Josh smiled at their approach and asked, “Gentlemen, do you see a motif or graphic that inspires you? My dance card is filling up rather quickly, so if you are inspired by something or want to explore alternative sketches, then we should talk. How about you, Jacob? You still seem to be gravitating around that dragon graphic again, so how about it this time?”
John C looked puzzled, and Jacob was taken aback by being called by his name by the tattooist.
After recovering from being startled and finally recalling why Josh seemed so familiar, he said, “Of course! Now I remember you, Josh. You did a lot of work on a friend of mine. He was always trying to get me in to see you to fix this old tattoo I had done as a lark, one weekend when my mom was traveling.”
Josh grinned and agreed, “That’s right! We were going to do a cover-up on that blob you were stuck with on your shoulder. I suggested then and still advocate it now that a good tattoo should be an image easily discernable from across the street.
“As it is said by both genders, size does matter! Are you ready for that beautiful graphic to spill across your back? I promise when I’m done with that dragon it will have that real and malevolent look that will say to everyone viewing it, ‘mess with my consort and I’ll come off of here and jack you up, buddy’! You know I am only in town for a few days, but I can stay over to work the dragon for you if your answer is yes.”
John C was aghast in wonderment at the topic of conversation and retracted, “Jacob, I take it all back about you being the grand potentate for the morality mob after hearing about this! I was beginning to feel self-conscious about having a small discreet Christian graphic in Irish motif on my arm while here you are planning a giant dragon across your whole back with the tail probably wrapping around, then going down your right leg! Whoa, color me impressed, laddie-buck!
“Josh, how much time do you expect to take for something that size? You claim to be fast, but I can see that as several sessions, each at several hours a piece.”
Josh explained, “I know the look that he is expecting from the graphic, probably better than he does. The first session will take four to five hours, depending on his fortitude. I would let it heal at least two weeks before putting the fiery colors into it. I am fast, but I want quality work for my customers. No one is likely to go the distance for all of it at one sitting. It’s just too hard on the body. Besides, there is no hurry if you are looking for quality work.
“I’m not going to push too much ink onto you like I did a couple of weeks back with this crazy demanding female. Brother, talk about insistent and driven! She had to have this tramp stamp done, colored, and wouldn’t listen to reason. I don’t know how I let her talk me into pounding that much ink into her, but I guess those sultry European accents are hard to resist.”
Jacob looked skeptically at Josh, then quickly roughed out a sketch on a piece of paper and handed it over as he asked, “Did the tat look like this?”
Josh then went through the graphics on his phone until he found the picture he wanted by date and compared it to Jacob’s drawing. He studied the sketch quickly and looked up over the top of his glasses and nodded.
“That is my work.” he explained, as he handed the device to Jacob, “Yep! That is what I put on her about two weeks ago. But for you to be able to see it, she had to be…..”
Jacob filled in the blank easily, “Topless.”
“Yes, that is correct,” laughed Josh.
John C was now speechless, his mouth wide open with slight movement as he attempted to learn to talk again.
Jacob turned to John C and quietly said, “It’s not what you think. But it is related to your issues at the bank, John. This is the tat I saw but did not remember until just now. She was present at the New York tax offices just before all of their records were wiped, just like what was done to your institution.”
Josh remarked, “You know it’s funny. She was the one who gave me the idea to come to Ireland and do some guest tattooing. She complained that she couldn’t get the kind of work she wanted while she was in Ireland which is why I guess she was so impatient to have it done all in one setting. Odd set of circumstances. Tough broad,”
John C and Jacob looked at each other in that ‘ah-ha’ moment.
Jacob said quietly into John’s ear, “She came through here and went on to New York to wreak havoc there after whacking your bank! It’s funny what you can find in a quiet Irish pub.”
Trying to get their attention again, Josh asked, “Gentlemen, can we discuss some ink for the here and now, or are you only interested in what someone else owns?”
“Let’s get John C here some ink so he can show it off to the babes. I, on the other hand, need to talk to my babe to see about me getting a tattoo. Besides, you will need more time for me than I can spare on this trip. But no worries, I know where to find you in New York, and I’ll be back soon enough. This served as a great reminder, sir.”
John C was a little apprehensive at discussing his tattoo requirements with Josh, but said, “I think I would like some work from you, but I lied when I said it was for my arm. How much discomfort would it be if the target destination is my left cheek?”
Josh grinned, then said with all sincerity, “That depends if you want it to reach the right cheek as well?”
Jacob laughed a bit and added, “I’ll leave you to it, John C, since I don’t want to see the ink going on that part of your geography. I’ve got some email and conference calls to attend to. I’ll see you in the morning. Josh, make sure my friend here gets all the quality you can deliver.”
As he left, Jacob could hear John C ask Josh in all earnestness, “And you’re sure this graphic will help me get more babes?”
To which Josh grinned and replied, “Ah, my man, you have no idea how much your male endurance will be tasked by the ladies once you have one of my tattoos! Trust me on this, sir!”
Jacob wondered what Petra would say to his idea of a full dragon across his back. He rightly considered that he needed to discuss it with her before laying down any ink.
Then he was startled by the thought. What if she wanted some body art as well? How would he deal with that discussion? His mind wandered all over the mental image of her, trying to imagine what kind of graphic and exactly where it should go if she in fact liked the idea. Jacob wistfully thought about his Petra and couldn’t wait to speak with her, hoping that she would take his call from the hotel room. He promptly left to return to the hotel.
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