|Home > Chelle Bliss > Men of Inked > Uncover Me (Page 67)|
|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
Next to me, James was holding Izzy, kissing her deeply—probably a little too deeply in front of the family. Either my parents didn’t mind or they were pretending they didn’t see. Fortunately, Izzy broke the kiss, holding his face in her hands.
“I love you, James. I’ve never been so worried about someone before. I didn’t fucking like it. Don’t do that type of shit anymore. I couldn’t take it.”
“I’m fine, babe. Don’t ever worry about me. I love you too, Iz.”
“All I do is worry about you and your macho ‘I have something to prove’ bullshit. You are not indestructible. Remember that, please, next time you go off trying to pretend you’re Jason Statham.”
“I’ll take that. He’s pretty badass, babe.” James laughed, earning him a small slap to the cheek. “Watch it. I may just show you how badass I really am, love. Don’t start something you can’t finish.” He smiled, winking at her as a giant smile slid across her face.
Jesus, they made me ill.
Love changes a person. It doesn’t make us inferior, but it lets us be the person we were truly meant to be. It completes us, brings out our true nature, and helps us become a better version of ourselves.
Looking around James, Izzy locked eyes with me. “Tommy!” she screeched, moving quickly and jumping in my arms.
“Hey, baby girl. It’s good to see you,” I whispered, squeezing her tightly.
“You too. Don’t do this shit again either,” she mumbled into my shoulder before she sighed.
Ma released Angel as Mia and Suzy each took turns hugging her and welcoming her home. All the girls were in tears. It was like a watching a Lifetime movie playing out before my eyes. Tears, smiles, laughter, and—most of all—love.
“Who’s up for a cup of coffee?” Ma asked, wiping the tears from her cheek. “If that’s okay with Tommy and Angel.”
“It’s fine, Mrs. Gallo. I need a shower, though. I can’t imagine how I smell.” Angel winced, sniffing her shirt. “Yeah, shower first.”
“You shower, baby girl, and I’ll make you something to eat too.”
Angel nodded, a giant smile on her face as Ma wrapped one arm around her shoulder and walked with her to the house.
“I’m proud of you, brother,” Izzy said before we followed the crowd inside.
“You’re a good man. She was broken. I’ve known enough broken girls in my time, but you saved her.”
“I couldn’t leave her in the hands of the kidnappers, Izzy.”
She shook her head, gripping my side tighter as we walked. “Not what I meant, Tommy.”
I felt my face heat as color rushed to my cheeks. “I love her. Nothing else matters.”
“I always knew you were a big softie like the others.” She smiled up at me, reminding me of when she was a little girl.
She always looked at me like I was a superhero. She’d had me wrapped around her little finger since the day she was born. I would’ve walked through fire if she’d asked me, and I’d do anything to protect her. Knowing that she was with James, someone so much like myself, I felt that I could finally let go of my overprotectiveness of her. James would willingly give his life to save hers.
I had someone new to protect, a woman who needed to feel part of something bigger. Belonging is important to everyone, and she’d lacked that her entire life. I’d spend eternity trying to bring her joy and making her never regret her decision to come with me.
It was my sole mission to make her feel loved.
For a week, Thomas treated me like I was ready to break. He tried to do everything for me. It was sweet, but there’s a point when enough is enough.
“Thomas,” I said, watching him hover as he straightened up the living room. “Come here and sit with me.” I patted the cushion next to me.
“I was about to start dinner,” he stalked in my direction before collapsing on the couch.
I turned to face him, pulling one leg under my body. “Dinner can wait. We need to talk.”
“What’s wrong?” He repeated my motion, tucking his leg under his body.
“Nothing, baby. I’m perfect. Maybe better than perfect, actually. I need you to stop treating me like I’m fragile. I’m not.”
He placed his hands over mine, stroking the top with his thumb. “You went through something very traumatic, Angel.”
“I know, but I survived. I want to stop living in the past and start our future. I can’t sit in this house any longer and watch you clean. It’s not who you are. I’m not a sitter either. There’s only so much television and reading I can do before I start to go a little crazy.” I gave him a small smile, hoping I hadn’t hurt his feelings. I just wanted us to go back to normal—whatever the hell that was for us.
“You should’ve said something sooner. I didn’t want to push you and didn’t feel right doing it until you said something.” He smiled back, his cheeks turning pink as he spoke.
“I didn’t want to make you feel bad, baby. Every day, I would pray you’d touch me like you used to and that we’d move forward.”
“I just wanted to give you time,” he said, holding the side of my face in his hand, sweeping his thumb across my cheekbone.
“It’s been long enough. You and James need to work on your business, I need to find a job, and you need to make me feel like your woman again.” I tilted my head, melting into his touch, and closed my eyes. “I’ve missed the feel of you against my skin.”