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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
Everyone smiled at each other, knowing that was bullshit. Those two were going to be doing the nasty in my parents’ house and they didn’t seem fazed.
As they walked out of the room, I looked at my ma. “You’re okay with that?” I asked, motioning toward the lovebirds climbing the steps.
“I remember being pregnant quite fondly, actually. So yes, I’m okay with it.” She turned to my father and smiled, grabbing his hand and giving it a squeeze.
“Bleh,” Izzy said. “I swear to God, every time I come here, you two have to talk about sex. I can’t get the vision out of my head.”
“Baby girl, how do you think you got here?” Pop asked, staring at Izzy.
“I don’t need a reminder. The mental image is disturbing. You’re lucky I’m not a nun.”
“They’d kick your ass out,” James howled, slapping the table with his hand.
“Shut up,” she hissed.
“Say it again and I’ll help you lie down,” he replied, the corner of his lips twitching.
“Everyone needs to stop talking about sex. Jesus,” I croaked, wanting to bang my head on the table. “Dinner talk sure has changed around here.”
“Yes, baby. Life changes.” Ma looked at me with sadness in her eyes.
I felt her comment. Although it was innocent, it cut me deeply. She had no idea exactly how I felt, but there was so much truth to her statement. Life had changed. The Gallos had continued, grown, and evolved. I’d fucking missed it all.
My life felt surreal. One minute, I thought Blue was gone forever and I’d been left to a dead-end life with no hope for change. Then wham! He was back and asking me to run away with him.
My head had spun when he’d told me the truth about himself. I’d never had an idea that he was an undercover cop and not a true biker. The last thing I would’ve thought was that he had an entire family, a huge house, and a different life altogether.
We all hide bits of ourselves, things we don’t want others to know, but I hadn’t thought that this was what he’d kept hidden from me. My secret was my full name. No one knew it. I kept that shit hidden away, the only thing I could keep just for myself. They saw my body, but they didn’t know all of me. I knew it was stupid, but when you take your clothes off for a living, you want to keep something from the masses. At least I did.
Besides my mom, whom I barely spoke to, and my dad, who was now deceased, no one knew the real me—no one besides Thomas. My mom didn’t give a shit about me. She never had. It was all about becoming an old lady and hopping in the bed of her next victim. When the members of the MC had been arrested, she hadn’t even bothered to call me. She’d vanished too, probably on to her next victim.
I sat on the couch, riffling through a magazine, as Thomas made a phone call to James. I’d had enough sitting around since I’d arrived here five days ago. I couldn’t remember a day in my life when I hadn’t worked. It was what I did; it was who I was. But not anymore.
Stopping on a page, I stared at an article about education. Teaching would be an amazing career, filled with rewards and children. I wanted to do something that felt like I was making a difference. My only fear was that someone would find out about my past and use it against me. How horrifying would that be if, at conferences, a father walked in and recognized me? The thought of it turned my stomach and had me flipping the page.
“Yeah, I think it’s a great idea,” Thomas said as he walked behind me and placed his hand on my shoulder. Giving it a light squeeze, he continued to speak. “I think we should get a business plan together as soon as possible.”
I looked up, smiling at him. I was envious of their ability to pull shit together. I had a world of possibilities, but each one made me freeze up with panic. Every job and career had pitfalls, but it all came back to being recognized. It was stupid, really, because the likelihood was low, but I couldn’t shake the fear.
“Come over and we can discuss it further and maybe grab a bite to eat.” Sitting next to me on the couch, he pulled my magazine down and smiled at me. It was warm and genuine, and it made me feel instantly calm. He had that ability. Then he covered the phone and whispered, “Is that okay, Angel?”
I nodded, not minding a little company. Plus, I could use a little change of scenery. I had become used to a lot of people around, and this week, Tommy and I had lain low. Now I was ready to bust out of the house. Company would be fabulous, even if they were only going to talk business.
“Izzy?” Thomas asked James, his eyes darting to mine. Meeting his sister, the one I’d heard a lot about, would probably be best one on one. If she hated me, at least I’d know before having to be subjected to the entire family. “Yeah, bring Iz. The girls can get to know each other,” Thomas said, leaning back in the couch and setting his hand on my foot.
Stroking the top of my foot with his thumb, he continued to talk business and plans. I tried to tune it out, silently freaking out about meeting a member of his family. Fuck. I can’t cook either. Maybe we could order a pizza or something, because cooking for an Italian family wasn’t something I felt comfortable with now—and I probably never would.
After ending the call, he tossed the phone on the loveseat, giving me his full attention. “Are you sure you’re okay with this?”
Turning his body, he grabbed my feet and placed them in his lap. Continuing his light stroke, he looked at me with soft eyes. I loved the blue. I could get lost in the endless shades that changed slightly every day.