A Bodyguard's Tale

For months, the bodyguard had been secretly admiring his annoying—yet strangely alluring—charge, fighting against the impulse to violate every code he'd learned earning his hard-won certificate from the Personal Security Correspondence School. Occasionally, he'd allow himself a lingering glance, or a stolen whiff of her sweet perfume, just something, anything, to keep him from being driven insane by the forbidden fruit he squired from club to club, night after night. He'd take a bullet for her, sure, or step in front of a speeding Bentley, or toss an overzealous paparazzi to the pavement, whatever it took to keep her safe.

But then it happened.

As he stood nearby, holding vigil while silently rolling her name on his tongue over and over (Parissss...Parisss...), she emerged from the club, tipsy on gratis tequila shots and intoxicating fame in equal measure, and unable to find sure footing on the treacherous pavement, stumbled (danger!). He leapt into action.

Everyone says that in these moments life slows down, but that's bullshit. This happened fast, faster than thought itself, and before he knew it he was helping her up from sidewalk (is this really happening?), watching helplessly (complicitly?) as his right hand broke free of his control, seeking out the release of a surreptitiously cupped bosom. Despite his delicate charge's unquestioning acceptance of his stammering excuse about an "accident," he knew his own heart, and he would retire quietly from the detail the next morning, lamenting how shame, desire, and opportunity conspired to finally break him.

He would never bodyguard again.