Chapter 19

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Update : I'm going to redraw Skye, because my drawing has improved in the last few years since I posted this, and upload it into one of the more recent chapters. Also, I unfortunately changed the way Skye was painted in this chapter, so it no longer matches the photo. Sorry!

N I N E T E E N

      BY THE TIME the boys were finished being painted, Dakota strongly resembled a tiger, Tyler had what looked like paint splatters all over, and Jay looked like he was on fire. They'd all just tugged off their shirts and hung them on a rack up front with a name tag stapled to it so no one else could take it.

      Not that it would take much to rip a staple off of someone's shirt.

      "Who's next?"

      I glanced up at the woman doing the paint jobs and raised a hand as an answer. "Me."

      She waved me over. "Come on up. We have clothes in the back so you can show off the paint, if you feel like changing."

      I nodded, following her as she stepped behind a thick curtain and opened a door.

      "Head right in in there and get changed. Let me know when you're ready and what you want painted."

      A quick change and twenty minutes of painting later, I couldn't believe the difference. When I'd changed, it didn't take long to find a white bandeau and a place to hang my jacket, but that wasn't what impressed me so much. It really was hard to recognize myself when the painter turned me towards a mirror.

      My entire body was covered in pinks, blues, and purples that glowed neon under the black lights. Tiny white stars littered my body and my eyes were lined with white eyeliner and mascara. It was beautiful, and if I wasn't worried about pressing somebodies boundaries, I would have told her she belongs in an art school. Her work was amazing.

      If the guys hadn't been standing around the corner waiting on me, I was sure they wouldn't have recognized me when I walked out.

      "Holy shit," Tyler said, eyes wide as he looked me over. "How come she didn't spend that much time on us?"

      "Maybe she has a preference for girls." Jay shook his head slowly, eyes glittering as he grinned. "I'm impressed. It looks amazing, Skye."

      "Thanks." I grinned myself and did a little twirl, only to show that my back looked nearly identical to the front. The paint felt a little grippy as it dried, but I didn't mind it so much. The look was worth it.

      "Almost making me regret not getting painted," Cyrus added with a smile. "I would if I knew whenever I'd get a call from Mom."

      Cyrus decided to stay paint-free for the night because of his mother. While the love-birds, Ryder, and myself were at the hospital, Cyrus and Jay were staying with his mom to keep an eye on her due to an unnerving check-up a few days ago. When we all asked how she was doing, he'd fall silent and shake his head to show he didn't want to talk about it. Despite being the big brother-therapist type, Cyrus wasn't one to talk about his own feelings when he really needed to get them off his chest.

      "Have you heard from her since you guys left?" I asked.

      Cyrus shook his head. "Not yet. I'll let you guys know if I need to leave."

      "I hope she feels better soon," I added, smiling sympathetically.

     He ran a hand through his hair. "So do I," he breathed out.

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