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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
When he got my meaning, he groaned before bringing his lips back to mine. Our mouths were waging war on each other when a tiny voice called, “Aunt Abby?”
I jerked my mouth from Jake’s and scrambled away from him. Whirling around, I took in Jude’s tiny form in the bedroom door. “Y-Yeah, sweetheart?”
He sniffled. “I had a scary dream. Will you come to bed with me?”
“Of course I will. Just give me one second.” Smoothing down my ruffled hair, I hopped up, leaving Jake alone on the floor.
Jude held his arms up, and I hoisted him up onto my hip. He buried his head in my neck before he started crying. “Shh, it’s okay. It was just a bad dream. It’s over now, and I’m here with you.”
I laid him down on the bed and then curled in beside him. He snuggled up to me, still snubbing back his tears. “Want me to sing again?”
“Pwease,” he whimpered.
After I sang several verses, Jude was fast asleep again. Pulling away from him, I checked on Melody before heading to the door. When I opened it, I froze. Jake was nowhere to be seen. I flipped on the light and peered around the room.
He had left.
I hurried over to the table where my phone was. Sliding my thumb across the screen, I checked for any missed texts or calls.
There were none.
My throat constricted as I fought back the tears. Why would he just leave me? Had he gotten what he wanted and bailed? I shuddered as the used feeling washed over me.
Against my better judgment, I texted a quick Where r u?
After a couple of minutes, I typed Jake?
Pacing around the suite I waited for his response, but it didn’t come. Defeated, I slunk back into the bedroom and crawled into the bed. This time it was me snuggling against Jude for comfort as the tears streamed silently down my cheeks.
I was a bastard—a complete and total douchebag for bailing on Abby. I realized that the moment I let the suite door close behind me. Then the feeling persisted as I entered my room and slipped out of my clothes. Butt ass naked, I fell into bed and buried my face in the pillow.
The first reason I left was because Jude appearing freaked the hell out of me. I didn’t know how much he had seen, and I didn’t want Bray kicking my ass for scarring his kid because Abby was taking care of my needs and getting me off. But then I came to realize that the main reason I had bailed was because I was scared.
Yeah, I didn’t know how to deal with all I was feeling for Abby. I knew I loved her at the studio and then when I meshed that with the sexual part, I was f**king floored and obliterated emotionally. So I did the only thing scared men do.
And I felt like an even bigger jackass, especially when I got her questioning texts. I mean, I should have texted her right back and lied by claiming I was fine or that I was tired. But no, I was an even bigger ass**le because not only did I not reply, but I turned my f**king phone off because I didn’t know what the hell to say to her.
And although I was mentally and physically exhausted, sleep evaded me. At two am, I pulled my ass out of the bed and started pacing around the room. Out-of-control thoughts whirled through my mind so fast I staggered on my feet.
There was no more denial. I was truly head over f**king heels in love with Abby.
But deep down, I knew the root of my problem with Abby. I was in love with a girl who was way too good for me. Abby had such a giving heart and a pure, inner beauty that I didn’t deserve to taint or destroy. We’d only known each other for three weeks, and I’d already hurt her too many times with my stupidity. Knowing me, I would continue hurting her over and over again. So maybe I should walk away from her. Wouldn’t it be better for her in the long run? I could never give her all she deserved. She wanted the fairy tale of a happily-ever-after with a husband and kids, and I didn’t know shit about any of that.
Raking my hand through my hair, I thought about going to her in the morning and telling her that whatever we had was over. But just the image of walking away from her caused a searing pain to radiate through my chest, and I had to fight to breathe.
No, I couldn’t walk away from her, not when I loved her. I’d never loved a girl as much, and I couldn’t imagine ever loving anyone more. I wanted to see where this crazy thing we had started took us. I wanted to claim her as my own in every possible way. Hell, when it got down to it, I could almost envision putting a fat, shiny diamond on her finger.
And then the thought hit me that maybe I’d already screwed up too much and lost her. That’s when the walls began to close in around me. I threw on my clothes and headed out the door. Staring at the suite door across from me, I lightly wrapped on the door. “Abby?” I called.
I knew she probably couldn’t hear me if she was in the bedroom with the kids, but I was silently hoping that maybe Melody had woken up for a bottle or some shit that babies did. I banged a little louder, but there was still no response. Taking my phone from my pocket, I powered it on. I then sent a barrage of text messages telling her how sorry I was and what a dick I’d been.
My final text read Angel: I’m right outside the door ready to beg and plead for your forgiveness. If it takes getting down on my knees in a f**king hotel hallway, I will. That’s how sorry I am and how much you mean to me.
Every single one remained unread and unanswered.
Huffing with agitation, I headed down the hall to the elevators. I needed some time to clear my head, and there was no better place than the streets of my second home to do it. I walked a couple of blocks, taking in the sights and sounds. Atlanta was no New York when it came to never sleeping or its crowds, so I didn’t have to worry about running into a lot of people who might recognize me.