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Mar 04 - 02:47:20
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Processing Started by: Amira on Oct 29, '23 13:27

"Hey, look, I don't know about this, boss...."

Despite the reluctance in his voice and the clear uncertainty on his face, Jimmy Jefferson pulled open the door to the Black Orchid Tattoo Parlor as Amira headed inside. After all, he'd been working for her long enough now to know that she'd probably just walk right through the glass anyway if he hadn't. Quickstepping, he caught back up to her. Before he could say anything more, she halted her pace and turned to look at her guard. 

"Alright, Jimmy, out with it. What is it? Do you have concerns about the security of the establishment? I had a team do a sweep yesterday. This appointment was made more than 24 hours ago and I am fairly certain Paul came here himself and subjected the entire staff to everything but a cavity search."

Jimmy Jefferson was a man who stood six-feet, three-inches tall. He was in his late thirties, and had a wife and two young boys. He was, for all intents and purposes, a man's man; used to calling the shots around his house. Having been assigned to a principle such as this- a woman with much more "liberated" ideals than his own- was taking Jimmy some time to get used to. 

He uneasily rubbed the back of his neck. 

"It's just that...well, it ain't something you see a lady doing that much, you know?" 

Amira's eyebrows went up a bit with that. 

"Ah, and you are worried that my getting a tattoo is going to ruin my precious, unspoiled womanly virtue?"

Jimmy's eyes went wide for a second and he shook his head. 

"No no, Jesus, that ain't my business. I just mean...I'm kinda worried about Mr. Tyki_Mikk kicking my ass, see?"

Looking the man directly in the eyes, Amira shot back. 

"On the contrary, Jimmy, if I were you I would be more concerned about Tyki kicking your ass for thinking it was at all his decision and not mine. Now, I suggest you go and wait in the car with Spencer before I kick your ass myself."

It was rare that Jimmy Jefferson found himself cowed by someone who barely reached his elbow, but Amira had done it. He returned to the car, trying to decide what to tell Spencer to avoid being ridiculed. 

Inside, Amira had a brief but pleasant conversation with the artist whom she was seeing that day. The concept she had in mind was simple, and she had planned on leaving the artistry up to him completely. A most generous pre-payment had assured that she would be the only customer during that time slot, so she felt no apprehension in removing her suit jacket, unbuttoning and pulling away her blouse, and then lying on her stomach on the table before unhooking her brasserie. She was appreciative to see that the tattoo artist was busying himself with preparations rather than taking advantage of a free show. 

Finally, the machine began its loud, mechanical buzzing. Amira took a deep breath and set her jaw, reminding herself why she was getting this done. 

"Be brave. Be fearless. Have strength, and have courage."

Closing her eyes, she felt the strange sensation of the needles digging into her skin. For just a moment, there was a sudden panic as her body released a flood of adrenaline. But as her mind caught up and she focused on the immediate present, she realized there wasn't any real pain at all. She'd had sunburns in the summer that hurt more than this. 

With that settled, Amira let her mind wander. Jimmy probably wouldn't work out. At least Paul's concern had been somewhat more sensible. She had been through a lot lately; and sure, a tattoo "seemed" like a drastic thing- especially for a woman. But once the idea had come to her, it made so much sense in her mind and heart that there was no changing her mind at all. Her parents had died trying to make a dark world better for her. Yael had died trying to make a dark world richer for himself. Corrado had died in her place, having shown her strength she didn't know she had. Tyki_Mikk had given her purpose, and in turn she was determined to become invaluable to him and The Firm. A source of fierce power and strength.

And as for her "virtue," Amira chuckled to herself sardonically, who else was going to see the tattoo at this point anyway? 
----------
Five and a half hours later, Amira stood with her back to a mirror, holding her blouse over her chest and looking backwards over her shoulder. The entire right side of her back was now covered in endless shades of blacks and greys from just below the top of her shoulder to the small of her back. The image now inked into her skin was that of a majestically maned lion. Its eyes looked directly forward with a wild intensity, and its teeth were bared in the start of a thundering roar. A symbol of strength and courage, and at the same time, a symbol of the warriors of her own people. Amira smiled. It really was perfect.

Once re-dressed, Amira tipped the artist handsomely and stepped out to the street. Spencer, her driver, flicked a cigarette butt to the ground and pushed himself off the car to open the door for his approaching employer. 

"You look...better?" 

Amira took the compliment with a soft smile and glanced around briefly. 

"Where's Jimmy?" 

"He's in the chase car with the boys. Said he's got to take off early today. Something about his kid's baseball game."

"Fine. Let's go."

The cars moved off toward the Firm Headquarters building. Amira was going over some notes when Spencer's head popped up and peered at her from the rear-view mirror. 

"Wait, Jimmy's kids are two...."

After a moments pause, Amira smirked to herself, then returned to her notes. 

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