Liam met Jenna not long after starlet Lola Benedict had dumped Rob, while he worked security for Rob in Malibu, trading shifts with Brian and occasionally, Rick. One day, there was a knock at the door. Since it was his shift, Liam answered and expected a reporter or someone else annoying.
What he saw when he opened the door was a typical California girl – petite, brown eyes, tan skin, long, straight blond hair, bleached by the sun, wearing a cute, little, bright blue tank top and board shorts that barely covered her ass. Underneath, she was obviously wearing a cherry red string bikini and on her feet were a very sexy pair of leather sandals.
Liam almost came in his pants just looking at her. She looked like she was barely an adult.
He cleared his throat. “Can I help you?”
“Hi! Is Rob home?”
Bold. Most of them turned into piles of goo when they got to the door. They were all brass balls getting there and became blubbering schoolgirls by the time they saw the door open.
“Is he expecting you?”
She could be Rob's new thing, but it was unlikely; given that he'd had two epic failures for relationships in the recent past and both those women had been blond, Liam suspected his best friend would steer away from blonds for the foreseeable future. Besides, at 21, Lola had been young; this girl looked like she wasn't old enough to drink.
“You know, I can't remember if I told him today or tomorrow. Let me check.” She pulled out her iPhone and quickly tapped the screen until she got her calendar app going. “Yes. Today. Good. I thought I got it right. So, the answer is yes. He should be expecting me.”
“Okay, well, he didn't say he was expecting anyone, so let me check with him, first. What's your name?”
She stuck out her hand. “I'm Jenna. Jenna Ackerman. Rob's assistant in charge of social media?”
“Oh. Right. I forgot he was doing that stuff now. You know what, I think he's down on the beach. Why don't you come with me, I'll take you down there. He probably forgot. He didn't mention any appointments today. I think he's still distracted because of the Lola stuff.”
Jenna followed him inside. “So which one are you?”
Liam looked at her funny. “Which one?”
“You're the bodyguard, right? I know he's got several. I've seen you in pictures, but I guess I've never gotten your name. I know you're not Rick. He's the brother and he's a giant. No offense, I can tell you're not several inches taller than Rob.”
He laughed. “None taken. No one would ever mistake me for Rick. I'm Liam. Liam Neely.” He stuck out his hand and she shook it.
Liam gave her his best brogue. “Down to me core.”
She laughed. It was a cute little laugh and it made him smile. “Where are you from?”
“You like the Bruins?”
“Second only to the Sox. You a Bruins fan?” A California girl who was a hockey fan? Unlikely.
Jenna smiled, as if she knew what he was thinking. “I am. My favorite players growing up were Cam Neely and Ray Bourque.”
Holy shit, he was in love. He'd never met a girl who actually liked hockey and was this hot. Not to mention one who liked his favorite team and his two favorite players. He almost thought he was being Punk'd, but that show was defunct, right?
“Seriously? How're you old enough to remember them?”
Jenna laughed. “Well, for one, my dad's from New Hampshire and he played hockey, so hockey was religion in our house. And for another, I bet I'm older than you think.”
“Oh, really? So how do you know Rob?”
“I went to Minnesota State.”
“Not when we were there. I'd have remembered you.”
“You went there, too?”
“I did. I played hockey. And I know I'd remember you, especially if you knew Rob.”
“And how's that?”
“Because he was my college roommate for three years.”
“Well, then. You're right; it wasn't when he was there. Professor Deacon was on my thesis committee. He introduced us. I stuck around Minnesota for a couple of years after graduation. When I thought I might move back to Cali, get a job in Silicon Valley, Professor Deacon said I should meet his son, that he was single.”
“So this was recently.”
“Not that recently. It was after he broke up with Rachel and before Lola. Anyway, Pat invited me to a barbecue and Rob saw through the situation pretty quickly. We were left alone and he took the opportunity to tell me that he thought I seemed like a nice enough girl, but he had no interest in dating me, sorry. I told him he was too pretty for my taste anyway, and we had a good laugh. We talked about my thesis and he told me if I was ever looking for a job to give him a call, he could surely use someone like me. I jokingly said that if he could pay better than Facebook, I'd consider it.”
“I take it he pays better than Facebook?”
“That he does. Significantly. I called him once I got an offer from Facebook and I knew I was coming back here one way or another. It was when things were heating up with Lola and his name was all over the place. He'd probably have paid whatever I asked, but I told him to give me a number he thought my skills were worth and when it was far and above my other two offers, there was no question which one I'd take. I had plans for a social media roll out, but when everything exploded with Lola, that got put on the back burner for a bit. Now, we're ready to move forward. That's why I'm here today.”
“That didn't answer the how-old-are-you question.”
She gave him a sly smile. “I'll make a deal with you. If you were paying attention, you'll have all your answers. I went to college at a typical age and I did a typical track. If you can figure out my age within a year, I'll go out with you after you get done here today.”
Liam's brows shot up. “That assumes I want to go out with you.”
Her grin grew wider. “Oh, you do. You just think I'm too young for you. I'll ask you my age when I'm done meeting with Rob.” She said nothing else, just winked at him and walked down the path to the beach, where Rob was sitting in an Adirondack chair. Liam watched as his best friend stood, hugged Jenna and the two of them sat down. They looked back and Rob gave a little laugh.
Well, if nothing else, the girl got Rob to laugh. He hadn't laughed much lately.