Finally Mr. Quinn ended his call and got out. Obviously he expected her to follow after him like a puppy. Deciding against sitting in the car, mostly because it would look like she was pouting, she followed him to the front door.

“Um, where exactly are we?” she asked.

He looked over his shoulder at her and ran his gaze over her, making her feel like a bug under a microscope. Finally he looked at her face and sighed as if it pained him to speak with her. “We’re here because you need a complete overhaul and I don’t have the time to do it. So, I’m going to ask a friend of mine to do it for me.”

Fire scorched her cheeks as embarrassment once again won over frustration.

She knew she wasn’t exactly a prize, but would it kill the man to sugarcoat it for her? Perhaps a few white lies here and there?

“Oh,” was her only response.

The front door opened to reveal a man with more muscles than any one human needed. He looked Nick over and nodded his acknowledgement before turning his gaze to her and frowned.

A bodyguard? What kind of friend that would help with her appearance needed a bodyguard? Then it hit her. He was bringing her to one of his many lady friends. A model perhaps? She’d heard about him. Heck, she saw the man operate a month ago when she attended that meeting. He seemed to hit on every waitress at the restaurant. It was kind of insulting to say the least.

“Who exactly are we meeting with?” she whispered, feeling suddenly nervous under the bodyguard’s glare.

“Dana Pierce,” Nick said casually as if he were ordering a burger.

Her brows shot up and her heart practically leapt out of her chest. He brought her to the home of Dana Pierce! Was he insane? The woman was a world famous author and actress and did she mention the woman had been in Maxim magazine a total of five times? Nope. She couldn’t and wouldn’t do this. Next to Dana Pierce she would look like dog food.

She turned to leave only to have the back of her coat grabbed. In seconds she was being dragged inside a house that had a surprisingly down to earth feeling to it.

“Hey! Let me go!” she hissed.

“I don’t have time for this, Miss. Harris,” Nick said unapologetically.

“Uncle Nick!” several small boys yelled excitedly.

He released her, causing her to stumble. With the help of the bodyguard she avoided going head first into the front door.

“Thank you,” she mumbled.

“You’re welcome, ma’am.”

Jamie brushed her coat down and turned around to see two little shirtless boys around four years old happily latch onto Nick’s legs. An older boy, also shirtless, who looked to be around eight or nine, hugged Nick, careful of his smaller brothers. There was no doubt that they were brothers. She would have known that instantly even without knowing Edward and Dana Pierce had three sons and one daughter. They looked exactly alike and exactly like Edward. That was kind of interesting considering the oldest one was not Edward Pierce’s biologically son. It was kind of eerie.

As discretely as she could she did a quick glance over the oldest boy. She remembered the incident that occurred five years ago with this little boy. Everyone heard about it. It was hard to turn on the television or pick up a paper or magazine for a month after it happened without seeing a reminder. A babysitter from a well known and trusted agency had a little alcohol and drug party with a guy in this very house and left the two young children alone. As a result the little boy suffered severe burns when he tried to cook food for himself and his sister.

After that incident a new law was enacted called the Cole Child First Act. It required all California agencies that dealt with the care of a child, handicapped or elderly person to do a federal background search on employees instead of a simple state background check. Monthly drug tests were now mandatory and the laws were tougher. From what she read she was pretty sure the woman who caused Cole’s injury was still doing time along with her boyfriend.

At least it looked like the boy didn’t have any scars. She shifted her gaze away quickly. No need for people to think that she was some sick-o or something.

Though, she was sure that she wasn’t the only one who threw the kid curious looks.

“Where’s your mom, Cole?” Nick asked.

Cole stepped back and gestured towards the kitchen.

“Alright, guys. I have to go talk to your mom, but I’ll see you early tomorrow afternoon at your game. Okay?” he said as he bent forward so he could look Cole in the eye.

Cole beamed. “Can we feed the ducks afterwards like last time?”

“We sure can, buddy,” Nick said with a fond smile for the boy. He kissed Cole on the cheek and the two little ones on the top of the head before he gestured for her to follow him.

She was starting to feel kind of awkward being in someone else’s house without an introduction. That feeling of awkwardness was nothing like what she experienced when they walked into the kitchen.

They walked in on Edward and Dana Pierce during a hot and heavy make out session! To make matters worse they didn’t stop. Dana pierce cupped her husband’s face as she practically devoured his mouth while he cupped her backside, holding her tightly against him.

Well, at least she could easily say those magazines that Caitlyn read were wrong. Edward and Dana Pierce did not seem to be on the verge of an ugly divorce.

In fact, it looked like they were on the verge of tearing each other’s clothes off.

She turned around, not sure who she should be more embarrassed for, her or them. Nick on the other hand didn’t seem to be too worried. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him lean back against the wall and cross his arms over his chest. He looked almost bored.

“If I could interrupt you for a moment?” Nick said, grabbing her arm when embarrassment demanded that she make a run for it. He pulled her back and in one swift move had her turned around so she could face the couple they just walked in on. Did this make her a peeping tom?

Instead of looking angry at the interruption they looked amused. Edward pressed a sweet kiss to Dana’s mouth and nose before stepping back.

“You know,” Edward drawled as he leaned against the counter, “most people would have just walked out and given us a few minutes. Maybe knocked on the door or something.”

“Sorry,” Jamie muttered automatically, still not quite meeting their eyes.

“Who’s this?” Dana Pierce asked in friendly tone? Jamie wasn’t sure mostly because her ears were still burning from embarrassment.

“Oh,” Nick said as if she was an afterthought. “This is the favor I need your help with.”

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Hollywood Hearts Young Adult
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