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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“I could say the same thing to you.”
Brayden glanced over his shoulder at Jude. “I was serious about wanting a houseful…or bus full.”
“I think it’s a good idea not to mention another baby to me right after delivering one.”
Brayden laughed. “You’re right.”
When a knock came at the door, I glanced warily over at Brayden. “Just rest, babe. I’ll tell whoever it is you’re too tired for visitors now.”
“But wouldn’t that be rude?”
He cocked his brows at me. “Do I look like I give a fuck about what other people think?”
I grinned at him. “No, you look like a man who just won the lottery.”
When Brayden opened the door, he didn’t get a chance to deliver his spiel and turn the well-wishers away. Instead, Jake, AJ, and Rhys blew past him, their arms laden down with flowers, balloons, and stuffed animals. Without even a hello, Jake demanded, “Well, where is he?”
“Sleeping, jackass,” Brayden replied.
“Then wake him up. His uncles are here to see him.”
I couldn’t help laughing at Jake. Of course, he would have no concept about babies or schedules. All he thought about was himself, so it made perfect sense that we should cater to him.
“You’re such a dumbass,” AJ replied, smacking Jake upside the head. He then came over to me. With a wink, he asked, “Hey hot mama, how ya feeling?”
As I pushed myself up in bed, I laughed. “Like I’ve been run over by an eighteen wheeler.”
“Aw, mi amor, you just popped out a kid. I wouldn’t expect any less than you feeling like absolute hell. You look a lot better than my sister after my nephew was born.” He leaned over and kissed my cheek tenderly.
“Thank you, AJ.”
With a wink, he replied, “Anytime.”
After Jake sat his balloons and flowers down on the counter, he rubbed his hands together. “Okay, as lead singer, I think it’s only fair that I get to hold him first.”
“That’s total BS,” AJ protested, edging in front of Jake.
“Wait your turn,” Jake replied.
Brayden glanced at me to survey whether I was onboard with passing our newborn son around. I smiled and nodded. He then went over to the bassinet and ever so gently picked up Jude. As he cradled his son to his chest, a look of pride overcame his face and melted my heart.
He then motioned to Jake. Closing the gap between them, Jake held out his eager arms. He then gazed down at Jude, the corners of his lips quirking up. “Well, he’s a handsome little fucker, isn’t he?”
I gasped in horror while Brayden only chuckled. I guess a part of me shouldn’t have expected anything different from Jake and his notoriously bad foul mouth. Before it hadn’t mattered as much, but now I had to resign myself to the fact that my son was going to be surrounded by foul mouthed rockers who weren’t always going to be a good influence on him. But at the same time, I knew that Jude was lucky to have the three men who were encircling him like adoptive fathers. They would always be there to love and protect him in their own fumbling ways.
“Damn, it’s a good thing he looks like you, Lily, and not his pops,” Jake mused.
“Dickhead,” Brayden mumbled.
Jake glanced from Jude over to me and then winked. “Bet you’re surprised I didn’t drop him, aren’t you?”
A nervous giggle escaped my lips. “Maybe a little.”
“You know, I’m not a total dumbass when it comes to babies. I had some practice when Allison was a baby back in the day.”
Cocking my head at him, I smiled. “You do look very natural with him.”
His eyes widened. “Oh hell no. Don’t even think it.”
“One day, Jake Slater. One day you’re going to be holding your own baby in your arms.”
He shook his head. “Not possible. I always wrap my shit up with my own condoms. Not with one some chick brought that she could have voodoo dolled.”
Wrinkling my nose, I countered, “No, not with some random hookup. I meant with a wife.”
AJ snorted. “Jake married? Let’s wait for hell to freeze over first.”
“Believe me, it’s going to happen. I don’t know when or with who, but it will.”
“Whatever,” Jake mumbled. Our conversation seemed to dampen Jude’s allure because he was suddenly ready to pass him over AJ’s eager and waiting arms.
“Such a handsome boy,” AJ said, before bestowing a kiss on the crown of Jude’s blonde hair.
Jake reached over and lifted up one of Jude’s clenched fists. “Looks like Little Man here has some guitar playing fingers.”
Brayden grinned. “I thought as much.”
As Jude squirmed awake, AJ cooed and sang to him in Spanish. Surprisingly, it calmed him, and Jude went back to sleep.
When AJ met what must’ve been my shocked expression, he winked. “Just call me the Baby Whisperer.”
I laughed. “I’ll know exactly who to come to when he gets fussy.”
Pressed up against the wall, Rhys watched AJ and Jude curiously. I jerked my chin at AJ, signaling him to give Rhys a chance. When AJ started toward him, Rhys held up his hands. “Dude, I don’t know anything about babies.”
“Just give it a whirl. Worst thing you can do is drop him,” AJ replied.
Both Rhys and I gasped. “Just teasing,” AJ mused, which earned him a glare from Rhys.