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|Resist Me(Men of Inked #5) by Chelle Bliss|
I sighed, wishing I could f**k with her mind, but I wanted to put her at ease. “He’s doing okay, Izzy. He’s smart and tough. He’s made it deeper than any other agent.” I tapped my foot on the floor, feeling uncomfortable while trying to shovel a load of bullshit at her.
No one in the life was safe. It could all end without notice, in the blink of an eye.
“That doesn’t sound so promising.” The microwave beeped, and she grabbed the plate from inside. “Will he be done soon?” she asked as she placed the pasta in front of me.
“Hopefully. We’re trying to get him out ASAP, but you know your brother. He wants more. He’s never content.”
She grabbed a fork from the dish strainer and held it out to me. “That’s how all the Gallos are. We always want more.” She smiled.
“I’m counting on it, doll.” I snatched the fork from her hands before she could throw it at me. I knew she hated it, but I wanted to change the subject from Thomas to something that made me happy.
“Just eat and shut up.” She took the dishrag from the sink and wiped down the counters.
Shoving the first forkful in my mouth was sheer happiness. Even a couple of days old and dry, the taste exploded in my mouth. I hadn’t had homemade sauce this damn good since my grandmother passed years ago.
“Mmm,” I mumbled, taking another forkful. “I never pictured the domestic side of you.” I laughed, placing the noodles on my tongue.
“Someone has to clean. I do it all myself, except cook. That is my weakness. Never had the patience for that shit.”
Swallowing my food, I offered, “I could teach you.”
Her hand stilled as she looked at me with big eyes. “You cook?”
“I’ve been known to, yes. I’d love to get your mom’s recipe for this sauce.”
She shook her head and stared. “That is for Gallo family members only. It’s a closely guarded secret. So, what do you cook?” She leaned over the counter and gawked at me as I attacked the pasta.
“Anything you want. I had to learn to cook, being single. I couldn’t maintain this body and eat shit food all the time.”
“Interesting,” she mumbled, watching me shove the fork in my mouth. “Never took you as a Paula Deen.”
I laughed, almost choking on my food. “I think of myself as a better-looking version of Emeril.”
“His food is so damn good. I’ll never believe you can cook like that.”
“Someday you’ll find out.” I wiped my face after I inhaled the pasta.
She pulled my plate from the counter, setting it in the sink. “I won’t, but I’ll take you at your word.”
I smiled but didn’t respond to her remark. She turned me down at every opportunity, but I was fine with the chase. Fuck, I loved a good game of cat and mouse. It was one of the reasons I’d joined law enforcement.
“It’s quite a place you have here,” I said, swiveling around on my stool.
“Want to see the upstairs? It’s my favorite part of the house.”
“Sure. And I’d love that cup of coffee.”
“You can bring it up with you,” she said as she grabbed two cups. “Black?”
She filled the cup, adding sugar to hers before turning around with her hands full. “Here,” she said, placing it in front of me. “Let’s go.”
Once I took my cup, I followed her closely up the stairs I hadn’t noticed before. I had been lost in my thoughts of her and all the dirty things I wanted to do to her.
“This is why I bought the place,” she said when we reached the top.
As I made my way behind her, the stunning landscape came into view. She had a view of the Gulf of Mexico in the distance. The sun shimmering across the water made it look like a sheet of glass covered in glitter.
“Stunning,” I muttered, sipping the coffee.
“Come outside on the deck and have your coffee before you go.” She pulled open the sliding glass doors.
“I’m not used to the nice-girl act,” I said as I followed her.
“I’m not always a twat.” She laughed, sitting down on the swing, facing away from me. “Close the door, please.”
“I’d never call you a twat, Izzy. You have such a mouth.”
“You love my mouth, from what I remember, James.”
“I so f**king do.” I sighed as I closed the door and made my way toward her. As I sat, I said, “This is a little slice of heaven.”
“It’s my serenity. When shit gets bad or my life feels overwhelming, this is where I come to center myself.”
Listening to her talk while we sat together, I felt like I was seeing the real Izzy for the first time. She had her guard down and was speaking to me differently. There was no sarcasm in her voice, no smartass comment—just Izzy. I liked this side of her, but the other one made me wild and drove me crazy.
A comfortable silence settled between us as we sipped our coffee and gently rocked back and forth. The last thing I wanted to do was get back on my bike and leave her, but I had to. Duty called. If I didn’t go back and something happened to her brother, I’d never be able to make her mine. All hope for the future would be killed.
“I better go,” I said. “Thank you for the perfect ending to the last twenty-four hours.” I didn’t look at her as I spoke. I stared off into the distance, taking in the beauty of the Gulf and longing for this life.