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  • Hook Me(Men of Inked #2)(20) by Chelle Bliss
  • I kissed him tenderly, still laughing, as he picked me up and carried me from the beach. Michael wasn’t the cocky bastard I thought when I first met him, well not entirely.

    I looked at him in a new light after our first date. There was more to the man and I wanted to know every inch of him.

    Chapter 8

    It had been a week since I’d seen Mia and I was at my breaking point, I needed to touch her again. We spent the time apart talking on the phone, texting, and learning a lot about each other.

    I found out silly things like her favorite color, which was purple, and that she loved listening to music and dancing around her house.

    When she talked about her work her mood usually changed. Happiness wasn’t a word I’d use to describe her feelings about her job. The ER seemed to suck the life out of her. When she lost a patient she’d share her feelings of despair with me.

    It was like a punch to my gut, more damaging than any blow I’d ever felt. I couldn’t imagine working in a place that was filled with sorrow.

    But when she talked about the clinic the entire conversation oozed happiness. I heard the change in her voice as she told me about the people and how she felt like she made a difference.

    Me: Why don’t you just work there full-time? It seems to make you happy.

    Sitting on my parent’s couch, I tried to pay attention to the conversations around me as I texted Mia. Football season ended, the basketball playoffs were wrapping up, and baseball season became the main after dinner attraction at the Gallo Sunday dinners.

    “Fuckin’ Cubs,” my pop yelled at the television.

    They were his favorite team and hadn’t won a damn thing since before he was born. Think he’d be used to it by now, but not my pop, he was a die-hard believer and no Gallo would ever be called a quitter.

    Mia: It’s all donations with little government funding. No money for that.

    “Hey Ma,” I said as she sat across from me rolling her eyes at her still cursing husband.

    “Yeah, baby.” She turned to me and smiled.

    “Ever hear of the clinic in town that offers free medical care to the poor?”

    Her smiled faded as she shook her head. “No, I don’t think I have. Why are you asking?”

    I shrugged and turned the phone over in my hand. “Just curious. It’s all donation based and I know how the two of are about helping local charities.”

    “What do you know about it? If it’s worthy, your father and I would be more than happy to help.” She leaned back in the chair, picking up her yarn to work on a baby blanket.

    “A group of doctors volunteer their time but I don’t know much else. I’ll found out about it and let you know.” I glanced down at my phone, on silent around my family to avoid the questions.

    Mia: Hey, what time are you picking me up?

    “Okay, baby.” She placed the blanket over her lap before starting to work on it.

    Me: At five and wear a swimsuit under your outfit.

    “Who you making that for?” I asked.

    “My grandbaby,” she said in a flat even tone.

    “Is someone having a baby I don’t know about?” I asked as I looked around the room, but everyone ignored us.

    “Not yet.” She frowned and said, “Soon though I hope.”

    I looked at Suzy who was staring at the television a little too engrossed in the game. She hated sports but at the moment she was totally enthralled. My brother, Joe and Suzy could never tell Ma no. It had become the giant elephant in the room as both of them always pretended not to hear her when she talked about babies.

    “I’m not ready for a kid,” Joe leaned over and whispered in my ear. “I’m too busy enjoying Suzy and I’m way too greedy to share my time with her.”

    “She’s not going to stop,” I said softly.

    “I may be old, boys, but I’m not deaf,” Ma said with a laugh.

    “Busted,” I said.

    “I’m watching your face as you type feverishly on that phone, Mike. I hope it isn’t the crazy lady,” he said as he leaned back and turned his attention toward the game.

    “Hell no. I’ve been knocked in the head a couple times, but I’m not stupid.”

    He hit me on the knee with a smile. “Stupidity isn’t the issue, our dicks are the problem.”

    “Amen to that, brother.” I laughed. “Nah, this one isn’t like that.”

    Raising an eyebrow he said, “They’re all like that.”

    “I haven’t even slept with her, Joe.”

    He looked at me in horror. “When did you meet her?”

    “That’s a complicated answer.”

    “I’ll take your complicated over the Cub any day.”

    “We met at a bar over a week ago and I took her on a date last week, but she treated me in the ER when I broke my ribs.”

    “Wait. You went on a real date?” He eyed me suspiciously.

    “I did.”

    “And you didn’t sleep with her after?”

    I shook my head and smiled. “Nope.”

    “Well f**k me, never thought that was possible,” Joe said hitting my leg and laughing loudly.

    There was no way in hell would I share that I rented the beach and went all sappy ass shit I did for Mia.

    No f**king way.

    That was for her and I and Joe sure as shit didn’t need to know. He’d laugh at me and probably call me Romeo for weeks, but I knew the truth about my brother. He was just as big of a softy as me. He swept Suzy off her feet and she described him as a Casanova.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire