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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
I gasped as the audience whistled and catcalled. “Before her, I may have sung about love, relationships, and being with that special someone, but I really didn’t believe in it. But through her physical and inner beauty, she taught me about the gift of giving your heart to someone.” Jake drew in a ragged breath, and my chest clenched as I could tell he was fighting his emotions. “In so many ways, she saved me from the hell surrounding me. She is truly an angel—she’s my angel.” Turning to the wings, he met my gaze and smiled. “So come out here, Angel.”
Frozen, I couldn’t blink, least of all move. Lily had to nudge me forward, or I would have remained rooted to my spot. On trembling legs, I strode across the stage to where Jake stood beckoning me. At my appearance, the crowd went wild, causing my ears to ring from the noise.
A wide grin curved on Jake’s lips as he took my hand in his. He brought it to his lips and gallantly kissed my fingers, which caused the audience screamed in approval. “Atlanta, this is Abby, but to me she’s Angel.”
In a weird, out-of-body experience, my gaze swiveled out to the crowd, and I gave a lame wave with my free hand. “And while I could’ve written a song that would have captured everything you are to me, I feel like this one pretty much says it all.” Glancing over his shoulder, Jake said, “All right boys, let’s hit it.”
AJ started in with a drum beat before Brayden began a melting guitar intro. Almost instantly I recognized the song and gasped. It was Aerosmith’s Angel, and it was all for me.
“I’m alone, and I don’t know if I can face the night…” Jake sang into the microphone on his headset. I gazed into his eyes and saw the emotion reflected in them. Without a guitar or microphone to hold, his hands were free to roam over me. As he sang, his eyes never left mine. Warmth spread over my cheeks and throughout my entire body at the devotion he used singing the lyrics. At the second verse, he spun me around and pulled my back against him, wrapping his arms around my waist. Closing my eyes, I swayed to the love song while he crooned into my ear. Well, even with the microphone, it felt like he was singing just to me when actually he held a crowd of fifty thousand in rapt attention. I barely realized when Brayden harmonized with him.
In that moment in time, there was nothing in the world but Jake performing those amazing lyrics just for me. When it got to the part where he repeated “Come and save me tonight”, he turned me around. Pulling me flush against him, Jake cupped my cheek before bringing his lips to mine. I could’ve cared less that we were in front of thousands and thousands of people. It felt like it was just the two of us, and I couldn’t get enough of him. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pressed myself against him and deepened the kiss. My tongue danced tantalizing around his as AJ chimed in with Brayden to finish the lyrics for Jake. We didn’t break apart until the music ended, and the screams and whistles interrupted our moment.
I stumbled away from Jake before turning my wild gaze to the crowd. Jake chuckled into the microphone at my reaction. “So what do you think, Atlanta? Can you see now why this amazing girl has stolen my heart?”
Wincing, I waited for a round of boos and hisses to come at me for being the bitch who stole Jake from his adoring female harem. But surprisingly I heard nothing but cheers and more whistling. “And you know something else? She has a kickass voice, and not only did we just record our first duet, but we wrote the song together too. Would you like to hear it?”
Although the fans went wild, I couldn’t help grabbing his shirt and protesting, “No, Jake!”
He leaned over to whisper in my ear. “Don’t argue with me, Angel. Even though you don’t want to believe it, you’re ready for this moment. All you have to do is tune everyone else out and just look into my eyes. We’ll sing to each other just like always.”
A ripple of pleasure ran through me at his words. Pulling my shoulders back, I finally nodded in agreement. It was a good thing because a technician appeared out of nowhere with an exact replica of my guitar.
“But how—” I began as other technicians raced around placing stools on the stage and adjusting the microphones.
With a wicked grin, Jake’s only reply was a wink. He handed off his headset and then turned back to the crowd. We both eased down onto the stools and adjusted our guitars on our laps. I made sure to smooth out my dress to ensure I wasn’t flashing half of Atlanta.
“All right, this is a very special song, and it’s called I’ll Take You with Me.”
Jake began strumming the introduction, and then I joined in. Instead of singing to the audience, he swiveled on his stool to where he could look at me as he sang. Once again, his performance was so heartfelt and strained with emotion that I found tears stinging my eyes. We sang the chorus together, and then it was time for my solo. I didn’t take my eyes off of Jake the entire time. A shadow of a smile played on his lips as he strummed his guitar.
When we finished, I leaned over to kiss him. “I love you, Jake,” I murmured against his lips.
“I love you too, Angel.”
He rose off the stool before taking the microphone off the stand. “Thank you Atlanta! My hometown crowd, you’ve been amazing as always. See ya next year!” Taking my hand, he then led me off the stage. As soon as we were in the wings, he swept me into his arms. Sliding his hands under my butt, he hoisted me up, and I wrapped my legs around him.
Our lips raged against each other until Brayden cleared his throat behind us. After I reluctantly pulled away, I glanced over my shoulder at him. With a smile, he asked, “I guess this means you two are good now?”