Bare Skin: A Billionaire Romance (5 page)

And my heart skipped a million beats, freezing inside my chest. My lungs tried desperately to force down air, but I couldn't breathe.

Every piece of my body had halted all movement, stuck in a motionless suspension. Swallowing the lump that formed in the back of my throat, I said, “Can I see it?”

Kash nodded, walking out of the room and disappearing into the hall.

I had no clue what he drew, or what he based his creation from. But after seeing what he created on Beth, my mind was rolladex of images.

The pictures flashed across my lids, whipping through my brain one after the other.

What could he have penciled for me? What did he read about me from barely a hello?

The patter of his feet echoed back towards the room, his foot breaking my sight as the rest of him came into view.

And for a brief second I forgot Beth was even there. His face was held firm on mine, eyes locked against my figure.

The room seemed to shrink, walls folding in on me as his eyes ate up my body.

Oh shit. Stop, Lo, just stop.

Why is he having this effect on me?

“Hope you like it.” His hand held up the same transparent paper as Beth's, but the image was incredible.

It was a tree, roots sprawled out across the bottom, the trunk twisting and turning up to a full display of blooming flowers.

“That's amazing, what type of tree is it?”

“It's a cherry blossom tree. And it's going to fit perfect on your thigh.”

“My thigh?” Looking down at the thick stump of my body, my brows lifted, forcing lines across my forehead. “Can't I have it on my back?”

“I made this for your thigh, you won't be able to see it everyday if it's on your back. Trust me, your thigh is the perfect place.”

Prickles broke across my neck, riding my spine and coalescing in the heat growing below. My warming center was turning sticky, glazing my inner thighs with need.

Kash had made that for me, made it to fit my body.

He was about to touch my thigh, his fingers would stroke my tender skin.

And every thought I had turned from innocent, into a dark, dirty wet dream.

Yes, touch me please.

Touch me however you'd like.

Chapter Four

Kash

I
couldn't remember that last time I was that excited to give a tattoo. And that's probably because it never happened.

My job was my world, this shop was my life blood. Having this place had been a dream I never imagined would manifest into reality.

And I could never thank my grandmother enough. She was amazing, the only woman to ever really support anything and everything I ever did in my life.

She was even there during a time when everyone else had abandoned me. It was that time I regretted the most. I was a disappointment.

When she passed away, I was devastated. A blackened feeling had been cast on my life, pulling me under.

I could've saved her. Had I not been...

It doesn't matter now.

But from that came a great opportunity. She had left me a small fortune, one I was able to turn into a much larger bank roll.

I took my life back, grounded myself, kicked the bottle away and turned the thousands of dollars into millions, then into billions.

Something inside me had been triggered, a need that grew from what it saw, to taking what it wanted.

If I saw it, if I liked it, then I made it mine. It was that simple.

'No,'
wasn't in my vocabulary.

And with that mindset, my tattoo parlor, 'INK,' was born. I kept the name simple, and my workload stocked.

But tonight, I watched a woman walk into my shop, and I didn't want to watch her walk out. I didn't know why, I didn't care why.

Comfort coated me with the idea she would forever be stained by my hand, but in the same thought, that also wasn't enough.

I wanted more, I wanted to know her, feel her, breathe her.

There was something about Willow that made my stomach turn into hot soup, head fogged up and drizzled with her image.

And I wanted the chance to figure out why.

The feelings riding my muscles like a freight train were so new and foreign. They were real feelings, true bold, gut-hitting feelings.

It wasn't right, this was what I felt from a new idea, a new creation. Not from a woman, not from the soft and delicate frame that was waiting for my touch.

I cursed the feeling, hating it and letting it consume me all at the same time.

How dare she step through my door and make my head wrap around her. How dare she take my attention and draw it to only her.

Fuck.

“Alright, the throne is yours, Princess.” Picking through the colors of ink, I pulled down over a dozen I was going to work with.

She was a masterpiece all on her own, and my tattoo had to match the beauty that radiated from her naturally.

I was going to give her something that would turn her body into a work of art, and claim her as mine in the same breath.

I'd never wanted one single person so badly in my entire life. I didn't know her, I knew nothing about her. But Willow had drowned my brain, smothered my thoughts in less time than it took to draw her tattoo.

She made me question all the ideals I'd come to revolve my world around. Control had become my muscle, force had been met with words.

And power was what my world ran on.

She was going to leave here carrying my mark, my touch, my permanent place on her body. A spot I carved out for me, one that ran deeper than the surface.

My calling card would forever be embedded into her flesh. Layer after layer of my hand would take its place under her skin.

“What thigh are you thinking?” She asked, letting herself fall into the thick leather seat.

Her warmth brushed my face in a delicate breeze. My cock jumped, head raveling up into naughty thoughts about what I could do to her.

What I would do to her, if she'd let me.

“That I'll leave up to you, both are beautiful, either one I would love to touch.”

Her face flushed pink, lashes fluttering as her eyes darted around the room.

“What, did I embarrass you? I have that affect sometimes.”

Digging her fingers into the arm of the chair, her chest lifted and lowered with control. “No. A little full of yourself, aren't you?” Her words had the weight of a feather. They fumbled out, drifting in the air, and floating to her lap.

I had to stop my hand from lifting up to her lower belly and brushing the fallen remark from its resting place.

She wanted to be in control of herself, but she couldn't hide the heat steaming off her body. The way her fingers tightened, the intense breath she pulled in when I looked at her. It was all there, spilling from her movements, washing my ego with confirmation.

She's feeling something, that I know.

“A little insecure, aren't you?” Flashing her a heavy smile, I filled the small caps by my side.

“What the hell's that supposed to mean?” Willow's head cocked to the side, lips turning down.

“Ignore him, Willow. He's obviously a prick, but at least he's good at what he does.” Beth stayed static in the mirror, eyes glued to the flower in the dip of her spine.

I'm good at more than just tattoos. Let me show you, Willow.

Smiling to myself, I didn't answer, setting up my tattoo gun with a new needle and grabbing a fresh pair of gloves. The image of peeling her clothes slowly off her skin hung in my brain, a soundless movie that played in the background.

“What are you smiling about?” Willow's hair flopped over her shoulder, fingers clenching the chair as if it was about to jerk upward, and toss her off like a raging bull.

“Did you decide on a thigh yet?”

Don't say it. Don't say it.

You'll only ruffle her.

“Don't change the subject. You tell me I'm insecure, then you sit there with a shit eating grin on your face. What's wrong, don't have the balls to say what's on your mind?”

What's on my mind... The thought of fucking you, the idea of grabbing your ponytail and yanking your neck back as I screw you from behind.

Did she really want me to tell her that I'm picturing her naked, and that if we were alone I'd have her sitting on my cock by the time I was done?

Probably not.

That would just get me slapped, but with this spitfire... That's everything I wanted, everything that was trampling through my brain.

I wanted her for myself, I wanted her alone and eager. I wanted to taste her, dip a finger in her pussy and paint my lips with her juice.

“I didn't call you insecure, I only asked you if you were.”

“And the difference is?”

Willow looked sexy even when she was getting pissed. The thin lines streaking her forehead were cute, the small dimples resting at the corner of her cheeks only screamed for me to touch her face.

But I couldn't.

Why is she affecting me like this? Why?

“The difference is,” I said, turning my chair to face her head on. “You don't know how to accept a compliment, instead you forced it away. I told you your thighs are beautiful, you turned red and wouldn't even look at me. Your chest tightened, your breathing slowed, and your tongue dragged across your bottom lip. But you brushed off the compliment and told me I was full of myself.”

“No, you said you have that affect, that's why I asked if you were full of yourself. Most people don't announce how attractive they are, only conceded people do.”

“So you find me attractive? Is that what you're saying?”

“Wait... What?” Shaking her head, Willow waved her hand. “No, no, no. Don't twist my words.”

Throwing my hands up, I shrugged my shoulders. “Hey, you said it, not me.”

Pressing her fingers to her temples, she closed her eyes. “Okay, this is going to go nowhere. Can we just start with my tattoo already?”

Chuckling, I wheeled my stool closer. “Which thigh is it then, Princess?”

“Left, let's do the left, and get this over with. And stop calling me Princess.”

“I just call it as I see it. You're going to need to pull your skirt up higher.”

“Really? That's not high enough?”

The black fabric was barely inches above her knee. I wanted more; more palette to work with, more skin for my eyes to take in. “No, I need more space. May I?” Gripping the hem of her skirt, my fingers pinched the seam.

Nodding reluctantly, Willow took in a deep breath. “Fine.”

Slowly, I peeled the material up, raising it to the crease of her hip. Goosebumps broke across her flesh, a subtle tremor radiated over her leg.

And instantly my cock came to life. The bulge in my jeans pressed up, angrily pinning itself to the zipper.

Fuck, how is she doing this?

I didn't like it. The reaction my body gave to that small taste of supple hidden skin surprised me.

Yes I wanted to fuck her, yes I wanted to taste her on my dick...

But this?

The instant hard-on that popped up uninvited, the fire growing in my core; it was all so unexpected and unwelcome.

I was always in control, always able to keep my emotions suppressed and tamed. Emotions had been left in my past, forgotten and barricaded behind years of regret.

Yet Willow had me rolling in wistful aspiration to make her more than just another photo in my portfolio.

I wanted her to be mine.

No, she just seems out of reach because she's shy. That's all it is.

Willow had pulled a veil down, she corded herself off when she first walked in. And that challenge, that resistance to give in and show vulnerability, it only enticed me more.

Her friend was obviously easy, eager to put out to anyone who gave her a hint of attention.

But not Willow, she backed off with attention. She held her arms out to keep me at bay.

Unfortunately for her, she didn't know me. That little move only roped me harder, and now I wanted what I decided was already mine.

I always get what I want. And I'll make sure I get her too. She won't be able to resist for long.

No one ever could.

My wandering eye walked over her thigh, up her stomach, and to her tits. She was definitely nervous. Her chest lifted and fell hard, breasts peeking out behind the buttons when they reached the surface, only to be torn away with each exhale.

Catching my stare, she tugged her shirt closed. Hugging her ribs to keep her chest from giving me a little peep show, thinning her lids with annoyance.

Damn. That show's over.

Footing the pedal, I dipped my needle and prepared to lay the first line. Staring at the stencil, it really did fit her perfectly. The roots splayed towards her knee, gripping her thigh just like I wanted it to.

Because those were my fingers.

The trunk followed the curve of her muscle, expanding at the leaves and kissing her inner thigh.

Because those were my lips
.

“Ready?” I asked, touching my fingers to her skin. The feel of her warm flesh electrified my hand, raking my spine.

I was planning on taking advantage of my work tonight. I was going to touch her, caress her, feel her heart beat through her leg. I wanted to watch her squirm, but not from the pain of the needle.

Pain from wanting what she was trying to deny herself of having.

Me.

“Start before I change my  mind.” Willow danced her eyes around the room, taking small breaths in through her nose.

The buzzing echoed over the walls, Beth was still fixated on herself. Which I guessed was probably normal for her.

Not once did she glance at her friend under the gun, or ask her how she was holding up.

And Willow thinks I'm full of myself?

Letting my fingers glide around her skin, my cock stayed hard and firm. She really was a gorgeous woman, and I was hoping this tattoo would give her some more confidence.

It was easy for me to see that she walked with her head down, shoulders slouched, face hidden to the world.

But she didn't need to. She was sexy, strong, and had a body I was ready to take.

The picture I drew for her signified that. Cherry blossom trees went back hundreds of years in Japanese culture. They showed fragility, and were a reminder that life was overwhelmingly beautiful.

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