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After my memorable night with Trent, I had a new found respect for brandings and was itching to get another. For the next few days, I worked on a design for another iron, this one also had an Egyptian theme. The udjat eye was cast out of solid silver and the size of a silver dollar. About the size of the Ankh, It had to be filed and buffed and polished before I could mount it on the ebony and mahogany handle. I will admit that I was partly inspired by a thunderstorm as well as that night.
Emalee decided that she could be a big help and hung around the store when she wasn’t at the night club she worked in. I also began to stay at the shop earlier to work on additional Irons. The little yard in the back that held my kiln/mini smelter was littered with remnants of projects that I worked on. I had carved over a dozen ebony and mahogany handles but had no additional irons for them. I never opened the shop on Sundays and had more than a few concerned shop owners drop by one night when I was there all night and to the next morning.
Now I am at my counter the iron in front of me as well as all of my other tools, “Mornin’ Sugar.”
I jump a little on the stool, “I didn’t hear you come in,” I set down the iron and polishing cloth, “It’s been slow here you’re my first customer,” I smile as she leans across the counter.
“I watched the bells when I came in,” She looks at the iron, “That on going in the case? It must it looks like the other one. I just came in to tell you that I won the modeling contest the other night in that slinky little thing, you call a dress,”
“It is a dress. Just not the type meant for you to be winning any contests in…” I smile, because there isn’t anything else to do, “It isn’t red anymore,” I stand up and pull the shirt I am wearing up and the band of the skirt down. revealing the Ankh with the letters T R underneath.
“It looks pretty good, I still don’t know why. You know I have a friend I want you to meet,”
She slides onto the stool I had abandoned seconds earlier. “Remember that little white boy I told you about,”
“Emalee, Which one? there are so many,” I laugh, she only likes white guys…go figure.
“Izac, the straight one.” She holds up the iron, “…Looks better than the Ankh. You hoping that he comes back to brand you again?”
“I remember you telling me about Izac, weird little boy who likes me but has never met me? He’s only seen my picture right?”
“He’s only seen your picture… the topless one,” she mumbles the last half of the sentence.
“What? I could have sworn you said the topless one?” I look her dead in the eyes, “Tell me he didn’t see the topless one.”
“He did,” She pouts her lips, “He found it in that album you let me borrow, I swear that I forgot it was there…”
“Oh, hell, He isn’t coming by today is he?” I look around the shop, “I mean I am just so busy and all,”
“I know that you would love to meet him and he’s coming by in about an hour,” She slides off the stool, “I have to get back to the Blue Possum; schedule check,” She hugs me and walk towards the door, “You’re busy because you can’t get Trent out of your head. I’ll stop by later.” She waves and heads out the store.
Sighing I go back to work, I put in a CD and play it throughout the store. It is a violin and piano duet, very melancholy. I continue to polish the iron and listen to my music and the rain that is pouring outside. “Mara there are just sometimes that I wonder,” I inspect the freshly buffed iron and pick up the handle, the ebony and mahogany is separated by three rings of mother of pearl I screw the head in place and place in the wood and glass box that I constructed out of mahogany.
I look at the clock it’s five to five, time to close. Izac didn’t show, oh pooh. I head over to the small case that once held the Ankh iron, “Someday, I knew those words were useless.” I sigh and lock the iron in the case.
The door bells tinkled “Hi are you Mara?” I turn around, and am face to face with a handsome young man of about twenty-five.
“You must be Izac, Emalee said you were going to drop by.” I tuck the key back down the front of my blouse, “You’re a late,” I walk back over to the counter and put my tools in a drawer under the register.
“I uh yeah, Sorry about that,” He has pale blue eyes and longish black hair, “I really wanted to meet you… um yeah…”
I suddenly feel something odd, a weird emotion, “It’s okay. I have closed up for the night you can still look around if you want,” He’s really cute, I think a I watch him slowly walk towards the small case where I had just been.
“You make all of these yourself right?” he asks looking at another case, “You are very good,”
“Why thank you,” I think as he looks towards the studio, “That’s where I do brandings…Would you like to see?”
“Sure,” He watches me as I walk over to the studio and open the door for him. He enters with a look of awe on his face, “It’s amazing in here,” he walks around.
“I would like to know how old you are.” I lean against pendik escort the doorway admiring his fine ass.
“Twenty-four,” He looks at my wall of people I’d love to brand, now encased in plexiglass “How’d you get all of these pictures signed by Trent Reznor?”
“Long story that I don’t really want to share…” He turns towards the chair and sits down, “Comfy?”
“Yeah, pretty nice,” he looks towards the black and red couch, “Nice couch,”
“I like it…” I walk over to the storage cabinet, “Want a drink?”
“Sure what do you have?” He sits on the edge of the chair.
“Scotch,” I pull out a bottle and a couple of glasses I keep in there for just in case, “Sorry I don’t have any ice,”
“That’s okay,” I pour a couple of glasses. “Do you really do brandings? or is this just for show?”
“Yes I really do brandings, and before you ask, yes I am branded.” I sit down next to him
“Did you really see that picture of me?”
“The one of you topless? No just my imagination,’ He laughs heartily, “Yeah, I did.”
“Oh,” we sit for a few minutes silently. He finishes his drink and sets the glass on the floor.
He looks at me and takes the glass out of my hand, “What are…”
“Shh,” He puts a finger to my lips,
“I want to be branded, by you. I wanted you and a brand ever since I first heard about you. Emalee might have told you that I’m a little shy,” I shake my head, “I am,”
He pulls away from me and sighs. I lean over and kiss his cheek, “Well let’s make a deal, You come over here for a little bit everyday and when we know each other a little better, I could brand you. How’s that sound?”
He looks up and smiles “You have a deal,” We stand up and I give him a hug, “I’ll see you tomorrow then?” I nod and he leaves the studio, I hear the bells as he leaves the shop.
I pick up the glasses and take them to the little bathroom across the hall. Standing at the sink I look into the mirror, “This one should be interesting,”
“What should be interesting?” I nearly drop a glass, Emalee is standing in the doorway, “I want to know what could be interesting.”
“Izac. that’s what could be interesting.” I put the glasses back into the cabinet, “Don’t do that to me anymore… I almost though you were…”
“Thought what? That I was Trent? Come on we both know what happened was an accident” She looks at me, “Sugar you looked flushed, c’mon I’ll take you home, you won’t have to walk in the rain. though I don’t understand why you never use your that car you have…Well come on,”
Emalee has this ’87 beige Cadillac, in short it’s a boat of a car. She drives through the neighborhood slowly, “Izac came by today,”
“Did he?” She looks at me, “So what you think? I told you he likes you,”
“You didn’t mention he was shy,” I yawn, “Sorry slow day,”
“No need to be sorry, I found an interesting personal ad today,” She hand me a slip of newspaper, “I might answer it.”
The paper is slightly crumpled: SWM 27 seeking MtF TG 29-40. I am blue eyed blond Is drug and smoke free, drink on occais. seeking similar. “Sounds Sick, You know you never do stuff like that…”,
“And you never do stuff like Trent,” She pats my leg, “Honey I am thirty-five, this is a dream come true. especially since it’s coming up on my third anniversary,”
“Already?” I smile, “I met you four months before, I had just moved down here, I was jealous you look better than me”
“I know I do sugar, I still don’t know why you left L. A.,” she pulls into my driveway, “Why did you leave L.A.?”
“Hmmm, let’s see: Rent was a bitch, had an ex-boyfriend stalking me, was going to school here so it kinda evens out.”
“True true,” We walk to the front door, “Well if you stayed you never would have met ME!”
“That is true,” we hang our coats up in the entry way, “You want some coffee or something?” We head to the bleak and black kitchen
“Coffee is fine,” We sit in the kitchen, enjoying our coffee, “You know I think that you need to find someone who will care for you,”
“I am fine by myself,” I knew that it wasn’t entirely true but I have a reputation to keep, “I am really,”
“Sure, and I suppose that you have no feeling what-so-ever towards Izac?” She puts her coffee cup down, “I want to know honestly,”
“I think he’s nice,he is cute but he is also shy,” I turn to the coffee pot, “You’re right you know Trent was a fluke, but damn did I enjoy the hell out of myself,”
“I think Izac can make you enjoy a little more out of life other than sex. I mean it’s great and all but you always throw yourself head over ass in to your work…” she glances at her watch, “well sugar I have to get going have to feed Karma, you know how that cat is when she hadn’t been fed,”
“I know. see you tomorrow,” She nods and lets herself out, I sit at the table sipping coffee and listening to the rain. I go to bed shortly after eleven, quickly falling asleep to the sound of the rain.
I awake to the doorbell ringing, I grab maltepe escort my robe from the floor and flatten my auburn hair as best as I can before opening the door “Hello?” I open the door and to my surprise Izac is standing on my vast porch,
“Good morning,” he smiles “or should I say afternoon?” he smiles, he’s dressed in black pants and a tee shirt.
I glance at my watch, “oh shit!” it was past one, “I over slept,”
“It’s okay Emalee opened up for you and sent me down here when you didn’t show,” He smiles sheepishly, “I can go tell her you’re up and all right if you want,”
“Yes, please. I’ll be over there as soon as I can,” He smiles and turns to go, “Thank you Izac,” I call a he walks to his off.
I close the door and rush to the shower, chiding myself as I wash, I rush to my closet and pull out a black skirt and red lace top. “I knew I should of set that alarm, I knew it.” I grab a bottle of ice tea and an apple before I rush out of the house.
I walk fast to get to the shop before noon, at least I could be happy about giving Emalee a key to the shop. I stop a few feet from the door and catch my breath, I also learned my lesson by running and eating at the same time…I open the the familiar door and step in.
“Hey sugar,” Emalee is sitting at the register an Izac is leaning against the counter, “It’s about time that you got in,”
“I didn’t think I would do that, I didn’t set my alarm.” She slides out of my chair and moves next to Izac. “I am really sorry about that,”
“No need for that you have been working yourself to hard lately,” She looks at me seriously for a minute, ‘I know why you’re doing it, and you can’t change anything…”
“It’s not that at all,” I slide into my chair the shop is empty for the time being, “It isn”t entirely that.”
Emalee glances at Izac who has his brow furrowed, “Well sugar I have to be running, have a good day and try to take it easy,” I nod and She leaves the store and heads for her boat of a car.
“You still look kinda tired do you want me to come back tomorrow?” Izac looks at me.
“No it’s okay it looks like it’ll be slow,” I glance out the window as the rain starts yet again, “Besides I thought you wanted to talk.”
“I do want to talk,” He looks around for another chair.
“Here you sit here and I’ll grab the step stool to sit on,” I grab a tall step stool and unfold it then sit down, “Well have you always lived here?” I start the conversation.
“I was born here then went to Dallas until I graduated college, and am working as a business consultant but am quitting that to work in music,”
“Oh, well let’s see I was born and raised in L.A. Came here for school and opened the store a year ago, been doing good ever since.”
“And you make all the jewelry?” He asks looking around the shop, “It’s a lot for one person.”
“I make most of it. All the Irons are mine and most of the rings,” I Pull out a velvet photo album from under the register, “My father is a jeweler and makes most of his jewelry in a shop, he sends me some of his pieces to sell down here, I send some of mine to him. I have a few people who help me with the making…”
“What’s this?” I hand him the album.
“Pictures of my best pieces,” I open it up to My very favorite Iron I ever made, “This one will always be my favorite, It took me almost two week for me to get the handle just right.”
He stares at the picture of the Ankh, “It used to sit in that case over there,”
“What happened to it?” He looks intently at the picture, “It looks perfect,”
“It was,” I smile and touch the picture of something I would never hold again, “It was all perfect…”
“What happened to it?” He turns the page, “I mean if it was so perfect why isn’t it in the case?”
“I sold it. I never thought I would but I sold it. I am happy for selling it to who I did,” I smile again, “Never did I even think…”
“Who did you sell it to?” He sets the album down and puts hand on my knee, “Please tell me,”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” He furrows his brow, “I’m telling you that you wouldn’t,”
“Try me,” He smiles and squeezes my knee, “I bet I will believe…”
“A bet? hmmm this could be interesting…” my mind is reeling, “Okay you want a bet, How about a kiss? If you don’t believe that is?”
“And If you I do? Two Kisses?” He sticks his hand out to shake, I grab his and shake, “Okay so who did you sell it to?”
“Just a second,” I put a sign on the door “Out to lunch” and close the blinds a little… “Okay…You really want to know?” He nods, “I sold That particular Iron to…Trent Reznor,”
And the first thing to come out of his mouth was “I don’t believe you.” He’s shaking his head, “I really don’t believe it,”
“I can prove it,” I Pull out a small box from where the album lay originally, opening it, I pull out a small envelope and a picture,
“This is from exactly two weeks ago,” I open the envelope, inside are five crisp hundred dollar bills and a note, “I kartal escort know that this isn’t my handwriting and I know for a fact that this isn’t my imagination,” I stand and slide my skirt down a little to show the branding. Izac’s jaw drops,
He reaches out to touch the the scabbed over burn, “I guess I owe you a kiss,” He pulls me to him and smiles, “I never would have believed it, if I hadn’t seen it,” He gently puts his lips against mine, He gently presses me close to him, when we part he smiles and shakes his head, “I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it my self, He branded you?” He shakes his head again.
“I passed out when he branded me and when I woke up all of my pictures were signed
this note and the money was on the tray.” I know I should spend the money but there are things I am buying with this.
“You branded him with the Ankh, and he branded me,” I knew he had figured out the rest of the night already, “What are you thinking about?”
“About how beautiful you are,” He pulls me onto his lap, “Don”t you just love the rain?”
I like the sound of his voice a true southern voice with the enunciation of an education in Texas…”What are you thinking about?”
I turn to him, “I like your voice it”s soothing.” I run a finger across the side of his neck causing him to shiver, “oh, I’m sorry did that tickle?”
“No not at all,” He kisses the tip of my nose, your are such a subtle tease you know that woman?”
“You are one of the first persons to ever call me woman, everyone else just call me girl,”
“Well I been called boy, Boy this or Boy that,”
“I have a feeling you are very much a man,” I smile and lick the tip of his perfect nose. “I like you Izac, I really do, you”re not shallow. you’re honest and sweet.”
“Why thank you,” He hisses me on the lips again, “What time is it?”
“Five to five, time flies when you’re doing nothing,” I say and climbing of of his lap I put the closed sign in the door.
“Oh I wouldn’t say that we weren’t doing nothing.” He smiles as I walk back to him, “What do you have in there?” he asks pointing to the CD player.
“Beethoven,” I reply turning it on, “Wanna drink?”
“Sure he smiles and I walk off to the studio to grab the scotch and two glasses. I hum Beethoven’s fifth as is open the cabinet.
I nearly drop the bottle when I feel hands on my waist, ‘We can just stay back here. You are closed you know,” He nuzzles my neck, “I have ou to thank about not being as shy…” He kisses the back of my neck sending a shiver down my spine.
“Izac,” I whisper as his hand reach around to my naval rings, I sigh as he fingers them, and as we gently sway in time to the music.
“What?” he lifts his head from my shoulder, his breath brushing across my face like a subtle breeze.
“Never mind,” We sway over to the couch and sit down, “Izac,” I murmur as he kisses me, gently forcing me backwards so that I lay across the soft fabric.
“Mara you are so beautiful,” Izac lay on top of me, gently pressing his weight against me, “I can’t tell you how beautiful you are…”
“Shut up and kiss me…” I pull him down and plant my lips on his, I’m tired of the subtleties.
I wrap my arms around his neck and gently force my tongue between his lips. I can feel him working his fingers up my lace shirt and he grabs the rings in my nipples and gently tugs them, “Izac!” I gasp “I want to brand you…Now!”
He sits up, “I thought….”
“To hell with it I’ll brand you!” He smiles, “I get to pick the iron though…” He nods, I walk out of the studio and go to a large cabinet, inside is a wall of iron heads with handles, among my firsts, I am feeling a little Egyptian today, I think and choose a scarab. I return to the studio to find Izac in the chair, he’s taken his shirt off and is sitting hands folded behind his head, ankles crossed.
“This will hurt you know,” I set up the torch; lighting it adjusting the flame and sitting the iron close enough to flash heat it. I pull out gauze, antiseptic, and gloves “I mean Hurt,”
“I can handle it,” He smiles, “Can you do the from of my shoulder?” I nod and swab the area. Admiring the light muscle tone and nearly hairless chest.
“Famous last words you know,” I smile and move the Iron into the flame, “When the iron is heated I am going to count to thee then hold in to the skin for a few second all right,” He nods. I wait as the iron heats up fully. I pull it of of the stand and look at him.
“Okay…One…Two…three.” I hold the hot iron down onto his kin and hear the familiar sizzle and then the smell. He’s got his eyes closed and his teeth clenched, I raise the iron and set it back on the now cooling stand, “That wasn’t so bad…?” I put an antiseptic cream in the burn and then tape piece of gauze to it.
He opens his eyes, “It wasn’t that painful,” He has gone pale and is a little sweaty around the edges. “That went well,” He sits up and kisses me before pulling me into his lap,
“I have to thank you,”
“Your smile would be worth it alone,” I smile, and kiss him again, “But you are very welcome,”
“I think I can do better,” he pulls me on top of him and raises my skirt to my waist, “You went all day with out panties?” His look is a bit of a surprise,
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