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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“Jesus Christ, Flash. You were supposed to wait outside. What the fuck, man?” James asked, waving his gun.
“Fuck you. Mr. Gallo told me to get my ass inside and I did what I was told.” He held his arm, covering a patch on his sleeve that was turning red.
“You’ve been hit,” I mumbled as I scrubbed my hand across my face.
“It’s nothing. Just grazed.” Flash moved his hand, staring down at the wound. “I’ll fucking survive.”
James stalked toward the couch. “Where the fuck are you going?” he asked as he dragged Treena by her feet from the sitting area. “Where the fuck is she, you lying whore?”
“In the back bedroom! Please don’t kill me!” she wailed, kicking her feet at James.
“Don’t fucking move!” James commanded, pinning her to the floor with his foot on her thigh.
Without wasting time, I headed to the back of the house, leaving the others to deal with Treena. The tiny hallway had a couple of closed doors. As I threw them open one by one, each empty room made my stomach sink further and the feeling of helplessness grow. Finally, I found her in the last bedroom curled into a ball, crying.
“Angel, baby,” I whispered, kneeling at her side. After removing the blindfold and rope from her wrists , I grabbed her body and pulled her into my arms. “I got ya,” I said, holding her tightly.
Her face was tear-stained and splotchy, her hair matted against her face and dried.
“Shhh,” I whispered, stroking her cheek as she sobbed. Her body shook, her crying so intense that she shuddered in my arms. “You’re safe.”
She clawed at my shirt, digging her face into my chest. “I didn’t think you’d come,” she sobbed, the words hard to understand through her tears.
“Angel, I’d never leave you behind.” I rocked back and forth, stroking her cheek and wiping the tears away as they flowed down her face. “You’re safe now.”
She didn’t speak as she continued to cry. I let her, holding her and trying to comfort her through the realization that it was over. Then her body grew slack in my arms, relaxing against my chest with heavy breaths.
“Are they all d-dead?” she stuttered, looking up into my eyes.
“No, Angel. Your mom is alive.” I smiled at her, moving the hair out of her eyes.
“That bitch. She did this.” She sucked in a breath, new tears forming in her eyes. “Who does that shit to their kid?”
“A nasty woman, babe.”
“Thomas, I’m so sorry for all this. It’s my fault.” She stared at me with wide eyes that conveyed a world of sadness and hurt, and it gutted me.
“It’s not your fault. You didn’t ask for this to happen, Angel.”
“It is, though,” she whispered. “I know I fucked up. She found me because I posted on Facebook. I fucked up.”
“It happens, love. We may want to rethink social media for a while, though,” I said, trying to hold in a laugh.
“It’s not funny,” she said, slapping my chest. “I brought this to you. I led them to you.”
“Do you know who they were?”
She nodded, swallowing hard before speaking. “I saw them in the club a couple of times. They were from the Kings, I think. I’m sure she was the ringleader.”
“It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s over, Angel. You’re safe and I’m taking you home.” I held my lips against her forehead, feeling the warmth as I said a prayer of thanks.
I had more to be thankful for than most men. My family had my back, and everyone had come out safely after the gun battle. The woman I loved had survived. Life was about to change. That’s the beauty of it all. Nothing stayed the same for long. Whether good or bad, things could change in the blink of an eye. I had to hold on to the good and push out the bad, letting it fade away into the past. I needed to let go of my sins, atone for my behavior, and do good in the future. I’d make amends with society through deeds worthy of forgiveness.
“Son.” My pop’s voice pulled me from my thoughts.
Looking over my shoulder, I saw him staring at me from the doorway. “Yeah, Pop?”
“You okay in here? How’s Angel?” he asked, his face soft and his eyes riddled with concern.
“She’s fine, Pop.”
“We’ll be waiting for you outside. The cops just pulled up and we have some explaining to do.” He shrugged, giving me a quick smile before leaving us alone.
“You ready for this, Angel?” I asked, holding her in my arms as I stood.
“I can do it, Thomas.” She nuzzled her face into my neck, holding my cheek in her hand. “I’ll do anything you ask.”
“Just tell the truth.” I carried her down the hallway, stepping over the bodies as the police entered the house.
They moved around the living room, taking in the crime scene and talking with Joe, Anthony, Pop, Flash, Mike, and James. Treena was sitting on the couch, sobbing into her hands, a cigarette dangling from her fingertips.
“I’m taking her outside,” I said, making my way to the front door before she caught a glimpse of the blood. It wasn’t something she needed to see.
Outside, there was an ambulance parked at the curb with the back doors open. Once I’d carried her to the open bay, I set her in the back and called over the paramedic.
“She was being held captive. She needs to be checked for injuries and dehydration.”