The Body Guard

-private request. rated t for adult content.

Chapter One

Muffy was a famous celebrity. She was a fashion designer, a gossip queen, a best-selling author, and arm candy for other famous celebrities. She was beautiful, gorgeous—even on her worst days, she managed to look her best. Her hair and makeup were perfect, her clothes even better. Muffy was the woman of Hollywood.

She had an entourage, muscular men to keep her safe. Buster was one of them. He didn't make it in the academy, moved out to Hollywood to be a screenwriter. He kept up with Muffy online, saw she'd hit it big. He called her and she answered. She let him have the job that day. Buster was elated. He was making good money. He drove a nice car and wore nice clothes. He didn't have many friends in California. The other guys in the crew were it.

Diego was the leader. Tall, tan, and muscular, he'd once been a swimsuit model. Now he was a bodybuilder by day, body guard by night. He talked tough, looked mean, but had a heart of gold. Whenever Muffy had a breakdown on the road, it was him that talked her down. Even her assistant couldn't do that. The men didn't envy Diego for this ability. They envied him for his patience. He could put up with Muffy in ways they couldn't. Plenty had been fired for this very reason: You don't cross a Crosswire.

Diego and Buster shared an apartment with two of the other guys, Raymond and Patrick. Patrick liked nicknames; this week it was Rock Star. He wanted to hit it big in the music scene. His room was trashy, filled with music and posters. Equipment cluttered the place. Diego hated it, called it a fire hazard. Raymond was the neat freak. He snapped rubber bands on his wrists to keep from punching Patrick out.

Buster kept out of it. He was working on a screenplay. He spent most of his time on the computer. Diego shared a room for it. He called Buster "clacker" because he was always typing. He glared at Buster as he worked.

"Hey, man, I'm just working towards my second career," Buster grinned. Diego grunted, "Yeah, whatever man. I heard it a million times. Story never changes, and it never goes anywhere either." Buster scoffed. He'd make it, he told himself. His mom believed in him too, but when did she not?

"Hey, boys, group meeting!" Raymond called. The guys went to the living room. Muffy's assistant was there, Carmen or something. The person kept changing; Patrick called them all Daisy. He winked to her and she scoffed, "I'm here for business. Muffy is going to the club tomorrow night to promote her new jewelry line. You've all gotta be on your best behavior."

"I always am, Daisy," Patrick winked. She ignored him, "Here's the manager's disclosure. You guys are the only other people he's letting in for security. His guys aren't responsible for her. You're on your own." Diego nodded and chuckled, "When are we not? Come on, just give us the blueprints and get back before you piss her off." She sighed, "It's working with you guys that I hate. There's enough copies for all of you. Call me and me only if you have any questions."

As soon as the door closed behind her, Raymond went to his room. Patrick ignored the folder too. Diego sighed and sank onto the couch. Buster sat near him. They studied the plans. It was your typical high-end club. Muffy would be in the Glitz Room, a private room. Lap dances happened there usually, but not this night.

"You ready for another night?" Diego whispered. Buster shrugged. Diego leaned forward, "You don't seem cut out for this. Something is bothering you, something big. You got family sick at home or something?" he asked. Buster shook his head. "What is it then?"

"Nothing important," Buster whispered. Diego pushed him. Buster ignored him. He grabbed a blueprint and went to his room. Diego followed, "Hey, man, I'm not trying to make something. I'm trying to help you out. If you get distracted out there, you're gone. And it won't be pretty. Kiss your screenwriting dreams goodbye."

"I've got this, okay? Buzz off," Buster said firmly. Diego shrugged. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and got online. He really could care less, Buster thought, but he didn't need to know.

Buster was a private person. He was on his own out here. No one to talk to, no one who would understand. He almost liked it that way. No one to barge in with their opinions. But when he needed advice, he was on his own. He was in that boat now. He almost wanted to tell Diego. But that would cause trouble, lots of it.

No one knew Buster had been servicing Muffy for a while. She'd call him to her room. She'd tell him what to do and he'd do it, no questions asked. Sometimes she just wanted to talk, have her feet rubbed—simple stuff. Sometimes she wanted to be plowed, fucked so hard he couldn't see straight afterward. Last night was one of those nights: 2 a.m., strange hotel room in Vegas. She called; he answered. The next day, no word about it. She wouldn't even look at him.

Buster couldn't read her. Maybe she liked him, maybe it was just sex. It meant something to him though. She wasn't his first, but she was the first he could remember, the first to care. She asked him to talk sometimes. She seemed concerned, so he did. He was honest with her, more honest than he was with his own mother.

But maybe it wasn't like that. He didn't know. He was 26 and counting, no real experience under his belt. He needed to know as a writer. He was doing a script about it, a corporate watchdog banging her intern just because she could. He didn't know where to take it. Was there a relationship? Just sex? How the hell was he supposed to know?

Buster's phone buzzed. He looked down. She was calling again. He slipped out, didn't say a word to anyone. Diego eyed him but said nothing. He was a grown man. He could do whatever he wanted after hours. He asked no questions, just kept browsing the net.

Buster stepped into her condo. No one was there, not even her assistant. He went upstairs. She was waiting on the bed, red nightgown and a bottle of wine in her hand. Buster eyed her, waited for direction. She looked him over, so drunk her eyes swam as she turned her head.

"We need...to talk," she slurred. He nodded, sat down. "NO! Stand up," she demanded. Buster obeyed. "They-They want me to—He wants me to—damn it, what's in this stuff?" she scoffed. She threw the bottle across the room. Wine went all over the place. The bottle rolled under her dresser. "Baxter, you-you help me," she said. She threw him an envelope.

Buster looked it over. It was a thick envelope, good paper. The return address was embossed into it. The whole thing felt good in his fingers.

He pulled out the paperwork. It was a legal document. He scanned it. His hands got cold: Someone was suing Muffy for slander, something about her books. 'No wonder she's so damn drunk,' he thought, looking her over. She'd passed out. He covered her, made sure her head was in the right position in case she got sick.

He looked over the letter nearby, watching her sleep between pages. The letter concerned Wonderful Women: What you Should Know, a gossipy best seller about Hollywood's famous females. Some were okay with the talk, all good things they said. Others were pissed. Apparently some were so pissed they were willing to sue.

Buster put the envelope on her nightstand. He slipped on his coat and stepped outside. The night guard was there. He eyed him. Buster nodded, lighting a cigarette. The guard asked for him. Buster couldn't think of his name as they puffed together.

When they were done, the guy tapped his shoulder, "It's Frank, and...I know what's going on. A woman like her doesn't know what privacy is, if you know what I mean," he said. He pointed above him. A camera was there. "Everything on tape, you coming and going. As long as she controls the info, y'all are safe. If it gets out of her hands, you're both screwed. You're the writer, right?" Buster nodded. "Well, watch yourself, writer man, or your ass is toast, Hollywood style."

Buster moved back to his car. He went back to the condo. Everyone was asleep, even Patrick. Buster slipped into bed. He thought of Muffy. Why did she really need him? Talk? More sex? He couldn't tell. Maybe it was something worse. Maybe she was breaking it off—he turned over, blocking out the thought.

Frank was right. Anyone with those tapes had power over Muffy. She was in a relationship with a famous male model. He was possessive. He'd dumped women before for so many reasons, public breakups that ruined the women. Muffy had done the same with her exes, but this guy was different. And Buster was in his territory. What if the guy had the place looked into with his own cameras? He'd be more than toast knowing him, and Buster shivered at the thought.

He hoped no one would find out. It was just a service, he told himself. But he was falling for her, putting her into all of his screenplay ideas. He was in trouble. He just didn't even know it yet.

The club was thumping. They circled behind Muffy, let her lead the way. The crowd parted for her. She looked to glamorous for them to just stand there. Buster kept his eye out. He knew tonight was big.

"We've got the door," Patrick called to them. He and Raymond flanked the entrance to Glitz Room. They checked some ID's as Diego and Buster followed her. She sat at the bar, ordered her favorite drink. A few fashion executives were already there. Buster recognized them. His eyes were on the other side of the room. A guy and his entourage were there and they weren't leaving.

"You see 'em too, huh?" Diego whispered. Buster nodded. "I got this."

Buster recognized him once enough people got out of the way. Muffy's boyfriend. His name popped into Buster's head, Smash Phillips. It was a stage name, but it signaled images of violence and gore. He might be a model, but he was bad ass model, always doing something manly. His last ad was for a gun magazine. The video segment had him firing a bazooka. Buster's head buzzed at the thought of that thing hitting him.

Diego approached. Muffy greeted him warmly. The feeling wasn't mutual. The room shimmered with tension. Buster and Diego exchanged glances. This was about to get ugly. They looked up as Patrick and Raymond entered. A fight was happening on the main dance floor. The commotion was terrible. They were trapped in the room.

Buster turned his attention back to Muffy. She looked up to him, "Jack, what's wrong?" Muffy asked. "Did I do something wrong?" He scoffed. Apparently she had. Muffy gave him a hurt glance, "You've been reading the tabloids again. They always lie about me, baby. You know that."

"I know you're a cheater," he said through clinched teeth, "with him," he nodded. He glanced to Buster. Muffy did too. She scoffed, "He's my body guard, nothing more. You know that. I had you review them before we-"

"Well now I know the truth! I checked your phone! I know what you've been up to, calling him over at all hours. Can't the house crew keep track of you well enough?" he asked. Muffy cried, "Please, you're misunderstanding this! I sometimes call them over for meetings. It's nothing! He's just staff! Come on, let's go dancing or something. You can calm down."

"No."

That shook the room. Tension burnt away as he stormed out of the room. Even the commotion outside had gone away. Everyone looked to each other, dazed from the encounter. This evening was over. Paparazzi outside heard it all. Pens were scribbling and phones were out. The story had broken.

"Let's get out of here," Muffy whispered. They slipped out the back. Buster rode with Diego in the lead car. Diego eyed him, "Is any of that bullshit true?" he asked. Buster said nothing. "She's done it before. She paid off some people to keep 'em quiet. Maybe she'll do it again."

'It's fine,' Buster thought. At least he was about to have an idea of what happened next. The next chapter, after the news broke, would be his breakthrough, if Smash didn't literally break him.