Author: Kirsty Moseley “Yes, wife,” Carter confirmed harshly. His gaze flicked to me, his eyes hard and warning. I knew that look, and it was always one I didn’t dare ignore. “Come here, Princess,” he repeated. I went to move, but Ashton wouldn’t let go of me. Carter raised his gun, aiming it directly at Ashton’s face. My world stopped spinning. This was it, he was going to die. He was going to be murdered right in front of me. I loved him so much that I would die for him; actually, I loved him so much I would live for him. Death was easy compared to Carter. If Ashton died it was going to kill me inside, and that would be worse than death. I couldn’t go through that, not again. I loved Ashton so much, more than anything and everything. He was my life, he was my soul mate. I couldn’t allow this to happen. “Please don’t, Carter, for me. Please, baby, I’m begging you, please.” I tried desperately not to cry as I struggled against Ashton’s hold. His gaze flicked to me, a little shocked expression on his face. He was begging me with his eyes to stay with him, to stay behind him. I shook my head. “Carter, please. I’ll do anything you want, anything. Just don’t hurt him. I can’t see any other people die because of me, please?” Ashton still wouldn’t let go of my wrist, so I elbowed him in the ribs where he had the bruises. He grunted in pain. It hurt my insides to know that I had caused him pain, but it worked to my advantage, just like I thought. His hold loosened for a fraction of a second and I scooted away just out of his reach, towards Carter. “No, Anna!” he screamed, trying to grab me, but I was too quick. Four guns all pointed in his face, making him stop in his tracks. He was looking at me, pleading with me to go back to him, but I couldn’t. I needed to try; I needed to make him safe if I could. I put my hand on Carter’s gun and pushed it away so it wasn’t pointing at Ashton anymore. “Please don’t hurt him, baby,” I pleaded, looking right into his brown eyes. I pushed away all my fear and hatred. I didn’t care what he did to me, but Ashton had to live. I stepped forward slowly towards Carter. “Please,” I whispered as I got right in front of him. I ran my hands up his chest, making him shiver. Lust crossed his face and I fought with every nerve in my body not to flinch. “Please don’t hurt him.” He sighed deeply. “Tell me why not then, Princess,” he suggested, lowering his gun and trailing his fingers across my face. Oh shit, what the hell can I say? “I’ve seen too many agents be killed because of me today. Plus, I… I know his girlfriend. I like her. She really loves him, Carter, he’s everything to her. He’s all she has in the world. He’s all she lives for. Please don’t hurt him. She needs him,” I begged, putting my arms around his neck. He looked at Ashton. I didn’t move, I couldn’t look back at him, I knew what I’d see: shock, love, horror and hurt. Carter regarded Ashton with indecision clear across his face. I could see how much he wanted to kill him for putting his hands on me, but he also didn’t want to do it because I was begging him. He always had liked to try and give me everything that I asked for. “For me? Don’t take him away from her. Just let him go home. I’m here now, we’re together. No one else needs to die because of me.” I smiled – at least, I hoped I was smiling, it felt more like a grimace. Carter rolled his eyes, and his face softened. My heart took off in a sprint knowing that he’d conceded. Carter dipped his head slowly, and I held my breath, knowing what was coming. When his lips pressed against mine, I whimpered and fought the urge to recoil and gag. His arms snaked around my waist, crushing me against him. He moaned in the back of his throat and finally pulled away, his eyes shining with excitement. “I’ve missed you, Princess,” he purred, kissing down my neck. I swallowed my sobs and squeezed my eyes shut. I heard Ashton groan. “I’ve missed you too, Carter,” I mumbled. My scalp suddenly burned as Carter gripped the back of my hair roughly, pulling my head back so I had to look up at him. “Don’t mumble, Princess, you know I don’t like that,” he growled, pulling hard on my hair, making me grit my teeth against the pain that was shooting through my scalp. “I’ve missed you too, Carter,” I repeated, louder this time. “Good girl.” He smiled before setting a soft kiss on my cheek. “Keep your f**king hands off her!” Ashton growled, trying to step forward as he reached for me. One of the men that had entered with Carter smashed his gun into the side of Ashton’s face, hard, sending him to the floor with blood pouring from his mouth. Carter ignored him. I glared at Ashton, begging him silently to be quiet. He shook his head at me as he spat a mouthful of blood onto the floor. I didn’t dare move. I needed him to be safe, I would do whatever it took, but he needed to help me by being quiet. Carter was going to let him go, and that was all I needed. “Princess,” Carter murmured, running his hands down my body, squeezing my ass as he moaned in the back of his throat. “You are so f**king hot. I hope you got plenty of sleep last night because I’ve missed you so much, I don’t think you’ll be getting any tonight, Mrs Thomas,” he purred lustfully. Vomit rose in my throat as a cold shudder trickled down my spine. Carter didn’t seem to notice my reaction though as he used the sleeve of his expensive white shirt to wipe the side of my face. “So beautiful,” he whispered, smiling at me proudly. Behind me, I could hear Ashton pushing himself up. Carter’s eyes flicked over my shoulder and he cocked his head to the side. “Right then, what shall we do about him?” he pondered, nodding at Ashton. “I thought you were going to let him go,” I mumbled. Had I not convinced him enough? Had I not made my case strongly enough? Knowing I needed to do everything in my power, I stepped closer to Carter and gripped my hand around the back of his head, guiding his mouth to mine as I went up onto tiptoes. He responded immediately, kissing me fiercely, taking control. The kiss was just like I remembered, rough and demanding. Finally, he pulled away and put his forehead to mine. His brown eyes danced with excitement and joy. “Fucking hell, Princess, I forgot how much I loved you.” He smiled, running his hands through my hair. “Tell me you love me,” he ordered. “I love you,” I replied, instantly. It was a natural response to the order, although every single syllable left me feeling dirty and used. He sighed contentedly, his hand cupping the side of my face, caressing it gently with his thumb. He nodded and pulled away, a playful smile on his face. “Okay, here’s what we’ll do; we’ll play Russian roulette. We’ll each do a shot, the three of us, and if he’s still alive then he can go free,” he offered, grinning happily. I started to shake, I hated this game. This game was the reason that guns terrified me. Wait, is he actually going to give me a gun? If he gives me a gun, I’m going to kill him with it! I felt the smile tugging at the corners of my mouth, and I fought to keep my composure so that he wouldn’t know what I was thinking. I nodded eagerly, and he smiled at me curiously. “Are you over your gun phobia now, Princess?” he asked. I shook my head in response. “No. Guns still scare the hell out of me, but I really want him to go free. I’ll do anything. I’ll take his shot as well as mine,” I offered, holding my hand out for the gun. “No, you f**king will not, Anna!” Ashton cried, stepping forward. One of the other men shoved him against the wall, punching him repeatedly in the stomach and chest. The sound of Ashton in pain would haunt me forever. “Stop it! Please, stop it!” I screamed, clinging to Carter’s shirt, almost shaking him in desperation. Carter laughed quietly. “Richard, stop, we have a game to play,” he chirped excitedly. The guy stopped hitting him and stepped back. Ashton pushed himself painfully back to his feet. “Anna, don’t,” he begged, barely able to talk. I turned away from his face. I couldn’t look at him anymore; he was breaking my heart. He’d only just fixed it and now he was breaking it again. Worse this time, nothing could ever fix me; I would never get over him because he was everything that was good in my world. I watched Carter take out all of the bullets and put one back in; the whole time a grin was stretched across his face. “Now, I don’t think I want to give a SWAT Agent a gun so I’ll pull yours for you,” he said to Ashton, who actually didn’t look frightened, just extremely pissed off and murderously angry. I couldn’t allow that to happen, I couldn’t take the chance of the bullet being in the chamber when the gun went off. “No! Point it at me, I’ll take his one too,” I insisted. A lone tear rolled down my cheek as I reached for Carter’s hand, trying to pull the gun in my direction. Carter scoffed. “Princess, that’s not how the game is played, you know that, you’ve played before,” he stated sternly, raising his gun to Ashton, whilst holding me back with his other hand. Panic surged through me and I grabbed for his arm again. He shifted and rewarded me with another slap to my already sore face. I yelped and slammed against the wall, putting my hands out for balance to stop me from falling to the floor. “I’m going to kill you!” Ashton growled through his teeth. “I swear to God, I’m going to rip you to f**king shreds with my bare hands.” Carter chose to ignore him and didn’t respond. The gun was pointed directly at Ashton’s face. “Carter! At least aim for his leg or something! Please, I don’t want anyone else to die today. Please?” I begged. My heart was in my throat as Carter’s finger squeezed the trigger. I flinched, waiting for the loud bang, waiting for the sound of Ashton’s agonising cry of pain as the bullet ripped through his flesh, waiting for the sound of his body hitting the floor. But nothing happened. It just clicked. Unable to hold my nerve anymore, I turned to the side and vomited violently. Carter laughed wickedly, gripping my arm and pulling me to my feet while I continued to dry heave. “Nope, not over your gun phobia. You threw up last time we played too, you remember that? Best night of my life,” he cooed, looking right into my eyes. I was barely able to stop myself from punching him in the face; I just needed to get Ashton out first. “You remember that night, right?” he repeated, slipping his hand down to my ass and pulling my body flush against his. I nodded and closed my eyes, willing myself not to remember the night that he first forced himself on me and took my innocence. My whole body was shaking, my breathing was coming in gasps, and my heart was beating too fast. I closed my eyes, fighting for control of my emotions so that I didn’t switch off and go into meltdown – that wouldn’t help Ashton survive.