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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
“I would never do that to him.”
Abby sighed. “Deep down, I know you wouldn’t knowingly do anything to hurt Eli. But just be careful how far you let this go with him. If you go out with him and see that there’s nothing really there but friendship, let him know. Just don’t lead him on.”
“I promise I won’t. I know the agony of caring about someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you.”
Satisfied with my response, Abby nodded. “Good. Now what exactly are you going to wear tomorrow night?”
I laughed at the complete change of conversation. “I have no idea. I’m not even sure I have anything with me that is club worthy. I didn’t exactly pack that kind of thing for this summer.”
“You and I are pretty much the same size. I’m sure you could borrow one of my show dresses off the rack that I haven’t worn.” Her eyes widened excitedly. “There are several really sexy dresses from my pre-twins days.” When I opened my mouth to protest that she looked like she had lost all her baby weight, she shook her head. “I’ve gone up a dress size.” Then with a devious little grin, she said, “I’ll refrain from telling you what Jake had to say about why he liked the weight gain.”
Holding up a hand, I said, “Knowing him as well as I do, I really don’t want to know.”
Abby’s girlish giggle sent a longing ache ricocheting through my chest. More than anything in the world, I wanted what she and Jake had—a great romance, a deep love, and lots of fun and heat in the bedroom. As much as I wanted that with Rhys, maybe it was time for me to try to move on. He obviously wasn’t going to suddenly become emotionally available or decide that all the reasons not to be together didn’t really matter.
Maybe it was meant for me to truly give Eli a chance. I mean, it didn’t hurt that he seemed to really like being with me, either as a friend or romantically. He had so many admirable qualities like being kind, thoughtful, and good with the twins. Not to mention the fact he was funny as hell. I could see us getting along really well. So there was really no reason for me to hesitate about giving him a real chance. After all, Rhys had made it very clear that we should forget about Savannah and move on. Maybe this was how I was supposed to do it.
Clinging to that thought, I decided that tomorrow night I was going to be wearing the sexiest dress imaginable, even if I had to make some alterations to it myself. Yes, I was about to change my destiny for the better.
With my bass guitar strapped to me, my fingers worked to produce the notes that flowed alongside the melodies of Runaway Train’s music. Today’s rehearsal with the guys found us working on some of the new material we were planning on integrating into the show. Usually we only rehearsed the day of the show, but even though we had tonight off, we were making the most of our time.
While I might have been on stage, my mind could barely focus on anything but Allison. Things had been flowing along so easily between us after our talk on Jake’s bus. That was until yesterday. Fuck, being that close to her for the measurements and then reacting the way I did. I’d wanted nothing more than to bury myself deep inside her or have her luscious lips wrapped around my dick.
But it wasn’t just the thoughts of screwing that had invaded my mind. No, it had to do with my heart as well, and how Allison had called me out on not being honest about the feelings I had for her. She’d always been a smart girl, and she was smart enough to see I had been lying to her.
“Okay, I think that’s good for today. Let’s get the hell out of here,” Jake said.
After I handed off my guitar to a roadie, I started out of the arena to the car that was waiting to take us back to the hotel. “Rhys!” Jake called behind me.
Pausing, I waited for him to catch up. “Hey man, I need to ask you a favor,” Jake said.
“Sure. What is it?”
Jake glanced behind us before he spoke. “You got plans tonight?”
I grinned. “Besides ordering in room service and crashing? Hell no.”
“Trust me, that sounds like pure heaven to me too, but I’m taking Abby and the twins out to visit my mom’s brother.”
“That sounds cool. But where does this favor come in? Don’t tell me you have some cousin you want to fix me up with.”
With a grimace, Jake replied, “Actually, I need you to go out with Allison tonight.”
I skidded on the pavement and almost pitched face first into the limo waiting to take us to the hotel. “Excuse me?”
“She’s going out to some club with Gabe and Eli. Normally, I would be stoked to have her chaperoned with two guys, but the way Eli has been looking at her and treating her lately has me f**king wigged out.”
My mind instantly went to Eli’s serenading Allison yesterday morning. Ugh, the douchebag. Maybe his actions weren’t just teasing, and he was really going to pursue something with Allison. When I really thought about it, it did seem he had been spending a lot of time with her after the rehearsals and shows. Fucking hell. I knew I had to drive her away, but the thoughts of driving her straight into Eli’s open arms pissed me off. Not that he wasn’t a decent guy—she could’ve sure as hell done worse for herself. While he was known for partying pretty hard and enjoying the company of ladies, Eli wasn’t such a bastard that he would pull that shit with Allison. While he might have to fear Jake’s wrath if he mistreated Allison, Eli wasn’t a total ass**le to play on Allison’s emotions. Deep down, I knew his intentions were decent and honest, and he would be good to Allison.