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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Melody of the Heart (Page 68)     
    Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley
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    Gently, AJ placed Jude in Rhys’s arms. I bit down on my lip not to laugh at how still Rhys stood. Like if he even blinked too hard, it might hurt Jude. “He really does look like you, Lily,” Rhys said, a smile playing at his lips.

    “Thank you.”

    Rhys’s face lit up when Jude’s eyes opened, and he stared up at him. “Hey buddy,” he murmured.

    While the guys seemed enthralled by Jude now, I couldn’t help wondering about the future. “Are you still sure about me bringing him on the bus when I come to visit?”

    “Why wouldn’t we be?” Jake asked, as he ran his fingers through Jude’s dusting of fine hair.

    “Well, babies are a lot of work—”

    AJ held up a hand. “Are you insinuating that once you get on the bus, you and Bray are going to expect us to raise the little man while you two have a reconnection fuck fest?”

    My face instantly warmed at his words while Brayden only chuckled. “No man, that’s not what we had in mind,” he replied.

    “Then it’s fine. Right, guys?”

    Rhys and Jake nodded. I hoped, rather than believed, they would still be sincere when Jude started crying in the middle of the night. Of course, they were all so nocturnal that it would be worse during the day when they were trying to catch up on sleep.

    Speaking of crying, Jude began to wail, his fists flailing. When I met Rhys’s frantic eyes, he said, “I didn’t do anything. I swear.”

    I laughed. “I know you didn’t. He’s probably just hungry.”

    All three of the guys froze. “Like for a breast?” AJ questioned, his brows furrowed.

    “Yes, he did really well latching on earlier.”

    Rhys hurried over to the bed and deposited Jude into my arms. “Yeah, uh, I gotta go.”

    “Me, too,” AJ said.

    “Same here,” Jake echoed.

    Cocking my head at them, I grinned. “Who would have thought three notorious manwhores would be afraid of a breast?”

    Jake laughed. “Call it what it is, but we’re outta here.”

    “Thanks for coming, guys. It really means a lot,” I said over Jude’s cries.

    “You’re welcome, hot mama,” AJ replied, bestowing a kiss on Jude’s forehead and then mine. Jake followed suit while Rhys merely waved at me from the door.

    As I pushed down my gown for Jude, I couldn’t help laughing at the guys’ reaction. Whether they knew it or not, their lives had changed too with Jude’s birth. After all, we were one, great big musical family.

    BRAYDEN

    THE PRESENT

    “And after Jude, you waited three years to have another child.” Giovanni glanced between us. “Any particular reason? I mean, I do recall Brayden saying he wanted a houseful and for you to be started by twenty five.”

    Lily and I laughed. “Actually, it was easy to talk about a houseful of kids before we actually had one. Once Jude came along, we realized the work that went into raising a child. Of course, we weren’t a conventional family considering Brayden was on the road most of the year, and I was home teaching.”

    “How did you make it as a single mom?” Giovanni asked Lily.

    “Well, I had it a lot easier than most single mothers. Our first home just happened to be Brayden’s grandparents’ old house, so I was right next door to my mom. My younger sister, Kylie, decided she would go to school at night and be my nanny during the daytime—as long as she got to live rent free at my house.”

    Giovanni smiled. “That seems reasonable.”

    “The hardest part was not having Brayden with me, but more the fact that I hated he was missing being with Jude.”

    “How did you feel about the separation, Brayden?” Giovanni asked.

    “It fucking sucked, frankly,” I replied.

    With a smile, Giovanni questioned, “Can you elaborate on that for me?”

    “I felt I was being pulled in two separate directions. My band mates needed me because we continued to skyrocket in popularity in the business, and then my wife and son needed me to be the father I’d always wanted to be.

    Giovanni nodded. “How did you two stay connected?” 

    “Technology still wasn’t at the level of Facetiming and Skype, like we had later with Melody. We did do video chats and talk to one another every day. Then I would fly out with Jude to see him two or three times a month,” Lily answered.

    “That sounds intense,” Giovanni remarked.

    “It was,” Lily replied. Glancing over at me, she said, “I think we waited as long as we did for Melody because we hoped things would calm down some. When I got pregnant with her, I decided I would finally quit my teaching job.”

    “Finally is right,” I said, with a smile.

    “And how was it going out on the road with two children?”

    Lily and I both groaned. “Very, very hard,” Lily answered.

    “My greatest regret is we didn’t get our own tour bus earlier,” I said.

    Lily shook her head. “It wouldn’t have mattered because I wasn’t ready to live on the road full-time yet.”

    “What changed your mind?”

    With a smile, Lily said, “When I saw Mia doing it with Bella, I realized I could do it with two children. I also decided then that I wanted to homeschool the kids while Brayden was out on the road.”

    I bobbed my head. “Even though I wish we had the bus sooner, I’m still glad that Jude and Melody got to start out their lives with a little more normalcy.”

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