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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
“Fuck off,” I grumbled before staggering out of the bedroom.
The aroma of tomatoes and spices hit my nose and caused my alcohol-filled stomach to churn. Someone had actually cooked? I peered ahead of me to see Rhys and Brayden relaxing at the table with empty bowls of what must’ve been chili in front of them.
When I met Rhys’s eyes, he shook his head. “Dude, you look like hell.”
“Thanks dickweed. I feel like hell.”
Abby stood with her back to me at the stove. The sound of my voice caused her to whirl around. With her hair pulled back in a ponytail, she held a spatula in her hand, which was surprising since I didn’t know we had cookware on the bus.
Her blue eyes widened as she took in my appearance, but then she quickly turned away from me. I did a double take because she appeared almost skittish in front of me—something she had never, ever done before.
“What’s wrong with you?” I demanded.
“Leave me alone!” she spat from her place at the stove.
“Ah, there’s my feisty girl.”
Spinning around, Abby’s expression darkened. “Don’t you dare call me your girl after the things you said and did to me earlier today!”
“You got a problem with me?”
“Wow, you must really be drunker than I thought if you have to ask that!” she snapped.
“Trust me, he’s totally hammered. The jackass chased two beers with a fifth of Jack,” Brayden replied, shaking his head.
AJ appeared behind me. “Let’s not start anything, okay? We have a show to see. Let’s just get out the door without any more trouble.”
Abby held up her hands. “I’m not the one starting anything. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong.”
A snort escaped my lips. “Don’t you get it, Angel? You’re what’s wrong.”
“Jake—” AJ warned.
Her eyes widened as she swept her hand over her heart. “Me?”
“Yeah, you.” I lunged forward causing her to take a tentative step back. “It’s you with those sexy as hell cowboy boots that I want digging into my ass as I f**k you until you scream my name. And those perfect tits…” I licked my lips at the mere thought of my mouth on them. But in that pause, my cloudy thoughts veered in a different, less perverted direction. “It’s the way the dimple comes out on your cheek when you smile really big and the way you blush when I tease you.”
I sucked in a breath as a fuzzy memory from the night before crashed over me. “It was the way your sweet, soft hands wiped away my tears, and the way your body just curved into mine when you let me hold you. It all made me feel, for just an instant, that everything really was going to be all right. No one has ever comforted me like that…except my mom.” What the f**k? Did I just say all that out loud? I shook my head furiously from side to side as the room started spinning me like a Tilt-a-Whirl at the county fair back home.
Abby grabbed my shoulders to steady me. I blinked my eyes trying to focus on her blurry, but beautiful image. “Most of all, it’s that I want someone like you to want me—just for me, not for Jake Slater the singer of Runaway Train.” I smacked my hand hard against my chest. “For what’s really inside me.”
Abby gasped. “Oh Jake, I—”
She never got the chance to say what I hoped to hear because my churning stomach chose that precise moment to lurch, causing me to puke all over Abby’s pristine sundress.
Reeling from Jake’s drunken declaration of his feelings, I never anticipated being drenched in puke. I stood there frozen in horror as Jake retched again. I snatched my hands from his shoulders and fought my gag reflex.
Jake raised his glassy eyes to mine. Pain coupled with embarrassment swam in them before they rolled back in his head, and he started to pass out.
“Motherfucker!” AJ groaned as he grabbed Jake’s sinking form.
“He’s out cold,” Rhys reported.
“Ugh, I vote we throw his smelly ass in the bedroom and let him sleep it off,” AJ suggested.
“Sounds good to me.” Rhys helped AJ drag Jake back to the bedroom. When they finished, they slammed the door.
“I’m so sorry, Abby,” Brayden apologized. He started to take a step towards me, but then crinkled his nose and backed up.
“Yeah, I get it. I reek.” As I started for the shower, the guys swept past me towards the bus exit. “Whoa, wait a minute.” They paused and turned around. I glanced back to the bedroom and then to them. “You mean you’re going to leave me alone with Jake?”
“No, you can always come with us. We’ll have an extra place at our VIP table with Jake not going,” AJ offered. He gave me a sly wink before adding, “And I’ll buy you all the Coke Zero you can drink if you’ll promise to dance once or twice with me.”
I laughed. “That’s very tempting, but I think I better stay here. You know, get a little studying in or clean up this pigsty.” I glanced down at my puke-stained clothes. “Besides, you guys need to get going and don’t have time to wait on me to cleanup.”
Brayden smiled. “We’ll make time for you to change, Abby.”
“Aw, that’s so very sweet. Come here and give me a hug!” I offered with a teasing grin.
Holding his hands up in mock surrender, Brayden replied, “Lemme take a rain check on that one.”