KILLING ME SOFTLY - Teenage Assassin - Chapter 38

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CHAPTER 38: 

ANNABELLE’S  POV:

Already upset about what Jackson is having to do right now, the fact that Gabriel insists on accompanying me up to my hotel room has me feeling even more off balance.  He follows me into the room as I take off my trench coat.

I slowly turn around, unsure how to proceed, aware that I’m dressed like a hooker.  Seeing the bulge in his jeans, I give him a cold glare, “We’re not having sex, Gabriel.”

Unashamed, he smiles, “Maybe, maybe not.”

The coat gets tossed over the desk chair, and slinking his way, I give him a seductive look.  When I’m just inches from him, I place both hands on his pecs, making his eyes go wide from my forwardness.  Lips now only centimeters apart, I bring my knee up hard into his crotch.  As his face registers what I just did with a mixture of shock and pain, I back away, “Like I said, we’re not having sex.”

He drops to his knees, now giving me a dirty look.  Still not talking because of the pain, he’s cupping himself intimately.  After breathing in and out a few times, he wheezes out, “A simple ‘no’ would have worked for me.”

I bring up one shoulder in a casual shrug, “I like my method more.  You’re face was priceless”  Feeling dirty from the club and the creep’s place, I spin around, walking towards my bedroom.  I stop to unzip both boots and fling them into a corner.  Then, before I go through the doors, with my back to Gabriel, I slip off my shorts and corset, giving him a view from behind of me in nothing but a g-string.  I know I’m being a royal biatch, but the boy has it coming.

I hear him groan, but in a different kind of pain this time and slam the door shut behind my mostly naked self.  Mentally, I’m evil laughing right now.  Once in the bathroom, I strip out of my last remaining garment, the g-string, and turn on the shower.  When the temperature is as warm as I can get it without being burning hot, I step in.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t had time to stop at a drugstore and pick up real shampoo and conditioner, so I’m stuck using the crappy hotel stuff.  That always puts me in a bad mood.  I’m contemplating what color to dye my hair next when the shower curtain is swung open. 

Due to my ingrained sense of defense, cause you never know when someone’s going to try to kill me, my elbow shoots sideways.  Gabriel catches it with one hand, making a tsking sound, “Baby, now you’re just getting predictable.”

I swing my free fist towards his gut, he catches that one with the other hand, then spreads our arms wide, looking down at my wet body, “Nice.  You forgot to give me the front view earlier.”

“I locked the door.”

“No you didn’t,” he says nonchalantly, dropping my arms and moving away.  “Subconsciously, you wanted me to come in here.”  His clothes start coming off and I can’t help but take a look at his naked form.  Talk about nice.  I lean my head back and bring my hands up to rinse the conditioner out of my hair.

When I feel his hands on my hips and hear the screech of the shower curtain rings closing again, I shiver despite the warmth of the water.  His hips come against mine and I feel that he’s recovered from the injury I inflicted earlier.  Opening my eyes, I look up to stare directly into his.  His are hot with desire. 

For this one moment, everything freezes and I’m brought back to the past.  To when we loved.  When I so foolishly loved him. 

“Anna,” he whispers, leaning down.  His lips meet mine in a desperate kiss.  I allow it, allow myself to have just this.  My arms come up around his neck and I press my chest against his.  Now, there’s not a part of our bodies that isn’t pressed up together.  I haven’t felt this is so long, this need.  Damn him.

He lifts me up off the porcelain tub floor and my feet are no longer touching the ground, but the water is spraying my back.  I wrap my legs around his waist, feeling the prod of him against me.  His lips leave mine and run down my chin and throat. 

“I love you so much, baby.  I’ve been so lost without you.  Please say it, I need to hear it.  Tell me you still love me, Anna.”

The sob escapes my throat before I can stop it.  Before I can stop the wracking tears.  That quickly, the moment turns from one of arousal to one of pain and sadness.  Gabriel holds me in the shower until the water starts to run cold. 

I vaguely perceive his words of sorrow.  “I didn’t mean it, baby.  I’m so sorry I hurt you.  Never again. Please forgive me, I need you so much.”

The jolt of cold water hitting my back pulls me out of my vulnerable state and I slowly return my feet to the floor.  He releases me and, not looking at him, I pull a white towel off the bar, wrapping it around myself.  Grabbing another one, I wrap it around my wet hair.  The sound of the water shutting off  comes from behind me.

When I get back into the bedroom, I throw off the towel and grab a short pajama set out of my suitcase.  I’m dressed by the time Gabriel comes out of the bathroom, wearing only the black boxer briefs that he had on before. 

We just look at each other for a minute or two.  He clears his throat, looking unsure, “What now?”

“Now you leave,” I say softly, ignoring the pain in my chest.  Ignoring the pain in his eyes.

“I can’t,” he replies hoarsely. 

Not wanting to even acknowledge his feelings, I walk over to the bed and start to pull down the comforter and sheets.  Throwing off five of the pillows, cause really, who needs six pillows on a bed, I pretend that I‘m not bothered by his presence.  I grab a small loaded gun out of my suitcase and place it under the pillow.  “My flight is tomorrow at noon, Gabriel.  Even if you don’t leave now, I’ll be leaving then.”

He walks over to the pillows on the floor at the end of the bed, picks one up off the ground and places it next to mine.  “I’m going with you.”

“No.”

“Why?” He asks stubbornly, crossing his arms.

“Uh, I don’t know, maybe because you shot me.”  I climb onto the bed on my knees, facing where he’s standing.

“I love you.”

“I don’t believe you.”  I lift up the comforter and lay down underneath it.

“Forgive me.”  Dropping his arms from the defensive position, he circles around the bed to stand over me.

“I do.”  Turning my head to the side, I look up at him. 

“No you don’t, not really.  Forgive me.”

“Fine, I don’t and I can’t.”

His hand digs under my pillow and he pulls out the gun.  Staring up at him, the thought crosses my mind that he’s going to shoot me again.  The memory of him doing it the first time is still fresh, like it happened two days ago, not two years ago.  The emotional pain didn’t fade the way the physical did. 

He holds it out to me, “Take it.”

Cautiously, I do.  “Now what?”  I ask his earlier question. 

He holds his arms out wide, taking a few steps back, “Shoot me.”

GABRIEL’S  POV: 

Anna glances down at the gun thoughtfully, her brows are drawn together, “Why?”

Knowing it’s going to hurt like hell, I go on, “The way I see it, for us to be together again, you need to forgive me.”  I gesture to the gun, “So, do it.  Shoot me.  Put us on equal footing.  I love you enough to prove it to you in this way.”  Tapping an index finger on my torso, where I think one of my lungs is, “Right here.”

Her eyes go to the spot on my skin where I pointed, she looks sad, but curious at the same time, “I don’t want to.”

“Anna,” I urge, “I need you to do this.”

Tears start streaming down her face, “I can’t.”  She swallows visibly, “You see, I do love you.  More than you did me.  Unlike you, I’m not capable of pulling the trigger.”

At her words, I rush forward, climbing over her and onto the bed.  I slide under the blanket with her and pull her up against me, kissing her wherever my lips land.  She’s soft, smells so good. 

She shakes her head and I pull my head back to look at her, “No, Gabriel.  I can’t do that with you.”

“I understand, I’ll just hold you tonight, baby.”  And I do.  She falls asleep soon after and I hold her, contemplating tying her up to make sure she’s still here in the morning.  You never know with this one.  As I drift off to sleep myself, I feel optimistic about us.  She admitted that she still loves me and, even though I already knew it, hearing her admit it out loud is a big deal. 

The next morning, open curtains are letting an annoying amount of sunlight hit me in the face.  It takes only a second of consciousness for me to remember where I am and why.  Most importantly, with who.  I turn to the side to find Anna. 

She’s gone. 

Lifting my head up just enough to utilize both ears, the hotel suite is quiet.  I curse my ability to sleep so heavily and jump our of bed.  Gripping the bedroom doorknob, I yank the door open, making it slam into the wall.  I’m sure my expression is one of surprise to find Anna and Jackson standing in the main area of the suite, dressed like young professionals.  Suitcases are lined up next to them. 

Anna raises the gun that she’s holding.

“I love you.  Goodbye Gabriel.”

She fires.  Something I was so not expecting.  My body jerks back where I’m standing.

“And now I really do forgive you,” I hear after the sound of the bullet leaving the gun and entering me.

At first, I don’t even understand where I’ve been shot.  Standing there, looking dumbly down at my chest, I wait for the blood to appear. 

Jackson is the next to speak, “A little higher, loverboy.”

My hand whips up to my throat, but comes back dry.  I hear Jackson mumble, “Dumbass.”

The pain hits me suddenly in my left shoulder.  This time my hand comes back with blood.  “Holy shit, Anna.”  I know it’s unlikely to kill me, but damn.

I lean back against the wall and eventually my back slides down so that I’m sitting on the ground, keeping eye contact with Anna the entire time.  I’m relieved to see the pain in her eyes, that this wasn’t easy for her.  She walks closer to me.  Jackson leaves the room, then returns with a white hand towel, handing it to me. 

Anna looks about ready to cry as she looks down on me.  Her tough front only makes me love her all the more.  I’m holding the towel against my shoulder now, cause it’s not like Jackson was offering to do it for me, trying to keep what’s left of the blood in my body.  Hurts like a bitch.  Glancing at the suitcases, I grunt out, “Where are we going?”

“I’m going to Paris.  Jackson is off to Hong Kong.”

I raise one eyebrow, attempting to give her a look of sarcastic disbelief, but probably fail miserably, “You’re actually telling me?  Does that mean I’m invited?”

She slowly shakes her head, “No, Gabriel.  You see, I finally forgive you, but the cycle needs to end now.  We’re over.”  With that, she walks over to her suitcase, pulling on the handle.  Jackson is already opening the suite door.

As I watch her leave me once again, I shout out after her before the door closes, “You shot me in the shoulder, Annabelle!  I know what that means!  And I love you too, baby!”

Somehow, I manage to smile through my pain.  She really does love me.

And that little tidbit about Paris was no goodbye. 

That was an invitation. 

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