Madd ink, p.1

Madd Ink, page 1

 

Madd Ink
 


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Madd Ink


  The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled micro-romances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after.

  Detective Slade Maddox doesn’t let the same woman warm his bed twice. Get it in and then get out.

  But Ryn Callan is something else. The way her breath catches in her throat, the way she stares at his chest, and not just because of his ink. The goose bumps on her skin when he leans in close.

  Her incredible response to his every touch.

  Ryn’s meant to be his, and Slade wants nothing more than to satisfy her for the rest of their lives.

  For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: Quick and dirty, just the way we like it.

  This book is approximately 12,000 words

  One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

  Edited by Kerri Buckley

  Dedication

  To my girls who fell for Jagger and Ava, I hope you love Slade and Ryn just as much.

  Contents

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Excerpt from Ex-Rated Attraction by K Webster

  Acknowledgments

  Also by Dani René

  About the Author

  Prologue

  I’d given up a lot in my short life. When I wanted to study art, my parents disagreed with my choice. There wasn’t a living to be made from painting and drawing. That’s what my father told me. Mom didn’t argue, she never did. My parents were the epitome of what I didn’t want from a relationship.

  When Dad finally walked out, leaving me and Mom alone, I had no choice but to grow up too soon. Sixteen, head of the household because my mother decided that without a man she was nothing. I cooked, cleaned, made sure that she ate. My dreams of art school diminished when that happened. I dropped out of high school, found a job in an office to pay the bills. Answering phones was easy. You didn’t need a degree to be friendly.

  I was happy. Until I walked into a bar one night with a few colleagues. They told me to loosen up. I was an eighteen-year-old girl who never had a beer before. Then I had one too many. The so-called friends left me there to my own devices. My knight in shining armor saved me. Trent Halston.

  Those green eyes, that rugged beard, and those tattoos. He put me in his truck, drove me home, and made sure I got in safely. Somewhere along the drive, he’d managed to get hold of my phone, swapping numbers while I giggled and told him about the snobby office women I worked with. The same ones who left me in a bar on my own.

  The next day he called to check on me. Make sure I was surviving the hangover. He wasn’t romantic, just sweet. There’s a difference.

  That was the end of my innocence. He’d stolen my number, and after that night he made sure to steal my heart. Nothing prepared me for him, for love, for heartbreak. And nothing prepared me for what lay ahead.

  Chapter One

  Ryn

  Rolling over, I groan at the light streaming through the blinds against the bedroom window. The blaring alarm tells me it’s six-thirty in the morning and I know I have to get ready if I’m going to be on time for work.

  The heat of the sun warms me, and I push the comforter off so I can bask in the feel of it on my body. I swing my legs over the edge of the bed, my feet hitting cold wooden slats, which makes me shiver. Heading into the bathroom, I turn on the shower, watching as the spray slowly steams up the small space. As soon as I’ve stripped down, I step under the deluge that cascades against my skin.

  My sleek blonde hair is short, cut to my chin. I keep it that way so it’s easy to wash. I’ve always been more of a tomboy, so I like that fact that I don’t have to spend hours styling it.

  Also, it’s easier to pin back when I’m at work. Since Ava and Jag are back together, he’s been giving me more responsibility when it comes to tattooing—

  which was always my dream. I’ve taken on my own clients, sketching up ideas and making stencils. Today I’ve got a back piece that is going to take the whole day. I can’t wait, the portrait the client gave me to work with was utter perfection.

  The water is hot and the pressure is incredible. I close my eyes, enjoying the massaging pinpricks on my shoulders. Suddenly ice sprays onto my skin, causing me to scream loudly out the bathroom door.

  “I’m going to kill you!” A soft giggle comes from down the hallway. Shutting off the taps, I step out, grabbing a towel and wrapping myself in the fluffy pink material.

  “Sorry, Mommy!” The voice that I love more than life itself comes from the princess bedroom down the hall. Padding over the wooden floors, I step into her bedroom and pin her with a narrowed glare.

  “I’ll get you back for that, Roxie,” I warn, but can’t help smiling at her bright blue eyes. My short blonde hair and cobalt eyes match my daughter’s. Thankfully she looks nothing like her father. The asshole who walked out, leaving us both without so much as a goodbye. When I found out I was pregnant, he packed his bags and left us in the middle of the night. I woke up to a cold bed, and empty apartment.

  “I’m ready for school, I just need to brush my teeth.” Her five-year-old self is too old for her age. Independent, sassy, and a pain in the ass. She takes after her mother. At twenty-four I never thought I’d be a single mom, raising my daughter on the paychecks of my full-time tattooing job.

  When I told Jagger about Roxanne, he smiled, told me he’d pay me to work mornings and I could leave earlier to collect her at school. When I explained that I needed a full-time salary, he just shrugged.

  The first time I received my pay slip, I almost fainted in the store. I felt bad that he’d paid me double what most artists get, never mind the fact that I started out as an apprentice.

  I questioned him about it a few times. All he told me was that I should look after myself and Roxie. The man has a heart of gold. I’ve never come across someone who would go out of their way to help a woman on her own like that without wanting something in return.

  “I’ll be ready soon. Breakfast first,” I warn, and my little blonde doll nods with a bright smile. I head back to my bedroom to quickly pull on a pair of blue skinny jeans, my signature black skull tank top with a purple bra beneath. My arms are inked from shoulder to wrist. The color, along with black-and-white tattoos that fill my arms, have become my uniform. My piercings are mostly hidden by my hair and clothes.

  With one tongue piercing, a few bars through my earlobes and my nipples pierced, most people would shy away from me. Or wonder how a woman who looks like I do raises a child. It’s one of those stereotypical judgments that caused me to get full sleeves done. I wanted to prove to those people that it didn’t matter what you looked like, you could still live a normal life. I’ve learned first-hand to never judge a book by its ink. Even the most beautifully polished covers can be a farce.

  Pulling my blonde hair into a hair tie, I head down to have breakfast with my baby. The only thing in my life I’ve ever done right.

  Chapter Two

  Slade

  A soft giggle from my left wakes me from a deep slumber, causing me to groan in response. “Slade.” Her high-pitched voice grates on my nerves, which doesn’t help the pain I’m experiencing. T
he thumping in my head feels as if someone’s hammering at my fucking brain. Fingernails trail down my chest, and I know she’s tracing the ink on my pecs.

  Slowly, she makes her way over the dips of my abs, moving south, but before she gets to the prize, I grip her wrist, tugging her off me.

  “Time to go, sweetheart,” I grunt, pushing off the bed, grumbling in agony. Jesus, this is one killer of a hangover. I don’t remember much from last night, but I do recall white alcohol, the Satan of them all. Fucking tequila.

  “You promised to make me breakfast.” Her sickly sweet voice comes from behind me. When I finally turn to the woman in my bed, I find a blonde bimbo, her fake tits peeking at me like a teenager. Jesus. How old is she?

  “Not today, sweetheart. Get your ass out of my bed.” I don’t waste another moment looking at her. Sauntering into the kitchen, I turn the kettle on and grab my mug. Spooning in a heaped scoop of coffee, I wait for the water to boil.

  I hear her shuffling around behind me, but I don’t pay any attention to the woman I fucked last night. The blonde who I can’t get out of my fucking house soon enough.

  Grabbing a bottle of chilled water from the fridge, I swallow two painkillers, hoping they’ll take effect sooner rather than later. I have work to do today and doing it with a hangover is not my idea of fun.

  “Will I see you again?” she asks from the hallway.

  “Goodbye, blondie. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.”

  “You’re such an asshole, Slade Maddox!”

  I can’t help chuckling at her outburst. Yeah, don’t I know that, sweetheart. As soon as the door shuts I breathe I sigh of relief. The kettle turns off, and I fill my mug. The promise of caffeine my savior as I sip the hot liquid.

  When I step back into my bedroom, there’s clothes all over the floor. The first thing I check is the trash can. Another sigh leaves my lungs when I see a condom in the waste. Thank fuck for small mercies. At least I remembered to do one thing right last night.

  * * *

  “Maddox.” I turn to find my partner, Kyle, sitting in the drive when I make my way up to the station. I’ve been working with the LAPD for almost ten years. Making detective was what I always wanted, and when they finally gave me the badge, I felt as if I’d made it. Like I’m finally doing something good in this city.

  “What’s up, Pritchard.” I nod, as he heads toward his car. He’s dressed in a pair of dark jeans, a light blue shirt, and his hair is a mess. He looks like he’s not had any sleep in weeks. Come to think of it, he probably hasn’t. His wife just left him and he’s still finding his singledom difficult to handle.

  “I’m heading out to grab coffee. Want one?”

  “Yeah, get me two, make them large, it’s going to be a long shift.” He nods then, turning and heading out to the car.

  My own white shirt is already sticking to my skin, with the heat wave that’s hitting the city. As soon as I walk into the air-conditioned building, I find a few cops milling around, and head straight for my office. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s my personal space.

  Flopping into my chair, I pull out my phone and hit dial on my best friend’s number.

  “What’s up, Slade?” He answers on the second ring.

  “I need a touch up done, can I come in after work?” I ask as my door opens and Kyle strolls in with four large paper cups of coffee. He sets them down on my desk, placing two of them beside my computer.

  “Yeah, what time?”

  “Five-thirty?”

  He’s quiet for a while. I hear pages shuffling and then he responds. “Sounds good. I won’t be here, but Ryn can do it after her back piece. She’ll probably only finish up around that time. She’s fully fledged now and her work is meticulous.” I recall the pretty little blonde.

  “I’d like to have her do anything she wants to me,” I answer confidently, only to get a sigh from Jagger in response. He knows me all too well. Yeah, I like women. Yes, I love pussy, and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

  “Just don’t try your shit with her. She’s someone I care for, also, she’s incredibly sweet, not one of those bar bunnies that seem to love the fact that you can cuff them to your bed.”

  “I’ll have you know—”

  “Slade, I’m serious,” he cuts in, breaking my train of thought, but causing me to nod in agreement. I’ll do anything for him. We’re like brothers and if he says Ryn is off limits, then I’ll stay away.

  “Fine. Just put me down for a touch up, but if she jumps me then it will be out of my hands. I mean, I’m irresistible you know.”

  “Fuck off, Slade.” He chuckles, hanging up before I can say any more about the beauty that I’m about to taunt tonight. She’s quiet, shy even, but there’s something incredibly sexy about her standoffish way. I do love a challenge.

  “You going out for drinks tonight?” Kyle asks, his expression hopeful, but I shake my head.

  “No, tonight I have a date with a hot, tattooed blonde, and I have a feeling I’ll be drinking her instead of any alcohol.”

  “Do you ever quit? I mean, just last night you had a couple of chicks all over you. Don’t you think there’ll come a day when one woman will knock you off your feet and get you to put a ring on her finger?”

  “I’m not stupid, man. Weddings, marriage, all that shit isn’t for me,” I tell him, gulping the coffee that’s now lukewarm. But instead of wasting it, I swallow it down, needing the caffeine to get me through the day.

  “Stupid or not, you’ll one day want a kid, a wife, and that’s when you’ll realize what life really is all about.” When I glance up at my partner, I notice the sadness in his eyes. He’s still heartbroken over the wife who decided her boss was a better option than a detective. Luckily, they didn’t have kids yet, or that would have been a fuckup of note.

  “Yeah, that’s if I ever find the one who makes me want that. Right now, I’m just enjoying being single and playing the field while I can,” I retort, but deep down, I know if ever that opportunity did present itself, I’d definitely give it a good go.

  My parents were the perfect role models, still in love after god knows how long. I think they’ve been together since they were sixteen. That’s dedication. And love.

  I’ve just never been in love. Never felt an inkling for it. No woman has made me want to go back or call her the next day. And somehow, I doubt anyone ever will.

  Chapter Three

  Ryn

  “Ryn.” Jagger’s voice comes from the back. He’s finished his last client and mine is taking a break. I’m just about done, putting a few final finishing touches to the piece I started almost eight hours ago. I’ve nearly completed my first full back tattoo. “Can you lock up tonight? I’m taking Ava out for dinner. Also, there’s one more client just needing a quick touch up, he’ll be here soon.”

  “Yeah, sure. I’ve got a babysitter so Roxie is all sorted. I’m almost finished anyway,” I tell him. Jagger smiles, his eyes crinkling in amusement at my expression. It’s my biggest piece, and I’m tired.

  “You’ll get used to doing these more often. Just you wait, you’ll love it.” He pats me on the back in a friendly gesture before making his way out the door.

  With a quick glance in the appointment book, I notice there’s a name in the five-thirty space, Slade. Thankfully a touch up is quick work, because all I want to do is go home and make dinner. Also, a hot bubble bath is calling my name and I’m dying to respond.

  “Ready to finish up?” I call to the girl who’s done well having her whole back inked in one sitting. Granted, I didn’t color it, but the outline normally is more painful because of the needles used.

  “Thanks, Ryn. I’m so happy you were able to get this done today.” She smiles, hopping back onto the table. As we get comfortable, I start on the small lines I left for last, adding soft shadi
ng in the corners. Wings are popular with young girls, but these are incredible. Two large raven’s wings on either shoulder blade, running down her back to the top of her ass.

  I lose time when I finally sit back and my neck cracks painfully from being in one position for so long. “That’s it, doll. You’re done.” She moves, pushing off the bed to check out the ink.

  “Fucking awesome!” Her excitement is contagious, because as I take in my artwork, I can’t help smiling. It is pretty incredible. “Thank you so much, this is perfect.”

  “It’s a pleasure. Let me get some photos, and I’ll wrap you up.” It doesn’t take long to finish up and send her on her way.

  Before I can lock the door, the bell dings, alerting me to a customer. “Did you forget—” My words are halted when I meet a pair of hazel eyes of the man standing in the doorway. This asshole is one I steer clear of. Being Jagger’s best friend, he comes in here a few times a week.

  At six-feet, with broad shoulders, ink running from his hands to his shoulders, he’s the picture of bad boy. With those forest-colored eyes, rugged, angular jaw, cocky smile and the way his left eyebrow quirks in question, I find myself gawking at him.

  We’ve never been alone together, and the air seems somewhat heavy with lust. It’s been years since I’ve been with anyone, let alone on a date, so I feel like a teenager caught in front of her high school crush with a mouth full of teeth and no words to utter.

  “I could never forget you, sweetheart,” he responds with a heavy drawl, snapping me out of my reverie. I’ve been drinking him in like a fine wine. And I don’t even like wine.

  “What can I do for you, Slade?” I ask, not playing into his flirting. Crossing my arms in front of my chest is the first mistake because his eyes flit to my breasts.

  “I’m here to get my ink tidied up. Didn’t Jag mention I’d be stopping by?” he asks, stepping farther into the store, allowing a spicy scent mixed with the smell of sweat to hang heavy in the air—pure masculine pheromones intoxicate me. Fuck.

 
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