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Disclaimer: I own nothing but Carly


Between Inked Lines

Chapter 14: Winning and Phoenixes

By: Love Ink

Carly did feel out of place as she followed Vince into the crowds of scantily clad, beautiful girls and brawny boys. The only thing keeping her from bolting was Vince's hand holding hers. As they walked toward where the rest of the team was standing, she noticed multiple girls glaring at her. Glancing at her attire, she figured it wasn't the outfit she was wearing that was earning her the glares; she was wearing more clothes than most of the girls there. Her guess was that it was Vince. "You've got quite the fan club, Vinny," she said, poking his side with a grin.

Vince took a quick look at the girls she was gesturing to. They were the typical race whores who spent their entire night trying to get him in bed in an attempt to get closer to Dom. "They're after Dom, not me."

"I beg to differ. They look like they're going to attack me in a few minutes," she said giving his hand a squeeze.

Almost as if to illustrate her point, one brave girl ventured in front of them. Placing one hand on Vince's broad chest, she batted her eyes and giggled. "Oh Vince, you have to take me to the after party! We'll have so much fun just like last time!"

Carly felt her heart sink in her chest. Last time? There was a last time? This was what she had to live up to? This beautiful, blonde, barely dressed woman? She was screwed. Vince stiffened at her side and plucked the girl's manicured hand off his chest. "Who are you again?"

"It's me, baby, Trixie. You've got to remember me!"

Vince shook his head slowly as he dropped Carly's hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "Doesn't ring a bell," he said walking past Trixie whose mouth was hanging open in shock.

"Manwhore," Carly mumbled under her breath, loud enough for Vince to hear.

He squeezed her shoulder playfully and scowled. "Who? Me? Nah, I swear I don't know who that slut is. She's probably one of Leon's."

"One of my what?" Leon asked, catching the last bit of the sentence.

Vince nodded his head toward where the blonde girl was pouting with her friends. "Trixie?"

Leon remembered seeing Vince take the blonde to his room a few weeks before but decided not to say anything about it. Carly was good for Vince, and he didn't want to be the one responsible for messing up their relationship. He shrugged it off and grinned at Carly. "Hey you," he addressed Carly, pulling her into a hug. "How you likin' the races?"

Carly gave him a small smile. "I'm not sure yet. So far all I've seen is some amazing cars and girls who look like they're about to bite my head off since I'm with this stud," she said, nodding her head toward Vince who grinned in response.

"They don't stop either," Letty said with a chuckle. "I mean, I've been with Dom for years, and they still go chasing after him. And these three fools don't help either! They're always bringing them home!"

Vince shot Letty a glare while Jesse and Leon laughed. "I can't help it if girls want me, Let," Leon stated with an arrogant shrug. "And this kid," he wrapped a brotherly arm around Jesse's shoulders and pulled him into a headlock. "This kid right here is a babe magnet!" He ruffled Jesse's hair a bit before releasing his hold on him.

"And this one?" Carly asked, looking up at Vince with a curious gleam in her eyes.

Leon opened his mouth to say something but was quickly cut off by Vince. "This one isn't interested in those girls," he said squeezing her side. "Not with you here, at least."

She smirked at him, laughter dancing in her green eyes. "Nice save."

"I thought so," he said, a cocky smile firmly in place on his face. "C'mon, I'll introduce you to some new people." He brought her over to where Dom and Hector were setting up the race.

"Carly!" Hector exclaimed at once pulling her away from Vince and into a tight hug. "Sup, girl? You told me you weren't into the races!"

Vince watched in confusion as a blush rose to Carly's cheeks. She ran a hand through her hair and shrugged. "I'm not really. Vince asked if I wanted to come."

"Oh, and you're interested in Vince," Hector teased, wagging his eyebrows.

Carly's blush deepened. Vince cleared his throat, breaking into the conversation. "You two know each other?"

"Yeah, man. Carly did some sweet tattoos on some of my crew and my sister a few months ago," Hector explained with a chuckle. Vince felt a stab of jealousy at the knowledge that Hector had known Carly longer than he had. "She refused to go to the races with us, but she's been to the club a few times. I guess all it took was the right man to get you to come, huh girl?"

"You could say that," she answered with a bright smile. "Is your sister around?" Hector pointed over to where the rest of his team was hanging out around his Civic. "I'm gonna go say 'hi.' I'll be right back, I promise," she said to Vince before making her way over to the Latino team.

Dom was intrigued by the physical change in Vince when Carly left his side. His shoulders tensed and it seemed as though Vince was unsure of what to do with his arm without having Carly to hold. He shoved his hand in his pocket while talking to Hector. Dom had to fight a laugh at the nervous glances Vince kept shooting at Carly every so often, as though he was trying to assure she was safe. She was perfectly safe, of course, but Dom knew what Vince was feeling. He'd often felt nervous like that when Letty was out of reach in a new place. Carly came back a few minutes later and Vince visibly relaxed. His hand came out of his pocket and grabbed her waist possessively. Dominic wondered how long their relationship would last before Vince did something stupid to chase her away like he had done so often in the past. He knew Jesse and Leon had a bet going about the time, but he had refused to bet on his best friend, no matter how tempting it was. He didn't want to jinx the old Coyote.

Carly watched as the cars lined up on the makeshift starting line a few girls had just painted on the blacktop. Perched between Vince's legs on the top of his Maxima, she could see Dom's red Mazda from the sideline and wondered if he would win. "Who do you think will win?"

Vince hadn't heard her. Her top was completely backless save for a few thin straps to keep it from falling off completely, exposing the whole phoenix tattoo stretching across her back. He couldn't take his eyes off of it. It was so strikingly beautiful and colorful. He felt her shiver underneath his touch as he traced the line of the phoenix's back. "Huh?" he asked, his fingers now tracing the bird's tail. Repeating her question, she was surprised to hear him laugh in response. "Dominic, of course."

Vince's fingers traced closer and closer to her hip, making whatever Carly was about to say fly out of her head. His calloused fingers felt so good against her skin. Swallowing hard, she managed to ask, "Why?"

He was surprised at how flustered she sounded. Was it the way he was touching her that made her sound like that, he wondered. He dug his thumb into her lower back, massaging it gently. "He always does," he answered, wondering what her reaction to his massage would be.

Her eyes fluttered closed; he had no idea what he was doing to her. She fought back a moan. "Oh," she barely managed to say. His hands slipped under her top, playing with the waist of her jeans. "Vince!" she hissed, abruptly moving his hands away. "There are hundreds of people staring at us!"

"So?" he asked, his face the picture of innocence. "I can't grope my girlfriend in public?"

Carly felt her heart sputter in her chest; had he just called her his girlfriend? She stood from her spot and turned so she was standing between his legs and facing him. "Girlfriend, huh?" she asked, a brilliant smile spreading across her face and lighting a fire in her green eyes.

The word had slipped out of his mouth before he had time to stop it and he was nervous it would send her running for the hills, but the smile on her face told him she wasn't going anywhere and he was happy that he'd let it slip. "If you'll take me," he murmured his eyes unsure.

She laughed and put her forehead against his so that their lips were just inches apart before claiming his lips with her own, her hands tangling themselves in his hair as his grabbed her hips and pulled her closer to him. She pulled away for a brief second to murmur, "Oh, I'll take you."


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~Love Ink