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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Strings of the Heart (Page 30)     
    Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley
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    “Of course. After all, elaboration is the key element of Southern storytelling, and we are in the most Southern city in the South.”

    “True, very true.” I took a long pull from my longneck. For reasons I couldn’t even fathom, I felt the need to defend myself to Allison. “The thing is, I had gotten some action, but I still hadn’t sealed the deal, so to speak.”

    “Lovely,” Allison said, wrinkling her nose.

    “Hey, you’re the one who wanted me to elaborate.”

    She laughed. “You’re right. Please continue.”

    “By the time I’d turned nineteen, things finally were looking up for me. I’d just met Jake and the other guys, and we were starting to play at Eastman’s. After being sick, I got put on steroids and started beefing up. I got Lasik surgery, and my mother actually gave me a year’s supply of chemical peels for my acne as a birthday present.”

    “But you digress,” Allison said, with a grin.

    “I’m trying to save face here about why I was so old when I lost my virginity.”

    “Pray continue.”

    I laughed. “Anyway, her name was Melanie. She was in some of my law classes at Emory. Since I was feeling more confident, I got up the nerve to ask her out. Thankfully, she said yes, and we started dating.”

    Surprise filled Allison’s face. “Oh, so you have been in a relationship.”

    “A few, yeah. None really lasted a long time. I did have my heart broken when I was twenty-one.”

    “Interesting. And where was the deed done?”

    With a wink, I replied, “In a pretty posh suite at the Ritz in Atlanta.”

    Her eyes bulged. “Really?”

    “Hey, give me some credit here. I’m not the type of guy to lose it in the backseat of a car.”

    She giggled. “No, I can’t see you doing that.” Leaning her elbows on the table, she added with a teasing lilt to her voice, “Of course, you had to pick somewhere high-end. Couldn’t lose the V-Card at the Holiday Inn, could you?”

    “Hey now. I can’t help how I was raised, even if I try to escape it as often as I can.”

    “So we know you had a posh first experience. But what about the relationship itself? How long did it last between the two of you?”

    Tilting my head, I delved into my past. “Six months. She was a few years older than me.” At Allison’s continued questioning expression, I said, “She wanted more—a whole lot more than I was ready or willing to give at nineteen.”

    “I see,” she murmured.

    “And what about you?” When her usual red flush tinged Allison’s cheeks, I shook my head. “Oh no, don’t think you’re getting out of this one.”

    “I’m not,” she huffed.

    “Then spill it.”

    “Fine,” she muttered. I turned a laugh into a cough when she squared her shoulders determinedly while downing the rest of her beer. “I was seventeen.”

    “Man, you beat me by two years, huh?”

    “Sex is never a competition.”

    “Sometimes it is to see who will finish first,” I mused, which caused her to blush. “Anyway, please continue with the sordid details.”

    “Like you, I was in a relationship. Dylan and I started dating when I was sixteen.”

    Holding up my hand, I asked, “Just how old was he?”

    “Eighteen.”

    “Older man, huh?”

    With a slight shrug, she replied, “I was a junior, and he was a senior.”

    “Cradle robber,” I teased.

    “I would hardly call that age difference cradle robbing.”

    “Was he like the typical older guy who dated younger girls to get one thing?”

    “Not exactly. I mean, our six month anniversary fell right after my seventeenth birthday, and he hadn’t really been pressuring me or demanding anything of me.”

    “So where did you do the deed?”

    A shy smile pulled at the corners of her lips. “Jake’s farm.”

    Her declaration caused me to bolt upright in my chair. “Excuse me?”

    “You guys were out on tour, and no one was there. It was the perfect place where we could be alone. I told my mom I was spending the weekend with my best friend, Kim. We didn’t go in the house—we stayed in the loft.”

    I shook my head in disbelief at her. “Jake would blow a f**king gasket if he knew you lost your virginity in his loft.”

    Allison merely rolled her eyes at my declaration. “Like he hadn’t defiled that place in a million different ways before Abby came along.”

    “Actually, he never brought chicks to the farm. I’m pretty sure the only woman he’s ever had sex there with is Abby.”

    “Really?” Allison asked, her brows rising in surprise.

    “It’s the truth. I’d tell you to ask him, but that would be totally inappropriate.”

    She giggled. “I agree.”

    We sat in silence for a few moments. After I popped the tops on another beer for the two of us, my curiosity got the better of me. I detoured to a questioning path I had no f**king business going down. “Besides this Dylan, has there been a lot of other guys?”

    Allison cocked her brows at me. “Are you actually asking me for my number?”

    Grimacing, I guzzled down half the beer I’d just opened. After I swallowed, I shook my head. “Sorry. That was wrong of me.”

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