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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
As I lurched off the elevator, I ran into my nursing partner and best friend, Derwin, or Dee, as he preferred to be known as. “Hey boss lady, settin’ a nice example being late. Again.”
A wide grin curved across his caramel colored skin. “Hmm, maybe if you were six feet of broad shouldered-muscled man, I might be tempted.”
I rolled my eyes. “You know how much it pisses me off to be late.” I set my cup of coffee down on the desk with a little more force than I intended, sending steaming liquid sloshing out. “Figlio di puttana!” I cried, before bringing my burning finger to my mouth.
Dee clutched his heart and staggered back a little. “Oh lawd, she’s already cussing in Italian. It’s gonna be a helluva a day.”
“Do me a huge favor and clean that up, please?”
He gave me a mock salute. “Yes ma’am.”
“Thanks, smartass.” Hustling into the break room, I shoved my purse into my locker. I slammed the door shut before returning to the front room to Dee. He had just finished tossing the soaked paper towel in the trash.
I gave my coffee a wary eye before picking it back up. “How’s it looking this morning?”
“Well, I was doing a little scan of the charts, and it seems one of the dudes we’re getting post-bypass is sorta famous.”
Dee bobbed his head, causing his tightly woven dreads to bounce slightly. “I guess you’d say famous by association. He’s the head roadie for Runaway Train.”
I slurped down another scorching gulp of coffee. “Who?”
With a frustrated grunt, Dee threw up his hand. “Girl, don’t tell me you don’t know who Runaway Train is?”
“Excuse me for not knowing every random band out there.”
Dee sank down into one of the station chairs. “They aren’t random—they were nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys last year.”
I shrugged. “So?”
Reaching to gather up some charts, he replied, “And the band is made up of four incredibly hot dudes.”
“So that fact alone is supposed to make them worthy of my time?”
“Hell to the yes!”
“Just because they have dicks doesn’t make them worthy of my time or knowledge,” I huffed. Grabbing a chart from him, I cocked my brow. “So what kind of music do they play?”
“Light metal mixed with pop. Kinda like Maroon Five, Matchbox Twenty, or One Republic.”
I wrinkled my nose. “That’s why I don’t know them. You know I only listen to country, the classic Italian crooners, or…rap,” I replied, as I dug my stethoscope out of a drawer.
Dee gave a contemptuous snort. “You only listened to rap because of Dev.”
A wave of nausea overtook me at the mere mention of my ex fiancé. With my legs feeling wobbly, I flopped down into the nearest chair. Wrapping the stethoscope around my neck, I fought not to hurl the bagel and cream cheese I’d just scarfed down. “Did you have to bring him up?” I whispered.
“Mimi,” Dee said softly, using his nickname for me. “It’s been six months. You gotta let go.”
“I’m trying.” At Dee’s ‘You gotta be shittin’ me look’, I threw up my hands. “Give me a fucking break, okay? I have a reason for being completely on edge about Dev.”
I huffed out a breath that was coupled with both frustration and grief. “I got in last night to a fuckload of Facebook notifications alerting me that he and the slutbag were living it up in Fiji—the same place we were supposed to go on our honeymoon.”
Dee grunted. “Only you would have the screwed up luck to have your ex-fiancé not only cheat on you, but the bastard had to do it with one of your friends, which means you’re forever stuck seeing and hearing about them from the rest of your circle.”
“I’d call it more of a curse than luck—I am Sicilian after all.” I gave a mirthless laugh as I pulled out another chart. “Let’s face it. My whole fucking love life has been a curse from start to finish.”
“Seriously, Mimi, a curse? Quit being such a drama queen.” He mimed playing a violin—a small one at that. In a sing-song voice, he said, “Oh, poor pitiful me of the sucktastic love life.”
“Asshole,” I snapped. When he chuckled, I crossed my arms over my shoulder. “Don’t make me play the Jason card this morning…it won’t be pretty.”
Dee’s comical expression faded. Scooting his chair closer to mine, Dee leaned forward to place his palms on my knees. He rubbed them tenderly. “You know that Jason is in a whole other realm than Dev.”
“Still a curse.”
“As for Dev, he didn’t deserve you, Mimi.”
Although I fought like hell and wanted to slap my own face for being weak, tears still stung my eyes, making Dee’s appearance before me wavy. Dev had burst into my life three years ago—a bright beacon of light that had been impossible to turn away from. I thought we had the perfect relationship, right down to the glittering diamond on my left hand and the wedding dress being altered at the designers. But the shining façade had shattered when I discovered he’d been sleeping with one of my close friends. And once again, I was left to pick up the pieces…and fight the urge not to inflict bodily harm on him and the skank he ran off with.