Saturday, October 6, 2012 | By: Jenny

Coming Home Chapter 176: Outtake 2 & Pic

Seattle... Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 2:27 P.M.
Are you ready?” I teased Edward.
He nodded slowly, looking wide-eyed at the sign out on the building.
After Edward asked me to marry him, he left a mark on me with his mouth right above my bikini line as we celebrated our new engagement. I laughed the next morning when I looked in the mirror and saw the dark spot just a few inches above the trimmed edge of my mound. I'd told him that I should just get a damn tattoo put there so his mark on me would be permanent.
At the time, it was just another joke to tease him, but two weeks later, he'd slid a small pile of brochures over to me after dinner and said for me to choose one.
What did you do?” I asked, laughing as I flipped through the small stack.
Blushing slightly, he grinned, looking proud. “I had to do some research. I couldn't just take you to any old tattoo parlor to get some new ink.”
Impressed, I started looking closer at some of the names. They ranged from Art & Soul to Mad Dog, from Ink Slinger to Skull & Sword.
Holding up one brochure, I said, “Did you know this was where Emmett got his ink from just before he shipped out last time?”
Edward nodded. “He recommended that one. Said Jimmy, the guy who'd done his, would be perfect for us.”
Us?” I raised an eyebrow, setting the brochure down in front of me.
He shrugged. “You've mentioned seeing me with a tattoo before. I've never done it before because I had no real reason to. I haven't objected to it or anything, but I've been thinking about it and think I have an idea of what I'd like.”
Grinning, I pretended to look him over from head to toe. “Mmm, Sarge with ink? Yes, please,” I purred.
His eyes darkened, and before I could even set the paperwork in my hand down, Edward swooped me into his arms. As he walked us down the hall to the bedroom, he nuzzled the spot right under my ear and murmured, “You can't look at me like that and expect me to just stand there, beautiful...”
He'd been so enthusiastic as we'd made our appointments, went back and forth about ideas, and even talked to our friends. But looking over at him now as we sat in front of Twilight Ink & Piercings, I could see his nerves.
Chuckling, I asked, “Are you sure? You don't have to get one, babe.”
He seemed to steel his resolve and then shook his head. “I'm sure.”
We climbed out of the Volvo and met around the front, where Edward took my hand and then led me to Twilight's door.
When we walked in, it was different than I'd expected. The place I'd been to in high school had been dark and cave-like, what you would typically think of as a tattoo parlor, complete with big, scary-looking, biker dudes. Twilight was bright and airy, with a mix of men and women behind the counter, working on clients, and even one man sitting at a desk with a pencil in hand as he sketched what I could only imagine was a new tattoo design. The walls were covered in such sketches, their portfolio of sorts, and while everyone that worked there was covered in ink and piercings, none of them looked frightening.
Welcome to Twilight Ink,” the woman sitting on a stool behind the front counter said. Her curly red hair was up in a high ponytail, giving her a young, cheerleader look, but the piercings in her eyebrow, nose, and bottom lip, not to mention running up both ears, as well as the ink peeking out of both sleeves of her T-shirt clearly said she was a bit edgier than her hair led you to believe. “My name's Vicki. Can I help you?”
I smiled and tugged Edward with me to the counter. “Hi. I'm Bella, and this is Edward. We have an appointment with Jimmy.”
Vicki grinned and nodded. “Yo, Jimmy!” she called to somewhere in the back.
A door opened, and a man with long, dark blond hair stuck his head out.
Your two thirty are here,” Vicki continued at Jimmy's raised eyebrow.
Hey,” Jimmy told us. “I'm running a few minutes behind. If you don't mind, get with Larry—”
Laurent,” a voice growled from beside us, startling me.
Get with Laurent and go over sketches of what you'd like done. Then we can go over it again once you're back here,” Jimmy finished. Once we'd nodded, he popped back into the room and shut the door.
Sorry about that,” Vicki said, rolling her eyes. “Laurent is our resident artist and is...temperamental about his name. Jimmy likes to screw with him.”
My name is Laurent, and James knows that,” the man – Laurent – said. “I abhor nicknames, Victoria.”
I held back my laugh at his haughty tone of voice.
Now come,” Laurent said, sounding much more friendly than he had up to that point. “Let's see what you're thinking of having done today.”
We followed him back over to the desk he'd previously been sitting behind.
Both of you are getting ink?” At our nods, he turned to me. “Let's focus one at a time, then. What about you...Bella, was it? Is that short for Isabella?”
I smiled, holding in my laughter. “Yes, that's right.” Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the printed copy of the image I wanted to use. “I want these sergeant's stripes right above my bikini line, and instead of the guns, I'd like a date of March eighteenth of last year.” Raising an eyebrow, I reached for one of the pencils in the cup on the desk. At his nod, I used it to write it out like I wanted, spelling out the month, then the digits for the day and the four-digit year.
When I stepped back beside Edward, he grabbed my hand and squeezed, and when I looked up at him, his eyes were full of fiery emotion. He knew I was getting the sergeant's stripes just for him, and if I knew him like I thought I did, he understood the significance of the rest, too – the date of his first letter to me.
Laurent looked at my lower half of my body with an artist's eyes for a moment. “I'm going to do this about two inches square. If James looks and believes it should be smaller, I can adjust it.” He sketched for several minutes, his colored pencils flying across the page, and then he turned it to me. “Is this what you had in mind?”
It looked perfect to me. The script was small but still easily readable, and the shading on the green stripes was really pretty. “It's perfect,” I told him with a nod before looking at Edward. “What about you, Sarge?”
Edward swallowed once and then nodded. “Yeah, looks great.”
Laurent, who had been watching Edward, smiled. “All right, then, on to you. What are you looking for?”
Edward looked at me for a second before saying, “Take off the button down shirt, baby.”
Because it was cold out, I'd worn layers today. I'd taken my coat off when we got inside, so I handed it to Edward before unbuttoning the shirt that I was wearing over my tank top and bra. Just as I peeled the outer shirt off, I knew what he was doing, and it made my breath catch.
Turning, I displayed my back to Laurent and felt as Edward moved my hair and the shirt out of the way so the artist could see the black swan tat on my back.
I'd like this, just slightly larger, on my left pectoral, right above my heart, with the date of March third of last year under the swan, in the same script as hers.”
I couldn't help the tears that suddenly filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as the significance of what Edward was doing hit me. He was taking a painful memory from my past and marking himself as mine while doing it.
Fuck, I love you,” I breathed, my watery eyes making him slightly blurry as I looked up at him.
His smile was magnetic and could have lit up the entire city of Seattle during a blackout. “Love you, too, sweet girl.”
I lay back nervously in the reclined chair in the small room as Jimmy gathered the supplies he'd need. I'd volunteered to go first because I didn't want to watch Edward get his tattoo done and have my nerves multiply the longer I waited. Jimmy had asked if we wanted Vicki in the room with all of us, but we'd said we were fine. Since Edward was with me, we weren't worried about anything...untoward...happening. Jimmy looked a little rough around the edges, with long, dirty blond hair, pulled back in a ponytail at the base of his neck, a T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up a few times to expose the tattoos covering both his arms, and a few piercings – including one in his tongue that he kept clacking on his teeth. But as rough as he looked, his reputation was stellar.
This isn't your first ink, right?” Jimmy asked as he rifled through a shelf in the cabinet.
Adjusting the thin sheet currently covering my lower body, I answered, “No, I got my first and only in high school.”
He looked up sharply. “Here in Seattle?”
I shook my head warily. “Phoenix.”
Nodding, he turned back to the cabinet. “We're pretty strict around here to report anyone for serving minors,” he explained before turning back to us. “And you said a friend of yours had been in before?”
Edward laughed. “Emmett McCarty. He said to tell you – and I quote – Eleven seventy-two...with a twist.
Jimmy burst out laughing. “Holy shit! Biggest fucker you've ever seen, right?” He raised an eyebrow in thought as Edward and I laughed and nodded. “Military... Navy. No...” He looked down at the sketch for my tattoo and smirked. “Army, yeah...”
Yeah, Army,” Edward confirmed.
How's he doin'?” Jimmy asked and then looked up at me. “I'm going to sanitize the area down with some rubbing alcohol and see if we need to clean up any hair. If you get uncomfortable, let me know.”
Edward squeezed my hand and kept my gaze as Jimmy removed the sheet, leaving me bare from the waist down, and began prepping the area I was getting the tattoo. I'd been advised to skip underwear and wear loose pants, so my sweats were folded on the counter.
He's good,” Edward finally answered Jimmy, his eyes never leaving mine. “He got out in October for good, so he's back here in Seattle.”
Jimmy nodded and made a sound to show he'd heard Edward, and then he told me, “Okay, check out the mirror here”—motioning with his head to the mirror he was now holding up so I had a view of the spot for the tattoo—“and let me know if this looks right. If it does, I'll apply the transfer.”
I swallowed and looked down to see him holding up the transfer paper with the image of my tattoo on it. It seemed to be the perfect size – not too big but big enough you could read the date – and was right above my mound. I raised an eyebrow at Edward, who nodded. “Yeah, looks good,” I finally told Jimmy.
Once he'd transferred the image, he had us look again, and when we said it was good, he pulled on latex gloves and began pouring the ink he'd need.
That's when I tuned it all out.
I knew the pain was coming, but I focused on Edward instead.
Talk to me,” I said, my voice shaky.
Edward pulled his stool closer and leaned into my ear. “I can't wait to see this finished, beautiful... The first chance I get, I'm going to run my tongue over and over that spot so you'll never forget why you got it.”
We both ignored the sound of the tattooing machine as Jimmy started it, and when the needle first pierced my skin, Edward squeezed my hand and continued trying to distract me, whispering all sorts of dirty things into my ear that he wanted to do to me.
Edward Masen was the best distraction ever because before I knew it, Jimmy was sitting back and pulling off his gloves. “Do you want a picture before I put the ointment on?”
I laughed when Edward nodded.
Do you mind if I take one for our portfolio? It'll be zoomed in quite close, so you won't see anything you shouldn't,” he promised with a wink.
Shrugging, I said, “That's fine.”
After they both snapped a photo – Jimmy with a camera he pulled from the cabinet and Edward with his cell phone – Jimmy pulled on fresh gloves.
Okay, so this ointment,” he said, holding up a white tube, “will help prevent an invasion of airborne bacteria that can cause infection. I'll tape a bandage on over it. You need to remove it – with clean hands – within a couple of hours. No more than three. This will help prevent the bandage from sticking to the skin.”
He went to explain the rest of the aftercare instructions, telling us we would get a written copy before we left, as well.
Jimmy finally discarded his gloves and washed his hands in the room's sink. “I'm going to step out and give you a minute to get dressed. Be sure not to run the waist of the sweatpants over the tattoo. Just open the door when you're ready for me.” He started to leave the room and then stopped. “Can I get either of you something to drink?” We shook our heads, so he turned and closed the door behind him.
How ya' doin', beautiful?” Edward asked, helping me to sit up and then handing me my sweatpants.
I'm okay. Didn't hurt nearly as bad as I remember the first one hurting – whether that's because of placement or distraction, I don't know,” I teased, grinning at his proud smirk.
As soon as Edward was on the reclined chair, sans shirt, I opened the door and then took a seat on the stool Edward had been using after moving it around to his right side so Jimmy could get to his left.
Jimmy came in a couple of minutes later. “Feeling okay, Bella?”
I nodded. “Yeah, it's okay.”
Good. Okay, so let's see. You want this above your heart, right?” Jimmy held up the sketch Laurent had made.
Edward nodded and motioned for me to turn. “Show him, please?”
I'd already put my outer shirt on, so rather than take it completely off, I pulled my arm out of the sleeve and allowed Jimmy to move my shirt enough that he could see the swan on my shoulderblade.
I gotcha. Good, the sketch looks exactly like it.” He pulled the shirt back up and then moved away so I could slide my arm back into the sleeve.
Edward's tattoo was a bit bigger than mine, but it was still simple enough that it took about the same amount of time for Jimmy to finish. By the time he stepped back, peeling off his gloves, I had tears in my eyes.
You okay, sweet girl?” Edward asked, reaching up and brushing at my tears.
I nodded, sniffling. “Yeah, it's just...perfect.”
He gave me a soft smile and pulled my hand to his lips, kissing the back of it once.
We went through taking the pictures, then the final step of the process with the ointment and bandage. I hoped Edward was listening to the aftercare procedures because I felt like I was floating – I heard them talking, but for the life of me, I couldn't have repeated what they'd said.
Okay, since you guys paid before you came back here, you're done,” Jimmy said, smiling when I finally jerked my head up from staring at Edward's new tattoo. “Stop by the counter and ask Vicki for the aftercare instructions. If you have any problems, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy – and if you decide to get more ink, please come back and see us.”
Thanks,” Edward and I both told him, smiling.
Oh, and if you see the big man, tell him to come in sometime and we'll talk about that other tat he was thinking of getting after he was done with the Army.”
Edward laughed and nodded. “Will do.”
Jimmy smiled and stepped out. We heard him tell Vicki that she could bring his next appointment back as soon as they got there.
I let go of Edward's hand so he could pull his shirt on, carefully easing it over the bandage.
Standing, he put his hand out and took mine once more. “Ready to go, beautiful?”
Fuck, yes,” I answered with a sigh. I knew we couldn't have sex for a couple of days because of where my new tattoo was, but I was determined to show Edward just how much I loved his choice of ink. “Let's go home.”
 A/N: Here's a pic of the stripes that Bella's tattoo is based on:


Evelyne-raconte said...

So much love, it's heartwarming. Thank you.

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