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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“Hey dickweed! Get your pansy ass out here and play,” my cousin, Mitch, called from the front yard. I didn’t even have to glance up to know that he was tossing a football up and down in his hands. Growing up, we both lived and died for football. But Mitch was the only Vanderburg still playing.
“Go fuck yourself,” I shouted.
“Language, Brayden,” my grandfather chided. I guess Nick and my yelling had woken him up.
Mitch came to the edge of the porch. Gazing up at me, said, “Come on, man. You can at least throw it back to me.”
“Leave him be, Mitchell,” Papa said, as he shuffled across the floor and then into the house.
Ignoring Papa, Mitch bounded up the stairs. “Dude, you’re wasting a perfectly good day sitting up here on your ass, screwing with that guitar.”
“Once again, go fuck yourself,” I growled. Trying to tune him out, I started playing Let It Be again.
“Hmm, hello, hottie.”
My fingers screeched to a stop on the guitar strings as I jerked my head up. Mitch’s hungry gaze was trained off the porch and far down the hillside where a grove of apple trees stood. Rising up from the swing, I peered farther into the distance. With her arm raised to one of the branches, a tall blonde was picking apples, her long hair cascaded over her shoulders. Even from where I was, I could tell she was beautiful, and it wasn’t just the way her sundress molded to her body.
Mitch flashed me a wicked grin. “Let’s go have some fun.”
I groaned. “Can’t you for once not let your dick make every decision for you?”
“And what would be the fun in that?” As he started down the porch, he glanced at me over his shoulder. “That kind of attitude is exactly why you’re still a virgin.”
“Douchebag,” I muttered, as I put my guitar back in its case. I then followed reluctantly behind him. Since we were kids, he had been the Pied Piper, leading me from one adventure to the other. Most of the time, he got us both in trouble. He was the closest thing to a brother I had, and although he was an overbearing, egotistical jackass most of the time, I still loved the hell out of him.
We trailed down the grassy hillside. Silently, I hoped the blonde would leave before we could get to her. Mitch had a way of being a sexist pig around girls. He was a legendary ladies man at school—the love em’ and leave em’, manwhore type. Although I probably didn’t stand a chance with her, I sure as hell didn’t want Mitch tainting her.
As we neared the tree, the blonde reached up on her tiptoes to pick another apple. “Fuck me,” Mitch murmured. The blonde had the hem of her dress flipped up, cradling the apples she’d picked. If she moved just another inch, I would be able to tell what color her underwear was. But even if I didn’t get a peek of that, her tanned thighs were enough to cause my dick to twitch in my pants.
When I stepped forward, a branch snapped beneath my sneakers, causing the blonde to practically jump out of her skin. One of her hands holding onto her dress’s hem flew to her chest, causing a few apples to tumble to the ground.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” I apologized.
As she rubbed her dress over her heart, she gave me a weak smile. “That’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting anyone.”
Mitch cut in front of me. “You know stealing is a pretty serious offense around here,” he said, a teasing lilt in his voice.
Her brows creased in confusion. “Excuse me?”
“You’re stealing our apples.”
She gasped as her blue eyes widened. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I thought the trees were on our property.”
“Your property? So you’ve just moved in next door?” I asked.
“Yeah, well, we’ve been here a couple of days.”
“My grandfather said his new neighbor was the chief of police,” I said, finding it easier than usual to make conversation with her.
She bobbed her head. “That’s right.”
Mitch nudged me and chuckled. “How ironic that the new chief of police’s daughter is an apple thief?”
She jerked her chin up at him. “I said I was sorry. You can’t fault someone for not knowing.”
“Don’t mind Mitch. He’s just being an asshole as usual.”
Her expression lightened. “Okay, I won’t.”
“What do you want with those apples anyway?” I asked.
“I wanted to bake a pie for my dad. Apple is his favorite, and I wanted him to have some tomorrow on his first day at work.”
“Damn, you’re just as sweet as you are pretty,” I blurted, to which the girl giggled.
“What’s your name?” Mitch asked.
“Nice to meet you, Lily. I’m Mitch, and that’s Brayden.”
I gave her a lame wave. “Hi.”
“Hi,” she replied, with a smile.
“Why don’t I make a deal with you for the apples, Lily?” Mitch asked.
“What do you want?” she asked cautiously.
“I let you have the apples, and you let me have a taste of your pie.”
Smacking him hard on the chest with my palm, I tried pushing him away from Lily. With a determined raise of my brows, I said, “We should be getting back now. We’ve bothered Lily long enough.”
Unfortunately Mitch didn’t back down, and Lily didn’t get the message. “You really want me to bring you some pie?”