|Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Melody of the Heart (Page 32)|
|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“Impossible,” I muttered.
Shifting the bags in his arms, Brayden cuffed the back of my neck playfully. When I cut my eyes over to him, he was grinning at me. “What?”
“I was just thinking how sweet you are to want to make things better for Rhys by making his favorite meal.”
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, you know.”
“I agree with that. Although I would also argue, that it’s through his dick too.”
“You’re such an ass,” I replied, but I couldn’t help laughing.
“Yeah, but you love me.”
I grinned. “Yeah, I do.”
We strolled up to the bus that would be our home for the summer. The guys had bought it from AJ’s uncle a few weeks back. They’d each taken turns learning how to drive it. It wasn’t a total hunk of junk. The inside furnishings were dated, and it had some mileage. But it also had enough storage beneath for the guys’ equipment, and it would get them back and forth across the country to the festivals and venues they would be playing at.
In exchange for food and boarding on the bus, I would pull my own weight as cook, stylist, and merchandise pusher. At each of the festivals, I would sit at a table selling Runaway Train’s debut CD and some of their shirts. Brayden thought it was ridiculous I felt the need to earn my keep since I was his girlfriend, but I didn’t want the guys to come to resent me.
I started up the steps, but then I turned back when I realized Brayden wasn’t behind me. It only took me a minute to see what he was staring at. It was a Challenger, just like the one he had sold four months ago. If he hadn’t sold the Challenger, we probably wouldn’t be on the road. Brayden financed Runaway Train’s first album with the car, along with hiring a promoter to get them into shows.
The longing expression on his face broke my heart. “Babe,” I murmured softly.
His gaze snapped from the car over to me. “Sorry. I’m coming.”
When he tried to ease past me on the stairs, I stopped him. “It’s okay to be sad about the car. It was your pride and joy.”
He glowered at me. “I know I can be sad. It’s just I look like a major pussy mooning over a lost car.”
“Don’t sell yourself short. It was more than just a car. We had a lot of happy memories in the Challenger.”
“And happy endings,” Brayden replied, with a smile.
I rolled my eyes. “You had to go there, didn’t you?”
“It’s the true.”
“Yeah, yeah, get on up the stairs before some of this starts to ruin in the heat.”
Brayden and I found AJ and Jake putting away the groceries. Rhys was slumped into one of the captain’s chairs, his expression dark. “So Rhys, what’s your favorite food?”
He gave me an odd look. “Fried chicken. Why?”
“How would you like some fried chicken for dinner?”
“You know how to fry chicken?” Rhys asked incredulously.
“I sure do.”
With a shrug, Rhys replied, “Okay.”
I started for the door. “I’ll be right back. Don’t take off without me.”
“Where are you going?” Brayden called after me.
“Just the store.” I raced across the parking lot and back into the Shop and Go. Grabbing a basket, I hurried to the meat section to grab the chicken I would need. I assumed there wasn’t enough flour or cornmeal on the bus, so I picked that up as well. Some buttermilk went into the basket, so I could top the meal off with cornbread. I just hoped there was an iron skillet in the bus somewhere, or I was screwed.
I had a twenty of my own in my pocket that I paid for the food with. Then I hightailed it back to the bus. The guys had finished putting away the groceries by then and were staring expectantly at me. “Sorry,” I said, breathlessly.
“What’s in the bag?” Brayden asked.
“What I need to fry chicken.”
When I met Rhys’s gaze, his dark eyes bulged. Then a tentative smile curved on his lips. “Just for me?”
I returned his smile. “Yeah, just for you.”
Brayden clapped his hands together. “Well, all right then. We better get out of here.” He went over to the driver’s seat and cranked up.
“Who wants to help me?”
Jake snorted. “Men don’t cook.”
AJ smacked his arm. “That’s so not true. I love to cook.”
With a roll of his eyes, Jake replied, “I’m sorry. I should have said ‘real men’.”
When they started shoving each other, I took a spatula and smacked them both to get them to stop. “How kinky of you, Lils,” Jake mused.
“You can roll the chicken,” I commanded. When he started to argue, I held the spatula up again. He flashed me a wicked grin. “That’s not really a deterrent since I like it when a beautiful woman hits me.”
“Fine, fine, I’ll help.”
“I’ll get the pan and oil heated,” AJ said, as he reached into one of the cabinets.
“What do you want me to do?” Rhys asked.
I shook my head. “Nothing. This is a meal in your honor, so just sit back and relax.”
After mixing the flour and corn meal together, I had Jake start rolling the chicken. When he rubbed in some pepper on the chicken, I raised my brows in surprise. He winked. “I might’ve helped my mom do this a couple of times.”