Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye
Hard Ink #4.6
February 2, 2016
To the Wedding of the Year
Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited.
After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending.
As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found.
Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.
Nick pulled her bra strap off to the side. “Ready?”
“Very,” Becca said, butterflies doing a small loop in her belly.
The tattoo machine came to life on a low buzz. “Just relax and let me know if you need a break, okay?” he said, dipping the tip into a little plastic cup of black ink.
“Okay.” His gloved hands fell against her skin, and then the needles. Almost a scratching feeling, it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as she thought it would. And just like when he’d drawn on her with skin markers, she was already dying to see what it looked like.
“How you doing?” he asked in a voice full of concentration she found utterly sexy. Just the thought that he was permanently altering her skin—just like he’d permanently altered her heart, her life, her very soul—sent a hot thrill through her blood.
“I’m good,” she said, relaxing into the sensation of the bite moving across her skin. “Is it weird that I kinda like how it feels?”
He didn’t answer right away as the needle moved in a long line. He pulled the machine away and wiped at her shoulder. “Not weird at all,” he said, his voice a little gravelly. “Some people like the sensation and even find getting tattoos addictive.”
“I can see that,” she said. He worked without talking for a stretch, and the combination of the quiet intensity radiating off of him, the driving rock beat, and the buzz of the machine was heady and intoxicating. She found herself breathing a little faster and wanting so much more of him to be touching so much more of her. If she thought he was sexy putting ink on someone else, it was nothing compared to how she felt when he was doing it to her.
“What are you thinking about so hard?” Nick asked, his breath caressing her bare shoulder.
“Really want to know?” she asked, already smiling at what his reaction might be.
“Always,” he said, wiping at her skin. He dipped the machine in the ink and leaned in again.
“How turned on this is making me.” She really wanted to turn to see his expression but knew she wasn’t supposed to move.
He pulled the machine away again. “Jesus, Becca. You’re killing me here.”
She grinned. “I asked if you really wanted to know.”
Nick chuffed out a laugh. “Yeah, well, I’ve never had a fucking hard-on the entire time I’ve done a tattoo before, so you’re not the only one.”
Becca unleashed a small moan. “Now you’ve got me thinking about your cock, Nick.” She couldn’t help the hint of a whine in her voice.
“You’ll never convince me that that’s a bad thing, Sunshine.”
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