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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
“All clear and ready to roll.”
I laughed. “I’m glad to see that. Mine are in my purse.”
“Good to know. So are you ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” I said softly. I closed the front door and then locked it.
Once I was out on the porch, AJ grinned. “When you took so long, I was beginning to think you’d decided to bail on me.”
“Sorry. I had a little wine spillage.” At his puzzled expression, I shook my head. “It’s a long story.”
When AJ stepped aside to lead me down the porch steps, I gasped. A shiny black, stretch Hummer limousine sat in my driveway. Glancing over my shoulder, I cocked a brow at him. “A limo? Seriously?”
“My Hummer’s in the shop.”
“Are you sure you didn’t do this just to impress me?”
AJ snorted. “Since when would I need a limo to be impressive?”
I laughed. “You’re such a cacasodo.”
He gave me a mischievous grin. “Ooh, I like it when you speak dirty Italian to me.”
Cocking my brows at him, I asked, “How do you know it was dirty?”
“By the expression on your face.” He scratched his chin. “If I had to guess, I think it means something along the line of arrogant ass?”
“Yep, pretty much.”
A chauffer, outfitted with a black suit and cap, waited with the door opened for us. “Thank you,” I said, as I hopped inside.
“You’re welcome, ma’am.”
As I slid across the plush leather seats, I took in the twinkling interior lights and stocked mini bar. AJ got in behind me. “Benny, we’re going to 5505 Marietta Street.”
Once Benny closed us in, I turned to AJ. “Is that the address of the hotel you’re taking me to?”
He shook his head, making a tsking noise. “What did I say before about this date?”
“That it’s not straight to bed, and you’re at least going to feed me first.”
AJ chuckled. “That’s right. I also had a little something in mind before our dinner reservations.”
“And?” I pressed.
“Nope. You’re just going to have to wait to find out.” He scooted forward on the seat to dig into the mini bar. “How about a little champagne to start off our date night?”
“Plying me early with alcohol?” I teased.
“Whatever I have to do.” AJ handed me a crystal flute before pulling out a bottle that had been chilling on ice. He popped the top and then filled my glass with champagne. As he poured himself one, I gazed out the tinted window and sipped on my bubbly. We’d gotten off the interstate and were traveling along some side streets downtown. “Do you live around here?” I asked.
“No, I’m over at The Buckhead Grand.”
I made a low whistle. “Pretty posh.”
He waggled his eyebrows. “The penthouse.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
He grinned. “It’s not like I spend a whole lot of time there. Once our first big checks from the label started coming in, my parents were on my ass to invest in something like real estate. So I bought the condo.” He gulped down the rest of his champagne. “I’d love to show you my views sometime.”
“Nice line, Rico Suave.”
AJ rolled his eyes. “That’s not what I meant.” When I cocked my brows, he laughed. “I’m serious. There are some killer views of the city.”
“Then I’d like to see them.”
“It’s a deal.”
The limo shuddered to a stop. It seemed like only a second before the door opened, and Benny held out his hand for me. As I stepped onto the pavement, I glanced left and right, surmising my surroundings. “A dark alley? What exactly do you have in mind for this evening?”
AJ chuckled as he hopped out of the limo. “It’s nothing shady, I promise. I just wanted us to be let out at the back of the dance studio, rather than the front. You know, less chance of being seen.”
“Dance studio?” I questioned.
“Yes, the first stop on our evening of romance—and a little more—is for us to get to know each other better through dancing.”
I straightened my purse strap on my shoulder. “You’re serious?”
“Hmm,” I murmured.
AJ’s hand came to rest on the small of my back as he led me through the door. A tall, lithe woman stood waiting for us. “Good evening, Mr. Resendiz.”
“Hello, Molly.” He thrust out his hand to pump hers. “Please call me AJ.” When she bobbed her head in agreement, he added, “Thank you so much for helping me out.”
She smiled. “I’m more than happy to do it. Won’t you follow me?” She beckoned us with her hand. AJ motioned for me to go first, so I fell in step behind Molly. “I’ve made sure everything was very private and secure. Although, at the moment, our evening classes are going on, no one will know the two of you are here.”
“I appreciate that.”
Molly stopped at the first door on the left. From up ahead, I could hear a cacophony of different genres of music from far down the hallway, along with the sounds of tap shoes clicking on the floor. After she unlocked it, she flipped on the light. “This is one of our older instructional rooms. I hope it will be okay.”