Tattooed on My Heart
**The couple in this is Carter Walton and my OFC Callie Rogers who is loosely based on a former Y&R character, played by the same actress, Siena Goines. The word inspiration is "ink". Lemme know what you think of this! This is a prequel of sorts to my story "Fatherhood" but you don't have to read that to understand this.**
A smile spread across Callie's lips as a knock sounded at the door of her apartment. She knew who was on the other side - her special guy. Carter came over every evening about this time to see her before she rushed off to do her singing gig at Dayzee's. Sometimes he went with her to the coffee shop; sometimes he didn't, simply because she insisted he go home and get some sleep after a long day at the office. More often than not, they fooled around.
Carter was turning out to be the major highlight of her every day and she had never counted on that when they started dating four months ago.
Callie unconsciously straightened her mini-skirt and fluffed her naturally curly hair. She moved to the door and pulled it open. "Hey, baby," she greeted Carter. She held back the door and beckoned him inside. He grinned at her, closing the distance between them and giving her a soft yet decidedly delicious kiss on the lips. Damn that man had one sexy mouth…
"Hello there," Carter answered, threading his fingers in her hair. "What you been up to all day?"
"Oh this and that," Callie said. "How was work?" She grabbed his hand and tugged him over to the sofa. He sunk down onto the barely still standing upright couch and she sat beside him, looping her legs across his lap. It was an intimate gesture in a way, but she felt entirely too comfortable with him. He had this natural born talent for putting her completely at ease - not like her ex-husband who had always kept her looking over her shoulder waiting for the next shoe to drop.
Carter shrugged. "Fine," he said. "No major catastrophes today."
"How's Maya?" Callie said with a smirk.
"Happy with her new kid. Why you ask?" Carter asked. Callie knew all about his bitter history with Maya but she also knew that he still cared deeply for the woman. If Callie were honest, she was a little jealous of how close they were. She had met Maya twice and the woman was nice enough, but Callie didn't have to love her like everyone else seemed to.
"Just curious," Callie said noncommittally.
"Oh no. Is the green-eyed monster rearing her pretty head tonight?" Carter teased her.
"Oh please." Callie waved her hand dismissively. "I just like giving you a little hell."
"So I noticed." He kissed her and a little moan escaped her lips.
"I like to keep you on your toes," Callie said when they came up for air.
"Oh you do, woman," Carter said. "Can I come hear you sing tonight or what?"
"You've heard me sing a million times by now."
"What's your point? I like the sound of your voice."
"That may be, but I am sure you don't want to sit around a smelly old coffeehouse while I croon some vintage R&B tunes."
"Oh but I do," Carter said. "I know what I like."
Callie smiled. "You like me, huh?"
"You know I do."
"But you also know I'm a mess on any given day, right?"
"Yes, but you're my little mess," he said with a grin. She punched him hard in the arm and he cringed. "Hey, what was that? You can't stand a little punch from a girl?"
"Of course I can," Carter said with a grimace. "I think I just hit it too hard working out today at the sky lounge. I'm a little sore."
Callie studied Carter's handsome face. "Okay I know you well enough by now to know when you're lyin' to me. What's really going on?"
Callie sighed and grabbed for the sleeve of his blue button down shirt. "Callie, don't," Carter said.
"Come on, what you hiding under there?" Callie asked. He stubbornly pulled free of her grasp so she just as stubbornly climbed onto his lap, straddled him, and began unbuttoning his shirt.
"You don't quit," Carter said with a sigh.
"Never," Callie agreed. She finished unbuttoning his shirt and slid the cool fabric down his shoulders. Immediately, she zeroed in on a bandage on his shoulder. "What's that?" She asked. "You get a shot or something?"
Carter shrugged. "Something like that." She slowly touched the bandage and noticed it was dribbling a little blood. "Is this a tattoo?" Callie asked, finally figuring out that part of the redness on the bandage was seeping ink.
"Maybe," Carter said.
"Since when did you want a tattoo?" Callie asked.
"Since … I just do."
"Oh my god…"
"You got my name tatted on you, didn't you?" Callie guessed. She saw the expression on his face.
He shrugged. "Well you did dare me…"
"I was joking that time, thinking you'd never do it."
"Now she tells me…"
"Oh, baby, that's so sweet," Callie said and it was. Her heart felt good. "You got marked up all for me... Can I take a peek?"
"Sure, why not? I am half naked already anyway."
"Mmm but you do look so damn good naked."
"Don't try to butter me up," Carter said darkly but she could tell that he was battling a smile. Callie gently peeled back the bandage and took a quick peek. "Ooh baby it's nice. My name looks real nice on your skin. That said, I think it's infected."
Carter strained his neck to look at his shoulder. "You think so?"
"Yep. it's all enflamed. We better get you to a doctor."
"Don't worry about it."
"Don't tell me not to worry, big man."
"I'll be fine."
"Let the doctor decide that," Callie said. She climbed off his lap and went to grab her purse as he started buttoning up his shirt.
"You're stubborn. You know you're going to miss your call time, by the way."
"So I'll ask your sister-in-law for a one night, get out of jail free card. Now just come on."
Carter stood up and moved with her to the door. "Alright, stubborn woman, let's go."
Callie went to open the door and then paused, her hand resting on the knob. She turned to look at Carter, feeling a little stupid and surprisingly a whole lot sheepish.
"Something on your mind?" Carter asked.
"Yeah... Why did you go and ink yourself up? Just because I dared you to?"
"What other reason would there be?" Carter's dark brown eyes sparkled. "Oh are you asking me if it has some secret, deep meaning."
"I did not ask," Callie said, feeling oddly flustered.
"But you're still wondering," Carter said.
Callie shook her head. "Forget it. Just move it." She opened the door and started out into the hall but suddenly Carter was pulling her back gently by the arm, swinging her around, and crushing her to his impossibly hard chest.
"It does mean something, Callie," Carter said. "I never would have marked myself up for anyone else."
Callie smiled. "You really do like me, dontcha?"
"I don't just like you… I'm crazy about you. Callie, if you haven't figured that out by now…" He cupped her cheeks in his hands. "I don't want to scare you off. I know how skittish you can get... but I'm in love with you. I know you probably don't want to hear that. I know it probably makes you want to run clear in the other direction but I can't deny it anymore either. So yes I etched your name on me so everyone would know who I want to belong to."
Callie slid her hands up his warm body to wrap her arms carefully around his neck, avoiding touching his aching arm. "You must not know what I want to hear," she said. "Because I definitely wanted to hear that. I feel it too, Carter. I know we haven't been together very long but I've had that loving feeling for you so strong. You just didn't need to do what you did to prove yourself."
"I'd do it again if it could get you to say it again."
"Say what?" Callie teased. "Oh that thing? You want me to say again that I got that loving feeling?"
"I want you to say you love me too."
"I do love you, Carter. A helluva lot."
Carter smiled. "You're awfully agreeable today."
"Are you kidding? I am always agreeable." She kissed him. "I really do love you, Carter. You're my wonderful, big ass surprise."
Carter chuckled and tucked her under his good arm. "We don't have to go see a doctor. We could-"
"Oh yes we have to go see a doctor, but maybe if you are real good, we can do that when we come back."
Carter smirked. "Oh I'll be really good in that case."
Callie laughed as she went to lock up her apartment. It was a nice feeling, she realized … Being loved; being in love. She'd never truly experienced those things before, certainly not with her ex-husband, and this should terrify the hell out of her... but somehow, it didn't. With Carter, she felt safe. She felt secure. It was probably the most delicious feeling in the whole world...