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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
“No, no, no! I just want to get the fuck out of here.” My voice choked out with the sobs that were racking my chest. Once I got out in the hallway, I collapsed back against a wall and then the hysterics overtake me.
Dee pulled me into his strong embrace. “Mimi, you can still go talk to him.”
“And ruin his life?” I hiccupped.
“It might not be true. I mean, I haven’t heard anything in the news about him being serious about a girl.”
I shook my head. “Their PR people kill any stories like that so they can appear more desirable to their female fans.” Pulling away, I wiped the tears from my cheeks with the back of my hand. “Jesus, Dee, he had an arm around a girl sporting a fat-ass diamond. I think there is no other truth, but that he’s engaged.” Stormy emotions of anger, bitterness and regret raged through me. “God, I was so stupid to think he wouldn’t move on. Or more importantly go back to his old girlfriend.”
Dee cupped my cheek. “I’m so fucking sorry, Mimi.”
“It’s for the best really. He deserves to be happy.”
“You could have made him happy,” Dee argued.
“Not really. Not with all my baggage and shit. In the end, it would’ve been too much for him.”
“So you’re never going to tell him about the baby?”
Part of me wanted to conceal it from AJ forever. That way I wouldn’t have to ever see or hear from him ever again. But deep down, I knew that could never happen. He was a famous musician who would always be thrust in my face. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t deny my child its father.
I drew in a ragged breath. “I’ll let the dust clear on his engagement, and then I’ll call him.” Dee gave me a skeptical look. “I won’t be selfish and deny him the chance to be a father. I promise.”
“Okay then.” Dee glanced around. “Are you ready to get the hell out of here?”
As we started down the hallway, Frank stepped in front of us. A smile stretched across his face. “Boy, I bet AJ was sure surprised to see you, huh?”
I exchanged a look with Dee. How was I supposed to play this one? “Um, he looked kinda busy, so we’ll catch him after the show.”
Frank’s salt and pepper brows furrowed. “Oh okay.”
Wagging a finger, I said, “Don’t say anything. Surprise, remember?”
“Sure, sure. My lips are sealed.”
“Thanks, Frank. Take care.” I gave him a quick hug before grabbing Dee by the sleeve and hauling ass down the hallway before I ran into anyone else.
“You think Frank’s not going to ask AJ about seeing you?”
“I’m hoping he’ll forget...or that AJ just won’t give a shit about me with his happily-ever-after.”
“We’ll see,” he replied before we hustled outside of the arena and started going against the stream of fans rushing inside.
Two nights later, I was back home and at work. There hadn’t been any calls from AJ, so I assumed he either didn’t know I had shown up or he didn’t care. I secretly hoped for the second because it made it easier to turn off the feelings I had for him. Pregnancy hormones didn’t make matters easier either. I cried way more than I wanted to admit.
It was a relatively slow and quiet afternoon as Dee and I sat working on charts at the nurse’s station.
“Oh hell no. You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.”
Giggling, I didn’t bother glancing up from my paperwork. “Don’t tell me that Mr. Johnson has decided to take another nude stroll down the hall?” When Dee didn’t reply, I nibbled thoughtfully on the tip of my pen. “What is it about our post-surgery male patients that make them all go a little crazy? Just for once, I’d like to see some female patient go ape-shit on her meds.”
“It ain’t Mr. Johnson flashing his Johnson.”
Raising his voice, Dee practically shrieked, “No, it’s some crazy motherfucker who needs to turn his lying, cheating ass around right this instant!”
Whirling around in my chair, I couldn’t believe he stood framed in the doorway, a bouquet of my favorite flowers—pink roses—draped in his arms.
“Dev,” I whispered.
My hand swept over my chest, my fingers digging into the fabric of my scrubs over my heart. After seeing AJ with a fiancée, I didn’t think my ticker could take much more shock. Yet, there he was standing right in front of me as if it were only yesterday we were a couple. His black hair still fell in waves over his forehead while his chocolate brown eyes still appeared warm and inviting. Of course, there were dark circles underneath his eyes that I didn’t remember being there before.
He gave me a hesitant smile. “Hey, baby.”
While Dee growled, I merely cocked my brows. “Baby? You have the nerve after everything you put me through to show up at my work and call me ‘baby’?”
Dev’s broad shoulders slumped a little, and he swayed nervously on his feet. “Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to show up here and upset you.”
“Too fucking late,” I snapped.
“Can I just talk to you for a minute?” he pleaded.
“Mimi, please let me call security and have them haul his sorry ass out of here,” Dee said.
I patted Dee on the shoulder. “That won’t be necessary. I can handle the lying, cheating, bastard myself, thank you.” Narrowing my eyes at Dev, I said, “Leave now.”