I love stories with strong heroes who will protect their women from anything. The idea of the fair princess and her knight protector always intrigued me. But I wanted to give it a contemporary, Black spin. So I made my princess independent, strong and used to being the rock her family leans on. When forced to admit she faces something she can’t handle, she reluctantly takes on a bodyguard. His name is Knight and he lives up to the rep. But they come from two different worlds; ordinarily she’d never look at him twice. But she discovers that she needs her bodyguard for much more than his protection skills.
- Successful image consultant Dominique Brandon is shocked when she becomes the target of a malicious stalker. After all, the Brandon name stands for accomplishment and security. Harris Knight is confident that he can stop the stalker. By instinct and by training, his nature is to protect and defend. He never lets emotion get in the way.
- Can this society Princess trust her own Black Knight with her heart? Or will he let her through his defenses only to find that he’s still the outsider once she’s safe?
He opened it and glanced over the neatly typed hate letter: “You claim to make people better than they were. But you don’t have the ability. You’ve made a lot of enemies, Brandon bitch, and it’s time you paid. Then everyone will know that you’re a PHONY!”
“I’ve gotten several of those in the last few weeks. It was upsetting but I thought it was just a prank. But there were also phone calls.” She shuddered. “First he just breathed. Then he began to spew obscenities.”
“You didn’t recognize the voice?”
“No. It’s kind of distorted, as if it was being filtered through some device.”
Harris nodded. “What else?”
She took a deep breath. “Then he started spray painting filthy words where I would see them. On my car, on my front door, on the walls outside my office. But I still thought it was just a sick prank until…”
“The dead animals?” he prompted quietly.
She shuddered. “Yes. I called the police. They said it was a cat, left on my doorstep. And the next day there was a rat.”
“Take it easy,” Harris said in a soothing voice. “I understand there was an incident when bricks were thrown through the windows of your home.”
She nodded miserably. “Now my car looks like it was smashed with a sledge hammer and smeared with chicken blood, inside and out. And the reporters showed up–
“Because of the message to the news show,” Harris supplied.
The anonymous faxed message to one of the local television stations declared that Dominique Brandon should be checked out because she was obviously in trouble.
Dominique nodded shakily. “After that, everything was a mess. ”
“I would imagine so,” Harris said dryly.
“I thought I could ignore this–person. Let the police handle it. But Tony thinks we need to take a more active path. I just want this to be over.”
“I’ll do what I can,” he said softly. “You have my word on it.”
Their gazes met for a moment and uncertainty flitted across her expression briefly. As if she weren’t sure what his word meant. And he found himself willing her to trust him. But the next instant, she was all professional again, discussing hours and fees. Half an hour later, they had come to an agreement and drawn up a contract.
Harris stood up to shake her hand in farewell. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Ms. Brandon.”
“Please, call me Dominique,” she said with a smile. A car salesman’s smile. A politician’s smile. Polished. Dazzling.
He tried not to gulp. “Sure. I’m Harris.”
“Harris.” She repeated his name and slid her fingers free of his. Then she was gone.
Harris cursed himself silently. He was acting like a damn idiot. Putting a potential client in a choke-hold wasn’t standard procedure by any means. But she had asked for it, with her condescending air. He despised people who flaunted their presumed superiority.
Nothing had prepared him for his reaction, though, when he held her in his arms, so close and helpless. He could feel her heart beating under his restraining arm and her pulse in his hand. Her skin was so incredibly soft to the touch. He couldn’t remember ever feeling anything so soft and smooth. And she smelled like…sin.
Blissfully sensual indulgence. Imagine someone who looked so business-like wearing a scent so come-hither. Hers was a subtle scent, not easy to detect unless you were as close as he had been. Yet he had thought he caught a hint of it occasionally during the rest of their interview. It had driven him crazy. He could still almost smell it on the hand she had taken…
“Hey, Harris.” Tanisha opened his door without warning, the way she usually did.
“Yo,” he said, quickly dropping his hand from his face, trying to sound normal.
“We got a new case, Harris? Who do you want to assign to it?”
He wrenched his thoughts back to business as he shot instructions at Tanisha. This was just another case, that was all. He’d better remember that. He wasn’t about to get involved with a woman like that.
When Tanisha left him alone, he strode to his desk and began to organize a file for Dominique’s case.
* * *
There were no reporters in sight when Dominique went to her office next morning. She was glad of that. Maybe this thing would just die down and go away. It had to be some kind of prankster. She couldn’t believe that anyone could hate her so much.
But she had hired Harris Knight. His agency, she amended. The memory of him holding her in his office yesterday kept intruding into her consciousness too often for her peace of mind. She was no innocent. But she couldn’t deny that Harris’s touch had aroused her in a way that was wholly new to her.
She’d have to watch her step around Harris Knight. And if there were no more threats in the next week, she’d fire him. She couldn’t afford to waste money and she had a feeling that he could disturb her peace of mind.