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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
She screamed before giggling. “Hey, it’s cold!” Rubbing her arms, she danced back and forth, her lips chattering from the chill.
“I’ll keep you warm. I need to feel you against me tonight—and every night forward.”
“Baby, who knew you were so sweet?” She batted her eyelashes.
I smiled as her lips touched mine. This moment with her was the happiest I’d felt in longer than I could remember.
“Come on, Roxy.” I lifted her in my arms, trying to warm her with my body as I carried her into the bedroom. Then I set her on the edge before I undid the blankets.
“Babe?” she asked, looking up at me and grabbing my wrist.
“Yeah?” I stopped moving and stared at her.
“Can you not call me Roxy anymore? It just brings me back to the club and taking my clothes off. It was my stage name, and I’d prefer not to hear it again anytime soon.”
I hadn’t thought about that. “Hmmm,” I said as I rubbed my chin. Staring at her, I took in her features. “I’m just going to call you Angel.”
“Whatever floats your boat, Thomas.” She drew out my name, laughing and clicking her tongue as she spoke. “As long as it isn’t Roxy.”
“I’m not saying I won’t slip up from time to time.” I bent down, kissing her lips and brushing her cheek with my knuckles.
“I’m going to come up with another nickname for you. Blue is so damn good, but I don’t want to think about the past. Only our future,” she whispered against my lips.
“Anything you want.” Pulling back the covers, I captured her in my arms, taking her mouth, hard and wet, before releasing her.
She slid across the silky material, lying on her back and looking up at me. Fuck. I wanted her again. Before we closed our eyes, I fucked her one last time. This time, I lasted until the muscles in my legs gave out and exhaustion took us both.
When I woke close to noon, Thomas was still in a deep sleep. Tiny snores passed his lips as his chest rose and fell with his breathing. I took a moment, drinking him in, and thought of how fortunate I truly was. Living a dead-end life, with no one to call mine and no family, I’d felt like my existence was hopeless. He’d changed all that, though. My life had veered off course and changed direction without my consent, and I couldn’t have been fucking happier.
After slowly inching out of bed as I tried not to wake him, I grabbed a fluffy black robe from the back of the door and went to explore the house. I stopped at each open door, peeking inside and not trying to be too nosy. There were three other bedrooms and a bathroom as I made my way to the stairway. The house seemed a little excessive for a single guy, but it was decorated with masculine finishes. The hardwood floors were a dark wood that showed my reflection in their glossy finish.
The place was spotless. Everything was put away, and it all sparkled or shone from the cleanliness. It didn’t look lived in and had that “maid” feel to it. Walking down the staircase, I ran my fingertips over the smooth railing, feeling the coldness of the wood. I took in the foyer as I descended the stairs. It was opulent, with marble floors that formed a circle and were surrounded by the same dark wood he had upstairs. The space was two stories, with windows above the door that let the sunlight cascade inside.
I wasn’t sure where to start. The place was a mansion. My entire apartment building could have fit inside and there still would have been room for more. Turning to my left, I saw the family room and headed to check it out, but a group of photos on the wall caught my eye.
I walked straight toward the photos as if drawn to them. There was so much I needed to know about this man. There had to be ten photos on the wall with different people in them—including Thomas. They were laughing and hugging, and I could see the love practically jumping out of the frames. My heart ached as I wondered what it would’ve been like to grow up like him, surrounded by love.
Moving closer, I touched a picture with my fingers. I could see by the eyes and extreme facial features that, in it, he was a young boy, probably no older than four, cradled in the arms of a beautiful woman. She stared at him with love in her eyes as he smiled, facing the camera.
I wanted that. A mother like her—someone who looked at me like I was the only thing that mattered.
I hadn’t known what that felt like until I’d met him. Even when he hadn’t said the words, I had known. Some things can be felt without having to hear the words “I love you.” He treasured me and never made me feel cheap.
Still staring at the photo, I jumped when I heard his raspy morning voice.
“Jesus,” I said, flinching and putting my hand over my heart. “You scared the hell out of me.”
I laughed at how silly I had been. Who else would have called me that but him? I hadn’t heard him walk in, so I needed to learn the sounds of the house. Every place has them—the small squeaks and creaks that make you feel at home instead of on edge.
I stared back at the photo, feeling my cheeks heat from embarrassment. He wrapped his arms around me, the mint of the toothpaste ticking my nose as his warm breath skimmed my neck.
“Whatcha doin’ down here alone?”
“I didn’t want to wake you up. I just thought I’d make us some coffee,” I lied. I was nosy. Wanting to see the house and get to know the man by seeing what he had surrounded himself with.
As he squeezed me, his soft laugh vibrated against my ear. “I’ll make us some. I think Izzy stocked the pantry.”