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|Throttle Me(Men of Inked #1) by Chelle Bliss|
“Can I help you ladies?” a man asked. He looked like a younger version of City. His muscles bulged from under his shirt, his arms covered in tattoos flexed as he rose from his chair.
“I’d like to get a tattoo today. Any possibility of that?” Sophia asked.
Looking around the shop as Sophia spoke with the one of the Gallo boys, I took in all the vibrant colors on the walls – reds and oranges with yellow on the ceilings. No white space invaded this realm of his life.
I walked over to the beautiful artwork on the walls to get a closer look. The pieces on the wall were body parts that had been decorated with some of the most stunning work I’d ever seen. I turned my head and my stomach dropped. City was sitting next to a beautiful brunette with his hand on her breast and his face only inches away. They were laughing and talking, but he didn’t see me. They looked comfortable together, like there was something between them, or maybe there had been at some point. My heart thumped against my chest and I felt flushed looking at them.
I walked back by the desk quickly and grabbed Sophia’s arm. “Can we go, please?” I asked quietly.
She turned around and gave me a confused look. “What’s wrong?”
“He’s touching some girls boob and I just can’t look at it. It hurts to see it.”
She touched my shoulder. “Babe, it’s a ‘boob’. He’s an artist and some girls like tattoos on their br**sts. It’s like a gynie looking at a snatch; it’s just another body part. Don’t get caught up in what you think you see.” She smiled.
“You’re crude. It was more how they were looking at each other.” I shrugged.
“Was he looking at her or what he was doing?” she eyed me.
“He was looking at her breast, for Christ’s sake.”
“He was looking at his lines. Calm the f**k down before you have a coronary. Lemme see.” She pushed me back and peered through the doorway to the tattoo area. “Look,” she said yanking my arm and pulling my body to see what she saw. “He’s concentrating on his artwork.” She held my body so I couldn’t move and forced me to view City touching someone else.
“Call me prude, but I don’t want to see it.” I pulled away from her grip. “I’ll go wait in the car, you get your tattoo or whatever. I can’t be in here, Sophia.”
“God, you’re so dramatic. Get over your shit. He’s not f**king the bitch in the chair, he’s creating a masterpiece.” She looked pissed at me. “Suit yourself, go wait in the car and I’ll be out in a bit.”
I pushed the door open as I heard Sophia say, “Hey, City.”
Damn it. I wanted her to leave with me. I knew she was going to spill her guts, or should I say mine, and tell him everything that happened. I sat in my car and waited for over an hour. I titled the seat back and closed my eyes enjoying the warmth of the sun. I cracked the window an inch so I could feel the cold rush of wind on my face every so often.
“What are you doing, sugar?” I jumped, his voice waking me from a nightmarish dream. His face was buried in someone else’s legs, kissing them with his mouth like he had done to me the night before.
“You scared the crap out of me. Jesus.” I placed my hand over my eyes to block out the sun as I looked out the window to look at his beautiful body.
“Why aren’t you inside with Sophia? What the f**k are you doing out here alone? You didn’t want to see me?” He looked hurt, but I couldn’t get the visual of him with the woman’s boob out of my mind.
“I thought it was best if I waited out here.”
“Are you going to open your door so we can talk face to face? Or am I going to talk to you through glass like it’s a prison visit?”
“You looked like you had your hands full,” I said and looked out the front windshield averting his glare. “I’m sure you have more boobs to fondle.” What the hell was wrong with me? The pang of jealous hit me hard and it felt foreign. I had never been a jealous person. No one had evoked this kind of emotion before him.
“Open the damn door, Suzy.” He pulled on the handle, bending down to peer through the window. “So that’s what it is. You’re jealous?” he laughed.
I wanted to smack that shit-eating grin off his face. He looked so smug. “I’m not jealous.” When had I reverted back to acting like a childish crazy person? Get a grip. I knew it was only part of his job, but it was foreign to me and I couldn’t wrap my mind around the image and reality.
“Sugar, come on. I wasn’t looking at her breast. I was working for shit’s sake. It’s a piece of canvas to me. Don’t be jealous, although I kinda like that emotion in you. Shows me that you care.”
“I need time to process it all. Did you start Sophia’s tattoo?” I asked, wondering how long I’d have to sit here.
“She needed a break. I won’t go back in and finish until you get that fine ass out of that car and we talk about this.”
The man knew how to hold me hostage. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before unlocking the door.
City pulled on the handle, opening the door before crouching down next to me. “Sugar, look at me.” The grin on his face made me want to smack him. “Only you. She’s a married woman with children and I’ve known her for years. I wasn’t staring at her ni**les – I watch my lines. If I make a mistake, it can’t be fixed. Outta the car, Suzy.” He backed away and waited for me to climb out.