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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
Lily grabbed my hand in hers. “You leave that part to me.”
I didn’t reply for a minute. Instead, I became lost in thought about how to make tonight the most amazing I could for Abby. And then it hit me. “Lily, will you take Abby shopping while we’re at rehearsal?”
“Do you want me to like distract her or something?”
“No, it’s just I need her wearing white like the first time I met her.”
Lily expression softened. “Oh Jake, that’s so sweet and romantic.”
I grinned. “Thank you. I’m glad I have your vote of confidence.” I then turned to Bray and AJ. “We’re going to need a little extra rehearsal time today to add in the song I want to do.”
“You’re not doing the usual?” AJ asked.
“No, this has to be completely different and special for Abby.”
Brayden cocked his head at me. “And just what song are you planning on doing?”
With a wink, I replied, “It’s a surprise I plan to reveal at rehearsal.”
The hem of my short, chiffon white dress swirled around my calves as I struggled to keep up with Lily. The roar of the crowd for Vindicated stung my ears as we weaved in and out of the crowded back stage of Phillips Arena. From time to time, she would glance over her shoulder at me and grin. I couldn’t help but smile back at her. After all, I owed everything to her for finally getting me to see the light.
Although I’d turned a hardened heart to Jake when he’d begged and pleaded for me to forgive him, it really only took a few words from Lily to convince me to give him another chance. She’d knocked on the door to my suite shortly after Jake had left, so naturally I’d screamed to leave me the hell alone. Instead, I heard her persistent voice outside. When I threw open the door, she gave me a hesitant smile. “You know I’m on your side in this entire situation. But I just have to say this, and when I’m done, it’s totally up to you on how to proceed.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “Okay, I’m listening.”
“I’ve known Jake for eight years, and I’ve never, ever seen him act this way or feel this much about a girl before. Ever. He’s a brilliant musician, but he’s an absolute screw-up when it comes to matters of the heart. But if he was able to convince me how sorry he was and how much he deeply feels for you, you can bet it’s the real deal.” At my unresponsiveness, she sighed. “Look, Abby, I was at the same crossroads you are five years ago. I was hurt and angry about some of the really shitty things Brayden had done. He’d screwed up so many times that I didn’t think I had it in me to give him yet another chance when he begged and pleaded with me, just like Jake is doing with you. If I kept a hardened heart, I would’ve missed out on the most amazing man I could ever hope for, not to mention I wouldn’t have my two beautiful children.”
I closed my eyes for a moment before reopening them. “I’m just scared,” I admitted.
She nodded. “I know. I was too, and when it comes down to it so is Jake. But he really has a good heart Abby—one that for the first time in his life he wants to give to only one girl. And that girl is you.”
Unblinking and unmoving, I stared at Lily for a moment as I let the depth of her words wash over me. Glancing over my shoulder, I eyed all the beautiful red, pink, yellow, and purple roses overtaking my room. I thought of Jake’s countless texts along with his actions at the elevator.
Nibbling my bottom lip, I finally questioned, “So what do I do to make it right with us?”
A beaming smile filled her cheeks before she leaned over to hug me. “Well, first of all, you need a white dress!”
And that’s how I came to be trailing behind her as we searched for Runaway Train, or most importantly Jake. At the sight of Frank talking to some other roadies, I rushed past Lily.
“Where’s Jake?” I demanded breathlessly.
His gaze roamed over my attire, and then he smiled. “Want me to take you to him?”
“Sure thing, Angel.”
He led me through a series of rooms. Rhys, Brayden, and AJ were in the second one, decked out and waiting for their call to go to the stage. When they saw me, they whistled and cat-called. I guess I must’ve looked like I was on a mission because they didn’t try stopping me. “Go on and get your man, Angel!” AJ called.
We’d left the room with the guys when Frank stopped. He motioned to a shut door. “He’s in there. Of course, he’s left strict orders not to be disturbed.” With a wink, Frank then added, “But I’m pretty sure he’ll want to see you.”
I leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Thank you.”
Frank turned and left me alone in the hallway. My nerves caused me to wobble as I pushed myself forward. My hand trembled as I knocked on the dressing room door. “Are you all f**king deaf? I told you I wanted to be left the hell alone, so go away!” he growled.
Testing the doorknob, I found it unlocked. I had to draw in a few calming breaths before opening it. Jake sat hunched down in one of the chairs with a scowl etched across his face. At the sound of the door closing behind me, he jerked his head up. “I said—” The rest of his words died on his lips at the sight of me. His eyes bulged as he shot out of his chair. He just stood there, staring at me with an expression of absolute disbelief.
The corners of my lips twitched in a smile. “Don’t tell me that I’ve rendered you speechless?”