I couldn't seem to find a spot for this scene in Woman of Blood & Bone. Because of the time jump I wanted in the book, this really didn't fit into the story the way I wanted it written. A moment of self-doubt for Max as she interacts with what is essentially her greatest wish. I hope you enjoy it!
The buzz of the tattoo machine was comforting as I washed purple ink into the tail of a mermaid. I was adding to Aurelia’s sleeve, working in two baby mermaids into the scant un-inked patches of skin on her arms. She seems blissful in the chair even though I’m pressing my needles into the ditch of her elbow, probably the absolute worst place to get inked.
I would know.
But Aurelia looks like she’s taking a snooze in my chair instead of talking to me like she usually does.
“This is just annoying. I’ve had three-hundred-pound men sobbing in my chair when I ink this part of their bodies, and you’re sitting here looking like I’m giving you a massage in a fucking day spa. You really know how to suck the fun out of this for me. Some best friend you are,” I grumble, dipping my machine into the pod of electric purple ink and returning it to her skin.
Aurelia just vaguely smiles at me, closing her eyes once again. I get it. Aurelia’s two little monsters Henry and Olivia are rambunctious little heathens even for infants, and at the moment the twins are corralled in a pack and play in the corner of my booth. They’re quiet for now, but I know this is just the calm before the storm.
Here’s hoping the storm hits after they are out of my shop.
“You’d be dead to the world if you slept as little as I do,” she grouses.
“Yeah, yeah. Shut up and color the pretty picture. I got it.” My words are harsh, but I say them with a smile. Aurelia’s sleep isn’t the best without small children depending on her day and night.
I just wish I could talk to her about something. I wish I could talk to her about the man in the bar, and maybe if she could find him for me. Stupid, I know, wanting a man I can’t quite remember. But it has been the first time in a long time I felt lit up. My day-to-day isn’t dull, but I miss the thrill of him, and I can’t recall ever feeling that way about anyone. Ever.
Being Rogue is a lonely business. Other than Striker and Aurelia, my friends list is pretty close to nada. My lovers list has been pretty bare too for the last decade or three.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s why I can’t get him out of my head.
Heavy footfalls herald Rhys’ approach, and I look up to see him peering over the edge of the pack and play. The twins are behaving for the moment, and he makes funny faces eliciting a pair of baby giggles.
Ugh, I think my ovaries just exploded, and it pisses me off. I want what Aurelia has. I want the husband and babies and all that other horse shit. I want it, and I know I can’t have it.
Who would want a Rogue? Who would tie themselves to a Witch with no coven, no family, no acceptance? I’m a real catch, people. No one wants the burden of that, especially not the hot stranger from the club. Maybe it’s better that I can’t remember his face and didn’t get his name.
So, I don’t ask Aurelia about the man I can’t quite remember. I don’t say a word.
I just go back to inking her skin as she snoozes in my chair, glad at least one of us got her happily ever after.
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