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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
I laughed. “I wouldn’t expect any less of you.”
“Love ya, Baby Girl.”
“Love you, too.” When the other guys were silent, I added, “And I love you too, Gabe and Eli even though you’re being jerkfaces!”
A deep chuckle came from Eli. “You know we love you, Abster. You’ve been a sweet pain in the ass since the moment Mom brought you home from the hospital.”
“Thanks a lot,” I grumbled.
“If one of those douchebags dares to lay even a finger on you, I’m totally forgetting the turn the other cheek message, and I’ll pound his ass, got it?” Gabe growled.
I grinned as I shook my head. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to pass on your message.”
“I’m glad to hear it.”
“Okay then. I guess this is goodbye for now.”
A deep chorus of “Byes” echoed around me before I hung up the phone. Cradling it to my chest, a tremble went through me when the enormity of what I had done finally crashed over me. I had made a bet with the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train to stay on their bus for an entire week. What the hell had I been thinking? I blew out a frustrated breath. Well, no time for worrying about it now. As my mom would say, I’d made my bed, and I had to lie in it.
I moaned at the thought of bed and sleeping arrangements. I mean, where was I going to sleep? I hoped to goodness it wasn’t going to have to be with one of the guys. I gazed around the roosts, counting them in my head. There were two extra ones if one of the guys slept in the bedroom. Phew, okay, at least I wouldn’t be sharing a bed with Mr. Octopus Arms Slater.
Taking a deep breath, I pushed myself off the wall and headed back down the hallway. The guys were lounging around the table when I came back up the aisle. “Is everything okay?” Brayden asked, his expression one of deep concern.
“Um, well, as good as it can be considering my brothers think I’ve lost my mind for consenting to a bet to stay on a bus with a group of absolute strangers, not to mention they’re pretty hard-core rockers.” I forced a smile to my lips. “But besides that, I’m peachy.”
Brayden nodded. “I can understand how they feel. I have two younger sisters as well as an eight-month-old daughter.”
“Aw, can I see a picture of her?”
Happily, he dug his phone out of his pocket and handed it over to me. His screen saver was of a beautiful dark haired, dark eyed grinning baby girl as well as sandy haired little boy with blue eyes. “That’s Melody Lane. And that’s Jude Paul—he’s four.”
“Let me guess. Any chance you’re an intense Beatles fan?” I questioned with a grin.
Jake groaned beside us. “More like Bray is Beatles obsessed. He likes to think he’s Paul McCartney.”
Brayden only shook his head good-naturedly at Jake’s dig. “I do a lot of song writing just like Paul, and I’m a helluva guitar player.”
I smiled at him. “Well, I adore the Beatles too. They’re my parents’ favorite, so I was raised on them.”
“Favorite song?” Brayden asked.
“Without a doubt, Let it Be.”
He clapped his hands together gleefully. “Mine too! And so written by the fabulous Paul McCartney.”
I laughed. “Exactly.” I stared down at the picture again. “Your children are absolutely adorable, Brayden. Jude’s got future heartbreaker written all over him.”
“Yeah, he takes after my wife, and Melody, well, she’s the spitting image of me.”
“She’s already gorgeous at eight months. You’re going to be in a lot of trouble in about twelve or thirteen years.”
He grimaced. “Tell me about it. I’ll be even more over-protective with her than my sisters.”
I nodded. “I can only imagine because my dad is even crazier than my brothers. Being the baby girl isn’t easy, especially with the age difference. The twins, Gabe and Eli, are twenty-six, and Micah’s twenty-eight.”
“You must be really spoiled,” Jake noted with a self-satisfied smirk.
I shook my head at him. “Yes, but not like you’re thinking.”
“We’ll see,” he murmured before winking at me.
I eased down across from the guys in one of the Captain’s chairs. “So what’s your deal, Angel?” AJ asked.
My brows creased in confusion. “My deal?”
“Why were you at Rock Nation? Were you just checking out the scene to hang out with your brothers or what?”
I opened my mouth to answer when Jake sarcastically replied, “She’s obviously in the biz. She came with a guitar, dumbass.”
“Well, yes and no on being in the business and hanging out with my brothers. I’m supposed to be headlining with them in the fall. Well, at least with Gabe and Eli. Micah’s planning on quitting after he gets married in August.”
“Wow, headlining is a pretty big deal,” Brayden declared.
I nodded. “Tell me about it. Touring with them the last half of the summer is kinda like a pretest to see if I really want to do it. If not, the boys will just recruit someone else or go on as a duo.”
Jake snorted contemptuously at me. “You’re getting the opportunity of a lifetime tossed in your lap, and you’re not sure you want to do it?”
“It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. It’s just I’ve spent the past three years studying to be a nurse. I was just about to go through clinicals.” At his continued exasperated expression, I added, “In the long run, I think saving lives and helping people might be a little more important than entertaining.”