“Myka?” Helena said as the woman currently holding her attention crouched down next to the stone chess board, looking for another way to open the portal. “I’m sorry.”
Myka glanced up at Helena, a confused look on her face. “About what?”
Helena looked away, pushing her raven hair behind her ear as she sighed. “You should have destroyed the Janus Coin the minute you found it, then I wouldn’t have caused all this.”
Myka deliberately didn’t look at the other woman as she placed fallen chess pieces on the table top. “I wish that you would stop doing that,” she said stoically.
“Doing what?” Helena inquired.
Myka huffed slightly and finally returned her gaze to the Victorian author. “You’re not the bad guy, okay?” she insisted. “I believed in you, and I was right. So get off your cross and help me figure this out.”
Helena held in her chuckle of delight, but couldn’t hide her smile. “Righty ho, then,” she said. “Old times. Wells and Bering. Solving puzzles, saving the day.”
Myka popped her head up as she remained crouched beside the table. “Bering and Wells,” she corrected with a smile. Helena just shook her head slightly as she grinned. She’d missed this the most, her easy banter with the other woman she’d come to greatly care for.
Myka sighed and stood, hands on her hips as studied the now solid wall once again. “We need to get this portal opened again,” she muttered more to herself than to Helena. There had to be a way.
“I think,” Helena started slowly, pausing to look up at Myka. “I think we have to recreate the opening of the chess lock.”
Myka looked back at the chessboard, startled to notice that the pieces were all back to where they’d originally started. She saw Helena chew her bottom lip slightly. “Helena, no,” she said just before the woman leaned back in the chair she still occupied. As they both predicted, the neck cuff instantly closed around Helena’s neck, holding her captive.
Myka gasped. The sight of Helena held hostage by the chess lock knocked the wind out of her and she struggled to breathe. “Helena, what did you do?” she asked in a whisper.
Helena focused her eyes on Myka. “We know how to unlock it now,” she said. “I just hope it still works the second time.” She reached out in front of her and, with a surprisingly steady hand, gripped one of her pawns. She moved it quickly to the space that the king sat, an illegal move in any other chess match. She knocked the king over with a bit more force than was completely necessary. Myka held her breath, half expecting the lethal device to claim Helena’s life as it had Tyler’s.
“Checkmate,” Helena said in a clear voice. One second, nothing. Two seconds, nothing. Three seconds, nothing.
“Helena,” Myka started, but was cut off by a familiar rumbling. She looked over to the once solid with and laughed with relief as she saw it once again turning a translucent orange. She heard the clinking of the neck cuff opening, and she dashed to Helena’s side, pulling her out of the blasted contraption.
“What the hell were you thinking?!” she half yelled, half cried at the Victorian woman. “You had no idea if it would work a second time!”
Helena looked taken aback, but quickly realized what had the agent so upset. It was no secret. Unspoken? Yes. But secret? No. Helena was no idiot. She could see how much Myka cared for her. And she returned those feelings. She hadn’t acted upon her feelings before Yellowstone because, well, she couldn’t do that to her… She couldn’t act on those impulses and then… well, you know. That would have been a whole new level of betrayal that even she, notorious HG Wells, couldn’t do. So she’d purposely ignored Myka’s not-so-subtle looks of longing and had tried to keep her hands to herself as much as possible. Which wasn’t easy when you were within a hundred meters of one Agent Myka Bering. No, it had been damn near impossible.
But now things were different. Helena wasn’t so naive as to think that when--if--this ended, she’d be suddenly reinstated as an agent. No, she was fairly certain that she’d still be sent back to her limbo prison. But at least now there would be no betraying of the woman she loved. Yes, loved. How could she not love her?
Helena felt Myka start to move past her towards the now opened portal to the warehouse, but she grabbed her arm through her leather jacket, effectively stopping her. They’d already been standing pretty close, but Helena stepped even closer. She reached one hand up to cup Myka’s soft cheek as she carefully studied the other woman, gauging her reaction to her touch. In that moment, there was no fear, no anxiety, no resistance. Just… anticipation.
Helena leaned in slightly, not wanting to startle Myka in any way. She nearly groaned in pleasure when Myka’s lips parted and she swept her tongue over her bottom lip. They both moved forward at the same time, their noses brushing together for a moment before Helena finally closed the distance between them, pressing her lips against the soft lips of the headstrong agent.
Myka, even though she’d known what was coming, gasped slightly, then whimpered slightly as she felt Helena’s lips move over hers. The kiss was soft at first, tentative in a way first kisses often are. Helena pulled back after a moment and studied Myka once again, looking for regret. She found none.
Myka swallowed the lump in her throat as she leaned forward again, recapturing Helena’s lips. She cupped a hand around the back of Helena’s neck, holding her in place as her fingers tunneled through the unbelievably soft strands of hair flowing over her hand.
Helena’s own hands found their way to Myka’s waist, pulling her even closer still until their fronts met from breast to knee. Myka gasped again at the feel of the slightly smaller woman pressed against her, and Helena took the opportunity to tangle her tongue with Myka’s, exploring the soft heat of her mouth.
The world around them disappeared. In that moment, there was nothing but the two of them--no warehouse under attack, no Walter Sykes, no ancient regent sanctum. There was no fear, no danger. There was only hope. And love. (And, admittedly, lust.)
It was Myka, ever the logical thinker, who pulled away first and remembered their situation. She glanced at the now opened portal, then back at Helena. She brushed her lips once more across the shorter woman’s. “I hate to, um, be the one to stop this…” she trailed off, distracted by Helena’s lips.
Helena grinned. “Pete and the others may need our help,” she supplied.
Myka cleared her throat and stepped back, straightening her jacket. “Right, yes, Pete and the others. The warehouse. We should, ah… go now.”
Helena grinned at Myka’s flustered appearance, then remembered what was at stake. She, too, straightened her clothes. She stepped forwards, towards the portal.
“Helena,” Myka’s voice stopped her. She turned back to look at the suddenly bashful-looking agent. “Helena, I…” she stopped herself.
“You what, darling?”
Myka chewed on her bottom lip, then shook her head. “Nothing,” she said. “Let’s go help them.” She walked through the portal, Helena right behind her. She couldn’t believe herself. The warehouse was in danger--her partner and coworkers were in danger!--and she’d been making out with Helena like a horny teenager. And then she’d almost blurted out that she loved her! Damn, talk about bad timing.
Myka shook her head and refocused her attention to the mission at hand. They needed to find Pete and the others. Now.
Little did Myka know, she would later regret not saying those words that she’d held back as she watched the woman she loved sacrifice herself to save them all… no, to save Myka. The woman she loved.