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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 70)     
    Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley
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    Dee rose off the couch. “Good. While I call him and see what he wants, you freshen up.”

    “Why?”

    “Because I’m going down there with you, so you can tell Duke the joyous news.”

    My breath hitched at the thought. “You don’t think I—”

    “Nope. You only get one ‘Get out of telling a dude I’m pregnant card’ and that goes to Mr. Baby Daddy.”

    I laughed. “Fine then. As long as you’re with me.”

    “Of course, I am, baby girl.”

    Rising off the couch, I kissed his cheek. “Thank you.”

    When I pulled away, he grinned. “Now that I think about it, Mr. Marine and I are going to need some Tiramisu to go along with dinner—maybe some Mia’s Moose, too.”

    “As long as you don’t plan to tell me what you’re going to do sexually with that dessert, I’ll be happy to get it for you.”

    With a wink, Dee replied, “My lips are sealed.”

    19

    The swarming noise of women’s chattering, shrieking, and giggling like idiots filled my ears. All the while the smell of sweat, cheap perfume, and beer stung my nose, making me nauseated. Somehow I found myself jostling around backstage at a Runaway Train concert. Abby and her brothers were already performing on stage. Her voice was the only soothing sound filling the air around me. “What are all these ho’s doing back here?” Dee asked, as we trailed along behind some random roadie.

    “I don’t think I want to know,” I muttered.

    “Hmmph,” he replied.

    After my three month check-up showed everything looked good with the baby, I booked a flight to Jersey City for both myself and Dee. It made the most sense to attend Runaway Train’s concert there, so we could stay with some of my dad’s relatives. When it came down to actually getting to AJ, I knew there was no way in hell I was reaching out to Abby or Lily. They would try to do some major intervention. I wanted it on my terms, in the least romantic way possible, which was why I planned to ambush him at a show. In the end, I knew there was one person who would help me without asking a lot of questions, and that was Frank. He had been thrilled to hear from me. I told him I wanted to surprise AJ and the others, and he promised to keep it a secret.

    He had left passes for us at the ticket office and then had the random roadie meet up with us at the gate. Now as we got closer to the inner sanctum, aka backstage, I could see Frank waiting at the top of a long hallway for us. With his usual beaming smile, he held out his arms to me. I leaned in to hug him as carefully as I could to conceal my growing bump. “You’re looking good,” I said as I pulled away.

    “Thank you. I’m feeling good, too.” He did a quick sweep of me from head to toe. “You’re looking mighty fine yourself.”

    “Aw, thank you.”

    His brows lined together as he surveyed me again. “You know, there’s something different about you.”

    I sucked in a breath and prayed he wasn’t about to go for the old, ‘you look like you’re glowing’ pregnancy cliché. “I’m seeing a nutritionist,” I blurted. When Dee gave me a funny look, I added, “Lots of vitamins and organic food—that sorta thing.”

    “Well, even though it doesn’t sound like much fun, you should totally keep doing it because you look absolutely beautiful.”

    “You’re too sweet,” I replied, shuffling my coat to cover my bump.

    Frank glanced down at his watch. “I better get you back there if you want to see the guys. It won’t be long before they’ll be taking the stage.”

    When Frank opened a door on the right side of the hallway, it took everything within me not to bolt and run. After all that had happened between us, how was I going to see AJ again? The last time he’d seen me I’d been handcuffing him to a shower in a fit of jealous rage. Now I was not only going to have to face him, but also tell him I was pregnant. Dee’s hand pressed against my shoulder blade and leaned in close to me. “You can do this, baby girl.”

    “Thanks,” I whispered.

    I finally stepped forward into the room on my trembling legs. People were milling around everywhere, but through the crowd, I immediately honed in on AJ. My heart did a ridiculous flip-flop as my stomach lurched into my throat.

    His back was to me, and he was encircled by a group of finely dressed men and women. It was certainly a change of pace to see men in suits and women in dresses. Unblinking and unmoving, I stared at AJ—remembering exactly what my fingers felt like in his dark hair and how it felt to grip onto his broad shoulders. To my horror, one of his arms was slung around a brunette’s waist while his other arm held her extended hand. As he pivoted around the group, I got a glimpse of him showing off something on her hand.

    A ring.

    A very sparkly diamond ring on her left hand.

    The others around him were grinning, and I could read their lips saying, “Congratulations”.

    He was engaged.

    And although I couldn’t see her, I just knew the brunette had to be Kylie. Her hair color and her height were exactly the same.

    I whirled around to go and ran right into Dee. His gaze wasn’t on me, but instead, he was staring dumbfounded at AJ. “Oh motherfucking shit,” he muttered.

    “Let’s go!” I cried.

    When he remained rooted to the floor, I pounded his chest with one of my fists. “Move,” I ordered.

    “Don’t you want to—”

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