Pasha was surrounded by women. On either side of him in the nightclub's VIP booth were dancers from Mia Malone's Mending Hearts Tour. The cloying smell of perfume and body lotion clung to the air around him. He raised his beer to his lips and took a long pull. While being at the nightclub wasn't his first choice, his front-row seat to the dance floor gave him a great view and provided endless entertainment.
"I can't believe Mia finally let you come out with us. We all had bets on whether you were a monk or a priest or something." Jazz giggled beside him and sipped her fruity drink.
She was his least favorite, constantly trying to push him into a conversation, rarely anything interesting to say. Mia had gotten him an English tutor, and apart from an accent, his English was fluid now. She'd tired of using various translation apps or listening to him talk in stilted or broken sentences that didn't keep their meaning. The tutor had been a gift he'd gladly accepted. Now, he could speak fluently and well on a variety of topics, but he chose not to most of the time. He'd earned a reputation as a man of few words. While he had more English words than he'd ever expected, he tended to save them for Mia or Tyler or baby Victoria. They were his adopted American family.
"Yes," he said, picking up his pint of beer. This would be the only drink he'd have tonight. While he was sure the Sullivan-Malone family were safe with Gerald and the other security personnel back on the tour buses, as the head of her security, he had a responsibility to them. Getting drunk in a bar wasn't part of his job description, even if Mia had tried to insist tonight that he needed to blow off some steam. Whatever that meant.
"I don't think he wants to talk to you," Amy, another dancer, said from the other side of him. "Might as well hit the dancefloor and see if you can lure some poor sucker with your sick moves."
Jazz took out the straw in her drink and chugged the last of the icy concoction before leaving the booth with a huff.
He sighed. It was one thing for him not to talk to her, another for Amy to hurt Jazz's feelings. Not that Amy's comment would matter in a few minutes. Jazz's middle name was persistence. She'd be snuggled up to him with a new drink before the next song started. If he'd thought Jazz would be a one and done woman, he'd consider having sex with her. Maybe they'd both get a bit of satisfaction, but he hated doing anything to screw up his job, his position in Mia's security detail. So, no excessive drinking, no sex with her dancers. His rules were nothing Mia had suggested or imposed; he just didn't want any complications.
"Christ, I'm hot," Alyssa said, taking Jazz's vacated spot. She grabbed one of the ice cubes from Jazz's glass and smeared it across her chest. Pasha's pants tightened.
Unlike Jazz, Alyssa was his favorite. Her dark blonde hair fell in thick waves down her back. Tall and lithe, she glided across the floor. From the first moment he'd seen her, Pasha had been secretly obsessed. She was the only returning dancer from the Blind Faith Tour. When he'd asked Mia about her rotating door of dancers, Mia had said it was a different tour with different ideas, and not all dancers could do all things. Alyssa, who'd been better than average to make the first tour, must be phenomenal to get a second shot. She held his attention when she was on stage, and he had to work to keep his adoration of her a secret from everyone.
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Guarding HeartsGeneral Fiction
**Little Falls Series #3 -- can be read as a standalone but will probably be more enjoyable if you've read Mending Hearts first** Pasha Lebedev is honored when Mia Malone, world-famous pop star, asks him to fill in as her father figure at her weddin...