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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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