“Every artist has their signature and hers, it’s cover-ups. Sometimes it’s to mask a now unwanted tat but her favorite is to cover a scar, or as she likes to explain to her clients, honor it. She gets a rush at taking something unwanted and turning into something to cherish.“
(Modern AU / Rated T / 3200 words / AO3)
The heels of her boots are loud against the poured concrete floor of the hallway, the last quiet spot before reaching the constant swarm beyond the double swinging doors. Ten years in and she still quickens her pace to enter the one place she’s ever felt it in her heart to call home. The buzzing hits her like a lover’s embrace, melting the tension from her shoulders brought on by a restless night’s sleep.
Ruby’s client’s tongue is trapped between her red tipped fingers, slightly swollen from the shiny new barbell piercing she’s securing with a sultry wink. Emma can practically feel the pheromones pulsing around the pair as the beautiful asian owner of said tongue blushes furiously as Ruby’s thumb brushes against her bottom lip. It doesn’t take a genius to know that Ruby will be offering to show this new client how to really make use of that piercing, with hands and tongue on demonstration devoid of any clothes.
Emma catches Belle’s eye from behind the counter and they share a knowing smile, both of them used to Ruby’s sexual adventures thanks to her love for giving the entire shop a very detailed play by play.
“Hey Ems, there’s coffee on your station.”
Ah, salvation. Belle is seriously the best, keeping this pack of lady tattoo artists organized and as drama free as possible, considering they’ve all gotten on the same damn cycle.
“What would I do without you?”
Belle just waves her off and goes back to adding to the schedule of appointments on the computer. There’s already three people waiting on the sunken leather couch in the front corner and Emma starts the process of getting her station set up for the day. Other than the appointment with Anton later on tonight to finally finish the intricate beanstalk tattoo on his back, she’s free for the rest of the day for walk-ins.
“I call dibs on stubbled and broody in the armchair, darling. He’s just this side of smarmy and I need the eye candy to help me wake up.”
Emma doesn’t even look up from her prep as Crue slinks by on wispy limbs towards her prey. Here’s hoping the guy wants a dog tattoo, cause that’s just about the only thing that woman is good at.