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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
I placed the glass on the table. “Tell me more about you,” I said, rubbing my fingertips across the crystal stem.
“What would you like to know?” he asked as he motioned to the gentleman.
“Are you a piercer or a fighter?”
Two dishes were placed in front of us. Each contained a mouth-watering steak with asparagus and a baked potato. The man grabbed my napkin off the table and placed it on my lap.
Looking at him I smiled. “Thank you, sir.”
“My pleasure,” he said before walking away and making himself busy.
“I’m part owner in the tattoo shop. I don’t have the artistic ability that the rest of my siblings have so I learned everything I could about piercing. I’ve been doing it for years. I couldn’t tattoo even if I wanted to. My hands get pretty messed up sometimes after a fight.”
“I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that you let someone hit you.”
“Only if they’re fast enough,” he said, as he laughed.
“Why?” I cut into my steak, averting his gaze.
“It’s a rush, Mia. I can’t explain it, but it’s the greatest high ever.”
“I still think it’s barbaric.”
“Street fighting is barbaric, not MMA matches. We both know what’s going to happen. It’s sport.”
“Softball is a sport and much safer,” I said placing the mouthwatering steak on my tongue.
He laughed and it was so genuine that it warmed my body from the inside out. “It’s a sport for girls. No offense to you.”
“None taken,” I said as I waved my fork in the air. “Sexist, but I wouldn’t expect anything less.” I laughed, covering my mouth with the back of my hand.
“Hey, now. My sister would kick my ass if she thought I was sexist.”
“Oh? Tell me about her. She sounds like my type of girl.” I giggled.
“Yeah, you and Izzy would get along very well. She’s the baby in the family, but we’re all scared of her. She’s an in your face kind of girl. She takes no shit, but I guess that happens when you grow up with four brothers.”
“She’s lucky. Sounds like a great way to grow up.”
“She’d see it differently.”
“Why?” I asked with a frown. “I’m an only child and I always wanted someone to play with as a kid.”
“She didn’t get many dates as a teenager.” He laughed. “We scared most of them away.”
“I could only imagine, but she was lucky to have brothers that cared.”
“You’ll have to tell her that.”
“So, there are three more of you walking around?”
“Yeah. We’re all very different. My brother, Thomas, is an undercover cop, Anthony likes to call himself a musician, and Joseph is just a tattooist.”
“Your poor mother.” I shook my head and sipped the champagne.
“She kept trying for a girl, which she got after four boys. Now she wants grandchildren.” He smirked at me.
“Oh.” My stomach flipped from the look on his face.
He’s so drop dead gorgeous, I’d almost be willing to drop my panties and start working on making her dream a reality.
“Enough about kids. Tell me about your family, Mia.” He wiped his mouth and set his napkin on the table.
“My parents are snowbirds and right now they’re back in Minnesota. It’s just me here, but I would never move back to the freezing cold.”
“Cold has some good points.” He rested his head on his hands and watched me as I cut the last piece of steak on my plate.
“Laying by a fire and being snowed in together.”
“Those are the only positives. I think more of scraping my car windows, shoveling snow, frostbite, and other crappy things that go with Minnesota life.”
We stared at each other as I chewed the last morsel and finished off the champagne in the glass. The sun hovered over the ocean, the sky blazed with the most beautiful shades of red and orange.
He stood, holding out his hand. “Come on, Mia, let’s go watch the sunset.”
“I thought we were,” I said placing my hand in his, feeling the electricity that sizzled between us.
“I want to be a little more comfortable for the show. I have a blanket that’s calling our name.”
Walking hand in hand, we snuck glances at each other as we approached the blanket. Suddenly I felt shy and my stomach flipped as I sat down and he moved to sit behind me.
“Come here,” he said placing his legs on either side of me and grabbing my hips.
I closed my eyes, inhaling sharply from the feel of his fingers digging into my flesh. I shimmied my body backward until our upper bodies connected. The warmth that permeated off him felt hotter than the setting sun hanging just above the horizon.
“Lean back, Mia,” he whispered in my ear, sending a chill across my skin.
Placing my hands against his knees, I rested my head on his shoulder and stared at the sky. Peace overcame me as I sat straddled between his legs; our bodies connected, and watched the changing colors over the water. His fingers traced a path around my ear to my neck and brushed the hair off my shoulder.
“It’s so beautiful,” I said as tears formed in my eyes.
“Not as beautiful as you. Are you crying?” he asked with knitted brows.
“I don’t know,” I said, laughing and wiping at the corners.