Minutes that felt like hours—and still not nearly long enough—were spent touching every inch of each other with hot kisses and memorizing hands. As I made a trail of openmouthed kisses up her body, she grabbed my cheeks and begged me not to make her wait any longer. She grabbed my length and guided it to where she wanted it most, whimpering softly when I pushed inside her. Her eyes had fluttered shut momentarily, and opened on a gasp when I slid out and back in. I made love to her slowly, letting my lips graze hers softly before making their way back down to worship her neck and br**sts, and when her head dropped back, and her body tightened as she came, I rolled us over so she was on top and lowered her body to kiss her again as she continued to move on me. Her breathing picked up again, and she intertwined our fingers, holding our hands down firmly on the bed as she sat up slightly and rolled her h*ps against mine over and over. I gritted my teeth and removed one of my hands from hers to grip her hip and help in her movement as she cried out her next orgasm, and I followed her into it.
“CHASE, WHERE’S MY baby mama?”
I turned to look at Brian and laughed. “Probably out with my mom and sister.”
“Well, get her ass in here! I miss my baby boy.”
“Bri, she was just here a couple days ago.”
He looked at me like I was missing something. “Yeah . . . and?”
“And apparently nothing,” I snorted, and looked back down to the rib cage of the girl I was working on. “You doin’ all right?”
“Uh-huh!” she said tightly, and blew out quickly.
“If you need me to take another break, just let me know.” She’d already taken one, and all I was doing was a name. I could easily have this done in ten minutes, fifteen tops. But not even halfway in she said she was going to pass out, and she needed ten minutes just to calm down. I’d advised her not to get her first tattoo on her ribs, but people will do what they want.
“N-no. I’m—I’m okay.”
Hell no, she wasn’t. I lowered my voice as I continued on, trying to calm her. “We’re almost done. Promise.”
The bells above the door sounded and I glanced up to see a Kat Von D look-alike walk into the shop.
“You lookin’ to get work done?”
“No,” her husky voice said confidently as she walked right up to my station. “I’m Trish, and I start today.”
I nodded but kept working. “Chase, good to meet you. Brian just stepped into the back for a second. He can show you around.” Other than Brian, Jeff, and me, we’d had one other artist, Frankie, but the guy was usually so stoned out of his mind he couldn’t work even if he did show up. Jeff had finally gotten rid of him a few weeks ago, but we’d been struggling with just the three of us, and he’d hired someone new while Harper and I had been in Dana Point. He hadn’t said anything about its being a girl, though.
“Hey, homie!” Brian called out to her as he walked back in. “You bring your stuff with you today?”
“It’s on the way, I left it in my girl’s car, and she had to run an errand. She’ll be here in a minute.”
“All right, well I see you met Chase. Chase, this is the new chick.” No shit. “Let me show you around the shop and get you in your station.”
Thank God I’d pulled the needle away from the girl I was working on, because Trish touched my shoulder, and I jerked away from her hand. “Good to meet you, buddy.”
“Yeah.” Fuck. Hot chick working here? I honestly didn’t care if she was a model; it wouldn’t change the fact that the only person I wanted was Princess. But I knew from our conversations she still didn’t really believe that I’d wanted only her since I met her. And I just hoped this didn’t make her insecurities with our relationship grow.
I finished the small tattoo, covered it, and got her out the door before I went to where Brian and Trish were hanging out. As soon as I sat on Brian’s counter, the door opened again, and Trish smiled wide as she ran over to it. Following her path, I saw a butch-looking girl standing there only to catch Trish as she crashed into her and kissed her hard. I blew out a relieved breath and smiled to myself. She’s gay. Thank. God.
“That’s hot,” Brian said next to me, and I looked at him like he was insane.
“Bri, the other chick looks more like a guy than you do.”
“Don’t be jealous of my hair, bro. You just wish you could pull this off.”
“You look like Troy Polamalu. Trust me when I say I’m not jealous.”
He kicked at my leg and nodded when the girls walked up to us.
“Brian, Chase . . . this is my girlfriend, Erin. Erin, these are some of the guys.”
Erin set a box I’m guessing had Trish’s needle in it on the counter and roughly shook our hands. “You guys take care of my girl for me.”
“Will do.” The door opened again with a girl and a guy walking in holding hands. I stood and began to make my way toward them, turning toward Erin and Trish as I passed. “Good to meet you.”
After I handed a couple books of our work to the newlyweds wanting matching tattoos, Brian came up beside me, and whispered, “Dude, she looks like Kat Von D. Shit, that’s hot.”
“I’m gonna tell Riss you’re hard for our new girl.”
“Dude . . . Riss would think she’s hot, too. She’d appreciate my taste in women.”
I snorted. “Yeah, all right.” Marissa was cool, but Brian had cheated on her right after they got married, and while I can’t imagine why she’d stay with his lying ass after that, she was always getting on Bri whenever he checked out girls. He was terrified of losing her, we all knew that, so I knew he wouldn’t touch another girl again. But he had that look-but-don’t-touch philosophy, and I knew one day it was gonna set Riss off all over again.
We shut up when Erin and Trish walked past us with their arms around each other, and as they got to the door, shared a long kiss good-bye.
“Still hot,” Brian whispered, and I just shook my head.
“BRO.” TRISH LOOKED at me and laughed through her smile. “That’s it! I gotta meet her.”
“I don’t know.” I raised an eyebrow and sucked in air through my teeth. “You might try to take her from me. Lord knows Brian’s already claimed the baby as his.”
“The baby is mine!” he said loudly and caught the wrapped-up burrito Jeff tossed over to him.
We’d just barely opened the shop, and I had clients coming in a little over an hour, but other than that, we were dead. As was common in the early afternoons. Trish had been working for a few days, and after Brian and Jeff had told her about their wives, they’d turned it around to me and Princess and basically told her everything about our relationship up ’til now. And I mean everything. But with how much the other guys loved her, too, Trish was dying to meet the girl who changed me.
“Get my baby mama here!”
Jeff swallowed the bite of taco he’d just taken, before adding, “If Brian gets this baby, can your next baby be mine?”
“So dumb. I don’t know how your wives or Princess put up with you guys.” But I still pulled out my phone and gave her a call, and when she answered, I couldn’t stop the wide smile that crossed my face at hearing her voice, and Trish started razzing me with Brian about it. “Hey, Princess, can you come by the shop?”
“I’m going to dinner with Bree in a little over an hour, but I can swing by really quick. Did you need me to bring you anything?”
“Just yourself. Brian’s mad because you haven’t been around.” I didn’t mention he was currently giving me puppy eyes. I rolled my eyes at him and shoved him away as he tried to take the phone from me. “And we have a new artist, she wants to meet you after hearing all our stories about you.”
She laughed softly and sighed. “I was just there last week! I’m leaving right now; see you in a minute.”
I mouthed to the guys and Trish that she was coming. “I love you.”
“Love you, too, Chase.”
I would never get enough of hearing her say that.
Trish and I were in my station, and I was telling her about how I’d come to give Harper her nickname, when my girl walked in. God she was gorgeous. Her stomach was getting bigger, and I loved it. Ever since the bed-and-breakfast, we spent every night in each other’s arms, and I would always pull her shirt up so I could trace random patterns across her growing belly. To be honest, it was the best part of my day. She’d already be asleep since I worked late most nights, but she’d wake up so we could talk an hour or so about everything and nothing and just enjoy each other without anyone else around.
Harper stopped walking suddenly, and an odd expression crossed her face. My brow scrunched momentarily until the expression vanished, and I held my hand out to her. “Come here babe!” As soon as she was close enough, I pulled her into my arms and kissed her soundly before turning her toward Trish. “Harper, this is Trish. Trish, this is my beautiful Harper.”
“Chase,” Jeff called from behind me, and I turned to face him. “Guy just called in wanting a finger tat. Can you fit him in before your other appointment comes in?”
“Yeah, when will he be here?”
“He’s already on his way, just a few minutes. Hey, Harper.” He smiled and took her from me to wrap her in a big hug.
“Do I see my baby mama?” Brian boomed as he walked out of the back, and I laughed as he hugged her close and kissed her cheek. I knew I didn’t have to worry about Princess and Brian. She loved him and Marissa, but she responded to him the same way she responded to Brad. And besides, as soon as Brian released her, she sank right back into my arms.
“Where have you been?” Brian asked, and pouted miserably. “You’re keeping my son away from me now?”
“Never,” she teased. “Why else would we be here?”
“ ’Sup, little BJ.”
“Uh . . .” Harper cocked her head to the side. “BJ?”
“Yeah, Brian Jr., that’s what we’re naming him.”
Fucking hell. Harper, Jeff, and I all started cracking up. “Did you already ask Marissa? I’m pretty sure she doesn’t need another Brian to take care of,” I teased as I pulled Princess into my arms and pressed my lips to her neck, my hands trailing across her stomach. Mine.
Brian and Jeff started arguing over who got our next kid, and I loved how Harper interacted with my friends. She was so relaxed with these guys, and to be honest, I’d been worried about that. I knew she loved my work, but loving what I do and being all right with the guys I worked with are two completely different things. So to have them all instantly accept each other was a huge relief.
The call-in walked into the shop, and I gave Harper one more kiss before going over to talk to him. Tattoo was simple and would take no time at all, he just wanted his wife’s initials on his ring finger. I turned to look at Princess talking to Trish and smiled to myself, knowing that she was already tattooed on me. I wanted to tell her, but it had just never come up, and though she knew I’d been in love with her all this time, I had no clue how she would react if she knew I’d drawn that up so soon after meeting her.