Author: Kirsty Moseley Oh yeah, it boggles my mind too alright! I bit my lip to suppress the smile that was trying to escape at the thought of the contact I just had with her, and hopefully would have with her again in a little while. Suddenly my cell phone rang; I looked at Senator Spencer apologetically and reached to reject the call, but then saw it was from Dean, Anna’s far guard. “I’m sorry, sir, I need to take this.” He nodded, so I answered it quickly. “Dean, what is it?” “Where the hell are you? For fuck’s sake, you can’t just keep taking off and leaving me! If the senator finds out I’m not with you, he’s gonna have my balls!” he shouted angrily. Where am I? What the heck is that about? “I’m with the senator right now. What’s the problem?” I asked, confused. He gasped. “Well, f**k it! She went on her own then!” I jumped out of the chair as my heart started crashing in my chest. “Anna? What? She left?” I cried, annoyed. Damn that girl! The senator jumped up too, looking at me curiously. “Did she take a car? When did she leave?” I asked quickly, double checking to make sure I had my gun in my ankle holster. “She sped out of here about ten minutes ago. I thought you were with her,” he growled. She obviously did this little disappearing act a lot. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, my mind whirling. Where would she go? I thought about what I knew about her, and all my thoughts led me to just one place. Jack. She’d be at the cemetery. “Get a car, I know where she is,” I ordered, disconnecting the call and pushing the phone into my pocket. I turned back to the senator. “Sir, Miss Spencer’s left without guards; I think I know where she is. I’ll come and speak to you later.” “Where do you think she is, son?” he asked, looking at me desperately. “At the cemetery with Jack.” I turned and rushed out of the door, running as fast as I could to the carport. “I’ll drive.” I snatched the keys out of Dean’s hand and jumped in the driver’s side. I waited impatiently for him to run to the passenger seat, and took off while he was still doing his seat belt. “Why the hell weren’t you watching her?” I snapped accusingly. He glared at me. “As if that girl could be watched! She does what she wants! She doesn’t want guards. She’s always running off like this, it annoys the hell out of me,” he growled, folding his arms over his chest. As I pulled into the cemetery parking lot and stopped next to her car, Dean looked at me curiously. My muscles loosened now that I’d found her. “Just wait here. She won’t want to come away, so I’ll have to give her some time there,” I instructed, jumping out of the car without waiting for an answer. I ran up the path that we had walked the other day and stopped at the top of the hill, looking down. She was sitting there at his grave, cross-legged, trailing her fingers along the letters of his headstone. She was sobbing uncontrollably. My heart broke at the sight of her, she looked so terribly sad. I stood there, just watching her for a few minutes. I couldn’t think of anything that had made her act like this. When I’d left her earlier she was fine. Then I wondered if maybe I was the problem. She was probably conflicted with what happened. Her fleeing to his grave was a clear indication that she felt guilty or something. I frowned, hoping I was wrong there. I didn’t want her to feel guilty. Maybe she felt like I was trying to replace him and what they had. I wasn’t trying to take his place in her heart though; I actually wanted my own place. When I could stand it no longer, I headed down there. She jumped, startled, when my shadow fell over her. Her eyes met mine and I fought back my urge to recoil. Her eyes were the cold, hard eyes of the broken girl. The heartless bitch was back. She didn’t speak; she just turned her head back to the gravestone. I read over it as I sat down behind her, putting my legs either side of her body and scooting forwards so that her back was pressed against my chest. The scent of her still damp hair was all around me, confusing my senses. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and rock her soothingly, but I had a feeling that would just make matters worse. So instead, I just let her cry. I was dying to ask her to give me a chance, but I knew I needed to give her more time. She was obviously having trouble dealing with what happened this morning. I’d just have to wait and be here for her. When she was ready to try and move on from what happened, then I’d be there. I closed my eyes and waited for her to tell me she didn’t want me. ~ Anna ~ After breaking the speed limit the whole way to the cemetery, I made my way up the familiar path to his grave, zigzagging amongst some of the gravestones to pick a few dandelions. When I got to his resting place I brushed the old dandelions away and sprinkled the new ones across the top of the headstone. I plopped down on the grass and closed my eyes, hating myself. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened. I know I shouldn’t have done it, I know, and I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me, baby, please?” I begged, unable to stop the tears this time. My heart was breaking all over again, and I didn’t know what to do. I was starting to like Ashton, I could feel it building, and I wanted his body so much that it was almost painful. I still wanted him now. But how could I have done that to Jack? Sweet, loving Jack, who never even looked at another girl? The love of my life died because of me, and how did I repay him? I slept with someone that I only met three days before, and not only that, but Jack hadn’t even entered my head until Ashton left the room. It was like my new near guard had some kind of spell on me. I traced my fingers along the lettering of Jack’s name. I felt like a worthless piece of trash, a horrible person and a downright useless girlfriend. Suddenly a shadow fell over me and I jumped, looking around quickly. Ashton smiled down at me sadly. I turned away, afraid to look into his beautiful green eyes in case I got stuck there. My heart was going crazy because of his presence. I felt him sit down behind me, setting his legs either side of my body as he scooted close to my back. I closed my eyes, hating the comforting feeling of being close to him. I didn’t deserve to be comforted. My body hitched with sobs again, but he didn’t move to hold me or anything, he just sat close to me. His body heat was seeping into my back and made my skin tingle. I cried harder because the reactions he caused in me were both unconscious and unwelcome. I didn’t want to feel anything for anyone else; in fact, I didn’t want to feel anything at all. I liked being numb and emotionless. But lately, all of that seemed to go out of the window. “Are you okay?” he whispered in my ear, a little while later. I couldn’t speak, so I just shook my head. “Please tell me what’s wrong,” he begged. He sounded so upset that I wanted to turn and hold him. But I couldn’t do that. Not to Jack. I wouldn’t do it again, never ever again. “Nothing. Just leave me alone,” I croaked. “Anna, talk to me, please? Is it what happened this morning?” he asked quietly. Is it about this morning? Damn, that’s just a stupid question! Of course it’s about this morning! I danced all over my boyfriend’s memory. And I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do it again, and again, and again. But I won’t. “That won’t happen again.” I pushed myself away from his warm, safe body, taking one last look at Jack’s grave. “Anna?” he whispered. His pleading voice sent a little quiver down my spine that I refused to acknowledge. I shook my head and looked at him, positive that it would never happen again. If he kept pushing me then I’d have to get him transferred; I didn’t want to do that, but I would if I needed to. “No. It won’t happen again. If you want to keep your job, Agent, then you’ll stay the hell away from me,” I spat nastily. I saw the look of hurt and pain cross his eyes, and I turned away quickly so I didn’t see it again. Touching the smooth marble of Jack’s headstone, I sniffed loudly. “Bye, baby,” I muttered, swallowing another sob. I walked off quickly before I started to cry again, I refused to cry again today. When I got to the parking lot, Dean jumped out of his car, slamming the door angrily. His hard eyes narrowed as he stalked towards me. “What the hell, Annabelle? For the last f**king time, you need to take us with you when you leave!” He sounded so angry that my stomach clenched in fear. I frowned and carried on walking, trying to ignore him. “Screw you, Dean. Just get lost, okay?” I replied venomously when he continued to glare at me. “You’re a little bitch!” he spat, his face radiating anger. He grabbed my arm roughly and pulled me to stop. I flinched, thinking he was going to strike me. I held my breath, readying myself for the blow. Before anything happened, Ashton gripped his shoulders and yanked him away from me, slamming him against the car, making a huge crash echo in the empty parking lot. I whimpered and looked at the scene, shocked. Ashton’s jaw was tight as he stepped closer to Dean. “You don’t ever touch her again! I don’t care who you are, I will put you down if you even look at her harshly again. You got that, Agent Michaels?” Ashton’s voice rang with authority and menace. Dean nodded quickly, his mouth popping open in shock. Ashton shoved him away, making Dean stumble and almost fall. “Go. I’ll ride with Anna,” Ashton ordered. He turned back and waved his hand for me to get into the car, but I couldn’t move, my body was frozen on the spot. “Anna, get in the car,” he said softly, taking the keys from my hand and opening the passenger door. That snapped me out of it and I climbed in quickly, looking down at my lap. From the corner of my eye, I watched him walk to the driver’s side; he looked like he was trying to calm himself. I needed to say something to him, what he just did was so sweet and protective. Dean wouldn’t have hurt me, but Ashton hadn’t hesitated for a second in protecting me. I waited for him to climb in and buckle his seatbelt before I spoke. He didn’t even glance at me as he started the engine. “Thank you,” I mumbled, still not able to look at him. I needed to stay strong, and his eyes wouldn’t let me do that.