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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
Silence came on the other end of the line, and for a minute, I thought I had lost him.
“I’m here, Angel. And I’m glad to hear it. I wish I could be there singing it with you.”
“So do I.”
A roadie different from the one who brought my phone said, “Wardrobe is waiting for you in the dressing room.”
“Oh, I have to go. But thanks for calling me. You don’t know how much it means to me.”
“You’re welcome, babe. Now go and kick some ass on that stage, okay?”
I laughed. “I sure will.”
The roadie then ushered me into a room down the hall. “Here she is, Cari,” the roadie said.
A girl with pink hair sized me up. “About time,” Cari muttered. Her hands went to the racks filled with clothes in front of her. She jerked out a coral colored dress and shoved it at me. “Here you go.”
I quickly stepped behind the partition and slid off my boots. My robe then followed. Since the bodice was strapless, I slid off my bra as well. Huffing and puffing, I managed to stuff myself inside the dress.
“Um, any chance you have a different size?”
“Usually all dresses are custom fit, but you haven’t been here to get measured,” Cari snapped. Coming around the partition, she zipped me up harshly. Eyeing me, she nodded her head, “That looks hot.”
“I. Can’t. Breathe,” I panted.
Cocking her head at me, Cari rolled her eyes. “Listen sweetie, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Maybe I could throw something together for your set with your brothers, but you are out on stage with Garrett in five minutes.”
A knock came at the door. “See?”
“Fine,” I huffed. I was barely able to bend over and pull on my boots. I feared at any minute the zipper might explode.
“She’s decent,” the girl called.
Yet another roadie stuck his head in the door. “Five minutes, Miss Renard.”
I smiled at him. “Please call me, Abby. And I’m coming.”
He nodded and held the door open. Glancing back, I took in my appearance. “Holy shit,” I muttered. I didn’t even want to think about what Dad would say when he saw my outfit. I’m pretty sure he would have a coronary right at the sight of the dress. It ended way above my knees, and while the applique roses and lacy parts were pretty, my boobs looked like they would come popping out the top at any minute.
I followed the roadie out the door and to the stage. Thank God I had on my trusty cowboy boots and not heels, or I’m pretty sure I would have killed myself. When we got to the wings, Garrett was just finishing his signature hit “Just the Girl for Me”. As the stagehands whipped around changing the set, Garrett put down his guitar and took the microphone off the stand.
“So I’d like to introduce y’all to a very special lady. Not only is she the baby sister and potential new lead singer for the amazing Jacob’s Ladder, but she’s my duet partner tonight for my final song. Would you all welcome Miss Abby Renard!”
I drew in a deep breath and pushed myself forward out of the wings. Throwing on my best megawatt smile, I started across the stage, waving madly at the crowd. Just when I thought my arm might fall off, I reached Garrett.
He whistled into the microphone and then winked at me. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I forgot to tell you how absolutely smokin’ hot she was, didn’t I?”
“Thank you, Garrett.” I paused to let my gaze rove over him. “You’re looking pretty fine tonight as well,” I replied, trying my best to work the situation.
Turning to face the audience, he grinned. “She’s sweet too, isn’t she?” They whistled and applauded in response. “Just wait until you hear her sing. You’re going to be blown away that not only is she a very beautiful gal, but she has an amazing voice as well.”
I waved my hand dismissively at him. “You’re embarrassing me with all the compliments.”
“So are you ready to wow Des Moines?”
I smiled out into the audience. “Why yes, I am.”
Garrett bobbed his head. “All right then. Let’s do this.”
The familiar melody of Don’t You Want to Stay echoed throughout the arena. As soon as it came to my part with the chorus, all nervousness faded away, and I gave it my all. With only one quick rehearsal, I didn’t know exactly what to expect out of Garrett. And just like I had promised Jake, I imagined it was him I was singing to, rather than Garrett. By the time I got to my solo, Garrett was all up close and personal. He winked at me as if to say, “Let’s give them a hell of a show.” But then I got the impression he might be actually enjoying rubbing against me or trailing his hands over my arms and back a little too much.
But like the professional I knew I had to be, I forced a smile to my face and acted like I was enjoying it just as much as he was. When we finished, thunderous applause rang around us. “Thank you,” I murmured breathlessly into the microphone.
All the loud whistling pierced my eardrums. I could see now why the boys wore earplugs. Garrett pulled me to him and planted a kiss on my cheek. “Thanks for giving our girl Abby such a warm welcome. I’m looking forward to working very closely with her over the next few months.” He then winked at me again, and I gritted my teeth to keep from twisting away from his too-close-for-comfort hug.
“Thanks again! I’ll see y’all again in the next set!” I called before hurrying off the stage.