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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
In the end, it was just the principle of it all that pissed me off so much. Although Eli didn’t know, Allison was my girl, and I didn’t want to think of her with anyone else. The irony that I was having these feelings wasn’t lost on me.
“So what’s it gonna be, man?” Jake asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.
“Oh, uh, yeah, I can go with them.”
He grinned. “Good. I know he won’t try any bullshit if you’re there.”
Inwardly, I groaned. So far, Eli had been an absolute gentleman, while I’d been the vile motherfucker who had defiled his sister. Not to mention the fact that I had been lying to him about my feelings for Allison for the last month, if not longer.
As I slid inside the limo, I had the feeling that tonight was going to be a living hell of epic proportions.
At just before nine, Allison came out of her suite and into Jake and Abby’s where I was waiting to meet her. My low whistle interrupted her stuffing her room key in her purse. She jerked her head up and gasped. I’m sure she had been hoping for Eli or Gabe, but instead she had found me. Her pained expression illustrated the fact that I was the last person on the face of the earth that she wanted to see at the moment. “W-What are y-you doing here?” she stammered.
I motioned down to my dress pants and button-down shirt. “Joining you for a night out on the town.”
Her brows shot up in surprise. “I thought it was just me and the twins.”
Running a hand through my hair, I replied, “Yeah, well, Jake asked me to tag along. I don’t think he liked the thought of you out alone with Gabe and Eli. Well, I guess more precisely being alone with Eli.” I couldn’t help letting my gaze dip down to hungrily take in her appearance. Her long, dark hair fell in loose waves over her shoulders and back. But that wasn’t what had me practically stupefied with lust.
It was the fact she was wearing one hell of a red dress. Unlike the one she’d had on at Saffie’s, this one molded against her body like a second skin, showing every curve in delicious detail. With its one strap and tight bodice, her cle**age was cinched up again, causing my dick to jerk in my pants. “Of course, I don’t think he would have let you out of the suite in that dress.”
“This is utter bullshit!”
“Tell me how you really feel about me going,” I teased.
Throwing one of her hands up in frustration, Allison challenged, “I’m an adult. It’s none of Jake’s business what I do.” She closed the distance between us in two angry strides. “And I sure as hell don’t need you tagging along.”
“Is that right?”
“Yeah it is. I desperately need to have some fun tonight. Not be constantly reminded of the past.”
Her words had a greater effect on me than she could have imagined. While I had to get her to fall out of love with me, I didn’t want to hurt her now or ever. The thoughts that what she had experienced with me in Savannah caused her pain caused an ache in my chest. I drew in a deep breath. “Look, Allison, I can never express how truly sorry I am about what happened between us. More than anything, I just want you to be happy.”
Narrowing her eyes at me, Allison drew her shoulders back. “Yeah, well, f**k you and your bullshit apologies!” She then proceeded to stomp past me. I stared open-mouthed at her retreating form. When she flung open the door, she turned back to me. “Ready, Mr. McGowan?”
“What the hell is this ‘Mr. McGowan’ business?” I demanded, as I joined her at the door.
She shrugged. “I figured since you were my chaperone, I should address you formerly. And since you’ve made it very clear that you want nothing to do with me on a romantic level, I figured calling you that kept the distance you so desired.”
I blinked at her several times. This was a side of Allison I was not used to. Immediately, the expression “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” flashed in my mind. “Um, okay,” I finally managed.
When we got out into the hallway, Gabe and Eli were waiting for us down by the elevators. The sight of Allison in her dress caused both of their eyes to bulge, but Eli stepped forward to draw Allison against him. “Damn, you look mighty fine tonight,” he said.
Allison gave him a girlish giggle. “Thank you. It’s one of Abby’s old dresses. I just made some alterations to it.”
Eli pulled away to grimace at Allison. “Ugh, you just totally killed all the naughty fantasies I had running through my head about you by telling me that dress was my sister’s!”
As Allison smacked Eli playfully on the arm, I rolled my eyes. At the rate it was going, it was going to be a long, f**king night, and Jake was going to seriously owe me. That was if I managed not to get arrested for throttling Eli.
After taking the elevator downstairs, we hopped into the limo waiting for us. Eli was a quick bastard. After he allowed Allison to get in first, he then slid in behind her. I was left to sit across from them, giving me a f**king eyeful of Allison’s legs. I wasn’t sure just how happening a nightlife Boise had, but I sure as hell hoped I could get a few good beers in me to numb my mind.
It wasn’t too long before the limo pulled up outside a club. Once we got out, we bypassed the others in line and headed straight inside. Not that there was a massive line like it was the old Studio 54 or something, but it was enough to show we were VIPs.
As we made our way through the crowd, multicolored strobe lights lit up the darkened dance floor. Couples, of different sexes and different arrays of dress, gyrated to the beat. “This place is amazing!” Allison called over the thumping bass of the music.