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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 92)     
  • Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2)(92) by Katie Ashley
  • “So was I,” she admitted.

    I threw up my hands. “Then what the fuck else is there to say? We’re miserable when we’re apart and happy when we’re together.”

    Tears pooled in her eyes, and I shook my head. “No more bullshit about how I’m too good to put up with all your hang-ups and blah, blah, blah. Just marry me. You can’t worry about the future—we’re not even promised tomorrow. Just here and now. When I see Bray and Lily together and Jake and Abby, I’m envious of what they have. I want that with you and only you.”

    Tears spilled over Mia’s cheeks, but she didn’t bother wiping them away. “Oh AJ,” she murmured.

    I pulled her into my arms before taking her face in my hands. “It’s been a whirlwind, but I know that I love you. I think I loved you from the moment you tied me up in the limo. I’d never had a woman challenge me like you did.”

    “You really want to marry me?”

    “I sure as hell do.”

    She laughed and swiped the tears from her cheeks. “Then where’s the ring?”

    “I’m so glad you finally asked.” Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out a small, velvet box. When I cracked it open, a sob choked off in Mia’s throat. The tears flowed so freely she had to blink several times.

    “That’s Mama Sophia’s ring,” she whispered.

    I nodded. “The base is. I had them reset it in platinum, and then I added the other diamonds.”

    “But how did you—”

    “Your dad sent it to me.” I smiled. “Along with his permission to marry you.”

    Mia staggered back, and I had to grab her shoulders to steady her. “When? How?”

    “I had Duke give the ring to Rhys to bring when he flew down today. And then I asked him everything when we skyped a day or two after we got here.” I winked at her while my mind went back to the day I’d called Duke to ask him if I could marry Mia. I’d been such a nervous pussy I had been shaking when I did it. I mean, the man had every right to take my balls for knocking up his daughter. That in itself was scary enough, but this motherfucker was a former NFL football player with friendly ties to people associated with the mob. I was ready to shit my pants or go into Witness Protection by the time he answered the phone. But he’d surprised the hell out of me, though, by breaking down and crying like a pansy himself.

    I gripped Mia’s chin in my fingers, tipping her head up to look at me. “He was more than happy to give us his blessing, not just so Bella could be legitimate. But because he wanted his baby girl to be happy.”

    A sob echoed through Mia’s chest before she really let loose with the tears. “Oh AJ,” she murmured.

    I took the ring from the box before taking her hand in mine. “Emiliana Sofia Martinelli, you are the most stubborn and infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Even though you drive me crazy and sometimes I want to bang my head against a fucking wall when you’re being difficult, there’s no one else in the world I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

    She laughed at my words. “Thank you…I think.” As I knelt down before her, she stroked my cheek with her hand. “Alejandro Joaquin Resendiz, they broke the mold after they made you. Every stereotype I had about men, you managed to break, and I thank God for that. I’ve given you such an uphill battle, but you always came back for more. I never thought I could love again or be loved, but you proved me so very wrong.” She stooped over to bring her lips to mine. “Thank you for loving me.”

    “It’s my pleasure, amorcito mio. To me, you’re perfect.” I kissed her again before I slid the ring on her finger. She held it up to examine it against the twinkling lights.

    “This is so beautiful.”

    “A beautiful ring for my beautiful girl.”

    “Thank you, AJ. Thank you for everything.” She smiled down at me. Grabbing me by the lapels of my tux, she pulled me up off my knees. “Remember our first day in the carriage when I said we needed to get a hotel room?”

    A smirk slunk on my face. “Yeah, I remember.”

    “Tonight I want to make love to my fiancé, and we know it isn’t happening at your abuela’s.”

    “I couldn’t agree more. No sneaking around tonight or roof-top quickies for my future wife.” I ran my thumb over her lips. “I want to spread you out on the bed beneath me, so I can make love to you nice and slow.”

    A shiver rippled through her. “Let’s go now.”

    I chuckled. “Okay, come on.”

    25

    On aching, swollen feet, I tagged along behind AJ to our third Grammys after party of the evening. Even though I was dead tired and wanted nothing more to crawl into bed, I didn’t dare go back to the hotel room to crash. AJ was on such an adrenaline high since it had been a huge day for Runaway Train, and I wanted to be along for the ride as his supportive fiancée.

    Earlier in the afternoon, I’d felt like I was Cinderella in a fantasy land. Outfitted in a glittering red maternity gown that AJ proclaimed to be sexy as hell, I’d sat in the third row of the Staples Center surrounded by A-list musicians. We’d started off flying high when Abby and the boys of Jacob’s Ladder had won the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group. Then later I shed tears of elation and pride when Jake and Abby won Song of the Year, especially knowing how it had been written about Jake’s late mother. When it came time to announce the Best Pop Duo/Group performance, I held AJ’s hand as he nervously tapped his leg. He’d been on edge all afternoon, but he could barely contain himself in his seat now.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire