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Worship me, p.9

Worship Me, page 9

 part  #7 of  Men of Inked Series

 

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  “West,” Joe corrected him. “I think you took one too many hits to the head. Your memory is shit lately.”

  He took the words right out of my mouth. Mike had never been a list-writer or even that smart, but he usually remembered everything. His fighting career hadn’t lasted that long, thankfully, or else he’d probably be mumbling nonsense somewhere in a facility that dealt with memory issues. The glory of being an MMA champ wasn’t worth losing your marbles, and he already didn’t have any extra to spare.

  “Yeah. Kat West.” Mike smiled, chewing his food with his mouth open.

  “Smart business move,” Pop said. “Always best to prepare for the future of the company.”

  The girls were chomping at the bit to say something, I could tell when I looked around the table. But they weren’t going to say anything contradictory to my father’s words. They knew why we had to hire someone; they just weren’t happy that the person was going to have a set of tits attached.

  I watched over Mike’s shoulder as the children ate outside on the lanai, preferring to be out of earshot as they talked and mostly played instead of eating. They were a mighty crew, requiring a table just as big as the dining room one we sat at to eat outside. Between the entire bunch, there were eleven children, but at times, it felt more like thirty. My parents never seemed to care how loud or rambunctious the kids got, unlike when we were little.

  The women sat in relative silence for the rest of the dinner as the guys talked sports and business. Our minds were filled with the knowledge that my mother was going for a biopsy tomorrow and a general unease about the new chick, even though she hadn’t even been hired yet. She could be the most boring and unattractive human being ever born, but it still didn’t sit well with the girls.

  After we cleared the table and washed every dish, I relaxed on a chaise around the pool while the kids chased each other in circles, screaming so loud I waited for the police to get a noise complaint.

  “What’s wrong, doll?” James asked as he slid behind me and pulled me against his warm, hard body. “Something’s off.”

  I curled into him, needing his secure embrace to help calm my frayed nerves. “It’s my mom, James.”

  He peppered soft kisses along my neck and caused goose bumps to break out across my skin. “Is she okay?”

  “She’s going for a biopsy tomorrow.”

  His arms tightened, and he held me closer, bringing his lips next to my ear. “She’ll be okay, Izzy. Don’t panic.”

  “How can you be so sure?” I whispered in a haze as I watched the kids lost in their own happy world.

  “My mom had one last year, and it was nothing. It’s better to find out and catch it early, yeah?”

  His words shocked me. He’d never told me that his mother was going in to have a biopsy. I couldn’t believe he’d kept that to himself. But then again, he was a man, and he handled shit differently from me.

  “Why didn’t you tell me?” I stroked the top of his hand with my fingertips, moving across every dip and ridge of it.

  “I didn’t want you to worry, doll. Why don’t you go with your mom so you feel more in control?”

  “I plan on it. I can’t not be there for her.”

  “Whatever makes you happy. Remember I’m always here to talk about it. I love you.”

  He held me tightly, staring at our kids as they ran in circles, doing cannonballs in the deep end and practically flooding the lanai. We sat like that for a long while, not speaking to each other, just being in that moment.

  “James, get your ass in here. It’s bottom of the ninth,” Anthony yelled out the sliding glass doors, stealing our moment.

  “Go,” I told him, giving his hand a pat. “I’ll be fine. I have the girls to talk to.”

  They were sitting at the table on the other side of the lanai, chatting about all kinds of nonsense that I had tuned out. I could no longer remove myself from their conversation and sulk on my own without James at my side. My mother would drag me over kicking and screaming if I didn’t get my ass in gear and my head on straight.

  James gave me a long, slow kiss that made my toes curl, and it made everything, including the noisy kids, evaporate before he pulled away. “I have something tonight that’ll make you forget everything,” he said with a sly grin.

  “Other than narcotics? Because that’s the point I’m at, Jimmy.”

  He laughed softly, lifting me off the ground and letting my body slide down his, feeling all his hardness. “I have something better than drugs, baby.”

  “I look forward to the challenge, big boy.”

  I didn’t want to burst his bubble, but I wasn’t even sure his mighty cock would get my mind off my mother. I’d let him try, though. Because I wasn’t a quitter, goddamn it.

  After James walked inside, I sat down next to my mother and grabbed the bottle of Jack that I’d set out earlier and poured myself a drink.

  “Get that sappy shit out of your system, yet?” Ma asked.

  “Ma.”

  “No, Izzy. Listen to me.”

  I turned to face her, giving her my full attention because I wanted to hear her pearls of wisdom, and she was going to give them to me whether I wanted to hear them or not.

  “Don’t worry yourself sick. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. The doctor is confident that even if it is cancerous, it’s easily beatable. I plan to be around for many, many years. Stop putting my ass in the grave before I’m ready. Ya hear?”

  “Izzy. Listen to your mother,” Aunt Fran said, giving me a stern look. “She’s fine. We’re all fine. Get your mind off things. Climb that beautiful man of yours tonight and forget about everything else.”

  Suzy spat out her Coca-Cola as Fran told me to climb James. “I can’t,” Suzy laughed, trying to wipe away the mess she’d made.

  “Come on. If I were young again, I’d give him a run for his money.”

  “Aunt Fran,” Mia gasped and shook her head.

  Angel cocked her head and raised an eyebrow. “You know, Bear’s not an old man Fran. I hear about some of the crazy shit you two…”

  “Don’t.” I held up my hands. “I don’t want to hear about old-people sex.”

  “Um,” Max muttered and gave me a crooked smile. “We’re getting pretty fucking old ourselves.”

  “Speak for yourself.” I twisted my lips and groped my breasts. “These are not the breasts of an old lady.”

  “That’s Victoria’s Secret padding, and they’re not as perky as they once were,” Suzy told me, which caught me completely off guard because she was always the nice one.

  “Aren’t those bras the best?” Angel asked, pinching at the sides of her breasts, which looked spot-on and spectacular. “They’ve saved me from looking like an old hag for way too many years.”

  “Oh, please,” I scoffed. “Your tits are always amazing.”

  Pop walked out, cheering about the Cubs like a proud peacock and like he had something to do with their win. “Did I interrupt?” he asked as all conversation ceased as soon as he walked onto the lanai.

  “Talking about tits,” Aunt Fran told him, crossing her arms over hers and waiting for his response.

  He didn’t say a word. Just strutted back into the living room, closing the sliding door behind him and going back to the guys and the safety of sports talk as opposed to our conversation.

  The table erupted into laughter because the look on his face was priceless. Although my dad loved to tease, he didn’t want to get into a conversation about breasts with the girls in his life, and we all knew it, including Fran, who just wanted him to leave us alone and not have to hear any more about the Cubs being winners.

  “That’ll teach him.” Aunt Fran smiled.

  I knew exactly how she felt. There was nothing like making your brother so uncomfortable and forcing him to slink away to put a smile on your face. She was the master, though, since she had more years perfecting it with my father than I did with my brothers.

  “So let’s talk about t
his Kat woman,” Max said, and that was the end of the fun. She pulled out her phone and started typing away, looking more like Anthony at that given moment.

  “What’s she look like?” Suzy asked, twirling the straw of her Coke against her tongue. “Is she young?”

  “What’s the problem, ladies?” Ma asked, drawing her eyebrows downward.

  “They’re worried some young, hot thing is going to try to steal their man.” I rolled my eyes at the sheer stupidity.

  “That’s ridiculous,” Ma said, and finally, I felt vindicated.

  “But,” Mia started to say when my mother shushed her.

  “My boys love each one of you with every fiber of their being. There’s no woman who’ll make any difference or catch their eye when a man is truly in love with a woman. If you’re concerned that someone is going to try to take your place, maybe you need to look in the mirror and see if there’s something you’re not doing that could put the relationship at risk.”

  Max smacked her lips together like she’d sucked on a lemon. “I’m not giving him anal.”

  Suzy snorted, and Aunt Mar almost fell off her chair laughing at Max’s statement. My stomach rolled because the last thing I wanted to picture was Anthony fucking Max, especially in the ass.

  “Max, doll, I didn’t mean to give him that. I’m just saying that you ladies have nothing to worry about.” Somehow Ma kept a straight face because Lord knows, the rest of us couldn’t. “Don’t project your insecurities onto your husbands and this new employee.” Ma looked directly at Max and, with a tiny smile, said, “If you’re worried, try a little harder in the bedroom, without the ass, of course.”

  “Oh, what’s wrong with a little ass play?” Aunt Fran asked and shrugged. “Keep the man happy. You never know, Max, you may like it.”

  Moments like these… God, I loved my family. We were the wackiest fucking bunch I knew, and if an outsider were here, they’d probably say we should all have our heads examined. What family talked like this to each other? Mine, of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way either. There wasn’t a person in this house I didn’t love, and I couldn’t imagine life without them.

  “Suzy, do you like it in the ass?” Max asked Suzy, putting her right in her cross hairs.

  Suzy’s chair scraped against the cement pavers, and she scrambled to her feet. “I hear Joe calling me,” she said before she disappeared inside.

  “You’re rotten, Max.” Angel smacked Max’s arm and laughed. “It’s why I love you most.”

  “Well, I love Mia the most. She’s the best one out of all of us bitches,” I said.

  I did love Mia. Maybe not the most because I couldn’t pick one over the other, but her calm equaled out my crazy. It’s why we worked. She’d always had her shit together since the moment I met her, and I loved spending time with her. Just like earlier when she’d pulled me into the dining room, there wasn’t a time when Mia wasn’t there for me, and I’d love her forever for being my wing-girl on the crazy train.

  James

  I stared down at my wife as she lay under me with her hair spread across the pillow and her lips bee-stung and swollen. Caging her in with my arms and filling the space between her legs, I thrust into her repeatedly until she moaned my name and dug her fingernails into my shoulders.

  This wasn’t about controlling her or using any of my voodoo mind-magic, as she’d called it before. This was about her getting lost in us and forgetting everything else going on outside our bedroom.

  “You like that, baby?” I asked. “You love my cock?”

  “It’s all right,” she said and giggled softly.

  That smartass comment was rewarded with a quick jab of my dick as deep as I could push it. Far enough that it stole her breath and her fingernails almost punctured the surface of my skin.

  “I love your cock. I love your cock,” she cried out.

  I leaned forward, nipping at her neck where it met her shoulder. The very place I knew caused her to shudder. “Good girl.”

  She needed this as much as I wanted it. I was pounding into her, so close I could almost taste it, when the doorbell rang.

  “Don’t stop.” She hooked her ankles around my ass, holding me closer to her body and not letting me escape.

  I kept going, ignoring the door.

  The third time they rang the doorbell, Izzy slammed her hands against the mattress and sighed. “Go get it before the asshole wakes the kids.”

  She unhooked her ankles from around my body before I climbed off the bed and pulled on a pair of sweat pants. The entire walk down the stairs, I adjusted myself and prayed that my hard-on would go down enough that I wouldn’t scare the shit out of whoever was on the other side of the door.

  “Who is it?” I asked before I made it to the landing.

  “Bebé. It’s us.”

  Fuck. It was my parents. What the hell they were doing here at nine o’clock on Sunday night? Hearing my mother’s voice was all my body needed to right itself and for every ounce of horniness to evaporate into thin air.

  I opened the door to their smiling faces, holding suitcases. “Mama, what are you doing here?”

  Her eyes wandered over my bare chest. “Did we wake you?”

  “Of course not. It’s early.” I grabbed their suitcases from their hands and stepped aside so they could enter.

  Looked like we had houseguests who were planning on staying more than a night, judging by the size of their bags. We’d had a separate wing added to the house with a small in-law suite for when my parents came to visit. We’d thought it would be more often, but it had so far been only occasionally, especially around holidays when they came to stay a few days before returning to the safety of Miami.

  “Come in. Come in.”

  “I hope we didn’t interrupt anything,” Papi said as he walked inside and took off his hat before smoothing out his hair.

  “No. We were just relaxing,” I lied and caught a glimpse of Izzy walking slowly down the stairs.

  “Hey,” she said in a cheerful tone like I hadn’t just been balls deep in her. She was good. She had been all worked up, but it didn’t show except for her lips being slightly swollen and redder than usual. “You came.” She smiled softly, padding across the hardwood floor to wrap my mother in an embrace.

  My mother glanced at me over Izzy’s shoulder and winked. “James told us about your mother, and I thought I’d come spend a few days with you until I know you’re all right, hija.”

  Izzy hugged her tighter, and I waited for her to turn around and smack me in the stomach. Instead, she whispered, “Thank you,” in my mother’s ear.

  “Son.”

  “Papi.” I motioned toward their suite with the suitcases still in my hands. “Let’s get you squared away while the girls talk.”

  My father followed me down the hallway, stopping every few feet to take in the photos of the kids that Izzy had hung along the walls. “They’re getting so big.”

  “They are. They’re going to be so excited to see you both.”

  “Do they have school tomorrow?”

  “No, it’s spring break, so they’re home all week.”

  “Your mother will be happy.” My father smiled and tossed his hat on the bed before sitting down. “That drive is a pain in the ass.”

  I placed the suitcases next to the dresser at the foot of their bed and turned to face him. “I know. Thank you for coming all this way for Izzy.”

  “You know how much we love Isabella.”

  They did too. When I texted my mother earlier this afternoon after Izzy told me about her mother, I’d never expected them to get in the car and head straight here. They must not have even hesitated since I sent my text a little over six hours ago, and even going at breakneck speed, it took over five and half hours without stopping from door-to-door.

  “I know she appreciates it. I appreciate it.”

  “We’ll spend time with the kids this week until you two are sick of us.”

  I laughed, but usua
lly after five days, I’d had my fill of my space being invaded and needed alone time with my wife. “Stay as long as you want. Do you want a drink?”

  “Ahh,” he said before licking his lips. “I could go for a nightcap.”

  “Let’s go out on the lanai and talk for a while.”

  When we made our way back into the main part of the house, Izzy and my mother were already outside with two bottles of wine, the Jack Daniel’s, and Dad’s favorite brandy.

  The sticky spring air blasted me in the face as soon as I opened the sliding door and stepped outside. My mother and Izzy glanced up before going back to their conversation as my father and I took the empty seats on the other side of the table.

  Mama placed her hand over Izzy’s on the table. “Don’t be worried, dear Izzy. I remember when I had mine done. I thought the worst, but everything turned out okay. I’m sure it’ll be the same for your ma.”

  Izzy smiled sweetly at my mother. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

  “I’ll always be here for you. You’re every bit as much my daughter as he’s my son.”

  They shared a moment, and my father and I sat silently, watching them in silence. Something my father rarely did because the man loved to talk.

  “How long are you staying, Mom?” Izzy asked.

  “As long as you’ll have us. We’re going to look at condos while we’re here.”

  “I want you closer, and I know the kids do too.”

  “What about James?” She turned to face me with one raised eyebrow and a small smile.

  “Of course I want you around here. I hate that you’re so far away.”

  “It’s settled, then. We’ll find someplace here so we can spend more time with our family.”

  “Let’s drink to it,” Papi said, grabbing the bourbon and snifter that Izzy must’ve set out for him.

  “Just one before we retire and you two get back to relaxing.” Mama smirked.

  Whatever Izzy and I were doing before they’d arrived was over. But the plus side was that her mind was no longer dwelling in dark places. My mother wouldn’t allow Izzy any time to worry. My parents being here was the best thing that could’ve happened to us this week.

  “It’s quiet without Flash, ya know?” Bear said, sitting down to our Monday morning meeting to go over the week’s assignment load.

  “Don’t be an asshole. He’s not loud,” Morgan told Bear as he straightened the pile of files he had in front of him. “Not like you, at least. If you weren’t here, we’d probably finally enjoy some peace and quiet.”

  Bear touched his moustache, running his fingers through the hair that was longer than usual as he stared at Morgan. “You’d miss my beautiful face.”

  Morgan rolled his eyes. “Don’t push your luck.”

  “Who’s your daddy?” Bear teased, elbowing him in the arm.

  I cracked up. Morgan fucking hated when Bear reminded him about their unique relationship. But the one thing I did know was that Morgan respected Bear and had actually grown to love the man. Who couldn’t? He treated Fran like a queen and had turned out to be the best possible match for her.

  Kind of like me and Izzy. The strong Gallo women needed someone who was stronger than them to keep them in check, or they’d end up halfway to crazy town. Out of the three ladies—Maria, Izzy, and Fran—I’d say Fran had to be the mouthiest, bossiest woman in the family. And that was saying something, knowing Izzy as well as I did.

  Thomas sauntered into the conference room wearing a white dress shirt slightly unbuttoned at the top and a pair of perfectly pressed black dress pants.

  “Hot date?” Frisco teased Thomas before he had a chance to sit.

  “It’s my anniversary, and I’m taking my girl out to dinner after work today.”

  “An expensive dinner,” Angel said from the doorway after she popped her head
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