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“He’s back again.”

Joey didn’t even need to say who he was talking about.  You knew right away.  He’d been in a couple of times.  Never gave a name.  Never booked a further appointment.  Yet he somehow managed to show up blind each time when you didn’t have anyone booked in.

He was getting a sleeve done.  A skeletal samurai that turned into a snake at his elbow that then wrapped itself around his forearm.  It was in black and green and highly detailed.  You were only about a halfway done, if you were thinking optimistically about it.

The situation was odd but you strangely never felt worried with him.  He was quiet but non-threatening.  Always polite when he spoke and friendly enough.  You didn’t mind the drop-ins.  He’d ask if you were free but clarify that he understood if you weren’t.  It was fine.  Besides he had gorgeous arms.  It was fun working on them.

“Alright.  I’ll get him.”  You said.

“You sure?  I gotta head out.  You gonna be okay alone with the guy?”

You shrugged.  “He seems harmless.  Just lost people.  And really, who hasn’t?”

“True that,”  Joey said.  “I’ll send him back and lock up.  Be careful though.”

You pulled the design from your file.  “Always am, Joey.”

The guy appeared in the doorway barely a moment later.  “You’re sure this is okay?”

You gestured for him to sit.  “Yeah.  I mean if you’d book a time, it’d be better.  But business is a little quieter since… Well, you know.”

He nodded.  “Sorry.  I just travel a lot these days.  Never know when I’ll be here.”

You felt he was playing with half-truths.  Maybe that was some of the reason, but it wasn’t the whole reason.  It didn’t matter though.  He could tell you straight up blatant lies if he wanted, as long as he sat still and paid at the end of the session.  Which he always did so there was no reason to question him.

He took off his coat and sat down in the chair.  You set up next to him and began to prep his arm, shaving it and washing it down.  He smiled and chuckled softly.  You’d never seen him crack a smile once since you first met him.

“Did I tickle you?”  You asked as you dipped the needles in the green ink.

“Yes, No.  Just thinking about how nice the prep feels and then its pain.”

“Metaphor for life.”  You said with a small shrug.

You began to do the shading on his lower bicep.  The muscles in his arm all tensed at once, the vein that ran down his forearm becoming more prominent.  He had gorgeous arms.  You wondered what he did that gave him that particular set of muscles.  They weren’t the bodybuilding kind of muscles, just swollen and worked so that each one is large but none are really meant for anything.  He was muscular in the way that people who used their arms were.  The mohawk he sported said it he wasn’t military.  Tradesperson maybe?  He had been sporting bruises and cuts each visit, so maybe he was an MMA fighter?

Slowly he relaxed as you worked, as usual not really talking.  The first time he had come in he’d asked if it was okay not to talk, so you hadn’t pushed it since.  It was fine with you.  It was much easier to focus when you weren’t making idle chit-chat.

“Did you lose anyone?”  He asked.

The question had pulled you out of a daydream you’d started having about what he could do with those arms and you startled a little.   It took a moment for the question to sink in.  When you realized what he was asking you frowned and focused a little harder on the art.  “Yeah.  Of course.  Who didn’t?”

“Right.”  He said, frowning and tensing a little.  You chewed on the inside of your cheek.  You weren’t a therapist, you were an artist.  It wasn’t your place to try and unpick whatever it was that was going through his head, but he’d never really said boo to you outside of the original tattoo design process.  Now he seemed to want to get something off his chest.

“Who did you lose?”  You asked.

“Everyone.”  He said.

“You lost everyone?”

He gave a curt nod.  “My parents died when I was a kid.  I had a guy take me on a  mentor, he’s gone.  My wife.  My kids.  Even the woman who I’d taken under my own wing.  I lost everyone.”

The way he spoke was that of a man who was trying to show no emotion.  Someone just wanted to be numb from the pain but couldn’t quite manage it.  “They said it was random.  Doesn’t always feel like it.”  You said.  “So you’re alone?”

He nodded and looked down at the artwork on his arm, not saying anything.  You went back to focusing on the tattoo, working methodically down his arm.

“What I don’t get is how can it have taken all those innocent people.  Kids even.  Yet there are still fucking monsters in the world.  You know?”  He said.

“Yeah.  I know.  Also, all those people who got taken out because they were in planes whose pilots turned to dust.  Or the people in fallout zones from power plants that overloaded because suddenly half the staff was gone.  Half of us turned to dust and then a whole bunch died right with them.”  You said.

He scowled and clenched his fists for a moment.  The rest of the time was spent in silence.  It was interesting.  Since half the world was turned to dust, a lot of the people who came in got tattoos commemorating people they’d lost.  Portraits of their wives.  The names of their kids inside hearts or teddy bears.  Symbolic things that meant something special just between them and their loved one.  You felt this samurai was like that too, but there was something darker.  He had no tattoos at all coming in.  Now he was getting this clear sign he was a different person than who he had been.

You supposed you got that.  Who was the same after what had happened?  People kept saying you had to move on.  But how could anyone really do that?

You finished up after about four hours.  It was late, well past when you normally went home for the day.  “What do you think?”  You asked as you washed it off.

He looked it over and nodded.  “Looks great.  Thank you.”

“What you wanted?”

He took a deep breath and let it out.  “Yeah.”  He said.  “Just how I pictured it.”

You covered the new parts with Vaseline and covered it in plastic.

The guy followed you to the register to pay.  “Guess I won’t see you again.”

You smiled.  “Guess not.  Unless you want some more art done.”

“Well, thank you for that.  I needed … something.”

You reached over and touched his arm.  It was familiar and you wouldn’t normally cross that line, but you had been touching him for four hours now.  “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

There was a moment where something seemed to pass through you.  You didn’t know what it was exactly, or what made you do it, but you leaned forward and kissed his cheek.  It was like you could tell he needed it.  That he needed some affection, even if it was brief.

He turned his head and leaned into you, like he was going to kiss you, but stopped and hovered there.  You could see the cogs turning as he began to overthink what was happening.  You took the initiative and brought your lips to his.

He reacted quickly, pushing you up against the wall and kissing you hungrily.  Desperately even.  Trying to grab this brief piece of human intimacy while he could.  This safe piece of connection that meant nothing, but he needed with every piece of him.

You ran your hands along his jaw and down his neck as he ground into you against the lockers.  His tongue danced with yours, circling it and running along your lips as you kissed.  You scrambled to open his belt.  The frantic, desperate nature of his movements affected you.  It made you want this just that little bit more.  As you opened his belt he broke the kiss and pulled your shirt off.  He ran his hands up your sides and cupped your breasts, then yanked your bra down so your breasts spilled out.  He squeezed your tits together end leaned down and began to suck and bite at your nipples.  You moaned and wrapped a leg around him, drawing him closer to you, rolling your hips against him.

You pushed his pants down enough to free his cock and you wrapped your hands around it.  He groaned and pushed into your hand.  “Fuck,”  He groaned.  “Fuck, I want you.”

“Then give it to me.”  You growled.

You unfastened your jeans and he pushed them down and barely gave you a moment to step out of them before he lifted you and slammed you against the wall again.  You wrapped your legs around his waist and he ground his dick against you.  You moaned loudly, your cunt wet and ready to take him.

His cock slid up and down your folds a few times before he thrust inside of you.  You moaned throwing your head back and dug your fingers into the corded muscles of his back.  He started to thrust, each one accompanied by the roll of his hips as he kept you pinned to the wall.  He kissed you passionately, making you light-headed as he fucked you hard.  The shelves rocked above you adding to the sounds of your moans and grunts.

 Your whole body began to tremble against him as you felt your orgasm approaching.  You moaned and threw your head back.   He slipped his hand between your legs and rubbed your clit hard and with a loud moan you came.

Clint groaned and bit down into your shoulder as he continued to fuck you through it.  You pulled off his cock and pushed him back.  “Let me.” You said.

He submitted to you quickly, letting you guide him back to the tattoo chair.  You pushed him down into it and crouched between his legs.  You licked up the length of his cock and dropped your head down, taking his full length down your throat.  He groaned and arched his back, his stomach muscles pulling tight as he gripped at the arms of the chair.  “Fuck.” He groaned.  “That’s it.”

You started bobbing your head up and down, sucking and hollowing your tongue.  He moaned loudly as his cock began to twitch and leak precum.  “Fuck.  Gonna come.”

You picked up your pace and teased his balls, letting him know it was okay to let go.  He mewled and with a sudden jerk of his hips, he came in hot, salty ropes, filling your mouth.

You swallowed it all down and licked your lips.  He lay back panting as you got up and pulled your pants back on.  When he finally seemed to come down from his orgasm high he tucked himself away and got up.  “I - Thanks.  I don’t know why that just happened.  But… it’s been a while.”

You came over and rubbed his shoulder.  “I enjoyed it too.”

He looked at you and the ghost of a smile passed over his features.  “I guess I’ll be seeing you.”

“Yeah.”  You said walking him out.  You knew that probably wasn’t true, but you did hope that whatever it was he was looking for he found it.