“Well?” He suggested.
A neon sign flashed in the window that read Walton Ink.
“What? A tattoo? Now?”
“Why not? You just want a little one. Who cares.”
“But we were drinking…,”
“We’re immortal. You’ll heal before you even have a chance to bleed. Come on, let’s go see if this guy’s licensed.”
I followed him, glancing both ways nervously as I crossed the street. Cole held the door open for me, and I thanked him, my voice far-away and unfamiliar to my own ears. I’m just missing home. It’s been a long, horrifying couple of days, and I’m exhausted.
The artist ended up being a woman, and she was covered from the neck down in art. She listened to Cole and answered his questions while I looked around, trying to rationalize what I was doing. Will is going to hate this, I already know it.
“Do you want to pick out a stencil?” She called to me, and I held my hand over my lower, right abdomen, through my shirt.
“I already have one,” I replied with a smile. Cole narrowed his eyes, confused, and I pulled from my memory the eighth note I’d sketched long ago for when I got my first tattoo. I rolled up my shirt, and sure enough, the sketch had transferred from my mind to my skin.
“Small,” she commented, nodding with a friendly grin. “Simple. With all that fiery hair, I guess I expected something flashier.” She moved to the back of the shop, and Cole bent his mouth to my cheek.
“Why the eighth note?” He asked, his breath warm on my ear.
I lifted my face to his, noticing for the first time that there were flecks of green in his brown gaze. “The prophecy. My parents had seven chances to give me life. Somehow, I was given another chance. An eighth life. And I lived. I’m meant to live.”
The light buzzed above our heads, dimming slightly. Those eyes of his locked with my own gaze, refusing to let go. His face was far too close to mine. The smell of cigarette smoke and alcohol filled my senses, strange but pleasantly intoxicating. His lips, almost fully covered by his dark stubble, hovered near mine. My eyelids grew heavy, and we both exhaled at the same time.
He pulled his mouth away and quickly pressed a kiss to my forehead.
“Of course you were meant to live.”
He was too close one moment, and so distant the next. I have absolutely no interest in any man but Will.
My heart thundered in my chest, my pulse racing. I blamed the adrenaline, the alcohol, my nerves, my fear… anything but the confusion of what Cole was making me feel.
Text copyright © 2013 Kimberly Stedronsky