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|Throttled(Men of Inked #3) by Chelle Bliss|
I opened the door slowly, trying not to startle Suzy. Sunlight streamed through the sheer drapes along the wall behind her bed. The rays cascaded across the floor, framing the bed and my bride to be. I stood at the foot of the bed, staring at her. Her long blonde hair was fanned out across the pillow, making a halo and giving her an angelic look. My heart ached at the thought that I could possibly lose her. Maybe I f**ked up so badly that she wouldn’t forgive me. Sometimes words are more painful than any physical harm inflicted by another person. Pain evaporates, but words last a lifetime, replaying in our memories and feeding on our insecurities.
Her soft snores and heavy breathing mingled with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore below. She clung to a pillow, holding it against her chest, her arms tightly wound around it.
Sitting on the bed, I tried to keep my movement to a minimum, not wanting to wake her just yet. She was mine and had been the only person I’d ever used that term with. No one else had a chance to capture my heart, but Suzy and all her sweetness bored into my heart like a cavity from too much sugar.
I kicked off my shoes, needing to touch her, to hold her in my arms. My body ached for her. I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin without contact from her. I can’t explain it and I’d never voice it in front of the guys. They already thought I was a pu**y whipped ass**le.
Grabbing the pillow, I pulled it from her arms, making sure she remained asleep. She didn’t move or twitch as her arms fell against her body. I threw the pillow on the floor, crawling under the covers next to her, and pulled her against my chest. Her breathing changed as she snuggled against me, burying her face against my shirt. I closed my eyes, enjoying the quiet moment and the feel of her in my arms. As soon as she realized I was here, there’d be hell to pay.
I peppered kisses against her temple, brushing back the hair on her forehead as I inhaled the smell of the woman that had stolen my heart over a year ago. It wasn’t a pure scent; the alcohol she’d consumed the night before permeated her skin. If we had both been sober, last night wouldn’t have happened. Really, if I hadn’t consumed a few too many shots and seen someone touching what’s mine, then it wouldn’t have happened.
Her body stiffened in my arms and I closed my eyes knowing the moment had been broken. “Suzy,” I whispered, trying to hide the fear in my voice.
“What are you doing?” she asked, her voice laced with anger as she pushed against my chest.
“Sugar, don’t push me away. I’m sorry.” I tightened my grip, holding her head against my chest.
“I don’t want to talk to you.” She didn’t touch me or return my embrace.
“Don’t talk then. Just let me talk while I hold you.” I held her tighter, resting my chin on top of her head as I wrapped my legs around hers. I caged her in, there was no escape and I had a captive audience. “I’m sorry I was an ass**le last night.” I sighed, knowing my words weren’t enough to make up for my behavior.
“More like a giant dickhead,” she interrupted, not sagging into my embrace like she normally did.
“Call me what you want. All the terms fit. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you last night. I had too much to drink but I’m in no way blaming the alcohol. I’m solely responsible for my actions. I f**ked up, sugar. I didn’t mean to imply that you had been unfaithful to me. Seeing you with that guy and then smelling someone on you, pushed me over the edge.” I inhaled, winded from the words that I had said without stopping. I was too worried to break in the middle of my speech.
“I would never do anything to risk our relationship, City,” she said, digging her fingernails into my bicep.
“I know, sugar, I know.” I kissed the top of her head and resting my cheek against her silky golden hair. “Please forgive me. I have no other excuse except for the love I have for you. You’ve scrambled my brains. I’ve never felt as territorial or protective over someone like I do with you. When I see someone touching you, I want to rip their hands off and shove them down their throat. I control it most times.”
“No you don’t.” Her laughter broke the tension, making me laugh.
“Trust me, sugar, I do. I wasn’t going to hit the guy last night but he wouldn’t shut his f**king mouth. He kept talking shit and I couldn’t hold back anymore. I couldn’t stop myself from knocking him on his ass.”
“City,” she said as she adjusted her body, looking into my eyes. Her lip trembled as she spoke. “I’m not upset about you hitting him. He deserved it. You hurt me by questioning my faithfulness. You made me feel dirty.” A single tear formed in the corner of her eye and slid along the bridge of her nose.
I wiped the tear with the pad of my thumb, cradling her face in my palm. “I never want to make you feel that way. You’re the most pure and honest person I know, Suzette. I know you’re faithful and I never meant for it to sound otherwise. I’m sorry. You consume me and became a part of me. Your love is as vital to me as the air I breathe. The thought of losing you terrifies me.” To admit the last sentence scared the shit out of me. I’d never felt so vulnerable in my life. My heart and happiness lay in her hands.
“Promise me you’ll never make me feel that way again, City.” She blinked, causing a more tears to trickle down her cheek. The redness in her eyes made the blue even more breathtaking. “You’re the one person in the world that I thought would always have my back. I never expected you to treat me that way and I won’t stand for it. I refuse to be married to a man that treats me like that. If you do it again, I may not be so easy to find.”