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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
She reached out to cup my cheek. “You aren’t that man anymore. I’m only crying again because I hate to see you in such pain.”
“And to relive it,” I countered.
“Yes, you’re right.”
Pinning Giovanni with a harsh look, I said, “I answer this and then we move on. No more dwelling about what happened in California. Okay?” He nodded. “When I called her, I wasn’t looking to apologize. I wanted to hear she was sorry for leaving me…for not appreciating the new life I had or that we could have.”
“And what did you say to that, Lily?” Giovanni asked.
“We’re dwelling,” I practically growled.
“I need to know,” Giovanni replied, softly.
Lily sighed. “I told him when he found the man that I loved with all my heart and soul, his old self, to give me a call. Until then, I didn’t want to see or hear from him. And he honored that.”
As I exhaled a ragged breath, Giovanni asked, “So you were broken up for a year?”
With a shrug, I replied, “Yeah, give or take.”
“It was eleven months, two weeks, and five days,” Lily replied. When Giovanni and I both looked at her, a sad smile appeared on her face. “There are some things you don’t ever forget.”
Easing back in his chair, Giovanni adjusted his tie. “Look, I don’t want you guys to think I’m some kind of masochist freak for having you dredge up these painful memories. I just have to paint the full story, and that has to include part of your past.”
I sighed. “I don’t suppose you can help it. I mean, you’ve got to get your story, right?”
“Yes, I do. But at the same time, I want you to know that I won’t be exaggerating these hard times to sell the story. I want to juxtapose them against the people you are now—the people it made you. In the end, these hard times are what made your love so strong.”
“I suppose you’re right,” I replied.
Giovanni nodded. “Now what happened at the end of those eleven months to finally reunite you?”
At Lily’s sharp intake of breath, I reached over and took her hand in mine. The bastard I had been during the band’s early success, our break-up, yeah, those were hard, but nothing compared to what had actually brought us back together.
“It was the loss of someone who meant the world to me,” I said. When I cut my gaze over to Lily, tears shone in her eyes. I couldn’t help thinking of the old cliché time heals all wounds. And while it sometimes lessens the pain, time can never take away the anguish of losing someone who was your entire world.
“Man, I’m so fucking tired,” AJ groaned, as he banged his head against the gold-plated elevator wall.
“I hear ya. I just want to sleep for days,” I replied, flexing my aching fingers.
Jake snorted. “Yeah, well, I just want to fuck for days.”
I rolled my eyes at his response. “Give your dick a rest for one night,” I mumbled.
“I never sleep as well as I do after a fuck-fest.”
Rhys laughed. “I doubt I could even get it up right now I’m so tired.”
With a grin, AJ replied, “I think I could get it up, but she’d have to do all the work.”
The elevator dinged, and we made our way to our suite. We’d spent the last five nights on the bus with back to back shows. Tonight we actually got to sleep in a real bed before gearing up for the next hard leg of the tour, which included three nights in Vegas.
When we got inside the posh room, I whistled. “Looks like the label really came through.”
“As hard as they’re working us, they sure as hell better have,” Jake mused before he collapsed on one of the plush couches.
“Who wants room service?” Rhys asked, as he plucked the menu off the table.
“Me. I want a steak, rare, with some potatoes and gravy. Maybe some mac and cheese or rice, too,” I said, my stomach growling with longing.
Rhys nodded, and then I went in search of a shower. All of our luggage had been brought up earlier, so after I found my bag, I dug out some fresh boxers and a T-shirt. With the water on the hottest setting, I slipped inside the shower. Nothing felt as good as washing the sweat and grime off after a show. While the bus had a decent bathroom, it sure as hell didn’t compare to this.
Of course, the moment the hot water hit my back, I let out a hiss of pain and cursed under my breath. After last night’s show, I entertained a brunette knockout on the bus before we left. Her acrylic nails had scoured my back as we fucked. When it was over, she’d left me her number, which I tossed in the trashcan after she left. None of the women I slept with sparked an emotional connection in me. They were just a means to get off. Of course in the end, I would always end up comparing them to the one woman I couldn’t seem to forget.
“Fuck,” I muttered, as I banged my head against the shower tile.
When I got out, I caught my reflection in the mirror. Just like always, my hand swept over my heart to the ink with Lily’s name. The familiar ache twisted and tightened in my chest at the thought of her and what we had once had. I’d made two appointments to have the damn thing covered with something else, but I never could bring myself to go.
As I stroked the lettering, I wondered what she was up to back home. I wondered how her teaching job was going. I knew she was probably busting her ass because she always was such a perfectionist. I wondered if she was dating someone. While I wanted her to be happy, I sure as hell didn’t like the thoughts of her with another man. I knew that AJ and Rhys kept in touch with her through emails and texts. I was too stubborn an ass to ever ask them how she was.