Charlotte had fond memories of the hotel room. The wall next to the door (pressing her shoulders against the wall and stood on her toes as Helen's lips traveled in an arc from one hip, passing over her belly, to the other hip, and then a soft breath through her pubic hair, and then...) and the edge of the bed (watching Helen's fists tighten in the sheets as Charlotte pushed her knees further apart and stroked her inner thighs). Twenty-four hours ago, her life had been odd, but still recognizable as her life. Eighteen hours ago, she had been held hostage by the freaking X-Men. And now...
Now the shower was shutting off. Charlotte sat on the edge of the bed, dressed in a pair of black trousers and a button-down shirt. She was barefoot, and her hair was just about dry from her own shower. She was tense. She wanted to know what the next step was, and she was just as scared to hear the answer. The whole thing had felt like a James Bond movie. And, sure, James Bond went to bed with the hottie who helped him save the day, but then it faded to black and then Miss Finger Maiphagyna (or whatever the hell name they gave her) was never heard from again.
Helen came out of the bathroom naked, beads of water glistening on her skin as she dried her hair with a towel. Charlotte's mouth went dry. Helen dropped the towel and smiled. "Hello." She noticed Charlotte's clothes and her smile dimmed a fraction. "Ready to go, then?"
"I probably should. We didn't exactly talk about what was going to happen at this point."
"Afraid of the answer, I suppose."
Charlotte nodded. "Yeah. Wait... you were afraid?"
"Well, of course. I hardly expect you to become a part of my life."
Charlotte stood up and took Helen's hands. "And I have no idea why you'd want me there. I mean, my God, I can't compare to that."
Helen shook her head. "No, you're... these past few hours with you have been the freest I've experienced in a very, very long time. You see me as... new."
"Well, you are new. To me, anyway."
"That's not what I meant." Helen's voice was soft. "To everyone else, I'm a name and an idea. To you, I'm just a woman. Someone to be desired, wooed, seduced." She stroked Charlotte's hair and stole a kiss, much like the first kiss Charlotte had stolen from her. "When you look at me, for the first time in over two centuries, I feel like a person."
"You're a beautiful person." Charlotte kissed the corners of Helen's mouth.
Helen's hands dropped to the collar of Charlotte's shirt. "I wish you didn't have to go..."
Charlotte began plotting ways to change her plans, ways that she could remain on the island for another hour, or two. Or maybe a whole day. She touched Helen's bare breasts and wondered about buying real estate.
"But you should."
Charlotte nodded; she'd seen it coming but it still hurt. "Leave them wanting more, right?"
"Precisely. This way I know I won't be able to stop myself from hunting you down. If you want me to, of course."
"Yes. Yes, I... yes." She kissed Helen properly. She leaned into Helen's embrace, knowing that her clothes were getting wet but not caring. Helen broke the kiss and brushed her lips over Charlotte's cheek.
"You must go now, or I shall never let you leave."
"How will we find each other?"
Helen smiled and nodded toward the bed. "Contact information is in your phone. I took the liberty while you were in the shower."
"Ahh. Naughty girl." She kissed Helen again and moaned. "Push me away."
Helen laughed and shoved Charlotte's shoulders. Charlotte stumbled, took a breath, and nodded her thanks. She picked up her bag, checked her phone to make sure Helen's information was really there, and then looked at Helen. The light was coming in through the balcony doors, giving her a halo. Bandages covered the wounds on Helen's arms and legs, and there were discolored bruises along her hip and down her back. Somehow the damage made her even more beautiful.
"I almost didn't kiss you, you know. I went back and forth about it. But I figured if you could be brave enough to take down superpowered criminals..." She adjusted her grip on the suitcase. "I think it was the bravest thing I've ever done. I'm glad I didn't chicken out."
"As am I. Good-by--" She stopped herself and smiled. "I'll see you again very soon, Charlotte."
Charlotte nodded and blew Helen a kiss because she knew she'd never leave if she got close enough to actually kiss her goodbye. She turned and left the hotel room, moving quickly. If she kept her feet moving in one direction, it would be difficult for her to change direction at a whim. She had to put as much distance as possible between her and Helen if she really wanted to get off the island.
Yes, the past twenty-four hours had been a James Bond movie. But Helen wasn't James Bond. She hardly seemed like the love-'em-and-leave-'em type. Besides, there was something besides explosions, villains, guns and gadgets that all James Bond movies had in common.
There was always a sequel.