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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Strings of the Heart (Page 89)     
  • Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3)(89) by Katie Ashley
  • We sat in an uncomfortable silence for what felt like a small eternity. Finally, I bit the bullet and went straight to the heart of the matter. “Look man, I’m really f**king sorry you had to find out about Allison and me the way you did.”

    Jake cringed. “Yeah, me too.”

    “We really haven’t been dating behind your back, Jake. It was only yesterday that we came together as a couple. I had every intention of coming straight to you and openly discussing my intentions toward Allison, but she wanted to wait. She felt certain of how you would react and wanted a little time for us to enjoy some happiness before shit hit the fan.”

    Jake gave a small smile. “I see.” He then leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “So Allison gave me her side of the story. What do you have to say?”

    “Just that I’m sorry.”

    With his brows shooting up in surprise, Jake asked, “That’s it?”

    I shrugged. “I don’t know what else to say, but that I’m so f**king sorry. Our friendship has always been in the forefront of my mind, so I feel like shit for keeping Allison and me a secret from you. I don’t want my love for your sister to f**k with our friendship, man. But sometimes you can’t help the path your life takes, and when it comes to Allison, mine derailed in the best damn way possible. She’s one hell of an amazing woman, and I can’t help but love her with all my heart.” When Jake remained uncharacteristically silent, I continued on, “Trust me, I fought like hell not to give in to what I was feeling. But I’m sorry if I’m a selfish bastard for finally deciding that her happiness and my happiness meant more than how you could have felt about us.”

    Jake weighed my words. “How am I supposed to believe that you’re not going to break her heart?” he questioned. Before I could respond, he continued on. “I mean, you’ve barely had any long-term relationships since I’ve known you.”

    Cocking my head at him, I countered, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I could have said the same thing to you when you decided to date Abby.”

    Jake grimaced. “Are you and Allison ever going to stop throwing Abby’s and my relationship in my face?”

    “No, because it’s the only thing I can think of to get you to see reason. In so many ways, our relationships are similar. I’m hoping that fact will help you to see that you have nothing to be worried about. I’m going to love Allison as completely as you do Abby. I will honor her and protect her all the days of my life.”

    “That last bit sounded like wedding vows.”

    I shrugged. “Maybe it did. We’re not planning on running off to Vegas anytime soon. We have a lot to work on in our relationship before we get married. Plus, she’s still young. I want her to be able to finish her degree and get established in the fashion world before I tie her down.”

    “I won’t lie that it does make me feel better to hear you say that. But at the same time, there’s still worry in the pit of my stomach. I just don’t want to think that in a couple of months you’re going to get tired of Allison and leave her.”

    I shook my head furiously. “How could I, Jake? Every day I discover something new about her, and I can’t wait to get to spend more time discovering every little quirk she has. None of us can predict what the future holds, but I promise you that I will work my ass off to make her happy.”

    Jake stared at me for a moment. Then he exhaled noisily. “I guess she could have picked a worse guy to fall in love with,” he mused.

    “Easy there,” I countered, with a smile.

    “You know I will have to kill you if you ever hurt her again.”

    I held my hands up. “I’m willing to take that chance.”

    Jake shook his head. “You’re really f**king sincere about this, aren’t you?”

    “You act surprised?”

    “I guess I expected to hear Allison profess her love for you. It just seems surreal that you’re really sitting here before me claiming you love my sister.”

    “It’s the truth. Each and every word of it.”

    Jake pursed his lips before easing forward on the couch. After he rose to his feet, he threw his hand out. I couldn’t help staring at it in surprise. “Then welcome to the family.”

    “You really mean it, man?”

    He gave me a genuine smile. “Yeah, I really meant it. Since we formed the band, you’ve been my brother. One day in the future, you can be my brother-in-law.”

    I returned his smile. “Fuck, yes.” I rose off the couch. Instead of shaking his hand, I reached over to hug him. “I love you, man,” I said.

    Jake squeezed me tight. “Love ya, too, bro. Still wanna throttle you good but I love ya.”

    I laughed. “I’m sorry—really f**king sorry.”

    “Yeah, well, for now, I think it would be best for you to continue riding on Jacob’s Ladder’s bus.”

    Pulling away, I stared at him in shock. “And why the hell would I want to do that?”

    He scowled at me. “I just can’t hack waking up in the middle of the night and hearing you two going at it, okay?”

    Oh, hell no. I could not believe after all that had been said and done, Jake was still acting this way. “You’ve got to be shitting me? We just got together. How would you have liked it if after you and Abby started dating, her brothers demanded she ride Jacob’s Ladder’s bus, rather than with Runaway Train?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire