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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
AJ’s eyes widened. “That’s so fucking cool!” He glanced over his shoulder at me. “Forget a future musician like his pops. I think we have a soccer star on our hands.”
“Oh, he knows how to kick. I’ll give him that,” Lily replied.
Although he tried looking disinterested by it all, Jake asked, “Is he still doing it?”
Lily nodded. “You want to feel?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Jake said, “I guess so.” He sat his guitar down and stood up. Leaning over, he put his hand where AJ’s had been. A small smile twitched on his lips. “He is strong.”
When I stopped playing so I could feel my son kick, Lily dissolved into giggles. “He’s stopped again.”
Crossing his arms over his chest, Jake smirked at me. “Guess you’ve got the answer to what to name the kid.”
“Jude,” Lily and I said in unison.
“Yep, Jude Paul Vanderburg,” Jake replied.
And for the remaining two weeks of her pregnancy, whenever we would play Hey Jude, our own little Jude would give us a kick or two to let us know he was happy with his name.
“You were on the road right up until you delivered?” Giovanni asked.
I laughed. “Well, not exactly. We were almost home then. So I had about three weeks before Jude was born.”
Giovanni glanced between me and Brayden. “Were you alone for the delivery or was Brayden there?”
With a smile, Brayden said, “Thankfully, we were between tours at the time. Plus, it was right after Christmas, so that’s usually a slow season for us.”
“And what was it like having your first baby?” Giovanni asked me.
I couldn’t fight the smile that lit up my face at the memory of having Jude. “It must be something about his sweet temperament because he was the easiest delivery of the three.”
“I think it has something to do with women being difficult,” Brayden countered.
“Ha, ha,” I replied.
“What do you remember exactly?” Giovanni questioned.
Easing back on the couch, I happy sigh escaped my lips. “I remember everything really. How I woke up that morning to find my water had broken.”
“I thought she had just peed the bed,” Brayden mused.
I smacked his arm. “Anyway, we bundled up and went to Northside Hospital, which coincidentally was the same hospital where Brayden was born. I don’t think we were there more than an hour when it was time to push.”
Brayden laughed. “Jude was ready to make his appearance that’s for sure. With the girls, I think we were there ten or twelve hours before they decided it was time to come out.”
“That’s true. The girls were a bit more finicky about being born.”
“Who all was in the delivery room with you?”
“My mom wanted to be there, so we let her stay in. She was good to stay in the back and let it be about me and Brayden.”
“There was probably more than one time that she had to hold my hand to keep me from freaking out,” Brayden admitted.
I laughed. “That’s true. I’ll never forget how pale he was.”
Brayden shuddered. “It was seriously scary that first time around. We were both just kids at twenty three. We didn’t have a clue really.”
“But we made it somehow,” I argued.
“Yeah, we did.” Brayden shook his head. “I’ll never forget how one moment it was just his little blond head there, and then the next he was out and wailing. Seeing him take his first breath, well seeing all my kids take their first breaths, is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me, besides marrying Lily.”
Overcome by his words, I couldn’t resist bringing my lips to his. Whenever I heard Brayden talk about his children, it made me love him all the more. When I pulled away, I smiled at him. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, babe.”
When we glanced over at Giovanni, he was smiling at us. “Quite a moment there, eh?”
Swiping the tears from my eyes, I replied, “Talking about our children always does that to me.”
“So what was it like when the guys met Jude?” Giovanni asked.
I laughed. “That is a very interesting story.”
After the multitude of mine and Brayden’s families left the room, I sighed and let my head fall back on the pillow. Exhaustion, like I had never known before in my life, took over my body. It felt like someone had stuck me with a needle and depleted all the energy I had. With a yawn, I glanced over at Brayden. I couldn’t help smiling at him as he stood stock-still, watching over a sleeping Jude. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere,” I said, my voice a little hoarse from my previous exertions.
Brayden’s hands gently gripped the bassinet. “I know. I just can’t stop looking at him.” He glanced up at me with tears shining in his eyes. “He’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. To think that I had even a small part in creating him—” a sob choked off in his throat. He shook his head as he swiped the tears from his cheeks. “I’m such a pansy,” he muttered.
“No, you’re a proud father. And I don’t think I’ve ever loved you more than right at this moment—the one where you wept over your son.”
Leaving Jude’s side, Brayden came to me. He bent down and bestowed a chaste kiss on my lips. “Thank you for today.”