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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
Dabbing a French fry in some ketchup, I nodded. “You’ve only been playing for six months, and look how amazing you are? Think about what it might be like in a year or two years?”
“Thanks,” he murmured.
“You’re the first person who has ever really believed in me and my music. Well, besides myself.”
“Don’t your parents think you’re good?”
Brayden took a long gulp of his drink—something called a frosted orange. “My dad still hasn’t come to terms with my football death sentence. I think he somehow believes that in a year, my prognosis will magically change, and I’ll be back to where I was.” He glanced at me. “He just thinks the music is something I’m screwing around with while I heal.”
“I’m sorry,” I murmured.
“It’s okay. He’s not a bad guy. He’s just one of those Southern men who lives and breathes for football. My mom, well, she’s just so thrilled that I’m all right compared to the alternative. She wants me to be happy, so I guess once she realizes it’s music that makes me happy, she’ll be okay with it. As long as I still plan on going to college.”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I’m hoping for Georgia Tech.”
“So you can be close to the guys in the band?”
“Sort of. But it’s where I wanted to go before I got hurt.” After polishing off his chili dog, Brayden asked, “What about you?”
“I don’t really know enough about the colleges around here yet to decide.”
“I think you should go to Tech, too.”
I giggled. “Is that right?”
He nodded. “Or at least Georgia State.”
“Let me guess. Georgia State happens to be close to Tech?” With a wink, Brayden’s hand dove in the bag for more fries. “All right then. I’ll start checking on the teaching programs at Georgia State.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
A glob of ketchup remained on the side of his lip, so I leaned forward and slid it off. Not taking his eyes off mine, he flicked his tongue against my thumb before sucking off the ketchup. The suction of his mouth, along with his expression, caused a shiver to run through me. To get my mind off what he could possibly do with that mouth, my eyes went to the clock on the dash. “Shit. I don’t have much longer before I have to be back.”
“Okay,” he said softly.
Turning back to him, I said, “I wish I could stay out all night with you.”
At the possible implication of my words, I felt warmth rush to my cheeks. “I-I mean, I wish I could stay out talking to you. I like being with you.”
“I know what you mean.” After he had managed to get our trash back into the bag, he hopped out to throw it away.
“Thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome. I hope I was able to convert you to being a Varsity fan.”
“Oh yeah, I think I’m sold.”
“Good,” he replied. We made the drive back to get my car. Thankfully, nothing crazy had happened to it while we were gone. Like a true gentleman, Brayden got out and came around to get me out. As we stood there in the dark, staring into each other’s eyes, words seemed inadequate.
“I just realized how historic this night really was,” he said, with a smile.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I got in my first band and I got my first real girlfriend all on the same night.”
His first girlfriend? Is he for real? He was one of the sweetest, gorgeous boys I have ever met. How had he never had a girlfriend?
I smiled back at him. “That is pretty momentous.”
“It feels fucking amazing, if I was honest about it.”
With a laugh, I leaned forward to bestow a kiss on his lips. He pulled me to him and kissed me back. After just a few seconds, it had become an all-consuming, all-powerful lip-lock. One I didn’t think I would be able to pry myself away from. Finally, Brayden released my mouth and pushed himself away. “You better get going. I promised your dad I wouldn’t mess up.”
“Oh yeah, about that. As much as it was thoughtful of you to call my dad, let me know next time so I can get our stories straight, okay?”
Brayden gave me a sheepish grin. “Oops. Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay,” I replied. On shaky legs, I slipped inside my car. Brayden waited until I cranked up and started down the street before he got into his car. I couldn’t think of anything but him the entire forty minutes home.
Giovanni furiously scribbled on his notepad before looking up at us. “That was quite an interesting story about how you two first got together. Although if I had to argue that from the sound of it, it truly was love at first sight.”
I laughed. “I guess you’re right. At least it was for me after our first kiss.”
Brayden held up his hands in defeat. “Trust me, I was pretty much a gonner from the moment I laid eyes on her.”
“And you were pretty much inseparable from the day you met, correct?” Giovanni asked.
With a grin, Brayden said, “I couldn’t let her out of my sight. I mean, you see how gorgeous she is. I didn’t want her running off with anyone else.”
I gave his thigh a playful smack. “We just got a long so well that we didn’t want to spend any time apart. We had our separate interests, but luckily, we were able to support each other in those.”