By Jude Mason
Available, April 30, 2007
A tattoo is one of the most personal art forms that can adorn the flesh of a human. What happens when women are kidnapped and tattooed? What happens when those women die? And, what happens when the tattooist isn't alive? Jonathan Rorke searches for the answer these questions and others when his psychic talents lead him to the latest victim. Jessica Crane, latest victim, and the only one who's still alive. Why? Together, Jonathan and Jess have to find out who and why she's being tattooed, before her tattoo is finished and she becomes casualty number three.
Jonathan reached out with his senses, trying to feel if there was anything for her to be concerned about. Warmth, quiet, nothing unusual, but he could sense the memory was with her.
"Your room, please," she whispered.
"Your room, please," she whispered.
He turned and without a word, took her to his room. A flick of the switch bathed the room in a bright wash of light. "I'll find you something to wear, just a sec," he said and went to his dresser. He rummaged around for a moment, and came up with a white cotton tank he figured would be long enough. Holding it up, he said, "Instant nightgown. What do you think?"
A smile played at the corners of her mouth and she reached out for the makeshift gown. "Bit short, don't you think," she said, holding it up against herself. The hem came to just below her crotch.
"Uh, yeah, but it's all I could come up with on short notice," he countered playfully. "I like it, if that counts."
She managed a soft chuckle. "Yeah, it does."
His smile broadened. "You get into that and I'll light a fire. Sound fair?"
"Yes, please. I've always dreamed of having a fireplace in my bedroom." She turned away and he watched her fumbling at her chest, unfastening buttons no doubt, and he moved to the fireplace.
"You can thank the ancestor who designed this place. Although, back then, these fireplaces were the only heat this place had, no such thing as central heating or furnaces." He kept a supply of wood ready in the woodbin beside the fireplace. He dug around until he found enough kindling to ensure it'd start smoothly, crumpled up a couple of pages of last weeks newspaper and set it in the wood cradle. He laced the cedar kindling across the paper, and then added a few small pieces of well dried maple. All the while, he kept hearing the rustle of her undressing and getting into the tank top he'd found. He was determined not to turn around, not to watch her, but the lust built and he was ready to chew nails by the time he'd put a match to the paper.
Her voice came from right behind him. He let his senses run free and felt her there. He shuddered when he encountered a knot of excitement in her. Deep in her belly, another fire kindled much like the one he'd just set alight. She was aware of it, yet was unable to let it flare up���afraid perhaps that she was moving too fast. He felt her need to slow things down and he was determined to give her the time she needed.
"Why thank you, ma'am," he joked and turned around. His breath caught. She looked incredible. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Clearing his throat, he tried again, "Y-you're beautiful."
She blushed. The tank top fit her like a second skin; its low-cut U-neck barely covered her nipples. It didn't matter though, because they were clearly visible through the material, as puckered and erect as they had been when they'd made love. The hem of the shirt was just long enough to keep her decent, but he was below her. There was no escaping the sight of those few tendrils of black curls. Nor would he have wished there to be.
A stirring in his jeans, and the sudden moan he hadn't realized was coming, was sure to let her know how he felt.
"Thank you," she said, and crossed her arms under her breasts.
"You cold?" he asked, rising to retrieve his robe.
"No, the fire will get going soon. I'm fine."
"Why don't you climb into bed? I'll crawl in and lay with you."
'Okay," she murmured and turned her back on him.
The rear view was as good as the frontal. Soft, lush curves and long, shapely legs were a major weakness of his, and she had them in abundance. Her shoulders were a little wider than most women's, making her waist appear even slimmer. Her flared hips were perfectly wide and her ass taut. And, from memory, he knew it was soft and she loved to have it stroked.
He was so lost in thought, that at first he didn't realize she'd climbed onto the bed and was sitting watching him. It wasn't until he sensed her passion rise that he focused on her. He was sure he blushed then.
"Penny for your thoughts," she said, and smiled.
He thought, what the hell, and asked, "You sure you want to know?" Cocking her head to the side, she looked at him as if judging what might happen. "Yeah, I want to know."