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|Throttle Me(Men of Inked #1) by Chelle Bliss|
Her smile faded, but her eyes twinkled as she stepped out of her panties and threw her nightshirt on the floor. She curled against my body and rested her head on my shoulder.
She placed her hand on my chest, not forgetting where I put it the first night we spent together. My heartbeat thudded below her palm as I rested my hand on top of hers. I placed my lips against her forehead. “Sweet dreams, beautiful.”
“Night, Joey,” she said as she yawned. Her breathing changed quickly as she drifted to sleep.
I listened to her tiny breaths as she slept beside me, wrapped in my arms, and curled into my body. I held her hand against my chest and felt her fingertips rub my skin. I felt my eyes grow heavy as I rubbed her hand and tangled my fingers in her hair.
I felt someone staring at me as I opened my eyes in the darkness. “You awake?” she whispered.
“I am now,” I said moving my fingers in her hair. “What’s wrong, sugar?”
“I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to wake you, but I…” Her words cut off.
“What’s bothering that pretty little head of yours?” I moved my fingers out of her hair and rubbed the soft skin of her arms, thrumming my fingers back and forth rhythmically.
“I’m just scared,” she whispered.
“Of me?” I moved my head away to see her face barely lit by moonlight cascading through the blinds.
“Not really.” She rubbed my chest. “I’ve had boyfriends, but only a couple. I’ve never felt about them the way I feel about you, Joey. It scares the piss out of me.”
“How did you feel about them?” I asked, more curious about how she felt about me than the previous men in my shoes.
“They were nice, but I didn’t get butterflies every time I saw them. We’d go days without talking and I was fine with that, but with you I’m always checking my phone for a message. I’m feeling needy with you, Joey, and I don’t like it.”
“Sugar,” I reached for her chin, drawing her shadowed eyes toward my face. “That’s not needy. Needy and clingy is if you’re up my ass all day and want to know my every move. Needy is when you show up at my house all hours of the night and at the shop during the day.” I shook my head and smirked at her. “You’re not needy. Wipe that shit from your mind.”
“If you say so. It’s just a new feeling for me. If I overstep or act like a crazy person, please tell me.” The worry in her eyes began to ease.
“Deal.” I kissed her forehead lingering over the soft flesh with my lips.
“What was your longest relationship?” I asked. I hadn’t been the pillar of normal relationship behavior since I lost Joni, but I had an inkling that she had been just as unlucky in love as I had been.
“Four months,” she whispered.
“Did you love him?”
“I think I loved him, but a week after I said those words to him, he left me. He’s the only man I’ve ever said that to – he broke my heart.” I rubbed my hand up her arms to soothe her while she spoke. “I’ve never really allowed myself to get that close to anyone after that. It was during my freshman year in college and after that breakup, I just spent my time studying and avoiding anything that felt like it could lead to a relationship.” She yawned and burrowed her body a little closer to mine.
“I understand heartbreak and wanting to guard your heart from the pain. I’ve lived it for more years than I’d like to admit.” I pulled her closer, leaving no space between us. “Let’s just take this slow. It’s best for both of us.”
“Slow,” she said, as she reached up and rubbed my face. I pulled her hand back to my chest and held it against my heart.
I could hear her breathing change as sleep took her. I closed my eyes, content and happy for the first time since Joni had last slept in my arms, I look forward to what tomorrow held.
Tattoos and Torment
“How’d it go with Mr. Piercings?” Sophia chuckled in the phone as I chewed my bagel.
“He gave me a little going away present this morning before he headed home to change.” I chomped down, letting the cream cheese slide across my tongue.
“Ooo, someone had a sleepover. I liked him, Suz. He looks badass, but I can see a kind heart underneath. Reminds me a bit of Kayden, but I hope without the other bullshit.”
I swallowed down the dry leftover bagel. “I almost messed everything up with him, Sophia.” I grabbed the glass of milk off the counter, taking a sip, while I waited for her to scream at me.
“Are you f**king crazy? Why in the hell would you do that? What happened?” she yelled, her shrill voice causing my ear to throb.
“I just didn’t see us going anywhere and I didn’t want to get too attached to him. I ignored him yesterday and ended up going on a date with Derek instead.”
“Derek? What the f**k, Suzy? You know that guy gives me the creeps.”
I sighed as I leaned against the counter, wanting to smash my head into the gray Formica for being so stupid. “I know. I just wanted to forget City – epic disaster that I’ll tell you about someday. Anyway, City came to my rescue and took me home.”
“Well thank Christ for small miracles.”
“He asked me to be his girlfriend, Sophia. Can you believe that?”
“I do. You’re an amazing girl, little mama. Any man would be lucky to have you as his woman. City was smart enough to realize it. Kayden was the same way with me, but his hard exterior melted. Sometimes you just have to roll with it to get to the good stuff. Nothing in life is risk free, Suzy.”