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Chapter 3

  • Sia motioned for the file in his hands, and Julian
  • obediently passed it to her. Sia went through it quietly, comparing it with the
  • one she had in her hand, then closed the folder and passed them both back to
  • him.
  • “Mr. Turner, your success rate is quite impressive. You
  • have never failed a mission before, and your records are clean . . .  except for a few client complaints.” Sia
  • finished with a raised eyebrow.
  • She didn’t need to see his file to know that about him; she
  • had done her research. He wasn’t too old, either. He even appeared a few years
  • younger than her. Twenty-nine, maybe? But that was good. Youth meant strength
  • and stamina, very essential qualities in a bodyguard, among several others.
  • “I’m aware of the things that may trouble you, Mrs.
  • Milton—”
  • “Miss.” Sia immediately put a stop to that sentence.
  • Julian nodded, wondering why that made him feel oddly
  • satisfied. He had never taken married women to his bed, no matter what rumors
  • Sia might have heard. That was one vow he’d never break.
  • “Right,” he continued, “I have to let you know that all
  • the ‘complaints’ were consensual. I did not force myself on them. And also, as
  • you may already know, that didn’t affect my work or my concentration. It was
  • just a favor that was asked of me. No one got hurt,” he replied with a straight
  • face. It was a little defensive, but his tone was respectful and calm.
  • “True. After all, no one can resist willing candidates.”
  • Sia couldn’t help but mock him a bit even as she made her statement clear: she wasn’t in the market.
  • Julian gritted his teeth. No one has ever dared mock him
  • before. They have been too affected by his charm to utter anything other than a moan. And if they had a complaint against him,
  • it would only be on his quick dismissal of them.” But with Sia, he
  • couldn’t say why, but she was different. He seemed to be the one under her
  • spell while she remained unaffected. Julian had never dated older women before
  • either.
  • Wait, “date”? Where
  • the hell did that thought come from? He didn’t do dates. He only sleeps
  • with willing women. The only memory of a date he had was during his freshmen
  • year of high school.
  • “So I hope you know how serious my case is?” Sia asked
  • finally, snapping him out of his trance.
  • “I know that there had been two attempts on your life,
  • and one was probably to scare you. First, there was the elevator power
  • cutoff, and you were stuck in there for almost an hour . . . alone with
  • decreasing oxygen levels. If my guess is right, you’re claustrophobic.
  • “The second was a supposed burglary attempt, except that
  • nothing was stolen and he made enough noise to wake you up. And when you tried
  • to stop him from escaping, he stabbed you, missing any vital organs but hitting
  • your arm nonetheless, a superficial wound. You made a narrow escape before the
  • police arrived.
  • “The third was the short circuit in your office which
  • failed because the night guard became the victim when he went to turn off the
  • lights. Last but not the least, there was the kidnapping attempt on your son, from
  • which he was able to escape since he was on his bike. Those are all the
  • attempts that have been made so far.” Julian finished, watching her grimace at
  • every event he mentioned.
  • “I was lucky, I guess.” Sia rubbed her temples. “I hate
  • elevators, but I have to ride it up here to the seventh floor. People in the
  • office know about my claustrophobia, so I was rescued right on time. The thief
  • missed because I fell on the ground just as he was about to stab me, and I feel
  • really sorry for the watchman. He shouldn’t be in the hospital right now. It
  • should’ve been me,” Sia said sadly.
  • Did he hear things
  • right? She should be happy she’s alive, and not want to take another man’s
  • place! He didn’t think showing humanity was part of the character of the high-class
  • society. Sia Milton seemed to be the exact opposite of the class stereotypes
  • he’d been working for till date.
  • A thought struck him.
  • “It has to be someone you know! Someone who is family or
  • even a friend?” he asked quickly. All evidence pointed to just that. Or how would the person intent on harming
  • her know about her schedules or her phobias?
  • “Friends? Family! Goodness, no! Why would anyone—”
  • “Think about it,” he cut her off, “You are
  • claustrophobic. That is the exact reason you were trapped in the elevator. That
  • thief wanted to kill you, and the circuit was meant for you, so that when you
  • switch on something in the morning, you will get electrocuted, and the kidnap
  • attempt on your son was also meant to hurt you. As a mother, you’d be
  • devastated if something were to happen to your son. Whoever it is, they want to
  • hurt you physically or mentally, any chance they get,” Julian concluded,
  • feeling a ripple of pain in his heart as he talked about the relationship
  • between a mother and her child. His birth mother hadn’t cared, and he could do
  • nothing to change that, but Cecelia Turner had more than made up for his
  • loveless childhood. It was from her that Julian had learned what having a
  • mother felt like.
  • Sia was stunned into silence. Never in her wildest
  • dreams would she have gotten to this conclusion. Her friends or family! God help her, she was about to faint!
  • Talking to Julian had given her a whole lot more to think about. “Mr. Turner,
  • there are things I’d like to discuss with you in private. I believe my office
  • is no longer safe for having such conversations anymore,” Sia said slowly,
  • calming her nerves even as her eyes roamed the length of the room, searching
  • for the red light of a camera. “Please report on duty tomorrow morning at my
  • house. Your accommodation and meals will be taken care of.”
  • Julian smiled in satisfaction. He knew what he was
  • capable of, yet every time a client officially hires him, he’d always feel a
  • surge of relief. “I promise you won’t regret it, Ma’am,” he said firmly as he
  • stood and extended his hand to Sia.
  • “I hope so too.” Sia, too, stood from her seat, and for
  • the first time, he saw that she was wearing a white pencil skirt under her
  • cotton shirt, and she looked fine in them. He noted that she was also
  • very tall. Five-eight, maybe? A wonderful height for a woman, he
  • remarked to himself.
  • But as soon as her hands touched his, Sia felt a surge
  • of electricity pass through her skin, and she broke the handshake prematurely.
  • “Good day, Mr. Turner, I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said hastily.
  • “Looking forward to it,” Julian said with a small smile
  • as he walked out of the room.
  • Oh, he was looking forward to it all right! He knew Sia
  • had felt that surge of electricity that had passed between them and, judging by
  • the hastiness with which she’d pulled her hand free, he knew she wasn’t as
  • unaffected by him as she had pretended to be.
  • But as he walked out of her office, Julian wondered why
  • he was so eager to get a reaction out of Sia when his entire career depended
  • upon his full attention on this mission.