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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 99)     
  • Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2)(99) by Katie Ashley
  • I pressed myself flush against AJ, my husband of four hours, and swayed to the music under the twinkling ballroom lights. Besides the birth of Bella, today, my wedding day, had been the most amazing day of my life from start, and now, to almost finish. After the ceremony, we had left the church for my dream reception venue—The Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theater. Since we were comprised of two ethnicities known for partying, we had been going full force since seven o’clock.

    I’d cut the massive seven tiered cake and smashed some onto AJ’s face while he’d managed to accidentally drop a piece down the front of my dress to be recovered by his tongue. I’d thrown my bouquet into Allison’s eager arms, only to have Dee teasingly snatch it away. Then AJ had used his teeth to extricate the garter off of my leg to throw at Rhys.

    We’d spent the rest of the night dancing in each other’s arms. There was truly no better feeling. Our first dance as man and wife had been to Anema e Core, which was soon followed by Amorcito Mio. I’d barely eaten any of the massive spread of food or had some of the free-flowing alcohol. All I wanted was AJ—the man of my dreams and thankfully my reality as well.

    Suddenly, in the middle of a romantic love song, my Spidey mommy senses perked up, alerting me that something was wrong with Bella. Sure enough, Mari started across the floor with a wailing Bella in her arms. The moment she saw AJ and me, she stretched out her arms and kicked her legs.

    “I was going to take this little girl on across the street to the hotel to bed, but I got halfway out of the ballroom when she started screaming for her mama and dada.”

    “Come here, mi amor,” AJ crooned, taking Bella from Mari.

    Snubbing back her tears, Bella rubbed her red eyes with her tiny fists. I leaned over to kiss her wet cheek. “It’s way past your bedtime, sweetheart. Go on with Abuela. Mommy and Daddy will see you in the morning.”

    AJ nudged me. “Surely she can stay a little while longer and dance with us? I mean, how many times do her parents get married?” he questioned, with amusement twinkling in his eyes.

    With a grin, I shook my head. “You are spoiling her rotten. It’s no fun playing bad cop all the time, AJ.”

    “Actually, that could be really fun for us to play in the bedroom.”

    Considering his mother was still standing right there, I smacked his arm. “Fine. She can stay. But when she starts screaming again, I’m walking away, and you can deal with her.” I hugged Mari, before she started off the floor and back to her table.

    AJ wrapped his free arm around me to where Bella was cocooned between us. She rested her head against his shoulder. He jerked his chin up at the band leader who nodded. When the opening notes to Unchained Melody came on, I smiled and pressed myself closer against AJ. I remembered the first time we had danced to this song, and he had sung to me in Spanish. This time he began singing to both me and Bella. By the time the song ended, she was fast asleep.

    “I’ll go put her down,” I said.

    “Nah, let’s make our exit.”

    “It’s only midnight, AJ.”


    I laughed. “It would be considered poor form since Italian and Mexican couples do not leave the reception until at least two in the morning.”

    He snorted. “As long as the booze keeps flowing, the food keeps coming, and the music keeps playing, they’ll be fine. Besides, we did the whole cake cutting/bouquet throwing shit.” He leaned down to nuzzle my neck. Whispering into my ear, he said, “I’m ready to consummate our marriage, aren’t you?”

    “Yes,” I murmured. His words in my ear started up a thrum of desire within me—one only AJ could do.

    “Good. So let’s get the fuck out of here.”

    AJ waved to our remaining guests and motioned down at Bella’s sleeping form, as if she excused us for making a run for it. Mari rose out of her chair and came with us since Bella would be sleeping in her and Joaquin’s suite tonight. We were leaving for Mexico in the morning—this time when we spent a few days with Abuela, we would be sleeping together. Then it was on to a resort in Puerto Vallarta while Bella stayed behind with Abuela.

    Joined by two hulking body guards, we made our way outside onto Peachtree Street. There were only a few straggling paparazzi wanting to get a picture of us. A year ago we’d given them quite the story with Bella’s limo birth. As flashbulbs went off all around us, AJ quickly handed Bella to me and then took off his tux jacket. He wrapped it around my shoulders so Bella would be shielded from the flashes of the photographers.

    We hustled across the street to the Georgian Terrace. When we got to her floor, Mari took Bella from me. Thankfully, she was still sleeping soundly. I think the day’s events had completely worn her out. Before she stepped off the elevator, Mari turned to me with a smile. “Today was so very beautiful. We’re so happy you’re officially a part of our family now, Mia.”

    I smiled. “Thank you. I am, too.”

    She gave me a quick hug before heading off to her room. AJ and I continued on up to one of the bridal suites. “So, did you buy something sexy to wear for me tonight?”

    Even though I had one entire bag of my luggage full of naughty items from my lingerie shower, I shook my head. “What would be the point? You’d get hard if I was wearing a flannel gown.”

    AJ threw his head back and laughed. “True. But I’d still like to see you in some lace and garters.”

    I wrapped my arms around his neck. “Then, I think that can be arranged.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire