Home > Ignite (Men of Inked : Heatwave #5)(2)

Ignite (Men of Inked : Heatwave #5)(2)
Author: Chelle Bliss

It may not be my place to speak to Morris, but I have never been good at listening or following the rules.

Badass MC or not, I’m not remaining silent and taking a back seat, no matter how many times I promise my man I will.

“We do things by ourselves all the time. What the hell do you think I run? This ain’t the fuckin’ Boy Scouts,” he growls.

“Uh, Morris, I know you aren’t the fuckin’ Boy Scouts. I may not have grown up in the life, but I know enough that you do not send a brother out there alone. Not for something like he was doing.”

“What was he doing?” Morris asks, putting me on the spot again.

Fucker.

He knows damn well I have no freaking clue.

Mammoth is always tight-lipped when it comes to the club and has remained so, no matter how much I bug him to confide in me.

My gaze flickers to Mammoth as I answer. “You know what he was doing.”

“Refresh my memory. I’m old.”

I growl, cursing under my breath. “You’re not old. Stop with the bullshit. Admit your mistake and promise me it’ll never happen again.”

“Babe.”

I stop walking, staring at the wall in front of me. “Morris.”

“Come on,” he says playfully.

“Say it,” I demand.

He sighs. “I can’t control everything.”

“He. Was. Alone.”

“Again, not unusual.”

“He was shot, for fuck’s sake.”

“Happens sometimes,” he mutters.

I pull the phone away from my cheek, gawking at the screen like I can somehow see his face and he can see mine. “It happens sometimes?” I whisper, filled with rage.

“Yup,” he quips.

“It happens sometimes?” I whisper again, but this time slower because I can’t believe his answer.

“I didn’t send him to that titty bar. He was there for reasons outside of my control. So again, shit happens.”

I dig my fingertips into the corners of my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose, trying like hell to hold in my anger. “Such an asshole,” I mumble, frustrated.

“Listen, kid. Is he okay?”

“He’s sleeping,” I say softly as I glance again at his naked body strewn across my bed with the sheet pulled up to his waist.

“So, he’s alive?” he asks me again.

“You already know he is.”

“If he’s okay and alive, then why the hell are you busting my balls about shit that’s in the past?”

“I don’t want that shit to bleed into our lives, to follow him into our future. I also don’t want the same shit to happen again because you send my man out there alone when he should’ve had a brother at his side.”

“Noted,” he says, and I think I finally have victory, but then he continues. “But he would still be lying in your bed with a hole in his shoulder. Maybe instead of just him being shot, one of the other guys would be too—or even worse, they’d be dead instead of still breathing like your man.”

I sober, thinking about Eagle, Ginger, or any of the other guys lying on the pavement with a bullet in their head.

I wrinkle my nose, immediately feeling ill. “You know I wouldn’t want that.”

“Then we’re on the same page.”

I blink and look away from Mammoth as he starts to stir, turning my back and lowering my voice. “Not entirely.”

“I listened to every word you said, but I can’t control everything in the world, no matter how much you think I can.”

“I know. Trust me, I know you’re not God.”

“Nothing to do with God, babe. I’m sorry about Mammoth. Really, I am. You know how much he means to me and the rest of the club. The last thing I wanted or expected was for him to get hurt. Enemies are coming out of the woodwork. No one will be leaving the clubhouse to go on runs or anything else without another person at their side. It’s already been decided.”

“Then why are you giving me such a hard time?”

He laughs. “Babe.”

I stay silent and grind my teeth together.

“Listen,” he says, like I’m not listening and haven’t been for the last five minutes.

“I’m listening,” I snarl.

“You’re the one calling me, busting my chops. Placing blame where there’s no blame to be placed. Shit got fucked up, but your man is alive. Why don’t you be a good woman and take care of him instead of calling me, chewing my ear off about shit I can’t change?”

I open my mouth and then snap it shut as the bed creaks behind me.

“Princess,” Mammoth whispers, and I freeze.

I slowly peer over my shoulder, dropping my hand to my side, trying to hide the phone, and smile. “Hey, baby.”

“Who are you talking to?” Mammoth stretches, and every muscle in his body flexes underneath his ink-stained skin. He winces when he moves his arm, and the reality of the gunshot slams back into him.

“No one,” I whisper, staying where I am. “Go back to sleep.”

“Put the phone down,” he says, patting the bed, eyes flickering between my hand and my face. “I need my woman.”

“You’re hurt,” I tell him as Morris chirps in the background at a low rumble.

Please don’t hear Morris’s voice.

Please don’t hear Morris’s voice.

“End the call, Tamara,” Mammoth demands, his eyes sliding to my leg where the phone is pressed to muffle Morris’s slew of curse words. “Now.”

Shit.

He heard Morris’s voice.

He doesn’t have to say it; I can tell by the icy look in his gray eyes.

“Grumpy,” I mumble under my breath as I lift the phone and see a blank screen. I hold out my hand, showing Mammoth the screen, still digging in my heels about the phone call. “See. No one’s there.” Somehow, I say those words with a smile.

He shakes his head, narrowing his eyes. “I may have been shot, but I’m not deaf. I heard his voice.”

“His?” I ask, tiptoeing toward my guy, trying my best to play stupid.

“I know you called Morris. I heard his voice.”

Busted.

Shit.

“He just called to see how you were,” I lie, still smiling like an idiot as I place my phone on the nightstand and plant my ass next to Mammoth on the bed. “I told him you were resting and that I didn’t want anyone to bother you.”

He reaches out with his good arm, hooking me by the waist and hauling me backward like I weigh nothing. “Princess, you’re a shit liar.”

“I never lie,” I lie again, but I’m not backing down.

I’ve never been known for my ability to admit when I’m wrong. Once I dig in my heels, they’re stuck, and there’s no going back. It’s a family trait—or maybe more of a flaw—but it’s the Gallo in me.

He stares at me and doesn’t even crack a smile. “Want to repeat that?”

“No,” I snap.

The corner of his mouth turns up as he tightens his hand at the top of my hip. “What am I going to do with you?”

“I can think of a few things.” I smirk, waggling my eyebrows. “It’s a shame you’re injured, though.”

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