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|Music of the Soul(Runaway Train #2.5) by Katie Ashley|
The truth was I didn’t hate the idea of having kids someday—just not anytime soon. I loved Jude and Melody, and now Bella had me wrapped around her little finger. But at the end of playtime or hanging out with them, they went home with their parents. They weren’t my sole responsibility. Babies and kids took a lot of work, time, and energy that I wasn’t ready to give yet. Of course, I wanted to get Abby pregnant someday. She was going to make the most amazing mother in the entire world. But I didn’t know why she had to have such baby fever now when she was only twenty-three. She was acting like she was thirty-five, and her biological clock was ticking. We shared so many of the same likes, dreams, and passions that it was hard imagining we were so far off the mark with the baby thing.
After extinguishing the fire, I dejectedly made my way to the house. I didn’t know what I was going to say to Abby. I tried going over it in my mind as I trudged through the cool sand. Somehow I knew I needed to lead off with Yes, I’m a giant, unfeeling bastard…and then follow up with Please, please forgive me. At the same time, I knew I had to somehow make it clear that although I was sorry for what I said, I wasn’t changing my mind about when we were going to start a family.
The house was dark when I got inside. I started for the bedroom when I heard a sniffle from the living room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw a heap of blankets on the couch. Somewhere underneath it was Abby. And she was crying.
Damn, I was a bastard.
With an exasperated sigh, I threw my head back and gazed up at the ceiling. This is so not how I envisioned this night to be. “Abby, you don’t need to sleep on the couch. If anyone should, it’s me.”
“I’m fine,” she sniffed.
“Would you please come to bed, so we can talk about this?” She huffed contemptuously like I was some mega horndog, trying to get her into bed to screw through my apology. “I mean, I think the mattress is big enough that you don’t have to worry about touching me if you don’t want to.”
“Just leave me alone,” she snapped.
Although the words ‘I’m so sorry’ formed on my tongue, I couldn’t say them. Instead, I grumbled, “Whatever,” before stalking back to the bedroom. I jerked the sheet and comforter down before flopping down on the mattress. The instant I turned over, pain jackknifed through my chest. Although I was all alone in bed, Abby remained all around me. Her scent of jasmine and vanilla mingled on the sheets while her strawberry shampoo filled the pillow next to me. A few withered rose petals still littered the sheets from where we had made love last night.
I don’t know why I remained in bed instead of going to apologize. Oh yeah, I was being my usual stubborn-asshole self. But although it had come out all wrong, my words were steeped in truth. I wasn’t ready to be a father, and my greatest fear was Abby becoming pregnant by accident or on the sly. Deep down, I couldn’t imagine that she would ever do something like that, but it was still a fear.
After tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I finally fell into a restless asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I rolled over to snuggle against Abby. The moment I felt the cold, empty spot, it came back to me what had happened the night before. “Fuck,” I muttered, as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. If I didn’t man up and apologize, the remaining five days of our island paradise were going to be absolute hell.
I slipped out of bed and slid into my boxer shorts and then made a quick bathroom stop. “Abby?” I called from the bedroom. “Angel, we need to talk.”
After she didn’t respond, I stalked down the hall and to the living room. Gazing around, I found the room empty. Craning my neck, I peered into the kitchen. She wasn’t there either. After I’d checked the spare bathroom and bedroom, fear streaked through my chest that she’d called the shore and asked for the boat. I ran outside onto the porch. I started for the stairs when a flash of red out in the water caught my eye. Gazing out into the water, I saw her swimming in my favorite bikini of hers.
With a sigh, I made my way off the porch and down the beach. She had just surfaced again when I started into the water. At the sight of me, her eyes widened and then she quickly looked away. I thought for a minute she might try to swim away, but instead, she held her ground. “Hey,” I said, when I finally reached her.
“Hey,” she replied softly, still refusing to look me in the eye.
“Angel…I need you to look at me. Please.” When she finally lifted her chin and met my gaze, I sighed. “I’m so sorry for the things I said last night.”
Her eyes closed as if she were in pain. Finally, she opened them. “I’m sorry, too.”
My brows furrowed. Here we were both apologizing, yet there still was this giant divide between us. As I literally treaded water, I felt like I was fighting to keep my head above the surface in our relationship. How did we get back to the way we were?
“I guess this was our first fight as a married couple, huh?” I asked.
“A pretty big one, too,” she murmured.
“I’m sorry. I hate fighting with you, Angel. Most of all, I hate to see you upset.”
Abby’s blue eyes blazed with intensity. “Then try not to say such hurtful things next time.”
“I’ll try. I promise.”
As an uncomfortable silence still hung around us, I sighed. “You know, I was afraid when I woke up and found the house empty that you’d left me.”