Author: Kirsty Moseley “You think I am,” he shot back cockily. I gasped and shook my head. “I’m pretty sure I can resist your hot ass. And I’ll prove it.” I threw off the sheets and swung my legs out of the bed. He grunted when I almost stood on him and then stumbled, falling down at his side and accidentally bumping his head with mine. “Shit. Ouch. Sorry,” I grumbled, sitting up and rubbing at my forehead. He laughed, rubbing his head too, watching me curiously. “You alright? Where are you going?” I rolled my eyes and pulled his pillow to the side so that there was some room for me to share it. “I’m proving my point that you’re not, in fact, as irresistible as you think you are.” I settled down on his sheet, and closed my eyes, waiting for him to lie back down too. “Anna…” I shook my head and patted the empty side again. “Lie down and shh. My hangover has started to kick in, so shut up and cuddle me,” I instructed, trying not to laugh. He chuckled, shifting onto his side before settling himself down so he was facing me. I held my breath and prayed that he couldn’t see the effect that he had on my body. His beautiful green eyes were trying to hypnotise me, I could feel them pulling me in. I sighed deeply and scooted closer to him. The smile that graced his lips was beautiful as he shifted and moved one arm to the side, slipping it under my neck before wrapping it around me tightly. With his beautiful, unique scent filling my lungs and the heat seeping from his skin to mine, my body relaxed for the first time in two days. Ashton just had this strange ability to make me feel whole, like I wasn’t broken anymore, like he was some sort of magical cure that I just couldn’t get enough of. He made all the terrible things seem to fade away, at least for a little while anyway. Setting my head on his chest, I tangled my legs in with his as he kissed the top of my head before turning off the light again. It was easy to imagine while he was holding me like this that everything was normal, that he was really my boyfriend, that he wasn’t just doing his job, and that I wasn’t some screwed up, dirty piece of trash that would never be loved again. When his breathing deepened and the soft snores resonated from his chest, I pulled back slightly so I could look at him properly. My heart was hammering in my chest as butterflies seemed to take flight in my stomach as I raked my eyes over his handsome face. I reached out a hand and brushed my finger tip across his cheekbone, tracing along the line of his jaw, smiling at the prickle of his five o’clock shadow. I’d done the same last night; it was like I just needed to touch him to make sure he was real or something. He truly was handsome. I didn’t think I’d ever seen anyone so perfect, and he was such a lovely guy to go with it. It would have been so much easier if he were a jerk. I really hoped that I could keep this boy out of my heart, otherwise in eight months when he left for the stupid front line or whatever the hell he wanted to do, I was going to have another serious problem. Chapter Fifteen As I slowly started to drift into consciousness, the first thing I noticed was that my head was pounding. I groaned and rolled over, pressing my face into the pillow, trying to block out the light. My stinging eyes cracked open and raked around the room. Not recognising anything, I jerked up quickly with a horrible sensation brewing in the pit of my stomach. The last time I woke up not knowing where I was, I’d been with Carter. I jumped to my feet and pressed myself against the wall as my breathing started to accelerate. The muscles in my body ached, as if I’d slept awkwardly or something. Slowly, it started coming back to me. College, I was at ASU with Ashton, and this was our new apartment. I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed, resting my head back against the wall. My eyes fluttered closed again and I groaned as another wave of pain started in my head. How much did I drink last night? Jeez! I remembered having about four or five doubles, then we met a couple of guys and played pool. What were their names? Tim and someone else, and two girls… One of the girls was flirting with Ashton, and I got jealous and… oh no, I kissed him! I was all over him and begging him to take me home and… oh God no. I basically begged him for sex when we got back too! My cheeks flamed from the shame of what I’d done last night and how much I’d flirted with him. Thank goodness he’d said no though, not many guys would have turned down a free score, I’d bet. I’d have to thank him today for that because if I’d slept with him again, I was pretty sure I’d be feeling guilty over Jack again afterwards. I covered my face with my hands in disgust. I really had no self-control, and I should have been thinking about Jack last night, not myself. After a few deep breaths, I decided I should go and see if we were okay this morning after that. Maybe my drunken antics had frightened him away and he’d request that transfer that he was so adamant he wouldn’t be asking for. The smell of coffee and toast drifting from the kitchen made my stomach rumble as I made my way out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. As I stepped into the room, I stopped. It wasn’t just Ashton in there, Dean and a guy I vaguely recognised as Peter, the night guard, were there too. They were all standing around the kitchen island, drinking coffee. “Good morning,” Ashton chirped, smiling as he spotted me. I waved a hand in response. He grinned and nodded down at my legs for some reason as if trying to tell me something. My gaze drifted down, confused, until I spotted that I was only wearing his T-shirt. Heat flooded my face for the second time in a few minutes as I realised that they were all looking at me. I grabbed the bottom of the T-shirt, trying to pull it down further; it already came to my mid-thigh, but I felt exposed in front of the other two. I actually didn’t care if Ashton saw me like this. He’d seen me in much, much less. “Um, hi. Sorry, I didn’t know you guys were here.” I winced, smiling apologetically. “Don’t worry about it, Miss Spencer,” the new guard replied, looking me over slowly with an appreciative look on his face. I frowned at his obviousness. “My eyes are up here, Agent!” I snapped acidly, pointing to my face. Ashton’s body tensed as he stepped to my side, glaring at Peter warningly. I moved closer to him, trying to discreetly hide behind him as he spoke. “Agent Burnet, I appreciate that you might want to keep the relationship of bodyguard and client informal, but that shit stops right now, understand? Plenty of other Agents would love a cushy job like yours, so if you want to keep your position, I suggest you be a little more respectful,” he stated, his voice angry and full of authority. Peter jumped, looking a little taken aback as he nodded in agreement. “Right. I’m sorry, Miss Spencer,” he apologised nervously. I laughed uncomfortably. “Don’t worry about it,” I told Peter, waving it off. “But can everyone just shush, please?” I winced and looked longingly at the coffee, trying to decide if I could be bothered to make the four steps over to it to pour some for myself. Ashton’s shoulders loosened as he smiled down at me before picking up a glass from the side and pouring me a glass of water. “Suffering after last night?” he teased, nudging me in the side and setting the glass of water and two pills in front of me. “Thanks.” I smiled gratefully, swallowing them quickly. “So, what’s on the agenda for today? Do I have anything I need to do, or can I unpack?” Ashton asked, as he poured me a coffee. I frowned. “I don’t know. We need to go grocery shopping, I guess, but I need to unpack too, I don’t have any clothes for today. I mean, why the hell am I wearing your shirt?” I asked, looking at him curiously. All three of them laughed again. “You were drunk. I couldn’t find your pyjamas, so I let you borrow my shirt,” Ashton explained, shrugging casually, but the tiny tightening to his eyes showed me how uncomfortable he was. Flashbacks of me suggesting we sleep n**ed flashed into my brain, so I quickly averted my eyes from his. Dear God, what is wrong with me lately? “Right okay, well thanks.” “No problem. So, if we unpack first, then maybe go grocery shopping this afternoon?” he offered. I nodded, liking the idea of having a few hours to chill in the apartment; hopefully my hangover from hell would be gone by then. “Did you want to go to that party tonight?” he asked curiously. “Party? What party?” I didn’t know anything about a party. He shook his head, smiling. “Tim, the guy who liked you last night, asked us to go to a party tonight at a bar. You had a whole conversation about it with him. There’s a band and DJ, apparently,” he explained, shrugging easily. I frowned. A party invite didn’t ring any bells with me so I must have been more intoxicated than I thought last night. “Do you want to go?” I asked, watching his face. I didn’t actually want to go, but I knew that I needed to start thinking of him more. I couldn’t trap him in with me twenty-four-seven for the next eight months, he’d go stir crazy. “I don’t mind, whatever you want is fine with me,” he answered noncommittally, finishing his coffee. I turned to look at Dean and Peter. “Well, what about you guys? Do you mind if we go? I guess that means one of you has to go too, unless Ashton and I can go on our own and forget this whole guard business? After all, what my dad doesn’t know won’t hurt him. We could have a sweet set up here. You can do what you want, and so can I,” I suggested, suddenly excited for a little piece of freedom away from prying eyes. Unfortunately, they didn’t look as if they were going for it. Peter gasped, looking at me in disbelief. “Are you kidding? What with everything that’s going on, there’s no way that’s going to happen, Miss Spencer.” Ashton snapped his head around to look at him, giving him a warning look which made Peter shrink back and press his lips into a thin line. “Everything that’s going on? What does that mean?” I quizzed, confused. Peter cleared his throat. “I meant with the whole starting college thing. We still haven’t checked out everywhere. No one knows routines and stuff, that’s all,” he answered quickly.