We are so excited about the release of SCARRED by Drew Elyse. SCARRED is the conclusion to the Sailor’s Grave series – get your copy today or read for free with Kindle Unlimited!
TRAUMA HAS A WAY OF LEAVING ITS MARK.
It took years to do it, but I can finally look in a mirror
and see more than just the scars.
If only that were true for the rest of the world.
The whispers, the stares, the pity they’re familiar now.
Except his eyes don’t linger, his demeanor never changes.
Maybe that’s why I trust him
and take the leap to move in with a virtual stranger.
A stranger who might be more scarred than I am.
YET NOT ALL SCARS ARE LEFT ON THE SURFACE.
The day I got a spot at Sailor’s Grave Tattoo Parlor, I had everything.
A roof over my head, an honest living, a few friends.
The times when I went without no longer factored.
Until she comes into my life.
Until I offer her a place to stay.
Until she draws me in with that blinding light inside her,
and almost makes me forget
to keep the past in the dark where it belongs.
“Do you want to see what I’ve got drawn out for you so far?”
Her eyes lit up, but there was trepidation there, too. It was pretty common, in particular when someone was getting their first tattoo. As far as I could see, Gwen didn’t have any others yet.
I scrolled through the files, pulling up hers. The concept she’d given me had been pretty open. Her email had mentioned a couple of pieces I’d already done that she liked the style of and described how she wanted a representation of the changing seasons. In the end, what I’d landed on was a watercolor style tattoo of a long, outlined branch, along which the life cycle of the full year from a dusting of snow, to budding leaves, through a bloom of flowers and into the colorful decay of fall were all displayed in unlined bursts of color.
I turned the picture her way, and Gwen sucked in an audible breath. She reached out, her hands shaking a touch, to take the phone from me and get a closer look.
“I worked with the picture you sent me” one that showed the scarring that crossed from the back of her shoulder and down onto her side—“and designed the branch so that it will contour to that shape. The texture and darker color built into that should be fully covering, then the color you wanted can come in around it.”
She didn’t say anything right away, just stared at the drawn version of the design I’d thought up. For some reason, I felt compelled to keep speaking for what might have been the first time in my life.
“We can change anything there, any adjustments you want. We can also scrap it if you want to start over,” I assured. “There’s plenty of time to—”
“I love it,” she said, her voice low. It was hard to make it out, but she almost sounded hoarse. “It’s perfect.”
“You’re sure?” I pressed, never wanting anyone to settle when it came to ink I’d put on them forever. “I can send it to you for you to think on, too.”
“No.” It was firm, certain. “This is exactly what I want.”
She looked up, hitting me with that big fucking smile again. I couldn’t help but fixate on the dimple in her right cheek. I didn’t know if it was natural, or it was a result of the scar tissue that ran right along it, but it was adorable. Devastating, even. Just like I knew she could be to me if I let her.
About the Author
Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and sexy romance novels.
When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found analyzing every line of a book, binge watching shows on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing in a variety of musical styles, or screaming at the TV during Chicago Blackhawks games.
A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, she still lives outside Chicago, IL, where she was born and raised, with her boyfriend and her fur babies Lola and Duncan.