Author: Kirsty Moseley Well, I’ll write you again next week. Good luck in your new school; see you in a couple of months. As always, I love you. Carter xxx I could barely breathe through my anger. Dean was watching me curiously, so I shook my head. “It’s not a threat. It’s a love note from Carter,” I stated, almost spitting his name. Dean’s face turned angry too. “I’d better call her father. You tell Peter about this when he gets up. Don’t say anything to Anna, I’ll ask her father again if she can be told, I really think she should know about this.” I shoved the note back into its envelope and slid it into my pocket. I didn’t offer to let Dean read it, there was nothing of interest in there, and if these notes ever did get back to Anna, I knew she wouldn’t want people to know about them anyway. She valued what little privacy she had. Dean was watching me, waiting for more directions; I closed my eyes and thought everything through. He wouldn’t get to her; if anyone came anywhere near her, then I would kill them. He was talking about seeing her at the trial and about the future, so he wouldn’t order anyone to hurt her in any way. He loved her. I opened my eyes. “Okay, she already has pretty tight security; I think we need to pull in a little further. We’ll cut far guard distance from a hundred yards, to fifty instead. Make sure you have your gun with you at all times. We’ll still go tonight otherwise she might get suspicious, but I think that both you and Peter should come, if you don’t mind. I’ll authorise overtime payments for you both for any extra hours that we need when we go out and stuff,” I instructed. Forcing a smile, I tried not to show the panic that was building inside me because she was in the apartment on her own, even though I was standing outside the only door. Dean nodded, so I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and dialled Maddy’s number. “Senator Spencer’s office,” she answered cheerfully. “Ma’am, it’s Agent Taylor. I need to speak to the Senator, please.” “That’s not possible, Agent Taylor. He’s in a meeting at the moment,” she replied apologetically. “Ma’am, please put me through immediately and tell him I need to speak to him,” I ordered sternly. “Um, okay, hold on,” she answered nervously. I was put on hold for a minute then he came on the phone, sounding slightly panicked. “Agent Taylor, what’s happened?” I took a deep breath. “Sir, we’ve received a letter from Carter here at the college. It was addressed to the college offices, thankfully, and not the apartment, so there’s a good chance he doesn’t know our exact location. It’s another love note, not a threat,” I stated. He drew in a sharp breath. “Oh God. Do you think she needs to leave school and come home?” “No, sir, I don’t. I don’t think he wants to hurt her at all. He refers in his note to seeing her at the trial; I honestly don’t believe that he would actually strike against her.” He sounded like he breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay, so what do we do?” “Well, I’ve already tightened her security. I’d like your permission to authorise overtime payments for times when I want to take extra agents out with me. Like tonight, for example, it would be helpful to keep Agent Michaels on for an extra couple of hours because we’re going out in public. That kind of thing,” I explained. “Yes, yes of course, you authorise whatever you need. Do you want me to send you another agent as well?” “Not at the moment, sir. If a threat comes in then I may request one, but at the moment I don’t believe the danger is any greater than it was,” I admitted. Sure, he knew which college she was in, he obviously had someone keeping tabs on her because he knew that she’d been here for a couple of months – but that didn’t mean that he was going to do anything about it. “Okay. Let me know if there’s anything that you need,” Senator Spencer sighed heavily. I cleared my throat. “Sir, I really feel that now is the time to tell Anna about these letters. It would make her safer if she understood why we’re always being so cautious with her security,” I explained, closing my eyes and hoping he would say yes. I knew she’d worry, but at least she would be more responsive to us guarding her. He was quiet for a minute, obviously thinking about it. “No, I really do think it’s best if she’s kept unaware. She doesn’t need to be worrying that he’s coming after her.” I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. Part of me wanted to argue the case that it was morally wrong to keep this information from her, but the part that loved her and wanted to shield her from everything bad, was actually a little relieved that she would still be in the dark. Her reaction to me drawing my gun on Nate was in the forefront of my mind. She’d been terrified that Carter had come back for her. I didn’t want her to start to worry about that now. I decided not to push him to change his mind. “Okay sir, it’s your decision. I’ll have this letter forwarded to you and keep you apprised of the situation.” I couldn’t help but feel slightly annoyed with him because he was making the wrong decision. As just her guard though, it wasn’t my place to make that kind of decision and I had to go with what he said. “Okay, thank you, Agent Taylor.” He disconnected the call and I sighed, looking over to Dean. “We still can’t tell her. Let Peter know that we’re going out at seven. If you could both be ready, that’ll be great. If this gets too much for you two then let me know, I’ve been authorised to bring in another agent,” I stated, grimacing, because I had no idea how I would explain another agent to Anna. “Right, I’ll see you at seven then,” he nodded, and headed over to take his position in front of the elevator again. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself and went back into the apartment, praying that nothing would ever hurt my girl. In the kitchen, I sought out an envelope, shoving Carter’s note into it and addressing it to the lake house. Peter could arrange for it to be sent special delivery tomorrow. I hung around in the kitchen for a while, trying to calm my nerves. Anna was like a mind reader at times, she could tell just by looking at me if something was wrong. When my body relaxed, I made two coffees and went into the lounge, watching her work on her project for college. My heart was throbbing painfully with the need to wrap her in my arms and keep her safe and never let her go, but I refused to make this any harder for her than it was every day. She needed to have fun, and tonight I would give her exactly that. Chapter Twenty-Eight ~ Anna ~ At six o’clock, I went for a quick shower. I dried myself quickly and straightened my hair, putting on a bit of make-up. Then the long process of choosing something to wear to our date started. Casual and warm, he’d said. I chewed on my lip as I settled on a pair of jeans and a fitted black shirt, pairing it with some black converse. Once satisfied with my choice, I made my way out to the lounge where he was already waiting for me. “Wow, you look incredible,” he purred, looking me over slowly. I smiled and blushed under his intense inspection. “You’ll need a sweater though, it might be cold.” I frowned; confused as to where we would be going that would require warm clothing. “Where are we going, Ashton?” I called as I strutted back into the bedroom and found a hooded sweatshirt. “It’s a surprise, stop asking.” I rolled my eyes and slipped the sweater on, going back out to the lounge again. “Do I pass the examination this time?” I asked sarcastically, twirling on the spot. He grinned and nodded. “Trust me, you pass every time, but I want you to be comfortable so…” he trailed off, taking my hand again and leading me to the kitchen. Sitting there on the counter was a dozen white roses; he hadn’t given me any for two weeks because last date night we were in LA. He handed them to me, grinning. I smiled gratefully as I smelled them, breathing in their sweet aroma. “You’re so romantic, Ashton. Thank you,” I gushed, running my finger over the soft petals. He opened one of the drawers and held out a rectangular silver tin. “What’s this?” I asked curiously. “Open it and see,” he instructed, leaning on the counter next to me. I opened it to see a brand new set of inks, the professional expensive kind that would be perfect for my project at school. I gasped from the surprise. “My God, these are perfect!” I cried excitedly. “Thank you!” I threw my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. “You’re welcome, Baby Girl,” he answered. He pulled out of my arms and picked up the bouquet of flowers, putting them into a vase and filling it with water. “I’ll let you arrange them later. Come on then, let’s go before the suspense kills you,” he teased. The drive to the secret location for our date took about forty minutes, and he even overstepped the mark by making me sit with my hands over my eyes for the last couple of minutes. “Oh come on, you’re taking this a little far,” I complained. “Will you stop whining? Jeez,” he scolded, laughing. I huffed and sat in silence. It was killing me, but I actually didn’t peek like I normally would have done, he was so excited about it that I didn’t want to ruin anything for him. The car rolled to a stop, and his door opened then closed. A couple of seconds later, my door opened too. “Keep your eyes closed,” he instructed as he took hold of my elbow and helped me climb from the car. Sounds of screaming and laughing filled my ears, and in the background there was soft music playing. The air smelled sweet, like popcorn. I grinned, not having a clue where we were. The suspense was killing me. “Ashton, come on, please?” I whined, bouncing on the spot. He chuckled wickedly. “Okay fine.” His hands closed over my shoulders, turning me the other way. “Open your eyes.” Pulling my hands from my face, I blinked a couple of times as bright lights and colours overwhelmed me. I gasped as it all started to make sense. A fairground. I could see the Ferris wheel going around with twinkling fairy lights looped around every post. There were guys dressed up as clowns walking around on stilts, roller coasters, stalls where you win prizes, food stalls. I laughed excitedly and turned to Ashton, grinning, finally understanding the reason for the warm, casual clothes.