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Page 19

Author: Kirsty Moseley

Suddenly my thoughts actually caught up with me and I realised just what it was that I was starting to fantasise about. Hatred and self-loathing hit me like a bucket of cold water. I hated the fact that I had looked at him like that and that I’d been untrue to Jack because, like it or not, I was actually attracted to Ashton.

I looked away, closing my eyes as I pushed myself up off his lap and climbed into the passenger seat. “Can we go home?” I whispered, not able to look at him again. I had no idea what was happening to me, or why he was suddenly making me feel like this. For three years, I’d felt nothing but rage, pain and grief inside me, but now I felt a little something else inside – and I didn’t like it one bit.

He nodded and started the car while I clipped on my seatbelt. The drive home was silent. I had no idea what to say or do, so I said and did nothing other than watch the trees whizz past. As we pulled into the driveway of my house, I gripped the hood of my sweater and pulled it up, partially covering my face. I didn’t want anyone to know I’d been crying. Ashton followed me silently through the house, with his hand on the small of my back the whole time. I knew he was only trying to be supportive, but I started to resent the fact that he kept touching me all the time, and that I allowed him to.

As I stopped outside my bedroom, I turned and shrugged. “I’m just gonna draw for a bit then catch an early night.”

He nodded and opened his mouth to reply, but I didn’t give him the chance before I slipped into my room and closed the door in his face. I needed privacy; the sadness was still churning in the pit of my stomach and I wanted to be alone so I could try and deal with it.

I didn’t get much drawing done though. Instead, I’d sat there for almost an hour, scratching, pinching and picking at the skin on the inside of my left elbow until my nails were covered in blood and my skin was red raw and sore-looking. I’d taken to self-harming not long after I was found at Carter’s house. Sometimes it helped me to release my emotions, sometimes, like today, it did nothing other than make me bleed.

Later that night, I fell into a horror-filled sleep, where I saw my boyfriend murdered over and over again by the man that haunted my every waking moment.

When Ashton burst into my room again, for the third night running, I just apologised and closed my eyes before turning my back on him, not wanting to see his pitying expression. Without asking, he climbed onto my bed with me and scooted close to my back, wrapping his arm over my stomach.

“You seem to sleep better with me in here,” he whispered. I didn’t answer. There was no answer for that. I did, there was no denying it. And to be honest, if his snoring stopped me from seeing Jack’s broken face again for the night, then I welcomed the distraction.

Chapter Nine

I woke in the morning with him still spooning me from behind. His arms were wrapped around me securely as his breath blew into my hair. I smiled to myself. For someone who has never spent the night with a girl, he sure is cuddly!

I closed my eyes and enjoyed the closeness of him. It felt nice having someone hold me who wasn’t after anything; if Carter had held me like this, it usually meant he wanted sex. I moved slightly to get more comfortable and his arms tightened around me. He sighed, and his leg tangled in with mine as his hand brushed against my thigh. My breath caught in my throat.

I gulped as unfamiliar feelings started creeping up on me, the same feelings that had started building yesterday in the car. My skin was prickling with sensation as my stomach fluttered. An unsatisfied ache, a longing for something unknown, filled my body. I’d never felt this kind of thing before, not of this magnitude anyway. The lust I felt inside was all consuming. I wondered what would happen if I turned around and kissed him, or if I ran my hand down his sculpted chest. Would he freak out and ask me what the heck I was doing?

Swallowing loudly, I rolled over to face him. The feelings of longing and need grew even more when I laid eyes on his beautiful, sleeping face. His body was so close, pressed against mine, and hard, toned and mouth-wateringly perfect. Before I even knew what I was doing, I’d bent forward and brushed my lips against his, just once, just needing to know what it would feel like. As soon as his lips touched mine, desire pulsed through my body. I laid my head back down and licked my lips, fighting the urge to kiss him again.

His eyes fluttered open, and a confused, shocked expression flitted across his face.

No! No, no, no, no! Oh my goodness, why did I do that? I gasped in horror because of what I’d just done – and the fact that I’d been caught doing it. My face flushed with embarrassment as I squirmed, trying to come up with words to explain my behaviour. I needed to apologise quickly because I’d just overstepped a line that should never be crossed.

“I-I’m really sorry! Oh God, I can’t believe I did that! I’m so sorry, Ashton.” I blushed like crazy and my voice wavered as I spoke.

Instead of answering, he bent his head and pressed his lips to mine again for a split second, before pulling back and looking at me cautiously. His expression was worried, nervous, scared even. It was almost as if he was waiting for me to freak out and punch him in the face.

My eyes widened in shock. I literally had no idea what to do or think. The only thing that registered in my mind was how nice it felt and how soft his lips were. My whole body was tingling with desire, my lips burning. I wanted more. Without my conscious consent, my hand moved to the back of his head, threading through his soft hair as I guided his mouth back down to mine, needing him like I needed the air in my lungs.

As his lips pressed against mine, he made a soft moan in the back of his throat as he pressed his body to mine. My mind was whirling, spinning, not making any sense as the sensations and passion took over, making my body ache for something that I’d not dared to think about since Jack was alive. When his tongue grazed my lip, the kiss deepened and changed to something even more desperate and fulfilling. His taste and the way his body pressed against mine made me forget who I was. It was glorious.

He cupped my face as he guided me onto my back and hovered above me, pressing me down into the soft mattress. I whimpered as the desire built. My fingers dug into his back, clutching him closer to me as one of his hands slowly trailed down my neck, across my side until finally, his fingertips brushed against the skin of my stomach. He was doing everything slowly, as if waiting for me to stop him. His hesitancy caught me off-guard and made me doubt that this was a good idea. After all, I didn’t really want to be doing this with my new bodyguard, did I? My body answered for me. Yes, yes I did. As his hand pushed up under my pyjama top and headed up to cup my breasts, I let out a little moan and arched into him, needing to get him closer to me, to be consumed by him, to be one with him.

As the kiss finally broke and he trailed his tongue down my neck, I was panting for breath and my body was on high alert. I closed my eyes as he inched my pyjama top up slowly. He was moving and doing everything so slowly, as if he thought I was going to freak out at any second.

“You can stop treating me like glass, Ashton, I’m not gonna break,” I whispered, wriggling under him, trying to feel as much of his body on mine as I could. He paused, pulling back from me gently before he nodded in acknowledgement, gripped my shirt and pulled it over my head in one swift motion.

I gasped, shocked how quickly it had happened. My face filled with heat because I was now half-naked in front of him. Insecurity and nervousness made me wince as I looked up at him. Only one man had ever seen me topless, and that wasn’t my choice. But my concern that he wasn’t going to like what he saw was immediately diminished when his eyes narrowed and his bottom lip rolled up into his mouth. The little moan of appreciation that he made set what felt like a hundred butterflies loose in my stomach.

“So beautiful,” he croaked, dropping my shirt over the side of the bed and hovering above me again, looking straight into my eyes. “So, so beautiful.”

His lips pressed against mine as he settled himself on top of me. I smiled against his mouth, looping my arms around his neck. It was like a dream, a nice one, one that I didn’t ever want to wake up from. The attention from him made me feel special, attractive and desired.

As his hands lavished attention on my body, I took the opportunity to touch him too. My fingertips glided over his chest, feeling the little bumps of his muscles, tracing the lines of them. He shivered, pulling his mouth from mine, heading down and closing his mouth over one of my nipples. I gasped at the sensation, unaware that anything could actually feel this good with a man. The passion and need for him was incredible and all-consuming. My whole body was screaming for more.

His mouth headed lower. His hot tongue drew a circular pattern around my belly button before his teeth nipped gently at my overheated skin. When I felt the waistband of my shorts move, I raised my h*ps from the mattress in silent encouragement. This was all taking too long. I needed more, I couldn’t wait. I’d never wanted anyone like I wanted him, not even Jack. To be fair, Jack and I were so young that I hadn’t even known that this level of desire actually existed. Cool air hit my thighs as he eased my shorts down.

I was lost. Lost in the bliss of Ashton Taylor and the sensations and feelings he was causing within me. His hands and mouth on my body made me feel both hot and cold at the same time. My mind was whirling, unable to form any coherent thoughts other than one: please don’t stop.

When his mouth found mine again, he let out a little moan as one of his hands fisted into my hair. His excitement was evident as he ground his h*ps against mine. A shiver of desire made my eyes flutter shut as my whole body started to ache. My hands slid down his back, catching hold of the top of his boxers and pushing them down, trailing my nails across his pert, little behind as I did so. When the material was at his knees he kicked them off quickly, and one of his hands slid between our bodies as his mouth claimed mine in a kiss that was full of fire and passion.

My body jerked as his hand moved to the apex of my legs, brushing against my overheated skin. Little ripples of pleasure burst from within me, and he groaned. “So wet. Fuck, Anna,” he mumbled, pushing his hand down further. I gasped as his fingers pushed inside me gently. More of those little, pleasurable ripples erupted and I arched my back, gripping his shoulders for support.

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