Permanent (Indelibly Marked) (Volume 1)

BOOK: Permanent (Indelibly Marked) (Volume 1)
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Permanent

Book One of the Indelibly Marked Series

Kim Carmichael

 

Copyright 2013 Kim Carmichael

Kindle Edition

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Published by
Breathless Books
, an imprint of
Assent Publishing

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

To all the amazing tattoo artists who take the vision of a dream, and make it permanent.

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

My husband and two amazing boys, the permanent forces in my life.

Tamara Eaton, thank you for every phone call, every therapy session and everything. Thank you for being with me while I moved forward.

Deborah Riley-Magnus, thank you for believing in me.

Les Denton, you made my dream come true and I will be forever grateful.

Dawn Collins, thank you for finding me and always being there for me.

Celsey Sievert, thank you for taking on a big job—me!

Kim McNeil and Chelle, we are the three amigos.

My amazing Tattoo Artists thus far, thank you for letting me pick your minds and share your art! Paul Martinez, Anthony Arriaga, Andreas Hubner, Erin Cooper, Greg James, Alex Verdugo, Lawler James, Marked Studios (Reno, NV), Zazoo, Danilo Borsik, Christo Botes (Chupa Designs), Tony Styles (Anthony Rosado), Magic 13.

Cheryl Effron, MD, David Raskin & Tatu-derm, thank you for teaching me about all things aftercare.

Tom Brookhouzen, you are so kind and smart and my accounting inspiration!

Joe, Michelle, Eva, Alexis and Alex, no one in the world could ask for a better foundation than the one you have built for me.

Kirk Alley, thank you for sharing your expertise with me.

Lisa Hochstein, I can't thank you enough for all the support. You make me feel special!

Rue Volley, Justin Fellers, Caitlin Kelley and Jackie Kolanko, you made my images come to life.

My three fluff balls, thank you for making me smile.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Bonus Sneak Peek: Temporary

About the Author

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

“What’s this?” A blast of hot air and a stack of envelopes greeted Shane Elliott when he opened the door to his apartment. He stepped back. The scorching air he could handle, but envelopes only held bad news, commitment and work.

“Mail.” His brother, Carson, thrust the pile at him.

Though the stagnant warm air threatened to choke him, he froze at the return address on the top letter.

Carson flicked the envelope. “What are you going to do?”

He crumpled the unwanted paper in his fist and headed straight for his couch, shoving the evil thing under the cushion. “We’re not going to talk about it.”

“Shane?” His brother shook his head on the way to the kitchen.

 “Let’s get out of here.” He sat, the multitude of letters hidden in the couch crunching like cockroaches.

“You need help.”

“I said we’re not going to talk about it.” As he pounded his fist into the arm of the couch, a horrible crash boomed through his place, vibrating the wall he shared with the apartment next door. “Whoa! I’m not that powerful.”

Carson put his ear to the wall. “Did you finally get a new neighbor?”

“Four days ago. Some little old lady.” He joined his brother.

“How do you know it’s a little old lady?” Carson cupped his hand over his ear.

“She hasn’t made a sound in four days. What if she broke a hip or something?” He winced at the image, dashed out of his apartment, and knocked on his neighbor’s door. “Hello.”

No one answered.

Once again he pounded on the door. Maybe the lady’s hearing aid fell out. “Hello!”

“She could have passed out.” Carson suggested.

“Damn!” All he needed was some little old lady in her housecoat lying helpless in her apartment. No way would he start their neighbor relationship as the jerk who allowed the poor thing to rot away. What if he ever needed her for anything?

“Watch out.” With no time to second guess, he kicked the door in. The door flung open, breaking off one hinge. “Don’t let any cats out!” A silent little old lady would definitely have a cat or ten to keep her company. He leapt inside to find the victim, only to be met with nothing but a mountain of perfectly labeled moving boxes. He peered over one of the peaks to find her.

Shane smiled. Not an old lady, instead a bona fide woman lay flat on her back on the generic beige carpet with a hammer only a few feet away. With red cheeks and glassy eyes, she seemed somewhere between wanting to scream and bursting into tears. The situation was great, perfect even, if not for the huge gash on her forehead and blood gushing from the wound.

Not wanting to terrify her more than she already seemed, he sprang into action, sliding around the boxes and dropping to one knee next to her. “Shane Elliott.” He thrust his hand out and bowed his head. “Your neighbor and your savior.”

She opened her mouth but said nothing, only stared at him.

“I see nothing of the feline persuasion either in the apartment or fleeing the apartment.” Carson reported, hunched over as he examined the area.

A slight whimper escaped the patient’s throat.

“We may not have any cats, but I think we got ourselves a chick.” He winked at her.

Her eyes darted between the two of them.

“She’s stunned.” Carson snapped his fingers in her face.

Shane swiped his brother’s hand away. “Go get the first aid kit. This needs special equipment.”

With Carson gone, he calmed and soothed her with a gentlemanly pat on her shoulder. “We heard you go down and came right away.”

“I’m so embarrassed.” She reached up to her forehead and winced.

“It happens.” He took a moment to study her, with her big blue eyes and straight, long blonde hair, she was a perfect Hollywood princess. She wore a pair of black yoga pants and a pink t-shirt, fine for moving in, but the black designer stiletto dangling on her foot caught his attention. No wonder she fell.

“Everything will be okay, don’t try to move.” He grasped her shoulder. “We’ll stabilize you.”

“Triage.” Carson returned with the sought after kit. “So what happened?”

She raised a hand.

Not wanting her to exert herself, Shane pushed her hand down and scanned the room locating the second shoe, a step stool, and a piece of framed art. “Looks like she tried to hang a picture in her heels, lost her balance and came down with a splat. Her other shoe landed in the eastern quadrant.” He reached over her and picked up the hammer. “My guess is that this hammer hit her causing a contusion to her right temporal region.” It was a great chance to start things right, and impressing her with multi-syllabic words was merely one tool in his arsenal.

“Thank you, detective.” An envelope popped out of the kit when Carson flipped the lid. “Shane?”

“Focus.” Before Carson grabbed the offensive thing, Shane snatched it up, balled it in his fist and shoved it in his pocket. “We have an injured woman.”

“That envelope involves all of us.” Carson rifled through the bandages.

“It’s my problem. Leave it.” He yanked the kit closer. “I’m the boss, don’t worry about it.”

“That’s a crock and you know it.” Carson pulled it back.

“Excuse me.” Again, the fallen angel waved her hand.

“We have a wound to tend to.” He relaxed his jaw and smiled down at her. “What is it?”

“I want to thank you for coming in here, but why don’t you two go take care of your mail issue. I’ll be fine.” She licked her lips and inhaled. “This is nothing a bandage won’t fix. The odds of it being worse are very small. I was just taken off guard.”

“I don’t think the odds are in your favor this time.” The injury seemed worse than he’d originally thought, and her forehead had begun to swell. He tore open the package of gauze. “Actually, this may be beyond my vast medical knowledge.”

“Sir?”

“Don’t call me sir. It’s Shane.” Sir was an old man, and he didn’t want that image in her head.

“Shane?” Her voice came out a little stronger.

“Hold on sweetie, don’t worry.” He approached her with the gauze.

“It’s fine.” She propped herself up on an elbow and a trail of blood oozed down her face. “Oh no.”

“Wait up.” Somehow he got her back down on the floor and pressed the gauze to her forehead. “This is way beyond a bandage.”

He exchanged glances with Carson and blurted out, “Urgent Care.”

“I’m fine, please.” She closed her eyes.

“No, this will require stitches.” He hadn’t seen that much blood since the day the first letter arrived and he fell down the stairs trying to get away from it. “I have a connection. Let’s get her down to the car.”

She put her hand over his and used him for leverage to sit up.

“Careful.” Her tiny hand barely covered his. He took off her other shoe and helped her upright. Only then did he get his chance to take in the rest of her. Along with blue eyes and lips that could be the logo for kissing, she stood at least a foot and some change shorter than him and possessed some pretty feisty curves.

She took over holding the gauze. “I can’t thank you enough for checking on me. I’ll be fine.”

He was getting a brush off. “I really think you need to get that looked at. Maybe we should call someone for you.”

A trickle of blood snuck down her hand and she swayed a bit. “No, it’s okay.”

“You’re bleeding through the gauze.”

She braced against the wall. “It’s just a cut. I was stupid and fell, but I have to take care of it myself. Thank you.”

“Okay.” For someone who was pretty silent until now, she made her wants perfectly clear. He backed toward the door. “We’re next door if you need help.”

BOOK: Permanent (Indelibly Marked) (Volume 1)
5.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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