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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
“I was just thinking that we seem kinda lost, and I was totally having a This Is Spinal Tap moment.”
Whirling around, Jake’s mouth dropped open. “You actually know that movie.”
“Of course I do. I used to watch it with the boys all the time.”
He shook his head slowly back and forth. “How is it that you’re actually real?”
Jake smiled. “You’re like a guy’s wet dream.”
Wrinkling my nose, I replied, “Ew, thanks for the compliment.”
“Okay, that didn’t exactly come out like I wanted it to.”
“I’d hope not.”
He winced as he ran his hands through his hair. “I just meant that you’re a musician’s dream girl—a complete and total package. You understand what it’s like to deal with the industry and what a gift and a curse the muse can be. Plus you know all about music and singing. To top it all off you’re someone a guy could just hang out with and watch stupid comedies. Do you know what it’s like to have a beautiful girl in front of me that totally gets you?”
“Thanks,” I murmured. My cheeks instantly flamed at his words. When he stood there just staring at me, I finally admitted, “By the way, that was much better on the compliments.”
“You’re welcome.” He took my hand. “Now come on. I have a big surprise for you.”
“Once again, I really, really don’t like surprises,” I protested as he dragged me further back stage.
“You’ll like this one.”
Finally, we walked through the wings. Instead of stopping, Jake pulled me right on stage. I gazed out at the empty, but huge arena. Tilting my head, I spun around and took it all in. “Wow, this place is intense.”
“I love it when it’s like this,” Jake confided, motioning to the crew who were rushing around with equipment. “It’s like the calm before the storm.” He bounced on the balls of his feet, and his whole body hummed with excitement.
“The storm that is Hurricane Jake?” I teased.
He laughed. “That would maybe be Tropical Storm Jake and more like Hurricane Runaway Train.”
I smiled. “I love the fact you never leave the guys out of the equation. No Adam Levine and those other dudes in Maroon 5 kinda thing.”
Jake shook his head. “The label tried that bullshit for a while right after we hit. But it’s me and the boys or it’s nothing.”
Reaching over, I tapped his chest. “Such a good heart in there.”
His hand closed over mine, and he pressed it flush against his shirt. “You don’t know what it means to me that you’re able to see that through all the bullshit.”
“I see you a lot better than you’d ever imagine.”
“And?” he prompted.
I swallowed hard under the intensity of his stare. “I like what I see. A lot.”
He then brought my hand to his mouth and tenderly brushed his lips across my knuckle.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
My heartbeat thumped like a cannon blast in my ears, and I was sure Jake could hear it. Just when he leaned closer to me, a voice boomed from below the stage, “We’re ready when you are.”
His eyes momentarily closed. “The worst f**king timing,” he grumbled before turning to the guy. “Thanks Joe. We better get this show on the road.”
“Show?” I questioned in a squeak.
Jake turned back to me. “Yeah, last night after your phone conversation with that assmunch—”
“Garrett,” I corrected.
“Whatever. Anyway, I thought about how scared and nervous you were at the prospect of not getting much rehearsal time to duet with the douchebag, so I thought I could help.”
Suddenly Joe was at my side thrusting a microphone into my hand. “Jake, what’s going on?” I asked.
“You’re going to practice your duet to where you’ll be perfect for Sunday night.”
He waved his microphone at me. “We’re going to sing it together.”
“What?” I practically screeched.
Ignoring my shock, he said, “I know it won’t be the same since we’re going to have to use canned music. I mean, the guys wouldn’t have had time to learn the song, but I know all the words.”
I thought back to this morning when he’d had his headphones in, and my heart shuddered to a stop. “You memorized the song?”
“Sure did.” He winked at me. “Lucky for you, I’m a fast learner.”
“I can’t believe it,” I murmured.
Jake grinned as he tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. “Are you ready to rock this arena?”
If I had any doubts before about the depth of my growing feelings for Jake, they evaporated in that moment. I’d been with him for all of forty-eight measly hours, but somehow I had fallen for him. Wait, how was that even possible? I’d always scoffed at the notion of love at first sight. Stuff like that didn’t happen. Sure lust at first sight, but love?
But now as Jake stood before me, I wondered if it could be true. Well, it was partially true since right after I laid eyes on him it wasn’t love, but anger that I felt, especially when I nailed him in the balls.
“Angel, did you hear me?”
“I asked if you were ready?”