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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
Rolling his eyes, Eli replied, “Duh, I’m serenading a beautiful woman.”
I shook my head. “You’ve made your point and made fun of my choice of music. Again. So go on.”
With his shoulders drooping in defeat, Eli started to walk away. Just as I was about to turn away from the window, he started strumming again. “Yes, she caught my eye as we walked on by. She could see from my face that I was flying high." On the flying high bit, he made a loopy looking face.
Jules kicked her legs and giggled. “Your Uncle Eli is pretty funny, huh?”
Her tiny palm patted against my shoulder almost in time with the music, and even though it was probably way too early, I could already tell she had inherited her parents’ musical genes.
At that moment, the bus door opened, and Jake and Rhys came bounding up the stairs. Jake shot me and Abby a disgusted look. “Would someone mind telling me why my brother-in-law is singing some douche song outside my bus?”
I giggled. “It’s just a joke between us.”
“Us?” Jake repeated, cocking his brows at me.
“What?” I questioned innocently.
Crossing his tattooed arms over his chest, he asked, “Is there an ‘us’ you’d like to tell me about?”
“Get real, Jake,” I muttered, as I swung a now fussy Jules back and forth in my arms.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Jake demanded.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “It means even if there was something between Eli and me, it’s none of your business.”
When I nodded, I caught Rhys’s intense gaze over Jake’s shoulder. He seemed just as interested as Jake was in what was going on between me and Eli. It infuriated me that he acted like he even cared considering the way he had been treating me lately. One minute he completely ignored me, and then the very next he hovered around as if I was his. It was so damn confusing.
As Eli continued with the second verse, Jake groaned. “Enough is enough.”
Choosing to ignore his tirade, I went back to the window and grinned down at Eli. Just as he was about to finish, he started up again. “Eli,” I giggled.
Before I realized what was happening, I saw a flicker of Jake’s black T-shirt out of the corner of my eyes. Then in a flash, he was beside me with a bucket of water. He then proceeded to dump it out the window, sending water crashing all over Eli. “W-What the f-fuck?” Eli sputtered.
“That’ll teach you to sing douche songs to my sister outside my bus window!” Jake replied, through this laughter. Leaning against the kitchen counter, Rhys snickered as well, and it took everything within me not to go over and slap his arrogant face.
Sweeping my free hand to my hip, I demanded, “You two think this is funny?”
Rhys shrugged. “He obviously needed cooling off to stop torturing us with singing.”
Jake nodded. “My man speaks the truth. The two of you should be glad he wasn’t plugged up to an amp.”
I glared at both of them. “You…assholes!” Kissing Jules on the cheek, I then thrust her into Jake’s arms. Without another word to them, I grabbed a towel out of the closet. Then I hustled down the aisle and pounded down the bus steps. After throwing open the door, I jumped off the steps onto the pavement.
Eli had propped his guitar against the side of the bus and was wringing out the bottom of his soaking T-shirt. “I’m sorry about Jake. That was a real ass**le thing to do.”
“It’s okay,” Eli replied, with a good-natured grin.
“That wasn’t your favorite guitar, was it?” I asked, already cringing at the thought.
“No, thankfully it wasn’t.”
“Oh, I’m so glad to hear that.” When I offered him the towel, he shook his head. Then in a flash, he had his sopping wet T-shirt over his head, leaving me to stare at his broad, tattooed, and very na**d chest. He dropped the shirt, and then he reached for the towel. Since I was still staring at his chest, he had to whistle at me to get me to hand over the towel.
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
As he wiped off his chest, Eli grinned. “It’s all good. I like the fact you were ogling me.”
Crossing my arms over my chest, I huffed, “I wasn’t ogling you. I was admiring your ink.”
“Riiiight,” he replied with a smirk.
I shook my head at him. “Well, for what it’s worth, thanks for the songs.”
Eli draped the towel over his neck. “You’re welcome. The performance was actually a lead-in for a question I wanted to ask you.”
My heartbeat kicked up a notch. “You wanted to ask me something?”
He bobbed his head. “Tomorrow night, Jake’s taking Abby to visit some of his mother’s family outside Boise, and they’re taking the twins with them.”
“Yes, Abby had mentioned something about it.”
“Since you had the night off, I thought you might like to come out with me and Gabe.”
“Out?” I questioned lamely.
“I’m sure Boise doesn’t have a whole lot of happening sites, but we’re going to try to find a club or two to hang out in.” Leaning closer to me, he asked, “You game?”
I blinked my eyes in disbelief. Was Eli asking me out, like out-out? Or was he just being nice and giving me something to do besides staying in my hotel room on my off night. And if he was asking me out, did I want him to? Was I ready to try dating someone new? My head spun so hard with all the crazy questions swimming in it that I brought my hand to my forehead to calm it.