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Page 56

Author: Kirsty Moseley

By the end of the second hour that we were scheduled to stay at the lake house for, I was slightly less intimidated by her father, and actually having a nice time. It was heart-warming to see their reactions to her smile and her laugh. It was like they were seeing her for the first time in years – well, technically, they probably were. The happiness that I could see in her mother’s eyes made my skin prickle.

When the time was finally up, Maddy called Senator Spencer to tell him that the helicopter was ready for boarding. As we walked towards the noisy chopper, her father placed his hand on my arm, pulling me to a stop and letting the girls go ahead.

“Agent Taylor, I’ve not seen my daughter this happy in years. I don’t know how you’re doing it, but thank you,” he said, smiling gratefully.

I grinned and shook my head. “You don’t have to thank me, sir.” I didn’t do it for my job. Whenever she was happy, my heart would melt into a puddle on the floor, it was like this was the reason for my existence – to make her happy.

“Well, I want to. Anyway, have a nice weekend, and happy birthday for tomorrow.”

I smiled uncomfortably. Does everyone now remember my birthday? I mused. “Thank you, sir. And don’t worry about Anna, I promise to take care of her,” I vowed, wanting to add ‘forever’ on the end. I ran to catch up with her, and we climbed in the helicopter, setting off for the airport, both of us grinning excitedly.

The flight to LA was good. As we walked through the airport at the other end, I was careful to keep her close and check for danger. The thought of not having a far guard was a little worrying, but I didn’t doubt my ability to protect her. Also, it would help that no one knew she was here with me, apart from her parents and a few guards. As far as everyone else was concerned, she’d dropped off the face of the earth; even the name she travelled under today was fake.

As we made our way over to the car rentals desk, Anna was grinning like crazy. “Hi, we have a car reservation under the name of Taylor,” she informed the attendant.

His face lit up. “Ah, yes! Very unusual request for a rental. It’s right outside in bay two. Here, I’ll get the keys.” He turned and fished through the cupboard.

Once he’d found what he was looking for, he slid a form across the counter to me. I looked it over, noticing there were no details other than ‘special request’ written across the top. I signed it wearily, and he led us back through the depot. Anna was practically skipping at my side. I frowned, wondering why she looked so excited.

As we walked out of the door, I burst out laughing when I saw what she’d done. She’d rented me a brand spanking new yellow Camaro, an exact replica of the one from the Transformers movie. That was something else I had said to her when we’d joked around about buying a car for us to use at school. The car was beautiful, and my hands were itching to run across the top and feel the shiny paintwork.

“Seriously? You rented this for the weekend? Damn, these are expensive!” I laughed, shaking my head at her thoughtfulness.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t turn into a giant robot though. I tried my best…” she shook her head, faking sadness.

I pulled her into a hug. “You are too funny. This is incredible. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone as thoughtful as you. Thank you,” I gushed, holding her tightly against me.

She hugged me back. “You’re welcome. No speeding though,” she replied, giggling.

I grinned and popped the trunk, putting our suitcase inside. When I went to pick up the other one containing the ‘girlie stuff’, she pulled it away and lifted it herself, carefully setting it next to the one we were sharing. “That one’s mine, so hands off, okay?” she instructed, playfully tapping her finger on my nose.

“What the hell is in there?”

“None of your business,” she replied, grinning wildly.

I frowned but decided to let it go. “Let’s get to my place then, and we can order some food.”

She rolled her eyes. “You ate two hours ago.”

Pulling open her door for her, I shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a growing boy.”

She chuckled, and I pushed her door closed before practically skipping around to the driver’s side.

As I drove down the familiar streets, worry started to settle into the pit of my stomach. My place wasn’t exactly a palace, and Anna was used to living in luxury, I definitely should have booked a hotel or something for the weekend. “Um, Anna, my place isn’t exactly what you’re used to. It’s not really what you’d call a nice place,” I said, grimacing.

“You think I care where you live?” she frowned, looking a little hurt because I was kind of implying that she was shallow.

I shook my head quickly. I didn’t think of her like that at all. “No, I know you don’t. It’s just a little embarrassing, that’s all. I mean, it’s okay, but it’s nothing like our place,” I explained, shrugging and pulling into an empty space in the parking lot outside my apartment block. I winced as I looked around at the other cars; this car was going to stick out like a sore thumb. “This car is insured, right?”

She laughed at me. “Yeah, Pretty Boy, don’t worry.”

I sighed as I climbed out; waving her out of the car after checking it was safe. When I popped the trunk, she was too preoccupied with looking around and smiling to notice me get her case out of the trunk too. My hand closed over hers, pulling her close to my back as I led her across the parking lot and towards the rickety, old elevator in the lobby of my apartment building.

When we got to the third floor, I guided her along and stopped outside the door to my place. I held my breath as I pushed the key into the lock, silently praying that Nate had tidied up a little. Once the door was open, she stepped in first, and I followed behind, barely able to breathe. Nate was a total slob and liked to live in his own filth. For the last few years that we’d shared a place, I’d been the one to tidy up. The images I had in my head of what we were going to walk in on were horrifying. But, much to my surprise, it actually didn’t look too bad.

As I stepped into the lounge, I felt my body relax. There were no dirty dishes or clothes anywhere, and no slutty magazines on the table; he even looked like he’d run the vacuum around. It wasn’t too bad at all for a bachelor pad; I was actually quite impressed with him.

Anna smiled as she looked around. “I thought you said it wasn’t a nice place, this is great.” She went straight over to the photos on the wall and started looking through them. “Are these your friends?” she asked, motioning to one of me and my boys at the races last year.

“Yeah. That one’s Nate,” I confirmed, pointing out my best friend.

She whistled appreciatively. “Right, I can see why he gets the girls.”

My heart stopped. I hadn’t even thought about the possibility of her liking Nate. He was a good-looking guy and all the girls fell at his feet. I felt sick, jealousy coursing through me. What the hell would I do if she liked my best friend?

She turned back to me. “What’s wrong?” Concern coloured her tone as she reached up and touched my cheek.

“Nothing,” I lied, stepping away from her.

“Hey, don’t lie to me. I can see that something’s wrong. Tell me,” she demanded, grabbing my hand.

“Nothing. All the girls like Nate. He’s your typical heart throb – blond hair, blue eyes, every girl’s dream. Just your type,” I stated, shrugging, trying to appear unconcerned.

Understanding crossed her face as she giggled wickedly. “Are you jealous about what I said?”

I jumped. Shit! What the hell do I say to that? “No,” I lied.

“You’re a terrible liar,” she teased, stepping forward and putting her hands on my chest.

I groaned. “Okay fine. Yeah, I was jealous,” I admitted uncomfortably.

She smiled again. “You don’t need to be. He’s not right for me at all. Besides, I already have a boyfriend, and he’s extremely hot,” she flirted, running her hands down my chest and catching hold of my belt loops.

My body was going crazy at her casual, playful touch. “Right, yeah, I forgot you already had someone,” I grunted, my voice sounding thick with lust. I wanted her so badly that it was almost driving me insane.

“You forgot? Maybe I should remind you more often.”

I gritted my teeth. “Maybe you should.”

She smiled seductively and stepped closer, pushing me down onto the sofa, falling on top of me. She kissed my forehead and nose. “You don’t have anything to worry about, boyfriend. You’re the only one I could ever let this close to me,” she promised, kissing along my cheek. Her breathing was speeding up with excitement, making me long for things that I shouldn’t even think about.

How could I have been so stupid? She couldn’t even let other men close to her, that was how I knew I was the one for her. When her soft lips connected with mine, I kissed her back, hard, rolling so that she was trapped underneath me. As the kiss deepened, one of her legs wrapped around my waist and clamped me against her. I moaned into her mouth, enjoying the last few seconds before I knew I had to pull away.

“Anna, come on, Baby Girl, let’s stop now, huh? I can’t have you getting upset,” I rasped, breaking the intense kiss but staying on top of her.

She sighed dramatically. “Yeah, I know. Sometimes it’s just hard to resist you. You’re so goddamn sexy, Ashton,” she frowned, looking slightly annoyed about the fact that she couldn’t resist me.

I grinned at her comment. “Thank you, Baby Girl, and you’re so goddamn sexy too.” I sighed and looked up at the clock on the wall. “It’s getting late. How about we make some food and then unpack and go to bed?” I needed to get off her because my traitorous body was begging for me to upset her again.

“Yeah, okay.” She actually looked both sad and relieved at the same time.

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