After the Bomb

Before the bomb, Vanessa Winters was normal, or as normal as a 22-year-old could be when they’re part of a security detail, for billionaire business woman, Sophie Hudgens.

After the bomb went off things changed. Thrown into a pool of mystery and foul play Vanessa finds herself wound into the plot of something much bigger. Maybe it would have been better to keep her mouth shut, and play along, but she wants to know the truth, whether people want her to find it or not. Along with hasty alliances, mysterious clues and the help of her brother, Toby, can Vanessa really find the truth?

Money means power but it also means problems. Maybe you can hide behind the fame for a while but sooner or later someone can wash that away, and all your left with is the truth.

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Author's note

Updates are probably going to be pretty irregular with this.
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2. Chapter One

- Chapter One -

The buzz of chatter echoed out into the hall which I stood in. Dry, stereotypical conversation being spread between business men and woman in expensive suits. Back against the wall, I honestly wondered if my feet were ever going to recover from three hours of being stationary. Even if they had some music, whether it was a bad choice or not, it would have been more entertaining. Instead I could hear the security team inside the room through my ear piece, and the occasional crackle of static, but none of the mutters indicated something life threatening was going down. That would have been a highly more engaging experience, except I shouldn’t be wishing that.

To wish a threat to the person you were employed to protect probably wasn’t a good thing. So, I obediently stood there outside the door, clutching my clip board, wondering if any more of the VIP’s on the list were actually going to turn up. I’d predicted half of them would go home after the conference, I mean how many times could people really be bothered to listen to Sophie Hudgens babble on? I guess the people in that room for the refreshments either had more patience than I had or just wanted some posh alcohol that was for free. More likely the latter.  

I actually thought my heart physically leapt when I heard footsteps from down the corridor. I looked to my left to see someone making their way towards me and I stopped leaning on the wall. Good impressions was key, as Hudgens always said. 

When I could see the man properly I scanned the list, thinking a name might jump out at me to connect to the face. It didn’t; I’d never seen this guy before. 

He was fairly tall and well sculpted, with a dark crop of floppy hair. His suit looked expensive, all the suits people had worn today were, and the dark blue tie he wore matched his eyes. I guessed his age to be around 30. 

“Good afternoon Sir,” I said to him as he reached me and stopped. I expected him to throw a pass at me or tell me his name like everyone else but he didn’t. “Can I see your pass please?” Maybe he needed prompting. 

He looked down at me with this weird kind of smile on his face. It was a cross between highly infectious and a little condescending.  

“Don’t you know who I am?” he asked me, and I flushed a little red. Was I supposed to know? Was this actually one of Hudgens biggest company contacts? Had I made a mistake?  

I shook the thoughts from my head as I cleared my throat. He handed me over a small cream coloured card with black and gold lettering. 

Harry Baker 

I still didn’t know who he was. Not expecting to see his name, I scanned the words in front of me again anyway. I knew for a fact I had memorised the list last week so I knew he wasn't on it. 

“You don’t appear to be on the list, Sir,” I told him and met his eyes again. 

He sniffed in air like he was going to laugh. I wondered why he was even here if he wasn’t a designated VIP by Sophie Hudgens, he shouldn’t even be in the building. I tried to look more threatening. “What are you doing here?” 

Baker did the almost laugh thing again, flicking some hair out of his face to reveal his sharp cheekbones. “Getting banned from going in the VIP room it looks like.” He had too much of an edge of humour to his voice, it wasn't your typical dry businessman tone, but it certainly had that undercurrent of bossiness that was associated with many of the people here. 

“I’m sorry Sir, but I can’t allow you in without a pass.” I tried not to grit my teeth as I said it. His attitude was as though I should worship the ground he trod on, and that should mean I allowed him into the room. I was going to do my job properly. 

“I know Sophie,” he continued and he was looking over me into the room. 

If anyone was going to manipulate their way in, they would say something like that. I couldn’t trust his word. 

“Unfortunately, you have to be on the list for me to believe you,” I told him and I again found myself wondering who this guy was.  

“You’re an obedient little one, aren’t you?” His eyes crinkled as he sharply laughed. I took it as an insult, especially the use of ‘little one’. I was shorter than him but that didn’t make me any less able to throw him out. It also meant I could knee him in exactly the right place without hesitation.

“Will I have to get security to escort you out?” I sounded stern but he just laughed again. God, I wanted to move my knee just a few more inches but if he was important I wouldn’t get away with it.  

“You don’t seem that threatening,” he commented, with a too charming smile, and I narrowed my eyes. 

I would have said ‘don’t underestimate me’ if I hadn’t been in the kind of situation where I had to be polite to everyone in this building. As I had joined at 21 years old, and probably one of the youngest on the security detail, I had always felt as though everyone underestimated me. Hence why I might have been landed the job of ticking names off a list today, which wasn't exactly hard. Albeit, Harry Baker was being more difficult than any of the others who I had met that day. 

“Like I said, no pass, no entrance,” I replied to him instead. No matter how much he tried to make me feel small, I wasn’t going to let him. I was part of a security detail, I needed to be taken seriously. 

“I gave you my card.”

“Business cards don’t count unless the name matches one on my list.” I shoved the offending card in my pocket. 

He sighed but it wasn’t a very convincing sigh, like the sort you would imagine when someone gives up. It was like he wanted me to think he was exasperated and let him in regardless of whether he was supposed to be here or not. 

“You really don’t know who I am?” he questioned and I shook my head. Was I supposed to? 

“Never heard of you.” It came across as rude but at this point I didn’t care, his persistence to get into the room was suspicious and he was annoying. I was just about ready to chuck him out when I heard heels behind me. 

Sophie Hudgens had poked her head out the door. She looked at Harry and seemed shocked but then covered that with one of her empty smiles. It looked like she knew him. 

“Your little security guard won’t let me in,” Baker was first to speak to her and I found myself seething at the height mention, again

“For goodness sake Winters, let him in,” Hudgens snapped at me and instead of being feebly upset by her tone, I just felt angrier. I was only doing what I was supposed to do. 

“He’s not on the list though, Ma’am,” I spoke out as Baker was making his way past me. The look on Hudgens face swallowed my words up, so that I sounded small and insignificant. 

“Add him then.” She sounded peeved as she retracted her head back into the party, in Harry Baker's wake. 

I reluctantly scribbled his name at the bottom of the list. 

Who even was Harry Baker? 

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