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“Thanks. Someday I’ll be able to just paint,” he mumbles as he snaps on the rubber gloves.

Nodding, I sit on the velvet couch and reach for a book on the table. Reed is quiet, looking at the flower painting.

Placing his gloved hands on his knees, Brad Pitt asks, “Who’s first?”

“Me. I’m the only one who’s getting one.” Reed pulls off his T-shirt, handing it to me. Unable able to stop, I let my eyes travel his chest. He loves to exercise—his body is lean and muscled.

Besides me, working out is probably Reed’s second favorite thing. Which is why he is sporting a six-pack already. Licking my lips, I visualize what it would be like to lick those muscles.

His husky voice brings me back to him and where we are. “I want an arrow piercing my heart and I want the name Tess on it.”

I gasp. Literally I might have even said his name because he turns and flashes me his incredible smile. I think I might die. There goes my heart again.

Brad Pitt is silent for a moment. “I like it. I can make it almost 3-D. It’ll look like the arrow is almost injected into your heart.” Grabbing his sketch pad, he starts to draw it.

Reed watches then shakes his head. “That’s not right. I need the arrow in my heart. She pierced it when I was eight.” His eyes never leave mine as he sits on the tattoo table, his long legs hanging. He’s so gorgeous, my mind starts to twist things. I’m scared and jealous. It’s like a poisonous pill that I don’t want to take but do anyway.

Reed sits like a prince. What am I going to do when he’s a full-grown man like Jay and Brad Pitt? What if I can’t keep him? Or some girl tries to steal him from me? I hate when I torture myself with these morbid thoughts. He’s mine. And I will do anything to keep him.

Suddenly the room is filled with a buzzing sound as Brad turns on the machine. He starts to outline the tattoo.

I’m mesmerized. Reed is branding me to him forever. We are truly soul mates. The buzzing of the machine calms me. With every drop of ink that enters Reed, he becomes mine more. I have to get one. His eyes narrow. He knows. Of course he does. I smile at him. He arches a dark brow at me, but he’s smirking.

His tattoo takes a little over two hours. Brad is a perfectionist, adding details and shading until it looks exactly like an arrow has been shot into Reed’s heart with my name on it. Reed sits still, acting like he is getting a haircut rather than a needle constantly piercing his beautiful body. No longer leafing through magazines, I sit quietly, staring at him, shifting every so often on the velvet couch. I have this feeling inside me that I can’t explain. It’s almost like we’ve shared something so intimate that I don’t know how to process it.

Brad Pitt wraps it up. Not being able to contain my energy anymore I say, “I want one!”

All eyes turn toward me.

Jay frowns, Brad Pitt looks thrilled, and Reed looks… well, intense.

“What do you want, Kitten?”

I almost blurt out “you,” but instead I walk up to him and hand him his shirt.

“It’s a surprise. I need it. You need it.”

He’s silent; then he looks at Brad. “Whatever the birthday girl wants.”

“Fuck yeah.” Brad is excited, snapping on some fresh gloves. Reed shakes his head, pulls his shirt over his head. “Where do you want it, Tess?”

“Well I only want you to see it. So—”


“But… you don’t even know what I was going to say.” Adrenaline percolates through my veins.

“You are not piercing your heart, Tess.” He walks up to me and wraps his hand in my thick hair and brings me close to his lips. “You would have to take off your shirt, and again, no one is ever going to see you naked but me.” I huff because that’s exactly what I wanted. But he’s right. I would have to take off my shirt and my bra.

“Okay, I want the same arrow on my side aiming toward my heart with Reed’s name on it.” I stare at him.

“Pull up your shirt, Kitten.”

I pull it up. His warm hand traces the area with his fingers. “Start here, have it travel to here.” He motions right under my breast.

Brad is in his chair again, sketch pad waiting. “Yeah… that will work.” His focus lands on me. “Do you want the arrow to be inserted like Reed’s?”

“I want it making its way to my heart. Can you make it look like it’s traveling?”

“Of course.” He swivels around, getting everything ready.

Reed tucks my T-shirt into my bra and steps back. I move to the table and lie down on my side. Brad Pitt gets me a pillow. Reed stands toward my head giving Brad room to work.