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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
She laughed. “Honey, they aren’t that good.”
Ignoring her, I entered the dimly lit club. Twinkling lights crisscrossed across the ceiling and down the walls while candlelight flickered on the tables with purple, white, and black linen tablecloths. Past the tables, there was a wide dance floor in front of a stage. As my gaze flickered around the room, I heaved a relieved sigh at how the interior looked. In the end, Saffie’s reminded me a lot of some of the higher-end clubs in New York and even Atlanta.
Like being zapped with a Taser, my attention was drawn away from taking in the club’s scenery to the small stage. Allison sat at a baby grand piano, appearing totally poised and self-possessed. It was a quite a different demeanor from earlier, especially when she was falling over the banister. Her long brown hair cascaded in loose waves down her back, resting just above her waist. Her red dress reminded me of something out of a Roman or Greek history book, and she certainly looked every bit like a goddess perched on the piano bench. A single red orchid rested behind her ear, making her appear even more delicately feminine.
Something within me came alive at the sight of her bathed in the glowing stage lights. It was as if I was seeing her, truly seeing her, for the first time. She wasn’t an awkward teenage girl with braces and gangly legs anymore—she was a woman. If I was truly honest with myself, I would admit that she was a gorgeous and sexy woman. At that moment, I was really glad she was performing in a lesbian bar because I didn’t like the idea of any douchebags trying to hit on her.
As she turned to the crowd and smiled, she appeared such a paradox. While a beam of light gave her a glowing halo around her head, her red dress totally annihilated anything angelic about her. “For our next song, I’d like to play an old favorite of mine. It’s a cover of Joan Armatrading’s The Weakness in Me,” she said, the microphone causing her voice to echo throughout the cavernous room. As she and her bandmates started up the opening chords of the song, she once again peered into the audience. She appeared to be searching for someone—searching for me. When her eyes locked on mine, I nodded my head and smiled.
She briefly returned my smile. While holding my gaze, she began to sing. “I’m not the sort of person who falls in and quickly out of love. But to you I gave my affection right from the start.”
As her voice filled the air around me, I stood rooted in my spot, utterly transfixed by her performance. Women bumped into me as they jostled through the crowd to either slow dance or grab a table, but I barely noticed them. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off Allison. Her voice had a sensual, throaty quality to it. Allison hadn’t given herself enough credit. Her voice was not as strong as Abby’s, but she certainly had more talent than the woman at the door, and Allison herself had insinuated. It was easy to see that she had inherited some of Jake’s musical and singing talent. Sure, the band would never make it out of this basement club, but they had a rapt audience, which meant a lot in the long run.
Taking my phone out of my pants pocket, I started filming some of her performance. Deep down, I knew that Jake would want to see this. After he got over the initial shock of his underage sister singing in a nightclub, he would be proud of Allison’s accomplishments. It was easier to hold my hand steady than it was to contain my out-of-control feelings toward Allison. Brotherly affection was sure as hell not filling my mind at that moment.
When she finished playing the final chords of the song, a roar of applause erupted in the room. Allison smiled while breathlessly saying into the microphone, “Thank you. Thank you all so very much.”
As she swept off the piano bench, I got a swift kick in the pants at the sight of her wiry knee boots. They looked like something out of the movie Gladiator, and f**k me, they were sexy as hell. What the hell was I thinking? In no way, shape, or form was I ever to put the words “sexy as hell” and “Allison” in the same sentence. I’d known her since she was thirteen. She was like my own little sister. Bringing my hand to my face, I furiously scrubbed my eyes and forehead, as if I were able to scrub the X-rated images of Allison out of my mind.
At that moment, a sultry beat came from the stage, and I instantly recognized the song as Am I the Only One. Allison stood in front of the tall microphone stand. “Please baby can’t you see my mind’s a burning hell? I got razors a rippin’ and tearin’ and strippin’ my heart apart as well.”
While I was able to hear more of Allison’s vocal range on the song, I could have given a f**k less about her singing. Instead, my mind had drifted back into X-rated territory with the way Allison was rocking the microphone stand. As she slid her fingers and hands provocatively up and down the silver metal while swiveling her h*ps to the beat, I found myself thinking about those very same fingers pumping up and down on my dick. When she straddled the stand and her thighs replaced her hands in the rubbing, sweat broke out along my forehead. All it took was the straddling and hair tossing to have a partial erection slamming at the front of my pants.
I couldn’t help glancing down at my traitorous dick. No, no, no, this couldn’t possibly be happening. It was one thing to think she was sexy, but now I was leering at her like a horny bastard desperate for a f**kfest. If Jake caught one glance at my thoughts, he would have ripped my head from my shoulders, and considering how horrible I felt for fantasizing on Allison, I would have let him.
“Damn, she’s hot. What I wouldn’t give to be between those thighs,” someone said next to me.