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|Music of the Soul(Runaway Train #2.5) by Katie Ashley|
My eyes widened. “I think you flatter me a little too much.”
“Jake values your opinion more than anyone else’s. Ever since Susan died, he’s cut himself off even further from me.” He shook his head sadly. “I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes in my life. But I love my son, and I want to be a part of his life. Please, Abby, please try and talk to Jake.”
My heart ached for Mark as he stood pleading in front of me. “I don’t know what I can do—” When Mark opened his mouth to protest, I held up my hand. “But I will try. I promise you that.”
“Yes. I want peace and happiness for Jake in all areas of his life, including you. Someday when we have children, I want you to have a part in their lives.”
Tears shimmered in Mark’s eyes. “Thank you. That means so much to me.”
He reached over and gave me a quick hug. When he pulled away, he glanced over my shoulder with a smile. “Evening, son.”
“Evening,” Jake replied.
“I apologize for stealing your beautiful bride-to-be for a few minutes.”
“It’s fine.” I inwardly cringed at the coolness of Jake’s tone.
“I’m looking forward to the wedding tomorrow. Allison is really excited to be a bridesmaid.”
“We’re happy to have her. She’s such a sweetheart,” I said.
Mark swayed on his feet, and I could tell there was more he wanted to say. “Well, I’ll leave you two lovebirds.”
“Goodnight,” I said.
He turned to go but waited until Jake finally replied, “See ya.”
As Mark walked away, Jake wrapped his arms around my waist. He nuzzled my neck with his warm lips before asking, “What did he want?”
“Just to talk.”
“He loves you, Jake.” When I felt him tense behind me, I quickly added, “He wants nothing more than to mend the broken fences, so that you two can have a real relationship.”
Jake snorted. “Too many years and too much shit have passed between us.”
Turning in his arms, I brought my hand to his cheek. “It’s never too late for forgiveness.”
His brows shot up at my words. “And just whose side are you on?”
“Yours.” I emphasized my words by drawing myself close to his chest. “I’m always on your side, and you know that.”
He kissed the top of my head. “I don’t know, Abby. Some things are better left the way they are.”
Pulling away, I stared into his face. “Just promise me that you’ll try a little harder where your dad is concerned.”
A defeated growl came from his chest. “Fine. I’ll try.”
“Thank you,” I said, before bestowing a kiss on his lips.
“Come on. Let’s go eat.”
“Sounds good to me.” I let Jake take my hand and lead me through the crowd to the table at the head of the tent. It was for us and our wedding party. As the catering staff bustled around serving the first course, Jake picked up the microphone off the table.
“Everyone,” he began. When people kept talking, he tapped the top of the microphone. “Helloooo? Can you guys hear me out there?”
At the top of his lungs, AJ shouted, “Hey everybody, shut the f**k up!”
At the dead silence, Jake shook his head and grinned. “Thanks, buddy.”
“Anytime,” AJ replied with a wink.
“Yeah, so, I’m not one for speeches and shit like that, but I did want to take a second before everyone started stuffing their faces to say thank you from both myself and Abby for being with us on the eve before the big day. Everyone in this room is family, whether we’re related by blood or by a business or personal relationship. You’ve seen us through some tough times over the last few years, and we can never forget how your love and support stayed consistent through the bad times, as well as the good.” He turned to me and smiled. “Most of all, I hope you’re with us for many more to come. So thank you very, very much.”
“Now let’s eat!” AJ exclaimed banging his fist on the table.
Jake rolled his eyes. “As the caveman said, let’s eat.” As applause rang out around us, Jake eased down into the chair beside me. Although my nerves were working in overdrive, my stomach was not affected. I couldn’t wait to finally eat what I had picked out so many months ago. Plus, I had been eating as little as possible in that week or so to get into my dress. All my willpower seemed to go out the window when the Caesar salad. I dug in like a woman who hadn’t eaten in weeks. “Pace yourself, Angel,” Jake joked.
“I can’t help it, I’m starving,” I mumbled through the mouthful of bread I had just stuffed in.
Jake grinned. “I’m so glad I’m marrying a woman with an appetite.”
“You might not be saying that for long, especially if I can’t get into my dress tomorrow afternoon.”
He snorted. “I highly doubt that.” He leaned over to where his warm lips brushed against my earlobe. “Besides, more of you is just more to love, especially loving your delicious curves in the bedroom.”
“Hmm, we’ll see if you keep that attitude when I get pregnant and put on fifty pounds.”
Jake stiffened beside me. I had found the right words to cool his advances. Although he loved cuddling with Bella or playing with Jude and Melody, Jake was still gun-shy about the idea of us having children. When anyone mentioned us having kids, he would scoff at the idea. He claimed we had at least two more American tours and a world tour to get through before he even thought of knocking me up. With the world tour scheduled to take off in a year, I had a feeling even after that, he still wouldn’t be ready. There was something deep inside him that didn’t feel like he was capable of being a father. Thinking that was how he felt broke my heart. He had so much love to give a child. I wanted more than anything for him to be able to see that, but I didn’t want to press the issue now. We had time to work on it.