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|Throttled(Men of Inked #3) by Chelle Bliss|
She burst into laughter as she set the rum down. “We’ll get ya there. We have the whole night planned out. It’s going to be one for the record books. When we’re old and pissing our pants with dentures in our mouths, we’ll be telling stories about tonight.” She smiled, pouring the juices and rum in the cup before handing it to me.
I shook my head and grabbed the Bahama Mama from her hand. “That’s what I’m afraid of,” I muttered as I brought the glass to my lips. The rum didn’t smell overpowering; maybe I misjudged the amount of alcohol she poured.
The fruity concoction of pineapple and orange danced across my tongue as the liquid slid down my throat causing a slow burn. I closed my eyes, enjoying the taste, although it was a bit stronger than I wanted.
Izzy tipped my cup. “Drink up, girl. We have a big night ahead of us.”
I batted her hand away, pulling the cup from my lips. “Last time I drank too much I ended up in your brother’s bed.” I smiled, my body warming at the memory.
If I hadn’t been tipsy that night, I would’ve been a total mess the first time I saw him naked. The man had a kickass body and don’t even get me started on his piercing. If I had been stone cold sober, I probably would’ve run out of the room screaming once that caught my eye. Even to this day, I get a thrill looking at him naked.
“You’re a dirty whore and we all know it.” Sophia nudged me, cackling like a loon.
“Am not,” I said, my cheeks heating as I glared at her.
“Suzy,” Izzy interrupted, “you’re with us, your girls. You can drop the good girl bullshit. We know you’re a closet freak. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be with my brother.” Izzy laughed.
A knock on the door saved me from the conversation. One by one Izzy and Sophia’s friends and mine from work poured into the door. My sister wouldn’t be here tonight. She said that she couldn’t get off work to be here in time for the bachelorette party. She’d make it for the rehearsal dinner. The girls in this room were more like family to me than my own flesh and blood anyway.
I stood at the window, watching the sun kiss the horizon as I sipped my drink. I felt blessed, surrounded by loving women, marrying the man of my dreams, and officially becoming a member of the Gallo family. The ladies chatted and drank, their laughter filling the room.
“Hey, you okay?” Sophia asked, standing at my side.
“I’m just so happy, Soph. I never thought I could be this happy.” I turned to her, a sad smile on my face.
“What’s the sad face for?” Her eyebrows drew together as she looked at me.
“I’m not sad. I’m just thinking about what City and I have been through. I almost shut him out of my life by judging him. I would’ve never known the love I do now. Then the accident happened and he was almost ripped from my life forever.” I shook my head trying to force the sad memories from my mind. “I’m so happy right now…happier than I’ve ever been before. Is this as good as it gets?” I asked, grabbing her hand and squeezing.
“Nah, there’s more good things to come.” She smiled, squeezing my hand. “Wait until you hold your first born in your arms. There’s nothing like it.” She smiled, releasing my hand. “I’m proud of you.”
My eyebrows shot up at her words. “For what?”
She giggled, covering her mouth. “For staying with City. I know he scared the hell out of you. I know how OCD you are with your lists–even that f**king list of your husband requirements. You threw them out the window and took a chance for once. You listened to your heart and not your head. When I met him, I knew he was right for you.” She wrapped her arms around me. “Now, let’s stop talking sad shit and party our asses off. I have a night without Jet and Kayden. I want to get drunk and enjoy a night without baby food on my clothes.”
I chuckled and squeezed her. “I love you, Sophia. For you, I’ll party like it’s 1999.”
“God, you’re such a dork.” She said as she laughed, holding me by the arms, shaking her head. “But I love you. I don’t know why, but I do.”
“Bitches, I better see you two drinking a little quicker,” Izzy said as she grabbed my glass and looked inside. “Let me refill this. Sophia, want more?”
Sophia held her cup out, shaking it. “Feels a bit light to me. Another Jack and Coke please.” She handed the cup to Izzy.
“And I’ll–” I started to say as she started to walk away.
“Got it, light on the alcohol,” Izzy yelled over her shoulder.
“Gifts! Let’s do gifts,” Sophia said, pulling on my arm.
I loved presents. It’s not that I was materialistic; I just never had the type of family where the gifts were piled higher than me. I always received a couple small gifts for my birthday or Christmas. My family decided to draw names for Christmas that year. Just when I thought it couldn’t be more depressing, bam, wrong again.
“Okay,” I said, nodding, trying to hide my excitement.
Sophia clapped, drawing everyone’s attention. “It’s time for presents!” she yelled, pulling me toward the couch.
I sat down on the large U-shaped sectional in the middle of the living room that faced the windows. Everyone fit snuggly on the couch as I opened each gift one by one. I felt slightly uncomfortable being the center of attention. I liked to blend in to the background, but I knew the entire weekend would be filled with uncomfortable moments. I was the bride and as such, I’d definitely be the center of attention.