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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“Girl talk is my favorite. I have been surrounded by dicks my entire life.” She laughed. “Do you love my brother?” she asked, not beating around the fucking bush.
“Yeah, I do. He’s the first person I’ve ever loved.” My face heated; I was embarrassed for admitting it.
“Wow. James is the first man I’ve ever loved. So, are you going to marry him?” She smiled, bringing the glass up to her lips and staring at me over the rim.
“We haven’t talked about it.” I twirled the glass in my hand and wondered if he would ever ask someone like me.
“Sorry. I get a little ahead of myself. Jesus, growing up in a house with four brothers, I swear to shit that all I wanted was a sister. No house should ever be that unbalanced.”
“Yeah,” I said, laughing at the torture they’d probably put her through. I didn’t know from my own experience, but I’d heard that brothers were usually overprotective, and no woman wants to feel outnumbered.
“You don’t even know the half of it. When all I wanted to watch was The Care Bears, we were stuck watching The Dukes of Hazzard reruns because they all wanted to stare at that brunette’s ass. It was horrible. Finally, the numbers are starting to balance out. Suzy, my brother Joe’s wife, and then Mia, Mike’s girlfriend, have helped bring the numbers closer together.”
“You’re into this, huh?”
“Girl, you have no idea. It’s been over twenty years of their bullshit and I’m ready to break the cycle. Suzy is having a baby in a couple of months and I’m praying that it’s a damn girl. I want to buy dresses and shit with lace.”
I smiled at her and made the decision that I really liked Izzy Gallo.
“I hope I get to meet them all someday.”
“Well, my ma is dying for you to come to dinner this weekend. Any time she sees a new girl, she immediately thinks babies. So be prepared.”
I swallowed hard, trying not to focus too much on her words, but they gnawed at me. “Have there been many girls?” I asked before taking a very large sip of wine. It was more like a gulp, but I didn’t polish off the glass.
“Oh, no. No one ever brings someone home unless they know they’re the one.”
“The one?” I asked, choking on the wine.
“Yeah. I never brought a man to Sunday dinner. Technically, I didn’t bring James either. He just showed up. His ass is like a fly I can’t get rid of. He made himself at home.” She sighed before bursting into laughter. “I think they like him sometimes more than they like me.”
I laughed too and then thought about being the one.
“If Tommy brought you home and wants to introduce you to everyone, then you’re it for him.”
“I don’t know. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself here, Izzy.” I took a deep breath, blowing it out on shaky lungs.
“Just let it sink in. I can see by the look in his eyes how much he loves you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my brother look at a woman the way he looks at you.”
A small smile spread across my face, my cheeks heating as she stared at me. “Maybe,” I muttered, downing the last drop of the wine and wishing there were another bottle sitting on the coffee table.
“I’ll get another,” she said like she was a mind reader, patting my knee and standing.
“Great,” I replied, watching her walk from the room. I slumped into the couch. “Holy fuck,” I whispered, letting the knowledge that I was possibly the one for Thomas sink in.
Saying that you love someone and planning out a lifetime are two entirely different things. I knew he was fabulous. I’d be crazy if I didn’t want to be his wife. Why would this amazing man, who was filled with love, sexy as hell, and doing well for himself, want a girl like me? I wasn’t anything special. I wasn’t a runway model, I didn’t have money in the bank, and I sure as fuck didn’t have an education. I didn’t see much upside to me.
What the hell did he see?
“I don’t know, James.” I looked up, seeing Izzy coming into the room. “Hey. How’s it going out there?”
“Fantastic. Just needed another bottle of wine.”
“Don’t get drunk before dinner.” I sounded a bit like my pop, but I didn’t want to have them pass out on us before we ate. Wine was the worst shit to get drunk on—the hangover was nasty.
“Okay, Dad. You boys worry about you, and Angel and I will talk about you and drink. Shush it.” She grabbed the spare bottle of wine on the counter and the corkscrew and stuck her tongue out before disappearing.
“I don’t know how you put up with her sometimes. You must have the patience of a saint.” I laughed, knowing exactly how mouthy and outspoken my sister could be.
“I have my ways, Thomas. Don’t ever doubt that.”
“Fuck. I don’t want to know.”
“Back to business. I put in a few calls, and I think it’s our best option. Neither of us wants to go back into law enforcement. We’re both unemployed and have more skills than half of the local sheriff’s department. I think it’s a killer idea.”
“So, we’re going to be private investigators?”
“We can be our own bosses. Hire some employees to handle the shit like computer work and phones. I think it’s the best fucking idea. You have a better one?” James asked, pushing the half-empty glass of wine away.