Throttled (Men of Inked 1.5) - Page 11

I didn’t bother to get undressed. I just wanted to sleep. I wanted tonight to be over and deal with everything tomorrow. Grabbing an extra pillow, I turned on my side, tucking it into my body. I’d grown used to snuggling against City. I needed something to fill the void and the pillow was my only option.

The lights turned off before I heard the click of the door as I drifted off into a restful sleep. All thoughts and worries disappeared as I dreamed about my City. His deep voice, ice blue eyes, and the feel of his arms wrapped around me. I could feel the love he had for me even in my dreams. He invaded every part of my life, became ingrained in my entire being.

I loved him even subconsciously.

Chapter 8 ~ Groveling Doesn’t Make Me Weak

I rolled over, feeling for my phone, but didn’t find it where I left it. Somehow, during the night I had pushed it under Suzy’s pillow. I tossed and turned, waking up feeling like I never slept a fucking wink. There were no new messages or calls on my phone and no word from Suzy or any of the girls.

Bits and pieces started coming back to me as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. I fucked up and I managed to do it royally. I left Suzy behind without so much as an “I love you”, just an accusation and shitty words. I had to fix it. I fucked up and I had to man up and say I’m sorry.

I grabbed my head, the throbbing almost blinding as I climbed out of bed. The quiet from the night before that felt deafening now became overwhelming. I couldn’t sit around the house today and idly wait for Suzy to come home so that I could ask for her forgiveness. I had to go to her, find her, and mend the shattered pieces I made of our relationship.

Leaning over the sink, I stared at myself in the mirror and was disgusted by the person looking back. I was better than this. The man that acted out last night wasn’t me. He was a jealous asshole and I’m a lovesick fool. I quickly showered and brushed my teeth before throwing on my jeans and t-shirt. I didn’t give a fuck what I looked like; I just had to get to Suzy.

I barreled down the highway, making my way to the hotel. Izzy hadn’t replied to a text I sent her before I left. I kept the phone in my pocket on vibrate but it remained still. I weaved in and out of traffic, needing to not waste another minute away from Suzy.

The closer I came to the hotel the more butterflies filled my stomach. What if she didn’t forgive me? I know I hurt her and I prayed that our love for each other could overcome the words of the previous night. As I shut off the bike, sitting in the parking lot of the Shepard’s Hotel, I texted the only person that may be awake at this hour – Sophia. It was only eight AM, but I was banking on her above anyone else.

Me: Sophia, it’s City. I’m at the hotel and need to see Suzy.

I walked toward the door, waiting for a reply, with the phone gripped tightly in my hand. A lump formed in my throat, worry hanging in the air so thick I could almost taste it.

Sophia: Room 1215. She’s still passed out but I’ll let you in. You have a lot of sucking up to do.

Sophia wasn’t a bullshitter and she was Suzy’s best friend. I knew no truer words were ever spoken.

Me: I plan to do a lot of sucking up. I’ll do anything.

Sophia: Anything?

Me: Just open the damn door, woman.

Sophia: You better make it good. I’m waiting.

The elevator ride seemed to take forever, stopping on every other floor to let off guests. Everyone had been downstairs enjoying the complimentary breakfast. When the bell chimed and the twelfth floor illuminated, I thought my heart literally stopped in my chest.

Fisting my hands at my sides, I squeezed them, trying to release some tension. I lightly knocked, waiting for Sophia to answer, and swallowed hard. My mouth felt dry, my stomach ready to expel the last ounce of alcohol, and my heart was ready to burst from the rapid pounding in my chest.

“Quiet,” Sophia said after she opened the door. “Follow me.” She motioned and led me through the suite.

Izzy lay on the couch, passed out and oblivious to my presence. Someone else I didn’t recognize, mostly because they were face down, lay on the floor next to her. The hotel suite was a mess. Wrapping paper, boxes, clothes, and glasses were everywhere. The girls partied harder than I would’ve thought, but then again, this was Izzy’s doing and she didn’t do anything half-assed.

Sophia stopped in front of the door to a bedroom and crossed her arms over her chest. “Now listen here, mister,” she said, poking me in the chest.

I looked down at her boney finger, digging into my flesh, and smiled. The girl had balls and big ones at that. I loved Sophia for the simple fact that she’s Suzy’s friend, but she and I could’ve been friends if we had met first. She had the piss and vinegar that reminded me of my sister. She was fierce, loyal, and cared deeply.

“She’s crushed and I haven’t seen her since I put her to bed last night. She loves you, City, and you better get down on your knees and beg for her forgiveness. Do whatever it takes.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I nodded. She hadn’t told me anything I didn’t already know.

“Don’t be a smartass,” she said, slapping me on the shoulder. “You made her feel trashy and like shit. You need to make her feel like the princess she deserves to be treated as. You’ve always done that for her. Made her feel good about herself. I was always your cheerleader even when she wasn’t sure about you. So don’t fuck this shit up.”

“I got this.” Fuck, I really hoped I did.

“You better, but I want to tell you a few things first. The guy she was dancing with, she didn’t want to dance with him. Not at all, but your sister told her it would be her last dance as a single girl and she couldn’t turn him down. She said some bullshit about bachelorette etiquette. Your sister can be very persuasive.” She paused, tapping her lip with her finger.

“Fuck, she’s a pain in the ass.” I sighed, looking toward my sister passed out and dead to the world.

“Second, the smell on her last night was the weirdo stripper your sister hired. Suzy told her more than once that she did not want a stripper under any circumstances. The guy came in and did a quick dance, but Suzy was totally uncomfortable. As soon as he realized that, he broke contact and gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek when he was finished. She didn’t touch him at all and he didn’t do anything inappropriate.” She straightened her back, looking me straight in the eyes. “City, if you would’ve seen him you would’ve laughed. You’re like an Adonis compared to this man. You’re the only thing that has Suzy’s eyes and heart. Grovel, my friend, grovel.” She leaned over, kissing my cheek before she left me to enter the room.

I stood there, staring at the door and closed my eyes. I’d been a complete tool. How in the fuck did I even think Suzy would allow someone to touch her or that she’d been unfaithful? I knew Suzy inside and out, but I let my territorial bullshit get in the way. My heart ached at the thought that maybe I made our relationship fubar. Was it fucked up beyond repair? Had I crossed the line that she wouldn’t forgive? I’d listen to Sophia and beg for her forgiveness. Not as a sign of weakness, but because of the love I had for her. It was the only way I could fight for what I wanted most–Suzy.

I opened the door slowly, trying not to startle Suzy. Sunlight streamed through the sheer drapes along the wall behind her bed. The rays cascaded across the floor, framing the bed and my bride to be. I stood at the foot of the bed, staring at her. Her long blonde hair was fanned out across the pillow, making a halo and giving her an angelic look. My heart ached at the thought that I could possibly lose her. Maybe I fucked up so badly that she wouldn’t forgive me. Sometimes words are more painful than any physical harm inflicted by another person. Pain evaporates, but words last a lifetime, replaying in our memories and feeding on our insecurities.

Her soft snores and heavy breathing mingled with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore below. She clung to a pillow, holding it against her chest, her arms tightly wound around it.

Sitting on the bed, I tried to keep my movement to

a minimum, not wanting to wake her just yet. She was mine and had been the only person I’d ever used that term with. No one else had a chance to capture my heart, but Suzy and all her sweetness bored into my heart like a cavity from too much sugar.

I kicked off my shoes, needing to touch her, to hold her in my arms. My body ached for her. I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin without contact from her. I can’t explain it and I’d never voice it in front of the guys. They already thought I was a pussy whipped asshole.

Grabbing the pillow, I pulled it from her arms, making sure she remained asleep. She didn’t move or twitch as her arms fell against her body. I threw the pillow on the floor, crawling under the covers next to her, and pulled her against my chest. Her breathing changed as she snuggled against me, burying her face against my shirt. I closed my eyes, enjoying the quiet moment and the feel of her in my arms. As soon as she realized I was here, there’d be hell to pay.

I peppered kisses against her temple, brushing back the hair on her forehead as I inhaled the smell of the woman that had stolen my heart over a year ago. It wasn’t a pure scent; the alcohol she’d consumed the night before permeated her skin. If we had both been sober, last night wouldn’t have happened. Really, if I hadn’t consumed a few too many shots and seen someone touching what’s mine, then it wouldn’t have happened.

Her body stiffened in my arms and I closed my eyes knowing the moment had been broken. “Suzy,” I whispered, trying to hide the fear in my voice.

“What are you doing?” she asked, her voice laced with anger as she pushed against my chest.

“Sugar, don’t push me away. I’m sorry.” I tightened my grip, holding her head against my chest.

“I don’t want to talk to you.” She didn’t touch me or return my embrace.

“Don’t talk then. Just let me talk while I hold you.” I held her tighter, resting my chin on top of her head as I wrapped my legs around hers. I caged her in, there was no escape and I had a captive audience. “I’m sorry I was an asshole last night.” I sighed, knowing my words weren’t enough to make up for my behavior.

“More like a giant dickhead,” she interrupted, not sagging into my embrace like she normally did.

“Call me what you want. All the terms fit. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you last night. I had too much to drink but I’m in no way blaming the alcohol. I’m solely responsible for my actions. I fucked up, sugar. I didn’t mean to imply that you had been unfaithful to me. Seeing you with that guy and then smelling someone on you, pushed me over the edge.” I inhaled, winded from the words that I had said without stopping. I was too worried to break in the middle of my speech.

“I would never do anything to risk our relationship, City,” she said, digging her fingernails into my bicep.

“I know, sugar, I know.” I kissed the top of her head and resting my cheek against her silky golden hair. “Please forgive me. I have no other excuse except for the love I have for you. You’ve scrambled my brains. I’ve never felt as territorial or protective over someone like I do with you. When I see someone touching you, I want to rip their hands off and shove them down their throat. I control it most times.”

“No you don’t.” Her laughter broke the tension, making me laugh.

“Trust me, sugar, I do. I wasn’t going to hit the guy last night but he wouldn’t shut his fucking mouth. He kept talking shit and I couldn’t hold back anymore. I couldn’t stop myself from knocking him on his ass.”

“City,” she said as she adjusted her body, looking into my eyes. Her lip trembled as she spoke. “I’m not upset about you hitting him. He deserved it. You hurt me by questioning my faithfulness. You made me feel dirty.” A single tear formed in the corner of her eye and slid along the bridge of her nose.

I wiped the tear with the pad of my thumb, cradling her face in my palm. “I never want to make you feel that way. You’re the most pure and honest person I know, Suzette. I know you’re faithful and I never meant for it to sound otherwise. I’m sorry. You consume me and became a part of me. Your love is as vital to me as the air I breathe. The thought of losing you terrifies me.” To admit the last sentence scared the shit out of me. I’d never felt so vulnerable in my life. My heart and happiness lay in her hands.

“Promise me you’ll never make me feel that way again, City.” She blinked, causing a more tears to trickle down her cheek. The redness in her eyes made the blue even more breathtaking. “You’re the one person in the world that I thought would always have my back. I never expected you to treat me that way and I won’t stand for it. I refuse to be married to a man that treats me like that. If you do it again, I may not be so easy to find.”

“I promise, Suzy. I will never act like that again. I love you more than anything in the world. I’d kill for you and give my life to save yours.” I enveloped her in my arms, squeezing her tightly against my body. “You’re everything to me and I will do everything in my power to show you how much you mean to me. I will spend every day showing you all the love I have for you and profess my love to you on my deathbed.”

“Jesus, you’re so morbid. I promise, and ‘I’m sorry’ would’ve been enough.” She laughed, wrapping her arms around my body.