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“El Fuerte” is the nickname for the building on Halsted Street in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago that houses Alpha Security Group (ASG), (El) Fuerte Bookcafe, (El) Fuerte Noche (the speakeasy), ROJA’s BDSM club, and a beautiful rooftop deck everyone calls “The Canopy.” 

El Fuerte is more than each of its parts. It is a community which is part of a wider neighborhood full of a diversity of people and cultures and identities. It is the sum of its parts and more complex than any one piece. It is a mosaic of the histories of the people who live within the walls of El Fuerte and the surrounding area of its layered and vibrant nook within the Chicago landscape. 


"Fuerte" in Spanish means passion, intensity and strength. "El Fuerte" in Spanish means "The Fort." Miguel nicknamed the building "El Fuerte" because he believes that both fuerte and el fuerte embody all that resides inside of the building - strength, passion and one hell of a well fortified fort. This is also why the names of the book cafe and the speakeasy have the "el" in parentheses - because they are both "El Fuerte" and "Fuerte" in spirit. 


Below is an introductory map guide to El Fuerte and the surrounding neighborhood that makes up the world of MASTERS OF PROTECTION and a detailed character guide to get to know the people in the local M of P world. You can also click the links for AUSTIN'S MIXOLOGY, TACOS & TAPAS MENU, M of P PLAYLIST, M of P INSPIRATIONS and THE COMMUNITY CALENDAR to learn more about what goes on day-to-day in the MASTERS OF PROTECTION WORLD.


Bring your imagination and your own personal character into the world and imagine your days sipping on Austin's creations, tasting the new daily menu items at Tacos & Tapas and planning out your activities at Club Roja, (El) Fuerte Bookcafe, (El) Fuerte Noche Speakeasy and the Angel Community Center. There is truly something for everyone going on each and every day in this tiny hub of the Chicagoland area. 






  • 4th & 5th Floor: CLUB ROJA
  • 6th Floor: RESIDENCES (loft apartments)
  • ROOFDECK aka "The Canopy"




Each story in the MASTERS OF PROTECTION series will offer you new opportunities to connect to the community of El Fuerte and the surrounding neighbhorhood.

To learn a little more about the core characters and the community landscape that make up “El Fuerte” including the residents, owners and staff of ASG, ROJA, (El) Fuerte Bookcafe and (El) Fuerte Noche (including everyone’s favorite canine companions) read on below. 

(El) Fuerte Bookcafe

The bookcafe sits on the first floor of the shared El Fuerte building. While the co-owners of ASG & ROJA currently own the building, the bookcafe has been around for two decades.

Owner: Miguel Sanchez: Miguel is a Mexican-born immigrant who has lived in Pilsen since he moved to the U.S. at the age of twelve, with the exception of 2 tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne. He has a prosthetic leg from his service and a love of military and suspense novels as well as a secret love of historical romance. His wife of 38 years passed away a year ago from her second bout with breast cancer and he is still mourning her loss. He lives in one of the residences on the 6th floor and is the oldest and longest resident of the property which he lovingly calls “El Fuerte." His wife was the deep lover of literature but he loves the business because it was their place, together. He has one daughter, Luz, which he refers to always as Mijia. He is 73-years-old at the start of the series. He knows about the club and has no problems with it even though he doesn’t quite get it but he is not part of the lifestyle; he does enjoy an evening bourbon or mezcal, neat, on some evenings at (El) Fuerte Noche.


Miguel's Dog: ChiChi (short for Techichi): ChiChi is an 8-year-old female Chihuahua. Colin considers her to be a useless dog because she has no "actual skills" unless uncomfortably long staring counts. Miguel felt it was a Mexican duty to have the dog of ancient Mexican royalty. He says Chichi knows her roots and her poise notes that royalty. 

Miguel's Daughter: Luz Sanchez: Luz is a social work student at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is living on campus and finishing her last year of the program. She is 200years-old, going on 21 at the beginning of the series. She is a burgeoning submissive, always being curious of the lifestyle having known about the club and the security company connections over the last 4 years. She also discovered her attraction to both men and women. She is very passionate and adamant for social justice and social change in her community which is why she is getting her social work degree so she can come back and work in her community, for her community. 


(El) Fuerte Noche: The Speakeasy

The speakeasy is tucked behind the bookcafe and has its own entrance at the side of the building on the nights it is open. In collaboration with ROJA it was decided that Noche would be open on the nights the club is closed so it runs from Mondays to Wednesdays and Friday nights. It is a low-key spot to sip a cocktail and sometimes catch some live music.

Owner: Zara Kouri: Zara's family is of Lebanese and Mexican ancestry, her father moving from Lebanon to Chicago and meeting her mother, where they setttled and raised their family. She can speak some Arabic but she is not a practicing Muslim, which is something that has complicated her relationship with her family, specifically her father. She identifies as bisexual. Her brother Rahel is the only one who knows about her sexuality. She is a member at ROJA and is a switch. In life and her business she is overall very dominant and outspoken. She is definitely the Mistress of the speakeasy and she saved up for years to be able to have her own spot. She lives in one of the building apartments and is 28-years-old at the start of the series. She is a fierce Pitbull advocate and often brings in rescues for temporary foster, some of whom end up being good candidates for Elisa's K-9 training program.


Zara's dog: Hamia (in Arabic means “protector): is a 5-year-old male Pitbull Terrior mix. Named by Zara because he is the guard dog of the first floor. He is selectively deeply loving and loyal and loves Miguel, Luz and Zara. He is also a good judge of character which will come into play when nefarious characters show up. 

Bartender: Austin Jamison: Austin is a country kid from Indiana with German and Irish family roots who moved to the city for adventure. He is 22-years-old at the beginning of the series and learning city bartending from the ground up. Zara said she is giving him a shot because he is cheap, but it is really because she feels like he has a good heart. She is teaching him mixology during the day and has him shadow some of the renound mixologists in the city. He has a growing knack to understand how someone’s personality and mood translates into their drink and has been experimenting with his own custom cocktails often inspired by the security company folks as well as the city of Chicago. He lives nearby in an apartment with three other guys who often come in and hang out at the speakeasy. He is nicknamed “Whiskey” because his last name is Jamison, even though the spelling is different as he always points out. 

Cocktail Waitress: Jimena Ruiz: Jimena is a Mexican-American neighborhood girl who grew up coming to the bookstore with her mom and playing with Luz in the store. Her dad left when she was still a baby and her mom worked as a nanny and housekeeper for rich families in the Gold Coast and in the Chicago area suburbs to support them. She has learned how to work hard and is taking time off before going to college to save up the money to afford it because her mom doesn't have the resources to help with tuition. She is also an artist and in her free time she does some work in the studio space above the gallery. She is  a submissive who is taking the introductory classes at ROJA. She is the same age as Luz (within a few weeks) and turns 21 years old during the beginning of the series. Additionally, she is a part-time DJ at ROJA, studying to improve her skills under Terrell's direction. 


El Fuerte's Doormen

James & Michael are in their 70's and combat veterans, like Miguel. They rotate shifts but one of them is always on site in the lobby entrance to let in guests during business hours. They know everyone living and working in the building by name and keep up with all the goings on. They also really enjoy taking Hamia and ChiChi for walks when they go on their breaks as well as visiting the bookcafe. On the random occasion they might even be seen sipping a beer or whiskey at the speakeasy after a shift. They have lived in and around Chicago forever and have a sort of odd couple thing going on as they now live together in an apartment in Bronzeville together. Neither one of them has married or partnered and they have just gotten used to each other. They can sometimes be found talking to Miguel about the war, homecoming and the old days. 


Alpha Security Group (ASG)

The co-founders and owners of Alpha Security Group bought the 6-story building 4 years prior, saving the historic building from demolition. The interior floors, which once housed the Luscious Chocolate Factory, have been refurbished and built out. Much of the interior and archiectural design was a collborative project with students from local art schools working out of the Ignite Gallery & Studios across the street. The exterior has been preserved for the archictural detail and the factory name is still written on the exterior walls.

Office Manager: Magda Kaminski:  Magda is a 68-year-old Polish woman who has worked in various companies and offices throughout her career. She is a bit "old-school" and kind of the unofficial grandmother of ASG. She loves to make homemade Polish food and feed her “kids” as she calls them. Everyone loves when she makes perogi and brings in kielbasa bought in the Polish deli near her house. Everyone calls her Mrs. K. She always talks about her husband and lives with him in Bridgeport but no one has ever met him so there are suspicions as to whether he might be imaginary or dead. 

Administrative Assistant-Intern: Jimmy Lumbard:  Jimmy is a 23-year-old gay man living in the Boystown/Lakeview neighborhood with English family lineage. He was raised in the Chicagoland area but he has cousins in England. He is looking to get into corporate administration and fell into an internship for his MBA with the company. He loves to ogle the security men and often gets distracted from his duties as a result. He is constantly dreaming of the romance novel he will write one day that will just be "MM trashy erotica" as he describes it. He can be found telling some of his potential plot ideas to the bar staff at the speakeasy some nights and trying to find someone yummy to mack on - in his words. 

Co-Founder/Owner: Colin Byrne: Colin is an ex-Navy SEAL, a Dom and one of the three co-founders and co-owner of ASG and ROJA, along with Malik and Melina, whom he met while rehabbing post-discharge from the military.  He was born and raised in the New York City metro area but moved to Chicago after his medical discharge from the Marines. He has some complicated family relationships from his lineage of Irish-Americans who were militant IRA supporters (and possibly consiprators) when he was growing up. He is 39-years-old at the beginning of the series and  divorced. He lives in the building in one of the larger residences. The three co-owners’ residences have skylights that peak out onto the roof deck area. He has two Japanese fighting fish which he named Yin and Yang.


Co-Founder/Owner: Melina Cruz: Melina is an ex-Navy Corpsman, and will still answer to the nickname "Doc." She is also a Domme at ROJA which she co-owns along with Malik and Colin.  She grew up in Los Angeles with Mexican-Guatemalan family lineage, but discharged out of San Diego from the Navy. She came to the Midwest and specifically wanted the group to be in Pilsen because of the rich Mexican-American history here and wanting a feeling of home with some distance from her civilian and military life in the west coast. She identifies as queer Latinx, having been attracted to folks across gender identities and when she was in the service people mostly called her a "tomboy" or considered her more "one of the guys." Melina is 34-years-old at the beginning of the series and lives in one of the larger residences/lofts in the building. 

Co-Owner: Malik Johnson:  Malik is the only non-Marine/Navy veteran of the co-owners, having been medically discharged from the Mary Special Forces. He is a Dom at ROJA which he co-owns with Melina and Colin. He is originally from the southside of Chicago, growing up in the Bronzeville area. He is proud of his roots and has many family ties in the area. He is the most locally connected of the three owners. He is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the Black community in Chicago and the Great Migration. He believes that everyone has to to preserve their cultural histories. He volunteers with the YMCA on the southside and has a young brother he often brings to the office to shadow him who is in junior high (13) in the beginning of the series. Malik is 36 years old and lives in one of the three co-owner bigger units in the building.



ASG & Club Psych Assessor & Peer Support Counselor: Olivia Reyes:  Olivia or“Liv” for short is a trained clinical social worker and clinical psychologist (she got one degree and then the other) who relocates to Chicago after needing to leave Miami suddenly following a legal scandal and divorce from a Cuban businessman named Jose Diaz. She returned to her maiden name immediately following the divorce and comes to Chicago seeking a new and fullfilling life. She is a 36-years-old when she arrives at ASG & ROJA in the beginning of the series and comes from Mexican-Colombian family background.


ASG Employee/Security and Tech: Lucas Wells and ASG Employee/Security: Marc Wells:  Lucas and Marc are cousins who grew up as close to brothers. Lucas had a younger sister and Mark had no siblings and they are only a year apart in age. They grew up on the east coast with English-Irish family roots and connected with Malik when he became their CO in the Army. They followed him out of the service when their contracts were up and Malik left to start ASG. They act more like twin brothers than cousins and look very much alike. They live together in the residences in a two-bedroom apartment, but often bring back women to play with together. Lucas is 25-years-old and Mark is 24-years-old at the beginning of the series.

ASG Employee/Security: Mateo Nguyen:  Mateo is a Mexican-Vietnamese man who grew up in Little Village and has dealt with issues of being from two backgrounds throughout his life. He is former Special Forces, having worked with Malik, Lucas and Marc. He followed them out when his contract was up. He would identify as gay although he hasn't had any romantic relationships in a very long time. He is 28-years-old at the beginning of the series. 


ASG Employee/Security: Gio (Giovani) Natalia: Gio is an Italian-American man raised in Chicago area and former Navy SEAL - having served under Colin before his discharge. He is also a licensed pilot and he does all the flying and general mechanics for the team as needed. He is also is very good at tracking. He is 27-years-old in the beginning of the series. 

ASG Employee & Canine Trainer: Elisa Mendoza:  Elisa is a 25-year-old Colombian woman who was previously a Canine Officer in the DEA and trained canines within her unit. Due to a scandal with a superior officer which she doesn’t speak about, she left after a short tenure and was recommended to Melina by a mutual friend for work. She left brokenhearted from her old job but found a home she loved in ASG where she has built a K-9 training program. She is not very breed selective as long as the dogs she works with have a strong mind and a fierce heart. She had two dogs of her own that she was able to train to assist with their teams. She also does volunteer work training dogs for different disabilities with a focus on injured vets. 

Elisa's Dogs: Lucky & Roja: Lucky is an 8 year-old-male Shepherd-Labrador mix (Sheprador) and a Roja (often called Rojita) is a 3-year-old female Beagle-Pitbull mix, who was one of Zara's early rescue fosters. They have both been trained within Elisa's K-9 protocol and Roja specializes in scent and tracking including bomb sniffing and human tracking while Lucky is very good at charging in and being (as Elisa jokes) Roja's "muscle."  They get along very well with all the other building dogs and can often be found playing on the rooftop deck during "doggie fiesta" times where all the pups get together. They also work hard and when the team needs them they use their skills to assist as K-9 partners of ASG. 


The co-founders of ASG also co-founded and co-own ROJA, a BDSM club that celebrates and embraces the diversity of kink, identity & intimacy in its community of Chicago. As a result, there is much of the energy of the community in the space of ROJA, including a rotating art gallery which is a collaborative project with Ignite Gallery and Studios located across the street from the club. It also hosts DJs from the community. ROJA is open on Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays.


Head Domme & Club Manager: Diana Curtis:  Diana is an older British-American woman who grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago. She has family in both the United States and England but has spent her whole life in the Chicagoland area. She acts as a protective figure for women and subs in the club. She is 65-years-old and is a newly retired school teacher. She manages the club and is rotates in various duties including teaching classes and DM fill-in. She hopes to eventually become part-time at the club and train someone else to be the club manager. 


Head Dom & DM/Club Security: Jaime Alvarez:  Jaime is a 26-year-old Puerto Rican man living in Little Village (also known as "La Villita"). He was an underground fighter for a number of years but it got him tangled with a variety of criminal characters, specifically those from his old neighbhorhood of Humboldt Park. not to get into trouble with his neighborhood friends from Humboldt park from his childhood. He serves as security and head dom at the club for a small salary and club membership. He also works security periodically for the speakeasy and The Whiskey Dive bar down the street.


Head Switch & DM: Leo Bryant:  Leo is a polyamorous and a switch who has been in the D/S lifestyle since he was 18-years-old. He still hasn't found a permanent partnership, 10 years later, at 28-years-old. He finds fullfillment helping to train switches and also assist those folks seeking a switch in their play. He grew up in Rogers Park and still lives there. He works part-time at the Ignite Gallery & Studios managing their general building maintainence and the club/ASG also calls him in for the same kind of building maintainence work. He lives with Robert Lance since they both started working at ROJA a few years ago. 

Dungeon Monitor: Hana Sato:  Hana is straight switch from a Japanese family. She lives in Chinatown and looking to move out from her family's shared apartment where she currently lives with her parents and her grandmother. She is trained in a variety of martial arts but specifically Aikido and Iaido (a sword fighting practice), and she is adept at defusing situations with both emotional and physical techniques. She speaks Japanese and understands a little bit of Chinese, Korean and Spanish from living in the borderlands of those communities growing up in Chicago. She also studied French in high school. She is 24-year-old and works as a dungeon monitor in exchange for club membership. She is in school part-time online studying business management. She would like to get more involved in the club's management, but her ultimate dream would be to have her own martial arts business. She has been talking with the owners of ASG about getting an LLC and contracting with them to teach their security forces martial arts. She also practices the spiritual philosophies of Zen and Taoism - as Iaido is steeped in these philosophies. 


Dungeon Monitor & Club Security: Robert Lance:  Robert is a 30-year-old man and closest friend to Leo, who he lives with in Rogers Park. Sometimes they play together in casual menages and they have had some brief sexual encounters with each other although they avoid it more often than not anymore because they don’t want to ruin the friendship. He doesn't openly identitfy as gay or queer. He is a DM in exchange for club membership and also works as the club’s bartender when he is not on the floor. He also sometimes helps out on off days at the speakeasy for extra cash. 


Dungeon Monitor, DJ & Club Security: Terrell D: Terrel is a straight 23-year-old male who is shuffling off "problem kid" identity he was known for growing up. He sometimes seeks insight from Malik who also grew up, like him, on the southside and understands some of the specific struggles with being in and out of the neighborhood at the same time. He is trying to find who he is as a man and a Dom. In the meantime he is working as a DM for club membership, while also working at the bar in the club and occassionally at the speakeasy, The Whiskey Dive and Tacos & Tapas (the restaurant down the street) to make ends meet. Sometimes he can be found testing out new cocktails with Austin in (El) Fuerte Noche. They have comfortable, if unlikely, friendship. No one really knows his last name or that he hides it because of a secret family history.

DJs: Terrell D. and Jimena rotate in as DJs for the club. Terrell is working with Jimena to help her work on her growing craft and interest. They also sometimes work together on other local events such as gallery exhibits across the street. Occassionally, when there is a well-known DJ in town for an event or in the neighborhood from around Chicago they will come in and host for a night, often during special parties or events in the club.

ROJO Art Gallery Curator: Jenna Lee: Jenna is a 24-year-old Korean-American graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as well as an intern at Ignite Art Gallery & Studio. She is getting a Masters in Art Therapy and Counseling, after receiving a Bachelors in Fine Arts at the same school. She is working on engaging some community groups for art therapy at the studio space in collaboration with Angel Community Center.







In The Neighborhood

Beyond the walls of El Fuerte there is a whole community which connects in big and small ways with the folks in the Fort. Below are just a few additional friends and neighbors who connect with various people and businesses in El Fuerte. See the map of the community to get an idea where where these folks spend their days. 

*There are also new characters which will be introduced throughout the series. As new characters are premiered in each book they will be added to the character bios.*

Anita Ruiz, Jimena's mother: Anita has been a fixture in the neighborhood since she moved to Chicago from Mexico when she was 15-years-old. She is good friends with Miguel and often can be find making snacks for the folks at El Fuerte as well as acting like a mother hen for the community. She is known for showing up and surprising Jimena, sometimes embarrassing her. Despite being raised fairly traditionally she is very open to the kinkier things the folks around her engage in. It isn't her thing but she supports it and her daughter's involvement in her own sexual exploration. People tend to refer to her as Ms. Anita. She never married but she can be quite a flirt. She says it makes lifre interesting and she definitely notices all the handsome folks from ASG and club Roja around the community.

Maxwell Warner, Owner of Ignite Gallery & Studios: Maxwell is from a wealthy legacy family in Chicago's elite world with family lineage dating back to early German settlers in the area. He never wanted to make that his life and has let his brother, Tyler, take over the day-to-day of running their family's company. He is more interested in preserving and promoting the creation of "beauty and hope" in the world. He believes he can do that through supporting the arts in the community of Pilsen. A few years ago he bought the rundown industrial building across the street from El Fuerte and helped to grow and bring recognition to the artists of Ignite Gallery & Studios. He does most of this behind the scenes and only a few people know he is the owner of the building. He lives on the top floor where he maintains his own loft apartment. He spends a lot of his time hanging out in the neighborhood and can be seen regularly at El Fuerte Noche where he is known just as Max. He is a Dom and a member at ROJA. The rest of Max's family lives in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.

Clara & Sabina Bissell, Owners of Bissell Chocolat: Clara is a the owner of Bissell Chocolat which has been a family-owned chocolatier shop in the Pilsen neighbhorhood since the 1920's when their street became a mecca for chocolate production and sales. The imprint of that has remained with the chocolate shop and the chocolate spa which is their neighbor across the street. Clara grew up in both France and the United States and became a permanent resident of Chicago when her grandmother passed away and left her the shop in her will. Clara hopes to retire in the next few years and leave the shop to her only daughter, Sabina who is just finishing up a her education at a local culinary school with a focus on baking and pastry. Clara and Sabina live together in the Bucktown neighborhood, in a townhouse Clara's grandmother once owned before the prices in the neighborhood rose. Clara runs the monthly book club that meets one night a month at (El) Fuerte Bookcafe. 

Lily James, Manager & Masseuse at Body Chocolate Spa: Lily is the manager at the Body Chocolate Spa which sits across the street from Bissell Chocolat. She organizes the periodic spa days at ROJA as well as coordinating donation days at Angel Community Center with low-cost to no-cost spa services for folks in the community with limited budgets. She currently lives with a couple of other women who work at the spa in Pilsen. She is also a sub and a member at ROJA.

Aya Williams, Owner of the Body Chocolate Spa: Aya is the owner of the Body Chocolate Spa which sits across the street from Bissell Chocolat. She is a 30-year-old black woman who grew up on the west coast in Oakland and moved to Chicago for college. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago with a joint degree in social service administration. She has a vision of building an arm of the spa that is a nonprofit specifically offering body care and wellness to low-income communities. 

Rev. Lena Browne, Director of Angel Community Center: Lena is originally from Portland, Oregon but came to Chicago after she became an Episcopal Priest because she got a job offer with a local LGBTQIA-centered church community in the northside of the city. She has been in the city for the last ten years and is currently the director of Angel Community Center where she constantly seeks to add to the programming, services and support the center can provide to the community. She coordinates with a lot of the local businesses to add resources to the Center's offerings. Lena is a newly curious seeker in the BDSM and kink world and is taking introductory classes at ROJA. She identifies as a queer woman and is figuring out whether or not she is a sub or a switch. 

Nix, Bar Manager at The Whiskey Dive: No one really knows what Nix is short for or what his last name is but to everyone he is known just as Nix. Not much is known about Nix's past or present. He spends most of his days preoccupied with his own surliness and his dive bar is just that - a true dive. He serves cheap drinks, sometimes breaks up bar brawls, and every once and a while there will be an impromptu karaoke or open mike night. He does serve the best poutine fries with gravy and the Dive is open late enough that anyone looking to deal with a hangover heads to the Dive for a fix. Nix will almost always be there. 

Kat Silva, Manager at Tacos & Tapas: Kat is the new manager at Tacos & Tapas, hired for her youth and innovative ideas. The restaurant hired her from under another local restaurant because they want to bring in a younger crowd to experience the fusion of traditional Mexican fare and Spanish tapas. Kay just moved to Pilsen from the artist mecca of the Ravenswood neighborhood and she is hoping to get engaged with the community at Ignite Gallery & Studios. She is a photographer in her spare time and would like to merge her love of food with her love of photography - beginning with starting Instagram & Pinterest pages for Tacos & Tapas. 

Diego Valez, Waiter/Bartender at Tacos & Tapas: Diego is a part-time waiter and bartender at Tacos & Tapas and a student along with Luz at UIC getting a degree in Criminology Law and Justice. He has great admiration for everyone at ASG and has a bit of a hero complex for all of the people that work there. He can be found at the speakeasy trying to engage one of them in conversation and hopes to work for the company one day. He also believes in rehabilitation over incarcertation for those persons that can be reformed - coming from his experience of growing up in a low-income community where people got involved in crime out of desperation. He volunteers with a re-entry program for non-violent offenders. He lives in Pilsen with his family but is saving up for an apartment of his own. 

Naomie Grey, Diviner/Tarot Reader & Holistic Healer: Naomie comes from historical Romany ancestry (known also as Gypsies) and she learned many of the herbal, astrology and healing arts practices from her grandmother. She comes to (El) Fuerte Noche & ROJA periodically to do tarot and astrology chart readings for people. She also teaches community classes on herbalism at Angel Community Center and rents space there a couple of times a week to have sessions with clients. She has a male cat named Mush (which means "man" in Romany).

Beyond The Neighborhood

Beyond the neighborhood and Chicagoland community there are characters from the Masters of Protection world which will show up periodically or more frequently in the series. Below are a few of the ones that will pop up early on and have varying levels of connection to the early book storylines. 

*There are also new characters which will be introduced throughout the series. As new characters are premiered in each book they will be added to the character bios.*

Elena Ruiz, Romance Novelist: Elena is a well-known romance novelist who writes romantic suspense & BDSM-themed books. Her work is a favorite of many of the people in the ASG/ROJA community especially because she pulls much of the inspiration for her books and characters from the local community. Her family lives in the Pilsen neighbhorhood of Chicago and she comes back regularly to visit and do local events. She usually does at least one book signing or fan event of some kind at ROJA each year, often coming to town when the larger kink events happen in the area. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California and is 32-years-old at the beginning of the series. She has a strange flirty relationship with Nix and seems to be one of the only people he actually likes. 

Tate (or T) Frost, Covert Operative Contractor: Not quite CIA, NSA or Interpol, he is a incognito even within the world of incognito. He describes himself as a contractor and a free agent and often pops up in the Masters of Protection universe. He is near impenitrable to bullets - not quite faster than a speeding bullet, but sometimes one might wonder. He does have one weakness. Let's wait and see what that might be. 

Jack "Bull" Sharp, Owner of Zenith Security Agency (ZSA): Jack, also carrying the nickname "Bull" from his time serving in Army Special Forces runs the Zenith Security Agency - an East Coast-based competitor to Alpha Security Group. Lately it seems they are nudging in on larger contracts ASG is working towards and during the course of Book 1 in the series they will prove to be more that just an annoyance to the company. Jack's team will begin to show up more visibly in the subsequent books. 

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