Punk Rock Resurrection

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Punk Rock Resurrection Page 2

by Jenna Galicki

  Angel was seated on the couch when Damien returned to the living room. He handed his friend a bottle of water. “Finally worked up enough nerve to sit on that piece of junk, huh?”

  “It’s not so bad.” Angel glanced down at the stained fabric. “A slipcover might dress it up a little, though.”

  “I’ll put it on my list, right after I buy some drapes and tablecloths.”

  Angel perked up for a minute before he realized Damien was teasing, then rolled his eyes and smirked.

  The last thing Damien cared about was the décor of his apartment. After living in New York City’s most dangerous housing projects, he was happy to have a safe place to sleep at night. The sparsely furnished room and worn, secondhand couch were unimportant. He cradled his bass in his hand and polished the black lacquer paint with the sleeve of his shirt. His bass and his band were all that mattered to him.

  “Maybe you should get a pet or something to keep you company.”

  A pet? Damien loved the idea. He never had so much as a goldfish, but he didn’t want the responsibility. “I’m fine. I’m used to being alone.” He played Immortal Angel’s new song, and Angel sang the first verse. The natural power and smooth vocal tone behind Angel’s voice was incredible. It’s what made them stand out amongst the dozens of bands that played the indie circuit in Brooklyn every week. “That sounded cool. Do you want to run through the whole song again?”

  “No. Let’s save it for the show at The Quadrangle. We put in a full week at the studio. I’m ready. I just wanted to hear how that first verse sounded again. I’m happy with it.” Angel was a perfectionist and sometimes made himself a nervous wreck worrying about every detail of the show. “Thanks for letting me come by on short notice.”

  “Anytime. My door’s always open.”

  After Angel left, the fast-paced punk rock tune was out of Damien’s head. The quiet solitude turned the deep bluesy notes of the bass melancholy. Unpleasant memories of his past were rekindled and brought his troubles back full circle. With each throaty note he plucked, his mood sunk deeper into despair. He thought about the bad hand life threw his way. He was destined for failure, but he was determined to fight it every step of the way. He just wanted the loneliness to go away. He wanted someone to spend his life with. He wanted someone to love him.

  He sighed and walked into the kitchen with his bass still strung over his shoulder. The contents of the cabinet above the sink held what he was looking for. It was nothing more than instant gratification supplemented by a mind-numbing obliteration of all thoughts, but it was all he had. Johnnie Walker accompanied him back to the living room. There was no need to bother with a glass. He drank straight from the bottle.

  Damien woke face down on the couch. It took him a minute to realize that the stench in the room was his own breath. The empty bottle of Johnnie Walker was still cradled in his left hand, and his bass was on the couch next to him. He squinted against the scorching sunlight that blared through the uncovered windows and slowly sat up, holding his head in both of his hands. His mouth was pasted shut, and he needed to take a piss, but he couldn’t stand up until the room stopped spinning. The pain in his head was sharp and blinding. He leaned back on the couch and covered his eyes with his hands, but images from last night still flashed behind them. Angel had been there and they had worked on a song. He had been playing his bass, thoughts of his mother had been tearing at his heart, and he had found relief from the bottle in his hand. Everything after that was muddy and distorted.

  He rubbed the crud out of his eyes and gagged on the lack of saliva in his throat. He struggled to get to his feet without falling and hugged the wall on the way to the bathroom.

  The icy water from the shower cleared his head. It was remarkable how quickly shock from the sudden drop in temperature eradicated his hangover. The chill made him shiver, so he slowly turned the handle on the faucet until the water was burning hot. Steam blanketed the bathroom with an opaque mist. He let the water pelt off his body until his skin was pink and angry, stinging with rage.

  After he dressed, he set out on foot to the coffee shop on the corner and found enough coins in his pocket to buy a cup of coffee and a bagel. Without much thought, he jumped on the subway to visit the guitar store. The beautiful Ibanez was still sitting on the wall, baiting him with her beautiful mahogany body and rosewood fretboard. He was setting aside every spare dollar to bring her home. He gazed up at the magnificent instrument. “Soon, you will be mine.”

  He left with one last forlorn look over his shoulder and continued to walk aimlessly, without purpose. He found himself in front of Designs For The Flesh. It was his day off at the tattoo shop, but he had nowhere else to go.

  Spyder, the shop’s owner, saw him through the window and waved him inside.

  Damien finished the last sip of his coffee and threw the cup in the trashcan before he entered his home away from home.

  “I’m glad you came by. I was about to call you. It’s a madhouse today.” Spyder was frazzled and spoke without pause. The large tarantula tattooed on his throat moved its legs every time his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. “Tony has another hour on the piece he’s working on, and his next appointment is already here. Axel’s client brought her two friends with her, and they all want matching nautical stars. His apprentice bailed on him today, so he could use an extra hand.”

  Maybe today was looking up after all. A few extra bucks in his pocket for his new bass would be sweet. Damien went right to work. He emptied garbage pails that were nearly full and refilled paper towels and boxes of surgical gloves. He ripped off the saran wrap that covered one of the tattoo tables and sprayed it with a generous amount of sanitizer in preparation for the next customer. The door chimed and called his attention toward the front of the shop.

  A dark angel strolled through the door. She sauntered past him without as much as a glance in his direction. There was no smile or nod or acknowledgment of his presence. He should have known that someone as gorgeous as she was wouldn’t give him any recognition. She was tall and slender, with hair as black as the night. It was pin straight and hung down to the middle of her back. Thick, cat-like eyeliner hooded her dark eyes. She was a gothic goddess in tight black jeans, a leather vest and thigh-high boots. A large winged heart was tattooed across her chest in bright reds and blues. She stopped at the booth at the far end of the shop and put the briefcase she carried on the table.

  Damien stood perfectly still, with a crumpled paper towel still in his hand, while he watched her.

  She opened the drawers and filled them with instruments from her briefcase.

  “Who’s the chick?” Damien asked Spyder, never averting his eyes from the sinister beauty.

  Spyder pulled the tattoo needle away from his client’s shoulder. “That’s the new piercer.”

  Fantasies of the goddess of the underworld sticking him with a piercing needle, breaching his skin with pain, sent Damien’s hormones spiraling, and he smiled for the first time today. He continued to wipe down the table while he watched her set up her new station. Never once did she look up.

  “Damien!” Axel called to him from two stations away. “I need you. Set me up for my next appointment while I wash up.”

  Out of the corner of his eye, Damien saw his gothic princess finally take notice and look in his direction. He replaced his gloves and went to work in Axel’s station. He sanitized and wrapped his tattoo table in fresh plastic wrap. He washed down the counter and set up a new supply of ink cups, wooden sticks, and Vaseline.

  Axel returned and nodded his approval. “Thanks, dude, you’re aces. Let me know when you want me to work on that neck piece. It’s some of my best work.”

  “I have a show tomorrow night.” Damien glanced at the new piercer. Her head was lowered, still immersed in sorting her supplies. “I could do it the following day. My night’s free, and I could stay as long as you want.” All of his nights were free, actually, unless he was practicing or performing.

ien waited until Axel was seated and started tattooing his next client before he grabbed a broom and started sweeping. It was a ploy that would bring him closer to the dark angel with her instruments of pain. He continued with his makeshift sweeping in the direction of the piercing booth. He watched the floor and a pair of black leather boots with spiked heels came into view.

  “Cool mohawk.” Her hands were on her knees, and her stool was turned to face him.

  Damien set the broom against the wall and took a seat in the chair next to her. “Thanks. I’m Damien.”

  Her ruby red lips smirked at him. “I just said I dig your hair. I didn’t invite you to sit at my station.”

  The rebellion in her voice rung true to his heart, and he was more attracted to her than he was five minutes ago. “I can help you set up for your clients. That’s what I do around here. If you need anything, just ask.” He stood up and reached for the broom.

  “You can do me a favor, if you want.”

  His eyes grazed her body. “I want.”

  She finally cracked a hint of a smile. “Since it’s my first day, and no one here knows my work, how about I give you a free piercing?”

  He nodded eagerly. Today was turning into a glorious day.

  “So what’s it going to be?”

  He spun the chair around and straddled it. “How about telling me your name first?”

  She studied him for a second, and the corner of her mouth drew back into a suspicious smile. “Alyssa.” Her eyes held him in a pensive gaze. “How about a Prince Albert? Or has someone deflowered your penis already?”

  She was a spitfire. It sounded perfect, except he knew he would spurt the second the angry needle touched the head of his dick. He settled on a small barbell in his eyebrow, just like the one she had.

  She pulled on a pair of black latex gloves, flashed him a provocative smile, and snapped them at the wrist.

  Was she flirting with him?

  She leaned forward and wiped his eyebrow with an alcohol pad, then made two small marks with a pen. Her face was only inches away, and he felt her cool breath on his cheek. Her skin was a pristine shade of pale cream. It was striking against her kettle black hair and heavy winged eyeliner. Her intense eyes contained a hint of mischief and the right amount of rebellion.

  For a piercer, she wasn’t heavily pierced. Her lobes had a neat row of rings that circled up the curve of her ear in graduating sizes, and there was an industrial barbell in the top cartilage of both ears. There was the small barbell in her eyebrow, and he saw a glint of a tongue stud. Whatever else was pierced below her clothing was a mystery he hoped to unravel. A glimmer of light reflecting off the needle brought his attention back to his impending piercing.

  She pinched his brow and held the needle poised in the air. “Are you ready?”

  He held his breath and nodded.

  “Do you want a countdown or would you rather be surprised?”

  He tried to hide his smile. “Count down, please.”

  She held the needle in position. “One.”

  He licked his lips.

  “Two.” She unexpectedly plunged the needle through his skin.

  Surprise jolted Damien, although he remained still in his seat. The split second of sharp pain, accompanied by the pop of impaled skin, sent a ripple of pleasure down his back and made his cock jump.

  She had a satisfied smile on her face while she pushed the small bar through his brow. The spark in her eyes told him that she enjoyed it just as much has he did, and he knew this woman was going to rock his world.

  Chapter Two

  Damien didn’t get the chance to speak to his favorite new piercer again for two days. The shop had been filled with customers, and they both had been busy. There must have been some lag time between when she left her old shop and when she started at Designs For The Flesh, because she had a steady line of customers every day.

  Today wasn’t as hectic, and they spoke briefly at the start of the day, but Damien had a specific conversation in mind. He waited until all of the artists were set up and ready for their appointments before he approached Alyssa. She had just finished with one of her clients and it was the perfect opportunity to speak to her.

  “Let me help you.” He held up the spray bottle in one hand and a bunch of wadded up paper towels in the other.

  She ripped off her gloves and tossed them in the garbage. “Thanks. I should bring you home to clean my apartment.”

  Again, he was unsure if she was flirting with him or just being snarky. His eyes rested on her black leather boots while he sanitized the chair at her work station. Her boots came up to her knees and laced up the back. Images of those six-inch heels walking across his chest made his dick rise in his jeans. He tried to focus on his task, instead of the tight tank top that pushed her breasts together and puffed up the angel wings that were tattooed above them, but his eyes kept returning to her cleavage.

  “How come you left early yesterday?”

  His eyes drifted up to her face with a sly smile, grateful for the opportunity to open a dialogue about his music. “I had a show.”

  “A show?”

  He sparked her interest. “Yeah. I’m a musician. I’m the bass player for Immortal Angel. Have you heard of them?”

  “No, but let me guess. You’re in a punk rock band.”

  “Yep. You should come down to The Quadrangle the next time we play. It’s a really cool place.”

  “I know the joint.”

  “Is that a yes or a no?”

  “It’s neither.”

  She had a defiant attitude, and she was sexy as fucking hell. He was aware that she was watching him, rather than disposing of her used piercing supplies. He stood up and turned toward her. Neither one of them said anything, but they stared at one another with intrigue until they both slowly smiled at the same time.

  She flipped her long black hair over her shoulder. “Maybe I’ll come by. When’s your next show?”

  “A week from Saturday. We go on at eleven. We’re the headliner.”

  “The headliner? You must be pretty popular then.”

  She was going to be in for a surprise. “We have a big fan base. You’ll see.”

  “Thanks for cleaning my work station.” She took the spray bottle from his hand and dismissed him.

  Her aloof indifference didn’t fool him, but he was willing to play along and walked toward the front of the shop without looking back. He sat behind the reception desk near the entrance and turned in her direction. He caught her looking at him for a brief second, before she averted her eyes. He smiled to himself. She wasn’t fooling him for a minute.

  The advantages of working at a tattoo shop afforded Damien top notch ink at little or no expense. The artwork on his throat was highly detailed, and he’d already put in five hours on the piece. He was hoping to get it finished tonight, now that Axel’s last client left the shop.

  Once the tattoo needle hit his neck, he felt alive. The rush of pain sent a wave of adrenaline through his body. It pushed any ill thoughts from his head, and he concentrated on the sharp burn at his throat.

  An hour into the tattoo, Alyssa came by to inspect the ink. She leaned over him, offering a clear view of her breasts. They were gorgeous and full and spilled over her top.

  “You’re sitting pretty steady,” she said. “I don’t know how you’re not cringing. When I had my chest done, I was practically chewing on a bullet.”

  “Damien sits like a champ,” Axel boasted. “He’s a pleasure to tattoo.”

  Alyssa leaned closer to examine the work, bringing her breasts dangerously close to Damien’s mouth. He fought the urge to stick his tongue out and taste them. Her eyes drifted and lingered on his chest before they found their way back up to his neck. “I love gore. That’s going to look wicked when it’s done.” She stuffed money in the front pocket of Damien’s jeans. “Thanks for your help today. I’m heading out.”

  He pulled a $20 bill out of his pocket. He wanted to hand it back t
o her, but she was already halfway to the door.

  Axel pulled the needle from his neck, wiped the tattoo with a paper towel and nodded in Alyssa’s direction. “Go ahead. I could use a cigarette break.”

  Damien jumped off the table and ran after her. “Alyssa, wait!”

  She spun toward him, and her long, black hair fanned in the air like the wings of a graceful bird.

  He held the money out toward her. “I don’t want this.”

  “Why not? You help me out, I throw you a few bucks at the end of the day. I know how it works.”

  “These guys take care of me, and they’re generous. I’m not taking your money.”

  She crumpled the money in his hand and pushed it back toward him. “Keep it. Buy me a drink on Saturday . . . if I decide to come to your show.”

  He smiled to himself. She could play hard to get all she wanted, but he knew she was definitely interested in him.

  Chapter Three

  Alyssa finally had a break. Her schedule had been non-stop since she started at Designs For The Flesh, and she had another day of back-to-back customers. She knew she shouldn’t complain. There were always days when she only had a sparse amount of appointments and even less walk-ins, but it was tiring. Her back hurt.

  She was grateful for the reprieve when the next appointment phoned and canceled. She adjusted the back of her chair, stretched her arms above her head and rolled her shoulder blades to work out the kinks. Hands were on her neck, kneading her tight muscles. She would have complained sooner, but it felt too good. “What are you doing?” She leaned her head back to see who possessed the magical hands that were soothing her aching muscles, and a blue mohawk stared down at her. She smiled up at Damien. “Normally, I’d tell you to get your fucking hands off me, but that feels really nice.”

  A tiny smile appeared on his lips, and he continued to work out a knot in her left shoulder. “I’ve been watching you. You’re hunched over your clients all day long.”


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