My Silver Fox Protector by Lauren Cole



DING!I groaned and threw my hand over to my nightstand and searched blindly in the dark for my phone. The sound of a security breach alert.

I checked the time. Two in the morning. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and checked the secure chat line.

Analyst04: We have a problem. Respond ASAP.

The chat linewas terminated after the message.

Oh shit.

I frantically got up and went to the window, and peered through the blinds at Emma’s house. All the lights were off and it was dark on the street.

What the hell did you get up to, Emma?

Suddenly, my phone rang. It was Viktor, my boss from the agency.

Aww fuck.


“Did you see 04’s message?”

“I did.”

“I had 06 check out what she was doing before the chat went corrupt.”

“And?” I held my breath, knowing this would not be good. If Viktor had another analyst check up on her, it was not any indication of anything good.

“She was digging again, Reynolds.”

I groaned and paced in front of the window, rubbing my temples. Of course she was. She just couldn’t keep her head down and do the work. She was always getting bored and seeing how far she could push the limits. “What do you want me to do?”

“Nothing. I’m sending a team in.”


“Just wait a minute.” I snapped.

“It’s already done. I’ve dispatched the team.” Viktor said calmly, though I could sense a hint of pleasure in his voice.

“Viktor, just wait a fucking minute.” I frantically searched, looking for a way to stall him. “Come on. There’s got to be another way.”

“The other way is that I cut her loose all together.”

“If you cut her loose…” I searched for a way to reason with him. As the sentiment settled, I realized I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by cutting her loose. This was not good. Not good at all. “She’s done everything we’ve asked, at least consider dropping the terrorism charges then.” I paused, and Viktor said nothing. “She’s good. You know that. We need her.”

“She’s messy, and she continues to step outside her scope, Reynolds. She’s a liability. And if she can’t keep the terms of her contract, then I can’t keep the government from pressing charges.”

“Just give her one more chance for me.” I pleaded. I never pleaded. But for Emma, I pleaded. “You know she’s the best on the team.”

“Fine, but this is the last time I’m granting her special treatment after this. She’ll be your responsibility. You’ll be accountable for her actions.”

“Done. So you’ll call off the team?”


“For Christ's sake. Viktor, she’s hardly a buck sopping wet. She doesn’t need an entire team.”

“She needs to learn a lesson. You know as well as I do, there are consequences for stepping outside of scope.”

I clenched my hand at the thought. He was right. I did know the consequences. If the agency had any doubt in you… you were either intimidated into submission, tortured into submission, or just eliminated all together. I was equipped to handle that. I was strong enough to take the literal beatings and to withstand the psychological torture. Emma, on the other hand, was not. She didn’t choose this life. But being in this life did give her choices. It was this, or prison. And Emma, spunky as she was, was not built for prison. “Who did you send?”

“The usual.”

“Who?” I demanded, as I anxiously watched her house through the blinds.

“James, Brandon, and Andrew.”

“What the fuck, Viktor. She doesn't need three guys.” I leaned against the wall, feeling my stomach sink. If they were going the intimidation route, it could get ugly, really quick. My stomach clenched at the thought of her at the mercy of all three of their hands. With someone as small as her, things could get out of hand quickly. Too quickly. Those guys were used to bringing men like me to tears. Men like me, who didn’t cry for anything, ever. If they applied even a fraction of the force I knew they were capable of, she might not recover.

No, I couldn’t let him send them. I paced in agitation. There was only one way to protect her now. “I’ll do it.”

Viktor sounded pleased. “You’ll go?”

“Yes.” I gritted my teeth.

“Good. I’ll redirect the team.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me, Reynolds. If you go easy on her, I’ll send the team out for both of you. Understood?”

“Understood.” I clenched my fist. Fucking asshole.

“Good. Send me photos of the job when it’s done.”

The line went dead.


I gritted my teeth and threw my phone across the room. I sat on the edge of the bed and ran a hand over my face, steeling myself for what I was about to do. I hated this. I hated that it had to be me. But at least if it was me, I knew she wouldn’t end up with any broken bones, and she’d keep all her teeth. So that was something, I tried to convince myself. I’d scare her, and try to make it look worse than it actually was, for Viktor’s sake. But I would have to scare her. Hot anger boiled through me. This was the best I could offer her, and it was unacceptable. But at this point, hurting her was the only way to keep her from getting hurt.

I pulled on a dark shirt and dark pants and made my way down to the basement. I put together a bag, throwing in the essentials. Among my smash and bash kit was duct tape, zip ties, and I threw in a couple flash bangs, and some foggers. I hesitated before grabbing a small pouch that contained a syringe and a few vials of sedative and I threw them in the bag, too. I holstered my gun and pulled a mask over my head that had a voice modulator as I went out my backdoor. I went through the gate in the fence that divided our backyards, and I rolled my eyes at the theatrics of it. Normally I’d sneak in, but here I was going to make as much noise as possible. Alerting Emma of what was to come, another layer to the intimidation.

I stood outside her sliding glass door, and from my phone; I disabled hers. She had a company phone and laptop, so that if the agency ever wanted, it could pull all communication at the simple tap of a button. One of their many ways of controlling you. I stood there for a moment, and tried to shut my brain off, shut off the dread that filled my body. I had to dissociate whenever I did targeted intimidations; I had to disappear into a place where emotion didn’t exist. Though I didn’t disappear this time with the intention to harm, no, this time, I disappeared to cut off the guilt that rolled around inside me.

I gritted my teeth, and I smashed the sliding glass door in. I grabbed a stick from the yard and clanged it around, making as much noise as possible. I shook my head and stomped inside and dropped a smoke bomb. As I slowly stomped up the stairs to her room, I rolled a flash bang down the hall in front of her door, if nothing else, then to scare her. Finally, I stood in front of her door.

I shut my mind off and kicked the door in.

I looked around, and the sheets on the bed were mussed up. I reached under the bed and fished around until my hand locked around a flailing arm, and my stomach curdled at the sound of Emma screaming in terror.

I was the one making her fearful, and it made me want to vomit.

I chanted in my head, you’re protecting her, you know that. This is an act of kindness. Over and over.