GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Nadya held the burly man’s wrist in a tight grip—tight enough to be uncomfortable, but not tight enough to crunch bones. Inhaling deeply, her eyes fluttered closed. As repulsive as she found this man’s personality, she ached to lick the droplets of blood from his creamy skin. Instead, she looked down and dabbed Betadine over the manic eyes that straddled the vein in his wrist. She picked up her needle, dipped it in black ink, and began outlining the wide mouth that would complete the biker gang symbol. As she meticulously filled the pale mouth in with crooked teeth, her fingers dug into her client’s skin with increasing pressure. He grimaced.
“You do nice work.” The man’s voice was strained. A tough guy. She’d wait a few weeks, then hunt him down. Watch him until he showed his true nature. They always did. Especially after getting their tattoos.
Over the past sixteen years, Nadya had watched while the world spiraled down the drain, crime ever on the rise. The economy was finally starting to bounce back, but only for those with powerful allies. In Vancouver, that meant gang connections. Nadya memorized the man’s scent, looks, and voice, and mentally filed them as she bandaged his tattoo.
She rattled off the balance due. The man picked up his leather jacket, admiring the bright patch emblazoned on the back, and held out his unbandaged wrist.
“It’s five percent extra for chip payments,” she said. “There’s an ATM about three blocks away.”
“Just scan it.”