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Throttle me, p.9

Throttle Me, page 9

 part  #1 of  Men of Inked Series


Throttle Me

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  City: Naked – no fucking bells.

  A fire ignited in my body as I read the screen. It’s on like Donkey Kong.

  Passing the Test

  “Coming,” a female voice from inside yelled.

  “I remember you saying those very words twenty minutes ago,” I growled in Suzy’s ear.

  Her cheeks turned a rosy shade of pink as she bit her lip trying to hide her smile. Suzy pushed her hair off her shoulders and fixed her shirt, as though she wanted everything perfect and in place. “Stop fidgeting, sugar.”

  “Oh my God, I can’t. Sophia is going to take one look at me and know what we did,” she said dabbing her fingers at the corner of her lips.

  “If she doesn’t, then I didn’t do it right.”

  A beautiful brunette opened the door with a smile. She looked me over starting at my face and then her eyes raked over my body. I felt almost violated by the way she appraised me. She looked at Suzy with a devilish grin and opened her arms. The girls exchanged hugs and whispered words that I couldn’t hear but Sophia’s eyes never left mine.

  “Sophia, this is City.”

  “Nice to meet you, Sophia.” I extended my hand to her. Sophia’s hair was pulled back in a sloppy bun that sat on top of her head. She had a bright white smile and kind eyes.

  She placed her hand in mine. “Nice to finally meet you, City. I’ve heard all about you.” She winked.

  A grin crept across my face – I guess I got the thumbs up from her friend. “Nice things, I hope.”

  “She spoke very big of you.” She giggled and I felt my cheeks heat. I could tell these girls together were going to be a handful. “Come on in. Kayden and Jett are out on the patio starting the grill.”

  I extended my arm for Suzy to walk in front of me as I watched both girls walk inside and stayed close behind. They lived in a small apartment that was decorated with mismatched pieces that all worked. Sports Center was on the television and baby things were scattered everywhere.

  “Don’t mind the mess. Children have a way of overtaking everything, no matter how small.” She waved her hands around and picked up small toys off the floor before tossing them in a basket near the television stand.

  The door to the patio opened and a tall, muscular man holding a baby walked into the living room. His head was clean-shaven and he looked like someone that I’d find down at the Neon Cowboy or a guy who would walk in my shop for some work.

  “Kayden, baby, Suzy brought her new beau, City.” Kayden eyed me warily.

  I held out my hand to him. “Nice to meet you, Kayden. Suzy talks very highly of you and Sophia.”

  Kayden placed the baby in the crook of his left arm before extending his right hand to me. “Glad to meet you, City.” He squeezed my hand tightly, almost to the point of pain, but I didn’t dare pull away. I knew the fuckin’ macho bullshit. He was staking his claim on Sophia and giving me a silent warning with Suzy.

  “Oh, Jett, come here baby.” Reaching for Jett, Suzy plucked him from Kayden’s arms.

  “No hello, Suzy? How are you, Kayden? I’ve missed you, Kayden. Just Ooo, Jett.” Kayden laughed.

  “Oh now, Kayden, you know I love you. Gimme a kiss,” she said puckering her lips and closing her eyes.

  My heart raced with the thought of Kayden placing his lips on hers. I squeezed my hands into fists. They’re just friends. Kayden planted a kiss on her cheek as he rubbed the head of his child before walking into the kitchen and wrapping his arms around his wife.

  “He’s gotten so big,” Suzy said as she bounced the baby in her arms, patting his butt. She looked natural with a child in her arms, like it was something she did every day. Her eyes lit up as Jett gripped her thumb.

  “He’s growing like a weed,” Sophia said from the kitchen. “What do you guys want to drink? City, what can I get you?”

  “I’ll take a beer if you got one.” Suzy’s eyes grew wide and her nostrils flared and I didn’t know what I said, but obviously I fucked up somehow. “But it’s okay if you don’t. I’ll really drink anything.”

  “Coming right up. Suzy? Virgin daiquiri, babe?” Sophia snickered as she opened the fridge and began to dig around.

  “What did I say wrong?” I whispered in her ear.

  “Kayden doesn’t drink. He’s an alcoholic and has been clean for about a year now.” She looked at Kayden and Sophia before returning her attention on the cooing baby in her arms.

  “I didn’t know. Shit, you should’ve given me a heads up, sugar.”

  “I’m sorry. It just slipped my mind.”

  “It’s okay, City. It’s not something the ladies like to talk about. It’s always the giant elephant in the room,” Kayden said as he handed me the beer. “I can be around alcohol and not drink.” He sat down on the couch and put his feet up on the coffee table. “Sit down, let the ladies work their magic in the kitchen. We’ll take care of the meat like God intended.”

  “I don’t want to hear about your meat, Kayden,” Suzy snickered.

  “Kitchen, Suzy, but let Sophia cook.” He pointed at her then toward the kitchen and snapped his fingers.

  “I can cook, Kayden,” she said as she rubbed her nose against the baby’s face before handing the baby to Kayden and walking away.

  “City, Suzy can’t cook a lick. She’s the queen of pre-made. Just an FYI,” he said as he cradled the baby and ran his finger along the chubby cheek.

  Sitting on the couch, I set my beer on my knee and relaxed. “Eh, I can cook so it’s not a deal breaker for me. Bucs fan?” I asked.

  “Fuck no, Browns fan born and bred.” He stretched out placing his free hand behind his head.

  “No shit? You like an underdog or abuse?” I smiled before lifting the beer to my lips.

  “I stay true to my roots, you?”

  “Bears fan. No other way to be.”

  “They’ve had some fuckin’ horrible seasons, but the Browns have the market cornered on losing.”

  “Give ya that,” I said as I tipped my beer toward him. “Suzy said you three lived together.”

  “Yep, for a while. She was a lifesaver and I owe her. Don’t fucking break her heart – I’ll beat the fuck out of you.” He laughed. “Seriously, you’ll have a few more holes to match the ones you currently have.” What? I can see the girls talked about me in detail.

  “Not my plan,” I said. “Suzy isn’t like other girls.” Suzy leaned against the counter and watched Sophia as they chatted. They looked over at us and started laughing.

  “No, she’s not. She’s kind, pure, and too trusting. I feel like she’s my little sister and I’ll protect her like she’s my family.”

  “Gotcha. Loud and clear.”

  “You boys done with your pissing match?” Sophia said as she walked in the room with a plate of burgers. “These won’t cook themselves.”

  “Let me handle the meat,” Kayden said, handing Jett back to Suzy.

  “That’s what she said,” Sophia chuckled. Kayden grabbed the plate from her and kissed her on the lips. She looked at him with a dopey grin as he backed away.

  “If you’re a good girl, I’ll let you handle my meat later.”

  “Not in front of our guests,” Sophia said as she smacked him on the shoulder.

  “They’re kind of nauseating aren’t they?” Suzy stood next to me and rocked Jett in her arms. His eyes were almost closed as he sucked his fingers.

  “A bit.” I felt content with the three of them. I could almost feel the bond that they had, the love for each other.

  “They’ve endured more than most people have in a lifetime and they came out on the other side with an unbreakable bond. Someday I’ll tell you their story. If fate is real, they’re the perfect example. They were made for each other.” She smiled as she watched them on the patio.

  They touched each other and kissed, never moving apart. His actions portrayed adoration for his woman. “Are they married?”

  “Not yet, someday I hope. They’ve both been married before
and they use that as an excuse not to rush into things.” She curled her lips up and rolled her eyes. “I remind them that they have a baby. I guess I’m old fashioned.” She shrugged.

  I made sure not to fuck that up. I never fucked without a condom or took that kind of risk. “I was brought up that way too, but you can’t deny what they have. I’m sure they’ll do it in time.”

  The evening was relaxing and I liked talking with Kayden. He didn’t bullshit and Sophia was something else – a spitfire and loved to tease Suzy mercilessly. “Did I pass the test with your friends?” I asked as we climbed on my bike.

  “You did well. You got the thumbs up from Sophia.”

  “She’s not the one I’m worried about.”

  “Kayden? Oh, please. He likes to talk all his macho crap, but he’s the sappy one. He just wants me happy, City.”

  “He said he’d kick my ass if I broke your heart, sugar.”

  She wrapped her arms around me as I walked the bike away from the building trying not to be too noisy. “Kayden’s been known to take matters into his own hands, but I’ll set him straight about us,” she chuckled in my ear.

  “Whatcha mean?” I said as I started the engine.

  “Oh, nothing.” She rested her head against my shoulder and toyed with my nipple piercing. It was the first time I didn’t feel her tense against my body riding on the back of the bike. Maybe she was finally letting go and enjoying herself without over analyzing the situation.

  Fork in the Road

  I had become used to being the third wheel around Sophia and Kayden, but tonight everything just felt right. Kayden and City had laughed and talked about sports for hours as Sophia and I talked about work and Jett.

  I didn’t want to be alone anymore and I couldn’t waste time with City. My heart ached around Kayden and Sophia and I envied them – wanted what they had – that great love, the one that you can feel and almost touch, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less. I had to walk away from City and move forward in my life.

  Tears formed in my eyes thinking about having to give him up as we pulled in and I climbed off the bike. I put my helmet on the bike and started to walk away from City. I didn’t want him to see the glistening in my eyes.

  “Where you hurrying off to?” Reaching out, he grabbed my wrist, pulling me into his arms.

  “Nowhere, I was just going to unlock the door.” I shrugged, keeping my arms down and not melting into his touch.

  “You okay, sugar?” he asked looking at my eyes with a question on his face.

  “Yeah. The wind made my eyes water.” I smiled at him.

  “Glasses will block the wind. We’ll have to get you a pair.” Thank god he bought that crock of shit. He wrapped his arms around me, smashing my face in his t-shirt. I inhaled, enjoying the musky scent in the material. I closed my eyes and lavished in the smell of him.

  “Maybe.” I felt shitty and my heart ached. Why bother buying me glasses? I didn’t plan to spend the rest of my life riding on the back of his bike. Although Sophia and Kayden were opposites, they worked, but City and I didn’t have a future.

  “What’s wrong?” he asked, squeezing me tighter.

  “Nothing. I’m just tired.” I squeezed him back and relished in the feel of his tight muscles. Don’t say it; don’t look like a girl whose head is filled with fairy tales.

  “Sugar, that’s bullshit. You’ve never walked away from me or been snippy. Your sparkles gone. Spill.”

  Don’t do it. He isn’t your knight in shining armor riding in on a white horse.

  Shifting my weight, I stared at the ground trying to avoid his gaze. “Nothing, City. I just need sleep. I swear.” That lie felt easier than I thought.

  “Look me in the eyes and say that.” He pulled my chin up, forcing me to look into the clear azure eyes that showed sadness. I swallowed hard and steadied my breathing. I knew he could read me like an open book, everyone could, and I had to pull this off. Don’t cry, blink girl – breath.

  “I’m just tired, really.” I stood on my tiptoes and placed my lips against his. This would be the last time I’d kiss him. I couldn’t spend more time with him without risking my heart. I could fall in love with him easily, but I wouldn’t risk the heartbreak that would follow. “Call me tomorrow?” I said as I backed away.

  “You don’t want me to come in, beautiful?” he asked drawing his brows together and studying my face.

  “Not tonight, City. I want to crawl in bed and drift off. If you come in I know what will happen.” I grinned at him as a sly smile spread across his face. He ran his finger down my cheek and I wanted to lean in to it, I wanted more. “No, no. Don’t even think about it.” I giggled as he tried pulling me into a kiss. “Down, tiger.”

  “Tomorrow then,” he said as he kissed me on the lips.

  I instantly felt the loss of his heat as he let go of my body and I looked at him. He really was beautiful. He looked like every girl’s fantasy with his bike behind him, hard muscles, amazing lover, dreamy eyes, and kindness. I couldn’t let myself fall any deeper for him. Every time my phone rang, my text alert chirped, or I stood in his presence, my heart raced. My heart and body responded to him, but my mind kept saying run. He wasn’t the type that settled down and had a family and I couldn’t blame him. He was a playboy that led a different life than I did. He was on a different path.

  I stood at a fork in the road – travel down the path of heartbreak and further immerse myself in his world or make a clean break and continue on my journey to my ultimate destination of happiness and the love I couldn’t live without.

  “Tomorrow, big boy,” I said with a meek smile and waved to him before disappearing inside the house without watching him drive away. I threw my keys on the table, walking through the darkened house to my bedroom. My eyes felt heavy and they burned from the tears that wanted to break free.

  The roar of his engine made the walls in my bedroom rattle. I’d never hear that sound again without thinking of him and feeling butterflies in my stomach. He’d altered my thoughts and invaded my mind.

  I undressed and put on my favorite comfy pajamas, catching a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. I wanted to turn back the clock to a time when life felt simpler. When I didn’t know the pure animal magnetism and sexual chemistry like I felt with him, but I couldn’t. He ruined me and stole that from me.

  My phone vibrated as I turned it in my hand and caught a glimpse of his message.

  City: It’s tomorrow – one minute after midnight.

  Setting the phone on my nightstand, I stared at the empty bed and thought of how different the night could’ve been.

  Me: Night, City. Drive safely.

  I crawled under the sheets, loving the crisp material against my skin. I stared at the ceiling and watched the fan whirl causing a shadow to form against the white background. I couldn’t fall asleep and turned on the television praying that the mindless entertainment would help calm my thoughts and help me forget him.

  My phone danced across the wooden surface. Don’t pick it up. I couldn’t do it. I wanted to see if I could break free of him – quit cold turkey like a junkie? I had to try to put distance between us, I’d only known him a week but he invaded my life.

  Flipping through the channels, I stopped on a show about a group of bikers. I’d heard about the show but never found interest in it until now. I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off. Every man on the screen reminded me of him. The roar of the engines made my heart flutter and my stomach hurt. Curling on my side, I hugged the pillow as tears poured out, plopping on the material. I wanted to feel the wind in my hair and my arms wrapped around his body again but it could never happen again. My eyes burned as I gave in and drifted off to the sound roaring engines.

  I woke to a couple messages from City wishing me good morning and asking when I could see him again. Leaving my phone on my nightstand I made a glass of tea and sat on my front step sipping the warm cinnamon liquid. The neighborhood was quite as a few couples walk
ed down the sidewalks and children played in the front yard down the street. I stared at the sun shimmering off the wet grass and thought about him. I couldn’t sit here all day and think about him. I had to find something to do today to keep my mind off him and move toward my future.

  I needed a shower, had to wash his scent off of me and start my day. No more wallowing in self-pity and the whirlwind that I lived for the last week. I grabbed my phone off the nightstand but there were no new messages from City. Maybe he got the hint after I didn’t send him a good morning text.

  The ringing of my phone made me jump as I waited for the water to warm. Walking to the phone slowly and peeking at the screen relief floods me as I see that it’s Derek and not City.

  “Hey,” I said, as I stood there naked staring in the mirror as the fog blurred my reflection.

  “Hi, Suzy. What are you doing later?” Derek had a deep voice but it didn’t give half the effect on me that City’s voice did.

  “Not much, just about to jump in the shower. What’s up?”

  His sharp intake of air made it evident that he had just pictured me naked. “I wanted to know if you wanted to go to dinner tonight and maybe play some mini-golf. Do you want to go with me?”

  “Oh, well...” I gnawed on my thumbnail and debated a date with Derek. He worked on paper and we ran in the same circles. Our worlds were similar and we could relate to each other. Maybe he was the path that I needed to follow or at least he’d help keep my mind off City.

  “Come on, Suzy. We’ll have fun. What do you say?” His voice was hopeful. Couldn’t blame a guy for being persistent – he’d never taken no for an answer.

  “Okay, Derek.” I ran my hands down the bare skin between my breasts, loving the feel of the softness. I instantly felt like crap for saying yes when all I wanted to do was run to City.

  “It’s a date. I’ll pick you up at six.”

  “See you at six.”

  “Great. I can’t wait to see you tonight. Bye for now, Suzy.”

  “Bye, Derek.” I heard him celebrating his victory before the line went dead.

  I stood in the shower and daydreamed about City before touching myself, relieving the ache between my legs. The orgasm wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped. It dulled the need I felt for City. I craved the earth shattering orgasm I felt under his deft fingertips but I couldn’t let my sexual desire cloud my judgment.

  City sent me two more text messages before Derek picked me up for dinner. I ignored the urge to reply and finished my makeup, smacking my red lipstick together before running the brush through my hair one last time. The tight, black miniskirt and yellow tank top helped show off my fading tan. Soon the winter cold and weakened sun would cause my skin to return to its almost ghostly shade of white. Grabbing my strappy black stilettos out of the closet I thought of that last time I wore them – the night City rode into my life. I put my favorite Reef sandals in my purse for later when my feet ached and we played mini-golf.

  The chime of the doorbell snapped me out of my memories of the first night in City’s bed. Opening the door, I took in the sight of Derek in a pair of khaki dress pants and crisp white linen shirt with his toes peeking out from the fabric around his feet. His smile beamed as he eyes roamed my body taking in my outfit before stopping on my breasts. He licked his lips before his settled on my face with a goofy smile.

  “Wow, you look sexy, Suzy.” His nostrils flared as his gaze drifted down my body again.

  The way he looked at me made my skin crawl. “Thanks, you look great too.” He did look nice, but not heart stopping or panty dropping.

  He held out his hand to me. “Ready?” he asked.

  I placed my fingers against his smooth palm “Yeah,” I said, although I was anything but.

  Derek opened the door to his beat-up Nissan Altima, waiting for me to climb in before he kissed my hand and slamming the door.

  I sighed as I watched him walk around the car, a brilliant and victorious smile on his face. “God, this is a horrible idea,” I mumbled to myself as he opened the door and climbed in.

  “What did you say?” he asked as he climbed in, closing the door, and looked at me.

  “Just saying how hungry I am. Where are we eating?”

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