Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

Previous: Chapter Nineteen
Next: Chapter Two


By Dez Burke

Chapter One


Alexandra Duke could not believe what her father was telling her.

“What do you mean, you’ve hired me a bodyguard? Why on earth would I need one?” she asked in amazement as she stared at the tall, distinguished man standing in front of her in the plush study.

When Alexandra had been summoned to the house to see her father, this was the last thing she’d been expecting.

Her father, Donel Duke was a man of many sides when it came to business. Takeover ace, whiz entrepreneur, property maven, commodities specialist...Whatever he was labeled, he was good at making money and he had loads of it – more than he could ever possibly know what to do with.

Ever since his wife, Alexandra’s mother had died when Alexandra had been seven, he’d thrown himself into the business of reaping from the many portals of wealth available to a man fueled by ambition and determined to make use of every opportunity. But even with all his business concerns, he always made time for family. Alexandra could never fault him that. If he couldn’t be there, he paid someone to do it. And that person was always the best even though for the growing Alexandra, the best staff, be it chauffeurs, maids, nannies or other types of caretakers had never been good enough to replace a father’s undivided attention.

Now, at twenty four, she’d long broken from the protective wings of her father and had moved out to stay at her own place- and now she felt a stinging irritation at the thought of being imposed upon by some bodyguard she didn’t need.

Her father let out an impatient sigh. “You know I’ve always been security conscious, and ever since you’ve started living on your own I’ve been feeling more and more uncomfortable. Especially with the recent acquisitions I’ve made concerning a few key companies. There are many disgruntled parties involved – dangerous people and I’m worried there might be an attack on you to get to me.”

Alexandra frowned in confusion. She already knew her father made a huge amount of money with his corporate bidding but nothing had ever put him or her in danger. Being very rich it was no surprise he’d have security detail and she always remembered how carefully guarded the house was. But was there really enough of a threat to her safety to warrant the need of a personal bodyguard for her?

As she paused, she felt her father take her elbow and lead her to the adjoining living area of the house. A man rose from the couch when they appeared, and Alexandra’s eyes immediately pinned to him.

“Alexandra, meet Cane Hutchinson. Cane, this is my daughter Alex,” she heard her father say as they advanced into the living room.

The man stood there in the middle of the room and Alexandra took a few moments to study him.

Chestnut brown hair cut almost military short, and very tall – at least six three. He was quite good looking, early or mid-thirties with a smooth jaw and piercing green eyes.

He had to work out because even in his smart black suit and tie with a white shirt, his shoulders looked hard-packed, his waist trim and his hips tapering. He had a striking, tanned face, full of sharp angles and features that hinted at high intelligence, wit and interest. Good looking? Heck, the guy was freaking hot, thought Alexandra. Far too hot to be a bodyguard. Her bodyguard. He looked more like he belonged in GQ than working as a close protection agent.

He nodded politely in greeting when Alexandra appeared. Now, she promptly turned to her father.

“I don’t want him,” Alexandra said with a brisk tone.

“Alex, this isn’t a day at the toy store,” her father said impatiently. “You can’t send someone back like an order of shoes you don’t like. Hutchinson stays. He’s the best in the business, highly recommended. I considered that only the top man would do for your personal security.”

Alexandra rested one hand atop the curve of her hip. “I can’t help but be surprised my bodyguard happens to be white. Wouldn’t a black guy have been more inconspicuous next to me?”

“Hutchinson is trained to keep a low profile. It’s not going to be so obvious to the outside world, not when he knows how to stay in the background,” her father said, before glancing at his watch. “Look, I have to make an important conference call in ten minutes to my links in China. Talk to him, he’ll tell you about your security details. This could be just for a little while, until I can be sure there’s no threat to you. Till then, just play nice,” Donel Duke told her, saying the last three sentences under his breath as he leaned forward to kiss her cheek.

He gave the bodyguard a nod, and then walked out in direction of his study, shutting the double doors after him.

Previous: Chapter Nineteen
Next: Chapter Two