Home > Ignite (Men of Inked Heatwave #5)

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

Dear Gallo Family,

 

I typed the first few words of Ignite in late February, but then the world fell apart. I’d like to say I kept my sanity, but I didn’t.

I tried to write. I tried to keep my happy going, but that’s hella hard when there seemed to be no good news on the horizon.

Over the next few months, I wrote chapters and rewrote chapters, and none of them were worthy of being published.

I’ve struggled for years with anxiety after the death of my brother and father, and I had finally gotten to the point where I felt I had it under control. Then the ’Rona hit, and my anxiety came roaring back and uglier than before.

For years, I’ve spent my summers in Ohio with my family, but this year that wasn’t possible. Everything in my life had changed, just like yours and everyone else’s in the world too.

I pushed myself, forcing myself to write when I could, but again, I was writing nothing but trash, and none of the words made sense. It was like someone had snatched my brain right out of my head, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the right words.

Ignite isn’t as angsty as my other books. My heart needed something sweet. I wanted to make you smile at a time when smiling doesn’t come as easy as it did this time last year.

I hope the words in this book bring you as much joy as they did for me as I wrote them. I tried my best to give you a great story or as much of one as I could during this crazy-ass time.

But don’t worry. We’ll get through this. Life will go on and will go back to normal eventually.

It took me a while to realize this, though. I sat for a good two months, almost paralyzed in shock. You probably felt the same at times, and I hope you’ve found your way back to whatever sanity you can cling to.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy and remain that way in the coming months and years.

I’ll do my best to bring you more Gallos, filled with love and happiness. We could all use a little more of that in our lives.

Enjoy more Mammoth and Tamara, but don’t worry, Ignite isn’t the last story in the Gallo family saga.

Spark is next, and I’m going to knock your socks off with Nick—because I’m back, baby. Don’t forget to check out the chapter one sneak peek of Spark in the very back.

Love Always,

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Mammoth

 

 

“Princess.”

“Don’t you princess me, buddy. What the hell is going on?” There’s no missing her anger in her tone, which is dripping with attitude.

I lean against the handlebars of my bike, one hand against my ear, holding the phone, and the other one hanging freely. “Club business. Can’t talk about it. You know the rules.”

Her breathing is heavy on the other end of the line. She’s silent for a moment, but it doesn’t last long before she lays into me. “Club business is always so convenient, but let me tell you something…”

“Fuck,” I mutter. I raise my face toward the sky, letting the sunshine give me warmth from her icy words.

“When you call my family, asking them to come help you, that makes it my business. So, don’t you go telling me it’s club business and you can’t tell me anything. Pike and Jett are headed your way, and I want to know why.”

“Nothing has happened. I’m near them, by myself, and my bike decided to take a shit on me. It’s as simple as that.”

“By yourself?” she screeches, making me wince at the shrillness in her voice. “Wait. Hold up.”

So, I do that.

I wait.

I hold up, staying silent.

“Answer me,” she says.

“You told me to wait,” I grit out, being a smartass and already over this conversation.

“Men are impossible,” she groans. “Are you seriously by yourself?” I’m pretty damn sure if she could, she’d reach through the phone and strangle me. There’s no ounce of cute left in her at this moment, only anger.

“I am.”

“Why would Morris and Tiny do that? You don’t go anywhere alone, Mammoth. Nowhere.” She draws out the last word, almost yelling it directly in my ear.

“I know that, but it was supposed to be a quick and simple job. Between my bike acting up and not being in Disciples’ territory, I decided to make the call.”

“You made the call, but didn’t bother to call me?”

I grunt a response back without adding any words. There’s nothing more to be said.

I knew what her response would be.

I knew she’d freak out and lay into me, which is what she’s doing, even though I didn’t make the call to her.

Fucking Gigi and Lily and their inability to keep information to themselves like all Gallo chicks. They have allegiance to one another, and nothing or no one can change that.

“I’m going to call Morris and—” she starts.

“No, Tamara. You will not. You keep your mouth shut. It’s none of your business.”

“Excuse me?” she whispers. “Keep my mouth shut?”

As if I don’t have enough shit on my plate, a pissed-off Tamara Gallo isn’t something I want added as a side dish. “Women don’t get involved. I’ve told you that a hundred times. I don’t need you calling Morris to tell him off for doing something you don’t like. This is what I signed up for when I joined, Tam. I do as I’m told, and if you want me to ever get out of this life, you need to sit back, be quiet, and let me do what I have to do and do as you’re told too.”

“I don’t like it,” she grits out, probably thinking of every way she’s going to torture me for laying down the law the way I just did.

“Neither do I, but I got to do what I got to do. Now, when the guys get here, I’ll throw my bike in the back of the pickup, head back with them, and worry about this shit tomorrow.”

“Where are you waiting?” she asks, still whispering.

I’m not fooled by the softness in her voice. I know she’s pissed. I told her to keep her mouth shut, and that was a slap in the face. I could’ve said it nicer, explained things in a less harsh way, but Tamara never wants to listen when it comes to the club.

“A parking lot.” I leave out the simple fact that it’s a parking lot at a strip club. Tamara would have another fit and one I don’t want to hear right now.

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