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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
Kneading my butt cheeks with his hands, Jake gave me a wicked grin. “I’d say we were more than great.”
I tugged the strands of hair at the nape of his neck hard. “Stop manhandling me in public, Mr. Slater.”
“Angel, you’re going about getting me to stop the wrong way. Pulling my hair is a hell of a turn-on for me,” he whispered in my ear. I shivered at both his words and the warmth of his breath.
“Hmm, so if I let you take me back to the bus and fool around a bit, will you bail on me again?”
A determined gleam burned in his eyes. “Never. You’re mine, and you’re not getting rid of me.”
I grinned. “Good, I’m glad to hear it.”
Frank, along with LL, came up to us. “We’ve got a pretty large crowd outside waiting for you guys. Lots of stuff with them to sign.”
“Okay,” Jake replied. Reluctantly, he eased me back down onto my feet. He still kept an arm around my waist as we started out the backdoor of the arena while the guys followed behind us. At the sight of Jake, a ripple of screams and shouts erupted in the throng of mainly girls and women.
As the fans swarmed at Jake and the guys, I grinned at him. “I’m going on to the bus.”
He smiled and then kissed the crown of my head. “Frank,” he called.
Frank nodded and put a protective arm around my shoulder. “Come on, Angel.”
The fans barely acknowledged us as we weaved past them. They only cared about seeing Runaway Train—but most importantly it’s lead singer.
Unable to keep the goofy expression off my face, I glanced up at Frank. “Did you see what Jake did?”
He chuckled. “Oh yes. I saw and heard.” He winked at me. “And I couldn’t be happier that he’s finally wised up and fallen in love with an amazing girl.”
I giggled deliriously like I could only imagine someone with a few shots of liquor in them would, except I was stone cold sober. Well, extremely high off life at the moment. Twirling out of Frank’s embrace, I walked backwards for a few moments to face him. “I cannot believe he took me out there and sang to me in front of all those people—that I’m really his angel.” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “And that he loves me.”
“I gotta admit that even for a gruff old fart like me, it was downright touching and so damn romantic.”
The piercing squeals of girls screaming interrupted us, causing both of us to glance over Frank’s shoulder. The boys seemed cornered by all the fans, and Jake’s wide-eyes swept over to us. Frank pulled his phone out of his pocket and called for more of the security detail.
“I can make it from here. Go on and help Jake out.”
I twirled the hem of my dress back and forth while I felt like I was walking on air. I’m sure if anyone saw me they would swear I was tripping on some elicit substance. I had to bite on my lip to keep from grinning. Jake really and truly loved me. It was an amazing feeling.
Just as I turned the corner to the bus, someone grabbed my hair, yanking me back. I cried out just before my head was smashed against the side of the bus so hard that I saw stars before my eyes. Considering some of the rough areas I’d lived in, my parents had made sure I was enrolled in every self-defense class imaginable from the time I could walk. Of course, nothing quite prepares you for being taken off guard and having your thoughts jumbled by the pain of your head cracking against steel.
Fingers twisted further into my hair while my head kept being smashed against the side of the bus. Regaining my footing, I whirled around to launch two harsh punches at my assailant’s face, causing them to stumble back momentarily. In the dimly lit parking lot, I squinted my eyes. “Bree?” I questioned dumbly.
Her harsh voice echoed through my disoriented state. “You f**king bitch! It wasn’t enough he called out your name when he was inside me, but no, he has to go and sing to you?” She shook her head wildly. “If you think I’m going to give up on Jake so easily, you’ve got another thing coming!!”
I tried blocking her next hit, but she grabbed both of my shoulders and then smacked my head again, causing me to cry out. “What have you done to him? Jake never, ever would have gone for a girl like you. Now you got him singing songs to you and professing his love. He’s supposed to love me!”
“Yeah well, I’m sorry, but he doesn’t. It’s me he loves,” I protested.
Bree released my hair, but before I could get my bearings, she punched me in the mouth, sending blood spattering across the both of us. When I deflected her next two hits, she then kicked me hard in the stomach. I doubled over in pain as she kicked my back. Collapsing to the ground, I tried to disable her next kick, but it just ended up nailing me in the ribs.
“JAKE!” I screamed with what strength I had left.
“Yeah, let’s see how much Jake wants you when I’m finished with you,” Bree taunted over me.
A metallic rush filled my mouth, and I sputtered out a stream of blood. “Jake!” I whimpered again.
Just as everything started to go dark around me, I heard Jake’s voice, “ANGEL!” And then pitch blackness enveloped me.
When I saw Frank heading back to me, I finally exhaled the breath I’d been holding. The last time we’d been mobbed like this I’d lost my shirt, a shoe, and my junk had been grabbed multiple times. I don’t know where the f**k the rest of the security team was, but their asses were going to get jacked up for leaving us with barely enough coverage, not to mention having to be saved by a roadie.