Leander looked the man up and down. He was not in a place where he could look very intimidating, but he did his best.
The man did no look intimidated. Leander’s opinion of him went up a notch. “So, are you interested?”
Leander’s opinion went up yet another notch. “I’m not in a position to have an opinion on things.”
“You are definitely in a position to have opinions, or you would not have started this discussion by telling me what you didn’t do. The question is: do you do bodyguard work?’
“I can do bodyguard work,” Leander agreed. “But the thing about kittens is, when they argue, it’s not that loud and their claws don’t hurt that much.”
“Mmm. My daughter has agreed to abide by one decision I make about ‘big things’ a year, and I have yet to use this year’s decision.”
“That’s a pretty impressive concession.” Leander raised his eyebrows. “But does she ACTUALLY abide, or just put on a show of it? One of those will fuck me more than the other. Will she actually do what I say, in a situation where I need her to listen?”
The man smiled. “You’ve done bodyguard work before.”
“Twice. Once for someone who listened. Once for someone who didn’t. They both survived the experience.” Leander smirked. “The latter enjoyed it far less.”
“My daughter is likely to give you lip, but she is unlikely to argue in a life-or-death situation. She may have grown up relatively safe, but there have been enough troubles in our lives that she has learned when the time is to be serious.”
“Mm. Last question. Why isn’t she here?”
“Two reasons. First, because I don’t want her to think she has a choice in this matter. And second, because I want you to make your choice before you meet her. Not because I think you’ll scare her off, but because it’s the job that’s important, not the person behind it.”
“Harsh. You’re buying your daughter a bodyguard without consulting her first.” Leander smirked. “Is she going to throw a tantrum?”
“She’ll throw a fit, but she’ll accept the help. She needs to.” For a split second, something worried crossed the man’s face. “Hard times are coming, and I want her to be all right.”
“So you came to a place that sells sex slaves.”
“I have a – not a friend, but a contact here. They knew what I was looking for. I’ve been looking for a while.”
Leander tensed. “You set me up.”
“No. No.” The man held up both hands. “No, I did not. And my contact did not. They’re not in acquisitions here and they have no influence over acquisitions. I swear it to you; however they decided to … acquire you, it had nothing to do with me.”
Leander relaxed in his chains. “Be easier if you had. Then I could hate you.”
“I’m sure you’ll have plenty of people to hate. So. Are you interested in the job?”
Leander considered the chains. He considered the man in front of him – rich, handsome, sleek. He considered a rich young brat who only listened when she had to.
He considered what a place like this would otherwise do with a guy like him.
“I’ll take the job.”