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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Music of the Heart (Page 38)     
    Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley
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    “Oh Christ,” he muttered. It was like the memory of everything that had happened came crashing down on Jake, and he shuddered, falling back against the counter. His weary eyes met mine. He ran his hands over his face and furrowed his eyebrows at the feeling of the crusty, puke stains. “I was so f**ked up earlier.”

    “It’s okay. Sit down.” My caring instinct kicked into overdrive as I pushed him into one of the captain’s chairs. After I grabbed a fresh cloth out of the drawer, I ran it under the warm water while trying not to let my mind wander to which part of our earlier conversation he was most regretful about—the wanting to screw me or wanting me to like him.

    Instead, I rinsed out the rag and then took it over to Jake. “Um, would you mind doing it for me since I don’t have a mirror?” When I gave him a skeptical look, he laughed. “This isn’t a come on, Angel.” He held out his hand to show me the slight trembling. “I’m not sure I trust my ass walking to the bathroom.”

    “Fine then,” I muttered. In long strokes, I started washing his face.

    He closed his eyes and sighed. “Damn, that feels good.” I tipped his head back and scrubbed down his chin. Squinting one of his eyes at me, he asked, “Why are you always taking care of me?”

    “You’re always a mess,” I countered.

    “I know,” he murmured. Sadness swept across his face. “I think you’re a masochist.”

    “Huh?”

    “You know, someone who likes pain.”

    “And why do you say that?”

    “Because even though I treat you like a total dick, you’re still nice to me and still want to help me.”

    “You’re not always a…” I wrinkled my nose before replying, “dick.”

    Jake gave me a half-hearted smile. “Mostly I am. Especially to you. And I’m sorry for it. I really am.”

    I froze in mid-scrub at his apology. It was certainly not what I was expecting him to say, and when I searched his eyes, I saw the sincerity in them. “Thank you. I appreciate that.”

    Silence echoed around us until Jake cleared his throat. “After everything, you really don’t think I’m a total ass**le?”

    I laughed. “Well, not all the time. You were a giant one this afternoon.” At his grimace, I added, “But you’ve also given me brief glimpses of the guy deep down inside you. You have your redeeming qualities too.” I left him to go rinse out the rag again. “And I don’t know about being a masochist. But I do know about trying to be the good person my parents raised me to be.”

    Amusement replaced the anguish in his eyes. “Ah, yes, an allegedly good girl with a heart of gold but who also has the mouth of a sailor.”

    I couldn’t help laughing at his summation of me. “Yep, that’s pretty true. But hey, I don’t drink or sleep around. I should be able to have one vice, so I guess a potty mouth is it.”

    I trailed the rag down his chest, swiping the puke off the intricate tattoos inking his skin. “So many tattoos,” I murmured.

    “You don’t like them?”

    “No, I do. My brothers have some. In fact, I was thinking about getting one.”

    Jake howled with laugher. “You cannot be serious.”

    “Well, I am,” I huffed smacking his arm with the rag.

    “Oh Angel, I would love to see that.”

    “Fine then. Maybe you can take me to get one.”

    A mischievous glint twinkled in his blue eyes. “Are you about to make another bet with me?”

    “Maybe.”

    He shook his head slowly back and forth. “I don’t think so, babe. If you go back to your brothers inked up, they’ll kick my ass.”

    I rolled my eyes. “Leave my brothers out of this.”

    Jake held his hands up in defeat. “Okay, okay, I’ll take you to get a tat.”

    My eyes widened. “Really?” I squealed.

    He winced and cupped his ears. “Jesus, ease up with the screeching.” When I glared at him, he grinned. “Yeah, I really will. My guy, Adam, is the only one I would trust your delicate skin to. But you better not pu**y out on me.”

    I knew he expected a reaction out of me because he had used a word I hated. But I kept my demeanor calm. “Awesome.” I then turned my attention back to cleaning him up.

    When I skimmed above the waistband of his jeans, he grabbed my hand. “I can take it from here.” He winked at me. “You’re getting a little too close for comfort, Angel.”

    “Oh, um, sorry,” I replied. Trying to hide my embarrassment, I whirled around and went back to the kitchen. While I tried busying myself with putting away the clean dishes, Jake rose out of his chair.

    “I probably should grab a quick shower.”

    “Okay.”

    As he handed me the rag, a sheepish look came over his face. “When I get out, you think you could fix me some of that chili you made for the guys.”

    “Are you sure your stomach can handle it?”

    “Oh yeah, once I puke it all out, I’m usually good to go and starving a few hours later.”

    “Ew,” I murmured.

    He grinned. “Sorry. But that’s the truth.”

    “Fine. Go shower, and I’ll fix you some dinner.”

    “Thanks, Angel,” he replied before pulling me to him in a chaste hug. When he kissed the crown of my head, I tried not to shudder at the tingly feeling it sent racing throughout my body. My mouth hung open in shock as he padded into the bathroom and closed the door.

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