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“Yes, but I want your big cock first,” she cooed.

“That’s not gonna fucking happen.”

“Is it because of that ugly skinny bitch? She doesn’t even have any fucking tits!”

There was a commotion, and before I could figure out what exactly was going on, King had thrown the girl’s shorts out into the hallway and was pushing her out the door by her elbow.

“You can get that shit finished by someone else. We’re fucking done here.”

She grabbed her shorts off the floor and stomped past me. “Fucking ugly bitch. Fucking asshole,” she muttered as she practically tripped in her rush to get to the stairs.

King stood in the door way. “And if I hear you ever talk shit about her again, I’ll find you and take that butterfly tattoo back.”

“Oh yeah?” she shouted, stopping on the landing. “How the fuck are you going to do that?”

King was in the doorway one second and an inch from her face the next. “I’ll tell you how,” he seethed. “I’m going to find you, and then I’m going to take my time carving those fucking butterfly wings from that nasty pussy of yours with my knife. Sleep on that before you decide to open that good for nothing dick-sucker of yours again.”

Her eyes went wide with fear. She couldn’t move fast enough as she rushed out of the house, slamming the door behind her. The gravel spun under the tires of her car as she sped down the driveway.

“Clean up,” King ordered. He grabbed one of the beers from my arms as he passed me in the hallway and went back into his studio. I stood with my mouth open for a full minute before following him.

“What the hell was that?” I asked, putting the rest of the drinks into the cooler by the door.

“It was nothing. Clean up. We aren’t done yet.” King chugged the beer, crushed the can in his hands and tossed it into the trash bin.

The clock above the door read three am.

The next client was a man named Neil who King had being doing a full sleeve for before he went to prison. Neil had waited three years for King to be released so he could finish it. He said he just didn’t trust anyone else to do it right.

I sat on the leather couch and watched King as he scrunched his face up in concentration. How could someone so talented also be so menacing?

You already know how talented his hands are.

I bit my lip and remembered the way his fingers felt inside me. My face flushed.

“I can feel you staring at me,” King said, snapping me out of my daydream. Neil had a huge set of red headphones on with his eyes closed. He was either engrossed in the music or fast asleep.

“I’m kind of bored,” I admitted, embarrassed I’d been caught staring.

King stood and removed a glove. He opened another drawer on the toolbox and removed something, tossing it over to me. A sketchbook landed next to me on the couch, followed by a box of colored pencils.

“Maybe, this will help you stop fucking fidgeting,” he said. “It always helped me.”

Then, he turned up the volume on the iPod docking station before picking up his tattoo gun and diving back into his work.

I opened the sketchbook, which wasn’t blank. The first few sketches were variations of the orange tree tattoo I’d seen King tattoo on the redhead earlier. Each one better than the next until I got to the one he used as a template for her tattoo.

Several pages of stunning artwork later, a beautiful dragon, a skull made completely of flowers, and a pin-up girl dressed as a nurse, and I was finally at a blank page. Doodling, I quickly found, was a much better way to pass the time than wondering about the man who made my head spin, and other parts of me throb.

I drew happy faces and stick figures at first. But then I started shading and one of the stick figures started to look like a person. I wasn’t actually drawing. It felt more like I could already see the completed design in my mind and was just filling in what was already on the page.

When I finished, I was staring into the chestnut eyes from my dream. I looked up at King, who was still engrossed in his work. I quietly tore the page from the book and folded it up, shoving it deep between the cushions of the couch. Part of me was hiding it so I could come back to it later and maybe add to it. Another part of me wanted to keep this one thing that I knew was somehow connected to my past to myself.

I then decided to sketch the bird I saw earlier flying over the water. I visualized it just as I had with the eyes I’d just drawn. Before I knew it, my pencil was flying over the page. I wasn’t just drawing. I was shading, smudging, and contouring.

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