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|Throttle Me(Men of Inked #1) by Chelle Bliss|
I took a sip, testing the sweetness of the raspberry martini. This whole night had been a bad idea. I knew it from the moment I accepted his invitation to dinner. I wouldn’t have said yes to him if I weren’t trying to forget the tall, muscular Italian man.
“Suzy,” Derek whispered in my ear further invading my personal space.
“What?” I said into the glass still pressed against my lips.
“Drink up, babe, because I can’t wait to get you out there.” Derek bobbed his head like a character in a skit from Saturday Night Live. I could see his reflection in the mirror and my cheeks felt heated at the thought of someone seeing me with him.
“Uh huh.” I didn’t turn to look at him but kept my eyes on the scene in the mirror like I was watching a television show. I’d find a way to stall. I couldn’t go on to the dance floor with him. No way in hell would that happen. He didn’t have the ability to make me dance like City had, but his awkward movements would only draw more awareness to us when all I wanted to do was blend in.
His fingers touched the skin of my arms and hand as I fought every urge to kick him in the balls. He rambled on about his clubbing days in college and how he mastered the dance floor and people would stop to watch him ‘bust a move’. Almost spitting my drink out, I broke out into laughter with tears forming in my eyes. I could imagine the scene. Derek thought people stopped to admire his ability when in actuality they were stunned or entertained beyond belief.
“What’s so funny?” His lips were turned into a frown as he moved his head away from mine and stared at me.
“Oh, nothing Derek. Just something I remembered from college.” God, I had always been a shitty liar, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The man had confidence and who am I to kill it.
“Ah, okay. I thought you were laughing at me.” He shrugged before sipping his beer and wiping his lips on his shoulder. “Come on, just one dance,” he begged and released me from my human cage.
I sloshed the pink liquid in my glass, now half drained, and lifted it to my lips. I owed him at least one dance for his efforts. I swallowed the last mouthful and placed it on the bar. “Just one.”
His eyes lit up as he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the writhing bodies in the middle of the room. The beat of the music made me unable to feel my pulse even though I knew it had to be hammering. I wanted to throw up at the thought of anyone watching me make an ass out of myself. Just as we reached the spot that Derek wanted, dead center, the DJ switched songs. Fuck, why me? A sad, slow melody filled the air as Derek pulled me into an embrace. I’d rather make a complete ass**le out of myself with a wicked beat that didn’t require touching.
“Perfect,” he said, wrapping his arms around me with his hands resting a little too close to my ass.
Placing my hands on his shoulders, I tried to keep some distance between us, but Derek didn’t get the hint. His body felt nothing like City’s, there was no hardness to it. Derek’s hands roamed my back as he swayed our bodies side to side to the music as I gave in, letting him control our movement. He didn’t speak as he moved us back and forth to the beat. Time passed slowly and I felt like I had been wrapped in his arms for hours with an escape.
When the song ended Derek broke the embrace and backed up to look at me. He gave me a silly grin, “Thank you.”
“For what?” I yelled as the music began to thump through the speakers.
“The dance, Suzy. I loved having you in my arms,” he said, as he reached for my hand and kissed the top.
“You’re a sweet guy, Derek.” I blushed. He wasn’t a bad guy – he just wasn’t City.
“If I didn’t know any better, Derek, I’d think you’re trying to get me drunk.”
He smiled, his face turning pink as he pushed on my back and led me off the dance floor. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”
We passed a set of couches and something drew my attention. There before me was a woman in a skin tight barely there dress with red stiletto heels and long brown hair. The woman didn’t draw my attention but the man’s lap she sat on, City. He didn’t notice me as he talked to her, giving her his total attention. His hand rested on her ass as she nibbled on his lips. I wanted to throw up. He didn’t seem to have a problem forgetting me.
Bile rose in my throat at the sight of the two of them together. I’d spent the entire day trying to forget him without success but he had moved on to someone else. “I’ll take you up on that offer, Derek.” No longer able to watch City with another woman, I walked to the bar with Derek right behind me. Derek only had eyes for me tonight and the smile on his face made it clear that I had made him happy with my response.
Even though I had been the one that ignored him, it still stung to see him enjoying the company of another woman. “What’ll it be, sweetheart?” The bartender asked me as she leaned against the bar with a smile in her Euphoria tank top.
“Shot of anything sweet and another raspberry martini, please.”
“I’ll have another Miller,” Derek said before she walked away. “A shot, huh?”
“It’s Saturday night and I could use a little something stronger.”
“I didn’t know you were a drinker, Suzy.” He grabbed our drinks, pushing mine in front of me before throwing down a twenty for the bartender.
“I’m not, but what the hell. Why not?” I shrugged before picking up the shot and smelling it. Raspberry something or other but I wasn’t quite sure. It would do the job and help dull the pang of jealousy I felt from seeing him with the girl in red. “To life and love,” I said, raising my glass before swallowing the sweet concoction.