“If we sit here any long I’m going to christen the waiting room and maybe one of the exam rooms. How do those stirrup things work again?” I smirked against her lips.

Mia smacked me, shaking her head. “Oh, no you don’t. Not today at least.” She jumped off my lap and held her hand out.

“You’re lucky my ma is waiting or else I’d say fuck it, and take you right here, right now.” I grabbed her hand.

“Yeah, just my luck.” She rolled her eyes and giggled.

To see Mia so happy and full of laughter made everything worth it. The long hours at the clinic and shop, busting my ass to get it done right.

She completed me.

Jesus, now I’m quoting Jerry McGuire.

Dick check. It’s still there. Whew.

I may not be a pussy, although I’d never it admit, I was pussy whipped.

Mia did that to me and I couldn’t be fucking happier.

“All women are crazy,” I said, as we walked to my parents’ front door.

“Let’s qualify crazy.” She coughed.

I called Tammy crazy, but my ma wasn’t. Ma was more excessive than crazy. There wasn’t an open spot in the driveway or on their block for that matter.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, tilting her head.

“I told my ma to have a small get together. There has to be at least fifty people in that house based on all these cars.”

“Leave her alone. It makes her happy, right?” Mia asked, rubbing my arm.

“Yeah,” I said, grabbing her hand and placing a kiss in her palm.

“Everyone is waiting to see you.”

“To see us, Mia, not just me.” I pushed opened the door and shook my head.

“Hey,” a few voice sounded as we walked inside.

I couldn’t see an open space from the foyer, through the great room and out to the pool. Wall to wall people, holding drinks filled my parents’ home. I held Mia’s hand as we made our way through the house.

“Wait,” she said, stopping to grab a photo from a side table near the couch.

“What?”

Holding it close to her face she asked, “Is this you?” She looked at me and back to the photo.

“Yep, that’s me.” I forgot my mother had the photo sitting out for the world to see.

“You look so…so….” She swiped her fingers across the glass with a smile.

“Handsome? Buff? Sexy?” I asked with a grin.

“I was going to say young, but we can go with your descriptions if you prefer,” she said and giggled.

“I was a whole lot of trouble back then,” I said, as I grabbed my freshman year wrestling photo.

Too much of my manhood showed through the tiny maroon singlet, but when I had it on back in the day, I wore it like a proud son of a bitch.

“You haven’t changed much since then,” she said as I put the photo back exactly where my mother had it.

“Checking out my cock?” I whispered in her ear.

“Shh.” She turned, hitting me. “Someone might hear you.”

“They’re loud and Italian, trust me, they didn’t hear a thing.”

“I did,” Joe said, as he smacked my ass with his cane.

“Lucky I don’t hit the handicapped, brother.” I gave him a giant bear hug. “Where’s Suzy?” I asked looking around.

“Girl talking. It makes me bat shit crazy. I love the woman, but being with her twenty-four-seven can be a test to any relationship.” He shook his head and laughed. “Thank god I can walk now and go to the shop for a couple hours”

“I haven’t talked to the girls lately. Maybe I’ll go join them and let you two chat.” Mia kissed my cheek.

“Go ahead, love. I’ll find Ma and let her know we’re here.” I patted her ass and watched her walk away.

“You got it bad, bro. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one around here being led around by my balls.” Joe slapped me on the back.

I sighed. This family – I loved them, but they were all a pain in the ass.

I felt like I weighed two hundred pounds as I grabbed the open spot next to Suzy on the couch. “My god, do they always eat like this?” I asked.

“Always,” Suzy said with a sigh, leaning back as she rubbed her stomach. “I swear I’ve gained ten pounds since I started hanging out with this family. Everything revolves around food. Doesn’t matter the occasion food is always on hand.”

“At least it’s good food,” I said, happy to be off my feet. The couch felt like lying on a cloud of feathers. The soft cotton material would make it hard to stay awake.

“She’s the best cook ever. I look forward to coming here on Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, Joey is an amazing cook, but nothing beats his mother’s home cooking.”

“I wish Michael could cook.”

“Whatcha girls talking about?” Izzy said, as she plopped her skinny ass between us.

“Talking about your brothers,” Suzy said.

“I have all the dirt, ladies. I can tell you some stories that would make you fall off the couch in a fit of giggles,” Izzy replied.

“Why isn’t Anthony taken?” I asked.

“He likes to play the field. Someday a lady will bring him to his knees and have him begging to be his, but until then he prefers the man whore status. He’s gets a little carried away with his groupies,” Izzy said sarcastically. “Men, total pigs. It’s bullshit that he’s sowing his wild oats and playing the field and if a girl did that shit she’s easy and a slut.”

“Sexism will never die,” Suzy replied, patting Izzy on the leg.

“Not in this damn family - too many cocks for it to be equal. Having you ladies around helps, though. My ma and I have always been outnumbered.”

She made me feel like I was part of the family. I wanted to fit in and be a member of this tight knit group. Holidays, including Christmas, had consisted of my parents and me for the last couple of years.

“If you two bitches have kids they better have vaginas.” Izzy laughed. “The world isn’t big enough for anymore Gallo men.”

“I don?

??t think you have to worry about that for a while,” I said quickly.

“Yeah, not an issue,” Suzy said sitting up.

“Suzy, come on. Joey has your ass on your back more than a two-bit whore looking for her next fix. Your ass is going to get knocked up sooner or later.”

“We’re careful, Izzy.”

“Whatever. Someone better give my mother a damn grandchild. She’s already crocheting blankets and she’s going to get desperate and start bothering me if you ladies don’t come through. I’m entirely too young to ruin this body.”

“Oh, shut the hell up, Izzy,” Suzy said, as she slapped Izzy’s hand down.

“I’m just saying, Suzy. It’s your duty to carry on the Gallo Legacy.”

“Fucking great. Don’t let Joey hear you say that,” Suzy muttered, closing her eyes and pinching her nose between her fingers.

A shadow fell over us and I peered up to see Joe looking at us with curiosity.

“Let me hear Izzy say what?” Joe asked with a crooked smile.

Suzy looked up, a giant smile painted on her face. “Nothing, sweetie,” she said without flinching.

“Babies, Joe. Get on that shit,” Izzy said, smacking his good leg.

“I’m on that shit all time, aren’t I, sugar?

Her cheeks turned pink as she looked at him “There’s always room for improvement,” she said with a smirk.

I loved this family as much as I loved Michael. They had become my home away from home with my parents back in Minnesota. Suzy and Izzy were the sisters I never had and always wanted.

Michael was my savior.

Saving me from my nightmare, from the heart crushing sadness of the ER and giving me the greatest gift of all – happiness.

The End

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