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|Music of the Soul(Runaway Train #2.5) by Katie Ashley|
When I opened my mouth to say something else, the rumbling of Abby’s stomach made me smile. “Guess we worked up an appetite, huh?”
She pulled her head up to smile sheepishly at me. “I didn’t have breakfast, either.”
“Then we better get up and call the island. I can’t be the reason why my beautiful bride passes out from hypoglycemic shock.”
Abby eased up her hips, and I regretfully slid free of her. On wobbly legs, she got out of the hammock. I followed quickly behind her. I wrapped my arm around her waist not just for support, but because I couldn’t imagine going one second without touching her. Yeah, I was that crazy in love with her.
One Year Later
As the buzzing hum reverberated through my ears, I pinched my eyes shut and bit down on my lip. “Hang in there, Angel,” Jake said, his voice cutting through the pain.
I squeezed hold of his hand. Being too much of a chicken, I didn’t want to watch the needle entering my skin. Sure, I had drawn blood from countless people in nursing school, but this was different. This was…me. My skin. My blood. My pain.
“Damn, you’re going to look so sexy with this ink,” Jake mused.
My eyes popped open to stare into his twinkling blue ones. “You think?”
“Mmm, I’m pretty f**king sure.”
“Please, with the way you act around her, she could wear a Hefty bag, and you’d want to bang her,” Steve, Jake’s favorite tattoo artist, teased.
“Can I help I married a woman who is sexy as hell?” Jake countered with a cocky grin.
Steve snorted. “Not touching that one, dude. You’ll just wanna kick my ass if I say anything about Abby.”
“Or tattoo ‘Property of Jake’ on her forehead,” another artist quipped.
Jake rolled his eyes. “She is mine. Aren’t you, Angel?”
I gritted my teeth through another round of needle pain before I responded. “You’re so cute when you’re a possessive caveman.”
Jake nipped my bottom lip with his teeth before giving me a lingering kiss. I guess most people would have found our one year wedding anniversary gifts to each other a little odd, but I was thrilled beyond belief to finally be getting a tattoo. I’d talked about doing it since I’d first met Jake, but like a lot of things, the time hadn’t been right. For some reason, I’d decided that my foot and ankle were the places I wanted to start with, which of course were the worst for pain.
“Okay, we’re done outlining,” Steve said.
Peeking open one of my eyes, I gazed down at my foot. “Oh wow,” I murmured, as I took it all in. It was a vine of flowers that also included a butterfly. The vine itself was made up of lines of song lyrics as well as scripture I liked. It started across the top of my foot and went all the way up to wrap my ankle.
“Think you’re going to live through the coloring?” Steve teased.
Oh God, there was more? I gulped. “I’ll be fine.”
“Maybe you should give her a leather strap to bite on,” AJ suggested from his chair across the room. When I glared at him, he chuckled. He and Mia were also getting more ink as well. For AJ, it was having Mia and Bella’s name written on his chest above his heart, and for Mia, it was an infinity symbol on her wrist with AJ’s and Bella’s initials.
“Don’t listen to him, Abby. He about pissed his pants when I did his half sleeve,” Becs, the only female tattoo artist, said with a grin.
“Whatever,” AJ replied.
As Steve started in on the pastel coloring of flower, I gritted my teeth. Focusing on Jake, I eyed the temporary tattoo on his pec. “It sure was luck that your left side was the side you hadn’t gone crazy with the tattoos,” I remarked.
“I knew I was saving it for someone special,” Jake replied, with a wink.
“Yeah, I bet.”
As the needle tapped along my skin, I stared at the cursive lettering over Jake’s heart. In a few hours, he would have Angel forever inked on him. It didn’t bother me that it wasn’t actually my name. Everyone knew who Angel was. There was no mistaking that it was anyone other than me. The very thought caused a surge a love to pulse through me.
When I looked back over the last year, I had so many wonderful memories to reflect on. It had sped by in a bliss-filled blur of mine and Jake’s love. We remodeled the house to make it more into mine and Jake’s home, rather than Susan’s. In between tour stops, we returned to our honeymoon island to have some alone time. Sure, we’d had our arguments and disagreements about everything from paint choices to my wardrobe. Now that we were married, Jake suddenly wanted my stage dresses to be longer and show less cle**age. Basically, he would have been happy if I had gone out on stage in a nun’s habit. That was probably the longest we hadn’t spoken to each other since our honeymoon blow-up. I’d even slept on AJ and Mia’s bus because I was so pissed at his Neanderthal ideas. He’d come around the next morning with flowers and a grand apology. Mia had snatched Bella up and taken her for breakfast in the diner before our vigorous makeup sex could scar her.
While it had been a wonderful year, it had also been stressful, intense, busy, and at times absolutely manic. Another album released and another cross-country tour had meant more and more time away from home. Jake had finally consented to bring furry Angel along with us because I was so homesick for her. Having a dog on our bus was definitely interesting, but it inspired Mia to bring Jack Sparrow along on hers and AJ’s bus. Miraculously, the two animals got along pretty well when we all hung out together. Both seemed united in their protectiveness of Bella.