Signed in Ink
I’ll never forget when I signed my marriage certificate. It was such an empowering yet vulnerable moment for me. Vulnerable because it was legal—it was a contract binding our lives. I was now casting my dice alongside another’s. Empowering because he was taking the exact same risks on me. He loved me so much that he was legally taking on my emotional baggage and betting we, as a couple, would overcome it. And it was permanent because it was signed in ink.
Really, is there anything more symbolic that that? The permanence of ink? It’s a powerful thing. And it’s used on everything from marriage certificates, to house loans, to birth certificates. It can’t be erased. Once it’s singed, that’s it. That’s all she wrote. That’s why, when I was coming up with the magical world Ink in the Blood and Bond Betrayed are set in, I really wanted to incorporate ink and the symbolic nature of it into the world somehow.
With Ink in the Blood it was as a show of defiance. It was a daughter telling her father to fuck off in no uncertain terms. It was a silent act of defiance, but was heard loudly by any who saw Izzy had gotten her mother’s family tattoo. With that tattoo, she was picking sides. It was fun and yet a stressful, pivotal point in the story to write. In the end it came off just the way I’d envisioned it when I came up with the idea. But, when I sat down to write the sequel, Bond Betrayed, I wanted to do something along the same lines only bigger. Enter Nikki and Isaac.
Izzy could get anyone’s ink because her magic, shape-shifting, only affected her. To her, it’s nothing more than a status symbol because her magic only changed her, not those around her. But Nikki and Isaac are different. Their magic has no effect on themselves. It only serves to manipulate others. Nikki is a seductress. With one touch, she can bend a man’s will until he breaks. Isaac was born with the rare ability to strip the magic from others. To them, the ink is as ironclad as my marriage certificate. It’s a contract between the people. To allow another’s ink in your blood is to grant them immunity against your magic. Nikki has never allowed ink on her body. But Isaac? He’s a completely different story. Here’s the first glimpse that Nikki gets of Isaac’s ink:
She turned slowly to face him. “Yes?”
“Why don’t I know you?” The deep timbre of his voice made heat pool at her core.
Studying his face, she thought there was something vaguely familiar about him, but she let it go. She’d been forced out of the Community too long ago for her to remember him even if she had known him back then. And if he knew who she was, he’d be running in the other direction. Her last name had a tendency to evoke that response.
Arching an eyebrow inquisitively, she gave him her most seductive smile. “My best guess? It’s because we’ve never met.”
“That’s unfortunate. I would’ve enjoyed meeting you.”
Her breath caught at the raw sensuality surrounding the man. She shouldn’t be standing so close to him—not if she wanted to keep the tenuous grasp of control she still had. But she couldn’t bear the idea of moving away. “I’m sure you would’ve.”
“Maybe we should meet.”
She wasn’t ignorant to their ways—this wasn’t an invitation to tea. This was exactly what she’d been hoping for as she’d made her way over to him. But, no matter how strongly he affected her, she couldn’t afford to be reckless. “Maybe, but...”
But she wasn’t suicidal. Not exactly something one could articulate without raising suspicion, though. She took a small step toward him and immediately regretted it. Standing so close, the pull was stronger, so intense she found it was a struggle to remember why she’d taken the step in the first place. “I’d need to know who owns you first.”
He stared at her as if confused for a moment.
“Your family and alliances,” she clarified. “Will you let me see them?” It was a daringly bold question but, if she was going to do this—and she really wanted to do this—she needed to make sure it wasn’t some sort of trick.
“Are there any you’re looking for—specifically that is?” As he slowly unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, she saw the beginning of the elaborate series of tattoos and mentally kicked herself. Only she would stumble upon someone so well-connected his entire torso would be inked. “Or should I strip down for you right here in the parking lot?”
The thought of him naked in front of her made her knees weak. “As tempting as that is, I know what I’m looking for.” After putting her groceries down on the asphalt, she reached out to him, taking his right hand gently. As her hand touched his, a current of electricity swept through her. He was strong, maybe stronger than she was. They would be good together. Compatible.
Yep, Isaac is a completely different story indeed.
Want to know more about Isaac and Nikki? The blurb for Bond Betrayed can be found on the Ellora’s Cave site and on my author website:
or on Amazon: