Myka was exactly where she wanted to be; in the library of B & B, tucked in under a blanket on one side of the couch while Helena occupied the other. It was late in the evening, almost night, and the other occupants of the house had either gone to bed or were watching movies in Pete’s room. Everything about this evening was perfect to Myka, from the crackling of the fireplace that provided a much-needed warmth against the howling wind and snowfall outside, to the faint pleasant aroma of Helena’s tea and the sound of pages being turned. And what made the evening even more complete was that Helena found it perfect too, a knowledge that comforted and excited Myka in equal measure.
Unknowingly, Myka sighed happily now and then as she turned a page or shifted position. After the fifth time or so, Helena chuckled and glanced over at her.
“If I’d known you make all these delicious sounds while reading, darling, I would have insisted upon us reading together well before now.”
Myka startled a little at the sudden sound of Helena’s voice and her cheeks coloured at the words.
“Oh…I’m sorry. I usually read alone and I don’t really think about it.” She smiled sheepishly.
Helena chuckled again, “No need to apologise. I find it most…intriguing.”
Myka looked away, her smile changing into a knowing smirk. “Oh. Okay…”
Helena studied her for a moment, contemplating Myka’s reaction before returning to her book with a smirk of her own.
Helena was perfectly aware of what she wanted and whom she wanted it with. And Myka was definitely not indifferent to her flirtations. But she was not entirely sure if the other woman was willing to explore this thing between them or if she merely enjoyed the attention. Helena had played with the thought of simply kissing her, but despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Helena had not always been successful in her attempts of seduction, especially not when it came to women. Even the ones that had reciprocated her feelings or desires had sometimes shied away from the very thought because of the unconventional nature of two women loving each other. Granted, this was a different time with a more accepting view of such things, but Helena had still opted for giving their instant attraction time to develop on its own before doing something potentially foolish.
It was proving more and more difficult, however, to stop herself from making one suggestive comment after the other, especially when it made Myka adorably flustered and sometimes even elicited a response that set fire to Helena’s body in a way she had not experienced in a very long time. Even though the two women were at once extremely comfortable and nervous around each other, a tell-tale sign if any, Helena was uncharacteristically hesitant before the thought of taking things one step further. Myka meant more to her than she was prepared to lose. And definitely more than she was ready to admit.
“Want to tell me what you’re thinking about? You haven’t turned a page for a long time.” Myka asked, interrupting Helena’s musings.
Caught, Helena cleared her throat before meeting Myka’s eyes without knowing how to respond. “I…” she trailed off.
Myka smiled at her then, a gentle smile made even more captivating by the hint of surprise in her eyes. “I have to admit it’s quite fascinating to see you out of words, Helena.” She said, a hint of teasing in her voice. “Although I love your words too.”
Helena could not stop a blush from creeping across her cheeks, while Myka froze as she realised the possible implications of what she had just said. Quickly, as if to cover her previous words, she went on to say with a laugh, “I’m sorry, your teasing ways must have rubbed off on me!” Helena had to laugh as well, because Myka was probably right. But as their laughter died down, the tension returned as Myka thoughtfully continued to say “but I hope you know I’m here for you. And you can really tell me anything.”
Helena breathed in and closed her eyes. Myka’s words were practically an invitation to voice her thoughts on this, on them. Yet she felt far from ready to do so. All her usual confidence had fled god knows where, and more than anything she felt like a young girl talking to her first crush. But she also knew that there was too much between them already to leave things unresolved. Or unexplored. And this was as good a time as any, probably better than most, so if she could just remember how to speak, she would…
Myka’s heart was racing in her chest. She knew what she was doing, what she was asking, and she thought Helena knew too. In fact, she was pretty sure Helena knew. But it was one thing for them to be aware of this something that had been there from the very beginning, and to ask about it, to talk about it. To let it come alive. Myka wanted it to come alive so badly. But she was scared of what could happen to their friendship if she was wrong or if they were wrong for each other. What they had now was something precious. Something Myka had never had before. And she would not lose it for the world. But she could not help to want more, to need more, to wish to explore that alluring place that their looks and brief touches whispered about.
Her thoughts, which had filled quite a long silence, were put to an end by Helena’s voice that abruptly reminded her of having put the decision in the hands of the other woman. And it appeared that Helena was ready to talk.
“Myka…my thoughts were of you. As I find they have been increasingly often as of late. I was thinking about how we have become such good friends in this short time, and how much that means to me.”
Myka’s smile was as bright as the dancing flames as she responded, “It means a lot to me too, Helena. In fact, it means everything. I have never had a friend like you. Someone who understands me like you do.”
Helena smiled back at her, then looked down at her hands and bit her lower lip while trying to find words to convey the other part of her thoughts. The risky part. How was it that this woman could rob her mind of coherence, and to erase familiar words from thought? But suddenly there was a hand on her cheek, and Helena could not remember why her uncharacteristic shyness was a bad thing. Myka turned her face for their eyes to meet, and as they did, Helena felt like she would drown in the depth of emotion that passed between them. And she had never been more frightened, more excited, more in awe of someone as in that moment.
When Myka clearly saw all these emotions play out on Helena’s face, she felt some of her own fear disappear and took the plunge, because it felt as natural as breathing and as impossible to resist as turning her face towards the sun.
Hand still on Helena’s cheek, Myka spoke quietly “And if I kissed you now, would you still be my friend?”
Helena breathed out shakily, lips curling upwards “Yes. Always.”
And so Myka closed the small space between them, lips connecting with Helena’s as if it was the easiest thing in the world, and in many ways it was. But none of them were prepared for the light-headedness, the impossibly rushed beating of hearts and the moans breathed into a kiss that quickly turned deeper, more sensual. Myka broke away, trying to calm her breathing for a moment through closed eyes before opening them and feeling every trace of composure fall away at the look on Helena’s face. Her eyes dark as the night, breathing shallow and audible, cheeks and chest flushed. She was the very image of desire. Myka barely got out the “God, Helena, you are so beautiful” before their lips met again, books forgotten as snow kept falling outside in a world much colder than their own.
At breakfast the next morning, Myka tried to yawn as discreetly as she could. But the attempt to hide this deviant morning behaviour was apparently futile.
“Had a rough night, Mykes?” Pete asked in a voice that sounded surprisingly alert. Well, at least relative to the incoherent grunts he usually communicated with before having eaten twice as much as everyone else.
Myka ignored the blush that refused to leave her cheeks alone and shrugged nonchalantly.
“Just fell asleep late.”
Helena, who had already counted to ten twice after Pete’s question to keep herself from saying something inappropriate, helpfully supplied, “We were both reading late into the night. I must say the couch in the little library is ever so comfy.”
Myka glared at her, and then forced her face into an innocent smile instead when she realised how the glare must look to the others. She could see the wheels turning in Pete’s head, but they were slow due to the early hour and he did not seem to connect the dots just yet. Not that she would mind if he did but…it was only last night that she and Helena had voiced their feelings for one another. Myka was not ready to talk about them with the others yet. And the way Helena had said ‘comfy’ implied a lot more than the kisses they had shared. Or, well, kisses and straying hands. Myka mentally shook her head to remove those images from her immediate focus. Maybe Helena’s comment did not sound as transparent to the others as it did to her, but the point was…Myka had sort of forgotten what the point was right now because Helena was licking a little piece of strawberry jam off her lower lip in a way that left little doubt to her knowing the effect it had on Myka.
Had she had eyes for anything else, Myka would have seen Claudia staring back and forth between her and Helena, looking simultaneously extremely satisfied and slightly shocked at their open display of obvious, obvious attraction. It had always been there to some degree, but Claudia was completely convinced that they had acted upon it now. They both looked as if they knew how the other’s lips felt like. She could not explain it in any other way. She shared a look with Leena who smirked and raised her eyebrows in acknowledgement.
“You are quite evil, you know that?” Myka was a little proud of herself. She had been working side by side with Helena all morning without doing or saying anything suggestive or remotely related to their night in the library. Helena, on the other hand, had taken a completely different approach and was touching Myka at every opportunity; a hand on an arm here, a pressing of thigh against thigh there. It was driving Myka insane. And she loved it. But she was not doing her job very well, not to her own standards at least, and that frustrated her. Adding that to the completely different kind of frustration triggered by Helena’s touch and general presence, Myka felt ready to explode by lunchtime. In more ways than one.
Helena peered at her over the report she was perusing, “I suppose I can be if the situation requires such an approach. But I sense there is a particular part of my evilness to which you are referring?” Ever so articulate, Helena somehow managed to sound as though she was casually conversing about the weather.
Myka sighed and turned around on her chair, facing the other woman. “Helena. I can’t focus properly when you are teasing me like this. And neither can you.”
Helena put the report down and stood up, rolling her shoulders to relieve the tension that had gathered there, before saying, “Ah, but you are so much fun to tease, darling.” Helena’s voice changed as she spoke, the casual inflection turning into a warm breath of words as she closed in on Myka, full of intent.
Myka’s breathing hitched but she made herself turn away and say firmly, “We have work to do.”
“We have worked all morning, have we not? I think it is near lunchtime. I would very much enjoy something to eat.”
“Helena!” Myka blushed and wondered, not for the first time, at the other woman’s boldness. It seemed that knowing her feelings were returned had stripped Helena of the few restraints she had possessed.
“Now what have I done?”
“Oh, please. You know perfectly well what you just hinted at.”
“Not at all. But I’d be happy to be enlightened.”
Myka hesitated only a second before rising to her feet, taking hold of Helena’s shoulders and pushing her backwards until the wall prevented further movement. Pressing their bodies together, she let her lips brush over the older woman’s neck before whispering into her ear, “You have feasted on other things than food in your time, haven’t you, Helena?”
Pulling away, but not before her hand had completed its stroke from Helena’s hip, up her side to briefly cup her breast, Myka watched with fascination as Helena licked her lips and looked at her with dawning realisation in dark eyes. With a jolt, Myka realised that Helena had not meant to hint at something other than food, despite the accentuation. Myka felt her cheeks burn as their eyes locked and Helena finally seemed to recover from the surprise, smirking at her with sparkling eyes.
“Ah, I see. Well, needless to say, I am most interested in trying all kinds of cuisine.” She said this with such deliberation and with such utter intent dripping from her voice that Myka felt her legs almost give away under her. This woman did things to her with words that few others had been able to even with touch. It was exhilarating. And utterly unproductive work-wise.
For once, Myka allowed herself not to care about work for a moment. Despite all the reasons not to keep this up, she moved backwards to lean casually against the desk and heard herself saying, “I’d be happy to indulge you later.” Smiling innocently, she picked up the file she had been reading before their conversation and flipped through the pages as if she had not just offered Helena everything.
For the second time in as many days, Myka had Helena at a loss for words. But this second time was completely different from the first. Where the first had been filled with insecurity, hope, and secret longing, the second burst with promise, anticipation, and desire. Seconds ticked away before Helena managed to clear her throat and get out an ever so eloquent “Oh.” Suddenly almost shy again, and with flushing cheeks, she continued, “I am very much looking forward to that.”
They lay together in the early hours of morning, arms and legs entwined, a blanket covering their cooling bodies. They were in Myka’s room; the normally meticulously kept space dishevelled by haphazardly shed clothes, the discarded bed spread, scatter cushions, and Myka’s teddy bear that Helena would have teasingly commented on had it not been for her being otherwise occupied.
Helena’s body was a wonderful mixture of softness and muscle and grace. Myka had only just begun mapping its every small detail and reaction to her touch. She would gladly continue that research indefinitely, and had a feeling that everything new she learnt would expand the puzzle that was Helena, surprising as well as realising.
Myka trailed her hand lazily over Helena’s stomach, drawing circles and other obscure patterns on smooth skin. Coming across a slightly rougher area, Myka looked down to examine the faint scar that cut across Helena’s ribs on one side.
Half asleep but still sensing the coming question, Helena mumbled, “Artefact. Ask me about it some time when you haven’t completely exhausted me, darling.”
Myka smiled and pulled the other woman closer, snuggling deeper under the blanket. This was just the beginning. She was determined to learn everything about Helena Wells, but there was no hurry. They had marked each other, figuratively, literally, and they would move forward together, facing whatever lay in their path. Overwhelmed by tenderness, Myka’s heart clenched at the sight of Helena’s relaxed face; eyelashes casting faint shadows on her cheeks, lips slightly parted, skin smoothed out as if there was nothing of worry in her entire world. This was not true of course, and Myka was sure that Helena did not always sleep like this. But for now, she pushed thoughts of darkness and loss aside and took one last look at the peaceful features of the woman in her arms before sighing happily and closing her eyes to let sleep claim her, too.
Helena’s last thought before succumbing completely to sleep was that she had never felt so safe as she did in that moment. She knew how to defend herself against attacks, physical, verbal, and otherwise, but here with Myka, she felt like they could face the very root of evil without being harmed. A foolish thought, she realised that. But an accurate description of her feeling nonetheless. And with that she drifted off into dreams that for the first time since she could remember were very similar to the waking moments she had just experienced.
~~ THE END ~