Only Skin Deep 14

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Dear readers; sorry for the delay. Here's the next part of Only Skin Deep. I hope you like it. Let me know.

Disclaimer: This is a Fantasy Fiction Story with Male to Male Sex and Love Relationships. If you are under eighteen years of age, then you should not be here. You have been warned.

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The seventh day of tattooing started with a bang. Of thunder.
Carl woke up at about four in the morning with a very hard erection.
He reached around and found Vince was also very hard.
Vince let Carl know he was awake by grabbing Carl's morning wood.

Vince said " And good morning to you too."

Vince twisted around for a better hold on Carl and they both started to stroke each others erection.
Carl bent a little closer so he could get Vince's cock head into his mouth.
Without a word, Vince followed his excellent example.

The moment they started to suck on each other, the rain started.
Something in the air made them hesitate, and then pull their heads back.
The air felt charged and the lust in their eyes got them to start madly jerking their cocks.
In seconds they were close to cuming.
Just as they hit their nut and started to cum, there was a bright flash of light.
The following Thunder was Very loud and Very close.
Vince couldn't tell if his shaking was from the orgasm or the Thunder.
They had six more very lengthy orgasm/ lightening strikes with peals of Thunder echoing through the clouds.
By the time they got their breathing back to normal, Greg and Kern were knocking on their door.

Carl said " Come in."

Vince could see that Greg and Kern were sporting half mast erections, that were deflating. They had taken the time to wipe themselves clean of any remaining love juice.

Kern noticed something and went into Carl's bathroom. Vince said "I don't know how you two have the stamina to be able to have healthy orgasms, and be able to run up the stairs right after."

Kern was back with a small towel, wiping Carl's eyebrow and under his chin. He laughed. " Run?"

Greg chuckled and said " In the morning?"

Kern let go of the towel when Vince wanted to finish cleaning up his Lover. Kern said " You guys are the ones with the stamina. We were wrung out after the third big O. We cleaned up and walked upstairs."

Greg giggled and said " We had to walk. We weren't sure how many more shared orgasms were going to come or how heavy. We held on to the stair rail to keep from falling back down the stairs. We were half way up for that last one."

Kern said "I'm real impressed with your guys orgasms, now.
Who else can say ' You made me come like thunder and lightening'? "

Greg said " Oh No. Now I have that song stuck in my head."

Carl said " The one that says 'It's like thunder, lightening, my love fore you is so..."

Greg said " No Boss." He hooked his arm in Kerns and started to do an Alaman left.
Greg said " He'll be coming like a mountain when he comes.
He'll be coming like a mountain when he comes.
He'll be coming like a mountain,
He'll be coming like a mountain ,
He'll be coming like a mountain when he comes."

They changed arms and danced clockwise.

Kern sang " He'll be coming like six white horses when he comes.
He'll be coming like six white horses when he comes.
He'll be coming like six white horses,
He'll be coming like six white horses,
He'll be coming like six white horses when he comes."

Vince and Carl were laughing too hard, at first. But when both Greg and Kern seemed to run out of steam and lyrics at the same time; Carl and Vince decided to admit defeat.

Vince and Carl said " We surrender, we surrender!"

Greg and Kern smiled silently and then shook hands. Kern said " We'll go downstairs and make breakfast. That'll give you two time to take a shower and fiddle around a bit. But don't take too long, or else Greg and I will have to come up and join you."

Vince and Carl said " Yes, Dad."

Greg and Kern turned and walked out as Greg said " Now honey you know that's just like a girl telling a straight boy she's gonna spank him if he doesn't stop doing something. You know straight boys will just go ahead and do that something again just to get his girly-girl to spank him."

Silence descended. But sound of the rain and the distant peals of thunder were like a Celestial Orchestra.

Then the percussion of two voices saying "Spank!", accompanied by the sound of two hands spanking, gave the rain a silly counterpoint.

Carl and Vince were laughing as they got out of bed and right into a wonderful hot shower. They were feeling tender and took their time to just slowly wash every inch of each other's body. Gentle kisses and languid caresses led to their rinsing off under the shower head while being locked in a very slow and a very thorough kiss.

They were brought back by two more sets of hands pulling them into an embrace.

Greg and Kern just held them and breathed and smiled.

Vince and Carl broke the hug and each took a piece of soap and started to wash the late comers. Carl washed Kern and Vince washed Greg. Greg and Kern got some of those sweet slow kisses on their bodies that Carl and Vince had shared with each other. At the very same moment, Vince and Carl thought " I love these guys."

They pulled Greg and Kern under the shower head to rinse off and as the younger men started to get lost in a Kiss of their own, Carl and Vince got out of the shower and dried each other off. Greg and Kern noticed after a minute or two and got out themselves. Turning off the water, didn't stop that sound. The Clouds had more Music to play.

The rumble of distant thunder was actually comforting to the guys as they headed down to the kitchen. They were each wearing some of the new athletic wear they got yesterday. It had their packages held nice and high.

Carl and Vince were leading and Greg held Kern back at the bottom of the stair, just to watch how their Boss and his lover's butts just moved like a symphony. All that muscle and strength rolling against each other. It was like watching two mighty tigers slowly stalk their prey.

The Guys chuckles got Vince and Carl to turn around just when Greg and Kern were walking into the kitchen.

For Vince and Carl, they were treated to the way the athletic wear made Greg's and Kern's package roll over their thighs as the gracefully strolled into the kitchen.

Vince and Carl were chuckling now. Carl had been ready to ask what the laughter was for, coming from Kern and Greg. But his own lustful glee in watching his two studly workers as they walked toward them gave him his answer.

Carl smiled and said " It appears we're just a whole houseful of eye candy, aren't we, Boys?"

Vince snorted and said " Boys? Boys!?" Vince reached out and cupped Greg's and Kern's large endowments.

Vince said " Bucket of balls, Yard of cock, and enough hair to weave sixteen Indian blankets and he calls you guys, Boys?!"

Carl smirked and said "My apologies, I stand corrected." Carl was blushing a bit and his package was swelling up a little. Vince let go of the guys

Kern said " Lets eat, Boss. Before we say something that gets our new clothes stretched out of shape."

Greg whispered " You mean something like what you just said?"

Kern said softly "Oh yeah. Oopps."

Greg stood in back of Kern and held him around the chest. Kern's arms folded across each other and Greg's arms. Greg's chin rested on Kerns left shoulder. He said " Hey Boss. Hold Vince for a moment and close your eyes."

Kern didn't even have to be asked. He knew his lover always put things in a good point of view.

Vince and Carl hugged face to face and leaned their heads on each other's shoulder as they closed their eyes.

Vince said " OK Maestro. We're holding the one we love."

Greg purred and said " Very good. Now listen to the rain for a moment."

It was a gentle but steady rain. Any flat roof or surface nearby told the same story. The kind of weather that announced itself and muffled any other sound. Like when you were a child and there wasn't any other people around but you and you were inside safe and warm. Just listening to the rain as it greeted the earth again.

Greg smiled and Kern could feel it on his shoulder. Greg said " Just like snowflakes, not one raindrop is where it shouldn't be. Those raindrops are like all the people in the world. Separate yet able to become part of humanity and then separate again. And even more important is the thought that the sound of rain was the very first sound of LIFE. When rain was possible on this beautiful planet, then liquid water was possible. The sound of a wave crashing on the shore is a different story. That one talks of distant influences and a constant testing of limits. But rain tells a sweet story of all the beauty in life. From bringing nutrients down from the mountains, and making a safe place for fish to breed. With Waterfalls and cataracts to glacial pools and brackish lagoons. Rain persuades. Rain persists. Rain is patient. Rain can wash away the dust and pain of hot days and hard ways. I love rain because it was raining the first day I laid eyes on this skinny man that turned into a well muscled hunk. He had piercings in every possible place that I could see and the rain was dripping off of all of them. The time before he saw me was caught up in pain and doubt and betrayal. And I knew before he ever opened his mouth he never deserved any of it. And certainly not from some monster who called himself a boyfriend and said he loved Kern. And then the moment Kern saw me and looked into my eyes, he smiled at me like I had taken all of that pain away."

Kern was a little choked up when he said " Well you had. You just didn't know it at the time. And as I recall, it took a little convincing on my part before you believed that."

Greg said " Well it's hard to believe when some wonderful guy tells you, you're the best thing in his life. It finally sunk in when I realized You were the best thing in mine. You still are. I love you Kern."

Kern turned in his grasp and kissed him for a sweet moment. Then he said " I love you Greg."

Carl and Vince decided to skip the commentary and just kiss. They were still at it when Kern and Greg finished making breakfast and rubbed their backs at the same time. Greg said with a smile " You two have been at that for a while. Before your stomachs start to grumble, lets get some breakfast into them."

Carl said " Good idea."

They were quiet while they ate. The rain was singing a love song outside their door. Their smiles for each other were just harmony for the melody of the rain.

They finished breakfast and Vince helped Carl do the dishes. Kern helped set up Carl's Tattoo equipment and supplies. Today was the last day of tattooing for a while. And it was a Black and Red day.

Vince walked into the main tattoo parlor room and Kern looked up and suddenly realized something odd. His frown got Vince asking " What's the matter Kern?"

Kern stood up and walked over to Vince and gently rubbed the areas on Vince's head that had been shaved a few days ago.

Vince was suddenly shocked, too. Vince said " Oh my god. Not one person noticed or mentioned my head being shaved or tattooed."

Kern said " And until you walked through that doorway just now, I completely forgot that we helped do that to your head. For the past few days nothing looked unusual on you. Till now."

Greg had just sat and watched. He said " Ain't magic weird?"

Carl walked out with LEO and did a double take. He said " Whoa." Pause " Whoa. Why didn't we notice? Why didn't everybody notice?"

The doors to the shop were still closed. Vince smiled and said " Lets ask a friend."

All four placed their left hand on The Book and their right hand over their hearts.
They all said " In the Name of the Light, We bid thee Open! Vox LEO Magi."

LEO opened and said " In the Name of the Light, I reveal myself. A fine wet electric day for tattooing. How may I be of service."

Kern giggled and said " Your cheery disposition is the first thing that comes to mind."

LEO radiated a brighter glow and said " It must be the company I keep."

Greg said " Aww."

Vince said " LEO I was wondering why everyone ignored the shaved and tattooed spots on my head for the past few days. Was it part of the tattoos doing?"

LEO said " Yes. and at the end of tattooing today, your head hair will grow back in as long as the rest of it. If people notice the tattoos under your hair they will be very close, both physically and relationship wise. I must warn you about the tattoos today. You should keep the doors closed to the shop until Carl is finished, and you should keep me open. There is a page that must be physically turned to by Carl just before he finishes. I can show you the page now.." LEO's pages started to flip by to the end of the book.

Carl said " Two pages from the end."

LEO said " Yes." and started flipping back to the front pages before anyone could get a look at the writing or diagram."

Vince said " Why the hurry to turn off of that page? Something we shouldn't see yet?"

LEO said " Yes. I should further warn you that from the moment Carl starts to tattoo to the moment he finishes the last one, Vince will not be in his body."

Carl said " What?"

LEO said " There is nothing to fear. Every Prime Mage has gone through the same ritual. To be proficient with spells the wise mage's of old decided to become a spell for a short time. It gave them a stronger connection to all the spells they had to cast. And it brought them closer to the one they loved. You see, if Vince had not fallen in love with you, I would have been required to delay the whole process. The reason Carl is required to turn to that page I showed him is due to his love for Vince. The prime Mage does not always have his lover do the tattooing. But his lover must be there to release him from my pages and back into his body. Then the one tattooing seals the spells as well as Vince's soul back into his body."

Vince said " Wow. So what happens to my body while this goes on?"

LEO said " The first spells tattooed on your body will keep you alive. There is one more thing and it will be disturbing."

Carl said " And what would be more disturbing then my lovers soul being sucked into a magical books pages?"

LEO said " At the moment this happens it certainly is. It has been described by every group that has gone through this casting of Tattoo spells."

Kern said " Come on. My favorite Magic book wants to create a little suspense. What is sure to disturb us all?"

LEO said " The moment Carl starts to tattoo, Vince's soul will be pulled into that page. And after Carl draws his soul back to Vince's body, Carl will finish the last tattoo for these spells. That very second that he does, your memories of the time in between will be gone."

Vince said " What? Why pull my soul out of me and put it back if I won't remember it?"

LEO said " Your mind will not remember, but your soul will. In time of need your soul will impart the needed memory and at the end, it will remove the memory completely. This is actually soul training. Allowing your soul to more closely connect with the world and those you love. But some of these connections could lead to madness if they were on a conscious level. Even a sub-conscious level of your mind would turn the information over and over again and lead you away from the light. Your soul is strong enough to make and keep these connections. And wise enough to know when it's better you just don't know. And since you four are very close to each other the process will affect you just as it will Vince. You all will remember what I'm telling you now. You just won't like the gap. But the feeling of strangeness will fade within half an hour."

Greg said " Well good. Lets get this done so we can open for business. There aren't that many things to tattoo for today, are there?"

Carl said " No. Just three before I turn the page. Lets get you comfortable, Vince. I won't have you warning me if something gets painful. Since it's all on your front, lets get a pillow for you.."

Kern already had one ready.

Vince laid down and said " I love you guys. Lets geterdone."

Carl sat down and got a second rig ready for the red ink. He said " I love you Vince."

Vince said " Love you, too." And Carl turned on the tattoo gun and put the needle to Vince's skin......


It was as if a tornado had just gone by and then you went deaf. The memory of something very powerful and probably very loud, just rang in all four guys heads.

Greg said " OK. Now I understand. We don't ever have to do that again, do we?"

LEO said " Thankfully, no."

Vince sat up and reached for his head. He said " Hey my hair's back."

LEO said " You should know that there is a spell for keeping your healthy hair the same length you want it at. And another to allow you to change the length and color at will."

Carl whispered to Vince " I think that's a hint that you should be reading more of LEO."

LEO softly said " Well it couldn't hurt."

Vince got up and said " LEO you're absolutely right." Carl smiled and nodded as Vince jerked his head towards Carl's office.

Carl said " We're going to open the shop. I'll be in in about an hour to see if you find any really cool spells."

As Leo was being taken into Carl's office there was a snorted laugh from one of them.

Carl turned to Kern and said " Did LEO just snort at my idea of cool spells."

Kern said " Well Boss it did make me remember that you are just a few years older than me."

Carl's eyes grew wide as he said " Do I detect a need for some discipline?"

Greg called out " Spanking."

Kern said " A Spanking. Oh I have been very naughty, boss. I think I need to be put in my place."

Carl started to laugh as he pinched his nose. He said " Why does this sound like a cheap rip off of Monty Python?"

Kern said " Nothing cheap about it, Boss. Those paddles cost fifteen bucks a piece. And the ones with the brads in them go for thirty."

Carl was caught for a moment. He said " Brads?"

Greg said " Oh yes. The brads that are inserted in the surface of the paddle leave really satisfying welts, when you use the right amount of force. And you have to sort of flick your wrist near the end of the arc so...."

Carl yelled " Enough, enough. You win. You two win. You and your 'Spank'. One of these days I'm going to be ready with a cat o nine tails and you two will lock up like a confused cat. Not sure if you want me to, or if you should pass up the opportunity."

Greg and Kern suddenly got that far away look and Carl said " Oh no. You two are thinking about it."

Kern said " Maybe just a lash."

Carl hung his head and started to shake it back and forth. Kern and Greg got him in a hug and said " Aww we were just playin' Boss. We still love ya."

Carl said " Love you, too." He relaxed into the hug for a good half minute then said " OK, Get to work. Lets open those doors."

Greg and Kern got the doors open in record time as they both said " Yes, Sir."

Carl got the cash register turned on and online. Then he pulled out his Drawing Pad and continued the artwork he imagined Ricco, Michael and Sharon would want . He had called over to the Seraphim bakery for Sharon's input and she mentioned three concentric outlines of a sitting Wolf with three sets of angel wings in fine detail coming off their backs.

After fifteen minutes he was happy with the results and Kern looking over his shoulder, said " They should love it. I love how you shaded the feathers."

Carl tipped his head around so Kern could see his smile. He said " Thanks, buddy."

Kern smiled back and then smiled at a very buxom young lady as she started asking prices for a small tattoo. By the time Kern had finished getting her to talk about what she wanted and what was happening in her life; the small tattoo became two rose arm bands and an upper back cloud and sun rays piece.

Carl had waited long enough. He got up and went into his office and said " I'm not scheduled for anyone till tomorrow. I tried to let you and LEO have some time together by yourselves but.."

LEO interrupted and said " Why in the world would you want to stay away from us? You are so very important to our well being because you are so very important to Vince's heart and soul."

Vince smiled down at LEO and then looked up at Carl with a real sexy grin. He said " Maybe he thought he would distract us from my reading. Or maybe he wanted to distract us and thought I would object."

Carl was already sitting on his desk by now, and ribbing Vince's arm. He said " Well there is that. I know you are a powerful distraction to me. And I thank God for it. And for you."

Vince said " Well we are definitely thinking alike on that score. I think LEO and I will take up the next few spells and their uses after lunch."

Carl said " Race ya upstairs." then shot off the desk and ran. Vince called back to LEO " Thanks LEO."

LEO was chuckling as he closed himself. It was a good day. He listened to Kern talking to the young woman as he applied the first set of tattoos to her golden skin. And in the background the song that the rain was still singing was just as sweet as it was earlier that morning.



Melody had been pulled back to the city and to the very department at the college she graduated from eight years ago.
Her aging professor lured her back with the fear that his work would die when he died.
He convinced her, that only she could continue the work he had started.
Para-normal Psychological Research.
One of the few research groups respected by any of the institutes of higher learning.
He reeled her in like a fish, she thought. But she didn't mind that much, because she set the hook.

Two years before, she left behind a hope for love, a lump of self doubt, and the woman she loved. A woman who she Knew loved her too, but also loved another. A man.

All day Friday she was a bit distracted.
There was this energy that was slowly drawing together in one location in the city.
She got fed up by two in the afternoon and decided to let the energy tell her where it was coming together.
Melody took a thin iron plate one sixteenth of an inch thick and two foot square with a rod sticking off the bottom of it, and spray glued the city map onto it.
She cut the edges off and after a few minutes for the glue to dry, she spread a mixture of fine sand, and Iron filings.
She hooked her thumbnail onto the edge and pulled down hard enough for the plate to start vibrating.
The sand started to make patterns and pulled the iron fillings along.
Then she closed her eyes and tipped her head to the side as if she was listening to the sound the plate made as it slowed down.
She cupped her hand down and slowly rolled it over the map.
At one point just softly, then when she felt the intensity of the sound echoing in her hand increase, she opened her eyes and found the sand in a spiral lace work pattern and the iron filings in a starburst pattern and the center of both was over the same spot.

She frowned. She knew that street and the shops on it.
Melody thought ' Oh Wow!. That's the Skin Gallery.'

During senior year in college, Melody felt a need for some kind of tattoo.
She had heard a few esoteric rumors that the artists at the Skin Gallery were able to help some of their clients, emotional and even spiritual problems.
The kicker was when she heard that the help often lead to the clients being referred to seasoned respected counselors, which included psychologist, priests, family counselors, and other healers of the mind, heart and soul.
She was determined to not only get a tattoo, but find out what was going on.

Melody never did pin down where all the insight and compassion came from.
She came to respect the three guys way of drawing out the more damaging pain from inside their clients, while they inflicted bodily pain in the name of Skin Art.
A true Zen event.

She was going to introduced Selah to the guys, but then Selah met Abe.

Abe. Abraham.

Try as she might, she just couldn't muster any kind of real anger at the guy.
Not when he treated Selah like a queen.
Not when Melody saw how happy Abe made Selah.
It was saddest of all when Melody tried to remember when the last time she was able to put that smile on Selah's face.

Something wet hit the metal plate and set the thing in motion again.
Melody had set it on it's stand and watched as it quieted and then got louder again, just before it went mute.
But the fine grains of sand said it wasn't done.
The inaudible tones still set some of the sand to jump like fleas.
When the sand/ filings finally stopped, the patterns were opposite rotating spirals.
And again the center was over the Skin Gallery.

She knew where she was going tonight.
Besides, she'd been invited by Vince and his lover Carl. She really couldn't blame Vince either for how the whole thing had played out. Maybe this was what should have happened when Selah had told her about Abe. Maybe if she had tried to feel happy about it, instead of hurt, then Selah might have chosen her. She had picked up and left town so suddenly that she didn't even give Selah a chance to change her mind.

Yeah, like that was going to happen.

Selah wanted kids and Melody didn't think she would go about it, any other way than the good old fashioned way.

Melody said "Now I hope she's there tonight. Let her do the choosing this time." A wicked little grin slipped onto her face as she went through her wardrobe. She pulled out a little black dress that was backless and showed off her two roses intertwined on her upper back. The buds were the ends of the Libra symbol that stretched between her shoulder blades. The night she dreamed of the tattoo, there had been the image of a huge bull in the middle. One horn was at the very balance point of the Libra symbol. She had understood where the roses came from. She and Selah were born two days apart. And while they had fallen in love rather fast, they had the kinds of minds that balanced themselves and the way they treated the ones they loved. It was just Melody's self esteem that was lower than it should have been when she found out about Abe. What she hadn't known about Abe was that he was born under the sign of Taurus. If she had found that out, then her dream would have kept her in town fighting for the one she loved.

But she was back in town now. And even if they were going to be married. Melody was going to put Love to the test.

She knew Love always won. But maybe she could win too. With Love you always lost when you didn't try at all.

Melody looked very fine. She pulled a little red scarf out of the closet and that finished the clothing part. She picked up a necklace that Selah had given her and put it on. A Libra symbol. She looked at the mirror and turned sideways like a matador would face a Bull. She pulled the scarf off her shoulder and whipped it in front of her as she shouted " Ole! "

The sound of Spanish music played in her head all the way to the Skin Gallery.


The Skin Gallery

Melody was greeted with a very loud wolf whistle. She had some killer dancing shoes on. She had spent six months in Spain and knew the forms. With that whistle out of Vince's mouth she started a rapid tapping of her heels to a song in her head. Then Carl did what he does best and his sound system suddenly was actually playing the Flamenco song she was hearing in her mind.

She belted out a laugh and shouted " You're a genius Carl. " Carl smiled back as she swept her scarf like it was part of her dress. Vince started to do a rapid clapping sound and stood next to her so she had someone to dance around. Greg was finishing up a customer and Kern was drawing up something for the next day.

Just as a pregnant pause came to the music and the dancer was supposed to act like a matador and their partner was the bull, Selah and Abe walked in.

Abe and Selah had heard the music down the street. Selah had just mentioned how Abe could get so playful sometimes and just Bull right through things. He heard the music and said " No I don't!" Just then he had poked each index finger up next to his head like horns and crouched down a bit. He aimed them at Selah and she giggled.

So when they got to the Skin Gallery, he was ready to keep going. He had only seen pictures of Melody. So when the scarf came up and her two hands held it above her head like a matador holds the pikes that stab a bull, Abe was just playing out what was called for.

Melody saw this five foot nine inch bull of a man playfully snort and bellow. She flicked the scarf enough to see who it was and who was next to him. Abe was jogging toward Melody before Selah could catch him. Melody was about to freeze and then her heart said " Fuck it. We're having fun!" As Abe swept past she poked her fingers into the soft part of his back and he let out another bellow. Melody giggled and then turned to him as he turned back. He was grinning and with the two horns of his hands ready to do battle again, finally saw the two women at the same time, for the first time. He stopped.

Three hearts there started to beat fast. Abe's heart said more than love. He knew Selah's heart had been hurt when Melody had just left. He could never reach the part that Melody had made sing. He was sure of the love Selah and he shared.

Shared. That was what got his heart beating so fast. He put his hands down and swallowed. The image of Melody and Selah together was beautiful. And he had come in between them. Then he saw the look in Selah's eyes. Never one of blame. Just the most intense look of longing. And it was pointed at Melody and Abe.

He took a breath. That was how long that all went on. Melody took a breath the same time Selah did.

Abe's face all this time registered a little shock and remorse. Then it slowly stretched into the sexy grin he would give Selah. And while he was giving it to Selah, he was pointing it at Melody and sharing it with her. He said " You must be Melody. Selah always said you were beautiful. She just didn't mention Drop Dead gorgeous." His hands were out like he would give a good hug if a girl stepped into them. She stepped into them and hugged him tight.

Melody hadn't expected the rush of emotions that had her near tears. She had deliberately turned away from Selah to keep from crying. But here she was starting to anyway. Damn! Why'd he have to be so sweet!.

Then Selah said from right in back of her " Hey beautiful."

Abe acted like a dumb animal and said " Uhh that's you she's talking to." Melody stepped away and wiped her eyes as she tried to smile. Abe said to Selah " Hey! She's leaking on me. Make her quit."

Selah was near tears now. But they were happy ones. Her man turned out to be a knight in shining armor, tonight. She had faith in Abe that this was how he would be. But now she had proof.

Abe still had an arm around Melody as Selah moved onto his other arm. She hugged Melody with tears in her own eyes.

Melody said " Hi."

They all three hugged, then Abe saw the tears and said " Aww now they're both leaking."

The ladies giggled and wiped away the tears. Kern handed them some tissues and they blew their noses at the same time.

Kern said " Selah. Maybe you should have been called Harmony. Could you two do that again? It goes with the music."

They both tossed the used tissues at him and he put them in the trash.

An Image flashed through Abe's head and he knew what his next art project was going to be. Abe liked working in metal. Casting, grinding, welding, and any other way to work metal. It was his way to relax after digging into a dead body all day long.

The image was of a cast bronze bust of a Minotaur with horns that pointed straight up. On each horn was a bar that was bent in the middle with a half circle. In the middle of that was a recess for the tips of the horn to rest. They were the symbols for Libra. He knew Selah was a Libra and after that image came to him, he realized Melody must be one two.

Abe asked " Melody, When's your birthday?"

Melody said " October third, why?"

Abe said " Two days before Selah's. Good easier to remember."

Selah just looked at him with a smile and a frown.

He said " I just got an idea for another art piece. Don't you worry your pretty little head over it."

Melody and Selah looked at each other and then looked at Abe like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck looked at Elmer Fudd when they revealed the Elmer Season sign. Then they both giggled like Elmer Fudd.

Abe muttered "Oh shit."

Then the girls tickled Abe to the floor . Greg was finished with his customer and walked over to the commotion. Abe's cries of help got Kern and Greg tickling him, too.

Abe shouted " You call that helping?"

Carl just turned and looked into Vince's eyes. Then he kissed him for a good minute and a half. They both sighed when they were done. They looked over and the pile of people on the floor were watching them. Vince said " What?"

Melody was the first to react and said " Just taking notes. Just go back to what you were doing."

Vince and Carl raised their eyebrows and then kissed for another two.

This time when they came up for air, Melody, Abe and Selah were standing. Kern and Greg were still on the floor kissing.

Carl chuckled and said " We're contagious."

Selah said ' No. Just good role models." Vince chuckled at that and turned and gave Carl a quick peck to the lips.

Carl said " Yeah, I guess you're right." he had a goofy grin on his face that matched Vince's.

Precisely at six thirty Mike and Ava Reeves walked into the shop. Mike said " If I'd known this was going to be a love in, I'd have worn looser clothes."

Kern and Greg jumped up off the floor and Kern said " I have the art work ready for your approval, Mr Reeves."

Michael said " Kern, you're family now. It's Mike and Ava, OK?"

Kern said " Yes, Mike. See if you like it." It was a figure of a tiger in the forest of bamboo. But the leaves looked like butterflies, too.

Ava said " Perfect. My butterfly looks like a tiger and his tiger looks like he likes butterflies."

Greg rubbed Kerns back and said " That was the idea, wasn't it?"

Mike said " Oh yes. That looks very fine. Do we start now or should we come back after the three lovers get their tattoos. They are due any minute now."

Kern said " Have you two eaten dinner yet?"

Ava said " No. Should we come back in two hours?"

Kern said " That would be excellent."

Mike turned to Carl and said " Remember, I'm paying for half of all three of their tattoo's. "

Sharon Quinn walked into the Skin Gallery just at that moment. She said " My men just told me that at dinner and I was hoping to catch you before you left. Sorry about this Ava but I just have to say thank you in my own way." She wrapped her arms around Mike's neck and kissed his cheek. She slid back to the ground and looked up at him as she said " Thank you Mike."

She waked over to Ava and did the same to her. She said " Thank you Ava."

Ava said " You're Welcome. And Thank you. You three getting a tattoo, convinced my Tiger to finally get one, too."

Mike pulled Ava near and kissed her on her forehead. He softly said " It was your patience, Angel. You joked with me about it , but you never pushed. All this time you had a Tiger to keep you safe. And you were proud to show it tattooed on your skin. It just took me a while to realize I have a very strong Butterfly watching over me, keeping my heart safe. And I'm damn proud of you. So now I'm going to show it tattooed on my skin. I love you Ava."

Ava said " I love you, Tiger." just before they kissed.

They left for some Pizza at the local joint and Carl showed the three lovers what he had dreamed up for them. They were very pleased and got ready for all three artists to start tattooing them. Vince just smiled at Abe, Selah and Melody and thought his thirteenth mage had arrived.

To be continued

Well the next part shouldn't take this long to get out. Let me know what you think, OK?