He’d give his life to protect her…but he’ll demand everything from her in return.
“I’ll return to DC, but I want separate residences.”
Todd shook his head. “If we don’t live together, the separation will be noticed. You’ll stay in our condo.”
She’d known the request was a long shot. And as much as she hated it, her douche of a husband was right. “I’ll pretend to play house, but I will not be alone with you—ever. I’ll be hiring round-the-clock bodyguards.”
He laughed. “Do you think any muscle in DC would protect you against a Pershing?”
If they ever wanted to work in the swamp again, no. She resisted the urge to lean on Matt and considered her options. But she was out of her element, and she needed protection guaranteed to put her safety first. “You’ll pay for two bodyguards of my choosing, not based in DC, to watch over me twenty four-seven.”
“Why are you stupid enough to imagine I would do that?”
“Spin it to your advantage to increase the family’s likability and win your grandfather more votes. Say Winston’s enemies have made political threats against me, and being the protective husband you are, you insisted on ensuring my safety. Since the rumors of your—how do I say this nicely?—leisure activities have been a part of Winston’s image problem, that might go a long way to quieting the rumors that our marriage is empty and you get your jollies by seducing too-young girls. By the way, how is Todd junior?”
He scowled. “You can’t prove he’s my kid.”
“Please… He looks just like you, and your father writes that girl a check every month so you don’t have to submit to a DNA test.”
Todd lunged angrily in her face. “If you don’t shut the f*ck up, I’m done negotiating.”
“You’re not,” Matt insisted. “She needs two bodyguards. I’ll be one of them.”
Madison gaped. Did he understand that Todd would take every opportunity to humiliate him? And if that didn’t satisfy her husband’s twisted side… Well, he’d proven he wasn’t above murder.
Todd hesitated, his shrewd stare volleying between her and Matt. “Okay, Romeo. This will be fun. I’ll pay whatever your going rate is. Who’s your other watchdog?”
“I am,” Ethan Garrison piped up, settling his ball cap on backward before crossing his inked arms over his chest.
Matt whirled with a narrow-eyed glower. “No.”
Ethan shrugged. “Not your choice, sport. You don’t like it? Take it up with the bosses. They had the same idea about her protection, and this was their decision.”
Madison tried not to wince. Matt and his youngest peer got along, as the old Southern saying went, like oil and water. They neither liked nor trusted each other. How the h€ll was this going to work?
Deke nodded in confirmation. “Hunter, Logan, and I talked about it for nearly two hours last night. Nash was their first choice, but he needs more recovery time after dancing with the three tangos’ knives. So…Ethan it is.”
One-Mile shrugged apologetically. “Sorry. My dance card is full, buddy. And Zy, Trees, and Kane are all assigned to the Texas border.”
That left Ethan.
“Then it’s settled.” Todd gave a self-satisfied smirk. “If you want a divorce, the three of you will come to DC as soon as you’ve visited your father so I can get you ‘pregnant.’”