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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
Suzy sat across from me, her face glowing from a mix of motherhood and the alcohol Izzy had insisted she drink. Her cheeks were losing the roundness that had been caused by the weight gain of pregnancy.
I had been there the night she’d given birth to Giovanna Bianca Gallo three weeks ago. Big, bad Joe had cried tears of joy and gushed over his daughter. I’d never seen a father prouder because he had a daughter. Izzy had fallen to her knees, thanking God for making the baby a girl. The numbers were finally tipping in favor of “vadge,” as she’d put it. Ma Gallo had instantly nicknamed the baby Gigi, and it had spiraled from there.
“So, how did you get him to say yes?” Izzy asked Suzy.
Suzy swirled her daiquiri, holding it between her fingers. “I just said please,” she replied, her cheeks turning pink as she giggled.
“That’s bullshit,” Mia blurted out, tossing her head back with a hearty laugh.
“Joe doesn’t give in that easily, Suzy. How did you really do it?” Izzy asked, looking at Suzy with a raised eyebrow.
She bit her lip, a smile slowly spreading across her face as her cheeks grew almost rosy. “I told him if he ever wanted to have sex with me again, I wanted a night out with my girls.”
“You floozy. You know that was a crock of shit,” Izzy spat out, shaking her head.
“I know, but it freaking worked. I wanted to see you girls, so I had to pull out the big guns and pumped enough breast milk to feed a small army.”
“Well, thank shit for small miracles,” Mia said, bringing her martini to her lips and taking a tiny sip.
“What’s more amazing is that the guys agreed to go over and help him with the baby,” I added, laughing as I pictured them again staring at the baby like a foreign object. “Do they even know what to do with a baby girl?”
The table erupted in giggles before Izzy spoke. “They helped raise me, so I’m sure they have some idea.”
“Yeah,” Suzy said, putting the straw in her mouth as she talked around it. “He’s so protective of her. He’s not afraid of taking care of her, but damn, he’s so crazy about Gigi. I never thought I’d see the man amount to a pile of gushy love like I have seen him over our daughter.”
Mia coughed, choking on her martini. “Are you jealous, Suz?” The diamond on her finger momentarily blinded me as it sparkled in the light.
“Nah. It makes me happy. I needed out of babyland for a night. I’ve missed you girls.”
“Babe, we’ve been over, like, every other day to see you and the baby,” Izzy said, holding up her hand and calling over the waitress.
“It’s not the same. I needed one-on-one time with you ladies. No baby, no Joe—just us.”
Izzy pointed to the table, looking up at the waitress. “Another round, please.”
The waitress nodded and headed off toward the bar.
“I’m going to be drunk if I have another,” Suzy whined, sucking down the last bit of her drink until she was slurping air.
“You can use a drunken night. I’m sure Joe will thank me.” Izzy winked at Suzy.
“He didn’t last time.” Suzy laughed, slapping the table and snorting. Then she sobered, turning her attention toward me. “So, Angel, how’s it over there at Casa Badass?”
I almost spat out my drink as I sipped the last of my martini. Then I set down my glass, wiped the vodka off my face, and smiled. “It’s going really well.”
“Tommy is so damn sexy,” Suzy said before hiccupping.
“All right, tiger. You’re cut off,” Mia said, pulling the glass away from her as soon as the waitress set down the drinks.
“My hormones are a hot mess. I can appreciate the beauty of man. There’s no one like my Joe, though. He’s it for me.”
“Good answer,” Izzy said, giggling as she pushed the drink back in front of Suzy. “Keep drinking.”
“When’s the date, Mia?” I asked, changing the subject.
“We haven’t set one yet. I waited forever for him to ask. I’m happy knowing it’ll happen.”
“You know Ma isn’t going to let you two be engaged forever,” Izzy interrupted, a giant smile on her face.
“She’s lost in Gigi world for now. Speaking of which, when is your ass going to get engaged, Izzy?”
“I’m not ready for all that. Let me just enjoy the man for now, Mia. I don’t need a ring to know he’s mine.” Izzy toyed with the gold choker around her neck, rubbing the dangling heart locket.
“Did James buy you that beautiful necklace?” I asked, noticing that she’d played with it many times this evening. Stroking it, she caressed the cool metal.
“He did.” She nodded, releasing the locket from her fingers and grabbing her drink.
“Is that a collar?” Suzy blurted, moving her face closer to inspect it.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Suzy?” Mia asked, her eyebrows knitting together as she looked at her.
Suzy turned to Mia and smiled. “I read a lot. I’m into erotic books. It reminds me of some of the BDSM books I read during my pregnancy.” Turning her attention back toward Izzy, she asked again, “So, is it a collar?”
Izzy’s face flushed as she bit her lip. “I never knew you were such a kinky bitch, Suzy,” she replied.
“By the look on your face, I’d say she nailed it,” I added, knowing that Izzy was usually truthful. That response had been evasive.