Outtake: The News #Tommas #Effortless #FreeRead
It's outtake day - I picked one from the pool to do. If you have a request for an outtake (I don't promise anything) then you can put it in HERE.
I have a lot wanting John + Siena outtakes, but it will be next week before I start posting those. Give them time to be out in the world a bit, plus I have a couple of more outtakes for them that I would like to get written before I post future bits for them.
Today's outtake is an Effortless era outtake from Tommas Rossi's pov. Not the son - the father.
An Effortless/Chicago War Outtake
“I’m starving, Ella,” Tommas grumbled.
From behind the kitchen island, his wife shot him a look that could kill. He swore he had become accustomed to this kind of game with his wife over the years, and frankly, Abriella had mastered this shit with him. All it took was one look from her, and Tommy knew whether or not he should keep pushing, or back the hell off.
This time was different.
His daughter-in-law was there.
Abriella was far less likely to throw something at him for his pestering when someone else was around. She was predictable like that. Tommas knew which buttons to push with her, and when, for that matter.
Marriage was all about compromise, after all.
“I think what you mean to say is, you’re spoiled, Tommy,” Abriella muttered. “The food is almost done. Surely, you can wait another ten minutes for us to plate everything, and get it set out on the table.”
“But it’s done now.”
“And you can wait to eat with everybody else just like you always do.”
“I swear to God.”
Tommas chuckled under his breath, knowing he had pushed his wife to her limits. Really, it was only when he pestered her inside the kitchen that Abriella got touchy like this. Anywhere else, and she had far more patience for his shit.
But really, this was what made their marriage fun.
She would be so much more fun later.
Especially once he got her to bed.
She knew his games.
And his tricks.
“Ignore him,” Abriella told their daughter-in-law. “You should try some of that red wine I brought back from Italy, Cam. It’s wonderful.”
Camilla shook her head. “Maybe next time. Keep a bottle for me.”
Abriella shrugged. “Your loss.”
Knowing he wasn’t going to get much more out of his wife, Tommas sighed heavily.
“Fine,” Tommas half-heartedly grumbled. “I’ll go … entertain.”
“What else is the boss supposed to do when he invites people to his home for dinner, Tommy?”
Tommas grinned, and shot his wife a wink over his shoulder. “Get his wife worked up so she’s extra sweet for later.”
Next to his wife, Camilla cleared her throat.
Abriella’s eyes flew wide, and a red heat climbed up her cheeks. “Oh, my God. Get out!”
Tommas’s laughter echoed down the hall as he headed for the dining room. He found the majority of the guests already seated, and waiting for dinner to be served. Taking a moment to lean over his only son’s shoulder, Tommas squeezed Tom.
“I think I embarrassed your wife,” he said, “sorry about that.”
Tom groaned. “How?”
“She was in the crossfire.”
“Jesus Christ. Can’t you at least wait until the house is empty to start your foreplay with Ma?”
“But why?” Tommas asked.
“Because nobody else wants to see it.”
He didn’t ask if other people wanted to see it.
That wasn’t the point.
Giving his son a pat on the back, Tommas realized someone was missing from the table. Damian, his underboss and cousin. Best friend, too. Even after all these years, Damian was still the one person—next to his wife, and now son, of course—that Tommas trusted the very most. He doubted that would ever change.
In this life, loyalty like that was hard to find.
“Where’s Damian?” Tommas asked.
“He got a phone call—took it in the living room.”
Tommas nodded, but he still felt like he should probably check up on his underboss. If only because it was unusual for Damian to take a phone call during dinner if he was already there with Tommas. After all, Damian didn’t answer to anyone but his boss.
And that was Tommas.
Giving his son one more squeeze on his shoulders, Tommas headed out of the kitchen in search of Damian. He figured if something was going on, he would rather hear about it before dinner rather than ruin his meal with the damn news.
Tommas was halfway down the hallway when Camilla came bursting out of the kitchen. With her hand slapped over her mouth, and her face paler than he’d ever seen it, his daughter-in-law damn near knocked him over in her haste to run into the bathroom across the hall. She tried to slam the door behind her, but it didn’t close completely.
Tommas leaned in the kitchen only to find his wife was distracted with the punch she was making. Maybe she had her back turned to Camilla when the girl ran out of the kitchen.
All he knew was that the sound of Cam’s retching in the bathroom was a little concerning. Subtly, he reached over and closed the bathroom door for her the rest of the way to give her a little bit of privacy.
As he waited for her to come back out of the bathroom, Tommas had a heavy realization settle over him. Something he’d overlooked in the kitchen because he had been too busy pestering his wife in that way of his.
Cam refused wine.
She loved wine.
Especially for dinner.
And now vomiting, too?
Did that mean what he thought it—
“Sorry,” Camilla said when she came out of the bathroom. Her gaze wouldn’t meet his, and her cheeks were stained with red. “I didn’t mean to almost run you over, Tommas.”
He chuckled, and shook his head. “No worries.”
Camilla brushed her hands over her cheeks. “I probably look like shit, now.”
“You look fine.”
And she did.
Nothing to say she had just spent two minutes puking her guts out.
“Does anyone know?” he dared to ask.
Camilla’s gaze shot up to meet his, and he swore he saw the denial already forming on her mouth. Then, she surprised him with a little shake of her head.
“No one at all?”
“Just found out this afternoon,” she admitted.
“Not even Tom?”
Because shit, Tommas kind of figured that was important news for her to share with her husband. Tommas had always been the first to know—next to a doctor once—that his wife was pregnant with their child.
“We came right over here after he picked me up,” Cam said, laughing. “I didn’t think it was a very good time to tell him, you know.”
Camilla glanced over at him again. “How did your wife tell you?”
Tommas smiled a bit. “I don’t think that’s appropriate for me to share.”
“Huh?” Then, she nodded as she said, “Oh, never mind.”
“You know it doesn’t matter how you tell him, right?”
Camilla cleared her throat. “I don’t know—Tommaso has waited for this for a long time. I kind of feel like blurting it out might be … anti-climactic.”
“He’s not going to care. Trust me.”
“Yeah, maybe not.”
“Why don’t you go to the dining room and relax,” Tommas suggested, but not really posing it as a question. He didn’t think Camilla being on her feet and serving people food was right, considering. He thought she had more than earned sitting down today, and being served instead. Tommas could help his wife. “And don’t worry about anything.”
“I promised to help Abriella—”
“Like I said, don’t worry.”
Camilla, like most people who had spent more than ten minutes around Tommas, knew better than to argue with him. Once she was heading down the long hallway toward the dining room, Tommas moved into the kitchen.
Abriella glanced up instantly. “Where’s Cam? She just disappeared.”
Tommas said nothing, simply crossed the kitchen, rounded the island, and caught his wife in his embrace. Before she could say anything, he was kissing her.
A happy, loving, long kiss.
A lingering kiss.
A fierce, hot kiss that left nothing unsaid about just how much he loved this woman.
A kiss that spoke of their familiarity, and love. Of their many years together, and all the memories they had made in that time. From their life, to their children. Their home, and their perfection. All their flaws, and their now-fused souls.
Because he didn’t have a fucking soul.
Now without this woman.
Pulling away, Tommas still kept Abriella pulled in close to him as he stroked the pad of his thumb over her cheekbone. Her flushed cheeks, and wide smile made him grin, too.
“What was that for?” she asked.
“Because I love you.”
“What makes you think there’s more, Ella?”
She pointed a finger at his face, and wiggled it a little. “I just … know you, Tommy. I see when you have secrets to share.”
“Only you,” he muttered, chuckling.
“I don’t know if I sho—”
“Tommas, I swear …”
“You always use that threat, but never follow through.”
“Do you want me to follow through with it?”
Her kind tone belied the sly gleam in her eye.
This was exactly why he loved his wife.
“You can’t say a word,” he said, dotting kisses from her cheek to her ear.
Abriella shivered. “I won’t.”
“You have to let them tell you when they are ready, Ella.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but—”
“Cam is pregnant.”
His wife stilled.
Tommas held her tighter.
Finally, Abriella pulled back just far enough to stare him in the face. “Really?”
She grabbed his face with her palms. “Really, really?”
“Guess you’re finally going to get that grandbaby, Ella.”
Her quiet, yet still excited squeal somehow managed to echo in the kitchen. Tommas laughed, and then shushed his wife with another kiss.
But really, he wanted to shout it, too.
But it wasn’t his news.
He shouldn’t even know.
So, he would just … have to wait.