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|Music of the Soul(Runaway Train #2.5) by Katie Ashley|
At the sound of my voice, Mia jumped and whirled around. Her face flushed. “I-I didn’t know you were here.”
“Yeah, I thought it was better if I laid low until after the surgery was over.”
Mia chewed her bottom lip before coming over to sit down beside me. An uncomfortable silence hung around us for a few seconds. Finally, she broke it. “I’m sorry AJ hit you.”
I shook my head. “Don’t be. I’m sure as hell not. I deserved it. I said some really horrible shit to you two.” I gazed into her widened, dark eyes. “I’m really, really sorry, Mia. That was a horrible thing to say to you. You know I don’t, and have never thought of you as a whore. I have no idea why I said that. More than anything, you’re an amazing wife and mother.” I brushed my hand over my face. “God, I don’t know what came over me.”
Mia exhaled the breath I suppose she had been holding. “You were in pain. And like a wounded animal, you struck out at those who were just trying to help you.”
Tears stung my eyes. “Abby would be f**king floored at what I said. All I do is disappoint her.” I furiously shook my head. “I’m no good for her.”
Reaching over, Mia took my hand in hers and squeezed. “That’s not true, Jake. Abby loves you with all her heart and soul.”
“Sometimes I think I’m a curse for her.”
“She was almost beaten to death because of me and now f**king this happens.”
“Oh Jake, you’re not a curse. You love Abby and would never do anything to hurt her. She knows that too.” When I opened my mouth to protest, Mia brought her hands to my lips to silence me. “The last thing Abby would ever want is for you to be thinking like you are. Bad things happen to good people every single day. What happened with the cyst happens to thousands and thousands of women. You had absolutely nothing to do with it. Abby told me she’d had cysts before. She could have had it checked out when she first started having pains, but she didn’t. Even so, she’s not to blame either. Shit just happens.”
With a defeated sigh, I let my head fall back. Once again, I found myself staring up at the ceiling. “You’re right.”
“Of course I am.”
When I jerked my head to gaze at her, Mia smiled. I laughed and shook my head. “You really are the perfect match for AJ.”
At my words, her smile grew even wider. “Thank you. I love him with all my heart.”
“I can tell. I’m glad he found you.”
“See, there’s the sweet Jake I’m used to.”
My brows shot up. “You really think I’m sweet?”
“Most of the time, yes. You can also be an arrogant, self-absorbed dick sometimes, but for the most part, you’re pretty sweet.”
I laughed at her honesty. “Yeah, you’re right.”
“Most of all, you’re a caring and devoted husband. Anyone can see that. And one day, you’ll be a wonderful father.”
All the fears about becoming a father, letting my future children down, and cheating on Abby raged in my chest, and I drew a ragged breath. “I hope so.”
Mia’s phone dinged in her pocket. “Sorry, I need to check this. I left Bella with Frank.”
I chuckled. “She’ll be fine. He’ll spoil her rotten by giving her too much sugar and not putting her to bed.”
She smiled as she peeked at her phone. “It’s AJ. He wondered where I was. They’re upstairs in the surgical waiting room.” She rose up and tucked her phone back in her jean’s pocket. Then she held out her hand. “Come on. Let’s go.”
I grimaced. “I dunno if that is such a good idea.”
“You don’t need to be alone right now, Jake. We’re your family.” When I started to protest, she shook her head. “AJ loves you. He’s had some time to cool down. Just tell him you’re sorry, and I’m sure everything will be fine.”
“I hope you’re right.”
She cocked her head at me and smiled. “Don’t you know by now that we Runaway Train women are always right?”
I laughed. “Yeah, I think I do.” I rose off the bench and then followed her out the door to the elevators. When we walked through the door of the surgical waiting room, AJ’s eyes bulged at the sight of us. He glanced from me to Mia and threw her a questioning glance.
“Everything is fine,” she assured him.
While he nodded his head, he still stood up and came over to wrap his arm around Mia’s waist protectively. After raking my hand through my hair, I sighed. “Sorry, man. What I said was so f**king wrong. I’ve apologized to Mia, and she accepted it. I hope you can, too.”
His dark brows furrowed while he surveyed my words. “Don’t ever go there again. I don’t care what’s going on in your life—I’ll end you, I swear.”
“If I ever do such a douche thing again, you have my permission.” I took a tentative step forward. “You’re my best friend in the whole world. I never, ever want to hurt you or anyone you love. Okay?”
“Okay,” he said. With a tentative smile, he gave me a hug.
“Mr. Slater?” a voice questioned.
AJ released me, so I could whirl around. I stared questioningly at the young male doctor in the doorway. “Yeah?” I croaked, my heart shuddering to a stop.
He smiled. “Your wife came through the surgery just fine. We were able to stop the hemorrhaging, and the removal of the tube and ovary went well. She’s in recovery, and you can come and see her in a few minutes.”