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|Throttled(Men of Inked #3) by Chelle Bliss|
I rubbed my face, wishing I could wash it all away and go back in time. I’d been a total dumb f**k and there would be a heavy price to pay and most likely groveling. I wasn’t one to grovel and beg, but this was my sugar. I’d do anything for her, to keep her, and make her mine. The closer I got to the house, our house, the more I knew I f**ked up.
After paying the cab driver and walking up the driveway, I pulled out my phone and checked my messages. Not a message since I left her.
Me: I’m sorry. I love you.
The house was eerily quiet. It had been quiet before, but tonight it was deafening. Suzy was missing. Her joy and laughter usually filled the space. The girl was a damn chatterbox at times and as I walked to the bedroom I realized how much I missed it—how much I missed her. The stillness of our house made me feel uneasy. I wanted my woman in our bed with me. I wanted to hear her giggle as I whispered in her ear before she fell asleep. She was the sunshine in my day; she softened me and filled my life with happiness.
I emptied my pockets, placing my wallets and keys on my nightstand. I removed my clothes, the stench of the clubs clinging to the fabric as I tossed them to the floor. No reply from Suzy as I crawled in bed, laying the cell phone next to me. I didn’t want to miss her message. I stared at the ceiling, watching the fan create moving shadows in the darkness. For the first time in months, I felt completely alone.
Fuck, maybe I was pu**y whipped.
Chapter 7 ~Macho Bullshit
Fuming. It’s the only word I could use to describe what I felt. City had always been a little on the impulsive side, but tonight put the f**king icing on the cake. How could he think I had been unfaithful? I told Izzy no strippers, but did she listen? Of course not, when does she ever listen to anyone?
I had too much to drink, but I was still in control. I wasn’t sloppy drunk, just at that point where everything was wonderful and nothing got me down. Well, nothing until Mr. ‘She’s Mine’ Caveman killed the party. When the guy that City laid out tried to dance with me, I said no and pushed him away. Izzy intervened. Fucking Izzy, said it was my last night and every girl had the right to dance with whomever they wanted before they’re officially off the market.
I didn’t see any harm in it. It was just a dance and nothing more. My girls surrounded me and they would never let anything happen to me. Furthermore, I don’t cheat. It’s not in my nature. I’m madly in love with City. I don’t mean just that type of comfortable love. I’m talking that take my breath away, make my stomach flip type of love that I couldn’t imagine being without. But, and this is a huge but, could I deal with his testosterone-laced fist throwing macho bullshit for the rest of my life?
If I answered the questions based solely on the amount and way I loved him, the answer would be yes. If I used my brain and really thought about City and his quickness to stake his claim and scare anyone with a c**k away from me, the answer would be, “I honestly don’t know.” He said that’s his way of protecting me and it’s how he’s built.
The night I was attacked at the Neon Cowboy, his level of protection increased and became almost stifling at times. Somehow I managed to survive the first twenty-something years of my life without his watchful eye and brute fists. The trauma we endured during our relationship didn’t help matters. My assault and then almost losing him in the motorcycle accident—they were events that put a strain on our emotions but brought us closer together.
The night we sat in the hospital waiting to hear if he would survive was the longest night of my life. I couldn’t form a coherent thought until Mia told us that he’d survive. I felt like my world was ending. I didn’t have control and I hated it. Control is something I strived to maintain. I made my lists and planned everything out. Having City’s life hanging in the balance and relying on someone else to make him better was maddening.
I didn’t think I could ever get mad at him again, but here we are. City walked off and left without talking to me. He didn’t want to believe anything I had to say. He jumped to his crazy ass conclusions and stalked off.
My mind was hazy as I sat on the barstool and watched the club moving to music that was muffled in my ears. I couldn’t process anything but my thoughts of City and what the f**k just happened.
“Suzy, let’s go upstairs, babe.” Sophia grabbed my elbow, trying to get me to stand.
“No,” I whispered, not ready to move.
“Come on, I’ll go with you. Let’s get out of here so we can talk,” she said as she brushed my hair off my shoulder.
I looked at her with blurred vision; a line of tears sitting in my eyes hadn’t yet fallen. “What’s there to talk about? He walked out on me.”
“Now listen to me, woman. He loves you and you love him. You both have been drinking and the scene went south quick. You know that isn’t how City is, babe.”
I blinked, letting the tears cascade down my cheeks. “That’s exactly how he is, Sophia. I don’t know if I can deal with that forever.” My voice cracked as I wiped my cheeks.
“Up ya go, sugarplum, upstairs for you. You’ve obviously had more to drink than I thought if you’re questioning your future with this man.” She grabbed me around the waist, helping me stand on steady feet.
“Fine, Soph, but only because I could use a little peace and quiet. There’s no one else I can talk to about him and get an honest opinion but you. They’re all related or partial to the Gallo family.” My legs felt rubbery as we walked past the dance floor and made our way to the outside elevators. “Thanks, Sophia.” I smiled at her. She was my best friend, the only person in the world that knew everything about me. We’d been through too much together to not be able to read each other like an open book.