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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
“Told you. You’re completely and totally spooked.”
“I won’t lie to you that I’m surprised. I mean, when we were together, you were never the maternal type.”
“That’s true, but people change.”
“Yes, they do,” he emphasized, and his meaning wasn’t lost on me. When I didn’t reply, he asked, “What about the father?”
I shifted my gaze to stare down at the floor. “We broke up before I found out I was pregnant.”
“And he doesn’t want to be in the baby’s life?”
“He doesn’t know yet…I don’t know if he’ll ever know,” I admitted.
“So, then I do have a chance with you,” he said softly.
I snapped my head up to glare at him. “Just because I have a kid on the way, doesn’t mean I’m weak enough to take you back. I don’t need the baby’s father, and I sure as hell don’t need you.”
“But couldn’t you want me?” Dev took another step closer to me. I tried ignoring how my body reacted to him being closer. Fucking pregnancy hormones! “I know you’re strong enough to do all this on your own, but you don’t have to. I’m here for you, Mia. I want you—with all my heart and soul.”
“I’m not saying you should take me back today. Let me work hard for you—let me earn your trust back. Can’t you at least let me try?”
At his words, I remembered AJ hugged up to Kylie, the diamond ring on her hand glittering in the light. Pain raged through my chest, and for a moment, I fought to breathe. Through my own stubbornness, I had fucked things up for us. There was no going back with AJ even if I wanted to. I would tell him about the baby eventually, and he would be its father. But he would never be my lover again…my boyfriend…my husband. He belonged to someone else now. And even though I knew I had loved him—that I loved him still—in the end, I’d only had two weeks with him.
I’d had three years with Dev.
Fate and destiny were two things Italians believed very strongly in. Maybe my destiny had just walked back into my life.
I took a step toward Dev. “If you think you’re just going to waltz back into my life and have me fall into your waiting arms, you’re fucking crazy. You want me after everything you’ve done, then you’re going to crawl on hands and knees through broken glass to get me.” I crossed my arms over my chest. “And that’s without any promises of reconciliation.”
He surveyed my words thoughtfully. “I’ll do whatever I have to do, Mia. I swear that. And when it’s all said and done, I will prove to you that I’m worthy of you.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “We’ll see.”
At the sound of Mia’s voice, my eyelids popped open. Staring up at the tiles on the ceiling, I groaned as my head throbbed like a motherfucker.
“Are you okay?” Mia questioned softly.
My gaze spun wildly around the room. I was still in my clothes, but I was reclining in a hospital bed. “What the fuck?” I muttered.
“You’re at St. Joseph’s. You fainted and hit your head.”
The moment my eyes locked on Mia’s concerned filled brown ones it all came back to me in a rush. My gaze left her eyes to trail down her body. It froze on her swollen belly—the place where my child grew.
“How far along are you?” I demanded in a hoarse voice.
Licking her lips nervously, Mia replied, “Nineteen weeks.”
My fists clenched involuntarily at my sides. “You’re almost five months pregnant, and the thought that I should know never crossed your mind?” I growled.
The tone of my voice caused her to jump, and remorse instantly filled me that I’d scared her. “I’m sorry, Mia. I didn’t mean to say it like that.”
Wincing, I pulled myself up in the bed. “Do you have any idea what this is all like for me?”
Tears sparkled in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I never wanted to hurt you.”
I barked a laugh. “I would think after handcuffing me to a shower there was some part of you that wanted me to suffer.”
She shook her head. “I was angry with you then.” Glancing down at the floor, she murmured, “More than anything, I was hurt.”
“So because of some misunderstanding you would be so vengeful as to not tell me I had a child on the way?”
Mia jerked her head up and glared at me. “I did try to tell you. I came to your show in Jersey City.”
“It’s true that I didn’t tell you right away. I wanted to wait until I was sure I wasn’t going to miscarry. Once I was out of danger, I got in touch with Frank.” She swallowed hard. “Then when I got to the room where you all were backstage….I saw you with her.”
“Your fiancée, Kylie,” she spat.
“Whoa, whoa, what the hell are you talking about? I’m not engaged, least of all to her!”
Mia rolled her eyes. “Oh please, AJ. Aren’t we passed the point of lying to each other now? I saw you with my own eyes, and Dee did too. You were all hugged up to her and flashing her engagement ring around to this group of people.”
My mind spun frantically trying to process what she was talking about. And then it hit me. “Did she have dark hair?”