The Bodyguard 2009 A Short Story
A SHORT STORY
The bodyguard stood on the dock with the sun in his face and a light breeze coming off the water. They were at the mountain house at Fallen Leaf Lake and spring permeated everything. A lot of years had passed since the little boat exploded out there on the lake, but he saw it all again, lived it all again. There had been betrayal here, familial love lost here and death had come in the night.
His eyes, hidden by the tortise shell Ray Bans he wore, scanned the water and opposite shore constantly. The .45 caliber Glock he wore under the windbreaker dug into his side but he took comfort in the discomfort.
Out on the lake Rachel paddled the bright red kayak on the almost still surface. She had begun slowly, then built up speed gradually working herself to breathlessness and now she was cooling off and headed back to the dock. He was glad. She had a new song on the charts that had brought out the crazies.
Tense, he turned at the sound of a truck puling into the driveway up at the house but relaxed when he saw the driver and passenger get out and wave. He threw up one hand and turned back just as Rachel bumped the dock. He put out his hand to help her out.
“Shoot anybody while I was gone?” she asked.
“No.” He said. “We have to talk.”
The smile fell from her lips as she pushed past him and walked to the end of the dock. She knew what was coming. They had “talked” before. She sat, exhausted and dangled her toes in the water. She felt him walk up behind her, saw his reflection in the water and leaned back against his legs.
“You’re quitting.” She said.
“I don’t know, Rachel.” He said.”It’s complicated......I.... I just don’t know if I am the best guy for this job anymore.”
“This job?” She asked sitting up and springing to her feet. Water splashed onto his shoes as she spun to face him.
“Frank Farmer’s number one rule of bodyguarding - NEVER GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR CLIENT ! That the one you’re talking about?”
“It’s not your fault.” He said.
“Damn right.” She said and she poked him in the chest. “It’s not.”
He turned from her anger, got a bottle of water from the ice chest and screwed off the cap.
“You need to hydrate.” He said and gave her the bottle.
She drank, stepped into him and put her arm around his waist.
“You can’t quit.” She said.
“They’re here.” He said looking up at the house.
Frank Farmer and Rachel Marron stood on the porch and watched their children walk off the dock.
“Will he quit?” Rachel asked.
“He can’t.” Frank replied. “Fletcher’s your son.”
“You did.” She said looking up into his face.
“I just took a little break.” He said.
“Sort of a busy little break.” She said looking down to the lake.
“I will always love you.” He said and she watched him walk down to greet his daughter.
“Me too” She whispered to herself. “Me too.”
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My first Western short story. A great big tip of the Stetson to Jason Whitman for allowing me to use his excellent photo. Jason Whitman Photography
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