THE PROTECTION PLAN
The Plan Series #3
by Elle Vaughn
Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: December 1, 2021
Cover Me Darling
Genre: Contemporary romance
Trope: Billionaire, protector romance, suspense
Someone has it out for debutant Bowie McKay.
Despite being the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in New York, Bowie never suspected that anyone would try to do her harm. But things changed when a series of threatening messages start to show up, one after another.
Terrified for his daughter’s safety, and desperate to find the monster behind the messages, Frank McKay hires former marine and security expert, Porter Davidson.
Porter has lived a rough life, from an abusive childhood to a traumatizing military experience. He’s made mistakes in the past. Mistakes that haunt him. And so he has devoted his life to his work, and has sworn off love.
When he meets the woman he’s supposed to protect, he does not expect the deep feelings that come with the job. Bowie McKay is everything he isn’t. She’s feisty, free-spirited, and fun. While he’s all rigid rules and straight lines.
But Porter’s attraction to her only raises the stakes of his mission. Will he be able to find the person who’s been threatening her life? Or will his past keep him from protecting the woman he’s grown to love?
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“It really is a beautiful house,” I murmured as we strolled down a long upstairs hall.
The floor was made of high-quality wood, and a very expensive looking runner covered almost the entire length of the large space.
“It is,” Porter replied.
He hadn’t said much since we began our tour of the house. So I was letting him be alone with his thoughts.
“How do you do it?” he asked finally.
We stopped, and I looked up at him. “Do what?”
“The way you dealt with my parents down there. My mother was eating out of your hand, and you left my father speechless. How do you do that so naturally?”
I smiled. “I guess it’s because my mother was so talented at handling people and dealing with them—even difficult ones. I apologize if I overstepped. Your father sort of rubs me the wrong way.”
He smiled and rubbed his chin. “That makes two of us.” Then, “Would you like to see my room?”
I grinned and grabbed his forearm, squeezing it. “Please.”
He gestured to the last door on the left, motioning for me to enter. I tried the knob, finding it unlocked, and pushed the door open. The room smelled stale. Like no one had opened this door for many years. A very simple wood-framed bed with plain white bedding was set against the wall on the right. A wooden desk of the same type of wood was sitting on the opposite wall. The window was dressed with plain white curtains, and there was a white rug covering about two-thirds of the hardwood floor. No posters on the walls. No old toys. No old school things except for a small bookshelf beneath the window with a shelf filled with yearbooks. The two other shelves contained textbooks and a few Stephen King and Dean Koontz novels. Nothing else to indicate that a boy named Porter once resided in this room. They’d turned his old room into a guest room.
I spun around to look at Porter. “They got rid of all your stuff?”
“Huh?” he asked. “What do you mean?”
I gestured around. “Where are all your things?”
His face relaxed with understanding, and he grinned. “I liked having a tidy room. Don’t make fun of me.”
I blinked at him. “Wait, this is how you had your room as a kid?”
He shrugged and shoved a hand in his pocket. “It was a little messier as a younger child, but as a teenager? Definitely. I found the simplicity of my room relaxing. Comforting.”
“Wow,” I said suddenly, glancing around again. “You must hate being at my apartment.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked, shutting the door behind himself and taking a step closer.
I sucked in a breath of air as the proximity between us became smaller. “I’m a pretty messy person. Disorganized. Scattered. After seeing your childhood bedroom, I can only assume that my apartment spikes your blood pressure like nothing else.”
He moved close to me now, our bodies almost touching. He tipped his head toward mine and replied softly, “I find your apartment warm and inviting. I like it.”
Just as I lifted my face to look at him, Porter placed a finger beneath my chin and kissed me. At first, I leaned into him. I liked nothing more than him kissing me, and it was easy to forget myself quickly. But I couldn’t do this. Not again.
“Stop,” I said raggedly, drawing in a tiny gasp. “Stop, Porter.”
He took a step back, his face drawn into what looked like a strange mix of guilt, shame, and sadness. “I’m so sorry.”
“Porter,” I said, immediately regretful for the frustration that was evident in my tone. “It’s okay, but you can’t keep doing this to me. I think it’s obvious by now that I like you,” I glanced at him, “as more than a friend.”
“But you can’t keep kissing me and making things confusing.” Sighing, I moved to the small desk and placed my palms on it. “You’re a good person, Porter. I know you wouldn’t upset me purposely, but this back and forth with you is starting to hurt my feelings, and I’d like it to stop.”
“Fuck,” he whispered in my ear. He was suddenly behind me. “I’m sorry, Bowie. God, I’d never want to hurt you.”
“Why?” I whispered back. “Why do you act like you like me, that you’re attracted to me… then… you seem disgusted by me other times? Like when Taylor interrupted us on the balcony. Or the next morning when you told me you’d never do that… with me.”
“No, no, no.” His voice sounded anguished and frustrated. “You have it all wrong.”
“Then tell me,” I pressed.
“I want you so badly every minute of every day. You occupy my every thought. How could you ever think I was disgusted by you? I’m disgusted by myself. That I can’t control my feelings for you.”
My heart was hammering inside my chest now. “Would it really be so bad? Being with me?”
“For you, it would be,” he murmured, his lips pressed against my ear. “You don’t want to be with a guy like me.”
“Maybe I do,” I replied bravely.
“You don’t.” He slowly drew in a ragged breath. “I’m supposed to be focused on protecting you, but all I can do is fantasize about touching you.”
Swallowing, I reached down shakily beside me to take hold of Porter’s right hand. Slowly, hesitantly, I placed it on my thigh, over the hem of my skirt. Porter’s chest was now rising and falling rapidly against the back of me. Gripping his fingers, I slowly pushed his hand beneath the fabric.
“Then touch me,” I whispered breathlessly.
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About the Author
Elle Vaughn is an avid book lover – especially romance novels. She’s the author of the Anna and Quinton novella series and is always working on a new story project. When she’s not lost in her character creations she can be found chasing around her toddler, being outside in the Colorado outdoors, gardening and attempting to cook for her family!
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