Seth Carter held the tattoo consent form in his hand, and gazed at Jayne Sheridan. The afternoon sunlight outside his downtown Divine studio windows shone through the reddish-brown strands of her long, wavy hair. She brushed a lock of it behind her ear and fiddled with a ring she wore on her index finger. He wondered at the cause of her agitation as she fidgeted self-consciously on the other side of his reception counter at Divine Ink, biting her lower lip. The nervous habit had a way of making the blood in his brain settle south of his waist, because he knew firsthand how soft her lips were.
He’d kissed her when he’d taken her home the evening of July 4th and had wanted to do it again each time he’d seen her since. She’d come into the studio a couple of times to discuss getting a tattoo, and each time there had been others around. Jayne was reserved and so he’d controlled the urge.
She’d walked in five minutes before, in heels, skirt, and blouse, looking like a typical librarian should, but it didn’t matter what she wore. She had a luscious body built for sin. The way she bit her lip enticed him to pull her into his arms. He wanted to kiss her but he kept his libido in check as he focused on answering her question.
“What I think would look good on you may be very different from what you have in mind. The design needs to be something you’re sure you can live with.” She sincerely wants to know what design you’d tattoo her with. Show her the design. She won’t think it’s silly. “Do you know why you want the tattoo?”
She’d surprised him when she’d brought up the subject of getting a tattoo two weeks before at Grace Warner’s July 4th get-together. Jayne had hardly seemed the type on the surface but he’d quickly understood that where the reserved librarian was concerned, a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover. That event hadn’t been his first encounter with the Jayne, though. He’d stopped by the Divine Memorial Library, searching for inspiration the day he’d actually met her. He’d been perusing a volume on Japanese art and had sat down on one of the carpeted aisles when she’d rushed around a corner, putting books away, and tripped over his legs. The books had wound up all over the floor and she’d injured her hands and her knees.
A light blush stained her cheeks, but she stood her ground and answered his question. “I’m tired of watching everyone else live their lives to the fullest. I’m ready…” She let out a slow breath and rested her forearms in front of her on the counter, seeming resolute. “Do you remember me telling you that I’d been sick?”
“Of course.” He recalled that she’d mentioned having suffered from a long-term illness when they’d gotten to know each other on July 4th. There was no way he could forget. The thought of this gentle woman battling a serious illness didn’t sit well with him.
“I was sick off and on from my midtwenties, until last year. That’s over a decade that I can’t get back. I don’t want to bore you with all the details but I have some lost time to make up for.”
“And you’re well now?”
“In remission,” she corrected. Seth nodded in understanding. Over the years he’d met several cancer patients. “I’ve been watching life pass me by and I want my chance at it. I want to go for it, whatever ‘it’ is.” She adjusted the collar of her silky shirt and added, “But I need to be discreet about where the tattoo is placed, because of my job. My bosses are rather conservative.”
Seth hid his smile, deciding to test her a little. “So, you just want a small tattoo on your shoulder or your hip? Maybe throw caution to the wind, even if it’s only a tiny bit?”#p#分页标题#e#
She glanced away momentarily, but then a smoldering fire entered her eyes, causing his libido to take notice again. She might be unsure what getting a tattoo would be like but she wanted it anyway. This was what he wanted to see.
She shook her head. “I want to be discreet but I’m doing this. I want to know what you can do. Show me.” All traces of her uncertainty were gone.
Jayne was a conundrum to him. She had an air of fragility, yet he could see her determination reflected in her eyes. He wanted to spend time with her, beyond merely tattooing her.
Seth leaned on the reception counter that separated the waiting area from his workspace and stroked his bottom lip. He debated again about showing her the sketch, knowing he took the chance of offending her. Her gaze was riveted to his hands, and her blush deepened as she looked away. Her earlier words echoed in his mind. I’m going for it. In an instant his decision was made. She needed to see what he could do for her—if she dared.
He reached behind the counter for his sketchbook. From there it was up to her. “I have photographs in binders that I could show you, but…”
Seth leafed through the sketchbook until he found what he wanted. “I drew something the other night, with you in mind.” This felt a lot like showing her the inner workings of his mind and he paused for just a second, reconsidering. He glanced up and watched as she stepped forward and placed her hands flat on the counter. Anticipation was evident in her eyes as she stared at the sketchbook.
The design had come to him after he’d taken her home from the July 4th celebration. Because he hadn’t been able to sleep, he’d sat up thinking about her, remembering the feel of her in his arms, and envisioning what her unblemished, ivory skin would look like if he was allowed free rein. He’d known as he drew it that it was fantasy because she’d never want a tattoo that big, not on her first try. She probably wouldn’t want to sit through the three or four sessions it would take to get it finished. Additionally, she’d have to be at least partially nude during the sessions.
The reality was that she’d be seeing it every day, and if she ever married, it needed to be pleasing to her husband too. Not every man would be interested in a wom