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Authors: Christina Ross

Annihilate Me

BOOK: Annihilate Me
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For my parents.

 

And for strong-willed
women everywhere.

 
 
 
 
 

Copyright and Legal Notice:
This publication is
protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable
international, federal, state and local laws, and all rights are reserved,
including resale rights.

 

Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named
features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are
used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these
terms. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or
mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and
retrieval) without permission in writing from the author.

 

First ebook edition © 2013.

 

Disclaimer:

 

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons
living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is merely coincidental. Copyright ©
2013 Christina Ross. All rights reserved worldwide.

 
 
 

This book begins with
the two final chapters of
Annihilate Me,
Vol. 1
, to remind readers of where we left of…for key reasons.
 

 

Enjoy!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANNIHILATE ME

Vol. 2

 

By Christina Ross

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

New York City

September

 

When
the elevator doors opened, Alex stood beyond them, just as he had the last
time, with his hands in his pockets and a grin on his face.

Only
this time wasn’t like the last time.
 
This time was different.
 
We
were moving in a new direction that became immediately apparent when he held
out his hand for mine and drew me close to him.
 
He kissed me lightly on the lips.
 
Then, in my ear, in a voice that was so
low, it was beyond sexy, he said, “You look beautiful.”

“Thank
you.”
 

He
admired my dress.
 
“That should get
some attention.”

“It
might even blind a few people.”

He
arched an eyebrow at me.
 
“It would
make for an interesting night if it did.”
 
He reached out and gently touched my hair.
 
“I love it when you wear your hair
down.”

“I
know you do.”

“Did
you do it for me?”

“I
might have given it a thought.”

“I’m
glad that you did.
 
Do you remember
when we officially met?
 
At the
interview?
 
We were talking, you
pulled out a pin in your hair, it tumbled down your back, and I was
transfixed.
 
Then, it was wavy.
 
Now, it’s straight.
 
Either way, I love it.
 
When I think of you, this is how I
imagine you.
 
With your hair
down.
 
With it falling down your
back.
 
With you shaking it out with
your hands in an effort to cool yourself, if only for an instant.”

I
could feel myself starting to get warm.
 
“Here,” I said, wanting to take the attention off me.
 
“Let me have a look at you.”
 
I pulled away from him, and he put his
hands back in his pockets, cocked his head to one side, and grinned.
 
“Very handsome, Mr. Wenn.”

“Thank
you, Ms. Kent.”

“But
then I love you in a tux.
 
And
in a suit.”

“Why’s
that?”

“If
we were to psychoanalyze the situation, it likely would come down to some
Prince Charming fantasies I had as a kid.
 
You know, someone who would sweep me away from all that I wanted to
forget.”

“What
did you want to forget?”

“I’ve
forgotten,” I lied.
 
“And it doesn’t
matter now, because here he is.
 
Right in front of me.”
 

“You
don’t say?”

“I
do say.”

“Why
do I want to devour you right now?”

“Probably
for the same reasons I want to tackle you.
 
But Bernie worked hard, so we’ll respect that.”

“We
better change the subject or my hands are going to be all over you.”

“And
that’s a bad thing?”

“Jennifer....”

“Blackwell
and I had fun today,” I said.
 
“I
don’t know how she does it, but that woman is nothing if not on her game.”

“She
always has been.
 
My mother loved
her for it.
 
I’ve always thought
they should name a hurricane after her.”
 

“It
would need to be Category 5.
 
Why
shortchange her?”

“Good
point.”
 
He paused for a
moment.
 
“Would you mind turning
around for me?
 
Just so I can see
the rest of the dress?”

I
started to turn, but then he put his hand on my shoulder and stopped me so my
back was to him.
 
“I want to have a
long look,” he said.
 
“Do you mind?”

His
hand resting on my bare shoulder was almost enough to do me in.
 
But then he removed it and I heard him
take a step back.

“Did
you pick this out?”

“Blackwell
did.”

“Blackwell
has an eye.”
 
His voice was off to
my left.
 
Then, I heard him come up
behind me.
 
“In fact, I know she
does.
 
With her help, I picked out
this.”

Over
my head came a diamond and sapphire necklace that made me catch my breath when
I caught a glimpse of it as he moved my hair aside and fastened it around
me.
 
Blackwell
, I thought.
 
Missing a necklace,
indeed.

The
stones were cool against my neck.
 
“Alex,”
I said.

“My
gift to you.”

“But
all of this is a gift from you.”

“May
I see?”

I
turned to him with my hand pressed against the stones.

“You’ll
need to lower your hand, Jennifer.”

“Sorry.
 
I don’t know what to say.”

“I
say it’s beautiful.
 
What do you
think?
 
There’s a mirror to your
left.
 
Look.”

I
turned and saw that the necklace was in the same family as the other
jewels.
 
A delicate clutch of
diamonds circled my neck, followed by a single, vertical line of three larger
diamonds at my throat.
 
At the end
of that was a large teardrop sapphire surrounded by smaller diamonds that set
just above my cleavage.

“It’s
gorgeous,” I said.
 
“I don’t know
what to say.”

“There’s
no need to say anything.”

“Yes,
there is.”
 
I kissed him, but not as
gently as before.
 
I pressed against
him with every bit of raw emotion I had within me.
 
I leaned full into his kiss, which
probed deep.
 
With his body so close
to mine, I could feel all of him against me, some of it pulsing.
 
When we pulled away, the collateral
damage was clear—he was practically wearing my lipstick.
 
“Here,” I said, opening the clutch
Blackwell let me borrow.
 
“Tissues.
 
Let me fix that.”

“Before
you do, how about this first?”
 
He
went in for the kill again.
 
Only
this time, his hands smoothed down my sides and rested on my ass, which he
squeezed, and then gripped.
 
He
pulled me firmly against him so I knew exactly what he was feeling.
 

My
nipples hardened when he did that.
 
A shiver shot through me.
 
I’d never experienced anything like this before, but then I’d never
dated anyone before.
 
Still, plenty
of other men had tried to catch my eye over the years.
 
Why was this so different?
 
Why did I feel such a strong connection
to Alex?
 
Is this what it felt like
when you met the ‘one’?
 
I had no
idea.
 
I wished Lisa were here so I
could ask her, because she’d know.
 
She’d been in two long-term relationships.
 
She’d be able to tell me what I was
feeling, and why.
 
As for me, this
was foreign territory.
 
He’d turned
me on so much that I was dizzy with desire.
 
When he kissed me, it felt as if my
heart was shaking.
 
A moment later,
when he stopped with a gentle bite to my lower lip that obviously was designed
to send me to the outer reaches of the universe, where I thought I saw a comet
or a nebula, I somehow managed to pull it together and look at him.

“You’re
going to do me in.”

“That’s
the plan.”

“I’m
glad you have a plan.
 
Very
resourceful of you.
 
And by the way,
what was that?”

“What
was what?”

“That
bite thing you did?”

“Just
something I thought you might like.
 
Was I wrong?”

“You
weren’t wrong.”

“You
should see what else I can do with my teeth and my tongue.”

“Stop.”

“No,
really.
 
You should see.”

“Alex.”

“Why
are your eyes unfocused?”

“Because
I can’t handle being manhandled.”
 
I
lifted my head to the ceiling and collected myself.
 
When I looked at him again, I saw the
mischief in his eyes.
 
“Why are you
doing this to me?”

“Because
you want me to.”

I
didn’t know how to respond to that, so I said, “I need to blot your lips
again.”

“Please
do.”

I
blotted.

“Am
I good to go?” he asked.

“One
more swipe.”

“I
kind of like you on my lips.”

“I
kind of like
me
on your lips.”
 

“You
might want to look in the mirror,” he said.

“Oh,
no.”
 
I looked and saw that my
lipstick was gone, but at least it hadn’t smeared.
 
After all of Bernie’s work, that would
have been a disaster.
 
I pulled out
the tube of lipstick Blackwell left for me in the clutch and reapplied.

“Are
we finished?” I asked.

“For
now.”

“Then
let’s get out of here before we decide to stay.”

 
 

*
 
*
 
*

 
 

When
we arrived at the museum, the building’s facade was lit in bright oranges and
deep reds.
 
People were walking up
the wide stone steps to the entrance.
 

Camera
flashes popped.
 
The steps were
roped off to allow entrance only for the guests, but there were crowds on the
sidelines and they were cheering.
 
I
remembered what Blackwell said—this was a major draw for
celebrities.
 
Given the sheer amount
of photographs that were being taken, that appeared to be an understatement.

“Are
you nervous?” Alex asked.

“Not
at all.”

“Get
ready for the press.”

“They
need to get ready for my dress.
 
I’m
about to be lit up like a disco ball.”

“Who
better?” he asked.

 
 

*
 
*
 
*

 
 

We
were twenty minutes inside the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda—the walls of
which also were set ablaze with concealed orange lighting—when I saw a
man looking directly at Alex and me.
 

Given
the distraction of the towering and show-stopping brontosaurus skeleton, the
crowds—and the famous faces within the crowds—I was surprised that
I noticed him at all.
 
But he was
looking so openly at us, and with such anger, it was difficult to miss him.
 
He was an older man, somewhere in his
late fifties, and he looked familiar to me.
 
I’d seen him before.

Where?

I
lifted my martini to my lips and spoke, but didn’t sip.
 
“Why is that man staring at us?”

“Which
man?”

“Near
the skeleton.
 
Gray hair.
 
Fifties.
 
Very tan.
 
He’s looked away a few times, but he
keeps turning back.
 
He’s looking at
us now, and he looks pissed.
 
Who is
he?”

“Someone
who would rather see me dead.”

I
looked up at him.
 
“That’s kind of
harsh.”

“It’s
the truth.”

“What
are you talking about?”

“Let’s
walk over here.”

We
joined the milling crowds and stopped beside one of the glowing walls, which
Alex leaned against, thus keeping his back to the mystery man and me squarely
facing him so we could talk in private.

“His
name is Gordon Kobus.”

BOOK: Annihilate Me
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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