Chapter 3 - A Bodyguarding Gig
Mrs. Robert couldn’t hide her joy upon hearing Josh’s offer. “Would that be all right? Then, well, the bathroom lights… and the bathroom sink, if I may. The water won’t go down well…”
“Of course. I’ll be right back with the tools.”
Josh went back to his home with the boy in one arm so that the boy wouldn’t cry. When he returned with the tools in his other hand, Mrs. Robert was preparing to bake cookies.
‘Shoot. With how things are now, there’s going to be no end to this,’ he thought to himself, but he had no excuse to refuse.
In the end, what started as fixing the bathroom lights ended with him tweaking with the living room chair. Pitt, who was watching Josh work, had fallen asleep at some point out of boredom.
When he finally got home with the boy in his arms, it was already almost dinnertime. Mrs. Robert had offered them to stay over for dinner, but Josh politely refused because it really seemed like there could never be an end to it. Instead, he was given a generous amount of freshly baked cookies to bring home.
He noticed Pitt, who had just opened his eyes, reaching for the cookies just in time to quickly take them away from his sight. “Nope, dinner first.”
Pitt pitifully chased the drifting cookies with his eyes. Josh felt his resolve grow softer. Pitt looked up at Josh with a sad expression.
“Ugh…” In merely three seconds, Josh let out a defeated groan. ‘He may be my own kid, but how can he be so cute and loveable?’ he wondered.
He clutched onto his chest and handed Pitt a cookie, which Pitt accepted while bouncing on his bottom. Drool was pooling in Pitt’s mouth, and Josh wiped away an overflowing droplet from his lips with his thumb before hurriedly preparing for dinner.
‘I wonder when Mark will get back to me,’ wondered Josh. Even as he was feeding Pitt, all he could think about was whether he would be able to take out a loan, how much savings he had left, and if there were any other places where he could borrow money from. Thanks to this, he was unable to stop Pitt from dropping his spoon twice and had to take out new ones for him.
It was just as they were finishing dinner, which spanned an entire two hours, that the doorbell rang.
“Hey, sorry ‘bout the late visit.” Mark marched past Josh and into the house as soon as the door opened.
Josh followed after him, his heart racing. Mark had visited much sooner than he had expected. Pitt, who was sitting in the kids’ highchair and dipping his cookies in a cup of milk for dessert, became wide-eyed at the sight of Mark who had waltzed in.
Josh quickly approached the boy and kissed his head so that he wouldn’t be shocked. “Look, Pitt, Mr. Mark is here. Why don’t you say hello?”
“Hewwo…” Pitt greeted hesitantly in baby talk.
“Yes,” Mark murmured and ruffled the boy’s head before changing the subject. “Let me talk to you for a bit, yeah?”
As Mark directed himself toward the living room like he was used to it, Josh asked behind his back, “How about dinner?”
“Already ate. You haven’t eaten yet?”
“Well, it’s not a big deal.” Josh had planned to have late dinner while the boy ate his cookies, but talking to Mark came first. It was none other than his boss who had visited, and at a late hour at that. Especially with what had happened during the day, Josh couldn’t help but be nervous. Josh hid his nervousness and encouraged Pitt to eat alone before following after Mark.
“Hahh…” Even after sitting down on the sofa, Mark didn’t broach the reason for his visit right away. Josh intentionally sat a little further away from Mark as he waited for him to begin. The waiting time felt like forever, but he couldn’t bring himself to rush Mark.
Josh continued to wait silently, glancing occasionally toward Pitt. After a fair bit of time, Mark finally began resolutely.
“About work…” The boss sighed once again before continuing, “there is one thing. Well, the compensation is decent and the conditions aren’t bad. If anything, they’re very good. You could get the entire amount of the money you need, and pre-paid at that. The client said that they could give that much for the down payment just fine, and the remaining payments would be given upon completion of the work. Since the payment will be divided, that’s another good thing. There’s nothing to complain about, really. The terms are great, but… the client is who we have a problem with.”
Who could it possibly be for him to beat around the bush so much? Josh stayed patient and merely glared at Mark’s lips. After what felt like a sickeningly long time, Mark slowly opened his mouth. When he finally put the name out on the table, Josh understood why he had hesitated so much.
“Chase C. Miller. You remember him too, don’t you?”
The moment Josh heard his name, he forgot to breathe. Chase C. Miller. How could he ever forget that name?
The chilling purple eyes that looked down upon him, the natural blond hair that glistened under the sun, the flamboyant beauty of his well-defined face features, and the slim, long, elegant body that had seized his heart. The number one hottest actor in Hollywood ever since his debut, the man who had not failed to be crowned the number 1 sexiest man for multiple years now—Chase C. Miller.
The Extreme Alpha who had imprinted Josh.
The man who had impregnated him with Pitt.
‘What kind of bullsh*t…’ Josh cursed in his head as he sat on his bed, clenching his hair. He had been like this for the past few hours since he tucked Pitt into bed. No matter how much time had passed, however, his thoughts kept trailing back to the same conversation.
* * *
“Doesn’t sound too appealing, huh? That’s how we feel, too.” Mark’s voice had trickled into Josh’s ears from beyond his cloudy headspace. When Josh had finally forced himself to exhale, Mark had continued, “It’s actually been about a week since we got this offer, but I was thinking about turning it down because I expected nobody to want to do it. Oh, but the contract terms are really something. It’s not often that you get this much compensation… But after all, Miller cashes out like mad.”
‘All he has is money and looks, so yeah, you bet. If only he were like 10 percent as kind as he was pretty, everyone would praise him like God,’ Josh had scorned internally, remembering the joke of the street that God must have put all his effort into making Chase Miller’s body and just screwed the personality out of exhaustion.
When Josh kept silent, Mark had scratched his head vigorously. “But, well, you know… The work is a bit… Yeah. And that Miller b*stard is real tricky to appease. I guess we’ve got nothing to say if that pay rate was offered with all of that in consideration. Otherwise, why would he be contacting us all the way from the west coast? All of them over there must have turned him down. Money’s good stuff, but Miller of all people… I did contemplate on at least asking y’all about it since the pay was so good. But since you told me that you need money and fast… The other work won’t do you much good since the pay is down the ditch. If you accept the gig, the others might have an easier time making a decision, too.”
Josh had taken a deep breath before asking, “Did you let all the other members of our team know as well?”
“I called all of them about it before I got here. Just the overall gist of it. They said they’d think about it.”
Josh clearly remembered everyone cursing through their teeth when they had last taken Chase Miller’s gig. Their receptiveness was both unexpected and remarkable.
‘Did something urgent come up for everyone else as well?’ wondered Josh.
As Josh fell silent once again, Mark had added, “It will be about six months if things get stretched out, and three months if not. If it happens to get extended, they’ll pay you more accordingly. Well… think about it if you’re really in a pinch. The entire team will be going if it gets settled, of course, so don’t feel too pressured.” Before taking his leave, he repeated, “Think about it.”
* * *
Since then, Josh had been hopping between options, unable to decide what to do.
Why did it have to be that man of all people?
The answer was obvious. There weren’t many people who were willing to pay such a large sum of money to hire bodyguards. Moreover, Josh desperately needed the money that was rotting in Chase Miller’s safe. Unfortunately, that was what reality looked like. No matter how long he contemplated for, the outcome was already decided.
As the sky hazily began to light back up, he finally managed to accept the one and only answer. It would just be six months at most. Once his contract period was over, he would refuse to extend it under any circumstances. He expected Mark to replace however many hands he needed after that.
Josh waited until Mark’s reporting hour to call and asked what he was most curious about. “Did anyone else get back to you? How many people are confirmed to join?”
‘There’s no way that they all refused, right?’ thought Josh as chills ran down his spine.
To his relief, Mark replied promptly, “Me, Seth, Henry, Isaac—four.”
That was everyone other than Josh. As Josh’s shoulders relaxed into a slump, Mark added, “That Henry, apparently he gambled his money away again. I heard he lost everything.”
He also continued by telling Josh that Seth’s contemplation ended when he heard the pay and that Isaac had lent Henry money which Henry had lost, leaving him with no choice but to join. “Henry even poured Isaac’s money into the gambling pot. In any case, Isaac’s also partly responsible for being convinced by Henry’s sweet talk.”
Josh knew that it probably wasn’t just sweet talk; there was likely some threatening involved as well. This wasn’t the first time Isaac’s wallet had been shaken empty after losing to Henry’s vulgarities and threats.
In any case, this worked in Josh’s favor.
Josh sighed bitterly and said, “I’ll come, too.”
“All right, five including Joshua.” The way he articulated Josh’s name made it apparent that he was jotting down the name. He must have already been expecting Josh’s answer; he didn’t seem too surprised or overjoyed. Unfortunately, it was an unavoidable decision for Josh, too.
Josh asked about a few important details like the date of departure, and they ended the call after concluding that the detailed contract would be sent over email. As long as he was paid the promised amount promptly, Josh really didn’t care at all about the details of the contract.
After the decision was made, everything else followed suit. Josh called his sister right away and let her know that she didn’t need to worry about the money since he had gotten some new work. Thankfully, his work was about three to four hours away from where his mother and his sister lived. It seemed like he could leave the boy in their care and visit him every day he had off.
“Don’t worry about Pitt, Josh. Mom’s also ecstatic to have Pitt here,” Emma said in a livelier voice.
When Josh hung up, a sigh escaped his mouth. With this, the biggest issue was resolved.
‘There’s no way that man could find out about Pitt, right?’ Josh thought to himself.
Josh became gravely buried in his thoughts. If the truth were to surface, he couldn’t even imagine the aftermath. If he wanted to open up about it, he should have done so when he first knew that he was pregnant. It didn’t make sense at all for him to confess now after all this time. How disturbing would it be to have his child suddenly appear before his eyes one day?
Hiding it wasn’t difficult. Just like everyone else, he would also think that Josh was a beta. Moreover, he would never even glance at a lowly bodyguard.
‘After all,’ thought Josh, ‘he doesn’t even remember imprinting me and sleeping with me.’