|Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Melody of the Heart (Page 29)|
|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“We’d dated for two years. We were both busy with school, and then AJ, Teague, and I were trying to work on getting the band to another level, but not having any luck, which led to a lot of stress. Then last semester, I had the chance to play and sing backup with a band we met at the Moonshine Festival up in Dawsonville. So I dropped out of school and went on the road with them. Nothing much came of it career wise other than it showed me that Runaway Train really needed to get on the road and start playing festivals, fairs, and shows. As far as my personal life, it really strained things between me and Stephanie.” He sighed. “In the end, she wanted a bigger commitment. The last thing I want right now is to be engaged or God forbid, married. So she broke up with me.”
“Wow,” Brayden murmured.
“What?” Jake asked.
“I think that is the most open and honest I’ve heard you be with anyone in the last few months.”
With a wry grin, Jake replied, “It’s because of Lily. She brings out the gentleman in me.”
I laughed. “Was that you being a gentleman earlier today when you tried to kiss me?”
AJ and Teague’s eyes widened at my statement. “Holy shit, where was I when this was going on?” AJ demanded.
“You were setting up,” I replied.
Glancing between Jake and Brayden, Teague asked, “Wait a minute, Jake tried to kiss Lily, and Brayden didn’t shed his blood?”
I waved my hand dismissively. “No, no, it was just a misunderstanding.”
Jake chuckled. “It might’ve been a misunderstanding, but he still shoved the hell out of me.”
Brayden narrowed his eyes at Jake. “You had your hands on my girl.”
“I know. And I said I was sorry. I was sorry then, and I’m sorry now.”
The tense expression on Brayden’s face receded slightly. Dropping my hand down beneath the table, I reached out for his hand. When I squeezed it, he gave me a warm smile.
Jake broke our moment by rising out of his chair. “Well, we better get going. We need to get ready for tonight.”
“What are we going to wear?” AJ asked.
Brayden frowned. “Good question.”
Jake’s gaze fell on me. “Why don’t we get Lily to help us?”
A nervous giggle escaped my lips. “You want me to be your unofficial stylist?”
Bobbing his head, Jake replied, “Sure, why not?”
“I’m not sure I’m really qualified to do that.”
Brayden kissed my cheek. “You’ve always picked out my clothes.”
AJ grinned. “Then it’s all settled. Lily is our new stylist.” Scratching his chin, AJ then asked, “Do you do hair?”
In that moment, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. At the same time, I couldn’t help being grateful that the men of Runaway Train were openly embracing me. I just hoped it would last.
I spent the rest of the afternoon back at Brayden’s loft, going through the guys’ closets. When it came down to it, they were almost as bad as a girl trying to decide what to wear on a first date. After we’d settled their outfits, I finally had a moment to slip into the shower myself. I’d brought a swanky red and black dress to wear in case Brayden and I went out to dinner somewhere nice for my birthday. Instead, I was going to be wearing it to Eastman’s. I didn’t care if I was a little overdressed. Tonight was about celebrating.
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup, AJ knocked on the door. “Come on, Lils, some of the rest of us need to get ready.”
I laughed. “Last time I checked there was another bathroom in this place.”
“Yeah, your boyfriend’s been in there the last twenty minutes working on his hair.”
“Whatever,” I mumbled. When I opened the door for him, his eyes bulged at the sight of my dress.
“Damn, girl, you’re looking hot as hell tonight!”
“Why, thank you.”
As he squeezed by me to get to the counter, AJ mused, “Man, Brayden is one lucky man.”
“You’re such a flatterer, AJ,” I replied, as I headed out into the living room.
Brayden came out of the bathroom a few moments later. “Mmm, don’t you look handsome,” I said, as I wrapped my arms around his neck.
He grinned. “Thank you. I must say that you are looking sexy as hell. I’m not sure I’ll be able to concentrate on anything tonight but you.”
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll muddle through somehow.” I gave him a light kiss, so he wouldn’t end up wearing my lipstick. “Tonight after all the girls have screamed your name and mentally undressed you a thousand times, you just remember that you’re only going home with me.”
Throwing back his head, Brayden laughed. “I don’t think that will be a problem.”
“I’m sure it’s going to be a problem. You should have seen the way the waitresses were sizing you up today.”
“Mmm, hmm.” I fixed the collar of his button down shirt. “With you guys taking this gig, things are going to change for you. You’re going to have women falling all over you.”
“That might be interesting to see, but it’s sure as hell not something I will be acting on.” When I didn’t immediately reply, his fingers reached out to grip my chin, tipping my head to meet his eyes. “You do know that, Lils? There won’t ever be anyone for me but you.”