Bodyguard Dearest (Bodyguard #1)

By: Alison Foster

The Bodyguard Series #1


My name is Tris Kane and I'm so done with college and this whole town and the leash my gangster father wrapped around my life at birth.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget Tanner Hayes, my father's all muscle watchdog who lives in my shadow. He's my so-called bodyguard.

I don't need a fucking bodyguard! And I hate his rugged deliciousness.

Tanner barely ever speaks, yet I can't stop thinking about him. He's always there.

It just makes me want to scream.

Note: this standalone, suspense romance novel contains some mature themes and situations. This is the first book in the Bodyguard Series.

All books in the series are interconnected, standalone novels, featuring many of the same characters.


Running Away

Chapter 1


I don’t know where I am. That’s the first thought that pops into my head when my eyes open. It startles me. Then a hellish flushing sound hits my eardrums and I’m shot straight back into reality. I remember now. I’m at Vaughn’s grandmother’s place in a small town called La Mesa near San Diego, a derelict little house that could collapse at any moment. Like my life.

Everything creaks in here, from the hard floors to the washing machine to the prehistoric plumbing system. I would totally miss the privacy of my room and the comfort of my own bed if not for the fact that I detest everything else about living in my father’s house.

A smile forms on my lips as I stretch my arms and sit up in bed. Three days—I’ve been away from home for three whole fucking days and no one has come after me, or banged on this door yet. Congratulations to me.

Finally, I found a way to get out, to not let a single word slip about dating Vaughn and to control my anger around my father. I played it cool. For once, I was cool as a cucumber. I beat my father at his own game. Your little Tris is all grown up, Daddy. Get used to it.

And as for his security team, especially that brooding stack of twitching muscles, Tanner Hayes—Eat my dust, boys. See ya! Wouldn’t want to be ya!

I just kept my head down, I stayed somewhat agreeable—but not so much that I would raise a suspicion—I went to my classes at Pepperdine, I showed interest in my sisters’ flighty chit-chat, hell, I even went on a shopping spree with my mother. It all paid fucking dividends. I fell off my father’s radar. When his goon squad got lazy, I just slipped off into the shadows like a ghost.

So here I am, free at last. Thank God almighty, I’m free at last. My promised land might be this strange little house in La Mesa, but I wouldn’t be happier if this shitty plumbing was spitting out milk and honey.

I’m all good.

My father won’t stop. I know he always gets what he wants, especially with his tireless hound Tanner on the job, but fuck the future. One morning waking in total freedom will be my eternity. I define my reality. Not them.

At the very least, I’ll make that lonely bastard Tanner Hayes waste the rest of his life chasing after me. One escape after another, he and his team will be in hot pursuit. We’ll see the world together, Tanner, you brutish asshole!

Why would my father need such a robust security team? Well, because my father has done nothing but make loads of money out of sketchy (often illegal) activities. He’s an underworld boss, the kind of man who, ah, you would be smart never to talk about.

“Tris, what the fuck?” Vaughn complains as he steps into the room.

Seeing him like this for three days in a row, the way he looks when he wakes up—messed-up hair, reddish eyes, pale and skinny, in nothing but his white briefs, constantly scratching his balls—doesn’t do much to support my original impression of him which was that of a funny, twenty-year old hipster with infectious nervous energy and a cute crush on me.

It’s obvious I had seen Vaughn at his best when we first started going out. The past three days I’ve seen the true Vaughn, a whiny, video game obsessed man-child. If not for his willingness to help me disappear, I’d be kicking him to the curb. I couldn’t spend one more second with him.

“Good morning to you,” I say, irritated by his tone.

“That dude’s here,” he says. “You said it’d take weeks. You said the wire transfer would clear and we’d cross into Mexico. It’s all bullshit. He’s fucking here already.”

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