Jenna lets out a groan as her eyes flutter open. The morning sun streams through the still closed curtains and bathes the bedroom in colors of orange and yellow. It takes a second for Jenna’s groggy mind to realize that the warm, naked mass that she’s tangled up with is her girlfriend, Karen. Jenna forgets how long they fucked last night, only that her body feels like she ran a five thousand mile run. The subtle smell of strawberries confirms her memory of being so exhausted that as soon as Karen uncuffed her, she immediately threw her arms around her girlfriend and buried herself into her auburn hair.
With a content sigh, Jenna moves around and carefully rests her head on Karen’s chest in an effort to not wake her up. But looking up, Jenna realizes she’s already been beaten. She’s met with Karen’s face, who’s smile grows even wider once they make eye contact.
“Morning, sleepyhead.” Karen brushes aside a loose strand of hair in Jenna’s face and tucks it behind her ear before kissing her forehead. “Hope you slept well after the night we had!”
Jenna bites her lip and is suddenly reminded of the soreness in her legs. She knows firsthand just how… efficient Karen is in using toys and making her cum. But last night was something completely different from anything else they’ve done, and Jenna will never underestimate her girlfriend’s ability to fuck her with a strap-on. In fact, she’s glad Karen had the foresight to cover their bed in towels before they started. Otherwise, they would both be spending the day at the mall buying new sheets.
“Heh… yeah…” Jenna smiles shyly as she looks up at her beaming girlfriend. “You were amazing last night.”
“Don’t worry pumpkin, you told me all about how amazing I made you feel last night when you were tied up nice and tight on our bed. And you sure showed it, too!”
Jenna’s cheeks turn scarlet, and she opts to hide her embarrassment by burying her face into her girlfriend’s neck. Apparently getting the reaction she wanted, Karen laughs softly and kisses the top of Jenna’s head, nestling her closer. With their legs tangled together and their bodies pressed up as close as they can physically be, an overwhelming sense of safety and love overtakes Jenna. No feeling in the world comes close to what Jenna feels with Karen, and her heart still does backflips every time she realizes that her girlfriend loves her the same way she does. Despite being in a relationship for years now, little things still make Jenna’s heart flutter. Like when Karen leaves little notes in her lunch, or when she sometimes playfully spanks her in the bathroom in the morning and she calls Jenna her little hero.
She never wants to find out what a world without Karen feels like.
“Surprised we’re sleeping in today.” Jenna mumbles into her girlfriend’s bare shoulder. “You usually like starting the day bright and early!”
“Well after last night, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to carry you into the kitchen for breakfast.” Karen teases while playing with Jenna’s hair. “So I figured I would give you as much sleep as possible!”
“You really think you can carry me around the house like that?”
Jenna regrets her words almost as soon as they leave her mouth. She feels her girlfriend shuffle around and the hand that was playing with her hair trails south and finds its way to Jenna’s back. Karen gently, but firmly presses her girlfriend closer, preventing her from escaping. Not that she wants to, anyway. Jenna lets out a short eep , muffled by her girlfriend’s shoulder, as Karen brings her other hand down to slap her ass and grips.
“Oh? Our toys from last night are in the drawer right next to me.” Karen’s voice transitions into the one she uses in bed. It’s earnest and loving like whenever she speaks to her girlfriend, but Jenna can hear the subtle growl laced between her words. “Does my little sub need a reminder of what I can do?”
“N-no…” Jenna’s heart races in excitement as she ironically cuddles closer to Karen for safety. Her girlfriend begins kneading her ass, and Jenna almost has to remind herself how to breathe as she anxiously awaits Karen’s next move.
“No, what .”
This time, Jenna is fairly certain she actually heard her girlfriend growl and a pleasant shiver runs up her spine.
“And who do you belong to?”
“Y-you, mistress!” The words roll off of Jenna’s tongue so easily it’s almost second nature to her. She would walk outside naked with a sign that says Property of Karen Bowen if her girlfriend asked her to.
“Mmm, good girl!” Karen rewards her girlfriend by leaning over and showering her neck and cheek with kisses, prompting Jenna to beam. It’s been a few weeks since the pair have been able to sleep in and just enjoy each other’s company like this. Most of the time, they were too busy with either Karen’s job or Jenna’s AIRSHIP missions to spend time like this without feeling guilty about it. That is, before AIRSHIP was…
“You know since we’re both off, we don’t have to get up right now…” Karen resumes kneading Jenna’s ass and plants a few more kisses on her head. “We can have a little breakfast in bed .”
A swirl of emotions overcomes Jenna as those words sink in. “Yeah… we are both off…”
AIRSHIP is gone . HQ, Floria, everyone else… just told to pack things up and leave like everything is fine and the bad guys were destroyed like in some fairy tale.
Both of them can feel the mood in the bedroom shift, and Karen instantly goes into her caring girlfriend mode. She slides the hand up from Jenna’s ass and cups her girlfriend’s face, her gentle touch comfortingly caressing her face. Looking down as if not making eye contact will manage to hide the growing anxiety appearing on her face, Jenna tries to push away her feelings and return to the morning afterglow of only a few moments ago. But because Karen is too damn stubborn and loves her so damn much, she won’t let her girlfriend experience the inner turmoil consuming her by herself. Gently lifting her head up to meet her gaze, Karen narrates her girlfriend’s thoughts.
“You’re thinking about AIRSHIP, aren’t you?” Karen asks softly.
Jenna nods meekly. She wishes she wasn’t — that she could just drop it already and have a long, happy, and safe life with Karen. But she can’t. Since the announcement of AIRSHIP’s dissolvement a few days ago, she finds herself regularly going over it again and again in her head. With AIRSHIP gone and Peithos still out there in the world, there might not be a happy and safe life they can have together. At least not for long.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Unlike the rest of her friends in AIRSHIP, including Jenna herself, Karen doesn’t just pat her girlfriend on the shoulder and try to change the subject anytime it gets brought up.
“I… I don’t know…” Jenna admits. “Is there anything even more to talk about? AIRSHIP is gone, it’s over, end of the line!”
Jenna can hear her voice steadily rising. But rather than telling her to quiet down, Karen begins rubbing small circles on the small of her girlfriend’s back with her thumb. “If you have nothing else to say about AIRSHIP, it wouldn’t be bothering you this much, Jenna.”
“I just…” Jenna’s brain begins overworking itself, trying to put into words the typhoon of emotions crashing around inside of her. As if words even exist to describe it. “How could they just shut down AIRSHIP with Peithos still out there? Does anyone really think that Peithos is just sitting around having tea and making fucking scrapbooks?
All we wanted to do was help people! I… we all have powers that can be put to good use and protect the world! I still remember how excited everyone was to be on a team together, like we were a family! You, me, Floria, HQ... How the fuck did bullshit politicians and Peithos' shady dealings get rid of us before the actual villains! How was everyone fooled by them? We can’t call ourselves heroes if we’re just sitting around doing nothing…”
Jenna pauses and takes a breath of air.
“I’m not a hero…”
Those words have been haunting Jenna ever since AIRSHIP’s dissolvement. It both hurts and feels therapeutic to finally say them aloud. To finally let herself be vulnerable and leave out in the open one of her fears. How can Jenna call herself a hero, one of the good guys, if she’s sitting on the sidelines knowing that Peithos is still scheming from the shadows? Pretending that everything is fine when it’s not? That’s not being a hero. That’s being selfish, and callous, and...
“Babe?” Karen snaps Jenna out of her emotional downspiral. She looks up at her girlfriend, and the warm look in her eyes helps ease the emotions swelling up in Jenna’s chest. So much, in fact, that she didn’t realize how tense her muscles suddenly are. She sighs and relaxes her body, melting into Karen’s embrace.
“Sorry…” Jenna says. “I know it’s stupid to keep thinking about AIRSHIP. It’s not like we can do anything about it now.”
“You have nothing to apologize for, Jenna.” Karen goes back to gently playing with her hair. “AIRSHIP was a big part of our lives, and especially yours. You should be upset about what happened.
“But don’t think for a second that you’re not a hero, Jenna Wright. You’ve saved countless lives when you were with AIRSHIP, and I’m sure Peithos hates you with how much you kept slapping them around. Not to mention the fact that you’re a hero to me. You’ve changed my life for the better, Jenna, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Jenna nuzzles her girlfriend’s neck. Karen isn’t the type of person to say things just to make her feel better. Her inability to lie and pretend to be someone she’s not is just one of the thousands of reasons Jenna fell in love with her. So there’s a sense of comfort in knowing that her girlfriend is being honest with her.
“I’m proud of everything you’ve done, Jenna. And you should be, too.” Karen continues. “For now, let’s just enjoy each other and the world you’ve worked so hard to fight for, my little hero.”
A small smile appears on Jenna’s face, hidden from her face being buried in her girlfriend’s chest. But something still bothers her. “Do you ever think they’ll let AIRSHIP come back?”
Karen waits a few seconds before responding. “I don’t know, maybe eventually. It seems that for now, AIRSHIP is gonna have to lie low. But who knows, maybe all AIRSHIP needs a firecracker like you to bring it back some day.”
“I’ll make sure to make you my secretary, then.”
“And I’ll be sure to remind you who the boss really is.” Jenna lets out a soft gasp as she feels Karen nip at her ear and follow it up with a gentle kiss. A comforting silence falls over the two as they cuddle, neither one interested in disturbing the glow of the soft morning that they’re having. Karen continues playing with Jenna’s hair, untangling a lump every so often that was twisted together in their sleep last night. She offers no resistance as her girlfriend occasionally ambushes her with a kiss on the head or cheek, and sometimes responds in kind with her own surprise peck on Karen’s lips.
“Can we stay here for a little longer?” Jenna asks, not wanting to give up the warmth and safety of her girlfriend and their bed just yet. “Please?”
She feels Karen lean down and kiss the top of her head. “Only because you said please.”
Jenna sighs but still finds herself smiling. A few seconds of silence pass before she speaks up again. “Karen?”
“I love you so much.” She’s said those words to Karen a thousand times now, but they always manage to make her heart skip a beat. Like she’s revealing a deeply hidden secret.
“Well that’s good to hear, because I just happen to love you, too.” Jenna feels her girlfriend move her arms protectively around her.
“I’ll always love you, Jenna.”
As Jenna slowly opens her eyes, her heart plummets. Instead of sitting on a bed covered in sheets that Karen insisted they buy because of how soft they are, and being surrounded by walls painted sky blue, Jenna finds the walls around her to be made of chipped bricks while on a bed with a mattress that feels like it’s filled with rocks. There’s no door to the left leading to their bathroom where Karen would stand in the doorway with just a towel and ask if Jenna wants to join her. Only a poster advertising some old movie with the edges frayed. And instead of her girlfriend’s arms wrapped around her, their bodies tangled together as Karen whispers small words of affection into her ear, Jenna finds the spot next to her empty and cold.
Jenna wants to cry. But even with the sleep she just had, she isn’t sure she has the energy to cry after walking for days with the others to find a new place for the Resistance. She considers reaching for her phone and scrolling through the hundreds of photos Jenna has of Karen, but the memories will hurt too much. Memories of things that are gone…
They’re not gone
Jenna pulls off the moth eaten bed sheets and struggles to get out of bed. Without Karen bribing her with a kiss on the nose and a promise of something extra for breakfast, Jenna finds it hard to wake up. Her legs suddenly feel as heavy as bricks. But Jenna manages to muster enough effort to swing her legs off the bed and plant them on the stained wood floor of the mansion-turned-Resistance Camp. She has no idea what’s going to happen from here, who else she’s going to meet, or if the Resistance is even going to succeed in bringing down Peithos and GAG. So much has changed over the past few weeks that Jenna can’t be certain of anything. Except for one thing.
Karen isn’t gone.
Jenna refuses to give up on her girlfriend. The Resistance may know her as the evil Peithos commander named Wildfire, but Jenna knows that isn’t the real Karen. The real Karen, underneath Peitho’s armor and manipulation, is stubborn but sweet, and crass but kind. Jenna loves her, and underneath the pain and torment Peithos made her go through these past five years, she knows that Karen still loves her. No matter what happens, Jenna knows that they’re going to be able to save Karen. And then, she can tell her how much she loves her girlfriend, and how sorry she is for everything that happened. Maybe Jenna can even somehow make it up to her.
But first, Jenna needs to get out of bed.