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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 78)     
  • Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2)(78) by Katie Ashley
  • “Listen, maybe you won’t be too late. I mean, we’re only about a half a mile down the road.”

    My head snapped up. “It’s only that far?”

    “Yeah, it’s right off the road in the same medical building as my dentist. Why?”

    Without a reply, I fumbled with the door handle. My shaky hands made it almost impossible to open it. Finally, it flew open, and I fell out onto the pavement. Glancing over my shoulder, I cried, “If I can’t get a ride home with Mia, I’ll call you, okay?”

    Rhys’s chocolate brown eyes widened to the size of his shiny Porsche hubcaps. “You’re seriously going to run the next half mile?”


    He shook his head slowly back and forth. “Be careful.”

    “Gotcha.” I slammed the car door, and then started sprinting down the side of the road. I mean, the issue wasn’t being in shape. After all, I usually tried to do a few miles on the treadmill at every tour stop. It was just I never quite pushed my body as hard as I was pushing it right now. The line of cars still hadn’t moved when I streaked into the parking lot of the medical building. I screeched to a stop to board the elevator. Thankfully from Mia’s texts I knew what floor and what suite number I needed to go to.

    After the elevator dinged on the third floor, I burst through the third office door on the right, skidding to a stop on the waxed hardwood floors just inside the entrance. I lunged over to the receptionist who stood frozen with a phone’s receiver in her hand. “M-Must find M-Mia,” I gasped as my lungs screamed in agony. Desperate to catch my breath, I doubled over at the waist, pressing my hands against my thighs.


    Jerking my head up, I gazed across the full waiting room. Dodging the shocked expressions from the other women and men, I sought out Mia. Finally, I found her. She sat in a corner chair, gaping open-mouthed at me. “Hey babe,” I replied lamely.

    As Mia’s brows shot up, the dude across from me snickered until his wife or girlfriend elbowed him in the ribs. Ignoring him, I somehow managed to pick one aching foot up and put it in front of the other to close the distance between Mia and me. It seemed like years before I collapsed down in the chair next to her.

    “I can’t believe you made it.”

    “Promised. I. Would,” I wheezed, wincing at the pain in my chest. When I opened my eyes, Mia, along with the rest of the waiting room, was staring expectantly at me. “Was afraid you’d already be done.”

    “Well, normally I would’ve already been taken back, but the ultrasound technician is stuck in some horrible traffic caused by a wreck.”

    I snorted thinking that I probably ran by his or her car on my way in. Mia reached over to grasp my hand in hers. “AJ, are you okay?”

    “Just. Fine.”

    As I continued sounding like I was hacking up a lung, Mia shook her head. “No offense, but you look like hell.”

    I winced. “I meant to wear something nicer.”

    She squeezed my hand. “Oh AJ, it’s not what you have on. I could care less how you’re dressed.”

    “Really?” When she started to bob her head, I grinned and added, “You wouldn’t mind if I were nude?”

    Instead of admonishing me, she actually giggled. “I don’t think you could have made any more of a scene nude than the way you just busted in here.”

    “Yeah, sorry about that.”

    She gave me a once over from head to toe and sighed. “I’m worried about you. Your face is beet red, you’re sweating profusely, and you’ve just caught your breath. You look like you just ran a marathon or something.”

    “I sorta did.”


    Now that I had my breath fully back, I explained about the delayed flight, the ticket, then the police escort and finally about the traffic jam that had caused me to run the last half mile to the doctor’s office. Mia’s hand flew to cover her mouth as her eyes widened. “Oh AJ, you went through all of that for me?”

    “Of course I did.”

    Mia’s bottom lip trembled, and I could tell she was about to let loose crying. “I, um, I need to run to the bathroom again,” she said, as she rose out of her chair.

    I slung both my arms over the backs of the chairs next to me. “I’ll be right here waiting for you.”

    With a jerk of her head, she replied, “Okay, I’ll be right back.”

    Feeling someone’s hot stare on me, I glanced up from the floor and over at the middle-aged woman directly across from me. Her shaking hands held the latest copy of Rolling Stone—the one our kick-ass PR firm had somehow managed to get us on. She appeared to be fanning herself because she kept pulling back the cover, staring at it, and then glancing at me.

    Deciding to put her out of her misery, I ran a hand through my sweat-slick hair to smooth it down before giving her my most winning smile. “Yup, it’s me.”

    Her eyes widened in astonishment. “I-uh,” she stammered.

    “Nice to meet you.”

    “Yeah,” she squeaked before burying her face back in the magazine.

    Gazing around the waiting room, I surveyed the women of different ages and sizes of pregnancy, along with the ones who were there just for just routine checkups. My throat suddenly started closing up.

    Holy shit. The realization that I now sat in an OB/GYN’s office where I was about to learn the sex of my first child crashed over me. My legs involuntarily started bouncing up and down on their own accord. I jerked my hands off the chairs and started wringing them over and over. I fought the urge to text Bray to tell him I was having another impending fatherhood breakdown. I’d had several of those over the past week after finding out that Mia was pregnant. Bray had talked me down from the ledge each and every time. Although they’d been married at the time, Jude had been a total surprise for Bray and Lily, and one that freaked the hell out of Bray at first. I mean, we were barely twenty-two and just starting to make a name for ourselves. It was hardly the best time to start a family.

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