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|Throttle Me(Men of Inked #1) by Chelle Bliss|
“What about her? Is she madly in love with my baby boy?”
“Ma,” I should hate her calling me her baby boy, but my mother could call me anything in the world. I adored the woman. “She isn’t jumping on the Joey train. I don’t think she really wants to see me.”
“What? Why not?” she leaned against the counter, crossing her arms. “You’re perfect.”
“That’s cause I’m your kid. I’m hardly perfect, Ma,” I cleaned the last dish and placed it in the rack to dry. “You don’t really know everything about me, no matter what you think.”
“I know more than you think, sweetheart. Iz has loose lips, you know.” I could beat my little sister’s ass. I’m sure she doesn’t tell my ma about all her love affairs. “I know you’re quite the ladies’ man. I’m not judging you, Joey. You never bring any girls around, but I know you.”
Fucking Iz. “When and if I find the one, Ma, you’ll be the first to know.” I kissed her cheek and her radiant smile lit up the room. “Suzy sees me as a tattoo artist that rides a motorcycle and hangs out in shit hole bars. I don’t exactly rank up there on her boyfriend material checklist.”
“I kinda like this girl already,” she giggled. I loved hearing the sound of her laughter. “She doesn’t know everything about you and our family?” she raised her eyebrow.
“No, I don’t tell anyone about us, Ma.”
“Checklists are made to be changed. She needs to know the Joey I do. Are you going to ask her out? Makes her yours?” she asked.
“That’s what I was trying to do at the table, but she has class.”
“Ah, a smart girl too. Joey, don’t ask a girl out through text message. That’s what’s wrong with you kids today. She needs to hear your voice when you ask. Texting is too impersonal and I’ll never understand it. Call the girl.”
“I will. I’ll call her later. Happy?”
My ma wrapped her arms around me and said, “Very.”
I couldn’t get him out of my mind and it had been less than twenty-four hours since he dropped me off with a soul-stealing kiss. His cocky smile, his muscles, the way he touched me, stayed with me long after he left. No one had made me want to break a rule more than he did. No matter how hard I tried to concentrate on my lesson plans for the upcoming quarter, my mind drifted to him.
Trying to quiet my brain I flipped on “Catfish” as I crawled in bed. It had been my guilty pleasure since this show began. I loved watching the train wreck and the broken hearts of those that thought they fell in love with someone only to find out that they weren’t who they pretended to be.
I used to tease Sophia and Kayden, my old roommates, mercilessly about how different their little tryst in New Orleans could’ve turned out. Their situation was different; they had mutual friends and had checked each other out, so they felt it was a sure thing.
On paper Kayden and Sophia didn’t work – it wasn’t a match made in heaven, but their love was undeniable. It was electric. Sophia followed her heart and his pull was inescapable for her. She fell for him hook, line and sinker. I never understood it until I got to know Kayden. He wasn’t anything like I thought – his heart was pure, but his path in life had been different than mine. I’d never believe Sophia would find a guy without a college education and a criminal record to fall in love with, but they’re the happiest couple I know and I want that kind of love.
My checklist had been realistic in theory, but City had me questioning my method and requirements. I’d dated men that fit on paper but the chemistry lacked. City was just so City. I was approaching the end of my twenties, sitting in bed, eating bon bons, and watching “Catfish” alone.
I am happy, aren’t I?
My phone began to move across my nightstand. I popped the last morsel of chocolaty goodness in my mouth, “Herlo?”
“Hey, Suzette.” The vibration of his voice through the phone made my heart skip a beat as I swallowed the chocolate slowly. Damn, why did I have to eat that last piece before I answered? Herlo? I sounded like I had a speech problem.
“Oh, hey. How are you?” I grabbed the water on my nightstand and washed down the last bit of candy.
“I’m well, sugar. Whatcha doin’?” I heard rustling in the background. Were those his sheets? Was he naked?
“Just watching television and I’m about to go to sleep, you?” I wiped the chocolate from my lips and licked my finger. These little bitches are so damn tasty.
“Just laid down too. What are you wearing?” he asked in a smooth and deep timbre.
Omg, he didn’t just ask me that. Looking down I had my ratty go to clothes when I lounged around the house. “Um, a tank top and flannel pajama pants.”
I could hear him laughing, “Really?”
“Yeah, why? What are you wearing?” Please don’t say you’re naked.
“Nothing, sugar.” Damn it all to hell. “You still there?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I knew he could hear the change in my tone as it came out all breathy and quiet.
“When can I see you again?” he asked.
“I don’t know, City.” I wanted, god how I wanted to scream now, but I needed to think about him – us.
“Don’t deny you want me, Suzy. I can hear it in your voice. You’re thinking of my c**k inside you and your lips on mine.”