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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
“Ah, the fruitcake,” she said as she giggled.
“What do you know about her?” My phone started to dance across the desk again and I grabbed it to stop the jerky movement.
“I’ve heard stories. We’ve all heard things.” She made air quotes with her fingers.
My sister had been holding out on me. “What didn’t you share with me, Isabella?”
“My formal name. Is someone feeling duped?”
“I swear to Christ, Izzy. Why didn’t you warn me? I mean, I would’ve told you if you were going to date some crazy cocksucker.”
“I tried to warn you, but you reminded me that you’re a ‘big boy’.”
If she used air quotes one more time during this conversation I was going to put her in a headlock and mess up her hair until she screamed uncle.
“You told me to mind my own business. So… I thought I’d let you learn the hard way, big brother.” She couldn’t stop laughing.
I sighed. “Next time slap me, will you?”
“Gladly.” Her fingers tangled in my hair, ruffling it just the right way to make me cringe. “So tell me what happened and why is your phone going crazy without you bothering to look?”
“I don’t even know where to start. I ended shit with Tammy and she’s been blowing it up for twelve hours.”
“Why did you end it? Wait, were you guys really a thing?” She leaned over the desk and rested her chin in her hand.
“We weren’t anything but f**k buddies, or at least that’s what I thought. She, on the other hand, had our future planned out. She made a scrapbook, Izzy. A f**king scrapbook.” I slammed my fist down on the desk and started to laugh. “Shit would be funny if it happened to someone else, but she’s crazy.”
“A scrapbook of what?” Her eyebrows drew together.
“The cover was a wedding photo with our faces glued on the bride and groom. I flipped through the book. It was our entire life planned out and in living color. That shit just isn’t normal, Izzy.”
She doubled over in laughter, smashing her fist against the desk. “No, wait.” She couldn’t catch her breath as tears began to stream down her cheeks. “Did you at least take the scrapbook with you? I mean, I need to see this shit.”
“Fuck. I was so pissed I didn’t even think about grabbing it.” I rubbed my forehead, annoyed with myself for being such a dumbass. “She hasn’t stopped calling and texting me since last night.”
Hunched over gasping for breath, she held her hand out. “Give it to me.”
“Gimme your phone, stunad.”
She tapped a few buttons with the tip of her tongue sticking out.
“What are you doing? Please don’t respond to her, Iz.”
She gave me a sour look before turning her attention back to her task.
I sighed, leaning back in my chair and waited.
“Here,” she said, placing it in front of me.
“What did you do?”
“You really need to learn more about your phone, Michael. I blocked her.” She rolled her eyes.
“You can really do that shit?” Stunned, I didn’t know it could be so easy.
I would’ve done it hours ago to avoid the barrage of bullshit.
Izzy just shook her head as she walked away.
Joe and Anthony walked in laughing. They said the usual ‘hey’ walking past me to put their stuff down and prep their areas for customers.
I checked over the schedule while I waited for everyone to finish. Anthony sat first and began to tap out a beat against the plastic chair. Leaning back, he put his head against the wall, and closed his eyes looking lost in the rhythm.
By the time Izzy and Joe made their way to the front of the shop I wanted to rip Anthony’ fingers off and shove them down his throat.
Izzy sat down next to Anthony, resting her head on his shoulder.
“Anything new since yesterday, Mike?” Joe asked, leaning against the desk. He cracked his neck with a quick push to his chin.
Izzy laughed as she whispered in Anthony’s ear. They looked at me and smiled.
“Totally booked. No room for walk-ins unless anyone wants to work extra.”
No one met my eyes.
“Didn’t think so.” I tapped the pen against the schedule and tried to avoid the looks from the two ass**les against the wall.
Joe turned toward them. “What are you two giggling about over there?”
I waved my hands in the air and shook my head. I hoped Izzy would take pity on me. I knew the bullshit that was about to take place if she didn’t.
“Talking about the nuptials between Tammy and Mike.”
Fucking little sisters and their big mouths.
His head turned quickly in my direction. “What the f**k are they talking about?”
“They’re being jackasses.”
“You didn’t elope or anything stupid like that did you?” Joe asked.
“Fuck no! Give me an ounce of credit, will you please?”
We spent the next ten minutes laughing about Tammy and all the problems our dicks had caused through the years. It’s strictly a male issue.
I had to own that shit.
When my first customer arrived five minutes early, I wanted to kiss her feet for saving me from my siblings’ harassment.
I groaned, burying my face in the pillow and tried to avoid facing the world. My body felt heavy and I didn’t want to get out of bed. Even after a full night’s sleep, I couldn’t shake my sadness from work last night and I figured why the hell not. It was worth a shot.