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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“What are you doing here?” he demanded, as he crossed his arms over his chest.
I shrank a little at his tone. “Brayden invited me for Valentine’s Day weekend.”
“How sweet of him,” he said, sarcastically.
“I thought so.”
“Yeah, well, have fun.”
He stalked off down the hall, leaving me wondering yet again what his deal was. We had always gotten along so well, even when I was out on tour with them. I couldn’t imagine what had soured his view of me unless it was he felt I was trying to saddle Brayden down with marriage.
When I got inside Brayden’s room, I once again felt the sinking feeling in my stomach along with a tightening in my chest. Nothing in the room looked like him. While the furniture most likely had come with the house, there were no touches of Brayden. Even in his roost on the old bus, he had kept little mementos around to remind him of me, of home, and his family. None of those were here.
Considering how sanitized of personality the room was, I was surprised there was even a picture of us on the nightstand. Abandoning my suitcase, I went to pick it up. It was a double-sided frame. One picture was from the night we got engaged when AJ had taken a pic of us when we were kissing on top of the Ferris wheel. The other one was of us Homecoming night when I had been crowned queen. Brayden wasn’t a part of the court, but he had met me as I came off the field. With roses in my arms and my glittering tiara on my head, I’d run into his open arms. The yearbook photographer had captured the moment when I pulled back and stared into Brayden’s eyes. We both had such expressions of love on our faces.
I swept my hand over my heart, trying to ease the ache burning in my chest. I felt like I was in a deranged fairy tale where our once happily ever after had turned so very sour. Willing myself not to cry, I grabbed a fresh outfit out of my suitcase and then trudged into the bathroom. I hoped the shower might make me feel better, but it didn’t. After I finished, I wrapped myself in one of the silky robes hanging on the back of the door. With my hair wet, I went out onto the porch that ran the length of the house.
After staring out at the ocean for what felt like an eternity, Brayden’s strong arms came around my waist. “Mmm, you smell nice,” he murmured, in my ear.
“Sorry I had to take care of some shit.”
His hand trailed up my stomach to cup my breast. “I’ve missed you so fucking much, Lily.”
“I’ve missed you, too.”
As he pinched my hardened nipple, his teeth grazed along my neck. “Wanna go inside?”
I nodded and then let him lead me back into the bedroom. For the next three hours, we tumbled through the sheets, rolled around on the floor, and splashed water around in the Jacuzzi tub. The more I was with him physically, the more I began to slowly feel a more emotional connection to him.
My heart and mind felt even more at ease when he refused the invitation from AJ to accompany him and the guys to a club opening. Instead, we stayed at the house, eating Chinese take-out and watching goofball comedies. It felt just like old times.
Just before midnight, he took me for a walk along the beach. Hand in hand we walked along the cool sand, letting the waves lap against our ankles. Then we stripped down and made love on the beach by a secluded dune. On the way back to the house, he stopped to kiss me in the moonlight. “I love you,” he said.
“I love you, too.”
And in that moment, everything was right and perfect between us.
I yawned. “Good morning.”
Brayden laughed. “Try afternoon, sleepyhead.”
After I shot up in bed, I glanced at the clock on the nightstand. It was twelve-thirty. “Oh no!” I moaned.
“What’s the matter?”
Untangling myself from the sheets, I replied, “You shouldn’t have let me sleep so long.”
“Why? I figured you needed the rest.”
“I don’t have that much time with you, so I don’t want to waste a minute.”
“Sounds like you’ve been missing me pretty badly,” he mused.
“Of course, I have.” I brought my hand to his face and rubbed my thumb along his jaw. “I love you so, so much. I hate to have to spend any time away from you.”
“I love you, too.” Jerking the sheet away from my breasts, he grinned. “Now why don’t you show me just how much you’ve missed me?”
“I can do that,” I replied
“I’m glad to hear it.” He then pushed me onto my back on the mattress.
After I showed Brayden how much I’d loved him to the tune of two orgasms for him and three for me, I slipped into the shower. Any other apprehensions I had about his feelings for me faded away when he brought me a tray of bagels, croissants, and fruit to the bedroom. Bundled in a robe, I chowed down on the feast before me.
“I have a surprise for you,” he said.
“You do?” I questioned through a mouth of jelly-filled croissant.
“Remember how I said there was a party for my label tonight?”
The bite of croissant I swallowed lodged in my throat. “Yeah, I remember.”
“Well, I gave our assistant your size and asked her to find you a dress for tonight.”
“Yeah, I didn’t want you to have to worry about getting a dress before you left. But more than anything, I wanted a dress you would feel comfortable in out here. I know how you feel about fitting in.”