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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
Waiting in the wings, the boys launched themselves at me before I could hand off the microphone to the technician. Gabe pulled me into his arms for a big bear hug. “Way to go!”
“Can’t. Breathe,” I muttered.
“Oops,” he replied letting me go.
I grinned at him. “But thanks.”
Micah embraced me next. “Nice job, Baby Girl!”
With a wide grin, Eli smacked me on the back and cried, “Abster, you nailed it!”
“Aw, you guys were so sweet to come out and watch me.”
“And this time it was all about sincerity. There’s two more songs to go before our set.”
“What sweethearts,” I mused, pinching Eli’s cheek.
“Hey now, don’t mess up my makeup!” he whined.
“Such a pretty boy,” Micah muttered under his breath.
“Speaking of pretty, wowzers that’s some more dress,” Gabe commented.
“Yeah, I’m changing before our set.”
“That’s good to hear,” Dad said behind me. I whirled around and felt warmth flood my cheeks.
“I so did not have anything to do with this.”
He stared at me a moment before a smile spread across his face. “It’s not what I would have picked, but you sure look beautiful in it.”
Mom nodded. “And you sounded wonderful, honey.”
“Yes, you blew us both away,” Dad replied.
It was then Cari, the stylist, strode up to me. “Come on, Abby. I have another dress for you to try.”
“Okay.” I turned back to the boys. “Good luck. See you in a bit.” I gave Mom and Dad a quick hug and kiss before trailing behind Cari to the wardrobe room.
After I saw my new outfit, I decided that Cari was more of a miracle worker than a devil. She had found a slightly longer dress—this time with sparkly, spaghetti straps and a beaded bodice. It was deep purple. “That’s beautiful.”
“Glad you like it,” Cari mumbled as she unzipped my torture-device ensemble.
Now that my first performance was over, most of my nervousness had dissipated. There was only one person in the world I wanted to talk to. “Um, do you know what happened to my phone?”
Pressing a button, Cari spoke into her headset. “I need Abby’s cellphone brought to wardrobe. Pronto.”
“Oh, it’s really not that big of a hurry.”
Cari rolled her eyes. “Trust me, honey. You have to talk one way to these roadies and technicians. If you’re not a bitch, shit doesn’t get done.”
As if to illustrate her point, a knock came at the door. “See?” she questioned with a grin.
I hurried into the dress while she went over to the door. Barely cracking it, she took it from the roadie and then brought it over to me. “Thanks!” I called.
Once she had fluffed the dress and adjusted the straps, she sent me on my way. I quickly dialed Jake. He answered on the third ring. “Hey Angel.”
“I had to call you and tell you I did it! I sang, and everything went great!”
He chuckled. “I told you that you would. And once again, I’m always right.”
“You’re always such a smartass,” I replied with a grin.
“Deep down, you like that about me.”
“So what are you doing now?”
“Stumbling along backstage before I go on with the boys.”
“You aren’t still nervous, are you?”
“No, I actually feel awesome—it’s like a total adrenaline high. I could so get used to this feeling!”
“That’s what performing in front of a crowd will do to you.”
“Speaking of crowds, they seriously loved me, and they loved mine and Garrett’s duet. Well, I did too except for the fact he got a little too into it.”
A growl came on the other end of the line. “Yeah, you tell my man Garrett that the next time he wants to partially feel up my girl and practically dry hump her on stage that the least I’ll do to him is break his guitar hand!”
“He wasn’t feeling me up. He—” I froze in the middle of the hallway. “Wait, how did you know he did that?”
“Because I saw him.”
My heart shuddered to a stop as I glanced wildly around. “Are you here?”
He laughed. “I wish I was, Angel. I would have especially liked to see you up close and personal in that naughty little red number you wore.”
“I had one of the technicians send me a live feed.”
“You did that for me?”
“Hell yeah. I didn’t want to miss your first performance for anything in the world, especially after our rehearsal.”
“Oh Jake…that’s so sweet.”
“I’ve tried telling you before how sweet I can be for you,” he replied with amusement vibrating in his voice.
“You’ll think I’m even sweeter when you get back to the bus and find the flowers I sent you.”
“Really?” I squealed.
“Well, some of them are from all of us guys, but there’s a special dozen just from me.”
My heart swelled in my chest to where I feared it might burst right out. “Oh wow, that’s so sweet and thoughtful. Thank the guys for me.”