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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“I didn’t have a choice.”
“Why would you shop at Kmart when you could have shopped at Nordstrom? Jesus.”
“It’s more complicated than that. Let’s go inside. I haven’t been home in over a year.”
“What the fuck? Men are so damn strange,” I mumbled as he climbed out of the car and closed the door. I sat there for a moment as he jogged in front of the car. As he opened my door, I couldn’t help myself as I asked, “Do your parents own this house?”
He burst into laughter. “No, Roxy. This is all mine. Come on. Let me show you your new home.”
My new home. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Sliding my hand in his, I placed my legs outside and stood. As I straightened my back, I winced as my muscles ached from the long drive.
“Stiff?” he asked, wrapping his arm around my shoulder and closing the car door.
“Yeah. Just a little.” I tucked myself in the crook of his arm and looked into his brilliant azure eyes.
As we walked toward the door, he tried to find the key with one hand. “How about I’ll run us a bath and tell you everything?” After unlocking the door, he pushed it open and held his hand out for me to enter first.
“Sounds divine.” I stepped inside and felt the air leave me in one fell swoop.
The interior was more beautiful than the exterior. It had a Mediterranean feel, with dark hardwood floors and stucco walls. In the foyer there was a grand staircase with wrought-iron railings that tangled together, creating an intricate pattern. An oversized modern chandelier hung from the ceiling, giving the space a warm glow. It was breathtaking. An urge to twirl around like a princess with my arms outstretched overcame me, but I fought it, not wanting to act like a lunatic.
I might have lived in a shithole, but I’d studied magazines, dreaming of a better life. This fit the bill.
“Do you want to look around or take a bath and sleep?” he asked, tossing his keys on the side table I’d missed when I walked in.
“Bath. You can show me around in the morning. I feel like shit and probably don’t smell much better.” I laughed, feeling way out of place in a lavish home like this.
He held my hand, walking up the steps by my side as we made our way to his bathroom. The nerves I’d felt changed and molded into something different. No longer were my jitters from fear. Instead, they filled me with excitement over all the possibilities that lay before me.
The entire night had been exhausting. Fortunately, without much hesitation, she’d left with me, believing in me enough to follow me on blind faith. But after the long drive, the only thing I wanted to do was hold her in my arms and wash away the grime from the day.
“Are you going to tell me your story now, Blue?” Roxy asked, looking at me over her shoulder as I scrubbed her skin with some plastic thing I’d run some soap over. Izzy had told me years ago that they were good for skin, and bought me one for Christmas. I’d thought it was dumb as fuck back then, but it came in handy tonight.
“Yeah, angel. I’m just trying to figure out where to start.” I dipped the scrubber in the water before lifting it and scrunching it to get more bubbles. “First, my name isn’t Blue.”
She laughed, bringing her knees up and hugging them. “Sweetie, I figured that much. What is it?”
“It’s Thomas.” I pulled her body toward me, dragging her ass against the bottom of the tub.
“That sounds so formal,” she teased as she rested her chin on her knees.
“My family calls me Tommy.”
“I like Thomas better. How big is your family?”
I touched her back with my free hand, watching the water trickle down her skin and follow the path of her spine. The whiteness of her skin was a stark contrast to my olive complexion, and I was always mesmerized when I touched her.
“Well, my parents live nearby, and I have three brothers and a sister who are in the area. They all work at the family tattoo shop.”
“No shit. Wow. That must’ve been great growing up.” She peeked over her shoulder again and smiled. “I would’ve given anything to have a sister. Or a pain-in-the-ass brother, for that matter. I’m jealous.”
“Looking back now, it was fun. We were always together and causing trouble. Sometimes, it became overwhelming, especially when my little sister came along, but we all looked out for each other.” I ran the scrubber over her back, watching the bubbles cascade and pop as they trickled down her skin.
“Are your parents still together?” She turned back around and ran her fingers over my legs, which were caging her in.
“You guys sound like the Brady Bunch without the divorce. You’re so lucky, Bl—Thomas.”
“We were the Brady Bunch on crack. Fistfights were common, teasing was merciless, and the noise was constant in my house when I was growing up. You’re going to love them, Rox. I just know you will.”
“I think so too.” She rested her head on my shoulder. “So, if you’re not a biker, who are you? What the fuck don’t I know? Are you a cop?”
“Such a saucy mouth.” I tapped her on the nose and laughed. “I don’t know where to start. I love riding, so in that way, I am a biker. I was never really a member of the Sun Devils MC. You’re right, Rox. I am in law enforcement. I was a member of the DEA, but I quit.”
I laid it out, giving her the entire story. She held my life in her hands in this moment.