Nothing left to lose, p.87
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       Nothing Left to Lose, p.87

         Part #1 of Nothing Left to Lose series by Kirsty Moseley
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Page 87

  Author: Kirsty Moseley

  I dropped my eyes to the floor. I hated marriage talk, it made me uncomfortable and brought back feelings and memories that I tried extremely hard to bury. “He won’t,” I assured her. I didn’t want to plant false hope there for her by going along with her excited chattering; after all, he was just a bodyguard who had become my friend, nothing more.

  For the rest of the day, a few people came up to speak to me, most seemed a little intimidated. A rare few asked for autographs or a photo, which was more than awkward considering they were in my classes and had been talking openly to me for the last couple of months.

  By the time the end of day came around, I was grateful to be out of the spotlight for a little while. As we stepped through the door to our apartment, I breathed a sigh of relief that the day was over and done with. There were only a couple of weeks left of school anyway, and then the semester was over. Hopefully, by the time we came back in the New Year, everything would have settled and people would be used to it even more and not bat an eyelid at me.

  I flopped down on the sofa while Ashton headed to the kitchen to make coffee. When he set my cup on the side next to me, I smiled. “Thanks. I’m glad that’s over with,” I admitted. “Just another couple of weeks and then we can get away from all of this for Christmas. ”

  I frowned as I said it. I wasn’t actually looking forward to Christmas at all. Of course, I was looking forward to not getting up for classes and not having assignments to finish, but I wasn’t looking forward to being away from Ashton for two weeks. Because this one was a scheduled school holiday, he got the two weeks off, so I would need to brave it on my own with my parents at the Lake House.

  He nodded thoughtfully and sat down next to me. “Yeah, Christmas. I wanted to talk to you about that actually, but there never seems to be the right time because we’ve been so busy lately. ”

  I nodded, already knowing what this would be about. “Yeah, we can go tomorrow or something. There are still a few bits I need to buy, but I’ve got most of mine already,” I stated, pre-empting him suggesting we go gift shopping soon. I’d been very organised and had already arranged the more important things that I wanted to get – like Ashton’s gift that Maddy had arranged for me.

  “Go where?”

  I smiled, confused. “Shopping. Weren’t you just about to say that you needed to buy gifts?”

  He shook his head. “No actually, but I do need to do that,” he admitted. “Actually, I was going to ask what we’re doing about Christmas itself. ” He frowned as if he was trying to work out a complicated algebra problem.

  “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, picking up my coffee and blowing it gently to cool it before taking a sip.

  He shrugged. “Well, I’m guessing that you’ll want to spend Christmas day with your parents. But maybe we could spend New Year in Los Angeles. What do you think of that?”

  I almost choked on the coffee as he spoke. Spend New Year in LA? With him? “What? I don’t…” I stared at him, waiting for him to say something that made sense.

  “If you don’t want to come to my place again, that’s fine, I just thought that you liked it last time and figured I’d suggest it. ”

  I smiled gratefully. “That’s a really nice thought, Ashton, but you should just go out with your friends. That way you won’t have to worry about me, and you can just have a good time. ”

  He frowned, looking a little angry at my answer. “I’m not going without you. ”

  I raised one eyebrow in question, confused by the turn in the conversation. “What are you going on about? I’m totally lost, Pretty Boy,” I admitted.

  He sighed dramatically, as if I was missing something that was obvious. “What exactly do you think is happening at Christmas?”

  I frowned, setting my cup down and tucking my legs up underneath me. “Well, I’m going to the Lake House with my parents and the house guards, and you’re going home. . . ”

  He shook his head. “Not happening, Baby Girl. ”

  “What’s not? I’m freaking confused! Ashton, will you just spit out what you’re trying to say already?” I grumbled, starting to get annoyed because I didn’t like being confused.

  He laughed wickedly at my outburst. “I love it when you’re feisty,” he teased, smirking at me. I rolled my eyes and waited for him to explain what on earth he was getting at. “Okay, so I’ll put it simply. I want to spend the school break with you. If you want to spend the time with me, then we just need to figure out what we’re doing,” he explained, shrugging.

  I gasped as it clicked into place. Mr Overprotective strikes again! He doesn’t even trust his job to anyone for two weeks. “You’ve got two weeks off, Ashton. Stop worrying about me, I’ll be fine!” I snapped, frowning.

  He laughed and shook his head at me. “Anna, I’m not talking about my job. I’m talking about wanting to spend Christmas with you,” he said simply. I recoiled at the honest revelations, too shocked to speak. His smile fell from his face. “You don’t want to spend Christmas with me?” he asked, looking hurt and embarrassed.

  “I… I, Ashton, of course I do, but…” I shook my head because that couldn’t happen. They wouldn’t let me go with him, not now that my dad was President-elect. Dean and Peter would have time off so we couldn’t stay here, and I couldn’t very well invite him to spend Christmas with my parents because they would certainly read something into that.

  His hand brushed across my cheek as I stared at him, lost for words. “Anna, just forget everything else for a minute, okay? If you could, would you want to spend your winter break with me?” he asked, looking at me a little pleadingly.

  Damn, I would love that. “Yes,” I managed to get out; I was still shocked that he even wanted to do that in the first place. This was his first scheduled break away from me; he could hang out with his friends, laugh and joke around. Yet, he was telling me that he’d rather spend time with me. My heart was aching in my chest because of how much that meant to me.

  A dazzling grin stretched across his face. “Okay, great. Well, I want to spend my two weeks off with you too. So now we just need to figure out what to do. ” He took my hand, playing with my fingers gently. “So would you prefer to go to LA or stay with your parents?”

  I frowned. “Um… I don’t really think either one is possible, is it?”

  He sighed. “I know it’ll be hard to convince your father to let me take you to LA again, but maybe he’ll go for it. Or I could come home with you,” he shrugged as if the thought of spending Christmas with the next President of the United States was something he did every day. I closed my eyes and thought about it; I honestly didn’t care where I spent Christmas. If I could spend it with Ashton I’d go anywhere. “There’s a third option,” he added, sounding a little excited.

  I opened my eyes. “What’s the third option? Because LA doesn’t seem likely, and going home sounds like it would be uncomfortable with my parents watching our every move and smiling at us all the time,” I admitted.

  He pursed his lips before speaking. “Well, how about we go away?”

  “Like a vacation?” I asked, a little confused.

  “Yeah, like a vacation. Somewhere where people don’t know you. Maybe I’d be able to convince your father to let me take somewhere where there’s no risk to you and no one knows who you are. ”

  Excitement suddenly bubbled up inside me, but I tried hard to contain it. A vacation didn’t sound like something my father would consent to. “I like option three,” I admitted quietly.

  “Hmm, what a coincidence, I like option three too,” he grinned, tucking a loose strand of my hair behind my ear. “Hot or cold then? What’s your preference?” he asked, smirking at me excitedly. “Beach or snow?”

  “I don’t care. What do you want?” In all honestly I would follow him anywhere he wanted, it didn’t really matter.

  “Well, I like the idea of snow
for Christmas and maybe you’d get cold and would cuddle up to me,” he mused, smirking at me.

  I rolled my eyes at his train of thought. “Right, Pretty Boy, because otherwise that wouldn’t happen,” I stated sarcastically. We hugged all the time; it didn’t need to be cold for that.

  “I also like the idea of the beach, because you’d be wearing a bikini a lot,” he continued, waggling his eyebrows at me.

  I raised one eyebrow teasingly. “I guess… unless I went topless. ”

  His back stiffened as he nodded eagerly. “Beach then, definitely. ”

  I laughed and slapped his arm playfully. “Pervert!”

  “Only around you,” he replied, winking at me. He stood up quickly, fumbling in his pocket and producing a cell phone. “So that’s what we’ll try for first then? I’ll ask to take you away somewhere hot,” he said, looking at me hopefully.

  I frowned, wanting to check he wasn’t doing this for the wrong reasons. “Are you sure you don’t just want to go hang out with your friends on your own and get drunk every night? I’ll be fine with the temporary guards if that’s what you’re worried about,” I protested.

  He sighed deeply and bent, pressing a soft lingering kiss on my forehead before standing up again. “I want to spend the holidays with you. It’s nothing to do with work, trust me. ” The way he looked so deeply into my eyes made me feel like I was the only girl in the world.

  “Okay,” I replied breathlessly.

  He smiled, already thumbing through his contact list. “I’ll see what I can do then, okay?” He turned and headed into our bedroom, closing the door tightly behind him so that he could speak to my father about it and reason out his case for wanting to take me away.

  I smiled broadly. Worst case scenario, he would come and spend the holidays at the Lake House. At least then I would still get to see him every day. The thought of seeing him open his gifts on Christmas morning made my stomach quiver with excitement.
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