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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Strings of the Heart (Page 75)     
    Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley
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    At the sound of someone behind her, Allison jerked her head up. An odd sense of déjà vu came over me as I met her gaze in the mirror, like a sickening repeat of last night. “Please leave me alone.”

    I remained standing exactly where I was, my chest rising and falling with heavy breaths. Allison smacked her hands on the table. “If you have any decency left, you’ll walk out of here right now.”

    My head jerked back like she had slapped me. I don’t think I had ever seen her so visibly angry. While extremely passionate, she was usually able to keep her emotions in check. Fuck, I had so screwed up. Unable to form the right words, I mumbled a weak, “I’m sorry.”

    She gave a mirthless laugh. “I’m so f**king tired of you saying that.” Shaking her head at me, she said, “I can’t do this anymore. Tonight after the show, I’m leaving on the first flight out of here.”

    Her words had the same effect as if she had punched me in the gut. Gut-wrenching pain caused me momentarily to double at the waist. I struggled to breathe so that I could find the words necessary to make her stay. “No, you can’t do that,” I argued. I closed my eyes as the agony washed over me. “Please.”

    “If I stay here one minute longer with you with the way things are between us, I’m going to go crazy.”

    Extreme panic crept along my spine. This was sure as hell not what I had envisioned happening when it came time to beg for Allison’s forgiveness. I started grasping at straws—anything to earn Allison’s forgiveness. “What about the internship? You can’t just walk away from the opportunity—it means too much.”

    “I’ve completed most of the field work, and I can finish the designs and clothes at home. I’m sure Miriam would work with me over Skype.”

    I felt myself drowning even more in the quicksand of panic about her leaving. “But what about the twins? As much as you love them, you’re just going to leave?”

    Tears streaked down Allison’s face. “I love them more than anything in the world, but right now, I have to love myself more.”

    I shook my head back and forth. “No, you can’t do this. I won’t let you.”

    Her dark eyes narrowed at me. “Here’s a newsflash, Rhys. You don’t get to tell me what to do. Since you’re not my boyfriend, let alone a true friend, you don’t even get to suggest anything for me to do. In the vast scheme of things, you don’t matter at all. You’re just the heartless bastard who broke my heart.”

    Her words cut through my chest to pierce my soul. “Allison, please believe me when I say that I’m so f**king sorry. If I could take it all back, I would.”

    “No, you’re not. You say those words because they’re easy, but your actions? They’ll just keep on torturing me.”

    When she started to brush past me to make it to the door, I reached out for her. “Please, Allison, let me make it right,” I said.

    “Don’t touch me!” she cried, slapping my hands away.

    I hung my head in shame. “I did this to you. I caused you this pain, and I have to make it right. I’m sorry. Please, please, let me make it up to you. Please…don’t go.”

    Burying her face in her hands, Allison said, “Rhys, I meant it. Leave. Now!”

    “I can’t. Not until you hear me out. I owe you at least that much.”

    Allison jerked her head up and glared icily at me. “Here, let me help you then.” With all the strength she had in her, she shoved me toward the door. “Get out!”

    “Why won’t you listen to me? I can’t leave you right now because I need you too much. And I can’t let you leave me.”

    Her eyelids fluttered as she blinked rapidly. “What?”

    “I’m sorry for pushing you away. I’m sorry that I lied when I said I didn’t care about you. Most of all, I’m sorry for ever causing you so much pain.” I ran my hand nervously through my hair. “This afternoon after I left you in Jake and Abby’s suite, I did some serious soul-searching.” I thought it was best to leave out the part with Sierra at the moment. “Finally, it hit me like a f**king epiphany, and it was like I saw everything clearly for the first time.” Reaching for her hand, I took it in mine and squeezed. “I’ve been lying to you about my feelings, but most of all, I’ve been lying to myself.”

    “Rhys, I—” she began.

    I shook my head. “Please. Just listen.” I brought her hand to my lips and kissed it gently. “Hear me when I say that I’ve fallen for you, Allison Slater—heart, soul, and body. That I probably first felt something for you when you were just sixteen—the night I kissed you for the first time. Something changed within me that night—like fate was giving me a preview of things to come. But like everything else with you, I chose to ignore it. Then I came to see you in Savannah, and while I just wanted to believe we were having fun like friends would, the truth was there all along, just waiting beneath the surface to be revealed. And then when the truth was revealed, I got scared, and like a f**king coward, I drove you away and then I ran. That was an ass**le move, and I’m sorry. All the while I knew that I cared very deeply for you. I always have. When it came time to see you again for the tour, I, again, convinced myself it would be better off to be friends, to forget that wonderful night of mind blowing sex had ever happened.”

    I couldn’t help smiling when red tinged her cheeks from my mentioning the sex. “But it wasn’t just the pleasure of being buried deep inside you or the way your soft skin felt like velvet against mine or the sweet as honey way you tasted on my lips. It was the fact I was making love for the first time—to someone I deeply cared about who was a best friend. A soul mate even. There was no better feeling in the world for me than when I held you in my arms and finally allowed myself to let go. ”

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