Beck – Chapter 7

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Working alongside Kole was pure torture. Sometimes, Beck wouldn’t see much of him because one of them would be licked away in their room working. And other times, Kole would sit in reception to draw and chat with Ethan and Ani. And when he did that, Beck saw him every time he had a new client.

Their agreement to spend time in bed hadn’t happened because Beck had been called away to tattoo some people the day after Kole had started working there, so he’d been away for two days, and since, they’d not mentioned anything to each other. Beck wanted to take what Kole said as golden and make a date, but what if he’d changed his mind and was happy to think Beck had, too? He didn’t want to make things awkward for them at work.

As time drew closer to the weekend, he decided to take a leap of faith. He found Kole in reception, with his elbow on the back of the chair and staring out of the window at the dismal weather. Glancing around, no one else was there, so he settled gently beside him.

Kole still jumped, but he smiled when he saw him, his shoulders lowering from around his ears. “Hey.”

Beck smiled. “Hey to you, too. How are you doing?”

“I’m getting inspiration from the rain. Have you got a client?”

“Not yet,” Beck said, mirroring Kole’s position and crossing his leg over his knee to get that little bit closer to him. “I wanted to ask… Are you still up for a night?”

He watched Kole’s face carefully, wanting to see every nuance that crossed it, to ensure he didn’t misjudge the situation. His expressive eyes told a story of pain and hurt but also joy and humour. The echoes of the lines around his mouth and eyes told of laughter and grief. Beck wanted to stop the hurt and pain from touching him, but it wasn’t possible. Experience had taught him that.

Kole’s pale skin flushed, and he nodded. “I’d like that a lot.”

“Are you free on Saturday? I don’t have to work on Sunday,” he explained, the meaning behind his words clear from his statement the other day.

Kole’s flush darkened, and Beck wanted to feel that heat against his skin. So, he reached forward, giving enough time for Kole to pull away if he wanted to, and when his palm cupped his cheek and the heat warmed his skin, Kole’s eyes drifted closed, and he leaned further in.

“I’m free,” he whispered, opening his eyes again. His hazel eyes had darkened to a conker colour, and Beck wanted to kiss him. He even leaned in before coming to his senses when voices sounded.

“I’ll pick you up? Seven o’clock?”

Kole nodded, eyelids heavy and needy, and Beck almost changed his mind because feasting on those lips would make everything better, in his opinion. But he would have to wait two more days. He brushed his thumb over the mounds and slid his fingertips across his cheek until he no longer touched him. If he wasn’t mistaken, though, a whimper came from Kole when he let go. That was something to explore later.

The doorbell chimed, and Beck glanced up, his next client nodding at him. “Hey, Toby. How are you, man?” He stood and shook hands with the man. “Toby, this is Kole, the newest addition to the Life in Ink family. Kole, this is the gentlest giant to ever have walked in here.”

Kole stood and held out his hand to shake. Toby engulfed his tiny hand, but Beck knew Toby didn’t have a hurtful bone in his body.

“Nice to meet you,” Kole said.

“You, too. What do you do for these misfits?”

Oh, how that word fit them so well. Beck grinned and waited for Kole’s answer. He was still a little shy about his work, but he was better than he had been on day one.

“I’m an artist.” Beck beamed at the use of the word Kole had declined several times at the beginning. “I create designs for Beck and everyone else to use if they wish.”

“Which are yours?”

Beck held up his hand. “Ah, ah, ah. You know the rules, Toby. You’ve been here enough. You have to guess.”

Toby sighed dramatically and then stepped closer to the wall. He studied it while Beck studied Kole. He dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, and Beck wanted to pull it free and soothe the battered skin with his mouth.

“This one,” Toby said.

Kole grinned. “Yes.”

They talked about his designs a little before Ani came back into reception. “I thought I heard voices.” She hugged Toby. “How are you?”

“Good, thanks.”

“I see you’ve met Kole.”

Toby nodded. “He was just showing me his work. Can I grab what I want?”

Ani waved her hand. “Sure. You know what to do.”

As Beck and Kole watched on, Toby took two of Kole’s designs and put them on the counter. He could see Kole wanted to protest, but it was only because he didn’t think his work was good enough or he felt Toby was doing it to be kind. When Kole stepped forward, Beck slid a hand up his arm and stopped him. It was the first time Kole hadn’t flinched at an unexpected touch.

Kole glanced at him, and Beck shook his head. Kole sighed and stepped back, turning to look out of the window again. He’d get used to it because his work was amazing. They just needed Kole to believe it., and that would come with time.

“Thank you for these, Kole. I can book in at least two more sessions now.”

Kole smiled at him. “I’m glad you like them.”

Beck decided to give Kole a breather. “Come on then, Toby. Time waits for no one.”

“Ain’t that the truth.”

He headed for the stairs, barely stopping himself from checking on Kole again. When they entered his studio space, Beck closed the door.

“He’s got talent, that one has,” Toby said.

Beck grinned. “He does.”

Toby settled into the chair, pulling his trouser leg up so Beck could continue the tattoo on his shin. It was a painful area, but one many people liked to tattoo as it looked good.

“We should get this finished today unless the pain gets too much. Remember to tell me if it does.”

“Will do.”

Beck put on his music, and Toby pulled out his phone to read. Settling on his stool at Toby’s feet, Beck dropped into what he called his tattooing brain. He lost himself to the rhythm of the machine, the sound, the scent, almost able to taste the ink in the air. Nothing was better than that.

Toby had to stop several times, the pain becoming too much, and when his two hours were up, only a small amount remained. Toby sighed. “I wanted it done today.”

“I don’t have any clients until four o’clock today. Do you want a break, and then we have a go at finishing it?”

Toby raised his eyebrows. “Are you sure?”

Beck nodded. “I know what’s it like when you just want it over and done with. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour to finish up. Give yourself a breather though. Get something to eat and drink from the café down the street and then come back. I’ll get Ani to put you in the diary.”

“Thanks, Beck.”

He cleaned and covered the tattoo with a temporary covering and led Toby downstairs. “See you in a bit,” he said to Toby.

“Do you want me to bring anything back?”

Beck shook his head. “No, I’m good, thanks.”

“Ani?” Toby asked.

“I’ll take a blueberry muffin if they have one, please.”

Toby smiled like she’d given him the sun, and he nodded and left. Ani glanced at him. “Did you not get finished?”

Beck shook his head. “It’s the most painful section right now, and it was a bit much for him. Should only take half an hour once he comes back. Anyone else booked in since I was up there?”

“No. You’re slammed from four o’clock, though.”

Beck leaned over to view the calendar. “Wow. I only had two booked in when I looked earlier.”

“We’ve had a good morning.”

Beck grinned. “I can see that.”

He headed back to his studio to clean up and then grabbed a sandwich before settling on his stool with his phone. He didn’t often do the doom scroll through the various social media platforms because that sucked hours of his time before he realised it, but with only a few minutes until Toby returned, he knew he would have an excuse to turn it off.

The first brought up a picture of Denny. They’d become friends with the guitar player for The Ports when Joey had been going through the trouble after his best friend’s death. Elliott had been a vital part to their lives, and he was sorely missed. It had turned out that Denny and Elliott had been together, and when Denny had told them, they’d done what they always did and brought him into their fold. This picture was like many others out there. A group one with his bandmates, but Beck could see he wasn’t happy. It was in his eyes. He’d had many problems with the management for the band, and if it had been Beck, he would’ve quit already.

Scrolling further down found a few pictures of acquaintances, some from the tattoo shop that Ani put on to show what they’d created that week, and several about local events happening. But what caught his attention was a photograph of Joey and Ethan. They looked loved up in the restaurant they’d been to the other week. It wasn’t them that had him focused on it. It was the background, where Beck and Kole sat, leaning into each other, Kole’s mouth at Beck’s ear as he whispered something. They looked very much like a couple.

He saved the photo to his phone and closed it. Could he try a relationship with Kole? Would it work? He sighed and shook his head. The lies he would have to tell weren’t the foundations of a good relationship, and that in itself made the decision. As much as he liked Kole, he didn’t think he could do more than have sex with him. It would ruin them both.

The bell rang, and he shoved his phone into his pocket and raced down the stairs, shouting, “Coming!”

The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of tattoos, ink and designs, and he loved every minute. He didn’t get to see Kole again before he left for the evening. The following day, he would be travelling, so he said he’d see everyone on Monday. He wasn’t looking forward to his appointment, though he loved the Cornwall coast. His client was a complete and utter bitch—and that was him being polite—and she complained about everything. It was more hassle than it was worth, but she brought in too many new clients to them for Joey to cancel her completely.

However, he wouldn’t be there long, and he planned to visit the beach while he was there. Might as well make the most of the time he had. It didn’t matter that it was still freezing cold, the sound and scent of the beach was enough to relax most muscles in his body. He wasn’t a fan of going into the water but listening and watching it was enough.

Home was a small one-bedroomed flat that he had never decorated. It still had the white walls and ceilings, the wood effect counter tops, cupboards and flooring and a plain white bathroom suite, but it worked for him. He didn’t need anything fancy, even though he had the money for it. That income was set aside for a rainy day, bar the cost of bills and some spending money. He didn’t need anything else. Well, other than his motorcycle, which was currently locked in the small shed-like container on the back of the property.

Having already eaten at the shop, he didn’t bother to go into the kitchen other than to stick his head in the door to make sure the place wasn’t burning down. Then, he headed into the living room, still too wired to sleep. Flicking the TV on, he dropped onto the sofa and scrolled the channels. It would probably take him far too long to choose something, and he’d be on his way to sleep before there was any point of pressing play, but it kept his mind busy.

He finally settled on an animal programme and stretched out, resting his head on one cushion and his feet on another. His eyes were heavy as he watched, his blinks lasting longer until all he could see was Kole’s face on the back of his eyelids. He focused on the little quirks he’d seen – the small upwards curve to the corner of his lips when he was placating someone, or the small chicken pox scar on his chin. His mind focused slightly lower, remembering every detail he could. The way he walked. The way he occasionally broke out a genuine smile that almost reached his eyes. The way he spoke. His hand gestures. His scent. The way he treated others. So many things about him were sexy, and most had nothing to do with his body.

Having though that, his mind veered in a different direction. Beck had held him against him, knew what he felt like, and he liked what he’d seen. He slid his hands to his jeans, unfastening the button and zip before slipping his hand inside and cupping his cock. When he was on his own, he could let his thoughts go wild. He could be true to himself.

Instead of taking control of Kole, he would hand that control over, knowing Kole would never hurt him. Knowing he would respect his wishes and not take what wasn’t his to give. Beck would happily kneel for him, staring up at him, waiting for his next order. And as Kole fed him his cock, making him choke on it, Beck’s climax would barrel down on him, unexpected pleasure coursing through him. And instead of being upset, Kole would cup his cheeks and smile, saying he was proud of him. At that point, Kole would take him to the bed, turn him onto his hands and knees and slam home, making Beck feel every inch.

Beck pressed his head back into the cushion and came in his clothes, the pleasure too extreme to be denied. His chest heaved as he tried to breathe enough air, and his body felt so heavy, but also light, as if he’d reached a milestone or something.

Opening his eyes, he turned the TV off and pushed himself off the sofa. The warm water of the shower spray was welcome, but it reminded him of how it was in foster care. Depending on the people he stayed with depended if they had hot water to shower in or not. It wasn’t always available for two reasons. One because the foster parents didn’t want the right bills to be too high, and two because they couldn’t afford to heat the water. After all, heating the water cost money just like feeding kids did, and occasionally he hadn’t got that either.

He luxuriated in the warmth, knowing he would never have to go through that again, but eventually, he got sleepy again. Shutting off the water, he dusted a towel over himself and climbed into bed. Shoving a hand beneath his head, he stared at the dark ceiling.

He wasn’t that child anymore. He had food, water to drink, hot water to shower in, a bed to sleep in – another thing that wasn’t a given in a foster home – and a roof over his head that no one could take away from him. Well, they could, but he could easily find somewhere else.

He huffed at his thoughts and flipped over to thinking about Kole again. His fantasies were one thing, but he wouldn’t be able to offer Kole his submission. He had been through too much to hand it over without a care in the world. He would continue to pretend to be a dominant person as it was how he’d survived the years after… Stopping on that path, he refocused again. What could he do with Kole to make their night almost perfect? Should he order them dinner? He’d have to do something because if he planned to take his time with him, they’d need sustenance. Could he tire Kole out? He seemed like the type of guy who would tire easily, mainly when Beck held him on the edge long enough. He was looking forward to seeing if he could do that.

Heaving a sigh, he watched the lights dance across the ceiling whenever a vehicle passed by. As worn out as he had been after his orgasm, he was wide awake again. Would he ever be able to sleep a full night? Probably not because his nightmares still echoed around his brain, ready to appear when he least expected it to.

Reaching for his phone, he put on some soft music to dull the thoughts and closed his eyes and mouth to reduce the sensory input, leaving him with just the music, the scents and the feel of the bedcovers, something that helped to tether him to the present instead of letting him fall back into the past.

As he lost himself in those remaining senses, his mind traitorously whispered, “But what if Kole is different?”

Chapter 8 coming soon