Men of Inked Christmas Novella Read online
Men of Inked Christmas
This is a short and sweet Men of Inked novella that was included with the release of Wicked Impulse. It’s a little over 7,000 words and feature Mike, Mia and the entire Gallo family.
I hope you enjoy the short story and thank you for reading!
Stone’s clapping as Pop bounces him up and down on his knee. “Stone, my boy. This is a special year.” Stone laughs, drool running down his chin like a ribbon of melting snow, but Pop doesn’t care. He loves Stone too much to care his pants are covered. “You don’t realize it, but this has been the best year of our lives,” Pop tells him, beaming with excitement. Stone claps again, his little head bobbing with each dip as Pop raises him higher and into the air.
They’re adorable together. Stone loves his grandpa the most. Sometimes I think even more than he likes Michael or me. As soon as we walk in the door, he reaches for Pop to take him and won’t leave his arms until we leave. It usually involves tears, as if we’re taking away his favorite blanket.
“Not only were you born, but the Cubbies won the World Series too,” Pop tells Stone with a smile that stretches from ear to ear.
I place my hand over my stomach, missing the feel of him moving inside me. It’s hard to believe he’s already nine months old. Time flew after Lily was born, but with Stone I thought it would move slower. Instead, it moved so fast it’s almost like I’m watching it all take place before my eyes at double speed. It feels like yesterday that I found out I was pregnant. It was a shock to me, but even a bigger shock to Mike. After she nagged him mercilessly, he finally gave in and got a vasectomy. He was one of the unlucky one percent who went through the procedure unsuccessfully.
When he found out we were having another baby, he was excited. He claimed this proved that his manhood and virility couldn’t be stopped. Naturally, he’d think it was a good thing.
“Baby, you want anything?” Mike asks, taking a seat on the armrest of the chair and wrapping his arm around my shoulder.
I glance up at him, and he’s staring at Stone with the biggest smile. There’s something about a man and his son. When the doctor announced that we had a boy, I thought Mike was going to beat on his chest and hold him high in the air, beaming with pride. The man prayed every day for a boy.
Don’t get me wrong.
He loves his baby girl. God, Lily has him wrapped around her little finger. She always has. From the moment she was born, Mike was a goner. The little princess can do no wrong in his eyes, and she knows it. He doesn’t realize it, but soon she’ll be a teenager, and he’s going to be in for a rude awakening.
“I’m good, love. Just watching your dad and Stone.” I smile up at him, watching him as he gazes at them with the biggest grin. There’s pride in his eyes every time he looks at his son.
“They love each other, huh?” Mike’s thumb strokes the exposed skin on my shoulder that is peeking out from my new sweater. I still don’t get why it’s missing part of the sleeves, but the sales lady told me it’s all the rage. I feel like I paid the same amount for a portion of the clothing.
“Yep, it’s weird, almost.”
I place my hand on his knee and rest my head against his rock-hard chest. “Where’s Lily?” I ask him, closing my eyes for a moment, listening to the steady beat of his heart
Two kids and years later and I’m still utterly and completely in love with this man. He still has the ability to make my insides quiver with anticipation when he’s near.
People said we wouldn’t last. A fighter and a doctor. Hell, it was probably a bet I would’ve taken before I really knew the man.
On the outside, he’s a massive wall of muscular testosterone, but on the inside, he’s nothing but a soft, loving human being. Except when he’s in the ring. Then he’s a beast. He transforms into someone I don’t know. Someone who would pound another man’s face in without even blinking. I’d never admit it, but watching him fight turns me on.
“Somewhere in the backyard with Gigi and Nick.” He leans down, placing his mouth next to my ear. “We can sneak upstairs and do it in my old room.” His teeth find my lobe, tugging gently. “Everyone is busy, the kids are being looked after.”
I melt into him as the noise around us fades.
His lips skid across the skin of my neck before his teeth dig into my favorite spot. “Come on, Doc. I need your special medicine.”
My skin breaks out in goose bumps, and I’m more than eager to steal a few moments away with my husband. Time alone has been minimal since Stone arrived. And sneaking away for a quickie sounds perfect.
“You’re on, big boy,” I whisper.
Mike stands and grabs my hand, pulling me up from the couch and heading toward the foyer. Pop’s so engrossed in Stone that he doesn’t even see us leave. Everyone else is sitting outside, watching the kids play and chitchatting while dinner is in the oven. Ma’s in the kitchen, cooking and still trying to teach Suzy how not to burn food.
I giggle softly as Mike drags me up the first few steps. When I don’t move fast enough for him, he hoists me over his shoulder and jogs up the grand staircase, taking two steps at a time. I bite down on my lip to stop the squeal bubbling from my throat that would be loud enough to draw attention to us.
When we’re inside his room, Mike kicks the door closed and we both freeze, holding our breath because we figure our cover’s blown.
“Shit, that was close,” he whispers, choosing now to be quiet. Mike loosens his grip, making my body slide down his front. It’s like cascading down an old-fashioned washboard.
I can feel every ripple and dip of his abdominal muscles until my feet touch the floor. Even then, my body is plastered against his, humming with excitement at his nearness. “Training has done a body good,” I tell him with the biggest smile, while my hands dig into his rock-hard sides.
When I met him, I thought he was built like a brick house, but I was wrong. Over time and with more training he seems to be getting bigger and harder. There isn’t an ounce of fat on the man. A year ago when he told me he wanted to get back in the ring, I was worried. After such a long absence, I wasn’t sure his body could handle the grueling training and snap back.
But, damn. Mike proved me wrong.
“Whatcha thinking, Doc?” He quirks an eyebrow with a smirk. “You look like you want to eat me.”
A slow, easy smile spreads across my face as I stare up into his caramel eyes. “Just thinking about how lucky I am to have you.”
“Baby,” he whispers before leaning forward and placing his lips against mine. He snakes his arms around my back, one hand tangling in my hair and holding me still as he kisses me deeply.
More than anything, I want to savor him, take my time making love to him, but we can’t. Backing away, I say, “Michael, we don’t have much…”
“Shh,” he murmurs, tightening his grip on my back before he trails a line down my neck to my chest with his soft lips. He pulls my hair gently, and my body follows, giving him better access to the opening in my V-neck sweater.
I grip his biceps, digging my fingernails into the skin just underneath his T-shirt sleeve. I’m hot, but not from the overly humid December Florida air. Instead, it’s from the way my husband is touching me. I shouldn’t feel as needy as I do. He woke me up in the middle of the night last night, spreading my legs wide and slipping inside of me before I could fully wake. The hazy memory of it makes my skin tingle.
Reaching under my skirt, he pulls my panties down and tosses them over his shoulder before I quickly undo his pants, pushing them to his ankles. He turns u