The Ninja Tattoo was my NaNoWriMo novel in 2009 and I went on to publish it with Tirgearr Publishing in 2013. It is the first in my, loosely grouped, Florida series: The Ninja Tattoo, Conduct Unbecoming, Call Me and Mirrored. Teague meets Vivica by chance—he runs into her with a door as he backs out of the Dunkin’ Donuts. Despite the inauspicious beginning, they fall hard and fast for one another. However, problems arise and Teague decides it’s prudent to head out of town with Vivica, in order to keep her safe.
Vivica and Teague drove silently out of town. He was planning, she could tell his mind was working out how to hide them both and protect her. With decision, he made the turn west on Canal Street, heading to I-95.
“Where are we going?” Vivica asked after he turned north on the interstate.
“About an hour away, a small place called Volusia.”
“We’re in Volusia.”
“We’re in Volusia County. I’m talking about the spot on the road outside Astor. Ain’t much of a place, but it’s mighty handy if you want to go camping.”
“Camping?” Vivica said with alarm. “Seriously?”
“Ocala National Forest is up there,” he said with finality. “And I can get us good and lost in the woods.”
“I don’t want to get lost in the woods,” Vivica said.
“I don’t mean lost, lost,” he explained. “I mean like not found.”
“Can we at least have a cabin?” Vivica didn’t look pleased about roughing it.
“It ain’t campin’ if you’ve got a cabin,” Teague said, letting his Southern accent flavor the words. “But maybe we can borrow the camper and hook it up. Depends on how lost we wanna get. Good and lost means a tent in the middle of BFE.”
“Maybe now is a good time to tell you I’ve never been lost in the woods before and my idea of camping is spending the night on someone’s couch.”
“There’s an advantage to camping in the deep woods.” He raised an eyebrow, grinning at her.
“Oh? Snakes in my sleeping bag and scorpions in my shoes?”
“You’re looking at the downside.”
“There’s an upside?”
“Sure! You can scream all you want during sex—ain’t nobody gonna complain.”
She punched his shoulder, laughing. “Okay, so there’s a little upside.”
“I’m thinkin’ that’s a damn good one. Mm, sex in a tent. Haven’t done that in quite awhile.”
“I don’t even want to know,” Vivica said with a shiver of delight.
“Don’t want to know what?”
“Country girls can be mighty obliging.”
He looked smug. She punched him again.
Vivica eventually curled up, putting her head on Teague’s shoulder and fell asleep. He held her close, the scent of her perfume tickling his nostrils. Thoughts of her body wrapped around his made him a little crazy and he couldn’t wait to get her to the cabin so they could make love again. He couldn’t resist kissing her forehead, wanting to do much more, but not wanting to wake her.
He took State Road 40, pulling off onto a narrow, poorly paved road that quickly changed to dirt. They bounced around quite a bit on the rutted track. Vivica roused when her pillow moved, yawning and stretching.
“We there yet?”
“Almost, sweet darlin’. About 10 more minutes. You okay?”
“I need to pee.”
“No place to go unless you fancy a bush. Don’t worry, Uncle Tack has indoor plumbing.”
They pulled up a short time later, in front of a huge, custom designed cabin. The sprawling edifice had a warm and welcoming aspect making Vivica feel at home and safe. Teague got out first, walking toward the house with his hands out, away from his body.
“Be right back. Don’t get out until I tell you.”
“Why? What are you doing?”
“If you lived out in the middle of fucking nowhere, would you be expecting guests at this hour?”
“No, I suppose not.”
The door opened disgorging six hunting dogs. Behind them, the tip of an over & under shotgun emerged. At first, Vivica thought the shotgun was held at waist level, until a man walked out. The gun was jammed to his shoulder, he held it leveled at Teague.
© Dellani Oakes 2015