I crumple the drawing I just finished in my fist and toss it into the basket at my feet. I’m working on a pinup style tattoo for a regular client which should be a relatively easy and fun assignment. Unfortunately all I can think about is Ash. Which means the sketch I just did looked disturbingly like a certain doctor I know.
Like hell I’m tattooing her face on some other guy’s bicep. Even if I’m the only one who would probably ever know.
I’m man enough to admit she’s got me totally twisted up. Two weeks now we’ve been dancing around each other and I can’t figure her out. That kiss we’d shared, brief as it was, was one of the hottest experiences of my life. I’ll also admit that memory has been the jumping off point to some seriously sexy fantasies. More times than is probably healthy.
Jax is coming home tomorrow. And while I’m relieved my best friend is healed enough to leave the hospital it’s like a glaring countdown clock is now hovering above my head. Because when he gets discharged, I’ll have no reason to see Ash again, let alone every day.
Movement in the corner of my eye catches my attention and I look up, expecting to see Logan entering my space. She’s the only other one working right now and usually alerts me to any clients before sending them back. But I’m wrong. It’s not Logan.
Instead, it’s like I’ve conjured my beautiful tormentor, because Ash is the one poised in the doorway.
Looking gorgeous, as usual. Her hair is down around her shoulders like that first night. At the hospital she always wears it pulled back in various styles. She’s wearing a simple white sun dress with an uneven hem, giving teasing glimpses of bare leg between her knees and ankles. Tiny straps show off her shoulders and peaks of cleavage.
The cave man in me is howling. It’s like she’s waving a red flag in front of a caged bull. And yet, she obviously has no idea how sexy she is.
“What are you doing here?” My voice is harsher than I intended, my thoughts annoyingly raw. And now I’m turned on.
The sparkle in her eyes dims a bit at my tone and she glances behind her towards the exit. I half expect her to bolt but instead she squares her shoulders and steps farther into the room. Having her get closer to me may not be the best idea right now.
“Ash, what are you doing here?”
This time my bearing does give her pause.
Her momentary courage crumbles. “Sorry. This is probably a bad time. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
She starts to back away. Shit. I’m being such an asshole. It’s not her fault I want her more than she wants me. Or that I freaked her out when I lost my temper at Ethan. She saved Jax’s life and has been nothing but good to me, confusing maybe but kind.
I sigh roughly and shake myself out of my dark mood.
“Wait.” I reach out, gently tugging on her hand to stop her backward retreat. “I’m sorry. You’re not interrupting anything. I’m just sketching while I wait for my next appointment.”
She’s stopped moving, which was my goal. Seemingly mesmerized by my hand holding hers. Which is when I realize not only haven’t I released her but I’ve moved closer and my thumb is now tracing soft circles against her wrist. Her breath hitches in her chest, causing her breasts to jiggle. She’s killing me.
“What are you doing here?” I ask again, this time much softer, smoother.
She tears her eyes away from our entangled fingers and finally looks up at me. I watch her throat flex as she swallows. She licks her lips nervously.
“I – ah – I just -” she takes a deep breath, it takes every ounce of discipline I have to keep my eyes on hers and not sneak another peek at her boobs. “I didn’t want this morning to be the last time I saw you.”
My inner cave man is now beating his chest in victory. I want to throw her over my shoulder, find the nearest bed, and show her how much I appreciate those words.
But what I do is take our entwined hands and move them to her lower back, using them to pull her snugly against me. My other hand raises to her shoulder and caresses down the length of her arm. Her shiver reassures me she’s equally affected.
“Yeah?” I whisper.
She nods, her chocolate eyes dilated with arousal.
Keeping my impulses tightly leashed, I press a soft kiss to her lips. Exploring. Asking. Wanting.
Over and over again I brush my lips across hers, deliberately never taking it farther. She makes a small sound in the back of her throat and lifts to her tip toes, trying to deepen the kiss. Her free hand fists my t-shirt as she strains against me.
I lift my head up, out of her reach and wait until her eyes slowly blink open.
“I’m really glad to hear that, Ash.”
She smiles softly and arches one eyebrow. “Yeah?” she repeats back to me.
Chuckling, I confess, “Hated that idea.”
We just stare at each other for a minute, silly grins on our faces.
“God, you’re beautiful.”
Her smile widens and she tugs that hand still gripping my shirt playfully, pulling my lips back to hers.
This time I increase the pressure and use my tongue to tease her lips apart so I can deepen our kiss. She responds immediately tangling her tongue with mine. I groan into the caress.
This woman. She goes right to my head.
Recently I’ve started doing my drawings in one of the empty stations we have in back, the ones waiting for our expansion plans to take place, and I am thankful for the extra bit of privacy this affords us. Because unless she pulls back there is no way I’m stopping.
Want more of Lucas and Ash? Here is their first meeting.
Learn more of Lucas’s history with his family here.