Live Without Regret (A Touch of Fate)By: K.L. Grayson
“No.” I shake my head vehemently. “I didn’t mean it in a bad way. You’re an incredibly attractive man. It’s just that you look different from when you were on the show. You didn’t have the facial hair—or the long hair, for that matter—both of which I find unbelievably sexy.” Connor’s eyes widen and I realize what I said. “I can’t believe I just said that. Damn it,” I mumble, averting my eyes. This is what happens when I get nervous, and for some strange reason, Connor makes me nervous. Sighing, I decide to give up. “I’m sorry if I offended you.”
My eyes are trained on the floor as I contemplate leaving to avoid further embarrassment. I’m still undecided when a pair of Chuck T’s enters my line of sight. I smile because those are my favorite shoes. “So you like the beard?” he says suggestively, causing me to look up. His blue eyes are swirling with a mixture of amusement and lust.
“I like the beard.”
Connor grins as though he just found out he won a prize. Without saying a word, he steps away and I follow behind. Leading me into a small room in the back of the shop, he says, “Did you find something in the magazine that you want?”
“I actually have a picture of what I want.”
“Let’s see it.”
I walk toward him and hold out my phone. Connor takes the phone, examines the picture then looks up.
“Where do you want it?”
“Here.” Lifting my right arm, I tug my shirt up and point to the location along my rib cage, just under my breast.
“I like that,” he says, handing me my phone. “But what if we angled it just a bit like this…” Connor puts a finger at the top of my ribs and a tiny zap of electricity jolts through my body. He looks up, his eyes searching mine before he drags the tip of his index finger along my skin. His touch leaves a trail of goose bumps. My pulse quickens, and it takes everything I have not to beg him to keep touching me when he pulls away.
“What do you think?” he asks. His pupils are dilated, his breathing a bit faster, and I get the feeling he was as affected by that as I was.
“I”—my voice cracks and I flush with embarrassment—“I like it. Plus, you’re the expert so I’ll leave it completely up to you.”
Connor swallows hard and my eyes follow the movement. “Good choice.” He turns away. “All right, have a seat here,” he says, gesturing toward the reclined chair, and I sit down. “Turn this way.” He angles my body to the left. “Is that comfortable?”
“Good,” he mumbles, tugging my shirt up to expose my right side again.
The soft cotton slips down and he pushes it back up, only this time his hand brushes against my bra, grazing the outside of my breast. Another jolt passes through me, only this time it’s stronger. His eyes snap to mine, and I know—I know—that he felt that. As I bite down on my bottom lip, his sinful eyes flash with heat, and I watch him take a ragged breath before turning away.
“So…is, uh, is this your first tattoo?” he stammers, bringing his eyes back to mine.
“Nope. I have another one.”
“Good, so you know what to expect.” I nod, and then he smiles brightly before getting his equipment ready. “Okay,” he says. He rubs my skin with something cool and I presume he’s prepping it. “Let’s do this.”
The faint whir of the machine signals this is happening, and I squeeze my eyes shut as he gently pulls my skin taut. Okay, time to go to my happy place, which just so happens to feature none other than my sexy-as-hell tattoo artist.
My mind drifts into eroticland—as I like to call it—as I picture Connor sliding his hand up my bare thigh. He hooks a finger under the side of my panties, and with his wicked eyes on me he slips a finger in—
“I like the quote,” he says, pulling me from my fantasy.
“Do you know what it means?” I ask, opening my eyes and then quickly looking away. I’m a doctor, so you’d think the sight of blood wouldn’t bother me. And it doesn’t, as long as it isn’t my blood.
“I’ve put it on a few other people. Looked it up one time. It’s deep.”
“Yeah”—I take a big breath, holding it in for a few beats before letting it out—“well…” My words trail off because I don’t really know what else to say, and I sure as hell don’t want to talk about why this particular tattoo means so much to me.
Connor goes quiet, but I can feel his eyes burning a hole through my head. When I glance up, his eyes catch mine for a brief second before he looks back down. It was just enough time to tell me that he had my number.
“So it’s personal, huh?”
“What?” I scoff. “A girl can’t get a tattoo just to get a tattoo?”
“Of course she can, but you’re different. This is personal.” He cocks his head to the side, his hair falling in front of his face. I have to fist my hands together to keep from brushing it away so that I can see his face more clearly.