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Page 89

Author: Kirsty Moseley

She gasped as her eyes widened from shock. “Bikinis and sun cream? You mean? No way! Are you serious? But… but… really?” she cried.

I nodded, grinning ecstatically. “I’m serious. Your parents are booking the vacation as your Christmas gift. They’re getting it booked by the end of the day, apparently,” I confirmed, watching as her face went from shock to complete happiness. I chewed on the inside of my mouth because of how beautiful she looked when she smiled.

“You mean we get to go away? Really? You’re not tricking me, are you? Because if you are, that’s seriously mean,” she asked, eyeing me curiously.

“I’m not tricking you, Baby Girl, I promise. I get to take you somewhere hot, with a beach. Just the two of us and no far guard,” I confirmed.

She squealed excitedly and jumped up and down on the spot. “Oh my God! No far guard either? I can’t believe you! How did you do that?” she cried as her eyes filled with tears.

“I must be the best boyfriend in the world,” I joked, shrugging as if it was nothing.

Before I could either react or prepare myself for impact, she jumped onto my lap and hugged me tightly. “Thank you, Ashton. Oh God, this is going to be great! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she squeaked, hugging me as I grunted from the sudden weight being thrust upon me.

“You’re welcome, Baby Girl,” I replied, grinning. In all honesty, I couldn’t wait for some me and her time, with no one to act normal or pretend for. This was going to be the best Christmas ever.

Suddenly, her eyes widened and she pushed herself off my lap. “Oh man, I need to go to the gym!” She didn’t even wait for an answer as she turned and streaked into the bedroom.

“Anna, where the hell did that come from?” I asked, getting up to follow her into the bedroom. She was just pulling on a pair of sweats and riffling through her drawer, coming out with a tank top. She was still practically bouncing on the spot. “Why are you going to the gym?” I asked, confused.

“Oh, come on. We’re going to lie on a beach, I need to look good in my bikini,” she explained, grinning like a mad woman.

I practically choked on her absurdity. “Look good in your bikini? Are you joking?”

She shook her head. “Are you coming or can I go on my own?” she asked as she walked past me.

I grabbed her hand, making her stop as I stared down at her in disbelief. “Are you serious? You’re going to the gym so you’ll look good in your bikini?”

She nodded and shrugged. “Well yeah. I know I can’t do much in a week, but I’ve put on like four pounds since you stopped me running like I used to.”

I scoffed and shook my head in disapproval. “You have got to be kidding me! You’re perfect; you don’t need to suddenly start running off to the gym! Honestly, you’re the most beautiful thing in the world, Anna. And I happen to like the extra four pounds.” I wasn’t just saying that because I was in love with her.

She made a little aww sound as she went up on tiptoes and planted a little kiss on the corner of my mouth. “You’re so sweet sometimes with these little comments of yours,” she mused, pinching my stomach gently. “But of course you think I’m perfect, you’re biased and are probably paid to say that,” she replied. She nodded over her shoulder towards the door. “We would have gone to the gym later anyway, so what’s the problem?”

I groaned and rolled my eyes. She never seemed to take me seriously when I told her how I felt about her. Maybe one day the information and hints would finally sink in.

“Are you coming or not?” she asked, stepping away from me and grinning.

Admitting defeat, I nodded in agreement. “Fine, just let me change first. I suppose I need to look good on the beach too.”

She grinned. “Pretty Boy, you look way better than good all the time!”

After an hour at the gym, we were back at our apartment. Anna went in for the first shower while I opened my laptop because Maddy had texted to tell me that she’d emailed me the itinerary for our trip.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Agent Taylor,

Please find below details of your trip. Tickets will be waiting at the check in desk; passports will need to be shown to obtain them. As you will notice, I have amended Annabelle’s name, as per her father’s instructions. I have arranged for some local currency to be delivered to your apartment tomorrow. I trust that you can get a ride to the airport from one of the far guards, if not then let me know and I will book a car for you. Transfers have been arranged for when you get there. Weather should be delightful, so make sure you take plenty of sunscreen. No injections required. Have a marvellous time.

Maddy.

Duration: 14 nights

Flight time: Depart :10:45 Saturday 21st Dec

Return :14:00 Saturday 4th January

Destination: Maldives (South Male Atoll)

Hotel: 5* Deluxe Over water suite

Board: All inclusive

Transfer’s: 20 minutes by speedboat

Passengers: Mr Ashton Taylor. Mrs Annabelle Taylor

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My breath caught in my throat at the last line. They’d put us as married? I actually loved the sound of that. Annabelle Taylor. I’d never heard of anything more perfect in my life. But I knew Anna wouldn’t like it. For some reason, she was really touchy about marriage and always seemed to clam up or go quiet whenever I made jokes about it. Needing to sort it out before she saw this email, I grabbed my cell phone and was just about to dial Maddy’s number, but Anna walked out of the bedroom behind me.

I closed the laptop quickly as she walked up behind me. She placed her hand on the small of my back and smiled up at me. “Did you get it? Where did they book?” she inquired excitedly.

“Um, yeah, I got it.” I swallowed the lump in my throat.

She grinned and reached for the laptop, lifting the lid and looking at me expectantly so I could enter the password. I typed it in quickly, wincing as she opened my emails and double clicked on the one that Maddy sent. She looked so excited that I didn’t have the heart to stop her. I’d just have to deal with the fall out and hope that she didn’t think this was my idea.

She slid onto a stool as she read it. I held my breath, waiting.

“Speed boat transfer?” she asked, practically bouncing in her seat.

I winced, knowing she was almost done. I knew the exact moment that she got to the last line because her body seemed to tense. Her eyes flicked up to me. “Did you see the passengers?”

I nodded and waited for her reaction.

“That’s…” she stopped talking, her mouth opening and closing a couple of times before she frowned at the screen.

“I can ask for them to change it. I asked for them to change your name, I didn’t think they’d change it to mine,” I chimed in, wanting her to know this wasn’t my idea.

She shook her head in rejection. “It’s done now. Just leave it,” she muttered.

“Are you sure?”

Her smile was forced as she nodded. “What’s the matter, Pretty Boy, don’t you want me to be Mrs Taylor?” She was trying to come across as playful, but I could see she was uncomfortable with this.

I decided not to answer that question honestly because clearly something was wrong that I didn’t understand. “Anna, seriously, I can get Maddy to change it if you want.”

She shrugged. “It’s fine. Do you care?”

Hell yeah I care, I love it! I shook my head. “No, I don’t care, Baby Girl,” I lied smoothly.

“Don’t worry about it then. It’s kinda cute in a weird way. Plus, it’ll help with people not following us around. I’m up for anything that means I won’t get asked for my autograph!” she joked, shrugging nonchalantly.

Just needing to check that she wasn’t putting on a brave front, I wrapped my arm around her waist and stepped between her legs, looking at her intently. “You’re really okay with it?”

She shrugged easily. “I don’t mind. It’s just a name; as long as your player side isn’t going to come busting through and make you run off,” she teased.

“I’m not a player!” I cried, annoyed that she didn’t seem to notice that I didn’t see anyone else in the room but her.

She smiled tenderly at me as she nodded. “I know, I was just teasing,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around me tightly. I stood there like that for a couple of minutes, just letting it all sink in. Finally, she pulled away and grinned up at me. “I’m going to go look through my clothes and see what else I need to buy before the trip!”

I chuckled as she jumped off the stool and practically skipped to the bedroom to look through her clothes.

Chapter Thirty-Four

~ Anna ~

After a seemingly never-ending flight, and then twenty minutes on a speedboat skimming over perfect, crystal clear ocean, we finally arrived at the island that we would call home for the next two weeks.

Almost as soon as we stepped onto the jetty, a tall man with golden, tanned skin and sun bleached, blonde hair walked over, smiling warmly and holding his hand out to Ashton. “Mr Taylor?” Ashton nodded in confirmation, shaking his hand firmly, and then the guy turned to me. “Mrs Taylor,” he greeted.

A nervous giggle slipped from my lips at the sound of the name he’d used. When I’d first heard that they’d changed my name to that, it had taken me by surprise, and I hadn’t liked it at all. Seeing my name attached to someone else’s surname had brought back a lot of unpleasant memories for me. But having Ashton’s name attached to me was different somehow; it wasn’t as horrifying as I first thought it was. In fact, I even kind of liked it. In a strange way, it was almost as if the name change had given me the freedom to be normal for a little while. After all, nothing bad had ever happened to Annabelle Taylor.

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