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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
Jake grinned. “Yeah, I do know that about drummers. I just have to give AJ shit. I mean, he’s been my best friend since we were twelve. You can ask the other guys, but he’s usually on my ass constantly. I think he’s just trying to be a gentleman tonight because you’re here.”
Rhys and Brayden nodded in agreement. “Total asshat,” Rhys replied.
Mia laughed. “Yeah, I can see that about him.”
I waved my hand to stop their ragging. “Whatever,” I mumbled.
Jeff reappeared in the doorway. “Five minutes.”
Jake nodded before turning to Mia. “Listen, why don’t I have Jeff take you to our VIP table?” His gaze flicked over at me. “That’s where Abby and Lily are. It makes sense she should sit with them.”
Mia’s eyes widened at the realization of who she would be with. “Um, okay. Sure.”
I nodded. “Best table in the house. It’s roped off from the audience and connected to the stage, so I can come over and talk to you during the show.”
“Sounds good.” Without hesitation, she brought her lips to mine. When she pulled back, she gave me a beaming smile. “Good luck out there.”
“Thanks.” When she started for the door, I smacked her ass with one of my drum sticks. She squealed and jumped. When she glared over her shoulder at me, I just winked at her.
“I’ll get you for that one.”
“I certainly hope so.”
She grinned and shook her head before following Jeff out the door. As soon as she was gone, I braced myself for more shit from the guys. After sucking in a deep breath, I turned around to face them.
Bray shook his head. “If you’re looking for a verbal smack down from me, you’re not going to get it. I agree with Jake. She’s a keeper for sure.”
Jake snorted. “Of course you should agree with me. I’m always right.”
We all groaned in unison. “Get over yourself, douchebag,” I replied.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Jake added, “I’m serious. You better not fuck that one up, bro.”
I grinned. “You were with her all of five minutes, and now you’re all Team Mia?”
Rhys laughed. “Yep. I think I fell in love with her when she dissed your dick back at the hospital. ” He slung his arm over my shoulder. “Besides, we’re the Musketeers remember? ‘All for one and one for all’ shit? So we just wanna get on board with you cause you’re totally jonesing for her.”
“I’d say if she makes nice with Abby and Lily, you should marry her as soon as possible,” Brayden said.
I rolled my eyes. “Jesus Christ, we’ve known each other a millisecond. Let’s save the ball and chain shit for a while, okay?”
“You called it back in the hospital, remember?” Rhys countered.
“I was joking and caught up in the moment of some ballsy chick standing up to me,” I replied.
Jake shook his head. “I was with Abby thirty-six hours when I knew she was the one. You might as well come to grips that you’re in deep, man.”
A foreign feeling rippled through my chest at their words. I knew I was in deep with Mia—emotionally and physically, but I didn’t know if I loved her yet. Yeah, I’d teased about Mia being marriage material when she’d given me a verbal tongue lashing like no woman had before, but marriage to me was an epically sacred thing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those commitment phobic douchebags who doesn’t believe in monogamy—I’d had my fair share of long-term relationships before and after the band hit big. I just didn’t know if I was truly ready at the moment, and at the same time, the level of what I was already feeling for Mia told me that I was already on a train running full steam ahead with her. That fact alone both excited and slightly scared the hell out of me.
Jake snickered, bringing me out of my thoughts. “Look at him. He knows he’s utterly fucked, and the wheels are desperately turning in his head to try and find a way out of it.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “You’re one to talk, bro. You were so fucking scared of your feelings for Abby you almost drove her away. Me, on the other hand, I know how much I like Mia, and I want to see where it goes.”
“Straight to the chapel, dude,” Bray replied, with a wink.
“Maybe we can have a double wedding,” Jake suggested, trying not to laugh.
I raised both my hands up and flipped them off. “Fuck you, you, you and you!”
As the guys roared with laughter, Jeff poked his head in the door. He shot me an amused glance before saying, “Okay boys, it’s time.”
Jake grinned. “All right assholes, let’s go show them how it’s done.”
As I trailed behind the hulking roadie down the hallway, I couldn’t help the nervous jitters that clenched my stomach. It was one thing meeting AJ’s band mates. Growing up surrounded by male cousins, I always seemed to do better around guys. Women, on the other hand, were another thing, especially after my own girlfriend had run off with my fiancé. Now I was meeting the two most important Runaway Train women—Jake’s fiancée and Brayden’s wife, and even though I hated myself for it, I was scared shitless.
When we got to the table, they both glanced up at me. With their blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, they could have almost passed for sisters. Their questioning gazes went from me to Jeff. “Jake suggested I bring her to sit with you two. She’s with AJ.”