|Home > Chelle Bliss > Men of Inked > Uncover Me (Page 52)|
|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
Anthony stared back at her with wide eyes until his eyes softened, small wrinkles formed in the corners, and a huge smile spread across his face. Pop started chuckling and Joe laughed, pulling his wife closer to his side.
“Why don’t you tell him how you really feel, sugar?” he asked, kissing the top of her head.
“Take me home, handsome,” she replied, placing her hand on his stomach in much the same way he had done to her earlier.
Then they said goodbye, giving everyone a hug and kiss, including Anthony. When Suzy approached Anthony, she whispered something in his ear and he nodded. No one else seemed to notice, but it didn’t get by me.
As they walked out, Anthony got up and headed into the kitchen. I followed him, thinking I needed to talk to him. I hadn’t had a chance to get him alone and see how he was doing. Plus, I was nosy like everyone else and wanted to see what was stuck in his craw.
“Hey.” I stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame with my arms folded.
“What’s up, bro?”
“Just thought I’d see how you were.”
“Couldn’t be better,” he replied, pouring himself some coffee. “Want a cup?”
“No. I’m good.”
“You doing okay?” I didn’t move, keeping his escape route blocked.
One thing I knew about my older brother was that he didn’t like to talk about his feelings. When we were growing up, he was the most closed off of the Gallo kids, and it hadn’t changed as he’d aged.
“Yeah, why?” he asked, keeping his eyes on mine as he took a sip of his coffee.
“Something’s up with you. You’re grumpier than your normal pleasant self, and your face is always buried in that damn phone.”
He stared at me for a beat before setting his coffee on the counter. “First, you haven’t been around in ages, so what do you know about my normal self?”
Leave it to Anthony to hit below the belt. His comment was true but still shitty. I’d lost touch with everyone in my family. I didn’t know them anymore. People change over time. Fuck, I was no longer the same brother I had been. I had a darkness inside me I’d never be able to shake.
I waved my hand at him. “Like that shit. You’re a grouchy bastard. You were never a grumpy fucker. Crotchety, yes, but not a prick.”
“It’s the new me.” He smiled, crossing his feet as he leaned against the counter.
“Anthony, I know I deserted you—and the entire family, for that matter—but I can tell something is up with you. Talk to me. You always used to confide in me.”
“I don’t know, man. It’s not worth my time to even talk about this chick.” He hung his head as his shoulders slumped.
“She fuckin’ drives me crazy.”
I laughed, knowing the feeling well. “It’s their job, Anth.”
“One minute, she’s begging me to be with her, and the next, she’s pushing me out the door. She has my fucking head spinning.”
“Do you love her?” I asked, pushing off the doorframe and moving toward him.
He scrubbed his hand across his face, moving it into his dark hair before pulling on the short strands. “I haven’t been with anyone else in months. I don’t know if it’s love, but I just can’t be with anyone else.”
“You’ve been a one-woman man for months?” I asked in shock.
Anthony was a hound dog. While playing in the band, he’d developed a following and loved his groupies. Sometimes loving them too much.
Nodding, he brought his eyes to mine. “Figure that shit out.”
I wanted to keep him talking. Anthony was the type who spilled his guts when he was ready, and questioning him wasn’t the way to go. Everyone in the family would question him, and he’d instantly shut down.
“She must be pretty special.”
“I thought she was, but I don’t know anymore, Tommy. I feel like I’m being led around by my balls.”
“What about your balls?” Mike asked as he walked in the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator door, he paused and looked at us.
“Nothing, man.” Anthony picked up his coffee and headed for the living room.
With that, the conversation was over. Mike had the shittiest timing. It was like his greatest gift. He’d fucking ruined shit my entire life with his timing. It had started back in high school when I had Becky in my bed. That relationship had ended in a hurry.
“Way to go, numbskull.”
“What?” he asked, pulling the milk carton from the shelf. Without thinking or giving a fuck, he brought it to his mouth and chugged.
“Nothing,” I replied before walking out and leaving him behind.
Angel was standing in the living room, chatting with Anthony when I entered the room. “Hey,” she said, touching Anthony on the arm before heading toward me.
“Ready?” I asked her, needing to get out of here and spend some time alone with her. I still had a promise from earlier to fulfill.
She nodded before walking toward my pop. Then she bent down, whispered in his ear, and kissed him on the cheek. A smile so large that his eyes crinkled at the corners spread across his face, showing the tiny wrinkles that had developed in my absence.
As we walked out the front door, I said, “Thank you.”
She stopped, pulling me back toward her with her hand. “For what?” she asked, tilting her head and staring at me.