Blurring the lines, p.1
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       Blurring the Lines, p.1
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           Kirsty Moseley
Blurring the Lines


  Nothing Left To Lose

  Part 2: Blurring the Lines

  By Kirsty Moseley

  Smashwords Edition

  Copyright 2017 Kirsty Moseley

  Nothing Left to Lose, Part 2: Blurring the Lines was originally published in 2013 under the title Nothing Left to Lose which has been broken down and split into two parts. Copyright for the original work was filed in 2013.

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Acknowledgements

  I just want to say a huge thank you to Judi Perkins at Concierge Literary Designs and Photography for the beautiful cover – and for the patience with me when I had no clue what I wanted but kept making suggestions anyway. Thank you for creating exactly what I didn’t even know I wanted! Love you, woman! <3

  This book is for Lee – my real life Ashton (just without the SWAT uniform). Love you, forever and always. xx

  Chapter One

  ~ Ashton ~

  I tried again to tie the silky material into some semblance of a bowtie, but I just didn’t have a clue. A loud groan escaped my lips. I was going to look like a first class prick at Anna’s dad’s birthday party. I was sure to embarrass Anna because I had no idea how to behave and integrate with the class of people that were sure to attend. I had even heard this week that there were going to be actual celebrities attending too, friends of Senator Spencer’s.

  Giving up, I sighed and grabbed the corsage off the side that I’d bought for her, and made my way downstairs, hoping to find Dean or someone to fix my tie for me. As I got to the bottom of the stairs, Anna’s mom, Melissa, looked up.

  She smiled warmly at me, and nodded at my bowtie that was hanging loosely around my neck. “Let me give you a hand with that,” she suggested,

  My pride sank to a new low. “Er, that’d be great, thanks,” I replied, stepping closer to her, hating the fact that I was so out of my depth and it was probably glaringly obvious for all to see.

  She laughed quietly as she fiddled with it. “Don’t be embarrassed, I just had to tie Tom’s too,” she winked at me conspiratorially. At least the future President of the United States couldn’t do it either.

  “You did? Well that makes me feel better,” I admitted, laughing. “You look very nice tonight, Mrs Spencer.” She looked radiant in her gold gown; she was undoubtedly where Anna got her looks from. But Anna just had something else, an inner beauty that just burst from every pore.

  “Thank you. You look exceptionally handsome in your suit. My guess is that you’ll make Annabelle swoon,” she said, grinning. I smiled, silently hoping she was right.

  Senator Spencer came down the stairs then. “Melissa, are we ready to go?” he asked, smiling lovingly at his wife.

  “I think so, we’re just waiting for Annabelle,” she answered, looking expectantly at the stairs. “Annabelle, are you almost ready? We need to leave, the car’s here!” she called up the stairs.

  “You look nervous,” Senator Spencer observed, smiling warmly at me.

  I nodded. “I am, sir. I’ve never been to an event like this.”

  He laughed at my remark. “You’ll be fine, son. Just start the cutlery from the outside, and smile. If you have no idea what you’re doing, just smile and pretend you do, that’s how I get through these things,” he admitted.

  “I’ll do that. Thank you, sir.”

  Footsteps to the side caught my attention. “You look great, Annabelle,” Dean’s voice drifted down the stairs.

  “Thanks, Dean, you look pretty good yourself. I haven’t seen you in a suit for a while,” Anna replied, her voice teasing and light.

  “Yeah, it feels a bit weird to be wearing it actually. It’s been almost three months since I’ve been made to wear this uniform. Thank goodness for undercover assignments, is all I can say,” he replied, chuckling.

  She laughed in response and my heart throbbed at the sound of it. No matter how many times I heard it, I just couldn’t get enough of her happiness.

  I looked up at the stairs expectantly, waiting. As soon as I saw her, my legs felt weak. She looked stunningly beautiful, and that was exactly how I felt, stunned. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even breathe. I’d never seen anything so perfect in my life, all she was missing was the wings and she would look like the angel that she was.

  The plum coloured ball gown that had been specially made for her tonight clung to her, showing off her perfect, flat stomach and tiny waist. The top was a halter neck, so it showed off her flawless creamy-white shoulders. And the cleavage… I had no idea how I was going to keep my eyes away from it tonight. The dress showed just enough to tease and hint at what was underneath, making me feel hot and horny as hell. The skirt of the dress flowed out all the way to the floor, hiding the toned long legs that I knew were underneath. Her hair had been pulled up and was pinned in curls at the back of her head, hanging down her back.

  I sucked in a ragged breath as I looked at her face. She looked radiant, her skin almost shining. Her make-up was different tonight; she had on some grey eye shadow that made her brown eyes look like they were shining with an excitement and joy, that made my world stop spinning. She always took my breath away, no matter what she was wearing, even if it was baggy sweaters or one of my T-shirts, but tonight she was almost killing me. She was walking towards me and looking me over slowly; a small, sexy smile played at the corners of her mouth.

  I swallowed, wondering what I was going to say when she got to me. My mouth was so dry, I wasn’t even sure I could speak. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as I shifted from one foot to the other, trying to get my brain to form an articulate sentence so that I wouldn’t embarrass myself. The trouble was, the only word that I could think right now was: wow.

  “Hi,” she greeted, smiling as she stopped in front of me.

  “Hi,” I managed to choke out. I looked into her eyes and felt her pull me in. I loved this girl with all of my heart. I cleared my throat, knowing I needed to compliment her on how she looked. “You look incredible; I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life.”

  She blushed and smiled her sexy smile, making my insides flutter. “Thanks. And you look extremely smart in your tux,” she countered, as she ran her hand along the edge of the jacket that I was wearing, making my body yearn for her in the normal way.

  Calm down, Ashton; do not get a boner in front of her parents! I swallowed the lump in my throat. I was behaving like a love-struck moron, I could feel it, but I just couldn’t help myself. Just give her the damn corsage, Ashton! “I… er… I got you this,” I muttered.

  Her eyes dropped to the box and her teeth sank into her bottom lip as she looked at the little white rose corsage bracelet I was holding out like a complete and utter moron. “Ashton, that’s gorgeous,” she gushed, smiling gratefully.

  I smiled awkwardly. “If I’d known you would look this beautiful tonight, I would have gone for something a little bigger and more expensive. This is gonna pale in comparison to you tonight, Anna,” I admitted, frowning at the thing that I thought was beautiful until I saw her.

  “Jeez, Ashton, seriously, do you just get these lines straight from a how to make the girls melt handbook?” she teased, grinning at me. I couldn’t help but laugh. I genuinely didn’t understand how she could look the way she did but still have the greatest personality in the world. From my experience, it didn’t usually work like that. People were usu
ally blessed with either looks or personality. Yet Anna had an abundance of both. I slipped back into our easy flirty mode as I remembered that I loved her personality even more than I loved her body.

  “Yeah, is it working yet?” I joked, grinning wickedly.

  “Definitely,” she giggled, nodding.

  I plucked the corsage from the box. “You don’t have to wear it.” I fiddled with it, embarrassed, giving her another chance to change her mind if she didn’t like it. She stepped closer to me, and her perfume wafted around me, filling my senses and making me forget my protests.

  “I love it. Thank you,” she whispered, looking into my eyes. I could see the honesty there, she really did love it. When she offered her arm to me, I slipped it on her wrist, trailing my fingers across her soft skin afterwards.

  Movement from the corner of my eye snapped me out of the little fantasy I was slipping into, and I remembered that we weren’t alone in the room. Anna just had the power to make everything else disappear in an instant. Dropping her hand quickly, I stepped back, hating that her father was close enough to have heard every single word I said.

  Her father stepped forward, grinning proudly. “You look beautiful, Annabelle.”

  “Thanks, Dad. You look good too,” she replied, smiling warmly at him.

  He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. “Thank you, sweetheart.” He brushed his hand over his jacket before his easy smile faded from his face. “So, I’ve just spoken to Reginald, my publicist. Apparently word has gotten out about the party tonight, and someone has leaked the venue. There are some press and a couple of TV crews that are converging around the entrance to the hotel. It’s nothing to worry about,” he stated, smiling reassuringly. “Reginald has made a few quick adjustments, and nothing needs to change too much apart from maybe posing for a few photographs at the entrance and answering a couple of questions to placate them. He’ll guide you through everything when you get there, just remember to smile for me, alright?”

  Anna’s shoulders seemed to tighten as he spoke. I knew she was unhappy about losing her anonymity, but there wasn’t much we could do about that now, apart from roll with it and hope that it all worked out.

  I placed a hand on the small of her back, forcing a smile when she looked up at me. “It’ll be fine. You knew this might happen. I’ll be right there, just smile for the camera, that’s all.”

  She took a deep breath and nodded, stepping closer to my side as she fiddled with the little gemstone necklace I’d bought her that I’d never once seen her take off. “Hold my hand though, okay?”

  “Definitely,” I nodded in agreement. That wasn’t a chore on my behalf.

  “Right then, let’s go,” Senator Spencer suggested, nodding at the crowd of staff and secret service that were waiting by the front door for us. We weren’t coming back to the Lake House tonight; for ease, we were staying at the hotel where the party was being held. Our overnight bags were already there. As we walked towards the door, Anna slipped her arm through mine. A black limousine was waiting out front for us. I watched as her parents climbed into the car first and then Anna and I followed suit.

  The car journey was only about ten minutes, but Anna didn’t let go of my hand the whole time. She didn’t even seem to notice or care that her parents were watching us. Since we’d come back from Los Angeles, she’d been unconsciously seeking out contact with me all the time. She hugged me a lot, wrapped her arm around my waist, held my hand or just plain old pressed herself to my side. I loved it and didn’t even think she knew she was doing it half of the time.

  When we pulled up outside the hotel, the crowd of reporters were easy to see. The staff had cordoned off an area and they were all lined up ready with their cameras and microphones. Luckily, due to the tinted windows, they couldn’t see us yet. On the opposite side to the reporters, a gathering of onlookers waited excitedly too. Obviously word was spreading beyond just the press that this event was happening.

  Anna winced and leant forward in her seat. “Are you sure that Ashton and I can’t sneak in through the back?” she asked her dad hopefully.

  He sighed and shook his head apologetically. “I’m sorry, Annabelle, I need you to come in the front. We need to show a united front. I know it’s going to make things more difficult for you.”

  I knew she didn’t want to do this at all; everything was going to change for her now. Once it was common knowledge who she was, her normal life that we had tried to build would change completely. Until now, her father had people managing the press so that it made it possible for her to remain in the shadows. Now that she was about to step out of this car with him, there would be no more paying off photographers to keep her name out of the tabloids and magazines. I squeezed her hand gently, trying to reassure her that everything would be fine. We’d spoken about it a lot recently, so I knew exactly how she felt about it; she was putting on a convincing show for her parents though.

  “It’s fine, don’t worry,” she smiled, waving her hand dismissively. She squeezed my hand tighter, so I knew she was lying through her teeth. Her parents looked like they bought it.

  As soon as the car rolled to a stop, someone opened the door and waved her parents out but then held up a hand to tell us to wait in the car. People cheered, shouting their names excitedly as the cameras flashed in a nonstop stream. I took a deep breath and snapped my business head back on. I turned in my seat.

  “You don’t leave my side, and you stay within my reach at all times,” I ordered, trying to sound stern with her. I hated telling her what to do but I needed to keep her safe, she was the most important thing in the world.

  She grinned. “Yes, Mr Sexy SWAT Agent,” she flirted, raising one eyebrow at me. I couldn’t help but smile. Before I could answer, the same guy stuck his head in the door and waved us out of the car too. I climbed out first, doing a quick survey of the area. Dean was already out of the car that had travelled in front of us; I could see he was scanning the crowd for trouble too. He nodded discreetly, so I turned and held out a hand to Anna.

  Her hand closed over mine, gripping so tightly that my fingers mashed together. She stepped out; biting on her bottom lip so hard that I was afraid she’d bite it in two.

  “Miss Spencer, Mr Taylor, if you would just follow me, and pose for a couple of photos?” the flustered organiser guy requested, ushering us forward. This was probably Reginald, the publicist.

  We both followed behind him, stopping where he pointed before he announced our names and that Anna was Senator Spencer’s daughter. As soon as he said who she was, the cameras started flashing in our direction, so many flashes that I could barely even tell where they were coming from. I pulled Anna closer to me.

  She turned to look at me, smiling her beautiful smile. “Oh my God, this is crazy,” she whispered, laughing. I grinned and nodded. Crazy wasn’t exactly the word I would have used. A piece of her hair blew across her face, so I brushed it back into place, smiling down at her.

  “Totally freaking crazy,” I confirmed.

  Reginald stepped in front of us, holding up a clipboard, trying to shield us from the continuing flash of the paparazzi. “Okay, that’s great. The reporters are going to want to ask you a few questions,” he said, as he pointed to a huge line of people with microphones and video cameras. Anna tensed next to me as we followed him over to the right place. Nerves settled in the pit of my stomach. “Just a couple of questions, guys. One at a time, alright?” he instructed, pointing to the first person standing there.

  Anna tightened her already vice-like grip on my hand. I smiled, silently wondering if she thought I was going to run away and leave her here. The first reporter, a woman in her early thirties I would guess, grinned excitedly as she looked Anna over quickly, clearly debating on her one question so that she didn’t waste it.

  “Miss Spencer, who designed the dress? It’s beautiful.”

  I laughed. Of all the things she could ask, and she asks about the dress. Typical woman! Anna smiled and looked down
at herself. “I know, it’s incredible. It’s by an English designer called Mary Shaun; I think she’s going to be the next big thing. I love her designs,” she answered easily, as if she was expecting this to be like torture or something. I was half a step behind her.

  Reginald pointed to the next reporter who was obviously more prepared than the first and wasn’t as concerned about fashion. “Miss Spencer, what do you think of your father being elected?”

  She beamed a killer smile. “It’s great. He’s worked extremely hard and his policies are worth supporting. I’m immensely proud of him.”

  “Miss Spencer, who’s your date tonight?” the next reporter asked.

  My back stiffened because I wasn’t expecting to be mentioned at all. I was a nobody. Anna laughed and tugged on my hand so that I had to take a half step forward to be at her side.

  “This is my boyfriend, Ashton Taylor,” Anna answered, smiling up at me. I couldn’t help but smile back. I was so proud to have those words come out of her mouth, even if they weren’t strictly true. My boyfriend, Ashton. I loved that.

  “How long have you two been together?” the next reporter asked quickly, using up their question.

  “A year and three months,” Anna lied quickly. That was how long we had told people at college that we were together, so we needed to keep up the pretence for them.

  “Miss Spencer, will you be working for your father’s administration?” the next one asked.

  She shook her head in response. “No, I’m actually in college at the moment.”

  My stomach clenched, and I squeezed her hand warningly, praying for her not to elaborate. While we’d discussed possible scenarios about what would happen once people knew who she was, I’d already instructed her not to give away any details of her life. Thankfully, she didn’t elaborate though, so I breathed a sigh of relief. We were on the last reporter now, and then I could get her inside and stop being so damn worried about her safety. We both looked at the last reporter expectantly.

 
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