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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“It’s a seedy shithole really,” Brayden replied.
I turned around to grin at him. “What?” he asked.
“That’s exactly the kind of thing the old you would have said.”
He laughed. “You’re making me sound crazy like I had some multiple personality disorder.”
“I think it was more an asshole specific syndrome, but I think you’ll make a full recovery,” I teased.
“I’m glad to hear that. I hope you’ll be my nurse and give me the best care you possibly can.”
I reached over to kiss him. “I’ll do anything in the world for you.”
“And I’ll do everything I can to make up for being such a heartless bastard.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
The car pulled into the Bellagio. When I walked open-mouthed through the lobby to the elevators, Brayden couldn’t help laughing at me. Of course, he also found it funny when I ran in to some people while staring up at the ceiling. “Sorry,” I mumbled, my cheeks warming with the extreme mortification I felt.
On the elevator ride up, Brayden took my hand in his and squeezed it. I’m sure he could tell how apprehensive I was about seeing the guys again. When the elevator dinged on our floor, he practically pulled me along behind him. He stuck his key card in the door, and then opened it.
Drawing in a deep breath, I followed Brayden into the suite. “You guys better be decent. I have a guest,” Brayden shouted.
“Since when does one of your ‘guests’ care about seeing a fabulous cock?” AJ asked, with a laugh.
I stepped out from behind Brayden. “Please, keep it covered. I don’t want the fantasy of your ten inch wonder dick to be shattered for me.”
His eyes widened at the sight of me. “Holy shit, Lils!” He came barreling forward to pull me into his arms. He hugged me tight, and I buried my head on his shoulder, inhaling his special scent. It felt good to be held by him.
“I missed you,” I murmured.
“Man, have I missed you too! Bad!” When he pulled away, he grinned. “Do you know that no one can make pancakes like you do? Not to mention none of the girls will clean up after us. You would think after I just rocked a chick’s world, she would oblige me in cleaning.”
I laughed. “I can’t imagine why they would say no.”
“Me either.” He pushed the hair out of my face, his expression waning serious. “I’m so sorry about your dad.”
“I want you to know that I went to mass and lit a candle for him.”
“You did?” I asked, my voice choking with emotion.
“I sure did. Both in Phoenix and here. And let me tell you. Finding a church around here isn’t easy.”
I smiled. “I wouldn’t imagine it would be.” I reached up and kissed his cheek. “Thank you,AJ. Thank you for being one of the kindest and most genuine guys I know. You’re going to make a lady very happy one day.”
He winked. “I already do.”
Rolling my eyes, I replied, “I don’t mean with sex. I mean, the girl you settle down with.”
“Ah, yeah, that one. Give me a few more years before I go that route, okay?”
“Hey Lily,” Rhys said behind us. I whirled around from AJ to go to his waiting arms. He squeezed me tight, which for Rhys was saying a lot. “So sorry about your dad.”
“Thank you.” When I pulled away, I smiled at him. “Thank you for the check.”
He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
And that was one of the reasons I loved Rhys so much. He came from his own private wealth before the band, but he never wanted to brag about it. He also gave to people in need not to look good, but because he truly believed they needed it. “It’ll really help my mom out a lot. She asked that I thank you, too.”
“I’m glad,” he murmured softly.
I bestowed a kiss on his cheek too. “You better come over here and give your man a kiss after showing these guys so much love,” Brayden said.
I turned away from Rhys just as Jake came out of one of the bedroom doors. He momentarily froze when he saw me.
“Well, well, if it isn’t our very own Yoko Ono,” he said. Although there was a teasing lilt in his voice, I didn’t like being referred to as someone who broke up a band because of her hold on her man.
I strode past Brayden to stand right in front of Jake. His cocky little grin set something off in me. I then did something that I would have never imagined doing before, but my grief, coupled with the last eleven months, was a volatile mixture.
I slapped him.
“That’s for all the times I sat back and let you treat me like shit! And don’t you ever demean Brayden’s and my relationship again! I’m sorry that you’re so self-absorbed that you’ve never been able to give yourself to somebody else. Maybe one day you’ll wake up and see what an egotistical asshole you really are!”
When I finished my tirade, silence echoed around me. I could even hear the sound of the maid vacuuming down the hall. I cut my eyes over to AJ and Rhys, taking in their wide-eyed, open-mouthed expressions. I’d really done it now.
As I braced myself for Jake’s retaliation, he merely nodded. “I think you pretty much nailed it, Lils.” He turned and walked to the door of the suite. When he got there, he paused. “I really was just teasing you before. You really aren’t Yoko Ono. You’re way more Paul’s Linda. She kept him together, just like you keep Brayden. Hope you guys don’t fuck things up again.”