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Her long beautiful black hair went crazy in the wind and her face lit up from the sun. Her tan skin glowing; unreal and ceramic with texture. She had never looked more beautiful under the light than how she did now. Even last night when she wore that skin tight dress that made me hard just looking at her. She was gently smiling at the fresh air and I admired her more than the road.

She was stunning in every way as she closed her eyes and let her skin soak in the day. When she opened her eyes she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and I couldn’t help, but admire the blue. They were more beautiful than the blueness of the ocean and even better than mine. “How has your day gone?” She asked me. I had to contemplate answer between dealing with Nadia Crane, ‘The Drama Queen’ and fighting with business partners who should already know how to fix an issue.

“It’s...well It’s difficult.” I admitted with a shy smile. The atmosphere was comforting while she was around and for a second I imagined her hand intertwined with mine and her head leaning on my shoulder. “I-I’m sorry about that.” She looked out the window with a nervous glance. “It’s okay.” I smiled at her. “It’s not like the mafia is the easiest thing in the world.” I reassured her.

Her eyes lit up at once with obvious relief and her tense shoulder’s relaxed on the black leather seat of my red Bugatti. “How’s assassin life for you?” I asked with a cheeky smile. For once I felt relaxed around someone. As if I could actually breathe. “It’s uh-” She paused with a tiny sigh. “-It’s as exciting as it could be. Between classified files and training for hours it’s exhausting, but relieving as well.” She admitted and I could tell she was nervous by the way she played with her finger’s in her lap.

I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable; I may be a monster to everyone else, but not to her. “What’s not to love about being an assassin?” I asked her. I always wandered why she was one in the first place, but that would have to wait for a later date. “Very funny, but uh...I guess it’s the changing of situations every day.” She responded with a lighthearted smile.

“Well at least your life is more entertaining than mine.” I said looking out to the road. “What could be more entertaining than living a life where everyone follows your every command?” She asked me with a smile and chuckled a little. I hadn’t really thought of an answer to that question because it never once crossed my brain, but she did have a point.

Everyone followed my order’s like ants. “I guess that is a luxury.” I grinned. “What’s your favorite thing about what you do?” I ask her and for a second her face changes. Her eyes deflate into darkness and her face falls. A frown forms deep in her facial expression, but then resumes to it’s fragile state of happiness. “The freedom.” She says. Wow.

I had never given that I thought either. I had a lot to learn about this woman and why in the hell she so beautiful every time I look at her. “The freedom. That’s sound’s amazing.” I responded and her face shined like the fourth of July. “What’s your favorite thing about the mafia?” She asked me. I almost choked on my spit. “ the luxury I guess.” I answered looking down. How in the hell was I supposed to tell her my favorite part was humiliating my father and all of the shit he’s done to me?

“Sound’s accurate.” She giggle’s looking out the window. “Ouch.” I say with a chuckle. “Oh come on. What’s their not to love about being wealthy beyond rich and having people follow you like mice?” She questions. I had to blink my eyes back for a second. That mouth is going to get me into a lot of trouble. “I just assumed that it came with the package.” I grinned and she rolled her eyes at me.

I turned down the road and just stared at her the whole way to the gym. She had no idea that’s where I was taking her, but if I was going to get to know her I had to be in her element. She seemed nervous the whole way here. “Here we are.” He said with a smile. She beamed with excitement. “Wow.” She said.

“I thought you we’re going to take me into an alley and murder me.” She jokes and I grin. “I’ll do that next time.” I smile. She opens the door to the car, but I garb her hand. I could tell her breathing hitched at my touch because her chest wasn’t going up and down. “Let me be the gentleman and open the door for you.” I winked.

She blushed redder than a coke can at that. I walked around to her side of the car and opened it wide. “My lady.” I said holding out my hand. “Why thank you sir.” She playfully smirked as we made our way to the front of the yellow building with black lettering that read ‘GOLD’S GYM’. I went up to the front desk and cleared my throat. “Can me and my lady friend please have a private session with the training area?” I asked and the blonde haired woman smiled up at me. “Of course Mr. Thorne, how long do you want the reservation?” She asked with a white smile.

“As long as my friend want’s to stay.” I said and the receptionist typed something into her computer. “Alright your all set for the entire day. If you wish to leave just sign out.” She instructed. I thanked her and grabbed ahold of Anastasia’s waist. Her breathing hitched again and I was smirking the whole way to the session. “So...what do you want to do?” She asked me as she rubbed her side nervously. “I need help.” I said and she gave me a questioning gaze.

“Why does the mafia leader need help?” She grinned and I sheepishly looked away. “I could a thing or two about learning how to defend myself.” I said while rubbing the back of my neck. I was a little embarrassed at the fact that I couldn’t defend myself, but I never really had too until now. Especially with Nadia. “Why do you want me to teach you?” She asked.

“Ana just because I have over a hundred men guarding me at my home doesn’t mean I can defend myself. I know how to shoot a gun and throw a pretty mean punch, but I don’t know to physically fight.” I remarked. She rubbed her hands together while grabbing some wrap. I don’t know if she was protecting me or herself.

“I don’t want to make you bleed, but I’ll help you.” She smiled. “But I have a bargain.” She requested and I gave her a wondering gaze. “For every fight move I can ask you a question.” She said. “Only if I can ask one in return.” I said.


I landed a pretty mean punch to the punching bag and she smiled. “Better than I thought.” She grinned. “How do you mean?” I asked her. She smiled. “If you want to incapacitate them at first punch you do this.” She punched the bag so hard the chains rattled; dust came off and I stood there astonished. This woman was more powerful and we haven’t even gotten started.

“Now I get to ask a question.” I said and she smiled. “What do you want to know?” She asked and I contemplated at first. There was a huge amount of questions I had. Where did she come from? Old she was? Her favorite color, food? Her biggest pet peeve? But I went with something simple. “What’s your favorite thing to do when you get home?” I ask.

She gently smiled and crossed her arms. “Reading.” She answered. I blinked back a few times before responding. Who knew an assassin love to read? “Shocked?” She laughed. I stifled a small chuckle and turned to her with dimples in my cheeks. “A little.” I said. “I’m not surprised.” She looked down with a grin and punched the bag again. The chains roared with against her violent punch.

“What’s your favorite color?” She asked me. “Easy. Red.” I said. “I can tell by your car.” She giggled. Butterflies erupted in my stomach every time I heard the sensual melody of her laugh. I placed myself in front of the bag, preparing my stance and slammed into the bag when she least expected it. That’s what I call a snake. “Well damn.” She said. “Alright, my turn I said.” She grinned and turned herself to the punching bag. Talk about looking like a lioness.


I swear my pants are tightening. “Favorite Animal?” I ask her. Her face lit up. “A Jaguar. Their beautiful.” She said and her fist collided with the bag making it look calculated and smooth. “What’s yours?” She asks. “I have a pet named Slither. He’s a snake.” I say with a cheeky grin. I’ve loved that thing since I got him 26 years ago. The only good thing that came from my horrible childhood.

“Snakes are cute. Their predatory, but cute.” She said and I filled with curiosity. “Cute?” I asked. “Snakes are like...I don’t know a rose. On the outside they have thorns which appear terrifying and painful, but once you get to know them, their actually beautiful and lovely.” She said and I stood their dumbfounded. I had never thought about snakes like that.

“I take it I shock you a lot.” She said. I grinned and punched the bag, hard. “Just a little, but I like surprises.” I said. As long as their good surprises. “What’s your favorite childhood memory?” She asks and I zone out. The only memories I posses are cold, guarded and unsentimental. Their dark nature taking over my bones, making my neck hairs stand up and choking my throat like my father did.

Slamming my head against glass, throwing my body against bookshelves and taking away my childhood. Blood splattering the walls. Memories destroyed. Lives gone. Childhood destructed. One that should’ve been filled with dreams; not nightmares. “Are you okay?” She asked and I curled up. “It just reminded me of things I didn’t want to remember is all, but you didn’t know.” I reassure her.

There’s no reason to take away her sunshine when she’s sharing so much of it with me. “But my favorite memory is meeting my best friend.” I said. “What’s his name?” She asked. “Spencer.” I said. He’s always been there. Funny. Sarcastic. Childish. Charismatic. “How long have you known him?” She asks, hitting the bag with her leg. “25 years.”

Her mouth to goes agape and her breathing stops. “25?” She exclaims. “Yup.” I say. “That’s amazing.” She says and I smile. Landing another punch to the bag. “He’s great.” I say. Lining up with the punching mechanism, I prepare myself to leap onto it and knock the shit out of it. “Are you guys still in touch?” She asks while holding the training bag. “He’s my CEO.” I say and her eyes bulge. “You guys must be close.” She says. “Very.” I answer.

“Well, what’s your favorite food?” I ask her and she deflate’s. She looks down, just like I did. Maybe we’re both just as broke as the other is, but fighting to stay strong. “I guess that’s a sensitive topic?” I question with a gloomy expression. “I-It’s alright. Just a lot to process.” She state’s. “Do you want to enlighten me?” I ask and she smile’s. There’s that smile I love so much. Do I know why? No of course not, but I do.

“When I was young my mother and I would cook and bake together. Before everything changed, but before she died she always made this dish that I really loved. Enchiladas.” She squeals. “Every holiday since she’s passed I make them just so she’s with me. She’s the one who taught me Spanish and Italian. She taught me a lot of things before she...passed.” Anastasia looked down once again with her eyes sullen and lips quivering. “I’m sorry.” I say. It must be difficult for her. “It’s okay.” She says wiping a stray tear. “One question though.” I say with a finger. “Chicken or beef?”

“Oh my god chicken!” She squeaks. “No! You demon! Beef is better!” I remark offended. “Ew!” She makes a fowl face. I can’t help, but laugh and grin at her. “You know what!” She says. I stop laughing and look at her sheepishly. “Just for that I have a challenge.” She declares. “Is that so?” I ask. “It is very much so.” She grins. “I’m afraid.” I lie and smile. “Well...Mr. Thorne,” she starts. “I challenge you to do a duel.” She stated and walks towards me.

“Want kind of a duel?” I ask. “You want to learn how to defend yourself, so no better way than to fight someone.” She points at herself. Oh shit. “Girl.” I say. “Boy.” She retorts. “Come on. Are you afraid?” She smirks and I stare blankly. “Of course not.” I recover. “Sure...” she pauses. “Hit me.” She says and I stand dumbfounded between her and two feet.

Jesus Mother of lord.

I swear I have a fucking bulge in my pants.

I hope she can’t see it.

Fucking A.

“ asked for it.” I say and lunge for her, but literally she sweeps under me and tugs my arm back. “Lord woman!” I yelp. She twists it behind my back, then backs away giving me another advantage. I smile and grip her waist, but she again, slips away and suddenly rotated herself around my body, knocking me into the floor. Holy shit what just happened. And now she’s on top of me? That wasn’t even two seconds and she beat me. “Gotcha.” She smile’s. I grin, giving up because there’s no way I can beat her. I bring my hand to her face and she flinches, but stares back into my orbs. Leaning up, her legs become trapped and her breathing becomes ragged.

I feel like I’m choking because I can’t even breathe in this woman’s presence. “Z-Z.” She tries to speak, but her voice betrays her. All I can do is sit here and stare into her beautiful eyes and imagine all of the possibilities of our lips colliding and staying there with a lock and key fighting to separate them. “Ana.” I say raggedly. She looks deep into my irises and tries to focus. My heart is racing out of my chest right now and our faces are so close I could kiss her and not even think about it. In distinctively my hand travels up her thigh reaching the hem of her shirt and she lets out a small gasp. What is happening.

“Knock, knock.”

Oh fuck no.

“Someone’s in here!” I roar and whoever was there certainly scurried away. “Zayn I-I have to go.” She says getting up from my lap. “Are you okay? Do you need to go anywhere?” I ask. She looks distressed. “I’m sorry, I just have to go.” She rushed to unwrap her hands and grab her purse. “Here let me drive you. It’s cold out there.” I offer. “I can call Brit.” She says.

“Ana it’s least I can do.” I throw my keys to her and she’s dumbfounded. “What?” She questions. “You can’t possibly trust me with your Bugatti.” She says exasperated. “Ana I trust you with a lot of things.” I say. “Is that wise?” She asks. I give her a smile. “Well if it wasn’t 25 years ago when I met Spencer then I guess I was a fool.” I confess. She bites down on her bottom lip. “Thank you.” She says. “For what.” I throw back on my shirt. “For today. I needed it.” She says and grins. “It was fun.”

“It better have been or I’m getting a refund.” Her laugh fills the space and I lead her to the door. “Let’s get you home.” I say. “Can you actually take me to the office? Brit is waiting for me.” She suggests. “Yeah of course.” I smile and we walk out to main area and I’m grinning like a stupid teenager on hormonal testosterone.

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