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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“Not right this fuckin’ minute,” he teased, a slow smile spreading across his face.
“Asshole. I mean have you been seeing her since Daytona?”
“Expand on that answer.” I wasn’t in the mood for short and sweet.
“Every chance I get, I go see her.”
“That shit is risky, James,” I hissed, wondering what would happen if someone followed him.
“It’s not. I’m always careful. I make sure you have backup and that I’m not followed.” He smashed his cigarette in the ashtray, having barely smoked any of it.
“Spend time with my family?”
“Yes.” He tried to hide his smile, but to no avail.
I felt a pang of jealously that he had probably spent more time with them in the last couple of months than I had in years. “Tell me what’s going on with them.”
“City and Suzy are expecting in a couple of months—”
I interrupted, jealousy growing inside me. “I still haven’t met my sister-in-law. There’s so much I’ve missed out on because of this job.”
“You have an amazing family, Thomas. I don’t know how you can be apart from them.”
“I’m starting to question it myself. Keep talking,” I responded, needing to hear more.
“Suzy’s great. She’s so sweet, and I can see the love she has for your brother all over her face. She doesn’t hide her feelings. You’re going to love her.”
“I’m sure I will. If Joe loves her, she has to be amazing. What about Mike?”
“He’s seeing Mia.”
“Wait. Who’s Mia?”
“His girlfriend. They’ve been exclusive for a long time. He quit fighting and works with her and at the shop.”
My head started to spin from thinking about everything I had missed. All the holidays, birthdays, and now, Joe’s wedding—it was almost too much to bear. A woman had finally snared Mike and I hadn’t been there to see it.
“What does she do?” I asked, wondering what had caused my brother to give up his dreams of being a championship fighter.
“She’s a doctor, and they have a clinic together.”
“Huh.” Mike and a doctor weren’t a pair I’d match up ever in my life. He was into inflicting injuries, not patching them up.
“I know, right?” He laughed, understanding what I meant after having spent time with Mike. “He’s totally pussy-whipped and in love with her. He hasn’t asked her to marry him yet.”
“Surprising. The bastard is a hopeless romantic. That much I know about my brother. As passionate as he is about fighting, he has to be in love with her to have given it all up.”
“Yeah.” He paused, his forehead crinkling above his eyes.
“It’s okay, man,” I said.
“I just feel shitty. I know you have to miss them.”
“I do. This assignment should be over any day now. Just waiting for the paperwork to come through and make the arrests.”
“They said it would be in the next week.”
“It can’t come fast enough.” I sighed, rubbing my hands against my jeans. “How are my parents, James?”
“They’re fine, Thomas. Your mom is fucking amazing. She can cook her ass off and is the sweetest little thing.”
“Don’t be blinded by her charm. She’s a viper underneath.” I laughed.
Everyone thought my mother was a sweet, innocent lady, but she’d kick any of our asses if we got out of line. Even my father was scared of the woman, though he would never admit it.
“I’m sure Izzy learned her skills from somewhere.” He snorted.
I blanched, still letting the thought of him being with my sister sink in and trying to not picture them fucking. “What about Anthony?”
“He’s not with anyone. Just playing some gigs and working at the shop. He’s a ball buster, that one.”
“We’re all ball busters,” I replied, cracking my neck. I was so fucking tense. Between the shit with the club and dealing with James and Izzy now, everything in body was wound tight. “It’s in the genes.”
“I’m leaving tonight to spend some more time with Izzy. Just so you know.”
I closed my eyes, thinking about how badly I wanted to go home. It had been ages since I’d hugged my mother or laughed with my dad about how shitty the Cubs were doing. There would be nothing better than to sit around the table and sink my teeth into anything my mother whipped up.
I wanted to go home.
“Give everyone my love, James. I’m jealous as fuck right now. I want this shit to end. I want to be there too.”
“You’ll be home soon, man. I won’t tell everyone that because I don’t want them to get too excited, but it’s going to happen before you know it.” He smiled, patting my hand to placate me.
“Yeah, sure,” I responded before pushing the chair back and climbing to my feet. “I better get out of here and get back to the club.”
“Are you okay, man? You aren’t looking so good,” James said, concern etched on his face.
“I’m just done with this shit. It weighs on me.”
I didn’t know if I’d ever feel like myself again. The only way for that to happen was to be around the people who knew me best. If anyone could bring me back to center, it would be my family.