The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Author:Katherine Center
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group


YOU DON’T CALL an ambulance in the country.

You just get yourself to the hospital.

As we sprinted across the yard, Jack called “get the keys” to me, and I was able to pull the Range Rover around to the side porch just as Jack was coming out with his mother in his arms. He and Hank worked Connie into the back seat, while Doc climbed in the other side to hold her head on his lap.

As Hank ran off to his truck and Jack climbed into the passenger seat, Doc asked, “Aren’t you driving?”

Jack said, “Trust me. We want Hannah.”

The hospital was twenty minutes away, and I had no idea how to get there. The guys had to direct me with: Left past the tractor! Right at the longhorns! Don’t run the stop sign!

Even still, we made it in fifteen.

At the emergency bay, I dropped them off, and it was only as I took in the sight of The Destroyer carrying his unconscious mother through the sliding doors that I realized he didn’t have a hat.

I mean, how exactly was he supposed to hide that world-famous face without a hat? The crooked glasses would never be enough.

I called Robby at HQ from the parking lot, briefed him, told him to get on the horn with intake to find us a private waiting room, and asked him to bring us “any other incognito items” ASAP.

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know! A fedora? A big newspaper? Get creative!”

I checked the gift shop on the way in, but it was closed.

By the time I got to Jack, it was too late. Jack and Hank were fighting in the hallway just off the waiting room—and every single person there was staring-but-not-staring at them.

“I’ll take it from here,” Hank was saying.

“We don’t even know what’s wrong yet.”

“Just go home and I’ll call you when there’s news.”

“That’s not how this works.”

“It works how I say it works.”

“I’m staying.”

“You’re going.”

“It’s not your decision.”

“It’s sure as hell not yours.”

“If you think I’m just going to carry my unconscious mother into the ER, drop her off, and go on home to watch TV, you’re crazy.”

“And you’re crazy if you think I’m going to spend one more second with you than I have to.”

Jack was trying to keep his voice low. But that just gave it more pressure. “I didn’t ask to come home!”

“But you came, anyway.”

“What choice did I have?”

“There’s always a choice.”

“Not always.”

Hank was advancing on Jack now. Their voices were low and tight, but their body language was loud as hell.

“Don’t stand there and act like you deserve to be here. You know who you are, and you know what you did. You gave up the right to be part of this family. I’m here, every day, picking up the pieces of everything you shattered. This is my family, not yours—and when I tell you to get the hell out, you go.”

Hank had been building like a wave ready to crash.

I rooted for Jack to lift his hands, take a step back, and defuse the situation.


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