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|Throttled(Men of Inked #3) by Chelle Bliss|
“Hey,” he whispered in my ear. “Don’t worry, the song is almost over.”
I opened my eyes and blew out a breath. I couldn’t be the only ambushed bride in this uncomfortable situation.
“Thanks,” I whispered and smiled. His words put me at ease and helped settle my nerves knowing the torture was almost done.
When the song ended, he grabbed my chin, kissing me on the cheek. My eyes grew wide as I pulled my head back, letting his fingers fall from my chin. He smiled sweetly and turned his attention to Mia sitting next to me. I sighed, happy that it was over and I could relax.
I stood on wobbly legs and approached Izzy. She couldn’t stop laughing. “Happy with yourself?” I asked with my hands on my hips.
“Very.” She laughed louder. “You’re done now, Suzy Q. Drink up. Let the other girls enjoy him for a while. We’ll head down to the party around the pool in a bit.”
“I need the entire bottle of rum to forget the feel of him against my body.” My body shook remembering foreign skin against mine.
“Well, good thing for you I brought extra. Help yourself,” she said with a grin, motioning toward the temporary bar with her head and wiggling her eyebrows.
“I’m still pissed at you,” I said as I pointed my finger at her and glared.
“You love me, don’t bullshit yourself.” She kissed my cheek and walked toward the gaggle of girls stuffing ones in the strippers G-string.
Grabbing my phone off the table, I checked my messages. Nothing. City and I hadn’t spent much time apart since the motorcycle accident and I missed him. I didn’t want to be the clingy annoying fiancée, but I couldn’t help myself, I sent him a text.
Me: Having fun?
I set my phone down and grabbed the bottle of rum and poured half a glass. I didn’t know how much to put in a Bahama Mama, but it looked like the same amount Izzy poured earlier. I added the juices and watched the color change to a salmon pink after the grenadine splash. It was as pretty as it was tasty. I sipped it, sitting down at the dining room table and waited for his reply.
City: Miss you, sugar.
That was a vague and cagey reply. He didn’t say if he was or was not having fun. I didn’t want to know what the boys had planned for him tonight. No one would tell me anyway or any of the girls for that matter. I sent him a quick message as I watched the bump and grind show taking place on the sectional.
Me: Miss you too.
Sophia sat down next to me and frowned. “Why are you over here and not over there with the rest of the party?” She tilted her head and chewed on her bottom lip.
“Just rather watch that hot mess than participate. I could ask you the same thing. Why aren’t you coping a feel?” I raised my eyebrow and challenged her. I didn’t need an answer. She felt the same why I did.
“Hell no. I don’t need someone pawing at me. I’m here to have a girls’ night, not stare at his tiny junk.”
I choked on my drink, and wiped the liquid off my chin. “You noticed that too, huh?” I asked.
She laughed, throwing her head back and relaxing in the chair. “Gotta be blind not to. You ready to be Mrs. Joseph Gallo?”
“Yeah, I’m excited, but you know I don’t like too much attention.”
“Well, you’re going to be the center of attention here and there this weekend. Might as well get used to it.” She grabbed her solo cup, downing the last remnants of her drink.
“At least City will be by my side.” I checked my phone, but there wasn’t a new message.
Izzy ripped the phone from my hand. “Oh, no. This is a man free night. This is all about us celebrating and partying our asses off. No phones, no Joe. Got it?”
“You’re a bitch,” I said as she shoved my phone in her back pocket. “If this is your idea of celebration than you’re not who I thought you were, Izzy.” I stuck my tongue out.
“This is the pre-party. The real fun starts downstairs. The nightclub opened an hour ago. No good club starts until eleven. Keep your granny panties on. We’ll be going shortly. Keep drinking.” She gave me a cocky grin and walked away.
“I love her,” Sophia said, getting up to refill her cup.
“You would,” I mumbled before downing the last of my Bahama Mama, a slow burn sliding down my throat and spread throughout my body.
Mia sat in the chair Sophia had been in. “It’s nice to finally get a night away from the guys, isn’t it?” she asked, smiling before she took a sip of her drink.
“I guess so. I love City, but I love my girls too.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that, Suzy. It’s good to have some time apart. I’ve spent as much time with anyone as I do with Michael. I mean I love him, f**k most days I can’t get enough of him, but I needed tonight,” Mia said as she leaned back in the chair, resting her head against the high chair back.
“Are things okay with you two?” I asked, concerned about them. I loved Mike and adored Mia. I wanted them around and loved any time we were all able to hang out. Between all of our work schedules, it wasn’t easy.
“Yeah, things are great. Sometimes we get in arguments, but that’s when he wants to pull his man bullshit and I eventually put him in his place.” She laughed, bringing the cup to her lips. “Gallo men are a breed their own.”
“Yeah, no truer words have ever been spoken.”
“Are you ready for the wedding?” she asked me, tilting her head and twirling the cup in her hand.