Title: In the Flesh

Name: JonesnInDaHood (Jonesn & Hoodfabulous)

Twitter handle: hoodfabulous

Pairing: Edward & Bella

Rating: M

Beta(s): SunflowerFran

Pre-reader: AliCat0623

Word count: 14011

Summary: Masen's words stopped my heart. The impatient fumbling of his fingers started it back up again as he ran his thumb along the loopy, black cursive that bound us. I knew he had me then. He knew he had me from the start.

Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.

In the Flesh

The sounding bell charmed overhead as I swung open the tinted, glass door, stepping into the air-conditioned parlor and out of the unbearable Miami heat.

"Welcome to Fleshed Out. I'm Seth. How may I help you?"

His bored tone was muffled by the uneasy crooning of Sid Vicious, and the supporting fist resting against his brazen cheek. Straightening as I approached, he brushed the bright red bangs out of his brown eyes, barely looking up from his Instinct magazine.

"I'm Bella. I'm here to see him," I informed the kid, stepping up to the lit, glass counter, pointing to the Jake's hunched back. "I'm his girlfriend."

Eyeing me up and down, he tilted his head to the side, popping his pink Bubble-Yum. "Sure thing, just have a seat."

With a flick of his limp wrist, I was dismissed to plop down on the cushy, burnt sienna sofa, and take a look around.

The parlor was beautiful, and unlike any I'd ever seen. Its walls were a swirl of teals and browns; aimless waves of ocean and sand. Artwork was spaced out sporadically; canvases of everything from menacing skeletons to crumbling, ancient churches.

Golden chandeliers hung from the ceiling, the brilliant lights sparkling high above my head, illuminating the elegant mirrors as they threw my nervous reflection back at me.

I attempted to distract myself from the impending pain by standing to tug on the clothes that clung to my body - a result of the humid, Florida weather and my own nerves - before approaching Jake's large frame. I waited for him to pause before calling his name.

"Hey, Jake?"

"Goddamnit, Bella," he hissed, twisting around to glare at me, the metal in his face gleaming harshly beneath the light of the chandeliers. "Can't you see I'm busy?"

Recoiling slightly from his harsh tone, I took a step back as he turned away, grumbling something about having no fucking, free time, before pointing his gun towards the back. "Just have Masen do it."

The anger I felt from Jake's attitude and the nervousness of getting inked, momentarily drifted away as I gazed at the man emerging from the hallway.

His body was long and lean, his saunter lithe and purposeful, as though he never second-guessed himself or his direction in life. His eyes were hard, yet soft, roaming over my body; bosky green, all coral and seaweed, full of mischief and mirth. His hair was an aesthetic mess; unruly and windswept, the long strands were the color of melted butterscotch.

He watched me for a moment as I stood there, studying the tattoos creeping along the lean muscles of his arms and crawling up his neck.

There was a battle waging inside of me, an almost uncontrollable desire to reach out and touch the creatures bursting from his skin. I wanted to see if they were real, to see if the pads of my fingers skimming across his flesh could capture the feel of feathers and fur, of beaks and talons and words. I wondered how the words would feel if that were even possible at all - to feel words. I wondered if they would flow from his flesh to my fingertips, surge around me, and rush through my body like the blood pumping in my veins.

"Can I help you?" he asked, his eyes beckoning mine, his voice smooth like butter; burnt around the edges, like crispy, Italian bread.

"I'm here for a tattoo," I spoke, my cheeks burning slightly, like I was a fucking, fifteen-year old girl, suddenly shy and shit.

Of course, I was there for a tattoo. It was a fucking tattoo parlor.

"I mean, I came here expecting Jake to give me a tattoo, but I guess he's busy ..." I said, frowning at Masen's lopsided grin of amusement over my fumbling, his mouth tugging slightly to the right.

"Any particular reason you requested Jake give you the tat?"

Glancing past my shoulder once more, his smirk wavered, his eyes narrowing slightly before returning to mine. I looked over at Jake, almost embarrassed to say it out loud. "He's my boyfriend."

"Boyfriend, huh?" he murmured, his eyes darkening as he glanced at Jake once more before turning his gaze back to mine. "I wish I could say I've heard so much about you, but I can't. Jake's never mentioned a girlfriend. What's your name?"

"Bella," I grumbled."Bella Swan."

My cheeks heated with anger and embarrassment. Jake was hired three months ago. How in the hell had he worked somewhere for three months and never, not once mentioned my name?

"Well, Bella Swan, I'm Edward," he needlessly introduced.

I knew exactly who he was.

Everyone with a T.V. knew who he was.

"But you can call me Masen."

Shooting me a sideways grin, he politely offered his hand. I stared at his open palm for a long moment, surprised he'd even offered it to me. It was such a gentlemanly gesture, one that hadn't been extended to me in such a long time.

Thinking I was leaving him hanging, he began to withdraw, but I stopped him, quickly slipping my cool, small hand into his large, warm one. He gripped it tightly, his skin slightly calloused, yet soft, his thumb brushing lightly against the back of my hand. Chills shot through my body, the stroke of his thumb sending a wave of pleasure like I'd never felt before. I glanced up at him through my lashes both surprised, and utterly captivated, only to meet his similar expression.

"You sure you don't want to wait on your boyfriend?" he asked, raising his eyebrow and shooting me a coy grin. "If you were my girl I wouldn't let another man mark you for life. I wouldn't let another man anywhere near you."

My eyes widened at his words. Glancing over my shoulder, I found Jake thoroughly absorbed in his work, uncaring that any man other than him, was about to put his mark on me.

"He doesn't care," I shrugged. "Why should I?"

Masen's eyes darkened as he glanced at Jake once more, before jerking his head toward the back to lead me down a dark hallway. The only source of light was dancing from the golden, French sconces on the walls, the flickering flames of candles, white hot and incandescent, twisting and turning like angry ghosts beckoning me into Masen's own, personal world.

I followed him into a private room; a room as enthralling as the man himself. It was not only filled with ink guns and other apparatus, but more artwork, as well; framed portraits of naked women, their bodies twisted and bent as they lounged on velvet sofas, backs turned to the painter with a 'come hither' expression on their rounded faces. Metal artwork hung from the walls, tormented and tangled, rusted and sharp, much like Masen's hair.

The only mirror in the room was a full length, French antique. Its soaring songbirds tucked neatly between the golden scrolls along the frame seemed to mock me as I gazed nervously around the room. My eyes landed on the soft, leather table in front of me and I envisioned myself lounging on my back, my clothing peeled open and pulled down as Masen marked me.

"So ..." he started, sitting on the cushion of his brown, leather stool to swivel and face me. "What do you want and where do you want it?"

Masen wet his bottom lip, his eyes roaming the length of my body, settling on the red tinge of my cheeks.

"Just a simple piece, a set of initials in black cursive letters … maybe on my hip or shoulder blade."

"Whose initials?" he asked, a small smirk pulling on the edge of his mouth. "Jake's?"

Looking back up through his thick lashes, he caught my nod.

"You sure about that?"

Blanching, I blinked, not expecting to be questioned about what I wanted.

And it got me wondering.

Was I sure?

When I first entered the unfamiliar building, I was steadfast with my decision to ink Jake's initials into my skin. I had convinced myself that somehow the action would right so many wrongs. I was certain it would bind us together, erasing all the shattering words we'd spit, and the insults we'd slung both ways.

When I didn't answer right away, Masen rolled to stop directly in front of me, placing his hand on my hip, the warmth seeping through the worn denim.

"Well, if you're sure, you should get it here," he said, swiping his thumb across the bone. "It's more intimate … sexy." Looking back up through those lashes, he continued to lazily trace me. "So, are you sure, Bella?"

Swallowing the 'no' that was lodged in my throat, I shook my head, meeting his darkened, green eyes.

He smiled. "All right then, what do you want?"

When I still didn't answer, he moved closer, his voice a little firmer. "Tell me what you want, Bella."

I almost said 'you' when another confession came tumbling out of my mouth.

"There is this quote I've always loved."

"Yeah? Let's hear it."

Looking him in the eye, I swallowed down the fear of exposing this completely, personal piece of me.

"All my life my heart has yearned for one thing I cannot name."

The quote hung in the air, all truths about me, and my life with Jake, my life in general, finally spoken aloud

Blinking at my words, his hand fell away from my hip. His chair rolled back slightly, drawing me in as my chest sunk, tightening like a vice. The burn in my cheeks was just about as unbearable as the stunned look on his face.


Shaking his head, he slowly rolled back to me, "nothing," he said, placing his hand back on my hip. "Just unexpected, is all."

The stunned expression slipped away as his thumb slid over the sensitive bone, his heat sinking back in, warming my skin.

"So, where do you want it?" he asked me again, sending all sorts of sordid thoughts swirling through my head.

"Where would you put it?" I not-so-innocently asked, the beat of my heart steadily picking up speed.


His quick answer sent a shockwave through my system, warming the deepest pit of my stomach, spreading south as he looked me up and down. "Anywhere you want me to."

Taking him at his word, I placed my hand over his, running it just below the waist of my shorts.

"Right here," I decided, placing his hand on the button.

Easily popping it open, he lowered the zipper, peeling the flaps back. I barely avoided making an approving sound as his finger traced the skin along the waistband of my panties. "You want it here, Bella?"

Nodding, I bit my lip.

I wanted it there.

Tugging on the sides of my shorts, he pulled them down, helping me step out, before kicking them aside. "Have a seat."

Sitting down on the cool leather, I swiveled around to lounge back, noticing his occasional gaze towards my white, cotton covered hips and bare legs while he prepared his work station.

Rubbing warmed shaving cream on my belly, he watched his fingers slide over my skin. His Adam's apple bobbed as he grabbed a razor, carefully shaving any downy hair.

Wiping the excess away, he washed his hands with a squirt of antiseptic, doused a few cotton balls with alcohol, and slipped on a pair of gloves, before turning back to me.

"This is gonna be cold," he warned, resting a warm hand on the top of my thigh, squeezing when I jumped as the soaked lump of cotton hit my skin.

Leaving his hand on my thigh, he tossed the cotton balls aside, letting the cold liquid dry, before picking up his gun, the needle hovering right above where he was getting ready to mark me.

"I'm gonna free-hand this. You trust me?"

Nodding, I licked my lips as he flipped the switch, and the gun roared to life, the sound buzzing in my brain.

"So you and Jake, huh?" he mused, diverting my attention from his gun. "You seem like a sweet girl. How'd you end up with a prick like him?"

I winced as the needle made contact with my skin.

"It's complicated," I blurted, trying to focus on how he gently caressed the soft skin of my stomach with his free hand.

His touch was meant to be a soothing, clever distraction from the torment he was inflicting. But instead of calming my rattled nerves, it set me on fire, leaving my skin burning and tingling as his thumb dipped below my panty line.

I should have told him to stop. I should have grabbed his hand and prevented it from making lazy dips below my panties, sinking lower and lower...

I drew in my bottom lip, my blush returning as I felt myself growing wetter. I prayed he couldn't see the reaction from where he sat.

"You avoiding my question or just distracted?" he asked, his eyes fixated on my flesh. "You, Jake, the complication ..."

"Am I paying for this therapy session separately or is it included?" I huffed, ashamed of my body's reaction, but mostly annoyed by his prying.

"Ooh, Kitty's got claws," he teased. "I'm just making polite conversation, Kitty, that's all. No need to scratch."

I ignored his words, unable to focus on anything other than his touch, the pain from the ink gun, and the overwhelming desire pulsing through my body. The more he wrote, the better it felt, and the wetter the crotch of my panties became.

I gripped the edge of the table, my breath quick and shallow as he neared the center of my stomach, his arm moving closer towards my aching mound, and my throbbing clit.

I tried not to squirm as his forearm inched closer, his eyes drifting down to see the growing, wet spot he was currently causing.

"You like this," he stated confidently, igniting a new fire in my cheeks.

"No need to be embarrassed, Kitty, lots of people like it," he assured, earning a squinty glare.

"My name is not Kitty, you ass."

Grinding my teeth, I hissed in pain ... the pure fucking pleasure.

Masen just snickered at my frustration, tugging my wet panties a bit lower. His hand lingered so close to that wet spot, so close to my clit, just a simple swipe of his thumb against my nub and I'd undoubtedly come undone.

"It's not uncommon," he assured, his eyebrows drawn in concentration as he wiped a drop of ink.

"Some people find pain pleasurable. Are you one of those people, Kitty? Does it turn you on? The pain, the

vibration … is that what's making you wet?" he asked, glancing back down at the darkened center of my

underwear. "So wet, I can smell you."

Taking a deep breath in, he smirked. "And you smell damn good."

Momentarily stunned, I licked my dry lips.

"I have a boyfriend."

"And, I don't care," was his cool response.

"Yeah, well, I'm not that kind of girl," I stressed.

"Oh, but you are," he purred. "You are that kind of girl, but only for me."

Moaning, I bit my lip at his words, at the intensity of the pain as he tugged my panties even lower.

"I've actually known some people to orgasm," he casually mentioned, smirking as he briefly lifted his gaze. "Even caused a few of 'em too."

"You … you're doing this to me on purpose," I gasped out, my abdominal muscles clenching as I fought the urge to roll my hips.

"Doing what? Making your kitty wet?" he asked, licking his bottom lip as he stared down at his craft, his eyes darting from the gun to my damp panties.

"What if I am?" he challenged, a thoughtful crease forming in the center of his brow. "I can always stop … ask one of the other guys to take over, or have your asshole boyfriend finish what I started. Is that what you want? Do you want Jake to finish what I started? Do you want me to stop?"

"No," I moaned, just as he finished the tattoo, wiping away the extra ink.

"Too late," he said with a careless shrug, putting the ink gun away and removing his gloves before turning around to face me. "I'm finished. I'm all done."

Whimpering, I rubbed my thighs together, craving his touch. "Please," I whispered, surprised the word came out. I shouldn't have even been thinking it.

Masen leaned back, placing his hands on the edge of the counter at each side. His eyes darted up and down my body, lingering on my heaving chest and wet panties. He stood there, unashamed of the way his erection stood at attention, tenting in his pants as he watched me.

"What do you think about your tattoo, Kitty?" he asked, snubbing my plea as he gestured to my belly.

"I don't care about the fucking tattoo," I fumed, pissed that I'd ever opened my mouth, pissed that I'd stooped to begging this smug prick to get me off.

Fuck him.

"I want you to finish what you started!"

My chest heaved with the force of my insistence, my cheeks, no doubt, burning brightly with embarrassment and rage.

"Finish it yourself," he spoke in a raspy voice. "Show me how you make yourself feel good."

My eyes widened as he reached down to palm his erection; doubt creeping back in with his crude request. I'd never touched myself in front of someone else before.

"Do it."

Closing my eyes, I swallowed, trailing my hand down my stomach, lightly brushing over the sensitive tattoo, before dipping beneath my panties.

"That's it," Masen goaded as I circled my clit in light, fast strokes.

Holy shit! What am I doing?

"Put your fingers inside," he commanded, the muscles in his jaw clenching, his eyes darkening on mine as he took a step forward.

A thrill shot through me, caused by the anticipation of him drawing nearer. After a firm pinch to my clit, I dipped two fingers inside, quietly crying out from the fullness. My hips bucked as I removed them from my body and slammed them back inside once more.

"Good, Kitty," Masen purred. "Slick and tight, aren't you? Can I touch you? Can I help you come?"

I opened my mouth to answer him; no, beg him to help me come, but the words never left my lips.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

"Masen, you have a VIP waiting for her appointment," a muffled male voice called.

"Tell her to wait," Masen barked, his hand slowly descending over mine, with nothing but my thin, cotton panties separating us.

There was an unhappy grunt from behind the door, but neither one of us paid much attention as Masen moved my fingers for me, shoving them deeper inside my wet center the way he wanted them to.

"You're such a bad girl," he whispered, his fingers guiding me harder, faster. "Letting a stranger touch you this

way, and your boyfriend's boss no less." he tsked, "What if Jake walks in, would you like that? Would you like your asshole boyfriend walking in on us?" he asked, leaning closer to whisper against the snug of my ear. "Maybe I'll send him in when you leave, just to see his face when he smells the scent of your sex hanging in the air."

"Oh, God," I gasped, propping up on one elbow, watching him palm his erection as he guided my fingers into my

wet body. "Please!"

Tsking me once more, he shook his head. "I'm not gonna fuck you today," he teased with a smirk. "But I will fuck you … and soon. But for now, I just wanna see you come."

Pushing my palm harder against my clit, he sped my movement.

"Come for me, Kitty. Let me hear her purr."

With those final words, my world exploded behind my closed lids; nothing but white, bursting stars skyrocketing across the darkness. Bucking my hips frantically, I clenched around my fingers as he urged them in and out of my slick center. I moaned his name as I came down from my orgasm, my eyes fluttering open as I felt his warm hand lift from mine.

Reality returned after the abandonment of his hand. I lay on the table, my chest heaving as I took deep, ragged breaths, sated and shamed.

"Oh, my God," I muttered, sitting up and sliding from the table, my panties shamefully wet.

I bent over, hissing from the pain to my belly caused by the sudden movement. Masen groaned behind me as I stepped into my shorts, stopping me before I wiggled the tight material over my ass and snapped the buttons into place.

"This was a mistake," I mumbled, glancing in the mirror to find my hair a wild, tangled mess of mahogany.

I raked my fingers through the strands, refusing to meet Masen's eyes as he placed his hands over my hips. His erection pressed firmly into my lower back.

"I need to cover it," he mumbled, burying his nose in my hair as his hand slid up my side, hovering just above the fresh ink.

Nodding, I let him lead me back to the table, lying still long enough for him to tape the thin bandage to my stomach.

"I want you to come see me again in a few days," he requested, helping me stand, before sweeping my hair over my shoulder. Buttoning my shorts for me, he skimmed his nose up the curve of my neck, his warm breath washing over my flesh, causing my treacherous body to tingle once more. "I'll need to see how the tat's doing ..."

"My boyfriend is a tattoo artist," I replied, turning away, closely watching his face in the mirror.

Masen glanced up, meeting my eyes in the reflection of the glass, his dark and serious. They bored into mine before relaxing, his lips tugging into a grin.

"You'll be back," he whispered, thrusting himself against me once more, then placing a sweet, innocent kiss in the crook of my neck. "You'll be back."


I hadn't been back to see Masen like he so confidently said I would. In fact, I avoided the shop altogether, choosing instead to have Jake look after another man's mark for me.

And what a fun conversation that was.

"I thought you were going to get my initials, Bell. What the fuck? What does that even mean?"

I felt nauseous at the time, the true meaning seeming so obvious to me.

The truth teetered on the tip of my tongue as his brow furrowed in honest-to-God, genuine confusion, and I almost told him.

I almost told him out of sheer frustration over his own, blind stupidity.

I didn't though, choosing to keep it to myself with a shrug and a simple write-off of quotes being 'in' now, which thankfully, seemed to pacify him enough to let it go.

I thought about Masen every day; where he was, what he was doing, who he was doing.

Feeling a fool, I confided in my bestie, leaving out the self-penetration, but it only made things worse, because, as it turned out, I was a fool.

His confidence exceeded himself from the sordid snippets Angie had told me.

"He marks the stars, Bella. He marks stars on stars, so of course he's gazed upon a few."

Her innuendo made my eyes roll painfully into the back of my head; her, if ya know what I mean, completely uncalled for and I was not amused.

So when Jake came home that day and flat out told me we were going to a barbeque at Masen's, I had a total, internal melt down. Mentally throwing things and cursing, I repeatedly killed that coked-out whore Lohan, who I'd just recently heard had a 'private' session in Masen's back room.

I was still choking her out as I turned down his graveled drive and parked my car behind a line of unfamiliar vehicles.

Jake, on the other hand, was excited, strumming his meaty fingers against his legs, grasping the door handle before I even came to a full stop.

"This is awesome, man, awesome!" he gushed, jumping out of the passenger side door, pulling Masen in for a pound hug. "We should totally go to the beach!"

Grabbing the cooler from the back seat, he ran into the house, leaving me alone with Masen and his smirk.

He looked annoyingly irresistible in his matching, black Ray Bans and low-slung board shorts hanging from his narrow hips, allowing the ingrained, swirls of paint to pop.

"How ya been, Kitty?" he asked, using that stupid nickname, knowing full well that it pissed me off.

I wasn't his fucking kitty.

"It's Bella," I kindly reminded him, "and I've been fine."

Slamming the door, I went to walk by him, but he grabbed my arm, spinning me back around to face him. The hand not holding me in place lifted, lightly tracing over his thinly clothed mark.

"How are you healing? Can I see?" he asked, sounding concerned, borderline desperate, and totally ignoring my obvious annoyance.

When I didn't answer, he took it upon himself to lift the hem of my tank, going straight for the button of my shorts and working them quickly, seemingly satisfied with what he saw.

"Happy now?"

"Very," he admitted, running his thumb along the loopy, black writing, before buckling me back up. "I'd say you're safe to go swimming."

Taking my hand, Masen intertwined our fingers, pulling me along towards what he so lovingly called his bungalow.

It was hidden at the end of a dead end road, tucked safely beneath the skinny palm trees and thick, tropical foliage. Aqua, with white trim and curving entryways, swooping over a large, wooden porch, it peaked through the dancing shadows of leaves. And, just past the property line laid sugary sand and ocean, the coast empty of passersby other than the occasional seagull swooping down from above.

I wiggled out of his grip, as a group of people came barreling out the front door, heading straight for the beach.

Masen and I followed closely behind on the narrow path, bumping loose limbs, the pads of his fingers lightly caressing my open palm.

As soon as my flip-flopped feet hit the sand, I pulled away from him again to move closer to Jake, who'd already taken off running towards the sparkling, clear water. So, I just sat my ass down on the closest towel, Masen plopping down right beside me.

"You seem distant," he noticed, brushing my hair from my shoulder to skim the length of my back.

I huffed out a laugh. "I haven't seen you in two weeks. How much more distant could I be?"

Looking over and up into his eyes, I squinted, watching the whitecaps of the waves crash through them.

We were silent for a moment both lost in thought over things I wouldn't say, things I would never confess.

It wasn't my place to act like the crazy, jealous girlfriend, and he sure as hell didn't owe me anything.

"I wanna see you get wet," he whispered, finally breaking the heavy silence with a lick of his bottom lip, running those mirroring eyes over the length of my body. "Will you get wet for me?"

Little did he know, I already was, and always, always for him.

"I already am," I stupidly teased, fighting my growing smile, as a low growl rumbled from deep inside his whimsically, tattooed chest.

Grabbing my hand, he helped me to stand, his hands automatically reaching for the hem of my tank.

I stopped him with a halting gesture, stepping back, silently reminding him to keep cool and his hands off, while in front of the others. I pulled the top over my head and wiggled out of my cutoffs; his stare unwavering from my boring, blue, two piece suit.

He followed closely behind me, sneaking quick touches to the small of my back, and the exposed blades of my shoulders.

I basked under the warmth of the sun, and his inability to keep his hands to himself, silently begging for more; more attention, more touches, more tactile lies.

The heat was as deceiving as him, and I sucked in through my teeth when I hit the water, wading to my knees, before backing out of the quickly, deepening ocean, only to be stopped by a strong set of brightly inked arms.

"I know your kind doesn't like the water, Kitty, but I got you," he whispered against the snug of my ear, taking me deeper into the wide-open blue.

"I got you."

Drawing in my limbs, I turned in his arms, wrapping mine tightly around his neck, and clamping my legs around his waist.

Without warning, he dipped us under the water, softly pressing his lips to mine for the first time, pulling them away just before we broke the surface.

"I missed you," he breathlessly confessed, and I almost believed him.

"Did you miss me?"

When I didn't answer right away, he dipped down under the water again, placing a kiss to my submerged neck, working his way down the center of my chest. I watchedas Jake laughed and splashed, completely oblivious to the happenings going on around him.

Masen's lips left my skin just before he rose above the water, spinning me and himself around, so we were both facing Jake and the rest of the inattentive group.

Pulling my wet hair to one side, he placed another kiss to my shoulder.

"You taste salty like the ocean."

Shivering, I closed my eyes with the warmth of his breath blowing against my cool skin, sucking in the thick, humid air as he lightly cupped me over the bottom of my suit.

"You think she tastes like it too?"

Whimpering, I rested my head back against his chest, pushing further into his hand.

"I want to taste her. I want her in my mouth the next time you come."

Brushing his thumb across my hardened nipple, he lightly stroked my clit over the thin, nylon material, continuing even when someone called out to him, playfully asking if he got his shots after Lohan left.

I tightened in his arms, and he stopped, telling the amused group to go fuck themselves, before turning me back around to face him.

"Is that what's wrong? You think I fucked Lohan?" he asked, standing a little taller, his torso fully out of the water, glistening with a mixture of vibrant hues. He was so much more in tune than Jake, and I was in awe of him, his perception, the way his colorful skin sparkled with reflective beads of running salt water. "That's it, isn't it? You think I fucked her in my chair and not just her ... you think I fuck everybody, don't you?"

I turned away, my cheeks burning as brightly as his ink, affirming my belief. I couldn't lie for anything.

Tenderly grabbing my chin, he pulled me back to face him. "I didn't fuck her, Bella. I didn't even touch her; not that way, not the way you think. I wouldn't," he promised, looking me straight in the eye. "I won't lie to you, Bella, I've touched other girls."

Cringing, I tried pulling away again, but his hold kept me in place. "But, you're the only one I ever touched in my chair."

I stiffened as he bent down, tilting my head back to softly place his mouth against mine, attentively eyeing Jake while he mumbled against my lips, "You're the only one I want to touch … ever again."

Staying silent, I just stared at him, the honesty in his eyes burning hotter than the midday sun. I wanted it to be true, but how could it be? We barely knew each other.

"Mase, come on and get your ass outta the water! We're fuckin' starvin'!"

With everyone's attention on us, I pushed away, and he willingly let me go. I swam to shore, not looking back to see if he was following.

The wet sand pulled from beneath my feet with each passing wave as it tickled my toes. There was a group gathered on Masen's deck, some of the people familiar, some of them not. I found my boyfriend easily enough, standing near Seth, the dismissive receptionist I 'met' at Masen's tattoo parlor.

Jake blatantly ignored me as I approached, and I heaved a massive sigh, plopping down into a nearby chair.

"If you were my girl I'd never leave your side," Masen breathed in my ear, falling into the chair beside me, and shooting me that stupid, lazy grin.

Reaching out, he brushed his fingers against the back of my hand, sending chills throughout my body. I shifted in the chair uncomfortably, yanking my hand away.

"There are people around," I scolded him, "Jake's right there."

"I don't care," he admitted. "Not only do I not care if we're caught, I'm hoping we'll get caught. It'll just make things easier..."

"Easier for who?" I asked. "You?"

His smirk fell slightly, his gaze lowering to where our hands had just met.

"Tell me you don't feel this thing between us," he said, raising his glance as I lowered mine. "It's sexual, there's no denying that, but there's something else. I felt it the moment my eyes found yours," he admitted, and I was unable to meet his stare.

"I can't stop thinking about you," he breathed, briefly brushing the side of my hand, before placing his back on the arm rest. "I can't stop thinking about the sound of your voice, the color of your eyes … the look on your face when you came in my chair."


"I want to see it again," he whispered, totally ignoring my disapproving interruption.

"Can I see it again, Kitty? Can I make you come again?"

Looking up into the reflection of his Ray Bans, I saw myself; my desperate want and need staring back at me from my own eyes.

"No," I breathed.

Shooting me a crooked grin, he lifted himself from his chair, strolling to the cooler to remove a longneck, and join his friends.

All I could focus on was him, how he spoke with his colorful arms amplifying the point of his words, throwing his head back in laughter when something genuinely amused him; the way his attention often wandered, smirking as he found me still sitting in the same chair, staring back at him through the crowd.

As the sun sank lower in the horizon, it cast a hypnotizing, orange glow over the ocean.

Once it disappeared into the wavy water I glanced around, spotting no one else, not even Masen.

"Hey, Bells," I heard Jake's voice call, and I sprang up from my chair, peering down at the beach below.

"Don't forget dessert," he hollered.

I rolled my eyes.

Jake and his fucking chocolate addiction.

I wiped the sweat from my brow with the back of my hand as I shoved the sliding, glass doors open. The air was several degrees cooler inside. That, plus the chill of Masen's fridge, immediately caused my nipples to pucker.

I dug around, searching for the plastic container of chocolate pudding I brought with me, finally finding it hiding behind a brown, paper bag holding a sixer.

I removed the container from the fridge, placed it on the kitchen counter, and popped the lid. Thinking I was being sneaky with no one around, I dipped two fingers into the cool, rich pudding, sucking the chocolate from my fingertips, moaning in pleasure.

"Lucky fucking fingers," a gritty voice whispered; hot, moist breath ghosting across the shell of my ear.

"Shit!" I gasped, twirling around and gazing up to find Masen towering over me, his green eyes dark and hungry.

Those pretty pink lips were pulled into a sexy, smoldering smirk. His eyes traveled the length of my short stature as he stalked even closer, sending my body tingling at the proximity of his nearly naked body. His tan chest shone with droplets of seawater, dripping between his well-defined muscles, running across his flesh and ending at the waistband of his board shorts.

Masen placed his hands on each side of the counter, forcing me backwards, pinning me against the bar, and trapping me between his arms. I took a deep breath, struggling to steady my frenzied heart as his body slowly grew closer to mine.

"When are you gonna give me a taste, huh?" he smirked, the double meaning behind his words clearly evident, a hint of whiskey on his hot breath.

"I have a boyfriend, remember?" I muttered lamely, pressing my hand against his warm chest.

It was an attempt to push him away, but my hands … my hands and my humming body; they had a mind of their own.

My fingers trailed across his rigid chest, relishing his hard, slick body as they traveled further south, near the waistband of his shorts. I tugged at them curiously, shoving the impending guilt away as I glanced over my shoulder through the opened, sliding glass doors, catching a glimpse of Jake lounging near the coastline.

"Never stopped you before," he chuckled, fully pressing himself against me.

My hand was trapped between our bodies as his long, hard cock pressed roughly against my stomach. I wanted to touch him, stroke him, tease him the way he constantly teased me.

"Take it in your hand, Bella," he demanded in a whisper, his nose trailing from my clavicle then up the length of my neck. "Wrap your hand around it. Show me how bad you want it."

I moaned as he sucked my earlobe in his mouth, nibbling and tugging as his breathing became ragged. Without a second thought of Jake, I plunged my hand into his board shorts, gasping as I wrapped my fingers around his long, thick cock the best that I could, my fingertips never touching.

Masen groaned, dropping his head against my neck and thrusting against my hand. I began stroking his cock, consumed by the smell of whiskey and salt that wafted from his chest that was so very close to my mouth. I swiped my tongue against his nipple at the exact time I swiped my thumb against the head of his cock. I spread the precum as I pumped, causing him to hiss in response.

"You like that cock?" he moaned, fumbling around on the counter behind me. "Do you think you can handle my massive cock? I bet that pussy is so goddamn tight. You've never had a real man fuck you before, have you, Bella?"

I couldn't respond, breathless from his dirty talk, desperate for friction between my legs as I clenched my thighs together.

"Is that little mouth wide enough to take me inside?" he asked, his smirk gone as he thrust his cock even harder against my hand.

Bringing his chocolate coated fingers to my mouth, Masen ran them across my lips. My mouth opened automatically as he slipped two fingers inside, slowly moving them in and out.

I sucked hard, very hard as I swirled my tongue around his long, thick fingers, nearly gagging when he entered a third, glaring at him as he chuckled smugly.

"This might pose a slight problem," he mused, tugging at my bikini top as he dipped his fingers back into the container, collecting more of the sweet dessert. "My cock is much wider than my three fingers."

"Holy..." I gasped as his slick chocolate-coated fingers trailed from my mouth, down my neck, and ending between my breasts.

"So good," he murmured, his hot, slick tongue running across my sensitive flesh as he licked me clean, burying his face between my breasts. "I bet this pudding tastes good on your tits … and on your pussy. Maybe I won't even put it on your pussy. I'm sure it tastes good on its own. Can I taste that sweet little pussy?"

I opened my mouth, moaning in response as he bent down, capturing one straining nipple between his teeth, sucking and nibbling, leaving a wet spot on the fabric of my bikini top.

Masen chuckled in reply, tugging on my top, but I stopped him, shaking my head.

Glancing behind us, Masen turned back, his eyes showing an angry understanding as he suddenly dropped to his knees, ducking out of view of anyone who happened to walk in from outside.

Tugging my cutoffs down my shaking legs, he let them pool at my bare feet, nudging his nose into the very center of my blue bikini bottoms.

I bit my lip, trying to keep quiet as he kissed me over the damp fabric, before pulling them to the side.

"Do you want me to taste you?" he asked, his hot breath blowing against my exposed skin. "Do you want to feel what a tongue can really do?"

Whimpering, I looked up and out the glass doors, as Jake's tall form came into view.

"Yes," I whispered, knowing full well that he could walk in at any moment to find another man's head between my legs.

The thought excited me.

"Yes what?"Masen coaxed, kissing me just below my pubic bone, his bosky eyes dark and daring.

"Yes, I want to feel what a tongue can do."

Blushing at the admittance, I shaped my hand to the sharp angle of his jaw. "I want to feel what your tongue can do."

"Fuck," I heard him mutter, resting his forehead against my lower stomach as his fingers spread my lower lips.

"Shit, you're so wet," he groaned, "so fucking perfect," stroking his thumb lightly over my swollen clit.

I jerked in response, crying out loudly as he captured my clit between his fingers, rolling and tugging it gently. Glancing down, my eyes locked on his as he peered up at me, watching my reaction from beneath his long, thick lashes.

"You know, a woman's clit isn't much different from a man's dick," he mused, sliding two fingers along my slit and slipping them inside, pressing his palm against my swollen nub. "It swells when you get aroused, craving touch and friction. Do you like it when I rub your clit?"

Nodding, I bit back a moan, as he dipped his fingers in and out, in and out...

"You know what I like?" he inquired, not waiting for a response. "I like getting my dick sucked."

Sticking his tongue out, he flicked it once over my swollen nub. "You like having your clit sucked, Kitty?"

"I … I don't know," I stammered, my cheeks burning as the sopping sound of my slick arousal filled the air. "No one's ever ... I mean..."

"Your boyfriend is a selfish prick."

Leaning forward, he nudged his nose against me.

"But I'm starting to like the bastard, ya know? He left me the honor of being the first to fuck you with my tongue."

Lowering his head, he flicked it out, running the tip slowly up the center of my slit, swirling around my aching clit.

"Oh, God!" I shakily huffed, spreading my legs wider to accommodate his scruffy jaw.

Gripping the strands of his wind-blown hair, I shamelessly rode his face, the warm, slick lapping of his tongue.

As his hands crept up the back of my legs, mine left his hair, traveling down to slip between his flexing jaw and my shaking thighs. I watched as he tentatively ate me, a familiar tingle shooting from the tips of my toes to heat the pit of my stomach.

Looking up from his bobbing head, my hooded eyes easily found Jake, and my mouth dropped open, my walls clenching around the long fingers that weren't his. A fact that pushed me over the edge, making me come hard against Masen's warm, eager mouth.

Twitching, I had to pry him away, his greedy tongue still licking, and ready for more.

His reluctance to leave the center of my legs caused my chest to tighten, my heart to flutter and my stomach to reheat with a fresh wave of want.

It wasn't until I gave into him that he pulled away, adjusting my bikini bottoms back over me, before kissing the triangled piece of fabric.

Standing, he brought my pooling shorts with him as he softly kissed my parted lips.

I could taste myself on them; smell myself on his breath before he backed away, the pads of his fingers sliding over my tattoo, his tattoo.

"I was eighteen when I left Chicago," he reminisced with his eyes on my belly, lazily tracing the loopy words he'd written.

"Gave up a whole hell of a lot to move to Miami and take an apprenticeship."

His hand stilled on my hip, and I looked up to see a certain seriousness in his eyes.

"My point is that I followed my heart."

Taking my hand he placed it on his warm skin. "I did what I wanted to do," he stressed, running it along the underside of his left pec.

Glancing down, I looked closely at his colored flesh, feeling him breathe underneath the roaming pads of my fingers, finding a hidden script, its letters a rainbow of vibrant hues, blending in with the surrounding designs.

All my life my heart has yearned for one thing I cannot name.

I felt my eyebrows furrow as my eyes snapped up to his, realization setting in as to why he reacted the way he did that day at the parlor; the day I recited this quote, the day he embedded it … and its meaning under the surface of my skin.

He had done it first.

"What do you want to do, Bella?"

The easy answer to his question hung unspoken in the air; what I wanted was so obvious to me as my heart skipped a beat, falling once I heard Jake call my name from just outside the house.

Yelling back, I told him I was on my way as I stepped around Masen's towering form and walked out, chocolate pudding in hand.

I avoided Masen the rest of the night, my gaze frequently finding his through the campfire smoke and the thinning crowd. I couldn't trust myself around him, couldn't trust him at all, not when it came to his hands and his words, the way they touched me and made me feel.

Too much.

It wasn't until Jake was half passed-out that Seth helped him into the car, allowing Masen to approach me. Placing his hands on either side of the hood, he pressed me up against the door.

His lips found my lips, his drunken tongue slipping through to slide roughly against mine. He kept a firm grip on my jaw as he sucked my lower lip, letting it go with a drawn out scrape of his teeth.

"Just think about it," was all he said, his glassy eyes pleading. And with one last, chaste kiss, he walked away, disappearing down the narrow, sandy path leading to the beach.


The next day, I was driving all over Miami applying for jobs; some of which I was overqualified for, and some of which I wasn't. Stacks of resumes were tucked beneath my sun visor, the edges slightly wrinkled from the heat and humidity of the deep South.

Masen's face lingered in my mind constantly through it all; through the endless job interviews, the discomfort of the appraising old men tucked behind even older desks. They peered curiously from the resume to my face as I nervously wrung my fingers in my lap. My future was literally gripped in their hands, and all they could offer was a dismissive, 'We'll be in touch.' But all I heard was, 'You suck. Go fuck yourself.'

The constant rejection intermingled with the guilt I felt over lusting for Masen consumed my mind. I lost sleep,

tossing and turning, sometimes begging for Jake's attention, which he rarely bestowed upon me. I became paranoid, wondering if he knew of my indiscretions and if he did, why hadn't he confronted me? Thrown me out? Tossed me on a plane and shipped me back to Washington?

The phone calls started just a few short days after the barbeque. I was folding laundry, gnawing on what was left of my bottom lip when my phone lit up with an unfamiliar number. I stared down at the illuminated screen curiously, the Miami area code flashing back at me.

I hesitantly swiped my finger across the screen, my stomach a bundle of nerves at the thought of a possible employer calling with a job opportunity.

"Hello?" I breathed, my heart thumping anxiously.

There was a long moment of silence, nothing but the occasional breath of the caller ghosting through the line. Somehow I knew … I knew it was him.

"Masen?" I gulped, my voice sounding longing and hopeful to my own ears.

"I need you, Kitty," he murmured, his voice thick and heavy with longing.

"Masen ..." I sighed, falling onto the couch, running my fingers through my hair.

"Just come over, just for a little while. I need to see you," he begged, breaking my heart all that much more.

Everything was so messed up.

I wanted Masen, but Jake and I had been together since we were kids. I didn't even know who I was without him.

"I can't … Jake … I can't do this to him. I can't leave him. And even if I could, I'd have to go back home to Washington." I confessed, closing my tired eyes, and helplessly resting my head against the cushion.

"Move in with me."

"What?" I squeaked, my slumped form shooting straight off of the couch.

"Move in with me," he repeated, sounding as smooth and sure as the first time he had said it.

We sat in silence while I mulled it over along with my sore lower lip, opening and closing my mouth several times to tell him how the idea was utterly insane. And then he called me out on it.

"You're scared," he accused in a soft tone. "You're scared to leave him, scared that things won't work out between us. Then you'll be alone. Is that it?"

"Yes," I quietly admitted, staring blankly at the folded stack of towels perched on my coffee table. "That's part of it, but that's not all I'm afraid of."

"Then what are you afraid of?"

"I'm afraid of what my parents will think, what his parents think. They're like family to me, Masen. I can't do this, too many people will get burned in the end," I reasoned, my heart breaking as I begged him for the one thing I never wanted him to do. "Please, just leave me alone."

Ending the call, my eyes started to sting as I tossed the phone aside, curling up into a ball on the couch; a thoroughly pathetic excuse for a girlfriend, lying there, shedding tears for another man.

A painful sob ripped through my chest as the phone rang again, and again, and again, and again.

I didn't answer.

I stayed curled in my little ball of pity and self-doubt until it finally went silent, and night quickly crept upon me.

The days droned on like this, painful and utterly unbearable. And with them came the oppressing, heat and persistent, phone calls.

Sometimes I answered to sate the desperation I felt for his voice. I craved it; craved the way that stupid nickname rolled off his smooth tongue. I craved his teasing, taunting nature, and the way he made me feel special, happy, whole … and sexy.

God, that man made me feel sexy in a way Jake never could.

There was one night in particular that would forever stand out in my mind.

Jake came home grouchy and slightly drunk that evening, per usual, passing out on the couch after we exchanged a few choice words concerning his condition. I went to bed alone, angry and frustrated … again.

The familiar hum of my cell vibrating beneath my pillow pulled me from my bitter thoughts. My heart sputtered when his name flashed across the screen.

"Kitty," he moaned, his voice gruff and muffled by the sound of rustling bed sheets. "I wish you were here beside me."

"What would you do if I were?" I whispered, eyeing the slightly parted open door.

"I'd make you feel so good," he replied. "I'd touch you."

I moaned, my body tingling at the sound of want in his voice.

"Will you touch yourself? Will you touch yourself and imagine it's me?"

"Yes," I pleaded. "Please."

"I'd start at your lips. Touch your lips. Suck on your fingers."

I did as he said, brushing two fingers over my lips before sucking them in my mouth. I closed my eyes, imagining it was his fingers, his tongue, his cock in my mouth. His raspy breath picked up as he heard me suck them in and out of my mouth, humming and moaning as my body set ablaze.

"Take your wet fingers and pinch your nipples, Kitty."

I tugged my tank up and complied with his demands, pinching and pulling at one nipple before moving to the next, keeping my eyes opened that time as I pleasured myself.

"Imagine my tongue is swirling around those hard little nipples. Imagine my teeth nipping at them. Do you like that? Do you like it when I suck on your nipples?"

"Yes," I whispered breathlessly.

"Good," he purred. "Now listen very carefully. This next step requires your full attention. I want you to pull your panties off," he murmured. "Put your phone on speaker and lay it beside you. I want to hear how ready you are when you dip your fingers in your hot little pussy. Can you do that? Will you let me hear your fingers slipping in and out of your slick cunt?"

"Oh fuck, Masen, yea," I moaned, placing the phone down on the soft sheets, and sliding my panties from my body.

I heated with a blush as my fingers trailed, first from my breasts, and then between my parted legs. I was wet, so wet, and felt my blush grow deeper at the sound of my fingers sliding against my slick folds. The sound intermingled with Masen's heavy breathing.

I started at my clit, working my fingers over the swollen nub in slow, gentle circles, imagining it was his tongue in the place of my fingers. My legs involuntarily opened wider as I slid one, then two fingers inside, pressing my palm firmly against my clit each time I entered my body.

Masen heard it all.

He heard the wetness seeping out of my body frombetween my fingers as I ground myself against them. He heard my hips rise and fall from the bed as the mattress quietly squeaked below me. He heard my strangled moans as I bit my lip, struggling to not cry out in pleasure as I imagined my fingers were his thick cock. He heard the inevitable cry that I was unable to contain as I contracted around my fingers, spasming again and again, coming so hard my incisors sank into my bottom lip, drawing blood.

Coming down off my high, I took the phone off speaker, cradling it against my ear. I listened as he panted, growling muffled curses, calling my name as he came as well.

I wished I was there to see it, feel it.

I wished it was me he was coming into instead of the tight grip of his hand.

I wished I was lying beside him while we talked about life, our likes and dislikes, our family and friends.

I wished I could have seen his face the moment he told me his mother would love me.

After that last conversation, I started to pull away. The guilt was just too much to bear, knowing even though Masen's mom may have loved me, Jake's did too.

The mundane routine of my life continued: job applications, laundry, fruitless attempts for Jake's attention. And I found myself becoming a shell of a person, empty inside, longing for the one thing that didn't leave me broken, the one thing that made me feel alive.


His calls became less frequent, the desperation in his voice more urgent, until one day they just … stopped.

The phone wouldn't ring no matter how long I stared at it,willing it to while holding it in my sweaty hand. The T.V. did little to deter my attention as the anchorman droned on and on about a tropical storm. And I snorted at the irony.

A storm was brewing outside, twisting and bending the palms, darkening the pristine blue sky into a never-ending dark cloud, mimicking the way I felt inside; overcast and bent to the point of breaking.

As if on cue, a bright bolt of lightning lit up the cloudy, night sky, and I jumped with the following crack of thunder, suddenly becoming frightfully aware that no one was there to comfort me.

Jake was gone, spending more and more time with Seth, hanging out and playing Xbox or some shit like that. While I was happy he found a friend, it left me without one; cold and alone curled up on a couch, gasping as the power went out.

Slowly standing from the couch, I fumbled across the dark room, grasping the doorknob in my hand. I struggled to pull it open, the suction from the wind and the rain whipping outside fighting against me. Fat raindrops slapped against my face as I peered outside, noticing the entire city seemingly coated in darkness.

Slamming the door behind me, I fumbled around for my cell, called Jake, and waited impatiently for him not to answer.

I didn't bother leaving a message, pushing end to flip through the list of missed calls when my eyes landed on Masen's, who I hadn't heard from in several days.

I thought of his bungalow tucked beneath the spindly palms on the sugar white beach, facing the furious storm pounding outside. I wondered if he was alone and if he was scared of storms as well, or if he'd given up on me.

Without another thought, I found myself stumbling towards the door, grabbing my keys from the hook and darting outside, dropping my head to block the stinging rain as it pounded against my face.

The streets were packed with cars, full of people desperate to escape the storm. The minutes dragged by, my hand slamming against the horn as I cursed them all. Why was it that the roads were only full of idiots during the times that you genuinely needed to be somewhere?

I couldn't breathe until I pulled up in front of Masen's house, my tires sliding as I slammed on the brakes and shifted into park.

The wind pushed against me as I darted across the wet grass and slid on the slippery, porch steps. Pounding on the door I waited, pressing my ear against the weather-worn wood, hoping to hear his voice, but I was met with nothing; nothing but the howling of the wind, the relentless crying of the rain.

Fuck it.

Clutching the door knob in my hand, I gave it a turn, opening it easily.

I stood in the entryway for a moment, letting my eyes adjust to my dim surroundings, before venturing further inside.

It was dark and disheveled, the only source of light dancing from the wicks of the stout, fat candles sporadically situated around the room.

Flipping the switch, I found that his electricity had gone out, as well. And with only the moonlight to lead me, I squinted, walking further into the mess, just making out the clutter covering the carpeted floor.

Swirls of color popped out from the torn, taupe-tinted paper, my sight setting on a pair of beaming, brown eyes - my eyes.

The aching muscle in my chest contracted as I bent down to pick them up, gathering all the other surrounding

shards of peach and brown, literally trying to pull myself together.

These were his sketches, his life and his love ripped into useless pieces.


All of them.

"They were all of you." His voice sounded from above me, the husky rasp numbing my skin, sending his strain straight into my bones.

Leaning back on my heels, I looked up, finding him shirtless and scowling. His skin was just as bright a hue as this disarray of beautifully strewn colors littering the floor.

I swallowed as he lifted the half-full bottle of whiskey to his lips, the loose-waisted denim slinging lower on his narrow hips as he tipped it back to take a long swig, before turning and stumbling back into the kitchen.

On weakened legs, I stood and followed, standing behind his bent form as he leaned over the center counter.

I watched the quickened rise and fall of his shoulders as I stepped closer, brushing his sides and forming myself to the contoured muscles of his back. Wrapping an arm around his middle, I rested my hand over his pounding heart, placing a lingering kiss on the center of his spine.

"Do you still fuck him?" he shamelessly asked, the vibrations of his unfair question tickling the purse of my lips.

Keeping them pressed against him, I didn't answer.

He let me hold him for just a moment longer before he stood, straightening and turning to fix those furious, green eyes on me.

My stomach dropped with the flare of his nostrils, and his tortuous, pinched brow. I'd never seen him so angry, so out of control, as he waged a one man war with his burnished hair, pulling at the ends before grabbing my waist, picking me up and setting me down on the counter.

Lifting the hem of my dress, he pushed the flowered fabric up my thighs, roughly nudging them apart and pulling me to the edge to stand between them.

Pressing the palms of my hands against his hard pecs, I felt something else hard as he pulled me closer, pushing the rough seam of his jeans into the soft cotton of my panties.

"Does he touch you like this? Do you let him?" he asked, his voice rough as he squeezed my ass, running his hands over the swell of my hips.

Licking the length of my collarbone, his fingers dipped down to skim the crease of my thighs, before teasingly touching the sides of my moistening panties, making me that much hotter for him.

Jake never touched me that way.

"Does he make you feel good?"

Leaning me back, he lifted my legs, placing my bare feet flat against the tile, before pulling the center of my panties to the side.

Moaning, I spread wider as he shallowly entered me, just coating the tip of his finger. Pushing against it, I willed him to go deeper, whimpering when he pulled it out and placed it in his mouth, sucking it off with a pop.

"Can he make you come like I do?"

Shaking my head, I lowered my feet, leaning forward to pull him closer only to be pushed back and away from him.

"Then why do it, Bella? Why stay with him?"

Picking up the bronze bottle, he placed it against his mouth, letting the amber liquid pass his unfiltered lips and burn down the bob of his throat.

"Don't you want me?!"

Nodding, I reached out for him again.


Knocking my hand away, he stepped closer, his whiskey-heavy breath blowing in my face.

"Then why, Bella, huh? Do you like fucking with me?"

I fervently shook my head.

"Do you like knowing that you can fuck with me?"

Swallowing, I about choked on my cracked reply.


He was getting angrier and angrier with every question, louder and louder with every spoken word. And in a moment of utter rage, he yelled out a frustrated "fuck!" slamming the bottle down hard on the counter beside me.

Shock filled my system as the bottom made contact, busting open and sending shards of glass in every direction.

Both silent, we stood stock-still, watching the other's chest rapidly heaving until I stupidly reached out to sweep a piece away.

"No, don't touch it!" he scolded, grabbing my wrist, but he was too late.

The jagged edge of the bronze glass had already sliced into the side of my finger, spilling my blood from the open wound.

"Fuck," he quietly cursed, lifting my hand and bringing the crimson-colored flesh to his lips.

Sucking in the stifling, humid air, I watched in shock as he flicked out his tongue, sealing his new mark on my body; a vicious mark of hurt and want, with one long, lethal lick.

"Every part of you tastes so good."

Meeting the sullen, deep sea of his eyes, my gaze dropped to his lips, the stain of my very being bleeding onto them as they crashed into mine, molding and melting; salty and metallic and rusty and strong.

His hands were as desperate as his mouth, pushing my dress up and over my head to throw it aside.

Dipping his fingers into the spilled liquor, he swiped it across my hardened nipple, taking it into his mouth.

Sucking one clean of the burning whiskey, he sloppily slathered and then soothed the other; the vibrations of his moans going straight to the space between my parted legs. I lifted my hips, begging him to take care of the building ache.

"You want this?" he asked, palming himself over the bulging seam of his jeans.

Nodding, I bit my lower lip.

"Tell me you want it," he ordered, running a hand up the inside of my thigh and lightly fingering the edge of my panties. "Tell me you want my cock."

"I want your cock," I croaked, and Masen smiled a sinister smile.

"Why are you here?" he questioned, his words muffled as he took my liquor flavored nipple back into his mouth, licking and sucking one before trailing his tongue to the other.

"I was worried about you," I gasped, gripping his messy strands of hair between my fingers. "I miss you."

"You miss me, or you miss my cock?" he growled, abandoning my breasts to stare into my eyes, searching for the truth.

"I miss you," I whispered, my chest constricting with his words.

"You don't miss my cock?" he teased, the darkness never leaving his eyes as he leaned in closer, murmuring against my open lips. "Tell me you want my cock again. Say it."

"I ... I want your cock," I whispered against his, moaning as his thumbs circled my hip bones, dipping under the thin string of my panties.

I automatically lifted my hips for him, whimpering with a desperate need as he slowly dragged them down my thighs, stopping briefly at my knees to breathe them in.

"Mmm, so good," he whispered, pulling them the rest of the way off to throw them aside.

Pushing me back, he spread me wide, pressing on the bend of my knees, fully opening me up to him.

"I missed this. I missed your pretty, pink pussy," he admitted, bending down to take a long, languid lick up the center of my slit.

I moaned.

"Whose pussy is this?" he asked, kissing down the inside of my thigh. "Is this my pussy?"

His eyes were questioning, his lips and tongue teasing, touching everywhere but where I wanted them to.

It was torturous to the point of distraction. And as I had yet to give him the answer he wanted, he pulled them away altogether.

I cried out in protest, and he lightly smacked my upper thigh, his playfulness all of a sudden turning serious.

"Tell me you're mine, Bella," he growled. "Say it."

A deep warmth spread through my heaving chest as he leaned over me, a look of desperation filling his bosky, green eyes.

Lifting one hand to cup his jaw, my other traced over the concealed quote on his chest.

"I'm yours."

His lips crashed to mine as a bolt of lightning lit the stormy, night sky, illuminating our lust, our hurried need, as we both quickly worked the buckle of his jeans.

Using my feet, I pushed them down over his hips, dragging his briefs along with my curled toes.

Pulling me closer to the counter's edge, he sloppily aligned himself, running his swollen head along my wetness. My mouth fell open as he entered the tip, slowly sinking deeper inside me.

I gasped out as our thighs met, his hardness filling me so much fuller, so much deeper than I'd ever felt.

With another flash of lightning, his eyes found mine as he started to move.

Slowly at first, he watched himself pull out, sliding back into me with a throaty moan. His hands felt so good, so right as they roamed the length of my sides, stopping on the swell of my hips.

"I've wanted this for so long," he groaned, "to be inside you."

Pressing his fingers into my skin, he held me tight, each thrust filled with a newfound sense of urgency.

"So fucking good, so fucking wet, fuck," he rambled as my eyes drifted downward, watching him slide in and out of my body, his cock slick and wet, stretching and filling me with each buck of his hips.

Threading his fingers through my hair, he firmly tugged my head back with a single pull, forcing me to look up at him.

"Eyes up here, Kitty," he ordered, causing me to cry out in pleasure as he gave it another demanding tug, thrusting deep.

The air filled with the sounds of sex: our moans and grunts, his thick cock sliding in and out of my wet center, as thunder, wind, and rain sounded in the background, pounding with passion, right along with him.

Through the foggy, lust-driven haze, I heard his murmurings, his pleas. The words 'closer' and 'not enough' were falling from his lips before he hoisted me up from the counter.

I gasped at the feeling of being held in his arms while a supporting hand cupped the underside of my ass. I moaned as his fingers slid between my cheeks to briefly touch where we met.

The action only spurred him on and he spun us around, pressing my back up against the cold stainless-steel of the


"Oh, fuck!" I cried out in shock, sucking in a sharp breath as he pushed all his weight into me, breathing his hot breath into the hollow of my neck.

"Fuck's right. You want me to fuck that tight, little pussy, huh?" he growled, causing me to gasp out again with a forceful thrust of his hips.

Buried deep inside me, he pressed harder, grinding the bone of his groin into my clit. I shamelessly pressed back, wrapping my legs around his waist, and grasping onto his wide shoulders as I rode his stilled dick.

He was so deep, so deep that I couldn't stop it, as a sudden wave of heat wafted over me, worsening the tightened ache in my core. And with just a twitch of his swallowed cock, I was coming; still shaking and convulsing as he pulled out, and thrust back into me.

His arms held me still this time, hooking under the bend of my knees as he relentlessly pounded into my pussy, his pussy; cursing and muttering, hitting a spot inside me that had never been hit before.

"Shit, Masen ..." I gasped as he slammed back into me, making short, deep thrusts as if he fucking knew.

"You like that?" he asked, the tip of his dick just stroking the right spot.

"You gonna come again?"

Nodding, I whimpered.

I was gonna fucking come again.

"Fuck!" I cried, my head falling back as my mouth dropped open, another tremor racking through my body, weakening my shaking limbs.

"We're not done yet, Kitty," he ground out, his commanding voice warming the deep pit of my stomach once more. "I wanna feel that pussy clenching around me when I come."

"Oh, God," I moaned, dropping my forehead to his shoulder as he continued to effortlessly hold me up and fuck me.

"I'm gonna come in that pussy," he warned, grunting through his clenched teeth. "Is that what you want? You want my come? You want me to come in that tight, little pussy?"

Nodding, I tiredly whimpered, "Yes, Masen. Please, come in my pussy."

Groaning, Masen mumbled into my chest, licking up the sweat that dripped down my neck.

His stamina amazed while his vigor sparked a burning in the center of my belly, spreading the flames like wildfire with every purposeful thrust.

I felt the familiar tingle in my toes as Masen's moans grew louder, his movements becoming more and more erratic. The tightened coil unraveled once he grunted, grinding himself against my clit. Jerking, he pulsed inside of me, his warm, sticky come filling my pussy, spilling over to trail down the tender flesh of my inner thighs.

Chests heaving, he held me close as he turned and set me down on the counter.

Cradling the back of my neck, he kissed my mouth, his parted lips softly caressing mine.

I could feel him everywhere, on and inside and wrapped all around me.


"Don't go back," he begged, his deep voice muffled on my skin.


"I want to know you, Bella," he interrupted in a hushed murmur, pressing his forehead against mine as he stared into my eyes. "Not just your body … I want to know you. I want to be with you. I want to know what your face looks like when you wake up in the morning wrapped in my arms. I want to know what makes you tick, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry. Not only that, I want you to know me, Bella. I want you to know me..."

My chest tightened, feeling as though something were squeezing what little life I had straight out of me. I wanted him, as well ...wanted to know more about the amazing man who stood in front of me, the man who I had an undeniable, inexplicable attraction to since the first moment we met, but the words never came.

The sound of my cell phone broke through the heavy silence of my awaited response. My eyes reluctantly broke free of his insistent gaze, scanning the room for the source of our interruption.

The glowing screen of my abandoned phone called me from a short distance away, ringing and vibrating amongst the scattered papers on the living room floor, lying beside my keys. I gazed back up at him guiltily, pressing my hands against his chest.

"It might be Jake," I murmured. "Something could be wrong ... maybe he's hurt."

My stomach clenched in knots at the broken expression on his face. He stepped aside, running his long fingers through his thick, sweaty hair as he stared through the sliding glass doors into the violent storm.

Slipping around him I stumbled to the living room and picked up the phone. Jake's stoic face gazed back up at me as I hurriedly swiped my thumb across the screen.

"Hello?" I murmured, my eyes unintentionally finding Masen, standing by the glass doors, gazing at the angry ocean.

"Bells? Where the hell are you?" Jake slurred.

"Jake, are you drunk?" I asked, ignoring his question.

"Yeah, I'm home now," he slurred, the sound of wind, rain, and metal against metal banging in the background.

"Where are you? Come home, Bells."

"Jake, there's a tsunami outside!" I exclaimed.

"It's not that bad," he murmured.

I glanced through the sliding glass doors, restraining myself from staring at Masen who had turned to face me. The palms outside were completely bent to one side, the glossy green fronds whipping in the wind. The ocean was nothing but a dark blur of blue and grey, the waves crashing against the once, sugary sand which had turned an ugly brown from the relentless torrent of rain.

"Please, Bells," Jake whispered, his frail voice reminding me of our youth.

"On my way," I sighed, ending the call without another word.

Avoiding Masen's stare I grabbed my clothes, slumping away into the nearby bathroom. The only source of light was from the glow of my cell phone as I occasionally hit the screen while cleaning up and sliding my clothes back on.

Glancing up at the mirror, I froze. The glow from the cell phone sitting on the counter below caused dark shadows to cast over my face, giving me a wicked, sinister expression.

My stomach dropped as I recognized the expression. It was exactly how I felt inside. I felt rotten, dirty, filled with guilt; the guilt of a woman who loved another man ... the guilt of a weak woman, too scared to take a chance at true love, too comfortable in the fucked up relationship she'd found herself in to put herself out there.

Masen was waiting on me in the hallway, dressed only in his boxers. I could barely look at him as my eyes darted between him and the door.

"Don't leave," he rasped, placing his hands on the wall by my sides, boxing me in. "Please, Bella. Don't leave."

"I… I have to, Masen," I mumbled, tears forming in my eyes as I ducked under his arm, turning from his crushed expression.

I darted down the hallway, covering my mouth with my hand to stifle my sobs. Prying open Masen's door, I fought through the wind and the rain pelting against me, slipping and stumbling over the wet ground as I made my way to my car.

I felt like a zombie driving home; numb, nosing slowly through the thick traffic and somehow making it back to my apartment complex unscathed.

After parking my car in its usual spot, I gazed up at the window of the apartment Jake and I shared since moving to Miami.

"Does he touch you like this?"

I could see him pacing, dialing the phone and putting it up to his ear just as mine started to ring. My hands gripped the steering wheel so hard my knuckles turned white. My mind was telling me to move ... grab the handle, dart through the rain, make it inside to the man I'd been with since I was a kid.

"Can he make you come like I do?"

Squeezing my eyes shut, all I saw was Masen, the want, and the need, and the torment in his eyes.

"You want this?" he had asked, palming himself over the bulge in his jeans.

And I wanted it.

But I wanted so much more than that.

I wanted him.

Not just his body, but him.

I wanted to be with him.

I wanted to know what his face looked like when he woke up in the morning wrapped in my arms.

I wanted to know what made him tick, what made him laugh, what made him cry … besides me.

"Tell me you're mine, Bella."

"I'm yours," I sighed, snapping my eyes open as I moved.

Shifting into reverse, I slammed on the gas, swerving and cursing as my tires slid, pulling the car sideways in the parking lot. My heart thumped in my chest, but it wasn't from fear.

It was from excitement.



Freedom from the person I was before I met Masen, freedom to be who I honestly was inside – Kitty; his Kitty.

I shivered with recollection, how he conveyed his affection, how it bared no limits from the very beginning.

When he was with me, he was with me, always teasing, and tasting, making every excuse to touch skin to skin.

"How are you healing? Can I see?"

His words stopped my heart. The impatient fumbling of his fingers started it back up again as he ran his thumb along the loopy, black cursive that bound us.

I knew he had me then.

He knew he had me from the start.

Racing through the pooling puddles of pouring rain, I made it back to Masen's bungalow in record time. I slammed on the brakes, skidding sideways into his tiny excuse of a lawn, completely uncaring about his uprooted, wet grass as I rushed up the porch steps.

Twisting the doorknob I was shocked to find the door still unlocked. Pushing it open I slipped inside, searching through the dark bungalow for the man I loved.

I found him in his bedroom, curled up on one side on top of the comforter, his face tired and lined with stress, even in sleep. Reaching out I carefully stroked my thumb across the frown lines near his mouth, my breath catching in my throat as he murmured my name in his sleep.

As quietly as I could, being careful not to wake him, I lowered myself to the bed, curling up beside him, smiling as his arm automatically lifted to find its way around me. I fell asleep that way, wrapped up in his arms, the warmth of his skin intermingling with mine as the pounding in my chest subsided. The only sounds filling the room were our deep breaths and the storm raging outside.

The bright sunlight filtering through a nearby window woke me. I rubbed the back of my hands against my eyes, blinking as they adjusted to the sudden brightness, before rolling over, and meeting a pair of green eyes.

I gazed at him warily, unsure of his reaction to my return; his face carefully composed with a neutral expression.

His eyes darted across my features taking me in, studying me as if trying to find hidden answers that simply weren't there.

"You came back," he rasped, his voice sexy with sleep.

"I came back," I replied, pulling the corner of my bottom lip into my mouth.

"Why?" he asked, the word so simple, the answer so monumental as my fingers drifted across his tatted chest. The pad of my index finger searched the swirls of colors, lightly tracing the scroll of the quote so very near his heart.

"All my life, my heart has yearned for one thing I cannot name," I whispered, the last word breaking as I noticed a fresh tattoo near the quote; a simple tattoo, so tiny I hadn't noticed it among the other patterns embedded in his skin.

It was a paw print; the paw print of a kitten.

Masen touched my chin, tilting my head up and forcing my eyes back to his. I gazed at him in wide-eyed wonder knowing he'd marked himself forever ... for me. Even through the confusion and uncertainty of our situation and our future, he'd marked himself for me.

"You," I whispered, brushing my lips delicately against his.

"My heart was yearning for you."

Thank you all who voted for 'In the Flesh' in the DTE contest. 244 reviews! We love you all and sorry for any inconvenience that pulling our fic caused.

Two-shot? Continuation? We'll see ;)

Hoodfabulous and Jonesn