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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
AJ shifted in his seat. “Let’s not mention romantic shit, okay?”
My anxiety at his comment kicked into overdrive. “But I thought we could use a little romance.”
He grinned. “I’m all for romance, but considering I won’t get to have sex with you as long as we’re at Abuela’s, I think we need to nix anything that might make me even more sexually frustrated.”
Relief flooded me at his real reason for shooting down my romantic vibe. As I gazed out the carriage, I peered at the surroundings. “Then I think we better find a hotel that we can duck into from time to time.”
He arched his eyebrows in surprise. “Really?”
“Mmm, hmm. Pregnancy makes you really horny—or at least it has me.”
He laughed. “Let me guess. You need a stud like me to take care of your needs?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Fuck yeah,” he muttered before kissing me on the lips. Considering we kept making out, I didn’t see much of the ride before AJ called the driver to stop and let us get out in the city center. AJ helped me down, and then proceeded to give me an official tour, including historical information.
As I gazed around at the architecture, I said, “This is really beautiful—it reminds me a little of Italy.”
“A lot of the design is in the similar neoclassic style.”
An imposing cathedral caught my eye. “Wow, that is breathtaking.”
“That’s the Catedral de Guadalajara or Catedral de la Asunción de María Santísima.”
“I want to go to mass there.”
“Sure, we can come back any day you want.”
He nudged me playfully. “You’ll make a big impression on Abuela waning to go to mass.”
“Yep. She goes every day. Usually to a smaller church close to the house.”
A tug pulled at my heart. “She sounds just like Mama Sofia. She went every day, too. She’d give me such grief when I only made it on Sunday.” I smiled at the memory.
As if sensing my grief, AJ wrapped an arm around my waist. “Speaking your Italian heritage, I bet you’d like the Degollado Theater.” He motioned across the plaza.
“Yes, I do,” I murmured as my gaze took in the intricate details of the building that looked somewhat like a replica of the Parthenon. “Do they have operas?”
He winced. “You like opera, huh?”
I grinned. “I’m Italian. The great tenors are a part of my heritage.”
“Yeah, they do. Maybe we’ll go one night we’re here.”
My brows rose in surprise. “You in a tux?”
“Very tempting, Resendiz. Very, very tempting.”
He laughed. “I’ll have my Tio Diego to get us some tickets.”
“That would be very sweet of him.”
“I can’t wait to introduce you to him at the Quinceañera.”
“I look forward to it.” Deep down, my feelings betrayed the enthusiasm in my voice. Although I was used to a huge family, it was a little overwhelming meeting all of AJ’s, especially since most of them here didn’t speak English. So far, even with the language barrier, they’d all been so nice and welcoming. It made me grateful that Bella would have so many people to love her.
We strolled along the streets, taking in the sights and sounds, until AJ came to a building that looked like a giant warehouse. “What’s this place?”
“San Juan De Dios—a shopper’s paradise.”
“Ooh, yes, please.”
AJ groaned. “I knew you would want to go in there.”
“I’ll make it quick, I promise. I’m getting tired anyway.”
“Okay.” As we stepped inside, AJ said, “Actually I need to make a stop while we’re here too.” He then steered me toward a jewelry counter, which caused my throat to close up. Surely, after what I had said in the bathroom he wasn’t bringing me to look at rings. This trip was about taking it slow and getting to know each other. He must’ve noticed my stricken expression because he chuckled. “Easy girl. I’m just here to pick up a present for my goddaughter. I thought with you being a chick, you might be able to help me out.”
“Oh,” I replied, before the breath I’d been holding was exhaled in relief. As we surveyed the contents inside the glass case, I peppered AJ with questions about his goddaughter’s likes and dislikes. Surprisingly, he knew more than I thought he would, and once he told me her favorite color was purple, I picked out a bracelet and earring set.
“Damn, you have expensive taste,” AJ muttered, as he jerked his wallet out his pocket.
“Come on, your goddaughter only has a Quinceañera once.” I nudged his arm. “Besides, you’re a famous musician. You don’t want to come off as cheap, do you?”
“No,” he replied, as he took his change. After we waited for them to gift-wrap the boxes, we started making our way through the stalls of clothing and blankets. “I think I’ll get a sombrero for my dad.”
AJ snickered. “Yeah, I can see him styling that at Mama Sofia’s.”
“That’s the point,” I replied with a grin.
When I bought some other small souvenirs for Dee, Shannon, and some of my cousins, AJ insisted he pay for them. When he started to take the packages from me, I held them back. “I think I can carry a few bags in my ‘delicate condition’.”