Welcome to the 415 Ink Hellion Tour! My name’s Rhys Ford and thank you for stopping by! First off, thank you to all the blogs who participated in this tour and also, a huge shout out to all of the readers who wanted to hear Ivo’s story. It was great being able to write something about the baby of the 415 Ink crew and well, he probably turned out to be the biggest surprise while writing him. So sit back, grab a bit of Ivo’s past on this tour and I hope you’re ready for his debut on Sept 17th!
Ivo, 18 • Part Two
by Rhys Ford
The woman was older, maybe in her early thirties, her Hispanic features nearly too strong to be called conventionally pretty but she wore her beauty with an easy confidence, her long black hair pushed back from her face. Fairly tall with long legs, her powerful stride carried her across the cement floor and she came to a stop in front of Ivo, raking a controlled gaze over him.
“You seem kind of young,” she said in a husky contralto. “Are you even old enough to drink?”
“You seem like a cop,” Ivo responded, keeping a smile to himself when her eyes narrowed. “And yeah, I’m licensed to tattoo and Bear would sooner cut off his own fingers then let someone who didn’t know what they were doing ink someone’s skin in his shop. As far as booze goes, less you know, the better. I can promise you I’m sober while I’m operating a tattoo machine.”
She regarded him with another cool look then nodded curtly. “Okay, fair enough. So long as you can operate that thing legally, I guess I can’t complain.”
“Actually, complain now because complaining after I put something permanent on your skin is sure as shit not going to do you any good,” he replied, this time giving in to his grin. “Come on over, have a seat and tell me what you want.”
She settled into the chair easily, looping her legs over the footrest. After rolling up her long sleeved shirt, she dug an old watch out of the pocket of her jeans, holding it up for Ivo to see. “I want a rainbow heart on my wrist but it’s got to be small enough to covered by the watch. Can you do that?”
The watch was ancient, an analog piece made of aged metal with a black dial. Its hands were long, striped with that odd luminescent paint watchmakers used to make the hands glow in the dark. It seemed to keep good time and when Ivo took it from her, he saw an inscription etched onto the back plate.
“To my dearest George from your wife, Adelaine.” He did some mental calculations on the date. “Your parents?”
“Grandparents. She gave it to him for one of their anniversaries. My brother inherited it when they died.” Her eyes glistened, then were hidden behind her long lashes. When she opened them again, any shimmer he might have seen was gone. “My parents kicked him out when they found out he told them he was gay. He told me to hold onto it. That he’d come back for it.”
“That’s fucked up.” Ivo frowned, pulling up his rolling stool with a hook of his boot into its base. “How long ago was this? You haven’t heard from him since then?”
“Twenty years ago.” Her full mouth lifted into a sardonic quirk when he looked up from examining the watch. “He was a lot older than me. I was seven. He was fifteen. I just made detective and I want something… I want to carry something of his with me. I want to wear that watch but one day, he’s going to come back for it so I’m going to need something … about him to have on me for when he does.”
The watch was large but as tattoos went, he would be able to fit maybe a quarter-sized heart beneath it. Glancing at the flash she’d chosen, Ivo knew he could do better than the plain, striped bands of primary hues. Putting the watch over her wrist, he pulled out one of his Sharpies and plucked its cap off with his teeth then drew a dotted line over where the beveled face would rest on her arm.
Something Bear said constantly dug itself out of the back of his brain, growing teeth and chewing on Ivo’s thoughts. Doesn’t matter how big a piece of ink is or what it’s about, kid, his brother would mutter at him as he inked yet another small daisy chain on a young woman’s ankle, every piece of ink means something to that person and they deserve your respect for getting it.
He got that now. Staring into the cop’s strong face, the pain of losing her brother to time and grasping at fading memories led her to walking into 415 Ink’s doors to look for something permanent to hold onto, so she would forget the young man who’d been forced out of her life. He knew how that felt, knew how that abandonment gouged down deep into a soul. The piece of flash she picked out wasn’t going to be good enough. Not for him. Certainly not for her wandering brother to find his way back to her.
“Okay, here’s the deal,” he said, handing her back her watch. “What you want is okay and I can do that in about twenty minutes and you’ll be happy with it. It’ll look nice. But I’m asking you to trust me here, because even though this thing is small, it means something to you and I want you to have something that’s… special. Let me make it a little bit bigger. It’ll still be tucked under the watch but if I can do just a little bit more, I can blend the colours so it looks like a real rainbow and maybe even emboss it, so it looks like a piece of jewelry on your skin. How does that sound?”
Her smile was bright, nearly as brilliant as the colours he intended to use on her silken gold skin. Nodding, she leaned back and plopped her arm on the rest, wrist side up for him. “That sounds fantastic. I’m in.”
“Awesome. Let me just get my inks ready and we can get started.” He stood up then stopped, holding his hand out to her. “Sorry. Fuck. I didn’t get your name. I’m Ivo and you are going to be my first official tattoo.”
“I’m Dell,” she said, giving him a firm handshake. “And I can’t wait for you to get started.”
From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knows the tattoo artist is going to bring chaos to his neat, orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand, he’s not even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky, and arrogant, and Ruan wants no part of him.
Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.
For Ivo Rogers, life revolves around two things—his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care, but their brotherhood is tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he falls apart.
Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on how a man looks and acts. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have, but their clashing perspectives threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood, yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.
About Rhys Ford
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is also a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, a grey tuxedo with a flower on her face, Badger, a disgruntled alley cat who isn’t sure living inside is a step up the social ladder as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Rhys has graciously offered up a $20 Amazon Gift Card!!! The giveaway starts now and ends September 19th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
Don’t forget to check out Nikyta’s review of Hellion to see what she thought of it!