“Are you sure about this? Once I start I can’t stop.”
I grinned, hiding my nervousness as I lay on Spider’s bed. He had all of his tattoo supplies laid out ready to begin on the tattoo I had finally worn him down to ink onto me. The stencil was already in place across my left rib cage and just waiting for him to work his magic. “Don’t pussy out now, James,” I teased, seeing the indecision in his black eyes. “The sooner you get started the sooner it will be over and we can make love.”
“I don’t want to hurt you, Willa. The spot you want this tattoo is going to hurt bad. Let me do it on your back.”
I rolled my eyes at him and turned so that I was able to watch The Beatnicks that was playing in the DVD player. “I want it here. Don’t worry about the pain. I have a high threshold for it.”
After a full minute filled with his inner struggle with himself, which only made me feel all kind of melted inside at how concerned he was, he finally turned on the tattoo gun and got to work on the tree of life I had watched him create for me over the previous few days. It was going to be in shades of black, gray, and some earthy browns.
The first sting of the needle made me grimace but I clenched my jaw and forced my eyes to stay focused on the flat screen hanging on the wall. For the next three hours he worked as if he had gone into some kind of trance, completely focused on the task at hand instead of who he was tattooing. His hand was steady and worked with obvious skill and talent. My body was torn between the sting of the pain and the burning of his hands on me.
I wanted him so badly, so obsessively. The room was full of our sexual tension because I could feel the same need that was raging inside of me pouring off of him, too. The way he kept sneaking me little looks under those long eyelashes. The erratic beat of the pulse at the base of his throat. But he kept his attention on what he was doing and I attempted to block out my pain and need.
I tried not to make a sound, but when he got to a particularly sensitive spot just under my left breast I couldn’t hold in the small whimper. He showed no signs of hearing it except for pausing long enough to give me a moment to take a few deep breaths while he added more ink.
By the time he was done I was in some serious pain. He had been right. The ribs were no laughing matter when it came to tattoos and I was starting to feel the burn. Badly. He cleaned me up and put some A&D ointment over the tattoo.
“Take a look before I wrap you up. Don’t let anything rub directly against it for a few days. Try not to do any running because the sweat isn’t going to feel so nice against freshly inked skin.” He was already cleaning up his mess, not looking at me.
I got slowly out of bed and went into his bathroom to take a look in the mirror. I gasped when I saw how beautiful he had made my body. With a slightly trembling finger I traced the image in the mirror. I loved the tattoo, how the branches spread out like a flower blooming in the sun yet enfolding around me like a hug.
“Well?” his raspy voice asked behind me and I turned to wrap my arms around his neck. That was when I felt him trembling.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned when his jaw just remained tightly clenched. I cupped his face in my hands. “Talk to me, James.”
“I don’t like hurting you,” he growled and buried his face in my chest.
I bit my lip. “You didn’t hurt me. I’m fine.” When he didn’t say anything I tried a different tactic. “Would you rather I have someone else doing my ink from now on?” He tensed even more and I knew that that idea held little appeal for him. “Besides, I thought tattoo artists didn’t consider it hurting people, but helping them with expressing themselves.”
He pulled back, giving me a hard glare. “Maybe it is like that with other people, but I can’t handle the fact of you hurting in any way. And no, I don’t want someone else doing your art work. I’d end up killing a man if he touched you. So if you ever want another tattoo, we will discuss it. Okay?”
Grinning, I wrapped my hands around his neck again, letting my nails trail over the back of his smoothly shaved scalp. I really did love the baldness. “Kiss me, dummy.”
The sun was shining through the window when I opened my eyes. Moaning at the sight, I turned over in bed. I knew that Spider wasn’t going to be there. I heard him leave me around three that morning.
I should have gotten up and gone back to my own room then. That was what I had normally been doing for the last two weeks. Make love with Spider until the early hours of the morning, fall asleep for about an hour with him, and then tiptoe my way back to my room. I knew Duke would burst a blood vessel if he found out I was sleeping with Spider. The one time I’d tried to talk to him about it, to see how badly he would react to me being with the Angel’s Halo biker, my father had gone through the roof at the hypothetical question.
Since then I’d made sure that the thing between me and Spider was completely on the down low. The only person who knew was Bash, who I’d found wasn’t all that scary when he was laughing with Spider. I suspected that Raider knew what was going on too, but wasn’t about to ask for fear of breaking some strange friendship that the two of us had developed. The thing about Raider was he didn’t have friends that were girls, but had plenty of girlfriends. One-night girlfriends.
This morning I hadn’t been able to find the energy to get out of bed when Spider had woken up to Bash knocking on his door. They had to go take care of some business, or at least that was the excuse Spider had given me as he had kissed me and promised to see me tonight. Even half asleep I’d seen the look on his face and it had scared the hell out of me.
He was leaving soon.
Their job was nearly over and he would go back to Creswell Springs, California. I only had two weeks left of my vacation here with Duke but that was going to feel like a lifetime without Spider here with me. I wanted to ask him to stay until I had to go home, but was too scared he would tell me no.
So I had snuggled up to his pillow and cried myself back to sleep.
It was a mistake because now I had to sneak my way back to my own room so I could shower and get ready for the day. At this time of day the compound was waking up and moving around downstairs. It wasn’t going to be easy and I had only myself to blame for it if I got caught.
of bed, I pulled my clothes on: a baggy T-shirt and basketball shorts. I’d stopped wearing sexy nightgowns three nights after I’d started coming to Spider to make love. All he did was rip them off me within five minutes of seeing them on me. The baggy sleep clothes fared better. Mostly because I started taking them off as soon as the door was closed and locked behind me.