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Babysitting a Billionaire #2 - Out of Control

By:Nina Croft

Nina Croft - Babysitting a Billionaire #2 - Out of Control

Out of Control (Babysitting a Billionaire #2)
Nina Croft


Chapter One

"Holy crap," Dani muttered.

They'd come to an abrupt halt at the edge of the gardens where the lush green lawns gave way to terracotta tiles surrounding a vast swimming pool. The reason for their sudden stop lay facedown on a large pink inflatable bed that floated languidly in the center of the water.

"Hmm, maybe we'll put off introducing you to the boss until " Gary paused, obviously at a loss for words.

"Until he's got some clothes on?" Dani suggested. "And maybe when he doesn't appear quite so " It was Dani's turn to stall.


"Not the word I was thinking of."

The man certainly didn't look busy. What he did look was naked. He was also not alone-a bottle of champagne dangled limply from one hand, an equally naked blonde was clutched in the other.

So that, Dani reflected grimly, was the man she was employed to protect for the foreseeable future. This was what she was reduced to-protecting a naked playboy. Hardly a meaningful existence.

She'd already heard of him; it was hard not to with his reputation. He was self-indulgent, lazy, caring for nothing but his own pleasure. Everything she didn't like in a person.

Now, seeing him in the flesh, she wasn't impressed. Or so she tried to tell herself. But if that was the case, why was she finding it impossible to drag her gaze away?

"You're staring," Gary murmured from beside her.

Amusement laced his voice, and she clamped her eyes shut to cut out the view. Perhaps he'd get a puncture and sink. But no, when she blinked he was still there. She heaved a huge sigh. "That is Zachary Hunter, isn't it?" Maybe she'd get lucky for once and find out she was wrong.

But Gary nodded. She sighed again and wiped the sheen of sweat from her forehead, then glanced up at the sun high overhead. "I hope they've got plenty of sunblock on."

"So, what do you think of your new boss?" Gary asked slyly.

"You really don't want to know."

While Dani refused to rise to the bait, she couldn't help but admit-to herself at least-that from the limited parts she could see, Zachary Hunter was every bit as gorgeous as his reputation suggested. Better. His supposedly hedonistic lifestyle certainly wasn't reflected in his physique; not an ounce of fat marred his long, lean frame. He lay with his head turned away so she couldn't see his face, just the dark blond hair, overly long and reaching to his broad shoulders. His skin was golden, and he resembled nothing so much as a large cat basking in the sunlight. 

She'd thought the couple was sleeping or unconscious, but as she stared, the woman's fingers slowly glided down the long, flawless line of his golden back to come to rest on one equally golden buttock. No tan lines there.

Dani shook her head. "Let's get the hell out of here."

"Good idea. I think we can leave the introductions until tomorrow."

They turned to go, but she had an uncomfortable feeling something wasn't quite right. Having spent the last ten years in an almost exclusively male environment, she prided herself on her ability to be completely unaffected by some of the most physically fit specimens to ever grace the Earth. It was second nature to her. Which was why she couldn't understand her almost undeniable urge to turn around for one last peek. She scowled and forced herself to stare straight ahead.

"So," she asked, "why does someone like Zachary Hunter need our protection?"

"Try and sound as though you care, and I might tell you."

"Come on, Gary, he's some rich playboy asshole, who as far as I can see has never done anything worthwhile in his entire life. What's there to care about?"

"Have you actually read his file?"

She shrugged. "Jess read it to me."

"But I'm guessing you weren't paying attention." Gary frowned. "Zach's not actually a playboy. He's a writer-a good one, high-action thrillers. He's made a ton of money from them, invested that, and made a whole lot more-you don't get this sort of lifestyle from just writing." He waved a hand at their surroundings. "He's also a great guy to work for-ultra laid back."

"Doesn't care about anything, you mean?"

"Maybe, but then that hasn't really got anything to do with us, has it?"

Dani exhaled. "Look, you chose to do this job. I didn't. I'm just waiting for the all clear and then I'm heading back where I belong."

"And if you don't get the all clear?"

Dani didn't even want to consider that possibility. Wouldn't consider it. Even so, a shiver of fear ran through her. "I'll get it."

"Sure you will. Anyway, back to why we're here. Apparently, the last screenplay Zach produced annoyed a number of people."

"Like who?"

"The movie linked particular motorcycle gangs with organized crime. Apparently, Zach did a lot of research with one of the New York gangs and they had no problem with the film-thought it was a hoot. Unfortunately, a few of their associates lacked a sense of humor, and some of them have decided to make an example of him."

"He's received threats?"


"Are they serious?"

"Totally. There's already been one attempt on his life-in New York. A letter bomb-these guys aren't playing around. You know Zach and Jake are friends, right? Climbing buddies. They did the Eiger last year." Jake was their mutual boss and no, she hadn't known he and Zachary Hunter were close. But that explained the physique-the Eiger took strength and stamina. She nodded for Gary to continue. "Well, Zach refused police protection, but Jake persuaded him to hire us while they track down whoever it is. He also suggested this place. Zach's got houses in LA and New York as well, but Jake reckoned this would be easier to guard, and even you have to admit that staying here will be no hardship."

Looking around, Dani had to agree. Maybe Jake strong-arming her into this job wasn't such a bad thing after all. They'd served in the army together for many years, and Jake knew her better than just about anyone. He seemed to think that Dani needed something to occupy her time. "Something to prevent her from wallowing in self-pity" was actually the way he had put it.



Now, she was glad. London had been cold and gray, not conducive to convalescence. Especially in contrast to the hot, dry heat of Afghanistan, and she had been listless, unable to feel optimistic about her uncertain future.

But with the heat of the Spanish sun warming her, she experienced a first, faint lifting of her spirits. The villa nestled in the hills between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The views were spectacular and the grounds enormous, running rampant with glorious pink and orange bougainvillea and hibiscus that scented the warm air with tropical flowers. Taking a deep breath, she let the atmosphere soothe her. It had been a hard six months, and on top of that, she felt drained from the flight and then the long car ride. Her leg ached, and she rubbed at it absently.

"Are you okay?" Gary asked.

She tried not to be irked by the concern in his voice. "I'm fine."

"You don't seem fine. You seem tense."

Dani rolled her shoulders, easing the tightness, and forced a smile. Though she knew Gary wouldn't be fooled-she looked a mess. She'd always been slight, but now she was positively scrawny. "Maybe a little tense," she admitted. "I just want to get back and do some real work. Not protecting some playboy."

He cast her a glance of disapproval.

"Sorry," she muttered. "Some writer."

But Gary was right to disapprove; she'd accepted this job, so now she had a duty to give it her all, whatever her opinion of Zachary Hunter. She needed to pull herself together. And it was probably only jealousy. She had a tendency to go for everything full-steam-ahead, and she kind of envied people like him who could laze away a day in a pool naked. Anyway, she'd probably hardly even see the man-it wasn't as though she'd be protecting him personally.

"Come on," Gary said. "We'll get you to the guesthouse and off that leg. Jake's given strict instructions that you don't put any strain on it yet."

"Jake's not my doctor, and it's no problem," she said, making an effort not to limp.

Thankfully, Gary knew better than to offer a helping hand. She hated feeling weak.

Instead, without saying anything else on the subject, he slowed his pace to allow her shorter legs to keep up, and she fell into step beside him.


Zach woke to a soft hand stroking down the length of his bare back. He groaned and burrowed his head deeper into the pillows.

"Darling, I have to leave for the airport."

He squinted up at the woman hovering above him and sighed with relief when he saw Lauren was fully dressed; he didn't like to disappoint, but he really didn't think he could manage any more right now. 

At thirty-two, he was obviously getting old. Or drinking too much. Or both.

Rolling onto his back, he stretched. "What time is it?"

"Nearly seven."

"Really?" He scrubbed a hand through his hair. "I thought the new security guy was coming in this afternoon. Gary was supposed to bring him over."

"Another babysitter?"

"Yeah and thanks for the sympathy." At least someone found this amusing.

"Aw, poor darling. I know you hate being cooped up here, but at least you're safe." She leaned over and kissed him lingeringly on the mouth. "Look, I've really got to go. I'll send you those accounts to sign as soon as I've put through the changes. Or should I bring them?"