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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
“Wonders never cease,” I murmured under my breath. I then busied myself with reheating some dinner for Jake.
At the sound of the bathroom door opening, I whirled around. Jake stood there with just a tiny towel wrapped around his waist while water dripped off his body. He glanced down at his lack of attire. “Sorry. My booze-head brain forgot to bring my clothes in with me.”
“Um, no, it’s okay. I’m just heating up the chili for you. It’ll be ready when you get dressed.”
Even though I shouldn’t have, I stood watching him as he walked down the aisle to the bedroom. The fluttering of my heart and churning of my stomach made me realize I was in serious trouble.
I turned my attention back to setting the table for Jake. He appeared a few moments later in a t-shirt that was entirely too small for him because it highlighted every rippling muscle he had along with a pair of ratty boxer shorts.
Frozen, I stood staring at him like he was a vision or something. His hair was still damp, and a few droplets glistened on his face. When he caught me, warmth burned across my cheeks.
“Were you just ogling me, Angel?”
“No, I wasn’t.”
He chuckled. “I think you were.”
I whirled around and swept my hands to my hips. “Fine I was ogling you. Happy now?”
“Actually I am. I like it when you look at me like you want me. Like you think I’m… handsome.”
My brows rose in surprise. “Handsome? That doesn’t sound like the way you would describe yourself.”
With a grin, he asked, “And just how would I describe myself?”
“Hmm, sexy, hot as hell, and panty melting?” I challenged as I handed him a Coke.
“Yeah, you’re right. Those really describe me better.”
I set a glass of water down. “Make sure you drink all of that and the Coke. You’re probably dehydrated.”
“Yes, Dr. Renard,” he replied, amusement twinkled in his eyes.
“The nurse in me would say for you not to eat anything, least of all chili.”
“Trust me, I know my body, Angel.”
After he took in a large spoonful of chili, he closed his eyes and moaned in appreciation. “Damn, this is really good.”
“So you can cook too?”
“A little. My grandmother is a diehard Texan, and that’s her secret recipe.”
“It’s f**king amazing.”
I grinned. “I’ll be sure to tell her just that.”
He snorted. “Yeah, right. Although you have a potty mouth, I can’t see you dropping the f-bomb in front of your grandma.”
“True, very true.”
We sat there in silence for a few minutes while he devoured the chili like he hadn’t eaten for days. I couldn’t possibly see how he was going to keep it all down or how sick he might be tomorrow, but I kept my mouth shut.
Finally, Jake glanced up at me. “Abby, we need to talk about earlier.”
“We do?” I asked, playing with a frayed string on the placemat.
He bobbed his head. “I know I was totally f**ked up this afternoon, and I don’t know what all I said to you.” He winced like he was in pain. “I have a pretty good idea that I was a disrespectful douchebag to you about Bree. I should have never brought her on the bus with you here. I’m sorry.”
I think my mouth dropped so far open it banged against the table at him once again giving me such a heartfelt apology. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more shocked, he continued on. “You’ve been nothing but caring and compassionate to me even when I didn’t deserve it. And trust me when I say it, that I really and truly am sorry.”
“Thank you. I appreciate it.”
“So are we good? No hard feelings and all that?”
I laughed. “You believe in instant forgiveness and no grudges, huh?”
“Not exactly, but I hope you won’t hold what happened against me for long.”
“I’ll try, okay? I mean, you just can’t act the way you did to me and expect me to fall into your waiting arms.”
His brows furrowed. “I can’t?”
“Um, no, it doesn’t work that with me. Maybe with your harem of female admirers, but I’m different.”
“You can say that again,” he murmured. As his spoon scraped across the bottom of his bowl, I rose up to get him some more. “No, I’m good.”
“Are you sure?”
He smiled. “Don’t want to overdo it.”
I laughed. “I would think even two spoonfulls was overdoing it, but I don’t know your body, right?”
When Jake widened his eyes slightly, I knew I had made a mistake even innocently mentioning his body.
“Listen, I need to ask you something else about earlier.” My breath caught at the thought of even remotely revisiting what happened before. “Did I say something embarrassing to you before I puked and passed out?”
His blue eyes blazed with emotion when he finally met my gaze. “I remember some of it. I know I said I wanted to f**k you, but didn’t I say something else? Something more…heartfelt, I hope?”
“Yes,” I whispered.
“What was it?” he prompted.
Somehow I remembered everything he had told me verbatim, so I repeated it. Jake’s eyes widened, and he sucked in a sharp breath. “But don’t worry about the wanting someone-like-me-to-love-you part. I mean, I know you were drunk,” I quickly added. I popped out of my seat like a Jack-In-The-Box and grabbed his bowl. After hustling over to the kitchen, I put it in the sink and turned on the water.