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The Nephilim paced back and fourth for hours. The closest she'd gotten to salvation from her mothers death was Nathaniel Leight. The Dhampir and Zeus had planned a road trip to Zeus's home town, Louisana. Waves of emotions seemed to be drowning the Nephilim to the thoughts of returning to her home town after her mother being killed there. Zeus hadn't even so much as thought of the place since she left it. Now going back there, after not being there in years had some what sent her into a downward spiral.
Beer bottles littered her living room floor, and the coffee table was stained with whiskey. Usually she kept her house pretty neat, but her tomboy nature allowed her to live just like a frat boy with not a single care in the world about what others thought of her. Feeling lost, and somewhat broken when she realized she was helpless, there She'd decided to get a tattoo of her mothers name and portrait. She knew it'd be costly, but it was well worth the price. Peggy McCartney had came back from the grave the haunt the Nephilim, and not in a way that didn't break Zeus just a little more.
Her mother was known for her selflessness, but the way she haunted Zeus, made her seem anything but selfless. And during one of those moments that she stood there taunting Zeus from below, she'd told Zeus that it wouldnt stop until she retrieved her medallion back, and avenged her death. One lead after the next landed Zeus with what she started with, absolutely nothing. And frankly, the Nephilim had became emotionally exhausted, and decided to leave the majority of this in Nate's hands, to let him help with what he could, while Zeus attempted to find some peace of mind.
During this time, while the Nephilim sought her peace of mind, she decided a tattoo in memory of her mother was something she needed to do. There was only one tattoo shop she knew of in the city, and to her luck, an artist named Arken had scheduled her in for today. Slipping into a pair of jogging pants, a white tank top, and her black grunge boots, Zeus threw her hair up into a messy bun, grabbing her personal belongings before shoving all of it down into a leather bag, departing her messy house. Fresh air greeted the Nephilim the moment she opened the door to leave, causing her to inhale and sigh happily.
Unfolding a beautiful pair of white feathery wings, Zeus lunged upward into the sky, soaring high. Flying had been the only thing to make her feel like she was in complete control of her life, and she used her wings anytime she could. When she neared the center of the city where the tattoo shop was located, she decided to land behind an abandoned warehouse, not wanting to crash land in front of a bunch of humans. After her wings retracted back into their scars, the Nephilim's purple tinged eyes faded back to their usual coco optics. Finally making her way to the tattoo shop's entrance, she was greeted by heavy metal, and the smell of smoke.
For a moment, her eyes wandered the place, scanning her surroundings before seeing a male with some pretty wild tattoo's himself, ones she loved. Zeus had always been one for uniqueness. It was a rare quality in people these days. Approaching him nonchalantly, the Nephilim grinned, but admittedly, she shook like a leaf, her nerves obviously started backing out of this idea the moment she'd made her mind up. "Hi, I made an appointment here a few days ago, I was scheduled in for today. The names Zeus McCartney" she expressed, still somewhat in a trance like state as she observed the male before her. As she waited for him to respond, she took a yellow folder out, which held her mothers picture inside. Figuring he'd need it for the portrait part of her tattoo.
Arken’s evening had been filled with art. He’d been asked to do a memorial piece for a dark-haired girl names Zeus and he always liked to go in with at least an idea of what would look okay. He’d gone through three note books with different sketches and then finally turned in for the evening, wanting enough sleep before handling a tattoo gun.
The morning of the appointment, Arken did his usual routine, shower, shave, dress, out. The same four things he’d been doing every morning since he moved to Evermore. He dressed casually, a pair of black skinny jeans and a grey sleeveless tank that the neckline hung so low it revealed most of his torso ink and a black baseball cap. Making his way to the tattoo parlour early, he picked up a coffee on the way and began unlocking the store. They were the only known tattoo parlour in Evermore and, though Arken was more of a painter himself, he found after covering his own body in tattoos, it was time he gave back that joy and learnt to do it himself. Flicking on the music, Arken bounced his head to it, wandering over to the small plant that sat dying on the desk, he sighed and raised his hand, stroking the brown crumbling leaves. His eyes flashed green and he instilled life back into the plant before adding a post-it onto the base saying ‘Water me’ for his colleagues.
Sitting behind the desk, he reclined on the chair and placed a cigarette between his lips. One bonus on the shop, smoking inside. He took a long drag and released it slowly, repeating this action again and again until the door bell rung announcing an entrance. He glanced up and smiled welcomingly, stubbing the cigarette out and standing.
Arken observed the girl, wondering if the tattoo was her first or if her others were merely hidden. As she mentioned her name, Arken nodded offering a hand towards her. “Yes, Hi Zeus. Im Arken, it’s just us today so, I’ll be working on your ink.” Arken said kindly, shaking her hand before walking around the counter to stand beside her, his black combat boots clicking and jangling as he walked. He inspected the images and smiled. “Let me get this drawn up and you can let me know what sort of thing you’d like.” He said and gestured for her to come around the counter and sit beside him on the spare seat.
Immediately Arken grabbed his notebook, readjusted his baseball cap and started sketching the image of her mother onto the paper. He considered every aspect while glancing up at Zeus. “So, what did you imagine pairing the portrait? Are you wanting it to be more of a picture frame-esk look, or flowers? Or patterns? You let me know and I can sketch it and we can keep tweaking it until you’re 100% happy.” He flashed a grin after he spoke and wiggled his brows “Then it’s the fun part, the actual tattoo.”
Zeus was still in a state of awe. She'd always been fascinated by what normally pushed others away, and she could only imagine that Arken got judged by his inked out skin. Judgement was for the narrow minded people though, people who didn't know how to let loose, and people who were probably pretty miserable with themselves on the inside. As the male spoke, introducing himself, she once again found herself in awe "Love the name Arken, very rare" she stated, offering a pearly white grin before letting her gaze avert to the chair she assumed she'd be sitting in. "Just us huh.. do you work alone a lot?" she asked curiously in attempt to make friendly conversation.
When she handed him the image of her mother, her hands shook a little more than she liked. It was without a doubt one of the most emotional moments the Nephilim had, had in a long time now aside from the fact that her mother liked haunting her from down below. Clearing her throat as he spoke up again, Zeus grinned from ear to ear, nodding in his direction. "Thank you for doing this. Ive actually heard some good things about your art. Are any of these here yours?" she questioned, referring to the paintings she now gazed at that decorated the majority of the walls around them. "I didn't really think of what else would look good with a portrait.. I know I want it done in black and white, but do you have any suggestions?" she questioned, figuring if anyone knew what would work well with a tattoo like that, that Arken himself would know best.
As Zeus followed his direction, she now seated herself in a chair behind the counter beside of him. "This is kind of exciting. Ive never been inside of a tattoo parlor before" she admitted, while twiddling her thumbs out of nervous habit, "I have a different sort of passion than most people would ever imagine by looking at me" she added, chuckling, and shaking her head. It was amusing to most that Zeus had grown up on a farm, and grew up in that sort of era, but the fact that she was a tom boy who had a love for fixing motorcycles and rididng them, seemed to put a spin on everything.
When Arken began drawing, she was floored by how amazing he was already, and her grin only seemed to brighten. Glancing down to the paper, Zeus bit down on her lower lip, giving his question a little bit of thought. "Well, I'm sort of leaning towards some kind of Phoenix thing.. I said 'thing' because I really don't know what you could put on it to represent a Phoenix without it looking weird, but flowers also sound like a great idea; is there any way of doing her portrait in black and white with some shading, and doing roses underneath or around it, whatever you think would look best, in red?" she questioned, feeling her heart race right out of her chest, but that was fine, she assumed it was because this was so surreal for her.
When Arken flashed a grin at her while wiggling his brows, the Nephilim felt herself blushing heavily as heat rose to her cheeks. Damn it did she hate to blush, being the tom boy that she was, and normally having a grease rag thrown over her shoulder, blushing just wasn't her thing. Zeus chuckled, running a hand through her hair, trying to distract him from noticing her ruby red cheeks. Zeus couldn't deny the fact that she was utterly nervous, and for an immortal being who could sprout out a pair of wings, inflict pain by using her mind, among plenty other abilities, being nervous about a tattoo was quite halirious but that only gave her hope that she still had humanity on her side.
Leaning forward, Zeus gazed down to an ipod, seeming to be hooked into Arkens stereo system, with a grin gracing her features she picked the ipod up before letting her gaze avert back to him for a brief second. "May I?" she questioned, wanting to flip through his music while he sketched her mothers face. "Not that I don't like what's playing, you actually have good taste in music" she complimented, smirking slightly before scanning the enormous playlist with curious eyes. "I like a little bit of everything, so tell me what you think of this one" she added before clicking play and finding her comfort zone.
Arken, being very used to it by now, glanced at her as she took in his skin. Maybe wearing such a revealing top was a bad idea? But then, she smiled and made a note of loving the sound of his name. A smile broke onto his features and he nodded and found himself admiring her acceptance. "Yeah fortunately, the other guys that work here basically come in to do the piercings? I'm more of the tattoo artist, which again, is fine by me." He trilled simply. After a beat, a frown etched across his features. "If you're not comfortable with that, by all means you can bring someone? I'm sorry I should have said that earlier." Arken added, watching her. There were a few people in this world that, even though they accepted Arkens tattoo's, had a degree of fear in them about him, which for Arken was slightly upsetting, but he did understand it. Usually he mentioned to clients coming for a tattoo that they could bring someone along for support if they wanted too.
Arken sketched the portrait, making sure to sketch where the shading would be, he then begun to sketch detailed roses around, some of the roses were in full bloom, others he sketched as the buds or partially bloomed. As she thanked him, it forced his to glance toward her "There is no need to thank me." He chimed and then glanced around the parlor "Yes, Its all mine." He added, pointing to a graffiti-feature-wall across the other side of the parlor that was a graffiti version of David Bowie "Thats my favorite here." He purred proudly.
Arken paused his sketching once more as she mentioned that she had a different passion than what the eye led on. Taking note of her build, slightly muscular and toned, he then let his Greeny/Hazel hued eyes trail down to her hands that were slightly more calloused than any girly girls would have been. "You obviously do something that involved graft, enlighten me? What does Zeus do for fun?" He asked kindly, continuing her start of friendly conversations.
As she mentioned a Phoenix, Arken tore off the finished design with the roses and begun again, copying the picture of her mother perfectly before starting a new design. "I can do the phoenix? In a literal sense that is." He said softly and pursed his lips "I can do it so the bird itself is almost coiling behind the image? Then have its wings outstretched behind the portrait of your mother, because if the birds in red then it highlights your mother in the image." He continued sketched for a moment longer and nodded. "All done, and yeah the red highlights from either the roses or the Phoenix bird would look good." He said, offering both sketches to her. "What do you think?"
Exchanging a small look to his ipod before looking back to her, Arken nodded "Go for it." He said and then smiled a the song she put on, nodding his head to the beat. "This is good, Zeds dead remixes are always a good bet." He added, taking the iPod back after the song had ended and returning it to the pop-punk playlist he had on, the next song he queued after hers being 'After Forever by Heir'.
Turning the sketches he'd done around to her, he placed them on the counter and talked her through the designs. "Even though we're doing the portrait black and shades, the reds will still have to be different shades of red to get the dimensions across?" He paused them and shifted in his chair, pulling the low hung neckline of his top down even further to reveal more of the rib-cage design he had. "Do you see how it almost pops out with the shading? And the moths there look like they're just sat on the skin? Thats how the roses or the phoenix would look." He twitched at the fabric of his top until he sat back where it usually would and smiled. "I would go for a large space with this one, Rib-cage, thigh, back, Those sorts of places where it can be a big scale, otherwise the image might look slightly weird shrunken down." Arken added too.
"So which one we going for?"
Arken had went from smiling to frowning pretty quickly, causing Zeus to feel as if she'd maybe said or did something wrong. Clearing her throat, the Nephilim offered a reassuring smile before shaking her head "Absolutely not.. Im okay with it being just you and I. I take it that a lot of narrow minded people have crossed your path?" she questioned, sighing at the disbelief that coursed through her in that moment Judgemental people definitely didn't come in short packs. Zeus had met many of them herself, never once being accepted as a female who liked to get dirty, and had a love for motorcycles. Being an all around tomboy had certainly ran plenty of guys out of her direction. "Besides, there's only one person that I could call.. and he would definitely make this experience awkward.." she stated, chuckling as the Dhampir came to mind. Nathaniel Leight may had been the one to break Zeus's heart long before now, but he was also the only one so far who had stuck by her and offered her something much more genuine than romance; A friendship that would last. "Thank you for offering that though. I guess getting a tattoo as sentimental as this one, could sometimes require a little bit of support, but i'm good"
Biting her lower lip, Zeus attention averted back to Arken, her smile only brightning a little as he sketched the portrait flawlessly. The tears she'd been trying to hold back, rebelled as she saw her mothers face, knowing it would be tattooed on her for the rest of time, it was an emotional moment to say the least. Zeus only nodded as he said she didn't need to thank him, but truly, she had to find some way to thank him but that could wait for later. Glancing towards where Arken pointed, the Nephilim's eyes widened slightly. Graffiti had always been something she had an interest in, and during her school days she had even tagged a few billboards during her rebellion days "That's pretty awesome, you did that yourself i'm assuming?" she questioned, before glancing back to him.
Not expecting that Arken would have taken any interest in Zeus or her life, she couldn't help but blush when he asked what she did for fun. "Well, there's a list of things, but Ill go with my passion, what I love doing. I'm one of the few females around here who has a love for motorcycles, that being both fixing them and riding them, since someone set my country club in rememberance of my parents on fire, Im thinking my next business will be a mechanic shop.. I'd like to open one in place of the club." she stated, twiddling with the medallion around her neck out of nervous habit. Her blood boiled to the thoughts of someone harming her people, those that'd worked as bartenders for her, and practically became her family. Joe's Honky Tonk had been torn away from them as much as it had Zeus.
Inhaling, she shook those thoughts away. This was a good day, letting a feud between the Initia, and the Phoenix ruin it wasn't at all what the Nephilim had in mind. When Arken tore off the first sketched image and began again, the Nephilim smirked at him when he said he could do the Phoenix, in a literal sense, causing Zeus to chuckle softly before clearing her throat and listening to his ideas. Zeus's eyes widened and her jaw dropped when he finally finished the second one, now having both of them laid out on the counter before her. "Wow Arken, you're pretty amazing at this" she said before glancing back to each of the images, her heart settling for the one with the Phoenix. "I think the Phoenix as you explained it, and in red would look awesome. So ill go with that. How long do you figure it will take you for that?' she questioned, but it didn't matter either way, Zeus didn't have anywhere else to be. All she had was time, especially for this tattoo that meant the world to her.
Zeus found herself with a smile permenantly planted on her face being around Arken, realizing he was actually a pretty cool person to be around. She nodded in agreement when he spoke about Zeds dead remixes being a good bet, "I agree, I enjoy dubstep, industrial, etc.. I don't guess i'm to picky when it comes to music, as long as something is playing. I am however a music junkie, one of those people who can't function without it" she admitted, grinning from ear to ear before listening to the next song that'd come on, one she had never heard before. Involuntarily, Zeus had began swaying to the beat, smirking at Arken who she was slowly but surely figuring out that she liked a little. "This is a pretty great song, i;ll have to remember it so i can add it to one of my playlists"
Zeus's attention was pulled to Arken though, when he pulled his shirt down enough to reveal one of his own tattoo's to explain how Zeus's would look with the right color red. "That's incrddible. Did you do any of your own work?" she asked curiously, wondering if that was even possible, for a tattoo artist to tattoo themselves. "I think though, I'll definitely go with the Phoenix. And Ill let you pick whatever shade of red you think would make her portrait stand out better. Also, let's go with the rib cage. It sounds a little painful, but i'll suck it up" she stated, poking her tongue out playfully before gazing back down to her mother portrait with the Phoenix behind it. The Nephilim was in awe of Arken's work.
A chuckle bubbled from his lips as she mentioned narrow minded people and he let out a breath before glancing towards her. “I guess I bring it upon myself?” he said, gesturing to his tattoo clad flesh. The truth was, Arken has had these tattoos a lot of his life, and so he’d adjusted to the fact that people gasp when they see him, he’d adjusted to the fact that people snap at him easily when he does something even slightly wrong and, what hurt him the most, he’d adjusted to the fact that women cross the road with the children upon seeing him approaching. He snapped himself out of his pit and watched her for a moment more before offering a smile.
As she mentioned there was only one person, Arken offered a more genuine smile. “not to worry, for as long as you’re here ill look after you.” He grinned then “I haven’t had one person pass out on me while I’ve been inking them, I’m not about to start with you.” He added teasingly.
Nodding as she asked if he did it himself, the Initia smiled “I can’t say I’m a fan of working with people, hence why I tattoo.” He then paused and glanced to her and shrugged “I guess that’s how I’ll find a true friend right? When I can stomach doing art with them.” Arken joked with a chuckle. When she mentioned her love for motorcycles, he smiled a touch. “I think that’s amazing.” He said softly and then pursed his lips “I have to say though, Im not a Harley fan. Give me a good old Royal Enfield any day of the week.” Arken chimed, he had a slight knowledge of bikes, and by slight, he knew how to ride them and had an old Enfield in a storage locker that hadn’t worked for years. “You’ll have to let me know when you open this mechanic shop, I’ll be your first customer. Ive got an Enfield that’s basically falling to bits in a storage locker, but I love it too much to throw away. Dream is to ride it.” He said, not wanting her to dwell on the revelation that someone destroyed her remembrance of her parents.
As Zeus complimented his art, he chuckled and nodded. “It’s a good job I am amazing at this, otherwise this would be going terribly.” He joked before shaking his head a little and then nodded as she decided on the phoenix. “Fantastic!” He chimed, jumping from his seat and grabbing some transfer paper. “I’ll get the transfer done.” As she asked how long, he pursed his lips and tilted his head from side to side as he counted it up. “Roughly? 3 or 4 hours total. Maybe up to 5 with the phoenix being in colour?” He glanced to her and blinked. “Don’t worry, I usually give a good break every hour, Im a smoker it’s a sin of mine, and then after 2 and a half hours I usually let my clients grab some food, the second half is always worse.”
Arken couldn’t help but grin as she complimented his tattoo, it wasn’t often people took the time to look long enough to see the beauty that Arken had created over his flesh. He nodded and placed his pen down, gesturing to his left arm. “I did a bit of my left arm, tops of my thighs, I did a big of the brain on my skill but unfortunately wincing in pain while tattooing isn’t as fun as it sounds, so the majority of the art on my skin is a collection of artists.” Arken then shrugged. “I have only one singular color tattoo. The rest is all black and shading.”
Finishing the transfer, Arken wandered over to the prepared bed. “This is usually a massage table, repurposed. If you take your shirt off I’ll position the stencil while you’re stood and then get you comfy so we can begin.” Grinning once more, he nodded. “Im excited to get this started. I love doing tattoos with meanings, its like im part of someones story…Weird but, It’s a nice feeling you know?”
Zeus frowned slightly to the thought of how people may have actually treated Arken. It was pretty sad to assume women crossed the road, and ran in opposite directions with their children to avoid being anywhere near Arken, or that people pointed stared and whispered about him from a short distance because of his tattoos. She shook her head 'no' as he said he brought this upon himself. "It's not like we live in an era where tattoo's aren't acceptable, you would assume that the new generation around us would be much more likely to love how unique a person like you is, Arken" she stated, grinning from ear to ear before flashing a playful wink at the male.
Zeus glanced into his eyes as he then gave her a reassuring comment that she would be just fine with him. "I trust you, you really seem to know what you're doing; plus you've got a good tendency of making someone feel comfortable, or at least I do" she admitted, unknowingly blushing like a school girl every time he spoke to her. Shaking her head amused, the Nephilim chuckled "I do believe you're onto something there, I don't do art myself, but you certainly seem like someone I could see myself hanging out with beyond just getting a tattoo" she expressed, offering a warming smile at him. Zeus smiled when he said it was amazing, her love for bikes, her fascination with Arken growing even more when he began talking about his own bike. "I definitely will! I'll even give you a huge discount. I'll literally be the woman making your dreams come true" she said playfully, flashing a wink in his direction after he'd expressed that his dream was to someday ride his bike again, and Zeus was confident enough that she could fix it.
"Im glad you told me about your bike, I get that completely, loving something like that too much to throw it away; and a lot of people take theirs to a scrap yard and get very little money for junking it out, but I save as many as I can" she stated, hoping to eventually get her project up off the ground. Zeus had gained the idea of going around the city, and bringing as many bikes back to her shop as she could, bikes that had been thrown away, or bikes that people just didn't want anymore because they couldn't fix them, themselves. "Save-A-Bike, thats the only name for it ive got so far, but basically ill be going all over the city, and bringing all these broken down motorcycles back to my shop; when I fix all of them up, I think Ill either get rid of them in a charity thing for like Christmas or something, or even sell them to people who aren't able to buy such things because of how expensive they are" she expressed, knowing she was lit up like a bulb just by talking about it.
Zeus listened intently, and she truly couldn't figure it out, but she was growing a little attached to this man's company. Smirking, she nodded at him "Sounds amazing. I don't mind being in your presence that long, it may actually be fun; I mean besides the pain.. how bad does it hurt?" she asked, chuckling at the irony of an immortal being scared of a tattoo needle. When he said that he always gave his clients smoke breaks, then 2 hours in, food breaks since the second half was the worse, Zeus couldn't help but widen her eyes before swallowing a little roughly. "I can imagine after a couple hours of sitting there, it gets a little painful for you as well, and a food break sounds like the very thing to keep a client and the artist in good enough spirit to finish a tattoo that big" she stated, grinning from ear to ear.
Zeus listened as he then began to talk about his own tattoo's which seemed to light him up with a smile, making it clear that he loved his tattoo's. "A collection of all the best ones it appears.." she trailed off, running her fingers across his neck absent minded that she was even touching him without asking "Those look very realistic, and probably are my favorite, from what I can see anyways" she stated, flashing a wink, eyeing the detail of the ink that littered his neck, mostly down his throat, and those on the sides of his neck. Clearing her throat, the Nephilim withdrew her hands letting them back to her sides, blushing heavily. "sorry" she said simply, grinning mischiveously.
"well that was very straight to the point mr Arken, but I don't mind undressing for you at all" she teased, chuckling playfully before slipping out of her shirt and placing it on the part of the bed where her head would lay. Zeus then stood silently, watching as he positioned the stencil on her rib cage, before getting herself into a position on the bed where she could be comfortable but also to where he could do her tattoo without having to reposition himself much either. She then looked up at him grinning, for some reason, what he'd said earlier about having someone there for support, she'd somehow found that with the artist himself, because Zeus had grown pretty attched to his company and just conversation with him. She could only hope that this wouldn't be the only time she saw Arken, seeing him outside of here, maybe at her place or his for a drink would have allowed her to get to know him on a personal level as much as Arken would let her.
When he said he was excited to start, Zeus could say the very same, and then some "I am too, but I won't lie, I'm nervous" she admitted, chuckling and noticing that she' had began to breathe a little heavily. His next words however, soothed her, and it seemed like he had a knack for doing that, she could only give an appreciative smile "You're definitely part of mine, but I can understand why you feel that way with your clients, especially doing pieces this sensitive for someone; you are their support system, and sometimes you end up painting a part of their story on their bodies, that they've never even shared with anyone else." she expressed, glancing over to his table of ink and the tattoo gun. "This is pretty personal for both of us" she added before inhaling and exhaling a few times. "I'm ready when you are" she finished off, knowing just what she would talk about when the needle finally hits her flesh. Asking him to go out to do something fun with her; now that was a thought.
Now that she was laid in the right position for him to start, Zeus closed her eyes, humming to the music playing, trying to distract herself from what was about to come next.
“The era we live in is an era of judgement.” Arken responded slightly and sighed with a small, soft smile treating his features. “I have gotten very used to the stares and comments; it doesn’t really get to me anymore. Sometimes, especially when its children that run away or cry or their parents take them over the road, that’s a little bit of a hit, because I don’t want the idea of my own child being like that one day?” Arken shook his head and then smiled as she mentioned how unique he was. “Thank you.” He said softly and nudged her shoulder. “I could say the same for you.”
Arken grinned too, from ear to ear as she said she’d fix his bike. “That sounds perfect!” He said and listened intently as she went on to tell him about the idea she has for a business. “Hey, if you ever need a logo designing or the place decorating, give me a call! I’d be happy to do it for you.” He said with another flashed of his white-toothed grin. Their interests were vastly different, but in general, they could relate to each other’s passion, and that made Arken all the more interested in Zeus’ endeavour.
Arken let out a laugh as she asked how bad it hurt and shrugged “Unfortunately it does really hurt. 7 outta 10? But by all means you tell me if its too much and we can stop, the ball is entirely in your court. You are in charge for however long you’re here.” Arken smiled to her, wanting he to feel comfortable enough so that if the pain did get too much, she felt okay to say stop.
As she ran her fingers across he neck, Arken almost held his breath, watching her fingers. Since being tattooed fully, Arken hadn’t really had anyone touch his tattoo’s bar the artist that inked them, so for her to just reach out and touch them, he didn’t quite know how to respond. As she apologised, he shook his head a little mechanically and flashed a smile. “Its been a long time since anyone has touched my skin, usually people are more afraid than interested…”
Laughing at her comments, he rolled his eyes jokingly “Why thank you…” He purred as she said she didn’t mind undressing for him. Applying the transfer and allowing her to get comfortable, Arken began setting up the tattoo gun, getting out the inks and setting up his station. He smiled as she said she was nervous and shook his head “Don’t be, You seem tough, it’ll be a walk in the park for you.” He said softly. Arken smiled as she said he was part of her story and shook his head a little “Don’t worry.” He said softly.
As she said she was ready when he was, Arken nodded and turned, sitting himself on his wheeled stool. He put on his black latex gloves and took hold of the tattoo gun with an excited grin on his features.
Approaching the bed, he wheeled himself on the stool right up to the bed, holding the gun at the base of the transfer. With his spare hand, he took Zeus’ hand and placed it on his shoulder. “I might not have a spare hand to squeeze but I’ve got a shoulder. Lets begin shall we?” He grinned and started the tattoo gun off.
He started with one singular line, glancing up to see how she took it before starting the outlines when he knew she was as okay as she could be.
Zeus frowned. She had lived through the scrutiny of humanity for so long that it didn't bother her no more, but to hear Arken's detailed summary of how he had been treated, threw her for a loop. For a moment, she glanced into his eyes, seeing a glimmer of sadness as he spoke of how he never wanted his own child to see him as a threat due to his inked up skin. "I know I don't know much about you yet, but I think ive gathered enough to know that you'd be a great father, no matter your appearance, your child or children will love you Ark" she stated in a soft spoken tone, offering a gentle smile.
Arken somehow brought Zeus's soft side out, because around most people, she was either busy getting their number and waking up in their bed guilt-stricken and shamed, or spending her time dismissing one man after the next who were so easily flattered by her charm. Arken was different though; somehow she'd seen through the fact that he was a male, and realizzed he had a soul. How she could see an Initia that way was beyond her; Zeus had never been in the presence of their kind without being riddled in hatred. She enjoyed this though, so instead of dwelling on why she was different around Arken, she'd wallow in it.
When he nudged her shoulder, Zeus's gaze averted back to him, with a smile gracing her features. Most days the Nephilim looked pained by one thing or another so it was nice to sit here and smile, even though it was the most simplest things keeping her happy. "I'm just a plain jane, never really had any special features about myself except for my bold personality, but theres a latter. Some love it, some hate it" she said in response. chuckling slightly. "But thank you, it's nice to hear someone say i'm unique.. I do try to not be cliche at the very least, but when you're raised on a farm by parents who love the simple things in life, you sorta grow up thinking you don't deserve anything more and it plays part of my personality around people I suppose" she stated, expressing that the best she could and hoping it made a little bit of sense.
Zeus's mouth fell open, struck in awe as Arken offered to do a logo for her shop, even her bikes if she was lucky. She was sure if anyone could do things like that, that Arken was the guy for it. "That's really generous of you, i'll definitely use your number for that purpose" she stated, offering him that same ear to ear grin that he'd just possessed on his own features. Zeus bit her lower lip when he said she'd be in charge while she was there, grinning at him, she nodded "Well, I may look like a pretty girl, but i'm a tough ass, sometimes to tough for my own good, so I'll deal with the pain.. i'm sure when it's finished, whatever amount of pain i endure, will be worth it. I really can't thank you enough for thi.." she stated, cutting off mid sentence, and for a moment, she held a longing look while glancing to the Initia.
Her hands almost trembled as she fought them to keep them to herself after hearing what he said. To think people didnt wanna touch him due to how much ink he had, that they were so frightened that they couldn't see beyond the ink that a pretty gorgeous, smart, compassionate, kind man resided, made her weak. "That's pretty shitty to hear.. for me anyways; i'd happily show you sometime, that your tattoo's are in no way something to repel my hands away from your body.. it's quite the opposite of that, i'm more compelled than anything" she stated a little to honest, but even if he had no interest in her, he at least had to know that much. And now, as she took her top of, she done so with other thoughts plaguing her mind. God, this wasn't happening right now. Clearing her throat, Zeus chuckled as she blushed, but eased into a position of comfort as Arken rolled his eyes playfully.
Her nerves were rattled though, as he wheeled himself over to her, she felt nauseated for a moment. But, the second he placed her hand on his shoulder, the Nephilim inhaled and exhaled a few times, nodding as he asked if she was ready. "As ready as im gonna be" she added, unable to help that her eyes had landed on his abdomen, a place where he was pretty built, even if tattoo's covered him, she could see through them and enjoyed the long gaze she took of his athletic form. Unexpectedly, well even if he said he was starting, Zeus gasped sharply when the needle finally penetrated her skin, giving his shoulder a slight squeeze, while slamming her eyes closed. As he began doing an outline of the portrait, Zeus breathed a little heavily, but it seemed the more he went, the more it felt like someone pinching her over and over again, and she could deal with that, it was worth what she was getting out of the small, but noticeable pains she felt right now.
Zeus figured talking would keep her distracted from the pain, so Arken was in for a long day of chit chat with her; she could only grin at the thought that they'd know one another pretty well by the time this was finished. "Sooo Arken" she stated, clearing her throat when she felt the needle inching towards the front part of her rib cage "Do you like going out when you're not here tattooing people?" she questioned, giving a gentle squeeze to his shoulder again, and this time holding her grasp as the pain that started out as a small pinch now felt like a bee sting .. repeatedly. But, her question was legit, it wasn't one she was asking only to distract herself, it's one she was asking in order to see if she could convince him to go out with her somewhere to do something fun later, she understood him in ways that she'd never understood others, she was judged no matter where she went, and she wanted to rebel against the narrow minded morons she had encountered by walking in public places with Arken, careless about what they'd think, because what Zeus thought, that this man was pretty amazing, she wanted to show him some appreciation in public though, she knew that probably deep down, people's judgement probably hurt a little. As much as she masked it with sarcasm, every now and then, it hurt her as well.
As Zeus mentioned fatherhood, he chuckled and shook his head slightly. “Im not too kid friendly, I have no whims of becoming a father myself.” He said simply before rolling off another shrug. “Could you imagine a child running around the tattoo shop?” He added, gesturing around the empty shop. Of course, he knew his mind would change one day, just…not any time soon.
Arken smiled once more at her ‘plain jane’ comment and scratched at the back of his neck. “I wouldn’t say you were plain.” He muttered softly and then smiled a little wider “A personality like marmite, they’re always the best. I hate people that think they’re liked by everyone. Ego is an ugly trait.” He added with a grunt. Too many people in the world were egotistical and had their head in the clouds. Arken strived to keep his feet on the ground.
Taking a minute to grin at her, he nodded “That’s what they all say.” He scoffed playfully as she said about the pain. “Ribs are a hard spot, even I struggled to sit too long for my ribs.” He then added cheekily, joking with her. As she mentioned about touching his tattoo’s, he glanced up at her and cocked his head to the side. “At least buy me a drink first” He teased.
As she gave him the all clear to start, he began tattooing the first line, putting enough pressure for the fine line to transfer, the tattoo gun gliding across her skin. His eyes stayed glued to the spot he was tattooing, making sure it was one smooth line.
As she spoke, he couldn’t help but smile as she was trying to distract herself. “I have a few more vices.” He said softly, feeling the squeeze to his shoulder as he moved further up with the tattoo gun. “I like photography, so I like seeing beautiful places, sunsets, sun rises…” He glanced to her quickly before looking back down. “And the usual, I don’t drink too much, I smoke which isn’t attractive of me…Im a little boring to be honestly with you.” He added.
With the first few lines done, Arken settled into his tattooing routine. Line, wipe clean, line, wipe clean. “Don’t worry too much about the smears of ink, some ink settles on the top and that’s what we wipe away.” He explained “You’re not a bleeder which is good.” He added with a grin.
He knew she wanted a distraction, so the next time he glanced out when he refilled the ink of the gun, he looked her in the eye. “What about you? Apart from the bikes and the shop, what do you do for fun?”
Zeus blushed slightly since she had completely misunderstood what he had expressed previously about kids. She then shuttered, unable to imagine how rough a life would be with kids of her own. Marriage and kids, both things she never wished or longed for. At times, she did find herself longing for someone to love and to love her back; but that's as far as her fairytale life would go. Even with wanting things like that though, Zeus was a tomboy who had traits more manly than most men themselves and it normally caused people to look the other way when the Nephilim came around.
Zeus couldn't help but laugh, which came out as a snort instead when he gestured to his empty shop. Shaking her head no, she grinned "That would be a nightmare, but I can only imagine that the child would grow up to be as awesome and gifted as their father ." she stated, giving Arken a compliment without really meaning to, but smirked nonetheless. She figured that all children grew up shadowing their parents, so if a child had a tattoo artist as a father, they'd most likely follow suite. Just like Zeus, she had been raised on a farm and taught to enjoy what you had in front of you instead of longing for things you didn't have; the way of her father had followed her, sticking to her like glue.
Zeus grinned, her eyes dazzling underneath the bright lights above her as her gaze caught Arken's. This had certainly been a first for her; being around someone who enjoyed her for exactly who she was. "Egotistical people definitely are a pain in the ass, ive come across many here" she said, referring to the city. Zeus had been laying there with her breath hitched, and her nerves a mess as the gun began gliding across her skin, causing her to gasp every so often, but it seemed the more he talked to her the calmer she got and the easier it became for her to lay there and not worry about the sharp pains burning into her rib cage right now. "Yeah, I think I can be a little overly cocky sometimes, cause i can't lie. This hurts like hell" she admitted, glancing at just how many tattoo's he had himself, "I don't think I could have went through with it to be honest; I'd say you were pretty sore for .. how long did all that ink take?" she asked curiously, arching a dark brow.
The Nephilim smirked at his comment about a drink and bit her lower lip "What's your poison?" she asked, giving a teasing smirk, but if he was serious, then there was no doubt about it, Zeus would be gladly drinking with this man later. Drinks however, didn't sound as appealing anymore when Arken told her his other virtues, the one thing she had an idea for, for the two of them to hang out after he finished this tattoo, was to go watch the sun set, and the stars to cover the sky in the thick blanket of beauty that made Zeus's heart melt away. Living on a farm was where she had first noticed the stars; they were simply beautiful, and she had never seen so many here in the city, it almost made her miss Lousiana. Home would always be home for Zeus, and the city had became some-what a temporary fix for the Nephilim, one she had gotten pretty comfortable with to her luck.
She still yet had to get a job. And even when she got a job, she'd never be mentally repaired from the fact that someone had set her country bar on fire, especially since she'd named it after her father. The Nephilim frowned until the sound of Arken's voice broke through her distraction, causing her to gaze into the mirror in front of her to see what he'd done so far noticing the smudged ink he was currently talking about. Zeus only nodded simply to acknowledge what he said. "Thankfully not. I don't do well with a lot of blood, but I don't imagine that tattoo's would cause someone to bleed profusely would it?" she asked densely, blushing a bit. Zeus inhaled and balled a fist up when he drew back and began again, the needle of the gun seemed to sting a little more the closer it got to where her armpit was. She had started breathing heavily, but slowly regained composure as she put thought into the question he asked.
Zeus grimaced for a moment; She didn't wanna come off as a 'slut' when she answered him, but she wasn't one to sugar coat or lie about things, and she never beat around the bush "Well, other things I do for fun; I love going to the clubs to dance, alcohol is becoming a blah phase lately, so I can't say i go to the club for drinks, it's more about dancing and meeting new people and having fun. Other things I enjoy are a little x-rated, but we're both adults so i'm sure you get where i'm going with that" she stated, chuckling, and feeling her face turn red as heat rose to her cheeks. "But I gotta say, ive slowed down a lot since i moved to the city. It's scary to just assume you'll be safe with just anyone here, then it turns out being the exact opposite way" she exopressed, remembering how she'd gotten her heart broken, and got manipulated the first time she trusted a man in Evermore.
It was a lesson learned to say the least. "I guess i'm scared to settle down from being the party girl. I feel like as soon as I do, I'll end up getting hurt" she expressed with sad eyes. "About those drinks though, I definitely would love to take you up on that, I enjoy the conversation with you, it's easy to just be myself" she added but suddenly gasped again as he began going back over the lines he'd already made on her flesh. Zeus decided to trace his tattoo's with her finger where her hand had been sitting on his shoulder, to distract herself, finding just how detailed, and even dark some of them were when she paid more attention to them. "Are there any tattoo's on you that have ties to your past?" she asked curiously, closing her eyes and baring through the pain the worser it seemed to get. "And as for the smoking thing, I smoke as well. Its even less appealing for a female, so don't feel bad" she chuckled, before eyeing him "and seriously, you're definitely not boring Arken, something tells me there's a lot to you that have yet to figure out, but if given the chance id love to get to know you" she finished off, and continued tracing the outlines of his own tattoo's with her fingers. It was almost as though his body was a map, and Zeus definitely didn't mind going for a journey. Some things she knew she was better off not saying so bluntly though.
He chuckled at her reply, always finding himself either smiling or chuckling around Zeus. As she looked over his ink, he shrugged and smiled. “You get used to it.” He said and paused the tattoo gun, scratching the back of his arm before filling the ink up again and starting again. “To be honest, head is the worst. I have never needed so many breaks from a session in all my sessions.”
The next question made him sit back a little and think, blowing out a breath “I honestly don’t know.” He said simply before leaning back forward, chewing on his lip a little. “I couldn’t even guess. A long, long time.” Arken said simply and smiled. “Maybe I’ll add it up one day.”
When she asked about his poison, he watched her for a second before wetting his lips. “I’m not even going to lie to you, because I don’t think I could.” He said and then took a breath before blowing it out. “Im a Malibu and coke kinda guy. Whiskey on occasion, Bourbon if I’m already drunk…But Malibu is my drink of choice.” He said softly and shook his head. “Although if we’d of gone for a drink I’d of lied and got whiskey to seem more manly.” He said with a wince and a smirk.
Arken nodded in reply to her question “Oh yeah, I’m a bleeder.” He said simply before grinning “You’re literally injecting ink under layers of skin. There are numerous people that bleed a lot during tattoo’s.”
As she listed the things she liked, he chuckled and nodded. “I get what you mean.” He said simply. “And who doesn’t like that.” He added simply before shrugging again.
Arken watched her for a moment and then nodded “I get that. My party faze ended a while ago, but I guess you don’t know unless you try.” He glanced at her hand as it traced his tattoo and smiled. “One.” He said simply and then shook his head. “It was one of my first, and the only color tattoo I have on my body.” He paused and then shifted back, putting the tattoo gun back on the rack, removing his gloves and standing up. “Alright, now don’t read into this.” He said simply before turning his back to her and showing the only color tattoo he owned.
“Cupcake.” He said and then smiled “To remind myself that even with the skeleton tattoo’s, the death-moths and all the other stuff. I can still be a sweet guy too.”
He sat back down, putting a new pair of black latex gloves on and picking up the tattoo gun again and starting off again. “I think girls that smoke are pretty hot. Its like the whole…Badass vibe.” He shrugged and gestured to his chest. “Looking like this, my type is tattooed badass’ what can I say.”
Arken then watched her for a moment before looking intently at the line he was tattooing. “Theres a lot. Not all pleasant.”
Zeus grazed her bottom lip with her teeth, clinging onto it for a moment as he smiled. His smile had began to take an effect on her that she hadn't bargained for. His personality, looks, and outlook on life was a total turn on though. It was hard not to notice certain things about this man. And even though she had only came here with the intentions of getting a tattoo in memory of her mother, she now had new intentions.
In between the pauses where he had to fill the gun with ink again, Zeus took that time to breathe, because for the most part, she'd been panting, or gasping when he hit a spot that seemed to sting worse than the rest, his voice being the only exceptional thing to calm her. As Arken spoke of the ink on his head, the Nephilim narrowed her gaze and focused on the detail, grinning "Well you apparently done well since you let them use your body as a canvas" she stated playfully, flashing the Initia a teasing wink as he spoke of how his head was the one place he had to take the most breaks for.
Chuckling as he said he might add it up one day, Zeus closed her eyes again letting him work in peace until he spoke, causing her to grin from ear to ear, shaking her head slightly at his answer "Malibu, Whiskey, either way you seem pretty manly to me, I doubt a drink would change that" she expressed, giving him a look, for a moment lost in his dark optics; there seemed to be an entire world behind his eyes; one that Zeus wanted to be a part of.
Zeus’s eyes widened when he spoke of how most people bleed freely during tattoo’s, him included, and for a second, she felt a little nauseated. That feeling vanished though the second Arken said he had one tattoo tying him to his past, her face turning a fire engine red when he stood and turned his back to her, but then again, she endured the sight before her a little longer than she should have “A cupcake?” she repeated out loud in a questioning tone of voice, chuckling.
She was sure he had his reasons for it, but that one small tattoo among hundreds of skulls and other things shed a new light on Arken. Zeus found herself liking him a little more with each new fact she learned about him. Whether it was inappropriate or not, was beyond her, but Zeus couldn’t help herself from reaching out to trace over the cupcake, smirking as she lowered her hand again. His explanation however, filled her stomach with butterflies, and she could feel the light radiating from him. She hadn’t read into all the death-moth’s and skeletons the very second she had saw them, she knew from the get-go how sweet and charming he seemed, but to hear him explain the cupcake the way he did, Zeus nodded “I get that. It’s definitely okay to have that as a reminder to yourself, but I guess I sensed that side of you the moment I started talking to you, ive actually never met someone quite like you Arken. It’s refreshing” she admitted, before peeling her gaze away from his ass, grinning nonetheless.
Zeus bit her lower lip once more when he stated what he liked in a female, before averting her gaze to look at her pretty blank skin. “I guess I’ll just have to get more tattoo’s now” she teased, shaking her head. “Nah, I mean i don’t have many, but Im also not your average female, so if you enjoy a badass little vixen, then im your girl” she chuckled after giving an overly blunt statement.
When he said there was a lot to know about him, the Nephilim’s heart pounded away at her chest, she felt like all she had now, was time. “Well, i’m certainly not going anywhere; so tell me more mr Arken” she grinned, “What’s the darkest thing about you?” she then asked, figuring maybe she was reaching a little with that question, but it didn’t matter, it was just him, her the ink and the music. “And by all means, i’m an open book” she finished off, meaning he could ask her quite literally, anything that came to mind.