Tattoo of Love Ch. 01byvirgofemme©
*So this is a new story that i'm working on. I hope you all like it, and as usual I welcome comments and constructive feedback. Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope that you find it to your liking!*
As Julia walked across the threshold of the tattoo shop, a biting guitar melody flowed from the speakers and surrounded her, mixing with the buzz of tattoo needles. Heading toward the display case next to the cashier, she noticed a woman standing behind the counter. There was an inquisitive look in her eyes, and Julia instantly began to feel very out of place. Julia offered her a friendly smile and the woman returned it with a weak one of her own.
"Can I help you?" asked the shopkeeper.
Possessing a type of beauty which could be described as exotic, the woman had thick, wavy hair and bedroom eyes. Spotting a tattoo which peeked out from the off-shoulder top that the woman wore, Julia noticed it was in the shape of a geometric flower.
Glancing down into the display case Julia answered, "I'm here to look at your earrings."
Specializing in Polynesian tattoos, the shop was revered for the incredibly talented tattoo artists who created traditional designs of a highly intricate nature. In addition to doing tattoos and piercings, the shop also sold a variety of unique jewelry which featured designs from various Pacific Islander countries. As her eyes roved across the various styles of jewelry, she found herself intrigued by the beautifully unique designs.
"Any particular pair that you're interested in?" Questioned the shopkeeper.
"No, not really. I just thought I'd have a look. I pass by this place all the time, but this is my first time coming in.
"Do you have any tattoos?"
Shaking her head Julia replied, "Nope. I have a very low threshold for pain."
Curling her lips into an amused smile the woman replied, "That's too bad, because I think you'd look good with one."
Surprised by the compliment Julia said, "I've thought about it before. Who knows, one day I might decide to overcome my fears and go for it."
Offering her a look which expressed doubt the woman replied, "Cool. Well I'll let you have a look at the jewelry and if you see anything you like, just give me a holler. My name is Sia."
As Sia turned around and walked away, Julia noticed that the back of Sia's shirt was cut out, allowing for a nice view of her back tattoo. Admiring the style of it, Julia found that it was quite breathtaking. She'd always loved the way Polynesian tattoos looked, and was also fascinated by the history behind them.
Turning her eyes toward a large circular mirror behind the counter, Julia caught glance of her reflection in the glass. Her shoulder length hair, which naturally formed into a mixture of ringlets and waves, had a sexy sort of "just woke up and rolled out of bed" look.
She usually put more effort into separating and defining her curls, but she hadn't possessed the patience for it this morning, so she opted for a quick wash and go. She didn't mind the way it looked, though. Funnily enough, some of her best hair days happened when she stopped trying to perfect her curls and just let them do their own thing.
The wall behind the display case was covered with a variety of photographs which displayed tattoo designs, as well as large colorful stickers and a flag which she instantly recognized as that of Samoa.
A carving which was in the shape of a giant hook hung in the middle of the wall, demanding her attention with its awesome presence. Focusing her eyes upon it, she found herself humbled by the intricate designs which were carved into the wood.
Noticing a slip of paper of paper taped beneath it, she read the lettering and discovered that the beautiful piece of art she was looking at was called a Samoan fish hook. It was fashioned out of a type of wood called Vesi, and was crafted by an expert carver who went by the name of G. Fatutoa.
She was astounded by the expert craftsmanship and found herself wondering how long it had taken to create. Lowering her eyes back to the items in the display case, she was pleased to see that one of the pair of earrings was in the very same shape of the hook on the wall.
Etched with black ink in a Samoan tattoo design, the earrings were carved out of bone. A tag beneath it listed the price as forty dollars and although she was supposed to be on a spending diet, she was very tempted to buy them anyhow.
As her eyes landed upon another pair of earrings, she saw they were in the shape of a triangle, and had a design upon them which represented spear heads and a fish. Roving her eyes from one earring to the next, she tried to decide upon which pair she wanted the most.
As she took a few moments to think it over she spotted a bottle of lotion on top of the display case and grabbed it, unscrewing the cap so she could spread some over her hand. Terribly dry and cracked and due to the lack of moisture in her skin, they currently resembled the hide of a lizard.
Squeezing the bottle to release some into her hand, she found that the container was nearly empty. Turning the bottle completely upside down, Julia constricted her palm around the container and gave it a nice, hard shake. As the lotion spilled out she found that nearly her entire palm was covered in the cream, and she immediately turned the bottle right side up.
After returning it to its spot on top of the display case, Julia rubbed her palms together and tried to disperse the lotion evenly. This however, didn't accomplish much at all because the cream was thicker that she'd expected.
Casually glancing toward the tattoo booths at the back of the store, she was relieved to see that Sia's attention was upon one of the clients who sat in the chair getting inked. Julia felt foolish with all of this lotion on her hands, and needed to get rid of it before somebody spotted her.
Digging into her purse, she began rifling through it in search for a pack of tissues that she usually kept handy. As her hand came into contact with a plastic package she realized it was empty and uttered a sound of discontent. She was still rooting around in her bag when the sound of a deep voice suddenly came from behind her.
"I think I have what you're looking for," the unseen person spoke to her.
As she turned around to look at the speaker she came face to face with one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen. Undeniably Polynesian, he had a well-defined jaw and a set of eyes which instantly captured her attention.
As her orbs met his, Julia noticed that his eyes were roving over her features, unabashedly studying the details of her face.
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean," she responded.
As his lips curled into a little smile she noticed how nice and full they were. She always did like a man with a nice set of lips, and she also noticed that he had a little patch of hair beneath his mouth, as well as a bit of hair on his chin. Extending his hand toward her, he offered her a few napkins.
"Oh, right. The lotion," she grabbed the napkins from him with a bashful smile.
"You know that's for tattoos, right?" He motioned toward the bottle of cream that she'd used.
Glancing toward it, Julia picked it up and turned it around so that the label was visible. Reading the words upon it, she saw it was indeed a cream specifically for use after receiving a tattoo.
"Oh, I didn't notice. Sorry about that, I didn't know it was a special cream."
"It's no big deal, just thought I'd let you know." Offering a little smile, he watched her wipe the excess cream off of her hands.
"So did you need any help? I noticed you checking out some of the jewelry in the display case."
Having gotten most of the lotion off, she balled up the tissue and slipped it into her purse. "Yeah, I was interested in purchasing a pair of earrings."
Walking behind the counter, he grabbed a set of keys from a drawer beneath the register and was about to open the display case when a phone mounted on the wall rang.
"Excuse me for one moment," he said as he picked up the receiver.
"Tatau Samoa," this is Nolan."
He abruptly switched from English to what Julia guessed was Samoan, and she found herself listening intently to the rhythm of the language.
With his attention diverted, Julia took the opportunity to check out his form. Standing over six feet tall, Nolan had a solidly built body of pure muscle. With broad shoulders and a firm chest, he had the type of physique which had been gained through an inheritance of genes, and not through hours of strenuous exercise.
The lower half of a tattoo peeked out from beneath his T-shirt sleeve, and she could see that the taut bicep of his right arm was adorned in a traditional Polynesian design.
She wondered what the top half of the tattoo looked like, and was also curious if he had anymore. As Julia's eyes fell upon his hair she couldn't help but admire the thickness and luster of it. His locks were wavy and pulled back into a ponytail which reached the nape of his neck, and she began to imagine what it would look like unbound from its constraints.
Suddenly aware that somebody was watching her, Julia's eyes were drawn toward the other side of the store. As her gaze fell upon Sia, Julia noticed that the other woman's eyes were fixed upon her.
Sharing a knowing smile, Sia seemed to silently express to Julia that she understood the attraction. Julia could only guess how many women came into the store and were instantly taken by his looks, and she began to wonder if Sia was his girlfriend.
Filled with embarrassment, Julia returned Sia's smile with one of her own, then directed her attention to the jewelry in the display case. She'd been caught enjoying the view and there was no way she could play off what had just happened.
Julia heard Nolan speak a few more sentences in Samoan and then he hung up, turning his attention back upon his waiting customer.
"Sorry about that," he said to her.
"So, what were you interested in having a look at?" He asked as he unlocked the display case.
Pointing out the earrings to him she replied, "The ones in the shape of a hook."
Retrieving them from the display box, Nolan sat them upon the counter so that Julia could get a closer look at them. Picking up the plastic holder that they were hooked into, Julia held the earrings next to her ear and picked up a hand mirror which sat on top of the display case. She wanted to make sure that they suit her before she invested the money in the purchase.
"Those will look lovely on you, I can already tell. You should get them," he said.
"You think so? I also had my eye on the spear head and fish earrings."
"Those are nice as well, but I really think that these ones suit you. The fish hook brings positive energy and good luck."
"Really? Well I can always use more of that." Glancing at the wall where the giant fish hook carving hung she asked, "Did the craftsman who made that carving on the wall create the jewelry as well?"
Glancing behind him at the wood carving which hung on display Nolan replied, "Oh, you mean Troy Fatutoa? No, he doesn't create jewelry. He only does larger carvings."
"Well it's a stunning work of art. Can I ask who made these earrings?"
"We have craftspeople in Samoa who create all of the jewelry you see here. They only provide limited amounts of each design, so if you buy from our shop, you'll know it's truly unique."
"Glancing admiringly at the earrings Julia responded, "They are one of a kind. Well I've made my decision. I'll definitely go with these." Setting the earrings on the counter Julia reached into her tan leather messenger bag and pulled out her wallet.
As Nolan called out the total to her Julia handed him some bills and waited for her change. After placing the money in the register he retrieved a few coins and tore off the receipt, handing both of them to her with a smile.
As he wrapped the earrings in tissue paper he said, "That's a nice jacket. You get it from Angela's closet?"
Made out of cream colored suede, the jacket she wore had faux white fur along the collar and the edges of the sleeves. Dubbed 'the rockstar jacket' by her friend Mimi, it was one of Julia's most prized articles of clothing. Worn more as an accessory rather than for warmth, Julia donned the jacket for days when the weather was mild.
"Yeah,I did. "How did you know?"
"I passed by the store last week and I saw in on display in the window."
"Yeah, it was kind of an impulse buy. I have plenty of jackets at home, but when I saw this one I just couldn't pass it up."
"I'm like that as well. When I see something I like, I have to make it mine." His eyes sparkled and he gave her a flirtatious smile.
Julia's lips curved upward and she delicately moved a few stands of hair from out of her eye.
"Is that right?"
As he handed Julia the bag with her earrings in it he replied, "Yes it is."
Wrapping her fingers around the handle, Julia tried to accept the bag from him but he held onto it, teasingly giving it a little pull as she tried to take it from his hands. As she gave another tug he relented and allowed her to hold the bag. As his eyes roved downward to rest upon a spot near her shoulder, she noticed his lips pull up into a smile.
"So what kind of a geek are you?" He asked.
Julia blinked in surprise. "Excuse me?"
"I was referring to the button that's pinned to the strap of your bag."
Glancing down at it, her eyes focused upon the button which stated, 'self proclaimed geek.'
"Oh, right. I forgot I was wearing it." Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear she answered, "Well I'm not just one kind of geek but a combination. I'm a comic book geek and a food geek. Oh yeah, and i'm also a film geek."
The smirk he gave her caused her to wonder what he was thinking and she began to feel a bit awkward.
"What? Why are you looking at me that way?"
"What way?" He inquired.
"You're staring at me as if I have a booger on my face. I don't, do I?"
Releasing a chuckle he said, "No, you don't. I'm only staring because I find you interesting, and I think you have a nice looking face. Is that okay?"
Their eyes remained locked for a few more moments before Julia finally pulled her gaze away from his.
"Well I guess I'll be going now," she reluctantly stated. "Thanks for helping me decide upon the earrings."
Turning his head to watch her leave he replied, "It was my pleasure. Come back and visit us again, okay?"
Giving a nod she replied, "Alright." Then she flashed him a smile.
As she pulled the door open and headed outside the crisp fall air greeted her, making her feel refreshed and invigorated. Lifting her gaze toward the sky, she saw that thick clouds were beginning to form. A sure sign that rain was on its way, she picked up the pace in hopes that she'd reach her destination before the streets grew wet.
Continuing along her familiar route toward home, she began to recall Nolan's eyes, thinking about the way they had locked gazes. She also thought about the way he'd flirted with her, pulling the bag away as she tried to accept it from him. Then her thoughts turned to his body and she began to wonder how he'd look without his shirt on. She couldn't help noticing his nicely toned physique, and imagined what it would feel like to have those nice, strong arms wrapped around her body.
Pulling herself out of the fantasy, Julia slipped her hands into her pockets and continued along her path. The last thing she needed right now was to indulge herself in thoughts of a guy, especially one whom she'd just barely met. It was far too easy to lose herself in daydreams, and she knew that once she got started, it usually grew into something which wasn't easily stopped.
As the delicious smell of baked goods flooded her nostrils she turned her head toward the building which was the source of it. Mimi's Bakery was the best spot in town to purchase all sorts of mouth watering creations, and as she passed by her place of employment, Julia saw Mimi herself at work behind the counter.
Their eyes met for a brief moment and Julia waved. Mouthing a hello from behind the glass of the shop window, Julia's boss gave her a smile and then turned her attention back towards a customer.
Turning onto a small road which led to her house, Julia's thoughts turned to her family. Her sister Sage had a birthday coming up in the next few weeks, and Julia was still unsure of what she should get her. Julia had been pestering her sibling for the past week, trying to get some sort of idea as to what type of gift she would prefer, but as usual, Sage had refused to give her any hints at all.
She figured her sibling's reasoning behind it was that she preferred to be surprised by whatever gifts were bought for her, but Julia couldn't help wishing that Sage would help her out just this once.
As the house where she lived came into view, Julia found herself anticipating the piece of cake which was waiting for her in the fridge. Going by the title of Chocolate Gateaux Deluxe, the dessert was sinfully delicious and had been receiving rave reviews from the customers who came into the bakery.
Julia was always pleased to find that people enjoyed her creations, and she couldn't think of a more perfect job in the world. Getting paid to bake all day was like a dream come true for her, especially since Mimi had hired her without any formal training.
Julia had known Mimi since high school, and they'd managed to keep in touch during the years that Julia had been living in Los Angeles. The two women had always shared a special sibling-like friendship, and it seemed that the years they'd spent apart had barely affected their relationship at all.
Almost all of the baking knowledge Julia had came from Mimi's patient teachings, and Julia knew she was fortunate to have landed a job at such a top notch bakery.
As she reached the stairs which led to her attic apartment she began to climb them, and was met with the sound of a loud meow. Glancing over her shoulder she saw her cat Samantha following closely on her heel.
She could tell from the sound of the animal's cry that she was hungry, and as the cat raced up the stairs she nearly sent Julia tumbling backwards. Obviously eager to enter the apartment, Samantha impatiently called out to Julia, pawing and scratching at the door with her claws.
"Alright, alright, hold your horses you furball," Julia teasingly said.
Once she reached the door she slipped the key into the lock and opened it, following behind Samantha as she trotted into the apartment. After closing the door behind her she took off her jacket and hung it on the hook by the door. Then she slipped out of her boots and headed for the bathroom.
Once her bladder had been relieved she strolled into the kitchen and retrieved a can of food for her cat. As Julia popped the lid off the can of cat food, Samantha's cries became louder. After spooning half of the can into the cat's dish, Julia covered the remainder of the food and put it into the fridge.
While she had the door open, she took out the piece of chocolate cake she'd been craving. She also took out a carton of milk, and was about to close the fridge when her eyes fell upon a large container of prepared salad. What she really felt like having was the dessert, but she hadn't eaten lunch yet and knew that she needed a proper meal.
Retrieving the bowl of salad she set it upon the counter and took a plate down from the cabinet. She gave herself a nice generous portion of the greens, then opened a can of tuna and mixed in some mayonnaise and spices. She also chopped up a leftover boiled egg she'd cooked earlier that morning, then tossed it into the salad.
After filling a glass with water, Julia set her food on a tray and took it with her into the living room. The living area shared its space with the dining room, but since it was spacious it kept the area from feeling cramped. Large windows filled the room with sunlight, and a loft bed was located above the space where the kitchen was. Julia particularly liked that feature of the apartment, because it provided an extra sleeping spot if company were to ever come over.