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Not Just Another Job

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“Will you go out with me?” Rose asked him without turning around , gaz ing a t the gardens through the window . “Anywhere you’d like, let me call Mikhail and tell him you want to go out” Rose nearly shouted a frustrated “No” clenching her fists. “I mean...” she took a deep breath to calm herself. “Do you want to be my boyfriend?” she rephrased her question, turning around to face him. He seemed surprised but Rose waited patiently as much as it strained her. She wasn’t known for patience.   

“I can’t , it’s my job to protect you. he finally answered, his face betraying nothing more as Dimitri schooled his features into a neutral mask. “Okay” Rose heard herself say, trying not to react while the world inside her felt like someone crushed everything. She could see him taking a step towards her, but she couldn’t bear to be in the same room as him anymore. “You are dismissed” she pressed the words out, quickly striding towards her bedroom.   

Dimitri could hear her sobs as he left the room  

 

“I want another bodyguard” Rose told her father who watched her curious at the request.  “Why? I thought he was good?” he asked with mild amusement.  “He is, the best. But I fell in love with him and it hurts too fucking much because he does not love me back. I don’t want to be just another job for him” she confessed, too broken to hide the truth from her father. He’d find out himself anyway. She never could hide anything from him. Not Abe Mazur who had dirt on basically anyone.   

Seeing his daughter like this, no defiance in her, it broke his own heart. “Alright, I will find someone else” he spoke softly, a rare moment but he loved his daughter dearly and would do anything for her (except have her be with no bodyguard no matter how good she could defend herself). “Thanks” she whispered and left his room with no more words. Abe was already on the phone speaking to a business partner who could help him.   

 

“Jesus when did we stop being such party animals?” Rose asked, flopping down next to her best friend Lissa . “We grew up” she answered shrugging. “Sorry, I forgot you’ve gotten married, Liss and can’t have big parties” she groaned, grabbing the bottle of alcohol and took a sip directly from it. “Want some, Ivashkov ?” she offered Adrian. “Nah” he declined her offer. “When did you get so boring?” she accused him but it was Lissa providing the answer. “Since he has a girlfriend” she laughed. “Goddess I’d never thought I’d see the day” Rose laughed. “Wasn’t she like his secretary?” Not that there was anything wrong with that, but... “I wish people working with me, would fall for me” Or rather her current bodyguard.  

“Ok, stop the pity party Rose, your heartbreak can take a backseat while we celebrate Lissa’s birthday, stop moping” Christian declared and he leaned down to give his wife a kiss. It was sickening cute. Lissa giggled. “Behave, you’ve never had your heart broken” she stroke his hair. They laughed, they joked but Rose was the only one who drank too much.   

 

“Rose, time to go” Jill, Lissa’s cousin told her softly. “I don’t want to” she whined because she knew who was still waiting for her outside. It had after all only been two days ago she had asked her father for someone new. Except, Lissa and Christian were upstairs and everyone but the two of them had already left.  Jill shrugged helplessly as she looked to the side at someone Rose did not want to see and quickly left. Rose nearly screamed as she was lifted from the couch and she was enveloped by a familiar smell.   

“Let me down” she snarled. Dimitri sighed. “Roza...” he started but she growled. “I can walk just fine, Belikov ” She probably couldn’t, she was too drunk but every cell in her body ached at his proximity , yearning for his touch, yearning to touch him. He just kept on carrying her bridal style and she couldn’t help but blush. She had to recall how it didn’t mean anything to him, how he simply carried her because he was her freaking bodyguard and had to care for her. He was paid money to care for her and she hated it.   

….  

“Why did you ask for another bodyguard?” Dimitri asked her out of the blue. Because I love you and you don’t love me , she thought but she didn’t voice it. Instead, she shrugged, not wanting to answer. She didn’t want him to know the truth, neither did she think she could lie to him. He somehow knew when she way lying. “Rose...” he says but she cut him off. “Doesn’t matter. It’s just a job” she nearly spat. She doesn’t see him flinching, doesn’t see the hurt flash across his face. He’s hesitant but asks her anyway. “Is this about three nights ago?”  

 He doesn’t miss her flinch, hears the hurt in her voice as she answers him. “I don’t owe you an answer” She pretends to sound as neutral as possible, but she can’t fool him. “Rose... Roza” he calls her name, but she hisses before he can talk more. “Don’t ever call me that again.” Fucking Roza, his nickname for her hurts to much, makes her think he actually cares about her. Which he doesn’t. His hand twitches, he wants to reach out for her, pull her into his arms but he doesn’t. “This conversation is over. Good night” she tells him, calling over her shoulder as she steps into her bedroom.  

He can hear her crying herself to sleep again  

 

“You know what the best part of Christian marrying Lissa is?” Tasha asked and answered herself without waiting for an answer. “The Ozera company merging with hers and I could stop meeting with all those stuck ups because she’s doing that now .” she smiled. Rose exhaled. “Following your dream, huh? How’s your martial art school going?” Tasha’s smile grew even bigger. “You can’t believe how wonderful it’s going. Even bodyguards just like Dimitri are training with me.” Rose clenched her fist at his name and her heart aches. “I wish you were my bodyguard” she told Tasha who laughed out loud. “Goodness, you’d be too distracting for me to properly do my job, we get along to well”  

Tasha then snorted. “Good you have Dimka , he was so much off a buzzkill, always so stoic. Nothing can distract him. Well, that is until we pulled out vodka, real russian vodka, man that had been a fun night. Can you believe I used to have a massive crush on him a couple years ago?” Rose let her tell her stories about their shared past with Dimitri, it hurts, why couldn’t Dimitri kiss her when he had kissed Tasha, and she is glad, when the two broke their relationship off. Still, she is jealous of the older woman, even though they are friends.  

….  

There was still no luck and Rose was still stuck with Dimitri. She hated it, hated his mere presence, worse hated how she couldn’t stop loving him. She hates how when her back ached for l a ying wrong in her bed he starts to massage her, hates how it make her tingle. She flushes red, nearly moaning his name, his hands feel so good. “Thanks” she croaked when his touch became to o much for her to handle and she moved to sit up. “Are you sure?” he asked, his eyebrows rising questioningly. His hand touched her back again. “You’re still tense” he said but she tensed up when he touched her again. “I’m sure” she pressed out of her mouth, before standing up abruptly.   

She wanted to explode, kiss him senseless and confess her undying love for him. Her body was trembling and she realized too late she was crying or she would never have let him see her like this. “Oh Roza” he mumbled, catching the tears on her cheeks. She couldn’t decipher the look on his face as he pulled her into his arms. It was when he pressed a kiss into her air, she finally broke. “Stop, stop acting like you care” she accused him. “Oh Roza” he repeated himself. “I do care about you, a lot. More than I should” he admitted.   

She felt like a little girl as she looked at him, biting on her lips. “Really?” she asked in a small voice. She didn’t dare hope, fear of her heart being crushed kept her imagining Dimitri either laughing her saying something like it was just a joke and he’d never care for a charge in that way. Wasn’t it , what Tasha and alluded to? He pressed his lips together, regretting having spoken and when he doesn’t answer, Rose deflated. “Leave” she ordered him, hugging herself tighter when she felt his arms drop to his side. She doesn’t look up as he leaves the room.   

 

“Mason Ashford?” Rose asked her father, who nodded. “Yes, he’s thus far the most promising candidate and I invited him for today.” Mason spent the day at her side and by the end of the day she wanted to give him a chance. He is different from Dimitri, more outgoing, more fun and a distraction from Dimitri. “He’s cute, isn’t he?” her father asked her with a smirk and a chuckle escapes her. “Yeah, he is” and she thought of the freckles he had.   

Dimitri hated himself for being this jealous, hated the burning pit in his stomach, hated seeing his replacement making his Roza laugh and hated himself for eavesdropping. At least he wasn’t being replaced quite yet, still his hours are numbered now. But then it was better this way, he should never have fallen in love with her. He really wanted to punch Ashford. God, he wanted to kiss Rose this morning. He regretted not speaking up, telling her the truth. He slips into her room, where she is just pulling of her shirt. He only faintly hears her “What the hell?” but then he reached her, pushing her against the wall and kissing her senseless.