It was nothing like I'd expected. Okay, I'll admit, for a moment I'd expected leaking drainage pipes, arenaceous wooden crates and spider webs lining the walls. But I'd been wrong before.
The first thing I noticed was how bright and spacious it was, the ceiling stretched up two floors, with large windows near the ceiling. I had been right about the warehouse suspicion, it was huge, with a slightly industrial feeling to it, although any signs that it was a misused storage space at one point were long gone. The whole of the house, as much as I could see anyway, was painted in light colours, whites and greys. The room we had just walked into was- as far as I could tell- a sort of lounge, it had two large leather sofas and a large, flatscreen television perched on a long, low coffee table. Strange glowing lamps hung from the ceiling and walls and further off in the house, a spiral staircase curled upwards, presumably to the next floor.
I stood in the doorway for a moment, taking it in, I suddenly felt slightly embarrassed about the state of my own average little house. "Uh.. Wow" I said, taking a few more steps into the room.
"You like?" Jax asked, I turned, he was leaning against the doorframe, and his expression could only be masked as smug.
His face made me want to retort with something smart, but instead I nodded and smiled slightly, "It's... not what I expected. I mean, It's really nice." I added hurriedly. I suddenly felt awkward, standing there next to him in his house, like a child in a new school for the first time. Out of my depth. I shook it off, it was stupid to be intimidated just because of his house. I struggled for something to say, and asked the first question that came into mind, which happened to be one I'd wanted to know the answer to for a while. "What does it mean? Your tattoo I mean." He looked surprised for a second, and his hand moved almost subconsciously to the hollow at the base of his neck, where the tip of his intricate design began.
"What do you mean?" I flinched internally at the tone of his voice, it was harsh, almost angry. His eyes were guarded now, as if I'd just asked him an exceedingly personal or offensive question.
"Oh I just wondered..." I was beginning to regret asking. "It's just that people's tattoos sometimes mean things, you know, to commemorate something or someone."
Jax snorted slightly, raising one eyebrow, "Commemorate someone, now there's a thought. No. This," He traced the beginning of the mark, as if he'd done it many times before. "Is merely a... reminder, of who I am." He seemed unsatisfied with the explanation he'd just given me, and I waited for him to say more. "Some people don't always, well, choose their paths. Some are given them."
I laughed slightly, merely to lighten the mood, "I think you've lost me, you didn't choose the tattoo?"
He half smiled "Not exactly." He laughed at my quizzical expression, and the clouds cleared from his eyes, "Come on, I'll give you the grand tour." He moved forward, and for a moment I thought he was going to put his arm around me, or even embrace me, and my heart jumped slightly, but he merely moved me slightly to the side and strode into the house. He turned a few paces from the next room and beckoned to me. "Are you coming?" He turned back without waiting for an answer, and I followed him into the next room.