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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
Leaning forward, he gave my cheek a tender kiss. “Thank you, Angel.”
My heartbeat accelerated so fast that I swept my hand over my shirt to make sure it wasn’t going to explode right out of my chest. What was happening to me? One minute I was comforting Jake and then next I was having all these inappropriate feelings about him running through me. Finally, I said, “You’re welcome.”
Rhys stepped forward. “Take the bed tonight, man.”
“No, it’s your night.”
With a shrug, Rhys replied, “Least I can do and all.” His gaze flickered over to mine. “Besides, it’ll be more comfortable for Abby.”
“I appreciate it, but I don’t want pity. Okay?” Jake replied.
Although it was kindness, not pity, that Rhys was offering, he bobbed his head. “Whatever. It’s yours if you want it. Just remember that.”
Rocking back and forth on his feet, Rhys finally stepped forward. He tentatively put an arm around Jake. “I’m sorry, man. I really am.”
Jake patted Rhys’s back. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
When Rhys pulled away, Brayden took his place. Jake clung to him, and I could tell he was fighting not to lose his emotions again. “We’re here for you, brother. We’ll see you through this to the end—to hell and back. Got it?” Brayden said.
“Yeah, I know.”
Taking Jake by the shoulders, Brayden looked at Jake almost like a father would a son. “Anything you need, you got it. Tour cancelations or pushing back the album, it’s done, okay? No questions asked and no shit taken from the label.”
“I can’t let you guys down,” Jake protested.
“There are other things in the world besides records and concert tickets. Whatever time you need to be with your mom, you have my blessing.” He gazed around Rhys and AJ before adding, “And if either one of these f**kers has one thing to say about it, I’ll knock his block off.”
Rhys held up his hand. “Hey, you guys are my brothers. We’re the four musketeers—‘All for one and one for all bullshit’. I’m unified in whatever decisions the brotherhood makes, and I’ll go toe to toe with the suits if they wanna give us grief. I mean, I did drop out of law school, remember? I can find a loophole in the contract like that.” He snapped his fingers for effect.
Tears sparkled in Jake’s eyes. “Thanks guys.”
I noticed that AJ had been conspicuously quiet. Finally, he hopped down from his roost. He and Jake stood staring at each other for a few seconds before they fell into each other’s arms. “Dude, I don’t know what the f**k to say. My heart is shattered—for Susan and for you,” AJ lamented, his voice muffled against Jake’s chest.
“It’s okay, man. You don’t have to say anything,” Jake replied.
“But I want to. I want to say and do all the right things because you’ve been my best f**king friend since we were eleven years old.”
Tears flowed freely down my cheeks at the sight of all the love between the guys. I swept them away with the back of my hands. Jake finally pulled away from AJ and gave a rueful smile. “Okay, enough with the crying—we’re acting like a bunch of pussies. I don’t know who took our balls, but enough with the bullshit emotions.”
At my sharp intake of breath and what I guess was my horrified expression, Jake started laughing. It wasn’t long before all the guys joined in with him. Crossing my arms over my chest, I huffed, “Well, I’m so glad I could amuse you guys!”
AJ winked at me. “We needed that, Angel.”
“Whatever,” I replied.
“Okay, shows over. Go back to bed guys,” Brayden instructed.
Rhys yawned and bobbed his head. “Night, guys. Night, Abby,” he said before turning back to the bedroom.
“Night,” I called after him.
Brayden and AJ made their goodnights and then went back to their bunks, leaving me and Jake completely alone.
As I eyed the crumpled sheets of his roost, I asked, “So how do you want to do this?”
“Can I spoon you?”
My eyebrows shot up. “Can you what?”
The shadow of a smile fluttered on Jake’s lips. “You really don’t know what that is, do you?”
An embarrassed flush filled my cheeks as I ducked my head. “No,” I murmured.
Jake’s finger came under my chin and tipped my head up to look at him. “It’s okay. I’ll show you.” On his knees, he edged across the bunk to where he was pressed up against the wall. Then he turned on his side to where he was facing me. He then motioned me with his hand. I sighed. It was now or never time. I eased down beside him.
“Now lie on your side,” he instructed.
I quickly flipped over to where I wasn’t facing him. My breath hitched when I felt him snuggle up behind me. His arm snaked around my waist to drape across my hip. He then nestled his chin into my neck. His breath was warm against my skin as he asked, “Is this okay?”
I tried to still my rapid breathing. The truth was it felt so good being this close to him. Although it was just to comfort him, it felt dangerous and illicit sharing a bed with Jake.
“Abby, is this okay?”
Jake rarely used my real name, so I knew he was really worried. I reached down to grab his hand in mine. I squeezed it tight before I glanced back at him over my shoulder. “It’s fine.”