darrell, don't go. They could still be here."
"I've gone through much worse. I'll be back."
As I watched him leave the closet, I couldn't help but realize how hot he is. I've never seen a man who's muscular like him. He probably looks amazing shirtless and I'd give anything to kiss his lips, slowly lowering towards his neck to his stomach and...
I didn't realize that Darrell came back and I gasped. "Y-yeah?"
"Yes. I'm sure. I just can't believe someone wants me dead just because I'm married to that asshole."
"It'll be okay, Vanessa. I'll keep you safe no matter what."
Someone opened the bedroom door and Darrell took out his gun only to find Kyle. "Whoa, take it easy!"
"Sorry sir. There were a couple home invaders."
Kyle nodded. "I know. One of our neighbors said they heard gunshots. What happened?"
"Well, I'm glad I got here as fast as I could." The fake concern on his face made me want to slap him in front of Darrell and not even care.
"Did they steal anything?"
"Dude, your wife's safety is more important than your things."
"Oh. Right. How the hell could you let this happen?!"
"Kyle, he saved me!" The look on his face made it clear that he was pissed at me (as always).
"Shut up, Vanessa. I wasn't talking to you."
"He was doing his job, you fucker."
He scowled and slapped me across the face. "Don't. Snap back at me. You know better than that."
"Fuck you, Kyle." Filled with anger, I pushed past him and slammed the bedroom door shut behind me.
"Don't you EVER. Hit her again, Kyle."
"I can do whatever I want. Vanessa, get your fucking ass up here. NOW!"
Vanessa opened the bedroom door and scowled at Kyle. "What do you want?"
"I'm sending you away."