“Oi, Sexy Bird, we’re going swimming. Come with,” Ribbon commanded, pulling Amadhay’s attention from the book she was reading.
Because she wanted to better understand the others, she was reading in depth explanations of different races. She was working on a blood witch book and had already finished one on succubi and two on necromancers. The one on succubi had been a bit of an eye-opener on Kimiko. It made her far more understanding of the pair-obsessed girl’s mood swings. Her emotions completely depended on the emotions surrounding her and how sated she was at any given time. She thought that had to be worse than being an empath.
“No,” Amadhay said, turning the page of her book. She wasn’t really feeling going out in the sun and getting asymmetrical tan-lines and jumping into the water and having sand stick to her. She’d done that the first few weeks they had been here, until she had wounded herself, and since then hadn’t even left the building. The novelty of being away from the cold had already worn thin.
Besides, every time she hung out with Kimiko, Tenshu, and Ribbon in a group, the three of them kept asking her questions about her sexuality and her sexual experience. They were embarrassing and she was tired of dodging answering.
“Wasn’t asking,” Ribbon stated, pulling Amadhay up to her feet. She glanced at the book and rolled her eyes. “Besides, instead of reading about a blood witch, you can hang out with one in the flesh. It’ll be just like you’re still reading.”
“Only not at all,” Amadhay countered. “I’m sorry. Not really. I just don’t want to go out today. My head still hurts.”
Ribbon sighed. “Red Bird, I will carry you outside if I have to. I don’t want to, but I will if you force me. Your wound healed last week. You’ve been inside almost since we moved here and that’s unhealthy. There’s a sun, warmth, and fresh air outside. You need to have fun.”
“I have fun,” Amadhay complained. “I have loads of fun. I just want to read today.”
“Nope. C’mon,” she pulled Amadhay by her hands, smiling sweetly. “I even got you the cutest swimsuit yesterday. I wanna see you in it.”
Amadhay rolled her eyes. “Now I see what’s really going on,” she whined, but allowed Ribbon to pull her out of the library. Ribbon grinned, turning and pulling Amadhay after her. The woman put Amadhay’s small hands on her narrow hips. “You just want to see me in a different swimsuit.”
Amadhay squeezed Ribbon’s hipbones. The swimsuit she had asked Atlas (because she knew Ribbon and Kimiko would ignore what she wanted) to get her was perfect for her. It was black one-piece, with long sleeves and a brief-styled leg, almost a wetsuit and just as durable if she were to get lost in the water and go drifting for a while. She just liked to be prepared.
“I cannot tell a lie. I wanna see you in a real swimsuit.”
“My swimsuit is a real swimsuit,” she argued.
“Real ugly,” Ribbon gave her a look. “You wear it and all I can think is that you’re planning a deep sea mission. The one I got you will make your ass look fantastic.”
Amadhay snorted and moved faster so that she could press against Ribbon’s back. “Just my ass?” she teased.
“No, you’re right. I got it with your boobs in mind too. It’s going to make all of you look fantastic. And I wanna do it today ‘cause Atlas isn’t around to hog you.”
Amadhay snickered. “Just tell me it has enough fabric to actually be called a swimsuit.”
Ribbon let go of Amadhay’s hands to hold her hands to her own chest in a gesture of mock insult. “Me? Trick you into barely wearing anything? Why I never!”
“That wasn’t an answer,” Amadhay pointed out.
“I didn’t hear a question,” Ribbon said, sticking her tongue out as she looked back at Amadhay, who rolled her eyes again.
“What if I don’t want to swim?”
“Fucking cats and water,” Ribbon muttered before shrugging, “I can assure you that I won’t mind it if you just lay out on a towel. I can rub you down in lotion to make sure you don’t burn,” she said with an exaggerated wink that was purely intended to make Amadhay laugh, which she did.
“You’re such a pervert,” Amadhay told her as they entered Ribbon’s room. She didn’t have to look very far to see what she knew had to be her swimsuit. The gold one, consisting of three simple straps of fabric to cover only the chest and intimate bits, connected by thin string was obviously Ribbon’s, given that neither the top nor bottom would have fit much of Amadhay. While they were able to occasionally share clothing, Ribbon had a very tall, slender frame while Amadhay was incredibly curvy and short.
No, her swimsuit was also a one-piece, but thankfully had quite a bit more cloth. It was red, with a full top to hold her chest in, tying around the neck. The bottom was cut quite a bit higher than she’d normally wear, but considering it wasn’t a thong, she chose not to complain. There was a rectangular cut out pattern going from under the chest, down to her hips. It was strange, but symmetrical, so she couldn’t complain. All in all, it was a revealing swimsuit that she couldn’t really complain about.
When she looked at Ribbon’s smug smirk, she knew the woman knew it, too. “You’ve hidden my swimsuit, haven’t you?” she asked with a resigned sigh.
“Please,” Ribbon said. “I destroyed that thing as soon as I got this one.”
Amadhay sighed again. “And I suppose if I say no, you’ll dress me and carry me out?”
“Correct,” Ribbon nodded.
Amadhay gave a long sigh. “Fine.”
“Good. Hurry up!” Ribbon said, tugging her sundress over her head. “Kim and Ten are already out there and Kim burns like a piece of toast, so the sooner we go out, the sooner I can slather her in lotion.”
Amadhay rolled her eyes, trying not to watch as Ribbon stripped all the way down. She was always a little self-conscious when she had to get unclothed around Ribbon. While Amadhay knew she was attractive, she couldn’t help but envy Ribbon’s long legs and slender frame. She always felt fat around the woman, which she knew was silly because she was too muscular to be fat. Curvy and still plump? Yes. She hadn’t hit aelfen puberty yet, so she was still carrying her growing fat, which only served to make her curvier, not fat.
But that didn’t make it any easier when Ribbon just stripped in front of her. She had no fat anywhere on her, just pure, lean muscle. So when she donned the tiny swimsuit, Amadhay wasn’t even going to attempt to say she didn’t look hot. That would be a lie. Even if it was quite a bit less than Amadhay would ever feel comfortable wearing, that was what amazed her about Ribbon. The woman was incredibly comfortable with her body, which was somewhat surprising, considering the scars all over her lower torso, especially the really bad ones close to her groin.
Amadhay was self-conscious about the minor scars she had gained from missions and training, though of course that was more because they made her asymmetrical than because she was embarrassed or ashamed of having them. She was an assassin. Scars happened. If she didn’t have scars, that would mean that she hadn’t learned anything.
But those same scars were part of the reason she really didn’t want to put on the swimsuit. The cutout parts would show the three mostly vertical claw marks from the Feral she’d almost botched in capturing two years ago. It would show the burn mark on her right hip, from being too slow to avoid Rea’s fire breath in training. It would show the still healing scars from Madra, especially the one on her back and the worst of the bite marks on her shoulder. It would even show the scar right at her tailbone, which she got when she tried to heal Indigo and had only transferred his wound to herself.
Ribbon poked her in the stomach. “C’mon. Kimmy’s probably turning into a lobster out there.”
Amadhay smiled, pushing back all of her worries about her own imperfections. “You go first. I’ll catch up.”
Ribbon’s disbelieving look was expounded upon when the woman crossed her arms over her relatively small, but surprisingly perky, chest. “And then you’ll never come out. Nope. Change.”
Amadhay sighed. “I’ll come out, I swear. I just need a moment.”
Ribbon looked from Amadhay, to the swimsuit, and then back at the girl questioningly before raising her eyebrows, a look of realization upon her face. “You’re being shy.”
“I am not!” Amadhay disagreed, flushing as red as the swimsuit. “I just need a moment to figure out how to stuff myself into that.”
“I’ll help you,” Ribbon responded with a wink, making Amadhay roll her eyes.
“Can you not?” she suggested, pointedly tossing her tank top off to prove that she wasn’t shy about her body. She stepped out of her shorts and paused, glancing back at Ribbon, who was staring at her back. “What are you looking at?” she asked defensively.
“What’s that from?” Ribbon asked, closing the distance between them. She lightly traced the scar from Madra, from the curve of her lower back, almost up to the center of her ribcage in the back. The skin was still sensitive and the touch made Amadhay shiver and almost purr.
She pulled from Ribbon, turning so that her back was no longer to the woman. She had a feeling that telling her the specifics of Cowboy’s attention on her would only make pointless difficulties. “I made a mistake,” she said simply, crossing her arms over her chest. She knew she had to take off her underwear to put the swimsuit on, but Ribbon’s rapt attention on her body was a little discomfiting.
“Did it hurt?” the woman asked, her eyes finally trailing back up to Amadhay’s.
“Yes,” she admitted freely. It had hurt in more ways than one.
Ribbon turned her back. “Okay, I’m not looking. You can change now, scaredy cat.”
“I wasn’t scared,” Amadhay muttered, but did take the chance to quickly lose her underwear. She grabbed the swimsuit off of the bed and shimmied into it as quickly as possible. Tying the bow tightly behind her neck as perfectly as she could without actually seeing herself, she fixed the swimsuit. Making sure that the cutoffs were on either side of her navel, her boobs were mostly equal, or as equal as they could get with the left one being slightly larger.
“I’m decent,” she announced to Ribbon, who laughed.
“You were decent when you weren’t wearing anything,” the woman corrected as she turned around. She gave a wolf whistle. “Looking good, Sexy Bird.”
“Why thank you,” Amadhay said, smirking. “You’re not looking too shabbily yourself, Ribby.”
“It is physically impossible for me to look bad,” Ribbon said with a shrug before she tossed her arm over Amadhay’s shoulders. “Now let’s go save Kimmy from burning.”
Grabbing up lotion from the dresser nearest the door, Ribbon steered Amadhay out of her room and out of the building as quickly as possible. Once they were outside, she slowed a bit, as if getting outside had been some great obstacle.
From the front steps of the base they all called Sand Castle, Amadhay could spot Kimiko and Tenshu running around the beach, splashing through ankle deep water. Kimiko was laughing loudly while Tenshu was brandishing what Amadhay thought looked like a starfish.
“Look who I got outside!” Ribbon called loudly, making not only the two other Palnokians, but also other people enjoying the beach, look at them. Amadhay flushed when Tenshu gave a loud wolf whistle and Kimiko squealed, making a beeline for them.
“Yes! That is exactly what I was talking about!” she exclaimed, tackling Amadhay with a hug. Both of them fell into the sand, while Ribbon had sidestepped just far enough to avoid going down with them.
“I knew there was hot underneath all that gear,” Tenshu said, giving Ribbon a high-five.
“I like to think I’m hot wearing clothes,” Amadhay sniffed.
Kimiko took a deep breath, something Amadhay now knew meant she was feeding from her, and smiled blissfully. “This is officially one of my best days ever. Definitely top twenty-four,” she decided, still hugging Amadhay.
Amadhay honestly thought it was weird how excited Kimiko was to see her in a skimpy swimsuit. They didn’t have that type of relationship, or at least Amadhay hadn’t thought they did. But Kimiko had still yet to let go of her and their chests were pressing together. In fact, Kimiko’s black swimsuit top was barely holding her chest in, which, Amadhay thought, was a definite con to the cute thing. Kimiko probably shouldn’t be running around in it; the strings holding the top together were coming loose in the back.
Amadhay, taking advantage of the fact Kimiko was hugging her, tied the top a little tighter, making sure that the tie was directly in the middle of her friend’s back. Kimiko, likewise, let go of her and fixed the bow tying Amadhay’s top to her neck, making it equal on both sides of her neck.
“That’s better,” Kimiko muttered.
Ribbon sighed. “You two are really weird. You know that, right? I feel like you two fixing each other’s symmetry is the equivalent to a hot and heavy make out session for me.”
Amadhay and Kimiko both rolled their eyes at the same time. Catching that, they burst into giggles. “Maybe,” Kimiko said, putting her arm over the shorter girl’s shoulders. “Jealous?” she teased Ribbon.
“You have no idea,” Ribbon drawled. A strange look passed between the two when Kimiko smirked, leaning down to take a deep breath from the air right at Amadhay’s face. The aelfe raised an eyebrow at the blissful look on the succubus’ face, looking questioningly to Ribbon, who had a bit of a strained smile.
Tenshu broke into the conversation again and ended the strange moment by tossing the starfish at Kimiko, who squealed even though it missed. (Which Amadhay knew had to be purposely. She’d seen Tenshu actually throwing and if he didn’t miss with a blade and seal, he sure as anything wasn’t going to miss with a starfish. It was basically a living throwing star.) She let go of Amadhay and started running again.
Amadhay looked questioningly at Tenshu, who grinned as he picked up the poor fish. “She hates starfish,” he explained before running after his sister.
Amadhay looked to Ribbon. “Well. I’m going to go find some starfish to chase her with,” she alerted the woman before darting off into the water to do just that.
Ribbon followed after her. “Wait! I haven’t lotioned you up yet,” she called.
“Don’t need it!” Amadhay called back.
“My ass!” Ribbon exclaimed, making Amadhay giggle. Instead of looking for starfish, she was now dodging Ribbon, who had the bottle between her hands. “You might not be as pale as Kimmy, but you’re still light enough to burn.”
“You’re gonna have to catch me to win the prize,” Amadhay called, laughing. She and Kimiko crisscrossed paths, nearly hitting each other, but just barely managing not to. Amadhay hopped over an intricately made sand castle, noting the detail even as she kept her attention on how far Ribbon was behind her.
“How is my prize making sure that you don’t burn?” Ribbon demanded.
“Please,” Amadhay scoffed, dashing back into the water. “This is all some ploy to be able to rub all over my body.”
“Oh no,” Ribbon exclaimed drily. “You saw right through my ploy. Whatever shall I do? Grab her!”
Amadhay ran right into two men, both of whom fell down with her. One did, however catch her by the waist. She wriggled, but since she didn’t want to hurt the unknown man if Ribbon knew him, she didn’t try too hard to get free.
“Aha!” Ribbon cried, closing the distance between them in three clicks. She had run right through the sand castle, which Amadhay thought was a shame. The man let go Amadhay go once Ribbon had her foot on the girl’s chest, lightly holding her down in the sand “Now I have you at my mercy!”
“I call cheats!” Amadhay cried out. “You had randoms catch me.”
“Amadhay, meet Diable and Riacaro,” Ribbon gestured to the identical men. Nothing about them really stood out to Amadhay other than that they were identical. “There, see? No longer randoms, so no cheat. Now stay still so I can keep you from burning.”
Amadhay sighed. “Fine,” she said, reaching up to Ribbon, who moved her foot and helped her to her feet. “But I get to help you catch Kimiko.”
“As long as I get her before she burns, I don’t really care.”
“You haven’t heard Kimiko whine when she’s burned. I’m going out of my way to do a favor for all of us. And since you’re just as obsessed with twos, I figure you’d probably be just as bad.”
She was admittedly whiney when she got uneven tan lines or burned on one side and not the other, so she couldn’t say that she blamed Ribbon too much. “It’s symmetry, not twos,” Amadhay corrected instead.
“What. Ever,” Ribbon stated, squeezing lotion into her hands. “Be ready, this is cold.”