Fine artist turned ink master Gillian (we never get to hear her last name) has spent a long time trying to forget the man who got under her skin every bit as permanently as the tattoos he taught her how to execute. A tragic loss for both her and Alex sent him overseas to serve his country and she into a dark tunnel of depression and denial. Both of them betrayed by a person who should have been closest to them. His reappearance at her place of employment, Ink Addicted, under a false name re-opens old wounds. But can she let him under her skin just one more time and take the first steps toward a second chance?
This short story covers all the bases of a good girl / bad boy, love-lost / love-found trope, but in record time. At 38 pages we enter the story several years after Alex and Gillian have met and fallen in love. He is from the wrong side of the tracks, and she is the mayor's arrow-straight daughter. Can anyone say 'West Side Story'? She's just beginning to repair her life and family relationships when Alex serendipitously appears in her strip-mall tattoo parlor as the boss's new hire. As ridiculously coincidental as that is, their reuniting is bittersweet and heart-wrenching and the sex scene scorching hot. The one thing holding it back from 5 stars is the editor's failure to catch several missing words such as "the, and, to" which made some sentences jarring and clumsy.
Overall a good read that's as quick to enjoy as a temporary tattoo.