She looks like how I’d imagine a librarian to look. Blouse buttoned to the throat, black pants and flat no-nonsense pumps. All she needs is a pair of glasses perched on the end of her nose and a stern expression. What she doesn’t look like is a groupie.
We’re in the kitchen. She’s perched on a stool by the breakfast bar, I’m leaning up against the refrigerator. She claims her parents used to own this place, it might be true. I didn’t handle the sale. I have people to do that kind of thing for me. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t purposely come here to find me. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve come out of the shower and found a woman in my bedroom, or even my bed.
The way she’s dressed though? That whole librarian vibe she’s rocking? That suggests her story has more truth in it than lie.
“Why were you running through the woods?” I break the silence and watch as her eyes up jerk to meet mine. I nod toward her feet. “I’m gonna guess it wasn’t planned?”
She shakes her head, but doesn’t answer my questions, so I push away from the refrigerator and move across the room. Her eyes are on me again, watching as I advance closer. She says nothing when I pull out another stool and sit down beside her. I rest one arm on the top of the breakfast bar and her gaze drops to look at the tattoos snaking around my forearm.
She’d done the same thing upstairs. I could track down to the second when she stopped looking at my tattoos and started noticing I was naked. I stifle a grin and tap the countertop with my fingers.
“I locked the door after I arrived. How did you get in? My lawyer requested all the keys.”
“Dad kept a key hidden in the rockery outside.” She sounds distracted.
I think she’s focused on my tattoos, so I shift my arm. Sure enough, her eyes track the movement and I can’t help but chuckle. That gets her attention and her spine stiffens as she straightens and looks up at me.
“You like my tattoos?”
The immediate colour spreading across her cheeks is fascinating
“I’m sorry,” she apologies. “The design is fascinating.”
I stretch out my arm and look down at it. The tattoos start just below the knuckles and weave all around my arm – a riotous mass of colours, they look like they’re in no particular order or pattern, but they have been drawn in such a way to keep the eyes moving, following the ebb and flow of the design. I flip my arm over so she can see it covers all the skin and I’m sure I see the fingers of her hand twitch.
Does she want to touch me?
I’m not getting any kind of seduction vibe from her. Her attention is completely welded to the tattoos. Either this girl has a tattoo fetish or … or what? I can’t fucking think of anything else it can be.
“Are they the same on both arms?” She asks, and twists around to look at where my other arm is resting on my thigh.
I lift it up, holding it out palm-upwards. “Not really. Same principle, no pattern.”
This is the weirdest conversation I’ve ever had with an intruder and, yeah, I’ve had a few of both in my time. I should be driving her back into town, get her out of here but there’s a story here. Something made her walk five miles into the forest surrounding the town.
“Are you ready to go back to town?” I ask and she isn’t quite quick enough to mask a flinch at the question. That’s a no then, I think to myself. I let my hand drop back to my lap. “Come on, Goldilocks, spill. Why are you out in the woods?”
She smiles a little and tips her head back to look me in the face. Her eyes are blue, like cornflowers. I mentally file that away. What? I’m a songwriter, things like that can be handy.
“I can walk back,” she says then, completely ignoring my question
I frown. “No way! I’ve got enough shit going on without risking a murder charge when they find your body in the morning.“ Rising to my feet, I nod toward the door. “Let’s go. I have to grab some supplies anyway. I’ll drop you off on the way.”
Read Part Four