LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In the world of Fox's hit series "24," there aren't many people you can really trust, other than Jack Bauer, of course — and Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce.

Pierce also happens to be the only other character besides Bauer to have appeared in all seven seasons of the show.

Played by veteran character actor Glenn Morshower, Pierce makes his return in Monday's episode on Fox (9 p.m. EST).

While fans have seen Pierce protect and become the confidant of the show's now-deceased President David Palmer, as well as that of former first lady Martha Logan, Morshower says that, seven years ago, he never expected he'd be around so long.

"I read for the second episode in season one, and all I knew was it would be a two-episode guarantee," he explains. "All they wanted me to do was be the guy that looks official enough to walk President Palmer someplace and protect him."

But Morshower's look of reliability, integrity and loyalty made producers take notice, enough to bring the character back year after year, while other popular regulars fell by the wayside.

"Glenn's talent is in being able to project that solidity and trustworthiness," says executive producer Evan Katz. "He's able to be that stolid guy you want to hide behind."

Pierce is reintroduced upon recommendation to President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), who needs someone trustworthy to escort a family member. With Pierce — problem solved.

The 49-year-old actor — with nearly 150 TV shows or movies on his resume, often as military officers or law-enforcement officials — credits his native Texas accent, as well as his upbringing, for the ease with which he portrays characters like Pierce.

"When my dad got out of the Navy, he never really got out of it. At `oh-seven-hundred' every morning, my alarm clock was, 'Up and at 'em! Hit that deck!'"

Pierce's relationship with Martha Logan was one that fans appeared to sanction, because, as Morshower explains: "They were soul mates — they never needed to take it into the bedroom. They were having an emotional affair, if not physical."

As for anything having happened between them since the end of season five, the actor — who's also a motivational speaker — says audiences will have to figure it out for themselves. "All I can tell you is that on Monday night, you'll notice a profound absence of a wedding ring on my finger."

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