A/N: This was my entry for the Inked Contest 2019 by TwiFandomNews. I won two awards: The Sleeve Award for the best description of a tattoo in a story and a Validator's pick! I was amazed by the outcome and would like to thank everyone who read, reviewed and voted! If you'd like to see the award banners, they're up on my Facebook page and Group ;D
Big thanks to my Beta's: Rita01tx and maniacalmuse who went over this entry a bunch of times since I kept changing my mind, you ladies are golden. I have no idea what I'd do without you! BIG LOVE!
I hope you'll be excited to hear I'm continuing this fic. A lot of the reviewers on the contest page seemed to like the idea of a continuation. To be honest, I felt like continuing it while I was writing the contest entry. I have the majority outlined and will be getting started on writing very soon! Make sure to put your alerts on if you want to read what I've got planned for these two :D
SM obviously own Twilight. I do own the events and storyline of this little work of fanfiction.
Ink of Future Past.
Summary: The events of Edward's desire to ink his past might lead him to his future.
Edward Cullen glanced around furtively before grasping the long, steel handle and tugging at the glass door, swinging it open.
His eyes roamed around the busy tattoo studio. The walls were painted his favorite shade of midnight blue. They were filled with all kinds of different frames, some with mirrors and some with beautiful art work in various styles.
Two chairs in the back of the shop were occupied with people getting tattoos, their faces free of the pain Edward had imagined they'd be in.
"Take a seat if you'd like. I think Bella's almost done. She'll help you in a minute!" a sweet voice chimed from beside one of the chairs. The blonde tattooing a rather intense, dark design onto a big, athletic man smiled at him.
Edward nodded. "Thank you," he said to her as he went to sit down in a plush leather chair. The coffee table in front of him was filled with tattoo magazines and three heavy-looking leather bound books, one of which lay open, showcasing the work of one of the artists. Sitting in silence in this unfamiliar environment, his nerves were starting to get the better of him and he almost decided that maybe this wasn't for him. Edward had been straight-laced, valedictorian, pianist, and an only child of a doctor and a housewife. There was no going around the fact that his upbringing was privileged and somewhat high-class. He almost snorted at how cringe-worthy that sounded in his head, then stopped as the memories started to form before his eyes again.
Edward shook his head to rid himself of the visions of the past, as a petite brunette exited a door next to the counter. A girl came out behind her, clutching a paper towel at her nose stained with a bit of blood.
"The piercing should be fully healed after about a month, but the pain should subside in about three days. Apply the sea-salt spray to clean around the stud; you can use a Q-tip for inside and outside. That's the easiest, cleanest way."
While Bella gave the young girl instructions on how to properly care for her new nostril piercing, she noticed the man sitting in one of the chairs facing the antique oak counter. He struck her as incredibly handsome and nervous, not really the type of client she saw every day. His hair was the most unique shade of reddish brown she'd ever seen. It was almost a burnished copper. She didn't know if he styled it this certain way, or if it just was so perfectly messy from rolling out of bed after a steaming-hot night of fucking.
Bella bit her lip as she thought of her last sexual encounter. It had been three months since she last slept with a guy, and it hadn't even been all that good.
Edward's eyes found Bella's as he caught her looking at him from across the room. He was startled as he took in her appearance, her unusual beauty. He noticed her face first, heart-shaped with doll-like features such as big, brown doe-eyes and full, pouty lips. When the brunette smiled at her client, Edward spotted the adorable dimples in her cheeks. She had a pale but rosy complexion, contrasting the black lines along her skin and dark eyes.
He'd never been attracted to someone so heavily tattooed or adorned with piercings, but he found it impossible to keep his eyes to himself so he looked her over once more.
The baggy, distressed denim jeans she wore let patches of tattooed skin peek through, and the thin fabric of her plain, white T-shirt vaguely revealed outlines of art on her stomach. Her mane of long, dark hair covered part of her chest and was pushed over one side of her head, showing her slender, elegant neck. She had a tattoo behind her ear as well, but Edward couldn't see what it was from this distance.
As Bella felt the stranger's gaze give her the once-over, she didn't make much of it. She was used to people staring at her, because they were either intrigued or appalled by her appearance. Somehow, she hoped he liked what he saw, but pushed that thought out of her head as the girl in front of her asked a question.
"You should come by in about four weeks, then I'll show you how to change your jewelry the easiest way and you can pick something you like. It's all paid for." She smiled at her client.
As the girl walked out, Bella gave her one more wave goodbye and skimmed through the big appointment book on the counter.
"Are you Edward Cullen?" Bella's gaze found Edward's, who smiled at her and nodded.
"Great! Hi, I'm Bella!" Bella held out her hand and felt some kind of electric current running through her body as Edward shook it.
"Thank you for meeting me on such short notice," Edward told the beauty in front of him. He felt more at ease, looking into her cocoa-colored eyes. Whereas he usually found brown eyes uninteresting, Bella's held a hint of golden stars in their depths hiding a whole universe inside them.
Bella grinned a little at Edward's polite thank-you. She wasn't used to customers talking like she just did them a massive favor.
"No problem; my client canceled last minute. I figured meeting in person to hear about your idea made more sense than over the phone or email," she told the gorgeous man in front of her.
"Makes sense, indeed." Edward smiled and continued. "I brought some pictures and inspiration, like you asked me to."
Bella took the printed A4's out of his hand, along with a framed picture. Edward gnawed the inside of his cheek as Bella examined the photos, her fingers tracing lines on the paper. He could read the letters tattooed in elaborate Gothic script on her knuckles, 'Lost Soul,' and wondered about it as he studied the girl in silence.
Her lashes were dark and full, framed by thick black eyeliner making her eyes look like a cat's. A tiny heart was inked on her right cheekbone, making her resemble a doll even more. She had a nose ring in both nostrils and her septum pierced, as well a medusa which seemed like a lot of metal to be in someone's face, but somehow she made it look extremely feminine and delicate. Her jewelry was silver and matched each other, making him wonder if Bella had any more piercings, how it would feel if the steel touched his body, his lips, the contrast of the cold metal against her hot skin.
"This house, wow, it's amazing." Bella's eyes ran over the exquisite lines and design of the house in the photo, its frame weighing heavily in her hands. The big, white Victorian home was three stories high, a round turret and the columns on the big porch making it look like a house from a fairytale. She imagined the man in front of her as a child: carefree, enjoying late afternoons in summer on that porch and winters spent gazing out one of the many windows, probably joined by some kind of dog and a hot beverage. Bella felt a twinge of jealousy settle in her stomach as she caught a glimpse into Edward's childhood home. He didn't have to tell her anything about his childhood, she could sense the warmth of it somehow.
"Thank you, my mother's father actually designed it. It was his pride and joy," Edward noted as Bella nodded in agreement.
"Your mother must have been so proud." Edward's crooked little grin couldn't hide the pain emerging inside his emerald, jewel-like eyes. Bella seemed to get lost in them.
Edward looked away from Bella's gaze, down at the photo of his once happy home, wondering if he should tell her all about it. After all, she would be the one inking his memories into his skin.
Edward told Bella that his mother seemed to be the proudest daughter in the world, always showing off the house at soirées or summer barbecues. She smiled at his words but it didn't reach her eyes. She wondered how it felt to have such a cozy home, spending Sundays with your parents around you.
"Do you want to incorporate the trees you have there?" she asked Edward, motioning to the Pinterest board he had printed out. The blackwork tree silhouettes faded into skin using the dotwork technique Bella was often praised for at convention contests.
"Yes, I also have this note from my father. I'd like you to write this somewhere as well if that's possible," he told her.
Bella bit her lip, and grabbed a scrap piece of paper and a pencil out of one of the cluttered drawers under her counter. Her hand ghosted over the paper, tracing the faintest of lines on the empty sheet. She looked up at Edward, her eyes catching his. Both of them felt a little taken aback from their gazes locking. Edward's eyes got pulled to her full mouth. She had beautiful lips and in this day and age people envied Bella for them. People often asked her if she got them enhanced with filler, though she used to get laughed at in school for having 'big fish lips.' That wasn't at all what Edward thought of when his eyes seemed to be glued to her mouth. He figured that she must be a glorious kisser, how good they would feel against his own, so soft.
"Did you have a strong, tight-knit family?" Bella asked Edward.
He couldn't help but give her a genuine smile as he remembered the many times his mother had called, outraged for him not visiting at least once a week. Esme Cullen was notorious for her lavish brunches and lunches, always finding a reason for the three of them to get together.
"I guess you could say that," Edward replied. Bella savored seeing his gem-eyes sparkle with life from his genuine smile. She couldn't help but wonder how different the two of them must have grown up. Bella's life hadn't been very easy, especially after her mother died when she was twelve. She was living with a friend of her father's, Billy and his son Jacob. Bella was grateful for that, since Billy always kept the memory of Charlie Swan -her father alive. The thoughts of her family made her skin crawl, so she pushed them away carefully, avoiding the shivers and heartache. She decided to focus on the task at hand instead.
"I have an idea, give me a minute," Bella mused, grasping the pencil tighter in her hand. She turned around, her back facing Edward to stand at her drawing table. Edward could see her hand moving effortlessly over the paper. He wondered when she had gotten into drawing; it was probably very early in life since her work was so good that people — including him — wanted it on their bodies forever.
He looked around the shop. The two other women were still busy working on their clients, sharing conversation in discreet, almost hushed voices. Their tattoo machines filled the silence with buzzing noises. Edward found the noise soothing.
Bella was engaged in her drawing, wanting to capture it all and be worth Edward's while.
"Did you have any pets growing up?" she asked Edward as she looked at him from over her shoulder. He looked somewhat out of place in her tattoo parlor with his soft and expensive looking button-down shirt and fitted dress pants. Bella thought he looked like some kind of executive, high-up-the-ladder manager. Not one to wander around tattoo shops, or in her circle at all. All that aside, she thought Edward was one of the most beautiful men she'd ever laid her eyes on. He was tall as well; she needed to tilt her head up slightly look into those green eyes of his.
"We had a dog, Debussy — a brown Labrador," he reminisced. Bella smiled, she'd always loved animals and could picture Edward as a young boy, as the dog tried to walk him instead of the other way around.
She drew in silence for a little while longer. Bella was focused on the picture in front of her, making sure it was worth being an honorary piece for the family Edward had lost. He had told her about it in his email when he asked for an appointment. Bella couldn't imagine the hurt, losing such a bond.
Edward felt a wave of anticipation course through him as Bella turned around, a smile playing on her lips, putting the drawing down in front of him. The coppery-haired Adonis didn't know what to say to her, he was awed by her skill and artistry for whipping up this piece of art in mere minutes.
Big tree branches carried the house he grew up in, making it look like a Victorian tree house. Edward chuckled as he spotted the silhouette of a dog in one of the downstairs' windows. Completely in his father's handwriting, a big 'C' graced the tree trunk's center, where all the branches merged together. The big treehouse seemed to be standing in the background, silhouettes of pine trees in the front fading into little dots that seemed to disappear into nothing on the page.
Edward looked up at the artist in front of him. She was watching him, waiting for his reaction, pleased with the sketch she had provided him. When their eyes locked, Bella could sense the excitement in the pools of emerald and her stomach tightened. He liked it, she thought and realized she'd like to see that expression on his face more often. Her mind started to derail, imagining the ethereal man in front of her in her bedroom, the look on his face exactly like it was now when she stripped off her clothes for him, baring herself to him. She wanted to feel his eyes on her, his hands all over her. Bella wasn't the type to start seeing clients in a romantic or sexual way, she figured it was best that she remained professional. She already couldn't wait until she saw him again.
"This is amazing. When can we start?" he asked her, anxious to have her work translated onto his skin. To have her marking his body forever with the most beautiful, yet painful memory he possessed. Bella's smile grew wider at his boyish anticipation and Edward decided he loved it when she showed off her little dimples and how it made her dark eyes sparkle.
"I have a spot for you on Sunday if you want." She didn't usually work on Sundays, but she didn't want to disappoint the beautiful man with her three-month wait list. Bella was also impatient, she wanted to know more about him. She wanted to see him again, soon.
His green eyes dazzled, making her feel a tad special as she felt the familiar warmth of her blushing cheeks creep up her face.
Edward wondered about her flushed cheeks, how youthful it made Bella look. The blush fanned out over her chest, into the V-neck of her shirt. The fabric was so thin he could even make out the outline of her bra. He looked away quickly, not wanting to get caught staring at the tattoo-artist's chest. He wondered if she blushed under other, more intimate circumstances, but waved the thought away almost instantly. A woman like her would probably not look twice at a guy like him.
"You can call me if anything comes up; if not, meet me here at ten a.m. on Sunday." Bella handed him an appointment card. She scribbled her personal cell number on it, hoping he would call her for something entirely different. She sighed internally at her ridiculously high hopes. A class-act guy would never go out with someone like her, who gave zero fucks about beauty standards. Bella imagined Edward with a tall, modelesque woman who had her shit together. Not a tattoo artist with parent issues from a broken home.
Edward noticed the slight frown on Bella's face, wishing he could brush it away with his fingertips.
"I'd like to call, but I honestly hope nothing comes up," he said with his signature half-grin, hoping it would work on her as it did on most girls he wanted to charm.
An emotion Edward hadn't seen on her face before lit up her doe-like eyes. Bella knew she was in trouble for feeling arousal, starting a fire in the pit of her stomach. She bit her lip and formed an answer as brave as Edward's statement.
"You can call me either way, Edward."
The sound of his name on her breath made him anxious and stirred his cock into attention. He wanted to hear her whisper it in his ear when she seduced him, growl it out of pure pleasure when he drove her over the edge in his bed. The thought alone sparked his erection, and Edward was suddenly pleased he wore the tightest slacks in his closet. He didn't need a boner right now, that would be awkward. It was wrong of him to think of the goddess-like creature in front of him like that, when all she did was draw him a tattoo. At the end of the day, he was just a client. What would she want with him? Maybe she wasn't even single. Even if she was, she probably fell for an entirely different kind of guy: adventurous daredevils, interesting and as unique as herself. But then again, he didn't even know Bella.
Bella studied the look on his handsome face as she let her gaze drop to his slender yet strong hands. She knew for sure he worked with his head instead of his hands, since they seemed to look softer than hers. She mused on the things he could do to her with those hands. How he could grip her hair as she was on her knees for him, or how his long fingers would explore her body. Her arousal for this man dampened her silk panties.
"Then maybe I will." He winked at her, wishing her a good night.
"Thank you, Bella. I can't wait for Sunday," he called over his shoulder as he walked to the door. His hands curled around the door handle, cooling his sweaty palms as she gave him her best smile, selling herself as much as she could. Guys always told her she had a good smile, that they liked the fact the dimples made her look so innocent, yet her eyes gave away so much else. Bella hoped it would work on the man with the smoldering green eyes. She was certain she'd dream about them tonight.
"Me neither," she sighed under her breath as he disappeared from her sight.
That was the day that Edward and Bella met, and they couldn't be more glad that her client that day canceled.
A/N: Before you click out, I have some things to ask you though, trying to make you all as happy as I can!
I wrote this in third person's POV, do you prefer that over alternating Bella/Edward POV? Please let me know, I'm dying to hear your opinions!
Come join the fun on Facebook: PearlyFox Fanfic and Pearlyfox Fic's group =D
Until the update!
Love you all,
The outline is finished, now I will complete one of my other WIPs before I start writing and uploading ;D