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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
Feeling overly emotional, I shrugged. “I’m sure for a guy it would be tempting to see what sex was like with someone else.”
Brayden shook his head emphatically. “I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize what we have, and that includes cheating.” Leaning his forehead against mine, Brayden said, “You’re it for me, Lily. I couldn’t imagine even kissing another woman.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
With a tentative smile, Brayden said, “I guess our roles are changing.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember how in high school I was always afraid you would find some other guy? I couldn’t imagine such a beautiful, popular, and sweet girl like you would want me.”
“Yes, I remember you being stupid about that,” I replied.
Brayden laughed. “Well, it’s kinda reversed. Now you’re the one worrying about me.”
“I guess that’s true.”
“So there’s nothing really to worry about. Right?”
“Right.” Then I brought my mouth to his for a long, lingering kiss where I didn’t care about lipstick.
“Jesus, do you guys ever stop?” AJ questioned behind us.
When we pulled away, Brayden replied, “Two weeks, man. We’ve not seen each other for two weeks.”
Shaking his head, AJ said, “I think that’s just an excuse. You’d probably be all over each other no matter when you saw her last.”
I giggled. “You might be right.”
“Come on, let’s go,” Jake said, as he motioned to us from the loft’s doorway. While Jake, AJ, and Teague all piled in a car together, Brayden and I went in his. We made the short drive over to Eastman’s and then parked.
I don’t know if Brayden was nervous or not. I could barely contain both my excitement and anxiousness. When we got inside, Sean met us. “You guys go on and get set up,” he said. Brayden gave me a final kiss. “Wish me luck.”
“Luck times infinity,” I replied.
He grinned and then followed the guys through the bar to the stage. Just when I wondered where I might sit in the packed house, Sean took my hand. “I reserved a place for you.”
“Really?” I asked, as I followed him through the crowd.
“Yes, right here,” Sean said, motioning to a small, two-person table almost up on the stage.
“You’re so sweet. Thank you.”
He winked. “I figured I would go a long way with the band if I was good to their girlfriends.”
I laughed. “That’s a really good plan.”
After I took my seat, I didn’t have to wait long for the guys to take the stage. A roar went up over the crowd. I knew some of the people in the audience knew the guys from school. “Hey everybody, how you doin’ tonight?” Jake bellowed into the microphone. A few whistles went up around me when he flashed them his most come hither smile. “We’re Runaway Train, and we’re the new house band. Are you ready to rock tonight?”
A resounding yell of approval came from the crowd. “Then let’s get started!”
With my seat close to the stage, I could see and hear everything almost too well. My ears rang from the noise, but I kept right on singing along and clapping my hands as the guys went through their set. Jake was a natural at working the crowd. Where Brayden was too shy, Jake knew exactly what to say and do. Even behind the drum set, AJ threw a few jokes out.
After finishing up a cover of The Rolling Stones Start Me Up, which Jake received a pair of panties thrown in his face as his reward, Jake’s amused expression grew serious.
“So, we’re going to excuse one of our members for a moment.” I furrowed my brows in confusion as I watched Brayden put his guitar up. I couldn’t imagine what he was doing. Pointing to Brayden, Jake said, “You see this guy here?” At the whistles and applause, Jake continued on. “He’s not only one hell of a guitar player, but he wrote most of the songs we just sang. But besides his talent, ladies and gentleman, he is the biggest romantic sap in the world. He’s been with the same woman since he was sixteen years old.”
A chorus of “Aw’s” rang around the room. “Speaking of that same lady who has shackled our good man, she’s sitting right here.” The spotlight beamed over to me, and I fought the urge to dive under the table with mortification. “Don’t be embarrassed, Lily. Stand up so the good people can see what a stone-cold-fox you are.”
I don’t know why I listened to Jake’s command, but I slowly rose out of my seat. Before I could sit back down, I saw Brayden cutting through the crowd with a dozen red roses in his arms. “It just happens to be Lily’s birthday next week, but she’s not going to be able to spend it with Brayden. So, we’d like to let them have a dance right now to celebrate Lily turning twenty one.”
Brayden sat the roses down on the table, and then offered me his hand. When I took it, he pulled me against him and then bestowed a kiss on my lips. “Happy early Birthday, baby.”
“Thank you,” I said, as I tried to fight the tears that stung my eyes from his romantic gesture.
As Brayden led me to the dance floor, Jake said, “So here’s one of Brayden’s favorites that adequately expresses his love for Lily.” He started playing the opening of Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight.
Instead of laying my head on Brayden’s chest, I kept my gaze locked on his as we swayed to the music of the love song.