Creed's Claim(3)

By: Mina Carter


Lilly and Kacie leaned in.

“Ohhh, that’s gorgeous.”

“Beautiful.”

“Purple is my favorite color,” she blurted out, looking up at him in surprise.

“I know.” He smiled, the corners of his full lips quirking up in a way that made everything female in her sit up and take notice. “I remember.”

He remembered. She blinked, not sure what to say to that.

“Do you like it?” He nodded down at the sheet.

“Of course, she likes it. How much?” Kacie demanded.

His gaze flicked to Kacie, and Kait had to bite back a small growl of disappointment. Then she wondered where the hell it had come from. She hadn’t even thought about Creed for years—no, she corrected herself. The day she’d left Aiden, she’d promised herself she wouldn’t hide behind half-truths anymore. She had thought of Creed. A lot. Especially at night when her fiancé had been away… waking up in the morning worn out from her dreams.

“Nothing. I’d do her for free.”

Kacie chuckled, “Oh, I just bet you would. Okay, girlie, you’re up. Drop your jeans. This bad boy’s gotta go on your hip. No other place for it.”

“Wait, what?” Kait spluttered as she found herself herded toward the back area with its couch and plethora of equipment. “Why do I need to take my jeans off…would you leave my belt alone!”

“Well, he can’t tattoo through the freaking denim, now can he?” Lilly arched a delicate eyebrow, arms folded as she watched Kait trying to stop Kacie from removing her jeans right there in the middle of the shop. In front of the window.

Oh god. In front of Creed.



* * *



The first time he got his hands on Kaitlyn Turner, and she had two of her friends in the room. Creed shook his head and prepped his equipment for the new tattoo. Good thing he’d been doing the job for years because his hands moved on autopilot, setting up the iron with fresh needles and sorting ink into small pots. A new roll on the therapist’s couch in the center of the room and he was ready.

Turning around, he almost choked. Kaitlyn stood in front of him in just her t-shirt and a pair of boyshorts. They weren’t frilly or fancy and they covered everything, but they knocked him for six, seven…fuck, every number up to a billion. His gaze slowly swept up from her bare feet with the most delicate toes he’d ever seen, the nails painted coral, all the way up the length of her legs to the…quickly he snapped his gaze away. Yeah, not going there. He couldn’t go there and not bend her back over the damn couch and… Fuck, he was screwed.

“On the couch,” he growled, not looking at her as he reached out to re-adjust the sketch on the trolley next to his chair. He knew the design by heart, so there was no need for him to sketch it on her skin beforehand. He preferred not to do that anyway. It inhibited his flow, blocked the creativity. He needed to feel the skin reacting beneath the needle and often made minute adjustments to his designs as he went so they fit better.

The couch creaked as she clambered onto it with more grace than most of his clients.

“How do you want me?” she asked, her voice soft and hesitant.

All night long, every way I can, baby.

He looked up to find her resting on one hip and hand, her legs folded to the side elegantly. For a moment, he wanted to just look and memorize every detail. He knew exactly how he’d draw her… as a medieval princess, a handsome warrior poised in the shadows behind possessively. No, it wasn’t only possession that marked the man’s face. It was protectiveness and honor as well. A champion who desperately wanted the woman he protected, who yearned for her, but would keep his distance until invited otherwise.

“Creed?”

Snapping himself back to the present, he looked up at her quickly.

“Where do you want it?” he asked, snapping gloves on. As half-bear, she couldn’t give him anything, but since Lizard Lick was just outside the clan’s territory and humans could wander in, he had to keep up appearances.

“I was thinking just here.” She leaned back and pointed to a spot on the side of her hip, edging down onto her thigh just below the border of the boy shorts. “Do you think it’ll look okay there?”

“It’ll look perfect wherever you want it, darlin’. It’s your tattoo. You tell me where you want it,” he drawled, tapping the pedal under the couch with his foot. The iron in his hand gave a quick buzz and he nodded, satisfied with the sound. He always knew instantly if there was something wrong with his equipment, and while he always wanted to ensure clients got only his very best work, this was Kaitlyn. His Kaitlyn.

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