Nothing Left to LoseBy: Kirsty Moseley
Special thanks go to Mollie Wilson for making the gorgeous cover that fits the story so well.
Another thanks must go to Emily Ruston and Dani Ellenby, for their incredible job editing and, of course, pointing out things that I hadn’t even considered! x
To my beta readers: You girls (and let’s not forget Darrell!) amaze me. Thanks so much for your input, speedy response and encouragement. You are all my superstars.
This book is for Lee – my real life Ashton (just without the SWAT uniform). Love you, forever and always. xx
Sweet sixteen is a day that every girl should remember as special in their lives. In some cultures, it’s even considered to be the start of passage into womanhood. My sixteenth was anything but sweet; it was more like the passage into hell on earth. March 12 was the day my dreams died and my life was sent into a downward spiral of pain, grief and terror. My sixteenth birthday left an irrevocable scar on me, and was the beginning of events that I would see repeatedly in my nightmares.
Right now I was standing in the cold of the night, queuing for admittance outside club Ozone – unknowingly waiting for my traumatic ordeal to begin. The balls of my feet were already aching, a product of the ridiculously high heels that I wore. The cool wind whipped around me, making the little black dress that I was wearing billow around my thighs. My perfect boyfriend, Jack Roberts, was rubbing my arms, trying to warm me up. We’d been standing in line for the club for almost an hour, and finally were quite near the front.
“Jack, I’m not sure this is gonna work. Maybe we should just go watch a movie or something?” I whispered, eyeing the doorman, who was looking at the line suspiciously.
“Anna, it’ll work. You asked me to take you to a club for your birthday, so I’m doing exactly that,” he replied, cupping his chilly hands around my face.
I looked at him and my heart stuttered. I loved this boy with everything I had in me. He was kind, loving, caring, generous, thoughtful, and not to mention handsome. With his short blond hair and sparkling blue eyes, he was every girl’s dream. Literally. Every girl I knew was in love with my boyfriend, but he had only ever had eyes for me. We’d met when we were five years old. He’d asked me to be his girlfriend the first time I saw him, and we’d been together ever since. He was my everything, and we would be together forever. We already had everything planned – finish school, then college, then Jack would become a doctor like he’d always wanted to be, and I would become an artist. Eventually, we would get married and have kids. Perfect.
Three months ago, Jack had asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate my birthday; he said that I could choose anything in the world and we would do it. So I decided to go out to a club, and then I wanted to stay at a hotel, where we would have sex for the first time. After three months of planning and scheming, we had finally convinced our parents to let us stay out. Jack had gotten us both a fake ID card, and I was so excited that I could barely contain myself.
Now that we were here though, in the cold, surrounded by half-drunken people, all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and have him run his hands all over my body to warm me up, and then we would finally be together physically.
I smiled up at him, my stomach clenching in anticipation. He smiled back and bent his head to kiss me. I melted against him. When Jack kissed me, I felt amazing, like my heart was flying, and like I was the luckiest girl in the world. His hands slipped down to my ass, squeezing gently, causing a small smile to tug at the corners of my mouth.
When he broke the kiss, he pulled back, grinning at me. His eyes sparkled in the dim street lights. “I love you, Anna.”
My heart throbbed again as my whole body broke out in goosebumps. I loved the sound of those three words coming out of his mouth; I still wasn’t used to hearing them even after all these years.
“I love you too,” I replied, and I did. I loved him more than anything. He kissed me again, pulling my body closer to his.
A gentle tap on my shoulder made me jump and break the kiss.
“Hi,” a male voice said from behind me.
I turned around to see a man who was probably in his mid-twenties. He wasn’t in the line of people waiting to enter the club; he stood the other side of the ropes. He was quite good-looking, with nicely styled, dark brown hair and brown eyes. A sleek, black, button down shirt covered his broad shoulders, and he’d paired it with black pants and extremely expensive-looking shoes. He was looking me over slowly.
“Er, hi,” I replied, smiling sweetly, trying to be friendly in case he worked here. He wasn’t on his own; two other guys stood behind him.