|Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Melody of the Heart (Page 58)|
|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
My eyes widened in surprise at the fact she knew about my dad. Score another point for Jake’s sensitive side that he had thought enough to tell his mom. “He would’ve loved the fact I’m eloping.”
“Really?” Susan questioned.
With a giggle, I replied, “He always joked that on a chief of police’s pay, he would never be able to afford weddings for all of his daughters, so we better start thinking of eloping.” As I repeated his words, my father’s smiling image appeared in my mind so crystal clear he could have been standing right in front of me. My hand flew to my mouth to try to stop the desperate sobs building in my throat. Without a word, Susan drew me into her arms. Instead of chiding me about how I was going to mess up my makeup or look horrible with blood-shot eyes and a red nose, she just let me cry. Her hand rubbed reassuring circles over my back as my body shook from the emotions ravaging me.
“That’s it, sweetheart. Just let it all go,” she murmured.
Once I finally wrestled a grip on my emotions, I pulled away. Giving Susan a shy smile, I said, “Thank you for letting me do that.”
“Don’t be afraid to keep doing it either. Our emotions, both good and bad, are what let us know we’re alive. You don’t ever want to get to the point that you don’t feel, especially when it comes to your father.” Cupping my chin in her fingers, she smiled. “But at the same time, don’t let your grief ruin what is going to be the happiest day of your life. You have your father with you.” She placed her hand over my heart. “He’s right here, and he always will be.”
“Thank you,” I repeated again.
“You’re welcome.” Clapping her hands together, she said, “Now, I think it’s time we got you ready. Can’t have you late for Elvis, now can we?”
I laughed. “No, I don’t suppose so.”
Taking me by the hand, Susan led me over to one of the plush chairs. She eased me down into it, and then turned back to get my bag. As I twisted my hands nervously in my lap, she did my makeup. Glancing at my reflection in the mirror, I said, “You’re awfully good at this.”
“It comes from years of being a dancer and then a dance teacher. When I first started out in some traveling ballet companies, we would sometimes do performances in parks where you would have to get ready behind trees. I honed my talent then. It also came to good use later when I opened my own studio. Even the tiniest of ballerinas need some makeup to ensure they look their best under the intense stage lights.”
Once she finished, she started brushing my hair in long strokes. When she met my gaze in the mirror, she winked. “I’m even better at up dos.”
“I’m so glad you’re here and not just for the hair and makeup.”
“It’s tough being the only girl in the group, isn’t it?”
I nodded, which caused a bobby pin to poke me in the head. “Sorry,” Susan said.
“It’s okay. It’s my fault.” I smiled. “You know, it’s funny because with three sisters, I never imagined I’d ever lament being the only girl somewhere.”
“It might sound trite, but I think you’re a good role model for the guys.”
“Not just for them to be around, but to also make them see how they need a girl just like you.”
I snorted. “I’m not sure Jake would ever think something like that, least of all stop being a manwhore for two seconds.” When I realized my mistake, I widened my eyes in horror. “I’m sorry.”
Susan waved a hand dismissively at me. “You have nothing to apologize for. I know my son and his faults. I just hope and pray that some girl will come along to change him. Then maybe the seeds you’ve planted along the way will come to fruition.”
“I hope so, too.”
A loud knock came at the door. “Yo, Lils, you decent?” AJ questioned.
“Well, I—” The door flew open before I could finish. “Guys!” I screeched, jerking on the lapels of the robe.
“Like we haven’t already seen you in a robe before,” Jake replied.
“I could have been naked, you know,” I protested.
Susan laughed as she corralled the boys and pushed them back out the door. “Give me two seconds to get her into her dress, and then you can come in.”
Susan unzipped the garment bag. All my life I had envisioned what my wedding dress would look like. I just didn’t imagine eloping and having to find a dress last minute. Luckily, I had managed to fall in love with a dress. The satin bottom was form fitted until it flowed out into a small train, and then the beaded bodice came around my neck like a halter top. I’d found it in a designer shop, and thankfully, I had Brayden’s credit card on me.
While I felt slightly embarrassed letting Susan see me in my underwear, it was nice having her get me into the dress and zip me up. Standing back from the mirror, tears once again filled my eyes. I truly felt like a bride—a very beautiful bride. “Don’t you look absolutely gorgeous!” Susan exclaimed.
“It’s because of you.”
Susan shook her head. “I just enhanced the overall package, honey. You would be drop dead gorgeous in a burlap sack!”
I laughed. “Thank you.”
The door burst open once again, and the guys tumbled in. Their chatter ceased at the sight of me. “Wow,” Rhys murmured.
AJ’s gaze dipped from my head down to my toes. “Holy shit, Lils! You’re fucking stunning!” With a glance at Susan, his cheeks reddened a little. “Sorry, Susan.”