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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 98)     
  • Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2)(98) by Katie Ashley
  • Rhys shook his head wildly back and forth. “Screw that dude. I’m not getting married until I’m thirty.”

    I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I said the same thing.”

    “I said forty,” Jake said.

    With a shrug, Rhys said, “Well, it ain’t happening for me anytime soon. Got it?”

    “Whatever,” Jake, Brayden and I all said in unison.

    We were interrupted by the wedding coordinator. “It’s time.”

    While my heart leapt into my throat with nerves, I clapped my hands together as if anxiously ready to get this show on the road. It wasn’t that I was nervous about marrying Mia—I’d totally been the chick in the relationship by being ready to get married immediately. Hell, I would have married her in Mexico right after I proposed. But she had wanted to wait to give us time to settle in to being engaged, to our new life on the road, and most importantly, to having Bella before we tied the knot. In the end, it made the most sense because she wanted the dream wedding she’d once planned years ago with that douchebag Dev. Between my touring schedule and a newborn, it had taken a little longer to get the wedding planned and executed.

    With a confident smile at my groomsmen, I said, “Okay, let’s do this.”

    My first step out into the crowd was one of total confidence. As Best-Man, Antonio followed behind me, then Jake, Brayden, and Rhys. My Tio David was part of the crew and my father, as well as some of my cousins. We were a full house of attendants with both Mia and I having nine attendants…each.

    The organ started up the chords of Canon in D for the bridesmaids to enter. The large double doors at the back of the church swung open, and a chorus of ‘aww’s’! rang through the cathedral at Bella’s appearance. Toddling as best she could up the aisle, she looked like a living and breathing doll in her frilly white dress and lavender ribbons in her short, dark hair. She had turned one only a few weeks before, but she had been walking since she was just ten months old, much to mine and Mia’s dismay of chasing her everywhere.

    Holding her hand, Melody wore a matching white dress with lavender sash. Even though Melody was almost three, both she and Bella were loaded guns on whether they would actually execute their duties as flower girls. While Melody gripped her basket tight in her hands while occasionally tossing a few lavender petals onto the floor, Bella was completely oblivious to the petals in her basket. Instead, she was enjoying the attention of everyone she passed. Her tiny hand waved and blew kisses to people. Man, she was a little ham, just like her old man.

    When she got half-way up the aisle, she saw me at the top of the altar. Her face brightened, and her chubby cheeks stretched into a wide grin, showing off the bottom and top teeth she’d cut. “Dada!” she shrieked, before dropping her basket and barreling towards me. Laughter rang around us at her outburst.

    “No Bella!” Melody shouted.

    I didn’t bother telling her to stop. Instead, I squatted down and held out my arms for her. She dove into them, bestowing kisses on my cheeks. From the way she was acting, you would have thought she hadn’t seen me in months, rather than a few hours.

    “Look at you, mi bella princesa, mi niña hermosa,” I said, kissing her cheeks.

    Bella tilted her head and gave me a teasing little smile that outrivaled my signature smirk. Yeah, she’d inherited a big dose of my cockiness. She was a downright flirt when it came to the guys and getting what she wanted from them. Just like me, Jake and Rhys were wrapped around her tiny finger. People already loved to tell me that I was in for nothing but trouble when she got to be a teenager. Jesus, I didn’t even want to think of that. I’d probably end up in jail for throttling some horny twatcake.

    “Now, go to Abuela,” I instructed, motioning to the front bench where my mother held out her arms. Bella’s tiny brown brows furrowed while her lips turned down in a pout. “Go on. She has Cheerios for you in her bag.”

    “Hmm,” she murmured, before I put her back down. If there was one thing she was addicted to, it was Cheerios. Thankfully, she made a bee-line for my mom who was waving the zip-lock bag at her. I had just retaken my place at the head of the altar when the organ began the introduction to Ave Maria, for Mia’s entrance. I gave a quick smile to the girls…and Dee, who was Mia’s Honor Attendant or Dude of Honor or some shit. I glanced back at the guys who all grinned back at me.

    When the doors opened revealing Mia and Duke, my heart shuddered to a stop. It felt like an eternity before it started beating normally again. I had never seen her so fucking radiant. Her long, dark hair fell in waves over her bare shoulders. A glittering tiara sat on top of her head, holding her veil in place. Her strapless dress showed off just enough of her fabulous rack to get the lower half of me up and running.

    As she approached me at the altar, tears sparkled in her eyes. “Hey, don’t cry, amorcito mio,” I whispered.

    She shook her head. “Don’t worry. They’re happy tears. I promise.”

    “They better be.”

    “Who gives this woman in marriage?” the priest asked.

    “I do,” Duke replied. Taking Mia in his arms, he hugged her tight. As he pulled away, he kissed Mia’s cheek tenderly before turning back to me. He held out his hand, and I shook it firmly. “Good luck, son.”

    “Thank you.”

    He gave Mia a final kiss before taking his seat on the first pew. “Dearly beloved we are gathered here today…” the priest began, but I tuned him out. With my heart beating so wildly I thought it might explode out of my chest, all I could do was stare at Mia. Until that moment, I hadn’t truly realized that there had been a hole in my heart—one that only Mia’s love could seem to fill. She and her love confounded me, humbled me, and so completely astounded me. I knew I was one lucky bastard.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire