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Page 83

Author: Kirsty Moseley

Apparently, we were the hottest couple that attended the party – outshining even the A list celebs that had attended. The paper had already come up with a trashy couple name too.

I laughed incredulously, shaking my head. I hated couple names. “Annaton? That is lame,” I muttered. Nate was going to ridicule me about this forever; I could already see it happening.

Anna groaned and leant forward putting her head in her hands. “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe they’ve printed all of that. Everything is going to be so much harder for you now.”

I smiled weakly and scooted closer to her, slipping my arm around her shoulder. “Everything will be fine. It’ll settle down in a couple of days. It’s not like they’re going to be following us around college or anything.” At least, I prayed that wouldn’t happen. Clearly I’d already underestimated the reaction to us. I figured it would just be a photo of her with her father, they would name her, and that would be it. I hadn’t expected her to be highlighted this much at all. “Of course, it’ll be a little harder at school now that people know who you are. But it’s not that bad. The boyfriend cover still held so no one will know I’m an agent,” I squeezed her shoulder gently and she looked up at me with apologetic eyes. “Everything is fine. Don’t stress.”

She sighed and nodded, chewing on her bottom lip. “You’re not going to request a reassignment now then?”

I raised one eyebrow. Was there something I was missing? “Why would I?”

She shrugged, still gnawing on her bottom lip.

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “I’m not leaving you. I promised, didn’t I?”

She blew out a big breath and nodded as the corner of her mouth twitched with an unwanted smile. “I know you did. I just wondered if your player instincts were going to make you run away screaming like a little girl now that the papers are insinuating that I’m in love with you.”

I laughed as realisation washed over me. She thought I was a commitment-phobe and would leave because of what they’d printed. She had no idea. “I don’t scream,” I replied, winking at her playfully. “Besides, I kinda like our apartment.”

She chuckled; her eyes sparkled as her tense posture seemed to relax. “Glad to hear it.”

I smiled, knowing I needed to change the subject quickly. There was only so much teasing she could take before she started to freak out or panic and overthink things like she usually did. I didn’t want her getting upset because, in some dark recesses of her mind, she thought that Jack would disapprove of a tabloid rumour.

“Some of these photos are great. We should try to get some of these and put them up in our apartment,” I mused and held the paper out to Dean because he was trying to read it over my shoulder.

Anna nodded. “I love the one on the first page, the one of us on the red carpet.”

“I like the dancing ones too. And the one with your dad in it,” I replied, grinning proudly.

She giggled and slapped my stomach gently with the back of her hand. “Don’t start getting all high and mighty just because the future President likes you.”

I grinned. I couldn’t care less if the President liked me or not, I cared that the father of the love of my life liked me. There was a vast difference in those two things in my eyes. “I’m allowed to brag a little, surely?” I joked.

She laughed and stood, looking down at me. “I’m starving. I’m assuming you haven’t eaten yet?” I shook my head in response, now feeling my stomach grumble because she’d mentioned food. “Breakfast then?”

I stood and nodded eagerly. “Hell yeah. Coming, Dean?” I offered, turning to see him still scanning the paper.

He nodded absentmindedly. “Sure, breakfast with celebrity couple Annaton, every guy’s dream,” he joked, closing the paper and tossing it onto the bed. “Can I get your autograph?” he joked, grinning widely as he walked towards the door and pulled it open.

Anna winced, scrunching up her nose. “Don’t joke about it, I already signed one.”

I looked at her, shocked. “You already signed one? When?”

“When I was in the bar this morning,” she shrugged and turned for the door to follow Dean out of the room.

I grabbed her hand and made her stop as I scowled at her. “When you were in the bar? You went to the bar without guards? Damn it, Anna!” Why did she have no regard for her safety? Did she not know that it would kill me if something happened to her?

She frowned and shook her head. “I took a guard.”

“When were you in the bar?” I asked, frowning and hating the fact that no one had called me.

She shrugged casually. “This morning. I couldn’t sleep, so we went for a tour of the hotel and then had a coffee, or four, in the bar.”

My heart sank. “What time did you get up, Baby Girl?” I asked, pulling her to me. I raked my eyes over her face, noticing again how tired she looked.

“I don’t know. About five? Can we go and eat, please?” she whined, begging me with her eyes to let it go.

I sighed deeply as I traced the shadow that resided under her eye. That shadow broke my heart. “Okay,” I agreed. “Maybe we could get an early night tonight or something? I didn’t sleep too great either.”

She groaned and wrapped her arm around my waist, pressing herself to me. “You weren’t worried about me all night, were you?”

“Nah, bed was lumpy. You really do think too much of yourself,” I joked, turning her towards the door and pushing her out as she burst into a fit of giggles. When we got to the end of the hallway, Dean pressed the button for the elevator, and we all headed in and downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast.

As we stepped into the restaurant and were shown to an empty table, I tried extremely hard not to notice that the tables closest to us had stopped eating and that the middle aged lady had her forkful of eggs halfway to her mouth as she stared at us unashamedly.

Anna squirmed in her chair, so I slid my hand across the table and took hers, squeezing gently. I was graced with a dazzling smile in return. Breakfast was awkward, to say the least. While we were eating, we were approached several times by other guests who were gushing about how excited they were to meet us, and how they had voted for Anna’s father. After posing for a couple of shots on people’s cell phones, I finally decided enough was enough and discreetly nodded to Dean. He then kept everyone else at a respectable distance, but that didn’t stop the whispering, staring, pointing or discreet photos where people were taking selfies with us in the background.

Anna hardly ate anything, just pushed her food around her plate and kept glancing around nervously. When I finally realised that this wasn’t going to get any better, I stood and held my hand down to her. “Let’s go get a coffee in the bar area. Hopefully no one will be in there at this time of day. It’s got to be better than this,” I suggested.

Her hand slid into mine as she smiled gratefully. “Hope so.” She sidled up to me and leant her head on my shoulder as we walked through the lobby, again trying to ignore people that stopped walking just to stare at us. Thankfully, when we got to the bar, it was fairly empty, apart from two or three people that I recognised from the party last night. They didn’t pay a blind bit of notice to us as we slipped in and sat on one of the plush comfortable sofas. Dean and Mike stopped at the door, shoulder to shoulder, clearly blocking the entrance so that we could have some well needed privacy.

After ordering a couple of espressos, I took Anna’s hand again, this time noticing how she winced slightly. I frowned, confused as I pulled her hand up, meaning to look at it. “Your hand okay?” She nodded, tightening her grip on me so that I couldn’t let go. Her eyes told a different story though. I gently pulled my hand out of hers and groaned when I saw four little crescent shaped cuts on the palm of her hand.

She tugged her hand out of my grip and sighed. “It’s fine,” she mumbled.

My heart sank as I looked at her, silently begging her to stop shutting me out and telling me she was fine when, clearly, she wasn’t. “Bad dream?” I inquired, not actually wanting to know the answer but, at the same time, needing to. She nodded, and my stomach clenched with anger. If I ever managed to get within a few feet of Carter Thomas, I would beat him to death without hesitation. I swallowed the raw anger that tasted so acrid in my mouth. “Want to talk about it?”

She closed her eyes and shook her head, picking up her coffee and wrapping her hands around it as she blew the steam from the rim. “No.”

I nodded in acceptance. Silence washed over us for a minute before I decided to change the subject. “So, do you have much to pack?”

She smiled gratefully. “Not really. It’ll only take like ten minutes. I’m keeping those shoes from last night; I think they’ll look super cute with a pair of jeans. What do you think?” she asked excitedly.

I grinned because she could get so excited about a pair of shoes. “Yeah, I guess. I didn’t really see them.”

Her eyes narrowed. “I showed you them.”

I nodded. “Yeah you did, but you also showed me your legs at the same time. My eyes didn’t make it down as far as the feet.”

She giggled and slapped me on the shoulder. “You’re such a pervert!” she scolded, shaking her head, trying to look like she disapproved but failing miserably.

I grinned and nodded. “Only around you, Baby Girl.” She rolled her eyes. She never believed me when I said that, but it was true. Since I’d met her, I hadn’t even looked at another woman, and I just didn’t want to either.

Behind us, Dean walked over, talking into his cell phone. “Yeah, I’ll tell them. Yeah, I’m sure we can get it on, it’s fine. Thanks, Cindy.” He slid his cell phone back into his pocket and winced. “Cindy from the press office just called to let me know that the news channel had a reporter at the party, and they’ll be on in five minutes,” he nodded in the direction of a large flat screen TV that was mounted on the wall. “I’ll go see if we can get that turned on.” He strutted off to the bar, talking to the barman for a minute before the black screen flickered to life and then settled on the news channel.

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