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He wouldn’t tattoo me against my will, would he?

King stood from his stool and slowly approached. A menacing look in his eyes. He pushed my knees apart and settled his large frame between my thighs. He rested his forehead against mine in a gesture that was both intimate and new.

“How many times do I need to tell you? You need to learn to do what you are told, Pup,” he growled, his cool breath floating across the skin on my cheek and neck.

In one fluid movement, he yanked my tank top over my head and tossed it onto his toolbox. “You’re mine now. In every way. And I need you to know that if you regain your memory and remember who you are, you’re still going to be mine. If you have a boyfriend out there waiting for you? You’re still mine.” He paused. “And if you ever leave me to go back to your old life, just know that no matter who you are with, every inch of this beautiful body of yours will always belong to me.”

Braless and feeling very exposed in every way, I made a move to cover my breasts with my hand. I looked down to the floor to avoid eye contact. I could feel his gaze on my body. The hair on my arms stood on end. My nipples hardened.

King’s lips curled upward in a wicked smile. He leaned back into me and placed his hands over mine, removing them from my breasts, fully exposing me to his hungry gaze. He blew out a long-held breath. His tongue darted out, licking his bottom lip before sucking it into his mouth. After what seemed like a lifetime, he shook his head and lightly chuckled.

“This isn’t about me right now,” he said. I got the feeling he was talking to himself rather than to me. “Lay on your stomach.” He snapped on a pair of black latex gloves.

“You can’t. I can’t,” I argued.

He sat down on his stool and rolled it toward me with his feet. “You said you wanted a tattoo, right?”

“Yes, I did, and I do. But I can’t. I can’t because what if—”

“No. Let me guess, you can’t because it may be what you want, but it may not be what SHE wants?” He didn’t wait for me to answer. Probably because he knew that was exactly what I was going to say. “But what you aren’t understanding is that you are her!” King roared, standing up so abruptly his stool slid back and hit wall behind him. “Don’t you see? You can’t second guess everything you want because you are afraid of remembering another life!”

He paced the room and wrung out his hands, cracking his knuckles.

“Fuck who you were!” King screamed, the veins in his neck pulsing with each of his ragged breaths. “Be you, this fantastic, amazing, fucking beautiful…” His tone softened, and he stopped pacing, lifting his eyes to meet mine. “We’re not just going to have a life, remember? We’re going to live.”

He slowly approached me. Again, he moved my hands away from my breasts. He pressed his chest into mine. His hands circled around my lower back, his hardness to my softness.

“I fucking love who you are, Pup, and it’s about damn time you learned to love her, too,” he said, placing a soft kiss on the edge of my mouth, igniting a sensation deep within that caused my entire body to shake.

LOVE?

I started to protest again, but the fog of desire wouldn’t lift, and instead, I just sat there with my mouth open, waiting for King to make the next move.

Much to my disappointment, he sat back onto his stool and opened another drawer of his toolbox. He took out a sheet of paper that was almost see-through with colorful lines already drawn onto the page.

“Here.” He passed me the paper, averting his gaze to the floor. “I made this for you.”

I reached for the paper. It took me a minute to figure out what it was. The lines were all colorful, deep purples, pinks, and blues. The design was ornate, and at first, it just looked like beautiful vine work, but when you looked closely, hidden in the design was…me.

Concealed in the design was a book opened to the middle with wings protruding out the sides as it perched upon a pink pair of brass knuckles. Further down and off to the side was a quote woven into vines, ‘I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it all over again.’

My breath hitched in my throat, and I couldn’t form the words. It was completely me.

I had to have it.

Suddenly, nothing mattered anymore because this man knew exactly who I was. Not who I used to be, not some girl I was waiting for to return while putting my current life on hold in the process.

I was tired of standing still. I wanted to move forward. All that mattered was what I wanted now, and what I wanted was right in front of me.

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