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Protect & Serve

By:Nikki Wild


Protect & Serve










1





The last place on earth that I wanted to be was at Nathaniel Hale’s front door.

I sighed as I looked up at the obscene decadence looming before me. This was the mansion I’d come to loathe over the past few years, and one I’d ended up at more times than I cared to count. It was home to one of the most obnoxious playboys I’d ever met, a walking, talking, self-entitled stereotype who had made my life hell on more than one occasion.

And this time, I was not coming here to fuck him. It didn’t matter how much I wanted him to open this door and pull me inside by my hair for old times sake... I was here on police business, and that was the beginning and the end of it. Our history together didn’t put him above the law, and neither did his pile of money.

I stared at the thick wooden door, waiting for a response. Nathan wasn’t exactly a criminal, but he was definitely a nuisance. Maybe having a multibillion dollar inheritance dropped on your lap could do that to a person. Even now, the front lawn was strewn with remnants of another of his famous parties. I never knew what exactly he was celebrating, but it almost always involved half-naked women and rivers of booze.

And despite my best intentions, here I was again. Nathaniel Hale’s little puppet… He knew the power he held over me… Every time I showed up at his door, badge in hand, he’d flash me a lopsided grin and tell me: Loosen up a little, Officer Williams. Come on in and have a drink with me.

That wasn’t going to happen today. No matter how much I wanted it, I had to be strong. If I went through that door, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. This time, he was coming with me.

I smiled at the thought. It was about damn time some of Nathaniel Hale’s skeletons came out of the closet.

The first time I knocked on this door I was a rookie just out of the academy, and I didn’t know anything about those skeletons. Barely twenty years old and on my own, I couldn’t even legally have the drink he offered me… But Mr. Hale insisted. He knew what he was doing. I was young and innocent and he was the kind of man who gets what he wants. Maybe if I hadn’t gone inside I wouldn’t be standing here again…

I could remember following him through the door that first time, ticket-in-hand and ready to fine him for the disturbance and get back to my beat. I lost my entire train of thought as he drew me inside. I’d grown up on the wrong side of the tracks, and I’d never been close to a house this big, let alone inside one. There was a chandelier hanging over the entry that probably cost more than my salary. Music pulsed through me, the beats keeping time with my own racing heart.

Nathaniel Hale didn’t give me a chance to get my bearings. “Come upstairs and we can get started,” he said, his voice barely audible over the sounds. He had gripped my arm and led me up the stairs toward his office, the crowd of beautiful people stepping aside and letting us through. I could feel the heat from his fingertips, my heart fluttering in an unexpected way with every step we took. I don’t know why I didn’t stop him. A moment later we were standing in front of the large wooden doors, my eyes widening as he threw them open to an even more opulent study.

“Did they tell you what I like?” he asked as we made our way into the office. He moved to a large chair, leaving me standing in the center of the space in a way that made me feel totally exposed and on display.

“I’m here on a noise complaint, not to discuss your likes and dislikes, Mr. Hale,” I’d replied, more confused than anything.

“A feisty one. You must be new. What’s your name, beautiful?”

I couldn’t help myself. I blushed. Mr. Hale wasn’t some ordinary man. His face was a masterpiece, as though he’d been chiseled from the finest marble by the most divinely-inspired sculptor there was. His burnt jade eyes were host to flecks of gold near their center, orbiting his pupils and glimmering every time he flashed one of those blinding white smiles. The man was unbelievably wealthy, almost criminally handsome, and he thought I was beautiful…

“Officer Williams,” I replied curtly, trying to maintain my composure. Standing here under his withering gaze was enough to make me lose my mind. His eyes swept up and down my uniformed body, appraising me the way a lion might look at a zebra.

“You said that at the door, Ms Williams. I’m asking you for your real name,” he replied, a smile blooming across his face.

“Sandra,” I whispered.

“Turn around, Sandra.”

The words were less of a request and more of a command. I don’t know why, but my feet were moving before my brain could catch up. I found myself facing away, gasping ever so slightly as I heard Mr. Hale moving from his chair. All of my police training was screaming out. This shouldn’t be happening. What in the world was I doing?

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