|Home > Chelle Bliss > Men of Inked > Uncover Me (Page 66)|
|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
“Yes, sir.” He hurried inside, grabbing a few machines and quickly hooking her up to check her pulse and blood pressure.
“Don’t leave me,” she wailed, tears beginning to slide down her face.
“Angel,” I said, touching her cheek. “I have to go inside and talk to the cops. Let them take care of you so I can take you home. Please do this for me.”
She nodded, choking back the tears. “Okay.”
“I promise, Thomas. Don’t be gone too long.”
I gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “I’ll be back in a few minutes to check on you.”
As I started to walk away, she grabbed my hand, stopping me in my tracks. “Thomas, I love you.”
I turned around, smiling at her. Even in her state, she still radiated beauty and grace. This was the woman I loved. The one with a complicated, fucked-up childhood that didn’t dull her luster.
“I love you too, Angel.” Then I let our fingertips drift apart as I moved away. Before I disappeared inside the house to explain the clusterfuck of bodies and blood, I looked over my shoulder, taking one last look at her.
After being questioned for hours by the local authorities, we were finally free to go. The sheriff told us to be available when necessary and not leave the state until we’d been cleared of any wrongdoing. Since James and I were ex–law enforcement and Flash was still with the FBI, we were given more leeway than many would have been given in a situation such as that. Her mother was taken into custody and would be prosecuted for extortion and kidnapping. I’d rather her be dead, but I couldn’t kill Angel’s only living relative.
I sat in the back of the SUV on the way home. James drove, Pop rode shotgun, and Mike, Joe, and Anthony sat in the middle row, smashed together to give me privacy in the back with Angel.
The paramedics said that she was in good shape—slightly dehydrated with a couple of bumps and bruises but otherwise healthy. She might have been physically okay, but I knew it would take a while before she mentally felt at peace. I’d do everything in my power to bring the brightness back to her eyes.
The guys talked during the drive, retelling what had happened when Flash had burst through the door. Keeping my eyes focused on Angel as she fell asleep against my chest, tucked in my arms, I listened to their laughter, soaked in the love that filled the SUV, and sucked it all in, putting it away for a time when the darkness would start to take hold. I’d remember the love I felt for my family, the sense of belonging I had, to push off the sadness and stay grounded in the truth. I was loved. No matter my sins of the past, my family and Angel would always be my future. Forgiveness wasn’t something I needed to seek from them; it was granted without hesitation.
I was the luckiest man in the world. I had everything I ever wanted—love, family, and a purpose. The greatest purpose I had now was lying in my arms, and I’d make her forget the past and revel in the future.
As we drove down my street, I could see the distant figures of the Gallo women. They formed a semicircle as they stood in my front yard, waiting for us to arrive. Those women were our other half, the thing that made us what we were—an amazing family that was stronger and more loving than most.
“Angel, wake up. We’re home,” I whispered in her ear, stroking her cheek.
Her eyes, still red from crying, fluttered open before a small smile crept across her lips. “Hey,” she whispered.
“Looks like we have company, boys,” Pop called out, pointing through the windshield to the Gallo women.
“Yep. This might get hairier than the gun battle back there,” Anthony replied, laughing as he flipped through his phone.
“Not a chance. They’re going to be happy to see us,” Joe said, reaching for the door handle before the car even stopped moving.
After hopping out and leaving the door ajar, he ran to Suzy and collected her in his arms. Her feet dangled from the ground as he hugged her.
“Barf,” Anthony blurted, watching intently out the window.
Mike nudged him with his shoulder. “Shut the fuck up, dude. I know all about your piece of ass. You’re just pissed she isn’t here.”
Anthony shrugged before I heard him sigh. “Fuck off, bro.”
One by one, they piled out of the car, going to the loves of their lives and repeating the actions Joe had done with Suzy. Anthony looked like the odd fish. No one hugged him first, kissed his face, or gushed over him for returning safely. When my father released my mother, she was the one to wrap Anthony in her arms and kiss his cheeks. Someday, he’d have his—sooner rather than later, if my gut was right.
“Can you walk or do you want me to carry you?” I asked Angel, looking down at her as she started to sit up in my lap.
“I can walk, Thomas.” She pushed off my lap and climbed out of the car while holding on to steady herself. Then she covered her eyes, the sunshine blinding today, and waited for me to stand behind her.
Ma was the first person to break rank and head straight for Angel. As she approached, she gave me a quick nod and a smile before holding out her arms.
“Baby girl, I’m so happy you’re safe,” Ma said, staring at me as she hugged Angel.
Angel broke down into tears, melting into my ma’s comforting arms, and rested her head against her shoulder. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Gallo,” Angel cried, her body shaking as she spoke.
Ma rubbed her back. “There’s nothing to be sorry about, Angel. Everyone is safe and you’re back.” Ma was trying to keep it together and pretend like it was no big deal, but I knew her better than that. “I’ve been through crazier shit with this family.”