Twisted Love Ch. 01bySoft1017©
*There is actually a tattooing franchise called Twisted Ink. I borrowed the name for this story. I came up with the story because of my minor experiences with the tattooing profession...and also because I have a scar like Emily does. Hope you all enjoy!*
Emily entered the tattoo parlor, feeling more than just a little out of place. The building was surrounded by groups of blonde and brunette Barbie girls of all shapes and sizes, in skin tight outfits. It was obvious that they were all there to drool over Ethan Brooks, owner of Twisted Ink. She was aware of how good looking he was, but did not come all this way to admire his looks.
Almost a year ago, the 26 yr. old had suffered a terrible injury to her back while she was on vacation in the Caribbean. Her family hailed from the beautiful island of Saint Lucia, and they had returned there to visit the beautiful beaches and landmarks that the island was so famous for.
While having a hike at one of the rocky cliffs overlooking the Soufriere beach, Emily slid and fell on her back against a few sharp rocks, retaining a huge diagonal gash. The injury extended from the top of her right shoulder blade, to the left side of her lower back.
The other cuts and scrapes she received from the fall were minor in comparison to the gash on her back, which required many surgeries. It took many months for the injury to heal and in the end she was left with a huge raised scar across her back.
At 240 lbs. she was already insecure about her weight and the scar across her back did not make her feel any better about herself. She constantly hid her curvy body by wearing unflattering and loose tops, which usually hid her large voluptuous breasts and beautiful milk chocolate skin.
Emily's doctor presented her with the option of having the scar treated with laser surgery. The process would have cost her almost $6000.00 but she had had enough of surgeries and operating rooms. Instead, she researched other ways of dealing with unsightly scars. Through her search, she came upon the idea of having her scar covered by a tattoo. Not only would the design hide the ugly scarring but it would also be much cheaper than laser surgeries.
She didn't know much about the tattooing process, and decided to visit a few parlors in her city, hoping to find an artist capable of the task. Through the advice of a few internet forums, she was informed on what to look for when searching out a good tattoo parlor. She needed to find an experienced and cautious artist who would take the utmost care with her skin.
After weeks of searching, she came upon Twisted Ink. The shop was given great reviews in many of the prominent tattoo magazines, and its owner, Ethan Brooks, was becoming a superstar from all the media attention. He was well known for his intricate tattooing style, which varied from ancient Japanese prints to more modernized art. She was looking for the best, and he was it.
As she walked up to the shop, a few of the Barbie girls stared at her with looks that said, "What's someone like her doing here?" She did feel uncomfortable not fitting in with their look, but she was determined to get this done. She had already called the shop in advance, and set up an appointment for 5 p.m. She anticipated what kind of people would be hanging around the shop, especially the scantily dressed women.
Not wanting to expose her body in front of these people, she had her sister take a few pictures of the scar on her back. She knew eventually that she would have to expose her skin and the fat on her body but she was not quite ready for all to see her yet. Upon entering the shop, she was approached by a cute and petite Asian girl with light blue highlights in her long black hair. She was covered in tattoos from neck to forearm and she smiled warmly at Emily.
"Hi, can I help you?"
"Hi, yes I have an appointment with Ethan for 5 o'clock."
"Oh yes, you're Emily right?" she smiled.
"Yes that me." Emily said returning her smile.
"I'm Liz; I'm the one you spoke to over the phone. You said that you had a scar that you wanted to have covered up, right?"
"Yeah, I have a few photos here of the scar." she said, taking out the pictures and handing them to Liz.
"OK great! Well why don't you have a seat and Ethan will be with you shortly." she said, leading Emily to some empty red leather seats in the waiting area.
Emily was a little nervous, as she sat waiting for him. She began to chip the lavender nail-polish off her nails, which was something she usually did when her nerves were on end. She was about to meet one of the "Gods of Tattooing".
The painful process of having a design etched into her skin by many sharp needles hadn't even occurred to her yet. Instead, she was worried about what he would think of her out-of-shape body. She didn't have to wait long, because he came out from the back room suddenly and her heart skipped a beat.
He was a very tall and handsome guy in his mid-thirties. His dark hair was cut into a stylish Mohawk and he looked like he belonged in a rock band wearing a black Rob Zombie t-shirt and distressed blue jeans. He had a few piercings on each ear and every inch of his skin reaching from his neck to forearms were covered in a variation of tattoos.
"Hi, Emily?" he smiled.
"Hi, how are you?" she said shyly.
"Liz told me that you wanted some work done to get your scar covered?" he said handing her back a few of the photos, keeping only one.
"Yea, I'm not really familiar with tattooing, so I wanted to come down here to get your opinion on what would work for me."
"Do you have a design in mind yet? It's a pretty big area that you're trying to have covered." he said looking at the Polaroid.
"Not yet...but I was hoping that you might have a few recommendations." she said, feeling a little awkward that she hadn't chosen a design yet.
"Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here. There are a few things we need to talk about before we even figure out what kind of design you'd like. Come this way and we'll discuss it." And he led her to large Cherry wood table, with a few black folders and forms neatly arranged on top.
He motioned for her to have a seat and he sat down on the opposite side of the table.
"Okay... covering a scar of this size can be a very long and painful process." he said pointing to the red raised scar in the picture.
"It might even be more painful than getting a tattoo done on normal, un-scarred tissue. The question is are you willing to go through the pain of having it covered up?"
She thought about this for a few seconds and nodded her head. She had endured much pain after the accident, and if she had survived all the stitches and operations it took to close up the wound, then she could definitely deal with this.
"Alright, well since you've made your mind up, I have some good news and some bad news. I won't be able to do your tattoo... you see I'm totally backed-up with clients for the next few weeks and most importantly, I'm very heavy-handed. What that means is, when I work on a design I apply a certain amount of pressure on the skin and usually during the process of tattooing over scars, ink might need to be re-applied a few times. I don't want to risk damaging your skin and from what I can tell you're going to need an artist who is careful and very gentle with the gun. "
Her heart sank at that moment. He was an experienced professional who really cared about his clients. It saddened her that he wouldn't be able to help her.
"You look disappointed but I haven't given you the good news yet." he smiled
She looked at him doubtfully. There couldn't possibly be any good news after this.
"My baby brother is perfect for the job." he said smiling with confidence.
"I taught him myself and he's had 8 years of experience. He's very gentle with the gun, and I usually refer clients with sensitive skin to him. He always does a great job. I'll also knock $200.00 off the initial price that we set."
"Well, I'm not so worried about the price, as I am the finished product. It's a very important step for me and I want to make sure that it's done properly."
"Trust me, this is my little brother. He can do it! I wouldn't send you to someone that I didn't think was capable of handling this."
"Okay...if it's coming from you then I guess I'll give him a chance." she sighed.
"You won't regret it! Luke is in the back. I'll get him for you...oh, and mind if I hold on to this for reference?" he asked as he held up the Polaroid.
"Sure." she said, even more nervous now than when she first came in.
She hadn't expected Ethan to be so nice to her and she was warming up to him. Now she was going to be introduced to his little brother. All she needed was another man who was used to seeing pretty Barbie girls all the time, looking at her ugly body. She watched Ethan walk away to the back of the studio behind some black curtains, and continued her ritual of chipping off her nail polish. She tapped her foot against the floor and waited.
Emily heard two sets of footsteps approaching from behind the curtain and clasped her hands together tightly. Ethan emerged from behind the curtains, followed by his younger and much more gorgeous brother. Luke was about 5'11 and was dressed in a style similar to his brother's black t-shirt and blue jeans. Unlike his brother, his skin was free of any tattooing but he did have piercings.
Luke had multiple piercings on each ear and she could make out two thin silver rings which went through the left side of his pink, bottom lip. His shiny, jet black hair was very thick and the curly locks gently fell over his forehead and ears. Her heart pounded in her chest as the two approached and she began to tap her feet faster.
"Luke, this is Emily." Ethan said smiling.
"Hi, how are you?" Luke asked with a beautiful dimpled smile.
"Hello." was all that came out of her as she stared blankly at the blue eyed man in front of her.
Ethan explained to her that Luke had agreed to take on her tattoo and that he would now leave her in his capable hands. He then left the two and returned to the back room.
"I should apologize for my brother. You probably came in expecting him to be the one working on you, huh?
"It's alright, he had very nice things to say about you and I trust his word." she replied with a smile.
"Well, I want to make sure that you don't have any doubts about letting me work on you. My brother's much more well-known than I am. Since the shop is closing soon, would you mind coming back tomorrow? I can show you my portfolio and we can talk some more...Um I'm going to need you for a few hours though, do you have any plans? If you do we can set this up for another day."
"No, tomorrow's fine. What time would you like me to come in?"
"I have a few appointments tomorrow but nothing too major. It might take up the whole day, sooo...." he paused, shuffling in his wallet for his business card. "...how about 4:30? I'll be free after that and the shop will be totally empty. Is that alright?" he asked while handing her the colorful card.
"Sure, that would be fine."
"Great! I'll see you tomorrow then, Emily." And he gave her a gorgeous dimpled smile once again.
He turned away and walked behind the curtains, leaving her as she took a long, deep breath. Emily hadn't realized that she wasn't breathing normally when he was next to her. She slowly got up and made her way out the door. Luke had been really nice and didn't seem fazed by the huge scar on her back.
Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. He was going to have her come back when no one was around and she was thankful for this. Heaven forbid that she should undress in front of the gawking Barbie girls.