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Page 74

Author: Kirsty Moseley

He threw his hands up in exasperation. “What the hell do you want me to say? Do you want me to apologise for doing my job?” he asked desperately.

I growled in frustration. “Oh, just go away, Ashton! Thank you for doing your job. Thank you for making sure I was safely away from trouble. Thank you for making me worry so damn hard about you that I felt sick. Thank you for thinking so little of me that it didn’t even occur to you that I would be worried about you. Just thank you, Agent Taylor!” I shouted almost hysterically. My breathing was shallow. A full blown panic attack was building up inside me as the feelings of being powerless, abandoned, and helpless resurfaced and started trying to drag me under. My hand flew to my elbow that was already red raw from what I’d inflicted on myself earlier. Using my nails, I pinched the skin there as hard as I could, feeling them cutting into my flesh, but not caring in the slightest.

Ashton groaned and stepped forward, wrapping his arms around me and crushing me against his chest. “Please calm down, Baby Girl,” he begged, gripping his hand into the back of my hair, holding my face against his neck securely. “I’m sorry. I should have stayed and showed you I was okay. I didn’t think about that. All I could think about was my need to have you safe and as far away from trouble as possible,” he whispered, rubbing my back soothingly. As if he knew what I was doing to myself, his hand closed over mine that was pinching my inner elbow and he pulled it away, guiding my arm around his waist instead. “Stop that,” he whispered. “I’m fine, I promise. Please just breathe properly and calm down.”

“I hate you,” I mumbled against the skin of his neck.

“No, you don’t,” he whispered, pressing his mouth into my hair.

I sniffed and wrapped my arms around him tightly, letting his familiar smell fill my lungs. “I hate that I care about you,” I admitted, digging my fingers into his back and pressing myself closer to him.

He laughed quietly. “I know.” He kissed my temple softly.

I whimpered and clutched him tightly. “You’re really okay?” I asked, trying to regain control of myself.

“Yeah, I promise. I’m so sorry, I didn’t think,” he whispered. His hands traced a circle on my back as my breathing started to slow. His arms wrapped around me, lifting me off my feet as he walked to the bed and sat down on the edge, pinning me on his lap and rocking me gently. When I pulled back to look at him, he smiled sadly and wiped my tears away with his thumbs. “I hate myself for making you cry.”

I sniffed loudly as I took hold of his chin, turning his head one way and then the other, checking for bruises. “You really didn’t get hurt?” I asked, finally satisfied as I pressed my forehead against his.

“I didn’t get hurt.”

I closed my eyes, and a little whimper left my lips. “Don’t ever do that to me again. I was so worried about you. I started thinking all these terrible things, and imagining you being hurt. I couldn’t stand to see anything happen to you, Ashton. Please, don’t do that to me again,” I begged quietly.

“I won’t, I promise. I didn’t mean to upset you,” he whispered, holding me tightly, stroking my hair. He moved under me and took hold of my wrist, straightening my arm and looking down at the damaged skin on the inside of my elbow. A bruise had already formed, blood was just under the surface, and there were little scratches there oozing with blood from my nails digging into my flesh. “Jesus, Anna,” he groaned, shaking his head. “Why do you-”

“Don’t,” I interjected. I reached up and tugged on the sleeve of my shirt, covering it as best I could. I didn’t want to talk about it. I couldn’t explain to him that sometimes pain was the only thing I could control in my life, or that pain was the constant that never left me, and was the one thing that made me think about something else when all else around me crumbled.

His eyes closed and his jaw tightened as his arms looped around me again, crushing me against him. Silence lapsed over us as I just let myself relax into his embrace. My body sagged against his with relief as I rested my head against his shoulder. I was emotionally drained.

“What happened in the café?” I asked a couple of minutes later.

He lay down and rolled onto his side, holding me tightly to his chest. “I arrested them,” he said simply.

I couldn’t help but laugh. There were five guys in there, all looking to smash his face in. “You’re a badass,” I chuckled. He just smiled and kissed my nose and we just lay there for a few minutes, looking at each other in silence. It was nice just being close to him, we only really did this at night time and then we were usually trying to go to sleep. After a couple of minutes, his cell phone rang.

He laughed and shook his head. “Wow, good timing, Dean,” he grumbled, looking at the screen. He answered his phone, still holding me tightly. “Hey, what’s up?” he asked, rolling his eyes. I didn’t hear Dean’s answer, but I felt Ashton’s body jerk in response. “Really? Yep, okay, that’s fine. Yeah, in a bit. Absolutely.” He disconnected the call. His face was tight with worry, but he was trying to disguise it.

I smiled and reached out, brushing a lock of his hair back into place. “If I wasn’t allowed to hear the conversation, maybe you should have gone outside,” I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes at him.

He chuckled and rolled so that he was on top of me. “Hmm, you know you’re not interested in the secret agent’s stuff,” he teased, smirking at me.

“Yep, totally boring stuff,” I confirmed, gripping his h*ps with my knees, stopping him from going anywhere.

He laughed and brushed my hair back from my face tenderly, smiling at me. “So, about that date… shall we say seven?”

I sighed dramatically. “Can’t you just tell me what it is now? You know I hate surprises.”

“Nope,” he answered, kissing my nose and pushing up off me.

I tightened my grip on his hips, smirking at him. “If you don’t tell me, then I’m not letting go.”

He shrugged as his emerald green eyes sparkled with mischief. “Hmm, well maybe I don’t want you to let go. This is a kind of nice position to be in,” he retorted, waggling his eyebrows.

“Pervert,” I scolded, slapping his chest as I released my grip on him.

He stood, bending to grab my hands as he tugged me to my feet. “I’m only a pervert around you,” he replied, laughing sheepishly.

“Yeah right, player.” I scoffed sarcastically as he pulled me from the room.

“I’m not a player!” he protested.

“Mmm hmm, yeah, whatever.”

As I turned to walk off, a small slap to my behind made me squeak in surprise. “I’m not a player! I’m a one woman man,” he stated, shaking his head.

“Oh really? So that just means that you’ve never had a threesome?” I joked.

He rolled his eyes at my comment. “Miss Spencer, you are the only girl for me,” he answered, bowing theatrically.

I giggled. “Whatever you say, boyfriend.” I blew him a kiss and headed to the lounge to work on my project for school. I didn’t bother to try to listen when he slipped out of the front door to talk to Dean about the secret agent’s stuff that I wasn’t allowed to know about.

~ Ashton ~

I smiled to myself. The word ‘boyfriend’ was bouncing around in my brain as I made my way to the door to go and speak to Dean. When I stepped into the hallway, I saw him standing there waiting for me, his face pale and worried.

I slapped his shoulder and took the letter from his hand, trying to appear unconcerned. “This it?” I asked, swallowing my anger. He nodded in confirmation. I looked at the address on the envelope. It was addressed to Anna but had been sent to the College’s office address, so at least he didn’t know the address of our apartment.

“The school just sent it over by messenger,” Dean replied, shaking his head nervously. I scowled when I flipped it over, seeing the prison address on the back. I didn’t want to read it, but I had to. “Maybe we should send it on to Senator Spencer and not open it.”

“No, I’ll send it on to him after,” I disagreed. I needed to know what he said. If this was a threat against her, I would be wasting time sending it over to the Lake House and back again. I tore it open and held my breath while I read it, thankfully it was fairly short.

Dear Princess,

I see you’ve started a new school. You’ve already been there for a couple of months from what I hear, so hopefully you’ll stay at this one longer than the last.

I miss you and can’t wait to see you. The trial is less than three months away now, and I can’t wait for us to be together again. I dream about you every night, how I want to run my tongue over every inch of your body and hear you call my name. God, I’ve missed your beautiful face so much and I hope that you’ve missed me.

Maybe once all of this is over, we can move away somewhere nice. I know you didn’t much care for Miami, so we can talk about it. I hope you’re behaving yourself while I’m not there. If I find out that you’ve been with anyone else whilst I’ve been locked in this shithole, I will be very angry, Princess. You’re mine, and mine alone. I can’t even bear to think about you with other men, but I know you wouldn’t do that to me, so I try not to dwell on it too much. I guess that’s just me being my usual jealous self. I’ve just been apart from you for so long now that it’s starting to drive me crazy, I can barely think about anything other than holding you in my arms and taking you into our bed again.

Life here is much the same as usual, nothing ever changes in this place, I guess that’s why I hate it so much – well, that and being away from you. I wish you would visit me, even just for a few minutes so I could hear your voice and see your face again. Sometimes I think I’m losing grip of you, at times I cannot picture the exact shade of your hair, or the exact fragrance of the perfume you favoured. All of that will change soon my Princess, just a few more months and then we’ll be reunited, and nothing will keep us apart this time.

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