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|Throttled(Men of Inked #3) by Chelle Bliss|
“Still not giving me details,” Mia said, shaking her head.
“Michael and Joseph are tough boys and Izzy, any man that steals your heart will be just as tough as your brothers, if not more. This information will be for all of you to file away and use when necessary.”
We leaned forward, waiting to hear her next words.
“Always remember to make them think they’re in charge.” She smiled and laughed. “That’s the key. Don’t ever make them think otherwise. Love them hard, ladies. Smother them with your love. Be fierce when necessary and never back down. Once you give in, they’ll expect it always. When they won’t give you what you want, well, that’s when you deny them the thing they want most.” She paused, wiggling her eyebrows.
“Oh my God, Ma. I don’t even want to think about you and Pop having sex.” Izzy stuck her finger in her mouth, pretending to gag.
Mia and I broke into a fit of laughter.
Mrs. G shook her head. “Deny them food, Izzy.” She laughed. “Your mind is always in the gutter, child.”
I couldn’t control myself. I sagged into the chair, hysterical with tears streaming down my face. Izzy glared at her mother, unconvinced by her pearls of wisdom. Mia put her head down on the table, her body shaking from the giggles we’d all developed.
I sobered, sitting up in my chair and leaned my elbows on the table. “That won’t work for me, Ma. I don’t do the cooking. It’s hard to deny a man food when he does all the cooking.”
“Well then you only have one other weapon.” She smiled, patting Izzy on the leg.
“For the love of God, Ma. Really. My ears are going to explode and I’ll never be able to have sex again if you keep talking.” Izzy closed her eyes, rubbing her fingers roughly against her skin. “No more. I can’t listen.”
“Izzy, dear. I was going to say that Suzy shouldn’t snuggle with Joey. Snuggle, Izzy.”
“Snuggle?” Izzy looked at her Ma with wide eyes. “Really? Who the hell snuggles?”
My laughter returned worse than before. Izzy and Mrs. G were the cutest two people I knew. I could listen to them talk all day.
“All Gallo men snuggle, Izzy.” Mrs. G stated calmly and matter of fact.
“Bullshit,” Izzy coughed. “Suzy?” She looked at me for confirmation.
“I’m sorry to blow the image you have of your brother, but he loves to snuggle. He’ll never use those words, but there’s not a night that goes by that I’m not required to fall asleep in his arms.”
“You’ve ruined the image I have of my brother being the big bad wolf.” She shook her head, turning her attention to Mia. “Michael too?”
Mia nodded. “Yep, but there’s no place I’d rather be. I feel so safe in his arms. He’s like an overgrown security blanket. I don’t think we’ve ever fallen asleep without our bodies being entangled.”
Izzy rubbed her forehead, looking to the floor. “My mind is blown. Jesus. I know there’s no way in hell Anthony is a snuggler. No God damn way.” She shook her head and looked at her Ma. “You did this to these men, Ma.”
“I snuggled them since the moment they were born, just like I did you. Even as little babies, their fingers would tangle in my hair, playing with the strands.”
“I’m not a snuggler,” Izzy interrupted, holding up her hand. “Never have been and never will be.”
“You will, my dear. When you find the right man.” Mrs. G swept her fingers across Izzy cheek, tilting her head and smiling. There was so much love between the two women, it radiated off of them.
“Nope. I like my space. I’ll never give in. Who knew I was really the one with the penis after all these years?” Izzy laughed, hitting the table.
“Don’t let the boys hear you say that,” I said, grinning at her.
“What are they going to do? Cuddle me to death?” she asked through her laughter, her body slipping from the chair in hysterics.
Chapter 4 ~ Fair Warning
“Get your ass up and help, Sam. We aren’t done. You may think you’re a guest¸ but you help like the rest of us. Earn your meal, friend,” I bit out, trying to hide the obvious dislike of the man.
He sat at the table like a king, watching us as we cleared the table and started to clean up dinner. “Really? Izzy said I was a guest.”
I walked over; leaning over the table so only he could hear. “I don’t give a f**k what Izzy said. This is my house and you ate my food. Get your f**kin’ ass up and help.”
“I knew you were a prick,” Sam said as he stood, grinning. “I don’t remember your mother treating a guest like this in her home.”
“I’m not my mother and I don’t like you. Never have and sure as f**k never will.” I leaned farther across the table, coming eye to eye with him.
“What the f**k did I ever do to you?” Sam glared, not breaking eye contact.
“I don’t like you being with my sister. It’s that simple.”
“Izzy and I aren’t together.” He crossed his arms.
“I don’t give a shit what you say. I don’t like her even being near you. You’re trouble, Sam.”
“I’m not trouble, Joe. You know me. I’ve never done shit wrong.” He walked around the table, coming to face me without a barrier.
“I know you’re prospecting with the Sun Devils. They don’t play games, Sam. They’re the real deal. I don’t want my sister involved in their bullshit.” I snarled, fisting my hands at my side.