|Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Melody of the Heart (Page 9)|
|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“I will, Daddy.”
He smiled. When I turned to start out the door, he said, “Tell Brayden I said hello.”
I froze. For a few seconds, I couldn’t blink, least of all breathe. Slowly, I turned back around to face my father. “But I’m not seeing Brayden tonight. I’m going out with the girls,” I argued feebly.
Daddy gave me a look that clearly said I wasn’t fooling anyone. “Just remember you have to be back by midnight.”
“You’re still letting me go?”
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I?”
“Because I lied to you about where I was going.”
Daddy adjusted Asher on his lap. “I like Brayden. Most of all, I trust him. He personally called me up to ask if it was all right for you to come hear his band play.”
“He did?” I asked incredulously. While I thought it was terribly sweet of Brayden to do that, I wished he had let me know, so we could get our stories straight.
“Yep. So any boy who goes to that extreme to make nice with me has only the best intentions when it comes to you.”
“Okay,” I replied.
“So go on, and have fun.”
I grinned. “Thanks, Daddy.”
Just when I thought my father couldn’t be any cooler, he said, “I’ll be waiting up for you to do the breathalyzer, so don’t even think about drinking.”
“Yes, Daddy.” I silently cursed having a father in law enforcement before I hurried out of the living room and down the hallway before he could say anything else. Unfortunately, my quick escape plan had issues when I ran into my mom and my four-year-old niece, McKenzie, in the kitchen.
“Lily, you look pwetty,” McKenzie said.
I grinned down at her. “Thank you, sweetie.”
“You gots a date?” she asked.
“Um, no, I’m going to meet some friends,” I lied. I wasn’t sure if my dad had made my mom aware of my real plans.
Apparently he hadn’t because Mom just smiled at me. “Have fun. Maybe next time you can invite the girls over here so you won’t be out so late.”
As my hand reached for the doorknob, I replied, “Sure. I’ll see.”
“‘Bye, honey. Have fun.”
I exhaled a sigh of relief when I was finally out the door. I hustled over to the early 90’s Honda I had inherited from my older sister, Melanie. It would be mine until I could buy my own car, and then it would go to Kylie.
Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic, so it only took me the usual thirty minutes to get downtown. When I got onto Fowler Drive, cars lined the street. Since there were a lot of frat houses on the street, I glanced down at the sheet of paper with the directions. Once I found it, I quickly parked as best I could.
Taking a few calming breaths, I then did a final check at my reflection in the rear-view mirror before I grabbed my purse. The yard was packed with people, and it took a while to get through. A glance at my watch told me I had ten minutes before Brayden was supposed to go on. When I finally got inside, it was just as packed. As I made my way through, I was offered a red solo cup by at least three different guys. I shook my head in refusal and kept weaving my way in and out of the crowd, trying desperately to reach the stage. When I got as close as I could, I craned my neck as I searched for Brayden. Four guys worked on setting up equipment like amps. As I squeezed in closer, I recognized Brayden’s dark head of hair.
“Brayden!” I cried over the roar of the crowd and the music.
His head jerked up before he whirled around. A broad smile lit up his handsome face. He held up a finger before turning back to the guys. After they exchanged a few words, he came to the edge and hopped down. “I’m glad you made it. I was afraid you might’ve backed out.”
“And miss hearing you play?” I shook my head. “Never.”
He chuckled. “I’m glad to hear it.”
“Yo, Vanderburg. Get your ass back up here,” one of the guys called from the stage.
Brayden grimaced. “Listen, I’m sorry, but I have to go finish setting up. But I’ll catch you after, okay?”
“Of course. I’m holding you your promise to buy me some dinner.”
He grinned. “I’m a man of my word, I promise.” He then surprised me by leaning in and kissing me on the cheek. “See you later.”
“Okay,” I murmured breathlessly. Just the simple touch of his lips on my skin had me enflamed. I knew in that moment I wouldn’t have anything to worry about when it came to Brayden being a shitty kisser. I knew he would be able to make my toes curl.
I remained by the stage as the guys hurried around getting everything ready. From time to time, Brayden would meet my gaze, and he would wink or smile at me. I felt like I was in heaven.
“Well, hello again,” a voice said behind me.
I instantly recognized it belonged to Brayden’s jerk cousin, Mitch. Reluctantly, I turned around and gave him a smile. “Hi.”
“I didn’t think I was going to know anyone here.” He flashed me a wolfish smile. “I’m glad the one person I know turned out to be so fucking pretty.”
“You’re such a flatterer,” I responded sarcastically.
“Now don’t be that way, Lily. If you and Brayden get serious, we’ll practically be family.”
“Shouldn’t family not hit on each other?”
He laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind for later on.”