Page 12 of Marked With Love

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“You clearly have a type.” I wink at him. I’m not bad at this flirting thing, if I do say so myself.

“Clearly.” I turn around and ignore the cat. “You’re not going to try and pet him?”

“No way. If I want his attention, I need to ignore him. Then he’ll come to me.” Eros folds his arms over his chest and watches, giving me a nice view of his biceps. I haven't seen many thickly built artists in my day, and I don’t mean in a way that he hits the gym every day. He’s just naturally built this way. He’s all man.

I’m leaning up against the back of the sofa. Out of the corner of my eye, I watch the cat slowly come closer. Soon he’s butting his head into my side. I offer the little guy my hand, letting him smell it before I go in for my first pet.

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

“I’m a woman of many skills. Cat wrangler, appliance invader, art thief, tattoo artist… I could keep going, but I don’t want to bore you.”

“Promise you. I’m never going to grow bored of you.”

I don’t think I am going to either. Eros is starting to be a little too good to be true.



As my traitorouscat kneads his paws on Morgan’s lap, I take the opportunity to drink her in. The tips of her fingers are slightly dark, likely ink-stained. Even in the lamplight, her skin looks golden and warm, like she said my paintings exude. I wonder if she knows how sexy she is, how attractive she is to other people or whether she’s clueless. Louis had come on hard, but Morgan doesn’t act like a woman who recognizes her own appeal. She probably attributes the attention sent her way to the money her family has.

Gremlin allows himself to be picked up and hugged to Morgan’s chest. The shirt pulls tight by the motion and outlines her braless chest, something I’d noticed earlier but pushed out of my head because I’m too old to be sporting a hard-on in public. The timer dings and saves me from further embarrassment. I’m not a sixteen-year-old anymore. I can handle the outline of a nipple in a woman’s shirt.

I plate the food and bring it out to her. “I don’t have eighteen-year-old scotch, but I do have new milk and beer.”

“I’ll take the milk. I don’t think beer mixes well with lasagna.” She puts Gremlin down, and he immediately jumps back into her lap.

“Really, Gremlin?” I reach across to shoo him away, and my arm inadvertently brushes her tit.

She sucks in a swift breath.

“Sorry. Really wasn’t making a pass there.”

“I know.” She laughs a little. “I don’t know why I acted like a Victorian maiden. Even Winona is getting it on with Daddy Jim.”

“I can wait until you get some food into you before throwing you on the floor and ravishing you, so eat in peace.” I hand her a fork and the plate of lasagna. “Thoughts on what you want to watch? I usually flip until my thumb gets tired and then watch whatever is on screen. That’s how I ended up on the real story behind vampires, the truth about mermaids, and how to blow glass. Not gonna lie, the mermaid one had me fucked up.”

“I haven’t seen it. What’s it about?”

It seems like we’re both agreeing that we’ll table the sex stuff, the possible Daddy interest she has, to move on to safer things. It is our first date and not even a solo one. I’m feeding her food my mom made. The least I can do is buy her a full dinner or cook her something with my own hands before tying her to my bed posts and having my lustful way with her.

“Mermaids and whether they’re real or fake. This is not a real documentary. There’s a warning at the beginning, but by the end of the show, you’re thinking, wait a sec, maybe Hans Christian Anderson was actually writing a documentary and not a fairy tale.”

“Okay, I need to watch this.”

Obediently I put it on, and for the next hour, Morgan is transfixed. At the end, after she’s eaten two servings of my mom’s delicious pasta, drank three beers, and is slightly—maybe even more than slightly—tipsy, she turns to me with her red lips parted and her eyes wide. “I think I believe.”

I can’t laugh because I was in the same state of confusion after watching the “documentary”. “You need another beer,” I answer. I hand her a fresh one.

“Are you trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”

My brows crash together. Have I been saying my intrusive thoughts out loud? About how I wanted to tie her up and ravish her? “Hey, I’m on my fourth one, too. Maybe I should be worried about you taking advantage of me.”

“Hmmm.” She tips the beer back as if she’s contemplating this. “I think you’re too big for me to take advantage of.”

“I could tie one hand behind my back.”

“Kinky. But only one?”

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