Book Title: Tattoos Author: Denise Mathew Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Denise Mathew loves good chocolate, lots of coffee, her kids and husband, when they behave, and of course writing stories. She believes that housework should be banned and wishes that potato chips were the most healthy and nutritious food on the planet. She worked as a pediatric nurse for eleven years, once owned an online jewelry business and even taught English in Thailand. She plans on writing until the stories run out, something she hopes never happens.
Most times I forgot or maybe even ignored how Jax felt, or the fact that someday I might leave him forever, and there wouldn’t be a thing he could do about it. The actuality of my illness and how it affected him had only briefly entered my thoughts in the past. But now, with his seemingly harmless comment about Cindy, it brought everything into stark reality. “And what do you see when you look at me?” I asked, locking my eyes onto his. Jax kept his gaze focused on a spot on the foot of the bed, as if deciding what he would say. Witnessing that he was lost for a response made me want to take back the question. But I couldn’t, because my cancer was like a massive presence in the room, always there with us. Up until then we had managed to ignore it, not now though. After what seemed painfully long but was only a few minutes, Jax brought his focus back to my face. He cradled my cheeks in his huge hands. His touch was gentle as if he was worried he might shatter me. His blue eyes met mine for a moment. I saw the discomfort that I had put there with my question. I was more than sorry that I had been so stupid. Jax didn’t deserve to be put on the spot or to be reminded so cruelly about my illness. “I see someone who is both beautiful inside and out. I see someone who has grown because of their illness, become a better person and who instead of being bitter like you have every right to be, has become somehow better. Instead of pitying yourself you’re trying to make a difference in the world, and leave it better for you having been here. I see you in every flower in the park, every color in a rainbow and in every scent that reminds me of the things I love. Without knowing how, or even why it happened, I can’t imagine a world where you don’t exist. And even when I’m away I’m still with you, with every thought of you and how you feel in my arms, against my chest, the smoothness of your skin…” He tapped his head. “You’re always there with me and no matter what happens in the future you’ll be there, safe in my mind with spaghetti and meatballs, my beat up bike, my Gran and my Celtics t-shirt, and all the rest of the things I love.” He closed his eyes and sighed. A wave of peacefulness rippled across his face making him look both boyish and innocent. I felt tears roll down my cheeks, but I didn’t bother to try to stop them or brush them away. I wanted Jax to know how much he had moved me. I wanted him to see how amazing it felt to know that he cared as much as he did. If there had been any doubt in my mind before that I loved him, there was none now. The one regret that came after Jax’s brutal honesty was that I had lied to him about Thanksgiving. When he opened his eyes again they shimmered with unshed tears. He evidently had had enough practice hiding his emotions that he was able to rein everything in before he actually let them spill. I leaned in to him, covering his mouth with mine. He tasted of peppermint gum, and the stubble on his chin tickled my skin. Just like he had told me he did, I took mental snapshots of him, images that would get me through the times when he was away from me. Jax stroked the length of my neck, down my shoulder and let his hand rest on the curve of my hip. His lips moved along the line of my jaw, his tongue tracing the bones. I gasped, because the action made me want things that I hadn’t really put much thought into before then. Like making love for the first time. If and when that ever happened, I knew my first time could only be with Jax.
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