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Throttle me, p.16

Throttle Me, page 16

 part  #1 of  Men of Inked Series


Throttle Me

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  happened before I got there, sugar?”

  Tears began to fill my eyes as I spoke, I couldn’t hold them back. “I pretended to drop my keys when I heard someone behind me. I thought it was you. As I bent down to pick them up, he grabbed me by the hair and knocked me off balance.” I paused, trying to steady my voice. “He pulled me by my hair behind the building and I tried to get free of him. I kicked and screamed, but no one heard me. He hit me in the face and called me names. I could taste the blood in my mouth. I don’t remember anything else until I woke up in your arms.” I cuddled into City, needing the feeling of safety.

  “Shh, sugar. I’ll never let anything bad happen to you again.” He crawled in the bed and wrapped his arms around me. I cried in his chest until there were no more tears left. He stroked my hair, kissing my head, rocking me until I calmed.

  “Where is she?” Sophia’s voice woke me from my peaceful slumber. “I don’t give a shit, I want to see her now.”


  “Ma’am, you can’t go in there.”

  The curtain opened in one quick motion and a scared Sophia appeared. “Oh my God, Suzy. I’ve been worried sick about you.” She rushed to my bedside.

  I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, Kayden. He looked pissed. More pissed than I’d ever seen him and I’d seen him pretty crazy at times over the years.

  “I’m okay, Sophia. Just some scrapes and bruises. I’ll heal.”

  “You could’ve been killed for shit’s sake and you.” She glared at City, pointing her finger at him. “You were supposed to protect her from shit like this. How could you let her go outside alone?”

  “It’s not his fault,” I began to speak, but she held up her hand, stopping me.

  “Well?” she asked.

  “City, may I speak to you for a moment?” Kayden asked in a calm voice.

  I didn’t like pissed off looking and calm sounding Kayden. “You both need to back off,” I said.

  “Suzy, this is between City and me. I won’t keep him long,” Kayden said.

  I looked at City, silently pleading with him not to go. He squeezed my hand as he slid off the bed. “I’ll be right back, don’t worry.” He gave me a wink and a smile before leaving with Kayden.

  “Let the boys talk. What the fuck happened, Suzy?” Sophia sat down next to me, tilting her head before she grabbed my hand. “God, I was out of my mind when City called. This is all my fault.”

  “It’s no one’s fault, Sophia. I walked out and everything was going perfectly. I guess City got held up for a second and that’s all it took.” I wiped the remaining tears off my cheek. “The same creep had bothered me before and must’ve been waiting for me. It was stupid to think we could live out that fantasy. It’s not as sexy as it sounds anymore.”

  “Fuck, it’s my fault.” She hung her head.

  “Sophia, why would it be your fault?”

  “I kinda told him about your fantasy.” She didn’t look me in the eyes.

  “You did what?”

  She stood up and moved out of reach. “When he was doing my tattoo, I told him that you don’t like to share your fantasies and told him about your kidnapping thing you’ve been dying to live out.”

  Jesus Christ. “Sophia, I know we’re best friends and all, but that was between you, me, and Kayden.” I took a deep breath and tried not to be angry. Sophia loved me and so did Kayden. We always talked about sex and they were the two people in the world that never judged me. Kayden was the only male that let me pick his brain on the subject and answered honestly without making me feel like an idiot. “I’m a little embarrassed here. I thank you for trying to give me what I want, but that was my secret to tell.”

  “If it would’ve worked out, he would’ve knocked your socks off, babe. City is exactly the type of guy you need to be with. Don’t let this experience put doubt in that pretty little head of yours. He was a wreck, Suzy. I feel a little shitty now that I got bitchy with him. He really cares for you, my little OCD friend.”

  I laughed. I always made Sophia insane with all my little quirks and lists. The woman lived life by the seat of her pants and I wanted everything planned. I had lists for my lists and I would even include her on my lists when we lived together. “I know he cares, Sophia. I saw the pain in his eyes tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so afraid for me before.”

  I could hear the murmured voices of Kayden and City but couldn’t make out the words. “What is he saying to City?”

  “You know Kayden is very protective of you. He’s just having a man to man.”

  “I’m not a child, Sophia. Kayden better be nice.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

  “Kayden’s always nice. They’re just chatting.” She smiled but I could see the worry on her face.

  Life had become so complicated and my plans seemed to unravel before my eyes. I felt like Sophia on the rollercoaster she experienced when falling in love with Kayden. She put her hands up and screamed through the ride while I wanted to jump off and keep my feet on the ground.

  Who’s the Boss?

  “How in the fuck could you let her walk outside alone?” Kayden stood toe-to-toe with me – I didn’t blame him, he cared for Suzy.

  “Kayden, I know, man. I was supposed to be right behind her. Everything got fucked up.” I kept eye contact with him. I wouldn’t show weakness, even though I knew the entire thing happened because of Kaylee and my past. My fucking cock always caused trouble.

  “Yeah, I’d say. If anything happens to her, City, I’ll kick your ass. I may look small compared to you, but I’ll crush you. Hear that shit.”

  I clenched my fists, stopping myself from beating his ass right here in the hospital. I knew he wouldn’t hit me. Throwing down with Kayden would only drive a wedge between Suzy and me. I’d let him say his peace. “Got it loud and clear, Kayden. I’ll protect her with my life.”

  “I know you didn’t mean for any of it to happen, City, but I expect more.” He stepped back. “She’s like a sister to me. Just protect her and we won’t have an issue. I don’t want to be a dick, but I had to tell you that you fucked up.”

  “I know and I will, Kayden. I’m happy that you love her and you’ll look out for her if I’m not around. I know I fucked up and I’ll do everything in my power to make it up to her.”

  “Are you planning on breaking her heart, man?” he crossed his arms over his chest and stared. “If this shit is just a game to you then you need to end it now.”

  “Fuck no, but I don’t know where her head is right now.” I rubbed my eyes, exhausted from the events of tonight.

  “Don’t give her a choice, City. She’s quick to overthink everything. She needs a little push sometimes.”

  “I’m happy to show her the way. Are we good, man?” I asked. “I need to get back to her.”

  “Yeah we’re good.” He held out his hand to me in good faith.

  “Thanks, man.” I shook his hand.

  I walked through the curtain to the girls whispering on the bed. “Hey ladies,” Kayden said behind me. “Suzy, how are you, love?” he walked in front of me and stood next to her bed.

  I stood at the foot of the bed and watched them as they interacted. They were a family, anyone could see that. There was a love and a shared past that brought them together. They chatted, as I stood there transfixed. Suzy looked battered with bruises and a split lip. It would take forever for the effects to fade from her beautiful face.

  “We have a room ready for you,” a nurse said as she entered the small space.

  “Oh, great,” Sophia said.

  “We better head home, Suzy. Sleep well and we’ll stop by tomorrow to see you.” She kissed Suzy on the cheek and Kayden did the same.

  “Night, Suzy.” Kayden turned to me. “City, make sure she’s okay tonight. Don’t leave her alone,” Kayden said before he wrapped his arm around Sophia.

  “I wouldn’t be anywhere else, Kayden.”

  “I love you guys. City will take good c
are of me. Go home, Jett will be up soon.”

  “Bye, love,” Sophia said before they walked out.

  I sat down next to her as the nurse started to unhook the machines. “Hey, sugar. How are you really feeling?”

  “Sore.” She winced as she moved her limbs. “Can you find a mirror? I want to see my face.”

  Oh god. Her face was swollen with a small amount of dried blood in the corner of her mouth. I didn’t want her to see herself all bruised. “I’ll find one soon, wait until you’re moved.”

  “You can follow, sir. We’re taking her to the second floor for the night.” The nurse removed the brake on the bed as I stood and moved out of the way.

  “I’m not leaving her side, ma’am.” I said as Suzy laid her head on the pillow and smiled at me. I wouldn’t leave her tonight.

  The trip to her room was quick and the nurse left us alone and didn’t ask any questions. I sat down in the chair next to her as she yawned. My eyes felt heavy and my mind cloudy.

  “Will you sleep up here with me? I mean, there isn’t much room, but I want you to hold me tonight. I need you.”

  How could I say no to anything she asked? I’d stand on my head all night if it made her fucking happy. “Anything you want, sugar.” I kicked off my shoes, climbing in the small twin bed before lying on my side, pulling her face to my chest. “Try to sleep. I’m not going anywhere.”

  The tiny bed was perfect as I cradled her in my arms. She gripped my shirt, resting her face against my shoulder. I enveloped her in my arms, I wanted her to feel safe and I needed to know that she was okay.

  Listening to her breath as she slept, I smelled her hair, but it had the scent of the cigarette smoke from the bar and dirt. Her body twitched as she whimpered in her sleep. I wanted to crawl inside her dream and rescue her.

  Flexing my hands, the stiffness from the bruises and small cuts made me wince. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t felt before, but I couldn’t work for a couple days until they healed. Pulling my phone from my pocket, I adjusted her body without waking her and sent Anthony a message. My other siblings would be in a panic and the entire crew would be here, but Anthony I could count on to keep the information low-key at least for tonight.

  Me: Won’t be in tomorrow. Tell Mikey to reschedule my appointments. Thanks, bro.

  Anthony had a gig in Clearwater and he was a sure bet to get the information. He read the message and began to respond.

  Anthony: I told him, he’s with me.

  Fuck. Might as well have put it on the evening news or taken out a fucking billboard. Mikey would have a million questions and would want details.

  Anthony: What the fuck happened? Not like you to not work.

  I didn’t want to give them the details but I had to give enough to get them off my back. I didn’t have a fucking choice in the matter. I’d have to cancel dinner with the family. My mother will want to know why – no one got out of dinner without a legitimate excuse. I wanted to stay with Suzy for the weekend and make sure she was okay before I let her be alone.

  Me: Situation at the bar tonight. I need to stay with Suzy. Tell Mom I can’t make it and clear my schedule for a couple days at least.

  Anthony: WTF happened? You okay?

  Suzy didn’t move as I typed with one hand trying not to break the embrace.

  Me: Beat the shit out of some fucker that attacked her. She’s in the hospital for the night and I want to stay with her after she’s released. Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want them to flip out.

  Anthony: Gotcha, but Mom is going to want details. Which hospital?

  Me: County Hospital, but we’re okay. My hands are just swollen. I’ll be fine.

  Anthony: Gotcha. Mums the word.

  Nothing stayed a secret in my family. It was like the mafia party line. I knew Mikey had probably read over Anthony’s shoulder and soon the entire brigade would be on high alert. I set the phone above my pillow and closed my eyes, wrapping Suzy in my arms.

  I tried to think about happy things; Suzy’s laugh or how she kissed me, but all I could think of was her limp body and bloodied face in my arms. I kept opening my eyes to remind myself that she was okay. I waited for exhaustion to take me and wipe that vision from my mind.

  The sound of plastic squeaking against the tile floor woke me early in the morning. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” she said as she moved to the IV stand.

  I grunted and waited for her to leave before closing my eyes again. Hospitals aren’t the place for rest. The movement outside the room is constant, alarms and announcements echo through the halls, and people talk loud enough to wake the dead. I felt like a Mack truck had hit me. My back was stiff, my eyes burned and my hands throbbed. I wanted to get the fuck out of here and crawl in a real bed with her.

  A quiet knock caused Suzy to stir and my mother stood in the doorway. Fucking brothers – always mama’s boys.

  “Hey,” she said, smiling.

  I held put my finger to my lips hoping not to wake Suzy as my ma entered the room. “It’s early Ma, what are you doing here?” I whispered.

  “Your brother told me something happened and that you were here with Suzy. You know I can’t sleep good when I worry about my children.” She stood next to the bed, looking at Suzy’s face against my chest.

  “I’m fine, Ma. I couldn’t leave her and I want to stay with her when she gets out for a couple days. I didn’t think Mikey would put out an all-points bulletin.”

  “Always so quick to blame Michael, aren’t you Joseph? It was Anthony that texted me. I just wanted to stop and see if you two were okay.” She shook her head at me.

  When did my mother learn how to text?

  “We will be as soon as we get out of this shithole.”

  “What happened, son?” My mom pulled up a chair and waited for my answer.

  “Someone assaulted her. When I found her, I kicked his ass.” I didn’t want to meet my mother’s eyes. She was the only person in the world I never wanted to disappoint. I wasn’t a mama’s boy, but in an Italian family a mother is the queen bee, top dog, and wore the pants. Even my father bowed down to her and cherished the ground she walked on. He wasn’t a pussy and could kick ass in his youth, but Mrs. Gallo wasn’t a person any of us wanted to piss off. “Trust me, Ma, he looks worse than me.”

  She wrinkled her nose; she never liked to think of any of her children fighting, even Mikey. “Where were you?”

  “Neon Cowboy and we were on our way out after having a couple drinks.” I definitely didn’t want to share that I planned to kidnap my girlfriend. Sex wasn’t something I talked to my mother about and often, not even my father.

  “I told you I hate that damn bar. There’s nothing but trouble in those types of places. Haven’t you learned anything from Thomas?” She wasn’t mad, but I could see the fear in her eyes.

  “Yes, Ma. I have friends there, clients even, and I like it there. I’m not going to stop hanging out there because of the what-ifs.”

  “Is she okay, son?” She peeked over my shoulder, her eyes growing wide as she took in the sight of Suzy’s face.

  “Yeah, she’ll heal. Just waiting for the doctor to come and release her. I won’t be there Sunday, but I promise to be there next week.”

  “Sure, baby. Can I drop off food at least? That way you can spend time taking care of her without having to cook.”

  How could I say no to my mother? When she offered food it was the highest honor. She lived to cook and take care of her family. If I said no, it would be an enormous insult and there would be hell to pay.

  “Sure, Ma. I’d love if you’d stop by with some food.” I didn’t entirely mean that statement but I knew it would make her happy.

  “I’m going to go and let you two rest. I don’t want to wake her. I’ll call you later, Joseph.” She stood up and kissed my forehead. She was the only person in the world that I’d let treat me like a child. No matter how many times I told her I wasn’t, she just made it all the more unbearable smothering
me with her love.

  “Okay, Ma. Thanks.”

  “I love you, Joseph. Take care of that one.”

  “Love you too, Ma.”

  She walked out of the room and I ran my fingers over the bruises on her face. They were brighter in color and more visible than they had been the night before. She began to stir at my touch and her eyes opened and the side crinkled from the smile on her face.

  “You stayed?”

  “Where else would I go, sugar?”

  She closed her eyes and made a sound like I don’t know as she smashed her face in my chest an inhaled. “Can we get out of here?” she asked.

  “I’ll go see if I can get the doctor to discharge you. Let me get up.”

  She winced as I helped her move out of my arms and climbed off the bed. “You’re going to spend all day in bed when I get you out of here.”

  “Ooo, that sounds so sexy.” She laughed and held her side.

  “Bad girl, you’re injured – rest only.” I was happy to see that her spirit didn’t vanish with the events of the attack. “Be right back or I’ll break you out of this joint.”

  I found a nurse sitting at a desk and pleaded with her to process the paperwork quicker than normal. “You can help her get dressed to speed up the process if you’d like, sir,” the nurse said as she typed on her keyboard.

  “Sure, we’ll be waiting, ma’am.” I returned to the room to find Suzy trying to climb out of bed. “What the hell are you doing?” I said, rushing to her side.

  “I needed to pee.” She looked up at me with a shy embarrassed smile.

  “I’ll help you, sugar. Then we got to get you dressed.”

  “Fine. I hate having to need help to walk, City. This is a little ridiculous.”

  “It’s what I’m here for. You’re mine and I’m going to take care of you this weekend. No arguments. Got it?” I waited for her reply before taking her hand.

  “Yes, sir. I’m yours for the weekend. I thought it would be a bit different, but,” she said without finishing the sentence and shrugged.

  “Makes two of us. Come on, sweetheart.” I helped her to the bathroom and then grabbed her clothes. I hit them a couple times to get the dirt off before she dressed.

  “I need a shower,” she said as she hobbled out of the bathroom.

  “I’ll help you as soon as we get you home.”

  “You’re the boss.”

  I liked the sound of those words coming out of her mouth. I wouldn’t take any lip from her this weekend. She’s mine.

  Mouth Watering Goodness

  I settled in my bed, thankful to be home, and watched City as he undressed. I’d never been with a man that I couldn’t stop staring at. I wanted the image etched in my brain. His muscular build and firm chest flexed as he took off his pants. The tattoos on his torso and arms moved and I was mesmerized as if watching a movie. I ached to tug on the bar that hung from his nipple, salivated to taste his flesh, and shivered at the thought of him inside me.

  He kicked his pants in the air and caught them. “Don’t look at me like that, sugar.” His shaft bobbed catching my attention, my mouth suddenly felt dry.

  I blinked and looked at his face, “Like what? I was just thinking about how skilled you are at catching your pants,” I giggled.

  “You just looked at my dick in a way that makes me want to jam it down your throat.” He grinned at me and even though my face hurt, I wanted nothing more than for him to do that to me. “Not today, sugar.”

  “Tomorrow?” I raised my eyebrows hoping that I could entice him or at least get a promise of something before the weekend ended.

  “We’ll see. I decide when and how. What can I get you?”

  “Your cock.” I knew when I said ‘dirty’ words that he couldn’t resist me. If he continued to deny me I sure as hell wouldn’t make it easy on him.

  He rubbed his face and muttered something I couldn’t quite make out. “Want something to drink or eat?”

  He stood there, buck-naked and mouth wateringly delicious, and waited for my answer. How could I think of water when his beautiful body was on full display? I shook my head and patted the mattress with a crooked smile.

  “Tomorrow, sugar.”

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