A/N: Protection for difficult clients — Very short chapter!

Hi JMP atFB! You're right! That sub club is fricking crazy. But the reason they're not concerned that Leila didn't show up is that the club isn't that highly organized; it's not as if they're following Robert's Rules of Order. They're not each other's accountability partners. However, they realize she's sufficiently sprung on Christian enough for a mention. Besides, Anastasia was attacked. The news outlets have not reported that her assailant was an unidentified woman who resembled her.

TaylorPoV

We are limited in our jobs. We know what we can do and what we can't. It's a tightrope keeping clients happy yet keeping them safe. That's the line we walk. The narrow path. Over time, we learn when our client wants privacy and when they want protection. They trust the unworthy, they encourage violence, they get drunk, and sometimes they even commit crimes. But the difficult client is like any other customer. And we provide a service.

We have to get used to their foibles and if we're lucky there aren't too many. We might have to guard a person who's purportedly happily married with five children. And a mistress. Sadly, we might just have to protect her too. Even if she's a bitch. Sometimes especially if she's a festering cunt. Because, for some unfathomable reason, the client believes her pussy contains the intact Rosetta Stone and the meaning of life.

We will keep our client's secrets. We are not their morality police. And though we may want to shut our eyes or pinch our noses, we can never let our repugnance divert our eyes from the prize. We don't get to instruct or preach to them.

We must follow the chain of command. Needless to say, this is not a job anyone can do straight out of war. There, we learned to simply take out the enemy and were given permission and orders to do so. Here, we might just end up carrying the enemy's bags. Like that Lincoln broad. Every time I see her, I think the best thing for all concerned would be delivering a double-tap, squish, right to her forehead, but that's not to be. Only a dream. We get paid well, so well, that it's almost impossible to quit.

Our reputations are tied to our clients. Working to protect entertainers, presidents, senators, CEOs or other political movers and shakers. Their reputation is our reputation. We may have to dress in fancy clothes, we may have to pack heat.

Some clients don't even like guns, long after it's been made painfully clear that guns like them. Generally, we just have to work around their whims. We might have to drive them around like Miss Daisy. Sometimes we vacation with them.

But we have to remember no matter how close we are to those families, we're still men apart. Sometimes they'll drag us in, but we can never allow ourselves to get too complacent and comfortable and think that we're their equals because we're not; we're the watchers. And sometimes the watchers are told to sit down and shut the fuck up.

Many of the client's favorite people are security risks. Our job is to keep the client alive regardless. But I can't deny that Grey's lifestyle terrified the shit out of me because when those subs come around he loses his mind and all of his self-preservation. What would keep any of those broads from assassinating him post-slap and tickle? Would I enter the apartment one day to find him laying murdered in his playroom because he refused to keep the cameras rolling? He likes to have the illusion of privacy. It's our job to give him that privacy or at least belief that he has some otherwise even he will rebel.

But Miss Steele was an outlier, something unexpected. She wasn't one of his trained snatches, and she did not sign his contract. Which was bad, because we could all see how obsessed he was over her from their first moment. We could tell she would lead him on a merry chase. Not for us, but for Fate and Karma. Because at heart, Christian Grey was not the contained, urbane businessman he presented himself to be.

He complained that Miss Steele was too friendly and trusting, and tried to cut everyone out of her life when over a dozen women had the roadmap of his dick planted in their cunts. He was pretty fucking friendly himself. The hypocrite.

I've been dealing with a crisis of conscience because I'm both thrilled Leila Williams is dead and pissed I didn't kill the devious bitch myself. Grateful she hadn't hurt Gail, angry that Gail didn't follow the protocol. Ashamed that Miss Steele had to defend herself from a danger that she was never informed existed. Knowing that there are yet other perils when she lay so vulnerable in her hospital bed. Convinced that my employer is her greatest threat. Because though I believe he loves her, he has never tested his strength against a woman who didn't get off on pain and anguish.

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Thank you for reading.

Nichole Stewart FB