Landmines and Roses

by A. Hughes and TaraKerry and



Alena watched as the ground crew opened the door and deployed the ladder on the small jet which had just arrived from New York. It was a little chilly outside and she was thankful for her leather coat, which also hid the shoulder holster she wore.

Several men in suits exited the aircraft followed by a short blonde wearing blue jeans, a tan blouse, and a coat. Alena really had less than zero tolerance working for Hollywood types. They thought nothing of laying down a 100 Grand a month on designer clothing and other frivolous items while everyday Joes just tried to get by. But it was a payday, so she'd protect this 5th Avenue diva from whatever threat her management imagined was there and move on to the next job.

Keagan Malloy walked down the stairs thankful it was warmer in LA than it had been in Manhattan. She missed the Arizona winters she'd enjoyed before she was discovered by a talent scout and was whisked away on a journey that ended up with her starring in a movie that had broken most box office records. She noticed the tall brunette standing at the bottom of the stairs. She thought she was probably the wife or girlfriend of one of the goobers on the plane with her, but the woman paid no attention to them. When Keagan's feet touched the tarmac, her agent motioned her over to where he and the mystery woman were waiting.

"Keagan, this is Alena Bowen, she's going to be with you this weekend to make sure you get to your appearances on time and don't have any problems with crowds."Mike informed his client.

Keagan eyed her 5'11"protector curiously as she was used to having men for her bodyguards. She was dressed modestly, wearing dark pants and a blood red blouse mostly hidden beneath her leather jacket. The woman's looks were rugged yet still feminine with a strong jaw line, dark hair, and icy blue eyes.

The actress was small in stature, but even through her heavy winter garb, Alena could see the muscles of a seasoned athlete. In the sunlight, her green eyes glinted like an emerald under the scrutiny of a jeweler's lamp. Her hair was pulled back revealing her fresh face which contrasted greatly with the long, dark brown, knee length coat she wore.

After the formalities of meeting were finished, Mike handed Alena a piece of paper which contained the schedule for the weekend's activities. "I reviewed the copy you emailed to me. Has anything changed?"The man was pleased she was on top of things, "No, it's the same itinerary."He watched as the paper was folded and then placed into a jacket pocket.

The driver walked over and picked up the suitcase that had been placed next to the group by an airport employee and went to put it in the car. "Ms. Malloy, I believe you have an appointment at the salon."The brunette motioned towards the black sedan before taking a few steps towards it. "Guess she's not much for small talk,"Keagan announced to no one in particular, "I hope her protection skills are better than her social ones."

"She comes very highly recommended,"Mike assured her. "I'll see you at dinner tonight."


The silence in the vehicle finally got to be too much for the actress. "How long have you been working as a bodyguard?"Alena cringed internally. She wasn't much of a conversationalist and really wasn't in the mood for twenty questions. Maybe if she kept her answers short and concise the blond flake would get the idea and she could again ride in silence. "Eight years."

"All of them in Los Angeles?"

"Here and there,"the woman answered as she watched the car deftly steered around a slow moving SUV. Keagan found herself wanting to know more about her fellow passenger, "Ever been to Arizona?"

"A few times."

Since it seemed her sentinel wasn't much for conversation, the actress decided she preferred the sound of her own voice to the previous silence. "I grew up in Arizona, in Tucson. I really miss it a lot. I used to hike around in the mountains; it was so peaceful and beautiful. Often when I needed to get away, I would walk in the desert around my house. It was like a second mother to me."The actress seemed to get a far away look, as if reliving her memories. "Yeah, my client at the time always wanted to work on a ranch so he got this idea in his head to go to the Tanque Verde Ranch and spend a week riding, roping, and getting massages. The place was nice, the desert beautiful, but the horse I was assigned didn't want to cooperate. At one point, he tried to bite my ass."She mused about the horse from hell.

Wow, she spoke more than one sentence. "Yeah, some horses can be temperamental for sure. Did you go in the summer or winter?"

"October."Well, it was nice while it lasted, "My favorite holiday is in that month. I love Halloween. It's just fun being able to dress up and be someone else for the night."

"Isn't that what you do for a living?"Keagan paused for a moment, "I guess it is. I really hadn't thought about it like that."

The driver pulled the vehicle over to the curb. "We'll probably be a little while,"Alena informed the man as she opened the door and exited the vehicle. She scanned her surroundings for any threats, ready to make a fast break if she had to, before she allowed her client to leave the safety of the sedan. They made it into the salon with no problems, except for a little old woman who wanted Keagan's autograph for her granddaughter.

They had spent a good portion of the afternoon in the salon having Keagan's hair and make-up done for the dinner she would attend that evening. This was followed by trips to pick up her dress and shoes and then to the hotel that they would be calling home for the next few days.


Alena adjusted the ankle holster that held her Glock 9mm, which she referred to as "Combat Tupperware"due to it being so light weight and mostly plastic. She liked to carry the weapon as a backup weapon to the Smith and Weston Tactical .45 she carried on her shoulder.

Keagan glided out the suite's second bedroom wearing a dress with simple yet elegant lines made of black textured silk with a small, silver starburst broach pinned to the left side. The bottom of the fabric came up just above her knees and really showed off the actress' shapely legs which were accentuated by the three inch heels on her feet. "Do you think this dress makes me look chunky?"

The bodyguard tried not to enjoy taking in the blonde's appearance, but found herself doing so anyway. She really is one hot tamale. Augh, she's a job Bowen her inner voice reminded her. "You look fine."There was a pause from Keagan accompanied by a dismal look. "Geez. Thanks."Keagan remarked sarcastically as she moved to the bathroom and closed the door.

"Smooth move."Though she did believe the woman overacted a little. It wasn't like she had told her she had a jelly belly or something, which was far from the truth. Honestly, when Alena looked at Keagan, she couldn't help but think about the treasures hidden beneath the dress she wore. Hell, the woman could be wearing a lime green house coat with pink polka dots and still be sexy. "Snap out of it,"she chastised herself as she fastened the buttons of her suit jacket. She had a job to do and emotions would only get in the way of doing it. She removed a bottle of Mountain Dew from the mini fridge and removed the bottle cap before taking a few swigs of the beverage. This was going to be a long night.

Alena shadowed Keagan at the dinner party, trying to stay inconspicuous, as not to crowd the actress, but still be close enough if a situation occurred. She watched as the "beautiful people"piled mounds of caviar onto crackers and droned on about pointless topics that were more National Enquirer than Time Magazine. She also noted, with some concern, that Keagan's champagne flute never reached half empty before some sugar daddy wanna-be filled it back up. The smaller woman was quite tipsy by the end of the evening when it came time for superficial goodbye hugs and kisses.

The taller woman assisted her companion to the waiting sedan where she helped her in then joined her in the back seat. They had driven about a mile down the road when Keagan let out a most unladylike noise. Childish chuckles erupted from the actress. She then switched roles from schoolgirl to temptress as she began to move closer to Alena. "You're really beautiful."Her hands went to take the dark hair down from the tight bun it had been placed in earlier that evening. Before she could fulfill her goal of freeing the tresses, larger hands captured her own. "Don't,"Alena stated firmly. Keagan's lower lip pushed out in an adorable pout as she crossed her arms across her chest, "You're no fun."

Getting the intoxicated actress to the suite would have been much easier if the bodyguard could have just flung the woman over her shoulder in a fireman's carry and taken her up that way. But protocol wouldn't allow it. So instead, she had to assist the woman upstairs with an arm around her waist. She endured several pinches to the rear before they arrived to their destination.

Once in the suite, Alena was going to let Keagan take care of putting herself to bed, but when she let go of the smaller woman she began to sway a little, her balance decimated from the alcohol she'd consumed. "Come to bed with me,"the woman slurred. "You're drunk."Keagan frowned, "No I'm not...okay, maybe a little."Alena sat her inebriated charge on the plush sofa in the sitting area of the room. "I'm going to get you some water."

"But I'm not thirsty."

"Trust me. You're going to feel like shit in the morning if you don't re-hydrate yourself."

"I don't care,"the other woman complained as she wondered when the room would stop spinning so much. "You may not care, but I don't want to deal with you when you're hung over and don't want to make your appointments."

"Pbbbt."Alena rolled her eyes at the raspberry sound Keagan had just made and went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water. She put some ice cubes in a tall glass and filled it with the clear liquid. Unfortunately, when she returned to the couch, the blond was curled up in a ball making soft snoring sounds. Alena shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of the water, "Better make sure I have some ibuprofen handy in the morning. It's going to be ugly when she wakes up."

To be continued ...


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