Unedited Draft: WARNING: Intended for Mature audience

| Damsel's Tattooed Temptation 
CHAPTER 11: Look But Can’t Touch |

Damsel scratched her head filling in the answer to the mock exam. She rummaged to the back of the book to find the answer and nearly lost her mind when her answer was wrong. Anxiety started coursing through her blood. Her mother’s words floating through her head.

It’s not too late to turn back you know.

Damsel threw the test packet across the room, stood up and started pacing. What the hell was her problem? She had a perfectly good job, made great money. Maybe focusing on how to maximize her nursing career was a better move. She pulled her fingers into her wild, untamed curls. She looked down at her scrubs that she hadn’t yet taken off and grummbled.

Her phone flashed telling her she had a message. She slumped over to her phone charging on a table next to the couch and her chest tightened when she saw it was from James. She pulled up his message.

Her insides flopped around when she saw his handsome face smirking at the camera. There were a few people in the background that she didn’t recognize. He was sitting at a large wooden table a huge plate of food in front of him. Damsel’s mouth watered and her stomach growled. It looked like a Thanksgiving feast minus the turkey.

Damsel blushed at the caption under James’s photo.

JAMES: Wish I was eating you instead ;)

Heat rushed to her cheeks and settled there as she recalled her time with him. She sighed leaning on the back of the couch. When they finally got out of bed later in the morning bordering on afternoon they washed, he made breakfast which was so good and they got dressed and went further up into the mountains to this look out that gave her a view of L.A. in the distance and the ocean. They spent time there relaxing, talking about the movie he was writing the score for. She tested him on a few of the vocab words she was struggling with and he came up with some rather... creative ways of helping her remember. Needless to say, she wouldn’t be getting those wrong.

Damsel pushed up off the couch and made her way into the kitchen to chop up the cold chicken breast she had leftover from the day before to put with salad greens. Why was she struggling so hard with her study session today?

Her mother.

Bridget Kane had a way of making Damsel anxious. She had that look of motherly concern on her face and that damned eyebrow that raised into a sinister arch but the words that came out of her mouth were like acid rain. Slowly over time they wore away at Damsel leaving her feeling weathered, damaged in desperate need of repair. Maybe she was too old to be terrified of her mother, but that didn’t change the fact that mama Kane was a horrific, intimidating woman most of the time.

Damsel stood at the counter and shoveled the dry meat and spinach into her mouth. She didn’t like salads most of the time, but she was too exhausted to make anything else. She had to finish this practice test before she went to bed.

At the rate she was going, she wouldn’t have anytime for distractions. She should tell James that she can’t video call him.

Damsel’s chest clenched at the thought. The previous day she itched to message him back. She loved getting his messages every morning and throughout her day. Made things run smoother knowing he was thinking about her. After the brunch with her mother, there was doubt. She felt like a child that got a lashing and was sent to her room. Damsel knew her mother’s heart, assuming she still had one after what her father did to it, was in the right place but the woman was so blinded by her own pain it was impossible for her to detach and be objective.

Damsel wandered back over to the couch after cleaning her dished and picked up her phone looking at James’s handsome face in the photo. She placed the phone screen down and went to the bathroom. A nice shower would set her mind at ease put her into a place to study.

Damsel did feel better after taking the shower. There was a lot of time to think in which she decided to video chat James. She would waste more time thinking about him and wanting to call him rather than just doing it. She checked her watch. It was rather late, but she figured he just wouldn’t answer if he wasn’t awake.

Damsel’s guts twisted when James’s handsome face displayed on her screen.

Damn. She thought he was even more handsome than she remembered. She recognized the bedroom in the back drop. He was shirtless laying across the bed.

“Hey beautiful.” He smiled which forced her to smile.

“Hey.” She struggled making out his body art clearly with the quality of the live feed.

“Long day?”

She nodded. “Yeah, long shift just ate dinner, took a shower. Trying to study.”

“Trying? Hows that going?”

She exhaled running her fingers through her curls getting them stuck part way back. “Not good... actually... really bad.”

“Figured as much. You're exhausted, love. You should get some rest.”

Damsel’s insides clenched thinking he was going to cut their conversation short. She yearned for him to be close. She wanted to lay her head on his chest, hear his heartbeat. She didn't realize she missed it until she slept that first night without it. Sounds ridiculous since she barely spent two days with this man and yet, he took up so much of her mind, and thoughts as of late.

“I have to study. I’ll never pass this damn exam if I don’t.”

“Yeah, you gotta study, but you need sleep too. Your brain, your body, needs the rest.”

He was right she knew she wasn’t being logical. She was acting on fear and panic. She knew the brain well enough to know how it functioned. “You’re right,” Damsel took a deep breath. “Okay okay I’ll take a short nap.” She pushed off the couch, turned off lights in the living room where she was studying, checked her alarm, made sure her door was locked before she made her way to her room with James still on her screen.

“Show me what you’re wearing babe.” James said biting his bottom lip.

Damsel shivered. She turned her phone to the full length mirror hanging on her closet door.

“What the… Baby, is that a donut onesie?”

Damsel laughed out loud. “What? Not sexy enough for you?”

James laughed shaking his head. “In fact, it’s so sexy I want to take it off just to get to that jelly filling.”

Damsel’s inside squirmed with anticipation her cheeks filled with heat. He would turn super unattractive pajamas into something erotic.

She climbed in the bed. “Don’t you find it strange that we’re video chatting and we live in the same city? I mean, you’re so close.”

“Look girl, I can be over there in twenty minutes you just say the word. I’m trying to respect your busy ass life.”

“Twenty minutes? James you live at least forty-five minutes from me if not an hour.”

James smirked. “Maybe if you go the speed limit, but who fuckin’ does that?”

“I can’t with you sometimes.”

“But you do...won’t hear me complain.” He presented a smirk that showed his dimple. “You look stressed. Let me give you a massage, rub your shoulders, feet, that scalp have you sleeping good.”

Mhm, Damsel thought. “You and I both know that’s not all that’s going to go down if you come over here.”

James presented that roguish grin an eyebrow raised. “Hey, I’m an innocent bystander.”

Damsel shook her head heat filling her face. “What are you wearing?” She changed the subject.

“Tats.” He smiled biting his bottom lip.

Damsel’s body started to ache for him. “Let me see.” She mentally smacked herself on the forehead at the airy, unsteady sound of her voice. But she kept her eyes peeled on the screen.

“You wanna see me baby?”

Damsel bit her lip and nodded drawing her knees closer to her chest, her back leaning on the head board.

James pulled the camera back displaying his bare chest the dark tattoos like elegant calligraphy adorning his flesh. Damsel licked her lips remembering his smooth skin over taut muscle. She swallowed.

He lowered the camera slowly from his chest, to his stomach, lower to defined upper abs, lower abs, tight obliques leading...down...to… He paused right before she could see his sex and brought the camera back to his face. “See all you wanted to see?”

She shook her head, face in her palm. “You’re a horrible tease.”

James laughed. “Well, I have to leave something to the imagination.”

Damsel growled. Maybe he should come over. She thought. Massaging shoulders and feet and scalps were not on her list of places she wanted him to massage. She shook the thought scolding herself.

Damsel Kane when did you get all dirty minded?

“Where were you in the photo you sent to me?”

“Sunday dinner at mom’s.”

Damsel nodded. “Who took the picture?”

“Will’s crazy ass.”

Hmmm, that’s cute. He would be a mama’s boy.

“I need to see you. When’s your next day off?” James interrupted her thoughts.

“Uh...not really until next wednesday.” She stretched out the day of the week trying to recall if she truly had wednesday off or if she packed it with obligations.

“Got damn girl.” James’s eyebrows furrowed.

“My next day off is friday which is girl’s night out. Cammie gets very… serious about girl’s nights.”

“I’d never get in the way of you spending time with your girls.” Damsel heard the disappointment in his voice. A wave of sadness washed through her. She wanted to reach through the screen and touch him. She could always study later…

Get a hold of yourself girl! You worked to hard to get where you are to let anything get in your way.

“You wanna see me drum?” James wanted to know breaking Damsel from her thoughts.

Her chest filled with excitement. “Of course.” If he played drums anywhere near as passionate as he played with her body Damsel wanted to be present. It would also be good to be out with lots and lots of other people around. How else was she going to get to know him better?

“There’s an open mic, karaoke, rotating musician thing that I like playing at on Wednesdays. You should come. Invite Cammie and Will will clear his entire schedule to be there too.”

Damsel laughed. “I think Cammie would like something like that.” Damsel tried to fight it, but a  yawn pulled her mouth open. The exhaustion of the day finally settling on her weary mind and body.

“Awe babe I’m going to let you get some rest.”

Damsel whined a protest in her mind. She wanted to snuggle into his heat and find a deep sleep, but she knew if he was so close she would pounce on him. “Okay. James?”

“Yeah baby?”

“Can you do me a favor?”

“Of course. Whatever you need love.”

Damsel’s face pulled into a mischievous smirk. “Can you drop that camera a little lower, please?”

James laughed surprise on his face for a moment before it was replaced with a naughty grin. “Since you asked so nicely.”
Continue to Part 12...