“I still don't feel like I've thanked you enough,” Avia said after they had settled into her rented suite with a bottle of Moscato. The junior heroine had changed into casual clothes right away. However, they did not do much to deemphasize her astonishing figure.
The sports bra did little to minimize her bust. Combined with the way the shirt's plunging neckline framed her olivine cleavage and its floating hem flashed her toned stomach, Avia’s “casual” attire was way more ‘sexy’ than Naomi had been prepared to deal with. Instead of taking pressure off, the change escalated the tension she had been feeling since the moment in the limo when she watched Avia transform for the first time.
"For what?" Naomi replied. "I just showed you around while people peppered you with questions."
It was still hard to believe someone who was so buxom and tall was the person behind the petite and lithe Miss Golem. Hell, it was hard to believe someone as beautiful as Avia had any interest in doing the superhero thing at all. She could have just done the fashion thing and had more than enough to deal with, but she took on this other mantle as well. It was admirable in a way Naomi had not considered before.
"That was a big help! I meant this though," Avia held up the slab of eilat Naomi had gifted to her and flashed a winsome smile. "It really saved me earlier."
“Happy to help,” Naomi said from the half bar as she poured herself a second glass. “My handler did the same for me on my first trip. It gets easier once you’re cleared and can use the less visible methods to travel.”
“I’m really not sure how that went," Avia muttered. "I don’t get why I’m so bad at talking to people as Miss Golem.”
“I think it went well. I mean, everyone thinks you’re a teen hero since you were so awkward, but aside from that…”
“You’d think all the years of modeling training or art critique would have prepared me for all this a bit more.”
The Bolt found herself reevaluating her charge. Avia was such a mixed bag of personal conflicts. The way she had held herself during the orientation party said she was confident about who she was, but everything she said to Naomi in the moments between one group and the next ran counter to that. Despite being social almost to a fault for nearly three hours, Avia was convinced that she had fucked up everything. What had happened to in her past to leave scars on her psyche like this? Why was she her own worst enemy?
“It is a different kind of environment," Naomi said, trying to be encouraging. "You just have to smile and look pretty, right?”
“Well, actually if feels like I’m more like a stereotypical model as a superhero-” Avia began, but Naomi waved her hands.
“That’s not quite what I meant. As a hero, you’re as much a symbol as you are a person and that’s much more than just being sexy. I know you’re not just some arm candy. You design things for people to wear, but isn’t that your passion? Don’t you want to talk about your ideas and influences when at fashion events?”
“I guess I never thought about it like that," Avia replied before taking a sip. "I do feel much more confident when talking to the press about fashion than what it means to be a heroine.”
“See? Don’t get so down on yourself, I know you’re a great person, with a lot to contribute, and I can’t wait to work with you more.”
“Speaking of working together,” Avia said as she suddenly changed the subject from the meet and greet. “What’s the story with you being around me all week? Are you supposed to be my bodyguard while I’m in town or something?”
“Something like that, yeah,” Naomi leaned back against the raised counter and took a drink. That she was also continuing her evaluation of Miss Golem was a fact she could omit. No sense in stressing her out even more.
“Are you staying here with me then?” Avia asked looking up from her glass. Their eyes met and something in the woman’s expression pulled at Naomi. Despite her dossier, The Bolt had no idea if Avia liked women. Surprised, she gagged on her drink and her reaction seemed to make Avia realize what she had said. The model blushed and sat up straight in the armchair while stammering an apology.
“It’s okay, I just, um, you had been rather reserved all afternoon—and even during my observations—so you saying that took me off guard, but, yes, I will be staying with you for the duration of your stay. Champion City is my second home after all. So don’t hesitate to ask me about–”
“What’s your favorite place to grab a bite to eat?” Avia said, shifting her feet under her butt as she leaned forward. The curvy heroine, likely subconsciously, pushed her boobs together, making their curves rise in the shirt. Naomi glanced down at the movement, blushed, and then looked away. What the hell was happening with her all of a sudden? She had interacted with Avia for months now without any compromise to her objectivity, but now something was different. Was it because the supermodel heroine was no longer just a bunch of data but a person with very real, even crippling doubts and fears? Was it that confidence she had shown after getting over her initial shock?
“Um, aren’t we going to a reception in a bit?” Naomi asked, trying to cover her hesitation as her mind worked. What was this feeling? Why was she flustered by the idea of a date with such a big and yet feminine woman? “Won’t there be food there?”
“I mean for after, or another day this week,” Avia said getting up and starting to cross the room. “I want to see what the most modern city in the country has to offer.”
“Oh, then yeah. I know I great place.”
“Excellent,” Avai said as she leaned against the counter, her elbow touching Naomi's. “Just what I wanted to hear. It’s a date then.”
Like it had in the limo, Avia’s soft scent wrapped around her. Naomi licked her lips as her eyes flicked between Avia’s chest and face and where their bodies met. With an audible gulp, she stepped away and swallowed down the rest of her glass.
“Did you just say… what I think you did?” She said when she found words again.
“Yeah, I did,” Avia said with a smile. “We’ll talk about our pasts over dessert or something. See if there’s any common ground. Isn’t that a date?”
“Why? To what end?” Why was she getting aggravated at this? Avia just wanted to talk. To get to know her, was that really such a bad thing?
“Because I…well, I like you.”
Wait, she does? Were women like her Avia's type? “Like me? You just met me.”
“Yeah,” Avia put her hand to her face and laughed even as she began to blush. “You’re right... it’s probably the wine talking. I’m going to go take a shower and get ready...”
“No, wait, I... I suppose it’s only fair that you get to ask me questions about my past since I dug into yours.”
“No, wait,” Naomi said, grabbing her arm. “I…I suppose it’s only fair that you get to ask me questions about my past since I dug into yours.”
“Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. That’s…that’s totally what I meant.” Avia scrunched her mouth up and her eyebrows down as if trying to swallow something sour. She nodded numbly as the enormity of what she had just done finally hit her. Then she shrugged and ambled off.
“Avia…” Naomi began, but she had already closed the door to her room. Naomi's eye flickered. That conversation could have gone better. Why was she so bad at dealing with emotional situations? The mercenary-turned-heroine both poured and downed another glass in one go. With the bottle empty and nothing else to do, she laid on the couch with her arm over her face until she slipped into sleep.