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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Strings of the Heart (Page 92)     
  • Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3)(92) by Katie Ashley
  • “I didn’t think we were quite ready for an engagement ring, and even though they’re kind of passé, I liked the idea of a promise ring. I’m promised to you and only you for the rest of my life, Allison.” Considering my emotions were bubbling over, I could only nod my head. “I didn’t want to get just any ring. I wanted it to have meaning for us.” Reaching over, his fingers gripped my chin, tipping my head up so that I met his gaze. “And then it hit me—the magnolia. It’s the lasting symbol between us—the very string that tied our hearts together all those years ago.”

    “Oh, Rhys,” I murmured, the tears flowing freely down my cheeks.

    “I had Ellie paint another one for me, and then I took it to a jeweler I know who does unique pieces.”

    “It’s…the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” I whispered.

    He smiled. “Then it belongs on the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

    Unable to hold myself back any longer, I threw my arms around Rhys’s neck, holding him tight. When I pulled back, I feathered kisses all over his face. “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

    Rhys chuckled. “I love you, too, babe.” Taking the box from me, he took out the ring. “Give me your hand.”

    When I happily obliged, he slid it onto my left hand. “This signifies that you belong to me and only to me.”

    Cocking my brows at him, I couldn’t help but counter, “And what about you? Where’s my ring to bind you to me?”

    He held up his left hand in front of me and wiggled his fingers for a second. I stared blankly at his palm before my eyes honed in on his ring finger. I gasped. “Oh. My. God.” On the back of his ring finger was my name. Tattooed permanently in black ink. “When did you…how did you?”

    Rhys laughed. “Yesterday when you and Abby were off shopping with the twins, I snuck into a tattoo parlor. I thought it made sense to do the inside now. Then when we get married, I’ll do the outside.”

    For the life of me, I couldn’t think of what to say. I guess Rhys noticed because he asked, “Don’t you like it?”

    “I love it,” I blurted.

    He grinned. “I sure as hell hope so.”

    I shook my head. “I just can’t believe you did that. For me.”

    “For us,” he corrected.

    Leaning over, I brought my mouth to his. “I love you, Rhys,” I murmured against his lips.

    “I love you, too.”

    After we made out for a few minutes, I pulled away, breathless and flushed. “If we don’t stop, I don’t think I’ll be able to walk today.”

    Rhys chuckled. “I’m sorry. It’s just I can’t seem to get enough of you. And I guess it’s the thought of your departure tomorrow that makes me f**king starved for every bit of you. I don’t want to be deprived of one minute of you.”

    It was now or never time for me to take the white elephant by the trunk, so to speak. “I have a surprise for you, too,” I said.

    “You do?” Rhys asked, his lips nuzzling my neck

    My stomach turned a few nervous flip-flops as I braced myself to give him the news. “We're not going to be separated after all.”

    Pulling back, Rhys stared questioningly at me. “What are you talking about?”

    Over the last few weeks, I’d kept pretty silent about the plans I’d been making and the avenues I’d been exploring. I didn’t want to get Rhys’s hopes up before I knew with absolute certainty that things would work out. After exhaling a ragged breath, I said, “I'm not going back to Savannah. I'm going on the road with you.”

    Several emotions ricocheted through Rhys's eyes before he started furiously shaking his head. “No, I'm not letting you do that.”

    "Excuse me? Since when do I need your permission?”

    “You can't just drop out of college, Allison. Not as hard as you have worked.”

    “Oh really? I know someone else who did, and last time I checked, he's doing pretty well for himself.”

    Rhys scowled at me. “My situation was totally different, and I did get my Bachelor’s degree in pre-law.”

    “Actually, I think mine is a little better. I'll actually be working on my degree while doing more apprenticeship.”

    His brows lined in confusion. “What do you mean?”

    “I'm going to take some online classes. At the end of the day, I don't have to have a degree to launch my own clothing line. I need real world experience, and I'll be getting that with your stylist, Renee.”

    “Do your parents know about this?” When I bobbed my head, Rhys groaned. “Great, just another f**king reason for them to hate me.”

    “Actually, Mr. Negative, they thought it was a great idea.”

    “You’re shitting me?”

    “No, I’m not. I’m still fulfilling the requirements of my degree while getting on-the-job training. In another year or two, I may have to go back to Savannah for a semester to finish up, but I will finish. I promise.” When Rhys remained silent, my lips turned down in a determined pout. “Don’t you want me to stay with you?”

    He rolled his dark eyes at me. “Of course, I want you with me. I can’t imagine anything better. But at the same time, I don’t want you doing anything that you’re going to regret later on down the road.”

    As I ran my fingers through his hair, I shook my head. “I could never regret one single thing about you.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire