He had been the perfect gentleman and not pushed her for anything further, but she had retreated anyway. Had she stayed any longer, she may have offered him something she would have regretted at a later date. The passion she felt for him had almost overwhelmed her as it was.
As she passed his room, she felt a tug from somewhere inside her suggesting getting into his bed rather than her own. After pausing a moment, she resisted it and walked into her own room instead.
She put Antonio down and stood, leaning against her closed door, still struggling to breath in all the excitement and passion he had stirred in her.
Anya had decided she loved him and really believed he loved her too. Her thoughts that evening had not yet gone beyond that. What she would do if God told her to leave and not come back only then came to her mind. As Sherdan said, she was here now but how much longer would she be?
She gnawed on her lip as she thought about how reckless she had actually been. Not only could she not guarantee she could stay, Sherdan wasn’t a Christian. He may have taken an interest in her beliefs but that was a long way from a conversion.
On top of all these fears, she felt the first wave of doubt that she really loved him. Love was entirely new to her and so far the relationship between them had been so mixed it could just be relief. She groaned.
Considering the circumstances, she did the best thing she could think of and fell to her knees to pray. She had possibly been very stupid and needed God to sort it out, but Anya could hardly concentrate on anything other than how she felt when Sherdan had been kissing her.
She still knelt, trying to pray for God’s will, when the radio Sherdan had given her started squawking. She heard Graham call for Sherdan and the following reply. Feeling curious, she got up and took the radio to listen.
The messages confused her at first until she realised there were intruders. The dream she’d had flashed through her mind. She went invisible and the radio along with all her clothes dropped to the ground as she rushed straight for the stairs. She didn’t even go through the doorway, but through the wall, in her haste.
Anya could hardly get down the two flights of stairs fast enough. As she reached the ground floor she slowed herself so she could move silently.
She walked into the study where she found Sherdan. He was pacing and walked through her a couple of times. It felt odd so she moved back towards the door to watch him and continue listening.
More information soon came in, although they were obviously confused by what was happening. She felt calm despite the air of panic around her.
When Sherdan was told the kitchen alarm had gone off, Anya almost gasped out loud. Thankfully he didn’t hear the small stifled noise she made instead. She hadn’t expected that her dream would come true. She froze to the spot in panic. After everything she had faced, and somehow managed to overcome, this made her feel frightened more than any of it ever had before.
Sherdan sat down, snapping her back to reality. She closed her eyes and prayed, instantly feeling calmer. God wanted her to do it and she knew that. She had to be brave. The man she loved needed her help and she would do everything she could.
They both watched as the door handle turned. She moved swiftly to cover the opening and protect Sherdan. He seemed unable to move or respond.
As the door handle hit the bottom, the door was flung open. Anya was faced with two black clad soldiers, pointing guns straight at her. Without hesitating, she grabbed the front of the first gun and yanked it downwards.
The soldier pulled the trigger and peppered the floor with bullets. She gasped, giving her location away. She had to retreat to her furthest incorporeal state as the second soldier shot in her direction.
Thankfully, Sherdan had moved out of the way and none of the bullets which passed through her found him. She stepped to her left and grabbed the gun again as she brought her knee up into the soldier’s groin. He still held onto his weapon as she yanked on it for a third time.
She punched the soldier in the stomach and he let his grip go enough that a fourth tug dropped the weapon to the floor. The soldier moved forward and straight into her, sending her flying backwards. He was as stunned as she was.
Using the surprise of the assailants to her advantage, she scrambled to her feet and continued her attack in an invisible fury. Using the moves Nathan had taught her, she grabbed the soldiers arm, spun under it, and floored the man next to his own gun.
Improvising, she used the butt of the gun to hit his head. As more shots came her way she dropped the weapon again. All the shots passed through her, sending a chill up her spine. She really did not like things moving through her.
“What the?” the second soldier said as he followed into the room, only seeing his unconscious comrade and Sherdan. Anya turned and delivered an upper cut to the man’s face. It wasn’t strong enough to do any real damage, except make his nose bleed.
She took a step back and delivered a roundhouse to the soldier’s side before grabbing the gun, yanking it up and bending his fingers back. A few more shots rang out and embedded themselves in the ceiling.
Her right hand met the nose of the soldier again as her other kept the gun pointed up. The poor soldier didn’t know what had hit him as she battered him with blow after blow.
Anya was so exhilarated by landing so many moves, she didn’t notice when the soldier took his second hand off the gun and punched forwards. He caught her right in the face, sending her onto her back again. Blood dripped from her mouth as the commando readied his gun to shoot at Sherdan.
“No!” she yelled as she scrambled to her feet. The soldier looked in her direction and swung the gun towards her, still unable to see where she was. As he did, one of the security guards snuck up behind and hit him on the head with the butt of his own P60.
“All clear, sir.” the guard said, as another five of the security team filed in behind, followed very quickly by Nathan from the opposite side of the house.
“Anya, are you okay?” Sherdan asked, looking around as if he hoped to see her.
“Yes, I think so. I have not been shot at least.” She went up to him and took his hand, “Are you okay?”
“Yes, thank you. That was… I’m not sure exactly, but thank you.”
“Sir, what just happened?” Nathan asked.
“I used the karate you taught me to keep those soldiers at bay until you guys could arrive,” Anya explained, from her invisible state beside Sherdan. Her words came out much faster, jumbling over each other so much she could only just make out what she had said.
The jaws of the other six guards hung open. None of them knew that it was the same girl who had been tortured by their team and they definitely didn’t know about her ability.
“Thank you men, you may all return to your posts. Nathan, you too.” Sherdan waved them all off and waited for them to leave. He kept a firm grip on her hand and she didn’t try to pull away. He evidently wanted to know where she was and she had no intention of becoming visible and letting him see her naked.
On top of that, she knew her mouth had bled profusely and wasn’t sure if it still was. She could taste the metallic salt of her own blood and knew she didn’t want to see it yet.
As soon as everyone left, Sherdan tugged on Anya’s hand.
“Come here darling. Are you sure you are okay?” He reached out his arms to where he thought she was. She stepped into his embrace and hugged him tightly. She had begun to shake as the shock of the fight reared its ugly head.
While she sobbed, Sherdan held her and kissed every inch of her head and face that he could reach. The whole time he kept his hands firmly fixed to the same position on her back, preventing her from pulling away, even if she had wanted to. He didn’t stop kissing her until she stopped crying and rested her head on his shoulders.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, completely ashamed of herself.
“Don’t be. You just saved my life.”
She tried to pull away but he still wouldn’t let her go.
“I love you,” he said in a more husky tone than normal. Her heart swelled as she kissed him, taking him by surprise.
His lips met hers again and again, while he wrapped his arms tighter around her until he had her crushed up against him.
“I should… I should go. I need to put some clothes on,” she told him, with a great deal of effort. A part of her didn’t really want to.
“Don’t.” He kissed her again, but she pulled away.
“I must.” She ran from the room, and him, before she could change her mind. She could hardly believe what she had managed to do. It was a blur in her head already, replaced by the warmth of Sherdan’s embrace.
As she pulled on her clothes she concentrated on her thoughts and feelings towards Sherdan so she wouldn’t drift back into panic from what had happened.
It amused her that she had reacted so much more to something that was trivial in comparison to her ordeal six weeks earlier, especially when it had been over and done with in minutes. She smiled and she let herself go visible again. The image in the mirror made her stop. Blood covered her whole lower face and one of her hands.
Sherdan knocked on the door and came in before she could clean herself up.
“Oh, good God.” He rushed over to her.
“It’s okay. I’m not bleeding any more.” He didn’t listen to her and quickly got a damp flannel. She waited, not really sure what to say.
Sherdan cleaned off all the blood from her skin, taking his time, while he sat beside her on her bed. She smiled at him, although it didn’t reach her eyes.
“There, back to my beautiful Anya,” Sherdan said when he had finished cleaning her up. She tried to get up and take the flannel away but she went dizzy as soon as she stood. He pushed her back and persuaded her to lie down.
“Let me. You need to rest.” She allowed Sherdan to fuss over her as she lay there. She didn’t think she wanted to be alone and he evidently didn’t want to go. He tucked her into her covers and sat beside her.
“Please… don’t leave me,” she whispered as a few more tears welled up in her eyes.
“Of course. Why would I leave the side of my guardian?” He smiled at her. She wanted to smile back but another tear fell from her eyes. “I will stay here all night if you need me to.”
“Thank you,” she replied, taking his hand. He lifted it to his mouth and kissed. He then gently kissed it again and again, working his way up to her wrist and then the rest of her arm. She had to pull herself away as he lay down beside her.
“I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to be here with you.”
“I can’t… I mean I shouldn’t do any more than…”
“Sssshh. I do not intend to take advantage of your vulnerable state.”
“I promise, despite any temptations. I will just be here with you.”
“It’s been a very eventful day.” She put her head back down and smiled again.
“It has but it’s over now. Sleep and know that I won’t leave your side. You’re completely safe now.” She took his hand again and rolled over to snuggle up to him. When she was comfortable she closed her eyes. She breathed in the reassuring smell of him and allowed her exhausted body to drift to sleep.