Hey! This is my first TFATF fic! It's set before TFATF! I hope you like it and please review, it makes me happy! lol!
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing...but I wouldn't mind owning Vince...
Chapter 1: Colors
by: She Smiles Like She's So Tough
Vince eyed the tattoo shop anxiously. It was a small place with huge windows and a neon sign that announced "Yes, We're Open" next to one which proudly shone the store's name, "All Inked Up," in bright red letters. His buddy Chris owned the shop and had been pestering him about coming in for another tattoo for ages. The guy had already given him the Native American style eagle on his left arm and thought he should do something on his right to even it up. Leon and Letty stood by his side, there to give him some moral support, they had said. He knew Leon just wanted to see him wuss out of it. "Are we going in anytime soon?" Leon questioned, his eyebrows raised at his best friend.
Letty hit him and put a comforting hand on Vince's shoulder. "You know you don't have to, V. Tattoos hurt like a bitch. Doesn't make you any less of a man if you don't want to get one. Hell, Dom is too scared to get one."
Vince chuckled, putting an arm around Letty before pulling her close and placing a kiss on her forehead. "Let, I love you, girl. You know that?" She nodded in response. He sucked in a breath before taking a step toward the door, opening it slowly.
"Vincent Petrelli! I never thought I'd see you come into my shop again!" a loud, gritty voice called through the shop. Chris stood from his station where he was tinkering with his machine. He was a skinny guy covered in tattoos. There was barely a blank space on his tan skin apart from his face. "You here for a tat?"
"You know it," Vince said as the two friends did a man-hug. "You remember Letty, don't you?" Chris nodded his greeting at Letty who smiled in return. "And this is the new guy, Leon."
Chris shook hands with Leon, eyeing the tattooed Native American head on his shoulder. "Nice to meet you, Leon. You getting something today too?"
Leon shook his head, no. "Some other time."
"Your loss," Chris said, shrugging. "What do you want to get, Vince?"
Vince sighed and pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket. "I was looking to get some kind of dragon on my upper arm."
Chris was about to open his mouth when another voice spoke for him. "Too bad C.J. sucks at dragons." Vince's eyes were drawn to where a young girl was sitting at a tattoo station wiping down a man's arm on which she had tattooed a brilliant purple snake. "There you go, Adam. I still don't get why it's purple, but I hope you like it."
Adam walked over to the mirror and Vince watched as his mouth dropped open. "Oh my God! This is amazing! It's just what I pictured!" He turned to look at the girl and wrapped her in a hug. "Thank you!"
"No problem," she said, putting some clear wrap and tape over the tattoo to keep in protected. "Just remember what I told you and take care of it."
Once Adam had paid and left the shop, Vince turned to Chris with his eyebrows raised. "Who's she?"
"I'm the new girl," the girl put in for him. "He hired me because he was tired of turning down people who wanted Asian art," she said with a proud smirk. The girl's dark brown hair was streaked with a dark magenta color which contrasted with her tan skin. Her dark green eyes shone with a teasing light when she laughed at Chris's glare. "What? It's true, isn't it?"
Chris sighed and nodded. "This is Carlina Estrada. Carly, this is Vince, Letty, and Leon. Vince is a friend of mine from high school."
"Nice to meet you all. You guys can call me Carly," she said shaking each of their hands in turn. Vince looked at the quarter sleeve of intricate tattoos she had on both arms. The tattoos were colorful and bright, each no doubt had a meaning behind them. Her bright green tank top was low cut in the front and revealed a slice of her tone stomach which was decorated with a tattoo or two as well.
Vince cleared his throat, drawing attention to himself. "As much as I like talkin' to ya, Chris. I did come here for a tattoo." He gave the image to Chris and chuckled when Carly stood on her tip toes to look at it over his shoulder.
"There's no way in hell you can do that dragon right, Chris," Carly said, giggling softly when Chris scowled.
"I've been tattooing a hell of a lot longer than you have, Carly," he said, his tone defensive. "I can do pretty much everything."
Carly rolled her eyes and took the picture from Chris's hand. "I don't doubt that you can," she said slowly, trying her best to find words that wouldn't offend her boss. "But we both know I can do dragons a hell of a lot better than you and you can kick my ass at black and white portraits and pretty much everything else."
Chris smiled and wrapped a brotherly arm around Carly's shoulders. "You bet I can. It's up to you, Vince. Who do you want?"
"I want her to do my tattoo," Vince said quickly, pointing and smiling at the pretty tattoo artist.
"Why am I not surprised?" Chris mumbled under his breath. He knew Carly was a very attractive girl and had no doubts that her artistic ability was not the reason he had picked her over him.
She smiled triumphantly. "Go ahead and sit down. I'll freehand it on you." Vince gave her a skeptical look. She dismissed it with a wave of her hand. "It's the only way I can make it flow with your arm. Don't worry about it, Vinny, I'm the best at what I do."
In the past when people had called him 'Vinny,' Vince would smash their face in or correct them with a growl, but for some reason, he couldn't help but find the way Carly said the name endearing and cute. It was obvious she hadn't meant it as an insult, and he couldn't help wishing she would call him that again. "If you're sure," he said, sitting down at her station.
She began working at once, her green eyes focused intently on his muscular upper arm. He loved the way the pen gracefully slid across his skin as she made gentle strokes in different colors. The dragon she drew was amazing. Even better were the waves and designs she was drawing around the dragon. Her green eyes met his blue ones a few minutes later and he felt his breath hitch in his throat at the brilliant amber flecks sprinkled throughout her green eyes. She smiled at him and his heart lurched in his chest. What was wrong with him? This was just another girl like all the other nameless girls he met on a daily basis. Why was Carly any different? "I'm done sketching. Check it out and tell me if you like it," Carly urged, pointing out the full length mirror across the way.
He did as he was told and was more than happy with the outcome. Letty looked it over, her brown eyes registering awe as she gazed at the complicated sketch on her best friend's arm. "Damn, V. That's a sweet piece of work right there," she commented. "Makes me want to get one."
"I can do yours after his," Carly said, a knowing smile crossing her face. She knew Letty would say no before the words left her mouth.
"Thanks, but no thanks," Letty said on a sigh. Ever since she was little and she had to poke her mother's finger to test her blood sugar, she hated needles and she was pretty sure getting a tattoo would do nothing to quell her fear.
Vince sat down again and watched as Carly prepared the various ink colors and took the needles she'd be using out of their packaging. He leaned closer to her ear before whispering, "Let is scared of needles. That's why she doesn't want a tattoo. It has nothing to do with you."
Carly gave him an understanding smile. "Thanks. Are you ready for this? You need someone to hold your hand or a lollipop or something?"
"I'll take a lollipop," Leon said, sitting down on a spinning chair close by.
"Do you want to get a tattoo today?" she questioned, a smirk on her face.
"No, I'm not in the mood to be tortured," he answered, a confused look playing across his face.
"Then no lollipop for you, you pussy."
Vince roared with laughter at the look on Leon's face. He couldn't believe Carly said that! It was rare to find a girl who could resist Leon's charms let alone make fun of him! "I'll take one, I guess," Vince said, trying to calm down.
Carly unwrapped a blue one and held it out towards his mouth. "Open up and say 'ah.'"
"Ah." Vince had barely said it when the lollipop was shoved into his mouth and the tattoo machine started whirring. The needles dug into his skin painfully and he resisted the urge to let out a slew of cuss words.
After and hour or two, Carly could see the pain etched on Vince's face. She knew for a fact that getting a tattoo that large was no fun. Stretching her arms over her head, she let out a fake yawn. "I'm kind of tired, V. I have the outline done, do you want to come in again tomorrow, and I'll finish it off?" She knew she could've easily finished the tattoo before closing time, but she didn't want this to be the last time she saw the built, gorgeous man so she decided to give him the option of coming back later.
Vince could tell Carly wasn't tired in the least and that the tattoo could be finished if he wanted to sit it out. His arm was throbbing painfully though, and he'd rather not show just how much it hurt with Leon sitting right next to him. He gave her a grateful smile and nodded. "Sounds like a plan, CC. Thanks."
"No, thank you! You were my last appointment of the day. Now, I'm off early," she said with a cheeky grin.
Leon smirked, his trademark, panty-dropping smirk and Vince couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. Carly was sure to fall for the skinnier man. It seemed Leon, with his easy-going attitude, would be more her type than he would be. "Since you're off so early, how bout I take you to dinner, Gorgeous?"
"Sorry, but I promised Pierre I'd be home for dinner," Carly answered, a mischievous glint in her green eyes.
"Figures a beautiful girl like you has already got someone to go home to," Leon shot back, his smirk still in place on his face.
Letty hit his arm playfully. "Go bring the car around, Lee." Leon scowled at her but walked out of the shop anyway but not before winking at Carly. Once he was gone, Letty eyed Carly, laughter in her dark eyes. "Why do I get the feeling Pierre doesn't exist?"
"Oh, he exists all right," Carly said, a smile on her face. "He's my cat."
Vince and Letty both bursted out laughing, both in love with their new friend. "Girl, you should come to our barbeque tonight! The rest of the team would love you!" Letty said, wiping tears from her eyes.
Carly shook her head. "As fun as that sounds, I have an early day at work tomorrow. Plus, I really do have to feed Pierre. I forgot to this morning." Her face flushed with guilt, something Vince found to be the most adorable thing he'd ever seen. Adorable? He thought to himself. Since when do I think things are adorable? "But I will see you," she pointed at Vince, "tomorrow."
Vince smiled looking at his taped up arm. "Looking forward to it. I promise I won't bring the moron next time. Sorry if he bothered you." Again, Vince had to marvel at the way he was acting. He had never apologized to anyone for Leon's bold moves. Not even when they were made on his own cousin when she had visited a few month back! Yet here he was sincerely apologizing to this beautiful girl he had just met.
"Don't worry about it," Carly said with a bright smile.
"Well, bye, CC," he said, following Letty out the door.
"Bye, Vinny," she called after him, watching his fine rear end as it disappeared from sight.
Like it? Please review! I already have the next chapter ready so I'll put it up when I get some reviews that tell me people are actually reading it!