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Throttle me, p.10

Throttle Me, page 10

 part  #1 of  Men of Inked Series


Throttle Me

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  He brushed the hair off my shoulder, gliding his fingertips across my skin, lingering longer than felt comfortable. My body involuntarily moved away from his touch. “Sorry,” he said as he turned away and gripped the steering wheel, his knuckles whitening from his firm grasp. “We’re going to Paesano’s for some Italian, if that’s okay with you?”

  “Sounds great.”

  I stared out the window watching the trees pass by as Derek chattered about work. I looked forward to my weekends and escaping the stress and my job, but that’s all Derek wanted to talk about. I listened to his words and answered when asked a question, but he already bored me. Thankful that the drive to the restaurant wasn’t long I climbed out of the car as Derek jogged to me and grabbed my arm, hooking them together.

  The conversation during dinner was stagnant. We didn’t have much in common besides work. It became evident as he talked about video games. My idea of a great night did not involve playing a mindless game on the television. When the food finally arrived I found myself thankful for the silence as he shoveled the food in his mouth without care. He ate like a pig, with sauce from his pasta dribbling on his chin and resting at the corners of his mouth. I moved the food around on my plate trying not to stare.

  “You want to go for some drinks after here or you want to go to mini-golf?” He asked with a full mouth, a small piece of pasta falling in his lap.

  Why the hell did I think this was a good idea? “Drinks sound great.” I prayed that a few drinks would make him interesting and have the evening end on a high note.

  We skipped dessert and headed to Club Karma for drinks. The club opened a couple months ago but I hadn’t stepped foot inside. It had a big city feel and not like the typical small town hangouts. The walls were blood red decorated with black and white photos of couples in various sexual positions and undress. Colorful lights bounced off the shiny black tile floor as dancers moved their body against each other. There were small seating areas with couches filled with couples laughing and touching and a large bar on the opposite side of the entrance.

  “Drink first?” Derek asked. I shook my head and looked around as he guided me through the overcrowded space. Derek rested his body against the bar, his arm touching my skin. “You want to dance?” he shouted in my ear above the music.

  I shook my head and waited for the bartender to come in our direction. A large mirror hung above the liquor bottles on the wall behind the serving area. Watching people dance with such erotic and methodical moves made me think of City and our dance last weekend. I never felt sexy on the dance floor, but with him I had been able to feel the music instead of thinking of my next move.

  I ordered a martini, wanting the alcohol over a virgin daiquiri, needing to forget City and find a way to make Derek more palatable. His arm brushed against my back, as he rested his hand on the bar, effectively trapping me. I ignored him, staring into the mirror as the bartender placed my drink on the bar.

  I took a sip, testing the sweetness of the raspberry martini. This whole night had been a bad idea. I knew it from the moment I accepted his invitation to dinner. I wouldn’t have said yes to him if I weren’t trying to forget the tall, muscular Italian man.

  “Suzy,” Derek whispered in my ear further invading my personal space.

  “What?” I said into the glass still pressed against my lips.

  “Drink up, babe, because I can’t wait to get you out there.” Derek bobbed his head like a character in a skit from Saturday Night Live. I could see his reflection in the mirror and my cheeks felt heated at the thought of someone seeing me with him.

  “Uh huh.” I didn’t turn to look at him but kept my eyes on the scene in the mirror like I was watching a television show. I’d find a way to stall. I couldn’t go on to the dance floor with him. No way in hell would that happen. He didn’t have the ability to make me dance like City had, but his awkward movements would only draw more awareness to us when all I wanted to do was blend in.

  His fingers touched the skin of my arms and hand as I fought every urge to kick him in the balls. He rambled on about his clubbing days in college and how he mastered the dance floor and people would stop to watch him ‘bust a move’. Almost spitting my drink out, I broke out into laughter with tears forming in my eyes. I could imagine the scene. Derek thought people stopped to admire his ability when in actuality they were stunned or entertained beyond belief.

  “What’s so funny?” His lips were turned into a frown as he moved his head away from mine and stared at me.

  “Oh, nothing Derek. Just something I remembered from college.” God, I had always been a shitty liar, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The man had confidence and who am I to kill it.

  “Ah, okay. I thought you were laughing at me.” He shrugged before sipping his beer and wiping his lips on his shoulder. “Come on, just one dance,” he begged and released me from my human cage.

  I sloshed the pink liquid in my glass, now half drained, and lifted it to my lips. I owed him at least one dance for his efforts. I swallowed the last mouthful and placed it on the bar. “Just one.”

  His eyes lit up as he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the writhing bodies in the middle of the room. The beat of the music made me unable to feel my pulse even though I knew it had to be hammering. I wanted to throw up at the thought of anyone watching me make an ass out of myself. Just as we reached the spot that Derek wanted, dead center, the DJ switched songs. Fuck, why me? A sad, slow melody filled the air as Derek pulled me into an embrace. I’d rather make a complete asshole out of myself with a wicked beat that didn’t require touching.

  “Perfect,” he said, wrapping his arms around me with his hands resting a little too close to my ass.

  Placing my hands on his shoulders, I tried to keep some distance between us, but Derek didn’t get the hint. His body felt nothing like City’s, there was no hardness to it. Derek’s hands roamed my back as he swayed our bodies side to side to the music as I gave in, letting him control our movement. He didn’t speak as he moved us back and forth to the beat. Time passed slowly and I felt like I had been wrapped in his arms for hours with an escape.

  When the song ended Derek broke the embrace and backed up to look at me. He gave me a silly grin, “Thank you.”

  “For what?” I yelled as the music began to thump through the speakers.

  “The dance, Suzy. I loved having you in my arms,” he said, as he reached for my hand and kissed the top.

  “You’re a sweet guy, Derek.” I blushed. He wasn’t a bad guy – he just wasn’t City.

  “Another drink?”

  “If I didn’t know any better, Derek, I’d think you’re trying to get me drunk.”

  He smiled, his face turning pink as he pushed on my back and led me off the dance floor. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”

  We passed a set of couches and something drew my attention. There before me was a woman in a skin tight barely there dress with red stiletto heels and long brown hair. The woman didn’t draw my attention but the man’s lap she sat on, City. He didn’t notice me as he talked to her, giving her his total attention. His hand rested on her ass as she nibbled on his lips. I wanted to throw up. He didn’t seem to have a problem forgetting me.

  Bile rose in my throat at the sight of the two of them together. I’d spent the entire day trying to forget him without success but he had moved on to someone else. “I’ll take you up on that offer, Derek.” No longer able to watch City with another woman, I walked to the bar with Derek right behind me. Derek only had eyes for me tonight and the smile on his face made it clear that I had made him happy with my response.

  Even though I had been the one that ignored him, it still stung to see him enjoying the company of another woman. “What’ll it be, sweetheart?” The bartender asked me as she leaned against the bar with a smile in her Euphoria tank top.

  “Shot of anything sweet and another raspberry martini, please.”

  “I’ll have another Miller,” Derek s
aid before she walked away. “A shot, huh?”

  “It’s Saturday night and I could use a little something stronger.”

  “I didn’t know you were a drinker, Suzy.” He grabbed our drinks, pushing mine in front of me before throwing down a twenty for the bartender.

  “I’m not, but what the hell. Why not?” I shrugged before picking up the shot and smelling it. Raspberry something or other but I wasn’t quite sure. It would do the job and help dull the pang of jealousy I felt from seeing him with the girl in red. “To life and love,” I said, raising my glass before swallowing the sweet concoction.

  Derek tipped his beer in my direction and watched me as he raised it to his lips. “Why aren’t you taken?” he asked from behind the brown bottle.

  I shrugged. “Looking for the right one.” The martini sloshed the glass as I brought it to my lips too quick. One drink and a shot and I didn’t give a fuck that some of it splashed on my breasts. Tears stung my eyes as I gulped the martini and hoped that it put my brain in a temporary haze. The feel of a hand touching my breast caused me to jerk sending the last bit of raspberry heaven to the floor. “What the fuck?” I said looking down to see Derek’s hand move away from my breast.

  “Sorry,” he grinned. “Just thought I’d help you with that little spill.” He sucked on his fingers as he stared at my chest.

  My lips snarled as I put my face close to his, “No matter how drunk I am, you don’t touch me without asking. Am I clear?”

  “Yes, ma’am,” he said, raising his hand to salute me.

  What a cocksucker. Poking him in the chest I spoke very slowly. “I mean it, smart ass. Do. Not. Touch. Me.” I paused after each word making sure he understood. Turning away, I looked in the mirror and saw the red dress still sitting on City’s lap and my fingernails dug into the wooden bar.

  “Okay, Suzy. Let me make it up to you since I made you spill your drink. Let me buy you another?”

  I closed my eyes, rubbing the bridge of my nose, before turning my attention back to Derek. “I don’t think so, Derek. Will you just take me home?”

  “One more, Suzy. I swear I’ll keep my hands to myself. I don’t want the night to end like this. Please.”

  I studied his face and he looked genuine with a sad smile and pleading eyes. I held up my index finger to him. “One more and then I want to go.”

  “Excellent.” He raised his hand in the air and snapped his fingers, grabbing the attention of the bartender.

  Leaning against the bar, my eyes kept wandering back to the mirror. The third martini was easier to drink and my legs felt weak and the bar became necessary to keep me from tipping over. Derek chattered in my ear and kept his distance as we polished off the third drink.

  “Ready?” he asked as he set the empty bottle on the counter.

  “Are you okay to drive?” I asked. I may be drunk but I knew enough to ask.

  “Yeah, I can handle more than three beers, babe.”

  Hearing the word “babe” come out his mouth when he spoke made me want to throw up on his shoes. Everything about him made me crazy and I knew that I’d never go on another date with Derek. On paper he seemed right, but in person he was a creepy mess that revolted me and did nothing to my libido.

  “Okay, let’s go.” I grabbed my purse and walked on unsteady legs toward the door leaving Derek to walk behind me.

  “You want to hold my hand?”

  “Why?” I stopped and turned to face him, almost falling over. I had too much to drink didn’t realize it until now.

  “Because you’re walking funny. Just hold on to my arm until we get to the car.” He held out his hand and waited for me to take it.

  He didn’t grin or smile and I believed he was sincere in his offer. Clearly the alcohol had made my brain fuzzy. I didn’t hold his hand but snaked my arm through his and leaned on his body as I swayed through the parking lot thankful when we made it to his car.

  Leaning against the car, I waited for him to open the door. I closed my eyes and soaking in the feel of the cool air against my warm clammy skin. The air inside the club had felt stagnant. My anger and hurt over City made my body feel flushed and caused me to sweat. I had done this. I pushed City away. I had been an idiot and I knew it when I saw him with her in his arms.

  Derek’s lips were on mine before I could react. I pushed at him, hitting his chest as he trapped me between him and the car. My arms felt like jelly and I couldn’t gage how hard I was hitting him as the beat of my heart filled my ears. “Stop,” I mumbled between breaks in the kiss, but he didn’t stop crushing his body against mine harder. His lips moved over my cheek to my neck as he grabbed my breast and squeezed. “Derek, stop, damn it!” I yelled, hitting him in the ribs.

  “You know you want it, Suzy,” he said against my neck.

  “I don’t! Stop!” I pushed against him again but his weight was too much. I swung and connected with his face with a loud smack. My hand stung from the contact.

  His face moved away from my neck, as he looked me in the eyes. He glared at me with his mouth set in a firm line. “You hit me. What the fuck? I’m just giving you what you want, baby.”

  Clearly I had sent the wrong signals or he was just a dumbass. “Get the fuck off me.”

  “You’re such a prick tease in this outfit tonight. You can deny it all you want, but I know you want me.”

  “I do…” his lips were on me again before I could stop him. I struggled against him, bending my knee up to make contact with his balls, but hit nothing as his body flew backward.

  City held Derek by the throat bringing him to eye level. “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size motherfucker?” City said with a look of pure hatred.

  “This has nothing to do with you, man,” Derek spat in his face. “This is between the lady and me.” Derek clawed at City’s hands trying to escape his grip.

  City turned toward me. “He your boyfriend?” His eyes moved over my body taking in my outfit. I shook my head, my hands gripping the car, not moving. “You want him to touch you?” He looked at Derek and then back to me.

  Derek’s face had turned a deep shade of red on the verge of purple as City’s grip increased. “No! I told him to stop!” I said. “But, I work with the scumbag. Don’t hurt him.”

  City growled as his chest heaved with the rough breaths he drew while deciding his next action. “Fuck,” he muttered before dropping Derek to the ground.

  Derek gasped for air as he tried to stand but collapsed on his hands and knees. Air filled my lungs and I realized I had held my breath waiting for City to beat the hell out of Derek before my eyes. Did he deserve it? Hell yes, but I didn’t want to witness it or deal with the aftermath.

  City stood in front of me, his fists clenched at his side as he stared at me. The hard features of his face looked more pronounced by his anger. His cheeks flexed, his nostrils flaring as he studied me. “What the fuck, Suzy? I called you and you don’t fucking answer and then you’re here with this fucking prick and almost let him maul you in a parking lot.” Running his fingers through his hair, he turns and looks at Derek before returning his attention back to me.

  “I’m sorr-ry.” I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t have an excuse. “I didn’t know I had to answer to you. You seemed to have your hands full inside anyway.” I snarled as I spoke.

  “What the fuck are you talking about?”

  “Brunette, red dress, almost dry-humping you on the couch. Ring any bells?” Who the fuck was he to question my actions?

  “Fuck.” His arms flexed as he clenched his hands into a hard fist at his sides. “Kaylee means nothing to me.”

  “Neither do I, I suppose.”

  “Woman, you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.” He stepped closer and my body instantly registered his nearness, moisture pooling between my legs.

  I swallowed, the dryness in my mouth made it hard to move anything down my throat. “I saw your hands on her ass as she kissed you. How the hell do you ex
plain that? It seems women have no value to you.”

  “Shut your mouth, Suzy. I followed you out here because I saw you stumbling out of here with someone I didn’t know. I came here to check on you. Kaylee is no one, hear me now, no one. I didn’t come here with her or ask her to sit on my lap. I was trying to be nice to her.”

  “Well, if nice means you feel her up, I’d say you were very kind to her.”

  “Suzy, listen to me. I called you and asked you back out. You blew me off. What was I supposed to do? Sit home and wait for you to call?” Breathing escaped me as he closed the small space between us.

  Tears began to stream down my cheeks as I took in the enormity of the situation. If City hadn’t stopped Derek would I have been able to get away from him? He just saved me and I was being a total bitch. The sob tore through my chest as I broke down. City wrapped his arms around me and kissed my forehead. He felt so right against my body. I felt safe and comfortable with him no matter how much we didn’t seem to fit on paper. He said nothing, but made sounds to calm me as I buried my face into the soft material of his t-shirt. My fingers found the piercing on his nipple as I toyed with it and tried to catch my breath.

  “Can I take you home, sugar?” he asked with his face buried in my hair.

  “Yes,” I whimpered, clinging to him like a lifeline.

  Without speaking he drew me into his arms, carrying me across the parking lot. I melted into him, resting my head against his shoulder. The thought of Kaylee still stung, but I couldn’t be mad at him anymore. He saved me from a totally fucked up night and for that, he earned my forgiveness. The jostling movement as he placed my bottom on the cool seat of his bike made my stomach churn. I said nothing as he put the helmet on my head and fastened the harness against my chin. He had the right mix of pissed off male and swoon worthy alpha to make any girl’s heart go pitter patter.

  “Can you hold on?” he asked as he held my chin between his fingertips.

  “Yes.” My tone was breathy and betrayed me with the sound of need.

  He climbed on the bike, scooting his ass between my legs and gripping the handlebars. I molded my torso against his and interlaced my fingers. The usual jitters I felt anticipating the ride ahead didn’t register.

  “Hold on, sugar.” He throttled the engine and took off for the short drive to my house. The cool air whipped my hair around as I nuzzled against his warm back. My mind grew blank with the movement of the bike and only the roar of the engine. I allowed myself to get lost in the moment and the sensation of the vibrations from the bike and feel of City between my legs.

  Lost in the City coma I didn’t notice as we pulled into my development and weaved through the winding streets to my house. Maybe I’d drifted off, but I wanted to stay like this forever – wrapped around his body, in a stress-free haze of contentment. I mumbled against his shirt as he turned off the bike, placing his feet on the ground, securing it and tapping my hands. “Sugar, we’re here.”

  “Mm hmm,” I said into his back before raising my head and looking through blurry eyes at my house. I sat up, letting go of his chest before wiping the drool off my lips. “Thanks, City. I don’t know what would’ve happen tonight if it weren’t for you.” I started to climb off the bike but didn’t have the energy and plopped back against the seat with a ‘Oomph.”

  City laughed as he climbed off, pulling me off the bike, cradling me in his arms. “Can I come in?” he asked, brushing his nose against my cheek.

  “Depends. You mad at me?” I asked, praying he said no.

  “I’m not mad. We gotta talk, Suzy.” His eyes begged me to let him in as his brows furrowed together.

  “Okay.” I rested my head against his hard chest and rubbed my palm against his pec.

  I handed him the keys as we approached the door. Anger was no longer visible, but the tilted grin I’d grown accustomed had vanished. He kicked off his boots before he walked across my white carpet, placing me on the couch. The couch dipped from his weight, but I couldn’t look him in the eye. I fiddled with my fingers as the silence became deafening. The alcohol-induced haze had started to wear off and I felt a small buzz.

  “Why the hell didn’t you call me today? I thought we made plans. What the fuck did I do wrong?” His words made me cringe; sadness was evident in his voice.

  “I wanted to put distance between us. You didn’t do anything wrong.” I shook my head meeting his eyes.

  “Distance? What for?” The space between his eyebrows drew together as the skin wrinkled in between.

  “I just don’t think we’ll work out” I shrugged.

  “Woman, you think too damn much and it’s fucked up. Blew my ass off for that douchebag tonight and how’d that shit turn out for you?” He paused before continuing. “What makes you think we don’t have a shot?”

  I looked away from him, unable to look him in the eyes. “We’re just so different, City. I don’t see a future between us and at my age, I’m looking forward. I don’t live life by the seat of my pants like you. We have nothing in common and we run in different worlds.” Water clouded my vision as I stared at the wall across the room. I blinked trying to clear the tears from my eyes.

  Sighing he reached for my face, touching my cheek and pulling my face to look in his directions. “Look at me, sugar.” His eyes moved around my face. “I don’t know how you think I live and you sure as hell don’t know who I am. We’re getting to know each other, but you shut me out without a reason. You said it yourself, Sophia and Kayden are opposites but they work. Why couldn’t we?”

  I drew in a shaky breath his words making my heartache. “I know I said that, but I don’t know, City.”

  “What don’t you know? Talk to me.” His hand closed over my fist in my lap as he stroked his thumb across my sensitive skin.

  “I like you a lot. So much that it scares me and I don’t know if I could deal with the heart break when you walk out of my life.” The tear slid down my cheek as I spoke.

  “You never gave us a chance to see if we could work.” His finger slid across my skin, wiping the tear away.

  “You’re not a one-woman man. I could tell that about you and I don’t work that way. I don’t want to share you.”

  “Suzy, I’m not a whore. Since I met you last week I haven’t been with anyone else. I don’t want anyone else, just you.”

  “I’d like to believe that, but you looked a little too cozy with Karen tonight.”

  “Kaylee, not Karen. I’ll be totally honest with you about her. I had sex with her twice in my life. Not my proudest moment, but she offered and I accepted. She wants to be my girlfriend and I’ve told her no. I’m very clear with her that she and I are nothing and never will be. Should I have pushed her ass on the floor when she sat on my lap?”

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