Marked by Ink Read Online Flora Ferrari

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Insta-Love Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 47
Estimated words: 46450 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 232(@200wpm)___ 186(@250wpm)___ 155(@300wpm)
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I’ve wanted to be a tattoo artist for as long as I can remember. That’s what brings me to the party.
When I see him, Felix Fletcher, I struggle to form words. He’s tall, with intense eyes, silver hair, and a muscular body that has my mind going to all kinds of steamy places.
We talk, and I wonder if he feels it too. But I’m a full-figured girl, not the kind most guys fall all over. And, someone like Felix could have his pick of any woman he wants. Why would he pick me? But, I could only hope.
The instant connection. The spark people always talk about – dreams of a perfect future together.
I learn he’s forty, twice my age, twice my experience…or maybe ten times, considering I’m a virgin and I’ve never even kissed anybody.
But he shows interest. Something’s happening here, I’m sure of it.
Until he tells me he was hired to kill me.
The butterfly on my wrist – a tattoo in honor of my dad – marks me.
But Felix doesn’t hurt me. He kisses me possessively, passionately, holding me so firmly I’m sure he must feel the same.
And then he tells me we have to run.
Felix and I grow closer as we try to escape this maze of crossing and double-crossing.
He wants to make my first time special.
He asks me to tattoo half a heart onto his shoulder.
“We’ll add the rest when I’ve claimed every part of you, Freya,” he tells me.
Does this mean he’s mine, as badly as I want to be his?
Or should I be more worried about staying alive?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

CHAPTER

ONE

Freya

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I ask.

Julie looks at me from the bed. She’s got her knees pulled up to her chin, her arms wrapped around her legs.

She’s so different from the Julie I remember from our school years, with her ready smile and quick-witted sense of humor.

But that was before the gas explosion took her dad’s life, and she came to live with us. That was four months ago.

She shakes her head slowly. Her hair is blonde, a little greasy, her cheeks far gaunter than they used to be.

My chest gives a pang at how much she’s changed. It’s not her fault.

Her dad, like mine, died but not years ago before she can even remember.

“I’d love to,” she says after a pause. “But this cold is really doing some work on me.”

I bite down, warning myself not to say anything.

Julie may have a cold. But an illness so bad she has to remain in bed…all without a runny nose, cough, fever, or any symptoms I can see.

The other possibility – that her grief is so powerful it makes her feel ill, even if she’s not –causes more agony to twist into me. I wish there were a way I could magically make her feel better.

“That’s okay,” I say, walking across the room, previously our spare room. There are books strewn everywhere, a minefield of them as I approach. “I can stay here with you if you like.”

Julie’s gaze snaps to my wrist, to the butterfly tattooed as though mid flight. It’s blue, its wings spread.

When I got it last year, I was tempted to put Dad beneath it since that’s what it represents, my father and his passing.

Mom told me he liked butterflies. He had dreams of collecting them before he passed.

But I left it as simply the butterfly. I know what it means.

Finally, Julie looks up at me. “And steal this chance from you? No way.”

“It’s just a party,” I say, shrugging, though I can’t stop my lips from twitching into a half smile.

“No, it’s not just a party at all, actually. There will be dozens of tattooists ready to give you tips or even a job. Or who knows…maybe their phone number.”

Julie smiles, trying to make me laugh. I laugh along with her, though a distant part of me notes how fake it sounds, how forced, as though we’re both simply playing a role.

“Is Lexi still meeting you there?” Julie goes on.

Lexi is the woman who tattooed the butterfly on my wrist. She reached out to me a week ago since I mentioned I’d love to work in the field one day.

“Yeah,” I say. But I’d love it if you would come.

I push that thought away. I used to say things like that in the early days and weeks after her dad’s death. A tragic accident, the gas exploding, nobody to blame, and luckily nobody else was hurt.

Julie reaches over and softly touches my arm. “Then you better get going. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be partying like crazy when this cold goes to hell.”

I smile, telling myself it’s true, telling myself these aren’t just more empty words.

It’s not her fault, anyway. It’s not like she can just get over what happened.

Julie and I bonded as kids because we were both missing a parent, she her mom, and me my dad. We used to joke about our parents getting together so we’d become sisters, though mom and Elijah never looked twice at each other.

Turning away, I force the guilt down and descend the stairs, finding mom in the kitchen. It’s mid-evening, and the sun has already set, but mom’s at the counter kneading dough with a determination I can only admire.

At fifty, Annabelle Abrams is a tall and strong woman, often wearing billowing dresses, with styled hair and a no-nonsense glint in her eye.

“Do you ever rest?” I tease.

Mom laughs. “Not if I can help it. Don’t get your hopes up, though. This isn’t for you.”

“Another charity drive?” I ask.

She nods, then glances at the door. “No Julie?”

“She’s…ill.”

Mom winces. She’s worked as a nurse for twenty-five years, and she can tell when somebody is genuinely ill, she claims, at least most of the time. She added the most once when we were discussing Julie, as though she wanted to leave the option open – Julie is ill, not grieving, not looking for an excuse not to move on.

“That’s a shame,” Mom says. “Maybe next time.”

“I should get going, anyway.” Walking around the kitchen island, I give mom a hug. “See you later.”

“Be good,” Mom says. “And remember, you have to be twenty-one to drink. That’s seven months to wait for you.”

I roll my eyes. “Thanks for the reminder.”

She chuckles as I leave, her laughter making me smile as I walk down the driveway and climb into mom’s car. Thankfully, she agreed to loan it to me just for the party.


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