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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
AJ shot me a dirty look before going back to the book of music.
“Ooh, what about this one?” Abby suggested as she pointed her finger at the book.
AJ’s dark brows furrowed. “Islands in the Stream. You gotta be freakin’ kidding me!”
“Please. I love Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.” She poked her lip out at AJ before saying, “I’m supposed to be part country singer, remember? It’s in my blood.”
“Well, I love Dolly Parton’s—” AJ began before Abby playfully smacked his arm.
“¡La próxima vez que te pegue en las bolas!”
He held his hands up in defeat. “Okay, okay, I’ll stop. I don’t want you nailing me in the balls, rather than the arm!”
“So for you, Angel, Islands in the Stream it is, but I’m going to be reading off the screen for everything but the chorus.”
“That’s okay,” Abby replied, nodding at the DJ. She then passed AJ a microphone before taking one for herself. “Okay, AJ. Wow me.”
He winked at her. “Oh, I plan on it.”
The music started up, and AJ peered at the screen to begin singing his opening part. “Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown. I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb.”
As his voice echoed through the room, Abby’s brows shot up and her mouth dropped, and I could tell she was surprised as hell that he could really sing and hadn’t been bullshitting her. She then began harmonizing with him when Dolly’s part came on. When they got to the chorus that was familiar to AJ—mainly because we used to jam to Mya/JZ remix Ghetto Superstar, he inched closer to Abby. AJ had a gift for improvising, and he was really getting into singing about making love with Abby. She possessed the same gift as he did, and I was impressed with her performance ability, even in the dingy diner’s karaoke bar. She had future star written all over her.
Several of the truckers sitting around us took notice of the performance. Well, I guess I should say they mainly took notice of the hot little number in the white sundress intertwining herself with the douchebag she was singing with.
Not enjoying the way I was feeling about what I was seeing, I rose out of my chair. “I gotta go take a leak,” I muttered before escaping to the bathroom. What the hell was wrong with me? Why did I give two shits about Abby performing with AJ? I mean, she had made it damn clear she wasn’t going to give any of us the time of day. As I washed my hands, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
“Get a grip, dude. You do not want to get entangled with her,” I muttered.
“Huh?” some guy in a stall asked.
“Nothing,” I grumbled before exiting the door.
Thankfully, when I came back from the bathroom, Abby and AJ were no longer singing and had rejoined the table. Since the appetizers had arrived, we started attacking them. Abby did a pretty good job putting some away as well. Once they were devoured, we waited anxiously for our main courses to arrive. I cut my eyes over to where Abby twirled the straw in her Diet Coke. A question popped into my mind, and I acted on it. “So Abby, you’re twenty-one and legal, don’t you drink?”
“No, I don’t,” she replied, before taking a dainty sip of her Diet Coke.
“So caffeine is your only illicit substance?” I implored with a smirk.
With a shrug, she replied, “I guess so.”
“Ever tried a beer?”
She eyed my frothy mug and wrinkled her nose. “No, thank you.”
“Oh come on. Just try a sip.” I slid my beer closer to her. When she nibbled her lip, I couldn’t help goading her some more. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid to try it?”
Abby snapped her gaze up to mine, and the fire that flashed in her eyes made me shift in my seat. Damn, how was it possible for Miss Priss to affect me with just a look? I could only imagine that with the proper stoking, that flame could be scorching in the bedroom.
Without a word to me, she reached over and grabbed my mug. She licked her lips as I leaned forward, silently daring her to continue. She took in a mouthful before her eyes widened, and she turned away from me to spew out the beer. “Oh.My.God! How do you drink that? It tastes like horse pee!” she exclaimed, swiping her hand across her mouth.
AJ and Rhys chuckled at her response. “You been drinking a lot of horse pee lately, Angel?” I questioned, as I took my beer back.
She scowled at me. “No, I haven’t. I haven’t even been around a horse since I got thrown from one when I was ten and broke my arm.”
“You need to get back in the saddle.”
Abby shot me a withering look. “And let me guess. You’re the man to teach me?”
I ignored her dig at the innuendo of teaching. “Well, I did grow up on a farm, and I do have six horses—well, my mom and I do.”
Abby’s disdainful expression slowly faded, and she eyed me with curiosity. “You still live at the farm with your mom?”
“When I’m not touring, it’s the only place I want to be.”
“No big city, swinging bachelor pad and wild parties?”
I grinned and shook my head. “Nope, give me backwoods bonfires, mudding, and fishing over all of that.”
“Hmm, I wouldn’t have pegged you for a boonies kind of guy.”
AJ snorted. “You won’t get any more boonies than where Jake grew up in Ball Ground, Georgia.”