Pieces (Riverdale #1), страница 1
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2014 by Janine Infante Bosco
Excerpt for Broken Pieces
Janine Infante Bosco
Jake Lanza, loved the sound of a needle buzzing against skin. He loved watching something he created,
take life on someone else. He had always had a flair for sketching, it was a favorite past time of his. He would spend hours locked in his room as a teenager, just shading his latest sketch; that was his favorite part. He could still remember his seventh grade art teacher, explaining how the light casts from one angle, and to follow that angle with your pencil. The curves become rounder, the lines more defined.
When he realized he didn’t want to be a starving artist, he decided to play around with the concept of tattooing. What drew him into it was the sentiment of it. People buy paintings they hang them up on the wall, and then when they change the room, and slap some new colorful coat of paint on those same walls, out goes the painting. A tattoo is a forever kind of thing. Usually when someone wants a tattoo, it’s for a reason, a sentiment, and it means something to them. Jake could honestly say that each one of his own tattoos had a meaning and a purpose. That’s why he loved what he did, he loved being the guy that gave you the tribute to your mother, that marked your skin with your firstborn’s handprint, and when you thought you were losing your faith, Jake was the one that restored the reminder.
Riverdale Ink was Jake’s pride and joy, it was his baby. He had opened it five years ago, after his mother told him; she wasn’t too keen on him giving tattoos in her basement. He had to admit, that, it was getting a little out of hand. He had a nice size cliental and couldn’t really be the success he strived to be working out of his mother’s basement. After sharing his vision with his dad, Joe Lanza had helped set him up with the tattoo parlor. Since the day it opened, Jake had made it his goal to be a success.
Framed photos lined the walls, showcasing all of the art he had marked along the years, as well as his fellow tattoo artists. There were two oversized black leather couches in the waiting area, accompanied by a sixty inch flat screen. He had a Bose system installed and filtered music through the whole parlor. After a year, he had to expand and hire a few other tattooists, even someone who did piercings. Riverdale Ink had six cubicles for privacy when one was getting their tattoo. He had a small room in the back, a station for piercing. It was everything he wanted it to be.
He finished the outline he was working on and paused, carefully holding the needle back, to absorb his work. The man he was working on was a soldier, just back from Afghanistan. He was marking his fallen brothers along his chest. Jake had just finished the soldier, who was kneeling around the flames, a lone tear, falling down his face. He had spent the entire week designing it, he wanted each detail perfect. His hand steady, he began to move the needle back over the skin, accentuating the teardrop, more precisely. Once it was exactly how he wanted it, he pushed his stool back and smiled at the soldier.
“There. Take a look.” He said to him, putting the needle down and grabbing a mirror for the soldier. He crossed his arms against his chest, his tattoos fully exposed, as he watched the man stare at his reflection. The moment of truth, every time it came down the unveiling, Jake held his breath for a moment.
The soldier glanced at Jake through the mirror, “Jake, it’s perfect. You hit the nail right on the head.” Emotion etched along the soldiers face as his eyes averted back to the tattoo.
“Glad, you like it. I scheduled you for the same time tomorrow to shade it in.” Jake said, as he patted the soldier on the back. “Once it’s colored in, it’ll be even more realistic.” He started covering the tattoo with A& D ointment and placed a gauze pad over it; taping the edges with surgical tape. “Take the bandage off in a couple of hours, and let it breathe.”
The soldier shrugged his shirt on and shook Jakes hand, bringing him against his chest. “Thanks Man, I love it.”
Jake grinned. “That’s what I like to hear.” Once the soldier had headed out of the parlor, Jake began to clean up his station. He glanced at the large clock that hung on the wall. He had an hour to kill before his brother, Luke picked him up. When Luke had asked him to take a ride with him to pick up his best friend, Jake jumped at the chance. Nick Foti had left Riverdale six years ago, when he moved to Seattle to work for his father. It had taken them all for a loop, because right before he left, he was supposed to go into business with Luke in a collision shop. Not to mention Jake would’ve bet his last dollar, that Nick had something going on with their little sister, Sam.
Nick may have been Luke’s best friend, but he and Jake were really close, as well. After Luke’s girlfriend left him to raise their infant daughter, he had been tied up in a shitload of responsibilities. Luke had found himself raising a baby and trying to make a career for himself all at the ripe age of twenty five. He assumed his responsibilities, and never once complained. Nick had been there a lot for Jake, taking the role of big brother in many ways. Jake was wild and out of control, and any jam he had gotten himself into, Nick was there for him. Jake loved Nick, just like he loved his brother, and was thrilled that the son of a bitch was coming home, and from the looks of it, it would be a permanent thing too.
The door chimes sounded, and Jake glanced up to see who it was, he didn’t have time for a walk in, and he’d have to have one of the guys do it. The person, who walked into Riverdale Ink, wasn’t looking for ink, she was looking for him, and when her eyes found his a grin spread across her beautiful face. Cara Sloane, was Jake’s best friend since they were sixteen years old, there wasn’t anything she didn’t know about him, or he about her. He often thought about the first time he met her; he almost didn’t go to the movies that night. A bunch of friends were going to the movies, and asked him to come with them. They were the only two out of the bunch that weren’t coupled up, and so the two singletons sat together and shared a tub of popcorn making fun of their friends that were all in relationships that no doubt would be over by the end of next week. They had hit it off right then and there and when the relationships ended, they were still standing. He couldn’t picture life without her, and never wanted to. For that reason alone, he never tried anything with her. Everyone always got on their cases, no one understood why they weren’t a couple, hell half the time he questioned why they weren’t. It always came down to, that she was too important to him, to test those waters.
Cara was beautiful, with auburn hair just above her shoulders, wavy and framing her face. She had the prettiest eyes, he ever saw, he figured they were hazel, because usually they were brown, but there were times they were green, like when she drank too much. She usually didn’t wear lipstick or that shiny, sticky crap, but today she had some on, because her full lips were a plum color. Best friend or not, he was a man, and he noticed her body, he noticed her body a lot.
She leaned over and pressed her pretty plum colored lips to his cheek, before running her finger over the mark her lipstick had left behind. “Now that should be your next tattoo.” She winked and rubbed it off with her thumb.
“Right; your lips on my cheek, how would I explain that one?” He said smiling at her, though he did kind of like the idea.
“Who cares?” Her eyes twinkling as she teased him, “We’ve explained a hell of a lot more. You know, our anniversary is coming up.”
Jake chuckled, swiping a hand down his face, remembering. When they were twenty three, they had pulled the ultimate April Fools prank on their friends and Jake’s parents. They had gone out the night before, and when the clock struck midnight, and it was officially April first, Jake got down on one knee in the middle of the bar and proposed to her. They had gone the week before to Canal Street, in Manhattan, to buy a fake engagement ring. His sister had called his parents from the bar and told them, when they got home his mother had called the entire family at five o clock in the morning to tell them he was engaged. Needless to say, when the jig was up, Jake had caught all sorts of heat from Deb and Joe. Still, it was one of his and Cara’s favorite memories, and every year she wished him a happy anniversary.
“This has got to be the longest running engagement, ever! I say this year we tell them we got hitched!” Jake said half kidding, half wondering if they could pull it off.
“No way, your mother would hate me forever.” Cara said as she tucked one of her curls behind her ear, revealing the last tattoo Jake had done for her. Right behind her ear there was a Chinese symbol of faith. “I didn’t come here to plan our next prank, although you’re already giving me ideas. I’ve got a couple of hours before I’m due at the bar, and wanted to know if you wanted to take a ride on that new bike of yours.”
Jake wanted nothing more at that moment, to jump on the Harley he had just bought, but then it dawned on him that Luke would be here any minute to pick him up for the airport. “I can’t today. Luke’s coming to get me; we’re going to pick up Nick from the airport.”
“Oh shit I forgot that he would be coming home today. Luke must be thrilled.” Then her eyes widened, “How is Sam taking it?”
“Oh, you know her, she’s parading around like it’s nothing and meanwhile she’s probably tracking his flight as we speak.” He laughed picturing his sister in front of a computer constantly checking to see if his plane landed. God, he couldn’t wait to tease her.
“Should be interesting to see how this all pans out.” She knew just as well as Jake, that the shit would finally hit the fan between Nick and Sam.
A horn honked outside, and they both saw Luke’s truck parked in front of the shop. “He’s here.” He turned to look at Cara. “I’ll catch you later. I’ll come by the bar, save my seat okay?” He shrugged his leather jacket on and leaned forward, pressing a friendly kiss to her cheek.
“You got it.” She looked up at him and smiled at him.
He hesitated for a moment, caught up in those eyes. “Maybe we will figure out where I can tattoo those lips.” He winked and with that turned and strolled out of the tattoo parlor.
Jake felt Luke staring at him as they sat, waiting for Nick’s plane to arrive. He turned and looked at his brother with an innocent smile. “What? Did you want some?” He said crumbling up the empty bag of nuts. Luke laughed to himself. Since they had arrived at the airport, Jake had been raiding the duty free shop, he had already gone through two bags of snacks, three magazines, and as his leg twitched he knew he was ready to go another round. Instead, he pulled out an electric cigarette from one of his plastic bags from the shop.
“How much longer you think we’re going to be in this shit hole? I’m having a Nicotine fit.” He said as he took the e-cigg and started to puff on it, the little blue light came alive and he exhaled some smoke. He immediately began to cough after the first pull. “This shit’s for the birds.”
Luke glanced down at his watch, “It shouldn’t be much longer.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that six times since we’ve been here. I’m running out of snacks.” Jake said, rummaging through his bag, pulling out a snickers bar. He took another puff of the electric cigarette as he unwrapped, the candy bar.
“You know, Ava has more patience than you.” Luke said, comparing his twenty eight year old brother to his six year old daughter.
“Well, she would, after all she’s your daughter.” He said, biting into the candy bar. “Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected.” He wiggled his eyebrows as he taunted him. “You remind me of Danny Tanner, from Full House. I could completely be an Uncle Jesse type. I should start a band, going to put it on my list of things to do.”
Luke rolled his eyes, “You do that. Let me know how it works out for you.” He silently prayed to God, that the plane wouldn’t have to taxi around the airport, delaying this process any longer.
“We should’ve brought Sam along for shits and giggles.” Jake said as a grin spread across his face.
“You’re one sick puppy, you know that, right?” Luke asked his brother, watching as he rolled his eyes and nudged him with his elbow, the stupid electric cigarette, dangling, from the corner of his mouth.
“Oh come on, it’s all gravy. I can’t wait to see her face when she sees Mr. Fancy Pants. I should send her a video of him coming out of the terminal, get the ball rolling.” He said so enthusiastically, like he had just come up with the greatest idea of his life. Luke looked at his watch again and scowled. “I may have to close the shop down a couple of days this week to make sure I don’t miss anything.” He said, pondering the idea.
It frightened Luke, because his brother wasn’t kidding. “You know, it would just be a headache for both of us if those two got involved.” He brushed a piece of lint off his pants.
“I rather see Sam wind up with someone we know will take good care of her, then some random asshole.” Jake smiled, satisfied with himself. He had shut his brother up real quick with that comment. Sometimes Jake came out with something that made sense, and when it did, it made anyone listening second guess their way of thinking. “Besides, the last guy she dated, Mr. Twitch-A-Lot, really made me crazy. Ever try having a conversation with him? His eye twitched so much, once I begged him to close his eyes when he talked to me, the eyelids twitched still! Imagine that?”
Luke rubbed his face tiredly. Jake had a nickname for everyone under the sun and it was always followed a Mr. or Mrs.
“Hey, don’t look now, but here’s Mr. Suit and Tie now, sans suit and tie though.” Jake said and stood up. He looked half perplex and half happy to see their friend, confused by his attire. Nick Foti was a broad guy, over six feet tall and shoulders like a linebacker. The thermal he wore stretched across those shoulders, molding to the ridges of his chest. Son of a bitch worked out while it rained in Seattle, figured Jake. His brown hair a little longer, since the last time he saw him, brushed back, the ends curling slightly behind his ears. He looked very GQ, but in a rugged way.
“I thought he was Mr. Fancy Pants.” Luke said, rising to his feet as well, preparing to greet his friend.
“Fuck. By the time we get him settled, I’m sure I’ll have a dozen or so names for this jackass. Nick! My, man!” He grabbed him in a brotherly hug. “Looking good asshole, where’s your three piece button down?”
A large grin spread across Nick’s face. “I hung that shit up, brother.” And by the looks of it, he couldn’t have been happier. He looked at Luke, for a moment before grabbing him into a hug. “It’
“Same here, man.” Luke said as he hugged his best friend. Jake smiled, watching the exchange. He couldn’t imagine not having Cara around for six years, he was happy his brother got his side kick back.
The friends pulled apart and Jake picked up one of Nick’s suitcases. “Well, why the fuck, are we still standing here? Let’s welcome this bastard home right.” Jake wiggled his eyebrows at them, a plan formulating in his head.
Nick and Luke exchanged a look, knowing that Jake was a little unconventional, and feared what he had in mind. Jake caught the knowing look between the two of them and rolled his eyes. “Oh, don’t look at me like that. I meant let’s go to Rudy’s!”
“Of course you did.” Luke nudged Nick, and whispered. “Cara’s probably working.”
Nick turned his attention to Jake, “You still sitting on that?” He shook his head. “By now I thought you’d be engaged for real.”
Jake started to walk away from them, ignoring Nick. Then he glanced over his shoulder and saw that they were just watching him. “Are you two assholes coming or not?”
Rudy’s Bar and Grille was pretty packed, not that Cara minded, more money in her pocket. She had been working here for years, she had started off as a hostess, and then when she was able to get her bartenders license Rudy gave her full run of the bar. Riverdale was a small upstate town, with not many bars, and Rudy’s was a popular hangout. Cara knew most of the people that paraded in out of the bar, and for some reason they all loved to spill their hearts out to her. She could tell you anything and everything that went on in this town, just by her profession.
She placed two long neck beer bottles in front of two of her regulars and winked at them. She knew when to flirt and when to back off, she just wanted her customers to be happy, but not at her own expense. So she would tease the men and treat the women like they were her oldest girlfriends. She ran a rag down the other end of the bar, cleaning up after a few customers that left the bar to play pool. She shoved the tips into her back pocket and looked up when someone sat down in the empty chair.