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|Music of the Heart(Runaway Train #1) by Katie Ashley|
“But you’re my Angel,” Jake protested.
“I think there’s room for two Angels around here.”
“Whatever. She’s your dog.”
I couldn’t help my brow creasing in worry. “But what happens when I have to leave or go back on the road?”
Jake shrugged. “She’ll just stay here with all our other dogs until you get back.”
My heartbeat hammered so loud I feared Jake would hear it. I didn’t know if he realized that by saying my dog would always have a home at his house, he had just alluded to a massive level of commitment between us. “Are you sure that wouldn’t be an imposition?” I finally asked.
“Of course not. I mean, we have all these fenced in acres for her to run around and frolic in.”
I giggled. “Did you just say frolic?”
“Yeah, I did, smartass,” he replied with a smirk.
Setting Angel gently down on the floor, I then put my arms around Jake’s neck. “Thank you so much for the sweet and thoughtful gift. You made my day.”
He grinned. “You’re welcome.”
I leaned in and gave him a lingering kiss. Since the night I had been beaten by Bree, Jake had been gun-shy about kissing or touching me. More than anything in the world, I wanted his mouth and hands on me again like the night in the hotel room. I slid my tongue against his lips, urging him to open to me. When he did, I thrust my tongue against his. Surprisingly, Jake ran his hand down my back and cupped one of my butt cheeks, jerking me against him.
As our tongues danced around each other, I brazenly rubbed myself against the bulge growing in his jeans. I hiked one of my legs up and wrapped it around his hip, giving him part of his former wish to have my cowboy boots digging into his ass. Since I wanted to give him and myself the full experience, I melted against Jake, silently begging with my body language for him to raise me up. Fortunately, he appeased me by cupping my other butt cheek and hoisting me up to wrap my other leg around his waist. I arched my center against his crotch, causing him to groan into my mouth. “Angel,” he murmured as he kissed a scorching trail down my neck.
When his hand moved up my ribcage to cup my breast, I cried out. Thinking it was from pain, not pleasure, Jake froze. My vocal reaction had the same effect as pouring a bucket of ice cold water over Jake. “Oh f**k,” he muttered before gripping my h*ps and unwrapping my legs from around his waist. Once he sat my feet back on the ground, he ran a shaky hand through his hair.
“Jake, please don’t stop!” I protested.
He shook his head. “You’re not fully healed. I hurt you.”
“No, you didn’t. I cried out because I liked what I was feeling.”
He stared at me for a minute. “It doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be making out anyway.”
Cupping his cheek, I argued, “But I want to make out with you. You’re my boyfriend, and I love you.”
Staring down at Angel playing at our feet, Jake refused to meet my gaze. “No, we don’t. Not now and not any time soon,” he muttered before stalking out of the barn. Angel started after him, but then she came back to me. I pulled her into my arms and let the tears rolling down my cheeks dampen her fur.
I didn’t see Jake the rest of the afternoon until Susan called us to dinner at seven. To say that you could have cut the tension in the air with a knife would be a mild understatement. Susan chattered along, and I tried keeping up with her while Jake sat in a broody silence, shoveling in his food. Our plates were half-eaten when he sprang out of his chair. When Susan and I stared up at him with our mouths open in surprise, he muttered, “I’m going to the barn to work out.”
Angel followed him out of the dining room, but her whines echoed throughout the foyer when he slammed the front door. With an anguished sigh, I dropped my fork onto my plate, causing a noisy clatter. “Sorry.”
She gave me a sympathetic smile. “Sweetheart, you don’t need to apologize to me. Instead, you should be marching yourself right on out to the barn to sort things out with Jacob.”
My eyes widened at her suggestion. “Y-You know things are strained between us?”
“Oh honey, I know I’m dying, but seriously, I would have to be blind not to notice that.” Easing back in her chair, she eyed me for a moment. “He’s afraid to touch you, isn’t he?”
I gave a brief nod. “Since my accident, he acts like I’m some fragile piece of glass that will break at any minute. I know he loves me—he shows it in every way possible.”
“He’s conflicted about the guilt he feels for what happened to you. In his mind, Jacob thinks that by keeping you at arm’s length he’s somehow atoning for what he feels are his sins for your accident.”
“That’s so wrong!” I protested.
“So what should I do?”
A mischievous gleam burned in Susan’s blue eyes. “You’re going to have to figure that one out on your own, honey. But I think your best strategy to clear the air and end all the tension is to force Jake to touch you again.”
I gasped as warmth flooded across my cheeks and down my neck. “Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
Susan held up her hands. “I just said that you needed to go out to the barn and fight for your man.” She rose out of her chair. “If anyone needs me, I’m going to take a bath and turn in early tonight.” With a wink, she walked out of the dining room.