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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
I groaned. “You go and say shit like that and make me realize for the millionth time that you’re way too good for me.”
Abby gave a slight shake of her head. “You stayed with me last night?”
She tried to smile at me, but the stiches in her lip made it more of a grimace. “Just when I think I couldn’t love you more than I already do, you go and prove me wrong.”
“Listen, Angel, you’re going to have a long recovery ahead of you—maybe six weeks. I want you to come to my farm and let me take care of you.”
Abby’s eyes widened. “No, Jake, I can’t let you do that. You have too much going on with your mom.”
I shook my head. “This isn’t up for discussion, Angel. I’m not letting you out of my sight. I intended on seeing you through your recovery every step of the way.”
“But what about your mom?”
I grinned. “It was her suggestion in the first place.” When Abby started to protest, I replied, “She and I both want to do this very much, Angel. Besides, she knows all about my love for you. In fact, she was the one who told me to keep fighting for you after I screwed up.”
“Yes, so there’s no point in arguing, okay?”
Happy acceptance entered Abby’s eyes. “Thank you. I would love to spend that time with you.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear it.” I rose up to tenderly kiss her forehead. It was one of the only places that wasn’t bruised or cut. With a grin, I added, “Since we’re off tour for a while and recording the album, you can let me know which songs are good or which ones suck.”
“I highly doubt any of them will suck.”
“That’s debatable.” I brought her hand to cup my cheek. “Maybe we can work on some more collaborations?”
“I’d like that a lot.” Her fingers brushed against the stubble on my skin. “I like anything that means I get to be with you.”
“Right back at ya, Angel,” I replied with a smile.
Our beautiful moment came to a screeching halt when the door burst open, and Abby’s parents rushed in. “Oh Abigail sweetheart!” her mother, Laura, cried as she practically elbowed me out of the way to get to Abby. Tears streamed down her face as she hovered between wanting to hug Abby and knowing better. Finally, she grabbed Abby’s hand.
“Mom, it’s worse than it looks. I’m going to be just fine.”
“We just spoke with the doctor, and it seems pretty bad to me,” her father, Andrew, replied. His expression hardened as his gaze honed in on me. His dark eyes narrowed at the sight of my t-shirt stained with Abby’s blood along with the tattoos peeking out from under my sleeves. Without even a hello or an introduction, he demanded, “How could you let this happen?”
My hand automatically flew up in surrender. “Mr. Renard, I’m terribly sorry for what happened to Abby. I never meant for her to get hurt because of me,” I replied as sincerely as I could.
Apparently my words had little effect on him. He abandoned Abby’s other side and rounded the bed towards me. “It’s no secret that my wife and I are less than pleased about this infatuation that Abigail seems to have with you. Your reputation as a womanizer and heavy drinker certainly makes you the last young man on earth we would want our daughter being associated with.”
“Daddy!” Abby admonished. Raising her voice caused her to grimace from the exertion.
“Stop it! You’re upsetting her!” I shouted as I came to stand toe to toe with him.
“Don’t you tell me what to do! Abigail is my daughter, and I know what’s best for her,” Andrew countered. He took a step forward to where we were practically nose to nose. “The moment she’s released from the hospital I intend to take her back to Texas where she belongs. Hopefully, when she’s far, far away from you, she’ll forget this silly infatuation and come to her senses.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but Abby beat me to the punch. “Daddy, stop being such an ass**le to Jake! And I’m not leaving with you!”
Andrew’s brows shot so far up in his hairline they practically disappeared. “Excuse me?”
Abby softened her expression. “I’m sorry, but you’re being disrespectful and rude to the very guy who stayed all night in an uncomfortable chair while I was out cold to make sure I was safe and not alone.” Abby sighed. “But most of all, you’re breaking my heart by being so cold and thoughtless to the man I love.”
Both Andrew and Laura’s mouths gaped opened at Abby’s statement. “You two have been the best parents, and all my life you taught me not to judge people and to give everyone, no matter the circumstances, a chance. Now how is it that you’re completely trampling upon everything you instilled in me?”
“Abigail, it’s just that—” Laura began.
“No, you’re stereotyping and judging Jake by rumor and what you think you see. But he’s so much more than just a rocker. He has a tender heart and a giving soul. If you only knew the love and affection he has for his mother, his bandmates and even the crew who works for him, you would see that he is someone you should like and respect.”
Andrew ran a shaky hand through his hair while Laura stared wide-eyed at me. Just like Abby, she nibbled her bottom lip when she was nervous and was waiting for the courage to say what she needed. “Do you truly love Abby?” Laura asked.