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Throttled, p.5

Throttled, page 5

 part  #1.5 of  Men of Inked Series

 

Throttled
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  “What’s wrong, Joe?” Michael asked, resting his hand on my shoulder.

  “I don’t have my phone. Suzy’s going to be pissed if I don’t text her back.”

  “I got it in my pocket. You’ll get it back tomorrow. Tonight it’s all about us and not our ladies. She’ll be fine. It’s her party night too. Trust me, those girls have her too busy to even bother looking at their phones. So chill the fuck out and drink.” Mike shoved the tequila shot under my nose as a smile crept across his face.

  “You’re right.” I grabbed the drink from his hand and turned toward the guys. “What are we drinking to?” I asked, raising the glass.

  “Platinum pussy and unlimited blow jobs.” Anthony clinked his glass to mine as all the guys joined in with a laugh.

  I grimaced as I downed the liquid. Tequila and I were never friends. We slammed the shot glasses on the bar, grabbing our beer to wash it down.

  “Another,” Tank said, motioning to the bartender. “Same,” he yelled as the man approached.

  “Gonna be one of those nights, huh?” I said, sipping my beer as I looked around.

  The setting was amazing. Suzy would love it here. She didn’t like to dance when I met her, but when we were on the dance floor together, our bodies moved as if they’d known each other a lifetime. She knew how to move, but being with me gave her the confidence to feel uninhibited in the sack and in a club.

  “Earth to Joe.” Bear tapped me in the head, annoying the shit out of me.

  I swatted his hand, ready to tear his finger off and turned toward him. “You wanna lose that finger?” I smirked, moving into his personal space.

  “Shut the fuck up and drink, shithead.” Bear pushed my chest, knocking me back a step.

  Grabbing the drink off the bar, I slammed it back, enjoying the warmth. “Ahh, another,” I said as I put the glass down, turning to see everyone’s mouth agape. “What?”

  “Jesus, you’re going to be shitfaced. Pace yourself, brother.” Michael threw back his drink, calling the bartender over.

  We spent the next hour laughing and drinking. We talked about women. Michael and I spoke of our girls while Tank, Bear, and Anthony talked about their plethora of pussy. The stark contrast of the caliber of pussy the three of them enjoyed was astounding. I knew the club bitches Tank and Bear spent their nights with and I wasn’t too impressed. They could do better and hell, they deserved more. They may be rough around the edges, but they were good, honest men.

  Anthony was just Anthony. He was a manwhore to the nth degree enjoying life a little too loosely. I couldn’t blame the guy, but at some point, you have to give up the chase and enter the adult world.

  “Here,” Anthony said, nudging me. “You look a little lost in thought or you’re already shit faced.” He laughed, pushing the glass of amber liquid in front of me.

  “I’m not even close to being shitfaced.”

  “I want to do a special toast,” Michael said, holding up his glass, waiting for us to follow suit. As we raised our glasses, holding them together, he spoke. “To Thomas. He couldn’t be here again, but this one’s for him.” He frowned, his eyes glistening a little in the club light. “To the best God damn brother out there. May he stay safe and come back to us in one piece.” A weak smile formed on his face as he brought the glass to his lips.

  My chest felt tight thinking about Thomas. I wanted him to be here to celebrate this weekend with us, but he had gone too far under at this point. We were on a no contact basis the last few months. We could check in with his superior, but beyond that, we hadn’t heard from him. “Way to bring a party down,” I said, shaking my head. “To Thomas.” I downed the tequila before wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.

  I looked at Anthony and his eyes were the size of saucers. He wasn’t moving, the shot in front of his lips, frozen in place. “What the fuck man?” I asked, turning to see what caught his attention.

  What the fuck? My heart started to hammer, my mind racing as I fisted my hands at my side. There’s no fucking way. I shook my head, trying to get rid of the image, hoping it was an optical illusion. Fuck, it wasn’t.

  Across the pool danced my bride-to-be with some motherfucker doing the bump-n-grind. I moved forward, but a hand stopped me, clamping down on my arm.

  “Don’t cause a scene, City,” Bear said, griping me tightly.

  I looked down at his hand, a growl starting deep in my throat. “That’s my woman. No one, and I mean no one, puts their hands on her.” Pulling my arm from his grip, I stalked across the pool, cracking my neck and preparing for the shit storm that was about to happen.

  Sophia stopped dancing, her mouth hanging open as she nudged Izzy, motioning to me with her head.

  “Fuck.” Izzy mouthed, shaking her head, her eyes growing wide.

  With Suzy’s back to me, I grabbed the asshole groping Suzy’s collar, removing him from my fiancée. Suzy turned slowly, all the color draining from her face as her eyes found mine.

  “Fuck off,” I growled, pushing him away as I tried to restrain myself.

  “You fuck off, asshole. I’m dancing with the beautiful blonde. She ain’t yours.” He moved forward, standing toe to toe with me.

  I snarled, moving closer to his face. “She’s my motherfucking fiancée. You had your shitty ass hands all over her.”

  “City,” Suzy said, grabbing my arm. “Baby.”

  I pushed her away, not looking in her direction. “You need to back the fuck off and go find some other pussy. This one is mine,” I roared, grabbing his shirt pulling him closer to my face.

  “I didn’t hear her say no when I started dancing with her, motherfucker.” His words were slightly slurred as tiny droplets of his spit hit my face as he spoke. “Her ass felt so good in my hands.”

  “City,” Bear said, touching my shoulder. “Not here, man.”

  “What did you just say?” I asked, tightening my grip.

  “Her ass…you can bounce a quarter off that shit.” His mouth slowly turned up into a cocky ass grin.

  As I released him, I pushed him back and swung. I connected with his jaw, the bones crunching under my knuckles. His arms flailed as he fell to the ground and grasped his face.

  “Keep your fucking hands to yourself, dickhead.” I spit on the ground next to him. “Worthless piece of shit.”

  He dragged his hand across his lips, wiping the blood that had trickled out of his mouth. I fisted my hands at my side, waiting to see if he’d retaliate, but he stood slowly and walked away. Pussy.

  Bear patted me on the back. “Can’t say the asshole didn’t deserve it.”

  “He deserved more. If we were at the Neon Cowboy I would have beat him unconscious, but here it’s like a damn show.”

  I looked around the crowd that had gathered. People were smiling and laughing and looked impressed. Such is city life at a club. They just wanted to see someone get their ass kicked. I closed my eyes, trying to calm my breath before turning to see Suzy.

  Her arms were crossed and her head cocked as she glared at me. “You’re such a caveman. Does everything require violence?” She snarled.

  I’d never seen Suzy so pissed off. She had no fucking right to be pissed. I was defending her honor, my soon-to-be-bride. “You’re pissed at me?” I asked with a confused look. “Why the fuck are you pissed off at me? You’re the one letting him manhandle you.”

  Her glare turned ice cold as she walked toward me. Her hands dropped to her side as she stopped in front of me. “You knock a guy on his ass and you want to know why I’m pissed off?” She poked me in the chest, her nail digging into my skin. “It’s my bachelorette party and I was having some harmless fun. What the fuck is wrong with you?” She smacked me in the chest, trying to push me backward.

  I grabbed her wrist, pulling her closer. “Some asswad has his hands on my woman and I’m just supposed to what? Tap him on the fucking shoulder and say may I cut in? No, I’m going to confront that shithead and do what I have to do. I’m the one that
s pissed and rightfully so. You let him touch you. What the fuck happened to faithfulness?” I released her arm as her eyes flickered to the ground.

  Her eyes returned to mine filled with anger and hurt. “I was being faithful, you big dumb oaf. It’s a bachelorette party and I’m here with your sister. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. You’re just being your difficult, overprotective self.” She shook her head. “You always want to solve things with your fists. We’re not twelve anymore, City.”

  “Sugar, I’ll protect you until my last breath. I don’t share, not now and not ever. You’re mine and only mine. No one is allowed to put their hands on you, no matter the situation.” I grabbed her by the waist, drawing her to my body. “Maybe I’m being harsh, but the thought of someone else touching you just pisses me off. I tried to control myself, but the prick had to keep running his mouth.” I touched her cheek, holding her face in my hand.

  Her face softened as she leaned into my touch. “He did. I’m sorry. I’m drunk and we’re just having some harmless fun.”

  I leaned in, hovering just above her lips. Her eyes fluttered closed as I inhaled in the smell of Suzy. The scent wasn’t right. “What the fuck?” I sniffed her cheek and neck. She had a sweaty musky scent on her skin. “Why do you smell like a man?”

  Her eyes flew open and grew wide. “What are you talking about?” she whispered.

  “You smell like another man’s been pawing you. That jagoff didn’t touch your face. Why the hell does your face and neck smell like someone else?” My heart started to pound sporadically, my chest felt hollow except for the flutter of my heart.

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t touched anyone.” She grabbed my shirt, holding me to her.

  “Like fuck you haven’t. I can smell him.” Nausea overcame me as the realization that Suzy had been that close to another man. Maybe she wasn’t the woman I always thought she was.

  “City, I haven’t touched anyone. You’re making shit up.”

  I backed away, dropping my hand from her cheek. “I find you with some guy with his hands all over you and now I can smell someone all over your skin. Don’t you have anything to say for yourself or are you just going to deny it?”

  She looked to the sky and back to me, her eyes glistening in the light. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” she yelled, her hands fisted at her side.

  I shook my head, feeling my heart shattering into a million tiny pieces. The thought of her cheating on me made me feel like death would be preferable. I didn’t want to look at her anymore. I couldn’t take the lies or the dull ache in my chest. “I don’t believe you,” I whispered, looking over her. I couldn’t stomach looking in her eyes anymore.

  “City,” she pleaded, reaching for my arm.

  I recoiled, moving my body out of reach. “No, not this time, sugar. I need some time to myself,” I said as I turned my back to her.

  I didn’t want to see the hurt on her face. I didn’t have to look at her to know it was there, but I was too pissed off to stick around and talk about it. I needed to get away and cool off.

  “Bro, where ya going?” Michael said, stepping in front of me.

  “I need to be alone, brother. I’m taking a cab home,” I said, trying to control my breathing. I closed my eyes and breathed out through my mouth before looking him in the eyes.

  “Come on. We have the party bus. We can go somewhere else.” Michael gave me a fake smile.

  “Fuck that. I’m going home. Take the party bus and enjoy the night. Tell Suzy to stay here with the girls. I need to be alone tonight.”

  I walked around him, leaving them behind. I found a cab and headed home. I tried to process how the night went so terribly wrong. Did I overreact? Probably. Did someone touch my fiancée? Most definitely. Could we be fixed? Only time would tell.

  I closed my eyes; the blur of palm trees made my head hurt more than it already did. I thought about everything we’d been through in the last year. Suzy lost her good girl image and stole my heart. I wrecked on my bike and almost died. The woman nursed me back to health and waited on me hand and foot.

  It may have been a bachelorette party, but the shit still stung. My over active imagination and the words the cocksucker spoke was like a punch to the gut. I knew my Suzy. She wouldn’t cheat, but the thought of someone else touching her made my stomach hurt and my heart ache. I literally pushed Suzy away and turned my back on her. I let my anger rule instead of using my head. I reacted without thinking and would have to deal with it tomorrow.

  I rubbed my face, wishing I could wash it all away and go back in time. I’d been a total dumb fuck and there would be a heavy price to pay and most likely groveling. I wasn’t one to grovel and beg, but this was my sugar. I’d do anything for her, to keep her, and make her mine. The closer I got to the house, our house, the more I knew I fucked up.

  After paying the cab driver and walking up the driveway, I pulled out my phone and checked my messages. Not a message since I left her.

  Me: I’m sorry. I love you.

  The house was eerily quiet. It had been quiet before, but tonight it was deafening. Suzy was missing. Her joy and laughter usually filled the space. The girl was a damn chatterbox at times and as I walked to the bedroom I realized how much I missed it—how much I missed her. The stillness of our house made me feel uneasy. I wanted my woman in our bed with me. I wanted to hear her giggle as I whispered in her ear before she fell asleep. She was the sunshine in my day; she softened me and filled my life with happiness.

  I emptied my pockets, placing my wallets and keys on my nightstand. I removed my clothes, the stench of the clubs clinging to the fabric as I tossed them to the floor. No reply from Suzy as I crawled in bed, laying the cell phone next to me. I didn’t want to miss her message. I stared at the ceiling, watching the fan create moving shadows in the darkness. For the first time in months, I felt completely alone.

  Fuck, maybe I was pussy whipped.

  Chapter 7 ~Macho Bullshit

  Fuming. It’s the only word I could use to describe what I felt. City had always been a little on the impulsive side, but tonight put the fucking icing on the cake. How could he think I had been unfaithful? I told Izzy no strippers, but did she listen? Of course not, when does she ever listen to anyone?

  I had too much to drink, but I was still in control. I wasn’t sloppy drunk, just at that point where everything was wonderful and nothing got me down. Well, nothing until Mr. ‘She’s Mine’ Caveman killed the party. When the guy that City laid out tried to dance with me, I said no and pushed him away. Izzy intervened. Fucking Izzy, said it was my last night and every girl had the right to dance with whomever they wanted before they’re officially off the market.

  I didn’t see any harm in it. It was just a dance and nothing more. My girls surrounded me and they would never let anything happen to me. Furthermore, I don’t cheat. It’s not in my nature. I’m madly in love with City. I don’t mean just that type of comfortable love. I’m talking that take my breath away, make my stomach flip type of love that I couldn’t imagine being without. But, and this is a huge but, could I deal with his testosterone-laced fist throwing macho bullshit for the rest of my life?

  If I answered the questions based solely on the amount and way I loved him, the answer would be yes. If I used my brain and really thought about City and his quickness to stake his claim and scare anyone with a cock away from me, the answer would be, “I honestly don’t know.” He said that’s his way of protecting me and it’s how he’s built.

  The night I was attacked at the Neon Cowboy, his level of protection increased and became almost stifling at times. Somehow I managed to survive the first twenty-something years of my life without his watchful eye and brute fists. The trauma we endured during our relationship didn’t help matters. My assault and then almost losing him in the motorcycle accident—they were events that put a strain on our emotions but brought us closer together.

  The night we sat in the hospital waiting to hear
if he would survive was the longest night of my life. I couldn’t form a coherent thought until Mia told us that he’d survive. I felt like my world was ending. I didn’t have control and I hated it. Control is something I strived to maintain. I made my lists and planned everything out. Having City’s life hanging in the balance and relying on someone else to make him better was maddening.

  I didn’t think I could ever get mad at him again, but here we are. City walked off and left without talking to me. He didn’t want to believe anything I had to say. He jumped to his crazy ass conclusions and stalked off.

  My mind was hazy as I sat on the barstool and watched the club moving to music that was muffled in my ears. I couldn’t process anything but my thoughts of City and what the fuck just happened.

  “Suzy, let’s go upstairs, babe.” Sophia grabbed my elbow, trying to get me to stand.

  “No,” I whispered, not ready to move.

  “Come on, I’ll go with you. Let’s get out of here so we can talk,” she said as she brushed my hair off my shoulder.

  I looked at her with blurred vision; a line of tears sitting in my eyes hadn’t yet fallen. “What’s there to talk about? He walked out on me.”

  “Now listen to me, woman. He loves you and you love him. You both have been drinking and the scene went south quick. You know that isn’t how City is, babe.”

  I blinked, letting the tears cascade down my cheeks. “That’s exactly how he is, Sophia. I don’t know if I can deal with that forever.” My voice cracked as I wiped my cheeks.

  “Up ya go, sugarplum, upstairs for you. You’ve obviously had more to drink than I thought if you’re questioning your future with this man.” She grabbed me around the waist, helping me stand on steady feet.

  “Fine, Soph, but only because I could use a little peace and quiet. There’s no one else I can talk to about him and get an honest opinion but you. They’re all related or partial to the Gallo family.” My legs felt rubbery as we walked past the dance floor and made our way to the outside elevators. “Thanks, Sophia.” I smiled at her. She was my best friend, the only person in the world that knew everything about me. We’d been through too much together to not be able to read each other like an open book.

  She smiled back at me but didn’t say a word as we entered the elevator. I sagged against the wall, trying to keep my balance as it was ascending to the top floor. As soon as we walked into the suite, I kicked off my shoes and threw myself on the couch. Wrapping paper, boxes, sex toys, and lingerie were strewn around the room. Partially empty glasses, bottles of liquor and champagne sat on the coffee table. The night started with so much promise.

  “Alright, beautiful. Spill your guts,” Sophia said as she sat down next to me and put my feet in her lap. God, I missed times like these. Sophia and I used to stay up late at night having talks about men and our problems. Life had changed so dramatically for both of us over the last two years. Being here with her, like this, made my broken heart long for the olden days.

  “Did you hear what he said to me?” I asked, nestling my head into the soft throw pillow.

  “I did. He was drunker than I’ve ever seen him.”

  “So what, are you saying I should give him a pass?”

  Shaking her head, she rested her hand on my chin. “Never. Fuck that. I’ve learned you can never give someone a free pass, but don’t throw it all away. Look, I fell in love with Kayden and Lord help me that man has been a whole heap of trouble. I should’ve been tougher on him and called him on his bullshit more. I paid the price, but I’ve learned and now we’re in a better place. You need to talk to City and tell him how you feel.”

  “He hurt me tonight, Sophia.” I closed my eyes, remembering how my stomach fell when he pushed me away.

  “Physically?” Her eyebrows turned downward as her eyes snapped to my face.

  “No, he hurt my feelings. He basically said I cheated on him. The accusations stung.” The tears started to flow easier. His words finally sunk in and I’d processed the entire scene as if watching a bad movie. “He’s never been mean to me. Tonight he was just a plain asshole.”

  Sophia chuckled, covering her hand with her mouth.

  “What’s so funny?” I squinted at her, not understanding the humor of the situation. “I’m sitting here pouring out my soul and crying and you’re laughing. What the hell, Sophia?”

  “You said asshole like it was a word you used every day. Not so long ago you were using terms like ‘get the heck out of here’ and ‘you big b’. The shit just rolls off your lips like it’s been part of your vernacular for years.” She rubbed my leg, running her nails over my skin. “He’s a man, Suzy. They do not like to see their woman near other men. That guy said some nasty shit too. I’m surprised City didn’t beat the fuck out of him until he was unconscious.”

  I sighed, putting my arm over my eyes. “City changed me. I can’t deny it. He made it sound like I was a piece of property. I mean, why doesn’t he just piss on me like a dog marking his territory?” My eyes were heavy and burning. The tears and alcohol made it hard to keep them open.

  “Now you’re just being overdramatic. Let’s get you tucked into bed and see how you feel in the morning.” Sophia moved my legs to the couch and pulled me up by my arms. “A little help would be nice,” she said, as she tried to hold me in a sitting position.

  “I’m just so tired. Just leave me here.” I opened my eyes to look at her and quickly closed them after seeing she wasn’t amused.

  “Get your ass in that bed. All the drunk bitches will be back and they’ll wake you up.”

  I stood, using Sophia for leverage and wobbled. “Yes, Mom. You’re so damn bossy.” I smiled, leaning forward to kiss her on the cheek. “I’ve missed you, Soph. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

  She wrapped her arms around me embracing me in a tender hug. “You’d be at home making lists about lists.” She chuckled, releasing me and helping me toward the main bedroom.

  “You’re probably right. I was such a boring human being.” My voice had become quiet, almost mouse-like as sleep started to overcome me.

  “In you go, princess,” Sophia said as she pulled back the covers.

 
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