Waverly sighted. It was almost impossible talking her sister out of something when she had her mind set on it, but for the thousandth time she would try again
"I'm not gonna get a security detail Wynonna, I do not need a bodyguard. I'm a writer, not one of those celebrities" Waverly said patiently as she watched her sister pace around the room checking her schedule.
"You're not a writer, you're the writer." Wynonna said as she pointed to a pile of fan letters set on a corner, annoyed by her sister's humility "For someone so smart you're just being plain dumb right now"
"And you're being a five year old" Waverly tried to lighten the mood with a little joke, failing miserably
"Whatever, you do what you want but don't come calling me when you inadvertently end up in trouble because you didn't want to get a bodyguard"
And with that Wynonna left the room, slamming the door on her way out as to ensure that everyone knew just how frustrated she was, and Waverly knew why, everyone knew why. And despite the fact that she hated upsetting her sister Waverly didn't see the need for a security detail of any sort, she was a writer and writers do not need that. However it’s true that she wrote one heck of a title, that's been getting praised by both critics and audience and that has been breaking records after records and getting her an incredible visibility, much of which she did not ask for, which led to having a large - and growing on a daily basis - fan base. But Waverly wanted to feel like Waverly, the little nerd girl who liked to study mysticism in every culture and who would rather find out about the monster under her bed than to run away from it, so it made sense that she would keep some sense of normalcy in her life by not having her every move watched by a stranger, regardless of how professional that person was. So she decided to push past her guilt for hurting her sister and just focus on the task at hand, listening to Gus telling her their next move on the promotional tour.
"So, I suppose this is what we have for the next four weeks" Gus said after what seemed like a lifetime of detailed explanations as to why and where and what she'd be doing with the next month of her life
"Sounds like a plan" Waverly said with less enthusiasm than she would've wanted to showcase
"I know it sounds like a lot, but you'll get the hang of it and..."
"And it's in my best interest to make sure my books keep being a huge success" Waverly interrupted the already old dialogue "you don't have to tell me that, I already know"
"Okay then, it's seems like we've reached an agreement that will make the publishers very happy. I should leave you to your peace and quiet" Her manager said as she gathered her things, leaving a detailed plan for Waverly to look at and left the big Earp apartment.
It was not that she didn't like her job, she did, very much so, few things made her feel as special as listening to a young girl telling her how her books and her characters made her overcome some fear or insecurity or even helped them when they had a bad day. Waverly grew up being pushed around and bullied at school and she had her fair share of bad days and writing was her safe place, where she could pour her heart, mind, soul and pain without fearing for her safety or fearing someone would make fun of her. But she didn't want to be a celebrity of any kind, she didn't want paparazzi and fans waiting for her wherever she went, she didn't want to attend eight different talk shows, fifteen book signings and ten fan conventions within two months, she just wanted to write her books and make people happy. And it didn't seem to matter how much she planned and planned and planned, as the days went by she seemed to get a more chaotic and messy schedule, leaving very little room for her own happiness.
The weight of her responsibilities was too much for her, so before she could think things through she picked up her coat, her car keys and her purse and started to drive towards the place that was pretty much like home to her, the coffee shop near her childhood house. Waverly knew that Shorty would always welcome her and her sister at his cafe with a warm hug and whatever else they might need at the time, the man was somewhat a father to them since their real father was a war photographer and would almost never be at home. Not that she should complain, her father's job was what gave them a good and stable life, never needing for anything, well anything other than his fatherly presence. So whenever she felt like the world was changing too fast, Waverly would go there to feel like home. The place was quiet as she opened the door, she should've expected to see that, it's not like a local coffee shop could compete with the Starbucks across the street, but Shorty was there with a warm smile and an attentive ear as he listened to one of his regulars talk about how hard it was to deal with his teenage daughter. Waverly couldn't help but smile because of how at ease that simple action made her feel, so without wanting to intrude and spoil the exchange she took a sit by the corner, in a rather excluded table, where almost no one could see her, and lazily started to type the next paragraph of her next book when she felt someone touching her shoulder.
"What's the chance that you might actually be Waverly Earp" The teenager said with very little confidence in her voice
"Hi, I'm Waverly Earp indeed. And you are?" Waverly smiled
"I'm Spencer" the girl giggled nervously "I can't believe this is really you, I absolutely love your books! Purgatory: Revenants was such an amazing book"
"Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it" Upon hearing her book's title Waverly set her professional mode on
"I have a copy of it in my bag, would you mind signing it for me?" The girl asked hesitantly
"Sure thing darling!" And after signing the book and taking a picture with the girl they said their fair wells and she was left to her own devices
"Well I'll be damned if it isn't the one and only Waverly Earp" Shorty said in a exited tone mimicking the teenager's behavior
"Is there anything you'd like me to sign for you sir?" Waverly laughed
"I've missed you kid" he smiled "How's being a celebrity treating you? I haven't seen you in a while"
"I haven't had the time to come by, in between finishing this book and doing all the publicity required for the last one" Waverly sighted "I should come by more often, I'm sorry"
"Oh kiddo, it's alright. I'm very proud of you for putting yourself out there and doing what makes you happy. And I know how much you love writing, and clearly those amazing books of yours are giving you the recognition you deserve" Shorty passed her a warm cup of coffee
"Amazing books? Have you read them?" She asked hesitatingly
"Oh yes I did. And they're really good, I'm glad you're putting your talent to good use. I'm really glad you're not stuck in here with me" he smiled and walked away
Waverly knew the man would always believe in her, even if she wouldn't, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise when he stated that he had in fact been keeping up with her work over the years, but it did, it still came as a shock to her that people actually were entertained by her writing and her characters and interested in here. But hearing her fatherly figure show his support for her work, added to the warm coffee in her hands was enough to give her inspiration to keep writing the chapter at hand, and whenever those waves of inspiration would come Waverly would forget about everything around her. That's why it wasn't until the cafe was surrounded by fans and paparazzi that she noticed her rather scary situation. Turns out the fan from before tweeted her current location and now the entire city was trying to get a glimpse, or maybe a piece, of the writer.
Waverly felt the air being sucked out of her lungs and within second of noticing her situation she started panicking. She should've seen this coming when she talked to the fan, she should've seen this coming when the group started forming outside the cafe, she should've seen this coming a mile away but she was so focused on her writing and on the sense of normalcy that she ignored every sign that things were going to get bad. But more importantly, she should've listened to Wynonna when she tried to warn her about her current celebrity status, it was indeed a childish and petty move to think that her sister was just being an overprotective ass. She should've. But now Waverly was trapped, Shorty's was being damaged and her safe place was no longer a secret. It was indeed hard to breathe, to keep her thoughts in order, to try and figure out a way out of that mess of a situation. Breathe in, one, two, three, four, five, six. Hold, one, two, three, four. Breathe out, one, two, three, four, five, six. Repeat
Even though it looked like Shorty had taken some control of the situation, managing to keep them outside of the cafe, Waverly typed as fast as she could a text to the one person she knew would be able to get her out of there. It really didn't matter how tough and unattached Wynonna wanted to seem, Waverly knew her sister would always do everything in her power to make sure she was safe, so after a few "I told you so" texts, Wynonna was on her way and with reinforcements. It took the police about five minutes to arrive and contain most of the mob outside Shorty's and it took Wynonna ten more minutes to come blasting through the back door before dragging Waverly out of the cafe, thanking Shorty's for acting so quickly, and driving them like a maniac back to their apartment downtown. When they were safely behind locked doors the older Earp took a good look on her sister before dragging her to a tight hug.
"I don't care how much you hate it, I'm calling Nedley and getting you a security detail" Wynonna said leaving very little room to protest.
"You were right" Waverly said in a defeated voice
"I'm sorry I was what?" the troublemaker sister seemed shocked by the admission
"You were right Wynonna. I do need a security detail as soon as possible" the writer said more tiredly than anything
"I'm calling Nedley"
"So, the Black Badge Unit is a firm specialized in private security, meaning, our employees are trained to make sure you're safe at all times" Nedley explained for the third time "Which means that, should you hire my firm, we'll develop a detailed plan to keep you safe and unharmed at all times, including every single one of your upcoming events and wherever you seem fit"
"So 24/7 sounds perfect" Wynonna interjected
"Okay then, we'll have at least one employee with you at all times wherever you go" Nedley said calmly
"And how fast can you arrange a team for my sister?" Wynonna said again without allowing Waverly to speak her mind
"I have a team of well-trained ex-military men that can be here within the hour" Nedley said without much fuss making Waverly believe him and her sister had been discussing this arrangement for a while
"That sounds good to me" Wynonna said
"That doesn't sound at all good to me" Waverly finally spoke up
"What's not to like little sis?" Wynonna said in annoyance
"First of all I do not want ex-military private security, you're supposed to help me deal with large groups of fans and not with a terrorist attack. And secondly I do not wish to spend all my time with people I've never met before. And lastly, how very sexist of you to not include women on that group" Waverly said in one breath
"Well Waverly, I'm so..." Nedley seemed to rethink his words and chose to go a different path "We do have a simpler team, but we're still training them"
"What are their previous experiences?" Wynonna asked
"Dolls is an... ex US Marshal agent, and... Haught is... an ex-cop" Doc said while going through their file on his tablet
"Two isn't enough to keep eyes on her 24/7" Wynonna tried to dismiss the untrained team
"They sound good" Waverly said before turning to her sister "And two is just enough since I do no plan on needing them when I'm asleep, at our home, with you and your guns on the other room or when I'm at hotels, with their own security teams"
"Fine. When can we meet them?" Wynonna dismissed the defeat choosing to enjoy the fact that her sister had agreed to at least two.
"I can have them in here tomorrow" Nedley said
It was six in the morning and Waverly was already up and running, making coffee for herself and her sister and cleaning up the kitchen, she had had a hard time sleeping that night, she hated feeling powerless and she hated even more how easy it was for her to panic, so she would wake up every ten minutes or so after dreaming about the mobbing. She wanted to call Shorty and apologize for causing so much trouble, but she knew the man would dismiss it like that was no big deal and tell her not to worry, which would make her feel even more guilty, so she sat on simply writing him an apologetic email with the offer to pay for whatever expenses that might have been caused by her fans. She was finishing writing to the cafe owner when she heard an unexpected knock on the door. Her first instinct was to start panicking again but after a quick glance at the apartment's security camera Waverly calmed down and went to answer it.
"Hello" Waverly said as she opened the door revealing two figures in matching black clothes
"Hello ma'am" the tall redhead said professionally "I'm Nicole. Nicole Haught and you are Waverly Earp, if I'm not mistaken" Waverly felt the woman's eyes on her and couldn't help but feeling self-conscious at the action
"Yes, that would be me" the woman did not take her eyes of Waverly for a second and since she didn't seem keen on continuing the conversation she decided to talk to the other figure before she died of self-consciousness "And you are?"
"I'm Xavier Dolls ma'am. We're your black badge team, mister Nedley said we should report to you this morning in order to get our schedules and responsibilities" the man took a few seconds to check his watch before continuing "I'm sorry if we came too early and woke you, we wouldn't mind coming back later"
"Or you could invite us inside and we could check your current security system while you go back to your beauty sleep" the woman said making Waverly realize she was still in her pjs and making her hate herself a little bit
"You can come in, I'll go change and I'll be back in a minute" Waverly said before disappearing to her room.
It was as clear as day that Wynonna was very serious about her desire for a security detail as soon as possible but it was strange that Nedley would send her team at this hour when he knew both the party girl won't-sleep-until-daylight Wynonna Earp and the writer-on-creative-vacation wouldn't be up yet. But hey, maybe it was the need to "protect and serve" from Dolls or the enthusiasm from Haught that made them show up so early in the morning. Maybe it was just the fact that she did not make a good first impression of herself because of her rather short pink pjs and rabbit slippers or maybe it was simply the realization that they would probably see more of her dressed like this, either way Waverly felt awkward for having two complete strangers being now a part of her every day.
She changed into something less revealing and got back to the kitchen to finish her coffee before pouring one cup for herself and one for each of the black badge team. She walked back to the living room trying to think of a better way to address them, going through every single word she could think of from employee to friends and settling on guests, at least for the moment. Waverly found Dolls sitting on his on at the table, writing stuff down on a tablet, which she could only assume were notes on how unprepared she was for a celebrity or how messy her apartment was, but before she could think any further on his actions, the man started to speak to her.
"It'd be very helpful if you walked us through your schedule ma'am" he said without turning to face her
"I think that would be about right, but shouldn't we wait for your partner? I got you guys some coffee" Waverly tried to mimic his professional tone despite how surprised she was that he noted her presence
"You needn't wait for her, she's right here Miss Earp" The woman spoke from behind her causing Waverly to jump a little "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to scary you, I should've made my presence known"
"It's alright, I just don't function properly without some coffee in me" Waverly tried to dismiss the woman's worry and guilty "Shall we start then?" She said after all three of them had their own cups
"If you don't mind" The US Marshall said nonchalantly
"So, for the next four days I'll just stay at home enjoying some quality time with my sister and trying to get some writing done, so you guys can use that time to prepare yourselves or do your thing" the writer started to spill out the words trying to sound more sure than she actually was of what she was doing
"That's good, I suppose one of us can stay with you in case you need to go anywhere while the other draw the plan for the more busy days" Dolls said as he continue to write stuff down on his tablet
"Okay. After that I start a crazy month with lots of events including some very packed fan conventions and stuff like that" Waverly continued while she paced through the papers her manager had shown her the day before
"Would you mind if I take a closer look at those?" Dolls pointed to the schedule in Waverly's hand picking it up when she nodded "Those are certainly to be the more complicated ones but I think we can work stuff out with the security team from those events"
"Or you could just give me a gun and a taser and I could do the heavy work myself" Waverly tried to make a joke gaining nothing from the man but a disapproving look while the woman looked rather amused
"I'm fairly certain you can keep yourself out of trouble Miss Earp" Haught said calmly as she drank another bit of her coffee and looked deeply into Waverly's eyes "But why don't you let me keep you safe?" Waverly took a deep breath and sipped on her cup of coffee, for some reason she knew that woman would most definitely take good care of her.