First Lady

First Lady by Blayne Cooper, T Novan Read Free Book Online

Book: First Lady by Blayne Cooper, T Novan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Blayne Cooper, T Novan
Tags: Romance, Lesbian
arm out sideways and she pointed to a Secret Service man who was standing about 15 feet away and trying quite unsuccessfully to blend into the background. “Or her.” Lauren’s arm shifted to a woman in a dark suit who visibly cringed when she realized what had just happened.
    “Lauren!” Beth grabbed Lauren’s arm and forced it down. “Are you crazy or something? Don’t point them out! They’re supposed to be…”
    “Hiding from me?”
    Beth opened her mouth and then abruptly closed it. She had the good grace to blush when she realized that Lauren not only knew about the protection that shadowed her when she thought she was sneaking out of the White House, but she also knew that Beth knew. “Protecting you.”
    “I don’t need protecting.”
    “Yes, you do,” Beth shot back just as stubbornly. There was a long moment of silence that was finally broken by Beth saying, “You don’t want it, but you need it, Lauren. You do. It’s a dangerous world.”
    Lauren held her breath for a moment before exhaling raggedly. She knew Beth was making a veiled reference to the assassination attempt on Dev. “You’re fighting dirty, Beth.”
    “You’re too important to lose to, Lauren. I’ll fight dirty if I have to, at least on this. Besides, I’m rarely if ever wrong. Just ask David.”
    Both women exchanged weak smiles, then Beth sighed. “Don’t kill Dev for this. She’s just worried for you. It’s not as though you left her much choice.”
    “It’s not as though she left me any choice either.” Lauren turned around and began to replace the black robe on its hanger, her eyebrows drawn together as she thought. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I can’t be under lock and key every second, Beth. I’ll go crazy.”
    “I know.” Beth put her hand on Lauren’s shoulder, feeling the warm fleece of her sweater beneath her palm. “Look, I know you and Dev have gone round and round on this, but since announcing your engagement certain things stopped being optional. Security for you is one of them. I’m sorry. This comes with the territory. You know that.”
    Lauren made a face. “Knowing it and accepting it are two different things.” She squared her shoulders. “I understand that I’m more recognizable than I was a few months ago.”
    Beth’s lips quirked. “No, really?” She lifted her hand and flicked her finger at the bill of the baseball cap Lauren was wearing in an effort to disguise herself.
    Lauren blew out a breath and knocked away Beth’s teasing fingers. “You’re not helping.”
    “Sure I am. I’m telling you the truth.” Beth, however, didn’t think it was necessary to mention the agent lurking at the entrance to the shop as well as the one hovering near her car to make sure it wasn’t tampered with that Lauren had apparently missed. She firmly believed there was such a thing as too much honesty.
    “No one’s even noticed me,” Lauren asserted lamely.   Like she’s gonna buy that.
    Beth snorted. “Sell it to someone who’s buying, Lauren.”
    See?
    “We’ve been in the store for 30 minutes. Big Burly,” she gestured to the male agent, who more closely resembled a mountain than a man, “and Bad Ass,” this time she gestured to the female agent, who had a predatory expression permanently plastered on her face, “have discreetly kept at least 10 people from coming up to you. I think the poor saleswoman has nearly been shot three times without knowing it.”
    “Is that really their names, ‘Burly’ and ‘Bad Ass’? They sound like characters in a buddy novel.” Her tone became speculative. “I could write that.”
    “Lauren,” Beth said impatiently. “Do not make me stamp my foot. My mother stamped her foot and I refuse to go there.”
    Lauren smiled. “All right. All right.” She waved a hand in surrender. “But I do understand more than you realize.” They both began walking toward the cash register, with the agents trailing discreetly. “Especially

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